30 Nov 2010

Big News: DE Art for Rant

Hellions -coloration by Majesticchicken

Some people may not get this , but Im excited to bits,hopefully you have noticed by now, that I always try and use artwork on this site, I'm a massive art fan and GW art has been an inspiration to my hobby and many others from the very start.

A while back one guys work came to my attention, his name and art have cropped up on here before and he is my top fan artist, I love the colours he uses and the feel he creates with his work.

I have used and will continue to use any Eldar related fan artwork in the hope that it increases the quality of my readers experience and also importantly gets some of these really talented guys some recognition.

Recently I have been frustrated with finding good art for my DE reviews , which came to a head when I had to use all black and white for the Incubi article I wrote yesterday, displeased with this I actually made contact with the colourist/artist responsible for the awesomeness above.

So it is with some fanfare that I would like to Introduce MajesticChicken  to those who have been unfortunate enough not to have enjoyed his work so far. I really wanted to give him some exposure through my blog as I adore his work. Hands down some of the best coloured GW fan art / colouration you will see.

He has kindly agreed to provide me and the Rant readership with Colourations for the Rave review series of articles and possibly Retro too. I hope all you readers get as much pleasure from his work as I do !!

His work now also adorns the this weeks Rave review : Incubi , go see the picture and have a read, enjoy :o)

Edit: Quick update, chicken has just sent me some more (a machine ?), I have updated the Haemo Rave review with the brand new shiny, as for the others, guess you'll just have to watch this space *grin

29 Nov 2010

Rave Review: Dark Eldar Incubi

I must break you ......
Colour provided by Majesticchicken
Dark Eldar Incubi. If there is just one concept I had to pick out as my favorite in this book its these xeno blenders, they cut, they slice and dice, peel, wash and prepare....

Meq are as inanimate vegetables to these guys, hacking apart a squad of marines is all in a life affirming and fulfilling days work for these psychos. Watching a well executed combat go off is like watching a piece of paper being sucked into a paper shredder, you know that almost lazy, deliberate, efficient yet oh so final pace.....

Fungasm !

"Hi I'm Shard and I'm a Jes-aholic"

As you may have guessed I'm big time sold on these guys as a concept. The God-Win has gone above and beyond even his usual brand of genius. I have a rampant 'nerd on' for Mr God-win's work him being the father of  Eldar design after all (fap fap fap), a subject very close to my heart, ok I digress, time will come for my 'Ode to Jes in E major', but not today.....

The new fluff rocks, in-fact, so much it causes one of my issues with the rules, on that subject lets actually start with a look at  the stats.

Initiative FIVE,  Weapon Skill FIVE with 2 attacks and a 3+ save with +1 STR pow wep and FLEET ?!? yup its a drool fest, when you factor in that they have PfP so thats FnP then FC,  spelt out thats potential I6 str 5 power weaponed charges and they are actually tough, without crunching the numbers I would hazard a guess they are tougher than standard MeQ so as far as Eldar go, they are Ivan Drago, a whole unit of him ..... I have had a unit with FC chop up a Carnifex recently, because the noob Archon they were escorting lumped-with flubbed all of his 1 gajillion attacks...."errr, no boss, like dis" *slutch thunk chock splushh... thud*

I win for me, FOR ME!!
So the basic guy is a machine , and  I would largely recommend just squads of these as they are more than good enough by themselves also the squad leader has some issues.......

The Klaivex- Essentially the incubi equivalent of an exarch, he even has the same issues that exarchs suffer from and like exarchs will rarely appear in squads I fear.

The problem, points Raep, he IS indeed better than a standard incubi, maxed out and with two pain tokens he is capable of 6 str 4 attacks or 4 str 6 pow wep attacks on the charge, at initiative 7 and WS 6, he will re-roll to hit a nominated IC and allow himself and his squad to generate an extra attack for each 6 they roll to wound ..... he also cannot be singled out as he is a sgt option, sounds amazing does it not ? on top of all that madness he can also have a meq slaying flamer ......

Just soak that in for a second before I pop our bubble, bad ...ASS...

You will lose
Right, then we look at what that costs us, a standard Incubi weighs in at a very reasonable 22 points, thats good right ? a cheap and cheerful Klaivex will run you an additional 35 points, the powers he brings cost 10 and 15 points (comparable to exarch powers cost) , fully kitted out including the 'flamer' he comes to 97 points .... or more than 4 more Incubi , Im not really sure he can even remotely competes with that , the unit is so good by itself its better to leave him out most of the time, the one and only time I would consider using him is if you are running a five man unit to go in a venom it's essentially impossible to buy any more incubi to jack up the power , but the klaivex will increase their power without using up transport capacity, just a thought.

Last few bits to cover , the Incubi have no grenades , I'm not sure why , I think it's to keep points down but also reflects their martial nature. I actually don't have a problem with this, possibly because there is a way around this, An Archon can buy a phantasm launcher which will not only give them offensive grenades but defensive ones too, as a squad of incubi is a great escort for an Archon it is worth considering.

I come to my other gripe, its brief, the fluff mentions neural shock attacks with 'tormentors" when launching an assault, there is no rule mechanic for this ? I assume this is somehow covered in the stats ? dunno... feel a little short changed on that front, not that they actually need a boost of any description, I suppose its my need for fluff and mechanics to mesh where possible.

