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Discussion Starter #1
On my last Monster Mash army list DrStrangelove brought to my attention the benefits of using ML 1 and Telepathy on DPs to grab Psychic Shriek rather than ML 3 and Biomancy and hoping to get Iron Arm and/or Endurance. As DrStrangelove put it:

Counting on any psychic power is a bad strategy because you only have a 50% chance to get the power. Your spending over 10% of your points for a pay off that you won't always get. Even if you do get iron arm you survivability wont be much improved.

In the end your build is too expensive for what it does compared to other options that will produce the same or better results. You don't need Iron arm because a properly used flying t5 armor sv +3 model is plenty hard to kill. Flying will keep most things from even hitting you and 3+ armor save will give you plenty of protection against the small arms fire that is most likely to hit you in air. taking 2 greater blessings gives you a great change to improve a DP's survivability because 3 of the options are great survivability boosts (fnp 4+, re-roll inv save, +1 wounds and it will not die). The greater blessings are all you need because they offer huge survivability benefits and you can trade an unwanted one for an amazing shooting attack.

You can even further enhance a DP's survivability by how you play them. If you keep them in the air the first turn, DP will be very hard to hit will take minimal wounds especially with the 3+ save. Second turn you land and charge a small to medium unit. Opponents will be unable to target your DP's with shooting and will be forced to not shoot another unit if they want to charge in and help. DP's are also very survivability in cc because of their WS9 I8 making most opponents hit on 5+ and ensuring you hit first. If you have 3+ DP's you can tie up several shooting and or heavy weapons units giving your army cover to move up while their other units charge the DP's or you can gut those squads while your opponent deals with your advancing army.
With that in mind I built this list:

1848 pts Daemons w/ CSM allies

Keeper of Secrets 220
- Exalted and Greater Gift
- ML 1 (Telepathy)

13x Horrors 122
- Iridescent Horror

13x Horrors 122
- Iridescent Horror

Daemon Prince 280
- Slaanesh
- Wings and Armor
- 2x Greater Gift
ML 1 (Telepathy)

Daemon Prince 280
- Slaanesh
- Wings and Armor
- 2x Greater Gift
ML 1 (Telepathy)

Daemon Prince 280
- Slaanesh
- Wings and Armor
- 2x Greater Gift
ML 1 (Telepathy)

CSM Daemon Prince 265
- Tzeentch
- Wings and Armor
- Black Mace

10x Cultist 55
- Flamer

10x Cultist 55
- Flamer

Heldrake 170
- Baleflamer

The tatics are pretty self explanitory, so I don't feel the need to go over them. What do you think?
 

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Princes highly vulnerable to instant death. Psychic shriek and lash means you cannot vector strike (and it can be denied). Horrors and cultists can be removed very easily.

Saying you shouldn't go for biomancy because not rolling iron arm is a waste of points is a pretty narrow point of view. There's nothing in biomancy that's not useful.

With that said there's no wrong way to do a monster mash. The biggest weakness is having your troops gutted, and with it, your ability to win games. I'm a big fan of telepathy for controlling the table. While strange love makes a good point with relying in a roll for iron arm is a risk, the same could be said about the random roll for shrieks damage potential, especially because it replaces your vector strike (which is gaurenteed damage, and free).
 

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vector strike is a waste of a monstrous creature attack if they have both shriek and the whip. Here is how vector strike compares to the lash of dispair. Vector strike will give you between 2-4 hits at s6. You will average average 2-3 hits. The lash will give you between 2-12 shots at strength 6. You will average 5-7 shots. With a ballistic skill of 5 your DP will miss 1 in 6 shots so a DP will average 4-6 hits with the whip. Now for the range of the two respective attacks. The range of a vector strike is 24' because flying monstrous creature move a max of 24' and your DP must fly over the model you are vector striking. As an assault weapon the effective range of the whip is your models movement plus 12' which brings it to 36'.

Here is a great practical example of why vector strike sucks compared to the whip. A flying DP will never be able to vector strike on the first turn if Your army goes first, where as a flying DP with a whip will ALWAYS get to shoot the whip the first turn. So the whip has already shot 5-7 times on average by turn 1. Turn two your DP will again use the whip and thats another 5-7 shots. totaling 10-14 shots and 8-12 hits on average. On turn 2 a flying DP will get to vector strike, thats 2-4 hits. So to compare at the end of turn 2 vector strike has produced 2-3 hits on average with a worst case being 2 hits, best case is 4 hits. The lash will have produced 10-14 shots and 8-12 hits on average. The worst case for the lash over two turns is 4 shots with 3 hits. this is a very low probability because you have two roll double ones twice in a row and my list has 3 lash DP's. The best case for the lash is 24 shots over two turns which would giving you 20 hits on average since 1/6th of a DP's shots will miss. The whip not only produces three times more S6 hits over two turns on average then an average vector strike the whip has the potential to produce 6 times the S6 hits as vector strike over the first two turns.

