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  1. #1

    Default Getting the most out of - Warp Talons

    Yes, it's a third thread, and the second today.....

    As before, this thread is not about trying to declare them totally awesome win-sauce with a side order of excellent chips. It's about looking at the unit from the point of view of someone who wants to take them over other units. Perhaps it's the look of the models. Maybe they just suit someone's self written background. Could be they just need their bumps felt.

    As ever, I'll start off with the pros and cons of the unit.

    Pros - Dear Lord...it's an entire unit of jump infantry, and they've all got Lightning Claws. That's pretty tasty on paper. And being Marines, Power Armour to boot. Daemon brings 5+ invulnerable and fear to the party as well. And when deepstriking in, cause Blind tests on all enemy units within 6". Now on paper, that's looking like a pretty decent unit...

    Cons - Standard Warptalon only has a single profile attack, and they're not cheap. 160 for your base unit, and 30 points to bump them up. So for a full sized unit, that's 310 points. 310! Ouch. They might be pretty killy, but with Lightning Claws being AP3, even slicing up Marines they have to go some to punch their weight. Against non-power armoured units they'll bounce off (Terminator or other 2+), or just be horrendously overkill, leaving them out in the open for retaliatory fire in your opponents turn. But it doesn't end there. No Grenades. At all. That's a very expensive, very aggressive unit which has a bit of a disadvantage when assaulting into cover. Granted, that's nothing especially insurmountable given the perks they have. But.....they're Fast Attack. And that means they compete for those slots against Raptors (cheaper, bit of dakka, bit more general purpose) Bikers (well fast, loadsa dakka, and not too shabby in a punch up), Chaos Spawn (another 'meh' unit to be honest)....and Heldrakes. And there's the real kicker. Whilst the unit itself isn't actually terrible, there are better choices out there for the same slots. Choices which whilst not as good in the cut and thrust of melee, offer more options. Raptors for instance. Can still slot light and medium infantry in combat, but can also tote special weapons, meaning they can do a lot more damage than Warptalons. Couple of meltaguns, and they're competent tank hunters for instance, something Warp Talons will never be.

    And back to the discussion point. Clearly, this is a unit which you don't see all that often, and for not daft reasons.

    But if you wanted to field them, how to go about getting the best out of them. Nasty combo? Specific tactics? Let's here them.

    Finally, this isn't about pointing out their issues. They are many and we know it.
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  2. #2

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    I am not a fan of them (I like Raptors far more), but that being said, as awful as they are per point, there are possible combinations with them that make the possible in a list. Oddly enough, I would never deep strike with them. I consider Deep Strike counter productive to the very nature of assault troops. Why would I want to delay them until the 3rd Turn (at the earliest) of doing the one thing they are good at? For me, except in rare situations where a Parking Lot is going to rain hellfire and destruction on me beyond reason, I prefer them on the table Blind is next to useless anyway.

    Warp Talons are Daemons and thus can benefit from several artifacts and combinations with Daemon allies, not the least of which is the ability to improve their Invulnerable save. I see them as an Alpha Strike unit and I would always want to go second. If you see Warp Talons or Raptors for that matter in a list of mine you will also see a Skyshield. I will have a Warlord who guarantees Infiltrate and I will plop said unit (again I prefer maximum Raptors for this trick) down on the Skyshield and hope the 3+/4+ will allow them to survive the 1st Turn of shooting. Since I almost always run nasty Be'Lakor now and a tricked out Winged Nurgle Daemon Prince, I can often draw enough fire away from them. I believe in "threat saturation" as the most reliable way to offset volume of fire.

    In my opinion Raptors or Warp Talons are expensive Alpha Strike units who need to do their damage fast. I want them tangled up with the large gun line or hitting Power Armor (or less troops) as fast as possible. They are born to die. If they are still alive by Turn-4 then I've done something wrong. Obliterators (and other can cracking specialists) get the damn Imperials out and the Warp Talons put them away. I prefer the MoS as it is cheaper and I want to go before the standard Space Marines. Obviously this is moot if I hit them in cover. I often use Raptors (and would Warp Talons as well) to hit units of Long Fangs and the like, i.e. those were the opponent has min/max'd the setup and really can't lose any models without paying dear. As I said before a Chaos Daemons allied detachment can give good odds on a seriously improved Invulnerable save for the Warp Talons (of course this won't go before you suffer the first turn of shooting if you go second). You can choose to go first and pump their invulnerable save, of course, but in doing you are doubling the number of shots they might endure and any benefit gained is usually lost to the increased volume of fire. Again, Warp Talons are suicide troops. Aim them at the fattest return on points period.

