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Bats In The Belfry

Discussion in 'Understanding the Underworlds' started by Necris Est, Oct 30, 2016.

  1. Necris Est

    Necris Est Zombie

    Joined:
    May 25, 2016
    Messages:
    13
    I’ve been haunting the Warhammer: Age of Sigmar focused boards for a few months and I’m somewhat perplexed as to the lack of coverage on Bat Swarms and Fell Bats. Which is why I’d like to present to to all you aspiring Undead Generals my insight and opinions on our winged friends. Please note that the content of this post is based on my own experience with these units, so I warmly welcome any constructive debating to enrich and expand this thread. The Carpe Noctem community is encouraged to chip in their two copper pieces into this debate, so please share your gameplay experiences and thoughts.

    Anyway, enough of me flapping about the heart of this article like a frantic bat, let’s get started!

    WHAT HAVE THEY GOT IN COMMON?
    . Are very manoeuvrable units to get into position as they can ‘Fly’.
    . Can be summoned in the ‘Magic Phase’ on a roll of 5+.
    . ‘Bravery’ values of 10.
    . Have the same Points cost for 'Pitched Battle' format games.


    BAT SWARMS

    POINTS OF INTEREST
    +
    Ability: ‘Blood Suckers’ really makes this unit shine as an ideal unit to pin your opponent down. All
    you need is to successfully cause a single wound to an enemy unit and the Bats Swarms will
    instantly regain any wounds they lost during the course of the game. If that doesn’t cause your
    opponent to be stunned with bewilderment I don’t know what will!
    + Ability: ‘Cloud of Horror’ encourages your Bat Swarms to close the distance with enemy ranged
    units like War Machines as soon as possible. Once within 12” of such targets they can make a big
    impact on the total number casualties you’re going to deal with against enemy ballistic attacks.
    + Each base of Bat Swarms are more versatile in the ‘Combat Phase’ as they have higher ‘Attack’ and
    ‘Range’ statistics with their ‘Razor-sharp Teeth’ than a Fell Bat’s ‘Elongated Fangs’. This means that
    you can freely strike most enemy units without the risk of being hit on the knock back.
    + Bat Swarms can take more hits than Fell Bats with their higher ‘Wounds’ value.


    - Bat Swarms are 2” slower when it comes to manoeuvring them across the tabletop in comparison
    to their Fell Bat counterparts.
    - Bat Swarms have a harder time landing and dealing damage in close combat with their decreased
    ‘To Hit’ and ‘To Wound’ values of 5+.
    - Have a lower model count of x2 bases when purchased for Pitched Battle games than a unit of x3
    Fell Bats for the same Points cost.
    - Can’t take as much punishment as a Fell Bat with a ‘Save’ value of -.

    TACTICS
    In my opinion Bat Swarms work better deployed in multiple small units of x2 bases instead of larger groups. I find that this will grant you more options as to how and where you utilise them on the battlefield. By spreading out you can control the flow of the battle as your opponent has to react after you have either blocked their progress to engage your units, as well as giving you ample opportunity to deal with any troublesome ‘Missile Weapon’ orientated units such as ‘War Machines’.


    UNIT SUMMARY
    These little blighters are a rapid responding and relatively Points cheap anvil to the Forces of Undead that can really help you to determine how your opponent reacts to your actions. Don’t threat too much about taking punishment with your Bat Swarms, just aim to strike hard and fast to regain any lost wounds. All in all, they are worthy addition to any ambitious General of Shyish who is skilled enough to plan ahead and pre-empt their adversaries like a true Machiavellian mastermind.


    FELL BATS

    POINTS OF INTEREST
    +
    Ability: ‘Scent of Gore’ can seriously buff up your Fell Bats when you want them to really tear into
    your opponent’s army. With a bit of careful planning and get them within 6” of a slain enemy model with a unit that activated before them you have instantly doubled their ‘Attack’ value. Suddenly that
    unit of x6 Fell Bats is striking with x36 dice in the ‘Combat Phase’, which is not to be sniffed at!
    + FellBats are swifter with their higher ‘Move’ value in comparison to a unit of Bat Swarms, allowing
    them to put the opposing army on the back foot as the game progresses.
    + Have a greater survivability rate as they benefit from a ‘Save’ statistic whereas Bat Swarms lack
    any at all.
    + For the same bang for your buck they have a higher model count of when bought for a
    ‘Pitched Battle’ game than a unit of Fell Bats.

