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rory
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PostSubject: restless dead and undead tactics   Sat 28 Feb 2015 - 7:17

He guys,

I was wondering what you guys do when playing the restless dead or if you just play the normal undead, what your tactics are? I am mainly concerned with the longterm plan for these warbands. How do you guys view this? Which henchemn do you buy or not? Which skills do you concentrate on?

I guess my main point especially for the restless dead is, are they viable in the longterm? Wont you get shot to pieces with your slow models? It seems to me most of the necromancy spells are geared towards boosting your minions, or that the enemy has to take a test to get wouned by your spell. No straight forwards blasts.

Regards,

Rory
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PostSubject: Re: restless dead and undead tactics   Sun 1 Mar 2015 - 16:00

Hi Rory,

I can only speak for the Undead with this, but my one overriding strategy in all running campaigns I've been in has been to keep the vampire in as good a shape as possible. I strictly avoid sending it into combat unless I have a clear statistical advantage. Try to get as much experience for it as possible by collecting wyrdstones and other easy things, and preying on stuff that is weak and vulnerable to fear. My favourite moment of payoff for this strategy was not very long ago when my vampire hit 90 experience while the other warband leaders were meandering about on 50-60. My vampire then proceeded to demolish the majority of a possessed warband on her own. I still lost due to the scenario, though...  Surprised

It's also important to have a couple of healthy groups of ghouls up and running to get you that sixth hero and hopefully some S4/A3 henchmen. Strength and speed skills are a very good match for a ghoul hero, assuming you're letting it use mighty blow with its unarmed but unpenalized attacks.

I've always found dire wolves quite useful also, mostly for trapping any straggling enemies or just putting some force multipliers into an ongoing combat. You can have them advancing up on one side of the board and then suddenly charge over to the other side with their great charge range. Don't send them in on their own, since they're unlikely to actually take something out of action by themselves.

Edit: I'd be very interested in seeing a report or something of a restless dead warband and how they're doing in the mid and end game of a campaign. It's a warband I've been interested in playing but I haven't actually taken the plunge yet.
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Caledore
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PostSubject: Re: restless dead and undead tactics   Sun 1 Mar 2015 - 16:48

I'm mid-campaign with my Restless Dead, and here's some thoughts:

For henchmen, always use all 3 Wights, since they are your sole xp earning henchmen. I'd also recommend both scarecrows. They are relatively fast, tough against shooting, and decent in combat. They are good for pouncing on stragglers, particularly lone shooters.

For the remaining henchmen, I prefer zombies - however, I do have Reanimation, which is much better for zombies over skeletons. Without that spell, skeletons are better - until you get Corpse Bomb. And I'd recommend getting Corpse Bomb as soon as you can, maybe delaying it for a spell (I took it on my necro after getting Reanimation as a second spell). It can do a ton of damage and it tends to scare opponents.

Deathspeaker is another skill to look at as it helps boost your numbers, with d3 zombies every fight. Just keep in mind Deathspeaker zombies cannot become Corpse Bombs.

Shooting can be tough to go against. Go slowly, use terrain, and hide a lot. Zombies make good screens but don't always help if there's a lot of elevation for enemy shooters. You want to be careful, but sometimes you have to risk exposing models to shooting - it can't be avoided.

Also get used to basically auto-losing scenarios that require a lot of movement. The slow speed is very painful at times.

That said, I've found the warband pretty strong in other areas. Nearly everything causes fear, which has won me battles. A well-placed Corpse Bomb can decimate enemies. The Wight Blades make the Grave Guard very strong in close combat.

Most notably, the Liche can get nigh-unkillable. I had mine devour headstone regularly early on, and he's already at the max of 8 wounds - my opponents almost never target him because he can take so much damage. Sure, a lot of focus fire and crits can take him down, but my opponents rarely bother. That leaves him free to raise zombies and take down models with spells (Reanimation and Living Horror).

They've definitely been viable for me in my campaign so far. But do keep in mind they can be very frustrating to play due to the ridiculous lack of speed. They are very strong in other areas to compensate, but it will sometimes lose scenarios for you.
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PostSubject: Re: restless dead and undead tactics   Sun 1 Mar 2015 - 17:25

I haven't played Restless Dead myself, but have a player using them in the campaign I'm running. He's gone for maximum numbers of Wights and Scarecrows, equipped the Wights with Halberds and Great Weapons and gone for the skills that make them tougher, eg Step Aside & Resilient. The warband numbers are filled out with Zombies, and he's got Deathspeaker for both Lich and Necromancer so there's often quite a lot of them. He generally advances as a slow-moving horde, with a small group of Zombies advancing ahead of the main group. One of these will be a corpse bomb, who will get pushed ahead of the pack with a Call of Vanhels spell when the opponent gets into range. The remaining Zombie horde will then absorb charges (being immune to stun makes them difficult to put down) and the Wights counter-charge.

