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AoS Whats better ripperdactyl or chameleon skinks?

Discussion in 'Seraphon Tactics' started by PurpleandGold, Nov 12, 2017.

  1. PurpleandGold
    Cold One

    PurpleandGold Well-Known Member

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    Ive heard a lot of talk about both on this forum and have neither so I was wondering which is a better unit?
     
  2. Aginor
    Slann

    Aginor Fifth Spawning

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    I think Chameleons are better if they can take cover. But numerically I think Rippers have the lead.
     
  3. Killer Angel
    Skink Priest

    Killer Angel Well-Known Member

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    they cover different roles.
    Rippers excel in assassination and Alpha strike. You point them toward the target you want to kill and release your glass cannon.
    chama skinks may help in assassination too, but they are more a harassment unit, and also great objective grabbers. A great support.
     
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  4. Seraphage
    Stegadon

    Seraphage Well-Known Member

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    Agreed with @Killer Angel, can't really compare them as they cover different roles that were mentioned above !
     
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  5. GingerGiant
    Skink

    GingerGiant Member

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    I have the numbers! These models assume a null save on the unit they attack, and the effective wounds (actual wounds divided by the likelihood a given wound is not saved) are calculated against null rend. I'll explicitly state any other modifiers.

    Chameleon Skinks have decent shooting, coming in at 28.8 points per wound dealt in a single shooting phase. With a 100 point budget, they're above average. This is actually really good for a shooting attack. In a turn where you shoot and charge, they drop to 25.4 points per wound. Not very significant or surprising, considering how terrible their melee is. You'd think they'd get the Star Venom on their melee attacks, what with attacking with Envenomed Darts. In sustained combat, their efficiency increases to 45.5 points per wound (this is modeled off of friendly shooting phases occuring, on average, once for every two combat phases). Outside of cover, Camo Skinks are quite fragile at 16 points per effective wound. This is distinctly below-average. Get the skinks into cover, and they improve to 8 points per effective wound, and 3 effective wounds per model. It's not an incredible improvement, but it will keep them in the fight much longer, especially if you can get a reroll. Don't forget their Disappear from Sight can get them out of melee, assuming they survived your opponent's charge.

    Ripperdactyls are monstrous in melee. Assuming you're running a minimum-size unit...
    • With just their base melee profile, they cost 19.6 points per wound dealt.
    • With Swooping Dive and their base melee profile, they cost 9.9 points per wound dealt.
    • With a Blot Toad nearby and their base melee profile, they cost 14.3 points per wound dealt.
    • With both a Blot Toad and Swooping Dive, they cost 6.7 points per wound dealt.
    They're very good on the charge, and they're very very good if you can keep the toad nearby. Swooping Dive is available to use in each of your combat phases, unlike most "charge" abilities. I'd love to use Saurian Savagery on them, but they really don't need that buff: They're a complete package by themselves. On defense, they cost 8.89 points per effective wound, which is below average. They won't last long, and they really don't need to. A minimum-size unit of Ripperdactyls will deal about 10 wounds before saves in your own Combat Phase, and that's without the Blot Toad around. If the toad is present, they'll deal 14.83 wounds.

    In Summary: Camo Skinks want to be in cover: they deal enough damage to be threatening at range, and are durable enough in cover that your opponent will seriously consider ignoring them. Ripperdactyls kill people. You don't necessarily need the Blot Toad buff to make them effective. Don't expect them to last long, and don't forget you can use Swooping Dive in each of your Hero Phases.
     
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2017
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  6. Seraphage
    Stegadon

    Seraphage Well-Known Member

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    I have a question : How does this point system work ? I am not sure I get the hang of it/

    Also : In GH1 I LOVED my chamos. I literally never left home once without 10 of these lovely fellas. However, now with the GH2 teleport, I haven't used them once.
    Main reason : My beloved - for real, they are the unit doing awesomely all the time and ALWAYS feel as if they worth 100 - 150points more in "battle value ". For 120 points I have 3 of those - with a 3+ in cover and 4+ outside it - way better than Chamo on save.
    6D6 attacks - that will get better in a round after or if rolled a 6 on tp.
    Wounds : they got 9, not 5. Not to even mention the 4+ triggering ability.

