I got to test my Mandrake list this past Sunday and I have to say They have great potential. I played one of our local players and his Noise Marine heavy Chaos Marine army. Like the army itself the Mandrake unit is definitely a unit that must build and keep momentum. I took two 10 man units. One infiltrated and one outflanked. I also included a Chronos Parasite Engine to help boost the unit early on.
The Chronos proved to be not worth my time once again. It lacks the weapon range to really generate tokens and vs power armor of any kind it the weapons, the Spirit Vortex anyway, it fails to really consistently wound. Against softer targets it would be more effective. SO the Mandrakes had to generate tokens the old fashioned way. Once they were in combat they were at home and surprisingly did not really take heavy casualties. In fact vs a 6 man unit of thousand sons I only lost one Mandrake after 4 player turns of combat. Once I had the FNP and bale blast they began to really gain momentum and kept it. They helped out the Archon and two surviving wyches form the squad he was with take out a large unit of Noise Marines. They then boarded a Raider with the Archon and zoomed across the board and wiped out a unit of possessed. The out flanking unit sadly came in on the wrong side of the table in the usual fashion. When I out flank units that’s usually what happens to me despite the 2 in 1 chance they will come in on the side I want.
The Stealth is what really helped though. We had a decent amount of buildings and area terrain as well as craters on the board. I was able to move and run keeping to cover. Having a 4+ or 3+ cover save really helped keep the units alive and well. Move thru cover also allowed me to close in on targets very fast.
As I stated previously Mandrakes are best used as a support unit. A second unit was always present, even if it was only an Archon or 2 wyches, when the Mandrakes hit a unit. Once I had the bale blast I moved and then shot. I then hit the target unit with the second unit to hold it in close combat. This was very important if the Mandrakes could not make it into close combat.
All in all I was happy with the outcome. I am going to drop the Chronos and put something else in. I may just flesh out the small warrior unit I had for holding an objective. I may toy with Incubi or a Venom loaded with Trueborns. We will see.
Next time I hope to post the first Scenario for The Test of Khaine tournament round 1. I have some nice and I hope unique missions thought up for the tournament. I have also made the decision I will not be using Kill Points. Scoring will be done by the battle point system and Kill Points are being replaced with victory points. I have always felt Kill Points do not represent accurately enough the struggle you go thru. You may kill a really tough unit, Like a Thunder hammer wielding Terminator squad or thunder wolf cavalry or yes even a Seer Council, and only get one or 2 kill points depending on the composition of the unit. Using victory points though you get credit for maiming it or killing it out right. I also think this method seems fair to those of the mech persuasion. I have seen people win games just by killing drop pods and out scoring based on the fact they could kill things that had little effect on the battle once the units they carried were deployed. This also has a little to do with my roots at GW. This is how they ran all their tournaments in the past and how they ran them this past summer in the store tournaments I played in. I also have the Awards determined
Of course there will be 1st, 2nd and 3rd place based on total battle points obtained in each of the 3 rounds
The Disciple of Khaine award will be given to the person with the most victory points.
The Seers Award will go to the person who took the most objectives.
And finally the model voted best painted and or converted will be awarded the Special Bone Singers award.
I am moving this week so Feel free to email or post comments with any questions. I am moving to Ypsilanti, the blog name stays the same though despite the fact Ypsilanti sounds way more Eldar than Lansing. So MI40k guys watch out I will be looking for games at Get Your Game On. Since Lord Solar Steve and I will be carpooling to go to Evolution Games as well, as he lives on the way to Lansing form where I am, you guys can tag along if you want a change of scenery.
Next time scenarios and I may even discuss some Grey Knights. I saw the play test codex floating around and it looks legit, I can tell as I had access to play test stuff when I worked for GW. It will be a major thorn in an Eldar players side to say the least.
Blood Runs, Anger Rises, Death Wakes, War Calls!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!