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egorey
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PostSubject: A TDC Blog: strategies , unit analysis, batreps, observations, tactics   Mon Jun 17 2013, 17:59

So Mush got me into testing out reaver jetbikes. Now with the new Eldar we have some interesting combos we can use particularly a Seer joining the reavers for some nice psychic boosts ... Also I am going to use the baron for a reroll for grabbing first turn (+1 to the roll as panic rightly points out)  despite Mushlek's aversion to go first  

== 1.3 MC ==

Farseer, Jetbike 115
2 Warlocks, Jetbikes, Singing Spears 110
Haemonculus, 50

4 Truborn, 4 Basters, Venom, Dual Splinter Cannons, Chain Snares 183

2x 9 Windrider Jetbikes, 3 Shuriken Cannons 366
3 Windrider Jetbikes, Shuriken Cannon 61
4 Wracks, Venom, Dual Splinter Cannons, Chain Snares 115

9 Reaver Jetbikes, 3 Blasters, Arena Champion, Venom Blade 258
7 Warp Spiders

Wraith Knight 240

== 1498 ==

Farseer, Jetbike 115
2 Warlocks, Jetbikes, Singing Spears 110
Haemonculus 50

4 Truborn, 4 Basters, Venom, Dual Splinter Cannons, Nightshields, Chain Snares 193

2x 9 Windrider Jetbikes, 3 Shuriken Cannons 366
4 Windrider Jetbikes, Shuriken Cannon 78
4 Wracks, Venom, Dual Splinter Cannons, Chain Snares 115

9 Reaver Jetbikes, 3 Blasters, Arena Champion, Venom Blade 258
7 Warp Spiders 133

Wraith Knight 240
Vaul's Support Battery, 3 Shadow Weavers 90

== 1748 ==

Now this list has NO dedicated AA but guided WKs should do the trick in a pinch. Warp Spiders can add a bit too. The list is highly mobile and the Vaul's almost a bad fit to be honest. But I like them so much that I added them regardless. Now Mushlek hates deathstars. The Baron with helions  were played in my july 6th game. They were a nice distraction and did some damage. I have since replaced them with dual venoms. The fact is I needed more firepower. The list relies a bit on the seers and warlocks to come through - and they should - but what powers they get is up to the vagaries of the roll. I know I will get at the least guide and prescience but fortune/invisibility would be very nice to pull off on the seer. If my warlocks roll poorly ( no protect), I'll take conceal happily but there are a lot of ignore cover weapons out there and one needs to be careful.

I think the trick with this list is that it is what you are not shooting at that in the end will win the game for you. Certainly you can take out a venom easily. If you ignore the bikes they may be guided or prescienced or the WK fortuned. Then you could choose to target the bikes  ... of course one will arrive from reserve (and possibly the second venom) and the larger squads will be tricky to take down with very good saves. But then you still have the WK, weapons battery and the reavers with seer to deal with. There is nothing in the list that you really want sticking around. And truly that is the way DE/Eldar needs to be played. We are not marines. We need to confuse, move,  jink, jsj, etc., to win games.

Opponents need to be concerned about jetbikes. I can just zip to objectives to claim/contest at will on Turn 5 and there really isn't too much anyone can do about it. Killing all my bikes is a tall order since I reserve some, can hide them behind LOS-blocking terrain, can use conceal. I can play against a list that I'm unaable to cripple. I am mobile and durable.  When played correctly I simply may steal a bad match up. My advantage is my resiliency and  mobility....and if i go 1st and get my cover/stealth saves/seer powers off before he can alpha strike I'm even tougher.

'edited July 6th'

Got a game against a NEc/Chaos list with more than a few flyers. Despite very little AA in the list I managed to get enough points to steal the match. I had to focus carefully early before all the flyers came on but some arrived late and some too early to be effective. The heldarke did some damage but spacing out and made it okay. He was smart and tried to take out my Baron squad first and did considerable damage. But I was left with the ability to hurt a good portion of his list with what he chose to ignore. In the end I only really cared about getting first blood, warlord, linebreaker, and objectives ... that was not terribly difficult with this list.

'edited July 7th'

So another late afternoon game this time vs. an SW list. I pulled out the Baron and 14 hekions from yesterday's list and added a haemie and two venoms to the list. I felt I needed some blasters and dakka and that the helions - much as I want these guys to work and have since 5th - again were a bit of a disappointment. Truborn Blaster squads are just too good not to include. This game was in some ways tougher than the last. He uses three pods, a null zone libbie, 2 riflemen, prescienced long fangs.  He got first blood pretty fast on my venom ... my truborns were wiped out on the disembark. His alpha strike potential was high and he used it well ... So I played as cagey as could after his initial onslaught. It was a 1500 game. Both my wracks and small bike squad were reserved. Still, I would have liked the four blasters to take out his riflemen. It meant I had to rely on other means - which the list has. He spent three turns shooting at my WK and it was down to one wound when I got to his long fangs and rune priest with my reavers and finished them off. I have to say - have not gone against riflemen dreads in awhile and I forgot how good they were. This game was close until the end. I was lucky to get a late objective and a draw. It is really sad that we don't have better vehicles for DE. But, meh, we have reavers! WK and reavers were the stars of the match on my side of the table. I will note that the Vaul's did well over their point cost in damage as well.

The short and dirty is that some opponents are much better at prioritizing your threats than others. The SW player knew what he was doing ... even if he failed to kill my WK with his LFs. He had plenty of plasma melta anyway to help him deal with my list and drop pods put him in position to hurt me before I could respond a few times. I could have played better ... I probably could have won this match. His only real threats were the pair of riflemen (but boy do they pump out dakka at range). Everything else could do a bit of damage only as my mobility and cover saves were very hard for him to cope with. Also ... always keep a WK foot in terrain ... seems obvious but I didn't one turn and payed heavily.

You will have noted that this list does not use the all-mighty wave serpent. I think that wave serpents are excellent additions to almost any list but this. If you are going to play a bioke list then ply a bike list. Don't dilute it. I'll mention too that the solitaire seems a good fit (autarch, bike, mantle) but despite his excellent saves he does not have the utility of a farseer and those points can be better spent elsewhere almost every game. I think he is a bit of a trap.

