Unit Discussion: The Dreadspears of the Darkling Covenanns

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Unit Discussion: The Dreadspears of the Darkling Covenanns

Post by Saintofm »

Ok, This is where we talk about the typical strategies, weaknesses, and strengths of different units of Age of Sigmar, in this case the old standby of the dark elves: the Spearmen! And like most of my posts, I will have pretty pretty pictures to go with it as no one likes reading a block of text on the internet unless its fiction. Learned that the hard way.

Also keep in mind I am just had 2 games in since comeing back to the fold, so here and have yet to use the Dreadspears. Maybe this week this will be a different story.


Generally speaking, this is one of the oldest and cheapest units the to the dark elves. If you play a Darkling Covens, this is a viable option for one of your battle lines.

Their rules are as such: Their max size is 40.

Like all Aelf units, they are fast, with 6" movement, but they can be fragile speedsters with a Bravery 6, 1 wound per model, and a armor save of 5+.

To Aid in their defence, Darksheids rules give them a chance to reroll rolls of 1 when trying to get a saving throw in, and if you can reroll 1s and 2s in the combat phase. Give them a standard bearer and they get +1 to their bravery or +2 instead if within 8" of a Darkling Covens hero.

This all said, they can be deal a bit of damage. At their base, they come with a single attack and hit and wound on 4+, thus giving them a half a chance to both get a hit in and deal a wound. There is no rend so the enemy has a good chance to save, but they still do well.

Offensively, they also have some advantages as well. While more of a defensive unit, they can still lay down the hurt.

Being Equipped with spears mean they can get a 2 inch range of attack

Their unit champion, the Lordling, will get an extra attack. Unlike most units that can barely an inch in range, they get 2 inches, which means several in a row can get attacks in. SO a unit of 20 or even 40 can potentially allow you to roll alot of dice, and the more dice you roll the better your chance to hit and wound.

The unit champion, the Lordling, get 2 attacks instead of 1, and hornblowers allow the unit to reroll a single charge die when charging.

However they also get bones to hit. Coven guard allows the unit to get +1 to hit if they didn't move in their previous movement phase. Charge phases are different from movement, so if an enemy is too close for comfort, you can charge them and stab them in the face with +1 too. In anycase, if you didn't move in the movement phase of your turn you effectivly hit on a 3+. This +1 increases the hit chance from about 50% to about 75%.

This I believe is stackable with Formidable Bastion which also adds a +1 to his for Deadspears if the unit has 20 mini's or more. So if you have at least 20 guys and only moved them in the charge phase, you could potentialy hitting on a 2+. On a 6 sided die, that means you have a 5 in 6 chances to hit someone. That gives you a better chance to get get a wound in which is at least half, which may potentialy get through armor, which also may be potentialy half a chance. This is a hit chance increase from 50& to as much as 80 or 85%


How to use them:

This is theory at the moment, but they play a more defensive role as they get the one +1 to hit if they don't use ther 6" movement. So if you have to secure a location or an objective marker, this might be it. Because of the 2inch range of the weapons on units with a 1 inch squared base, several can get hits in, so guarding a choke point can also be an option.

They could also be guarding a potentialy fragile unit, as they do get a bonus to bravery if near a hero of their faction.

This said, on a more offencive rout, they could be tagging along something like a hydra or a Kharibdys, moving along until they hold for a moment before springing like a viper.

I can see units of 20, 30, and 40 being viable options, or two units of 30 or a unit of 20 here and 40 there.


Areas I can see they have problems with:

While they may be a defensive unit, I can see plenty of units taking advantage of their 5+ armor, wither with tons of attacks themselves, or go through armor like its tissue paper. Deal a bunch of damage to them and they could potentially make a mass rout as if they make a bravery test, anything that goes past their max bravery means a spearman solid their armor and ran to the hills (effectively taken off the game board then and there in the same way if an orc buried an ax in their skull).

THe problem with units that come in bass, also means they can be made to loose cohesian (being no more than an inch apart from eachother) easier, thus even easier to make runaway, and as always a bigger target for the opposing player.

That said, as long as you remember these are not tarpit units (units meant to keep you there and win by just being more overwhelming in size) you'll be ok.

Hopefully by the end of the week I will have a chance to test this out.

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Re: Unit Discussion: The Dreadspears of the Darkling Covenan

Post by Red... »

Cool - nice run through of the unit.
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Re: Unit Discussion: The Dreadspears of the Darkling Covenan

Post by Darkspear »

Thank you for this post. It has been a long time since we have a tactical discussion.

I also feel that they can be team up with darkshards. Either serving as a shield with the darkshards behind or if you dare, put a row of darkshards in the front with dreadspears about 2 inches behind. As the foe charge the darkshards, the dreadspears can pile in and do damage as based on the scenario you gave.

Personally i feel that an archmage (heresy I know) with shield of saphery (6+ vs MW) is really good protection for Darkling covens. Though i know generally we will cast it on elite units like blackguard and executioners.
In my land, everyone calls me the darkspear. The most famous spearmen commander of all.
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