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Tutorial Ixt's Unit Formations

Discussion in 'Seraphon Tactics' started by Ixt, Jul 17, 2015.

  1. cyberhawk94

    cyberhawk94 Member

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    Thanks for your help, I guess I was just missing that the first picture was an after-pile picture, i thought it was right after the change
  2. Bowser

    Bowser Third Spawning

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    Togezo formation works quite well with my army! These formations and tactics are all brilliant!
    Ixt likes this.
  3. Ixt

    Ixt Well-Known Member

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    Thanks! I'll be getting back to this sometimes in April. Togezo is very nice for large melee-oriented blocks because it allows "crappy" units to take down or otherwise kneecap "wicked" ones, but I was left wondering how to keep the good times rolling with units coming *out* of battles in that formation, beaten and battered, reduced to half-strength, etc. (though often victorious), and I think that I may have something in the works.

    My hope is that eventually, all of these combined formations, counters, and general tactics would lead to an organizational/synergistic complement - "take this many of these, this many of these, this many of these, field the three this way, engage these types of units, and you'll be all goodfeels" - similar to what we saw in 8th. Lists within lists that extend the power of battalions. I think that I'm rambling, so... tldr: thanks, and I'm excited to continue. ;)
  4. Ixt

    Ixt Well-Known Member

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    @Deusvult - I'm slowly putting together the Saurus Cavalry puzzle!

    I'm back early, and I've got a mixed-unit tactica regarding Saurus Cavalry and their best buds - flyers. Expect an accompanying blitz formation that employs both of them in a layered format - 'The Flying Wedge' (previously 'The Arrow') - soon. Eventually, these posts will lead into listbuilding.

    I typed this up in the middle of the night during my flight across the pond to London, so some stuff may be frazzled and out of order. Sorry for that!

    ps. Ignore what I said about Saurus Cav being so-so in the Hook post... the Starpriest helps them tons, and that post was written at a time when the Starpriest didn't exist. =]


    * Takes advantage of Cavalry's limited movement value, as well as their potentially high armor save/resistance to rend characteristics. Overcomes the 7" move by doubling it into the Wardrum's option to march, creating a 14" move.

    * The unit - minimum 5 @ 10 wounds - now moves at 14" alongside of Terradons / Ripperdactyls, and - by utilizing the max 1" coherency allotted in da rulez - can embed itself within those two options, more-or-less acting as a hi-mobility phalanx that can transport them safely to midfield.

    * Grants the controlling player some freedom in the listbuilding phase since spamming flyers ceases to become a necessity (as well as spamming cavalry), and integrates the Shadowstrike Starhost into a force that also features Saurus Cavalry (which should be in a battalion, preferably the Firelance one although the Saurus Host is decent). In smaller games, you'll probably have to choose only one battalion - your call! Nice flexibility, the Saurus shoring up the weaknesses of Terradons.

    * Additionally, the presence of the Stardrake Icon will make stale combats edgy by increasing the enemy's Battleshock result by a single point (the Battleshock test further complicated by a reduction in Bravery wrought by models that directly affect Bravery scores).

    * Once reaching midfield, they can split up and deter chaff, act as a solid linebreaker, or shift into the Hook Maneuver that I've previously described. Grouping them like this will make a midfield approach much, much easier.

    * If they stick together, ideal targets are alike to this unit: a small group of elite soldiers. Infantry could work as well, but their time is better spent elsewhere (if possible). Monsters may do but, again, their primary role is to effectively engage a 'Hook Maneuver' toward the off-center of the board so that the opponent is forced into making bad decisions/open up lanes downfield for us.


    3 Terradons & 5 Saurus Cavalry come in at 19 wounds, nearly the same as an infantry unit. As such, an option like this may be best saved for games that allow at least 70 wounds for each side. Games with 100 or more wounds could make two of these units (or a very large version of it) a featured strategy; a secondary blitz option behind a Carnosaur.

    Here are some unbuffed numbers (though keep in mind that these are two separate units, meaning two separate combats; attack first with the Terradons imo):

    The Terradons fly over an enemy unit, landing behind them and straddling the closest board-edge.

    1 or 2 Terradons can be expected to successfully hit the enemy in question with their Drop Rocks ability, which would produce something like 4 mortal wounds. They would then commit to a Swooping Dive, shoot, and, finally, charge, of course.

