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8th Ed. The Legendary Warriors of Chaos "Unkillable" Hortennse Lord.

Discussion in 'Other Armies Discussion' started by NIGHTBRINGER, Sep 11, 2022.

  1. NIGHTBRINGER
    Slann

    NIGHTBRINGER Second Spawning

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    After the The BEST close combat units in all of Warhammer tournament I never doubt these guys. Along with the Skullcannon, they are the best unit in the entire Daemons of Chaos army book (imho).


    The killing blow rule is also a huge psychological deterrent. It keeps the WoC player wary, all of a sudden his Hortennse doesn't quite have free reign of the battlefield. Even though the chance of a Killing Blow attack going through is slim, nobody wants to risk their near 400pts character to a single lucky strike. Soul Feeder is worth nothing if a single blow strips Hortennse of all three of his wounds. A large part of his unkillableness comes from the fact that opponents need to beat his ward save multiple times and do so faster than he can heal himself. Killing Blow can upend this. A few killing blow attacks may not be that much of a threat, but repeatedly taking multiple such attacks from a unit begins to add up.


    As far as the Bloodletter unit surviving, it will be a while before their Daemonic Instability begins to take a significant toll. Hortennse and is Disc will average 2.5 wounds per round of combat. Which means that a standard bearer and a rank or two is all that is required to tie the round of combat. Any decent sized unit will be able to maintain this for quite a few turns before they begin rolling for Daemonic Instability. That's a good number of turns to rack up a good number of Killing Blow attacks... and it only takes one.


    A Daemon Prince on the other hand would wade into such a unit without any qualms.



    While a Hortennse model has many different uses...

    • kill monsters
    • kill war machines
    • kill opposing characters
    • run down fleeing units
    • add crucial combat resolution to existing combats
    • etc
    ...I believe his best ability is to tie up enemy Deathstars. Firstly, it eliminates the threat such a unit poses to the Chaos lines and secondly, you're using a relatively small amount of your army's points to tie up a great number of points of your opponent's army. Despite being known as one of the best CC armies in the game, there are a few units out there that can really wreck a WoC general's day. Dark Elf deathstars (Witches, Executioners) are perfect examples and so too is the Ogre Gutstar. It is a terrifying enemy for Chaos to handle. Hortennse can neutralize it effectively. Either simply hold it there for many turns or hold it there until it can be flanked and destroyed.


    Do you have a complete build in mind? Maybe we can run it through its paces.

    It's an intriguing question, which character can kill Hortennse one on one? I have a couple of candidates. Might be a fun little bit of exploration.
     
  2. Lizards of Renown
    Slann

    Lizards of Renown Herald of Creation

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    Fair enough. There's no question that they are a fantastic tarpit and AWESOME against no or light armoured troops (LoR winces as a Ogre Kingdoms general thinking about these guys).

    Okay, well you learn something new every day. I could have sworn that cavalry were not affected by killing blow and I was wrong. I also thought the Disc was Monstrous Beast and it's also not. So then yes, I'd add in any large unit with killing blow as at least SOMETHING that could be done about the Hortennse.

    Totally.

    I think we are the people to do the exploration! I'll put together a VC character and see if there are any others I fancy in a mano-a-mano with the Hortennse.
     
  3. NIGHTBRINGER
    Slann

    NIGHTBRINGER Second Spawning

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    I think they are quite a bit more well rounded then that. I believe there are very few units in the entire game that would stand a fair chance against them in an equal points contest.

    In the tourney they beat units with much better armour than what could be classed as lightly armoured:
    • Chaos Warriors (4+ armour save)
    • Arachnarok Spider (4+ armour save)
    • Soul Grinder (4+ armour save)
    • Mournfang Cavalry (2+ armour save)
    Discounting their loss against the White Lions (purely because of the Banner of the World Dragon), their only other losses (2) came at the hands of 1+ armour saves. However, those were the premier units with a 1+ armour save (Skullcrushers and Demigryph Knights). Ordinary knights with their 1+ or 2+ armour save are going to do nothing against the Beasts of Nurgle on any turn other than the turn they charge with their lances. I'd guess that the Beasts of Nurgle would shrug off the charge and eventually grind them down.

