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D.R.A.I.C.H. :: "Shady Business" - The Shade-Star 
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"Shady Business" - The Shade Deathstar

Table of Contents

  • 1. What is a Shade-Star?
  • 2. Shade-Star Unit Choices
    • 2.1 Shades
    • 2.2 Characters
    • 2.3 Magic Items
    • 2.4 Assassins
    • 2.5 Support Units
  • 3. Shade-Star Tactics
    • 3.1 Deployment
    • 3.2 Movement
    • 3.3 Magic
    • 3.4 Shooting
    • 3.5 Combat
    • 3.6 Points Denial
    • 3.7 Weaknesses
  • 4. Alternative Shade Armies
    • 4.1 MSU Shades
    • 4.2 Magical Shade-Stars
    • 4.3 Assassin-Heavy Shade-Stars
  • 5. Example Army Lists
    • 5.1 Sylvan Stalkers 2250
    • 5.2
    • 5.3
    • 5.4

    1. What is a Shade-Star?

    A Shade-Star is an over-sized unit of Shades with multiple Characters and/or Assassins whose abilities and magic items provide a unit that is more powerful than the sum of its parts would imply. Shade-Stars usually have at least 20+ Shades and 3 Characters/Assassins, though alternative builds might break this up into multiple units of 8-10 Shades with only Assassins leading them. The purpose of a Shade-Star is to bring as much strength to bear on a single point each turn by having a massive skirmishing unit capable of deadly long-ranged firepower and close combat destruction! Usually the unit will have a combination of "Psychology Protection, ASF, Unbreakable, High Strength Attacks, Anti-Magic, Offensive Magic, Fear-causing, High Strength Missiles, Dangerous Combat Heroes, and much more."

    *** WARNING ***

    The Shade-Star in all it's forms is generally concidered cheesy and unsportsman-like. This is of course in the eye of the beholder, but many people hate armies that do not conform to the Dark elves MSU style that they've grown acustom to. In particular long-ranged massed missile fire is frowned upon by most gamers as being a gun-line even if that gunline has more points in combat abilities than missile abilities! This is a competative list that does not conformm to the typical standards of army building that most players accept and might cause some hurt feelings in non-competative gaming groups. Please use this list in a responsible way by keeping it to the tournament scene only!

    2. Shade-Star Unit Choices

    The Shade-Star Army is made up of primarily Shades, but these warriors alone cannot provide a significant threat to most armies. To make the Shades into a deadly fighting force one must adopt an army build and combat style that enhances the Shades natural strengths and reduces their weaknesses.

      2.1 Shades
      Shades are usually reduced to support roles on the battlefield, however with the addition of strong characters and supporting units of Fast Cavalry and Flyers Shades can dominate the field.

        Unit size
        Typically the Shades need to be 10-Strong if using MSU Mini-Shade-Stars or 30-40 strong is using a single massive Shade-Star! I typically suggest a large unit for maximum Stand-&-Shoot abilities, so at least 30 or more is a good idea.

        These units should be upgraded with a champion in order to help protect the character(s) in the unit and to bring extra attacks against the enemy in combat. The champion will be a valuable asset even at its high cost. His benefits far out-weigh an additional rank-&-file Shade's addition to the unit.

        Great Weapons
        The unit should typically be upgraded further with Great Weapons. The strength 5 attacks made by a unit of charging Shades will hit with power greater than most heavy cavalry units! Since there is no option for shields, it is rarely beneficial to not upgrade to Great Weapons as the Shades should either be charging or using ASF to strike before their enemies and therefore losing casualties before being able to strike is rarely a risk. This upgrade is a must for making the Shades valuable in multiple phases of the battle.

        Additional Hand Weapons
        Additional Hand Weapons are an option, but at strength 3 they rarely provide enough additional attacks to offset their limited ability to wound. Only use this option if you only want the shades to be limited to shooting and fighting light infantry.

        Light Armor
        A 6+ armor save is rarely useful to the Shade, but if the enemy has several strength 3 attacks from bows or light infantry the high points cost per Shade can make a few successful saving throws worthwhile. This is a personal choice, however the points spent of armored Shades will usually be better spent on an additional unit of Harpies that will cost nearly the same points!
      2.2 Characters
      Characters are the only reason a Shade-Star works, so choose them wisely and choose several for the best combination of effects. You will typically want a mix of (missile defense, magic defense, psychology defense, and aggressive combat abilities like ASF). Individual choices are needed as you can't have everything in large amounts, but you can have most of these in high amounts and just minimize the effects of the weak points through individual army tactics and support units.

