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Tutorial GHB2019 - Seraphon overview

Discussion in 'Seraphon Tactics' started by Killer Angel, Jul 25, 2019.

  1. Killer Angel
    Slann

    Killer Angel Prophet of the Stars Staff Member

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    WIth the new GHB, many things have changed for us Seraphon.
    Change of points, new spells, modified abilities… this is no more the GHB 2018, to play with the new rules it's a different world.

    To analyze in depth our army would be a massive work, as we must keep in account all the sinergies, the artefacts, the possible buffs and so on… but as requested, it could be nice to have a general overview of the army, for beginners.

    so, I'll try to do it.

    (I know it will be incomplete and i will miss something, but this should be just a starting point)

    the arguments have been divided in this way:

    - Allegiance abilities (the following post)
    - Units analysis (right after the abilities)
    - magic overview (handy link)
    - Summoning (handy link)
    - Battalions (handy link)

    Courtesy by @Erta Wanderer:
    - the Seraphon artefacts (link)
    - Realms artefacts (link)
     
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2019
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  2. Killer Angel
    Slann

    Killer Angel Prophet of the Stars Staff Member

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    A premise: our warscrolls are terribly outdated and we really rely on synergies to function at a good level, but the abilities we received with the GHB2019, make us one of the most versatile and mobile armies in all AoS. Some of these abilities are top tier, so the first thing to know is what these abilities bring to us



    ALLEGIANCE ABILITIES


    Battle Traits

    Master of order
    Our Slann can try to unbind spells anywhere on the battlefield. Pretty potent, but not as much as before the 2nd edition, when the range of dispel was more limited.
    Sadly, it’s very hard to buff our unbind rolls, and we losed the bonus range to our casting for a roll of 10+

    Contemplations of the Ancient One
    This is a new toy. Each wizard in our army knows a spell from our lore. The Slann can change the spell known at the end of the hero phase, so in the following turn you can have something more useful, if there’s the need. Adaptability is the key.

    Lords of Space and Time (LoSaT)
    1/turn, in the hero phase we can teleport a seraphon unit anywhere on the battlefield.
    The big change from the past is that you don’t have to roll for the kind of teleport: it always works, and the tepeported unit appears at more than 9” from enemy units, cannot move but can shoot and charge. It’s very reliable, and one of the strongest tool we have.
    please note 2 things:
    1 - to do this, you don’t need to have a Slann on the battlefield. It’s an allegiance ability, and works always.
    2 – it happens in the hero phase, so the teleported unit can still do hero things (use command abilities, cast spells and so on)

    Celestial Conjuration.
    the same as GHB2018: your Slann (but only the general, so no double slann tricks) can avoid to cast one or more spells, to accumulate Conjuration points (CCP), that can be used to summon units on the battlefield. The summon (and how to increase CCP) will be treated in another section… but a thing to note is that you can only summon the units listed by the GHB, in the number given by the handbook. You can burn 18 CCP to summon a unit of 20 warriors, but you cannot burn 18 CCP to summon a unit of 3 razordons. You will summon 3 units of one razordon each.


    Command traits

    Your general can pick one.

    Slann
    usually this will be your general.
    Arcane Might: can re-roll 1 casting or unbind attempt each turn. Nice, but it’s the weakest trait.
    Vast intellect: the Slann knows Curse of Fates and Summon Starlight. you don’t need Starlight (because you will always field a Starpriest), but Curse of Fate is pretty good. The downside is that by casting it, you will lose a CCP slot.
    Great rememberer: LoSaT twice. 9 times on 10 you will pick this, it’s too good to be left behind.

    Skink:
    A starpriest can be a valid general in low points game, especially when you pick a shadowstrike starhost.
    Master of Star Rituals. Additional use of the skink priest “celestial rites”. A good pick.
    Nimble: +1 move and saves
    Cunning: can deal a mortal wound to nearby enemy heroes. “nearby” is the key word: you don’t want your skink general too much near enemies BBEG.

    Saurus:
    Seriously, it can be a fluff choice, but a saurus shouldn’t be the general.
    That said, you can choose between “reroll 1s to hit for weapons” (so no mount), “reroll saves of 1”, “1/3 chances to gain extra command point”
     
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2019
  3. Killer Angel
    Slann

    Killer Angel Prophet of the Stars Staff Member

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    units analysis


    HEROES


    Lord Kroak
    430 pts.

    It cost as much as half Nagash, which is a lot.
    That said, it’s a strong character.
    With 4 spell slots he’s a magical machinegun… properly buffed with just 1 endless spell can go to 5 spells /turn… which means 15 CCP if you avoid the casting, but I won’t use Kroak for that. A Slann gives only 3 CCP less than kroak, but you pay 260 pts.
    No, Kroak must be used to rain magical death on your enemies.
    Actually, even at 2000 pts, it can be a viable choice combined with a Slann (as general with great rememberer). Vortex on Kroak, LoSaT the guy, possibly with a bonus to range, unleash hell and LoSaT Kroak to safety. Or just provide Kroak with screen. Support Kroak with some of our new damage spells, and you’ll have something.
    This will be discussed later.