Their main drawback is that they're very slow. They won't do well in Wyrdstone hunts or against mobile ranged warbands. We just played the Siege! scenario in the campaign, and his Restless Dead allied with some Scourge of the Realm Orcs against the Norse Scion of Chaos and my Lure of Fortune Chaos Dwarfs over who would get to the walls first. We had an epic clash before the walls of the city, with the Chaos Alliance proving victorious as the Restless Dead had deployed behind the Orcs and couldn't move quickly enough to back them up when they got attacked by two warbands (this helped the Celstial Protectorate guys massively, as by the end none of us was strong enough to take the city...)
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PostSubject: Re: restless dead and undead tactics   Sun 1 Mar 2015 - 22:57

Nice, thanks for sharing your experiences!

One thing I've been bothered by with the restless dead warband is that when you're filled up on heroes, wights and scarecrows you only have 2 spots left in your warband. If you want to use a corpse bomb there's only going to be 2 different zombies that can possibly be it and your opponent is going to know which ones those 2 are, since deathspeaker is used just before the match starts. Is this how you've been playing it as well? And also, do you play that corpse bombs detonate when they are in base contact with the enemy or as soon as the charge is declared? The former makes it a lot more reliable than the latter.
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PostSubject: Re: restless dead and undead tactics   Mon 2 Mar 2015 - 6:04

MasterSpark wrote:
One thing I've been bothered by with the restless dead warband is that when you're filled up on heroes, wights and scarecrows you only have 2 spots left in your warband. If you want to use a corpse bomb there's only going to be 2 different zombies that can possibly be it and your opponent is going to know which ones those 2 are, since deathspeaker is used just before the match starts. Is this how you've been playing it as well?

This is a bit of an issue, though since I have Reanimation, it's less of a problem since I can keep bringing back the zombies (as the Corpse Bomb doesn't detonate if they are taken OoA, only if they charge/are charged).

Summoner helps, if you can get it on both the Liche and Necromancer. That way you can have 4 zombies, which keeps your opponent guessing a lot more. It's a pretty heavy skill investment though. I could see how Summoner might be a better first choice over Deathspeaker - you (usually) get less zombies, but the Summoner zombie can be a bomb, so that might tip the scales.

I have considered dropping one of my 2 scarecrows for a third zombie since I don't have Summoner on either hero yet, but I find the scarecrow is too valuable. I had 3 zombies and 1 scarecrow for a while, and I feel I still get more value out of the 2 scarecrows. Your mileage may vary if you don't have Reanimation however.

Quote :
And also, do you play that corpse bombs detonate when they are in base contact with the enemy or as soon as the charge is declared? The former makes it a lot more reliable than the latter.

We play the former. The latter interpretation, while I can see how it could be interpreted that way, would make it pretty terrible - more of a detriment than anything.
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PostSubject: Re: restless dead and undead tactics   Mon 2 Mar 2015 - 12:10

All right, that all sounds reasonable to me. Restless dead strikes me as a very skill-dependant warband with both the liche and necromancer in mind. I can just imagine the frustration of rolling yet another initiative or leadership advance on your necromancer or liche instead of getting such goods as summoner, deathspeaker, corpse bomb, forbidden rite, sorcery and additional necromancy spells. Sad
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PostSubject: Re: restless dead and undead tactics   Sun 12 Apr 2015 - 20:26

You are right, they are very skill dependent. And I have gotten somewhat frustrated with my multiple WS advances for my Liche...

I haven't even had enough skill rolls for Deathspeaker or Summoner. My Necro has gotten 2 (Reanimation and Corpse Bomb) and 1 on my Liche (Sorcery, which in hindsight I'd rather have had Deathspeaker). My Liche has racked up a good deal of kills with Living Horror and gotten a multiple advances, but I just can't get skills on him, and it's definitely super frustrating! So I suppose that's another difficulty to keep in mind...they do not reach their full potential without a fair amount of skill advances.
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PostSubject: Re: restless dead and undead tactics   Mon 13 Apr 2015 - 4:30

Thanks for the update, Caledore.

One other thing I've seen and found strange with the restless dead is, and this has to be an error, that their reanimation spell only brings back zombies that were lost in the previous close combat phase. So if they're shot down there's no coming back for them? That would kill that use of the spell pretty much completely, in my mind. Have you found an errata or something for it or have you just changed it in your group?

Edit: The original undead had the same restrictions in their reanimation spell but it was later changed to also include the shooting phase, so I think that should apply to the restless dead as well.
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PostSubject: Re: restless dead and undead tactics   Mon 13 Apr 2015 - 7:19

MasterSpark wrote:
Edit: The original undead had the same restrictions in their reanimation spell but it was later changed to also include the shooting phase, so I think that should apply to the restless dead as well.

It definitely should.
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PostSubject: Re: restless dead and undead tactics   Mon 13 Apr 2015 - 8:57

MasterSpark wrote:
Thanks for the update, Caledore.

