[5th Edition] Beating Chaos Knights?

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[5th Edition] Beating Chaos Knights?

Postby Galadrin » 21 Aug 2015, 21:37

I was hoping to find some good tips on Machiara's Battle Glade but sadly it seems that most of the tactics section has been gutted on that website. Does anyone have any good tips for defeating Chaos Knights with Wood Elves in 5th Edition? The problem I am having is that these guys are devastating on the charge... Five knights throw down 10 attacks, hitting on 3+ and wounding on 2+, generally wiping out six or so models (the entire front rank) on the charge. And that's before any characters, horse attacks and magic banner effects! To make matters worse, if the Knights take Chaos armour, they cannot actully be hurt by S3 attacks at all. I usually like to field a lot of Glade Guard and Archers, but I think I need a new setup if I am going to beat these guys...
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Re: [5th Edition] Beating Chaos Knights?

Postby Billthesurly » 21 Aug 2015, 23:54

5th edition?!? My memory does not go back that far. I can barely remember playing 6th edition much less 5th. I believe that was the edition that was a wizard's and hero's duel and a couple of armies would show up to stand by and helplessly watch and die. (It was nicknamed "Herohammer".)
So it's no longer the BRB, now it's the DERB. (Digital Edition Rule Book) I am all in for 9th Age.
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Re: [5th Edition] Beating Chaos Knights?

Postby Galadrin » 22 Aug 2015, 00:08

Yes, that's the one. Any pointers? I am thinking there is a useful Magic Banner that might be helpful in holding against a Chaos Knight charge, but I'm travelling right now and don't have my cards handy.
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Re: [5th Edition] Beating Chaos Knights?

Postby Galadrin » 22 Aug 2015, 03:52

If it helps, this is my typical army list (2,018 points):

Wood Elf Pine Glade Kindred
Wood Elf General (365)
Light Armour, Longbow, Hail of Doom Arrow, Bow of Loren, Black Amulet, Great Eagle

Mage Champion (151)
Rod of Power, Magic War Paint

Hero (170)
Ogre Blade, Armour of Meteoric Iron, Spear

5 Warhawk Riders (190)
Light Armour, Shields, Spears

17 Glade Guards (253)
Musician, Standard, Light Armour, Shields, Banner of Courage

24 Archers (264)
(Either in two groups of twelve or in four groups of six)

5 Waywatchers (90)

5 Scouts (80)

5 Dryads (175) or 8 Wardancers (160)

Treeman (280)
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Re: [5th Edition] Beating Chaos Knights?

Postby Billthesurly » 22 Aug 2015, 18:50

Unfortunately I have expunged 5th ed from my head and long ago gotten rid of all the rules for playing it. I think that was the edition that got rid of our chariots and introduced the Dryads. (But I still have those Chariots!) Your army OB above looks familiar though and I know I never played with more than eight Dryads because for the longest time that was all I had.
So it's no longer the BRB, now it's the DERB. (Digital Edition Rule Book) I am all in for 9th Age.
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Re: [5th Edition] Beating Chaos Knights?

Postby Sidewinder » 23 Aug 2015, 20:02

Galadrin, what is the copyright year of the BRB that you are using and the copyright year of the Wood Elf army book that you are using?
I think I can help once I have this information.
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Re: [5th Edition] Beating Chaos Knights?

Postby Galadrin » 23 Aug 2015, 23:08

Both say 1996. My opponent has the black Chaos book with the skull on it.
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Re: [5th Edition] Beating Chaos Knights?

Postby noneshallpass! » 24 Aug 2015, 06:58

Ohh, I remember my friends unit of 10 Chaos Knights with a lord and the Banner of Rage moping up everything. 4 attacks per knight and 10 from the lord.

I haven't played 5th in 15 years, but I have been thikning about giving it a try as I got some friends who might be up for it. Handeling the dreaded Chaos Knights has been one of my preocupations as the army would be available to us. But do bear in mind that this is all Theoryhammer. WE does not have those brutal bolt trowers that ignores armor, but maybe there is some options?

