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Soulless Samurai
Hekatrix
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PostSubject: Shadowfield    Shadowfield  I_icon_minitimeTue Feb 19 2019, 21:30

Out of interest, how does everyone feel about the Archon's Shadowfield in 8th?

I guess what I'm really wondering is if I'm alone in thinking that the mechanic seems really wonky and out of place.

I know that it's basically worked the same way since 3rd, but the game has moved on significantly since then.

From 3rd onwards, to-hit modifiers were virtually nonexistent. So an invulnerable save was probably the closest thing possible. What's more, in 3rd Invulnerable saves were pretty rare and rarely ever better than 4++. So it made sense for a 2++ to have a significant downside.

However, in the last few editions, invulnerable saves have increased in both strength and frequency, so that models vastly tougher than Archons can have a 3++ with no downsides.

However, in spite of this, the Shadowfield still has the same massive downside. If it turned into a 5++ when it failed or reactivated the next turn, that would be reasonable, but losing it for the rest of the game seems excessive in the extreme.

Furthermore, the Shadowfield actually gained an *additional* downside in that it can never be rerolled - not even be spending CPs. Does this not seem excessive for a T3 HQ choice with basically no other defence?

Part of the reason I bring this up is that, unlike prior editions, Archons are no longer insta-killed by anything S6+. So losing his Shadowfield is actually pretty survivable. Or would be if it didn't mean trying to survive the rest of the battle with nothing but a 5+ armour save to protect him.

Finally, what makes this especially frustrating is that the game now has to-hit modifiers as standard. Surely something like a 5++ that also gives enemies -2 to hit would be a far better representation of a Shadowfield than a 2++ with a million downsides?

(Also, I apologise - this turned into more of a rant than I originally intended.)

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dumpeal
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PostSubject: Re: Shadowfield    Shadowfield  I_icon_minitimeTue Feb 19 2019, 21:37

The problem is that you see your Archon as a model capable of doing something useful on the battlefield. Get rid of your pride and hopes. Your archon's only purpose is to fill your mandatory HQ slots.
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Soulless Samurai
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PostSubject: Re: Shadowfield    Shadowfield  I_icon_minitimeTue Feb 19 2019, 21:39

@dumpeal wrote:
Get rid of your pride and hopes.

Ah yes. I was forgetting Dark Eldar 101.

If you'll excuse me, I'll report to the duty Haemonculus for reeducation.

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Burnage
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PostSubject: Re: Shadowfield    Shadowfield  I_icon_minitimeTue Feb 19 2019, 22:23

I hate it.

A T3 model that gets a 2++ save which is lost when failed and can't be re-rolled feels absolutely atrocious when you have things like Custodes Jetbikers that are T6 and can have a 3++ which can be re-rolled every turn, or Knights that are T8 with 28 wounds and access to 3++. By comparison the Archon's 2++ is an unreliable gimmick which has been drastically overvalued in this edition by GW.

Mechanically, it's also a pain. Having to roll saves one at a time slows the game down massively and can be easily forgotten or misunderstood, given how unusual a situation it is.

I'd much prefer to have the Obsidian Veil (4++) as a standard wargear option.

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yellabelly
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PostSubject: Re: Shadowfield    Shadowfield  I_icon_minitimeTue Feb 19 2019, 22:27

I agree with you that I don't like the shadowfield mechanic. My opponent's always seem to worry about it but you only need to get a couple of hits to pop it. Then he goes down like a 5 man kabalite squad. I'd much rather have a permanent 3++ on him, or the 2++ reverting to 5++ as you suggest so he isn't just total fodder after the first roll of a 1. Which for me so often seems to be his first save roll.

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dumpeal
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PostSubject: Re: Shadowfield    Shadowfield  I_icon_minitimeTue Feb 19 2019, 22:31

@Soulless Samurai wrote:
@dumpeal wrote:
Get rid of your pride and hopes.

