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Conventional wisdom ... meh
Old 27 Jun 2010, 16:55   #1 (permalink)
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Default Conventional wisdom ... meh

So the general consensus on the internet is that

a) Use Raider Spam/Triple Disentegrators

b) WWP are not as good in 5ed as in previous editions

c) Nightshields over Horrorfex

Let's examine this. ... First premise a ...

Raider spam is predicated on having enough DLs and targets to get the job done. We need raiders to get outr troops positioned properly and we need Ravangers as backup, right? Never mind they can be taken down by just about anything. The key is to manage them properly. Disembark when it furthers your plans. Expect causalities when a raider blows up. First two turns zoom up, try and get your Wyches and Archon and retinue into combat. Using combat drugs this is possible. However, Wyches really do not kill that much unless using a Succubus and Agonizer. If you are running the bare 5 man squads as a buffer they are simply sacrificial units tar pitting priorities. You Archon/retinue can dish out more damage but against hard coire cc units they fail. So what is the plan? Zoom up get your raider squads hopefully disembarked near cover, hold the center of the table turns 3 and 4 and contest grab objectives turns five and six. But Raiders and Ravs are fragile. So you need to expect them to be downed against mech forces early and then are relying on your blasters and shredders to hold the line. It can work but it is very difficult to play well. You really need to keep your eye on the mission and objectives and focus.

So, it does seem that mech elements are needed in solid competitive lists. Raiders are essential to get your troops where they are needed quickly and DLs still are necessary additions to your lists. Min Raider squads are here for awhile. However the HQ and Heavy slots has a bit of flexibility still ... Archon or Deacon or Haemonculus. Can Talos still be viable in a list.

now premise b)

WWP mechanics are tougher to use now that you can't hide behind terrain. So you have to deploy on the 1st turn in fear of 2nd turn outflankers assaulting you. Realistically one carrier can be shot to down by the enemy's entire list easily. You might as well use normal reserves with the enemy coming much faster at you now. Or so conventional goes. Never mind that your raiders coming out of reserves will often not get halfway up the board. Never mind the piecemeal deployment from reserves. What is the answer then?

Guess what. WWP can work against mech and IG and razor spam in 5ed. The trick is to drop those Ravangers and use three Talos. Have one squad with a WWP scoot up the flank and another deploy near the front of your zone ( you need this insurance). You will still be using a lot of Raiders, your squad of Wyches and perhaps a Haemie and an Archon. When those Talos pop out they will wreak havoc and let your Warriors set up nicely, your Wyches do what they do and your Archon hopefully get some damage in. Min raider squads will still work well with Blaster/SC. Two wyche squads are a nice compliment and really you do not need a retinue for your Archon. Get out of thiose transports as soon as you can position and set up. This will maximize the number of targets your opponent has to deal with.

So, it might still be possible and competitive to use WWPs. Obviously you will need to change some of your slots and spend points protecting the WWP and you have to careful what you use coming out of the WWP. Against some lists I've ound the WWP still quite good ... IG and SM.

Now for c ...

The horrorfex has no strength value, doesn't cause wounds, just forces a pinning test. Its profile says that it may be fired instead of another vehicle weapon. Yes, there are armies that a Horrorfex will not work on. Yes, you cannot use your DL and Horrorfex together. You know what? Horrofexes are fantastic for the cost. Any other upgrades I would say are expensive or not useful enough for the Raider. Keep the cost down because your Raiders are too fragile to be considered anything other than expendable. Just let them do their thing for as long as they can.. The ability to disembark your troops and then jump around your Raiders and either shoot or Pin is very good. If you lose a weapon ... you have another. Now if points allow for both Shields and Horrorfex ... well okay. But ... Those are going to eat up a lot of points that could be used elsewhere in your list and maybe more effectively.

So, no one will deny that Nightshields are very helpful keeping the Raiders going turn one and two. After that point though their usefulness declines and they are an expensive upgrade on a fragile transport. They will continue to be seen and probably will edge out Horrorfexes in many competitive lists. That doesn't mean that Horrorfexes can't work better though in some cases.Nightshields are just more universal in application.


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Old 28 Jun 2010, 23:30   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Conventional wisdom ... meh

I guess I will take a poke at this – it’s not as easy to answer as it sounds.

Originally Posted by xx
So the general consensus on the internet is that:
I think you are off a little on the general consensus but pretty close – my responses will be based off other DE forums but again it’s all subjective (a personal bias).

a) Use Raider Spam/Triple Las
Not sure what you mean by “Las” – do you mean Dark Lance or Disintegrator? I would say the most common Ravager setup now is triple Disintegrator. I personally like the triple Dark Lance but I find that the triple dissy too hard to give up for most people.

As for Raider Spam – you have the gist of it. Surround and drown your enemies, manage your raiders and ravagers on the last turn. Most common troop choices I see are min/max squads of 5 warriors with a dark lance and sometimes there is a combat element in the elites and HQ choices. Taking first turn and blitzing the enemy while the ravagers blast away is generally the strategy. Essentially, you are using the lances to crack the transports and then charging the spilled remains – that is why I like the triple lance setups as 3 lances is what I need to get any favorable result. This also results in “ham-stringing” your opponent while your skimmers dance around them. Come the last turn any skimmers left can contest what is left while your scoring units can take 1 or more objectives. So yah, be sure to take 6 troop choices and you should have a raider or two still floating by the end of the game.

