Wednesday, July 4, 2012

A look at DE HQs in 6th

Here I go again!

In 6th Ed, DE power weapons become AP3.  This means that the Agonizer and Huskblade are basically ass vs. anything with a 2+ armor save.  I don't know how your meta is guys, but mine is still obsessed with Grey Knights, Artificer Armor and MEQ in general.  The better question to ask yourself is whether or not is how many Librarians are out there that can't sport a 2+ armor save.  Since Librarians will be all over the place because of the lovely new Psyker rules, I tend to hate on them a lot as Dark Eldar.  Space Wolves have Runic Armor for theirs and Grey Knight Librarians come with TDA.  I still can't for the life of me figure out how Dark Eldar, in all their arrogance and technology haven't figure out a way to cut through Imperial trash.  It blows my mind.

Anyways, let's talk about the cheap HQ route.  I like the combat route for my characters so I never take any Haemonculi in my lists.  The HQs I like to concentrate are Archons and Succubi.

Here are some configurations I'll be playing with the next couple of days:

Archon (Venom Blade, Blaster, Drugs, SF, Haywire) = 125
Archon (Agonizer, Blast Pistol, Drugs, SF, Haywire) = 140

My philosophy behind the Archon is quite simple:  Do things that your Succubus cannot.  The Succubus cannot take a Shadow Field for that wonderful 2++ save, so that's where your Archon must shine.  He also has +1Ld and makes better use of ranged weapons because of his BS7.  For this reason, I see no reason not to take a Blaster or Blast Pistol (personal preference) for ranged superiority.  One nets you better CC performance and the other gives you more range while still giving you a S8 AP2 Lance.  It's really up to you.  Unfortunately, there is a tax that you must take on the Archon and that's the drugs.  In actuality, the Archon starts at 70 points because I see Combat Drugs as a must have.  He has a 1/6 chance to grant a unit FNP and the rest of the bonuses are just too good to ignore.  There's some talk around with people wanting to take the gunslinger Archon and I think that's just outrageous.  Why would you spend 30 points on 2 short ranged Blast Pistols when you can also make him competent in CC?

Before we go any further, I want to talk about the Huskblade.  I'm going to ignore the Huskblade entirely right now because I don't think it's worth the points.  The first reason for this is because my meta is filled with 2+ armor.  The second reason is that the only saving grace it had over the Agonizer is that it ignored armor last edition.  Now, that S3 AP3 attack just doesn't look anymore no matter what you're fighting.  The threat of ID is nice, but I'm finding the points better spent on other things.

By better points, I'm talking about the Agonizer and the Venom Blade.  When fighting against a lot of 2+ AS targets, you might as well roll more wounds from the 5pt Venom Blade.  The Agonizer is also a solid choice still because it's relatively cheap, does AP3 damage on a 4+ to wound regardless of toughness.  When you look at the direction the current meta is going, T6 MCs, Nurgle Bikers, Ork Warbosses and whatnot, the Agonizer is always going to be strong.  It's also a challenge monster vs. the likes of Space Marine Sergeants because you'll be going first with a weapon he can't possibly deal with.  The big difference between the two whether or not you're willing to spend the points on AP3 vs. inflicting more wounds on an enemy.

As for whether or not you want to include a Haywire, you have to think who your Archon is traveling with.  For me, he always travels with Wyches, hence why he has a Haywire grenade.

Damn gurl, lookin' good.

Succubus (Venom Blade, Haywire) = 75
Succubus (Agonizer, Blast Pistol, Haywire) = 105

Now when looking a the Succubus, you have to think cheap.  She's not as protected as the Archon, but she's equally deadly because of her stats and cost.  The Succubus has a built-in 4++ and Combat Drugs.  She's also WS8, which can turn into WS9 if you roll a 2 on the chart.  This, in combination with her 4++ can be a real nightmare for WS4 or less to fight against.  Personally, I think the Succubus is the best choice for the player looking for the best bang for your buck.  She's cheap enough that you won't feel bad for losing her, and her combat abilities are unheard of for her point value.  At 75 points, you're looking at a WS8, I8 HQ with 6 attacks on the charge that wounds on 2+ with the Venom Blade.  You always want to maximize on her combat potential in CC, so you're either in the Venom Blade boat or the Agonizer boat.  Either boat is great, it's really up to your meta which one you want to take.  With Haywires being so good, there's absolutely no reason not to take a Haywire grenade with her, especially because she has BS6 so she's one hell of a great shot.

Before moving onto the honorable mentions, there's one more thing that's really badass.  You know what that is?  It's the fact that the Plasma Grenade is now a S4 AP4 Blast weapon that can be thrown from 8" away.  Combine this with the fact that your Archon and Succubus is BS7 and 6, you're in for hell of a ride.

As for honorable mentions..
Haemonculi are still good because they're primarily template based killers.  Don't worry about wasting any points in CC except for the Venom Blade, instead look into the Liquidifer Gun, Hexrifle and Shattershards.  With AP2 being extremely rare in our army, the Liquidifer and Shattershards usability went up dramatically.

Vect is still good despite his weapon being AP3 now.  It's just a glorified Agonizer and now he can provide his entire squad with Preferred Enemy.  The 4+ to Seize is still amazing, I think he's one of the better priced 200+ point characters.  Sadly, Vect can no longer fight confidently against characters with 2+ AS.

