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The_Burning_Eye
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PostSubject: What units do we have that are strong enough to theme a list?   Tue Mar 03 2015, 13:19

Hi all,

I've been mulling this one over for a few days now, partly due to my own preference for having strongly themed lists (I'm currently playing a 7-game campaign using my Iron Fists space marines where each of my lists is heavily themed) and partly in light of our very own Mushkilla's switch from reavers lists to a grotesque-based army and the two battle reports written showing their strategy.

So a question for you all - which units do you think are strong enough in our codex (or the supplement) to theme a list around?

Here was my own first draft attempt at doing something along these lines with scourges (refinement definitely required).
15oo scourge list

Reavers
Grotesques
Scourges
Beasts?
Incubi?
Could a Talos list work without Corpsethief? Or could you incorporate it to put 9+ down on the table? Perhaps a Corpsethief and two Dark Artisan formations?

How would you develop a list like this (and a strategy to go with it)?

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HokutoAndy
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PostSubject: Re: What units do we have that are strong enough to theme a list?   Tue Mar 03 2015, 13:38

Reavers and Grotesques are the most proven of those you've listed, you can just check out the battle report section of this forum to see how.

On your scourge themed list I figure you should give them the anti-armor role, then bring along venoms to fill in the anti-infantry role. So the scourges knock the vehicles out and the venoms clean up any passengers.
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PostSubject: Re: What units do we have that are strong enough to theme a list?   Tue Mar 03 2015, 13:52

@HokutoAndy wrote:
Reavers and Grotesques are the most proven of those you've listed, you can just check out the battle report section of this forum to see how.

On your scourge themed list I figure you should give them the anti-armor role, then bring along venoms to fill in the anti-infantry role. So the scourges knock the vehicles out and the venoms clean up any passengers.

The point with the scourge themed list is that the scourges are intended to make up as much as possible of the army, so bringing venoms instead would be counter-intuitive to the theme (though I accept, probably more efficient)

On the Talos point, I've just done a bit more pen-to-paper thinking here: Talos list

It's got some obvious flaws but has a huge central unit that will dominate the field and can reasonably take on almost anything, two Dark Artisan formations to pinpoint weak spots or objectives, and a grotesquerie for support, one larger unit with a WWP and a smaller one to come in later from reserve to combat threats in my own deployment.

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Mushkilla
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PostSubject: Re: What units do we have that are strong enough to theme a list?   Tue Mar 03 2015, 14:11

With my current list initially my theme wasn't to run massed grotesques. It was more abstract, I wanted to run a Dark Eldar assault army that didn't have any vehicles and preferably a low model count (so it could fit in a shoe box). Which so happened to nicely tail into running a thematic coven list.

In short I try to start with how I want the list to play in simple high level terms (assault/shooting/both, horde/elite, fast/slow, etc) and work down from there.

Hope that helps. Very Happy

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Lord Mal
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PostSubject: Re: What units do we have that are strong enough to theme a list?   Tue Mar 03 2015, 17:06

I've actually been attempting to build lists around two different themes (other than my usual covens themed lists).  

The first theme is fairly standard, but has fallen out a bit due to the weaknesses of the book, and that is the classic Archon Pirate Raid type of thing.  So my thought was, take a CAD with Archon, Sslyth body guard, some Venoms with Kabalites, and 3 Ravagers.  Then, take Realspace Raiders as a secondary formation in order to pack it with Fast Attack Options. 2 Ravagers in Heavy, and then either fill the FA with Raiders for a bunch of Dark Light Spam, or you could fill it with Venoms, and then go ahead and fill the rest of the list with venoms.  Other than that though, I have some thoughts on general units:

Specifically, I really see synergy with anything that can manipulate the PFP Table and the cronos' spirit probe in order to make Incubi 5+ FNP with 3+ Armor on turn 1 (Kabalite Warriors Formation would make them 4+ on turn 1 if you had a Haemy in the unit).  Sslyth would just need a cronos in order to be 4+ FNP.  You could get that with either the Scarlet Epicureans or DA formation depending on their role (Aggressive would be Archon with A WWP and DA w/WWP to drop them both in somewhere next to each other, or taking the middle of the field with Scarlet Epicureans and them).  