Finally a word on the WK ... I think they suit competitive play and will appear in more than a few top lists eventually as people cotton on.. On paper, they seem pricey and situational.. However, use them as bullet magnets, as a source of  AP2 dakka and HOW attacks. They are very hard to take down. Their firepower may not be overwhelming but it is efficient enough and you can fortune or prescience these guys. Getting a cover save is not hard. They are decent in assault if needed. Assault shooty units and shoot at melee units ... it can do both. It is a much more flexible unit than some give credit for. The fact that it has a jump pack makes it far superior to WLs in a fast list.


Last edited by egorey on Sun Sep 28 2014, 13:04; edited 54 times in total
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PostSubject: Re: A TDC Blog: strategies , unit analysis, batreps, observations, tactics   Sun Jul 07 2013, 07:58

Imagine my surprise when I'm reading on warseer and see a link to this beloved website! Well done and would love to hearnmore reports in the future.
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PostSubject: Re: A TDC Blog: strategies , unit analysis, batreps, observations, tactics   Wed Jul 10 2013, 13:23

Thank you. If you look at the list carefully you will notice one thing that sticks out. It is is NOT designed like a marine list, lol. I use a lot of mobility and have a lot of targets. Starting DE players often make the mistake of fielding too few units on the table. Especially in today's meta where either you are relying on cover saves (lots of ignore cover weapons) or paper planes (don't think they are not going down) our troops can be surprisingly vulnerable. We need to design with this in mind. So having targets that need to be taken out before targeting our troops is important. Having the ability to quickly move your troops later in the game to grab objectives is necessary too. But you have to have some surviving troops to do that. Even three windrider jetbikes are a threat to a smart player. He will take them out unless you present him with a more urgent target.

Also note how DE/Eldar need to played. Generally there are only a few units with the range and mobility to really threaten this list. Go after them. If you need to target such a unit with all your firepower then do it. It does not bother me if I only take out a unit a turn. Once I remove the two or three major threats I know I can outmaneuver and overwhelm my opponent on my terms. This is what distinguishes a DEldar list from other armies.

edit: Having learnt what I needed to know from my first two games, I have gone out and acquitred some extra bikes - they are the meat of the list. I will add them to the list and also try a little different configuration for my heavy slots.  Now the new shining spears are not too bad. They tend to be overlooked because warp spiders are so good it is hard to justify them. However, in this list they might be just what the doctor ordered allowing me to pressure my opponent from turn two onwards easily. A lot of the list can get close and personal very quickly.

== The 1.3 ==  

Farseer. Jetbike, Mantle of the Laughing God, Singing Spear 155 (warlord/telepathy)
Haemonculus, Liquifier Gun, Hexrifle  75

6 Windrider Jetbikes, 2 Shuriken Cannons 122
2x 3 Windrider Jetbikes 102
4 Wracks, Venom, Dual Splinter Cannons 105
5 Wyches, Haywire Grenades, Venom, Dual Splinter Cannons, Grisly Trophies  130

9 Reaver Jetbikes, 3 Blasters, Arena Champion, Venom Blade 258  
9 Shining Spears, Exarch, Star Lance, Hit and Run, Monster Hunter 265
10 Warp Spiders 190

Nightspinner, Holofields 130
Ravager, Tri-Lance, Nightshields 115

Aegis Defense Line, Quad Autocannon 100

** 1747 **

The list sports 31 bikes ... now bikes can be handled by a few lists but the number of bikes in the list makes this list more difficult to contain. The list also really wants first turn but that is not something I can control. I'll have to rely on good deployment if going second and take my first turn lumps. This will be most apparent I feel against Tau. Jet Bikes/Venoms need to try and hide behind terrain as it will protect them from the first round of shooting if the Tau end up taking first turn and won't hinder the movement or subsequent shooting. Shining Spears with the hit and run ability make short work of Crisis-suits. Early on my list will have to focus on marjerlights and ethereal (if he uses one). I'm hoping to pew, pew the riptides away - maybe if needed tie them up in combat. Movement is the DEldar strength. A Farseer on a Jetbike with the Mantle of the Laughing God is generally one of the most annoying units you can field. With excellent mobility, he can cast powers where they are needed, moving in and out of cover with the jetbike move and gets a 2+ cover save with re-roll even without turbo-boosting. Unfortunately Tau can ignore cover in alot of instances so we shall see. If the mission is just to simply get my units into a certain place, I will just get there and hide and not worry about taking down his units. I often can win despite losing more units than my opponent. Of course this is much trickier against Tau - so much cover ignoring dakka. We will see.

july 14th

A note on bladevaning. By RAW it seems we can play play Reavers like those awful unholy screamers do. We have to move 18"from our starting point, right. That is the turbo-boost rules for Reavers, Then we draw a line from the start point to the finish point. The FaQ just says take a model in you unit as start point and a model in your unit as finish point ...draw a line and any unit under that line takes the hits. So theoretically you move up maybe 4" inches. Then you you go sideways 14 " behind cover. Draw your line. If a unit is under it hoorah. You never flew over the unit. Never mind. Now Mush and I play the MANLY way boys. We move in a straight line only. We don't have a curve ball ... just a fastball in our arsenal. On to the next topic ...

I mention Tau becaue I will be playing them and because they are becoming so prevalent of late. So let's see what I truly think about Tau:

I don't really anticipate enjoying a game against Tau. They roll a lot of dice and the ignore cover and immense amount of dacha negate a good portion of my usual tactics.It might bees good for the meta, I know they are beatable but you have to know what your opponent can do and prepare a plan. The supporting fire rule can be a pain too depending on mission and their army load out. Anytime an army’s rules break the basic mechanics of what were used too (cover, LOS, etc) it can be a rude awakening. Ignoring LoS and turning overwatch into essentially another shooting phase is brutal.

Tau are excellent this edition. Very easily top tier. Tau have altered the the formula for what the initial building blocks of a good list are. Having some units that dish out hurt at over 36″ is a must.  Marker lights, SMS, HY Missiles and  Fire Warriors make it  key to have threats from outside that bubble.We are forced to ignore the Riptides to a large degree. Point for point most other Tau units cause or buff to a greater degree and you can more realistically whittle their damage output by taking out key units. So prioritizing correctly is essential. Bring some Barrage to snipe footslogging Ethereals.