  3. #3

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    I've been toying with the idea of a 10 man Warp talon unit with Mark of Slaanesh for some tasty I5 Ap3 attacks. Except for terminators and other 2+ save models, it will most likely take anything apart.

    The downside however, they're expensive and I'm not sure if deepstriking will do then any good in that sense. And glancing over the codex, I've found another unit, which is probably just as killy, has Ap3 goodness, can deepstrike but... has more staying power. And it doesn't compete with the heldrake either.

    Terminators with claws and MoS. And, if neccesary you could tailor that squad to have a bit of shooting ability as well; even if it's just for overwatch. A heavy flamer works fine, even if it's just for overwatch and perhaps some firing power before running in. Plenty of Ap4 models running around nowadays (Tau, Necrons, Eldar, Nids) and said flamer does ignore cover (since cover tends to be a bit of thing quite some time).

    The major advantages of talons are speed and fear. Fear might help out against some of the low Ld armies (Orks in particular now), though you might be be striking before they get a change anyway. Perhaps a way to maximize talons is by sticking them in a Land raider, though the unit will be significantly smaller and might lose some effectiveness in overwatch. Though I guess, it does nullify their speed a bit, which should be one of their main strengths.

    A breakdown in numbers;
    10 talons + MoS would come down to 340 points. It would give you 21 S4, AP3 attacks with shred.. add another 10 if you're charging. Oh and Hammer of wrath, depending on your mobility of course. They do however have to deal power weapons, though I5 is above average for S4/T4 power weapon wielding models/armies, which might mean they do strike first anyway.

    6 Terminators w/ MoS and Icon of Excess, armed with 4x lightning claws, 1 guy with a Heavy flamer and a lightning claw and the champion armed with a claw and a chainfist (for some tank stopping power, or the occasional 2+ save challenge), clocks in at 325, gives you 17 S4 AP3 attacks with shred, an S5 Ap4 template to shoot before charging and 5+ Feel no pain on top of a juicy 2+/5++ save. Add 6 attacks on the charge.

    Either one is mobile and can deepstrike. And either would have enough attacks to wipe out, or at least wittle down a squad significantly. And perhaps is even overkill. But the 2+ and 5+ FNP are in favor of the termies and feel less "suicide".

    Oh wait, this thread was about getting the most out of Warp talons...

    The more and more I think about them, and I do like the models a lot, and it makes me want to play with them... the more I think about other alternatives, such as that similar but not as suicide termie squad.
    40k- Chaos Space marines - Chaos Daemons - WM/H - Khador - Cygnar - Dystopian wars - EotBS

  4. #4

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    So against which armies do you feel Warp Talons have an edge?

    To my mind, they edge over Terminators based on their speed against Tau. After all, Tau can deploy a plethora of AP2 weapons, negating the natural advantage of Terminator Armour. And as alluded, their speed as Jump Infantry would be handy againt Jet Pack Infantry, enabling you to close in, and then cut them to ribbons with the Lightning Claws, whereas Terminators might struggle to get into combat against a wily player.

    Add in that Tau don't really have all that much AV2+ stuff (Broadsides, Iridium plated suit and Riptides), and the Warp Talons could do some decent damage.

    Thoughts?
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  5. #5

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    Their "blind" ability (Warpflame Strike) is a huge trap. Deep striking anywhere close enough to use that ability just means that the unit is going to die before doing anything.

    I have actually used them before (Utilizing the skyshield tactic Caitsidhe mentioned). They absolutely destroy Tau, Basic Orks and IG when they close to assault. But then again, when you compare the points costs to what they destroy, it just doesn't add up. 340 points for a fully kitted unit, to do what, kill 2-3 units of fire warriors/IG/Basic Orks?

