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 Making mandrakes match the fluff

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Sarkesian
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PostSubject: Making mandrakes match the fluff   Sat Feb 11 2017, 22:36

I've always been intrigued by the Mandrakes and Nightfiends. On tabletop they seem lackluster to me. Infiltrate is nice, balefire is decent, minimum squad for very few points is also good. These are supposed to be terrors on the battlefield! In the fluff they can appear in your shadow, strike, and be gone again. When they appear, the temperature drops immensely.

What rules could be given to this unit to make them feel more elite?

Always strikes first rule, caused by temperatures freezing slowing reaction time.
Fight from the shadows, ignore overwatch. Search lights and night vision ignore this.
Decapitate, instant death on 6's.

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Vindicavi
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PostSubject: Re: Making mandrakes match the fluff   Sat Feb 11 2017, 23:20

In terms of making them fit the fluff I would give them deepstrike instead of infiltrate, and remove the distance limit for them similar to the decapitator in 5th ed. This would let them come out of the shadows near enemy models but still risk deepstrike mishaps.

In terms of the ice around them, I'd give them defensive and offensive grenades. Or possibly a drop of initiative to units within 8" of the mandrakes.

The instant death isnt something I would agree with as thats the same rules as grots, I'd consider giving them an additional attack or maybe shred/fleshbane to make them more effective in melee.

Mandrakes should feel like an assassination unit, able to drop in near an enemy unit and overwhelm them in melee before they have a chance to strike back.

If I was looking to make another possibly more broken change to their rules I would remove shrouded and stealth and make them only able to be targeted by snapshots, though granted this would need a fairly major point rise.
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TeenageAngst
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PostSubject: Re: Making mandrakes match the fluff   Sun Feb 12 2017, 04:01

Mandrakes are already ridiculously OP but if we want to make them even crazier I'd say something like a one time use redeployment a-la Gate of Infinity or Shred so they're killier in close combat.

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PostSubject: Re: Making mandrakes match the fluff   Sun Feb 12 2017, 04:41

a 5++.
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HokutoAndy
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PostSubject: Re: Making mandrakes match the fluff   Sun Feb 12 2017, 04:44

Mechanically, things that bypass the benefits of cover/terrain for the foe and penalties for terrain/cover for the mandrakes. The idea being that rough terrain casts a lot of shadows and that just gives mandrakes more angles of attack.

So mandrakes deepstriking with no penalty into heavy cover, moving through it, and ignoring cover while shooting/assaulting guys in cover.
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amishprn86
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PostSubject: Re: Making mandrakes match the fluff   Mon Feb 13 2017, 01:34

Give them what GSC have, Cult Ambush/Return to the shadows. BOOM playable.

Edit:
@TeenageAngst wrote:
Mandrakes are already ridiculously OP but if we want to make them even crazier I'd say something like a one time use redeployment a-la Gate of Infinity or Shred so they're killier in close combat.

Are you serious? They are not OP........ they are playable, but not OP at all.

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Massaen
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PostSubject: Re: Making mandrakes match the fluff   Mon Feb 13 2017, 02:13

@TeenageAngst wrote:
Mandrakes are already ridiculously OP but if we want to make them even crazier I'd say something like a one time use redeployment a-la Gate of Infinity or Shred so they're killier in close combat.

Cant tell if serious... Neutral

The GSC mechanic is a great idea though!

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Shadows Revenge
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PostSubject: Re: Making mandrakes match the fluff   Mon Feb 13 2017, 05:47

If we are being hypothetical. The GSC cult ambush would be the best. The free shooting should be baleblasts, and they should ignore all effects from terrain. This would make them an interesting options to potentially hold up a range unit or baleblast a unit off the table before they get a chance

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PostSubject: Re: Making mandrakes match the fluff   Mon Feb 13 2017, 10:02

I think we're going to have fairly different ideas about what the Mandrakes are like fluff-wise, and this could make agreeing on game mechanics difficult, but this is my interpretation:

Allow them to deep strike into combat instead of having to charge or deep strike normally, but only on units which have at least as many models as the Mandrake unit you're trying to deep strike into.  This would represent them pulling themselves out of an enemy's shadows.  Allow them to repreatedly do this in a manner similar to the Yncarne's abilty to deep strike to an enemy unit that has suffered casualties.  To complement this give them Hit and Run so that they can H+R out of combat and then Deep Strike into another enemy unit.   I too, like the idea of them as assassins (R.I.P. Kheradruakh Sad ).  Ways to emulate this battlefield role could be with Preferred Enemy: Characters and Independent Characters, and Precision Shots and Strikes.  I think giving them the Daemon special rule is both fluffy and gives them a couple of rules to help make them more effective.  Obviously these improvements should come at an appropriate cost, but I don't know what that would be.

