Thursday, October 21, 2010

None will survive my cunning

Since list building is a hobby of mine, I can't help but notice all the different kinds of lists you can build from a well-written army book.  The Dark Eldar codex is a thing of beauty, really.  There's loads and loads of synergy between the units in the book and I find that to be extremely attractive.  I mean after all, variety is the spice of life!  If a codex supplies the player with a lot of options, he'll be more intrigued to try new things and buy more minis.  This is a good thing for the hobby.

So exactly what kind of units will Dark Eldar players take in their lists?  Let's take a look:

  • Combat Archon with his Kabal in Raiders
  • Min-maxed squads in Venoms, Trueborn with Blasters
  • Pirate themed army with the Duke
  • Wych-cult armies with Lelith and Wyches
  • Hellion themed army led by the Baron
  • First strike army based around Vect
  • Haemonculi based army with Wracks and Cronos

Every single one of those list components have their own strengths and weaknesses.  Not only do they compliment each other very well, but they can be mixed and matched with the other elements in the list to form really powerful armies!

The combat Archon and his Kabal adds a large degree of poison weapons and specialized anti-MEQ CC.  Incubi just tear up marines like there's no tomorrow and with the right configuration, the Archon can be an absolute beast in combat.  When in need of dedicated fire support and transport busting capabilities, the Archon will probably hire some..

Min-maxed squads of Trueborn in Venoms.  They can cause havoc in almost any setting.  They can max out on Splinter Cannons and hang out in a Venom with 2x Splinter Cannons and you can pour out ridiculous amounts of poisoned shots from 36" away.  Likewise, you can configure your Trueborn to take Blasters and get them up in kill range ASAP.  In fact, an entire army can be built around the MSU principle that RB spam players use.  Take a lot of heavy shooting, put them in tiny transports and go to town on your enemies.  For everything else, there's the..

The Duke.  He is such a well-rounded hero by benefiting Warriors/Trueborn, Wyches/Hellions/Reavers (combat drugs!) and your transports (gives them DS), you can probably include him in 90% of the lists out there.  I would assume that to go with the pirate theme, you might want to invest in a Raider/Ravager heavy army so you can sail across the sea of stars in style.  Too manly for you?  You might want to look into..

Wych-cult armies.  This army focus consists on a lot of Wyches (maybe even Lelith) packed in a bunch of Raiders and shipped directly towards the enemy with Aethersails.  Now I don't know about you guys, but I see these girls as support CC rather than units that can provide results on their own.  Taking them too expensive will decrease the number of other things you can take in your army so I suggest taking them for specific roles.  A few Haywire grenades here and there with an Agonizer is all you need for an all-purpose Wych squad.  If you want more killy, feel free to load up on Razorflails or Hydra Gauntlets.  For a more defensive approach, Shardnets will do wonders.  For everything else, there's..

Hellions.  In fact, for 105 points, you should always take the Baron with them.  He's basically an auto-include in any army featuring Hellions and that's no exaggeration.  I mean seriously, he makes Hellions troops and supplies them with a Phantasm Grenade Launcher, comes with a Shadow Field, a stronger weapon and gives the squad Stealth on top of that!  Start the game with a Haemonculi in the unit and they get FNP with a 3+ cover save when hiding behind some cover.  The Hellion squad have Skilled Rider when with him and can put out a respectable amount of shooting and CC.  I can see the Baron being one of those filler HQs easily capable of putting the hurt on any scoring units outside their transports.  And that's why you have..

A first strike army based on Vect.  Not only is Vect a combat monster, but he can really give the DE army a jumpstart on popping enemy transports and leaving their contents exposed for Pain Tokens.  To maximize Vect's first turn, I would take max Ravagers/Voidravens and as many Dark Lances as possible.  Kill as many transports as possible and leave the rest of their army to the crows.  Or better yet..

Leave his army to a bunch of a poisoned T4 FNP Wracks with Furious Charge.  That's right, Wracks are probably the best troop choice in our army when it comes to holding points.  I can easily see a list with 1-3 Haemonculi and a bunch of Wracks sitting in cover on some objectives with a bunch of Liquidfiers ready to go.  Any infantry that comes close has to deal with multiple S4 AP D6 templates and the Cronos Parasite Engine standing next to him will love adding PTs to anything within 12".  I mean.. for 10 points, Wracks are the poor man's version of Plague Marines.  When thrown into cover, they become extremely frustrating to deal with.  To make things a little more frustrating for your opponent, you can even take a Haemonculi with WWP and set it on other objectives while the rest of your army runs around contesting your opponent's objectives.  Next turn, out comes scoring Wracks and a free objective points for you.

So I guess the biggest question going through my head right now is: Which one of these combinations will give me the most competitive results?  Frankly, I have no idea.  I mean, I have a pretty good idea but I'm not 100% sure if Haemonculi will be needed in every list.  Similarly, I'm not sure if the Duke is a better choice than the Baron and his scoring Hellions.  What I do know is that I'll be trying every single one of these combinations because my goal in this game is to murder, enslave and torture my enemies.  None will survive my cunning.


Anonymous said...

Let me just say That I am very pleased that we are on the same page! Personally I like the duke, because he plays into my playing style of tonnes of raiders, and gives the army good tactical flexibility (with the DS'ing vehicles). The occupants can even disembark! Awesome, also makes all wycher, reavers, hellions and his unit start with FNP 1/3 of the time... Good poison weapon that can ignore armour and a shadow field... with a blastpistol.

Vect is fun, but I would only take him in a 2K list... bit to much for me at anything under that value IMO. Although he is a monster.

Wracks are awesome, but its hard for me to justify the Heamies AND the character... (points wise there are so many things that can be bought.

Anonymous said...

i dont know if you still read this or keep up with this but where did you get the image of the girl with the blue eye? i really like that image and id like to use it for the cover of my first novel that im writing.

if you can tell me where you got it or who made it, i would greatly appreciate it. email me with a response at

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