Now this is the part I really wanted to get to...Wyches...

So I've been wracking my brain like everyone else just trying to see a way to use them that's not going to get blasted off the board.  Originally, I thought the way to accomplish this was going to be WWP spam by having 4 Succubi in different Wych units, but even then they'll probably still get overwatched off the board anyway.  Also, 4 WWP's cost 140pts, which is basically another Wych unit.  Using realspace Raiders to wrack up Dark Light numbers, I packed in some Ravagers and Raiders to the list.  Most of the rest of points are used on Wyches, Succubi, and Reavers.  The reavers are primarily to screen everything, to add light shooting, and to add speed.  So here it is:

CAD- HQ: x4 Succubus, Archite Gl, Haywire Grenade (2 in CAD, 2 in RSR) Extra 5 pts buys Parasite's Kiss on Warlord.

Troops- 4 Units of 10 Wyches (2 in CAD, 2 in RSR)

FA- x18 Reavers in units of 3 (3 in CAD, 3 in RSR), and 3 Raiders w/Dark Lances (all in RSR). 5 Units of the Reavers can have Caltrops.

Heavy- x4 Ravagers (3 in CAD, 1 in RSR)

Now originally, I had x4 units of 15 Wyches, but not nearly as many Reavers or Dark Lances.
This list seems relatively well rounded with the speed of all those Reavers with Caltrops, and the Dark Lances being screened by them. In fact, the wyches almost seem like an after thought and I'm betting that a lot of the opponents would ignore them to focus on all the skimmers and bikes. This kinda automatically makes it so that the bikes form a fast front line, the Wyches assault in a second wave, and the Raiders/Ravagers take pot shots with lances.
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PostSubject: Re: What units do we have that are strong enough to theme a list?   Tue Mar 03 2015, 18:28

Jetbikes are the strongest component of a Wych Cult theme I feel and would benefit from having them doing the heavy lifting. Therefore for 1500 you could field:

[1] Succubus (AG, HWG)
[1] x9 Wyches (Hekatrix Agoniser HWG) Raider (DL, AS)
[1] x10 Wyches (Hekatrix Agoniser HWG) Raider (DL, AS)
[6] x6 Jetbikes (x2 CC, x2 Blaster)
[1] Ravager 3 DL

Having 6 different Reaver squads makes blasters worthwhile because its unlikely every squad each turn would be shot at. A fast assault army. I like the idea.
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PostSubject: Re: What units do we have that are strong enough to theme a list?   Tue Mar 03 2015, 19:36

How are you getting that many FA though, unless I'm reading the amount of bikes wrong (which I might be)? Are you doing unbound?

Target saturation I think is going to be the key for many themed lists, as the more "hard targets" the opponent registers as a threat, the more likely it is that they ignore your "soft" tagets. Even things that are considered unimpressive will frequently over perform if the opponent ignores some or all of them. That's why I have all the succubi in there. 10 Wyches aren't all that impressive even in Melee, but the Succubi add the equivalent of 4 extra Wyches in terms of attacks (Plus AP 2 attacks and higher strength), even before Combat Drug buffs.

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PostSubject: Re: What units do we have that are strong enough to theme a list?   Tue Mar 03 2015, 19:44

@Lord Mal wrote:
How are you getting that many FA though, unless I'm reading the amount of bikes wrong (which I might be)?  Are you doing unbound?

Realspace Raider Detachment lets you take six fast attack choices.

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PostSubject: Re: What units do we have that are strong enough to theme a list?   Tue Mar 03 2015, 20:00

@The_Burning_Eye wrote:
Hi all,

I've been mulling this one over for a few days now, partly due to my own preference for having strongly themed lists (I'm currently playing a 7-game campaign using my Iron Fists space marines where each of my lists is heavily themed) and partly in light of our very own Mushkilla's switch from reavers lists to a grotesque-based army and the two battle reports written showing their strategy.

