Friday, October 22, 2010

Dark Eldar- Wych theoryhammer fail

I keep finding places online that say that they think Wyches are good, and lots of people at my LGS seem to think they'll be amazing as well.  Maybe I'm just taking crazy pills, but I really don't see the massive draw to them that everyone seems to.

So, lets look at what they can do:

  • I6- nice, better than about anything
  • 3 attacks on the charge- not terrible, they would suck horribly if they only had 2.
  • 6+, 4++ in close combat- alright, providing you can get into combat
  • S3, T3- probably my biggest problem with them
  • 10 points- fine enough if you leave them bareboned
  • Troops- if they weren't, they would never be taken I'm thinking
  • Combat Drugs-  makes them undependably better at combat
  • Poisoned Weapons- monstrous creatures cry
Granted, they look great on paper.  In combat, they aren't even bad.  Heck, a 4++ in combat makes them super efficient against units with power weapons.  They get 30+ attacks on the charge, and if you spend the points, you can put an agonizer on the leader, giving you 4 power attacks that wound on a 4+ against anything.  The wych weapons they can take further buff the squad in combat, making them even better.  The problem is, that after you've paid for their raider and fancy equipment, a squad of ten wyches is easily going to cost you 200+ points.

Are they worth 200+ points, in the great scheme of things?  Maybe.  Let's do the math real quick, assuming the wyches charge:

If they charge a Tactical squad:

  • 27 attacks, 14 regular hits, ~7 wounds (poison!), ~2 dead marines
  • 2 agonizer hits, 1 power wound
  • 3 dead marines.  
  • We'll even say that combat drugs give them an extra one, since I didn't factor them in at all.
  • 4 dead marines.

Marines strike back
  • 5 attacks, 2.5 hits, ~2 wounds, 1 dead wych
  • 2 power fist swings, 1 hit, .5 dead wyches
  • So only 1, maybe 2 dead wyches vs. 4 marines who cost more.  Not a terrible exchange for the Wyches.

Try it again, only against 10 Grey Hunters, w/ a fist and banner:

  • Wyches cause the same ~7 wounds, (but since the banner gives rerolls to 1's on the save, they end up only killing 1 Grey hunter) 
  • +1 for combat drugs
  • +1 for agonizer 
  • ~3 dead wolves
7 grey hunters swing back
  • 18 attacks, 9 hit, 1 more hits for reroll 1's, ~6 wound, 3 dead wyches
  • Fist swings, hits 1.5 times, wounds 1.5 times (reroll 1's), ~1 dead wych
  • 4 dead wyches total (2.5 if they already have FNP)

Roughly the same, all things considered.  They'll either win narrowly or lose narrowly.  Keep in mind that a blood angels squad with FNP will have roughly the same results.  If they wyches have the -1 attacks weapon against wolves, take 1 more dead wych off, or if other wych weapons add another kill etc.  I realize there are lots of different scenarios that could happen.  I'm just giving you the most common, and it really won't vary very much.  Overall, they match up very closely.

Here are the conclusions we can draw so far:

  • Wyches will win (almost) every combat against non-combat units such as Tactical Marines and IG (sometimes to their sadness, since they'll get rapid-fired next turn, albiet with FNP)
  • Wyches will dominate most monstrous creatures
  • Wyches can hold their own *in combat* against dedicated combat troops, assuming they get the charge
  • Wyches are 100% boned if they get charged by a walker
  • All of this tends to be good, since they're only troops
Now comes the sad part- what happens when their ride explodes/wrecks?  What happens when they get shot after their ride explodes/wrecks?

The answer:  They die.  Really really really fast.  Good thing they have a good solid transport that is nearly indestructible to get them safely into battle right?  lol

They also can't kill vehicles (sure, haywire grenades might end up killing one, but if they have to charge a vehicle, unless it's a really expensive slow-moving vehicle, you're doing something terribly wrong).  Their transport can kinda try to wreck a transport- 66% to hit, 50% to pen, 33% to wreck it gives you an 11% chance to destroy a rhino (if it hasn't popped smoke).  Good luck with a Chimera.

So I tell people this, and the common rebuttal is: 'well, they're a lot better if they have FNP and Furious Charge, you're not taking that into consideration'.

Now someone please please please tell me, how the HELL are they all going to have FNP and FC at the start of the game?  Or really, even one of those.

  • Chronos?  It'll maybe get one squad FNP before they're out of range for it to give them the bonus.  If it's lucky.
  • Haemonculi?  Then the wyches miss out on having Fleet (which is huge).  
  • Sure, go all out and give an 8-man wych squad 2 pain points with Haemonculi- and make them cost closer to 300 points.  
  • People who do this can't be seriously considering doing this for 3 different Wych squads.  
  • And if they are, what else is in the army?  3 ravagers and some warriors?
  • If they only buff a couple squads like that, why wouldn't the opposition just shoot down their raiders?  It's not like Raiders are tough to kill, even with a 4+ cover save.  
  • With that few of raiders, there isn't enough target saturation for it to be difficult to wreck them all.
  • And if they do get shot down, without fleet, will they get into combat consistently?
It's just not plausible.  It's not fucking plausible.  Seriously.  Giving the construct things FC and FNP?  Yeah for sure plausible.  Wyches?  Not even close.

That's why the 'power through pain' rule is (ironically) poisoning people's theoryhammer regarding DE.  If you always assume your guys are going to be S5 (or S6 if you have hellions, heh) on the charge, then of course you're getting a great deal.  Then realism sets in and you get your ass kicked because you weren't being realistic.

