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Har ganeth Executioners 
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Noble
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Beautifull models, nice fluff but does it end there?
I often wondered to swap my black guard for a unit of these, but I can never justify that. Why, because of this edition and great weapon rules. Only against very specific units they can do damage, namely other great weapon wielding units. sob..

Add a hag BSB., We know, a good combination, But then the unit is terrible expensive, and there is no better target then that.

What would be a good setup for these, without the hag BSB.


Wed May 02, 2012 6:47 pm
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Take 30+ (40s better) of them with a Cauldron (5+ ward save all the time unless desperate) and slam them hard and fast at the enemy's face: the +1 movement or Leadership Banner is also good on them. Yes, they will get beaten down over the course of a whole game, but oh boy do they smash up whatever they contact...

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Wed May 02, 2012 6:57 pm
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I'd run them (in large numbers as already posted), the Cauldron save in particular really helps, in terms of defence better than Bloodletters which are a good unit (admittedly they dont strike last).

They hit very hard, are a really great concept with brilliant models.

Alandrian


Wed May 02, 2012 7:05 pm
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Big chunky units are the way to go: horde formation, with at least 30 models.

As others have said, defence buffs are key: as they will be striking last without the death hag, they'll need to be able to soak up some damage. The Cauldron ward save is handy, as is the #3 lore of metal spell - glittering robe - which gives them a 3+ armour save, helping them to withstand those incoming attacks from non-Great weapon foes, most of which will probably be S3 or S4, giving you a good chance of saving them. It's also a good idea to keep the Cauldron near them (12"): that way they stay stubborn and can be a road block until the very last one dies. Do be aware, though, that at leadership 8 they may struggle to stay stubborn without a boost from a death hag leader or a nearby general or BSB.

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Wed May 02, 2012 7:36 pm
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I've run a Death Hag BSB with the ASF Banner and Rune of Khaine in a unit of 30 Executioners for the three 30 player tournaments I have participated in since Christmas and found she is very rarely killed except in situations where it really ceases to matter; in the closing stages of a game where the Execs have really done all their damage.

The secret is delivering them into combat successfully.

I've tended to find if at least 20 or so get to the other side of the table they will more or less win me the game. That said Executioners are so rare (at least in UK Dark Elf lists) that often I have benefited from my opponent just running his toughest unit straight into the front of them then seeing the unit get completely wiped out over a couple of rounds just because they are unaware how good Executioners are.

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Wed May 02, 2012 10:11 pm
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Quote:
found she is very rarely killed except in situations where it really ceases to matter; in the closing stages of a game where the Execs have really done all their damage.
This.
Quote:
The secret is delivering them into combat successfully.
And this.
Quote:
I've tended to find if at least 20 or so get to the other side of the table they will more or less win me the game.
And this.
Quote:
Executioners are so rare (at least in UK Dark Elf lists) that often I have benefited from my opponent just running his toughest unit straight into the front of them then seeing the unit get completely wiped out over a couple of rounds just because they are unaware how good Executioners are.
And most certainly this (although my regular opponents are, very gradually, cottoning on to the tactic...not being able to beat it, but at least now recognising it!)

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Last edited by Red... on Wed May 02, 2012 10:40 pm, edited 2 times in total.



Wed May 02, 2012 10:38 pm
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That would be goood. +1 movment, hmm should consider that.
thanks.,

the death hag will get killed easy from death magic., thats why and other sniper guns nd stuff


Wed May 02, 2012 10:39 pm
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i use a unit of 21 and thay work grate, given you cant run them in to thinks and think ure still going to have 21 after but thay normaly can tank one inportent unit and keep there points, or hold up a unit and as u set up to flank them, thay are grate for this becase the give just as good as they get,

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Wed May 02, 2012 11:41 pm
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i have run 30-40 executioners + Hag with BSB, ROK and Manbane, with COB support, in a few games. It truly is a nasty unit that can run through just about anything, as well as hold a charge from anything (because they will be stubborn from the COB). Even the Hags 6-8 attacks with Manbane packs a mean punch.

Screening them is a good idea, so take a couple of units of harpies. The harpies are also useful as speed bumps to help make sure you get the charge rather than the enemy.

