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October 10, 2012 by darrell
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It received a new plastic kit in the form of the Chaos Raptors & Warp Talons… but does the Fast Attack section hold up to the might of the other sections of the Codex?
I dont think the Heldrake is bad for its points neccesarilly. The baleflamer can be a real problem for marines, and the armour values mean it isnt going to be quite so vunerable to small arms fire in hover mode. Its just that
a) its very vunerable to being shot down by other flyers b) I think because vendettas are so cheap it has altered the balance of what makes a ‘good’ flyer.
The solution to a) is like you mentioned, flakk missles and defence lines. I think if supported by the right units it can be a real threat.
b) just hope you dont face an entire army of vendettas (but surely this is a situation most armies find themselves in at the moment?) the vendetta is surely in line for a point increase next book around.
I don’t think it’s just vendettas, look at the Dakkajet- Fighta Ace and an additional Supa shoota comes in at 130 points, giving 9 twin linked pinning BS3 S6 ap4 shots compared to 4 S8 ap4 pinning, with one turn of re-roll to wound that if you roll a 1 takes a hull point off yout heldrake for 170.
Don’t forget that the dakka jet is AV 10 and not AV 12, which makes a huge difference.
Not to mention that the hell drake has a 2+ save versus shaken/stunned, a 5+ invul save, the ability to inflict d3+1 S7 AP3 hits while still shooting another weapon, can recover a HP on a 5+ and can hover.
I find that the hades autocannon will not often be taken as I see the baleflamer as a much more competitive option.
Even taking all that into account, 170 points is far too much, and it really could do with being in a squadron.
Bikes are slightly better than their imperial counterparts having a pistol and close combat weapon, instead of just a pistol as well as being able to swap the bike’s gun for flamers/ plasmas etc to keep the +1attack from that.
5 spawn gives you a unit with decent stats for close combat, at 150 points but with no AP they might just bounce, and with no armour save two thirds of the time and you only roll once you’re in close combat, they’re getting torn apart by shooting before they get anywhere near close combat.
Raptors are again just better than the imperial version, cheaper and you get more.
Warp Talons eehhh.. Daemons have fear but aren’t fearless, so when they do that warp flame blind thing and get shot to hell chances are they’ll be broken, below 25% and heading off the board.
Heldrake… Aside from the fact you need to model a Knife flute on your lord to use one, its just too many points for a lot of not much, at between 90 and 110 points and in squadrons of 3 I could see it getting some mileage, but one gun for 170? noope.
The flamer is the only way to go with this beast. Here are the things I think that you are overlooking in your review of the helldrake
1. The bale flamer negates the BS 3. Auto hit. AP3. The main purpose of this weapon is kill marines as it ignores cover.
2. The vector strike is very powerful. I intend to use it strictly to open up rhinos and light tanks and then flamer the guys as they disembark. When the hell drake passes over a unit, it “takes” D3 hits at str 7. This means for rhinos you are rolling 4′s to take away hull points, on a 5 or a 6 you can glance most vehicles to death, then proceed to flamer another target. At the minimum here you have 50% chance to do at least one hull point and then attack another target.
I know that GW tried to pass this thing off as something that would take on other flyers but that is simply not the case. I think that they expected players to vector strike vendettas. But even if you did that, you would need 5′s to glance it on side armor with this weapon. I wouldn’t count on that.
This guy gets it completely.
I would have liked rather then a dragon some heresy era flyer there with a chaos feel. I agree with the raptors, I will be dusting of those metal raptors that I have in my metal bits box for this!
I’m proud there won’t be a lot of dragons flying around my sci-fi strategy game table!
If they were as good as vendettas I’d gladly outfit a librarian with a quadgun and call him the Dovahkin, but I think they’re only really going to be capable of being a small annoyance given how little fire power they have for the points.
i have bikers and raptors for both my nurgle and khorne army and both are good for assulting normaly id put my lord in with them. the nurgle bikers are problly the best bikers out the only other bikers that might be better is wolve guard on bikes with storm shields with frost weapon/wolf claw but thats really big on points think the hell drake really is for taking out infanty with 3+ armour saves ith its flamer havnt used the warp talons yet but am looking forward to at least giving them a good try
I largely agree with you guys but I don’t think any of these units are bad for friendly games. In tournaments you’d want reliability and multi-tasking options, which is when you’d pick the Bikes and Raptors. I think the other choices are less reliable, but isn’t that the attraction of Chaos?
