Wednesday, August 10, 2011

The Webway List Development Continues: Wych Weapons and Beast Masters

Picture By Beckjann

Now that the Dark Eldar codex has been out for a while, I have finally reached the point of discovering things seemingly for the first time. That is wargear or weapon load outs I have dismissed in the past are gaining some ground and in some cases surprising me with their effectiveness. Once you have time to get a real feel for an army this happens. It even happens with armies you have been playing for years, case in point my new love affair with Storm Guardians and Swooping hawks, a very potent combo, more on that later though.

I have been experimenting with the “Freak Show” list, a Haemonculus coven list, and of course my Webway list which is 95% give or take Wych cult. I have been experimenting with different weapon load outs on my Wych squads to keep them flexible, so they can adapt to any situation, and Lethal To stay in line with the 11th Foundation of Vengeance.

As is the Hekatrixes are armed with power weapons and a Phantasm Grenade launcher to give them a slight edge and because I can't afford to give them all agonizers. All 3 Wych units have Haywire Grenades as will to deal with armor and anybody who thinks they are going to be cute and charge them with a dreadnought. The wych weapons are the things that have been changing. I originally had a pair of Shard Nets and Impalers to start. This was decent as long as I could get them in base contact. I then discovered how good Razor Flails are. Given the toughness of most of my opponents having a re roll to hit and wound is nice so I swapped to just Razor flails. I have decided on one of each in the wych squads now. I could double up on one, but I would have to try and find 30 points in the list to do it.

My real discovery was Hydra Gauntlets. I decided to experiment with them in my game against Old School Terminator last week. My unit of Hekatrix Blood Brides had 3 pairs of them. For those of you who don't know Hydra Gauntlets cost 10 points, as do all the other wych special weapons, and count as 2 close combat weapons. Instead of giving you one bonus attack though, they give you D6 bonus attacks. I figured this would make up for the unit being 10 members as I am going for an overwhelming number of attacks to make up for the lack of powered attacks.

With the Blood Brides having 2 attacks base plus one for two close combat weapons, a bonus attack on the charge and Lelith Hesperax in the unit made it pretty stabby to begin with. The 3 pairs of Hydra Gauntlets kicked the number of attacks up by a lot. My average roll was about 12 more attacks combining all 3 D6's. The 15 member wych squads get give or take about 45 attacks on the charge, 4 of these are the hekatrixes powered attacks. Lelith aside, as she was getting about 11 attacks give or take,all powered, against the Death Wing Termies, the Blood Bride unit was getting almost the same number of attacks as the 15 member squads and in some cases more despite having 5 less members.

A lot of people complained about the Blood Brides and their points cost. The big beef was is the extra attack worth the 3 extra points, you also get a leadership of 9 instead of 8 which is nice. Honestly though other than having extra bodies the numbers all hash out to about the same. The Blood Brides are just more concentrated killy. In fact in this case they were a little cheaper as I left out the Syren as Lelith is attached to the unit. I am still trying to fit in haywire grenades for them as well, but this may be a pipe dream as I am already budgeted on points pretty hardcore.

So take a second look at units you don't usually use and experiment with weapon load outs. One of the major keys to victory is using things people have not seen before. I know I have also bee promising pictures and I have one of my newly constructed clawed fiend. I have Decided to not use any of the beast master models to do my beast master pack.  This Clawed Fiend was made from leftover Chaos Span bits gifted to me from Old School Terminator.  I am also using Chaos hounds as Kymerae which are from Old Schools filed Chaos Marines count as Space Wolf Experiment.   I may have to use Razor Wings if I can't find some sort of bird model I like.We will See.  once I get the Hellions converted I will post some pictures of the Beast Masters Themselves.

I am almost done building all the models in the list.  Ebay has been pretty instrumental in getting all the models.  I really like having a big bits collection.  It pays to get bits off of people when the chance arises, you will never know when you might need them.   Now the task of painting and making a display board begins.  I will try and post progress picks as I make actual progress.

Until then.........

Blood Runs, Anger Rises, Death Wakes, War Calls.............. ….........WAAAAAAAAAAAGH!!!!!!!


  1. I greatly prefer Shardnets because they enhance the primary strength of Wyches, i.e. survivability. Wyches only have mediocre damage output even with a good Combat Drug result, but they are annoyingly difficult for many units, and especially elite combat units (Dreads, Terminators, etc) to kill- shaving off another 1-5 attacks from that only makes them more effective in this respect.

    I'm not really impressed with Bloodbrides; it's not so much they they're expensive (they wind up being similar cost per attack as Wyches, as you note), but rather than they lack an effective role. You can already take six Wych squads in your Troops- what, exactly are Bloodbrides bringing that the Wyches don't? Unfortunately, the answer is "not much." I'd rather take Trueborn for AT, Grotesques for survivability, or Harlequins/Incubi for assault.

    I'm a big fan of Beastmaster squads using a mix of all three beasts- Clawed Fiends are great for soaking up those S6+ wounds that otherwise pop a full Razorwing Flock. Yours is looking pretty good there, I'm eager to see what the whole squad looks like.

  2. I have never personally been a fan of Harlequins due to their points cost but I do love me some Incubi. You do make a good point about the Blood Brides. I think I have them in the list almost as a fluff point. They are more or less ablative wounds for Lelith. They have only been thru one game so we will see if they stay or they turn into a wych squad. I may do that, then I can put agonizers back in.

    The Beast master pack has been very effective in killing units and keeping thick units occupied. The wound allocation you can get away with is very nice. My kymerae seem to have a knack for making saves. I know Old school thru thunder hammers at the unit for 3 turns.