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Tutorial A Guide to Seraphon Battalions

Discussion in 'Seraphon Tactics' started by Killer Angel, Sep 8, 2017.

  1. Killer Angel
    Skar-Veteran

    Killer Angel Well-Known Member

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    STARBEAST CONSTELLATION

    This is the last battalion of our battletome, and it's a compendium of all the other 5 "main" starhost

    UNITS REQUIRED:

    1 Saurus Oldblood OR 1 Saurus Oldblood on Carnosaur
    1 Skink Starseer
    1 Sunclaw Starhost
    1 Eternal Starhost
    1 Firelance Starhost
    1 Shadowstrike Starhost
    1 Thunderquake Starhost

    Minimum size cost: 3570 pts (Starhost, Oldblood, Starseer, all 5 minimum costs of the 5 Starhosts)
    more realistic size cost: around 4800 (Starhost, Oldblood on carno, Starseer, realistic costs of the 5 Starhosts).

    You can easily see the problem. In theory, the max size of an army, using the GHB2017, is 2750.

    Points are for matched play, but in matched play you couldn't legally field the Starbeast Constellation. And if you want to pick a Slann, you are easily going to have a 5000 points army!

    That said, I suppose there will be gaming groups that will play titanic clashes with 5000 pts, or that will use big scenarios as the Battleplan "the Temple of dead Gods", so we can do some considerations about it.


    The Starhost gives:
    - you don't have to take battleshock tests
    - The saurus Oldblood and all the other heroes can use their command abilities, if they are within 20" from the Oldblood




    HOW TO MAKE IT WORK

    This is basically a full-fledged army, composed by our classic, main starhosts.
    Each Starhost got a role, and you can read about them in the relative posts.
    You will have a large block of basic infantry (the Sunclaw), elite infantry (Eternal), air support and scout / vanguard / snipers (shadowstrike), a core of behemoths that offer ranged shooting (Thunderquake) and some light cavalry (firelance).
    Give magic support with Slann, Starseer, skink stepriests and priests

    The battleshock is kinda worthless, but it's still handy to have on your Group of 30-40 saurus, especially if they are not buffed.
    The use of the different command abilities it's nice too, to make the Constellation work with more power.
    You should count on:
    command ability of the Oldblood (that will buff all your heroes)
    command ability of the Sunblood (that will buff your sauri)
    command ability of the scarvet (that will buff your sauri, in a different way)

    Basically, 2 additional abilities, which is nice but not exceptional, especially considering that you are playing a 5000 pts army.


    EVALUATION:

    Sorry, unless you request it, I'm not going to give one.
    This Battalion is not a Starhost, is a bunch of starhosts, and if it works, is thanks to the various abilities of the Starhosts combined (from this pov, it's almost a wasted opportunity to do something really good, to justify such a huge amount of models).
    I don't want even to think on how much complicated it would be to efficiently manoveur a so large army. Probably you cannot even use the 5 turns limit.
    You are going to miss a lot of opportunities and you will have problems in covering the needs of the various units with just a bunch of casters (if you use the Rule of One), but on paper it should work great... but not thanks to the Constellation, that should be the excuse to play all the classic Starhosts, but IMO gives too little incentives to effectively do it.
    In a single sentence: nice idea, but poorly supported.
     
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2017
  2. Paul Beenis
    Cold One

    Paul Beenis Active Member

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    I would almost leave it at that... Will be about 0.01% of players that actually use this.. Waste of a battalion really when we could have had something decent in its place but what can you do haha. I'm much more interested personally in your take on bloodclaw, Heavenswatch, fangs of sotek and Dracothians tail!
     
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  3. Saminator
    Saurus

    Saminator Member

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    Hoe can a slam teleport units?
     
  4. Aginor
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    Aginor Well-Known Member

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    No clue how it works lore wise but in the game it just works similar to summoning.

    ...actually the trait that allows the second teleport is called Great Rememberer so that really points to something like the summoning. They just change reality in some way by will power.
     
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  5. Canas
    Bastiladon

    Canas Well-Known Member

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    lore-wise 99% of our army is essentially figments of the slanns imagination made corporeal with their vast magical powers. They can just imagine the warriors moved, or just stop imagining them in spot and imagine them standing over there now. The handfull of units that aren't figments of imagination (basicly the slann and the sunbloods I think) are simply teleported in the same way the slann go from battlefield to battlefield I'd assume.

