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 Is there any reason not to use the best units?

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Wych
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PostSubject: Is there any reason not to use the best units?   Is there any reason not to use the best units? I_icon_minitimeWed Aug 14 2013, 03:09

So, I still think of myself as new to the game, and I try to absorb all this information like a sponge. And after reading lots of topics here, and articles elsewhere, I see a clear picture of what's pretty much the Dark Eldar's best units. Now, in the absence of fluff, which is admittedly a huge appeal to this game, hell it's what got me interested, is there a reason not to just take the best units in each category? By that I mean spamming-

What do you take for troops other than warriors in a transport? Sure wyches with haywire grenades can blow up a tank, but they're not going to hold an objective very well.

I love my scourges but why would you take them over reavers?

Grots are fun but you can buy two units of blasterborn on a venom for half the price of admission. I'd also love to field some harlequins but that'll never happen. And incubi may as well throw themselves on their own klaives if they kill whatever they just assaulted and find themselves in the open

And Ravagers. Every game I've played my cronos parasite engine has somehow been my MVP, handing out pain tokens like candy and smashing land raiders/speeders. But the only other dark eldar player at my hobby shop looks at me like I just sacrificed a kitten when I put it on the table and not a ravager.

The only category that doesn't seem to have a clear winner is HQ.

I like damn near every unit in the codex ( I haven't tried hellions) but my question is: Is there any reason to field a unit that's not a reaver, ravager, trueborn on venom, or warrior if you're NOT trying to make a fluffy army, and your only purpose is to win? The only thing I can think of are voidravens for flyers, and even that's considered unfavorable. It's a question that's really been hurting my army building. Justifying spending points on one thing when you can spend them on something better. Maybe It's because I'm not used to army building yet.

I think the only alternative I've seen is Baron and Beasts but that seems much more complicated than just spamming the above units.
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PostSubject: Re: Is there any reason not to use the best units?   Is there any reason not to use the best units? I_icon_minitimeWed Aug 14 2013, 03:19

Quote :
I like damn near every unit in the codex ( I haven't tried hellions) but my question is: Is there any reason to field a unit that's not a reaver, ravager, trueborn on venom, or warrior if you're NOT trying to make a fluffy army, and your only purpose is to win? The only thing I can think of are voidravens for flyers, and even that's considered unfavorable. It's a question that's really been hurting my army building. Justifying spending points on one thing when you can spend them on something better. Maybe It's because I'm not used to army building yet.

Yes, there is a reason: To have fun with the army you've envisioned.

I'll use myself as an example. I play Kabal only because I don't like the aesthetic style of the Haemonculi units. That means I don't take Wracks, Grostesques or any of the fatty MCs that we have. This just not about effectiveness, but about art style.

I prefer to play Lance-heavy, simply because I've played that way for a very long time and it seems to work for me. In the last billion years I've been playing Dark Eldar, I've only built a single Venom. I like gunboats a lot, I like lots of bodies and rarely play with 5-dudes to a boat unless their primary use is to backcap and shoot lances. This is why most of my squads are 10x Warriors or 10x Wyches.

My best advice to you is: Play what you want, take what works for you and re-adjust accordingly. Everyone has different tastes and the last thing you want to do to your hobby is take after someone else.

We're lucky in a way that we have a lot of viable options. A lot of players don't even get that with their army books and I think that's one of our greatest advantage. It's a shame that so many people advocate Venom-this-Venom that, or take huge amounts of Reavers, or stay away from the Voidraven. Do what you want - don't become some random guy's step-child.

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PostSubject: Re: Is there any reason not to use the best units?   Is there any reason not to use the best units? I_icon_minitimeWed Aug 14 2013, 03:38

@HERO wrote:
Yes, there is a reason:  To have fun with the army you've envisioned.
Exactly Twisted Evil 
I don't worry about how much my lists look like the standard template net-optimized lists at all and simply play with units that please my eye and match my playing style. Another Dark Eldar player at the LFGS took one look at my army and declared that I was doing it wrong because I took Wyches and Wracks and dared to assault with them. (He plays a Raider/Ravager lance spam list) My opponents disagree Twisted Evil  I truly disagree with taking units/lists that are optimized if they don't match your playing style. I tend to play rather aggressively, favoring assaults. This is why I would disagree with your choice listed earlier of taking two units of blasterborn in venoms over a unit of Grtoesques in a Raider. (I'm not sure how your math was working out there making those two options equivalent scratch )

Bottom line: play what suits you, not what a Mathhammer internet genius claims will theoretically table another Mathhammered optimized list on paper.

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PostSubject: Re: Is there any reason not to use the best units?   Is there any reason not to use the best units? I_icon_minitimeWed Aug 14 2013, 07:18

I could give less significant ones than the previous two.  New to DE as I am, I'm no stranger to 40K.  I've had IG and SM armies for the last 8 years.

