With a several games and a GT under my belt, it is time revisit the Drukhari. In my previous articles, I worked from the various updates from the Warhammer community page. As many have experienced, the depth of the new Warhammer is not in the rules but on the table. It is time share some of my findings with you. Check the Tactics Corner for more great reviews!
The new Warhammer is all about characters buffing nearby units that share critical keywords. The Drukhari have three paths for you to follow using this list building logic. We will look into each of these and those units that can be effective in any of the three.
We will start with the Wych Cults.
Wyches featured prominently in Frankie’s article prior to the release of the Xenos 1 index. His assessment created a ton of excitement for the fan favorite unit, then left many players scratching their heads after the reading the dataslate. This is a microcosm of the new rule sets as the layering may not be as obvious at first glance when compared to the vision of someone with several games of practice. Wyches primary role is both as a screen from potentials assault based units, the anvil for assault units, and objective grabbers. They need to get into assault quickly as most of their magic happens in the fight phase and have limited protection from shooting. Luckily, on turn two Power from Pain allows all Drukhari to reroll advance and charge rolls so take risks on long charges.
Once within 1” of an enemy unit they can use their numbers to wear down your opponents units holding objectives. Their poison pistols thin the herd in the shooting phase and their 4+ invulnerable save stacking with the Power from Pain ability to ignore wounds on a 6+ makes them surprisingly resilient. Having been on the receiving end of a unit falling back out of combat so another unit can blow me away, I can tell the No escape ability to hold units in combat is essential.
Where Wych Cults shine is the ability to buff one another. On turn three, the Power from Pain ability grants +1 to hit in the fight phase, so perhaps being fashionably late is back in vogue. The Succubus and her named counterpart Lelith supply a reroll 1’s to hit in close combat bubble. The gives wyches and Bloodbrides a 2 up re-rollable to hit in the fight phase. Nevertheless, the real power is that you may choose your combat drugs, allowing you to tailor your wych cults to the opposing force. For example, against conscript hordes +1 attack helps overcome the mass unit sizes, but against an elite small model count army of T4 +1 Strength might be your best option to increase the number of wounds generated from all those hits.
Because you must use each drug only once until all other have been dispensed, and player with the most models near an objective wins the prize, it is best to use larger units of 10 or more than several 5 model units. Once the unit is over 10 models, you may add up to 3 wych weapons for some extra punch. For me hydra gauntlets to augment to wound rolls are my go to choice.
Although a Coven unit, the Cronos supplies a reroll all 1’s to wound bubble to all Druhkari units in the fight phase. For best use, have the Cronos charge first and absorb the overwatch with its T6 3+ save and have the wyches charge the same unit.
Hellions provide a similar role as wyches, sacrificing the 4+ invulnerable save for 14” move and the fly key word. Additionally, Hellions Hit & Run allows then to charge the same turn the fall back. Initial inspection shows this to be an unfavorable trade off as the Succubus has limited options to keep up with the hellions. Where hellions shine is they to benefit from combat drugs to tailor to your opponent, such as +1 to hit the fight phase, and their stock Helglaives hit harder than any of the specialty wych weapons.
Reavers are may be too expensive for the screen role, but they excel at objective harassment and linebreaker, especially in Maelstrom style missions. They are the only 2-wound model among the Wych cults outside of characters and come T4 stock, so you can use combat drugs to buff other abilities since +1 T may be better on one of your wych screens. As the lore would indicate, Reavers are wicked fast, with a stock 16” move and additional 8” when they advance. With combat drugs you can add another 2” to the base movement. Both the heat lance and Blaster are assault weapons so you can rev up to 24” and still shoot hitting on 4’s with high strength guns. Cluster Caltrops I found to be good for character hunting, as a single mortal wound on a 4+ does not scratch a gaunt horde. The more versatile grav talon is a better option for dealing out mortal wounds on targets that barely survived your heavy weapons.
A closing note on combat drugs: if you are using the +2 Leadership drug, use it on a unit you think that will die early or is a bait unit for your opponent. On turn 5 Power from Pain gives all Drukhari to ability to automatically pass all morale test, reducing the effectiveness of the drug.
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