Use telepathy for Puppet Master, Dominate and Psychic Shriek against a Riptide. Tau/Eldar (ally) could well be the new Grey Knights but thankfully I'm playing a list without allies. If you use your old  basic take all comers list, you will be dead by turn 2. They are NO FUN TO PLAY AGAINST.
They have only one battle plan, SHOOT - They do not require finesse to play. The only “tactical” descisions they have boil down to a) what to shoot at first and b) how to block off charges.  

END RANT.

-- July 11th --

I'll play this list in a week and a half and report back with my results. We have both now submitted our lists. His is:

== TauTide ==

Commander, 2x MP, target lock, FNP, XV08-02 Crisis 'Iridium', PENChip 175

Ethereal 50

XV104 Riptide , tl. FB, IonAcc, EWO 190
XV104 Riptide , tl. FB, IonAcc, EWO 190

9 Firewarriors 81
8 Firewarriors 72
10 Kroot, Sniperammo 70
10 Kroot, Sniperammo 70

5x Pathfinders

3x Broadside, tl. hyMP, tl. SMS, EWO, 6x Missiledrones 282
3x Broadsides, tl. HRR, tl. SMS, VT, Seeker Missile 264
3x Markerlightguys, 9x Sniperdrones 174

Aegis + Quadgun 100

==  1749  ==

Well, a lot of dakka coniderable ignore cover. Enough to cause problems. Thankfully I can keep out of range of those SMS so that helps. This is going to be rough. You will probably have noted that the riptide has no drones - no easy morale tests there. I figure the ethereal behind the AGl with drones and FWt will be my first target for the night spinner. Pathfinders will be my target for the reavers ( hoping for FNP pain token). If that works I can manage the list with range and cover saves and mobility. Lances can ping away at broadsides and once marker drones and ethereal is dealt with he will run. That is a big squad of drones though.  My night spinner becomes a valuable tool against this list. Must keep the spinner out of LoS all game if possible and use guide on it. I'll roll telepathy first though and see what mayhem i can cause.


** special thanks to mushlek for helping me ferment ideas and tactics to take on this list**


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PostSubject: Re: A TDC Blog: strategies , unit analysis, batreps, observations, tactics   Sun Jul 14 2013, 11:39

Great stuff Egorey! Very Happy

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PostSubject: Re: A TDC Blog: strategies , unit analysis, batreps, observations, tactics   Thu Jul 18 2013, 02:44


July 17th


Well, that match went a little better than I hoped. First off - I went first. This was huge. My Seer rolled Psychic Shriek (primaris swap) and Puppet Master from telepathy and then I took Guide (primaris swap). There was plenty of terrain and ruin for my Nighspinner to hise behind ( with my seer for the first turn).

So Turn one and my alpha strike wqs nothing less than amazing. My reavers took out the pthfinders. My spiders and spears went after the Kroot. One squad broke (outside fearless bubble) and the other ws pretty crippled. My Venoms and Rav took out his AGL. My seer moved up after casting guide on the Rav ( probably should have cast on the Spinner but meh). I puppet mastered the a Riptide who fired on the drone squad with commander. The blast ended up hitting the FW and Ethereal squad (this was before my guys went after his Kroot). This was an opening for me so I decided to shoot the squad with my Spinner. I then finished them off with my quad. So no drones down but an excellent start. Everything that could JSJed and moved back in assault phase either out of range or out of LoS of his ignore cover weapons. His turn he moved up his drones and commander and then attempted to mark me ( I informed him that the marker drones could now only snap fire. This was a mistake on his part. So he fired on my Reavers doind a bit of damage. His Ripties fired and both blasts deviated. His Broadsides did better taking out the Rav and one venom. His Kroot also regrouped and did a bit of damage.

He was not aware that this was already game. With my advantage of range I was sure dedicated fire would take out both his FW and Pathfinders even if it led to a few casualties in retaliation. I didn't care about that. I could avoid the Riptides and slowly whittle away the rest of his force. I did lose a squad and half turn two. But he lost his drones and a kroot squad. And his ethereal was dead. So the rest of the game I puppet mastered and guided and used the occasional psychic shriek. He had no troops to take objectives. He has lost his warlord. I had first blood. Even though he did a bit of damage turns two to four it hardly mattered.

Truthfully, he played very poorly. He made a few key mistakes early and it cost him. He underestimated how fast I could move and reposition. He did not deploy wisely. My bikes and spiders hit the Tau lines turn two. That was bad for him. I was not overly impressed with the spears. They can dish damage out but they are expensive and go down easier than I had anticipated and really they need to be played aggressively. The Spiders just do damage. The Spinner when guided is really good. The Farseer was near unkillable as long as i kept out of SMS range.

Lists like Tau can easily provoke bad play. Many new Tau players seem to just flip on auto pilot for their armies and never really plan their turns well. They make an error, they multiply it X times do to the nature of their list. I feel his unfamiliarity with my type of list was his undoing. He made several sloppy errors already by turn 2 from deployment on.

So I am off to the finals. The match was disappointing. I don't like Tau but I expected a better game of it. Meh. It seems he relied to heavily on his list and not on his tactics. Now Tau are easy enough to play. But it seems when confronted with an unexpected list - well he had never played a DE/Eldar bike list before - he was sketchy prioritizing, moving, defending. Ah well. I'll take the win and head to the finals. I get to tweak my list again. I'm going to remove the shining spears but still keep plenty of bikes - don't fret.

I now know that my opponent will be Necron/CSM in the final match of this series. I have played to date 4 games with the Mushtek list. I played a Nec/CSM list early at 1500 and won without too much difficulty. This is the same player but he now has excellent insught into the vagaries of playig against me, we are playing at 1750 and I suspect he will shore up his tactics and list. I will posy my nalysis and thoughts at a later date and the final summation of the 4 week tournament.


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PostSubject: Re: A TDC Blog: strategies , unit analysis, batreps, observations, tactics   Thu Jul 18 2013, 07:16

Congratz on the solid win!

egorey wrote:
His turn he moved up his drones and commander and then attempted to mark me ( I informed him that the marker drones could now only snap fire.