So a question for you all - which units do you think are strong enough in our codex (or the supplement) to theme a list around?

Here was my own first draft attempt at doing something along these lines with scourges (refinement definitely required).
15oo scourge list

Reavers
Grotesques
Scourges
Beasts?
Incubi?
Could a Talos list work without Corpsethief? Or could you incorporate it to put 9+ down on the table? Perhaps a Corpsethief and two Dark Artisan formations?

How would you develop a list like this (and a strategy to go with it)?

Venoms + 3 Ravagers ;-)

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Lord Mal
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PostSubject: Re: What units do we have that are strong enough to theme a list?   Tue Mar 03 2015, 20:08

Oh okay Mush, he was using RRD like I did (He didn't reference it and I'm dumb lol).

Target saturation I think is going to be the key for many themed lists, as the more "hard targets" the opponent registers as a threat, the more likely it is that they ignore your "soft" targets.  Even things that are considered unimpressive will frequently over perform if the opponent ignores some or all of them.  That's why I have all the succubi in there.  10 Wyches aren't all that impressive even in Melee, but the Succubi add the equivalent of 4 extra Wyches in terms of attacks (Plus AP 2 attacks and higher strength), even before Combat Drug buffs. I just don't think wych units would accomplish much without some kind of character support in each unit. Having characters in some units but not others would probably lead to you breaking through certain things on one part of the field, but getting bogged down in the others.

So, to the topic, something just occurred to me when reading the Court Rules again. It says under "Retainers", a court can be taken "per archon in each detachment". So you could have 2 archons per detachment, and therefore 2 Sslyth per detachment (So up to 4 sslyth units in the army). Now granted, it comes with a stock Archon tax, but unfortunately a lot of the good units in the army come with a character tax (Grots from Grotesquerie come to mind). An Archon with a Blaster is the same pts as a stock Succubus, and only slightly over a stock Haemy.

To me, one of the strongest units in the book is Sslyth, it's just that because of the Archon restrictions, it is hard to field a lot of them. If you spammed archons though (I know this sounds unfluffy, but it'd be pretty awesome if you spin the fluff into 4 Archons "as allies", who are constantly trying to backstab each other). This would mean you could actually paint up the archons and retinues as different kabals too.

Also, this doesn't take up Slots, so you could then spam Fast Attack like Reavers and Scourges, while keeping core down to save pts (You can either take 2 minimum Kabalites (They're only 5 pts more than Grots from Orks), or fill up the list with as many venoms as possible.

This would mean x4 Sslyth units in either venoms or raiders that are T5 with FNP, 18' Range with Shard Carbine, and each has a blaster from the archon. You could also drop them to either x3 Sslyth in each unit with a cheap Lhamaean in case the Archon dies for leadership purposes, or have x4 in each unit with an archon. The nice thing about the Lhamaean is that as long as the Sslyth or the majority of the unit, they get T5 while still being less than half the cost of the Sslyth.

Keep in mind the Sslyth thing is completely a theory and I haven't even begun to fully think of everything with it yet, but I wasn't even aware of the option until I re-read the "Retainer" rule.
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PostSubject: Re: What units do we have that are strong enough to theme a list?   Tue Mar 03 2015, 20:12

I wonder how WWP a 14-15 unit Wych squad with a Succubus would work out. Double that up and then spam Jetbikes. 30 Wyches on the board plus 36 Jetbikes. Might be nasty. the obvious drawback is having the wyches on foot, but keeping them in reserve + fleet eliminates some of the flaws.

I think with a Wych theme like this the idea is to get in close and fast. Stay in close combat so you don't get shot. Use the Reavers to engage tanks and block the opponent. Control the board with movement. Very similar to Mushkilla Grot list only with Wyches.

I'm wondering how you think about the strategy Mushkilla, you seem to have had extensive experience using Jetbikes (your article on blocking with them is fantastic).
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PostSubject: Re: What units do we have that are strong enough to theme a list?   Tue Mar 03 2015, 20:19

The idea was already mentioned before, but I think a flyer list is an interesting theme. for example:

Court (6 Ssylth 1 Lham)
5 Kabalite Warriors
5 Kabalite Warriors
6x Razorwing Jetfighter
3x Voidraven Bomber
Points 1500

No upgrades. The Sslyth's purpose is to survive until the flyers come in. Statistically 6 flyers arrive on average in turn 2, and unload rockets, dissi cannons, night lances and bombs depending on what arrives.

