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Krovin-Rezh
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PostSubject: Archon+Mandrakes   Sun Jun 05 2011, 02:51

Here I will attempt to demonstrate ways to match up these units and the advantages each pairing affords. First up...

THE DEATHSTAR..........265-310 points (plus Haemonculus and transport)

Composition:
• Archon (venom blade, blaster, djinn blade, combat drugs, phantasm GL, shadowfield)
• 8-10 Mandrakes (bog standard, there's no reason to take a Nightfiend)

Notes:
The venom blade and combat drugs are optional. The VB is a safer, more efficient way of dealing with many enemy models/wounds with weak armor saves (at least before you get a second pain token). The CD can often really boost the djinn blade, either with WS+1, S+1, or re-roll failed wounds. It's also worth noting that rolling a 6 on the CD means two pain tokens on the Mandrakes and Archon if you leave the Haemonculus attached (he has to take one if he leaves).

I don't include the cost of the transport or Haemonculus in is unit because, aside from the above situation, you will always just move the Haemonculus away to another unit, where he will proceed to use his shattershard/liquefier gun/dark gate/etc. The transport, similarly, is always useful to the army in it's own right, and is not tied to the Deathstar except in that opening turn. You would likely be moving it forward in a similar way regardless.

You can, however, allow the transport to be used by the Deathstar. You just need to use a Raider and keep the squad of Mandrakes down to 9 models, or 8 models if you wish to keep the Haemonculus joined. Otherwise, you can still use the Raider if they've lost one or two models to the inevitable enemy attacks.

Deployment Tactics:
The Mandrakes infiltrate forward into cover, but close enough for a transport to disembark the Archon and Haemonculus into coherency in one turn (that's 16.9" from the transport's starting position: 12" move, 2" disembark, 15/16" base width, 2" coherency). This gives the Mandrakes a lot of room to deploy, since only one of their models needs to be within a zone that spans 60% of the board for pitched battle deployment. You get a similar effect in Spearhead deployment, although I don't wish to work out the intricate geometry in determining that percentage.

However, this unit does lose something in dawn of war deployment due to it's dependence on two HQs. In that situation, your best solution might be to string a "supply chain" of Mandrakes back to within 16.9" of your board edge so that the Archon and Haemonculus can still join up with them and you also have some of the Mandrakes in a good position to gain cover and shoot right away. Alternatively, you could leave either the Archon or the Haemonculus behind and deploy the other so it will be within coherency when you infiltrate the Mandrakes. This loses either the pain token or the assault defense, so which one you choose is dependent on the strengths of the army you are facing (are they better at shooting [deploy the Haemonculus] or assault [deploy the Archon]?)

Advantages:
1. Mandrakes need additional close combat strength, which the Archon has in spades.
2. Archon needs as much protection from shooting as possible, which the Mandrakes and Haemonculus have in spades.
3. Archon needs ablative wounds that don't die off quickly in close combat. 5+ invul and FNP solves that.
4. Archon wants to join a unit, but doesn't want to lose Move Through Cover. This is solved since Mandrakes also have the MTC rule.
5. Mandrakes really benefit from having grenades, both offensive and defensive. The Archon's PGL gives these to them.

All in all, it could work surprisingly well. Their combination of speed (initiative, MTC, fleet, and assault grenades), shooting offense (20 S4 pinning shots + a BS7 blaster, all at 18" and assault guns), shooting defense (stealth, FNP, SF), and assault defense (5+invul, defensive grenades, FNP, SF) makes them very good in pretty much every situation. No other Elites or HQ choice can stack up to them in this combination of strengths, and they certainly can't infiltrate.

THE SMALL MOON..........170 points

Composition:
• Archon (venom blade, blaster, shadowfield)
• 4 Mandrakes

This unit works similarly to the Deathstar, except that you are reducing the unit down to its bare essentials in order to be more frugal, and possibly more cost-effective. Without the Haemonculus, the unit is relying on just stealth and the SF for shooting protection. The shooting is still decent, since you aren't relying on the Baleblast shots to do much anyway. This makes the Small Moon more reasonable for taking pot shots at vehicles over AV10 and monstrous creatures. Obviously, a small unit like this will not win major assaults on it's own, but the Archon is still quite powerful with a venom blade. He's also quite likely to survive at least one round of combat, which makes the unit an effective bait and allows you to counter-charge the enemy with your other fast units (with an Archon helping out for good measure).