    Slann
    260 pts.

    Actually is our strongest and more useful general by far.
    It brings a lot of passive bonuses (the constellation, which is active even if you don’t act first), it’s mandatory for the double LoSaT and for the generation of CCP, our 2 strongest abilities.
    I consider a Slann mandatory in every list, berring some low points lists (1000 or less) that are relying on some battalion as shadowstrike. But the summoning power by a Slann in a 1000 pts game is still huge.
    Plus, remember that the guy got a really strong command ability, giving fly to nearby Seraphon units AND reroll saves vs shooting.


    Skink Starpriest.
    80 pts.

    Don’t even think to leave home without one.
    Not only it’s mandatory for some battalions, but: act as arcane vassal for the Slann; can cast an amazing spell; can cast / unbind one Endless spell, thus saving resources by the Slann; got a great ability that buffs for free the bite attack of everything with a bite: saurus, carnosaurs, Dread saurian…
    Really, 80 pts it’s a steal.


    Skink Priest:
    80 pts.

    cool ability, with a 50% chance to make unit(s) reroll charges and saves.
    Can be very useful, but the Starpriest is usually better.


    Skink Starseer.
    160 pts.

    Once there was a reliable substitute for the Slann. ATM there’s no place for it…. a pity, ‘cause it’s one of our best model. It could be played if the price would be 100.


    Saurus Oldblood on Carno.
    Saurus Scarvet on Carno.
    240 pts.

    both powerful heroes, with slightly different roles.
    The Scarvet is slightly more durable and buffs troops, the Oldblood is more a solitary hunter that hits very hard.
    in both cases, you need to buff them. The setting can be offensive (with relics from Malign Portents as Blade of Judgement from Ulgu), or defensive (summon starlight and gryph feather charme for a -2 to be hit, or doppleganger cloack…), and they need support from other heroes or sources (serpent’s staff from the skink priest, +2 to charge for Chronomantic cogs and so on).
    That said, be careful and pick your fights: in these days, there are too many units that can attack before you Carno, so don’t go against them, if you don’t want to miss your 240 pts.


    Saurus Astrolith bearer.
    160 pts

    it’s costly, but those are 160 well used.
    it gives additional range to spells, +1 to cast, 1d3 CCP for free and rerolls to hit for all seraphon units within 12”.
    You should always try to save a place for a AB, as it works in almost every build.


    Saurus Scarvet on Cold One.
    100 pts
    good if you run Saurus knights (an easy thing, with the GHB 2019), mandatory for the firelance starhost.
    A cheap hero with nice utilities; in its niche is pretty good.


    Saurus Oldblood afoot.
    120 pts.

    One of our best command abilities if used with certain builds
    LoSaT a killy unit of buffed warriors, LoSaT the Oldblood, move the horde by 3” and charge at 6+ (rerollable with a command point).
    BUT if you don’t plan to employ such a tactic, move on.


    Saurus Sunblood.
    120 pts

    A dedicated melee guy, that hits hard and is pretty resilient; it buffs saurus units so it’s the hero you need when you want a thing dead. As the Oldblood afoot, you need to employ it with a strong saurus army.


    Eternity Warden.
    140 pts.

    even more niche than the other heroes, it works only if you bring saurus guards (yeah, can act also as bodyguards for your slann, but you cannot pick it only for that)
     
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2019
  4. Killer Angel
    Slann

    Killer Angel Prophet of the Stars Staff Member

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    units analysis


    BATTLELINES


    Saurus warriors
    90 pts for 10; 330 for 40

    At a first glance, these guys seem a strong defensive unit. Save 5+, ignore rend up to -1; this is not baseless, however, warriors are not made to hold the line: they are there to be fielded in great numbers, to suffer losses, and to win by attrition.
    If you want to use them, go big and employ saurus heroes to buff them. to pick a 10 sauri unit to sit upon an objective it’s a waste: there are cheaper and more efficient units to do that.
    They are our only battleline that is a generic order battleline. The other ones work only within a Seraphon allegiance.


    Skinks
    70 pts for 10 (280 for 40)

    Once, when their price was 60, they were our best battleline.
    Cheap, fast, nice ability to unlock them from unwanted fights (wary Fighters)… good objective grabbers and cheap disposable screen. Pitiful shooting. They are not able to do much else, except to die in spades.
    ATM, they are no more mandatory as before (see Saurus Knights).
    still VERY useful when you are sparing 6 CCP and you need a quick and dirty summonable unit.
    They don’t work well in big hordes.


    Saurus Knights
    80 pts for 5, 320 for 20

    YES!
    GW lowered the price for them and actually they are a solid alternative to skinks: they do almost the same things skinks do, only better:
    obj grabbers? they can move 14”.
    Screen: 5 knights cover a good portion of battlefield and got save 5+ without suffering rend -1 (the same wounds as 10 skinks but with a better save and better battleshock)
    No Wary Fighters but they can fight back and hold an objective, while skinks must run away even from 10 skeletons.
    They can put some hurt in a firelance starhost, which (BTW) is one of the way to unlock the Dracothion’s Tail, one of our best battalions.
    All of this, for only 10 pts more than skinks.


