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sumguy777
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PostSubject: Mandrake spam   Thu Feb 02 2017, 09:20

I have never really used mandrakes, but they seem decent for 36 points and i never use any elite choices really. i mean for 108 points you can get 3 units of 3 mandrakes that can hold objectives, harasses the enemy, have a 2+ cover save in terrain, and can outflank.

why are these not used more often? am i missing something?
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BizarreShowbiz
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PostSubject: Re: Mandrake spam   Thu Feb 02 2017, 09:26

They are a good unit tactically speaking and can be taken in a slot we dont often use. I made a post some time ago praising their utility, its in the Dark Eldar guides grisly trophy in this section if you wanna read it.

Sadly, they are situational, so most of the time you dont end up with enough points to spare on them.

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PostSubject: Re: Mandrake spam   Thu Feb 02 2017, 14:52

3 words: Ignore. Cover. Everywhere.
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sumguy777
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PostSubject: Re: Mandrake spam   Thu Feb 02 2017, 15:10

@dumpeal wrote:
3 words: Ignore. Cover. Everywhere.
i am not sure thats a vaild arguement seeing as how are entire army uses cover. if they want to shoot at a 36 point unit ill let them.
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Ynneadwraith
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PostSubject: Re: Mandrake spam   Thu Feb 02 2017, 15:26

Yeah that's a point. Shooting at 36pt Mandrakes means they're not shooting at 60pt Reavers Wink

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PostSubject: Re: Mandrake spam   Thu Feb 02 2017, 17:18

Ignore Cover:
All Flamers. All of them. Every last one.
Tau
Serpent Shields
Wyverns
thunderfire cannons
Psychic
etc, etc, etc

Hand to Hand:
When Mandrakes will almost always lose a fight against almost every other unit in the game, there is an issue. They may be strength 4, but have ZERO save for turn 1, 6+ turn 2 and 5+ turn 3+, but only against str 5 or less attacks.
Hell, Wracks are much better in every single category except shooting, and they can take a venom to fix that problem. Mandrakes can't take squat to fix their shortcomings.

They NEED cover to survive, but if they move in it, they always hit last. That makes a lot of sense. See those IG vets with 2 flamers over there? Yeah? well, we need to go kill them or they will toast us. But if we move, they will destroy us in hand to hand before we even swing. So, which way do we want to die today?

Use them all day long in fun and fluffy games, but for competitive play, they are a joke.

Just my opinion.

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dumpeal
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PostSubject: Re: Mandrake spam   Thu Feb 02 2017, 18:03

@sumguy777 wrote:
@dumpeal wrote:
3 words: Ignore. Cover. Everywhere.
i am not sure thats a vaild arguement seeing as how are entire army uses cover. if they want to shoot at a 36 point unit ill let them.

In general, there are plenty enough of ignore cover on the other side to be able to shoot the mandrakes AND the reavers. And IF there are not enough, the ennemy simply has to move 6'' to the left to be out of range. The mandrake will have to either move out of cover to shoot, either be useless.

I'm hearing you say "Yeah, but if you put them in an objective, he'll have to kill them." True. In that case, your opponent will simply use 1 of his ignore cover weapon on them, instead of reavers... But that mean you'll lose that objective and the victory point.... To save a 63pts unit of reaver. Not sure it's worth the cost.

Understand me. I'm not saying mandrake are useless. I sometime field 1-2 min squad of mandrake. I simply answer why mandrakes are not fielded more often.
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PostSubject: Re: Mandrake spam   Thu Feb 02 2017, 18:18

I've always said that if I had an army that only worked when my opponent was an idiot, I'd run it every game. Well, let's talk about Mandrakes for a moment.

Mandrakes are elites, a crowded slot no doubt, but they cost 36 points for a 3 man squad. Their shooting is okay, their combat is okay, and they have move through cover. What's more, they can infiltrate and have stealth shrouded. This means if you infiltrate them onto an objective in any kind of cover, your opponent is going to have to waste time shooting at something with a 2+ save. They also need to kill them early because that turns into a 2+ with a 5+ FNP on turn 3. Any given army is going to have limited ignores cover, limited to the point that using it to fire at a 36 point unit that is generally not an immediate threat is kind of pointless. The smart move would be to use spare shots, like drop pod storm bolters and such on them.

