More games under the belt, and more lessons. One vs. Sisters + Guard, one vs. Foot Chaos. The big lesson from the Sisters/Guard v. me is aggression: when the Fire Dragons are ending up 36+ inches from the enemy because I didn't close with them, I'm doing something wrong.
It's something I haven't done as well. I've been caught up in the fact I can move 12" and pop off Bright Lance shots at 36", or a pulse laser/missile launcher rounds at 48". However, doing that and staying at range means I'm also not using the Dire Avengers (18" range) or the Fire Dragons (12" range, ideally 6" against armor).
Today's lesson was in part that 5 Fire Dragons > 2 falcons in terms of killing Oblits. Fire Dragons and a follow-up Bright Lance pasted a unit in a turn, whereas the whole army's long-range shooting isn't always sufficient.
It also helped (I mean, actually helped ) in a sense that my Falcons couldn't hit to save their skins. It means I really SHOULd rely on the meltaguns, and get the real damage in. Of course, that also means signing off on the Fire Dragons, but it DOES mean he has to deal with them: No one, in their right mind, is going to let me get a second drop 'n' melt out of the Dragons.
The same aggression goes for the Dire Avengers. At current, I've got them kitted out to 8 Avengers + Exarch (Bladestorm + Twin Shuriken Catapults). That's 4 BS5 shots and 14 BS4 shots, or 5 BS5 and 21 BS4 shots. Nice firepower, though for the points I could get up to 10 avengers, or 20 shots a turn. No real leadership difference. The only downside is financial, since I'd have to pick up another kit.
The big argument for going to 10 regular Avengers is surviving that second turn. I'm figuring out (with some help) that the proper use is putting 2-3 Avenger units into a unit a turn.
The Alpha Strike
If I can pull it off, and the army's got the speed, I should be able to take out 2-3 units a turn. Seer Council nukes one, the Dire Avengers and/or the Fire Dragons can do the damage. Add in some Doom support, and it should be able to work.
The Seer Council
I've been giving these guys lots of playtime, and lots of thought. I think I'm beginning to understand all too well their limitations, and they're most durable with Fortune and limited fire.
A slight no-brainer, but it goes in with that 'BE AGGRESSIVE' thing.
It also doesn't help when 9 bolt pistol shots result in 3 dead Seers.
Still, with the flamer templates (which I should ALWAYS use, because I can then back up if I break them out of assault range) and Witch Blades and WS5, I should be able to seriously dent a unit even without Doom. With Doom? I should nuke the shit out of them, unless they have power armor.
Still, I am pondering alternate uses for the point. They are about 500 points, including Farseer.
My problem? Melee in mech Eldar.
Anything else is coming in a Wave Serpent. That's 135, and has its issues with unit delivery. It has to get close and not move. Lucikly, the two melee units I'd think of bringing would be Fleet-capable, so they can get 2" + 6" + d6 + 6" assault range, but the measure is decieving because it's coming out of the back of a transport. I'd have to move it out of the way, or something.
So, the three options:
16 a unit
27+ points for Exarch w/ S6 powerfist
Basic unit cranks out 3 WS4, S4 attacks at I5, and can pull off cover assaults with plasma grenades and move through cover (MtC for +5 points). 3+ armor saves.
So, about 200pts for 10 guys with a heap of regular attacks at I5. On the charge, that's 36 regular attacks, and 4 powerfist attacks (at WS5, at least). That means, against the average WS4, T4 melee opponent you're doing 9 wounds that allow armor saves, and gimping 2-3 with the powerfist.
16 a unit
+17 points to give leader an S5, two-handed power weapon
Each good for 2 base S3 power weapons. Have Fleet. Have the mask of 'always goes first.'
187 for a 10-woman squad. On the attack, that's 27 WS4, S3 power weapons, and 3 WS5, S5 power weapon attacks. That translates to two S5 hits and 14 S3 hits. That's 1-2 dead from the Executioner, and 4-5 dead from the Banshees.
Obviously, Banshees are good at taking down armor-dependent units. However, they need Doom to be a bit more competitive at nailing larger targets. With Doom, that's 2 dead from the Executioner, and 6-8 dead from the charge.
So, Banshees can nail down a weakened squad.
22 a head with Rending.
WS5, I6 base
3 base attacks (2 + extra CCW)
Ignores cover saves, has plasma grenades.
A squad of ten Harlies is obviously pretty pricy. Cost-wise, we'd go down to 8 to keep it mostly on par with the others. 32 attacks, hit on 3's. 22 hits. Wound on 4+; so that's 7-8 wounds and about 3-4 dead to rending. With the full ten, it's 40 swings > 27 hits > 4.5 rends, 9 wounds
Harlies are the glassiest of all of them. However, they're probably better at KO'ing higher-toughness targets because of massed rendings.
I'd probably default to Wave Serpent Harlies. I'd then drop a squad of Rangers in lieu of the now-unhorsed Dire Avengers, since I have to give up a Wave Serpent. That frees up about 100ish or so points, all told.
However, none of them compare to the lethality of the 4 heavy flamers, and there's the issue of losing the transport.