Posted 21 August 2009 - 08:51 PM
All of this essentially boils down to an issue of practically guaranteeing yourself first strike. I think in the situation that brought this up - demons doing a summoning chain down a narrow corridor and finally planting Rauthuros square in the doorway where he lays waste to an elf army that by all accounts was not constructed to go up against something so huge and powerful as Rauthuros - the situation was amplified by the terrain primarily, and secondarily by the composition of the opposing force.
I think that it's a neat tactic, and can grant a Darkspawn player some interesting advantages. But the enemy still gets defensive strikes.
Here are some more tactics that I believe are more lethal than the Dreaded Darkspawn Demon Drop:
-Burrowed models can essentially charge past any defensive screen and surface next to a choice target. With the exception of a very few spells, the Burrowed model is all but immune to interference of any kind.
-Fliers, like Burrowers, can attack at will. They can, of course, be targetted by ranged and magic attacks. Note also that both Fliers and Burrowers can have their choice of target denied if an opponent forms a ring of defensive models around the choice target.
-The Leap SA allows cavalry models to ignore intervening enemies as they simply charge past and skewer their intended target. Try this on for size:
Sennet Net'merrew, Atifa, Ibrahim, 10 Khamsin Lancers. 479 points. They charge 14 inches towards whatever in the world they want to. There are models with longer charge ranges, but not many. Atifa can cast Burst of Speed giving herself and most likely four other models the ability to disengage and get themselves 12 inches away from the action after their charge and attacks (two move actions grants the Runner bonus of 2" extra movement on the second move action). So like the Dreaded Darkspawn Demon Drop, you have a high probability of getting the first attack in. You've also got First Strike on ten models. You're also attacking with 12 models (thirteen if Atifa decides to hold off on the spells and use Reach to help out in melee). But there are still a boatload of archers with longer ranges than that trick, and most spellcasters can reach out and wreck your day with a greater threat range (movement plus spell range). The difference is just that the Darkspawn can hypothetically begin outside of that threat range and end with a handful of models attacking.
I don't think my examples disprove the power of the Dreaded Darkspawn Demon Drop, but I think they put it into a little bit of healthy comparison and contrast. Yes it's sweet to be able to leap your force forward. No it isn't the only army that has tricks to move forward quickly. Yes if you end up with a model like Rauthuros doing the attacking you will do some serious damage. And yes, your non-summon models which are hoofing it from your DZ will not be in the best position to support your X number of Summoned models which zapped forward to bloody my army's nose. And yes I will dedicate the entire might of my army to erradicating the advanced models before turning my attention towards the Isiri and sundry other icky underdark thingies in your army.
So obviously my stance is, sweet trick but it's not going to be a game winner unless you've got some other sweet tricks up your sleeve. Honestly, I'm more worried about the tactic being used mid/late game when my defensive screen is tied up and the Darkspawn player uses it to slingshot some Demon Warriors behind my line to my squishies.
Also, Stubbdog, why not have a line of single models advancing and summoning, until you reach the enemy line, and at that point simply summon the big hitters who take an action each to bring in the rest of the demons all surrounding the target troop? Then everything in melee takes their fight action. But again, as a counter example, a player who knows what they are doing will see the Darkspawn opposition, ask if the enemy is playing Demonic Conclave, and will turtle up their troops such that the Darkspawn player still only attacks the defensively oriented models, same as if they had hoofed it across the battlefield old-school style.