Saturday, September 26, 2015

Striking Scorpions: Green is the new Black!!!

I tend to shy away from cross contaminating my armies too much.  Even though 6th Edition opened the Pandora's box for a lot of players, I found the complete lack of explanation for most of those combinations to be an abomination to these RPG bred eyes.

However the Fallen and their much darker brethren, the Dark Eldar who some could argue are more wise in eschewing the dark arts that caused the Fall and the birth of Slaanesh isn't so far fetched that I cannot see them finding common causes.  Despite their motivations, they share one thing in common:  they are dying and are of the same blood.  that's more than you can say for some of the weird combinations that people go for.

As 7th Edition rolls on I cannot help but see the incredible synergy between a Realspace Raiders Detachment and the Striking Scorpions of the Eldar race.  Of all the things a Striking Scorpion needs to absolutely strike fear into the hearts of its enemies, the first on the list has always been an Assault Vehicle.  So rarely can a Striking Scorpion unit hit at its full strength without one and in such short order.  It's true that they can infiltrate AND position themselves for it but as they cannot charge round one, this matters little.

Enter the RealSpace Raider Detachment, which gives you a lot of Fast Attack choices one of which is the Raider itself!  With them NOT taken as dedicated Transports, you can load three full sets of Striking Scorpions in a shell that can put the enemy absolutely beyond any hope of escaping them the next turn, wrapped in a shell that can Jink for a 4+ save and has three hull points.  Added benefit:  Night Fighting can make this already very difficult to hit vehicle even more difficult.

The Strategic Warlord Trait that allows you to choose Night Fight is excellent insurance if you can get it but even without it you're going to be 3+ in 50% of your games.

The Scorpions Claw, which is essentially a STR 6 AP 2 weapon at I6 makes the units damage output very good.  Couple this with the Free attacks it gets from the Stalker ability:  +1 attack per point it beats your initiative by?  Whuuuuuuuut?  Necrons beware!  Add that lethality to the fact that the normal Scorpions are getting 3 STR 4 attacks on the charge at I5 PLUS the Mandiblaster hits (which are better in most cases than a Hammer of Wrath hit) and you have a fairly terrifying unit whose 3+ armor will protect them when and if the Raider explodes, and certainly in the round 2 combats you've ensured.  With stealth, even being blown out in front of Grav Guns is potentially survivable.  You're likely no worse off than if you had infiltrated with Stealth and Shrouded.

Rest assured that the enemy will not be firing at much else if they can help it with those three Striking Scorpion units in their face.  And that allows the rest of your army to act pretty freely.

The suggestion on units to accompany such a force is probably long range transport destroyers.  The reason is that you want to make sure the Scorpions aren't having to kill rhinos or Monstrous Creatures on the round they charge.  While they can do it, what a waste of potential.  By far the better idea is artillery and other attacks that will do that softening work for you so that you can mop up the mess that's left over.

With Move through Cover and Stealth as abilities, the Striking Scorpions are ideal in urban areas where over watch will scarcely be felt and unlike some of the assault units in the Eldar codex, you don't need to fear Wall of Death attacks like the other ones do.

There's a lot to be said for this combination.  I have done the same exact sort of thing with just Dark Eldar and Grotesques, s well as the Dark Eldar Royal Court.  However a 3+ armored Scorpion has a serious sting.

The Scorpions are scary enough without help, but when you insert them into the handy dandy Aspect Host Formation, they gain a +1 WS.  This is just not fair.  They also re-roll their morale, Pinning and Fear tests.  Fer serious.  Even if they rushed in and lost (and there are a LOT of units that won't beat this one) making them run is another matter entirely.

I personally have not seen a lot of Striking Scorpions on the table.  Everyone seems to be in love with Bikes and Knights.  Dark Eldar, while not as rare as once they were, certainly are played as Venom heavy far more often than as Raider heavy.  So all in all, just not a lot of people are keyed in to the OTHER possibilities in the codex.  Allow me to suggest this as your next fun project to try.

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