Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Looking Ahead

After many sleepless nights and much soul searching, I've decided to revise and finish the Dark Eldar for DaBoyz GT 2012.  This was mostly influenced by the amount of time I spent building and converting the army prior to 6th, and the fact that it's never seen more than a 3 game RTT.  Another factor is that they're removing comp from the scoring matrix this year for the first time and I feel the special characters add so much depth.

Here's a 4th or 5th generation list I've come to after much proxy testing.

HQ: Lady Malys (1#, 130 pts)
HQ: Baron Sathonyx (1#, 105 pts)
Elite: Grotesques (8#, 305 pts)
   7 Grotesques, + Liquifier Gun x1
      1 Aberration,+ Venom Blade
Troops: Kabalite Warriors (15#, 170 pts)
   14 Kabalite Warriors, + Blaster x1 + Splinter Cannon x1
      1 Sybarite, + Venom Blade
Troops: Wyches (10#, 145 pts)
   9 Wyches,  + Haywire Grenades  + Shardnet & Impaler x1
      1 Hekatrix,  + Haywire Grenades + Venom Blade
Fast Attack: Beastmasters (21#, 286 pts)
   5 Beastmasters,
      13 Khymerae,
      1 Clawed Fiend,
      2 Razorwing Flocks,
Heavy Support: Razorwing Jetfighter (1#, 145 pts)

Allied Contingent:
HQ: Maugan Ra (1#, 195 pts)
Troops: Rangers (5#, 95 pts)
Heavy Support: War Walker Squadron (3#, 180 pts)
   1 War Walker Squadron, + scatter lasers 9#

Aegis Defense Line + Icarus Lascannon (85pts)

It may look like a mish-mosh but there is a little method behind the madness. 

The baron will (usually) join the beasts, giving them stealth, hit-and-run, and grenades.  The unit is so fast with beast/jump status that it can hang back for counter assault, flank for disruption, or rush up for a first/second turn assault.  The baron's grenade launcher ensures they always they strike at initiative and hit-and-run now passes to the unit and ensures they're never tarpitted by walkers or the like as long as they don't get swept.  Stealth makes gives them 3+ cover behind the aegis.  With the baron, the unit even puts out 12 poisoned shots and can reliably force a grounding test on a flying MC and tarpit it with 4+ invulns. Maugan can join this unit if fearless is needed since it also passes to units now. Beastmasters are also characters now so this unit is great for challenge shenanigans and lookout sir's. 

Maugan will (usually) join the grotesques.  He can stand at the front with eternal warrior and 2+ armor and dish out wounds via lookout sir to the multi-wound FnP grotesques.  His shooting is highly annoying and he can now allocate with precision shots and ignore cover.  If I camp him out next to the icarus lascannon, he can make the interceptor shot with bs7 and ignore jinks.  He's not shabby in assault either and makes the unit fearless.  The aberration has a venom blade to take challenges that Maugan may not want to.  The baron could also join this unit for hit-and-run if needed.

Lady Malys can join whichever needs psychic immunity or the higher leadership more.  Her redeploy ability synergizes well with the baron's +1 for the first turn.  She could also stay back with the 15 warriors and fire the icarus lascannon.  With 7/8 attacks at ws7 and i7, she'll probably kill most upgrade characters in a challenge or can defer to a beastmaster, aberration, sybarite, or hekatrix depending on which unit she joins.

The wyches are there to slap vehicles (av14) or walkers with haywire grenades which are awesome now.  Go ahead and drop that furioso dread near me now.  The warriors put out a silly amount of poisoned shots on the move.  The snipers... snipe stuff.  The war walkers add torrent fire to anti-infantry, light transport, or anti-flyer.  The razorwing can add anti-tank or pie plates as needed.

Anyways, I feel like it's a nice mix of shooting and assault, resilience, speed, and diverse scoring units.  It could suffer in 5+ objective games and will probably crumble to armies that ignore cover, but no army is without weakness.  It doesn't rely on psykers yet has some psy defense.  It has some anti-flyer power and isn't threatened by many flyers short of doomscythes. 

