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Stormcast Eternals 3.0 - There is no "a" in Vindictors


PJetski
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The latest (excellent) Stormkeep episode got me thinking. As a community, we have mostly been discussing various lists that have a combined-arms approach of shooting and melee, and ones that rely heavily on melee for example by utilising Paladins. But what about Shootcasts that primarily focus on shooting using our excellent ranged units such as Vanguard-Raptors and Judicators? Here is an attempt at a list, which could perhaps be called Shoot & Smash (aka Sigmar Team-Up Featuring Hawkeyes and the Incredible Annihilators): 

Allegiance: Stormcast Eternals

- Stormhost: Knights Excelsior

- Grand Strategy: Hold the Line

- Triumphs: Inspired

LEADERS

Lord-Imperatant (175)*

Lord-Relictor (145)*

- General

- Command Trait: High Priest

- Artefact: Arcane Tome

- Spell: Azyrite Halo

- Prayer: Translocation

UNITS

6 x Annihilators with Meteoric Grandhammers (480)*

15 x Judicators with Skybolt Bows (600)*

5 x Liberators (115)*

- Heavens-wrought Weapon and Shield

- 1 x Grandhammers

6 x Vanguard-Raptors with Longstrike Crossbows (480)*

CORE BATTALIONS

*Battle Regiment

ADDITIONAL ENHANCEMENTS

Holy Command: Thunderbolt Volley

1995/2000 POINTS

Plan: One drop. Start with the Imperatant, Annihilators and Raptors (or Judicators) in reserve. Go first. Step 1: In the Hero Phase, Translocate and shoot with the Judicators. Target a screen. Step 2: In the movement phase, bring down the Raptors and the Imperatant; then drop the Annihilators 7” from the enemy, taking advantage of the hole in the screen that the Judicators punched. Step 3: Proceed to shoot any units that could hinder or hurt the Annihilators as they charge, such as those that could Unleash Hell. Step 4: Charge with Annihilators, rerolling if necessary. Step 5: Offer or accept a concession.

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1 hour ago, feadair said:

The latest (excellent) Stormkeep episode got me thinking. As a community, we have mostly been discussing various lists that have a combined-arms approach of shooting and melee, and ones that rely heavily on melee for example by utilising Paladins. But what about Shootcasts that primarily focus on shooting using our excellent ranged units such as Vanguard-Raptors and Judicators? Here is an attempt at a list, which could perhaps be called Shoot & Smash (aka Sigmar Team-Up Featuring Hawkeyes and the Incredible Annihilators): 

Allegiance: Stormcast Eternals

- Stormhost: Knights Excelsior

- Grand Strategy: Hold the Line

- Triumphs: Inspired

LEADERS

Lord-Imperatant (175)*

Lord-Relictor (145)*

- General

- Command Trait: High Priest

- Artefact: Arcane Tome

- Spell: Azyrite Halo

- Prayer: Translocation

UNITS

6 x Annihilators with Meteoric Grandhammers (480)*

15 x Judicators with Skybolt Bows (600)*

5 x Liberators (115)*

- Heavens-wrought Weapon and Shield

- 1 x Grandhammers

6 x Vanguard-Raptors with Longstrike Crossbows (480)*

CORE BATTALIONS

*Battle Regiment

ADDITIONAL ENHANCEMENTS

Holy Command: Thunderbolt Volley

1995/2000 POINTS

Plan: One drop. Start with the Imperatant, Annihilators and Raptors (or Judicators) in reserve. Go first. Step 1: In the Hero Phase, Translocate and shoot with the Judicators. Target a screen. Step 2: In the movement phase, bring down the Raptors and the Imperatant; then drop the Annihilators 7” from the enemy, taking advantage of the hole in the screen that the Judicators punched. Step 3: Proceed to shoot any units that could hinder or hurt the Annihilators as they charge, such as those that could Unleash Hell. Step 4: Charge with Annihilators, rerolling if necessary. Step 5: Offer or accept a concession.

You‘ll get charged and beaten to death, I played a similar list in the past. The 4+ saves are not enough to withstand a focused attack. We just use to few units in our army to make this work, you need some sort of screens for your shooting units. 
 

Also: don‘t setup Raptors in Azyr, they need to do damage and they should do that from round one (with a range of 30“ you should be able to reach everything you want).

