Dr. Sathonyx or How I Learned To Stop Worrying and Love the Death Star: A Tournament Report Part 2


Anonymou5 is back with part 2 of his tournament report featuring his Beastsar Deldar list! As always, check out the Tactics Corner for more great tournament reports!

If you haven’t read part 1 already, go check it out.  Don’t worry, I can wait.


And if you didn’t read it and refuse to follow my links because you hate me (and I am very hate-able), here’s a summary.  I took a Beaststar to the Battle for Stones River and went 2-0 with 40 (max) Battlepoints in my first two games against Nids and Tau.  Also my beastpack is known as “the Emilystar.”  Just go with it.

Game 3

I matched up against another Tau player.  My friend and likely ATC teammate Matt.  He was running the “Irontau Deathstar”

You can read about the design theory to his list here:


It’s probably funny to an outsider to see my list concepts come back and fight me.

He was running a Buff Commander, Iron Hands Chapter Master on a Bike (Shield Eternal, Thunder Hammer), 3xIon Tides (one with Shielded Missile Drones and Target Lock to go in the Death Star, the others with EWO), 7-8 Broadsides, 2×10 Kroot, 1×5 Iron Hands Scouts, 1×5 Bikes with Grav and a Skyshield Landing Pad.

It’s a pretty dirty list with an outrageous amount of firepower and decent scoring.  He had done well with it, netting max points thus far, with crippling wins over an Ovesa Star and a White Scars Grav Spam Bike Army.  That said, with the exception of his Broadsides, he does not have the volume of fire to effectively engage the Emilystar.  The Emilystar does not care if your shooting is AP2, or if it ignores cover.  Points invested in those things are a waste.

Our mission was as follows:

Vanguard Strike Deployment

Primary (12 Battle Points) Objective markers… Players take turns placing two markers each. These must be placed more than 6” outside all deployment zones, more than 6” away from all table edges and more than 12” away from each other. Once placed, prior to deployment, players secretly write down which marker is their primary objective. This objective is worth 2 points and all other markers are worth 1 point. Players may choose after deployment to announce their marker, it is then worth 3 points. Player with the highest total points earns the Battle Points. If the total points are a draw, each player earns 4 Battle Points.

Secondary (4 Battle Points) Slay the Warlord. Both players may earn this objective.

Tertiary (2 Battle Points) Player with the highest Victory Points. (2 Battle Points) Line Breaker.

For my powers I got Fortune, Invisibility, Misfortune (which I forget to use the entire game) and one Guide (no Prescience).  I won the roll off and chose second turn (without help from the Baron).


He deployed on his Skyshield landing pad with all of his Broadsides plus the Commander/Chapter Master/Riptide unit.  No surprises there.  His other two Riptides deployed in to the flanks of the Skyshield to help cover his Kroot, who both infiltrated onto his two “home” objectives (placed just outside of his deployment area).  He left his Space Marine Bikers in reserve.  The Ironhands Scouts deployed behind the Skyshield, pretty much out of sight.

I deployed the Emilystar 37 inches away, which put me out of SMS range entirely, and out of high yield missile pod range unless he moves, in which he would be snap firing.  The Wraithknight stood back in terrain, and the Wave Serpents behind a hill, one unfortunately not out of sight due to his elevated firing platform.

I decline to seize.

On his turn 1 he predictably did not move his Broadsides (Tau love their castles!) to snapfire at my dogs with high yield missiles.  His non-deathstar Riptides shift to help cover the Kroot on objectives.  His Chapter Master fires a twin linked, ignores cover, tank hunting orbital bombardment at my hidden Serpent and his Riptide Target Locks a twin linked, ignores cover, tank hunting Ion Accelerator shot at my other Serpent.  Both penetrate.  My hidden Serpent fails to downgrade the pen and is immobilized.  Conveniently out of the fight.  The other Riptides do nothing of note.

On my Turn 1 I fortune the Emilystar, Guide and Invisible the Wraithknight (I will be using Invisible as a verb, sorry).  My Dire Avengers get out of their broken car and find a good hiding place.  My other Serpent flies to the top of the hill to gain line of sight on the bottom Kroot squad.  He rolls a 1 on his Serpent Shield shots and kills one Kroot.  The WK jumps into the River and removes a Riptide with a distort shot.  Matt gets very angry.  The Emilystar moves in an L formation around the bottom of the board, staying outside of high yield missile range.


On Matt’s turn 2 he continues to hang out in his castle.  He puts a lot of fire into my invisible Wraithknight, and does a wound or two.  He shakes my Serpent on top of the hill.  His bikers come out and decide to drive in circles in his backfield.

On my turn 2 I fortune the Emilystar, Guide and Invisible Wraithknight.  My Serpent snap fires at some Kroot doing nothing.  My Wraithknight moves forward and shoots at some Broadsides, rolling a 1 to wound.  Despite this being the same statistical chance as rolling a Distort on a Riptide on turn 1, Matt does not get angry.  He is somewhat of a hypocrite!  My Emilystar continues its L shaped maneuver, drawing into Riptide SMS range and attempts a long charge on his bottom Kroot squad.  The Kroot roll something like 8 sixes on overwatch, kill one dog, and my charge becomes impossible.  I forgot to bring D7s.


On Matt’s turn 3 he fires into the Emilystar to no real effect.  He hangs another wound on the WK and fails to do anything to my casually hanging out Wave Serpent.

On my turn 3 one of my Venoms decides it wants to come in from reserve despite Scrier’s Gaze, so I go ahead and bring in the other one.  I make a mistake here, I decide if I bring them both on the right side of the long table edge (Vanguard Strike is great) he probably kills one with Intercept, but the other can maybe kill the Bikers/force them to run off the board and it will be worth it.  Instead one dies to Intercept and the other crew decides to get drunk and kills zero bikers.  The crews kill a few Kroot, but they hold.

