Tuesday, October 19, 2010

My 1750 list vs. the metagame

So I'm pretty satisfied with this list I'm building.  The theme of the army will be a mix between the Archon's Kabal and the Duke's horny drugged-up wyches.  That in itself is motive to go this army.


Archon (SF, Husk Blade, Drugs, Soul Trap, Haywire) = 150
Duke Sliscus the Serpent = 150

9x Warriors (Raider NS/AS/SR, Blaster) = 181
9x Wyches (Raider NS/AS, Hekatrix/Agnoizer, Shardnet) = 205
10x Wyches (Raider NS/AS, Hekatrix/Agnoizer, Shardnet) = 215
10x Wyches (Raider NS/AS, Hekatrix/Agnoizer, Shardnet) = 215

10x Trueborn (Raider NS/AS, 4x Blaster) = 255

Ravager (FF, NS) = 125
Ravager (FF, NS) = 125
Ravager (FF, NS) = 125

Like I said before, I find the Duke to be one of the best buys in the book.  To recap, the guy's 150 points and comes with a Shadow Field and Blast Pistol.  In addition to this, he gives the entire army Contraband that allows you to roll 2 dice for your combat drugs and pick one.  He also provides the entire army with the option to Deep Strike your Raiders, Venoms and Ravagers.  Sure, you might not want to do this, but the option being there is always a good thing.  Even though he's not as beastly in combat as the Archon, he can still wound things on 2+ and on 5 and 6s, he ignores armor saves.  Besides, he'll be riding shotgun in the Warrior squad with Splinter Racks.  This allows them to re-roll their poisoned shots and wound on 3s.  MCs beware.

I built my Archon to be a combat beast.  The Husk Blade and Drug Dispenser gives me pretty good options to what I want him with.  Best case scenario he gets a 5 on the chart, which allows him to re-roll wounds.  Otherwise, the +1S is something nice to have since with Soul Trap, killing an IC or MC will immediately bump me up to S8 instead of S6.  He'll be traveling with his 9-woman escort of Wyches and will want to get in combat ASAP.

The rest of the army is basically Wyches, Trueborn and Ravagers.  I tried to keep the Wyches as cheap as possible and gave them Shardnets.  I'm still unsure whether Hydra Gaunts, Razorflails or Shardnets are better, so I'll be experimenting with all of them.  I can even give 5 of them Haywire Grenades and just call it a day.  I mean they're just going to be there to charge the contents of the transports I pop and I don't really expect them to do much.  Unfortunately, they don't have any poisoned attacks but they do have the Duke's Contraband to help them pick +1S or re-roll to wound.  I think those two will be the greatest benefit to the Wyches.

As for anti-tank, the Trueborn with 4x Blasters and 3x Ravagers will be all that I need to take down the heaviest vehicles.  Each Ravager is packed with Flickerfields and Night Shields to make them slightly more resilient and still keep them cheaper than the Razorwing or the Voidraven.  I'm getting pretty lazy with conversions so I'll probably just run the Ravagers because the models are amazing there's actually models for them.  The Raider holding the Trueborn will happily scoot up into position (without Aethersails) on turn 1 and be in position to pour out 5x Dark Lances while advancing every 6".  Very cool.  At 2k points, I'll be adding another squad of these guys.

So how does this list fair against the current metagame?  I know a lot of you hate this word, but guess what, tough luck.  RTS gamers use it, TCG players use it and most competitive gamers know and respect this word. The metagame how you should build for an all-comers list because nothing effects your game more than the players you're playing with.  So lets see now.. according to my recent article on Bell of Lost Souls, here are some of the armies I have to be able to defeat in order for this list to be competitive.  Keep in mind that a truly competitive list should be able to tackle at least 90% of these lists with most outcomes being favorable.

I will denote each with favored, unfavored or neutral.  Favored is in Dark Eldar's favor.

  • Leafblower IG lists and all its mech variants - unfavored
  • Space Wolf Long Fang RB spam lists - unfavored 
  • Space Wolf Thunderwolf Cavalry herohammer style lists - favored
  • Vulkanator lists with TH/SS Termies and Melta/Flamer spam - favored
  • Blood Angels 3/3 list variants with Mephiston/Baals/Vindies/Preds - neutral
  • CSM Dual Lash Plague Marines w/ max Obliterators - favored
  • Mech Eldar, flying Circus style lists - neutral
  • Council Eldar with Seer Councils, Saim-Hann style lists - neutral
  • Temple Eldar lists with Wraithguard, Avatar, 3x Wraithlords - favored
  • Ork Battle Wagon spam, Speed Freakz or Nob Bikerz - favored
  • Tau Crisis Suit spam with Hammerheads/Boadsides - neutral
  • Tyranid 3-Trygon lists with mass Hive Guard/Zoans - favored

Let's talk briefly about the unfavored match-ups really quickly.  As you can see, anything that has an extensive amount of firepower that can go across the board is not a good match-up for a DE list with Raiders.  My best bet against such things is probably DS in at mid-board and shoot as much as I can.  Any IG list with Chimera spam and Hydras is going to cause serious problems for DE trying to get up the board so it heavily depends on deployment.  No Raider list should be comfortable fighting max Long Fangs and RBs with Lascannon/TL Plasma Gun because 15 rockets per turn is just sadface.  I'm going to need a lot of cover, a lot of board denial of some sort and I need to play heavily with Night Shields to avoid certain destruction.  Otherwise, I need a crap ton of good reserve rolls and I can tell you right now, that's not something you should depend on.

