Pinned DE General Discussion

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  • (not commenting in staff role)

    Minidudul wrote:

    you build your army around them and not them integrating the army intuitively.

    General comment that isn't specific to DE or judicators...

    I think this is an under-appreciated and misunderstood aspect of t9a list building and balance.

    A balanced book does not mean one can throw darts at the book and have a competitive list.
    It means that every unit in the book has some place in some competitive lists.
    Having to build around a unit is not the same as the unit being uncompetitive.

    Maybe (I am making no judgement either way, just musing based on claims in this thread) that is the difference between judicators and OG: OG more easily fit in a wider variety of lists, but judicators are a more important element in the lists they do well in.

    If this is the case, then this property doesn't make judicators worse than OG (I'm not saying they are or aren't worse, just that this different property doesn't make them worse).


    If people don't like the lists that judicators do well in, or those lists consistently underperform, or those lists aren't coherent with the guidelines, I am sure the team will hear and take on-board those objections...
    But I think SmithF was reacting to a perceived complaint that "one can't randomly substitute between judicators and OG in an arbitrary DE list without feeling it affects the power of the list... ergo the internal balance of judicators vs OG is wrong", which is a misunderstanding of what internal balance between judicators and OG (or any other two units in any book) means.

    For me personally, I thought this was at least part of the point of the list that SmithF posted.


    Again, to be super clear, I am not weighing in either way on judicators vs OG specifically.
    Just making a general point about t9a that I think is part of what SmithF was getting at.
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  • There is also strange anti synergy between Temple Militants and Judicators.
    Theoretically they should cover each other: militants fight good against hordes, judicators against cavalry and monsters.

    Judicators need speed boost from Witchcraft (by the way militants also need it) but militants need buffs and there isn't many buffs in Witchcraft.

    Perhaps it was really good idea to change Blades of Darag to work both from buffs and hexes (limit +1S maximum) - so if there are any one turn duration spell in combat blades will give +1S and magical attacks? It helps a lot to deal with this problem (also it makes units with blades less extreme and more balanced).

    Also if such changes would be implemented Warlock Acolytes could change their spells for following list: Twisted Effigy, Whispers of the Veil, Perception of Strength and Curse of the Phantom Queen. It gives them 4 spells to trigger effect of Blades. And also nice fork between Whispers of the Veil and Perception of Strength. Now Ancestral Aid is not so useful on them.

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

  • Thanks for your sample @SmithF, is a possible balanced list including them.

    The debate was about how redundant could be the unit compared to OG, the same list, think how could performance if we switch Judicators in the favour of OG, since we think that could do similar and adding more resources and flexibility for your list, specially oriented to tournaments when you can face different unexpected armies.
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  • SmithF wrote:

    One gaming scene is not another, and for example I've seen and heard that in the UK Judicators seem to be the go-to elite infantry.

    This isn't particularly true. The first event had 7/1 judis/OG but only something like 4 lists had judicators, since then OG have been picked more.

    The most common pick here is knights though.
    Free command groups for standard infantry
  • For me the choice is pretty simpel, OG have that build in off 6, def 6 and agi 6. This means most other elites hit them on 4's while OG hit them on 3's. Agi 6 also means they strike first most of the time or at the same time as charging elites.

    But Smith has a good point and I haven't tried it yet. Div TL with know thy enemy and Outcast with witchcraft can make Judicators favourable. Although a perception of strength and/or Whispers of the Veil also work wonders for OG.

    I will give this a shot in my next list.
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  • DanT wrote:

    (not commenting in staff role)

    General comment that isn't specific to DE or judicators...

    I think this is an under-appreciated and misunderstood aspect of t9a list building and balance.

    A balanced book does not mean one can throw darts at the book and have a competitive list.
    It means that every unit in the book has some place in some competitive lists.
    Having to build around a unit is not the same as the unit being uncompetitive.

    Maybe (I am making no judgement either way, just musing based on claims in this thread) that is the difference between judicators and OG: OG more easily fit in a wider variety of lists, but judicators are a more important element in the lists they do well in.

    If this is the case, then this property doesn't make judicators worse than OG (I'm not saying they are or aren't worse, just that this different property doesn't make them worse).