Unfortunately the Realspace raiders doesnt allow Fortifications, as a bastion with comms relay would help.

Not sure what the rules are, but I think flyers cannot claim objectives, which makes it a fun list more than everything. Except somebody finds a way to make the list work Cool

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PostSubject: Re: What units do we have that are strong enough to theme a list?   Tue Mar 03 2015, 20:42

@Tempestus wrote:
I wonder how WWP a 14-15 unit Wych squad with a Succubus would work out. Double that up and then spam Jetbikes. 30 Wyches on the board plus 36 Jetbikes. Might be nasty. the obvious drawback is having the wyches on foot, but keeping them in reserve + fleet eliminates some of the flaws.

I think with a Wych theme like this the idea is to get in close and fast. Stay in close combat so you don't get shot. Use the Reavers to engage tanks and block the opponent. Control the board with movement. Very similar to Mushkilla Grot list only with Wyches.

I'm wondering how you think about the strategy Mushkilla, you seem to have had extensive experience using Jetbikes (your article on blocking with them is fantastic).

If mushkilla or someone else with more experience says otherwise, they're probably right, but I do wonder if spreading out the points won't be more effective in practice then grouping them up with WWP's and less, but larger units.  2 larger units WWPing will get more attention and they can then focus on the 2 Succubus instead of 4.  Even with all the Reavers floating around, if I were the opponent I would make those 2 units a priority target, but twice as many makes it harder to focus on.  Also, that means more points in those two units that are extremely fragile.

Each one of those units is worth almost 400pts and you only get 8 (barring good Combat Drug rolls) AP2 attacks from the two Succubi, between 800 pts of units.  Each one of the 10 mans with Succubus is worth only about 200pts though, and each has the ability to pierce armor (even if it's a suicide run) with one glaive per unit.

Like my original post said, I definitely thought about all WWP's for the wych units, but I think that it's fools gold on such fragile units, since they can still get blasted even when coming out of WWP's.

Last thing to add, and then I'll shut up for a while, but I don't think we should confuse the term, to "theme" with completely ignoring adding strong things into the list with the theme.  For example, my sample draft for the Wych Cult theme, it has 40 Wyches, 4 Succubi, and 18 Reavers, so I don't think you can say that isn't enough Wych units or characters to not be classified as "Wych Themed".  But, I don't think you can have a list without Venoms, Raiders, or Ravagers and expect to win very often, unless you have a ton of Coven Supplement units.  

Okay, I'm done lol!
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PostSubject: Re: What units do we have that are strong enough to theme a list?   Tue Mar 03 2015, 21:11

@Tempestus wrote:
I wonder how WWP a 14-15 unit Wych squad with a Succubus would work out. Double that up and then spam Jetbikes. 30 Wyches on the board plus 36 Jetbikes. Might be nasty. the obvious drawback is having the wyches on foot, but keeping them in reserve + fleet eliminates some of the flaws.

I considered that when I was looking into an army without transports, as it was an option. The issue I found is 15 wyches are just not durable enough to deepstrike in someones face even if you are swarming them with reavers at the same time. Armies that ignore cover in particular like Serpent Spam and Tau just slaughter you.

@Tempestus wrote:
I think with a Wych theme like this the idea is to get in close and fast. Stay in close combat so you don't get shot. Use the Reavers to engage tanks and block the opponent. Control the board with movement. Very similar to Mushkilla Grot list only with Wyches.

I'm wondering how you think about the strategy Mushkilla, you seem to have had extensive experience using Jetbikes (your article on blocking with them is fantastic).

