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FuelDrop
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PostSubject: Homebrew Codex: HQ optional?   Thu Jul 30 2015, 10:07

I've been posting a lot of these threads recently, and I'd like to thank you all for your consistently constructive feedback.

Now, onto something I've been toying with for a while. What if Dark Eldar didn't need HQ models?

Hear me out. Those of you who've checked out my homebrew 'dex so far will note that the elite squad leaders are pretty badass on their own, capable of putting up a decent fight for stock HQs from other codexes and having a large amount of customization potential.

My intent with this is that a raid need not be led by an Archon, Succubus or Haemonculi Ancient. Instead, players would have the option of declaring the warlord to be a Dracon, Syren, or regular Haemonculus leading a squad of elites.

Obviously regular HQ's would still be fieldable, but it makes sense for this army in particular that the leader of a kabal, cult or coven have the option to delegate.

How to accomplish this?

Well, the plan was to have HQ units not be required in any of the core formations of our custom FOC, either making them optional additions to those formations or having HQs as something to be bought separately.

What are the community's thoughts on this concept?

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CptMetal
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PostSubject: Re: Homebrew Codex: HQ optional?   Thu Jul 30 2015, 10:41

You think a highly egoistic society like ours wouldn't start to kill each other? We aren't the nice guys
I could imagine that Tau would do this. But we wouldn't.

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Demantiae
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PostSubject: Re: Homebrew Codex: HQ optional?   Thu Jul 30 2015, 11:00

You'd need the HQ's there to instil enough fear and authority into the troops to force them to cooperate and perform the mission. Without proven vicious leadership the raiding party would degenerate into bloody murder as they each try to stamp their own authority onto the others. DE society is such that everyone wants needs to be at the top because to be lower means constant pain, humiliation and likely death. If the DE sense an opportunity for advancement of the knife they're gonna take it. Only a strong and proven HQ of some kind can keep that in check long enough to carry out an organized raid.

I don't think this subject would be up for discussion if the DE HQ's weren't underwhelming. I feel they need more special rules attached to them that benefit our army. I don't think Archons should be throwing themselves into combat, they should be staying back buffing the troops and guiding their actions. Haemies should be playing thing more risky to provide super buffs to units at the sharp end of the fighting, whilst Succies should be getting stuck in whilst providing morale bubble boosts to nearby units. Given all the Power from Pain fluff and the nature of DE society our HQ choices should be more about buffing than directly doing stuff.

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PostSubject: Re: Homebrew Codex: HQ optional?   Thu Jul 30 2015, 11:49

So the second in command has no authority or ability to keep the troops in line? A Dracon can't command warriors?

In any case, it's always been that DE leave their backstabbing behind them on the battlefield because they realize that infighting in the middle of a battle is STUPID.

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PostSubject: Re: Homebrew Codex: HQ optional?   Thu Jul 30 2015, 14:18

No. The second in command will be replaced in the fly during the fight because the big Boss isn't looking. "A tragic accident." that's the dark Eldar way. We are no nice guys. We don't have a glorified leader. Vect leads through fear!

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PostSubject: Re: Homebrew Codex: HQ optional?   Thu Jul 30 2015, 14:33

So what is protecting the Archon from having exactly the same thing happen to them? Dracons don't get to where they are by being easily killed, either.

And finally, remember that bit in the lore about our guys being resurrected after the battle? how well do you think an opportunist would go after the Dracon is back on his feet?

The concept that an archon has to micromanage his kabal in everything is stupid, and betrayal on the battlefield is both stupid and shortsighted. To kill your superior you need to be sure that his powerful allies won't come after you, either by being too powerful to touch or by pinning it on someone else. To get to the position of Dracon takes powerful allies.

This isn't orks, who'll krump someone because they're in krumping distance. This isn't chaos, who care not where the blood flows. If you screw up the raid because you felt like doing something stupid, you cost your Archon prestige and resources. I will leave the consequences of that to your imagination.

