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 What's the big deal with PGL?

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GorlanVance
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PostSubject: What's the big deal with PGL?   Mon Apr 01 2013, 18:05

Hey everyone quite new and just wondering; why do so many people use Phantasm Grenade Launchers in their squads? As a recent convert from the eternal legions of chaos, I am used to every unit (with some glaring exceptions...) having frag and krak grenades standard. As far as I know, the PGL grants defensive and assault grenades to the squad.

Since you only need one model with grenades to convey them to the whole squad, PGL for the assault component seems very over costed, since the only commonly played assault units that could use it in this role are wracks or Incubi. The other unis (grotesques, Hellion, Mandrakes, etc...) either pay exorbitant amounts for it (double for hellions!) or are difficult to accommodate (mandrakes infiltrate, grotesques are bulky, etc...). Other units like wyches have plasma grenades, which are simply put just superior assault grenades since their shooting profile is much improved over the basic frag version.

Now for the defensive grenade part, which is broken down into two benefits, neither of which is particularly awesome for the Dark Eldar. The first is the charge bonus denial, which is excellent on tough defensive units like Plague Marines and such. I can see how this could be useful on a unit like wracks, but the problem remains that when defending you need to present a double threat at both ranged and melee. Most Dark Eldar units cannot hold their ground in both arenas and are in fact rather crappy in defensive scenarios, making this aspect of the defensive grenade less than useful. Said wracks are more likely to be shot to death by Heavy Bolter style weaponry than engaged in melee, since they cannot fight back at all at extended ranges.

The second aspect is that of the stealth rule, which is also of questionable use. Night Fighting and Jink saves make it so that many Dark Eldar units benefit from a cover save for good parts of the game, not to mention their cover using nature. The stealth rule would obviously be beneficial to most units, but it has an important caveat: the enemy must be within 8" when firing to convey this rule. That is much closer than most Dark Eldar units would like to approach by a fair margin, and since at that range one does not benefit from night fighting it cannot even stack with long distance shroud to create uber-cover. The most devastating weapons against Dark Eldar are various templates that ignore cover, negating another possible use for it. I can see it being of marginal use for fragile melee units like wyches, but even then its only a 6+ save against overwatch. Is that really worth the points? Am I missing something that the community titans will laugh upon?

Note that although I a fairly new W40K player in general and have yet to play a game with my Dark Eldar, I have read the forum rules and perused many a topic to make my point as accurate as possible when referring to Dark Eldar game play, style and unit popularity. If I am wrong about anything important let me know Smile

Last but not least; since they are not given a profile for shooting, can PGL grenades be used for shooting? Logically the assault component would use standard DE plasma grenade rules, but I have yet to find any supporting rules text. Yay or Nay?

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Skulnbonz
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PostSubject: Re: What's the big deal with PGL?   Mon Apr 01 2013, 18:52

@GorlanVance wrote:

Since you only need one model with grenades to convey them to the whole squad


This is where I think you are wrong.



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GorlanVance
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PostSubject: Re: What's the big deal with PGL?   Mon Apr 01 2013, 18:56

I will certainly double check it when I get my rulebook when I get it back from my friend, but that really only slightly improves their utility, in that you need to purchase them to boost your wracks (assault grenades) and wyches (defensive grenades, if someone can prove them useful...?)

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DominicJ
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PostSubject: Re: What's the big deal with PGL?   Mon Apr 01 2013, 18:57

Indeed.
A model with assault grenades may charge into cover without penalty.
A model.

The PGL overrules that limitation

******************
Its for Incubi

********************
Page 61
"Models with assault grenades"
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GorlanVance
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PostSubject: Re: What's the big deal with PGL?   Mon Apr 01 2013, 19:01

Interesting and fairly logical. But it does not really change my post, beyond adding that they are thus very useful for archon's attached to wracks (do people do this?) or incubi (which certainly seems useful).

