Dr Dan's dangerously different deceptive detachments

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  • jaith1 wrote:

    Deception Rangers and Silent Mist Wild Riders are both very cool ideas, I really like these innovations in particular.

    I’m not entirely convinced on this big kestrel unit, think I would personally replace it with a treefather and then run x2 fast Cav with bows+champion in core (filling out core with a big archer unit and a small one).

    The kestrel unit feels kinda dirty if your opponent is drunk or something (unchaffable flying champion to support the dragon), but otherwise I’m skeptical at what they provide. Never been a fan of kestrels, so it’s likely I just lack the brains for them, especially the archer versions.


    Honestly, I run hot and cold on the kestrels.

    I think they are hard to use really well, so they are staying for now, to teach me more if nothing else!

    That said, I can't replace the kestrels with a tree because it is too slow for what the list is trying to do (I have tried versions with an extra tree in special, but it got replaced by the rangers because they are a combat unit that can be in place from turn 1, whilst still being able to receive a charge).
    Each time I've taken the kestrels out of the list, the list has felt weaker as a whole, even if 1-on-1 I preferred the unit that I took instead of the kestrels. The kestrels are terrifying in the flank of most units and can also threaten backfields, so they are part of the "zoning web" that makes the list work. The closest replacement would be another unit of wild huntsmen, but I think the vanguard and fly make a big difference here.

    I'm also trying to use the feigned flight option well, but it is eluding me so far :P

    In my game last night they flanked a warrior block fighting the dragon, and then flanked a unit of wrath warrior knights, basically annihilating both units. Then they got charged and died, but it was defo a good game for them :D




    ferny wrote:

    I thought this didn't look like your signature style (which I take to be MMU blocks of fairly grindy stuff, based on some ID lists I followed eons ago).
    That's my "natural" or "default" approach: efficient MMU battlelines that are resilient to ranged damage and hard to push into when they stand on the objective.
    Partly I also write those lists because they are "school night" lists: I always get to take part in the game even if I'm not investing huge amounts of thought, unlike some lists where you have to get certain things right, otherwise things go badly wrong quickly.
    Because "school nights" have been the majority of my games since 2019 (and also because I was focussed on ID), thats why my focus was on these sorts of lists.

    I.e. the goal is not to write the *best* SE list (even assuming such a thing exists), it is to write the best list that plays in a certain way and has a certain feel.
    This is something I find interesting - I've long given up on writing (or stealing) the *best* lists for anything, and am instead trying to find the best lists for me (usually with few or no soft points, bigger units, limited shooting, and a focus on grinding. This is my recipe for not losing big as a basic player, which is my goal, even if results are mixed. It does mean that often conventional wisdom can't be applied directly to my lists, which I think are objectively worse (less able to win big with a skilled general).
    Totally :thumbup:

    "Best lists for you" is the way everyone should approach list-building; that was part of the point of this thread.
    There are a lot of hangups about "best things" or conventional wisdom or individual units "not being worth their points", but ultimately what matters most is how it meshes with the player.

    Put differently... "know thyself" (as you ably demonstrate here), and it will improve ones results.

    Omarcomin wrote:

    Needs chaff
    A common misconception :P
    But, the list does have infinitely more units taken primarily to chaff compared to most of my lists ;)

    (Note: I wrote an article for the scroll about chaff/chaffing: No 'tactics for beginners' thread? )

    List repository and links HERE
    Basic beginners tactics HERE
    Empire of Dannstahl HERE
  • @Alexwellace

    I was musing on your idea of a cheaper non-dragon lord... of course I can always put the wizard on a dragon... then I end up with something like this:

    Wizard-master, druidism, heirloom, dragon, bow 815
    Bsb-horse, black stag, lance, light armour, shield, bow, 2 aether icons, cloak 330
    Prince-general, elk, destinys call, sylvan blades, titanic might, wild hunter, bow, hail shot, light armour 640
    5 fast cav-bows 205
    15 cav-FC, distracting 515
    18 archers-musician 418
    11 huntsmen-champ, stan, soft cover banner 545
    23 rangers-+1 advance/vanguard, FC, deception banner 580
    5 kestrels-bows, champ 450
    4498

    I dno if it is *better*, and I'm not sure what I think of only having one unit of archers, but I think it has the potential to play even more aggressively and proactively.
    List repository and links HERE
    Basic beginners tactics HERE
    Empire of Dannstahl HERE
  • Tried this list:

    Wizard-master, druidism, heirloom, dragon, bow, lucky charm 825
    Bsb-horse, black stag, lance, light armour, shield, bow, cloak 310
    Prince-general, elk, destinys call, sylvan blades, titanic might, wild hunter, bow, hail shot, light armour 640
    5 fast cav-bows 205
    15 cav-FC, distracting 515
    18 archers-musician 418
    11 huntsmen-champ, stan, soft cover banner 545
    23 rangers-+1 advance/vanguard, FC, deception banner 580
    5 kestrels-bows, champ, banner 460
    4498

    11-9 vs BH (failed re-rollable 7 dis test as the last roll of the game took me from 15-5 to 11-9 due to lost objective (and some VPs), but the dice were so crazy all the way through the game that I can't really complain... by that point it was kinda predictable :lol: :lol: :lol: ).

