Hello and welcome to the first in a series of unit analysis blog posts. Today’s analysis will focus on the pesky Terradon Riders. These posts will give a run down of the units potential and how I personally use them.
Terradon Riders are a flying-cavalry unit for the Seraphon. They are fairly squishy but extremely mobile and can be a pain to deal with if the player knows what they’re doing. They are a fantastic harassment unit and can unleash mortal wounds once per game by flying over an enemy.
Cost: 140 for 3
The first thing that jumps out is the huge movement on these guys. In conjunction with the ability fly they make the ultimate objective grabbers. They also have quite a lot of different rules and abilities which we can examine.
Sunleech Bolas cause D6 wounds for every hit you make – ouch. They have a very short range but I will cover below how best to work around the short range.
Deadly Cargo is a very aggressive ability. For each Terradon, on a 4+ you cause D3 mortal wounds to any unit you fly over. The more Terradons you have, the more pain this is going to cause. The problem lies in the fact that we need to be right up close to the enemy, this leads me to the main flaw with these guys: they’re squishy. At 140 points for 3 we really need to be careful how we use them and can’t use them as a suicide squad.
Swooping Dive is another aggressive ability which allows us to re-roll hits and wounds in an assault but we lose our aerial advantage. You need to use this as a killing strike move as I explain below.
How to use them
The best way I have found to use the Terradons, is to play defensively. You should use them as mobile scouts to nab objectives and as a ‘killing-blow’ unit. Usually I will lock a Bastiladon and Terradon unit onto one objective. The Terradon Riders sit near cover and camp the objective, if an enemy heads over the basti blasts them down in preperation for a pick-off from the Riders. Drop the cargo and using swooping dive if you’re sure you will finish the job, otherwise keep on kiting.
The other way to use Terradon Riders, is to camp them behind a block of Saurus in a big melee combat. They will be able to see over the Saurus and fire their projectiles into the fray. This is where the fire-leech bolas really start to shine. With a few decent rolls you will start to rack up some serious damage while your opponent either has to ignore them or find a way to flank around and deal with them. With the 14″ movement of the Terradon Riders, there is simply to catching them.
Terradon Riders can be part of the Shadowstrike Starhost battalion. This is actually an extremely potent and aggressive formation.
1 x Skink Priest or Starpriest
2 x Skinks or Chameleons
1 x Terradon or Ripperdactyls
Benefits: Skinks can roll 2d6 after deployment and move that many inches before the first turn. The priest can pick an enemy unit he sees at ANY range and gives all units from the skink patrol rerolls to hit and wound against that unit. The fliers get to deepstrike during any of your movement phases more than 3″ from an enemy – they also add 1 to their wound rolls for that turn’s combat.
This batallion works better with the Ripperdactyls in my opinion because of their raw damage output. You can still use it with Terradons to drop in behind a squishy spellcaster or onto an objective. If you plan to use the Terradon Riders in an aggressive composition, I highly recommend you use this formation, it’s too good to pass up.
There is no single way to use these guys or any unit for that matter but in summary:
- Play defensively
- Exploit their speed as much as possible
- Exploit the model height to fire into combat from behind your infantry
- Use them as a killing blow unit by dropping the cargo and swopping down for the kill
You can buy brand new Terradon Riders at a 15% discount here!