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Age of Sigmar: Undead synergy

Demian

Vampire Count
Joined
Oct 28, 2011
Messages
1,248
#26
Like discussed in AoS Experience, the Archai are more of a Guardian type of Morghast, protecting their caster and being able to attack behind other models (although they are quite tanky themselves, and could be used to soak up some damage). I'd summon Archai with Necros first, then get all other spells through.

Harbingers are our seek & destroy unit, more so than Vargheists now.

As a side note, I'll be playing with all my community this sunday, facing between Empire, some Elves (because my friend doesn't have many models from Dark or Wood Elves), Dwarfs, Ogre Kingdoms, Bretonnia, Chaos and maybe Lizardmen.

Me and my brother have a combined VC-TK force, so we can produce two armies, easily. Will see what I can pull off and try my best to have a battle report here!

----------------------------------------
EDIT: Speaking of Undead synergies, there is one in particular with Skeleton Warriors:

Their spears have a worse To Hit score than their swords, however, being near a DEATH HERO gives them +1 to Hit (which somehow I didn't read).

Tomb Kings can use their My Will be Done to increase by a further +1 to Hit, or Krell / a Vampire Lord, can increase their number of attacks by 1.

Either can prove useful, but having +2 to Hit with Spears should be overall better than giving them 1 extra attack. Swords could benefit more with 2 attacks with their 3+ to Hit.

uh... Math Wizards, how is my kung fu here?
 
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Malisteen

Master Necromancer
True Blood
Joined
Sep 23, 2009
Messages
2,113
#27
Don't really know how to post a spread sheet, but it really isn't needed here.

Basically, it depends on how many extra attacks you're getting in by taking the spears. If its a small unit of ten, and you thought you were going to get all of their attacks in anyway, then you're obviously better with the swords, but it doesn't take many attacks from reach to catch up. Let's say they're on their own, with no hit buffs:

swords: 3/12 of attacks wound on average
spears: 2/12 attacks wound on average

So the spears need to get you half again as many attacks in order to be worth it. This depends on what they're fighting and how they're arranged, but I'd say it's likely to be the case if you've got at least 20 skeletons in the fight.

With a +1 to hit buff:

swords: 4/12 wound
spears 3/12 wound

With a buff to hit, the gap narrows. Now you only need a third more attacks in order to be worth it. Ie, if you can get nine in range with swords, the spears need to get at least 12 in range to be as good on average, or 13 in range to be better. Likely to happen even if you're a bit below 20, but that's again down to how you and the opponent are arranged.

With a +2 to hit buff
swords: 5/12
spears 4/12

Now you only need a quarter again extra.


This is very dependent on bases, and whether you're willing to stand on your own models bases. If you're ranking skeletons up on 20mms, or standing on top of each others bases, then you're going to get significantly more models within an inch of the enemy than you would on 25mm rounds if you're not stacking bases on top of each other, and as such spears will need to get a good deal more extra models into range to make up the difference.

But in general, yeah, any bonuses to hit you can provide help spears more, but if your opponent can apply penalties to hit (not sure if that's a thing?) then it's worse for spears. Spears also favor larger units, where you'll have more models that can reach to swing with spears that wouldn't have reached with swords. Considering that skeletons already favor extra units thanks to their bonus attacks in large numbers, I think spears should in general be the default weapon of choice for skeletons in AoS. As with 8th edition, though, the 'better' weapon isn't enough better that I would get bent out of shape about it.
 

Malisteen

Master Necromancer
True Blood
Joined
Sep 23, 2009
Messages
2,113
#30
Yes, they do, but the proportion per skellies doesn't change. With no buff to hits you need half again as many attacks for spears to outfight swords, and that means for spears to be worth it you'd need half again as many skellies able to make melee attacks thanks to the extra reach of the spears. This is the same whether every skelly is bringing one attack, or two, or three, or even four or more.

In terms of differentiating spears from swords, the more models you have, the more likely you are to reach the necessary threshhold where the extra reach gives you enough extra guys fighting 'over the shoulder' to make spears better on average, and the more bonuses to hit you give the unit the lower that threshhold gets.

If you're taking unbuffed, min size units (ie, you just summond 10 skeletons), then hand weapons are almost certainly better (unless the unit was summoned behind another melee unit), but if you're planning on fielding them in larger blocks and buffing their to hit in order to get the most out of their various rules, then spears will likely prove superior for you.
 