I bring my Rangers on and they outflank onto my side of the board, moving and running towards an objective (not depicted on the image, sorry)

I Fortune the Emilystar, but the Wraithknight is too far from Farseers (as my unit is stretched too far) so I cannot buff him up and instead I Invisible the Emilystar.  The Wave Serpent on the hill drives down into the river near the objective and shoots into some Broadsides, doing a wound, but they pass their pinning check.  The WK and Emilystar advance and multi assault a Kroot squad and a Riptide.  The Wraithknight charges first to eat the overwatch.  The Kroot all die horrible deaths at Initiative 6, and the Riptide fails morale and is swept.


At the beginning of 4 we decide we will not have enough time for a turn 5, so Matt’s failure to make a play to contest all of his objectives is his own fault.

On Matt’s turn 4 he breaks the Chapter Master off from the Deathstar to deal with the Wraithknight.  The Bikes advance to help claim the objective the Kroot are on.  No Riptide 4d6 moves onto an objective to contest, no Chapter Master turbo boosts onto an objective to contest.  His Tau Commander does wisely pick Stubborn, to prevent the unit from getting swept on his turn.

Shooting kills my Wraithknight.  Everything else shoots at my Invisible, Fortuned Emilystar and does little.  The Chapter Master turbos in front of his Kroot in order to block charge lanes.

On my Turn 4 one squad of bikes comes on and claims and objective.  The other squad of bikes grabs line breaker.  Dire Avengers get out of their car and claim an objective.  Emily breaks off from her death star and flies over the Chapter Master to contest.  Needing kill points, the Baron breaks off and chases the Scouts off the board.  The Emilystar sans Emily charges all the Broadsides, kills a squad and some wounds, but the remaining Broadside heroicly makes his morale, causing us to tie on Kill Points and denying me the Tertiary.  Stubborn saved his Warlord, so I do not get the Secondary.

I win 14-0

I blame this game not finishing on Tau, because they are slow.   Sorry to the readers.  Turn 5 would have just been more lopsided for me though, as I would have wracked up more kill points.


Game 4

My final game was against a multiple GT Winner and top 15 player on Torrent of Fire (and fantastic painter) who was running a list that will seem very familiar to Frontline Gaming readers.  It is essentially a better version of the LVO Raffle Taudar Army.

He had a Buffcommander, an Ethereal, an Iontide, 4×10 Kroot with Hounds, 2×3 Broadsides (one squad with Drones), a Farseer, 2×3 Jetbikes, a Wraithknight, and a Bastion with Comms Relay.

Our mission was actually similar to the asymmetrical missions in development by the various TOs, and required a different tactical approach.

Vanguard Strike Deployment

Primary (11 Battle Points) Hold the bridge… Players earn 1 point for each full turn (i.e. until the beginning of their next turn) they hold the bridge with the majority of a scoring unit on the bridge. The player holding the bridge at the end of the game earns an additional 2 points. The player with the most points earns the objective. A total the ends in a draw earns both players 4 Battle Points.

Secondary (6 Battle Points) The player that destroys all their opponent’s scoring units earns the objective. Both players may claim this.

Tertiary (3 Battle Points) Line Breaker

Psychic power rolls in this game almost give me a heart attack.  Eldrad gets Doom and Guide, but no Fortune.  My Bikeseer ends up with Doom, something useless, and on the last roll, Fortune.  As such, I will not be twin linking as many units as I am used to.  My opponent draws Guide and Prescience.

His list is threatening to me, with the dual Missilesides and Storm of Fire Kroot capable of putting out a solid amount of fire.  He also has more durable scoring units than I do, so he will be able to “hold” the Bridge better than I can.

I win the roll off to go second thanks to the Baron.  I roll a 2 and he rolls a 3, then I roll a 4 and he rolls a 5.  Then we both roll 6.  He asks if the Baron can add 1 to 6 or if it’s capped.  In my mind, 6+1 is 7, and that beats 6.   In retrospect it’s possible I was cheating, there is no evidence that Games Workshop understands math.  So, I deploy second.


He deploys his Broadsides with Ethereal in his Bastion with his Broadsides, drones and Buffmander next to the Bastion.  His Pathfinders scout pretty low into the bottom half the board.  His MCs deploy on either flank of his Broadside firebase.

He inilftrates some Kroot fairly close to my Beasts, and dares me to seize.  It’s all in good fun, he knows I’m not an idiot.  The rest of the Kroot infiltrate near the Bridge, to allow him multiple units to hold it and collect points.

I deploy once again with the Emilystar on a huge front, outside of HYMP range, and almost entirely outside of Kroot Rifle Range (only the closest squad can shoot at me, and if they don’t move they will die).  My Wraithknight deploys outside of his WK’s range, so I don’t get distorted on Turn 1.  My Serpents deploy on my back edge, behind the Emilystar.  The Venoms and Bikes stay in reserve, the Rangers debate long and hard and decide to outflank.  Credit to my opponent for listening to me waffle on what the Rangers were doing at least eleventy two times in thirty seconds.   I was tired, he was patient.

On his turn 1, as expected the close squad of Kroot runs back and claims the bridge. He twinlinks his MCs and shoots my Serpents.  One Pen gets through and yet again my Shield fails to downgrade it, and yet again it is immobilized.  At least this time, my Wave Serpent can see something.  I need to check my warranty, as my Shields are defective.

On my turn 1 I Guide the Wraithknight and Fortune the Emilystar.  The WK shoots at the Riptide, doing nothing.  The Emilystar basically stays in place, nicely out of range of everything that matters and still reasonably close to the bridge itself.

Right now my plan is to shoot Kroot off of the Bridge each turn until I have whittled him down enough to bring the Emilystar in.  This is a mistake, because I completely forget about the Ethereal bringing their leadership up to 10.  As it is, I kill some Kroot, and they hold.  My opponent gets a point towards the Primary Objective.  My plan has already failed.  New plan!


On his turn 2 he twinlinks his MCs and shoots at my Serpents some more.  The immobilized Serpent dies.  Another squad of Kroot hops onto the Bridge to keep scoring it.

