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Moldek

Starting skirmish with Storm Strike

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Hello everyone,

I’ve recently purchased the Storm Strike starter set to paint and play with my girlfriend.

After reading the rules and trying out the tutorial scenarios, it seems clear that the base rules are intended for bigger units, heroes etc. So I want to try out the skirmish rules, especially with the campaign stuff that’s coming in the next white dwarf.

Still it feels that the contents of the box are a little light. I also have a couple more easy to build minis but I’m guessing we would need a hero each at least. Here’s what we have :

Nighthaunt :

-7 glaivewraith stalkers

-4 myrmourn banshees

SCE:

-3 sequitors

-4 castigators

-1 gryph hound

I’m not looking for a perfect points match, just a rough balance to build a couple of fun and flexible warbands. My thinking is that I could pick up the cheap knight invocator, and for nighthaunt the tomb banshee or the cairn wraith, so we have a hero each. Also the low prices are nice :)

what do you think? Any suggestions or tips?

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If you use the Knight Incantor, make sure you house-rule his spell so that it can’t wipe out the entire enemy warband in one go.  Some have suggested a “rule of three” where you can’t inflict more than three mortal wounds per turn no matter what abilities or spells you use. 

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I'm guessing you don't have battletomes for either faction yet, but you can check points costs on GW's army builder here: https://www.warhammer-community.com/warscroll-builder/

So you've got:

-Glaivewrath Stalkers - 15pts each

-Myrnmourn Banshees - 20pts each

-Sequitors - 24pts each

-Castigators - 26pts each

-Gryph Hound - 23pts each

 

So you've got 185pts of Nighthaunt and 199pts of Stormcast (not including the +5 for each champion/prime)

So technically, for Skirmish, you'd need to get a Nighthaunt hero and a Stormcast hero, but you don't have to do that. If you want to give it a try right away, you could set the starting points of each warband lower (say 185, or 150 if you want the Nighthaunt player to have more choice), and say that each warband has to declare one model as its leader (a Stormcast Prime, and maybe on the Nighthaunt side it could be the Glaivewrath drummer?). The leader gains the hero keyword and can take artifacts, traits, etc as if they were a hero - you could even say they get an extra wound or two and an extra attack to give them more staying power and make them feel more special.

As long as both forces have the same points they should be roughly balanced, though in this case the Stormcast probably have the edge, and the Banshees are pretty overcosted because, without any wizards on the field, their main power doesn't do anything. I think you could try solving both problems by giving the Banshees a new rule:

Any Stormcast Eternal model in base contact with a Myrnmourn Banshee cannot use its Aetheric Channelling ability.

And if that feels too powerful/not powerful enough you can tweak it from there. 

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I'm in the same situation, also bought the Storm Strike box and some extras. I got the Knight Incantor and some nighthaunt heroes from the Soul wars box, but I guess what we should be looking for is some low point cost heroes to make it fun and make all the units useful in skirmish. I'm thinking maybe a Lord Executioner for the nighthaunt. Not sure what to use for a Stormcast hero, probably best to get one of the 100p leaders to leave room for the rest of the units. My wife will be playing the Stormcasts so for her it would be fun to have a female leader, one option could be to get Neave Blacktalon and maybe use her as a regular Knight-Zephyros to save 20 points and not make her too powerful compared to the rest of the units. Another fun thing to do would be to get a Lord-Castellant or Lord-Veritant, preferably a female conversion, but I have a feeling that won't be a cheap option...

We could also look outside Stormcast and Nighthaunt for the heroes in Skirmish, I think a Necromancer would be a fitting leader for the nighthaunt but not sure it would be very good with the summoning rules for Skirmish. If we look at all of the Order grand alliance for a leader for the Stormcast there's a lot to choose from, i hope the warscroll builder gets updated for the new skirmish rules soon!

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Thanks everyone for the replies!

@Ddogwood the rule of three is a good idea, I’ll try this out

@robinlvalentine great suggestion, I think we’ll stick with the models we have until they’re all painted up and we master the rules a bit more. Thanks for the houserule suggestion. We may also use some count-as, I know my girlfriend doesn’t like the tomb banshee miniature but it looks similar enough to a myrmourn that we could just use one instead.

@Umbriel that’s a good point that we could look at the whole grand alliance, it does open up the possibilities! Looks like we have a similar situation (although my girl chose nighthaunts, damn her!). I guess the main problem with a lot of the heroes is that you have to field bigger units to balance them out, so they require a significant investment. May always go with the coolest models and field them as less powerful options if necessary :)

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Could be worth grabbing the nightvault warbands for nighthaunt and sacrosanct, theyre cheap and should give you some nice variety.