    As for the starbeast constallation:

    - No battleshock tests is borderline useless. We have the highest possible bravery and most of our units are relativly small. There's only 3 units that will regularly be fielded in large enough units to be suspectible to battleshock: saurus warriors, skinks & saurus guard. Out of which only the skink are squishy enough to regularly lose 5+ models in a single turn... Unless we're facing someone that's somehow forcing battleshock this seems fairly underwhelming.

    - Command ability: decent, except we don't actually have that many (good) command abilities in this setup. Only the sunblood & scar-veteran have actual command abilities if I remember correctly. You could make one of the other heroes the general to get an additional one. But it's still not all that impressive imho.

    Overal a tad underwhelming given the requirements...
     
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  6. Aginor
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    Aginor Well-Known Member

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    Didn't they say that it isn't quite clear if summoning is really imagining them on the spot or calling them from somewhere they actually live down to the battlefield, or both? I think someone asked the lore team on Facebook and they gave an answer that was implying both could be the case.

    Either way, Slann can control space and time by magic, and that's how it works. :D
     
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  7. Canas
    Bastiladon

    Canas Well-Known Member

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    Thought our book said that the slann were the only survivors alongside the sunbloods (which were survivors that evolved into something new).

    But yea, either way "stupidly powerfull magic users" is the anwser :p
     
  8. Crowsfoot
    Slann

    Crowsfoot Well-Known Member

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    But you still wanna build it don't ya?
     
  9. Canas
    Bastiladon

    Canas Well-Known Member

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    sssh, don't let my girlfriend hear, she already thinks I have enough dinosaurs ;)
     
  10. Aginor
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    Aginor Well-Known Member

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    There is no such thing as enough dinosaurs! :D
     
  11. Crowsfoot
    Slann

    Crowsfoot Well-Known Member

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    Wait until you can field it (which I can with spares) and your still looking at getting more :D
     
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  12. Canas
    Bastiladon

    Canas Well-Known Member

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    that's what I keep telling her but she just won't listen to reasonable arguments!
     
  13. Stormscales
    Saurus

    Stormscales Member

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    Yeah, honestly, as Canas said, I don't see much point in the Starbeast Constellation. It's a shame, because it would look spectacular. I also think they should have made a Slann mandatory instead of a Starseer; not for tactical reasons, but it makes sense fluff-wise that such an army would be led by a Slann.


    The number of battleline units, heroes, etc. can easily be expanded for larger games. Only the most anal player would say: "But the book says you can't have 5,000-pt matched play army..."

    Granted, I wouldn't play 5,000 points just for the chance to use a Constellation. Not worth it.
     
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  14. Killer Angel
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    Killer Angel Well-Known Member

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    Well, I've finished the evaluation nonetheless. ;)
     
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  15. Killer Angel
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    Killer Angel Well-Known Member

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    BLOODCLAW STARHOST

    UNITS REQUIRED:

    1 Saurus Oldblood OR 1 Oldblood on Carno
    3 heroes at your choice: Sunblood, ScarVet, ScarVet on CO, ScarVet on Carno, Eternity Warden
    3-9 units from: Saurus Warriors, Knights, Guards

    You can have a so great variety of units that you cannot really list a size cost.
    However, the heroes alone will cost something between 480 pts and 780 pts. The Starhost itself will cost 200 pts.

    The Starhost gives:
    - warriors / knights / guards make an additional attack with powerful jaws
    - The saurus Oldblood and all the other heroes can use their command abilities, if they are within 20" from the Oldblood

    This last one is basically the same one of the Starbeast Constellation, but this time you can have it on a reasonable and playable Starhost, which means that you can exploit the command abilities of four heroes at 2000 points games.


    HOW TO MAKE IT WORK

    The possibility to pick the combinations of troops you want, gives you an enormous flexibility in the composition of the army itself.
    As leader I'd pick the Oldblood on Carno ('cause he's going to buff your other heroes), but you can still use the Oldblood afoot if you feel that you need the bonus on move or you're really short on points.
    For the other heroes, you can pick whatever you want, but my suggestion is to avoid the Eternity warden, because he's got no command ability, and one of the best thing in this Starhost is the fact that you can use many command abilities, which is a rare thing for us:
    ScarVet on CO: reroll charges and 1s to hit for saurus units; additional Attacks for Cold Ones' bites
    ScarVet on Carno: gives additional attacks on rolls of 6s "to hit" for Saurus units.
    Sunblood: all saurus units may reroll failed to hit rolls against target unit
    Eternity warden: no command ability... it's useful for the buffs to Guards, but you can have those even if you take the warden by itself, so there's little need to pick him (even if you are short on the heroes slot, just summon him).

