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 Old Archon Discusses...Webway Portals

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Thor665
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PostSubject: Old Archon Discusses...Webway Portals   Wed Jan 01 2014, 09:21


Pull up a chair there, young bloods, inject some combat drugs and try not to overdose, no armor can help you there, and welcome back to Old Archon Discusses… wherein I reminisce about the mysteries of the Dark Eldar because so few of you are old enough to remember us from back in our ancient birth in...3rd edition.

Tonight Old Archon is going to discuss...Why Webway Portals are considered overpowered!

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


I don’t think it should come as a shock to any of you that as Editions change so does the scope and shape of the game change with them. Many of you deride the ‘deadly vehicle explosions’ of 6th edition, comparing them to the luxury pleasure barges we had in 5th, unaware that in 4th and 3rd edition the more appropriate term for a Raider was ‘flying coffin’

Yes, the ancient days of 3rd and 4th edition, what were those like? Well, let me give you a quick reverse rundown of the editions and maybe give you an idea;

6th Edition – Our current ruleset. Flyers are the hot new thing, vehicles are considered weaker, people claim footslogging is back in!

5th Edition – Vehicles have been made gawd on earth! Oh lords, do you see this? You can move around and shoot stuff…*from inside your vehicle*! When a vehicle is destroyed, the squad basically just pops out and keeps shooting! There is no reason to get out anymore! Mech and mech assault is king!!! Sure would be cool if foot armies were viable or we could field jets or something…

4th Edition – Hey, that’s kinda cool, the Starter set came with a mini rulebook! And, hey, vehicles got better, though you probably don’t want to stay in them too long because when they blow up it’s bad for your squad. Probably need to run less transports but more tanks now, as they’re almost unkillable. What’s ever going to kill my Landraider now? Nothing, that’s what, glance away – FOOLS! Hahahaha! Shooting is king, who would ever want to assault ever!?! No one, that’s who! Oh, wait, I just realized, under new shooting rules Necrons are basically invincible and their Monolith *is* invincible. Stand aside Eldar Falcon, there is a new master of the game – we shall win by sitting in the center of the board behind our impervious wall of Monolith!

3rd Edition – Oh man, look at this, one rulebook with sweet new art and sleek design, and I’ve got all the armies listed here in it and at my fingertips, this is awesome! I guess I need to buy some tanks or something. What’s this, transports? That’s cool, I loved Rhino Rush back in second and…oh m’gawd, those things are death traps if they die, and even regular guns can pretty much glance them till they explode in a fireball of utter death and destruction. To hell with that, let’s footslog! Kiddy-K is the bomb, I don’t care what those old fog heads who liked 2nd edition say, and I am going to play this new army…Dark Eldar, yeah, I’m an evil elf…in Spaaaaaaace!

And that is the accurate and unbiased view.


Wait….I was talking about WWPs, wasn’t I? That’s right. Sorry, Old Archon gets confused sometimes. I’d take some more drugs, but these new-fangled drug dispensers only do one at a time. It’s nonsensical I say!

So, in any case, back in 3rd edition you won pretty much by fielding a foot based army, maybe some tanks, and mostly just having Termies walk up the center of the board killing everything in sight. Marine Tac squads were also all the rage, being near unkillable, and the new Blood Angel business was making most people politely mess their drawers as Space Marines actually *wanted* to get into assault and would then proceed to stomp everything into a fine paste beneath their crimson boots.

It was also a period when you could assault someone, and if you wiped out the squad, you could then consolidate…INTO ANOTHER UNIT AND ASSAULT THEM NEXT TURN! Yeah, how do you think gunline armies liked that? (Hint: not very much) One of the core strategies at the time was called ‘rolling the line’ wherein you basically dropped something like Khorne Berserkers on one end of a gunline, and then watched as they strolled from squad to squad, smashing face from one end of the board to the other.

So, lots of people on foot, and a lot of risk to gunlines.

