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Assassin Help :) 
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Slave on the Altar
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Joined: Mon Jul 26, 2010 8:06 pm
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I'm trying to beat my brother who plays lizzies. He usually puts a scar-vet with 6 magic attacks in the front line so I put an assassin in my cheap ranks to fight his scar-vet yet his saurus still kill me even with more help from other units. Should I put like a few assassins in each unit to even the playing field. Thanks :)


Wed Aug 04, 2010 12:07 pm
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Cold One Knight
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probably not, greater use of S6 units (CoK. Executioners) to combat his T4 units could be of help, but without seeing the rest of your list and possibly general info on what he likes to take (slaan/lots of saurus/lots of skinks ect) can't really comment that much.

try posting up a list and some info on your brothers general choices up in the army-list part of the forum.


Wed Aug 04, 2010 12:21 pm
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In 8th Ed. Use 6 witch elves, in rank of 3. Means 12 poisoned attacks. If cauldron is around, give KB. Out of 12, with hatred, you should get couple of auto-wounds and KB!
Unit will cost only 60pts, almost 3 times less than an assassin! :twisted:

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Wed Aug 04, 2010 12:34 pm
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Dragon Lord
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Saurus are I1 (or I2?)

Use Pit of Shades and Purple Sun.

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Wed Aug 04, 2010 3:41 pm
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ha, i hadn't thought of that, dalamar's suggestion is by far the best, those spells will vaporise the lizardmen.


Wed Aug 04, 2010 4:34 pm
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Well, you could try not taking on a block of Saurus with hero head-on! Shoot them or magic them if possible, to whittle them down and remove any ranks, then you can hit back hard with Executioners or Cold One Knights as Darktan says when they're at a manageable size.


Wed Aug 04, 2010 4:42 pm
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Assuming you roll the spells, generate enough dice, cast them successfully, are not dispelled, don't scatter off target, aren't shut down by Becalming, or you're not blown up by Cupped Hands, then yes, magic works.

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Wed Aug 04, 2010 5:03 pm
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Are assassins even a asset to Dark elves any more? Seems like you can get unit that are even deadlier for less points as Babnik writes above. If they have fallen out favor I'll be pretty bleak about this new model I bought... ;)


Wed Aug 04, 2010 8:19 pm
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PLAYA23 wrote:
Are assassins even a asset to Dark elves any more? Seems like you can get unit that are even deadlier for less points as Babnik writes above. If they have fallen out favor I'll be pretty bleak about this new model I bought... ;)
They could be an asset for character-killing, but as far as I'm concerned, there are other, better alternatives.

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Wed Aug 04, 2010 9:21 pm
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Manbane/Rending Stars.

It's role hasn't changed at all, and has arguably gotten better due to improved rules for Scouts. Definitely my favorite use of an Assassin in 8th edition, and the rules for skirmisher formation aren't nearly as restrictive as they initially seem.

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Wed Aug 04, 2010 9:39 pm
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Tethlis wrote:
Manbane/Rending Stars.

It's role hasn't changed at all, and has arguably gotten better due to improved rules for Scouts. Definitely my favorite use of an Assassin in 8th edition, and the rules for skirmisher formation aren't nearly as restrictive as they initially seem.

I've run it with some Shades, and I'm not convinced. Swift reform allows shooting units to easily shoot them up, and bolt throwers have just shredded them in my experience.

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Wed Aug 04, 2010 9:40 pm
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Masked Jackal wrote:
I've run it with some Shades, and I'm not convinced. Swift reform allows shooting units to easily shoot them up, and bolt throwers have just shredded them in my experience.


I don't see this as being any different from 7th edition? Shooting regiments could still change formation and shoot, just as they can now, and bolt throwers were still dangerous. Now, the odds are in your favor of simply killing that bolt thrower outright on Turn 1 via shooting.

I have run Assassin/Shades in about 2/3 of my 7th edition Dark Elf games, and all of my 8th edition games so far, and they consistently perform against a variety of opponents.

