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 Thoughts on Beastmasters and Pack?

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SweaterKittens
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PostSubject: Thoughts on Beastmasters and Pack?   Mon Mar 09 2015, 09:32

What it says on the tin. I know that with the nerf of Razorwings, they're not the powerhouse they used to be, but is it even remotely worth taking them still? For 90 points, a Beastmaster and 4 flocks of Razorwing still seems damn good. You've got a mobile unit that's beefy in melee and all for less than 100 points. After running a Succubus as my HQ and having her get disintegrated every game, I would really like a melee unit to answer my opponent's melee with that's not my HQ. Thoughts?
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The_Burning_Eye
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PostSubject: Re: Thoughts on Beastmasters and Pack?   Mon Mar 09 2015, 10:42

For me the big downside to beast packs is the lack of transport options. As ever, grotesques largely do what beastpacks do, but better, and with transport they can also get there quicker and without taking as much fire.

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Omega1907
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PostSubject: Re: Thoughts on Beastmasters and Pack?   Mon Mar 09 2015, 10:57

What about redundancy? If the enemy shoots at your 90pts beastpack, he doens't shoot at or scourges for example. But if he ignores them, they still can do some damage in CC.

But that's only a thought, never used beasts as they never apealed to me in the old 'dex and in the new I just want to focus on our mainstay troops before experimenting with the "outsiders" Smile

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The_Burning_Eye
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PostSubject: Re: Thoughts on Beastmasters and Pack?   Mon Mar 09 2015, 11:18

@Omega1907 wrote:
What about redundancy? If the enemy shoots at your 90pts beastpack, he doens't shoot at or scourges for example. But if he ignores them, they still can do some damage in CC.

But that's only a thought, never used beasts as they never apealed to me in the old 'dex and in the new I just want to focus on our mainstay troops before experimenting with the "outsiders" Smile

To make that work, you have to be threatening them with something they're scared of. As it happens my enemy never shoots my scourges before they get a chance to do their thing, since they come in via WWP, but that's kind of sideways to the main point.

If your opponent is shooting at a 90pt beastpack instead of your scourges, wither they aren't worried about the damage the scourges will do, or they're a player who doesn't understand target priority. Redundancy only works when both units are a threat of equal priority - hance why I mentioned Grots - they're a major threat to just about any unit you face and tough enough that you can't ignore them (particularly in a turbo boosting raider) and their strength means they can still threaten targets the scourges would also be going for. Your opponent then has a genuine choice to make about which is the bigger target. Against anything on foot, they can always delay you, either by retreating away from them or throwing an expendable unit into their path to hold them up.

In short - I think to make beasts a threat you need to spend more than 90pts on them.

Additional: That's not to say I don't think beasts are a viable choice, just that they need to cost more to be really threatening.

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sweetbacon
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PostSubject: Re: Thoughts on Beastmasters and Pack?   Mon Mar 09 2015, 13:11

Lately, I've started toying with the idea of taking RSR so I can run six units of one Clawed Fiend.  They are meant to be irritants.  If you shoot them, no big loss as they are only 30 ppm.   If you ignore them, then working as a pack with their 12 inch movement, not slowed by terrain, they can claim objectives and bully troops/light vehicles.  I should mention here that the rest of my list (2000 points) contains a Corpsethief, a Grotesquerie, and  DA, so single model T5 Str5 beasts with three wounds are probably pretty low on the target priority.  I haven't had a change to try it out yet, but am eager to see how the Covens + MSU list fares.
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jbwms713
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PostSubject: Re: Thoughts on Beastmasters and Pack?   Mon Mar 09 2015, 14:24

I'm finally getting around to painting up a couple of old hellion models to work as beast masters, and I've been toying with the idea of 5 Khymera, with 2 PW Masters. A clean 100 points for a lot of S4 and a few S3 ap3 swings.

Yeah, the Khy-save went down, but they also got cheaper and gained a point of toughness... plus, it's a unit that's basically throwaway, has speed built-in (really easy to make those grotesques walk instead of flat-out), and can harass a lot of things.

A full pack would be more of a threat, but having a unit that's easy to hide/gets ignored has its own uses. Potentially.

