Tuesday, 3 July 2012

My biased opinions on Dark Eldar in Sixth

I'm gonna come out and say it. Stop crying. I had a massive rant written but no one wants to hear someone complain about people complaining. I just want to say don't judge sixth off initial impressions of what you've read. Get a game in, get 10-15 in, then make your judgements. See where the meta game goes. See how 6th is meant to be played. See how army builds change. You may not be able to take 4 Psydreads and 8 Razorbacks and do well. Or spam venoms and lances. You might have to bring in some Interceptors to shunt into your enemies deployment zone and eat through a squad. Or maybe Beastmasters to glance out transports. Hell, these could be horrible ideas. I don't know. But I'm not gonna cry wolf about 6th. I'm going to play, learn, and kill the humies. Onto the fun shit.

My opinions so far on Dark Eldar in Sixth

We'll start with a quote by Inquisitor Bastalek Grimm. "There is a very good reason why so many of the galaxy's cultures and societies are afraid of the dark."

I'm going to try to be a much more regular poster as work has slowed down and my interest in 40k is growing again. Very quickly. Going to start with an overview of DE in sixth and eventually move into tactics with DE and the new rules.

I think Dark Eldar is going to be a serious threat in the competitive scene. IMO, we have the best flyers in game. Voidravens. FF means you never have to evade and lose out on shooting. S9 Lances are great at opening up tanks and +1 on the chart is wicked. Shatterfield missiles are now great for 10 points! They have the same killing power on infantry and now no modifier on the chart makes them a threat to transports and infantry alike. And a S9 AP2 Small blast that only scatters D6 is the perfect killing tool for terminators and still being able to hit targets beyond them.

Transports are now cheaper with no need for FF, faster in flatout and more likely to survive as the deliver troops because a lucky glance isn't going to make you crash, three will though. Haywire is awesome. Beastmasters glancing vehicles to death. Ravagers that are more difficult to suppress/kill. Nightfight potential every game, and us completely ignoring it. Hellions get a free attack on the charge, though multicharge is less than stellar now. Either way, one thing is for sure. There will be blood.

Troops in Sixth

All two of them, usually. Warriors have gotten alot more useful with the changes to rapid fire and the addition of snap shots. You no longer have to be stationary to fire at full range and when firing from a vehicle you can snap shot when you move at cruising. Units can fire snapshots from transports even during shaken as well as overwatch from the transport. Even though snapshots are 6s, you give Splinter Racks for rerolls and 24 shots and a blaster can be painful. Its about 4 wounds from rapid range.

And still my favourite of potential troops, Wyches. Even with the nerf to power weapons and FNP I still think Wyches are on top. The only times I ever charged a unit with 2+ saves were when I was forced to. Lists like Deathwing, Draigowing and Dante Sanguinary Guard lists, and even then I usually piled in 2-3 squads on one unit. Terminators still die to shooting and now I can focus them as they slog out of cover. FNP has dropped from 50% to 33.3% but I can take my saves against power weapons as well when they slip through.

The buffs to Wyches are what's important though, the first being the smallest but will still help. Grenades. Being able to toss a Plasma Grenade in and shoot before every charge is nice. As well as defensive giving stealth within 8, less handy but might be worth the 10 points to keep alive. The next, Challenges, is an awesome addition to CC. A Hekatrix can call out the enemy squad and taunt the Sarge to take her on. And he either accepts and with average rolls, dies before he makes a swing or decides not to engage and cannot swing that turn, and I hit the squad with my PW. Then challenge again next round. Another bonus is the new charge range in conjunction with Fleet and Initiative step pile ins only being 3". The diagram below shows what I mean. This is just one example but the spread of the enemy unit is going to be different but this is a squad with max spread to avoid blast and all behind cover with the Character in the rear to keep him safe.

Your wyches are postioned to get hit the flank of the unit to keep units out of the pile in, engaging the least amount of models possible. Use your fleet rerolls to your advantage, if your charge range is so much that you engage to deep into the unit, reroll your highest to shorten your range and only engage what you need. While also trying to engage all your models in combat off the charge so you have no need to pile in. In the diagram the Sgt engages in the challenge and dies, as well as 3 other models in the enemy unit. Since wounds allocate nearest to furthest, the enemies in base will die first then work its way back. If you can kill enough, when it comes time for the enemy to pile in they won't make it into base, and won't attack. Giving your 3-4 kills at the cost of nothing, potentially breaking the enemy and catching them in a sweeping advance. Its a bit complicated and requires a bit of finesse. But, thats just how DE wins, right?

