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Kantalla
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PostSubject: Viable Archon options   Sat May 21 2016, 11:35

I'm an old-school Dark Eldar player, having played from early third edition to fifth edition, when my army was largely destroyed in an earthquake (it was on a set of shelves that came off the wall, and of ~4000 points about 10 models weren't broken in some way). I scooped the pieces up into a couple of boxes and didn't look at them for several years.

When my partner moved in, she was curious to see the broken bits, and so I got them out, and found the pieces of one of my old Archon conversions, stuck it back together and repaired the paintwork. That inspired me to try to match the pieces back together and reassemble my old army.

Then I discovered there were new Dark Eldar models, most of which I really like the look of, and then visited one of the local clubs to discover there was a good number of players and a fairly new set of rules, including a new Dark Eldar Codex.

One of my first new models purchases was an Archon, as my armies had always been led by an Archon, I liked the new model, and my Hellion Skyboard Archon and Reaver Jetbike Archon weren't street legal anymore. Since then, I have picked up more new models, and played enough games to get a reasonable handle on how this new version of 40k works, and have noticed, among other things, that independent characters aren't as impressive as they once were, and in particular my Archon seems to be overly priced for the difference he makes.

All that lengthy preamble leads to a couple of questions:

1) Do many people play Archons these days?
2) If you do use them, how are they configured? Are the once-mighty Archons reduced to being a deep strike taxi for allies?

Ideally I would like some guidance on a game-efficient way to keep my Archon in my list. I see a retinue of Grotesques being reasonable, but not as good as a Grotesquerie and in either case, I don't like the aesthetics of Grotesques. Or should I just scrap the Archon and take a Lhamaean in a Venom instead?
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Squidmaster
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PostSubject: Re: Viable Archon options   Sat May 21 2016, 12:03

I do field an Archon, yes.
If I want a Deep-Strike Taxi, I'll usually go for a Haemonculus, but for an Archon I tend to give them a gun. It may sound weird, but I like to send one in rocking sa Shadowfield and a Blast Pistol. Then I usually throw him in a Venom with either Medusae (and use the whole thing as a hard hitting gun boat, ♫ deeeeeeep striiiiiiking, with AP3 teeeemplaaaaaates ♫) or with Incubi, in which case the Archon is there to make the unit more survivable. At that point, he's by bullet shield to get the Incubi into combat. It may sound expensive, but when I'm running at Terminators, its good to make sure my Incubi suvive enough to ge ttheir AP2 weapons into combat (and I get at least a decent shot off with a Blast Pistol before the fighting).
They're ok in combat these, but not the greatest, so thats how I like to run them.
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Ultimatejet
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PostSubject: Re: Viable Archon options   Sat May 21 2016, 12:41

70% of my games I play an Archon as HQ, configured with Shadow Field (mandatory) and Blaster, Webway Portal, Haywire Granades in any combination (depends on which unit he goes with). Alternative take for meele are Agoniser and Huskblade. Someone use him also in a Venom. It's a very versatile unit by the way.
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BetrayTheWorld
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PostSubject: Re: Viable Archon options   Sat May 21 2016, 14:37

@Kantalla wrote:

All that lengthy preamble leads to a couple of questions:

1) Do many people play Archons these days?
2) If you do use them, how are they configured? Are the once-mighty Archons reduced to being a deep strike taxi for allies?

3. Or should I just scrap the Archon and take a Lhamaean in a Venom instead?

First off, welcome back to the hobby! To answer your questions directly:

1. No, not really. By pure dumb luck, you got 2 people that do as your first responses.

2. Deep strike taxi is pretty much what they do. Maybe take a blaster or something, but they're way overpriced for what they do. For example, the poster above's build makes that archon cost 155 points. That's a lot of points for a glorified WWP taxi who's only way to kill things is a 1 shot per turn blaster. That means you're paying 155 points for a model who's maximum shots per game is going to be around 4-5 single shots. A succubus is by far the superior melee combatant, and a haemonculus is a better force multiplier with his "father of pain" rule that makes his unit better. At best, an Archon could be considered our best "shooting" HQ, but when the only real ranged weapon worth considering is 1 shot at S8, is that really worth the 75+ points you have to invest to get it?

