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Soulless Samurai
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PostSubject: Mandrakes in Venoms   Wed May 23 2018, 23:18

This idea got brought up recently in a list discussion and so I thought I'd see what people think of it.

Basically, what are your thoughts on having a couple of Mandrake units riding in Venoms?

Obviously you lose out on their deep-strike, but they'll be more mobile and better protected. They'll also have a longer threat range if they charge out of their transports.

Any thoughts?

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yellabelly
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PostSubject: Re: Mandrakes in Venoms   Thu May 24 2018, 09:38

My initial thoughts are that it would work and they would do quite well, but that it's an unnecessary points investment. The venom gives a bigger boost to other units as the venom overlaps abilities the mandrakes already have (obviously deepstrike but also their - 1 to hit). Kabalites only stand to gain bonuses from being in a venom, then add a Flayed Skull obsession which mandrakes can't get. Plus losing a few mandrake if the venom pops hurts more than a 6point kabalite.
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PostSubject: Re: Mandrakes in Venoms   Thu May 24 2018, 11:22

@yellabelly wrote:
My initial thoughts are that it would work and they would do quite well, but that it's an unnecessary points investment. The venom gives a bigger boost to other units as the venom overlaps abilities the mandrakes already have (obviously deepstrike but also their - 1 to hit).

I agree that there's a little overlap, but I disagree about the Venom overlapping with their defences. Yes, Venoms also have a -1 to hit, but that isn't the point - the point is that the Venom is being damaged by incoming fire, rather than the passengers.

Also, surely the Mandrakes' own defences will still come into play once they disembark (or when their transport is destroyed).

@yellabelly wrote:
Kabalites only stand to gain bonuses from being in a venom, then add a Flayed Skull obsession which mandrakes can't get.

Well, Mandrakes can still benefit from transport obsessions. They might not get the Flayed Skull bonus themselves, but their Venoms will still move 19", reroll 1s and ignore cover with their guns. Poison Tongue Venoms will reroll 1s to wound and can redeploy via their stratagem etc.

@yellabelly wrote:
Plus losing a few mandrake if the venom pops hurts more than a 6point kabalite.

That's true, but then the same can be said of Incubi, Lhamaeans, Sslyth etc.

What's more, since Mandrakes are more valuable than Kabalites, doesn't that also make them more worthy of protection (via a transport)?

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PostSubject: Re: Mandrakes in Venoms   Thu May 24 2018, 13:50

I'm not quite sure if you mean the venom still gets its obsessions, or the mandrakes will get the ignores cover etc for being onboard a Flayed Skull transport. They don't as per the most recent FAQ, which clarified a Flayed Skull transport can only give the buffs to Flayed Skull units. The venom of course gets all buffs, but the mandrakes will only benefit from an extra 3" on the venoms move.

Other than that, I don't disagree with any of what you say. It's all perfectly valid arguments for taking mandrakes in venoms. They will outperform mandrakes on foot no doubt and if you've got the points they aren't going to be badly spent.

My argument against it is purely based on the value those points represent. As this is a points based game and resources are finte, you have to make decisions on what you can afford and what is going to be most effective. Mandrakes really don't need the transport, and so it's an obvious spot to trim some points out of a list to use elsewhere. Mandrakes also don't benefit as much as others from being in a transport imo, and so if I had both kabalites and mandrakes but can't afford venoms for both, I'd always be putting my kabalites on board and the mandrakes in deepstrike.

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PostSubject: Re: Mandrakes in Venoms   Thu May 24 2018, 14:01

@yellabelly wrote:
I'm not quite sure if you mean the venom still gets its obsessions, or the mandrakes will get the ignores cover etc for being onboard a Flayed Skull transport. They don't as per the most recent FAQ, which clarified a Flayed Skull transport can only give the buffs to Flayed Skull units. The venom of course gets all buffs, but the mandrakes will only benefit from an extra 3" on the venoms move.

I meant in terms of the Venom getting the buff.

You're right, the Mandrakes only benefit from +3" movement, but that's still more than they'd normally benefit from. Razz

@yellabelly wrote:

Other than that, I don't disagree with any of what you say. It's all perfectly valid arguments for taking mandrakes in venoms. They will outperform mandrakes on foot no doubt and if you've got the points they aren't going to be badly spent.

My argument against it is purely based on the value those points represent. As this is a points based game and resources are finte, you have to make decisions on what you can afford and what is going to be most effective. Mandrakes really don't need the transport, and so it's an obvious spot to trim some points out of a list to use elsewhere. Mandrakes also don't benefit as much as others from being in a transport imo, and so if I had both kabalites and mandrakes but can't afford venoms for both, I'd always be putting my kabalites on board and the mandrakes in deepstrike.

That's fair.