Combat1 The best buff I think though is glances strip hull points and can wreck vehicles. And unless a vehicles doesn't move we're hitting it on 3's. Haywires for the win. Oh, and we can still first turn charge. That's all for today. More will come as I play more. Keep it dark. Kabalite out.


  1. I love reading about DE. I picked up, and painted, a DE force near the end of 5th but never really got to play it. That means I never got into any 5th edition habits that don't work anymore. My DE knowledge is a blank slate.

    Have you thought about the double FOC at 2000 points? I was tempted by the Flyers, but didn't want to give up my Ravagers, but then I read about this. Taking 3 Flyers and 3 Ravagers provides amazing firepower, then back them up with warriors in Raiders maybe? Or a foot squad with dark lances, with the changes to how moving heavies works?

  2. I think that venom spam is probably the only vehicle based list that will do pretty well! I think the humble DE boat got comparatively stronger vs all the others!

  3. Just wondering, the first turn charge how is that working out. Not so hot on DE, but you get to move your skimmer 6", disembark 6" away from transport, then charge 2D6" with a re-roll of a dice due to fleet.
    So that to me is 14"-24" that may mean a charge on turn 1, but only if your enemy is toeing the starting line.

  4. The other thing to bear in mind with the change to fleet is that you can shoot and still potentially charge 12". This means more damage to the squad before you even swing.

    As you rightly say its too early to call what will be good or not. With the change to assaulting from reserves though my dual webway list sucks!

  5. Sam, I have. You can squeeze in something like 6 ravagers. I like the idea of taking 3 Voidravens and a Ravager with Disintegrators to tear through terminators since we can't reliably engage them in CC.

    Mjay, I think Venoms are still going to play a big part but I have a feeling larger squads of warriors are going to work well too. I am stoked to use Venoms the pick off heavy weapons in squads. Most of the time Venoms were dead on 2 glances anyways so hullpoints doesn't make a huge difference.

    Kraggi, first turn charge is a lot easier with a Raider instead of a venom. You set up on the line and pivot on the center of the model. Which gives you an extra 2-3 inches. Move 6, get out 6 from the tip of the raider, and with the fleet rerolls on the charge you can reliably get 10 inches or so.

    The enemy will probably have to be within a few inches of the starting line but most armies do that anyways. It might even make Lady Malys worth it to redeploy in the perfect position.

    Fang, I'm super upset about the Webway FAQ. I don't see why they did it. I was looking forward to 4 MCs coming out of the webway at 2k. I still think it can work though if you have some sort of reserve manipulation to get everything on turn 2. Maybe if you use 2 and try to corner the enemy?

    1. Well they now have access to reserve manipulation either from warlord traits (relies on luck) or a comms-relay (expensive as you need to buy a defence line (70pts total)). This would allow re-rolls to reserves and means your webway launching types have somewhere to hide. In addition, units arriving through them could take cover there. The other problem of course is that only 50% of your force can be reserved now anyway.

      Basically means that full webway lists (like mine) are dead and gone but hybrid lists might still be useful.

  6. Yea. Pure WW is shot, I could only see hybrids working with MCs or scourges coming out. Or a big troop squad. I want to see Webway work though, I think its an awesome tool that needs to be used more.

    1. Just doesn't work though does it now.. what GW giveth he taketh away! Reserves manipulation goodness in one hand, no assault in the other hand lol.

      I'm looking forward to a possible resurgence of DE this edition. Still think you fuckers are massively fragile, but several tools really help, fliers and hull points - glances will kill you, but at least not in just one shot!
      Lances +1 is hugely helpful.. especially on the S9 lance on the Voidraven. Sweet.
      Target priority really important - as always though right!?

  7. Nice post. I can only see D.E getting better out of 6th with some slight hiccups. With hull points the D.E vehicles are perhaps stronger as they can no longer be taken down by lucky glances. Add in that lances now get +1 on the damage table, Beastmasters have no trouble reaching units in assault and Reavers with bladevanes become awesome.

    I recently wrote post about how my D.E army changes in 6th (Venom spam), it maybe some interest. http://www.imperiusdominatus.com/2012/07/discussion-how-my-armies-change-in-6th_04.html

  8. Coming back into 40k after 12 years and I've been warring in my head whether or not to hop on the band wagon and Newcron up or go the hard way and get some DE. I think this post just made up my mind. Its refreshing to see someone not crying about them and just playing the game. I love the DE models and fluff but the constant bitching about them on the internet has kind of turned me off. I guess I really only need to know if they are fun to play? If I take my time and learn the army will I be able to win some games and have some fun? I could really give a crap about competitiveness.