Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Dark Eldar Wishlisting.

I am a longtime DE player and with the new codex imminent (judging by reports on Faeit 212) I thought it was a good time to do some wishlisting for the new release.

Wyches: +1 WS

I used to run a full wych cult army back in 3rd edition when wych weapons halved the weapon skill of all models you were in combat with. With the right combat drugs you could reliably pull of a 24" charge from a Raider!

Sadly wyches in their current form mainly see playtime as expendable tank busters riding in venoms.  This is a great combo, but it would be pleasant to see them used in a wider variety of ways.

Making them WS5 base fits with the fluff (I've never understood why years after years of training they are less dexterous than your average Kabalite) and doesn't mess up the crunch.  10 Wyches charging 10 Smurfs will go from killing 1.7 to 2.2 marines on average with no change to the number of wounds in return: hardly an earth shattering increase.  It also means your average guardsman will need a 5+ to strike in return.  This is hardly Wardian and fits with the fluff.

Wracks: More ranged weapons @ 12-18"

Wracks have the potential to be a great fun medium-to-short range assault choice.  I have previously used a squad in a Raider with a Haemonculus for this role - they would zoom forward (usually at a target in cover I wanted to clear) and apply searing acid liberally to their opponent before charging in.

I'd love to see this arsenal expanded to include some 12-18" shots which could weather an opponent slightly before they charge in.  The Ossefactor may well fill this role: we shall have to wait and see.  From the description of it, I suspect it may be a blast weapon (as it mentions causing damage to models surrounding the one it hits).

Power mauls for Wracks is something I would welcome.  I've seen scepticism about how competitive it would be for the price point, but if nothing else it will give us access to a reasonably mobile and tough unit who can pop open AV11 (and maybe up to AV12 if we still get furious charge) while still posing a nightmare to most infantry (SMurfs excluded).

Anti-Armour Options


In general I think we are one of the better armies at taking on heavy armour.  Haywire wyches are deadly but require a bit of skill to use.  One of my favourite lists is 6x HW wyches in venoms backed up by the Duke + some bloodbrides on a Raider with a dissie.  Fluffy, fun to play and reasonably competitive against most things (wyches for tarpitting / vehicle smashing; venoms for infantry shredding).

However it would be nice to have a few options when it comes to dealing with armour.  Dark Eldar excel in taking out one or two very heavy vehicles, but when faced with a field of relatively low cost vehicles it becomes a bit more different.  A lot of this is down to our reliance on poison: where other armies can spam s4 shots into light armour we don't really have an option to do this.  Lance spam is an option but is unreliable unless backed up with farseer support.

Wracks with power mauls is one way in which this gap could be filled as derailed above. The unit could threaten most things on the board (fliers excepted) and has no major redundancy.

Another option I'd like to see is a wider availability of haywire blasters. If trueborn got access to these it would open up a lot of options for us. A second improvement here would be in the Scourge load out. Currently 10 winged aristocrats gets you 4 haywire blasters with the other 6 shardcarbine shots being wasted whenever you fire at vehicles. I think this is the single biggest reason Scourges don't see much competitive play. 

Scourges: Skyfire

Previously I've mainly relied on presienced Ravagers to take on enemy fliers or failing that used our speed to stay out of their LOS. 

With a new codex I am strongly hoping we will have decent options within our own codex to deal with flying threats. 

Obviously our own fliers present one solution to this conundrum. However I'm still on the fence when it comes to using planes. 40k was always a skirmish game (Armageddon for big battles) and having significant air support seems to counter that. Most new codexes have had some land based anti-air support and I'm.hoping ours is no different. Scourges may be in with a shout here - perhaps some sort of wargear that grants them skyfire? This would again fit with the fluff and provided it was costed correctly (most land based AA has come with a hefty points cost) wouldn't be OP.

My thoughts... Any suggestions for what you'd like to see? 


  1. I think you have some good points above but I think some of what you propose doesn't really fix anything.

    1) Wyches at WS5: Honestly this does nothing at all to fix their massive weakness. The huge problem with Wyches is that its almost impossible to get them into CC being that they are T3 with virtually no Armor Save. The Raider that blows up with 10 Wyches in them will reliably kill around half the squad in one shot. Then you charge and overwatch will whittle them down even more. So now you only have 2-3 models trying to kill something in CC. To fix wyches you need to do the following
    - Match their points to Warriors (so 9pts/each for both units)
    - Give them a rule like the old Ork Boys had where the only took wounds on a "6" when their Raider/Venom blows up
    - Upgrade the Phantasm Grenade Launcher to be a "dirge caster" (ie disabling overwatch to a unit you are charging that is within 8") instead of assault/defensive grenades for the whole unit

    These changes would geniunely fix this unit, but I honestly see none of those happening

    2) Wracks: Really they just need more interesting rules/weapon variety. They are getting power mauls plus another "claw" weapon which I have no idea what it does. They are also getting another new ranged weapons and one can only hope Hex Rifles aren't one of the dumbest guns in the game.

    3) Anti Armor: Most of this is spot on. The two big things that need to happen are giving the army on a whole more reasonable access to Anti Tank weapons. I *hate* almost being forced to fill my Heavy Support choices with Ravagers since half my dark lances come from those three models. The price for all units for Dark Lances needs to be reduced down quite a bit (like 15pts each instead of 25pts). The second is more access to Haywire Blasters, although since none of the non Scourge Kits support them, I wouldnt hold my breath on this one (ie its not happening)

    4) Scourges: Really all the Scourges need is to be better priced. At 22pts a model that are beyond stupidly overpriced. At say 15-17pts (17pts matching Swooping Hawks) they would be decent. The biggest thing though is GW needs to either giving them "Jet Packs" so they have relentless, or just giving them the relenteless. This will make it so they can full use out of Dark Lances and the new Salvo Splinter Cannons. As it stands currently having weapons that make it so you can't move and fire on a unit whose entire play style is based on their mobility doesn't make any sense.

    Other "Wish List" changes:
    - Razorwing moved to Fast Attack, given an Anti Air option for it's missiles (its a "fighter aircraft" for crying out loud) and Vector Dancer
    - Make Mandrakes playable. Giving them their guns to start plus some decent special rules/AP4 CC attacks would be a good start
    - Make the Court of the Archon a worth while option. This COULD be a super cool unit but as it stands its beyond way too expensive with none of the rules working.
    - Make Wracks the "Coven" troops and remove them from Elites. Grotesques are the "Elite" unit of the two, makes no sense to have Wracks there as well.
    - Give Incubi assault grenades and reduce their points. They are arguably the best looking unit in the entire range, I just wish they were worth while playing.

    Honestly though there really isnt' THAT much that needs to be fixed. The current Dark Eldar codex is so incredibly good and is hands down, no contest my favorite Codex GW has ever put out. Just a few minor tweeks, steamlining certain things and they are perfect.

  2. Hi Ghoulio - these are all good thoughts. I think with the Wyches I was less going for a 'fix' and more for something that would make them slightly better and would reconcile them with their fluff a little bit more. The anti-dirge upgrade for a Raider sounds great.

    I think we will see Wracks move to the troops choice (if not in the 'dex then definitely in the Coven supplement). Maybe we will even get grots as a troop option a la wraithguard.

    I would also like to see a flickerfield confer a 5+ save on the inhabitants of a Raider from "No Escape" flamer attacks!


Marks available:
Spelling & Grammar: 10
Originality: 10
Structure: 10