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 Tantalus Tactics for 7th Edition

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SweaterKittens
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PostSubject: Tantalus Tactics for 7th Edition   Wed Feb 18 2015, 06:32

Hey all,

I'm a regular over at Dakka, but I figured this would be better suited (and get a better response) over here, so you'll have to excuse my low post count.

I noticed that the last Tantalus tactica thread was from 2011, and quite a lot of the tactics within it are a bit dated or unusable now (AKA fielding it with Sliscus). While the codex hasn't changed much, there are certainly some new options now. One of the ones I find most interesting is that you can now take a Court of the Archon with no restrictions on which models you'd like to bring, opening up your options of using it as a Dedicated Transport. The first thought that comes to mind is a kitted Archon with a ton of Sslyth and Medusae. Deepstrike turn 2/3, melt something with the disintegrators and melt something else with combined splinter/template fire, then assault the next turn (with FNP and T5 Sslyth's tanking overwatch).

Thoughts? It's a gorgeous model, and while I know it will never be competitive, my FLGS is mostly casual and it'd be fun as hell to run. Did I mention it's a gorgeous model?

Cheers,
SweaterKittens
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PostSubject: Re: Tantalus Tactics for 7th Edition   Thu Feb 19 2015, 06:21

Since no one has offered up any ideas yet, and since I have a truly stupid amount of time on my hands working the night shift, I've decided to approach this is in a step-by-step manner by highlighting the strengths and weaknesses of the Tantalus. As I said before, it's never going to be a highly competitive choice, but it also has a lot more potential than say, Drazhar. I think that if its strengths are played to, and its weaknesses are shored up, it could actually be a decent choice, albeit not the 'best' choice.

Tantalus Breakdown:

Strengths:

  • 5 Hull Points, AV 12 Front and Side, 5++
  • 16 Unit Transport capacity
  • 2 Pulse Disintegrators (Each function as a Disintegrator with Heavy 6, herafter referred to as "P-Dizzies", the freshest weapon choice.
  • Aethersails stock
  • Scythevanes (5th Ed. Bladevanes with S7 AP2, D6 hits on a unit or 1 with Armourbane on a vehicle)
  • Can take several updated Vehicle Wargear options for dirt cheap

Weaknesses:


  • Wopping 215 pts.
  • Tanky by DE standards, but that's like saying it's the least soggy of all the soggy rice cakes.
  • Enormous footprint, and 2-3 times the size of most DE vehicles
  • Have to forgoe shooting in order to use Scythevanes
  • Does not have the option for Splinter Racks because FW hates us
  • DE don't have a good way to take advantage of the increased transport capacity


Analysis

Tankiness:Starting with strengths, we have its tankiness in relation to most DE vehicles. On the other hand, what's tanky for us is light or middle of the road for most other armies, so it's not that much of a boon. Combined with how damn big the vehicle is, and the fact that you'll have to expose yourself completely to get an angle with both P-Dizzies... it ends up being a bit of a wash. Your tankiness should help you survive the increased number of shots you'll inevitably take, but don't expect this thing to roll in like a Land Raider.

Transport Capacity:
The 16 unit transport capacity is, unfortunately, not as much of a boon as it could be. Being a rather strange number, there aren't really any special options that open up with 15-16 troops that isn't already open at 10 or less. Trueborn already get max weapon options at 6, Kabalites need 20 to get another heavy weapon, and you can't really afford to waste points on 15 Wyches now that they're pretty crappy. Taking more than 10 Incubi is atrociously expensive and will (somehow) turn the thing into even more of a fire-magnet than it is already. You could potentially take 7 Grotesques and an HQ or two, but that many Grotesques is very, very expensive. You're already spending 215 points on their transport, spending at least another 245 points just to fill it is a bit excessive.

I think the best options are using it as a DT for an Archon and his Court (which are viable now), and freeing up a HS slot. OR, with some allied Eldar, filling it with Wraithguard. It may be expensive, but that is a unit that will do an enormous amount of damage on the turn it drops, even if it gets wrecked immediately afterward.

Weapons:
Regarding the P-Dizzies - people rarely run Dizzie Ravagers, but it's worth making the comparison that this thing will put out a number of shots equivalent to 1 1/2 Dizzie Ravagers. They may not be as good as Dark Lances, but you will put out 12 shots a turn, so even with S5 you'll have volume of fire on your side. They may not be good against vehicles, but that's what your Scythevane is for. At S7 AP2 with Armourbane, on average you will get penetrating hits even on Land Raiders - and that's not accounting for the fact that it's quite easy to maneuver into a position where you are facing their rear armor. Additionally, with Aethersails you should be able to go flat-out a respectable enough distance away to put yourself either behind cover, or out of range.

I would say for the most part to avoid using Scythevane on infantry unless you need to, as the Disintegrators are going to be more consistent. Sure, you have the chance to do 6 S7 hits, but you are just as likely to do only 1. Additionally, you can still use your Scythevane at full power when jinking, so plan ahead before putting yourself in a position where you need to jink.

