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Banner of Nagarythe Tactics: The magic Deathstar 
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Noble
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Banner of Nagarythe Tactics: The magic Deathstar

The concept is as follows: An unbreakable. unbeatable bunker for your mages that support the rest of the army with combat bonuses, shooting and tons of magic.

The magic Deathstar consists of (adjust as you see fit!):

Supreme Sorceress (Lifetaker, Sacrificial Dagger, Pendant of Khaeleth)
Sorceress (Focus Familiar, Dispel Scroll)
Master BSB (beastmasters scourge, rep. crossbow, full armour, dark steed, Banner of Nagarythe)
Assassin (extra hand weapon, rending stars, manbane, Cloak of Twilight)
30ish Spearmen (shields, full command, Warbanner)


Suggested formation:

SS = Supreme Sorceress, SO = Sorceress, MB = Master BSB, AS = Assassin, CH = champion, ST = Standard, MU = musician, SP = spearman


SS CH MB ST AS
SP MU MB SO SP
SP SP SP SP SP
SP SP SP SP SP
SP SP SP SP SP
SP SP SP SP SP
SP SP SP SP SP


As you can see, the focus familiar sorceress is in the second rank safely away from combat. This is legal since the front rank is already occupied by command models and characters. The Supreme Sorceress needs to be in the front rank to use most of her magic and crossbow, but she has the pendant to protect her. If neccesary she can switch place with the musician.

If you use the Cloak of Twilight on the assassin to move him out of the unit, or if you choose to deploy your assassin in another unit from the start, you can let the musician take his place and still keep the focus familiar sorceress safe.


Magic:

The magic Deathstar delivers an amazing magic phase on its own. Possibly over 11 power dice with the sacrificial dagger + PoD and Cloak of Twilight. The sorceress in the second rank retains her full casting ability when in close combat. The supreme sorceress cannot cast magic missiles in close combat, but since only two of the spells from Dark Lore are magic missiles, she will always have at least two of her four spells to cast – even if engaged.


Shooting:

The unit also adds to the shooting of the army. The lifetaker Crossbow is a very cost-effective weapon that almost always cause the enemy some grief, while the rending stars assassin takes care of tougher opponents. The master BSB also has two precise crossbow shots per round. All these shots can be used to stand and shoot, causing wounds to the enemy and reducing their rank bonus before combat starts.


Combat:

The unit has 8 SCR!!! – add to that an assassin that always strikes first with manbane and a master with three armour piercing attacks and 2+ AS.
The unit is hard to overcome and only the most potent enemy units will stand a chance in a frontal onslaught. Even if The magic Deathstar is flanked, it is unbreakable and the high number of spearmen will take forever to kill, allowing support units to come to aid. As long as the master bsb is alive, this unit is close to unbeatable.
Since the unit depends on the master bsb, keeping him alive is the most important thing. Use the unit champion or assassin to accept challenges, or challenge the opponents unit champion with the bsb to reduce the number of attacks on him!
The supreme sorceress can challenge high strength opponents with her Pendant of Khaeleth – effectively taking them out of the battle. This is particulary effective if she has “soulstealer” and can get up to 6 wounds and heal lost wounds. Just be careful with low strength attacks and killing blow!
Imagine a bloodthirser stupid enough to attack this unit! Challenge with the supreme sorceress and watch the big demon crumble to SCR in a single round!

Even though The magic Deathstar is no pushover in combat, its main strength is at range, and you should be mindful of which enemies to engage. A long combat of attriction will only limit your shooting and casting, so be sure to have flankers standing by. A unit of Cold one Knights or a hydra on each side are ideal.


Supporting the rest of the army:

Every unit within 12’ of The magic Deathstar recieves the following bonuses:

Leadership 9
Reroll break tests
+1 to combat resolution

I suppose it is uneccesary to say that this is VERY powerful – expecially combined with alot of small potent units (MSU), such as Cold one Knights, War Hydras, Cold one Chariots or Dark Riders. Even crossbowmen with shields become an obstacle.
Every unit within 12’ have the equal to a standard bearer, but unlike with standard bearers, your opponent does not get extra victory points for capturing standards. And furthermore the bonuses from The Banner of Nagarythe add up in a single combat. If two units within 12’ engage the same enemy, you get +2 to CR! Imagine just how devastating that can be with chariots!