These are just generalizations – everyone has a different method but in a nut-shell I think you got the idea. You mentioned the Talos and I will say that me and Lord Zambia enjoy using them in “themed” lists but they are not really recommended for beginners or for truly competitive lists – however you will find that experienced players have a ton of fun using Talos.

b) WWP are not as good in 5ed as in previous editions
You are mostly correct about the WWP. If you take two then you are looking at 100 points to come out of a fixed point. To be more accurate with 5th edition mechanics the issues in trying to deploy the WWP are:

1. True line of Sight (you got this one right). The squad is too squishy when they are shot at, bad leadership and terribly hard to hide in cover even if you decide to bolster the squad count they still have a good chance of taking a leadership test.
2. The enemy is faster now. With the “run” rule even foot squads can be on the middle board on turn “1” and assault you by turn “2”. Even the outflanking rule allows the enemy to be able to charge you from turn 2 let alone drop pods and scouting units to land close enough on turn 1 to shoot the crap out of you.
3. IC’s cannot hide next to a unit as they could in 4th. If they are separated then they can be picked out. Even if you attach your IC to a squad then you are vulnerable to the 1 &2 mentioned above and you are at the mercy of a leadership check.

So to avoid #1 you need to win first turn and drop the portal.
And to avoid #2 you need to drop first turn and cannot wait until turn 2. This means your portal will be in your deployment zone – is this really an advantage worth the points? Coming out of reserves in spearhead mission provide the same benefits and is cheaper, more reliable and just as strategic when I can enter the game anywhere along my 72” board edge.
#3 is unavoidable – you can try putting the IC in a squad of Grotesques but you soon find when 2000 points of the enemy can fire at that squad (because you cannot hide) that you’d be surprised how many strength 6+ weapons he has (I’ve tried to make this work but a good opponent can put the hurt on easily).

Granted, dropping the portal on the first turn when you have the first turn in a Dawn of War deployment scenario is fantastic but pitched battle and spearhead are not as good.

Ran out of time on the rest of the post - I will finish tomorrow.
Really, I do not believe the game stats that you read here - you know they are not real.
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Old 28 Jun 2010, 23:49   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Conventional wisdom ... meh

Actually you touched on the main issue in passing. Using the standard internet lists requires skill but using a list with Talos or WWP requires a veteran player who really knows the in and outs of both his army and others. I think I'm just tired of seeing up to 8 or nine squads of five ( two or three 5 man wyche squads, six five man raider squads). Does it work? Well, yes it can work well up to a point ( starts to suffer at greater than 2000 and its sweet spot is 1500 - 1850).

We do need a codex revision for sure. We are still playable but a number of the more interesting thematic lists now get crushed - I still play grotesques, talos and multiple Haemies on bikes in various lists but ...

I'm trying to realistically portray what I'm commonly seeing on the net and the standard advice given. I posted a list once and mentioned that I never use Incubi as a retinue under 2000 points. I prefer warriors up to that level. It was questioned and rejected by most posters. Any list with a WWP will be trashed now. No footslogging lists ever seem to get approval. This is the reality of net. Everything becomes homogeneous with fixed ideas.

Well, I'm NOT going to be ruled by mob appeal. It's okay ... I will lose a few games but you know ... even with the "approved" lists I'm going to lose a few games.

Convention ... meh. I'm going to be playing this weekend and I'm going to use Haemies and Jetbikes. This is my 'competitive' list.

MechDark 1500

HQ: 484
Archon, Jetbike, Punisher/Tormenter Helm, Drug Dispenser, Shadow Field 170
Haemonculi Jetbike, Scissorhands, Destructor, Haywires 84

Haemonculi Scissorhands, Destructor, Trophy Rack 230
7 Grotesques, Raider, Nightsheild, Horrorfex

Troops: 520
4x 5 Warriors, Blaster, Splinter Cannon 130
Raider, Nightshields, Horrorfex

Fast Attack: 216
5 Reaver Jetbikes, Shredders x2 216
Succubus, Agoniser, Pistol

Heavy Support: 280
2x Ravanger,
Disentegrator x3, Nightshields 140

Total: 1500
KP: 16
Models: 42

Now I won't disregard all the conventional wisdom but I will play an HQ and Fast attack slot not seen as commonly on the net. I will also waste some extra points on Haywires ( despite the 1/6 chance of damaging something) and I'll add Horrorfexes ( despite the possibility of encountering fearless armies). I'm also using shredders not blasters on my bikes - something i'm constantly told not to do by so called DE gurus.

Will I win this Sunday? I certainly hope so. This is a fairly standard list for me. I usually go two Talos and add a few more Grotesques and raider and drop a bike Haemie for a standard one but I've played that list a lot and the vets here need to see my Ravs occasionally. Wish me luck. I'm relying on experience to get me through.
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