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AoS Balanced games Seraphon vs. X

Discussion in 'Seraphon Discussion' started by Aginor, Apr 19, 2017.

  1. Aginor
    Skar-Veteran

    Aginor Well-Known Member

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    Hey y'all!

    I want to use this thread to talk about balance between Seraphon and other armies. My examples will be my friend's current army and the armies we both are planning to build to play vs. each other.


    Se here's our story until now:

    - We both had no idea of AoS, we chose some armies, mainly based on looks.
    - He got the Greenskinz box and a Bonesplitterz Wardokk. I got the Seraphon box and a Starpriest.
    - In the beginning, playing just 500 points or so he mainly won, but was still thinking his army (or parts of it) were quite weak. He was right, the chariot and normal Greenskinz except the Warbosses (Waagh! rules) are not very good, the Boar boyz are mediocre, while I had a Troglodon munching him and some Knights who can do severe damage when they have a bit of luck.
    - I got some Skinks and kitbashed a Skink Chief. That tipped the balance EXTREMELY.
    - Bastiladon was even worse. I can't recall a game in which he was actually able to kill him when it mattered.
    - He got some Bonesplitterz Savage Boarboyz, fast cavalry with many wounds, good against monsters, to kill my stuff.
    - I got Salamanders, Razordons, and some more Skinks.
    - He got the Aleguzzler to have something huge to break my lines, unfortunately that one sucks most of the time. When he doesn't he is great, but yeah... very random.
    - The problem now was: With the Orruks' bad Bravery, my banners and the Troglodons anti-bravery ability the following happens: when I am able to kill half of them the rest usually runs away. I block with a few monsters and my Skinks make pin cushions of his units.
    - The rerolls of my new Astrolith Bearer hit him very hard. Combined with my new Balewind Vortex it gets even worse. I used it once and never again because he almost flipped the table when I did.
    - he got some scraplaunchers, the idea behind that was to get to my Skinks, forcing me out of my turtle formations. Turns out those suck as well. IF they hit they do TONS of damage to my 40-Skink unit. the problem is: They usually don't.
    - I got Terradons. Those are not THAT reliable either but combined with the Skinks as a Shadowstrike they rule.
    - I got a Slann but used it only once. Not worth it. Also got a Priest, but meh.
    - At this point he was so annoyed, he went into the GW store and whined to everyone how a damn progamer was cheesing him all the time. (I know that sounds bad but he is a good guy, just sometimes a bit competitive. I am not angry at him) They laughed and basically said: "Your army sucks. Get Ironjawz and you will kill him". So he got a Ironjawz box, two more boxes of Ardboyz and a Maw-Krusha.
    - Turns out a horde army and a huge model like the Maw-Krusha are not easy to play, they are standing in each other's way all the time and so on. Shadowstrike can really ruin their day. Which it did.
    - I got a Stegadon. Another OP unit according to him.
    - Now he got a Weirdnob Shaman and two boxes of Brutes, slowly phasing out all of his older units. First the Greenskinz, now the Aleguzzler and the Bonesplitterz. The scraplaunchers will be phased out last, as soon as the Brutes are finished I assume.


    So now he still plays mixed Destruction but he transitions to pure Ironjawz.
    With the mixed army it seems he cannot win against me.
    All those models look awesome and he had fun painting - and to a certain degree - playing them, but the only time he is able to win is when I allow him to put 20% more points on the table than I do. At +10% or at same points he hasn't won a game in months.

    I introduced a handicap system to our games that works this way: If you lose you can bring 10% more points next time. If you lose again you get 20% more points next time. If you win you lose those 10% again. We are alternating between 10% and 20% bonus for him, but he has even lost at least one 20% game and struggled in others, both because of bad luck and strategical errors, but he is convinced that my army is just stronger than his. He is not content with winning games at 20% advantage, those still feel like losses for him.

    He is a much more competitive person than I am, but the synergies in my army work in a way that he can't compete yet.
    Playing against him (we play almost every friday, this friday will be our 15th game) even slowly stops being fun for me because he is whining all the time about my army being far too OP, but letting him win intentionally would be unsportmanslike and I am SURE he is doing something wrong because I see Ironjawz in the top20 of tournament lists all the time while Seraphon are nowhere near that level of power IMO, with Order allegiance abilities being crap for us, while Rampaging Destroyers is AWESOME for Ironjawz and mitigates their only real weakness (lack of speed).

