Guest Tactica: The Screamerstar

the scream

A guest tactica by Anonymou5

A few months ago the Chaos Daemon codex was released and there was much rejoicing. Flamer/Screamer was dead and the ridiculous Games Workshop cash grab was over  (We were told the reason those units were so OP was actually because the rules were written by White Dwarf staff, not game designers -ed) . Following the release, the general Internet wisdom on Daemons was simple: “Too random, not good” “Flickering Fire is stupid” “Terrible dex.”

A few months went by, Runes of Warding went away, and Wargamescon happened. All of a sudden a little secret became well known. Daemons are good. Second and Fourth place at a major con. With two entirely different builds.

http://testblog.belloflostsouls.net/?p=7744

So, now everyone at least knows about the Flying Circus and the Dog Rush…And those two lists really demonstrate what Daemons do well. Dominate the Psychic Phase and overwhelm with pure speed. I would actually argue that a Nurgle Circus is actually the worst version (well, aside from Khorne), and that the Wargames list could have been significantly scarier, and the fact Mr. Boucher got as far as he did is both a testament to his skill as a General and the overall internal balance of the book.

Today though I’m not writing about Flying Circuses, nor why Nurgle Princes make no sense, but about an entirely different Daemon unit. That’s the thing about the book, much like Tau (a comparison I bet you’d never see), the codex has multiple combos that can be terrifying. Units that on their own may not be scary, but when paired with a friend, become very strong. It is better to know what is out there, rather than to see it for the first time at a tournament.

Composition and Capabilities

Today I will focus on the Screamerstar. It’s a unit I’ve never seen in action, but it certainly has potential. It is also referred to as the “Screamer Council,” and honestly, I thought I had invented it….but, it’s being discussed a lot now; so I am no longer a creative genius who is ahead of the meta. That said, it’s still a dangerous and rare build, and one that many people have never encountered.

In short, it’s a unit of invincible jetbikes that drop buckets of strength 6 shooting.

In long, it is this:

1 Herald of Tzeentch (Lvl 3 Psycher, Disc, Exalted reward)

1 Herald of Tzeentch (Lvl 3 Psycher, Disc, Exalted Reward, Exalted Locus of Conjuration)

1 Herald of Tzeentch (Lvl 3 Psycher, Disc, Lesser Reward)

1 Herald of Tzeentch (Lvl 3 Psycher, Disc, Lesser Reward)

9 Screamers of Tzeentch.

In concept, this unit is similar to JY2’s Pinkstar. Which you can see in action here:

http://www.dakkadakka.com/dakkaforum/posts/list/520839.page

http://www.dakkadakka.com/dakkaforum/posts/list/522250.page

However, it is much more of a “True Deathstar” than the Pinkstar, both costing far more points, capable of dishing out more damage, and significantly more mobile. Unlike the Pinkstar, the Screamerstar is not completely useless in assault.

As the Daemon codex is still a mystery to most players, we need to delve into the various upgrades on the Screamerstar before we discuss how they synergize together.

Most of the power in the unit comes from the Heralds. The four of them encompass one HQ slot (in a primary detachment only). The Discs make them Jetbikes and grant one additional attack. One exalted gift will always be the Grimoire of True Names. The Grimoire is the most important piece of wargear in any Daemons build. You roll a D6 at ANY time in the movement phase, on a 3+ it improves the unit’s invulnerable save by 2 (for a 3++ normally), and on a 2- it reduces the save by 1 (for a 6++ normally). The second Exalted Reward will generally be the Portaglph, which the unit is fast enough to drop off wherever the player wants it (subject to a 4d6 scatter). The two Lesser Rewards are there to be traded in for Etherblades, which is an AP2 at initiative sword, primarily to give the unit a little additional punch in assault (six AP2 attacks at I4). That said, this unit’s job is not assault, so those 20 points are not required.

All four of them are level four psychers, and are allowed to roll on both Divination and Change. Generally that’s going to grant you 8 rolls on Divination and 4 Flickering Fires, although what you roll for and how is part of the strategy of the unit, and will be discussed a little bit later. The Locus increases the strength of the Change powers by 1, making Flickering Fire a Strength 6 shot.

