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 How would you change Mandrakes, if at all?

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Tounguekutter
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PostSubject: How would you change Mandrakes, if at all?   Sat Jun 07 2014, 22:38

The Dark Eldar are your every nightmare. And yet, the Dark Eldar fear Mandrakes. I am so frustrated that such beautifully done models like the mandrakes have such a hard time finding their place in even semi-competitive lists. The fluff for them is so neat and I really feel like they more than anything else bring that sort of magical aspect to the dark eldar. Tragically, most of the people I've spoken with agree that there are better units to spend your points on, so the Mandrakes sulk to the shelves. What would do (if anything) to make Mandrakes a more appealing choice for competitive players? If it were up to me I would give them a special rule where they could come from reserves during the assault phase already in base contact with an enemy unit, like they've come out of the enemy's shadows. Instead of their shooty attack right off the bat, their first pain token gives 'em offensive and defensive grenades, then after 2nd pain token they get the shooty attack. To balance things out I would up their points cost and make them limited 1 unit per army, unless you took Kheradruakh, then they would become limited to 1 unit per detachment. I dunno maybe that's crazy I just feel that phil kelly lost a golden opportunity with that unit's rules.

Please keep the posts positive, none of that "that would be too cheesy!" non-sense. I'm looking for opinions and friendly discussion. Also, if you think Mandrakes are competitive please share your strategies!!! Twisted Evil 
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PostSubject: Re: How would you change Mandrakes, if at all?   Sun Jun 08 2014, 00:42

I like the idea of appearing in base contact with something, but it's so far outside of GW's current theme of the rules that I think that's a bit of a pipe dream.

Well, I think if we're going to "fix" them we need to first off understand their weaknesses.

- Lack of assault grenades
- lack of ability to handle armor
- are functionally a better shooting unit than assault unit, which goes against fluff...also is a pain to get them that token.

Solutions...well;

I think an easy solution to issue #2 is simply to give the sarge access to wargear. SImply letting him buy a 10 point power sword or power axe or something would go a long way towards helping the unit. As an alternative, maybe grant the entire unit rending to represent their ability to shift past their opponent's armor? I think that would be fluffy, give them a needed boost to their damage, and not unbalance the unit.

The other two could potentially be combined, by letting the Mandrakes start with a shooting attack, but change the shooting attack to simply make it that if the target is hit (or takes a wound maybe) that they cannot fire overwatch at any Mandrake unit that assaults them in that turn's assault phase. This somewhat accomplishes what the pinning attack was supposed to do for them, except it admits that most armies laugh at pinning tests, and also lets the Mandrakes start with the tool they need to overcome the issue. Another, perhaps simpler solution, is simply to grant them assault grenades. They are an assault unit, after all.

I think those changes alone would not make the Mandrakes a 'must include' but would at least make them a 'functional include' insomuch as I'd tend not to mock people for including them anymore since they could then actually overpower stuff like Long Fangs, Devs, or small units of Lootas, which at the moment...they can't...which is the core purpose of why they're useless. Really, with how dangerous those heavy weapon team units are, and how with Infiltrate nothing is happening till Turn 2 at the earliest, that the Mandrakes really ought to be able to kill 10 Marines on the charge without it being a knockdown blood bath of an attempt. I think those changes accomplish this.

If I was to want to change up their point cost drastically I could think of a lot of things to do to move them closer to their fluff concept, but the above I consider a bare minimum. It still wouldn't even make them good, it just would stop them from being flat out bad.

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PostSubject: Re: How would you change Mandrakes, if at all?   Sun Jun 08 2014, 03:53

Agreed.

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PostSubject: Re: How would you change Mandrakes, if at all?   Sun Jun 08 2014, 10:00

I'd make three very simple changes that I think would make all the difference.

1/ Give the unit champion access to wargear.
2/ ALter the units cover/shadowy rule so that it also provides combat grenades.
3/ Give the entire unit the option of upgrading to Poison weapons. Ok it doesn't help them against armour, but I think the boost to wounding rolls would make all the difference.
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PostSubject: Re: How would you change Mandrakes, if at all?   Sun Jun 08 2014, 16:11

1 and 2 are very close to my call.

For 3 what level of poison are you thinking? 4+ would not help them at all. 3+ or 2+?

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PostSubject: Re: How would you change Mandrakes, if at all?   Mon Jun 09 2014, 02:20

4+ would help them to face monstrous creatures (to finish off what your kabalites started?) and T3 units. Against eldar stationary shooters, tau fire warriors, and some other shooty units here and there it would give them an advantage. I don't know if their role would make the best use of them, however.

