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This is the start of a new series, that will hopefully bring new ideas and tactics to the forums. Each week, a new topic will be posted up about a different unit in the army book. This gives you your chance to discuss the unit to its fullest. So, please leave your comment!
This week's topic is - Assassin
What unit do you hide him in? Do you take him? What options and gifts do you give him? What are the best ones for him? Is he cost effective? Tactics?
Well.. Let me kick start this thread then...
Manbane+Rending Stars.. One of my favorite combos.. S7 throwing stars vs T5+.. takes out dragons,vamps and other high T foes in a swoop..
The manbane and rending star combo can be devastating in a shade unit. With lucky deployment on your opponents end you can get early wounds on large targets, characters, or other tough to kill models. Can even throw in the Cloak of Darkness if you already have decent magic.
Another good combo, although more expensive is Rune of Khaine, Touch of Death, and black lotus. This is the cookie-cutter character and tough model (chaos knight) killing build. I usually place this guy in my Spearmen flank holding unit (especially if they have a enemy characer with calvalry). Can go in any unit you are expecting to get into character combat with.
The two builds already named are pretty much the only way I would consider using assassins. The manbane one is most likely to be more efficient because it can be killing things as early as turn 1, and kills things at range that DE usually struggle to kill. The other build is really quite good, but less likely to get its full points back because it is expensive, and will only be in combat 1-2 turns a game usually. The other builds generally aren't nearly as effective.
The rending star one goes in shades pretty much every time, so he can scout into his relatively short range. The other one usually goes with spear warriors to give them CC potential. Or I use him to guard the BSB when I go with the Nagarythe unbreakable warrior block. (7-8 SCR + a master with GW and assassin with blender kit? this is a nasty unit.)
I usually only take 1 assassin at most, since they are costly and very specialized. If you take more than one it becomes pretty obvious because you lack the model count that you should have... I can point out a DE army usually just by looking at it and can tell if there is double assassin, but 1 assassin is harder to spot points wise.
You don't actually have to tell your enemy you have one until he gets revealed?
No, but it has to be written down and accounted for pointwise in an army list and noted what unit he is hidden within.
Fantasy: Wood Elves, Dark Elves, Beastmen and Tomb Kings.
LotR: Misty Mountains and Rohan
Assassins are usually a mandatory part of my list for any game 1750+
But I do try to vary his role depending on what army I'm facing.
The Manbane + Rending Stars is usually what I go for, but if i have the points I'll go for the cloak of twilight. DO not underestimate the Cloak of Twilight!!!! No one ever expects the flying assassin, especially after you've burned off all of their dispel dice with a predictable magic phase...I like to watch the blood drain from my opponents face when I manage to get him into CC with that high level wizard he has couched far behind his line..or have him land behind his ranged units....go after a war machine....Kill off low level CC heroes. He has the potential to really screw up your opponent's game plan by running amok in behind the scenes. If you time things right, the opponent probably wont be able to afford to turn around to face the lowly assassin.
I never use the "Named" assassin....I don't feel that he's worth the points.....I'd like to at some point.....i just haven't really had an opportunity to use him yet.
I don't ever list tailor, so my assassin builds are based on the premise of all comers list building because I mostly play in tourneys or pick up games at the FLGS. If I played in a mighty empires campaign, or narrative campaign, I might do differently.
I'm not a fan of cloak assassins. Assassins in the open or alone are dead assassins. Sometimes it is worth it to snag that wizard, war machine, or character, but usually the assassin usually is best protected by ablative wounds. They just are too costly most of the time to run them out against the types of units that would be seriously threatened (and actually be exposed)
It works against people you haven't done it against, or against newer players, but usually people don't put 150+ units or characters who can get chumped by an assassin out in the open for you to do so. At least not against DE who also have shooting and magic to stop such foolishness. (though it is amazing at low points against VC players who are often careless with the general at hero level games, or against tomb kings who have a problem with finding a safe place for his mandatory lich priest)
I distinguish between the Rending Star build and the Manbane build. With a metagame heavily focused on Lizardmen, Ogres, Trolls and Chaos Knights, my assassins forego Killing Blow and ranged combat in favor of Manbane and +D3 attacks in order to push through all of the armor, ward saves and wounds of a typical opponent. (I call the Manbane Star the 'Holy Hand Grenade' build and, frankly, consider it powergaming if used against chariots.)
I vaguely remember trying out the Cloak Assassin once. As I recall, I thought I could challenge a battle standard bearer in a block, kill him (possibly after having to kill the unit champ; an acceptable risk, I thought, since my assassin wouldn't be taking any wounds himself) and maybe even rout the unit into the bargain. My opponent didn't try to stop my cloak charge to his flank, which is the point at which I got worried. He then used the unit champ. My assassin did a couple wounds, killing him, and then failed an SCR-imposed Ld 7 test. Haven't tried a second time.
"My tanks have names, my men have numbers." -Col. Edmund Grahvess, 23rd Kronecker Prison Guard