The Screamers are jetbikes, who are essentially in the Screamerstar to provide wounds to the unit. However, they do pack pseudo melta bombs, 3 attacks per, and have turbo boost attack similar to Reaver Jetbikes (which generally will not be used by the Screamstar, as it wants to be shooting as much as possible).

Flickering Fire is a much insulted power, but anyone who has faced my Fateweaver circus can attest to its power. That is not to say that it does not have weaknesses, some of which we discuss, but this article will also demonstrate how powerful it can be. In short, Flickering Fire is a 24 inch Witchfire. At one Warp Charge it is 2D6 shots, AP4, and with the locus it shoots at STR6. It scales depending on how much WC is spent, 2 Warp Charge is 3D6, and 3 is 4D6. That means with full warp charge, the Screamerstar puts out 16D6 AP4/STR6 shots. Now, as a witchfire it can be denied. Also, after all Warp Flame attacks are resolved (Flickering Fire and the rest of the Change discipline), and assuming wounds are suffered, the targeted unit makes a toughness test. On a fail, D3 more wounds are taken, no armor or cover saves allowed. On a success, the unit gains 6+ FNP (or has its existing FNP improved). However, generally the Screamerstar overkills its preferred targets, and this is not an issue. However, when shooting at some targets, it is important to keep that in mind.

The majority of the Divination Powers are beneficial for the Screamerstar (Perfect Timing and Prescience being key), but Forewarning is where the unit becomes insane. Forewarning grants a 4++, which the Grimoire turns into a 2++ and Daemons of Tzeentch reroll saves of 1. This means that the Screamerstar will have a rerollable 2++ Thus, when I described the unit as an invincible unit of jetbikes, I was being literal. This is not to say the unit does not have weaknesses, which it does, and we will discuss them in more detail. However, to the unprepared opponent, the Screamerstar can seem very broken indeed (as can it’s younger cousin, the Pinkstar).

But before we delve into the weaknesses of the unit (and how to mitigate and exploit them), I am going to break down the unit’s damage output in shooting.

For the sake of this demonstration, I am going to assume the unit used 1WC on Divination, Perfect Timing and Forewarning. The rest is going into Flickering Fire. This generally means three heralds are shooting 3D6 and one is shooting 4D6, although this can change depending on how the powers are broken down. The average roll on a D6 is 3.5 and the unit is rolling 12D6 for the power. This comes out to 42 shots. Now, I will be calculating the Deny the Witch Results on the aftermath (at a 6+ unless otherwise noted), because I am more interested in general performance. However, game results will show more variance (as they always will, just due to the sheer number of dice involved)

Thus, in general we are dealing with 42 STR6, BS4, twinlinked shots with the Ignores Cover rule (which against some targets Perfect Timing would be pointless, but for simpler calculations I will leave it in). The Screamerstar will also often have Misfortune, which would be very effective against certain targets, but for the sake of one general “capabilities brief,” I will stick with the base powers assumptions.

Thus, against Firewarriors or worse, the Screamerstar will kill 25 in one volley of shooting.

Against Marines and their equivalents, the Screamerstar will kill 8-9 in one volley of shooting (likely leaving 1-2 with a 6+ FNP)

Against Terminators, the Screamerstar will 4.

Against a Riptide, it will do 2 wounds (and almost certainly grant FNP)

Against an unbuffed Tervigon (with a 5+ Deny) it will do 4 wounds.

Against AV10 it will do something like 15 HP of damage. AV11 it will remove 10HP, and AV12 it will do 5HP of damage.

Thus, ignoring some of the other Change Powers (as Gate and Bolt are both very good against Terminators), the strengths and weaknesses of the the Screamerstar’s shooting are very easy to break down. It absolutely murders light infantry. Any squad of Firewarriors, Guardians, Guardsmen, or the like that it points at is dead. No saves allowed.

It’s pretty good against Marines. If you kill nine in a volley, it hardly matters if one has a 6+ FNP.