On my turn 2 all my reserves come in.  They deploy out of intercept range of everything but the Ion Accelerator.  He chooses not to intercept.  One Venom comes on in on the left flank, the crew shoots at Pathfinders, who go to ground and hold on morale.  The other Venom comes in below the Bridge.  Both Venoms shoot into the Kroot killing a few.  The Emilystar Fortunes up and stays in place.  All remaining shooting, including Distort, goes into Kroot.  One Squad ceases to be, the other goes to ground, but holds.

The new plan goes into effect and a squad of Jetbikes bravely fly onto the Bridge, sacrificing their lives in order to prevent the Kroot from scoring another point by contesting the Bridge.


On his turn 3 he again twinlinks everything.  He shifts around his Kroot, putting a third squad on the Bridge.  Unfortunately due to the Kroot laying on the ground, and my jetbikes, he is running out of room, and a few Kroot wander 20 inches from the Emilystar.   FORESHADOWING LIKE AN ARTSY MOVIE: this will cost him.  I believe his bikes come in here and bravely hide.  They are not impressed with the suicidal actions of my Windriders.

He puts his super Broadside squad into my Jetbikes.  Who have to make so many saves I am digging into my dice bag.  Somehow they survive.  I have a glimmer of hope for the future of these brave bikers.  Then the other Broadsides shoot and I fail three saves and write some letters home to some sad Eldar mothers.  Shouldn’t have let your sons hang out with the Baron, he’s a bad influence.  The rest of his shooting does very little.

On my turn 3 I fortune up the Emilystar again.  The Emilystar and the Wraithknight advance.  No one shoots at the close squad of Kroot, don’t want to make that charge distance any longer.  The surviving Wave Serpent intentionally moves into Broadside range, in order to draw some fire off of the Emilystar. The left Venom crew again fails to finish off the piddly Pathfinder squad.  The other Venom and remaining Serpent shoot at the back squads of Kroot.  The Wraithknight doesn’t shoot at all, as he has to charge the close Kroot first to try to eat overwatch.  My opponent is not an idiot, and does not overwatch, the WK fails his charge.  The Emilystar does not.  It eats a squad of Kroot and consolidates onto the bridge.


On his turn 4 his WK kills a Venom and the entire crew in the explosion.  He uses HYMP to kill my Wave Serpent, just as planned.  The rest of his shooting goes into the Emilystar and kills a decent number of dogs.

On my turn 4 I fortune up and Doom the WK.   My Venom flies forward 12 towards the bridge.  The crew finally kills the last Pathfinder with snapshots, earning a pain token I just thought about now (depicted incorrectly on the image, apologies).  The Venom puts a few wounds onto the WK.  The Dire Avengers team up to put a few more on him.  The Emilystar and Wraithknight conduct a gigantic multi assault and get all three squads of Kroot and the Riptide.  Everyone who likes fish dies.


On his Turn 5 he shoots at the Emilystar and the Wraithknight.  The WK actually goes down to 1 wound.  He takes linebreaker with a squad of Jetbikes.  His WK almost greases my Jetbike squad in the backfield, which would have put a damper on my plans.

On my turn 5 I surround the bridge entirely with the Emilystar but leave a hole for my jetbikes.   Who land there.  Emily flies off to grab Linebreaker.  My WK kills his Bastion.  My Venom comes up to take the Bridge if there is a turn 6.  I doom his WK again and he will die if we keep playing.  My Rangers exist and did something.  We call it.


20-3 Victory for the Emilystar.

I finish 4-0 with 74 Battlepoints, netting me Best General:


I win a Civil War era Saber (reconstruction) and some store credit (which I use on X-Wing, as is my tradition with 40k winnings.  One day I will play it).  I am happy that I did fly in, as it might be difficult to take a sword home with me.


The Beaststar is a very powerful unit.  However, it is not a Seer Council.  It takes casualties and functions very differently.  I say this as a warning to readers.  Do not play against a Beaststar as if it were a Seer Council.  Spreading out alone will not defeat it.  The Beaststar has a tremendous footprint, it can easily stretch five feet wide.

The secret to beating the Beaststar is to have high volume of fire shooting.  It literally does not care about AP or Cover, but it is T3.  It is easy to wound.  You can overwhelm sections of it and slow its movement.  It is also very deadly in assault, but with a limitation.  It struggles with hard targets, but will absolutely roll almost every Troop unit in the game.

Thus, you need to combine these two weaknesses into a coherent strategy.  This means you need to plan areas of the board to defend.  Place objectives with this in mind, and design firing lanes where you can whittle it down and slow its movement.  Then use hard units to screen your scoring units.  When you do this, use positioning and angle of fire to deny multi charges.  Rhino scoping to remove models capable of wrapping around the hard target it will prevent it from enveloping the hard target in a multi assault.

All that said, the Beaststar, in my opinion, while powerful, is not game breaking.  What is broken is the Eldar Jetbike.  When I have played against Eldar players in the past I knew it was powerful, but this was the first time I had ever run the Jetbikes myself.  Eldar (and Necrons to an extent) are playing a different game than anyone else.  The ability to capture and contest objectives anywhere on the board at any time is unparrelled.  To score an objective against Eldar you must completely surround it.  You must prevent the jetbike from landing within contest range.  You should also bring weapons capable of rooting out and killing jetbikes.  Barrage weapons, fliers, fast units in general.  You must take account how you will kill Jetbikes in the list planning stage, or you will have trouble.

Also, if running single unit close combat monsters, be careful of two things when you consider assault.  1) it is very likely that a Beastmaster will challenge you and that you will it, then the squad will hit and run and all you did was grant free movement.  2) Eldrad has a fleshbane, AP3, Forceweapon and is very capable of killing things when Prescience is up.

In general, do not charge the Beaststar because you will just grant it free movement.  Most of its movement is done through the assault phase, and you don’t want to help  it with that on your own turn.   The exception to this is if you have an extremely high volume of close combat attacks and can put out 30+ wounds on the charge (after taking into account the Baron’s defensive grenades and the fact that you are going to get punched in the face a lot at I6).

