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  A returning players opinions on our units; Mandrakes

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Kalmah
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PostSubject: A returning players opinions on our units; Mandrakes    A returning players opinions on our units; Mandrakes I_icon_minitimeThu May 20 2021, 22:04

Our army's stealth option, at one point they where the best infiltrators in the game nowadays they are a bit less stealthy but still good for that, lets take a look.

Mandrakes
To start off I would say that these guys are about average for one of our melee units, which is by no means shabby but that should be taken into account when you pick their target. 3 attacks with their glimmer steel blade is solid enough but mandrake do not play as a dedicated assault unit, we have better options there.

The mandrakes ranged weapon has solid stats, and an added ability to pop mortal wounds on the target if you are lucky. It is nothing massively special, it will inflict some damage on most medium infantry, but don't expect to remove allot of MEQ with it. All that combined though does mean that mandrakes get to throw out 5 attacks over 2 phases, which isn't too bad.

Resilience wise they have a baked in -1 to hit which is nice but they almost as squishy as wyches if you hit them, flamers will give these guys a really bad time and at 15 points a model you will feel their loss.

As for options they don't have any, so that's this section done.

So their uses on the field? Well your first option is to deploy them 9 inches away from a target then run screaming at it hoping to sow chaos in the enemy line and club as many things to death as possible, multiple small units doing this could probably do massive damage to things like tau, or guard if you got first turn. You can use their fade away ability to redeploy them quickly, this can allow you to over commit, crush one flank then mop up the other faster which sounds a bit to much like grand strategy for my taste.

Small squads seem to be the way to go, MSU is unappetizing as a target and considering that you just aren't that tough, it will make them look less juicy.

All in all they feel like a unit that is a bit lacking, like it can pop up on objectives nice and easy but everything else it does can be done by someone else and done better.

Next time Incubi! <3
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krayd
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PostSubject: Re: A returning players opinions on our units; Mandrakes    A returning players opinions on our units; Mandrakes I_icon_minitimeFri May 21 2021, 22:45

Mandrakes are an ideal unit for using the 'Deploy Scramblers' secondary objective.

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sekac
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PostSubject: Re: A returning players opinions on our units; Mandrakes    A returning players opinions on our units; Mandrakes I_icon_minitimeFri May 21 2021, 23:40

krayd wrote:
Mandrakes are an ideal unit for using the 'Deploy Scramblers' secondary objective.

Absolutely, but they are excellent for Engage on All Fronts, especially early in game.

They're also great for screening out other infiltrators or units with a pregame scout move, or just for keeping your opponent guessing where the attack might come from.

Their combat capabilities aren't going to blow you away, but there are things they can do, that nothing else does nearly as well.
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Zenotaph
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PostSubject: Re: A returning players opinions on our units; Mandrakes    A returning players opinions on our units; Mandrakes I_icon_minitimeSat May 22 2021, 12:10

I miss Keradruakh...  A returning players opinions on our units; Mandrakes 1f625

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toldavf
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PostSubject: Re: A returning players opinions on our units; Mandrakes    A returning players opinions on our units; Mandrakes I_icon_minitimeSat May 22 2021, 14:47

Zenotaph wrote:
I miss Keradruakh...   A returning players opinions on our units; Mandrakes 1f625

There's allot from old books to miss. We could use a splash of special characters with model, If they announced a vect model tomorrow I would be first in line to buy it. We have allot of nice models and our range would be perfect if we had a plastic court/grotesques and a could more characters for the cabal faction
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Count Adhemar
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PostSubject: Re: A returning players opinions on our units; Mandrakes    A returning players opinions on our units; Mandrakes I_icon_minitimeSat May 22 2021, 15:18

Zenotaph wrote:
I miss Keradruakh...   A returning players opinions on our units; Mandrakes 1f625

I miss the idea of him. The actual implementation? Not so much!

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amishprn86
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PostSubject: Re: A returning players opinions on our units; Mandrakes    A returning players opinions on our units; Mandrakes I_icon_minitimeMon May 24 2021, 00:54

Mandrakes are an A+ unit, don't underestimate pre-game movements/deployments.

