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 The Problem with Reavers

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Bhaal
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PostSubject: The Problem with Reavers   Wed Aug 30 2017, 20:16

The Problem with Reavers

With the new edition Reavers have changed a lot.
*Essentially doubled in point cost.
*Gained an additional wound.
*Gained a 4+ save while losing jink special rule.
*Increased the point cost of special weapons.
*Reworked how Bladevanes, Cluster caltrops and Grav-Talons work.
*With the rework to movement, now having basically half the movement potential while increasing the lower end of movement.
*Losing Hit & Run

For those of us who used to take Reavers for their special weapon have now seen the cost of that special weapon doubled. Not to mention with the changes to Heat lances making it not quite the good choice it used to be. I would argue taking Reavers for fast moving special weapons is no longer a valid option for us. The cost is just too high for the per turn output of special weapon fire.

Bladevanes used to give us HoW (S4 Rending) and with the rework now gives us a melee attack at S4 AP-1 making this attack good for hunting basic no- to low-armoured troops. I think this is generally an improvement for Bladevanes. This however does point us towards the specific purpose that Reavers now have in mind. Troop hunters, rather than the vehicle killers we are used to seeing in 7th.

The Reaver special, Cluster caltrops and Grav-Talons have had a serious rework. Grav-Talons are now useful giving a slightly increased damage potential on the charge. Not enough to really make a difference against our Reavers' intended target mind you, but it's something and by that, I mean it's really a hit or miss (50% chance of a single mortal wound). Cluster caltrops are now barely worth mentioning, giving the same lackluster threat of damage as the Grav-Talon but only if your Reavers survive yours and your opponent's fight phase and you better hope it pays off the few times you have the chance to pull it off because if the 50/50 isn't on your side, you won't have a second chance because your Reavers are already dead. Even if Grav-Talons and Cluster caltrops had a better chance of inflicting wounds they suffer from the fact that they are basically one use only items because they lack the Hit & Run rule and can't charge again in your next turn. And we still haven't gotten to the ridiculus increase in opportunity cost for taking any of these, which has doubled from 7th edition.

An extra wound is great but when no other relevant stat or gear choice have changed to account for the increased point cost this single change has incurred, we are stuck paying double what we used to for wargear that is based on model count and not model durability, doubling the cost for taking the wargear which is now also worse than it used to be.

So, how can we make best use of our Reavers? I can't think of any other way than to take large groups of them while not buying any of the additional wargear and then charging them headlong into weak troops. Maybe this is our most effective anti-horde unit with Splinter rifles, Splinter pistols, and Bladevanes.

What are your thoughts? How would you play them and against what?
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Thor665
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PostSubject: Re: The Problem with Reavers   Wed Aug 30 2017, 20:30

I've thus far found them to be pretty mediocre at best - I think anti-horde is done better by Hellions or Razorwings, or just maneuvered around.

I've found some use for them as vehicle harassers myself. The 4+ mortal wound is actually a decent threat, and most vehicles tend to do you the solid of exiting combat themselves, allowing you to keep up assaults if you are left otherwise unmolested. This could theoretically combo well with Blasters (or even heat lances, though I agree with your stance that they're a little 'meh' this edition).

Generally they've been sidelined for me however, I think there are better options at more affordable cost in the dex.

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Logan Frost
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PostSubject: Re: The Problem with Reavers   Wed Aug 30 2017, 20:58

They don't have a best use, anything they do somebody else can do better for the same cost. Drop a third of the cost and they could be considered.
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PostSubject: Re: The Problem with Reavers   Wed Aug 30 2017, 22:19

I have a squad of six that I use (I never painted the rest of them), and have recently given the leader an agonizer. They seem to do ok taking objectives on a light flank as drugs can give them a decent amount of durability. They won't hold up to dedicated shooting, but they do well against small arms fire. They don't have good close combat ability, but they can probably finish off a small squad on an objective. And I'm not sure if the special melee weapons are worthwhile anymore.

As stated above, I don't think they are best in class for anything, but they don't seem terrible.
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PostSubject: Re: The Problem with Reavers   Wed Aug 30 2017, 23:17

Myrvn wrote:
As stated above, I don't think they are best in class for anything, but they don't seem terrible.
They're not terrible, they just suffer from what most all rounder units do - either being overshadowed by other things and/or being too pricey.

