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 The Storm of Blades Formation

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SweaterKittens
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PostSubject: The Storm of Blades Formation   Fri Mar 13 2015, 02:43

Hey all,

So I was taking a look at some of the apocalypse formations available to Dark Eldar, mainly because they inspiring some creative list-building, and I think it's a good exercise to see if you could make it work. Apparently GW has said on several occasions that "a Formation is a Formation" in response to people asking if apoc formations can be used in normal games. Obviously, your mileage may vary with this, but thus far it seems as though most of the Dark Eldar formations are pretty low-key. Nothing too crazy, but some fun and fluffy choices in there.

Aside from Kabalite Web Strike, which I would love to get into another time, Storm of Blades really caught my eye as an incredibly useful tool. In brief, you take an Archon and 3+ of Kabalites/Reavers/Scourge etc., everyone who can has to take a transport, and the bonus is that Raiders can use their sails and shoot, as well as go flat-out afterward. The big bonus is that anyone in the formation can choose to Skyfire. The malus is that no one can voluntarily disembark or go to ground, if they do they have to take a pinning test.

I love it because it's fluffy and interesting, and really captures the essence of a full-on blitzkrieg assault. The Skyfire aspect caught my eye because I was reading a thread a while back about how we have no real reliable anti-air. Even Voidravens and Razorwings are only mediocre at it, which leaves you with an Quad-gun/Snap-firing Ravagers as your best anti-air options. Now I've only read the short blurb, by my understanding is that the only units you can take for this formation are Reavers, Kabalites, Scourge, Hellions, Beastmasters, and of course transports for your Kabalites. That means no Skyfiring Ravagers or Coven units, but still gives you good tools in the form of Skyfiring Venoms and DL Raiders.

I just thought I'd throw this out there, as there was a heated debate about our best anti-air options, and running something like this (if your FLGS allowed it) could potentially help deal with FMC spam, which is exceptionally difficult for us right now. Obviously, this is entirely up to your FLGS and your opponent, since GW has stated many times that they don't much care, but they haven't bothered to do an official errata/FAQ, so there's no clear ruling to point someone towards aside from an email. In any case, I thought I'd put it out there, see what people think.

*Edit* Just as a note, I realized that the older version of Aethersails allowed you to move farther, so that particular rule about them being able to use their sails and shoot wouldn't apply, but they'd still be able to go flat-out afterwards, for the jump-shoot-jump
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Fraust
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PostSubject: Re: The Storm of Blades Formation   Fri Mar 13 2015, 16:55

What games workshop says and what the vast majority of players do has never really been similar...

That said, if it works in your area it's something I would take advantage of. It mostly helps with FMCs though, as a lot of the trouble fliers (fire raptors, helldrakes, stormwhatevers) are 12, which is that sweet spot where darklight is least effective...until you get to skyfiring scourges Smile

If I were using those rules to make an all comers list I'd probably go for trueborn and scourges mostly. Maybe reavers with blasters and try to rely on turboboosting three feet after firing instead of jinking, but I think some matches they'd just be toast.
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SweaterKittens
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PostSubject: Re: The Storm of Blades Formation   Sat Mar 14 2015, 08:21

@Fraust wrote:
What games workshop says and what the vast majority of players do has never really been similar...

True enough... However, my local FLGS is pretty low-key, and I don't think anyone would be too upset about running something like this. It's certainly not as bad as the guy who ran flying daemon summoning and a knight at 750 points the other day... Christ, at this point it would just level the playing field.

But you're right, I think the benefits would be seen most on scourge, who would turn from anti-tank to full unadulterated vehicle killers. Skyfiring four haywire guns would be absolutely insane.
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HERO
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PostSubject: Re: The Storm of Blades Formation   Sat Mar 14 2015, 08:49

Should probably tell that neckbeard that no one will play him again if he takes that garbage at 750.

