Thursday, June 22, 2017

LOL FW: Eldar Scorpion

TOP KEK.

To sum up:
Eldar Scorpion, BS2+, moves 14" with Fly at full health, 26 wounds, 3+ to save, T8
Distort Fields so advancing anything over 17" gives you 4++, can take Eldar vehicle upgrades, fully loaded with Bright lance and all upgrades is 705.

You star engines every turn, be at -1 to hit with 4++ T8 and 3+ AS
You shoot 4d6 S12 AP-4 3D shots and 6s to wound turns into 2d6 damage at 60" hitting on 3s after advance.

LMFAO FW

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Ynnari: Balancing out the faction

8th Ed. is here! There's no going back.

On release day, I took my Ynnari out for a spin vs. some filthy Necrons just to try out this new list that I've been working on.  It was my opponent's first 8th Ed. game, and the results were pretty skewed in my favor.

Before I dive into the list itself, I want to preface it a bit by talking about why I take the things I do when constructing an army.  When I look at an army like Dark Eldar and compare them to Eldar, or even the Harlequins, there are certain strengths and weaknesses that stand out to me like a sore thumb.  For Dark Eldar, the first thing I look at is the fact that they can take an unholy amount of heavy weaponry for a very low cost.  Their speed advantage over the other Eldar factions are not really apparent, especially when Eldar vehicles have Star Engines and Harlequins have Blur of Colour.  The one thing that really separates Dark Eldar out from everyone else in the faction is their ability to take a lot of high-strength, AP weapons that deal D3/D6 wounds.  For me, this is a dream because I've always built my Kabal to focus on ranged firepower and there's no better edition than now to spam out some darklight.  You know what else stands out for the Dark Eldar?  Their poisoned weapons.  For opponents facing Dark Eldar poison for the first time, they will be in utter and complete shock as mighty T8 creatures crumble to the weight of forced armor saves.

When it comes to the Eldar, the biggest thing for me as a firepower player is their D-weapons.  This means that most of their wraith constructs are fair game because of the amount of firepower they're able to deliver to the battlefield.  When most of the D-weapons are sporting S10 AP-4 dealing anywhere between 1-D6 wounds, this is a great asset to the Dark Eldar player when he's looking to expand on his ranged arsenal.  This firepower, however, comes at a cost.  The cost is not only tied into more expensive transport options such as the Wave Serpent due to their improved durability, but also from the fact that Wraith models themselves are often quite expensive.  A unit of 5-man Wraithguard with D-Scythes for example is 225 points.  That's a lot of points to pay for 5 models, especially when they can be afflicted by bad morale, blown-up transports or other shenanigans that just pulls models.  With that said, the one big difference between Dark Eldar and Eldar heavy weaponry is that some Eldar weaponry can auto-hit, or can be drastically improved via Guide and Doom with the help of their Farseers.  Lastly, the top things off, the Eldar have Shuriken Cannons that fulfill the unique role of delivering plentiful, mid-strength attacks that can potentially rend.  This compliments Dark Eldar very well because they can bring the high-end lances and poison, while Eldar can bring in the mid-level fire support combined with some really nasty D-weapons.

Well, what about Harlequins?  For me, they don't really have an definitive role in the way I'm currently playing the game.  I'm not very CC-oriented at all and I'm depending a lot on my ranged firepower to keep me in the game.  This, of course, is all subject to change as I play more games, especially against more CC-oriented armies that have a lot of bodies.  For the time being, I'm going to focus a lot of my Ynnari into doing massive amounts of damage from ranged at all range-bands.

So what do you get when you combine the best of Dark Eldar and Eldar together?  You get a shooting force unlike anything you've seen in the game so far.  You have a lot of cost-effective, long-ranged firepower in the form of Dark Lances through 155-point Ravagers, you have mid-ranged S6 shooting from 3x Shuriken Cannons from the Wave Serpents, and once you start getting close, that's when the real pain starts happening.  Wraithguard with D-Scythes will absolutely maul anything they get into range to shoot.  With auto-hitting D-weapons that can continue to deliver pain through the shooting phase, Soulburst triggers or even Overwatch, you have some of the most insane, guaranteed damage in the game.  Even T8 creatures have to fear the DE and Eldar mix because of the presence of rending Shurikens or massed poisoned shots.  All this together is what makes the Ynnari a truly impressive force to behold on the battlefield.

