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 A few questions from a wanna-be Archon

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misfratz
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PostSubject: A few questions from a wanna-be Archon   A few questions from a wanna-be Archon I_icon_minitimeWed Nov 23 2011, 18:36

Greetings. I believe that I may have fallen for the dark side, and be on the verge of starting a Dark Eldar army. Naturally, after reading some of the excellent threads on this forum, I have some questions...

Hellions - On the face of it these are an excellent unit, but people seem not to think that, deeming them only viable with the addition of Baron Sathonyx. Why is this? As far as I can see they are almost as good at shooting as Scourges, but can also fight in close combat, having hellglaives and combat drugs. What's not to like?

Shredders - I appreciate that they're useless at taking down armour compared to the blaster, but I would have thought that in most warrior squads, where you're going to be wanting to make the most of the anti-infantry capability of the splinter rifle, it would be nice to have a blast template that mostly wounds on a 2. However, the forum consensus seems to be to use the more expensive blaster. Do you often end up using the blaster to take down enemy tanks, wasting the splinter rifle fire?

Trueborn, Bloodbrides, and small units of five - Part of me thinks that these elite units are ideal in small numbers in a venom [who wouldn't want twin splinter cannons too?], but I can't decide about it. Five T3 models just don't seem capable of doing too much. I've read thor's [I think it was his] excellent post on choosing unit sizes, which seemed to conclude that any unit size was viable depending on what you want to do with the unit, but there was one aspect that was, I think, missed.

If you have smaller units, you have more units, and this means your pain tokens are spread more thinly, and affect fewer models at any one time. With larger units each pain token affects more models, and you're more likely to end up stacking pain tokens. So there seems a fairly even trade off between pain token concentration and bringing more vehicles/units to the battle.

On the other hand, I think a ten-strong unit of these elites would be pretty expensive, and so provide far too easy a target for your opponent. What to do?

Other thoughts - A couple of big things that I noticed about the codex were the complete lack of a flamer-type weapon, so no negating of cover saves, and no power fists either. How does this affect the army?
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Local_Ork
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PostSubject: Re: A few questions from a wanna-be Archon   A few questions from a wanna-be Archon I_icon_minitimeWed Nov 23 2011, 19:03

Hellions - dunno, they are rather ok. Good shooting, good assault, speed - kinda like Ork Warbikers (I use those as Troops despite fact they require overcosted Wazdakka)

Shredders - it's more because You want AT and AI in unit (or at least be really good in one of this thing). It's called duality. Shredder is ok, however it take place of Blaster... Also, if You buy 5 Warriors with Blaster and Blast Pistol in Venom, You get broken unit. Anything, especially Mech Marines hate those guys (basically they can annihilate most units from nearly 30")

TB, BB, x5 - 5 is magic number in 40k. You need two casualities (40%) to make LD test and 3 to be below 50%. Also unit/upgrades costs etc. end with either 5 or 0.
Basically, 40k math is on elemantary school level, if not "kindergarden" so 5 "is good".
As for having Multiple Small Units (MSU), ruleset supports that type of army. It screws big, expensive units by beeing forced to attack only tiny bit of your army. It allow Your "tiny bits" to spread and fight enemy "tiny bits" as well as focus on big units. Basically it adds tactical flexibility.
Also some attacks (like exploding vehicles or blasts) hit "fixed" ammount of members, so more You have = more will die.
Of course more members in unit is also positive.
You need to find happy medium between minimum and maximum.
For example 5 Blaster/BPistol Warriors in Venom. Or 10 Warriors in Raider, with Blaster and SC.
Basically, think (and test) what You need in unit.

Other things - well, we have probably best flamers in game. Liquifiers most time have AP 3-4 and negate cover, so they are PERFECT weapon vs. Marines. They can be stick in any unit via Haemonculus or found in "coven" units. Also You get "free" FNP with them so You actually can get close in one piece.
And yes, they are even better than Assault Heavy Flamers that cost 5 points (Ork Skorchas)
As for Power Fists... I play with Orks so I can value good Power Klaw. DE don't need it. We have Haywire/Lance AT and FAST PWs that work better than Fists (I think only Orks take them in big quantities due to already poor initiative and fact we just don't have anything better).

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Thor665
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PostSubject: Re: A few questions from a wanna-be Archon   A few questions from a wanna-be Archon I_icon_minitimeWed Nov 23 2011, 20:07

@misfratz wrote:
Hellions - On the face of it these are an excellent unit, but people seem not to think that, deeming them only viable with the addition of Baron Sathonyx. Why is this? As far as I can see they are almost as good at shooting as Scourges, but can also fight in close combat, having hellglaives and combat drugs. What's not to like?
A couple of things.
1. They are expensive.
2. They are not actually all that good at killing Marines.
3. They lack assault grenades and so attack at I 1 (a pretty glaring sign of a wtf assault unit, and the main reason Sathypants is considered a must as he provides grenades)
4. They're really easy to kill - T3, 4+ cover save or 5+ armor. Again, Sathypants is used because he gives them a better cover save.
5. They do two things (shooting and assault) fairly well (in truth, they are much better at shooting than they are assaulting) but they don't do either all that well. For the cost of a big mob of Hellions you can basically afford Warriors in Venoms who do the shooting better, and provide anti-tank (always needed) and can go and get much better assault via a dedicated assault unit.

