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HellRaid
31-05-2009, 12:00
The other day I played a game against a Lizardmen player with my Vampire Counts - it was a 1000pt game and he plopped down an Ancient Stegadon.

After losing the game and grumbling a bit about 'stegadon jamminess' or something like that (hey, it killed both my General and my BSB in just 2 rounds of combat :() I got to thinking, and I realised just how jammy the Ancient Stegadon was.

Allow me to elaborate before the flaming arrows start falling :angel:

In such a low-points game, I had nothing that could physically kill the Stegadon without being exceptionally lucky. This means I was being denied 285pts straight from the word go, whereas my opponent could still claim 1000 from me. Couple that in with 2 skirmishing skinks/chameleons hiding in buildings and a Heavens-love skink priest hiding in the corner of the board, I was essentially being denied ~600pts, being over half the points value of the game.

Anyhoo, I started thinking of viable Stegadon counters and came up with another contender for 'Best Unit in Low-Points Games' - Cairn Wraiths with a Banshee. If I'd fielded that against him then the entire situation would have been reversed - he actually wouldn't have been able to kill them at all. Throw in an ethereal general and I'm laughing. It's also effecting against most armies because not many people take magic weapons in small games, and units with magical attacks aren't that common for most armies.
(I'm well aware that Wraiths are utterly useless against Daemon armies, mind you, so they couldn't possibly exist in an all-comers list)


So what other units are there out there that you dread to face/love to field in small games?

Is there any unit out there that could beat the Ancient Stegadon as 'Best Unit' in a low-points all-comers list?

danny-d-b
31-05-2009, 12:17
its all about reading your opnunants army and tactics

if you know there going to bring a monster then you bring something that can kill it, weather that would be war mashines (cannon/BT e.c.t) or some anti monster hero

if he is going to try shooting/magic then you need swift troops that might not hit as hard as slower troops but would get in to combat quicker and so have less shots fired at them

so the best unit

probibly an empire great cannon
deals with infantry, caverly and monsters very well

shame the rest of the army can't do the same dammage

dsw1
31-05-2009, 13:00
I would have said a Steam tank was the best. 10 wounds, 1+ save, S6 impact hits (if 5 steam points are used that is an average of 12 s6 impact hits (I think?). Sure it can be taken down by a cannon, but that is one of the only things sub 2k that could do it (and cannons aren't hard to take down).

It is great against anything it charges (and it's maximum charge of 15" could out charge most armies) and not many armies out there could deal with it without tooling their armies around beating it (or tooling characters).

I'd say either this or a unit of blood knights fully equipped with regen banner etc.

danny-d-b
31-05-2009, 13:15
I'd would't agree with either, if you take the stank your left with 700 points, and you still need a hero (2 is prob better for ledership and anti magic) who will take up 100-200 points

yep thats 500 points gone in 3 models with two not able to do a lot of dammage, and the 3rd able to be taken out by anyone who plans for it/ other big monsters (cannons e.c.t.)

as for bloodknights, with less units there is more chance of me pulling them out of the way with FC!

artyboy
31-05-2009, 13:17
I would have said a Steam tank was the best. 10 wounds, 1+ save, S6 impact hits (if 5 steam points are used that is an average of 12 s6 impact hits (I think?). Sure it can be taken down by a cannon, but that is one of the only things sub 2k that could do it (and cannons aren't hard to take down).

It is great against anything it charges (and it's maximum charge of 15" could out charge most armies) and not many armies out there could deal with it without tooling their armies around beating it (or tooling characters).

I'd say either this or a unit of blood knights fully equipped with regen banner etc.

Good luck making a list at 1k that includes a fully equipped blood knight unit with regen banner... I think that a grave guard death star would be harder to deal with at that point level, anyway.

dsw1
31-05-2009, 14:01
Good luck making a list at 1k that includes a fully equipped blood knight unit with regen banner... I think that a grave guard death star would be harder to deal with at that point level, anyway.

It was just a suggestion. I don't play vampires or empire, but I know when things are nasty/army breaking at 2k, they are bound to be much better at 1k.

sephiroth87
31-05-2009, 14:07
Cheap ranked units beat monsters every time if they get the charge. Undead units have an even better chance since you just crumble and don't run, letting you build more back. I'm sure you know this, but the ancient can't do that much damage to a skellie unit after the initial charge, even with the emp bomb going off and doing d6 hits to everything around it.

But it's easier to complain than try to beat it. I would love to see that unit in 1000 points, because I win if I can kill it.

HellRaid
31-05-2009, 15:00
Cheap ranked units beat monsters every time if they get the charge. Undead units have an even better chance since you just crumble and don't run, letting you build more back. I'm sure you know this, but the ancient can't do that much damage to a skellie unit after the initial charge, even with the emp bomb going off and doing d6 hits to everything around it.

But it's easier to complain than try to beat it. I would love to see that unit in 1000 points, because I win if I can kill it.
Hmm, that was my problem though - a stegadon gets far more attacks than an ordinary monster and so is much harder to stop.