Even borderline neutral shooting lists like the Tau Crisis Suits and BA 3/3 can cause serious issues.  The only reason why they're neutral is because I can pop a good amount of suits per turn with Dark Lances and the same applies to counter-shooting their Broadsides.  BA's 3/3 formation with Baals and AC/LC Preds can pose a serious threat if they get the jump on me since they can move and shoot with their Fast vehicles.  Good thing I can do the same and with Aethersails, I can hold my stuff in reserve and arrive on Turn 2 to pop their vehicles if they advance.  Flying Mechdar and more mobile Eldar lists with Vypers will pose a problem for DE.  Eldar have a ton of S6 mobile shooting and S6 is the magic number that poses a threat on everything space-elf related.  S6 ignores the FNP granted by Pain Tokens and its just strong enough to do serious damage to AV10 open-top.  Seer Councils will also be a bitch to handle but I think with enough focused shooting and mass assaults, they're going to go down.  Neutral lists for me basically mean its up to deployment, generalship and how the dice rolls go.  It can go either way and that's perfectly fine with me.

Now, the favored match-ups should be a no brainer.  As you can see, anything that relies on big awesome units to win the day is going to get kicked in the face by Dark Eldar.  Poisoned shooting, a lot of Dark Lances and a lot of maneuverability is going to be the key to winning against these lists.  No matter how much you like your Wraithlords and Trygons, high toughness is not going to cut it anymore.  The same applies to elite Thunderwolf Cav and Hamminators.  Not because they're tough, but because they're really elite and thus sports a smaller number of targets for the army as a whole.  Wound saturation means everything and when I throw my entire army where I want, how I want and when I want like a precision-edged dagger, the "heavier" lists tend to fall apart.  I think these are the kind of lists that Dark Eldar will prey upon the most.  Every Dark Eldar Raider needs a Trygon head mounted on their prow.

Alright, let it roll.  What do you guys think?


Loquacious said...

I really wish I had something smart to say here, but I got nothing. I do like reading your thoughts and I'm learning a ton from your discussions of lists and tactics. Thanks!

HERO said...

As long as you're getting something from my posts, I'm happy. Enjoy your stay :)

gundog8324 said...

One list that will be entering the metagame (at least i have a hunch it will) Templars with Blessed LRC spam an elit army but difficult for you to deal with 4 LRC a Resonable HQ armywide PE and 3-4 Troop choices

Overpriced yes but it can hold their own reasonably well I should imagine but it will deny the large amount of our beloved DE hitting the table

HERO said...

Sadly yes. It's hard enough trying to deal with Monolith-spam Necrons with Dark Eldar (aside from Haywire spam), but Blessed Hull LRCs is just going to be ridiculous. Too bad Necrons and BT have many more unfavorable match-ups than we do.

Anonymous said...

One thing I haven't seen much of in meta-game discussion, is DE vs DE lists. How do you think your list will do against the proliferation of new DE lists that are going to be out there?

HERO said...

Not sure if I'll see too many DE players in my area, but I think it'll do just fine. If they come with light Dark Lance shooting, I'll be able to mow through most of their vehicles. If they come footslogging, I can keep my range, move fast and kill anything that I need to. A real flip of the coin really.

Anonymous said...

Love it. You are confirming what I have been saying and toying with since I got my hands on the book. I would drop the second archon because I dont think he is needed. And would take some RJB just for fun unit. The trueborn are awesome, although I am a fan of the 2 SC.

I agree with you on the comment on ravagers.

Anonymous said...

What would you do to bump it to 2k?

Lyracian said...

Looks interesting. Not seen the codex so not sure what some of the stuff does. What do you think of the Djinn blade for the Archon? Ehat I read it sounds interesting.

The lists you are weak against seem to be the most commonly used (athough metagame can vary by region). You are good as killing Deathstar unit but weak against MSU. Do Witches have poison too? All those attacks ignoring my T6 will be a pain for my Tyranids. Glad I use T-fex's and Shells for that lovely 2+ save. 18" Hive guard though is going to be a real killer. :o(

HERO said...

Why do you say my list is weak against MSU? I'll be gunning for those small units because they're easy to kill and generate Pain Tokens off. No, Wyches do not have poison and the Djinn Blade for the Archon is medicore. It gives you 2 extra attacks with a PW.. but it's still a S3 Power Weapon none the less.

Rusty Nail said...

I like it, I like it a lot, but that's to be expected as it's very similar to what I want to run.
I intend having less Wyches and some Reavers instead - I tend to face a lot of armour including a Vendetta heavy IG list that has an awesome Alpha Strike and the possibility to reserve everything.
Depending on the mission and set-up I want the option to reserve and/or deep strike and when I arrive I need to be able to open up the tanks/transports to get to the delicious and delicate souls inside.
I might be a bit weaker against hordes but hopefully manouverability will keep me out of trouble until I've whittled them down a bit.