    Overall I think that while really good armour is the weakness of the Beasts of Nurgle, they are such a solid unit that even against such opposition they can often grind out a win.

    I really do wonder just how many (and which) units could actually beat them. They might very well be the unit with the least number of counters (magic, shooting or CC) in the game. Of course such an analysis would derail this thread. :p

    And therein lies the appeal of the Daemonic Mount. With the Daemonic Mount he is immune to killing blow (and his mount is significantly more offensive). Personally I go for the disc, because I feel that the freedom of movement is worth the sacrifice in most cases. On a Exalted Hero though, its Daemonic Mount all the way. The +1T and +1W (on top of the benefits mentioned above) is simply too good to pass up.

    This should be fun. First against my jack-of-all-trades Hortennse and then against a more specifically optimized build.
     
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2022
  4. NIGHTBRINGER
    Slann

    NIGHTBRINGER Second Spawning

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    @Lord Agragax of Lunaxoatl

    I should mention that my analysis was made using my personally preferred DP build (where the DoS upgrade is useless against the lightly armoured minotaurs). In the "wild", the more meta build is the Daemon Prince of Nurgle build. Against that guy the Minotaurs would be hitting on 6's (though they would not need to contend with the Allure of Slaanesh gift). In that scenario the Minotaurs only average 1.1 wounds when attacking with their full numbers. Additionally, that DP, if lucky, can permanently boost his wounds and toughness via the Lore of Nurgle lore attribute.
     
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2022
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  5. BrotherSutek
    Chameleon Skink

    BrotherSutek Well-Known Member

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    I have to second the psychological advantages of killing blow, I've have chaos knights avoid my Tomb Guard even though they more than likely would crush the unit. Just the chance that your opponent might lose their costly model with that lucky 6 and God forbid multiple killing blows!
     
  6. Tk'ya'pyk
    Skink Chief

    Tk'ya'pyk Well-Known Member

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    Hmm... Disc of Tzeentch. Been a while since I've read up on that. Can it be killed separate from the Hortensse? That would slow him down a LOT...
     
  7. NIGHTBRINGER
    Slann

    NIGHTBRINGER Second Spawning

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    No, it can't be killed separately. The Disc of Tzeentch is classed as a War Beast, so when used as a mount, the unit type of the combined model becomes Cavalry. So just like a horse can't be killed from under a knight, the Disc can't targeted separately.

    The same is true for the Daemonic Mount, although in that case it is classed as a Monstrous Beast, and when mounted, the unit type of the combined model becomes Monstrous Cavalry.

    The only unit types that can be targeted separate from the character riding it are Monsters and Chariots.
     
  8. BrotherSutek
    Chameleon Skink

    BrotherSutek Well-Known Member

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    Disc in my mind makes this build the best it can be.
     
  9. Tk'ya'pyk
    Skink Chief

    Tk'ya'pyk Well-Known Member

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    Once upon a time, this was not true. Long ago, it was possible to kill a character's mount (and only a character mount, unless you were using house rules), even if it was just a horse, and make the hero walk...
     
  10. BrotherSutek
    Chameleon Skink

    BrotherSutek Well-Known Member

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    7th edition you could killing blow a Juggernaut. My Wood Elves had some fun times against Daemons for a brief time, until the Wardian Heresy.
     
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  11. Imrahil
    Slann

    Imrahil Thirtheenth Spawning

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    This sounds very weird and not thematic. A warrior can choose to aim for the mount or the rider regardless of it being a monster or not?!

