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 Is Melee even worth trying for?

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FuelDrop
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PostSubject: Is Melee even worth trying for?   Wed Oct 25 2017, 00:29

At the moment, the True Kin have a nearly unique ability to field massive numbers of Darklight weapons, and use them to take full advantage of our transports. Indeed, my last few games I have won by spamming Darklight in transports and stocking up on as many Disintegrators as my vehicles can carry. It doesn't make for an interesting list, but it works pretty well.


Our melee capacity is, for the most part, depressingly mediocre when held up to some of the opposition out there. I keep getting told off for comparing our melee units to Khorne Beserkers because said Beserkers are top tier melee units... but that's the point. if that is our opposition, and point for point none of our units measure up to them, then that's a field we should not bother even attempting to compete on because, point for point, our best are not going to be able to match their best.


Of course, you can then argue that we shouldn't try and take on their melee specialists with our melee specialists, we should focus our melee options against their ranged options. While this is a valid argument, the problem we quickly run into is that most of our melee options suffer heavily when shot at (which ranged units have a tenancy to do), and we are also extremely vulnerable to counterattacks by the enemy's dedicated melee units.


So, when going against an army with both ranged and melee units, is it worthwhile to compete on the field of melee when we could instead put those points into dominating the shooting phase?

(Note: I hate that this effectively limits us to Move and Shoot, meaning that our enemies have two entire phases [Psyker and Fight] to themselves while also competing in the phases we focus on, but our melee units have trouble competing against enemy melee units and we're fast enough that just moving away and shooting is generally a good option)

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PostSubject: Re: Is Melee even worth trying for?   Wed Oct 25 2017, 01:06

@FuelDrop wrote:
So, when going against an army with both ranged and melee units, is it worthwhile to compete on the field of melee when we could instead put those points into dominating the shooting phase?
Maybe in that specific instance...no?
But considering that I tend to build TAC for tournaments and won't know my opponent's build when I start to build I am obligated to answer 'yes'.

You describe how we have excellent shooting, which is true. The catch is that there are armies out there very capable of outshooting us - as an example Guard, who can saw up our vehicles and infantry, while we can only saw up their vehicles effectively and struggle to put out enough dakka to mow through their mobs.

I would also note that though you cite our assault tools as mediocre, I would suggest that we do outstrip a handful of armies, and if judiciously used our assault forces can find a lot of favorable matchups, especially paired with our shooting. Like, sure, Incubi might bounce off Bullgryns, but if the Bullgryns have eaten a few rounds of Dissie fire then the Incubi are great for mopping up. Ect. ect.

Assault tools also have uses for gunlines. Take the Tau back when they were gunline gawds - they still would and should take a little Kroot action to screen their men. Guard do fnctionally the same thing with their Blobs, though the blobs themselves are shooting tools, anyone with a Titan should do this as well - because there are things in the game that can get into your lines and rip up your units if you're not careful. Assault units are the best counter to this because, in addition to providing screening and blocking up DS options, they can happily deter a number of enemy units that would love to pick on shooting units but don't care to get in a dustup with an assault unit.

That said, I agree with your core concept that we are currently better at shooting than assault, and advocate building with that in mind. I tend to only take about 2-3 assault options in my lists, comprising probably at most around 25% of my points. But I consider that a very valuable investment as it will protect and buy more turns of shooting for the other 75% of my army then I would gain by investing those same points in just more shooting.

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amishprn86
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PostSubject: Re: Is Melee even worth trying for?   Wed Oct 25 2017, 01:16

With in tournament style play, aka GT Alpha Strike lists, IG nerf, Eldar out, CSM, and SM. Honestly yes i think we will see a need for melee more so now than before.

SM heavily relay on shooting, melee will shut that down
CSM has 2-3 units, each is either Dedicated Melee or Shooting, if we can bubble wrap and shoot the Zerkers but uses DSing/turn 2 assault on the Noise/Oblits we can counter them
IG will see less OP Constripts and more DSing Plasma, so we need to bubble wrap and melee the Artillery and Tanks to prevent shooting.
Eldar will have amazing moving/DSing shooting units with a couple melee Wraiths for 60+ attacks re-rolls, S7 etc... so we shoot the wraiths and melee the Shooting units.

