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trade_prince
Hellion
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PostSubject: Veteran threading new ground   Sun Mar 01 2015, 13:42

I can easily claim to be an experienced 40k player, adept in most tactics and with my fair share of tournament games and having played all but two armies, but having faced one of those rather frequently.
But, one army remains a mystery to me. I never played them and in my entire time I only once faced against them. The army I know very little beyond reading forums and incidentally the army I am considering to make my main army: The Dark Eldar Wink

I have been asking around on dakka, in search of a challenging army. Not challenging in the sense that I lack the tools or pay more than others. I mean that if I play my game right the enemy will be torn to ribbons but if I mess up, my army will be torn to rainbow ribbons in record time. A glass cannon, nay, a porcelain nuclear missile. The vast (non-trolling) majority recommended DE.

I have no clue where to start, so I can only say what I am looking for and what units I like visually.

What I am looking for:
A fast, hard-hitting army that does not rely on spam, numbers or good stats for survival but rather uses positioning, priority targeting and possibly psychic tricks.

What units I like the look of:
Warriors/Trueborn
Raiders (I love those sails)
Venoms
Ravagers
Razorwing
Reaver
Scourges

Although not a big fan of allies, I am willing to consider Eldar. I also heard that the Coven has some decent things as well to support a Kabalite list.
And finally I want to mention that I wish to make the army more like Eldar Corsairs (space pirates, independent from any major Eldar faction) and less like actual DE, so if I am going to include Coven units, I would need some real nifty conversion ideas :O

Thanks for any input Wink
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PostSubject: Re: Veteran threading new ground   Sun Mar 01 2015, 14:05

Psychic tricks you are completely out of luck here. Dark Eldar have absolutely NOTHING in the way of sychic except for two pieces of wargear, one a One-Use item, of dubious usefullness.

For decent firepower, consider a unit or two of Warriors, Splinter Cannon upgrade, on a Raider with Splinter Racks (gives rerolls to hit). YOu can bring a lot of firepower from that, not counting the Raider's own Disintegrator or Dark Lance.
A good couple of Venoms are extremely useful when packing the additonal Cannon (12 poison shots). I know you said non-Spam, but this can really help, especially against Nids for example.
A Venom deep striking with a unit of Medusae on board (Court of the Archon, each with an AP3 template weapon) is great for specific unit targetting, so too are small units of Scourge deep striking with four Haywire Blasters to take down big annoying tanks.

My best suggestion for you right now is to not worry too much about Craftworlders, and look at the new Harlequins. Shadowseers might be able to give you thenPsychic tricks you're looking for, and Solitaries and Dark Jesters might give you thee xtra edge for priority targetting you want.

Coven-wise, the words of the day are DARK ARTISAN. Just because.

Conversion ideas, I humbnly point you towards the Workshops, Apophetic Gallery, and of course the Project Logs (including mine, link in signiature).

Welcome to the Dark City. Enjoy your stay.
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PostSubject: Re: Veteran threading new ground   Sun Mar 01 2015, 14:16

Thanks bud. I agree on the Harlies. I especially enjoy Shadowseers and DJs. However, I am not sold on Troupes, seeing as they blow up during Overwatch of all things. It is also impossible to get a few Seers into the list without Harlies taking over with the Masque detachment. I am looking to build Eldar Pirates, not Clowns supported by a few pirates Razz
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PostSubject: Re: Veteran threading new ground   Sun Mar 01 2015, 14:37

You could always take the company of actors formation from the harlequin codex. 1 shadowseer, 1 death jester and 1 solitaire, for cheap allies and a few psychic powers, the phantasmancy powers are pretty decent and I find compliment dark eldar nicely. The solitaire will also be a priority target for you opponent so will draw a lot of fire away from more important units.

If your considering eldar allies go for a farseer with mantle of the laughing god on a jetbike and a unit of windrider jetbikes. This ties in nicely with your desire to run fast units and gives you some psychic powers as well. The jetbikes give objective secure and are lightning fast and almost always useful for a low price.

