Monday, 16 May 2011

Rethinking Dark Eldar

Building 1750 from the ground up and coming at the Dark Kin with fresh eyes.

This is what this post is about.

I am desperately trying to work these guys out and get experienced enough with them to do well consistently.

I read the Dash of Pepper guide to DE over on Dakka Dakka today during work (love it when the sixth form and GCSE kids piss off on study leave...almost no work!) and got at least 2 ideas from it that I had not thought of.

Combine that with a post from Stelek at YTTH a fortnight ago (ish?) on the Raider/Wych/Haywires alpha strike (such that it is) and I'm gaining a few ideas here and there all the time...

Watching Kabalite get his ass handed to him on a number of occasions from my Wolves, Templars and  Grey Knights and I learn from watching this too...

What have I learnt?

Lots of things work in the DE book, lots don't too IMHO.

I have yet to try Beastmasters, but think that Beasts and Baron could be a place for him.

I agree with the assessment at the start of Dash's Guide that he is almost a mandatory choice for DE as the army is built for hitting hard and hitting first... Baron helps with this.

I still love me some Hellions. They just perform for me all the time when alot of other stuff doesn't.

Venoms are great, but it is also so so important what they are carrying. I know the Interwebz loves the 5 man Warriors with Blaster and Syb/Blast Pistol...but I don't get value from the Sybarite and think that just one blaster shot is ultimately worthless as it is simply not reliable enough to perform every time.

This army cannot tolerate massively blown opportunities.. a sure thing needs to be....sure.

So from the talk here we have the following:

- Baron Green Gobbo.. 105
- Large mob of said Green Gobbo's... 15 - 20 for me I like, this runs to 240 - 320, I don't bother with upgrades as with just one squad the Baron has PGL and LD9

I like Venoms, but I think I want to add them near to the end.

Let's move to the Wych and Raider set up. I want to run 2 of these, to make sure I can hit anywhere with a little spacing in deployment and to ensure a bit of redundancy...

I could of course go for 5 squads...

10 Wyches with Haywires sets me back 120

Raider with Flickers and Lance costs 70

190 is pretty good. I'll take 2 for now.

I read that Dash and others recommend adding Haemonculi to their squads for instant FNP and perhaps for Liquefier guns... I'm down with that for a trial run.

Lets take 2.

So 50 x 2 plus 10 x 2...or 60x2...or just fucking 120 idiot.

Both Wych squads have FNP now, I like this as the secondary, or in some cases primary, function of the wych squad is to tar pit.

To road block and slow dudes down...with a 4++ in combat and 4+ FNP.. they do this well.

Now what?

Ranged anti tank is very low currently, just 2 lances from Raiders.

Ravagers really cannot be beaten in the book for ranged darklight weapons.

It does get pretty frustrating with S8 though versus all the 4+ to glance/pen you'll come across though and I have even played around with a Voidraven list, as has Kabalite and we've seen some mixed results.

Loaded up with Necrotoxin missiles they can put down entire units, even large Terminator units, but then they still die like the paper aeroplanes they are..

So we stick with Ravagers and throw on Flickerfields for annoyance factor.

115 is pretty cool and 345 for 3 is a bargain...although I would like to see a BOGOF deal in the next codex lol.

We are at 1190 now all in and have a couple of routes that we could explore.

1) Triple Trueborn in Venoms to massively shore up the anti tank
2) More Wyches for lolz.
3) More Hellions and then some Reavers, bit of both worlds with this option.

So number 3 as it's my least favourite competitevly and most favourite visually...

Another good sized Hellion unit adds 240.

6 Reavers with 2 Heat Lances is 166......thinks, checks codex........even better 156

2 of them...or could I do 3...hmmm....thinks....

Let's roll with 2 as I think I may be over points here... that's 312 giving us:

2 x Haemo's with Liquefiers
15 Hellions
15 Hellions
10 Wyches with Haywires in Flickerfield Raider

10 Wyches with Haywires in Flickerfield Raider 
6 Reavers with 2 Heat Lances 
6 Reavers with 2 Heat Lances 
Ravager with Flickerfield 
Ravager with Flickerfield 
Ravager with Flickerfield 

This is 1742. 
8 points. 
I need 10 points to upgrade the second Hellion squad to contain a Helliarch for the crucial Ld9. 


Jesus, yes. You have seen what repeated tank shocks can do to a unit that flees 3D6" right? Screw that... 

Even on LD9 it seems to happen all the pissing time! 

Now, we have a couple of options here. And I think I like it.... 

Drop the second squad of Helions down to a 19 man unit at a cost of 304. 

This saves 176 points. 

This is enough for the 3rd squad of Reavers, giving us a very fast, airborne army that has good, mobile AP1 tank hunting... 20 points left could be....? 

The issue with this option is that it reduces our scoring units down to 3. 

Now 4 is not enough to begin with to be honest, especially ours... they are a bit puny. 

The 176 saving plus perhaps 1 single Hellion could get us to an extra 2 troops units and alot more anti infantry... 

I'm thinking those minimum sized Wrack units in Venoms that we see around ALOT. 

3 dudes, 1 Venom, 2 Splinter Cannons and a Flickerfield for 95 points. 

Times two for 190. 

Lets add up. 

2 x Haemo's w Liquefiers 
Hellions x 18 
3 Wracks - Venom +Cannons 
3 Wracks - Venom +Cannons 
10 Wyches with Haywires in Flickerfield Raider 
10 Wyches with Haywires in Flickerfield Raider 
6 Reavers with 2 Heat Lances 
6 Reavers with 2 Heat Lances 
Ravager with Flickerfield 
Ravager with Flickerfield 
Ravager with Flickerfield

10 points spare...still. lol. Throw those points wherever and call it a day. 

A Venom Blade each for the Haemo's... 

That is my slightly revised thinking on Dark Eldar are doing some fairly heavy reading around today. 

Bear in mind I've been playing DE for a long time, with the new book and addition, whilst my main focus may be on Marines...I play against these guys in some form every single week...a couple of times per week...I have a good insight...assume I can play the game well enough... 

Anyway, discuss guys! What do we think? 


  1. If you're going to throw the Haemies with the wyches, I'd recommend dropping the wyches down to 9 each. Otherwise you waste a turn jumping them into their rides and can't move flat out.

  2. Timbo...thanks brother. bloody good point! Frees up 24 points...drop to eight each for 48 points freed...maybe 58 points if we drop those venom blades... could change something up with those sort of points...can I hear a "voidraven" shout!!...

  3. Grisly Trophies and the other one...mmm..can't remember the name can be nice on Wyche Raiders for the Leadership mod. 5 pts each I believe.

  4. Looking forward to the reports back on this Ven - a lot of stuff that I fancy painting in this list for my DE "birthday treat" much later this year - Hellions / Raiders / Venoms to name a few. Though I think I might bust out the old school wyches after Brighton as my "break" from my new project / painting what I have (DE = reward for finishing all armies/variants I have now!)

  5. @ An Enemy: Torment Grenade Launchers? -1 LD for morale checks.. I might consider this, but I have a real issue with upgrading a vehicle that is just going to get shredded by enemy fire, pretty much no matter what upgrades I put on there!

    I can absolutely see the use of both upgrades, and 10 points is not much at all, but if the upgrades are not used the turn the wyches get out and haywire/tarpit stuff then they'll most likely be wasted... this of course is not likely as the Raider needs to move 12" for the wyches to get out and this will not put it in range for the upgrades first turn...

    I'm not an optimist basically as far as keeping raiders alive past one enemy shooting phase!

    That said, if I can't find a better use...then it will go on Grisly and TGL...thanks for the idea!