    Saurus Guards.
    80 pts for 5, 320 for 20.

    points drop, which is good, but guards need still their battalion and their eternity warden to perform, so the price you have to pay is still high.
    Plus, they suffer from the same old problem: highly vulnerable to Mortal wounds, in a game where the sources of MW are constantly increasing.
    If you don’t face an army that deals MWs, OR if you have a reliable way to kill the sources of enemy’s MW, then guards are a viable choice, otherwise use cheaper troops and employ your points for something else.
     
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2019
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  5. Killer Angel
    Slann

    Killer Angel Prophet of the Stars Staff Member

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    units analysis


    ARTILLERY


    Salamanders
    Razordons

    50 pts for 1; 120 for 3

    lots of bad news for our shooting dinos with the GHB19.
    No more max unit size of 4 sallies/razors AND cost increase.
    Luckily, the actual max size unit costs 120, the same as before, so ATM there’s really no reason to start the game with a non-maxed unit of shooters.
    Unless you are playing a Thunderquake starhost, you should almost never use points for handlers.
    Razors work on the sheer number of attacks, sallies offer high rend and high damage.
    Razors loves LoSaT, as they are in range for shoting after the teleport.
    If there’s need, you can do the LoSaT trick also with sallies: teleport 3 of them (or even 2 units of 3) and then employ 6 CCP to summon those handlers and increase the shooting range.

    As general rules:
    always employ razors against nighthaunts or anything that doesn’t suffer rend,
    always remember the 50% chance of reaction to charge by razors
    always grant some rerolls to sallies (Astrolith bearer)
    in all-comers lists, try to bring one unit of sallies and 1 unit of razors



    BEHEMOTHS


    Troglodon
    140 pts – a nice discount!

    Oh my… this is a really cheap dino, that does surprisingly well in combat, can unbind a spell and serve as arcane vassal. 140 pts it’s a steal, and being large, it acts as a nice distraction carnifex monster.
    with the rules “attacted by screams”, you got a decent chance to land the charge even when summoned or after a LoSaT
    It really shines when summoned, as it can be easily called by turn 2, even by a non-dedicated list


    Stegadon
    200 pts

    with the points drop this is our second cheapest behemoth, and it’s pretty good.
    The alpha skink is NOT a hero (so no artefacts for it) but its ability is simply great: LoSaT the steggy, move it by d6”, and then charge with reroll of 1s.
    LoSaT the dino away from combat , alpha and charge again with the bonuses granted by the charge.
    LoSaT your ripperdactyls, LoSaT the steggy, alpha upon the rippers and charge.
    and so on…
    again, be careful in the selection of the target for your charge: you can chose very easily, so avoid units that can fight first.


    Engine of the Gods
    240 pts.

    points increase, but let’s be honest: the EotG is still a wonderful behemoth. Do you a favor and bring one. or two. Keep them near the Slann and enjoy the power.
    If you bring only one, remember to protect it with some artefact (-1 to be hit, or Ethereal amulet to negate rend, or similar).
    EotG is mandatory in summoning lists and mortal wounds lists, “simply” powerful in every other list.


    Carnosaurs
    see above


    Bastiladon
    280 pts

    our more costly generic unit. Only 8 wounds but save 3+ with no rend and 4+ vs MW. pretty solid but not immortal. Comes with the Ark (ranged MW in melee, also during the enemy’s turn!) or with the solar beam (because dino shooting heavy lasers is cool)
    You should never use it alone. BastilArk should work in tandem to optimize their MW output.
    SolarDons should have some support to improve their shooting: like a Astrolith Bearer.
    The top is when you have a couple of solardons in a thunderquake with a astrolith bearer: reroll to hit, to wound and saves. But it’s not a cheap list.



    OTHERS


    Ripperdactyl riders
    140 pts

    the quintessential glass cannon.
    Impressive in unit of 6 into a shadowstrike starhost… but you can obtain a similar effect also with cheaper settings, as you can have reliable charges by using also other methods (stegadons with alpha ability, LoSaT with chronomantic cogs, and similar).
    Remember that the toad is placed during the first hero phase, so if you manage to summon a unit in the 1st turn with a EotG you can place the toad.


    Terradons riders
    120 pts

    nice battlefield control, the possibility to deal some MWs, some shooting and some melee. They are a sort of jack-of-all-trades, they can always help you but don’t expect too much


    Kroxigors
    150 for 3, 600 for 12

    I love kroxigors, but the same can’t be said for the GHB19. Or the GHB18, for what matters.
    they are not terrible, but you’d better spend your points for something else.


    Chameleon skinks
    110 for 5, 440 for 20

    they can teleport instead of moving and don’t have any limitation on the distance from enemies when they appear.
    They were used to be exceptional (especially as cannons’ hunters) but those glory days have passed. A unit of 5 can still be nice (especially against daemons), but they cost too much for what they bring.
     