I hope this article helps players understand how the Beaststar works.  Do not mistake it for a Seer Council, it is an entirely different type of list.  And it will conduct multi assaults you did not think were possible; be ready and you can defeat it.


About Reecius

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

70 Responses to “Dr. Sathonyx or How I Learned To Stop Worrying and Love the Death Star: A Tournament Report Part 2”

  1. bridges60 March 14, 2014 5:00 am #

    Great write up! i am currently working on beast star, i’ve never been a fan of the Baron but he makes running beast pack so awesome…so might as well run with him.

    • Reecius March 14, 2014 10:24 am #

      The Baron is the secret sauce to make the unit function. Hit and Run is critical.

  2. TableTopJosh March 14, 2014 6:26 am #

    Let me say you did a great job writing these bat reps. I really enjoyed it, so thanks!
    However, for me at least, this is an example of why higher tournament play seems unappealing to me right now. Unless, as your tittle says, you embrace the death star you are going to have games where you face an unkillable beast pack and just stand around glancing WSs untill you die. You suggust high volumes of fire, other than maybe venom spam, those tau lists brought a ton of fire power and couldnt do mucb (you did play verry well aganist them too.)
    Like i said i really appreciate the bat reps but i wish instead of embracing deathstars the community would embrace rules to try and balance out the game a little more.

    • Adam March 14, 2014 6:34 am #

      It a deathstar or bust, at least until GW starts writing FAQs again or tournaments allow Destroyer weapons. Neither seem likely in the near future.

      • Gordon March 14, 2014 9:23 am #

        D weapons don’t do anything to the beastpack.

        • Adam March 14, 2014 10:02 am #

          Baron still gets his 2+ re-rollable saves to Destroyer weapons too? That’s news to me!

          • Novastar87 March 14, 2014 10:39 am

            Classic case of not reading the rules on super heavies, though I will admit not nearly as bad as some I’ve seen

          • anonymou5 March 14, 2014 10:43 am

            I said this on part 1 as well. I do think the Beaststar cares LESS about D weapons than any other deathstar. The dogs are only 12 points a model, and the Baron isn’t tanking anyway.

            I think you would still see plenty of Beastpacks in an Escalation Environment. They’re big enough to bubble wrap your Revenant, fast enough to slingshot past enemy Titans and hunt Troops, have enough bodies to eat the D a few times, and you need a place for your Farseer anyway (who else is going to Fortune/Guide your Revenant?)

          • Gordon March 14, 2014 11:26 am

            No, the beastpack has a bunch of disposable cheap wounds. Your 700pt model will be killing 20-30pts, not the Baron.

      • Reecius March 14, 2014 10:38 am #

        I honestly think the D is worse that the D-Star.

        • Adam March 14, 2014 11:35 am #

          I agree that there are a few very specific units that make un-fun games (Turbo-hound, Pulsar Revenant and the Wave of Withering C’tan) even if they might actually be balanced in the macro overview of a large player base.

          But I do think that most things that have Destroyer weapons, Shadowsword, Tigershark AX 0-1-0, etc., Lynx, really aren’t that bad and still make for fun games. Also, they do make people at least consider not taking a 2++ re-rollable unit death star. As it is, there is no reason not to take a 2++ star if it’s an option.

          • Reecius March 15, 2014 8:10 am

            It’s not just those though, honestly. Things like the Hellhammer are fucking nuts, too.

  3. Baal Viper March 14, 2014 6:27 am #

    In your opinion would it be viable without Fortune?

    I really think that the inclusion of Fortune in the Eldar powers has given rise to basically all the really broken Eldar stuff. It literally exponentially increases the durability of a unit. A WHOLE UNIT!!! most retarded game design idea ever as it basically makes it super easy to create hyper durable units specially when you just happen to have access to a ML 3 for 100 points with access to the 2 best sets of powers in the game. Between Guide/ Prescience and Scatter Lasers your basically looking at an entire army that is twin-linked… How is that fair and balanced when compared to all the rest of the armies in the game? Of, and don’t worry about casting all those powers, you get to ignore Perils for the low cost of a Warp Charge unlike the rest of us.

    Your dice litterally can’t screw you when your whole army is twin-linked. I also agree with the Jetbike thing. For some reason you can control an objective just by screaming over it at 100 miles per hour… This concept makes no real world sense what so ever. 3 guys going that fast cannot “Secure” anything, they couldn’t even slam on the brakes and stop there long enough to do anything, why are they allowed to control an objective? (I understand the rules legality but look at it from a logical perspective) Often times Eldar players will simply throw these guys across the field on the last turn and there is NOTHING the other player can do about it without bubble wrapping which may not be an option. 3 little jet bikes will “contest” an entire Strike Squad when we all know that those Guardians have no chance in hell of taking anything but a beating from those guys much less gaining control over a tactically vital location on the battlefield for any significant period of time.

    51 points will get you the best scoring unit in the game (3 Guardian Jet Bikes) Just for reference, thats 17 points a model, the same cost as SM Assault Marines, who don’t score, they have the same toughness and save, and cannot move 48″ per turn, nor do they get a Jink save or have psuedo-Rending guns… Even the highly praised SM Bike which can at times be scoring, is 21 points and has nowhere near the speed of these guys. They both have 2 shots at 12″ but still the Eldar have Rending… all for 4 points cheaper per model and no need to change the force org in order to make them troops.

    Eldar = playing 40k by different rules/ on a different points scale

    Your basically always twin-linked

    Your more efficent point-for-point than anyone else

    Your Dedicated Transports are so good that top-tier players are taking blobs of Guardians and buying them a Serpant that they will never fit in, aka it is bought simply as a gunship… that should clue you in that they are too good. They also basically ignore the Damage Table which is the whole reason Vehicles are worse then MC’s, convinient to be able to just dismiss that whole game mechanic right? Serpants will outshoot any non-Forgeworl tank of equal points and it is twin-linked, has a transport compacity, a Serpant Shield, does not take up a Force Org Slot and can Ignore Cover if needed. The only tank that comes close is a Necron Anni Barge

    Your scoring is literally 2 times faster (4 times faster against many armies) than anyone elses bar Necrons who have to plan their objective grabs at least and leave teh board on turn 4 thus limiting their fire power a good deal.

