Sunday, September 15, 2013

Banshees: Something to Howl About?

By now, even I'm getting tired of working up cheeky cultural references to tie into my posts, so I'll stop. I promise, soon.

So what's with Banshees now? There's been a lot of heat about how they 'were lackluster before, but now they are full of fail! FAIL!'

People who diss Banshees usually cite the usual reasons; the weakness of assault units combined with a soft stat line, the reduced strength of power weapons, etc. And while those are all valid issues, is it really all that hopeless?

The Banshees arguably got the short end of the stick in their latest incarnation. At 15 points a pop - a whopping ONE POINT SAVINGS OVER 5th EDITION!!! - you are basically getting a storm guardian + a power weapon and a mask.

The mask has changed rather dramatically. Rather than 'going first' or 'striking at Initiative 10' on the first round of combat, they instead reduce the Initiative of the charged unit by five. IMHO, this is BETTER than previous incarnations because even if something hoses the banshees' initiative, it will still mostly likely be better than that of the unit they are charging. The catch here is that the banshees need to be the one initiating the assault. Hmm.

... you know, I just can't make this work. It seems like no matter what I come up with it turns into another "Exarch Delivery System" or requires at least one other unit as a crutch to make it workable at ALL. Otherwise the banshees seem to deteriorate into a distraction unit. While you might be able to pair up the banshees with another, harder unit to soften up the assault target/provide cover/distraction, there are very few units I can think of in the Eldar arsenal that will do that economically. D-Scythe wraithguard come to mind, but honestly, why would you use them that way when they can vaporize pretty much anything on their own?


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