Thursday, October 14, 2010

Tough Dark Eldar decisions

So let's look at a couple of debates floating around the interwebz for what's the most cost effective option for Dark Eldar in a all-comers list.  When I build my lists, I always build for all-comers because I think the strongest list is also the most flexible.  I don't believe in list tailoring but I do believe adapting to your metagame.  There's no point taking the same crappy list, getting your face-rolled, understanding why you lost and what you need to do, but too stubborn to change.  That is doing it wrong.

Anyways, let's start with heavy support choices!  For simplicity sakes, let's talk about a direct comparison between two of the best choices for anti-armor.  In one corner, we have the Ravager and in the other corner, we have the Voidraven Bomber.  Here are some stats:

- The model kit is coming out in the near future.
- Has 3x S8 AP2 Lance weapons that can move 12" and shoot all.
- Can swap all its Dark Lances for Disentagrators for free.. so 9x S5 AP2 shots from each.
- Costs 105 points stock so it's 40 points cheaper than the Bomber stock.
- AV11/11/10 open-top, making it slightly less armored than the Voidraven.

Voidraven Bomber:
- No model at all.
- 2x S9 AP2 Lance Weapons that can move 12" and shoot all.
- Has a S9 AP2 Lance 3" blast mine but you can only drop it when moving 12".
- Can take some pretty killer missiles but further increases the cost of the bomber.
- AV11/11/10 closed top, so slightly more armored than the Ravager.
- Supersonic, can go flat out at 36".

The biggest turn off for me right now is that the Voidraven doesn't have a model.  I'll probably end up proxying my Ravagers for them at one point just so I can feel them out.  Now I'm not a math pro so I'm not sure what the numbers are vs. armor values with 3x Dark Lances vs. 2x Void Lances.  I know that S9 Lances are more effective vs. armor.. but the chances of them hitting is also very important.  Keep in mind that both vehicles have BS4.  What do you guys think?  Let's get a discussion going on about these guys.

Another decision I have to make is Jetbikes vs. Scourges.

Reaver Jetbike:
- Can go 36" and gets a lovely 3+ cover save and still do damage.
- Auto-hits with D3 attacks at S4 or can buy up to S6 for 20ppm.
- Can carry Heat Lances, but that also increases the cost of the Bike.
- Is T3(4) with a 5+ armor save.  Anything worth a damn shooting these guys will bring 'em down.
- A squad of 10 is more expensive than Scourges.  They're also 35 bucks for 3..

- No plastic models for these guys.  Any conversion ideas?
- Jump Pack infantry with a 4+/6++ armor/invulnerable save at T3.
- Can take a huge array of special weapons such as Blasters, Heat Lances, Splinter Cannons..etc.
- Each have a 18" Assault 3 Poisoned carbine on top of this.
- Very competitively priced considering their weapon options.

I can see the argument for these two going either way.  I absolutely love the weapon options for the Scourge and I can see myself taking 4x with Splinter Cannons or Blasters any day of the week.  The Heat Lances are also exceptionally good considering you can pen a Land Raider on a roll of a 7 from 9".  That's pretty hardcore results.  But what about Jetbikes?  They auto-hit things from 36" away with a 3+ cover save.  That's one hell of distraction and harassing unit, although they are priced fairly to justify their power.

Lastly, we'll look at Incubii vs. Harlequins:

- WS5, 2 attacks each with S4 power weapons.
- They have a 3+ armor save.. which is unheard of in a DE army.
- They can take dedicated transports.
- They don't have Plasma Grenades, so you need a Archon with PGL.

- WS5, 2 attacks each with Rending if you take kisses (matches Incubii in price).
- They ignore terrain completely and they can't take any transports.
- They have Shadowseer for Veil of Tears and Plasma Grenades.
- They have Hit and Run and Furious Charge special rules but only have 5+ invul saves.
- Can take two squad upgrades and Fusion Pistols.

This is a pretty good debate since both units are priced the same once Harlequins take kisses.  They are both excellent close combat specialists even though they are on the opposite ends of the spectrum.  The Harlequins have a ton of attacks and can cover a great amount of distance under Veil of Tears, but if they can't break what they hit then they're going to take heavy losses.  Incubii, even though they lack Plasma Grenades, can take a transport and reach their target a little easier while putting out consistent power weapon damage.  You can negate the weaknesses of the Incubii's Plasmsa Grenades with a Archon's PGL, but that's adding onto the price of the unit.  How do you guys feel about these guys?  I think they're both pretty good but are Wyches cheaper alternatives?