    You get ML 3 psykers for the price of most people’s ML 2 and you have acces to Prescience and Guide… ( just for reference, my Blood Angel Libby is 100 points for ML 1 with 2 rolls on Div. => same points in an Eldar army gets you 3 times the powers… not even close to fair)

    Not a gripe at you, GW did this, I applaud your success and your ability to play your army well. I just really cannot understand how any game designer with a brain could release the Eldar Codex in that state, it’s like they don’t even bother to compare them to the other armies before releasing them. Simple math will show that they are better than almost everyone else, I think Fortune is an unneccisary power that helps the already OP Eldar field hyper durable units in addition to their comically powerful scoring units and transports.

  4. Goatboy March 14, 2014 6:42 am #

    Meh – but this army isn’t very fun to play against or with. Every game you kind of did the same thing. Keep away, move in towards the end. Same with all Death Stars. Win with something that doesn’t “play a different game” and then we can talk about how good you are :). But hey you know my opinion on all of that Rob :).

    I do agree the Eldar Jetbikes are the biggest pain in the ass. It is why I usually kill those asap as they can effect the game so much more then the stars. Turboboost for the win!

    I think we should all just shame those Eldar players. You see one on the table just say ok you win and walk away haha. Or just take their booze when they are not looking :).

    • Jason Brown March 14, 2014 7:21 am #

      As an Eldar player I hear ya on the bikes and serpents; so much so that I refuse to run them. Even without them, its a badass army. For reference I tend to run in two ways:

      Pure Eldar with lots of wraiths and Shadow Council/Eldrad (Lords are actually kinda good with dual scatter lasers)

      Or I take the lords away and some other fat and get some venoms and ravanger with the barron or Lady.

    • salamanders4lyfe March 14, 2014 8:41 am #

      I tried to convince him to take Orks, but he was all like “I want to win”.

      • Reecius March 14, 2014 10:44 am #


      • anonymou5 March 14, 2014 11:08 am #

        Salamanders you didn’t bring Orks either. Last I remembered you were running a Tau Commander attached to a Chapter Master and a Riptide. Just as skill intensive as a beastpack, lol

        • salamanders4lyfe March 14, 2014 11:12 am #

          I tried to bring Orks! I really did! probably would have had the same results lol

    • Reecius March 14, 2014 10:43 am #

      The High Holy Goat hath spoken!

    • anonymou5 March 14, 2014 10:45 am #

      You are the one who is the one who isn’t fun! haha

  5. Baal Viper March 14, 2014 7:40 am #

    I can never fault someone for playing the army they bring correctly. I think he did well with what he took. I just get very frustrated with the Game Designers that allow armies to have so many advantages without incorperating an appropriate point cost to them and/or weaknesses.

    I think that Eldar are super good without rerollable ++ saves and access to Seer Counsils/ Beaststars. My hope is that the gaming community will avoid the super-silly deathstar stuff and just stick to the strickly OP part of the army. There are many more tactical ways to fight against those armies atleast. Rerolling ++ saves just allow you to run all over the place if you need to without fear of being wiped out just becasue of your durability. With little to no risk of dying you can just run head long into situations that normal armies would have no hope of surviving.

    Atleast with the regular Serpant Spam style lists there are reliable ways to kill their units, Tau with Ignores Cover and Tank Hunter make short work of them for example (privided the Eldar don’t shoot them down first, but thats part of the game). Centurions with the same buffs do this just as well. There is no “counter unit” to a rerollable ++ short of a D weapon which are stupid in a normal game too. Without counter units the system of list building becomes stupid easy as you can just take that one unit and know that you have very few bad matchups to worry about while the rest of use are left with unit options with inherernt weaknesses we need to play around. The skill and fun of the game IMO is using your tactics to minimize the weakesses in your units and maximizing their strengthes. All that goes out the window when you have a unit that has no weaknesses. At that point it is just a question of “can I kill their stuff fast enough to achieve the mission objective.”

  6. Baal Viper March 14, 2014 7:52 am #

    @ Dr. Sathonix=> please do NOT take my comments as an attack on you. You played your army well and were rewarded for it b/c GW allowed it in the game. Your intent with this article was to help the community understand how these lists opperate and went to alot of effort to create these batreps and diagrams. Thank you for helpingto educate the community. I just felt that that needed to be said as you clearly put alot of time into this and I would hate if all you get in return for it is grief.

    I am just of the opinion that 40k as a game, would be more fun and more balanced without such hyper-durable units being allowed in the game. I like it when everyone’s toys die at a rate proportionate to the points invested in them.

    • anonymou5 March 14, 2014 10:50 am #

      Baal, I appreciate that your criticism of the article is directed at the codex/rules and not me as a person (maybe a little about me as a player, lol, which is okay). And I mostly agree with your assessment.

      However, I do think deathstars are more fun to play with and against than Serpent spam or Tau gunlines. This is just my opinion of course. But deathstars (especially the slower ones) still have to plan out movement and assault phases to get where they want to go. Hyper effecient shooting Armies literally just sit in one place (or slide around the back of the board if Serpents) and roll dice until units go away. Neither is good design, but if a deathstar requires 20% the skill of a traditional Army then a hypershooting Army requires 1%. (and Flying Circus requires 110% lol)

      • Gordon March 14, 2014 11:29 am #

        Deathstars are fun to play. They’re not much fun to play against. Regardless of whether or not they’re more or less fun than facing some of the other cheesy lists out there.

        • anonymou5 March 14, 2014 11:36 am #

          I’m kind of biased I guess, because my main tournament Army is Flying Circus. And Flying Circus versus Deathstar is super fun. It’s all about the movement phase as both Armies zoom all over the board.

