Thursday, July 12, 2012

Dark Eldar units revisited

Arrogance and firepower.

This will be my 6th Ed. review of all the Dark Eldar units.  I'll probably do a complete army primer for my Kabalite army sometime in the near future, so stay tuned.  This is a review of the entire book in the new edition, my army primer will be similar to my Pure Grey Knights tactica where I only focus on Kabal units (no coven stuff).

Alright, let's begin.

Asdrubael Vect - Still good, just not as good as he was.  Preferred Enemy and Fearless now confers to the squad that he's with, so that's always good.  I say that alone makes him worth his points despite his Power Weapon being only AP3.  Well you know what, tough shit.  All of our power weapons are now AP3, at least he still wounds on 3+ and now you get to re-roll all 1s.  This makes him a beast at killing tactical marines, but a complete waste if you throw him into combat vs. Terminators.  Seize on 4+ is still good too, especially when you can take advantage of Night Fighting.

Lady Malys - Not much to say about her.  Making a squad immune to psychic abilities in an edition where psykers are everywhere is pretty promising.  The best thing about her is her 130 point price tag and the fact that she can relocate bits and pieces of your army.  No Shadowfield is a bit of a let down, and the AP3 on her weapon is also pretty sad.

Drazhar, Master of Blades - Now holds one of the only options for AP2 in our entire book, and that alone makes him attractive.  What makes him unattractive is his points cost, his lack of grenades and the fact that he has to join Incubi, who also don't have grenades.

Lelith Hesperax - Lelith got a bit of a boost this edition because her weapons now completely ignore armor. This is great and all, but I would still prefer a 2++ on her because of her points cost.  You can literally buy 2 Succubi in place of her and that's just a ton more cost effective in every way, shape and form.  Some people still enjoy the ignore armor saves thing, but to me, she's still S3 with no drug modifications.

Urien Rakarth - Sees a buff this edition with the addition of challenges.  Urien is actually really good in a challenge, but your opponent is probably not going to want any of that.  He's carrying a Flesh Gauntlet that's poisoned 3+ and has a built-in Clone Field.  I mean, come on.  For that reason, he's a decent buy for any coven list because he also provides army-wide buffs and bonuses.  Overall, a good choice in a coven list, but I wouldn't say he's completely cost effective.

Duke Sliscus the Serpent - Great buy as always.  I've always said he was a good buy for 150 and I still stand behind him with that.  His weapon also got buffed because it still ignores armor saves on a 5+.  Duke comes stock with a Blast Pistol and Shadowfield, and has great army-wide buffs for drug heavy lists.  He's great for armies using a lot of Splinter shots and even better with an mechanized list that can take advantage of his near army-wide Retrofire Jets.

Kherdaruakh, the Decapitator - I've literally given up on trying to say his name, so I just call him the Decapitator.  It doesn't really matter anyway because he's crap.  Not worth the points in any way.  Just terrible.

Baron Sathonyx - The only other great buy for special characters.  He's dirt cheap, gives whatever unit he joins Stealth, a free PGL and Shadowfield.  Hellions also become troops when you take this guy and since he's an IC, you can attach him to anything you want.  I don't know about you guys, but this guy is simply outrageous for the cost.  To make things even more interesting, you can also take him, another Shadowfield Archon with Eldrad and a big unit of Wraithguard with Conceal.  Attach both the Baron and Archon to the unit and place them in the front and Fortune the unit with Eldrad.  You now have a T6 unit with 4+ cover walking across the field with 2x 2++ re-rollable characters to take shots and transfer wounds.  Oh, and they have Hit and Run.

Archon - A fantastic buy still, but a little nerfed because of his weapon choices.  Both the Huskblade and Agonizer lost a lot of their killing potential, but the fact that he can still sport a Shadowfield in challenges is very nice.  He can challenge with confidence and you can gear him out however you want.  Agonizers are great vs. normal marines, Venom Blades are better vs. Terminators (and also much cheaper), and BS7 Plasma Grenades and Blaster shots are always good.

Succubus - My favorite HQ under the new rules.  She has built-in drugs, outrageous WS and I and is only 5 points more expensive than the Archon.  Her 4++ dodge is't as impressive as the Shadowfield, but it comes stock and costs nothing.  Besides, if you roll for +1WS, she is now WS9 and all units WS4 and under will need 5s to hit her.  That, in combination with her speed and wide range of weapon choices will give you plenty of options.  One of the biggest things to note about her in this edition is that you now use the highest I in the unit when rolling for Sweeping Advance.  This makes her I8 extremely deadly to anything she wins combat with.

