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After looking around I haven't found much on the topic of Hellions, and their usefulness.
This has me wonder how best to use them and what their role in a dark eldar army is.
On paper they look great, cheap fast assault 2 poisoned weapons, drugs etc. But how they fit in an army has me rethinking them.
So I thought well they are fast but not overly faster than a mounted army. They could be used to soften up the enemy with their splinter pods, but taking a unit of scourges would do the job better.
Or taking them to go and take out or engage an enemy squad to tie them up so they can't shoot down your boats, but mandrakes would probably do a better job at that.
Maybe a counter charge unit but if you need a counter charge unit in a DE something is wrong.
So my question is how to most effectively use Hellions because it seems like they are a great unit but they have no place.
Prey they don't take you alive
Hi, I have also noticed the same thing as yourself, there is little about hellions in the forums... I have recently wrote a list that incorporates hellions in it, in fact I have written in a unit of 20 for some play testing I'll be doing over the coming weekend.
I get a feeling looking at their rules and wargear etc they still are an assault based unit and they can dish out some firepower with their splinter pods... Also given the fact that their weapon effectively counts as 2 close combat weapons and gives them a strength boost... They should work well attacking flanks and pushing deeper into the enemy...
I guess I see them as a close combat fast attack unit which can lay down some fire before assulting, scourges are the shooty fast attack slot and reavers are special with their blade vane attack and access to special weapons, then warp beast packs are pure close combat.
I'll let you know how my hellions go in a few games time.
There is nothing more annoying when your Wyches with Plasma Grenades get "Always strikes First" for their combat drugs!
I have had mixed results with them when I've used them. Always start with the fact that they're wyches. The 6 point difference pays for +1 strength, jump infantry, and the splinter pods. They're still very fragile.
And wait, no invuln save?
This makes them a highly specialized unit. With 10 Hellions you're paying 60 more points then 10 wyches. That's a raider.
In game they perform middle of the road. I've had them make their points back and I've had them get slaughtered without doing anything.
It sucks that their so inconsistent. I have 20 because they're the most awesome models in the codex.
I dont like hellions myself normally, this changes a bit though when you add Baron Sathonyx into the mix. A large unit of hellions with the Baron is decent at sticking to cover and using their splinter pods. Then once a unit is shot to hell by the hellions they can swoop in and finish off the unit in combat if needed.
You get a couple of benefits, when sticking to cover, the baron's stealth makes the unit very tough to kill and its always nice to get +1 to seeing who goes first.
I really like the hellions. They may not be the best unit choice all around, but coupled with the baron, they're really a force to be reckoned with.
I'm only ever going to field hellions together with the baron, they're just too fragile without him, and the baron himself is a great addition to our army as a whole and absolutely vital to our hellions.
Attemptedm> don't forget that those 6+ points we pay for hellions over wyches also pays for hit and run, which is a great special rule. Most of the time, when we run wyches, we'll get some upgrades for them as well, haywire grenades is very valuable and most of us use them, and the hekatrix with agoniser and the odd wych weapon really closes the gap quite a bit in the costs of the two units. An upgraded wych unit, with grenades, hekatrix and agoniser and one wych weapon costs the same as 10 hellions. Though that's 10 white hellions, they will usually be a bit upgraded as well, but you get the idea.
The hellions land somewhere between the wych and the reaver I suppose, lots of harassing potential with shoot, assault, hit and run (possibly snatching an important character). They don't have the staying power of the wyches though, which is a big drawback. I think hellions coupled with the baron have very good potential to cause some havoc. A unit like that is quite costly though, and like all our units, they have to fit into our lists. I love both the models and the rules, so I will use them plenty, but forging a list around them is probably a must - especially with that price tag.
"I have seen you humans, trying to forge an Empire in the name of a corpse"
A unit of Hellions with the baron, makes a great reactionary unit capable of dealing with a good range of units.
Ive had success sticking them in cover with a hemi to get the feel no pain , so youve then got a unit that can dish out a little firesupport, but that has good staying power compared with the amount of fire thats needed to shift em. they are good at reacting to enemy movements and dealing with stragglers, the hit and run means they should almost always get to fire and assault.
so based on flexibility, cost, and damage they can do id say they are worth a spot if the situation calls for it.pplus a 3+ 4+ save is a nice winner too.
Hellions are a weird unit at times, despite having fleet they pack considerable (if short ranged) firepower and have hit and run - this suggests they are meant to work much akin to sister of battle seraphim ( shoot something, assault it, stay locked for a turn then leg it out of combat to do it again). They certainly are what I would call a "light" assault unit - they lack the native durability to move into medium territory.
That said they are very flexible when used to their strengths, however people are often want to go overboard equipping the unit and it is so very easy to have a unit suck up waaay too many points - this, I feel, is the crux of why people do not use them as much as say, reavers. The best close combat weapon for the helliarch is the venom blade (the venom blade is absurd for its cost - its damage output per point is superior to the agoniser until you hit 2+ saves and/or feel no pain on any save that is 4+ or better), the stun claw is of limited use as most independant characters are durable enough to challenge the unit directly, though it has some very colourful applications against 2 wound IC's that love to hide in squads. The other choices are very expensive on an already expensive unit (namely because the phantasm grenade launcher is virtually mandatory), so a tough choice must be made.
Naturally having Baron Sathonyx in a unit can really enhance their survivability and damage output, the downside being he does not have combat drugs, so getting 2 pain tokens via drugs from the get-go isn't possible. His real strengths with hellions however is his Master of the Skies rule - this enables hellions to basically not worry about terrain (well, when using their skyboards, they can always walk through terrain), combiend with stealth they can attack from positions that most jump infantry would not be in.
Lastly, requiring a counter charge unit in a DE army isn't a bad thing, it shows solid list building and the concept of redundancy. Typically harlequins, hellions, mandrakes and the Decapitator fall into this role and none of them should be ignored. However hellions are usually taken as troops (and within this context are the "meat" of an army) and thus require units to back them up - scourges are nice for this as they can keep up and pack some serious firepower, but as ever making an absolute statement is foolish as what goes where depends on the list you are using and a whole host of factors that don't like blanket statements.
the next question im wondering, which i havent seen an answer to yet, is has anyone figured out the ideal squad size yet? I've really been thinking of doing a baron/duke list for 2000pts and havent seen much info on that kind of combo. To me both in conjuction look like a good combination on paper, but in comparison to my normal lists, it just seems too little of a strike force for the points i'd be running...
Recipe for a really tough hellion squad:
20 Hellions + the Duke + unit of 3 wracks/or Haemonculus = 20 hellions with stealth (and they should always have cover behind a raider or terrain) and FNP.
How does this work? Either start the Duke with the 3 wracks (who are not in their raider (which happens to be providing cover to the hellions)) and have him steal their pain token and join the hellions OR just start the haemonculus with the hellions and have him go jump in a raider.
So know your Hellions have 3+ cover AND FNP and if you do both (or roll the right drug) Furios charge!