Friday, August 19, 2011

Draigowing Nuts & Bolts

Bryce commented on my last post:

"Hmm....

Nice to hear more about a Draigowing, I'm working on 20 paladins, a librarian, a vindicare, and Draigo although he seems lost in the mail.

Any advice?"


My reply:

If you're going to go down the Draigowing road and include a Vindicare, I would say find the points for a Techmarine. He has a couple of  uses: 1. Bolster that ruin and park your Vindi in it for a tasty 2+ cover save. 2. Grenade caddy -- though if you use him for this (and you should), make sure you pony up the points to give him a warding stave, it's the only way to give him an invul save, even though it's only there in CC the warding stave gives him a shot at surviving power weapon/high strength attacks (and he WILL be singled out if you don't hide him, your opponents will HATE those grenades). I've run a Techmarine with a paladin squad and done some tests with running him with a DCA/Crusader squad and the grenades really help and the invul keeps him alive. If you do run him, though, keep in mind the Techmarine can NOT deep strike, so you can't use that as your delivery method for the unit he's attached to.

Other than that, keep in mind that Draigowing is the most elite of the elite armies, you have to REALLY know your stuff to squeeze every point of effectiveness/efficiency out of it to win games. Consider a Land Raider or Stormraven to get them into CC (which is where they really shine) but choose every assault carefully. Avoid TH/SS terminator units because you'll struggle against them, soften them up with a few rounds of psycannon/storm bolter lovin' before assault. Definitely kit each one out individually because you'll need the wound allocation shenanigans to keep them alive longer. Always take a Brotherhood Banner, the extra attacks REALLY help. Also, remember if your pallies don't cast hammerhand that turn (the libby and/or Draigo and/or Techmarine can do that for you) you can use the BB's auto-activate force weapons ability to shorten those rounds of combat versus pesky multi-wound enemies (ork nobs, I'm looking at you). 


If at all possible, use the Vindi to snipe out rune priests, Njal, librarians, etc. -- anything that hampers your ability to cast psychic powers.  While they aren't required for GK to perform (strictly speaking) they definitely make things easier, and with Draigowing, you have to use every trick in the book to make it work. It goes without saying that if you play against Eldar and they have Runes of Warding...well, it's going to suck, and suck hard, and there's no getting around it. However, if you can mange to drop the Farseer with a lucky Vindi shot or chop him up into tasty elven chum in assault, you're in business. Unless you're playing footdar, though, most of the time the Farseer will be safely hidden away in a transport. If you can crack that open, yay, if you can't...well, continue the game minus psychic powers. Psychic powers are great buffs, but (as I mentioned), they aren't necessary.

Remember what I said about a delivery system? Here's the downside: you lose valuable rounds of shooting while embarked. And paladins with psybolts and 2 (or 4, if you're taking a full-size unit) psycannons is a punishing volume of fire. You need it. Maybe think about taking a full-size unit and combat squad them into two units, one with 4 pyscannons and a storm bolter as a firebase, the other all storm bolters. Attach a libby, Draigo and the Techmarine to this unit, embark in a LRC and head off to beat face while the other combat squads shoots, shoots, shoots to victory.


One thing I feel I should warn you about, though. Draigowing is a very unforgiving army. You just don't have the bodies to absorb wounds that any mistakes you might make will cause. You need every model in the army doing everything it can every turn or you'll quickly find yourself in trouble.

If you're looking for some other advice from other (probably much more capable players), I would suggest Black Blow Fly's Terminus Est blog (love that name, being a fan of Gene Wolff). He's been running Draigowing for a while and presents some solid ideas/advice. I got the idea of running combat-squadded paladins split along CC/shooting roles from him.


Finally, I can hear what some of you are thinking (OK, not really, as that would make me some kind of mutant), but I can imagine what some of you are thinking: "Joe, just last post you said you were giving up on Draigowing because you couldn't make it work. What gives with you passing out advice on how to use it?" That's a great question, thank you for asking. Yes, you're right, I decided that I couldn't make it work, specifically in a competitive environment. But I also said that I don't think it's an issue with the list itself, rather, my skill as a player -- all I'm doing here is relating my experiences with a Draigowing list, and hoping that Bryce (or anyone else) can build upon my experiences and hopefully do something great.


I love the concept of Draigowing -- Paladins are everything I think terminators should be (well, actually, they aren't, I think they should be at least T5, but that's a pipe dream). I do plan on re-visiting them after getting better at 40K in general. The list is too unforgiving for the number of mistakes I make in an average game. 

Good luck, Bryce. I hope you can take Draigowing to the next level!


What do you think, guys? Have you ever had a concept for an army list that you just loved, but couldn't quite make it work? Did you stick with it, or did you move on to something else? Ever re-visit a list concept? How did it go if you did?




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