    More importantly, I loved the list.
    Its stupidly aggressively pro-active, without being totally unstable or fragile, so it makes for very exciting games.
    Also pushing the limits of my skills as a proactive aggressive player, so double win :)

    I played boldly and came within a hair of functionally ending the game before my opponents turn 2... the dice teased me, then said "no" and instead I lost 1585pts on my opponents turn 2 =O
    Dice kept at it in my turn 3 by taking away my re-attempt to end things... then gifted me a way back into the game on my opponents turn 3... a few more heart in mouth moments where the dice could have screwed me (but didn't) put me ahead... before that final discipline test on turn 6 gave my opponent the objective (very much played for and got, so fair play) and the final score of 11-9.

    Wow!
    Mucho excitement, some serious hilarity and all of the drama.
    I don't think I'd change a thing about the list... some magic res would be nice, but there isn't anything I'm prepared to drop for it.


    I've ordered an elk lord model :D
    Now I just need to sort some huntsmen models.

    Maybe I need to resurrect my SE thread.
    List repository and links HERE
    Basic beginners tactics HERE
    Empire of Dannstahl HERE
  • youngseward wrote:

    How did the BSB contribute? I have an elven horse BSB desperate for relevance in my lists...
    He put two wounds on a razortusk chariot, which helped contribute (plus his banner) to the combat score that broke the chariot and some other chariots that had joined in the same fight, and his +1 combat res was pivotal in me getting the chance to get back in the game.
    He also blocked a unit as part of my play for the objective, but the failed dis 7 test rendered this ultimately irrelevant.

    Basically, the list needs a bsb, and most of the time he hangs out in the 15 core cav: he is pretty synergetic with that unit (more combat res, more damage on the charge, def7+distracting on the charge often keeps him safe...)... with druidism and the elk lord they can even be a bit of an anvil.
    List repository and links HERE
    Basic beginners tactics HERE
    Empire of Dannstahl HERE
  • Stygian wrote:

    Unorthodox to my eyes but I like it Dan! Especially the bus. Why no Thoughts on eagle units? They would fit very well here in multiple roles.
    I agree :thumbup:
    The issue is simply points/what to take out if taking them.


    I do think there is definitely a flying circus SE list if one wants to push in this direction: 2x6 kestrels, 2x5 eagles, dragon, eagle king(s)
    My worry though is that the list ends up with so many points spent on flying/light troops that it can't deal enough damage to table someone (which is really where I'm trying to go with the list).


    To be honest, in that vein I'm still slightly unconvinced on the kestrels.
    They've done well in some games, and I like them on paper, and I like the extra 5 bows given the other shooting I have.
    But I don't think I'm getting the full utility out of them. I'm not entirely sure if that is a function of me, the list as a whole or both :P

    I could for example drop the kestrels and soft cover banner for another unit of 11 huntsmen...
    List repository and links HERE
    Basic beginners tactics HERE
    Empire of Dannstahl HERE
  • could you drop the kestrels for two units of 5 eagles? Would that work for the list.

    I used a similar list you are suggested with the flying circus ... but caveat I am not that good. It was great sometimes when it could play aggressive but the kestrels were underwhelming compared to my briar maidens with elk lord. Dragon mage on shamanism was really fun though, it hardly ever died due to range of spells. My great Eagle units where far better value for money but I always wanted to change the dragon mage to druidism but never did.
  • DanT wrote:

    Stygian wrote:

    Unorthodox to my eyes but I like it Dan! Especially the bus. Why no Thoughts on eagle units? They would fit very well here in multiple roles.
    I agree :thumbup: The issue is simply points/what to take out if taking them.


    I do think there is definitely a flying circus SE list if one wants to push in this direction: 2x6 kestrels, 2x5 eagles, dragon, eagle king(s)
    My worry though is that the list ends up with so many points spent on flying/light troops that it can't deal enough damage to table someone (which is really where I'm trying to go with the list).


    To be honest, in that vein I'm still slightly unconvinced on the kestrels.
    They've done well in some games, and I like them on paper, and I like the extra 5 bows given the other shooting I have.
    But I don't think I'm getting the full utility out of them. I'm not entirely sure if that is a function of me, the list as a whole or both :P

    I could for example drop the kestrels and soft cover banner for another unit of 11 huntsmen...
    Nah its not the list they're a good fit. But that is my experience with kestrels as well. They range from fantastic to LVP for me. Eagles never really disappoint and you don't feel nearly as bad using them as screeners or even chaff. As jamesie28 mentioned you could sub them out.
    But I dig your idea of more WH personally would make the list OTT.

    Another thought.. you make the 5 fast cav into a second full unit since eagles fill their role and now theres room for at least one unit of eagles. And more gear for the bsb too. Not nearly as punchy as 2 WH units but gives flexibility for the characters. Basically a delivery system and static res for the elk lord while the WH can run solo, just matchup dependent.

