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 The Wave Serpent and the Serpent Cannon

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HokutoAndy
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PostSubject: The Wave Serpent and the Serpent Cannon   The Wave Serpent and the Serpent Cannon I_icon_minitimeMon Jul 08 2013, 08:14

Here's a neat writeup on the 6e Wave Serpent and it's potential as a 'game changer'
Copy/pasting the relevant parts here:
----
http://www.3plusplus.net/2013/07/game-changers-the-wave-serpent/

Matt-Shadowlord from 3plusplus wrote:

The Serpent Shield

Gamesworkshop describe the Wave Serpent Shield as ‘a rippling bow wave of force at the front of the craft that disrupts incoming fire, though it can be projected outward as a weapon in extremis’. I suspect by ‘in extremis’ they didn't mean this weapon is actually intended to be used all the time, every time, every turn, but that’s the reality of how this non-gun is going to be used. It’s just that good.

When fired, the shield has Strength 7, AP-, D6+1 shots (average 4.5 shots), a shocking 60” range, Pinning, and one of the most useful universal special rules in the entire game: it ignores cover. It will also almost always be Twinlinked when firing at an enemy within 36” range due to the Scatter Laser.

The seven shots from the Scatter Laser and Shuriken Cannon should average around 6 hits, the equivalent of the multilasers from four Chimeras.

The Wave Serpent and the Serpent Cannon Similar

The Waveserpent Shield should average around 4 hits, the equivalent of around 4 Autocannon heavy weapon teams. Against a target in 5+ cover, that’s the equivalent damage output of around 6 Autocannon heavy weapon teams.

This is a rough approximation that ignores things like range-bands and split fire, but provides a nice graphical way to get the message across.

The Waveserpent is a light transport with the ability to wreck all other light transports in the game from turn 1. Killing transports before they move can dictate the entire flow of the game, and is a key feature of competitive list building. The Waveserpent is able to do this while also out-ranging the vast majority of opponents' return fire.

Serpents in Action

The image below shows a standard Dawn of War Deployment, using a graphic from Vassal because we need to look at movement, angles and maneuvering rather than just weapon strength and AP. The Basilisk is deployed as far back as possible, over 31” from the closest Skimmer. The range of the other Wave Serpents means that this tank should be rotated slightly (which is a good habit against virtually all opponents for any army with lower side armour).

The Wave Serpent and the Serpent Cannon A1_zps20e035e5

However, the new problem for armies with vehicles with lower side armour this when facing Eldar is that this S7 weapon is not only one with Ignore cover, it is also mounted on a Fast Vehicle. It is the addition of ‘Fast' that makes the vehicle become a real threat to some armies.

This is an important factor for Eldar players to keep in mind – I just finished a game against Eldar after which my opponent cursed his dice for hating him; he hadn't managed a single penetration on any of my vehicles. Maybe he was right, the dice had rolled a bit low, but at the same time we went a whole game without him firing a single shot into side armour. Eldar should be able to hunt side-arcs more than almost any army in the game, and not only in the later turns.

Shown below: The Basilisk is deployed more wisely, at an angle that makes it difficult for an enemy to gain side shots on the right but without exposing side armour on the left.

The Wave Serpent and the Serpent Cannon Waveserpent

The First Waveserpent moves 6” and fires into its Front arc, but the second is able to move 12” and get into the side arc. Being a Fast vehicle means it can fire two weapons at full Ballistic Skill (not one; to save skeptics time, see page 83).

Note that this is turn 1, before the basilisk has fired.  It did not even require shenanigans with the vehicle deployed sideways on the edge of the 12″ zone and rotated before movement to gain an inch or two as some players are wont to do. This manoeuvre requires careful placement, but can be done with a simple move, and has a few inches of leeway.

Don’t underestimate the impact that a Fast vehicle with a 60” gun will have on the game; you may love or hate low relative side-armour tanks like Manticores, Basilisks, Predators, Exorcists and even Vindicators, but the ability of an army to reliably kill them with nothing but their dedicated transports will have a big impact on the ‘meta-game’.

Note that this is turn 1, before the basilisk has fired.  It did not even require shenanigans with the vehicle deployed sideways on the edge of the 12″ zone and rotated before movement to gain an inch or two as some players are wont to do. This manoeuvre requires careful placement, but can be done with a simple move, and has a few inches of leeway.

Don’t underestimate the impact that a Fast vehicle with a 60” gun will have on the game; you may love or hate low relative side-armour tanks like Manticores, Basilisks, Predators, Exorcists and even Vindicators, but the ability of an army to reliably kill them with nothing but their dedicated transports will have a big impact on the ‘meta-game’.

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PostSubject: Re: The Wave Serpent and the Serpent Cannon   The Wave Serpent and the Serpent Cannon I_icon_minitimeMon Jul 08 2013, 09:09

Yes it's an interesting write up (added quotes for clarity).

