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.
Now...read 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:
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..