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there seems to be some confusion that vypers are not good and are not a viable option in an eldar army... if you think that, you are wrong.
the purpose of this thread is to put to rest once a for all how to use vypers.
so here it goes:
Q: what weapons should you upgrade to your vypers?
A: scatter lasers AND underslung shuriken cannons
- this is not the only viable option. it is the most effective. for 70pts you get 7 strength 6 shots at 24". strength 6 is good at killing rhinos, razorbacks, side armor, and troops.
ex) you have a squadron of two vypers armed with eldar missile launchers. you want to kill a rhino. at BS3 only one missile should hit. the missile that hits needs to roll a 3+ to be able to hurt the rhino. if the rhino has cover, your one hit is nullified on a 4+.
if the same squadron of two vypers has scatter lasers and shuriken cannons, that's a potential 14 shots with 7 hitting. you'll need a 5+ to hurt the rhino, but if you roll well that's 2-3 damage results. after cover saves, you should still damage the rhino.
- you want the scatter lasers over shurken cannons because the 36" range can be taken advantage of to help keep the vyper alive. what i means is, at 36" you're out of bolter range, assault cannon range, psycannon range, and plasma gun range. the only things that will be able to reach you are heavy weapons, which your opponent generally gets fewer shots from.
- you want scatter lasers over starcannons because:
ex) you have two vypers equipped with starcannons that want to kill a squad of marines. 4 starcannon shots means two hits and they are strength 6, so 2 marines should die. OR you shoot two vypers equiped with scatter lasers and shuriken cannons at he same squad. you have 14 shots so 7 hit and lets say 6 wound. from 6 wounds 2 marines should die... they do the same thing... but the scatter laser shuriken cannon combo gives you a lot more strength 6 shots to hurt light armor. btw, if the marines are in cover you will only kill one with the starcannons and you'll still kill 2 with the scatter cannon vypers.
- you want to upgrade the shuriken catapults to a shuriken cannon because it allows the vyper to still do stuff after it suffers a weapon destroyed. in addition, there are only so many heavy weapons you can have in your army and for 10pts adding one more just makes sense.
Q: how many vypers should you have?
A: you should take vypers in squadrons of two. i usually run two squadrons of two.
- you want a squadron to take advantage of the squadron rules so every (cant move or shoot) result is downgraded to just (cant shoot)
- one isn't enough to make a huge impact. three is kinda overkill. two are relatively cheap and are enough to be a threat (the only other units that gives you as many heavy weapons for as cheap are war walkers).
- a squadron of two also allows you to abuse cover saves. only half a squadron has to be in cover to get cover saves for the whole unit. so, only half of one of your vypers has to be obscured to grant the whole unit cover saves. your vypers should ALWAYS have cover
Q: how do you keep them alive?
A: a combination of many things.
- first, cover saves. as mentioned above, your vypers should always, always have a cover save
- Second, use range and speed. know when to get your vypers in at 24" to fire all their shots, when to leave them at 36" to just shoot the scatter lasers, and when to move them flat out to get a 4+ cover. sometimes it's better to sacrifice a turn of shooting and move than try and shoot.
- lastly and most importantly, vypers combined with the rest of your army list should keep them alive. what i mean is, you should have other more immediate threats to your opponent than vypers (fire dragons in wave serpents or a seer council) something to get your opponent's attention and focus their fire on instead of your vypers. this way, if they shoot your vypers, they get hurt by the dragons or council and if they shoot the dragons or council, your vypers are still alive.
- i have found that most opponents wont want to shoot at your vypers because they would rather shoot the "other" things. or if they do shoot your vypers, they will only assign something like a single dev squad or predator to try and take them out, which isnt enough.