Lady Malys, still good for the points.  Drazhar got better with his 2+ AS and Demiklaives, but I'm still not convinced that he's worth the points.  Lelith got much better because of her weapons actually ignoring armor, but I'm not convinced that she's worth 100 points more than my suggested Succubus build.  That's a whole 'nother Succubus if you know what I mean.  Urien Rakarth got better as well, but his price tag and playstyle keeps me away.  The Decapitator guy is still trash while Baron Sathonyx is still worth taking every time you plan on running Hellions.

Duke Sliscus was always worth the points, and now he's even better!  He's basically an Archon with all the goods I listed above but his weapon now ignores armor saves on a 5+.  It's essentially a mix between the Venom Blade and the Agonizer, despite having a lesser combat profile than the Archon.  His Contraband rules are great if you're running Reavers, Wyches and Hellions, and his Low Orbit Raid is great with improved Reserve rolls.

Last, but certainly not least, I want to talk about Warlord Traits.

Even though I find uses in all of the trees, I enjoy the benefits from Strategic Traits the most.  The only weak for me is Master of Ambush.  I don't really have any Outflanking units, but I can see Acute Senses working very nicely for those that do.  Being able to moderate reserve rolls is a free Astropath or Officer of the Fleet and that's perfectly fine with me.  Night Attacker is probably my favorite one out of the list and it's fluffy as well.  Overall, I find Strategic to be a good fit for the Dark Eldar playstyle.

I'll go over Allied HQs and units another time.  Happy 4th of July everyone!


Scion_of_Terra said...

Take a look at Drazhar again.  Aside from his Phoenix Lord stats, his Demiklaives, when used for the +2 S, count as AP2 and don't have Unwieldy according to the FAQ.  So you've got a WS7 T4 character with a 2+ (possibly FNP as well) striking at I7 with 4 S6 attacks (5 on the charge) and ignoring all enemy armor saves.

HERO said...

No, he got better for sure, but I'm still not sure he's worth the points.  He has to be with Incubi, he doesn't even have assault grenades, and he's a lot of points for someone with no invul save.  Like I said, he's OK at best.

Kevin M said...

The whole 2+ save thing is still going to take a lot of getting used to. I have no idea what the hell GW were thinking with that one. Still, unless you run into Deathwing or Paladinstars, I think Dark Eldar can easily torrent Terminators to death while sending their agonizers/power weapons to the softer bits of an enemy army.

All in all, good overview. The venom blade looks like a much better prospect for an Archon now.

BigToof said...

Why not just buy the Archon a Power Axe (Power Weapon)?  It'll save you a lot of worries versus 2+.  Keep the Djinn Blade for 3+ mates, and you're pretty golden...

The Euphemism said...

The Nightfight trait seems especially good for Dark Eldar as they not only get long range protection but I think the entire army gets to ignore it when they're shooting because of night vision.

Yeeman said...

i think giving the Haemonculus a Power Axe is a pretty good idea.  Bumps him to Str 4, (possibly 5 with FC) and lets him tackle 2+ AS guys as well.  I know he strikes last, but at Int 4 he would be for us anyway.  But, with him striking last and AP 2, he can possibly snipe out characters since you will have killed some regular dudes (hopefully) with all of the squad.  So at the end, youll have just the character and the Haemonculus.  They put out quite a bit of attacks and have 2 Wounds, so they can hold their own I think.

I like the rest of your analysis.  I will actually be using the Huskblade more I think.  The ID chance is nice with Characters with more than one wound.  I also will be buying the Venom Blade because it is only 5 points, and if I feel that there is no way of hurting the guy (MC's) it is a cheap way of piling on wounds.

I'm not too big on our characters anymore because of the AP 3 Power Weps, so I might be staying away for a little bit.  I don't get how a guy like Vect can't kill a guy with a 2+ AS when he's been alive more thousands of years!  Get a new weapon dude!

HERO said...

That's correct.  Dark Eldar gains the ultimate benefit from Night Fighting, and they lose nothing in return, absolutely nothing.  Enemies can't even fire on you from over 36", at 24-36" range (which is Dark Lance engagement range), enemy units shooting back at you has to shoot against 3+ cover from Shrouding and Stealth.  This becomes a 2+ cover if you turbo-boost.  At the 12-24", which is turbo-boost CC engagement range, they gain Stealth + 4+ cover Jink for a 3+ cover save.

HERO said...

I understand what you're saying about the Huskblade, and I agree the ID threat is fantastic, but you'll actually deal less wounds to characters and everything else in general compared to a Agonizer.  However, if your meta has a bunch of fatty MCs with 3+ armor saves, then all the power to you!

Yeeman said...

I'm hoping the HB will scare some ICs away and make someone maybe not accept the challenge.  With a good drug roll, (rerolling wounds, +1 Str) he could still bring the hurt, not to mention if he had already killed an IC and he Str 6 from the Soul Trap.

Dan (1 Awful Person) said...

With the change to FnP wording (cannot be taken against wounds that inflict instant death as opposed to wounds that would inflict instant death) FnP is now a 5++ on Eternal Warriors like Drazhar, plus you can still put him in an empty transport and/or have a haemie join him to drop off a pain token (haemie can join Drazhar using haemies IC rule not Drazhars).

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