    - Not only do Fell Bats have less starting ‘Attacks’ than a unit of Bat Swarms but they also have a
    shorter reach of 1” with their ‘Elongated Fangs’.
    - Due to their lower ‘Wounds’ statistic Fell Bats can’t take as many hits than Bat Swarms.


    TACTICS
    These winged nightmares are better suited to being deployed in fewer units but with a larger model count in contrast to Bat Swarms. I personally deploy them in groups of x6 Fell Bats to deal with casualties and deliver a larger punch in the ‘Combat Phase’. Regarding on how to get the biggest punch from your Fell bats, they work best in conjunction with other friendly units to benefit of their Ability: ‘Scent of Gore’ all the quicker.


    UNIT SUMMARY
    After examining their Warscroll closely it is clear to see that Fell Bats are better suited to a more aggressive role in an Undead General’s strategy. If the Bat Swarms are akin to an anvil that can take punishment than their larger cousins are the hammer with which to pincer any pinned enemy units. In my opinion they work as efficiently to get under your opponent’s skin, and into their veins, as Bat Swarms with their freedom of movement. Alone they can make an ideal distraction, combined however they can synchronise together to make a right pain in the neck for the enemy.

    I hope this topic has equally informed, entertained and inspired you dreaded Lords and Ladies of Undeath to join me in the Bat Cave. Before I bring this post to a close I will take this opportunity to wish you all a pleasant Hexennacht tomorrow and look forward to learning about your experiences with bats in your exploits in the Mortal Realms.
     
  2. Aranei

    Aranei Ghoul

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2014
    Messages:
    179
    Hi, Necris Est!
    You see, it's not like we have any compiled tactica here, so bats are not the only units who lack any real coverage. Anyway, I generally agree with you. I must only add that, since fell bats have no rend, their many attacks won't help them much against units with good saves. Their speed is their real advantage, however. The can zap along the table, grabbing objectives an eating light infantry (or war machines, or ordinary heroes).
     
  3. Irisado

    Irisado Ancient Vampire Lord Staff Member True Blood

    Joined:
    May 22, 2010
    Messages:
    570
    Thanks for the write up :).

    I found Fell Bats underwhelming in the first game in which I used them, but I only used a unit of three and sent them after the wrong target (a unit of Flamers of Tzeentch). Their attacks are quite strong and they get a fair few of them, but they're not very durable at all in my experience, so I think your point about a larger unit size is a salient one.

    I've yet to use Bat Swarms, and I'm not sure whether either they or the Fell Bats for that matter will fit into the revised army I'm considering for Age of Sigmar, but if they do, I'll be adapting how I use them in accordance with some of your suggestions.
     
  4. Aranei

    Aranei Ghoul

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2014
    Messages:
    179
    Bat swarms's shooting debuff can help against many armies, since almost every roster has shooting, with emphasis on it more often than not.
     
  5. Irisado

    Irisado Ancient Vampire Lord Staff Member True Blood

    Joined:
    May 22, 2010
    Messages:
    570
    They sound as though they would be more useful at hindering my opponent's Flamers than Fellbats that's for sure.
     
  6. Necris Est

    Necris Est Zombie

    Joined:
    May 25, 2016
    Messages:
    13
    Thank you for your input on the discussion Aranei and Irisado, you both raise some vital points that I haven’t touched on.

    Very true, but there are occasions where quantity is the quality that will win that critical round in the ‘Combat Phase’. I feel more confident in my wargaming tactics when I drown my opponent with handfuls of ‘Save’ rolls, after all there are only so many they can make before the failed rolls start popping up.

    The Fell Bat’s low ‘Save’ modifier is indeed an offset to their overall profile. I believe that a wily Undead General can circumvent this issue by either maximising the use of terrain or keeping a wide berth from formidable enemy ‘Missile Weapon’ units as they close in for the kill.
     
  7. Aranei

    Aranei Ghoul

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2014
    Messages:
    179
    I used to think like that until I played against stormcasts and blightknights (4+ save with re-rolls of 1 for order guys, 4+ with 5++ 'regeneration' save for chaos guys), and against Sylvanet (2+ save with healing). No rend means that they are kiling you much faster than the opposite. Believe me, I used skeletons with 60-90 attacks.
     

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