Seraphon’s allegiance ability is aptly named the Lords of Time and Space. These cosmic lizards excel at board control and can punish armies which are better than them in almost every other phase of the game by forcing them into inconsequential combats or presenting bad targets for shooting/magic/etc.
The cornerstone of the Seraphon army are its incredible battleline, Skinks. These crafty little reptiles are the key to unlocking this army’s unique potential. Second to the mighty Skink is the indomitable Seraphon general, the Slann. Older than the realms themselves the Slann’s summoning abilities have breathed new life and new possibilities into the Celestial Daemons.
Although it may seem that Seraphon are a forgiving army because of their teleports and summoning, nothing could be further from the truth. These abilities allow us to compete but there are few circumstances where you will be able to “auto win”. Synergies are what make the army effective, there are lots of ranges/abilities to keep in mind and when a unit gets left out quality damage or survivability cannot be counted upon.
This list centers around the Thunderquake Starhost which includes the Engine of the Gods, 2 bastiladons, and 6 kroxigor. These units prefer to be close to one another as they will benefit from re-rolls and healing but in most games it will be necessary to send something away to get a job done (likely the kroxigor).
Age of Sigmar is an objective based game and the Seraphon excel at taking objectives. When playing this list it is important to remember to kill what you can and use screens, tricky charges, and the skink Wary Fighter ability in order to minimize enemy units effectiveness.
The Lords of Space and Time
In your hero phase, you can pick a friendly SERAPHON unit anywhere on the battlefield to be transported through space and time. If you do so, roll a dice for the unit and look up the result on the table on the right. 1-2 The unit cannot move or charge this turn. 3-4 Remove the unit from the battlefield, and then set it back up anywhere that is more than 9” from an enemy unit. This counts as the unit’s move for the next movement phase. 5-6 As 4-6, except that the unit is also allowed to move in the next movement phase as normal.
- This ability is very powerful and can be a lifesaver if you find yourself out of position. That being said, the 9” restriction does mean that opponents can block your ability to teleport to key places.
- The threat of the teleport is maybe more important than the teleport itself. Having your opponent know that they cannot leave an objective or allow too much space in their backfield can lead to other strategic errors on the board.
- If an opponent ever does leave an objective or key character un-guarded or under manned this ability allows you to immediately capitalize on the mistake.
Masters of Order
Slann Wizards can attempt to unbind enemy spells that are cast anywhere on the battlefield, rather than those cast within 30”. In addition, if the casting roll for a Slann Wizard is 10+ and the spell is successfully cast, you can add 6’ to the range of the spell.
- 3 tablewide disspells, that is a wonderful ability. It is important to choose which of your opponent’s spells to try and unbind so make sure to ask what the possible spells are and how many they have.
- There is not a way to increase the unbind rolls so it is going to be your dice vs whatever casting buffs your opponent has. So although this is a great ability when you are playing against Legions of Nagash or Nurgle which have lots of ways to increase their casting it can have limited effectiveness.
You can summon units of Seraphon to the battlefield if you collect enough Celestial Conjuration (summoning) points. In your hero phase, before attempting to cast a spell with a Slann general, you can say that it will carry out Celestial Conjuration instead. If you do so, you receive 3 Celestial Conjuration points instead of being able to attempt to cast that spell. In addition, at the end of your hero phase you receive 1 Celestial Conjuration point if your general is a SLann and is on the battlefield, and D3 Celestial Conjuration points if there are one or more friendly Saurus Astrolith Bearers on the battlefield.
Summoned units must be set up wholly within 12” of a friendly Slann or Astrolith Bearer, and more than 9” from any enemy units. Subtract the cost of the summoned unit from the uber of Conjuration Points you have immediately ate the summoned unit has been set up.
- The list of summonable units is quite large and includes both heroes and regular troops. By far the greatest “bang for your buck” is 10 skinks for 6 summoning points.
- In this list you are wanting to bring on as many skinks as you can. With the Slann generating 10 per turn and the Astrolith Bearer getting D3 you are hoping to be able to bring on 20 skinks per turn.
- The 12” bubble is actually quite large so placement is rarely an issue.
- Summoning will take the place of almost all of your casting in this list. Generating the points requires rolling very few dice and cannot be affected by your opponent so is reliable and can be counted upon when making plans for future turns.
