Friday, October 10, 2014

DE: Played a bunch of games

Stomping on people's faces.. kinda.

Keep in mind that I always build my lists to be competitive all-comers, none of that tailoring shit.  To sum up my experiences so far..

Game #1 - My Tau vs. solo DE with Venomspam
Huge win. Turkey shoot in my favor, even with him going first and getting stealth.  The pure amount of S7 twin-linked, SMS and my Drone Controlling Commander just blew him out of the water.  I think I killed 2 Ravagers, 4 Venoms and a Raider in my first turn of shooting, while severely crippling other things.  Just look at my list below, it's a pretty standard shooting list with Tau.

Game #2 - My DE/Eldar vs. Mechdar
Lose by 2, even with me deploying mostly everything in reserve and hiding my Night Spinner.  My DE elements got shot to crap and my WS could not outmatch a greater number of WS and Wraithknights.  Razorwings couldn't do anything significant vs. the WKs when they're getting cover + Shrouding from the Telepathy Farseer, and even without AA, he just forced enough twin-linked Ignore Cover shots and killed off my Razorwings without any issues.

Game #3 - My pure DE vs. Tau
Draw. I went first, Ravagers shot into the Broadsides and killed a full unit.  Rest of my shooting was uneventful, and I had 3x Razorwings and 2x Gunboats in  reserve ready to drop in.  I roll like ass for reserves, bringing in 1 Razorwing which gets intercepted and destroyed by the Quad-gun, a single Gunboat comes in and tries to shoot down a half-health Riptide but instead gets Intercepted and exploded, then the rest of my crap blows up because of SMS, Missile Pods, and Ignore Cover MSSS Commander granting it to Crisis Suits.  I end up tying the game with First Blood, Warlord (lance gibbed), Linebreaker, and scratching the bottom of the barrel with like 4 Warriors left holding onto an objective.

Game #4 - My Mechdar vs. pure DE
Huge win.  The game was over on T1 on my turn.  He deploys in front of me under Night Fighting, I had 5x WS, 2x Prisms and a Night Spinner with CHEx on call.  Didn't need to do any counter-reserving since an Autarch was my commander.  First round begins, I destroy 2 Ravagers, a Venom, 2 Raiders, kill an entire Warrior squad, and another gets pinned, while the Trueborn in the Venom are left staggering.  He concedes, even with 2x Haemonculi and 2x Scourges with 4x HWB in reserve.  Why would Mechdar care?

Game #5 - My mixed Eldar vs. pure DE
Huge win.  I think my opponent had some Groteques, which gets gibbed and shot to crap from my Guide/Divination double WK list, and the rest of his army evaporates to 4x WS with Scatters.  This list had more Raiders in there, but it just couldn't do enough damage to my WKs due to BS4, wounding on 4s, cover, and my Farseer was invincible with 2+ cover re-rollable, which the DE player couldn't touch because he's pure DE.

Lists are as follows, all 1850:
Pure DE-
Succubus with 9x Wyches in Raider
3x Gunboats with Warriors in Raiders
2x 5x Warriors in Raiders
All with Blasters, lance on the Raider and Athersails
3x Razorwing with Lances
3x Ravagers

Archon, Autarch
5x Warriors in Raider with Blaster
2x Gunboats with 10x Warriors in Raiders, the works
2x 5x Dire Avengers in Holo WS, Scatter, SC, Stones
2x Razorwing with Lances
3x Ravagers with Lances
1x Night Spinner, Holo, Stones

My Tau-
Buffmander with Drone Controller, MSSS
Fireblade in 12x Fire Warriors
Another 12x Fire Warriors and a smaller 6x Warrior unit
All behind ADL with Quad-gun with Fireblade on the gun
2x XV104 Riptides with Early Warning, SMS and Ion Accel
3x Crisis Suits with TL Missiles, BS Filter and Early Warning
12x Marker Drones chilling with the Buffmander
2x 3x XV88 Broadsides with HY Missiles and Target Lock
1x Hammerhead Gunship with Dpod and Submunitions

My Mechdar-
5x Min Dire Avenger WS, Scatters, Holo, Stones
Crimson Hunter Exarch
2x Fire Prisms, Holo, Stones
1x Night Spinner, Holo, Stones

Another version-
Laughing Seer, Telepathy for Shrouding
Autarch for reserves
4x Min Dire Avenger WS, Scatters, Holo, Stones
Crimson Hunter
2x Wraithknights
1x Night Spinner, Holo, Stones

I'm lucky enough to find some Eldar and Tau players on Vassal because that's pretty much all you find in the competitive scene.  Tau can do some seriously stupid shit to Dark Eldar, pretty much turning them inside out with all the high-volume, high-strength, Ignore Cover bullshit from a million miles away.  At least when I had Night Shields I was able to pick at him from range because I had NS on all my vehicles, now they just don't give a shit.  You match range with their 36" Broadsides and you're forced to shoot into cover because you don't have any Ignore Cover of your own.  From early observations playing with and against, I would place Tau at 85-15 odds vs. pure DE.

