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 So i need some help with my reavers

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The_Burning_Eye
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PostSubject: So i need some help with my reavers   Thu Nov 06 2014, 15:32

I've used them 3 times now, twice used a squad of 6 with 2 heat lances and 2 caltrops, and once used a unit of 9 with max blasters and caltrops.

First game they got targetted by a large blast, failed morale and then wiped before they got into the fight, second game they got ambushed and wiped by a flyrant and some friends, and then last night a couple of wyverns dropped enough stormshard mortar shells on their heads to fell a wraithknight.

So my question is, am i doing something wrong by starting them on the table? would they be better coming in later on once a few threats have been neutralised, or have i just been unlucky?

The first game I deployed everything on the table, the second two they were part of my turn 1 presence, alongside a ravager (2 in game two) and 2 Talos.

I love the reavers and I'm really looking forward to them achieving something, but they've so far managed to kill 5 guardsmen over 3 games.

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PostSubject: Re: So i need some help with my reavers   Thu Nov 06 2014, 15:55

Yeah I know your pain. They really need to be off the table I think. Despite being toughness 4 (woop with that 5+) they just aren't durable with so much ignores cover about. I've had most success reserving them, then boosting down flanks and picking off stuff. They are my go to vacuum cleaner unit. Take out the little bits that are exposed or left. If they go right into the fray they go down too easily while if they pick off the exposed bits, control the flanks, cause a bit of panic they do perform better.

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Unholyllama
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PostSubject: Re: So i need some help with my reavers   Thu Nov 06 2014, 16:14

For me, their deployment relies heavily on what combat drug I roll and the terrain. If I can hide them behind a solid piece of LOS blocking terrain, I will put them on the board. If I roll +1 toughness for druggs, I'll put them on the board. Otherwise, they are in reserve.

If I roll strategic and can give them infiltration, I'll keep them in reserves and outflank them.

They are good but their save is definitely their weakness. Jink is good but ignores cover hurts. Likewise, barrage weapons and similar non-LOS required weapons make them a tough model to use in more competitive games.

They are awesome but in my experiences, I'm beginning to go only caltrops or only heat lances on them since they die quickly. Likewise, I tend to run them in multiples and make sure there are other threats on the table.

I'm hoping to get more games in soon with them and be able to provide a bit better direction on them afterwards.
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PostSubject: Re: So i need some help with my reavers   Thu Nov 06 2014, 16:21

I just really want them to work and I'm not sure I've really grasped their use yet. I guess also I've been a bit unlucky - the wyvern just shredded them and the sheer number of shots the flyrant put down scuppered me in that game. I'm thinking I might swap them out for a second Ravager, could do with a few more ranged lances on the board on turn 1 if last night's game is anything to go by.

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PostSubject: Re: So i need some help with my reavers   Thu Nov 06 2014, 16:24

@The_Burning_Eye wrote:
I just really want them to work and I'm not sure I've really grasped their use yet. I guess also I've been a bit unlucky - the wyvern just shredded them and the sheer number of shots the flyrant put down scuppered me in that game. I'm thinking I might swap them out for a second Ravager, could do with a few more ranged lances on the board on turn 1 if last night's game is anything to go by.

Wyverns are a pain in the neck for Reavers (and DE in general really). They would probably cause me to auto-reserve reavers if they were on the field since they can remove a unit so easily.
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Count Adhemar
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PostSubject: Re: So i need some help with my reavers   Thu Nov 06 2014, 16:27

I've moved to caltrop-only as I find they will jink pretty much every turn, making their shooting rather lackluster.

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PostSubject: Re: So i need some help with my reavers   Thu Nov 06 2014, 16:27

I wouldn't take reavers in units smaller than 9.
My reasoning is simply based on the emergency disembark rule. A unit of 7 reavers can conpletely surround a rhino, thereby killing any unit inside if the tank is wrecked (haywire blasters ensure the tank doesn't explode.) Should the tank not die to shooting, reavers with cluster caltrops can almost guarantee a kill on any vehicle with rear armor under 11. Should the tank explode, a 9 man unit of reavers can safely annihilate the unit inside with shooting and a melee charge.

For this strategy, I wouldn't recommend taking anything other than caltrops, as ranged weapons such as blasters and heat lances are too unreliable and fail to add as much punching power as caltrops can.

Remember the strength of the Dark Eldar is speed. It's what allows us to use strategies such as these. If you're not using it, you've already handicapped yourself.
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PostSubject: Re: So i need some help with my reavers   Thu Nov 06 2014, 16:35

@Khordajj - I'm not sure exactly what you're saying there Khordajj, I've done the killing a unit by wrecking it before, but you can only do it in combat since you can't move into contact with it in the movement phase (and if you're in combat with it you can't shoot it).