Artefacts, Command Traits & Abilities
Ignore Modifiers (positive or negative) when making save rolls for this model
- Putting the Ethereal Amulet on the Engine of the Gods makes each of the big dinos in this list ignore rend. With the battalion ability from the Thunderquake Starthost this means that the Engine will be getting to reroll its unmodifiable 4+ save, in essence taking only a 1/4th of the damage from incoming attacks. Add that to healing which is also part of the battalion and the Engine becomes an absolute tank. This is necessary in the list because of the key role the Engine of the Gods plays. For the scenarios Three places of arcane power and Relocation Orb it helps to have a character with an artefact.
Roll a dice each time you allocate a wound (Not mortal wound) to the bearer. On a 6+ the wound is negated.
- This artifact is pretty straight forward, it makes the Astrolith Bearer a little more survivable and helps in Three places of arcane power and Relocation Orb. It could be easily swapped for something else but I have not found any other artifacts from either the Seraphon list or Shyish which are particularly impactful or meaningful.
Allows for the use of the Allegiance Ability Lords of Time and Space to be used twice as long as the General is alive.
- The double teleport allows for you to maximize movement and allows for a bit of redundancy if the first attempt to teleport a unit fails.
Command Ability // Command points
You will start the game with one command point which is good in case a battle shock test is necessary. Command points are mostly used for auto 6” runs and re-rolling failed charges. Command points should not be too scarce of a resource however, since you get to roll the run first and rolling a 4” or 5” usually has the same effect as a guaranteed 6” allowing you to save points for more critical moments. All Seraphon have a bravery of 10 so it is not often that you will need to use a command point on a bravery test but it may come up for a unit of skinks which you need to keep alive to ensure the enemy is in combat for another round.
Gift from the Heavens
If a Slann Starmaster uses this ability, SERAPHON units from your army that are within 10” of him are wrapped in a mantle of Azyrite energy, allowing them to disregard the natural laws of the Mortal Realms. Until your next hero phase, those units can fly and you can reroll failed save rolls for them in the shooting phase.
- This command ability can be very impactful but it is situational. You will want to use it to help protect the Slann against gun lines. It is also important to realize that the ability will affect everything within 10” of the Slann in the hero phase but a unit does not need to stay close to the Slann for the effects to continue. You will find that having this ability on skinks can be very effective. Allowing them to move, charge, and then use Wary Fighter to retreat over top an enemy unit onto an objective the enemy was trying to screen. Again, it is very powerful in the right circumstance but is not a command ability you will be using every turn. This is good since it should leave you plenty of CPs for runs and charges.
– The Slann will be important for 3 main things in this army. Summoning, dispelling and providing a buff to the Engine of the Gods which makes its Cosmic Engine ability much more reliable. The Slann can cast 3 spells and if he decides to instead preform Celestial Conjuration will earn you 10 summoning points each turn. Using these summoning points to bring on new units is vital to the strategy of this army so protecting your Slann is vital.
– None of his important tasks require line of sight so hiding him in cover or behind terrain is usually the right thing to do upon deployment. He is one of the points by which you will bring on summoned units so it is always a delicate balance between keeping him safe and having him in a position to bring on summoned units in a meaningful way.
– Although a powerful caster, the opportunity cost of not getting summoning points means that casting a spell comes at a high price. Be sure that the spell being cast will be very impactful before choosing to do so.
– The Slann also has an ability called Celestial Configuration which involves rolling a dice at the being of the game which will afford you an army wide buff. 1-2 is +1 to run and charge, 3-4 is +1 to all casting, 5-6 is reroll 1’s to hit. 1-2 or 5-6 are the best options for this list. At the beginning of each turn you can attempt to change the Celestial Configuration by rolling a dice, on a 4+ you can change to whichever you choose, on a 1 the Slann is lost thinking about the stars and cannot attempt to cast any spells in the hero phase. Changing the constellation can be impactful but not generating your summoning points can be devastating. Be very conscience when making a choice to attempt to change the constellation.
– The Engine of the Gods is a powerful unit made all the more important by its role in the Thunderquake Starhost. On its own the Engine’s primary function is its Cosmic Engine ability. This ability involves rolling against a chart which can have various effects on the battle. 3 out of the 5 results are very helpful. These include a 25” D6 mortal wound blast that does not require line of sight, the ability to summon on a unit from a small list of units without using summoning points, and allowing the entire army to double its move and attack characteristics for the turn.