Ah yes. I was forgetting Dark Eldar 101.

If you'll excuse me, I'll report to the duty Haemonculus for reeducation.

There's no reeducation in dark eldar society. Only survival of the fittest. And unfortunatly, archons aren't fit for realspace raids.
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Burnage
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PostSubject: Re: Shadowfield    Shadowfield  I_icon_minitimeTue Feb 19 2019, 22:37

The irony is that, although Archons themselves aren't anything to write home about, they're actually doing exceptionally well in tournaments.

Turns out that being near-mandatory for access to Labyrinthine Cunning and Agents of Vect covers up a multitude of sins.
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Jimsolo
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PostSubject: Re: Shadowfield    Shadowfield  I_icon_minitimeTue Feb 19 2019, 22:49

I'm of two minds.

Yes, it's frustrating, and the lack of options even more so. I hate archons because they're so rubbish now.

On the other hand, I ran a Shadowfield/Armor of Misery archon in my Freakshow lists for a long time, who usually tanked for an entire melee unit with the assistance of Fortune. A REROLLABLE 2++ is insanely good, to the point of being very disheartening to play with. I can see the argument that it isn't fair. (To use Thor's brokenness acid test, you could have doubled the points cost on the Shadowfield and I'd still have paid it.)
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dumpeal
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PostSubject: Re: Shadowfield    Shadowfield  I_icon_minitimeTue Feb 19 2019, 23:08

Archon appeared in 28 lists but there were only 32 models. Which mean most of the time, they were only there to field a specific detachment. They don't seem really loved.
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Soulless Samurai
Hekatrix
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PostSubject: Re: Shadowfield    Shadowfield  I_icon_minitimeWed Feb 20 2019, 00:48

@Burnage wrote:
I hate it.

A T3 model that gets a 2++ save which is lost when failed and can't be re-rolled feels absolutely atrocious when you have things like Custodes Jetbikers that are T6 and can have a 3++ which can be re-rolled every turn, or Knights that are T8 with 28 wounds and access to 3++. By comparison the Archon's 2++ is an unreliable gimmick which has been drastically overvalued in this edition by GW.

Mechanically, it's also a pain. Having to roll saves one at a time slows the game down massively and can be easily forgotten or misunderstood, given how unusual a situation it is.

I'd much prefer to have the Obsidian Veil (4++) as a standard wargear option.


Agreed on all counts. I really wish Archons still had access to a 4++ save.


@yellabelly wrote:
I agree with you that I don't like the shadowfield mechanic. My opponent's always seem to worry about it but you only need to get a couple of hits to pop it. Then he goes down like a 5 man kabalite squad. I'd much rather have a permanent 3++ on him, or the 2++ reverting to 5++ as you suggest so he isn't just total fodder after the first roll of a 1. Which for me so often seems to be his first save roll.

Same. It also means that I never want to use my Warlord-Archon in combat (in spite of him ostensibly being a melee character), as even a single attack could pop his Shadowfield and leave him defenceless for the remainder of the game.


@Jimsolo wrote:
I'm of two minds.

Yes, it's frustrating, and the lack of options even more so. I hate archons because they're so rubbish now.

On the other hand, I ran a Shadowfield/Armor of Misery archon in my Freakshow lists for a long time, who usually tanked for an entire melee unit with the assistance of Fortune. A REROLLABLE 2++ is insanely good, to the point of being very disheartening to play with. I can see the argument that it isn't fair. (To use Thor's brokenness acid test, you could have doubled the points cost on the Shadowfield and I'd still have paid it.)

Two points on this:

1) I'm not suggesting that the Shadowfield should be rerollable by any means. However, to me at least, there's a world of difference between giving an Archon a rerollable 2++ and being able to use him to tank all incoming shots, and allowing CP rerolls to work (which would require you to expend a limited resource and would only work once per phase and for a single Archon).

