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ASF for Khainite units: how best to keep the BSB Hag alive? 
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The Guiding Eye
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Ok, really really simple thread, having discussed Executioners and my frustration a bit HERE and reading about uber larger executioner units HERE, I realised how useful it is to have ASF.

This principle also applies to Witch Elves too but the original intention was to concentrate on the Exes.

Basically the best combo I can make really is

DEATH HAG (90)
Battle Standard Bearer: Standard of Hag Grief (60)
Dance of Doom, Hand of Khaine (45)
TOTAL = 195pts

Quite a lot of pts really - and all you have to save yourself from theoretically 6 models worth of attacks in most instances (hordes and infantry spears change this). <<< Thats sarcasm by the way!

So, then I thought - well, what about going and using challenges to protect her? Most of the time it'll be VS only champions anyway! So, heres a couple of basic setups for the challenge.

1. "So.... tough guy huh?"
Rune of Khaine, Manbane

nice and simple really: probably about 7 attacks at S4-6. You could gain overkill through this without too much trouble.

2. Use Killing Blow and Survivability:
Touch of Death and Hand of Khaine. In a challenge you should have a fairly ok chance of KB the enemy 5 attacks with hatred should lead to a roughly 2/3rds chance of KBing them. Even works VS enemy characters as you have initiative 8 too! :twisted:. If you fail to killing blow them or just plain and simply kill them, then you deduct from their return attacks. With WS6, even most Lord character with hit you on 4s with 3 attacks. Edit: only issue is, the Poisoned Attacks would override KB... :?

alternative version: replace Hand of Khaine for Black Lotus. Not sure the mathhammer (anyone smart know?! :D) but that should put your chance up to nearer 3/4s chance to KB I'm thinking...?

3. Pure Combat Res generation:
Dark venom + Rune of Khaine OR Touch of Death.
Pretty much same principles from each EG. above but nets you extra CR.

I personally think that your best chance (even VS charas) is to challenge and take setup 2. You will probably have re-rolls to hit every round (assuming you survive the 1st! :P) and, coupled with the ubiquitous Cauldron to make Exes worth taking; using the +1 attack should give 6 attacks that hit with 4-5 attacks and thus give a reasonable chance of a KB.

Not sure theres much point going with the old 5+ ward save initial setup. Unless your opponent gets canny and refuses challenges with his champions.

Then I'd switch ;)

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Tue Oct 05, 2010 12:27 am
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A good start is to stick her on the corner of the unit. This way she only has to fight 2 enemies and this should delay the time it takes to kill her depending on what you are facing to several rounds.

Challenges are also good but your opponent will either decline and lose a measly champion's attacks or accept and bludgeon the poor Hag into the ground even with the Dance and Hand of Khaine you are still looking at overkill wounds against a lot of heroes. Unless you can kill them which I think is more likely though still a challenge so go for Manbane and Rune of Khaine.

Another fun option is to cast Okkam's Mindrazor on the unit giving her on average 7 S9 attacks . :twisted:

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Tue Oct 05, 2010 12:40 am
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There is no penalty to declining a challenge with a champion. He can stay right there and fight.

Word of pain from dark, soulblight from death are your best options for protecting her. But you could just as easily leave her out and buy another cauldron to give the executioners a 5+ ward.

The key to winning with executioners is target selection; single attack, low strength foes if possible, if not reduce your opponent's numbers so they can't outlast you. Hydras and magic are best for this, but crossbows or chariots can help out too. (That's why it hurts so much that dreadlords can't join... they help you expend the enemy before you run out of executioners).

Similarly, for opponents, the key to defeating them is to reduce their numbers, so that they can't last more than a phase or two of combat. Ecpect a lot of magic, shooting and templates sent their way. You may have to invest in shades/harpies/dark riders to help you out vs this. Purple sun helps too, since war machines autofail the I test.

