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Deathstars: Spearmen or Reanimates?

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With the first wave of expansions coming up, who can do a better deathstar? I was thinking that with the Daqan getting some pretty slick upgrades, they might be the ones to beat. Here's what I'm thinking of using as a spearmen superblob:

3x3 Spearmen (59)

  • Citadel Weapons Master (8)
  • Shield Wall (5)
  • Front Line Rune Golem (7)
  • Raven-Pennon Banner (5)
  • Aggressive Cornicen (5)

TOTAL: 89 Points

Why go with the upgrades I took? Weapons Master is an extra red dice, which is amazing. Shield Wall for when facing an opposing deathstar. Front Line Rune Golem for that sweet Threat 4-5. Raven-Pennon Banner for the flexibility to play initiative games against both Waiqar and Daqan. And Aggressive Cornicen for both Speed 4 charges and the ability to charge with Defense Up, both of which vastly improve the counter-deathstar ability.

Particularly, this unit will have the ability to charge late in the round from outside of shooting/blighting range, and if that missed, charge again early next round. The ability to do a quick charge with Defense Up is huge, and between that and Shield Wall, should get a few good hits against an opponent who cannot easily Defense Up if they're hitting back.

And that's going to be a pain to deal with. But looking at the Reanimates, they rely on fewer upgrades to deathstar, but have one crucial upgrade that will hamper an opposing deathstar.

4x3 Reanimates (64)

  • Ardus Ix'Erebus (23)
  • Blighted Vexillum Bearer (3)
  • Moment of Inspiration (5)

TOTAL: 95 Points

So, far fewer upgrades on this deathstar, and a good number more dudes. But their key is the Blighted Banner, whenever anyone comes in contact with the unit, it gets a blight. Particularly important that if it's the opponent charging, they get a blight without the opportunity to remove it with inspiration. So deathstars are gimped for the first round. And the damage from this unit is insane. An opening strike of White-White-Red-Red, multiplied by four? Shenanigans is what that is. And to top it off, only a few more points than the spearmen blob.

 

So, what do you all think? Which deathstar will perform better? Is there a better build that I didn't see?

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I really feel like the reanimate deathstar wants terrifying heraldry and Ardus as a champion over the blight banner. They can take a hit big enough to not need blight, and terrifying heraldry synergizes well with their panic modifier, and Ardus is slightly less vulnerable to accuracies.

If a reanimate deathstar can dig out a panic result that lets them reform and flank the enemy, well... that enemy is having a real, real bad day.

White, red, red, red with threat 4 is no joke.

Edited by Tvayumat

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5 minutes ago, Tvayumat said:

I really feel like the reanimate deathstar wants terrifying heraldry and Ardus as a champion over the blight banner. They can take a hit big enough to not need blight, and terrifying heraldry synergizes well with their panic modifier, and Ardus is slightly less vulnerable to accuracies.

If a reanimate deathstar can dig out a panic result that lets them reform and flank the enemy, well... that enemy is having a real, real bad day.

White, red, red, red with threat 4 is no joke.

I think I disagree about not needing the blighted banner. Let's take a hypothetical scenario:

  1. Setup for and execute a speed 4 charge. (Easy enough to do) Red-Red-Blue seems like 3 hits is fairly reasonable, particularly with two rerolls. That's 12-15 damage. Almost a full rank.
  2. At init 3, attack with another Red-Red-Blue. Another 12-15 damage. You're down to almost one rank.
  3. Init 4, take an attack, use Shield Wall. Lose a tray or two. Let's say we get the reform panic.
  4. Next turn, init 3, Red-Red-Blue with 3-4 threat. 9-12 damage, you're losing threat now.
  5. Rinse and repeat. Even if they never get an inspiration token to refresh shield wall, the number game is pretty clear.

Blighted Banner blunts the first hit, meaning that they may not get to use shield wall on the first enemy pass, which means that they may never get a chance to use it. I think that that's they key to breaking this unit.

 

I do have some hesitation about walking right into White-White-Red-Red, though. Moment of Inspiration is scary. I'm just hoping that a Shield Wall can take the blow well enough.

