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The 'Undead' thread
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Skawilly
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 23, 2012 9:43 pm GMT    Post subject: The 'Undead' thread Reply with quote

Pro's, con's and what we can do about it...

So here are the facts:
They get stepped damage. Any higher unit can demote to any lower unit (Even a monster to a common) upon taking damage.
They resist burial. In the finger of death/bury war these guys win.
There units are slow. Slow. Slow. Even their calv class is slow. In fact, even the calv SAI only works during a save roll (Does not produce maneuvers or do anything in such an event).
There magic is (arguably) but single handedly the most powerful list in the game. However, Its not that use full most of the time.
They are the ONLY race who can move a terrain up by 2 per round.
All undead pack some sort of melee or saves.
No undead carry ranged at all.
Scare is terrible.
Wither, usually situationally, is not as good as smite or counter or trample depending. It can be nice (And if there are 2 enemy armies at a terrain you can target the other enemy army as the withered army that your not attacking)
Vamps have a GREAT SAI, but they take up 2 points of your 50% mage pool for army building, per unit.
No terrain hopping (No path/teleport/ferry) except on a save roll, which may never happen.
This race gets Dispel

So, with that said...
Some decent solutions are:
Highland standing stones. This is great for path and dancing lights
A bronze medallion. This is a solution to many problems, however if you pull a TSR/SFR on a 7th face, spirit furnace is SOOOO powerful when used with undead. Not only do you get a chance to not bury all of your dead if you choose, but any that do get buried go into a pool of ridiculously powerful undead magic. I have heard time and time again this is a last ditch effort spell. Not at all true with undead. Its in fact a strat from the get go if you want. Also, it adds path. Its really too bad its so nessasary and that undead just do get anything to even replicate it short of the hard to use vanish.
(One thing I should mention though, about vanish. If a ghost is struck by lightning or such, it still saves and then gets to move/live. This is the ONE advantage it has. Where as firewalking/teleport, you do get to move 3 health worth but the genie/unicorn is still dead).

But, in the current rule set, undead are just too slow to do anything unless you go with an army of skele steeds and wraiths and basically are worthless. They dont shoot. They are easy to avoid. If thy enemy hides in a temple you are FUBAR.
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KevinR
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 23, 2012 9:52 pm GMT    Post subject: Reply with quote

So is there any valid reason to go straight undead? Or are they a support race for melee light armies?
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 23, 2012 10:59 pm GMT    Post subject: Reply with quote

Skawilly: Great post, for what ever reason I had been playing the stepped damage wrong. The strategy using the bronze medallion to cast spirit furnace never occurred to me.

Kevin: I know plenty who enjoy undead just on their own. They pack a bunch and even the Litch hits hard. I have had my feral army go up against them many times and i cringe when ever i have to go toe to toe in melee with them. They pack a serious punch and ashes to ashes to mitigate feralization also works well.
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Skawilly
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 23, 2012 11:03 pm GMT    Post subject: Reply with quote

The issue is that undead racial requires a few more than a few. Their magic is easily diluted. But also as far as melee support there are other options. I will say adding something like 6 pts of goblin mages is really good.

Undead magic tends to work best solo.

Actually though its a good question to ask. So use just their heavies you say?
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 23, 2012 11:08 pm GMT    Post subject: Reply with quote

Skawilly. I only have 36 points of undead but yeah in my pull i got a good lot of melee, and some mages including the litch and a dracolitch.
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Skawilly
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 24, 2012 7:07 am GMT    Post subject: Reply with quote

Denim, the Dracolich is one of the few monsters with cantrip, or even worth 4 points of magic. What makes this guy particularly interesting is that he is one of 2 units that protect against Transmute (Rend and fly) and of course the steed has trample. I think most important about this guy, he offers maximum stepped damage to your mages. Its a good unit.

Every undead come packed with melee. Which is nice. But here is the advantage to 'light magic'. They come with 2 non id save faces. This is important for resist burial, which is important on mages. Obviously your numbers are going to be low when it comes to magic however.