7th Edition has also changed the rules somewhat, since the models don't have to be placed adjacent to a hatch anymore, any part of the hull will do.

The main purpose of the post was also that I'm struggling to keep them alive, a bigger unit paints a bigger target and keeping enough alive to surround a transport in that way seems pretty much an impossibility unless I'm playing a complete novice.

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PostSubject: Re: So i need some help with my reavers   Thu Nov 06 2014, 16:39

@Count Adhemar wrote:
I've moved to caltrop-only as I find they will jink pretty much every turn, making their shooting rather lackluster.
Agreed - I find the gun upgrades to be a waste because the HoW is so good and you are a fool to not jink if targeted by...basically anything.

I haven't got to try Reavers out much myself (I have been having too much fun with the Coven formations, Razorwings, and trying to figure out the right amount of Scourges) but I would tend to presume the goal is to get a fair pile of them on the table - if 1 unit is good than probably 2 is better and 3 is best.

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PostSubject: Re: So i need some help with my reavers   Thu Nov 06 2014, 16:48

I could definitely see myself taking three units of 6 with the new formation, if I owned that many (and if you've seen my reavers, I'd need a whole fortnight dedicated to painting them too!). It's a shame that the rifles aren't twin linked, but I can see plenty of my opponents soiling themselves if that many came flying at them.

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PostSubject: Re: So i need some help with my reavers   Thu Nov 06 2014, 17:50

I use 12 of them, with 4 Caltrops, Champion for LD, and NO blasters. Because they will always jink and/or boost, so I wanna spend this 40 points in other ways.

If you are scared about lost this guys at your first turn, keep it in reserves Smile I usually don't play blasters on it, for the reasons up. I prefer use Scourges o Trueborn for blasters.

And, a large unit can use Hit and Run worthly
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PostSubject: Re: So i need some help with my reavers   Thu Nov 06 2014, 20:29

For a squad of six with caltrops, do most people bring a squad leader for Leadership upgrade?
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PostSubject: Re: So i need some help with my reavers   Thu Nov 06 2014, 21:01

I am looking forward to run 4 units of 3 with cc and blasters. I think splitting them could help avoiding jinks, like suggested by Mushkilla in another thread

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PostSubject: Re: So i need some help with my reavers   Thu Nov 06 2014, 21:07

@Aroban wrote:
I am looking forward to run 4 units of 3 with cc and blasters. I think splitting them could help avoiding jinks, like suggested by Mushkilla in another thread
The only issues with that plan are the obligated additional Cad/RR detachment setup. Also, since their real strength is in the HoW you'd still need to run them fairly coherent to make proper use of the hits as a squad of 3 is not quite as scary hitting into a unit of any particular size.

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PostSubject: Re: So i need some help with my reavers   Thu Nov 06 2014, 22:10

@The_Burning_Eye wrote:
@Khordajj - I'm not sure exactly what you're saying there Khordajj, I've done the killing a unit by wrecking it before, but you can only do it in combat since you can't move into contact with it in the movement phase (and if you're in combat with it you can't shoot it).

7th Edition has also changed the rules somewhat, since the models don't have to be placed adjacent to a hatch anymore, any part of the hull will do.

The main purpose of the post was also that I'm struggling to keep them alive, a bigger unit paints a bigger target and keeping enough alive to surround a transport in that way seems pretty much an impossibility unless I'm playing a complete novice.

When a vehicle is wrecked, the occupants must disembark (or emergency disembark) within 3" of the vehicle, and then the vehicle becomes wrecked. Fully surrounding the vehicle causes this disembarkation to become impossible, and the unit is destroyed as a result. Even when you disembark from any point of the hull, it is still impossible to place a model if the vehicle is surrounded because it must be 1" away from an enemy model, and you only get to move 3". Like I said, it only takes 7 Reavers to block a Rhino, and they immediately earn their points back if the unit inside can't be placed.

The reason I recommend this tactic it translates the purpose of taking Reavers. If you take Reavers with the intent of shooting something to death, or charging it to death, well then you need every Reaver you can get.

However if you take Reavers with the primary intention of denying your opponent's movement, it's much harder for him to stop that unless he wipes out the whole squad. You'd have to kill more Reavers to stop them from doing their job, thereby making them more "durable."

Otherwise, reserve them. If you know your opponents personally, and they have ignores cover, and they love blowing up your reavers turn 1, then reserve them unless they're precluding another more valuable unit from getting shot at.
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PostSubject: Re: So i need some help with my reavers   Thu Nov 06 2014, 22:21

I personally would use my reavers as my turn 1 board presence, alongside my taloi and/or ravagers.

Hide them behind LoS blocking terrain. Pop out hit something with blasters and assault move back into cover, use them defensively until you start getting those PfP buffs and the rest of your army starts coming on. This is why i'd want to take 2 blasters and 2 caltrops in 2 units of 6 Reavers. So that the early stages of the game they're using their blasters and speed to give them superior reach. Then towards the mid-late game you can start being more aggressive with them when they're a bit tougher to kill and you have other threats on the board with them. They're basically waiting for the right moment to attack.