WHAT?!? surely a predator or dev squad is enough to take out a vyper unit... lets break it down.
ex) a predator (autocannon w/lascannon sponsons) shoots your vypers. lets say one autocannon and both the lascannon shots hit. the lascannons can still roll a 1 to glance and the auto cannon damages on a 3+ (glancing on a 3). lets say two pens and a glance are scored. you allocate the damage so one vyper takes the two pens and the other vyper takes only the glance. you roll cover saves and roll well, saving one pen and the one glance. this means that one of your vypers is surviving undamaged and the other one will most likely die (it might not but probably will), but one vyper is still there, which is annoying.
note: you only have to make the one saving throw on the vyper that took one damage result to keep it alive, so as long as you make that one save at-least one vyper is living.
if your opponent shoots single heavy weapons, like a lascannon from a las/plas razorback, that's actually a good thing. it's not very likely to do damage (3+ to hit, a 1 only glances, you get a 4+ cover save, and they could still roll bad on the damage chart). that one lascannon also isn't shooting your other vehicles or things that would make "better" targets. plus, your opponent is unlikely to shoot a single lascannon at your vypers because there should be other "better" tagets in your army.
...cant think of any more questions, but i think you get the point by now. vypers are good.
i think i mentioned it, but the only other unit in the codex that lets you take as many heavy weapons for as cheap are war walkers. while war walkers are good, vypers aren't that many more points. they also have the advantage in mobility and because you now know how to make them last till the end of the game, they become a viable contesting option, which is a bonus.
i cant say enough good things about vypers. get past the amor 10 opened toped and take them. used properly, they will NEVER disappoint you. it takes some time and practice to use them properly though.
disclaimer: i HATE to use mathhammer and i only did it to illustrate some points. please go and test these things out for yourself then draw your own conclusions (give the vypers a couple tries before you decide they suck. it usually takes a bunch of games just to get used to them). also, you may find different things, like starcannons, work for you and that's okay.
Last edited by eldarkevin; May 4th, 2011 at 06:38.
how to generate cover saves:
i usually run my vypers in combination with a jetbike squad. the jetbikes go in front to give the vypers cover, moving out of the way to open a firing lane then assaut moving back in-front to provide cover. you could also turbo boost the jetbikes to give them a 3+ cover save. if an assault unit gets close, you can move the vypers in-front of the jetbikes to help keep your scoring unit alive (if you move farther than 6" your opponent will need 6's to hit the vypers).
the jetbikes can also extend cover. what i mean is, you can have half the jetbikes in cover, to give the whole squad cover saves, and string the other half out 2" apart to extend the cover to the vypers. remember, you only have to cover half of one of the vypers to give the whole vyper unit cover saves.
you could also use star engines on your other vehicles to move in-front of the vypers after they have shot to gain cover saves.
if all else fails the vypers can generate their own cover by moving flat out.
between your units, terrain, and your opponents units the vypers should ALWAYS have cover. cover is key to making them survive.
Last edited by eldarkevin; May 4th, 2011 at 06:31.
you may say, but my dire avengers are better at killing infantry and their wave serpent can kill tanks. isnt that better than a vyper squad?
lets break out the the maths (again, i hate using mathhammer but its good at illustrating an idea. your own experience should always trump mathhammer, but anyway)...
10 dire avengers: esxarch w/bladestorm=147 points
wave serpent w/EML,shuriken cannon, spirit stones=140 points
2 vypers w/scatter lasers and shuriken cannons=140 points
against infantry (a squad of marines)-
- 10 dire avengers (blade storming) is 30 shots. you roll well and get 21 hits. that means 10ish wounds and about 3 marines dead.
- vypers get 14 shots with 7 hits, 6 wounds, and 2 dead marines (you'll kill 4 marines over two turns and the avengers would have still only killed three because of bladestorm)
against a vehicle (rhino)-
- wave serpent has a EML and shuriken cannon. EML hits, as does 2 shuriken cannon shots (you roll well). the EML pens and one shuriken cannon glances. your opponent most likely has cover, so they get 4+ saves.
- vypers get 14 shots with 7 hits. that means two damage result and we'll say that you get a glance and a pen...
against a monstrous creature (trygon) (lets also say that the DA+WS focus fire as does the 2 vyper squads)-
- 10 dire avengers is 30 shots. you roll and get 21 hits. you roll well, 4 wound and the trygon rolls okay, taking 1 wound.
- wave serpent's EML hits, as does 2 shuriken cannon shots. EML wounds and the trygon save the one wound from the shuriken cannon.
TOTAL: 2 wounds
- 2 vyper squads is 28 shots, 14 hits, 7 wounds, and two go through.