Demian

Vampire Count
Joined
Oct 28, 2011
Messages
1,248
#31
Concerning Grave Guard and Tomb Guard:

Grave Guard can carry 2h Weapons, that are 3+, 3+ (point for killiness)
Tomb Guard can carry Halberds that are 4+, 3+

Grave Guard without 2h Weapons get to have a Crypt Shield, that increases saves, but only against rend -
Tomb Guard always carry Tomb Shields which increases saves by 1 while not running or charging (point for defensiveness)

Tomb Guard seems like a more defensive unit, IMO, with their Tomb Blades being slightly better than their Halberds because... the To Hit roll is still the most important combat roll, having a 3+, 4+ is better than a 4+, 3+ (unbuffed).

Models-wise, Tomb Guard make a much better defensive frontline than Skeleton Warriors, save perhaps for the fact that Skelies can get their bonus attack when they have 30+ models.
 

Demian

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Joined
Oct 28, 2011
Messages
1,248
#32
Sorry for the double post. Was messing around photobucket until I got it working again =P

So, here I'de like to make it visually clear, that unit sizes and measurement matters. In the example below, we have a bunch of 15 Zombies, dubbed "The unpainted" or the "Tar Skinned Ones" it doesn't really matter.

They face two different units of Skeletons. Ones with Swords, the others with spears:

proxy.php?image=http%3A%2F%2Fi1164.photobucket.com%2Falbums%2Fq575%2FTehZera%2FIMG_2304_zps1n0bxnzb.jpg&hash=8fc37e6300ab8c8fa13021f1a5f12572


We can see how the Sword Skeletons sit slightly beyond 3'', while the Spear ones more than 5.5''





The first 10 Sword skeletons charge, and end up base to base, allowing two ranks of skeletons to attack with their melee weapons, as shown beneath:

proxy.php?image=http%3A%2F%2Fi1164.photobucket.com%2Falbums%2Fq575%2FTehZera%2FIMG_2305_zpsarn7l4er.jpg&hash=2fd6f9804932fa3830fc9200a536abce






Now, the second group of skeletons charge, but they have to roll high to get a single skeleton within 1/2 of the Unpainted Ones. Note that they have to stay within 1'' of themselves, as shown here:

proxy.php?image=http%3A%2F%2Fi1164.photobucket.com%2Falbums%2Fq575%2FTehZera%2FIMG_2306_zpswiysxunk.jpg&hash=894882c69c5a163de403c91366d08581




Last, they pile up and form so they are beyond the zombies's reach, but within their spear reach:

Can't do the above, but you can leave a Skeleton in range to activate your whole Skeleton Spear line, and just remove him as a casualty later on if he ever gets attacked!:
proxy.php?image=http%3A%2F%2Fi1164.photobucket.com%2Falbums%2Fq575%2FTehZera%2FIMG_2307_zpscya09fiv.jpg&hash=3c5060ea1c8d259979c0e2fbb2de6cf5


Also, note that I'm not overlaping any bases, since I think it would be pointless: there is not enough room for another Sword Skeleton to attack, and also not enough room for a second Spear Skeleton to do so either. These are the max number of attacks we can perform with 20mm base models.



With big models like Dire Wolves, you'd have to position them oddly, just to get that extra Spear Skeleton attack:
proxy.php?image=http%3A%2F%2Fi1164.photobucket.com%2Falbums%2Fq575%2FTehZera%2FIMG_2308_zpsvqxutrq1.jpg&hash=80e4485934d71a6625ecbe3b9ce3bc4d



Last, but not least, this example shows how just a limited amount of models can attack a unit. Bear in mind they are half-surrounding it, to squeeze in a few extra models:

proxy.php?image=http%3A%2F%2Fi1164.photobucket.com%2Falbums%2Fq575%2FTehZera%2FIMG_2309_zpscjluumlb.jpg&hash=8490dab03cf129c93399d3a04f866a2a


this means, a Horde of 30+ Models will "gain" attacks with their rules, but not every model will be able to get in contact with an enemy.

3 Ranks of models are the only ones who can attack, provided you align them all with their bases. All extra models will not get to attack while in a charge, although they will provide extra benefits, depending on their rules.