Additionally vector striking will prevent your DP from assaulting that turn because the DP will still be in the air. The fact that vector striking prevents your DP from assaulting that turn effects your DP's offensive output and the DP's survivability. If you can get your DP into close combat with small or medium sized units you can lock your DP stands a good chance of winning, and will be much harder to kill in close combat b/c most units will only hit the DP on 5's due to the DPS WS of 9. Additionally the DP will not be able to be shot at, will actually preventing an enemy unit from firing, and any unit that tries to charge in and try to turn the tide wont be able to shoot that turn either! You are going to exchange all that for 2-3 hits a vector strike offers?

Vector strike doesn't hold a 10 cent candle to the lash.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Your post did a good job of explaining why the Lash is better than a Vector Strike, nobody was really saying the Vector Strike was better. It was just an additional attack the DPs got in addition to the Lash. What I was wondering if Psychic Shriek and 275 points is better than being able to Vector Strike with the DPs and getting 10 rolls on Biomancy. While it is possible to not roll Iron Arm, with 10 rolls you will get it most matches. Endurance and Life Leech can also add to the survivability of the DPs.
 

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whether Psychic shriek or a roll on Biomancy is a better choice will depend on your opponent and his army. I choose psychic shriek the majority of the time because statistically it is usually the better choice to maximize damage output against most armies and has the potential to be truly devastating.

the average numerical result when your roll for a d6 is between 3-4. Psychic Shriek will average a roll of between 9-12 so that's usually good for a couple of dead models against a relatively high ld unit like a space marine squad with a sargent. Against low Ld armies like daemons, IG, Tau, and orks, Psychic Shriek is a must that will rip through opponents. armies with mid level ld like Space Marines, CSM , and dark eldar are better protected but are still vulnerable. I'd agree that if you were playing against an anti psyker army like GK, NIDs, Eldar or some space wolves lists you would be better off with a roll on biomancy. Your right that there are lots of solid biomancy choices with the only real loser being hemorrhage, and even that can be swapped for the quite respectable smite power.

Biomancy is a solid set of powers and i can understand why people are drawn to it. on closer examination biomancy is really just appealing to stat maxing, and while a maxed out models might appear unstoppable on first glance, a savvy opponent will still know how to take them down. Iron arm seems to be the holy grail of biomancy, although i'd prefer life leech for DPs. Iron arm is really only effecting the chance that small arms fire has to wound your DP. Weapons that are S8 and above will still be wounding you 66% of the time on 2's and 3's and probably ignoring your +3 armor save. Even s7 weapons like plasma guns and alike will be wounding on 3's and 4' 66% of the time and ignoring armor. Small arms fire will always be dangerous to your DP in large quantities. Sure its only wounding on 6's but your DP only has 4 wounds and a good player knows how quickly 4 wounds can dry up. Certainly when an entire army focuses fire. Your big fancy DP with iron arm has a huge target painted on its chest and the first time the model is vulnerable a good opponent will seize the opportunity to kill or cripple him.

Psychic shriek will arguably will increase survivability on the long run b/c it will kill more models then iron arm. More dead models mean less shots at your DP! It matters much what your Toughness is when you've managed to kill 6 models out of a ten man marine squad between the lash and shriek. Every model dead is two less bolter shots targeting your DP. A t5 model with a +3 armor save weathering 8 bolter shots will statistically take fewer wounds then a t7 model with a 3+ armor save suffering 20 bolter shots.

Still against most armies i'd chose psychic shriek b/c it will end up killing more models by the end of the game. Biomancy powers offer limited survivibility enhancement and a well played DP is quite survivable enough.
 

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WMy argument wasn't lash vs vector, because lash is blatantly better, rather building your prince around shriek instead of biomancy. Shrieks damage is random, lash + shriek means no (free) damage from vectoring, and you lose out on the infinitely useful biomancy table. In either build I very much so agree that lash is always the default option.

275 pts for a 1 greater gift prince.
Vs
330 points for a 1 greater gift prince plus 3 chances at iron arm, endurance, life leech, and enfeeble (in any combination). While maintaining the same damage output as shriek against common leadership values, while only doing less damage as shriek against lower leadership armies.