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PostSubject: Re: The Problem with Reavers   Wed Aug 30 2017, 23:38

I've had success vs Tau. Charged a unit into a commander after taking a wound or 2 off during shooting. Did another couple of wounds in combat. He wanted to back away but I had caltrops. He ended up staying in combat but died the next turn. Reavers are great support character harassers. At least in my games they have been.
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PostSubject: Re: The Problem with Reavers   Thu Aug 31 2017, 08:37

Thor665 wrote:
I think anti-horde is done better by Hellions or Razorwings

Hellions anti horde?
How do you use them there?
I find that their range is close enough that they have to suffer charges/ rapid fire range, for 17 points a t3 1 wound low save model this is just way to expensive to do anti horde.

Reavers are quite though on the other hand, but way to expensive for their damage output.
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PostSubject: Re: The Problem with Reavers   Thu Aug 31 2017, 09:46

In my eyes Hellions are Bikes-Jetbikes killers. And very good at that job.

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PostSubject: Re: The Problem with Reavers   Thu Aug 31 2017, 12:15

Sarkesian wrote:
I've had success vs Tau. Charged a unit into a commander after taking a wound or 2 off during shooting. Did another couple of wounds in combat. He wanted to back away but I had caltrops. He ended up staying in combat but died the next turn. Reavers are great support character harassers. At least in my games they have been.
I think you were using CLuster Caltrops wrong, the FAQ has made it clear that they work when you fall back, not your opponent.
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PostSubject: Re: The Problem with Reavers   Thu Aug 31 2017, 14:36

Ah, this game was before the faq, so it would definitely be different now.
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PostSubject: Re: The Problem with Reavers   Fri Sep 01 2017, 13:45

|Meavar wrote:
Thor665 wrote:
I think anti-horde is done better by Hellions or Razorwings

Hellions anti horde?
How do you use them there?
I find that their range is close enough that they have to suffer charges/ rapid fire range, for 17 points a t3 1 wound low save model this is just way to expensive to do anti horde.

Reavers are quite though on the other hand, but way to expensive for their damage output.
With their speed Hellions can pick their target and come in easily on the side of a horde.
Starting with a squad of 15 even a turn into the game you're still likely looking at inflicting 20+ poison shooting attacks, which against a lot of hordes is looking at around 7+ wounds. Then you get to assault in with a lot of attacks, which when paired with a complimentary Raider charge generally can leave you looking at very little return damage, then you can bounce out and do it again on your turn.

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PostSubject: Re: The Problem with Reavers   Fri Sep 01 2017, 16:36

They sure pack a punch, and against an enemy with bad armour bad they will inflict a ton of casualties.
However, i found Hit&Run quite useless on them : either they stomp the enemy, and will be able to finish them in the next fight phase, or they struggle to massacre them, and will get massacred themselves.

Hit&Run is only useful in a "stale" fight, and i don't think i've ever seen a stale fight with Hellions. They are either stomping, or stomped.

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PostSubject: Re: The Problem with Reavers   Fri Sep 01 2017, 17:09

I am with MPPQ on this this.
I read the hit and run and thought "awesome", but I have yet to see it make any meaningfull impact.
They are just to weak to survive multiple rounds of combat. The one time I used it was after assaulting a vehicle and the enemy did not disengage, allowing me another target next turn.
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PostSubject: Re: The Problem with Reavers   Fri Sep 01 2017, 17:46

Mppqlmd wrote:
They sure pack a punch, and against an enemy with bad armour bad they will inflict a ton of casualties.
However, i found Hit&Run quite useless on them : either they stomp the enemy, and will be able to finish them in the next fight phase, or they struggle to massacre them, and will get massacred themselves.

Hit&Run is only useful in a "stale" fight, and i don't think i've ever seen a stale fight with Hellions. They are either stomping, or stomped.
Hit and Run is also useful for the charge initiative benefit, and the ability to select new targets.
I've found it pretty good against blobby units that you're not wiping out in one turn but that are not exactly liquid lightning in the assault phase (e.g. Conscripts)

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PostSubject: Re: The Problem with Reavers   Fri Sep 01 2017, 17:56

Thor665 wrote:


Hit and Run is also useful for the charge initiative benefit, and the ability to select new targets.
I've found it pretty good against blobby units that you're not wiping out in one turn but that are not exactly liquid lightning in the assault phase (e.g. Conscripts)

Well, yes, if your Hellions are still engaged in a CC at the beginning of your turn.
Never happened to me. Either they won so hard the combat was finished in 1 or 2 phases, or they got chopped to hagis.

