Sunday, October 10, 2010

More Dark Eldar stuff

Alright, so I went into my LGS and spent a ridiculously good amount of time with the Dark Eldar book.  I basically barked and bit anyone who got close to me so all this info I'm about to tell you is pretty good.  First, I'd like to correct a few things from my previous post.  Well, not really correct, but to confirm on a few things:  Razorflails are indeed that, Shatterfield Missiles are the missiles that I liked and Flickerfields are what the 5++ invulnerable upgrade on vehicles are called.

So I didn't get to look too indepth into the FA choices last time I had the book, but this time, I analyzed them to the bone.  Out of all the FA choices, I'm only sold on Scourge.  They are Jump Troops and have ridiculous options for weapons.  At 22ppm, for every 5 models, 2 of them can replace their Shard Carbines with special weapons.  That means in a squad of 10, they can have 5 special weapons ranging from Splinter Cannons (yes, Cannons), Haywire Blasters, Heatlances, Blasters and Dark Lances.  Imagine a full squad of 10 running around with 4x Haywire Blasters or Heatlances messing around with vehicles.  Now imagine 10 with 4x Splinter Cannons pouring out a ridiculous amount of poison shots per squad.  Start the game with an attached Haemonculus with a Hexfire Rifle just so the squad can get FNP (along their 4+ save) and then run off to do his own thing.  With enough targets to saturate the field, these guys might actually get some field time.

Hellions are also pretty good at 16ppm.  They have 2 shots each with poisoned shots and can cover really good range.  I see these guys as the anti-infantry jump infantry and their special ability to hook combat ICs out of units can really offset how certain close combats play out.  The one thing that I look at and can't see much play from is the 22ppm Reaper Jetbikes.  First, they're T4 with a 5+ armor save.  Sure, they can boost across the map with a 36" Turboboost and still inflict some damage, but I find them to be one of those really fragile units that's big play or big loss.  The damage that they can inflict on enemy vehicles' side armor is pretty decent with S6 hits, but you have to pay for those (+20 each) on top of the 22ppm on a T4 5+ model.  I like how they look, my god do they look fantastic, but I can't see these guys being any more than a nuisance.

I also examined the HQ choices again and I would like to add one more person to the list I find to be cost effective.  Lady Malys is actually quite fantastic for her points.  For 130, she makes her and whatever squad she's in immune to psychic abilities.  She has Archon stats (7s across the board except for S/T) and has 5 attacks with a modified Djin's Blade.  That can give her a possible 8 attacks on the charge!  If the blade rebels, no worries, it automatically misses her because she saw it coming.  On top of this, she also has a 4++ true invulnerable save, nothing like Shadow Field or anything like that.  Her one big ability that effects how the game is played is Precognist.  This allows her to reposition +D3 units after deployment, including putting them back in reserve.  All this for 130 points is a bargain I would say.

After looking at the Venom vs. Raider argument again, I took another long hard look at the two and came up with the following:  Venoms aren't too bad.  They're 55 points, so 5 less than a Raider but comes with some serious anti-infantry weaponry.  They also come with Flickerfields so that's a free 5++ invulnerable.  I would say these things are great anti-infantry paper-thin Razorbacks.  They can replace their TL Splinter Rifles with another Splinter Cannon for 10 points so they can have 2.  That's a total of 12 poisoned shots coming out from 36" while moving 6" because of Fast.  For 65 points, you have a wound generator that can remain at max range and apply pressure to any infantry that gets blown out of their transports.  Throw some cheap Wyches or Warriors in them and they act as pretty solid scoring transports that can put down a decent amount of hurt.  I think when put into that perspective, their usefulness just increased by a lot.

In terms of Warriors, I think the idea configuration for them will be a Blaster and a Dark Lance.  The Champion should probably take a Agnoizer for +20 or Power Weapon for +10 and call it a day.  As for Wyches, I think the best loadout for them will be 2x Hydra Gauntlets, Champ with Phantasm Launcher and Agonizer.  After thinking really hard about which one will generate more wounds; the Hydra Gauntlets or the Razorflails and I think the Hydra Gauntlets will probably offer more.  The good thing about Wyches or Bloodbrides or is that you can put them in a Raider with Aethersails and just run them towards the enemy ASAP.  Once they're locked in combat, their 4++ invulnerable will increase their chances to live by a lot and if you manage to give them FNP with some Pain Tokens then it's all good.