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2019
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  6. Erta Wanderer
    Temple Guard

    Erta Wanderer Well-Known Member

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    Fun looking forward to the rest of it if you need math help just let me know I love number crunching
     
  7. Killer Angel
    Slann

    Killer Angel Prophet of the Stars Staff Member

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    ATM i will do just a quick overview. Then we could go into deeper analysis and MathHammer
     
  8. LizardWizard
    Skar-Veteran

    LizardWizard Grand Skink Handler Staff Member

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    Stickied!
     
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  9. Killer Angel
    Slann

    Killer Angel Prophet of the Stars Staff Member

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    MAGIC OVERVIEW

    in the beginning Slanns were meant to cast spells all over the battlefield. They were amongst the strongest magic users.
    Things evolve, and with the GHB2018 and the (bad) summoning mechanics, our main caster was doomed to avoid casting at all, to accumulate CCP. And Endless spells were cast by our friend the skinkpriest
    With the GHB2019, things change. we have our spell lore, so we finally we can make actual tactical choices with our Slann. Plus, remember that the slann can swap its known spell with another one.



    SERAPHON SPELL LORE


    Celestial Apotheosis
    casting 5+
    You can heal 1 (!) wound to a unit within 18”; that unit gives to nearby enemies -1 to bravery.
    The healing is ridiculous, and we have plenty of ways to lower the bravery: the problem atm is to find enemies that are not immune to bravery… an almost worthless spell, don’t take it.


    Claws of Glory
    6+
    A unit rerolls 1s to hit. We have plenty of ways do obtain rerolls (constellation, astrolith, handlers, skink alpha, dive for flyiers)…
    situational at best.


    Walk Between Realms
    6+
    A unit within 18” gains fly. can be pretty nice. if you have more than one caster, you can consider it (it depends on your list, but a flying carno is fun). Remember that the Slann comes with a similar command ability.


    Meteoric Convocation
    7+
    target unit within 24”, rolls 8 dices, inflict 1 MW for each 5+.
    Alongside with other tricks, can help in killing some weak hero, but normally it’s not worth the slot.


    Mystical Unforging
    8+
    for this, you should have some buff to casting. d3 MW to a character and a 1/3 chance to break the carried artefact by said hero.
    Many good thing in this one, but without synergies:
    it helps you in killing a weak hero in a key position (such as the ones that buff the fyreslayers)
    it can destroy that single nasty artefact that makes immortal a nasty hero (Ethereal amulet, I’m looking at you)
    psychological effect (the lizards could destroy my magic item!)
    if you have a third caster give it to it, otherwise it’s a good candidate for the swapping by the Slann, in case of need.


    Stellar Tempest
    8+
    roll a die for each model in the target unit, 1 MW for each 5+.
    finally a serious anti horde, with some nice MW spam. The best spell we have, there’s really no contest. This must always be your first choice.




    ENDLESS SPELLS

    Endless spells work in a very different way for each army.
    for example, we are not Nagash, that likes an umbral spellportal to unleash hand of dust.
    So, we need to judge the endless spells by our pov.

    endless spells cost a number of points. Realistically, a list will have 1 or 2 ES, i don't think we'll see 3.
    The most useful to us are the ones that increase our number of castings, because spells slots means additional CCP.
    By logic, a Seraphon list should include at least one of these spells:

    Balewind vortex
    40 pts
    casting value 6+
    wizard gains +1 to saves, range bonus and +1 spell. It cannot move but since the wizard and the vortex are considered a single model, tnx to the vording of LoSaT (which sets up the unit, so technically not a move) we can teleport a Slann (or Kroak) upon a vortex. for us Seraphon this is massive, as our wizard is not forced to stand as a sitting duck

    Chronomantic Cogs
    80 pts (price increase!)
    +1 spell (for you) OR +2 to move and charge (for everyone).
    costly but immensely useful: a skink starpriest can cast it and the Slann uses it for an immediate +1 spell, plus you can use the bonus to charge when you plan your deep strike.



    Now, let's see what the other Endless spells offer to us… given that probably we'll pick only one of these

    Aethervoid pendulum
    50 pts
    6+, predatory spell
    6"+8" move, dealing d6 MW to units moved over and where it ends
    not exceptional, but it's an alternative to mass MW spam, as it deals d6 MW also to single models, which can be handy, especially if combined with d6 MW by an EotG.

    Burning head
    30 pts
    7+, predatory spell
    3"+9" move. d3 MW and reroll 1s for units wholly within 9" from it. It's of little use for us.


    Emerald lifeswarm

    50 pts
    6+, predatory spell
    heal d3 wounds / raise dead models
    Do you need so badly that heal d3? when we simply summon new units on the battlefield? situational at best, move on.


    Geminids

    60 pts
    7+, predatory spell
    you can inflict 2d3 MWs and debuff the enemy units (but the units must be different). Pretty useful and potent, but keep it away from your troops.


