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Tutorial A Guide to Seraphon Battalions

Discussion in 'Seraphon Tactics' started by Killer Angel, Sep 8, 2017.

  1. Canas
    Skar-Veteran

    Canas Well-Known Member

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    Sounds like this is another example where seraphon ended up getting screwed over in an effort to balance the overpowered once as we seem to have been designed before anyone ever thought of these issues. Rule of one for magic, point costs for summoning, the limit on behemoths & the costs of battalions, they all seem to hit us far harder than some other armies or at th least we seem to be build around these specific mechanics to a much larger degree than the others. I do hope they'l look into that for the next GHB (or just give us some new stuff :p)

    As for the advantage it gives during set-up, this just seems like the way of determining who goes first just didn't turn out particularly well in hindsight. If only cuz it gives a weird incentive to using as few units as possible. Even without battalion shenenigans, fielding 1 unit of 20 now has a setup advantage over 2 units of 10 despite the 2 units being able to field more special stuff & being more mobile as it's spit. Which is a tad weird.
     
  2. Xasto
    Razordon

    Xasto Well-Known Member

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    This. SO much this.
     
  3. Killer Angel
    Skink Priest

    Killer Angel Well-Known Member

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    I suggest to discuss the general cost of battalions in the specific thread made by @Canas for this issue... ;)
     
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  4. Paul Beenis
    Cold One

    Paul Beenis Active Member

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    Thanks @Killer Angel for the addition of Heavenswatch to your guide! Looking forward to thinking over it more and seeing whether I can build a decent list with it.
     
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  5. Killer Angel
    Skink Priest

    Killer Angel Well-Known Member

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    Glad you liked it. The purpose of this thread is to give some help to anyone that wants to play our Starhosts! ;)
     
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  6. Killer Angel
    Skink Priest

    Killer Angel Well-Known Member

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    Time to analyze the battalions included in the GHB2017!


    DRACOTHION'S TAIL

    UNITS REQUIRED:

    1 Slann Starmaster (Kuoteq)
    1 Firelance Starhost

    plus:

    0-4 battalions from: Sunclaw, Eternal, Firelance, Shadowstrike
    any number of additional Seraphon units (this one is very important)

    The Starhost gives:
    - in the hero phase, Kuoteq can cast any number of summoning spells that summon saurus units to the battlefield as long as each unit he summons comes from this battalion, without need to roll. The casting is automatically successful, cannot be unbinded and doesn't count toward the number of spells that can be cast by the Slann. The same summoning spell cannot be cast twice in the same turn.

    This seems insanely good and comes at only 100 pts, however there are 2 big limitations:

    1) the free summoning is only for units with the "SAURUS" keyword. No skinks or dinosaurs with the skink keyword... it's hampering but we can work around it

    2) it's not totally clear if you can insert a 40 sauri block and summon them. IMO it's still a summon spell, so you must follow the limitations of summoning: basic summon for saurus warriors is a 10 unit, if you roll 11+ you can field 20, so you can call a 20 saurus unit, but that would be the limit, no way you can call that big horde of 40 Sauri from a Sunclaw starhost.
    If the latter is true you can still work around it.


    the third limitation is that the starting point is the Firelance Starhost, which is not our best battalion.


    HOW TO MAKE IT WORK​

    The starhost should work nicely starting from 2000 pts.

    The Starhost can include any number of SERAPHON units so you can form your army as you want (no ally), regardless the number of points, and can deploy it in a single drop, with some units on the battlefield and some other waiting to be summoned. This means that 99% you will have the initiative in the first turn, and that's not a small thing, as it gives you the first alpha strike.

    It's not required for the Slann Kuoteq to be the general. This gives you the freedom to pick the saurus general you like, while enjoining the bonus granted by the constellation (especially good the rerolls of 1s or +1 to charge).

    At this point, you must focus on the strenghts of the Starhost:

    You work a lot with free summonings, so you need to expand the range of your spells: Balewind Vortex, Astrolith Bearer...

    You will have a great mobility (summonings by formation, summonings by reserve pool, teleport), so you will play on objectives control, while the bulk of your army attacks the enemy.

    Your army will be sauri focused, so melee oriented: play on alpha strike waves. Hit hard your enemy since the very first turn.


    All of these things can be obtained in a number of ways, I'll now give some starting ideas / examples, but you can easily develope your own ones.