And yeah, I'd never give Mandrakes transports if it meant not having them for my Kabalites. But that's the sort of thing I'd plan for when list-building - I'd give all my Kabalites transports and then start adding the less necessary ones for Mandrakes or such.

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PostSubject: Re: Mandrakes in Venoms   Thu May 24 2018, 14:39

If you run some post up the results! I can see a venom with twin cannons and 5 mandrakes with balefire putting out a lot of hurt at 18".

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PostSubject: Re: Mandrakes in Venoms   Thu May 24 2018, 15:19

@yellabelly wrote:
If you run some post up the results! I can see a venom with twin cannons and 5 mandrakes with balefire putting out a lot of hurt at 18".

Sure.

I'm still messing around with a list, but if you're interested, this is what I've got so far:

Poison Tongue Battalion (5CP)
Archon w/ Huskblade, Splinter Pistol, Soul Seeker (Warlord: Soul Thirst)
Archon w/ Venom Blade, Blaster, Helm of Spite

5 Warriors w/ Blaster
5 Warriors w/ Blaster
- Raider w/ Dark Lance
5 Warriors w/ Blaster
5 Warriors w/ Blaster
- Raider w/ Dark Lance
5 Warriors w/ Shredder
- Venom w/ Twin Slinter Rifle

5 Mandrakes
- Raider w/ Dark Lance
5 Mandrakes
- Venom w/ Twin Slinter Rifle
5 Mandrakes
- Venom w/ Twin Slinter Rifle
3 Lhamaeans
- Venom w/ Twin Slinter Rifle

5 Scourges w/ 4x Haywire Blaster
5 Scourges w/ 4x Haywire Blaster

Ravager w/ 3x Disintegrator

1500pts (8/7CP)

The warlord Archon goes with the 5 Mandrakes in the Venom, the other Archon goes with the Lhamaeans. The Scourges deep strike in.

I thought I'd run them in a pure Kabal list, since those tend to be the most lacking in melee. It also gives me something more interesting to play around with - rather than just adding more Kabalites). I've tried to keep it quite close to the other lists I've used recently, so that I'll have a reasonable comparison.

In terms of Obsessions, Flayed skull might be better, but so far I've been running Poison Tongue, so I'll stick with them for now. Also, from a flavour perspective, I thought Soul Seeker made for a more Mandrake-y HQ. Twisted Evil

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PostSubject: Re: Mandrakes in Venoms   Thu May 24 2018, 15:58

Mandrakes are more expensive than most infantry, because they don't need transports. Putting them in transports anyway seems redundant. But that's just my opinion.

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PostSubject: Re: Mandrakes in Venoms   Thu May 24 2018, 16:11

@Gelmir wrote:
Mandrakes are more expensive than most infantry, because they don't need transports. Putting them in transports anyway seems redundant. But that's just my opinion.

Well, they're no more expensive than Incubi, which also need transports. And unlike Incubi they can actually get some benefit out of open-topped vehicles.

I expect you're probably right, though. At the very least, this probably isn't the most efficient use of Mandrakes.

Might still be fun, though. Smile

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PostSubject: Re: Mandrakes in Venoms   Thu May 24 2018, 16:33

Putting them in a vehicle also gets you access to lightning fast reflexes if survivability is an issue.
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PostSubject: Re: Mandrakes in Venoms   Thu May 24 2018, 16:40

@closecraig wrote:
Putting them in a vehicle also gets you access to lightning fast reflexes if survivability is an issue.

They have it anyway, don't they?
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PostSubject: Re: Mandrakes in Venoms   Thu May 24 2018, 17:20

While I see the appeal of having them ride in an armored transport, I really do not see the synergy with Venoms. If anything, I'd use Raiders. Your tax per model is lower and the Disintegrator is more likely to shoot at targets that you want to hit with Baleblasts as well.

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PostSubject: Re: Mandrakes in Venoms   Thu May 24 2018, 19:21

@The Strange Dark One wrote:
While I see the appeal of having them ride in an armored transport, I really do not see the synergy with Venoms. If anything, I'd use Raiders. Your tax per model is lower and the Disintegrator is more likely to shoot at targets that you want to hit with Baleblasts as well.

Which targets are you thinking of?

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PostSubject: Re: Mandrakes in Venoms   Thu May 24 2018, 22:24

If you play a melee oriented army, they are better just on foot (or maybe deepstriking, but I will prefer on foot most of the times). Play Lightning Fast Reflexes on them, just advance with any HQ behind them.

But if you play a fully Kabal list (maybe a Brigade? 3x5 Mandrakes) in that case I would play them on Venoms. I like the idea!
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PostSubject: Re: Mandrakes in Venoms   Fri May 25 2018, 07:35

@Soulless Samurai wrote:
@The Strange Dark One wrote:
While I see the appeal of having them ride in an armored transport, I really do not see the synergy with Venoms. If anything, I'd use Raiders. Your tax per model is lower and the Disintegrator is more likely to shoot at targets that you want to hit with Baleblasts as well.

