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Har Ganeth Executioners Synergies & Tactics 8th/9th edition 
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Slave on the Altar

Joined: Wed Sep 02, 2015 11:02 am
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Hi,

New dark elf player,

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Har Ganeth Executioners
Executioners are considered the bread and butter troop of the Dark Elf infantry. They come fairly cheap, making them popular for both small support units as well as large infantry blocks. They need little support to be effective, but don't make too bad a host for a combat character or shrine.


Just had a 8th edition Battle against dwarves, my 15x Executioners with dreadlord performed rather lackluster and were barely able to defeat 10 miners and 10 handgunners (they were 3 left With the dreadlord). Though to be honest I did forget about eternal hatred and murderous prowess which could potentially have made a big difference. (used to playing Empire so all these DE special rules went over my head lol)

That aside I just bought 20 more executioners on Ebay because the price was so good and the models are so great (my current executioners are dreadspears with polearm Conversion Proxy) and I'm wondering if there are any good synergies for Executioners with any Magic or other units? How do you use them? Is it worth going horde? is it best to have them MSU or in bigger Groups?

Thanks.


Wed Sep 02, 2015 11:47 am
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Black Guard
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Welcome!

I like executioners too but they can be a bit lacklustre due to not getting rerolls to hit and hence suffering from wiffing their attacks. I use lore of metal with them. 3 spells can be useful, glittering robes gives exes 3+ AS which helps, enchanted blades gives +1 to hit and additional -1 AS, so -4 total. The last one is the number 5 spell, can't remeber the name but it reduces enemy WS by -1, this can be important against other WS 5 elite troops (since you'll now hit on 3+).

You can also try adding a death hag with witchbrew, you'll get an extra attack via frenzy (and immunity to psychology). Good luck trying to keep the death hag alive though :)

I guess if you want to use them, you should use a bigger block, probably around 30.

Just my 2cents.

EDIT: one more thing, opposing elven armies can be a nightmare since they will be getting rerolls against your exes, so I generally also try to add in l2 with dark magic with tome of furion, for word of pain and doombolt.


Wed Sep 02, 2015 11:59 am
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Generalissimo
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There are quite a few ways to buff Executioners, although their utility did go down in their 8th edition army book:

- Lore of metal, as r530 says, has some spells that are very handy. +1 to his comments. Lore of life is also good for keeping them alive, which is never a bad thing for dark elves.
- You can add Tullaris as a hero in the unit - he gives the unit +1 extra attack by frenzying them, and is himself quite hard hitting as a front line character.
- You can add a death hag with witch brew to provide a further +1 attack by super frenzying them, giving them 3 attacks each. Beware, though, this reduces their frenzy test check down to 6 (or 7 if led by a leadership 10 model or within 12" of a leadership 10 general). However, it can be well worth it, if you can keep them from being diverted: 10 executioners who are superfrenzied get a staggering 30 attacks at initiative 5: incredible value for a unit that costs just a score over 100 points.
- Put a Cauldron of Blood into the middle of the unit. It gives them a 6+ ward save, plus the bound spell that can either frenzy them or super frenzy them (if already frenzied). It also provides impact hits and adds magic resistance. The downside is, though, that the re-roll to wound bonus is mostly wasted, because executioners typically wound on 2s against most foes, so don't need their murderous prowess to be boosted by the Cauldron's buff.
- Run them in horde units. 10 executioners by themselves get just 10 attacks - not enough to do very much. But 30 executioners in a horde formation get 30 attacks, which should chew through most small to medium units.

By the way, it was a flaw to forget murderous prowess in your game, but it's worth noting that Executioners DO NOT have eternal hatred anymore, just hatred (high elves), so you don't get the re-rolls to hit (nor do they have ASF, because their ASL weapons cancel that out, so they don't get re-rolls to hit from that either).

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Wed Sep 02, 2015 6:45 pm
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Weiseth wrote:
I'm wondering if there are any good synergies for Executioners with any Magic or other units? How do you use them? Is it worth going horde? is it best to have them MSU or in bigger Groups?


All these questions rely greatly on the army of your opponent. Personally I like to field them with a Death Hag and Witchbrew, because the Frenzy makes them so much better, often giving them the Banner of Swiftness to reach the enemy faster if I expect to be very aggressive or out-gunned.

I didn't use them in MSU armies, yet, because the lack of number of attacks if some are killed before reaching close combat seemed to big for me. Witch Elves deal much better with this, because of frenzy (no panic checks) and their ability to dish out a large number of attacks with re-rolls to hit, even if only five or six models make it into close combat.

All in all, the Executioners are often either game breaking or get shot to death before doing anything. Seldom have they been in between for me.

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Thu Sep 03, 2015 4:30 pm
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Slave on the Altar

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Thanks, have had 2 games With them so far using Your suggestion of Death Hag. The first game I was not able to come close to the enemy due to 2x dwellers bellow in to turns that I failed to dispel combined with fire from a cannon broke the unit. It was only a 1500p game though.