        Combat Dreadlord
        The Combat Dreadlord's primary function is to fight powerful monsters and characters. He will be equipped with the Pendant of Kaeleth, Magical Armor (Blood Armor, Armor of Eternal Servitude, or Armor of Darkness), a Magical Weapon (Soulrender, Crimson Death), and possibly a support Item (Potion of Strength, Black Dragon Egg). This is a standard character setup in dark Elves armies, so he should be very well known for his combat prowess.

        Support Dreadlord
        A support Dreadlord will carry unit benefiting items such (Ring of Darkness, Pearl of Bleakness, Gem of Nightmares, The Guiding Eye, Deathmask, Ring of Hotek & Null Talismans). The Dreadlord will typically be able to have additional magical armor and/or a magic weapon to increase his combat abilities.

        Support Noble
        A Support Noble will be very common in a Shade-Star. He carries magic items that the Support Dreadlord can carry, but usually can only take one item and has little room for magic weapons or armor. He'll have to rely on other characters to protect him from dangerous enemy characters and monsters while he performs a specialized task. He will however be able to carry a mundane Great Weapon and suit of armor that should be enough to protect him from moderate amounts of damage and still give him the option to kill with relative ease.

        ASF Noble
        This Noble has a single purpose and it is to provide all the characters and Shades within the Shade-Star with the Always Strikes First special rule. The Noble must carry a Battle Standard and the magic Standard of Hag Graef plus mundane armor and weapons.

        Lokhir Fellheart
        This special character is a great way to maximize effectiveness of the Shade-Star through combat. The enemy will likely try to fight you early on before realizing it is a bad idea. Because of this try to fight a mid-level unit with a few hundred points 200-300 by destroying this you'll double your points with Lokhir's special rule and gain a decisive advantage. He also causes Terror so psychology will be on little concern unless you worry about Panic Tests.

        Supreme Sorceress
        A Supreme Sorceress can add a potent magical attack as well as good magic defense to the Shade-Star. She will however reduce its combat effectiveness with only one attack at WS 4. Her multiple dangerous spells can reach out and touch several units where the shades can only target a single unit at a time. This grants the army a little more flexibility and that is never a bad idea! She can still carry the Pendant of Kaeleth and be all but immune to enemy attacks if you are worried about the enemy sending assassins her way.

        The Sorceress is a good support character in that she will provide some additional magic protection in the form of Dispel Scroll and Dispel Dice. She will die easily if targeted by the enemy, but should do okay with an ASF BSB in the unit.

        Death Hag Cauldron of Blood
        While it will reduce the number of support characters in the Shade-Star this is a great option for building a versatile army. Giving Shades extra attacks or killing blow or 5+ ward saves will greatly improve their ability to fight. Heck if supported properly, a Shade-Star can use the Banner of Nagarythe and a Cauldron to become Unbreakable and have a 5+ ward save giving excellent staying power and protection. Or with Standard of Hag Gaef the Shades will have ASF and can double their attacks making them very powerful!

      2.3 Magic Items
      The magic items are what make a Shade-Star so dangerous, so here are the common items that support the Shade-Star's mission.

        Standard of Hag Gaef
        ASF allows for all characters and shades to strike before their opponents. the characters with their high initiative will strike before most other units with ASF making this a formidable opponent to any enemy regiment!

        Banner of Nagarythe
        Unbreakable and +1 CR is amazing, however not having ASF can be a major drawback as the unit will suffer high casualties and requires multiple Assassins to have a chance at hitting the enemy with high strength before they can kill shades!

        Cheap, Strength 6, Armor Piercing; the perfect weapon for a Dreadlord that has to carry lots of support items.

        Crimson Death
        Strength 6 is nice and at a good price, but is more useful if the unit doesn't have ASF as a Soulrender is more effective for fewer points in most cases.

        Whip of Agony
        Strength 5 and Armor Piercing plus it follows the rules for Beastmaster's Scourge which has the special rule Hand Weapon; meaning it can gain the +1 armor save from Hand Weapon and Shield!

        Blood Armor
        Cheap heavy armor that improves with each addition wound caused. ASF will mean the first round of combat will provide a 1+ armor save on average for only 15 points!

