Deathstar Units

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A Deathstar unit is a unit in a wargame that is maxed out to be as powerful as possible within the game mechanics. This is normally a massive points sink, but is insanely powerful. The unit is typically maxed out by taking a powerful unit and adding one or more characters who can buff the unit even further. Normally only passive modifications are used, with short term buffs being too unreliable. Not all armies can field death star units.

Common Traits[edit]

Common traits of Death Star units include:

  • Huge Points Cost
  • Near Invulnerability
  • Massive damage output
  • Some sort of exploitable weakness. This is not necessary but good deathstars (from a design perspective) should have a counter to them.
  • Self contained. All those points should be in one unit.

As one heads into larger games, death star units have less and less impact, as opponents have more and more things to counter them.

This is because, unlike hammer units, which hit very hard, and anvil units, which receive the hits and keep on kicking, Deathstar units hurt more than hammer units and tank more than anvil units, at the cost of no real flexibility, poor battlefield control and shit power outside of the deathstar unit. This is why most tournament lists do not include any deathstar units; random chance can fuck you sideways.

Example death star units[edit]

Taken from Warhammer 40k Tau Empire, circa 7th edition (rules changes in 8th edition have since made 40k deathstars all but nonexistent, at least in the traditional sense of the term):

  • Commander Farsight (No Scatter on Deepstrike)
  • Battlesuit Commander with Drone Controller, Vectored Retro-Thrusters (Hit and run out of Close Combats should you be assaulted)
  • 7 Battlesuit Bodyguards carrying Fusion blasters and Plasma Rifles or Burst Cannons and Flamers (Split between the 7)
    • One Bodyguard takes Command & Control Node and Multi-spectrum Sensor Suit (Ignores cover and twin-linked on all the weapons)

This unit will rape anything regardless of how tactically talented the opponent is or what ever units he has. It will be gone. Not even bad luck will stop you from obliterating your point cost in infantry AND vehicles. If by some EXTREMELY unlucky chance the enemy charges this and wins the combat, you are vulnerable to an epic sweeping advance. If this happens, you're not just out, but the game will have raped you, beaten you over the head, stolen your money and left.

Taken from WHFB Vampire Counts:

  • Mannfred von Carstein on Barded Nightmare.
  • Vampire lord with heavy armour, shield, nightshroud, giant blade, Quickblood, dread knight, red fury, Barded Nightmare.
  • Necromancer with Featherfoe Torc on Barded Nightmare.
  • Vampire with Fear Incarnate, Aura of Dark Majesty, the terrifying mask of EEE, Heavy Armour, Shield Barded Nightmare.
  • Necromancer with Obsidian Lodestone on Barded Nightmare.
  • Vampire BSB with Razor Standard on Barded Nightmare, and Forbidden Lore (Lore of Heavens).
  • 40x Blood Knights with Full Command, Kastellan with Sword of Swift Slaying, standard bearer with Banner of Blood Keep.

This set up will be pushing towards the 3000pts mark, and will need at least another thousand for core, but with it you get a 2+ armour save T4 S5(7) cavalry with a 4+ Ward save that increases to a 1+ when faced with magic, and within there is magic than can raise the fallen, re-roll rolls to hit and wound, nerf enemies, etc. You will be ignoring all but 1+ saves with most of your attacks. The vampire with the giant sword is able to hand any character's ass back to them on a plate, with a 1+ armour save, ASF, S8 with armour piercing ignoring all armour, and reducing the enemy to base strength and ASL. All attacks by the one group of enemies that could reliably hurt it, Monsters, are forced to re-roll rolls to hit.

If the enemy manages to bring this down (Final Transmutation, I'm looking at you) you will be out of the game however. Not just out, but the game will have raped you, beaten you over the head, stolen your money and left. Thus, the duality of Death Stars.

Anything with a Primarch, even a tactical squad. For what you are paying for them, they better be. Don't be a cheapskate and give the Tact-squad chain swords if you do this. Though they still suck at the job compared to Elite choices, Command Squads and Legion exclusive units. In fact any squad you add a Primarch to should be fully upgraded.