Flaming banner is the way to go IMO. You don't want regenerating models running your day because of their resilience (a unit of trolls would make you cry) and flaming S6 attacks would ruin a Wood Elf players day. The only downside is characters with 2+ ward against flaming (although no one takes DBG or DH in my area) or Dragon Princes, who you can just avoid or shoot them with crossbows.

The unit also works great teaming up with an equal size horde of Witch Elves. They each can tag team the enemy, choosing their best target and sharing Cauldron buffs (not to mention two Stubborn hordes!). Crucically, against High Elves, the ASF Hag can go into the witch elves to make them strike at the same time as the HEs, as the executioners will gain no benefit (they will still strike in initiative order).

So basically, if you want a horde that is an expensive investment but pays huge dividends, go for Executioners. If your only looking to spend about 300 points and still have a good combat unit, go for Black Guard.

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Thu May 03, 2012 12:46 am
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In my opinion, the cauldron ward save is necessary only until you hit CC. From then on, +1A is better in terms of reducing enemy models that can strike back, plus you are going to finish your CC sooner, freeing your unit for fighting another battle. Sure you lose some more models (2-3 most times), but the enemy loses a lot more than you, so it's usually quite worthwile.


Thu May 03, 2012 8:49 am
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Generally you are right Zayned, although it does obviously depend on the opponent. A unit of 30 Night Goblins in ranks of 5 isn't going to kill many of your unit, so yes +1A would be the way to go, but a unit of 40 Black Orcs with additional hand weapons in horde formation led by Grimgor are going to slice you to ribbons, so you'll be wanting that ward save because you strike after them.

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Thu May 03, 2012 9:29 am
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Red... wrote:
Generally you are right Zayned, although it does obviously depend on the opponent. A unit of 30 Night Goblins in ranks of 5 isn't going to kill many of your unit, so yes +1A would be the way to go, but a unit of 40 Black Orcs with additional hand weapons in horde formation led by Grimgor are going to slice you to ribbons, so you'll be wanting that ward save because you strike after them.


Well, the execs in scenario 2 would be ground to meat loaf by CC phase 2. In fact, even against 30 black orcs with additional hand weapons in horde formation the execs would be losing the CC by about 6 in phase 2, making it hard for them to not turn their tails. So if you get stuck with such a killy unit, again it's better to use the +1A buff in order to to maximum damage before the unit bites the dust.

I think the place for the ward buff in CC is against units somewhere in between the two mentioned by Red..., thinning the opportunity for optimum ward usage. Most times when in CC, +1A is just better, statistically.


Thu May 03, 2012 10:40 am
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40 Execs versus the enemy unit I described:
48 attacks, hitting on 4s = 24 hits
24 re-rolls from hatred (given by Grimgor) = 12 hits
= 36 hits

36 hits, wounding on 2s (choppas) = 30 wounds at -2 save

30 Execs dead. Add on a further 4 or so killed by Grimgor himself, you have about 34 dead and just 6 remaining. Even with the Cauldron's blessing, that's just 12 attacks back.

But with the 5+ ward save, you save a whopping 11.333 models on average, giving you 17-18 models left, for 17-18 attacks back and a good few more models left standing too...

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Thu May 03, 2012 12:12 pm
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Whoops, I miscalculated the Black Orcs on account of displaced army books and such. Sure, you're right then, in this scenario the ward safe is in fact better than the +1A. One could argue about trying to avoid such a combat in the first place though ... :D

But I still think my argument is valid. If merely the strength of the opponent is one point lower than in the example, the +1A gets better than the ward again with 26 attacks back vs. ~24 (assuming there's no champion in the Execs).

So there's a wide area of combats where +1A is better than the ward. I'll give you the point that there are exeptions though, and they may be more common than I thought.


Thu May 03, 2012 12:34 pm
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Red... wrote:
but a unit of 40 Black Orcs with additional hand weapons in horde formation led by Grimgor are going to slice you to ribbons


*sings* "...its time like these you learn to love witch elves...!" along to foo fighters "times like these..."

Although I almost always take the flaming banner on witch elves, in this instance the similarly competitive (or more competitive) banner of murder on them would be a really solid companion to the executioner horde: they both cover each others weaknesses...