    Battleplans and the introduction of terrain made it even worse. We played both objective holding and that comet thing and he did barely win one (with 20% bonus) with my Skinks being nimble and my Bastiladon being just too good in defense.
    I think his preferred fight would be an open field, he thinks that everything else favours my army and I tend to agree now. I see that as boring.

    I am pretty sure he will win in the future, as soon as his pure Ironjawz 2000pt list is complete. And I will probably be where he is now, losing all the time except when sniping his heroes with a Shadowstrike. What annoys me most is probably that the Ironjawz are a "one trick pony" that only has one viable strategy, and I have only one tactic against it, so I fear all the fights will be identical and whoever has some luck wins.
    He originally wanted to avoid that by playing mixed Destruction, adding some variety in possible tactics, but he is now sure that he will never win against my "OP cheese" without playing a very competittive, streamlined list himself. He even thought about getting Beastclaw Raiders even though he hates their look, just to be able to win. I had a hard time talking him out of doing that.

    With the rampaging destroyer buff and the weirdfist bataillon with its crazy strong Weirdnob Shaman (in our last match he sniped all my heroes in one round) I am not sure if there is anything I can do to stop him, so this in turn causes me to be a bit sad. I'd love to be on equal terms between our armies, but I don't see how that could work. If he plays a competitive list I am toast, if he doesn't then he is toast. But as said above, the much sadder thing is the lack of variety we seem to run into.

    I have played different lists now, I played Thunderquake, Shadowstrike, and Firelance Starhosts, but not even the IMO more "cheesy" ones (Eternal combined with Chameleon Shadowstrike, Rippers instead of my Terradons, double Basti) and none of them felt invulnerable or OP to me.
    The only possible exception is mass Skinks+Astrolith Bearer+Skink Chief. He convinced me it is cheesy so I feel bad playing it. Those 40 Skinks hit on twos, rerolling ones. They are strong, I give him that. But the Astrolith is static and the Skinks only have 16" range and suck at melee. Not that OP IMO.
    If I compare any of them to Stormcast, Sylvaneth, FEC, Ironjawz or Beastclaw Raiders or Kunnin' Rukk I still really don't think I am cheesing him.
    I don't even have some of our potentially strongest units (Kroak, Guards, Rippers, Eternity Warden, Starseer).

    I will most likely have to get them to have any chance in the future. I don't know. I am not looking forward to it much because I love my little Skinks. But if he goes full competitive I will need more options.

    Example army that won last week:

    Allegiance: Destruction

    Leaders
    Orruk Warchanter (80)
    Megaboss on Maw-Krusha (520)
    Orruk Weirdnob Shaman (120)
    Wardokk (80)
    Orruk Warboss (140)
    - Boss Choppas
    Orruk Warboss (140)
    - General
    - Great Waaagh Banner

    Battleline
    10 x Orruk Ardboys (180)
    - Ironjawz Battleline
    10 x Orruk Ardboys (180)
    - Ironjawz Battleline
    3 x Orruk Gore Gruntas (180)
    - Ironjawz Battleline
    10 x Savage Boarboyz (240)
    - Bonesplitterz Battleline

    Units
    1 x Grot Scraplauncher (140)
    1 x Grot Scraplauncher (140)

    Behemoths
    Aleguzzler Gargant (180)

    Battalions
    Ironfist (60)

    Total: 2380/2000



    ...to be continued, stand by.
     
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  2. Aginor
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    Aginor Well-Known Member

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    So, the way our handicap system works is this:
    He brings what he wants, and that is roughly 120% , I go down from there.
    We ignore the strict point stages, I took battlelines like for 2000pt for example. We also act like Ardboyz are always battleline for Destruction.
    EDIT: Oh, and yeah I didn't use Skink Handlers although I would have had to for the Thunderquake. IIn an earlier game I used those as cheap area denial units and he hated it.

