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Tutorial Tactics for Seraphon - Troops

Discussion in 'Seraphon Tactics' started by Killer Angel, Feb 27, 2016.

  1. Killer Angel
    Carnasaur

    Killer Angel Well-Known Member

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    Lately, in the discussion / tactics subforum, we have many requests of this kind:
    “I’ve buyed the Start Collecting-box, what other models do I need?”
    “I’ve got these models, and I’ve got 150 $ to spend, I was thinking to buy this and that, do you think it’s good?”


    This thread is not meant to be an answer to all these questions, but wants to be a starting helping point.

    See, almost all the armies work around a core of “basic” troops, that define your list, with the support of heroes. Some troops are designed for an aggressive playstyle, some others work better with a defensive approach… we have examples of entire armies that are pointed toward a style or another (see Khorne and Dwarfs).

    So, if you’re building an army, you will have core troops: the kind of troop should define the army, and a certain kind of troop, will work better with certain heroes: an eternity warden is amazing, but if you field him alongside with a Slann and Saurus Warriors, you will lose half of his potential.

    This thread will analyze our troops, outlining their strength and weakness, giving a general suggestion on the way each troop should be employed, and in which way you should support your soldiers.

    In the end, while it’s true that in AoS, you can simply play the models you like, it’s also true that if you know what kind of playstyle you like, then it’s better to also know what kind of units are more suited to it.
     
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  2. Killer Angel
    Carnasaur

    Killer Angel Well-Known Member

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    Brief introduction.

    Our troops are basically four: Saurus Warriors, Saurus Guards, Saurus Knights, and Skinks.
    (you can decide to focus on different troops, more specialized, and in the future we will treat them also).
    They were born to fullfill different roles, that can be basically summed up this way:

    Saurus Knights: very aggressive

    Saurus Warriors: aggressive

    Skinks: defensive

    Saurus Guards: very defensive

    Basically, each unit works ideally with some heroes, and each one have a Formation in the Battletome.
    That said, one of the first things to be aware, is that not all the units need a formation to work at their best.
    Depending on the unit, the usefulness of formations can vary from “absolutely needed” to “almost detrimental”.
    The same can be said for heroes or monsters: they have their own role, and they give better results if they support certain troops: so, we’ll outline the heroes and the dinosaurs that will work at best with each troop.
    Please also note that, even if the Slann is not included in any formation, you should anyway have one, both for fluff and for usefulness. So, we’ll treat also the Slann’s role in the army.

    The thread will be a growing project, as i expect questions and suggestions (and the help of other posters... ;)). Hope it will be useful!
     
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2016
  3. Killer Angel
    Carnasaur

    Killer Angel Well-Known Member

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    SAURUS WARRIORS

    At a first glance, these guys seem a strong defensive unit. Save 5+, ignore rend up to -1, this means that with Mystic Shield they have a reliable save at 4+… which put them near elite unit of other armies (see Dwarfs' Irondrakes).
    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.

    Look at their stats: they attack with celestite weapon and with jaws/shield. A unit of 20+ gains a +1 to hit, and a unit of 30+ gains an additional attack with celestite weap.
    If you wait for the enemy, they be mown from distance; no, you need to attack and grind enemies’ units, one by one.

    How many should I have?
    You obviously need a horde: Saurus’ strenght lies in numbers, especially in that magic 30 models: with less than 30, their efficacy will be halved, this is an objective fact.
    So, more than 30, keeping in mind that they’ll suffer losses and are also vulnerable to mortal wounds.
    40 is, IMO, the minimum number, and only for mid-small games, otherwise, pick 50 of ‘em.
    You’ll have your big block of saurus warriors, that will march at the center, threatening a large part of the battlefield and swarming the units they make contact with.

    What weapons should they have?
    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 good is their Formation?
    Debatable point. The Sunclaw Starhost gives to your warriors an additional attack with jaws/shield, and a rend -1 to their celestite weapons. Seems good, right?
    Sadly, the formation requires THREE units of warriors. As said, they work in a horde, so, if you don’t field 3 hordes (what,150 saurus?), you will just have a useful horde and 2 tax units, that will cost you 20 saurus.
    What’s better, a 40 saurus horde with -1 rend, and 2 units of 20 almost worthless warriors, or a 60 saurus horde, that will not have rend, but will never go below that magical number of “30”?
    The only utility of the 2 tax units, could be to shield the wings of your central block, to avoid pincer attacks, but the role of meatshield can be easily (and more efficiently) granted by Slann’s summonings. In the end, the formation is a trap, and it can be useful only in some circumstances.