Transport- yay ! Im discovering a love for our paper planes, The final piece to complete the puzzle of awesome, a transport can turn these guys into something horrific, the ability to reach out upto a 29 inch charge range is simply staggering for a unit like this, plonk them in a suitable position in your line and they have a huge counter assault/assault threat radius, believe me, no one in their right mind wants to get charged by these guys.

If he dies, he dies
Small units are ideal for a venom and worth thinking about a klaivex to ensure the 5 man unit hits hard enough, you just need to be clear what you want from the unit.

The raider allows a larger squad and I feel it is a better choice as I like a squad of at least six, more than likely with  an Archon, this is usually enough to smash most meq 10 man squads but leave a survivor or two, so a good chance you can avoid being hosed in your opponents turn. the extra lance is always welcome as Incubi cut into the amount of Trueborn you can field.

Drazhar- Ok I'll keep this brief as he has no place in a competitive build, lots of points , lots and lots of points, and NO invun, Fail much ? thats all you should need to know.

However there is more, he takes an IC slot is sadly not an upgrade character but is essentially only any good leading a unit of Incubi, and only gets the benefits of his skills when in the unit, NO invun, even transports have a fething invun...

He is a carbon copy of the P Lords, not sure if thats a good thing, improved by dint of having PfP and a possibility for FC, he is a combat machine, as with alot of the DE characters, he excels at chopping up loads of rank and file, even though he is kinda presented as a character killer.

Darting strike is an ability he has that is unique and allows you to position him anywhere in a combat where there is room, he can hopefully avoid hidden fists til he has chopped up the rest of the unit with his 6-7 str 5 -7 attacks , he will only really fall down when he comes up against a character with an invun better than 5+

He has another skill called riposte that is so inconsequential I simply dont get it, every time he passes a save on a 6 in cc he gets an immediate attack back at base str .... wtf ? he needs an invun not more attacks ?!?! Fail more ?

So yeah another Phoenix Lord carrying on the tradition of Plord suckfail, the simple addition of a basic invun would have boded well for any future Craftworld release *sulk , just does my head in that they hand out 4++ or better wholesale to Meq characters and units and in the case of deamons, whole armies.

Final thoughts, when used well Incubi can win you the game, they hit like a ton of bricks and only get harder, be aware they are quite focused for slicing up Meq, they wont like protracted combats or power weps and its worth thinning out big hoardy units with support fire before ripping out their hearts in CC.

Maybe not quite the most utterly optimal choice in a competitive list but so much fun, meq players are going to hate them and I like the models too much NOT to take a unit.

*People Mareehns

 I have managed to arrange Something I am really excited about for this blog, hopefully be able to announce it soon ;o)

Also expect the next test Models for my DE very soon.

 I will also will be showcasing my old completely converted Spacewolves army (I came to my senses) over on Mind of the Daemon, the blog belongs to one of my oldest and dearest friends, El Diablo, a master of conversions and a great all round hobby guru (he has the answer), he introduced me to new ideas and techniques a few years ago and has continued to push me outside my comfort zone, which allowed me to reach the standard of painting I can now achieve. We designed built and painted the army together and as I wish to keep this purely focussed on the Eldar hobby there is no more fitting place to showcase the army as it is his as much as mine.

25 Nov 2010

Dark Eldar Test Scheme 2

Well , I managed to get a good idea in my head and subsequently managed to paint something last weekend, not quite what I was aiming for , kinda painted itself.....

If I go with this scheme I think the helmets will be black with metal details or green maybe both for variety, will have the glowing purply- pink eyes.

Even though Its better than the last I'm not sure I like this one either ....

I still have the requiem/sin city style to try and another idea or two to flesh out on, lets see how the former  pans out next.

Also managed to post this weeks eldar review below, dont miss out ;o)

24 Nov 2010

Retro Review: Guardian Jetbikes

Its that time again, this week we will be discussing that mainstay of all Saim hann themed lists, the guardian jetbike.

In theory these offer you another core choice and allows you to make swordwind armies.

My Usual disclaimer here, I have been working on pure mech this last year, bikes are ok in hybrid mech but dont work with the principals of pure mech due to cost, as we know, the Eldar book is priced on the high side, enter the bikes, they cut into your tank budget and offer a logical target to your opponents anti infantry guns, which are largely not bothered with cover saves anyway.

The crux of the problem with jetbikes is that they essentially have a marine scout statline with increased mobility for 22 points, they can get places but not really do much when they get there......

I mean Eldar jetbikes are fun enough, the ability to turbo boost lends the army plenty of mobility , just be careful how you go about it as assaults are not a good place to be for these little fella's, the jetbike assault phase move and general mobility is pretty cool and allows for some interesting uses as cover for tanks, blocking,late stage grabbing and sliding out of assault/ double tap range after firing off their guns.

Lets have look at the options.

Well they can have a shuriken cannon for every three models which is actually a fairly nice upgrade as I would tend to run 6's as a matter of course or 9's at larger points two or three cannons ups the firepower and threat range considerably, this allows them to threaten most tanks, coupled with their mobility you can work for side and rear armour shots.