Well, here you guys go:  Three big unit decisions that hardcore Dark Eldar players are talking about everywhere.  What do you guys think?  Comments please!


Anonymous said...

What? This blogsite doesnt allow Yahoo IDs? Grr...

Ravager vs Voidraven is a tough decision. At smaller point levels, I would definitely go with the Ravagers, simply because they are more affordable and, barring missiles, will be pumping out more shots than the Voidraven. At higher point levels, though (say, 1850-2000), I would definitely try to include a Voidraven or two. They are pricier, but the combination of void lances and missiles means that they can take on enemy armour and infantry alike quite effectively. I will concur, though, that modelling them will be a pain.

As for Reavers vs Scourges (you can try converting Eldar Swooping Hawks for them, or failing that, combining Kabalites w. Tyranid Gargoyle wings), it depends on the role. For armour-busting, Reavers can get within heat lance range a lot sooner (without having to rely on the vaguaries of deep strike) and can do additional damage in the process with their fly-by attack, so I'd pick them. Otherwise, the Scourges definitely win out in my book as an all-purpose, customizable shooty unit.

As for Incubi vs Harlequins...Harlequins, for the following reasons: firstly, while the new Incubi look ace, I've always had a soft spot for the Harlies. Second, Harlies are a little moe reliable in the movement phase thanks to flip belts. And third, with invul saves, rending attacks and hit and run, I think a good player can just get that much more out of them.

Unknown said...

Here is my thoughts on it, Keep in mind I've been playing 40k on and off for 12 years, and I've been playing DE for little over a year.

Raider. To me, I would take it.
why? First, you have 3 lances. Sure they aren't str 9 but there's 3 of them.
Second,You have all that with a flickerfield for 115 points whereas the bomber is 155 with flickerfields, if they can even take them. That makes them mathematically stronger, and you can do something else in your army with the extra 40 points like, throw night shields on 4 raiders, put more guys in a squad, etc etc. Hell you can almost buy a venom for the amount of points you are saving.

On the subject of bikes. I prefer the bikes. I never used bikes in any of my previous DE armies because they SUCKED in the old codex. In this one, they are perfect. You have the 36" movement, AND you have, for 123 points, 3d3 str 4 hits, and d6 str 6 hits for passing over a unit. I would take a blaster over the heat lance tho in the bike unit. you stay at 18" blast away, then eldar jetbike thoes guys back AND you even have combat drugs on them for that 1/6 chance(even better if your running Sir duke of awesomeness) of getting FNP on thoes bikes.

I think the scourges should be run as small as possible with as many heat lances as they can. You ds them 9" away, they pop a land raider, then you just forget about them. Its a KP trade almost.

As much as I love the wicked clowns and enjoy that they made it into the DE book, there's just one problem with them. there too expensive with the kiss for this edition! Rending, back when they were first introduced, was a godsend, now, its like, why did you just scratch my storm shield. Not only that, you have it on a 6.

Incubi are more than worth their points. I don't even care they don't have grenades. They get a str 3 ap 3 FLAME TEMPLATE.. Sure your needing 5's to wound marines, but when you do, there dead. Lets just point out the demi-klaive is too damn expensive so just forget about it. Onslaught is a must, and if your putting the archon in there, I think he benefits from it to. I'll have to wait to see the rules on it when I get my spiffy book,hell, this even lets you get grenades for the squad.
Sure your paying alot of points for one unit, but its a super killy unit. I had it charge a unit of ss/th termies with that stupid FNP giving priest, and just went to town on them, this is after two wyche squads basically bounced off of them due to the damn fnp..

Then again, this is just what I think, and I'll be more than happy to see the different opinions.

Unknown said...

Ravager vs Voidraven
As for pure anti-armor, I'd take the Voidraven in higher point games (2000+) and Ravagers on the low end. The Ravager being slightly more accurate, but the Voidraven having the better chance of popping heavy armor. This missiles gives a great option for making the bomber more versatile once the heavy threats are gone, and of course the mine posing a threat of anything that wants to take it out from up close (RE Dreadnoughts, MC's,and melta guns).