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PostSubject: Re: Making mandrakes match the fluff   Mon Feb 13 2017, 13:22

@Tonguekutter - I like where your mind is at that this unit should be an assassination unit. You could make a change to Baleblast to have a pistol profile, giving them another attack in CC. Or keep it as is so they have a ranged threat.

I like your idea to only be able to deep strike into a unit that has at least the same number of models.

I had an idea that maybe make it the reversal of this. The Mandrakes see a unit with low numbers as a vulnerable target, so they can catch them off guard and overwhelm. This would then work for character assassination when they leave a unit or go alone from the start.

This way we would have Incubi as TEQ killers, Wyches as tarpits, Wracks as MC killers, Grotesques as everything smashers, Mandrakes as MSU killers. Give them each a role. Make the enemy fear playing small MSU against us. Units of 5 models or less, or 5 models +IC.
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|Meavar
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PostSubject: Re: Making mandrakes match the fluff   Mon Feb 13 2017, 17:55

How about making them deepstrike only in enemy units? You automatically count as charging, but if you can't touch at least one enemy you mishap? I think precision strikes is a good fluffy idea.
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PostSubject: Re: Making mandrakes match the fluff   Mon Feb 13 2017, 20:06

Quote :
Are you serious? They are not OP........ they are playable, but not OP at all.

Then you have no idea the power you weild when you have Mandrakes. You are like a child playing soldier with his grandfather's 1911. One day that sucker is gonna go off and you're gonna table your opponent in ways you're not prepared for.

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PostSubject: Re: Making mandrakes match the fluff   Mon Feb 13 2017, 20:41

@TeenageAngst wrote:

Then you have no idea the power you weild when you have Mandrakes.

Based on his posts in Tactics about Mandrakes, I think he likes them but is joking about them being OP. (I checked because I couldn't tell is he was being serious or not either.)

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PostSubject: Re: Making mandrakes match the fluff   Mon Feb 13 2017, 22:05

I dig Mandrake's a lot, and play them. But OP seems like a stretch. If I played competitively I'd probably go for Spiders...
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PostSubject: Re: Making mandrakes match the fluff   Tue Feb 14 2017, 00:22

Yeah... I have 20+ of them and like to play them... they are by no means "OP" they are playable..

Viable/balanced and OP are 2 different things.

Within the DE codex they are well balanced, if you compare them to Tau, Eldar, Corsairs, SM etc.. they are not good.

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PostSubject: Re: Making mandrakes match the fluff   Tue Feb 14 2017, 01:20

The number of situations I can think of where Mandrakes would not earn their points and then some is staggeringly small.

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PostSubject: Re: Making mandrakes match the fluff   Tue Feb 14 2017, 01:53

@TeenageAngst wrote:
The number of situations I can think of where Mandrakes would not earn their points and then some is staggeringly small.

Then I have no idea who you are playing... because at any competitive event I have ever played at they would be a joke unit you added when you had 36 points left and a spare elite slot

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PostSubject: Re: Making mandrakes match the fluff   Tue Feb 14 2017, 01:55

@TeenageAngst wrote:
The number of situations I can think of where Mandrakes would not earn their points and then some is staggeringly small.

Usefull and OP are 2 different things.............................

If they were OP you see 20+ on the table, you would see Eldar using them, you would see them in every DE list and multi units of them.

Just b.c it is easy for a unit to fill a role well doesnt mean its viable in the long term. Having 1 unit of 3-5 isnt bad at all, but more than that isnt as useful.

Again.. not saying the are not "good, useful or viable" saying they are simply not OP.

OP is over powered... they are not over powered.

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PostSubject: Re: Making mandrakes match the fluff   Tue Feb 14 2017, 02:04

The only time I've ever been able to find a use for them was in an escalation league where we were limited to a single detachment. I went hardcore MSU and ended up with some points to burn the final week. I managed to get some use out of them during the game (more as a distraction tactic than anything else--it took some signficant firepower to bring them down) and I lucked out with my opponent bringing some units with a 4+ sv in range of their baleblast.

