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Drakecast - The Thread


Turragor
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When I created the Starcast thread (quite some time ago now) I wanted to do a few things:

  • Play a truly elite Stormcast army
  • Play with Stardrakes (much overlooked then) and Dracothian Guard
  • Use the Celestant Prime (my own guilty pleasure, srsly you can read my rant about him on the Honest Wargamer - and he's even better now!)
  • Use the obscene amount of very long range mw chip damage SC had access to to mess with some popular meta builds

This wasn't really what matched AoS wanted a successful Stormcast list to be for a long time - maybe ever. So I kind of made it like a madman in a desert prison (yes I'm referencing Ironman) and escaped with mediocre results in my tournaments... which I swear are just because I'm an average player at best :D the idea behind the approach to SCE list building was sound!

I want to continue playing this way and I think the desire to do so - long suppressed by poor warscrolls and synergies - is finally blooming in A LOT of Sigmar's true soldiers.

I can't lay claim to the idea of creating "Drakecast" (it looks to be as simple as - 'take all the dragon units') or even picking that as the nom de guerre for this style of list building but I already see lists emerging in the larger thread.

I'm a fan of having all lists of a certain archetype in one place so, for any who feel the same, share your lists that are Dragon Heavy (but not necessarily dragon only) here!

In the spirit of not letting go of things for sentimental reasons, and without a full grasp of the new book until it launches, I'm focusing on the following units (removed structured list until book releases):

Celestant-Prime, Krondys, Knight-Draconis, Lord Celestant on Stardrake, Stormdrake Guard, Dracothian Guard.

_______________________________

Stay classy Dragon lovers

image.png.a075c913f9879e79a7fea48edd4f4b5b.png

Edited by Turragor
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Hammers of Sigmar

Knight Draconis

4x stormdrake

2x stormdrake

1x stormdrake

Lord relictor

6 longstrikes

5 liberators

1995 points, one drop.

Or just go all out on the crazy dragons:

Knight Draconis

4x stormdrake

4x stormdrake

2x stormdrake

1x stormdrake+ lord relictor or just 2x stormdrake. Probably relictor to teleport and remain on an objective. Other single dragon can stay with him or go tap another objective.

 

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A small note to keep in mind.  1x stormdrake isn't battleline.  You can run 1 stormdrake in your list, but you have to run them in a unit of 2/4/6 to count as battleline.  Additionally, you can only run 1x stormdrake per Knight-Draconis you are running.

That being said, if you are planning on going all-out on Stormdrakes, there are 2 lists that I've been looking at that *should* work (points wise).

List 1 - The big dragons:

Lord-Celestant on Stardrake (general) - 500pts
Krondys or Karazai - 600pts
2x Stormdrake - 285pts
2x Stormdrake - 285pts
2x Stormdrake - 285pts
1955 points

Note, this list you can run with the "Battle Regiment" (the Stormdrakes count as troops) with either the stardrake or the big dude in the battalion for a 2 drop list.  The big idea with this list is that you can go ahead and play "all the dragons", and put 8 models on the table.  Nothing particularly special otherwise though.

List 2 - Stormdrake Spam

Knight-Draconis - 255pts
6x Stormdrake - 855pts
2x Stormdrake - 285pts
2x Stormdrake - 285pts
2x Stormdrake - 285pts
1965 points

This list is looking to focus on fielding more dragons than anyone else - and I think it does a good job there.  3 units of 2 stormdrakes gives you some manuverability, however you will have to keep in mind that damagewise, Stormdrake Guard aren't all that great.  A squad of 2 can expect to put out an average of 12 damage to a 5+ save, which for 285 points isn't particularly impressive, and they will do an additional 1.8 mortal wounds on average with their breath attacks.  The reason for the squad of 6 though is that the Knight-Draconis gives a squad of Stormdrake Guard the ability to use their breath weapons in the shooting phase once per game.  1.8 mortal wounds... isn't really worth that.  However, 5.5 mortal wounds in the hero phase, followed by another 5.5 in the shooting phase is starting to get in the range of respectable.  Coherency is going to be a bit of an issue depending upon base sizes, but if these guys are on 105mm/70mm (which is what I personally am kind of expecting, and that is the same base size as the "Dreadlord on Black Dragon"), then as long as you can have 2 models sandwiching a 3rd, you will be within 3" coherency.  Alternatively, if the models don't allow you to do that, you should be able to stick 5 up front and 1 across the back to keep your coherency.  Some experimentation will need to be done to determine if this is good enough to work with though.  It also means that your opponents will have to go through 54 wounds with a 3+ save as well.

