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BizarreShowbiz
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PostSubject: Dark Light weaponry debate. Is it worth it?   Mon Nov 02 2015, 12:07

Hi guys, Im posting this becouse as I see it there are two kind of archons: the ones that defend spamming dark light weaponry as AV and the ones that dich it and search for AV in other ways (melee, haywire, allies...). Ill give you some numbers to get the discussion going but you can skip them and discuss directly below.

We can carry dark light weaponry in three ways: Dark lances, Blasters and blast pistols. I wont go into pros and cons of each weapon as I think its common knowledge and want to focus on the numbers. I think we all can agree blast pistols are garbage, so I wont even consider them.

A dark light weapon has a 44% chance of dealing damage to a Rhino assuming it has no cover, what means you need 6.81 dark light weapons to deal 3 hull points to it, having a 16% chance of oneshotting it for each penetrating hit you infflict.

A dark light weapon has a 16% chance of damaging a jinking serpent/ghost arc or Imperial knight with shield up. This means you need 6.25 dark light weapons to deal a single hull point to them, taking you 18.75 shots to take down a jinking serpent, 25 to take down a jinking ghost arch (but with a higher chance to make it explode, with 33% chance for each penetrating hit) and 37.5 to take down an Imperial Knight (assuming you are shooting only from the shielded facing and you dont roll any explode result, what would make you strip D3 hull points with a single shot).

From this we can conclude empirically that if you choose to go the dark light weaponry route as primary AV, you have to spam it to be effective. A single blaster in a couple warrior units or Dark lances in a couple venoms wont cut it.

There are 8 units in our codex that can carry dark light weapons: Archon, Kabalite warriors, Kabalite trueborn, Raiders, Reavers, Scourges, Razorwing jetfighter and ravagers. Below, I will list the cost of a single dark light shot (being blaster or dark lance) in each of this units:

Archon: 75p
Kabalite warriors (blaster): 55p
Kabalite warriors (Dark lance): 100p
Trueborn (blasters): 28.75p
Trueborn (Dark lances): 47.5p
Razorwing jetfighter: 70p
Reavers: 58p
Scourges (blasters): 35p
Scourges (Dark lances): 40p
Ravager: 41.6p

The most efficient way of spamming dark light is kabalite trueborn with blasters. If we take this to the extreme, the most efficient way of spamming them is the formation Kabalite raiding party or a double DAC (depends on what you want to field for the rest of the mandatory units), being one way or the other, you get 24 blaster shots per turn with 6 squads of trueborns in venoms, what statistically makes you able to take down 3.5 rhinos without cover per turn in ideal circumstances. (and this is expending almost all your list in dark light weapons)

With all this information in mind, are dark light weapons efficient? why/why not? If not, what do you use instead as AV? If yes, how do you field them?

Discuss Very Happy




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Count Adhemar
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PostSubject: Re: Dark Light weaponry debate. Is it worth it?   Mon Nov 02 2015, 12:12

If you really want to make yourself cry, compare our best option to Craftworld Fire Dragons.

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PostSubject: Re: Dark Light weaponry debate. Is it worth it?   Mon Nov 02 2015, 12:24

Just on the Ghost ark - did you take into account the change in its AV when you get a pen on it?

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The Shredder
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PostSubject: Re: Dark Light weaponry debate. Is it worth it?   Mon Nov 02 2015, 18:28

The trouble is, whilst Darklight weapons are bad, we have virtually nothing to replace them with.

I mean, even if Haywire and Heat Lances are better, that's of no use to our Ravager, Warriors, Trueborn, Raiders etc.
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PostSubject: Re: Dark Light weaponry debate. Is it worth it?   Mon Nov 02 2015, 18:42

I don't think that they are that bad. They are overpriced and should cost as much as a Melter, but they aren't bad. At least I don't have to get that close as a Melter.

And I always buy them for my 5 dude squads, but not on the 10 dudes squad. I don't want to waste my Splinter Rifle shots.

If I want to beef up my anti tanks capabilities I buy Haywire Grenades too.