    If people don't like the lists that judicators do well in, or those lists consistently underperform, or those lists aren't coherent with the guidelines, I am sure the team will hear and take on-board those objections...
    But I think SmithF was reacting to a perceived complaint that "one can't randomly substitute between judicators and OG in an arbitrary DE list without feeling it affects the power of the list... ergo the internal balance of judicators vs OG is wrong", which is a misunderstanding of what internal balance between judicators and OG (or any other two units in any book) means.

    For me personally, I thought this was at least part of the point of the list that SmithF posted.


    Again, to be super clear, I am not weighing in either way on judicators vs OG specifically.
    Just making a general point about t9a that I think is part of what SmithF was getting at.
    When it's supposed to be an infantry army and you only have 2 elite infantry and one is niche/requires to be built around then is that in line with guidelines?

    Especially when there used to be 3 elite infantry units.
    Free command groups for standard infantry
  • (not commenting in staff role)

    Cam wrote:

    When it's supposed to be an infantry army and you only have 2 elite infantry and one is niche/requires to be built around then is that in line with guidelines?
    Especially when there used to be 3 elite infantry units.
    I very carefully and deliberately passed no judgement either way on this question (which should not be taken as sympathy towards any particular viewpoint on this issue, just recognition that it was out of the scope/tangential to what I wanted to say/discuss in my post).

    If that is your specific criticism/feedback/claim, then no problem, just state it clearly, accurately and precisely :thumbup:
    (and if you already have, great :thumbsup: )

    My point is merely that this is a very different criticism to the perceived criticism that SmithF was responding to.
    I am just trying to help everyone understand each other, because that is when these threads are at their most useful :)
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    The post was edited 1 time, last by DanT ().

  • SmithF wrote:

    Mask of the War Crow seems like a no-brainer here, making the Judicator damage output very stable: on 6-wide frontage, you're looking at 10-ish AP4 wounds, and that of course goes up if you decide to deploy them in line formation. It also helps the Mist Leviathans rack up some damage: S4 maximized stomps with RR1s is the rough equivalent of S5 stomps, only these come with AP3!
    Mask does not work with stomps. Nitpicking here.

    About the Judicators they have a role, but If I would want to make them a compelling choice on their own I would give them BF base (maybe dropping artistry of Death in return).

    For me they are to slow to get where they needed unless your other army parts pin things in place or take something and hold it to the Judys couintercharge. Therfore I think off them as a MSU support unit. Still I find OG more usefull in most cases.
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  • I feel OG are simply more reliable and adaptable with 2 attacks. Ruthless Efficiency is the key here along with OS/DS 6 and Agi 6. The only thing meaningfully lacking compared to Judys is AP. Add rending banner and they’re terrifying in the first round, where they should be crippling the enemy anyway.
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  • I think OG and Judicators are both good units. When it comes to internal balance, then the main reason many players go for OG instead of Judicators is probably that OG are more allround than Judicators. Especially if you give OG a rending banner, their damage output is very good, and no longer obviously worse than Judicators. Furthermore, OG have better OS, DS and Agility, which means they are more reliable (not having to use unreliable magic and still being able to strike first on 2+ is very good). In addition, 24 OG will still be very dangerous when reduced to a single rank compared to 8 Judicators, because their damage output, unlike that of Judicators, is still very good. (So, here I disagree with SmithF). I think all of this makes OG the safer choice that can compete against a much wider array of enemy units.

    If this assessment is correct, then I guess internal balance can be improved simply by changing points: 19 for Judicators and 21 for OG should do the trick.

    That said, one option I’d find interesting to explore is this: give scent of blood to Judicators (it fits them, gives them some speed, and helps them become less vulnerable to fear etc) and change Caedhren’s Pennon (2 per army) into an enchantment that grants reroll failed charges.
  • Gerfaks wrote:

    arwaker wrote:

    Would make sense if they were somehow related to Beast or Temple faction. But I have the impression they are not.
    But DE have only 3 factions: academy, beast and temple. They are not from academy so they should have connection with one of other two.
    Sorry, but this is "wrong" (or misleading) on multiple levels.