One reason is that you have neither the models nor the $$ to buy them.  In the IG, for example, you can buy one tank or another platoon of infantry for the same $$ price. Tank or infantry platoon? Both are good and you can't get enough of each in the IG. So, which do you drop money on? And if you don't have the cash, you can't drop it on either.

Another is that you might be playing with people you don't actually want to piss off with a cheesy list.  Like friends.  I know people who are just getting back into 40k after not playing since 4th ed.  Dropping a cheesy list on them is a sure way to lose their goodwill and make the game not fun for them.  If both lists have inherent flaws, it makes the games more interesting.

A perfectly math-hammered list is good for competitions but not every game needs to be competitive.
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PostSubject: Re: Is there any reason not to use the best units?   Is there any reason not to use the best units? I_icon_minitimeWed Aug 14 2013, 07:20

@HERO wrote:
[t's a shame that so many people advocate Venom-this-Venom that, or take huge amounts of Reavers, or stay away from the Voidraven.
Have my reports pushed reavers that far that they are now considered just as boring and dull as venom spam?! *Dies a  little inside*

Back to the OP's question. We have a lot of viable units and a lot of different play styles. I take an archon and grots over the baron with beast any day because they work so much better in my current list. I don't take any blaster born. I don't run venoms. I only run two ravagers and I often enjoy swapping those out for Talos (an amazing and completely underrated unit).

Common internet wisdom is that venom spam is king, yet it's also common internet wisdom that dark eldar can't deal with mechanised lists. Funny that venoms are terrible against vehicles and taking blasters despite what everyone tells you is not the same as taking a dark lance. Is their a correlation? I would say so.

As for spamming the same choice in a section, sometimes you will find too much of a good thing is bad for your list. Using my list as an example I used to run three squads of 9 reavers, however I found that running two squads of 9 was a lot more potent despite the reduction in numbers. Why? Because I had freed up space to fit more units to support my reavers, making them perform a lot better. Units need to be supported properly to perform well, no matter how powerful they are.

I think DE have quite a few viable lists:

Mikos is a UK DE player who pretty much goes to a tournament every month, and always seems to place at least in the top 10 (placing 5th in his last two tournaments). Bellow is the style of list he is currently using.
List:
 
Results/Report
----------------------
Massaen is an OZ DE player who has won quite a few tournaments and played in the Australian ETC team. Bellow is the style of list he is currently using.
List:
 
Results/Report
----------------------
Vassara is a Finish DE player who's part of the finish ETC team and plays in a lot of finish tournaments. Bellow is the style of list he is currently using.
List:
 
Results/Report
----------------------
Egorey is a very good Canadian player who's always trying out new ideas against very strong opponents. Bellow is the style of list he is currently using.
List:
 
Results/Report
----------------------
Personally I have had nothing but success with my reaver heavy list at 1500 points against a lot of netlists, though I haven't gone to any GTs in 6th.
Spoiler:
 
Reports
----------------------
That's just the tip of the ice burgh, but even in such a small sample you can see there is a large variety of Dark Eldar lists that seem to be doing well. With quite a variety of different units.

Hope that helps. Smile

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PostSubject: Re: Is there any reason not to use the best units?   Is there any reason not to use the best units? I_icon_minitimeWed Aug 14 2013, 07:26

@Mush, the only list I see there that is not fielding a large amount of venoms is your own. I might be missing something here though. Only difference between those pro players is the choices of units inside or outside, but they are still fielding a large amount of venoms.
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PostSubject: Re: Is there any reason not to use the best units?   Is there any reason not to use the best units? I_icon_minitimeWed Aug 14 2013, 08:04

I've also 4-0'd twice with this list:

Quote :
1498
14 VP

HQ:
Succubus (Agonizer/BP, Haywire) = 105

TROOP:
5x Warriors (Raider NS, Blaster) = 130
5x Warriors (Raider NS, Blaster) = 130
5x Warriors (Raider NS, Blaster) = 130
10x Warriors (Raider, NS/SR, Blaster, SC) = 195
10x Warriors (Raider, NS/SR, Blaster, SC) = 195
9x Wyches (Raider NS, Hekatrix/VB/BP, Haywires) = 208

HEAVY:
Ravager (NS) = 115
Ravager (NS) = 115
Voidraven (FF, 2x SF) = 175
Not a single Venom..

I'd also like to refer to a post I made here:
https://www.thedarkcity.net/t6233p40-dark-eldars-in-tournaments#81192

In addition to those things, point range matters a lot in respect to damage scaling for some lists (not all).
http://lkhero.blogspot.com/2013/03/my-dark-eldars-scalingpower.html

The last tournament that featured several DE players in the states was the Golden Throne. One of the successful DE lists there had 6 Ravagers because it was 2K and FW allowed. That's 18 Lances from just the heavy slot for only 690 points (with Night Shield). Makes for one hell of a heavy slot Smile

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PostSubject: Re: Is there any reason not to use the best units?   Is there any reason not to use the best units? I_icon_minitimeWed Aug 14 2013, 08:32

My lists also run Raider heavy over Venom heavy.

