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Tutorial Skirmish Tactics: Building Warbands

Discussion in 'Seraphon Tactics' started by Killer Angel, Jun 18, 2017.

  1. Killer Angel
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    Killer Angel Well-Known Member

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    I'm aware there are already threads on skirmish, but those are more about general discussions, while I wanted to approach the debate with a more analytic eye.

    Reading the skirmish book and after a couple of games, i would like to share some considerations and hear you opinions to this "guide to warbands building".


    ONE: Magic is far more important than in AoS large battles: just to name one, Arcane Bolt is devastating; it can automatically (or with a high chance) kill a model: a mere annoyance on a unit of 20+ models, but a severe hit when a model counts as a unit and its loss forces a battleshock; you should try to combine a kill by arcane bolt and another couple of kills by charge or shooting.
    It's not a case that wizards cost a lot.
    For the same reason, the ability to shut down enemy's magic is equally important.

    TWO: For a similar reason, models with just 1 wound are fragile and dangerous to field, even if they have good stats (Grave guards, Saurus guards, Hammerers and similar).

    THREE: All the units that count on numbers to improve their combat / shooting prowess, are severely hampered in skirmish.

    FOUR: To have a good move is even more important than in AoS large battles, and with a scenario with many buildings/terrains, the ability to fly is great.

    FIVE: Any ability that can target more models is precious.


    I'm sure thare are other possible observations, but these are the first things that i noted, and that (IMO) should be kept in mind when you do the list for your warband.
     
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2017
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  2. Killer Angel
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    Killer Angel Well-Known Member

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    SERAPHON LISTS

    Keeping in mind the above points, a warband should pretty much autoinclude a caster.
    Seraphon have a pityful range of choice as models as a Whole... but a Skink Starpriest (despite being the only one we have), is a good wizard: 16 pts is not a small investment, but if you compare them to a battlemage at 20, or death's necromancer at 22, it's a fair price.

    models as saurus guards imo are not appealing: 4 points for a single wound is not a good trade.
    When you start with few renown, Saurus knights are a better choice: 2 wounds will grant your precious model a little more survival, AND you can count on a superior move.

    Ripperdactyls are sufficiently strong choice.
    they fulfill some of the aforementioned points: 3 wounds, they fly and have a great move: this means they will last longer, and can choose their own fight.
    you can place a toad for every ripper you'll field, since every ripper is a unit, and this will give a good battlefield control.
    Even without the toad, your Alpha ripper will deliver 6 Attacks, rerolling all failed ones: in skirmish you usually fight against single models, and this means that with 6 attacks, you should score your kill every time you charge a target.
    given your move, pick isolated targets, so you won't be coutercharged by lot of enemies.


    Terradon riders are a good choice too.
    as dactyls, they've got 3 wounds and a nice move... but their strenght is another.
    They can attack effectively thrice: they can drop a Boulder when flying over an enemy, they can shoot with the javelin / bolas, and they can attack in melee.
    This means that, under the right conditions, a single terradon can attack and kill 3 different models of the enemy, thus forcing a hard battleshock test.



    at 25 renown, you can have the starpriest, a couple of knights and a skink

    at 30 renown, you could field the starpriest, a ripper, a knight and a skink

    (you can obviously substitute a ripper + skink, with a terradon + 2 skinks or one saurus warrior)

    you should avoid models as Guards when playing with low renowns, they are an investment for bigger warbands
     
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2017
  3. Killer Angel
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    Killer Angel Well-Known Member

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    OTHER ARMIES LISTS

    the principles are the same, so lists should adapt to those, with adjustments due to the different possibilities.
    Remember also that the mechanics in skirmish are different then the ones in AoS battles, so models that are normally a subpar choice, can become much more valuables.



    EXAMPLES:


    Dwarfs.

    they lack multiple wound models: apart from heroes and copters, dwarfs simply don't have models with two wounds: no cavalry, no big guys, nothing. So, they'll be forced to field single wound dwarfs, and defence from magic will be a priority.
    Every dwarfs warband should include a Runelord, which will be handy also for its other abilities.

