Thursday, July 5, 2012

My 6th Ed. DE army list

Challenge anyone?

Alright fellas, I got enough 6th Ed. jammed down my throat that it's officially time to revise and update my army list for Dark Eldar.

Needless to say, I kept things very straight forward and maybe even a little boring.  The metagame around me actually looks kinda funny.  There's a couple of CSM players, 3 Necron players (FML), maybe Tyranid player once in a while, another DE player who doesn't really play, a BA/GK player, a few Ork players and some SW players.  There is a single Guard player and a CSM player who's thinking about including traitor IG in his Allies list, but there aren't any serious talks of beard or cheese.

I'm the type of DE player who barely took Blasterborn last edition and even less Venoms.  I love myself some Trueborn, but I was never a fan of Venomspam and thus didn't bother building any!  OK, that's a lie because I actually built one, but I have 2 more NIB that I haven't touched yet.  In fact, I only proxy'd and Vassal'd with the Flyers last edition and didn't really find them enjoyable or worth their points compared to the Ravager.  With this edition, things might change because I can definitely see the use of a Flyer; both as a counter-flyer and as a straight up damage tool that can apply damage without fear of retaliation.

Another thing about me as a player is that I love Kabal Dark Eldar.  I don't like the fluff, mechanics and playstyle of the Haemonculi and thus, I keep all of my units Kabal-themed.  In a way, most of my units are not the typical MSU Venom heavy lists that you'll find elsewhere.  My lists are designed to be specialized over target saturation, built for quality and not for quantity.  This caters to my playstyle and I must say, it's been working out quite well for me.  Most of my wins with Dark Eldar depends on precision tactics where I use terrain to my advantage as I pick off high priority targets.  I place my models in a way that LoS is difficult and retaliation is even harder without a handsome cover save.  I'm a Dark Lance heavy player and I view precision and firepower as the hallmark of my playstyle.

Without further ado, here's what my current list looks like:

1745 - Duo Hellcats
17 VP

Succubus (Agonizer, BP, Haywires) = 105
Succubus (Agonizer, BP, Haywires) = 105

5x Warriors (Raider NS, Blaster) = 130
5x Warriors (Raider NS, Blaster) = 130
10x Warriors (Raider, NS, SR, Blaster, SC) = 195
10x Warriors (Raider, NS, SR, Blaster, SC) = 195
9x Wyches (Raider NS, Hekatrix/Agonizer/BP, Haywires) = 225
9x Wyches (Raider NS, Hekatrix/Agonizer/BP, Haywires) = 225

Ravager (NS) = 115
Ravager (NS) = 115
Voidraven (NS/FF, 4x SF) = 205

As you see here, I've adapted to 6th Ed. in the most brutal way possible:  Relying on our long-ranged firepower and pure arrogance to negotiate our enemies.  I believe I am a very strong general, and I show it by relying on a precision-based playstyle rather than spamming the battlefield.  For that, you'll see that I have fewer vehicles than some other Archons.

Do not fear, for I am cunning.  My HQ is led by a duo of hellcats who are very cost effective for what they can do.  Aside from carrying Agonizers, they also have a Blast Pistol which they can fire before they jump into the fray.  Haywire Grenades are a must have on these badass bitches, but keep in mind that you have a BS6 S4 AP4 Blast Plasma Grenade that you can throw before combat too.  One of the biggest changes 6th Ed. to our assault units was to shorten their threat range.  Threat range got decreased, yes, but we can now shoot and charge with the Fleet bonus where we couldn't before.  This means we actually gained some damage running into the enemy where before, we had to sacrifice shooting to run.

As troops, I chose to max all my slots out with Raiders with Night Shields.  I've always preferred having Night Shields on my vehicles all the way since 3rd, and now they only get better because we can pre-measure.  Pre-measuring allows us to stay exactly where we want to be once we figure out the enemies' threat range.  You should know that transports can only move 6" if the player wishes to disembark his dudes, so 12" threat from the door of the Rhino (factor in your opponent walking his marines) + 9" of Rapid Fire from Night Shields means you should play >21" away.  Analyzing threat range is really important for DE players because your vehicles, units and playstyle is not catered for making mistakes.