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1 hour ago, feadair said:

The latest (excellent) Stormkeep episode got me thinking. As a community, we have mostly been discussing various lists that have a combined-arms approach of shooting and melee, and ones that rely heavily on melee for example by utilising Paladins. But what about Shootcasts that primarily focus on shooting using our excellent ranged units such as Vanguard-Raptors and Judicators? Here is an attempt at a list, which could perhaps be called Shoot & Smash (aka Sigmar Team-Up Featuring Hawkeyes and the Incredible Annihilators): 

Allegiance: Stormcast Eternals

- Stormhost: Knights Excelsior

- Grand Strategy: Hold the Line

- Triumphs: Inspired

LEADERS

Lord-Imperatant (175)*

Lord-Relictor (145)*

- General

- Command Trait: High Priest

- Artefact: Arcane Tome

- Spell: Azyrite Halo

- Prayer: Translocation

UNITS

6 x Annihilators with Meteoric Grandhammers (480)*

15 x Judicators with Skybolt Bows (600)*

5 x Liberators (115)*

- Heavens-wrought Weapon and Shield

- 1 x Grandhammers

6 x Vanguard-Raptors with Longstrike Crossbows (480)*

CORE BATTALIONS

*Battle Regiment

ADDITIONAL ENHANCEMENTS

Holy Command: Thunderbolt Volley

1995/2000 POINTS

Plan: One drop. Start with the Imperatant, Annihilators and Raptors (or Judicators) in reserve. Go first. Step 1: In the Hero Phase, Translocate and shoot with the Judicators. Target a screen. Step 2: In the movement phase, bring down the Raptors and the Imperatant; then drop the Annihilators 7” from the enemy, taking advantage of the hole in the screen that the Judicators punched. Step 3: Proceed to shoot any units that could hinder or hurt the Annihilators as they charge, such as those that could Unleash Hell. Step 4: Charge with Annihilators, rerolling if necessary. Step 5: Offer or accept a concession.

I think with only 1 thunderbolt volley available, there is quite some diminishing returns on going heavy shooting. The combined arms also works because the heavy hitters is the melee, while the ranged is just "good", but they can clear out screens that block the melee units or take out support heroes (khorne demon prince I am looking at you!).

This list can still stomp some stuff, but I also see some heavy weaknesses. It will be very hard to score a lot of battle tactics with this, it is also extremely immobile, which will make it hard both to get the tactics but also to just score regular objectives. Some meta lists will also stomp on this, literally. Imagine meeting Morathi and bow snakes, Morathi can simply fly in and murder one of the ranged units, she doesnt care, she cant die. In reality this build has a very similar core idea like Mortathi and 2x15 bow snakes builds, DoK just does it better, as Morathi is a super anvil, monster and great caster too, while the snakes deal similar ranged damage but are much more mobile and flexible. I don't think the output and staying power is there unfortunately. Instead some ballistas  could be useful and a Tauralon perhaps to give them all +1 to hit.

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21 minutes ago, AR605 said:

You‘ll get charged and beaten to death, I played a similar list in the past. The 4+ saves are not enough to withstand a focused attack. We just use to few units in our army to make this work, you need some sort of screens for your shooting units. 
 

Also: don‘t setup Raptors in Azyr, they need to do damage and they should do that from round one (with a range of 30“ you should be able to reach everything you want).

Yes, you really need to go first and cripple the enemy turn 1, hence the 1-drop Battle Regiment. If you fail to do that, charges will finish you.

On the Azyr, the idea is that in the first turn you shoot with 15 Judicators in the Hero Phase, and with the Judicators again and the Raptors in the shooting phase. (You could easily swap put the Judicators in Reserve instead, it does not matter greatly). I agree that you absolutely need to Alpha on turn 1. 

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13 minutes ago, Scurvydog said:

I think with only 1 thunderbolt volley available, there is quite some diminishing returns on going heavy shooting. The combined arms also works because the heavy hitters is the melee, while the ranged is just "good", but they can clear out screens that block the melee units or take out support heroes (khorne demon prince I am looking at you!).

This list can still stomp some stuff, but I also see some heavy weaknesses. It will be very hard to score a lot of battle tactics with this, it is also extremely immobile, which will make it hard both to get the tactics but also to just score regular objectives. Some meta lists will also stomp on this, literally. Imagine meeting Morathi and bow snakes, Morathi can simply fly in and murder one of the ranged units, she doesnt care, she cant die. In reality this build has a very similar core idea like Mortathi and 2x15 bow snakes builds, DoK just does it better, as Morathi is a super anvil, monster and great caster too, while the snakes deal similar ranged damage but are much more mobile and flexible. I don't think the output and staying power is there unfortunately. Instead some ballistas  could be useful and a Tauralon perhaps to give them all +1 to hit.

Yep, the list really relies on an alpha strike - it is a two-trick pony of heavy shooting followed by a brutal charge. If that does not win the game it, the list is in trouble. Having said that, the alpha is pretty nasty...