Though firing your serpents shield is all well and good it does leave the wave serpent exposed to return fire against armies which don't rely on volume of fire and glancing things to death. Dark Eldar are one of those armies with all our S8 AP2 shots. Penetrating dark lance hits of any kind are dangerous, even the stunned result (as the serpent won't be able to move to get it's cover/jink save next turn). Not to mention with the Serpent being expensive as it is I doubt many Eldar players will be investing in spirit stones. Against Dark Lance fire dropping the shields makes each Dark Lance/Blaster shot go from having a 1.8% chance of penetrating to a 11.1% chance of penetrating (taking into account rolling to hit, rolling to penetrate, and a 4+ cover save).

Yes the serpents fire power is impressive on paper, but the article ignores the fact that without it's shields up the serpent is just an expensive chimera with a 4+ cover save.

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PostSubject: Re: The Wave Serpent and the Serpent Cannon   The Wave Serpent and the Serpent Cannon I_icon_minitimeMon Jul 08 2013, 10:37

Just bring your own Wave Serpent to blow up their Wave Serpents. Easy.
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PostSubject: Re: The Wave Serpent and the Serpent Cannon   The Wave Serpent and the Serpent Cannon I_icon_minitimeMon Jul 08 2013, 13:49

autopilot wrote:
Just bring your own Wave Serpent to blow up their Wave Serpents. Easy.

not really .. Dark lances are MUCH better...

Also note the Scatter Laser and Shuriken Cannon ( which is the 4 Chimera in the article ) can be had for 70 points on a walker.
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PostSubject: Re: The Wave Serpent and the Serpent Cannon   The Wave Serpent and the Serpent Cannon I_icon_minitimeMon Jul 08 2013, 14:02

bklooste wrote:
autopilot wrote:
Just bring your own Wave Serpent to blow up their Wave Serpents. Easy.

not really .. Dark lances are MUCH better...

In what way? In terms of firepower I'd rather have a Wave Serpent than any transport in the DE Codex, although obviously they are more expensive.

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PostSubject: Re: The Wave Serpent and the Serpent Cannon   The Wave Serpent and the Serpent Cannon I_icon_minitimeMon Jul 08 2013, 19:51

My thoughts on wave serpents are similar to that of 3++. I do not agree with the light armour statement though, ive never considered av12 with 4++ to be 'light'. IME more than a couple such units almost mandates assault to get rid of.

Regarding comments on the shield, to me the defensive shield is really just for turn 1 when going second, essentially to ensure you always get the alpha strike. Other than that its an offensive weapon and one that lets the wave serpent outshoot nearly any opposing tank of av12 or less, especially opposing skimmers.

As allies wave serpents get expensive rather quick but for pure eldar its pretty easy to bring 4+ of the things and still have plenty of support left.
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PostSubject: Re: The Wave Serpent and the Serpent Cannon   The Wave Serpent and the Serpent Cannon I_icon_minitimeWed Jul 10 2013, 19:26

the problem with their assessment is that they dont point out shooting the shield means you dont get the defensive capability of the shield as well.

I do think its an amazing weapon, but its all subjective. Do you need to the shots or the defensive ability??? which ones outways the other??? each turn against each army is different.

Against say, guard or tau I wouldnt do it often. Against armies that dont have enough AT, go right on ahead. Your still AV12 w/ 4+ coversave (pretty survivable)

My problem with 3++ is they are very absolutism. The situation differs from one game to another.

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PostSubject: Re: The Wave Serpent and the Serpent Cannon   The Wave Serpent and the Serpent Cannon I_icon_minitimeThu Jul 11 2013, 18:45

mathhammer wise, what's better at cracking open av10/11, the Wave Serpent or the Fire Prism?

I'm just wondering in a CWE vs DE mechanize matchup, what kind of risk would there be for serpents to fire everything into the raiders and ravagers 1st turn (going 1st or 2nd). Dark Eldar anti-tank is delivered primarily by light vehicles, and that's an ideal target for the serpent.
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PostSubject: Re: The Wave Serpent and the Serpent Cannon   The Wave Serpent and the Serpent Cannon I_icon_minitimeThu Jul 11 2013, 20:31

Wave serpents are murder against our vehicles. every gun they have can pen our toughest tank, and on average 4-5 str 7 shots makes our flickerfields cry.

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PostSubject: Re: The Wave Serpent and the Serpent Cannon   The Wave Serpent and the Serpent Cannon I_icon_minitimeThu Jul 11 2013, 20:41

HokutoAndy wrote:
mathhammer wise, what's better at cracking open av10/11, the Wave Serpent or the Fire Prism?

I'm just wondering in a CWE vs DE mechanize matchup, what kind of risk would there be for serpents to fire everything into the raiders and ravagers 1st turn (going 1st or 2nd). Dark Eldar anti-tank is delivered primarily by light vehicles, and that's an ideal target for the serpent.

Serpent by far is better, I dont even have to mathhammer that out... the prism is a 1 shot wonder and 33% of the time will miss, and then you add in the 33% of pen/glances ignored by jink, while the serpent shield ignores that jink save

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