I wonder, wouldn't it be best if Mandrakes were split into two separate entities? Looking at the profile it is a shooty unit with two CCW attacks. However, the use of the weapon only forces the unit into an unfavourable position. Judging by the profile, it serves two roles but does neither very well.
I was thinking of an "Assassin Pack" that got a decent melee weapon (maybe rending or power weapon) as well as Precision Strikes. However, they lose the Baleblast.
And then there is the "Hunter Pack" that got a Baleblast with improved range as well as precision shots.
On top of that, both packs receive Hit and Run, lose Stealth but gain a 5++ instead. I'd also be in favour of giving them the Jumpjet rule for further mobility (I would argue that teleporting counts as "jumping" as well).
Both packs would be excellent at zooming around, grabbing objectives and they can't be pinned down easily with charges. Furhermore, you can pick shooty targets and kill them with the Assassin pack, or shoot enemy units that want to be in close combat with Hunters.
That idea could further be expanded by adding a third option, maybe resolving around using psychic/anti-psychic powers.
- @Massaen wrote:
- I just find the DE elites to be lack lustre for the most part - not just mandrakes, all of them!
Of couse, it would be weird if you were to field them outside of a Grotesquerie.
Edit: I actually thought further about Mandrakes and it actually boils down to simply the weapons being different. Giving the weapon AP3, Precision Strikes and the Baleblast 24" and Precision Shots would be enough. No need to make separate unit entries. It could even be made possible for a unit to purchase both.