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Wed Aug 04, 2010 9:46 pm
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Tethlis would you say that the combination of rending stars with manbane is worth its point cost? I don't have the Army Book nearby put I'm assuming that the model exceeds 150pts. You can put at least another 20 bodies of spearelves on to the field with that cost. If you've found that the combination that you're using is consistently performing for you (namely eliminating characters) then I think I'll try it out (hey i don't have that much to lose anyway... except my head if I should happen to shame the Druchii). Thanks ;)


Thu Aug 05, 2010 6:10 pm
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I think this setup combines some of the best aspects of bolt throwers and harpies into one package, while being much more self-sufficient and reliable than both. The Shades/Assasin, from early in the game, can easily engage all the things that an RBT would target (large monsters, mid-size monsters, fast cavalry) and often do significantly more damage via shooting than the RBTs would. Also, unlike the RBTs, they pose a significant threat to light units in combat (just like Harpies) and can easily break the back of smaller enemy units as well as warmachines. The high Ballistic Skill of Shades also gives the unit great survivability; since they can march away from nearby threats and out of charge arcs while still throwing out accurate crossbow fire. Also, the stand-and-shoot reaction of this unit is lethal, make them very hard to counter with most skirmishers-hunters, and they're guaranteed to be able to strike before most opponents.

This unit can easily, consistently and reliably soften up the nastiest monsters in the game, which is critically important in our new regiment and monster-heavy atmosphere. Fighting a Hell Pit Abomination at full wounds, versus fighting a Hell Pit Abomination with two wounds left after a couple shooting phases from Shades/Assassin, is critical. While you could buy a lot of warriors for the points spent on this unit, those warriors will not excel at fighting enemy monsters, or be able to reliably kill enemy warmachines with shooting/combat in the first two turns of the game.

The greatest weakness of Shades/Assassin, of course, is magic missiles. However, this is true for all our units, so I don't see it as a huge concern. Even if the Shade unit catches a magic missile or two and is depleted, the Assassin's shooting and combat prowess is dangerous enough that he's a huge threat even on his own.

Despite the high price tag, I believe this unit easily fulfills the role of two bolt throwers and a good-sized unit of harpies, which are about equivalent point cost, while also having greater survivability than both due to the combination of mobility, shooting, stand-and-shoot, and high Initiative/ASF attacks.

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Thu Aug 05, 2010 6:45 pm
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Good reply as always ;) You've made quite a convincing argument and as I'm still in the building phase of my army I have yet to buy a unit of shades to accompany my assassin. I had no doubt of the effectiveness of shades for all the reasons stated above but I was trying to get your reply to veer more over the assassin. His combination with shades undoubtedly makes them much more of a threat but could you not get the same or similar results with just the unit of shades? Also when do you reveal the Assassin in the unit? At the beginning of the game or when you're closer to the enemy? Once he is revealed does your enemy seem to pay the unit much more notice and hence throws more at the unit in terms of missile fire? In other words what's their survivability like when he is revealed does it make him a sort of liability? How many shades do you run in the unit with the Assassin (2000-3000pt games) to get the best results? Sorry if this seems like a sort of '21 questions' reply but your reply would be much appreciated as I don't have any experience with scouts to begin with other than fighting them. Thanks ;)


Thu Aug 05, 2010 7:12 pm
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at least 7 I believe, to limit exposure. AHW if you can afford it

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Thu Aug 05, 2010 8:01 pm
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I'm happy to answer questions. It's always nice to be able to have a discussion based on concrete examples and experience; I think that we can all get carried away with TheoryHammer pretty easily, so I like being able to discuss my literal in-game experiences with the unit.

Being able to wound virtually anything on a 2+ with three shots that also hit on a 2+ is tremendous. The Assassin is, in my opinion, far more useful than the Shades in actually inflicting damage and allowing the unit to function as a threat. When dealing with big monsters, where every wound they have is a precious commodity, watching an Assassin burn off those wounds quickly, accompanied by a couple of 6s to wound from the Shade's crossbows, can make life much easier for the rest of your army. In all truth, I don't think I would really field Shades unless they had the Assassin. The Shades are fine, sure, but it's the presence of Manbane that really lets this unit tackle all comers.

Also, revealing the Assassin varies a bit. Usually, I'm hoping to start throwing Rending Stars as early as possible, so revealing the Assassin in Turn 1 lets me accomplish that. However, if for some reason you don't expect to be doing any shooting on Turn 1, then keeping the Assassin hidden can be useful. You can bet an opponent will react very, very differently if the simply thinks a handful of Shades are shooting at his Varghulf, compared to Shades plus S7 Rending Stars that almost always hit on a 2+. The Assassin can always prompt a strong psychological reaction from your opponent, but I usually reveal the Assassin as early as possible anyway so he can contribute to the shooting phase.