Any vehicle it can hurt, it will kill. Thus, like most of the meta, it has no issue with Chimeras or Razorbacks (or Waveserpents, as it doesn’t care about jink or a reduction of pens to glances), but cannot affect Annihilation Barges or Land Raiders in shooting. Interestingly, it’s still pretty effective against AV10 and 11 fliers (dropping 5 HP and 4 HP respectively, no jink allowed), but struggles against AV12 fliers (dropping just under 2 HP, less for a Heldrake)

It struggles against MCs and TDA. Although as most Terminator Squads are 5 man, killing 4 and granting 1 a 6+ FNP isn’t the end of the world. That said, it clearly is not the tool to use against the various monsters all over the meta.

Thus, in shooting, we know what it can do and what its weaknesses are. Thus, we must ask, can it cover up for those weaknesses in assault?

The Heralds bring a little bit to the fight in assault, WS3/S3 with 3 attacks each. 6 of those attacks are AP2. All at initiative 4. The Screamers bring 27 attacks at I3, WS3, S4. The Screamers can also make a single STR5, AP2, Armorbane attack instead (or 9) for the squad. With Prescience, this is probably enough to kill a Riptide or a Tervigon. There is some debate as to whether the Screamers still get the bonus attack for charging when they use their “meltabombs,” but assuming they do, the Screamerstar (ignoring the non AP2 attacks) do 4 wounds to a Riptide on the charge, and another 2 on the following turn. Freeing them up on their own turn to engage something else (assuming a smart opponent does not tie them up with a Kroot Blob or something). They also easily kill a Tervigon on the charge if he lacks endurance, and if he has endurance, the results are the same as the Riptide.

That said, they’re not going to do very well attacking anything tougher than a Riptide (buffed up Lord of Change, Iron Arm Flyrant, Wraithknight, etc), and should generally avoid assault. But, it is still important to know what they can assault if they must.

Weaknesses and Mitigations

Thus, the unit has a few obvious weaknesses in what it can kill simply through shooting, which the rest of the hypothetical Daemon list should address (and a smart opponent can exploit). It also has a few other weaknesses that I will discuss.

First, to become worth the points investment (about 800), the unit MUST get Forewarning. While a 3++ rerolling 1s (just the Grimoire) is really good, it is not 800 points good. The Heralds have 12 rolls to get it, but must do them 1 at a time by Herald. There are two general strategies for pre-game psychic rolls. Either roll nothing but Divination until Forewarning is rolled. Or roll Divination two per herald, and taking Flickering Fire, then repeating on the process on each herald. The first risks cutting into the shooting power of the unit (as at least three heralds need Flicking Fire), and the second lowers the overall odds of getting Forewarning. Neither answer is right, but it is worth bearing in mind. I personally would roll the first herald 3 times on Divination, and then switch to two per Herald. Either way, most of the time the unit will get everything it needs, but there will be the occasional game where the unit is not operating at peak effectiveness, which I believe hurts it’s viability in a GT style tournament.

Second, the Grimoire only has a 2/3 success rate on it’s own. There are two ways the Daemon Player can mitigate the risk. The first is with movement. If the Grimoire fails, use the jetbike speed/turbo boost to hide the unit (and actually use the Turboboost attack the Scramers have). The second is to use the other HQ slot to take Fateweaver (who, in my opinion is an auto take in any Daemon build anyway). Fateweaver grants one D6 reroll per player turn, which is perfect for a Grimoire build (and if the Grimoire succeeds on its own, it becomes perils protection). With Fateweaver in the Army, the success rate of the Grimoire goes to 8/9, which means the Screamerstar will spend less time hiding, and more time killing.

The second biggest weakness of the Screamerstar is the relative vulnerability of the Herald carrying the Grimoire. He does not benefit from the Grimoire, so most of the time he is only rocking a 4++ (with reroll 1s). Now, he will obviously be at the center of the unit, so he will not be the first target for wound allocation. However, barrage weapons and precision shots can still snipe him. He does have a 2+ Look Out Sir, so he can pass those wounds off if he needs to, but that is not as good as a 2++ rerollable that the rest of the unit possessed. Thus, STR8+ Precision Shots and Barrage Weapons have a fairly high percentage of killing him (something like 10%). Now, a Vindicaire Assassin and a Tau Warlord Trait deny Look Out Sir, so that’s something for the Daemon player to realize. Of course, the Screamerstar is not going to have any issue killing a Vindicare, and can easily kite most Tau units packing a Warlord.

