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Old vs. New?
Old Mandrakes - the true Shadowmasters!
30%
 30% [ 13 ]
New Mandrakes - their pants are made of flesh!
21%
 21% [ 9 ]
I would field Mandrakes regardless, their fluff is awesome.
9%
 9% [ 4 ]
Field Mandrakes? Oh, I'm sorry, I appear to be fielding Blasterborn and owning your face right now.
40%
 40% [ 17 ]
Total Votes : 43
 

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Thor665
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PostSubject: Old vs. New - Battle of the Mandrakes   Mon Apr 30 2012, 02:09



Greetings and welcome to Battle 9 of Old vs. New.

So, we've seen some sights in our battles thus far. Wyches have battled from Elite slot to Troops. The dread New Incubi have stalked the field. The fearsome Lords of Old have claimed the souls of their meager replacements. The Haemonculi has shown that the power of pain overcomes being better at everything else. New Vehicles have shattered the Old models.

But, though all this stuff is good, what about one of the more...questionable options we have?

What about a unit that was called the worst unit in the codex...BOTH TIMES!

Yes, it's now time for - the Battle of the Mandrakes!

Slot and Cost

As usual, 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 of our options of shadowy killers occupy the Elite slot, so no changes there at all.
Both also rack in t 15 points per model, so, again, no changes.

I will note that New Mandrakes at least do have a Sarge upgrade, which is a little different and odd for them. Still, slot and price are identical - easy call.

Advantage? - Tie!

Stats

This should be an easy one to compare. Did they take away or add to the stat line?

The Old Mandrake
WS BS S T W I A Ld Sv
4 4 3 3 1 5 1 8 5+

The New Mandrake
WS BS S T W I A Ld Sv
4 4 4 3 1 5 2 8 5+

And the upgrade characters;

The New Nightfiend
WS BS S T W I A Ld Sv
4 4 4 3 1 5 3 9 5+

Pretty big changes right there. First off, the New Mandrakes get +1 Str *and* +1 A all for the same cost. That's a pretty drastic upgrade for an assault unit.

TO top it off, though he really is awkward to include in the discussion - at least with their Sarge their Leadership goes up to a quite respectable 9, which means they're more stable.

Can't argue with that, statwise the New are clearly superior.

Advantage? - New!

Wargear

What good are stats without awesome weapons to use them with?

New

They come with one CCW weapon each - huzzah.

The only upgrade option the New have is the option to take the aforementioned Nightfiend. Oooh, CrAzY upgrade options...


Old

Well, compared to these guys, maybe one option is impressive. Old Mandrakes had no upgrade options at all.

I will note they started with a *splinter pistol* and a CCW. So the +1 A that New Mandrakes has is kinda dorked with here - because basically the Old had that, and also had a shooting option (an inherent one at that - thanks Balefire!) which is unquestionably a good advantage.

--------------------------------------

Now, basic wargear considered - it's a question of what's better, splinter pistols or a Sarge. Meh, pretty cruddy consideration any way you cut it. (what a shock, with Mandrakes it's a debate of Cruddy or 'slightly less cruddy') But let's consider something a bit more important - and that's the special rules, because with Mandrakes this really does matter.

We're probably all basically familiar with New Mandrakes. They have a 5+ Invulnerable save, and also the Stealth, Infiltrate, and Move Through Cover special rules. This allows them to be pretty hard to kill with shooting (3+) or any other assault weaponry (5+ one way or another) and they can also appear near to enemy units and truck through cover really well when coming to get them (though please ignore the total lack of assault grenades that will make their assault a sad joke even though they're clearly intended to be an assault unit that rushes through cover to ambush stuff)

They also have Night Vision and a shooting attack, both of which are pretty 'meh since it's hard to get the shooting attack and...yeah, whatever.


Now, the Old...how can I discuss this one.

OLD MANDRAKES SCREWED WITH EVERYONE'S HEAD.

That pretty much describes their deployment method. Y'see, when you deployed Old Mandrakes you actually didn't deploy them - you deployed 3 models and any one of those models 'might' be the Mandrakes. They could move around as normal in the Movement phase but couldn't attack nor could they be attacked.

Then, on Turn 3, you declared one of them as real - removed the other 2 - and then deployed the entire Mandrake Unit at the location of the 'real' marker. Then you got your move, shooting, and assault phases.

Also, they had sort of a Super Stealth effect. They had a permanent 5+ cover save - or +2 to their normal cover saves (so a 2+ save when in cover. Also, they counted as 'in cover' during assaults, so if you didn't have assault grenades you would end up attacking at I 1 when dealing with them. So, they were really hard to shoot to death and really hard to assault unless you were properly equipped - making them really great...if they had been Troops and could have sat on objectives Wink

Still, really crazy ability to threaten and offer options, and surprisingly tough to kill.

