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Unit of the Week: Archons


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#1
Karhedron

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Welcome to Drukhari "Unit of the Week" series.

Each week a different unit will appear, with the idea being that we discuss how best to use that model on the battlefield. This series will focus on Codex entries initially. If/when we exhaust those possibilities, we will start looking at Forgeworld and Legends if people are interested in those units.
 
These threads are not to discuss proposed changes to units or long complaints about poor behaviour. I would like to keep them constructive and focus on making the best use of the units as they stand. Inevitably, in a codex as large as ours, there is going to be some overlapping of battlefield roles. For this reason, I will allow comparisons against other units that fill similar roles provided the posts remain primarily focused on the unit under discussion.
 
Mentioning other units in the context of synergies and army building is of course permitted (even encouraged). This week's entry are:

Archons
 
What are you thoughts here folks? How best would you use Archons?
  • To compliment a list, or to build a list around?
  • Will you be running multiple units?
  • Which weapon options are you taking and are they affects by the above?
  • Are you buffing this unit? If so, how?
  • Stratagems of note?
Over to you.

Should you want your model on display here (or on another thread from the series), then submit a photo here please.

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Edited by Karhedron, 04 May 2020 - 09:57 PM.

Sanguinius stood up, stretching his wings to their full extent. He flexed his hands. "I need no blade".
It was as though Sanguinius gleamed with pale light, his face white, eyes becoming blood-red, surrounded by the golden crown of flowing hair. Guilliman had witnessed glimpses of of his brother's wrath before, but had never seen the true Blood Angel unleashed. Sanguinius surged forward on alabaster wings, half a meter from the floor, whiteness streaming from him like flames.

#2
ThePenitentOne

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It's taken me a while to respond; there are soooo many issues that influence decision making about an Archon that actually aren't related to the datasheet, that it's hard to assess how good the unit is without also venturing into the surrounding rules.

 

To talk about Archons themselves:

  • the current model's pose is... limiting; it's not an awful model, but it needs more variety; earlier sculpts have been easier to customize/ modify
  • the Shadow field... Awesome until it becomes useless; I think ALL Shadow fields should operate like the Obsidian Viel - ie, become 4+ after the first fail rather than cease to exist after the first fail

The Kabals are the shooty parts of the army, and you need shooty, so that means you need Archons. 

 

About the other stuff:

  • Court of the Archon is in a bit of a problem state right now, both rules and models
  • Load out for Kabalites not optimal for sharing transports with their Archons
  • Named Kabal HQ (Drazhar) doesn't benefit from Obsessions
  • Poisoned Tongue Artefact, which is great on its own, doesn't synergize with the PT Obsession, which takes the shine off an otherwise great option
  • Raiding force rule is not as good now that Battalions are worth 5cp and Brigades 12. IMO, this actually deincentivized taking any detachment except Battalions and Brigades, so it's a rule that hurt more than just DE

 

So what I WANT is a bunch of Archons, each leading their own patrol, riding around in a Raider kitted out as a mobile firing platform for Kabalite heavy weapons.

 

But because of all those extra rules, it's not efficient or wise to field patrols, and if you share a raider with troops, you don't get to take as many heavy weapons. Since the maximum number of Court models you can take in a detachment is 4 anyway, it's a better choice to field a battalion where one Archon rides a Venom with 4 Slyth or some combination of Slyth and Medusae and the other is on foot with a big Squad full of Heavy weapons.

 

As for Obsessions, I lean toward Obsidian Rose- again, I'm trying to specialize my Kabal for shooting, so extra range is the bomb. I know, everyone love their Agents of Vect strat, but it's both expensive and somewhat random. Remember that big squad full of heavy weapons? Well, Failure is not an Option really does a lot for them, especially combined with the extra range; it always works to the best of its capacity. Obsidian Rose also lets your Venom Archon wear the Armour of Misery- the 3+ will help a bit once the Shadow Field craps out. Finally, both his melee and ranged weapons will do +1 damage if you take the Obsidian Rose WL Trait, given that his Artefact is armour.

 

I like to use Alliance of Agony, but the composition of my armies is almost always determined by campaign events; if my Coven hasn't had the opportunity to come to arrangements with the Kabal by the time the realspace raid happens, well... they don't get to go. In any battle where I can use Alliance, I do. What this does is prevent opportunity cost from being a factor when deciding whether or not to give your Archon a WL trait.

 

I usually take the multiple artefact strat in most other armies, but DE artefacts don't appeal to me as much as some other armies. It'll be a cold day in hell before I take Djinn Blade, for the same reason I don't really like plasma: my opponent is supposed to be the one who hurts me, not me. A few of the other items are single use! Who wants to burn a relic slot for a single use of anything?

 

That said, the Armour of Misery isn't a fabulous Relic- I prefer Parasites Kiss, but it wouldn't benefit from the WL trait or the Obsession. As for giving it to the other Archon, that would be a waste too, because he's meant to work at range; it's better in the hands of a Succubus. And if I went the full 3 points, the third artefact would likely go to my Haemonculus.

 

Anyway, yeah. Archons are freakin complicated- there's just a lot of moving parts. Pretty critical to successful army though.



#3
WarriorFish

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I've been thinking about my Archon builds and I agree that there's a few stand out choices. He's got some good stats but S3 is the issue. I did consider the Huskblade as a decent option to hit a bit harder but in most cases you're probably going up against T4 or higher so poison weapons are fine. Parasite's Kiss is a strong choice, and with the Soulthirst Warlord Trait you could be recovering wounds nicely.

 

That said, if the Shadowfield is gone I'm not sure how many situations your Archon will be in where that's not already more bad news than you can recover from. I suppose it is fitting that he is better as a bully unit to chop down infantry and the like? Generally I think the plan is best to keep them modest and pick their battles well, unless you can supplement somehow such as the Armour of Misery.


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