The magic Deathstar usually costs around 1000+ points, and the rest of your army should proberbly be MSU. In other words: There are no real victory points to be had for your enemy, unless he takes out the death star – which is near impossible if you play your cards right!


Resiliance to shooting and magic:

The unit is immune to all psycological effects of magic and shooting and it will absorb a huge amount of shooting, simply because of its size and desent armour save. If the enemy targets your death star with shooting and magic, you can be happy that he is only killing 7 point spearmen with no chance of causing panic! If he focuses excessive amounts of shooting or magic at your death star, you may option not to use the sacrificial dagger as frequently.



Sample army lists (2250) with The magic Deathstar:


Standard heavy shooting and magic. Assassin can either go with death star or shades.

Supreme Sorceress (350)
Lifetaker, Sacrificial Dagger, Pendant of Khaeleth

Sorceress (185)
Focus Familiar, Dispel Scroll

Master BSB (268)
Beastmasters scourge, rep. crossbow, full armour, dark steed
Banner of Nagarythe

Assassin (171)
Extra hand weapon, rending stars, manbane, cloak of twilight


33 x Spearmen (271)
Shields, full command
Warbanner

10 x Crossbowmen (115)
Shields, musician

10 x Crossbowmen (115)
Shields, musician

5 x Harpies (55)

5 x Harpies (55)

Cold one Chariot (100)

5 x Cold one Knights (135)

5 x Shades (80)

War Hydra (175)

War Hydra (175)


Slightly modified: Banner chariot/hydra storm! Since chariots and hydras REALLY benifit alot from +1 CR, I have put together this particulary nasty list, if one would like to go more extreme!

Supreme Sorceress (350)
Lifetaker, Sacrificial Dagger, Pendant of Khaeleth

Sorceress (185)
Focus Familiar, Dispel Scroll

Master BSB (268)
Beastmasters scourge, rep. crossbow, full armour, dark steed
Banner of Nagarythe

Assassin (121)
Extra hand weapon, rune of khaine


26 x Spearmen (222)
Shields, full command
Warbanner

10 x Crossbowmen (115)
Shields, musician

10 x Crossbowmen (115)
Shields, musician

5 x Harpies (55)

5 x Harpies (55)

Cold one Chariot (100)

Cold one Chariot (100)

Cold one Chariot (100)

Cold one Chariot (100)

War Hydra (175)

War Hydra (175)


Sun Mar 14, 2010 6:39 pm
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Malekith's Best Friend
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From what I can see you have one majorly exploitable weakness. Magic defence.
5 DD and 1 Scroll is reasonable for most situations but your 'unbeatable' death star is going to look a lot less scary if hit by spells like Flames of the phoenix, Soul stealer, Black Horror and other things which hit every model in the unit.

Similarly things like Catapults will have fun sending giant lumps of rock into your unit and wiping out 6-7 Warriors at a time. Let alone breath weapons.

You say it can absorb huge amounts of shooting.
Take two opposing units of crossbows, at long range but without moving they will kill off 5.56 Warriors a turn.
not much you might think but if left to do this by turn 6 you will have no warriors left. So what they are only 7 point warriors? They are housing 924 points of characters plus two banners and general points. Thus you must make sure that 200 points of enemy archers does NOT net themselves 1495 victory points. :(

I also doubt your unit has enough combat prowess to stand up to a determined fighty unit. yes you won't break but your opponent will quickly chop down all your heroes and then the remaining warriors will turn tail and run.

I think it would be pretty easy to design a lits specifically against this.

In general though people will not expect it and I would suspect it will do awesome the first couple of times until people work out what to do about it.

One good thing I see though is that your support units are pretty strong preventing your opponent from concentrating solely on the deathstar as they would if you took more like 60 Warriors. Those two Hydra's for instance should be great in sstopping you from being flanked which is critical. As again prolonged combat isn't really your friend as the BSB will die. (as a side note why not give hima sea dragon cloak?)

Simply put while good for fun games I wouldn't take this sort of list with the expectation of sweeping all before it. as far as deathstars go this one isn't very strong and things can go horribly wrong.

