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After writting the next few paragraphs I realized that it sounds as if I am writing tactica for Raider lists in a killpoint scenario. That is far from the truth as I am trying to figure out how to tactle the problem of having so many kill points and am looking to see if I am both correct in thiking as to how fare in said scenario and if i am missing anything.
Seeing how vehicles are so good in fifth I see no reason not spam raiders. Dark Lances galore and Ravagers with disi's, what's not to love? The number of kill points you bring to the table, that's what. In a tournament setting I would bet that kill point missions will hurt a raider heavy list almost every time. In reality I would bet it's safer to take a bit of a mixed list, but what if you want to run all of those pretty raider you own?
I am thinking that there really needs to be a good use of placement and target priority. If you are playing on a board that has lots of cover, you would use as much of it as possible. The sad fact is that most people don't play with the twentyfive percent terrain suggestested in the rules. With that being the ways things are I think that DE needs to rely on speed to get out of range from weapons that will take out raiders. (just about any weapon wil do that just fine) Now I am just guessing here and would love to hear from people with more experience than I on this subject, but Perhaps some cat and mouse games are in order? Using our speed to get away from our foes and leave them to chase us. The cream will soon rise to the top and the faster units will be of a high priority.
Talking about priority, Heavy weapons and vehicles that shoot them. These I would suspect should be the first to die. Lucky for us DL's make for easy hunting. Things that will be harder to dislodge are going to be units that fire heavy weapons (Dev squads, Long Fangs, Havocs...) The reason being is that any compitent commander will park them is some sweet cover and in fifth ed there is no end to cover that can be found. So, what to do about them? I think it would be best to give them a wide berth and to stay out of range. Some times that will not be possible as there are some weapons that have a rediculous range of any where from 72" to "In line of Sight". For these there are two things we can do. One, take them out. Broadside? kill it before it kills you or stay out of it's sight. Two, put your units in reserve.
Reserves. Your opponent can't get points for units he cant shoot. By putting I would say half of your army in reserves if not more would allow you have some breathing room and play with the terrain to it's fullest effect rather than to have a bunch of crouded raiders. If a cat and mouse game is being played then I would think that you would want to maximise the distance between your force and your opponents. By having many a unit in reserve will only help you accomplish this as during the first turn or so you will be locating that piece of prime real estate and getting there.
Ground troops, give them cover or give them a eulogy. Snipper squads should get the best cover you can find that keeps them looking out over as much of the battle field as possible. They are one of the troops not to be in reserve as moving them will anly negate their sole function.
I'm not trying to be snarky or rude but what youve written is basically - dont get units killed for silly reasons? which is kind of how DE have to play anyways since we are so fragile.
By hiding many of you units you lose the biggest asset we have in killpoints games - the ability to Table and opponent asap - if you table them then KPs dont matter at all.
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Dark Eldar will do more damage trying to table an opponent than trying to be fancy and grabbing objectives. Every one of my games has either had me table my opponent or be tabled (with the exception of my one draw). When I was playing for objectives, denying killpoints, etc, I was tabled. When I was trying to stomp all over my opponent's face instead, I was usually winning.
In my opinion, it comes down to one major thing. If you're going to build a take-all comers list, it's easier to design it to do one thing. You can't make a list that will be equally good at all three possible missions. If you take more raiders for objective missions, you have more KP for KP missions, etc. The happy middle ground leaves your force diluted against what your opponent brings. What you can do is make a list to table your opponent, and then it doesn't matter who got what objectives.
Bringing lots of raiders and ravagers is currently the best tactic we have. Ditching a couple of them to make your army more effective in one kind of mission seems counterproductive.
I agree with Mongooseo. For DE it's either do or die (in their case, table or get tabled). You've certainly got enough AT and cc-units to do it.
I've noticed that in 5th, the trend nowadays is not only mech, but mech-spam. The more transports, the better. Most armies won't have enough AT to deal with all those transports. In 1500, the average army may be able to deal with 1-2 vehicles a turn. You bring 7-9 at 1500 and you're guaranteed to have enough vehicles make it into range to do serious damage by turn 2. Strategically, if you're worried about losing "a few kill points", you'll have the tendency to maybe move just 1-2 vehicles to within assault range. Basically you're feeding your army to your opponent piecemeal by doing so. Much easier for him to handle. Now if you were to send all your units (except the ravagers) up full speed, now your opponent has to face your whole army...an entirely different story.
Granted, this strategy won't work against every army, but it will work against most. IMO raider-spam is the best strategy for DE. Only against non-shooty armies can you afford to sit back and pelt them with dark lances and dissies. Against the rest, do what DE do best - go on the offense.