With that said, here is the list I rolled out with on Saturday:

Updated: 6/22/17

1999
Ynnari Battalion - 6 CP, 9 drops

HQ:
Farseer, Singing Spear = 120
Doom, Guide

Warlock, = 37
Conceal/Reveal

TROOP:
5x Warriors, Blaster = 50
Venom, Splinter = 80
130

5x Warriors, Blaster = 50
Venom, Splinter = 80
130

5x Warriors, Blaster = 50
Venom, Splinter = 80
130

ELITE:
5x Wraithguard, D-Scythes = 225
Wave Serpent, VSEngines, 3x Shuriken = 163
388

5x Wraithguard, D-Scythes = 225
Wave Serpent, VSEngines, 3x Shuriken = 163
388

FLYER:
Hemlock Wraithfighter = 211
Conceal/Reveal

HEAVY:
Ravager, 3x Dark Lance = 155
Ravager, 3x Dark Lance = 155
Ravager, 3x Dark Lance = 155

So far, really enjoying it.  It seems to be a very nicely balanced list that has all the proper tools to deal with a large number of threats.  How competitive this list will be still requires some rigorous testing, but it should be a nice list to bring on game nights.

On a side-note, I know how disappointing this might be for a lot of my long-time readers of my Dark Eldar blog, thinking that I've turned my back on the DE as a whole.  To explain myself a little better:  Once the Ynnari came out, I've pretty much decided that's the faction I wanted to play.  They are what the combined might of the Eldar race should be in the first place, something reminiscent of the Eldar before the great Fall.  The pure power and majesty of the Aeldari when everyone puts aside their squabbles is unparalleled.  Once the new codices come out for every faction, I'm sure they're going to add a few changes here and there that will be interesting.  However, none can refute that the Eldar have been reunited once more should take their rightful place in the stars.  First, we gotta kill that son of a bitch Slaanesh.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

DE: The Hemlock and the Crimson Hunter

Space banshees screaming you to death.

Hi everyone.  I've been working on two lists right now that feature both the Hemlock in one list and Crimson Hunters in another list.  My favorite setup right now for the Crimson Hunter is just the stock version with 2x Bright Lances.  They still hit on 3s even with Heavy weapons because of their innate BS of 2+, so they are one of the best damage dealers in the game vs. Flyer units.  They're pretty cheap if you consider their firepower, they can be buffed with Guide and their Pulse Laser is one of the best damage weapons in the game.  The big thing here is that the 3 dmg base is a very damaging weapon vs. anything that has 3-wounds base.  This includes Wraithguard, Nob Bikerz, Crisis Suits, you know, the same units that I think are going to well in this edition.  When you have a weapon that does 2 dmg, you're not quite there and any damage you do on a 3-wound target is slightly wasted.

As for the Hemlock, I don't think this thing needs any introduction.  S10 is a very magical number because this means that you still wound T5 things on 2+.  The AP-4 is just icing on the cake, but the thing that matters the most of the unit is the fact that you have auto-hits with 2D3 with 2-damage each.  I guess you can't have everything, but the fact that you can Overwatch with auto-hitting weapons is just ridiculous against anything trying to melee you in flight.  To make things even more ridiculous, the Hemlock can cast Conceal on itself for a further -1 to hit on top of Hard to Hit, which makes him -2 to hit from ranged attacks.  At T6, 12W, ignoring any BS degradation when taking damage, and Spirit Stones to boot, this is one of the best fighters in the game.  Not to mention that everything around 12" of these guys are automatically at -1 leadership because of Mindshock Pods.  When you combine this with DE PGLs, you can inflict some serious debuffs during the enemy morale phase.  What can I say?  I love the model, I love the lore, and I love how effective they are now in the new edition.  I'm taking two, end of story.

With that said, here's my new list:

1998
Ynnari Spearhead - 4 CP

HQ:
Farseer = 113

TROOP:
5x Warriors, Blaster, PGL = 53
5x Warriors, Blaster, PGL = 53
Raider, Dark Lance, Shock Prow = 116
222

ELITE:
5x Wraithguard, D-Scythes = 225
Wave Serpent, VEngines, Stones, 3x Shuriken = 163
388

5x Wraithguard, D-Scythes = 225
Wave Serpent, VEngines, Stones, 3x Shuriken = 163
388

FLYER:
Hemlock Wraithfighter = 211
Hemlock Wraithfighter = 211

HEAVY:
Ravager, 3x Dark Lance = 155
Ravager, 3x Dark Lance = 155
Ravager, 3x Dark Lance = 155

You'll immediately notice here is that I'm dropping my Battalion detachment for a more elite list.  I only have 2 units of 5-man Warrior squads in a single Raider for troops, Wraithguard with D-Scythes that auto-hit and 2x Hemlocks to do their business against the enemy.  The 3x Ravagers allow me to maintain long-range anti-big stuff pressure, and the Farseer can drop from the Wave Serpents to cast Doom on enemy targets while casting Guide on my Wave Serpents.  Overall, I'm super happy with this list and I think I'm going to practice with it in my next game.

Eldar rules the skies.

Next, here's a Crimson Hunter list that might be effective against enemy Flyers.  They're cheaper than the Wraithfighters, and gives me a little more flexibility through having 2x SC Venoms.