Wargear Options:
As far as Wargear options, the only ones of merit are the Shock Prow, Night Shields, and TGL. They're dirt cheap so even if you put them all on, it's only 20 more points - whereas most vehicles in the new codex cost at least 15 to mount Night shields on. The Night shields for 10 pts on the Tantalus seem like an auto-take. You need this boat to have as much survivability as possible, and since you can jink and still get a Scythevane attack, that +1 cover will be a godsend. Not to mention, if you read Mushkilla's Pragmatic Realspace Raider on using Reavers as intervening models, you can upgrade a Reaver screen to a 4+ save without jinking. You can also use the enormous hull of the Tantalus to your advantage - by making sure your intended enemy is JUST within the firing arc, you can potentially have a large amount of your hull behind cover, granting you 'mostly obscured' and giving you a 3+ with Night Shields. For 10 points? Yes please.

The TGL, for 5 points, gives you a 1/3 chance of not losing one of your precious P-Dizzies on a weapon destroyed. I wouldn't say it's an auto-take since you have Scythevanes as a backup weapon. I may also be incorrect in assuming that Scythevanes aren't factored in when taking a Weapon Destroyed result. Either way, not an auto-take.

I only mention the Shock Prow because it synergizes with Scythevanes - if you're forgoing shooting to go flat-out anyway, you may as well Scythevane one target then ram the person behind them at AV14. Additionally, Scythevanes grants you an extra D6 when rolling to penetrate armor, making it very likely to get a pen even when ramming. I certainly wouldn't open with this tactic, but it might work in a pinch, and for 5 pts it's not bad.

It absolutely blows that you can't take Splinter Racks on this big guy, but it means that you should avoid stocking it with Kabalites and Splinter Cannons which would be much better served on a Raider with racks.

Footprint and Deep Strike
This thing will draw a lot of fire the moment you put it on the field. As people have mentioned before, it [i]looks[i] like a superheavy, and it's likely that you stocked it with lots of tasty treats. Even with lots of LOS-blocking cover, you're going to be hard pressed to keep this thing safe. You might have noticed that is has both Deep Strike capability and Aerial Assault, and although AA is not necessary anymore, it tells you that they intended for this thing to be able to Deep Strike effectively. The biggest problem with that is that you're attempting to precisely insert a vehicle that's almost the size of a Baneblade. So then you're left with either trying to Deep Strike it in a safe, open location where it will hopefully not mishap, or go for the gold and try to delicately insert your elephant-sized transport where you actually want it.

I think the solution to this is taking an Archon, Succubus, or Haemonculus with a WWP. It allows them to perfect-Deep Strike any unit they are attached to or Embarked upon, and nothing needs the perfect DS more than this monster. While an HQ with WWP is guaranteed to be at least 95 pts, it's a common and effective route to go anyway, so I don't think of it as an extra cost to make the Tantalus function.

Summary

This thing is going to draw a lot of fire, no matter where you put it, what you put in it, what colour you paint it, etc. It probably will never survive the battle, but it'll look damn good in the meantime. I would say that a Tantalus will be best used in a list with at least some Eldar allies, even if nothing else aside from an Autarch for the reserve manipulation. Put an Archon with WWP and a Court consisting of +/- 4 Medusae and 6 Sslyth, or (with Eldar allies) 7 Wraithguard with D-scythes. I think that template weapons will be meds on a Tantalus due to the fact that, being open-topped, you can fire off of any point on the vehicle, meaning that you can always get the best possible angle to cover enemy models with the templates. I hope to hear some thoughts and suggestions on this, as I think a Tantalus will be my next purchase, and one way or another that giant piece of resin is making it to the tabletop.


Last edited by SweaterKittens on Thu Feb 19 2015, 14:48; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Tantalus Tactics for 7th Edition   Thu Feb 19 2015, 07:16

Good stuff here. I received one as a gift in the Secret Santa Slave Raid from one VERY generous @Barnone , but have not played a game with it as of yet. (FW sent me replacement parts for a couple pieces that just arrived this week)

What you wrote here makes a great deal of sense, particularly in regards to the massive footprint. I'm assembling a CWE Cobra right now and I can tell you that the Tantalus has nearly the same footprint with a much higher profile. I'll have to snap a comparison pic when they're done and will comment once I get a few games in with this beast.

It most certainly is a sexy model.

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PostSubject: Re: Tantalus Tactics for 7th Edition   Thu Feb 19 2015, 08:15

Thank you, I'm glad you found it informative! I'm still relatively new to the tabletop, albeit not new to the game in general, so I'm glad that I'm not totally off base.