-------------------------

That's some odd stuff, but at the core I have to say the Old Mandrakes impress me more. Balefire is great, but hard to get. And the other New Mandrake stuff kinda pales compared to the Old Mandrakes who were overall better at being hard to shoot to death and probably also better at getting in to threaten enemy models in a functional way. The best I can really say for New is that they're easier to attach an HQ to...not that anyone really would want to much.

Also, wargear wise I will say I slightly prefer a pistol option to a Sarge option...maybe just me, but there you go.

Advantage? - Old!


Face to Face in Battle!

Okay, so now it's time for a slightly embarrassing slap fest as two sub-standard assault units go to town on each other - huzzah! I'll also admit that probably I shouldn't really have given the New Mandrakes the Nightfiend as a perfectly even matchup in points would have been easy to do but...meh, whatever, I wanted to toss him in there.

10 New Mandrakes (one with Nightfiend Upgrade) - 160
10 Old Mandrakes - 150

-----------------------------

Old Mandrakes Assault

Everyone has 5 Initiative so this is all simultaneous.

Old Mandrakes have 30 attacks - 15 hit - 7.5 wound - 5 dead New Mandrakes.

New Mandrakes have 21 attacks - 10.5 hit - 7 wound - 4.66 dead Old Mandrakes.

At this point it becomes a grind that could probably go either way. I guess I'll give the slight statistical edge to Old in that battle, but probably both squads are pretty mauled afterwards.

New Mandrakes Assault

They end up assaulting through covr and go at I 1 - Old Mandrakes swing first.

Old Mandrakes - 20 attacks - 10 hit - 5 wound - 3.33 dead New Mandrakes

New Mandrakes now have 7 alive.

22 attacks - 11 hits - 7.33 wounds - 4.88 dead Old Mandrakes.

Another grind but not quite as tough, and the New Mandrakes should get the win this time as the Old don't get a leg up enough to overcome the New's ability to wound on a 3+.

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

I honestly expected Old to win both of those, but it looks like the initiative donk wasn't a big enough shift to off-set the attacks gained in assault. Both of those fights are pretty pathetic on the whole though, and both times the 'winners' are basically down almost half their squad or more in order to get victory.

Advantage? - Tie!

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

So that's my breakdown.

It's pretty pathetic.

New has better shooting - Old has more accessible shooting.
Old are harder to kill by a solid margin. New are overall better at killing things due to their Str boost.
I think Old have the more interesting mechanics and are better able to get off an assault the turn they rrive, but New is still not too bad with Infiltrate and could also pull off an assault when they arrive.
Both squads need grenades...

Meh, I think I'm going to give Old the nod, simply because the deployment type felt more interesting and at least gave me some interesting things to do when I fielded my Mandrakes (and did work nicely a couple of times too). New isn't that far behind though, and though the Nightfiend is pretty much gak I can't say that the Str boost isn't nice (though does it offset an option of shooting pistols prior to an assault? I dunno)

Meh, I'll vote Old because that's what I do most of the time Wink

That's my call - what's yours?

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PostSubject: Re: Old vs. New - Battle of the Mandrakes   Mon Apr 30 2012, 02:58

Been looking at both the Old and New Mandrakes I'd say Phil missed an awesome trick with the 3rd edition deployment shenanigans and lacking grenades....but the extra Str and full Inv save would sway me towards New.

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PostSubject: Re: Old vs. New - Battle of the Mandrakes   Mon Apr 30 2012, 04:01

I'm going to have to give it to new of this one, for the same reason that the Homun got the new vote. It's not difficult to get the new ones a pain token... they have three HQ's that can give them a pain token from the time they reach the board. Balefire being a pinning attack (and a relatively good one 18" S4 AP4, assualt 2, pinning... kind of dirty), relieves the need for grenades a good deal... Against Marines a 10 man mandrake squad baleblast is going to score 2-3 dead marines on average, and that means 2-3 pinning tests, on 3 an average marine squad has a decent chance of failing ONE of those... Regardless, when the mandrakes rush in, they're going to have fnp, and thats going to work out a lot better for them in the long run than the nothing that old mandrakes have.

Regardless, after a baleblast, the standard 5 man combat squad has a extremely likely chance to lose that combat very quickly with minimal loss of mandrake life.

I might try running a squad of mandrakes with keradruakh in a match, and flank them onto the board and see how that goes... Maybe we've been underestimating mandrakes all this time?

