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Creeping Darkness
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PostSubject: To Kill a Rhino   Wed Jun 07 2017, 06:19

Greetings fellow Archons, Succubi and Haemonculi,

How do I destroy enemy vehicles? Its the question to ask every new edition. While we've never had a problem dealing with enemy monsters (excepting a slight interruption in transmission during the 7ed Gargantuan phase), vehicles have often posed more of a challenge. In 8th edition, with vehicles across the board appearing to become more durable, and many of our weapons reconfigured to boot, the question is more relevant than ever.

I've attempted to answer part of this question with my favourite tool, the probability curve. Briefly, I want to know the probability of destroying a vehicle for any given number of shots with a particular weapon.

Of course, in 8ed, destroyed is not the only meaningful result - stripping half of a vehicles wounds reduces its Movement, and usually Ballistic Skill also; a condition that I refer to as 'Degraded'. Reducing a vehicle to a quarter of its starting wounds reduces its characteristics further, which I note below as 'Crippled'. It may sometimes be enough to degrade or cripple a vehicle rather than destroy it; after all, if the troops inside a transport can go faster if they get out and walk, does it really need to be dead? So, I've included these conditions in the analysis.

I've used the Space Marine Rhino as the benchmark vehicle. It has T7, 10W, and a 3+ save. I've assumed that it is not in cover, and has not deployed its smoke launchers for this turn. I've also assumed that all of these shots happen in one turn, so that its self-repair abilities do not come into play.

Accepting these caveats, let's see how our weapons do. Let's start with the OG crew:

--- Darklight ---


The Dark Lance


The original, its been there for us since the beginning. Can we finally put the derisive 'dark glance' moniker to bed?



I've included a grey line indicating the performance in the equivalent test (destroying a Rhino out of cover) in 7ed. We can see that although there is no chance to one-shot the Rhino, as there was in 7ed, there is still a noticeable improvement to the dark lance resources we need to invest into taking the Rhino out of the game.

Firing 6 Dark lances has a respectable 46.8% chance to destroy a Rhino, a 61.1% chance to cripple it, and a very solid 82.4% chance of degrading it. Not bad.

Blasters


The blaster used to hit just as hard as the dark lance, but now doesn't do as much damage. Sadly, this dramatically limits its potential.



That 7ed line? Yeah, it's the same as the line for the dark lance. We can see that now blasters, by themselves, will struggle to destroy enemy vehicles. Even 10 blasters only have a 41.7% chance of destroying a Rhino. It is worth mentioning that 8 blasters still have a 78.3% chance of degrading an enemy Rhino, and a 43.4% chance of crippling it.

It seems to me that the blaster is best thought of as an adjunct anti-tank weapon; not expected to destroy enemy tanks themselves, but to either degrade dangerous vehicles that don't necessarily need to be killed, or to finish already degraded tanks.

--- Heat Lance ---


Our signature melta weapon. -5 to opponent saves means that a Rhino can't even get a save in cover! But does the relatively low S6 cause a problem?

From Far, Far Away


Outside melta range, it is definitely a problem.



We can see that the numbers of heat lances required to kill the Rhino is much worse than in 7ed, partly due to not having a chance to one-shot it, partly due to the Rhino having many more wounds. The curve is also notably flatter, suggesting that 10 heat lances (outside melta range) are still not suffering from diminishing returns.

Notably, when compared with the blaster, the heat lance still has a higher chance to get lucky and kill the Rhino with a few shots, due to its higher damage. Since it has a lower strength however, there is also a much higher chance of it simply doing nothing.

Inside Melta Range


We already knew that outside the range of its special sauce rules it wasn't as good. How about within optimal range?



Ouch. That is what a low strength does for you. Now that melta only affects the damage, not the chance to cause damage in the first place, there is no offset for the heat lance's S6. When pointing it at T7 targets or higher, 2/3rds of the time it will just bounce off. And that makes it really hard to get enough damage on the target to kill it.

It really does seem heat lances will be best used against T6 or lower targets, where their S is not a handicap and their special rule can shine.

--- Haywire ---


Another weapon, another complex damage function. Working out how to model the effects of the mortal wounds and combine them with the potential that the original shot would go through, all based on the wound roll, was a bit of a pain... but that's not what we want to know. What we want to know is does it work!?