I also took a brief look at the Truebloods and Incubii again just to see what I thought about them were true.  For Truebloods, yes.  They are amazing even though you have to pay for Plasma Grenades (+1 point each) for them; increasing their point cost from 12 to 13.  I figured since you're willing to go that far, you'll probably be better off just upgrading to a Champ and taking Phantasm Launchers for both offensive and defensive grenades for the entire squad.  The special weapon choices for them is what really does it for me:  +5 points per Shredder, +15 for a Blaster, +10 for Splinter Cannon and +25 for Dark Lance is solid.  A full squad of these guys shooting from a Raider will put the most ridiculous kind of hurt on anything in the game.  The best part is that you can customize for all kinds of engagements; 4x Blasters and 2x Dark Lances for example, will be my ideal loadout if I wanted to destroy armor.

As for Incubii, I think they're trash.  They're 22ppm and they're the premiere anti-infantry close combat specialists in the entire army and they DO NOT have an option for Plasma Grenades.  What?!  Yes, its true and it upsets me to the fullest.  How do you make these guys so utterly badass in melee, give them I5 stats and not give them offensive grenades against MEQ camping in cover?  They do have something that's good though.. they can take a dedicated transport whereas Harlequins cannot.  In terms of field maneuverability though, Harlequins still have these guys beat hands down.  I'll probably be taking a full squad with both Shadowseer and Troupe Master just so I can maximize the amount of damage I can inflict on any stragglers left outside their transports.  For Incubii, aside from taking a Raider with Aethersails and delivering them, the only other method of delivering them is by a Webway Portal.  I'm still not convinced that's the best way to deliver them as I would rather shoot the hell out of my targets first and then run much cheaper Wyches at them after.

For CC options, I almost feel that DE have too many options.  I'm not sure what's wrong with me but I don't find Mandrakes any decent.  They cost 15ppm, give them a Pain Token and each of them can get 18" S4 AP4 Assault 2 Pinning shots.  That's not too bad because they have Stealth and Infiltrate so they can sneak into the enemy's back lines, but they're still 15ppm.  I find that you can get better results with cheaper and more effective Wyches with all their gory goodness.

Another unit that's part of this CC train is the Wrack.  They're really cheap at 10ppm and come with 2x poison blades and FNP since they start with one Pain Token.  If you've got some Haemonculii in your army, you can take a bunch of these guys and give them Furious Charge with your additional Pain Token.  Now you have FNP/FC units charging you with poisoned attacks.  Not bad if you're going with Haemonculii in your army and you don't like the fragile nature of Wyches.

So in summary, what do I think about Dark Eldar?  I think they're really cool, really fast and really nasty.  I also think they're going to be the hardest race to play in 40K.  They need expert precision to deliver results and any misplays will result in a loss.  The entire army has AV10/11 with nothing going above that except for Vect's flagship.  Everything has to work in perfect unison and execution of play must be perfect.  This is exactly what I'm looking for an Elven army in space.  Below, I will formulate another unit bucket but in greater detail and showcasing exactly what weapon configurations I would take in "my" DE army:

Shadow Field, Agonizer, Combat Drugs - My regular go-to guy, 115 points
Shadow Field, Husk Blade, Combat Drugs, Soul Trap - more MC/IC killer, 140.

Lelith Hesperax
WS9 vs. WS4 troops can give her 10 attacks at I9 S3 for 175 points
3++ in close combat and 4++ outside means she wants to be in combat and taking heads.

Duke Sliscus the Serpent
Imo, the best HQ buy in the book.  For 150 points, he makes Raiders, Venoms and Ravagers DS.
Comes with a Shadow Field and Blast Pistol, wounds on 2+ in CC and 5+ ignores armor saves.
Gives one squad better poison so their rifles wound on 3+ instead of 4+.
Gives the entire army better combat drugs, roll 2 dice and pick whichever you want when rolling drugs.

Lady Malys
For 130 points, she's basically an Archon with a better Djinn Blade and a 4++ invulnerable.
Can redeploy D3 of your units after deployment and is completely immune to psychic attacks.

