View Full Version : How does one beat a Grave Guard death star?

30-08-2011, 10:19
So I'm pretty new to Empire. Being a very experienced WoC and Lizzy player it's a change of pace. Though me and this VC player are both in a campaign and he's winning, so obviously my first target. Three games past and not a single victory. Points range from 1000-1600 though it's now sticking firmly at 1200 for the remainder.

My question is as the title of the thread suggests, how does one beat a grave guard deathstar? I'm talking wight king, vampire w/drakenhof banner (whose also T5 and W3 due to campaign buffs) and a shed load (30+) of GG. The rest consists of an equally large unit of skellies and then either black coach, terrorbat or something equally scary.

Ignoring is isn't an option, as it's too manny points. Killing it has been very difficult. On top of Nehek and regen and killy characters, I've thrown everythign at it. My halfling hotpot has done the most, claiming 10 in a singl shot, crossbows are negligable, and anything it touches in combat it minces (knights of the white wolf, greatswords with a warrior priest, halberdiers) In fact last night I cast Bironas Timewarp(+1A and ASF) on the swords with hatred from the priest and still only caused 4 wounds and the knights with flaming banner did naff all. None of my characters will ever be able to do anything to it. I don't have a bright wizard though that seems my only option...help?

EDIT: Said Vampire is also frenzied due to a failed assassination attempt by our tomb kings player...

30-08-2011, 10:27
Pit of Shades, Purple Sun, Lore of Fire, Flaming banner on something with more attacks than the Knights.

Edit: Drop a cannonball on the BSB.

30-08-2011, 10:27
Hit them with some flaming crossbows or something like that, then motar/helstom rocket battry them and laugh as they can't regen

or just death snipe the genral

30-08-2011, 10:33
I would try to shoot it with mortars and handgunners to make it a more "managable size" then engage it with a couple of units. Halberdiers w banner of piercing in horde are a great damage dealer if you can fit a warrior priest for the hatred rerolls as well.

30-08-2011, 10:36
Battle Standard with the Flaming Banner in a bunch of Outriders, followed by Fire Wizards to finish them off?

A unit of 8*2 would spit out 48 shots of S4, AP.

You could probably eliminate them very quickly.

30-08-2011, 10:44
Pit of Shades, Purple Sun. Death Stars were one of the main reasons for including those spells.

30-08-2011, 11:02
Mortar + Engineer for the re-rolls + Flaming Sword of Rhuin casted on the mortar. Good odds of getting a hit wounding on 4+ and negating regen. And after that shot, shoot all your handgunners/crossbows to them. It's not the most effective way of defeating them, but it's fun.

30-08-2011, 11:04
Withering and then mortars.... :D

30-08-2011, 11:07
I'm a little short on the blackpowder front. Only a mortar and cannon to my name. Crossbows are my staple infantry ranged support but then I've only got 20 of those. Death sniping seems like a grand idea, but having run WoC for so long I'm bored of that spell selection, along with shadow and fire. It seems entirely that my lore choice in light, life and beasts was way off, though that was mainly for buffing my troops. Something I should have mentioned is that we aren't allowed lords in this campaign (which really hurts in the old wizard department).

I'm not normally one to math-hammer but that 16 strong, 336pt, 45 unit of outriders, not to mention the BSB, is only likely to kill 12.

In 1200 points reasonably I can fit 3 characters, a warrior priest and a wizard are almost mandatory. A BSB is a sound idea, though putting him in a unit that I can ill afford isn't.

So basically the conclusion is....fire?

30-08-2011, 11:15
Lore of light is an obvious choice too. The D6 additional impact hits from signature spells and the exorcism spell (being the signature a flaming attack) can screw them in your magic phase. You can try to take 3 lvl 2 wizards with lore of light. The light triad.

30-08-2011, 11:31
Even with the lore attribute Shem' Burning Gaze will only caused 3 wounds. Considering light it supposed to be good against undead it's pretty pants. In 2 games the only damage my light wizard did was in melee!

So apparantly I'm going to build a bright wizard then...

30-08-2011, 11:34
Boosted shems is strength 6 :)

plus with 3 lore of light wizards hes gonna let at least 1 through, if not 3d6 strength 6 banishment will hurt

Lord Solar Plexus
30-08-2011, 11:40
Fateasus perhaps, to kill the BSB. Or Spirit Leech from a wizard in your General's unit. Steam Tank, not to kill it but to stop it, although that is extremely and probably prohibitively expensive at this point level. Small detachments of 5 men running right up to the unit at an unfavourable angle to hopefully divert, definitively slow them down and buy you another round of shooting. And then as has been mentioned the Lores of Fire and/or Light.

30-08-2011, 11:46
I'll recommend my standard tactic.

Park a detachment in front the enemy and a solid bunker of swordsmen with flaming banner (from general SR) behind it. Then have a unit of flaggellants on the flank.

If the enemy dont charge the detachment, then let him sit there and keep firing warmachines.

