Monday, 12 March 2012
Paradigm Shift; Anti-Tank and CC: Scarab Swarms
Not so long ago the world firmly believed that antitank in CC was weak, unreliable and shouldn't be attempted. With the new necron codex, many players have pointed to scarabs and the awesome antitank that they are. The question is, what has really changed? Is there some fundamental reason why scarabs are that much more effective, or have people just simply learned to see the game in a different light as a result of the new necron codex?
One of the main reasons why people opposed antitank and CC was that in order to destroy a tank, you had to be in base contact with it. Thus, you are committing yourself in order to achieve the simple goal of destroying a rhino. With scarabs, that's no different. Scarabs do come in big units (especially with the help of 9 tomb spyders) allowing multiple combats, allowing you to attempt to destroy more then one vehicle once you commit. Is this really because scarab swarms are so much better, or because opponents don't what formation to adopt when fighting scarab swarms. By layering your vehicles (preferably with flamer-weaponry or otherwise threatening squads/tanks in front) you should be able to get the scarab player to either a) commit his scarabs to take out the first layer and be susceptible to the inevitable counterattack, or b) take those units to the face and try to get in range of the second/third layer of the tanks before commiting.
Scarabs are more cost effective then other units, that's a given. On the other hand, scarabs also require numbers to deal damage, due to the mechanic of entropic strike. In addition, when compared to a higher strength, entropic strike needs to roll a couple more dice to get the same results. This pretty much evens out, as scarabs throw down more dice to hit, penetrate etc., but require an extra phase to do damage. I still don't believe that scarabs are lightyears away from other armies with regards antitank in CC.
You can get perfectly good results in CC with units that are otherwise more diverse then scarabswarms. Scarabs just introduced a new mechanic that seems different. In the end, it's just a slight difference in probability. Same elements from a strategic point of view (you still suffer from an effective range of 0") and the same playstyle as any army that pops tanks in CC.