Tuesday, August 2, 2011

The Venom Blade - Could it solve a problem like Maria?

Hello and welcome back to the webway. Today I just want to just let a few flow of thoughts come out, and all of these have got to do with an issue that confounds me; how do you solve a problem like overkilling in close combat?

This is because I realize that my squads can and will be able to go Chuck Norris by themselves. In every match I play, the Wyches and the Archon tend to just wipe out units that they touch (and thus I am unable to capitalize upon the tarpit nature of the Wyches) and expose themselves to the horrors of ranged weaponry, from the humble weaponry of a Boltgun to the destructive psycannon. 
Interestingly I am now trying to solve that with a simple weapon called the Venom Blade.

Now, the venom blade as itself is nothing but a very potent poisoned weapon, that of a 2+ poisoned. Nothing much other than the fact that I will be able to would amazingly against even the toughest of organic stuff, but essentially it is a normal weapon other than that. That means my opponents can take their armor saves and thus it is only taken as a result of us Dark Eldar people wanting something that hurts but have not the point cost to get better weaponry.

But if one is able to think of the larger picture, the appeal of the venom blade becomes quite interesting for it actually works well with all the drugs. The 1+ Str drug works well with the Venom blade as the rules for poisoned weapons state that if the wielder's strength if higher or the same as that of your intended target, you can reroll any failed to wound from a poisoned blade. This in effect actually is quite appealing in its own way as I am allowed to essentially wound my target all the time (2+ rerolls is just so good).If you managed to get the reroll to wound result on your drug table, you can even reroll against those guys that are significantly much tougher.

Another thing to think about is that despite the beauties of the agoniser, it can also be troublesome to put too many agonisers in your list, as the concept of close combat in 40k warrants that the best possible situation for a close combatant is the idea that it is best if you can kill your opponent in their turn so that you will be able to go ahead and charge again during your turn. Now I am not saying that the Agoniser is not a good weapon (in fact it is one of our best close combat weapons), but I am just saying that if we are to follow the Dark Eldar idea of not playing fair we would actually tend to overkill things in close combat, as we would preferably want to charge with two squads or so in order to deal significant damage to our opponents.Consider these two situations (these simulations are without the monstrous CC enhancement of drugs (We can always assume that they rolled a 1 on their drugs if there is an insistence that a drug result is given for these situations) and the Archon taking an agoniser over the Huskblade charging into a squad of 10 marines);

Situation A: An Archon with an Agoniser attaches itself into a squad of wyches with an Agoniser and they charge a squad of  10 Tactical Marines. Since the Wyches and the Archon possesses the highest Initiative among them and their opponents, they strike first. The Archon on average will be able to hit 75% of the time with his rolls while the Hekatrii will hit 50% of the time. And based upon the ideas of probability, the Archon and the Hekatrii would would half of the time as well as a result of the Agonisers unique ability to wound on a 4+.  This in itself would already give us 3-4 Power weapon wounds already on average, and that would mean a significant number of Marines would be dead. Combine this with the flurry of the Wyches attack and you can get at least another 2-3 more Marines dead. This already would mean that the Marines in essence would not be able to significantly wound the Wyches and the Archon as a result of the lack of attacks and the saves of the Wyches and the Archon in close combat. This also means that due to their "No Retreat' rule, they would take even more casualties, and potentially the squad will be wiped out in the process.

Situation B: An Archon with an Agoniser and 5 Incubi charges into a squad of Tactical Marines. Just like situation A, the Archon on average will throw out on average 2-3 wounds. However the Incubi will be able to throw out  at least 6-8 wounds, for a total of 8-9 power weapon wounds. This in itself is a major kill, and with the 'No retreat' the likelihood of wiping out the squad is all but assured.
How do you bitches propose we let our sexual frustrations not overwhelm our prey?

Now think of these situations with the addition of significant drug boosting and/or weapon preferences of the Archon/ Succubi and you can see that the likelihood of wiping out the marine squad increased signification to the extent that without the chance to counterattack, the Marines would be slaughtered. Of course the odds will change with the effect of what they are charging in the first place, but on average the idea of overkilling can be seen. Sometimes we may have to use several squads to kill one target or several targets, and one can see that shit will happen to us. How do we solve problems like this?

In comes the Venom blade. It is a weapon that does not reduce your offensive capabilities much, but it also allows one to not overkill as one does not negate their armor saves with every wound. The Venom Blade also stacks up with more of the drugs results than even the agoniser. And at times, it is a much more superior weapon than even the Agoniser, as it actually good against GEQ targets. In addition, this would work for the Wyches when you want to attach an Archon into the squad, as two Agonisers is often quite brutal in close combat and either one would be much happier with a little stabby. Of course, I am not saying that one should replace every single special close combat weapon with the Venom blade, but when one notice that they tend to overkill give this little weapon a thought.

Right now I am contemplating of giving the Wych squad woith the Archon a Venom Blade to test out the likelihood of this phenomena dissipating. I just would for once love to see my squad not exposing themselves unnecessarily for a feeding frenxy.

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