The biggest weakness is Mind Strike Missiles, as a 2++ does no good against wounds that ignore saves. A Daemon Player would be well served to hide in assault on the turn a GK Storm Raven is expected to come onto the board or spread the unit out such that only one herald can be hit by the blast at a time (put heralds into coherency with Screamers only, alternating the Heralds throughout the unit).

As discussed above, the Screamerstar is not very good at killing tough MCs, large TDA squads, and AV12 fliers. It also generally cannot hurt AV13 or 14 at all with shooting (unless it takes Gate or Bolt) Additionally, it has no hit and run, and is very subject to being tarpitted. However, it is very fast and can easily avoid most of the assault units that could tarpit it (Power blobs, Walking MCs, Gaunt mobs), but is still subject to tarpit by fast and durable assault units (Hounds, Wraiths, FMCs, and the like). Thus the Daemon player needs to mitigate those weaknesses, I think Soul Grinders make the most sense here. Soul Grinders have a huge footprint, and can be used to completely block maneuver and assault lanes (allowing the Daemon player to create lanes across the board for the Screamerstar to use to kill things and avoid trouble). Grinders also add a skyfire option, and as the Screamerstar can hand out prescience like candy, will be fairly effective in that role. Plus, a lot of the fast assault units that can actually catch the Screamerstar, have no chance against a Soul Grinder, and will spend the rest of the game dying one or two at a time. Finally, Grinders are extremely durable, and add to the whole “You can’t kill this list” idea of running the Screamerstar.

I think Grinders work best in a configuration of 2 Slaneesh (torrents) and 1 Nurgle (Phlemg), with the Slaneesh Grinders using their somewhat absurd speed to advance, and the Nurgle Grinder staying back somewhat and using cover from the Slanseesh Grinders to be very difficult to kill. This creates a triangle formation that the Screamerstar can stay in the center of for protection.

Build and General Use

Thus we know our Screamerstar build will have its HQ slots maxed out (4 heralds, 1 Fateweaver), its HS slot also maxed out (3 Grinders), and one FS slot used (the Screamers). Personally, I think Seekers would make a ton of sense in this build, as an incredibly fast counter attack unit that can kill anything on the ground. However, the points aren’t there. At 2k points, even with a portaglyph, I feel you need four units of Troops. In my opinion the best Daemon Troops are Horrors and Daemonettes. In this list that is doubly true. The Daemonettes serve as a fast moving counter assault unit, who can be used to remove tarpits if needed. The Horrors are an additional place to stash Heralds if the need arises. They also can pour additional Flickering Fire attacks into the same units the Screamerstar targets (as only one warp flame test is initiated in a shooting phase).

Thus, my 2k Screamer Star list would look like this:

Heralds of Chaos

• Herald of Tzeentch: Psyker (Mastery Level 3); Disc of Tzeentch; Exalted Reward.

• Herald of Tzeentch: Exalted Locus of Conjuration; Psyker (Mastery Level 3); Disc of Tzeentch; Exalted Reward.

• Herald of Tzeentch: Psyker (Mastery Level 3); Disc of Tzeentch; Lesser Reward.

• Herald of Tzeentch: Psyker (Mastery Level 3); Disc of Tzeentch; Lesser Reward.

Kairos Fateweaver

11 Pink Horrors of Tzeentch

10 Pink Horrors of Tzeentch

10 Daemonettes of Slaanesh

10 Daemonettes of Slaanesh

9 Screamers of Tzeentch

Soul Grinder: Daemon of Slaanesh; baleful torrent.

Soul Grinder: Daemon of Slaanesh; baleful torrent.

Soul Grinder: Daemon of Nurgle; phlegm bombardment.

1,999 points

Fateweaver would be the warlord, of course, for the Warp Storm re-roll. I would generally start Fateweaver and all the Troops in reserve. The Horrors would walk onto my board edge and claim rear objectives (I will later break down why they are better backfield campers than Plague Bearers), the Daemonettes would be in DS reserve most of the time, to claim downfield objectives and function as counter assault. The Grinders would control midfield, and create lanes for the Screamerstar, the Nurgle Grinder would also serve as backfield bodyguard for the Horrors. The Screamerstar would delete a unit of Troops each turn, and cast out buffs to the Grinders as needed.