Asdrubal Vect
Pay 240 points to seize initiative on a 4+.
Shadow Field and a power weapon that always wound on 3+.
Preferred enemy vs. all and re-rolls wounds vs. Eldar and Dark Eldar.
You can buy up a AV13/13/13 Raider with 3x Dark Lances for 200 points.

10x Warriors, Blaster, Dark Lance, Raider w/ Splinter Racks  = 200
Bare bones cheap with no Champ.  Blaster and Dark Lance for some anti-armor and Splinter Racks so everyone gets re-rolls to hit with their poisoned Splinter Rifles.  If you want pure poison, you can drop the Dark Lance and Blaster and just go with a Splinter Cannon.

10x Wyches, Hekatrix, Phantasm, Agonizer, 2x Hydra Gauntlets, Raider w/ Aethersails = 225
Get up in your face, jump out and start swinging.  Hopefully whatever you targeted with your Bombers and other units have already popped your intended target vehicle and the guys inside are ready to rock (or get rocked).

10x Trueborn, 4x Blasters, 2x Dark Lances, Raider w/ Flickerfields and Night Shields = 320
This is my boardside ship with the amount of hurt it can deliver to armor.  Your objective is to saturate the field with as many targets as possible and then bring this thing around at any armor that's in your way.  With this much firepower coming from the Raider, you're looking at guaranteed destruction of said target.  If you really want to be badass, you should take Vect's gunship and load 9 of these guys in there.

10x Scourge w/ 4x Splinter Cannons = 260
Let's see what you get for 260 points with Splinter Cannons.  Each one has Assault 3 Poisoned shots that shoots at 18".  Each Splinter Cannon shoots with Assault 4 Poisoned shots or Heavy 6 when standing still.  Total, per turn, you're looking at 34 poisoned shots per turn from 10 dudes at 18" or 16 at 36" (24 standing still).  Utterly ridiculous.

10x Harlequins, Kisses, Shadowseer, Troupe Master w/ Power Weapon = 256
Shadowseer and 8x Harlequins have kisses, Troupe Master has a Weapon Weapon, and I might take a Death Jester just because for no reason.  These guys do their job and they do it very well.

Voidraven Bomber w/ Flickerfields and Night Shields, 2x Shatterfield Missiles = 185
Take three of these every game.  There's no reason not to!  I mean if you look at it, each one shoots two S9 AP2 Lance while moving.  Each Shatterfield Missile is a S7 5" blast with re-rolls to wound and you can even drop a S9 AP2 Lance 5" blast on someone's head.  Stay in the back and shoot away!

Ravager w/ Flickerfields and Night Shields = 125
Mobile shooting platform with 3x Dark Lances.  Stay at max range and shoot away all game.  Those that target these will not be targeting your troops so it's all good.


Loquacious said...

Thanks so much for sharing! I'm going to be reading this over and over to make sure I didn't miss anything.

Unknown said...

Personally, I think the best option for the mandrakes will have to be sticking them into a woods, prey on something weaker, then spend the rest of the game using their str 4 ass 2 pinning shots to not only harrass a unit but to assault it when it gets weak. they have a 5++ starting out, so with that pain token they go into 5++/4++.

with the bikes, they do end up making their points back as long as you don't have the token flamer nearby. In a squad of 4, you have 3d3 str 4 hits, and d6 str 6 hits. all for 108 points. toss a heat lance on there for 120 points (the cost of 3 bikes with blasters in the previous codex) you have not only more firepower, but also a melta lance for when your not swooping around being a harrasser. Thats just my opinion tho.

HERO said...

I guess the thing that scares me the most about these Jetbikes is that they're expensive in larger numbers and in smaller numbers, they offer up free KP to anyone wanting a piece. I'd rather spend those 120 points on something a little meatier.. like a Ravager for example.

Anonymous said...

The sad thing about the Bikes is that they are in the same FOC slot as the Scourges. They are such beautiful models too which is SUCH a shame that their rules just don't measure up. This is really the big let down for me with this codex. I was really looking forward to a Dark Eldar jetbike army backed up by Scourges. By the by, has anyone touched upon the Eldar Jetbike rules, the extra 6 inches of movement in the assault phase. That makes the 36 inches of Turbo Boost into 42 inches total, which is pretty epic.

