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Witches as suicide squads 
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Malekith's Best Friend
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Hi folks. Im bored again :P

It has been suggested to use Witches in teams of 6 as suicide squads to kill charters. They would be deployed 3 wide and 2 deep, enabling you to get 3x3+3x1=12 attacks on an enemy character, killing it before it can fight back. Naturally the Witches will die or be run down after (but if you have cauldron nearby they are stubborn, and its not likely you opponent will be able to kill all 6 in one turn making them a 1 turn tar-pit too!)

First think to think about is where in the unit is the enemy located? If he was clever enough to put the character on the edge of the unit you are not allowed to bring all your witches into contact since that would make less models fight. see the picture below.

Image

If your opponent was silly enough to place his character in the centre of a unit, then we have an actual chance of killing him :)

First lets try with a BSB. Im assuming he has WS5, T4, I5(so he wont strike first) W2 and AS2+. That seems reasonable for a humanoid BSB.

You attack with 12 attacks and then cause 0.83 wounds after saves. He and his unit strikes back and kills the witches. Thats a fail. However, if you had buffed your unit with KB (this is a bit tricky maths, KB + poison) and assume that one KB equals 2 wounds you will cause 2,66 wounds on average. You have killed the enemy BSB!

However, the BSB is a bit too well protected. you had to use your cauldron buff on your 6 witches, while your horde of 50 executioners glares at them, having to resort to only wipe out two thirds of the enemy unit in the first round. Lets try attacking a mage instead.

Im assuming the mage has WS3, T3, W2 and 4+ ward save.

You attack and cause 3,33 wounds! The enemy strikes back, and may or may not kill the witches, but you just killed a lvl 2 (or even lvl 4!) mage with a 60 point unit. You didnt even have to resort to KB! If your enemy had been clever and placed the mage at the corner of the unit, you would cause 1.11 wounds on average. Not enough to reliably kill it, but worth a gamble maybe? If he doesnt have a 4+ ward save you will cause 2.22 wounds on average even with only 2 witches fighting!

If you buff them with KB (and count each KB as 2 wounds)) you two witches will cause 1.33 wounds on a wizard with 4+ ward, and 2,66 wounds on an unprotected one. definitely worth the gamble unless you really need the cauldron on a different unit.

So in conclusion, your suicide witches will do a decent job against mages on the corner of units. They will tear through mages in the centre of units. If buffed with KB they can manage to slay mages even on the corner of units. They can kill a BSB too, but they would need both KB and a foolish BSB in the centre of the enemy unit. Better save them for the enemy mages or warmachines if there are no mages around.

This "character on the corner"-busyness is also very important for us. Protect your character from an excessive amount of attacks by placing them in the corner of a unit. Even a Death Hag BSB could potentially survive if deployed in a horde of executioners. Unless you are fighting another horde, you will have to leave some models unable to fight (and be fought). A Death hag who cant be reached in close combat cant be killed by nasty goblin spears :)

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Thu Aug 05, 2010 8:47 am
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Corsair
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Good remark.
Solution:
If you face an armoured character in the corner, then you need first to rearrange your WE in a 6x1 unit (one more reason for taking 6 of them), in order to have 3 of them hit the character => 9 attacks.
Loss = 3 rear attacks.

NNNNN
NNNNN
NNNNC
wwwwww


This is probably valid as well for harpies charging frontally a 5 wide unit with a mage in a corner. Harpies can't be COB blessed and don't have hatred, but that may suffice.


EDIT: 5 WE suffice: the following is still legal, as it maxes both units.
NNNNN
NNNNN
NNNNC
-wwwww

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Thu Aug 05, 2010 9:28 am
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Malekith's Best Friend
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Good solution Calisson. that way you should be able to get 9 attacks against the char in most cases, but it "requires" that you bring a musician. 9 attacks would mean you cause 75% of the number of wounds calculated in the example with 12 attacks. just multiply that number with 0.75. im sure you can all do that on your own :D


hohoho. a neat detail btw. against a 2+ armor save, it is actually worse to have poison+KB than to have only KB. assassins beware :P

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Thu Aug 05, 2010 11:37 am
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Dark Illusionist
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The Problem I see with this is the fact that against any one opponent, you'll pull that off exactly once. Then they'll find out that something along the lines of accidentally sneezing at one will be enough to rid them of that threat... And in a tournament anyone you play against would have come across that tactic so it wouldn't work, you'll just be giving away victory points.

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Thu Aug 05, 2010 12:30 pm
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Trust Calisson to find a way out haha. I use shades instead of WE mainly because Shades can get into position easily and remove the benefit of things like a BSB in turn 1. Not to mention there isn't poisoned attacks reducing the number of potential KBs.

