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8th Ed. Jungle Swarms

Discussion in 'Lizardmen & Saurian Ancients Tactics' started by PlasmaDavid, Dec 29, 2013.

  1. PlasmaDavid
    Temple Guard

    PlasmaDavid Member

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    Come on guys, let's try and piece together some jungle swarm tactics!

    I used mine to good effect for the first time the other day!

    I used a unit of four (could have done 3 really) to deter a nasty flank of HElves from charging my battle line for a turn.

    Due to the way we had placed our armies I ended up with a block of Saurus and Jungle Swarms down one end of the board. I marched my Saurus full speed ahead, whilst the HE player moved his cavalry and light cavalry down the flank, and a chariot and infantry up the middle. I was happy for my Saurus anvil to clash head on with the latter, and my jungle swarms sitting still with their M6 would have joyfully swarmed forwards into his cavalry had it decided to charge into my saurus flank.

    I sort of did some pictures but they're not great, not pictured are the cavalry heading up the flank in front and to the left of the Swarms.

    Now eventually my Saurus DID fight the Chariot and Infantry head on, slightly skewed to the left. Then my swarms came in to the flank of the chariot and helped, but sadly some bad rolling had my Saurus flee and get run down. The swarms then received a charge from the flanking cavalry, but still managed to speed-bump for a turn, by which point I'd moved some salamanders from the direction of the tower to help out.

    So yeah, Swarms can be used to help guard a flank of a unit since they have a nice M range and they grant poisonous attacks. I guess they can also be used to swing around and charge a flank too.


    Here's some shoddy images!
    http://imgur.com/a/TDGYL#0
     
  2. Lizardmatt
    Troglodon

    Lizardmatt New Member

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    The problem with the swarms is that you have have had 2-3 units of skinks in the same location to act as speed bumps/redirectors.
    The skinks might get away when broken and rally, as opposed to always dying to the last.

    Sadly, 50 points of core skinks is as good as 70 points of special swarms.

    It isn't that swarms aren't useful, it's that a core unit can fill the same role for less points.

    Bastiladons of Sotek are growing on me. The bubble of S2 hits is getting better now that I'm seeing more elves (high and dark) showing up. Too bad that they don't always poop out a swarm, that would be useful. I'll fail the 4+ roll when I need to make it.

    -Matt
     
  3. Scalenex
    Skink Priest

    Scalenex Keeper of the Indexes Staff Member

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    My most recent game against O&G, I intended to use my Swarms to provide Poisoned attacks and ended up using them to as stalling units. They worked fantastic but the table itself was backing me up.

    See my Ark of Sotek got smashed by Goblin Doom Divers very early and there were rivers between me and two very large blocks of Orcs. Pretty nice setup. The Orcs charged the Swarm, took a dangerous terrain test, beat the swarm. Then they had to waste a turn getting through the river with a normal move since they couldn't march. Naturally my Aquatic Swarms got into position across the rivers easily.

    Add to this we were playing a Watchtower game, and I had taken the Watchtower early. Stalling units are twice as valuable in watch tower scenarios.

    I don't know if the Swarms would have helped me much had it been a normal scenario without very conveniently placed rivers.

    I guess a general lesson I learned is not to be too dead set on using Swarms as support or Swarms as stalling unit. You should be ready to use your Swarms in either roll as needed.

    I also learned not to build my hopes around the Ark of Sotek. Even when my Ark of Sotek doesn't get blown away by artillery I find it constraining to keep my Swarms nearby. Whenever I try too hard to keep my Ark of Sotek near my Swarms I regret it. Swarms are Skirmishers with M5 and Aquatic. You should not hesitate to move them towards the enemy rather than tie them down with your slow moving Bastiladon.
     
  4. Sleboda
    Troglodon

    Sleboda Active Member

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    Hey Lizardmatt-
    I think you are generally right about the skink/swarm comparison.

    Question, though.

    If Predatory Fighter gets an errata (or the rules for supporting attacks change to allow more than one attack at some point), do you think that they would have a place in support of a block of saurus - especially those in horde with spears?

