Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Tactica Wyches

After the Ravager taking the spot for the FTW collaborative post, I thought I'd re-visit the other unit I was pondering, Wyches. I was hoping to do it sooner, but have been a bit busy lately, but I have a few things to get posted in the next couple weeks.

Really, Wyches are probably the thing I slot into my army right after a Ravager. Although I've toyed with more Koven themed Haemonculus lists, I always find that atleast one squad of wyches gives me a much more competative list.

So lets look at the basic wych to start with

WS: 4 BS:4 S:3 T:3 I:6 W:1 A:1 Ld: 8

They have a fairly decent statline, nothing to shout from the mountaintop about though. The part of the statline that does the most work, is easily the I:6. Not only does this ensure you are likely going first, but it also means most non-fearless units are likley being swept if they fallback from assault. Add to this the 4+ dodge save in close combat, and the combat drugs, and they are a deal at 12 points.

Of course you can upgrade them with wych weapons, plasma grenades, and haywire grenades with a per model cost, and some assault weapons. Also, the Succubus upgrade is almost manditory to let you get an agonizer into the squad. I've yet to hear anyone not take wych weapons, for one point, they are far too useful. Remove opponents abilities for additional close combat weapons, and if the opponents is below strength 6, they half their WS when attacking the wyches. The first part is going to be the most obviously advantagous, but if you manage the +1 WS roll, the second becomes quickly the more potent. Most rank and file squads have WS4 at best, it's rare to come across higher. This means they will count as WS 2 when swinging against your str 5 needing 5's to hit. This is one of those rarities that make the Dark Eldar so potent, when was the last time you remember assaulting a squad that you needed 5's to hit?

Plasma grenades and haywire grenades are generally an as points allow upgrade in my eyes. Plasma grenades are only good if you plan on assaulting into cover against fearless troops. Otherwise, I'm probably going to try and pin the unit with a horrorfex to remove thier cover bonus. Likewise, haywire grenades are great, but with so many dark lances floating around, they really only come into their own against things like monoliths, and Black Templar landraiders with blessed hulls. Besides which, wyches assaulting a vehicle means they're getting shot next turn. As far as the weapon upgrades, like the blaster or shredder, I'm not overly partial of. In my mind wyches are meant to be in assault, and half the time you should be running and using fleet instead of shooting, so really the upgrades aren't that great.

Overall, Wyches are easily in the top 5 for best overall assault troops in the game, and once you factor in points they quickly move into the top 3. In my mind they are always going to be number 1 and they make an already dangerous Dark Eldar army, down right deadly.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Incorporating Expansions into Tournaments

So we've been having an ongoing discussion after a comment at the end our our last club tournament about how to run a Planetstrike themed tournament. This got me to thinking how poorly these wonderfully thought out expansions fit into the tournament scene.

The obvious problems that came to mind when we started thinking of a Planetstrike tournament was the issue with modified force organization. That means that we'd require the players to bring potentially two lists, one for attacking, and one for defending. This might be too much work for some players. Then beyond that was the issue of bastions/objectives. The defender gets to setup and determine terrain/objectives. But what happens when someone tries to place 10 objectives, or 1 very upgraded objective. If we restrict objectives to a set number, then some armies get an unfair advantage. If an Ork horde only has to swarm 3 objectives as the attacker, they are likely going to win. So the best recourse is to allow 2-6 objectives at most, but then generates another issue. Without a set number of objectives, strategems will change each time.

Needless to say, it's something I'm still working on, and have a few months to figure out since I'll run it if there is interest(mostly to remove the unfair 'always attacker' Dark Eldar from the mix). But it got me to thinking on how easy a Cities of Death tournament would be to schedule at some point later, but I started running into the same problems. I've tried to puzzle out most of the Planetstrike stuff myself, but have hit the interwebs to try and find if/how others have done this. So far there's been very little, and most of the ideas I'm having are mirrored in the rules/setup I can find.

My biggest hang up is that when I think about what I'll do for my tournament army, it goes pretty far (even though I've yet to make a good display base), but I'll be the first to admit, I'm not the average gamer. So what is too much to expect from them? Should I expect them to build their own bastions, or at least their own strategems? Where do I draw the line on extra stuff that doesn't directly impact the game? Because we are a smaller playerbase, this is a big question for me when I'm planning anything.

Anyone had any experience with the non-standard tournaments? What have you noticed as a player, and what is too much to expect in your opinion?

Friday, November 6, 2009

Don't Leave home without it.

Ron over at FTW was looking to put together another one of their great collective articles, this time about must have units. The only stipulation being a none compulsory choice.

I set about wanting to make a choice that applied to a Kabal list as much as to a Wych Cult list, that means that warriors and wyches are both out, as well as all the HQ. Which is tough because all those units are great. That left me with one obvious choice, the Ravager.

This is a pure and simple multipurpose gunboat. No matter what the strength of your army, the Ravager can bolster it, or fill the gaps of what you are weak at. The obvious downfall is that it's only AV 11 front and sides, with AV 10 on the rear. As a fast vehicle, it can move up to 6" and fire all it's main weapons or up to 12" and fire one main weapon. That means it can move around your back field and take advantage of it's range while people are more worried about the Raiders that likely moved 24" that turn.

Starting at 105 pts, it comes equipped with 3 Dark Lances. That's a bad day for any enemy armour. Any of those 3 Dark Lances can be upgraded to Disentigrators at 5 points each. The Disentigrator is a great multi-mode anti-infantry weapon. As a single shot it can fire a Str 7 AP 2 blast template per Disentigrator. Or it can fire in a sustained mode, that allows it 3 shots at Str 4 AP 3. That's right, it can count as a defensive weapon.

Generally, focusing on one way or the other works out the best, in a Wych Cult, it can really pack the anti-tank punch at range that you are missing. In a Kabal army, 3 Disentigrators make a mess of any type of infantry pretty quick.