EDIT:
5th edition codex. Page 5. wrote:
The strike forces of the Dark Eldar, despite consisting of treacherous and scheming murderers, work like a well-tuned machine upon the battlefield.- ...
-only the most capable are recruited for each realspace raid, because to fail in an invasion's execution is to bring an entire kabal that much closer to its downfall.

5th edition codex. Page 5. wrote:
Vendettas are revisited only once the captives are divided, for above all the Dark City requires a steady intake of fresh souls.

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Demantiae
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PostSubject: Re: Homebrew Codex: HQ optional?   Thu Jul 30 2015, 15:11

I agree about micromanaging the Kabal in battle. It's dumb. It's why when I used to play years ago I never went for the top tier HQ's, I always went for the lesser 2 wound versions. Partly to save points and partly because why would the actual leader be messing around with what amounts to a small skirmish/recon force? Yes the codex might list "Archon" as a HW choice but I doubt it's the actual leader of a Kabal leading the raid (unless they were particularly bloodthirsty). But I have no option in this new age of codexes to have a Dracon lead my army on his behalf because the Dracons are folded into the Trueborn. So Dracons are no longer 2nd in commands they're captains and they're several of them. So you have to assume that the "Archon" might actually be a 2nd in command or one of say 6 underlings the Archon uses to lead his forces. You just abstract the name of the unit and the hierarchy of your Kabal.

But you need to treat a Kabal as a pirate crew. The Captain rules through a combination of fear, skill and action. He got the position because he was either way more awesome than the rest of the crew and they elected him (and they admired and/or feared him enough to elect him) or he fought his way to the position after the old Captain died or he killed the old captain to take his place. The moment his command wavers or his authority is called into the question he's done for. He'll be replaced, by blade or vote. In the DE context it's significantly more likely that the blade will be used.

Being in charge brings more to an individual than the benefit of better pay or lifestyle. It can literally mean not being arbitrarily tortured for the amusement of the Archon or his pet Haemonculus. It means not having to worry about 200 other Kabalites knifing you in your sleep (worrying about only a handful of Dracons is much less stressful). It can mean simply having a bed to sleep in rather than relying on you having to murder some other dude just to get a pillow for the night. There's a strong and desperate incentive to be top dog. It's probably even worth risking your life over. But only if the chance of success is high enough to offset the risks of failure. Without strong leadership to direct them during a raid many of the rank and file and going to try to climb the hierarchy by offing their bosses. And offing each other in the process to get that chance. Your warrior units would literally tear themselves apart. But with a strong leader present this wouldn't happen, because if they did the Archon, or Dracon or whoever is in charge would just call off the raid and send the Incubi to butcher the traitors. Or they'd hand them over to the Haemies for flesh stock.

You have to see DE as being like fighting dogs. They're mean as hell and just wanna tear into things. They'll do just that without a strong master to subdue the and hold them back. You put a pack of fighting dogs in a room without their masters and their leashes and they'll rip each other apart.

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Jimsolo
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PostSubject: Re: Homebrew Codex: HQ optional?   Fri Jul 31 2015, 00:23

I would not enjoy that.
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PostSubject: Re: Homebrew Codex: HQ optional?   Fri Jul 31 2015, 00:31

@Jimsolo wrote:
I would not enjoy that.

Fair enough.


Given the consistent responses from this thread, I will not pursue this line of development.

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Rhameil
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PostSubject: Re: Homebrew Codex: HQ optional?   Fri Jul 31 2015, 10:39

I like the idea of a Dracon leading my force. It harks back to the original codex, which is where I started with 40k
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PostSubject: Re: Homebrew Codex: HQ optional?   Fri Jul 31 2015, 12:13

There is another important reason for the bigwigs of a Kabal being present at a raid. It's not just a raid. It's not just a battle. It's a feast. It is a spectacle. It is the most invigorating thing the Archon will see in quite some time - no amount of slave flaying, torturing or forcing them to play Age of Sigmar will compare to the plethora of raw emotion flowing from a battlefield.