If he does then let me kill the detachment in CC. Whether he overruns into you unit or restains, you should be able to hit him in the front with swordsmen and in the flank with flaggies.

Characters aside the swordsmen will strike first and should cancel any regen for the phase. Martyr a few flaggies and they should rack up a very solid deathtotal.

This configuration will probably only cost you half the points of said GG unit, and its in with a fair fighting chance and there's fairly little your opponent can do about it. Also with the points difference in mind a Steam Tank in the other flank or even on its own will cause your opponent an awful lot of grief

30-08-2011, 11:48
You are not gonna shoot enough of them to do anything, not when they come back at D6 a time, best thing would be a steam tank to the face with an 18" charge and 7x D3 impact hits, it is gonna hurt but not kill them, just pin them there then for the rest of the game and focus on other stuff.

30-08-2011, 12:10
You can ignore it, stick a steam tank in its way and it will be there for almost the entire game. Take a few lore of life wizards and it will be there the entire game as you regen your steam tank.

Failing that, the uber spell combos will work just fine on that death star as they work just fine on every death star. Miasma and pit of shades. Doom and darkness and spirit leech the bsb. Miasmax3. Miasma and purple sun. Withering and dwellers. Flaming banner on a unit of crossbows with loads of templates.

Miasma and Pit of shades is the best at killing off models as it is a lore contained combo so you will only need two shadow wizards to get both of the spells you will need. Doom and darkness and spirit leech is another lore contained combo that although it will not kill off the graveguard it will kill off the bsb which is making them hard as nails, also nets you 325 victory points which is always nice. Miasmax3 will slow the unit so far down that you can just ignore it, this one is tricky as you will need sustained attention on the same unit. Much easier to just stank it. Miasma and purple sun will kill off the absolute most models but you will need 3 wizards to get all of the spells every game, 2 in death and 1 in shadows. Pricey but you may determine that it is worth it after the first time it eats 75% of the unit in a single go. Withering and Dwellers is probably the most expensive for the empire to pull off as it requires 4 wizards to do every game and two of them lord level. It will work just about as well as the purple sun combo if not better as dwellers hits every model in the unit automaticly. The last is not a magic combo, more like a build combo. Take a GotE and give his hierloom banner to a unit of crossbows and with it take the banner of eternal flame. Shoot them once with the crossbows and then drop two helstorm rocket batteries and 3 mortars on it and watch it disapear, works every time. The shooting option also has the added benefit of working on every other regenerating giant unit out there too, not to mention that it is a very empire like thing to do.

Hope this helps give you a few new ideas in dealing with your issue. Deathstars are not new to warhammer fantasy but some of the ways in dealing with them are.

30-08-2011, 13:42

Banner of Eternal Flame is mandatory. Generally it either goes on a decent combat unit (possibly a problem for Empire, especially without a general of the empire - as no lords - to allow your state troops to carry the banner - meaning you can only take limited protection on your BSB), or a competent shooting unit - i.e. crossbows or handguns, which allows your BSB to stay out of trouble.

Magic also works, of course. Even the much maligned lore of fire will work quite well in blasting GG and skeletons (especially if they don't have shields!).

Or you could, you know, tell the guy to stop being such a pain and using deathstars at 1200pts, with no lords allowed.

30-08-2011, 14:07
You are an Imperial General FFS! Which means you pump it full of lead.

Shoot, shoot, shoot .. and when you know you can take them in combat bring in your infantery.

Alternative to that: kill it with fire!

30-08-2011, 16:58
Purple sun, make em pay for using outdated tactics.

30-08-2011, 17:02
Lore of Light will give you some long ranged spells to whittle them down along with your war machines, then the combat buffs will deal with a decent number.

Also, getting the tank into them will tie them up for quite a while.

30-08-2011, 18:14
We're imperials! Act like imperials! shoot it to death...I'd just wouldnt even bother with it

30-08-2011, 21:41
Coming from a VC player, how bad is the GG deathstar? if its his general + bsb + 30-40 GG I dont consider that a deathstar but pretty much a foundation for most VC armies. Usually when I'm playing my buddies shooty.....very shooty empire I just replace the D banner for flag of the blood keep also saves me points :) Also most VC players dont give you the flank as it's usually protected by 2 units of ghouls. If he's bunking all of his characters in a massive amount of GG then its considered very cheap. It's probably one of the toughest units in the game but if hes using d banner and you can neutralize his casting with some d scrolls when he pops SuH and bring some flames he will crumble really quick, i know it's happened to me b4 :) goodluck!

30-08-2011, 22:07
Do you own a steam tank?

Tarpit the unit.

Steamtank to the front it costs less than the GG, vamp, wight king, and banner
It can grind the unit down, hold it in place while you claim vp's from the rest of his army.

Watch out for pit of shades and purple sun.

Failing that you have a mortar and a cannon with 20 crossbows hmmm.

Remember it only takes a single flaming wound to remove Regen for that round.