I never thought I'd see the day fielding a lot of Raiders was the 'unusual' competitive option for DE Wink

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PostSubject: Re: Is there any reason not to use the best units?   Is there any reason not to use the best units? I_icon_minitimeWed Aug 14 2013, 08:48

@Shadowharte wrote:
@Mush, the only list I see there that is not fielding a large amount of venoms is your own. I might be missing something here though. Only difference between those pro players is the choices of units inside or outside, but they are still fielding a large amount of venoms.
Vassara's list has three raiders and four venoms, yet you focused on the venoms and not the raiders. Egorey's only has two! Most lists will have venoms as they are one of our two transports. It's funny I never hear the word raider spam. Yet my list and Hero's both have a lot of raiders. Smile

The point that I was trying to make with those lists is that they have a large amount of variety, beasts, grots, harlequins, wyches, warriors, reavers, eldar allies, no eldar allies, venoms, raiders, wracks, etc.

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PostSubject: Re: Is there any reason not to use the best units?   Is there any reason not to use the best units? I_icon_minitimeWed Aug 14 2013, 09:31

The only real reason I prefer venom's over raider's is bringing MSU squads of haywire wyches. If you bring 6 of them, which is what I often do, any mech list will cry as you turbo on top of his face. Against foot lists, just stay at max range and support the rest of your army with venom firepower.

This is what works for me; do what works for you.

EDIT: I really like this topic, though. I often have a very hard time fielding something that I know could be out shined by another unit. What I often do is remind myself that I play Dark Eldar dirty. I really enjoy strategizing and playing hard with an army thats fast and like a dagger in my opponent. If someone wants to play a relaxed, non-strategic game, I'll pull out a whole different codex.
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PostSubject: Re: Is there any reason not to use the best units?   Is there any reason not to use the best units? I_icon_minitimeWed Aug 14 2013, 09:51

Heh, every army got their kind of transport spam. Just look at GKs, BA, SM, SW, razorback spams! Necron flier spam... Having 1-2 venoms doesn't really count as venom spam or venom heavy. Venomspams + warrior blasters does not mean automatic win or being more pro, imo. It is just cheesy. Just like necrons spamming wraiths + anni barge + transport fliers + scarabs+ spyders... Just spamming those units will most likely get you a win, because it is cheesy and easy to play. But not pro...

I like the demo lists above, shows how DE can vary in units and choices and still be competative (not 100% first place lists necron and gk!).  It's good to see variation in transports. DE needs some redundancy in our HS, troops(wracks sometimes) and transport choices. Our other choices doesn't need that much redundancy though(except if you're mush and use 2x squads of reavers).

But most other competative army lists does need to spam all their choices. Chaos deamons needed to spam and was cheesy... I don't know how they look like now in their new dex.
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PostSubject: Re: Is there any reason not to use the best units?   Is there any reason not to use the best units? I_icon_minitimeWed Aug 14 2013, 11:00

I don't think I've yet played two games with exactly the same list (I haven't been tempted by competition play yet) - you've got to go with what is fun for you - whilst not being a total prat to spoil the game for your opponent.

I love playing hellions and/or harlies despite their "sub-optimal" status because the concept of each just makes me smile.

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PostSubject: Re: Is there any reason not to use the best units?   Is there any reason not to use the best units? I_icon_minitimeWed Aug 14 2013, 12:02

@Mush, yea...I just now noticed I completely missed Egorey's list. I didn't even read that one lol. I wasn't ignoring the raiders, just pointing out that almost all those lists fielded a decent amount of them.

I personally like to stick 10 warriors with a splinter cannon in a raider with NS and racks, but then I am not a huge fan of MSU. I feel like if I field it that way, I am going to lose one or two per MSU and have my whole army running off the board. I haven't played any matches over 1k yet though, so I may yet change my mind, but I will probably try to make things work myself. I am not a power gamer, if I do not enjoy the list I take, why play? Even going to a tourney the goal is to have fun with your army. I am by no means an expert, but the only units I cannot see even giving a shot would be mandrakes and Kheradruakh, which is sad because I love the models
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PostSubject: Re: Is there any reason not to use the best units?   Is there any reason not to use the best units? I_icon_minitimeWed Aug 14 2013, 15:01

@autopilot wrote:
The only real reason I prefer venom's over raider's is bringing MSU squads of haywire wyches. If you bring 6 of them, which is what I often do, any mech list will cry as you turbo on top of his face. Against foot lists, just stay at max range and support the rest of your army with venom firepower.

This is what works for me; do what works for you.

EDIT: I really like this topic, though. I often have a very hard time fielding something that I know could be out shined by another unit. What I often do is remind myself that I play Dark Eldar dirty. I really enjoy strategizing and playing hard with an army thats fast and like a dagger in my opponent. If someone wants to play a relaxed, non-strategic game, I'll pull out a whole different codex.
Hello autopilot, I pretty much have the same mindset as you (fielding the best units), and recently I've been considering using Wyches instead of Warriors in my MSU Venoms, with the same purpose as you going flat-out T1 for a T2 charge on his tanks.