    At this point, the questions is: what heroes will support the saurus warriors in the best way? magic? monsters? (aka: how should I complete my army?)

    Magic:
    The Slann is your magical engine; with 3 spells each turn he will give you that vital support your saurus need. A Slann will be better than Kroak, ‘cause he will give you also the goodies of constellation and arcane vassal. With summons, he will cover your weaknesses: the enemy is outmaneuvering you? Summon some expendables saurus or skinks to block faster units. Strong shooting units that could decimate your main block? Summon some salamanders to blast them.
    The second caster you need, is a Skink Starpriest. He will give: increased control area to unbind spells; increased range for your Slann’s spells; additional spells (including “Starlight”); the Serpent Staff, for double damage dealt by jaws on 6 to hit (this means that with your saurus horde, it will work on a 5+).
    Heroes:
    The easiest route is: pick a Sunblood as general. Not only he’s very effective in combat, but he will let your saurus re-roll all failed to hit. With an horde as main damage dealer, this is pure gold, and the perfect choice if you’re on a budget (playing with low points / wounds).
    There are even better alternatives, however.
    An Astrolith Bearer not only is a beautiful model, but planting the standard will give you Proud Defiance, that let you re-roll failed to hit, ‘til you have at least 1 saurus of the horde within 10” (if the bearer is behind, simply summon another one).
    Now you have the effect of the Sunbloods’ command ability, without using a command ability. This means that you can pick a different hero as general, and it will be a Scar Veteran on Carnosaur: not only he’s a monster killer (filling a very useful role) but his command ability will give additional attacks to saurus, each time they roll a 6+ to hit (given that they’re an horde, they have a +1 to hit, so additional attack on a 5+; they are already re-rolling failed to hit, so your horde is going to deal a scary amount of hits). As further bonuses, the carnosaur will benefit also from the Stapriest’s Serpent Staff, and will support the Warriors with Bloodroar.
     
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2016
  4. tom ndege
    Carnasaur

    tom ndege Well-Known Member

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    Great idea... Let me start with one of my (stupid) questions... ;)
    Is there a size of game where you would not say one should concentrate on one kind of core? (as usually is the first advice newbies get is to concentrate on one kind of core) when is a game big enough to e.g. have warriors and guards? Or would you always recommend to have one kind of core?
     
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  5. Bowser
    Slann

    Bowser Third Spawning

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    For regular or small games keep aggressive or defensive. You can make use of skinks in either. But in larger games 300-400 wounds you can split it. You just have to play it like two separate armies working in tandem. This will throw off the opponents game as they will be prepared to counter one play style but not both. Smaller games won't allow you to effectively build like this. But you must remember to play them as separate armies that can gain benefits from each other. Not one big army.
     
  6. Killer Angel
    Carnasaur

    Killer Angel Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, with a great amount of points / models, you'll have an army with different, specialized forces... kinda like the old concept of WHFB of hammer and anvil, only bigger. Or like a real world army. ;)
    It's also basically implied, if you field our top army (the Starbeast Constellation)
     
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  7. Bainbow
    Bastiladon

    Bainbow Well-Known Member

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    Well if Angel's doing Warriors, I may as well do Guard. After all, I do run a guard army.

    Saurus Guard

    In an ironic twist, just as how Warriors may seem like good defensive units, the objectively superior stats of the Guard may make it seem like they would be good offensive units. However they really find their niche in their defense. This is because, although they have high attack stats, they summon at only half the rate of Warriors and only half the wounds of Knights. They really don't have the utility to be a solid offensive unit. Defensively however, they get a bunch of boosts. The Sword Guardians ability grants them a 3+ Save when there's a Hero nearby for free, no spell or priest roll required. Combined with their immunity to Rend -1, they're going to have some rather solid defense.

    This is only expanded on by their Battalion, the Eternal Starhost. While the Sunclaw Starhost is debatable at best, the Eternal Starhost is an amazing Battalion. It requires three units of Guard too, but this only allows you to spread your units out to surround and protect your squishier heroes, which is the point of a defensive army. Furthermore while the Eternity Warden is nearby, the Guard go up to a 2+ Save. 2+ without any spells! In addition, if a guard unit hasn't moved this turn, they cause D3 Damage with their attacks, which is huge for a unit that can spam attacks. This stacks wonderfully with the Warden's Alpha Warden ability which grants Guard within 5" of him an extra attack, giving you a base of 3 attacks each with D3 Damage. And with the split up units, it's easy to keep them all within 5" of the Warden if you keep a tight formation. Only one guy in the unit needs to be within 5" for the whole unit to get the buff, after all.