Back to the dark eldar, the units you mentioned above are all excellent and will serve you well. Another unit to consider is an HQ the archon for example with a webway portal, attach it to a unit could be Trueborn with Blasters, scourges with heat lances, Meduse. You could even use eldar allies such as fire dragons or wraithguard with D-Scythes. Arrive from deep strike and don't scatter and unleash some hurt, this gives great flexibility and allows you to position key units in key places.
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PostSubject: Re: Veteran threading new ground   Sun Mar 01 2015, 15:00

Are there any ways of getting an actually useful HQ beyond a WWP caddy? Maybe a melee Succ?
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Calyptra
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PostSubject: Re: Veteran threading new ground   Sun Mar 01 2015, 15:03

Welcome!

Fortunately, everything you've listed as liking the look of is a solid choice. You could do well with a list comprised solely of those things, plus an HQ.

As a fast and fragile army, we're all about positioning and priority targeting. You'll have to look elsewhere for psychic tricks though, since we don't have psykers.

I can try to summarize what I perceive as being the more commonly held principals of Dark Eldar list-building, at least among our more the more tactically-minded. Note that I don't necessarily agree with all of these; they're just what I perceive as being the majority viewpoint.

- Nothing should have to walk onto the table.
- Lances are your friend, but are unreliable. Always try to stuff as many dark lances and blasters into your list as possible. It will probably take at least 9 lances to down a 3 HP vehicle.
- Always give Venoms the second splinter cannon and Raiders the dark lance. Splinter rack gunboats are fun, but not as point-efficient as Venoms. Night shields can be useful if you're jinking a lot, but many people advocate never (or almost never) jinking as it inhibits your shooting. Aethersails aren't bad for delivering assault units, though in general our assault units aren't great.
- Kabalites work very well when taken in units of five with a blaster and nothing else.
- Scourges come in two flavors: haywire and heat lance. Haywire scourges are more reliable, but won't have much to do after the tanks are all dead. Either way, only take five.
- Reavers should always have cluster caltrops. I'm not sure if there's a consensus now about whether to give them heat lances or not, because you'll want to jink with Reavers. There's a thread about it somewhere.
- Trueborn are good because they can take lots of blasters. They're more expensive than other tank-hunting units like Scourges and Ravagers, but arguably more versatile (ie you can webway portal them onto the table without sacrificing an HQ to do so, and they're better vs infantry).
- Ravagers should get dark lances, and work very well in pairs. Disintigrator Ravagers are a thing that some people like for anti-MEQ, but in general people prefer to drown infantry in poison and reserve their Ravagers for hunting armor.
- There are several good Court builds. None of them involve Ur-Ghuls. The Court also allows you to bypass taking one of our three character HQ choices if you so choose, which many people feel are lackluster. That said,
- The Succubus is your best bet if you want your HQ to stab things. Give her an archite glaive and possibly a webway portal. She'll be happy hanging out with Incubi or Grotesques. If you bring Incubi, make one of them a Klaivex, but don't give him demiklaives. Note that Incubi don't get assault grenades for some reason.
- The Archon typically gets a blaster, a shadowfield, and possibly a webway portal. If you must get him into melee, give him an agonizer.
- The only Artefact of Cruelty I see regularly taken is the Armour of Misery. The only one that's actively bad is the Djin Blade. The rest are situational or a gamble.

Oh, and people like Razorwings, but honestly I don't know what the preferred configuration for them is, if there is one.

I hope all that helps!

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PostSubject: Re: Veteran threading new ground   Sun Mar 01 2015, 15:35

I was thinking about getting
- Razorwing with Lances
- at least two Ravagers with Lances and Nightshield to hang around in cover
- two units of Reavers (not sure about the numbers yet) with caltropes and possibly a Lance
- one unit of Scourges with Haywire, possibly a second with Lances

From here on the questions start. Firstly, stick with 3 Reavers per unit? Or get 6 per unit to get more impact hits? Or maybe 3 units of 3?
Are Haywire Scourges worth it? If not, how many Lance Scourges are enough? One or two units of 5?