The second game was a 2000p DE vs Empire, had a lvl 4 Metal Sorceress that worked really well though I rolled horribly and were not able to use any damage spells effectively.

In this game around 16 out of 20 executioners got up too 25 halberds with 10 militia detachment and with frenzy and aiban blessing they did at least over 15 wounds completely destroying the enemy unit in one round :mrgreen:

My problem is getting my Dark Elf army over to the other side, I have a 4000p against Empire vs DE&TK this weekend, I have only used bloodwrack shrine so far but will use it as cauldron of blood and run it with the executioners+death hag as Red suggested, hopefully they will get across the field :D


Wed Oct 21, 2015 1:00 pm
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Generalissimo
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Glad you've seen some success with the unit in combat :)

Can I ask what other units you are running with it? Against an empire army, you are going to want lots of fast cavalry (warlocks and dark riders), flying stuff (harpies and pegasus fighting characters), and scouts (shades). Your goal is to run these around/over/behind your enemy's lines as quickly as possible to disable their artillery and missile troops (mages too if you can), thus allowing your footsloggers to get across the field without the threat of being blasted into oblivion by ranged and magic attacks. Your opponent should be faced with two choices: i) focus on your fast troops and ignore your footsloggers, allowing them to close with them and then decimate their army or ii) focus on your footsloggers and so get his missile troops and artillery destroyed by your fast troops.

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Wed Oct 21, 2015 11:36 pm
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Slave on the Altar

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Red... wrote:
Glad you've seen some success with the unit in combat :)

Can I ask what other units you are running with it? Against an empire army, you are going to want lots of fast cavalry (warlocks and dark riders), flying stuff (harpies and pegasus fighting characters), and scouts (shades). Your goal is to run these around/over/behind your enemy's lines as quickly as possible to disable their artillery and missile troops (mages too if you can), thus allowing your footsloggers to get across the field without the threat of being blasted into oblivion by ranged and magic attacks. Your opponent should be faced with two choices: i) focus on your fast troops and ignore your footsloggers, allowing them to close with them and then decimate their army or ii) focus on your footsloggers and so get his missile troops and artillery destroyed by your fast troops.


Yeah, what you described is my biggest weakness as my army consist of only standard infantry. :P The only cavalry I have available is 5 Cold One Knights, but I will definitely be buying some dark riders/warlocks and harpies asap. My army consist of 2x10 Darkshards, 25 Corsairs(handbow), 22 Dreadspears, 20 Executioners, Death hag+cauldron, Supreme sorceress, War Hydra and 5 cold one knights.

The empire army have helblaster, mortar, 2xCannons, 25 handgunners, at least 20 knights in two groups, pistoliers and over 100 models of infantry and basically all the heroes from General, Arch Lector, Wizard lord, 2xbattle wizards, 2x warrior priests, witch hunter with armor of destiny, engineer... :P The Tomb King player went mostly for quality this time, a lot of chariots with a prince on chariot, screaming catapult, warsphinx, tomb guard and two spellcasters. No casket of souls though which I think was a major mistake because the empire player will have 6 channels during the magic phase and if we can't dominate the magic or shooting then it doesn't look good.


Thu Oct 22, 2015 11:25 am
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Generalissimo
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Might your opponent allow you to proxy any troops? If so, you could run the Handbow Corsairs as Shades (not that big of a stretch) and use them as fast troops. If not, I would still try to use them as pseudo fast troops: maybe two units of 10 handbow corsairs and one unit of 5 handbow corsairs and send them down the flanks as quickly as possible.

Your problem is that your opponent can play a generic tin can strategy very well as things stand: he will pummel you with magic and missiles from afar, and when you manage to close with your infantry, he'll lunge forward with the knights and destroy whatever you have left in a big concerted charge.

Your best bet for keeping your army alive other than that is to take Lore of Life. The spells on that may give your executioners the survival chance they need to get across the board. Flesh to stone is pretty helpful against massed missile fire and magic (+2 toughness or +4 toughness if bolstered by throne of vines), as is regrowth (D3+1 / D6+1 regained wounds/models) and the signature spell Earthblood (5+ / 4+ regen to the unit that the wizard is in). T7 elves that come back to life when killed laugh at handgunners. Dwellers Below is also obviously very nice for killing massed his massed infantry and for popping the occasional S4 character too. Consider giving the supreme sorceress either a sacrificial dagger (put her in with dreadspears if you do) or other potency increasing magic item (e.g. book of ashur) to help her get her spells off.

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Thu Oct 22, 2015 5:29 pm
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Slave on the Altar

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Red... wrote:
Might your opponent allow you to proxy any troops? If so, you could run the Handbow Corsairs as Shades (not that big of a stretch) and use them as fast troops. If not, I would still try to use them as pseudo fast troops: maybe two units of 10 handbow corsairs and one unit of 5 handbow corsairs and send them down the flanks as quickly as possible.