3. I normally recommend to scrap an archon in favor of a Lhamean or other HQ, unfortunately. If your strategy really relies on a WWP and you don't want a melee HQ or force multiplier for DE, then I might take one, but I'd keep him as cheap as possible. Maybe a WWP and Blaster, tops. However, GW is currently in the process of releasing FAQs for all the factions. There is a possibility, albeit a remote one, that they will fix huskblades and make them AP2 again. Should that occur, an archon may again become a competitive option.

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The Red King
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PostSubject: Re: Viable Archon options   Sat May 21 2016, 15:52

If you're going to a tournament he is not your best choice I'm afraid, but I do in fact use an Archon in every game I play dark Eldar. I will optimize every other option in my list but I refuse to drop my archon.

Shadowfield is mandatory yes, I also like to take armor of misery but I normally bring an allied farseer to get off some psychic shrieks or fortune the archon (2++ rerollable). As for the archon himself it is always the agoniser and often a soul trap if I don't need the ten points. Mine finished off a bloodthirster just yesterday. The poison allows you the threaten anything and the soul trap will eventually allow you to reroll your wounds once your strength is over their toughness.

If you don't care for Grotesque you might consider a court of ssylth to accompany him. 6-7 in a raider with 2-3 medusae plus archon gives you a lot. Ap3 templates, majority toughness 5, a bunch of wounds and a ton of poison shots. If you don't want to buy all that fine cast there should be a topic recently about converting reaper snake men pretty easily (I've done it myself and I'm no expert).

In summary, if you know what he can do he will do it very well. Don't be afraid to send him at whatever squad gets to close and challenge to buff your strength. Be weary of 2+ saves (unless you bring some allied warlocks for jinx). He's kind of like a vampire lord from old WF. He will blend units and a lot of hqs unless they are tooled out.

All in all I say use that archon, any Kabal clawing itself back from destruction needs a true leader. Welcome back and good luck.

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Kantalla
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PostSubject: Re: Viable Archon options   Sat May 21 2016, 21:16

Thanks for the feedback so far.

Squidmaster - the Medusae in a Venom idea sounds quite fun, but seems like a Haemonculus with Liquefier Gun would be a better suited option. The bullet shield option seems rather unlike something an Archon should be doing, and with the set up of Archon with Blast Pistol, Shadowfield, WWP, you have spent 150 points, which could almost have got a second unit of Incubi in a Raider instead. If you put a melee weapon on there as well (which I assume you would if using a Blast Pistol and not a Blaster), then you can afford a second boat of Incubi instead.

Ultimatejet - can you give a bit more detail on how you would use your Archon? If with a WWP, what do you bring in with him? Can he justify his points cost as a melee lord, and if so, who does he run with?

BetrayTheWorld - much as I don't like what you are saying, I find myself agreeing with it. So, if I were to take an Archon, the best options are:
Archon with Blaster, WWP for 110 points - to accompany something that can do some excessive damage on arrival, such as D-Scythe Wraithguard, or with what I have so far, Heat Lance Scourges. Having my Warlord then get obliterated in return isn't desperately appealing though.

or Archon with Agoniser, Shadowfield for 125 points, with options of Armour of Misery or perhaps a Soul-trap if I want a melee lord that could be more efficiently replaced with a Succubus or Lelith or a unit of Grotesques / Incubi / Court / etc. Perhaps returning to a Huskblade if it miraculously becomes AP2 again.

The Red King - I think you have captured the spirit of what I am asking. He is not really efficient, but there is a sentimental desire to keep him at the head of the raiding party. However, I am wanting a tournament capable army, and for purely aesthetic reasons, I have a Voidraven Bomber. That leaves little room to allow anything else that isn't optimally efficient.
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CptMetal
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PostSubject: Re: Viable Archon options   Sat May 21 2016, 22:28

I like my my archon two ways:
With a WWP and a Blaster to accompany Medusae or with an agoniser and shadow field.

But the idea to use an Haemonculus for my Medusae taxi might be a good idea.

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Scrz
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PostSubject: Re: Viable Archon options   Tue May 24 2016, 10:55

My archon mostly sits at home listening to old metal albums and grumbling about the old days, but when he does emerge it is with a WWP, shadow field and blaster in a naked raider with blasterborn.
I like the raider over the venom for this for the extra hull point. The disintegrator is OK for killing marines, and since I WWP in I might draw a bead on some rear armor too. Besides missing on only 3 shots is less depressing than missing on 12. Evil or Very Mad
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PostSubject: Re: Viable Archon options   Tue May 24 2016, 15:39

I love my my Archon! Granted I do use home brew rules giving him an AP 2 Agoniser, combat drugs, and a jet bike.