The Stegadon has 3 S6 attacks and 6 S3 poisoned attacks, so can wipe out 20 zombies in approx 2 (or 3 if he's unlucky) rounds of combat. Skeletons don't fare much better - in fact, he hit a 20-man unit of spear skeletons with both my heroes in during the game, but it was a war of attrition I couldn't win (due to poor casting rolls, admittedly - even so, I beat it in every round of combat bar one, and it's nigh impossible to break). My best option was to avoid it, but even so it still has a fairly ridiculous number of poisoned shots a turn and M6, so it's hardly easy.
(It wasn't an Engine of the Gods, by the way - just an Ancient Stegadon)

I disagree with the Steam Tank being a game-winning unit simply because it's difficult to maneuver - that and a flank charge by cheap core troops (eg zombies) and it's next to useless. The Cannon is a much more useful choice for Empire (plus, you can have two!).

Blood Knights have a similar problem - if you can put a frenzy-bait unit in its way you can misdirect them for pretty much the entire game. Also, cannons laugh in their general direction :)

The grave guard death star is an excellent choice. I don't know why I never though of it :D
It can have a few problems with ranged skirmishers and monsters though, particularly if they can target the BSB...

Gaargod
31-05-2009, 18:24
I'd say while a normal ancient stegadon is bad, for 415pts there's a unit a lot worse.

Skink chief BSB with Stegadon Warspear mounted on Ancient steg.

LD7 coldblooded stubborn rerollable, which is about 92% chance of holding. Does 2D6+1 S6 impact hits, 3 WS3 S6 attacks, 3 WS4 S6 attacks and 4 WS2 S3 attacks (on charge, after that the skink chief goes down to S4). Also gets 4D6 worth of poison shots, Mv6 monster terror causer, so is pretty maneuverable.

Basically, at that point game its just wrong.

Mind you, Wood Elf Alter noble with Hail of Doom Arrow, shield, light armour, great weapon and Helm of the Hunt is awesome. Hail of Doom is silly good at that points value, and 5 WS6 S7 attacks on the charge does tend to gank things that it charges.

Spirit
31-05-2009, 20:55
If it wasnt an EOTG stegadon, wraiths will maul it.

If it was an EOTG, take 3 bat swarms and a vampire that can raise them. They can assassinate the priest and make the stegadon useless for the rest of the game.

Spirit hosts would also work.

A wight king with the black axe of krell for S6 with d3 wounds per hit would do nasty things to a stegadon (and the king's T5 / 3 W mean he wont die for a couple of rounds of fighting)

If its a non EOTG, one solutary spirit host + a bsb within 12"will hold the stegadon for infinity. (2 vamps at 1000 points isnt hard)

Id say vamps are quite well equipped to deal with it, even if you cant kill it, holding up 300 points with a 65 point model will mean you have 935 points to kill his 700 points. Not bad odds.

HellRaid
31-05-2009, 23:45
I never thought of Spirit Hosts! That's incredibly useful. I need to convert some!
I realised that in such a small game I pretty much need two Vampires for any sort of magic phase, which is a shame since I'm very fond of Wight Kings.


Gaargod... I think you win. Your blatantly evil combination makes me want cannons :)

The Alter Noble is also a very nice choice, but is heavily reliant on decent dice rolls (as well as minimal enemy shooting/magic missiles - because most folk'll see it coming).

Draconian77
31-05-2009, 23:46
Skinks or something?

Mobile shooting is hard to counter at low point games in my experience.

artyboy
01-06-2009, 00:02
I never thought of Spirit Hosts! That's incredibly useful. I need to convert some!
I realised that in such a small game I pretty much need two Vampires for any sort of magic phase, which is a shame since I'm very fond of Wight Kings.

Gaargod... I think you win. Your blatantly evil combination makes me want cannons :)

The Alter Noble is also a very nice choice, but is heavily reliant on decent dice rolls (as well as minimal enemy shooting/magic missiles - because most folk'll see it coming).

There's your problem. Do not run zombies at all unless you have a decent magic phase. They rely on IoN spam for them to have any tactical advantage whatsoever. Stick to reasonably sized units of skellies or ghouls if you want to run magic light. Just make sure that you have a caster or two to bring them back at least a little bit every turn or you'll get run over.

Spirit
01-06-2009, 01:02
There's your problem. Do not run zombies at all unless you have a decent magic phase. They rely on IoN spam for them to have any tactical advantage whatsoever. Stick to reasonably sized units of skellies or ghouls if you want to run magic light. Just make sure that you have a caster or two to bring them back at least a little bit every turn or you'll get run over.

No, for 4 points always have a unit of 30 zombies.

You dont need a big magic phase to keep them going (one casting = 5-10 zombies and the minimum youl have in a vamp army is 5 power dice) and in small points 30 of them will never die.

