Thursday, 13 August 2009

TKE's Complete Guide to the Eldar preview: Fire Dragons

Well, after this discussion on YTTH, I thought it only fair to present my views on Dragons in a clear, precise manner. Fortunately, my CGTTE has reached the Fast Attack Section, of Part One (Unit Overviews), so I can provide one I prepared earlier - Fire Dragons, and their options.

Fire Dragons:

Basic = Man for man, the best tank and MC hunters in the game, no question. While being S8 and AP1 sounds like a recipe for anti-heavy-infantry duty, wake up. If these guys are shooting infantry, there better be no other serious threats for them to take on, especially given that it’s easier to get a Cover Save than to agree with the opponent on LOS! Melta Bombs give these an added capacity to assault non-Walker vehicles, and do stand a fairly good chance of destroying them, despite Meltas inexplicably not being AP1...

Exarch = An unnecessary indulgence in a unit of less than 7 models. He essentially adds one point of BS, for 12 points. Get stuffed. Yes, he has other profile improvements, but they’re irrelevant, as Fire Dragons are a suicide unit. Their job is to fly into the face of the biggest, baddest threat on the table, Melt it to oblivion, and then try to survive a turn in which the entire enemy army lets rip in their direction. A slightly better save is irrelevant when you’re still going to take several hits (again, only T3!!) from enemy shooting due to small unit size. Not a huge one, but he is a points sink. (Bear in mind, this counters the earlier assertion that BS5 Melta is always valuable…It’s always valuable, but only if it’ll get a chance to make an impact. It’s not like the whole rest of the unit are about to miss.) Beyond that, however…

FirePike = A little bit of extra range, with a little bit of extra Melta range. Pointless. If the whole unit can’t shoot the target, you have problems so big a single Melta shot, even at BS5, won’t help. You may be thinking it grants greater flexibility, letting you deploy him at the back of the unit with impunity, out of the Serpent. Bollocks. Focus instead on deploying better, because if your guys are jumping out of the sky too far away, you’re not using them right. You simply cannot afford to reduce their effectiveness by attempting to let them survive. The best you can do is to try and grant them a Cover Save, or minimal LOS from the enemy, forcing them to move to shoot you down. The more stuff shoots the debarked Dragons, the less shoots their Serpent, and your other vehicles, which are far more important.

Dragon’s Breath Flamer = This is where it’s at. A Heavy Flamer, from your anti-tank squad. Huh? Detracts from their purpose? Remember, you have 7+ models (exactly 7, wtf are you doing paying for more you don’t need?) so you can easily afford 6 Meltas, and one Heavy Flamer for duality - this means that if you DO somehow survive the enemy onslaught, or get forced to shoot infantry as no other viable threats exist (or, are in range, late in a KP mission…) you have a decent chance of doing considerable damage. Duality, without detracting from the squad’s primary purpose. The holy grail of squad design.

Crack Shot = Only really viable if used in conjunction with Tank Hunters, and if the Exarch has a Fusion weapon. Admittedly, twin-linking the DBF would be pretty sweet, but you simply can’t afford the extravagance. It’s simply unnecessary, except for a pure Tank Hunting unit - which is a bad plan overall, because not all armies (although all good ones…) have Tanks, and TH doesn’t work on MCs (although, Crack Shot excels against them) Points Sink.

Tank Hunters = Pretty much summed up there already. It’s a great ability, but paying for it in a suicide unit that already has AP1 weapons? Especially when it’s only one point less than another Meltagun instead? Points Sink.

Wave Serpent: Even if after reading this you continue to run a crappy hybrid of Mech and Foot, if you learn nothing else, T3 models with a Meltagun each are a priority target for the foe, and WILL die on foot. Get them a Transport. Even if it’s the only one, and therefore take all the anti-tank fire, you’ve bought them a turn of getting closer to the enemy.

NOTE: This is copied/pasted, so please ignore references that make little sense, like the BS5 bit. :)

EDITED link in, lol.
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