In conclusion, it’s a nasty build, but not unbeatable. In my opinion 800 pts is probably too much to spend on something that is only incredibly good at killing Fire Warriors and their equivalent. That said, there is some value in a unit that is effectively impossible to kill, and I do plan on play testing it a bit.

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About Reecius

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30 Responses to “Guest Tactica: The Screamerstar”

  1. Skari July 22, 2013 3:51 am #

    What about spacewolves?

    • steven morrow July 22, 2013 6:56 am #

      is this tournament play question or one off play? In tournament play the wolves are going to be facing heldrakes which effectively neutralize long fangs.. Since Most space wolves players cant get past there bromance with long fangs for all their fire support they are struggling hard. If the space most player actually uses heavy support tanks. Lets say two predators and a whilrwind and uses his whirlwind to barrage snipe, plus jaws which will bypass your saves altogether and runepriests to cancel your powers on 4+ (or njal for the 3+) its not that bad at all. Put in drop podding greyhunters with melta guns or wolf guard squads with multiple combi melts and you will find your defences rapidly diminished.. But since spacewolves cant seem to change their playstyle from the golden days of 5th you probably wont see much of them.

  2. mathhammer July 22, 2013 6:09 am #

    I think there are one or two typos:
    “All four of them are level four psychers, ”

    Shouldn’t that be level 3?

    in
    ” I personally would roll the first herald 3 times on Divination, and then switch to two per Herald.”

    Since the herald is mark of Tzeentch doesn’t one of there powers have to come from the Tzeentch Lore?

    • Reecius
      Reecius July 22, 2013 9:12 am #

      Unlike CSM, Daemons don’t have to generate 1 power from their own school. However, you are right that the psykers are level 3 max.

  3. jy2
    jy2 July 22, 2013 7:07 am #

    Space Wolves will give any psychic-heavy armies problems. So will tyranids. That’s just an inherent flaw of this type of list. However, at least their worst enemy – Runes of Warding – is no longer an issue. So 8 out of 10 isn’t bad (armies without psychic defense).

    One of the main weaknesses that I find with this list is the Grimoire. Namely, who to put it on. If you put it on the screamerstar, I go after Fateweaver. Without the Grimoire, he is actually fairly easy to torrent down with enough firepower. Then I just need to wait for the Grimoire to fail even once and the screamerstar is going to get hit hard. Other than psychic defense, this is probably the 2nd biggest, exploitable flaw in the list.

    Also, this list is very similar to another psychic-heavy deathstar list – the seer council. If you are denied the chance to get off your psychic powers (i.e. opponent is going first with an alpha-strike army), then you could be in a world of hurt. Such an army includes drop pod lists, the shunt-knights, barrage guards and any army capable of a ranged alpha-strike if they should go first.

    • Reecius
      Reecius July 22, 2013 9:13 am #

      My thoughts exactly, Jim. That is why I still prefer the Khorne Dogs and Seekers with the Grimoire on a backfield Herald.

  4. jy2
    jy2 July 22, 2013 7:09 am #

    BTW, good article!

    • Slaede July 22, 2013 7:47 am #

      I’m with jy2. It has a few too many exploitable weaknesses for my taste, but it is quite strong.

      • Reecius
        Reecius July 22, 2013 9:14 am #

        I agree, it’s a list that will steam roll people until they figure out how to take it apart.

    • steven morrow July 22, 2013 8:22 am #

      Yeah great article. the biggest problem fighting against it would be its speed. It could easily play the keep away game darting in to hit one squad at a time. Or splitting off and scattering to put pressure on from multiple vectors. Then using its speed to come back together for big hits. Its mobility and ability to break into five units to hit multiple targets should be used to the full to keep the opponent on its back foot. Good luck tarpitting it. I like its ability to shift from big deathstar unit to 5 very mobile mop up units. did i mention i like its versatility lol

  5. MarkyMark July 22, 2013 8:29 am #

    I run the screamer list and also run the ‘pinkstar’ (I was the one to suggest this to jy2). Decided to run the screamer list I as well made ages ago after winning a big tourny with my prince list.