Laughingmonk
01-06-2009, 04:42
What, no one has mentioned a big juicy unit of 6 Tzeentchian Flamers?

kardar233
01-06-2009, 04:55
What, no one has mentioned a big juicy unit of 6 Tzeentchian Flamers?

Well, that's kind of a given.

Laughingmonk
01-06-2009, 05:18
Well, that's kind of a given.

LOL. I suppose it is.....

Str10_hurts
01-06-2009, 12:52
3 razordons...outch

beaumontbrawler
01-06-2009, 13:39
4 spear chukkas w/ bullies!!!

They pwnd the last 1K tourney we had. :)

Spirit
01-06-2009, 14:01
3 razordons...outch

I must say i almost always think salamanders are better than razordons. But at this kind of pints level i can see them being a bit brutal.

Eulogy2
01-06-2009, 17:33
The Stegadon has 3 S6 attacks and 6 S3 poisoned attacks, so can wipe out 20 zombies in approx 2 (or 3 if he's unlucky) rounds of combat.

i dunno if anyone has pointed this out or not yet, but skinks only count as being poisoned for ranged attacks with blowpipes or javelins. attacks in CC are NOT poisoned.

Gaargod
01-06-2009, 17:54
There's also only 5 riders, not 6. But that's hardly the point, they rarely do anything anyways.

I'd have thought that basically anything on a monstrous mount is seriously harsh. Especially something like a dragon mage - its still a dragon so can chomp stuff, flamey death and magic hurts at that level. And there's not that many things that take them down, other than lots of artillery. Combine with another mage, an archer unit and RBTs to be harsh, maybe some cavalry if there's room.

Spirit
01-06-2009, 19:20
There's also only 5 riders, not 6. But that's hardly the point, they rarely do anything anyways.

I'd have thought that basically anything on a monstrous mount is seriously harsh. Especially something like a dragon mage - its still a dragon so can chomp stuff, flamey death and magic hurts at that level. And there's not that many things that take them down, other than lots of artillery. Combine with another mage, an archer unit and RBTs to be harsh, maybe some cavalry if there's room.

Dragon mages just get shot to bits, 6 hits from shooting and your almost guaranteed a wound on the mage, and that's only with S3 arrows. And dragon or no dragon, it doesnt often generate enough combat resolution to break a rank unit.

PeG
02-06-2009, 00:48
Most armies actually can deal with it if they bring the tools. The main problem is tha the game we want to see at 1k. Personally I thing the game is more fun if both armies bring several smaller units rather then spending lots of points in a few monsters.

Empire- cannons
Dwarfs - cannons, warmachines
skaven- WLC, jezzails
WE, focused shooting HoD, bow that lets you pick targets, hide in woods and flank charge him
HE, Bolt throwers, dragon
DE Bolt throwers, assassin, shooting

etc

TigToad
03-06-2009, 20:05
Wow.. having played a decent amount of war bands, shooting rules small games.

I'd always rather have 30 repeater crossbow elves than 1 steam tank. Most war bands games limit war machines to 1, but that 1 is a must have in most cases. (bolt thrower, cannon, whatever).

Also, you typically (sub 1000 points) only get 1 character.. a wizard is a great choice in most armies.

Bringing a steam tank to a 1000 point game is just wrong. Even still, that one bolt thrower and those 30 crossbowmen put 2-3 wounds on that thing and it spends the rest of the game injuring itself or getting no where fast.

Spirit
03-06-2009, 21:28
Wow.. having played a decent amount of war bands, shooting rules small games.

I'd always rather have 30 repeater crossbow elves than 1 steam tank. Most war bands games limit war machines to 1, but that 1 is a must have in most cases. (bolt thrower, cannon, whatever).

Also, you typically (sub 1000 points) only get 1 character.. a wizard is a great choice in most armies.

Bringing a steam tank to a 1000 point game is just wrong. Even still, that one bolt thrower and those 30 crossbowmen put 2-3 wounds on that thing and it spends the rest of the game injuring itself or getting no where fast.

The bolt thrower yes, but cross bows? 6 to wound and a 2+ save i doubt would do much to it before it hits your lines. Especially if it has a piece of terrain to hide behind turn 1 or 2.

MarcoPollo
04-06-2009, 15:44
In low point games <1000 pts I'd say the beast chariot. Spam 10 of them with a 150 pt hero to do what you like and your set.

Da GoBBo
05-06-2009, 12:40
It really depends on your whole army of course, but a big block of shield orcs is the best unit in both small and big battles IMO. Cheap, quiet tough, hit decent for a an avnil unit this cheap. They sure get mauled by a lot of stuff, but it's a nobrainer unit I think, therefor making em a good unit.

TheDarkDaff
05-06-2009, 13:08
It really boils down to almost rock, paper scissors at 1000 points. I can quite comfortably run my Dark Rider based list with very little problems at that level. You can also throw in some Shades, Harpies and a Hydra and your good to go. Almost nothing can actually get to you (and a flying assassin is deadly in the shades).