But if the enemy is packing a lot of barrage or you are unable to hide them behing LoS Blocking terrain, I'd reserve them.

Though I've been wondering how much they really need those blasters now for my turn 1 board presence. Either way, caltrops are an always-pick for me.

Khordajj's suggestion about the surrounding of the rhinos etc is a fantastic tactic imo. Another one of the Reaver's many awesome things to bring to the table. I love them
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PostSubject: Re: So i need some help with my reavers   Thu Nov 06 2014, 22:25

I've been playing with 3 units of 6 w/caltrops.  I don't upgrade the guns or anything else as, like Count and Thor said, they'll spend most of the time jinking so gun changes are a waste.

Opponents that know anything about DE make Reavers a high priority target.  In Maelstrom games a single unit can easily score multiple objectives throughout the game while being able to put serious hurt on any infantry unit.  In standard games, they are fantastic for late game objective grabbing while easily capable of securing line breaker regardless of where they are on the board.

Ultimately this means you need to protect them until they can get into CC.  Which means either reserving them (yuck) or hiding them behind LoS blocking terrain.

Now, that said, because they are a high priority target you could simply use them as a distraction unit while your other stuff gets into place.  Or figure out how to bring something else as a distraction.  A haemi, talos and cronos popping out of a WWP in their backfield is pretty good at sowing confusion.

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PostSubject: Re: So i need some help with my reavers   Fri Nov 07 2014, 14:55

I started to look into this a bit more and talking things over with some non-DE friends - one thing I am going to try out in my next game is just multiple small units of 3 reavers. The sole purpose of them will be to take 1 HP off of vehicles, to grab objectives, and to just annoy the heck out of my opponent. While it's not optimal for kill points, it does provide some security in how my opponent has to pick 1 unit of 3 now instead of 1 units of 6 or 9.

Here's the list I'll probably field next time I get a chance. http://www.thedarkcity.net/t10739-1850-a-thousand-cuts-msu#119380
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PostSubject: Re: So i need some help with my reavers   Fri Nov 07 2014, 20:06

Unholyllama, please please post how it works for you.

I tried to do the same thing but with only 3 units of 3, CC & Blaster in each unit vs Tau. They mostly accomplished nothing except for soaking the occasional overwatch once each and grabbing a few objectives before dying horrible horrible deaths to SMS.

So hearing how they do VS any other army will be nice Smile

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PostSubject: Re: So i need some help with my reavers   Fri Nov 07 2014, 20:46

@Laughingcarp wrote:
Unholyllama, please please post how it works for you.

I tried to do the same thing but with only 3 units of 3, CC & Blaster in each unit vs Tau. They mostly accomplished nothing except for soaking the occasional overwatch once each and grabbing a few objectives before dying horrible horrible deaths to SMS.

So hearing how they do VS any other army will be nice Smile

Will do as soon as I get a game in with it.

Looking at them a lot I tried to find a way that required me to jink less to take advantage of their blaster or heat lance and yet didn't rely on them doing HoW (since they aren't THAT good in combat if my opponent survives). All this while also trying to reduce the dependency on the randomness of drugs.

So as soon as I can get a game in (it'll be a week or two due to life) I'll make sure to take notes and post a batrep.
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PostSubject: Re: So i need some help with my reavers   Sat Nov 08 2014, 14:48

I've actually been running a single unit of 3 with cluster caltrops and heat lance. The performance of the heat lance has been lackluster thus far, but the unit themselves have done OK.

The cluster caltrops haven't really been worth their points so far, due to poor rolls on the # of hits category. 15 points for 1 or 2 S6 AP- hits is a bit steep, especially when your armor 5+ unit that costs 24pts/model is now stuck in combat, likely to get chopped up. I know this isn't the average, though.

I still like the idea of them, but I'm finding that due to their fragile nature, I end up hiding them all game. A single attack with at least AP5 and ignores cover will take out the entire unit. Psychic shriek makes them have a terrible day.

That being said, they're quite obviously an aggressively oriented unit. Except for killpoint games, I think MSU bikes could be pretty good due to target saturation. With a small unit of them, they get wiped out easily. If you have several small units of them, if one or two get wiped out, that's ok, you have more.

The problem with that last scenario, so far, is that I don't feel like DE are as aggressive of an army as they were last codex. I don't own coven stuff, except Haemies, so I'm referring to cults and kabals here, sans scourges(because who'd have run them prior to this codex?). Previously, you could rush the enemy mech with your haywire wyches, along with their transports, and anything else you'd want to get close to the occupants of said transports, overwhelming the enemy with MSU and target saturation, ensuring about 2/3s of your army get to their target.

