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Chris Tomlin

AoS 2 - Daughters of Khaine Discussion

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I love that old school Khaine statue, and that vivid green really puts the work in.

I'm holding out hope for a start collecting box, or some sort of oblique money saver on witch aelf boxes at some point, I would not be opposed to a second block of 30 myself, but not at the current pricepoint.

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My first game with DoK went very well. Thanks for the suggestions and help, Overread & InSaint. :) 

Was a 1k game against Nighthaunt in Duality of Death, but it felt like my army was a bit too competitive as there was not much to do to counter them as it consisted of two big blocks of witches supported by a hag queen each and a Hagg Nar SQ on cauldron buffing them all. The outcome was decided in round 2, and he was tabled in round 3 with me having lost about 25% of my army in total.

Witch aelves (even without mindrazor!) have even more insane damage output than I thought when they get rerolls on both to hit and to wound. And Hagg Nar made them surprisingly resilient, especially with Blessing of Khaine. Looking forward to expanding my murder elves with some more unit types.

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14 hours ago, Clinch said:

My first game with DoK went very well. Thanks for the suggestions and help, Overread & InSaint. :) 

Was a 1k game against Nighthaunt in Duality of Death, but it felt like my army was a bit too competitive as there was not much to do to counter them as it consisted of two big blocks of witches supported by a hag queen each and a Hagg Nar SQ on cauldron buffing them all. The outcome was decided in round 2, and he was tabled in round 3 with me having lost about 25% of my army in total.

Witch aelves (even without mindrazor!) have even more insane damage output than I thought when they get rerolls on both to hit and to wound. And Hagg Nar made them surprisingly resilient, especially with Blessing of Khaine. Looking forward to expanding my murder elves with some more unit types.

Had similar experiences against nh. Seems such a bad match up for them.

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6 hours ago, NurglesFirstChosen said:

Had similar experiences against nh. Seems such a bad match up for them.

Same here, 30 Grimghast Reapers charged 30 Witch Aelves, I lost 10 models and proceeded to wipe his entire unit off.

NHs do well against rending attacks as they ignore rend but suffer against high volume of attacks.

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I stopped playing Fantasy as the End Times happened and gave up on GW completely. However, over the past few years they've turned themselves around and so I've returned to the fold with 40k 8th edition and Warhammer Underworlds. 

Naturally, this is leading into Age of Sigmar, especially with 2.0 around and my toes dipped in via Shadespire. 

In the days of yore I was a Dark Elf devotee and loved me some Witch Elves, so, Daughters of Khaine seem like a good fit for me. 

The question I have is, in building a 2k army, are any of the battalions worth the points? The only really cost effective one from my, admittedly unlearned, point of view would be the Cauldron Guard. 

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5 minutes ago, zombiepiratexxx said:

I stopped playing Fantasy as the End Times happened and gave up on GW completely. However, over the past few years they've turned themselves around and so I've returned to the fold with 40k 8th edition and Warhammer Underworlds. 

Naturally, this is leading into Age of Sigmar, especially with 2.0 around and my toes dipped in via Shadespire. 

In the days of yore I was a Dark Elf devotee and loved me some Witch Elves, so, Daughters of Khaine seem like a good fit for me. 

The question I have is, in building a 2k army, are any of the battalions worth the points? The only really cost effective one from my, admittedly unlearned, point of view would be the Cauldron Guard. 

I haven't used it myself, but I have seen a lot of people running Temple Nest (for snake armies) and Slaughter Troupe. So there are some viable options for sure. At least Slaughter Troupe has done very well in competitive settings as well. Temple Nest might not be as worthwhile simply because it forces you to take two ranged units that are quite subpar compared to their melee variant.

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On 9/26/2018 at 5:11 AM, Clinch said:

I haven't used it myself, but I have seen a lot of people running Temple Nest (for snake armies) and Slaughter Troupe. So there are some viable options for sure. At least Slaughter Troupe has done very well in competitive settings as well. Temple Nest might not be as worthwhile simply because it forces you to take two ranged units that are quite subpar compared to their melee variant.

