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I haven't been a fan of star engines. Not super pricey but they do cost and you can't use them after you drop a unit off or when you shoot, and our transports on flat out already travel pretty far.
However I've been taking a second look now that I've got some real fire dragons instead of proxies.
My thought is that fire dragons have to be awfully close to the enemy and so are prone to only getting to make a single shot. Granted they usually pay for themselves with that one shot, but it'd be nice if they could keep firing.
So what I was thinking was to put star engines on a serpent that doesn't have the shooty unit inside. Probably either one filled with melee units or an empty one (I have guardians sit back on objectives and send out empty serpents with the advancing forces)
The way I envision things is that the serpent with the DA or Dragons shoots forward, possibly even spinning around to get the hatch closer to the target. The shooty unit gets out and unleashes melta doom or bladestormage. Then the other serpent that had previously gone flat out uses the star engines to land by the dragons and their serpent to keep the dragons safe from assault and ideally at least provide cover if not total concealment for the dragons and their serpent.
Anybody do this? Do you think it would work well enough to be worth doing?
Yup, works great, although i like to use a falcon for the dragons and a flat out transport for some angry ladies. Use the falcon to get the dragons where they are going and you still get to get a lot of shots with the falcon. The next turn the banshees get to assault up to 18" (if your real lucky) and the dragons get a cover save AND you still get to you use the star engines to provide moving fire screen.
Plus, even though a falcon is a bit more expensive all tricked out it is a FAR MORE devastating transport for the fire dragons mainly because ain't notin gonna bring that sucker down. Unless you are very unlucky, plopping a holofielded and fortuned falcon in cover means that the enemy is REALLY gonna have to dedicate their whole army to bringing it down. The other side of this if you flat out into the middle of an enemy army they've got a very big problem, either dedicate their whole turn to shooting something that gets to make two die rolls on saves AND damage tables or ignore it and get dragon'd, farseer'd, doom'd, falcon'd and whatever else you brought in a transport along side it'd. This is particularly powerful in combination with the tactic you mentioned as well as a charging wraithlord or seer coucil, or both, cause then they REALLY don't know who to shoot.
This is PARTICULARLY effective against obnoxious crusader land raider based armies, or anything that uses expensive transports/heavy inf or a lot of tanks, especially if you can throw some doom/guide in there.
I've been running a list like this and i went undefeated in my escalation league at GW. 11-0-0
Last edited by FartsMcGee; April 20th, 2009 at 16:29.
I just had a game where I tried that out. Worked awsomely. Sent off two serpents w six dragons each and a serpent w star enginess and my warlocks.
Dragons hopped out and each squad got to pop a dreadnaught. Than I star engined the warlocks serpent between them and the nearby grey night terminators and troops. Creating a barrier to LOS and charging between the 3 serpents to the dragons. The serpents take some charged but weather them well enough. Next turn dragons and serpents wipe out the terminators and the warlocks and seer wipe out the nearby troops.
Now a single good result doesn't mean much. But I think I'll be able to use this technique in nearly every battle from now on. Not only does it keep the dragons alive, but it puts the melee troops close to the enemy and will often shield their rear hatch area from deep strikers and other annoyances.
Last edited by sunnyside; May 1st, 2009 at 07:11.
Yeah, I'm glad that you had success with it. Because of the very high mobility that comes with the star engines it's a very tough strategy to bring down. The biggest problem that I have is that every once in a while one or two of the transports gets popped early and i have to decide wether to fight it out there, or cut my losses and keep moving. It's not a star engine specific problem, but a mech eldar in general problem. It's just that with the transports costing even more with the star engines, it get progressively more painful with each loss and leaves your downed troops even more vulnerable cause the rest of the army has gone very far away.
Well, I'm only doing with with 2 out of 6 skimmers. The others are busy shooting or dropping troops off most of the time. (And it does get pricey).
Though one thing I do to mitigate losing a ride is "donating" skimmers. I take serpents with guardians. Sometimes I run them with the guardians inside. But often I like to drop the guardians off to go for an objective and the serpent is there for other squads to run into if needed.
While I know we need to have units inside to do harm I find having many skimmers makes it very hard for my opponent to make decent headway against them.
Last edited by sunnyside; May 2nd, 2009 at 03:43.
Btw, do you guys know that you can't use Star Engines if you disembarked/embarked trops from that transport this turn? So scheme like 'flat out -> next turn -> disembark -> move skimmer -> troops shot -> star engines provide screen for troops' won't work. Maybe you're talking about some other stuff, or I don't get something %)
The star engines are on a different skimmer from the one dropping off the dragons.
So the dragons got dropped off, but the close combat troops in the other skimmer stay inside as it uses the engines to screen the dragons.
So it's move the dragon's skimmer 12", possibly rotate so they get a little closer, unload dragons.
Dragons blow something up.
Close combat troops skimmer, which had flat outed, then uses star engines to get a model with a 4+ re-rollable cover save between the dragons and the enemy.
So far the enemy has chosen to attack the blocking skimmer in close combat if able. However needing 6's to hit they haven't gotten one down yet, and even if they did without the entangling rules the CC unit would still be able to charge.
So then on the next turn the dragons and skimmers open fire on the closer enemy to soften them up for the Eldar CC troops.
Haven't used them to support firedragons yet but have used them to once to screen some reapers. The serpent lost its gun early so would move to clear the LoS for the reapers then star engine back into place to give the reapers cover to return fire. Not something I would plan on doing all the time but the movement in the shooting phase opens up options. I'll be thinking about this little trick in the future that is for sure.