For example, if you failed to kill conscript in your turn, your Hellions are dead. Conscripts can fall back and shoot you to hell at rapidfire range.

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PostSubject: Re: The Problem with Reavers   Fri Sep 01 2017, 18:17

As long as they have an order available and enough bodies to do so - sure.
But I do find my Hellions in CC at the beginning of my turn on a ratio higher than 'never' though maybe that's just my experience.

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PostSubject: Re: The Problem with Reavers   Fri Sep 01 2017, 19:46

Thor665 wrote:
As long as they have an order available and enough bodies to do so - sure.
But I do find my Hellions in CC at the beginning of my turn on a ratio higher than 'never' though maybe that's just my experience.
Well yeah, but having orders and bodies is kinda vital to fielding Conscripts. If your opponent fields small squads of Conscripts with no HQ to give them orders, he's a really nice friend Smile

Sure, it might happen that some lucky bunch of hellions survive a fight and decide to go find their death elsewhere, using the Hit and Run. But looking at the profile, i think Hellions pay more or less 2pts per model for that special rule. Considering how often you can use it, it's not a great buy.

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PostSubject: Re: The Problem with Reavers   Sun Sep 03 2017, 03:22

I haven't found Reavers very useful either. Really unfortunate since I have about 40 of the suckers lying around (In 7th I played an all-jetbike Ynnari list. It was not fair or balanced.)
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PostSubject: Re: The Problem with Reavers   Sun Sep 03 2017, 09:31

One problem with reavers is that as a branch of the Eldar, we are not hurting for good jetbike options.

If we want great shooty jetbikes Windriders with Shuriken cannons two points more, just as fast (or really faster, as they have assault weapons so can take advantage of shooting after moving and get no penalty for doing so), have a better save, and are VERY shooty.

If we want fantastic shock assault jetbikes, Shining Spears pack one mother of a punch (each squaddie weighs in with 2 S 6 AP -4 dealing 2 damage a hit on the charge), are incredibly durable (3+, 4++ vs shooting), and can put out a massive amount of short range firepower (4 S4 rending shots at 12" plus another S6 AP -4 shot at 6"). All this comes at a price, as 43 points per model is pretty dear.

And of course, if we want to get elite bikes, we look at our Harlequin Skyweavers. These badboys cost a mint, coming in at around 54 points per model fully loaded. For that you get three wounds and three attacks, 4++ standard, -1 to hit them with shooting, a shuriken cannon, and a melee weapon that packs +1 S, -2 AP, and 2 damage per attack.

So looking at this:
Reavers are on level with twin catapult windrunners for points, but the two point upgrade to cannons means that in practice Reavers are the cheapest bikes in our arsenal. Indeed, they are the cheapest assault-geared bikes in the faction.

However, they are also the frailest bikes in the faction. They are slower than windrunners for shooting due to the latter's ability to advance and still shoot at full capacity, and they are slower than Skyweavers that can move, advance, shoot, and assault in the same turn. They have the lightest ranged weapon loadout, with two alternatives having Shuriken cannons as at the very least an option for all their squad members and the remainder packing very impressive close range firepower. In melee we are the least impressive of the melee specced jetbikes.

In summary, the primary advantage of Reaver Jetbikes over other eldar jetbikes is that they are cheap, an advantage emphasized by not having to pay points for our stock weapons. However, due to the high prices of our weapon options that advantage quickly goes away if you bring weapons such as heat lances to the party, as because most of them are trading out a costly weapon for a heavy weapon that isn't much more pricey than their base weapon (or in some cases is their base weapon). We also trade survivability (in classic DE fashion, and if the DE bikes were not the least survivable something would be horribly wrong), firepower (remember that part about everyone bringing a heavy weapon to the party?), and melee striking power. We are also in practice somewhat slower in our roles than the Windrunners and the Skyweavers, as both of them can advance while still engaging at near-full efficiency.