Haemonculi - Not much changed with these guys.  They're still the points effective, Liquidfier-totting, Shattershard sharting weirdos that get all kinds of funky ass weapons.  I guess they got buffed a bit because Haemonculi alone hold the keys to Arcane weapons and thus, the ability to instantly remove Terminators, characters and character units.

Incubi - Incubi are still the premiere marine shredders we have for CC, but the fact that their weapons are AP3 now makes them a lot less attractive.  There's 2 things that I don't like about Incubi; the fact that they can no longer tango with Terminators, and the fact that there's no grenades in the squad.  You would think Eldar technology has figured out how to cut through Mon-Keigh contraptions by now.  Anyways, I don't like the Archon PGL tax just to see them bounce off TDA.  I find that highly unappealing. Yes, I say this knowing that Disintegrators are an weapon option for Ravagers.  That doesn't stop me from hating the fact we don't have a reliable answer to Termies in melee.

Grotesques - Basically the same as they were last edition, except for the fact that FNP is different.  You no longer care about AP1, 2 and Power Weapons, but at the end of the day, a 5+ is still a 5+.

Wracks - Since Wracks have two poisoned weapons that wound on 4+ (unless you need lower to wound), you can re-roll wounds vs. units that has the same T as your S.  This makes poison a little better this edition.

Mandrakes - They're pretty much the same as they were last edition.  Use them if you want I guess.

Harlequins - Well, it looks like GW messed up and changed the Eldar Harlequins in their FAQ and not ours.  That means all the rules for the Shadowseer still apply in the meanwhile.  The one thing that turns me off about Harlequins is that while they're good (Rending is AP2 and AP2 is rare!), is that they have to footslog their way across the field.  In a Footdar list, they can work pretty decently, but then gain if you're playing DE on foot you're probably playing very casually.  Although, I think Duke + a giant unit of Warriors w/ Splinter Cannons, PGL for Stealth and a Farseer to cast Prescience would be bonkers.

Kabalite Trueborn - Just as good as they were last edition.  Now if they only had access to Haywire Blasters..

Hekatrix Bloodbrides - Don't bother.  Now that Haywire is so good and Wyches do it for cheaper, just stick with the Wyches.  The extra cost doesn't justify paying extra for the specialty weapons.

Kabalite Warriors - Rapid Fire got better, therefore Kabalite Warriors got better.  You can now also Snapfire and Overwatch, so overall this has been a huge boost of the effectiveness of the unit.  They are one of my premiere go-to units for sheer weight of fire and forcing mass wounds.  Add in Splinter Racks and maybe the Duke and you've got yourself some serious firepower.

Wyches - Got a little weaker because of Overwatch, the 5+ FNP and the S4 from Exploding vehicles.  Wyches also lost some of their infantry killing firepower because of the nerf to Agonizers, but in exchange they gained some good stuff too.  PGL got buffed so you now count as having Stealth if you're being shot within 8", challenges work in your favor because of I6 and Agonizers, Haywires are insane at destroying vehicles and you can now throw Plasma Grenades (S4 AP4 Blast) before you charge with the Fleet bonus.  There's a few things good and a few things bad, just gotta deal with it.

Fast Attack
Hellions - Got better, lost nothing.  Come in from reserves faster because of 3+ rolls on a safer DS table.  Gain Hammer on the turn you charge with Jump packs for free I10 damage.

Scourges - Same as above.  Now with Haywire Blasters being better, I can see these guys play a stronger role on the battlefield.

Beastmasters - Got better as well.  Moves up to 12" in the movement and ignores terrain, even when charging.  Have Fleet and Move Through Cover, and if you attach the Baron to them, Hit and Run and PGL bonuses.

Reavers - Also got better.  Not only do you move further, but you keep the same outrageous cover save because of Jink and Skilled Rider stacking.  This is great for a unit that just has to fly over something to do damage.

Transports and Heavies
Raider - You can now drop the Flickerfield (because you have Jink) and take the 10 points spent there for Splinter Racks for your gunboats.  This gives you re-roll to hit for the now improved Kabalite Warriors and that's just amazing.  Keep in mind that you can move 12" and Snap Fire all your shots as well, so don't forget to do those.  Otherwise, the 3 HP is just gravy.

Venoms - Now at 2 HP, but still have their uses.  Need long-ranged Poisoned shots?  There's no craft that does it better.  Still the best MSU Trueborn carriers unless you need a longer range Lance boat.

Ravager - Speaking of Lance boats, these guys are still one of the best buys in the book.  I take Night Shields on all my vehicles and I encourage you guys to as well.  Pre-measuring goes a long way to deny the enemy of their more lethal weapons, and helps you become a better player by helping you space better.  At 115 points with the Night Shield, I don't think there's a better buy if you're looking for powerful, long-range damage that can insta-gib T4.  If you don't like Lances, just take Disintegrators and Focus Fire some Termies.

