Thursday, 5 July 2012

Haywire - An 80's boy band, or a solution to tanks ?


Sorry to disappoint any readers flocking to see a witty exposé on the merit's a 80's boy bands and the timelessness of their hairstyles, and while I like an occassional trip down memory lane and a rewatching of Lost Boys, this post is about the changes to Haywire in 6th edition and why it'll be making an entry in my lists going forwards.

My Issues with Haywire in 5th Edition

1) If you wanted any realistic chance of doing more than shaking a vehicle you had to roll a 6 for the effect of the haywire weapon to give you a penetrating hit
2) The biggest anti tank issues I had was stopping a moving transport with assault troops on board (once they were on the ground I could use my manoveability to run rings around them).  A vehicle moving more then 6" was 6's to hit in close combat
3) Another one of my bugbears was dealing with dreadnaughts as needing 6's to hit in combat with grenades meant that there was little chance of killing it in combat

With the changes in 6th edition all these issues have gone away.  Only needing 3's to hit moving vehicles, means that you get 4 times as many hits as trying to hit a vehicle moving full speed in 5th edition.  Also the fact that a glancing blow is anywhere from a quarter to half a vehicle dead means it doesn't take too many attacks to kill a vehicle.  Grenades hitting normally in combat against dreadnaughts means that a squad of wyches should kill a dreadnaught for the loss of one wych.

One final minor benefit of haywire is that you are more likely to wreak a vehicle rather than cause it to explode; very usful if you are near it with DE fragile troops for example, plus it can give you cover the following turn..

Haywire - The Options

Dark Eldar - Haywire Grenades:  These will allow wych units to easily kill any vehicle they charge.  Also because multi-charging doesn't reduce the number of attacks the wyches get, they are perfect for multicharging vehicles.  A full wych squad should be able to easily kill 3 vehicles, and has a good chance of finishing off 3 weakened vehicles.  At a measily 20 points for a full squad it's a bargain for the reliability it can kill tanks.  Plus the increased ability to kill vehicles in combat will take pressure off the shooting anti tank and the possibility of rubber lance syndrome causing a big issue.

Dark Eldar - Haywire Blasters: Available to Taloi and Scourges.  Scourges normally compete with Reavers with Heat Lances.  Reavers in 5th edition were the better all round option, being faster, able to move backwards in the assault phase after shooting heat lances at short range, and better able to make use of cover.  None of this has changed in 6th edition, but the haywire blaster being so good at stripping hull points gives Scourges with Haywire Blasters a good advange over the reavers in the anti tank arena, being the ability to operate at range.  Also although weaker the scourges can be in squads of 5 and still have 2 special weapons.  Reavers still have many advantages such as their slashing attack and the fact they are much better in combat (a Hammer of Wrath impact hit, plus 3 attacks on the charge), but if taken just for their anti tank the Scourges are now in contention for a place in peoples list.

[Talos Picture courtesy of Warseer's Tale of 40k Painters, click here to see the full thread]

The Talos could take either the Haywire Blaster or Blaster as shooting options.  The Haywire Blaster was usual taken for suppression fire as the Talos advanced, now being able to take the final hull point of weakened vehicles could see the Haywire Blaster taken more.  However I think the Talos' main strength is combat, so I would rather go with a cheap weapon as a backup (such as a splinter cannon) and then take chain-flails and an additional close combat weapon.  Running the Talos each turn to get it into combat would be better and mean your army is attacking more at the same time rather than bit by bit.

Necrons - Harbringer of the Storm: These guys come with a Voltic Staff, and come in 10 pts cheaper than the popular Harbringer of Destruction.  Their weapon has only 12" range, but has a good chance of killing any 3 hull point vehicle on the initial shot, as it fires 4 haywire shots.  It's high rate of fire also makes it good against infantry after tanks are gone.  My biggest issues is it's short range, particularly as basic infantry can assault up to 18" in 6th edition.  However the addition of a Lightning Field (D6 Str 8 Ap- hits on any unti charging the cryptek's unit) could deter some units.

I'll probably try out Harbringers of the Storm in my two large units of Immortals, as they are more likely to survive a charge if it comes to it, plus they tend to move forwards more that the small squads of warriors I have..

However Necrons anti tank got a huge boost in 6th edition, as they have a number of units that can charge tanks (Overlords charging on their Barges which are now chariots, Warscythe wielding characters, Wraiths, Scarabs), plus Guass weapons already can glance anything.  Therefore whether my necrons need the addition of short ranged tank killing will be something I'll be looking at carefully.

I think Haywire is one of the gems of 6th edition, and improves the Dark Eldar anti tank, meaning I may be able to rduce the amount of anti tank I have elsewhere in the list, as I think there will be a slight shift from anti tank to anti infantry in 6th edition.

In my Dark Eldar list to experiment with Haywire in 6th Edition, I'm going to swap Reavers Jetbikes (which I still think are a good unit) for Scourges with Haywire Blasters.  With the lower unit size requirement to get two special weapons it allows me to give the squad of 9 wyches haywire grenades (my new 6th edition practice list at the bottom of this post).

What do you think of Haywire, will it change your lists ?  Have you had experience using Haywire in your early 6th edition games, how did they do ?


6th Edition Dark Eldar Haywire Try-out List:

Haemonculus Nalix Soulseer - 65
  with Venom Blade & Liquifier Gun

4 Trueborn with 4 Blasters - 108
  in Venom with 2 Splinter Cannons - 65

4 Trueborn with 4 Blasters - 108
  in Venom with 2 Splinter Cannons - 65

4 Trueborn with 4 Blasters - 108
  in Venom with 2 Splinter Cannons - 65

10 Wracks with 2 Liquifier Guns - 120
  in Raider with Disintegrator - 60

9 Wyches with Haywire grenades - 123
  including Hekatrix with Venom Blade
  in Raider with Disintegrator - 60

3 Wracks - 30
  in Raider with Dark Lance - 60

3 Wracks - 30

4 Beastmasters - 198
  accompanied by 5 Krymerae and 6 Razorwing Flocks

5 Scourges with 2 Haywire Blasters - 130

Ravager with 3 Dark Lances - 105

Ravager with 3 Dark Lances - 105

Razorwing Jetfighter - 145
  with 2 Dark Lances, twin-linked Spinter Rifle & 4 Monoscythe missiles

Total: 1750 Pts, 19 Kill Points

NB: Lance weapons reduced to by 4 to 21 (and it's more concentrated, in 7 rather than 10 places), offset by Haywire inclusion.  Anti Infantry increased with the inclusion of 2 Disintegrators, 3rd Liquifier gun, and Scourge Shard Carbines.

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