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I am pretty new to Eldar and I'm not sure which one is better for knocking out heavy infantry/vehicles, Wraithguard or Firedragons.
I'd say wraithguard would rip up more things than the dragons due to the weapon's special rules. They are more durable, their weapons never need to worry about armor of a vehicle because they have their own special rules, and they are quite scary for an eldar unit. But you do pay for it...
Point for point they are about equal in my eyes. One on one however, wraithguard win hands down. That said, I love the dragons and they never let me down so if you don't feel like dropping a huge load of cash on a single squad, fire dragons are just fine once you get used to them.
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If fire dragons are in a vehicle, then I would say they are more effective. This way, they can easily get within 6" of a tank make full use of their guns. Also, they aren't them most durable troops in the game, and with their generally small unit sizes, it's good to keep then protected.
On foot, the wraithguard are tougher, and their guns are more effective at maximum range than the fire dragon guns (although they don't have AP1). So in a footslogging army, if I had the points, I would probably go with wraithguard. However, you can get a unit of six fire dragons in a wave serpent for the same number of points as 6 wraithguard, and I think that option is generally preferred.
IN a direct answer. Wraithguard are better for taking out heavy infantry/tanks.
However, firedragons are probably cheaper. The thing is usually Firedragons die quickly after your opponent sees what they do. Also, wraithguard in a unit of 10 count as troops (Try getting them off an objective.)
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I'm going to have to respectfully disagree with you all.
While Wraithguard have some advantages, Fire Dragons are better in almost every circumstance.
I currently play my AT as a unit of 5 Wraithguard and 1 warlock (because who wants to have a huge unit do nothing cause you rolled a 1) in a Wave serpent, as for both FD and WG you want to get them to your targets quickly and safely. I have some firedragons on order and will be switching them in for the wraithguard for sure.
Here are my reasons:
#1 point cost: 5 WG and warlock = 215 points, 10 regular fire dragons = 160 points, that's 55 points you can use better elsewhere.
#2 Shooting tough units: the WG warlock combo gives you 5 12 inch AP 2 shots that hit on a 3+, wound on a 2+ and cause instant death on a 6. The fire dragons give you 10 12 inch AP 2 shots that hit on a 3+, and wound on a 2+ unless you are hitting stuff that is greater than toughness 6 (and there isn't a lot out there that is), and cause instant death on ALL wounds if the models are toughness 4 or less (Tau battlesuits, Nobz... the list goes on and on) (also most things that they can't insta death are immune to it anyway). So in general they will kill twice as much stuff. (yes you can give the warlock a singing spear for 3 points, but it isn't AP 2, so you have to get lucky to have you hit, wound and them roll a bad armor save)
#3 Shooting at armor: WG and warlock (with singing spear) gives you 6 12 inch shots that hit on a 3+, 5 of those will glance on a 3/4 and penetrate on a 5/6, the other... will depend on armor, which i'll do in detail with the FDs. The fire dragons will give you 10 12 inch shots that hit on a 3+ and at best, miss on a 1, glance on a 2 and penetrate on a 3+, and at worst, glance on a 6 (though their glancing hits can actually blow up vehicles). However... if you move 6 inches away, all of a sudden you get 2d6 to roll, and that makes a huge difference, chances are you'll be getting about 5-6 penetrating hits on 14 armor (ignoring the case of the monolith) and even more against lower armor. If you want to add to this, upgrade one to an exarch and get tank hunters, though generally this isn't necessary with the number of shots you're pouring out. The wraithguard warlock can at most give you 6 penetrating hits, and you're much more likely to only get 1 or 2, not matter what you're shooting against.
#4 CC against vehicles: WG can really only take down vehicles with rear armor of 10 or 11, and that is fairly unreliable. The warlock if you don't give him the singing spear shot will get 3 str 9 attacks which are very useful, especially if the vehicle didn't move (though this would work if he was with any other group). For Fire dragons they have melta-bombs which are 8 + 2d6, they will take down ANYthing other than a monolith.