    The Guard synergise very well with the stationary Astriloth Bearer, who will let you reroll those mass To Hit rolls, and the Priest and Starpries who both offer powerful defensive buffs. They're also the only build out of the main four core that benefit from having Kroak instead of a Starmaster due to his AoE damage that can be brutally used when enemies surround your Guard box.
     
  8. Crowsfoot
    OldBlood

    Crowsfoot Well-Known Member

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    so with Mystic shield on they are immune to everything apart from mortal wounds?
     
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  9. Bainbow
    Bastiladon

    Bainbow Well-Known Member

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    That would depend on the players. Personally I say that they still fail on rolls of 1 and the extra Save just lowers the effect of Rend. But even if they are immune, high Rend can still break them down.
     
  10. Crowsfoot
    OldBlood

    Crowsfoot Well-Known Member

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    Ahh so you play it as +2 as the best save they can have and reroll 1's that actually make sense.
     
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  11. Killer Angel
    Carnasaur

    Killer Angel Well-Known Member

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    SKINKS


    Once, there were the skinks skirmisher. Small, agile groups, used to harass the enemy, always the first in line.
    I don’t know why our Slanns don’t remember them. Apparently, their memory fixed only the fact that skinks are squishy…
    The current skinks are, indeed, squishy, but they’re also weak, and they’re no more those little pests, hated my almost all our enemies (that role has been taken by Chama skinks).
    Skinks have a 6+ save. Yeah, they ignore rend -1, but nonetheless, you save ‘em on a 6, which is not a thing to be proud of.
    Their missile weapons hits at 5+. In melee it’s even worse.
    They are a joke, right? Well, not exactly. They can be an excellent core for a defensive army. They have missile weapons, so you need to keep the enemy at bay, and shoot. You only need to understand how to employ ‘em in the best way.


    How many should I have?
    The answer is already written in the battlescroll: a unit of 20+ models, gains a +1 to hit, and a unit of 30+ gains a +2 to hit. Field a horde, and they will hit at 3+. And things can be improved.
    So, absolutely more than 30, possibly no less than 40 (so you can sustain some losses without losing efficacy).

    What weapons should they have?
    Javelins start at 5+ to hit, 4+ to wound; range 8”
    Boltsplitters start at 5+ to hit, 5+ to wound (pitiful)… but range 16”.
    If you’re shooting at something within 8”, you are going to be charged in the next turn, even by dwarfs (and you don’t want it). 16” gives you more room to retreat, shoot again, and so on. Boltsplitters should be the better choice, even if you must deal with that horrible 5+ to wound.

    What heroes are good for them?
    We’ll see later more on this, but you have the right lizard for the task. The Skink Chief.
    The Skink Chief (you can find him in the original battlescrolls, not in the new battletome) is born to be the general of a skinks’ army. His command ability gives a +1 to hit to a Skink unit.
    Suddenly, your skinks' horde hits at 2+. Sounds good, right?

    How good is their Formation?
    Skinks have only one formation, the Shadowstrike Starhost. This formation does wonders for ripperdactyls, however, it includes also 2 skink units (chama skinks and/or skinks).
    So, your skink horde can be included in the formation. The benefit? Pick an enemy unit visible to the formation’s priest / starpriest, and you can re-roll to hit and to wound rolls of 1.
    Your 40 skinks, will now hit at 2+, rerolling 1s.
    Granted, they’ll wound only at 5+ (re-rolling 1s), but we’re talking about 39-40 “to wound” rolls...

    The tactic should be clear: when someone approaches your skink, you pincushion it and retreat, exploiting your nice range (if using boltsplitters), then shoot again. If someone reaches you… CC means death for skinks. However, skinks are “wary fighter”: you don’t need to pile in and attack, you can retreat AND shoot.
    Even if you don’t deal an enormous amount of damage, you should win by attrition.