As such, they're considered fairly meh on a grand competitive scale, though they have many fans who do play them competitively and swear by them - I usually find them underpar in every way that matters though.

Quote :
Shredders - I appreciate that they're useless at taking down armour compared to the blaster, but I would have thought that in most warrior squads, where you're going to be wanting to make the most of the anti-infantry capability of the splinter rifle, it would be nice to have a blast template that mostly wounds on a 2. However, the forum consensus seems to be to use the more expensive blaster. Do you often end up using the blaster to take down enemy tanks, wasting the splinter rifle fire?
The sad truth is, a splinter rifle kills fairly close to what a shredder will kill.
Meanwhile, our army has substandard anti-mech shooting and *always* needs more ways to hurt tanks.

Also, the Blaster is still pretty darn excellent to shoot at infantry, as it eats through MEQ armor or multi-wound models fairly nicely, whereas the Shredder does not. Everything the Shredder does is done easier and better by plain rifles or S.Cannons, therefore it's not really needed.

Quote :
Trueborn, Bloodbrides, and small units of five - Part of me thinks that these elite units are ideal in small numbers in a venom [who wouldn't want twin splinter cannons too?], but I can't decide about it. Five T3 models just don't seem capable of doing too much.
It depends on what you need the unit to do. Assault units (like Bloodbrides) will indeed suffer for being smaller though sometimes this doesn't matter. Shooting units (like Warriors) tend to be made stronger by splitting them up into small units, especially if your purpose in buying Warriors is to get more Venoms or Blasters on the field, at that stage anything north of 5 Warriors is a waste of points.

Quote :
I've read thor's [I think it was his] excellent post on choosing unit sizes, which seemed to conclude that any unit size was viable depending on what you want to do with the unit, but there was one aspect that was, I think, missed.

If you have smaller units, you have more units, and this means your pain tokens are spread more thinly, and affect fewer models at any one time. With larger units each pain token affects more models, and you're more likely to end up stacking pain tokens. So there seems a fairly even trade off between pain token concentration and bringing more vehicles/units to the battle.
I'm glad you liked the article Very Happy

Yeah, pain tokens functionally help "more" if on a bigger squad. But, even with FNP DE are pretty easy to kill, and the real goal is usually to try to amp what DE are good at (causing damage) then to try and shore up what they're weak at (absorbing damage).

Also, a lot of the time the pain token is meaningless. FNP is great, FC is good for assault units, fearless is actually usually a negative effect. So you have to ask yourself what you really need/want from those pain tokens before you adjust your unit sizes to benefit from them. I personally think the core belief (big assault, small shooty) already has everything you need from pain tokens as far as concentrating them in units.

Quote :
Other thoughts - A couple of big things that I noticed about the codex were the complete lack of a flamer-type weapon, so no negating of cover saves, and no power fists either. How does this affect the army?
Liquifier is one of the best flamers in the game - we have them, and they are great.
Power fists are usually brought for two reasons;
1. to manage to wound something with high toughness/armor saves
2. to cause ID to multi wound models.

Our entire army is basically poison, so #1 doesn't matter.
We are a little weak on 2, but I don't see it as a big thing - we spam a lot of AP2 Str 8 shooting, which usually handles all of our 'must cause ID' needs.
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Tiri Rana
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PostSubject: Re: A few questions from a wanna-be Archon   A few questions from a wanna-be Archon I_icon_minitimeWed Nov 23 2011, 21:18

Hi, nice that you found your way here.

Hellions - Hellions on their own are a good unit. They are good shooters and good in cc. Their problem is not their abilities, but their competition. They have one to four shots less than scourges. Can't take anything cappable of AT-fire, are slower than reavers and don't hit as hard in CC, as beastmasters. On top of all that, they are fragile. All in all, it's just a 5+. When combined with the baron they become troops, what makes them more competetive, but they still suffer from fragility and competition. They have less range than warriors, and are worse in cc, than wyches. Additionally, they are now the most expensive troop choice, instead of a cheap FA.
When all is said and done, they are a mediocre unit, that is good at much, but excells at none. And that's their weakness.
If I want a unit that excells at killing badly armored infantry in CC, I take wyches or wracks.
If I want longrange shooting, I take Warriors.
If I want something really fast, I take reavers.

Shredders - The problem is, that shredders don't give anything, you can't get better or chaeper. Splinter rifles are eiter 24" one shot or 12" two shots. Shredders are 12" one blast, that's two hits average. So no great bonus here, rather a downgrade, because of range. Additionally blasters aren't useless against infantry, they are even pretty good against MEQ or TEQ units.
If we take a look at our options, we see, that we have more than enough anti-infantry firepower, while lacking solid anti-tank choices. So it seems natural to take every possible anti-tank gun, we can.