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5 hours ago, CommissarRotke said:

we're talking about a game that has multiple versions of rules, plus innumerable FAQ changes... you assume that they haven't heard of the most recent rules/FAQ change. Ask clarification questions about their response and/or how they took your comment, before jumping the gun with your own retort.

GW has been nerfing strong stuff from the very first GHB. It has happened every year for five years now. He is basing an argument on saying that is not true. Are GW bad at it? Absolutely, but that isn't what he said.

dare to call out when someone is trying to undermine my argument with points that are objectively untrue but I'm the bad guy. Real friendly community you are promoting here, where members are criticized for defending themselves.

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6 minutes ago, NinthMusketeer said:

...because they have never nerfed anything else that's been a problem?

They have also power-crept the game to a much higher state. Sure they have taken steps to slow the growth, but have not reverted it in any significant way. 

1 minute ago, NinthMusketeer said:

GW has been nerfing strong stuff from the very first GHB. It has happened every year for five years now. He is basing an argument on saying that is not true. Are GW bad at it? Absolutely, but that isn't what he said.

dare to call out when someone is trying to undermine my argument with points that are objectively untrue but I'm the bad guy. Real friendly community you are promoting here, where members are criticized for defending themselves.

No one has called you the bad guy and no one has criticized you for defending your point. We are disagreeing with you, and you seem to be taking it as a personal attack by assuming people are being intentionally disrespectful to you. 

I think this conversation has no where to go but downwards, so these will be my final words on the topic. 

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So...

Does anyone have a potential list to make the Knight-Judicator work? I understand he is not good, but I really enjoy the model and want something to play with my friends. 

I was thinking something close to @PJetski's Hallowstrike, but swap out the Protectors for a KJudicator and a unit of x2 Fulminators. Thoughts?

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Thanks for that RuneBrush.

 

Anyways, looking at the artifact to re-roll saves against damage 2 or greater. Does anyone know how this relates to random damage characteristics? Is a d3 considered to be 2 or greater? A d6? With damage not being rolled until after the save it isn't really clear.

Looking to put it on a Lord-Arcanum with Praetor bodyguard; the native intercept & negation of the Praetors combined with Cycle of the Storm makes for a potent defensive combo to start and I'm wondering how tanky I can push it.

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The competitive scene is a strange beast, as many state the top lists there are both a holy grail, while also being the largest problems. It is a paradox of new battletome releases, that they are "trash" if they can not provide lists that can be used to semi reliably go 5/5, at the same time those battletomes that do have that, are considered the biggest problems with the game and in addition it is also usually a very specific part of a tome.

Top factions right now include (but not only) LRL, StD, Cities, DoK

These are just examples of the top, but what these got in common is that they are extremely dependant on 1 model or gimmick. Try to find a top performing StD list without Archaon or Belakor these days, or cities being carried by Gotrek and Irondrakes. DoK would drop down a LOT without Morath. LRL got Teclis, yet they do have probably the most diverse and viable list for top end play of any book right now.

These might be the top dogs now, yet I do not think that really comes from a place of "good design". There are so many posible lists in this game, unfortunately we have to factor in some very oppressive lists in order to consider a warscroll/book/list "good". It is quite a laundy list too, can your list reliably take down a mega gargant per turn? Can you deal with Gotrek or Archaon? Can you manage Nagash/Teclis/Kroak doing MW rains with +2-3 casts/auto 10s? Being able to manage all that sounds absurd, yet it is the reality of "top meta" play right now.

My honest opinion is I think the 2 new AoS 3,0 books seem to be in a pretty good place. If GW was in the habit of doing sweeping updates it would be the perfect setting, if every faction got new tomes at the same time with this design and power level in mind. As is though, it will be hard to deal with the top dogs and I do not expect to do much more than 3/5 or at best 4/5 with my oldcast list, which I am forced to use in my next events due to releases dragon-on (fight me!).

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1 minute ago, NinthMusketeer said:

looking at the artifact to re-roll saves against damage 2 or greater. Does anyone know how this relates to random damage characteristics? Is a d3 considered to be 2 or greater? A d6? With damage not being rolled until after the save it isn't really clear.

Looking to put it on a Lord-Arcanum with Praetor bodyguard; the native intercept & negation of the Praetors combined with Cycle of the Storm makes for a potent defensive combo to start and I'm wondering how tanky I can push it.

So far in previous FAQs anything that is not just 1 dmg is "greater", so I entirely expect this to work like it did before, so it works against d3 and d6 damage as well as 2+. I am really eyeing this on a Stardrake instead of the amulet in a Hammers list, where a 6+ ward will often be present anyway. Put that thing into any unit with other than 1 dmg profiles and the anvil power goes sky high and will allow it to stand toe to toe with just about anything (nooo not Gotrek of course).

