Thursday, July 12, 2012

6th Edition Archon - I need to dress to impress!

Heya all and welcome back to the webway!

Well now that I have gotten the 6th edition rulebook and read the rules and stuff, I can see that my Dark Eldar as a whole is actually much more better than before as I am never truly a Raider-Rush, and more like a Raider-back player. Flyers are also awesome sauce too now, and I am really enjoying this edition (other than the odd wound allocation system). 

But enough about my first impressions of 6th, as there are other bloggers posting those kind of posts even as I write. Instead I would like to touch upon how the new rules affect one of my most favourite units in the game; the Archon.

In 5th, the weapons of the Archon is quite literally powerful as power weapons ignores armour of any kind. But with the new AP system in place for power weapons, most of our funky power weapons are now AP 3 and this could cause problems in some cases as the implications of this would be that we can see a 2+ hero walking around taking hits and challenging anyone they see fit (wound allocations and challenges does that to some of the CC monsters of the game). So I ask myself, how do I solve such a problem when such a situation arise when I see a 2+ armour unit walking around (Termies of any kind will be lumped as such) and I am in close combat with it?

Oddly enough, with the way power weapons work now, I get to choose what kind of power weapon I get to put on my model, and the only one that still works against terminators is the power axe. Sadly enough for me, this power comes at a price; I strike at Initiative 1. I am still on the fence with this one, but thankfully the Shadowfield would be able to mitigate this problem. This also means that I will have to equip my guy to work in different situations where the axe would not be as kickass as it is and that means a lot more points. Is it worth spending a lot of points for a single model? On one hand I am quite the pragmatist, and I would say that for the points I could get Sliscus instead if I wanted an Archon that can work his points, but at the same time I try not to play with special characters.

But of course, if I were to just abandon the Archon, I would not even post this to begin with. So let's say you are like me and would like to play with the good o' archon we would have to think a little.

The question here is this when we are thinking about the 6th edition archon: What do I really want to do with him?

First thing first, do you want him to beat face still? From there, we will proceed down to the route of 'who's face do I want to beat?' as this would affect his CC wargear selection. The next agenda would be to consider the secondary role of your archon. Will he have some way of shooting people? How close do you want to shoot the opponent's unit? And last but not least, the third consideration of the Archon's purpose is the unit that you want to stick him with? Different units have different optimized builds.

 If you do not want to beat face with the archon, your choices will be much simpler his role will most likely be to shoot things, and the best weapon an Archon could take for the shooty role is the Blaster. In fact, in this case, the idea of a Shadowfield or any CC weapon could be ignored for the sake of keeping cost down and you can enjoy yourself with it. A personal opinion of mine would be that by doing so, it is a waste of the Archon's potential but everyone has their own way of making it work so I will politely agree that different people would use the Archon in a different way. Nonetheless a cheap CC weapon could help the Archon in sticky situations.

For example, using this route I have decided that I want an Archon that beats face no matter what the Archon faces and from there I have to consider ways to make this work. Let's work it out in numbering it out shall we?

1) I want an Archon that can hold his own in close combat: Shadowfield, Haywire Grenades, Combat Drugs will be included into the gear selection. Shadowfield are mandatory as a 2+ invul will always help. Haywires are there to glance any walker that decides on coming close to me, while the Combat Drugs will always help in improving CC prowess.

2) I want the Archon to be able to take advantage of challenges: Soul-trap would be nice here and can be comboed with the axe and/or Djinn blade for a can of whoopass. Negating FNP would be really nice. Not to mention that this wargear allows for the other weapon options to be viable in their own way.

4) I also want to be able to kill other things as well: Here I have several choices.

a) Agoniser: A good all-round weapon. Does not matter if the AP3 is the only thing that makes it not as good.

b) Venom Blade: 2+ wounds are not to be underestimated despite it not ignoring armour. Not to mention that it is a cheap weapon. Could be comboed with drugs, pain tokens and soul trap.

c) Djinn Blade: A nice wargear that does not take up precious CC weapon slots and gives an additional 2+ attacks. Torrenting AP3 CC weapon is quite an interesting proposition, not to mention that it could be comboed with drugs, pain tokens and soul trap.

d) Power weapon: Specifically the power axe, as it is our only AP 2 CC weapon. Despite the price we have to pay for such a weapon, but nonetheless could be comboed with drugs, pain tokens and soul trap. All the other power weapon options  are quite literally inferior to most of the Dark Eldar power weaponry.

e) Blaster: Blasters are always good, but taking it would reduce the attacks on the charge.

f) Blast Pistols: Like the blaster but at a reduced range, and does confer additional attacks to the Archon.

I did not put in the huskblade as the cost of the thing is just ridiculous for what it does, and for that one weapon, I could take two weapons that increases the flexibility of the Archon.

From here I generally go for one of these builds;

i) Agoniser and Power Axe: The anti- Marine platform.

ii) Power Axe, Venom Blade: An all-comer CC wargear but with no shooting whatsoever.

iii) Agoniser and Djinn Blade: This is an all-comer when I will not see Terminators around. Also have the added bonus of negating tough units that are not Terminator-equivalent much more quickly at initiative.

iv)Blaster and Djinn Blade: Able to take down stuff from a distance, and in combat the Archon is able to hold his own in close combat enough.

v) Agoniser and Venom Blade: A Good MC/Horde Killer

Each of these configurations have their own merits and weaknesses, with my general preference being those of i), ii) and v). 

Note: These configurations were designed to work with Wych units that will act as bodyguards for my Archon. They will be trying to complement each other. The Archon will tend to be the one initiating challenges and also assassinating characters that are not the nicest people in the block. In addition, Glorious Intervention would allow the Archon to come in when the character is at its weakest and snipe him away or allowing the Hekatrix to take the helm once the Archon sees something that requires its immediate attention.

With the new edition, the way Archons are build will have to be reconsidered. In 5th it is quite easy to just say slap the Agoniser and be done with it, but in 6th there is a lot more micromanagement going around to allow the Archon to function to full capacity.

Hope this will help those who love to use the generic Archon as I do. Signing out!

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