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AoS Skinks seem pretty viable in melee.

Discussion in 'Seraphon Tactics' started by Stormscales, Mar 18, 2020.

  1. Alladin the Paladin
    Chameleon Skink

    Alladin the Paladin Well-Known Member

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    I see the melee skinks as a bit of a one trick pony. Definitely starborne only, and you kind of need to invest in cogs and hunters steed (which is fine and all, but you may want to be boosting your Kroak casts instead, and using geminids instead of cogs, for example).

    I think they are worth considering for sure, but their benefits are a bit more limited (and the double shooting FoS CA is probably better than the damage you would do in melee if you even make your charge)
     
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  2. Gailon
    Skink

    Gailon New Member

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    I'm with you on this one. But I have only tested in game once.

    A blob of 40 skinks with blowpipe and club. a skink priest and starpriest and stegadon with chief.

    That's 80 shots at a 4+ to hit. 4+ to wound. 20 wounds + 6 MW's.

    Then charge in.
    Clubs: 120 potential attacks in melee, but it will be tough to get them all in. Say 90 (30 skinks in range, a lot but just for comparison)
    3+ to hit, 4+ to wound. 30 wounds + 10 MW's.

    Daggers: 4+ to hit, 5+ to wound. Same 90 attacks. 15 wounds + 7.5 MW's.

    So on your turn, on a pretty mobile unit, that's a lot of hurt. 50 W + 16 MW's.

    Of course that takes two command points.

    The reason I like it, and it worked for me, is that the skink priest and starpriet and stegadon command ability can all just be turned on the stegadon. If your opponent shoots the skinks off the table before they get in range (and it they should). Then you boost the stegadon and are still getting a lot of value.
     
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  3. erians
    Razordon

    erians Active Member

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    Bpipe & clubs are my favourite after some testing. Clubs adds a sagnificant boost in melee and +1 save isn't as big of a difference as some here make it out to be. If your opponent puts effort into killing your skinks they're gonna die regardless. Guess it depends on what you are looking to get our of your skinks, but I prefer the high risk/high reward variation.

    Steg chief is too large of an investment for +1A in melee though, especially since you usually don't get more than 20 in striking range and the steg doesn't contribute enough outside of his CA. You are already doing 30+ dmg to 4+ save with buffed a buffed shooting/melee one-two punch, so another +8 wounds from the steg chief buff isn't really what the unit needs. It already has plenty of damage and for the price of a steg you can take another unit of 40 skinks to maintain redundancy if you lose one. Clubs & shield is full on meme mode and if I had the energy to paint a million skinks I'd do it for shits and giggles.
     
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  4. Grotpunter
    Terradon

    Grotpunter Well-Known Member

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    I just feel like a lot of armies/units are gonna chop you to pieces in melee or have amazing armor and/or ward save so your melee damage wont finish the unit off which means your 40 man Skink unit will be decimated.

    I would honestly much rather stay away and abuse the 16" shooting range and project power outwards over a large area, meanwhile discouraging your opponent to come closer and charge, because (In Fangs of Sotek anyways) they will be hit once again and risk having their unit stranded close to your remaining army on a 4+.

    I could maybe see blowpipes & clubs on a single unit of 40 Skinks in a 2x40 FoS list, but then you need to specifically have a plan with the 40 clubs tbh.
     
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  5. erians
    Razordon

    erians Active Member

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    They won't chop you to pieces since you charged, activated first and just killed everything. If something is too tanky to kill or cripple in a single turn, then you just don't commit to combat and stay back and shoot. Bpipe & clubs are still primarily a ranged unit, they just have a melee burst damage option when needed. The issue with FoS is that your opponent controls whether you get to use Parting Shot or not. Clubs can charge onto an objective and take it easier than shields, and they still play the defensive game just as well with parting shot, at the cost of some survivability.
     
