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Shades and Okkam's Mindrazor 
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Trainee Warrior
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Joined: Tue Mar 02, 2010 5:19 pm
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I want to share the tactics I have been using with my Shades that have had a superb level of success. The tactics are somewhat obvious, but just in case people are not seeing this beautiful combo hopefully this will help someone get a little more use out of their Shades. I think Shades are pure gold in 8th ED and will be a staple in every list I create from here on out. If anything, this can be one more tool in your toolbox.

Objective: So we lost great weapons, but we gained Okkam’s Mindrazor.

The big thing here is the perception of what Shades can do vs. what they can actually do. The lack of assaulting capability on the first turn hurts, but no one really fears a 6 man unit of shades with hand weapons like they did the Great Weapon Death Star. The target priority is completely changed and the effort to dispatch them is not as critical (especially with our incredibly fast moving force). The perceived threat is lowered which enables a force multiplier like the Mindrazor to work.

Without Mindrazor Shades are pretty good and worth taking on their own.

War Machines are absolutely brutal and people still have a tendency to deploy them on the outskirts of their army. Needing 6’s to wound that T10 is actually pretty nice when you can spam 12 xbow shots. If all else fails, tying them up in close combat still = win.

Other skirmishers can be a hassle so defending your backline is still useful. Sniping single models, light cav, etc is still a worthwhile venture.


With Mindrazor you are looking at 12: WS 5, S8 attacks at I5

These guys are deploying in the back fields and plowing through armies. With the Overrun on a Charge resulting in a fresh combat that you resolve in the same turn; I am destroying both of the War Machines that are deployed next to each other and then slamming into the 2-rank unit of Archers standing next to them.

I take 2 units of shades with the same build: 6 Shades: Extra Hand Weapons (102pts)
For extra punch throw an Assassin in one of the units with Black Lotus and Rune of Khaine…
I 10, S10, 4 – 7 Attacks; hitting on 3+ with Hatred and wounding on 2+ while rerolling all 1’s.

My goal in life is to slam this unit into a Dragon after buffing with Okkam’s Mindrazor!

Now obviously this is far from perfect as it requires you to:
1) Get the spell (Easy with level 4, but always that chance)
2) Acquire enough dice to cast the spell in a given magic phase (Easy with POD, but always a chance)
3) Actually cast the spell without dispel, and fear of miscast (Medium)
4) find yourself in range of the shades (Easy)

18” Range = 18 pts, 14 with a Level 4
36” Range = 21 pts, 17 with a Level 4

I like the level 4 Supreme Sorceress with the Sacrificial Dagger, and Pendant of Khaeleth in a Spearman bunker with the reroll leadership banner. I throw 3 - 4 dice depending on my range and do not fear a miscast with this setup.

This is not a game changing "Bullet Proof" tactic, or a return to the Shade/Assassin Death Star, but it has been working with great success in many games. If anything, this can be just one more trick to add to the many great ideas in our arsenal.

The Bottom Line:
Mindrazor doesn't work/go off: The Shades are running amok in the back lines holding up War Machines and dividing their forces.
Mindrazor does work/go off: Just imagine the pure shenanigans your Shades can pull off.


Tue Aug 31, 2010 7:10 pm
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Rending Star
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dzer0 wrote:
With the Overrun on a Charge resulting in a fresh combat that you resolve in the same turn...


Hmm... does it work that way?

I thought it is just as it was in 7th, i.e. the new combat is only fought immediately, if the unit you overrun into is in combat with another unit already (and that combat hasn't been resolved, yet).

In other words, you can assist a combat that is going to happen, anyways, but you cannot just start a completely new combat that way.

At least, I think it works that way. Would have to reread to be sure. :)

Quote:
For extra punch throw an Assassin in one of the units with Black Lotus and Rune of Khaine…


Black Lotus!? Ok, with Okkam's Mindrazor, the Manbane is redundant, but OTOH, you do not always have Okkam's Mindrazor (or have it cast on them), and Manbane is very useful oftentimes. ;)

I would also consider the Rending Stars much more useful on such an Assassin. In fact, I think Assassins are only worth to be fielded, if they have Rending Stars (and Manbane; for the light targets they should be fighting in CC, AHW and Manbane is good enough, really; against any serious opposition, the Assassin is going to die after one or two rounds of attacks, anyways).

Quote:
My goal in life is to slam this unit into a Dragon after buffing with Okkam’s Mindrazor!


Well, there is one problem... you have to Charge before the Magic Phase! So it's quite a gamble in that constellation.

Bye
Thanee


Tue Aug 31, 2010 7:55 pm
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Black Guard

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I like the mindrazor assassin. Seems like an answer to that ambominable T10 STank :)


Tue Aug 31, 2010 8:29 pm
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Lord of the Dragon Caves
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Better answer to a Stank is normally Pit of Shades (or Purple Sun) -- go with the lower casting value so it only scatters 1d6, in which case it often hits the Stank even if it does scatter.