It is true they're easy to be rid of before you get to pull it off. Whilst an experienced tournament player may foresee that ploy, if you position your suicide squad in such a way that hold or charge into them is the only sensible thing to do for your opponent, then all is good. Should they choose to avoid your suicide squad then you've effectively restricted where he could move to. It's also why I tend to use shades for the task rather than WE. Shades costs more and gets fewer attacks, but I get to move into position easier and have a potential to rid them of that BSB from the get go. It's not a fool proof move, if you're unlucky you could fluff it and not get a single KB out and you just fed an easy 50-85VP. But it hasn't failed me yet, and the BSB usually is worth two of your suicide squads, so you either come out on top or should break even in terms of points in your attempt. If you fail by the second or third suicide squad attempt, life just hates you.

Also, if they deploy wider than five with the target in the cormer then you're screwed.

Mod's edit:
Please edit your posts rather than posting again two minutes later.
Merged.
Calisson - Tactics Mod

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*Magical properties possibly imbued


Thu Aug 05, 2010 12:43 pm
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Malekith's Best Friend
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Quote:
The Problem I see with this is the fact that against any one opponent, you'll pull that off exactly once. Then they'll find out that something along the lines of accidentally sneezing at one will be enough to rid them of that threat... And in a tournament anyone you play against would have come across that tactic so it wouldn't work, you'll just be giving away victory points.


well, i cant say im going to use this tactics myself. i just wanted to check the maths really :P

if you play against some one who will use his magic/archers to kill witches then so be it. you can not lose more than 66 points and if that lets another unit cross the battlefield unharmed then so be it. i gladly throw away cheap units to save the expensive ones. remember that he must kill them all to get victory points. if he kills 5, its still ok. if he uses another volley to finish off the last girl, then so be it. he just wasted 2 rounds of shooting.

i end up sacrificing my harpies in almost every battle, but im always happy i took them, even if they didnt manage to kill something. just because your enemy earns 60 VP for a unit that did nothing does not mean the unit was worthless. he killed them instead of killing something else. one unit of WE, one of shades and 2 of harpies makes for 4 of these "easy targets". if your opponent deals with them to save his warmachines/mages, then 90% of your army is still intact. these mini units dont win you the game, but they can prevent your opponent from winning :P

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Thu Aug 05, 2010 1:00 pm
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Mr. Anderson wrote:
The Problem I see with this is the fact that against any one opponent, you'll pull that off exactly once. Then they'll find out that something along the lines of accidentally sneezing at one will be enough to rid them of that threat... And in a tournament anyone you play against would have come across that tactic so it wouldn't work, you'll just be giving away victory points.
The goal of this thread is also for us to be aware of the possibility of that trick, and therefore not to be in the position of the opponent who discovers the trick once to his expenses... and looses the tourney.
Also, a trick which works once may be worth trying, as the expected gain (killing the BSB) is so high.


By the way, there is another way around (to be added to the nice drawings above):
With a 2nd squad of 3x2 WE charging the same unit simultaneously, one of the units will get to hit the BSB with 12 attacks.

This tactics is to be examined also if you want to go MSU rather than 1 large unit with BSB.

On a side note, the only WE I own are my COB. I'm discussing these tactics, I don't intend to use them any soon with WE (but rather with Shades). ;)

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Thu Aug 05, 2010 1:06 pm
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Nice article Lord Tsunami. Very neat, and the illustration really helps (all my favorite books have pictures in them).

I tried this tactic today, and Mr. Anderson's prediction came true (obviously my opponent knew about the 6 WE assassin unit ploy) as he blew them away with his outriders.

But I was happy to sacrifice the unit; I mean 70 pts to divert some attention away from my other units seems like a worthy trade. Can't wait to try it again, and hopefully get them into combat next time!

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Thu Aug 05, 2010 1:32 pm
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What you could do is use the small unit of WE as a distraction for an opponent who is aware of this tactic. Then you'd throw the shades in instead. Did you find out whether your opponent actually knew of that tactic? Or was it just a coincidence they picked those WE out because they were easy VP for them? It's also why Shades are worth considering for the job over WE. They're harder to hit due to skirmish rule, and if you're daring, you could make them even harder by sticking in a forest. Ensuring you mostly will get to KB a character relatively unscathed.

