Thursday, October 9, 2014

DE: Utilizing the Eldar warmachine

The runes of fate are unclear for the Dark Kin.

Alright, so by now the secret's out that the Dark Eldar codex can be a little better.  I've said this countless times, but I still think that the DE book benefits Eldar more than it does us.  There is not a single situation where I can say with absolute confidence that we do X stronger than our Craftworld cousins.  This disappoints me to the extreme, but I guess I have to live with this for the next couple of years.

Since I will always be Archon first, let's figure out how to incorporate some of the best Eldar elements into our army book.  First, let me list out some obvious synergies that stick out to me:

  • Autarch - Most of the transports and units in our book that can ride said transports can now DS directly onto the battlefield.  This allows us to appear out of nowhere because 7th Ed. rules can bring back full reserve armies.  Given, you still need to keep some units on the battlefield on T1 so you don't auto-lose, you can play a pretty mean reserve game and the Autarch is the man to do it.  With his awesomely cheap price, you can take a barebones WS with some Dire Avengers and just have him chill in it.  If he wants to come out and play, a simple Fusion gun will be enough.  Personally, I think the Farseer is now out of the picture because the Autarch's reserve manipulation rules synergies with Deep Strike way more than some lame-o psychic abilities.
  • Wave Serpents - The obvious power choice for competitive players will come in the form of the faithful, tried-and-true, tournament-winning transports of doom.  There is no arguing that the Wave Serpent is one of the best units in the entire game and for good reason.  It moves well, shoots well, and is extremely durable to return fire.  This is probably my go-to option in terms of providing scoring troops and a place that my Autarch can ride safely in.  I would be kidding myself if I said that the Autarch would be safe in one of my sailboats, but then again, a Fusion gun DSing in wouldn't be half bad.
  • Windrider Jetbikes/Rangers - A good, decent cheap troop option if you want something to just fill up that requirement.  While I would probably take Windriders every time, the Rangers can be a little more survivable by back-capping and just going to ground every chance they get.  It's really whether or not you want an aggressive objsec unit, or something more survivable.  Regardless, these guys should be in reserve and come on later to preserve their own well-being.
  • Fire Dragons - I can't say enough good things about these guys, except that they just blow our Trueborn out of the water.  You have incredibly strong and accurate shots at Melta and AP1, as well as Melta bombs as stock and 3+ armor.  For a lovely point cost of 110 for a squad of 5, you can take these guys in a Wave Serpent with an WWP Archon and call it a day.  Drop where you want, the WS will shoot the crap out of the rear armor of some vehicle, and then your Fire Dragons are now a permanent threat behind enemy lines or wherever you want top put it.  When you compare the price of 5x Trueborn with 4x Blasters, you get something like 115 DE vs. 110 from the Fire Dragons.  Just looking at that price difference should infuriate you because you get 3+ AS, meltabombs, fusion guns, Battle Focus, Fleet, the ability to take BS5 Exarchs, Fast Shot, and the lovely Wave Serpent.  You can bet your ass that these guys will replace your Trueborn in an mixed Eldar list.
  • Wraithguard - You can either have normal shots or D-Scythes, it all depends on what you want these guys to do.  Put a Archon in there with WWP, equip him with a Shadowfield and he will tank all those shots on a T6 unit with 3+ AS otherwise.  Sure, why not, give them a Wave Serpent as well and they can go around anywhere they want, blowing up infantry and vehicles alike and do a fine good job at it.  This is points well-paid for right here, since they do an incredible amount of damage and is also extremely durable.
  • Swooping Hawks/Warp Spiders - Drop in, do damage, feel good about yourself.  If you can take them, why not?  There's a reason why you see these guys in some Eldar lists, and you will find that they make great anti-infantry supplements to DE Scourges.
  • Crimson Hunter - I think by now, we've all come to realize that DE doesn't have dedicated anti-air.  While the Razorwing is a fair purchase at 140 with lances, for 20 points more you get something that's completely designed to wreck anything in the air.  Enter the Crimson Hunter, one of the most hotly disputed worthwhile units in the Eldar codex.  If you guys know anything about me, this is my favorite unit to exist in 40K to date.  I love the idea of an Eldar fighter ace and I have it with the Crimson Hunter Exarch, since 4x S8 AP2 shots at BS5 that re-rolls pen vs. air targets will shoot anything out of the air.  My biggest gripe with it is that despite being virtually naked defensively, he doesn't have any type of countermeasures defensively.  It is the biggest crime in the whole codex that this air superiority fighter doesn't have Holo-fields when humans have figured that out since the '50s.  Absolutely embarrassing.  Either way, these guys are great for dedicated anti-air, something that Dark Eldar lacks entirely.
  • Vyper Squadron/War Walkers - Does a crazy amount of damage at good range and with good maneuverability.  Comes with a buttload of high-powered S6 shots that you can upgrade to Scatter Laser so you can get that Laser-lock.  Let's just say that in most cases, these guys do a better job at killing vehicles than Ravagers.
  • Wraithknight - The big daddy in the codex has just as much meaning in the Dark Eldar book as it does in the Eldar.  You have something big, something very threatening, and it can cover a lot of ground and maul things in combat.  The two heavy wraithcannons should be the mainstay weapon since it can reach out and touch anything, and maybe even possibly ID'ing something on a roll of a 6.  While not entirely reliable, I've seen Riptides get sucked into the warp by that thing, so it's all good.  Just make sure to stay out of fist fights with Dreadknights and the WK should be able to make its points back with careful play.  Just remember that with the WK on the field, it pulls a lot of fire and attention away from the rest of your flimsy sailboats.  This can be a boon or a vice depending on how you use the rest of your army.  If the only thing on the board is the Wraithknight and the rest of your army is in reserve, it's going to be quite obvious what your enemy is going to shoot at.
  • Night Spinner - I put the Night Spinner in my army lists because it can do something very unique:  Provide Dark Eldar with a high-S Barrage weapon for vehicles hiding behind cover from our lances.  You have Razorwings to shred horde units, but the Night Spinner is there to punish vehicles that like to hide from the possible Alpha Strike.  The torrent weapon on a fast vehicle is also a useful at times, capable of hitting multiple vehicles and/or enemy models.