    At that point, the number of poison attacks being generated may well be good enough to offset the liability of the swarms.

    What do you think?
     
  5. godswearhats
    Saurus

    godswearhats New Member

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    Predatory Fighter being allowed in supporting attacks nets you, what, maybe 1-2 more attacks? 21-22 instead of 18-20? I don't see that really tipping the odds, personally.
     
  6. Sleboda
    Troglodon

    Sleboda Active Member

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    Let's do some math and see!

    Horde of Saurus with spears, vs. T4 WS3 5+ save. I'll round up and down here and there to roughly balance it.

    50 Attacks. 20 PF, 30 Non.

    20 PF = 3 sixes and 6 more hits, total 10 hits. 5 wounds. 1 save. 4 wounds.
    30 Non = 5 sixes and 10 more hits, total 17 hits. 9 wounds. 2 saves. 7 wounds.

    That's 11 wounds without poison.


    Now, with poison.

    20 PF = 3 sixes and 6 more hits, total 10 hits (4 poison). 7 wounds. 1 save. 6 wounds.
    30 Non = 5 sixes and 10 more hits, total 17 hits (7 poison). 12 wounds. 2 saves. 10 wounds.

    That's 16 wounds with poison.


    The swarms add 5 wounds to the total the Saurus generate. Hmm.

    That's pretty much as good as it's going to get. Sure, the swarms themselves may add a few, but they will take a few as well.

    I really don't know if it's worth it. Not sure.
     
  7. Kcibrihp-Esurc
    Razordon

    Kcibrihp-Esurc Well-Known Member

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    Well I'm pretty sure that was with normal Saurus, right? So it depends on what on both sides let's say in this combat we have a Scar-Vet (with Hand Weapon) on Carno a Troglodon using Roar nearby and a Slann bunker with 26 Temple Guard and 5 Swarms okay, up against something with high toughness like a Kroxigor unit (18 Krox) with the Throne of Vines version of Flesh to Stone, so Toughness 8, 4+ Scaly, Weapon skill 3 so the Saurus Scar-Vet first, I'm rolling actual dice here

    Scar-Vet
    Needing 3s Predatory on 5s and 6s auto wounding on 6s (I'm a terrible roller by the way) 1,4,4,5 predator 4,
    4 hits S5 vs. T8 needing 6s, 2,3,3,6 one wound,
    Armour Save 4+ two off strength 5 6+ armour failed on a 5

    Carnosaur
    4 attacks needing 4s 2,3,4,5
    2 hits S7 vs. T8 needing 5s 5,5 two wounds 2D3 (3 & 1) 4 OA
    no armour saves 1 Krox dead

    Slann
    Needing 4s 1 no hits

    Saurus Temple Guard 6 wide 5 deep
    hitting on 3s 1,2,2,2,2,3,3,4,5,5,5,6 4 predator 1,1,3,5 back rank 4 attacks 1,3,3,4 1 poison
    12 rolls to wound needing 6s 1,1,3,4,4,5,5,6,6,6,6,6 5 wounds
    needing 6s to save wounds 5 failed saves
    2 more Krox dead

    25 swarm attacks
    needing 4s 1,1,1,1,1,1,1,1,2,2,2,2,3,3,3,3,3,3,4,5,5,6,6,6,6 4 Poison 3 hits
    needing 6s 1,1,2
    4+ armour 1,1,3,3
    4 more wounds 1 more dead Krox

    Krox attacks Note Someone else please do my simulation again because my rolling is the worlds most terrible 50 rolls 5 6s

    15 Krox horde width
    18 attacks front against swarms needing 3s
    1,1,1,2,2,2,2,2,2,3,4,4,5,5,5,5,6,6 2 predator 2,5
    10 hits needing 2s 1,2,2,2,2,,3,4,4,5,6 9 wounds
    1 base removed 4 more wounds

    2 back ranks
    needing 3s 1,1,2,2,3,3,3,5,5,6,6
    6 hits needing 2s 1,2,4,5,6,6 5 wounds
    another base removed