    2 of 3 Sunleech Bolas ought to hit, with 1 or 2 wounding. That's between 3 & 7 wounds, typically.

    On the charge, a wide pincer-like formation is advised. Due to swooping, they're rerolling all hits and wounds. That'll likely see 3 hits from the Skyblade and 9 from the Terradons, resulting in 2 or 3 wounds from the Skyblade and likely 7 wounds from the Terradon, making a total of about 10 wounds on the charge.

    Cavalry charge in with 6 attacks, 3 hitting and 1 probably causing a mortal wound. Of the 3, 2 or 3 can be expected to wound. They then bite and bash, 1 or 2 hitting and probably causing a single wound. The Cold Ones get their 10 bites, and 6 or 7 of these ought to hit. 3 or 4 wounds caused.

    Altogether, we see an average of something like 5 mortal wounds and between 18 and 25 wounds.

    If the Save is 4+ (as none of this Rends), then 6 or 9 wounds get through.

    5+ means that 9 or 12 make it.

    6+ delivers 12 or 15 of them.

    That's not bad for unbuffed chaffylinebreakerness, and it's not exactly a fool's endeavor to expect solid results in Battleshock: due to the Stardrake Icons, +7 to +10 for 4+ armored units (devastating), +10 or +13 against 5+ saves, and +13 or +16 (likely a total wipe - a major victory) against 6+ save units.

    See Hook Maneuver in previous posts.


    Gor-Rok (the Sunblood) is, oddly, the best bet for a list that features a fast-striking option like this. Since anyone who employs it will be throwing defensiveness to the wayside, you'll have to get creative with defending him by fielding additional footslogging units. His Scent of Weakness ability extends rerollable attacks to the Saurus Cavalry, which they wouldn't have had access to. That, and he is a monster in combat - just disgusting.

    On the flipside, if your opponent is fielding a ton of screens (or if you're worried about summoned units clotting the board), the tried-and-true Slann Mage-Priest makes a fantastic general by commanding their troops to simply fly over defensive waylayers. I will say this: you aren't going to want to have you Saurus Cavalry & Terradon Riders stick around to do battle after the first round. They need to be charging into stuff constantly. As such, the Slann's Gift from the Heavens can do wonders if your opponent appears to be tarpitting you. The 10" range requires some forward planning, but being able to opt for retreat and simply fly-march downfield to prepare for the next round is nice.

    It may be a 50-50 between these two fellows: the Slann Mage-Priest & Gor-Rok. If you're trying to fill out a Firelance Starhost, then you may as well default into a Carnosaur.

    In a smaller game, the Saurus Scar Veteran on a Cold One ought to help out by granting those extra bites to the cavalrymen's mounts. Not exactly something to go all-in over in a larger game, it can actually extend the longevity of your cavalry through sheer offensive output in a small game. It's important to remember that although the SV/CO seems nothing special, it's making an already solid unit into a freight train. The Vet's own attacking capacity is worth considering, too, because they'll frequently be receiving two orders of attacks.



    I'm assuming you've brought a Starseer! Those are pretty much standard. Please see my post about board control/forced rerolls for more info.

    A Starpriest is great for a combined unit like this. Whether you decide to argue up-and-down with your opponent (which ya shouldn't do - let's face it) about whether Serpent Staff affects Ripper/Terradon beaks (no imo), it most definitely affects Saurus & their Cold Ones. Expect another 5-6 wounds off of that. Unbinding potential Arcane Bolts/offensive spells & Starlight will go miles to keep them safe, and the added effects of an Arcane Vassal will make themselves felt for sure. On top of everything, this guy is easy to hide behind those models.

    While we're talking about Arcane Vassals, Troglodons will have a field day behind a mixed formation like this. The compounding effects of the Stardrake Icon and its Primeval Roar (effectively a +2 in Battleshock) cannot be overstated - it is legitimately our largest possible passive bonus in that phase. Additionally, the Troglodon offers the threat of effective shooting support - shooting support that makes a charge extremely likely in the event of success. Unbinding, too, factors into all of this. Because of the fact that a group like this would cost 31 wounds, it's likely only something to be seen in larger battles. Deploy it forward of the Cavalry, and it shouldn't have much trouble keeping pace in the early game.