I am not sure how much cycle will do in the long run, I could see it be fun for narrative path to glory style of play though, but other than that there is really not much you want to bodyguardm especially as it needs to footslog it across the table with the absolute worst paladins for the points. The result being a decently tanky unit that is slow, not really doing much else or being  major threat to anyone. I might see some argument for using them in some setups, the wards not stacking with bodyguard rules thing just hurt them a lot.

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16 minutes ago, Scurvydog said:

The competitive scene is a strange beast, as many state the top lists there are both a holy grail, while also being the largest problems. It is a paradox of new battletome releases, that they are "trash" if they can not provide lists that can be used to semi reliably go 5/5, at the same time those battletomes that do have that, are considered the biggest problems with the game and in addition it is also usually a very specific part of a tome.

Top factions right now include (but not only) LRL, StD, Cities, DoK

These are just examples of the top, but what these got in common is that they are extremely dependant on 1 model or gimmick. Try to find a top performing StD list without Archaon or Belakor these days, or cities being carried by Gotrek and Irondrakes. DoK would drop down a LOT without Morath. LRL got Teclis, yet they do have probably the most diverse and viable list for top end play of any book right now.

These might be the top dogs now, yet I do not think that really comes from a place of "good design". There are so many posible lists in this game, unfortunately we have to factor in some very oppressive lists in order to consider a warscroll/book/list "good". It is quite a laundy list too, can your list reliably take down a mega gargant per turn? Can you deal with Gotrek or Archaon? Can you manage Nagash/Teclis/Kroak doing MW rains with +2-3 casts/auto 10s? Being able to manage all that sounds absurd, yet it is the reality of "top meta" play right now.

My honest opinion is I think the 2 new AoS 3,0 books seem to be in a pretty good place. If GW was in the habit of doing sweeping updates it would be the perfect setting, if every faction got new tomes at the same time with this design and power level in mind. As is though, it will be hard to deal with the top dogs and I do not expect to do much more than 3/5 or at best 4/5 with my oldcast list, which I am forced to use in my next events due to releases dragon-on (fight me!).

I disagree that the list of serious problems is really that long, nerfing even just the top 10 strongest units to a reasonable level would probably double or triple the number of viable tournament builds if not more. I raise that as a lead-in to SCE (and OWC); I feel they are almost in a good place. There are a ton of solid options but we can see just from this thread they get drowned out by just a handful of game-breaking cheese ones. And unlike some more 'intentional' army builds I foresee people stumbling into it by accident. A lot of people will be jumping on the stormdake guard because, well, SCE dragonrider units are totally awesome. But then that will lead to a lot of one-sided games and negative experiences because they are just so much stronger than almost every unit in the game. To me that is the saddest thing to see; complete facerolls even when both sides came in bringing models they personally like with no intent to power game.

It doesn't overturn my excitement for the new tome, especially because the issues will be brought into line sooner or later, but it does put a notable tarnish on a release where the overwhelming majority of it is well-designed. Like LRL it is just such a shame.

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3 minutes ago, Scurvydog said:

So far in previous FAQs anything that is not just 1 dmg is "greater", so I entirely expect this to work like it did before, so it works against d3 and d6 damage as well as 2+. I am really eyeing this on a Stardrake instead of the amulet in a Hammers list, where a 6+ ward will often be present anyway. Put that thing into any unit with other than 1 dmg profiles and the anvil power goes sky high and will allow it to stand toe to toe with just about anything (nooo not Gotrek of course).

I am not sure how much cycle will do in the long run, I could see it be fun for narrative path to glory style of play though, but other than that there is really not much you want to bodyguardm especially as it needs to footslog it across the table with the absolute worst paladins for the points. The result being a decently tanky unit that is slow, not really doing much else or being  major threat to anyone. I might see some argument for using them in some setups, the wards not stacking with bodyguard rules thing just hurt them a lot.

Lord-Arcanum is dropping the comet, so he's in no particular hurry to cross the board.

As for the damage, my confusion results in the change from "greater than 1" to "2 or greater".

Edited by NinthMusketeer
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10 minutes ago, Scurvydog said:

My honest opinion is I think the 2 new AoS 3,0 books seem to be in a pretty good place. If GW was in the habit of doing sweeping updates it would be the perfect setting, if every faction got new tomes at the same time with this design and power level in mind. As is though, it will be hard to deal with the top dogs and I do not expect to do much more than 3/5 or at best 4/5 with my oldcast list, which I am forced to use in my next events due to releases dragon-on (fight me!).