They might be subpar, but they are essentially the equal to Stormcast Judicators.  They couldn't be any better without a point hike.  I'm not sure I'd want to bring them up to Skyfire's level if the points matched

 

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On 9/24/2018 at 6:59 PM, Overread said:

Really nice work there, I like the use of the classic cauldron models! 

 

 

Also fellow Khanites give me strength to order another 30 Witches! I've decided I won't event attempt batch painting them until I've got my ideal core of 100 witches (90 in 3 groups and 10 "spares" some for conversion work and a couple for sacrifice to the painting gods of experimenting). I've got 30 but its painful to spend this much on core troops! 

Yeah, spending retail prices on Witch Aelves is really painful. I own 60, bit i did some really good deals on used witches. 

Maybe you want to keep an eye on trading groups, forums or ebay

Edited by Dodo

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Sadly I'm more in the market for new or on sprue so that's hard to find at any steep discount past what one would get from a 3rd party retail store. I'm also not a big fan of the old metal designs (at least based on photos, might be different if I saw them in the flesh); asides which old metals tend to retain a very good value in general. 

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I actually have 10 witches converted up from Necromunda Escher gangers with all the sci-fi scraped of and heads swapped which I still need to paint up at some point, I was going to use them as human converts to the cult of Khaine before the new book dropped and added, like, actual lore to the faction.  They don't look very witch elf-y, but a handful scattered around with regular witch elves does help with visual variety at least.

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I would be very careful buying more than 60 witch aelves honestly. With the amount of 90 witch elf and 3+ death hag tournament lists I have been seeing lately I feel a nerf is inevitable IMHO, and that's a lot of money to spend on a unit that might not end up as insanely viable as it is now.  I could easily see Hag Queens doubling in cost and Witch Aelves going up by about 20-30 points per 10 or losing the horde discount. 

 

Edited by Lord Veshnakar

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My plan is at least a solid 30 with bucklers and 30 with twin blades and then work from there as to what works. Personally I'd rather see witches go up in points than hagqueens, but overall I can't see them raising points to the point where the basic infantry unit becomes impossible to afford. 

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I can see them making it less reasonable to take Witch Aelves in huge massed units. I think the horde discount going away is a given at this point. Especially if tournament players keep hitting the top 10 with the same types of list.  And honestly Hag Queens at 60 points, a unit that can make a unit re-roll failed wounds, immune to battleshock, and cast two prayers is pretty absurd. Especially since prayers are just spells that can't be dispelled, and we have some dang good ones. My opinion though obviously.

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Hah, I'm certainly expecting some, ahem, adjustments when the next lot of FAQs come around, it's a little tricky cos I feel things like Witch Aelves are costed fairly appropriately for their actual stat-block, but not when you add all the DoK allegiance freebies on top of that.

Hag Queen could do with a points bump for sure, +20-40 points would be fine I think, or perhaps adjust the Witchbrew a bit and make it a command ability, frankly it's more potent than some command abilities anyway.  Blood Sisters could go up to 160 and still be a perfectly reasonable ask I think.  As someone who plays Hagg Nar almost exclusively it feels a little strong for a free choice as well, I'd maybe change the re-roll all hits to having units count it as the turn ahead on the blood rites table?  That might still be too good.  Witch Aelves losing the hordes bonus seems fine, or I could see them points-matching with Sisters of Slaughter maybe?

I wouldn't know what to do with Blood Stalkers though, I feel giving them two shots each would make them a more tempting pick.  And lifetakers suffer from being basically just faster, worse Witch Aelves with less attacks on huge bases, I guess you could give them -1 rend base, maybe an extra attack at 10+ models, or something?  Quite tough to balance things out!

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The trick is to make sure that they don't adjust DoK in such a way that it doesn't just weaken them but cripples them or cripples a unit specific strategy that results in them having to swing to using all snake heavy lists ( for example). The other aspect is to check that who they are beating is updated armies. If they are sweeping the floor of armies that are not yet fully updated it might be gaps in those armies rather than Daughters which are the real issue. 

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For blood stalkers, I would like to see the errata keeping Morathi’s ability from triggering their mortal wounds redacted. Her command ability clearly says, “as if it were the shooting phase.” And the errata contradicts itself as there’s no faq that correlates to its wording. That simple change would make them more useful and make lists have more variety.

