Thursday, 16 February 2017

Power from Paint: Reaver Jetbikes

Greeting once again my fellow Archons. Time to share the fruits of another Dark Eldar hobby session in the second of the Power from Paint series of articles.

My attention continues to be focused upon Reaver Jetbikes and I've taken the flock up to an impressive 12 models!

A dozen spiky bikes!

One of aspects I enjoy of building kits in bulk like this is building up familiarity with the pieces on the sprue and finding opportunities for conversions.

Like these quad-finned bikes:

Now with even more spike!

You could have a nasty accident on one of these if you aren't careful!

Very simple conversion; the central vertical vane has been removed and replaced by a pair of  vanes cut from a spare lower vane/foot rest piece.

I'm quite fond of the next conversion; a double hulled jetbike:

It'll never fly!
 Even simpler than the first conversion. Two identical hull pieces glued base to base using the "ribs" as guidelines. The lower piece is offset by one or two rib sections.

A splinter rifle barrel was attached to the lower hull before gluing the two together.

Which leads neatly onto the second part if this article; how will these Reaver Jetbikes be armed?

I doubt I will be taking Arena Champions; I'm looking at a 1000 point list for Mayhem and so every point will be precious.

Reavers quite like close combat; they come with 2 attacks stock, Rending Hammer of Wrath attacks and combat drugs. However I think there will be quite a lot of tin boxes (read: cheap as chips ObSec Rhinos) so my jet bikes will need to pack some Anti Tank to break the boxes open and get at the juicy insides.

The shooting options available are: Heat Lances and Blasters. Both are single shot, have the same range (18") and special rule (Lance) and cost the same number of points. But there are differences:
  • Blaster: Str 8, AP2
  • Heat Lance Str 6, AP1, Melta
So having crunched some numbers, the Blaster beats the Heat Lance at the 9.01" to 18" range (obviously), but at <9" (melta range) the Heat Lance really shines, having a 16 % to 25% greater chance (depending on the AV) of getting the lovely penetrating hit. The AP differential is important here as well; the Heat Lance's AP1 gives a 33% chance of getting an "explodes" result on the penetrating hit damage table (vs 16% for the Blaster), spilling any transported troops out and giving an assault opportunity.

So on paper at least, the Heat Lances win out for me, especially if the Reavers need to be close for assault.

The final choice available are the Hammer of Wrath (HoW) upgrades; Grav-talons and Cluster caltrops.

Grav-talons grant Concussive to HoW attacks. Situational and remembering that points are precious I think I'll pass on these.

Cluster Caltrops have D6 S6 rending HoW attacks. Sounds good to me! They add some valuable punch to assault vs infantry and can hurt tanks (up to AV14). At AV10 or AV11 each hit is as effective as a non-melta Heat Lance, and significantly better at the higher AVs. And the Caltrops will average 3 hits per assault!

So TLDR; I think it's Heat Lances and Cluster Caltrops, points allowing. That will depend on the fine detail of list building.

I'm still considering magnetising the weapons. If I do then that will be an article in it's own right.

Until next time!


  1. Nice write up! I like the conversions.

    I've always been split between Blasters and heat lances. I've always edged on the side of blasters. Mainly as I didn't want my reavers in charge range, and 9inches away will always be next turn. Also for MC's the blaster is simply better.

    It depends what your plan for them is ultimately. they are great at objective grabbing.

  2. Thanks for taking the time to read and comment Pete.

    It is a hard call between the two weapon choices; I've got magnets on order so I'll be able to swap :)