Warlock - yowch expensivo,consider carefully if each unit realy NEEDS that warlock to function. He brings BS4 to the party, oddly and annoyingly he offers no LD boost to the unit .... fail

Even then though its hard not to look at a unit of jetbikes just as a warlock delivery system. He brings a witch blade as standard which means in a pinch the unit can shoot a tank with cannons and assault an armoured target, with his three str 9 attacks on rear armour, my warlocks have massed quite a tally of armour over time, dreadnoughts are fair game as are mbt's, I would try and steer away from assaulting transports as you are prone to heavy reprisals from the contents.

he can also bring some other things to the table in the form of psychic abilities.

I sometimes like destructor, dooming a target then hitting it with destructor a bunch of catapult and cannon shots and if you do enough damage consider an assault into the remains.

Embolden is handy as it helps with morale and is cheap, enhance is not a good choice here neither is conceal due to the state of the cover system in 5th.

The singing spear is a fairly solid choice and a matter of preference  as it can be thrown from 12" alongside your cannon shots hits on 3's @ str 9 (essentially a short ranged mobile las-cannon), makes the unit fairly solid AT / suppression (not that eldar cant do this better and cheaper with other units ) the advantage of the spear over the blade is you still have the ability to slink away 6" after doing it, putting you roughly 18" away with any luck. it just depends what you want from the unit as 3 points is inconsequential I would prefer to try and stay out of assault and rapid fire range where possible as jetbikes, given their cost likes neither of those things.


Summary: in terms of competitive play a fairly sub standard unit and overpriced, but not as bad as some units in the book and can be useable to a point I hope to see some form of improvement to them in the next book, a slight price drop fixing the shuricats and improvements to how the warlock works with the unit/powers.

19 Nov 2010

It Rubs The Lotion on Its Skin ......

They all float down here
Coloration by majestic chicken
Welcome to the next rave review. This week I'm discussing the DE Haemonculi .
Based on many fairy tayle, folk, serial killer and modern horror references, these twisted bastards are the DE drug pain pushers extraordinaire, and BELIEVE they have really elevated it to an art form. How fitting that the nearest the DE have to an artist is what pinhead wants to be when he grows up.........

From a game perspective Haems are a great support or secondary HQ and already seem to be a popular choice in a lot of lists popping up.

Lets see what they offer fresh outta da box for 50 and 80 points.

Haemo - pretty much an unremarkable stat line, does not even offer the unit he joins an LD boost, however he can add some extra CC bite, TBH you are mostly buying him for the pain point,opening wracks as troops and some of the toys he can carry.

Ancient - Much Improved stat line, is often going to be pushed out by special characters or the Archon for main HQ , HE does not offer anything over a standard Haem other than the stat boost , so am currently seeing little need for him, obviously a nice choice for a theme list main HQ , but in terms of stripped down competitive play normal Haems are where its at.

"Where does he get these wonderful toys"
Wargear: Heams can bring a bewildering array of 'tools o the trade' ranging from pistols to things that defy description.

Venom Blade - "Thats not a knife" Great toy for 5 points , means he can wound everything over and over and over, great value shank cant really go wrong with it , definitely consider if you are shaving points or just running the Haems bare bones for the pain point.

Stinger pistol - meh, not a fan , may as well stick with the freebie splinter pistol.

Pow wep, considering FC is a short hop away for him this aint a bad option to save 10 points over the Agoniser as it will mostly wound on 4's from then on, worth considering for the points conscious archon.

Mindphase gauntlet - I suppose its ok ish in proximity to a raider with tormentor grenades, I feel this is a largely useless filler/gimmick item. cant recommend it.

Flesh Gauntlet - I love this thing, the description rocks and it'll ID anything without eternal warrior, one failed save and 'Sput!' I have joyous images of using 2 heamo ancients and 4 normal heamos in a derp star maxed out with flesh gauntlets and other suitable impliments to go 'hunting' T wolf derp stars with, *yelp yelp yelp , LOL heeeere doggie ...... sigh.

Agoniser - I imagine this will be seen often, being waved around by Haems the world over, a solid if not slightly expensive choice, will certainly add to the power of a unit with one in it already.

Electrocorrosive whip - Due to the haems low attacks and Initiative its a fairly pointless item , it will be improved once he has FC but not really as good as other choices for the same points , It might work ok on an Ancient with a clone field.

Huskblade - Waaay expensive, not one im going to be putting on plain haems with their underwhelming combat stats, will be nice enough on an Ancient in a theme list. I Just resent paying so many points for a srt 3 wep that essentially librarians have for free @ str 4.

Animus Vitae - My gut instinct is to shy away from this, its a 'special' cc wep so no bonus attacks @ str 3-4 it does however  allow you to theoretically collect pain points fast, I'm not convinced it is of much value as his unit will likely have FnP and wont get the benefit of FC unless it wins anyway, I suppose it would allow him to courier pain to other units more readily, possibly handy in an army designed around pain, at least worth a test or two.

So I just turn this handle aaaand

Liquifier Gun - Another class piece of kit so, nice for the price you could almost buy a haemo just to get one/more in a unit, it has a 50% chance to just flat kill marines and a 33% chance to kill fnp troops and hurt termies , oh yesyesyes YES my pretties, Im looking forward to seeing Meq players feeling as threatened as I do when flamers abound...... like curry to a pisshead.