    Malevolent maelstrom

    10 pts
    7+, predatory spell
    it costs 10 pts, and it's the only really good thing about it. But hey, it can offer an additional dispel attempt, so if your list is at 1990 pts...


    Prismatic palisade

    30 pts
    5+
    lots of utilities: block LoS, screen from charges… not bad at all

    Purple sun
    50 pts (massive price decrease!)
    8+, predatory spell
    you kill models. With this price it has become very viable, and it let us play some funny trick: facing hordes, it goes well with the stellar tempest, letting us deal with large units. Especially useful against things with FNP or groups of 15+ models with 2 wounds each.
    LoSaT a starpriest and have him cast the spell.
    Have you wiped away a horde but there's another one? the skink dispels the sun, and the slann casts it again on the other side of the battlefield.
    if you take it, remember to have some bonus to cast (Astrolith bearer)

    Quicksilver swords
    30 pts
    6+, predatory spell
    roll 12 dices and inflict MW for each 6+.... 5+ vs chaos.
    If you know you face chaos, it's a cheap and great spell.

    Soulsnare shakles
    40 pts
    5+
    nice denial zone, messes with movement and deal MWs.
    It's (relatively) cheap and useful, so you can't go wrong with it.

    Suffocating gravetide
    20 pts
    6+, predatory spell
    d3 MW, -1 to bravery, can give cover.
    with the massive pts reducion (it was 60) it's playable, but there are far better choices.

    Umbral spellportal
    70 pts
    5+
    we are not Nagash, we don't really need it.
     
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2019
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  10. Canas
    Skink Priest

    Canas Well-Known Member

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    One thing, meteoric convocation is significantly better for damage than mystical unforging. It's easier to cast, has a higher damage potential and a higher average.
     
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  11. Erta Wanderer
    Temple Guard

    Erta Wanderer Well-Known Member

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    to be spasific meteoric convocation has an average damage of 1.555... after casting chance and mystical unforging has a .833...
     
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  12. Canas
    Skink Priest

    Canas Well-Known Member

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    Also, it doesn't have any issues with being limited to targeting only heroes with artifacts, it can actually wound a behemoth or heroes without fancy gear.
     
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  13. Aginor
    Slann

    Aginor Fifth Spawning Staff Member

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    Are you sure?
    I just looked it up in the GHB and it says (translated by me, I have the German one) "pick a visible enemy hero with an artefact"

    Edit: brain error, ignore this post.
     
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2019
  14. Canas
    Skink Priest

    Canas Well-Known Member

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    I meant meteoric convocation doesn't have the artifact limitation.
     
  15. Aginor
    Slann

    Aginor Fifth Spawning Staff Member

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    Oh sorry, I completely misunderstood your post.
    Must be the damn heat. :D
     
  16. Killer Angel
    Slann

    Killer Angel Prophet of the Stars Staff Member

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    The issues is: meteoric still does little damage ( unless you are lucky)
    It's nice and can help, but it's not a must have.

    Unforging on the other side, is much more limited but the psycological value is great.
    I tell my opponent " my Slann can cast a spell that on a 5+ destroys one of your artefacts and deals d3 mw. What artefacts do you have? Who got them?"
    Panic insues.
    My opponent starts planning the moves keeping the heroes away from my Slann.. it's priceless. :D
     
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  17. Canas
    Skink Priest

    Canas Well-Known Member

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    It's slightly above-average for a single target spell nuke. And the only spells that do loads of damage are dedicated anti-horde spells. Single target spells rarely average more than 2 wounds/succesfull cast like this one does.

    As for the psychological aspect. It's there, but I'm sceptical how effective that will be. Cuz there's 2 major problems that any capable opponent should notice. 1) The spell is unreliable, so no point in fearing it overly much and 2) You're facing wizards that can teleport at will. If they want to get in range for that spell they will. Putting excessive effort in keeping the hero out of range will just be pointless.

    Admittadly it might mean they'l waste precious unbind attempts on it.

    Imho unforging is probably best against a relativly weak opponents, good enough to realize the implications of losing an artifact, bad enough to not realize that attempting to avoid a teleporting wizard is an excercise in futility. Those players will panic. Could be interesting for a narrative based battle though. Keep the artifact save from teleporting skinks :p
     
  18. Killer Angel
    Slann

    Killer Angel Prophet of the Stars Staff Member

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    SUMMONING

    Luckily for me, this has already been developed. Plus, since the GHB19 didn't changed the CCP costs, this handy guide is still valid.

    enjoy the Art of Summoning.
     
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  19. Killer Angel
    Slann

    Killer Angel Prophet of the Stars Staff Member

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    BATTALIONS

    Battalions are not made to be equal.
    Some battalions are designed to be the main bulk of an army, and the rest of your list will just be of support.
    Some battalions are so full-fledged that they are the army, and can stand on their own.
    Some battalions are explicitly designed to cover just a support role, and they are basically "elite corps", that can hardly win by themselves.

