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    Ushabti, Lore vs Stats vs Effectiveness.

    I was just reading through the book and when I came upon the Page for the Ushabti lore I was amazed to read how awe inspiring and awesome these guys are supposed to be. But when I reflect what has been written by the author to what the stats are for the unit and the points cost per model I'm curious as to why they are so weak in terms of strength and toughness? I mean when the author writes:
    "Ushabti stride throught the battlefield like gods of war, infused with the temperament and strength of their form's pantheon deity. Their Statuesque bodies can withstand enormous damage, and they are incredibly strong. With a single hand, an Ushabti is capable of crushing an enemies steel helmet, and it's contents, with contemptuous ease."

    Now that doesn't sound like something that has the S and T equal to say our Tomb Gaurd.

    And given the current stats, how effective would you say these guys are now? Especially in combination with our new spell line up?


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    Son of LO Marnepup's Avatar
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    ~shrug~ Taken in isolation, they kind of suck for the points. What I think they're good for is pounding the flank of a unit that's tarpitted by core skittles. Thing is, the skittles can, when properly augmented (by melee characters and/or magic) hold their own, and slowly grind an enemy unit down, since they can heal and the enemy can't...but for a quicker victory, which could allow you to seek a secondary victim and will almost certainly save you (since tarpitting works both ways) from being outflanked yourself, you need a hammer unit. If you take their great weapons into account, as well as their pip of M and WS, an ushabti isn't terribly overpriced when compared to three TG. Actually, since they only need three to form a rank, they're relatively compact by comparison, which enhances their value a little, too. Six ushabti put out 12 S6 attacks over roughly the same front as TG with halberds put out 10 S5 attacks, and they do it at WS4, not WS3. That's a pretty hefty difference! What they contribute to the fight in terms of high quality melee attacks is virtually irreplacable.

    Necroknights put out some serious pain, too...but they take up SOOOOOO much space that they have to either work the flanks or disorder your lines...plus, the models are sinfully stupid in appearance and concept, kinda like the IG rough riders (um, SLOW horse cavalry with "weapons" that act like a stick of dynamite on the end of a fishing rod? In the age of plasma cannons???) For a high output of high quality melee attacks from a compact unit, there's no replacement for ushabti. That said, I don't use them

    As for the fluff...the army book doesn't match the fiction...per the Nagash series, Ushabti was the proper name in life for those who in death are called "tomb guard." So...from that perspective, complaining that TG and ushabti are both S/T 4 is kind of humorous.
    Last edited by Marnepup; July 28th, 2011 at 05:00.
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    Senior Member Karrain's Avatar
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    Bowshabti are also a decent choice, about 8 of them can pound a war machine into submission each turn and begin to take on enemy units if Smiting is cast on them.
    I'm experimenting with ahw Ushabti at the moment, a unit of 5 in the flank of an enemy unit dishes out 20 attacks and 5 more stomps, all at strength 4, the fact that they'll still strike at the same time as most infantry also helps. This might not necessarily break through a unit, but after the ensuing combat and inexperienced player did once panic and fire off a few cannons at them, the unit was blasted to alabaster chunks, but the rest of my army had been spared a fullisade that I didn't have an answer to.
    "Take their gold, burn their homes, kill their familes and enslave their souls. Show them no mercy...oh and could you post these letters while you're out?"
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    Well I just read something that made me just a little bit sad, especially when it comes to Ushabti. I wasn't aware that they had a cap on the amount of supporting attacks that the second rank of monstrous infantry could attack with. This, to me, seems to limit my options with these guys. Incantation of Righteous Smiting seems to be that much less potent with these guys now since you're probably only going to run them 3 maybe 4 wide. giving them and extra CC weapon also seems limiting as the the back rank is now stuck with there 3 attacks they have on the profile, making the extra attack from the extra CC weapon useless in that case. Two Hand seems to be the way to go still. And the other idea I was playing around with was sticking Ramhotep the Visionary with them to give them Hatred AND Frenzy, which would only really affect the front rank. Thoughts on this? And I apologize if I'm a newb for missing this part of the rule lol.

    (Still have not played a game using the new book. Still need to pick up new models as I'm sitting with a crap ton of bowmen and well...yeah lol)

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    Son of LO Marnepup's Avatar
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    AHW seems to me to be a terrible choice...a model that has one attack base doubles its effectiveness by taking AHW...Ushabti get a choice between three S6 attacks and 4 S4 attacks per model in the front rank (we'll just discuss the front rank, since taking more than one makes AHW even worse), a 33% increase in the number of attacks...in exchange for a 67% DECREASE in armor penetration...not to mention going from wounding T4/T3 models on 2+/2+ to wounding them on 4+/3+... That's a horrible compromise to make!

