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 Sslyth- Best sizes and in what Transport?

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Lord Mal
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PostSubject: Sslyth- Best sizes and in what Transport?   Thu Feb 26 2015, 15:45

Hi everyone,

I'm currently attempting to make models using very small toy snake heads, some paperclips, muscle, and pieces from the Kabalite Warriors Box. So, I've been trying to think of the best model count, and in what transport to put them.

On paper, it looks to me like they'd make probably the single best body guard unit for an Archon, since somebody said that as long as the unit has the majority of models with T5, the archon gets "stealth T5". Call me crazy, but for half the points of shadowfield, wouldn't clonefield plus Armour of Misery make him relatively survivable given the T5 from the unit and then FNP from PFP in the middle rounds? I understand 4+ Armour isn't particularly great, but it does seem better than nothing, and you gain fear with the -2 modifier, which could be relatively good if you have a WWP on that unit and teleport them to the best target.

So, on to unit size, and transport. There's the classic Venom, meaning 4 plus the Archon. Seems a little small though, and I'd think you'd pretty much need a WWP if you want that getting to the right spot without exploding. With only 4, they're still pretty survivable, but I'm not really sure what the point is of this small a unit, since the Archon isn't worth delivering to anything specific.

Raider means you can max them to 9, or 8 plus a Medusae for the flamer, and the Archon. I'm again assuming that you'd want WWP, to get them in a good spot. The higher numbers you go, the more I'm not really sure whether you want these guys shooting, or in combat? Hopefully more experienced people can hash this out. It's also probable that this depends on targets available, as you can always shoot the fighty stuff, and fight the shooty stuff. Either way, seems like this unit could do some damage if you deliver them to the right spot.

I had another thought, that is most likely crazy. But what about 12 Sslyth with an Archon with WWP on foot? The WWP would make the fact they're on foot less problematic, and that's 36 splinter rifle shots without counting any shooting from the Archon. Sure the unit is expensive, but I've heard people advocating big expensive Truborn or Grot units as an Archon w/WWP's babysitter anyway.

Let me know if you had to take a sslyth unit, what unit sizes you'd take, and for what role? Thanks.
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jbwms713
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PostSubject: Re: Sslyth- Best sizes and in what Transport?   Thu Feb 26 2015, 16:34

This will only be pseudo-helpful at best, but I'm about to start playing around with Sslyth tonight in an 1850 game.

My plot is to take 3 Sslyth and a Medusae as the court in a raider, and then plop in the Archon with WWP. I've got 10 points (well, 14) to spare, so I may end up throwing in a Lhamean as well, just for a little poison love.

I have just enough Sslyth to give the T5 bonus, without making the unit all that expensive - the goal is to have a pretty jack-knife unit wherever I need it thanks to the WWP. AP3 flamer, a small slew of poison shots, and then a fair amount of S5 + aggy in combat makes for a decently well-rounded unit.

If you want to max on Sslyth, maybe consider instead of 12, 9 + raider with Splinter Racks. The racks make up for the shooting, and the raider itself offers protection from fire on the turn you come in. Likely any firepower that explodes the vehicle would have done more damage to the unit itself, and in the case of a standard wreck, Ld 10 should be ample protection.
Long story short, for the same cost you get a *lot* of benefits, even if just for that turn. It does mean a few less bodies in the court itself, but we can't have all the cake and eat it too.

All that said, a unit this big is... what, around 450? I'm not sure I'm sold that they're worth quite that investment in most standard games.
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Lord Mal
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PostSubject: Re: Sslyth- Best sizes and in what Transport?   Thu Feb 26 2015, 19:35

Thanks for the response, and I'm looking forward to hear how the smaller "usual" version goes, as that's what I've mostly heard of people using.

Your advice and reasoning is definitely well said, and you're probably right. Either way it's actually about the same points, give or take around 5. That being said, dropping the Raider buys about 3 extra Sslyth, which is 6 wounds, 9 more shots, and I'd be willing to bet, probably doesn't have the same response in terms of something trying to shoot it immediately like a Raider coming on the board does. The splinter wrack is a good point though, and I'd love to see some mathammer on both units in terms of the added bodies for shooting vs splinter wracks of fewer, and also the two units in melee combat.

Now I'm not saying this unit with it's huge cost is worth it, otherwise I wouldn't be asking for advice and personal experience from everyone, but I would like to know if it is, since I doubt anyone has ever tried a Sslyth unit that big for modeling reasons alone.