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On 9/19/2018 at 2:00 PM, Overread said:

Question - am I the only one that sees the heads Khinerai models have at their hips as Stormcast face helms? 

Would be a bit weird as the sigmarite armour gets lightninged back to sigmar when a stormcast dies according to the lore. 

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26 minutes ago, Kramer said:

Would be a bit weird as the sigmarite armour gets lightninged back to sigmar when a stormcast dies according to the lore. 

Sometimes it fails - in at least one book the stormcast energies get sucked into a Tzeentch fortress. So there are ways to manipulate it. 

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Has anyone really pushed a Drachi Ganeth build to it's potential, even for an experiment?
Based off of +1 to hit from charging alone, it seems like the below will be pretty beneficial

  • Cogs ( +2 charge and +2 move, battleline can run and charge) allows us to get off our Allegiance ability +1 to hit more often.
  • Blood Stalkers ( Crystal Touch, 1 mortal wound per model on a 3+ )
  • Lifetakers (when they charge they hit on 2s for 2 dmg ) 
  • Cauldron of Blood - Mortal wounds on the charge.
  • Bloodwrack Shrine - Mortal wounds on the charge.
  • Slaughter Troupe
    • Retreat and charge, so they can charge every turn.
    • Seems lack luster in giving up the retreat and 6'' pile in on Sisters of Slaughter.
    • Great with Slaughter Queen on Cauldron for mortal wounds every round.
    •  Seems valid on HeartRenderers so they can retreat and again do some back lines point sniping instead of being wiped out and unable to get that shoot and 6'' move.)
    • 2 additional Witch Aelves units added to Slaughter Troupe, allowing them to retreat run and charge every round with +1 seems strong.

Thoughts?

Edited by Jais

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12 hours ago, Lucentia said:

Hah, I'm certainly expecting some, ahem, adjustments when the next lot of FAQs come around, it's a little tricky cos I feel things like Witch Aelves are costed fairly appropriately for their actual stat-block, but not when you add all the DoK allegiance freebies on top of that.

Hag Queen could do with a points bump for sure, +20-40 points would be fine I think, or perhaps adjust the Witchbrew a bit and make it a command ability, frankly it's more potent than some command abilities anyway.  Blood Sisters could go up to 160 and still be a perfectly reasonable ask I think.  As someone who plays Hagg Nar almost exclusively it feels a little strong for a free choice as well, I'd maybe change the re-roll all hits to having units count it as the turn ahead on the blood rites table?  That might still be too good.  Witch Aelves losing the hordes bonus seems fine, or I could see them points-matching with Sisters of Slaughter maybe?

I wouldn't know what to do with Blood Stalkers though, I feel giving them two shots each would make them a more tempting pick.  And lifetakers suffer from being basically just faster, worse Witch Aelves with less attacks on huge bases, I guess you could give them -1 rend base, maybe an extra attack at 10+ models, or something?  Quite tough to balance things out!

Yeah, I am also fairly certain Witch Aelves or their mechanics are going to get adjusted in a matter of time. They are pretty average stats wise but becomes phenomenal with all the buffs stacking on top of them. 30 Witch Aelves, with Witch Brew, Catechism of Murder, Blessing of Khaine, Sacrament of Blood and Bloodshield is just cray cray.

That is 30 wounds at 4+/5++ re-rollable, 6s save mortal wounds, ignore battleshock, re-roll wounds (and potentially hits) and exploding hits. Not to mention, 3-4 attacks each attacking in 2 rows with 25mm bases. Lastly they can move, run AND charge, with re-rollable run and charge rolls of 1s. There is almost nothing they suck at except maybe taking down 2+/re-roll 1 saves unit which they can easily avoid with their high mobility.

I think they might limit to each unit may only be affected by 1 unique prayer each turn. This forces player to chose to either go offensive or defensive depending on the prayers.

BUT collecting DoK is crazy expensive and sales are mediocre, at least here in Singapore where the number of known DoK generals can be counted on 1 hand! So unless sales start picking up, I highly doubt they will do anything more than a slap on the wrist to the Battletome.

