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Well, I dont know about anyone else, but with the release of the new Eldar codex, and how the Dire avengers were made so incredibly awesome, the Serpent of Fury was the first thing that popped into my head.
I've been thinking about making a fully mech army since then just to take advantage of this tactic and the list I came up with is pretty nice (though iffy, with such a low point cost).
Anyways I was randomly lurking in other forums, when I came across a topic comparing the tau and eldar versions. What I found there was quite uplifting, apparently (according the the unnamed poster) if you include doom, the serpent of fury is nearly twice as killy as the tau version. I didnt bother with the math hammer since it makes my brain cry, but I have been thinking about some things.
I made a typical Fish of Fury squad and a Serpent of Fury ( 9 avengers, exarch with twin shuricats, bladestorm, and a serpent with TL starcannons/shuricannon upgrade, vectored engines, and spirit stones) the Serpent of fury ended up being almost 30% more expensive than the Fish of Fury. However, the serpent is also a more durable tank, and has weapons allowing it to also function as a light armor hunter. I think a 30% increase in price is pretty good for a 50% increase in MEq kill rate and a more durable transport.
What do you guys think? will we see more serpent of fury lists?
"I am the architect of fate!"
I've never been to keen on the "Fish of Fury" tactic, because 12 Tau double-firing into 10 Marines kills 2-3, and 7 Marines double-firing back into 12 Tau kills about 3. The numbers aren't that impressive without some support. But this isn't a Tau forum; on to the "Serpent of Fury"...
Incidentally, a Dire Avenger has the same probability per-shot of killing a MEQ as a Fire Warrior, so with an Exarch w/ dual catapults and Bladestorm you'll get about 3.5 kills out of this tactic. A Wave Serpent with a scatter laser/shuriken cannon and an extra cannon averages just over 1 Marine kill per turn, so let's say on a good day you get 5 Marines out of this SoF tactic.
Those are stellar numbers, but cerainly not game-breaking. Also, such a unit will cost you over 250 pts! I wouldn't build an army around this tactic, but I can see the uses for the SoF supported by some other Eldar squads (which is how Eldar operate anyway: combined arms and mutual support). I can imagine softening up the enemy with heavy weapons first, then finishing off the remnants of the squad with the SoF, or better yet, open with the SoF and charge w/ Scorpions or Banshees or Harlequins or Shining Spears (the latter is probably the best because they can keep up with the Serpent, and can withdraw out of combat). Or Warp Spiders could jump in, finish off the squad, and jump out. Anyway, there are a myriad of possibilites with this one.
I just think it's too expensive a tactic to warrant a whole list. Put 1 or 2 squads of Avengers in Serpents, and I think that'll be enough.
Just another thought: Substitute the Avengers for 10 Fire Dragons, and you have around 7 MEQs killed in a round of shooting. Not too shabby (though it'll be a 300 pt unit!).
Yup. Though with doom the avengers will do much better (50%). Also doom affect the shooting from multiple units. So you could for example drop two serpents of Avengers on one large doomed marines squad and probably finish them off. But you spend a lot of points on all that and you have to deal with hiding the serpents in the first place.
Still if you want a good composition score you have to get some troops somehow. So on the balance this could be a good option.
I don't think fully meched armies are the way to go, semi mech however is good. I would say defintaly 2 squads of avengers in serpents are a very viavle option as they are so versitile.
As I understand it, the cornerstone of the FoF tactic is the fact that Devilfish have side doors, allowing you to tuck the fire warriors in between the two serpents. Since the dire avengers would have to exit from the rear, fast troops could potentially still sweep round the side.
Then again, dire avengers don't need to have quite the same fear of CC that fire warriors do. The problem with the tactic is really just going to be the increased cost, I think, which makes the payoff if your opponent does destroy the avengers higher, and since they're no more durable to ranged fire and don't have the horrible cc weaknesses of tau, your opponent will probably want to shoot rather than assaulting them, which makes the serpent's use as a charge blocker a little uneccesary.
The increased range of the Dire Avengers has yet to be mentioned... the extra 6" is pretty crucial methinks. It allows for the fact that one cannot get out of any side doors to be almost irrelivant. Also, by not having to deploy as close to use the SoF tactic, it means that the Serpent itself is less vulnerable to melta weapons. (Of course if the extra range has indeed been mentioned, ignore me as I am clearly a dumbass :wacko
I crunched some mathhammer numbers before (I don't remember the thread), but, on an efficient point basis (kills vs. the cost of the unit doing the killing), the dire avengers are worse than the firewarriors without bladestorm, and better with.
And as an avid tau player, that extra 6" in range is huge! There is no way you can get charged by most enemies if you set up right. The difference is that with the SOF, the DAs are actually useful in their own right (and can go off on their own if they have to), while the tau fire warriors aren't nearly as good or useful, and are linked to their devilfish.
Just my two cents.
"Listen up you primitive screwheads ... see this ... this is my BOOM-stick!" - Ash
"I told you, it's not Pink! It's Light Red!" Donut on his new power-armor.
well when I say a mech list I meant more along the lines of just two DA SoF squads.
The unfortunate part is that with the cost of our tanks and transports (but more so the cost of their upgrades) I made a 1499 pt list that consisted of the following.
Farseer on Jetbike: Stones, doom, mindwar
8 scorpions w/exarch and shadowstrike
8 banshees w/ exarch in waveserpent
2 SoF squads
and a Falcon.
So, i guess the problem here is that while the SoF+Doom is an awesome combo, in a 1500 pt game it really doesnt leave room for much else.
I think that in that amount of points it might be better to just take one SoF squad and then have a non-mech portion of the list to go along with the scorps.
And I agree with Y'he Sha'is unlike the Fire Warriors, even if the DA's waveserpent gets destroyed the DA's are still a more effective unit for harrassing the enemy than the firewarriors are.
"I am the architect of fate!"
Personally I think if you're going to make a mech list, make a mech list. Part of you advantage is your incredible movement rate and target denial.
Having scorps gives your oppenent a target on those first turns and gives them something to hit with their heavy bolters.
I'd say ditch the banshees and scorps and their serpent and have more falcons with shooters so you don't leave troops stranded. Also maybe shave some points on the star engines to make room.
A 1500 pt list I whipped up consists of.
Farseer jetbike, doom, spear
2x 10DA+exarc with dual shuris and bladestorm in waveserpents with vecotred,stone,scatters and shuri upgrades (maybe drop one scatter to shuris to make points).
3x falcons with 6 fire dragons and holo, stone, and dual shuri cannons
The idea is that you never, ever, let any of your troops get assaulted as you can always block with your skimmers and your troops can fleet if their skimmer crashes.
You might actually want to get mind war back on the seer though by dropping some shuris or scatters etc. The reason is that this list really gets to have fun if you can kill off the weapons that threaten it.
Note your opponent may try and cluster their forces in an attempt to draw you in and outgun you. Don't take the bait. Have your vehicles peak around tarrain and put all their firepower into the single unit they can all see (skimmers don't block LOS).
Of course if they fan out you pick on isolated pockets with much fury. This is doubly fun if you got second turn on a mission like secure and control. Remeber falcons count as scoring units.
You could also consider swapping the falcons for prisms and have a big unit of dragon in a serpent or a number of themes. The key is having your army work together and deny your oponent options.