    Grrr, Imrahil
     
  12. NIGHTBRINGER
    Slann

    NIGHTBRINGER Second Spawning

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    I think they sacrificed a bit of realism in order for the game to run more smoothly. If enemies could simply strike down a relatively weak and unprotected mount, like a horse, mounts would be too much of a liability. They would bleed combat resolution and leave characters with their base movement speed. They would never see play unless we completely re-vamped the rules.

    Also, if we extend the idea to non-character units, then things get even worse. Imagine a unit of 10 knights charge into an enemy and the enemy decide to strike at the mounts and kill 2 before being killed themselves. The surviving knights would now have 8 mounted guys and 2 unmounted ones. Would they be able to leave their unmounted comrades behind (thus creating lots of small splintered off units) or would the entire unit be now limited to unmounted movement speed (making cavalry useless)?

    So while I agree with you that it is not realistic, I think it gives us greater unit diversity on the table top. Otherwise, I fear that we'd be left with mainly infantry.
     
  13. Imrahil
    Slann

    Imrahil Thirtheenth Spawning

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    I can follow this reasoning and agree that it makes for better gameplay in units format.

    Middle-Earth Strategy Battle Gaming works without units and with all single models. It is possible to target the mount in close combat or at chance with ranged attacks (50-50)

    Grrr, Imrahil
     
  14. NIGHTBRINGER
    Slann

    NIGHTBRINGER Second Spawning

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    HORTENNSE FALLS!

    My first hunch turned out to be right. I found a character to beat my jack-of-all-trades Hortennse build. The opposing character... none other than the Everchosen himself, Mr. Archaon, the Lord of the End Times.

    As a reminder here is my jack-of-all-trades Hortennse build:
    upload_2022-9-22_0-31-30.png

    upload_2022-9-22_0-32-12.png

    Archaon was simply too much. Archaon's defense turns out to be better than that of Hortennse:

    • better WS + MoN
    • can't be wounded on better than a 3+
    • 1+ armour save
    • extra wound (4 vs. 3)
    In Hortennse's favour, he has a slightly better Ward save (3++rr1's versus a straight 3++) and he has the ability to heal. However, because of Archaon's defense, Hortennse isn't able to put through enough unsaved wounds to really make significant use of his healing ability.

    Keep in mind that there is a massive points difference between the two!! 650pts vs 383pts. With that considered, Hortennse made a fairly good showing of himself.


    Of course, that matchup was based off of my personal generalist Hortennse build. He has not been designed to specifically take on characters, and definitely not designed with Archaon in mind. So with that, why not put Archaon through his paces, and build Hortennse to specifically exploit Archaon's weaknesses...

    This first build is designed around Archaon's one real offensive weakness... his ability to wound. Archaon is "only" strength 5, and while he fully ignores armour save, it does leave him a bit less adequate at wounding opponents. The Trickster's Helm forces enemies to re-roll successful wounds. In this matchup, this cuts Archaon's offensive output in half. Hortennse is also been mounted on a Daemonic Mount, for a tiny tiny tiny bit of an offensive boost. Here is the build and the matchup:
    upload_2022-9-22_0-42-1.png

    Important note: Hortennse's improved defensiveness rebalances the cost-vs-payoff calculation of unleashing the U'zuhl from the Slayer of Kings magic weapon. While doing so does increase his attacks from 6 to 10, it also means he damages himself. With this Hortennse build, the offensive damage Archaon gains is less than the self-damage he causes himself.

    upload_2022-9-22_0-42-41.png

    Still not quite enough for Hortennse to get the win, but the contest becomes a much closer affair. It is only fair to point out that it took Archaon 12 combat rounds to secure the kill, so in a standard game, Hortennse might very well survive and hold up for the entire game. Of course Achaon could unleash U'zuhl to kill Hortennse faster, but that increases the odds that he is killed.

    It's awfully tight though but Archaon does have the advantage (when we discount points cost).