Personally I think the best way to run wyches is in raiders with aether sails and night shields, joined by a succubus. Go second and start them in reserve, that means the earliest your opponent can shoot them is turn 3 and by then they have 5+ FNP. The later you come on, the less thing will be around to shoot down their raider and the more buffs you have from Power From Pain. A similar trick can be applied to reavers. Wyches can definitely benefit from reavers support, especially in the screening department so a bunch of 3-6 man units wouldn't go a miss. Maybe one large 12 man unit that can start in reserve and come on turn 2-3 with 3+ cover/5+ FNP and make your opponent panic drawing fire away from the wyches (though risky in this ignore cover heavy edition).

The rest of the army would have to focus on taking out threat to the wyches and reavers before they come on from reserve. This sort of army worked well in 6th, but it's a big ask in 7th with things like wave serpents, fire support cadre, wyverns etc. That being said power from pain got a pretty big buff this edition as did our ability to reserve more than 50% of our army, so it's not all bad.

@The_Burning_Eye wrote:
Mushkilla's switch from reavers lists to a grotesque-based army and the two battle reports written showing their strategy.

I figured not everyone visits the Realspace Raid section. So for those who haven't read them and are interested the link to the second report is in my signature.

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PostSubject: Re: What units do we have that are strong enough to theme a list?   Tue Mar 03 2015, 21:23

@Lord Mal - the point about archon tax for sslyths isn't quite right, you can take sslyth units without an archon, they just then take up HQ slots instead of being 'slot free'.

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PostSubject: Re: What units do we have that are strong enough to theme a list?   Tue Mar 03 2015, 21:32

In that case, you could then use the remaining HQ slots for more Sslyth, and still take the minimum core for Warriors.  I haven't seen anyone else using all the HQ slots for detachments other than the x4 Succubus I just posted. Aren't some people stictly for Courts only able to be with an Archon though? in this case, the "archon tax" would apply to each unit.

I'm confused on how this works if you take the maximum number of archons and Sslyth using ones that count as HQ, and ones that "aren't on the organization chart".  If you take one archon, then he's your warlord and you can only take 3 slots for Sslyth right?  So you're telling me the maximum Sslyth you have would be 1 archon with a "free" unit of Sslyth, and one Sslyth per HQ, so 4 Sslyth units total?

So without an Archon tax (I'd still want one because I personally wouldn't want to run a Lhamaen as the general), the unit is even better than I thought.  I think the way to run it would be x3 Sslyth with 2 Lhameans in a venom (That way they're self contained with leadership, and the whole unit gets T5.
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PostSubject: Re: What units do we have that are strong enough to theme a list?   Tue Mar 03 2015, 22:36

Ok so it works like this.

For each Archon you have, you can take a court that doesn't take up a slot on the force organisation chart of whatever detachment you're using.

The court however is an HQ unit in its own right, so if you don't take an archon, you can still use the HQ slots for courts.

What that means is that for a combined arms detachment, which has 2 HQ slots (one mandatory) you can take a maximum of 2 court units (either no archon and 2 that count as hq, 1 archon with 1 hq court unit and 1 free court unit, or two archons and two free court units)

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HokutoAndy
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PostSubject: Re: What units do we have that are strong enough to theme a list?   Thu Mar 05 2015, 13:31

@The_Burning_Eye wrote:


The point with the scourge themed list is that the scourges are intended to make up as much as possible of the army, so bringing venoms instead would be counter-intuitive to the theme (though I accept, probably more efficient)

What I have in mind would still be scourge majority, I also think that visually those sleek jetbikes alongside scourge gunners looks cool. Among the CWE vypers and hawks are among my favorite models. Your HQ unit will likely ride in a venom (or raider) anyways to keep up with the scourge majority army.

The venoms can also be vital in protecting the scourges from assault with positional blocking:
http://www.thedarkcity.net/t11167-the-pragmatic-realspace-raider-blocking-with-raiders

Or... you could go with the murderflock formation (Max size scourges+max size hellions, deep strike without error and inflict rending hits to everyone around them ), but build scourges with spears to count-as hellions. I don't think many people would object to one technically-jump-pack model being represented by another jump-pack model wielding the same weapon. Hellions are not regarded well this edition tough so this is more for style than substance.

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