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I think what happens to Daughters of Khaine is going to depend a lot on what GW's balancing philosophy shakes out to be. While some people might not like the current dynamics of the game (which have been leaning toward faster, alpha-heavy play), an argument can be made that the overall balance level has never been better. In every other phase of AOS there have been one or two factions that were clearly creating an unhealthy dynamic in the metagame. In GHB2016 it was largely Destruction (pick two of: kunnin' rukk, stonehorn/thundertusk spam, goblin spam) and in GHB2017 it was Tzeentch. There isn't any army that is proving to be oppressive like that. While there are a few armies that are putting up pretty consistently good results (DoK among them), there are clearly quite a few options at the top of the pile. And tournament after tournament has shown that there are plenty of other factions that can still put up great finishes. 

At this point there just isn't evidence of a need for a big rebalance. Some minor buffs to underperforming factions could make the metagame even more diverse, but as it is there are just a ton of options and nothing is oppressive. The only thing that could arguably use a look is the predominance of alpha-strike lists, but of all the top tier lists DoK (and maybe Nurgle) is the least capable of being built for an alpha-strike. 

Right now, I think the game is balanced around pervasive imbalance. Just about every competitive faction has some things about it that are busted. The result is that external faction balance is still solid even though internal balance for some factions is very skewed (SCE is probably the best example of this). 

The most broken things that DoK have right now are definitely Witch Aelves and Hag Queens. Despite that fact, nearly every unit DoK has access to is still seeing some level of competitive play (exceptions: Blood Stalkers and Khinerai Lifetakers). I'm a huge fan of mathhammer and efficiency, but any serious player will tell you that the numbers aren't everything. Tactically useful but inefficient units can make or break a competitive list. In some ways, hyper efficient units like Witch Aelves can make inefficient tactical units (like Khinerai) competitively viable. If you have a very efficient foundation, you can afford to take some inefficient units too. 

DoK pays for these advantages in other areas. DoK has no real viable way to alpha strike, has relatively weak magic defense, and has difficulty lowering drop count. Most if not all of the other highly competitive factions have a similar dynamic -- a set of things that are well above par and a few clearly defined weaknesses.

Ultimately, how GW reacts to this will be a major crossroads. I see two paths and one supplementary question:

  • Shake things up just for the sake of change. This will likely entail wide reaching nerfs across all of the competitive factions affecting all of the "cornerstone" units that define each factions competitiveness. Supplement with buffs to bring up factions that weren't as competitive and/or to make new sets of warscrolls the foundation of competitive lists for formerly competitive factions.
  • Use a light touch to maintain or enhance the current state of balance by keeping competitive factions largely the same with a small tweak here and there plus buffs to factions that need help.
  • Supplementary question: do we want to keep the metagame as aggressive as it is? If so there could be some global nerfs to the abilities that enable alpha-strikes, and this will likely involve errata more than just point changes.

If GW goes with the former, expect Hag Queens and Witch Aelves to get hammered. If the latter, then I could see things staying mostly untouched or with a small nerf only.

Personally, I think GW would be incredibly foolish to go with the first approach. It's far riskier and has limited upside compared with a huge potential downside. The upside is that they might sell more models as the competitive churn would be higher, but the downside is that it would seriously ****** off enfranchised players and be very likely to result in a less balanced metagame overall. This strategy would be a good one if the game were stagnating. In that case the benefit of shaking things up is higher. If a lot of players are expressing boredom with the status quo, then it's time to take that risk. I don't see that happening now. I see a lot of excitement about the diversity of lists placing well at tournaments as well as continued excitement about new releases. I don't think GW needs churn among high level competitive players right now. Top players will buy into new armies anyway as they get bored with their current ones. What GW needs is to keep expanding the core of the playerbase, and showcasing tons of factions doing well at events is the perfect way of doing that.

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Not a DoK player so take this with a grain of salt but looking from outside the faction Hag Queens are way too undercosted for what they provide, a fact proven by how much of the feedback on here is "You need more Hag Queens" even when people already have two. How many other heroes (let alone buffing heroes) in the game are in the same situation?

I think just by changing them around a bit (maybe not even pointwise but by putting some kind of limit on the number of times they can use their abilities?) I think DoK will be in a pretty balanced place. DoK relies heavily on synergy so I'm hoping that whilst GW lowers they're power level slightly (I personally think they are a bit too strong on a casual player level making them a bit unfun to play against with some armies) they do so by carefully looking at the synergies and putting greater opportunity costs in them than by simply increasing points on a blanket level.