    This is my list that mopped the floor with the one posted above:
    Allegiance: Seraphon

    Leaders
    Skink Starpriest
    (100)
    Skink Chief (60)
    - General
    - Golden Sickle & Blowpipe

    Saurus Astrolith Bearer (160)

    Battleline
    40 x Skinks
    (320)
    - Boltspitters & Star Bucklers
    10 x Skinks (80)
    - Boltspitters & Star Bucklers
    5 x Saurus Knights (120)
    - Blades
    - Seraphon Battleline


    Units
    3 x Terradon Riders
    (140)
    - Starstrike Javelins
    2 x Razordons (120)

    Behemoths
    Troglodon
    (200)
    Bastiladon (300)
    Stegadon (260)

    Battalions
    Thunderquake Starhost
    (120)
    Shadowstrike Starhost (120)

    Total: 2100/2000


    So please tell me I am not a cloaka (heehee, a lizard a-hole) that is cheesing his friend. I am sure y'all experienced guys could make even stronger lists.
     
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  3. Aginor
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    Aginor Well-Known Member

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    Next up: We are planning a Death army together. I am doing 1200pt Deathrattle, he will do 1200pt Nighthaunt, together they will face one of our armies, played by him or me. I have no idea what will happen, but I hope working on other armies will give him more insight into the game to help him understand.

    Also: He is planning a Nurgle Demon army. I haven't had the heart yet to tell him that SO many Seraphon units do extra damage against demons...
    ...but then, Nurgle does some mortal wounds and is pretty tanky. He might win against me with that.
     
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  4. Aginor
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    Aginor Well-Known Member

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    Also upcoming: His planned 2000pt Ironjawz list that will probably mop the floor with my army. Suggestions for both sides welcome. Watch this post.

    EDIT: Something like this:
    Allegiance: Destruction

    Leaders
    Orruk Megaboss (140)
    - General
    Megaboss on Maw-Krusha (520)
    Orruk Warchanter (80)
    Orruk Weirdnob Shaman (120)

    Battleline
    10 x Orruk Ardboys (180)
    - Ironjawz Battleline
    10 x Orruk Ardboys (180)
    - Ironjawz Battleline
    5 x Orruk Brutes (180)
    - Ironjawz Battleline
    5 x Orruk Brutes (180)
    - Ironjawz Battleline
    3 x Orruk Gore Gruntas (180)
    - Ironjawz Battleline

    Battalions
    Weirdfist (100)

    Scenery
    Balewind Vortex (100)

    Total: 1960/2000
     
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  5. Ritual
    Skink Chief

    Ritual Well-Known Member

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    What are you plans for the Deathrattle and Nighthaunt armies, list wise?
     
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  6. Aginor
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    Aginor Well-Known Member

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    Not very strong lists, we both mainly wanted something nice and different to paint.

    We will have these "Nighthaunt" units (the Mortarch is from the Skeleton Horde Start Collecting, he wants to build a nice big unit too so I just traded it) three of the Spirit Hosts are already there, I painted them for use with my Arcane Ruins.

    Allegiance: Death

    Leaders
    Mannfred Mortarch Of Night
    (460)
    Cairn Wraith (60)
    Tomb Banshee (80)

    Battleline
    3 x Spirit Hosts
    (120)
    - Nighthaunt Battleline
    3 x Spirit Hosts (120)
    - Nighthaunt Battleline
    3 x Spirit Hosts (120)
    - Nighthaunt Battleline

    Units
    5 x Hexwraiths
    (160)

    Behemoths
    Mortis Engine
    (180)

    Total: 1300/2000




    my "Deathrattle" part will be this for now:

    Allegiance: Death

    Leaders
    Necromancer (120)
    Vampire Lord On Zombie Dragon (440)
    - no clue which weapon, probably magnetized anyway
    Wight King with Baleful Tomb Blade (120)

    Battleline
    5 x Black Knights (120)
    - Deathrattle Battleline
    30 x Skeleton Warriors (240)
    - Spears and Shields
    10 x Skeleton Warriors (80)
    - Spears and Shields

    Total: 1120/2000




    I ordered another Necromancer (not a GW model, a more beautiful one in case we need more than one, and for fun). The Vampire Lord will be modeled as both on foot and on the Dragon. We will probably try to kitbash another Wight King from the Arkhan set and some Orruk/Seraphon/Skeleton bits if that is possible. 20 of the ordered Skellies are Mantic ones to try them.

    I honestly have no idea if those armies will work single or in combination, this is just a fun project. If we like them we will think further. I'd love to see a huge Skeleton horde one day.
     