    It would be over the minimum core but I don't really subscribe to that anymore. At least in the right context.
    "To be a champion, compete; to be a great champion compete against the best; but to be the greatest champion, compete with yourself" -Matshona Dhliwayo
  • Thanks for the thoughts both.

    jamesie28 wrote:

    could you drop the kestrels for two units of 5 eagles? Would that work for the list.
    ...

    Stygian wrote:

    Nah its not the list they're a good fit. But that is my experience with kestrels as well. They range from fantastic to LVP for me. Eagles never really disappoint and you don't feel nearly as bad using them as screeners or even chaff. As jamesie28 mentioned you could sub them out....
    Two units of eagles being the same points as the kestrels is an interesting point...

    The thing is, in the games where kestrels have done work, eagles couldn't have done the job.
    11 str5 ap3 lightning reflexes OS5 attacks is a serious amount of damage, and thats before the kestrels fight.
    And the champion is not irrelevant if the dragon or elk lord is going into the same fight.

    For me, the question is whether the vanguard, fly, bows (and hard target) is enough to justify their place over the second wild huntsmen unit.
    List repository and links HERE
    Basic beginners tactics HERE
    Empire of Dannstahl HERE
  • I do agree with that. Functional overlap is one reason I still use KK sometimes. Eagles can't replace kestrels as a combat unit that's a given.

    Warning sales pitch incoming! :P

    But they can replace fast cav and do nearly every role better except being core pts and vanguard chaffing. In return they're fantastic as highly mobile more durable screens that can chaff and hunt war machines, other chaff and even light bunkers. And 4 is cheaper than 5 fast cav. A unit of eagles is the best escort for huntsmen and can be like a second unit of huntsmen just by virtue if screening. To me they're worth warping a list around just a bit.
    "To be a champion, compete; to be a great champion compete against the best; but to be the greatest champion, compete with yourself" -Matshona Dhliwayo

    The post was edited 1 time, last by Stygian ().

  • I made a list with two units of eagles and no kestrels, that has some elements in common with my current list:


    Wizard-master, druidism, dragon, bow, lucky charm 775
    Bsb-horse, black stag, lance, light armour, shield, bow, cloak, distracting banner 355
    Prince-general, elk, destinys call, sylvan blades, titanic might, wild hunter, bow, hail shot, light armour 640
    10 archers-musician 250
    20 archers-musician 460
    20 archers-musician 460
    11 huntsmen-champ 495
    10 briar maidens-champ 445
    10 briar maidens-345
    2 eagles 130
    2 eagles 130
    4485

    I think in this new list, the gains of eagles over fast cav are highlighted as you say stygian, whereas in my current list the core pts and vanguard of the fast cav both matter.
    List repository and links HERE
    Basic beginners tactics HERE
    Empire of Dannstahl HERE
  • Played again with this list

    Wizard-master, druidism, heirloom, dragon, bow, lucky charm 825
    Bsb-horse, black stag, lance, light armour, shield, bow, cloak 310
    Prince-general, elk, destinys call, sylvan blades, titanic might, wild hunter, bow, hail shot, light armour 640
    5 fast cav-bows 205
    15 cav-FC, distracting 515
    18 archers-musician 418
    11 huntsmen-champ, stan, soft cover banner 545
    23 rangers-+1 advance/vanguard, FC, deception banner 580
    5 kestrels-bows, champ, banner 460
    4498

    Played against DE with 4 combat infantry blocks (2x20 judicators, 21 obsidian guard, 29 temple dude), supported by 3 bolt throwers, then 19 xbows, 8 fast cav, 7 knights, and 3 wizards (cosmo master, div adept general, alchemy apprentice bsb).

    The dice were kind to me and gave us counterthrust (good for me), secure target (I think good for me in this match), and my opponent picking sides (so I can go first-very good for me).

    The two objects were quite far apart. I dropped centrally-ish, and my opponent spread over most of the table to be able to play both objectives and avoid getting bottled up and giving me a cascade to a big victory.
    I pounced on one flank and killed knights, xbows, cav, 2 bolt throwers and obsidian guard in the first 3 turns, for just the loss of my chaff cavalry and 13/15 of the core cav unit (all 13 died to one round of magic/shooting! :-O :D ).
    This left the other three infantry blocks and the mages firmly sat on the other objective; I tried to force a confrontation but I didn't have enough time left. I healed the core cav and kept them safe, but lost the archers to magic.

    14-6 to me and another very interesting, interactive and fun game.

    I think my broad plan was good and the list worked. I still don't think I am using the list to its full potential.


    But guess what...
    I'm still not sure on the kestrels :D

    Because my list tends to push people towards table edges, the 30" threat range hasn't really been that relevant yet in terms of turning a flank or getting behind, and they don't bully enough units from the front.
    I'm also getting mildly vexed with hailshot needing to be in the 1 unit of huntsmen in order to march and shoot, so I'm increasingly looking at booting the kestrels for another unit of huntsmen. I think this will also make my deployment easier, in that I can put the two huntsmen units off centre, one each side of centre, and at least one of them will always be super relevant.
    The kestrels for 10 huntsmen with a champion are a straight swap...
    List repository and links HERE
    Basic beginners tactics HERE
    Empire of Dannstahl HERE