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PostSubject: Re: Old vs. New - Battle of the Mandrakes   Mon Apr 30 2012, 04:26

If Balefire could cause multiple pinning tests I might be more excited by it - but it can't do that.
Also, it is hard to get them Balefire insomuch as to do so, you're affecting their deployment and removing almost half the point of the unit itself (though if Haems could take PGLs I might be sold on that)

And we have not been underestimating Mandrakes Wink

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PostSubject: Re: Old vs. New - Battle of the Mandrakes   Mon Apr 30 2012, 08:00

You can start with balefire, or have it shortly after... instead of infiltrating the unit, hold them in reserve with The Decapitator, and move them onto the board in a flank formation... bam, they start with a pain token. The only think you have to do is make sure Keradruakh is more than 1" away from an enemy unit, and your good.

Also, there's no reason why they cant force multiple pinning tests... nothing in the balefire rules say they cant, and the rules for pinning states

BRB PG 31 wrote:
If a unit other than a vehicle suffers any unsaved wounds from a pinning weapon, it must immediately take a pinning test...

As long as the tests are passed, a unit may be called upon to make multiple pinning tests in a single turn, but if a unit is gone to ground, no more pinning tests may be taken.

Is there errata somewhere that says that each unit can only force one pinning test?

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PostSubject: Re: Old vs. New - Battle of the Mandrakes   Mon Apr 30 2012, 08:37

Both suck (which is sad since I like their fluff, and the new models look amazing), but the old ones atleats had the special deployment rules going for them, which made them pretty good at contesting objectives and messing with the opponent's head.

Altough the new ones can actually be pretty good at shooting if you ignore the infiltrate and join a Haemonculus with them. If some of the rumours about 6th (specially the ones regarding pinning and claiming objectives) are true, I could see them actually becoming useful.

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PostSubject: Re: Old vs. New - Battle of the Mandrakes   Mon Apr 30 2012, 08:46

@ruke... Decapitator can not join units though... So no pain sharing for them!

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PostSubject: Re: Old vs. New - Battle of the Mandrakes   Mon Apr 30 2012, 08:54

Quote :
Is there errata somewhere that says that each unit can only force one pinning test?
THat said quote you mentioned means that you roll to wound one time from each unit, meaning one unit can only force one pinning check.

Otherwise sniper units would be major force in 40k, which you probably mentioned, they arent.

THe biggest WTF from me about new mandrakes, why the hell cant Kheradruakh joins them?
If he could they would be at least somewhat capable infiltrate assault unit. (if overcosted).
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PostSubject: Re: Old vs. New - Battle of the Mandrakes   Mon Apr 30 2012, 12:56

I prefer the old ones. They were in no way good, but their deployment rules could confuse opponents and their superstealth was pretty handy. But both new and old lack the abilities to achive something really usefull.

Regarding pinning weapons:
BRB FAQ p.2 wrote:

Q: How many Pinning tests can a squad firing multiple
Pinning weapons cause on the enemy it is
shooting?(p31)
A: Each unit can only cause a maximum of one Pinning
test on each enemy unit wounded, per turn, regardless
of the number of wounds caused, unless specifically
stated otherwise.

Kheradruakh can't join Mandrakes, because he is no independent character, but an one model infantry unit.

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PostSubject: Re: Old vs. New - Battle of the Mandrakes   Mon Apr 30 2012, 13:03

fingers crossed they tweak the move through cover special rule in 6th edition to mean that units with it strike in initiative order when assaulting. Seems to make logical sense to me!

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PostSubject: Re: Old vs. New - Battle of the Mandrakes   Mon Apr 30 2012, 15:00

Old, but it's hardly consequential. I never liked either unit. At least the new models are nice.

Voting 4

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PostSubject: Re: Old vs. New - Battle of the Mandrakes   Mon Apr 30 2012, 15:28

I voted old, atleast with their crazy deployment people were never really expecting for their impact. Pretty much the few times I used them they were in conjunction with an assault from wyches, which proved to work wonders ( I would use a fake token and push it towards an objective or devs, and then they would set up for a counter-assault for after they came out, and the look of their faces when they find out T3 they were actually on the other side of the board helping out my wyches get the final kill on their hammerators... so wonderful Razz)

But I digress. They both are god aweful. I think the new ones are... ok... but they are A: Competing with Trueborn and Incubi, and B: are just so derp... its really hard to even consider them. Sadly their models are so awesome...

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PostSubject: Re: Old vs. New - Battle of the Mandrakes   Mon Apr 30 2012, 17:17

XD didn't realize Keradruakh was a one man infantry unit, I always read over that is "IC" just not paying attention...

You can still put them into a raider with a homun (after you drop whatever WAS in it out) to get a relatively decent shooting attack... But competing with trueborn kind of kills it...

