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 Old Vs. New - Battle of the Archons

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Old vs. New?
Dark Eldar Lord - the Original Archon
59%
 59% [ 17 ]
Archon - New and Improved
21%
 21% [ 6 ]
It's too close to call - they are both great.
10%
 10% [ 3 ]
Archon? I run Wych Cult - go away!
10%
 10% [ 3 ]
Total Votes : 29
 

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Thor665
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PostSubject: Old Vs. New - Battle of the Archons   Tue Feb 21 2012, 22:34


Greetings and welcome to the first Old Vs. New poll!
First off - let me make clear - this is NOT about the model, we can leave that to that section of the Dark City. What we're talking about is raw battlefield power - which Archon was the superior warmachine?

As this is my first one of these, bear with me a bit as I figure out my speed for these.

Slot and Cost

The first basic question is - did they change the cost of the model, and is the model still in the same slot of the codex?

Both Archons are HQ selections.
Both Archons cost 60 points.

So, they can't have changed them much at all, right? Wink

Advantage? - Tie!

Stats

This should be an easy one to compare. He costs the same, did they take away or add to his stat line?

The Old Archon
WS BS S T W I A Ld Sv
6 6 3 3 3 7 3 9 5+

The New Archon
WS BS S T W I A Ld Sv
7 7 3 3 3 7 4 10 5+

Wow! The Archon remaind the same price, but gained +1 WS, +1 BS, +1 A, and +1 Ld. Three of those stats are directly related to the power of the Archon, which is assault. So, paying the same cost, you're already getting a better Archon.

Now, the Army Wide Special rules certainly shifted, though they are a little harder to track. The Old Archon was always the attacked (quite beneficial in most missions back in the day) and could snag extra VPs via taking prisoners. The New Archon gets Night Fighting and the Power From pain effect - both have Fleet. Overall the new army wide rules are better methinks, but I can't give that everytime, so let's just focus on the stats;

Advantage? - New!

Wargear

What good are stats without awesome weapons to use them with? What Archon had access to the better tools of destruction?

New

As I write this I realize that, specifically for the wargear, it will be beneficial to discuss 'New' first, because most people here will know the new stuff better - though it feels odd to me, it's the Old Wargear that I'll need to spend more time explaining, isn't it? So let's start with the New Archon and check out his available gear.

He has a wide assortment of assault weaponry. From the affordable Venom Blade to the deadly fury of the Huskblade. Now, a lot of them are kinda 'meh' (Electrocorrosive Whip - looking at you). That said he has a variety of poison and power weapons as well as a lot of special effect weapons to choose from.

He can also equip Arcane gear and other wargear specialties. Combat Drugs to amp him up, Haywire grenades to bust tanks, or the deadly Soul Trap to allow him to boost strength. He also has solid defensive options - Ghostplate is a moderate defensive boost, and Clone Fields and Shadowfields are basically standard gear upgrades for him. He can get a Grenade launcher, he can carry a WWP - basically the Archon is an all around beast.

He suffers slightly for shooting gear, only having access to a splinter pistol, a blast pistol, or a Blaster. But since mostly he's an assault tool that's okay, and the Blaster is one of the best weapons in the codex, so no one is sad to see that as an option (I remember playing the Dawn of War computer game and being bewildered by the Archon getting a Blaster, thinking - that's silly - but now it's a not uncommon option. Live and learn).

And that's it - lots of close combat goodness, some defensive tools, a few meta items, and a few shooting options.

Old

Okay, I'll probably end up waxing philisophic about this for *every entry* in this series. But the old codices (3rd Edition) were ALL ABOUT OPTIONS! If you're a new player when you hear the words 'Armoury' you probably think "Oh, you mean like the Wargear section?" Well...yeah, it's sorta like that, except what the Armoury had was a list with prices of wargear...and basically any character in your army could get anything listed there as long as you had the points.

Want a Shadowfield on your Sybarite? You could have done that back in the day - that's what the Armoury was.
It ruled.

Okay, but let's look at what the Old Archon had access to.

First thing you'll notice is this - the Old Archon had to pay for Plasma Grenades...and for a Splinter Pistol...and for a CCW. That's right, the old Archon could be fielded with literally no weapons! (did that once for a 'worst army list ever' tournament - it worked nicely) Now, you'd only pay 1 point or so each, but you did need to buy them if you wanted them. But what else is there?