I'm now going to try and make a witch elf horde + executioner horde + Dragon army

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Last edited by Dangerous Beans on Thu May 03, 2012 11:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.



Thu May 03, 2012 7:01 pm
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No worries Zayned: it was a close run thing - I was lucky I padded the unit the way I did, otherwise you would have been right :D Yes, absolutely - it does depend heavily on the situation you are in and the unit you are facing, the +1 in CC can most assuredly be the way to go in some circumstances.

Haha, yes indeed Dangerous Beans. The problem for me is that taking the Witch Elves means abandoning my 4 chariots, and I just can't bring myself to do that. 4 chariots are a joy - not only for the game value (which is immense) but also for the joy of seeing my opponent making that horribly irked face during deployment as I lay down yet another single chariot model rather than a big unit he can use to guide his deployment :D

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Thu May 03, 2012 7:21 pm
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30 Executioners plus a Death Hag Battle Standard Bearer plus a Cauldron of Blood is 700ish points. For that kind of investment *cough*deathstar*cough* it should be able to lay a whipping on something. It's a third of your army in one block. WTH do people expect?! Put that many points into anything that's not a greenskin and it's gonna kill stuff...

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Thu May 03, 2012 10:36 pm
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We've been here before Phierlihy: we don't count the cost of an SS with a set of RxBs and the Cauldron is multipurpose (I use it regularly to bless other units, such as CoKs), so you shouldn't count it in the cost of a Death Hag BSB Exec Horde either.

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Thu May 03, 2012 11:02 pm
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Indeed - the use of the Cauldron / ASF Hag becomes increasingly versatile as soon as you put a Witch Elf horde alongside the Executioners: suddenly now you have two (VERY) viable options to stash the Hag AND to use the Cauldron buffs:
- ASF witches are obviously of MOST use against our hated asur kindred who would normally shred our bodacious babes of blood, but with ASF and either the ward for protection/survivability or +1 attack to truly annihilate their units, the Witch Elves become badass!
- And then of course against non ASFers you could just hop the BSB over to the Exes sat next to them if you really needed/wanted...

I do however agree with your point that these tactics tend to only really be fully viable in 2000pt games (a serious squeeze) - preferably at 2400pts. Have you tried the executioner horde phierlihy?

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Thu May 03, 2012 11:43 pm
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Dangerous Beans - I have not fielded the Executioner horde though I have faced it. And beat it. I personally don't find death stars to be overly effective.

Red - in order for the Executioner-horde to be most viable, it needs both a Death Hag BSB with the Banner of Hag Graef and a Cauldron of Blood to act as force multipliers. As a required ingredient to make an Executioner horde effective, why wouldn't you include them in the cost? Take away either of those and an Executioner horde is just a giant waste of points...

A block of 750 points of Vargeists, 550 points of Swordmasters with the Banner of the World Dragon, 650 points of Chosen with a Warshrine, 450 points of knights with a super-vampire...it's super-unit mentality. And yeah, they'll wreck things if your opponent lets them touch anything important.

The most heinous deathstar I know of, which would utterly destroy most other super-units is a 1500 point block of Maneaters with Stubborn and Vanguard and a couple of Ogre characters thrown in. With 5 deployments of single Sabertusks, 5 more deployments of minimum-sized Gnoblars, they place the Maneaters unit where they think it will do the most good because at that point chances are your entire army has been deployed, and they just start rolling up your line. Does anyone really want to play that game? Because if so, they're are armies out there that do it a lot better than we do.

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Fri May 04, 2012 4:33 am
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Yes indeed, you should include the cost of the BSB with the unit: a unit of 29 Execs and a Death Hag BSB with SHG is 528 points.

However, a cauldron of blood is an auto take for most armies that you will almost certainly have, regardless of whether you bring the DH BSB or not. Thus it shouldn't be included in the points. Furthermore, the Exec Horde both can and will do well without the Cauldron (30 WS5, S6 hatred and killing blow attacks is still very strong by itself). In fact, the buff from the cauldron is often better spent on other units (as mentioned, a unit of 6 CoKs is massively more effective when given 12 attacks on the charge by the Cauldron rather than just 6), even when the Execs are in combat. Ironically, that's less true when you take the BSB out of the unit and run them vanilla, because then you need the buff to either fend off incoming blows before you can strike back or to increase your reduced number of attacks back.

