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Topic of the Week - Shades
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 - Shades
Are these worth the slot they take up? What options do you use and why? What are the best uses and tactics for this unit?
Scouts with great weapons are nice. It is also a good place for assassins.
There is that old trick of placing them exactly 10'' from an important enemy unit and placing an assassin with them (out of line of sight as scouts must be), and then reveal your assassin just in line of sight to the enemy. That way you can charge with great weapons on the first turn.
One tactic I've been experimenting with lately is using Shades as a bodyguard for a sorceress. It's a very flexible formation and surprisingly durable to enemy shooting (with good use of Chillwind). They can't scout if you do that, of course, but if your opponent manages to prevent all good scouting opportunities then this is a nice alternative use.
I've never had good luck putting an assassin in a Shades unit. Frankly, I regard the option as a liability, as my opponent gives Shades more attention then he otherwise would. I'd much rather have my Shades be ignored long enough to contest a table corner than expend the entire unit as an assassin catapult. Not to mention how such turn 1 charges have nothing backing them up...no CR, no endurance, no real leadership, no allies...
"My tanks have names, my men have numbers." -Col. Edmund Grahvess, 23rd Kronecker Prison Guard
1st turn combat is not how I would normally use the assassin shade body guard. I would use it to get the assassin in his 12" rending star range early. The manbane rending star assassin dishes out death against small expensive support units like nothing else. 3 shots that hit on 2s wounds anything equal or less than T5 on 2s... Yeah, the shades are a great delivery system for him, and are really dangerous on their own for the price. WS 5 BS 5 skirmishers with scout and 2 shots and the ability to take GW is just an amazing unit.
Shades are one of the best special units we've got, they're can be used against nearly all enemies. Their only downsides are the low armour save and the fact that getting a damn bloodshade costs one point less than just gettting an extra model, which sort of nullifies the point. Plus the great weapons thing doesn't really work on larger units. I like to give them repeater crossbows and target war machines or isolated scorcerors, etc.
Worshipper of Dice
Last game: Victory Dark Elves vs High Elves & Orcs & Goblins
WDL: Dark Elves:37/6/8 Space Marines:7/3/3
My question to throw at this topic is will the changes to skirmishers in 8th ed effect how we use shades?
"Should take you a while though because of your sloth like pace"
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I've seen shades do very effective work vs the Empire in 7th edition. They do really well at clearing out war machine crews. I saw a unit of 6 shades with their repeater crossbows from round 1 to round 3 wipe out via shooting 3 war machine crews. At first the Empire player thought he could ignore them on round 1 as his army was on the advance. By the end of round 1 his Mortar crew was dead. By the end of round two, when he turned to bring a captain on a pegasus back to deal with it the Great cannon crew was dead, and by round 3 when he was directing magic to deal with it, the other great cannon crew was dead.
The assassin trick should no longer work under 8th edition rules which may alter some perceptions on their use.
Fantasy: Wood Elves, Dark Elves, Beastmen and Tomb Kings.
LotR: Misty Mountains and Rohan