Many people run their wyches with them, and as far as I can tell this is the most useless use for this. Hellions pay through the nose for them but at least they get a big return for that investment. Wyches get...more resilient when charged? Not really worth a lot of points most of the time, or is the 6++ really worth it on them?
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BMD
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PostSubject: Re: What's the big deal with PGL?   Mon Apr 01 2013, 19:42

This is an interesting argument. If a model has defensive grenades and joins a unit, the whole unit benefits. It seems like assault grenades should work the same way, but RAW, they don't at the moment. I would just get your opponents opinion on the matter and come to an agreement before a game if you think the issue will ever come up.
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DominicJ
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PostSubject: Re: What's the big deal with PGL?   Mon Apr 01 2013, 19:55

To be honest, I havent used them.
I dont plan to use them with my archon leading 4 incubi, because I am yet to come across melee troops hiding in a ruin.

Grotesques would also benefit.

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Erebus
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PostSubject: Re: What's the big deal with PGL?   Mon Apr 01 2013, 20:58

@DominicJ wrote:

I dont plan to use them with my archon leading 4 incubi, because I am yet to come across melee troops hiding in a ruin.
That's kind of the point - generally, you want to assault the shooty, who will often be in cover.

@GorlanVance wrote:

Many people run their wyches with them, and as far as I can tell this is the most useless use for this.
Note how PGLs are taken on units that are best suited to close combat: Wyches and Archon-lead Incubi. Assault grenades means they can charge through cover without suffering a penalty to their initiative - this is important to DE since they have a high initiative and thus will go first against most units - going second is a death sentence given how squishy we are, so assaulting without that negation is suicide.

As I pointed out above, you usually want to assault gunners. The defensive grenades grants Stealth against their shooting if within 8", which stacks with other cover saves. DE typically want to be in cover anyway, and a melee unit needs to be within 12" to even declare a charge, though should be even closer than that - ie. 8" - to be sure of succeeding.

The benefit to taking PGLs is in the whole package.

@GorlanVance wrote:

Last but not least; since they are not given a profile for shooting, can PGL grenades be used for shooting? Logically the assault component would use standard DE plasma grenade rules, but I have yet to find any supporting rules text. Yay or Nay?
Page 61 of the rulebook:

"When a unit armed with assault grenades makes a shooting attack, one model can choose to throw a grenade, rather than using another shooting weapon."

It then lists the profile for use.

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DominicJ
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PostSubject: Re: What's the big deal with PGL?   Mon Apr 01 2013, 22:16

Even with the benefit of striking first, I dont see devestators surviving incubi/archon.

But, I shall soon see.

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PostSubject: Re: What's the big deal with PGL?   Mon Apr 01 2013, 23:14

The main times I've seen them be of use are

A: When assaulting a shooty unit with Wyches or Hellions from cover. This makes your 5+ save against all that overwatch fire go to a 4+ save, which is pretty snazzy.

B: When fielding really large squads on foot. Like 15 Wyches, Beasts + Baron, Hellion blobs. At this point you're more likely to get assaulted by larger squads and the -1 atk from defensive grenades is useful.

But in most cases I'd have to say that I don't take PGLs. I'd rather spend the points on Enhanced Aethersails on all my transports and get a better position on my assaults.

Think about it this way: if the PGL saves the life of any 1 Wych or Hellion it has more than made its points back.

In the case of taking it on an Archon... I just can't see why you'd do it.

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Crazy_Ivan
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PostSubject: Re: What's the big deal with PGL?   Mon Apr 01 2013, 23:50

I take it on my archon if he runs with grots or incubi. Everyone strikes at their own initiative the unit gains stealth from any unit shooting at it if the unit is within 8 inches. We have a high initiative better to keep it that way IMO.
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PostSubject: Re: What's the big deal with PGL?   Mon Apr 01 2013, 23:59

As a marine player up til now ive taken assault grenades for granted. That said I have used cover plenty of timess to screw over non marine armies that wish to assault me so I can definitely see the benefit.