Why could they only snapfire? Marker drones are jetpack infantry and therefore relentless. They would also have been BS5 because of the drone controller, might have made it a closer game.

egorey wrote:
Lists like Tau can easily provoke bad play. Many new Tau players seem to just flip on auto pilot for their armies and never really plan their turns well. They make an error, they multiply it X times do to the nature of their list. I feel his unfamiliarity with my type of list was his undoing. He made several sloppy errors already by turn 2 from deployment on.

I notice this a lot when playing against Tau.

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PostSubject: Re: A TDC Blog: strategies , unit analysis, batreps, observations, tactics   Thu Jul 18 2013, 12:35

My understanding was the spotter has a markerlight that is a Heavy Weapon and as such if you move you can only snapfire as the spotter is NOT relentless. Have I missed a rule change somewhere? The sniper drones fired at full ballistic but were out of rapid fire range. I was only worried about the the networked markerlights. I could take a few casualties and expected to. What I did not want was to lose my cover saves. This was not the only rules issue we had. It was my understanding that the there is no problem moving at different speeds in 6ed but whether or not the pack can jsj in assault is another rules question. I allowed it in the end ( because I could still reach out and touch him regardless with more than one of my units ) but it is contentious to me. The rules on JSJ specify 'unit' not individual model but hey. His whole movemnent phase was so poorly co-ordinated that it hardly mattered at that point and certainly would not have made for a better game overall, lol.
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PostSubject: Re: A TDC Blog: strategies , unit analysis, batreps, observations, tactics   Thu Jul 18 2013, 13:48

egorey wrote:
My understanding was the spotter has a markerlight that is a Heavy Weapon and as such if you move you can only snapfire as the spotter is NOT relentless.

The Marksman can indeed only snapfire but the drones can still fire at full effect as they are relentless. Remember it's worked out on a model by model basis now, not for the whole unit.

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PostSubject: Re: A TDC Blog: strategies , unit analysis, batreps, observations, tactics   Thu Jul 18 2013, 14:05


The Marksman can indeed only snapfire but the drones can still fire at full effect as they are relentless. Remember it's worked out on a model by model basis now, not for the whole unit. wrote:

That is how we played it. Seems I'm exonerated from cheating, lol.

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PostSubject: Re: A TDC Blog: strategies , unit analysis, batreps, observations, tactics   Thu Jul 18 2013, 14:20

egorey wrote:



That is how we played it. Seems I'm exonerated from cheating, lol.

That's not what you wrote though. You said the marker drones had to snap fire. Which, I guess, is why Mush highlighted that part of your post.

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PostSubject: Re: A TDC Blog: strategies , unit analysis, batreps, observations, tactics   Thu Jul 18 2013, 15:08

Doh. I did didn't I. of course I meant the spotters. I'll should apologize to Mush now. Probably will not though.

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PostSubject: Re: A TDC Blog: strategies , unit analysis, batreps, observations, tactics   Thu Jul 18 2013, 15:26

My bad. I should have checked the tau list first (that way I would have realised you were talking about the sniper drones). Very Happy

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PostSubject: Re: A TDC Blog: strategies , unit analysis, batreps, observations, tactics   Sun Jul 21 2013, 11:21

So all is revealed. I have a record of 3 wins and 1 draw with the 1.3. The opponent Im facing has won 3 times and l loss ( against my bikes ) with his Necron/CSM list. Bear in mind that we were not able to tailor our lists as we submitted lists prior to knowing our opponent.

will be taking this list to the final match

== The 1.3 ==  

Farseer. Jetbike, Mantle of the Laughing God, Singing Spear 160 (warlord)
Haemonculus, Liquifier Gun 60

3x 3 Windrider Jetbikes 153
5 Wyches, Haywire Grenades, Venom, Dual Splinter Cannons, Nightshields 135
3 Wracks, Venom, Dual Splinter Cannons, Nightshields 95

9 Reaver Jetbikes, 3 Heat Lances, Arena Champion, Venom Blade 249
9 Warp Spiders 171

Night Spinner, Holofields 130
2x Wraith Knight 480
Ravager, Tri-Lance, Nightshields 115

** 1748 **

My opponents list ...

== Necron - CSM ==

Destroyer Lord, MSS, Sempiturnal Weave (warlord)
Chaos Lord, Axe of Blind Fury, Mark of Khorne, SoC, VotLW

2x 5 Warriors, Ghost Ark
2x 5 Warriors, Night Scythe
20 Cultists

6 Wraiths, 2 Whip Coils
1 Heldrake, Baleflamer

3 Annihilation Barges

== 1750 ==

This is interesting. A walking lord escorted by cultists was a bit unexpected. It is hardly a distraction against my list and it is fodder for my Reavers. I'm not sure why he has them set up that way unless he just was too tight on points to have a flying DP ( the obvious and more distracting choice). I expect the D-Lord to start with the Wraiths and then split off if needed. He is forming a wall. Barges and Arks, Wraiths moving behind them and reserves coming in and doing damage. Obviously I will try and down that 'Drake and I will stop the advance of the Wraith squad. I have decent range advantage and good mobility so I'll use it and other than the Drake he has no ignore cover to worry about for a change. The challenge will be preventing him from just bringing those Scythes on and dropping of warriors late to take an objective with me pinned down. He will find my list difficult to pin though and my game plan not that dissimilar from his.

=== general tactical notes and list design decisions ===

So five troops but less bikes and no spears. I'm hoping that the WKs hurt him badly. There is no time to target my Reavers with Spiders and WKs bearing down. I'm also relying heavily on the Night Spinner to damage those Wraiths - I've been very pleased in the past with the Spinner's performance. The finals are on Saturday week. The list was not designed to take on a specific codex. It is a TAC list that is the culmination of all the matches I have played so far with these units. I was looking for a good balance between tough units, fast units, AI and AT.