Now…if only there was an army that perhaps had some really good assault units, and could manage to somehow get them across the board without being shot much, and then proceed to stomp face…


Yeah…well…about that.

Back then WWPs were different, they cost more, but there were three rather big differences;

1. Units could assault out of them.
2. When you rolled reserve and got a unit, and it was in a WWP and there was no open WWP…then it waited, and came in once a WWP was available.
3. Vehicles could come through them.

So, yeah, the basic strategy was this; take two HQs (Haems in Raiders or on Jetbikes were possible. I did it a lot with an Archon on a Jetbike as well since, thanks to his escort and Shadowfield he was basically unkillable) shoot up one of the flanks and open a WWP right by the slow footslogging enemy. Then unleash a wave of Talos, Wyches, Incubi, and Ravagers right into the enemy lines in a devastating alpha/beta/gamma/epsilon/omega strike of awesome.


It looked something like this

Not a lot of armies could deal with that, and it was legit considered a serious contender build at the time. It was risky, because if the WWP carriers were killed prior to their opening a portal then everything in the portal was also considered dead. Still, it was fast, it was nasty, and it basically took away the Space Marine’s bolters, turned them sideways, and inserted them up their rectums (do SMs have rectums in the fluff? I forget…we probably made some if not)


And that’s the WWP, one of the best things at the time.

Y’know, until 4th edition rolled around and people started meching up again and the Necrons became basically unstoppable. You can whine all you like about Heldrakes, they are still easier to kill than a Monolith back in the day – that sucker was literally invincible to us.

Then 5th came up, making mech even better, and though assault became good again, it was silly to ever expect to assault anything without mech assault being an aspect of it. Also, we needed the mech to help pop things out of transports and to help us survive, since you couldn’t just waltz up through an army bouncing from assault to assault anymore.

The problem is, when GW got around to updating things, I’m guessing the game developers remembered 3rd, and maybe(?) were looking ahead at 6th with the (insane) belief that footslogging was going to be a thing.

So they nerf batted the WWP.

Then, y’know, with all the people still spamming tourney grade WWP lists [/sarcasm] they nerf batted it again when 6th hit the shelves.

And will probably keep nerf batting it for the foreseeable future. Because at one time, it was a power build.

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

And that is the reason why it’s not likely that anytime soon are we going to see WWPs available for anything resembling competitive builds. Because, probably at some point in 3rd edition Old Archon (or some other Old Archon) got ahold of some GW employees and scrub stomped their precious Sphees Weeinies with some WWP action and laughed in their face as they described specifically which members of the fallen Marines were being dragged back to Commoragh to serve in the Arenas for our amusement (as you do).

Competitive Webway Portals.
Old Archon remembers...

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commandersasha
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PostSubject: Re: Old Archon Discusses...Webway Portals   Wed Jan 01 2014, 15:03

Another great article Thor, I am a relative newcomer to the game (just got in before 5th came out), so am always interested in the development of the fluff, crunch and background.
Quote :
(do SMs have rectums in the fluff?)
Although most humans DO have their rectums in the fluff, I'm pretty sure that the Black Carapace renders their bodies hairless. (Apart from Space Wolves, who probably have really hairy buttocks.)
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PostSubject: Re: Old Archon Discusses...Webway Portals   Wed Jan 01 2014, 15:37

Ah,The good old days. Makes me want to build a list with a WWP. And I also agree that the old drug Despensers where far better and more flexible than the new "safe" ones...

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PostSubject: Re: Old Archon Discusses...Webway Portals   Wed Jan 01 2014, 18:43

Back in 5th I ran a pure Webway list with mass Wyches, Reavers, and Talos coming through. It was great fun. Most people didn't know how to deal with it. Should they move up and block it off? Or sit back and let the units come through (sometimes piecemeal) I would often drop one close to my home board edge and as far forward as possible, so if they blocked that one off, my Reserves can come onto the board edge and still be effective.

I was rather disappointed with the rules and the FAQ on not allowing to assault out of the Webway Portal.