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Mon Mar 15, 2010 2:29 am
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Noble
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Quote:
From what I can see you have one majorly exploitable weakness. Magic defence.
5 DD and 1 Scroll is reasonable for most situations but your 'unbeatable' death star is going to look a lot less scary if hit by spells like Flames of the phoenix, Soul stealer, Black Horror and other things which hit every model in the unit.


I agree, but those spells are not too common and often have very limited range. The same spells are even more deadly against the likes of Black Guard or Executioners, because they are more expensive. And should everything go wrong and this unit is hit by one of these spells, loosing 10 spearmen is still more than acceptable since the unit does not have to panic tjeck.


Quote:
Similarly things like Catapults will have fun sending giant lumps of rock into your unit and wiping out 6-7 Warriors at a time. Let alone breath weapons.

You say it can absorb huge amounts of shooting.
Take two opposing units of crossbows, at long range but without moving they will kill off 5.56 Warriors a turn.
not much you might think but if left to do this by turn 6 you will have no warriors left. So what they are only 7 point warriors? They are housing 924 points of characters plus two banners and general points. Thus you must make sure that 200 points of enemy archers does NOT net themselves 1495 victory points.


What are the odds that 20 crossbowmen will be allowed to shoot as they will for 6 turns? The sorceresses have dark magic and 11+ power dice. Unless they miscast early, it is going to be a very rough night for enemy shooters!

What is the chance that the catapults will survive harpies, shades and flying assassin for very long? The sample list also has lifetaker, 2 breath weapons and more than 60 crossbow bolts per turn. Add rending stars to that.

I doubt that a combination of shooting and magic will ever manage to chew through 30+ spearmen. Especially if you have lots of shooting and magic yourself. If the enemy has excessive magic and shooting, absorbing this with the spearmen still seems the best idea, since your more expensive units will be left alone.

There are also no rules that prevent you from just moving characters out of the unit if it takes heavy damage. Let us say that the enemy wastes all his ranged power on taking out maybe 25 spearmen. Now you just move your characters over into your other fresh regiments, and the enemy will realise that he has just wasted 3 turns of shooting and magic on getting himself half victory points of a 30 strong spearman unit. That is around 150 points! :-)


Quote:
I also doubt your unit has enough combat prowess to stand up to a determined fighty unit. yes you won't break but your opponent will quickly chop down all your heroes and then the remaining warriors will turn tail and run.



Several death star like combat units can take care of the magic death star, but with heavy shooting, magic and a hydra on each side, one would be stupid to let that happen. Even so, they kind of need to kill the bsb in a single round, unless they want to be flanked and broken.


Quote:
Simply put while good for fun games I wouldn't take this sort of list with the expectation of sweeping all before it. as far as deathstars go this one isn't very strong and things can go horribly wrong.



You are proberbly right. You have to be clever with this death star - it does not automatically beat everything. But it is still damn hard to get rid of and it protects a stunning magic face very well. It is also by far not all the army and the enemy would be stupid to concentrate only on the deathstar and leave all the +1 CR units with free playing time!


PS: "full armour" usually means HA, sh and SDC


Mon Mar 15, 2010 8:25 am
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Corsair
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"the focus familiar sorceress is in the second rank:"
Sure, it is legal.
However, IIRC (see BRB, magic section, using magic items), a character who is not in the front rank cannot use any item.
So much for using FF.
You'll have to swap position with the champion.
In that case, I suggest you considered giving FF to the SS and dagger to the Level 2. Your most potent sorceress will cast fewer spells but at greater distance, and your spearmen will survive longer.


Another issue:
What if you face the Ultra Terror Bomb?
Daemons have a magic standard called the icon of despair which reduces the leadership of enemy units within 12 by -2. They place this banner on a khorne or tzeentch herald and send it zooming up the flanks along with a greater daemon. This way terror tests caused by the daemon are taken at -2. This can be made even worse by the inclusion of a special character called the masque of Slaanesh that can reduce the leadership of a single enemy unit within 12’ by a further d3.

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Mon Mar 15, 2010 10:30 am
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Arnold Layne
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Calisson wrote:
Another issue:
What if you face the Ultra Terror Bomb?
Daemons have a magic standard called the icon of despair which reduces the leadership of enemy units within 12 by -2. They place this banner on a khorne or tzeentch herald and send it zooming up the flanks along with a greater daemon. This way terror tests caused by the daemon are taken at -2. This can be made even worse by the inclusion of a special character called the masque of Slaanesh that can reduce the leadership of a single enemy unit within 12’ by a further d3.