    In the next build we boost Hortennse's defense (-1 to Hit) and increase his offense by forcing Archaon to re-roll his successful ward saves via the Other Trickster's Shard. This build is not as defensive as the first tailored build above, but does gain an offensive boost. Unfortunately, this build does reduce Hortennse to only a 2+ armour save, but as Archaon ignores armour completely (and Dorghar doesn't make much of an impact), it still works for this specific matchup.

    upload_2022-9-22_0-57-8.png

    Important note: Hortennse's improved defensiveness rebalances the cost-vs-payoff calculation of unleashing the U'zuhl from the Slayer of Kings magic weapon. While doing so does increase his attacks from 6 to 10, it also means he damages himself. With this Hortennse build, the offensive damage Archaon gains is less than the self-damage he causes himself.

    upload_2022-9-22_0-59-37.png

    Hortennse comes close, but not close enough. He is able to do more slightly more damage to Archaon as compared to the previous build, but also dies faster himself.


    I tried a couple of other combinations, and these were the best two I could come up with. That's not to say that there doesn't exist a build that could get the job done, but I couldn't find it.

    ***Also, keep in mind that none of these matchups included Archaon's Terror special rule, which would force fear tests out of Hortennse.
     
  15. Killer Angel
    Slann

    Killer Angel Prophet of the Stars Staff Member

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    Oh, very interesting.
     
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  16. NIGHTBRINGER
    Slann

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    He is not unbeatable! The fact that Archaon beat him isn't that surprising, but it is a bit surprising that the tailored builds specifically designed to fight Archaon still couldn't get the job done.

    Maybe I'll find a few more characters who can take him down 1 versus 1. The next matchup is not one of those though.. In this case, I knew this character would lose (as he is about half the points and is only a hero model), but I wanted to run the numbers for myself to see how far he could push Hortennse. I figured you guys might find it interesting (yah or nah?), so here goes...

    Hortennse versus Throgg

    [​IMG]

    upload_2022-9-22_20-41-10.png

    Throgg held is own pretty impressively in that first round of combat with his Copious Vomit breath weapon. That thing is extremely powerful. In the end though, his regular attacks just couldn't do enough damage to Hortennse. After the first round, it was no contest.

    Not to worry, from here on out, I'll try to find some more legitimate threats. This was just a curiosity that I ran for myself (and then posted it just incase you guys found it fun or interesting).
     
  17. Lizards of Renown
    Slann

    Lizards of Renown Herald of Creation

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    I always appreciate your match-ups as they give a well-rounded look at the odds. I have neither the time nor the patience to do them myself currently, so it's good you are!
     
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  18. NIGHTBRINGER
    Slann

    NIGHTBRINGER Second Spawning

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    Care for another? I have another one already primed and finished on my computer. And spoiler...
    Hortennse falls again!
     
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  19. Lizards of Renown
    Slann

    Lizards of Renown Herald of Creation

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    YES!!!!

    IRL is super, super busy right now. But I'm still trying to concoct my Anti-Hortennse Vampire build.
     
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  20. NIGHTBRINGER
    Slann

    NIGHTBRINGER Second Spawning

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    Hortennse versus Kholek

    [​IMG]

    upload_2022-9-24_12-15-32.png

    Kholek is obviously an absolute combat beast. Realistically, with Kholek's potent offense [7 attacks at S8 with Multiple Wounds (D3)], there was no way that even Hortennse was going to be able to stick around long enough to eat through Kholek's pool of 8 wounds. Not to mention that with his GW, Hortennse actually strikes after the initiative 1 big guy.

    Normally I would try to see if I could devise a tailored Hortennse build to beat the opposition, but in Kholek's case, I just can't see a way to make up the differential. It would be easy to make it a closer fight (either Glittering Scales or an ASF Halberd, etc.), but 8 wounds is just too much to wade through. Defensively, modifying the To Hit roll is pretty much the only viable route. Kholek is going to wound just about everything on 2's and even the best armour is reduced to a 6+. Hortennse already has the best ward in the game, so there are no potential augments there.

    Thoughts?
     

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