    Yes, there are major themes in the DE LAB: Academy and Beast Handlers/Tamers.
    Yes, there are minor themes in the DE LAB: Cults/Temples, Raiders

    No, not every units belongs to or needs to belong to a theme. Dread Prince, Dread Knights, and Raptor Chariots belong to the Dathen nobility and do not belong to any of the forementioned themes. Gorgons, Warlock Outcast and Warlock Acolytes do not belong to any of the forementioned themes either and are not nobility either. So why would or should the Judicators be different?

    So for example, if you want to push them into Tamer theme, you'd run into many problems:
    - They would need a different background and different name
    - Beast Handlers are "weaker" in combat as they focus on capturing and taming beasts. If the Judicators would have a theme of beast tamers, they would need a beast related rule and probably have a default Elf profile, certainly not Off/Def 5.
    - There is absolutely no logical reason why Great Weapons are there, especially when the Beastmaster does not have an option for it.

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  • DarkSky wrote:

    Gerfaks wrote:

    arwaker wrote:

    Would make sense if they were somehow related to Beast or Temple faction. But I have the impression they are not.
    But DE have only 3 factions: academy, beast and temple. They are not from academy so they should have connection with one of other two.
    Sorry, but this is "wrong" (or misleading) on multiple levels.
    Yes, there are major themes in the DE LAB: Academy and Beast Handlers/Tamers.
    Yes, there are minor themes in the DE LAB: Cults/Temples, Raiders

    No, not every units belongs to or needs to belong to a theme. Dread Prince, Dread Knights, and Raptor Chariots belong to the Dathen nobility and do not belong to any of the forementioned themes. Gorgons, Warlock Outcast and Warlock Acolytes do not belong to any of the forementioned themes either and are not nobility either. So why would or should the Judicators be different?

    So for example, if you want to push them into Tamer theme, you'd run into many problems:
    - They would need a different background and different name
    - Beast Handlers are "weaker" in combat as they focus on capturing and taming beasts. If the Judicators would have a theme of beast tamers, they would need a beast related rule and probably have a default Elf profile, certainly not Off/Def 5.
    - There is absolutely no logical reason why Great Weapons are there, especially when the Beastmaster does not have an option for it.
    Okay. Thank you for clarification!

    But do Dathen nobility have any common mechanics to support their theme?

    And why Gorgons, Warlock Outcast and Warlock Acolytes do not belong to any of themes? Warlock Outcast and Warlock Acolytes have darag blades so it seems they have connection with temple theme, haven't they?

    About judicators. Let's try to work around.
    Are judicators judges and some kind of police in Dathen society? As beastmasters theme beasts, they could tame people.
    So it's possible to preserve current background and name.
    I don't see why being tamer makes anybody needs default Elf profile. Usually it require high skills to tame dangerous beasts. So it could be either default elf or more trained elf.

    Absence ofGW looks really strange. Beastmaster should have gw without any doubts. And also legates. It's basic weapon, it's really weird that it's restricted to Princes only. Also gw is effective against large beast in 9th age world so beastmasters should have it also for fluff reasons. Perhaps it also makes possible to add option for gw or halberd to beast handlers (for some points).

    The post was edited 2 times, last by Gerfaks ().

  • Gerfaks wrote:

    But do Dathen nobility have any common mechanics to support their theme?
    They are common in the following ways:
    - They are not part of the usual Academy. More like "home trained". This is why the do not use Spears or Repeater Crossbows, but have access to costly weapons like Great Weapons and Halberds.
    - They can afford the very expensive and dangerous Daeb Raptors

    Gerfaks wrote:

    Gorgons, Warlock Outcast and Warlock Acolytes do not belong to any of themes?
    The most simple answer would be: Because they do not belong. I don't think the Gorgon and Acolytes background has been revealed, yet, so I am not allowed to say anymore on the topic. Warlock is basically a Highborn Elf who switched sides. He/she isn't part of the Dathen Republic and doesn't even have citizen status. So the Outcast is naturally not part of Aristocracy, Academy, Temple, Raiders, or Tamers. After all that is what Outcast means.