Banner of Nagarythe = Unbreakable. Unbreakable= ItP. ItP = sucks to terror bomb.

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Caveat Numptor.


Karonath - WS6 / S4 / T4 / D5 / I3
Equipment: Bloodfeather, heavy armour, helm, Sea Dragon Cloak, rope x 2, month rations x 2
Inventory: longspear, 2 short swords, glaive, winter gear, shade cloak,
Mount: Dark Steed (Shiny), talisman of kurnous
Gold: 2294
Skills: Ambidexterity, Controlled Frenzy, Basic Ride, Drukh Kaganth
Class: Khainite


Mon Mar 15, 2010 10:33 am
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I've never been a big fan of Deathstars myself. I don't enjoy playing them, I certainly don't enjoy playing against them, and I prefer a game where tactics are involved. That being said, this setup will make inexperienced players sweat. This unit can potentially put out lots of magic and has decent static combat resoution. Often this will win big or lose big.

Some things to watch out for...
- junk units. Units that are parked in front and will either block line of sight so you have to get rid of them or, worse, you can't charge because you'll end up making a 90 degree turn if you do. And with Hatred, a junk unit into the flank that you have to pursue can severely hamper a big part of your army!
- template weaons. Toughness 3 and a poor save means this unit will die in droves. Skaven will laugh at you if you field this against them!
- the BIG spells. Infernal Gateway, the Dreaded 13th Spell, the Comet, any spell that uses the phrase "all models in the unit"... One of these going off will burn down half your army!
- giants. With a high stubborn leadership, he'll just eat characters or jump up and down on you forever.

If you feel you must use a deathstar to win, you've already lost. But as far as deathstars go, this one is not the worst one I've seen.


Mon Mar 15, 2010 2:20 pm
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Noble
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Actually I have never played with a deathstar. I have never lost a game with dark elves either :-) I find that MSU is the best tactic for dark elves, and that is usually how I play!


This tactic is pure mind games. I did not know focus familiar cannot be used in the first rank. That pretty much drops a bomb on the setup!


Mon Mar 15, 2010 2:57 pm
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Arnold Layne
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You know, I'm not so sure Cal is right about that one either. I can't see how any restriction but LOS would keep a second rank wizard from casting. Focus Familiar cures that. It looks like you can only not use an "activated", i.e. non-permanent effect item if you are fleeing, and if you're not in the front rank you can't fight or be fought - other than that, looks as if anything goes.

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Layne
Global Moderator. Everything but the weather.


Caveat Numptor.


Karonath - WS6 / S4 / T4 / D5 / I3
Equipment: Bloodfeather, heavy armour, helm, Sea Dragon Cloak, rope x 2, month rations x 2
Inventory: longspear, 2 short swords, glaive, winter gear, shade cloak,
Mount: Dark Steed (Shiny), talisman of kurnous
Gold: 2294
Skills: Ambidexterity, Controlled Frenzy, Basic Ride, Drukh Kaganth
Class: Khainite


Mon Mar 15, 2010 6:34 pm
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Layne wrote:
I can't see how any restriction but LOS would keep a second rank wizard from casting. Focus Familiar cures that. It looks like you can only not use an "activated", i.e. non-permanent effect item if you are fleeing, and if you're not in the front rank you can't fight or be fought - other than that, looks as if anything goes.

Try page 73 in the BRB. As long as a character is in the back ranks (i.e., not the front rank) that character can't use magic, magic items, or fight in any way.

The only exception is if the character is brought into combat (through a flank/rear charge). From that point until the character is no longer so engaged, the character can do its thing.


Mon Mar 15, 2010 7:41 pm
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Corsair
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Thanks Layne for reminding that BoN makes ITP. It cancels my worry.
Thanks Desert Icon for providing the reference for second rank preventing use of items.
Layne, I had it 50% right! ;)

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Mon Mar 15, 2010 11:36 pm
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well, if the front rank gets wiped, wouldn't they hate to find a whole bunch of spells coming their way?

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Wed Mar 24, 2010 8:08 pm
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