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 Dark Eldar's best edition?

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hydranixx
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PostSubject: Dark Eldar's best edition?   Tue Jan 12 2016, 04:45

I was on an Astra Militarum whinge thread elsewhere, and stumbled onto a comparison of how the 'Guard stacked up throughout the editions. Not the codex on its own vacuum, but their playstyle in relation to each edition's rules.

Naturally, I wondered what my fellow Kabalites felt about our current lot compared to earlier editions.

What do you lads and ladies think? What edition harbours your fondest memories of the True Kin, and why?

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HokutoAndy
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PostSubject: Re: Dark Eldar's best edition?   Tue Jan 12 2016, 05:14

If I remember correctly...

Around the 3e codex update (which lasted up till 6th edition) that gave them the "wyches tarpit everything" upgrade Dark Eldar had a competitive monolist that was pretty much "Darklances on everything". Archons could also rider jetbikes and wield punishers (did the reaver bike give +1 strength?). I think you could also choose your drug result (+2 strength total with punisher!), and take multiple drug boosts at risk of losing a wound.

HQ could be a cheap dracon with two lance warriors as retinue camping somewhere. Or an even cheaper haemonculi if you're in a smaller point game and don't have 6 raider troops yet. There's also incubi that are handy for protecting your gunline, though I forget if they were overcosted or not.

Elites were raiders carrying 5 wyches that could take 2 shredders or blasters.

Troops were 5 warriors with a darklance, and their raider has a darklance of course. Keep in mind this is bs4 lance fire, CWE had bs3 guardians and vehicles at this time.

Heavy support was ravagers. As the distintegrator had a plasma cannon profile you took those to toss 3 blasts per ravager.

Fast attack, reavers were the only guys around with turbo boost, but not as competitive as the other slots mentioned aboved.

Pretty much every 100pts you spent was a place to stick a darklance.

*Mandrakes had a really neat deployment rule. For every squad you stick 3 tokens on the battlefield and moved them as infantry that can't be shot at. You could then declare any one of those tokens is your mandrake squad and have them appear. They also cost as much as space marines to slap with s3 attacks so were pretty useless once they revealed themselves...
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The Shredder
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PostSubject: Re: Dark Eldar's best edition?   Tue Jan 12 2016, 11:40

Here's how I look at it:

- The 3rd edition book was probably the high point for our unnamed HQs. The option of taking a Skyboard or Jetbike, Haemonculi cost just 25pts, Succubi were 45, Shadow Fields were a reasonable 25pts. The 5th edition book added some nice things, but it also set the trend for unreasonably expensive wargear and fragile HQs that cost far too much (the Haemonculus literally doubled in price). The current book carried on that trend (the Haemonculus is now almost triple what he cost in 3rd, whilst the Shadowfield is close to double its old cost), but rather than adding nice things to make up for it, it instead removed just about everything else - including Venom Blades.

- The 5th edition book was probably the high point for special character HQs.

- The 3rd edition book is arguably the height of our ranged anti-vehicle (with stuff like Wyches being able to take 2 5pt Blasters in a 5-man squad).

- The 5th edition book is perhaps the height of fluff in terms of actual army-mechanics (I don't know if the actual background stuff is better or worse).

- The 7th edition book is currently the height of durability, being a hardback book.
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Count Adhemar
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PostSubject: Re: Dark Eldar's best edition?   Tue Jan 12 2016, 11:48

@The Shredder wrote:
- The 7th edition book is currently the height of durability, being a hardback book.

It has to be, as it's repeatedly thrown against a wall, into the bin or at an opponent (the last being the most effective way of winning a battle with the 7e codex).

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The Shredder
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PostSubject: Re: Dark Eldar's best edition?   Tue Jan 12 2016, 12:04

@Count Adhemar wrote:
@The Shredder wrote:
- The 7th edition book is currently the height of durability, being a hardback book.

It has to be, as it's repeatedly thrown against a wall, into the bin or at an opponent (the last being the most effective way of winning a battle with the 7e codex).

lol!
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Skulnbonz
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PostSubject: Re: Dark Eldar's best edition?   Tue Jan 12 2016, 12:56

To be fair, of played now, 3rd edition would be best, but taken with the rulesets at the time, no. Our raiders were flying coffins. Poison? Whats that? Autopinned when our vehicles crashed, and they crashed easier as a glance would drop them

From a competitive standpoint, LAST edition was the best, as the baron/dog combo with allied farseer was a very competitive list.