Poisoned Blades (same cost as a Venom Blade and virtually identical though you can't get +1 attack from it with a CCW). Power Weapon - same cost as for new. Agonsier (same cost, same weapon - though it could auto glance vehicles on a roll of 6, which was pretty slick). But there are some differences - the Archon could take a Hellglaive (yeah, as in - Hellion Hellglaive) or a Punisher (20 points for a two handed power weapon that gave +1 Str) So, less actual h2h options really.

For additional gear he had a wide array of stuff. Firstly - the best thing ever, for 5 points you got THE TORMENTOR HELM yeah baby, I can't tell you how much old DE players used the T.Helma nd Punisher - y'see, the T.Helm was a hat with a gun on it, so when using a two handed weapon you still counted as having a pistol, so +1 A. Yeah, sexy-sexy was that. We also had Hell Masks (every single model swinging against you in combat had to pass a Ld. test - failure meant they had to direct their swings at someone else they were basing - even if that meant swinging on a friendly model). Gruesome Talsimans (good under the old rules for combat resolution - useless under current rules) Haywire Grenades (identical but could only be used on Dreads that were already immobilized) Webway Portal (identical - though more expensive back then - you still never put it on an Archon)

With the 'update' dex we also got access to the Animus Vitae - which was +1 WS and +1 S after we captured a model (so, basically most of the time when the Archon killed one - or assured after sweeping a squad). People loved that thing.

Also, let's point out something, our Comat Drug Dispenser? That thing used to cost 25 points - nowadays it's 10. Why the change? Simple - it used to work totally differently.

You used to pick which drugs you wanted *that round* from the list, as many as you wanted. Then you rolled a die for each one. If the dice had any doubles you took an auto wound. If you rolled three or more identical numbers you died from the overdose.

Yeah...we would overdose ourselves to death via being awesome.

Random other different thing - you could have infantry equipped with trophy racks - but to get the +1 Ld effect you had to kill amodel first...then you decapitated it, stuck its head on your pointy stick, and inspired your men to greatness.

I'm feeling kinda nostalgic now, so let''s dive into shooting and finish this off.

For shooting the old Archon could buy a splinter rifle if he wanted, or the Terrorfex (a grenade launcher that forced pinning tests at Ld penalties instead of wounding people - it was awesome) and soul-seeker ammo (ignored cover saves and let you re-roll misses - awesome if we could have taken it on squads). That's it for shooting.

For defense there was the Shadowfield (same thing except you could roll all the dice at the same time, which did make it better) and sort of that's it.

However, the Old Archon also could buy a Hellion Skyboard or a Reaver Jetbike...yeah, your Archon could go whipping around at high speed without needing to buy Baron Sathypants - so your Hellions could be lead by someone with a power weapon and lots of attacks. Jetbikes also gave a Str boost.
--------------------------------------
New unquestionably has more toys to play with when it comes to defense and shooting. Close combat tools are kind of a wash. The Old Archon had a vastly superior selection of odd gribbles to buy, and the ability to get a Skyboard or Jetbike is pretty dramatic as it opened up whole new vistas for what the unit could do.

I've got to weigh that heavily.

Advantage? - Old!


Face to Face in Battle!

Now for the important question - who wins in a straight up fight between the two? Now, with Agonisers run as cheap build characters the New Archon is the clear winner - he'll be slightly cheaper (the new would need to spend 3 points more to have the same wargear) and will have better WS and number of Attacks.

But what if we don't go with a minimal puss? What if we want to see what they do as a knock down and drag out brawl. Let's consider each of them in their classic 'power builds'

New Archon - Huskblade, Combat Drugs, Shadowfield, Ghostplate, Soul Trap - 155
Old Archon - Reaver Jetbike, Combat Drugs, Punisher, Tormentor Helm, Shadowfield - 145
(Now, I could also go with no Jetbike and add an Animus for a more classic themeatic matchup - but I love the Jetbike Archon, deal with it Wink )

Now, on foot or on Jetbike, it is highly unlikely to my mind that the New Arcon could ever get the assault, because the Old Lord could have 12" assault or move as well as fleet - that said, let's do the combat with each of them having the assault.

The New Archon gets a drug result - +1 WS is useless to him, FNP and the running one are useless. Re-roll, more attacks, and Str boost are good.

