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Which is more viable?
I have taken 3 ravagers in a game and the blast shots have just decimated squads, they wound everything, and can cause more than one wound. The ravagers are also fast and can deepstrike. Why would I use a Talos? What are its benefits?
I like them because they fill a role similar to Incubi, that is, high str melee that ignores armour saves. And we don't get a whole lot of that from the rest of our army. They are also somewhat of a counter to the rest of our army, being T7 with a 3+ save, it helps divert the anti tank weapons away from raiders while being slightly faster than footslogging infantry due to the ability to go through woods etc for a cover save against those anti tank weapons while not being slowed.
That said, I have only recently tried them out in 5th edition with results less than expected. Whereas previously I tended to use a webway portal for 2-3 Taloi I figured run would be sufficient, But due to going second in the 3 games I tried them in I always had to deploy them(and everything else) for thier own protection and this meant a longer trek to the enemy. I've found that as much as run does allow me to get more out of them, it's still nowhere near when I was having 2-3 of them jump right down the enemies throat generally on turn 3.
They are very respectable tough units, and there's nothing more fun than throwing them into things like GEQ, who cannot wound them without some sort of Str bonus. They certainly have thier use, although right now I'm trying to work out how to make them useful sooner.
I use ravagers these days.
The reason being that they are faster and the amount of fire they output is amazing. They also serve a meta game purpose in that the same weapons that take down raiders will also have to aim at ravagers generally resulting in a saturation of targets allowing some heavy death dealing units to survive (either raiders or ravagers).
Talos still has a purpose however especially with the newish run rule that allows them to cover ground about 50% faster if they don't fire. They also benefit from the ability of being quite difficult to take down at their high toughness and alright save value. Unfortunately the easiest place to take them down is in CC as there you will meet the unhealthy powerfist. This thing will beat 5 shades of snot out of your talos regularily not allowing you to earn your points or tactical value back. If you can avoid the powerfist and jump into combat with other troops then you will be laughing. I have been laughing many times, it is a big belly laugh laugh that belies your years and strikes fear into the hearts of many a gamer.
They can also be used as cover for your raiders in the early game. However this does mean you will be starting another 3 inches back of your lines.
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WWP and other Dark Eldar how to
The Talos is a nice fluffy choice for friendly games. It's really best used in conjunction with the WWP, making it's total cost 150-200 points unless you were intending to use the portal(s) anyway. It can actually be more effective against vehicles than a Ravager because a penetrating hit is all but assured, even against Land Raiders. He's also really good against tough units that refuse to die (Nurgle).
The portal is surprising hard to use though. Bikes & skyboards can use it, which means footsloggers or Raider-transported characters. The problem is that disembarking itself counts as moving (which you can't do in the same turn as dropping the portal). That means disembark, do stuff, hopefully survive the turn, and then drop the portal instead of doing stuff next time (I'm so descriptive today!). That's a lot of loitering just so you can make use of Mr. Scary Floaty Bug.
Remember that you'll want the Talos already rolled in and the portal within 6" of his target if he is to charge something right away.
I'm pretty sure we are allowed to throw a webway portal from the side of a raider as long as it doesn't move, just like eldar can measure psychic abilities used from models in the vehicle from the hull, models being transported are generally considered to still be on the table and can still perform certain actions accordingly.
The best thing about the Talos is that it is great about soaking up fire and protecting the rest of our fragile army. If the enemy doesn't deal with it, a Talos will wreck havoc in CC! I once played a game against Necrons in which a Talos took 80+ shots before it finally died. Of course high Str low AP guns can take him down, but with T7 a normal gun can't instant kill him. So that's 3+ strong attacks that aren't going against weak raiders. I like bringing them just for fact. Even if it doesn't get to do anything, it can allow the rest of my army to be more effective.
This just my opinion based on how I have used them in the past – of course, experience and mileage may vary.
Of course this all changes depending on your list. If I make a list with a Talos in it then we are essentially assigning the “Heavy” selection choice to an assault duty rather than a shooting one. I tend to compensate the loss of a ravager by adding more shooting elements to the other selections – like gearing the “Troop” or the “Fast Attack” selections to be more anti-armor. A good example are my Coven lists – with 3 talos in the heavy selection choices the Troops and HQ are going to have more of a shooting emphasis than a close combat one.
My framework in a Coven list (because they contain a Talos in the list) looks like this:
Dedicated Shooting units:
Warriors and all raiders (main source of dark matter).
Dedicated Close combat units:
Grotesques, 3 Talos and Mandrakes (Talos & Mandrake shooting is too weak to consider).
Units that share both duties:
Raider Squads (priority to shooting but can support CC as well with an aggy sybarite).
HQ (priority to shooting but Haemys with drugs can support CC if they have to). I’ve mentioned before in another thread how I love having a Haemy in Raider Squad as their shooting effectiveness is more productive than their close combat effectiveness.
With no ravagers in a Coven list I have put more emphasis on the Raider squads and the Haemys to pick up the slack in the shooting department. This sits well in the overall balance of my Coven list as I am going to max out my Troop choices not only for the additional fire-power they bring but it adds more “scoring” units as well – I call this kind of flexibility “harmony”.
Can we take out the 3 Talos and replace them with 3 Ravagers instead? Absolutely! The list becomes extremely “shooty” and as I mentioned before I think the game rewards shooting more than assault so I could only figure that the more “shooty” a DE list becomes the more viable they become as well – all our problems can be solved with shooting. Sure, you may still want to have a CC unit or two in a list but the more CC units you put into your list beyond the 2 or 3 the weaker it becomes in general (so give your CC units something to shoot with and you can ease the pain of taking them).
Just my 2 cents.
Last edited by KwiKwag; April 29th, 2009 at 19:01.
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Nothing is Wrong with the Talos especially with Run. It is just the Ravager is better. Talos though have great uses, just make sure to always take two much better results then one.
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The pity is that the portal falls into neither of those catergories, but I would heartily endorse the new Codex to allow this!
Now I also will back the Ravager until we loose that stupid "Wildfire" rule from the Talos, why would you eliminate the very thing you want to assault? The Talos needs to get into assault and stay there as long as possible and 'trimming the hedge' with firepower just might take you out of assault range when your opponent removes casualties from the front of his unit.
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