So this isn't complete without the list of drawbacks:
In CC against other units, fire dragons get ripped apart, whereas wraithguard are generally much tougher to injure... however WG generally don't kill many units a turn, and a large group of gaunts can keep them tied up for a whole game, where they do nothing. Basically if either of the groups get into cc something has gone wrong, unless you have some amazing countercharge strategy with the WG.
If the transport gets taken out, WG can effectively footslog up the field, whereas FD will likely get destroyed.
Finally, Monoliths... Wraithguard are one of the best things in 40k to take out a monolith, as living metal doesn't negate their weapons. Also the warlock with them can actually take out a monolith (especially in CC) though you still need to be lucky. However, with an exarch, with tank hunters Fire dragons can also take out monoliths, almost as effectively. Let me pull out my math hammer for a sec:
WG w/ warlock singing spear: 5 wraithguard shots, on average about 3 hits, which on average will give you 1 penetrating hit, and one glancing hit. The glancing hit can't destroy the monolith, and while immobilising it and taking out one of it's 6 guns is nice, it doesn't help too much. So you have one penetrating hit, and you need a 5 or a 6 to blow it up... so about 1/3 of the time you'll blow it up. Now add in the warlock, 2/3 of the time he'll hit, and then he needs a 6 for a penetrating hit, so that means 1/9 of the time he gets a penetrating hit. Once again a penetrating hit blows up the monolith on a 5,6 so 1/3 of the time, there for, 1/27 of the time a warlock with singing spear will blow up the monolith...
FD with exarch and tank hunters: 9 FD's will get on average 6 hits, which glance on a 5 and penetrate on a 6, so on average you'll get 1 of each. However FD glancing hits destroy a monolith on a 6, and penetrating hits on a 4+, so your chances are 1/6 + 1/2 =2/3, plus then there is the exarch. He hits on a 2+ so 5/6 of the time. 1/6 of the time he glances and needs a 6 (1/6 againt) so 1/36 of the time he hits he'll destroy with a glance. 1/6 of the he hits he'll penetrate, and needs a 4+ so that's 1/12. Add that all up you get 5/6 * (1/9) = 5/54 he'll destroy it by himself, add that to the 2/3 chance with the rest of them and you get 41/54 which... is slightly better than 2/3. Which means they actually have a better chance of destroying the monolith.
Don't get me wrong, I LOVE Wraithguard, they were the first models I ever bought for warhammer, but I just can't see the reason to use them instead of fire dragons. If you can save them in my eyes, please do.
(wow that was a wall of text, and my wife is going to kill me for not finishing cleaning up the house like I promised)
Last edited by EldarNewb; January 26th, 2009 at 19:25. Reason: Fixed some of the poor grammar.
EldarNewb put it perfectly. At twice the price wraithguard should be better on a model / model comparisson, but when you count that you can get 2 fire dragons per wraithguard, 'dragons are easilly more shooty.
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Ya, I think they need some kind of tweak to wraithguard to make them more useful. The big problem I see with that, is that they are a really solid troop choice, and may become overpowered as a troop choice if they get a buff.
I've thought maybe lowering their point cost, increasing their range, or maybe giving them two wounds (with a slight point cost increase perhaps) would make them more viable.
I think the best upgrade would be an increase in range. It would greatly set them apart from fire-dragons. 18 inches (and maybe a slight point decrease) and IMO they'd be more much more in line with newer stuff. I still would probably ignore them though.
Everything I have told you, even this, is a lie.
The price of the troop can also be a factor in your decision, depending on how much money you want to invest.
A troop of six Fire Dragons (with/without Exarch) is 30USD
So, if you want a troop of ten in a Wave Serpent (40USD) it would cost 100USD.
On the other hand, one Wraithguard is 15USD. If you want a troop of five plus one Warlock (10USD) the cost is 85USD.
So, Wraithguard models cost more but since you might you less of them they turn out cheaper. But with the Fire Dragons you can alot more from your money since you get 2 extra Fire Dragons and you can use the Wave Serpent for other troops if you change your mind. Then, if you want more Wraithguard in your troop then it gets alot more expensive.