    Okay, going simultaneously with most enemies is nice, I guess, but it still doesn't balance the scales. Ushabti aren't a deathstar...they don't win by bulling up the middle. Their job is to flank charge an enemy who's been tarpitted by a skittle horde. In that situation, the idea of "get your attacks in before you lose any models to enemy attacks" is completely irrelevant, since they'll be facing attacks that can be counted on one hand and are virtually guaranteed not to lose a single model. That makes the upside of attacking at S6 instead of S4 even more awesome.

    I actually have my first three (resin) great weapon ushabti on the painting table as I type this. I wish I could get them individually, because I think a unit of four is going to turn out to be ideal. 13 WS4 S6 attacks per turn will chew through just about anything in VERY short order, and it won't matter that the enemy isn't disrupted when the shabs are putting on 7 CR on the stack every turn....with 50+ WS5 skittles to the front and 4 ushabti in the flank, pretty much any enemy regiment will run away PDQ.

    I think the bad rap that shabs have gotten is based on the perception that they have to either attack the enemy head-on (9 models) or disrupt (which means 2x6 plus a model or two to be able to take some casualties and still disrupt) to do their job, both of which require an investment of 400+ points. If, on the other hand, you use them as hammer to the anvil of a skittle horde WITHOUT paying double just to shift 3 points of combat resolution, they can be VERY effective (in theory, I haven't used them yet!) for 200 points.
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    Senior Member Karrain's Avatar
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    I agree completley about AHW, a few playtests later and I'm certain g/ws are a better choice. I just wanted to give them a run and see how they perform...

    In short, I can say this, for 12 more points you can get 15 Tomb Guard with Full Command and Halberds with a higher strength, KB and ranks. For 10 More points you can get a Warsphinx (30 more if you want a Roar) which will do more damage to enemy infantry, has KB and a higher strength, and thunderstomp and toughness 8.
    "Take their gold, burn their homes, kill their familes and enslave their souls. Show them no mercy...oh and could you post these letters while you're out?"
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    Yeah...pretty much the only use for ushabti is S6...I'm not sure about the bows, I'd have to think about that...my first instinct is this:

    Why settle for one ranged attack that hits on 5s when you can get three melee attacks that will hit most foes on threes....and pretty much everyone else on 4s? If I want ranged attacks above S3, I'll take a skullapult...the new options for ushabti are sexy in theory...but I just don't think they work on the tabletop.

    As I said before, the best use of shabs is a flank charge on a pitted regiment...they only have to be three models deep for you to get three ushabti into base with their flank (five deep for 4 to get in)...and ten S6 attacks on top of the +2 for a flank charge will do enough damage that taking away their rank bonus isn't that important. Five casualties inflicted gives you seven points of CR for the flank charge...that's likely enough to break the enemy that it's not efficient to take a second rank. The more I think about it, three ushabti are probably enough to do the job, and more than four is probably wasteful.
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    i wish they had kept these guys at S6 with the option to give them bows at say 20 points each as right now they are kind of in the middle of nowhere
    they suck at shooting as they just cant spam enough shots to hit
    and in combat tomb guard are just so much better as they can be raised back easier, can have magic banners, can be given WS6 etc etc etc

    yes if you hit an enemy in the flank they will win but then so will skeletons

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    Quote Originally Posted by jgascoine011 View Post
    yes if you hit an enemy in the flank they will win but then so will skeletons
    That's a bit misleading. Skellies hitting in the flank get pretty much exactly as many attacks as ushabti do...at lower WS and at S3. Oh, and the skellies disrupt. Five S3 hits plus a 5 point swing in static CR is not the same as seven S6 hits and a 2 point swing in static CR. The success of the S3 hits depends entirely on the enemy's T and save...the S6 hits don't. The shabs wound virtually any infantry on 2+, and throw on a massive -3 to the armor save....and that's before the stomps.
    Last edited by Marnepup; August 19th, 2011 at 23:45.
    IG since 1999 __ DA since 2002 __ Tau since 2005 __ SoB since 2007
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    Senior Member Karrain's Avatar
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    Also, how are you going to get a horde of skeletons into someone's flank, I wouldn't be too keen on charging a unit if I knew that a second horde would lock me in a vice.
    "Take their gold, burn their homes, kill their familes and enslave their souls. Show them no mercy...oh and could you post these letters while you're out?"
    -Malekith, Witch King of Naggaroth.

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