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  6. Grotpunter
    Terradon

    Grotpunter Well-Known Member

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    You charging is irrelevant if a unit fights first due to buff/ability or has amazing saves in melee and wont be wiped out. I would probably argue that if you are so comfortable with cleaning the enemy unit in melee (because they neither fight first or have amazing combat saves), you probably didnt really need the clubs in the first place to wipe it? With shields you still have daggers that is essentially the same output as blowpipes, just that you wont (usually) get as many models into combat as you can with 16" reach. 5+ is pretty significantly against shooting, especially if you throw a CP from a Slann. Each dead model is 2 attacks, so I would prefer to keep as many of them alive as possible, meanwhile keeping the distance.
     
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  7. Gailon
    Skink

    Gailon New Member

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    I'm starting to come around to shields a bit, but I think the point on wiping something out (for me) is that if you boost with the starpriest venom and something else (hand of glory spell to reroll ones or shadow strike battallion for +1 to hit, or something), then a big part of the swing is the mortals from the venom. 6's to wound based on volume. Forget the save, you can do 10-16 mortals, and nova down a big mounted general.

    But I'm starting to see that the daggers, are there for you in volume even with the bucklers, and going from 6 to a 5+ save, is essentially doubling the save. It's pretty big.
     
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  8. erians
    Razordon

    erians Active Member

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    Again, you don't commit to combat where your skinks bounce or just die. Clubs do 13 dmg to 4+ save vs shields 7.75, which is ~70% more damage, certainly enough to make a difference. It's not night and day but there have been more than a few occasions where I felt the extra damage made the difference when taking an objective.

    Yeah shooting is the bane of club skinks, but FoS lists struggle against shooting regardless of loadout. The difference between 3+ and 4+ is significant (takes 33% more rend 1 shots to kill the 3+ unit) so if you play in a heavy shooting meta then I would probably lean shields.
     
  9. Grotpunter
    Terradon

    Grotpunter Well-Known Member

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    While looking at things from a mathematical point of view sometimes make sense, saying "70% more damage!" is a bit misleading in this case IMO because it makes it sound like the difference is massive. I would look at the actual increased amount of wounds and ask if ~5 wounds is really THAT big of an increase and worth losing the added survivability in the long run? 70% is obviously 70%, but just because going from 1 wound to 2 wounds is a 100% increase doesnt mean it is a significant impact.

    For me Skinks are largely meant to be at range, so shields will probably always benefit me, where as the added damage is very niche. My arguement is still that if you really need to charge and kill something, 7 wounds would likely do the trick.

    This obviously depend on where you play and what kind of armies you typically face, but generally it seems we are in a largely shooting heavy meta, and as you say it is the main weakness of large blobs of Skinks. The shield wont keep them alive against heavy shooting, but it will make a difference against stuff like Horrors shooting to pick a couple of models off.


    Edit: Im not saying that Skinks with blowpipes and clubs are absolute garbage, but I dont think it is the standard way to build them. You should really have something specific in mind when equipping them with clubs imo since the advantage is very small/niche and the shield is just always there, even in melee.
     
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2020
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  10. erians
    Razordon

    erians Active Member

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    5-6 wounds can be the difference between killing a maw crusha or GKoTG instead of wounding it and eating 20+ damage back. Against smaller stuff it can turn into another 5-6 kills from battleshock turning it into 10-12 extra guys gone. Most of the time it might not make a difference, but it's enough damage to make a difference often enough to be worth it. My experience is that it's not as niche as you make it out to be.

    Against 20 Infernal Conflagration Pink Horrors shooting the difference between shields and clubs is 2.5 wounds. Just like with the melee, you have to ask if that's really THAT big of an increase? When the club unit is wiped out from that kind of shooting you still have 10 skinks left if they have shields (assuming 0 overkill), so the question is are those 10 skinks going to have a bigger impact than the added punch in melee? I think you and me will answer that question differently :).

    Great point, there are games where clubs will do nothing but shields will always have an impact in every game. Its the safer option. I prefer higher risk/higher reward options.
     