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One thing to keep in mind is that whilst Hag Queens are great as a support model, they are not "as" great on their own. When people use them they are using them primarily as a support unit for other models rather than running them alone into blocks of enemy infantry. So that might be one reason why and adjustment might be slight rather than wholesale - they do a lot, but then again they require another few hundred points of models in order to provide that support to a target. 

Another aspect is that a lot of Daughter's units are already quite expensive in points, barring the witches and hag queen, a lot of the rest are quite expensive. Doomfires, Cauldrons and snakes are all rather on the expensive side; khinerai are also rather expensive for such a fragile unit. So when one takes into account the pricing not just of one unit, but the army as a whole, it makes sense that there are a few viable cheaper options for Daughters to have access too. 

 

 

I think in the end the real question is if hags and witches is a powerful combo or a brokenly powerful combo. I'd wager its sort of sitting in the middle of the two - its strong, but its not horrifically brokenly strong. 

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4 hours ago, Overread said:

One thing to keep in mind is that whilst Hag Queens are great as a support model, they are not "as" great on their own. When people use them they are using them primarily as a support unit for other models rather than running them alone into blocks of enemy infantry. So that might be one reason why and adjustment might be slight rather than wholesale - they do a lot, but then again they require another few hundred points of models in order to provide that support to a target. 

Another aspect is that a lot of Daughter's units are already quite expensive in points, barring the witches and hag queen, a lot of the rest are quite expensive. Doomfires, Cauldrons and snakes are all rather on the expensive side; khinerai are also rather expensive for such a fragile unit. So when one takes into account the pricing not just of one unit, but the army as a whole, it makes sense that there are a few viable cheaper options for Daughters to have access too. 

 

 

I think in the end the real question is if hags and witches is a powerful combo or a brokenly powerful combo. I'd wager its sort of sitting in the middle of the two - its strong, but its not horrifically brokenly strong. 

Yeah. People tend to forget that a lot of what witches bring is because of the buffs, BUT those hags are really, really squishy. Hence the"gotta have more hags" posts. There's not a lot of hero choices here as opposed to many AoS factions. Gotta go with what works as when people start sniping hags, it's over. I found that if you can weather the storm of attacks, witch elves dissapear quite rapidly once they are counter-attacked. Especially without the inspiring presence from the brew.

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But literally every buffing hero in the game only works by spending points on other things, that's hardly unique. You have to take that into account but you also have to take into account that one Hag Queen can buff almost a quarter of your army with no roll and then still have a 66% chance of throwing another buff on there.

Look at factions like Nighthaunt where almost all of their heroes are support and you'll see you're paying more for all of their heroes (the comparison is admittedly a bit harder because they are AoE but weaker effects) and Khorne support heroes are similar expensive (the Blood Priest is the best comparison as a fellow Priest).

Hag Queens aren't even all that fragile compared to some other factions support heroes if you run Hagg Nar and she's near the Blood Cauldron.

Also, DoK aren't that expensiveness as a faction but more middle of the road in my mind, especially Witch Aelves which are the battleline staple cost of 100pts. Warlocks and Blood Stalkers are expensive but compare Khinarai to Tree Revenants and you'll see they are the same cost for a similar fragility whilst also having a freer deepstrike mechanic and 140pts for an elite option is hardly rare. You're only wizards are admittedly expensive however but they also have a good range attack and can hold their own in combat unlike most wizards.

Like I said however, I get that DoK are all about synergies and I don't want that taken away. I also don't think they are broken strong but rather above the curve in a way that makes them very challenging and potentially unfun to play against on a more casual level and I think this arises from the fact that at the moment DoK seems to get access to the majority of their buffing potential for little downsides outside of hero sniping (which matters less when they have the option to run so many cheap support characters).

Anyway, I think I'll bow out here, I'm not a DoK player and I don't want to derail the conversation. I just noticed you were talking about what you though would change and wanted to give my two cents as an outside player with a big interest in the army who is currently put off because I can't help but see even a softer army dominating my local meta.

Edited by Yoshiya
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