Sadly, this means that Reavers really do not compare well to their competition, as Windrunners bringing squad wide heavy weapons to the party for a measly 2 points per model more edges us out in the cheap but cheerful department, while the increased damage and survivability of the more expensive assault options (and the fact that our own codex is not exactly lacking with melee focused options) means that Reavers really struggle to justify why one would take them for the role over another option.
Which is a damn shame, as reavers are one of my favorite models.

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PostSubject: Re: The Problem with Reavers   Sun Sep 03 2017, 10:10

Quote :
We also trade survivability
Both have 4+. Ours have access to T5 and Inured to pain, so we are the resilient ones. The frailest are Windriders.

I'm fine with reavers by bad at shooting. But if they are to cost 30+ points, they should be better in CC/dish more mortal wounds.

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PostSubject: Re: The Problem with Reavers   Sun Sep 03 2017, 10:41

Mppqlmd wrote:
Quote :
We also trade survivability
Both have 4+. Ours have access to T5 and Inured to pain, so we are the resilient ones. The frailest are Windriders.

I'm fine with reavers by bad at shooting. But if they are to cost 30+ points, they should be better in CC/dish more mortal wounds.

Huh, they did drop Windriders down to 4+. yeah, my bad. Thought they kept it at 3+ like it was for the last 7 editions and did not bother to check.


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PostSubject: Re: The Problem with Reavers   Sun Sep 03 2017, 11:05

Mppqlmd wrote:
Quote :
We also trade survivability
Both have 4+. Ours have access to T5 and Inured to pain, so we are the resilient ones. The frailest are Windriders.

I'm fine with reavers by bad at shooting. But if they are to cost 30+ points, they should be better in CC/dish more mortal wounds.

I think one thing that could help would be giving Reavers access to more heavy weapons and special equipment. Even keeping CC/GT as is, just allowing one per model rather than 1 per 3 models, would be a massive improvement.

Also, just noticed that Reavers advance 8" rather than 6", which is awesome. The problem is that they lack any way to capitalize on it since they cannot shoot their standard weapons, nor charge, after advancing.

Frankly, to make Reavers significantly better:

1) Can take one GT/CC per model.
2) Treats Splinter Rifle as Assault 2 rather than rapid fire, or else let anyone replace splinter rifle with special weapon.
3) Charge after advancing.



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PostSubject: Re: The Problem with Reavers   Mon Sep 04 2017, 17:39

A lot of my problems with Reavers stem from the fact that they are incapable of scaling or synnergizing with other units.

I like to run a Nebula of nine Windriders with Cannons, two Farseer Skyrunners with Singing Spears, and a Warlock Skyrunner, also with a spear. Automatically, you have 18 T4 wounds that essentially have 22" Movement, and pump out 27 S6 Rending shots a turn. Factoring in Psychic Powers, said unit also gets a 5+ FNP, a -1 to hit, and rerolls to hit and to wound. Plopping the unit into cover, it'll take 324 Bolters, 729 BS 4+ Lasguns, and 39 Overcharged Plasma Guns (Though the Hard to Hit gives them an inherent defense against plasma)

Essentially, Reavers are inherently deficient, because their Craftworld comrades have several units giving implicit synergy to the unit.

Of course, many of the criticisms above still stand, but in my opinion, Reavers consistently fail in comparison to our prudish cousins due to, once again, our lackluster HQs.

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PostSubject: Re: The Problem with Reavers   Tue Sep 05 2017, 08:02

They fail worse because of our lack of support.

But even with it, 30 points for 2 lackluster shots, and 2 s4 ap1 melee attacks is to much. Stupidly enough their best place right now is in a coven army, since you can flood the board with pretty ok thoughness, and multiwound creatures. Which means the reavers are the speed component they otherwise lack.
In wych cult armies, they are the though guys, but without a punch or numbers for objectives, there is no reason to shoot them, thus their thoughness is wasted.
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PostSubject: Re: The Problem with Reavers   Tue Sep 05 2017, 09:42

I will say this for Reavers: They are the fastest non-flier in our codex if raw movement is all that is required (advance 8" on speed 16" or even 18", giving them a potential move of 26"), which is great for pinching unclaimed objectives.

2 S 4 AP -1 attacks that hit on 2's is a pretty solid close combat option, if taken in a vacuum, and is only considered lackluster or poor because at 30 points per model it is positively wimpish. As with many wych cult units, an extra attack base and the ability to assault after advancing would turn it into a legitimately good unit, fast and hard-hitting enough to be worth the points.


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