    How about the rest of the army?
    Skinks are nice, but they need some help. If you want to keep the theme, you can easily play a (almost) skinks-only army.
    The Shadowstrike Starhost gives you nice units: Ripperdactyls can shred to pieces a nasty target. You can field also a second unit of Ripper, to “saturate” the field with toads (remembering that rippers are a skink unit, so they can benefit from the skink chief’s command ability!)
    Chama skinks are very efficient character killers / warmachine hunters.
    Outside formation, you will need some tanky unit, to give support to skinks: a Bastiladon is perfect, and also a Stegadon would be nice, if you can field them both: not only you will have 2 dinosaurs very hard to kill, but they’ll both give you good ranged weapons, that will force the enemy to advance, weakening it in the meantime (kinda a dwarfs’ army, with cannons and quarrelers). Plus, the alpha skink on the stegadon, will let your skinks to re-roll 1s to hit (just in case something bad happens to the formation’s caster).
    Protect the army with Salamanders or Razordons, for more shooting power.
    And finally, the Slann, ready to support the army with magic and summoning (why should you risk a charge to your skinks, when you can simply shield them with a summoned unit of saurus warriors?).
    Obvious, final note: instead of a basic stegadon, you can field a EotG. With the help of the Slann and of a Starseer’s re-rolls + “curse of fates”, it’s the perfect tool for a defensive army, for the mortal wounds it can deliver, and for the chance to gain a free turn, when the enemy is at range of your shooters (skinks, chama, sallies, bastiladon).
     
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  12. Killer Angel
    Carnasaur

    Killer Angel Well-Known Member

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    SAURUS KNIGHTS


    Here they are, our cavalry!

    These guys were not spawned to wait for the enemy, or stand their ground: if they don’t move, they’re useful like sitting ducks. Nope, they are our shock troops, the can opener that we employ against defensive lines, our quintessential aggressive unit.

    Sadly, they’re not perfect:
    They are an elit unit: you summon them less easily than warriors, and they come in fewer numbers.
    They have move 7, and other armies have units much faster than them.
    They should excel in breaking defensive lines, but there are units that are much more efficient then them in “damage dealing” (see goblins on spiders), while they just deal 1 attack for each model, and with no rend!
    ...However, you can work around it (for example, they can march at 14”, so this makes ‘em one of our fastest units, barring flying ones), and if you know what you’re doing, they can really shine. Let’s see how.

    The first and last thing you need to remember, always, is: they must charge, and they cannot stay in close combat for more than 1 round. They have no rend, and they don’t deal so many attacks to sustain a long combat.

    What weapons should they have?
    Celestite Blade is 3+ to hit, 3+ to wound
    Celestite Lance, is 4+ to hit, 3+ to wound, and you deal 1 mortal wound on a 6
    Let’s say you are using a unit with the minimum number of models (5): tnx to the leader, you deal 6 attacks: with the perfect average rolls, your 6 attacks will roll: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6.
    With the blades, it’s 4 hits, that need to be confirmed with a to wound rolls. No rend.
    With the lances, it’s 3 hits, that need to be confirmed. But on a 6 to wound, you inflict a mortal wound.
    When lances wounds, they are better.

    How many should I field?
    It’s clear that you’re counting on that magical 6 to inflict mortal wounds, so you need to deliver them in a sufficiently good number.
    5 knights is the minimum required by a unit, but they do only 6 attacks. 10 Knights are better. More than 10, you risk to water down your impact, if the enemy exploits terrains (choke points and similar).

    How good is their Formation?
    If, for other troops, formations vary from “debatable” to “useful”, for them it’s mandatory.
    Firstly, they’ll have a +3 on charge rolls (remember, you need to charge successfully)
    Secondly, on a 6 to wound, they deal an additional mortal wound. So, it’s 2 mortal wound for each 6.
    That’s good. Really good. It’s a pity we cannot increase our “to wound”, but we can work around it (see "heroes").

    What heroes are good for them?
    You need essentially 3 heroes for them to work.
    Slann Starmaster: you need all the help you can get, and with the Great Drake constellation, you will re-roll the 1’s on to hit (thus increasing the "to wound" rolls, and the chances to roll 6)
    The formation requires also a hero: a scar-vet (on cold one or on a carnosaur).
    The command ability of the scarvet on cold one gives: additional attacks for cold one’ bites (kinda meh), reroll charges (useful but not decisive), reroll 1’s on to hit (we already have the 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.
    I’d normally pick the Scar-Vet on Carnosaur.
    Skink Starseer. He’ll be useful in 2 different ways: with Cosmic Herald, he can reroll dices, so this means it will be harder to fail charges (thus making less useful the scar-vet on cold one). Then, with Curse of Fate on your knights, they will have a +1 on a dice for each phase… this not only means another +1 on charges’ distance, but you can have a +1 on a dice during the combat phase.
    This may not seem great, but you only need to pick a 5 to wound, and make it a 6: that single +1 means 2 mortal wounds. I’d say the spell repays itself pretty nicely.