        Armor of Darkness
        1+ armor is excellent protection, little more is required of the average Dreadlord unless he plans to fight really nasty characters.

        Armor of Eternal Servitude
        Regeneration is great, but watch out for flaming attacks!

        Null Talisman
        3 Null Talismans will make the Shade-Star nearly invulnerable to low-level magic attacks!

        Pearl of Infinite Bleakness
        Immune to Psychology will prevent random panic checks from becoming a serious problem. There is no need to risk a failed panic check and lose 1000's or points!

        Ring of Hotek
        Causing Miscasts on high level spells will cause many opponents to avoid heavy magic meaning you are fee to purchase combat heroes instead of scroll caddies!

        Pendant of Kaeleth
        The best ward save in the game; the only ward save worth taking if you want a Combat Dreadlord.

        Ring of Darkness
        Forcing enemy missile units to fire at 1/2 BS in addition to the -1 for Skirmish and possibly long-range, this item will make enemy missiles to be worthless against the Shade-Star. It also helps protect the bearer from close combat attacks!

        Gem of Nightmares
        A One Use Only item that makes a large unit of dangerous high strength combatants cause Fear... YES PLEASE!

        The Guiding Eye
        When firing 80-100 Repeater Crossbow Bolts a turn, being able to re-roll misses is amazingly useful. The best use for this item is when a 4+ or 5+ is required to hit as it will yield the best results for the points.

        Potion of Strength
        Strength 7-9 on a Dreadlord will cripple big-nasties in a single round of combat, not a bad choice if you worry about Steam Tanks and high armor enemies.

        If you do not wish to make the unit completely Immune to Psychology, then this item will be useful in that the unit will not feel the effects of Fear or Terror, but they are still vulnerable to Panic!
      2.4 Assassins
      Assassins come in a variety of builds and each one cane of use in the Shade-Star. Each variation has it's own use, personally I like a mixed use Assassin with (Manbane, 2nd hand Weapon, Handbow & Rune of Khaine) to give a powerful character in both shooting and combat, but if you feel you need more combat or more shooting, then there are more options below. Of course you could go with several Assassins of various types and get every advantage possible!

        Manbane, Rending Stars, 2nd Hand Weapon
        Chariot and monster killer. The role of this Assassin is limited to sending accurate missile attacks against high toughness targets, but it does this well! The Manbane is still useful in combat, but he will only have 4 attacks, so must roll well to avoid being hit back.

        Manbane, Rune of Khaine, Handbow, 2nd Hand Weapon
        the Handbow has a short range, but gains bonus strength from the Manbane can take down high toughness targets. The Assassin also has D3 extra attacks, so will likely kill tough targets with relative ease!

        Touch of Death, Rune of Khaine, Black Lotus, 2nd Hand Weapon
        This Assassin is pure combat-oriented with several attacks using Killing Blow and the ability to re-roll 1's to wound will make short work of many armored foes!
      2.5 Support Units
      While the Shades can destroy some armies with no help at all, usually support units are required to take out small targets like war machines, missile units, and light cavalry.

        Dark Riders
        These are the best core unit available for the Shade-Star. With their high mobility, decent combat and shooting the Dark Riders should be in every army! they can divert the enemy away from the Shade-Star preventing duel charges that might severely harm the Shades and can also take out light targets that aren't worth the Shade-Star's effort.

        Harpies are the best war machine hunters available to the Dark Elves and at least one or two units should be in every Shade-Star force!

        Yes small units of Shades can support a Shade-Star. They are great at killing small targets and making dangerous support charges. If there is room, extra units of 8 Shades can be very helpful.

        It's big, mean, and fast! Hydras are strong enough to fight just about anything the enemy can throw at it and win combat! the enemy will likely know this meaning they will likely give extra attention to the Hydra instead of the game-winners, the Shade-Star!

        Crossbows and spearmen can add inexpensive support units to capture table quarters and to house Assassins. You can purchase multiple small units of Warriors with an Assassin in each one and then jump them all out to join the Shade-Star and add to its power!

        Cold Ones Knights
        Having decent speed and hitting power, the Cold Ones Knights will provide additional combat support for the Shade-Star by clearing out medium and light units that might harass the Shades.
    3. Shade-Star Tactics

    The Shade-star requires unique tactics to make it work, so here are a few of the important points. This is a finnesse army, it will not play itself like Daemons or Vampires can. To make the Shade-Star fight effectively, you must be aware of your surroundings and destroy or divert potential threats before the enemy has time to setup counters to your army build. Most peopel won't know what to expect initially, but be confident that they will figure it out eventually. Use the first turns of shock to your advantage and keep them from being able to mount a successful counter-offensive.