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Of course the most obvious route to take would be to try to table our opponent and against some armies DE will not have the hardest time doing that. Necrons come to mind. The thing is, any competent commander of a half way decently built army will deny a complete tabling. As Jy2 stated "Most armies won't have enough AT to deal with all those transports". If only you needed AT to take down a raider. Anything will take down a raider; sharp sticks and bad looks will do just as good a job as any auto cannon.
Mongooseo, you wrote "You can't make a list that will be equally good at all three possible missions"
Perhaps you missed the point of my post. Clearly raider rush is not built to win in kill point missions. I am just hypothesizing on a couple of tactics that will force our opponent to play the game we want to play. Yes I have tabled people early on in the game with DE, but I assure that a large fault was in the competence of the person I was playing against. The sophomoric game of me kill you, you kill me tends to come down to dice rolls and it is clear who the winner is after the dust settles. i am looking for something different, that is all.
I have to say though, one thing I am having problems with is indeed those units of infantry that carry heavy weapons - particularly the troops of marines or csm that tend to have a missile launcher or the like in each squad. This does make a highly problematic first few turns for me, as there's so many simple Krak Missile shots zooming out that I in no way can possibly scrounge enough cover for my Raiders, and the turbo-boost for Skimmers seems the only real option I have. Still, it does mean the Ravager struggles to survive early turns.
Well, having the chance to play a game of DE raider madness vs Tau in a annihilation mission today I decided to use the tactica I thought might work. It is not definitive to say that I am correct or not as one game proves very little, but I did very well as I was in complete control over the entire game. The score was 9 - 4 and the game ended on the sixth turn. I started out with close to half of my army in reserve and am happy to have done so as my opponent stole the initiative. Using my speed I moved to the safest part of the board leaving my sniper squads in cover to harass nasties that happen to be on the table corner that I don't care about any more. The rest was taking out the biggest threats first. I didn't have to worry about the Sky Ray and it's magic missiles as the path finders were all ways on the move trying to get into terrain or a firing position. I used my couple raiders that came into play via reserve to take shots at the two vulnerable Devilfish and since the raiders came on that turn they did not have to worry about being shot at as they were off the board to begin with. I am not saying that this will work every time and every game is different, but I have some faith as to how handle kill point missions at this second.
Glad to hear about your successful win, ZMB. You played it on your toxic canal board, right? I'd like to point out that that board offers much more LOS blocking terrain than most due to it's raised area in the center (and other city terrain). And that's perfectly fine and smart of you to do so.
The problem other players often run into is that they play a lot of games on a relatively flat battlefield with far too few pieces of terrain. Either that or they pick terrain that doesn't adequately block LOS or isn't large enough to make any real use of.
You brought this up in post #1, and I think it bares some further consideration:
The rules are that you must fulfill a 25% coverage of the board if you are to provide a fair battlefield to play on.
- page 88 (paraphrased)
Without a fair board, you can't have a balanced game. How can you say you really were the one that earned the victory if the game was stacked in your favor to begin with? Now, if it was stacked in your opponent's favor, that's another thing entirely.
Notice also that "six or seven" theoretical 12"x12" pieces are needed to fulfill that 25%, not "five or six." This indicates that we should actually be erring on the side of too much cover rather than too little.
The point I'm trying to drive home is that, to a general, picking the location of conflict is like winning half the battle before it has even started. As a 40K general, you must have the same mentality or else you are tying one hand behind you back, so to speak.
Page 88 of the rulebook can be problematic for many players since it doesn't provide a hard & fast rule for a method of setting up terrain. Whichever method you decide on, make sure it is always so that you can choose & place your fair share of the terrain.
Not a good selection of terrain? Bring your own! LOL, I know you can't always do that (tournaments come to mind), but what kind of player is going to get mad if you bring some cool scenery to your next game night? You surely don't want to get stuck picking from a vast selection of only craters, shrubs, and those buildings that have tons of holes for LOS all over them.
With the Dark Eldar, this is all extremely important. Our army has no other way to protect itself while still functioning properly (getting close with everything so it can hit with crippling force). We need solid walls, cliffs, and other large objects that allow us to make real use of our skimming ability and speed. And that's not only to get in close, but also to have somewhere to retreat to if needed. We all know what happens when a DE unit gets caught out in the open.
For the record, I do not consider a night shield list to be a properly functioning DE army. DE were not designed to sit back and peck away at long range, and it's not a particularly fun or exciting strategy to play, imho. I see it as a roundabout way of trying to deal with poor choice of battlefields, and doesn't succeed to the degree imagined very often. Using NSs is fine, but depending on them is not a reasonable solution.
