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General's Handbooh restricted summoning

Joined
Oct 22, 2014
Messages
179
#1
I want to summarize the summoning restrictions for competitive play from GH and what units are worth summoning under that restrictions.

So, in matched play you must substract points from your army to create summoning pool. Of course you don't need to declare what unit you are going to summon, but since death units lack specialisations, a question arises: why should I create summoninng pool in the first place, I can just take a versatile unit for that points and call it good?

While you will be right generally, there are still some units with tricks that make summoning them worthwhile.

1. Units that charge 3d6, which helps them charge suddenly and successfully after summmoning.

Morhasts Harbingers cost 240 for 2 (Nagash can summon 4).

Tomb Kings Carrion has the same ability too, and they are only 80 pts for 3 (Nagash can summon 6). While they are weaker, they can still murder war machine crew or a small shooting unit, or a hero. They have their own inn-built delivering ability, Circling High Above, but summoning them can leave opponent unprepared, so it is a valid option, IMO.

2. Shooty units.

Skeleton Archers are 100 pts for 10 models. For 200 pts, you can summon a unit that can make 40 shots at anything within 24". Again, your opponent may be unprepared. Buff the unit for maximum effectivity (and there are so many buffs that can affect them, including wight king's command abitity for extra 20 shots).

On the other hand, Banshee costs only 80 and can be summoned just in range of her Ghostly Howl, wich deals 2d6-Bravery mortal wounds. Great way to soften those armoured monsters. Bonus points for reducing target's Bravery beforehand (Screaming Skull Catapult comes to mind). Btw, Nagash can summon 2 at once!

Terrorgheist is just a bigger banshee, more expensive (320 pts) and more powerful. The casting roll is hard, but you can use the artefact (Sword of Unholy Power) to auto-cast it once. Nagash can summon 2 if you have that many!

3. Units with debuffing auras.

Bat swarms are 80 pts for 2, and can be summoned within 9" of one shooting units, while their -1 shooting accuracy aura is 12". They can even try to charge. And if they succeed, they can live rather long grinding archers, since they ability allows them to heal fully. Nagash can summon 4, if you really want that much.

4. Units that can merge.

I am speaking of zombies, of course. If you already field zombies and your opponent slays a lot of them, you can summon 10 for 60 pts, or 20 for 120 pts (x2 for Nagash). Instantly merge those units, an voila - they again have 3+/3+ attacks!

(This may be changed in the future errata, since all units have a maximum size and zombie merging seem to ignore this restiction, for now at least).

5. Roadblocks.

They are useful in AoS, since all units have a 3" "zone of control".

For roadblocks, you can use zombies (again) for 60 pts per roadblock, or skeleton warriors for 80 pts if you want your roadblock to live longer due to having a save (this is especially useful when summoning into terrain for extra +1 save for skellies).

However, roadblocks possibly don't need summoning. Just field them in front of your more important squads, as you used with Dire Wolves in 8 ed. If you do that, you will hardly ever need to summon more roadblocks. And for your fast units, you can use the Dire Wolves as roadblocks instead of zombies/skellies.

6. Sudden strategic point grabbing.

Let's say, you a playing a battleplan that can be won by capturing strategic points. It's the last turn, and one or more points are empty - units were wiped by shooting/magic, or monster killed them in hth and moved away to join the fray elsewhere. With 18" summoning, it is not hard to suddenly summon 10 zombies or skellies to grab it. You won't see this situation every game, but again, you don't need to declare what are you going to summon each game.

So, your summoning pool can be around 240-280 points, and you will have a small variety of units available for different purposes. And since you don't have to declare what you are going to summon, you opponent may be unprepared, giving you some advantage.

What do you think? Can you add something I missed?

EDIT:
So (according to GH errata), summoning can be used as a way to add something to your army that would otherwise break your allegiance (not so useful now, but may become later, when deathrattle, deathwalker, deathmage, nighthaunt and deathlords battletomes will be released).