To start with the Spawn are quite cheap and can tar-pit an expensive unit easily if taken en-masse – they can also dish out quite a lot of high strength attacks, so a unit of 5 will garner some attention. This and they’re the only thing in 40k close to “The Thing” – so I’d take some on this principle alone.
The Warp Talons just need a little more spice for me. I’m surprised, upon reading their background, that they haven’t got a similar rule to the Necron Deathmarks – the ability to mark an enemy for the hunt. The ability to choose an enemy unit on the tabletop before the game starts and to not scatter wouldn’t have hurt and wouldn’t make them too cheesy (as your opponent would have time to react) – or to at least have their ‘Blind’ ability work at a reduced initiative for the ‘marked’ unit. I’m surprised they aren’t the equivalent of Vanguard Veterans – which would have been miles better (making them even more expensive), but I would have settled for a rule similar to the ones above. Still if I were to take them, it’ll have to be with the Mark of Tzeentch – just for the extra survivability against Plasma etc. I think, if they survive, they’ll do some serious damage to a target unit – it’s just the risk of putting them somewhere to make the use of their ‘Blind’ ability, is entirely situational.
Finally the Heldrake – I agree it could do a job, and the Vector Strike is useful against certain units/transports/monstrous creatures. I guess it could have done with an extra weapon option (like a blast plasma or melta weapon) or a rule where it automatically ‘shakes’ a vehicle of AV12 or less, or specifically against enemy fliers, it Vector Strikes against, given the whole talons thing going on. I’m not against the concept, just the execution.
I think a 15 man unit of raptors its much better with mark of slanesh than with mark of khorne, its 3 atacks on the charge + another from the hammer of wrath; since they are jump troops its much more likely to get the charge, and having 56 atacks before any non eldar unit can atack you back (+ the champion, to hom i would give twin ligthing claws, bi giving up the pistol and the cc weapon, and geting 2 single ligthing claws; and at i5 he`ll beat almost any non terminator armor sargent ) plus the 2 melta/flamer shots and 12 pistol shots. So, having that +1 charge atack and furious charge doesn`t seem the way to go to me, at least in a 15 man unit; there i would slanesh with vengance/excess. so for not much more than 300 points you are geting a very flexible and deadly unit.
Apart from that the minimum raptor and bike scuads can get 2 meltas without buying more scuad members, so there u have a nice way to get 6 cheap and movile meltas.
Honestly, I think people are really underestimating the heldrake. The Vendetta is obviously a broken unit for its points, not intended for 6th, so that aside…
Flakk missiles are str 7. Out of a squad of 4, 3 are likely to hit an enemy flyer. Let’s use that nasty Vendetta as an example shall we?
So 3 hit, Str 7 against armour 12 needs 5′s to Glance. Average is you’ll get 1 Pen/Glance – and that’s if your havocs have survived long enough to have a full compliment left! Now the Vendetta can evade with a 33% chance of saving that one hit you made.
Next up the Drake. Vector Strike is D3 +1 Auto Hits at Str 7. You cannot Evade a Vector strike. Same average of hits as the Havocs (3) with the same chance of damage, which the Vendetta will have to wear with no come back.
You’ll find similar results with an aegis defence line and quad gun. Honestly, it is about as good at taking out flyers as anything else at the moment. Further to this, a canny player will move 36″ and vector strike the enemy flyer – if he fails to damage or wreck it, you can simple go flat out another 24″ straight off the table and back into ‘ongoing reserve’. Therefor, the crumby vendetta will never get a chance to fire those 3 twin las cannons at you!
Now if you have 2 Heldrakes, (like me), you can start doubling up your vector strikes, with and average of 2-3 glance/pens = a dead vendetta.
It’s about synergy – the Drakes can do all this and still roast something else in the shooting phase. It’s not under-costed or over-costed. It’s actually just about right. That’s actually the problem with the codex – it’s a little ‘too’ balanced when you compare with recent Ward codexes or Guard.
Let’s just hope that this trend hits the other 6th ed codexes, thus panning things out a little more evenly!