    That leaves the Engine of the Gods, which is my least favorable choice but it still isn't bad: a strong melee vassal accompanying a strong melee unit. Unfortunately, it can't unbind and its Engine is extremely volatile. Still, it'll do (and look awesome)!


    1a) Summon Astrolith Bearer [unless you're already getting rerolls!]
    1b) Summon Starpriest [unless you have one/another vassal nearby!]
    1c) Summon Stalker [if you have Camo Skinks at the ready, the Stalker is lethal when summoned; automatically earns Master Predator and seems to put out more reliable wounds as such]
    1d) Summon Chameleon Skinks [against the ideal targets: small, armored units & monsters/heroes]
    2a) Summon Salamanders [do this a turn ahead of time, otherwise the enemy will be out of range]
    2b) Summon Razordons [same targets, don't worry about handlers if you can get them close]
    2c) Summon Skink Handlers [kind of a waste of a spell, here; may help you save some face if you summoned Salamanders a turn too late and didn't think about the 9" rule]
    3a) Mystic Shield [on the Cavalry, not the Terradons -- you want the Terradons to be targeted]
    3b) Summon Terradon Riders [sad to say it, but they're going to die due to being soft targets, and their rocks - a one-time use - are what's important]
    3c) Arcane Bolt [only if you expect combat to go extremely well without Mystic Shield/more Riders]


    First and foremost, the Shadowstrike Starhost is excellent for the Flying Wedge. Same for the Firelance Starhost/Saurus Host. It's your call, but you can probably only have one in a small battle (and two or more in a large one).

    Unless you're fielding a SV/CO around these fellas, you'll need some manner of independent support that can capably tarpit would-be harrassers away from them, allowing them to remain in pursuit of goals downfield. As a general idea, a single model or a very small group of models make ideal tagalongs due to the size of this unit's footprint.

    Inasfar as single-model synergy goes, I'm gonna omit the obvious answer of 'Carnosaur!' We all love the Carnosaur, and I think that the community's collective, 'Field them no matter what, anywhere possible' has sort of dried up the well with these as far as tactics go. No offense! It's a good thing. :D

    The Regadon offers limited bonuses (such as allowing your Terradons to 'unlink' themselves from the Saurus Cavalry in the hero phase), but it's not too terrible of an option. Not great. So-so. It's gonna have a "Notice me, Senpai!!" effect, but it'll probably get noticed if it's equipped with Sunfire Throwers. Despite the lack of glaring ability bonuses, the Regadon is a solid option and its anti-infantry equipment will help tremendously if you're in an infantry-shaped pickle.

    Salamanders jump into the mortal wound ballpit with their Corrisive Breath and 'It Burns!' rule. They'll have a hard time keeping up with just an 8" move, so this is a situation where you might actually want to bring some Skink Handlers along. Their rend characteristic will also put holes in armor, which is nice. They should be able to effectively mop up whatever's survived a charge from Terradons & Saurus Cavalry, if anything.

    Chameleon Skinks speak for themselves. These are easily summoned, but it's generally a good idea to keep them around as a deployable option for their Chameleon Ambush (which, unlike summoning, allows them to move after they appear). Unbuffed, expect them to put out something like 4-6 wounds on the regular (same as an unbuffed Stalker, roughly).

    As always, plain Skinks are awesome. Position them to take advantage of the enemy's pile-in prior to your retreat so that the opponent's unit can't give chase, or simply pull them out of combat with Wary Fighter to upset the turn order if necessary - your call.

    I truly dread the thought of formatting all of this crap.
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2016
    Gradeaal, Seraphage, milman and 3 others like this.
  5. NMvapa

    NMvapa Member

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    Hey, just read the whole list of tactics and I really enjoy what you have done! As a starting player I find all tactics information very helpful. I come from 40k and there the thinking is very different, though I gotta say with the 8th edition close combat rules there is a lot here that could be used in 40k as well. Once I complete all of my starting models I will definitely try out the formations and post my progress.
  6. Seraphage

    Seraphage Well-Known Member

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    I hope you are still around because this may be the best tactics thread I 've ever read in the internet so far regarding AoS. Back in the day when I began and found our lovely forum, while I did realise they were important, I couldn't really understand the impact *hadn't played a single game back then !

    Reading them again now.. you are a brilliant fella. Thank you so much for this !

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