New Archon Assaults Old Archon
New Archon is faster 7 Init vs. 6 init.
6 attacks on charge WS 7 vs. WS 6 needs 3+ to hit - 4 hits.
Str 3 vs. T 4 needs 5+ to wound - 1.33 wounds (2 wounds with Str boost - 2.22 with re-roll)
2++ Shadowfield save - .222 unsaved wounds that would cause instant death. Unlikely that Old Archon dies. (.333 and .37 with drug effects - possible chance)

Old Archon - 4 attacks WS 6 vs & needs 4+ - 2 hits
Str 5 vs. T 3 needs 2+ to wound = 1.66 wounds
2++ Shadowfield saves - .27 wounds (still relatively unlikely to pop the Shadowfield, even if it does he survives and has Ghostplate)

Turn 2
Old Archon gets drugs - takes strike first drug, +1 Str Drug, re-roll misses (1/216 chance he ODs)
Old Archon strikes first - 4 attacks at WS 6 vs. WS 7 - 3 hits
Str 6 vs T 3 2+ to wound and cause instant death - 2.5 wound
Shadowfield save or suffer instant death - .42 wounds. In addition to previous .27 he's now had 69% chance to have taken a wound and a 42% chance to be dead)

New Archon swings back. 5 attacks. 3.33 hit.
1.11 wounds. (1.85 w. re-rolls, 1.65 w. Str)
.18 get through Shadowfield. .30 w. re-rolls .27 w. Str,
Old Archon has now had somewhere between 40% and 63% chance to have suffered instant death.

At this point it grinds down a bit slower - but if the New Archon gets the charge and has a beneficial drug roll he has a decent chance to stomp the Old Archon's face in. But it is still pretty close. The Old Archon is putting him at instant death threat every other turn and is still potentially generating a higher ID threat.

This presumes Old Archon plays it safe as well and doesn't go for the glory of 4 drugs (I never did personally though - too risky)

Old Archon Assaults New Archon
Old Archon gets drugs - takes strike first drug, +1 Str Drug, re-roll misses (1/216 chance he ODs)
Old Archon strikes first - 5 attacks at WS 6 vs. WS 7 - 3.75 hits
Str 6 vs T 3 2+ to wound and cause instant death - 3.125 wound
Shadowfield save or suffer instant death - .52 wounds. So a better than 50% chance the fight ends right that instant via instant death before the New Archon can even take a swing.

New Archon swings back. 5 attacks. 3.33 hit.
1.11 wounds. (1.85 w. re-rolls, 1.65 w. Str)
.18 get through Shadowfield. .30 w. re-rolls .27 w. Str,

This one is pretty much done at the outset - if the fight continues the Old Archon's chances of winning are 79% in Round 2 and approach 100% in Round 3. New Archon will still be piddling around with somewhere in the mid 40% to low 60% to have caused ID.

With the charge the Old Archon stomps a mudhole in the New Archon and walks it dry.

Advantage? - Old!

=================================
=================================

So that's my breakdown. The New Archon has some nice advantages at lower point costs as he is (very slightly) cheaper for a decently superior stat line.

He is unquestionably superior as a shooting HQ.

However, when it comes to assault, the ability of the Old Archon to control the odds via choosing multiple combat drugs is a *massively* potent benefit. He basically shuts down a handful of the New Archon's advantages, and does it while costing less to field (and also being a Jetbike unit, so...hey.

Check out a couple of other things;

New Archon coming out of Raider threat bubble - 12" Raider, 2" disembark 2d6 pick best run, 6" assault = 26" at best
Old Archon coming out of Raider threat bubble - 12" Raider, 2" disembark, d6 run, 12" assault = 32" at best

We were stupid fast in assaults back then. The Old Archon also had the ability to join basically any unit in your army and match pace with them via drugs or wargear which was quite potent.

So - overall the new is probably more balanced, but the new also showcases how, despite getting better stats, we actually took a donk to the assault powers of the Archon - it is just not what it once was. Since I consider the point of the Archon is to add assault potency (which, let's be honest, is the job of most primary HQs - they are built to be an assault tool for an elite deathstar/assault unit) I feel that the unit suffers for this, because with an inability to get better Str the New Archon is always working uphill and thus the +1 to Attacks is not that great. Also, the inability to know for certain which drugs you can benefit from also hurts him because you can't custom build the wargear to work with your drugs (for example, that Bike Archon was built to exploit Str buffs - you could also build a really sick Aggie Archon who buffed out Attacks and re-rolls to just drown an opponent in attacks) The Old Archon also had just such a superior array of tols to draw from, that besides shooting, he could fill any other role in the army better.