      3.1 Deployment
      The Shades must deploy after all other units as per the Scouts special rule. this means you must know where the Shades will be as you place support units and characters that need to be joined to or nearby the unit. Usually I'll keep all my support units, especially the characters, behind woods or LOS blocking terrain. Then on turn 1 I'll jump all characters into the Shade-Star and begin my attack. Usually the Shades will be in center field so as to provide as large an area as possible for them to cover with shooting or charges based upon where the enemy chooses to deploy. Be aware of the enemy's first turn long range capabilities and be sure that your Shades are not placed in a location where they can be panicked or hit with magic before the characters can join.

      3.2 Movement
      Usually I'll begin the battle with turns 1-3 moving 5" forward firing bolts at any enemy in range. Then turns 4+ I expect to be close enough to begin combat and will move within 5-6" of enemy infantry regiments to encourage them to charge. If they charge I get a free turn of shooting with stand and shooting, so I usually don't bother getting too close and don't like to charge unless I absolutely need to. If required the shades can march 10" so as to redeploy in a new position for better missile fire or combat opportunities.

      3.3 Magic
      Shade-Stars usually don't have much offensive magic, but those that do should begin by targeting support units. The Shades' crossbows will make short work of primary units, but are wasted if they overkill a small 10-man unit with 80 shots! Magic missiles are perfect targets for enemy light cavalry and missile units. Be sure that if you are playing defensive magic that your Ring of Hotek is casting a large bubble around multiple units, not just the Shade-Star. If the enemy is using indirect spells at long range, then close with them quickly to encourage them to reduce their casting or to increase their Miscasts! Also remember that as long as a single model has Magic Resistance the whoel unit has it too. Some people are confused thinging only if a spell targets the specific character or will affect him in some way does this MR help him, no a spell need only target the unit even if the character is completely safe from the effects.

      3.4 Shooting
      The Shade-Star is a concentrated volley of Repeater Crossbow shots and the law of large numbers means that it is much more likely that averages will be rolled making their shooting attacks very reliable. Always pick the most immediate threat that is worth a decent number of points, then attempt to completely annihilate it! Light cavalry can either support the Shade-Star's shots with their own or they can pick light support units or they can remove screening units so the Shade-Star has a worthy target for its own missile fire. The most important thing to remember is that if a turn of shooting is wasted for the Shade-Star then it was wasted for the whole army! Make every shot count!

      3.5 Combat
      ASF is great this means it's no big deal if the enemy charges you, however when multiple units charge at once they might be able to engage a flank and fight softer shades rather than the strong characters. Normally the Shades would rank when charged up sending all the characters to the front to fight meaning it is highly unlikely that the enemy will get a chance to strike back. However if they get a front and a flank, then they will just have to fight a few single attack models and the surviving enemy will be able to kill soft unarmored Shades at will! Because of this truth it is important to be able to Stand and Shoot at the charging enemy. If you can prevent more than 2 units from charging at once and can keep out of half charge distance, then the Stand and Shoot should be devastating to a single unit meaning the flanking force is either destroyed or so weak they will die to the few ASF attacks sent their way! So plan ahead for combats and make sure the enemy won't be able to overwhelm you with several units at once. Additionally when the opponent sends single models liek lone characters, chariots, etc... into the Shades it will cause the unit to rank up only 3-4 models wide removing some of the characters from combat by forcing them to the 2nd rank. In the case that this happens it is usually best to have the Battle Standard & a Combat Lord/Hero in the front first. Then make your choice of a sacrificial champion, killer Assassins, or Psychology defense characters. This choice can make or break your army, especially if they are able to accomplish this and then flank you with additional units in the same turn.

      3.6 Points Denial
      When using a unit with tons of soldiers in it and most of your characters, it'll be quite expensive. This means that with a couple decisive rounds of shooting or combat you should be able to earn enough points to retreat to safe positions and prevent the enemy from gaining additional VP's from your support units. remember that those Harpies while being 55-66 points for 5-6 models can hold a 100 point table quarter if they are alive, so don't be reckless with their lives. If you don't waste the lives of your support units, the large expensive Shade-Star will earn a few hundred VP's and stay alive most likely to prevent the enemy from being able to earn anything of significance.

