Howdy Folks,It’s past time I resume the DE reviews with the next slice of tasty fast attack pie.
After suffering lance fail for some months, desperate, I started using Reavers in the hopes that some actual AT guns might help with the problem, For the most part they do, and Reavers are almost a must include for me, I will usually build lists with the intention of having at least 2 units of six, however, as we shall see they do bring far more to the table than just hyper mobile melta goodness.
Well, we have a nice divergence from the typical stat line for a change, nice boost to toughness , ok T4 is average game-wise but it can amount to a fairly hard to kill unit when coupled with some other things the reavers can do/have.
The I6 is very nice to have also and is worthy of mention.
Wargear: Everyone comes with a pistol and sword which means that depending on your drugs result (yes they have drugs) they can be quite handy in assaults vs weakened units, possibly even units they weakened themselves. On the subject of drugs any result but a one is pretty nice and they become kind of a jack of all trades unit, they fight quite well vs smaller units , they can do AT, they can do torrent . I think thats one of the reasons they go in any allcomers list I care to write, they jam up lonfangs/devvies etc, can go tank hunting, I must admit my primary reason to include them is as (IMO) the best melta carriers in the book. If you are lucky enough to get the pain point for these guys they become very hard to get rid of , 3+ cover and fnp has seen my units shrug off disproportionate amounts of firepower.
The bikes add quite alot, effectively assault 2 poison guns is a nice touch, a 36″ turbo boost is amazing and makes for the fastest unit in the game, it goes hand in hand with bladevanes which gives them the ability to reach out and touch something quite hard with some nice torrent at 36″” ish, zipping two units over the same target can be pretty devastating.
It is tricky not making it a one time thing, rarely will you wipe a unit out, they need support or clever positioning to not just simply die, it’s a similar thing with heat lance runs, It’s quite hard to not have reavers as simply a throwaway AT/AI Kamikaze unit, it would be good if they were cheaper but a unit of six costs nearly as much as a full unit of warriors with a blaster in a raider, It can be tough getting the most of them and some games I find myself wondering what to do with them without simply throwing them away, other games they more than pull their weight, my last game, one unit of reavers killed a unit of scouts, a unit of marine bikes a Landraider, a Vindicator and helped to kill a second, my other unit suffered from wtf/meh syndrome.
Lastly, on the subject of jetbikes, try and use the jetbike assault move slide as much as possible, gliding back into cover , out of assault range etc, it’s pretty essentail for getting the most from them.
lastly tucked away at the bottom but actually a very important aspect of the unit is ‘skilled riders’ you don’t need me to tell you how great this is for the unit, you have little to fear from DT checks, subsequently they can go anywhere you want/need , mobility and positioning really are key for this unit, their true value is poorly represented by the numbers on the page, without skilled riders I’m not entirely sure I would use the unit at all.
One in three can take a special weapon simply put, the extra range is all well and good but consider the blaster costs more and is available in some form or other all through the book, don’t get distracted, melta is so limited in this book that your primary reason for buying them is very likely to be this, I started using Reavers as lance fail got too much for me, It does help having them around. and it can be fairly tricky for your opponent to prevent you getting at least one key target with melta per squad.
Grav talon – it utilizes the pinning rule at extra cost, due to various factors pinning is probably the most pointless rule in 40k shortly followed by anything approaching psychology mechanics. sack o fail.
Cluster Caltrops interest me and a six model unit with two caltrops in theory offers around ten meq wounds per pass on average! the problem with them is the cost , I wont stack too many points onto only a few models so it becomes either/or melta and as DE as a whole army provides plenty of anti infantry fire, but jack all quality AT guns the caltrops stay at home.
Champion- I see alot of people cut him out to save points, but panic checks from shooting happen often to these guys and I don’t really trust ld8 , I think it’s worth the ten points alone, mine have often been caught in combat and when points permit I have found a reaver champ with a venom blade can help them out of a tight spot. One of my favorite tactics is to run over lootas/devvies/fangs with bladevanes, then assuming the reavers survive fairly intact you shoot and charge in the following turn, not particularly with the aim of killing them off but the benefits are twofold, you shut down a chunk of his AT and you can hide from shooting for a round or two and hopefully come out the other side with FNP (NB, reavers hate fire) the vblade champ gives some security against str3 whiff, obviously the unit will work ok without him but I find it to mostly be a worthwhile investment that I could live without if points are supertight. For the record anything more expensive than the Vblade is a waste of time.
They ultimately beat out the other FA choices, as they cost the same as scourges, are more survivable, better at combat and due to their mobility able to do more over the course of a game.
Due to the truly extraordinary price of beast models I doubt I will ever field more than one unit of beasts and I think an army needs to be a bit more built around them than reavers, the reavers just fill a need you struggle to get elsewhere and IMO are subsequently hard not to include, though I admit to being somewhat biased as my dice rolls for darklances can be crowd pleasingly shite, my lances fail as reliably as my transports explode.
In conclusion- I find this unit to be good maybe even excellent if you are 110% on the ball all the time every game (thas not me I’m afraid) They are melta delivery with some swiss army ability , some games they have trouble finding their place but I tend to think the problem lies more with me than with them, as when I can get them working they do a great job, they have a tools that should allow them to bring something useful to the table no matter what army you face.