No. No, it does not. It turns out, a few mortal wounds here and there are not a substitute for having a good strength and damage characteristic. Save it for trolling vehicles with invulnerable saves, and scaring opponents who still remember their 7ed rules.

--- Vehicle Weapons---


We've seen the dark lance already, but there are another two candidates here - the disintegrator and the dark scythe. Both deserve closer scrutiny.

Disintegrator


S5, and flat 2 damage per hit. Is it enough, combined with the new to-wound chart, to make this bad boy an anti-tank threat?



The flat 2 damage helps, and the high rate of fire helps even more. It's worth noting that the chart above shows 'weapons fired' on the axis; remember, each disintegrator fires 3 shots. But since it is weapons, rather than shots, that are the options on the vehicle, this is the better point of comparison.

We can see that 8 disintegrators has a solid 46.5% chance to kill a Rhino, 67.4% chance to cripple and 84.8% chance to degrade.

Dark Scythes


Only available on the Voidraven, they sport d3 shots and d3 damage. Can the halfway house, sort of a rapid fire blaster, cut the mustard?



It sure can. Again, showing the weapons fired, the rate of fire helps it strip wounds off quite effectively.

Pity they only come on one unit type.

Conclusion


It seems to me that efficiently matching weapons and targets will be a big part of 8ed. Heat lances will be sub-par against T7+, for example, but will shred T5-. Dark lances will be the workhorse, of course, but chipping wounds here and there may make a big difference to the final result.

Finally, the fact that vehicles degrade at half wounds mean that killing them may not be the most important thing anymore. I'll look forward to seeing how the tension between the more durable vehicles and their changing characteristics plays out over the first few games of 8ed.


Last edited by Creeping Darkness on Wed Jun 07 2017, 06:55; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: To Kill a Rhino   Wed Jun 07 2017, 06:50

I appreciate this math. My gut instinct left me with similar feelings but it is very nice to have those opinions in a concrete manner.

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PostSubject: Re: To Kill a Rhino   Wed Jun 07 2017, 07:43

I'm curious how our guns do against quantum shielding, but lack the math skills to figure it out.
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PostSubject: Re: To Kill a Rhino   Wed Jun 07 2017, 07:46

so heat lance is anti character, dl is anti tank, blaster is mini dl, hwb is useless, dissie is good at anti tank or anti teq or meq in cover, dark scythe is good at but only on void raven.
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PostSubject: Re: To Kill a Rhino   Wed Jun 07 2017, 07:55

@Trystis wrote:
I'm curious how our guns do against quantum shielding, but lack the math skills to figure it out.

Honestly anything that does 1-3 wounds at most. Its just a trition battle with them.

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PostSubject: Re: To Kill a Rhino   Wed Jun 07 2017, 10:42

Thanks for your hard work, this helps a lot!
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PostSubject: Re: To Kill a Rhino   Wed Jun 07 2017, 11:17

Damn. So maybe I should rip off the Haywire from my scourges and instead of converting them into heat lances give them some dark lances.

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PostSubject: Re: To Kill a Rhino   Wed Jun 07 2017, 11:32

Really glad I spend crap loads of money making those 3 units of HayScourges .....
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PostSubject: Re: To Kill a Rhino   Wed Jun 07 2017, 11:58

Nice stats.
I think you only looked at the 7th from the front right? (Because then I always found things hard to pop, but once I hit the rear with some heat lances/blasters vehicles went down fast).
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PostSubject: Re: To Kill a Rhino   Wed Jun 07 2017, 12:17

@CptMetal wrote:
Damn. So maybe I should rip off the Haywire from my scourges and instead of converting them into heat lances give them some dark lances.

Yeah, my Scourge have Haywire and Blasters, neither of which look particularly good at the moment. Oh well, 'counts as' here we come!!

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PostSubject: Re: To Kill a Rhino   Wed Jun 07 2017, 12:34

Someone, show this math to GW gamedesigners! I suspect they lack education or just time to do it by themselfs.
As for Heatlances, guys how you could even think to use this crap as anti-character weapon? Just take Ilic and a group of rangers, you can do it in every DE detachment. This will be much more efficient and CHEAP.