Rending Star Assassin is awesome for taking down war machine crews with shooting.

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Tue Aug 31, 2010 8:57 pm
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Trainee Warrior
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I gave a bad example on the triple combat, but you CAN slam into a second unit and fight it immediately if it has not already been in combat which is what I am working towards. Fighting a dragon is going to be a surprise if I can chain the shades just right. It may never happen (especially with the decline of dragons), but if I do it will be a personal victory.

The Assassin is just something I thought of while writing this down, I have yet to try it out and of course Rending Stars at S10 would be nasty. With ASF and the High Initiative, re rolling the wounds is really not worth it anyway.


Tue Aug 31, 2010 10:23 pm
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As Thanee pointed out and I think this is rather critical. You have to charge first and then cast spells.
If you are just charging a warmachine then you don't need S8 anyway. If you charge something bigger theres a good chance you either won't get it off or it will be dispelled meaning the end of your shades and they aren't that cheap that you want to throw them away like that.

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Wed Sep 01, 2010 2:32 am
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Rending Stars don't get S10. But they are still good. :)

Bye
Thanee


Wed Sep 01, 2010 5:22 am
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Dyvim Tvar wrote:
Better answer to a Stank is normally Pit of Shades ...


Except that for some reason the FAQ still says that the STank is immune to Pit of Shades :p


Wed Sep 01, 2010 5:41 am
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But not purple sun. So that is good riddance anyway...

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Wed Sep 01, 2010 9:47 am
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N'Kari wrote:
But not purple sun. So that is good riddance anyway...


Its funny because I still see a lot of players mentioning steam tanks in the same breath as competetive lists, and I just can't see them working any more. Almost every single army out there either has access to lore of metal, or lore of death (suck it up woodies...) so they can easily take out those tanks.

On topic - shades definitely sound like a great target for the mindrazor, but then again I'm not a huge fan (it just seems way over the top, and weird...). Also I generally don't like relying on magic to win me a game, it's too unreliable to be relied upon... I use it to cause some more casualties, most of the time. With my empire army I also someimes use it to buff units (halberdiers can get pretty amazing) or heal stuff, but generally magic is more an afterthought than anything else, and to be honest your opponent will see this coming after someone has pulled that off on him once.

This doesn't necessarily invalidate the tactic there and then, but it's just such an obvious combination, and it is unfitting for sneaky killerelves with an inferiority complex and obsessive compulsive tendencies.

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Wed Sep 01, 2010 10:47 am
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Trainee Warrior
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The real point I am trying to make it that Shades are solid without Mindrazor and worth taking; having it is just a solid bonus. The real tactic comes from the overrun option. Yes you have to charge a target and then cast, but that little war machine that you where going to hold up now turns into a slaughter and a swift over run into his neighbor.


Wed Sep 01, 2010 11:58 am
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I appreciate the thought and effort in expanding the threat and usage of a few shades and think this tactic enjoys much merit as an addition in our tactical toolbox.

As the flaws are clearly spelled out in the opening as well as the potential, the bottom line explains that either way shades are useful and do not require this tactic to be valid and implies that a list should not bank on securing all the random rolls necessary to pull it off but nonetheless has potential in drastically altering the landscape of the backfield.

This tactic will work even better once you have pulled it off a few times as you set up multiple threat recipients of the Mindrazor and your opponent contemplates the consequences of throwing dispel dice at that spell rather than Pit of Shades or some other big nasty. The psychological threat of a few shades becomes amplified in proportion to an insanely increased damage potential vs anything, even to the point of harvesting a lasting phobia in some opponents who utilize high value units in the backfield (I know a few.)

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Wed Sep 01, 2010 12:00 pm
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The Virgin Forest wrote:
Dyvim Tvar wrote:
Better answer to a Stank is normally Pit of Shades ...


Except that for some reason the FAQ still says that the STank is immune to Pit of Shades :p


serious?!?! doesn't sound quite right for it to be vulnerable to one form of I test, but immune to another form... :roll:

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Short Sword, MC Long Sword*, Dagger, RxB & RHB [20/10] MC Shade Cloak, 4 Throwing Daggers, 3x Healing Vials, 451C, [3]Dark Venom, [4]Unseen Chains, Food, Dark Steed- Spike

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*Magical properties possibly imbued


Wed Sep 01, 2010 12:10 pm
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Black Guard

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Meteor wrote:
The Virgin Forest wrote:
Dyvim Tvar wrote:
Better answer to a Stank is normally Pit of Shades ...


Except that for some reason the FAQ still says that the STank is immune to Pit of Shades :p


serious?!?! doesn't sound quite right for it to be vulnerable to one form of I test, but immune to another form... :roll:


No it doesn't, but for some reason it is :lol:


Wed Sep 01, 2010 2:07 pm
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Trainee Warrior
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Thank you Flesh, that is all I was trying to say. ;)


Fri Sep 03, 2010 12:47 pm
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Noble
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Mr. Anderson wrote:
N'Kari wrote:
But not purple sun. So that is good riddance anyway...