Think of it like throwing the wildest party you have ever made, making all the arrangements and inviting all the guests, then deciding to sit it out. Quite unthinkable! An Archon's path is that of balancing on the very tip of a knife's blade - it is no safer to sit at their chambers as it is to plunge into a daring raid. One could even make an argument that lounging in his home while most of his Kabal is away on a realspace raid is far more dangerous than being in the thick of the fight.

That said, I see no reason why some Archon couldn't sit out raids. Not all battles are important or impressive enough to attend, just as with feasts and parties. In that case, let the underlieutenants get some miniscule amount of glory, let them swell their egos just a little bit while the Archon is busy plotting another huge realspace party.

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PostSubject: Re: Homebrew Codex: HQ optional?   Fri Jul 31 2015, 13:15

I was more thinking that the raid we're playing might not be the main raid. The Archon might be out at the main raid while you play a smaller splinter raid.

Not every game is 50k points after all. A 1,000 point game really isn't going to attract Archons, Succubi, and the like. Learn to delegate, guys!

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PostSubject: Re: Homebrew Codex: HQ optional?   Fri Jul 31 2015, 13:21

@Rhameil wrote:
I like the idea of a Dracon leading my force. It harks back to the original codex, which is where I started with 40k

Yep. I want to convert a Lhamaean model for my Archon(ess) but I can't really see her leading her troops in battle. Dracons as HQ choices would be much better.
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PostSubject: Re: Homebrew Codex: HQ optional?   Fri Jul 31 2015, 15:02

I suppose things were better when we had the option of Dracons and Archons as HQ choices, but things always change.
These days, I don't really think there should be any 40k army not being led by someone from a HQ slot. Where a Dracon leading the charge might be nice, I don't think they've quite got the authority behind them to lead.
And if a raid were taking place, why would an Archon miss out on that? He would look weak and useless.
At best, someone would supplant the Dracon.
At worst, the warriors on the raid would develop a greater affinity to their battle-leader Dracon and aid him in a coup.
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PostSubject: Re: Homebrew Codex: HQ optional?   Fri Jul 31 2015, 15:17

Does Vect lead everyone of the black hearts raids?
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PostSubject: Re: Homebrew Codex: HQ optional?   Fri Jul 31 2015, 15:18

@Squidmaster wrote:
And if a raid were taking place, why would an Archon miss out on that? He would look weak and useless.

I think the concept he was working with was that you are commanding a secondary force in the raid while the Archon commands the main battle. You are the distractions force, or a force sent to secure a secondary objective on planet while the main force ties up majority of the planetary defenses, this raid might be considered minor enough raid that only his Kabal is taking involvement. I really don't have a problem with this concept.
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PostSubject: Re: Homebrew Codex: HQ optional?   Fri Jul 31 2015, 17:02

@Siticus the Ancient wrote:
There is another important reason for the bigwigs of a Kabal being present at a raid. It's not just a raid. It's not just a battle. It's a feast. It is a spectacle. It is the most invigorating thing the Archon will see in quite some time - no amount of slave flaying, torturing or forcing them to play Age of Sigmar will compare to the plethora of raw emotion flowing from a battlefield.

Think of it like throwing the wildest party you have ever made, making all the arrangements and inviting all the guests, then deciding to sit it out. Quite unthinkable! An Archon's path is that of balancing on the very tip of a knife's blade - it is no safer to sit at their chambers as it is to plunge into a daring raid. One could even make an argument that lounging in his home while most of his Kabal is away on a realspace raid is far more dangerous than being in the thick of the fight.

That said, I see no reason why some Archon couldn't sit out raids. Not all battles are important or impressive enough to attend, just as with feasts and parties. In that case, let the underlieutenants get some miniscule amount of glory, let them swell their egos just a little bit while the Archon is busy plotting another huge realspace party.