10 pts on a unit champ for stealth, no attack bonus against you and assaulting at full init is great.

25 pts on an archon is something to consider rather than auto include, but here its obviously designed primarily for incubi since otherwise a 22 pt model with initiative 5 and a +1 strength ap2 fleeting power weapon would be a little too good coming out of a 60 pt dedicated assault transport especially when you can buy FNP like candy.

What am I saying they ARE a little too good!
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GorlanVance
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PostSubject: Re: What's the big deal with PGL?   Tue Apr 02 2013, 00:47

Wyches already have assault grenades, so is the 6++ enough to make it worth it for them? It does seem worth it with Incubi/Archon but otherwise...

Eldar/Dark Eldar do pretty well in counter-assault scenarios, so making them lose the attack when they charge you seems like wasted points, especially since with your incredible mobility you should be able to dictate the assault and get teh charge yourself.

@Erebus There is no profile listed for PGL however, so they cannot be tossed. This is a shame but somewhat expected.

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Barking Agatha
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PostSubject: Re: What's the big deal with PGL?   Tue Apr 02 2013, 01:30

Some people have begun giving PGLs to wyches since 6th edition in an attempt to mitigate the disproportionate effects that overwatch (among other new rules) has had on them. It can help under very specific circumstances, if everything goes your way.
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Brom
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PostSubject: Re: What's the big deal with PGL?   Tue Apr 02 2013, 02:03

Points might not always be available for things like PGLs on wyches but I really dont see them ever being a bad buy in anything but minimum sized squads.

As for throwing them, there is a generic profile for assault grenades which are S3 blast so the PGL might default under that, idk. I think its a stretch of the rules but it doesnt really matter any since a S3 blast is pretty weaksauce.
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PostSubject: Re: What's the big deal with PGL?   Tue Apr 02 2013, 02:11

@GorlanVance wrote:

@Erebus There is no profile listed for PGL however, so they cannot be tossed. This is a shame but somewhat expected.
"A model with a phantasm grenade launcher counts as having both assault and defensive grenades, as does any squad he joins."

That means, should the unit not have assault or defensive grenades of its own - as is the case with Incubi - you use the profile listed in the rulebook, which can be tossed.

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Orthien
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PostSubject: Re: What's the big deal with PGL?   Tue Apr 02 2013, 07:15

Frankyl they are rather cheap on Wyche squads and have to many benifits to outway that small cost.
Overwatch can hurt particularly on something so fragile as Wyches. A lucky shot or two can do some damage to you numbers before they get in CC where they belong.
That extra boost to cover is just that added shield to keeping your guys alive, couple that with assulting from cover which you should always do if you can and you are now using two benifits every time a unit assaults.

That alone is worth it for Wyches.

On other units its a toss up, I like to send Wyches or Wracks in first before Incubi etc to soak the overwatch so you might not need the PGL then. But you don't always have another unit to do that for you.

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PostSubject: Re: What's the big deal with PGL?   Tue Apr 02 2013, 07:48

There are two units you take PGLs on, one is an archon to go with inccubi (As they don't have assault grenades) and the other is wyches. Wyches get them for only 10pts (a lot of people miss that part).

@GorlanVance wrote:
I can see it being of marginal use for fragile melee units like wyches, but even then its only a 6+ save against overwatch. Is that really worth the points? Am I missing something that the community titans will laugh upon?

Yeah 6+ is not great. But a 3-4+ cover save is. Fleet makes wyches really good at charging through cover (fleet units charging through terrain have more chance of making a charge then a none fleet unit charging in the open). The average charge range of wyches through terrain is about 7.5", this ties in nicely with the range of the PGL, remember they only need one enemy model within 8" for the wyches to have the stealth special rule against shooting from the entire enemy unit.

