Faction Focus: Seraphon

An article by    Goonhammer        0

Overview

Aztec Lizards riding Dinosaurs. That’s Seraphon. Keepers of the Great Old Ones lore, they protect The Great Plan: A long term design of how the cosmos are supposed to play out for some as of yet unknown purpose. The Seraphon are tasked with protecting the plan and make sure it goes off more or less without a hitch. Although nominally on the side of Order (and seemingly an extreme dogmatic version of it) their intents are inscrutable to others, they may let Nagash lay waste to a thousand villages and sleep. But if a Chaos cult of 10 guys shows up they will show up and burn the entire place down. It’s a complete toss up if they will help you or not and once the battles over they will disappear yet again.

Seraphon are probably one of the oldest factions in the game. It’s especially impressive how they transitioned from Warhammer Fantasy Battles largely intact. The entire line is a bit a long in the tooth but it’s fine and has a lot of room for painting a wild rainbow color scheme if you don’t want to be shackled down by doing the same thing over and over.

They’re also quite good. Seraphon succeed because they are one of the armies that have something to do in every phase of the game. Depending on how you tailor your list you can be good at combat, shooting and definitely at magic as you rock one of the better spell lores in the game with some real bang up wizards to go with it. Since most of the army survived from WHFB you have such an incredible diversity in models that range from playable to top tier that you’ll never run out of stuff.

3.0 Changes

Shockingly very little changed. Same as everyone else your stuff got a little more expensive but since that was mostly every one it all works out. As one of the armies capable of generating a lot of CP the fact that you can’t have the same unit issue or receive multiple command abilities hurts you a bit more than your average army but you have more generic stuff to blow it on so it’s not all bad. Your overall strategy works the same, use combined arms supported by powerful magic to mortal wound an opponent into the ground. Finally, bound endless spells are no longer a mechanic unique to you, but it also means you’re no longer paying a premium for them. It’s unlikely your opponent will lose control of them outside of a bad play or managing to 360 no-scope their wizard, but if it does happen you can grab it for yourself.

Finally the terrain piece did get a lot more useful, since now you can only place it in your terrain it’s impossible to accidentally give your opponent a free garrison.

Credit: Dan “FromTheShire” Gates

The Units

First the two big casters, Slaan Starmaster and their big bro Lord Kroak. Every list should have one of these. It’s almost always considered superior to run with Kroak as he simply does too much for what is probably still too cheap. Regardless of which you choose, it’s going to be a staple of your army. Their spell lore is fantastic with a buffet of options such as the anti-horde Stellar Tempest, the “get where we need to go now” Walk Between Realms and the anti hero Mystical Unforging. You don’t even need to select a single spell as Starmasters can cycle through to whichever spell is most useful in the moment and Kroak knows them all! On top of spells, you got a lot of other utility going on as well like generating extra CP and a command ability that grants +1 to saves against ranged fire and fly. They are however, very delicate so you need to keep them out of combat. Thankfully they have means to do that, such as being able to cast through Skink Wizards and using Saurus Guard to block hits.

Speaking of, Skink Heroes are your other utility pocket knives and you’ll probably bring at least one Priest and a Starpriest. The Skink Priest is cheap and has useful utility to give your skinks +1 to hit and to saves and is the cheapest way to garrison your Realmshaper Engine so it can basically do mortal wounds on demand. Give it the Curse prayer and use that or Bless as the situation dictates to support your dudes. The Starpriest, despite the nomenclature are actually Skink Wizards. They can roll double duty as both casters in their own right, and as channeling for your Slann so they don’t need to put their delicate selves in danger. It’s worth taking one just to get access to the spell lore and channel some Slann spells.

Saurus Heroes struggle a bit more, as they tend to just be beat sticks with buffs. Carnosaurs are a bit delicate and don’t quite have the damage output one might like but properly buffed they can still be a serious threat. Sunbloods have a pretty useful command ability, and Astrolith Bearers help with making your casters better and granting a Ward. There are some gems with the Saurus, they’re not all unusable garbage but using them is just more of a personal preference than the Slann or Skinks, which are as close to auto takes as you will get.

Moving onto units there’s a lot so I’m going to look at the highlights. First, battleline: Skinks are going to end up in your list, a double reinforced squad if possible. Properly buffed they are mean bastards who fire off an ungodly number of shots. Properly buffed they can deal MWs on 6s to wound and get +1 to hit from a Skink Priest. They are super cheap for what they do, harass your opponent with shooting and with the right subfaction (Fangs of Sotek) combined with Redeploy can make sure they never get hit.

On the Saurus front you got 2 units worth looking at closely. A unit of Saurus Guard are almost always taken. Even if minimum size it’s10 ablative wounds to keep your Slann alive. Your opponent will gun for your Slann if they can do so and anything to keep them alive longer is important. Just keep them surrounded. Saurus Knights are the other useful unit. Like most Cavalry they occupy a role of trying to grab objectives that your opponent neglects and leaves open. They’re pretty pokey but if given Fly they can do the job and even if there isn’t a good opening, they’re cheap enough that they can make a sacrificial lamb for keeping your Skinks and Wizards away from danger. Saurus Warriors arent great but on the cheaper side and a horde can do some damage if properly buffed up in Koatl’s Claw.