Completely agree. It sucks that the "Top" armies are still there, mauling the next edition and new battletomes.

But it's a price that I would gladly pay if the next edition can tone down all the power-creep that we had before. Only time will tell if that's possible.

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17 minutes ago, Scurvydog said:

Try to find a top performing StD list without Archaon or Belakor

Curiously enough, earlier in 2021/late 2020 I did see a Knights of the Empty Throne list make a few high tournament placements. I haven't seen it since 3.0 dropped. 

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11 minutes ago, Champasaur said:

Curiously enough, earlier in 2021/late 2020 I did see a Knights of the Empty Throne list make a few high tournament placements. I haven't seen it since 3.0 dropped. 

I played that a bit actually and I can say that this is due to several reasons. but one of the absolute main attractions of that list was the grasping plate artifact that allows a big unit of varanguard to engage and pile in within 6", that is still good, but far less reliable due to reposition. Also Varanguard damage output suffered a lot being only rend 1, which does not really cut it against the save stacking meta.

I have seen it be played in 3.0 and it can still win, but it aged very poorly into AoS 3.0 and the emerging meta lists also completely wrecks them, as this big unwieldy unit needs to do just about all the work in the list and if they get tied up with a Morathi, Gotrek or Nagash etc it is quickly game over.

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1 minute ago, Scurvydog said:

I played that a bit actually and I can say that this is due to several reasons. but one of the absolute main attractions of that list was the grasping plate artifact that allows a big unit of varanguard to engage and pile in within 6", that is still good, but far less reliable due to reposition. Also Varanguard damage output suffered a lot being only rend 1, which does not really cut it against the save stacking meta.

I have seen it be played in 3.0 and it can still win, but it aged very poorly into AoS 3.0 and the emerging meta lists also completely wrecks them, as this big unwieldy unit needs to do just about all the work in the list and if they get tied up with a Morathi, Gotrek or Nagash etc it is quickly game over.

Yeah all of that seems about right lmao. I have my own Archaon/Varanguard army but I was never confident enough in Varanguard to run a KotET list. But I was happy to see at least one non-Archaon list making the rounds.

Hopefully we will see more diversity in SCE in 2022 than STD is seeing.

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1 hour ago, Champasaur said:

So...

Does anyone have a potential list to make the Knight-Judicator work? I understand he is not good, but I really enjoy the model and want something to play with my friends. 

I was thinking something close to @PJetski's Hallowstrike, but swap out the Protectors for a KJudicator and a unit of x2 Fulminators. Thoughts?

I think the Knight-Judicator is a pretty stand alone sniper that doesnt need much build around. 

Maybe Aventis and some other shooters to profit from the +1 to hit bubble of the Tauralon, but thats a lot of points. 

I‘d just put him randomly on a backline objective, trying my luck on keytargets with 6 or less wounds. 

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1 hour ago, NinthMusketeer said:

Thanks for that RuneBrush.

 

Anyways, looking at the artifact to re-roll saves against damage 2 or greater. Does anyone know how this relates to random damage characteristics? Is a d3 considered to be 2 or greater? A d6? With damage not being rolled until after the save it isn't really clear.

22.2.4 on random characteristics says that if you need to know the value "at a time other than when it is being used to make an attack" then a d3 or d6 damage counts as 1. If it is being used to make an attack then you roll it and take the result as per usual.

Since making a save is part of the attack sequence, it's a bit of a weird one. As I am writing this I can't decide which I think is a more reasonable interpretation, but it comes down to one of two:

- A save is part of the random damage roll being used to make an attack, so you roll damage before the saves in this one case and get to reroll against anything that's not a 1 (pros: the artefact actually does something, save roll is part of the attack sequence, so it probably does fall under being used to make an attack)

- a save is not part of the random damage characteristic being used to make an attack, so as per 22.2.4 you treat d3 and d6 as 1, no rerolls for you. (Pros: respects the attack sequence, is more conservative which I like to err towards with ambiguous rules, takes less time than the alternative where you could be rolling 6 different saves)

As I'm writing this out I think I've convinced myself that you would break the normal attack sequence and roll damage before saves. But I think the best answer is to only bring this to events and make it the TO's problem instead of yours 😛

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4 hours ago, Champasaur said:

So...

Does anyone have a potential list to make the Knight-Judicator work? I understand he is not good, but I really enjoy the model and want something to play with my friends. 

I was thinking something close to @PJetski's Hallowstrike, but swap out the Protectors for a KJudicator and a unit of x2 Fulminators. Thoughts?

I think you could pretty easily run one of them in almost any list, and 3 of them start to look scary.

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