Sunday, October 17, 2010

Darkwynn's thoughts on the Dark Eldar unit by unit break down.

I have been looking through for combos and there are some nasty ones that you would have to watch out for. FNP is super important to the army as once units start getting FNP they turn into MEQ saves which will allow them to stay around. That being said I walked through the codex messing around with point cost of each unit and different builds and this is what I found out.

HQ's worth anything:

Ancient Hamonculus with Husk blade, Soul trap, Shattershard
He can run out make any MC or IC take a toughness test with the shattershard or die with no saves of any kind allowed. Then if he kills one he turns into STR 6 on the charge with furious charge. So he will have a power weapon that inflicts instant death at INT 6. Yes please can I have another!

Hamonculus with Anmis Vitae and venom blade will be cheap Pain batteries

Hamonculus with shatter shard or a liquefier gun and a web way portal will be common also.

Duke: Allows you two rolls on combat drugs and low orbit raid to deep strike. He will be in a lot of combat drug heavy armies.

Baron: one of the other strong characters, +1 to go first and stealth to a unit is huge. Also makes Hellions troops which is great

Archon I think will be okay but for the cost of the other characters I just don't see him getting played a lot. If you do you are more than likely going to take a Huskblade, Soul trap, Shadow field, and combat drugs which makes him 145 points.

For HQ's in general I think it will be common to see one Special character or Archon followed by 1-3 Hamonculus to spread out pain tokens.

For Vect, I think he is too expensive and will suck. For me to seize the initiative I have to go second, and if I lose I have set myself up to get boned. We won't see any Vect builds at the top. Becuase in a 5-7 game format your going to fail that seize roll and depending on what your playing you could get crippled pretty quick. Too much of a risk to Hedge against.

Incubi are awesome but do you really need more death and killing at 22 points? You take them bear bone without the Klavix upgrade.

Grotesque, I think they will suck in more ways than one on the table top. Too expensive and with the bulky rule makes them kind of hard to field unless you’re going to web way portal and if that is the case you have to worry about rampage. Let’s just leave these at home.

Wracks are awesome, bunch of poison attacks and can be made troops. Liquefier guns are great also because of d6 AP which means you have a good chance of making most things die. Plenty of weapon options for the upgrade character also. Oh they also start with a pain token which is great too.

Mandrakes I still like but I need to play test them I think they are the ultimate harassing unit but you need to get a pain token on them fast or they are going to die and become useless. They suck in combat also really but they look super cool.

Harlequins ... they are harlies nothing different. You can give them pain tokens but you would only give them one for FNP. You will see people with shadow seer in front giving cover to the rest of the army.

Trueborn are great too I think you will see a lot of common builds with them such as 4 blasters in Venom.

Bloodbrides are great also but I don't think you will be seeing them mainly because they are not troops and they can only come in ten man size units which mean people will want to put them in raiders.


Warriors are okay. Dirt cheap loads of poison weapons and they can get Dark lances.

Wyches are awesome as always, I think you should take Shard nets every time with them as if you charge some MC or other tough units taking two attacks is huge. The Hetrix has to have an Agnoizer otherwise she won't kill anything and they will be in combat the whole time. Once the Wyches have FNP though they will be close to a 2+/3+ save in game system terms. Either you take them in a raider of 10 but problem is you can't get a Hamonculus with them to get FNP or run them in 15 man squads for Web way portals.

Fast attack:

Hellions are awesome and super all around great unit. 16 points, with the Baron above they will have a 3+ stealth save and then you give them FNP they are going to take a long time to kill. Along with the STR 4 with two attacks base is great. They have 2 poison shots a piece at 18 inch range which means they will kill most MC in large numbers. With Jump infantry they also have fleet which means you can get them where you need them pretty reliable. Stun claws are awesome but get ready for your opponent to yell and cuss at you when you take their IC out of combat with them on their hit and run move then next turn you leave him there only to shoot him with 8 blasters so he dies. Also, FC with combat drugs they can get up to STR 6 which means they can break down vehicles pretty well at that point esp. with the Baron who will be STR 7 on the charge.

Scourges they are a disappointment to me in a lot of ways. 22 points for that model is too expensive. You want to take them for the anti tank but then they just get more expensive and you have to take them in a ten man unit to get some decent anti tank. Your best bet is to take Haywire blasters so you can shoot at a vehicle in hopes to shake it or you can get other weapons but at 260 points for the unit, I rather take a Trueborn squad. They have hamstringed this unit pretty heavy.

