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I'm in the process of putting my Dire Avengers together and soon I'll be on the Exarch.
I've got a lot of choices:
Shimmershield + Power weapon
Two Shuriken Catapults
Diresword and Shuriken Pistol
The Shimmershield and Powerweapon looks the best imo.
Before someone says 'depends on the rest of your army'. Could you explain which Exarch set-up goes well with each role or army composition. I think the most likely use of my unit would be 'all-purpose', which would make the Diresword and SS combination the best in order to give the unit more potency in CC.
Well, I for one, personally never use the Dire sword. I usually do it this way. 3 squads, 2 with 2 S. Cata and one with P.wep, S. shield. I use the S.shield unit to engage anyone who happens to get close to my other units.
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If you are only fielding one unit and giving them bladestorm (which you should), then you best option is 2 avenger catapults because you will be getting even more shots, and you should not let your avengers get in close combat anyway.
Ditto on that - I always take the 2 Shuricats. The extra shots are what DA's are good at, I try not to let them get into CC.
str 3 really doesn’t work with power weapons
A commander who puts his faith in heavy weapons alone will be outmanoeuvred. A commander who relies on close combat without support will lose his forces to enemy fire. Each element must work in harmony,so that the effectiveness of the army is greater than the some of its part.
Almost every close combat unit in the game has at least fleet and most move at least 12" + 6" assault anyway. Hiding them behind the serpent doesn't work every time and most of your targers will just want to rapid-fire you back anyway. Or drop a blast on your huddled avengers.
For being inside a serpent I like my diresword and pistol, I still get the pistol shots (whereas shimmershield gives you none) and it gives you a chance in cc. My avengers often want to charge (guardsmen or tau wanting to shoot them up) and so a diresword means I'm actually better than fire warriors in cc. Not to mention the off chance you kill a 150 point chaplain with it like I did. :rofl
I'm taking a shine to a pair of shurikenm catapults when inside a serpent because its nice and cheap, doesn't need defend gives out the shots when the regular avengers can't do it.
I don't like the power weapon and shimmershield as much, it needs defend and ends up some 25 points more than the other options (points I could spend on engines or runes). Your exarch loses all shooting potential and doesn't have the extra attack that a diresword does.
When on foot the diresword option goes right out the window, pair of shuriken catapults are best for foot as even if you get shot up you are putting out an impressive amount of shots. I only like shimmershield for avengers on foot if I'm also fielding an avatar OR scorpions /w shadowstrike OR harlequins. In other words the avengers can bog down enemies so your slower units can kill them at will.
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Dire avanger axel in one thing.
so let us maximize that effect. Go for the twin cats. give the exarch bladestorm aswell and you can shoot like hell on one turn and then redeploy and maybe even take an objective the next.
hope it helps
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In my experience the only viable combos are: Twin Shuriken Catapults & Power Weapon shimmershield. I will explain why
Twin shuriken catapuls give your squad an increase in the firepower output they can unleash on your opponent. Since these are at the BS of your exarch, it is even more potent. When you add bladestorm to the mix, it becomes something to truly be feared. By MEQ and non-MEQ alike. You have a farseer nearby to Doom the target unit, and you can almost guarantee its destruction.
The power weapon shimmershield combo is most useful when paired with defend. reducing the number of attacks, coupled with the fact that your avengers will (likely) go first, means that it is very possible that your unit will blunt the assault. Again, this unit shines with the aid of a farseer. Assaulting a doomed unit can be a surprisingly effective tactic, but being assaulted by a unit while under the protection of fortune can turn dire avengers into a tarpit. A tarpit that can hold up your opponen'ts units long enough to render them useless, or to be assaulted by your dedicated assault units. (and boy are the Eldar the master of the one-two punch. If I may be allowed my humble opinion.)
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I have to post just to say that I agree 100% with Forsaken. I have said almost exactly what he has multiple times across the forum. PW+SS and dual cats both play to the DA's strengths where as the sword and pistol make a unit that is "terrible" at CC only "bad" at CC.
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I think they should be put with the twin catapults or the PW/shimer.
DA are NOT assault squads. They are assault boggers. Shimershiled + defender gives ANY assault squad a headache, not to mention they now get a save against those hidden weapons. They become resiliant against attrition forces(especially hidden fist ones) and cause bigger damage back than they take generally. They are NOT meant to charge in and hope to kill everything in sight with that pw, its an insurance/protective measure.
The dire sword, is nice but it doesn't help you with your strength, you need to hurt the target first and that can be a challenge against anything that HAS multiple wounds, nearly worthless against TMCs and most commanders will simply avoid it.
The dual catapults are nice, but they actually make the blade storm drawback a real drawback. You now have taken the option of assaulting in to tie up that unit and actually making difference. Sure, my first statement stands, but what's better than being backed up by an assault unit to do the damage? well, that's being able to do some damage yourself!
Well, that's my take on the weapon choices of the DAs anyhow.
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