Monday, January 31, 2011

Lets Get Up Close and Personal: Close combat

I have been contemplating some things. After my recent games VS Papa Nurgle and Old School Terminator I have been really contemplating close combat. My Dark Eldar lists have been leaning towards wych cult as of late. This means lots of close combat. The obvious weakness inherent to Eldar is the fact they are only strength 3 base. Barring weapons that increase strength the Eldar always wound on a 5 or 6.

The Craftworlders can deal with this handicap, usually only really a handicap vs high toughness critters or space marines, by using Doom rather liberally and choosing your targets carefully. Careful target selection is very essential for squads of Wychs and Hekatrix Blood brides. You have some staying power thanks to high initiative and an array of weapons. The 4+ invulnerably is also nice. The problem lies in going more than 3 rounds of combat. This is especially true if you have no pain tokens.
I ran into this problem when I was mired down by plague bearers. Toughness 5 is pretty rough when you are only strength 3. So in response to my recent games I have really looked at close combat strategy with my wyches.

Choosing Targets

You must be very selective about the units you assault. Running a whole squad into a big bad because you have an agonizer does not make sense unless you know for a fact you can deal enough wounds to kill said big bad with extreme prejudice. I am guilty of this myself. You really have to stop and think, is this worth possibly giving up a unit? This is doubly true if its a scoring unit. Everybody knows I am stickler for kill points. I like to minimize them to a bare minimum and still have a very functional list. Getting into combats that have little chance of success is basically like handing a kill point to your opponent.
You must be aware of your surroundings. Try and look at things a turn ahead and predict what you opponent will do. If you have a nice soft unit to assault look at what is near it. Hitting a squishy unit of termagants is all well and good until you realize there is a winged Hive Tyrant within reach of the squad. You also have to look at the terrain. Hitting units close to terrain can be very advantageous as you have cover to consolidate to. Wychs only have a 6+ armor save so you better consider where they are ending up after a combat. Nothing sucks worse that loosing a whole squad to rapid fire because you were not thinking and out of position.


Unless you are jump infantry, transports are essential. Dark Eldar have an advantage, one of the few with open topped vehicles, that they can move 12 inches and still jump out and assault. With the 2 inch deploy and the 6 inch charge this means a squad of wychs can get into combat with an enemy unit that is within 20 inches. Not to bad especially since this is conservative given the variability of a run move. This also includes Incubi kids given that they are fleet now. Since 5th edition is all about mechanized forces, which is funny to me considering I have played mechanized armies in every edition, You have to have your close combat units in a transport. They will get shredded otherwise.
For my wych Raider I like to really out fit them. I give them Torment grenade launcher and Grisly Trophys and keep the Raider within 6 to bolster the unit. The -1 leadership to the enemy and a re roll on failed leadership is nice. I also give them Flicker fields and Night shields to help get them to where they need to go. Enhanced Aether sails are not a great option though as they cannot disembark in the same turn you use them. SO this gives the enemy time to light you up with the big guns.
You can obviously use the raider to pop any potential targets as well with the dark lance. I personally like to give the wych Raiders Dizzy's. This helps you thin the heard a bit. Strength 5 AP 2 is nice to clear out some of the ablative wounds in a squad so the Wychs attacks are spread on less targets. This is also one of the reasons why I only run 2 Dark Lances on My Ravagers. Its a trade off for a mix of anti tank and anti infantry.

OK so this was a good start. I have some more thoughts to gather on the subject. I am in the process of moving and transferring to a new job so things are a bit hectic. I also promised a video blog, but alas the camera did something funky and it was not useable. So I have to try again. Next time more close combat talk and I start to pimp my tournament in March.

Until then.............

Blood Runs, Anger Rises, Death Wakes, War Calls!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

1 comment:

  1. you smoked me last time we played but I demand a rematch! How is wednesday during the day, xenos scum?