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PostSubject: Re: Old vs. New - Battle of the Mandrakes   Tue May 01 2012, 05:19

This might be the first poll to end with a clear win for 'neither' Very Happy

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PostSubject: Re: Old vs. New - Battle of the Mandrakes   Tue May 01 2012, 05:52

I voted 4. The old were fun, the new just fail. I will echo the great model vibe, its too bad really.

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PostSubject: Re: Old vs. New - Battle of the Mandrakes   Tue May 01 2012, 07:29

For a unit so thoroughly useless, it seems odd to evaluate them strictly on their mechanics -- it's not like you'll ever use them that way, right? I voted old, because of the flexibility in their deployment, but the new model range is really fantastic. And when it comes to "using" such a useless model, doesn't it come down to appearance anyway?
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PostSubject: Re: Old vs. New - Battle of the Mandrakes   Tue May 01 2012, 12:24

Voting for neither, they were and are a pile of poo
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PostSubject: Re: Old vs. New - Battle of the Mandrakes   Tue May 01 2012, 16:31

Thor665 wrote:
This might be the first poll to end with a clear win for 'neither' Very Happy
FTW Twisted Evil I bought the new models to paint, used them in two games...they've been in the LFGS display case ever since.

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PostSubject: Re: Old vs. New - Battle of the Mandrakes   Tue May 01 2012, 16:52

Thor665 wrote:
This might be the first poll to end with a clear win for 'neither' Very Happy

which is sad because they maybe terrible, but the olds had such an interesting mechanic that if your opponent never played against them before it really spun their heads. Such an interesting mechanic, brought down by time of simplifing things for the masses.
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PostSubject: Re: Old vs. New - Battle of the Mandrakes   Tue May 01 2012, 18:03

I definately prefered the old deployment rules, but Baleblast has proven to be useful.
As for the models, I find both the new and the old models just silly.

Overall, I'd say old.

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PostSubject: Re: Old vs. New - Battle of the Mandrakes   Tue May 01 2012, 18:13

Thor665 wrote:
This might be the first poll to end with a clear win for 'neither' Very Happy

Maybe they'll learn and omit them from the Codex entirely next time. Or give them better rules.

Seriously, I understand not all units can be optimal - but why is so much of our BS concentrated in the Elite section???

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PostSubject: Re: Old vs. New - Battle of the Mandrakes   Wed May 02 2012, 02:07

Raneth wrote:
Seriously, I understand not all units can be optimal - but why is so much of our BS concentrated in the Elite section???

There are three baseline Troops choices for each "faction" (Warriors, Wyches, Wracks), then three upgrades in the Elites (Trueborn, Bloodbrides, Grotesques). Everything else is too goofy and exotic to be Troops, so if it has less than 12" move or doesn't have 7 T it goes into Elites. So, going the other way, lots of Elites are goofy and exotic, and that usually translates into BS in competitive play. It would indeed be cool if the level of each army's exotic choices was equal to their troops, but it would be real easy to slip up and make one of them too good. Imagine if Harlequins were as efficient as Trueborn: would it be weird for the majority of Dark Eldar armies to want to run 3 Harlequin squads? Though, if they're good enough, people will justify them anyways!

Back on topic- old Mandrakes. I loved the old deployment, and was sad to see them go. My old Mandrakes models are reduced to "counts as Wracks".

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PostSubject: Re: Old vs. New - Battle of the Mandrakes   Wed May 02 2012, 03:19

@Shadow - yeah, and it would have been such an easy fix. Frankly even the new ones could be workable just with grenades and the ability to slap a power weapon onto the Fiend, if they'd kept the old deployment than even better. I weep for the Mandrakes - still possibly the coolest fluff for a unit in the dex and just basically unplayable.

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PostSubject: Re: Old vs. New - Battle of the Mandrakes   Wed May 02 2012, 15:22

I think even if they didnt have grenades the old deployment would make them playable (plus power weapon the fiend... but that is just wtf anyway)

Just think about it, being able to have a squad that could potientially show up at 3 different places. You could put pressure on the flanks, while holding up an assault because the enemy doesnt want to be double assaulted. The old's ability to be at different places at once gave you some manipulation of the battlefield that no other unit gave you. Its not like deepstriking where the opponent doesnt know where they are going to show up. You show where they might apear, and the opponent has to figure out which is the most likely spot.

It could of been so awesome... but I guess cool fluff and cool models is good enough...

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PostSubject: Re: Old vs. New - Battle of the Mandrakes   Sat May 05 2012, 23:44

In a battle of slappy patheticness it looks like we all agree that Mandrakes basically suck.

That said - New Mandrakes apparently suck to some degree more than Old Mandrakes and thus Old is the winner(?) of having the best worst unit in the codex... silent

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