But if you notice the Melee i'm talking about is more of a Tie up type, we might see beast and Bikes being played a bit more than we are now, and maybe lots more Mandrakes.

I think DE might need to go back to extreme MSU armies with cheap 5mans of Wyches/Kabals with 2-3 man Khymeras x 10 and lots of Ravagers, Bombers, Jets etc... until we get our codex.


Honestly tho, these are all guess's just from what i'm seeing.

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PostSubject: Re: Is Melee even worth trying for?   Wed Oct 25 2017, 04:00

I'd stick to disintegrators. Starcannons went down by 15 points. I can see dissies going down at least 5 and become more spammable. That being said I'm hoping for point drops in hellions and reaver jetbikes. Ynnari reavers could easily tie up a unit in combat turn one with a nearby soulburst using advance or the +2 move drug.

Hellions can do similar and can even embark in a tantalus for the forseeable future.
Both units are really good except for their points. They have roles they fill but are just too expensive but if they go down then they would be quite good.

Beasts are good too and we will just have to wait and see what strategems we get. Sadly I doubt we will get webway portal beasts since they lack the infantry keyword.
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PostSubject: Re: Is Melee even worth trying for?   Wed Oct 25 2017, 04:06

Clawed Fiends output something decent...
Our Haemonculus does work.
Our Incubi are good, but not great.
A Succubus is okay against non-CC HQ's and garbage against CC HQ's.
The Archon is good in a 1v1 against a standard dedicated CC model that it costs thrice as much as.
Rakarth is a bit better than our Archon, but still kind of 'Meh'.
Lelith can chop up a small number of light Infantry, smash a little bit of MEQ and dies the minute something even remotely combat-optimised pokes her.
Drazhar (despite his points drop) is still very subpar.

Our best melee unit is actually the TANTALUS, and even then: only when it charges.

And whilst we are more than capable of shoving a ridiculous amount of anti-tank into our opponents faces, many armies have SINGULAR UNITS that come at the same price of one of our singular boat+passenger combo that can match the turn-for-turn firepower of three of our boats, plus passengers.

We started 8th ed reasonably powerful, and mostly balanced against everything else.
But with the advent of codices, we have been left standing in the realm of 'mediocre at everything, good at nothing'.

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PostSubject: Re: Is Melee even worth trying for?   Wed Oct 25 2017, 06:04

I'm feeling pretty good about where we'll be when the Codex comes out, basically BECAUSE of how we fare against all of the new Codices, and mostly because of how EVERY Index army is faring against the new Codices.

In the meantime, I use Beasts to screen and speedbump, Mandrakes to tie up backend vehicles from shooting or mop up beaten up infantry, and Incubi to deal buckets of high AP wounds where Splinter fire isn't doing enough on its own.

Yeah I would LOVE to have more combat tools, and I believe we WILL have more combat tools, but in the meantime I'm finding my melee units are actually filling a strong niche in my army and I like having to really, really carefully choose my moments with them.
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PostSubject: Re: Is Melee even worth trying for?   Wed Oct 25 2017, 07:03

In my opinion: NO until we get our codex we are better off staying back and shooting.
I tried out alot of combinations and the one im having the most success (in truth i have MUCH more wins than loses) against SM, deathguard, chaos, tyranids and orks which i mainly face is darklight spam for vehicles/heavy armour and poison spam for everything else. Any points invested in melee is wasted from more shooting and if you absolutely wanna lock something into combat you can just charge them with raiders or venoms or if you feel lucky tank them with archons.
I go as far as to say that, in my personal opinion of course, the only viable melee unit we have is incubi which compared to other crap out there are overrated as well and for 98 points id rather take two 5 man kabalite teams with two blasters they will do more damage...
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PostSubject: Re: Is Melee even worth trying for?   Wed Oct 25 2017, 07:48