Winner in my mind - Old Archon.

That's my call - what's yours?
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PostSubject: Re: Old Vs. New - Battle of the Archons   Wed Feb 22 2012, 00:08

Bike Smile

Reaver Archon was greatest thing ever. I miss that.

Also pretty good and configurable retinue. But that's different story...
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PostSubject: Re: Old Vs. New - Battle of the Archons   Wed Feb 22 2012, 00:21

Yeah, the Retinue will get its day vs. the Court - there's obviouslly no question that an Old Archon in Retinue vs. New Archon + any given escort will result in a win for the Old Archon.

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PostSubject: Re: Old Vs. New - Battle of the Archons   Wed Feb 22 2012, 01:02

While the idea of a Reaver Archon always struck me as being pretty butch, I've gotta hand it to the new kid on the block. +1 Initiative, Huskblade=good night old man.

Old retinue vs.court=no contest. Retinue all day, twice on Sunday.

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PostSubject: Re: Old Vs. New - Battle of the Archons   Wed Feb 22 2012, 02:43

My questionable math casts some doubt on that claim ESE Wink

I will say, thus far my initial call of 'better at shooting, worse at assault' holds true. Looking back at that writeup the Archon does appear to be a lesser assault tool despite his other gains, and he did become distinctly better at shooting. It will be interesting to see how many of the entries this holds up as true with.

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PostSubject: Re: Old Vs. New - Battle of the Archons   Thu Feb 23 2012, 02:25

As much as I loved the old archon... I do like the new one. I miss the jetbike and the punisher, but he makes up for it... in still being awesome and with pain tokens!
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PostSubject: Re: Old Vs. New - Battle of the Archons   Thu Feb 23 2012, 06:06

The ability to get FNP is certainly an interesting twist to the character.

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PostSubject: Re: Old Vs. New - Battle of the Archons   Thu Feb 23 2012, 14:12

I much prefer the old archon, he was just so much fun to run, with drug combo's for almost every occasion there was very little you could not throw him at. The risk as you stacked the drugs was all part of the fun.

I ran the reaver, punisher, helm version myself, totally kicked butt everywhere he went.
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PostSubject: Re: Old Vs. New - Battle of the Archons   Thu Feb 23 2012, 16:43

Reaver Archon FTW!!!!

Reaver w/ Punisher, THelm, Shadowfield, Combat Drugs... Slaughtered everything it touched.

That being said I really thought the Old Archon would stomp the New ones butt everytime. goes to show while the New Archon has lost some teeth, he hasnt lost his bite.

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PostSubject: Re: Old Vs. New - Battle of the Archons   Thu Feb 23 2012, 18:04

I know it's been stated before, but I really can't get over how they nerfed the Animus, it used to be my fave piece of kit Sad

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PostSubject: Re: Old Vs. New - Battle of the Archons   Thu Feb 23 2012, 18:08

@Shadows Revenge wrote:
RThat being said I really thought the Old Archon would stomp the New ones butt everytime. goes to show while the New Archon has lost some teeth, he hasnt lost his bite.
I was about the same - but ID causing weapons at S3 vs. T4 are always going to be a problem.

In retrospect I do realize I gakked up somewhat in that their Initiatives are the same and I gave the New Archon the nod in that direction, still if you work over the numbers he's still slightly more likely to win the fight as long as he gets the charge and has 1 of the 3 drug results that will help him. Definitely inferior - but hardly out for the count.

@Raneth wrote:
I know it's been stated before, but I really can't get over how they nerfed the Animus, it used to be my fave piece of kit Sad
The Animus was awesome, the Soul Trap is a weak replacement. I'd love to just have the more reliable to activate one with less potency than dorking around with the new wuss slap Animus or the difficult to count on ST any day.