– Within the battalion the Engine should be kept within 8” of other battalion units to buff them with rerolls.
– In early game situations you should be looking for minor buff characters which your opponent has deployed to close to the front lines which you may be able to knock off with the mortal wounds. If an important character is just out of range you can always teleport the Engine before rolling on its table, just remember to try and remain within 10” of the Slann to allow for the Cosmic Engine buff.
– The Astrolith Bearer is a force multiplier in this list. Many of our strongest attacks hit on 4+ which on its own is not great. Being able to reroll these attacks makes them much more reliable and meaningful to the game.
-The other important task of the Astrolith Bearer is generating an additional D3 summoning points each turn and being the other point from which you can bring on summoned units.
– You will want to leave his banner planted at all times so teleporting him, even if it is only a few inches, is the way to go. Although important he is more expendable than the Slann so you can put him in riskier places on the board to bring on summoned units. Also the flamboyant sculpt of the model itself makes it a tantalizing target and can be used as bait to keep attention away from more important units.
– The MVP of any good Seraphon list is the skink, master at movement and screening. Skinks are piss poor at shooting and fighting. In a block of 40 they can get better but trying to maneuver that many models into the correct position is difficult and many times more trouble than it is worth. Skinks have a base move of 8” so when running they can move as fast as most flying units. Lots of minimum sized units are great because you can layer them or just have them take up space in a lot of interesting ways without having to worry about coherence across a large unit.
– You want to drown your opponent in wave after wave of chaff and take up as much of the board as possible and then give it back inch by inch. Moving a unit 3” away from an enemy unit requires them to remove the skink unit during the hero phase, which most armies cannot do, or be forced to either not move at all or move laterally. If placed an inch apart a 10 man unit makes a 20” line. If they decide to shoot the skinks then you have stopped them from moving this turn,which is great. If they decide to fight through the unit then you have only allowed them to move approx 3”. Also if fighting is the choice they make then you may still be able to save your little buddies using their Wary Fighter ability which allows them to move out of combat instead of fight during their activation. Depending on the situation this can be used for running onto an objective or just moving outside of 3” so that the enemy unit is chaffed up for another turn. IMPORTANT NOTE: if you were charged this turn then the enemy can still pile in even if you are no longer within 3”, if this is the case retreat the unit 5” back (or whatever 3” plus the enemy reach is) to keep from being drawn back into combat.
– Depending on what all is in combat you should be able “save” one to two units of skinks per turn. If your opponent does decide to attack the skinks then great, you are crushing out 20 per turn so it is not important if you lose a few.
– Also having lots of minimum sized units leaves plenty of options for teleporting a unit onto an unmanned or undermanned objective, whereas having fewer large units would require you to disrupt your screens.
– The hammer/anvil unit of the army. Depending on the game the kroxigor can either be a hammer which is thrown across the board or an anvil which will take opponents much longer to chew through than they expect.
– Two of the 6 are armed with Moonhammers, these weapons hit everything within 2” so can be especially brutal against hordes. That being said they are hitting on 4+ so if you want their output to be consistent consider sending the Astrolith Bearer in behind them. Being close to skinks also allows them to reroll 1’s to wound. With all of the screens flying around having skinks nearby is usually not a problem. When possible place the Kroxigor behind a screen of skinks, they have 2” reach so can hit overtop of them.
– As an anvil you will want them close to the Engine of the Gods. Kroxigor have 4 wounds each and a 4+ save which becomes rerollable in the battalion. In addition they will heal a wound each hero phase (D3 if the Slann happens to be in range).
– If there is a job to be done away from the main pieces of the army this is usually the unit to send. Even without any of the buffs the kroxigor are fast, reasonably survivable, and have enough hitting power to win minor skirmishes.
– Rippers in this list, like most Seraphon lists, are our kamikaze unit. On your turn they will be rerolling both hits and wounds with their Swooping Dive ability. This makes the damage output as consistent as can be achieved in a dice rolling game. It is also key to helping you pick the correct targets. Ideal targets are single characters, minimum sized units of elite troops (5 or less), or large units with bad armour (especially if your opponent doesn’t have a way to deal with battle shock).
