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Hi guys. Been a while since I last posted. Just finished playing throne of skulls, kept a clean sheet *takes a bow* only Dark Eldar player to do so as well. Can't help thinking that maybe if I had turned up sober and rested I might have actually won the one game I drew.
That's not what this thread is about, however, I may post up a bat rep or two and will certainly drop the list I took down a bit later, but for now I would be interested in getting everyones opinions on, well, everything. As my old tactica is obviously horrendously out of date now I am working on a new one. As such I'll be dropping down some threads (which I'll link in here to keep things tidy) asking you to vote on how good each of our units is on the following scale:
Don't take this unless you want it for fluff reasons or want to make your army weaker on purpose. From an army building perspective there is always something that can perform any role you might use these for better.
2 OK, sometimes, I guess.
This should only be taken in very niche circumstances and with a deliberate goal in mind, there are a few roles, probably only 1 or 2 that this can perform better than other things in the list and they don't come up too often.
3 A solid choice.
Whether you take this or something else that performs an equivalent function is largely personal preference. This unit can perform one of the major roles required by your army.
4 An exceptional unit.
Fulfils all the requirements for being deemed a solid choice and, additionally, has one role in which it truly excels. Alternatively this may be a unit which can perform multiple roles to an above average capacity. These units should be put in whenever including them won't conflict with your army design. If you are tring to decide what to include, these units are your first stop.
5 Put this in your army.
No don't ask, just put it in. You need it. Anything with a 5 should turn up in almost all army lists, it provides some vital function that can't be performed by anything else anything like as well.
I would ask that you keep in mind that I am asking you to rate the units power level and not how much you like it. Additionally the power level I am talking about is as a part of a functional army and NOT in a vacuum, so points cost and abilities that mess with FOC slots are important too. Additionally I am looking at this only within our own list as you can't put a greater demon or a Blood Angels dreadnought in your list even if you really want to.
Feel free to put down explanations of how you think a unit should be used, tales of them doing awesomely and such. I will shamelessly pilfer these threads for bits to add to the tacitca. Additonally special characters will be dealt with separately so don't judge how good an archon is by looking at vect.
So without further ado please rate units in the following threads:
The Court of the Archon
Haemonculus (Power Level 4: An exceptional Unit)
Haemonculae are fantastic, they are cheap, fulfil your requirment for an HQ in small games, come with a free pain token and make wracks count as troops. These are to my mind the second "best" unit in the Dark Eldar list, in that you should see these in almost every army.
A haemonculus has one of two purposes, typically, either to improve a close combat squad by supplying them with a pain token or to act as an independant, shooty unit in his own right. It is, of course, possible to combine these two functions by leaving the pain token with a unit and having the haemonculus wander off to shoot by itself.
No matter what you are doing with your haemonculus it is usually best to keep them cheap, they are not close combat monsters, nor are they terrors with a gun, though they are certainly functional and competent at both. Remember a haemonculus enahances other units rather than being an uber unit in it's own right.
Some set ups for Haemonculae are as follows:
Haemonculus, Scissorhand or Fleshgauntlet
Haemonculus, Liquifier Gun
Each of these are useful in their own right. Typically if you want to enhance a unit such as Incubi or Grotesques that are already pretty tasty in combat you want to add a liquiculus to give them a decent shooting attack, whilst if adding them to a unit of wracks or wyches a poisonculus with the ability to help in the damage dealing department might be in order.
Haemosnipers can attach to a unit at the start of the game then immediately leave them turn one and spend the rest of the game sniping at targets. In so doing they have a chance of insta killing lonesome ICs or MCs, which is very worthwhile or just picking off squad members from the more annoying enemy formations.
The Shatterculus has a one shot weapon, but boy what a shot! This can spoil the day of anything in the game, usually more than earning the points back. A nice alternative to the Liquifier Gun.
There is another point to be made about the haemonculus that I haven't touched on yet. The Ancient upgrade. This is a tricky one as, unlike the haemonculus this isn't an auto include. The ancient is worth taking if your haemonculus is going to end up in close combat and you ahve the points spare or if you don't have an archon and need a little extra CC punch in a unit. The lack of invulnerable and I5, however mean that you should not have this chap tangling with other ICs, although he will do fine against most squads.