Have you played a lot of games with this against other competitive lists? Has it worked well?
I usually like to play the range game with all my skimmers at max-range and a beastpack with the Baron moving forward. My only fear with using Wyches though is that the second they disembark to assault a vehicle they will get shot down in the blink of an eye and you'll end up with no more troops to score, and since their Venom transport is most likely going to be in the middle of the board after moving flat-out it's also a lot more likely to get gunned down by your opponent's mid range firepower.

I'd be interested in hearing your experiences using Wyches instead of Warriors, and possibly your army list as well Smile
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PostSubject: Re: Is there any reason not to use the best units?   Is there any reason not to use the best units? I_icon_minitimeWed Aug 14 2013, 17:41

Quote :
, is there a reason not to just take the best units in each category?
Yeah, sure. Combination of certain units and certain playstyle is more powerfull and brutal then set of single units defined as "best" taken in all slots. There is more enjoyment also in defining and finding them, this is what actually 40k is. Otherwise its just roll dice, drink beer. No need for armies.

Its a multi-layered game with actually some balance between armies (surprisingly), if you expect to play with anybody and have a win you should learn all layers. THere are certain builds that will allow you easy win against certain armies, but they will fold against the others.

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PostSubject: Re: Is there any reason not to use the best units?   Is there any reason not to use the best units? I_icon_minitimeWed Aug 14 2013, 18:48

@Azdrubael wrote:
Its a multi-layered game with actually some balance between armies (surprisingly)
[snip]THere are certain builds that will allow you easy win against certain armies, but they will fold against the others.
I feel like these two sentences are mutually exclusive.

I think the current competitive 40k game is at its highest paper/rock/scissor point that I have seen in quite a while. There are some armies that can literally almost not compete versus some at the moment, while being incredibly strong versus others. I suspect we need a handful more codices out in the mix before the meta settles enough to prevent this (I am a big fan of what Tau and Eldar did to the meta and have hopes for Space Marines too)

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PostSubject: Re: Is there any reason not to use the best units?   Is there any reason not to use the best units? I_icon_minitimeWed Aug 14 2013, 18:49

@Thor665 wrote:
@Azdrubael wrote:
Its a multi-layered game with actually some balance between armies (surprisingly)
[snip]THere are certain builds that will allow you easy win against certain armies, but they will fold against the others.
I feel like these two sentences are mutually exclusive.

I think the current competitive 40k game is at its highest paper/rock/scissor point that I have seen in quite a while. There are some armies that can literally almost not compete versus some at the moment, while being incredibly strong versus others. I suspect we need a handful more codices out in the mix before the meta settles enough to prevent this (I am a big fan of what Tau and Eldar did to the meta and have hopes for Space Marines too)
Why are you a big fan of what Tau did to the meta? They ruined it.

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PostSubject: Re: Is there any reason not to use the best units?   Is there any reason not to use the best units? I_icon_minitimeWed Aug 14 2013, 19:03

Depends on your definition of ruined, I suppose.

They weakened fliers and DSing and increased the value of mobility. I liked that.

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PostSubject: Re: Is there any reason not to use the best units?   Is there any reason not to use the best units? I_icon_minitimeWed Aug 14 2013, 19:08

@Thor665 wrote:
Depends on your definition of ruined, I suppose.

They weakened fliers and DSing and increased the value of mobility. I liked that.
They invalidate half of the armies stratagems and special rules.

Oh, you want to DS because that's what your army does?  Take a S8 AP2 large template before you do anything.  What about alpha strike drop pods?  Interceptor this and that.  What about assault?  Get overwatched with +1ROF from an Ethereal you can't stop and a line of 3 Fire Warrior squads.  You rely on cover?  That's fine because we Ignore Cover.  You like fliers?  I don't. They did not increase mobility on anything because everything they have shoots 36" and above before moving.

They're the best shooty army, in a very shooty edition, invalidating both strategy, faction specific bonuses and simple game rules (such as Cover, Reserve).  All of this at reduced points.

The Tau book is an atrocity, a terribly designed book with zero external balance considered.  It's the very definition of fanboyism and I'm shocked a team of designers allowed it to happen.  At what time do they think: Oh, this would make this strategy or army unplayable?  Zero times.

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PostSubject: Re: Is there any reason not to use the best units?   Is there any reason not to use the best units? I_icon_minitimeWed Aug 14 2013, 20:03

@Exort1 wrote:

Have you played a lot of games with this against other competitive lists? Has it worked well?
I usually like to play the range game with all my skimmers at max-range and a beastpack with the Baron moving forward. My only fear with using Wyches though is that the second they disembark to assault a vehicle they will get shot down in the blink of an eye and you'll end up with no more troops to score, and since their Venom transport is most likely going to be in the middle of the board after moving flat-out it's also a lot more likely to get gunned down by your opponent's mid range firepower.