Competitively I don't use an Archon, he's too expensive and not that great. If I know I'm play space Marines I'll bring him naked with a wwp, 3 Medusae, and a venom
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PostSubject: Re: Viable Archon options   Tue May 24 2016, 15:53

@Nariaklizhar wrote:
I do use home brew rules giving him an AP 2 Agoniser, combat drugs, and a jet bike.

Which makes him a viable model! I wish it were true...

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amishprn86
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PostSubject: Re: Viable Archon options   Tue May 24 2016, 16:01

Yes if he could get a Jetbike Sad

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PostSubject: Re: Viable Archon options   Tue May 24 2016, 16:29

The jet bikes should be fourths succubus. The archon should be a force multiplier like giving a bonus to your troops like labyrinth Cunning coming standard or giving several units flanking or deep Strike while the Haemonculus gives bonus to power from Pain and feel No Pain related stuff.

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The Strange Dark One
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PostSubject: Re: Viable Archon options   Tue May 24 2016, 20:18

@CptMetal wrote:
The jet bikes should be fourths succubus. The archon should be a force multiplier like giving a bonus to your troops like labyrinth Cunning coming standard or giving several units flanking or deep Strike while the Haemonculus gives bonus to power from Pain and feel No Pain related stuff.

I think the same and fully agree. Slightly offtopic: I think the WWP should cost less and most DS units should have half the scatter distance by default to begin with.


Other than that, I am afraid an Archon is only viable if you give him a WWP and stick him into a Raider along some Wraithguards or Fire-Warriors...
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PostSubject: Re: Viable Archon options   Tue May 24 2016, 20:25

About Succubus on Bikes, I can go for that, at least we will have 1 mobile character without transport :/

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PostSubject: Re: Viable Archon options   Wed May 25 2016, 02:33

@The Strange Dark One wrote:
Slightly offtopic: I think the WWP should cost less and most DS units should have half the scatter distance by default to begin with.

Time for my monthly reminder that corsairs exist, cover pretty much everything you describe (arguably more), and that you can play corsairs with unmodified dark eldar models.

You could alternatively cover all of the home brew rules Nariaklizhar mentioned using official corsairs rules except for the ap2 agonizer - which is instead a 20 point AP3 strength 5 sword with rending.  But the combat drugs are better than the dark eldar version, free for the warlord, and available to the entire army.
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PostSubject: Re: Viable Archon options   Wed May 25 2016, 05:49

I only use the Archon to babysit my Grots.

I tool him up with an agonizer and AoM for 100pts. The SF looks nice, but if you put him in a situation where he is taking wounds, I feel its way too likely to roll with 1 and die.

The agonizer seems to be the only weapon of value he can bring. The blaster just seems a waste for a model so expensive, and with the change to ally/transports the WWP just doesnt seem that great (although you can still DS a unit of Wraithguard with their flamers minus a transport)
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PostSubject: Re: Viable Archon options   Wed May 25 2016, 10:12

@fisheyes wrote:
I only use the Archon to babysit my Grots.

I tool him up with an agonizer and AoM for 100pts. The SF looks nice, but if you put him in a situation where he is taking wounds, I feel its way too likely to roll with 1 and die.

The agonizer seems to be the only weapon of value he can bring. The blaster just seems a waste for a model so expensive, and with the change to ally/transports the WWP just doesnt seem that great (although you can still DS a unit of Wraithguard with their flamers minus a transport)

I do the same but add some haynades, always handy. He leads the grots (preferably the grotesquerie) of course.

As long as there is another character, like the abby or the heamy, to take any unfavorable challenges, I have not yet missed the expensive SF. Cool
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PostSubject: Re: Viable Archon options   Wed May 25 2016, 10:37

My approach? Eldar Corsair Prince w/ Shadowfield/Reaper of the Outer Dark/Void Sabre/Jetbike. Comes in at 135 points and plays JUST like the old Reaverarchon.

If that isn't an option, I've had decent success running a SF/AOM/Huskblade Archon with a Cast of Players to tank shots for the harlies while comboing with the shadowseer for a -4 LD bubble.
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PostSubject: Re: Viable Archon options   Wed May 25 2016, 15:15

The more you guys talk about Corsairs the more I want to try them, But if memory serves right its very Eldar feeling still. IDK I might do it.

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