TOTAL: 2 wounds
conclusion: for practically the same amount of points as a DA squad and a wave serpent w/EML,SC,SS you could get two vyper squads and do pretty much the same mathhammer damage. when you actually play, i think you'll find the vypers to have an advantage:
first, if the DA get out of the wave serpent (against any good opponent) they will be dead next turn. if they blade storm they cant shoot next turn, which is a huge disadvantage. the vypers can also shoot every turn when you're maybe only getting two turns of shooting from the avengers.
second, if the wave serpent goes down the dire avengers are dead.
third, you'll have two vyper squads able to hurt two rhino/razor chasis or side amror compared to just one wave serpent (in a meta game of mech this is HUGE).
fourth, the vypers dont go down easy to heavy weapons fire (see my example in the original post).
finally, you get two units to contest late game where the wave serpent and dire avengers is one (though, the DA make this unit scoring)
soooo it is worth dropping one of your DA squads and a WS for two vyper squads...heck, it's worth swapping a fire prism for a vyper squad (IMO fire prisms suck the big one. next time you play a game with fire prism take a step back and ask your self what they accomplished during the game that a vyper squad couldn't do...)
Last edited by eldarkevin; May 4th, 2011 at 06:30.
yet another reason to use vypers:
vypers are a fast attack choice... think about it... how many units do you normally take from the fast attack section?... maybe one...
vypers, unlike war walkers, dont compete for space with fire prisms, falcons, and wraithlords. instead, they are competing with warp spiders, shining spears, and swooping hawks. all of which are sub-par, except for maybe the warp spiders, but how many people are bringing multiple squads of warp spiders?
the heavy support section is also a critical section for the eldar. eldar need to bring falcons, fire prisms, and writhlords not only because they are crucial to many builds, but because they are amongst the most resilient units in the codex. vypers allow you to multiply your fire power and not limit your armies essential units.
Last edited by eldarkevin; May 4th, 2011 at 03:51.
I'm rediscovering Vypers after shelving them for years. I have 2 in my current list and I run them separate. I have them with EML and what I do is I find the highest point on the board and stick them there. They don't kill something every turn but its a distraction and once in a while they do nab a Predator or somehing. People tend to forget that they can alsdo shoot plasma missles against infantry which isn't hurt too bad by their BS 3.
Its just a matter of preferance and what's already in your army. They aren't a centerpiece they are a cheap way to fill in points and make up for what's lacking. My army alreafy has 2 EML WS, 2 Falcons with EML, and 2 Dragon squads so I may change them to Scatter Lasers and hunt side armor. Who knows. They can do anything you need them too.
First of all, one has to be careful with ones feelings of how good a unit is on the battlefield. I've found the two main ways units decieve are:
#1 If they're a crazy expensive super unit. These can have a lot of flash, survive battles, and do some impressive things. But their high cost often means you're left at the end of games thinking. Wow, that unit was great, too bad about my opponent controlling all the other objectives at the end of the game.
#2 If they're so low on your opponent's target priority they get to fire away all game (thus "earning back their points")
Vypers potentially need extra scruteny because of latter, and it sounds like that might be the OPs experience.
The issues with Vyper squads is that they don't bring anything special, can provide a soft target in hard lists, and aren't actually cheap.
By special I mean doing something the other units in your army aren't capable of. In my opinion fire prisms aren't popular because of raw killing potential compared to other choices, but because they provide a weapon capable of making those long shots, gives you the ability to credibly threaten a monolith and the like, and makes an opponent question deepstriking with terminators because of the AP2 blast on the snuggled up termies. Vypers just bring more heavy weapons into the fray.
By soft targets in a hard list what I mean is that if the rest of your army is composed of AV12 skimmers, wraith constructs, and/or units that will arrive from reserve, than in the early turns your opponent may have nothing worthwhile to target with weapons like heavy bolters. Putting in vypers just gives otherwise silent weapons something to kill.
And finally there is the price thing. Vypers are simply outgunned by walkers and, while they do match up favorably with many other choices for the heavy weapons they bring, DAVU serpents are scoring and can tank shock, and wraithlords are competant assaulters. Also the nature of the rest of our army means that we aren't going to be winning any leafblowing competitions. This means that we're forced to rely on our shorter ranged but heavy hitting options, almost regardless of what list one is playing. As a result points are often better spent on beefing up those squads or their transports as opposed to some additional heavy weapons in the backfield.
