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Yanos666
04-07-2013, 12:50
Hi, I've heard the term batted about on the forums but I'm wondering how you would build or define Deathstar units?

For example I use a unit of 30executioners with bsbs ASF banner to mop up everything with my dark elves? Is this a death star?

Wondering where the dividing line is drawn?

dwarf_zepplin
04-07-2013, 13:29
Hmm... I've often wondered the same. I run a unit of 10 ironguts, plus BSB and Slaughtermaster in 2.5 or 3k games... A fairly common build, but is this what people call the 'gutstar' or is it just the solid centre of the battleline? I have never bothered to horde my ogres (they have enough attacks as it is!) but in my mind it would start looking like a deathstar if I were getting into the 16-18 unit size plus another character...
I think at the end of the day, this thread will descend into endless minute hair splitting detail, all dependent entirely on the local meta. In your case, I would not regard 30 executioners as a deathstar. A dangerous unit for sure, but nothing over the top or unreasonable. For instance, my so called gutstar regularly has to go head to head with a horde of nurgle warriors with halbards plus a tank BSB and lvl 4, and they seem to be fairly evenly matched, so I don't feel like I'm wielding an over powered unit. But to another opponent this approach may seem unreasonable.
Good thread! I'm curious to read the many pages that are sure to follow... :p

huitzilopochtli
04-07-2013, 14:10
I agree, this is going to be interesting. I would like to add my unit to the "is this a deathstar?" list.

10 black knights with full kit and flaming banner, led by level 4 blender lord. Deathstar or no?

Sir Didymus
04-07-2013, 14:15
Nope thats just a horde - I do the same, but I save the points on the BSB, as she isn't really needed.

A proper deathstar is defined by it being extremely resilient, like regenerating blood knights or tzeentch chosen, and also housing the majority of your armys points - like adding a ton of characters to the unit, thus making the unit not only extremely resilient, but also capable of dealing out immense amounts of damage. So your opponent will struggle with wiping it out and claiming its points. I like to counter these with a Dreadlord with 1+ armour, steed, Pendant of Khaeleth and Crown of Command and a good old fashioned great weapon and just mop up the rest of the army :)

King Arthur
04-07-2013, 14:24
I personally would define a deathstar unit as one with a large amount of points sunk into it, have a very capable combat ability as well as being able to absorb mass fire power and have at least two characters, to augment already mighty capabilities. For me it must have all these factors to be considered a death star. Interested to what everybody else thinks.

Yanos666
04-07-2013, 16:42
I'm glad it isn't just me then! I've been interested to know how people define it for a while. My ogres being collected to have 2 units of 8ironguts with L2 sorc in each, someone did suggest have one unit of 16 and put Tyrant in too then it'd be a death star! And all my core pts in one go! Don't like this putting my eggs in one basket thing!

Some of your suggested units ssound hard as nails but not insane! I'd happily throw my Executioners against most of them, a couple of lucky rolls would see any of those combats go either way!

Likewise I always hear Dark elves have to have a Dreadlord on DP, khaeleth, 1+ save etc... I would just spell snipe him with my lv4 death sorc... Caress of laniph or fate of bjuna would finish him in one spell!
As such I always take that sorc as my general (she has khaeleth for protection tho), I generally favour lords in units.

I think if I fielded my full compliment of Cold one knights as a unit of 19, led by dreadlord, with killing blow lance, black dragon egg, and the bsb with a hydra banner, in a 7x3 formation and buffed them with the cauldron of blood... They'd be a deathstar surely?! ....may have to try that actually lol

IcedCrow
04-07-2013, 17:26
I define a deathstar as a unit that holds over half of the army or more in it points-wise. So in a 2000 point game, it is the 1000 point or more unit when you throw characters and magic items into it.

Numbers don't necessarily mean anything.

In past incarnations it was called a BUS and that term is also still used today but usually for a fast hard unit packed with characters (for a bus is a transportation device to transport the killy characters into combat as quickly as possible).

The key parts of a deathstar are that they are packed with characters, and thus hard to fight, and hold a good portion of the points in the army so must be dealt with to score anything.

A gutstar build usually involves 20 or more models in the unit, with four or five of those being characters.

That is how I personally define them.

Lord Inquisitor
04-07-2013, 17:46
I think IcedCrow has a point, a deathstar is typically something that's a big chunk of your army, whether it is a single big unit or a unit with lots of characters. I'd say a deathstar is any unit worth more than 1/3 of your total points. A gutstar doesn't need 18 ironguts and 5 characters - 9 bulls and 3 characters is still plenty enough to be a deathstar.

The principle of the deathstar is always concentration of force. While you might get more attacks and wounds overall buying more units, the issue is that the enemy is usually hard pressed to bring that force all at once against the deathstar and the deathstar will win every sequential 1-vs-1 combat against the lesser enemy units.