It also can be used to squeeze extra restricted units into your army (leaders, behemoths and artillery). The most obvious use is to summon extra cairn wraiths and banshees while having maximum number of leaders, both to have extra sources of Deathless Minions trait and for their own abilities (banshee scream makes her ideal for summoning!).
 
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Malisteen

Master Necromancer
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Sep 23, 2009
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#2
Not really, but with archers in particular its important to emphasize that you HAVE to be able to hit the high casting value for 20. Summoning 10 isn't going to do anything but speed bump, and will leave the leftover 100 points in your pool good for little else as well. So summoned archers are a decent tactic if your racking up, like, 4 or more points of casting bonus on the roll, but otherwise just field them normally.
 
Joined
Oct 22, 2014
Messages
179
#3
Not really, but with archers in particular its important to emphasize that you HAVE to be able to hit the high casting value for 20. Summoning 10 isn't going to do anything but speed bump, and will leave the leftover 100 points in your pool good for little else as well. So summoned archers are a decent tactic if your racking up, like, 4 or more points of casting bonus on the roll, but otherwise just field them normally.
That, or be Nagash :)
 

Demian

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#4
What about if you're fielding the Sword of Unholy Power for the specific purpose of summoning a Terrorgheist (Beasts of the Grave)

It can Shriek, it has a decent amount of attacks and damage... AND once it dies it blows up!

The bad thing is, I don't see points for their Beasts of the Grave faction, only of the Flesh-Eater Courts...

If Mournguls were legal for pitched battles, summoning one would be awesome!

And another thing: if the Crew from warmachines has no points value, we can summon the Catapult's Crew anytime, provided they are all dead. How do we do that? Aside from being shot to death by other catapults / archers, a Necromancer can protect himself by killing them, then raising another crew. Nothing ground-breaking, just a nice thing hehe.
 

Malisteen

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#5
Waiting on points value for the fw stuff, yeah, but im not exactly sure i see what would make summoning a mourngul - risking failed casts or dispel on the turn you need it - better than just fielding it normally.
 

Demian

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#6
But the Sword automatically summons it for you... without wasting your spell attempt, and can't be unbound!

A guaranteed any-cast value summoning.

The question here is: Can I opt to summon the high-roll value with it? Like, auto-summoning those 20 Archers we talked about....
 

Eyeless

Wight King
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May 17, 2013
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442
#7
I got a question here, which i think i know the answer to it, but i'd rather ask nonetheless. Lets say nagash summons skeletons, and gets a unit of 40 with a high roll and his doubling rule. would a unit of 40 cost 200pts(as per summoning 20, thus nagash's doubling rule gives you free models)? Or would it still cost 400pts, which makes nagash's bonus really not worth it in most of the cases?
 

Malisteen

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#8
Lets say nagash summons skeletons, and gets a unit of 40 with a high roll and his doubling rule...
@Eyeless It's absolutely unclear, but from what I can tell the correct answer is that you would get 30 archers (20, doubled to 40, then cut back to the maximum unit size for archers which is 30), and would have to pay 300 points from your summoning reserve (you pay for what you actually summon, not for what the spell says you can summon, evidence: if you don't have enough points, you can still summon, you just only get as much as you can pay for).


But the Sword automatically summons it for you... without wasting your spell attempt, and can't be unbound!
Well, that sounds better, but... what does delaying the unit's arrival get you that's worth burning an item drop on it, an item that could have been a cursed book or tomb blade, for instance? It's not exactly slow or squishy, anyway.

If the ghoul book is any indication, summonable monsters aren't likely to be a thing going forward, anyway.


The question here is: Can I opt to summon the high-roll value with it? Like, auto-summoning those 20 Archers we talked about....
@Demian From what I can tell? No. The spells in question summon X models. If your casting roll was Y or higher, you get the option to summon 2X instead. If you summon with the sword, the casting roll is never Y or higher, because there is no casting roll to begin with, so you default to the regular version of the spell, which only summons X models.
 