      • Bo Mortensen March 14, 2014 12:56 pm #


    • Nuln-Oil March 14, 2014 10:50 am #


  7. TableTopJosh March 14, 2014 8:28 am #

    Baal Viper thats exactly how I feel. Everything I said was about the game in general, nothing at all against Dr. Sarthonix. He did a great job with the batrep and I appreciate having something entertaining to read on the train to work!

    • anonymou5 March 15, 2014 4:37 pm #

      Haha no problem. I’m glad my articles are helping a commute! It’s like how I save all the super long 40k podcasts for my long drives to TN to see the old lady

  8. Reecius March 14, 2014 10:45 am #

    Well done to Anonymou5!

    • anonymou5 March 14, 2014 10:51 am #

      Thanks man! I think a lot of people missed the joke in the title, hehe.

      • Reecius March 15, 2014 8:11 am #

        Dr. Strangelove, all day! I got it 😉

  9. Bo Mortensen March 14, 2014 10:48 am #

    ok then PLEASE tell me how to fight CC in 40k! Tau shooting, Marine gravguns, Helldrakes that contest, Necrons that don’t die when jumping out of airplanes, feel no pain, the list goes on of broken and OP. I want to fight hand-to-hand, to get there I need to be able to survive the crazy shooting gallery that is 6th ed. I’m takíng Deathstars until tau are nerfed. I’m not saying it’s fun, but removing your TAC-army turn 1 or 2 isn’t either

    • Baal Viper March 14, 2014 12:06 pm #

      So basically your saying that becasue shooting armies are so good, your going to play an even more broken army that is based on a flawed game mechanic in “retaliation,”

      How does that fix anything? All you have done is accelarate the arms race toward a meta full of hyper efficient armies that make playing any regular army at a tournament an excercise in futility? You are only making competative 40k more rediculous by running what I am guessing is a 2++ reroll Deathstar.

      At that point you are part of the problem, not part of the solution.

      Sure you might beat a Tau Broadside army and it will be a fun game, but what about that guy who wants to bring his Dark Angels that you play first round? I guess he is just in for a beating and no one should care right? Who cares that his entire codex has nothing that can effectively counter what you have? How could you two not have a fun/tactical/evenly matched game?

      Take the high road and play something reasonable. If we all did that the game of 40k would be much more enjoyable. Instead many players point fingers at their competition and say “well he is doing it, so i HAVE TO BRING X list,” The end result is that the people wanting to actually play a normal game with their favorite army that they have spent alot of time painting and playing (and playing well) get crushed, get discouraged, and stop going to tournamanets because they don’t like signing up for a beating, and who can blame them?

      • Bo Mortensen March 14, 2014 12:35 pm #

        No not “retaliation”. I developed my seercouncil around the same time as a lot of other people in response to a problem I was having… I couldn’t get to cc. Before I ran harlequins or banshees in serpents. I find CC to be the most enjoyable part of the game.

        BTW I simply stopped using the council in casual games.
        by now I only bring the council to tournaments where i face armies that resemble goatboys list

      • anonymou5 March 14, 2014 12:56 pm #

        Ironically Dark Angels have one builds that will beat the shit out of the Beaststar. Banner of Devastation Ravenwing.

        • Bo Mortensen March 14, 2014 12:58 pm #

          yeah, but they are sissors to my jetcouncil-rock

          • Baal Viper March 17, 2014 6:23 am

            I appriciate that you don’t bring jetseer to casual play. I suspect that even if you did you would not get many games. But I am implying that it would be better to not bring them to tournament play as well. I know you like CC, I know you want to win. Trust me, as a hard core Blood Angel player I understand your sentement, but that is no excuse to run something that powerful.

            A 2++ reroll should not be in the game. It allows the creation of units that have very few if any weaknesses and many, many advantages. It upsets the concept of tactically playing around weaknesses and maximizing strengths by simply creating a unit that has extreme durability, high speed, and lots of Armorbane/Fleshbane attacks. (Meaning it has a reasonable chance to kill basically anything in the game) It even goes aroung the tarpit problem and leadership problem by being Fearless and having Hit and Run, and a really good Deny the Witch roll.

            The gunline armies you speak of can be killed. They have weakesses, for example, Broadsides are static, cannot affect AV14, and are vulnerable to flanking attacks with instant death. Riptides suffer against certain targets depending on what gun they take and can be easily killed with Grav Guns or long range AP2. Serpants are really hard to kill for sure but ignores cover fire can reliably bring them down and when they shoot their shied they expose themselves to the Damamge Table like the rest.

            I am not saying that these armies and units are not super good (frustration level good at times) but they have inherent weakenesses) where as a Jetseer has no major weaknesses apart from psycic power denial armies (nids and space wolves.) Against most armies you simply do not have any weaknesses… Meaning that tactics become comically simple as you have nothing to fear from most if not all of the enemy army. There is not risk when your unkillable.

            If a JetSeer army gets the powers it needs, most armies have little the can do stop them. At thest point the games stops being fair/balances/skill based and starts beings about luck. If games are decided by list and luck why even bother playing this game, just go play Yatzee

  10. McDoogle March 14, 2014 11:20 am #

    I did very well against a couple of Beast-stars with my Tyranids. A brood of 2 Carnifexes and a Flyrant, strong to one side, will shred them to bits. Still having trouble against the Jetseer Council though.

    • anonymou5 March 14, 2014 11:33 am #

      Nids can be an issue. Did the beaststars you fought have Eldrad in them? That makes a pretty big difference. Beastmaster challenges the Tyrant, Eldrad pops a Carnifex at I5 (even with Shadows odds are in his favor, because of Runes), hit and runs out, now you’re on the ground eating fire.

      I had zero problems with the 8MC nid build I faced at Stones, but that’s hardly an effective sample size.