Yanos666
04-07-2013, 18:04
I see, then surely to play against an army containing one obvious deathstar, just avoiding it for the entire game and killing everything else is a possibility?! For example a Dawf Death star if one exists, would be slow enough to avoid... Ogres on the otherhand, not so much... althought I would LOVE to see a large 18+ model unit of Ironguts hit by the pit of shades spell!!

Unless of course it was my Ironguts, but as I said I am a "Balanced" force style gamer, I like to have all the options open to me.

It is very interesting to see how people devise, and think about deeath stars though.

Lord Inquisitor
04-07-2013, 18:16
Yes, simply chaffing up the enemy deathstar is a possibility. Especially for non-Core deathstars that guarantees you can get 25% of their points! And for deathstar builds, being able to clear up the chaff and funnel the enemy army towards your deathstar is the hardest part really about this sort of build. A dwarf deathstar for example, might sit back and wait for the enemy to come to them, if they don't, well, they can keep eating cannonballs and organ gun fire!

As for the 18+ unit of ogres, they'll almost certainly have the Rune Maw banner on the unit, so they'll bounce your pit of shades on a 2+. ;) With a good deathstar you'll try to minimise any major weaknesses that unit might have.

quietus1986
04-07-2013, 18:31
black knight death star is a fast moving death star. hard to avoide.

Yanos666
04-07-2013, 19:18
Maybe I need a unit of 100 Gnoblars!? behind them is Bruiser BSB with crown of command?

Haha, thats a tarpit!

you're right if I had that big ogre unit I would take rune maw too, so then you're down to Artillery and or HUGE amounts of missile fire!

thrawn
04-07-2013, 19:26
Nope thats just a horde - I do the same, but I save the points on the BSB, as she isn't really needed.

A proper deathstar is defined by it being extremely resilient, like regenerating blood knights or tzeentch chosen, and also housing the majority of your armys points - like adding a ton of characters to the unit, thus making the unit not only extremely resilient, but also capable of dealing out immense amounts of damage. So your opponent will struggle with wiping it out and claiming its points. I like to counter these with a Dreadlord with 1+ armour, steed, Pendant of Khaeleth and Crown of Command and a good old fashioned great weapon and just mop up the rest of the army :)

the pendant is cheesier then a deathstar unit, at least the deathstar there is a counter (feeding it chaff) there's no counter to the pendant. i can't wait for the new DE book to come out and eliminate it.

not that there can ever be a formal definition of deathstar, but i'd say anything that's worth over 50% of your army, then it's starting to look deathstar-ish.

anyways i have no idea what the big deal is, with the exception that it can possibly be a points denial (which even then i would argue against) deathstars are an almost certain way to lose a game.

IcedCrow
04-07-2013, 20:46
A good player using a deathstar will be hard to avoid. Mainly because redirection and "chaffe" is easily avoided by either ignoring it or charging, destroying, and then getting the free combat reform after to point back to where you want to go.

The tactic against deathstars though is to avoid it yes and kill the rest of the army. Or build your own deathstar and they belly-slam in the middle of the table (which seems to be a popular thing these days)

Thorin
04-07-2013, 21:11
Or, IMHO, deathstars are sometimes easy to flank. Try a flank attack or backstab with a small but powerful unit (or a monster!) and see 'em running...
Greetz
Thorin

IcedCrow
04-07-2013, 21:15
The problem with that is most monsters only have 4-5 attacks at most. As they don't deny rank bonus or anything, they are charging into a fully ranked unit with rank bonus and standard already.

valle
04-07-2013, 21:24
the pendant is cheesier then a deathstar unit, at least the deathstar there is a counter (feeding it chaff) there's no counter to the pendant. i can't wait for the new DE book to come out and eliminate it.

not that there can ever be a formal definition of deathstar, but i'd say anything that's worth over 50% of your army, then it's starting to look deathstar-ish.

anyways i have no idea what the big deal is, with the exception that it can possibly be a points denial (which even then i would argue against) deathstars are an almost certain way to lose a game.

Not true, VC have a great counter to pendant as my last DE opponent found out... Its called terrorgheist and since its shooting dosnt have any strength it equals one dead DE lord.

Scammel
04-07-2013, 21:56
the pendant is cheesier then a deathstar unit, at least the deathstar there is a counter (feeding it chaff) there's no counter to the pendant. i can't wait for the new DE book to come out and eliminate it.


I would contend otherwise, but I do agree that it is fairly likely to go.

IcedCrow
04-07-2013, 21:57
Also if deathstars were an easy way to lose games they wouldnt be so popular at tournaments.