The more I think of it, max hydras may be a good combo with executioners. Target overload for your opposition, plus possible s5 templates, plus a lot of attacks packed into one unit. I'd probably rather an assassin than the hag if I did support them with a character. ASF means always rerolling attacks, so he should kill more, he's marginally harder to hit and he costs less if he should die.

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Tue Oct 05, 2010 2:14 am
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Well it just might be me thats a little off but anywho...

I normally run my Exes in a unit of 18, 6 wide with a BSB hag, SoHG, RoK and Manbane.
I backup to this i have a CoB.

Most times people just aviod the unit whitch is annoying as f*** but when they ever get to combat they are most of the time blessed with the +1 attack.

This means the exes has 17 S6 attacks and in most time they strike first due to the I. Followed by the Hag's avg 7-9 S4-6 attacks..

The units i normally run into with these guys are slaugtered

I case of a challange i always accept. If not with the Hag then with the Champion. Hag if it is lesser foes and the champion incase of stronger foes (Normally Chaos dudes).

I never had a problem with this really.

I think its kind of a odd discussion really since there are so many more ways to kill Hag than to issue a challange with such a powerfull unit.
Lore of Death, sniperrifles and so on, a much easier and safer way to kill the hag without loosing half a unit.

And when the Hag first is cut down, then the Exe unit is way more fragile and even easier to kill suffering the ASL specialrule.
And then were not even talking about the loads time where the unit as a whole will get shot to s***...

my 50 cents, feel free to call me an idiot :) I can handle it.

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Tue Oct 05, 2010 9:06 am
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Any unit that requires a 200 point buff following it around and a 200 point character in it to make it "good" is a rubbish unit. I'll throw junk troops at it all day and mop up the rest of his army with my good units.

One of the top players in my store runs this regularly and the first time in 5 years I ever beat him, he used that setup. I haven't seen it earn it's points back yet.


Tue Oct 05, 2010 1:38 pm
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It can't be that bad then if it took you five years to beat him :lol: :P


Tue Oct 05, 2010 3:08 pm
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The executioners are far from rubbish. They are quite good even when unbuffed from the cauldron and without a Death Hag. They make short work of most enemy infantry and cavalry. They are good against monsters, good against characters, and good against pretty much anything else you can throw them against. The problem is not that they are bad, the problem is that they are not as good as everything else in our army. Blackguard are amazing, spear elves are cheap and great for their points cost, witch elves have tons of attacks, etc. Executioners compared to other armies' units are great; compared to our own, they're not quite as good.

I run them, though, and I love them. The cauldron is great when buffing them, but it's very useful for my other units as well. Nothing like a flank/rear charge from a killing blow hydra or Cold One Knights with the extra attack blessing. The cauldron isn't there solely to support the execs, it just helps.


Tue Oct 05, 2010 4:36 pm
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I agree that Executioners are far from rubbish, but the kind of buffs that people are trying to give them are a bit much in my opinion. Will be trying out 20-30 man units soon to see how they work out with just Cauldron support.

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Tue Oct 05, 2010 4:42 pm
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Elves striking last are generally a bad idea. Only executioners suffer from this syndrome.
High Elves have ASF and Wood Elves can only equip heroes with Great Weapons... which I doubt they do now.

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Tue Oct 05, 2010 9:02 pm
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Striking last doesn't really matter as much anymore due to the step up rule. Unless you are fielding very small units. I wouldn't spend several hundred points on a fragile character just to get it.

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Tue Oct 05, 2010 9:32 pm
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Why has no one mentioned just leaving the bsb in the 2nd rank? You still get the benefits from the banner... and she/he can't be touched by most things.


Wed Oct 06, 2010 2:47 am
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thenick18 wrote:
Why has no one mentioned just leaving the bsb in the 2nd rank? You still get the benefits from the banner... and she/he can't be touched by most things.
I thought you couldn't do that unless the entire front rank was full of characters and command models? If so, you're either fielding them 3 wide or spending a lot on extra assassins/hags to fill out the front rank. Not a great use of points.

