A New Year and a New, Old Way to Kill Psychic Deathstars

Hey everyone, Reecius here from Frontline Gaming to talk about a tip pointed out to me by a Las vegas Open attendee that I really wanted to share with all of you! Be sure to check out the Tactics Corner for more great tips!

I hate the 2+ reroll save units, openly and unapologetically. They suck, they’re not fun, they take no skill to play and in general make 40K a less enjoyable game. Can they be beaten? Yup. But are they enjoyable to play? Nope.

So, anytime I hear of a way to bone them, I do the happy dance and choose to share it with the community!

Here’s a great big bone to slap them with, brought to my attention by Adam Tricola. It isn’t really a trick, in all honesty, just rereading an old rule in the context of the current meta and seeing how useful something now is.

Basically, he asked me how the Dark Eldar Crucible of Malediction works on the Screamerstar and JetseerStar.

For those who are not aware, the Crucible is a once per game piece of wargear that forces every psyker (friend or foe) within a 3d6″ radius (average of 11″ radius) to take a Ld check or be removed from play with no saves allowed.

This is a nice little weapon to hit the lower Ld units with, such as Daemon Heralds and Warlocks. While the odds of killing a Farseer with Ld 10 is only 1/12 or 8.3% making it really not that great. However, the odds of killing a Ld8 model is 10/36 or 28%. That is pretty brutal. If you hit a unit of 10 Jetseers, you will on average kill 3 of them. That may just be a critical power, gone! Or, against the Screamerstar, it could eliminate a Herald with the Grimoire or Fortune. Yes!

Now, if you really want to get mileage out of this, find ways to combo it with Ld debuffing wargear or powers. Also, eliminate Ld buffing wargear or powers before using it, such as Grisly Trophies. It is also useful against any psyker, and the lower their Ld, the better. Daemon princes are often only Ld9, as are some Nid psyker units.

Either way, hooray! Get those crummy 2+ reroll units out of here, IMO, and this is another way to do it for anyone using Dark Eldar as a primary or an ally.

Some more great tips came in from readers, this is from James Thomas:

You can use Allied Eldar with a Hemlock to force them to reroll their leadership checks, which doubles the amount of guys you’re killing! And DE can easily kill quad-guns or other interceptors with venoms. Also, Embolden/Horrify would be hilarious, but warlocks could only be in primary…so you could take Primary Eldar, Allied Dark Eldar. Haemonculus w/ Crucible, 2×5 wrack squads in Venoms for allied, then still have over 1600 pts for a 2k list for primary Eldar, just making sure to stick a Hemlock or two in there along with a healthy smattering of warlocks

And this comes from a seasoned Jetseer Council player, GTA.

Yep that is a great tool i’ve used it many times with my council to take out paladin stars main characters, another combo with the crucible is to pair the Shadow Specters Pheonix Lord with the shadow of death upgrade on him. It makes any unit that is within 12″ of him take all leadership checks on 3D6, removing the lowest.

I’ve done this in the past, horrified them first for -3Ld, then moved the venom up, popped the crucible from the safety of my venom and had the pheonix lord nearby, and POW! There goes Cotez, Driago, and one Paladin. They vanish from existence. That the best way i’ve seen that used but the only downside to the crucible is that it can only be purchased only on the haemoculus which are very squishy to shooting, and unless you put him in a raider or venom it’s easy for a psychic deathstar to avoid him on foot.

On a lighter note, Happy new Year everyone! May 2014 be filled with happiness, games, health and prosperity for you all!

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About Reecius

The fearless leader of the intrepid group of gamers gone retailers at Frontline Gaming!

18 Responses to “A New Year and a New, Old Way to Kill Psychic Deathstars”

  1. Gordon January 1, 2014 12:22 am
    #

    Well, just in case you didn’t think that Coteaz wasn’t already useful enough, he comes default with this nifty little power no one knows about. It’s called Dark Excommunication. Pass the test, and all units he’s in base contact with lose all of their daemonic gifts. Coteaz+Paladins=dead Screamerstar.

    • Fagerlund January 1, 2014 4:03 am
      #

      Well, you’re giving up Divination for the off chance of getting an infantry model on foot the off chance of getting in base to base with jetbikes.
      And even if you do manage it, it doesn’t remove psychic powers, so these Screamers will still have a 4++ (and re-rolling ones) and will still attack back with prescienced AP2 Lamprey’s Bite (not a gift).
      But sure, that can help. 🙂

      • Gordon January 1, 2014 1:29 pm
        #

        Divination doesn’t matter so much as removing the rerollable 2++. It’s not a case of ‘you need divination to be good’, it’s a case of ‘divination is too good to pass up, except when something better comes along’.