Beastmasters here is another unit that can be really nasty. you can 5 beastmasters with 5 khymerae each which is a total 30 models that will have a 4+ INVUL and FNP that moves like beast so they will have great movement to keep with the rest of the army and they can put out a lot of attacks in close combat. I think Clawed fiends are meh but Razorwing flocks can be awesome with 6 attacks on the charge with rending. You take a full size unit and you have 60 rending attacks

Full unit of khymerae is 348 points
Razorwing unit is 210

Reavers, I am just going to say great on paper but they suck for everything else. If you are going to use them for Anti tank you need to take 9 so you can get three heat lances in there which is 234 points and they will die afterwards. It’s cool they can turbo boost 36 inches but once they get assaulted they are going to die pretty bad. You can run a 9 man group by themselves and wait for the land raider to come up close but I don't think these guys are really worth it.

Raiders same thing but Aether sails is cool for the 2d6 extra movement
Venom- Awesome for MSU units and you take the splinter cannon upgrade. That way you can put 12 shots of poison on anyone all the time.

Heavy support:

Ravagers same thing but moving 12 and firing everything is great plus they could deep strike and fire everything. Don't bother buying Disintegrator cannons they are useless.

Talos can be cool but I am worried about all the long fangs out there. I think it’s great to put a haywire blaster on the Talos instead. It keeps it cheap and you can shoot it at certain tanks to shake them and if you get lucky you can always immobilize or destroy it.

Cronos Parasite engine... These are a must have either you take one or two but having the ability to flip out two pain tokens a turn is crucial to scale the army quickly. I think keeping them at 100 points is the way to go so you have the large template and the flamer. That way you’re able to pass out two pain tokens out if the Cronos is in the ideal position.

Razorwing haven't' messed with but seems great
Voidraven haven't messed with but seems great. I would take the razorwing before I take the Voidraven as the Voidraven is too expensive.


  1. What about anti-infantry Scourge? You could kit them out with a ton of poison weapons and really wreck any non-vehicle unit in the game. Then again, you probably would have more than enough with Warrior squads, etc.

    Scourge suicide Heat Lances? I'm guessing the squad would come out at about 130 points, which isn't terribly expensive, though it is up there a bit.

    One last question: Is Drazhar completely garbage? I really love the Incubi models, so having him would just make my day, but he seems a bit overkill right now.

  2. even with Scourges taking two heat lances in a small group of 5 its 22 points per model and you can only take two special weapons with every 5. 134 points for a unit to suicide with and isn't really reliable and isn't worth it. if you miss with one of them or something happens to your other roll your not going to do anything.

    As for the anti infantry scourge you should have enough to kill infantry that you don't really need them.

    Drazahr is a killing monster but way to expensive for what he does. 4 or 6 attacks at STR 4 or Str 6 really isn't helping you. He has awesome rules just for himself and not the whole army. There isn't a synergy there that the Dark Eldar need.

  3. Alright, thanks a bunch. I don't have access to the book so I've been trying to pick up tidbits here and there. I can totally see why Scourges are so disappointing now, but I wasn't sure if I missed something.
    Definitely will be less anti-tank in this new edition compared to last, but a lot more viable units. So I can see why Scourges don't really fit in well, they don't offer enough for their cost or slot. They just don't compare to Hellions.

    It definitely seems that most special characters offer something to the entire army, such as Hellion troops, Wrack troops, easier seize, more reliable combat drugs, etc., and Drazhar doesn't fit that. He might work well in a "Deathstar" unit, but he doesn't seem to fit the synergy of the army. Thanks for confirming that for me.

  4. Lots of good intel here . Thanks for sharing Nick.


  5. Hey Nick,
    Loved the post. I got the same thing going on on my blog since I'm getting into Dark Eldar. I don't know about the Reaver Jetbikes either. They look great on paper, but for their points vs. how fragile they are, I don't know how they'll work out in practice (especially in bigger games).

    I disagree with your assessment on the Archon though. For 145, the Archon configuration that you listed is extremely good for his price. I mean shit, compare him to the other HQs in the game for the same amount! That's when you know you got a good buy going for you.

    And for Vect, I'm really thinking that he's going to be a decent choice. He's a combat monster (oh god yes), can shoot pretty well vs. MEQ and have the ability to seize on 4+. The built-in Shadow Field is awesome too. Of course, he's not as amazing overall as the Duke of course (one of the best things from the book), but his cost is well justified imo.

    Lastly, Hellions. Sadly, I don't like the models.. never did so I'll probably never play them. I can see their many applications and with the Baron, they can become truly amazing.

    The great thing about this book is that it's internally balanced very well. Now we have to wait and see how it all plays out vs. the many top tier builds out there. DE might fall flat on its face, but I know for sure that it's going to be a precision expert army to win with.