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Zenotaph
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PostSubject: Re: A returning players opinions on our units; Mandrakes    A returning players opinions on our units; Mandrakes I_icon_minitimeSun Oct 17 2021, 18:04

Hmm, we had a little conversation in our Warhammer Group and something interresting turned up:

A player said, the thing he hates most about the Aelindrachii is the amount of MW a squad of 10 could dish out.
The funny thing about the discussion was: The Drukhari players all said, they never played squads much bigger than 5.

Well, since here are a lot of different players. Any ideas? Or successful fieldtests? Suggestions maybe?

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Soulless Samurai
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PostSubject: Re: A returning players opinions on our units; Mandrakes    A returning players opinions on our units; Mandrakes I_icon_minitimeMon Oct 18 2021, 00:17

Zenotaph wrote:
Hmm, we had a little conversation in our Warhammer Group and something interresting turned up:

A player said, the thing he hates most about the Aelindrachii is the amount of MW a squad of 10 could dish out.
The funny thing about the discussion was: The Drukhari players all said, they never played squads much bigger than 5.

Well, since here are a lot of different players. Any ideas? Or successful fieldtests? Suggestions maybe?

I assume we're hoping to roll well above average in this scenario, as the average number of Mortal Wounds inflicted by unit of 10 Mandrakes is just 2.2. Wink

In any case, I think Mandrakes suffer from three issues when it comes to using them in dedicated combat roles: Lack of focus, too much competition, and little support or synergy.

- They have both melee and shooting attacks, which is always nice. The downside is that neither are particularly impressive or well-focussed, especially compared to their competition.

- In terms of competition, Wyches with Grave Lotus have the same melee profile but have more attacks and can gain additional benefits from both Cults (CB Wyches have better strength in addition to having more attacks, whilst also being about 2/3 the cost) and Succubi. Incubi compete for the Elite role but are orders of magnitude better in melee, whilst also having HQ support. Meanwhile, Scourges are likely going to be a lot better at being aggressive deep striking units due to their superior arsenal.

- Lastly, Mandrakes don't get Cult/Kabal/Coven bonuses and also don't get any HQ support. The only one that can affect them at all is a BH Archon in a RSR detachment with Writ. But even then they only benefit from half the Archon's aura and the Archon has no synergy with their ranged ability (You need a Poison Tongue Archon for that . . . who can't affect them with his aura pale ).

Now, this isn't to say Mandrakes are useless - they have a definite use in terms of various objectives. However, when it comes to building them as full combat units, I think you'll usually find that other units will be better and/or more efficient in the same role.

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Kalmah
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PostSubject: Re: A returning players opinions on our units; Mandrakes    A returning players opinions on our units; Mandrakes I_icon_minitimeMon Oct 18 2021, 05:59

totally agree with you soulless
indeed they are real competitive units with their positioning shenanigans, but when it comes to fighting in beer and pretzel games, they indeed lack a little of support.

Please note here that i 100% agree that they fulfill a unique role that in some case may be vital, but a little reroll HR of 1, a +1S or +1A would'nt hurt here and there, may it be with stratagems or auras Wink
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PostSubject: Re: A returning players opinions on our units; Mandrakes    A returning players opinions on our units; Mandrakes I_icon_minitimeMon Oct 18 2021, 13:35

If you really wanted to run "shooty" mandrakes, I guess your doing something along the lines of a Black Heart Patrol with the Writ.

Deploy forward with your big blobs, have your Archon in a transport up front so he can disembark then move/advance as far forward as possible. Reroll 1s to hit and wound will give you SOME MWs, but I dont think this is going to break the game.

I would like to compare the Mandrakes to Scourge with shredders. 75 pts for the Mandrakes, 80 pts for the Scourge. In 99% of scenarios, I think the Scourge will do better (Mortarion would be better with the Mandrakes, but still far from ideal).

The main strength of the Mandrake IMO is their ability to stop the oponent from playing their game. No Ravenguard Aggressors popping up 9" from your deployment ready to start punching Raiders, no AdMech Infiltrators ready to charge in, no Thousand Sons/Necrons/AdMech about to teleport into you Turn 1.

