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The suicide snipe-charge (needs a better name...) 
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Executioner
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Joined: Fri Aug 29, 2008 6:05 am
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Location: Melbourne, Australia
I've seen this mentioned once or twice, but I've never seen an in-depth discussion of it. The tactic is fairly simple - a small, disposable unit charges into a high-value target to neutralise it asap. The sniper unit is not expected to survive, but so long as you kill an enemy mage, or BSB, or whatever, then it should be well worth the cost.

So, what should you take as your attacking unit? I've only ever seen mention of witch elves, but I think there might be other units that could do the role as well. Essentially, you're looking for three things which are, in no particular order:

- Speed/manoeuvrability. You want to get in fast to neutralise the threat as soon as possible. Depending on how many deployments you have compared to your opponent, you may also need the ability to change direction in a hurry if no targets are presented opposite your sniper squad.

- Hitting power. A one-turn kill is required, as the chances of your squad lasting any longer are slim to none.

- Cost. Ideally, your unit will be nice and cheap. It's hard to quantify the mythical "Getting your points back" as you can't just do a direct comparison of attacker/defender points values, because how do you put a price on getting rid of your opponents BSB rerolls, or how many of your own models will not end up dead because you took out that Purple Sun-wielding mage? But having said that, sending in 500 pts to take out a 100 pt enemy is less than ideal.

In genenral terms, you'll only need six models as this is the most you can concentrate on the target - any more is just a waste. In a 3x2 formation, with the centre model aligned to the victim, all six models can attack.

In order to keep costs down, don't worry about a musician or standard as these will not help in your intended role and the standard will simply provide your opponent with free victory points. A champion can be useful to get an extra attack and possibly some killy magic item.

So what options do we have?

Dark Riders. Certainly fast and manoeuvrable, but not the cheapest and not all that hard hitting either - 116 pts for 7 S4 and 3 S3 attacks, and then only if the enemy character is on a 25mm or bigger base. Against a 20mm base only 3 S4 and 1 S3 attack!

Harpies. Probably the fastest option available, and cheap at 66 pts for 9 attacks, but only WS3 S3 and lacking the hatred rerolls. They are also highly versatile in that if no viable target presents itself they can perform other roles (screening, march-blocking, WM hunting, general harassment etc).

Witch Elves. 70 pts gives 13 poisoned attacks at I6 which will go equal to or before most heroes, should be enough to eviscerate a wizard or BSB with only light or medium protection.

Shades. Expensive, at 120 pts with AHW for only 10 S3 attacks, but their scouting ability guarantees you'll be able to get them where you need them immediately.

Execs. A poor choice; great weapons means they'll be destroyed before they get to attack. Which is a shame, because otherwise they'd be the hardest hitters of all.

COKs. Fast enough and can hit hard on the charge, and unlike all other choices are survivable on the way in, but at 178 pts they are the most expensive option. Also the most likely to be targetted by enemy spells and missile fire, as they're the only ones that actually look like a threat. Not to mention that they suffer the same big-base problem as DR.

Black Guard. A bit wishy-washy - not as many attacks as WE and more expensive than other choices at 92 pts - you're paying good points for the stubborn and warrior elite abilities that will never be used. These guys are better suited to the anvil role.

So which to use? Well, that's a difficult choice. I wouldn't bother with DR, Execs or BG at all, and I'd rather put my shades on WM-hunting duties. Harpies and WE are probably the best choices if you don't know what you'll be facing.

I know I'm not particularly strategically gifted, so does anyone else have anything they'd like to add (like for example, if it's worthwile even trying this tactic)?

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Mon Nov 29, 2010 11:37 pm
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Lord of the Dragon Caves
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With a blessing of +1 attack from a cauldron, Dark Riders can be very good at taking out mages on a suicide charge. And Mindrazor can turn Harpies into a great 1-shot wrecking ball.

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Tue Nov 30, 2010 12:29 am
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Its a situational thing. Most of the time you can simply try to stomp the unit and expect to kill the character. You are bringing a model that is using a unit as a shooting shield to combat to nullify their shield. It can be a disposable unit, but only really harpies or a similarly fast unit that does not include any characters or champions will do.

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Tue Nov 30, 2010 12:36 am
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Shade

Joined: Sun Jan 11, 2004 4:54 am
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How about a Hydra? Slightly more manoeverable than our infantry and hits much harder.

The handlers have our typical high I and might even accomplish the task by themselves before the Hydra strikes.

Low I on the Hydra itself means it will have to suffer the opposing attacks first, but high T and W, slightlly better AS than our elves and coupled with Reg means it should survive to do its damage.

It can also breath on the target unit (though likely not the target itself) and add in its TS for additional combat res to hopefully not lose the combat too badly (maybe even win it besides!).

Also, it can't be challenged, so there's little your opponent can do to protect the target from the attack.

An expensive option, to be sure, but it also might be the least "suicidal" option.


Tue Nov 30, 2010 12:40 am
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Corsair
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No champion.
If you did, the opponent would issue a challenge.
As a result, you'd loose your champ's attacks, and you'd face a nastier foe than initially planned for.

Harpies have not hatred, which is a drawback compared to everyone else.

Don't you try to mathammer that?

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Tue Nov 30, 2010 8:05 am
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Assassin

Joined: Tue Jul 27, 2010 5:29 pm
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well champions don't have to accept challenges anymore, so id think a champion would still be worthwhile if not for the opyion to have manbane on a hag witch seems the best choice since theres allot of t4 charrs around, and some casters even have t5. 4 attacks wounding on 3's could kill a char for a relativly inexpencive price.


