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 New to Warhammer, having a hell of a time choosing. How about DE?

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Mirarii
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PostSubject: New to Warhammer, having a hell of a time choosing. How about DE?    Sun Sep 11, 2011 6:20 pm

I noticed there were a few threads with similar questions, but for me this is more about starting to play Warhammer as a complete newbie.

I've spent the past few weeks looking at armies, reading forums, reddit, and other stuff trying to get an idea of what kind of army to play. At first I was thinking Chaos Daemons, but they just don't seem to work for me. Also considered Eldar, Necron, and the Orks. The Eldar seem way too complex, and I am not crazy about their style. Orks look fun, but just not what I'm looking for. I'm unsure about Necron, they seem simple enough since they don't have too many units, they look pretty easy to paint, and I've read they aren't too complex to play. There is something about the DE though... Just within the past few days I was looking at some stuff, and they caught my eye. They don't look crazy hard to paint like the some of the Daemons, but they still look like they would take some effort. Their tactics look kinda cool, and I really like their lore. I got my hands on a borrowed 5ed codex for them and they seem to appeal to me most.

Could someone highlight some of the aspects of playing them? Tips on their tactics/playstyles? How much experience does it take to understand the basics of playing them? Would it be worth my time starting with the Dark Eldar; or should I go for an easier army to play? Some army ideas/examples? What kind units should I start out with? Battleforce or buy individual boxes? Are they fun to paint?

Warhammer is a pretty big investment. I'm taking my time and trying to start right.

Edit: I'd like to add I'm thinking of just buying a box of Kabalite Warriors to practice painting on. I'm going for the Obsidian Rose scheme.
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Aroshamash
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PostSubject: Re: New to Warhammer, having a hell of a time choosing. How about DE?    Sun Sep 11, 2011 11:55 pm

A word of warning, the Dark Eldar are quite an unforgiving army to play. They fully embrace the concept of "glass cannon" in playstyle, in that they'll deal lots of damage, but any return hits will drop them like flies.

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Thor665
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PostSubject: Re: New to Warhammer, having a hell of a time choosing. How about DE?    Mon Sep 12, 2011 9:09 am

Mirarii wrote:
Could someone highlight some of the aspects of playing them? Tips on their tactics/playstyles? How much experience does it take to understand the basics of playing them? Would it be worth my time starting with the Dark Eldar; or should I go for an easier army to play? Some army ideas/examples? What kind units should I start out with? Battleforce or buy individual boxes? Are they fun to paint?

Let's try this, and wooosh, lotsa questions;

1. What is the aspect of playing them?

I would say, at the core, regardless of what type of list you're playing, the DE play aspect is to play like the bad guy. DE don't like fair fights, they don't like to let the enemy have their moment. They don't like giving anyone a fair shake. You're not cheating - but you are playing cruel. 5 in 1 fights are boss. Blowing up their stuff and assaulting them Turn 1 before they even get a chance to do anything is normal. Playing in a way that denies some of their special rules/upgrades/et al.

2. What is their playstyle?

The above noted 'glass hammer' is probably a good core concept. DE hit hard, they hit very hard. They are one of the best codices to build a shooting army with...they are also one of the best codices to build an assault army with, and they are FAST, they are the fastest army in the game and are capabale of attacking with pretty much every unit in an army on Turn 1. On the flip side they are fragile - their toughest AV on a vehicle is really 11, which is what most armies have on their 'weak' vehicles. Their toughness is 3...4 if they're really tough, which is silly weak in the grand scheme of the game. Generally an enemy accidentally spitting in your direction can kill one of your models. So, live fast, hit hard, and die young is their playstyle. Lots of fights with DE are basically over by Turn 3, one way or the other.

3. How much experience does it take to understand their basics?

To understand them is easy - to understand them and then also play them well takes a bit more time. The core thing is - as an army they don't play like...really...any other army, except *maybe* (if you squint) Eldar, but they're different than them as well. That's what throws a lot of people and gives them the "hard to learn" reputation - they don't play like other armies so experience with Army A, B, and C still won't help you understand DE.