1996
Ynnari Spearhead - 4 CP

HQ:
Farseer = 113

TROOP:
5x Warriors, Blaster, PGL = 53
Venom, 2x Splinter Cannon = 95
148

5x Warriors, Blaster, PGL = 53
Venom, 2x Splinter Cannon = 95
148

ELITE:
5x Wraithguard, D-Scythes = 225
Wave Serpent, VEngines, 3x Shuriken = 153
378

5x Wraithguard, D-Scythes = 225
Wave Serpent, VEngines, 3x Shuriken = 153
378

FLYER:
Crimson Hunter, 2x Brightlance = 183
Crimson Hunter, 2x Brightlance = 183

HEAVY:
Ravager, 3x Dark Lance = 155
Ravager, 3x Dark Lance = 155
Ravager, 3x Dark Lance = 155

Well, what do you guys think?  Which list do you think is better and more flexible?  I'm personally leaning towards the Wraithfighters, but the Crimson Hunters do some serious work against Flyers (cough, enemy Mechdar).

Sunday, June 11, 2017

DE: Meta prediction and Ynnari D-scythes

These guys are really, really good.

I just want to go on the record in making a pretty bold prediction on the meta to come.  After playing my first game yesterday and getting pretty adjusted to the new rules, one of the most impactful things that I noticed first was the change in the wound table.

I firmly believe that the meta going forward will be T5+ toughness models with multiple wounds.  This means stuff like Wraithguard, Nob Bikerz, Crisis Suits, and of course, some transports.  It all depends on cost-effective they will be and how useful their weapon attacks will be.  This prediction mostly comes from the fact that I noticed that S6-9 all wound T5 on 3+ unlike 2+.  That means when it comes to wounding something, these models all received a 50% increase in their overall durability for what can actually inflict wounds on them.  Once you get past the wounding stage, most larger-caliber weapons that can damage them are now doing random damage like D3 or D6.  This means that they can either do solid damage once they get in, or fire for little effect.  Regardless of the damage type, I think wounding the model is most important:  I think the most cost-effective way to dispose of these threats, you high a high-volume of shots either at S3-4 and a crap ton of shots, or plentiful S6-7 with a good amount of AP.  Regardless of which way you go, I think you need more shots, preferably with AP, and consistent damage.  Now I'm starting to look at Disintegrators a little bit harder.

With that said, yesterday's game was mind-opening for a lot of reasons.  Having just played my first game of 8th, I saw first hand the effects of the wound table, no vehicle facing, lack of cover, vehicles making charges, and how various units changed in terms of cost-effectiveness from one edition to another.  Some things just take a little to get used, but others are just a little weird for me.  I've been DE for a really long time and not really using terrain to my full advantage to get cover saves seem really weird to me.  It's a little unsettling at first, especially when I'm not crawling around cover as much as I used to, and just charging them into combat feels a little weird at first.  Of course, this is probably just me being nit-picky, but one can't really deny that in some ways, the earlier editions of 40K felt a bit more tactical with how you placed units carefully and deliberately to get the most out of your cover saves.  With that element gone, I just need to explore other ways to fill that void.

One of the things I'm going to do right away is to try something new for my Dark Eldar and that's to introduce Wraithguard with D-Scythes in Wave Serpents.  After playing against these units yesterday, I was absolutely floored by how effective I think they are.  At 45 ppm, I think they're expensive but worth every penny because of their sheer flexibility when it comes to putting guaranteed damage on things.  They're T5 with 3W a piece at 3+ AS, so they've gotten significantly more durable because of just how the wound table works now.  Their auto-hitting D-Scythes are rather incredible because they're S10 AP-4 1 dmg each, but they get D3 shots for the entire unit so they can go anywhere from 5-15 shots that auto-hit.  This means that they're incredibly lethal not only in attack, but also on Overwatch, and if you kill anything they just trigger Soulburst.  They're not incredibly bad in combat anymore either now because they're while they only have 1 attack, it does it's S5 AP-1 at D3 damage.  They also have Implacable so they can Fall Back out of combat and still shoot.  Once I saw what Ynnari D-scythes can do, I immediately went out and bought 2 boxes because man, it was just unreal flexibility.  Even their 5" movement seems like a scam because all their weapons are Assault and if you Advance with them, they can move on average ~8.5" and still fire with 8" range for an average threat range of 16.5".  For a weapon of this magnitude, that's incredible.

