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 8th Edition Freakshow

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hekatrixxy
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PostSubject: 8th Edition Freakshow   Sun Jun 04 2017, 10:09

Let me caveat all of the below by saying I haven't played 8th yet and haven't tried any of this. This is just me sharing my own notes for anyone looking to build an army that has a (partial) focus on leadership shenanigans.

Harlequins

Hallucinogen Grenade Launcher
The only available weapon available to the Aeldari that hurts the target unit based on LD.
Only available on the Shadowseer.
2D6 >= target unit leadership if hits - D3 mortal wounds.
When used in combination with the other units LD debuffs belows could make it reasonably reliable to inflict those mortal wounds.
Shadowseer is now quite expensive so harder to spam.

Craftworlds

Runes of Battle - Horrify Psychic Power
Only available to Warlock Conclaves/Warlock/Spiritseer
Subtract 1 LD.

Hemlock Wraithfighter
Subtract 1 from LD if within 12".

Dark Eldar

Power from pain turn 5+
All units get this.
Subtract 1 from LD within 6" in morale phase.

Phantasm Grenade Launcher
Available to Archon and the "sergeant" of the following units Kabalite Warriors/Trueborn/Wyches/Bloodbrides/Hellions.
Subtract 1 from LD if hit (doesn’t stack with more PGL hits).

Ynnari

Asu-var the sword of screams.
The Visarch's weapon.
Subtract 1 from LD for unsaved wound.


So it seems to me that it is reasonably reliable to get a -2/-3 modifier on quite a few different enemy units by including PGLs on all DE unit sergeants, using a Warlock to Horrify, and Hemlocks to provide the LD debuff aura.

Combine with maybe one or two Shadowseers to inflict mortal wounds, and then focus on inflicting a couple of casualties on all of the enemy units currently suffering from LD debuffs to force battleshock tests at reduced leadership.

Overall it seems to me like LD based attacks are something that could be used to help out with regular shooting/melee attacks, but doesn't seem to me to be as potentially devastating as the freakshow build was in 7th.

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Barrywise
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PostSubject: Re: 8th Edition Freakshow   Sun Jun 04 2017, 18:29

I think it will be more useful against larger units compared to smaller when you crest the models lost vs. leadership ledge. I'm tempted to say it'll be especially useful against necrons but getting past their LD10 is going to be rough.

But I can also see it being useful against standard leadership armies with 10 man squads, you'll only need to kill half the squad and the rest will wipe.

Trying to box in the enemy and use the hemlock fighter to its max might be the way to go.

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PostSubject: Re: 8th Edition Freakshow   Mon Jun 05 2017, 04:47

I think the relatively limited number of options makes the Freakshow a much weaker choice in 8th, unfortunately.

I'll probably give it a shot myself (I think the Shadowseers and the Wraith jets are our best weapons, personally).
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hekatrixxy
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PostSubject: Re: 8th Edition Freakshow   Mon Jun 05 2017, 06:02

Yep it does seem like a rather limited tactic now. Definitely not something to build an army around but I think I will experiment with taking PGLs on everything that can take them and occasionally floating in a Shadowseer from time to time.

I think PGL spam constantly bringing multiple enemy unit's LD down combined with repeated battle shock tests could catch people off guard.

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Count Adhemar
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PostSubject: Re: 8th Edition Freakshow   Mon Jun 05 2017, 09:56

Loss of psychic shriek hits Freakshow hard although battleshock could go some way to replacing it and may actually be better if facing multi-wound models as battleshock removes models, not wounds.

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Demantiae
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PostSubject: Re: 8th Edition Freakshow   Mon Jun 05 2017, 13:54

Battleshock only seems to be a thing if you can kill enough models in a single turn to make it matter. Picking off a couple models from a unit will do nothing. You're going to need to kill a number of models equal to about what the unit's leadership is to start having any effect. Killing half of a 20 man squad in one turn will trigger battleshock and with leadership malus' could well result in killing the remaining models through morale. But causing only 2-3 casualties will do nothing for you. It's also a tactic that only works once per unit, because if any survive with a handful of models left then you'll have to kill them outright as the freakshow will do little for you at that point.