      3.7 Weaknesses
      Indirect magic that bypasses the Magic Resistance and is out of range of Ring of Hotek can be very dangerous. Support spells such as Invocation of Nehek can go off easily and with no recourse for the Shade-Star, so be prepared for the dangers these pose by having plans to minimize the effects through concentrated efforts of the entire army or through mage-hunting! Duel and triple charges are very devastating and bypass much of the Shade-Star's strengths, so don’t allow yourself to be surrounded; backup if required and hide in forests or rough terrain to prevent excessive numbers of charges at once.
    4. Alternative Shade Armies

    While the original Shade-Star build uses large numbers of Shades and all combat characters, there are other options. Rather than using the characters slots all for roles within the Shade-Star you could make use of more wizards, Assassins, & Cauldrons to gain additional advantages.

      4.1 MSU Shades
      Groups of 8-10 shades with an Assassin can be very deadly. The units are cheap enough that losing one is not a big deal, but their combined effect is powerful enough that they can perform nearly as well as a single Shade-Star. All the Assassins can join a single unit and gain additional advantages from several ASF characters in a single unit making it very dangerous to fight. They can also flee freely from charges to setup flanking charges by other Shade units using their Great Weapons. This is a much more standard use of the Dark Elves and frees up characters for other uses than protecting Shades. This style can be a mid-way point with 2 units of 20 Shades each one joined by exclusively Assassins and the other regular heroes with the ASF banner.

      4.2 Magical Shade-Stars
      Multiple Sorceresses can join a single shade unit to gain much of the same advantages but rather than having combat be such a large part they use the Shades as a mobile bunker with 360 degree LOS to cast spells. Dark Magic is very destructive and combined with the vicious Repeater Crossbows of the Shades few enemies will find safety on the battlefield.

      4.3 Assassin-Cauldron Shade-Stars
      There is an option to take a modest number of Shades joined by a few support character such as the Banner of Nagarythe and then have 3-4 10-man Spearmen units to house Assassins. These Assassins pop out turn 1 and join the shades to create an Unbreakable bunker for the Assassins to fight from. Add a Cauldron to gain a 5+ ward save or killing blow and you've got a very deadly unit. This list is the style that has the potential to be the most brutal. With Cauldron support, Assassins leading shades will crush most opposition!

    5. Example Army Lists

    The following lists are examples, but are in no way the only ways to build Shade-Stars. Take these suggested lists and add your own preferences to create a cohesive force that fits within your own style of play.

      5.1 Sylvan Stalkers 2250

      Sylvan Stalkers
      A Dark Elves Army By Aaron Chapman
      "Malaruil" War Lord (Dreadlord)                                                                       
         General; Repeater Crossbow
         Soulrender; Armour of Darkness; Pearl of Infinite Bleakness; Guiding Eye
         240 Pts

      "Casavan" Herald of the Forest (Master)                                                           
         Great Weapon; Repeater Crossbow; Heavy Armour; Sea Dragon Cloak; Shield
         Battle Standard; Banner of Hag Graef
         164 Pts

      "Firyr" Bringer of Darkness (Master)                                                         
         Great Weapon; Repeater Crossbow; Heavy Armour; Sea Dragon Cloak; Shield
         Null Talismans (x3)
         149 Pts

      "Rahlian" Beast Master (Master)                                                                         
         Repeater Crossbow; Heavy Armour; Sea Dragon Cloak; Shield
         Whip of Agony; Ring of Hotek
         150 Pts

      "Karail" Dragon Stalker (Dark Elf Assassin)                                             
         2nd Hand Weapon; Manbane; Rending Stars
         151 Pts

      40 Sylvan Knights (Shades)                                                                         
         "Ferarahd" Sylvan Seneschal (Bloodshade)
         Great Weapon; Repeater Crossbow
         738 Pts
      5 Horned Ones Riders (Dark Riders)                                                           
         Spear; Repeater Crossbow; Light Armour; Musician
         117 Pts
      5 Horned Ones Riders (Dark Riders)                                                           
         Spear; Repeater Crossbow; Light Armour; Musician
         117 Pts

