Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Saim Hann in the Fizif

After two tournaments, a couple friendly games, and some serious tinkering around with my lists and models I have a few notes and tentative postulations to make regarding Saim Hann and their transition to 5th. The army appears to have the same advantages as it did in 4th: extremely high mobility, a lot of S6 weaponry, and very resilient main battle tanks very effective at anti-armor and anti-infantry. It also has pretty much the same weaknesses: low model count and very weak in assault.

I’ve found a circle and inundate strategy to be most effective with my own list. If the opponent deploys in a small concentrated area, they can be quickly surrounded and blown into oblivion. If the opponent deploys in a long battle line on his table edge, the Saim Hann should match their deployment but quickly redeploy to attack whichever flank contains the enemy’s slow/static units. Splitting fire is bad, concentrating fire is good. Above all SH eldar never want to be successfully charged. If this means effective fire has to be reduced because units spend a turn maneuvering (escaping), so be it; you’ve already spent the points to gain this advantage so use them! In this regard, the most dangerous units are those that can surprise you with a fast assault, e.g. jump troops or cavalry approaching behind cover (especially stormboyz), waaghing orks jumping from trukks. If outflankers or rear-guard attackers (wolf scouts) are around, it might be worth it to sweep your bikes and tanks into the middle of the table and go full offense.

Since ICs can be picked out as a target in 5th, Farseers should either be camped out in complete safety behind solid cover or join a jetbike squad on the move. Joining a bike squad with an embolden warlock allows him to reroll failed psychic tests (it’s a leadership test!) and grants his own Ld 10 for them to use. Obviously if you have to sacrifice a bike squad to an enemy, choose one without a Farseer attached. I’m still figuring out which powers are the best for my own list, though I would probably never use eldritch storm.

Vectored engines are practically useless on anything but transports and even then their value is questionable. Skimmers will only wreck from an immobilized result after moving flat out (or if part of a squadron, more about that later), but in order to fire you have to move less than flat out anyway (0-12”). Thus with Prisms you will very rarely be moving at such high speeds, and even then they will get a 4+ cover save out in the open. True, transports might be going that fast, but the new wrecked vehicle effects on passengers are pretty much negligible, and with fleet the squad can probably get where they’re going the next turn anyway. Star engines still seem worthwhile though, giving SH the best mobility in the galaxy short of deep-striking.

Now on the subject of Vypers. Vypers ostensibly get worse in 5th, because fast skimmers can be penetrated no matter how fast they move, and open-topped means a destroyed result at least half of the time. True, immobilized results no longer automatically destroy them so long as they move less than 12”, but the new squadron rules state that immobilized results count as destroyed. Because of this (not to mention the high price of the unit), it seems like a good idea to break them up into individual units of one Vyper each. It’s really too bad I won’t be able to guide them all at once anymore, but they’ll still be able to contest objectives at the last second and give a little fire support to boot. To compensate for their greater vulnerability in 5th, I’m giving them holofields and keeping them obscured as much as possible. Holofields will reduce their vulnerability to a destroyed result by at least half. Since they’ll be behind cover and targets will usually get a cover save from them, I’m considering giving them scatter lasers instead of starcannons. Same strength, more shots. I could switch them out for warp spiders or the like, but they’re such a big part of the SH flavor I can’t bear to let them go.


Ad Astra said...

Awesome post, and some good ideas to think about- I'm "reloading" my Saim-Hann list for 5th also and I think they are going to continue to be a fun army to play and might do "Ok" with some tweaking- not that Saim-Hann was ever a power build list, but it does get points for being so sexy.

Dead on regarding the farseer- I fear no more scotting around popping off mindwar, but that is ok. I think for us SH players the biggest nerf is terrain- no more area and with all our jetbikes sitting so high up on their bases- but what about this. Throw a farseer in with your jetbikes (or better yet two- one in each squad) with guide and fortune. I'm planning to do this, running my vypers nearby as a wall to protect the jetbikes since they block LOS now depending on the terrain giving my cover saves I am going to fortune my jetbikes or vypers and guide my vypers for more accuracy. I think a fourtuned jetbike squad behind cover or turbo boosing with a 3+ save and a 3/4+ cover save is going to be really tough.

The only think I am still really tinkering with is my warlocks- do I keep them with destructor for the added punch- and the ability to deny cover saves for my opponent or do I go for the LD re-roll for my psychic tests and morale tests?

As for my vypers I still be taking star cannons based on the club I play in- 90% marine players but scatter lasers are probably a better buy. In recon I plan to place my objetives out in the open with nowhere to hide so I can light up my opponent's as they move and hold the objective- 12 star cannons shots are going to be nasty from my vyper spam.

Anyway, please keep up the Saim-Hann posts and thoughts as I'm back to re-learning them with 5th- which in itself is king of exciting since in 4th I got to the point in playing them so much that the army played itself- now it has that new and exciting feeling again.

Ad Astra said...

Oh, I forgot to add- do you think holo-fields are still worth it? I'm trying to find some hard stats- I know 100% in 4th they saved my vypers all the time, but now, who knows, and they would free up so many points.

Anonymous said...

i dont see how holo-fields were ever worth it for vipers... a bolter gun line would see them going down in flames.

but really what you should be asking is what else could you get for the same points? if the answer is only 5 warpspiders without an exarch or a few more bikes then maybe the holo-fields are worth it.


bullymike said...

basically they don't come near a bolter gun line. i use the mobility to make folks come at me. yes the shuriken cannons are 24" but i find them targets that they can either wipe out completely in one turn (eliminating next turn flurries of fire) or assault units with pistols and such. if a vyper distracts assault units from my jetbikes, avengers, or MBTs its worth possibly losing one. and ya you don't get much for just 105 points (=3 holofields), other than a fourth vyper, and given the new squadron rules, meh. i still need to playtest a while though.

Anonymous said...

I was quite happy to have Vectored Engines on my Fire Prism that I moved onto difficult terrain at this past BFG Hobby event. Did I mention I rolled a 1? It stayed alive the rest of the game, plinking away.

However, I thought moving more than 6" and getting an immobilized caused a vehicle destroyed. I see that I am wrong and likely won't be taking Vectored Engines any more.

Don't forget that Spirit Stones are useless as well with a squadron of vehicles, since Stunned -> Shaken to compensate for the Immob -> Destroyed.

Here's a bummer that also came up in the last game: 2 vehicles left in a squadron, both summer damage and turns out one is destroyed and the other immobilized-- which is two destroyed vehicles instead of the arguable one left, but immobilized since he's the last in the squadron.

-Jim (AMM realgenius)