This is where the idiot part comes in. Almost without fail, every opponent when faced with a unit that is difficult to kill is going to fixate on that unit. Difficult to kill becomes synonymous with important, kind of like how people constantly worry about how to kill a Wraithknight or a Knight Titan. If you can keep your target priority straight, you can use this to your advantage. Chances are if your opponent dedicates fire to them, they will die, but it will easily take at least half a shooting phase to take out 3 units of Mandrakes in cover. Tau will waste marker lights and hunter killers on them, allowing you to jink their scary shots freely. Wyverns will fire at them, saving your squishy dudes. Now if they *don't* fixate on them, you can use their shooting and turn 4 S5 attacks for mischief. Either way, these guys have never not earned their 36 points for me. Highly recommend them in Dark Eldar armies as screening units and IQ tests.

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PostSubject: Re: Mandrake spam   Thu Feb 02 2017, 18:29

I agree with Skulnbonz take on this. When they lost their 5+ invuln save from last edition, it was tragic. They're a melee-styled unit that can't effectively melee due to lack of grenades, and lack of survivability. That seems to be a running theme in our army. GW Design Discussion: "How can we screw over melee units and/or completely eliminate their upside? How about we don't give these I6 dedicated melee guys assault grenades? Let's make these other melee-oriented troopers not be able to kill anything in melee, with virtually no protection outside of melee, but have a good save in combat so that there are more bodies to run away when they lose the combat."

/endrant

@TeenageAngst wrote:

Mandrakes...their combat is okay

No, it's really not. They have ZERO save in close combat. Nothing. Later, they get FnP, but who is gonna wait for that? Without even doing the math, I'd assault them with fire warriors without fear.

@TeenageAngst wrote:
Either way, these guys have never not earned their 36 points for me.

Do people just never assault them? Mandrakes lose in CC to the worst melee units in the game.

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PostSubject: Re: Mandrake spam   Thu Feb 02 2017, 19:13

@TeenageAngst wrote:
.

Mandrakes are elites, a crowded slot no doubt...

crouded with what? i almost never take any elites, they are our worst slot. grots are good but i almost always take a grotesterie if i want them.

im not saying saying they are the best unit in DE but not taking at least 1 in a 1500 point list or 2 -3 in 1850 seems like a waste. s i mean they will kill infantry units as effectively as poison weapons or at least i believe. this lets you save your poison weapons for bigger targets.

lets compare to a venom 12 shots at 36, ap 5for 65 points, 5+ invul, deepstike

5 mandrakes (i would rather have 2x3 units but, for simplicity sake) 64 points 10 shots s4 ap4 at 18inch with soul blaze (potentially more damage making up for the extra shots) +3 cover (could be better) and feel no pain eventually, infiltrate/ outflank

now i would assume that we all agree that venoms are some of the best units in our army.
combaring the 2 i think they are well worth their points.

also note i have never used them so i dont know if i am missing something
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PostSubject: Re: Mandrake spam   Thu Feb 02 2017, 19:20

Quote :
Do people just never assault them? Mandrakes lose in CC to the worst melee units in the game.

Sometimes they do, but not often enough for me to not bring them. Usually assaulting them means whatever assaulted them is lined up for getting murdered by Venoms. Also sometimes I outflank them and use them to do things like harass vehicles and such, so assaulting them means doubling back.

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PostSubject: Re: Mandrake spam   Thu Feb 02 2017, 22:56

@TeenageAngst wrote:
I've always said that if I had an army that only worked when my opponent was an idiot, I'd run it every game. Well, let's talk about Mandrakes for a moment.

