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Harpies - Shades - Dark Riders 
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Trainee Warrior

Joined: Fri Jul 22, 2011 6:42 pm
Posts: 29
Ive been experimenting with Harpies / Shades and Dark Rides of late . Due to the
popularity of those choices amongst the DE fanbase. I was wondering how do you normally use them in your lists . Mainly redirection? Flankers? Cannon Killers?

I understand this all depends on the army you playing against.But on average how do you end up using them.

Thank you in Advance.


Fri Aug 19, 2011 1:47 am
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Noble
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Given that I sink my core points into units that do the grunt work, mainly repeaters used as an offensive combat unit that works a unit down with fire first. My harpies dark riders and shades all have to do the dirty deeds. Now having said that, I have not used shades in 8th much at all, dark riders I always feel a pang when I use them because they cost so much, but harpies ah now there is the choice. Nasty fast cheap and no one cries when a harpy dies. Now that I have answered what I use here is what goes on.
1 Go get those warmachines
2 Go stand in front of the really big block and make it go the wrong way
3 Go stand in front of the nasty killer block and make it go the wrong way
4 Good ol mage hunting, sure they will all die but hey its 55pts of who cares to possible off a mage or put that inconvenient 1st or 2nd wound on the mage.

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Fri Aug 19, 2011 4:42 am
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Assassin

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If you are looking for most cost effective, harpies are definitely the way to go. The common setups for each unit are 5 harpies, 55pts; 5 shades, AHW; 85pts; 5 dark riders, muso, xbows, 117pts. They all fill similar roles or warmachine hunting, mage killing, and to an extent re-directing, however I don't typically use shades in that way. I use shades as a behind the lines harasser. Each unit has a slightly different role than the next so its up to you to decide what you need them to do, then choose the unit that fits that.


Fri Aug 19, 2011 11:59 am
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Trainee Warrior

Joined: Mon Jun 13, 2011 5:00 pm
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I havnt useed dark riders yet, but my 2 units of 5 harpies have been fantastic. war machines will always make them a number 1 or 2 prime target they can pull out those nasty fanatics in the OnG armies or pull a frenzyed unit out of position. Shades r good as well because they can scout and skirmish and get to those war machines in the bottom of turn 1 or top of two. Hope some of my ranting helped


Fri Aug 19, 2011 1:09 pm
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Trainee Warrior

Joined: Fri Jul 22, 2011 6:42 pm
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I really appreciate the responses guys . I had no idea harpies could Scout ,
I somehow missed that in the Army book. I am sold on them and can't wait to rank them up with my druchii.

Thanks Again.


Fri Aug 19, 2011 8:23 pm
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Slave (off the Altar)

Joined: Fri Jul 08, 2011 5:59 am
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Yep, harpies are one of the most competitive and versatile units in our army, they never dissapoint.

As for upgrading them to scouts, I've found that it's completely unnecessary. They fly march 20" which is enough to reach where you want to go turn 1.


Fri Aug 19, 2011 8:28 pm
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Malekith's Best Friend
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Harpies do NOT scout. Unless you're playing with the Storm of Magic rules that is.

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Fri Aug 19, 2011 9:13 pm
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Malekith's Best Friend
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phierlihy wrote:
Harpies do NOT scout. Unless you're playing with the Storm of Magic rules that is.


Harpies in the Beastmen book can also be upgraded to Scout, but they're also not a Core choice.

Our Harpy entry doesn't contain any upgrades like the other Harpy variants, but hey, they're Core, and they don't cause any Panic for us as well. Not a bad deal overall ;)

The best role for me is to delay an enemy unit for a turn. Park the Harpies immediately in front of the enemy, and they're forced to charge the Harpies or stay still. This is perfect if you're charging a battle line like Dwarves, and need a couple rounds of combat for your combined charge to hack its way through a Dwarf block without being charged in the flank by a Hammerer block. By parking Harpies in front of the Hammerers, the Dwarf player wastes an entire turn fighting Harpies when he could have been flanking your more valuable troops. Just make sure the Harpies are angled in such a fashion so that he can't score an easy overrun into your flank anyway.

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Fri Aug 19, 2011 10:30 pm
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Malekith's Best Friend
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Harpies are warmachine killers, and sometimes will tag along with the hydra to get the job done.

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Fri Aug 19, 2011 11:42 pm
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Trainee Warrior

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saintofm wrote:
Harpies are warmachine killers, and sometimes will tag along with the hydra to get the job done.


