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Firefrog

How to beat Seraphon?

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Maybe an odd question on a Seraphon forum which is usually about how to win with something, but me and a friend play regulary and I just find the new book way too good and quite unbeatable. There are few weaknesses and some units just seem way too cheap. This is not a complaint about how good the book is, but more about how can I counter Seraphon or how even play against them. We both play competetively, if that adds anything.

My armies are: Skaven, FEC, Tzeentch and Idoneth, and I can't win with either unless he makes a "fun" list which still makes me nearly unable to beat him.

It's not even the rule that he does more damage against Chaos, which is in a competetive setting really absurd. A unit of 3 Salamanders can destroy literally any unit (in coalesced run/shoot, starborn he can just teleport 3 units in my face), Skinks in Starborn fully buffed who can shoot any unit of the board when they get charged AND retreat. Bastiladons who can shoot twice with +1 to hit and with accross the board who don't take damage from anything with rend, CP regen for days, and to go on. With Coalesced many of my attacks become useless as they do 2 dmg, now 1 dmg which means I can't clear a unit. A unit with 10 knights that have 6 buffs(!) that just cost CP or point and buff that will just annihilate everything with 3D6 movement + 4 to charge. It all feels so good.

So, then I thought, the heroes buff so I should target them, which would be a tactic but they're so easy to hide and Slanns are nigh unkillable with a unit of guard.

Now I don't want to give up, since it's absurd that my 4 armies can't deal with his, what am I doing wrong? Is the book too good?

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Posted (edited)

It is really difficult to say without anything concrete like what kind of lists you are running and what precise list he is.  Mentioning a specific faction is kind of irrelevant,  since any "OP army" can be terrible if you field the bad units. Experience is also quite important, since if all you do is max move everything forward into a giant clusterfuck of a battle, whoever has the strongest straightup melee units will win.

Seraphon warscrolls are terrible on their own, and they really rely on being buffed by various heroes. So if you manage to pick off the heroes, you should be able to roll over the remaining force. In the old book it was all about the Slann - Kill him and you won - But these days he isnt the most important hero to worry about.

Seraphon is also a rather "honest" army. There is no double pile in, no fight last or fight first, no double movement with fly, no crazy low saves (except the Bastiladon, which can very easily be countered by doing 3 MWs to it) with rerolls etc. Everything behaves as you would "expect". 

Edited by Kasper

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, Kasper said:

It is really difficult to say without anything concrete like what kind of lists you are running and what precise list he is.  Mentioning a specific faction is kind of irrelevant,  since any "OP army" can be terrible if you field the bad units. Experience is also quite important, since if all you do is max move everything forward into a giant clusterfuck of a battle, whoever has the strongest straightup melee units will win.

Seraphon warscrolls are terrible on their own, and they really rely on being buffed by various heroes. So if you manage to pick off the heroes, you should be able to roll over the remaining force. In the old book it was all about the Slann - Kill him and you won - But these days he isnt the most important hero to worry about.

Seraphon is also a rather "honest" army. There is no double pile in, no fight last or fight first, no double movement with fly, no crazy low saves (except the Bastiladon, which can very easily be countered by doing 3 MWs to it) with rerolls etc. Everything behaves as you would "expect". 

Thanks for replying and taking the time, for my lists I am running them as competetive as they get.

Skaven is usually 9 jezzails, 6 stormfiends or 30 acolytes, hellpit abomination, the works. Tzeentch I've tried changehost which was no use as I could not damage his two bastiladons, can not do mortal wounds because my spell range is only 18" and with slann's +2 to dispell it gets really hard to do that. I've also tried guild of summoners and I could just not get any threats going there.

FEC actually had the best chance against coalesced, as flayers just do 1 dmg or a mortal wound. Ofcourse it's limited in the amount of games we can have, and he tries another list each time (which is what I would do with a new book).

And yea, you're right with it's an "honest" army, no real tricks, but the stuff they have access too is so easy to do, if CP was a limitation to buff everything but there's not really. Especially considering their point cost (which is something that can be fixed ofcourse).

Let's just keep it out of my army sucks or Seraphon is OP,  that's not my intention, I just want to level the playing field and I am unable to find any weaknesses besides the leaders who buff.

EDIT: One of this lists

Spoiler

Allegiance: Seraphon
- Constellation: Thunder Lizard
Mortal Realm: Hysh

Leaders
Saurus Astrolith Bearer (140)
- General
- Command Trait: Mighty Warleader
Lord Kroak (320)
- Spell: Stellar Tempest
Skink Priest (70)
- Artefact: Fusil of Conflaguration

Battleline
5 x Saurus Guard (100)
10 x Skinks (60)
- Boltspitters Celestite Daggers & Star Bucklers
10 x Skinks (60)
- Boltspitters Celestite Daggers & Star Bucklers
10 x Skinks (60)
- Boltspitters Celestite Daggers & Star Bucklers
10 x Skinks (60)
- Boltspitters Celestite Daggers & Star Bucklers
10 x Skinks (60)
- Boltspitters Celestite Daggers & Star Bucklers
10 x Skinks (60)
- Boltspitters Celestite Daggers & Star Bucklers

Units
12 x Salamander Hunting Pack (240)
12 x Salamander Hunting Pack (240)

Behemoths
Bastiladon (220)
- Weapon: Solar Engine
Bastiladon (220)
- Weapon: Solar Engine

Endless Spells / Terrain / CPs
Extra command point (50)
Bound The Burning Head (40)

Total: 2000 / 2000
Extra Command Points: 1
Allies: 0 / 400
Wounds: 143

 

Edited by Firefrog

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@Firefrog I think part of the problem is that all three of your armies are going to struggle with some version of Seraphon. That Skaven army is going to be hopeless against Coalesced because basically everything is going to be losing damage. It might have a bit more play against Starborne. FEC lists are going to be pretty bad against Coalesced, but I could see Blisterskin doing OK as their bravery will always be poor and Crypt Flayers won't be losing damage. Tzeentch is harder to say, but the difficulties you pointed out are noteworthy. Starborne can get around your teleportation shenanigans and smash you with deepstriking salamanders, and Coalesced has double shooting Bastiladons and takes away damage from your flamers.

