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 Eldar Ranger vs DE Mandrakes, who comes out top?

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dangerous beans
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PostSubject: Eldar Ranger vs DE Mandrakes, who comes out top?   Sat Jan 25 2014, 03:59

So, in my ongoing research to develop my 2 campaign armies (click HERE if you'd like to see the ideas vs composition rules) it is a pre-requisite to include an Infiltration unit if you have access to one.

As we have 2 available to us (ignoring Special Characters), which do you feel is a better overall points investment?

Of course a bit of list building factoring can be accounted for, for example I think that sizeable units of Mandrakes (8-10) can actually prove to be very effective when joined by a Pain token bearing Haemonculus. The Str4 AP4 Assault 2 weapons aren't bad for an 18" range unit with an invulnerable save.

They aren't the greatest at combat (thanks grenade options/equivalents) but they outdo rangers. They do require a list to be built around them for this however and only have half the range of rangers.

Rangers on the other hand are far cheaper and can wound units on a 4+ and have the chance for rending too. I don't think that the Pathfinder upgrade that Illic brings is worth it but as a small cheap scoring unit (another plus that mandrakes lack) Rangers have a certain something to bring to the field. They can also be left alone quite far from the action (36" to be exact) preferably on a far flung objective.

The mandrakes are better as all-rounders however but to do this their cost must be offset further by the 'Pain Token tax'. However it isn't too hard for a Haemonculi to join the unit and then leave them (and the pain token) to rejoin some wracks etc.

Overall I rate
- Mandrakes: 3/10 (no Haemonculi) and 7/10 (with Pain Token)
- Rangers (6/10) due to their BS4 single shot weapons and AP6, scoring unit is one of their best attributes however.

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doomseer11b
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PostSubject: Re: Eldar Ranger vs DE Mandrakes, who comes out top?   Sat Jan 25 2014, 04:21

I never thought I would say this but I think I would rather go with the mandrakes. First off, not many people know what they are or what they can really do, (or not do  Very Happy ). I dont see how theyre that much more expensive than pathfinders. In fact, I dont have my codex with me, but I thought rangers were 19 points a model. I could be very wrong. Also, I dont see rangers being all that effective without ILLIC the 145 point tax plus the extra upgrade for all the nifty stuff they do. I think mandrakes would be better as you can use them for a threat unit, problem is they will most likely get shot to death, however, that is less shooting at your other stuff and if you go to ground youre getting a decent cover save with stealth. You can outflank them if need be, something you cant do with rangers (you can, but why would you), S4 hits arent bad, which means they can at least SOMEWHAT defend themselves if they get in close combat. Something rangers CANT do. I would rather use the mandrakes just as a distraction unit. They will die, and arent scoring true. Pathfinders MAY or may not die, and are scoring. Problem is with that, they really are stuck where theyre at when you deploy them cuz when you move them, you kind of lose the only thing they bring to the table. As for the scoring aspect, we have the ability to bring tons of scoring units for pretty cheap, i would leave it to us (DE) for that and bring the mandrakes as i feel they are more flexible and diverse. This all being that you HAVE to bring something that inflitrates lol, if you didnt i would say more trueborn.

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PostSubject: Re: Eldar Ranger vs DE Mandrakes, who comes out top?   Sat Jan 25 2014, 05:03

For those that may remember, I think my preference for mandrakes is well documented (and I think its searchable throughout this forum somewhere...) That being said, the one thing I noticed is that I've had to up their model count more recently from 7 to 9 in a standard unit.
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PostSubject: Re: Eldar Ranger vs DE Mandrakes, who comes out top?   Sat Jan 25 2014, 05:26

Scoring unit wins for me these days. Mandrakes don't hit hard enough and require to much support to be viable. Rangers lead the way!

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Evil Space Elves
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PostSubject: Re: Eldar Ranger vs DE Mandrakes, who comes out top?   Sat Jan 25 2014, 06:51

Massaen wrote:
Scoring unit wins for me these days. Mandrakes don't hit hard enough and require to much support to be viable. Rangers lead the way!