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Admittedly, blighted banner does seem like a solid take, but I maintain that terrifying heraldry, if not a necessity, is a bit of a no brainer for reanimates.

 

Convenient, because they ain't got no brains!

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Infantry to make death stars, they make tar pits.

Worms or Cav is the way to go if you want a death star.

79 points for 6 Carrion Worms with Wind Rune and moment of Inspiration.  Should get a flank without too much trouble, thanks to moving 0-3 as a shift, reforming, and then moving another 3, all in a single turn.  Fighting is Red, Blue, Blue, + flank, + white, Plus Hit on the dial, x3, with a re-roll.

 

Also 79 points:

9 Oath Cav, Wind Rune, moment of inspiriation.  Red, Red, Blue, + White, 2 re-rolls, and damage x3.  Still good chance at flank charge, and it's got an slot for banner, champion still open.

 

-Matt

 

 

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On 5/10/2017 at 5:25 PM, druchii7 said:

Both are excellent choices. The problem of the blighted vexium bearer is that it can easily die.

I wouldn't expect to get more than one or two uses out of it even if it's the last figure to die in that unit. If it gets picked off with accuracy after the initial charge it isn't that big a loss. 

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13 hours ago, WWHSD said:

I wouldn't expect to get more than one or two uses out of it even if it's the last figure to die in that unit. If it gets picked off with accuracy after the initial charge it isn't that big a loss. 

Between it and the necromancer, I think Kari with Fortuna's Dice is going to be really useful. Snipe out figure upgrades on the approach then resume blending duties as usual.

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Of note, morale results tend to be more punishing against larger units, and Reanimates are better at inflicting and resisting it. If both units are big enough to last a few turns slugging it out, a devastating morale result for the spear men becomes increasingly likely.

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On 5/14/2017 at 10:42 AM, Darth Matthew said:

Infantry to make death stars, they make tar pits.

Worms or Cav is the way to go if you want a death star.

79 points for 6 Carrion Worms with Wind Rune and moment of Inspiration.  Should get a flank without too much trouble, thanks to moving 0-3 as a shift, reforming, and then moving another 3, all in a single turn.  Fighting is Red, Blue, Blue, + flank, + white, Plus Hit on the dial, x3, with a re-roll.

 

 

I'd take master crafted weapons and Combat ingenuity on a worm death star turn all your surges into hits...lots of hits...

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A worm or cav deathstar will get a lot of attention from the enemy, so probably maximizing damage will be better than trying to outmaneuvre, as the enemy will try to attack them and prevent any flanking

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I don't think this would necessarily be the best army, but the best performing unit combo I could think of would be:

12 Reanimates 64 105
Ardus 23  
Lingering Dead 3  
Front Line Carrion Lancer 5  
Terrifying Heraldry 5  
Triumphant Cry 3  
Tactical Drummer 2  
     
9 Reanimates 50 71
Dispatch Runner 7  
Profane Banner 5  
Lingering Dead 3  
Support Carrion Lancer 6  
     
Archers 18 24
Combat Ingenuity 6  
     
Archers 18 24
Combat Ingenuity 6  

Idea being that the 9 reanimate block takes all the shots it can away from the 12 reanimate block and archers while feeding the larger block extra attacks via dispatch runner.

The Archers obviously feed blight into the enemy allowing Ardus and Company to maximize mortal strikes.

Since the 12 reanimate block is going to be fly paper, I though the tactical drummer might be handy to help shift away if it gets bogged down by 2 or more units. Then again, forgoing that attack might be a losing strategy, so maybe not.

The Support Carrion Lancer is really there just to fill out points I couldn't think if anything else to do with.

Again, I don't think this army is necessarily a winner, but that 12 reanimate block ought to be fully fresh by the time it sees combat and then come with 2 red, 1 White, tons of re-rolls, threat 4, 2 auto panics a turn, and the possibility of getting extra attacks from the dispatch runner. I guess the tactical idea would be to sit back and build up Inspiration Tokens to deal with the dispatch stuns and also to refresh the dispatch runner.

The downsides I see are that there a small number of units, they aren't very mobile and rely on being close to each other, and once the 9 reanimate block falls, the rest of the army becomes more vulnerable and less effective.
 

Edited by Elliphino

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