    Gerfaks wrote:

    Usually it require high skills to tame dangerous beasts.
    This is exactly why the Beastmaster has only Off/Def 5: Instead of training with his weapons all the time, he spent his time taming and handling beasts. Currently Judicators stats show their training as supreme fighters. If they'd belong to Tamers, their training would have been taming. It's like when you play an RPG and have to create your character: A straight up Fighter is better at fighting than a Ranger. But the Ranger has the Animal Companion trait (or something like that).

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  • DarkSky wrote:

    They are common in the following ways:
    - They are not part of the usual Academy. More like "home trained". This is why the do not use Spears or Repeater Crossbows, but have access to costly weapons like Great Weapons and Halberds.
    - They can afford the very expensive and dangerous Daeb Raptors
    Perhaps they need some rule to represent their "home training". Deadly Riposte for instance? Or +1 Of and -1 Def?
    Beastmasters and Legion legates also can afford very expensive and dangerous Daeb Raptors, even two of them + cart.

    DarkSky wrote:

    The most simple answer would be: Because they do not belong.
    Okay. But why they have darag blades in this case? Why republic give such powerful weapons to outcasts?
    Side question: why at all republic relies so much in magic warfare on outcasts? Where are loyal republican master mages?

    DarkSky wrote:

    This is exactly why the Beastmaster has only Off/Def 5: Instead of training with his weapons all the time, he spent his time taming and handling beasts.
    Off/Def 5 for elven lord character has no sense. It's level of ordinary well trained elven warrior, not mighty lord.
    Beastmaster spend his time taming his beasts, so he constantly improve his skills in dealing with dangerous beasts including hunting on them and catching them. So that means his Off/Def should be 6 at least.

    DarkSky wrote:

    Currently Judicators stats show their training as supreme fighters. If they'd belong to Tamers, their training would have been taming.
    No. Current Judicators stats show their well trained elven warrior skills, nothing exceptional. Supreme elven fighters like Swordmasters or Obsidian Guards have Off/Def 6.
  • Hey @Gerfaks

    I can only describe it as it is. If you don't agree with the decisions made, I am in no position to change them.

    Gerfaks wrote:

    Perhaps they need some rule to represent their "home training".
    They do:
    Dread Knights have Dis 9, Att 2, Off 5, Def 5, Str 4 and Ap 1 and Agi 6. I would say that is quite some meaningful difference to the "standard" Dread Elf solider. Many people critisize the project for sticking too many needles special rules onto units, so I think this is quite enough and distinctive.

    Gerfaks wrote:

    Beastmasters and Legion legates also can afford very expensive and dangerous Daeb Raptors, even two of them + cart.
    I do not have a Crystal Ball, but I think, if we weren't trying to preserve modelling options of a certain other game, we might have Legion Legate without those options. For Beastmasters: Well a Raptor is a beast, naturally he has access to them.

    Gerfaks wrote:

    Off/Def 5 for elven lord character has no sense. It's level of ordinary well trained elven warrior, not mighty lord.
    No it isn't.
    Off/Def 4 is the level of an Elven soldier.
    Off/Def 5 is the level of an Elven Elite soldier.
    Off/Def 6 and above is the highest pinnacle of Elven Elite fighting. Something only a few select individuals ever achieve. Hence why this reserved for Obsidian Guard (hand-picked elite with no social requirements except training and fighting) and Dread Prince and Legion Legate.

    That is why Beastmaster and Temple Legate do not reach that skill. Beastmaster rather perfects his Willbreaker's Craft and Temple Legate his Battle Oracling or War Smithing.

    By the way, the list from above seems to be project guideline. A few of your points show your perception is a little off, which basically leads to stat inflation. Keep in mind: The standard Elf profile: 5/10/8 - 1/4/3/0 - 1/4/3/0/5 is the default. Any deviation from that already symbolizes significant more training, skill, equipment, etc.

    Gerfaks wrote:

    skills in dealing with dangerous beasts including hunting on them and catching them. So that means his Off/Def should be 6 at least.
    I do not know how you reach that conclusion. That is like saying: "Because I have been learning Math all the time, I should be able to speak Russian." Taming Beasts is reflected by Beastmaster's Craft and Cannot be Stomped.

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