2) More importantly, though, I don't want Shadowfields to be a 2++ save in the first place. It doesn't seem fluffy and it requires far too many downsides, to the point where I don't see it as being remotely useful compared even to a basic 4++ save. I'd happily take something along the lines of Mandrake defences (a 5++ with -1 to hit), or something along those lines. It doesn't have to be as strong as a 2++, so long as I actually get to keep the damn thing.

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Burnage
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PostSubject: Re: Shadowfield    Shadowfield  I_icon_minitimeWed Feb 20 2019, 01:20

This might be too much book-keeping, but it'd be an interesting tweak if instead of the Shadowfield being removed outright after failing you had to add +1 to your save. So fail once and you're on 3++, fail twice and 4++, and so on, and so on.

It'd still be gimmicky and I'm not convinced that it'd be tankier than something like an Alaitoc Farseer Skyrunner with Fate's Messenger, but it'd be a boost that the Archon desperately feels like they need.
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Rhivan
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PostSubject: Re: Shadowfield    Shadowfield  I_icon_minitimeWed Feb 20 2019, 02:48

I'd vastly prefer a more a lesser invuln along with a minus to hit. a 4++ and a -1 to hit like the mandrakes have it would be a pretty cool way of making the Archon feel more durable.

Plus the shadowfield doesn't really doesn't make US feel the fluff. Archon's should be arrogant, and we should be incentivized to be that way WITH them. a minus to hit and a decent invuln would make us far more comfortable using the Archon as a beatstick, and also make me far more willing to send him out to duel characters and feed him command points for soultrap. Razz
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Jimsolo
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PostSubject: Re: Shadowfield    Shadowfield  I_icon_minitimeWed Feb 20 2019, 03:36

Fluff wise, it's supposed to be activated by focused arrogance. It would be messy, but I think it'd be cool to see something that reflected that on the board.

Like, have it like it is now, but if it's deactivated, at the end of the turn you can make roll a d6, subtract the number of wounds the archon took that round, add the number of wounds they inflicted, and if it exceeds their Leadership their Shadowfield turns back on. (Instead of wounds inflicted/suffered, you could use units destroyed on either side.)

That could be fun.

I'd like it to be unique though. What I like about it now is that it's one of a kind. There isn't really anything else like it that I can think of. If it was a 4++ or a 3++, it'd just be an Iron Halo or a Storm Shield or what have you. I like my Dark Eldar rules to be odd and unique and quirky.
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TeenageAngst
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PostSubject: Re: Shadowfield    Shadowfield  I_icon_minitimeWed Feb 20 2019, 03:58

@dumpeal wrote:
The problem is that you see your Archon as a model capable of doing something useful on the battlefield. Get rid of your pride and hopes. Your archon's only purpose is to fill your mandatory HQ slots.

Stop stealing my posts.

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krayd
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PostSubject: Re: Shadowfield    Shadowfield  I_icon_minitimeWed Feb 20 2019, 04:23

They could *at least* return it to its 5th edition wording with regard to how it is deactivated, so that you don't have to roll the saves one at a time.
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yellabelly
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PostSubject: Re: Shadowfield    Shadowfield  I_icon_minitimeWed Feb 20 2019, 07:13

I'm not up on the fluff for shadow fields particularly, but for what the archon costs and the durability other characters get, the shadowfield could be doing more. A 4++ with a -2 to hit, or -1 to hit AND wound wouldn't be excessive, especially on a T3 model. It'd give a little more protection against small arms fire. -2 to hit might stack too heavy with other things to be balanced.
One thing I think hurts is the change to hit rolls. It's still hard to wound a tough enemy, but it's now easy to hit a skilled enemy. That's a blow to dark Eldar who are frail but fast skilled fighters. Why? As if an Archon is going to just stand there and let enemies swing at him without swatting their weapons away with his Huskblade and cut them down without breaking a sweat.
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yellabelly
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PostSubject: Re: Shadowfield    Shadowfield  I_icon_minitimeWed Feb 20 2019, 11:37

What would you think to something like a 5++, but any attacks against the archon can never hit on better than a 5+. It can modify to a 6+, for example a bottom profile space marine tank that moved with heavy weapons would still hit him on a 6. But a typical character with a BS/WS 2+ would still only hit him on 5+.