As for Mechdar, lol, forget about it.  I don't know how you're supposed to tackle that kind of pressure from Wave Serpents.  They move fast, pretty much kills any one of your vehicles with a push of a button, and takes almost no damage on return fire from your lances.  If you want to play the DS reserve war, their Autarchs does a better job at it.  If you have Scourges, you're screwed because where are you going to drop them that's safe from the Serpents and still do a good job?  The fact that they can just move and receive a +1 cover is huge, compared to the Jink saves DE makes and gets completely ignored.  Wraithknights punch out Grotesques all day, while their natural T8 make them a nightmare to do damage to with lances.  This basically means that you want to take more Venoms naturally, but if you do, you're just going to eat it from Wave Serpents because you really don't have a solid answer.  I think this is one matchup you're just going to eat it if you're not taking some Eldar elements yourself.  It's almost unwinnable:  95-5 vs. pure DE.

Not only do I feel those two matchups are ridiculously difficult for Dark Eldar, but their books are superior in almost every way.  It's all about options, and they got a lot more than we do.  Sorry.


Mush said...

These games were played using the Eternal War missions I presume? In my experience Maelstrom style missions lead to much more dynamic gameplay which Dark Eldar thrive on. The Eternal War missions on the other hand are very static and favour Gunlines and passive play.

Rudyard Olmstead said...

HERO, appreciate you sharing these reports, very informative. Sounds like pure DE and even Eldar/DE struggle a bit here against Tau and pure Eldar. I appreciate that you do not taylor lists to an opponent, but stick to real "all-comers" lists. As I read through your report above, here are some ideas I had about how DE or DE with Eldar allies could take on Tau and pure Eldar opponents:

1 - Tau Markerlights -- Of what I have seen, these are often the key to a Tau army... if they can be neutralized quickly, then Tau has so much less options (i.e. less accurate shooting, no ignore cover unless you have a MSS on a Commander, etc.). With that in mind, I think there are a couple of key "anti-markerlight" units that might work for you:

a) Allied Swooping Hawks -- With their Skyleap, S4 AP4 Ignore Cover grenade packs, and 3 shot Lasblasters, they are the ideal unit to hunt Pathfinders and/or Marker Drones... drop that Large Blast Template as you DS in with 10 Swooping Hawks, then fire a volley of 30 Lasblaster shots... if you get a good hit with the Grenade Pack Template, you are likely to kill 4-5 Marker Drones and then another 3-4 with the Lasblaster shooting... that's 7-9 Marker Drones dead in a single volley, which is quite crippling to the Markerlight capability if you are using the Tau list described above in your post.

b) Mandrakes -- Not as dramatic as Swooping Hawks, but they can impact the came turn 1 (infiltrate vs DS) and can put out 20 S4 AP4 shots at turn (with Soul Blaze thrown in for a few extra wounds, potentially)... against Marker Drones, that's about 7 dead models in a single volley (not counting an cover saves). Even better, with Shrouded/Stealth, Mandrakes can absorb LOTs of Tau firepower on 2+ cover saves, either distracting it from you Raiders or even surviving it and then charging the Tau gun-line Turn 2.

Rudyard Olmstead said...

2 - Eldar Wave Serpents -- The big bad boogey man of almost any army list, I think DE and their Eldar allies actually have some decent counters to 5-7 Wave Serpent Lists:

a) Reaver Jetbikes with Heatlances and Cluster Caltrops -- So, with Eldar Jetbikes these guys can literally be across the table Turn 1 and deep in your opponent's DZ.... use Jink + Skilled Rider to absorb the non-Serpent Shield shooting (3+ cover is quite solid for DE units) and then Turn 2 use Heat Lances and S4/S6 Rending Hammer of Wrath hits... Heat lances should be able to knock of a few HPs and them you can multi-charge several Wave Serpents, potentially glancing all of them to death in a single charge (D6 Hammer of Wrath S6 auto-hits against AV10 rear armor per Cluster Caltrop can do a some real damage). I think the key is to take multiple Reaver units, so that you overwhelm his target priority capabilities (say 4-6 Reaver squads of 6 bikes/2 Heat Lances/2 Caltrops each, using the Real Space Raider detachments)

b) Allied Wraithguard with Wave Serpent, Blaster Archon and WWP -- Unit arrives by DS, no scatter, Disembarks from the Wave Serpent, and deletes two enemy Wave Serpents... one with Wraitguard and one with friendly Wave Serpent (shooting into enemy rear armor). Next turn, either mount up and move toward another target or footslog to engage another pair of Wave Serpents.

