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Best Tactics for 8th ed and Age of Sigmar 
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Malekith's Best Friend
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Given ou continual love of 8th edition and the advent of 8th ed, what do you think the best strategies are.

This week: Dreadspears

In general spear men are a go to unit in the game and in real life. It is the longest used weapon used by man with variations including the lance, pike, javelin, harpoon, trident, boar spear, glaive, guan doe, and of course the riffle after a bayonet has been attached to it.

The end results should be obvious.

8th edition.
In my own experience: Spearmen get the most use when they come in mass as the whole point is to allow extra ranks to fight. So the wider the rank, and the more ranks you get the better you have it. They are also one of the cheaper units in the game, so taking them en mass won't be a problem. Add a sorceress with a sacrificial dagger and you have a unit that can stand their ground while feeding our supreme sorceress's more difficult spells.

I have yet to use them in Sigmar, so what are your thoughts on that?

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Fri May 12, 2017 9:35 pm
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I'm afraid I don't have the models to make big deathstars of Spearman, or any units really; the closest I get is 20+ Corsairs. While some strategies (like Sorceress/Sac Dagger) seem like tons of fun and tactically relevant, I generally don't see why Deathstars seem so favored in many army lists. Playing against my opponents' deathstars, I just use my superior mobility to avoid them all game. Why would I fight that block of 40 plaguebearers and a Herald of Nurgle when I can pick off everything else and run around?


Wed May 31, 2017 7:06 pm
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Trust me, 50+ Dreadspears is not a deathstar unless it's boosted HEAVILY.

T3 5+ save means they die in droves, just like every other dark elf (barring CO Knights). Its really hard to deathstar when surrendering that much ACR each round.


Wed May 31, 2017 10:18 pm
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Vulcan wrote:
Trust me, 50+ Dreadspears is not a deathstar unless it's boosted HEAVILY.

T3 5+ save means they die in droves, just like every other dark elf (barring CO Knights). Its really hard to deathstar when surrendering that much ACR each round.

Forgive my ignorance but what is ACR?
But yes, this is just my point; while some armies can make strong immobile blocks that resist spells and ranged fire well enough to eventually make it into combat against similarly immobile opponents, it seems to me that Druchii aren't built for deathstars; rather smaller roleplayer and elite units. What is an example of a good Druchii deathstar unit if not Dreadspears?


Thu Jun 01, 2017 5:12 pm
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Witch elves with the cauldron of blood would classify as a death star, with their ward save, mr and hideous amounts of attacks.

That said, I have a soft spot for spears as well. This is one of the most important units in our lore. I have employed them with considerable success in this edition but the context is important. I usually fight Dwarves and lesser Elves. And smaller games. This is a big factor. In sub 2k points they offer a good body count and mediocre combat power for their price. The enemy needs to invest resources into killing the unit, which is a bit harder at this point size, and which means he can't invest those resources elsewhere. But if they are ignored, they can break elite units with a tad support, and their numbers removing the enemy's steadfast.
I've seen them run down Phoenix guard and all it took was a Souldblight.
In larger games, though, other units ramp up the power far better which... becomes even more important.

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Thu Jun 01, 2017 6:34 pm
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ACR: Active Combat Resolution. Basically, the number of kills made (or in this case, suffered) by a unit. As opposed to SCR: Static Combat Resolution - Ranks, standards, and other such modifiers that aren't dependent on dice.

Really, the only way elves in general can deathstar is by making something SO terrifyingly killy that little-to-nothing is left standing to swing back.


Fri Jun 02, 2017 3:34 am
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Dreadspears make for a useful anvil unit, ideal for hosting wizards and adding a roadblock onto the table through which the enemy cannot easily punch through (acting as the center piece in a rolling left or right punch strategy, for example). For that purpose, they would be used in rows of 5 and would be multiple ranks deep. They could be used as sacrificial dagger fuel, as they were the joint cheapest unit in the dark elf book, but at just under 10 points a model that was actually still quite costly and with the nerfing of the dagger, it became a less no-brainer strategy than in 7th edition.

The big problem with dreadspears in 8th edition was always that bleakswords offered the same low price, but fitted the role of anvil better. Dreadspears gave you an extra rank each, but bleakswords gave you a very nice ward save in close combat. Given that the aim of an anvil unit is to provide mass, not kills, the benefits of being a little bit more durable outweighs the benefits of an extra 5 attacks when charged from the front.

Oh, and a good death star unit for dark elves would be the executioner horde. With a WS of 5 and an S of 6, they could easily cut through most opponents (even heavy cavalry struggle) and as ASF and ASL cancel one another out, they would strike on initiative 5, which puts them above most other non-elf enemies. Throw in some special characters and you have a monster of a unit for quite a cheap price, and with M5 they are actually quite likely to get into combat.

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Fri Jun 02, 2017 6:17 pm
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Yeah, I used 30ish Executioners with Tullaris and a Brewhag for some truly devastating punch when I wanted to run a straight-forward combat army instead of a maneuver-intensive one. Problem is, it's quite vulnerable to shooting and other ranged damage effects. T3/5+ simply isn't terribly durable no matter what you do.


Sat Jun 03, 2017 4:30 am
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Yes indeed. Add lore of life and go for flesh to stone and throne of vines as spells. T5 or even T7 execs are rock hard (pun noted but innuendo not intended).

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Sat Jun 03, 2017 1:02 pm
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certainly, as a dreadstar the executioners are better. But then a block of dreadspears can be welcome in many lists, has some good uses and comes from core. As I see it, the dreadspears are well balanced and deliver a good bang for your buck... The meta isn't enitrely in their favour in the default 2.4k competitive setting. There they would need to be cheaper by 1 point per model at least to get the occasional selection. But in a more casual environment and smaller games, I do think they are worth it.

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Sat Jun 03, 2017 5:16 pm
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Oh, yes, you can always use magic to harden the defenses of any DE unit, just as one can use magic to make Witches S8 killing machines.

But it's not something you can rely on when you REALLY need it.


Sun Jun 04, 2017 2:14 am
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I guess part of the problem is that we have better choices for specialised roles, which offer higher chances of success. They are good, but in a specialty role they are outmatched. I still like them though. Somehow they just deliver in my games but I play in a casual meta :)

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"I move unseen. I hide in light and shadow. I move faster than a bird. No plate of armour ever stopped me. I strike recruits and veterans with equal ease. And all shiver at my coldest of whispers."
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Sun Jun 04, 2017 9:00 pm
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No argument there. And for certain things they do quite well, especially in smaller games where you can't afford the variety of specialist units to cover all your bases.

And having a block of 50 that will be steadfast against just about anything they won't be beating handily (like zombies, skellies, or skaven) to pin down the enemy for a round or two can be handy, especially if you pre-positioned an convenient hammer unit to flank.


Mon Jun 05, 2017 2:22 am
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But the basic problem becomes that dreadspears and bleakswords play exactly the same role - big, steadfast anvil. So, any analysis of dreadspears has to compare them with bleakswords, and in that comparison, dreadspears come out worse. Ultimately, bleakswords perform the assigned role better because they have the extra ward savebonus , whereas the extra rank of spears for dreadspears is mostly pretty meh.

Plus, my warriors all have swords (they're the original plastic warriors), so swords all the way!

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Mon Jun 05, 2017 2:49 am
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Again, fair point. I didn't have any Bleaksword minis until recently (and now I'm about 150 miles from the nearest WFB community... sigh) so I don't have any experience using the darned things...


Mon Jun 05, 2017 9:47 pm
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