I actually like some melee in my army.
I agree not to go for a full melee, but a unit of incubi pretty much always makes it in. And I find that even our shooting units often end in combat as well. A few turns of killing vehicles, and trying to whittle down the melee aspect of the enemy, and after that I often shoot at a unit and then assault it to finish it off. Expecially when facing orks (who are in my face turn 2, which means I often move everything to one side and break their line there, and then some melee units really help a lot) or shooty armies (who can usually outshoot us, sometimes not on the anti tank department).
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PostSubject: Re: Is Melee even worth trying for?   Wed Oct 25 2017, 08:03

We are suppose to do both, shoot as we get closer and finish them off in melee. We just dont work well like that, we work better as an Alpha strike shooting army, but thats GW's fault b.c they are scared of our melee due to 5th ed stupid broken rules (SM players QQing is what i mean, "QQ Omg my 35pt Rhino Died to a 80pts unit that had to take a 55pt Vehicle, with all Anti-Tank weapons, boohoo").

Everytime s SM play said it was Broken i told him the points costs vs his stupid 35pt Rhino, i'm like "I just spend 2 turns getting to you, and 135pts to kill 1 35pt vehicle... STFU"

Im still mad if you cant tell, then GW nerfs us really hard Sad

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PostSubject: Re: Is Melee even worth trying for?   Wed Oct 25 2017, 08:07

@amishprn86 wrote:
We are suppose to do both, shoot as we get closer and finish them off in melee. We just dont work well like that, we work better as an Alpha strike shooting army, but thats GW's fault b.c they are scared of our melee due to 5th ed stupid broken rules (SM players QQing is what i mean, "QQ Omg my 35pt Rhino Died to a 80pts unit that had to take a 55pt Vehicle, with all Anti-Tank weapons, boohoo").

Everytime s SM play said it was Broken i told him the points costs vs his stupid 35pt Rhino, i'm like "I just spend 2 turns getting to you, and 135pts to kill 1 35pt vehicle... STFU"

Im still mad if you cant tell, then GW nerfs us really hard  Sad

Fast Forward to 8th edition and we have no melee anti-tank, not even our monsterous creatures...

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PostSubject: Re: Is Melee even worth trying for?   Wed Oct 25 2017, 11:48

I find it frustrating that we can't melee vehicles but at the same time this kinda feels right as well. If you think about it, why create such devastating ranged weapons if you intend on chopping up a vehicle with a blade...it does kinda make sense to have most of our anti-tank as ranged. I do think someone in the army should have a nasty powerful grenade attack though.

I think just small improvements are required for melee...I think we should have more attacks but not hit any harder than we do. I think the Incubi need to be a lot better though.
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PostSubject: Re: Is Melee even worth trying for?   Wed Oct 25 2017, 12:04

Personally, I would like Wyches to be tightly focused on fighting other melee units. They are duelists after all, and their innate melee invulnerable save makes them naturally suited for taking on enemies with rending or power weapons. They just need a defense against pistols (a weapon long associated with melee specialists in the 40k universe), and some ability to deal damage.

I would say that a +1 attack across the board for Cult units would be a good start. innate -1 AP on Wych melee attacks (-2 for Bloodbrides) would also be nice.



My main problem with our lack of AV melee is that we have a lot of melee units and no options to deal with this, even ones that previously did the job fairly well like the Talos, in a universe where there are multiple vehicles designed for melee (walkers ect) that can in many cases be deployed well within reach (drop pods, for instance). Big monsters are less of an issue due to our access to poison, but still our glaring lack of diversity in our tools of the trade is pretty excessive given how other factions get such devices handed out like candy. I mean, the TAU get a power fist! THE TAU!!!


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PostSubject: Re: Is Melee even worth trying for?   Wed Oct 25 2017, 12:25

Quote :
TAU get a power fist! THE TAU!!!

Not that they have any clue about how to use it though.

But i agree wholeheartedly, having stock AP on wyches would go a long way.