Trueborn, Bloodbrides, and small units of five - Trueborn excell in five man units, since their weapon choices are either 4 or 2, so most of the time additional models are dead weight. Exception here are splinter cannons, that complement splinter rifles or shard carbines.
Bloodbrides, on the other hand, like wyches, win most of more models, because they are CC oriented.

About pain tokens, I think it depends. CC oriented units win by having two pain tokens, so of course I'd rather have one unit with two tokens, than two with one token. With a shooting unit, like warriors or trueborn, I'd rather have two units with one token, than the other way round. Units that specialise in shooting are IMHO maxed out with one token, so they don't suffer much from having more competition around.

Other thoughts - As LocalOrk said, we don't lack flamers, we have probably the best. And while we lack powerfists, I'd like to say, that we'd suffer more by taking one, than having none. We have agonisers, that do an excellent job at killing high toughness models and a couple of instant death weapons, for MCs. Against armor, we could use some upgrades, but haywire grenades are good enough for me. Our high initative is one of our greatest strengths and to be true, I think that strength 6 (doubled 3) isn't too good, at killing vehicles or instant deathing MCs anyway.

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misfratz
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PostSubject: Re: A few questions from a wanna-be Archon   A few questions from a wanna-be Archon I_icon_minitimeThu Nov 24 2011, 07:26

Thanks for the great replies.

I completely missed the liquifiers in the book! I've had some bad experiences with finecast so decided to stick to plastic kits for the foreseeable future. I guess that means I didn't pay too much attention to the Coven part of the list.

I think I might have to sit down with some dice and models and a blast template and run some tests to make my own mind up about the shredder.

From the other responses it sounds as though there are lots of options that work well in the codex, so I can find out how I prefer to do things. This is really good.
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Arrex
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PostSubject: Re: A few questions from a wanna-be Archon   A few questions from a wanna-be Archon I_icon_minitimeThu Nov 24 2011, 08:21

I think it's a really excellent book; there really aren't that many sucky units in the codex. (Mandrakes spring to mind, Hellions are sorta questionable, but almost everything else is pretty well balanced) Usually it's more a matter of "Ooh I really want this but then I can't take this other unit." as opposed to "This one sucks, this one sucks, guess I'll field these guys."
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misfratz
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PostSubject: Re: A few questions from a wanna-be Archon   A few questions from a wanna-be Archon I_icon_minitimeThu Nov 24 2011, 10:35

Another question that occurred to me was whether anyone adjusts their tactics for units with combat drugs in response to the combat drugs roll?

I could see that you might choose different targets depending on what benefit the drugs gave, but does it really make so much difference in practice - I'm not sure.
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PostSubject: Re: A few questions from a wanna-be Archon   A few questions from a wanna-be Archon I_icon_minitimeThu Nov 24 2011, 10:56

I think the only drug, that can influence tactics on more than a spontaneous level, is splintermind (+1PT).
Normally it is tempting to break off the haemi 1st turn. So he can roam across the board and flame stuff away, while the wyches keep the pain token and now can fleet again.
If they start with two PTs instead, it seems better to let the haemi stay and make use of furious charge with the wyches.
The only other drug result that might change something is grave lotus (+1S), because it not only makes the unit better at what they already do, but allows them to harm things, they weren't able before, so they may use the opportunity to charge something, I normaly wouldn't use them for.

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Thor665
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PostSubject: Re: A few questions from a wanna-be Archon   A few questions from a wanna-be Archon I_icon_minitimeThu Nov 24 2011, 14:58

@misfratz wrote:
I think I might have to sit down with some dice and models and a blast template and run some tests to make my own mind up about the shredder.
When doing this make sure to remember splinter fire is AP 5 and Shredders are AP bupkiss.
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PostSubject: Re: A few questions from a wanna-be Archon   A few questions from a wanna-be Archon I_icon_minitimeFri Nov 25 2011, 16:49

@misfratz wrote:
Greetings. I believe that I may have fallen for the dark side, and be on the verge of starting a Dark Eldar army. Naturally, after reading some of the excellent threads on this forum, I have some questions...

Hellions - On the face of it these are an excellent unit, but people seem not to think that, deeming them only viable with the addition of Baron Sathonyx. Why is this? As far as I can see they are almost as good at shooting as Scourges, but can also fight in close combat, having hellglaives and combat drugs. What's not to like?


I use hellions a lot in my lists and still like them. I went through a phase where they just didn't seem to be cutting it but I've came through that and have got them firing on all cylinders again. Depends on how you use them but I'd certainly give them a go and see how you like them. I started an article on here somewhere on how I use them (need to get it finished, lifes been hectic recently), I'll link into it once I find it.

Heres the link http://thedarkcity.forummotion.com/t1384-hellions-hellions-hellions


I'd also advise you to seek out posts by Canyoner mikos (on warseer) the #3 ranked player in the UK for some solid advice on how to use a Hellions based list.
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