Shadeseraph
05-07-2013, 00:43
Personally, I define as deathstar the situation where an army has a single "combat block" worth it, while the remaining units are usually chaff or chaff removers. In this sense, a comparatively regular unit in an army where everything else is focused on avoidance would be a deathstar. As that unit needs to pick the slack of the remaining units, it usually contains tons of characters to improve the unit's damage output. I'd consider a temple guard unit with a slann a deathstar in an avoidance list, for example. If you manage to drop your photon missiles into its air vent, you'll save the galaxy (:D).

Another kind of deathstar is the one based around point denial. That's the kind of DS people are talking here. Most have a bit of both: main combat block, and point denial.

SteveW
05-07-2013, 02:09
If there is a unit on the field that kicks your teeth in and it has more than 30 models in it, some folks will call it a deathstar.

For me, I ran into one unit I would call a deathstar and it was over 100 sea guard loaded with characters and the old banner of the world dragon, folding fortes, and two eagles to make it legal.

Yamabushi
05-07-2013, 03:08
Something like say, 50 halberd armed Tomb Guard, with a fully kitted out Tomb King and Necrotect in there. WS6, Hatred, S5. Sprinkle with various Nehekharan incantations to taste.

Maoriboy007
05-07-2013, 04:13
Not true, VC have a great counter to pendant as my last DE opponent found out... Its called terrorgheist and since its shooting dosnt have any strength it equals one dead DE lord.His counter is Ld10, yeah, if you're lucky you can kill him if he's careless and doesn't take steps to pick wounds off your 'geist.

Lord Solar Plexus
05-07-2013, 05:41
For me a DS is any unit any two of mine combined would be unlikely to defeat and that would likely maul both of them. Number of models or point cost alone is always only an indicator because this varies considerably for different factions and at different point levels.

I disagree with the notion that a DS is the bees knees though. As has been pointed out, it can be led around the nose and end up not contributing much, and there are some tarpits out there that make DS blanch. I don't think it is a foregone conclusion how a DS or the list as such will perform.

Lord Inquisitor
05-07-2013, 06:11
I think it's fair to say they are not necessarily the "bees knees" but they are a very effective way of achieving concentration of force. Deathstar builds require some skill against an opponent who knows how to use chaff. But an "almost certain way to lose a game" I would not subscribe to.

thesoundofmusica
05-07-2013, 06:41
I run a minobus at 2.5k.
Doombull and two gorebulls soaking hits and dealing damage in front of 8-9 minotaurs. Any opponent caught off guard or out chaffed will likely see his combat blocks smashed. Its roughly little more than half my army points.
But this unit has plenty of weaknesses I dont feel its cheesy at all. I just like minotaurs and this is one way to let me field them effectively. If my opponent doesnt want to play a game of maneuvering and just shove his combat units my way then great....

Yanos666
05-07-2013, 07:33
The single dreadlord on steed/peg has never worried me, lore of death/metal spells sort him out.

Likewise I don't think pendant is hugely overpowered its jut too cheap.

The minobus sounds pretty scary I must admit. And the seaguard unit someonementioned is ridiculous!

Those VC Terrorgheists nearly had me choosing VC over OK for me an my mates blog, gorgeous model, and u can take a couple in a mid-sized game, ouch!

My regular opponent runs a unit of 40+ stormvermin, with grey seer, warlord and bsb and screaming bell in it. Not sure if that counts, but I always need multiple units on it to beat it!

Scythe
05-07-2013, 08:33
For me, I ran into one unit I would call a deathstar and it was over 100 sea guard loaded with characters and the old banner of the world dragon, folding fortes, and two eagles to make it legal.

That's no army, that's a bad joke. I wouldn't waste any time playing that, personally.

Learn2Eel
05-07-2013, 09:57
His counter is Ld10, yeah, if you're lucky you can kill him if he's careless and doesn't take steps to pick wounds off your 'geist.

Against LD10, a Terrogheist on full wounds would still do three wounds on average. Good luck getting rid of or seriously wounding two of them early enough for it to matter; if you play 2000 points or more, you can expect a pair of the big bats.

Almost half of my army is invested in my Vampire Lord, my Vampire and a big unit of thirteen Black Knights at 2000. In that sense, it probably would count as a death star as dealing with it is pretty hard.

Sir Didymus
05-07-2013, 10:19
the pendant is cheesier then a deathstar unit, at least the deathstar there is a counter (feeding it chaff) there's no counter to the pendant. i can't wait for the new DE book to come out and eliminate it.

There is plenty of counters to the pendant - one had already been mentioned earlier - but we can agree that it is a great item.

Yanos666
06-07-2013, 11:00
It is a great item, but easily bypassed!

I'm already thinking about my next army in the future .....Either empire or Vampires, Maybe I'll build a deathstar+chaff army?! :o