And now to the biggest matter at hand, Warriors and Trueborn.
I want two units of Warriors, but should I go with minimal units in Venoms or two 10man units in Raider with Racks and Nightshield? The latter looks a lot cooler and it tough to topple and still has good dakka since jinking does not affect the content. Or better go with Venoms to make it cheaper?
The Blasterborn with Archon+Blaster+WWP. Should I put them in a Venom or in a Raider?

Everything above will probably net me around 1300-1400 points if I do not go overboard with upgrades.
What else can I add at that point? I always like to have a killy HQ, so maybe a Succubus with Incubi in Venom?
Or maybe some Coven units? Frankly, I have no idea how slow, hulking monstrosities fit into a fast mech list, but maybe you guys have an idea.

Alternatively, I can get rid of Blasterborn and save on Warriors and get allied Mantle Seer, two unit of DA in Serpents and a unit of Fire Dragons to go with WWP Archon. Maybe some Warp Spiders if I have the points.

With Harlies I would take the Masque (probably as Formation if two full detachments are not allowed where I am playing) with 3 Seers + 3x5 Troupes in Venoms, 2x2 Skyreavers, 1 Heavy support thingy and then stock up in anti-armour with Blasterborn bomb, Razorwing, Min-sized Warriors as Troops and possibly some Scourges.

Any thoughts on anything of the above? I am mostly interested in pure DE or DE with a small allied detachment (that does not take over the entire list).

Thanks.
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PostSubject: Re: Veteran threading new ground   Sun Mar 01 2015, 18:05

@trade_prince wrote:

Or maybe some Coven units? Frankly, I have no idea how slow, hulking monstrosities fit into a fast mech list, but maybe you guys have an idea.


Coven units afford our army some relatively resilient tough-to-shift-units.  The Grotesquerie in Raiders is fast and scary, something to shove in your opponent's face first turn and to force them deal with, which draws attention from the rest of your army.  

The Dark Artisan is a good anvil unit to protect your backfield or serve as a area denial.  Plus with Sprit Probe and Warlord Trait, it can take a ridiculous amount of fire power, again drawing attention away from your more fragile units, while also denying your opponent an easy VP for Slay the Warlord.  

The Dark Artisan and Scalpel Squadron are also good for null deployment if you think you'll be facing an alpha strike-heavy army with lots of first turn deepstrike capabilities.  

Coven units are also, IMHO, our best CC units.  I like having one or two CC elements in my army to provide a different kind of threat.  I don't know if you've played the new Necrons, but good luck trying to shoot a 20 man Decurion Detachment  Warrior blob with D Lord off the table with your Venoms and DE Warriors.  That goes doubly for goes for Wraiths.  A Fearless unit of Grotesques or Talos (and to a lesser extent, Wracks) can be an effective answer for dealing with hard to kill deathstar type units by locking them up in combat for a few turns, allowing you focus on the soft(er) underbelly of your opponent's army.  

Just how I've been using my Coven units and really enjoying them so far.
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PostSubject: Re: Veteran threading new ground   Sun Mar 01 2015, 18:08

I kinda like the idea of 4 Grotesques + Character in a Raider with Nightshield and Aethersails. Just shove 'em up the enemies rear and see how he dedicates a lot of firepower to stop them. Meanwhile all those happy lances and splinters are raining.

I have created my first 1850 list right here. I've included that Grotesque bomb. Let me know what you think Wink
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PostSubject: Re: Veteran threading new ground   Sun Mar 01 2015, 18:10

The archon and blasterborn cant fit into a venom together

Start out with 2 units of 3 reavers and as your fast attack slots fill up start merging them, ideally you do not want groups of 12 this makes them an easier target.