I'd be interested in hearing your experiences using Wyches instead of Warriors, and possibly your army list as well Smile
My current 2k list. I'm thinking about trying starcannons on my warwalkers, but this is the base that I currently run.
List:
 

When I first started playing DE, I was using the run-of-the-mill kabalite warriors /w blaster in a venom. I found that having a single blaster shot was, for the most part, not very effective for the points cost in terms of anti-tank. Not only this, but if I ever shot a tank with it, my other splinter rifles in the squad were useless. Targeting infantry with 5 warriors /w a blaster is simply redundant because I already have so much poison.

I've since switched to all wyches. The changes to glancing hits is the selling point. One squad of wyches can kill ANYthing mech related. The problem was, when I switched to all wyches, I didn't bring enough. If you only have 2 squads of them or so, your opponent will just shoot them after you turbo. You need to overwhelm him with too many targets. If only 2 wyches survive from an explosion, thats fine, they could still wreck something. Bringing 6 squads of them allows me to safely drop a ravager from my list. There's just too many people these days hiding behind aegis lines, or castling up in a corner. Ravagers aren't as effective as they were.

You mention being in a bad spot after wrecking a couple vehicles. Venoms hanging out in enemy territory, and wyches sitting ducks. This simply isn't true. If you charge a vehicle at the right angle, you can use the vehicle as cover. I'll explain later. And venoms being in enemy territory is fine, you can simply jump back another 12" and be in the middle of the board if you so choose.

I've played against a lot of different lists including Tau, Guard, Eldar, DA Bolter spam, Drop pod lists, Daemons FMC spam, and more. The wyches have a niche in all of these match ups, even those without much mech. Wyches can hold up a MC for turn after turn, if you need them to. Wyches are pretty good in combat, especially if you roll +1WS, +1Attack, or +1Strength for Combat Drugs.

Weaknesses of bringing MSU wyches:
1. If their vehicle explodes, it hurts a lot.
2. After you charge a vehicle, you're likely dead if you charge in a bad position.
3. You don't have a solid scoring troop choice.

Thats really it. You can't do much about a venom exploding. I haven't played against a list yet who could take down 6 turbo'ed venoms in a single turn. Your opponent would have to be extremely lucky with large blasts, and at the same time, you would have to be extremely silly to place all of the venoms on top of eachother. And you have a 4+ cover save, 5+ invul against anything. Effectively, you're ignoring half of their firepower. I haven't played against Eldar Wave Serpent Spam yet, which I think is our hardest match up. Haywire would be our best way of taking them out, however.

Couple tricks:
1. Know when to turbo, and when to just shoot with your venom. If you're playing against mech guard, turbo everything with 2" of his stuff. Just do it. You'll win bottom of turn 2. If your opponent only has a couple of vehicles, threaten him with a couple of wych venoms. Don't overdo it.

2. Charge the right way. Your venoms move so fast that you can angle your charge from nearly any direction. Angle your charges in such a way that after you wreck a tank, you are completely covered by it, keeping your wyches alive to hit another.

3. Bring a solid scoring choice. Don't just bring 6 squads of wyches and call it a day. You need at least one other option for scoring an objective. I bring a squad of 10 guardians in a Serpent, which is much more survivable (and surprisingly deadly). If you want to stick with pure DE, I'd suggest a couple gun boats.

Just last night I played against a friend of mine. I wanted to test a list for Feast of Blades, so I told him to bring at least 2 flyers. I wanted to see how I'd fare against it. He brought mech guard with a blob squad. I turbo'ed everything on top of him, pretty much doing nothing the first turn but setting up the attack. He shot me with everything he had. I lost 1 venom to an explosion, 1 venom lost a weapon, and 1 venom was glanced. He tried to bubble wrap his tanks with the blob. I shot holes in his blob squad with the venoms and wrecked every single tank except for 1 griffon, and I charged his allied marine squad with my beasts. He lost 1500+ points of stuff in one turn. What could he have done differently? Not much. Wyches are cruel, cruel ladies against mech lists.

EDIT: I've been thinking about posting battle reports, just haven't gotten around to it. Perhaps seeing it turn by turn would help, but I suggest trying them out for yourself. Smile
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PostSubject: Re: Is there any reason not to use the best units?   Is there any reason not to use the best units? I_icon_minitimeWed Aug 14 2013, 20:28

@autopilot wrote:
@Exort1 wrote:

Have you played a lot of games with this against other competitive lists? Has it worked well?
I usually like to play the range game with all my skimmers at max-range and a beastpack with the Baron moving forward. My only fear with using Wyches though is that the second they disembark to assault a vehicle they will get shot down in the blink of an eye and you'll end up with no more troops to score, and since their Venom transport is most likely going to be in the middle of the board after moving flat-out it's also a lot more likely to get gunned down by your opponent's mid range firepower.

