Friday, 5 July 2013

ETC Lists: Tzeentch Screamer Councils BE PREPARED!


Four of the "ones to watch" at the ETC this year. The ETC is the European Team Championships for those that are unaware.
An international event which hosts team of 8 players (plus a "9th player"/coach) from all over the world to compete in a team tournament over 3 whole days of gaming.

Now the reason I've highlighted these 4, and the topic of this post in the title, is because they have all opted to include as one of their 8 lists a Chaos Demons list which sports a very particular unit and combination of units, powers and wargear.

These 4 are "big countries" in the ETC, Poland win the thing all the time!!! Except for last year when the UK boys brought it home, I wasn't part of the set up then, but am now and hope to bring it home again...

It's interesting that 4 very solid countries have all opted to include certain armies and a certain combo... So enough cock teasing.. what is this combo? Will it destroy us all? Is it the End of Days?


No. No, it isn't the End of Days, but it's DAMN COOL! And effective as well..and I'm pissed I didn't think of it!

Whilst other countries, such as the good ol' US of A, have gone for the FMC Spam/allied Black Mace Prince/Heldrake lists - these countries have brought out the TZEENTCH SCREAMER COUNCIL.

What is this concept? How does it work? If this was a unique and original concept, I'd keep quiet..but it clearly isn't and it'll be hitting game tables near you VERY SOON! Be prepared!

I was told about it BEFORE the ETC lists were released to the teams by fellow Son, Gary "The Voice" Percival who had discussed it/learnt about it from UK tournament player extraordinaire Andy Oakham. And clearly this is not something that is unique to Andy, but credit where credit is due and I'd not considered it for my own CD army so...Thanks. on to find out about it...especially if you are one of the resurgent Tau generals...

The premise is simple.
Screamers are fast, they are still quite deadly however they are not that resilient on their own. Sure they have an invulnerable save, a turbo boost save and W2..and as Demons of Tzeentch (DoT) they reroll saving throws of 1... but it isn't a game changer.

But what if we think about the combination of units that could make them better.

Screamers are jetbikes, so Disc Tz Heralds can keep pace - they have access to Level 3 Psychic powers and Divination just makes Screamers BETTER:

1)Prescience rerolls their hits. Damn useful for when you need to exchange for the S5/AP2 attack, when its only 9 of those attacks, you need each one to hit! These are of course vs small elite units (Broadsides? Riptides? Termies even..) or naturally vs vehicles due to the Armour Bane USR they come with. Prescience of course also helps with hordes, each Screamer has 4 attacks on the charge, not incredible, but certainly decent.

2) Misfortune - rerolls successful saves on the enemy. Very nice especially vs Riptides with 5++ save and against targets with a crap save to begin with - Tau Kroot, Orks, Nids etc. This helps make those limited number of attacks even better as it maximises the damage they cause.

3) Forewarning - gives the unit a 4++ save... better already soon as we are rerolling ones anyway.. can you see it coming?

OK, so very decent so far, but not uber.

Next, move away to the Exalted Gifts your Heralds) of Tzeentch carries ... The Grimoire of True Names - on a 3+ roll a unit in question (your choice of unit) gets a +2 bonus to their Invulnerable save.. For the Screamers who have a 4++ they now have a 2++ save, rerolling the 1's...

Massed Fortuned Shadowfields that don't fail anyone?

So now.. Tau gunlines can shoot all day and not kill a single Screamer. Then they get multicharged and destroyed... not necessarily by the Screamers, but also by the other units which then sweep in once the Tau are wrapped up in combat and can't Overwatch the living shit out of the incoming assaulters.

Negative Point One:  This is not guaranteed.

Despite a Herald of Tzeentch having 3 rolls on the Divination table they are not certain to get it... a 1/6, then 1/5 then 1/4 chance gives something like a 61% chance of 1 Herald getting the ONE necessary powers to make this work - Forewarning.

Solution: Run 2/3/4/ Heralds of Tzeentch! And voila ..... The Tzeentch Scremaer Council is borne.