    Side note about the ScarVeteran: the model itself doesn't exist... IIRC it was intended as the actual Astrolith Bearer (which in the old warscroll was "ScarVet with battle standar")


    You can field many combinations of units: probably the most efficient is a large Group of warriors as powerful meatgrinder, Knights to have some fast units, Guards to have an elite force (but don't overspend on them!). Mix the quantity and the numbers as you want, it depends on what you need.
    What you need to keep in mind is:
    all the abilities of heroes buff the heroes and the troops; only the Oldblood on Carno will buff other heroes, but things will synergize very well:
    for example, the Oldblood on Carno will give 2 additional Attacks to himself, the Scarvet on Carno and the Sunblood; all of them (and nearby units) will re-roll failed to hit tnx to the Sunblood and all the units will gain additional attacks for 6s on to hit tnx to the ScarVet...
    And so on.

    This starhost gives an enormous amount of melee power and brute force, what you need is magical support and shooting

    The magic support can be easily be offered by a Slann, and I'd say a couple of stapriests.

    The starpriests are wonderful because of the Serpent Staff, that can increase the damage dealt by bite / jaws.
    The main trick is fairly known: the Carnosaur of the Oldblood that can deliver 7 bite Attacks, rerolling failed to hit and threatens 6 damage for each 6s "to wound", is no joke.
    But you can have also other units that can become truly nasty: Knights usually have 1 attack of jaws and 2 Attacks of CO bites. Tnx to the ScarVet on CO and the bonus of the Starhost, they'll have 2 jaws attacks and 3 CO's bite. 10 Knights will do 50 attacks that can threaten double damage on 6s! ...plus the ones with the "standard" weapons of knights.

    Shooting: the only annolying thing is that we can buff to the stars all Saurus, but we have no saurus units with shooting.
    So, you need to save some points; as a bare minimum, the most efficient (cost-wise) thing you can do, is probably to pick a unit of 4 razordons (160 pts), and teleport them to deliver 8d6 shots. Even better if you can also squeeze in 5 chama skinks, to have at least a couple of shooters.




    EVALUATION:

    Power level: medium-high
    .

    This is basically the Definitive Starhost, when it comes to Sauri. It's the top of Saurus' melee power.

    this Starhost is significantly better than the Starhosts of 2 on 3 of the units that form it.
    Saurus warriors will gain more from Bloodclaw than from Sunclaw, and the same can be said for Knights (they gain far more support from heroes, as they don't have to choose between scarVet on CO or on Carno).
    Guards will be "weaker" than with Eternal S., but they can be still taken as elite that will be buffed by combined heroes.

    The only drawback in this Starhost is the lack of support. It's heavily focused on melee, so you will be truly strong in close combat (even if you could suffer the lack or rend), but the Starhost got nothing in terms of magic and shooting, and we NEED that kind of suport.

    So, to make the Starhost work, you need support (and this means that basically you cannot play it at less than 2000 pts):
    For magic you need no less than 2 casters (Slann / Starseer and Starpriest), possibly 3.
    For Shooting, you need no less than 2 units with some power (razordons are good, but also sallies are a solid choice, if there's need for some rend).

    A good support for this Starhost could be the Shadowstrike, for shooting, movement, magic and assassination. The overall cost of the army will of course increase...

    Basically, the Bloodclaw is a very strong Starhost, with our Saurus Heroes that will shine... but if you don't support it, usually it won't win the game by itself
     
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2017
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  16. Canas
    Bastiladon

    Canas Well-Known Member

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    For saurus warriors it is a definitive upgrade from their normal starhost, the sunclaw. It trades in the rend for the extra command abilities, alongside more flexibility.

    For Knights it depends on your needs. The firelance starhost gives more mortal wounds, improving their charge. But the added bites make the Knights far more dependable in prolonged melee, especially since both they and their mounts get extra attacks.

    Guards however probably shouldn't really be in this starhost. Their commander, the eternity warden, doesn't have a command ability. And the additional bite attacks are fairly insignificant. Guards are significantly better off in an eternal starhost were one can push their save to a 2+ without any effort in addition to the occasional devestating D3 damage. Having said that, the guards could be used as a more "elite" core to the starhost should you lack the points for a full eternal starhost.