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  7. Crowsfoot
    Slann

    Crowsfoot Guardian of Paints Staff Member

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    Hmmm tell him to go Rotbringers, I've just in the process of starting a Rotbringer army and they have some extremely strong units, and they are not demons.
     
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  8. Crowsfoot
    Slann

    Crowsfoot Guardian of Paints Staff Member

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    You will have great fun, Death is such a great faction with some great models, mine are all on KOW bases but I can see them getting rebased later this year for AOS along with my furry gobbos!
     
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  9. Ritual
    Skink Chief

    Ritual Well-Known Member

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    Mortis Engine is really cheap! I do feel like we get a little shafted with some of our unit costing sometimes...

    What Necromancer model did you order?
     
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  10. Aginor
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    Aginor Well-Known Member

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    They were really cheap so I ordered two from reaper minis: A girl with a Scythe and a guy named Malek.

    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    I'd love to have Azura Halfblood from Hasslefree but I haven't found a shop yet that sells her. At least not one I am comfortable ordering from. I got those above from Fantasywelt.de
    Perhaps I'll play one of the Necromancers with Heinrich Kemmler's warscroll.
     
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  11. Ritual
    Skink Chief

    Ritual Well-Known Member

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    Malek looks rad! I've been seeing a lot of interesting miniatures from other producers recently. Need to keep on the straight and narrow and not buy anything else for now!
     
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  12. Aginor
    Skar-Veteran

    Aginor Well-Known Member

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    I have never painted human flesh before so I am a bit in fear about painting those to be honest.
     
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  13. Crowsfoot
    Slann

    Crowsfoot Guardian of Paints Staff Member

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    Haha a dangerous path you follow young Skywalker!
     
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  14. Crowsfoot
    Slann

    Crowsfoot Guardian of Paints Staff Member

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    Why?

    It just the same as painting any other, be confident you can do it.
     
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  15. Ritual
    Skink Chief

    Ritual Well-Known Member

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    It's super easy! You'll be fine!
     
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  16. Bowser
    Slann

    Bowser Third Spawning

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    He went mixed destruction without bringing in some beastclaw? That's where he went wrong. Bring in a stonehorn or two and that should up the challenge for both of you. And a doom diver. Thise are just fun to have.
     
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  17. Canas
    Salamander

    Canas Well-Known Member

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    Just quickly comparing the two lists based on what feels right for me you have the following advantages while he has the following disadvantages:


    1) You have OVERWHELMING ranged superiourity. Unless he is stupidly Lucky with his weirdnob & scraplauncher and you position so horrendously that the weirdnob can hit everything he won't be outfiring you. And even then you're likely to have turned a good deal of his stuff into pincushions long before he gains the upper hand.
    2) Your stuff is either quite sturdy, or difficult to engage (skinks). Which combined with your ranged superiourity makes turtling and skirmishing tactics hilariouly effective.
    3) His stuff is nearly completly melee focussed, which makes skirmishing and turtling rather effective against him.
    4) Shadowstrike allows you to assasinate stuff.
    5) His warchanter gets directly countered by your starpriest making him rather useless (or your priest gets countered, but since your priest has a second buff I'd say the priest fares better)
    6) Wardokk seems kind of useless if you just have 1 due to the RNG, probably needs multiple for the RNG to balance out
    7) Scraplaunchers are horrendously unreliable, on your big skink unit they still only average 2 wounds per turn per launcher. Yes they might do 12, but they're much more likely to do 0.
    8) The weirdnob is powerfull, but requires bad positioning on your part, and good position in his. If you don't screw up the positioning he won't be as much of a threat, especially given that you're ranged superiourity and shadowstrike could allow you to kill him quickly.
    9) You have quite good synergies, both explicitly thanks to stuff like the skink chief, and implicitly due to units just fitting together fairly well

    Basicly with these two list and their relative strengths & weaknesses his only hope lies in option a) blind luck with his weirdnob and scraplauncher or b) getting to you AND cutting his way through everything before your ranged firepower just annihilates him. Now this get even more difficult if he's not a very good player (or you just happend to hold a advantaguous position. If his charge ends up getting stuck in a bottleneck you get a free turn of pelting him with stuff while he tries to get passed whatever is blocking his path.