    First things about the article, they are lvl 3 not 4, also the lesser rewards you are just trading them out for etherblades, they are ok but at i3 (not 4) and str3 I perfer the staff for str5 ap4 hits. Also corrosive breath is good for some ranged anti armour and so is adititum will, there isnt much lvl3 psykers or better so thats usually a 3 plus DTW!.

    As to taking soley flickering fire, I do like one herald to have bolt of change, str is d6 plus 4 plus 1 for locus and with perfect timing it can easily pop 2 tanks and sometimes more.

    Personnaly I do like having a few dogs along for the ride, really do not rate grinders to be honest, but having 9 screamers and 3 heralds stuck somewhere in the deployment (outside of 36inchs if night fighting of anything mean) then having 60 wounds of hounds (2×15 of them) scouting up the board turn 1, if anyone wants to fire at my screamers then the hounds will make a dent but most people think kill the hounds, and I smile as thats their job!, fatey hides in reserve thanks to sciers gaze along with my troops (there goes Jims plan of killing fatey)

    I have yet to lose with it playing only my competitive gaming buddies, would not wish to unleash this on a friendly game!

  6. steven morrow July 22, 2013 8:36 am #

    I dont feel fateweaver is absolutely necessary as he is only there to get a reroll on grimoire. Thats 300 extra points that will struggle to do anything to the targets you really need dead. Namely heavy armor and Monstrous creatures. Now thw armor can be killed by screamers but if you are using them purely as a bunker then you will hesitate to charge armor. So why not drop kairos and the lesser gifts and maybe the extra horror to take a more or less bare bone keeper and a pack of seekers. Make one of the heralds warlord and take full advantage of the speed and combat potential of seekers plus keeper to put heavy pressure on mid field. That makes the bunker less of an accessible threat. Precision deep striking slaaneeshi units dropping off a seeker units banner puts immediate pressure on enemy units. This will leave your powerful psychic shooting unit to hit support and scoring units. It will also give you more flexibility in who gets the grimoire buff and when.

    • Janthkin July 22, 2013 6:33 pm #

      You can’t make a Herald the Warlord in a list that includes a Greater Daemon; the Warlord is always the HQ with the highest Leadership. You only get to choose if you have ties.

      • Reecius
        Reecius July 22, 2013 7:16 pm #

        Tue story. The author will jump in when he can, he just got back from his honeymoon.

  7. Puretide1 July 22, 2013 8:37 am #

    I think it is going to be harder to get the psychic powers of against tau now with the farsight enclave being battle brothers with codex: tau, because of the talisman of arthas moloch which confers a 5++ save and the bearer and all friendly units within 12 have 4D6 for deny the witch rolls.

    So I can see alot of eldar and space marines aswell as tau using them as allies.

  8. Shinkaze July 22, 2013 6:19 pm #

    Great article! This list is a cute hot mess. Better to look for consistency if you are trying to take down a GT.

    I think it is not helpful to look at the results of GTs and draw any conclusions about what is good and what isn’t. What is good is players, not books or netlists. It seems like the best players almost never lose to anyone worse than themselves. I think that is at Wargamescon Gareth, Kenny, Ben etc had been playing Tau then you would have seen Tau in the top spots instead of Necron/Orks and 2 Daemons.

  9. Gordy July 22, 2013 6:26 pm #

    I think it will struggle against GKs, both from Storm Ravens as mentioned, and the combination of the Aegis, the Dreadnought’s Reinforced Aegis, and the fact that GKs are great at forcing saves on infantry. You won’t be able to debuff them, you’ll get most of your psychic shooting blocked, and they can run up to you shooting Storm Bolters forcing saves until they eventually reach assault. Lack of Hit and Run is a big problem, too, especially since you can’t overwatch with witchfires.

    Also, I personally have started running Land Raiders again, so there’s that, too.