    With that in mind, I will evaluate battalions / starhost, not only in terms of sheer power, but also in terms of utilities and versatility.
    Let's start with the ones included in our Battletome

    NOTE: i will list the minimum cost to field a battalion, although it's not recommended to do so… you are paying the points for it, so to field a minimal size is counterproductive



    SUNCLAW STARHOST
    1 Saurus Sunblood, 3 Saurus warriors units
    Minimum size cost: 130+390 pts (recommended: no less than 760: sunblood, 10 sauri, 10 sauri, 40 sauri).
    Power level: mid-low.
    Main bulk of your army, requires support to perform.
    The Starhost gives an additional attack with jaws/shield, and a rend -1 to their celestite weapons.

    To make Sauri (and this starhost) work, you need a horde: warriors' strenght is in numbers, with less than 30 models, their efficacy will be halved, this is an objective fact. Given that 30 models cost 270 pts and 40 are 330, obviously you MUST have at least a unit of 40.
    Weapons choice
    Maces are nice: 4+ to hit, 3+ to wound (for an horde, it means 3+/3+)… however, lances gives you a greater reach, and given how hordes fight, you will need the attacks of the rear models: the 4+ to wound is not good as 3+, but it’s better to have a 3+/4+ and to attack with more models. So, lances is better for hordes.
    How to make it work
    Hordes are nice, but their maneuverability is poor, and sauri are slow.
    You don't want to be charged and you don't want to be shot.
    You need to enter melee and bring damage.
    SO, be sure to have a buff to charge (for example chronomantic cogs)
    Then buff your unit (a skink starpriest is good for defense - summon starlight, and offense - serpent's staff. Anything you can do will help… even a ScarVet on Carno!)
    LoSaT them and the Sunblood, use the command ability of the Sunblood to reroll to hit.
    Evaluation:
    It doesn't cost too much points, but it's a one trick pony, and this hurts.
    At 2000 pts, you can have your Slann and a nice Starhost, saving 1000 pts for shooting and other units with different abilities.




    ETERNAL STARHOST
    1 Saurus Eternity Warden, 3 Saurus Guards units
    Minimum size cost: 150+380 pts (recommended: no less than 790: warden, 5 guards, 5 guards, 20 guards).
    Power level: usually low, can be mid-high.
    Main bulk of your army or elite that gives the final blow. Against specific kind of threats requires heavy support to perform; in absence of those threats can stand on its own.
    The Starhost gives:
    - an additional +1 to saves if near the Warden (save 2+ without magic!),
    - celestite weapons does d3 dam, but only in their turn and if they don't move / charge.
    It's basically a strong defensive formation.

    Guards don't gain bonuses when they are a horde (and they don't even get a discount to use one!), however if you want these guys to be the ultimate killer of what you fight with, you want a unit with some models, so your main Group should be of no less than 15 guards.
    Guards have just 2 weak points: low move and are HIGHLY vulnerable to mortal wounds.
    How to make it work - 1
    Kill anything that deals MW. those are your primary target. Shooting, spells, melee with ripperdactyls… if you don't kill that kind of threat, your guards will melt like snowflakes in hell.
    How to make it work - 2
    Guards are slow and their battalion let them shine when they are stationary. Basically, they really don't have the utilities to be a solid offensive unit, even if they can be used that way.
    The d3 damage seems huge, and it is but only to a certain point. It only activates when you don't move in the movement / charge phase (pile in doesn't count), but only in your turn. This means that:
    the turn guards are charged, you don't have it.
    the turn you charge, you don't have it.
    So, you can have the bonus only in prolonged combats.
    But each guard (if the unit is near a Warden) does 3 attacks at 3+/3+, so even only 10 guards do 31 attacks, forcing an average of 13-14 saves at -1 rend.
    And if you move two guards unit to cover each other, both of them will have the warden's bonuses.
    Plus, you have many ways to improve the combat prowess of your Guards.
    Astrolith bearer: reroll all failed to hit
    Sunblood: reroll all failed to hit
    Scarvet on Carno as general: additional attacks on 6+
    Evaluation:
    As many melee formations, they do just close combat and the low move don't let them threaten large portions of the battlefield, which is kinda limiting.
    They can be exceptional under the right circumstances (defensive fight, enemy with none or little ways to deal mortal wounds). This will happen rarely, but at that point their power is top tier.
    Basically, it's a really situational battalion.
    When you plan your list, always remember the 3 Achille's heels of Eternal Starhost:
    - they are not fast
    - they suffer greatly mortal wounds
    - they rely on the Warden, which is a model that got 7 wounds and save 4+. Once the enemy realizes it, it's not that hard to kill it, so plan to reduce the risks and protect the warden




    FIRELANCE STARHOST
    1 Scarvet on CO / on Carno, 3 Saurus knights units
    Minimum size cost: 150+340 pts (recommended: no less than 650: scarvet on CO, 5 knights, 10 knights, 10 knights).
    Power level: mid.
    Low cost battalion, mainly for support role: hunt chaffs or weaken targets. Requires support to perform.
    Bonus point: the starhost unlock the Dracothion's Tail
    The Starhost gives +3 to run and charge if within 10" from the ScarVet (remember, you need to charge successfully) and an additional mortal wound on 6+ to wound of celestite weapons.

