My friend and I have been playing some 2250 point games, my CD versus his HE army. Two of his rare choices are eagles that he usually brings in with one on each flank, and by turn 2 or 3 I have lost a war machine and usually by turn 5 all war machines are silenced.
One game I got a charge on one eagle with wolf riders and was lucky enough to take it out, but the other one got by me. The eagles are toughness 4 with 3 wounds so when shooting at them I’m usually hitting on 6 and wounding on 5, which means 54 hobgoblin archers are needed to be able to take out an eagle on that one turn in which it is in range (neglecting the effects of animosity).
The only solution that I can think of is to keep the wolf riders on one flank, bull centaurs on the other flank, and just turtle up and wait for him to come to me. I don’t like a magic heavy army, but am I going to need to add more magic just so that I can lob magic missiles at his eagles? Do we have any other counters to eagles and the like?
The eagles are toughness 4 with 3 wounds so when shooting at them I'm usually hitting on 6 and wounding on 5
Why 6s? Its 4s to hit with BS3, 5s at long range. If you deploy them right, you shouldn't have to move.
Bolt Throwers and Fireballs are probably a better bet. Failing that, a Bull Centaur/Hobgob hero on a wolf watching your war machines should help. Or even have a CD hero join your war machine and swat the eagle when it comes for them.
I was giving them a -1 to hit a single model, but I see now that that only applies to unit strength 1.
Thanks for the tips guys, I think I will try using bolt throwers on the eagles. Since he can only charge 20" I should get a long range and a short range shot off before he gets to me. Now I just need more than 2 of them. :)
I normally use magic missile fire though, as it’s a much more efficient use of firepower-the bolt throwers can kill other things, worse case, the guy just blew dispel dice keeping a throwaway unit alive and you can still chuck a bolt at it.
If they are going after your bolt throwers, I usually take a BS BSB. You could have him join a warmachine crew when the eagle approaches. Feel free to also charge the guy out if the eagle does not engage. Just an additional thought or possibility.
Everything previously suggested is fine I’d give some more hints to improve discussion
Do not place your warmachine in a long line. Place terrain, big blocks of troops between them. So the eagles will not over run into them jumping from machine to machine.
Most of the time I place a lonely warmachine in a corner of the battle field (normally a death rocket but sometimes even the shaker) so the enemy has to run there spending 4-5 turns to get it, kill it and reposition in an useful place.
Use a big block of 25 naked hobbos to guard them! 3 ranks, outnumering is a nice +4 combat resolution to start with. I do not remember how many attacks have the eagles but I suppose a big infatry block could stop them for a while…
The one of the beat ways to avoid the eagles is to deploy your war machines in terrain. Flyers cannot voluntarily enter terrain. Because both players should be taking turns deploying terrain set up a few tree or rocky features in your deployment zone. Deploy your machines in the terrain. Once they are there the machine can�?Tt move but the eagle cannot fly into it either. He can only enter it using his ground movement, which I think is 2. So then the only other things the eagles have to go after are your units and they are really useless against block infantry.
The night before last I got in another game with my friend with the HE army and thought I’d post an update of how it went.
I tweaked my army list to increase from 2 bolt throwers to 4 and kept my wolf riders and bull centaurs close in on my flanks to help protect the war machines. One eagle took a bolt thrower hit that resulted in 3 wounds so that was a major victory for me, but the other eagle managed to get through to my death rocket with 2 wounds remaining on it. My wolf riders were tied up with a chariot at the time so I wheeled a unit of hobgoblins around to prepare a counter charge into the eagle’s rear. I lost a Death Rocket crewman, but at the end of the next combat the eagle broke and ran off the board.
At this point we were 4 turns in and we had to call it a night, but it was clear that I was winning and was just a turn away from taking out his BSB, general, and level 4 wizard. Not to mention that his other units that had not even got into close combat yet had been shredded badly by my war machines and a few hobgoblin bow hits. The Earth Shaker did splendidly, not in hitting anything that I aimed at, but it slowed down his cavalry and shut down his shooting phase for 3 turns which gave my Taurus time to give over there and break up the party.
Thanks to everyone for their advice, I was able to play a much stronger game and no longer fear the eagles.