Let me explain the purpose of the 5x Warriors w/ Blasters inside the 2 Raiders.  Their purpose is a simple one and that's to apply Dark Lance pressure.  The two Raiders give me 2 Dark Lances in the opening volley whereas the 2x Blasters gives me two more Lances should my opponents advance.  The threat from the Blasters can kick in from 24" away and you get to use your Raider's Lance as well, so for 130 points, that's a really good bargain.  What you want to do is stay a healthy distance, maybe float around the 24-36" mark and pick off high priority targets when the notion presents itself.  Keep in mind that Focus Fire is a huge part of the game and faster armies like Eldar benefit from it a lot.  Faster vehicles, especially those with high-powered weaponry can draw LoS on extreme angles and offer you targets of opportunities that other races can only dream about.  This is why the way of the Lance is powerful in this edition - speed and supremacy.

The second pair of units in my troop choice is the 2 gunboats.  These give me 2 Lances in my initial volley, but they also give me some credible anti-infantry firepower.  Not only do both squads also come packing with a Blaster, but the boats are have Splinter Racks and a full compartment of Kabal Warriors.  The Splinter Cannon allows you to be pick off stragglers from extreme distances, playing all the way from 36" away with Lance included.  Keep in mind that Splinter Cannons are also Assault weapons and can be used if the vehicle has moved.  Splinter Racks really keeps the gunboat's purpose true because re-rolling hits is just fantastic.  There are three things that improved with gunboats in 6th Ed and these are it:  Rapid Fire is now viable at longer ranges, you can Snap Fire and Overwatch with Splinter Rack bonuses, and you didn't really pay for Splinter Racks because you just replaced the Flickerfield.  You can always advance your boats 6", get the full benefits from the racks and weapons inside, as well as giving your Raider a 5+ cover save.  This is golden, and should be exploited as much as you can.  If you find a juicy target with his underbelly exposed, feel free to either do a drive-by or even disembark your dudes for a better shot.  Target priority and directional damage is very important, so make sure you unload your Poisoned shots first before you tell your opponent to take that juicy Blaster wound.  I can't stress this enough:  40K is now a directional game and as Dark Eldar, you must utilize this to your advantage.

Last from the troop choice is the 2x Wych squads.  These girls should need no introduction as they've preformed admirably for me for a very long time.  Sure, Overwatch is a problem now and the fact that our assaults are shorter range doesn't help with that.  Shit, even our Agonizers and Huskblades are not what they used to be now being AP3, but that's not a problem.  As Dark Eldar, you must learn to adapt rapidly or fail utterly.  We are a relatively extreme race and there is no in-between.  Wyches were never meant to take on overwhelming odds and win.  What they can do is tie up things that can hit really hard and with fewer attacks.  Things like MCs, TH/SS Terminators and a measly squad of marines is not a problem.  If you're running a squad of Wyches into a full unit of Shootas and wonder why you lost, you might need to re-think your strategy.  Before I express my opinion that Wyches never fight fair, I want to explain the fact that Haywire grenades are utter death to vehicles and walkers.  The reason why is because you now hit vehicles on WS4 vs. WS1 max.  It doesn't matter if it's a Eldar Fast Skimmer going to hell and back because of Star Engines, you will still hit the damn thing on a 3+.  I have no idea why GW made it like this, but once you hit a vehicle in assault, it's pretty much going down.  With the Haywire doing a Hull Point's damage for every 2+, a full squad of Wyches will shit on a Monolith without a problem.  What makes this funnier is the fact that you can throw a Haywire before you go charging in.

Now, onto fighting fair.. or rather, not fighting fair.  If you guys haven't noticed, these Wyches are at 9 for a reason.  That reason is so the two Succubi can join each squad and all hell can break loose.  On the charge, you're looking at 6 attacks at WS8 I8 from the Succubus herself, and 4 from the I6 Hekatrix.  All of these are Agonizer attacks and if you roll some happy drugs, you'll find yourself in a really good place (WS9 anyone?).  Both the Succubus and the Hekatrix come packing with Blast Pistols, so make sure you understand how Fleet, charging and directional combat works in the new edition.  Move, shoot, and then charge with the Fleet bonus to re-roll a Charge die.  Make sure you allocate the Splinter wounds first before you put on your BS4 and BS6 Blast Pistol shot.  Who knows, since the Hekatrix and Succubus are both characters, you might get a lucky shot on someone's Sergeant.  Don't forget that these Precision Shots also apply in close combat so you can allocate to other juicy targets.  On that note, the Succubus and Hekatrix are both excellent in challenges vs. non 2+ AS units.  Simply walk into a combat, issue a challenge and take their heads for a spin.  If they decline, you nominate a model to stand there and do nothing and if they accept, you fucking take their heads off.  Depending on the meta, you might find Venom Blades to be better suit, but for now I'll roll with my Agonizers and see how they do.