  11. Goatboy March 14, 2014 11:26 am #

    Meh – I used to love the Death Star too but the game became too survivable so it makes things less – interesting. I also do not like the Ally ability to not be locked down with Hit and Run. I think if that went away – the Death Stars would be a lot more manageable. Not being able to lock them down sucks the fun out of it as you basically grant them free movement.

    But enh… as long as some people have fun. I think it works better if everyone was on the same level but right now – armies aren’t. Still – think about how many viable lists there are right now and compare them to the end of 5th with GK here and GK there. Current good lists.

    No order just ideas
    Seer Council (Eldar + DE)
    Taudar (Tau + Eldar)
    Beast Star (Eldar + DE)
    FMC Daemons (Daemons)
    Iron Star (Marines + Tau)
    CSM + Crons (Heldrakes + Royal Court Crons) – It is new and everyone should look at it
    Daemons + CSM (Sorta FMC but you get a drake or Bel’Akor if TO’s quit being jerks)
    Knights + Marines (Will see this – 3 Knights + IH marines will be good)
    Knights + Inq
    Super Friends (Marines + SW)
    Ben Mohile’s Alpha Dick Strike (DE + Eldar + Inq)
    Ovesa Star (Tau + Tau)
    Skyblight Nids (Nids)\
    Dog Bomb (Daemons + CSM for Bel’Akor)
    Necron Sypders & Friends (Royal Court Combo plus crazy Board Control)

    There are others and some crazy simple builds too that people win with. There are others right below too that can win games. If we removed the Ally combos or at least Ally Battle Bro combos a few of them slide to the top and might be too much. It is all a slippery slope but enh there are a ton of decent lists.

    I just think people are not excited to build the new hotness when it comes out so fast and the next bit of hotness devalues the new bits you just purchased. This is burning people out and why some of the old timers are taking breaks, running tournaments, or going on vacations out of the country for awhile.

    I think a lot of people just want to be good with their old toys instead of having to buy the new toy that just came out this week. But hey – that is an article maybe for Monday eh?

    • salamanders4lyfe March 14, 2014 11:40 am #

      Can’t wait for the new Ork Deathstar… I mean codex… to come out. Ork models be cheap on ebay right now.

      • anonymou5 March 15, 2014 4:37 pm #

        Ork codex will come out, you’ll switch to buying BA models. It’s just how you are. “What’s the oldest crappiest thing? I bet they’re mega cheap!”

  12. michael March 14, 2014 12:54 pm #

    …..I really fail to see why people get so worked over the deathstars. Yeah they are really tough to play against,but on the other hand you actually feel like your playing against another army. Those crazy shooting gallery armies are never any fun to play against. I’d rather see my dudes eat it in assault in a calculated ambush in the last few turns. Rather than just being murdered by broadsides as I try to avoid torrents of missile fire….unsuccessfully. And I’ve played beast pack, helions + baron+farseer and screamerstar and seer council.I say what ever to the D-star that many point in one unit that I can at least keep track off. You know whats broken? Eldar jetbikes…you get better armor save and your so fasty fast. I hate you Edar Jetbikes I hate you soooo much.

  13. Weidekuh March 14, 2014 1:46 pm #

    – Allies (Codex or supplements) can only be “Allies of convenience” or worse. (Dataslates or formations can be “Battle Brothers”, else characters would have no use).
    – Invul saves can never be rerolled.
    – Only one slot for either allies, dataslate, formation, supplement
    – Allow everything except ranged D-Weapons.

    I think those rules would make the game much much more interesting to play. Basicly killing any deathstar there is in the game.

    • anonymou5 March 14, 2014 2:08 pm #

      In that system you’ve just created a world where Eldar continue to win everything. The Seer Concil can still exist, it just loses hit and run (which of course, severely weakens it) because it’s durability is in its rerolling armor and cover saves. The Baron doesn’t tank things in a Seer Council.

      You’ve also super nerfed all Daemons of Tzeentch, who pay for their ability to reroll invulns in their unit cost.

      • Weidekuh March 14, 2014 3:06 pm #

        Then just change fortune to not allow Invuln rerollable.

        Without the baron the seercouncil is weakened enough that it’s still strong but not as gamebreaking as it is right now. You can bind it in melee and with AP3 CC you have a good chance at killing it. Sure it’s still strong but it costs a lot of points too.

        • anonymou5 March 14, 2014 3:25 pm #

          No I agree, those restrictions weaken the Council to the point that most won’t take it. But I do think they basically create a one Codex environment, so you’re just shifting the meta to Serpent spam and Guardian blobs; which people will also bitch about.

          Also you can’t really “allow everything but ban ranged D” because then things like Aetaos’rau’keres the Daemon Lord come in, and he will kill everything. It has to be more selective than that.

  14. Eldarain March 14, 2014 1:57 pm #

    A fitting end to the series. I’d love to see a breakdown of how you play your Daemons. With Creature Casters kickstarter coming up there’s a good chance I’ll be owning more Large Daemons than I know what to do with.

    Thanks again for these Dr. Sathonyx 😉

    (Solid reference there by the way)

  15. Dash2021 March 14, 2014 9:39 pm #

    Biggest issue with the current meta: No one got a Dr. Strangelove reference. Kids, and their music, and their interwebs, with the facepages. In my day, up hill both ways barefoot in winter.

    I’m not sure there’s a call to ban any units, but somethings are obviously out of place in 40k in their current incarnations. 2++ re-rollables gtg, as do ranged “D”. Ban these units? No, but mod the rules to something realistic. 2+/4+ re-rolls (ala LVO), Range D = str 10, AP1, Ignores cover, D3 wounds to models covered by blast (or something suitable).

    Also completely agree w/ the jetbikes/necro-air. We’re not playing the same game the rest of the armies are. I don’t have to give one thought to positioning relative to objectives prior to turn 5, it’s just not a thing for me. Nobody but necrons get away with that.