Its really hard to make a strat with these guys. I really only have one. Bring a Highland standing stones and sacrafice the game even to make sure you get it. Not that great of a plan really.
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 24, 2012 9:55 am GMT    Post subject: Reply with quote

I never really considered that about the draco litch. You know what spell i wish the undead or black magic had? Fear. Feral has a fear spell and Lava elves have a fear spell. Why not the undead?
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Matthias Maccabeus
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 24, 2012 10:42 am GMT    Post subject: Reply with quote

Skawilly wrote:
Denim, the Dracolich is one of the few monsters with cantrip, or even worth 4 points of magic. What makes this guy particularly interesting is that he is one of 2 units that protect against Transmute (Rend and fly) and of course the steed has trample. I think most important about this guy, he offers maximum stepped damage to your mages. Its a good unit.

Every undead come packed with melee. Which is nice. But here is the advantage to 'light magic'. They come with 2 non id save faces. This is important for resist burial, which is important on mages. Obviously your numbers are going to be low when it comes to magic however.

Its really hard to make a strat with these guys. I really only have one. Bring a Highland standing stones and sacrafice the game even to make sure you get it. Not that great of a plan really.


I always use a Highland Standing Stone when playing undead. Something I've used and had decent success with is throwing a few Mammoth Riders in with their Melee / Cavalry. It gives them x 2 maneuvers at highland, immune to TRtM, and some great targets for night moves and Restless Dead. The undead also help out the Mammoths by providing saves which they definitely can use.
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 24, 2012 8:50 pm GMT    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't intend to just kick a thread in the shins, but I am not seeing where they demand any change at all. I'll certainly agree to improvements in the game, but one is little compelled to get behind change for its own sake.

Undead seem to work rather well. They have strengths; they have weaknesses. To be more precise: Their strengths are very strong and their weaknesses are quite punishing. With good strategy they work well solo; they also work well in concert with other races. They are a race of certain extremes, but they seem to be balanced. Plus, they're adorable.

Is there something about the Undead that I am missing and which screams for correction? I would put forth that while the fact that a streamlined ruleset is in the works may suggest to us that we face a rare opportunity to fix any imperfections, we are little served by running around madly seeking out every little thing we can tweak.

Perhaps I misread the thrust of the first post, and maybe it was simply asking what strategies people use to take advantage of the good and overcome the bad, but the particular phrasing and the mention of the ruleset had me interpreting this less as discussion of the dice as they are than as how we could reconceive them. If I was mistaken, I'll leave the concern spoken, but not trouble the discussion further.
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 26, 2012 6:53 am GMT    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just wanted to add a few thoughts to this excellent thread:
- Even though the undead aren't the quickest army around, the need not to be the slowest either. Not only is their common cavalry unit decent compared to other cavalry commons, but they also have the Skeletal Steed. Having Restless Dead helps out a lot as well, so never underestimate Undead maneuverability 'just because they are Undead'. One quick burst of Night Moves + Restless Dead and the game is over before you know it.
- Even though it doesn't get too much attention, I think the Carrion Crawler is an excellent unit. Stuns can combo quite nicely with some other SAIs.
- Don't fear Smites and Counters (too much). If you get caught up in a brawl (as Undead like to do) don't be too afraid of getting hit by a Counter or Smite once in a while. Stepped damage can greatly reduce effect of such SAIs, especially when you already have a few dead units. Smite for 4? Sure, I'll just trade my monster for this 3-health unit and reduce the damage to 1. In fact, in situations like this stepped damage might actually help by bringing back those lower health dice you want on the board.

I've been thinking about Undead armies with just rares and monsters for some time now. I am quite curious to see how such an army would perform durability-wise, as you get to use the biggest damage-reducing step more often.


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Skawilly
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 27, 2012 8:42 am GMT    Post subject: Reply with quote

well with wraiths and steeds you are losing a great deal of stepping.
Also, undead mages produce slightly less magic than others for the most part (Not always the case).
So yes, one could spec into speed however matched against another in speed your still slower.