I like that Idea :)


Sat Aug 20, 2011 12:44 am
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Malekith's Personal Guard

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Well, while Harpies are technically core, they don't fill the 'required core' ponts. So, they are competing with... well, everything in the army that isn't core for points.

Dark Riders, on the other hand, do count toward core points.


I find the three units have very different uses, even though they all fill the same general 'maneuver control' role.

Harpies are the cheap meatshields, and the best at drawing out things like fantaics and squigs. They can hunt warmachines, but you'll want more than 5 for the most dangerous warmachines - Trebuchets and anything with Dwarves. As far as mage hunting, leave that to the characters on Peggies.

Dark Riders are harassers, redirectors, and march blockers. Move up, park them 1" past the target close combat unit's basic movement - still directly in front of the unit, but off to one side so they will angle away from your line if they charge - and shoot. Flee their charge (resticting them to 6" or less movement), rally next turn and repeat. If they don't charge, they are prevented from marching by the physical presence of the Dark Riders - they can't move closer than 1", after all. Either that, or they will have blown a good portion of their move in wheeling around the Dark Riders. Any way they respond, you have slowed them down... unless they are Dwarves. In which case maneuver control is the last of your worries. 8)

Shades, well, these are the real workhorses of warmachine hunting. BS 5 shooting that is almost always in short range is going to deal with most any warmachine crew in a single volley. Dwarves might require a second volley, preferably from a second unit. They are also great at following an enemy unit around pouring fire into it. If the enemy turns to deal with them, march out of their front arc. If they can't make it, march backwards and make him charge that much further to reach them. That way at least he is going to be spending a couple turns going the wrong direction!

These maneuver units are simply invaluable. Our troops are too fragile to take fights on the enemy's terms. Use and abuse these guys to make sure our troops can fight on OUR terms instead! :twisted:


Mon Aug 22, 2011 2:35 am
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Vulcan wrote:
Move up, park them 1" past the target close combat unit's basic movement - still directly in front of the unit, but off to one side so they will angle away from your line if they charge.
If they don't charge, they are prevented from marching by the physical presence of the Dark Riders - they can't move closer than 1", after all. Either that, or they will have blown a good portion of their move in wheeling around. Any way they respond, you have slowed them down...
There is a variant of this tactics best done with skirmishers (i.e. harpies & shades, it's easier for harpies to position in such way while shades can do this and shoot).

It takes advantage of the reaction to a charge for skirmisher:
Skirmishers have a scattered formation. When they are charged, if they don't flee, they pack up around their centre.
If, by doing so, they are no longer in the charging unit's charge path, the charge is failed.

Example (foe "F" facing down, march-hard-blocked by harpies "h":
Code:
            h
FFFFF     h
FFFFF   h
FFFFF h
    h
"F" cannot go any closer to "h", having to respect at all times the 1" distance. Their only option is to move sideways or backwards. Or to declare a charge. "F" cannot charge anything else than harpies.
Hence, they declare a charge on harpies. Harpies hold, and have to narrow their formation. As harpies have not fled, "F" cannot redirect the charge to anything else.
Code:
           
FFFFF     h
FFFFF  hhh
FFFFF h
   
In order for the charge not to fail, "F" has to reach "h".
However, any charge movement is restricted to moving forwards (here, 0"), wheeling to a max of 90° and moving forwards in that new direction until hitting the charged unit.
Result is failed charge, so "F" cannot do anything but moving forwards the higher dice.

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Mon Aug 22, 2011 7:37 am
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Malekith's Personal Guard

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That's so... evil, I love it!


Mon Aug 22, 2011 7:34 pm
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Slave (off the Altar)

Joined: Tue Aug 25, 2009 8:33 am
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Calisson wrote:
Vulcan wrote:
Move up, park them 1" past the target close combat unit's basic movement - still directly in front of the unit, but off to one side so they will angle away from your line if they charge.
If they don't charge, they are prevented from marching by the physical presence of the Dark Riders - they can't move closer than 1", after all. Either that, or they will have blown a good portion of their move in wheeling around. Any way they respond, you have slowed them down...
There is a variant of this tactics best done with skirmishers (i.e. harpies & shades, it's easier for harpies to position in such way while shades can do this and shoot).

It takes advantage of the reaction to a charge for skirmisher:
Skirmishers have a scattered formation. When they are charged, if they don't flee, they pack up around their centre.
If, by doing so, they are no longer in the charging unit's charge path, the charge is failed.

