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Hello all, I was just thinking a bit about this topic last night and I'm just going to try and explain my theory the best I can.
So basically I comparing these two units to see what your really paying your points for, so all of these examples will be done using MEQ examples.
O.K so first off all point costs at they're basics:
1 Lord - 160 points
- Veil of Darkness
5 Immortals - 140 points
Total cost of unit: 300 points
5 Destroyers - 250 points
Alright so first of all you can see that the flying circus unit is much more expensive and 1 more model count, and the lord makes up for over half the points of the unit! Just to get the ability. Now players don't typically field units of 5, the most common by far is the unit of 10. So the unit of ten plus the lord brings us to 440 points. Which is almost the cost of two 5 man strong destroyer squadrons.
But I will be using the above examples here, now we need to look at what we get out of each squad.
The flying circus:
a Power Weapon (staff of light)
3 Strength 5 AP 3 shots (staff of light)
10 Strength 5 AP 4 shots (Gauss Blasters)
24 inch range
The ability to deep strike anywhere on the board once per turn
The ability to get out of combat.
15 Strength 6 AP 4 shots
36 inch range
Jet bike movement
So, looking at the strengths of the flying circus combo deep striking once per turn is a very risky tactic and leaves you vulnerable to shooting (especially low AP blast templates) board edges, and in general enemy movement.
The veil can be used to get out of combat. Sounds good? Well once you consider that whatever combat you get into, you will probably be taking Leadership checks at negative modifiers. Plus the addition of any power fist and power weapon inside the unit. So a space marine Tactical squad of 5 men with a power fist charging your flying circus unit will almost always win the combat and deny several of your Immortals WBB. To counter that you could throw in a resurrection orb but that will increase the point cost of the squad to 340!
The Immortals Gauss Blaster is obviously not as effective as punching MEQ armour. (especially when the units are at equal point costs)
The single extra strength and the 5 extra shots means your wounding MEQ on a 2+ instead of a 3+, that makes a world of difference. Although against lower toughness the strength value doesn't matter with anything past 5. But the destroyers still shine in areas where the flying circus doesn't.
Alright now to look at the destroyer. Jet bike movement means terrain isn't really a worry, now with destroyers you can't get out of combat but if played right avoiding combat is easy with they're movement. I have found strafing your destroyers units from side to side and just in general keeping your distance works like magic. So with that avoided combat in the first place you don't receive those losses that come with it, the leadership checks etc etc.
Plus the speed the flying circus moves at is very risky and random. while the 12 inch movement of the jet bike is not.
Now the flying circus is often used a way to get the immortals gauss blaster into range, with the destroyers 36 inch range + movement up to 12 inch range (its rarely used so I will say more like 6 or 7 inch movement) you can easily hit any target that the flying circus can while keeping a safe distance.
When the flying circus comes into range and the destroyers come into range you open up different targeting options to your opponent.
The units that can hit properly positioned destroyers are most often:
Long range low shot count weapons like auto cannons, las cannons and so on.
Pie Plates and blast templates: now I've never had much of a problem with these firing at my destroyers cause of the actual size of they're base. It makes it very hard to hit more than 1 or 2.
The units that can hit a Flying Circus unit with average scattering are:
Rapid Fire weapons
Long range anti tank
Pie plates and blast templates just tear through this unit (its actually like lashing your own unit in a group)
Your enemies fast attack can close in on your very quickly
So destroyers win in this section 2 to 4 of all the weapons.
Well there are probably a few more I've forgotten that I would wish to say. Now don't get me wrong here I am not bashing people who use the flying circus and its a very viable tactic. I am just putting my two cents into the effectiveness into each unit.
Feel free to comment and correct me.
Well let's do this math....2 squads of 5 destroyers, 1 squad of scarabs (great with Dfields or to run a screen for CC) this fills your fast attack limits, BUT add a squad of immortals and you've got MORE firepower. Plus the tactic I like was an article I read about the hammer and the anvil. Basically the main phalanx is the slow moving hammer, walking ever closer toward the enemy army...supported by res orbs and a monolith to help WBB's! Thus the circus can get behind them for fleeing enemies and such, basically units that can encircle them become the anvil (could infiltrate flayed ones too, but etc).
Anyways, I only have 6 destroyers, and not excited about paying another $100 for 4 more! Especially when I converted warriors into immortals for about $4 per model!
For the record, I don't think anyone doubts that destroyers are the BEST unit necrons have. I mean 15 Destroyer armies are just PAINFUL, but gear that WITH Immortals which are nasty in their own....you have some serious firepower!
Last edited by Dark Trainer; July 2nd, 2008 at 02:21.
"There is only do, or do not. There is no try." - Yoda
I find VoD has a MUCH harsher moral effect against opponents. Destroyers are scary but just the thought of having a squad of immortals, which are intimidating models by sheer looks, drives most of my opponents crazy. Then the number of dice I grab for the subsequent shooting phase gets them sweating as well.
Noted I never field less than 8 immortals in a circus squad which throws off your calculations a bit gauss.
Its good to see that more and more people are seeing the huge downside to the VoD lol. Personally i never liked it due to the huge DS risk involved, but i never actually pts compared it before. The Lord being so much of the cost... Hmm, try ots matching the Lord +5I unit to the Deceiver, see how badly they come off then lol. Anyway, now having somewhere to refer to about why Destroyers are better anyway will be handy. Thanks Gauss
the reason i go for the flying circus instead of more destroyers is because of two reasons.
the first reason being that i don't know many opponents that don't find 9+ destroyers cheesy and a chore to fight. the veil is less annoying to them because it might not work, might die, etc.
the second reason being that any more than 6 destroyers is just boring to me. yes, they are the best unit. yes, they are probably better overall in any scenario next to the circus. but thats what makes more than 6... lame for me.
zip around in circles, rape everything, repeat. theres really no... challenge, or tactica, for me. Take my dark eldar for example. Scrourges aren't the best unit, hellions too, etc. But should i really not play with them and have fun with them because they're not as good as wyches? maybe if i just want to win, but i think thats secondary to keeping the game interesting with crazy tactics like the circus or tomb spyder wall or even pariah combos.
necrons are bland enough as is, without just sniping with destroyers or flanking even though most of the time it's just for show. but that's just me, i don't disagree with anyone else maxing them or anything.
Biz does make a good point...