Saturday, July 18, 2009

Engage Brain before Playing, and newer Eldar thoughts

Well, I got a couple games in the other day, and learned some important things.

1) Have head in game.
I'm not sure what the hell happened, but I was just NOT thinking in terms of Eldar the other day. Maybe it's the part where I haven't picked them up in a month, and gave Daemons a chance? The Daemons are a different mindset, as I really do feel like they're more a 'fun' army. They ate an experimental Chaos Footslogger list, then kind of ran against Guard a couple times, and, well, I'll let you guess how Daemons do against mech guard. Hint: NOT VERY WELL.

The most comical moment was in the second round of the day, vs. Mech Chaos. Top of turn 2, I'd lost the gun on the fire prism (after it had flubbed its S9 AP2 small blast off the Obliterators...), and figured I'd just run it up into his face and annoy him with it. So, I grab a grav tank, move it 24" across the board...and promptly realize it's not the tank he wanted.

The dice were also comical; we had some swings both ways. Game one, I had 5 fire dragons take point-blank shots at a Vendetta, and...four missed. YAHTZEE! They had to meltabomb it to death. There was also the Autarch, who charged a lone Guardsman...and BOTH refused to wound the other. Not to be outdone, the Guardsman of Jon's army promptly forgot what meltaguns were for. Also, his experimental Deathstrike managed to scatter clear off the table.

It was...up to the dice, in the end, as his guys were just short of the objective, but what the hell. It was a bad game on my part.

Anyway, the more educational section of the blog.

On Falcons Again
I actually gave these guys a shot again. I configured them as 'Dakka Falcons', which is to say a turret Shuriken Cannon and an underslung Shuriken Cannon. They're about 130 points this way. No cargo.

I am pleased with the volume of fire this Falcon puts out. It's pretty much the Eldar version of the Heavy Bolter/Autocannon predator. It's just faster, one lower BS3, and the guns are all higher strength. However, with Guide it tends to be a bit more accurate. It is also mobile, as it IS a grav tank and all. 6" and pop everything, or 12" and pop one gun. The loadout makes it reasonable for hunting lighter armor, infantry, and monstrous creatures.

BS3 is one con. You can't kill what you can't hit. The other con is a bit of a list thing. Someone sees all those guns, and they KNOW that Wave Serpents are a pain? They might just break a Falcon in two because they can.

I think this is something I might very well use again. It's mobile firepower. It fits with a mobile list, and it's about 130 points.

The Vyper
I'd acquired, and recently painted, a pair of Vypers. I've magnetized (well, one came pretty well magnetized from Xardian) the guns and turret mounts, though so far I think I'm pretty sold on the double shuriken cannon version. It's 60 points, which puts it in the same neighborhood as the double scatter-laser War Walker.

It's cheap, it's swift, it has guns. It's suited to harassing infantry, transports, and the odd monstrous creature (...funny, it's the miracle of S6). It's got the speed to grab side-shots. At the cost, I don't think I mind too terribly much if the thing gets splattered.

And splattered, it will get. Open-topped AV10 is not what we call durable. The most spectacular death was when one ate a Battle Cannon round from the Defiler and simply ceased to exist. 24" range is a little short; a Scatter Laser would keep them safer, but costs more. (The scatter laser version gets four shots at 36" for the same cost) Also, they're kind of the weakest armor in the list, so I am not at all surprised when someone pays them a little attention to just remove them.

I think these little boggarts have a place in a swift, mechanized list. They're a cheap source of extra gunfire, and a fine Guide candidate. I've been taking them in single squads, and while that's not so hot for KP purposes, it means that the enemy's kind of got to think about the amount of firepower they really want to spend on 'em. I mean, it's not much, but if you're shooting them before you're shooting my AV12 grav tanks? I'm probably ok with that.


The_King_Elessar said...

Good analysis. What are your thoughts on EML Vypers?

Raptor1313 said...

The problem with the EML and Vypers is that you get just one BS3 shot.

My gut suggests Vypers go well with high rate of fire weaponry to go with the low BS. I think the other step is minimizing the cost of the Vyper. AV 10 open-topped just does not last, and it's more a matter of if you're shooint at the enemy he can shoot at you.

So, for the EML, you're looking at a 65 point vyper. It can drop wounds on monstrous creatures, and it can attempt to down light armor. It has a nominal ability to damage infantry with the plasma missile, but I wouldn't necessarily call it a great recourse. Plus, at BS3, it really kind of wnats guide.

So, in general, I think I'd have to roll with the higher-rate-of-fire weapons. S6 isn't as damaging as S8 to transports, but if you're going mech you probably have lances and Fire Dragons, and they're just fine or the heavier armor.

The_King_Elessar said...

I'm pretty much in full agreement with you, although I think the EML and Lance Vypers can prove valuable, this is only really the case in larger games where you hopefully have enough Grav Tanks to make targetting the Snypers ludicrous. Obviously if playing an all-Jetbike list, Vypers provide important anti-heavy armour capability...but why aren't you using Falcons? Even then a Jetlock Cuncil should prove sufficient anti-tank for most games. Two is even better.

Raptor1313 said...

In an 1850, I managed to cram 4 Serpents (2 DA, 2 Dragon), a Prism, and 2 Dakka-Falcons in there along with 2 Shuriken-Vypers, just to get a count up there.

I suppose in larger games you could go for the BL vypers, but I think if I'm going to dedicate Vypers to anti-tank duty, I'm like as not to take the plunge and get the Bright Lance, even if it does mean I'm rolling a 75 point Vyper out.

Then again, the bigger a gun you put on a Vyper, the more likely it is that the enemy will think "Ah, but for a little bit of gunfire, I can SURELY kill some of his firepower." I mean, the average autocannon hit has a decent chance of maiming a Vyper. I'm sure there's a saturation level out there, but I'm not sure if it's really that efficient.

I mean, two BL Vypers will connect with 2 Bright Lances 25% of the time, a single one 50% of the time, and miss both 25% of the time. The average TL-BL/Cannon Serpent costs me 145, and has one lance. If I'm not squadding the Vypers, I can split their fire, or just focus it, since I'll probably need to do that as Lances are just not THAT effective at killing armor.

However, the Vypers are significantly easier to kill. In a squad, you can pawn off the odd hit here and there on to a single 'Ablative' vyper, but AV10 is vulnerable enough to high rate-of-fire weapons like Autocannons to make the Squadron rules an easier way to harm multiple vehicles.

I think in Apocalypse, without the Force Org Chart, I'd look at multiple Vyper squads (or in similar situations) just to boost their survivabilty.