Well we are half way through the week and the nearest thing to something creative I have done is spray up a Venom for when I manage to summon ze painting energies out of the yawing motivation/energy hole left by work.

So In order to avoid painting tonight I’ll be attempting this much talked about  Fire Dragon review. Alongside Farseers/Eldrad I am forced to admit these guys are another crutch, I rely on them completely, fortunately they are very good at what they do so my clinginess is justified…

The abridged version is to be found here

Fire dragons are an Elite choice in an Eldar army and are specialized short range AT  gods, I’m really not sure there is a better direct anti tank unit in the game. Its as it should be, Aspects should be beyond excellent at their mono task, however fire dragons potency makes them handy dandy at some secondary jobs assuming they don’t die/run out of tanks.

They sport the usual aspect statline, so nothing to report there, people moan about the armour but I don’t, It’s not power armour and blessedly fire dragons are not speesz marrheeinz, if you want three plus saves you know where to go …

16 points buys you a BS4 melta gun and even better you get melta bombs too, which is nice to have in your pocket should freak dicefail afflict their shooting, as a side note there was this one time a dread assaulted a unit of my dragons and due to their higher I the dragons went first got a couple o sixes and blammo! nothing to bank on but entirely possible , honestly being a vehicle in anything like close proximity to fire dragons is like being a gerbil smeared with fish paste in a tank full of piranhas. The fat lady, hark, she sings!

It’s into the ‘options’ at this stage you would be fine just buying five plain dragons banging them in a serpent and sending them cruise missile like at your opponents most valuable armour /derp star .

However, for the sake of completion I will discuss the exarch and what he brings.

Par for course is an improved stat line, Im still not convinced the additional 12 points is justified, he is after all a t3 weakling and the dragons had ld9 anyway, without spending yet more points the only thing of worth he brings in his vanilla state is BS5 , which when attached to a melti gun aint too shabby.

He gets two differnet additional weapons which whilst both are good I feel neither is so good or meshes well enough with the rest of what the squad does to warrant inclusion if you are in super competitive points trimming mode.

Fire pike – its an 18″ meltinator gun , so thats 9″melta range, my main problem with this is that its range bands don’t work with the rest of the squad so if you are using it at 18 the rest of the squad is twiddling it’s thumbs and if you are at nine they are half as effective, with the mobility available to them the benefits of that extra three inches should really never come into play as you ‘should’ be getting the squad as a whole into melta range, as such you may as well stick with the plain melta gun, IF the Exarch could target something separate it would be a different story, on the subject of ranges , don’t be afraid to use the guns at 12″ in order to get a first strike in, armour 12 or lower is fair game , its still 5-6 str8 AP1 guns, its better to shoot than be shot.

Alternatively he can bring a dragons breath flamer to the party , which is a heavy flamer, some people like the duality this brings to the unit but having tried it and I find it is rare I have ever wished I had it over the extra bs5 melta gun, its crap on tanks (their primary target) and sadly it is often that they do not get a chance to strike again so I feel it is prudent to make sure they get it right the first time , though you are probably better off not forking out for the exarch anyway  as you can almost just buy another fire dragon for the cost. If you want flamers use Warlocks and Stormies, they can do a more focussed job.

Exarch skillz:

Tank hunters – it’s 15 points so obviously the bigger  the squad you get the better value it gets , in theory being able to use the melta guns at 12″ as str 9 ap 1 guns has certain benefits. again they don’t really have trouble getting into range and the guns are already terrifyingly efficient so it’s rare to see this option used and not recommended or required.

Crack shot : I really like this, I would like it even more if it was a squad wide bonus, if you have a few points to use up I can recommend it, re rolls to wound are very nice and really makes the DBF sing if you have opted (against my advice) to use it, but the gold here is ignoring cover saves, anything that has smoked or gone flat out is in lots more trouble as your most accurate gun also just flat ignores your cover save and is AP1, again , you don’t really need it but it’s a fantastic points filler .

Plain nekkid squads of five  is a points efficient sweet spot , in  my experience 5 melta guns will almost always destroy or neutralize  their target if you REALLY have to make sure 6 is about the best number , my ability to miss is legendary so if I can stretch to the extra I would get one, but really five is fine.

Lastly and very importantly is their final option, buying a transport. Waveserpent , essentially you get one for them or you do not bother with dragons , they are made for each other , there is no fighting it , more hulls/str6 spam is always good anyway. aside from delivering dragons to striking range its a useful tool for blocking assaults and generating cover for the unit. Also if you insist on using that damn DBF you can use a tank shock to herd a unit into a nice juicy people pile for your re roll to wound heavy flamer.

It’s important to mention that Fragons can be used in a pinch to put the gimp on MC’s and expensive elite troops they make NobZ and paladins plague marines and anything else thats t8 or less and multi wound go away , if you are feeling especially cruel you can get two units in range cast guide on each with Eldrad cast fortune on himself then after melting the everloving donkey crap  out of them Eldrad hops in and tarpits/cleans up the remains , rinse and repeat. I have lost count of the amount of times I have seen Mephiston killed in a drive-by melta gunning. West side MF !

This is a great unit , its cost effective its reliable at its job and frankly deadly to a whole bunch of non vehicle targets too , they are one of a few Key elements that still allow Eldar players to place in tournaments small wonder it’s recommended  that you take 3 units all the time every time, if only GW had got the whole aspect-as-specialists right on some of the other units …..

So thats me out of procrastination this week, I’ll start on the Tborn poison taxi tomorrow and I believe I’m going to do a DE Reavers review for the next main article.

See you all then.