Soul trap - Again I like these for the cheapness, does very much depend on your wep load out, another possible good one for the Ancient to use. Its fairly situational anyway so best to leave it off the haemo lite's.

Scissorhand - 3+ poison and + 2 attacks (total) not at all bad , will slaughter Geq and should at least produce consistent wounding on Meq, weirdly these are really good for hurting MC's ....

Say Cheese
Archangel of pain - Again I feel myself wishing tormentors stacked, its erm, 'ok' I suppose, as its resolved in the shooting phase you will likely have set up for your charges already so It's pure luck how much this will help , on the other hand it may help you out in combat , I just think its a filler item, doubt I will ever use it.

Vexator mask - Pretty cool background fluff , let down by reliance on a LD check (again ?) will be nice if it works, more filler.

Hexrifle - Assault 1 sniper .... interesting , I like the idea of this , however you have to hit, then wound a multiple wound model thats not in a unit, then they have to fail a test based on wounds stat ..... I guess if it works it will be nice, especially if you can sneak one through on EW characters (lysander) I mean it will remove ANYONE, maybe use hellions to pull them out of the unit then spam hex's at them ? dunno not my cup of tea seems like a big faff when there are many other ways already built into the army to deal with most of the stuff this would work on.

Shattershard - I like this , its amazing, T test or buh bye, do not pass go do not be EW, I keep finding myself trying to shove this in lists despite a liqui doing a good job , why fight it :oP 15 points to have a 33% chance to kill most EW's flat dead, gone, Mu huha ha ha , In your face Lysander in.......your......FACE, now say thankyou.

 Cruicible of malediction - yay , only thing vaguely approaching psy defence in the book and it has random range and relies on an LD check , cant say I'm chuffed to bits , IF you have trouble with psychers go for it, considering GK is soon set to drive seer councils off the table once and for all. I see this becoming even less useful, or maybe more useful ...... depends if each individual GK will have to test might even do something coupled with tormentor saturation, time will tell. In the meantime Ill use other means to deal with psychers.

Orb of despair - Str 10 ap 1, one use, scatters and does NOT work on vehicles *facepalm , it disappoints me , and 20 points for a one shot weapon ? WTF ? kelly, unless Im missing something its a waste of time and points.(filler ?)

Dark gate - Again, lots of points and frankly underwhelming, marines will just save most of it and tanks are very very unlikely to suffer substantial damage to justify the cost, kinda had geq under control with the liquifier anyay, not sure what Kelly thought we were supposed to do with this... another crappy/filler one shot weapon that will never feature in anything but a 'fun' list.

Web way portal - this is one of the main items I expect to see on Haemos, they are the logical and ideal courier for these, fly up the table, hop out the transport with some wracks to soak fire and drop it off , should be able to get it a fair ways up the table , best to get at least two WWP's , I'm plotting a Freaks list that uses two portals , I will report back after some further testing.

Urien Rakarth - Surprisingly not alot to say here, he's a pumped Ancient with T5 and the ability to regenerate 1 wound per turn, strangely makes him a logical choice to be in a unit of Wyches flanked by a couple of Shardnets. also his ichor gauntlet is an up gunned Flesh glove, possibly his nicest ability is that he quite literally brings the pain, D3 to be given out at the start of the game on wracks and Grots (so FC outta the gate). Oddly Is not a no brainer for a Haemo themed armybecause if you take him you end up with three less haems that you could take, if you are happy with 'only' four its all good ;o), However, note if you are looking to max pain points its more efficient to buy basic haems than Rackarth as three with liqi's and a vblade cost the same. sadly Urien does not even have a liqui gun .... they gave him casket o fail instead. I really like massed Liquefiers.....

The main deal with Haems is the distribution of pain where you want it when you want it, they can leave their first point and go join a unit or start a unit off with a point and leave once it has earned its first point to ensure another unit gets Fnp asap. Subsequently they are likely to be if nothing else useful in any list you care to write.

In my current Test List I have two just armed with liquefiers, Experimenting with starting them in two units of six Reavers, they leave them in the first turn and the Reavers boost away, they now get 3+ cover and Fnp, should make sure those meltas gets there. I usually try to position the Haems so that when they leave the reavers they can just get onto the Archons raider.

After the Archon and the Incubi jump ship the Heams stay onboard and float about gooing stuff with their liqui guns.

All in all a very useful and cheap  'enabler' HQ, important cogs in the engine of pain that is your army. I expect the true depths of their usefulness have yet to be fully plumbed and will be putting them to the test in coming months.

"An uplifting jazzy number, not too
involving, yet utterly melodic".
 At the weekend I'll be posting this weeks Eldar retro and I'm doing some work on My DE test paint schemes, In other News my two Ravagers were dispatched to me 12 hours ago ......

17 Nov 2010

Dark Eldar Test Scheme 1

1st Attempt , failure

Alternate view 2nd attempt
2nd attempt , different red 

This was inspired by majestic Chicken's Coloration of some GW art , Im not actually sure I like it, the photography is crap , Its bloody early in the morning and I cannot deal with faffing around with the camera right now , I'll try do better one and Edit later today .