I definitely wouldn't count on them, though.
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PostSubject: Re: Making mandrakes match the fluff   Tue Feb 14 2017, 02:10

I can tell this is going to take forever to explain but I might as well state my case here before this snowballs any further.

Mandrakes in any kind of cover have a 2+ cover save. That is, for all intents and purposes, the same as having a Terminator save when being shot at. They also cost next to nothing so you can bring 3 squads of them for the same price as a unit of Warp Spiders. Their shooting is decent for what it is and they can hit like Space Marines in close combat. They're infiltrators with Move Through Cover so you can outflank them, deploy them in cover, etc. They have a lot of flexibility. There is no reason they should ever not be in cover as this flexibility removes that excuse. Now you're right, on paper they do nothing, and that's the trick. That is the Mandrake's entire strength in fact, they look like they should do absolutely nothing, which is why they do everything so well. They are as great as their flaws.

Say you deploy them on objectives. Also say your opponent knows what they are and ignores them because hey, they have more important things to shoot at than some stupid Mandrakes in the first couple turns. Those Mandrakes can take pot shots all game and will get tougher every turn they're left alone. FNP, Furious Charge giving them S5 on the charge, Fearless, every PFP bonus makes this unit substantially better. By the time your opponent has to deal with the Mandrakes they have grown some teeth. Chances are too that your opponent never meant to deal with them with a substantial force so they are poorly positioned to deal with a 2+/5+ FNP unit.

Say your opponent doesn't ignore them. Say they shoot at them Well a 2+ cover save isn't exactly easy to get through. Whether they're shooting scatter lasers or lasguns, you have to dig through a lot of dice before a single unit goes away, and that's a lot of shots that would otherwise have gone into your boats or dudes. Maybe they charge them, but if they do that, they have to shoot them, or give up the chance to shoot something more important. Maybe they blow a baleflame on it, or marker lights, or ignores cover orders. All of these things are significantly more lethal to your other units than they are the Mandrakes, because with the Mandrakes, all you lose is 36 points at most. And that's the rub. No matter what your opponent does, they have to throw a considerable amount of force behind taking down a 36 point unit that is just capable enough to be annoying without actually serving a purpose beside sticking in their craw. Just like a pebble in a shoe can defeat a marathon runner, units of Mandrakes can break the game flow of a competitive list. They're insidious.

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PostSubject: Re: Making mandrakes match the fluff   Tue Feb 14 2017, 02:34

Or charge them with their own chaffe that weren't going to do much anyhow. They get owned by anything that charges them. Things like guardsmen conscripts, or kroot that cost nothing and are only ever brought do die anyhow.

Now, granted, knowing this take some competence, and competence isn't exactly all that common in lots of 40k communities, but I couldn't get away with using them effectively against the people I play.

I'm sure there are plenty of people in plenty of places in which mandrakes would be effective though, because people wouldn't know to exploit their major weakness to being assaulted.

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PostSubject: Re: Making mandrakes match the fluff   Tue Feb 14 2017, 02:36

A single flamer answers the question of "how do I kill mandrakes efficiently?"

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PostSubject: Re: Making mandrakes match the fluff   Tue Feb 14 2017, 02:40

@Massaen wrote:
A single flamer answers the question of "how do I kill mandrakes efficiently?"

When your battle company consists of nothing but grav squads, whence cometh the single flamer?
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PostSubject: Re: Making mandrakes match the fluff   Tue Feb 14 2017, 02:52

Space Marines who run nothing but grav squads deserve to lose to Mandrake armies. I hear stories, but I've never seen such a beast in my time. I still hope to see an all-grav army plopped down opposite me in a tourney some day.

I'm going to laaaaaugh....
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PostSubject: Re: Making mandrakes match the fluff   Tue Feb 14 2017, 02:57

@Jimsolo wrote:
Space Marines who run nothing but grav squads deserve to lose to Mandrake armies.  I hear stories, but I've never seen such a beast in my time.  I still hope to see an all-grav army plopped down opposite me in a tourney some day.  

I'm going to laaaaaugh....

They were all the rage at adepticon last year. I played against 3 lists that were all virtually identical space marine grav spam lists. They were basically carbon copies of the list Frankie G used to win that tournament. I think he published what list he was going to play in advance, and a lot of people copied him.

There were minor variations, but the core was all the same. If I recall correctly, it was the Hunter's eye from white scars to ignore cover in a unit of grav-cannon centurions, and a bunch of free transports with grav gun marines in them, plus a drop podded Cullexus Assassin.

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