Allegiance: Seraphon Mortal Realm: Ulgu Leaders Slann Starmaster(260) -General -Trait: Great Rememberer -Artefact: Incandescent Rectrices Engine of the Gods(220) -Artefact: Doppelganger Cloak Skink Starpriest(80) -Artefact: Spellmirror Skink Starpriest(80) Battleline 10 x Skinks(60) -Meteoric Javelins & Star Bucklers 10 x Skinks(60) -Meteoric Javelins & Star Bucklers 10 x Skinks(60) -Meteoric Javelins & Star Bucklers 10 x Skinks(60) -Meteoric Javelins & Star Bucklers Units 6 x Ripperdactyl Riders(280) 6 x Ripperdactyl Riders(280) 3 x Salamanders(120) Battalions Shadowstrike Starhost(180) Shadowstrike Starhost(180) Endless Spells Chronomantic Cogs(60) Quicksilver Swords(20) Total:2000 / 2000 Extra Command Points:2 Allies:0 / 400 Wounds:110 So I had a game with the above list on the weekend and while it wasnt the best game of AoS ever I did learn a quite a few things. First off the setting; we played better part of valor, in chamon, with the realmscape that says ignore everyones rend. I was playing against Hosts of Slaanesh: Keeper 20x 20 chaos warriors 20 demonettes 5 knights 5 hellstriders demon prince herald of slaanesh masque chaos lord on foot chaos lord on steed of slaanesh The things I found myself looking out for were fliers, teleporters, redployers and ranged/casting units as these all deal with or bypass skink screens to get to my objectives or my important characters. The only thing I need to consider is the demon prince as everything else would just hit skink walls. In addition, as soon as he commits to a flank he has no real way of helping out the opposite flank if i hit it with rippers. Sure his things move pretty fast but they can be gummed up easily by skinks. We deploy and i cover my central objective with two layers of skinks and the engine, slann and priests hiding in the back. The other two units of skinks each deploy on the line in front of my flank objectives, He has a unit of chaos warriors in a tower on the left covering one objective, demonettes, demon heros and knights on the central objective and the other unit of warriors with the two mortal heroes, hellstriders and demon prince on the right. I use my shadowstrike ability to ensure skink priests are in range of the keeper for unbinding and aggressive casting and i move the flank skinks backwards so that even with a full move and 12" charge he cant complete the charge so my objectives are safe. Im not sure any of this was really necessary as the slann can unbind from anywhere and the skinks could have just deployed more defensively but I figure anything you can do to keep your opponent guessing is good. I also need to get into the habit of remembering these things as they can be really useful for gaining board presence from the get go. Since he has no real way of doing anything to me turn 1 and the threat of the rippers means he mostly has to stay at home to protect his objectives I give him first turn. He moves up the right flank with the demon prince and hellstriders and moves the keeper from the center to the right as well. On my turn 1 I place a toad on each of his flank objectives. The engine gives me a unit of 20 skinks. I fail to cast cogs but do get the quicksilver swords which goes right down the center and takes 4 wounds off his keeper. Slann generates 10 summoning points but holds on to them for this turn. One unit of skinks fails to teleport but the salamanders succeed and can move after so they go to the left flank by the warriors in the tower. At this point Ive decided to take on the warriors in the tower, even though they have a 3+ save thanks to cover they do not have a hero nearby so are susceptible to battleshock. Skinks move for some defensive geometry to stop his stuff hitting my characters and objectives if he gets the turn. The engine is nice for anchoring a gap next to some skinks because of his doppelganger cloak. Skink shooting puts a couple more wounds onto the keeper but the salamanders do nothing to the warriors. Here the battalion was nice again as 20 of the skinks shooting at the keeper could reroll hits and wounds of 1 and the 20 summoned skinks could reroll hits of 1 thanks to the constellation i rolled. Rippers dropped and charged the warriors as did the salamanders just to get more bodies within 6" of the objective. Rippers kill 11 warriors, lose one in return and battle shock off the rest so I claim that objective. I burn my home objective on my right flank for one point so that everything he committed on that side now needs to head back to the centre. He wins priority and takes the turn which means I get the quicksilver swords and kill his keeper. He makes his stand here committing everything forward to try and take my central objective leaving his two home ones with the intention of burning them. He attacks nothing but skinks, doesnt actually manage to finish any off before they run away and doesnt get my objective but still burns his two. In my turn I burn my 3 and we call the game there. So to address a few of the well made points above (these points are from the seraphon thread on TGA, the points in question are stated at the beginning of each paragraph for context); 1) its not worth 360 points for two dropping units of rippers, maybe better to have one big unit of rippers and spend the extra points elsewhere. Id say you would need to look at what that 180 battalion cost gets you. First off an extra artifact and an extra command point. Well the third artifact (spell mirror) is nice but didnt do anything and it wont matter for relocation orb or places of arcane power as the hero using it is already a wizard. But if I replace the battalion ill be able to afford another character that could use the artifact but wont have a 3rd artifact available. Of course that other character will bring something else to the army.... The command point is always useful, even though I dont have great command abilities I find that having that guaranteed 6" to run or battle shock immunity is very comfortable. The other bonuses of the battalion are in skink movement and in skink offensive. The boost to skink offense is quaint... Plinking a couple of wounds off a character or using them to open up a screen is nice but "dont ever expect your skinks to do any damage and they,ll never disappoint you" is my motto. The movement though, this is a huge bonus. Move your priests out of unbind range, move your skinks into the middle of the board to grab objectives turn 1, moving your skinks out to screen from stormcast drops, deepkin drops, sylvaneth tree placement etc. 40 skinks moving 2d6 before the game can cover a lot of area and stop an alpha strike if done correctly. The other thing the battalion brings is less drops. Having the option of going first or second with this army is really nice as it could allow you to get a lot more mileage out of the rippers can can make a very difficult first turn for your opponent; keep your castle and lose board control or move out and potentially expose yourself. Having the second ripper battalion allows you to force that choice even after the first unit of rippers has come down and you get an extra toad so you are not confined to a single part of the board. Ultimately I like the second battalion and find it worth its points but its a fundamentally different army than the single shadowstrike. It forces different decisions and requires a different set up and play style. 2) we end up without any board presence. I think we start with a huge amount of board presence and control. 40 skinks that get a pregame move covers a lot of space with a guaranteed 10 more from some slann summoning combo'd with the ripper threat which encourages castling and two unit teleport to get almost anything almost anywhere. its a decently low drop army so i think you'll often find that you can go first, grab a lot of board space and then slowly give it up skink unit by skink unit. I have found putting summoned starlight on a unit of skinks and retreating from fights makes them surprisingly long lasting. Ive been thinking of comboing this with some endless spells to also take up board space. Basically the idea is to get out there early, score your points and then die off slowly. Not super reliable but it does make for some fun and tense games. 3)no means to go through screens. Yeah this can be a tough one. Skink shooting isnt reliable enough, neither is damage from the engine. I was considering changing the salamanders to razordons to teleport and shoot screens or dropping them for endless spells for damage and less drops. Not ideal as id end up giving up summoning points on the slann. I guess the main comfort is that the rippers can fly so you have to set up screens in a more careful way than for standard units. And i suppose if your opponent is just castling behind their screens their movement and board control is limited so the rippers are doing part of their job. In conclusion I dont think the game I played above is very representative of competitive play, a lot of stuff went my way (him deploying without a character near his one unit, quicksilver swords at max power, him not having any movement shenanigans or shooting, a scenario which can be won very early and punishes mistakes harshly). More testing is required but I certainly like the feel of the army and will be continuing with for the next while.