  10. Julnlecs July 22, 2013 8:58 pm #

    I faced my friend Biffomatic this past weekend to test out our golden throne lists. Hes running a pack of dogs, fatey, two princes and he ran two heralds with 9 screamers, the rest went into plaguebearers. I ran Azrael with banner of devastation and 18 troop bikers, plus 2 30 man ig blob units. Turn one i literally shot my whole army at the screamers, like 100+ shots and with rerolls 2++. Nothing died. He charged 2 bike units, killed 2 bikers and then i hit and run. I found out that tarpitting that unit with Azraels blob was the thing to hold it in place until turn five that the grimoire guy died. Players gotta also know that the warp storm table is so random that it can hurt daemons at gts bad sometimes. Only reason i won was becase i got rid off all his troops and fateweaver died from 1-2 on warp storm table rolls. Giving me first bloob and slay the warlord.

  11. Grimjuc July 23, 2013 5:13 am #

    I ran a primary biomancy list with 9 screamers 2 heralds on disks and the results were meh. This is probably because of the divination rolls on the heralds this eliminated their shooting ability but I found against other Bio MCs they are lack luster.

    I could not do enough damage with the screamers in assault. I won the game but this is not a unit you can put into any army.

  12. anonymou5 July 23, 2013 9:01 pm #

    Thanks for all the replies. I’m a little late to the party, because as Reece alluded to, my wife is owning my time right now. I’m going to address as many comments as I can in my brief escape!

    I apologize for the typos (I noticed a few more when going through it, heh), but I promise I at least calculated the numbers based off of level 3 psychers.

    I don’t think it’s the “best” list by any means, but I do think the Screamerstar is viable and will start appearing out there. I also think it will catch a lot of people off guard, and felt a discussion on it would benefit a lot of people. I also think it’s a fantastic Army for the ETC/ATC format, because it’s such a great counter punch list to drop against the wrong Army. I think it’ll eat Tau alive, even with the new wargear (that really only protects one unit, unless the entire Army is huddled around an allied Librarian, in which case, have fun scoring).

    I honestly don’t rate Space Wolves as a big issue for any good Daemons list (although I should have mentioned them in the article, so good catch). I say that as a guy who has been playing Wolves for a while. Slaede has torn up some of my Wolves lists by just using speed to pick on units not completely protected by the Rune Priest. Either he comes in a pod, and the psychers lose one turn of psychic powers as they reposition, or he walks with a Guard blob, in which case Guardsmen on the edges of the blob die en masse, or his Rhino gets pummelled by the 50% of FF that gets through, and he spends the rest of the game climbing out of the crater… Marines are just slow, in general, and very fragile to the tools Daemons bring to the fight.

    Nids however, well as JY2 mentioned, they’re just a counter to these kinds of Armies in general, and it will always be an uphill fight. Nids are, however, comparatively very slow, and FF outranges Shadows.

    When I run Fateweaver in a support role, I don’t find it very hard to keep him alive. Start him in reserve, bring him on the board out of LOS (he’s pretty easy to hide), then fly him into ongoing reserves. Repeat as needed. I generally use him as a finishing blow anyway, or to go remove other, isolated targets as needed. He’s also a fighter ace against everything but Storm Ravens, which is nice.

    As for criticisms of the list in general, I’m absolutely not saying this is the only way to run it, I just think Grinders make a lot of sense, because they can be used to effectively counter tarpit potential tarpit units. If the Screamerstar gets tarpitted by something and I used Seekers (as an example) to bail them out, the Seekers could take a bunch of wounds and force a DI test on the Screamerstar, which would bypass the 2++). Where as a lot of the units that can actually catch the Star cannot hurt a Grinder (nob bikers excepted, but they also hurt Princes, Seekers, etc).

    Thanks again for the comments, hope you enjoyed the breakdown. It’s not a perfect list/death star by any means….but it can absolutely annihilate the unprepared. If nothing else, I prepared some people. Ha

  13. Tangentical July 23, 2013 10:32 pm #

    Funny, your own army has the best answer to this unit.

    Assault with Mr Wraithknight and say hello to one hell of a protracted assault.

    I know they’re fast but to be in range you can castle and the 12″jump move of the WK makes it hard for them to stay out of assault range if played right.

