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I've been out of the game for a while and have been thinking about getting back in. I was wondering if anyone had any comments/solutions for some concerns I had about the new 40K (I play regular craftworld Ulthwe).
1. It looks like two armies have been created more or less to violate psychers (daemon and witch hunters) and now Space Marines have Ld 10 librarians with psychic hoods. My question here is: are smaller sized seer councils any good anymore? Heck is even the old hypothetical giant seer council of doom that viable.
2. It seems like a tricked out SM commander can just bike around with an invulnerable 2+ saving throw until he decides to finally lay into one of your units. Attack bikes also can just zip around with a 2+ invlunerable until they're ready to fire some multimeltas into a transport. Even regular bikes seem like they can pretty well do what they want.
This is compounded by the fact that you can't drop troops off with a wave serpent and assault them. They'll be out of range by the time you can assault if they want to be.
3. How well do the Scorps and Banshees fair without being able to assault out of a transport? True most regular infantry can't escape if you drop in next to them, but if skimmers don't block line of sight anymore they're pretty vulnerable and they don't take even small arms fire that well. Especially banshees.
These are general questions, but if anyone cares my force is roughly (designed by random chance with gifts + not wanting to be thought of as winning though cheese with a wraithlord).
Seer council 3 farseers 3 warlocks (I change their equipment to match point totals for different games)
14-20 black guardians with starcannon and warlock w conceal
14-20 black guardians with missle launcher and warlock w conceal
A couple small squads of guardians for running around, taking objectives, table quarters and generally being a nuisance
2 starcannon vipers with Crystal Targeting Matrix (actually they're VDRed D-Cannon vipers but I only play them as such if my opponent wanted to throw out multiple land raiders or a monolith)
Bright lance wave serpent with striking scorpions and clawed exarc
1 D-Cannon platform
2 Shadow weavers in one unit
Oh and are there any other serious pitfalls I need to watch out for in 4th Ed?
There aren't too many tremendous changes to the mechanics between 3rd and 4th, and you can still certainly produce a viable army out of the models that you've listed...well, everything except the shadow weavers, anyways (J/K, of course). I just came back into the game myself a little under a year ago, and my experience has been:
1. Yes, Seer Councils are still quite powerful. Neither of the =][= lists are very common at all, and the only fright-worthy Daemonhunter weapon against the council is the Psycannon, which can negate the invulnerable saves of your council members. Daemonhunters traditionally have a very hard time dealing with AV 12+ vehicles, and are expensive models to boot, so compensating for your weakness with the vypers, falcon, and wave serpent should keep the fight fair. As they're getting older, the VDR rules are reflecting less and less clearly on the appropriate point costs of models in 4th edition, so I'd try to rely less on those D-Cannon vypers.
2. Turbo-boosting bikes can be hard to damage, but as long as they're turbo-boosting, they're not shooting or assaulting and thus are not earning back their hefty points cost. In terms of assault power, bikes are only marginally better than assault marines and cost 50% more, but they are good at turbo-boosting and grabbing objectives in the last turn of a game - try to lock them in close combat to prevent this. When they do stop boosting, they're just as vulnerable to starcannon fire as they were before, and their typically small squad numbers mean they can be drowned in shurikat fire from your Black Guardians. Note the Torrent of Fire rule in the main rules book; use it to specifically put wounds on the most tooled bike out of the squad.
3. The old Swordwind technique (and its variants) has mostly gone the same way as the rhino rush - extinct. To be fair, it is quite possible to pull your wave serpent right up to the front lines of an enemy unit and use it to partially cover the close combat units you deploy from the turn of fire that you'll draw. Afterwards, Banshees can still catch most Wind-worthy shooting units because of fleet of foot, and Striking Scorpions often survive that single turn of fire because of their superior armor. If you feel safe about catching the target, disembark the unit towards cover, with at least 1/2 of the models actually in it to keep some of the heat off. Still, the tactic overall is much harder to use. I prefer scorpions in a counter-assault role. I'm not brave enough to use Banshees with my local group, since none of them play MEQ lists.
Speaking of heat - a popular modification to this technique is to pack Fire Dragons into the wave serpent instead of a CC unit. You may fire when disembarking from a vehicle, and Dragons are well-suited to do so at such close range, plus they're tough enough to endure a return salvo or two.