You know that Wood Elf longbows got -1 AP and 36" range right (page 43)? This means you can harm the Knights with your S3 archers even if they got their +1 save. Not easy to get through, close to 40 shots at close range needed to do a wound, but each knight is 80p. Getting one or two down before combat might help. It is an idea to keep the archers under 100p if you use the scoringsystem with 1vp per 100p a unit costs. 3x8 perhaps?

I think the general would make better use of the Ogreblade than the hero having gretater mobility and an extra attack - even if the Bow of Lorren is the romantic option. Speaking of magic weapons, you can not have both Bow of Lorren and Doom Arrow on the same guy. A character can carry only one of each type of item (page 30 Warhammer Magic). Both count as Magic Weapons.

The Wardancers got this dance that makes the combat a draw with no blows exchanged. That is a great way to tie the knights up the round they get bonus for their lances. Then you might be able to countercharge in with something else. The dryads with their might be candidates for this. Both -1 attack to the enemy and +1S&T might be helpful. The treeman hits on 3's and wounds on 2's. The same woud the lord with the Ogreblade. A chariot smashing in with D6+2 impacthits could deal some damage. I guess the Wardancers could die pretty horribly the next round and make all the Wood Elves break. If you feed the knights two units of 5 Wardancers, they might not be able to do much else during the battle. If you try fleeng the charge from the Knights, you might get a countercharge that way.

The lore of Battle Magic got 1/2d6 S4 spells that ingores armor saves and could hurt badly. Also two spells that can hold the Kight in place and do nothing. Have you had any luck with your mage champion?
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Re: [5th Edition] Beating Chaos Knights?

Postby Hyarion » 24 Aug 2015, 16:11

There's always the old standby of eagle redirection. It's perfect for just such an occasion as this.
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There is no combat without movement.

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Re: [5th Edition] Beating Chaos Knights?

Postby Galadrin » 24 Aug 2015, 23:59

Thanks for the tips. I'm not married to any of the magic item choices so I am happy to drop Bow of Loren if it will help. As far as the units... My hands are somewhat tied there, as they are most of the models I own for Woodies and it is damn hard to find the old 1990's sculpts these days (not a fan of plastic and resin or the new style sculpts, to be honest... Guess it's just about what you start with!).

I vaguely remember discussions about using flyers for redirection. How does it work, again? I know about luring frenzied units, but these Knights aren't frenzied (thank God!).
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Re: [5th Edition] Beating Chaos Knights?

Postby Sidewinder » 25 Aug 2015, 01:03

Galadrin, I can't find the magic item cards from then and I can't find the BRB so I can't be of much help there, but at first glance, the following is what I would have in a list and the reasons why, if I were going to play a 2000 point game of 5th ed.

Forest/woods: Be sure to have enough of them on the table. Built into the WE point costs is the ability to move through forest/woods easily, try to get as many forests/woods as possible within the rules. If limited on the number of forests, I would use very large templates. Justification, going by the fluff in this army book, WE don't fight anywhere but in or near their forest. There should be some of that on the table.

Two Treemen (560) -- They count as regiments for army listing purposes. They cannot be damaged by attacks that are str 3 or less. And they can actually kill things.

No archers. They have to move in formation and models after the first rank can't shoot. Also, they must shoot within their forward arc. They do not have the maneuverability to avoid charges.

No Glade Guard. S3, T3 and an AS 5+ after paying additional points just isn't worth it. They can't avoid a charge, they can't do anything before getting charged, and the only thing they can do after getting charged is die. They can't even hold the knights for a turn because they will break and get run down. So, no GG.

2 x 12 Scouts (384) -- Since scouts are classified as regiments just like archers, I would use scouts instead of archers. They have 360 degree shooting arcs, they do not have to be in any type of formation, and they do not have to wheel while moving. With a 36" shooting range and deploying after non-scout models are placed, they have no need to be anywhere near melee action.
2 x 18 Scouts (576) -- Othu moves back and forth between these two units.