Sorry for the double post calisson, i submitted my first post before realising anderson had posted before me, and wasn't bothered to click on the 'edit' button :S

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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

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Basic Stealth, Awareness, TWF, Suithenlu Khythan, Ride

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Eye of the Jabberwock

*Magical properties possibly imbued


Thu Aug 05, 2010 3:25 pm
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Malekith's Personal Guard

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recall also: later deployment.

For some reason I'm imagining that puppet Achmed from Jeff Dunham. (this is a :D, but you can look it up)

I mean, you need to think like a frenzied psychopath- round 3 or 4, and the enemy entered the mid? wave 1 enters having 2-4 running up, maybe even with a Sin in it to REALLY rush it forward (that inch changes a LOT of charges still).

Keep 2 or 3 on the D-Low too: if your General is weak and surrounded? make sure they're BACK, and pray you enter in the right side.

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Thu Aug 05, 2010 7:57 pm
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I have thought about an army using several small units of Witches (like 10 or so small units) with the Cauldron. Speedbumps (only one needs to survive within 12" to be Stubborn), suicide squads, etc.

Bye
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Thu Aug 05, 2010 8:52 pm
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Dragon Lord
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Quote:
I have thought about an army using several small units of Witches (like 10 or so small units)


For that, you need Hellebron as your general to make them Core, since you can only repeat a Special choice 3 times.

And in the era of everyone fighting back, a T3 model with no saves of any kind is a very risky proposition.

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Fri Aug 06, 2010 5:24 am
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Right, Hellebron is kinda bad (and expensive for that) in 8th.

Well... you could still get 3x Witches and 3x Executioners, I guess. ;)

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Fri Aug 06, 2010 6:24 am
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id prefer BG instead of executioners for these mini-squads. executioners strike last and will often be killed before they can deliver their nasty attacks.

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Fri Aug 06, 2010 6:35 am
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Lord Tsunami wrote:
id prefer BG instead of executioners for these mini-squads. executioners strike last and will often be killed before they can deliver their nasty attacks.


Sending the witch king's own to die just because you feel like it isn't going to do your career as a general much good...

Honestly, BG models are far too good looking for me to waste them on suicide missions... I spent so much time painting them, and when they die every five minutes, thats a bit of a waste of time...

Quote:
The goal of this thread is also for us to be aware of the possibility of that trick, and therefore not to be in the position of the opponent who discovers the trick once to his expenses... and looses the tourney.
Also, a trick which works once may be worth trying, as the expected gain (killing the BSB) is so high.


I agree with part of this (being aware of the possibility) but these once-off tactics won't work too well for general battle plans as you never know whether your opponent will see what is coming and go for some easy VP, and even so, I have 10 archers in my empire army and these sorts of units are exactly what they'll be shooting at, regardless of whether I know what my opponent is planning, because that's the only type of unit they can realistically hope to do damage against. Same goes for cases where I have 2 PD left by the end of the phase and just throw a fire ball at something small that's going to feel the hurt.

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Fri Aug 06, 2010 8:05 am
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Malekith's Personal Guard

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oooh- just thought of something too- the 6" rule. if the models DO live and break and run, panic tests all around. THAT would be problematic... Harpies might be better in groups of 3?

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Fri Aug 06, 2010 4:03 pm
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You mean if an entire unit gets wiped out by shooting would all friendly units within 6" require panic checks. Harpies are a minimum of five in a unit, and they do not cause panic checks for being wiped out by shooting so it doesn't matter.

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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


Fri Aug 06, 2010 4:21 pm
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Malekith's Personal Guard

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yep- saying that witches WOULD. what is the point cost variance tho?

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Fri Aug 06, 2010 4:30 pm
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I tried this tactic on Saturday and had some mixed results

My first suicide squad charged a unit of greatswords with the army battle standard bearer. He only have full plate armour so i was pretty confident of inflicting the two wounds required to finish his puny life. I failed miserably and the elves were cut down in short order.

The second unit did manage to assasinate a level 4 wizard however, kill the remaineder of the handgunners he was hiding in (they had lost about 50% from my shooting phase) and then even proceed to annoy the steam tank by blocking certain charge arcs.

All but one of my brave elves died but they did do their job rather well and while failing to kill the BSB, it wasnt the end of the world.

For their points cost i will probably take them again (and i love the models)

Oh, as an aside we finished the game at the end of turn five based on the fact all my opponent had left was the Emperor on a pegasus at the extreme end of the table with LOS to nothing. 2 handgunners and a steam tank on one wound in combat with 2 chariots (which it charged and failed to do anything to) 35 spearmen in one flank and a hydra and cold ones with my Lord about to charge into it!

Witch elf assasin squads!

Yes Please!


Mon Aug 09, 2010 10:19 am
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