Tue Nov 30, 2010 8:44 am
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Scourge
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Calisson wrote:
No champion.
If you did, the opponent would issue a challenge.
As a result, you'd loose your champ's attacks, and you'd face a nastier foe than initially planned for.


As flash 29 said, champions can, but do not have to accept challenges, so I would consider a witch elf champion quite a good investment. You will face the nasty foe anyways because all characters can now do the 'daring leap' (or whatever the common equivalent is) which Lokhir had to place them in combat.

Harpies would have to be seriously buffed to take out a character, my harpies struggle to take down a single, common goblin when they charge warmachines. Mindrazor is a fun idea

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Tue Nov 30, 2010 9:29 am
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Corsair

Joined: Mon Mar 16, 2009 7:05 pm
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6 Coks with champion and potion of foolhardiness. Against big bases you get 8 attacks at str6, which is more than enough to take down bsbs and lvl 4s. Even a vampire count would be in trouble if he is not combat equipped. Though you will get only 6 attacks at him.

The nice thing about such a unit is that they can do lots of other stuff too. Give them the banner of the eternal flame so that they are cable of kiiling abominations and hydras. And yes this unit costs quite much, but then again if your opponent has no soft targets you would have wasted your points in something almost useless.


Tue Nov 30, 2010 2:44 pm
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Executioner
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The advantage of troops and their small base is that you can fit three models at the front. Dark Riders and CoKs have wider bases, so infantry models will only receive two from front and back support coming at them.

When looking at units who can do these tasks, cheapest for a good opportunity is what I look for.

Witch Elf is an ideal unit, except because of that poisoned attack. If you're aiming for KB then WE are the last unit you want to use since Poison will rob you of valuable dice to roll for KB.

5 Shades with AHW imo, are the most useful because they can deploy 12" away and already be in position to pull it off. That'll cost you 85pts at I6 and WS5.

Harpies as Cal said, suffers from no hatred rerolls, as well as no blessings allowed. Otherwise they're the best character hunters we have. Cheap and fast.

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Jacks -Shade
- WS 5 - - S 3 - - T 2 - - D 6 - - I 5 -

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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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Wed Dec 01, 2010 2:14 am
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Highborn

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So, does anyone actually do this on a regular basis?

Thing is, everything written above is only valid if your opponent puts his fragile characters in the center of the unit, which would be a stupid thing for them to do. If they put them on the edge and your unit is only three models wide, you'll only get a single model in base contact with his character and you'd be quite unlikely to kill him.

Also, it assumes that your opponent left the character relatively unprotected, but anyone who builds a character that is expected to get in combat would be sure to protect him enough to survive some combat. Therefore, characters are likely to either
- be tough enough to survive a single round of combat
- be in a non-closecombat unit
Non-closecombat units are generally shooting units (little use in having a unit that does nothing in both the shooting and CC phases), which means that your small, fragile unit is going to get some hits from a S&S charge reaction.

I'm really sorry to be so negative, but I really don't see how this could work against any decent opponent. Which leads me to wonder, does anyone actually do this?


Last edited by Getwisteerd on Thu Dec 02, 2010 11:39 am, edited 1 time in total.



Wed Dec 01, 2010 11:00 am
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Executioner
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I do it all the time when I have a CoB in my list. And it works more often than not, forcing all my opponents to take up KB immune gear if they can. The only thing protecting an infantry type character from KB is a ward save. No amount of armour and toughness will save them. A combat character is usually found in the middle of the rank, not in a corner, so you can put maximum KB attacks into them.

What you need to look out for is higher I or ASF type enemies.

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What's mine is mine, What's yours is mine.
Now that we understand each other, lets get down to business.

Jacks -Shade
- WS 5 - - S 3 - - T 2 - - D 6 - - I 5 -

Equipment
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

Skills
Basic Stealth, Awareness, TWF, Suithenlu Khythan, Ride

Magic Item
Eye of the Jabberwock

*Magical properties possibly imbued


Wed Dec 01, 2010 11:30 am
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Noble
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Depending one what the target is, I will either send in my air cav dread lords, hydra or chariots. Threat level is what matters.
Storm banner=secondary dreadlord not as good as main but can hold up unit where banner is and can wait out the champion challenge and then kill Storm banner bearer. Or in most cases just beat up unit carrying storm banner.

Mages=hydra or both hydras. Depends on how many mages are cowering in the unit. But 1 hydra usually makes even 1 mage very dead.

Gun line troops=cold one chariots, sure I get shot a bit on the way in, but the chariots will run over anything in that unit. So far no one in my area plays 20 man gunner units, I run the largest shooting blocks with 30man repeater units.

Lords BSB and other such high profile targets=my main man dread lord unkillable with st6 and reroll your ward saves, and for futhere protection hes mounted on a flying Pegasus. No stomping me grin.

So I dont really send in disposable units, I send in "the right tool for the right job"

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Fri Dec 03, 2010 6:41 pm
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A dreadlord on dark steed, with pendant of khaine, beserker sword, dragon helm and crown of command, with full mandane armour will do the trick. Sure, it's nearly 300 points, but you've got yourself a very fast model that hits like a ton of bricks and - even if he doesn't get the job done - will tie up the unit in question for most of the rest of the game. Very handing for stalling the deathstar unit of silly number of points.

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Sat Dec 04, 2010 10:04 pm
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