Othu the Owl (15) and its Naieth the Prophetess (59) tax -- because being able to re-roll missed shooting To Hit rolls is always good, and who knows, Naieth may be useful too.

1 x 5 Waywatchers (90) -- for the trap they lay, to prevent march moving (if that is done in 5th) and possibly as a redirector. Other than traps, WW are no different than Scouts so no reason to get anymore than five.

2 x Pegasus (100) -- for redirecting big stuff or charging little stuff. I could also try to use a pegasus in conjunction with a Treeman to set up a counter charge from the Treeman into the Chaos Knights. Probably will need both pegasus for this actually. One pegasus to accept and redirect the knights charge. The other one to counter charge on the following turn to hold the knights in place while the Treeman casually strolls into his 10" charge range. After that, the Treeman and Chaos Knights can trade blows for the rest of the game while the scouts and whatever else I add to the list kills other units or more likely try to cause panic tests.

This leaves me 316 points for gaps and oversights in the list.
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Re: [5th Edition] Beating Chaos Knights?

Postby Galadrin » 25 Aug 2015, 04:36

Ooh, I think I can help there. I just found this website the other night. It seems to have all the magic items, spells and special cards (like chaos gifts etc.) from 5th Edition. The 5e Battle Magic book on Scribd also has a summary of every card in the set. Too bad, I couldn't find the banner I had in mind... It might have been a 4e magic card, or I might be imagining it!

Wow, never noticed how good Othu is! I should give the special characters section another read through... It's been quite a while since I cracked that part of the Wood Elf army book.

Considering that arrows are not very useful against 1+ armour, even with the -1 save modifier, what if I dropped the arrows completely? How would this army list play out against, say, 4 units of 6 Chaos Knights with Chaos Armour and full command and one Chaos Champion warlord (with the same equipment as the Knights)?

Wood Elf General (700)
Forest Dragon, Ogre Blade, Black Amulet

Mage Champion (191)
Warhawk, Hail of Doom Arrow, Rod of Power

Chariot (96)
Double Scythes

5 Glade Riders (155)
Lances

5 Glade Riders (155)
Lances

Great Eagle (75)

Great Eagle (75)

Treeman 280
Treeman 280

2007 points total

The objective would be to wear them down with Glade Rider and chariot charges. If Glade Riders can work a flank attack, then they will get 3 attacks in and only one model fighting back (who hopefully would have been killed on the charge... 3 attacks, 4+ to hit, 3+ to wound, 3+ save)... If not for the "free command group" that Chaos Knights get, I'd say a flank charge would give the Glade Riders a decent chance of winning the combat. In any case, whatever Glade Riders that survive will feint flee to charge again in a later round (otherwise, their S3 will not be able to get through the Chaos Armour in the second round of combat).

The center of the army would obviously be the treemen and dragon, but I would try to keep mobile. Treemen would hang by forests to slow the knights down and force failed charges, so that others could flank/rear charge the knights. The dragon would take to the air, dropping it's "no saving throw" breath on knight flanks (to get the most under the template) and rear charge when it is safe to do so. The mage on warhawk would march block by hovering behind the knights, tossing the hail of doom arrow at them and any spells I can get off. The eagles would similarly march block, charge redirect and jump into melee in an emergency (they are about as good as Glade Riders on a flank... 2 attacks, 3+ to hit, 3+ to wound, 3+ save). The nice thing about facing Chaos is that you dont need to bother buying armour... You'll lose it all to high strength attacks anyway!

So, how would this list fare?
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Re: [5th Edition] Beating Chaos Knights?

Postby Polycotton » 25 Aug 2015, 06:46

Chaos Knights are a nightmare to deal with in 5th edition. Glade Guard are also utterly worthless in 5th edition. To defeat Chaos Knights; take the charge with Wardancers doing Shadows Coil and then counter charge with a Treemen/Chariots/Dryads with Oak aspect. That was about the only way I was able to deal with them reliably. Chariots, Treemen, Glade Riders with Lances, and Dryads are your main hammers.