Okay ladies and gentlemen, that's it. Let me know what you think of these units. How would you use them in certain match-ups? Or how would you make them better?

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Last edited by Krovin-Rezh on Sun Jun 05 2011, 22:09; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Clarified description of Dawn of War deployment)
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GrenAcid
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PostSubject: Re: Archon+Mandrakes   Sun Jun 05 2011, 03:31

Im impresed....never thought that way about mandrakes, but expensive sir....and DE like to keep things slim.

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Local_Ork
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PostSubject: Re: Archon+Mandrakes   Sun Jun 05 2011, 03:51

Hmm... sounds familiar Razz
http://www.thedarkcity.net/t352-why-so-down-on-grotesques#3073

Anyway Mandrakes are also unit that would benefit from Archon, but also not quite I mean he is useful, but... kinda... well, single Haemonculi sounds just better. In Death star there are also some serious seploying flaws (too many things can go wrong) but you may try to eliminate them more or less.

I see it that: You get 5 Warriors in Raider, Pack Haemi and Archon inside during deployment, then infiltrate Mandrakes, move 12", unpack Archon with Pain Token, Shoot (or run Archon), fleet (Haemonculus prevent you from that) and have fun.

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Krovin-Rezh
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PostSubject: Re: Archon+Mandrakes   Sun Jun 05 2011, 05:09

@GrenAcid
Thanks Smile I have seen Incubi used in similarly expensive ways though, and they have much more pronounced weaknesses.

@Local_Ork
You can also start the Archon and Haemonculus in your deployment zone and then infiltrate the Mandrakes within coherency.

And Grotesques are quite different from Mandrakes. Grotesques don't have 18" ranged attacks, fleet, stealth, infiltrate, or move through cover. tongue

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PostSubject: Re: Archon+Mandrakes   Sun Jun 05 2011, 07:42

I really like the idea of a Mandraks Archon/Character! Damn you, now i have to expand my piratic Group of DE Leaders XD

As i usually take 2 Archons as HQ i am left with either wracks or grotesques to get a PT.

either could be used to a) get a PT and b) get a transport.

even though i prefer wracks as they are cheeper and they do not tend to explode in my face/army XD

I think that could make a fun to play combo, thanks!

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PostSubject: Re: Archon+Mandrakes   Sun Jun 05 2011, 13:15

Quote :
I really like the idea of a Mandraks Archon/Character! Damn you, now i have to expand my piratic Group of DE Leaders XD
Im soo gonna give him 2x Djin blade xD.....10 PW attacks XD

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a1elbow
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PostSubject: Re: Archon+Mandrakes   Sun Jun 05 2011, 16:36

I get the impression you are deploying the Mandrakes in DoW, which is illegal. Maybe I'm reading it wrong, but only Troops and HQ can be deployed, so the Mandrakes walk on.

As usual with Mandrake strategies, it sounds nasty but I don't like the concentration of forces that goes into making them that way. I have to have a Raider with an embarked squad, an Archon, a Haemonculus, and the squad of Mandrakes sitting together at the end of turn one? I hope I don't face long range or fast moving Template/Blast weapons.
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PostSubject: Re: Archon+Mandrakes   Sun Jun 05 2011, 16:47

GrenAcid wrote:
Quote :
I really like the idea of a Mandraks Archon/Character! Damn you, now i have to expand my piratic Group of DE Leaders XD
Im soo gonna give him 2x Djin blade xD.....10 PW attacks XD

Sadly, You can't take same wargear multiple time, with exception to weapons (You may exchange CCW for XXX and pistol for XXX)

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PostSubject: Re: Archon+Mandrakes   Sun Jun 05 2011, 16:57

I use a small unit of 3 mandrakes as an anti-scout defence. You infiltrate them as close to enemy scouting units as you can and spread them out as much as possible this happens before scout moves take place, your opponent then gets to scout but cannot come within 12" of an enemy unit during that move this really cuts down his options and limits his ability to get to you.