    Anyway, tl;dr: Unless he's very good, or his army is severly overpowered, he's not going to win this match-up, especially if he makes strategic mistakes. Assuming the points are an "accurate" measure of relative strength yours is simply just better... Also, unless the units in the new list are somehow vastly more powerfull while still totalling the same points that doesn't look like it'd change much...

    Also, as for this army not stomping all over tournament play your seraphon army is easily countered by an opponent countering with proper ranged firepower to quickly kill off the skinks. Also assasins. Also it relies on turtling and skirmishing which doesn't always work well when playing objectives.
     
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  18. Aginor
    Skar-Veteran

    Aginor Well-Known Member

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    The problem with painting humans always is that we have a much more precise opinion on how those are supposed to look than on the look of some aliens, lizards, orruks or something. A tiny bit too orange and they look like Oompa-Loompas, too much red and it looks like a pig. Finding a good flesh tone for a naturally looking skin tone is considered to be hard. In my early days whenever I painted a face it was either too orange, too pink, or too white. Too much shade and they look grimy, too much gloss makes them look like rubber, such stuff.

    Well to be fair he never intended to play mixed Destruction. We both knew next to nothing about the game. We did not know Stonehorns are strong. He hates the look of Beastclaw so he didn't take them. He liked Greenskinz so he picked them. He thought you could combine all Orruks without problems. He thought Greenskinz would be a decent army to play because he had seen people playing Orruks. The differences eluded us. We looked at a small amount of warscrolls and didn't know the rules at all. He tried to compensate by looking at warscrolls and taking stuff that seemed to make sense, based on the small amount of knowledge we had about the game. We thought the game would be balanced. Oh man, were we wrong....
    Oh, and the Doom Diver is resin. He avoids resin at almost any cost, because he built one resin model (a Wardokk, his very first model) and didn't like it at all.


    Thank you very much for your assessment of the situation!
    Most of those points match my own observations quite well, but I admit you found a few I hadn't noticed yet. Still so much to learn about AoS tactics, exciting! :)

    About shooting: Yeah, it is sometimes painful to watch. I am not a person who enjoys schadenfreude, so not much fun for me in the shooting phase either. It is a whole phase that basically doesn't happen for him. He literally has three ranged attacks (even now, for quite some time he had none at all), while I have over 70. With re-rolls and stuff.

    About the Wardokk: We misread that warscroll and assumed he would be able to buff other Orruks as well, not only Bonesplitterz. If it wasn't his first model he ever painted he would have smashed it with a hammer by now. Really sad because it is a rather nice model, and so are the Bonesplitterz Boarboyz he bought (which wither under the hailstorms that come out of my boltspitters, and then they fail their battleshock and run).

    The first time he played those scraplaunchers he killed 15 Skinks in one turn and I managed to just barely win by being lucky and sniping them with Terradons. That was four games ago and if I am not mistaken they have hardly done a single point of damage since then. I always either saved (bit of luck there with a 6+ save) or they just outright missed. Also a pity because he painted them beautifully and they are surprisingly sturdy for artillery.
     
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2017
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  19. Canas
    Salamander

    Canas Well-Known Member

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    Meh, I just had a quick look through the destruction list. Buffs and synergy seems to be rare in it & it's even rarer for them to be just destruction-wide. Most are just for the specific faction. This would make the scraplaunchers basicly useless. They're not reliable enough simply because you only need to do 1 saveroll cuz it's only 1 attack. Had it been 2d6 attacks with 1 damage they'd already be completly fine and he'd probably win this matchup, despite them still averaging the same simply because it becomes far less hit & mis but more steady.

    Also, you benefit heavily from your bravery. The charge of orruks gets significantly less bad if they need to kill at least 10 units before battleshock is guaranteed to kick in. Whereas had you had say 5 bravery the initial charge would be much more devesating & you'd not be able to stall them as long and thus get less shots in
     
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  20. Aginor
    Skar-Veteran

    Aginor Well-Known Member

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    Oh yeah. You should see those Orruks (especially the savages) run sometimes. They don't get their bravery buff from their banners if they aren't in melee, but they get the debuffs from both my knights and my Troglodon. The resulting de facto bravery of 3 is VERY bad news. They lose 4 models by fire and with a bit of bad luck another five flee. Which in their case means fifteen wounds just running.

    It would be funny if it weren't so sad.

    So yeah, I think y'all know by now why I have a hard time explaining that Seraphon are actually not a strong army.
     
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