HERO said...

Yeah, but the Reavers are just as vulnerable to high-volume shots, even if the Jink is there. Both Tau and Eldar and throw a crazy amount of firepower out that just forces you to row saves. Statistically, you will have a poor showing no matter what. Just dragging yourself across the battlefield vs. a single WS shooting at you *should* on paper, kill 6 Reavers by himself. Assuming he has a Shuriken Cannon and moved 6", he can let out 4 twin-linked S6 shots from the Scatter Laser, which will paint the Shuriken for another 3, and then 4 on average from the Serpent Shield that Ignore Cover. I get your train of thought though, and I will agree that overwhelming his target priority is absolutely crucial. Perhaps hiding them and then zooming across while DS'ing in at the same time.

Allied options are definitely here, which is why my closest game was with Eldar allies. That WWP suggestion you made with Wraithguard is probably going to be one of the most common applications of consistent damage for Eldar players. Something that further attests the concept that I think the DE codex is actually an Eldar supplement.

HERO said...

Well, the army will have a lot of Ignore Cover shooting still, since almost everything has SMS which is twin-linked and Ignore Cover. The S5 is not as good for sure, but still enough to hurt almost all of our vehicles.

Thanks for your suggestions, they have been thought about. God I hate Mandrakes, I think they're so worthless in tons of lists, especially meched ones. Swooping Hawks seem like a better option for sure, and apply in more lists.

HERO said...

Yup, Eternal Mission. I also think that modified BAO missions will be slightly better for DE.

Rudyard Olmstead said...

Great points HERO.

One other thing to consider (I know you don't love Haemonculi, but they are a significant part of the DE book and are options if you want to be competitive) is the formations from the new Coven supplement, especially the one with 5 Talos in a single unit with Scout. Take these, move 6" for Scout, 6" move, D6" run, then turn 2 move another 6" and hopefully assault multiple wave serpents.

They should have to absorb one full turn of shooting, but with FNP, T7, 3+ armor save, and 15 total wounds, they should be able to absorb A LOT of Wave Serpent shooting... this also takes away that firepower from you fragile Raiders/Ravagers, allowing them to get into position and do their thing.

HERO said...

How much is said unit? Both in price and in points? I've heard this mentioned before and it looks like a decent option, but I really hate the fact they're selling that day 1 dlc so hard.

Rudyard Olmstead said...

Well, I don't know in terms of real $$s, but points wise, with no upgrades, it should be exactly 600 points. Now, if you are doing this already (i.e. going the "Talostar" route), then I highly recommend upgrading all the TLed Splinter Cannons to TLed Haywire Blasters for another 50 points... this gives you 5 TLed Haywire shots at 24" a turn, which could quite easily kill a Wave Serpent (or Land Raider) a turn as they move and even on the turn they charge can give them some good ranged punch.... in a DE list which is strong against infantry because of Poison and good AP2 shooting already, having a

Brodrick said...

I think there was no need to evaluate DE vs. Eldar. They couldn't handle Eldar in 5th, 6th so no expectation that would change. With the changes to the Wave Serpent getting better nothing changed. I used to Ram DE vehicles all day or just peppering them with S6.

I think for Eldar you will need to think outside of the box. There is Dstriking Venoms with Blasters (yuck) or Wraithguard/Dragons. Or just quite simply take 2 or 3 units of Legion of the Damned and call it a day. Now I think the DE solution would be better with Clawed Fiends (2 12 S5 attacks or 3 18 S5 attacls with a master at 100 or 70 pts. I have used them to good effect in the past. They are not threatening and offer something different and have uses against all armies.

Now Tau require closing the gap but I would really explore the Coven Supplement though. I know you don't like Haemonculous. But the two most interesting ones are the hammy/2 Grot units and the hammy/Talos/Chronos. I personally feel these are the best two. I think Haywire Blasters on one scourges and Heat Lances on the other gives flexibility. I think Armor of Misery has overall flexibility as well combined with these. Why, DE are disposable all the way down to their HQ's. The -2 for the armor and -1 for unit could cause Tau lots of issues as there is a reliable delivery system for both

I would consider it. I don't see the fuss about Reavers really. If they had the old Bladevane rule I would say yes. But I think they got worse. Mainly in the way that Webway portals now work. I think Scourges with Heat Lances are worse as well due to this change.

I think you just disregards Objective Secured and take 2 troops only and spend the points elsewhere.

scott christofersen said...

I've tried to put several different lists together with the models I own for DE and proxied a few lists as well. They just suck for all the reasons listed. Basically in a nutshell they are toughness 3 that need offensive abilities to match their pathetic defense... and everything they had that was even remotely close to that was nerfed without adding defensive abilities. The argument several of my friends have made is that things got cheaper... so... now I can have even more tissue paper that can't hit? how is that even remotely logical?

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