And you lucky bastard. Congratulations, you'll definitely have to post some glamour shots and comparison pictures when it's done. And by all means please post the results after you play some games with it, I don't think I've seen a single batrep with one, which makes it even harder to get a bead on tactics.
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PostSubject: Re: Tantalus Tactics for 7th Edition   Thu Feb 19 2015, 09:29

I don't think the ability to option in a Flickerfield for 10 points can be ignored, with the amount of Ignore Cover shooting available to many armies nowadays.
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PostSubject: Re: Tantalus Tactics for 7th Edition   Thu Feb 19 2015, 09:42

Sigmaril, Tantalus get a Flickerfield stock, so you don't have to shell out for it
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PostSubject: Re: Tantalus Tactics for 7th Edition   Thu Feb 19 2015, 09:48

Doh. I was reading the Reapers options. My bad.
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PostSubject: Re: Tantalus Tactics for 7th Edition   Thu Feb 19 2015, 12:48

I'm pretty sure it has 5 hull points now Smile
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PostSubject: Re: Tantalus Tactics for 7th Edition   Thu Feb 19 2015, 13:32

@Crazy_Ivan wrote:
I'm pretty sure it has 5 hull points now Smile

I would very much like that to be the case, so I'm hoping I'm wrong. 5 hull points would improve it's survivability dramatically. However, I believe the datasheet that's found by Googling "Dark Eldar Tantalus" is the original, from when it was released, with 5 HP.

The FW IA 6th ed. Update, on the other hand (http://www.forgeworld.co.uk/Downloads/Product/PDF/v/vehicle6thupdates.pdf)
has it listed with only having 4 HP. It appears that they nerfed it upon the release of 6th edition. I mean CLEARLY it was totally out of control, you can't find a 5th edition batrep that doesn't spam as many of these as possible, am I right? Rolling Eyes
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PostSubject: Re: Tantalus Tactics for 7th Edition   Thu Feb 19 2015, 14:09

IA Apocalypse 2013 has it with 5 HP. I believe that is the most recent version of the Tantalus.

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PostSubject: Re: Tantalus Tactics for 7th Edition   Thu Feb 19 2015, 14:48

@Count Adhemar wrote:
IA Apocalypse 2013 has it with 5 HP. I believe that is the most recent version of the Tantalus.

I just dug out a copy of IA Apocalypse 2013 and you are quite correct. I had assumed the datasheet I was looking at was an older version. Thank you to you and Crazy_Ivan for the tip.
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PostSubject: Re: Tantalus Tactics for 7th Edition   Fri Feb 20 2015, 19:24

I'd like to add, that the Tantalus is also the ideal transport for the Harlequins...

It's the only Open Topped/Assault vehicle available to any Eldar faction that can carry a full Harlequin Troupe with Death Jester + Shadowseer.

It's also ideal for Leadership Shenanigans as a Shadowseer with the MAsk of Secrets along with an Archon/Succubus with the Armour of Misery synergizes well with a PGL/Psychic Shriek, Phantasmancy Powers.

Heck, if you want to go crazy, throw in a Farseer for what could possibly be the ultimate Unified Eldar Deathstar...
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PostSubject: Re: Tantalus Tactics for 7th Edition   Fri Feb 20 2015, 22:18

Slap in a Haem from one of the Coven formations for that extra -1 Ld.

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PostSubject: Re: Tantalus Tactics for 7th Edition   Sat Feb 21 2015, 00:38

Indeed! I thought about that too.

I'm finding that these Harlequins are the missing link from the DE codex. They mesh extremely well with our approach to war. More so than with the craftworlders.
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PostSubject: Re: Tantalus Tactics for 7th Edition   Sat Feb 21 2015, 01:09

@Balisong wrote:
I'd like to add, that the Tantalus is also the ideal transport for the Harlequins...

It's the only Open Topped/Assault vehicle available to any Eldar faction that can carry a full Harlequin Troupe with Death Jester + Shadowseer.

It's also ideal for Leadership Shenanigans as a Shadowseer with the MAsk of Secrets along with an Archon/Succubus with the Armour of Misery synergizes well with a PGL/Psychic Shriek, Phantasmancy Powers.

Heck, if you want to go crazy, throw in a Farseer for what could possibly be the ultimate Unified Eldar Deathstar...

Thanks for adding that, Balisong! That is an incredibly good point, as Harlequins, unlike Wyches and to an extent Kabalites, benefit from having a large squad size + leaders. It'd be expensive as all hell, but it's really a delivery vector more than anything.

After some thinking, I've come to the conclusion that you should use the Tantalus as a gunboat for as few turns as possible, and drop your cargo and assault ASAP. The longer you keep high-value goodies inside of it, the more fire it's going to draw.
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PostSubject: Re: Tantalus Tactics for 7th Edition   Sat Feb 21 2015, 02:33

If you wanted to run it purely as a gunboat, I suggest a squad with 3-4 Death Jesters onboard.

36 Inch range on their Shrieker Cannons matches up perfectly with the PDs.

If you jink it, they will still get to fire their Blasts (if you so choose to use it).

This will MELT MCs, and most non vehicle/gargantuan units.

Interesting fact too, their sail is large enough to block line of sight on some flyers.
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PostSubject: Re: Tantalus Tactics for 7th Edition   Sat Feb 21 2015, 07:50

Quote :
I think the best options are using it as a DT for an Archon and his Court (which are viable now), and freeing up a HS slot. OR, with some allied Eldar, filling it with Wraithguard. It may be expensive, but that is a unit that will do an enormous amount of damage on the turn it drops, even if it gets wrecked immediately afterward.

It is also the only way to field a Character + Wyches and still take all 3 Wych Weapons (that is if you really really really want to use them)
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