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PostSubject: Re: To Kill a Rhino   Wed Jun 07 2017, 13:59

Seems GW did their trick of nerfing the options that were always taken on units with a large pool of otherwise unused options. Haywire is a useless weapon now, it can't do anything that another weapon will do much much better. Heat Lances now have some bizarre niche of character killers *if* you can manoeuvre your Scourge well enough to get a shot at them. Maybe Heat Lance Scourge need to bring Agonizers with them on their Solarite now for the charge they'll have to pull off on said character to stop them being blown off the table after they unload their shots.

GW really needs to do these stat analyses though on their weapons and units, it's not difficult but it shows over and over again that there are weapons and options in each army that are just junk. You can shuffle around which ones are junk but isn't the goal of 8th to make sure nothing is junk? The DE playerbase really needs to offer GW some constructive advice on how to make these options not junk, and quickly before the codexes go to print. There's a growing list of them now.

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PostSubject: Re: To Kill a Rhino   Wed Jun 07 2017, 14:28

Some great analysis and matches what I thought would be the case, that the Dark Lance and Dark Scythe (and Void Lance would be fairly similar to Dark Lance) will be our go to anti-tank weapons, that heat Lances join Blasters as anti-elite/character killers and that Haywire is useless. Should be pointed out that Cluster Caltrops, another good source of anti-tank in 7th, are now completely incapable of performing that function.

I'm honestly not sure what GW were thinking with the Heat Lance, Lance being removed and represented by an extra point of AP and the change to Melta affecting damage and not to-wound makes it's S6 near useless, it really should have been boosted to S7. The fact that they're 5pts more expensive than a Dark Lance and 10 more than a Blaster is ridiculous.

Haywire was always going to suffer simply because vehicles have 3 to 4 times the number of wound they used and a save now. Still, Haywire Blasters should have been Assault 2 for this edition.
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PostSubject: Re: To Kill a Rhino   Wed Jun 07 2017, 14:39

Yeah sounds to me that I will likely be ripping apart the one unit of scourge that I own and glue on some dark lances and deep strike them into good ranged positions to threaten giant portions of the board. Hopefully in cover. That said the idea of going for a second unit with heat lances and going for a more traditional suicide unit could be strong. Either light vehicles, tanks, monsteruous creatures....there seems to be a lot of T5 things for us to kill so I don't think it's a bad option just not a strong "anti-tank" unit. Leave that for dark lance units and voidravens which sound increasingly better between d-scythes and the bomb.

Great write up, thanks for the mathhammer!
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PostSubject: Re: To Kill a Rhino   Wed Jun 07 2017, 14:48

Heat Lance needs a points drop and/or Strength increase. It's 8 points more than a CWE Fusion Gun and effectively worse in everything other than range. The extra point of AP does nothing to compensate for the low Strength.

The 8e version of Haywire mystifies me. It would have been so easy to basically keep the existing rule. Same profile as current version and against VEHICLES roll D6 for each hit, 1 is no effect, 2-5 is 1 mortal wound, 6 is D3 Mortal Wounds. Not sure why they felt the need to nerf that to 4+ rather than 2+. Even with this version of the rule I don't think they'd be OP. They might not even be competitive. But they'd be better than they are now.

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PostSubject: Re: To Kill a Rhino   Wed Jun 07 2017, 14:50

Thanks for this!

I'm considering spamming disintegrators supplemented with a few dark lances.

While the disintegrator and dark lances are comparable in damage to rhinos, the disintegrator can effectively engage a wider variety of targets (heavy infantry) than the dark lance - thus, having overall more utility within the army.
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PostSubject: Re: To Kill a Rhino   Wed Jun 07 2017, 16:26

@SERAFF wrote:
Someone, show this math to GW gamedesigners! I suspect they lack education or just time to do it by themselfs.
As for Heatlances, guys how you could even think to use this crap as anti-character weapon? Just take Ilic and a group of rangers, you can do it in every DE detachment. This will be much more efficient and CHEAP.
Because some of us are purists and no wannabe space pirate will be permitted to ride with us. :-D

Anyway... Interesting how Haywire really is bad. Its time may come later when superheavies with T9+ start popping from FW.