    Overal the starhost provides a very effective force of various saurus warriors, having numbers, elite heroes and some big bad dinosaurs. But like all saurus focussed starhosts it lacks utility. Everything is focussed on melee firepower. You are going to need some support. As usuall the shadowstrike starhost comes to mind. Not only does it provide assisination, but the priests have excellent synergy with this starhost and the skinks fill the need for some ranged firepower. Alternativly some singular units could work. Most anything can and will provide what you need. Bear in mind though that say a singular unit of razordons isn't going to fullfill your need for ranged firepower though. So don't overspend on the saurus and then take only 1 or 2 supporting units. The supporting cast is as Always for us very significant.
     
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  17. Killer Angel
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    Killer Angel Well-Known Member

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    Good points, I intend to raise them in the overall evaluation.
     
  18. Seraphage
    Bastiladon

    Seraphage Well-Known Member

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    A really good analysis yet again @Killer Angel thanks a bunch ! I also agree with Canas' pretty much 100%

    The only huge problem of Bloodclaw are the armies that have 2+ rerollable. As it hardly has any rend it 'll be a huge problem against them. Fortunately only a few armies are like that - some Sylvaneth lists and some SCE mostly. Unfortunately, they both exist in my meta :p

    Edit : If only Knights mortal wounded on 6s to hit as there are other units. Then again, no point in whining, we 'll find a good use of them eventually :cool:
     
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  19. Canas
    Bastiladon

    Canas Well-Known Member

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    There's one advantage that this starhost has against those armies though; sheer number of attacks.
    - 5 Knights pump out 5 attacks with their weapons, 10 bites, and 15 from their mounts. Totalling 30 attacks.
    - 10 warriors pump out 10 weapon attacks, 20 bites. - totalling 30
    - 5 guard pump out 10 weapon attacks, 10 bites - totalling 20

    The minimum of incoming stuff, even without hordes or doingsomething intelligent like flanking is quite high.

    On top of that:
    A skar veteran on carno command gives extra attacks on a hit of 6 for all saurus.
    A sunblood's command re-rolls failed hits
    A eternity warden gives your guards more attacks
    A scar veteran makes your Knights mounts bite even more and allows for re-rolling hit-rolls of 1.

    And then we haven't even looked at the amount of damage the heroes can do, and they all have rend.

    Let's take a fairly easy to pull of example; a block of 40 warriors with spears and fully buffed.
    Let's say 20 can manage to get in range with their spears (and 10 with bites)

    We now have:
    40 attacks at 4/4/-/1 re-rolling failed hits, gaining an extra attack on a 6+ hit and +1 to hit rolls;
    Result on average:
    - 17 hits
    - 13 bonus attacks of which 5 hit
    - 17 misses that get a re-roll of which another 7 hit, generating another 5 extra attacks of which another 2 hit
    - Totalling a 31 hits.
    20 attacks at 5/4/-/1 re-rolling failed hits gaining an extra attack on a 6+ hit and + 1 to hit rolls;
    - 6 hits
    - 6 bonus attacks of which 2 hit
    - 13 misses which get a re-roll of which another 4 hit, generating another 4 extra attacks of which another 1 hits.
    - Totalling 13 hits


    Totalling 43 hits, probably a bit more since I took the easy way out and rounded everything down. Even a re-rollable 2+ save isn't going to stop 43 hits/turn for long, not to mention that with this volume of attacks it only takes 1 Lucky turn to annihilate that re-rollable 2+ save. And that's just 1 unit attacking. Our heroes haven't done anything yet. Our other troops haven't done anything yet, nor have we done anything intelligent yet, like focussing the buffing unit. I would say this starhost probably won't care overly much for re-rollable saves.

    For shits and giggles, above mentioned examples with perfect rolls results in 120 hits, anything from 20-60 is probably a realistic result. At this point even units with decent to good saves that save 50-70% of the incoming wounds will get decimated rapidly.
     
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  20. Seraphage
    Bastiladon

    Seraphage Well-Known Member

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    Don't get me wrong I love it. I 've keep playing lists around 40man blob of warriors because I decided when I started that I wanted to paint lots of those guys in order to improve my painting * already finished 10 with clubs, and nearly ending 33 with spears ! *. I love my blob. That scary buggar, the TreeLord Ancient though - with -1 to hit half the times - and all these wounds, never went down so far. Blob got chipped down fast by range next turn and before long they disappeared with Treelord losing something between 0 and 5 wounds.

    Thus, due to my experience, I believe that these kinds of attacks are really good for other targets. Would work great for example on a 3+ monster - even with rerolls on for the reasons you said. Just not on a 2+ rerollable. It ain't the solution imo. And -1 rend is helping but not as much, and this is why I ended up lately trying to make lists that the extra "-1 rend" can make sense over the AWESOME -1 hit or ressurection item.
     

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