Example (foe "F" facing down, march-hard-blocked by harpies "h":
Code:
            h
FFFFF     h
FFFFF   h
FFFFF h
    h
"F" cannot go any closer to "h", having to respect at all times the 1" distance. Their only option is to move sideways or backwards. Or to declare a charge. "F" cannot charge anything else than harpies.
Hence, they declare a charge on harpies. Harpies hold, and have to narrow their formation. As harpies have not fled, "F" cannot redirect the charge to anything else.
Code:
           
FFFFF     h
FFFFF  hhh
FFFFF h
   
In order for the charge not to fail, "F" has to reach "h".
However, any charge movement is restricted to moving forwards (here, 0"), wheeling to a max of 90° and moving forwards in that new direction until hitting the charged unit.
Result is failed charge, so "F" cannot do anything but moving forwards the higher dice.

But, how will the harpies bepositioned after that? They cannot return to their original position, and I don't think they stay 'locked together' and go back to skirmish formation... so, do they move?
Foe F only moves 1-6 inch forward, so that's good, but I'd like to know what happens to the harpies.

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Mon Aug 22, 2011 8:31 pm
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DELolindir wrote:
But, how will the harpies bepositioned after that? They cannot return to their original position, and I don't think they stay 'locked together' and go back to skirmish formation... so, do they move?
Foe F only moves 1-6 inch forward, so that's good, but I'd like to know what happens to the harpies.
Good point.
1. "F": charge!
2. "h": pack. No longer ahead of the front of "F".
3. "F": cannot reach "h" => failed charge.
4. "F": move forwards 1-6" (edited thanks to Vulcan)
5. "h": not charged anymore => unpack back to initial skirmishing formation, adjusted so as to remain 1" away from "F".


BRB not at hand, I cannot check if this the correct sequence.
Anyway, this could be considered a cheap exploitation of the rules.
That's an interesting tactics for hard-core tournaments (at least, better know beforehand that it exists even if you don't want to risk your sportsmanship score on that). It's fun to do it once against your best friend. But please, don't do it against a rookie gamer in your local shop.

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Last edited by Calisson on Wed Aug 24, 2011 11:44 am, edited 1 time in total.



Tue Aug 23, 2011 7:48 am
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Slave (off the Altar)

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That is so nasty...
I will give it a try in a tournament for a surprise tactic. However, I think it will cause a lot of discussion, time better spent actually playing the game, right?

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Tue Aug 23, 2011 12:32 pm
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Malekith's Personal Guard

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Calisson wrote:
1. "F": charge!
2. "h": pack. No longer ahead of the front of "F".
3. "F": cannot reach "h" => failed charge.
4. "h": not charged anymore => unpack back to initial skirmishing formation
5. "F": move forwards 1-6"... until blocked at 1" from a non-fleeing foe => no move at all...


Close.

Step 4. occurs during Remaining Moves. The chargers move during the Charge phase. So they get their d6 movement before the Skirmishers unpack.

I don't see anything in the rules about what happens if the skirmishers unpack and there is now a unit in the area they had occupied previously. I think that is a bit of an oversight on GW's part.

My interpretation - and it's just that, my interpretation - would be that the skirmishers would reform around the same center to avoid breaching the 1" boundary. I support this with the 1" boundary rule, and the Skrimisher's free reform rule (which is kind of iffy, I realize, but it's the best I could come up with).


Tue Aug 23, 2011 5:09 pm
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Cold One Knight

Joined: Wed May 30, 2007 10:03 pm
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The problem I see with that is I don't think they would group like


code:
FFFFF h
FFFFF hhh
FFFFF h


But instead like this

code:
FFFFF h
FFFFF h
FFFFF h
h
h

Because the original formation was 5x1 so they would form up in that same formation, just close ranks. Thus leaving them exposed to a 90 degree charge.

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Wed Sep 07, 2011 2:40 am
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Also haveing harpies or dark riders close to your main fighting blocks makes it hard for the enemy to flee from them. COK charge if enemy flees harpies within 22 inches of there new position can mqke them flee again, if still within 22 inches of another unit of dark riders or harpies can be charged and made to flee a third time probably chasing them off the board these units being close can limit the enemies options when charged.

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Thu Sep 08, 2011 12:06 am
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The "tactic" described would indeed be a huge waste of time in a tournament. Its an obvious exploit of the rules. A still cheep but more common use is the "boxing in" tactics with harpies. Two units of harpies positioned on each side of a big block ( especially nice against a huge lance formation brett unit ) 1" apart from the side and just 1mm out of the 90 dg angle for los. This will force the unit to move in a straight line for many inches before wheeling and thus hampering its movement severely. This is not considerd an exploit, but in many cases unsportsmanlike.