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Joined
Oct 22, 2014
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179
#9
What about if you're fielding the Sword of Unholy Power for the specific purpose of summoning a Terrorgheist (Beasts of the Grave)

It can Shriek, it has a decent amount of attacks and damage... AND once it dies it blows up!

The bad thing is, I don't see points for their Beasts of the Grave faction, only of the Flesh-Eater Courts...

If Mournguls were legal for pitched battles, summoning one would be awesome!

And another thing: if the Crew from warmachines has no points value, we can summon the Catapult's Crew anytime, provided they are all dead. How do we do that? Aside from being shot to death by other catapults / archers, a Necromancer can protect himself by killing them, then raising another crew. Nothing ground-breaking, just a nice thing hehe.
Necromancer giving his wounds to crews only to raise them again later sounds good. However, I think that your opponent will always be trying to kill the catapults, not the crewmen. And without the catapult, no more raising! However, you can prevent that by hiding your catapults behind LoS-blocking scenery, they have arcing fire anyways.
 
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Messages
179
#10
What about if you're fielding the Sword of Unholy Power for the specific purpose of summoning a Terrorgheist (Beasts of the Grave)

It can Shriek, it has a decent amount of attacks and damage... AND once it dies it blows up!

The bad thing is, I don't see points for their Beasts of the Grave faction, only of the Flesh-Eater Courts...

If Mournguls were legal for pitched battles, summoning one would be awesome!

And another thing: if the Crew from warmachines has no points value, we can summon the Catapult's Crew anytime, provided they are all dead. How do we do that? Aside from being shot to death by other catapults / archers, a Necromancer can protect himself by killing them, then raising another crew. Nothing ground-breaking, just a nice thing hehe.
Mournghoul don't need to be summoned, really - just field it in a usual way. Current summoning restrictions mean that only units with special tricks are woth summoning. Mournghoul has nothing like that, he is ok just running along the table.

Actually, I am starting to think that roadblocks can forego summoning, too. Just field them in front of your more important squads, as you used with Dire Wolves in 8 ed. If you do that, you will hardly ever need to summon more roadblocks. And for your fast units, you can use the Dire Wolves as roadblocks instead of zombies/skellies.

Updated my original post a bit, btw.

EDIT: Terrorgheist is totally summonable now!
 
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Malisteen

Master Necromancer
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#11
Actually, technically, there is still a summonable terrorgheist. There are two separate concurrent war scrolls for both unridden terrorgheists and unridden zombie dragons. However, there are only points values yet for the flesh eater versions, the ones that cannot be summoned, so you cannot use the summonable beast of the grave versions of those monsters in matched play games until we get some sort of clarification.
 

Oppenheimer

Crypt Horror
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#12
Necromancer giving his wounds to crews only to raise them again later sounds good. However, I think that your opponent will always be trying to kill the catapults, not the crewmen. And without the catapult, no more raising! However, you can prevent that by hiding your catapults behind LoS-blocking scenery, they have arcing fire anyways.
I've found that with true LoS being seeing any part of the unit that there isn't usually a way to block it even with scenery. Plus so many armies can teleport or fly really long distances and still shoot that I've had no success in hiding anything am enemy really wants target. Poor 5 wound heroes :-(
 

Demian

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#13
Ah yes! That's what I thought about the Sword.

Anyways, yeah if there are no points under Beasts of the Grave, then the Flesh-Eater ones can't be summoned and thus, we would be wasting our points.

And for the record, every time I fire a catapult against another war machine, I target their crew, because they are easier to kill (just 6+ Save, plus 1 from being around the war machine, as opposed to 4+ save from the machine itself). They have fewer collective wounds (usually 3, instead of 5+) and every kill you score usually nets you a decrease in the war machine's efficiency (firing it with just 1 crew member left is usually enough to ignore it for the rest of the game).

Every item we have has its use, and I will find it!!! As for the wasted slot, we can always have a Battallion and field it that way, however we would need a really strong summoneable unit to justify the sword's inclusion. Let us see what else we get!
 