On the subject of my heavy choices, this should be a no-brainer.  The Ravagers need no introduction, but I will voice a remainder on how to use them.  Remember the directional damage is in, and how you apply your damage is more important than ever.  Shooting a squad from the left might not be the same as from the right. This is why you have to use your speed and mobility to get the best angled shots, and this includes Focus Fire as well.  If you see high-priority models out of cover, you damn well focus fire them until they go down. Imagine being able to pick off 2 Paladins because they're out of cover and you have a clear shot, this is huge for you.  The same kind of precision gameplay should come with your use of the Voidraven.  You have uniquely strong Lances and you can Alpha Strike something the turn you come in.  The biggest thing about the Voidraven is that it always has a 5+ Invul save from Flickerfields.  You never need to Jink, so you never need to sac your BS in subsequent turns.  Once you delivered your payload on the target of your choice, and from the direction that'll do the most damage, you think of a way to 1. get your ass out of there, or 2. how to hit another target from a good angle.  You can either come in short and tight, going 18" and Z-flying around the battlefield while shooting at sharp angles, or you can go for a longer mission, go up to 36", do your damage (maybe even drop a bomb), and then fly off the board next round.  In the last game I played, if I flew my Voidraven off the grid before his Stormraven came in, I could of countered his Flyer the following turn.  I didn't do so because I'm a dipshit.  This is a aerial game now ladies and gentlemen, so hold on tight.

Damn, I wrote an epic ass long post.  Hopefully, this knowledge can pass onto you and get you guys better prepared for 6th.  I'll try to get a game in this weekend, but if I don't then you just gotta wait until next Tuesday.


Kreilick said...

Good post. Well thought out and super informative to a brand new player like myself. 

Sejason said...

Thanks for writing that epic ass long post and even explaining "no brainer units" :)

Big Black Fiend said...

Excellent article Hero !!! I ran a very similar style army in 5th edition. I think that psyflemen dreadnaughts will be much easier to eliminate now which will go a long way towards making dark eldar much more competitive again.

HERO said...

Thanks dude, I see that you're back to Grey Knights!

xzandrate said...

Since you are going to bravely use wyches in 6th edition as well, let me drop an easter egg for you.

Phantasm Grenade Launcer

Provides Stealth if you are within 8", so basically a 6+ vs snapfire.

This is because of the new rules for defensive grenades, go check them out.

HERO said...

Not sure if worth the points though.. for me anyway.
Defensive grenades is more of a defensive weapon and my army is pretty aggressive.  I know my CSM buddy have been raving about this forever because of his Plague Marines.  As if the Plague Marine + Epidemis combo needed any more help.

Plus_Four said...

Very interesting article!

6e rumours have so far made me wonder whether I want to pursue the game anymore! Your article, however, has made me stop and consider getting my old 3e DE out of the wardrobe!

I also used to play a very "glance" heavy army in the old days and i think the army could do well in the aftermath of changes.

My worry is their ability to handle psychic opponents as this is now a much larger 4th dimension to the game!

Jwhite1078 said...

I love your optimism about DE in 6th. As a DE player, I was pretty worried about how my army would fair in the new edition but your list-building insight has definitely restored my faith. I think right now people that are upset with certain rules changes are just stuck in the past. What may have been super overpowered in 5th may now be crap, but that doesn't mean something that was once crap is still unplayable. I think 6th really set out to put everyone on a level playing field, and this is definitely the time for experimentation.

Mako said...

I am worried by just 1 thing this edition - exploding open topped vehicles deal str4 hits and with the new 5+ FNP even heamunculi won't be able to keep the ladies alive :/

HERO said...

Absolutely, well said. Now is definitely the time for experimentation.

asd said...

This is cool! I received a Minecraft Upgrade Code and it was legit! They gave me one for free from

Post a Comment