Talos Pain Engine - I like it, what can I say.  MC attacks are now AP2 and have the ability to Smash things. Fearless got improved so you can tie things up, and its weapon options are still awesome.

Cronos Parasite Engine - Not as good as the Talos, but still good for its points.  Both the Talos and Cronos contests with my Ravagers, so that's no bueno.

Razorwing and Voidraven - Now that the Flyer rules are out, the Razorwing is out there for all to see.  When you compare the Razorwing with the Voidraven, a lot of people see two things:  AV11 vs. AV10 (Razorwing), and S9 Lances vs. S8 (Razorwing).  The one thing I encourage a lot of people to see is the 40 points of missiles that the Razorwing comes with.  Sure, they're all the same type of missile, but Monoscythe got a pseudo buff this edition because blast (and thus scattering) now hits for full effect on vehicles.  If your vehicle gets clipped by an asshair by my blast marker, you're gonna take it at full strength.  Regardless of which choice you go for, just know that Flickerfields is still a great buy for the flyers.  This allows you to take a 5++ save so you fire for full BS next turn instead of having to Jink.  Night Shields is a little more questionable because of how far you have to move, but being AV10/11 on your vehicles means that any damage prevented regardless of its source is much appreciated.


JeffG93 said...

PGL got buffed so you now count as having Stealth if you're being shot from 8"+ away," Not true, 8" or LESS. Pg62 :(

HERO said...

I corrected that the same time you posted! Woulda been amazing if it was 8"+.

Michael Hogan(Xethik) said...

Not that it reaaally matters, but you can't have two models in your army with the Shadowfield, even on special characters. I believe this is in the FAQ, but if not, it's probably just RAW.

HERO said...

That's because it applies to those items with a * next to them, meaning you can only take one per army. Shadow Field does not have this.

Michael Hogan(Xethik) said...

Oh! Does it not? I was under the impression it was. I stand corrected, I'm sorry.

Mercer said...

Nice write up, dude.

Baron's hit and run doesn't confer to the unit, it's just him.

Balor said...

I like the write up but a reminder that IC/CH use average WS when attack against the unit. Unless you are in a challenge or hold the higher WS is in majority high WS skill models took a hit. IC pg 39, Ch pg 63 Rolling to hit bottom of pg 24

xzandrate said...

Urien being T5 is also helpful in challenges, means you almost always get FNP, and then regen a wound every turn.

The points about the Blast buffs for monoscythe are valid, and have had me looking at the Dark Gate upgrade for Haemies.

Mushkilla said...

It does, check the BRB. A unit now has Hit and Run as long as one model in the unit has it. However only hellions will benefit from his Master of the Skies rule. :D

Sample said...

you only need one model with Hit and run to confer it to the unit now.

Mercer said...

AH, awesome them! I need to re-check some of the old special rules, as a lot of them have slightly changed and now confer to friendly units i.e preferred enemy, hit and run and poison (doesn't confer to unit, but has changed).
Subject: [herosgamingblog] Re: HERO's Gaming Blog: Dark Eldar units revisited

Big_Black_Fiend said...

Great post Hero ! Almost makes we wanna de again. :D

Ahriman said...

Shattershard sharting - sounds painful

Mushkilla said...

Reavers are great this edition, you should really give them ago.

With the 4+ jink save from moving large squads are a lot tougher as they don't need to find cover anymore (they had a hard time finding cover in 5th). The jink save also makes using heat lances a lot safer. Works wonders with night fight (god I love night fight, it has so much synergy with jink saves, shame we can't force it on the first turn). They are now T4 so feel no pain is better, and it now protects them from power weapons.

They have huge mobility thanks to turbo boost, and the option to move 2d6 in the assault phase. They auto-pass dangerous terrain tests. Blade vanes are still great.

They got a nice boost in assault thanks to hammer of wrath. The new power weapon options are interesting on them, notably spears. Although agonisers or venom blades are still great.

My experience in this edition is that they perform a lot better in assault. Which I like as it always felt weird never using combat drugs. So far I have been running 9 with three heat lances, and an arena champion with venomblade or agoniser for 249-264pts. It's not cheap but it's an amazingly survivable toolbox unit, that always makes it's points back. Being able to pump out 9-27 blade vane attack, reliably take out tanks and beat most non dedicated assault units. They really excel at popping transports and assaulting the troops inside. A whole load of fun.

Michael Kapuscinski said...

care-AH-drew-ock. Kheradruakh. Add in a touch of latin flavor to the consonants and it sounds suitably inhuman.

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