Some tactical notes here. I have not been thrilled with the blasters on my Reavers. It is certainly the more cautious approach. However, more often than not when I need those blasters to remove a tank or vehicle they fail at their task. If I am forced into an AT role with my Reavers I want a reasonable chance of removing the vehicle and getting a pain token. I can be within 9" of a vehicle as long as there is no retaliatory unit that can fire on me when I succeed in destroying said vehicle ( as in I will be able to get out of LoS). Read Mushtek's analysis ( after the batrep) in this thread ...
http://www.thedarkcity.net/t7298-br27-the-black-buzzards-vs-blood-angels-mech-1500pts

On the subject of AT - DE are woefully inept at it. DLs fail in their task often and really need to be spammed to be effective. So as an allied detachment, venoms will almost always do more damage. My list has great mobility but my AT needed shoring up. The Wraith Knights will certainly help in that regard as will the heat lances on the Reavers. It forces my opponent to think carefully about how close he wants to get to my force and how he wants to move up. Ani Barges need to get closer to be in effective range as an example and I want to make them pay. Warp Spiders are not terrible in the AT role and Wyches should help ( if they survive long enough) somewhat.

The other question I ask myself is what do I want on my Farseer. Against Tau I wanted Telepathy. I wa looking for dominance, shriek and puppet master. These are useful against the list I faced. However, facing Necron/CSM ( if indeed it is my next match ), Doom, Fortune, Misfortune, Prescience, Guide are all better powers for me. So I will likely be rolling on Divination. I find that more than a few players keep choosing the same psychic tables to roll on regardless of opponent with the assumption that it is your own list that should determine what you want. It is a vacuous argument. Both your own list and your opponent's list must be weighed in the equation.

The type of list I run requires a lot more thought then a standard in your face Marine list. I rely on grabbing objectives with my bikes later in the game and using them to pick up linebreaker. I rely on my Warlord being very difficult to kill. I also want first blood when possible but this is not always possible. These game details must be considered and weighed every game. I rarely run over an opponent. I survive and overcome.

I learned awhile ago that DE need to divide and conquer. Charging battle lines is generally idiotic, so take out their isolated units and pin your opponent in place. Don’t get greedy or you’ll be punished. Go after the units that will cause you the most harm and focus on your mission and objectives. You do not have to destroy his whole list all at once. Seems obvious. But I see so many players misread what I'm going to do next and make poor decisions.

Also do not run lists where you need a combo or a deathstar to win ... it is tempting to take a seer council ( without fortune/jink and if you face a certain opponent, lets say GK with mindstrike missiles) but you need to get the powers off, you need to hope there are no hard counters. You can take a beast pack but again there are hard counters ( ignore cover templates and weapons) and you need to rely on baron and a fearless character.

Design armies with some redundancy and multiple threats. Relying on probability is a risk. When you rely on combos or deathstars or particularly powerful units for your army succeed it'll fail when you need those units most. Do not get ahead of yourself. Take what is given. Otherwise you will fail a charge that would have won the game. You will prescience and doom and still have your opponent make every save and have no backup survival plan. You will fail every save when you need them the most. You will lose a unit that you need for AT because you have no redundancy in your list and are relying to heavily on it. Savvy opponents pick up on these weaknesses and will try and bait you into taking high risks.


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PostSubject: Re: A TDC Blog: strategies , unit analysis, batreps, observations, tactics   Sun Jul 21 2013, 11:54

Great write up!

egorey wrote:
Some tactical notes here. I have not been thrilled with the blasters on my Reavers. It is certainly the more cautious approach. However, more often than not when I need those blasters to remove a tank or vehicle they fail at their task. If I am forced into an AT role with my Reavers I want a reasonable chance of removing the vehicle and getting a pain token. I can be within 9" of a vehicle as long as there is no retaliatory unit that can fire on me when I succed in destroying said vehicle ( as in I will be able to get out of LoS).

Exactly what I have been thinking lately. Heatlances cause fear, and can control movement just by being on the board, you don't even need to use them.

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PostSubject: Re: A TDC Blog: strategies , unit analysis, batreps, observations, tactics   Sun Jul 21 2013, 13:25

yes ... I've been giving a lot of thought to the principles of building a decent list lately

Target saturation and redundancy seem key components for DE/Eldar. We need everything in
our list to nbe a viable threat or nuisance as a force multiplier ( farseer). Forcing your opponent to make difficult decisions on what to kill leads to openings and mistakes.  Reavers are good because your opponent wants to kill them, and then the rest of your list can take advantage when he  exposes the rest of his list to mass splinter fire from Venoms that haven't been shut down, and monafilament Spiders that love the freedom. You use multiple squads of Reavers, Mush. I use a single squad of Reavers so I need other options in my list to take down pesky units.  If I need to sacrifice my Reavers (which I've seen you do) then, two  squads of the same Reavers makes this prospect easier.  In my case I need alternatives to do the Reavers job if they go down. Making sure that our army doesn't depend on that single heat lance to kill all AV14 is generally a great idea.

Neutralizing a unit is key to our success and our opponent's failure. I don't need to kill every Wraith right away. If I can get them down to a squad of two or three with the D-Lord he has to think about what he wants to assault. He needs to avoid overwatch, he needs to now avoid units with hit and run ... you get it. I want to present many isolated threats ( Wraith Knight, Night Spinner, Ravager). I also need to know that my army is capable of killing AV14 for my army will very likely die when facing  a tri-raider list.  I have to be able to deal with hordes and flyers too.


-- July 22nd tactic update--


== A Second Look at Heat Lances ==

There is been a debate going on in chat over heat lances. The above discussion does tie in to the use of heat lances ... they are another redundant AT/AI threat in my list. I do not have that much AT in the list.

Reavers are quick enough to get close to a tank. The average roll on 2d6 is 7  which is  13 damage, and a pen on average against AV12, which is the highest they'll ever need due to the lance rule. The blaster may be S8, but to pen AV12, you need a 5. With a heat lance, an average roll will pen, while with the blaster you need to get lucky. This is why I will be using the heat lance on Reavers. Now the drawback is range. Let us concede that we should not generally be using bikes for AT. Blasterborn, Scourges, haywire Wyches and DLs are all better suited. Still  a full compliment of 9 Reavers with 3 heat lances has a chance of 116% of doing a penetrating hit (e.g. almost guaranteed to do one pen, with a 16% chance of doing 2 pens).  

So let's be fair and consider the drawbacks as well ...

Blasters are safer with their range and better against MCs/multi-wound T4. Hmm. We have units to deal with multi-wound T4. This is a vacuous argument. I've tried to express this to Mush. There is a reason that it is a poor assessment of risk. Close combat aside (and neither puts you within 12" of your target at the end of the turn), Reavers are pretty easy to shoot to death if they do not turbo-boost. Thus, the difference in terms of risk of losing the Reavers is much closer than many people make out. You will be forfeiting your 3+ save for a 4+ save regardless.

