Saturday, October 16, 2010

Must-takes and configurations


I have a confession to make:  I am going Dark Eldar when they come out.  Not because I'm a band-wagoner thinking they're going to be amazing, but because I have "space elf" roots.  I used to be a Eldar player back in 4th Ed. and they were utterly ridiculous.  In a way, I feel cheated of my experience because they were so good.  That pissed me off, so I sold the army and picked up Space Wolves.  Now that Dark Eldar is here, I think it's time to feed my heart's dark side and mental perversions and just go for it.  I always wanted to play Dark Elves in Fantasy, and now I finally get that chance.. in space!  To be honest, I think Dark Eldar are going to be the perfect balance between deadliness and expertise.  Only the best generals will be able to win consistently and I personally see this as a skill test to myself.

So now the cat's out of the bag, I'm going to go through some must take units and weapon configurations.  Below is my updated unit bucket with units that I like.  Keep in mind that even though the units I like are normally based on cost effectiveness, I also like to preserve a certain theme.  For that reason, I'm missing Haemonculii and their furry friends in the list below.


  • Vect = 240
  • The Serpent = 150
  • Lady Malys = 130
  • Archon (Shadow Field, Husk Blade, Combat Drugs, Soul Trap) = 145
  • Archon (Shadow Field, Agonizer, Combat Drugs, Phantasm GL) = 145
  • 10x Warriors (Blaster, Splinter Cannon) = 115
  • 10x Wyches (Hekatrix/Agonizer, 2x Hydra Gauntlets) = 150
  • 9x Incubii (Klavex, Bloodstone, Onslaught) = 243
  • 10x Trueborn (4x Blasters, 2x Splinter Cannons) = 200
  • 9x Reaver Jetbikes (3x Blasters, 3x Cluster Caltrops, Grav-Talon) = 313
  • 10x Scourge (4x Blasters or 4x Splinter Cannons) = 280 or 260
  • Ravager (Night Shield, Flickerfield) = 125
  • Voidraven Bomber (Night Shield, Flickerfield, Shatterfield Missile) = 175
  • Raider (Night Shield, Aethersails) = 75
  • Venom (2x Splinter Cannons) = 65

You guys see anything you like?  The HQ choices are what I consider to be the best in the book and the troop choices are also quite obvious.  Warriors are 10-strong without a champion because I think they're a complete waste of space.  Without grenades or a high enough WS, I think putting any special weapon in their hands is just a waste.  Leave the shooting up to the Warriors and close combat to the Wyches.  Don't bother with Bloodbrides because Wyches are better for the cost.  If you really need something to rip things up in melee, you might as well take Incubii because they're amazing for their cost.  Just remember to keep an Archon with PGL in that squad so they can take full advantage of grenades.  If you need heavy shooting, I would go with the Trueborn in a Raider.  Four Blasters and 2x Splinter Cannons comes at a cheap cost of 200.  If you noticed anything about the lists above, I prefer Splinter Cannons over Dark Lances simply because you can always apply pressure - even on the move.  You can even opt to go with Scourges since you can equip them with heavy weapons such as Haywire Launchers, Heat Lances or Blasters.  For anti-infantry fast choices, 9x Reaver Jetbikes can put out a good amount of wounds on anything outside transports when turbo-boosting 36".  The prices on them, however, is something that I need to see in practice before I decide completely.

Quick note:  Do the Grav-Talons add an additional D3 S4 hits on top of the Reavers' Bladevines?

As for transports, I see two kinds of full transports for Dark Eldar.  The first is the Venom; which can function as a poisoned shooting platform with its 2x Splinter Cannons.  This enforces the MSU style of play for Dark Eldar and that's just not something I can see myself playing.  Small units of T3 5+ might as well hang a huge sign that says FREE KILL POINTS right over their head.  For that reason alone, Venoms are out for me.  This leaves us with the humble Raider.  I can see two methods of playing with the Raider and they both come with Aethersails.  When you consider the uses of +2d6" extra movement in the movement phase, you can see why the +5 extra points is well worth it.  Even though the Raider or units on/disembarking from the Raider can't shoot the next round, they act as faster contenders and assault unit transports.  Other than Aethersails, Night Shields are a must-have for any Raider that wants to play with range-abusing shooting strategies.  Warriors and Trueborn love Raiders with Night Shields because it gives them room to play with their guns.  Either case, they should have Aethersails just in case you got some transports remaining and you need some objectives taken/contested.

What about you guys?  What units and configurations do you find yourselves using?  I'm really curious about everyone's loadout because I'm trying to find other ideal configurations out there.  Dark Eldar are very cunning.. and that's a trait that's quite desired.

24 comments:

Sean said...

I want to add a squad that one of my friends has nicknamed.. The Duke Nukem squad.

9 trueborn 7 carbines 2 cannons, lead by The Duke.. It mathhammers out to 4.2 dead/wounded 3+ armor save marine/mc.