Even wyches with FNP aren't impressive in the face of 10 bolters rapid-firing you.  Or 8 multi-lasers.  Or even 10 lasguns, lol.  Wyches depend on volume of attacks, and even 2 or 3 dead will mess with the efficiency in the squad.

To recap:

  • Wyches can beat most non-combat squads *in combat*
  • Wyches draw roughly even against dedicated combat troops
  • Wyches fail when shot at, even with FNP
  • Wyches can't hold objectives because they'll just get wtfpwnd with their T3 6+ save in the shooting phase
  • Wyches can't kill vehicles, or if they do, will get crushed next round of shooting
  • It's not plausible to make them 'better' by handing out pain points
  • I haven't even touched on their leadership fails
That's just what I think.  Let me know if I'm overreacting- maybe they really will be as facerape as people keep saying.  I'm sure they have a viable use in some build.  I think vs. Warriors and Wracks being troops, it's going to be hard to justify taking lots and lots of Wyches.

Either way, at least the models look nice :)


Sorrowshard said...

My thinking was running this way too, there are ways to give them pain points.

I imagine they will need to attack squads that have already taken casualties to be most effective.

Shardnets all the way man, used cleverly will make the wytches much tougher to kill.

Some of the combat drugs results will be sweet , I think my fave is going to have to be re-roll to wound flavour (the pink pill with the blue spots)

Dont underestimate haywires in many ways they are better than krak grenades. maybe is worth considering the blast pistol on the unit ? the 4++ makes them at least able to tar pit a dreadnought (maybe ?)

From what I can tell DE suck at dealing with armour in h2h

I think the units true worth will come out in the wash of playtesting

Xaereth said...

Heh, Shardnets will likely end up being their best choice, if only because of points efficiency.

I think haywires are good against vehicles- I just don't like that a group of T3 6+ save models are all clumped together for the start of the opponents phase. 10 dead wyches, coming right up!

As for the combat drugs, they'll be cool, but in the long run won't end up doing a whole lot more, since Wyches are poison anyways.

And you're right- DE suck at killing vehicles in CC (or surviving the backlash of it). They'll have to find other ways (namely: shooting).

Kyle said...

I don't actually necessarily disagree with you Adam, but there are a few things you may not be considering that generate added value.

- proper placement of shardnets will help reduce return attacks as long as used properly.
- S4, either through drugs or furious charge dramatically increases their combat efficiency because they now get to re-roll to wound against T4. No small potatoes.
- Most DE shit dies to return fire anyway, so why not take wytches if they fit your play style. They're not the bomb, nothing in the Codex is wtfpwn awesome, that kind of seems to be the intention. Compared to other troop choices they are a viable alternative. And as long as they are winning combat against marines they can hold that combat for at least a couple of turns with I6 to avoid being caught out in the open.
- The current shooting meta should put wytches in a position to get a cover save a decent amount of the time. I know, I know, not against Guard, but DE have a hard time against Guard in general, so it's no disadvantage to Wytches specifically.

In response to myself and other ideas
- Putting Haemonculi with wytches makes no sense. If you're taking Haemonculi you mind as well take Wraks instead for the +2 pain token on a solid unit.
- Making them really super awesome requires a lot of points
- Their transports are fragile.

Whatevs, just my thoughts on the unit.

Chumbalaya said...

Wyches and Wracks fill different roles. Wyches are a tarpit for MCs and power weapon users, Wracks go after infantry. I think both are useful in their own ways. But I do agree that attempting to trick out Wyches to be a "super unit" is a big waste.

Zheilt said...

I feel like using Wyches as dedicated anti-infantry CC is using them wrong. They're a mop-up CC unit, or a sacrificial tarpit that can actually do some damage.

Pop a transport, shoot up its prior inhabitants, charge your Wyches in to finish the job.

Alternatively, sic them on that TWM lord or the TH/SS termies (if you can get them on the table). Sure they'll get creamed, but they'll hold up that unit for a while, and maybe they'll be able to do something back.

Walkers will ruin their day though.

Finally, I believe if you start them with a Haemonculus, you can have him leave the squad right away and they'll keep FNP and fleet.

Xaereth said...

Zhelit: I think they could be used as a mop-up unit or a tie-up unit, and actually have them be usable. I guess my question is is that worth 200 points? I know I couldn't afford that sort of unit in any of my other lists.

My other point wasn't that you couldn't get them pain points- Haemonculi can certainly hand them a pain token. If he does however, that means that the wyches' ride can't flat out that turn, whether they start outside the ride or inside. While that isn't necessarily a huge deal, it also means that whatever squad the Haemonculi is with doesn't get the token.

It also means you spent another 35+ points to make Wyches FNP. Worth it? maybe... but my point was also that they were too expensive already.

Zac Pauga said...

Wytches are decent, but the thing about the dark eldar codex is that the units have to work together. Its not like Space wolves where each unit of grey hunters can pop tanks and mow down infantry in assault, wytches shouldn't be attacking a full squad of grey hunters without them taking a some splinter shots from other sources first.

Black Blow Fly said...

I like to curRently field one unit of elite wyches. The squad leader has phantasm grenade launcher, blast pistol and agonizer. Squad has three shardnets and haywire grenades. They ride in a raider with flickerfield and nightshield. There is a spot left open so the HQ can ride with them if I want. Basically they are there to tie up units like assault terms and TWC. So it's really an expensive tarpit. Three shardnets is pretty good plus the grenade launcher counts as defensive as well as assault.