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PostSubject: Re: Dark Light weaponry debate. Is it worth it?   Tue Nov 03 2015, 00:06

I don't like to rely strictly on one or the other. Haywire is beautiful for knocking off hull points (I'm in love with Reapers and Scourge ), but they can only strip hull points. A haywire unit firing on a Vindicator will probably take off 2HP, but won't generally stop it from firing. A Ravager, on the other hand, will consistently get a Shaken result on any non-Serpent vehicle. I like Blasters in Warrior squads just to make them dual-role units and have people worry about ID on their T4 models, but I don't think they're actually terribly important. You absolutely do want some long-range lance fire though, not to destroy vehicles, but to stop enemy vehicles from having free reign while your haywire gets itself into position.
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PostSubject: Re: Dark Light weaponry debate. Is it worth it?   Tue Nov 03 2015, 00:50

@BizarreShowbiz wrote:
Archon: 75p
Kabalite warriors (blaster): 55p
Kabalite warriors (blaster) in Venom with s.cannons: 120p
Kabalite warriors (blaster) in Raider with Lance: 57.5p
Kabalite warriors (Dark lance): 100p
Trueborn (blasters): 28.75p
Trueborn (blasters) in Venom w. s.cannon: 45p
Trueborn (Dark lances): 47.5p
Razorwing jetfighter: 70p
Reavers: 58p
Scourges (blasters): 35p
Scourges (Dark lances): 40p
Ravager: 41.6p
Weird, ate my post.
I am too tired.
Just wanted to reflect some point totals to clarify actual value.

Also, range is a consideration not noted here.

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PostSubject: Re: Dark Light weaponry debate. Is it worth it?   Tue Nov 03 2015, 11:45

Anytime my Darklight performs it usually does pretty well, the only issue is since its a single shot, if it misses then its a mistake your paying for, if I make a enemy vehicle Jink, then thats a plus, its firing snapshots, its hardly a threat, my other units can focus elsewhere for a turn, anytime I've used Ravagers, three DL on a single target, the target is as good as dead for the most part, I'm crippling a space marine dreadnought beyond repair, it takes penetrating and will usually snapshot or not move, when I have two or three Ravagers its even better.

Darklight is just more reliable for me because Haywire and heat lances are only on infantry units to my memory, I could be wrong, a Ravager isn't super tough, but it'll take more damage and has far more range than any haywire or heat lance, not to mention if you happen to throw some on RWJ it will need to be skyfired, and using VRB you have Void lances, which are even better, again though, its all personal preference but I do like Darklight a good bit, the percentages you have on ours is fine, but I'd assume if you were to get statistics on other armies weaponry in the same category it'd be similar, I doubt too many armies have too many tank busting stats that are far above 50%.

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PostSubject: Re: Dark Light weaponry debate. Is it worth it?   Tue Nov 03 2015, 11:54

@The Fume Knight wrote:
Darklight is just more reliable for me because Haywire and heat lances are only on infantry units to my memory, I could be wrong, a Ravager isn't super tough, but it'll take more damage and has far more range than any haywire or heat lance

I find that that's certainly true of Scourges, but in my experience Heat-Lance Reavers can last a long time.
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PostSubject: Re: Dark Light weaponry debate. Is it worth it?   Tue Nov 03 2015, 11:59

@The Fume Knight wrote:
the percentages you have on ours is fine, but I'd assume if you were to get statistics on other armies weaponry in the same category it'd be similar, I doubt too many armies have too many tank busting stats that are far above 50%.

Just one example then, Aspect Host Fire Dragons. Each Fire Dragon has a 48.6% chance of inflicting a penetrating hit on an AV14 vehicle with +3 on the vehicle damage table. That goes up for anything less than AV14 (up to 81% for AV10). They cost 22 points, all come with melta guns and melta bombs and have better armour and can run and shoot in the same turn.

Our own Blasterborn have a 22% chance of inflicting a penetrating hit on an AV14 vehicle with +1 on the vehicle damage table. They cost 26 points, have crap armour, are limited to 4 models with blasters per unit and don't get melta, or even haywire grenades.

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PostSubject: Re: Dark Light weaponry debate. Is it worth it?   Tue Nov 03 2015, 12:09

@Count Adhemar wrote:
@The Fume Knight wrote:
the percentages you have on ours is fine, but I'd assume if you were to get statistics on other armies weaponry in the same category it'd be similar, I doubt too many armies have too many tank busting stats that are far above 50%.

Just one example then, Aspect Host Fire Dragons. Each Fire Dragon has a 48.6% chance of inflicting a penetrating hit on an AV14 vehicle with +3 on the vehicle damage table. That goes up for anything less than AV14 (up to 81% for AV10). They cost 22 points, all come with melta guns and melta bombs and have better armour and can run and shoot in the same turn.