To be honest, with Beasts and the ability to assault up to 12'' I can see why they didn't allow it. It would be awesome and I miss my old army as I spent a lot of money to build it and make it functional.
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PostSubject: Re: Old Archon Discusses...Webway Portals   Thu Jan 02 2014, 00:00

Thanks for the enjoyable read. Actually made me stop and think about some alternate WWP builds, even if just for fun games.
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PostSubject: Re: Old Archon Discusses...Webway Portals   Thu Jan 02 2014, 17:21

good article as always Thor. Also the mono wasnt "that" bad. Atleast we still had haywire grenades. Every other army had to use crappy lascannons Very Happy

Also wasnt it 4th or 3rd when scouting BA tacts in rhinos was king??? that was the worse. Atleast then their vehicles were coffins, but man did I hate T1 charges after double tapping tacticals

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Thor665
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PostSubject: Re: Old Archon Discusses...Webway Portals   Thu Jan 02 2014, 19:54

Ah yes, hawires against a monolith...because that worked... Wink I also slapped it with Agonisers too, just to show them who was boss.

My recollection was the reign of BloOMGWTF Angels was late 3rd, and probably some of 4th before shooting became king. That was back when I was still running Wolves Very Happy

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PostSubject: Re: Old Archon Discusses...Webway Portals   Fri Jan 03 2014, 00:23

I actually miss fifth...I have so many wyches and WWPs that just seem so lonely now...
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PostSubject: Re: Old Archon Discusses...Webway Portals   Fri Jan 03 2014, 10:08

My favourite tactic from the old Codex: The Suicide Haemonculus. One Haemonculus, Webway Portal, Shadowfield. Everything else is reserve.

I say favourite not because it worked so well, but because it was an all or nothing play that I found extremely amusing. Just sending that only little guy hurtling at my opponent, dodging from cover to cover with his desperate little save just trying to get to his best place for opening up the portal and unleashing the rest of the army (usually with plenty of Incubi and Taloses......Tali......whatever).
This did actually work once, against an Eldar army which at the time, amongst the group I played with, had been fairly powerful and annoyingly undefeated for a while. The little Haemonculus made his run from building to building and survived far more Shadowfield saves than he should have before planting his portal right in front of the Eldar (but is a sensible location where it couldn't be surrounded). Of course by then everything was ready for deployment as well, so the army bundled out and tore through anything they found.
Ah, good times.

I miss when Webway Portals were useful.

And Haemonculi could take them, and Shadowfields......
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PostSubject: Re: Old Archon Discusses...Webway Portals   Fri Jan 03 2014, 10:54

Nice Squidmaster
But we could only have one shadowfield, and my archon usually stole that for himself (that greedy overlord of my cabal)

I used to put my wwp on syberites or some other champions, and kept, my archon and some wyches in the webway. I was young and filled the raiders to the brim with incubis and wyches, so the wwp was "the thing" in my army that allowed my archon to se combat. Try putting down a raider with 300+ pts of cc monsters hope your opponent shoot something else? :p

Once aging Thor665 a wonderful article of nostalgia, thank you.
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Thor665
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PostSubject: Re: Old Archon Discusses...Webway Portals   Fri Jan 03 2014, 16:08

Reactions like this definitely tell me GW should try to have the WWP be "any good at all" again. There is a lot of love for that army design.

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PostSubject: Re: Old Archon Discusses...Webway Portals   Fri Jan 03 2014, 20:19

This old Haemi does miss the good ol' webway portals... Sad 
Great read as always.  Twisted Evil 

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PostSubject: Re: Old Archon Discusses...Webway Portals   Fri Jan 03 2014, 20:28

@Thor665 wrote:
2. When you rolled reserve and got a unit, and it was in a WWP and there was no open WWP…then it waited, and came in once a WWP was available.

Wasn't that only if you used it in scenarios that did not usually allow for reserves?