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PostSubject: Re: Sslyth- Best sizes and in what Transport?   Thu Feb 26 2015, 20:59

Reaper miniatures has a snakeman model that just needs kabalite arms added. Simple and cheap. Like 3$ a pop.

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PostSubject: Re: Sslyth- Best sizes and in what Transport?   Fri Feb 27 2015, 01:17

I'm curious to see where this thread goes because I have tried a few games with the court as a combo shooty/assaulty unit and can't find the right number of which to take.

So far, the one I like the best is Archon with sf and agoniser with 4 Sslyth in a venom for under 300pts. You get 24 shots from a deep strike (don't need webway really as the range of the Shardcarbine is 18inches) Shoot again next turn and assault. The raider with splinter racks and more Sslyth is just so expensive.
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PostSubject: Re: Sslyth- Best sizes and in what Transport?   Fri Feb 27 2015, 14:00

I play a small team-tourney this saturday and have only 750 pts to spend. So I will take a Blarchon and one Sslyth for a minimal hq in a venom. I tell you how it worked out! Although this is not the size you are thinking about Wink
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PostSubject: Re: Sslyth- Best sizes and in what Transport?   Fri Feb 27 2015, 15:51

I take 9 in a raider with splinter racks. Put your archon in there if you like, but I run mine with a heamy from the supplement for dual power from pain shenanegans. They are truly devastating on the tabletop. Their shooting is immense, amd once their transport has been popped, they are pretty tough and are pretty nails in Cc too.


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Lord Mal
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PostSubject: Re: Sslyth- Best sizes and in what Transport?   Fri Feb 27 2015, 16:34

Thanks for all the replies! I'm really looking forward to the people who are going to try the smaller units too, as I have no problem running them in whatever way they're effective.

Now that's interesting Spellcheck. So you run them serperately as their own force, and then run the Archon in with a supplement Haemy? If you don't mind me asking, what unit do you run these two in, and at what size with what? How is your archon tooled, just blaster/Shadowfield?

Well, the original reason I wanted to run Sslyth was to buff the Archon's toughness, but I can see where they would be a good unit all by themselves.
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PostSubject: Re: Sslyth- Best sizes and in what Transport?   Fri Feb 27 2015, 17:15

My archon is tooled with a blaster and the armour of misery (and sometimes a webway portal and /or agoniser).The -2 ld coupled with the -1 from the haemy coven rules is immense. I run him with 4 grots ( from supplement) for the toughness boost and cc protection. The heamy goes in with the 9 sllyth for the pfp boost. They would work fine by themselves tbh, as they dont really need the haemy in there. Maybe just add a lhamean for the cheap ld boost.

As an aside I cant wait to run this with the new harlie shadowseer and death jester for all the ld shenanigans Smile

Edit: I also think the shadowfield is way overpriced now to even consider me running one anymore. I rely on the grots toughness to get hom through most sticky situations

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PostSubject: Re: Sslyth- Best sizes and in what Transport?   Fri Feb 27 2015, 17:46

@spellcheck2001 wrote:
My archon is tooled with a blaster and the armour of misery (and sometimes a webway portal and /or agoniser).The -2 ld coupled with the -1 from the haemy coven rules is immense. I run him with 4 grots ( from supplement) for the toughness boost and cc protection. The heamy goes in with the 9 sllyth for the pfp boost. They would work fine by themselves tbh, as they dont really need the haemy in there. Maybe just add a lhamean for the cheap ld boost.

As an aside I cant wait to run this with the new harlie shadowseer and death jester for all the ld shenanigans Smile

Edit: I also think the shadowfield is way overpriced now to even consider me running one anymore. I rely on the grots toughness to get hom through most sticky situations

Unfortunately, Sslyth don't have PfP, they "only" have a stock Feel No Pain. However, that makes them great early on.


I think when it comes to Sslyth there are only two real uses. First, they are there to serve as bodyguards for an HQ (most likely an Archon since Grots make more sense for Succubi) in a Venom.
You can keep the price relatively small and maybe add a Medusae or a Lhamaean. This way they support the Archon but I ask myself, why taking an Archon in the first place?

Apart from some interesting wargear options I'd rather make use of Succubi who brings some AP2.
And Succubi benefit much more from a squad of Grotesques.
No matter which direction I try to look at them as body guards, I don't think it's worth the point investment.


The other option is just to go wild with points and place 9+ in a Raider and I can actually see them being a valid option.
They bring great shooting, are reasonably though and because of the big point investment in Sslyth the Raider tax is very small in comparison. So why not being a bit generous with Raider equipment?