The real risk of using either blasters or heat lances is actually not turbo-boosting the squad.

So, in summary ... you can't get heat lances on most units in the DE army, and they really aren't practical choices on those that can take them, such as Scourges (who lack the jetbike assault phase move, are just as expensive, and arguably more fragile than Reavers). You can get blasters all over your list in almost every FoC selection that doesn't have a dark lance. Having a single unit which, on its own, has a decent chance of destroying a vehicle in one turn is worth a lot in terms of being able to execute certain tactics.

Now we won't get into zone control too heavily but a savvy opponent will not want to put himself into a position where you can bladevane, get your superior save and then next turn have a shot at an important tank or transport. So if he deploys and moves to avoid this tactic you have already achieved an advantage without even using your heat lances. Overall, it makes heat lances quite appealing.

--end discussion--


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PostSubject: Re: A TDC Blog: strategies , unit analysis, batreps, observations, tactics   Tue Jul 23 2013, 04:27

-- July 22nd --

- tactical notes Wraith Knights -

Why does my latest list include two WKS? The Wraithknight is almost an auto-include in a lot of Eldar/DE list because of what it offers. Neither the Eldar codex nor the DE codex has ever had something like it before. It is an MC with a combination of speed, resiliance, and game play inducing fear. Itmight not kill it's points worth every game. However,  the board control it provides your list can be game breaking. It's fast enough to move away from trouble, it is potent enough to make players tavoid moving units into its zone of control. Remember my observations on how DE/Eldar win?  It's the perfect tool for winning missions and managing objectives.

Now I mentioned that it might not make its points back in kills. However, in my games Ithe  Wraithknight has killed a Daemon Princes, knocked down vehicles,  sprinted across the board to kill units im my opponent's deployment zone, taken out units sitting on objectives and more. It always does something useful. If your opponent wants to waste four turns of firepower shooting at your Wks that is already a win for you.

I arm mine simply - dual wraith cannons - I feel that you really do not need to sink more points into the unit based on what it's prime use is. I can get cover saves for it if I stick it's big toe in area terrain. If I can find the points for two I'm going to control my opponents movement all game long and force him to target them and expend most of his force trying to eliminate them. Of course it can be killed. But its survivability is quite the nuisance. Did your opponent bring the tools to kill two WKs when he had no idea he might face them? Are theeir lists that will almost always hard counter it? Yes. De with poison, Eldar with loads of dakka. Still it will take more than a turn or two on average.

I won't reiterate all his stats here. We know he has enough attacks to hurt, he is jump MC, he is tough as nails.  Play his strengths and eliminate threats as fast as possible. He is not a horde killer. Furhermore as previously stated DE/Eldar are not an army that aggressively charges the froint ranks of an opponent. So first eliminate his threats ( did I mention already that DE can take him down with venoms, that force weapons hurt him, etc.) Once you deal with the threats (turn one preferably) have him do what he does best. Let him go after the tough units, tanks and vehicles.

Did you notice I said that a Seer in my newest list should take Divination. He is your prime target for guide or prescience.

Now I never elaborated on presenting your opponent with multiple threats. This is referred to as MTO ( multiple targets of opportunity). It is a key to constructing DE/Eldar lists. If you have a number of priority targets, WKs will likely survive the whole game. Does your opponent ignore your Spiders, Reavers and Venoms. Does he let your Night Spinner destroy your foot troops all game long? The WK has Str10 guns guys. He has Smash. He is fast. Nothing is really safe from him (and that includes flyers if he has guide/prescience). Use him for defense, play him aggressively when appropriate (attacking the units that have to go) and you will learn to love him.


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PostSubject: Re: A TDC Blog: strategies , unit analysis, batreps, observations, tactics   Wed Jul 24 2013, 14:20

Some thoughts on a couple of ideas you have presented:

Heatlances....I love heatlances over blasters. Melta is revered by imperial armies for a reason. It massacres tanks. Reavers and scourges to some degree allow you to get close and wreck damage. Remember regular melta guns need 6" to get the boost but we only need 9"! Not only that but we get the lance rule as well. That's fantastic in my opinion. If we consider that these are then on reavers which can make an assault move into cover hopefully then I don't see the issue of proximity that much. As it is you get jink for moving. Sure there are flamer issues but that's what the jetbike move is for...get away from that crap.

WKs...I just got myself one for allied eldar. I'm going for a core of tough as nails units for my DE just to make target priority hard for my opponent. I've only used it once and i used it with the wraithcannons, since I didn't have a farseer I did miss a bunch which was sad. Because of my lack of farseer (taking iyanden with spiritseer and wraithguard in serpent) I'm thinking of trying out the suncannon to lay waste to troops and just assault tanks with him. If I faced 2 WK's i would be in trouble! I think its a great way to provide area control and screw with your opponent. I would also never be afraid to assault with him against things that can be sweeping advanced such as guard. They won't be able to hurt you very much if at all then you can beat them down and make them auto fail morale to get away from you and then you simply sweeping advanced cuz your initiative is pretty high.

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PostSubject: Re: A TDC Blog: strategies , unit analysis, batreps, observations, tactics   Wed Jul 24 2013, 16:29

Something to point out just because it screams out at me from the first paragraph - Baron doesn't give you a re-roll to go first, he gives you plus one to the die roll. Not really pertinent to the actual tactics though (of using jetbikes etc.), but don't want people reading to get the wrong end of the stick! Nice reports overall though - keep it up!