Finally, the above list falls perfectly into a battle regiment, meaning that you can put this down as a 1 drop list.

Are either of the above lists good?  Probably not.  Am I going to run them anyways?  Absolutely.

Finally, for those of you out there wanting to run "all the dragons" but also wanting to field both Krondys and Karazi, there is some hope.

Hammers of Sigmar
Krondys - 600pts
Karazi - 600pts
2x Stormdrake -285pts
2x Stormdrake - 285pts
2x Fulminators - 230pts (or concussors for 220pts)

This comes out to exactly 2k points (provided I'm reading the points from GMG's video right).

Do I know how I am going to run things?  Nope.  I'm probably going to build for list 1 first, mostly because I want the big dragon at least once, and I already have a stardrake.  But I'm probably going to build towards the second list as well long term because... well.. dragons.

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30 minutes ago, readercolin said:

however you will have to keep in mind that damagewise, Stormdrake Guard aren't all that great. 

This is just wrong. 2 SDG only do 20% less than 2x charged fulminators (our highest dmg per point unit) and can eat a model and do monstrous rampage. They dont need any help delivering their damage and they dont drop off after first charge.

Every other hammer we have require additional support to get into combat, or rely on a charge roll that can and will often fail.

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1 hour ago, readercolin said:

 

List 1 - The big dragons:

Lord-Celestant on Stardrake (general) - 500pts
Krondys or Karazai - 600pts
2x Stormdrake - 285pts
2x Stormdrake - 285pts
2x Stormdrake - 285pts
1955 points

 

This is what I want to build towards. I'm going full Dadhammer with the dragons lol :D

 

1 hour ago, readercolin said:

 

however you will have to keep in mind that damagewise, Stormdrake Guard aren't all that great.

I disagree. You're forgetting that they're Monsters as well, which means extra MWs in the combat phase. I didn't realize this myself until this morning, which makes them absolutely insane.

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2 hours ago, macrake said:

This is just wrong. 2 SDG only do 20% less than 2x charged fulminators (our highest dmg per point unit) and can eat a model and do monstrous rampage. They dont need any help delivering their damage and they dont drop off after first charge.

Every other hammer we have require additional support to get into combat, or rely on a charge roll that can and will often fail.

 

2 hours ago, LordPrometheus said:

This is what I want to build towards. I'm going full Dadhammer with the dragons lol :D

 

I disagree. You're forgetting that they're Monsters as well, which means extra MWs in the combat phase. I didn't realize this myself until this morning, which makes them absolutely insane.

The problem is when you look at the math.  A squad of 2 SDG do an average of 12.89 damage per combat round.  You are paying 285 points for this.  Yes, they are monsters and can do a monstrous rampage, but remember that only a single monster can stomp (and then only on non-monsters).  Then, you can have a monster roar, and a SINGLE stormdrake guard model can benefit from titanic dual.  This is fine if you have a single unit of stormdrake guard and no other monsters, but for people here who are looking to run a bunch, that doesn't really hold up well.

Now, lets go ahead and compare this to other units, both in Stormcast and in other factions.

Evocators on Dracolines cost 280 points, and are rocking a 4+ save, and they also only have 15 wounds (compared to the guard's 18).  However, offensively they are head and shoulders better.  Without any buffs at all, a squad of kitties is going to push out an average of 18.28 damage to a 6+ save - about 50% more than the guard.  Additionally, they are able to buff themselves with a +1 to wound (with empower), and just having a Lord-Arcanum on Dracoline within 18" is going to give their mounts +1 attacks.  Just the +1 to wound is going to bump them up to 21.72 damage on average, but if we add the Lord-Arcanum floating around nearby we can bump that up to an average of 25 damage - aka, almost double the damage of the Stormdrakes.  Also, they do this damage whether they charge or not, but if they are trying to charge, they do get re-rolls to their charge.