--------------------------------------

So: up to 3 ranks of Skeletons with Spears can attack at any given time. (~30 attacks, ~60 attacks with 20+ models, and up to ~90 attacks with 30+ models)
Up to 2 ranks of Ghouls can attack at any given time (~40 attacks, ~60 if you have 30+ models)



All that, assuming you have a front of 10 models, and each extra rank of the same amount.

Now we can have Math-Fu taken this into account!

Sorry for the long post!
 
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Malisteen

Master Necromancer
True Blood
Joined
Sep 23, 2009
Messages
2,113
#33
Pile-in must be 'towards the closest enemy model'. You cannot charge in, then pile in away from the enemy to get behind another unit. Heck, if you have a model who is out of their melee reach from the closest enemy model and cannot get any closer to it, but could get into melee reach if they just moved three inches sideways to approach another enemy model who isn't the closest, well, sorry, you cannot do that, either.

It doesn't say pile-in moves have to be directly towards the closest enemy model, but you certainly can't end a pile in move further from whatever the closest enemy model was when you started it.
 

Demian

Vampire Count
Joined
Oct 28, 2011
Messages
1,248
#34
yeah! I just read that from another post!

Still, you can get 1 model within reach (as in the last image, there is a skeleton among the Ghouls) without breaking Unit composition, but still enabling you to charge with a 1'' and 2'' melee weapon units. just leave a small gap to fit a model.

Sure, that unit can be damaged now... but not by many models, mind you.

EDIT: Thanks for the clarification! edited the former post so there is no confusion now!
 

Demian

Vampire Count
Joined
Oct 28, 2011
Messages
1,248
#35
Double posting with my Necrothreadancy powers:

The Flesh-Eaters Army:

Yesterday, I played with a full Flesh-Eater army (without the Charnel Pit Carrion, since I wanted to test the synergy of the units first) and here are my findings:

This army is very General-Dependant, so you can't take your Ghoul King far away from your other Flesh-Eaters, or they will perform poorly during the combat phase. Ghouls do not replenish as other zombies or skeletons massed units, so you must spend them wisely. They do, however, pack quite a punch, regardless of their rend of - and no poisoned attacks like they used to have.

This army is a very buff-based, so only summon when you need to, since the Flesh-Eaters can carry the battle easily, so there is no point wasting spells on summoning other units that will be late to combat. Other buffs include Infernal Standards and having more than 1 Strigoi Ghoul King on the table, since the army benefits the most from him.
-------------------------------------------------

Strigoi Ghoul King
/or SGK on a Terrorgheist


The model on top of a Terrorgheist was a bit of a downside for me. It's added combat power compared to a regular Terrorgheist is meh-ish (5 attacks are nice. Damage of 1 is not). His command ability while on top of a Terrorgheist lets you run and charge with a single Flesh-Eater unit, which can be himself... but the Terrorgheist will not be able to Shriek, which is quite a penalty, since we all field him to scream. All Ghouls, Horrors and Varghulf benefited from this quite a bit, though, since you need to get the charge to inflict the best damage, with Varghulf being the best of them all with his Movement 10 and flight, he can reach out far away targets, and he is a beast in combat, very durable too.

His save is not increased while mounted, but has a whooping of 14 wounds, and can sustain up to 6 before the shriek begins to deteriorate. Still, not the best General in my opinion.

The model on foot is the best, in my honest opinion, since it buffs the Flesh-Eaters tremendously (+1 to Hit and Wound rolls for all Flesh-Eaters! Varghulf's bite attack auto-wounds and almost auto-hits, which is his best attack!). Furthermore, it affects ALL units within 18'', not just one! His spell, Black Hunger is the icing of the cake, adding 1 attack to a single Flesh-Eater unit. This can be the Varghulf! two almost guaranteed bites? yes please!