Precisely. And what is more, an Archon is thought to be weak if he does not attend raids and seek shelter in his fortifications for too long.
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PostSubject: Re: Homebrew Codex: HQ optional?   Fri Jul 31 2015, 17:40

I like the think that the Archon HQ choice on the table is one of several right-hand men the actual fluff Archon can send to oversee one element of a raid. The fluff Archon might be sat at home or they might be leading the real (Apocalypse sized) force that's fighting in the background of your little 40k skirmish. Either way, the Archon I use in my list isn't necessarily the ruler of my Kabal. This is especially important when you field 2 Archons in your force. They can't both run your Kabal right? One has to be an underling despite being called Archon.

But important points have been raised about the leaders showing up to the Raiding parties to get their jollies off.

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PostSubject: Re: Homebrew Codex: HQ optional?   Fri Jul 31 2015, 17:57

@Rhameil wrote:
Does Vect lead everyone of the black hearts raids?


No, but from the Path of the Dark Eldar trilogy, it seems that Vect isn;t really an Archon. He 's the Overlord, but there are a number of Archons who serve him.
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PostSubject: Re: Homebrew Codex: HQ optional?   Fri Jul 31 2015, 18:36

@Demantiae wrote:
I like the think that the Archon HQ choice on the table is one of several right-hand men the actual fluff Archon can send to oversee one element of a raid. The fluff Archon might be sat at home or they might be leading the real (Apocalypse sized) force that's fighting in the background of your little 40k skirmish. Either way, the Archon I use in my list isn't necessarily the ruler of my Kabal. This is especially important when you field 2 Archons in your force. They can't both run your Kabal right? One has to be an underling despite being called Archon.

But important points have been raised about the leaders showing up to the Raiding parties to get their jollies off.

When I field two Archons I always have my second Archon being a weaker Kabal leader lending their aid to the raid. I guess it is one of those things where people interpret the lore differently. I took the line about them being the leaders of the Kabals as meaning there is but one Archon in the Kabal, not that they are captains.
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PostSubject: Re: Homebrew Codex: HQ optional?   Tue Aug 11 2015, 00:01

So... Been thinking (Dangerous, I know) and how does this sound?

Archons are reduced to 40 points or so, and have Autarch-level statlines. These represent field commanders for the Dark Eldar, high enough on the food chain to act as lieutenants and have their orders followed without hesitation, but not lords of the Kabal.

The current Archon statline becomes a upgrade to this unit, possibly called something like "Kabal Lord".

Would this be acceptable?

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PostSubject: Re: Homebrew Codex: HQ optional?   Tue Aug 11 2015, 00:45

So it has an Autarch's stat line at almost half the cost of an Autarch?
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PostSubject: Re: Homebrew Codex: HQ optional?   Tue Aug 11 2015, 01:07

Yup, except with classic DE 5+ no stock invulnerable and haywire isn't standard. Plus less options of course, but this is DE so what do you expect?

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PostSubject: Re: Homebrew Codex: HQ optional?   Tue Aug 11 2015, 01:20

I expect to pay more than 40 points for WS 7, BS 7, 3 Wounds, and LD 10.
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PostSubject: Re: Homebrew Codex: HQ optional?   Tue Aug 11 2015, 01:26

@Jimsolo wrote:
I expect to pay more than 40 points for WS 7, BS 7, 3 Wounds, and LD 10.

Which is why I'd drop the 40 point version's weapon skill, ballistic skill, initiative, attacks... possibly leadership too. Got to make the upgrade worth some points.

In any case, Guardsman-level durability base isn't going to impress anyone, no matter how high their skills.

EDIT: Quick Comparison:
Assuming Autarch or near-autarch level skills for 40 points. Clone Field for 4++ brings up to 60 points. Haywire grenades for an extra 5. So you're down the 3+ armour and possibly a point of leadership for a model coming in at 10 points less.

Doesn't sound too far off to me. Certainly within 5 or so points of being reasonable.

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