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Thu Aug 05, 2010 8:50 pm
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Thanks again for the reply and I'm sure your experiences will greatly enhance the quality of mine. ;) Then to just head back a little, what is the size of the unit of shades that you run alongside the assassin (perhaps 5+ for 2000-3000 point games) I want to know how much of my mother's money I'm going to spend before possibly buying the models (Speaking of models, I think that 'Island of Blood' set should have been inclusive of Dark Elves rather than Skaven... just venting some of my jealous hatred :x ). Thanks Tethlis for your time. Cheers ;)


Fri Aug 06, 2010 6:00 pm
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The size can vary a bit to suit the points you have available, and the unit can still be effective. A unit of 5 is fine, but then you have to treat the Shades as more of a supporting buffer to help get the most out of the Assassin, and recognize that their contribution won't be tremendous. If you have the points, I find that 7-9 Shades is ideal, able to offer enough crossbow fire, extra melee attacks and additional wounds to really make their presence felt. I would avoid taking any more than 9; the unit becomes too difficult to hide, a bit unwieldy, and becomes more of a major point investment.

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Fri Aug 06, 2010 7:01 pm
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Tethlis - simply marvelous points, arguments, evidence and discussion - well done buddy! You've restored significant faith in my 2 assassin models - one of which is a favourite of mine (he was being relegated to merely being a champion model for witch elves but thats going to change for the next few games at least! :D)

I was briefly wondering if you bothered taking a bloodshade for the unit - and also (I assume it is but thought Id check anyway) do you take AHWs for the shades?? Light armour too?

Cheers mate again - quality point you've raised!

- Beanz

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Sat Aug 07, 2010 1:58 am
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This might be a stupid question and I don't have the rulebook or armybook nearby but can you run a assassin with a handbow and rending stars and use both in the same shooting phase?


Sat Aug 07, 2010 4:51 pm
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You can have both
You can only fire one weapon per turn.

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Sat Aug 07, 2010 9:40 pm
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Tethlis wrote:
Masked Jackal wrote:
I've run it with some Shades, and I'm not convinced. Swift reform allows shooting units to easily shoot them up, and bolt throwers have just shredded them in my experience.


I don't see this as being any different from 7th edition? Shooting regiments could still change formation and shoot, just as they can now, and bolt throwers were still dangerous. Now, the odds are in your favor of simply killing that bolt thrower outright on Turn 1 via shooting.



Who takes bolt throwers any more in competitive games? Though I can see the use against other war machines that need to be wound. From what I've seen, it's tougher to protect these units as Masked Jackal says, due to new line of sight rules and the fact that units can shoot in two ranks. They were vulnerable to shooting in 7th but are more vulnerable now.


Sun Aug 08, 2010 3:19 pm
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@Dangerous Beans:
I have not used the Bloodshade, although he's not a bad choice. Having a champion present to manipulate challenges on behalf of your Assassin is a good thing. However, when I commit this unit to combat, it's usually against enemies that don't have unit champions or characters (monsters, warmachines, shooting regiments) so I find the champion is usually not necessary.

I also consider extra hand weapon a necessity; very few points for doubling the number of attacks the unit receives. However, I would not invest in light armor; simply not enough protection

@Isryion:
Shooting in two ranks is dangerous, but it just requires cautious play and common sense when you're facing that kind of opponent. Since many of Warhammer's fearsome ranked shooting units are move-or-fire, it's usually pretty easy to stay out of their line-of-sight arc. Against opponents like other elves, who can move and still fire with a lot of accuracy, it's crucial to stack soft cover bonuses and use your own shooting or magic to thin out their missile units to keep the Shades/Assassin protected. As with all of our units, they can do alright on their own in many circumstances, but you still need to properly support them and not be careless when committing them.

As far as enemy shooters go, I think Assassin/Shades are a win/win situation. If your enemy has a lot of shooting, then you can potentially distract their shooting regiments, cause havoc in their backline, attack/shoot their warmachines, and draw fire away from your advancing infantry regiments. You may lose the unit eventually, but the price can be easily worthwhile if they can remove a key warmachine or two while drawing missile fire.

Against opponents with little or no shooting, you can watch your super-skirmishers run around with impunity while softening up major threats.

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Mon Aug 09, 2010 6:01 pm
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