Balance is a wooley concept now, is a list balanced because it feels right on its own, or dose it have to work well but not too well compared to other lists? I think the chaos codex is a tiny bit lower on the scale of effectiveness than the last one was compared to its contemporaries, but looking at it, grey knights and Necrons in 6th ed the three of them are all sortof level with each other- grey nights are better in close combat because of the abundance of force weapons and 2+ saves, necrons shooting is a good deal more effective, and chaos has a fair mix of both. However, codices from 4th slightly older than grey knights do possess a tendency towards one or two units that for whatever reason feel more powerful, and chaos just doesn’t have that, in fact a lot of the units- in my opinion warp talons and the dragonzord specifically don’t compare favourably to the equivalent unit from other books- for example the warp talons are one note, they’re good at killing marines, terminators will shrug off the claws- blood angels and GK with apothecary termis even more so- the Vanguard Veterans and Wolfguard can be equipped to deal with practically any unit or vehicle in the game for a similar points cost.
Maybe I’m being unfair on this codex, and when the Dark Angels codex comes out it will be on a similar wavelength to chaos and we’ll start to see a gradual pull back to a chaos, grey knights and necrons level across all the codices were they’re really quite good at one or two things or only okay at everything, rather than the “codex creep” we’re used to. The fact chaos is the first of these while so many of the hilariously over powered codices are still valid could be souring my view of it, but until the other codices are out, its the only point of view we can have so I’ll continue to comment my opinion on the books current effectiveness.
Fair enough mate.
I too, was quite soured when i first read the new codex. I regularly attend tournies and while I don’t take 40k too seriously as a ‘competitive’ game, I do enjoy that aspect. You are spot on about how there are no real ‘jump out’ powerful units, unlike things in older codexes (vendettas) or newer ones (Annihilation Barge). This upset me quite a bit at first, but then I looked at what they seem to be doing with the new Fantasy Army Books. It seems that if anything, armies are being evened out, with more obviously under costed ‘spam’ units being stamped out.
If this theme continues throughout 6th ed 40k, I will be happy and take the game more seriously at a competitive level. It will also decrease the amount of ‘cookie cutter’ lists, that you so often saw in 5th. Even the very recently old Chaos codex of twin lash/plague/oblits, became so dull to see at every tourney. At least now, we can say that there are quite a few viable lists in the new codex. Sure, i’m not a fan of warptalons per say. I don’t like the helbrute too much either (where’s our drop pods or delivery system?!), I just hope that as 6th progresses, we see a more ‘even’ game, with many varied lists.
Although, I won’t stick with this hope until I see the first 6th ed Ward Codex. If he breaks another one and relegates the Chaos ‘balance’, I’ll be pretty peeved :-/
I said almost exactly the same as your last point in chat- the first 6th ed ward codex will really show us if its a concious effort to bring everything into line or if this is just a slightly sub par codex. Dont get me wrong it’s fluffy as all hell if you want it to be, and you can make a pretty competitive force, just the new units are a bit less impressive than you’d expect.
Its great that GW gave bikes a boost this edition as they were quite underused. Well apart from white scars and ravenwing players perhaps.
The heldrake’s invul and it will not die should make it a bit more survivable but I agree its days are probably numbered against a few of the other flyers.
Those Bikes with Mark of Slaanesh and the Icon of Excess would be a good close combat unit. You got T5 with Feel No Pain along with I5 and about 3 attacks apiece on the charge. That is just nothing to ignore.
For me, there are two outstanding units in that slot: Bikers and Spawns. I like the spawns a bit better. Both units have their emphasis rather on speed and toughness than on dealing damage, and the spawns are a bit more efficient in that role. They are extremly cheap, even with mark of nurgle. 12 inch movement, not slowed down by terrain, Fearless, Rage, decent S+T. If 15 of these things are in the face of your opponent in Turn 2, all armies other than Dark Eldar or Grey Knights will have something to deal with. Even Grey Knights still will have a hard time to wound. If they do, it is not the end of the world with such cheap models. They are a solid meat wall for squishy troops like cultists or damage dealers that are not as tough in comparison to their price tag. On top of that, they can even deal a bit damage.
Just the discussion above about all units in this section shows how good this codex is. Especially the parts of jaraka and cazboab. And I have to agree to the points made. As I said the same for the elites section I can only hope to see the balanced codices. The builds I have played around with all looked nice and there is a solid chance for me building a CSM list now, especially as I love the brilliant new models.
..but can the Warp Talons not run after their turn? thereby moving (possibly) out of blast template fodder?
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