Monday, November 22, 2010

DE: What are my troop options?

Based on the games I've played so far, I'm going to say that I absolutely need at least 5 troop units.  With MEQ armies, I don't feel comfortable playing without at least 30 scoring boots on the table.  For example, I always go with 3 squads of 10 full Grey Hunters for my Space Wolves and 3x10 ASM for my Blood Angels.  In the recent tournament that I played, the fact that a exploding Raider can kill half my dudes confirms my predictions.

For this reason, I don't see min squads of troops working.  Unless...

  • You have FNP on your units to begin with; such as Wracks or Haemonculi-joined units.
  • You're running 5 Warriors in a Venom w/ 2x Splinter Cannons w/ Night Shield and just sitting back.
  • You're running 5 Warriors in a Raider just for the Dark Lance and 24" scoring.

Other than this, I see big squads of units worth it 100% if you're taking non-Haemonculi units like me.  My Kabal doesn't run any Haemonculi because I believe that killing my opponent is more satisfying than running FNP token monkeys.  Now don't get me wrong, Haemonculi and Wrack troops is still very satisfying.  For example, my friend Nick ran Haemonculi with Wracks in the same tournament and he was able to soak up a lot of damage with them.  Each of his Wrack squads were in MSU (Multiple Small Units) configuration in Raiders.

This leaves us with two distinct playstyles of Dark Eldar:  Big units or MSU-style play.

Now bear with me while I think outloud:

  • If small units of Wracks can soak up so much damage with their T4 and FNP then wouldn't 10-man units of Wracks soak up a lot more?  Exploding Raiders only wound them on 5s (T4 and open-top).
  • Small units of Warriors in Venoms don't really contribute to the battle unless they have Blasters.  Wracks sitting in Venoms don't really contribute to the fight unless they take a Liquidfier.  Both of these can also sit in Raiders for extra Dark Lances, but Venoms are definitely more accommodating with their inbuilt Flicker Fields and 2x Splinter Cannons.
  • So the ideal configuration would be Warcks w/ Liquidfier in a Venom w/ 2x Splinter Cannons and Night Shields.  They will sit back and shoot anything outside of transports and act as rear-guard scoring units or GTFOff my objective units with their troop-threatening template and poisoned shooting.
  • This ideology shifts somewhat when you get up to bigger units.  We all know that T4 FNP is much more survivable than T3 5+ Warriors, but Warriors supply the unit with a Blaster and Splinter Cannon in a Raider.  Wracks can only take 2x Liquidfiers at their most optimal unit size per cost.  This means that they're quite limited in function and not nearly as flexible.
  • Warriors deliver ranged shooting in both anti-infantry and anti-tank, but they sacrifice durability.  Wracks provide the durability but lack the ability to engage tanks or offer ranged support.
  • This pretty much means that 5x Wracks in Venoms is most ideal and 10x Warriors in Raiders is best.  The Wracks' Venom should have Night Shields and sit in the back with Splinter Cannons while the Warrior's Raider should move mid-field and apply anti-tank pressure and shoot poisoned shots out of the Raider if the target presents itself.
  • If you're not taking scoring Wracks, you should probably just go for big units in Raiders because they add more for you.

Now what about Wyches?
Absolutely vital - at least 2 units of 10 in Raiders.

The reason why is because you're playing Dark Elves and you desperately need a reason to close the distance with something dangerous.  They're also scoring so you can always capture/control objectives on your opponent's side of the field.  Wyches threaten things like Devastators to no tomorrow and it gives your opponent a high priority target to shoot at.  The best way to run these units is by including a killy HQ with them because it increases their target killing potential by a ton.

In terms of Wyches, the only problem I have with them is that they die if their Raider blows up.  Everyone inside takes a S3 hit and with a 6+ save, things go quite poorly for them.  If you attach a Haemonculi to them and give them FNP, it increases their survivability by a lot.  In terms of effectiveness, the Haemonculi you bought to take the Wracks should go with the Wyches and the Wracks should be in the Venoms.  You now have offensive and defensive scoring troops in Fast transports and I think that's the way to do it.  Your opponent will have to shoot at the Wyches while assessing the mid-field Warriors and the long range Wracks.  Add this on top of your turbo-boosting Trueborn with Blasters and 3x Ravagers and things get really stressful really quick for your opponent's target priority.


Lyracian said...

It is nice to see an army making use of more than one troop choice (even if one needs unlocking with a HQ).

Five scoring units is nice, especially when they are so squishable. You could even take all six with two units of each.

If you are going to take Homii as HQ, what will you use for the other HQ (if anything)? Some sort of Archon?

HERO said...

Absolutely, some form of combat monster, definitely. DE have plenty to choose from ranging from the low-priced Succubus to the fairly expensive Vect.

Anonymous said...

My first couple of games at 1500 pts have had 5 troop choices, and have WWPs. I had 2 squads of wyches of 10, one in a raider, the other in reserve. One squad of 9 warriors w Archon w WWP in a Raider and one squad of warriors of 10 w SC & blaster, and one squad of wracks of 10 w 2 LG w ancient haemonculus w PW and animus vitae.

Warriors survived both games because they were low priority. Wracks did great when I rolled avg or better, but got worked when I rolled total crap (but it was against SW w a wolf priest, so that was an uber-hard unit). I rolled meh to crap with my wyches so far, and they have been underwhelming (I've been rolling consistent crap for the agoniser and meh for everything else).

Even when in cover, DE troops (and Incubi) cannot survive rapid fire bolted well. Definitely not going to trick warriors out for CC and might attach WWP w wyches in raider in future. Nice change from playing necrons.

Anonymous said...

It is interesting to see new dark eldar player's perspective on some of our older units. A good use for wyches is to tie up deathstar units as well. They won't wipe the squad out, but they will slowly hack away and tie combat until your archon finishes killing all of the squishy troops.

Runesun said...

I'm not sure I would have lumped the wracks and warriors in a comparison. Wracks and wyches are both CC units after all. The number crunching I've been doing seems to favor Wracks over Wyches in almost all instances so the question really is: Do you want haemonculus in your army? There's a lot of pretty awesome HQ units so using haemi's wont be for everyone.

James said...

What do you guys think about 3 Warriors, 2 Wyches, and then Bloodbrides (with 3 shardnets) accompanying a scary Archon?

Wyches get stuck in on tough CC units...1 or 2 Warrior units either reserve or hang back, other 1-2 provide fire on infantry preferably parked on objectives. Obviously Ravagers do their thing.

Then you could take something like Incubi to take out MEQ on objective, and Trueborn for more anti-tank. Depending on Pts for game then things like some Hellions or Reavers, and another HQ, either Haemon (obviously in a Wych unit) or Succubus (who would go with Trueborn).

James said...

Oh and the Archon would have a Clone Field and Husk Blade for sure, and his Raider with Aethersails and a Flickerfield (I'm good at rolling 5s...not 6s..just 5s).

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