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Cavalier
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PostSubject: Re: The Storm of Blades Formation   Sat Mar 14 2015, 11:04

Unfortunately those Valedor formations are for Apocalypse only. I know because I'm dying to run a number of them (the Hemlock mindstorm formation is awesome). It mentions it at the beginning of the book and right before the formation sections. Nothing stopping you from playing the actual campaign though at 2500 pts. Its a real shame larger points games are such a fringe part of regular play because at higher points games the niche units and formations from GW's campaign series become a lot of fun.

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SweaterKittens
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PostSubject: Re: The Storm of Blades Formation   Sat Mar 14 2015, 20:49

@HERO wrote:
Should probably tell that neckbeard that no one will play him again if he takes that garbage at 750.

I'm disappointed in myself for letting it get to me, but I told him as much in the middle of our game. He was complaining about not making a single sacrifice roll or something, and I told him it didn't matter because his list was stupid, didn't make sense, and it was obvious he was going to win anyway. I don't think he was expecting me to fly off the handle, so he basically agreed with me and luckily I haven't seen him fielding that particular list since.

@Cavalier wrote:
Unfortunately those Valedor formations are for Apocalypse only. I know because I'm dying to run a number of them (the Hemlock mindstorm formation is awesome). It mentions it at the beginning of the book and right before the formation sections. Nothing stopping you from playing the actual campaign though at 2500 pts. Its a real shame larger points games are such a fringe part of regular play because at higher points games the niche units and formations from GW's campaign series become a lot of fun.

To be fair, they say the same thing that the formations in other Apocalypse books say - that is, "These can be used in Apocalypse battles", and if GW says that formations are formations are formations... then it doesn't make them different from any of the other ones. That is of course assuming that your opponent is cool with you using apoc formations, regardless of what GW says. I just mean to say that they aren't different from the ones from the other Apocalypse books: namely, Apocalypse 2013.

*Edit*

Frankly, with the addition of Lords of War, Titans, and unbound, they might as well have added Apoc formations, or at least more numerous regular formations. The potential for abuse is high, but as Dark Eldar it's not like we're fielding anything game breaking anyway. If anything we could use the leg up. I look at this Storm of Blades and all I think is "Well this could level the playing field" as opposed to "Holy cow, I'm gonna stomp with this"
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PainReaver
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PostSubject: Re: The Storm of Blades Formation   Fri Mar 20 2015, 03:42

GW in my area allows it, as does every other place. (It also lets people spam Knights)

If you want to run a Storm of Blades, pair with a CAD or Realspace Raider, and make it your main so can you can get re-rolls on warlord traits and some nifty special rules for your non-formation units.

Remember the formation counts as one unit on deployment phase- so you have to deploy them at the same time, or later on in deep strike (roll one dice), and all within 36" of each other.

I'd only take a mix of Trueborns (in venoms) and Reavers- you get skyfire lances, skyfire splinter cannons, and frankly that's all you'll ever need.

Alternatively, if your area allows it for certainty, then just run your entire army based on this formation taking nothing but trueborn and reavers, with venoms and raiders to taste. Possibly scourges but redundant.
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Demantiae
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PostSubject: Re: The Storm of Blades Formation   Tue Jul 21 2015, 12:48

This formation actually looks to address two of the weaknesses in the DE army - shooting down fliers and not being able to take return fire when you have to expose your forces. If you're building your list around gunboats (as many DE players do) then you already have a bunch of Raiders, probably with splinter racks and lances on them anyway. Throw in the cost of Aethersails for them and take this formation and you get a significant bonus for the cost. You're probably taking an Archon anyway, and if you're not taking 3+ gunboats then you probably have at least a unit of Scourges or Reavers to fill out the requirements. Gunboats with twin-linked splinter weapons that can jump out of cover, deliver their venom shots into a choice target and then speed away back into hiding must be one of the strongest tactics that the DE can employ? The problem with DE units is if they get shot at they die. But if they're never exposed to enemy fire (save for what little indirect fire might be available) then they can't die.

