Sunday, 23 October 2011
Reaver Jetbikes in a Venomspam list
There are so many ways of playing dark eldar that instead of stating that "this way of playing reavers is the best", I'm gonna look at reaver jetbikes specifically in a venomspam list (which I've played the most).
Venomspam is pretty much the ultimate msu list. Unlike many other lists, Venomspam seeks to saturate your opponents shooting, because in order to fulfill that alphastrike, infantry need to disembark. That's why Venomspam is all about pushing too many threats down the opponent's throat.
Reavers should reflect this. I've learned to like 3-man groups. They are cheap and expendable (as is almost everything in a venomspam list). They are easy to hide due to their small size, and you can use them for less important jobs, like giving cover to some of your vehicles, without having to divert a 6-man group.
The main argument that I see for 6-man groups is that single blaster/melta is unreliable. This is very true, but once again we have to look at the reavers as part of a venom spam list. These lists boast well over 20 dark light weapons, and you will rarely find yourself in a situation where you are merely relying on the reavers to stop a vehicle, you will have other units in range aswell. In fact, shooting blasters one at a time is more efficient, because no blasters are "wasted" (e.g. shaking a vehicle twice). The only downside you get out of running 3-man groups is taking ld after the first casualty. That sucks, but the entire venomspam list suffers from ld, and squeezing in grisly trophies is something I haven't put enough effort into.
Which weapon: heat lance or blaster? I'm not sure yet. Blasters give you more freedom with its longer range and allow you to potentially get shots off on t1, but heat lances give your army ap1. Although I began playing reavers with blasters, I found myself using them more and more aggressively at the recent Turku Fanatic -tournament that I attended. This is because, when not firing at vehicles, it is much wiser to use bladevanes then fire the splinter rifles. against t4 (and especially t3) the bladevanes are simply better, and they give you a 3+ cover to boot. However, this strategy requires you to move quite close to your enemies (since the target unit has to be between the starting and finishing point of the squad's movement). This didn't really matter, since my opponent was anyway forced into making decisions (fire at the trueborns and get a lot my antitank down or shoot at 3-man reaver groups?) and the reavers survived surprisingly well throughout the tournament. Against IG, they even went on to beat the crap out of a lot of the IG infantry (after rolling pain token for combat drugs).
So, Reaver jetbikes work best in groups of 3, when played in Venomspam lists that seek to achieve target saturation. 3.man groups are small, cheap, expendable and still bring options and an extra special weapon to a dark eldar player's arsenal.