Other units I was pleased with:  My Ravagers and my Hemlock did some serious work, and my gunboats in general felt like they put out a good amount of damage.  My Trueborn died after my Venoms got put down, but overall I learned a lot about the new edition.  I'll tell you what though, I really liked the Wave Serpents in this edition.  The T7 is great, 13W with 16" range is also great, they can take 3x Shuriken Cannons for 9 shots at S6 pseudo-rending, and can advance 2D6 with Star Engines and Vectored Engines makes it so enemies shooting at you are at -1 to Hit.  The Serpent Shield is just icing on the cake, reducing every bit of damage you take and bursting for D3 mortal wounds whenever you need it to happen.

With that said, here's a new list that I've been working on:

2000
Ynnari Battalion - 6 CP

HQ:
Archon, Agonizer, Blaster, PGL = 76
Archon, Agonizer, Blaster, PGL = 76

TROOP:
7x Warriors, Blaster = 64
Raider, Dark Lance, Shock Prow = 116
180

5x Warriors, Blaster = 50
5x Warriors, Blaster = 50
Raider, Dark Lance, Shock Prow = 116
216

ELITE:
5x Wraithguard, D-Scythes = 225
Wave Serpent, VS Engines, 3x Shuriken = 163
388

5x Wraithguard, D-Scythes = 225
Wave Serpent, VS Engines, 3x Shuriken = 163
388

FLYER:
Hemlock Wraithfighter = 211

HEAVY:
Ravager, 3x Dark Lance = 155
Ravager, 3x Dark Lance = 155
Ravager, 3x Dark Lance = 155

The VS Engines stand for Vectored Star Engines, but that just means I put both of them on there.  Again, I'm trading less poisoned shots here because of the overall reduction of Warriors, but I'm making up for it with 18 S6 Shuriken shots that are bound to make a difference on more durable shooting platforms.

I can also change this around to add a Farseer for the Doom/Fortune and stick him in a Wave Serpent to be dropped off with the Wraithguard, but for now I think I'm going to try my luck with no additional psyker support.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

DE: Strength from Death

Some really nice art recently.

In my last article, I talked about how I'm going to re-purpose my list to make it more Ynnari.  Let's just say that I'm looking at this from the angle that excited to try quite a few things, some of the them very new to this edition.

The first one being that you can put multiple units inside a transport and that's going to shake things up a bit.  Having 2x squads of 5-man Warriors with Blasters inside a transport gives me greater sources of units to trigger Soulburst once something dies.  Blasters are still very good weapons to have when you're doing a lot of movement, and having 8/16 poison shots with 2x Blasters per Raider is still very respectable.  The extra units gives me more opportunities to Soulburst while keeping my overall firepower the same.

The next thing I want to talk about is the addition of the Hemlock Wraithfighter.  OK, so this thing might be one of the best flyers in the book.  It has pretty good durability for a Flyer, especially if you take the Reveal/Conceal power that allows it to give it a further -1 to Hit from ranged attacks.  It already has the Hard to Hit special rule so having Conceal on top of it is a very nice to have.  The big thing about this Flyer is its damage potential being 2D3 S10 AP-4 2 damage auto-hitting attacks.  You just need to be within 16" of this weapon and you're going to be rolling out some damage, end of story.  Even if you take damage and you start degrading in hull, you're still going to auto-hit with your weapons so it doesn't really matter.  The Hemlock can either throw out Smite or Conceal, but it can also Horrify if you so choose to start stacking leadership debuffs.  Combined with the Mindshock Pod, PGL and Horrify, you can impose a -3 leadership to a single target and that might be all the difference with the new morale system.

Speaking of PGL, let's talk about upgrades for a second.  There's two upgrades that I really like, and that's Shock Prows for 1 point and PGL for 3 points.  Shock Prows just gives you a single S6 -1 1 damage attack (or D3 when it charges) for 1 point and I think that's a pretty fair ask.  PGL is another great upgrade because it's readily available on almost every infantry unit including HQs, and it's a 18" range Assault D3 weapon that only needs to hit negatively affect the unit.  With how shooting works now, if you have multiple PGLs in a unit, you can literally spread the -1 Ld. love everywhere.  This means more units that can be affected by Mindshock, and more units will be afflicted with leadership penalties when testing for morale.  At 3 ppm and readily available on most units, I see these as a higher priority buy than something like the Blast Pistol or even the extra Splinter Cannon buy on the Venom.

When it comes to luxury upgrades, I'm really starting to see BP and SC as luxury.  Even PGL is luxury if you think about it, and so is Shock Prows.  I would only take these upgrades if I have no room for anything else.  The way I prioritize it is by looking at how much use I can get out of these upgrades.  How many times am I expected to use my Blast Pistol in my playstyle vs. the Splinter Cannon on the Venom?  I expect to use my SC much more certainly, so it would take priority over the BP.  What about SC compared to the PGL?  A single extra SC or Blaster upgrade can buy me 5 sets of PGL for example, so I would consider this a better upgrade overall if I'm playing the debuff leadership game.  Sometimes my OCD bleeds in a bit here because I roughly like my units to be pretty uniform.  As you can see from the list below, not having a Blaster on the 5-man unit of Warriors is literally driving me insane, but I just don't have the points for it!  I guess overall, that's not too bad because the 2x Archons riding in it is giving me 2x Blaster shots at a higher BS.

