Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Making the Outdated Usable

Image Courtesy of Games Workshop

You know what I've got? Army fever. Not for the new Space Wolves. Furry Marines never really peaked my interest. Rather, my interest has been captured by the armies that were "left behind" in the edition change. Namely, the Dark Eldar.

The reason why I want to give the pointy hats a try is that the tactical side intrigues me. I find the glass cannon gamble rather exhilarating, so I'll throw together some builds and hope for the best.

Now, the few Dark Eldar players out there tend to be very vocal about how much their codex is outdated and not particularly competitive. It most definitely is outdated, but I'd argue that it still has a reasonable amount of competitive bite.

  • The metagame is currently leaning heavily towards mech based builds and a dependence on Melta-suicide teams as the premiere anti-tank option, meaning that if you're shot down, you are within striking range.
  • They have the fastest, cost-efficient (not to mention flimsiest) troop transports in the game. The Raider is 55 points, but is still very effective. Move flat-out turn 1, put an expendable Raider to block LOS to your Archon's Raider and by turn two, you'll have a very scary Dark Eldar Lord lopping off heads, kicking ass and taking names (and slaves, lots of slaves).
  • The ability to spam enough Dark Lances to make an armored company cry.
  • Wyches make the assault troops of all other armies throw down their weapons and give up.
  • Last but not least, arguably THE most killy character/retinue/unit in the game - the Archon with Incubi can throw out a huge amount of high initiative power weapon attacks that will more than likely cripple the enemy before he can even swing back.
As with all codexes, you've got to keep in mind what is effective and what isn't. Seeing as how a good 60% of the codex is worthless in this day and age, we've got to make do with what we have. I'll share some builds and other opinions later. For now, sleep.



  1. I think they're certainly capable of throwing down a good fight.

    Massed lances knock people out of their transports, and then Ravagers with Disintigrators can mulch anything else that gets out of them.

    I think they're also very, very unforgiving. Whoops, got in range. AV10 open-topped is a tad bit flimsy. Hey, T3, 5+ save guys inside? DEATH! At least they take less damage bailing out; you'll only lose 2-3 guys out of the squad.

  2. A very interesting choice. You are correct, however, the Dark Eldar can be VERY competitive. It just takes a little fiddling to get the right feel to them. I personally have not played as them but have fought them quite a few times and as a guard player they are very intimidating.

    For what its worth I suggest that you shy away from bright lances in the actual troop squad. Given the DE penchant for mobility it ties you down with a heavy weapon when your high speed cracker box is blown out from under you. If I remember right ( I apologize in advance to those actually in the know ) they have a blaster variant that is an assault gun with a 12 inch range that would better suit the in your face game play.

    Also, there is a unit ( forget the name ) that runs with 2 copies of itself on the board. While they move up the field none of them can be targeted or destroyed until you actually chose which one is the actual unit. That gave nightmares like you wouldn't believe.

    At any rate I applaud you for trying something off the beaten path and wish you the best!

  3. I personally love DE, they were my first real 40k army (other than hand-me-down marines). I agree with Ghengis, assault weapons in squads and leave the heavy stuff on the raiders. I found that scourges (10 of em) with as many splinter cannons as possible really cheeses people off (16 cannon shots plus 12 rifles, all hitting on threes). I never made anyone walk either, raiders for everyone!

    Just to note: skimmers do not block LOS, so hiding behind stuff becomes key.