I have to confess that I have been baffled by Disintegrator cost when the books came out, but then I realized that the new wound table changed all T5-6 high AP weapons with D2+ into amazing things, considering Necron too. Just look at the bloody graphs. Utility of Dissie is much greater than Lance's AND perhaps most importantly I think that destroying vehicles will no longer be as important as in 7th.
With split fire we are entering whole new era of looking on our equipment distribution.
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PostSubject: Re: To Kill a Rhino   Wed Jun 07 2017, 17:38

I think a lot of finding the best options for us will be about not just shooting the right weapon at the right target but as far as list building finding the best platform for your weapons. For instance what is a better platform for dark lances- ravagers or scourges? Or just kabalites? How mobile you need different weapons to be? A good example is definitely the heat lance discussion above in terms of them being good for sniping T5 stuff but what is better for doing that, scourge or reavers? Comparing cost effectiveness but also mobility and durability. Definitely requires a new thread for that topic though.
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PostSubject: Re: To Kill a Rhino   Wed Jun 07 2017, 18:15

@Trystis wrote:
I'm curious how our guns do against quantum shielding, but lack the math skills to figure it out.

I suspect that haywire is much better vs. quantum shielding, since the standard result is one wound, plus an additional mortal wound... I wonder if the additional mortal wound counts as separate from the wound from the weapon's damage profile (as in, weapon does 1 wound.. then the mortal wound is applied separately, but not specifically as a modification to the weapon's damage rating) - if such is the case, then haywires might be better for punching through serpent shields as well.
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PostSubject: Re: To Kill a Rhino   Wed Jun 07 2017, 19:27

Lances - Scourges IMO.
Speaking in terms of "points per lance" 5 scourges with 4 DLs are almost 30% cheaper than lances on Ravagers and 21% cheaper than 5 Trueborn with 2 Lances. In addition, you do not have to deploy them, keeping them safe from any shooting and assault and DS them anywhere on tabletop in safety and in range. That -1 you will get to hit when they DS is easily offset by their cost. Simply take a bit more of them. :-)

We will need a bit better spread of weaponry now... AI is our main concern I think as poison is not what it used to be against GEQ, but we do have melee to deal with that. Or I should say full-all-out-carnage to deal with that.
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PostSubject: Re: To Kill a Rhino   Wed Jun 07 2017, 21:12

But 5 scourges with Lances are damn vulnerable. Maybe put some more bodies in the squad now that we can choose who's going to die?
I was thinking about 7 scourges with 4 dark lances.

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PostSubject: Re: To Kill a Rhino   Wed Jun 07 2017, 22:51

Why? He cannot shoot them T1 if you don't play first and let them do the damage and T2 onward he has to have his hands full with the rest of the army while your Scourges are 36'' away getting nice 3+ save from cover, out of reach of assault units, possibly camping an objective or two. And with some armies, you can keep your lances away up to Turn 3 in case you need to remove chaff to get to the juicy targets, then DS into perfect position and burn that thing off the table.

You can put them in a Raider/Venom in cover too if you are afraid to lose them.

Ravager is much more durable to be sure, but tactical options are different. Ravager has one redeeming quality for me - he is HS, while Scourges are in the crowded FA.

Anyway I think vehicles will be much less of a problem for us in this edition. Its not like 7th where we had to blow as many as possible. And more than before Offence will beat Defence as the means of defending were somewhat reduced in 8th edition system. Go full monty!
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PostSubject: Re: To Kill a Rhino   Wed Jun 07 2017, 23:45

@aurynn wrote:
Lances - Scourges IMO.
Speaking in terms of "points per lance" 5 scourges with 4 DLs are almost 30% cheaper than lances on Ravagers and 21% cheaper than 5 Trueborn with 2 Lances. In addition, you do not have to deploy them, keeping them safe from any shooting and assault and DS them anywhere on tabletop in safety and in range. That -1 you will get to hit when they DS is easily offset by their cost. Simply take a bit more of them. :-)

We will need a bit better spread of weaponry now... AI is our main concern I think as poison is not what it used to be against GEQ, but we do have melee to deal with that. Or I should say full-all-out-carnage to deal with that.
Your maths are way off, 5 Scourge with 4 DL are 150pts, only 5 less than a tripple Lance Ravager at 155 and 5 Trueborn with 2 DL are all of 95pts (heck, throw in a pair of Blasters to make it 125).

Frankly, this isn't even a question worth asking, a tripple lance Ravager is better than DL Scourge as it's double the toughness, has a better invuln and doesn't suffer the -1 to hit when moving with a heavy weapon. When it comes to anti tank it seems clear that the Voidraven is the closest challenger the Ravager has for that role now.

