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Scourges: How to Use Them

Submitted By: Date: August 8, 2005, 05:37:06 PM Views: 1856

Scourges: How to Use Them
Scribed by: Lord Archon Raziel

Scourges And How To Use Them
Hello all, this is my first tryout at giving tactical advice, and I believe I start with one of the most disputed units in the Dark Eldar codex, some are all for using scourges but most are against, I am writing this to try and persuade those people to at least think about trying scourges.

Scourges in General

Scourges have the basic warrior statistics line (WS, BS etc. etc.) but they come with the added bonus of jetpacks or 'wings' as they are named, and the ability to carry heavy weapons. Sounds 1 good from that little description...a fast flying heavily armed Dark Eldar Warrior. However, a lot of people are put off by the fact that they are just a warrior. They only have a 5+ armour save as well and are reasonably expensive; even though I love our flying brethren I would also have liked to have seen a decrease in their points. They have the same ability to include a sybarite in their unit but more on this later on.

Equipping Your Scourges

Your Scourges should be equipped to do as well as they possibly could against a certain enemy, for example: if you are playing against blood angels army with lots of Rhinos, equipping the four 2Dark Lances? is the best idea. Alternatively if you are fighting Tyranids, equipping the four Splinter Cannons is the best idea. However sometimes it is not as simple as this. Imperial Guard are probably the most annoying to fight against with scourges. I am never sure what to equip; Dark Lances for the usually large amount of tanks and transports or Splinter Cannons for the high amount of Troops that infest an imperial guard army. It is definitely a hard choice and the most annoying feeling is to finally decide to equip Dark Lances and find that there are no tanks or equip Splinter Cannons and on a very rare occasion find an army with barely any men and a load of heavily armoured tanks ( It has happened to me on more than one occasion ). This section is mainly for you to decide on, as there is not much I can say that will help your decision apart from the above but make sure that your scourges are always equipped correctly for the task at hand.
To go into more detail on this subject is how to equip, if you have taken one, the scourge sybarite. Personally I don?t take one very often, but against horde armies they can be quite useful. Let me explain how. The sybarite can be equipped with the Xenospasm for added firepower and the excellent ability to force3 a pinning test on the enemy. The other useful item is the archangel of pain...getting close to the enemy unleashing 16 splinter cannon shots and then releasing the archangel can have space marines ducking for cover, allowing you another free turn to shoot at them- both ideas work well.

How To Use Your Scourges

When you have decided how many scourges you are going to take and what to equip them with, the only thing left to work out is how to use them to your full advantage and I can offer a few tips and tricks to help you here. 
Deepstriking is the obvious choice with scourges, but sometimes can be fatal for them especially if want4 to deepstrike behind their army. This is usually very close to the table edge and can be a risky prospect; however if pulled off, can seriously hamper your opponent?s5 plans. Sometimes setting up your scourges with your army works, they can be used quite effectively in a variety of different ways.
They can be kept back and used for crossfire purposes which is quite effective, or just used very basically with the rest of your army, hugging terrain and setting up fire zones around the tabletop, both ideas are quite effective and both offer different results. The first idea is to obliterate an opponent, maybe a large unit of Tyranids or imperial guard, and it works quite well if used in conjunction with the other greatly disputed unit, the Grotesques. The Grotesques go into combat against a weak unit and cause them to auto run away, the scourges hover behind the fleeing Guard or Tyranids cutting them all down in a lethal crossfire. The second idea is more about weakening elite fighting units and drawing them away from the main fighting. This can be done by skipping from terrain to terrain and opening up with splinter cannons to take away a few wounds from a unit and hopefully draw them towards the scourges by constantly buzzing around and shooting. The second idea is particularly nice to see when it works. I myself have destroyed terminators in this fashion taking them out of the game without them doing any damage to my army. I didn?t kill all of them, I just stopped them from wreaking havoc to the rest of my army. Hugging the terrain also meant less of my own models being destroyed.

Using Scourges With Other Units

Scourges won?t always be able to do the job themselves, they will need the help of other units, such as the grotesques mentioned earlier. Also mentioned to me was a raider squad with a sybarite and a terrorfex, this could be better than using the archangel of pain as you could force a larger pinning test (more -'s to the leadership). The scourges could also hide behind the raider for cover until the need to strike.
Scourges In Comparison

Scourges are, as I mentioned, a very disputed and prejudiced unit. Lets compare them to other see how effective they really are.

Scourges Vs. 2 Sniper Squads
Scourges would be for me the better choice, they cost less points and also are more mobile. No general will purposely stick a tank in front of the sniper squads so if they don't it means moving your sniper squads...they won't be able to relocate as quickly as the scourges so we have an advantage already- 6maybe a disadvantage in that7 the sniper squads include more men.

Scourges and Hellions
Scourges and hellions (my other favourites) are brilliant, and can be used together to really get a good victory. Scourges with four splinter cannons and a very assault based Hellion squad could work well together8- the scourges weakening the unit while the hellions go in for the kill. The hellions could be further boosted by a dracon on skyboard.
More information about Hellions in combination with scourges can be found in Wasp-58's Tactica Hellions.
Scourges as Assault Troops
Although I love the scourges, unless they decided to re-do the army list again and put an assault version of scourges in, I can't see it happening. You could tool up the scourge sybarite, but in the end I believe it would be a waste of points, they are very much needed to weaken units or destroy tanks.

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