Against a MEQ army though, I could see taking 1 of each a good idea. Though on the Ravager taking 3 Disintegraters instead of the lances. The Voidraven doing it's job of taking down heavy armor, and once the Marines are out, 15 S5, AP3 shots from the Ravager will make short work of the troops.

Reavers Vs Scourges
This is a tough one as both units are very similar. Both cost 22ppm, and both have options for decent anti-armor and decent anti infantry. Since scourges are jump troops, and not Jet Pack, they need to get into position and stand still if you're taking heavy weapons. They come with a 4+/6++ save.

Reavers have the ability to turbo boost, and gain that 3+ cover save. They can take blasters and Heat Lances for quick harassing of enemy flanks. Reavers also come with combat drugs. This, with an Arena Champion sporting an Agonizer or power weapon has a lot of melee potential. Also remember, all Eldar Jetbikes, including Dark Eldar, are allowed a free 6" move during the assault phase, even if they don't assault. So as long as they didn't turbo boost, you can move into LoS, fire, then back out.

I'm not sure if Bladevanes are useable during a turbo-boost. I don't recall seeing in the codex if this is specifically allowed, but I know in the BRB, turbo boosting disallows the unit from performing "any other voluntary action". Anyone know for sure?

Also as a side note, Heat Lances are S6, not 8. So they need a 9 to pen a land raider, but do get 2 dice to get there. Plus the added benefit of AP 1 helps when trying to roll for damage result.

Incubi vs Harlequins
As the way all the infantry choices in this army has always been, pitted against the right unit, you'll excel. Charge into the wrong type of unit, and you'll suffer.

Harlequins are better when fighting things like monstrous creatures, Nob bikers, and anything else with a high toughness and attacks coming back that ignore you're armor. Rending on the Kisses will mean you're always be able to wound things, and the 5++ invulnerable save means you can take your saves regardless of the attack coming in. Veil of Tears is nice, and necessary on a foot slogging unit, but I'd still rather be in a transport. Wyches make a much cheaper choice at this job. My Wyches have tied up a unit of 5-10 power fist terminators for 3 or 4 round consistently.

Incubi are much more suited at taking on the enemies that have no (or little) power weapon attacks. Like Grey hunters, tactical squads, Dire avengers, etc. 9 times out of 10, my old squad of 5 Incubi body guards with the Dracon have wiped out full squads of Blood Claws before they got to strike back. If they aren't wiped out on the charge, they usually end up losing the assault by 5-6 wounds, and that leads to failed morale tests, and either sweeping advances, or enough extra wounds to finish them off.

Put that same squad up against terminators or a MC, and watch how quickly they shrug off your Klaives, and then ignore your 3+ armor in return. You need the right tool for the job. Plus with the new codex, I like that the Incubi Klavex can take a S3 AP3 flame template

Anyways that my 2cents from years of playing Dark Eldar and many hours over the last few weeks reading the new codex.

HERO said...

"Also as a side note, Heat Lances are S6, not 8. So they need a 9 to pen a land raider, but do get 2 dice to get there. Plus the added benefit of AP 1 helps when trying to roll for damage result."

Heat Lances are S6 AP1, Melta, Lance weapons :) They need a 7 vs. every vehicle in the game hehe.

Unknown said...

Oh, I also wanna point out, that the bomb that people are so adamant about, is once per game, and a small blast template.

Anonymous said...

my take is this is a ery hidden way of making Incubi to stick with Archon despite not being officially bodyguards nor retinues...
as for the choices, why not one of each? this would make you prepared for more enemy options, and delete the cookie-cutter army look that is plaguing our tabletops...
imho, the ery fact such contest do take place is a testimony to the skill of Phil K.

Aventine said...

I think the Raven fighter from FW would make a pretty good Voidraven, and only 45 pounds....

Karnstein said...

First things first: the heat lance needs a 7 to pen a raidere, because it is S6 lance AND melta.

So unless play against necrons or BT with blessed hull raiders you tread the AV14 as av12. And a roll of 7 with 2d6 is the average result.

But let's answer the comparison questions:

Ravager vs bomber: Ravager hands down! If you had asked me "ravager or razor wing" I would have said 2+1 or 1+2.

Reason for that: If you take a look at the artwork, the fighter looks similar to a FW eldar nightwing. It does not resemble the FW DE flyer at all.