Malisteen

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#14
The time bomb item is useless. Very few wounds, even used late, and only regular wounds - not even mortal - so armor saves can still be made against it. The rest arguably have uses. Best use for the sword is probably a pair of harbingers, a banshee, or some bat swarms. I wouldn't take it as your first or second item, but if running multiple formations it might be worth taking as a third or fourth.
 
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#15
The time bomb item is useless. Very few wounds, even used late, and only regular wounds - not even mortal - so armor saves can still be made against it. The rest arguably have uses. Best use for the sword is probably a pair of harbingers, a banshee, or some bat swarms. I wouldn't take it as your first or second item, but if running multiple formations it might be worth taking as a third or fourth.
I think those wounds are supposed to be mortal. We should wait for an errata, possibly.

As for the unholy sword, I agree - use it to auto-summon something with high casting roll, like morghasts. Useful enough.
 
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#16
Update! GH Errata says:
"Page 108 – Reinforcement Points
Add the following to the end of the second paragraph:
‘Reinforcement units must belong to the same Grand
Alliance as the rest of your army, but can otherwise have
any allegiance. Because restrictions are determined
when you pick your army, units added later using
reinforcement points can allow the army to exceed the
normal limitations for leaders, artillery and behemoths.’"

So, summoning can be used as a way to add something to your army that would otherwise break your allegiance (not so useful now, but may become later, when deathrattle, deathwalker, deathmage, nighthaunt and deathlords battletomes will be released).

It also can be used to squeeze extra restricted units into your army (leaders, behemoths and artillery). The most obvious use is to summon extra cairn wraiths and banshees while having maximum number of leaders, both to have extra sources of Deathless Minions trait and for their own abilities (banshee scream makes her ideal for summoning!).

On the other hand, Zombo Dragon and T-gheist summoning is still under question.
 

Demian

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#17
I found somewhat of a loop hole in the AoS App, where the Beasts of the Grave have assigned point values (same as Flesh-Eaters, really)!

It should be legal, since it also includes the points from the Monstrous Arcanum and all...
 
Joined
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#18
I found somewhat of a loop hole in the AoS App, where the Beasts of the Grave have assigned point values (same as Flesh-Eaters, really)!

It should be legal, since it also includes the points from the Monstrous Arcanum and all...
Great news, thank you!
 

Oppenheimer

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#19
I found somewhat of a loop hole in the AoS App, where the Beasts of the Grave have assigned point values (same as Flesh-Eaters, really)!

It should be legal, since it also includes the points from the Monstrous Arcanum and all...
Can you tell me what they do with Krell's points then? Do they use the wight king with black axe's points?
What do they do with Neferata's batallion from Balance of Power?
 

Demian

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#20
Sorry, he has just a dash and a "Not yet available" mark... so we can only hope we get a Skeletal monster with him on top in a near expansion!
 
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#21
Points costing for krell would be nice.....
When we started playing AOS we really didn't read the rules properly. On my last game a chaos player pointed out to me the spell casting restrictions... I went away and thought about it. Just made me come up with a new strategy.... In big games Nagash can still summon units they just have to be all different. Given the restriction on how many time a spell can be cast per turn aswell.... I have a rematch in a few weeks so I will let you know if my new strategy works and if the restrictions on summoning and spell casting are that much of a game changer.
 

Oppenheimer

Crypt Horror
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#22
Points costing for krell would be nice.....
When we started playing AOS we really didn't read the rules properly. On my last game a chaos player pointed out to me the spell casting restrictions... I went away and thought about it. Just made me come up with a new strategy.... In big games Nagash can still summon units they just have to be all different. Given the restriction on how many time a spell can be cast per turn aswell.... I have a rematch in a few weeks so I will let you know if my new strategy works and if the restrictions on summoning and spell casting are that much of a game changer.
You still have to set tons of reinforcement points aside though which is kind of pointless when you could just field them at the start.
 
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