Precisely my thinking as well. Scoring unit with sniper rifles to put a bit of distance between their T3 fragility and the enemy vs. an Elite unit that needs to kill a unit in cc in order to gain a decent shooting attack. I'll go option one every day, twice on Sunday.

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PostSubject: Re: Eldar Ranger vs DE Mandrakes, who comes out top?   Sat Jan 25 2014, 10:03

this is about as no-brainer as it comes really:
60pts for an allied troops choice or more for a pretty screwy combat unit?
troops any day, its a pretty cheap farseer tax.
Snipers themselves aren't very good unless your board is littered with MC's, but with a bit of support they can plink wounds off riptides and wraithknights etc which isnt too bad for their cost.
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PostSubject: Re: Eldar Ranger vs DE Mandrakes, who comes out top?   Mon Jan 27 2014, 07:12

Rangers are far better at anything the Mandrakes could hope to accomplish. You do not take them for their rifles, oh no... it's their shuriken pistols coupled with Battle Focus that make them formidable. I cannot even count how much more I have killed with pistols instead of the rifles now. AP2 autowound on 6s is very, very powerful. Even in close combat, they'll do approximately the same as Mandrakes with much smaller points cost.

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PostSubject: Re: Eldar Ranger vs DE Mandrakes, who comes out top?   Tue Jan 28 2014, 02:41

Intriguing Siticus! I'd never thought of that tactic before! How many do you field in a unit? I can't see your justification for their performance in combat however.

I don't consider Mandrakes as a combat unit and I think that anyone imagining that they're for that purpose is not using them correctly. They need a Haemonculus for the PT but once they have it, 12 - 20 S4 AP4 18" assault shots from a unit with a 4+ or 3+ cover save isn't too shabby for 15pts. Of course you have to pay the Haemonculus tax, but if your Haemie is going for the fairly wacky Hex Rifle then I think that the unit could have potential for guarding a small scoring unit sat on an objective in the centre of the battlefield...

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PostSubject: Re: Eldar Ranger vs DE Mandrakes, who comes out top?   Mon Feb 03 2014, 13:42

We actually have 3 infiltrating units- Striking Scorpions! And they rock better than either of the other options.
Also, if you join a Haemonculus to the Mandrakes they won't be able to infiltrate.
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PostSubject: Re: Eldar Ranger vs DE Mandrakes, who comes out top?   Mon Feb 03 2014, 14:30

I've always been intrigued by Striking Scorpions - what do you feel makes them so great? The mandrakes being infiltrating about 12" from the edge of our lines preferably near an objective that your opponent will clearly go for and the haemonculus (in a transport) moves up and joins them with his hex rifle. The unit then goes about firing off its S4 Ap4 assault 2 weapons and makes a general pain of itself. Your opponent will have to neutralise the target in order to claim the objective and thus gives you a predictable element to the game for you to tactically find solutions against.

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PostSubject: Re: Eldar Ranger vs DE Mandrakes, who comes out top?   Tue Feb 04 2014, 07:44

Scorpions are very good. With blade storm on the pistols, assault grenades, move through cover and an I6 power fist they are solid for sure. Add in a 3+ save and stealth and they are durable as well. In context to the eldar book they are good, against ours they are great!

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PostSubject: Re: Eldar Ranger vs DE Mandrakes, who comes out top?   Mon Feb 17 2014, 19:10

Just to add to Mandrakes,

I use a webway portal with fast attack flying out which works wonderfully. However, so that the Hammy is not just sitting their with some wracks I've experimented with having some mandrakes come out and they and hammy get the raider (or another raider which deposited warriors somewhere in the mid-field) for a nice gun boat. Vehicle explosion is not much of a tax with a 5++/re-roll and stealth in vehicle wreckage makes for a nice defensive position.

So far, I've only played three games with this and once it worked wonders (ap4 for the win), one time they were alright to good (lots of shots -- but against power armor, not much better than a splinter rifle) and a third time the mandrakes didn't arrive until turn 4 and were kinda wasted points.

Not exactly competitive, but fun when it works.
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PostSubject: Re: Eldar Ranger vs DE Mandrakes, who comes out top?   Wed Feb 19 2014, 13:58

I like your concept there Athalkar - will have to try that one! Very Happy

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