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Wed Oct 06, 2010 6:54 am
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thenick18 wrote:
Why has no one mentioned just leaving the bsb in the 2nd rank? You still get the benefits from the banner... and she/he can't be touched by most things.


You can't voluntarily do that..and would you really spend that much points just for the Executioners to strike first? It's possible but for me not viable if you chose to run it like that...

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Wed Oct 06, 2010 8:28 am
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If people really want Executioners to strike first this is one way of making them survive to do damage..

Make them fear causing and cast Doom and Darkness on the unit he is fighting. Not only do you raise his chances of failing his initiative you are also reducing it for his modified breaktest. If you are lucky he'll hit your guys on 6's

Cast Miasma on the unit they are going to kill and reduce their WS and he'll hit your Executioners on 5's

Use Ring of Darkness so not only are they safe from shooting ( they will get shot if you field them that big) and again half WS means 5's to hit.



The point of striking first is to reduce the incoming casualties, striking first is not the only way to do it..wink wink 8)

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Wed Oct 06, 2010 8:43 am
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How exactly does Doom and Darkness cause an enemy to hit on 6's?


Wed Oct 06, 2010 1:17 pm
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phierlihy wrote:
How exactly does Doom and Darkness cause an enemy to hit on 6's?


If the unit causes Fear for some reason, it ups the chance the enemy will fail a fear test. Pretty hard to accomplish.

That being said ...

bounce wrote:
Striking last doesn't really matter as much anymore due to the step up rule. Unless you are fielding very small units. I wouldn't spend several hundred points on a fragile character just to get it.


^ This is the answer. Just take a unit with at least 3 ranks and ASF doesn't really matter one way or the other.

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Wed Oct 06, 2010 3:38 pm
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Yea, be selective, charge flanks, charge lone tough things like Chariots, cop a few wounds and kill the target. DH ASF BSB is just a waste of your precious BSB.

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Wed Oct 06, 2010 3:58 pm
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Dyvim Tvar, you mean they hit on 5's, correct?


Thu Oct 07, 2010 1:41 am
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ring of darkness is no option in khainite units,

BS shooting is really easy to block using your own units for cover.

if you want to field executions, you need to make them big (and risk templates) or need to make the sturdy (lore of metal, CoB ward.

ASF on execs wont do much, since the opponent will step up as well in general, so having 10 to strike and some spare 5 or so to soak casualties will do If ye make them sturdy.

luckily, the lore of metal can affect multiple units, as can the CoB, so if ye build the rest of the list to support this as well, It is a lot more versatile and survivable than adding in an expensive, killed fast DH BSB


Thu Oct 07, 2010 4:11 pm
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phierlihy wrote:
Dyvim Tvar, you mean they hit on 5's, correct?


Yes, of course. Hitting on 6 was a 7th ed. consequence of failing a fear test. Regardless, you can't count on getting any real protection from causing fear, and you need an expensive BSB in the unit to do it.

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Thu Oct 07, 2010 4:21 pm
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ASF death hag

- Strike at Ini 5 for executionner
- Help to kill some first, but will not reduce the striking back if you face some medium to big units
- The hag can be killed easelly, will be in close combat fast and for long

CoB

- Give 5+ ward each turn on executionner, and you're helping them in close combat, in shooting phase and in magic phase.
- You give them Stubborn if at 12" of the cauldron
- Don't help to strike rapidly, but reduce impact received ALL the time
- Very hard to kill the Cob, will see combat rarelly


Conclusion: the CoB is better in all aspect. Because behing ASF won't reduce your dead, only the ward can. Both cost the same price...


Tue Oct 12, 2010 7:02 pm
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sulla wrote:
There is no penalty to declining a challenge with a champion. He can stay right there and fight.


Where is this referenced in the BRB if you don't mind my asking? Cause I like it and would like to be able to tell me friends where it is.