  6. Oh, and I want your thoughts on 5x Trueborn with 4x Blasters in a Venom w/ 2x Splinter Cannons. This is going to be pretty popular.. but I hate (loath, despise) the thought of MSU DE. In KP missions, this just kills.

  7. Hero,

    Thanks bud for dropping by and I am glad you disagree with me. :)

    Here is my thought about the Archon and the way I feel. He is buying for a position that is being fought hard between the two HQ selections you have. You have to have some type of Haemonculus in some fashion at least I feel to use power from pain army otherwise your going to start off slow and have a hard time with some armies. Second he is fighting for a Special character slot such as Vect, Baron, Duke and many more. He brings a lot of killing in hand to hand and he is cheap. That being said because he is fighting for HQ selections he doesn't bring anything to the table besides he kills everything short of characters I put him to the side.

    That and I see Vect in the same boat for being able to swing 7 times which is awesome and always wound on a 3+ with a power weapon is great. He is going to tear apart squads but your other units can do that. He isn't really going to sit there toe to toe with any special characters like Abadadon. That and against someone that is STR 6 or has a good INVUL save will stay around for a long time. He is just to expensive for what he does since I can have another unit or two or three Hamonculus for his cost doing other things.

    For the Trueborn, I think you need them in the list. I am not really bothered by the MSU bit because if you take multiple choices and some large units your opponents have to choose and if they don't choose right or they can't get enough units hamstring it will end for them rather quickly.

    I think if you take 20 man hellion squads with a baron and have some venoms with trueborn and some other units that are pretty threaten your units will get ignored mainly because they have no choice but to deal with the bigger threat.

    Hopes that helps Hero and love that we can actually have a discussion :)

  8. I'm not sure if I am missinformed, but I do not think the Beasts in a Beastmastres unit or the Harlequins has access to the Power from Pain Rule.
    Appart from that, I think your write up sums up a lot of what I have been thinking about for myself.

  9. Speedfreak you are right they do not have access to power from pain but they can still receive pain tokens. They just don't have a way of gathering one.

  10. Sure, the Archon is not going to stand in combat with a beast like Abbadon, but look at the price tag! Not to mention the Archon is the only way of getting Incubi grenades with PGL. Besides, the Huskblade can apply pressure to things like Trygons whereas someone like the Duke, the Baron or whatever wouldn't even consider it. I think for ~150 points, he's a damn steal.

    In terms of fighting for points, I completely agree that there are very good choices out there. The Baron is really good if you're planning to go for a Hellion build, the Duke is just great with Wyches and even HQs like Lady Malys is very well worth it. Vect is debatable since his price tag is the heftiest, but I also think he can add a great amount of the battle.

    The main question now lies on the Haemonculi. They're 50 points per unless you take a WS5 BS5 Ancient with 3W for 80 points. You can take 1-3 per squad so I would assume you'd want to attach them to big squads of Wyches. 4+ invulnerable in close combat, combat drugs and FNP is pretty good.. even though you lose out on the 10-man/woman bonus for your squads (which means no heavy weapon for Warriors and no double SW for Wyches).

    I have mixed feelings about the Haemonculi because I don't know how they'll actually play out. On paper, the FNP looks like and I can totally see a squad of Wracks with a Haemonculi with Liquidfiers running around causing extreme havoc, but I think that all depends on playstyle and army theme. Personally, I love running with Kabal and Wyches and I'm not very fond of the whole "mangled body parts" kind of look with the Haemonculi.. but others LOVE it.

    Both playstyles are viable and that's something that I really like about the DE book.

  11. It actually looks like you are right about "sharing the pain", though I'm not sure this is what was intended.
    Harlies and units of Beasts might be twice as durable for a while, untill there is a FAQ, or they might be able to share the pain and thus feel no pain forever...

    Only time will tell...

  12. I really enjoyed this one, Nick. Gotta say, half the fun was the comments: well-informed and interesting.

    I've decided to finish my Space Wolves before allowing myself to become obsessed with the Dark Eldar. That said, I'm glad to read both you and HERO feel the Reaver isn't the monster folks out there are implying.

    I was wondering what I was missing.

    Ah well - Brent

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  14. For sure Speedfreak that Harlies will rock with FnP, but considering you either have to gimp their speed or play tag with a Haemonculus for a turn or 2, it's just not worth it.

    I'd rather have my Harlies charge out full 10 strong from a webway portal :)

  15. I don't think Animus Vitae and venom blade stack. I believe I read that Animus was a special close combat weapon. Two special CCW's means you pick which you ability you benefit from.