Freakshow would have would have to be balanced against very strong anti-infantry shooting that can kill enough models per turn to force those unfavourable leadership rolls.

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Count Adhemar
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PostSubject: Re: 8th Edition Freakshow   Mon Jun 05 2017, 14:59

I think Battleshock is mainly going to be useful to thin out hordes. Pour a load of splinter fire into a big unit, kill as many as possible, charge and kill a few more then rely on battleshock to kill off the rest.

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Von Snabel
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PostSubject: Re: 8th Edition Freakshow   Mon Jun 05 2017, 15:13

But most Horde-armies mitigate the moral i various ways. Nids have Synaps, IG have Commisars, we have Fearless from turn 4, orks will have 30 Ld (so gl on that one). It'll probably be good but it feels like hordes got ways to deal with it. Or have I missed some other good example of hordes being vulnerable to moral ?
But us having a lot of fast units it might be worth to sacrafice some Helions or Reavers to snipe a Commisar/Synaps unit and then you'd be absolutly right in the Hordemurder part.

To me it looks like a nice way to deal with more mid size armies. Like CSM, Sm(to some extent i guess) and daemons.
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Count Adhemar
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PostSubject: Re: 8th Edition Freakshow   Mon Jun 05 2017, 15:17

You could be right. I've not had a chance to look through the Xenos 2 or Imperium 2 books yet so not sure of all the ins and outs of horde units. The ability to snipe characters out will be important so I will shortly be dusting off my Eldar Rangers Smile

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PostSubject: Re: 8th Edition Freakshow   Mon Jun 05 2017, 15:30

You can only snipe characters with a sniper rifle (we don´t really have that option) or if the character is the closest enemy. And if he´s surrounded by his squad, you got zero chance taking him (or her) out.

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Count Adhemar
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PostSubject: Re: 8th Edition Freakshow   Mon Jun 05 2017, 15:33

Hence why my Rangers will be coming out to play, with their handy dandy Ranger Long Rifles.

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Von Snabel
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PostSubject: Re: 8th Edition Freakshow   Mon Jun 05 2017, 15:43

You can charge them even if they're not the closest. My choice of word was a bit lack luster but we'll live through it. Sure if they're surrounded they'll be hard to kill. But hopefully people will get greedy and try to get in the middle of several units to get as much out of the Aura as possible. And then they'll perhaps leave some room for a unit of Helion or Reavers. That'd be nice. Also, if you can manage to get a transport so that a character is closest (with the help of a very thin and sharp nose, why hello there Raider!) all the duders inside can shoot the Character. And that's nice!

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PostSubject: Re: 8th Edition Freakshow   Tue Jun 06 2017, 06:48

One thing I missed in the first post was that the Harlequin Death Jester allows picking the first model that is removed for a unit failing their morale test if it was one of the units that attacked that enemy unit. So there is potential for removing important models from the enemy such as special/heavy weapons and characters.

As an example, let's take a Marine squad with LD 8 from the sergeant. Hemlock + Warlock Horrify + PGL gives -3 LD. If a Death Jester shoots at it, it may kill one Marine. A small squad of Kabalite Warriors also shoots at it, probably killing one with its Blaster. So let's say two Marines killed. The Marine squad then takes a Morale test of 2 + D6 having to score 5 or under. So that is a 50% chance they will lose at least one more model, the first of which we can pick.

If we add in Shadowseer's Hallucinogen Grenade Launcher shooting attack, there is a pretty high chance that we can inflict a further D3 mortal wounds. Let's say it killed two. That Marine unit now has to roll a 1 to pass its Morale test, so quite likely that it will suffer more lost models.