I'll be doing my alternate theme either today or tomorrow, If I dont like either scheme by the time I start the army in earnest I'll likely just ripoff GW and do the Obsidian Rose Kabal.

What do people think ?

Now been multiple edits Due to WiP

15 Nov 2010

Retro REview: Shining Spears Aspect

 Could not even find a picture worth putting up at first , after much digging however......Seems they are really popular with artists as well as vaguely competitive gamers....not

I have actually experimented with these guys in a bike heavy list, and they can kinda work there, though really as a delivery system for a Lanced up autarch

Aspect statline as usual not much to say there really .

Most people are aware that Spears are perceived as one of the worst units in the book, this is due to a few things really, mainly high cost / fragility for cost and small unit size, also they generally do not hit hard enough due to having only 2 attacks on the charge, which will hit on 4's with the majority of the targets you would wish them to attack anyway...... (though they do work ok vs devi/fang squads) you can't get round the attacks issue or fragility with numbers as the unit is capped at five, neither would you wish to as they are 35 points each before you think about adding an exarch, to cap off their fail as a dedicated CC unit they do not have grenades and are unlikely to catch things out in the open often.

For me at least the exarch only compounds the fail as his skills are indeed useful but the cost of him his gear and skills is astronomical and simply not worth it.

Laser Lance - sweet cc wep, who does not want str 6 pow wep attacks, not much to say here other than these make the spears a logical choice for hunting MC's (think Doom) as a volly of str 6 shots followed by a bunch of str 6 pow weps should do a number on most mc's , they also in theory work well for small units of high cost/toughness elites , just avoid hammernators ok .... and targets in cover and and ....

They are str 6 lance weps , so in a pinch you could try your luck on vehicles I suppose, I expect they will be effective enough on light/rear armour.

Star Lance - see above only str 8 , which means the unit takes a bit of a jump in terms of anti vehicle power , tho the exarch costs loads as does this upgrade , I have never managed to take one when testing , the standard lance is fine for what you need.

 I suppose in an All bike list It might be handy to have one or two floating around in-case of av 13-14 , my tests have been very bike heavy but always contained dragon serpents too.

Exarch Skills

Skilled rider - No brainer , totally worth it, helps if you 'have' to assault into cover,  or even if you wanna land in cover to not die to shooting , though given its five t4 3+ models they will loose all effectiveness under the slightest whiff of torrent.

Withdraw -  Gives hit and run. As discussed in my Warp spiders  article, this is one of my fave UsR's of all time makes the unit super mobile and annoying for your opponent, I often think you are only limited by your imagination with H&R.

Main uses have already been discussed in terms of ideal targets for them, they should be able to do damage to meq but are pretty meh VS hoard armies and if they fluff their attacks (often) will even loose to tactical marines.

honestly I find they work best as a bodyguard for an autarch take x5 plain  and the autarch will bring 6 more str 6 attacks that will likely hit on 3's and he has grenades. when this works things die ....

I Apologise for the lack of blither, just not a very good unit and find they do little to inspire my 'pen' They are yet another unit thats 'abilities' and uses are better fulfilled for less, by other units.

I'll leave you with this ^ summary pic ;o)

Managed to assemble and undercoat a boy and a girl  to test my Kabal paint scheme ideas, currently toying with Kinda monochrome/noir with splashes of vivid red.

Next Retro we find ourselves in the troops section at last, and will be discussing Guardian jetbikes. For those of you who enjoyed the Succubus report will be happy to know Heamo's are up next , in a few days ;o)

11 Nov 2010

Rave Review: Dark Eldar Succubus

Fap Fap Fap
Another day another Dorrah, Succy Succy five dorrah to be precise.....

Deadly and frail in equal measure this cheap xeno ho is a living straight razor. She's a great point filler character that offers excellent stabby death per point.

Ok lets look at what you get for the flat cost of 65 points.

 The answer is lots.

Base WS of 8 !! and I 8 and 4 attacks ? yup she is a regular quicksilver dagger in the groin, what a wonderful statline, of course this is balanced somewhat by her low S and T, something you will just have to get used to if you are serious about space elves. There is usually some sneaky or technological way of sidestepping these weaknesses as we will see (very DE no ?)

Also included in her price, combat drugs and plasma grenades and a 4++ in CC.....

Unfortunately straight out of the box she is going to flail away very gracefully to not much effect, no matter how much that might amuse you its better to humiliate her after the battle, so I suppose we will have to look at pimping our ride....

First off before I digress too far I'll discuss the combat drug effects and how they work for her as its part of the base package before you shell out for toyz .

Hypex - Is ok I guess, I suppose it makes her see the enemy as giant chocolate bars/shoes or something...

Serpentin - Is really good, "but she's WS 8 anyway ?!" yeah but just think @ ws 9 lots of stuff now hits you on fives, coupled with access to 4++, FnP and Bff's with Shardnets.......

Grave Lotus - only really handy if you have not opted for the Agoniser, but handy with the power wep or Electro whip options stacks well with FC for possible str 5 charges ......

Painbringer - we like this one makes your str 3 statistically better than str 4 and works wonders with an Agoniser, personally I would be hoping for this 'flavour' as she will kill loads with it.