I'm sure there are other options out there, but here are the ones that stick out to me and I want to see them being used in my Dark Eldar army.

Here is what I'm currently planning to roll with:

18 KP

Archon, Blaster = 75
Autarch, Fusion Gun = 80*

5x Warriors, Blaster, Raider Lance/AS = 120
10x Warriors, Blaster, Raider Lance/SR = 170
10x Warriors, Blaster, Raider Lance/SR = 170
5x Dire Avengers, Holo/SS/Scatter/SC = 220*
5x Dire Avengers, Holo/SS/Scatter/SC = 220*

Razorwing, Lances = 140
Razorwing, Lances = 140

Ravager, Lances = 125
Ravager, Lances = 125
Ravager, Lances = 125
Night Spinner, Holo/SS = 140*

The Archon goes to hang out with the 5x Warriors with the Blaster and comes in from DS.  If I can get a good position in early game, maybe he'll sit back and shoot, or else he'll be more of an opportunist like our friend Autarch over here.  He will be in one of the Wave Serpents, picking off what I can with the Ravagers while the Night Spinner does its thing.  Next turn, I'll be able to bring in some air support with the Razorwings, and if I have any enemy transports popped and their contents exposed, I'll gamble some drop-ins with my Warriors to go hard with their splinter weapons.

Looks decent on paper, but will it be any good?  Time will tell.


Rathstar said...

I can't fault your logic (well slightly I'm personally not so keen on Night Spinners), but the initial list of Eldar units just looks like any list of what's good in the Eldar codex, and it hurts me to admit but I think your list would just be stronger making Eldar the primary. Lose the small warriors, 2 ravagers, 1 razorwing and take more Eldar stuff.

2 War Walkers with brightlances for 15 points more will give you an extra lance and an extra hull point compared to a ravager, and give you the option of having a unit 3 which is 40 pts less than 2 dark lance ravagers, same hull points and lances and only uses one heavy support slot rather than 2. With the loss of aerial assault on the ravager the war walkers with

The same kind of argument can be done across the different choices. Nothing wrong with your article (which is a well written piece) but the comparison to Eldar saddening from a rules perspective.

At least you gave your ideas on a pure DE force in your last post :)


archied said...

The problem with following that line of thinking is you probably just end up playing pure eldar.

HERO said...

I'm going to have to agree with archied. If you go down that path, you're just going to end up playing Eldar. The objective here is to still play with your Dark Eldar and only bring what you need with Eldar allies.

Post a Comment