      5 Horned Ones Riders (Dark Riders)                                                           
         Spear; Repeater Crossbow; Light Armour; Musician
         117 Pts
      6 Birds of Paradise (Harpies)                                                                         
         66 Pts

      6 Birds of Paradise (Harpies)                                                                         
         66 Pts

      Salamander Pack (War Hydra)                                                                     
         2 Beastmasters; Beastmaster's Scourge
         175 Pts

      Casting Pool: 2 || Dispel Pool: 2 || Models in Army: 75 || Total Army Cost: 2250
      Hero: 31% || Core: 21% || Special: 39% || Rare: 7% || Magic Items: 12%

      5.2 Submit your suggestions

      5.3 Submit your suggestions

      5.4 Submit your suggestions

- Aaron Chapman

Last edited by Furgil on Fri Aug 07, 2009 12:24 am, edited 1 time in total.

Wed Aug 05, 2009 9:19 pm
Trainee Warrior
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Joined: Sat Jul 25, 2009 7:15 am
Posts: 31
I would like to see more discussion on the use of the MSU style as the large block will be a sure sign of the 'Shade-Star' and thus it's gonna get hit harder by comp I would imagine.

Perhaps 2 smaller effective groups, one with ASF banner and another with Assassins to provide a bunch of ASF attacks.

Wed Aug 05, 2009 11:27 pm
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Joined: Fri Mar 14, 2008 10:00 pm
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Location: Hag Graef
Compliments for the superb quality of that summary. :o
Exceptional presentation (consistent with your perfect armies), very neutral point of view, well explained argumentation.

About characters and their objects (2.2 and 2.3):
you present 7 of them, including 2 dreadlords and a level 4! and not including the assassins. Obviously not all of them can fit together in a 2K army. Is there any criteria for selecting one or another? Which character combos do you recommend?
- Duke of Swords mentioned once Lokhir to be "amazing" in a SDS. Your feeling?

Magic resistance:
It could be useful to recall, as you did once, that Magic Resistance does indeed effect every model in the unit, no matter which models is targeted or which model carries the resistance. Page 95 BRB specifically states that if a character joins a unit that has Magic Resistance, he gains that resistance even if he is the only model targeted by the spell. So my characters are very protected from these types of spells.

Relative importance of characters:
- If charged by a small target (chariot-size), there is a limited number of characters who can line up in the first rank. These risk their lifes - and the unique advantage they bring - while the ones in the following ranks forfeit the benefits of their magic items. What is your recommandations?

In the alternative armies (§4), there is a presentation of SDS with sorceresses and with many assassins.
Could you define what a "normal" SDS is supposed to include? Possibly your Sylvan Stalkers is the best example you've found?
The COB variant is not included, nor a comparison made to more classic SDS.

Not invincible nor playing by itself.
In your introduction, you may insist that this list requires finesse and is far from playing by itself against experienced players.
As you said once, This is most definitely NOT the Shade Deathstar list that is dominating the European circuits, it is however very strong and if played properly will provide a tough match-up for most opponents.
- Has any Shade Death Star ever won a GW tournament?

When playing in tournaments (i.e. not against lists designated especially against the SDS), what were the units which caused you the biggest trouble?

SDS bad reputation.
Finally, you should post a warning: Dark Alliance does not like Death stars! Some people seem to hate them.

Old threads about Shades:
I removed from the D.R.A.I.C.H. the former SDS hyperlinks: yours is enough. Thank you again on behalf of future readers!
Sylvan Stalkers 2250 (Shade-Deathstar)
Shadey Business - My take on the Shade Death Star
Battle Report: Shade Deathstar vs. Empire
A shade-star that WORKS - 1500

Winds never stop blowing, Oceans are borderless. Get a ship and a crew, so the World will be ours! Today the World, tomorrow Nagg! {--|oBrotherhood of the Coast!o|--}

Thu Aug 06, 2009 5:32 pm
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Joined: Thu Jul 31, 2008 12:32 am
Posts: 66
Good points, I will make additions!

- Aaron Chapman

Thu Aug 06, 2009 11:55 pm
Trainee Warrior

Joined: Wed Jul 22, 2009 12:28 pm
Posts: 35
Location: Australia
Nice article Furgil!

So, on a scale of 1-10, how "beardy" is this build for, say, a tournament? Would it take the fun out of the game for the opponent?
Or on the flip side, can we hear about some disaster stories regarding the use of death stars?

