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2 OK, sometimes, I guess.
3 A solid choice.
4 An exceptional unit.
5 Put this in your army.
This is part of a group of polls on how powerful various units are to help me in the writing of my new tactica. I am not going to post my opinions straight away as I don't want to influence people.
This poll is about the Elite choice Mandrakes. To get a better handle on what the voting scale represents you can read it in its entirety Here
I've voted a 4 after debating between it and a 3.
Mandrakes are truly astounding for the price you pay and are one of the few sources of a permanent invulnerable save within the codex. Their S4 as base means they stack exceptionally well with power from pain (as they generate wounds without the use of special weapons).
This coupled with infiltrate and fleet makes a turn 1 charge a very real possibility, even if they do not stealth means a unit hiding in cover fairly difficult to shift.
Perhaos the most important aspect is how all these things come together - they are one of the few true hunter-killer units in the codex (and, by extension, the game) which gives them a huge amount of strategic and tactical options that sadly few people will get.
Mandrakes really are one of those units that look nothing special on paper but shine when used, most people will write them off which says more for the sad state of the 40k community in general than mandrakes specifically.
You do make some very interesting points outsider. I'm beginning to notice it more and more but it's like my buddy who has been playing for 15yrs always tells me, "Less is More."
you know when i first saw them i condemed them because in my eyes they were a poor choice compared to other elite units, however they have started to grow on me they are decent at combat ( decent mind you not great but can hold there own against a banged up unit) and have a great shooting weapon which helps them to keep enemies from engaging them in an assult. it seems however that they do require a PT to get the most out of there potential.
Mandrakes make tau and imperial guard freak out, and they even give space marines a run for their money. Today I had a tau player throw a fair amount of fire power at these guys, whilst ignoring the raiders running up his other flank and my mandrakes still survived til combat. A definite 4 for me almost a 5.
I can easily say these guys are the worst unit in the codex.
Their save is poor, they can't shoot starting out, they can't take a vehicle, their melee is worse than Wracks and they cost more points. They're not particularly good at anything really. They just have infiltrate. If they had a pain token starting out, maybe you could plop them in cover and blast things that walk near them. But because they don't have that, and you can't infiltrate with a haemy. They're just bad.
Fetch me another plaything. This one seems to have broken- Urien Rakarth
Psst, against shooting wracks are tougher than all other DE infantry bar incubi, grotesques and possibly wracks as they actually get a save against nearly every ranged weapon in the game.
Like I said before, people who declare them crap I wil lsay with a fairly high degree of certainty are those who would never use them to their strengths anyway. Look at them i na vacuum and yes, mandrakes do not stand out. However look at how they function within the context of the DE army and how it all works together as one cohesive force rather than "lol i r pro, if i take 1 good unit and naother good unit clearly they will be twice as good, huzzah!" which leads to retardedly built forces as you have no cohesion beyond 1+1 which is terrible for use in an army that has so many advantages that cannot be put on paper.
I had Mandrakes in my army starting out but after several games dropped them. I never found them worth the points since we played random scenarios (so no idea if Infiltrate will be of use in the game or not) and the times I did use them even when assaulting what I would consider soft targets (Tau, guard, etc) the fact the unit does not have Plasma grenades meant that a fair amount of the unit was getting hacked up before being able to do anything.
Ask not the ruleboys a question for they shall give you three answers each true and terrifying to behold
And the cover save is fine, if you plan on shooting, which they can't do. If you're goal with them is to sit in cover and hopefully scare an opponent, then fine, take these guys in droves. If I fought you, I wouldn't waste the shots.
So, let's say you have a squad of 10 guys. On the charge against marines that'd be 30 attacks, 15 hits, 7 wounds, and marines would take 3.5 wounds.
If they have a squad of 10 chaos marines, they'd lose 1.2 guys, attack back with 18 attacks, causing 9 hits, 6 wounds, and you lose 4 guys.
Against normal marines, you'd lose 2 guys. Which means you still are (on average) losing combat, even if you have the charge and your target is not in cover.
Compare against a squad of 5 incubi, which would get 15 attacks, 10 hits, 5 wounds (and kills).
Which would leave the chaos marines with 10 attacks, 5 hits, 3 wounds, and 1 kill.
Normal marines would cause 1.5 wounds and kill 0.5 models.
The incubi squad would cost 40 pts less, or you can drop it in a raider and have it cost 20 pts more and have much greaty mobility as well as an extra dark lance to toss around.
And being that both of these squads are elites and can not be used to capture objectives, this seems like a fair unit to compare it to.
And if you're going to compare what a squad can do to tau or IG, anything in the codex can do well against tau and IG in cc.