So why take the PGL? Because with some clever planning you will always have a 4+ cover save against overwatch. Charge out of the smouldering crater of a wrecked raider 4+ cover save, charge out of a ruin 3+ cover save, charge through one of your own screening units 4+ cover save, charge from behind a raider 4+ cover save, and so on. Why do you want a 4+ cover save against overwatch? Because unlike marines any over-watch hit scored against wyches has a 66% chance of being lethal.

The defensive grenades are also useful when the wyches are camping an objective in terrain, as any unit that wants to have a reliable chance of charging you needs to be within 8" (units without fleet have an average charge range of around 5" through terrain). This means you will be getting a 3+ cover save (assuming you are in a ruin) against their pre-charge volley, and they won't get their bonus attack for charging (this is a big deal, as wyches are not the sturdiest of combat units and tend to die to volume of attacks).

Good cover use is one of the keys to getting the most out of wyches, anything that can increase that advantage is well worth it.

Hope that helps clarify why people take PGLs on wyches.

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PostSubject: Re: What's the big deal with PGL?   Tue Apr 02 2013, 15:02

lol Mush beat me to it... but yes that is the reason people that PGL on wyches.

Also the archon with PGL give Incubi and Grot's assault grenades, two units that truely need it.

And finally remember baron comes with a PGL base, so people normally dont take them with hellions (because he is in the unit), although I think people should as that allows baron to seperate without losing much effectiveness in the unit. Also he gives assault grenades to beasts, which sorely need them (yes they ignore difficult terrain for movement, but not for assault purposes)

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PostSubject: Re: What's the big deal with PGL?   Tue Apr 02 2013, 20:11

Amazing breakdown Mush. Gotta use that "charge through a screening unit" trick. Fantastic.

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PostSubject: Re: What's the big deal with PGL?   Wed Apr 03 2013, 06:43

@Cavalier wrote:
Amazing breakdown Mush. Gotta use that "charge through a screening unit" trick. Fantastic.

Thanks! Its one of the better ones as it won't slow the wyches down (not difficult terrain), reavers do a good job at screening seeing as they are mobile enough to be where you need them and despite the flying stands shooting under a unit still counts as shooting through a unit (unlike shooting over a unit). Very Happy

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PostSubject: Re: What's the big deal with PGL?   Wed Apr 03 2013, 15:47

I always take PGL's on Wyches or when my Archon rides with Incubi. The only other time I have used it was in one game where I ga one to a Sybarite. I was playing against the new Chaos Codex and wanted to get into a challenge so my Sybarite could die (this was a fun game and I wanted to see an Aspiring Champion become a Chaos Spawn), but My Sybarite killed the Aspiring Champion and mopped up the rest of the squad in the following turns.

Other than that one instance I would never use PGL's on Warriors. I also agree that what Mush has said on cover is very important for keeping your Wyches alive after their transport innevitably breaks.

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PostSubject: Re: What's the big deal with PGL?   Fri Apr 05 2013, 04:16

Thanks for the clarification everyone! It seems that newly appointed Archon's like myself have much to learn from veteran raiders. I will hopefully get my first DE games in soon enough, against my friend's new tau force. New codex sounds brutal, so wish me luck...fire warriors with tetra's are a absolutely viscious combo. BS 5 with Ignore cover is a brutal volley.
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PostSubject: Re: What's the big deal with PGL?   Fri Apr 05 2013, 13:30

Seems like you are going need some PGL support against Tau. Their overwatch rules seem very slippery. Good luck and make sure you bring your nightshields Wink

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PostSubject: Re: What's the big deal with PGL?   Fri Apr 05 2013, 19:11

@Mushkilla wrote:
@Cavalier wrote:
Amazing breakdown Mush. Gotta use that "charge through a screening unit" trick. Fantastic.

Thanks! Its one of the better ones as it won't slow the wyches down (not difficult terrain), reavers do a good job at screening seeing as they are mobile enough to be where you need them and despite the flying stands shooting under a unit still counts as shooting through a unit (unlike shooting over a unit). Very Happy

Are you placing the Reavers in between Wyches and their target then charging around them?

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