    • anonymou5 March 14, 2014 10:41 pm #

      Yeah I’m really disappointed how the Dr. Strangelove reference sailed over so many heads. I didn’t realize 30 made me so old. Haha

    • excelsior March 17, 2014 11:18 am #

      Eldar jetbikes really benefit from the lack of variety in game scenarios.Specifically that objectives are all scored at the end of the game. I think it would add some variety if half of the time they were scored each round at the end of your enemies turn. This would give a bit more love to durable scoring units like IG platoons, tactical marines, ork boys, etc … This could make it so than even if a static/mobile gunline kills all of your troops by turn 4 or 5, you could potentially be up enough in points to still win the mission.

      This could also indirectly limit the effectiveness of DeathStars since the cannot be everywhere at once and each turn they spend snuffing a unit, you could potentially be racking up points elsewhere on the board.

  16. Black Blow Fly March 14, 2014 11:59 pm #

    Well done anon5… You are the man !

    • anonymou5 March 15, 2014 4:39 pm #

      Haha, thanks! And I might steal the anon5 handle, that’s a good shorthand and slightly less stupid than what I’m using.

  17. jy2 March 16, 2014 6:42 am #

    Awesome job dude! Congrats.

    Next time I see a beaststar, I gotta kick its arse! Haha. 😀

    • anonymou5 March 16, 2014 10:51 am #

      Haha. Thanks man.

      Necrons definitely have the tools to beat the beasts. Even without Zandreck, but especially with him, lol

  18. Baz March 18, 2014 12:45 am #

    Jetbikes are great, no question, but they become game winners if you play games that don’t have a random finish. If you can reduce the game to 4 turns (for example by having a lot of models to move, or lots of rule “disputes”) and you are going second, you can use them with abandon to seize objectives on the last turn with no risk. With random game length, those 3-man units sitting next to objectives are far from invincible and can be a liability.

    • anonymou5 March 18, 2014 1:23 pm #

      Oh I definitely agree. There’s just no getting around that in a tournament though, where time limits are just part of the game.

      The problem is a little less extreme with deathstar builds though, because often the Jetbikes go to areas of the board that have already been cleared and are “safe”

  19. japatoes March 18, 2014 9:32 am #

    How would this list change taking Imperial Knights into consideration?

    • anonymou5 March 18, 2014 1:21 pm #

      Short answer is “I would probably add some Bright Lance War Walkers”

      But the list already has some tools that can help handle Knights. A Prescienced WK has a good chance of killing one in combat (esp if I whittle it down some), and is almost guaranteed to do it if I also have Doom. Sure, he probably dies in the resulting Dsplosion, but that’s a fine trade.

      Serpents are actually decent against Knights, more than fast enough to get into side armor, and to play keep away for at least a couple turns.

      Unlike most deathstars, I don’t think the Beaststar cares too much, the Khymarae are 12 points per model, and I can sacfrice a few to slingshot past a Knight and go target other stuff. If it’s an all Knight Army, I can use them to bubble wrap the weapons I plan on actually using against Knights (just take the warlord out of the star if needed). Slingshot out in my turn, let them recharge in their turn, keep that up until the star is dead.

      • japatoes March 18, 2014 7:38 pm #

        I feel to fit the war walkers in you’d have to completly change the dynamic of the list. Only way to net points for that would be dropping a serpent.

        • anonymou5 March 18, 2014 7:46 pm #

          I think the list may be stronger without Serpents anyway. Jetbikes are just better. V 2.0 of this list, if I decide to run it again, may only take a Serpent to support a Guardian blob.

          I haven’t decided on exact composition, but assuming “standard” mission types, I’m thinking 6 squads of Jetbikes, 2 squads of War Walkers. Or maybe 1 squad of Walkers and 1-2 squads of Warp Spiders. If it’s asymmetrical missions (like in the mission catalog) I’m doing Guardian blobs, which may still include Serpents.

          If I run this list again I’m hoping to play test it, version 1.0 was mostly just theory hammer and the fact that I already had a full Beastpack, multiple Venoms, DE Warriors, etc. I only got 5 total play tests, which wasn’t enough time to really refine things. I knew Khimarae worked in theory for what I wanted (board control, crushing soft targets) and that I would need the ability to kill hard targets (already owned Venoms, had a great idea for a WK conversion, Serpents were easy enough to ebay and paint real quick); it wasn’t hyper optimized. Was kind of funny, I decided to run Eldrad based on theoryhammering (really just having experience running large footprint units like Khorne Dogs and the early version Beaststar at the dawn of sixth), then found out people had been doing that in the UK, and felt a lot less original lol

        • anonymou5 March 18, 2014 7:48 pm #

          Also the Venoms can easily go. Walkers and Spiders put out equal or better fire power against more targets, and I can always add Runes of Witnessing on the Shardseer. That’s a good net points gain there.

  20. japatoes March 18, 2014 8:06 pm #

    I think 6 squads of Jetbikes would really be overkill. I think 2-3 is probably enough and I think it’s important to retain the rangers for their ability to deny scouts moves.

    • anonymou5 March 18, 2014 8:19 pm #

      Fair enough. Although it may be better to take an Inquisitor for that same job, since he can stop Infiltrators as well. If playing under the LVO/Adepticon FAQ, Infilcheat is a big deal. Stones wasn’t using that interpretation of the rules, so I used Rangers for the additional scoring unit.

      (note I think RAW LVO is probably correct, but it’s an insane ruling from a game play perspective)

      • Reecius March 18, 2014 10:39 pm #

        I voted for infilcheating, as you pit it, lol, and think it’s legit. I don’t think it is damaging the game at all, honestly.

        • anonymou5 March 19, 2014 1:16 pm #

          Fair enough. I thought it was no big deal when I was running my fun little Huron bomb lists.

          But Shadowsun plus Tau Commander plus Chapter Master plus 5 Centurions is an auto loss for a lot of Armies. Or Cypher plus anything. It’s crazy powerful.

    • anonymou5 March 18, 2014 8:20 pm #

      Either way, as good as Serpents are, it may be worth trading them out for different types of Firepower depending on the meta expected.

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