Basically just stops most Turn 1 "bad stuff" from happening. The only thing they dont stop is the Ork/AdMech Flyer spam from their Turn 1 game. But there really isnt much that can stop that, so I wont be blaming our humble shadow-boys (I also dont feel like getting murdered by a shadow when I get out of the shower tonight Wink )
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Soulless Samurai
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PostSubject: Re: A returning players opinions on our units; Mandrakes    A returning players opinions on our units; Mandrakes I_icon_minitimeMon Oct 18 2021, 13:47

Kalmah wrote:
totally agree with you soulless
indeed they are real competitive units with their positioning shenanigans, but when it comes to fighting in beer and pretzel games, they indeed lack a little of support.

Please note here that i 100% agree that they fulfill a unique role that in some case may be vital, but a little reroll HR of 1, a +1S or +1A would'nt hurt here and there, may it be with stratagems or auras Wink

Aside from mechanics, I think it's also an issue with regard to theme. Incubi are Blades for Hire but you've still got both a generic HQ and a special character HQ that go with them. Not that they necessarily need character support, just that the option is there if you want a themed list. Meanwhile, even aside from auras, Mandrakes have basically no synergy with any of our HQs. Aside from the total lack of ranged weapons (so if you want to initially use them as a shooting unit then all your HQ can do is twiddle his/her thumbs), you've also got the issue that if your Mandrakes want to use their redeploy ability your HQ will have no way of following them.

It's a shame because I've always loved the idea of having an HQ accompanied by a pack of Mandrakes but there are just so few reasons to bother. e.g. if I want to return to the (now utterly useless) PT Archon with Soul Seeker, there's almost no benefit to running 5 Mandrakes over 4 Sslyth - which have more wounds, better strength, Bodyguard, and benefit from both the PT rule and the Archon's aura.

Given that, competitively, both are almost certainly inferior to just running a Djin Blade Archon with some Incubi, it seems a shame that one combination is nevertheless denied any and all possible synergies. Sad

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sekac
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PostSubject: Re: A returning players opinions on our units; Mandrakes    A returning players opinions on our units; Mandrakes I_icon_minitimeMon Oct 18 2021, 16:53

I do love my mandrakes, but I do agree, I wish they interacted with the rest of the army a bit better. I do appreciate that they are very useful despite the pack of synergies, but it would be fun to do something different with them aside from zone screening and ROD/EOAF achievers.


I'm 2-0 against the new ork codex and I chalk that mostly up to mandrakes and player placed terrain. With player placed terrain, you can create choke points that can really jam them up. Then you can fill those choke points to guarantee a slow advance of ork pressure units.


The first battle was against an 18 buggie list, the second against triple kill rigs and 2 squigosaur warbosses (and a few buggies). So many models with giant footprints trying to maneuver around. Mandrakes are hell for that.
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fisheyes
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PostSubject: Re: A returning players opinions on our units; Mandrakes    A returning players opinions on our units; Mandrakes I_icon_minitimeWed Oct 20 2021, 14:11

Sounds like you are using your Mandrakes efficiently.

I honestly dont think we really need more "damage dealer" units in our army. We already have so many efficeint killers, having 1 more unit wouldent make much difference.

But their current janks are just so good for playing 9th, nothing else really compares (in the DE codex). There is honestly a huge discrepancy between armies WITH mandrake-like units and those WITHOUT. When was the last time you saw a Guard army on a top table? XD
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Zenotaph
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PostSubject: Re: A returning players opinions on our units; Mandrakes    A returning players opinions on our units; Mandrakes I_icon_minitimeWed Oct 20 2021, 16:59

Uh, well, I wouldnt call Mandrakes Damagedealers. But its nice to know, they can dish out some MW.
But I see, we all think the same about our shadowcloaked friends/fiends.

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PostSubject: Re: A returning players opinions on our units; Mandrakes    A returning players opinions on our units; Mandrakes I_icon_minitimeFri Apr 01 2022, 02:43

Has anyone had success with Mandrakes spam?
I know they are not the go-to option for a lot of lists but they may be part of the answer of dealing with New Tau?
Combined with Scourges and other troops that can soar over the battlefield until required and stratagems like webgates that allow you to drop troops without taking the withering fire may now have greater use?
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PostSubject: Re: A returning players opinions on our units; Mandrakes    A returning players opinions on our units; Mandrakes I_icon_minitimeFri Apr 01 2022, 13:30

The question is not, if they could weather the T'au fire. The question is:
Can they do something about it?

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