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Fri Sep 09, 2011 1:33 pm
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jbtheslipperking wrote:
The "tactic" described would indeed be a huge waste of time in a tournament. Its an obvious exploit of the rules. A still cheep but more common use is the "boxing in" tactics with harpies. Two units of harpies positioned on each side of a big block ( especially nice against a huge lance formation brett unit ) 1" apart from the side and just 1mm out of the 90 dg angle for los. This will force the unit to move in a straight line for many inches before wheeling and thus hampering its movement severely. This is not considerd an exploit, but in many cases unsportsmanlike.


Having fought in melee small units personally (granted, with padded weapons) this sort of 'expoiting the rules' really irks me.

You know what really happens when you sit two strides out on the flank of a unit? The guys on that side take two strides over and start swinging. The guys on the other side back up a bit, and away you go. If there are flankers on both sides, what winds up happening is more of a 'reform into combat' as the the guys on both sides take two strides out and start swinging, and the people in the middle fill the holes.

It's not a tactic, it's a rules exploit.

Having said that... yeah, it works. I wouldn't even hit your sportsmanship very much (half a point at most) for it. Exploiting the rules is part of the game, and until GW gets around to going out and actually watcing small units maneuver and fight, we'll be stuck with the whole 'charging ahead is the only way to get into close combat' thing.

Generally most close combats begin with more of a mosey than a charge, and not always straight ahead. :lol:


Sat Sep 10, 2011 5:25 am
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There are several reasons i love my S/H/DR.

- DR/H = Cheap deplyment: Use your small and fast units to make your enemy put his key units first, so that you can counter that.

Fill out your deployment side to keep a 12" anti scout zone. Hate Getting Cameleon skinks/shades/waywatcher behind my lines shooting at my CoB

- H = cover save: Your flying character is tied in battle and the enemy has a big unit of shooters aiming at your Black Guards? Fly up at spread out! Make your enemy shot at you with cover save from harpies in their face, or make him waste a turn shooting at your 55point unit.

- S = make him spread his army!: Everybody hates having scouts behind your line, so if you show up with 2 small units of shades, normaly his reaction is spread out and hinder your shades from reaching his back line. As elves we normaly want to control the movement fase and are faster that other armys. So if his army is spread, its easier for us to get the battles we want.

- S/H/DR = Awsome with Shadow and CoB: I will never forget the time I played against WC when i placed my shades just in front of his GG deathstar with Vamp General and regen bsb. I thought i just missplaced them and let them be. Next turn i give them KB from CoB and get miasma on the deathstar. Charge in, hit first, gets 5 hits, get 1 KB and he misses his 4+ ward save! Game Over after turn 3! ;)


And of course all the reasons that the others have written.

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Sat Sep 10, 2011 8:40 pm
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I admit I've barely used Harpies, but am going to more once I can get my unit up to 10 or so...

I find that I couch a unit in my Spears, and use These 3 Units to get Side or Rear Flank as a bonus after they've hit another unit is handy! The best for that is the Shades, but the Harpies give such an AWESOME boomerang effect of just 'fly over after mage kill, show up to piss enemy off' its worth it just watching the other person's face

(Couching in my terminology means I've blocked the lane with them, knowing they WILL be charged so I'm ready to hold whomever attack. Think 'Anvil-Lite')

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Wed Sep 14, 2011 5:18 pm
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In my last couple games, I haven't seen my Harpies or Dark Riders do much of anything. It COULD very well be that I am fighting Chaos and there are no such things as 'soft targets' in a Warriors of Chaos list. This HAS made me wonder if they are even worth their points. It strikes me that with the current rules for all the points I put into Harpies and Riders I might by a giant block of Spears or Corsairs.


Thu Sep 22, 2011 10:43 pm
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Malekith's Personal Guard

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I find them utterly invaluable against WOC armies. The trick is not to expect them to do anything other than delay the enemy so you can pick your matchups.

Early in the game, you park them 1" past their basic move in front of the unit, preferably offset slightly to one side so their charge path is away from your main line. Then they either have to charge the unit (you flee and they have to beat your roll to catch you) which takes them away from your main line, or they just move up instead of marching up, costing them half their potential movement. With DR you get the bonus of being able to keep peppering them with RXB fire.

These troops rarely kill stuff on their own. What they do is control your opponent's maneuver options, preventing him from just sweeping across the board and smashing you.


Fri Sep 23, 2011 4:32 pm
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