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I've heard a number of people say they can, but I haven't really been able to find any way to keep them alive after (or in some cases, before) getting them to their target. Usually my opponent just goes ZOMGFIREDRAGONS!!!! and unloads on them. Ordinarily this wouldn't be a problem, since it's always good to have a nice fire magnet, but once my opponent is free of my fire dragons, all that's left for antitank is my fire prisms and a couple EMLs. Naturally redundancy would help things, but I really don't want to take 3 squads, since I like to keep an elite slot open for scorpions or banshees (call me old fashioned). So how do you guys go about keeping your fire dragons alive?
The enemy's gate is down
take at least 2 units. do not rush them at the enemy. unload them to break enemy armour when you already opened some transports and you will unload all your army. Have some other threats in your army for enemy armour (fusion autarchs, storm guardians, warlock squads, harlequins, wraithguard) helps.
Hight elf and Craftworld Eldar army project pics heavy: linky
Most of the armor in the game now is 10-12 (rhinos, razorbacks, other eldar vehicles, chimeras, raiders, etc.) You should be able to deal with these armor values with eldar missile launchers/brightlances.
Fire dragons excel at killing the big things: land raiders, monoliths, leman russes, preds, and vindys. Usually, an enemy army wont be spamming these because of their points costs.
I think that you can do best with fire dragons using these steps:
1. PRIORITY, PRIORITY, PRIORITY: you should be thinking about this even before the game starts, in deployment. What exactly do you need to kill with your fds? What is the biggest, baddest armor value on the board, where is your opponent going to place it, and how can you get there safely? Deploy in a position that allows you to path to your opponent fast without sacrificing all cover.
2. USE THE REST OF YOUR ARMY: Eldar work best in tandem with each other. Make your opponent deal with the rest of your army. EXAMPLE: I run a mech list with an avatar and a wraithlord as well. I move my fire dragons flat out in a serpent up the flank while advancing with my avatar and wraithlord. I also put down fire from my war walkers and flank up the other side with a fire prism. Make your opponent pay for it if he shoots your fire dragons; if he spends firepower to kill them, punish him with the units he didnt shoot at.
3. DISEMBARKING RIGHT: I dont take big fire dragon squads. Why? Overkill and difficulty disembarking. 5 fusions and a firepike exarch with crack shot will do the job well and can disembark easily and strategically from the wave serpent. The wave serpent is your friend, its a resilient transport that makes for a good shield/cover. Learn to measure ranges so you are at the max distance you can be to be effective.
4. A TRADEOFF CAN BE GOOD: I will trade my 130 point waveserpent (spirit stones, eml) and a fire dragon squad for a land raider any day if the land raider is a key part of my opponents army. Its important, as denoted in the priorities section, to know how to identify threats and deal with them accordingly. If my opponent is running a leman russ demolisher that is way out of range of me, I wont bother wasting any points killing it. If my opponent is running a monolith that all his units are coming out of, Ill sacrifice everything to kill it.
Points arent always the best measure of a tradeoff. Sure, you dont want to sacrifice a 10 man souped up fire dragon squad and a falcon transport for a predator, but try to think outside the realm of points when you are assigning threat priorities. I just played a game vs chaos daemons in which I sacrificed my fds to kill a soul grinder because it was the only ranged unit in the opposing army. After that I could control the game on my own terms at range.
Good luck, I hope this rant helps.
The Hand that guides.
If Fire Dragons are the only unit opponent needs to kill then your list is built wrong. By putting him into situation where he can pour all his firepower into one unit and not get punished for it you have effectively given him the key to win. You should aim to build your list so that opponent has nothing but bad choices: "If I use everything to kill unit X, unit Y will sweep my flank and unit Z will assault my troops. If I use everything to kill unit Y, unit X will shoot me apart and unit Z will assault my troops...."
Revenant Moon Necrons: (W/L/D) 0/1/0 (6th edition: 13/2/2)(5th edition: 14/6/4)(3rd edition Codex: 16/4/7)
XIX Legion: (W/L/D) 0/0/0 (5th edition: 14/12/2)(5th edition Codex: 4/3/0)
Black Legion: (W/L/D) 1/0/0 (6th edition: 2/3/0)
Something Wicked... Reikwald Beastmen: (W/L/D) 10/4/1
Yeah I've been meaning to buy a second dragon squad, but it also would force me to buy another wave serpent. Unless I outflanked scorpions instead of taking banshees in a serpent. If I could just get araise the whole thing would be much easier....
The enemy's gate is down
I rarely loose all of my Fire Dragons squads. I will escort each FD waveserpent with a DA wave serpent and disembark together, carefully positioning the units to shield my FD's. Though in some cases the DA'a may be the more valuable unit.
Careful positioning of the wave serpents (to shield from assaults-be sure they move over 6" to protect them) and shooting at the most threating unit with the DA's. Again, it's up to careful planning during your movement.
Fire Dragon's or any unit that just speeds up and gets out in the open will die next turn. There is almost always a way, if not then carefully decide if the risk is worth it.
in 1500pt I wll have 4 WS's in 1750, 5-6.
At the beginning of turn 1, I spray my opponent's army with the bacon flavored spray. Then I unleash my Boston Terrier Squiggoth who then devours their entire bacon flavored army! There is no defense against her cuteness! All are doomed!