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Tactica: Wraiths
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Old 21 Feb 2009, 11:51   #1 (permalink)
Shas'La
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Alberta, Canada
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Default Tactica: Wraiths

Tactica: Wraiths

Tactics and applications written are opinion based. This is written off of my experience and is by no means the only use and definition of Necron Wraiths.

Wraiths are by far my favourite unit in the Necron army. Their abilities are unique, their statline is impressive, and the models just look so cool. However there are a number of players that canít justify spending the points to include a unit of wraiths in their army. They either donít know how to use them effectively or donít know of any situations when the wraiths would become useful. I would like to go over some of the basic applications of wraiths and then expand and tell of some advanced tactics and uses for this extraordinary unit.

Lets begin by looking at the wraiths statline:
At first glance there are two very obvious traits that come to mind. Wraiths have strength 6, and thatís pretty impressive on its own as they are the strongest unit available with the Necron special rule. Wraiths also have an initiative of 6 which is the highest in the entire Necron army, when considering the average initiative of the army is 2 an initiative of 6 is pretty sweet.

When looking at the wraiths profile one of the only downfalls they have is their weapon skill. A dedicated assault unit with a weapon skill of 4 is not that impressive, in fact thatís just plain average. There is a lot of give and take with wraiths as their unimpressive weapon skill is countered by their high number of attacks, 4 attacks per wraith on the charge is quite good for a dedicated assault unit. Although this too has its drawbacks as the maximum squad size for wraiths is 3. That means that the maximum number of attacks a single unit of wraiths can inflict on a single turn is 12. Respectable, but when compared to dedicated assault units of most other armies 12 attacks on the charge isnít that impressive.

Now looking slightly beyond the basic profile of a wraith one of the greatest things we see is their save. A 3+ invulnerable save is absolutely amazing and with the Necron FAQ that is out it has been confirmed that wraiths receive a 3+ invulnerable save as well as a 3+ armour save so your almost always guaranteed a saving throw. Even though GW has a habit of throwing invulnerable saves around like candy at a Canada Day parade we can still admit that having a dedicated assault unit with this level of invulnerability is awesome.

Wraiths have a special rule called ďWraithflightĒ, in essence, they can move as jetbikes and move through anything with the exception of enemy units and cannot end their turn Ďinsideí impassible terrain. As an added benefit they count as always being armed with frag grenades (assault grenades) and so will strike at initiative when assaulting into cover.

Wow, thatís just a basic overview of the wraiths profile and special rules, already we can see there is so much potential and so many uses for a unit of this caliber.


Tactics and Applications

When using wraiths we have to be considerate of our target. A unit of wraiths is not the same as a unit of boyz and so cannot just charge headstrong into whatever gets in the way. Wraiths are a unit of subtlety and precision. They apply a large amount of force into a vulnerable area and essentially rip the teeth out of the enemy.

Before a unit of wraiths can go floating around the battlefield they must have a target already chosen. It is an incredible waste of points and attacks to just send them into the first unit within charge range and it is a display of poor leadership that your enemy will pick up on. He/she will see that you didnít have a plan to begin with and that he/she can influence your turn to such a degree that the decision of whether or not to assault is not up to you.

The target that is chosen for wraiths should be something the wraiths actually stand a chance of defeating. A unit of Vanguard Veterans is probably not a good thing to assault, a unit of Devastators hiding the back firing plasma cannon shots into the warriors is a much better target. Once the target is chosen it is simply a matter of manoeuvring the wraiths into position where they can launch their deadly assault. Wraithís can move a maximum of 24" a turn, and if they choose to assault they can move 12" and take a standard 6" charge for a total of 18" of movement. That is an extremely fast assault unit, and so it will often be little challenge to position the wraiths where they are able to get the charge.

Some people say the reason they donít use wraiths is because they donít have rending or power weapons. Consider the point cost of a unit that could move 24" through anything and have a 3+ invulnerable save, youíre looking at a 75+ point model right there. Because wraiths donít have rending or power weapons it is best for them to choose a target they will have a good chance of survival against. If wraiths did have power weapons or anything similar I would suggest going after elite dedicated assault units because it is likely the wraiths will strike first and quite often strike harder. Wraiths survivability is actually decreased because they donít have power weapons as their choice of targets is more limited. Heavy weapons teams, firing squads, these are the types of targets wraiths should go after. Itís a simple matter of choosing a target that is a serious threat to the rest of the army.

What a Wraith Isnít

A wraith isnít a close combat monster. It is not comparable to a Broodlord or a Daemon Prince, and so there is no reason to think that a wraith could go toe to toe with one. There are very few situations where it would be recommended to send a unit of wraith unescorted against another dedicated assault unit, only in the most dire of circumstances when the wraiths need to be a sacrificial unit should this be done.

The stone cold truth of the matter is that once in combat wraiths are above average and are nothing spectacular. Their number of attacks and high strength is countered by their low numbers and this can be a great hindrance when dealing with a Ďmust killí target.

As wraiths lack the punch of many other close combat units one of the best things to think about is what units need to remain engaged in combat. A heavy support unit thatís firing AP 2 rounds into your warriors will be useless if locked in combat, so with the mere action of tying a unit up for a turn you have essentially made your points back in the cost of the units spared and the wraiths involved in combat.

