Thursday, July 18, 2013

40k Bugbears: Helldrakes

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Hello one and all, Eldrad Vect here and this is 40k Bugbears, unraveling the mysteries of the most feared and powerful units in the 40k Universe.
I know how ironic it is that I'm teaching people ways to destroy a Chaos unit on a Chaos blog but it is a constant source of fear in games now.
About the title, the Bugbear was a really tough enemy from the old Dungeons and Dragons Playstation 2 and Xbox game, Baldur's Gate, (yes I know it was on PC first and other games have used Bugbears, but this is the most memorable for me), thus the title reflects the frustrations of killing such units.
Ok, enough D&D, time to get real. The Helldrake is an amazing Chaos unit, no doubt, being a Flyer and having a horrendous Ignore Cover Torrent weapon makes it beyond good and at only 170 points per Drake you are crazy not to take it, if your a Chaos player that is. With AV 12 for front and sides its a hard Flyer to take down, not to mention the 5+ Invul. for being a Daemon and having the It Will Not Die USR, but for all its glory it has one weakness, the giant gaping hole in its rear. Yes its AV 10, now you may be thinking, Eldrad plenty of Flyers are AV 10 at the back, big whoop. This is how I kill Drakes with Bolters or equivalent weapons, this may seem strange but it works, I've fought three Helldrake lists and pulled all three for the sky with Shurikens and Death Spinners, however you should try to have a lot of maneuverable Strength 6 weapons like Assault Cannons or Scatter Lasers. Haywire weapons are the best, since the Haywire rule ignores the Daemon Invul. Save.

While this works, you do need most of your troops still kicking after the brutal preliminary firestorm of the Drakes, here are a couple of ways I keep my units alive against the dreaded Baleflamer. First, mass Invulnerable Saves, I use things like Shimmershields on Dire Avengers or Azrael's Lion Helm to give the saves to my units keeping them alive for the counter. Another way is to have a wound soaker in your unit, a Wolfguard Terminator with your Grey Hunters or a Mega Armour Warboss leading a squad of Shoota Boyz. Of course this strategy is for those forces where you can't get Skyfire easy and en mass. As long as you have your units pointing their guys at the Helldrake back you should be fine.

Another way to beat it is to ignore it, it's hard but if your fast enough to get your army behind it or force it into Hover mode, picking it apart will be a piece of cake, of course, sacrifices must be made to kill a Helldrake.
Anyway, I hope I've help shed some light on ways to kill the mighty Helldrakes, if you have any questions please comment, I'd love to hear what you think of my madness. 


Nurglitch said...

How does Haywire avoid the Heldrake's Iv5+?

Eldrad Vect said...

Hi Nurgleitch, Haywire is a secondary effect, so after you resolve the hit itself you then roll your Haywire result, even if your hit was saved the effect is still carried out. I hope that helped in some way :)

Eldrad Vect said...

also I'm really sorry that I got your name wrong, it was impolite of me to get it wrong :)

Nurglitch said...

No worries about the name. The notion of Haywire being a secondary effect is weird. I thought Haywire weapons roll to hit, roll on the Haywire table instead of rolling to penetrate, and then resolve saves as normal. Vehicles get saving throws against glancing and penetrating hits.

Eldrad Vect said...

Ah yes, I missed that, the rulebook does state that in its description of the Haywire rule... I was going of Dark Eldar and Necron Codex entries... thank you for pointing that out :)

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