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For a while I'd thought of vypers as a little thing I could throw into my list. Usually managing to make their points back and survive because the enemy would spend the game firing at the falcons stomping on them and other higher priority targets. And if they did get shot down, whoop-dee-do, your opponent just earned a whooping 60 VPs.
However these days the vypers seem even more fragile. And more to the point the Falcons just aren't what they were. Meaning the vypers might be more of a target. And on their own they're worth a point the same as a land raider.
At first I figured I'd just banish the things to dust collecting duty on the shelf.
But maybe that's a bit hasty.
Maybe they could be good in a squad?
The squad rules are better this edition. They get free spirit stones. (Though die on immobilized). And even though hits get spread out. So long as you only get hit with a single pen/glance (which is usually the case unless you're in close) you can just keep piling the damage on the most wounded vyper.
Also since they can fire freely around each other they can take better advantage of cover. This is a critical thing in the new environment. Not only can they stack behind some cover but only half of the unit even needs to be in cover in order to get the bonus as with infantry. So, for example, in a two vyper unit one vyper could be in cover, and the other, to get a better shot, could just be hanging out in clear view. Both vypers still get a cover bonus.
Also with the new way objectives work I'm seeing even more armies based on making aggressive forward moves, even Tau rolling out with their Fish of Fury. This means that the Vypers mobility is extra useful as less mobile models like walkers may very well be facing down melee or at least rapid fire in short order.
Similarly as a unit vypers are only one point and can do a great job contesting objectives in the potential last turns if that's what you need to win or tie. (leaping from 24" out to next to an objective, and then having 4+ cover saves and the usual rules making melee against them weak).
Anyway thoughts? I think I'll give them a try in a group of 3 if I can. I'm not sure what to arm them with. Scatter lasers are the obvious choice of course. However since cover is so important and there are some nasty multi shot 36" ranged weapons floating around it's tempting to take EMLs with them for the extra 12" of range.
Keep in mind that the EML can fire either krak or frag grenades, the latter of which is considered a defensive weapon.
They seem like they'd be good in shuriken cannon and catapult configuration, or something like a shuriken cannon, starcannon, and scattler laser combined with an EML.
Just remember that, no matter how much firepower they can put out, they're as squishy as a raider, and a strong breeze will knock them out of commission.
"Tell me what you cherish most. Give me the pleasure of taking it away." Sephiroth, Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children
I'm also have a second look at Vypers. I think the importance of cover may be the key, and I consider fielding the following combination :
Farseer on Jetbike, with Guide and Fortune, attached to
Jetbike unit (3 or 6) with Warlock (Embolden)
Squadron of 3 Vypers, main weapon depending on opponent
The idea is the following. This group of unit could be used to flank the enemy in the first 2-3 turns.
In each of these turns :
at the start of the turn, Jetbikes are in front of Vypers, covering them
Farseer casts Guide and Fortune on Vypers, with re-roll on psy tests due to joining unit with Embolden-Warlock; for the first turn it may be better to Fortune the Jetbikes...
Jetbikes and Farseer move [front, optional] aside, to give Vypers behind a clean shot
Vypers move, but not too much
Vypers shoot, with re-roll from Guiding
Jetbikes shoot (probably just with ShuriCannons, if in range)
Jetbikes jump back 6" during Assault phase to give again cover to Vypers
When the opponent turn comes, if he shoots at the Vypers they get a 4+ save with re-roll from Fortune (maybe except in first turn). If he ignores the Vypers and shoots at the Jetbikes they have their 3+ Save. So he's faced with a dilema, especially if its a large Jetbike unit (little hope of reducing them quickly enough, and very little chance of making them retreat, they have a Ld10 test with re-roll from Embolden...)
I know it's a pretty expensive group of units (about 550pts), but it might be a real pain for the enemy ("damned if I do, damned if I don't..."). And that group has the ability not only to contest an objective, but also to take one... With Singing Spears for the Farseer and the Warlock, you can also have a go at some tanks in later turns...
The use of Guide on 3 Vypers may even justify the expense of Bright Lances, for instance if you know you will face Land Raiders, or lots of Leman Russes, etc. Of course that also depends on what you put in the rest of your army.
Its very synergetic of course :
Farseer to boost Vypers' shooting and resilience
Warlock to boost Farseer
Jetbikes to provide irritating cover to Vypers (make the most of "eclipse" shooting)
Vypers to provide long-range threat
Lots of irritating re-rolls... ;-)
What do you think ?
Children of Isha
In all honesty I dont understand where all the negativity comes from with regard to Vypers. everyone who has posted so far including the person asking the question have amazing ideas with regards to these versitile craft.
Since the unveiling of 5th and the slaughter of the falcon, as well as most eldar vehicles eldar players have to adapt. Vypers in my opinion remain effective if taken with minimal upgrades in a squadron of 2-3 units. Personally I take two with scatterlasers. I play a greyknight player often. His regular infantry can pop a vyper no problem. he can actually smoke both vypers in one round of combat if you leave them undefended. the problem is that means that he aint going to be shooting at more valuable targets with those squads. Vypers can be used as a good counter meassure craft. zip them around the battlefield and select targets carefully, either moving flat out, or keeping them in cover. They have the potential to be really annoying.
I guess my point is, if your takin vypers your playing a moderately if not completely manuver oriented army. So plan your movement carefully, and theyll quickly earn back those 60 something pts you spent on them.
I've been looking at buffing my Vyper numbers as well, I currently only ever field one armed with a EML though using a squad of 3 might be nice. I tend to use them as mobile snipers, with the long range of the EML being what keeps them safe rather than anything else. From there they can hit tanks with Krak and infantry with Plasma and with a 12" move and fire weapon platform it's not unusual to find yourself aiming at the side of a vehicle.
They seem to work best as part of a flanking motion and i was toying with the idea of a squad of 3 and a refused flank as your opponent can either try fighting them and let you bring a numerical advantage to play or redeploy and allow your Vypers to get behind their troops and vehicles.
I've tried a couple of different weapon options for them but the versitility of the EML wins out for me, a comment I find myself repeating in a lot of my Heavy weapon decisions as of late.
"ask not the Eldar a question, for he will give you three answers, all of which are true and terrifying to know"
I agree with Emraldcat. EML on vypers can really muck up enemy tanks.
And tanks seem to be a recurring theme all over. I think every single army at our local club features tanks or big nasty MCs, and in good numbers.
I remember back to 4th edition and all infantry lists. But I think 5th ed put those out of commission. I guess orks might be able to make a decent full on hoard, but that would require a brutal amount of time and effort.
Hey! Orks don't like EMLs anyway. When you're firing at a squad of 20 boyz it'd be hard to miss! And Orks do have to take pinning tests.