The unit is strong, but not a 'deathstar'. A 'deathstar' has the following traits:

- It includes a huge percentage cost of the army. Kill it and you win. Lose to it and you won't. (Well, even if you kill the entire unit of Execs and DH, you have still lost just 528 points. (Again, another reason for notincluding the Cauldron in the points cost - the Cauldron is not destroyed when the unit dies and has to be destroyed independently.)
- It is usually stacked with characters, probably including the General and the BSB as well as several others (Well, the Exec Horde contains a single character: the BSB - again, not very deathstar-ish)
- It usually has defences against all aspects of enemy attacks, including magic and shooting. For example, the ridiculous shadestar of 7th ed usually had one character carrying the ring of darkness and another carrying 3 null talismans, to make it all essentially all but unkillable by magic and shooting. (The DH Exec Horde has zeromagic defence - again, not a deathstar).

And so on. You're using 'deathstar' as a term quite loosely I think, and imo incorrectly. Yes, the unit is strong, but at 528 points it is not massively more of a points sync than a unit of 30 Warriors led by an SS or 10 CoKs led by a Dreadlord. If we start referring to any unit of a decent size led by a character as a deathstar, then the term loses all meaning all together.

Similarly, there are a million army lists out there that field a unit of 30 corsairs, supported by a level 4 SS with Shadow and a CoB BSB. The standard justification is: the unit will be made incredible by giving them +1 attack each and mindrazor. Well, by your reckoning that makes the unit cost a minimum of 785 points. But no one ever suggests thats a Deathstar. Let's at least be consistent if we're going to bandy the term around.

It's actually kind of limiting to start looking at synergies as weaknesses. They are strengths and things to be viewed positively, not weaknesses to be viewed negatively. Without synergies, the Dark Elf army becomes much less powerful. The joy of things like the CoB is that it can provide a boost to a lot of units within a game, including but not only the DH BSB Horde. That's good not bad: if we start adding the cost of unit synergies into units themselves then as already mentioned we a) should do it consistently and not selectively and b) we start losing sight of the true cost of units.

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Fri May 04, 2012 5:45 am
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You're quite right Red, I am using the term deathstar quite loosely. I suppose I should say "super unit mentality". However just because the Cauldron of Blood isn't in the unit doesn't mean it isn't integral to the Executioner horde concept. If it were me, my Cauldron would be walking right behind that giant unit and its' two sole purposes in life would be to make the unit Stubborn and to buff them. Just because it isn't physically "in" the unit doesn't mean it isn't a part of that unit so to speak. But we're arguing semantics at this point. Overall I wanted to illistrate that any unit with that many points in resources into it should be able to run roughshod over a lot of opponents so folks should stop acting so surprised by its' effectivemess.

And Red points out one more thing that's worth reminding folks about. Dark Elves greatest strength in this army book is the ability to deliver precision high-damage to the smallest footprint in Warhammer. Between Hydras, Assassins, the Cauldron of Blood, Mindrazor, the Black Dragon Egg, Unkillable Dreadlords and so on, we have the ability to strike incredibly hard in one spot. But it isn't because we make super units but rather we can combine our units to amazing effect. I think "super unit mentality" is a pooorer choice in army design than making use of the natural synergies our book makes available to us.

I really didn't mean to completely derail the thread. Please return to your regularly scheduled programming.

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Fri May 04, 2012 1:07 pm
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Yes, I agree with you there phierlihy :) and sorry for derailing the thread also :D

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Fri May 04, 2012 5:13 pm
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Interesting discussion, gents.

Whether you see the ASF Hag Execs as a "deathstar"/points sink or not is really down to personal preference.

There's room for both points of view.

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Fri May 04, 2012 6:35 pm
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It's certainly no death star, not by 8th edition guidelines to be sure., but the hag is just so fragile,. i wont buy her


Sun May 06, 2012 9:16 pm
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