Personally I'm looking at arming Scourge with Splinter Cannons to make up for the fact they are actually better on infantry now than they used to be (will not be sorry to see Salvo is gone) whilst being worse on Venoms (which are also much more expensive so I'll have less of them) to cover anti infantry duty or give them Blasters to go after heavier targets.
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PostSubject: Re: To Kill a Rhino   Thu Jun 08 2017, 02:16

@Imateria wrote:
@aurynn wrote:
Lances - Scourges IMO.
Speaking in terms of "points per lance" 5 scourges with 4 DLs are almost 30% cheaper than lances on Ravagers and 21% cheaper than 5 Trueborn with 2 Lances. In addition, you do not have to deploy them, keeping them safe from any shooting and assault and DS them anywhere on tabletop in safety and in range. That -1 you will get to hit when they DS is easily offset by their cost. Simply take a bit more of them. :-)

We will need a bit better spread of weaponry now... AI is our main concern I think as poison is not what it used to be against GEQ, but we do have melee to deal with that. Or I should say full-all-out-carnage to deal with that.
Your maths are way off, 5 Scourge with 4 DL are 150pts, only 5 less than a tripple Lance Ravager at 155 and 5 Trueborn with 2 DL are all of 95pts (heck, throw in a pair of Blasters to make it 125).

Frankly, this isn't even a question worth asking, a tripple lance Ravager is better than DL Scourge as it's double the toughness, has a better invuln and doesn't suffer the -1 to hit when moving with a heavy weapon. When it comes to anti tank it seems clear that the Voidraven is the closest challenger the Ravager has for that role now.

Personally I'm looking at arming Scourge with Splinter Cannons to make up for the fact they are actually better on infantry now than they used to be (will not be sorry to see Salvo is gone) whilst being worse on Venoms (which are also much more expensive so I'll have less of them) to cover anti infantry duty or give them Blasters to go after heavier targets.

Do you consider the Splinter Cannon a worthwhile investment? For the same price (-1pt) and rapid fire range you can just buy another scourge for another wound.

I get the feeling that naked (Shardcarbine) scourges are the best anti-infantry we have point for point against naked warriors and splinter cannon trueborn.
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PostSubject: Re: To Kill a Rhino   Thu Jun 08 2017, 05:16

@Imateria wrote:
@aurynn wrote:
Lances - Scourges IMO.
Speaking in terms of "points per lance" 5 scourges with 4 DLs are almost 30% cheaper than lances on Ravagers and 21% cheaper than 5 Trueborn with 2 Lances. In addition, you do not have to deploy them, keeping them safe from any shooting and assault and DS them anywhere on tabletop in safety and in range. That -1 you will get to hit when they DS is easily offset by their cost. Simply take a bit more of them. :-)

We will need a bit better spread of weaponry now... AI is our main concern I think as poison is not what it used to be against GEQ, but we do have melee to deal with that. Or I should say full-all-out-carnage to deal with that.
Your maths are way off, 5 Scourge with 4 DL are 150pts, only 5 less than a tripple Lance Ravager at 155 and 5 Trueborn with 2 DL are all of 95pts (heck, throw in a pair of Blasters to make it 125).

Frankly, this isn't even a question worth asking, a tripple lance Ravager is better than DL Scourge as it's double the toughness, has a better invuln and doesn't suffer the -1 to hit when moving with a heavy weapon. When it comes to anti tank it seems clear that the Voidraven is the closest challenger the Ravager has for that role now.

Personally I'm looking at arming Scourge with Splinter Cannons to make up for the fact they are actually better on infantry now than they used to be (will not be sorry to see Salvo is gone) whilst being worse on Venoms (which are also much more expensive so I'll have less of them) to cover anti infantry duty or give them Blasters to go after heavier targets.

It is not off. I said from the point of "points per lance".

Scourges are 150 per 4 lances - 37.5 pts per lance
Ravager is 155 per 3 lances - 51.6 pts per lance - scourges are 27,5% cheaper
Trueborn are 95 per 2 lances - 47,5 pts per lance - scourges are 21% cheaper

My argument was that you can get with scourges most bang for the bucks, tactical advantage and safety for your lances in T1 and T2 if you desire. In exchange for overall toughness and -1 to hit on arrival.
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