But, other than going for the Highland Stones, the only other viable options is to grab outside assistance, eh? Hmmm...
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Archaia
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2013 6:33 pm GMT    Post subject: Reply with quote

What are some suggests for besting the undead, and with what armies do you often find have an easier time thwarting them. I have faced them and noticed they have a load of saves, and melee. Magic is mildly threatening but when Haunt is used when the undead have a large DUA, it seems devastating. And when my opponent uses it over and over on me with all that melee he has, when he rolls high magic. But they tend to roll a lot of I.D.'s, or that is just my opponents luck.
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2013 11:17 pm GMT    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, as an undead player I know all too well that the undead are bested
by fast moving armies. A good way to beat undead is using cavalry,
especially dwarven in my experience, since most undead players use highlands,
but this is not always the case. This is just my personal opinion from my experiences though.
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Skawilly
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 12, 2013 1:15 am GMT    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
What are some suggests for besting the undead, and with what armies do you often find have an easier time thwarting them. I have faced them and noticed they have a load of saves, and melee. Magic is mildly threatening but when Haunt is used when the undead have a large DUA, it seems devastating. And when my opponent uses it over and over on me with all that melee he has, when he rolls high magic. But they tend to roll a lot of I.D.'s, or that is just my opponents luck.


Feral. Feralization stops Finger of Death. Windwalks counter restless deads and scent of fear has not to worry about stepped damage.

Undead, in my opinion, have the single most powerful spell list in the game. Its balanced by not having path. But if path becomes a non issue, i.e. neither player is going for an 8th undead are gonna rock face. As feral though, you should be rushing for that 8th. In most scenarios you will beat undead everytime. Because you can path/hide one unit over to a terrain move it and and wind walk him. Undead have to manually move a unit over through reserves. If they have a unit competing with your unit then just scent of fear them. If your opponent is using dragons to remove your hidden unit then just path, move the terrain up and reserve your unit.

There is one undead strat to counter this. Its fenhounds. As they can try to dispel your Scent of Fear. Plus, fade keeps the undead player safe from the very dragons offing your single hidden units. But the odds are in the feral players favor as dispel is only 20%, so keep trying to scent him. Lastly, try and make the desired 8th face a temple. Against undead its frustrating. They can still haunt you but with an 8th its less devastating.

I can go on and on but the above should answer your question. In fact let me summarize it. Race to 8th and you should get it as feral. Just be cautious of Nightmoves.
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Skawilly
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 12, 2013 1:16 am GMT    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ian makes a really good point. Out maneuver him. Race him to 8th. If you choose an army with terrain advantage as speed youll be find. Still we both agree speed is key vs. Undead.
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 03, 2013 8:09 pm GMT    Post subject: re-undead Reply with quote

Something else undead can use is a single unit with 7 league boots with the fade spell and restless dead spell. They can’t be targeted and can simply oppose whoever is at that face.

Don’t forget that swamp stalkers are great at fighting undead. Mire can completely shut down night moves. Mutate plays havoc with open grave.
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DialFforFunky
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 03, 2013 8:16 pm GMT    Post subject: Re: re-undead Reply with quote

Blindfury wrote:
Mutate plays havoc with open grave.


I believe it only does in 3+ player games, as otherwise players can simply move their 'casualties' back to a terrain before getting picked off by mutate.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 03, 2013 8:54 pm GMT    Post subject: Re: re-undead Reply with quote

DialFforFunky wrote:
Blindfury wrote:
Mutate plays havoc with open grave.


I believe it only does in 3+ player games, as otherwise players can simply move their 'casualties' back to a terrain before getting picked off by mutate.


F

Quite so.
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2013 3:44 pm GMT    Post subject: Reply with quote

With a Troll added for support, an almost-entirely Undead army won the 2006 Worlds, so they aren't a total loss. Smile
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 27, 2016 3:38 am GMT    Post subject: Reply with quote

A Medusa as support works I have found. It shoots from the reserve and is immune against swamp stalker mutation Smile
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