Don't expect it to be game-breaking, but could be fun to play around with.
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Azdrubael
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PostSubject: Re: Thoughts on Beastmasters and Pack?   Mon Mar 09 2015, 16:04

Quote :
If the enemy shoots at your 90pts beastpack, he doens't shoot at or scourges for example. But if he ignores them, they still can do some damage in CC.
Well, thats a fine line. A 90 pts beastpack likely dont do any damage at all, and, sadly have a pretty large chance of just bouncing off turn when losing combat result. So it have to be little more then that.

Speed block on the other hand has some more potential. THey dont have to be a threat this way, they can just be freaking annoyance, forcing enemy to spend their precious firepower to just get rid of them.

This tactics have many drawbacks.

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Rokuro
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PostSubject: Re: Thoughts on Beastmasters and Pack?   Mon Mar 09 2015, 19:52

I love games with a lot of terrain, such as in Cities of Death, and I keep a unit of 5 Beastmasters ready for those games.
Why just Beastmasters, and no Kymerae or Clawed Fiends? Because I use those guys as a shooting unit, not for close combat. They are beasts, allowing them to ignore difficult terrain, and their ranged weapons are just one shot short of being equal to Shard Carbines.
Why am I not using Raevers or Venoms instead? Because those are not as easy to hide in cover, and prone to crash into terrain.

I know, it's a situational build; useless on open fields. And I'm sure I could still make them more effective at what I use them for. But they haven't disappointed me so far, and I'm planing to get more of them by chance.
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SweaterKittens
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PostSubject: Re: Thoughts on Beastmasters and Pack?   Mon Mar 09 2015, 20:35

Let me clarify that I wasn't necessarily asking solely about a 90 point Beast Pack, only that I've heard it's a decent option - and for a 13 wound Beast unit with 17 attacks (most of them rending), that's not bad. They certainly don't fill the role of Grotesques or other dedicated assault troops, not anymore, but there have been plenty of games where I could've really used a cheap, backfield assault unit to either counter-assault or mulch some light infantry for a bit. Hell, in my last game, I shot a Warboss's squad down to only him, then proceeded to fail my Hit and Run with my Jetbikes, and then they were counter-charged and mulched. He then spent the rest of the game waddling towards my line while all the ork assault troops killed my transports. Had I had a beastpack to follow up with, instead of the Scourge that got instakilled turn 2, I would have easily have been able to rend past his 2+ armor, or at the very least kill off all the boys that were assaulting my Kabalites.

This is of course just speculation on a match that's done, but Beast Pack is mostly cheap, better in CC than Wyches (and better for the price), and mobile as all hell. I posted a thread a few days back about making the most out of your points, and core units in a low-point game. I think that, for the relatively cheap price you get them for, Beast Pack seem decent. I certainly wouldn't take them over Grots in a big game, but when I've only got a 100-150 points to spare, throwing in a big unit of beastpack, maybe a beastmaster or two, some khymerae and razorwings - now I have a mobile assault unit that didn't break the bank and will do a helluva lot better than Wyches.

*Addendum*

After taking a look at the entry in the codex again, I've come to the conclusion that for a mobile TAC CC unit, you'd be best served with: Beastmaster (for ld and light shooting), 4-5 Razorwing Flocks (for tanking low S wounds and Rending), 2-3 Khymerae (They're dirt cheap and better than Wyches), and maybe 1-2 Clawed Fiends (solely for tanking high S wounds that would cause ID). That squad would cost you roughly 150 points for a meaty, flexibly, fast CC unit. While you could certainly argue that Grotesques are Incubi are more durable and more effective, they're also much more expensive, and will draw more fire and have less flexibility than a Beast Pack.

Alternatively, Forget going crazy on the Razorwings and instead take 5 Khymerae, 4 Razorwings, 1 Fiend and a Beastmaster for 170 points (drop the fourth Razorwing for a neat 150 points) and the squad will get majority toughness 4 from the Khymerae, which could improve their survivability by quite a lot. Just my two cents, and I'm looking forward to giving a spin once my conversions are done. Even if they're not as competitive as choices like Incubi or Grotesques, they look like they'd be fun as hell to field.
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Klaivex Charondyr
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PostSubject: Re: Thoughts on Beastmasters and Pack?   Wed Mar 11 2015, 09:32

Quote :
While you could certainly argue that Grotesques are Incubi are more durable and more effective, they're also much more expensive, and will draw more fire and have less flexibility than a Beast Pack.