– However, this damage output is dependent on the bloat toad which must be placed in your first hero phase and then moves D6” in each subsequent movement phase. After turn one depending on the bloat toad to be where you need it is a major risk. If a juicy target is not available turn one consider placing the bloat toad on an objective or in a lane where you are relatively certain a fight will take place. Then hold the Rippers back as a counter attack and hope that you choose correctly with your toad placement.
Bastiladon with Solar Engine x2
– The last unit of the battalion and the most swingy of the bunch. The bastiladons within range of the Engine of the Gods will be nearly impossible to kill. With their 3+ unmodifiable save against regular wounds and 4+ ward save, along with the rerolls and healing from the battalion there are few units in the game which can crack these boys. The solar engine shots are determined on a roll of 2D6, in theory this should mean an average of 7 shots per bastiladon per turn, for whatever reason this usually means that one turn you will get 10 shots and the next 4, math I guess. The lasers hit on 4+ so need the Astrolith Bearer to perform with certainty. The solar engine does do 3 damage to Chaos Demons so be sure to be on the lookout for opportunities to take advantage of that.
– If the skinks are a speed bump, the bastiladons are a wall. If you can keep them close to the Engine putting one of these into a unit you do not care to fight is an excellent way to sideline them. Equally, if you cast mystic shield on a bastiladon you can throw it across to the board with relative certainty it will survive at least one turn against most things.
– SInce they are so survivable the bastiladons are another great unit to bait opponents with. Leave one on the edge of a unit of skinks to extend a screen and many times they will get charged because they are a “high profile” target. Only after a turn or two will your opponent realize the mistake they have made and try to retreat away. Hopefully this has bought you enough time to score for another round or position another screen to keep the enemy unit ineffectual.
The Thunderquake Starhost gives two major buffs to the army. First, whenever any unit from the battalion is with 8” of the Engine of the Gods it can either become Swift which will allow them to reroll hits, runs, and charges or Savage which will allow them to reroll wound and save rolls. Second each unit from the battalion will heal a wound in each of your hero phases, D3 if they are within 10” of a Slann.
- At 120 points this battalion is a steal, the buffs are quality but limited due to the short range of he bubbles.
- When you have either the bastiladons or kroxigor rerolling both hits and wounds from the battalion and Astrolith Bearer it is beautifully consistent.
- Another important factor is limiting the drops of this army to 7. Although that is not great it will allow you to out drop most armies which do not have a battalion and a few which do.
Magic, Endless & Realm Spells
Light of the Heavens
Light of the Heavens has a casting value of 6. If successfully cast, then until your next hero phase any battleshock tests for Celestial Daemon or Chaos Daemon units are made by rolling two dice rather than one. For Celestial units, discard the highest of the two dice, for Chaos units, discard the lowest.
- This spell is garbage, there is no circumstance in which casting this spell would be better than the summoning points you would receive if you do not cast it. All Seraphon units have bravery 10 and in this list only the skinks and kroxigor could even lose enough models to cause a battleshock. Maybe if you come up against a Murder Host and want to ensure the Bloodletters don’t regenerate then you could cast it but that is very situational.
Will Determine First Turn
The list is 7 drops, this means that you will be picking first turn roughly half of the time (this is subject to the meta at the time of writing this guide). Getting first turn has some distinct advantages and allows you to put your best foot forward in many cases. Games where you have to go second will likely be more difficult and require you to pull out all the stops.
- If you know you will bel determining first turn in most cases you will want to be going first. The reason for this is to set your skink screens up and let the battle be about attrition. Making your opponent fight for every 3” of board. This is especially true for battle plans where the objectives are in the middle of the board.
- In this instance you will want your skinks on the deployment line along with your rippers and bastiladons. This will allow you maximum range when pushing up the board and will help get the bastiladons, which only have range 20”, into range of better targets.
- Have a general plan for how your army will be deployed prior to starting. This is necessary because you will likely be deploying the buff pieces prior to the battalion. An observant opponent may be able to figure out your deployment because of this but rarely are they paying close enough attention.