Against the specific list that you posted, I'd probably try to kill the Salamanders at range (they can't teleport and they can't run and shoot in that list, so their threat range is pretty small. Also in Coalesced they are VERY vulnerable to battleshock, and that list doesn't have many heroes to babysit them.

After that just ignore the Bastiladons and kill Skinks. I think the key against that list is to kill his bodies and just win with VPs. Yes the Bastiladons will kill a lot, but Tzeentch can put so many wounds on the table that it probably doesn't matter in most battleplans. 

I'm not sure that this would even be very interesting or fun, but you could do something like:

Gaunt Summoner on Disc of Tzeentch

5x Gaunt Summoner of Tzeentch

3x10 Kairic Acolytes

Chaos Spawn

Fatesworn Warband

 

You are 1 drop so you will always have the option to go first and vomit 60 pink horrors onto the table. You won't kill much but you start out outnumbering him and there is very little he can do to change that. Even if he spends 2CP each and every turn to double shoot both Bastiladons, you probably won't even run out of pinks until the end of turn 3, and at that point you now outnumber him vastly. You also have 12 spells per turn (21 once you account for the horrors and acolytes), so you're going to get some magic through.  With Eternal Conflagration you can actually whittle down his Skinks and Salamanders pretty easily. With Kroak he will have a good amount of CP, but double Bastiladon is extremely CP hungry. If you're forcing him to use Inspiring Presence to save Salamanders as well his CP will be very, very strained. He will have a hard time killing your heroes with his Bastiladons as they will be somewhere between -1 and -3 to hit. And with that many spells (plus Kroak) you are probably going to get a lot of summoning points yourself. I wouldn't be surprised if you could add another 10-20 pinks to the table over the course of the game. 

In fact, I suspect this kind of build will be good against most Seraphon lists unless he really goes wild with Skinks. 

 

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I know as a Seraphon there are a few things I don't want to see

Changehost 1 drop, able to reach my assets as well screen there own assets and instantly gain board control.

MSU Idoneth eels, they can dictate where and what I shoot as well as cloud of midnight being a pain. On top of that the bases make it really hard to screen effectively against.

Horde death list, something like 80+ chainrasps. Seraphon like to kill elite things and trade up in points, they don't want to play the attrition game.

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I too have had trouble vs the old Seraphon, played them a few times with my Legion of Azgorh, was with a Bull Centaur heavy army.  But now I have 3 Magma Cannons and more practice.  I think that could help, at least to get a draw (which is usually the best Azgorh can hope for)  Seems mortal wound output without reliance on spells is the ticket against dinos.  But I guess that's a good ticket against most things.  

I've been wanting to start a new army, and since I have mostly Chaos, Order would be a nice change.  And it's between dinosaurs or Cities, but dinos are so much more cohesive of a force and legitimize even more bright colors than a Living City army.  

I'd do Sylvaneth but pretty much hate all their models, except the old metal ones which are SOOO fugly I would love to put absurd amounts of flowers all over them.   But that's much more work, and probably cost, than just buying like 8 Stegadons.  And a ziggurat.

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Honestly the very existence of Seraphon is the humiliation to the game balance.

Just finished watching a game that 1000pts Seraphon tables 2000pts the sixth circle. It’s frustrating.

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32 minutes ago, frostfire said:

Honestly the very existence of Seraphon is the humiliation to the game balance.

Just finished watching a game that 1000pts Seraphon tables 2000pts the sixth circle. It’s frustrating.

Yea... I mean there has always been strong picks but for me Seraphon becomes boring as they hardly even have to play the game... Sloppy wizard positioning? you can dispell over the entire board and cast through a skink... You lack characters for the objectives? Summon new ones!... An on demand Teleport... switching spells around if you picked the wrong one... No command points? don't worry! next round you'll get 3 new ones!

This combined with some real heavy picks in the form of Kroak, Salamanders, Starpriest+ skink combo, bastiladons... Makes seraphon into an easy to play faction that forgives mistakes but  also gives you such crazy efficiency per point. 

If seraphon has an issue it would be few drop armies that can hit first and hit hard that doesn't rely on magic. So Changehost... Strangely enough Beasts of chaos... But also Idoneth and some Ogor/orc builds. 

But in the hands of 2 equally skilled players currently seraphon have an edge vs most armies. I think GH 2020 might fix some of the issues, but not all... You can literally random roll a seraphon army from the book and in turns out alright. 

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Not sure if it makes you feel better Firefrog but for what its worth, sounds like he is running about the strongest end of what Seraphon can field. And when it comes to Seraphon the top end is MUCH stronger than the average of the army overall, easily making it into top-tier. If you are not bringing a top tier army AND army build it would be normal to struggle.

Bastiladons mean Thunder Lizard lists will just ****** all over chaos, and the battletome has other tools to ensure chaos largely cannot do anything about it. But at least you aren't trying to play Ogors vs Coalesced!

Have you tried Blisterskin with GK on Terry, 2x Archregent, and Deadwatch?  Eye of Hysh would do wonders I imagine, not to mention Blisterskin's other absurdities.

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Salamanders are quite broken will will get a nerf sooner or later. Till then ask him to play without Salamanders and his winrate will drop drastically. If he isnt up for that go full tryhard with Tzeench urself.

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