I'd be interested in hearing your experiences using Wyches instead of Warriors, and possibly your army list as well Smile
My current 2k list. I'm thinking about trying starcannons on my warwalkers, but this is the base that I currently run.
List:
 

When I first started playing DE, I was using the run-of-the-mill kabalite warriors /w blaster in a venom. I found that having a single blaster shot was, for the most part, not very effective for the points cost in terms of anti-tank. Not only this, but if I ever shot a tank with it, my other splinter rifles in the squad were useless. Targeting infantry with 5 warriors /w a blaster is simply redundant because I already have so much poison.

I've since switched to all wyches. The changes to glancing hits is the selling point. One squad of wyches can kill ANYthing mech related. The problem was, when I switched to all wyches, I didn't bring enough. If you only have 2 squads of them or so, your opponent will just shoot them after you turbo. You need to overwhelm him with too many targets. If only 2 wyches survive from an explosion, thats fine, they could still wreck something. Bringing 6 squads of them allows me to safely drop a ravager from my list. There's just too many people these days hiding behind aegis lines, or castling up in a corner. Ravagers aren't as effective as they were.

You mention being in a bad spot after wrecking a couple vehicles. Venoms hanging out in enemy territory, and wyches sitting ducks. This simply isn't true. If you charge a vehicle at the right angle, you can use the vehicle as cover. I'll explain later. And venoms being in enemy territory is fine, you can simply jump back another 12" and be in the middle of the board if you so choose.

I've played against a lot of different lists including Tau, Guard, Eldar, DA Bolter spam, Drop pod lists, Daemons FMC spam, and more. The wyches have a niche in all of these match ups, even those without much mech. Wyches can hold up a MC for turn after turn, if you need them to. Wyches are pretty good in combat, especially if you roll +1WS, +1Attack, or +1Strength for Combat Drugs.

Weaknesses of bringing MSU wyches:
1. If their vehicle explodes, it hurts a lot.
2. After you charge a vehicle, you're likely dead if you charge in a bad position.
3. You don't have a solid scoring troop choice.

Thats really it. You can't do much about a venom exploding. I haven't played against a list yet who could take down 6 turbo'ed venoms in a single turn. Your opponent would have to be extremely lucky with large blasts, and at the same time, you would have to be extremely silly to place all of the venoms on top of eachother. And you have a 4+ cover save, 5+ invul against anything. Effectively, you're ignoring half of their firepower. I haven't played against Eldar Wave Serpent Spam yet, which I think is our hardest match up. Haywire would be our best way of taking them out, however.

Couple tricks:
1. Know when to turbo, and when to just shoot with your venom. If you're playing against mech guard, turbo everything with 2" of his stuff. Just do it. You'll win bottom of turn 2. If your opponent only has a couple of vehicles, threaten him with a couple of wych venoms. Don't overdo it.

2. Charge the right way. Your venoms move so fast that you can angle your charge from nearly any direction. Angle your charges in such a way that after you wreck a tank, you are completely covered by it, keeping your wyches alive to hit another.

3. Bring a solid scoring choice. Don't just bring 6 squads of wyches and call it a day. You need at least one other option for scoring an objective. I bring a squad of 10 guardians in a Serpent, which is much more survivable (and surprisingly deadly). If you want to stick with pure DE, I'd suggest a couple gun boats.

Just last night I played against a friend of mine. I wanted to test a list for Feast of Blades, so I told him to bring at least 2 flyers. I wanted to see how I'd fare against it. He brought mech guard with a blob squad. I turbo'ed everything on top of him, pretty much doing nothing the first turn but setting up the attack. He shot me with everything he had. I lost 1 venom to an explosion, 1 venom lost a weapon, and 1 venom was glanced. He tried to bubble wrap his tanks with the blob. I shot holes in his blob squad with the venoms and wrecked every single tank except for 1 griffon, and I charged his allied marine squad with my beasts. He lost 1500+ points of stuff in one turn. What could he have done differently? Not much. Wyches are cruel, cruel ladies against mech lists.

EDIT: I've been thinking about posting battle reports, just haven't gotten around to it. Perhaps seeing it turn by turn would help, but I suggest trying them out for yourself. Smile
First off, thank you for this delightful and long response! It was a good read Smile

Your list is actually VERY similar to mine, the only difference really is that I run Mantle on the farseer and I use a third Ravager/War Walker instead of the Spiders. And of course I use Warriors but I'll be trying out all Wyches for sure.

As you've already pointed out, the only thing I'm afraid of with using Wyches is that I don't have good scoring units. Yes I also run 10 Guardians in a Serpent, but in objective games how does the board usually look like for you at T5? Do you have enough leftover Wyches to capture some objectives or are they all dead at that point?

Also, you've already mentioned this briefly, but against non-mechanized lists (I'm not talking pure foot lists but you know, hybrid lists), you play the Wyches like you would Warriors? Just keeping them inside your venoms shooting stuff at 36"?