Wraiths arenít character assassins. There are few opportunities when a unit of wraiths can take down an independent character as units such as this often have a good armour save, high strength/toughness and a large amount of power weapon attacks. Only if the opportunity to insta-kill a character arrises would I suggest assaulting such a character. Remember, Strength 6 is quite high when it comes to assault units so any GEQ character should fear a unit of wraiths. The majority of the time wraiths attacks are too few and their weapon skill is too low for them to be a serious threat to many characters, this isnít always the case as there are always exceptions, but in my experience the wraiths abilities are better served elsewhere.

Summary

As a brief overview, I would like to say that wraiths are like the poison on the arrowhead. They arenít doing the actual penetration, but seep into the veins to cause the most damage.
- Looking at the wraiths profile its essential to choose fights that you can actually win, against units that are a hindrance to the rest of the army. Picking your targets beforehand can mean the difference between victory and defeat.
- Remember the limitations of wraiths. A unit of wraiths cannot stand up to most other dedicated assault units, but they do have the ability to decide when and where assaults occur. This is essential in choosing the right target and insuring no other units get in the way.
- Unless itís an average GEQ STAY AWAY FROM INDEPENDENT CHARACTERS. Itís a point that I canít stress enough. Iíve already covered the why and how so there should be no further need to go into this.

Thatís the basics of the possible applications of wraiths. They are a gift to the Necron army, use them wisely and donít underestimate them.

Questions and comments are not only welcome but encouraged.
Happy Hunting.
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Old 21 Feb 2009, 15:03   #2 (permalink)
Kroot Warrior
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Lafayette, Indiana
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Default Re: Tactica: Wraiths

Thank you for taking the time to type this out!
Again, I'm still learning the game.
Thanks to the above typed opinion, I have a better understanding of how to use wraiths.
Eventually, when i get a better understanding of the game and units, I hope to add something to the forums like what you have done!
I actually will be adding wraiths to my army soon. (still learning how to use what i have)
Thanks again for taking the time to type what you have as well as encouraging me while learning the game.
let the Red Harvest begin!
E
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Old 21 Feb 2009, 16:46   #3 (permalink)
Shas'El
 
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Default Re: Tactica: Wraiths

Good article; I cannot comment on the content, with me being a Tau and Ork player, but there's just something I came across:

Quote:
As an added benefit they count as always being armed with frag grenades and so will strike simultaneously when assaulting into cover.
Frag grenades work differently in 5th Edition. Re-read the Rules Book! You now get to use your own I when assaulting enemies in cover (the definition "enemies in cover" was changed, too).

Cheers,
-Bone
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Old 21 Feb 2009, 20:30   #4 (permalink)
Shas'Saal
 
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Default Re: Tactica: Wraiths

I love to charge FW with my wraiths...or battlesuits...just not kroot, then every tau unit will work :P eldar too, unless shooty.. Nice tactica!
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Old 22 Feb 2009, 04:05   #5 (permalink)
Shas'La
 
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Default Re: Tactica: Wraiths

I play against almost all assualt oriented armys, so I let my wraiths sit back at first. Then, they act as a rescue/interception force when the enemy gets to close, but keep in mind I also have 6 wraiths and usually use them all against the same enemy. 24 S6 hits is nasty.
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Old 22 Feb 2009, 17:25   #6 (permalink)
Shas'Saal
 
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Default Re: Tactica: Wraiths

A couple of things to add:

A destroyer Lord with Warscythe, Phase Shifter, and ResOrb joining a Wraith unit is a most excellent pairing. Granted, the Lord is not a mobile as the Wraiths but in most cases can hang tight and follow, joining the Wraith unit prior to assaulting.

Using a Monolith in conjunction with the Wraiths forms a basic Necron tactic called the Wraith Ring: Get the Monolith with 17" (just to be sure) of target unit. Assault with the Wraith unit. Next turn, pull the Wraiths out of CC and charge again. Lather, rinse, repeat until target unit is gone. Marry a Destroyer Lord (described above) and you have one helluva an assault unit.
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Old 22 Feb 2009, 19:25   #7 (permalink)
Shas'La
 
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Default Re: Tactica: Wraiths

There are a million applications for wraiths. I covered more of what I thought were their intention rather than specific tactics. I could write forever about multiple scenario's and what the wraiths should do in that scenario. As you said use them in conjunction with a monolith and you not only have a unit that is guaranteed the charge and a reroll to WBB, but is also capable of teleporting up to 18", disembarking 2", moving 12" and assaulting 6" in one turn. Thats a potential of a 38" charge. Wow.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CmdrBonesaw
Frag grenades work differently in 5th Edition. Re-read the Rules Book! You now get to use your own I when assaulting enemies in cover (the definition "enemies in cover" was changed, too).
Ah yes, you are correct. I'll fix that right now.
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Old 25 Feb 2009, 11:42   #8 (permalink)
Shas'Ui
 
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Default Re: Tactica: Wraiths

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gabriel_
There are very few situations where it would be recommended to send a unit of wraith unescorted against another dedicated assault unit...
Remember that their save makes enemy power weapons useless, so they're actually decent against enemy units that are so armed. Howling Banshees, for example, are an entirely reasonable target for wraiths, although Striking Scorpions are not.
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Old 25 Feb 2009, 14:11   #9 (permalink)
Shas'Saal
 
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Default Re: Tactica: Wraiths

Also with strength 6 you've a good chance of causing some damage to most tanks.
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Old 25 Feb 2009, 22:39   #10 (permalink)
Shas'La
 
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Default Re: Tactica: Wraiths

You must also remember that a unit of wraiths that is defeated by a unit with power weapons gets no WBB rolls unless there is a res orb nearby. It seems a waste to knowingly remove your chance for WBB by assaulting a unit with power weapons. Of course this is situation depending.
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