Adrenalight - extra attacks is always nice, not as good as Painbringer but it'll do

Splintermind - free pain token, starting with a token is great, Im currently thinking she should stay with wyches anyway, which if I read it right  means that her and the unit would have a total of two tokens if you roll this ..... still I would prefer some of the other results as you can get pain tokens through other means.

So yep the free drugs can offer a fairly significant if not random boost in her effectiveness. Now lets have a look at her Wargear otions.

"She Was into whips and things I was into pain"
-David Allan Coe
There are some bits to choose from but unless you are feeling adventurous or experimental, I cannot see it being worth your while taking much other than Agoniser from the weapon options, especially as they have been priced in such a way that taking a power wep for 5 points less seems a bit herpdy derp.

Venom blade - good if you are on a budget as it can force lots of saves on tougher units plus she will almost ALWAYS wound geq and same applies to meq once she has FC.

Power wep - as I said before , has been priced funny @ 10 points it would be worth consideration, as she can get FC and do well with the drugs, but for 5 pts more the agoniser is just flat better , you aint saving any points with this , lets be honest.

Agoniser - Its almost like she should always have one, means she can handle anyone and really helps a Wych unit she is in not get bogged down, Its shame she looses any benefit from FC ... however if you get lucky and roll the re-roll wounds or extra attacks , she is really going to hurt something.

Electrocorrosive whip - This has some potential and I will piss around and test it at some point, I think it may combo well with a couple of Shardnets and possibly Lelith (Derp star Derp star, we gotta Derpstar) plus she will now be able to benefit from FC and all the drug results. Defo not the best option but not a bucket o bollocks either.

Im not convinced taking any of the wych weapons is really worthwhile. maybe if you are feeling ultra cheap, I suppose you could make a great tarpit with 3-4 shardnets in it , just seems like a waste of her lethal talents.

Blast pistol - yeah, why not, better than buying it for the same price for a lower BS model, plus with two blast pistols in a wych unit thats gonna help with cutting down on numbers when assaulting tough targets and represents a decent chance to pop a transport and assault the contents.

Haywire grenades - For five points you may as well just take em, you will be happy when it saves her from a dreadnought, I'm starting to think EMP's may be almost mandatory on wyches as its really the only option we have for CC'ing vehicles. And I find EMP is actually pretty good when the target is stunned /immob, blast pistol could help here also shardnets 'should' help you shut a dreadnought down to very few attacks per turn, lol

Did I mention value for points ? For a fully tooled out Succy with Agoniser, Blast pistol and Haywires its only 105 points. The main problem Is I feel she will get pushed out in favour of other hq choices, she really is a very good 'second choice' hq for most lists and makes a nice cheap HQ or two for a wych theme army.

Lelith Hesperax - Alot of what I wrote about The Succubus applies here,but lelith costs a bucket more  yes she can put out quite alot of attacks, however they will almost always going to be str 3 so colour me unimpressed. She has a 3++ in CC and a built in shardnet she is going to be tough to kill in some games especially as ws 4 peeps hit her on 5's.

 Oddly for a gladiatorial champion she is shit in 1-2-1 combat and shines as a geq unit killer, great ....

She needs drugs .... as a few of the results help with the str problem and/or some rule to represent her anatomical knowledge and experience allowing her to actually wound shit better, other than that, grinding your way to FC is an option I suppose.

 I think I honestly prefer the normal Succubus as she can have an Agoniser (hooray for wounding) haywires and a boom pistol and costs nearly half as much with them, even with I think its 10 attacks it actually translates  to very few MeQ kills/ wounds, I think she is going to get her face beat in if she ever ends up in CC with another character/MC. She looks shit on paper, I'll do some games with her anyway so I can feedback in a retro review in the future.

Dunno what it is with Kelly sometimes, he writes what is essentially a brilliant book with fantastic internal balance and some really great balanced units, the same man responsible IMO for the best non-broken SC in the game, Grimnar. Then he gives us Derpitator and a gimped Lelith Hesperax (Don't get me started on Plords/Drazhar,) makes me sad, she should have been a stand out character from the book.(reeks of  'executive' interference to me)

Next article is the retro for Shining Spears and maybe some test models for  DE army by the weekend.

9 Nov 2010

Retro Review: Warp Spiders

Ahh the Warp Spiders, another of my favorite aspects, I have had alot of fun playing with them even in 5th.

I actually feel that a fairly good job has been done with the rules for the spiders.

Their great mobility and good hitting power allow them to be an excellent provider of reactive and first strike firepower for an Eldar army. A real danger to most infantry and even monstrous creatures due to the str of their deathspinners. lots of shots at high strength means lots of saves for lots of things, and they are also genuine threat  to light armour especially the open topped flavour.

However as usual with these posts I am talking about viability of these units with a full Mechdar setup. I do not feel warp spiders work well in a pure mech force mainly due to their cost coupled with the fact that as jump-infantry cannot take a transport, so prevent you from being able to maximize hull count. They will also give your opponent something for his anti infantry guns to fire at while he is trying to open your serpents.

