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I haven't seen a lot of posts on here about Mandrakes. What are your guys thoughts on Mandrakes and the Mandrake hero? Also, what style of army is the best to run them with?
What remains is a unit with Infiltrate, strength 4, a 5+ invulnerable save and no ranged and close combat weaponry to speak of.
I, however, almost always use a unit, 10 strong with the character upgrade for extra leadership, and let it Outflank. Purely putting pressure on your opponent by having units in reserve which can pop out close to his lines is nice to have. And if that same unit is able to get into my opponents deployment zone, even better. With strength 4, you can even consider charging a vehicle which has a rear armour value of 10.
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Mandrakes are good, but need an army built around them which is unfortunate, they are essentially lesser deamons that can infiltrate and have stealth, which is pretty funky.
They work well in WWP armies, however with the prevalance of LD10 armies their special isn't that great, would be good choices if your demograph took mostly xenos armies.
There are a few tricks however, using raiders with -1 LD ect, infiltrating them to tie up heavy squads, scare tactics to deploy WWP ect, or scare tactics in general. Their effectiveness is how much of your army you devote to making them solid choices.
I overlooked this in the past, but they can be quite effective against IG parking lot armies too, 30 auto hits at str4 can do a good bit of damage, on average of 5 glances and that could mean the world of difference at times in initial turns, you only need to shut down a few tanks in first turn to really take the sting out of them.
If you're always worried about crushing the ants beneath you...you won't be able to walk.
My thoughts on the two times I have used them (both against marines):
I believe GW made them with 6th edition in mind as they just seem incomplete in 5th. For 5th edition, due to not having grenades they will need to pin any target so they can charge at initiative. They seem to be the perfect wwp escort providing stealth and being able to infiltrate to a forward position on the board.
As for performance, they are perfect for T3 non-marine lists. I used them in one game just for shooting purposes as they harassed land speeders all game (destroying one and continually shaking the other for 2 or 3 turns). I find that them being strength 4 in close combat and shooting that they can put some decent pressure on light transports and marines but not like you would with wyches or incubi. They are a nuisance if you use them right and that doesn't sit well with most competitive players so no, they will just get overlooked.
Kheradruahk is a similar problem, he just seems too incomplete for 5th edition rules, I think he will get better with 6th. I used him in a kill point game and had him declare the head of a TechMarine. I placed him a few inches away in cover and he survived the enemy shooting phase just fine and then he was charged! I believe it was the Techmarine and 3 or 4 servitors and was able to decapitate the Techmarine immediately. He then survived the servitors attacks and in the next phase he immediately killed all the servitors - he scored me 2 kill points and with 1 wound left he slid back into the shadows (cover) and had him hide for the rest of the game.
Again, he would do fine against non-marines but I can't help but think he is too much of a liability.
"On a hunch, I melted them down and inhaled the fumes and read the dark eldar codex again, AND FOUND A BUNCH OF NEW RULES HIDDEN BEHIND THE OTHER WORDS..." [Gardeth on modelling & interpreting the DE Codex]
Thank you everyone! I am new to DE and am trying to learn more about the army and how certain units play out and was curious about Mandrakes and Kheradruahk.
In my experience this option is not always as solid as MrVegas said. I wanted to try this vs IG but was countered by scouting Vendetta's blowing up my Venom. Sure it was not a good strategy to bet on WWP vs IG but in my feeling you need to invest a lot in this synergy without knowing if it will pay off.
Some point of vulnerability: FnP doesn't work vs S6+, which can also come in large blasts and effectively does kill off a 10 men Mandrakes squad.
Mandrakes only have a limited threat range so they can be ignored for a while.
It seems to me that they are a unit which is designed for 6th Edition indeed. For now I would use them to outflank and hope to come out on the right flank and that you opponent is pushed away from the short edge. If you can make your opponent react to this unit that would be great.
I am not yet convinced by this unit so I'm sticking to the other ones for now, especially since I don't have 10 models.
Overall I think most tend to agree Trueborn are the optimal choice since they have a much needed antimech capability that isn't found much elsewhere in the codex. Incubi are also quite playable since they are a cheap source of power weapons and are nice on the costpoint. Incubi do struggle since they don't have grenades but pairing up with an archon or baron seems an easy fix. Wracks are quite amazing but I tend to consider them more as troops because I end up bringing a haemonculi.
I think there is a valid argument for Grotesques but overall I think they are outclassed in the elite slot since they don't they cost 35 points and really struggle to hurt SM since they have 3+ armor saves which is a pretty common enemy. Harlequins, mandrakes, & Bloodbrides just don't seem as appealing as incubi for me given their CC ability and armor saves.
So if you want to choose something for the fun factor go ahead, but I don't think we will see anything besides incubi and trueborn in competitive army lists.
Last edited by mrvegas; February 19th, 2012 at 20:43.