    9 attacks against the Temple Guard (I think couldn't find the rules for flank attacks)
    Needing 4s 1,2,2,3,4,4,5,6,6 I'm not sure about whether the flanks count as supporting attacks so I'll do Predator just in case 4,6 7 hits
    To wound 2+ 1,2,2,4,4,5,5
    6 Temple Guard dead

    6 against the Carno in the rear
    needing 4s 2,3,4,4,4,6 1 Predator 6
    5 hits needing 2s 1,1,3,3,6
    3 wounds no armour save

    Okay combat resolution
    for the Krox 23 wounds
    23
    Against the Krox 14 wounds 3 ranks 1 BSB 1 Standard 1 flank 2 rear 1 charge 1 musician
    24
    Kroxigor Break test Ld7-1
    1,6,6 (looks like one of my usual's, except it's more often 666)
    Kroxigor break run 6" (3,3) they're doomed

    COULD SOMEONE PLEASE REPEAT MY SIMULATION AS I ROLL TERRIBLY
     
  8. SilverFaith
    Terradon

    SilverFaith Member

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    Don't use simulations, but instead focus on "estimates", IE the actual, statistical chance of it happening.
     
  9. dms505
    Skink

    dms505 New Member

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    I've also been disappointed with swarm building with the Ark. I've run about 8 rounds lately and never once got a 4+ to gain a swarm. It's been sad and my 2 little swarm bases were lonely.

    I did however have decent luck with my 2 swarms getting into a hoard beside my hoard of saurus spears. The swarms were barely corner to corner and gave me the bonuses with less negatives. They only had to worry about 3 skeleton attacks each turn.
     
  10. n810
    Slann

    n810 First Spawning

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    Yea It should realy generate a fresh swarm unit, or reforce an existing on on a 2+
    (or something like that)
     
  11. Kcibrihp-Esurc
    Razordon

    Kcibrihp-Esurc Well-Known Member

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    You could use swarms to cover monsters like Carnosaurs or Stegadons from cannon-fire that way they survive to charge because they're actually extremely useful Carnozen92 was the only person who tabled me in a comp I just played in and he did it with a Dual Carno list! he killed my skink unit with Bloodroar because Cold-Blooded and Bloodroar cancel each other out so Ld5 skinks on 2D6 rather than 3D6 taking the lowest two

    P.S the reason they cancel each other out is because the other option is roll 4D6 and take the middle two which makes no sense it would be easier to just roll 2D6 because it would pretty much become that
     
  12. SilverFaith
    Terradon

    SilverFaith Member

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    I'd call this debatable. I'm fairly sure the average result changes significantly from 2d6 to 4d6 drop highest and lowest.

    I can't do the math right now, but the result should be closer to the average (IE 7) than it would on just 2d6.

    And unless I have forgotten about an FAQ, you are technically breaking the rules by just rolling 2d6, since the rules clearly states to add dice, and substract the lowest/highest. You should never assume you just remove dice without actual clarification.
     
  13. Kcibrihp-Esurc
    Razordon

    Kcibrihp-Esurc Well-Known Member

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    o_O

    Eh my skinks ran and got slaughtered anyway :depressed:
     
  14. KingCheops
    Temple Guard

    KingCheops Active Member

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    Because swarms don't lose their attacks until the entire base is destroyed it got me thinking: could it be useful to have a jungle swarm just to preserve 10 attacks versus 0-4 dead skinks? I ran it against 5 Ellyrian Reavers with Spears because that is what my flankers are usually facing.

    Feel free to correct me if my method is wrong. I did 2 binomial distributions for the riders and the horses with the odds to kill a wound as the success test. I then multiplied the various combinations together to get the odds of each outcome. Add together the boxes that satisfy my test.

    I found that the swarms had a 27% chance of taking 4 or less wounds which would let them get the full 10 attacks back. Conversely the swarms had a 73% chance of losing 5 or more wounds whereas the javelin skinks only had a 51.5% chance of losing 5 or more. Every dead skink removes an attack back from the counterattack.