I'm playing against Mech Eldar this friday, so it'll be a good chance to test out those wyches! Although those Wave Serpents do have me scared.. Sad
Any tips/advice you'd like to give me beforehand?
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PostSubject: Re: Is there any reason not to use the best units?   Is there any reason not to use the best units? I_icon_minitimeWed Aug 14 2013, 21:13

@Exort1 wrote:
First off, thank you for this delightful and long response! It was a good read Smile
No prob, man. I enjoy talking about this game. Smile

@Exort1 wrote:

Your list is actually VERY similar to mine, the only difference really is that I run Mantle on the farseer and I use a third Ravager/War Walker instead of the Spiders. And of course I use Warriors but I'll be trying out all Wyches for sure.
Mantle is great, but I find that I can just throw him in with the beasts. There a reason why you use the Mantle?

I find that 2 warwalkers is plenty of shots coming from one unit. Three warwalkers and you're just overkilling things. I'm kind of a min-max guy. Ha.

Spiders are my go-to unit for shooting the butt of helldrakes and other flyers. Nothing survives 20 S7 Guided shots. Well, most of the time.

@Exort1 wrote:

As you've already pointed out, the only thing I'm afraid of with using Wyches is that I don't have good scoring units. Yes I also run 10 Guardians in a Serpent, but in objective games how does the board usually look like for you at T5? Do you have enough leftover Wyches to capture some objectives or are they all dead at that point?
Games are essentially over by T3 with me destroying everything, or we're at T5 and both me and my opponent are stretched thin. The guardians save me. They can pop out and blast something dead, then jump into cover. If the game goes to T5, I often have them holding a single objective, and the rest of my army in bits and pieces contesting or finishing off troops.

Keep in mind that two missions have HS and FA as scoring as well.

@Exort1 wrote:

Also, you've already mentioned this briefly, but against non-mechanized lists (I'm not talking pure foot lists but you know, hybrid lists), you play the Wyches like you would Warriors? Just keeping them inside your venoms shooting stuff at 36"?
Pretty much. If my opponent comes at me, then I kite around shooting. Keep your venoms in packs supporting each other. That way, if it comes to assault, you have 10-15 wyches assaulting back (which is no joke, way better than warriors).

Also use their pistols to help down FMCs, or pick off the lone guy for a pain token. Charge into monstrous creatures that you don't want charging your ships. It'll take (on average) a couple turns for a MC to kill 5 wyches with that 4++.

Going to ground in cover gives a 3+ cover! Don't forget! If your ship blows up, you're in a crater. Make your opponent waste more shots.

@Exort1 wrote:

I'm playing against Mech Eldar this friday, so it'll be a good chance to test out those wyches! Although those Wave Serpents do have me scared.. Sad
Any tips/advice you'd like to give me beforehand?
Focus fire the wave serpents down, one at a time. Remember, even if his shields are still up, 3 glances and they are dead. I think I'd turbo all of my venoms in a horizontal line, right in front of him. Make him shoot all his shields, you still get the 5++. Worst comes to worst, you lose all the venoms and your wyches disembark to charge next turn. Not like your venoms are going to have a huge impact (unless he brought a wraithknight).

Target priority, for me - I think, would be Wave Serpents, Fire Prisms, any support characters (farseers, etc), and then his troops. I'd ignore wraithknights if he brings any. They don't have enough punch to really warrant your whole army shooting him for a turn.

You better hope you get first turn! Jinking wave serpents are a pain in the butt.
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PostSubject: Re: Is there any reason not to use the best units?   Is there any reason not to use the best units? I_icon_minitimeWed Aug 14 2013, 21:31

@HERO wrote:
They invalidate half of the armies stratagems and special rules.
Assault was already heavy nerfed in this edition - yeah, they have some nice extra spins on it, but nothing that invalidates assault any more than it already was.

As to the weakening of DS/Pods/Fliers - I am quite fine with that and don't find it an unfair advantage unless said opposing army spams those things...in which case I think it's healthy that there's an army out there that can punish them for building a paper/rock/scissor list.

@HERO wrote:
They're the best shooty army, in a very shooty edition, invalidating both strategy, faction specific bonuses and simple game rules (such as Cover, Reserve).  All of this at reduced points.
They're still better than what the Crons were back with their original Dex back in the day.
I will agree as a shooty army in a shooty edtion they are looking good - but that's true of all armies that can be shooting heavy. I don't wish to argue that 6th is a well conceived edition, I'm pretty sure I'm on record that it isn't as far as competitive play goes.

That said, I don't think their army is OP or ridiculous. I would put them in the top tier, but there are a handful of Codices I think are patently better. Yes, they put the screws to a couple specific builds...all codices put the screws to a handful of specific builds, that's the general issue with the meta as stands in the competitive sense. That said, they way Tau put the screw to other codices tends to favor those armies building less gimmick and more TAC to my mind, and that's why I think it was good for the meta.

@HERO wrote:
At what time do they think: Oh, this would make this strategy or army unplayable?  Zero times.
Do they ever do that...ever?

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PostSubject: Re: Is there any reason not to use the best units?   Is there any reason not to use the best units? I_icon_minitimeWed Aug 14 2013, 21:38

@autopilot wrote:
Mantle is great, but I find that I can just throw him in with the beasts. There a reason why you use the Mantle?
Just because I have the spare points in my 1500 list, but with the Wyches I'll have to take it out (I normally use Warriors without Blasters).