Also, making executioners strike at initiative order is immensely helpful if you know you're fighting something with low I score. Just tonight I fought ogres with it, also hiding an assassin with venom sword in there.

Killed his general with the assassin due to a failed toughness test on 2d6, then proceeded to deal 14 wounds with the executioners and 3 with the death hag. 5 dead ogres and one nearly dead, the unit fled and I ran it down.

That is the bonus of initiative executioners.

edit:
Should also mention they were buffed with +1 attack from the CoB

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Thu Nov 11, 2010 11:25 am
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Svarthofthi wrote:
sulla wrote:
There is no penalty to declining a challenge with a champion. He can stay right there and fight.
Where is this referenced in the BRB if you don't mind my asking?
p.102, refusing a challenge, boo hiss. First paragraph.

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Thu Nov 11, 2010 12:52 pm
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Never spend the points on a Death hag BSB to support the Execs. If you don't have a CoB get one! If you already do, get more execs. :)

Saragos wrote:
The problem is not that they are bad, the problem is that they are not as good as everything else in our army. Blackguard are amazing, spear elves are cheap and great for their points cost, witch elves have tons of attacks, etc. Executioners compared to other armies' units are great; compared to our own, they're not quite as good.


Actually, I'd say the Execs are better than both the BG and Witch Elves. 20 BGs are comparable to 30 Execs in a figth (and 60 pts cheaper), but as 20 is the maximum size of BGs they make a poor large unit.

The fight between Execs and WE is quite even, but ultimately depends on the size of the Exec unit. 30 Execs loses to 36 WEs, but 40 Execs will beat the corresponding amount of WEs (48 ) soundly. This is because 30 execs starts losing attacks for every wound, while 40 execs kan keep on hitting hard after suffering some losses.

I did similar stats for Execs vs. Spearmen or CoK + CoC in the 50 Executioners thread, and the amazing thing with 40+ Execs is that they can beat such a wide range of different units, while the WE for example will struggle greatly against knights.

--
30 Execs (3x10) Vs 20 BG (2x10):

BGs strike with 31 attacks, kills 12.7
Execs strike with 18 attacks, 11.2

Result: Draw with a slight advantage for BG. If BG wins, Execs are steadfast.
Round 2 is critical, where 10 Execs are barely steadfast against 4 BG after killing just more than 4 more BGs. Third round is basically a draw, and after forth round there is something like 4.5 Execs left standing.

If BG are deployed 3x7 (-1) the results are quite different:

30 Execs (3x10) Vs 20 BG (3x7 -1):

BGs strike with 22 attacks, kills 8.25
Execs strike with 21 attacks, kills 13

Result: Big win for Execs. After round 2, 16 Execs are left standing and the BG are all but wiped out (0.35 BG still alive).

--
30 Execs (3x10) Vs 36 WE (3x10 +6):
WE strike with 51 attacks, hits 38.25 (6.3 poison), and 14 kills in total.
Execs strike with 17 attacks, kills 10.6. Execs lose by 4 and are not steadfast. Downhill for Execs from here.

--
40 Execs (4x10) Vs 48 WE (4x10 +8):
WE strike with 51 attacks, hits 38.25 (6.3 poison), and 14 kills in total.
Execs strike with 27 attacks, kills 19.9. Execs win by 4, and 28 WEs are not steadfast against 26 Execs. Downhill from WEs from here as they lost Frenzy.


Fri Nov 12, 2010 10:36 am
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I think your math is a little off at last on the last example. The Witch Elves would have 41 attacks instead of 51 so after saves and such, should only kill 12ish Executioners; a clear loss for the Witch Elves.

However if the Witch Elves were to take those extra points and instead of buying more Witches throw them into a unit of Harpiesinstead , the Witch Elves may come in with a flank attack or perhaps Witches in the front and Harpies in the side in which case the results can change (widely!).


Fri Nov 12, 2010 3:11 pm
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