If your taking warriors (which you are) i recomend 10 man with a splinter cannon on a raider with night shields and a splinter rack, and a dark lance. it comes up more expensive but aslong as the dice dont hate you its worth it. Put your trueborn in your venoms and maybe even get more warriors for 5 man venoms later.

Heatlance scourges have the benefit of being able to fight ANYthing, haywire are better at glancing vehicles, so if the dice hate you go haywire otherwise grab that lance.

Consider the following: Scourges with blasters, these are your best choice if you have a high amount of Monstrous creatures or high toughness in your local meta, They arent as effective as heatlances in melta range but are effective at all ranges.

You can knock out killy HQ squad and Haemunculi at the same time, Two words: DARK ARTISAN, if there is one unanimously agreed on formation its this bad boy, you take a Haemunculi a talos and a chronos and slam them into a unit, you then give the talos shred and the chronos a spirit probe, finnally you give the haemy a webway portal and BAM you have a perfect deepstrike of high toughness 4+ FnP monstrositys read to make the enemy nervous.

i can recommend a small allied eldar detachment over the harlequins.


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PostSubject: Re: Veteran threading new ground   Sun Mar 01 2015, 18:43

Hm, for some reason I thought the Venom had capacity of 6. My mind must've been in the Harlie book. Go figure. Anyway, you recon it is worth running Blasterborn without a WWP dude? They only have a 24" threat range.
So basically the idea is Warriors in Raiders as mobile poison bases and Trueborn in Venoms? If the rest of the list remains as is, I think I will be very short on Venoms.

I edited my list and here is what I arrived at:
Spoiler:
 

I am not that sold on Trueborn at the moment. Sure, they deep strike in there and can mess with a Knight's Shield, but given the amount of AT I have, I might just upgrade Warriors to Raider Squads and exchange Archon for Haemo to ride with Grotesques.
I feel that this would result in a severe lack of Venoms though.

Thoughts/ideas for improvements?
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PostSubject: Re: Veteran threading new ground   Sun Mar 01 2015, 19:36

Maybe ditch the trueborn and add another warrior + venoms or two, you have plenty of AT but are lacking a bit of massed poison

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PostSubject: Re: Veteran threading new ground   Sun Mar 01 2015, 20:09

Here is another, probably more balanced version at 1750pts:
Spoiler:
 

That is two Raiders, two Ravagers and three Venoms. Plenty of poison and pretty reliable in the AT department. Haemo is in there to give Grots full-fledged FnP by T2, the turn they want to assault something. However, he and the WWP are highly optional. I might drop them to get some more goodies here or there and maybe use the points to get a second Razorwing at 1850pts.
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PostSubject: Re: Veteran threading new ground   Sun Mar 01 2015, 20:29

Grots come with FNP. One of the reasons I advocate running them out of the Covens supplement is that if you use regular DE codex Grots, you are wasting the three turns (or half the game) of PfP rules, which don't benefit the Grots until turn four.
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PostSubject: Re: Veteran threading new ground   Sun Mar 01 2015, 20:44

Ah, thanks for the pointer. Is Grotesquerie the one you are talking about? Two Grot units and a Haemo.
I would stick one unit with the Succubus in the Raider and have the second unit run with the Haemo (possibly with a WWP).
To accommodate this formation, I would need to get rid of the Trueborn though. But seeing as I have plenty of AT elsewhere, it might just be possible.
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PostSubject: Re: Veteran threading new ground   Sun Mar 01 2015, 21:16

Yes, the Grotesquerie is the best way to run Grots due to the Coven PfP table being really good and the Latest Experiment table making them much better. Unlike with Combat Drugs, there isn't a single truly worthless or unhelpful ability you can roll on the Latest Experiment chart.
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PostSubject: Re: Veteran threading new ground   Sun Mar 01 2015, 21:24

Okay, here is a 1550pts list I might start with:
Spoiler:
 
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PostSubject: Re: Veteran threading new ground   Sun Mar 01 2015, 21:36

Welcome to Commorragh trade_prince!