I agree with your incubi unit, You could effectivly work that with just 6-8 guys and save some points. Thats just my opinion.

Personally, I'm not a fan of Aethersails, but They might grow on me. I'm used to my old raiders.

Anonymous said...

Aethersails are amazing. Comparing that with red paint from the orkz proves codex creep. Even with the worst possible roll it is still double the boost for the same points.

Tom said...

Don't forget the 6inch move in the assault phase for the Reavers - not that big a deal but it can make a huge difference late in the game

Somewhatdamaged said...

you do know you cant disembark from a vehicle that uses the aethersails right?

HERO said...

Exact quote please. I read the entry on Aethersails a good amount of times.. and I'm pretty sure you can still disembark, just can't shoot.

Zheilt said...

Lol, what tournament are you running that list in?

I'm going to be running trueborn in a Venom armed with blasters and nothing else. They just seem too expensive to take a full squad of in a Raider, but also too good not to take any.

10 warriors with a cannon in a raider is the best loadout option. Throw in a blaster if you have the points at the end, and it will be a unit that can put a serious hurt on armour and infantry alike.

Personally, I like the 5++ on the transports better than then nightshield. Maybe in practice the extra range will save you from small arms fire, but the 5++ puts the raider somewhere between AV11 and AV12 for durability.

I think scourges should be either heat lances or cannons. Any of the other options just seem like they would be better in other squads. Mine are going to have HL for a while and if I find them redundant I will switch up to SC for the lulz.

Incubi. Better or worse than harlies? Yes they get power weapons and a transport, but harlies are no slouch. I'm currently leaning towards the harlequins mostly because the models have always been favs of mine, but the incubi are also my favorites of the new DE models. What are your thoughts? Why are you taking one over the other?

Zheilt said...

Oh, also, why hydra gauntlets? I think razorflails are mathematically superior, and more reliable to boot.

HERO said...

Oh, this isn't a tournament list. It's just a list of things I find kick ass. Flickerfields on Raiders are pretty decent option, but I'd rather have melta immunity and range mindwars. Over the years, I've gotten really good at guessing ranges and I think Night Shields will work better for me. They also work a lot better in the times you have to deploy your units on the board and you're going second. For example, there's a piece of terrain in front of you and you can only for 3 Raiders behind it. Stick the two that you can't fit at the back of your lines and it'll most likely out-range all your opponent's first turn shots.

The thing about the Venom is that I don't like small squads. Too easy to kill and in KP missions, this can move against you quickly.

There's a discussion going on about the Incubi vs. Harlequins and you can find them in a post earlier this week. I've been convinced of Incubi because you can take a transport for them, kill more MEQ, survive more hits back and the new models look badass. Harlequins are going to be better at killing MCs though.

Tom said...

You can't disembark on the turn you use the Enhanced Aethersails and the vehicle and passengers can't shoot in the subsequent shooting phase. P63 DE Codex

HERO said...

Oh I think we misunderstood eachother. I wasn't planning to disembark on the turn that I moved, I was planning to get out and assault next turn. Aethersails are a cheap man's version of Star Engines hehe. I just want my transports to move fast(er) when I want them and get a little further up the board on turn 1. Cheers!

Zheilt said...

That's a good point about nightshields mitigating melta. I hadn't thought about that. Certainly makes them even more alluring. Gee thanks, now I'm going to have to actually think about which to take.

What you say is true about harlies and MC's, and raises a point I had not thought of in my analysis. S3 power weapons just don't seem that great to me against anything with higher than T4. That being said, the rest of the army tears up higher T targets pretty well with all of the SX around but has little in the way of dedicated anti-armor save. Use those splinter cannons to take out the MC's and T5 stuff, and sic the incubi on the termies. I may have to look up that discussion and rethink my list.

Ahrimaneus said...

Keep in mind that the incubi's power weapons are S4 (two handed pw with +1 to Str). This makes them a lot more hard hitting vs. everything. Take that, along with the AP3 bloodstone, onslaught, and the possibility of FC for S5 power weapon attacks, and I'm forseeing a pretty fearsome unit.

On another note: can Haemunculi take PGL? Because I'm thinking Incubi with a haemonculus to give them FNP, Grenades, and possibly with a flesh gauntlet to scare multi-wound MC's could get pretty silly pretty fast

HERO said...

No, I don't think Haemonculi can take PGL :(

Zheilt said...

I wasn't aware that their pw made them S4. That makes them a lot more enticing. Hmm, I'll have to run some numbers on them and reevaluate. Shame, I was getting rather excited about finally getting to use the harlequin models. Maybe I'll just use them anyways. =P

Sean said...

you could still use harlies. I'm finding out that now every unit in the codex has a use, yes even you mandrakes! Harlies will best be used in hth fighting say orcs. They have 2 base attacks, +1 for their kiss/pistol(if you don't have a kiss your wrong imo) meaning they have 4 str 4(FC) attacks with rending each. plus they can survive the hidden PF in the unit. Incubi obviously are against high armor. So, if you know your environment you can make adjustments, especially when trying to make an all-comers list.