This edition?
We are sub par as allies only, as a stand alone, we have a lot of detriments compared to the new dexes.

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BetrayTheWorld
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PostSubject: Re: Dark Eldar's best edition?   Tue Jan 12 2016, 20:48

I generally agree with shredder's analysis and Count Adhemar's commentary.

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Creeping Darkness
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PostSubject: Re: Dark Eldar's best edition?   Tue Jan 12 2016, 22:52

Yup, The Shredder and Count Adhemar have nailed it.

I'll add that poison was a welcome addition to the 5ed book. With Venoms and Razorwings also coming in it was probably the peak of our anti-infantry capability. Having said that it didn't matter so much that the 3.5ed book didn't have poison, as we had other tools for destroying infantry... like Archons. And I guess there was less big scary stuff out there at the time.

For me the 5ed book was the best for fluff both in mechanics and quality of writing. 7ed book has a nice look and feel to it (if you leave aside the tear stains on the army list and wargear sections), but the prose is far too purple for my taste. Do we really need to know what Lelith's lips are doing at any given moment of a battle?

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hydranixx
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PostSubject: Re: Dark Eldar's best edition?   Wed Jan 13 2016, 01:03

@Skulnbonz wrote:
To be fair, of played now, 3rd edition would be best, but taken with the rulesets at the time, no. Our raiders were flying coffins. Poison? Whats that? Autopinned when our vehicles crashed, and they crashed easier as a glance would drop them

Yes, in later editions we do benefit from *tougher* vehicles. In fact, with the advent of D strength and haywire, our raiders are in many ways tougher than Leman Russ, despite being only 1/3 the cost, simply due to Jink and still having 3 hull points. That said, IG tanks are pretty mediocre now.

The part most missed about 3rd edition for me, was the option for a cheaper Dracon HQ that could still hold its own. Oh and the hat-guns on Incubi!

I feel like they could have simply released another 5th ed FAQ instead of the entire 7th edition codex. All it had to do reduce or increase costs on some units or upgrades, change how PFP works and remove the special characters without models, or you know, simply create a few models of them. So many people would have purchased the Duke and the Baron. And add back the hat-guns!

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The Shredder
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PostSubject: Re: Dark Eldar's best edition?   Wed Jan 13 2016, 11:06

@hydranixx wrote:

The part most missed about 3rd edition for me, was the option for a cheaper Dracon HQ that could still hold its own.

Yeah, I don't know why we suddenly weren't allowed really cheap HQs. What's weirder though is that some of the SCs in 5th seem to have been based on the Dracon (having just 2 wounds and lower stats than an Archon).

I also hate what they did with the Dracon - in that they just made him a crap sergeant (+1A, no extra Ld). But, at least he only cost half of what a sergeant cost. Still not remotely worth it, but nor are any of our sergeants.

Anyway, what I really hate is that the new book put his cost back to 10pts, despite him still not having any Ld over his squad. This at the same time as Eldar Exarchs (with their already-amazing statlines) are getting extra wounds and rules for free.

@hydranixx wrote:

I feel like they could have simply released another 5th ed FAQ instead of the entire 7th edition codex.

They could have. But that would mean:

1) GW would have to actually release a useful FAQ.

2) GW couldn't charge £30 for a "new" codex that's basically the old one with several pages torn out and a lot of swear words scribbled on it (though the latter might have been me after reading it).

3) GW would have to actually give a damn about DE.
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xzandrate
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PostSubject: Re: Dark Eldar's best edition?   Wed Jan 13 2016, 15:15

Based on the main rules and codex combination, our 3rd edition codex in 4th edition was probably about the best performance.

If I remember correctly, it was 100 pts for 2 dark lances with 8 ablative wounds via other warriors. So it was quite easy to decide to run max troop squads.

The Ravager was the pinnacle of gun boats, because of the addition Main and Defensive weapons and the Dissintegrator was a dual mode weapon, S7 AP2 blast, or S4 AP3 Hvy 3. So it could remain stationary and drop 3 plasma cannons, or move and have 1 blast, and 6 AP3 shots.

My personal favorite, was the Haemonculus on a Jetbike.

That said. I think the 5th edition codex was very good for 5th edition.