I wouldn't bother with a lance on the grot's raider it should be moving flat out towards the enemy, and will most likely be jinking.

Personally I'm not a fan of scissor hands (and plan on dropping them from my own list), they just give you the illusion of being able to take on terminators and armour when in reality they don't offer much (averaging 0.5-0.75 rends). In small squads like that I would actually go with an agoniser, they will carve through marines like hot butter (6-9 S5 AP3 attacks that re-roll to wound is not joke).

I wouldn't bother with the inquisitor, servo skulls will get destroyed if you go second which is favoured with reserve heavy armies. The added deep-strike precision is not really game breaking. Besides your grotesques carrying raiders will have pin point precision as they should be coming in from the table edge and moving flat out 36" (thanks to the sails). This means there's no scatter risk and you can avoid interceptor.

These articles are also worth a read: The Pragmatic Realspace Raider Series.

Hope that helps. Smile

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PostSubject: Re: Veteran threading new ground   Sun Mar 01 2015, 21:41

Thanks, bud Wink

The INQ was mainly there to stop scouting armies like Ravenwing and White Scars (and to round off the point costs you get from the bloody jetbikes... seriously, I detest odd numbers when building lists).
I can see your point about Agonizer, but I will only pack them in Grots at higher pointlevels. At 1500 only the Haemo will get them.
Dropping two Scissors, Lance, Armour of Misery and INQ, and adding Aggy on Haemo will put me at 1491. Getting some minor upgrade somewhere and I can play at 1500pts. Not bad I guess.

Otherwise solid? Or any more comments?
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PostSubject: Re: Veteran threading new ground   Sun Mar 01 2015, 21:46

@trade_prince wrote:
Otherwise solid? Or any more comments?

I would I highly recommend checking out the Realspace Raid section, there are lots of great video reports and illustrated reports.

People tend to fall flat with Dark Eldar because a solid list is not the reliable crutch that it can be with other armies. So getting insights into the practical side of playing the army has been invaluable in my experience.

EDIT: Also I would check out the splintermind podcast for tactics and inspiration.

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PostSubject: Re: Veteran threading new ground   Sun Mar 01 2015, 21:53

Going to get on that soon enough. Just asking for a heads up because I will be making my purchase soon, seeing as I needed to cancel a big order and will have some credit that I could use to get me started with DE Wink

Edit: Actually, I found a solid starting point at 1250pts. The only real question is whether to get full Warriors squads in Raiders or two minimal in Venoms. I guess Venoms. If that fails, I just get Raiders. I am sure that two Venoms can find a place in most DE lists Very Happy
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PostSubject: Re: Veteran threading new ground   Mon Mar 02 2015, 05:28

I will also suggest my blog, here:
http://lkhero.blogspot.com/search/label/dark%20eldar

It has a huge assortment of articles from my days playing DE, ranging from list building, tactics and battle reports.

You can also find some of my threads here, although I don't post nearly as much as I used to (since 40K is not as big in my area any more).

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PostSubject: Re: Veteran threading new ground   Mon Mar 02 2015, 07:20

Thanks very much. I will definitely have a look Wink

I must say, I am pleasantly surprised. I really did not.expect the DE community to have such rich tactical material, but that it also would be so welcoming and friendly (from the ones that I have seen anyway Razz). Kinda makes.me happy to join up. Thanks for that Smile

Though I can't help but to get discouraged from a lot of negativity regarding DE, here and elsewhere Sad
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PostSubject: Re: Veteran threading new ground   Mon Mar 02 2015, 09:15

I believe you mentioned corsairs. I would highly recommend checking out the Lions of Asuryan for inspiration.

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PostSubject: Re: Veteran threading new ground   Mon Mar 02 2015, 09:20

Yeah, planning something similar. I will be using Prince Yriel as my main HQ (most commonly as a Succubus I think) and then mesh DE with Fantasy and CWE parts to make myself some nifty space pirates. Playing competitively does not mean you can not have a badass looking army Razz
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