Monday, January 18, 2010

How to put the RAID in your Raiders

So the new book has hit, and they are full of new creatures, and changes to lots of the old creatures. Regardless of my opinion on the book, the important part is how do I deal with them with my Dark Eldar army.

First, the Dark Eldar rely on movment, and high initiative to win, with a good spread of high strength weapons. So first we need to identify what can threaten those strengths.

Although they've gotten greater access to deep strike, and infiltrate, overall the Nid army isn't much faster than it was before, probably more flyers, but less 12" chargers, so we shouldn't have to worry about movement and speed. If you've already gotten used to the Marine drop pod armies, then the spore pods shouldn't be a big issue, just be sure to hit them with a Dark Lance, they can pack some decent weapons and you don't want that surprise later.

What we do have to worry about is high initiative, virtually all of the Tyranids have access to Adrenal Glands, which grants Furious Charge. Combined with alot of 4 and 5 initiative values means that we have to avoid being charged. To add to the pain, a number of models can gain access to Lash Whips, which can reduce the intiative of all models in base contact to 1. This is going to bring up an argument vs anyone with drugs that 'always go first', I'm of the mind they will cancel each other out.

The drawback the nids really took in the teeth, is most units lost access to grenade type upgrades, and they are succeptible to instant death again. So assaulting into cover they are going last, or at the same time with lash whips, and a well placed Dark Lance shot means a very dead 3 wound warrior.

What does all of this mean for my tactics? Choose your targets when assaulting, use Dark Lances on units with extreme prejudice, and hide in cover and wait for them to come to you.

That being said, there are a few oddities that stand out and need their own priority.

  • First among these is likely the Tervigon, who is a large breeding pit. This guy will likely be surrounded by termagaunts, and spawning more. He gives bonuses to all the termagaunts around him, so trying to assault him will be difficult, your best bet is consider him a vehicle and make him a primary Dark Lance target.
  • Second is the Swarmlord. This is basically a Hive Tyrant(check some of their issues below) with 4 Bonesabres. The problem with him, is his swords inflict instant death and force you to re-roll any successful invulnerable saves, and give him a 4+ invulnerable save. This means he's a big problem for your wyches, wych lords, and shadow fields especially. If he has a couple Tyrant Guard, expect them to be sporting Lash Whips. The good thing is he is slow, so either avoid them, or shoot them.
  • Hive Tyrants are as good as they were before, but aren't quite as bad as the Swarmlord. They do have a few new tricks that can be problematic though. The most annoying being Paroxysm, which is a psychic shooting attack that reduces a units WS or BS to 1. This means he can very effectively neurtralize the Warrior snipers, and make combat much harder for some squads. If you use the goblet of spite regularly, then you won't have much to worry about, otherwise hit him with multiple units and bring him down. Also watch out for Leech Essence, another psychic shooting attack that inflicts a D3 S3 AP2 wounds, that heal the Tyrant. All of that in addition to being able to fire 2 weapons plus a flame weapon from the thorax means may not want to get too close.
  • While it may not seem bad at first, the Parasite of Mortrex can cause some real issues if it manages to hit our low toughness warriors. We can very quickly end up outnumbered by ripper swarms that weren't even on the original list. Again, high initiative, multiple wounds, but only T4, so Dark Lances and Blasters are great.

  • Last bit of hurt I'd like to address is the Broodlord. Sure, he's basically a glorified genestealer seargent now, but it's one of his psychic powers that are hurtful. Hypnotic Gaze. Basically it works similar to the Eldar Mind War, but the brood lord has to select a model in base contact with the Broodlord, and if he rolls higher on the combined D6+Ld, the selected model cannot attack in the following assault phase. That means when you are moving your guys into assault, again, pick where your Sybarites and Succubi are.

Beyond that, it's standard slaving with the rest of the bugs. Shoot the little ones, use Agonizers on the big ones. There are some other threats you can read about elsewhere, like the lance Zoanthropes, but the Str 10 shot was plenty on us before, so it's not as big a deal for us.

Good luck breaking the bugs, the first of my bug slaves are sure to go under a giant magnifying glass in the sun.
Feel free to share any experiences against the new Nid Codex, hopefully I'll have some soon.

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