- Always place your skinks first, they just need to be on deployment line, usually it is best to have one left, center, and right. Then the Slann, two of his buffs are board wide (dispels & Celestial Configuration) so his placement doesn’t affect them. You will want him close to the Engine so deploy him where you think you will need to place that. After the Slann the Astrolith Bearer is normally best. Again you will want your battalion close so be conscience of that. We are now 5 drops in so hopefully your opponents deployment is starting to give you a good idea of how things are going to shake out. For the 6th deployment you can go with either the battalion or the rippers depending on what you are seeing across the board. Again, know the types of targets that rippers can deal with and place them accordingly.
- The most important factor to consider when going second is the loose of board control. Letting your opponent get their full move can place you out of position and diminish the effectiveness of your screens. That being said, if your opponent cannot take any objectives on their first turn or hit you with a decent alpha strike then going second can be the correct call.
- The other main reason to go second would be because your opponent has an army that can work around your skink screens. Think Order Draconis which can fly over them, Idoneth Deepkin, or Stormcast which can deep strike. In these circumstances going second and making a castle may be your best bet. IMPORTANT NOTE: For deep striking armies which need to come in 6” or 9” away from you, still consider taking first turn, careful placement of skinks and other units can effectively block out the majority of the board to the deep strike and sideline these units for a few turns. It is not an exact science and this will depend greatly on your opponent’s skill and understanding of the game.
- If you are going second you may want to deploy off the line a bit to make sure that a long bomb charge cannot get into your lines.
- Per the usually you want your skinks out front and you are trying to make your matchups as advantageous as possible.
Will Not Determine First Turn
- You need to determine if your opponent can alpha strike you or not. If they can alpha strike then you will want to castle the battalion, this would look like the kroxigor outfront, bastiladons to the side, then Engine/Slann/Astrolith in the middle. Screen your skinks in such a way that there is approx. 2”-3” between them and the castle. This will force the alpha strike to hit the skinks and likely not leave enough space for anything that flies to pile in over the top. Depending on the alph strike you will want to decide whether you want your things to be pulled into combat for a counter punch or not. Getting free hits is always good but realize that none of your buffs will be up and the bastiladons maybe forced to shoot at a less optimal target. IMPORTANT NOTE: with the double teleport you do not need to be as concerned with castling up too much. Obviously hugging the back line is a bit dramatic in most cases but the teleport will allow you to quick re-deploy after the alpha strike has hit.
- If you will not be alpha struck (never really referred to it in past tense before, sounds funny). Then deployment should look similar to if you were going first. Be sure to keep out of long bomb charge range but also be ready in a position that will allow the skinks to chaff up what remains of the board.
- Hero phase, this should be pretty quick, generate your command and summoning points. Hope for a 3+ on the Astrolith Bearer summoning point roll. Try and pop a minor character with the Engine of the Gods, and make any teleports you deem necessary. First turn teleports need to be considered thoughtfully, do not teleport just for the sake of it. Not getting a screen into place will hurt so rolling a 1 or 2 is a big risk. Depending on the opponent’s set up this can be a risk worth taking. Stealing an undermanned objective on turn one in Better Part of Valor has a big payoff but this is the level of importance which should be achieved. Don’t forget to place the bloat toad! Most opponents will let you place it later if you forget but it is never fun having to ask…
- It is now time to execute “Operation Onion Screen”. Either run or teleport (hoping for 5 or 6) your original skinks up the board as far as possible. Be willing to burn CPs on runs here. Getting your screens into position is one of the most crucial parts of the game.
- If you have a good target prepare the rippers for their shot.
- Now it is time to summon on skinks, hopefully you have 12+ summoning points and can bring on two units of 10. You want them layered in behind your initial groups filling in gaps but leaving enough space for the first groups to Wary Fighter back on your opponent’s turn. Also these groups should be jumping on any unclaimed objectives.
- If you are lucky you will have good targets for your bastiladons too, they should be within range of the Astrolith Bearer to allow for rerolls on their hits, the battalion rerolls do not start until your first combat phase so you will be missing them on this round.
- Charge the rippers and let them do their work. This should be your only combat so you will not need to worry about order or weathering any incoming attacks. If you have chosen well then the rippers will either eliminate the enemy unit or at least cripple it. This will also mean that they will likely survive the round and have become an extra screen/major distraction for your opponent.