Killswitch said...

I disagree with some of the matchups:

Space Wolf Thunderwolf Cavalry herohammer style lists - favored

These lists could possibly be your bane. They WILL have rockets or some kind of long range weaponry to support them, which will down your raiders. Its VERY easy for them to get cover saves, and as your lacking splinter weapons, you dont have many reliable posion weapons which would certainly be the bane of such an army. Once your out of your transports, these wolves will tear through your wytches, something to be made aware of. Id say this list is more "neutral" as it would be down to luck rather than anything else.

Blood Angels 3/3 list variants with Mephiston/Baals/Vindies/Preds - neutral

Preds and baals are the bane of your list, a long with razorbacks. Mephiston will also be flying around terifying your army but knocking down raiders with his plasma pistol then assaulting remenants inside. Not a good thing so I would count this type of list as a bad matchup as it will be a very uphill start for you, especially if he gets first turn!

CSM Dual Lash Plague Marines w/ max Obliterators - favored

IObliterators are a HUGE bane to your kind of list. Lash would also be a pain for the downed wytches. A problem is that even though your fully meched, your raiders are like paper, so the oblits can down your vehicles whilst the lash throws your downed wytches completly out of position. I would say Neutral for this. Princes are easy to hide behind rhinos or raider (out of site behind raiders) so unless your playing against a retard, it wont be easy.

Mech Eldar, flying Circus style lists - neutral
Council Eldar with Seer Councils, Saim-Hann style lists - neutral

Seer councils will fly through this army. Their spears will destroy those raiders and they will flame/charge the remenants, lea\ving you at loss every turn as soon as they are on you. They are as fast as you and MUCH more survivable than you. They can and will knock you off obhjectives, and in KP...well its game over lol.

I really would consider more truborn and small squads, but thats not what you want to do, so perhaps exchange two squads of wytches for some squads of warriors. Give them a laster and spinter cannons which gives you some anit-MC. Upt o you but as stated, the above lists will give you more pain than you think! I wouldn't rely on deepstriking either. I personally think 150pts is a lot for that ability and the chance of getting decent combat drugs, but then again it is very different to what im expecting to see on the tabletop, so all the best for ya :)


HERO said...

Hey there Alex,

So for the CSM Dual Lash matchup, I look at that with a first turn's point of view. If he takes first turn, I'll probably reserve all my things if the cover is light, or hide in cover if it's plentiful. I think I can trade shots for them with enough Dark Lances that I can disable his Obliterators in time. If not, then I have some problems. Mechdar and Seer Councils will be no joke, that's expected. There's a ton of things they can do that'll mess up my plans, but I think if they sink enough points into the Seer Council I might be able to kill it by swamping it with shots and assaults. Mechdar is a little trickier because the number of S6 shots they put out is obscene. That might be a toughy for me. As for the BA 3/3 lists and the Herohammer TWC, I'm not sure about that yet. BA's first turn will cause a lot of problems for me and I'll most likely be taking my units in reserve if they take first. Else, I'll have to eat Fast Preds getting the jump on me and that's no good. Especially since Baal Preds have Scout move. TWC I find in the same boat as Seer Councils. If he takes a big batch of TWC, min core RBs and Long Fangs, the game will most likely be in his favor, but I think in other variants it won't be so bad.

We're just going to have to see how the book plays out in the next couple of months! I have my doubts of course, but I don't think it'll be too bad for DE. In terms of book power, I'd give it a solid 7. It's probably the same as Blood Angels in that respect.

Killswitch said...

Agreed. Id stil consider taking 2 units of trueborn, 1 with blasters, 1 with cannons, giving you mor eof a fire base, and perhaps a warrior squad to sit on the home objective in a raider? Dropping 1 unit of wytches could help with this :o!

Guerric said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Guerric said...

(second try)


I"m starting read your blog few month (high elves content mainly) ago and I like it. I'll probalby start a dark elf army for the same reason (except I still play eldar :) ).

I'm also a big fan of the Duke with raider and ravager because I love corsair theme(I'm french and I love Surcouf so much) and I don't like at all grotesque/haemonculii, I don't want to play zombie.

So, i've just one question, why don't you take away the archon and put instead a lot of haywire grenade on Wyches? (Sorry for my poor english, I hope to be understandable)

HERO said...

Your english is perfectly fine! I was thinking about dropping all special weapons on the Wyches and just give 5 of them Haywire Grenades instead. I wouldn't give them 20 pts worth of grenades because I want to keep them cheap, and it helps make room for other things in the army.

Quaade said...

Haywire Launchers will make Blessed Hull LR and Monoliths cry.

Lyracian said...

@Hero - You asked "Why do you say my list is weak against MSU?".

That is what I read in your article. It is my summary of your match ups. I was referring to your unfavourable lists being razorback & chimera spam. It should probably have said "Mech MSU" but I was rushing off to Uni...

HERO said...

Ah yes, RB and Chimeras will be a problem simply because they can shoot a ton and offer up a lot of targets. Unfavored match-ups for us for sure.

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