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I have to say, I love what's been done with the Dire Avengers, and they seem much better suited to their original role.
However, they still seem quite expensive and fragile, and their multifunctionality, while it's now there, is also a bit limited by their inherent weaknesses. They're too fragile too slug it out in attrition based firefights (which is harsh considering they're still going to be in potential rapid fire range any turn they can shoot) and while they now look like they could hold their own in close combat they're only strength 3.
So how would you set them up, and what units would you take to compliment them? I'd love to include a squad, but I need some ideas about how to make them effective.
Last edited by The_Giant_Mantis; November 10th, 2006 at 23:50.
Expensive wise I would have to disagree. For what they are their price is quite reasonable to suit the basic Infantry role (Kind of like what tactical squads are to a space marine army). For the cost you can easily feild decent sized squads with the upgrades you want. As with most Eldar armies it is their ability to strike first that makes good, so staying power isn't too important as you would likely eliminate whatever you target in a single turn.
Now in referance to the above Dire Avengers obviously cannot kill off whole units that are better armoured. So compliments are always needed. Their role is excellant for support, something like shooting into a unit before a squad of banshees assault, go into an existing combat to assist...roles like that. Because of their nature they compliment most of the other aspects. I would say they are great for assiting more forward squads like Warp Spiders, Swooping hawks, Banshees, Scorpions and possibly wraithgaurd and wraithlords.
Set-up wise I would consider what role you intend on given your Avengers. Do you want to go purely for shooting or do you intend to do close combat. Note however....while dire avengers can hold their own in combat they are hardly the killing blow like the more specilised squads, if you look carefully their close combat upgrades are all defensive rather than offensive. If you choose to do combat it should be to support another.
9 Dire Avengers: 162pts
1 Exarch: Shimmer sheild, power weapon, Defend
The above is a defensive combat squad. It functions as the back bone of the army when it come to a solid troops choice but can go into combat in aid of other squads. Excellent choice when you have both shooting and combat abilties existing in the army.
9 Dire Avengers: 142pts
1 Exarch: 2 Avenger Shurikens, Blade Storm
Excellant shooting ability. Compliments perfectly with shooting heavy armies. You may combine shuriken shots with other weapons such as Scatter Lasers and Shuriken Cannons from vehicals or other squads to deal a death blow to infantry squads. The Exarch Ability makes this squad very useful in a Wave serpant where the Bladestorm ability combined with mobility and make unexpected strikes at the opponent from a wide range of locations.
Note that both squads are quite average when it comes to troops choice selections. I did not incorperate a Dire sword as this weapon tends not to work too well at killing multi-wound creatures as the models often come with a high leadership. Better off getting something that adds to the squads potential than get a weapon that may kill a character on the off chance. A simple power weapon will suffice. If the cost starts to hit 170pts or more without transportation this is where you should considering knocking off a few items as you're most likely over equipping at this stage.
Dire Avengers are a core in my army. I have taken at least two squads per encounter. Do they survive to the end of the game? No. (Well, not usually) Do they force my opponent to deal with them? Yes. And that is what it is all about.
The amount of firepower that they can pump out is nothing short of impressive. While on their own, they are just on the beneficial side of average, when combined they really come into their own.
Some points that I consider when deciding their role
-Avenger Shuriken catapults are about as effective against marines as bolter fire. (i.e. nothing to write home about.) However, when you factor in eldar movement, you actually have a longer effective rapid-fire range than marines. (If they single-tap, you double-tap.) Falling fire can be devestating, as long as you stay out of marine rapid-fire range, you will be eating the marines up. Might be difficult, and will definitely require discipline, but a brutal tactic.
-A 10 man squad of avengers can unleash 20-30 shots (Depending on exarch configuration). I have seen Space marines whither under that onslaught. Throw a farseer with doom and/or guide into the mix, and they can be even more brutal. But if you want to consider them on their own merits they still come into their own.
-A fortuned squad with shimmershield and defend is virtually immovable in defense. You will go first (9 times out of 10), your enemy has -1 attack, and you will re-roll 4+ against non powered weapons, and 5+ against powered and rending type attacks. Very Respectable. Considering that if everything goes to plan you have already dwindled their numbers, assaulting a Dire Avenger squad might prove an exercise in futility.
-Bladestorm is a great ability, and I tend to not leave home without it. However, it is not for everybody. Fire discipline is -Very- important with this power. You have to have something in mind for your next turn. Just standing around is a recipe for failure. Consider the application of this power carefully. Even against marines it has its advantages (I can hear people complaining already) But when you factor volume of fire, even terminators start to soil their ceramite.
-Diresword and pistol. The diresword still counts as a power weapon. Which makes it cheaper than the power weapon/shimmer shield combo. Does the diresword break the game? Not even slightly. If you get lucky, you can drop a multi-wound model. Otherwise, you are still ignoring armor.
-Power Weapon and Shimmershield. Ignoring armor is a plus, but the squad's invulnerable save should not be underestimated. Not something to be relied upon, but definitely something nice.