4. Would it be worth your time to go for DE, or should you start with something easier?

I suppose that's really a value call. I think DE are an awesome army, and I play a lot of armies and, yet, by *far* consider them the most fun and rewarding. There are some fairly (in)famous players who were known for playing other races and bit into the DE and eventually basically refused to ever go back. But, at the end of the day, it really depends on what looks cool to you - I'd suggest you pick an army for excitement over their fluff, models and basic playstyle. You can get good at the plying them difficulty as you play, but the hobby is pricey enough that you don't want to go into a "starter" army and realize after about a year you're bored of their playstyle and want something more interesting.

5. Army ideas/examples?

Check the Army List forum?

Popular builds currently are about as follows;

Wych Cult - a theme list featuring Wyches and Raiders that focuses on aggressive assault Turn 1 and killing the hell out of everything.
Kabal - Kabal builds are usually very shooting heavy, and dakka everything off the board with poison and lances.
Haem Coven - a grinding list that is hard to kill, and mulches opponents via poison assaults and big nasty critters.
WWP - a tricky list that involves opening portals to the Warp and having reserves pop out of them to eat face via Beasts and Talos usually.
Deep Strike - usually featuring Duke Sliscus, entire army drops in on top of the opponent and shoots his face off.
And many, many, others. Our Codex has a lot of play in it.

6. What units to start with?

This is open to a lot of opinion considering the variety available in our army lists. As a potential idea, you might want to build a list and present it in the Army Lists forum, clarify how competitive you want it to be, and let it get picked at. Then you'll have a good idea.

In a *very* general sense, almost all lists (fun and competitive) feature Kabalite Warriors/Trueborn and usually also feature Wyches. Ravagers, Raiders, and Venoms are almost always solid purchases as well, as almost all lists feature at least a couple of them.

7. Battleforce or individual boxes?

Our BF is one of the best values on the GW market right now (in fact, it may be the best as far as BF pricing goes) I personally think 2 Battleforces is an excellent starting place for any DE general, as the only "waste" might be the Reaver Jetbikes - and even then they're a treasure trove of bits, and functionally you're getting them for almost free by buying the battle force box. Plus, Reavers are not a bad addition to almost any army as long as your other needs are covered.

8. Easy to paint?

I think if I was to go "easy" to paint I'd say go and do Necrons or Marines, as both are probably "easier" (I mean, I can do a finished Marine or Necron to solid Tabletop quality in probably a few minutes - I don't think I could do the same for DE).
I don't think DE are difficult to paint, and are more enjoyable to paint than some of the easy armies because they're more interesting to paint. But they're probably somewhere in the mid range for difficulty.
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Mirarii
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PostSubject: Re: New to Warhammer, having a hell of a time choosing. How about DE?    Mon Sep 12, 2011 2:00 pm

Thor665 wrote:

3. How much experience does it take to understand their basics?

To understand them is easy - to understand them and then also play them well takes a bit more time. The core thing is - as an army they don't play like...really...any other army, except *maybe* (if you squint) Eldar, but they're different than them as well. That's what throws a lot of people and gives them the "hard to learn" reputation - they don't play like other armies so experience with Army A, B, and C still won't help you understand DE.


You just sealed the deal for me. By the sounds of it, I won't have too much trouble getting into them if I don't go soft and try a more "conventional" army first.

The ruthless, cruel play-style sounds really fun, especially after reading through the rule book and seeing how slow some things can unfold.

What you were saying about the painting, I shoulda clarified what I meant. I meant difficult on a chaos daemons type level where the units seem covered in tons of shading and a thousand different colors. You pretty much told me what I wanted to know, and I had also been watching some painting tutorials.

Thanks for the answers, I can't wait to get my models and start building the most selfish, sadistic, jackhole army ever.
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Jack_The_Ripper
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PostSubject: Re: New to Warhammer, having a hell of a time choosing. How about DE?    Wed Sep 14, 2011 12:11 pm

Thor665 summed the army up very well. I hope that helps you choose alot better. To be honest, I originally was going to start this hobby as a DE but my local game store didn't carry the models so I had to pick another army. I switched between chaos marines, and then even blood angels and when I saw that the new codex was coming out, I knew that I would end up as a DE like I should have...and I've never turned back, except that I bought a grey knight codex for fluff reading.

Hail to the Dark Eldar
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