    our knights are very cheap, but don't mistake them for a cavalry.
    They are slow to be a mounted unit (unless you march with the units that are not fighting) and they're definitely capable of fighting off some melee troops, but if shouldn't take them against strong targets. And most of all, their mortal damage output is unreliable.
    Basically, they are a fast and resilient screen and excellent obj grabbers/holders… BUT you can optimize their combat performance
    How to make it work
    Always support them:
    The command ability of the scarvet on cold one gives: additional attacks for cold ones’ bites, reroll 1s on charges (to increase your chances), reroll 1’s on to hit (if the Slann is not using the StarDrake constellation).
    The command ability of the scarvet on carnosaur, gives: 1 additional attack each time you roll a 6 to hit (rerolling 1’s, so another chance to increase the number of subsequent "to wound"). Plus, the abilities of the carnosaur himself.
    They are both good, in different ways.
    Then, you will absolutely need a Skink Starpriest, for two solid reasons: summon Starlight (for further protection) and the Serpent Staff.
    With the staff, you will threaten double damage on 6s to hit.
    If the general is the ScarVet on CO, tnx to the command ability, each model is going to do 4 bite Attacks (1 for the Saurus and 3 for the CO). 5 models will do 20 bite Attacks, and the serpent staff is just great.
    If the general is the ScarVet on Carno, the Staff will buff the Carno. It's a win-win.
    Remember to play with LoSaT to charge, teleport away, rinse and repeat.
    Evaluation:
    It can be really cheap, but to make knights useful you need to invest a lot on them, using heroes to support an otherwise unimpressive unit.
    ATM, this battalion offers 2 great advantages: it works with probably our current best battleline, AND unlocks the Dracothion's Tail, one of the best battalions in all AoS.
    Solid choice at 2000 pts; the heroes that buff the knights will work also for the rest of your army.




    SHADOWSTRIKE STARHOST
    1 Scarvet on CO / on Carno, 3 Saurus knights units
    Minimum size cost: 180+360 pts (recommended: no less than 680: Starpriest, 10 skinks, 10 skinks, 6 ripperdactyls).
    Power level: mid-high
    Support role (assassin, objective taker and similar); max versatility, unique utilities. Always useful but usually unable to win by itself.
    The starhost gives:
    - you can move 2d6" your units after set-up
    - re-roll 1s to hit / wound for all the units of the Starhost agains a target visible to your skinks starpriest / priest,
    - you can set up the Flying unit in the sky. Set it up at more than 3" from the enemy, then you can add +1 to all "to wound" rolls

    How to make it work
    the main role of this starhost is the Alpha strike(s), to eliminate dangerous targets / enemy heroes / general, key units and similar.
    the 2d6 initial move granted by the starhost, may be exceptionally useful to move your priest, and see that hero that is hiding behind a scenery and you want to target…
    Usually, the starhost is used with ripperdactyls.
    Their job is fairly simple: pick a target, stick the toad to it, let them descend from the clouds and shred it to pieces.
    if your target is screened by chaffs, clean the way. It can be done in a number of ways, for example LoSaT a units of 3 razordons and shoot them
    Evaluation:
    the abilities of the battalion and the utilities of the units that form it are amazing, and the wide choice you have within units is great. This Starhost may be just for support, but its versatility is beyond compare. It will never let you dissatisfied.
    This is one of the very few battalion that is an effective choice in competitive 1000 pts games.
    But as many other ones, it excels at 2000, as it will let you deal with some of the most dangerous enemy units, and you will have plenty of points to develope the rest of the army.





    THUNDERQUAKE STARHOST
    1 EotG / Troglodon, 2 dinos (stega / basti), 1 unit of kroxigor / hanndlers + sallies or razordons
    Minimum size cost: 120+700 pts (recommended: no less than 1000: EotG,stegadon, bastiladon, razordons).
    Power level: mid-high
    Bulk of the army; great versatility in units choice, that cover many roles and are buffed by very useful abilities. Always useful and can sustain the main effort by itself
    The Starhost gives:
    - in the hero phase, each model of the starhost heals one wound. 1d3 wounds if within 10" from a Slann
    - at the start of each charge phase, the EotG or the Troglodon, can declare if the Starhost's units are swift (re-roll failed charge and hit rolls) or savage (re-roll failed wound and save rolls); units must be within 8" of EoTG/Troglodon to receive this effect, and the effect lasts 'til the beginning of your next charge phase (basically, you won't have it only in the shooting phase of your first turn)

    How to make it work
    With such a large number of options, it's really hard to explain the "right" way to play the battalion. There is not a single one.
    As main dinosaur, you'll probably want an EotG, to keep near the Slann and enjoy the additional dice on the engine. At that point, you can play the marching castle of doom, go for the centre and threaten a large portion of the battlefield.
    The most solid (and expensive) setting is double bastiladons with solarbeam with also an astrolith bearer. use the Savage ability and have your Solardons shoot 4d6 of ranged Death, rerolling to hit, to wound and saves unmodified by rend. Give the Ethereal amulet to the EotG and also that one will not suffer any rend, rerolling saves.
    Evaluation:
    You need to invest a lot of points in this starhost, but you'll have a battalion that can (and will) be the main bulk of your army. Support it with magic, place some battleline to screen ad take objectives, another 2-3 utility units and you should be golden.