OK, then what do you think about taking Agonizers on everyone?  This is a more applicable upgrade sure, but it's also about how much value you're getting out of the upgrade.  Agonizers are not created equal even though they cost the same points on everything.  Taking an Agonizer on an Archon with 5 attacks that hit on 2s that comes stock with a 2++ Shadowfield is a lot different than shitty unit champion that dies like a bitch and hits on 3s.  This is difference in maximizing your upgrade potential and something that all players need to do if they're to squeeze maximum value out of their armies.

Anyways, here's the list updated list:

1999
Ynnari Battalion - 6 CP, 10 drops

HQ:
Archon, Agonizer, Blaster, PGL = 76
Archon, Agonizer, Blaster, PGL = 76

TROOP:
5x Warriors, PGL = 38
Raider, Dark Lance, Shock Prow = 116
154

5x Warriors, Blaster = 50
5x Warriors, Blaster = 50
Raider, Dark Lance, Shock Prow = 116
216

5x Warriors, Blaster = 50
5x Warriors, Blaster = 50
Raider, Dark Lance, Shock Prow = 116
216

ELITE:
5x Trueborn, 4x Blaster = 115
Venom, Splinter Cannon = 80
195

5x Trueborn, 4x Blaster = 115
Venom, Splinter Cannon = 80
195

5x Trueborn, 4x Blaster = 115
Venom, Splinter Cannon = 80
195

FLYER:
Hemlock Wraithfighter = 211

HEAVY:
Ravager, 3x Dark Lance = 155
Ravager, 3x Dark Lance = 155
Ravager, 3x Dark Lance = 155

The first Raider is literally a grenade boat, giving me 3 sources to spread out grenades all the while shooting with Blasters from 2+ to hit Archons.  Once the party starts and I need to get in close combat, the Archons with the Agonizers will hopefully go to town and do some work.  I made a lot of large-scale sacrifices here for the Hemlock, but I think the Hemlock is one of the best units that the Aeldari has to offer.  I think for now, I'm going to stay away from the Horrify and go with the Reveal/Conceal power instead.  The -2 to hit from all sources ranged is just too good to pass up on.

Analyzing overall firepower again, what has changed really?  Well.. less poisoned shots overall because of the cheaper Venoms and a few less Warriors.  No Dark Lances on the Warriors but increased potential for Soulburst with Blasterwars might be a bit of a lateral trade.  All in all, I have less long-ranged damage potential but more close-ranged potential, and I gain the Hemlock which gives me some serious auto-hitting 2D3 S10 AP-4 D2 firepower.  The leadership shenanigans is a great nice to have, but nothing you can realistically form your battleplan around.

Total numbers look something like:
12 Dark Lances
18 Blasters
2 Heavy D-Scythes
3 Splinter Cannons
3 Twin Splinter Rifles
24 Splinter Rifles

Thursday, June 8, 2017

DE: We are finally One

We are together again.

One of the things that I enjoy the most right now is looking at all of the options in the Aeldari faction and studying them for use in my Dark Eldar army.  This shouldn't be completely new to anyone who's familiar with allies in the last couple of editions, but the big standout here is that you can no longer do completely broken things with them.  Certain transports can only transport in-faction, and psyker spells or character auras only affect specific or otherwise, in-faction units.  I think this is a great thing because while we are now one faction, it still offers this individuality that makes each sub-faction unique and flavorful, all the while not making things too broken.

Don't get me wrong, there are still a couple of combos in here that I find rather interesting.  Things like the Hemlock's Mindshock + Horrify + PGL can make for some crazy leadership bombs, all the while getting even crazier if it's Turn 5 and you're playing Dark Eldar main and Power from pain is in full effect.  I'm sure combos like this exist throughout all the factions in the book currently, but these are often stars-aligned scenarios where everything must be just perfect in order for something big to happen.  This is the extent of something on the cheeky side, as GW put in specific keywords and rules to prevent further shenanigans.  Hell, even Guide can only work on Eldar units while Shadowfields can no longer be re-rolled for any reason.  I can't even put my Trueborn with Blasters into Starweavers because those seats are taken by Masque units only.  On one hand, my competitive side is a bit upset, but on the other I see some wonderfully thought-out balance while keeping sub-faction flavors in full bloom.