Is it really worth the points trimming? There isn't an army in 40k that will have problems dropping a 275 pt t5 3+/5++ non EW model.
 

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People keep saying telepathy is bad except for shriek? Why? All the powers are useful. Puppet master is amazing, invisibility is amazing, hallucination is awesome most of the time, and potentially devastating, dominate is a hindrance to that riptide that gets in the way, terrify really throws ur opponent off balance when u run down his suddenly not so fearless unit, and giving a unit of hrs fearless can really tie up ur opponent.

These powers are more tactical than biomancy and require thought, and if u happen to roll something that won't work then u always have the amazing shriek to fall back on. I will always back telepathy over biomancy since tbh, smite, leech life and haemorrhage are useless. They don't have enough umf to justify the cost of the mastery level.
 

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"Is it really worth the points trimming?"


Of course it's worth the point trimming. Competitive lists are all about min/maxing models and damage. Point trimming is fundamental to a good 40k list. Its bad advice to say otherwise.

First you admit yourself that your biomancy DP build and my shriek/lash DP build have an equal damage output against mid LD armies and my build is better against low LD. Your build cost 55 points more per DP then mine so my build is prima facie better then yours because it will leave a player with 165 more points to spend... That's enough for 16-18 troops or a mid sized elite or fast attack unit. Clearly 3DP's + any additional models is better then just 3 equivalent DP's.

Second Biomancy is only increasing your survivability against small arms fire not heavy weapons. When your DP is flying most small arms fire will miss and the two or three shots that dont are just the kind of shots DP can handle with T5 armor sv 3+. Once you get into close combat Iron arm benefits become negligible. Most models will only be hitting you on 5's and if you run my DP you will almost always have one of the greater blessing survivability boons which increase survivability of DP on par with Iron arm, +4 FnP is even better then iron arm. A flying DP's mobility gives it the strong potential to tie up an enemy shooting unit, and if your a good player you chose a unit to charge that won't kick your DP's ass the first turn. This decrease the number of shots your daemon army has to weather while they close the distance to charge boosting the survivabilty of every one of your models on the board.

In conclusion Ravner's advice objectively bad when it comes to competitive lists. Point min maxing is the heart and soul of a competitive list. My DP build is at least as shooty as Ravner's with the chance for it to be drastically more powerful. If you take 3 DP's my build saves the player 165 pts enough for an entirely new squad. And finally Ravner's DP build shows Ravner is not using some of the DP's major strengths like high ws and Initiative to dominate close combat and prevent a unit from shooting. Instead Ravner seems to want to use the DP as a very expensive mediocre mobile fire platform.

Bad advice and bad DP tactics from Ravner.
 

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Well aren't you a bundle of sunshine. "No you're wrong I'm right" cool. Well many lists from nova, and masters events are in my camp, with mastery 1 shriek princes not used at all. Infact, the only time telepathy makes an appearance is when you roll iron arm early and can afford a telepathy roll, or on a keeper of secrets that uses all its rolls on it.

Saying iron arm isn't useful because of high str weapons still wounding is the dumbest thing I've heard. What threatens tough 5 princes? Flak fire. Mid strength weapon spam. What the shit is a multi laser or autocannon goin to do vs tough 8? Are you ignoring the eternal warrior gain? Because t5 is ridiculously easy to instant death.

So go ahead and slander my point of view and damn it as 'bad advice and tactics', because players much better than you agree with biomancy. It's proven to be far more effective. Buffing lashs strength to 7-9 changes it from annoying, to undiluted rape. If you want to use telepathy, it has a place on keepers, and if you run 3 princes you can sacrifice 1 to use telepathy to control the battlefield.

I never said princes should be used as mobile gun platforms. Their weakness isn't their damage dealing (with either build) its getting there to do it with t5 and a 3+/5++. A shriek prince will DIE.

Also saying relying on 1 roll on biomancy, then saying the fnp roll is better than biomancy (also a single roll, and incorrect) is bad form.

Stay classy, strangelove. Keep your shitty comments to yourself. You can't say you're indefinitely right and my point is bad advice and tactics, because biomancy princes are miles ahead. Have a problem with it, go argue your shriek build with players who take biomancy princes, and win, at the highest level of play.
 

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Nothing posted was a personal attack on you Ravner. What i did try to dissect was your ideas, which is how people have discussions. I'm not saying you couldn't be right. I'm just saying you've provided little or no evidence (especially mathematical evidence) why your right. I showed you my math, if you disagree with my calculations or premises i'd like to know which ones and why so we can continue this discussion on solid ground.