@Thor665 wrote:

Reactions like this definitely tell me GW should try to have the WWP be "any good at all" again. There is a lot of love for that army design.

They will, you'll see Smile

Does this mean that you are keen on a new codex?
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Thor665
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PostSubject: Re: Old Archon Discusses...Webway Portals   Fri Jan 03 2014, 20:43

@Barking Agatha wrote:
Wasn't that only if you used it in scenarios that did not usually allow for reserves?
Nope - you were either in WWP reserve or in regular reserve and had to state as such prior to game start.

@Barking Agatha wrote:
They will, you'll see Smile

Does this mean that you are keen on a new codex?
No, I'm pretty sure any new codex will just contain a lot of things that bug me or another story about how five Space Marines outsmarted Vect at chess one day. They'll also probably invalidate a few more of my models just for yucks.

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PostSubject: Re: Old Archon Discusses...Webway Portals   Fri Jan 03 2014, 20:54

@Thor665 wrote:
@Barking Agatha wrote:
Wasn't that only if you used it in scenarios that did not usually allow for reserves?
Nope - you were either in WWP reserve or in regular reserve and had to state as such prior to game start.

@Barking Agatha wrote:
They will, you'll see Smile

Does this mean that you are keen on a new codex?
No, I'm pretty sure any new codex will just contain a lot of things that bug me or another story about how five Space Marines outsmarted Vect at chess one day. They'll also probably invalidate a few more of my models just for yucks.
While I wouldn't take the chess-game seriously, I am a bit afraid of what they could do to the models if we get a new codex!
Like what happened to poor dire avengers... they didn't even have to make them look uglier!  Sad 
Still... new rules plus maybe some interesting units (such as functional mandrakes) and working but not OP webway-portals would be great!
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PostSubject: Re: Old Archon Discusses...Webway Portals   Fri Jan 03 2014, 22:08

@Thor665 wrote:
@Barking Agatha wrote:
Wasn't that only if you used it in scenarios that did not usually allow for reserves?
Nope - you were either in WWP reserve or in regular reserve and had to state as such prior to game start.

Well... if you say so. Was that from FAQs?

@Barking Agatha wrote:
They will, you'll see Smile

Does this mean that you are keen on a new codex?
@Thor665 wrote:
No, I'm pretty sure any new codex will just contain a lot of things that bug me or another story about how five Space Marines outsmarted Vect at chess one day. They'll also probably invalidate a few more of my models just for yucks.

I doubt it. Blind pessimism isn't any better than blind optimism, and it's bad for your digestion! Wink
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Thor665
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PostSubject: Re: Old Archon Discusses...Webway Portals   Fri Jan 03 2014, 22:38

@Barking Agatha wrote:
Well... if you say so. Was that from FAQs?
It was.
I even still have the FAQ in question, if you'd like to see the wording;

DE FAQ wrote:
Q. Can you clarify how the webway portal works?
A. If the Dark Eldar player holds any units in reserve, he must specify if they are going to enter
the game through a webway portal or follow the normal reserve rules. If Dark Eldar units that are
using the portal have not arrived yet and all models carrying a portal are destroyed before
deploying it, these units count as destroyed. When the Webway portal is in position, it acts as a
gate through which your ‘special’ reserves can enter the table. These models move onto the
table from the portal marker, measuring from its edge as they would if they entered the table
normally. The normal rules regarding enemy in proximity apply, notably that you cannot come
within 1” of an enemy model except during an assault. This means that, if enemy models
surround the portal, then models cannot use it to enter the table, except for skimmers, jump packs,
jetbikes and other models that can move over other models. Units may not partially enter play
using the portal nor may they charge through it. The moral of the tale is that you should defend
the portal until you have used it and not simply abandon it in the middle of the enemy.

I saved it because...I'm OCD... Embarassed 

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PostSubject: Re: Old Archon Discusses...Webway Portals   Sat Jan 04 2014, 19:25

I stand in awe! Smile
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