    Also, barrage weapons, never leave home without them. I take the Vauls battery for this duty to snipe the herald with Grimoire (as he doesn’t get the invulnerable boost). Benefit of the battery is if you scatter a bit you can still walk the template towards the Herald with subsequent hits but if you have the extra points the Nightspinner may do it better (esp if prescienced to reroll scatter).

    I know this Screamer list has sold a lot of Tau players on Taudar and a Wraithknight to throw in to the mixer.

    • Tangentical July 23, 2013 11:10 pm #

      Oops, thought Reece had written this!

    • MarkyMark July 24, 2013 9:39 am #

      Wraith Knights will die in a few turns, str5 ap2 means no save for him unless he has the shield thingy. Thats the good thing about the screamers there is nothing in the game they cannot hurt.

      • Reecius
        Reecius July 24, 2013 10:19 am #

        Tyranids own this list though, that is the one match up you fear. Wolves too to an extent, but Nids particularly will shit on Daemonstars of any variety.

        Otherwise I agree that that is a deadly, deadly unit.

      • Tangentical July 24, 2013 11:03 pm #

        9 WS 3 attacks at S5 AP 2 (remember 1 attack with the bite) results in an average of 0.75 wounds per player turn on the Wraithknight whilst it has 6. Prescienced that increases to just over 1 wound per player turn. If the WK holds out for just 4 player turns he has done his job and the rest of the Daemon army has taken a tonne of shooting and probably has little to no troop units left. Done it, it works!

        • MarkyMark July 24, 2013 11:19 pm #

          Well with 36inch move per turn from the screamers they are much quicker then wraith knights, plus thats saying they have full wounds, the daemon shooting is strong enough to put a few wounds on the WK. Now 2 of them will be more of a issue for sure.

          As to killing the rest of the army I do have plans for that 😉

  14. jy2
    jy2 July 24, 2013 1:07 pm #

    Ok, some of my observations.

    1) Soulgrinders are an absolutely viable unit. They are different from DP’s and each is good in its own rights. I actually like the grinders in this type of list.

    2) Tyranids will not own this list. Tyranids in general are a tough matchup for psychic daemons, but daemons can absolutely compete against them, especially if their “randomness” rolls are going well. While tyranids have resiliency and good psychic defense, daemons have much better mobility, can out-psyche the bugs and have the perfect foil to tyranid gribblies – the soulgrinders. Gribblies other than genestealers can’t even charge those grinders.

    3) Reinforced Aegis isn’t as bad as you think. While it is -4 to the psychic tests, don’t forget Tzeentch psykers also get +3 to their psychic tests, for a net penalty of only -1. Thus, heralds are testing on LD 7 and greater daemons on LD 8. However the GK’s will be getting a 5+ Deny. Overall, it is actually a little easier to get psychic powers off against the GK’s than it is against Shadows.

    4) I’m not a big fan of reserving Fateweaver and flying him off the board into Ongoing Reserves. It probably has something to do with his 5D6 BS6 S5 shots as well as his psychic powers. Instead, it is better to keep him on the flanks and trying to minimize the number of return shots that can be used to try to ground him. BTW, his re-roll gives him a 8/9 chance of staying in the air.

    • Tangentical July 24, 2013 11:09 pm #

      Yup, I agree, Grinders work well supporting this list. As I’ve said earlier, sticking a Wraithknight into this unit is a good tar pit leaving the rest of an Eldar (or Taudar) army to shoot the bejesus out of troops and the rest of the army. Grinders make this harder and could have taken a wound or two off of the WK before it got in to the Screamers making the tar pit less effective. The Grinder’s high armour value also makes the massed St 6/7 Eldar shooting less effective unless he’s a few lances or haywire hawks.

    • Daemonette July 25, 2013 8:31 am #

      How does fateweaver get 5 d6 shots when the power only goes up to three WCs? Did I miss something or have been playing him incorrectly?

      • jy2
        jy2 July 25, 2013 10:09 am #

        Fatey is a Lvl 4 psyker so he generates 4 warp charges. However, after looking at the rules again, it appears that you can only use a maximum of 3 WC on FF. So you are correct. It was my mistake.

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