All of above is quite a lot of work to pull off I feel. Not super difficult but not easy either. I think personally I will experiment with a small detachment of Harlequins alongside my Dark Eldar to test using the PGLs in conjunction with the Shadowseer and Death Jester. I fully acknowledge the comments above that the LD attack based strategy of 7th Edition is gone now as a full army build, but I think there is still some use we can get out of it as the cherry on top of well put together army that also does well in movement + shooting/melee.

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PostSubject: Re: 8th Edition Freakshow   Tue Jun 06 2017, 13:16

@CptMetal wrote:
You can only snipe characters with a sniper rifle (we don´t really have that option) or if the character is the closest enemy. And if he´s surrounded by his squad, you got zero chance taking him (or her) out.

The hexrifle is a sniper rifle still right?
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PostSubject: Re: 8th Edition Freakshow   Tue Jun 06 2017, 14:27

yeah, but you´d need how many to be effective? Better use mandrakes: pop up next to the character and smoke it

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PostSubject: Re: 8th Edition Freakshow   Wed Jun 07 2017, 10:45

@CptMetal wrote:
yeah, but you´d need how many to be effective? Better use mandrakes: pop up next to the character and smoke it

Dunno how may you need, probably lots if you mean "taking out a character a turn" as effective.
The best option might be to include both options in a list?
It is my understanding that people are able to adopt the horse shoe formation to make it impossible for anyone to target the character inside with anything other than "sniper" weapons, unless you can first remove at least 25% of the bubblewrapping unit.
The mandrakes, and probably the jet fighter are going to be really good at pouncing on characters that for some reason has gotten out of position though.
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PostSubject: Re: 8th Edition Freakshow   Thu Jun 08 2017, 08:45

Can we get the mathhammer on mandrakes? Them seem improved this edition.
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PostSubject: Re: 8th Edition Freakshow   Mon Oct 30 2017, 17:58

With the new Craftworld codex out, I felt it would be wise to revive and update this thread.  My first run through the codex I found the following updates:  

Warlock casts Horrify = -1 LD
2nd Warlock casts Embolden on friendly Psyker (for casting Mind War) = +2 LD
Hemlock within 12" = -2 LD

Mind War psychic power = Each player roll D6 and add's their model's LD, number of mortal wounds = to difference if Psyker's roll is highe
r.

If I missed any, please chime in!

Let's hope that they will give the DE some well deserved LD shenanigans!
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PostSubject: Re: 8th Edition Freakshow   Mon Oct 30 2017, 18:11

I think the real death of the Freakshow gambit is in the core rules regarding how morale works. Since nothing runs away, all a freakshow can do is kill a model or two here or there (their head explodes, I guess). Which is fine and good and viable. Not enough to warrant all the mental gymnastics necessary to set up a whole army around it, IMO. As a side thing that involves models *capable of doing normals stuff, too*, then sure.
I miss the Freakshow gambit.
However, I really, really like that morale affects more of the game other than just Dark Eldar. Among the thousand reasons that 7th was an unplayable dumpster fire, the notion that my Dark Eldar were afraid of basic troops and virtually everything else in the game was afraid of nothing at all got super, super tedious.
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PostSubject: Re: 8th Edition Freakshow   Mon Oct 30 2017, 19:39

I understand your thoughts, and I agree that the old freakshow is all but dead, but the Craftworld version above has nothing to do with morale, it's about setting up for a psychic power.  

And where I'm really looking is a possible Ynarri use.  Just think about this...

Eldrad/Farseer is LD 9, add in +2 from Embolden and you have LD 11.
Use this against a Character that is LD 9, subtract 1 from Horrify and 2 more from the Hemlock you have LD 6.

On average Mind War will inflict 5 Mortal Wounds in that scenario.  If you throw in PGL then add another mortal wound.  If we possibly can get a few more options for LD reduction, then it would give more flexibility to get this power off.
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