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It is easy to figure out how much terrain should be used. take all of the terrain and stick it into one table squater. If there is any room, then one does not have enough terrain. It does bring up an interesting subject and that is tourneys. If tourneys are not going to have enough terrain to go around, then should a player plane for 15-20% terrain when building his army?
And oh yes, I play the hell out of my terrain as it you all wish you could put your minis on to it. Were you to live in the Bay Area SJ then you could and some of you do.
Last edited by ZMB; November 30th, 2009 at 07:35.
A few thoughts.
I do not bother counting kill points when list building. Our codex was meant to be mechanized and trying to manage kill points just renders your list impotent. Yes, kill point games are going to kill us but you just have to deal with it and pray.
I tried not to succumb to this and spent the first year of 5 edition trying to make foot squads and web-way portals work but I had no luck. I then embraced the “mechanized” idea of going all air-force and my games changed dramatically. However, let’s get this straight – Being mechanized and using Raider Spam are two different approaches – I see it like this:
Mechanized means mounting your troops as much as you can and taking squads that benefit from it
Raider-Spam means getting as many skimmers into the list and using min/max squads that don’t benefit from it.
Example: taking 6 raider squads with 5 men and 1 lance versus taking 6 raider squads with 8 men, cannon, blaster, sybarite, agoniser or poison blade, etc.,
5th edition Terrain:
There is a difference between 4th edition and 5th edition terrain. 4th edition terrain like the city of death buildings and the woods terrain (the one with 4 trees on it) are not 5th edition terrain. I believe that many people are still playing with 4th edition terrain and are getting a skewed view on the 5th edition effects on the Dark Eldar. I will also say that our raiders are probably the largest profile for a transport out there and not much terrain store bought terrain is going to block it. So if you got those buildings and forests with no hills or large buildings then you will just have to adapt and accept the only protection you got is a 4+ cover save, obscure, obscure, obscure.
I found this option better than using the WWP and deepstriking. I did for a while, use reserves heavily and found some success in certain deployment missions that really work well with it. Later, I discovered on this forum, that many of you were just blitzing everyone and not using reserves at all and that too has worked wonderfully for me. My biggest fear however, was the amount of raiders I would lose each turn and still I found myself hiding my raiders in the corners and getting too close to the enemy. Now, with the use of nightshields – I have found that I now lose less raiders per turn and that the majority of my raiders can reach where I need them to be in greater numbers. This evolution for me has changed how I use reserves – I still put one or two units in reserve but 80 to 90% of list is going to start on the table and will just have to suffer what the enemy can dish out on the first turn.
I never used them in 4th edition as I was a big WWP player and saw them as unnecessary (and they were). Now in 5th, and the WWP mechanics in 5th has rendered it too hard to use, Raider Rush is the next best strategy (mostly because deepstriking still sucks for us). Now, with the mechanized idea combined with raider rush and the predominance of 4th edition terrain, nightshields are now extremely useful.
The only units that stay back in the back field using the nightshields to the fullest are the ravagers but that doesn’t mean that the nightshields on my Wych’s Raider is doing the same. Night shields on a troop/elite transport is simply there to give the raider a chance to survive the first and possibly the second turn. Do not think for a minute that if I put nightshields on a wyches raider that I am going to float them in the backfield – quite the opposite in fact.
So are nightshields a waste on wych raider? Heck no. If one wych raider out of several can survive the first turn because the nightshield put the scatter laser, the krak missle or whatever out of range then that single nightshield point cost just paid itself off as well as all the other ones you purchased. The cost of a raider and half of a wych squad you just saved is worth more than purchasing 5 nightshields. Even when a marine player wants to rapid fire a raider the nightshields are still posing a huge benefit in staying alive and saving you a kill point. I suppose some of you will have to try it as an experiment and let experience explain what I cannot – night shields are golden.
Meh, I no longer use them. 5th edition has made it open season on troop choices and especially for troop choices on foot. Now that true line of sight and new cover rules pretty much means that everyone is a target on the first turn means that large warrior squads will be in sight (hard to hide) and will take tremendous casualties even in 4+ cover. I tried to make them worth while and large squads just didn’t last the game. The only ground troop I would consider is a 10 man warrior squad that I have outfitted to be a “super-gunboat” squad and boarding on an empty raider. Of course this means something else will be a pedestrian but for the most part I can get the super gunboat to work well for me. Other than that, the only thing I would start on foot at the beginning of a game is either a mandrake squad or a Talos.
A lot of good points from all around, certainly not claiming any facts - just my from my own personal gaming experience.
"On a hunch, I melted them down and inhaled the fumes and read the dark eldar codex again, AND FOUND A BUNCH OF NEW RULES HIDDEN BEHIND THE OTHER WORDS..." [Gardeth on modelling & interpreting the DE Codex]