So my bet is: If GW ever releases a model, it will come with the vendetta fly-base. This means you stand absolutely no chance of getting normal cover save with it, while you could get one with a ravager.

I prefer the fighter of the bomber, because for 145 you get some serious alpha-strike power, which beats a desi-ravager hands down and together with some venom skimmers could mean the difference between reducing the typical SW firepower down to lighting-priests or still getting shot at with a bunch of ML from longfang squads. Sure AV10 is weak but played right your opponents should have other trouble in turn two and most of the damage potential has already been spent. Heck, I even trade it gladly away, if this means he can't shoot 6 raiders with 3 squads of longfangs anymore.

Incubi vs Harlis:

Incubi hands down! Harlis are a c&p from the eldar book, they are overpriced in my humble opinion thanks to the ed5 rending nerf and neither do they get the power through pain rule, nor has a DE army any kind of psychic buff power, like eldar have with doom and fortune.

Even a small squad of incubi without a archon or a incubi leader will walk over most MEQ units in a turn or two, except for BA terminators and SW TWC. And wyches can play the "I give a damn about your powerweapons" tactics too, and have a superior save for this role.

Scourges vs Reavers: Reavers!

They are a bit pricey, but highly versatile and you can buy them now. I'm not keen on adding nid wings on DE warriors and nobody knows when they come out and how the price tag will look like.

KryHavok said...

RE: Heat Lances - Yeah not reducing the 14 down to 12 for Lance...that's what I get for posting at 2AM EST.

Rolling a 7 on 2D6 is still only about 50% chance for a pen. Which is on par with the Void Lance. IMO though, I don't want to be anywhere near 9" of heavy armor when I'm shooting at it, unless it's a transport and I plan on assaulting the troops after it goes down. And with my luck of the dice, a 50% chance to pen, and then a 50% chance to wreck, I'd rather hang back, shoot from a distance, then let the fast moving transports fly in an assault next round.

Zheilt said...

3 S8 lances kill things better than 2 S9 lances. Armor and infantry alike. The fact that there are 3 of them offsets any of the benefits of +1S. They both all ID the same stuff (T4-), and 3 is more than 2 so for low T or AV targets, 3 is better anyways. If you bring a bomber and just sit it in the back and lance stuff, it is a waste of points because the ravager is better in that role and cheaper.

That S9 blast though is crazy and makes the bomber worth it on its own, in my opinion. I seem to recall it being large blast, but perhaps I am mistaken.

It really is a tough choice. If you get to use the mine, then it's a no-brainer. If your bomber gets stuck too far from anything and just lances all game, it's a waste. Problem is you can't ever know what will happen in the game. That and ravagers are totally lame. Do I want another raider chasis that is slightly different this time? Or a badass jet?

HERO said...

The only problem with the "badass jet" is that you have to make your own, proxy or buy an expensive FW model. Good discussions all!

Ahrimaneus said...

On the subject of Incubi vs. Harlies, Incubi hands down.

Incubi are simply more reliable in every sense. They have a nice armor save, always ignore armor, and are S4 all the time, S5 with a couple of pain tokens.

As a Craftworld Eldar player, I can tell you that harlies can be devastating in the right hands, but really only with the help of Doom (rerolls to wound). Otherwise, they simply can't pump out enough power wep/rending wounds, at least not consistently, without its help. Sure you may kill 4-5 marines, but then there will be too many attacks back which will really put the hurt on your 5+ invul saves. Harlies either need to wipe out the unit they assault right off the bat, or nuder it so completely that they won't get pasted when they get hit back.

Additionally, can haemonculi take a phantasm grenade launcher? If so a haemonculus might be a grade A upgrade for a squad of Incubi. FNP, grenades, and maybe a Flesh Gauntlet for insta-gibbing tyranid MC's and making IC's nervous. Any armor ignoring wounds going against your haemonculus aren't going on your Incubi.

Not to mention the models are dead sexy

KryHavok said...

I don't see 3@ S8 being any better than 2@ S9, but no worse either. Statistically speaking, they are equal against AV12+. If you go off the assumption you get to take all your shots each turn for 5 turns:

Dark Lance:
3 x 5 = 15 shots.
15x 66% (BS4) = 10 hits
10x 33% (5+ to Pen) = 3.33 Pens

Void Lance
2 x 5 = 10 shots
10x 66% (BS4) = 6.66 hits
6.66 x 50% (4+ to Pen) = 3.33 Pens

Of course that is all "statistically speaking" as anyone who has ever felt the wrath of the Dice-Gods will tell you...statistics don't necessarily relate to reality.