    I worked out the chance of killing a mounted figure with shield as:

    Swarm = 2/6*2/6*4/6+1/6*4/6 = 0.185185
    Skink = 3/6*3/6*4/6 = 0.16667

    So right off the bat -- if I'm doing poison correctly -- the swarm has more value per attack. I then calculated the binomial distributions of kills for 5 and 10 swarms and 1-10 skinks (I didn't include if the Reavers killed all of my troops), calculated the expected value of the attacks at each number of survivors and then multiplied by the chance that there were that many left. I got the following:

    Swarms EV = 1.175927
    Skinks EV = 0.90535

    So swarms perform marginally better. But of course they are unlikely to hold in combat due to Squish! and this doesn't take into account the Skink's shooting. There's some fringe benefit to easier casting of Wyssan's and to using the Ark of Sotek but I'm not sure those compensate. Although They're Everywhere! might make it worthwhile to replace 1 unit of skirmishers with swarms for the flexibility -- skinks don't add any support in combats whereas swarms do.
     
  15. n810
    Slann

    n810 First Spawning

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    WAIT... did this change in 8th edition ? :jawdrop:
    I remember swarms used to loose attacks as they lost wounds.

    PS. check out the mathhammer for a flank charge on a cav unit. ;)
     
  16. KingCheops
    Temple Guard

    KingCheops Active Member

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    I didn't see anything on the Swarms page of the Hymnal. Although I have missed tidbits buried in other sections before.

    Swarms versus skirmishers charging into the flank of what type of cavalry?
     
  17. n810
    Slann

    n810 First Spawning

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    Empire knights might be a good baseline.
     
  18. KingCheops
    Temple Guard

    KingCheops Active Member

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    Assumed Inner Circle knights that are locked in combat with a block of sword saurus (16 attacks instead of 21). Knights are 3 ranks of 5 and the flankers charge the flank. Knights are more likely to kill flankers so the Empire player directs all 3 at the flank instead of forward.

    EV (Sw) = 0.449144
    EV (Sk) = 0.321759

    Most likely results are 3 swarm wounds or 2 dead skinks. So the swarms give up -1 combat res for +0.12 compared to skinks. However, the Saurus gain poison which is a 16% boost in effectiveness. Based on expected values this is an extra +0.296296 combat res for a total of +0.423681 or a little over -0.5 combat res. I did not model Predatory Fighter attacks but that likely wouldn't make up the difference.

    Looks like the swarms lose as a result of not having an armor save. Magic could remedy this problem (earthblood or wyssans on the swarms) to which one might say that you could get the same or better on skinks or the saurus. However, I'd say that the synergy of swarms with saurus might give the edge to swarms since if you are expecting to cast spells in this combat anyway you are better off with 16% more effective saurus.

    Back to not being sure what this unit is for.
     
  19. n810
    Slann

    n810 First Spawning

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    Oh I was assuming a single rank of knights.
    maybe 2, against 2 swarm bases.
    knights get what like 4 attacks probaly 2 or 3 wounds.
    swarms get 10 attacks probaly 1 or 2 wounds and they have a flank.
    but knights probaly have a standard, so it's a tie. and if they loose
    swarms are LD10 unbreakable, so they should hold the unit untill they can get help.
     
  20. KingCheops
    Temple Guard

    KingCheops Active Member

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    Gives our Saurus an escape in case we lose and fail break. Hmmm. Swarm takes a few Squish wounds but then holds. I guess it would depend if you were doing this defensively or offensively.

    Comes down to player skill I guess. Swarms give you some optionality you don't have with skinks. You surrender the 10 javelins for the option of unbreakable and They're Everywhere! The mathhammer is close enough that the slight under performance of swarms might be worth it for the extra options they possess.

    I imagine this would be hideous in an army with a Troglodon and Tetto. Re-roll 1's on the Saurus and PF on 5-6 with Poison thanks to the swarm could be interesting.
     

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