I'll tell you one thing though:  I really think Dark Eldar will benefit the most from being Ynnari.  There's just way too many instances where Strength from Death and out of sequence movement, shooting and fighting is so strong.  Dark Eldar units are also perfect for dying, and killing things with lethal efficiency, so in actuality they're probably the best sub-faction of Aeldari (it's going to take a while for this word to stick) to capitalize on triggering these events.  Small fragile units tend to die hastily, so even a unit of Blasterborn dying out of anguish will trigger another squad nearby to annihilate something.  Even someone like the Solitaire will get plenty of action out of this because he can possibly attack multiple times a turn.  At this point, you can basically assume that most of my DE army lists will be Ynnari.  They just make sense for me for many reasons:  The first being that I think the Eldar faction has finally come together and accepted their fate, and I can also use it as my reasoning for including seemingly random Aeldari units in my primarily DE army.  The fact that I think their flavor bonus is much more flexible and powerful than Battle Focus, Power from Pain and Rising Crescendo is just icing on the cake.

I don't think I've been this excited to play 40K since Dark Eldar got their book in 5th.  My first game will be early next week, and I'm busting out the Ynnari.  I'll keep you guys posted.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

8th Ed. 40K and Dark Eldar

Hell.. it's about time!

Man.. it's been a long time since I thought about Dark Eldar and 40K.  To give you guys an idea how long it took, last night I went through my entire garage frantically looking for them because I forgot where I put them.  After moving through a hundred or so boxes of random stuff, there they were, neatly tucked into various DE boxes remembering the distant glory days of 5th Ed.  Don't get me wrong, I've played the other editions of 40K, but after allies-mixing, Telepathy-driven, re-rollable invul save stacking deathstars started infesting the game, I knew it was time to take a break.  Let's not forget that Dark Eldar was basically the first book out in the new edition and they got the Tomb Kings treatment in terms of power-level and flavorless design.  Good thing that's all behind us now.

Can you believe it's been a year and a half since I made a post about Dark Eldar?  Seriously, take a look at this post back in Jan '16.  Since then, I've pretty much only played FFG games because I couldn't take GW seriously anymore.  First it was the Age of Sigmar stuff (when it was first released), and then it was all the 40K shenanigans that basically made me contemplate selling everything that I had GW-related.  The only thing I have now is my Dark Eldar, I just couldn't part with them just yet knowing that 8th Ed. 40K was around the corner.  Now that I've seen GW turn a new leaf time and time again, I knew it was time to get back into the game and see what the new edition can give me.  It's been a long time since I played 40K or anything that GW's made, but that hasn't made me soft in terms of army construction or list design.  No, no.. I think I've actually gotten a little better now I see things with fresh eyes in a new edition where every faction gets a complete reboot.  When was the last time GW rebooted every single army at the same time and balanced it around competitive play with the feedback from the game's most dedicated tournament players?  Never.  That alone has gets me pretty freaking excited.

Now that the preface crap is over and done with, let's take a look at what gets me excited about Dark Eldar in the new edition.  I'll just list out some of the stuff below, but keep in mind that if you follow me here that I have, and will always be a Kabal-only player.  I love Dark Eldar's ability to bring superior firepower through movement and that's exactly how I'm going to design my army lists.  Let me start with my "unit bucket"; which is essentially a list of units that I think I'll enjoy playing with and the pieces of what will eventually become my army.

Current bucket of stuff that caught my eye:
  • Archon, Agonizer, Blaster = 73
  • Succubus, Agonizer = 76
  • 5x Warriors, Blaster = 50
  • 10x Warriors, Blaster, Dark Lance = 105
  • 9x Wyches, Agonizer = 85
  • Raider, Dark Lance, Shock Prow = 116
  • Ravager, 3x Dark Lance = 155
  • Razorwing, 2x Dark Lance = 155
  • Venom, 2x SC = 95
  • 5x Trueborn, 4x Blaster = 115
  • Solitaire = 117
  • Crimson Hunter, 2x Bright Lance = 183
  • Hemlock Wraithfighter = 211

Keep in mind that in the last couple of days, I've been studying all of the units for all the factions.  There are some things in there that make me cringe, or standout as WOW!, but generally there's nothing where I'm like, holy hell this is completely and utterly broken.  There's a few strong synergies out there which is cool, but what's got me the most excited is that there's none of the shennigans that I saw in the previous editions.  It's almost like if you got competitive players together and said, GO BREAK OUR GAME, that they actually can.  Good, GW is learning, and that's a fantastic thing.