I'd be really interested (and others too i'd guess) to see some of the top level DP lists you mentioned. I'm sure I could learn a thing or two. But its not helpful or convincing to just to assert by fiat that "many lists from nova, and masters events are in my camp." I'm sure everyone on the forms would be interested to see those lists if you have a copy (not a memory). Could you post a link?

You've also already disavowed the single core tenant of competitive lists "point min/maxing". Don't know why any player looking for competitive feed back would want advice from a player who thinks min maxing isn't always the most important part of building a competitive list list.

You've yet to explain (try using the word because) why vector striking is better then the shriek/ lash/assault combo i juxtaposed it against. Remember Vector striking will prevent you from assaulting.

Also just as a side note I did not say 1 roll on greater blessing table trying for 4+FnP was better then using 1 roll on biomancy to try for iron arm because your right those both share the same low chance of success. I said "+4 FnP is even better then iron arm".

I'd still say going for two greater blessings is better then 3 rolls on biomancy For several reasons. First off cost 40pts for two GB's vs 75pts for three Mastery levels. Second, the GB table has 3 options that all greatly enhance a models survivability +1W and IWND, 4+ FnP or, Re-roll inv sv's. the math breakdown for rolling a 1,2, or 3 (the survivablity boons) looks like this.
first roll: 3/6 chance to roll a 1,2, or 3 = 50%
Second roll has two possible permutations
P1: 2/5 chance to roll a 1,2, or 3 (Assuming the first roll was a 1/2/or 3) = 40%
P2: 3/5 chance to roll a 1,2, or 3 Assuming the first roll was not a 1/2/or 3) = 60%
So a GB daemon prince with two blessings has a 50% then a 60% or 40% chance to roll a blessing that greatly increases survivability

In contrast your biomancy has just one power (iron arm) that directly increases surviviblity. Here is the statistical breakdown of that happening.
First Roll: 1/6 change = 16.667% chance of getting iron arm
Second Roll: 1/5 chance = 20% chance
Third Roll: 1/4 = 25% chance

So a DP's best chance to improve their survivability on the biomancy table is worse (By 15%! That is nearly the statistical difference between the chance a terminator will pass his 2+ sv verse a marine passing his 3+ sv) then a DP's worst chance to do the same on the Greater blessing table.

You seem nice enough Rvner, at the very least you provide feedback on the forum which is always cool. But i stand by my mathhammer and its on that ground that i'll call your advice bad once again.
 

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In conclusion Ravner's advice objectively bad when it comes to competitive lists. Point min maxing is the heart and soul of a competitive list. My DP build is at least as shooty as Ravner's with the chance for it to be drastically more powerful. If you take 3 DP's my build saves the player 165 pts enough for an entirely new squad. And finally Ravner's DP build shows Ravner is not using some of the DP's major strengths like high ws and Initiative to dominate close combat and prevent a unit from shooting. Instead Ravner seems to want to use the DP as a very expensive mediocre mobile fire platform.

Bad advice and bad DP tactics from Ravner.
nothing posted was a personal attack on you Ravner.
How could I ever confuse that....anyways.

My disagreement with your assertion of ml1 telepathy vs ml3 biomancy isnt about damage output. A couple extra wounds (maybe) from a shriek (if it doesnt get denied, and rolls above average to do any damage at all) isn't going to make or break a close combat monster. A DP's biggest, glaring weakness is its survability. And while the greater gifts DO help (even though both builds will only be using 1 of them), they don't cover the DPs achielles heel, which is its LOUSY toughness, and its lack of EW. If iron arm did nothing else besides grant EW, it'd still be worth the extra points to go for it. There are so many ways to instant death a t5 model, especially in the 1500-1850 sweep spot where monster mash lists shine. Relying on being a FMC isn't enough, because forcing grounding tests is extremely easy, as well as almost every army having a fortification, or skyfire units.

Another HUGE selling point to biomancy is that it actually increases your damage exponentially as well. One of the biggest reasons to run a MoS lash prince is that it is absolutely crazy flier/vehicle rape. A str 6 lash will still do damage, sure, if you roll above average, but buffing that strength d3? 2d6 str 9 shots on rear armor will destroy any vehicle in the game, in 1 round. It will pump a crazy amount of wounds onto an MC, or enemy FMC. A strength 6 lash, on average MC tougness of 6, with an average roll of 6 shots, will wound maybe 2-3 times. Both prince builds are only aiming to be swooping for their initial turn to close to gap, the difference being shriek will do more damage, but be HIGHLY vulnerable to return fire before getting the charge, while biomancy (assuming iron arm) has as much much better chance of survival, not even taking into account the life leech ability, or it will not die. A recent game of mine, a bio prince regenerated 3 of its wounds throughout the coarse of a game, and was able to contest an objective late and snag linebreaker for the win, something that could not of happened without the abilities from biomancy. A few extra dead guardsman from the drop down shooting before assault would not of won that game for me. Granted, that wont happen every game but its a damn good example of why you want that survivability.

