Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Hades Drake the New Terror of the Skies?
 By Chambers:

Sounds Better on Paper
For the last year I have been playing Chaos w/ daemon allies, running a heavy if not dominate Slaanesh list.  To that end I have been running a single bale-drake, and yes everything that they say about the point and click drake is true, Helldrake does what Helldrake wants.   My typical list has been built around the core of three squads of noise marries (2@6 and 1@12 strong) supported by a terminator squad w/a Brand Lord and oblits as points allow.  Add in a Bale-Drake and my opponents don’t see many cover saves throughout the course of a game.  Not insignificantly, the bale drake more than anything else in my list seems to be just a step too far for many of the players across the table.  Ultimately I do feel that this game is a social contract between two players, yet having said this I spent a lot of time modeling and painting my drake and I am loth to leave it at home.

In my current list over half my army’s fire power is ant-troop, and rendered all but useless with out when the chocolaty goodies stay inside their hard candy shells.  My list also struggles with fliers, with the bale drake I have two options, a quad cannon attached to a bastion and vector striking with the bale drake.  When more than one aircraft / FMC are on the table at one this leads to sub-optimal placement of the drake and struggling to keep up with the forces in the sky.

Yeah I know that I need to clean my desk
So currently I have two glaring weakness with my list, namely transports and fliers.  Would shifting from the bale flamer to the hades autocannon help shore up this deficiencies?  The internet says no, in fact common wisdom is that I only even consider a autocannon on the third drake but not before.  I guess that it is a good thing that I am not too concerned with wining.  After all I am playing for the wrong team if I was concerned about W/L ratios.  Rather the idea is put forward a good game without getting rolled. 
First a couple ground rules that I set up before embarking on this odyssey, stolen gleefully from Ron: How to Change Your Army List
  •      The only thing in the list to change would be the drake, everything else stays the same.  How else can you judge the effectiveness of the change?
  •      I would play out a series of games (at least 5) to see how the army played out.  Only afterwards would I consider any further change. 
  •      Relax and have fun, after all we are gown adults playing with dollies.

Theory hammer aside how has it done?    

He Was Butninating the Peasants
In a word the passable
I was preparing for Adepticon’s friendly tournament so my list was set at 1500 points.  Before the friendly got in 6 games with the hades’ drake.  While no longer the MVP of my list in any game its performance was solid enough that I did not change it out from my list before taking it to Chicago.  In the three games that I played in Adepticon the hades drake was never an all-star but every opponent was surprised and glad to hear that it had the autocannon as opposed to the bale flamer.  In this respect it did exactly what I wanted it to do, I was able to bring my toy and my opponents were not unhappy to face off against my list.  
So what did I learn from this experiment?
  • The drake with autocannon will no longer will it carry a bad game to victory, but it has proven to round out the list in a majority of the games.  
  • While the strength 8 sky fire cannon is great the drake’s average ballistic skill is a significant hindrance to its new role.  This is somewhat offset by the Daemon forge ability, but only once a game. 
  •  The ability to take on two separate targets is actually better with this load out, which should not be a surprise but bears mentioning.  The increased range of the autocannon means that the drake is harder for the OP4 to pull it out of position or to minimize the threat by spreading out. 

To sum up my experience; the Hell Drake is no longer clutch, but still can do work.     The Hades Drake is really a mixed bag and not the clear auto take that the Hades Drake is.  Having said that it makes for an more enjoyable game for my opponents and does not cripple my list, so it stays for now. 

Now It's Puff Puff Pass
What’s the next step forward, besides 7th edition, Codex: Word Bearers – the access to Divination could help smooth out some of the lack of reliability that I am experiencing now.  Divination would also bring up my large squad of noise marines lethality.  Besides I have a Sorcerer model that I have been want to use again for a while.

Thoughts?  Comments?  Have any of you out there found success with the Hades Drake? 

1 comment:

Grenn Dal said...

I have been hearing a lot of people liking the hades drake. They all seem to come to the same conclusion. It is not the devestating moster the bale is but it has other uses and can do more to other fliers with the long range cannon.

Are the hades cannons S8? I thought they were just chaos autocannons. who knew? obviously you did :)

Good read. GL with those filthy Word Bearers.