Against infantry the larger number of shots would win out. But if you plan on using either of these for anti infantry, I'd suggest disintegrater cannons on the Ravager, and scatterfield missiles. 15 S5 AP 3 shots, or a large blast template a S7 with re-rolls to wound. The thing I like most about the scatterfield missile is it's good anti infantry, and in a pinch can still hurt light-medium armor.

Sorrowshard said...

ok, i think the void lnce is actually better, because they penetrate av 11 on 3's, I'm fairly convinced 2 void lances are better than 3 DL's, throw in higher armour, infact not being open topped AND av 11 makes it alot tougher than a ravager, you can also get it cover by running fighters (or more bombers) to screen it.

the void bomb (wtf ? only 3" blast and one shot only) thats 3 str 9 ap 2 lances one time ? the fact that it has true duality with the troop mashing missiles available is kinda nice , tho they really suck vs vehicles or anything with FNP......

Bomber is better , but I think I would stick with ravagers @ 1500

Err 15 str 5 1p 3 shots ? what on earth is that for ? Disi's are 3 shot str 5 ap 2 weps now so 3 will give you 9 str 5 ap2 shots , 15 shots really would make up for the lack of plasma blast mode.

Harlies are a non choice in this book, they are only actually any good with both fortune and doom , Incubi win hands down , they can force enough 3++ saves on ASS termies to win ;o)

The bombers and jets are blatantly just 'evil' Nightwing and phoenix variants, I just cant face cleaning up and putting together any more FW stuff let alone converting them ........

Nice post

Zheilt said...

Ok, well blogger comments don't like table html tags apparently, so this will have to do:

In the table, XXX represents the chance for something useful to happen from a single "bullet" where "useful" means immobilized, wrecked, or destroyed. DEST is the chance for just a wrecked or destroyed result.

The results were reached by finding the chance for a single lance to effect or destroy and then the numbers were manipulated to find the chance for 3 as follows:

(where CHNC is the chance for a single lance, and X is the number of shots)
1 - (1-CHNC)^X

This gives the chance that the lances have to usefully effect or destroy a vehicle if they all shoot at the same target.

Basically, 3S8 are just barely better than 2S9.

I only made the comment about them against infantry because once all the transports are dead they have to do something. So, 3S8 lances will be better at killing the transports, and then they will be better at killing whatever infantry is left over as well.

Zheilt said...

Nuts. Forgot to make that a link.

For anyone too lazy to post it in their address bar (or not using Chrome) but still wants to see the numbers.

HERO said...

Good discussions all, I just wanted to chime in with a little twist! If you had to pick Trueborn, Incubii or Reaver Jetbikes as your last item, which one would you pick? I plan on having a Raider/Ravager heavy list.

Zheilt said...

Depends on the rest of the list I'd say. If you don't have any CC presence, then I'd say Incubi. If you don't already have some trueborn units (for example if you're trying to decide on 3 TB squads, or 2TB squads and an incubi squad) then I'd say the TB unit.

Persoanlly, I'd never take reavers over scourges. Sure they're a little faster, but the scourges can deepstrike and are some of the best units in the book, in my opinion. If you love the reavers though, I'd take them for either late game objective contesting, or heat lance suiciding. I don't know, I can't really see where the jetbikes fit into any list, to be honest. I'm not really sure how to use them or what role they are even for. Other than the 2 that I just mentioned.

Anonymous said...

Trueborn. Reavers can zoom up and kill tanks pretty decently, but I'd say Trueborn are more reliable.

Anonymous said...

I'm kind of surprised no one has talked about the Razorwing Fighters. I tried out the Void Raven and found it to be pretty much what everyone has said so far, solid choice and pretty dangerous. In a game yesterday I proxied in two Razorwings with splinter cannons, flicker fields, and night shields(expensive I know) and was really impressed with how they worked out. The Darklances and Cannons worked really well together, and the 4 single shot missiles did the most damage in a single turn of the entire game. Firing off 4 S6 AP5 Large blasts in one turn destroyed my opponents IG Blob Platoon in one round of shooting.

I'm not saying its better than the Void Raven, its just yet another solid choice in a very solid Codex.

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