Last edited by sunnyside; May 4th, 2011 at 17:20.
i would recommend the scatters and to not have your vypers so static.
after you sneak in a side armor shot on a predator and blow it up, the "oh shit" expression on your opponents face is priceless...
when your opponent suddenly realized how fast the vypers are and that they can position for side armor or shred a rhino, you can force your opponent to react to your vypers movement, which is another hidden gem with the vypers (most opponents will be reluctant to shoot the vypers at first and they will often be discounted as useless) . in addition, when you do start damaging stuff with the vypers you force your opponent to make decisions... should they shoot at the vypers or your fire dragons serpents? more often then not they will take one long fang squad or one predator to try and take out the vypers and as i have illustrated earlier, you kinda want them to do that...
1) i never said vypers have a place in every list.
2) vypers are not expensive. what else in the eldar codex give you 14 S6 shots for 140 pts besides war walkers? what other effective units in the eldar codex only cost around 140pts? i thought i identified most of them in my previous posts and presented arguments for the vyper. though, if you dont like vypers... then you dont like vypers.... but you should give them another try
3) fire prisms suck. nuf said. the prism cannon is nothing special in a world of storm shields and cover saves everywhere. the prism cannon wont stop anyone from deep striking because it's too easy to prevent it from shooting.
4) you should read my earlier posts on how to make vypers live. they arent as "soft" as you think they are...
5) as for your final coment... your just wrong... if you think you can win a competitive game with entirely DAVU squads then i cant help you... war walkers do compare to vypers, but vypers have advantages and disadvantages (from my posts you can infer what they are). also in my 2k tourny lists i have 2, 2 vyper units and a unit of three war walkers while still taking other heavy support because the vypers dont take up the heavy slots the war walkers would take up. sooo you can still take your wraithlords and have your vypers too. if you take war walkers then you limit yourself.
fact is you need vypers or another unit that can pump out S6 to kill rhinos, so your troop squads in a vehicle can swoop in to contest the objective. war walkers compete with the best vehicle the eldar can take (falcons) and wraithlords, which are essential in most competitive lists. vypers dont compete in the heavy section, while filling the light tank hunter/infintry killer.
want to do something that will prove my point? ask a marine player what they are more afraid of:
a) 14 S6 shots
b) a S9 ap 2 blast from a fire prism
if they know what they are doing, they will consider their storm shields, cover saves, and that you can stun the fire prim easily.
which would you rather have? 14 S6 shots, that can move where you need them, to kill a rhino (in cover) or 1 S9 shot?
you dont need to out shoot your opponent, and i'm not suggesting that eldar should try and do that (eldar cant out shoot most competitive lists). however, eldar do need the tools to demech troops on an objective and vypers are ONE of the best units for this roll. maybe they fit with your army, maybe they dont.
the things that i have presented in these posts are from my experience and i use them every time i play. they work. i win games against space wolves, blood angels, and i'm usually "still in" every game i play against imperial guard. eldar need this. every competitive game we play in a large tourny is tough. the fact is eldar need "luck" to win and you have to allow yourself to get into the position to get "lucky" and win. vypers are one tool. not the only one.
Last edited by eldarkevin; May 4th, 2011 at 18:00.
just to clarify-
im not saying that you MUST take vypers. i'm saying that you SHOULD consider one or two squads.
hopefully, i have talked about things that will help you realize how vypers add to your lists. hopefully, i have maybe talked about something you never considered about vypers before. hopefully, i have helped you to consider giving vypers another try to see how they work for you.
criticism is welcome, but you should know what your talking about before you criticize. try vypers out for a couple games first. try to do some of the things i talked about. remember, vypers ARE difficult to use, but very rewarding when you do figure out how to use them...
I think the main fall of the viper is that war walkers do the same but better.
Although i do agree with your argument for the massed fire power. I would also like to add to the massed fire power argument how much better you will do with a guide seer. I would take war walkers instead.
Last edited by Gedderz; May 5th, 2011 at 21:02.
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