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PostSubject: Re: Old Vs. New - Battle of the Archons   Thu Feb 23 2012, 18:22

I guess the reason is due to them wanting to reduce the likelihood of reavers getting into actual close combat, the new reavers are more designed for bladevane attacks and shooting tanks in their rear armour. If reavers still fell into the wych category I guess you could argue for the succubus to have access to them, but I'm pretty happy that the guy who's supposedly the tactical genius behind my realspace raids isn't also a bike riding psycopath that fluff-wise wouldn't seem too logical.

I'd personally like to see HQ units having more tactical options, like perhaps swapping stat points such as WS or I to affect reserve rolls etc. Most of the HQ's in the game seem to be focussed on direct affects rather than tactical stratagems.

Like the article though Thor, looking forward to seeing some of the other match ups!

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PostSubject: Re: Old Vs. New - Battle of the Archons   Thu Feb 23 2012, 20:38

old reavers though were amazing in combat though. they were S4 and T4, and a 3+ armor save. I used to run them into combat all the time with no fear whatsoever. They werent worth their point costs, but if you had a Reaver Archon and a Reaver Haemie or two, you had yourself a potent force.

Sadly I wish the Succubus kept the option for the board or bike. Its not only fluffy, but makes you actually choose between HQs other than the succubus being a cheap alternative.

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PostSubject: Re: Old Vs. New - Battle of the Archons   Thu Feb 23 2012, 21:11

@Shadows Revenge wrote:
Sadly I wish the Succubus kept the option for the board or bike. Its not only fluffy, but makes you actually choose between HQs other than the succubus being a cheap alternative.

Word bro Basketball If she would be only Jetbike HQ (maybe with option of blaster/heat lance), she WOULD appear in lists.
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PostSubject: Re: Old Vs. New - Battle of the Archons   Tue Feb 28 2012, 20:44

It has been a week now - and it looks like it's fairly safe to say the opinion of the denizens is that the Old wins this one, as the old dex gave us a more useful Archon.

I'll still leave this open for further discussion and voting, but the record books will mark this as a win for Old.

I think Succubus is likely next (though I may mix it up - I'm still not sure if I want to bother trying to do this in order or not).

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PostSubject: Re: Old Vs. New - Battle of the Archons   Tue Feb 28 2012, 21:43

I guess old lady would win due to options, fluff and... model.

I will wait for Haemonculus.





Or Mandrakes, low vs. low Razz
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PostSubject: Re: Old Vs. New - Battle of the Archons   Wed Feb 29 2012, 00:17

To me, the current Succubus is marred by the lack of PGL option. If she had it I'd probably never field an Archon again. As for the old girl, I couldn't comment on her 'cause she never saw any play...

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PostSubject: Re: Old Vs. New - Battle of the Archons   Thu Mar 01 2012, 16:00

the old girl got a shadowfield and old drugs. Enough said Razz
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PostSubject: Re: Old Vs. New - Battle of the Archons   Thu Mar 01 2012, 16:24

That is probably true - certainly as a high end fighter there is going to be no comparison between them. It will be interesting to compare them as affordable options though - might even have me break out the Drachite to compare - I dunno yet.

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PostSubject: Re: Old Vs. New - Battle of the Archons   Thu Mar 01 2012, 17:08

hmm... a dracite vs the succubus would be interesting to see. I guess you would have to compare points and see if the archite can even come close to how cheap the succubus is

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PostSubject: Re: Old Vs. New - Battle of the Archons   Mon Mar 05 2012, 01:29

I'm trying to make the Electrocorrosive whip work and it isn't that bad because of Init 7. You only need to be lucky and I have a S&I nearby to protect my lord.
It is, imo, the best way to protect the Archon vs ID, many CC enemies have S6 or better,... By reducing their strength you get less wounds in and it isn't my goal to break an enemy the turn I charge them.

I also use the soul-trap with him and this works like a charm vs Blood Angels, Space Wolfs and fairly well vs other armies too. It's just tricky to get that Demon Prince or MC to only 1 wound left before you charge him. But running an opponent down also works out great... Very Happy
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PostSubject: Re: Old Vs. New - Battle of the Archons   Wed Apr 18 2012, 21:40

@Local_Ork wrote:
Bike Smile

Reaver Archon was greatest thing ever. I miss that.

Also pretty good and configurable retinue. But that's different story...

It was brilliant, until your prized model Od'd on drugs and ended up face first in a hedge.

Ignoring the rules and the versatility of the DEldar Lord, for me it was all about the huge shoulder pads and claws!

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