Pitfalls? Hmm. The way in which casualties are now removed from squads produces an odd effect in that the strongest enemy models will always drop last (even when the squad is targeted by blast or template weapons). Beware any thick enemy squad with an upgraded sergeant or leader - they usually pack a high-strength weapon that lets them kill your stronger CC units, like wraithlords, purely through the attrition of less valuable squad members. The squaddies fall while the leader fights on.
Wait I thought skimmers couldn't block line of sight unless they'd been shot down. Or do they require a leadership test to shoot past? It seems odd but it looks like I could park a falcon in front of a Tau battle line and every unit will have to pass a leadership test or try and penetrate a 12 armor value with strength 5 weapons.
The torrent of fire thing is kind of nice as it makes the large squads more usefull which is important since I'm guessing they'll be spending half their time wrapped up with bikes in CC. The defensive scorpeons may be the way to go then.
But I'm still worried about an Ld 10 psychic hood. Having my stuff work less then half the time seems to really suck. Or does nobody field librarians?
Usually only if they know you play Eldar, Chaplains are the hottest choices out there now as then. But you know, psychic hood has nothing to do with Leadership. You just roll a d6 each and if he scores higher the power is nulled. See the Space Marine armoury for more details.Originally Posted by sunnyside
Warhammer Fantasy: Warriors of Chaos, High Elves
Warhammer 40k: Eldar, Space Marines, Orks
You need to roll leadership to shoot under a skimmer at a squad that's disembarked behind it - it's even highlighted in the Tau tactics on the UK GW site.Originally Posted by sunnyside
Yes, I think Alexb83 is correct here, I should have been more clear. The squad must pass a leadership test (target priority test, I think is the term) to fire at your squad, and while skimmers cannot block line of sight, they can prevent enemy squads from assaulting through them, and are useful as a mobile wall to keep away extraneous close combat squads that would otherwise keep you from assaulting your desired target.
The psychic hood is rather potent against your Farseers, I'll admit. The rule specifics are on p. 24 of the Space Marine codex. They seem worded in such a way that psyker powers that do not require a psychic test might not trigger the hood's ability, because the hood can only be used 'after a successful psychic test'. No test, no hood use - and that keeps your warlock powers working, notably Conceal. Also, my reading of the rules is that each player rolls a d6 and adds their model's Leadership score, and the power is only nullified if the librarian's score beats (not is equal to) your Farseer's. Against the typical epistolary (nobody I know runs the slightly lesser codicier), a Farseer's power will work 58.3% of the time, so your council will hardly be crippled. Using two Fortuning Farseers in the Seer Council should keep you pretty safe.
I think the point there was that Farseers and Librarians both have L10, so it all comes down to rolling a d6, just as with mind war in almost every case (almost all worthy targets are L10)
That's true almost all the time, but technically not all librarians are Ld 10. I agree with you and Viktor almost completely since the codicier doesn't usually see play; I merely wanted to add some detail in hopes of making the Eldar's chances against a psychic hood seem less dire. I mean, we are some of the greatest psykers in the known universe.
Maybe I got it wrong, but that was how it used to work in 3rd Edition. I can't find my Marine codex so I can't check it up atm.
Stop worry about the librarians and start worrying about the Assault cannons.
Warhammer Fantasy: Warriors of Chaos, High Elves
Warhammer 40k: Eldar, Space Marines, Orks
Are Farseers really some of the greatest psykers? I don't know if that holds true - Eldritch storm is a pretty redundant power. Guide, Fortune and Mind War are good - /if/ they come off. And against a Psychic hood your troubles are manifold - first pass your test (easy enough with stones of witnessing I suppose). Then pass the hood (the odds of which are very low) /then/ pass your mind war roll against a character with equal leadership (the same as the odds of beating the hood) /then/ assume your mind war wounds get past any inv saves.
To actually kill anything with mind war is /very/ difficult, without having to worry about the 20pt hood which makes your 100pt farseer useless.
And don't even get me started on psychic abominations!
I've actually given up taking farseers against SM armies now - the Avatar works out cheaper, and does more to bolster CC lines, which is overall far more important for a Biel Tan army.
I think it's clear what eldar need: A piece of wargear which negates psychic hoods on a 4+ (or something like that). Their technology should be advanced enough to negate feeble Imperial gear, if their supposedly fantastic psker powers somehow aren't.