        And whether or not you actually get into assault doesn’t matter as much as you might think. Get into assault with them, and you’ve won the game*. That means that you can chase his deathstar off with your deathstar. Now, you’re the cat and he’s the mouse. You control the board, and you can shoot down all of his non-deathstar units with impunity. Mission will matter a little, but he can’t touch you either way, and the Screamerstar isn’t scoring.

        *Because, really, if you think that 10 Paladins and Draigo won’t take a massive dump on the Screamerstar in assault just because they have a few AP2 attacks, even rerolling to hit, stop kidding yourself. You might loose a few Paladins, and then it’s hammertime and you’ll drop most of the unit in one go unless he goes crazy with his invulnerable saves.

        • Fagerlund January 1, 2014 3:00 pm
          #

          First, you will not dictate his movement, he is faster than you are and he has 16D6 S6 shots coming your way if you don’t chase him. So he controls how you move.

          And once in assault Screamers kill two Paladins before they get to strike with their Daemon Hammers on average, in return they kill 6 Screamers. However, that is if the Paladin-unit is intact once it gets into combat, which it won’t be – because it will suffer at least one round of shooting first which on average equals three dead Paladins (56 S6 on average, after 2+ saves is 6 wounds suffered). So we’re looking at 5 Paladins getting to hit in combat… which equals 4 insta-death wounds for the Screamers… And lets be honest, you’re not likely to be in combat with them by turn 2 anyway so you’ll have to suffer another 6 wounds from shooting first. With this in mind I’m not convinced your idea is a very good solution to Screamerstar really, as I have simplified things and been generous with roundings in favour of the Paladins as well.

          Dark Excommunication is cool, but it’s sitting on a model that is forced to run around on foot. The fastest you can get him is by putting him in a Land Raider, but while that also protects the Paladins from the Screamerstar shooting it also cripples the unit in size as well so…

          No, I think the way to play against a Screamerstar is to treat it like all other Deathstars. Ignore it, kill their troops, play the mission. Tie it up if possible. Give him hard choices on what to shoot.

          • Gordy January 1, 2014 3:47 pm
            #

            You seem to forget that this is a psychic power we’re talking about. He has less than a 50% chance of successfully casting it. You’re also assuming that there’s no apothecary, which means 4 wounds on average, not 6, and there’s Draigo to split those up via LOS. You’re also assuming he’s ignoring all the other units in my army, which would be a mistake. Rifleman Dreads drop his chances of getting a psychic power off to less than 30%, Storm Ravens bypass his 2++, etc. You’re also assuming that I’m wasting all my shooting on the screamerstar, it sounds like. I’m killing his troops. Either he can spend all game running from the Paladins and maybe kill them but lose everything else in his army while I’ve still got the rest of mine, or he can try and kill the rest of my stuff and then he’ll never be able to threaten my Paladins.

            As for movement, he basically can’t get more than about 12″ away from any table edge without being in reasonable assault range. Trust me on this, I’ve been playing Grey Knights for a very long time. People tend to underestimate how little room there is on the table sometimes. And if he decides to turboboost, he’s taking himself out of the game for a turn. As some who’s played a lot with deathstars, that’s a very dangerous thing to do. With one big unit and only six turns, you need to take full advantage of every single turn.

            Also, 6 Paladins with Draigo and Coteaz in a Crusader is more than enough to kill the Screamerstar. You don’t sound too familiar with how brutal Paladins are on the charge. To say that they hit like a freight train is an understatement. Without the rerolable 2++, the screamerstar will fold.

            No offense, but I don’t think you understand how this particular army plays quite as well as you think you do. Is it an autowin? No, not any more than most games are. It’s possible for me to fail every single Deny the Witch and for him to pass every psychich test at -4 ld. The odds are in my favor, though. I’m personally not particularly intimidated by the screamerstar, though.

            Oh, almost forgot, GKs have PE Daemons. No need for prescience when you’re already rerolling 1’s to hit and wound in shooting and assault. Which means the Paladins get either Scout or Counter Attack, too, depending on mission.