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PostSubject: Re: A TDC Blog: strategies , unit analysis, batreps, observations, tactics   Fri Jul 26 2013, 00:50

== July 25th ==

- farsight enclave -

So I played a game Wednesday night against the new farsight enclave. I decided to go with my 1500 Eldar list - no DE this time. I felt Eldar trumped Tau. My opponent has been playing Tau for years and warned me that the new setup for Tau could cause me some headaches. He fielded this:

Farsight Enclave Primary - 1046

HQ - Commander - 152
Dual Missile Pods, Drone Controller, Trget Lock, 2 Shield Drones

Elites - Riptide  - 215
Heavy Burst Cannon, TL Smart Missile System, Earth Caste Pilot Array, Early Warning Overide

Fast Attack - Marker Drones - 70
5 Marker Drones

Troops - Crisis - 154
3 Crisis suits; 3 Fusion Blasters, 3 Flamers, Vectored Retro Thrusters, Bonding Knife Ritual

Troops - Crisis - 154
3 Crisis suits; 3 Fusion Blasters, 3 Flamers, Vectored Retro Thrusters, Bonding Knife Ritual

Troops - Crisis - 154
3 Crisis suits; 3 Fusion Blasters, 3 Flamers, Vectored Retro Thrusters, Bonding Knife Ritual

Troops - Crisis - 152
3 Crisis suits; 3 TL Plasma Rifles, 1 CDS, 1 ATS, Bonding Knife Ritual

Eldar Detachment - 451

HQ: Farseer - 160
Jetbike, Mantle of Laughing God, Singing Spear 160

Troops Windrider Bikes  - 51
3 Windrider Jetbikes

Wraith Knight 240


HQ: Ethereal - 50
Troop: Kroot
20 Kroot, Sniper Rifles 140
Troop: Windrider Jetbikes
3 Windrider Jetbikes, Shuriken Cannon 61
- 1748 -

Now it seems pretty straightforward BUT crisis as troops means he has no chaff. He can build a list where everything is effective. This a a great example of an MTO ( multiople targets of opportunity) list. Doesn't matter what I target as the rest of the list will hurt me. The SeerTaire is an awesome supplement to this list. He rolled Prescience, Misfortune, Guide and had plenty of targets. That and the fact that the Mark'O was hitting four times a turn ( sitting with drones) was trouble indeed.

An Earth Caste Riptide w/ Heavy Burst and Prescience is just bad for your opponent. You pretty confidently Nova charge every turn so that is having 3 TL Assault Cannons (rending) and an SMS each turn supported by marker lights. It is not pleasant being on the receiving end of that dakka. It also allows you a lot of freedom in configuring your Crisis suits. You can generalize but you can also specialize if you choose. I will say that the addition of a Seer really helps the list along. You will not miss the sig systems with a Mark'O and a Seer.

A note on those crisis suit loadouts. He does not use broadsides or Ion in his list. Tau actually do not have an abundance of high strength shots. Indeed it requires you to get close but when you need a tank to go down, when you want to target something tough, well, fusion is still king. Also you cannot get flamers anywhere else in a Tau list. Do you want to clear objectives? Will you be facing large blobs of troops? Flamers are still very useful. Sure you are now within 8" to use your weapons but you can jump back and you do have VRT. Those suits are not easily dismissed. Bear in mind to that WKs are hurt badly by fusion.

Now I felt my list was pretty capable. I've used it a few times with decent success.

- Eldar Solitaire - 1498

HQ: Autarch - 150
Jetbike, Fusion Gun, Laser Lance, Banshee Mask, Mantle of Laughing God

Troops: Dire Avengers in Serpent - 446
2x  6 Dire Avengers, Wave Serpent, TL Scatter Lasers, Holofields, Ghostwalk Matrix

Troops: Windrider Jetbikes - 102
2x 3 Windrider Jetbikes

Fast Attack: Warp Spiders - 190
10 Warp Spiders

Heavy Support: Nightspinner - 130
Holofields

Heavy Support: Wraith Knight - 480
2x Wraith Knight

In fact it was not capable at all. Yes, I did some damage. But no, i never had control of the game. He could pretty much dictate terms of engagement from the get go. He had a SeerTaire. I had a Solitaire. Don't get me wrong - a Solitaire can do damage. But at 1500 I needed the force multiplier of a farseer more ( this will change in my new list). I could not use my shields too much - i did not want to get penetrated and my DA really did not want to be on foot outside of their rides. Still I did get a few suits with them. My Warp Spiders discovered what flamer/fusion does quickly. So i was struggling and hoping that a last minute push to objectives with my bikes and my surviving WK might just win me a game when I really did not deserve it. However, I barely rolled average all game and my opponent was roiling well ( this will happen) so I lost. Now I did damage. It was not entirely a one-sided game. But overall, by turn three i could see it was not going my way and I needed to try and pull out a win with some luck. I made a few questionable early decisions and paid for them against an opponent who played flawlessly.

Would DE have fared better with poison, i wonder. Maybe. Venom Spam could have spoiled his plans. But that is for another day.


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PostSubject: Re: A TDC Blog: strategies , unit analysis, batreps, observations, tactics   Fri Jul 26 2013, 06:39

I realize that it may be tough to fire off those shields but I think they can be nasty just sitting around pouring out the shots from 36"+. Obviously i have no idea how the game panned out exactly but I plan on using the shielxs pure offensively and only if i desperately need to keep it alive would i forgo the shield shots.

Also i know you were faci g a lot of fusion junk but do you think suncannons would have helped considering all the potential extra hits on suits you could have caused? ignore the fact that it would have been extra points.


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PostSubject: Re: A TDC Blog: strategies , unit analysis, batreps, observations, tactics   Fri Jul 26 2013, 13:15


If you tailor a list of course I could have configured mine differently. But his list was not an expected TAC list. I will never use the suncannon. It just costs to much overall and this is the first time I felt I could have used one so no, it is not in my plans. Overall, I have liked the Heavy Wraithcannon load out in my games.

I used the shields just not as aggressively as you suggest. He could pen my Wave Serpents easily by turn two so some caution was required. So my Wave Serpents' had to manage without the extra shots at times. But yes Wave Serpents can down suits.

All that said, I did not play a stellar game. It was a list I was not mentally prepared to take on (this happens). I had not faced four squads of crisis at 1500 before. I was not comfortable with the damage his riptide was capable of with earth caste. He could NOVA at will. It was the combination of all these factors combined that brought me down. Guide and prescience every turn, a unit marked every turn, misfortune when needed on any given turn. Meh. Was not my game
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PostSubject: Re: A TDC Blog: strategies , unit analysis, batreps, observations, tactics   Fri Jul 26 2013, 13:38

Yea that sounds rough, I'd have no idea how to deal with them honestly with my army. I'd have to hope to out assault them...but those flamers would make short work of me except for my heavier hitters.