Mandrakes are elites, a crowded slot no doubt, but they cost 36 points for a 3 man squad. Their shooting is okay, their combat is okay, and they have move through cover. What's more, they can infiltrate and have stealth shrouded. This means if you infiltrate them onto an objective in any kind of cover, your opponent is going to have to waste time shooting at something with a 2+ save. They also need to kill them early because that turns into a 2+ with a 5+ FNP on turn 3. Any given army is going to have limited ignores cover, limited to the point that using it to fire at a 36 point unit that is generally not an immediate threat is kind of pointless. The smart move would be to use spare shots, like drop pod storm bolters and such on them.

The problem is: If you use them to secure an objective, they WILL become a priority target, worth wasting ignore cover shot. You can argue it's worth it if you remove a ignore cover shot from your other units, but it's not: YOU LOST YOUR OBJECTIVE. Dark eldar don't win game tabling the ennemy. They win with victory points. Every one is important. I'd sacrifice gladly a squad of bike for a victory point.
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PostSubject: Re: Mandrake spam   Thu Feb 02 2017, 23:23

I wouldn't, but then I win by shoving people into a corner. Mandrakes aren't for everyone's playstyle but they work well if your goal is maximum table presence.

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PostSubject: Re: Mandrake spam   Fri Feb 03 2017, 00:14

@TeenageAngst wrote:
I wouldn't, but then I win by shoving people into a corner.

I don't really understand what you mean. Who runs away from dark eldar? And if they aren't running away, how do you "shove them" into a corner? I feel like you might not be facing the types of lists I see regularly. Like deep striking cleansing flame bombs. You've been hit by those, right? S5 ignores cover 2d6 assault auto-hitting nova in an 18" bubble? Wipes out entire DE armies? I normally want my stuff right in the middle of as many DE as I can fit in my range.

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PostSubject: Re: Mandrake spam   Fri Feb 03 2017, 01:50

Ok so my typical list these days is usually something like 2 CADs with my Archon, a Lhamean, and 12 squads of warriors, half in Venoms, half in Raiders with Dark Lances. From there I'll take 3 units of Mandrakes and then either a Grotesquery, a Flyer wing, 3 units of Heat Lance Scourges, or pretty much whatever I feel like running any given week. Sometimes I'll drop some warriors, sometimes I'll add some wargear to make up points, but when all is said and done I like to have around 12 boats.

My typical opponents are Guard players with some wyverns supported by Knights, Orks, Nurgle CSM, Tau, Space Marine Inquisition Tempestus mix, or Grey Knights. Against most of these, I begin play by deploying my Raiders empty and all my warriors on the board in 5 man squads. If the opponent has a lot of long range anti-tank on the field, I will keep the Venoms off usually. If they do not, I will deploy them behind the Raiders. Typically this deployment has me outnumbering my opponent 2 to 1 and absolutely fills my deployment zone. I've had a blob Guard player comment that they're not used to being outnumbered. From there I push forward hard and aggressively try to take out as much as I can in the first couple of turns, focus firing on units I think I can remove while fishing for weak points. By turn 2 usually a break has opened up and I rush my army towards it, claiming a portion of my opponent's deployment zone. From here to about turn 4 it's me picking off unit after unit through mass of fire. I haven't had an opponent last past turn 4 when I play like this.

Naturally this doesn't work against everyone, particularly the Grey Knights scenario you described, which I have fought many times. Usually against such opponents I will have all of my boats be empty on the field, maybe holding some Venoms back, in the assumption that the GK player won't be able to nuke them all down at once if I stagger them enough. If I have my Grotesques I'll probably also have my Chronos and they'll be deployed as well since they can endure hardship like a 1930s middle American family in a New Deal work program. Dudes will walk on the board turn 2 and attempt to slay as many GK as they can before getting splatted by more cleansing flame. My goal is to eliminate psychic dice and Dreadknights, and since the two go hand in hand, usually I prioritize the Dreadknights. It's a bad matchup though and I've lost more times than I've won against it unless I'm running a double-grotesquery or a Dark Artisan.

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PostSubject: Re: Mandrake spam   Fri Feb 03 2017, 02:17

I use cleansing flame in my DE/Eldar lists. Almost every game, actually. I use Eldrad with 4 rolls on sanctic.