Our own Blasterborn have a 22% chance of inflicting a penetrating hit on an AV14 vehicle with +1 on the vehicle damage table. They cost 26 points, have crap armour, are limited to 4 models with blasters per unit and don't get melta, or even haywire grenades.

Yeah, our stuff really doesn't hold up.

Even our meltas are arbitrarily worse, as they're only allowed to count as S8 against AV14 vehicles.


Anyway, something else I'd like to say are that Darklight weapons as a concept simply don't work. They sacrifice far too much for their ability to hurt AV14. I mean, as a comparison:
- Against AV10, A Dark Lance is a Lascannon with -1S and -12" range.
- Against AV11, A Dark Lance is a Lascannon with -1S and -12" range.
- Against AV12, A Dark Lance is a Lascannon with -1S and -12" range.
- Against AV13, A Dark Lance is a Lascannon with -12" range.
- Against AV14, A Dark Lance is a Lascannon with +1S and -12" range.

So, they are inferior to lascannons against any AV except 14. And Lascannons aren't good anti-vehicle weapons.

The vehicle damage table strongly favours medium strength, high RoF against Av10-12 (the most common AVs), and then meltas, haywire or such against the expensive, high-AV targets.

Instead, we're stuck with a single weapon at both ranges that's inefficient against all possible targets.
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PostSubject: Re: Dark Light weaponry debate. Is it worth it?   Tue Nov 03 2015, 14:48

What the Shredder said, if dark light weaponary was heavy 2 it would make up for the fact that points are wasted for AV12 or less. As it's the only long ranged AT we have, I think Dark Lances are more of a tax than an asset
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PostSubject: Re: Dark Light weaponry debate. Is it worth it?   Tue Nov 03 2015, 15:38

I have to agree wholeheartedly with pretty much everything that has been said above. The quoted numbers support what we suspected already.

One thing I think is worth noting though is that (and hear me out...) we shouldn't be so quick to write off blast pistols (*gasps!*).

I've been experimenting with 5 warriors in a dual SC venom, with a blaster and a blast pistol+haywire sybarite. Before I explain why I think the extra bits of kit are worth it, let me just point out that I play in a FLGS setting against very ordinary opponent lists, so take what follows with salt as needed...

* We all know what we get with the 120pt warrior/blaster/venom setup
* The above setup adds one more (double!) the darklight shots as long as you're within 6" of your target (or an 8" haywire grenade if you prefer)
* This unit can also assault a vehicle to go for that extra HP via the haywire grenade

So, for that extra 30pts (or an extra 25% of base cost) you can threaten 3HP rather than just 1HP, **provided that you can get within 6" and can assault (i.e. you have to disembark)**.

You have to be willing and able to be aggressive, but the extra threat of these guys getting right into people's faces causes problems and forces mistakes (...in my FLGS...). Of course, if you can't disembark safely into cover then this is a no-go because your dudes are toast.

It isn't perfect by any means, and it's clearly still well short of fire dragons and the like. I guess I'd just like to say that we needn't be so quick to write off the blast pistol because of its inferior effectiveness-to-cost efficiency over the blaster/lance. It turns a 120-per-darklight unit into a 75-per-darklight unit, while keeping the venom's dual SC too.
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PostSubject: Re: Dark Light weaponry debate. Is it worth it?   Tue Nov 03 2015, 19:40

Grenades: yes. Blast pistol: no. It's more expensive than the grenade and less effective against tanks.

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PostSubject: Re: Dark Light weaponry debate. Is it worth it?   Tue Nov 03 2015, 22:39

Truthfully I use something like this 8 times out of 10 for AV:

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PostSubject: Re: Dark Light weaponry debate. Is it worth it?   Tue Nov 03 2015, 22:48

Agreed. ^
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PostSubject: Re: Dark Light weaponry debate. Is it worth it?   Wed Nov 04 2015, 11:33

Blasphemer Wink
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PostSubject: Re: Dark Light weaponry debate. Is it worth it?   Wed Nov 04 2015, 11:58

dont get me wrong the other 2 times (out of ten) I just can not resist my masochistic urges and field pure Dark Eldar
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PostSubject: Re: Dark Light weaponry debate. Is it worth it?   Wed Nov 04 2015, 13:13

I actually like dark lances. Well... I like the Blaster. Because we have so much of them. It's just too expensive. The price of a Melter would be better.

Melter gets better AP, Blaster gets longer range
Melter gets Melter rule, Blaster gets Lance rule

So for me, the Blaster is more versatile but 5 points too expensive anyway.