    STARBEAST CONSTELLATION
    Cost: A LOT.
    Full-fledged army, the Constellation is basically an excuse to let you use at the same time all the five Starhosts of the Battletome. Nice idea for narrative games, but even in that case it has been poorly supported.
     
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2019
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  20. Killer Angel
    Slann

    Killer Angel Prophet of the Stars Staff Member

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    Other than the ones already listed, the GHB19 includes 4 additional battalions for pitched battles:
    - Heavenswatch Starhost
    - Bloodclaw starhost
    - Fangs of Sotek
    - Dracothion's tail

    The last FAQ (Errata GHB july '19), removed Bloodclaws and Heavenswatch, so we have only Fangs and DT, which, BTW, are the ones included in the Seraphon's oages of the GHB19.



    FANGS OF SOTEK
    Requires 1 Slann, 1 Oldblood on Carno (Ku-QUar), 1 Sunclaw Starhost, 0-4 battalions (Sunclaw, Firelance, Eternal, Thunderquake) and any additional seraphon unit.
    Battalion cost: 70 pts
    The Starhost gives +3 to move to all the units but only in the first round AND 1 additional command point (d3 if you insert all the possible battalions…. read: never).

    Power level: mid.

    let's face it: the additional move in the first turn won't help you: unless you go second and in this case you could charge, the +3 to move won't make a difference.
    More realistically, you get 3 things: an additional CP (worth 50 pts), an additional artefact, a one-drop army.
    Which is far from bad for the cost of 70 pts.
    What i don't like of this battalion is: you are forced to pick the Sunclaw starhost, which by itself is not exceptional, and the listed hero (Ku-Quar) doesn't buff those sauri. So, it's a battalion with no built-in synergies .
    If you pick the FoS, you should try to capitalise on the oldblood command ability, given that you will start with 4 CP.
    Other than that... well, with a Slann, Ku-Quar and a passable sized Sunclaw, you are already at 1260 pts.
    And you have: no shooting and no support to the Slann for summoning, neither for additional spells.
    On paper, Fangs is cool as it can include the Thunderquake Starhost, which is an excellent battalion by itself… if not for the fact that a minimal sized TQ (with no EotG) sits at 820 pts. Forget it if you play at 2000 or less points.
    So, if you pick FoS, but be aware of these limitations and try to work around them.




    DRACOTHION'S TAIL
    Requires 1 Slann (Kuotek), 1 Firelance Starhost, 0-4 battalions (Sunclaw, Firelance, Eternal, Shadowstrike) and any additional seraphon unit.
    Battalion cost: 80 pts
    The Starhost gives a passable chance to gain additional CPs (solid with all the battalions, but it's not going to happen), AND the ability to keep in reserve your units and drop them within 18" from Kuoteq.

    Power level: High.

    This is one of the strongest battalion in all the game right now.
    it's a one-drop list (strong by itself), but tnx to the fact that you can keep many of your units in reserve, you are not going to give any advice to your opponent about your set-up, so you dictate who goes first, without the negative side of having your army totally deployed.
    And man, the "units must be entirely within 18" from Kuoteq IS NOT a problem.
    Because those are not summoned units, that appear during the move phase. These units are called in the hero phase.
    When you can use LoSaT.
    Heck, you could set on the battlefield only Quotec and a unit of knights, leaving the rest of the army in the sky. At the beginning of your hero phase, call in a third of the army, LoSat Kuotec and call another portion of the army, LoSaT again and call the rest, concentrating your forces where the opponent is weaker.
    There are literally almost no limitations to what you can achieve with such a freedom of movement.

    The only negative fact is that you depend from Kuotec to stay alive, but it's not that hard to do, given that you probably will land your forces turn one, usually finishing no more later than turn 2.
    The tax for this battalion is the Firelance Starhost, which by itself is not a bad battalion and most of all it's cheap: a DT with a normally buffed Firelance, costs less than 1000 pts.
    Sadly, you can't have the Thunderquake Starhost within the DT, as it's a battalion not included… but you have the Shadostrike.
    Which is not only one of our best battalion, but it's also another cheap one.
    So, if you want a DT with Kuoteq, a Firelance and a Shadowstrike (reasonable sized), you are investing around… 1660 pts (having 4 artefacts and 3 heroes).
    which leaves room for other things: for example a Oldblood on Carno and cogs (with 4/5 CP to invest on your oldblood); or a Sunblood, 3 sallies with handlers and a Vortex.
    Yeah, i love DT.
     
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2019
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