    Razordons for me are performing great to the point that I am seriously scared of them getting more expensive in the next point update :D
     
  7. GingerGiant
    Skink

    GingerGiant Member

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    Divide points spent on the unit by the total wounds dealt by a unit, or divide points-per-model by wounds dealt per-model. Similar for the wounds. I forgot that the cover bonus for Camo skinks is absorbed into their 3+ save. They're not quite as durable as my post indicates.

    EDIT: I like to calculate the points spent per attribute, as it's a much more level and competitive way to look at a unit. It also makes it much easier to compare different units. Skinks are a lot better than they look on paper. They can deal as much damage as other dedicated line infantry when you approach it from, "What's the difference between 100 points of Skinks, and 100 points of X?"
     
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2017
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  8. Canas
    Skink Chief

    Canas Well-Known Member

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    There's 1 major issue with this approach though, and it's an issue that pops up with a lot of theorycrafting. It tends to be done in a vacuum looking only at one aspect. E.g. skinks might have the absolute best point/wound ratio in the game, but that doesn't mean a 100 points of skinks are actually going to beat a 100 points of X. For example taking the chamo's and rippers here; in a straight up fight (and also a point comparison) the rippers will probably win decisivly. However, in an actual game the chamo's are liable to regularly outperform the rippers. Those rippers are a major threat, they'l be focussed the moment they get in range of enemy attacks, they're unlikely to survive more than a single round. Chamo's on the other hand are not all that threatening and an opponent can be tricked into ignoring them in favor of bigger threats, especially given how relativly difficult the chamo's are too kill. Then after a couple of rounds of essentially free shooting your chamo's have suddenly done far more for you than those rippers would ever manage in their one grand dive. Just looking at the theoretical most cost efficient ways of play tends to miss fun tricks like this. Similarly it tends to ignore ease of use, or different playstyle (the amount of guides for things I've seen that claim X is optimal failing to notice this is only the case if you use the exact playstyle mentioned in the guide is hilarious, the moment a single variabel is changed the entire guide falls apart)

    Back on topic; Rippers are best if you desperatly want to kill that one thing, though that requires a shadowstrike host to really work (or summoning). If the rippers can't drop directly on top of your enemy they're far too liable to just be shot to pieces before reaching your opponent as they're a high threat that's fragile and thus have a giant bullseye painted on them. Chamo's on the other hand while lacking the raw firepower have the advantage of being just minor and just sturdy enough to be ignored or forgotten (which does rather fit with the whole theme of them :p); which can lead to situations where your opponent ignores em in favor of other higher priorities and after a couple of rounds they will eventually start taking their toll on the enemy. They're especially nice to soften up a target or finish off wounded key-target. For them to become a proper threat they really need to be fielded in larger groups thoughas 5 of em only deal about 3 wounds/turn on average and similarly they don't have that many wounds so when focused they do drop like flies. They're much like the guards in that aspect, they could stand to use some baseline buffs, though unlike the guards chamo's at least can reliably fullfill their rol with their current base stats :p
     
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  9. Aginor
    Slann

    Aginor Fifth Spawning

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    I noticed some of those effects with a unit of three Terradons. My opponent was so scared of their bombs and their potential mortal wounds that he split his forces and attacked them with over 300 points of Ironjawz. Meanwhile I smashed the rest of his army with a Firelance... :D
     
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  10. Tokek
    Saurus

    Tokek Active Member

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    I think of it like this:

    If I want to wipe out a key enemy unit - take Rippers
    If I want to snipe out a support hero - take Chameleon Skinks

    The thing about Rippers is that you need to invest heavily in them to make them work. Really you need the Shadowstrike which is a heavy investment that only pays for itself when you start taking 6 or more rippers. So their role is to vaporise some key target, so long as non-rending attacks can do it they have it covered. Summoning them with an Engine of the Gods might also work for you - the difference with the EoTG as opposed to other summoning is that they can still move after being summoned so they have a much better chance of getting into combat where they need to be.