The list also works in most of the models I competed for my 5th ed WWP list and gives me a solid base to build on over the next 3 months.  Let me know what you think.  Unless there's a glaring weakness I overlooked or rules combo I botched up, I'm going to pick up the needed models and start grinding out the batches and bases.


  1. How survivable do you feel Wyches are? Id guess realistically that the Snipers are a rear "hold objective" unit, but Im not sure how the wyches will make it to multiple objectoves. The Aegis should help here, but in a 5 or 6 objective game you may suffer, not sure.

    Overall? Solid and fun looking! It definately looks competitive, while being balanced, plus you have rather gorgeous looking Dark Eldar!

    1. Wyches are the weak link for sure, but without them walkers and av14 is that much more painful. I've been deploying the beasts and grotesques behind the aegis and following by wyches and warriors. The beautiful thing is that the beasts, grotesques, wyches, and warriors all want to advance to reach their potential. The wyches may give up first blood, but not many armies can ignore the beasts and grotesques leading the charge.

      Realistically, the warriors and snipers are more suited to hold objectives and I'm banking on the resilience and hitting power of the assault units to clear out scoring units. The war walkers, razorwing, and warriors all put out good anti-infantry firepower so holding 1-2 objectives will often be enough.

  2. Glad to see you aren't abandoning the DE; interesting choice of allies too. Should make for a neat themed painting scheme too.

    1. Yeah their color scheme excites me the most at the moment and I need that excitement to grind out all those models over the next 3 months. I've always been a fan of eldar too, back since 2nd ed. This project will be a good gateway into the army for later down the road when they get a new book.

  3. You have anything in mind for your Aegis Line as a conversion, or are you going to use the GW kit?

    1. My buddy Kevin is working on an eldar version that can be seen here:

      It's actually pretty close to the few pictures of DE walls in the codex. Maybe he'll loan me a couple segments to use as templates for the foam cutter =)

    2. Yeah, what he has built is definitely pretty cool.

  4. So your main focus for next 3 months will be your DE.

    Will that leave any time for your Tyranids or will they take a back seat until after DaBoyz GT 2012?

    1. No time for tyranids I'm afraid.

      My wife has had complications since her C-section 7 months ago and will be having 2 more surgical procedures before the end of the year. My aunt is also in the final stages of ALS. The effects of all of this on my family and myself are starting to wear on me and I just don't have the fre time or stamina I used to.

      Also, last year I just barely finished the GK for the GT and never built a matching display board. Two years ago, I barely had 3 colors on the tyranids for that GT. This year, my goal is to have a fully finished army with a custom display board.

      With all these factors in the mix, I can only focus on one project.

    2. I think it's nice to focus on one thing at the time. I'm building and painting my nids, while the wolves are being played ;) will you be doing a tutorial with the display board? :)

    3. I could. The plan is to use the foam cutter to make a new insert for my battlefoam display board frame. I'd like to make a removable tray for each unit to help deploy the army faster also.

  5. As a note, I’ve not played DE yet in 6th Ed (only Ork and Tyranids), but here are some thoughts.

    1. Beastmasters – Do you think that 13 Khymerae is too many? In the past, I’ve run 6 Razorwings and 10 Khymerae. S<6 goes on Razorwings and S>=6 goes on Beastmasters/Razorwings. What about the clawfiend? I’m not sure it would be worth it vs more razorwings rending. I do like the Baron in there.

    2. Razorwing jet fighter vs Void Bomber – What weapons does the RJF have? I’m guessing Disintegrators? If it’s DL, you don’t feel that the VB would be better? That leaves a lot of eggs in the wyches to deal with Av13+, although I do understand the heavy AI idea.

    3. Ra – Love Ra with the Grots. Although, would be nice to have Eldred.

    4. Unit leaders – These seem necessary these days. I’m guessing that taking an AP2 weapon vs a venomblade is likely going to lead to dead leaders before they can strike.

    5. Objectives – I think you can usually reliably take 2 objectives. One with warriors camped in the aegis (I’d put Malys with them in this game) and one with the Pathfinders 12” away.