If you like big monsters, this is the faction for you. There are several great ones. Engine of the Gods has a couple of solid buffs to roll randomly for on a table. Triple 6s (which require you to be within 12″ of a Slaan so it is difficult to pull off) give possibly one of the best abilities in the game, reroll charges and double attacks wholly within 24″. Not worth relying on but if you get it it can win you a game. As of a recent FAQ they’re also a Priest because why not. The Stegadon and Bastiladons are both extremely powerful monsters in their own way with the Bastiladon having a technically 1+ save at full health it’s very difficult to dislodge without a lot of focused power. With Monsters now counting as 5 models for objectives, Thunder Lizard got even better.

Honorable mention goes to Salamander Hunting Packs which pop up fairly often in tourney lists. They occupy the same role as cavalry but have a very mean bite attack that can do some damage if they get to go first. Worth looking at if you have points left over.

How to Play

Boiling down Seraphon to a single playstyle is difficult because due to their rather diverse unit selection there are tons of ways to play. There’s basically three main ways to play. If you want to run Skinks pick Fangs of Sotek. If you like Saurus then Koatl’s Claw can make even the lowly Saurus Warrior pretty effective. Finally if you wanna go full Jurassic Park with big dinos, Thunder Lizard is your jam. Think of these as guides rather than red tape. You’re not locked down to one unit type an it can still behoove you to mix and match to cover your bases. A unit of Skinks to fire from behind the front lines can still be massively helpful in Koatl’s Claw, which Thunder Lizard is still going to want something to help hold Objectives.

The most important universal rule is to protect your Slann. They are the architects of the great plan after all and your opponent will gun for them if an opening presents themselves. As stated before, keep them in the back with Saurus guard and use your Skinks to help extend spell range rather than put the Slann at risk. Past that it’s going to depend on your subfaction. Fangs of Sotek (and Dracothin’s Tail) grant a once per turn Teleport which can make grabbing objectives maddening for your opponent while Thunder Lizards and Koatl’s Claw (both “Coalesced) have to hoof it they are particularly tanky against damage so use that to push up the field.

These are only tips to start. Find what works for you and lean in on it. Seraphon offer a lot of diverse playstyles and no two lists will be quite alike.

List Building

There are a lot of different ways to play Seraphon, far too much to cover. You could go Monster heavy with Thunder Lizard and even Saurus can be dangerous in large numbers with Koatl’s Claw. We’re gonna focus on the old standby of Fangs of Sotek. It’s not as popular as it was but it hasnt fallen out of favor, the other two big constellations just got more popular.

Allegiance: Seraphon
- Constellation: Fangs of Sotek
- Mortal Realm: Ghur
- Grand Strategy: Prized SorceryTriumphs: Inspired

Leaders
Lord Kroak (430)*
Skink Starpriest (130)*
Engine of the Gods (265)*
- Artefact: Serpent God Dagger
Saurus Astrolith Bearer (150)**
Saurus Scar-Veteran on Carnosaur (215)**
- General
- Greatblade
- Command Trait: Old and Grizzled
- Artefact: Amulet of Destiny (Universal Artefact)

Battleline
5 x Saurus Guard (115)*
10 x Skinks (75)**
- Boltspitters Celestite Daggers & Star Bucklers
20 x Skinks (150)**
- Boltspitters Celestite Daggers & Star Bucklers
- Reinforced x 1
5 x Saurus Knights (110)**
- Blades
5 x Saurus Knights (110)**
- Blades

Behemoths
Bastiladon with Solar Engine (235)**

Core Battalions
*Warlord
**Battle Regiment

Additional Enhancements
Artefact

Total: 1985 / 2000
Reinforced Units: 1 / 4
Allies: 0 / 400
Wounds: 122
Drops: 5

Fangs of Sotek is still a reliable choice for its command ability which lets Skinks fire away and fallback on a 4+ at the end of the Enemy Charge phase. This allows you to run away if you get charged, while leaving a few parting shots for good measure. Combined with Redeploy and easy access to Teleport from Kroak your Skinks have a maddening amount of maneuverability that makes them extremely difficult to pin down. They may be delicate but don’t let them get caught by enemy ranged attacks and you can all but certainly prevent them from getting cornered.

Rounding out the list we have the Bastiladon, giving a strong Monster your opponent will struggle to ignore, some Saurus knights for outflanking and objective grabbing and Saurus Guard for protecting Kroak. The Scar Veteran will hold out surprisingly well with the Amulet of Destiny (even better if you can cast Mystic Shield on it). In general this is a combined arms list that gives the opponent a lot of threats that they will need to address or fall.

If you have any questions or comments leave them below or email us at contact@goonhammer.com.

 

 

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