    Dwarfs will be exposed to a great number of dangerous things, without the support of the numbers of the unit, so hammerers are at high risk, i don't know if they are worth the price.
    When you play with low renown, I'd use thunderers and / or quarrelers: shooting is good because you often need only on wound to kill another infantry model, and they cost significantly less then our elite troops.

    The only units that got more than one wounds and come with good move (Flying!) are Copters and Bombers: they are exceptionals from this pov and I would include at least one asap... in great battle their shooting is weak, but against single models it should be very handy, and also the grudgebusters bomb of the gyrobombers will have a greater effect than in AoS large battles.


    Death.

    Many possibilities, however there are some nasty tricks a Death list can do.
    For Death is fairly easy fo field wizards: a necromancer costs 22 pts (!)... but they can pick "master of the black arts" as general trait. A banshee costs 16 r., and at that point you'll have a model that kills with shooting and close combat, is immune to rend AND casts spells.

    Leaving aside Flesh Eater Courts (which I expect to see in a good numbers, given their strength), they can field models that usually are underrated but that can become nasty in skirmish: Hexwraiths fly, got good move, 2 wounds each and save 4+ with rend immunity. For 6 points.
    Their ability to pass through units and rolling a dice, inflicting a mortal wound on a 6+, is usually pityful. But in skirmish a mortal wound on a single model, is much more important then a wound on a whole unit of 20 Saurus Guards, and you can roll a dice for every model you pass through.


    Destruction.

    destruction got a nice variety, and can build mixed warbands that cover almost all the important points.
    Firstly, they have nice wizards with reasonable prices. a Grot Shaman is 16 pts, and for more sheer power there's the orruk shaman, with the highly valuable ability to target more models with its spells.
    they have very resilient units, and very fast one, so they are perfect for skirmish, from spider riders to boarboys, wolfriders, mournfang.
    Ironblaster is the only warmachine of all AoS that can be included in warbands.
    The only weakness is that they don't have a high bravery, and costly models can be at risk when they are forced to do battleshock tests... but destruction got also a very nice unit: grots.
    They cost just 1 renown, and are almost useless. every warband should include one grot: keep it away from the fight, use it at most for objectives in "treasure hunt", but dont put it at risk. If you fail a battleshock, the Grot will be the fleeing model, and you will lose a very weak unit, without hampering your warband for the rest of the fight.
     
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2017
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  4. Freddy25
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    Freddy25 Well-Known Member

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    Nice thread, and nice posts @Killer Angel !

    I completely agree with what you say, and that's why the first units included in my warband were a Starpriest and a Knight, with the plan to include a Terradon as soon as possible.

    [Nice to see that models like Knights and Terradons, which are not used a lot in regular AoS matches, seem a lot more useful in Skirmish!]

    Survivability, movability and being able to cast/dispel magics are the top 3 key elements in building a warband.
    Then, I would say ability to generate mortal wounds (aggressive playstyle) or resistance to Battleshock tests (defensive playstyle), be this achieved by having high bravery unit or as many models as possible on the battlefield!
     
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2017
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  5. RighteousBrother
    Skink

    RighteousBrother New Member

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    this is awesome thanks
     
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  6. Freddy25
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    Freddy25 Well-Known Member

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    What about artifacts and command abilities? Which one do you think suits best our two (official) leaders?
     
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  7. Killer Angel
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    Killer Angel Well-Known Member

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    here we are.

    Let's talk about:
    ORDER


    COMMAND TRAIT

    traits as "inspiring" are totally worthless. The trait to pick, is determined by the kind of general.
    If you're using a wizard (as a sking starpriest), then it makes no sense to use a combat trait, the only valuable is the one that will increase your survivability (tenaciousor master of defence)


    COMMAND ABILITY

    If your general got it's own command ability, then good.
    If it lacks a command ability, then you have to choose.
    A caster (again, skink starpriest) will go rarely near combat: merciless killer can be truly good, especially if it's escorted by shooters (imagine a runelord with 2-3 thunderers that wound at 2+...)
    a melee general could enjoy "inspirational fighter"; coupled with soulsever blade, you will reroll 1s "to hit", and reroll all failed "to wound"


    ARTEFACT.

    order artefacts in the GHB are good and (as said) the soulsever blade in the skirmish book is evenbetter, however, there's an artefact in the skirmish book that imo is a must have, especially if your general is not a meleer: the helm of autority.
    Granted, it will work just once (not that the other arfefacts will be used much more during a 5 turn game), but it will let you choose a command ability from the 6 listed in the skirmish book.
    In that precise moment, you will pick the one that will serve you better:
     
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  8. Freddy25
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    Freddy25 Well-Known Member

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    That's what I thought!