I did some basic calculations on them. And while they are not as point efficient as Rapid Fire Warrior in Rack Raiders, they have a higher functional range, are 50% stronger than Warriors outside Rapid Fire range and can be used even if the Raider is destroyed.

While I don't have enough Sslyths to field 9 of them I can see them being on the Battlefield for a rather long time. I can also see them working in conjunction with a Spirit Probe Cronos who gives them a 4+ FnP regardless which turn it is.

Edit: I just want to add that I'm not a very experienced player and would really like to hear what someobdy thinks of running them without a transport as thought of in the OP.
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Lord Mal
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PostSubject: Re: Sslyth- Best sizes and in what Transport?   Fri Feb 27 2015, 19:54

2 Things I'd like to point out for people reading this that Spellcheck and Strange Dark One said:

Spellcheck relying on Grots toughness for his Archon to survive since Shadowfield is so expensive. This is why I thought of Sslyth in the first place, which is to boost the Archon to T5 at all times, which seems very good. I know everyone ignores the clonefield, but I'm wondering what the numbers are of an Archon with it in a Sslyth unit making him T5 compared to an archon not with T5, but with shadowfield (Keep in mind the clonefield is half the price).

The other, is the Cronos idea that Strange Dark One brought up to go with Sslyth's inherent FNP, which I think would absolutely lend itself to my "on foot" Sslyth idea. I'm sad that I didn't even think of it...So this would give them 4+ FNP along with their Kabalite armor and T5. I know a lot of people with venom/poison spam lists like to have a few units that are "tough" by DE standards so they can Deepstrike everything and have those middle units tank fire. This seems like a pretty good unit to do it along with a cronos in the middle of the field. If you had the points, Dark Artisan would pair well next to this unit (Unless they aren't affected by that cronos' spirit siphon...as far as I know it's an area effect and isn't limited to the formation).

The Achilles heal that I see to this unit, regardless of whether or not it's in a Raider, Venom, or on foot, is that it needs a babysitter for the leadership (Similar to Grots). That being said, dropping one Sslyth, or a couple of Sslyth for either a Medusae or Lhamean seems not just like a good idea, but completely necessary for leadership unless you are putting the Archon or a Haemy in there.

So a couple of overall list ideas to see if the larger Sslyth on foot would work (Keep in mind, this is going off the idea that you don't have to have the Archon in the unit, which is another whole can of worms that wasn't in the FAQ):

1) Well, there's x9, 10, or 11 (Or possibly even less, but I'd want it pretty big) Sslyth next to either a Cronos, or the Dark Artisan Formation, and those two just march up the middle. Again, I'd recommend either "upgrading" one in the court to a Lhamean or Medusae for the Leadership (or more than 1). Then, you could WWP deepstrike your Archon in with Heat Lance Scourges, Grots, or even run him by himself in a Venom w/blaster or with a raider with shields. You could also even run him in with the Sslyth on foot with a Blaster, and then after a Couple turns, he gets the bonus of 4+FNP from PNP while next to the Cronos, T5 from the Sslyth, and whatever else you give him (Shadowfield or clonefield, possibly 4+armor).

2) My other thought, especially given the above, is running it in a Kabalite Raiding party with a Raider and the Archon in the middle of the field with the Cronos or DA. Your archon then gets his FNP from PFP and has a 4+FNP on Turn 2 while next to the Cronos. You'd have to do the x9 Raider with Wracks or Dark Light everyone has been suggesting, but you also get 5+ Cover from turn one on the unit, even right in the open. As we've said, the unit already has either 4+FNP, or 5+FNP from the Detachment special rules and the Cronos.

I'm thinking making everything in the Detachment as cheap as possible, then adding a Dark Artisan to put next to the Sslythcon unit in the middle of the field, and finishing the army out with a very small CAD Detachment, maybe with a Succubus with WWP w/Animus Vitae and the Glaive, another Scourge unit, and whatever else you can fit that's left for anti armor. I'm going to go tinker and see what I can cram in a list...
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PostSubject: Re: Sslyth- Best sizes and in what Transport?   Fri Feb 27 2015, 23:05

I think you are on the right track and when done right I suppose playing them on foot (or tails lol) is a valid option. However, I think when you play this style (with a ld babysitter) they are used best in a Coven heavy army.

Here is what I've been thinking of:

They could fight alongside Grotesques from the Coven Department and if you play the "creeping death" game style of Coven, where speed is not as a factor.