@autopilot wrote:
I find that 2 warwalkers is plenty of shots coming from one unit. Three warwalkers and you're just overkilling things. I'm kind of a min-max guy. Ha.
I go for 2x BL on each Walker, I don't find it to be overkill, 6 shots average 2 Hull Points down before any save.

@autopilot wrote:
Spiders are my go-to unit for shooting the butt of helldrakes and other flyers. Nothing survives 20 S7 Guided shots. Well, most of the time.
I think Spiders are great, recently acquired the models and I'll probably use them at 1800-2000, but at 1500 I'd rather not remove a Ravager or a War Walker for Spiders, I like to keep my alpha-strike as strong as possible Smile

@autopilot wrote:
Going to ground in cover gives a 3+ cover! Don't forget! If your ship blows up, you're in a crater. Make your opponent waste more shots.
Can you go to ground against the wounds from your transport's explosion if it blows up? Not that it's ever worth it (well is it? >_>), but I actually have a doubt about the ruling for this.

@autopilot wrote:
You better hope you get first turn! Jinking wave serpents are a pain in the butt.
Yes I really hope I do... I need a backup plan if I don't though :PIf I don't get first turn I guess I'll deploy as much of my stuff as possible in cover and pray when the dice roll >_>
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PostSubject: Re: Is there any reason not to use the best units?   Is there any reason not to use the best units? I_icon_minitimeWed Aug 14 2013, 21:51

@Thor

Quote :
Assault was already heavy nerfed in this edition - yeah, they have some nice extra spins on it, but nothing that invalidates assault any more than it already was.
Yes, and they made it even worse.  This is a points based game after all, and the units you buy should matter and have an impact on the game (especially if their entire purpose in life is to assault).  Not only do you have to subject your guys to Overwatch which can result in models lost, but now you factor in multi-units overwatching with stacking benefits from special rules from that of the Ethereal.  Why is this needed?  It's the extra layers that makes it so abysmal for all army types who choose to assault as their primary method of flavor.  Tau makes this flavor stale, and says frak your assault, I get to Overwatch with stacking special rules.

Quote :
As to the weakening of DS/Pods/Fliers - I am quite fine with that and don't find it an unfair advantage unless said opposing army spams those things...in which case I think it's healthy that there's an army out there that can punish them for building a paper/rock/scissor list.
There is a serious difference between "weakening" and invalidating.  Why would I ever take Deathwing assault as an option if they're just going to eat a S8 AP2 Large template upon entry?  Why Drop Pods for that matter?  Or get intercepted and shot down as soon as a model I bought and paid for comes into battle?  I wouldn't mind if this was limited to a SC, or an expensive model that you pay for, but why is this so common place?  It's not about unfair advantage at this point, it's simply making the game unfun for someone who wants to play a certain way, and mind you, how the designers wanted them to play because these special rules exist for that particular army, and throwing it out the window.  The same here with all the Ignore Cover weapons that you can buy/switch/upgrade.  These weapons should be luxury weapons, not commonplace and spammed to the point where certain armies, ours is the best example, but Eldar, other armies utilizing bikes and fliers, which rely on as their primary defense mechanism is rendered invalid.

This self-defeatist logic infuriates me.  Why build models and rules (pods, deathwing assault, jink-save models, alpha strike, reserves) when you have another army that outright ignores these rules and thus, gives the models no purpose.

Quote :
They're still better than what the Crons were back with their original Dex back in the day.
I will agree as a shooty army in a shooty edtion they are looking good - but that's true of all armies that can be shooting heavy. I don't wish to argue that 6th is a well conceived edition, I'm pretty sure I'm on record that it isn't as far as competitive play goes.
6th Ed. is a very cinematic edition that strays pretty far from competitive play.  But when talking about armies in a competitive sense, it's pretty easy to say that Tau has all the right tools for the job.  They're a competitively-designed army, in a non-competitive edition, and this a recipe for disaster.  Their book simply takes advantage of everything the edition offers:  Nerf to assault, emphasis on shooting, Overwatch, decreased cover, the list goes on.

Quote :
That said, I don't think their army is OP or ridiculous. I would put them in the top tier, but there are a handful of Codices I think are patently better. Yes, they put the screws to a couple specific builds...all codices put the screws to a handful of specific builds, that's the general issue with the meta as stands in the competitive sense. That said, they way Tau put the screw to other codices tends to favor those armies building less gimmick and more TAC to my mind, and that's why I think it was good for the meta.
Not screws, but roadblocks.  My beef with Tau is not the fact they're a strong army, we've dealt with them in the past: GK, Necrons, Space Wolves, IG, but with the fact they force players to play certain things, or play a certain way, or be utterly annihilated.  Not because of sheer power, but because their book says they can take options that makes your player options not matter.

A well designed book gives players options.  Tau gives the Tau player those options but takes everything away from other players.  That's my beef with the book.

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