    And guess what? Merciless killer and Helm of authority are indeed exactly the ability and the artifact my Starpriest is equipped with! :cool:
    I find them quite useful and funny since they grant a nice buff to Saurus Knights nearby, for example.

    I see you said the Leader can be given a comman trait... but in all honesty I cannot file this thing written in the rules:
    if I'm not wrong you can give only
    - the Grand Alliance ability to your entire warband
    - a command ability to you leader (from the Skirmish Book or its own warscroll)
    - an artifact to your leader (from the GHB or the Skirmish book)

    :bookworm:
     
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  9. Killer Angel
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    Killer Angel Well-Known Member

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    That was a doubt that I had, but the book says, under "allegiance's abilities" (I'm translating from the italian version of the book):
    "your warband can only use the abilities of the Great Allegiance to which it belongs".
    Command Trait is an Allegiance ability, so you can use it.... otherwise they would have said "your warband can use only the Battle Trait of the Great Allegiance to which it belongs".
     
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  10. Freddy25
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    Freddy25 Well-Known Member

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    You are right, I was reading that part of the rules wrongly.
    Nice, as this means more customising options and of course an additional bonus to your warband.
     
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2017
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  11. Shawry
    Saurus

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    Do we actually get one toad per ripper?

    I assumed it to be like the ironjawz brutes only one unit can use that weapon?
     
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  12. Freddy25
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    Freddy25 Well-Known Member

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    Rules say "place a Bloat Toad for each of your units", so in my case, since I play as if all similar models were from one only unit, this translates into having just one Bloat Toad on the battlefield (despite the number of rippers you have in play).

    But of course, any Ripper near enough to the toad gets its bonus.
     
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  13. Shawry
    Saurus

    Shawry Member

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    I'll have to give these lists a go, so far I've just been destroyed by Ironjawz
     
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  14. Freddy25
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    Freddy25 Well-Known Member

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    Looking forward to hear about your heoric deeds! ;)
     
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  15. Killer Angel
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    Killer Angel Well-Known Member

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    Mmm.
    this is actually a good question.
    Every model stands by itself, however, you can only use a single warscroll for the same models, and you must respect the limitations about the weapons.
    So, probably you can field just one toad.
     
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  16. Shawry
    Saurus

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    Just lost my 1k game against the overlords however. My 50pt skrimish game against them, he killed 7 turn 1 I killed 3, next turn i kill 2 and he kills 5.....

    Game by t2
     
  17. Freddy25
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    Freddy25 Well-Known Member

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    Well, that sounds not so good... :blackeye:
    Just one question on your Skirmish match: do you think there were enough pieces of terrain on the battlefield?
    I've seen matches end in a couple of turn because a small amount of scenery undoubtedly advantaged the player whose army was more shooting-centered
     
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  18. Shawry
    Saurus

    Shawry Member

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    There wasnt a lot but, I didn't have all my units so it waa 90% warriors on a 5+ save so it never ends well
     
  19. Sebbs
    Saurus

    Sebbs Member

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    I'm guessing the GHB17 command traits and artifacts are valid for use in skirmish as well?

    In that case keeping the leader alive is always a high priority so Nimble seems like the obvious choice for command trait. Considering the different options for artifacts, the Incandescent Rectrices are tempting. However, the potential of doing D3 mortal wounds to anything that moves within 12" has a great psychological deterrence potential... but it hampers movement. :confused:
     
  20. Killer Angel
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    Killer Angel Well-Known Member

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    That's a good question.
    I am tempted to say yes, but it's also true that the points for single models were based upon the values listed in the old GHB .

    It's one of those things that can be easily defined with your opponent before playing


    I'll probably update the thread, to include the new toys...
     
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2017

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