Negative Point Two: This is NOT guaranteed!

Grimoire requires a 3+.
How many fucking times have you desperately needed a fucking 3+ to win a game or make a crucial saving throw! Or on the other side of the board for an opponent to FAIL a fucking 3+ to win the game/tournament!! Too many.

Solution: Fateweaver! Whoot! a 300 point REROLL machine... gets a single reroll per player turn. Guess what that gets used for?

Negative Point Three: Still NOT FUCKING GUARANTEED!
And this is what makes it a strong, but FUN unit. Depsite potentially 12 rolls on Divination AND the Grimoire statistically likely to go off on its own AND Fateweaver granting a reroll of the 3+ making it ~83% likely to go off... it may NOT work.

Negative Point Four: OK.. I get it.. but it has no shooting!

Haha.. not true.. Each Herald can grab a cheeky roll on Tzeentch's Change Discipline gaining Flickering Fire of Tzeentch.. combined with the Exalted Locus they can now fire up to 4D6 S6 shots each with the benefit of potentially Prescience and Perfect Timing to ignore cover. This is at up to an effective range of 36" with jetbike movement and 24" casting range. This can, of course, be denied.

In the shooting phase.. but typically only turns 1 and 5+, your Screamer may find themselves Turbo Boosting for position or contesting and can therefore utilise their Slash Attacks.. 9D3 S4 attacks is decent, especially when they auto hit and the unit in question could be misfortuned.

Negative Point Five: It's too much overkill OR you have no solid targets.

This is a very real possibility in tournament play. You've simply got too much Screamer and not enough valid targets.. OK then...BUT you do need to contest units. In the same way that Tau troops are not that mobile and actually not that good (honest) at holding numerous objectives and therefore they need to contest using JSJ tactics via Riptide (which makes it so good.. not its damage output but its versatility) and Crisis units... well... Demon troops are kinda the same.
So you need to:
a) Linebreak
b) Contest a fuck load of objectives.. go second, stay back, power up, wreck face.. then T5, split off all the Heralds and the Screamers and go for up to 5 seperate contests and/or linebreaks. Or go first, rinse repeat and then T5+ lob the Screamers into multiple objectives to contest several using their speed and unit size.

There is always a use for it...

Negative Point Six: You have to build around it.

Yes you do, you are investing up to 500 points in Heralds and 225 points in Screamers, then really.. 300 in Fateweaver (but you'd take him anyway as the little chicken man is a right PITA lol) - so it all mounts up.. But Demons don't need a lot in troops especially combined with the Porta-Potty of Troopage (last game I played I claimed two 3-point objectives with a single demonette and 3 Plaguebearers.. sweet) and therefore they can just mindlessly slaughter the fuck out of people.. Hounds I think fit nicely here.. the Screamer Council can tie things up and then the Hounds can come in and really clean it out..especially if you go for big multicharges with the Council, then the engaged units can't overwatch the Hounds to death.
Soul Grinders with Slaanesh are popular to keep pace, provide Skyfire (not too bad with Prescience and Perfect Timing) and smash up bigger ticket items.. but I'm not a fan personally.
Demon Princes are more my cup of tea, but they simply cost too much to run at the same time.
You can try and run a diluted/friendly/milder Screamer Council with 3 Princes, Fateweaver and just one Herald and 9 Screamers, which can work but you are very reliant to negative points 1-3...

Secret Negative Seven - Mindstrike Missiles hurt the Heralds! Sssshhh! Don't tell! ;)

Try it - I've tried it 4 times now against a variety of builds and I very much enjoy it. It's a nice distraction away from my ETC Nids.. a very different build type! lol Hope you've enjoyed the read..

I will plunder the world's ETC lists over the next month or so as part of my preperation for the tournament and fill everyone in on the 'top' players lists..