Annihilators with grandhammers come in at 240 points.  However, they get to rock a 3+ save, do mortal wounds when they come down from the sky, do mortal wounds on the charge, and if we ignore all the mortal wounds will still put out an average of 16.67 damage in melee to a 5+ save.  Additionally, they get to re-roll charges the turn they come down from the sky, with the Lord-Imperitant allowing them to do so from 7" instead of 9" if you want.

Sequitors are generic battleline that are rocking a 4+ save - but they can also rock a 5+ ward in melee.  A single squad of sequitors will pump out an average of 8 wounds per combat round, and do so for only 145 points.  You can get 2 squads of sequitors for almost the same price as a SDG (290 vs 285), and will do 33% more damage if you get them into combat.  Additionally, if you are running a Stormkeep, those sequitors can count as 15 on objectives compared to the 10 of the stormdrake guard.

Concussors.  These guys don't have anything special about charging, they just do whatever they do no matter what.  But a pair of concussors is going to clock in at 220 points and put out an average of 10.67 damage to a 5+ save, which point for point is going to be more than what the SDG are doing.

Now, if we move away from what Stormcast can do, we can diversify what we are looking at.  First up - Blood Knights.  For only 195 points, a squad of blood knights are rocking 15 wounds on a 3+ save, can put out 10.86 damage on average, or 17.96 on the charge.  They also have a way to deal mortal wounds to a unit by running over them (about the equivalent of a stomp).

Next up, Morrsarr Guard.  A unit of guard costs 170 points, has a total of 12 wounds and a 4+ save, and will deal an average of 8.44 damage when in combat, or 11.56 when they charge (and note, this is without their biovoltaic blast or any other buffs).  This puts the Stormdrake Guard on a similar footing to eels without buffs when comparing equal points.

Basically, if we look at other comparable hammers, Stormdrake Guard stand out because they can make a move in the hero phase, and they are 18 wounds on a 3+ save.  Points for points, they stand out for being mobile anvils.  But they are not particularly killy when we compare them to other options both within Stormcast and other units outside of them.  The hope is that they are durable enough and mobile enough that they are worth their points, and it could be that their durability is what sees them through.  But I wouldn't go out calling them damage monsters.

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7 minutes ago, PrimeElectrid said:

Not sure why you’re comparing this to 6+ saves honestly especially in the era of save stacking.

Anyway unbuffed and without shooting or mortals both units are very close.

image.png.34644a7f19a9f6dd290f15e9cca92515.png

I'm not sure what you are putting in for your mathhammer, but your numbers for the stormdrake guards is straight up off.  You are doing about 2 damage more than the guard would actually be doing with swords, but your damage dropoff is enough to make it clear that you are using those as your rend 1 weapons.  Additionally, I'm not sure what you are using for the evokitties weapon profile, but you are clearly using at least 1 staff attack, but again your numbers are off compared to what they should be showing.  And if you are wondering if the tool that you are using is calculating differently than mine - I'm also using AoS Statshammer, which means that any differences between our results should solely be due to user input, not due to having different calculations.

Next up, you can't really ignore the mortals from the kitties.  They are automatically going to deal an average of 4.5 mortals at the end of their attack, which drastically swings the damage in their favor across that entire chart.  If we compare this to potential mortals from the Stormdrake guard, all we have is Stomp (and shooting, which happens only on your turns, meaning it goes off half as much), which is only going to be relevant against other non-monster units, and you get 1 chance at a 2+ for it to go off, unlike the kitties giving you 9 chances at a 4+.  Stomp also gives you a single chance to do it per charge phase, which is a bit different than something that can go off from any number of units that you have.