    6. Warwalkers – Thoughts on going with Cannons rather than SL and outflanking? Would net you 60 more points but a bit less shooting. Without the ability to guide, I think they are less needed to stay with your blob.

    Overall, I do like the list and I think I’ll try something similar to this next game. I will be taking more Warriors and putting in the VB I think are the main changes.

    1. #1. Keep in mind allocation is different now so there is no ability to "give S<6 to razorwings". Whoever is closest to the shooters gets the wounds, that's why I went for as many 4+ invulns as I could afford. The unit in this fashion has multiple functions. Hammer units that are vulnerable in assault, or tarpit one unit and slingshot out with hit-and-run. 3d6" hit-and-run, 12" move, and 2d6" assault with rerolls makes this potentially the most mobile assault unit in the game. The clawed fiend is there due to an impulse to diversify the army. I'm closer to a comp player by heart than a spammer. With cautious placement (like 4 models in with 3 khymerae in front) he can take shooting overflow that makes it through the invulns and buffer you from the morale test casualty requirement. Plus, he's one of my favorite painted models in the army so far.

      #2. Right now the razorwing has lances and monoscythe missiles. Again, it's personal preference to diversify my options and remain flexible. It's part of my "take all comers" approach. Yes the bomber would be better against armor, but nearly useless against something like horde orks. I like the option of using the lances as anti-armor or dropping pie plates on infantry. The new blast rules make str6 large blasts a respectable threat to strip hull points on low armor parking lots also.

      #3. Agree, but I think most who take eldar allies will go the farseer/eldrad route and I prefer to go for a unique an unexpected approach rather than trying to play a popular build better than the others who are playing similar lists.

      #4. Upgrade characters are worth it in units of 10+ IMO, but not in min squads. I went with venom blades because they're fragile enough to easily fall against a comparable MEQ upgrade character. Our best bet (in challenges) is to strike before our opponents and hope to drop them first. 2+ poison for 5pts isn't bad, especially since many of the units in this army will end up with a special character attached that can also issue and accept challenges situationally.

      #5. That's the plan. With the 3 bonus points built into each mission, I can play to draw the primary and focus on first blood, warlords, or linebreaker. It's a viable build tactic in 6th now. My playstyle tends to be conservative despite my attraction to xenos and assault armies. I'm much more comfortable pushing really hard for first blood and then turn to the mission objectives. This list is very respectable in denying first blood with a bonus to deploy first, a built in redeploy option, reliable cover from the aegis, and resilient screening units. Focused fire from several long range shooting units and an extremely fast assault unit can all work towards first blood.

      #6. The thing about MLU (opposite of MSU) is you need to hit hard with what you do have. Scatter walkers can reliably wreck a light transport or cause reliable casualties to nearly all infantry units. Starting them on the field draws some high str shooting away from the grotesques and beasts and the unit can be very resilient against giving up first blood.

      Thanks for the feedback. I'd much rather figure out these things in discussion before I purchase the last batch of models. I need to have a good gut feeling to finish off an army and I'm pretty close with this one.

    2. Just a point of clarification about point 1. I figured you'd have the Baron out front and U shaped Beastmasters around the beasts (because they are characters) then aim for LoS! to be put in various places depending on the S of the weapon.

    3. Ahh that's the kind of feedback I need. My knee-jerk reaction and play style has me running the khymerae out front for the invulns. I'd normally be too paranoid to roll 1,1 for the baron's first two wounds as I tend to play more cautious. I'll play it out both ways a few times and see which feels best.

      Another thing that's cool about the unit is with the baron and 5 beastmasters, you can move 12" and shoot 18". 12 poison shots is as much as a venom, plus every shooting model is a character so every 6 you can allocate.

    4. Ah, then that explains the more more Khymerae. Now that we're on the same page, I would recommend tossing out 3 of them for 2 razorwings. You'd even save 6 points (I believe?). If you could shave off another 4 points somewhere, you could add say night shields or Splinter Cannon to the RWJ.

      Ha, yeah, beastmaster unit shooting is typically underrated.

      To put the two 1s in perspective, that would be the same as a fortuned Shadowfield or an ork vehicle letting you reroll dangerous terrain tests (never had this happen)