    The tactic should be clear: you are going to chase and charge precious targets, possibly with low bravery, without fearing too much strong defensive formations, exploiting the bonuses you can have.
    That unit of 20 Eternal Guards, that save at 3+, rerolling 1s and 2s? hit them with your 10 saurus: between re-rolls of 1s, additional attacks granted by the Scar-vet on Carnosaur, and the +1 of Curse of Fate, you’re going to deliver 4-6 mortal wounds (plus eventual normal wounds)… add the effect of the Stardrake Icon, and the shocking phase should give you nice results. And then you will also have the Carnosaur’s Bloodroar (with a possible re-roll granted by the Starseer), to panic more models.

    How about the rest of the army?
    You could fit a Troglodon, keeping it near the knights: not only it will help with the spittle, but it will serve as arcane vassal for your Slann (he’s slow and he will stay in the rearline), and the Primeval roar will stack with the effect of the Stardrake Icon, for further fleeing models.
    And you can support your Knights with a Stegadon, for a bigger impact (visually and thematically, it would be a really nice army: what’s more terrifying, for the enemy, to be pressed by cavalry on small dinosaurs, and 3 big dinosaurs?).
     
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2016
  13. Bainbow
    Bastiladon

    Bainbow Well-Known Member

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    Its its use in scenarios like these knights that convince me that Curse of Fates is the best spell in the game. Funny that I thought it was awful at first until I realised it could be used on friendly targets.
     
  14. Tlac'Natai the Observer
    Cold One

    Tlac'Natai the Observer Active Member

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    Aren't the mortal wounds a result of a wound roll of 6?
     
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  15. Bainbow
    Bastiladon

    Bainbow Well-Known Member

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    Yes, they are.
     
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  16. Killer Angel
    Carnasaur

    Killer Angel Well-Known Member

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    Ah, my bad. Fixed.
     
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2016
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  17. StealthKnightSteg
    Razordon

    StealthKnightSteg Well-Known Member

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    yes they are!

    that's me not refreshing a topic I had open from before dinner time!
     
  18. Bowser
    Slann

    Bowser Third Spawning

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    Kroxigor

    I'll take a stab at this, feel free to correct me if I miss anything.

    Kroxigor are kind of a variable unit. If you had to define a role for them it might be Anti-Horde. They become somewhat superfluous in a guard army, but could be used as a first line of defense if you really want to use the badass looking models. As a first line of defense use a starpriest to level the serpent staff at them and curse of fates from the starseer. This gives their jaws double damage on a 5 or 6. Your guard will then clean up anything that makes it passes the Kroxigor.

    Best use is in a skink army, but also useful in a knights or warriors army. Just keep skinks nearby for that re-roll wound rolls of 1. The best way I find is to run them up with salamanders or razordons and their handlers. The handlers offer bonuses to everyone and the salamanders or razordons can soften up any possible flankers or even the intended victim of the Krox.

    The moon hammer is a brilliant anti-horde tool with the other Krox providing backup hits. And if you're facing a massive horde that you don't think will go anywhere soon (or night gobbo fanatics...) tank them up a bit with mystic shield and celestial rites for a 3+ rerollable save.
    Throw curse of fates on them for their Jaws as described above, if that's the best use at the time, if not they will be fine without.
    When using for riot control, take a group of 6 if you can and take two moon hammers. Split them up and cover as much of the horde as possible. This is where you need a plan for a good pile in. The others cleaning up what ever is left. Attack with the moon hammers first, a smart enemy will pull casualties starting with the ones still in range.
     
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  19. Killer Angel
    Carnasaur

    Killer Angel Well-Known Member

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    Kroxigor are really good as choice in the Thunderquake formation.
    If you give them the re-rollable saves and to wound, you only need a mystic shield to have a unit that saves at 3 rerollable, hits really hard and heals itself if near a Slann. Even with mortal wounds, you’ll have a hard time taking them down (unless you deal a lot of mortal wounds ).

    They are perfect to shield EotG and the Slann.
     
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2016
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  20. Bowser
    Slann

    Bowser Third Spawning

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    Good call on that! Knew I was going to miss some things.
     

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