I was taking a look at Wracks again and trying to think about what they're good at. Essentially it came down to:- They're resilient.
Not like Necrons. Not like Terminators. But more like Space Marines. Sure they lack the armour save but they can be made out to be Fearless very easily, which ensures they stick to any fight they're thrown into. There's also the potential to boost their FNP to 4+.- They have a lot of attacks.
Not like Khorne Berzerkers. Not like Orks. But like Assault Marines. By this I mean: they have one attack base, plus two for bringing their tools to work and a third on the charge. Not bad; 30 attacks on the charge!- They're cheap.
Not like Gretchins, but same points value as Plaguebearers, which is 5 points less than a Space Marine!
They're not great. But they're not horrible. And hell, they even had the heart to volunteer for the position! Let's at least start by giving them a medal of recognition for their efforts.
And let's also remember that they're 5 points cheaper than an Assault Marine while being as resilient (as a Fearless unit, because they won't run away), and they put out as much hurt as Assault Marines.
Granted: Assault Marines aren't all that great either, but there are a few ways that I'd use them for:1. Holding Opponents in Place.
You could use them to hold a unit down until something bigger and scarier can take over (stole this from the Tyranids playbook). This is similar to the role of a tarpit, but tarpits generally shut units down for the entirety of the game. What I'm talking about here is a unit that temporarily holds an opposing unit in place until something like a unit of Grotesques can move in for the kill, and as you'll soon see they're a fair match for Tactical Marines as well. Consider the following:Round-1:
-- 10x Wracks Assault 10x Tactical Marines
-- 10x Wracks charge 10x Tactical Marines; 1 dies to Overwatch
-- 9x Wracks kill 3x Marines; 10x Marines kill 2 Wracks
-- 7x Wracks kill 1 Marine; 7x Marines kill 1 Wrack
-- 6x Wracks kill 1 Marine; 6x Marines kill 1 Wrack
-- 5x Wracks kill 1 Marine; 5x Marines kill 1 Wrack
-- And so on..
So what's been happening all this time? Other units of Wracks bogging down other units of Marines? Grotesques joining the fight? Wyches moving in to potentially make themselves useful? Jetbikes grabbing objectives? If you're asault 10x Marines with 10x Wracks, your opponent is paying 40 more points for his/her unit than you are. Not bad! 2. Slowing hordes.
I've long been a fan of the idea of taking a unit of Assault Marines, giving them a drop-pod, as many flamers as possible and dropping them as close as possible to an advancing horde. The idea here isn't that they'll survive, but rather that you can weaken (using flamer templates) and speed-bump a more expensive (and larger) unit. The weakness here is that you're paying 10 more points than it'd cost a Marine player to pull off the same trick (if you're delivering them in a Raider), however
given that our f[r]iends can be Fearless, there's still that extra bonus of (once again) being resilient enough to hold the opponent down for a turn if you're not the one to assault them (although they could just shoot you to death). They're not the best in this role but hey -- it's something
My conclusion is that what Wracks are really good for, is acting like Termagants: holding the opponent in place until something bigger and scarier can bring the pain. For that reason I think that two units of 10 could be useful if you have other units to back them up such as Grotesques, a Dark Artisan Formation, Harlequins, Craftworld Eldar, etc.