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PostSubject: Re: Is Melee even worth trying for?   Wed Oct 25 2017, 14:04


Is it strange to say our kabalite units are quite good in melee against sometihng similar like guard or tau? put an agoniser in there and you will find them quite good at taking on such things, especially as you will most likely have weakened it with firepower first. I usually have such kabalites in a raider but recently i had a big blob of 20 that got charged by berzerkers. i command interrupted and reduced them to one guy left.

Wyches are better then they were but will still struggle against high armour units like terminators due to lack of rend on the basic weapons. I think i might have them as bloodbrides next time and see if that works, just drown them in attacks =D

My incubi sadly just get shot in overwatch and while they deal some damage, they really can't take the hit back.

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PostSubject: Re: Is Melee even worth trying for?   Wed Oct 25 2017, 14:42

(Haven't read all the big chunks of texts).

Personnally, wyches/bloodbrides, beasts & reavers have done fine so far this edition.
I'm not playing competitive, but for casual play they are pretty decent in my opinion.
Clawed fiends are beasts ! Mandrakes are decent after T3 (2+ WS).

I'd like to test some Hellions & big group of khymeraes (might proxy some before buying) but a mostly melee army is doable in a pure Drukhari army, and it's a lot of fun !

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PostSubject: Re: Is Melee even worth trying for?   Wed Oct 25 2017, 22:01

If your incubi are getting shot by overwatch you re doing it wrong
If there's anything left after they charge you re doing it wrong
They are really good but you need to pick your targets well.
Don't charge full strength things and hope.
End a damaged unit and get back in your boat.
They are a little to expensive though
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PostSubject: Re: Is Melee even worth trying for?   Wed Oct 25 2017, 22:49

I personally like having some melee in my forces. We have lots of options for it in the index as well. While we don't have any units like berserkers, genestealers, and wulfen I think it can still have a place in our lists.
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PostSubject: Re: Is Melee even worth trying for?   Wed Oct 25 2017, 23:19

Berserkers atm are the strongest melee unit in the game..... Harlequins are 2nd, you can always throw in 1 unit of them in a Starweaver with a Soadowseer for turn 1 assault if you wanted Very Happy

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PostSubject: Re: Is Melee even worth trying for?   Fri Oct 27 2017, 13:48

Melee is worth doing but it's not usually offensively better than our shooting. If you do it, send the units against their niche. Incubi against MEQs and Kastellans, Clawed Fiends against TEQs, etc. Past that, you use melee to tie stuff up.


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PostSubject: Re: Is Melee even worth trying for?   Fri Oct 27 2017, 16:17

Let's not forget Beasts as the best answer to T3 !

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PostSubject: Re: Is Melee even worth trying for?   Fri Oct 27 2017, 16:30

Quote :
Let's not forget Beasts as the best answer to T3 !

I personally always have difficulty getting them into combat, but if they can get there...oh boy those Guardsmen don't even have time to scream

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PostSubject: Re: Is Melee even worth trying for?   Fri Oct 27 2017, 19:15

Yeah beasts might be best mathematically but in terms of practicality I dunno.

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PostSubject: Re: Is Melee even worth trying for?   Fri Oct 27 2017, 20:16

Most people playing them around here say they are very satisfied Smile

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PostSubject: Re: Is Melee even worth trying for?   Fri Oct 27 2017, 20:22

Quote :
Yeah beasts might be best mathematically but in terms of practicality I dunno.

See, I would have no problems if Khymera were 12PPM and had a 14" move, I think losing those two inches has hurt them.more than most realize

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PostSubject: Re: Is Melee even worth trying for?   Sat Oct 28 2017, 01:37

Its about what is more threatening, if your beast are the most threatening, yeah they will not do very well as they will get shot turn 1-2.

I try to have my Troop vehicles go with them, guys in vehicles seems to pull more weight, i at the same time on turn 1/2 drop 2x5 mandrakes.

I believe in over threats, you dont need something to be strong to be a threat, but a vehicle in melee range against some armies are just as scary as killing them.

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