So what ever you shoot first has to be flaming then the rest of your fire power can do damage without having to worry about regenerate.

As above flaming sword of rhuin ruhin (what ever its called) on the mortar with an engineer to help it hit will help allot.

For character assassination I like the Pegasus captain with full plate armour, charmed shield, sword of fate and potion of speed. Hit the GG with a unit and this guy make sure he's in base to base with the wight king, hitting on 3's wounding on 2's multipied into d3 wounds each your opponents wight has a 4+ regen but the odds are in your favour. The Pegasus captain comes in around 158 points.

For extra insurance sling the hammer of sigmar pray on him for rerolls to hit and wound.

The vamp may be the juicy Target but removing that regen save will help more.
It's difficult to kill the vamp in combat, but with out the regen banner your Greatswords and knights should be enough to tip the balance in your favour.

30-08-2011, 22:36
The unit has a frenzied character, they have to overrun if they charge and destroy you. They have to pursue if enemy flee. Throw some guys into the flank, when they are defeated, watch him pursue across the table opening up the flank to purple sun or shooting and taking them out of the game for a turn.

Other than that, tie them up with a steam tank while you focus on the rest of his army with yours. Once he finally kills your tank, you should have an entire army to focus on him.

Generally shooting vs undead is worthless. Summon undead horde will heal that big unit up to full strength every phase. If you can't kill off that BSB, you will struggle.

30-08-2011, 22:43
I'd like to add, the cost of adding Regen to a unit that you can "turn off" in the magic, shooting and CC phase of the game points to a poor general.

As an Empire player you should have access to a mass amount of shooting, sold solid fighting (Hatred + Halberdiers), and Fire Mages (or Metal Mages which are flaming attacks) it should be a snap.

30-08-2011, 23:03
As said above, the Flaming Banner is an excellent choice.

Remember, if a unit with Regen is successfully wounded by a flaming attack, it can't make a Regen save *for the rest of that phase*.

Add a BSB with the Banner to a unit of crossbowmen. All you need it one wound. Then smash it with mortars, helstorms, cannons, etc.

You could do it in th Magic Phase as well. Lore of Fire is obvious, and can help you in the Shooting Phase as well (Flaming Sword). Lore of Light is another option, thanks to a flaming Signature Spell.

31-08-2011, 00:56
Flaming sword on flagellants....

31-08-2011, 00:57
oh and pray to Tzeencth.....I prayed to sigmar and nothing happened...then I prayed to slannesh and nothing happened and then I prayed to Tzeentch and was delivered lol.

Though it dont work against HE sadly....lol had to pray to Slannesh

31-08-2011, 16:07
easy, don't fight it

31-08-2011, 16:22
So while I've got your attention, and thanks for advice (KILL IT WITH FIRE), I would pester you for character ideas. 1200 points, the army cannot be altered, which setup is best:

Warrior priest, lvl 2 wizard, bsb
Warrior priest, lvl 2, lvl 2
BSB, lvl 2, lvl 2
Captain, lvl 2, BSB
BSB, 3 lvl 1's
3 lvl 2's


I'm completey at a loss, after remodelling my life and light wizards to fire and shadow those are my optioons. I've also got a beasts wizard and something that wuld suit death.

31-08-2011, 16:24
Swap your allegiance to Tzeentch and gateway it to death...

31-08-2011, 19:18
So while I've got your attention, and thanks for advice (KILL IT WITH FIRE), I would pester you for character ideas. 1200 points, the army cannot be altered, which setup is best:

Warrior priest, lvl 2 wizard, bsb
Warrior priest, lvl 2, lvl 2
BSB, lvl 2, lvl 2
Captain, lvl 2, BSB
BSB, 3 lvl 1's
3 lvl 2's


I'm completey at a loss, after remodelling my life and light wizards to fire and shadow those are my optioons. I've also got a beasts wizard and something that wuld suit death.

Warrior priest, lvl 2 wizard, bsb

very good set up, don't go anything fancy on magic items (prob just the +1 armour on the BSB and that should be that

01-09-2011, 00:23
As Danny suggested above WPriest-BSB-Lvl2. Protected BSB. If u have some spare points u could kill off his his magic with seal of destruction against invocation of nehek spell.

1.Flaming standard on knights with lances, charge simoultanously with halberdiers.
2. Knights hit before halberds - at least 1 flaming wound assured. Halberds kill off the rest.
3.Shooting = concentrate your fire (mortar+crossbows) on unit that is on deathstars flank so u have place to stick knights in. Cannon scary monsters first, than switch to general, he is too well protected to bother in the opening rounds.
4. Magic- Lore of fire could do the trick. Lot of usefull spells against regendeathstar. If u will be lucky you will get sword of rhuin or flame cage which could be the best option to deal with your problem. If not good, old fireball can be your best friend!
5.I would also protect WPriest, it's easy to kill your hatred by issuing a challenge on unprotected one.
Hope it might help. Cry Sigmar and let slip your dogs of war!!! :D