Back in 5th edition I played an assault army that fielded virtually every combat unit in the army aside from overpriced Warhawk Riders and Glade Guard Spearelves. It also included 3x units of 9 archers along with Scouts and Waywatchers deployed to stop your opponent marching. Great Eagles are also another great march blocker. Fifth edition Wood Elf play is all about stopping your opponent marching from turn 1 and utterly dominating the movement phase. You whittle away at them the whole game and then combo charge units into oblivion. If you're using Wood Elf Spearelves you are doing it wrong.
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Re: [5th Edition] Beating Chaos Knights?

Postby Galadrin » 25 Aug 2015, 14:51

I absolutely love Glade Guard models, but I agree they are one of the less useful units in the army list (I'd give that honour to Warhawk Riders with bows—another gorgeous model, but a unit that guaranteed never to earn its points back). That's in practice, anyway. Theoretically, with a hero and a good banner they would do very well against a similar block of human or Goblin spearmen or other line infantry. The problem is that people rarely field these in 5e, in my experience. There tends to be a lot of heavy cavalry, fliers and elite units running around the table (or otherwise gunlines). Glade Guard weren't balanced against these kind of units so they end up suffering for it.

This discussion has been really interesting... Does anyone know if any of the tactica essays for 5e Wood Elves can still be found in the dark corners of the internet? 5e was famous for tactical guides (something about the "winner takes all" nature of 'Herohammer' I guess). They were excellent reads and always provided very diverse views... A product of local playstyles, no doubt.

One of the things I noticed in is thread is that you can play Wood Elves like a hammer and anvil force (a la Polycotton) or a denial force (like Sidewinder). The hammer force operates by controlling movement and orchestrating deadly flank charges with heavy hitters. The denial force also controls enemy movement, but slowly wears them down with arrows and traps to eke out low margin victories (if the enemy cannot kill even one of your sneaky units, then all you need is 1 or 2 victory points to win... Something easily afforded by 5 turns of archery and a quick Warhawk flight to empty table quarters on the last turn to snatch up extra victory points). Denial is safer but perhaps less interesting for the other player, while hammer and anvil is exciting but risky.

I wonder, which is the more appropriate tactic for my favorite Pine Glades Kindred? I think the fluff in the book would emphasize monsters (particularly the great eagle) and Warhawk Riders over chariots and cavalry. Scouts would be a characterful purchase as well. Does that mean Pine Glades warbands are more suited to denial tactics? Is there an anvil force lurking at the edge of the Grey Mountains as well (maybe flying hammer, with the dragon?).
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Re: [5th Edition] Beating Chaos Knights?

Postby Polycotton » 31 Aug 2015, 02:27

I'm not sure where to find the old articles today. I remember writing some fairly exhaustive stuff on my on free 5mb website back in the 90's. :D There were so many tactica websites around back then and the focus was very much on the friendly game with tournaments rarely a big influence. I went to a couple of tournaments back then but both were heavily slanted towards rewarding sportsmanship and army composition over straight out victories.
One house rule we always played was no magic items/rune items over 50pts. Once you're over 50pt magic items, characters truly start to completely dominate.
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Re: [5th Edition] Beating Chaos Knights?

Postby Beragon » 31 Aug 2015, 03:36

Haven't read all the replies so hope I'm not repeating anything.

My basic solution would be Wardancers... two units if you can get them. Their dance "The Shadow's Coil" is the ace. Send them in two waves:
1) Your turn 1, Wave 1: shove 1st unit of Wardancers in their face to force a charge.
2) Their turn 1: Knights charge, combat is drawn.
3) Your turn 2, Wave 2: shove 2nd unit of Wardancers right behind first unit... 1st unit almost certainly dies in close combat.
4) Their turn 2: Knights charge, combat is drawn.
5) Your turn 3: Ideally by now, you've maneuvered units that can damage them to charge their flanks... like a treeman or dragon (should be easy with flying high rule), or character with magic weapon... back then there were some really nasty ones (some were 125 pts I believe), but I haven't seen them in over 10 years.
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