Finally, I'm comparing against a 6+ because I don't feel like posting a full chart when looking at a range of 6 different examples.  Someone is always going to complain about the comparison (as seen above).  However, we can't exactly say that your charts are useful, because they don't take into account what the exact affect of save stacking is.  After all, if you are attacking something with a 4+ save, when you start save stacking the 4+ save in the chart above doesn't actually tell you what the actual damage is, because it is assuming that the rend is actually making a difference.  Meanwhile, your opponent could have save stacked that enough that they are still rocking their 3+ even against your rend 2, and that straight up isn't going to show in that chart, but calling your unit ethereal also isn't going to help if they have enough bonuses to ignore rend 1 but not rend 2 and you have attacks that are a mixture of rends.  Therefore, it is more information to tell someone "expect this much damage before saves".

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Aha there was indeed a rogue AOA still on the stormdrake guard. This levels it off.

I think it’s important to show the full spread as comparisons to a 6+ skew the results. I’m much more interested in 2+/3+ saves these days.

There is a very good point being made that it’s quite hard to buff Stormdrakes while Dracolines come with it inherently. Most SCE buffs are to the unit itself with only a small number targeted at an enemy and, as far as I can see, almost no aura buffs that work on Stormdrakes at all (Tauralon +1 to hit is all I can find). This encourages one large unit of Stormdrakes (4+) more than smaller units, which has its own cost/benefit.

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I see discussion over taking 2 x 2 or just 1 x 4 Stormdrakes (the latter being a bit wary of Belakor or any other strong debuff) - then the rest of the list will consist of the "Stormcast standard" selection. Some of the most pure 'Drakecast' lists will be only Dragons so don't need to worry about what to take but rather what does the same unit in different sizes (1, 2, 4) do on the field?

A unit of 4 needs to make a real impact for the cost - what do you do with it? 2 x 2 seems more flexible ofc, but what does flexible mean? What does 1 dragon do alone (with their rider)? No NSFW suggestions please!

Broadly speaking a unit does limited things on the battlefield -

A) hold objectives - Unless we're playing an all dragon list, we'd prefer something else to stand and hold (especially in our board half) 

B) trade against multiple expensive enemy units - the damage discussion above is interesting as it may be that comparably priced enemy units may survive against 2 Stormdrakes, which isn't always ideal. But it is a classic Stormcast problem, not a great trading army.

C) achieve battle tactics - with the monster keyword, speed, and respectable (if not unstoppable) hitting power, this might be the key?

D) synergise with another unit that then does A-C better. In a dragon list the Knight Draconis has a touch of this I guess.

E) prevent the enemy from doing A-D... often this was my bread and butter in a Starcast list, removing buff pieces (D) or tying up a dangerous unit with an unkillable Lord Celestant on Stardrake preventing that unit from performing (B).

What do you think? Building only on my experience with Starcast I feel like a unit of 2 are a bit like a Prime/Stardrake cross and a unit like that would be something I use to perform in the C) category.

I think its early to know what they'll excel at but they seem to have a tool kit to potentially excel at multiple things.

 

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2 hours ago, Turragor said:

I see discussion over taking 2 x 2 or just 1 x 4 Stormdrakes (the latter being a bit wary of Belakor or any other strong debuff) - then the rest of the list will consist of the "Stormcast standard" selection. Some of the most pure 'Drakecast' lists will be only Dragons so don't need to worry about what to take but rather what does the same unit in different sizes (1, 2, 4) do on the field?

A unit of 4 needs to make a real impact for the cost - what do you do with it? 2 x 2 seems more flexible ofc, but what does flexible mean? What does 1 dragon do alone (with their rider)? No NSFW suggestions please!

Broadly speaking a unit does limited things on the battlefield -

A) hold objectives - Unless we're playing an all dragon list, we'd prefer something else to stand and hold (especially in our board half) 

B) trade against multiple expensive enemy units - the damage discussion above is interesting as it may be that comparably priced enemy units may survive against 2 Stormdrakes, which isn't always ideal. But it is a classic Stormcast problem, not a great trading army.

C) achieve battle tactics - with the monster keyword, speed, and respectable (if not unstoppable) hitting power, this might be the key?

D) synergise with another unit that then does A-C better. In a dragon list the Knight Draconis has a touch of this I guess.