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PostSubject: Re: How would you change Mandrakes, if at all?   Mon Jun 09 2014, 16:47

Id like to see them purchased for a unit.

Each warrior (kabalite, wych or Wrack...could be anybody really) has a mandrake riding in their shadow. When in shadow the mandrake cannot be hurt.

In CC they jump out and attack, then return to their carriers shadow. When in CC they can be attacked but only then.

This would work fluff wise...Provided the warriors didn't mind having mandrakes in close proximity to them.

(or the mandrakes not being too proud as to be carted around as baggage, but perhaps they realise its a safe way to get within striking distance of the enemy)

(we might have a rule like bezerk in which the materialised mandrakes get overexited and start hacking at all and sundry.)

Or how about cause fear? they are pretty scary creatures after all
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PostSubject: Re: How would you change Mandrakes, if at all?   Tue Jun 10 2014, 05:10

I'd like to seem then charge after Outflanking...but say, only being able to do so if they appear out of LOS

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PostSubject: Re: How would you change Mandrakes, if at all?   Tue Jun 10 2014, 06:38

I really like the idea of them as a squad upgrade but doubt we will see anything that out there...

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PostSubject: Re: How would you change Mandrakes, if at all?   Fri Jun 13 2014, 01:50

I would go with Rending and also any hits of a 6 deal an additional wound.  Call it vorporal Weapons or something.  We need better than evil looking weapons. Maybe give them invisibility.
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PostSubject: Re: How would you change Mandrakes, if at all?   Fri Jun 13 2014, 03:56

I'd go with rending in close combat and +3 to run (suspiciously like what daemonettes get).
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PostSubject: Re: How would you change Mandrakes, if at all?   Fri Jun 13 2014, 20:32

Rending would be good, also they should have the fear special rule.
Don't think they should have grenades but should not be penalised for charging through cover as they 'phase' through it.
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PostSubject: Re: How would you change Mandrakes, if at all?   Tue Jun 17 2014, 00:20

Wow! These are some great ideas, I'm so glad I through it out there! (Take notes Phil...)

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PostSubject: Re: How would you change Mandrakes, if at all?   Tue Jun 17 2014, 00:48

You should do a series - Lelith would be an excellent follow up thread to this.

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PostSubject: Re: How would you change Mandrakes, if at all?   Tue Jun 17 2014, 01:43

Mandrakes must be changed in the following way:

Deploy them vie Deep Strike or Infiltrate and give them Battle Focus.

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PostSubject: Re: How would you change Mandrakes, if at all?   Wed Jun 18 2014, 01:40

i've posted this a couple of times before but this is still relevent.


From the shadows: Mandrakes leap from the shadows of their prey, not bothering with the intervening space. At the beginning of an assault phase instead of assaulting mandrakes may make a special From the Shadows move. Select an enemy nonvehical unit in line of sight and role 3d6. If the total number is equal to or greater than the distance to their target place the mandrakes into base contact with the target unit. The mandrakes and their target are locked in combat. From The Darkness doesn't count as charging for the purpose of firing overwatch or generating extra attacks.

Icy Aura: When mandrakes rip their way out of the shadow dimension they are accompanied by a bitter cold that seems to freeze reality itself and then shatter it: on the turn a unit of mandrakes makes a successful From the Shadows move the mandrakes have the rending special rule.

One mandrake may be upgraded to a Nightfiend for ten points. The Nightfiend may take any of the following powers.

Altered physic : 10 points: The Nightfiend is an older mandrake who has fed freely over the year: the night fiend starts with a pain token.

Not of This World: 10 points: All mortal things wither at the Nightfiend's touch: the Nightfiend has the flesh bane special rule.

Nightmare Made Manifest: 25 points The Nightfiend is a demon ripped straight from the nightmare of all thinking things so that no living being will turn his gaze upon his terrible visage of their own free will: Nightfiend grants the shrouded special rule.
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PostSubject: Re: How would you change Mandrakes, if at all?   Thu Jun 19 2014, 14:35

Leave Mandrakes as they are, but give them permanent Invisibility. Period.
Being hit with only sixes compensate all their weakness like lack of grenades, anti-armor weapons and so on. Not too cheesy, quite fluffy, point-efficient.

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PostSubject: Re: How would you change Mandrakes, if at all?   Fri Jun 20 2014, 10:21

But then the public would be spared the sight of their cute little featureless faces, their gruesome tattoos and necropants.
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