-Twin Avenger Catapults. If you are going for a fire support squad, you cannot beat this configuration. Bladestorming 5 shots at the exarch's BS...imppressive! The only worry here is you have more shots than viable targets. (Imagine 22-32 shuriken shots into a squad of guardsmen? I almost feel bad for the Mon-Keigh)
As long as you aren't facing heavy flamers, Dire Avengers are great for claiming objectives. (And I weep to think of how brutal they would be in a cityfight, given the same caveat against flamers though )
As heiromyo said, when you combine them with other units, they are an exquisite unit. I just wish that maximum squad size was 12. :sigh:
* "I'm Significant!" -screamed the dust speck
* "Call me old fashioned, but an evil ascension to power just isn't the same without someone chanting faux Latin in the background."
I love the wave serpent riding bladestorm squad.. Superb idea.
I'm picking a lot of units for looks and atmosphere, but the concentrated firepower army looks like an interesting way to go. The shooting heavy squad looks like a pretty solid concept to me.
Last edited by The_Giant_Mantis; November 11th, 2006 at 00:26.
Heh Solid fire is cool.....I was heading something along that route myself. The problem I see with this is that the majority of shooting will probably be static against power armoured foes. But there's plenty of ways around this. While Forsaken does mention that a large volume of shots does threaten even power armour (I do agree) you will always want some sort of Garenteed kills to have as back up.
As an extra idea away from Dire Avengers for a bit and on to your army idea, Vypers incidentally provides an excellant amount of shooting as well. These will be of great support to Dire Avengers mainly because of their ability to fire 7 strength 6 shots a peice with Scatter Lasers and under mount shuriken cannons....only 10pts more than the bog standard Vyper from the previous codex. (Great oppitunity for squadron work too)
The Dark Reaper exarch caught my eye in this respect. Before he needed LoS but in this Codex I literally thought "oh my God" when I saw the swanky new weapon. The Tempest Reaper Launcher is excellant against power armour, moderate strength, blast template, multi-shot and low ap. The thing which caught my eye most was the Guess range...which means no LoS or Ballistic skill needed....if you top this off with his powers he is able to ignor cover saves, re-roll to wound and get an extra shot. Anyways.....enough promoting....he fits the bill for some of the anti-MEQ.
Other ideas for anti-MEQ include the regular Falcons, starcannons etc....pretty much as it was in the old codex shooting wise. Although in addition to this having two fire prisms will give you a charge up large blast template that will melt power armour. Worth looking into....though personally I just recommend the one Fire Prism for 1500pts games and less.
Hmm.. well, since this has moved on to my army list a bit (though if anyone can think of any more DA ideas, tactics or synergies I'd love to hear them.)
Anyway.. I've already bought and painted a squad of guardians, but other than that, as I said, I'd mainly been looking at units I just liked the look of and felt like painting. Vypers were definately going in.. I liked the idea of the 60 point twin Shuricannon versions myself.
I love the new wraithlord model (who doesn't) so for heavy support I was considering getting a multigun wraithlord. I can't decide what combination of weapons would work well, however. My initial thought was something like a starcannon/scatter laser but I'm worried that would be a bit mixed and not really effective at targetting anything. scatter laser/EML has slightly more virtue, as it can target light vehicles as well as mowing down hordes.
Dark reapers are definately looking tempting, as are war walkers. The trouble is, I rather dislike the new Dark reaper exarch model. Still, I'm sure I could either get used to it or give him a headswap.
Alternatively.. what about a falcon with a starcannon carrying a squad of fire dragons? That's a decent ammount of low AP shots and it also solves the problem of having nothing to deal with heavier vehicles (a single EML wouldn't really cut it against a Leman Russ or Land Raider.)
We haven't looked at some of the smaller sized squad options yet.
The Falcon Squad -
Similar to the Serpents of Fury squad, except it does some of the things the traditional six firedragons do. Exarch with two shurikats, bladestorm, and five troopers. Costs 116 pts, can definitely hurt if put in the right place. It also strikes from longer distance than the dragons.
The Tarpit -
Defend, shimmer-shield power weapon exarch. This works by charging, say, the Chosen, or the Assualt terminators. Maybe only seven Avengers, maybe full-sized. Either way, you smother attack numbers of high priced assault troops, while blunting their lightening claws and power weapons. Cast Fortune on your men, and his squad of god knows what cost terminators can be dancing with 150 pts of troops for most of a game. Cast Doom on the terminators/chosen/other uber-badness, and you'll not only survive, but the Exarch might even kill some stuff. And he doesn't need to get all that lucky to make a fair amount of points back, when one lucky powerweapon wound will be a third of his squad price.
And of course - Combined Arms! Because near the tarpit, you did have that Shining Spear squad, Banshees, or Harliquins waiting to give a coup de grace, right?
Even the full souped up Avengers could have their uses - not as many shots as the duel shurikat exarch, but he ability to bladestorm or tarpit as the situation requires could be great.