Friday, 12 June 2015

Beasts & Bodyguards Part One - What I think of Krymerae [Dark Eldar]


Welcome to the first of a 4 part series exploring the monsters of the Dark Eldar, and what I think of them.  A warning I won't be going to into the specific rules of units, but more about how I use them and what I like or dislike about them.

When I was about to start this series I came across a question on facebook: "Anyone use Khymerae? I'm thinking of trying them again".

Now to give some context Dark Eldar beastpacks were a lynchpin of a top Eldar/Dark Eldar army build in the previous codex.  In that codex you could take 1-5 beastmasters and each beastmaster could take either 1 Clawed Fiend, 1-2 Razorwing Flocks or 1-5 Krymerae.  A common build was to build a resilient and large beaststar made up of 5 Beastmasters and 25 Krymerae (who back then had a 4+ inv save), add to that a Farseer that would give the beastpack fortune and/or invisibility.  The Farseer could keep up with the beastpack with a jetbike and he could make them fearless with a relic if he joined them.  To top it off an old Special Character, the Baron, could join the unit giving them Stealth and Hit&Run.

In the new codex this all changed.  The Baron was gone, and the max size of the beastpack was reduced to 12, although you were free to pick any combination of models (up to 12 in total).  The Krymera's invulnerable save was also reduced from 4++ to just having the daemon rule, so having a 5++.  The beaststar was dead !

However Krymerae did go down from 12 to 10 pts and increased from T3 to T4, and you could take less beastmaster tax, as you only need to take one to get Ld8, so in my eyes if you didn't use the beaststar before they were just as good as before.

Here's my response to the Facebook post:

"1 or 2 beastmasters and 10-11 krymerae is a great unit for 120 pts. They are lightning fast (speed and initiative) and throw out a bucket of str4 attacks. They are fragile and only ld8 (from the beastmasters), but the damage output for the cost is great.

Compare them to 3 Grotesques (105pts) against 1 beastmaster and 10 krymerae (110 pts). If outnumbered (to get Ramage) the Grots will kill on average 3.1 marines vs 3.3 marines for the krymerae, against weaker opponents the krymerae will do better than the Grots due to the Grots already wounding marines 8 out of every 9 hits, so can't get much better. Lastly the Grots need a transport and a independent character to give them Ld above 4.

A great example of the pros and cons of Krymerae and the beastpack in general is my game against Eldar last night. For assault I had a Court of the Archon (Lharmaens & Sslyths) in a raider, Archon with 4 Grots in a Raider, a Beastpack (Beastmaster & 10 Krymerae) and a 2nd Beastpack (Beastmaster with 4 Clawed Fiends).

Both raiders, along with 2 Venoms were popped turn 1 before I got to move. Turn 2 my Eldar opponent saw the Clawed Fiends and Grots as issues, and wiped out the Clawed Fiends, and did a few wounds to the Grots. My turn 2 the Krymerae multi assaulted 3 ScatBikes and 4 Dark Reapers, making the Bikes flee, and killing the remaining Dark Reapers in the Eldar turn, Turn 3 they killed a Hornet, and got shot at by a Wave Serpent and lost 3 models (just 4 shots) but then killed another Hornet turn 4. The Court killed a wraithlord from shooting and assaulted and killed 5 Fire Dragons turn 4. The Grots and Archon (no Shadow Field) absorbed loads of Firepower and eventually charged a killed a 2nd wraithlord.

The beastpacks showed how fragile they are (Clawed Fiends dying easily, and the Krymerae losing models from few shots), but also their speed and their hitting power. If the Krymerar don't stand out as the immediate threat they can do wonders if the opponents leaves them alone for a turn to allow them a turn 2 charge. My opponent had played my army before and that time the Krymerae had charged and killed a wave serpent turn 2, but with venoms, ravagers, 3 toughness 5 assault units (Clawed Fiends, Grots & Sslyths) he left the Krymerae alone.

Make no mistake if any opponent decided to give the Krymerae attention they will die easily and do nothing, but in my game it would have meant leaving something out of the raiders with assault troops, venoms, ravagers or clawed fiends untouched. Force your opponent to make hard decisions and they are more likely to get it wrong.

If you couldn't guess I'm a big fan of Krymerae, and never write a list without them :)"

What's you experiences of Krymerae ?  Agree or disagree with my opinion, either way let me know your view.

Which monster will be up next ?



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