I'm trying to theorycraft how to make this formation work as a core for an army. I don't like the thought of taking a CAD or Realspace Raider detachment alongside them because both require you to take troop slots, yet those troops don't get the nifty jump-shoot-jump nor the skyfire of the formation units, so they're sub-par compared to their advantaged kin. Maybe it would work better with battle brothers ally? Eldar always seem to work well with DE and Corsairs have some great troop choices available to them. I'm currently looking at the Corsairs for allies because whilst the list is broken and their HQ's over costed they can give you guaranteed night fighting when you need it, have jump-shoot-jump infantry to compliment your Raiders and can take Swooping Hawks to add to your hit-and-run as well as your aerial dominance strategy.

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amorrowlyday
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PostSubject: Re: The Storm of Blades Formation   Tue Jul 21 2015, 18:04

How many points do you have free to fill with not the storm of blades?
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CptMetal
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PostSubject: Re: The Storm of Blades Formation   Tue Jul 21 2015, 18:40

In what book do I find those rules? I need to... Find it. Arrr.. *pirate face*
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amorrowlyday
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PostSubject: Re: The Storm of Blades Formation   Tue Jul 21 2015, 18:42

The rules for corsairs are in IA11 which currently is not available and is probably being updated for 7th.
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Demantiae
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PostSubject: Re: The Storm of Blades Formation   Tue Jul 21 2015, 20:51

So the rules for these formations are in the Apocalypse Warzone: Valedor book. For the Storm of Blades you have to take 1 Archon and 3 or more units of the following: Kabalites or Trueborn in a Venom or Raider, Reavers, Scourges or Hellions. There's no limit on how many you can take, you just have to take 3+ units. They all have to deploy together (they can deep strike but I wouldn't with them) and at the start of the shooting phase you can select any or all of them to have skyfire that round. Raiders have to buy the Aethersail upgrade and they can shoot in the shooting phase and then turbo-boost afterwards as if if they hadn't.

My mock list with bare blaster Archon in a Venom, 2 splinter gunboats with a lance and 2 haywire scourge squads comes in at under 750pts. There's the potential of 2 lance, 8 haywire and 60 twin-linked poison shots on anything in the air any given turn, and those Raiders can do that and still turbo the hell out of harms way afterwards. And that leaves you 1100 pts give or take in a standard game for all sorts of toys from other detachments.

The rules or corsairs are from IA11 that badly needs a 2nd edition. The Corsairs lost the pinning from the EML's that would make assaulting into cover with Wyches viable but they're still damned good for pumping out firepower. They get Shardcarbines light (same stats as a carbine but without the poison) for dealing with infantry, they can take a couple flamers if you wanna stick them in your foes face and they can take a couple heavy weapons on top of that. And with the jet packs they can deep strike. If you wanted you could take a unit of 3 Wasps too with 6 scatter lasers and deep strike them to stick the knife in the back of an entire unit of armour (think the average is something like 8 glances per turn on rear armour 10). You got Hornets that are stupid overpowered and can outflank with acute sense (I think). You can if you want take wraithguard with D weapons and deepstrike them behind enemy lines (thanks to the Princes special deep striking rule) or you can take any of the aspect squads instead (can only take 1 CE squad so choose wisely).

All in all, despite the corsair Prince being over-costed (think he's running with 5th edition rules?) the sheer utility of the Corsair units synergize very well with the Storm of Blades formation. I wouldn't bother with the Hellions. The corsair elite combat squads are better (with 5++, plasma nades as standard and the option for power weapons and haywire grenades all-round). The retinue unit is even better at assault but they have to stick with the Prince and I wouldn't send him into combat (he's worse than an Archon). There's an unfortunate rule about him not being able to join non-Corsair squads which is a shame, because he can take a piece of wargear that gives 5++ in assault to his squad. If he could join Incubi and give them that invul save that'd be delicious!

Back on topic though, both these formations are giving you excellent advantages for practically no cost and for taking the same core units you were going to take anyway. Even Venom spam can benefit from having all your Venoms skyfire. Do that if you face a FMC heavy Tyranid list and make your opponent rage quit on turn two!

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