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That’s a great idea @Captain Marius ! Plus given they are both in the base game it’s very justifiable to buy it, so we get to play that too...

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On 1/13/2019 at 3:20 AM, Ddogwood said:

If you use the Knight Incantor, make sure you house-rule his spell so that it can’t wipe out the entire enemy warband in one go.  Some have suggested a “rule of three” where you can’t inflict more than three mortal wounds per turn no matter what abilities or spells you use. 

I played a game where I did this to my opponent and it was just ridiculous. Everything except the hero died. I was like wow, that is broken as hell.

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@AlphaKennyThing haha reading the warscroll I can see that happening... even just playing with the starter box models it’s easy to tell that the game is designed for at least 4-5 units each side. It seems kind of tricky to use the same rules in skirmish games, that’s my main worry.  I think we’ll start playing as-is then adapt the rules as we go. Might make it target one model only or make the range something like 4 inches 🤔

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Honestly I think you'll really struggle with using the Storm Strike units to have fun Skirmish games (in the long run). The units included are not that balanced anyway* (which is fine it's just a nice littler box to get you started playing) but in Skirmish especially I think it tips the scales well in the SCE's favour.

In fact as it stands Death is going to be a tricky one for Skirmish as so much of their strength (and so points cost) is about both having large horde units (Skeletons or Chainrasps for example) that get more effective the bigger the unit and then being able to replenish those units throughout the game. Neither of which are possible options in Skirmish (assuming you rule that things like a Necromancer's Deathly Invocation ability counts as summoning new models).

As someone who has been slowly building up both LoN and Nighthaunt armies for the main game over the past year it's giving me pause for thought, I'm still going to try a few different builds as I have a really nice thematically pleasing core force built around a Necromancer that's narratively perfect for a Skirmish sized warband (and I love these size games) but it's also spurring me to diversify and have fun creating a few other armies.

Getting the Nightvault set is a good idea though, the game itself is lots of fun and great when you fancy playing something in the evening for just 40 minutes or so. But the Briar Queen & bonus lads would be a cool addition to what you have, you get a decent hero with magic and a ranged attack, plus the 6 rasps for just 150 points.

In fact if you do want to expand beyond the Storm Strike sets have a look at all the different Underworlds warbands available , they're all generally a nice mix of abilities in each one, and the models are all pretty fun (and quick to build) so work really well as a start to a little Skirmish force (I know I'm going to use my Eyes of the Nine and Zarbag's Gitz warbands to get me going with Chaos and Destruction warbands).

I think we all just have to remember these new Skirmish rules are really beta-rules at best, which is not a problem for me at all, you just need to be ready to roll up your sleeves and be prepared to do a bit of house ruling for the moment.  Anyway have fun!

 

 

* Actually especially so if you're just using the Storm Strike models as a lot of the cost of the Myrmourn Banshees is for their anti-magic abilities, as you're essentially just up against a load of big hard lads with hammers you're paying for an ability you'll not use.

Edited by JPjr

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@JPjr thanks for the detailed feedback! It does seem that  nighthaunt are not a great fit for small skirmishes. We’re still learning the rules so that will have to do for now. We’ll probably play a few games  using the full core rules, playing as units rather than single models.

I definitely am looking at the Underworlds warbands, maybe a chainrasp box and beyond that I have a lot of old empire figures so I might expand my SCE into devoted of sigmar. First we have to get all this painted though :)

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Been great reading all the responses, very insightful. I understand there are some dedicated Skirmish players out there who can really make the game work. I think another way to view Skirmish is as an escalation campaign where the main objective is to have fun growing an army for Path to Glory and the full game. If you love the Sacrosanct Chamber and the Nighthaunt (and why wouldn’t you) and want to grow these forces I say go for it. I would recommend the previously suggested rule of three though and consider other mods to keep the games as fun as possible. 

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Hey @Greyshadow thanks for the feedback. I think you’re right, as of right now skirmish is designed as a stepping stone to grow an army. I don’t think I want to get to a full 2000 pts force but I could see myself going to 500-700 points where the mechanics start to really kick in. I’m really interested in the various fanmade extensions and will probably try some of them out once I know the rules well enough... and will probably try the campaign stuff in next week’s white dwarf too!

We may even try a couple other rulesets like frostgrave which seem like fun too

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To anyone interested, I did flesh out our forces a bit today. I picked up the cheap knight incantor from the Starting AoS magazine, and for the nighthaunt I managed to find a secondhand lord executionner (the one from the soul storm box) still on sprue for only 5€ !

Now we have one hero each and that should help us try out the full rules. Plus the myrmourn banshees might get to use their dispell power :)

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