HERO said...

On the subject of Hydra Gauntlets - I have no idea which one is better. I'm taking Hydra Gaunts simply because they function as if I have another Wych in the unit. So a unit of 10 with 2x Hydra Gaunts will put out roughly the same as 12 Wyches (that you can't fit in a Raider). Yes/No? I'm tired :(

Zheilt said...

That's true about the HG. I've just been going off the assumption that with rr to hit and to wound, the only thing keeping a model alive is its armor save, whereas a few extra attacks still might not make it through. Also, the unreliability factor. Bring gauntlets and you're sure to roll 6's against every 3-strong IG squad, and 1's against TWC.

Suppose the other benefit of the gauntlets is that arguably the best combat drug result (rr to wound) is useless to the flails.

Karnstein said...

I think incubi beat any other elite choice in terms of cc power. 3+ with possible FNP is just sweet and you don't rely on rolling those 6's against models with a 2+ or 3+ save.

I also play eldar and quins are not my first eldar choice, even with the possible boost from doom and/or fortune. Depending on how you interpret the pain rule, you could do some token-shifting mojo with quins. But then you forfeit the flip belt ability and you need to keep an archon attached to them.

So I rather go for archon+haemi as HQ and a small squad of incubi in a raider. If I don't roll the free token combat drug result, I can attach the haemi to the incubi squad and depending on how the game flows I either disembark both or keep him in the raider, transfering the token to the incubi squad. I I roll the token drug result, I can either use the same tactic and boost my wyches with the archon, or if the enemy has a serious death star unit I attach the haemi to the wyches and run the archon with his drug token along the incubi.

concering the wych weapons: Unless you use loaded dice for both the combat drug chart and the hydra gauntlet, the flail is the superior choice.

For example: If you charge without one of the cc-boosting drug rolls, a flail witch creates 1,68 wounds against t3 and 1,25 against t4. To beat that you would need to roll a 5 for the d6 if you charge WS4 t3 models or a 6 if you fight against a MEQ.

Anyway, I'm even not sure if those weapons are a good investment at all. You're not increasing your power that much and unless the squad is already at max size you can get a similar result with another wych.

Flail against MEQ vs 2 naked wyches

w/o any cc upgrades: 1,25 wounds vs 1 wound
with +WS = 1,48 wounds vs 1,33 wounds
with +S = 1,68 wounds vs 1,5 wounds
with +A = 1,66 wounds vs 1,33 wounds
with rr= 1,25 wounds vs 1,66

Sure, the flail is ahead in most cases but you're not going to rip marines or orks a new one with wyches. For me wyches are more of a cc tarpit unit against guys with a lot of power weapon attacks, or as a cheap scoring shield unit to hide my archon in. So I rather skip the wych weapon at all or go for the net+impaler, trying to reduce the attacks of nasty stuff like fist or cc terminators. Tying up two models with impaler wych keeps ~1 girl alive against stuff who work around FNP. If you compare impaler vs flail, you only score 0,78 more wounds, which translates into a plus of 0,25 more marines or 0,128 more terminators killed. If a wych unit wins a combat against those guys, it comes from keeping the girls alive will the hekatrix and the archon slice stuff with their power weapons.

Zheilt said...

Do Incubi get combat drugs? I didn't think they did.

Also, Incubi certainly are more killy than Harlequins, but you have to take a Raider to get them there.

9 Harlies + kisses + SS is about the same points as 7 Incubi with a Klavex, Onslaught, and a Raider. In these numbers, the 2 pretty much break even with one being stronger against some statlines and the other against others. The Incubi give you another Raider with a DL though.

Ugh. This is such a hard choice. Maybe I'll just take the incubi so I can finally use my Drazhar model.

Somewhatdamaged said...

HERO:
'A model with aethersails can move an additional 2D6", though passengers may not disembark that turn, and the vehicle and passengers may not shoot in the following shooting phase'

HERO said...

Yes, I know. I already made a comment about it above.

Anonymous said...

re: aethersails - they basically extend your flat out even further, so you can contest (claim with loaded troops) objecties easier (if you have alive raiders by game end)... and move closer to enemy in the first turn mad dash. The last one I presume is best against armies hugging the table edges or corners (Tau?)...

Anonymous said...

ok, we have next wave of the advance orders on GW site... 18 pounds per 5 metal mandrakes (boy do they look badass... but so many better choices for elite slot that we will see few if any), 15 pounds for 5 plastic hellions (so horde hellions of Baron are viable after all...)

Anonymous said...

10x incubi will kill 10 marines a turn. hands down. thats 3 attacks if you use the demi klaives for the extra attacks with onslaught.

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