The key ability of the haemonculus for many people is their ability to make wracks troops, but this will be covered in the entry on wracks. No matter what army your are playing a free paintoken is always going to be useful so if you don't have one of these in your army you better have a bloody good reason.
Archon (Power Level 4: An exceptional unit)
Archons are really good units. They are cheap, fulfil your requirement for an HQ and straight out of the box are devastating hand to hand monsters.
An Archon is for killing things in hand to hand, no matter which set up you pick this is their one and only purpose. Oh and they give incubi Phantasm Greande Launchers, which is nice.
As with most things in the Dark Eldar codex you don't want to overload an Archon so it become point heavy, keep it lean. At the same time you need to make sure the Archon can do it's job.
There are a few set ups of Archon, each defined by their wargear, so I'll quickly run through what's good and what's bad to take in combination. If I don't mention a piece of wargear it is because it obviously terrible or outshone by a piece I do mention in a way which I don't think needs explaining. If you are unsure about why something has not been mentioned (or think I made a mistake) feel free to let me know.
Firstly remember that your best defense is a damn good defense. I'm talking shadowfields, clone fields and ghost plate. Now, obviously you can't take all of these at once (the codex forbids it and you wouldn't want to anyway). The shadowfield is out and out better than the clonefield, it works against shooting and in combat gives you a better chance to survive all but one on one fights. So take a shadowfield, unless you are taking a clonefield for fluff reasons. Ghostplate armour is nice and in big games (>2000) it is sometiems worth taking as it gives a 4+ save that can be taken instead of the shadowfield if you have plenty of wounds and don't want to risk the field against an non insta kill attack. Additionally it allows you to keep a (bad) invulnerable save even after the field fails. These abilities don't outway the points cost in anything under 2000 points, however.
Agoniser or Husk Blade
Offensively there are really two choices, agoniser or huskblade.The agoniser is nice as it allows you to wound any unit, whilst the huskblades instant kill effect makes the archon a truly terrifying opponent for characters and other multiwound models, especially squads, such as tyranid warriors or Ork Nobs. The downsides of the huskblade are that it is expensive, requires a soul trap to be truly effective and relies ont he usuers (initially low) strength 3. By contrast the agoniser can never ever wound anything on better than a 4+ and doesn't instant kill. Which of these two set ups you take generally comes down to two things, firstly how many points you have available (if more, huskblade, if less agoaniser) and secondly whether you want to go hunting multi wound models and ICs/MCs or whether you are aiming to decimate weaker squads. Both set ups have their place, although the agoniser choice is easier to use and cheaper, meaning that if you are unsure this is the one you want.
Short answer? No. Long answer, if you are planning to put the archon with Grotesques or Wracks go ahead, otherwise this will stop you fleeting and you don't want that.
No! You are a close combat character and want that extra attack more than a medium range anti tank shot.
Yes! Getting stuck in combat with a dreadnought is an unpleasant experience and these give you the chance to leave.
If you ahve the points spare take these, otherwise don't leave them as a late stage upgrade in your list (see the section on list building for more information).
Phantasm Greande Launcher
If you are going to place the Archon in a squad that can't buy its own then buy one, otherwise don't. Incubi and Grotesques both benefit greatly from this upgrade.
Notes on Use
Don't leave an Archon alone, they like company, typically an Archon should be accompanied by Incubi, Wyches, Bloodbrides, Wracks or Grotesques. See each of the entries on these units for the reasoning behind this. Also note that an Archon does not like to be seen with other units as their shootiness pulls against the Archons combatative nature.
Once you get close to the enemy lines it is perfectly acceptable to split the archon and squad and let them attack different squads as this will allow you to do more damage to the enemy, provided these squads are already weakened. For more on this see the section on combat tactics.
I have to agree you listed some good options however I think the Haemosniper should never see the light of day.