I DO see how keeping your infantry squads out of your transports could overwhelm your opponent with so many obsec targets though, and I also use area denial to prevent deep strike into my backfield.

I can see purchasing a single unit of mandrakes if you don't have points to spend on anything else, and can't free any up, but I still can't justify the idea of intentionally including them in a list if you can afford other options, particularly if you're using allies(which I do.)

But mandrakes are really not good. The fact that they die so easily in melee is the primary problem. If they got their 5++ back that they had last edition, that'd pretty much change my opinion on them.

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PostSubject: Re: Mandrake spam   Fri Feb 03 2017, 02:44

Recently I've been running pure DE a lot, though I'll role Sanctic on my Warlocks when I use them. If what you do works, then do what you do. Mandrakes work for me.

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PostSubject: Re: Mandrake spam   Fri Feb 03 2017, 05:59

anyway about the deny cover you guys were talking about, i think i know what you mean i played against a space marine player and 4/5th of his stuff was ignore cover on that board jinking was useless and mandrakes would of been a complete waste. So i can see that point of few. i still think a single unit would be good if you wernt facing games like that every time. again i dont think they are amazing but when they are good i think they are great. im gonna play on sunday so ill try em out as a squad of 3 to see how i like em. i some how feel that there unique abilities could some how work.
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PostSubject: Re: Mandrake spam   Fri Feb 03 2017, 06:48

That's really the best way to figure out how they work for you is to just monkey around with them in lists.

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PostSubject: Re: Mandrake spam   Fri Feb 03 2017, 07:32

when i have used them either be it 3man or 5, they are almost guaranteed to give up first blood. doesn't seem to matter if i stick them behind losb terrain. probably best to reserve/outflank/keep at home Laughing
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PostSubject: Re: Mandrake spam   Fri Feb 03 2017, 09:49

So they are kinda overspill game in your tactics? I agree, overspill is a real thing. When enemy shoots with unit that can kill 100pts of ours, but is killing 36 thats a win.

People call it MSU, but it doesnt really describe advantage gained. If enemy shoots just enough at each of your MSU target - there is no advantage gained. But if opponent can only overspill, by not having enough weapon platforms or having too powerfull, while suffering more and more losses each turn - thats the advantage gained.

Thats why i like to disembark Kabalites all at once - suddenly 8 targets instead of 4. Yeah - some will die, but no more then each squad per each enemy squad remaining. Thats why its really important to focus units down to zero - so that they cant target our flimsy units at all.

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PostSubject: Re: Mandrake spam   Fri Feb 03 2017, 11:38

But only disembark your warriors, if they are Close enough to do something. Be it Holding an objective or Shooting. Otherwise the enemy won´t habe a hard time choosing his Targets.

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PostSubject: Re: Mandrake spam   Fri Feb 03 2017, 14:58

Mandrake fall in a strange design where they can infiltrate to claim far objective, but can't survive if they are shot at, and are isolated from the rest of your army, if you infiltrate them. Every time I tried to infiltrate them far from my army, I lost first blood, my objective and been shot by a unit that couldn't shoot at any other of my unit anyway, because they were separated from my army. So, I infiltrate them in my side of te field, but with their 18'' range, they are not a threat until late game.
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PostSubject: Re: Mandrake spam   Fri Feb 03 2017, 15:02

Disembarking warriors from their transports simply to give the enemy a more target rich environment is counter productive in most (not all) cases. If there is no GOOD reason to get them out, I would suggest never doing so. Making a unit choose between shooting at your transport OR your warriors is not a good reason, because a decent opponent will use that against you.

It is not hard to detach an IC to assault the exposed warriors while the squad he WAS with kills your transport anyway.

And in this age of jetbikes and jump packs, that would be an all too common scenario.

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PostSubject: Re: Mandrake spam   Fri Feb 03 2017, 15:06

Personally I'd be quite happy if my opponent splits off an IC to deal with a 40 point squad as the likely outcome of that is an IC standing on his own in front of a dozen Venoms.

There's also the fact staying inside an open-topped vehicle got considerably more dangerous in 6th edition (S4 explosions) and even more so in 7th (No Escape!).

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