Thursday, December 2, 2010

Combat Drugs - How drugged do I want to be?

Welcome to the webway, and today I feel like talking about combat drugs, the juice that is not healthy in any way, but bloody awesome at that. When I first opened the Dark Eldar book, I wanted to know what happened to the drugs and suffice to say, I am a little sad that the 12" charge is gone, but in return we get quite a number of other stuff that is quite beneficial.

My verdict on the new drugs?

Yeah, this motivational says it all.

Basically how drugs work today is that before deployment, roll a dice for your drugs. Whatever roll that comes up is the drugs that will be applied to your whole army. Quite a difference from the old days of drugs where each unit can roll separately for their drugs. In this sense drugs are now a little more stable and safer, but also a little more inflexible. I also miss the days where you can roll for a number of drug rolls on the Archon, and see what kind of drug rolls the Archon gets, and you hope that you just don't roll doubles or even triples.

But enough about the reminiscence and onto the table itself. Here are the rolls;

1)D6 result: 1 - Hypex: Affected units gain something similar to the IG 'Run, Run, Run!" order, where we roll three dices and the pick the highest result. Personally this power is okay, but I would prefer something a little more evil and devastating.

Rating: 1.5/5

2)D6 result: 2 - Serpentin : +1 WS to all affected units. I do not mind this power, but nonetheless, this power is a little bit redundant. Wych units and Hellions would benefit more form this than HQs.

Rating: 2/5

3) D6 Result : 3 - Grave Lotus: Now here's something I like because this result gives a 1+ Str to affected units. This is invaluable against those T4 bastards, as that means that we do not have to worry about measly jabs from an Eldar S3 and instead give them a much harder punch. With Pain Tokens included, we can potentially have a Str 5 on the charge, which often means that we can do something to dent any unit. Gaunts and Ig would find this a bitch, and for the Tau it is a death sentence. We can also bust transports since our strength is boosted, and perhaps even penetrate it if we charged it with a Furious Charge token in tow.

But this power does not benefit an Agoniser-wielding Dark Eldar, and most of our close combat squads would already be armed with it. So for them, it makes no difference and indeed it is a waste.

Rating: 4/5

4)D6 result : 4 - Painbringer : Yum, yum, yum......this power allows us to reroll to wound in close combat. Now this power is perhaps one of the most useful things that we could get, if not the best. Statistically, if you compare a Str 3 with a reroll and a Str 4, the Str 3 with a reroll is always better than a Str 4 straight up. However, the most important thing to think about this result is this; no matter what we are armed with for close combat, we can reroll to wound.

This is gold, for now we can reroll to wound that agoniser and that huskblade and all the evil nonsense that Dark Eldar could dish out in close combat. A yum-yum power for sure, and it tends to spell doom for most squads if you have enough agonisers to run around.

My personal experience with this power is that this is one of those evil things in the army if we get it. My Archon took down carnifexes, Broodlords and Zoanthropes before the Syren with agonisers and Hekatrii finished the job.

But remember though, this means squat against vehicles.

Rating : 4/5

5) D6 roll: 5 - Adrenalight : This power can be very punishing for Hordes as this power allows us to have 1+ attack no matter what kind of weapon we got. Add this with some Hydragauntlets and see that wych squad rip the soul apart from the IG infantry platoon. Also imagine an Archon on the charge with 7 attacks, and you can expect one squad or one IC feeling the pain.

This is also one of those powers where it could do somehting against vehicles if we ever find ourselves charging vehicles, especially light transports.

However, sometimes too much of a good thing is a bad thing as now we run the risk of wiping out a squad too fast in close combat when we charge, and thus exposing ourselves to incoming revenge fire.

Rating: 3.5/5

6) D6 result : 6 - Splintermind: This result will give all affected units a bonus pain token. This in itself allows for our squads to suddenly become much more durable, due to the FNP, and now we are one token away from Furious Charge. However, if you attach a HQ with combat drugs, you also benefit from Furious Charge, and now you are one pain token away from Fearless, but usually that will not be necessary.

But this could also mess up with your transfer of pain tokens at times, as now you got too much pain tokens or are unable to drop/pull the pain tokens away for your own benefit. A real problem with lists that includes Haemonculi for Pain battery purposes.

Rating: 4.5/5

How I always feel whenever I roll for my drugs....

Now, remember that sometimes you will never get the drug roll that you want , for example the reroll to wound may be awesome, but if you are facing against an army that is mostly mechanized, you would find yourself in a knee-deep shit, as your drugs are not going to do squat against them. If you are using Sliscus to choose your drugs, always think about the overall plan before you pick the drugs as you may have to consider a lot of factors into your decision. Some choices may appear awesome, but always remember to see which skill is the most cost-efficient one. For example, 1+ str may not be much when it comes to fighting against an infantry squad but it does matter when it can affect vehicles. Just make sure that everything is within the boundaries of your calculation, even the likelihood of pain tokens and all.

In my personal opinion, I would take the drugs in this order :

1) Splintermind/ Grave Lotus
2) Adrenalight
3) Painbringer
4) Serpentin
5) Hypex

The reason why I put both Splintermind and Grave Lotus on the top is because these two powers can actually give you options. Pain Tokens as we all know can enhance the survivability of our squads and also enhance the lethality of our units, while Grave Lotus allows our drugged squads to wound more often and bust some light vehicles, and could be combined with pain tokens to give a truly annoying time for our opponent's vehicles and units at the same time.

Adrenalight comes second in my books is because a boost in attacks can be quite useful, and it allows us to get pain tokens faster. However the reason why this power does not make it into the top of my list is because I find this power could cost us to overkill and leave our units in the open to be shot at. Despite the fact that the squad may have a pain token, but there is only so much FNP rolls you could take, and if they aim for you with low AP weaponry, you are quite screwed.

Painbringer is third in my list because despite the awesomeness of rerolling to wound, I find that this power would not help you squat against vehicles and sometimes this could cost you the game. I prefer something that would allow me some notion of whacking a vehicle and knowing that I could do something to it, which is why after much consideration the Adrenalight took the second spot.

Serpentin can be useful against Marines and those high Ws armies like Tyranids or Eldar, but nonetheless I find this one a little wasteful. Your HQs would not benefit too much, and even with the increase in Ws, most things will wound you on a 4+ anyway (with the exception of the Succubi who now will force those WS 4 targets to hit her on a 5+). This one is better off on the Wyches and Hellions more.

Hypex is at the bottom of the list because most of the time, a Dark Eldar would maneuver itself to the extent that charging is but a minor trifle to think about. In addition, it does not help that your army is not that all deadlier while they fight.

So there you have it my views on Combat drugs and and which one is better off in a Dark Eldar army. Until next time.

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