          • Fagerlund January 2, 2014 2:48 am
            #

            I feel like we’re talking over each other. I don’t deny that Paladin will win over Screamerstar in assault, eventually. But it will pretty much take them out of the game in the process – which is a win for the Screamerstar as Paladins are Scoring as well as your Warlord Draigo/Coteaz while the Screamerstar is just an expensive unit. If you add apothecary as well then your unit is even more expensive than the Screamerstar so it’s just a great trade for the Daemons all around.

            I’m a Daemon player myself so I know pure GK is by far the hardest match-up for Daemons. But it’s not a Paladin Deathstar I’m afraid of. I’d be quite happy running circles around those all game really.
            I don’t play Screamerstar, but if I did I would do the four Heralds and only five Screamers and thus be able to squeeze in two Daemon Princes as well. You can kill the Troops sure, but I will have the Portalglyph to spawn new ones when it’s safer. And there will be four huge threats for you to deal with that are also very fast. Which is another thing for the Screamerstar – turbo-boosting makes them less effective sure, but they can still pass over something and slash at them to cause some damage.

            And no, I’m not saying that your Paladin-star would always do bad against a Screamerstar, but when I look at it I would give the Screamerstar the upper hand. Not by much, but I’d say it’d win 6 out of 10 games assuming equal skill and average dice rolls.

    • Reecius
      Reecius January 1, 2014 12:56 pm
      #

      Dark Excommunication is the bomb, it guts a lot of Daemon units.

  2. Gordon January 1, 2014 12:28 am
    #

    Paladins also happen to smash the Seer Council pretty well, too. They’re tough enough that the Seer Council can’t touch them without getting a bunch of debuff psychic powers off, but between the Aegis and Coteaz’s ML2 Deny the Witch Warlocks only successfully get a power off maybe 30% of the time. If the two get into assault, it’s hammertime. Even with a rerollable 4++, they’re taking maybe 15 str 8-10 AP2 hits to the face, and that’s if the Paladins don’t charge. They’ll lose enough models even in one round of combat that they’ll probably lose critical mass.

  3. Fagerlund January 1, 2014 4:06 am
    #

    I always thought the Doomstone was a fun item, unfortunately it doesn’t work on Daemons but a cute way of dealing with Deer Council at least! Since Dark Eldar can actually ally with Daemons that could be a fun combination…

    • Reecius
      Reecius January 1, 2014 12:57 pm
      #

      Yeah, excellent point. That is a great tool for taking out Seer Council units.

  4. Grant Theft Auto January 1, 2014 2:54 pm
    #

    Yep that is a great tool i’ve used it many times with my council to take out paladin stars main characters, another combo with the crucible is to pair the Shadow Specters Pheonix Lord with the shadow of death upgrade on him. It makes any unit that is within 12″ of him take all leadership checks on 3D6, removing the lowest.

    I’ve done this in the past, horrified them first for -3Ld, then moved the venom up, popped the crucible from the safety of my venom and had the pheonix lord nearby, and POW! There goes Cotez, Driago, and one Paladin. They vanish from existence. That the best way i’ve seen that used but the only downside to the crucible is that it can only be purchased only on the haemoculus which are very squishy to shooting, and unless you put him in a raider or venom it’s easy for a psychic deathstar to avoid him on foot.

    • Reecius
      Reecius January 1, 2014 10:05 pm
      #

      Wow, yeah, that is a BRUTAL combo!

  5. Hotsauceman1 January 1, 2014 8:49 pm
    #

    My plan is still to take them outback for a “talk”

    • Reecius
      Reecius January 1, 2014 10:06 pm
      #

      And then smash their models with a rock in a sock!…Right?!

      • Hotsauceman1 January 1, 2014 10:10 pm
        #

        No, that is just mean

  6. colinsherlow January 2, 2014 9:50 pm
    #

    also do not forget about the Shattershard. every model touched by the template has to take a toughness test or be removed from play (regardless of the number of wounds) with no saves of any kind allowed. This is not instant death either as far as I know

  7. Swistak February 22, 2014 2:47 pm
    #

    Sadly youre mistaken, crucible works within 3d6″, but force opponent to pass NORMAL 2d6 ld test, god havent you read the DE dex?

    Wording is more or less like this “Every psyker within 3D6″ of the bearer must pass a leadership test or be removed as casualty with no saves of any kind allowed”.

    • Reecius
      Reecius February 23, 2014 11:41 am
      #

      It’s a 2D6 leadership check….Haha, that is exactly what I said, lol! God, didn’t you even read the article?!?! =P

      P.S. And it’s you’re, not youre.