Which targets are you thinking of?

I was thinking about MEQ when I was writing this, but now that I think about it again it seems like a bad use of both units. The way I see Mandrakse, actually prefer Mandrakes going after units with invul saves and the AP from the Disintegrator seems like a waste.

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PostSubject: Re: Mandrakes in Venoms   Fri May 25 2018, 08:33

@Soulless Samurai wrote:
@yellabelly wrote:
If you run some post up the results! I can see a venom with twin cannons and 5 mandrakes with balefire putting out a lot of hurt at 18".

Sure.

I'm still messing around with a list, but if you're interested, this is what I've got so far:


5 Mandrakes
- Venom w/ Twin Slinter Rifle
5 Mandrakes
- Venom w/ Twin Slinter Rifle
I would think the cannon is a good choice here, so you maintain maximum output at maximum range.
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PostSubject: Re: Mandrakes in Venoms   Fri May 25 2018, 09:42

Assuming you want to sit at just under 18" from your target, 10 points for 4 extra shots seems a good investment, so agree with dual cannons.

Here is a basic mathematical calculation of the transport tax you pay:

A dual cannon Venom has 12 splinter shots
6 Kabalites is 36 points for 12 splinter shots

However, the Venom has a longer range, and is more likely to get to use those shots. I factor up the number of Kabalites to be equivalent by 50%, so 9 Kabalites for 54 points.

The Venom costs 21 points more than the Kabalites, and has 5 transport slots.

So are you willing to pay an extra 21 points for a squad of 5 Mandrakes (4.2 points per model) to give them the mobility and protection of the Venom? I think that is a fair question, and you might find it is worth it, or might find it better to go toward another squad.

For what it's worth, the Raider has about the same transport tax of about 4 points per model as the Venom.

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PostSubject: Re: Mandrakes in Venoms   Fri May 25 2018, 10:03

@Burnage wrote:
@closecraig wrote:
Putting them in a vehicle also gets you access to lightning fast reflexes if survivability is an issue.

They have it anyway, don't they?

Good lord, no idea how I missed that!
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PostSubject: Re: Mandrakes in Venoms   Fri May 25 2018, 10:05

@withershadow wrote:
@Soulless Samurai wrote:
@yellabelly wrote:
If you run some post up the results! I can see a venom with twin cannons and 5 mandrakes with balefire putting out a lot of hurt at 18".

Sure.

I'm still messing around with a list, but if you're interested, this is what I've got so far:


5 Mandrakes
- Venom w/ Twin Slinter Rifle
5 Mandrakes
- Venom w/ Twin Slinter Rifle
I would think the cannon is a good choice here, so you maintain maximum output at maximum range.

I agree, but what would you remove to get the points for them?

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PostSubject: Re: Mandrakes in Venoms   Fri May 25 2018, 22:59

@Soulless Samurai wrote:
@withershadow wrote:
@Soulless Samurai wrote:
@yellabelly wrote:
If you run some post up the results! I can see a venom with twin cannons and 5 mandrakes with balefire putting out a lot of hurt at 18".

Sure.

I'm still messing around with a list, but if you're interested, this is what I've got so far:


5 Mandrakes
- Venom w/ Twin Slinter Rifle
5 Mandrakes
- Venom w/ Twin Slinter Rifle
I would think the cannon is a good choice here, so you maintain maximum output at maximum range.

I agree, but what would you remove to get the points for them?

Switch the Dark lances on your Raiders to dissy cannons maybe? that will get extra points for 1 splinter cannon on a venom.

I think it's nice that a five man unit of Mandrakes gets 16 attacks in melee at S4 with -1AP. So once their transport is destroyed there is certainly an option to make a charge in the following turn, assuming there is a viable target (T4 or lower) that they have a good chance of causing damage to. Or maybe just charge a strong unit you want to tie up. Their Shroud ability makes them a bit more survivable in melee and from being shot if they are vunerable for a turn after their transport dies. It also helps mitigate the fact they are T3 and so wounded much easier.

It is a fair amount of points to include the 3 units and their transports in your list but it will be interesting to hear how your 15 mandrakes perform.
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PostSubject: Re: Mandrakes in Venoms   Fri May 25 2018, 23:57

@Soulless Samurai wrote:
@withershadow wrote:
@Soulless Samurai wrote:
@yellabelly wrote:
If you run some post up the results! I can see a venom with twin cannons and 5 mandrakes with balefire putting out a lot of hurt at 18".

Sure.