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Jimsolo
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PostSubject: Re: Shadowfield    Shadowfield  I_icon_minitimeWed Feb 20 2019, 13:20

THAT would be cool.
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Count Adhemar
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PostSubject: Re: Shadowfield    Shadowfield  I_icon_minitimeWed Feb 20 2019, 15:30

I'll take anything over the current version. A 2++ save sounds good but with my dice rolling it ends up being a 5+ save after the first shot.

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Soulless Samurai
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PostSubject: Re: Shadowfield    Shadowfield  I_icon_minitimeWed Feb 20 2019, 15:32

@yellabelly wrote:
I'm not up on the fluff for shadow fields particularly, but for what the archon costs and the durability other characters get, the shadowfield could be doing more. A 4++ with a -2 to hit, or -1 to hit AND wound wouldn't be excessive, especially on a T3 model. It'd give a little more protection against small arms fire. -2 to hit might stack too heavy with other things to be balanced.
One thing I think hurts is the change to hit rolls. It's still hard to wound a tough enemy, but it's now easy to hit a skilled enemy. That's a blow to dark Eldar who are frail but fast skilled fighters. Why? As if an Archon is going to just stand there and let enemies swing at him without swatting their weapons away with his Huskblade and cut them down without breaking a sweat.

@yellabelly wrote:
What would you think to something like a 5++, but any attacks against the archon can never hit on better than a 5+. It can modify to a 6+, for example a bottom profile space marine tank that moved with heavy weapons would still hit him on a 6. But a typical character with a BS/WS 2+ would still only hit him on 5+.

Honestly, I think either of your suggestions would be a vast improvement over the current version.

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dumpeal
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PostSubject: Re: Shadowfield    Shadowfield  I_icon_minitimeWed Feb 20 2019, 16:01

Or... Just keep his 2++. He doesn't have anything else worth mentioning. It's just a S3, T3 model, without any psychic power or abusive weapon. Even if he had a stable 2++ save, it would not make it OP.
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Gizamaluke
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PostSubject: Re: Shadowfield    Shadowfield  I_icon_minitimeWed Feb 20 2019, 17:20

Shadowfield  Screen11

Bring back Ghostplate as an option and i would be content
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Archon_91
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PostSubject: Re: Shadowfield    Shadowfield  I_icon_minitimeWed Feb 20 2019, 20:39

Or to follow what little fluff of the shadowfield I could find, the 2++ was given at the time because it was supposed to show how the shadowfield coveres the Archons silohette and made him next to impossible to hit, but now a better way to represent that is with negative to hit modifiers ... I'd honestly think something like "can only be hit on unmodified roles of a 6+ shooting, and 5+ melee" or just a straight -5 modifier to hit (cause let's face it with as much "+x" to hit, most imperial and chaos armies or armies in general are shooting at +1 rerollable anymore that a -5 to hit modifier isn't that over powered, if at all) would be reasonable ...
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Soulless Samurai
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PostSubject: Re: Shadowfield    Shadowfield  I_icon_minitimeWed Feb 20 2019, 20:46

I do like the idea of a 5++ and he can never be hit on better than a 5+.


Another possibility:

'The Archon has a 5+ Invulnerable Save. In addition, all successful to-hit rolls against the Archon must be rerolled, and failed to-hit rolls may never be rerolled. '

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krayd
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PostSubject: Re: Shadowfield    Shadowfield  I_icon_minitimeWed Feb 20 2019, 21:53

Frankly, I think that we're doing that thing where we are underpowering our wishlist rules. Screw 5++ ; any new shadowfield should be 4++ *at worst* in addition to any other bonus abilities.
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