    With their ability to appear literally anywhere on the table it is next to impossible to prevent Chameleon Skinks from taking a shot at a support hero. Hilariously if that hero is on a Balewind you can probably fit a unit of the skinks right up there with their target - it counts as cover which is just where they want to be. The damage output is less spectacular but if you want massed damage you need to invest in more of them. Their ideal target is a squishy 5-wound hero preferably with the Chaos Daemon keywords (e.g. Gaunt Summoner).

    Chameleon Skinks do have some other tricks - like appearing in combat with the far end of an opposing horde which is strung out so you can then charge the nearest end and being pinned at both ends prevents them from piling in. They are an expensive unit but do still have some unique utility, I think they remain fair enough for their points without being an auto-pick. Conversely the psychological effect of having Shadowstrike Rippers standing by can push your opponent into deploying excessively defensively which hands you the initiative in the game.
     
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  11. Seraphage
    Stegadon

    Seraphage Well-Known Member

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    Is there a FAQ that says Balewind counts as cover ??

    The only problem with skinks is : 20 attacks *I wont even consider 5, go group of 10 - 3+/4+. That forces 7 saves -> to a char with a 4+ it deals 3-4 damage on average. Thus it does not kill him. If he has a cover things get even worse. Thoughts ?
     
  12. Aginor
    Slann

    Aginor Fifth Spawning

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    Holy crap, if Balwind also counts as cover people will go insane. It is apparently already banned from some tournaments because it is too strong, and that would just be the icing on the cake.
    (EDIT: In fact I am in a discussion about its OP-ness or not, right now, over at the TGA forums)

    That being said.... it is a piece of terrain. A unit fully on or within a piece of terrain receives the benefits of cover.... Hmmm.... I don't see how that summoned scenery should be any different from, say, a summoned Sylvaneth Wyldwood, which definitely grants cover bonuses.
     
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  13. Canas
    Skink Chief

    Canas Well-Known Member

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    well it is a giant magical tornado thing. I would say it'd definitly make shooting at stuff in the vicinity more difficult :p
     
  14. Aginor
    Slann

    Aginor Fifth Spawning

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    Yeah, also the wizard on top can just crouch down on his platform so even without the winds archers from below might not hit him too easily.
     
  15. Canas
    Skink Chief

    Canas Well-Known Member

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    Even without crouching, he could just make the tornado sway back and forth at irregular intervals making aiming a pain :p
     
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  16. Aginor
    Slann

    Aginor Fifth Spawning

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    Hmmm yeah I guess he has control over it to a certain degree.
     
  17. Canas
    Skink Chief

    Canas Well-Known Member

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    Meh, if he has no control over it all the better, even less predictable to aim at :p
     
  18. Killer Angel
    Skink Priest

    Killer Angel Well-Known Member

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    I SO love when my friend that plays Tzeentch brings TWO vortexes at the table. :meh:
     
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  19. Aginor
    Slann

    Aginor Fifth Spawning

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    Actually I think it is not the vortex being the problem but those few wizards that can use it to get disproportionally better. Tzeentch and Kroak mainly, maybe one or two others.
    A Starpriest or a Wurrgog Prophet on a Balewind Vortex is no problem, not even a Slann, a Necromancer or a Weirdnob Shaman. Those Tzeentch guys? Yeah, those are.
     
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  20. Arawn
    Saurus

    Arawn Member

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    Well the Vortex got the scenery keyword, si it gives the +1 save to the wizard but no unit can move or charge within 3 inches of the Vortex so we can't set up the Chameleons on the top of it.
     

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