Are Blaster scourges worth it? What do you field your scourges with?

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PostSubject: Re: Dark Light weaponry debate. Is it worth it?   Wed Nov 04 2015, 13:45

@CptMetal wrote:
I actually like dark lances. Well... I like the Blaster. Because we have so much of them. It's just too expensive. The price of a Melter would be better.

Melter gets better AP, Blaster gets longer range
Melter gets Melter rule, Blaster gets Lance rule

So for me, the Blaster is more versatile but 5 points too expensive anyway.

There are a few points I'd like to make about this:

1) The Lance rule really isn't useful. Against any vehicle with AV12 or worse (i.e. most of them), it does literally nothing. And, even against AV14, you still need a 5+ to penetrate. With one shot that's just awful. It means you need 4.5 Blasters to average a single penetrating hit on a Chimera.

And then, because it's only AP2, you need to penetrate it 6 times to average an explosion result.

In contrast, a meltagun will (on average) penetrate a Land Raider. And, even outside of melta range, it's still superior to the Blaster against anything AV10-12, because it at least has AP1.

2) 18" range isn't that useful. It's rarely enough to keep the unit out of harm's way, and if you're shooting at infantry than it doesn't gel well with the range of splinter rifles (which would prefer to be either within 12" or else close to 24").

Also, the armies that have meltaguns also have good transports to get them into range. Marines have drop pods, Eldar have WSs etc.

3) The thing about meltaguns is that they're generally their to back up long-range, anti-transport firepower. e.g. Eldar back up their meltaguns with scatter lasers and/or shuriken cannons. These weapons take out transports and other light vehicles, whilst the meltaguns take out heavy vehicles. Same goes for marines - they have assault cannons, autocannons and such to take out transports, and meltas and grav for heavy tanks.

In contrast, we have dark lances and then up close... we have more dark lances. Razz


Regardless, I don't begrudge you liking Blasters (and I certainly agree that they shouldn't cost more than meltaguns). However, I'd at least like the option to have meltas on my warriors and trueborn.


@CptMetal wrote:

Are Blaster scourges worth it? What do you field your scourges with?

Personally, I use Haywire or Heat Lances. Very little else even has the option of those, so I feel it's best to take them to add a bit of variety.

That being said, my scourges don't have a good record. In fact they're pretty notorious in my group for being utterly incompetent against vehicles (e.g. missing 3 times, then rolling a 1 on Haywire). Evil or Very Mad
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PostSubject: Re: Dark Light weaponry debate. Is it worth it?   Wed Nov 04 2015, 15:24

Rolling that one on haywire as many times as I have has completely discouraged me from taking haywire. I'd rather take dark light so when I roll that 3 for armour pen on an av12 tank, at least I can justify that it's only gonna work half the time
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PostSubject: Re: Dark Light weaponry debate. Is it worth it?   Wed Nov 04 2015, 15:29

What do you guys think of Heat Lances on Scourges? Anyone had any luck with them?

Also, what do you prefer on Reavers - Blasters or Heat Lances?
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PostSubject: Re: Dark Light weaponry debate. Is it worth it?   Wed Nov 04 2015, 15:33

The biggest risk with heat lances is range. If you deepstrike the scourges down, and scatter badly, you can potentially not have anything to shoot at for a turn and be left out in the open.

For the reavers, I stopped taking guns on them cause I jink all over the place. Didn't get much use out of them. I use a unit of 6 with caltrops. Cheap and effective
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PostSubject: Re: Dark Light weaponry debate. Is it worth it?   Wed Nov 04 2015, 15:40

I have one scourges team with heat lances but I'm thinking about changing it to Blaster because they have to get too damn close and they die every time after they killed the target.

Any other experiences with scourges?

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PostSubject: Re: Dark Light weaponry debate. Is it worth it?   Wed Nov 04 2015, 15:45

@CptMetal wrote:
I have one scourges team with heat lances but I'm thinking about changing it to Blaster because they have to get too damn close and they die every time after they killed the target.

I usually just assume they're already dead. If by some miracle they survive my opponent's turn, I consider it a bonus. Very Happy

@CptMetal wrote:
Any other experiences with scourges?

I tried a squad with Heat Lances for a while. They consistently arrived, dropped down in perfect melta-range... and utterly failed to kill their target.

Thinking about it, I really haven't had many positive experiences when it comes to Scourges. Neutral
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