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PostSubject: Re: Archon+Mandrakes   Sun Jun 05 2011, 22:06

a1elbow wrote:
I get the impression you are deploying the Mandrakes in DoW, which is illegal. Maybe I'm reading it wrong, but only Troops and HQ can be deployed, so the Mandrakes walk on.



As usual with Mandrake strategies, it sounds nasty but I don't like the concentration of forces that goes into making them that way. I have to have a Raider with an embarked squad, an Archon, a Haemonculus, and the squad of Mandrakes sitting together at the end of turn one? I hope I don't face long range or fast moving Template/Blast weapons.

DoW: I might have said deploy, but I was talking about deploying via infiltrate for the Mandrakes. I will go back, check it, and change my wording if I did indeed say deploy.

Force concentration is a valid point, but remember that the Raider is up to 4.9" away. The Haemonculus and Archon are within coherency, yes, but that does not mean they are clumped up. The only template weapons they are afraid of are those that ignore FNP (liquefiers 1/3 of the time and...well, lets just say there's not very many of them). Blast weapons need to not only ignore FNP, but also ignore cover. Bring the usual assortment of lances and keep that one threat from shooting until it's gone.

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PostSubject: Re: Archon+Mandrakes   Sun Jun 05 2011, 22:09

Quote :
Sadly, You can't take same wargear multiple time, with exception to weapons (You may exchange CCW for XXX and pistol for XXX)
WTF?? come on its a weapon....My club mate gonna be ok with that...

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PostSubject: Re: Archon+Mandrakes   Sun Jun 05 2011, 22:51

GrenAcid wrote:
Quote :
Sadly, You can't take same wargear multiple time, with exception to weapons (You may exchange CCW for XXX and pistol for XXX)
WTF?? come on its a weapon....My club mate gonna be ok with that...

the dex is pretty clear about how many djinn blades you can buy. 1. its a weapon, that you can once buy. or do you wanna buy 3 shadow fields, so in case the first one blows, you can use the second.

well.... thinking about it.

it would be funny XD
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PostSubject: Re: Archon+Mandrakes   Sun Jun 05 2011, 23:00

The trade-off, GrenAcid, is that you can take the djinn blade and also two other weapons (like the blaster and venom blade in my case). This gives you a lot of choice for alternative attacks if you don't think the situation warrants using the somewhat risky djinn blade.

@crazy_irish
That would be funny! But I can't read "Take any of the following:" as "Take any number of the following:". It just doesn't seem to be the way it was meant to work.

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PostSubject: Re: Archon+Mandrakes   Sun Jun 05 2011, 23:01

It is in "other wargear" and You can't take more than 1. Yes, it count as weapon but it's in this other label.

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PostSubject: Re: Archon+Mandrakes   Mon Jun 06 2011, 00:20

Krovin-Rezh wrote:


DoW: I might have said deploy, but I was talking about deploying via infiltrate for the Mandrakes. I will go back, check it, and change my wording if I did indeed say deploy.

Force concentration is a valid point, but remember that the Raider is up to 4.9" away. The Haemonculus and Archon are within coherency, yes, but that does not mean they are clumped up. The only template weapons they are afraid of are those that ignore FNP (liquefiers 1/3 of the time and...well, lets just say there's not very many of them). Blast weapons need to not only ignore FNP, but also ignore cover. Bring the usual assortment of lances and keep that one threat from shooting until it's gone.

Either way, you are building 500-ish points of troops into a knot that has to assemble together first turn, after which one squad is forced to walk around to affect the battle. Just not something I feel like is a strong set up.

And I still don't know what you are talking about with the Mandrakes in DoW. The only way they deploy is by walking on. They can't infiltrate in that scenario.
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PostSubject: Re: Archon+Mandrakes   Mon Jun 06 2011, 01:34

Oh it's only troops and HQs that can infiltrate in DoW. That does throw a hitch in things! It leaves some options still, but they're not as good. Meet up with them outflanking, commandeering another squad's Raider on turn 1, or simply running upfield.

Have I mentioned I hate DoW deployment? No one in my gaming group ever wants to play it.

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PostSubject: Re: Archon+Mandrakes   Mon Jun 06 2011, 20:35

GRRRRRRRRRR And there gose my 10A archon....curse you...

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