E) prevent the enemy from doing A-D... often this was my bread and butter in a Starcast list, removing buff pieces (D) or tying up a dangerous unit with an unkillable Lord Celestant on Stardrake preventing that unit from performing (B).

What do you think? Building only on my experience with Starcast I feel like a unit of 2 are a bit like a Prime/Stardrake cross and a unit like that would be something I use to perform in the C) category.

I think its early to know what they'll excel at but they seem to have a tool kit to potentially excel at multiple things.

 

Karazai/krondys

Drake hero

Drake hero

2xSDG

2xSDG

2xSDG

 

1965 pts of pure chadness

 

Any other thing is weakness

And weakness disgust me

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2 hours ago, Turragor said:

A) hold objectives - Unless we're playing an all dragon list, we'd prefer something else to stand and hold (especially in our board half) 

For standing and holding, a pair of drakes is going to count as 10 on objectives.  For other good objective holders, you are looking at paying 230 points for 10 "models" with liberators, or 260 points for 10 "models" with Vindictors.  Stormkeeps will obviously change this, but I'm just putting this out there to say that point for point, the Stormdrakes aren't actually that bad as objective holders.

2 hours ago, Turragor said:

B) trade against multiple expensive enemy units - the damage discussion above is interesting as it may be that comparably priced enemy units may survive against 2 Stormdrakes, which isn't always ideal. But it is a classic Stormcast problem, not a great trading army.

Taking a look at other factions, if we can expect ~12-15 damage before saves from a pair of stormdrakes, then we can reasonably expect them to run over light screening units (think 100ish point units), but get bogged down against anything more significant.  This brings us to the "Kharadron Problem", where you have to take advantage of your speed and mobility to try to bring a lot more of your army down and concentrate your firepower on key targets.  For focused fire, this is actually why I would consider running a squad of 6 of them with a Knight-Draconis, because he can let them once per game get off a breath attack, and then another in the shooting phase for a total of 11 mortal wounds on average that turn from that squad.  Whether that is worth dropping 855 points on one unit is still very much in question though, unless it is relatively easy to get them all in combat with the 3" coherency rules.

All this being said, for an "ideal" army, we should probably be looking to add additional hitting power from something else.  Whether that is Vanguard Raptors, Evocators (on foot or on Dracolines), or some Annihilators coming down from the sky, we probably need something to back them up with more hitting power.  However, it is VERY relevant that you can take a squad of 4 of these guys and "Tokyo Drift" them down the battlefield, and even with the smallest base size I can see them giving them (90mm oval), that would still be a 29" frontage that they can just bodyblock the board with (4 models with 3.5" size, 3" range between, and then another 3" at the end).  Especially if you give them mystic shield and -1 to wound.

2 hours ago, Turragor said:

C) achieve battle tactics - with the monster keyword, speed, and respectable (if not unstoppable) hitting power, this might be the key?

Achieving battle tactics will probably be key with this army.  However, we should be VERY aware that while we are playing in Ghur, we give away 1 point per battle round whenever an opponent slays a Monster.  This means that the opponent is going to get an extra victory point if they manage to kill 1 Stormdrake out of a unit.  Meanwhile, the various battle tactics that we can perform give bonuses for being performed by monsters either give the bonus by doing it with a single monster, or doing it with several monstrous units, so having a large unit of monsters isn't particularly helping our cause.

2 hours ago, Turragor said:

D) synergise with another unit that then does A-C better. In a dragon list the Knight Draconis has a touch of this I guess.

E) prevent the enemy from doing A-D... often this was my bread and butter in a Starcast list, removing buff pieces (D) or tying up a dangerous unit with an unkillable Lord Celestant on Stardrake preventing that unit from performing (B).

Going back to my response to point B, the biggest thing that Stormdrakes do better than another unit is just clogging up a massive amount of board space with a very hard to move force.  This gets me thinking that what we really want to do is run them in a Stormkeep, with some support from some Vindictors.  The Stormdrakes would be able to push forward and keep the opponents off of objectives for a turn or two, and then the vindictors would be counting as 3 models on all objectives starting turn 3.  Then you can bring your hammers of choice now that you have the objectives secured.  I would look to back them up with a Monster general giving the -1 to wound for all monsters, and a wizard to give the blocking stormdrakes Mystic Shield, and the ability to All Out Defense them for a 2+ ignore rend 1 to block the opponent up for the maximum length of time.