    First turn (constellation with rerolls of 1s):
    Summoning from formation: place 10 sauri knights at 9" from enemy
    Summoning from formation: place the ScarVet to give them +3" to charge
    teleport a skink starpriest already on the battlefield near them.
    shield, starlight and serpent's staff on the sauri: charge and enjoy 40 bites attacks that threaten double damage for each 6
    Second turn:
    after the enemy's turn, your first unit will be reduced in mumber; teleport them away upon an objective. Summoning from formation, place the second units of knights and repeat the assault.

    or

    First Turn (constellation with +1 to charge):
    Summoning from formation: place 10 sauri knights at 9" from enemy
    Summoning from formation: place the ScarVet on carno to give them +3" to charge
    Summoning from reserve pool: place a bastiladon with ark of Sotek
    Teleport a Stegadon already on the battlefield and move the bastiladon with the skink Alpha
    Charge with the knights, the basti and the Carno, spam mortal wounds, force multiple bravery tests exploiting the Bloodroar

    or

    First turn (if you play with Sunclaw):
    Summoning from formation: place 10 sauri knights at 9" from enemy
    Summoning from formation: place the ScarVet to give them +3" to charge
    teleport 40 saurus warriors that were already on the battlefield during the setup
    Summoning from formation: the Sunblood
    Charge with the knights
    Second turn:
    move your block of warriors and charge with them

    or (especially useful if the enemy is scattered on the battlefield and you want to do multiple combats at once)

    first turn
    Summoning from formation: place 10 sauri knights at 9" from enemy (target one)
    Summoning from formation: place the ScarVet to give them +3" to charge
    teleport a Group of 20 Saurus guards that were already on the battlefield, buffed with mystic shield, at 9" from the enemy (target 2)
    Summoning from formation: Eternity warden
    Summoning from formation: Saurus Oldblood as general, move by 3" the Guards.
    Charge at 6" (5" with constellation) with both knights and guards; guards save at 2+ so use firstly the knights.

    Or

    go with the knights, and teleport a unit of 4 razordons to support with short range shooting.

    FINAL NOTE:
    as said, your entire army can be included in the Tail, however you are forced to take only a Slann and the Firelance (including the battalion cost, this alone will take you probably over 1000 pts).
    Other chances offered by the Tail are other melee-focused starhosts, so it's interesting to see what kind of other units you need to insert in the Tail. I will focus on non-sauri units, that must be placed on the battlefield... this is not a complete list, pick the ones you think you need more, or some other ones that I have not listed but you think they could work.
    Magic support: probably the Slann won't be the general, so no Vast Intellect. You will need a Starpriest to have Starlight, the Serpent's staff for the knights / carnosaur, and a Vassal for the Slann. 80 pts well spent, place it on the battlefield since the beginning
    Shooting: groups of razordons and Salamanders are always handy to some short range support, especially when you can teleport them near the enemy lines (for sallies, remember that you need handlers to have 12" range).
    Other: dinosaurs are a classic and their contribute is solid. Bastiladon with ark (for MW spam) or with Solar Ray (for more shooting); Basti can be reliably summoned with reserve pool. Stegadon it's harder to summon, so it must be placed on the battlefield in the setup, but gives strong melee and some shooting too.



    EVALUATION:

    Power level: mid / mid-high
    .

    It's an army that's focused on melee but that can have any seraphon unit, including the support units you may need, so it offers a sufficient flexibility.
    However, the starhost comes with several limitations and tax units, so you must be aware of them and of the ways you have to bypass / mitigate those disadvantages, to employ the Starhost in an efficient way.

    You can find hard times against certain armies, especially the ones that can play your own game and got range too (SCE, Sylvaneth and similar), and some scenarios with just a couple of objectives won't favor you; anyway, the free summoning and the possibility to end your "deployment" in a single drop, are powerful tools.
     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2017
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  7. Canas
    Skar-Veteran

    Canas Well-Known Member

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    Wasn't the idea that these summoning spells were essentially just a sort of lightning strike ability? So that you could summon that block of 40 if you wanted to as long as you predefine that this as part of the battalion? I vaguely remember a discussion about it on here but can't find it.

    Also, the biggest drawback is probably that summoning isn't all that good, and the only bonus it gives is the succesfull summons. If our charges were more reliable or we could summon closer it'd be extremely good. But right now it seems like it'd mostly drops your stuff just out of range. Might still be quicker than walking through a hailfire of arrows while trying to attack, but doesn't seem too amazing.
     
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  8. Killer Angel
    Skink Priest

    Killer Angel Well-Known Member

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    Yes it was an interpretation, but afaik there is not an official clarification on this, so i wanted to err on the side of caution.

    Do you think i should clarify it in the analysis?

    Edit: done. This way i have specified that there is a doubt
     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2017
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  9. Canas
    Skar-Veteran

    Canas Well-Known Member

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    Given that it does say that the summons are guaranteed to work it'd be weird to have the super effective summons on a 11+, so I'd lean towards glorified lightningstrike. But if there's still no official ruling it does remain a bit unclear...

    Also, might be interesting to go into what stuff to bring as support outside of the battalion. Especially if they're just normal summons this becomes very relevant as then all it does is guarantee your summons for these units are succesfull but does nothing more. So you'l want support from something.
     
  10. Killer Angel
    Skink Priest

    Killer Angel Well-Known Member

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    It may be of some help. Updated the post ;)
     
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