- With your screens set and objectives scored all there is to do is sit back and prepare for a double turn. Being mentally prepared to be doubled always helps to keep expectations in check.
- As you progress into the middle rounds just keep the skinks coming, likely the first couple units have been killed so you want 40-50 on the board at all times. It could also be time to send a bastiladon into combat to hold a weakening flank. Continue to possess as much of the board as possible. You can start tagging enemy units on the corner with skinks to really stick them in place. The important thing is that you continue to score the objectives. Any army worth its salt will eventually push through the BS and you want as comfortable a lead as is possible so that you are only forced to hold a single objective late in the game.
- Hero and movement phase is similar to going first, the difference being that available targets are now much closer and easier to get to.
- If you are playing a center objective game then it is likely that your opponent has taken the middle objectives. This means you will need to fight them off of one or more. Damage output is not this armies strongest point so focus fire will be essential. Pick one objective to try and retake and hit it with everything you got. If any of their objectives are held by a good Ripper target then this is likely the place to start. If fighting on two fronts is necessary, then you will likely need to charge the kroxigor in behind a unit of skinks. Let the skinks take the majority of the attacks, die off, and allow the kroxigor to pile in.
- If you are not playing a center objective game then this is where you need to be searching the opponents back/side field for undermanned objectives. If all that is left is a caster or buff piece then teleport a unit of skinks to cap the objective and have the single character chase them around for a while. If it is a small battleline unit like dire wolves, 5 judicators, etc. then the kroxigor are you best bet. If it is a semi-capable unit, something like 20 chainraps or 10 sisters of slaughter then consider sending the Astrolith Bearer along for the ride. He will greatly increase the effectiveness of the kroxigor and allow for a reroll charge if necessary.
- The middle game strategy is the same as if you had gone first. Keep the opponent fighting skinks and be on the lookout for where they over extended which will allow a teleported unit to steal points, if only for a turn.
- On either turn 3 or 4 continuing to bring on skinks via your summoning will have limited effectiveness. Consider saving up for something like rippers or if things are going pretty well bringing on a Carnosaur is always a bit of a slap in the face to the opponent. They likely don’t know it is a middling monster at best and will attempt to shore up against it.
- It is also time to limit the number of objectives you are holding. This doesn’t mean leaving any that you already have but picking a single objective on which to make a stand and then summoning specifically to protect it. This is probably going to be the objective which is held or closest to the starhost.
- If you are behind in points then try to bait your opponent away from objectives, placing your Astrolith Bearer or Engine of the Gods in a place where they could kill it but in doing so would weaken their hold on an objective. This is also time to get aggressive with things if necessary, having lots of things alive at the end of the game and losing is just called losing. The Engine is alright in a fight and even the Slann has 6 3” attacks with -1 rend. Desperate times call for desperate measures.
- If you are playing in a tournament and things are not going as planned it could also be time to consider playing for either the minor win or lose. Taking any sort of lose will push you out of the podium but a minor lose vs a major lose could easily be the difference between making top 10 and not. This is a strictly subjective choice and is dependent on your goals and how you view the game/tournament.
– Center Objective Games
- Being able to go first in these games is a big advantage. The army is very fast and will likely be able to take all of the objectives turn 1. It then becomes a battle to hold on to as many as possible for as long as possible.
- If you have to go second and the opponent controls the objectives you will need to focus down one objective at a time. The list does not have the output to be taking out multiple units at a time. Get the softest objective turn 1 and hope for a double turn to push onto the next. Also be looking for opportunities to steal an undermanned objective with skinks even if it is just one turn it is a good trade.
– Deployment Zone Objective Games
- Going first or second is a bit of a wash, there is good and bad with both. If you are going first then chaff up the units you do not want to fight and bait out units you do. Your opponent will likely take what is presented.
- Holding 3 objectives is hard. You will likely need to leave one lightly guarded. This is going to be your juiciest bait. In an ideal world you deployed in such a way that the unit you want to fight is across from your weak objective. If that wasn’t possible use teleports to redeploy. Once you have the baited unit on the move use kroxigor or skinks to try and trade on the objective which has just been left.
- As the game progresses and your opponent is forced to leave objectives in order to try and score have a unit ready to capitalize.
- The bastiladon shooting will be vital in these missions because it allows them to sit on an objective and still participate in the fight.