  1. totally called it :P

    also, this is just my idea so totes want credit if it works the bomg.. i was thinking slannesh furies :P ... keep pace and rend the shit out of those existing combats. Its pretty easy to try and make sure not too many return attacks are directed at the squishy furies. Plus you get massive bored control their cheap as shit. Lets you get yet more things in the list. For example

    Fateweaver -300

    Herald Of Tzeentch (45p), Disc (25p), lvl 3 (50p), Exalted Reward (30p), 150

    HeraldOf Tzeentch (45p), Disc (25p), lvl 3 (50p), Exalted Reward (30p) - 150

    Herald Of Tzeentch (45p), Disc (25p), lvl 3 (50p) -120

    10 horrors - character dude- 95
    10 horrors - 90
    10 horrors - 90

    18 slan furies - 149
    17 slan furies - 141
    9 Screamers of Tzeentch - 225

    grinder of tzeentch with phlem - 170
    grinder of tzeentch with phlem - 170

    you get the fast pace and get get some fire support in which doesnt have to be slannesh now as it doesnt have run to keep pace. Gives you options vs flyers and thin blobs out early game too.

    1. or just keep the slan grinders with the flamer, totes the same price :)

    2. I should proof read. My grammar sucks fucking ass sometimes. :/

    3. See my current set up with this is:
      3 Tz Heralds
      Khorne Herald
      9 Screamers
      15 Khorne Hounds
      15 Khorne Hounds

      just.. cause I have them! I'm converting up my 3rd Herald (which I don't have) and the Screamers I am scratch building and BOOM.. done! Cheap.Effective and totally NOT boring *cough* my poor, lovely, boring, missile spam Tau *cough* or ETC Horde/Psychic Nids

    4. Yea i do like a jugger herald in the 4th herald spot too. To combine said ideas you could end up with this too;
      3 heralds as above
      jugger herald with greater gift (for the ap weapon) and fury
      3 spodling troops
      9 screamers
      20 hounds
      20 slan furies

      Go on try em.. they totally catch people off guard :)

    5. with prescience on them ,assuming none died..(but then if they got shot then pfft who cares) you get about 5/6 rends or 4 ish wounds on a rip ride (or any mc to be fair). compared to about the same for flesh hounds but HALF the price :)

  2. furies are cool but can lose combat rather easily to anything that's half decent, and they have like LD6 so you're gonna lose a fuck ton to instability :S and as the council isn't worth attacking they're the next targetable threat.
    some things I noticed to do against this sort of list from playing it is go for the grimoire herald (obviously) with precision shots (s6 ones, which aren't hard to come by) and Fateweaver
    losing either of those and the council is automatically useless.
    or cast your own grimoire on them ;)

    it'll catch a lot of people out who have never played it/heard about it before, especially all them annoying tau players. but once you knows the linch pins to the army and take them out it becomes really weak really quickly


    1. So is the tau counter to start adding the wargear that gives precision shots to models maybe? I dont think it will but its worth a thought

    2. I'm pretty sure they are Ld2! PDF says that anyway! A FUCK ton of instability!
      S6 won't instagib the herald as he goes T4 from jetbike unit type no?

      I agree it is a guerrilla warfare army... Shock tactics and surprise are its main weapons.. The biggest lynch pin for me is the Grimoire Herald of course..but he can be protected and LoS! Most stuff..

      The precision shots on 5's for Tau is decent as an option, but only applicable to certain units anyway..and not that useful to take up a hard point on most units that can take it...

    3. Shock and Awe ...... Shock and bloody Awe. I've been running Dog Bomb with Slanesh Grinders or Fateboy Circus. I can't wait to put this on the table.

  3. Screamers have a 5+ inv as have the daemon rule. So they will get a 3+ inv save. Still nothing to sneeze at though.

    1. You cast Forewarning as I said in the article Merc... for a 4++

  4. Indeed, furies are ld2 so need a herald in there to be useful. And heralds on disc are t4 because of the jetbike armoured steed rule. Yours is very simular to my list Andy!, except I just use the hounds as kill me kill me units espically if I dont get first turn.

  5. Really great article - right on, from top to bottom.

    Okay, that's a general comment - but it's true and I ain't a bot!