One other thing I've seen and found strange with the restless dead is, and this has to be an error, that their reanimation spell only brings back zombies that were lost in the previous close combat phase. So if they're shot down there's no coming back for them? That would kill that use of the spell pretty much completely, in my mind. Have you found an errata or something for it or have you just changed it in your group?

Edit: The original undead had the same restrictions in their reanimation spell but it was later changed to also include the shooting phase, so I think that should apply to the restless dead as well.

Good catch. I hadn't even noticed that wording before, so I've been bringing them back if they were taken out in the shooting phase as well. It would be pretty ineffective otherwise.

I agree that it should apply to both - I would guess it was an oversight in the RD warband. It is possible it was intentional to balance the healing ability Reanimation has for Wights / Grave Guard in the Restless Dead, but I think it's more likely it was a mistake.
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PostSubject: Re: restless dead and undead tactics   Thu 3 Sep 2015 - 23:06

One other thing I've thought about, do you use a lot of bows with the restless dead warband? It doesn't feel as cinematic for a slowly crawling horde of undead to be raining down arrows from afar but at the same time I figure you'll need something to put the pressure on your opponent's movement. Since you're stuck with moving normally anyway you might as well have a bow on anything that can shoot, right?
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PostSubject: Re: restless dead and undead tactics   Sun 6 Sep 2015 - 7:55

I don't use bows at all. Other than the Necromancer, anyone who can use one has a lousy BS of 2. If they're moving, that's a 6 to hit, and only if the target is in short range and not in cover. Plus I'd never want to take a BS advance over WS on a Wight or Grave Guard.

The Necromancer might make sense to have one, with BS 3 and likely having a situational spell. I haven't bothered though and it hasn't been an issue, as we have plenty of terrain to avoid large amounts of shooting.

Ultimately I don't bother as much for thematic reasons as gameplay reasons. My group isn't ultra competitive however, so your mileage may vary.
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PostSubject: Re: restless dead and undead tactics   Sun 6 Sep 2015 - 8:54

Alright, I've just been worried about the risk of getting caught in a nightmare scenario where you're up against something like skaven and they can just use their higher movement and ranged weapons to stay out of your charge ranges until you've been decimated. Since you can't run you can't really close the distance, although the terrain might be helpful enough. Or maybe the scarecrows are enough to help out in these situations?
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PostSubject: Re: restless dead and undead tactics   Thu 10 Sep 2015 - 7:27

MasterSpark my Undead Warband recently defeated a Skaven warband playing the Middle Bridge scenario. Although the scenario made things easier for me in regards to facing sling fire with the fog rule, careful movement and tactics can make it easier to fight Skaven.

I always take as many Ghouls as I can and use 2-3 of these in a group to swamp a single target, hoping they will fail their fear test. My Vampire is typically armed with a double-handed sword and is backed up by Dregs and Ghouls, I often throw my Vamp and Dregs into combat with an exposed hero or henchmen again hoping they fail their fear test.

Facing slings can be tricky, especially as Undead don't really have any missle troops, although the sling special rule for firing twice makes any Skaven armed with slings vulnerable to Necromancers with the Spell of Doom (12 inch range) who have zombies or any other henchmen in front of them. My tactics are often just to try and take out as many enemy heroes and hope they choose to flee. I find slings encourage aggressive tactics from my opponent as they try to whittle down my warband before engaging.

I'd rather face Skaven than Reiklanders with lots of crossbow or longbow marksmen.
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PostSubject: Re: restless dead and undead tactics   Thu 10 Sep 2015 - 8:52

Matharic, thanks, but I was actually talking about the Restless Dead. I know that Undead have all the necessary tools to defeat shooters, but the RD with their lack of speed risk running into some dead ends.

Swarming people with ghouls is great though. Remember that the enemy needs to take one fear test for every charging ghoul. Smile
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PostSubject: Re: restless dead and undead tactics   Thu 10 Sep 2015 - 9:44

Ah, I haven't played with Restless Dead, although they look interesting if slow. I suppose rolling and getting Call of Vanhel could help with mobility issues a bit. Are they a fun warband to play with?

Multiple fear tests is something I nearly always forget about and was debated in my last game with the Undead, must remember to get my opponent to take one test for every charging ghoul!
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PostSubject: Re: restless dead and undead tactics   Sun 13 Sep 2015 - 8:49

Not one of the warbands I play frequently, but I have run them a few times and have generally found them effective. The original undead warband, that is.

I tend to be aggressive with the vampire, but try to toss him into melee only with henchman support. Since I almost never take UD henchmen besides ghouls, that means he usually has a T4 ghoul at his side.

What I tend to protect, early on, are the dregs. They are of course terrible initially, but like all youngblood types they have tremendous potential as they advance, and they are 60% of your starting heroes (in most warbands they are 40%).
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PostSubject: Re: restless dead and undead tactics   Today at 17:48

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