This solves the question of how do you synergize, and what the Stormdrakes do the best.  A squad of 4 of them is going to be 36 wounds at a 2+ save, which is going to be really tough for some armies to shift.  Keep in mind also that once you loose a model or three, you can also retreat and then try to rally them back on the next hero phase (and rallying even a single model back from this unit can be backbreaking for many opponents - and who knows, you might get lucky...).

2 hours ago, Turragor said:

What do you think? Building only on my experience with Starcast I feel like a unit of 2 are a bit like a Prime/Stardrake cross and a unit like that would be something I use to perform in the C) category.

I think its early to know what they'll excel at but they seem to have a tool kit to potentially excel at multiple things.

Going from my own experience, I would say that against anyone who isn't spamming mortal wounds, the Stormdrakes are in a pretty decent spot as a unit that will help you score battle tactics, and just clog up the board forever.  It is also very possible that they are durable enough that they are going to get nerfed points wise because trying to go through them in a casual game is going to suck for most opponents.  However, I don't see an all Stormdrake list doing well competitively (but I'm still going to build one... for reasons), but I think that a squad of 4 of them might see some semi-regular play in many lists.  Stormkeep vs Scions of the Storm then really depends upon what your other hammer units are going to be.

14 minutes ago, Well of Eternity said:

Can someone tell me the base sizes for Stormdrakes?

thx!

Nothing is known about the Stormdrakes model yet (aside of course from the pictures), so we don't know what their base size is going to be.

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4 hours ago, Turragor said:

A) hold objectives - Unless we're playing an all dragon list, we'd prefer something else to stand and hold (especially in our board half) 

Not really though. I'd rather have a 145 point dragon on an objective than 5 115 points liberators.

4 hours ago, Turragor said:

B) trade against multiple expensive enemy units - the damage discussion above is interesting as it may be that comparably priced enemy units may survive against 2 Stormdrakes, which isn't always ideal. But it is a classic Stormcast problem, not a great trading army.

Stormdrakes have the mobilty to let you choose where and how much you hit something with, with no luck of dice needed.

4 hours ago, Turragor said:

D) synergise with another unit that then does A-C better. In a dragon list the Knight Draconis has a touch of this I guess.

They synergise with our only good command trait. -1 to enemy wound rolls. And the knight of course. They take buffs as well as anything else. Sadly SCE dont have many synergies.

 

4 hours ago, Turragor said:

E) prevent the enemy from doing A-D... often this was my bread and butter in a Starcast list, removing buff pieces (D) or tying up a dangerous unit with an unkillable Lord Celestant on Stardrake preventing that unit from performing (B).

With their tankyness, mobilty, ranged MW, good output and taking up massive board space, they perform this role exceptionally.

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I think people need to get more familiar with the current battleplans. Most of them have 3 central objectives, or 4. From round 3 one is removed. It's really pretty rare that you need something to stay on a "home" objective.

 

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They did the mash

The Celestial MONSTER mash

Celestial Vindicators - Scions

Knight-Draconis (General: Master of the Celestial Menagerie, Amulet of Destiny)
Tauralon (Spell: Celestial Blades)
Lord-Castellant (Arcane Tome: Celestial Blades)
Knight-Incantor (Spell: Azyrite Halo)

6 Stormdrake Guard
5x Judicators (Crossbows)
5x Vindictors

Holy Command: Final Thunderstrike (combos with Cycle of the Storm)

1995/2000

Need to take a Warlord battalion to make this work

6 Drakes with +3 to saves (Castellant + Mystic Shield, AOD), +1 Hit (Tauralon, AOA), Halo to reflect, +1 Wound (Celestial Blades), and exploding hit6. Enemy melee attacks have -1 to wound most of your list. If they kill the Draconis you can use Final Thunderstrike and Cycle of the Storm to roll 24 dice and do mortals on 5+ to something within 1".

Edited by PJetski
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