I know I sound very un-druchii... Although, I believe it would good to understand the downsides of using a build like this. After all, knowing ones strength is knowing his weakness.

Fri Aug 07, 2009 12:16 am
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Joined: Thu Jul 31, 2008 12:32 am
Posts: 66
Power-level on 1-10... hmmm

lets say 1 is an all common goblin army and 10 is Daemons Khorne-Herald-Juggernaught-Fleshhounds army of doom!

I'd say it was a 8-9 depending onthe build.

The army is not unbreakable and does not have ward saves and doesn't have high toughness or many other amazing attributes that make the best-of-the-best so powerful and easy to use.

However I must say that in my very first tournament including 3 pick-up games I had 6 solid-massacre wins and 2 massacre losses within a 3-day period. The battles I won usually were through a combination of 1st half shooting to remove vital units, then 2nd half combat in head-to-head battles where my shades enjoyed a relaxing ASF blood-bath! the battles I lost were oddly enough to the 2 peopel going to the same tournament that knew about my army and were not surprised to be facing it! They setup combined charges with tough units and cast howler wind to prevent my shooting. When I got frustrated by the wind and moved into open ground without taking out support units I took a serious beating. While I may have only used this army less than 10 games at this point, I still have a full decade of Warhammer competative tournament experience. they knew my weaknesses better than I did, but I got a very good lesson out of it and know I know what not to do. Both games Iwas faced by big-nasties that could not enter woods easily and I went ahead and emerged from the woods without realising how dangerous that was! I could have avoided a Blood Thirster in one game and a War Altar/Steam Tank in the other!

Except when I was getting a lesson in warhammer tactics, the army did extremely well and I've found many of the weaknesses and I'm in the process of reworkign the list to make it more survivable. i don't have much experience beyond a dozen or so games, but next year I'll take the Shades back outand give them a proper tournament experience!

- Aaron Chapman

Fri Aug 07, 2009 4:22 am
Trainee Warrior

Joined: Fri Sep 29, 2006 7:24 am
Posts: 42
Location: Heidelberg
Very good summary Furgil!

I've played this kind army for more than 25 tournament games now. It is my dream army and it is a lot of fun to play with it. I have to admit that is not quite a fun for the opponents though.

Sometimes i got doomed, not very often, but it happend. If you loose this unit, you loose. (Wood Elves are an other subject)

But most of the time you can win very high. Warning: this army is not a running mashine. If you do not use all of your units with very high precaution, you will loose for sure.

Tue Aug 11, 2009 10:03 am
User avatar

Joined: Thu Jul 31, 2008 12:32 am
Posts: 66
elsu wrote:
But most of the time you can win very high. Warning: this army is not a running mashine. If you do not use all of your units with very high precaution, you will loose for sure.

That is my experience exactly, trying to pretend they are Daemons or Undead will get you both creamed in battle points and still have your comp score beat the hell up!

- Aaron Chapman

Wed Aug 12, 2009 3:00 am
Black Guard
User avatar

Joined: Sat Oct 23, 2004 7:05 am
Posts: 290
Just a note. I might not make it to the 'Ardboys this time around but I strongly believe the shadestar at 3k with no niceties could be a dominant army. I got word 30 painted shades coming from Sri Lanka won't make it on time...

The biggest problem with building the meanest star is usually figuring out which vitally synergistic items to include. at 3k you don't have to choose.

At 3k you can have all the essentials in spades. Malekith on foot along with a ring of hotek bearer gives you decent magic defense to say the least plus he can solve a lot of HTH issues with his item killing ability. Then there are enough characters left to have:
Rng of Drkness--essential at 3k
ASF banner (duh)
Lokir --adding terror, magic weapon, and ability to fight on the flanks and rear as well as lots of attacks, plus extra VPs!
The Guiding Eye--Also necessary in my mind. Sometimes a unit cannot be allowed to survive one round of fire.
Assassin with rending combo--Dragons and greater deamons beware.

I've played with all of the above plus a captain scarlet lord and done OK. What I think might actually be better is droppong the scarlet to let the lord that's not Malekith carry the Eye and RoD leaving a slot free to bring a cauldron. The cauldron seems so worthwhile just for the WS on opponent's turn, especially if you don't go first. Giving all the characters killing blow on a charge seems the best solution for one of the worst nemeses--VC deathstar. Now if only I had a solution to earthshakers...


Tue Sep 15, 2009 2:16 am
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