    IMHO, they are one of the worst units in the book, save mutilators. Not only are all their chaos mark options +50%, so is VotLW. Top that off with only 1 base attack for unit that can't make any shooting attacks at all?

    Change Warpflame Strike to add blind to their Hammer of Wrath as well as do something about the lack of grenades, and give them +1 base attack and I might actually start fielding them. Even with the chaos marks and votlw being +50% cost.

  6. #6

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    Thanks for the contribution, but we're discussing how to make the best of a bad unit, rather than how bad they are
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  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Mystery View Post
    Thanks for the contribution, but we're discussing how to make the best of a bad unit, rather than how bad they are
    I appreciate that you want to keep the discussion as positive as possible, but you should choose the "mediocre" or "finesse" units for that rather than the absolute worst. Raptors, which don't see much table time, would have been a better choice for the discussion. They are a unit that isn't great but with proper thought can be useful perhaps even devastating. Warp Talons, sadly, are difficult (in the same ways as Mutilators) to get much utility from them. Like Mutilators they are going to be consigned to the shelf until they get a Formation which gives them something to make them worth the cost, or until the next CSM book wherein they suddenly supercharge so Games Workshop can try to get rid of the surplus models.

    That being said, I will try to be as positive as possible. I believe my Skyshield option is one of the better ones. Hell, I would almost always run them as multiple small units so they can't be wiped by concentrated fire. The downside to this is you cannot guarantee 2+ units will get Infiltrate. You only have a 66% chance of getting two. Those still aren't bad odds. Two units of five increases the odds of at least one hitting a single target. It should be noted, however, that you are pretty much consigning one to death. Now if you have tables that have lots of LOS blocking terrain, a whole new set of options. Assault troops (Raptors and Talons alike) come into their own in such an environment. They WILL reach their target. I suppose one could, instead of the Skyshield, plant a big nasty building at the halfway mark to obscure line of sight. That is a hell of a tax to pay but if you built around it you might get a return. Your opponent would try to liquidate it quick but that would by you 1-2 Turns minimum to move your FMC and assault troops (that didn't infiltrate up front) into position. I think it is ironic that the rules are so backwards and idiotic that Fortifications are best used for offensive purposes rather than defensive ones.

    The more I think about it, the more I think I could revitalize an assault army using ASSAULT troops and the proper Fortification/Warlord to launch from. In most cases, the Raptors are a better choice than the Warp Talons, but Warp Talons in multiple small units might work this way. You would be making use of several detachments so they aren't eating up all your Fast Attack options.

  8. #8

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    Soft targets are no fun

    Besides, Warp Talons are somewhat maligned, usually when compared to competing slots. This is about trying to look at them in objective isolation, so people might be better informed about what the unit is actually capable of
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  9. #9

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    Since I have been thinking about making a small Night Lords warband to add as an ally, I have been thinking about picking up a unit of these. If you are going to use a unit of Warp Talons, what is the ideal unit size?

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Mystery View Post
    Soft targets are no fun

    Besides, Warp Talons are somewhat maligned, usually when compared to competing slots. This is about trying to look at them in objective isolation, so people might be better informed about what the unit is actually capable of
    Well, let me be as direct. You CANNOT look at a unit in isolation. They don't exist or play in isolation. You have to look at them in context. The reason they aren't on the table is because of the context in which they appear. If you are trying to RIG the outcome of the discussion by doing everything you can to shine them in a positive light, that is unethical and isn't going to fly. We either can or we can't find a way to make them work or be useful in the context of their use. Games Workshop may throw these units together without any thought of how they are going to work together or in the larger scheme of things, but we (as Players) cannot do that if we are interested in being able to put up any kind of fight in the field. In short, there is no "objective isolation" because they are intended for contextual use. The only reason to try and isolate them from everything is to weight the argument and play with the numbers. To quote The Princess Bride, "We are men of action; lies do not become us."

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Eldar_Atog View Post
    Since I have been thinking about making a small Night Lords warband to add as an ally, I have been thinking about picking up a unit of these. If you are going to use a unit of Warp Talons, what is the ideal unit size?
    If you have enough LOS blocking terrain (and by enough I mean substantial amounts) then multiple small units of five. If not, your only hope is a full ten man unit every time. If you are lucky a few will make it to the target.

 

 
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