Its funny because I still see a lot of players mentioning steam tanks in the same breath as competetive lists, and I just can't see them working any more. Almost every single army out there either has access to lore of metal, or lore of death (suck it up woodies...) so they can easily take out those tanks.

Not almost every army can take metal right. the casting values are extreme compared to other lores. who doesnt have metal acces? Orcs, most undead, ogres, Woodies, beastmen, demons, skaven, dwarves, chaos warriors. and brets. thats certainly more then half the races out there


On topic - shades definitely sound like a great target for the mindrazor, but then again I'm not a huge fan (it just seems way over the top, and weird...). Also I generally don't like relying on magic to win me a game, it's too unreliable to be relied upon... I use it to cause some more casualties, most of the time. With my empire army I also someimes use it to buff units (halberdiers can get pretty amazing) or heal stuff, but generally magic is more an afterthought than anything else, and to be honest your opponent will see this coming after someone has pulled that off on him once.

I certainly see your point. However magic is a vital part, certainly in this edition. We need it.


This doesn't necessarily invalidate the tactic there and then, but it's just such an obvious combination, and it is unfitting for sneaky killerelves with an inferiority complex and obsessive compulsive tendencies.



For Sure!
however this leads to only one more question:
Does mindrazzor negate armour!?!

cant find anywhere


Fri Sep 03, 2010 1:01 pm
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There are some discussions in the Rules Forum about that topic.

IMHO, yes they do, as it is part of using Leadership for Strength, but others think that you only use it for the actual roll to wound. There is no official answer, I'm afraid. *shrug*

Bye
Thanee


Fri Sep 03, 2010 1:10 pm
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Malekith's Best Friend
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It says
"models in target unit use their ld instead of S when rolling to wound with all close combat attacks"
Now to me this sounds like you don't get the stregth bonus for armour saves but it is open to some interpretation. The spell becomes infinitely better if you can negate armour although its good enough just for rolling to wound.

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Sat Sep 04, 2010 12:33 am
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Why is it assumed to not apply to armour saves if it isn't specificly stated. Doesn't the order go roll to wound then make your armour save using any modifiers from strength, ap etc.
So if your strength 8 you roll to wound and then if they are wounded they save at minus 5.
I don't get why there is any question here.


Sat Sep 04, 2010 1:27 am
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Because it doesn't state their Leadership becomes their strength, it states that they use their Leadership instead of their Strength in one specific time. Unfortunately, it doesn't seem that it works in the case of armour modifiers.


Sat Sep 04, 2010 8:54 am
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Rending Star
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I guess you can see it from both perspectives, but I really don't see how a Strength that was used to cause the wound is not the same that is used for the armour save penalty. But as I said, there are people on both sides of the fence.

Anyways, this is a discussion, that won't go anywhere. Best to clarify how this works with your opponent before it comes to an argument during the game. :)

Bye
Thanee


Sat Sep 04, 2010 9:32 am
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Dark Rider

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In fact, the latest faq solved that issue (page 3):

Quote:
Reference Section – The Lore of Shadow, Okkam’s
Mindrazor
Change “[...]when rolling To Wound with[...]” to
“[...]for[...]”


So it essentially reads now:

Quote:
Modes in the target unit use their Leadership instead of their Strength for all attacks whilst the spell remains in play.


Making if clear that it affects armour saves.


Sat Sep 04, 2010 10:46 am
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Wow! Nice. Didn't know they actually adressed that. :D

Bye
Thanee


Sat Sep 04, 2010 11:11 am
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I dont know about you but I rather slap the +1 Ld banner in a unit of 7x4 Spears and give my level 4 SS power scroll. At least you know you have 4/6 chance to get mindrazor as well as your pretty certain that it will be executed without a problem. Hopefully you dont roll a 2-4 on the miscast table. It's well worth the sacrifice if your fighting something thats worth mucho points for the opponent like say a horde unit/demon/ or steam tank... it worked like a charm after my unbreakable horde of spears by charged by a unit of empire knights and steam tank. Irresistibly got mind razor off from the scroll , next turn no steam tank and like 2 knights left...


Tue Sep 07, 2010 4:42 am
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Trainee Warrior

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It's an even better chance than 4/6 on the level 4.
Since you don't reroll on doubles/repeats anymore it's actually 4/6 + 5/36 (counting every double bar double 6's which is included in the natural roll 4/6 probability). Works out at 80.5%

I'm also an okkams convert. I ran a chariot up a flank into the side of a unit of 20 tzeentch warriors. Mindrazor'd up to S9 which includes impact hits. I did 4 wounds total and he couldn't penetrate the chariot armor, with the flank charge I beat him by 1 and failed stubborn ld. Ran down the unit and overran into the next block of 20.
Granted that was a piece of luck on his break test, but it was a fine thing to watch.


Tue Sep 07, 2010 12:43 pm
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