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2020
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  11. Grotpunter
    Terradon

    Grotpunter Well-Known Member

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    I think ultimately we can think up a thousand theoretical situations where one is more beneficial than the other, so as mentioned I think it really depends on if you have a specific plan in mind with the clubs.

    Im largely thinking about the tactical aspect and where you will position your units. Even if you kill the unit you charged, where are your Skinks now? You pushed them forward. I would probably prefer to have them standing 16" away from said already wounded monster or whatever, and simply finish it off with Parting Shot if it decided to charge. I prefer to try and force my opponent to thin out, not bunch up. I mean there are obviously situations where you certainly want to charge a unit to get your dudes onto an objective etc. etc. - Thats why it is kinda difficult to discuss because the given situation is so theoretical.

    But alas, each to their own. Clubs arent bad, I just dont think it is by any means the "go-to" route in general, unless you plan to shoot then charge and kill, so that you rely on the combined damage.
     
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  12. Killer Angel
    Slann

    Killer Angel Prophet of the Stars Staff Member

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    With the old Seraphon, that was my tactic too: let the enemy spread, concentrate myu forces with summoning / teleport and chomp it away, using local predominance.

    ATM, when i play coalesced, i don't mind if the enemy concentrates his forces. Yeah, he may be able to exploit his buffs, but it leaves more room to my troops for battlefield control, and he exposes himself to Kroakbomb.

    This is not to say that one approach is better than the other, but (as you were stating) a certain build can work in a given situation, and perform poorly in a different one.
     
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  13. Putzfrau
    Carnasaur

    Putzfrau Well-Known Member

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    What about flamers or KO? pink horror shooting isn't really something you should be concerned about. FoS isn't a low drop army and Tzeetnch and KO are both going to drop in and kill every skink you have on the table. if they are only rocking a 6+ save. And you probably didn't pay for the command point and aren't running a battalion, so they'll just dunk 25 wounds on both your 40 blobs and let bs do the rest.

    IMO you can find ~5 wounds somewhere else. Resiliency is much harder to supplement for and seraphon need someway to survive t1 shooting lists. I think theres definitely a place for clubs, but seraphon armies aren't lacking damage so i don't know if you really need to sacrifice surviability for even more of it.
     
  14. LizardWizard
    OldBlood

    LizardWizard Grand Skink Handler Staff Member

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    Exactly this! If you want to put more punch into a unit then I would go javs and rely on the FoS move and Skink Priest buff before giving up shields at this point.
     
  15. erians
    Razordon

    erians Active Member

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    I didnt bring up horrors, I just responded about them. KO has a shit ton of -2 rend so they are just a bad match up for heavy skink FoS either way. Shield will still mitigate some damage but you are still looking at loosing most of your skinks if they put all of their shooting into them T1. Haven't faced enough Tzeentch or KO to speak too much about them but in the few games I've had I played 40 shields and 40 clubs and both died like flies either way if caught unbuffed. These are FoS's worst match ups though, and it makes more sense to build tournament lists that have the best chance possible vs bad match ups instead of building something that just further crushes your already good match ups (especially since you will be seeing Tzeentch, and probably KO, at top tables).

    You also have a good point about damage being more accessible to Seraphon than toughness. It's easy to compare units in a vacuum but they also need to be seen within the context of the army.
     
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  16. Putzfrau
    Carnasaur

    Putzfrau Well-Known Member

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    KO might have more 2 rend than most armies, but a ton of it is rend 1 too. It'll obviously depend on the list, but I think its safe to say you'll be getting hit with a ton of rend 1.

    I actually think Seraphon have a decent match up against tzeentch (at least as decent as anyone) but KO hurts. They'll drop in the hero phase, vortex you, and then just shoot off all your heroes. There's not very many battleplans that let you deploy deep enough to save the heroes and if you do they'll just dunk alll the skinks and then you have nothing to do damage.

    It's an interesting match up for sure. Being able to dictate the flow of the game with low drops is so powerful.
     
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2020
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