Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Vehicle Saturation [Dark Eldar]

[My 1500 Point army at Rapid Strike
The Razorwing Flocks were borrowed from a friend while I paint mine up]
In the current meta of 5th edition, vehicles saturation is very good. Not only are vehicles hard to kill, due to the vehicle damage table, but they also protect squishy troops and give them better mobility.

If you have too many vehicles for the enemy’s anti tank guns, you ensure than some of them will survive till late in the game, regardless of how weak they are. This is particularly true of Dark Eldar.

However as you increase the number of vehicles you normally are taking points away from the rest of your troops making them weaker, so in terms of kill points you have an increase because you have more vehicles and your other troops are weaker and easier to kill.

Dark Eldar vehicles are notoriously fragile, and at one point I used 12 at 1750 pts. I have since gone down to 10, and I’m now considering using only 9. This was done by using less kill point intensive options, eq. beastmasters rather than incubi in a transport, reaver jetbikes rather than another troops choice in a transport, and even losing the transport for a unit of 3 wracks that mainly hides at the back on an objective. However sometimes I still lose all the vehicles early, in my last 2 games against Grey Knights there were taken out extremely quickly.

Now the question comes should I weaken my troops further to put another vehicle in, with the idea that my vehicles will last a bit longer, or should I settle with 9 vehicles. In all things it’s better to look at an actual list:

Haemonculus Nalix Soulseer - 55
  with Venom Blade

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 Dark Lance - 60

9 Wyches incl. Hekatrix with Venom Blade - 105
  in Raider with Dark Lance - 60

3 Wracks - 30
  in Raider with Dark Lance - 60

3 Wracks - 30

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

6 Reaver Jetbikes with 2 Heat Lances - 156

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: 1748 Pts, 19 Kill Points

The last wrack squad is crying out for a raider or venom to hide in, and give them some mobility, however all the infantry squads are nearly cut to the bone already. I could lose: a trueborn with a blaster, the wrack’s liquefier guns, 2 krymera to get a raider (or a venom if I lose the haemonculus’ venom blade as well), however each change slightly reduces the effectiveness of the squads affected:
  • I have found 4 model trueborn units to be much more effective, because they remain more of a threat when their vehicle blows up
  • Krymerae are essential not just for their multiple str4 attacks, but to intercept str6 shots that would otherwise instant kill a razorwing flock
  • Liquifier guns are helpful against hordes, and help the wracks flush out units in cover or at least weaken them before they charge, as the wracks have no grenades
So how far is too far in trying to put more vehicles in, I currently have 730 points tied up in very fragile vehicles, is this too much already ?  What do you think is a reasonable ratio between vehicles and infantry to get the vehicle saturation to work ?
For my next tournament I will look at the performance of the tweaks I can make to fit in another vehicle, and consider whether I think it’s worth it.  I'm itching to put my 4th Venom into the list, but will it hurt the list overall ?


A quick note on kill points: Having a list 1 or 2 kill points less would have little if non effect on the result of the Annihilation games I have played. Although my list is more resilience than I used to play (eq. Feel No Pain on all troop choices) it is still a glass cannon. To significantly reduce the kill point total would require a rewrite of the style of the list, probably to Baron with WWP, which unfortunately I do not have the models to do that at the moment.

Monday, 21 May 2012

A New Dawn ?

With a closer job and better weather, I'm writing this blog post in the lovely University grounds.
[My view as I write this post]
The university gaming club is not as competitive as my local club, so I didn't want to unleash my Dark Eldar tournament list, but then again I didn't to completely tone down my list, so instead I've decided to take my Tau.

I've been seeing a resergence in the Tau, only a minor one though. A few people have started playing them again, and a few are getting very good tournament placings with tbem. Whether that is lulling me into a false sense of security,but I have always liked the modes and the playstyle. The Tau's good performance may be due to tbe fact that they are very good against the top tier light vehicle spam lists such as grey knights or razorwolves. Alternatively it may be due to the few people still playing them are really good players who also know their army inside out.

With all this I'm sitting with my Tau army and they should be fighting on a battlefield in half an hour.  The list I'm using is below. A couple less railguns than my normal list, and one less crisis suit unit tban normal, plus 66% more firewarriors than I normally use at higher points values, however it's still my list so it's still optimised as much as I can with the units I've taken (no unnecessary wargear taken here), and a very healthy 75 models crammed into 1500 pts.

Have you seen any Tau resergence ? Or will my blue fish be turned into sushi against anything competitive ?

Uni Gaming Club Tau List

Shas'el "no plasma here" Rathstar
5 crisis suits, only 2 carry any plasma
10 firewarriors
3 units of 10 kroot, one unit has 7 hounds
8 pathfinders with devilfish
2 hammerheads, one with ion cannon
3 broadsides, for this game I thought I'd try out plasma rifles with multitrackers

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Transistion - Vanquish to Rapid Strike


It's been busy month, with me leaving one job and starting a new job tomorrow.  This month has also seem a transition in my Dark Eldar, they have gone from the nicer list I took to my last tournament Vanquish to a more toned list that will be ready to complete with the more cut throat tournaments I will be attending later in the year, the first of which being Rapid Strike in Reading.

Last time I blogged I left you at the end of day one of the Vanquish tournament with me on 3 wins.  Day two went well against Orks and Dark Eldar to leave me clear top on gaming points after with a total of 4 wins and a draw and maximum bonus objective points.  A 4 out of 8 painting score saw me drop to 2nd place overall.  Unlike most tournaments Vanquish went much further than the 3 colour painting requirements, but was fair to everyone, it just wasn't an area I paid much attention to in the rules pack, and to be fair there wasn't much else I could have done apart from finish my own razorwing flocks.  Although the ones I borrowed were much better painted than mine would be, they stood out as not matching the rest of the army, and lost me 2 painting points for consistant theme/style.

Following Vanquish I played agaist a mate's Grey Knights.  I lost the fluffy warriors that was in my Vanquish list for 3 wracks, which allowed me to try out upping the trueborn to 4 strong (all with blasters).  Although I liked the extra shots the game was a white wash with me conceeding turn 4 so we could get on with some games of magic with other mates who had arrived.  I suffered rubber lance syndrome.  I killed one dreadnought all game, and didn't touch any of the other 2 dreadnoughts or 3 stormravens.

The incubi also performed badly again.  They only seem to perform against units they should easily beat, such as a combat squad of marines.  With this in mine my list for rapid strike has transformed into:

Haemonculus (Venom blade)

3 x 4 Trueborn, all with blasters in Venoms

10 Wracks in a Raider

9 Wyches (incl Hekatrix with Venom blade) in a Raider

2 x 3 Wracks

4 Beastmasters with 4 Krymerae & 6 Razorwing Flocks

2 x Ravager

Razorwing Jetfighter

At 1500 points I'm packing 22 lances, 6 splinter cannons, and 3 assault units in the wyches, large wracks & the beastmaster unit.  I finding more and more that if I can't de-mech the enemy (through too many enemy vehicles or just bad luck) then I really struggle. Time will tell if I have gone too far (particularly with the few troops).

May should have more postings, as I settle into my new job (which is over an hour closer than my previous one), and I have less panic painting for tournaments to do.


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