The only downside of a SGK on foot is, you guessed! Shooting! he is very squishy with a 5+ Save, so keep him under cover (easy) and, if able, get a Tomb Herald to preserve him! (this is a synergy, regardless of VC-TK wascrolls)


In either case, you can only heal them by: Mortis Engine's Reliquary, Heinrich Kemmler's Invigorate spell, or by getting them into combat (SGK on foot). These are the only real options you have, so either hide them or charge something that will not make them go poof. Fighting Monster vs Monster with a SGK on a TG is a very bad idea, since the damage output of this model isn't enough, in my opinion, and benefits nothing from his healing.
------------------------------------------------------

Crypt Ghouls

They are the core of the army (suspiciously...) since they have a ton of attacks, while occupying the minimum space: 4 Ghouls can attack the same target than a single Crypt Horror. They would have 9 more attacks than the Horror, and the same Rend of - They only get to re-roll the 1's with a Ghoul King nearby, but hit on 4's (3's with a SGK on foot) which is not much of a hindrance. IF you fancy the SGK on Terrorgheist, you may want to skip the Horrors entirely, and just go for another 30+ unit of Ghouls, to maximize his Grave Call spell, adding D6 models to more than 1 unit, but I wouldn't recomend it. Another MUST have with them is the Infernal Standard from a Wight King!! They tend to die easily, so having a 6+ "ward" makes them much more durable.

Now, they only attack on "2 ranks" tops, so spread them out! engage more than 1 enemy and buff them with all you've got, Black Hunger works wonders here too, and even VDM if you can manage it.
---------------------------------------------------------------

Crypt Horrors

They are walls of flesh, do not shy from getting more than 3 of these bad boys, although they perform slightly better than Ghouls, 4 ghouls can get more attacks from their base size (I know it doesn't matter anymore, but Horrors ARE too big anyways). However, if you took a SGK on foot General, these guys will seriously outperform Ghouls, because:

+1 to Wound (lord of the Flesh-Eaters command ability) rolls trigger Ravenous-Flesh-Eaters's ability on a 5+... which is quite awesome!! They do not benefit that much from an Infernal Banner, but they do from Heinrich Kemmler's Invigorate spell, if they are wounded.
--------------------------------------------------------

Varghulf


He is amazing, and very very durable due to his healing and 8-wound profile. Hell, you can even team up 2 Varghulfs for maximum fun! They do not benefit inherently from a nearby SGK, but they DO from the Lord of the Flesh-Eaters command ability quite a bit.

They heal quite consistently, at the end of a Combat Round in which they slew any models, or when a friendly Death wizard casts a spell within 18'' which is awesome. Heinrich Kemmler's Invigorate Spell heals him by 2 with this (plus he can cast 2 spells, so that's more healing).

the downside is: have your wizards nearby, but away from enemy fire... which is very hard to do in AoS these days. Kemmler can be a great asset for this Flesh-Eater army
-----------------------------------------------------

Terrorgheist

Not much to say, other than only a Ghoul King riding on it is considered a Flesh-Eater. If you get both on foot and mounted SGK however, things get pretty serious, since the Lord of the Flesh-Eaters command ability gives you an amazing combat beast out of a SGK on a TG. NOW it's worth gatting him into combat!

--------------------------------------------------------

Other nice bonuses:

Mortis Engines's Reliquary helps you Heal your multi wound models, which is a must to survive the ranged onslaught you'll most likely face against any army.

Heinrich Kemmler's wizard power works quite well with the Flesh-Eaters, plus he is a superb wizard and can get you out of though spots. Always give him a Morgast Archai unit nearby him to combo with his Lichemaster ability (+ Ebon-Wrought Armour).

Necromancer's Vanhel's Danse Macabre will affect Crypt Horrors! (Mordants) and it is a great spell to use with massed attacks and army-wide buffs like this one.

Liche Priest's Righteous Smiting helps a bit, with all the To-Hit re rolls, and To Hit bonuses from this army.

Carrion, Sepulchral Stalkers and Tomb Swarms, along with summoning Bat Swarms are paramount to counter those pesky shooting. Seriously, shooting alone will take out your characters if you don't manage them well (but it's almost impossible to hide them behind your units, while keeping them close to combat). Heinrich Kemmler will survive a ton of shooting damage with his Lichemaster ability + Morghasts or any other durable Death unit. Consider Tomb Heralds to absorb missile damage, even if they can't use their Standard of the Undying Legion.

Wight King's Infernal Standard to combo with Ghouls.

Screaming Skull Catapult to combo with Shrieks, Howls, Wails and to take care of Archers (low saves, low bravery and usually are beyond any charges on the first 3 turns). Less shooting = more killing with Flesh-Eaters. Also, Casket of Souls is not a bad idea to get rid of archers, or Tanks, or Phoenixes, or... pretty much anything annoying.
 

artisturn

Grave Guard
Joined
Jun 30, 2009
Messages
232
#37
Ran this list during my first game.