I'm still messing around with a list, but if you're interested, this is what I've got so far:


5 Mandrakes
- Venom w/ Twin Slinter Rifle
5 Mandrakes
- Venom w/ Twin Slinter Rifle
I would think the cannon is a good choice here, so you maintain maximum output at maximum range.

I agree, but what would you remove to get the points for them?
That's a tough one, but I would start with the Archon's blaster, since you can't have a venom blade and a blaster on the same model. You can pick the index wargear OR the codex wargear, no mixing and matching.
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PostSubject: Re: Mandrakes in Venoms   Sat May 26 2018, 00:15

@NihilisticGod wrote:

Switch the Dark lances on your Raiders to dissy cannons maybe? that will get extra points for 1 splinter cannon on a venom.

I could, but I'm a little concerned about losing 3 Dark Lances. Especially since there are quite a few lists in my group with a lot of armour in them.

@NihilisticGod wrote:

I think it's nice that a five man unit of Mandrakes gets 16 attacks in melee at S4 with -1AP. So once their transport is destroyed there is certainly an option to make a charge in the following turn, assuming there is a viable target (T4 or lower) that they have a good chance of causing damage to. Or maybe just charge a strong unit you want to tie up. Their Shroud ability makes them a bit more survivable in melee and from being shot if they are vunerable for a turn after their transport dies. It also helps mitigate the fact they are T3 and so wounded much easier.

I could also go for a charge early on (rather than waiting for their transport to die). Moving them into position (and Baleblast/Splinter Cannon range) and then charging out of their transport next turn.

I guess it'll depend on what the board looks like (if he's got a lot of melee stuff to counter-charge, I'm probably better off delaying their assault).

@NihilisticGod wrote:

It is a fair amount of points to include the 3 units and their transports in your list but it will be interesting to hear how your 15 mandrakes perform.

Yeah, I won't deny that this is a concern. However, I'm not playing in a tournament or anything so i might as well give it a go. Hopefully it will at least be fun, even if it's not very efficient.

@withershadow wrote:

That's a tough one, but I would start with the Archon's blaster, since you can't have a venom blade and a blaster on the same model. You can pick the index wargear OR the codex wargear, no mixing and matching.

Ah, that's a good point. One of the risks of using Battlescribe, I guess. Razz

Just to be clear, if you want to take gear from Index models, do you basically switch the 'Wargear Options' box with the one from the Index? I wasn't entirely sure whether you were supposed to have the Index options available in addition to the Codex ones or instead of them. (Though on this occasion I'll confess it slipped my mind entirely.)

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PostSubject: Re: Mandrakes in Venoms   Sat May 26 2018, 00:23

That's basically how it's worded, yeah. "USE THE CODEX VERSION OF YOUR MODEL’S DATASHEET, BUT YOU CAN CHOOSE TO USE THE INDEX VERSION FOR ITS WARGEAR OPTIONS".

So you basically use the wargear options from the index, which do not allow you to replace the huskblade with anything except an agonizer.

Sucks, but I guess it makes sense since the whole point is to allow you to use legacy models (which would not have had a venom blade in this case), rather than cherrypick equipment.
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PostSubject: Re: Mandrakes in Venoms   Sat May 26 2018, 06:56

Could I recommend a farseer for Doom if you want to make a truely killy mandrake army?

I floated this same idea back with the index and was laughed at for it, but never had the mandrakes to try it out . In other words im all in favour. The damage output of mandrakes is great (rerolling wounds brings them in Line with darklance ravagers against armour if I remember correctly) and having them in transports mitigates their weakness that as the squad Shrinks they lose a linear amount of power (unlike hidden special weapons)
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PostSubject: Re: Mandrakes in Venoms   Sat May 26 2018, 17:52

@withershadow wrote:

Sucks, but I guess it makes sense since the whole point is to allow you to use legacy models (which would not have had a venom blade in this case), rather than cherrypick equipment.

Out of interest, were there any legacy Archon models that actually had blasters?

I know you could convert one to have a Blaster in 5th, but then you could also give him a Venom Blade if you wanted. And unless I'm mistaken, the very old Archon model had a Splinter Pistol.

@LordSplata wrote:
Could I recommend a farseer for Doom if you want to make a truely killy mandrake army?

I floated this same idea back with the index and was laughed at for it, but never had the mandrakes to try it out . In other words im all in favour.  The damage output of mandrakes is great (rerolling wounds brings them in Line with darklance ravagers against armour if I remember correctly) and having them in transports mitigates their weakness that as the squad Shrinks they lose a linear amount of power (unlike hidden special weapons)

I think I'd prefer to stick with pure DE for now. But you're right - a Farseer with Doom would help them immensely.

That said, what do you think would be the best way to get one into the army? Auxiliary detachment? A Patrol? Something else?

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