The sick thing about a Venom and Raider with an embarked unit is that you can shoot at two different targets. This is why I think Venoms are going to be such a hit when combined with with Trueborn possibly.

There is going to be SO much fire coming out of this army. I honestly don't know how well the other armies in 40k are going to deal with it.

Quaade said...

Give an archon a phantasm launcher and stick him with the incubi and you negate their no grenade weakness. It's the same deal as before except they don't slow the archon down as they have fleet now.
Give the Archon an Animus Vitae as well and watch their first wipeout give them both FNP and FC, failure to wipe out the target should give FNP at least then.

About mandrakes, you infiltrate them long enough in on the board that you can drop a hemo off within 2", then walk the mandrakes forward and puts the Hemo's token onto the mandrakes.

Sorrowshard said...

err, turbo boosting prevents any other voluntary actions , I imagine that includes the the eldar jetbike assault phase movement.....

also void bombs are a small blast , shame :o(

Anonymous said...

you keep saying "DS" what does it mean as in u said "For 150 points, he makes Raiders, Venoms and Ravagers DS."

HERO said...

Gives them the ability to Deep Strike.

Karnstein said...

Funny, right atm I prefer reavers over scourges.

Let's compare them: Both have a 22 point price-tag. Bikes can take a special weapon for each 3 bikes you field (so 1,2,3), while scourges can field 2 per 5 models (0,2,4). So you can buy more weapons with them and you get 2 for a cheaper price.

Why do I still think the reaver is a good choice?

1. you can buy them now, they are not a paper unit if you start collecting DE and neither are keen of buying the old models, nor converting them out of other stuff.

2. Bikes have T4 and can start the game with FNP if you get lucky on the combat drug chart. You only have a 5+ save but you can work around that using either turbo boost or the 6" jetbike movement to get behind or inside of cover. afaik they also get skilled rider, so you can really risk ending/starting your movement in terrain.

3. I don't think that the heat lance is such a great idea. True you got lance+melta but it only beats the vanilla melta gun if you're between 6,01 and 9,0 inch away from your target. At 6" or less the plain melta has +2s and the same amount of dice. At 9,01+ you only have S6+d6 which isn't that hot, AP1 only works like a charm if you manage to break the armor. Getting into that 6-9" range means the passengers of a transport can either rapidfire or assault you.

So a scourge squad will pop the tank and unless you manage to coordinate that with a witch charge or some poison shots from other units, they will share the fate of eldar FD. Bikes on the other hand can move outside of charge range, but still will get punished by rapid fire.

If you skip the heat lance and use blasters, the bikes can play some good old JSJ techniques, we all know from tau suits and the good old ed3 days, when there was no TLOS and eldar had a vehicle upgrade called crystal matrix.

Sure that tactic won't work on desert style tables, but if you aim for the 25% the rulebook uses a rule of thump and mix some good LOS-blockers in, reavers really can shine a lot. And some non-retaliate fly by attacks with 36" and the chance to last turn contest with those movements sounds like a good deal to me.

Xaereth said...

Heh, I just always think about the Reavers getting flamered after having turboed. It makes me sad. :(

Otherwise, I sort of think your elite warrior squad w/ 6 lance weapons seems a little inefficient. You'll have a single turn (maybe) to shoot all of those weapons until your opponent *makes sure* they're gone, and they're already within 18", so are very gettable. Otherwise, if you sit in the back, you get to shoot two shots but are wasting points on the blasters, or if you're moving around, you're wasting points on the dark lances.

As far as Incubi go, I think they're about the only unit (besides Harlies) that are going to be able to murder MEQ consistantly. Wracks might be alright, but still, a 6+ 4+ isn't *that* amazing. Wolves are still gonna tear wyches up pretty good now that they get their full attacks and wyches are only going to be killing 2-3 before they strike. Just stick a phantasm grenade launcher with an archon into the unit and call it a day. Or, if you want to be a little ridiculous, put them also with a Hamonculous or two, giving them FNP and maybe furious charge. Expensive, but pretty durable as well.

Do you really think the 5+ invuln is a good idea? It just seems... expensive and somewhat silly. It might make a difference, but it really just seems like buying an invulnerable save for a gretchin.

Just some thoughts, I mostly agree with you. I can't wait to actually own the codex.

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for this. Love it. Can't wait until I have the book in my hand myself.

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