Krell,Lord of Undeath

Heinrich Kemmler,The Lichmaster

Skeleton Warriors-30

Grave Guard -16

Banshee


Lord of Bones: If Krell uses this ability,
pick one unit of Skeletons within 18". All
models in that unit make one extra attack
with each of their weapons until your next
hero phase.

Serve in Death: You can add 1 to hit
rolls for units of Skeleton Warriors that
are within 18" of a Death Hero from
your army.

Skeleton Legion: Models in this unit make
1 extra attack with their melee weapon if
their unit has 20 or more models. They
make 2 extra attacks instead if their unit
has 30 or more models.

Between all these these abilities the Skeleton Warriors and Grave Guard had 3 attacks each and the Skeletons were hitting on 3+ and they were rerolling to wound due to a terrain power.

I also like how standards heal our units in the Hero phase.
 
Joined
Nov 10, 2014
Messages
240
#38
30-40 skeletons (skeletons with 3 attacks)
Krell (an extra attack)
Necromancer (attacking twice)
Necrotect (re-roll wounds of 1 but the added 3" move gets your skeletons to combat even faster)
Tomb herald (may take wounds for any death hero)

Skeletons that move fast, attack twice with 4 attacks each, re-rolling wounds of 1
Krell that just refuses to die through his armor and the herald.
Add a wight king for more flavour?
 
Joined
Sep 26, 2013
Messages
15
#39
One that I am really excited to try is all of the synergy between the deathrattle/skeleton units between VC & TK. Namely Vanhels from the necros on Warsphinxes, necro knights, and/or skele chariots. Also, Krells command ability says +1 hit for skeles until next hero phase, not locking it into a specific phase, so it could be +1 attack with archers, or even +1 to all of the war sphinx attacks. Super excited to try these out
 
Joined
Jul 30, 2015
Messages
11
#40
I have tried out the combo of Krell and skeleton archers it works great and feels just right fluff wise.
I used them in a big game and this combo was clearly the most effective part of my army. I am currently building some more skeleton archers. I actually use skeleton crossbowmen kitbashed from skeletons and dark elf warriors (the left over parts can be used to make skeleton spearmen too!).
Krell, Kemmler and corpse cart next to the archers in a ring of zombies makes for a tough nut to crack. Add a necromancer and most units will be devoured.

Another STUPID combo: Kemmler + Corpse Cart + 10 Zombies + Garden Of Morr = 30-40 zombies a turn!
Hide Kemmler behind one of the mausoleums and spread your zombies out to ensure spaces to fit your new units (place new units to fill in the blanks and then join them all together). Pretty soon the board is swamped by a huge unit of zombies hitting at 2+/3+/-
Obviously adding a necromancer makes this even more demented....
 

Malisteen

Master Necromancer
True Blood
Joined
Sep 23, 2009
Messages
2,113
#42
I personally just bits ordered seaguard bow/quiver bits and glued them to the backs of skittles w/ swords, leaving the shields off.

ai189-photobucket-com_albums_z142_malisteen_undead_archers01_zps4han6ple-jpg.51205


ai189-photobucket-com_albums_z142_malisteen_undead_archers02_zpsi7h02dvu-jpg.51206


ai189-photobucket-com_albums_z142_malisteen_undead_archers03_zps4hdhmvp1-jpg.51207

Looks alright, though the sword's a bit overlarge. That's a problem with the VC skittles in general and not specific to these archer stand ins, though.
 
Joined
Aug 3, 2015
Messages
12
#43
i am confused with the skeleton warriors sheild. theres a crypt sheild and tomb sheild option. but i see only rounded sheilds. can someone show me pics of a skeleton with a tomb sheild and another one with crypt sheild? the box does not show which is which.
 

Malisteen

Master Necromancer
True Blood
Joined
Sep 23, 2009
Messages
2,113
#46
yeah, both used to just be 'shields'. My skeletons and grave guard have the tomb king shields. Fine for the skittles, I can just run them as the tomb king version, but I'm not sure what to do about the grave guard, which don't have the option. Do I run them as grave guard with crypt shields, or tomb guard with tomb shields? Then again, mine all have hand weapons, shields, AND great weapons, so they're not exactly wysiwyg to begin with.
 
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