For most Kabal units the Cronos is dead weight because it massively limits your movement when you want to be inside the +1 FNP bubble all the time. However, Sslyth don't necessarily need to rely on speed to survive and having some beefy shooters with Fleet is a good asset nonetheless.

I already had the idea of using a Grot/Sslyth combo and I think I will give it a second thought.

This way you have a lot frontline value and to complement this I'd take (fr)agile shooters with long range such as Haywire Scourges or Ravagers who can be positioned way behind the "creeping wall of death".

However, what really bothers me is the lack of Splinter Racks if we really play them on foot...
So it really might not be as good after all.

But no matter which way you are using Sslyth I think you REALLY need to capitalize on the inherit FNP early on. Because compared to the rest of our army, Sslyth get weaker each round due to the lack of PfP (that's at least how I see it).
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Lord Mal
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PostSubject: Re: Sslyth- Best sizes and in what Transport?   Fri Feb 27 2015, 23:35

Ironically, I think you came around to the on foot idea, and I'm starting to like the Raider much more lol. I agree with your opinions, and thanks again for a lot of the thoughts from everyone as they're pushing me to think from different perspectives.

I typically view everything through Coven Tinted Lenses, so I tend to enjoy and build lists that are heavy coven. That being said, I generally also like to challenge my brain by coming up with things nobody else was crazy enough to try. Therefore, I don't have a problem trying this with a Coven heavy army.

If somebody did try the Kabalite Raiders with this, they are required to be in a Raider, so putting the splinter wracks on it isn't a problem. Also, as you pointed out, they actually lose strength(Compared to other stuff, they actually just stay the same) the longer they're on the board.

So a first Round slog might actually be better for them so they take all the damage early. Then you're other units can dish it late. Also, I don't particularly see the problem with the cronos "slowing them down" since I'm still not sure if they're better at melee, or shooting. Sure because of their range you might not be shooting stuff right away, but everything else in the army gets stronger.

If the Archon is in there though, then he's still getting stronger even if they stay the same, and eventually, something will probably come for him since as people keep pointing out, nobody is actually scared of him. Stuff that's getting deep strike or WWP'ed isn't shooting from turn 1 either, but I still see people taking these options.
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PostSubject: Re: Sslyth- Best sizes and in what Transport?   Fri Apr 17 2015, 14:26

Since the new codex dropped I have run the following every game:

8 Sslyth, Lhamean, Raider w/ Dark lance, Splinter racks, Night shields.

I have an Archon with Webway portal who 80% of the time goes with them or otherwise takes up a spot with Blasterborn or Scourges.

I've found them to be very good, the biggest learning curve was learning their best target priority and to think a turn ahead with regards to their placement. Sure, they will come down and mince something but you need to think where will they be the next turn and are they able to achieve anything. I have had a few problems dropping them down in the enemy's lines but then they have use the old 'assault and wrap' to make everything die when the vehicle is wrapped.

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Lord Mal
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PostSubject: Re: Sslyth- Best sizes and in what Transport?   Sat Apr 18 2015, 22:00

I think the hard thing about the Sslyth, is that they're one of the few units, along with Grots, that are just good in terms of on paper stats and rules, stock.  Other stuff really needs synergy to work, but Sslyth are good stock, right out of the box without pairing them with a character, vehicles, special equipment, etc.  As some have alluded to, many have really found them good when you go full on 8 or 9 with a Lhamean or Archon or both in a Raider w/Splinter Wracks/Night Shields.  Then again, it should be good for the huge amount of points invested, but the problem is a lot of the army choices aren't that efficient, so this seems more at a premium then it would in a void.  

My point is, that I think they'll pretty much range from decent to opponent murdering depending on how much you invest in them, and on local meta.  They do seem solid though from little small filler, all the way up to main course as long as they have a leadership babysitter, which they fortunately can get for only 10 points even if you don't want to put a character in them.

I think eventually, I'm going to go with the big 300 pt raider version as I literally haven't heard very many bad stories when people have brought it, mostly decent to incredible was the verdict.  For the moment though, I'm going to try them as an actual "body guard" of 3 with an Archon in a minimal raider and see how they perform without all the bells and whistles. I'm trying to keep the rest of the army robust enough to include a lot of other tools in the tool box, and see how they all perform together. If the other stuff in the army doesn't work, then I'll shift stuff that I don't like or that doesn't work for me over to the more eggs in the one basket approach.
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