Rambling on:  I really like some of the costs here for the units that you get.  Archon with the Agonizer and the Blaster for example is a very nice buy for 73 points.  You get the same # of attacks now always, Agonizer is affordable and offers a bit of a punch, nothing crazy but wounding on 4+ on everything is still rock solid.  2+ to hit with a Blaster is also very nice, and he's probably my go-to HQ for shooty-based lists that takes advantage of a lot of blasters.  Succubus is also quite affordable, giving her a Agonizer to dual-wield with the Archite Glaive gives her flexibility in how she can fight targets.  Wyches also received a pretty decent buff, how hitting everything on 3+ with 8" move, and you can select the kind of drug you give to them to increase their killing potential (like +1 attack or strength).  Not to mention now they can keep things in combat if you roll decently.  With the price of the Agonizer being really cheap, I don't reason to not have one in every unit of Wyches.  Again, very happy with them.  When it comes to Trueborn, or Blasterborn the way I take them, they're still as powerful if not more powerful than they were before.  Whereas before a single Blaster had a chance to kill a Land Raider, this is no longer going to be the case.  However, Splinter weapons now have a chance to wound every vehicle on a 6+ and thus, increasing your overall lethality vs. vehicles in other departments.  As you can see with the setup that I run my Trueborn, I still believe that a healthy (or rather exaggerated) amount of Dark Lances is what's really worth paying for.  Just being to wound most things in the game on 2s, the most durable vehicles on 3s, and the mighty Wraithknight on 4s with -4 and D3 wounds per Blaster is worth every penny.

Taking names.. or was it souls?

When it comes to vehicles, you guys should know that every Kabal player runs his Dark Eldar vehicle heavy.  The one caveat here is that in the new edition vehicles and transports specifically changed drastically.  They are both more expensive and a tad bit more durable at the same time.  Most importantly, they are now more accurate and lethal on the move, and they can move even further than before.  Having Night Shields for example on all my Raiders and Ravagers is beautiful.  That innate 5+ Invulnerable is basically the reason I took Flickerfields on everything back in the day.  Being able to stop damage is incredibly important, especially now that you just can't claim cover saves on everything.  On the Venom, you have both the -1 to hit Flickers and Night Shields to reduce the amount of damage you have coming in.  Having T5 with 6W and a mediocre 4+ save is really kinda meh, but having the -1 hit modifier and 5+ invul will really help keep this thing alive.  On a minus point though, not having cover in the majority of cases will hurt, especially against heavier weaponry.

A few things to note here on the vehicles in general:  Due to their price, I'm unsure on a couple of things, especially the fliers.  I'm not entirely sure if they're worth it this edition, even if they're usually at -1 to hit and have an invul save in the case of the Razorwing and Voidraven.  Let me know what you guys think about this, I'd really like to hear your reasoning.  I do like that being in-faction with Eldar and Harlequins now, I can take the Crimson Hunter if I really want a flyer, but again, the cost is a little prohibitive.  I do find the Crimson Hunter to be a little better value than the Razorwing though, since having 2x Bright Lances and a Pulse Laser is no joke, especially if you move the unit right with Wings of Khaine.

Alright, now the moment you've all been waiting for.  What the hell have I been tinkering with in the last couple of days?  Well.. as a preface, let me just say that overall, I'm pretty satisfied with the new edition and how it fits into my playstyle.  DE can now move and shoot with a lot of heavy weapons very well, and the innate 5+ invul on all their vehicles gives me a lot of flexibility in how I engage the enemy.  I can sit back and enjoy some range advantage with my Dark Lances, or I can really move my Raiders and Ravagers into good firing positions, advance even, and let loose with heavy weapons with a slight accuracy debuff.  What really gets me excited is that you can now move further, fire at full BS with heavy weapons with your vehicles, while the guys inside can get really excited now that they're in rapid-fire or assault range as well.  Overall, the threat range of all your heaviest weapons have increased by a ton, and your overall shooting damage remains one of the highest in the game.  These combine together to give you incredible reach in both shooting and melee, which makes you probably the premiere alpha-strike faction in the game (as the Eldar Gods intended).

With that said, here's the list:

2000
Battalion Detachment - 6 CP

HQ:
Archon, Agonizer, Blaster, PGL = 76
Archon, Agonizer, Blaster, PGL = 76

TROOP:
8x Warriors, Blaster, Blast Pistol = 81
Raider, Dark Lance = 115
196

10x Warriors, Blaster, Dark Lance = 105
Raider, Dark Lance = 115
220

10x Warriors, Blaster, Dark Lance = 105
Raider, Dark Lance = 115
220

ELITE:
5x Trueborn, 4x Blaster = 115
Venom, 2x Splinter Cannon = 95
210

5x Trueborn, 4x Blaster = 115
Venom, 2x Splinter Cannon = 95
210

5x Trueborn, 4x Blaster = 115
Venom, 2x Splinter Cannon = 95
210

Solitaire = 117

HEAVY:
Ravager, 3x Dark Lance = 155
Ravager, 3x Dark Lance = 155
Ravager, 3x Dark Lance = 155

What you guys see right here is my classic Dark Eldar.  Go ahead and look at some of my posts dating back towards the early days of 5th and you'll see I'm pretty much playing the same way.  The only difference here is that the damage model has changed, vehicles went up in price for more survivalbility and application, and open-top vehicles are no joke in letting your guys rip while moving all across the battlefield.  Damage in general has spiked this edition so expect things to die a lot quicker than before.  This is both a blessing and a curse because while you're going to be doing a crap ton of damage to the enemy, he's going to be able to dish back the same amount to you.  Thankfully, you're a little more durable now than you ever were in the previous editions.

