Sunday, October 23, 2011

Looking at combat units for DE

Well, I'm continuing to take a noob look at DE and I have to say, I am finding myself far outside my depth.  I totally get the extreme fragility issues that DE have and understand that they have to be played well and timed well to gain those wins. 

I am beginning to see the light on troops selections, but I still want to try a few things out before I write off those 10 man dark lance warrior units.  That said, I really want to consider my combat units next.  I'm going to list some initial impressions and would love some feedback if you have experience with any of the units.

1) Incubi-  I love these models and the idea of how they perform on the table, in theory, seems pretty sweet.  WS5, I5, and 2A with S4 power weapons means that even if they get charged (which is hard since they have fleet), they are going to whittle down most normal infantry units.  Also, though he is expensive, the Klaivex with demiklaives seems pretty awesome and brings a bit of utility to the group by +2 strength or +2 attacks.  If you continue with the theory that DE armies should contain quantity of threats and not quality, you can skip the Klaivex upgrade.  This unit makes a great bodyguard for an Archon.

2) Wyches/Blood Brides- I am putting these together since bloodbrides just have an additional attack and pip of leadership.  This unit seems like it can produce a ton of S3 attacks.  Unfortunately, you can't add many power weapons to them, so they end up looking like a decent tarpit.  The best way to do this is to take as many of them as possible.  Unfortunately, if you want them meched, you can only take 10 max.  If you use a portal you can take a bigger unit which makes a larger tarpit, but also makes them more succeptible to being multi-assaulted.  I like the agonizer on the hekatrix and in theory, the hydra guantlest, but I think the shardnets are probably the best option for tarpitting.

3) Beastmasters- These units are kind of the unsung heroes of close combat.  They have enough types of models in this mixed unit to make a unit that can handle a lot of situations. They are also great for providing some cover on multiple levels as the beastmasters and razorwings are on elevated bases.  Razorwings are sweet.  Sure they are S3, but each base gets 5 attacks at I5 and WS4. Combine this with rending and you will do damage to units.  I also like the khymerae for their durability.  The 4++ ward helps out quite a bit.  I want to like the clawed fiends, but they seem like expensive wound soaks. Sure S5 looks great, but the models cost 40pt. apiece.  I don't know if they are worth it.  They will help soak high strength shots that can double out a khymerae or razorwing flock though.  Finally, the beastmasters are there to get the beasts.  They are a necessary evil.

4) Hellions- I don't know what to think about these guys really.  2 attacks and S4 is nice, but that just pumps them up to marine level.  Combat drugs could put them over the top in that matchup, but I really don't see them being all that great unless you have the Baron to ride around with them.  I don't know.  Maybe I'm wrong, but they seem a bit lackluster.

5) Reavers- I'm adding these guys as a combat unit, though I think I would add them to a list to provide additional anti-mech.  Their bladevanes and high rate of movement make them a nasty harassment unit.  Again, combat drugs help them out, but I don't know if they are especially good as combat units.

6) Harlequins- I'm adding these guys last as I don't think of them distinctly DE, but I have to say, I love them!  Adding in the kisses, a few fusion pistols, and a shadowseer nets you a nasty unit, especially in a portal list.  They can house an HQ carrying said portal and get him into position to drop it before dealing with some units.  There is just so much that I love about Harlequins, but they definitely make a hardcore unit especially coupled with an HQ like an Archon.  Unfortunately, they don't benefit from power from pain, which is sad.

Some might consider a Talos as a possible combat element, but I find the D6 attacks a bit too random.  I am also leaving out Grotesques and Wracks as I see those as objective holder more than combat units. 

There you have it.  Unfortunately, it seems like we have too many trade-offs.  I can take incubi, but I lose the ability to take shooting support in the form of a third unit of trueborn.  The tradeoffs occur in other slots as well, but not nearly as intensely as in the elite slot.  Taking a unit of wyches still allows up to 5 other troops.  Taking a beastmaster unit still allows some reavers for more anti-tank.  With DE it seems that there are no easy choices.  Everything looks so good. I would love some ideas and advice.  Thanks.

Some other useful hobby articles involving basing:
Tutorial: How-to Rock Bases on the Cheap
Live Long and Prosper... Making Vulkan

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1 comment:

AbusePuppy said...

Incubi are pretty good, but can take away from your other AT- if you're running them, you definitely need to use your FA slots for Reavers/Scourges. I would never take a Klaivex- he's cool, but far, far too pricey, and his abilities only exacerbate the problem. Given that you have access to Raiders in addition to Venoms, there's really no reason to take him, just add more bodies instead.

Wyches, as you say, are a tarpit unit, but they put out enough atacks do to some damage to most units. Shardnets are your preferred special weapon, as they further reduce incoming damage (whereas the other two only give you more mediocre hits.) Agonizer can be useful, but note that Venom Blade is a lot cheaper and produces statistically similar results. Haywire Grenades let you screw up parking lots and can also annoy Dreads, and so are usually a good choice. I don't really like Bloodbrides, all things considered, because they do the same job as Wyches but take one of your important Elite slots.

Beastmasters are fantastic. In smaller games, just stick to Razorwings (for hitting power) + Khymerae (to soak S6+ wounds). Taking a Fiend for larger squads seems decent, since he can eat up wounds and get stronger for it, but I don't think they're strictly necessary.

Hellions are only worthwhile if you take the Baron, I think. They just aren't particularly great in a fight; if you can give them a token, they do a lot better, however.

Harlequins are fairly good, but it's important to note that without Doom/Fortune support they lose some of their punch. They're still quite survivable against shooting, however, and thus can be a good WWP delivery system that also fills other roles.

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