Now, I'm hesitant to do something like this. My primary anti-tank is all ranged, which is always sketchy for taking out vehicles, so I'm hesitant to place vulnerable units close to vehicles that I don't know are going down. Also, I'm allying Eldar significantly more in this codex, and using artillery, so that makes the list even more defensive in nature.

I don't know. I'd say that, so far, their performance has been sub-optimal, but I could see them as being excellent in an MSU format where you push tons of models to your opponent's side of the table on turn 1. In the case of the MSU format, I'd probably still take the heat lances, simply because some of my units likely aren't going to have to jink, and they will be useful for an extra shot at cracking mech.
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PostSubject: Re: So i need some help with my reavers   Tue Nov 11 2014, 16:48

I'm right there with you guys. Sub-optimal is a generous way to put it. They definitely generate a bigger punch in assault, but they don't seem to have the same synergy they used to. I've only been playing a little over than a year, so I know I'm way low on the experience front, but in that time, my reavers were a fantastic harrying unit, great for board control (kamikaze!), and--thanks to CC--probably the killiest thing I fielded (mostly I've played 500-100).

I know that I've still got a long way to go with deployment (where I suspect most of my games are lost) and positioning (damn you, brain, grasp threat bubbles or suffer the consequences!!). My last game I lost 3 min-size HL/CC units and all they managed to do was strip a single hull point off a dread... Even worse, the first two models I lost were the carriers for two of the units (again, definitely experience coming into play, you may not be able to fully protect a model with 2 others, but dang son!). And this was with a medusae bomb raider sitting in the face of two units of infantry.

So, now I'm thinking, first, that I need more immediate/threatening board presence (a challenge until I've added some coven units to my collection, as my drakes could be up in their face...but, no one's really feeling threatened by them yet), second, that I may have to bump unit sizes, 6 feels like it'll draw too much attention (which is the opposite of a solution), but with the bikes being cheaper, maybe 4 or 5 is more reasonable than it previously was? And third, possibly, putting the special stuff on an Arena Champion for look out sir rolls and improved Ld.
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PostSubject: Re: So i need some help with my reavers   Tue Nov 11 2014, 17:42

I played a small game last night where I ran 3 units of 3 with just heat lances and it went well. I never jinked with them (intentionally) which caused them to drop faster but by forcing my opponent to select a separate unit to fire at, the heat lances were able to hit their mark a bit more. It worked "ok" but still required a lot of focus to not split off the squads. Using 3 squads and treating them as a single unit worked well in the game; however, I admittingly got lucky by not failing a morale test from the 1 loss.
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PostSubject: Re: So i need some help with my reavers   Tue Nov 11 2014, 19:38

The more I think about reavers, the less sure I am about them. They certainly have some cool rules. Bladevanes make me want to use them as CC units, but armor 5 makes me not want to. High maneuverability and heat lances could be cool in theory, but in practice, I'd say scourges might be better. They have more weapons per squad, the same -base- move speed, and are able to deep strike.

The tactical flexibility of deep striking and extended ranged options of scourges makes them a better unit at range, in my opinion. Further, they can be upgraded to be arguably superior to reavers in melee. They come with 4+ armor instead of the 5+ of reavers, and the seargent can take a power lance for charges.

I don't know. Perhaps I just haven't been taking large enough squads?
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PostSubject: Re: So i need some help with my reavers   Tue Nov 11 2014, 20:05

@BetrayTheWorld wrote:
The more I think about reavers, the less sure I am about them. They certainly have some cool rules. Bladevanes make me want to use them as CC units, but armor 5 makes me not want to. High maneuverability and heat lances could be cool in theory, but in practice, I'd say scourges might be better. They have more weapons per squad, the same -base- move speed, and are able to deep strike.

The tactical flexibility of deep striking and extended ranged options of scourges makes them a better unit at range, in my opinion. Further, they can be upgraded to be arguably superior to reavers in melee. They come with 4+ armor instead of the 5+ of reavers, and the seargent can take a power lance for charges.

I don't know. Perhaps I just haven't been taking large enough squads?

I think we have no units which can do all alone in CC...maybe Grotesque, maybe.

Reavers are a great CC units imho (not shooting unit, a reaver without jink is a dead reaver...and as you say, Scourges are better in that way), but they cannot do all alone. Well, they are good vs 10-12 AV veichles, vs invisibile units, amazing vs small keeping-objective-in cover units (HoW no need greneades) but I found they pretty good to assault some units (and maybe gettin the overwatch) before another DE unit assaulting the same enemy. In this way you protect fragile assault DE units against overwatch (ok, doesn't work against multiple flames...yes multiple, don't care about 1 flamer, fnp still works) AND you allow your Reavers to use a good Hit and Run without too much loss
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