I am enjoying the DE immensely however , the internal balance of the book makes building varied lists a pleasure, I think DE are one of the few books where you can build a solid list without spamming very much.
From a painting perspective I loathe spam, is there anything more soul destroying than painting the same thing over and over and over, tends to look a bit naff on the table too. Long term I’m hoping to develop a DE army that not only plays very well as a balanced all comers list but also does not rely on spam to do it, hopefully it will be aesthetically pleasing also.
I digress, my enthusiasm is firmly with the DE at the moment, hence I am even managing to do some painting without hating it too much.
To that end the Dragons are getting pushed back a week, they are such a fundamental unit to 5th mech spammdar I want to be in the right frame of mind when I write about them, my brain is cluttered up with DE at the moment, so lets talk about them.
Continuing with the army list front to back approach it’s Scourges up next from the fast attack section, prior to the recent release I found this unit was the best use for my old swooping hawk models. I have tried them in different set ups over more than a few games.
Stats- The stats are unremarkable, they have a DE stat line, the only marked exception being the 4+save (they get a 6++ too) it’s better than usual DE saves but nothing to do a jig about, coupled with Fnp it’s respectable enough as long as your opponent cannot give them any serious attention.
composition can be as low as 3, why you would want to beats me as you need at least 5 menz to get to the good stuff in the options.
They are jump infantry so all the usual stuff applies, though I have tried with and without depstriking, it really depends on the game and the load out you go with which is best. It’s also worth noting that 12″ move plus carbines they get as standard give an effective shooting range of 30″
Wargear – sharcarbine , nice for basic kit indeed , good range when coupled with their mobility , even a small squad can put out a good number of shots, though even a full squad of ten will only manage 3.33 meq kills , not great for a fragile 220 point unit I’m sure you will agree, fortunately no one is buying these guys for the carbines, nope wer’e getting them because they are a cheap way of accessing special weapons.
Ghost plate – don’t know what to say really, an improvement over the usual DE save for sure, the 6++ will often be forgotten I should imagine, it’s inconsequential in the grand scheme of things. In all honesty one can’t help feeling they are a little over pointed.
I find it somewhat bizarre that they have plasma grenades, I can’t think of many other squads you want to keep from CC more … though I suppose flushing very depleted enemy units out of cover after a volley is possible in a pinch ? who knows why they are there really?
Special rules – usual DE stuff , nothing new to talk about, you WANT the first pain point , that is all .
Options- Ok here’s the real meat and gravy of these guys, the baseline is that these guys are the cheapest way of getting 2 heat lances in one unit, one will miss so at least two is the ticket for success, seems there is a theme of at least doubling up through 40k …
For every full five models you get two special weapons , I think 10 man units will be too expensive to make the grade to be honest , I would rather have more units, but a five man squad does not break the bank, in fact it’s prob the budget fast attack of choice 2 deepstriking heat lances for 134 points, as previously stated it’s the cheapest (but not best IMO) way of getting a pair on the table, the 9″ melta range helps with the prospect of striking in too , you will struggle to keep them alive beyond the alpha strike, every army has it’s suicide melta I suppose, I’m not keen on suicide units so I prefer other load outs.
I think the melta loadout would be more interesting from a wwp , 21′ effective melta range from the portal ? especially if you have two, should be nigh impossible for your opponent to escape you melting his face off (you should have two) worth a thought.In fact I have been thinking about WWP’s more and more recently, but I digress.
Shredders, nah thanks I’ll pass
Splinter cannon- as much fun as splinter spam is , you are paying 10 points to replace a gun that already had 3 shots with a gun that will mostly get 4 most of the time, you also have much more efficient ways of getting splinter cannons in the army so not too sold to be honest, shame coz the splinter cannon model looks sick.
Haywire blasters- this is the best way to get these in the army in my opinion, the only other place being Taloi , but two is better and Taloi compete with Ravagers / Razorwings (yes Razorwings) The attraction for me is that it changes their threat profile whilst being extremely effective supression weapons. essentially the melta setup has to get close and is bad news for a tank, effort will be made to prevent them striking more than once.
The extra range on the haywires is golden, you can drop/fly somewhere safe and effect the game straight away, if dropping you are less reliant on the accuracy of the dice and being further away immediately helps with their vulnerability to shorter ranged small arms weaponry , meanwhile even though you will almost certainly be messing with his tanks (one of my early trials shut down an IG’s medusa for most of the game up to the point where I could get round to destroying it ) they will mess with his mobility and shooting and just be a PITA but he will almost certainly dedicate his energies to other targets as they are unlikely to do severe damage opposed to the more lethal threats facing him, as fun as they are they do come with the same fatal flaw as Incubi …Grey knight armies.
I have found these to be the best weapon for scourges for my purposes their rage inducing effects to mechanised opponents are not lost on me either .
Heat Lance- Already discussed its uses elsewhere,but I feel it’s also worth mentioning that their range vs normal targets meshes up nicely with the carbines and does help give tham a bit more ‘bite’ vs meq targets, just be clear tanks are their bread and butter, DE get so precious little AP1 its a cardinal sin to waste it making marheenz go poff.
Blaster- not a terribad choice,Kinda sits in the middle for me, would prefer haywires most of the time . The best use I found for these were deep strikes into rear or side armour zones for easy penetration, but you can get blasters galore elsewhere and they are a little pricey, a slight points break for replacing the carbine would have been nice, again they have the same range as the carbines so they can help out if you need to shoot some heavy infantry, I have used them and they were ok, but the haywires are so much better for controlling the game.
Dark Lance – hmm, okaaay, the most noticeable thing here is that they do indeed get a points break 15 points for a darklance is great, I say great when I really mean a ‘fair’ amount of points for a less tactically flexible missile launcher that is only situationally better than an ML on a handful of targets. (same bloody syndrome with them agonisers) at first glance the points break seems to be in recognition that Scourges seem like a pretty dumb platform for a weapon that to fire gimps their mobility. However one is intrigued by the idea of units of ten with 4 DL’s starting camped in cover with a donated FNP token from a heam, 4 unshakable lances per turn? they should even prove reasonably stubborn to shift, It’s one for a test/piss around really , being serious, just take the damn Haywires, I’ll settle for Heat lances failing that.
Solarite-It’s debatable weather he is worth taking at all, the bump to ld9 is definitely worth it on bigger squads, questionable on the smaller squads as often they just vanish, if you have a few points spare it’s worth consideration. His options just make me chortle, its a tarp folks a big fat tarp, throwing points at cc options you will never want to use is just dumb K ? (and no you can’t have the stupid fething blast pistol either.)
Overall I like the unit, they are not blindingly great or anything but usable, with Haywires I love the reliable supression they offer, even if all my dark lances fail (all the time) I have a fairly safe bet of messing with some key targets, I like them for that reliability and a certain Je ne sais quoi, I think maybe it’s the psychological effect they seem to have, any Archon worth his salt should revel in the torment of his opponents, impotent frustration is particularly delicious.
Next week will see the Dagons retro, promise .