Winning with The Lesser: Dragyri Slave Tactics, Part 1!

July 24, 2017 Uncategorized  No comments

IceCaste_Taskmaster-lowres-CLPD

“Why would you write a tactics article about Dragyri slaves?!” you might ask. Especially since, through the years, these Alteghran scrubs have often been scoffed at as the bottom tier, all-but-unplayable models of Dark Age?

Truthfully, these low cost front-line fodder pieces have always been in the discussion for high-level Dragyri play. Whether in tying up bigger models, capturing objectives or simply spreading dangerous shard fields everywhere, slaves have played an important part in Dragyri strategies for tournament players (including two Sling Slaves used in the 2017 Immortals win). So, how should they be used?

FIRE!

Out of Air, Fire and Ice slaves, Fire gets my first pick. Not only do they have the widest selection to choose from but slave use and selection is arguably more important to the Fire Caste.

The ‘other’ Slave choices:
Fire can put out lots of damage. But they are also the most fragile Caste. So they want their opponent softened up before they engage, preferably with a lot of status effects on them.

Spear Slaves can work well in any Caste by engaging models and holding them in place. With Fire just make sure to keep firing lanes clear for template weapons.

Shard Slaves, Sling Slaves, and Cinder Slaves are all ways to get extra Fire Counters into play, albeit pricey for this status effect alone.

And the Taskmaster is solid, even at 50 points. Bleed and Whiplash are incredibly useful.
-Note: The ‘Taskmaster’ ability used on a Cinder Slave is great for surprising opponents, granting them +1 MV and having a good chance they explode where you want.

The addition of Slyths are unique both thematically and mechanically. Cavewing Slyths can be deployed en masse on top of an enemy, just like Harpies in Skarrd. Although personally, I find it better to deploy them more conservatively as they die a lot easier than Harpies do.

MY slave choice:
Artificer of the Alteghran, Razor Slyth

Fire Caste is also unique in having access to Superior Maintenance. Since malfunctions are the bane of any Dragyri player, having three get-out-of-jail-free tokens is crucial. For that alone I’d pick the Artificer, but he also has a nice RN 4 Fire weapon.

Now to my personal favorite. Not only just for Fire Caste, Razor Slyth is my best slave pick overall and one of my favorite 50 point models period. Anything with [2] in the attack field is worth looking at twice; statistically just as potentially devastating as Extreme Damage. Infiltrate makes them versatile, Vault and Strider makes them mobile, and adding Rend makes them more-than-worth-their-points deadly.

Fire Caste Recommendation:
Ranking: Razor Slyth, Artificer of the Alteghran, Cavewing Slyth, Spear Slave, Cinder Slave, Shard Slave, Sling Slave
How many: 2-4 per 500
Best deployed: Up front creating chaos and adding status effects

ICE!

Not surprisingly, on the polar opposite side of Fire is Ice. If there is a sub-faction where slaves are least impactful, Ice just might be it. Still, despite their ability to flex their high armor and damage, there are critical roles for slaves to play.

The ‘other’ slave choices:
Ice Caste doesn’t mess around. Ice models want to head directly toward the enemy and pound on them. So naturally, they can’t be bothered with insignificant details like gathering objectives.

Shard Slave‘s Infiltrate is ideal for deploying to the side and babysitting markers. Spear and Sling Slaves can be mobile objective grabbers as well, although I would try to keep them on the flanks of your main force. Their Immobilize is very useful against enemy melee units, as keeping enemies out of movement range for a round can tilt the odds even further in your favor. With RN RE, Spear Slaves can do this without even engaging the enemy.

MY slave choice:
Taskmaster

IceCaste_Taskmaster-lowres-CLPD

100%! Not only is Bleed great in bleeding HP from pesky defensive models like St. John, but Whiplash is the perfect status effect to complement Ice. Especially in tandem with “Now is Our Time” to deny Action Points from the counterstrike might follow a Luck’kit’kaii activation.

Ice Caste Recommendation:
Ranking: Taskmaster, Spear Slave, Sling Slave, Shard Slave
How many: 0-2 per 500
Best deployed: On the flanks, as objective grabbers and complements to the main force

AIR!

I too had to go through my own gambit of deciding which slaves to take and how many. Here are some of the thoughts that ran through my head regarding Air Caste Slaves.

The ‘other’ slave choices:
I perhaps underestimate Shard Slaves (don’t worry, they get redemption in Part 2). But Air is very mobile and so they don’t really need Infiltrate. Still, Air Caste does best when the enemy is kept just outside of 3” range so Shard Fields and well-placed Spear Slaves can form a nice barrier.

Also, activation bleeding – or activating one by one until your opponent runs out of models – is especially useful for Air Caste. Any slave can do this for Air, providing it stays alive.

MY slave choice:
Sling Slaves, Taskmaster

Big, Extreme Damage models like Mongo or the Cabrakan can really ruin an Air player’s day. Luckily, these models are easy to hit (and hard to wound). Wails get Whiplash as does the Taskmaster. Both make great counters, I keep both in my sideboard.

My slave of choice for Air however is the Sling Slave. Since Air has access to more range than any other Caste, you wouldn’t think I’d pick Sling but they work perfectly. They can bleed activations as good as any slave and because they sit back they tend to live longer and get plenty of attacks out. Their Stun ability is perfect against high defense models and, most importantly, they are useful against other Air players using Sidestep.

Air Caste Recommendation:
Ranking: Sling Slave, Taskmaster, Shard Slave, Spear Slave
How many: 1-3 per 500
Best deployed: Anywhere they can avoid dying (for as long as possible) and cause mischief

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