Haemonculus, Hexrifle - This is a bad option. BS of 4 means 2/3 to hit, Hex rifile wounds on 4+ means 1/3 chance to cause a wound, then opponent gets an armor save means this weapon is absolutely worthless.
The hex rifle does indeed hit on 3's and wound on 4's, but it is also rending. This means that it's chance to wound a model with a 3+ save is higher than that of the splinter rifle (which is 1/9 or 11.1%). Instead it's chance to wound is 5/27 (18.5%), worked out as follows
5/27 or 18.5%
Each such wound has a chance to cause instant death so you have a weapon that kills multi wound 3+ save models. Assuming that model has 3 wounds you will instant kill it 9.3% of the time. That means that over the course of a 6 turn battle you have a 44.2% chance of instant killing such a creature by yourself.
Even if we assume a 40/60 chance against you have a 31.7% chance. Even a dark lance has only a 75% of killing a 3 wound creature or a 45% chance of killing a 4 wound creature alone in a 6 turn battle.
In fact I'll make a little comparison table to illustrate what I'm saying for a 3+ save model of less than toughness 7:Over a 5 turn game the probabilities swing further in the favour of the Hexrifle, it's chance of killing a 4 wound model in 5 turns is 27.3%, for the lance it is 26.4%. I'm comparing it to the lance as that is our most effective weapon for taking out multi wound models, the hex rifle is not quite as good as the game runs long, but is actually better in short games. Additionally the Hexrifle removes from play rather than causing instant death, which means it is effective even against models with eternal warrior. Further against lower armoured multi wound targets (such as Nobz and Tyranid Warriors) it is even better. Additionally it has an immense range and is an assault weapon. All that is leaving aside the fact that it causes pinning. Additionally against such creatures as wraithlords and Taloi it improves further by comparison.Code:Chance to Kill in 6 Turns (%) Wounds Hexrifle Dark Lance 1 70.8 99.3 2 54.6 93.5 3 44.2 75.4 4 31.7 45.3 5 17.1 17.1 6 17.1 2.9
Overall therefore a few Hexrifles in your force is as good as a few extra dark lances against armies with monstrous creatures or lone heroes (Mephiston I'm looking at you) and furthermore it can pin squads when fighting other armies. True a lone Hexrifle isn't massively impressive, but what man portable weapon in 40k is on it's own? If you want to keep the Haemie back and away from the fight, denying your enemy the easy kill point or attach him to a squad that will be shooting the Hexrifle is a good option.
Yikes that got long. I'm quite happy to keep talking about this (and am happy to change my mind if I turn out to be making poor points). I encourage anyone who notices anything else with my write ups being off to post up and let me know.
tl;dr Hexrifles aren't as bad as you think, please keep finding anything that might be an error or you just disagree with.
Ok So I agree on the mathammer that the chance to wound is 18.5% and the chance to instantkill is 9.3%. What I'm saying is those numbers are just not good enough to make this a playable option. Think about it on a 5 turn game the odds say you won't cause an instantkill and you will only cause 1 wound. So if this is worth it to you, your style of play is different from mine.
Now on to multi-wound enemy units. Most of them have T4 so anything with S8 is awesome since we tend to avoid armor saves and instant kill. Which means the Blaster/DL are significantly the way to go. Mathhammer says 3+ to hit 2+ to wound means 5/9 shots instant kill T4 unless we have invuln saves, cover saves, or eternal warrior. This really means the odds are in our favor to kill something in 1 turn.
Now if we have something nasty with T6 or 7 then instant kill is out of the question for most weapons unless it has special rules. Sure the hexrifle could do it if your hot on the dice but I still don't like the odds. I would recommend pumping lots of splinter rifle/cannon shots in order to make the kill.
So I'm sticking the liquifier gun/CC haemonculi and targeting a squad.
The chances if the hexrifle succeed arn't bad and if you have a couple of them chances are you probably will wipe out some very important multi-wound models if he has them... but greater than that might be that the fear of these weapons could impair your opponents judgement... sure the rifle has a low chance of doing it but it still has a chance and that fear of that weapon might cause him to make mistakes that benefit you.