Main issues are the usual Eldar fragility coupled with high cost,although they are actually tougher than usual Eldar units due to their 3+ save, I say fragility as they are still weaker than cheaper marine units and with their cost as a factor represent quite a few points in a 'fragile' package, there are some things you can do with them to cut down on the fire they take but you cannot always guarantee that they will work.
I wonder why they don't have fleet.....

However, I do feel they work very well as a 'bridge' unit in a hybrid mech army.

Their Gear is interesting and mostly useful, their main gun The death spinner is a short ranged assault weapon that flings omnicidal candy floss at things. Pros include a high strength of 6  which means you wound most Meq equivalents on a 2+ and even the majority of MC's on a 4+ coupled with a good rate of fire and decent accuracy (for Eldar) they can force alot of saves on anything and make things die, the good str and RoF alo allow you to offer light armour some problems, tho I would never plan to destroy them outright , you can shake/stun very reliably and on open topped they work just fine, If you are planning a str 6 spam army spiders are well worth consideration.

 Something else worth considering  is that with doom you can make MC's take a much higher number of saves than usual, though unless its already injured you wont want to put your Spiders near anything with more than 3 wounds as their pitiful range could see them being counter assaulted.

In future iterations I think it would be cool to see spinners as a str 3-4 with rending template that causes pinning and the dangerous and difficult T effects from the Nightspinner grav tank, the twin spinner for the exarch would be TL'd .

The Warp Jump Generator makes them essentially jump pack troops in the movement phase, interesting things start to happen in the assault phase where after pumping something full of mono wire and making a pretty red stain they can 'bug out' and get a further 2d6 away in any direction. This is great as IF you are good with guessing ranges and do ok with the dice you can move in, shoot and get out of assault /rapid fire range, just try not to roll doubles as this results in someone going 'missing' its also a mechanic that makes them further unpopular as one of the more appealing abilities is both random and risky, not many people who are hoping do do well in a tourney or highly competitive environment should be building lists with units that could be described as having either of those two words in its description.

The Exarch specific items are largely meh, I see very little point in the spinneret rifle and always always give him two deathspinners, 4 bs 5 shots at str 6 ? hell yeah ! it means even when you are down to the exarch and one spider they still produce 6 str 6 shots that will mostly hit, always a threat right until they die !!

The Power blades I look on as a point filler, sometimes I throw spiders into combat as it gets the most use out of doom and allows them to hide from enemy shooting in CC with the remains of a squad they just liquified.

Exarch powers:

Suprise Assault - useless in 5th do....not....take....it.

Withdraw just gives them hit and run, but that has to be one of my favorite USR's, as I mentioned above , lets you shoot a unit, then assault the remains, assuming you do not wipe them out /die (do some basic math hammer before committing) you can jump ship either in your turn or theirs at the end of the assault phase, most often you will find that doing so at the end of theirs is most desirable as you will get to rinse and repeat or move onto another unit, the beauty of hit and run is that it allows your spiders to be ultra mobile and sneaky, they can move a long, long way over the course of a game if you include their WJG moves too. Its got my brain going for the potential uses of Hellions in DE too ........

As I mentioned earlier, they do a good job of bridging the gap between foot troops and mech in a hybrid list, use them from the cover provided by the mech to support carried units or to shoot/assault enemy threat units to pin them, there are many weird and wonderful ways they tie in and are able to help depending on your composition they are far from a no brainer unit and do reward imaginative use.

With practice, and well used with a bit of luck warp spiders can drive your opponents mad !!

Muh huh hu ha ha ah haaa !

5 Nov 2010

All Bets Are OFF

Sorry Folks , Today is birthday day, whiskey has arrived, with moAr to follow, as have actual real life people to be 'social' ? with.

Here is a picture by way of excuse  for not posting the Retro this week ;o)

The next 48 hours are going to be messy , see you on the flip side.......

4 Nov 2010

There's a Party In My Pants And Your All Invited .......

Yup, the sun is .... non existent the slaves are screaming and It's good to be 'alive' .

Just in time for birthday :o)

yup my pre order showed u,p many shiny boxes full of plastic crack, I have been busy getting high on whatever addictive substance it is they pump into mini boxes to make them smell so good.....

hang on ...*deep sniff* Ahhh , thats better .......  * rolls on DE drugs table *


As I was getting the pictures of the stuff from my phone I came across this piece of wondrous joy (sarcasm) from four attempts to penetrate with lances from one of mondays games , my luck is kinda like that at the moment , always seems to happen when I change lists .........

Snake eyes ? more like Lollerskates 
Oh yeah , Im not big on advertising but I pre ordered 2 ravagers and 12 reavers from these guys and saved over £30.00 after paying for the (very reasonable) shipping. Their prices ae what GW should be charging.

I'll report back on the service at a later date but if you are in the UK and want to save some penniez on your space elf crack, check em out.

Work is continuing on my warp spider retro , will go up tomorrow ;o)

1 Nov 2010

Rave Review: Dark Eldar Archon

Greetings and welcome to the first of my Dark eldar unit reviews.
I have played a few games now so feel better equipped to pass comment. I am likely to revisit them all as a retro review in 6 months to a year after having really put everything through the ringer.

I love the idea of the Archon, Evil and deadly these guys are supreme combat masters with stats to rival or even surpass those of the cattle-races special characters.