Raiders and Ravagers, these are a few of my favorite things.

First, let's look at the HQs choices.  I took two Archons that are exactly the same, but they're your basic Blastercons with PGLs and Agonizers.  Like I said previously, I don't really see a reason why you shouldn't take Agonizers on these guys because quite frankly, I don't like how the Huskblade has been represented.  The threat of ID isn't there anymore so why bother?  For 4 extra ppm for a better weapon IMO, why the hell not?  2+ to hit with Blasters is great and Shadowfields will take shots all day because they're a minimal investment for the points spent on them.  PGL because I have the points and it can be entertaining later on once Power from Pain kicks in full gear, and both of these guys will be riding shotgun in the Raider with 8 Warriors.  All in all, I've loaded up with Raider gunboats and gave them Dark Lances so they can play the ranged game while being portable lanceboats moving and shooting all the way.  I mean, being able to shoot open-top while moving with a heavy weapon only imposes a -1 hit on the dude inside.  Oh no!  Not 4+ to hit!  It's honestly a non-factor considering that 4+ is still a very solid way to deal out S8 -4 D6 damage shots, even on the move.  Rest of the gunboats need no introduction, being able to deal out both lance damage and Poisoned shots that are now capable of pinging vehicles to death.

Venoms are there carrying all the Blasterborn, complete with 4x Blasters per unit for maximum firepower.  The 2x Splinter Cannons is not as silly as before, but keep in mind that their fire range is still 36" and you can claim the same 12 Poisoned shots as before at 18".. which is conveniently your kill zone with Blasters as well.  Speaking of kill range, let's look at something really quick when it comes to overall firepower before we dig into the rest of the list.

Let's talk firepower really quick:
  • If you're not moving, you're going to get 9 Dark Lances from the Ravagers, 3 from each Raider, 2 from the guys inside two of them.  That's 14 Dark Lances at 3+ to hit at pretty freaking far range.  If you move let's say 14" with everyone for a combined threat range of 50", you will still have 12 Dark Lances at full BS and 2 firing at 4+ to hit.
  • The real fun begins once you realize that your Blasters join in on the action with the Venoms and Raiders pouncing on the enemy.  Venoms have 16" move, 18" from the Blasters for 34" threat range, Raiders with slightly lower at 32", all of which drastically increases the killing potential of your entire army many times over.  Sure, Blasters are not as powerful as Dark Lances, but it's the S8 AP-4 with D3 wounds that really matter.  It's still enough to eat MEQ alive, overkill on GEQ, and the sheer # of them hitting on 3s will melt vehicles.  If your entire army is within 18" of the enemy, you will throw out 16 Blasters, 2 hitting on 2s and the rest hitting on 3s, in addition to 14 Dark Lances.  That's 30 S8 AP-4 shots people, and that's not laughing matter (to the enemy that is).
  • Poison shooting is not as outrageous as last edition to missing Splinter Racks, but having 28" threat rapid-fire range compared to what, 18" as before is absolutely tremendous.  That means your alpha strike potential is much larger, and your ability to maintain a safe distance and whittle down the enemy with heavy weaponry, before jumping into his face to riddle him with Poison fire is greatly increased.

Lastly, I have the most flexible part of my list and the ultimate sign that I'm probably a casual player now:  I have a random Solitaire in my list because I have absolutely no CC components and I think this is one of the coolest models ever made.  For 117 points, he's actually not that bad.  The idea is for him to get into CC to support the dual-Archon team and to literally start punching through people, mainly MEQ or lower.  He pops his Blitz, comes flipping and dancing across the battlefield with 30" threat and piles in on whatever combat he feels like doing.  Otherwise, he just stays out of sight and hides behind some cover or something.

If I want, I can also cut a few things here and there (mainly the extra SC on the Venoms) and take a Crimson Hunter instead.  I get a little more anti-armor potential and my list turns purely shooty, and plus I get to play with my favorite air unit the game.  Again, a random casual idea but very fulfilling for me.  Hell, even the Hemlock Wraithfight is starting to look pretty freaking incredible (it actually is).  I might even convert this entire army into Ynnari so I can take advantage of Strength from Death on all of my shooty infantry units after they've been shot out of their vehicles.

Alright, this is what I have for now.  I'll probably end up spamming this blog for a while and let you guys know how the list does, how it evolves and what other kinds of things I can think of for DE.