As for the suncannon, I agree with your thoughts. In lower point games I think that is the right thing to do. Did you try assaulting the suits with the wraithknights. I would think they would beast through them pretty easy.

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PostSubject: Re: A TDC Blog: strategies , unit analysis, batreps, observations, tactics   Sat Jul 27 2013, 01:02

Well, at one point in the game I decided to expend one WK taking out the Riptide (this risked overwatch of course). It was just that the unit was shooting off twelve rending shots a turn and those TL SMS. So nasty. Especially so with prescience. So my isolated WK was shot down by a couple of Crisis squads. And my WK that charged took only one wound. So it did in fact survive the game.

I lost one Wave Serpent when I was a tad over aggressive - that was all it took. My Night Spinner lasted three turns and did some heavy damage though. All in all it was not a total wash. I did have a late chance to draw the game. But it was not to be. I really needed first blood - came close but no cigar. And I really needed line breaker which I managed with my WK.  But he killed my Warlord ... he had plenty of ignore cover ... and grabbed that extra objective. And also had line breaker. Meh.
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PostSubject: Re: A TDC Blog: strategies , unit analysis, batreps, observations, tactics   Sat Jul 27 2013, 13:21

Lists like that tau list make choosing between blasters and heatlances on reavers even harder. Btw when you typed out the list you wrote 4 flamers 4 fusion guns on the crisis, I take it you meant 3.

Flamer/fusion/VRT is a nice laod out, fleet makes them quite fast, but they only successfully hit and run on a 1-2 (because they are I2), meaning assault still ties them up. Very Happy

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PostSubject: Re: A TDC Blog: strategies , unit analysis, batreps, observations, tactics   Sun Jul 28 2013, 00:51

yep. just copied and pasted what he sent me. seems a few errors in the list. not sure that the points are all correct either. he relied on the flamers to discourage assault, lol.

edit: So my final game is over. If you go back one page you will see it was against Nec/CSM ... my post game thoughts ...

First off Necrons are durable. Very durable. Taking out that much AV13 was a pita. My plan however, worked out as I had hoped. I started by doing the DEldar thing ... retreated back a bit after dropping and fired off all my venom weapons and my reavers at his wraiths and then my night spinner and finally had to use my ravager. I got prescience, guide, forewarning (came in handy). So I managed in one turn to take out his warlord and wraith squad. This was actually the game breaker. It got me first and warlord. This proved to be enough to win. Dis I roll well, yes. Did he make saves, not so well. I also needed to remind him that when he moved his barges 12" they snapfire.

On his turn I payed the price as his tesla took out both my venoms. Thankfully i had disembarked my wyches. So it was now up to me to attack. My Spiritseer actually took a barge down with spear ( I prescienced him, lol) and Wraith knights attacked the other two barges. Should have been pretty easy sailing but on his turn a scythes came in and did damage, the Heldrake went for my spinner. This was bad. It meant my Reavers had to now deal with the cultists and my guided prescienced WKs with the 'Drake. I had no venoms left. Or a Spinner. The Heldrake was the primary target and my WKs got TLed and my wyches got forewarned. The Wyches went after a ghost ark.

I will make a long batrep short - I did manage to deal with the 'Drake. I eventually rid myself of th cultists. But at the end of game he scored one more objective then me ... hard to deal with Night Scythes dropping off warriors when the game ends turn six. He also got linebreaker (so did I with a WK). I got one unit of bikes on an objective uncontested. So I pulled out a win from my bag of tricks. Overall I felt a lot less threatened then I did against that Tau list but I could see how the game could easily have gotten away. He was silly with his wraiths ( way to aggressive relying on their saves). He did not target my troops early enough instead going after Spinner, Venom, Rav and WKs. He gave my reavers way too much room to manoeuvre.

So that it is it for now. I'm going to look to get a rematch against that Tau player as well. I'll make a few minor changes and play him at 1850. I'm going to try a little of Shadow's advice ... I'll use a Seer and some Vypers ...

- SeerTaire -

Farseer: Jetbike, Singing Spear, Mantle of Laughing God 160
(this guy multiplies the effectiveness of WKs and Vypers)

2x 10 Dire Avengers, Wave Serpent, TL Scatter Lasers, Holofields, Ghostwalk Matrix 550
10 Guardian Defenders, Scatterlaser, Wave Serpent, TL Bright Lance, Holofields, Ghostwalk Matrix 255
(ghostwalk and move through cover on any speed let's me get aggressive when needed)
2x 3 Windrider Jetbikes, Shuriken Cannon 122
(from reserves of course)

2x 2 Vypers, Bright Lance, Shuriken Cannons 280
(a squad outfitted with a Brightlance each is a highly mobile rear armor force and the fastest heavy hitter in your list)

2x Wraith Knight 480
(pure win against Tau)

- 1847-

He is planning on changing up his list as well. Doh. I get a sick feeling I'm in for it again. I know he has been working on a four Riptide list. He wants to use it for the tournament scene so it will be be a bit tougher list and not as cute. Well my list is a bit more aggressive as well so we will see.

Laissez les bon temps rouler!

- tactical note vypers -

They are generally the most overlooked fast attack slot. Let's begin by noting that bladestorm and BS4 have made them so much better than their previous incarnation. The guns are much cheaper. In fact their BLs are fairly cheap. Warp Spiders and Swooping Hawks are so good that these guys take a second seat. But are they not as competitive. Everyone likes War Walkers do they not. Well, these guys have the similar firepower and are really mobile. They can get rear and side shots, have decent BS, and can reposition with ease. Are they fragile? Well, yes. No denying it. But there are so many other priority targets in the list you only have to keep them safe turn one ( don't want to give up first blood ). But it their speed that makes them a viable slot in your list. They are also a good target for guide ( they and WKs are the only viable targets in my list). Vypers offer tactics War walkers don't, because of their maneuverability. Games are won by more than just shooting. They can line break. They can harass, they have decent firepower and they have jink. Much like reavers they need to be used to be appreciated. Now mine have BLs because I felt I wanted more AT but really star cannon/shuriken cannon might just be a better configuration depending on what you are up against. Against Tau, the brightlance is not as good but I was not tailoring. I wanted the fastest, deadliest, rear armor shot in our codex available to me.


Last edited by egorey on Thu Aug 01 2013, 00:14; edited 4 times in total
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