Not really.
150 points is a lot. While I would not deny the Incubi argument (they are expensive and do nothing the beastpack could also do) the Grots are insanely cheap.
150 do buy you 3 Grots + Aberration. They are T5 - your beatpack is majority T3 so the clawed fiends and khymerae drop in T as the Flocks are in majority. FnP, Poison, PfP, S5 and they are able to get a Raider which makes them more mobile than beast packs AND even harder to kill.
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sweetbacon
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PostSubject: Re: Thoughts on Beastmasters and Pack?   Wed Mar 11 2015, 12:34

@Klaivex Charondyr wrote:
Quote :
While you could certainly argue that Grotesques are Incubi are more durable and more effective, they're also much more expensive, and will draw more fire and have less flexibility than a Beast Pack.

Not really.
150 points is a lot. While I would not deny the Incubi argument (they are expensive and do nothing the beastpack could also do) the Grots are insanely cheap.
150 do buy you 3 Grots + Aberration. They are T5 - your beatpack is majority T3 so the clawed fiends and khymerae drop in T as the Flocks are in majority. FnP, Poison, PfP, S5 and they are able to get a Raider which makes them more mobile than beast packs AND even harder to kill.

Yeah, I agree with this. If you jus want MSU harassment units at say 10-30 points each, then I think Beast Packs can be useful, particularly in Maelstrom. But for 150 points? That is too much to spend ona throwaway backfield harassment unit. Take (Coven!) Grots every time. Or, if you don't like Grots, and really want to spend 150 points on something, take a backfield Talos. Or Reavers. They are fast and unlike the WS2 Razorwing Flocks, their Rending attacks hit automatically.
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Crazy_Irish
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PostSubject: Re: Thoughts on Beastmasters and Pack?   Wed Mar 11 2015, 21:55

I think beasts are now what they where and what they supposed to be. A classic throw away unit to harass the enemy.
Call it a bump on the road or a stone in your shoe. At the right moment it can mean all or nothing.
What I would take is,
Small harassment unit: 5*khymerae and a beast master. Taken twice. 120p for it all. Nice to have around
Small more durable unit: 2*khymerae, 1 razorwing flock, 2 fiends and a beast master. Comes in at 110 points, has majority T5 and W12. It is no death star but not every unit needs to be a death star.

Anyway, that was my 2 penny's.

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Lord Mal
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PostSubject: Re: Thoughts on Beastmasters and Pack?   Wed Mar 11 2015, 23:24

@Klaivex Charondyr wrote:
Quote :
While you could certainly argue that Grotesques are Incubi are more durable and more effective, they're also much more expensive, and will draw more fire and have less flexibility than a Beast Pack.

Not really.
150 points is a lot. While I would not deny the Incubi argument (they are expensive and do nothing the beastpack could also do) the Grots are insanely cheap.
150 do buy you 3 Grots + Aberration. They are T5 - your beatpack is majority T3 so the clawed fiends and khymerae drop in T as the Flocks are in majority. FnP, Poison, PfP, S5 and they are able to get a Raider which makes them more mobile than beast packs AND even harder to kill.

That's not exactly accurate on points though, since you need to take a 70pt Haemy to babysit them for leadership. Which doesn't count a raider. Add the raider, and that unit is starting to get expensive, and doesn't really compare in points to the much cheaper Beastpack.

I'm not sure what the best setup for the unit is in terms of it's makeup, but it seems that keeping it cheap and possible using a couple to support each other might be the way to go. Also, using just beastmasters is an interesting approach.
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SweaterKittens
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PostSubject: Re: Thoughts on Beastmasters and Pack?   Thu Mar 12 2015, 03:47

All good points. I think Reavers are probably the most comparable to Beastpack in that you get less wounds but a much faster unit that also moves through cover, as well as a stupid amount of rending attacks on the charge.

Lord Mal brings up a good point, in that you're fairly obligated to take a babysitter/transport for them. That being said, you're likely run your warlord with them anyway, so it's less of a unit tax in that sense, as you're probably already spending money on your warlord.
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