His only main weakness is his frailty, which for me is part of the appeal  he will however almost always go first and has the potential to reach I8 (yes, faster than chuck Norris) on the charge.

To augment  his already impressive natural skill the Archon has access to a whole bunch of wonderful warped and interesting toys to play with.

Venom Blade - cheap and wounds everything on a 2+ , with a possible 7 attacks he can cause 'complications' for any Monstrous creature he has the fortune to run into 

Blast pistol Doom-cock- Dirty Harry eat your heart out, this hand cannon, not only bumps your attacks like any pistol would it can also comfortably poke holes in enemy armour, its also ap 2 and str 8. Some punks are going to be unlucky, very unlucky ...... the only problem I have, is that it looses some of its shine next to the inferno pistol.

D'ya feel lucky......

Blaster - "Do not run, we are your friends  ak akak ak ak "  yup classic alien ray gun, my favorite, whats not to like about a bs 7 lance ? the choice between this and the pistol is a toss up between range or attacks, generally I lean towards the blaster as the Archon has heaps of attacks anyway.

Agoniser - A good solid choice for an Archon , as he suffers from str 3 , means he can wound everyone.

Huskblade- May warrant some playtesting, atm  I am underwhelmed for the points, woo str 3 yeah .... people like to combo it with the soul trap, but my thinking is that by the time you have killed 2 chars/mc's its prob game over anyway, as nice as it would be to have str 10 in cc to go open some metal bawkses with, give it a whirl ? 

Can I haz souls ?
Soultrap- Whilst the idea of extra strength for mc/char kills is nice I cant help but feel it will just be a gimmick most of the time , however its only ten points, so if you are rounding up the list and need to spend ten points, you can do worse than spend it here. with one of these he's going to love all the little indie chars that are starting to show up.

Electrocorrosive whip - not convinced this is particularly valuable, tho I am willing to playtest it as it seems it is possible that this could reliably help you not be ID'd all the time when your inv fails, there could also be some fun to be had watching various gribblies flail away ineffectually at you.

Haywires- prob a good buy as he has nothing else available to cope with armour in cc 

Ghostplate - Don't really see the point in this, as if he fails his porper defenses he is good as dead anyway, save yourself 10 points.

Phantasm Grenades - gives frag and defensive grenades to Archon and the unit he is with *coughIncubicoughcough* a good toy and makes the Archon a little more than just a living blender.

Djinn Blade - My personal favorite, its a pow wep and you get two extra attacks that 'can' strike you, a deamon wep of sorts if you will, however with this bad-boy its possible to kick out 9 attacks on the charge also, as far as I am aware, its not classed as a weapon so you can pack something else too :oP
(Venom blade is popular)

Shadowfield - 2++ yes please , very nearly mandatory , only downside is that once you fail one its game over.

Clone field - Neat new toy simply cancels d3 attacks directed at bearer, shame its not really as good as the shadow field ,at least it does not run out ?

Drugs- oh yeah ! 10 points for access to some fairly sweet bonuses, go on , try some  ;o) at least 4 of the six results are desirable .

Webway portal - not sure if the archon is the best person to be carrying this, I suppose as he is a combat munchkin it could work as invariably he will need to be upfront to do his work.

Ok so evidently The Archons purpose is to add some raw cc ability to a unit, I think he is better butchering minions than characters and stear clear of walkers where possible, well at least until you have 'torn some souls apart" I have been having some fun running him with a 4 man incubi unit in a venom, quite compact but punches beyond its weight, also the mobility gives him the opportunity to take Bs 5 blaster shots at things til its time to strike.

He is really really cool I'm just worried he may get sidelined by the cheaper and more widely useful Heamos /army boosting Special chars. having played some games, FnP is huge on DE.

In conclusion, a nice generic character that fits the army and can  be configured in a number of interesting viable ways, to be honest he is pretty cheap for what you get.

Duke Sliscus - Great character with some excellent army support built in , he will definitely be seeing some table time with me as he represents great value for points and also supports a multi faceted army build better than any other Character.

Asdrubael Vect - This guy is Hard , seriously hard, his initiative snatch rule is nice but not reliable enough to risk your setup on, may prove its worth from time to time vs gunline armies. I have actually played him in a few games now, his orbs devastate units especially in proximity to Torment grenades, I dont have the actual book yet so I am unsure if the orbs are str 10 on vehicles or not, if they are .....
He is a lethal one man blender. In a recent game he failed his 2++ on the second save of the game but due to his attacks and I, still managed to Dice his way through the best part of 2 marine assault squads to make it back to his pimp car (which has also proved to be surprisingly good so far ) he was on one wound but managed to get some back later with his orb , we also ran some dice recently and its quite possible for him kill Mephiston before he gets to swing. 

In all seriousness though, I'm not sure I can recommend using him in a serous sub 2k competitive list due to his cost, plus I always compelled to bring his 'ride ' Buy it Shock prow for a possible ram @ AV 16 and whats not to like about 3 more dark lances on a mobile platform.

Ok thats it for now, I'm fairly sure given a load more games the eventual retro review for these chaps will be far more enlightening.

Be back soon with this weeks belated retro for Warp spiders, hobby block is still in effect :o(