You've also already disavowed the single core tenant of competitive lists "point min/maxing". Don't know why any player looking for competitive feed back would want advice from a player who thinks min maxing isn't always the most important part of building a competitive list list.
Its not min maxing when spending the extra points for 2 mastery levels is completely worth it. What you're referring to is points trimming. And with the suggested trimming, youre giving up something indefinately useful, for something mediocre. Monster mash lists rely on their MCs to smash things, not a filling elite/fast slot, or another lousy troop (you should already have 3 squads in addition to a portalglyph). Youre sacrificing functionality for the sake of 'more bodies'. Those extra bodies will be ignored if your opponent knows how to assess threats, which will leave your princes as primary targets. Good thing you gave up that insane survivability boost for some extra horrors or seekers though!

In contrast your biomancy has just one power (iron arm) that directly increases surviviblity
It will not die, life leech, iron arm......the only 'non useful' powers are hemmorrage, and argueably the primus, because even enfeeble is excellent, just not a survivability boost.

Just to sort of recap my point here, biomancy isnt for damage (even though adding d3 strength to the prince, and subsequently his lash, its a GIGANTIC damage increase in both shooting and assault) its for its ridiculous buffs to survivability, which is the princes biggest downfall. Removing the weakness leaves you with something truely monstrous (especially when there are 3 of them). Shriek is nice, sure, for some extra damage assuming you don't get picked off....but also keep in mind the highest tier armies currently are necrons (ld10 average), gk (ld 10 average) sw (ld 10 average) and slightly behind them are ig (ld8-9 average), and tau (ld 8 average). An average shriek roll yields no damage against ld 10, and only 1 wound on ld8. Of course this can be offset by an extraordinary roll, because im sure the first time you do 8 unsaveable wounds against thunderwolves or paladins youll run around in circles pinching your nipples screaming.....but then weep softly as that str 10 thunderhammer/daemonhammer gibs your 275 pt model.
 

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Is it really worth an extra 50pts just to hope u get iron arm and endurance? When u can guarantee shriek and then spend 20pts on another greater gift if u want which can buff ur survivability just as well for cheap and doesnt require a psychic test (on which ld9 is no guarantee especially when taking three a turn and risks damage from perils)

If you want survivability and damage output try a Nurgle prince with a greater reward (or two) and MLv1 (Plague). FMC still get cover from buildings and ruins and area terrain (if u disagree please point out the exact sentence or FAQ which says FMC dont get cover saves from terrain) and with shrouded becomes very hard to kill, throw in a greater reward or two and u have decent defencive buffs and/or the Balesword which is amazing (poison so re-rolling to wound against T6 and lower and instant death? yes please) and the plague psychic powers (the MLv1 ones anyway) rock on a FMC. AP2 large blast? yes please or -D3 WS & I to any enemy unit involved in a combat he is in (blessing so no DTW), which means WS3 and lower may not even get to strike at all if u drop them to WS0, and AT LEAST WS5 and lower models hitting u on 5s with possible WS6 & 7 models as well.

Thats how I run my prince and he is always cost effective (600pts doubles he killed two riptides and a wraithknight by turn 3)
 

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Dusk, both prince builds discussed above have 2 greater gifts. Both builds use MoS and exchange 1 for the lash. The primary use of a lash prince is for anti air/vehicle/mc. Shriek and your suggested build, while strong, aren't used for much more than mulching thing much weaker. It won't toe to toe against mcs, vehicles (except smashing, leaving you vulnerable) or fliers as well. A huge bonus to lash is being able to destroy a transport in the shooting phase and assault the crew. That is something you cannot do with a base str of 6, and shriek doesn't harm vehicles at all. Your suggested nurgle build is absolutely fine for soaking damage, and doing massive damage against horde style armies. It also leaves you looking for AA elsewhere in your list, and the best AA in the entire codex is a lash prince with biomancy.

Just depends on what role you're trying to fill. The prince is extremely versatile, but in a true monster mash list you want them to be able to handle everything. Making one good at killing fliers, and another good at killing hordes, makes target selection for your opponent much easier.

That being said, there are no bad builds being suggested in this thread. Figure out what you want your prince to do, and do it. I'd rather pay the extra 50 points and have all the bases covered, personally.
 
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