Your problem is that your opponent can play a generic tin can strategy very well as things stand: he will pummel you with magic and missiles from afar, and when you manage to close with your infantry, he'll lunge forward with the knights and destroy whatever you have left in a big concerted charge.

Your best bet for keeping your army alive other than that is to take Lore of Life. The spells on that may give your executioners the survival chance they need to get across the board. Flesh to stone is pretty helpful against massed missile fire and magic (+2 toughness or +4 toughness if bolstered by throne of vines), as is regrowth (D3+1 / D6+1 regained wounds/models) and the signature spell Earthblood (5+ / 4+ regen to the unit that the wizard is in). T7 elves that come back to life when killed laugh at handgunners. Dwellers Below is also obviously very nice for killing massed his massed infantry and for popping the occasional S4 character too. Consider giving the supreme sorceress either a sacrificial dagger (put her in with dreadspears if you do) or other potency increasing magic item (e.g. book of ashur) to help her get her spells off.


Thanks, glad I read this before printing my army out. Made the last minute changes and split the corsairs and went for life instead of metal magic and gave her sacrifical dagger :) Pretty sure the empire player will bunker up with all that fire power. Luckily the Engineer range is quite short so if he wants to have most of his warmachines benefit from his reroll he should leave some weak points open. Looking forward to testing life magic with DE. :)


Thu Oct 22, 2015 7:01 pm
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Malekith's Personal Guard

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When all else fails, converting Handbow Corsairs into Shades is pretty simple. Just smooth greenstuff over the scales of the sea dragon cloak and you're done.

But Dark Riders, Harpies, Peggy masters, and Warlocks are wonderful aids to the Dark Elf maneuver battle.


Thu Oct 22, 2015 10:04 pm
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Slave on the Altar

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Just had the 8000p battle on Saturday. Was a great game, feels like Warhammer 8th really comes to life with large scales battles. 2500p is really good for normal games, anything lower than that and the tactics seem to become more irrelevant.

Don't want to derail the thread too much, will make a battlereport for the entire battle.

The Executioners with Death hag+Cauldron of blood was awesome, they faced off a knight charge with no casualties and massacred the knights with their strength 6 2A WS5, later they flanked and destroyed a 25 spearmen regiment that was locked fighting crypt ghouls and killed off another knight group with ease. They even faced a Great Fire Dragon (The one with basically 8 everything :twisted: ) and the death hag poison was what dealt the final death blow to the dragon, though at this point there were only 4 executioners left. The dragon had been in combat for 5 rounds against 25+ Tomb Guard+Tomb King. My ally had the final say in magic use, and due to 5 rounds with pathetic power dice he did not want to dispel the transformation of kadon spell and instead focus on resurrection. Remembered murderous prowess the entire game and damn it can make a big difference.

My biggest fault was the formation I ran them in, I had the cauldron at the side instead of in the middle, this led to the empire player sending forth a Pidgeon of doom that blew up 8 executioners :P After that a cannon ball killed off another 8 executioners. The 6+ward helped a little though, but the synergy of the unit worked really well. Ofc I can see why people use witch elves with 4+ save instead.

We also banned 4 spells from the game, purple sun, that transformation into gold spell, pit of shades and dwellers bellow. Life magic was a great choice, especially with the sacrificial dagger, though since my ally the TK player was wholly dependent on the PD for his army I was left with 0-2 PD a turn and the empire player focused on dispelling my buff/heal spells. This let the TK player resurrect a lot though. The dreadspears+Supreme Sorceress were trampled in the end though, as my executioners had gone from the left to the middle I had only 2x10 xbows to support the dreadspears and this game I really saw the weakness of the DE army which is lack of strong weapons. The xbows works great against light cavalry (the empire player went MSU with the cavalry 5x4 pistoliers and 4x4-6 IC/Reiksguard) but 4 knights obliterated my entire left flank which only have S3 attacks. The pistoliers also killed off the Cold one Knights before they got a chance to contribute.

The Corsairs were able to hold ground against 4 knights for 5 rounds taking only 4-6 wounds, but the low strength against +1armor save made them dependent on support, I can see why MSU shades can work better as the corsairs are too expensive to be just a block. They were able to finish two groups of pistoliers though after they got saved by the executioners.

Vulcan wrote:
When all else fails, converting Handbow Corsairs into Shades is pretty simple. Just smooth greenstuff over the scales of the sea dragon cloak and you're done.
But Dark Riders, Harpies, Peggy masters, and Warlocks are wonderful aids to the Dark Elf maneuver battle.


Will definitely get dark riders and warlocks. Fast cav is awesome being able to march and shoot they ran circles around the chariots and tomb guard, only the corsairs were able to finish the pistoliers off in the end before getting shredded by cannon fire themselves.

(Morathi is a proxy for the Great Fire Dragon which the lvl 2 amber wizard turned into)

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Tue Oct 27, 2015 1:56 pm
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