Wracks were easily one of the most underrated troop units. Str4 I5 on the charge with poison rerolls and a 4+ FNP, all after the dual Liquifiers. The move to 6th with the changes to FNP and Furious Charge brought them back to a level playing field, the new Codex has put them in the Mandrakes old dog house. Nice ideas in the 7th edition book, but too rushed and obviously little to no play testing done with anyone who used the previous books effectively.
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The Shredder
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PostSubject: Re: Dark Eldar's best edition?   Wed Jan 13 2016, 15:43

@xzandrate wrote:
Wracks were easily one of the most underrated troop units.  Str4 I5 on the charge with poison rerolls and a 4+ FNP, all after the dual Liquifiers.

They were okay in 5th, but not unreasonably so. I mean, I'm presuming you're talking about a 10-man unit for those 2 liquifier guns - meaning that unit is 120pts before you even buy them a vehicle. However, they have no AP in melee, can't scratch anything beyond AV10 (and even that needs FC) and that 4+ FNP is in lieu of armour. Also, before you say that FNP is better than armour, I'll remind you that in 5th FNP didn't work against AP2 weapons. And that *all* power weapons were AP2.

Furthermore, please bear in mind that they only got rerolls against T3 units - and then only with Furious Charge (which required either extra investment in the form of a Haemonculus, or else that they kill a unit first without that buff. And, if you're putting a haemonculus with them, then you can't get 10 of them in a Raider - so only 1 liquifier gun). That squad gets 28 attacks on the charge. Against marines, you'll lose half of them to-hit (14) then half again wounding (7) then 2/3 of them (6.67) to the marines' armour saves (leaving 2.33). A 10-man squad killing just 2 marines on the charge isn't exactly impressive. Maybe their liquifier guns would do more (though they're not exactly reliable), but is there even a point in using them for melee when their guns are more impressive?

Put it this way - there's a reason DE tournament lists in 5th didn't use Wracks for melee. If they used them at all, it was as 3-man squads to sit on objectives and give cheap access to Venoms.

Finally, they weren't troops as standard - you had to take a Haemonculus to unlock this. In some lists this might work fine (e.g. if you're happy with just a Haemonculus as a cheap HQ), but if you want to use The Duke, The Baron, an Archon or some other HQ, then you're basically paying a 50pt HQ tax to get Wracks as troops. Otherwise, you're looking at one of the worst Elite units in the game.

Disclaimer - I'm not saying Wracks were *bad* in 5th, just that they weren't even close to OP and didn't need any kind of nerf. If anything, they needed to be made troops permanently, since they were beyond abysmal as Elite choices.

@xzandrate wrote:
The move to 6th with the changes to FNP and Furious Charge brought them back to a level playing field

Except it didn't level the playing field, it just nerfed an otherwise mediocre for no reason. And then the new book decided that they still hadn't been nerfed hard enough and so nerfed them some more, and then some more, and then gave them a massive slap for good measure.
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BetrayTheWorld
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PostSubject: Re: Dark Eldar's best edition?   Wed Jan 13 2016, 16:36

Yeah, I agree. By taking away the haemonculous option to turn them into troops, they should have just made them permenently troops at that point. I barely ever consider running wracks now, except in the scalpal squadron for null deployment, and I usually decide that's too risky with no other reliable first turn deep strike.

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xzandrate
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PostSubject: Re: Dark Eldar's best edition?   Wed Jan 13 2016, 18:50

@The Shredder wrote:

Furthermore, please bear in mind that they only got rerolls against T3 units - and then only with Furious Charge (which required either extra investment in the form of a Haemonculus, or else that they kill a unit first without that buff. And, if you're putting a haemonculus with them, then you can't get 10 of them in a Raider - so only 1 liquifier gun).

Maybe I was mis-remember the evolution, but I thought 5th was still poison re-rolls on equal or better, and 7th pushed us to only better strength for rerolls. Generally, yes Liquifiers did the work, but the melee was a tactical cleanup. You either killed the leftovers and got to reposition further, or you got locked in combat safe from shooting hopefully until the end of of the opponents turn.

As far as the Raider, it wasn't really a consideration. I preferred wracks out of the WWP in those days. It wasn't the hardest hitting list, but it was often underestimated.

Either way, I'd still rather have the 10 man 2 lance squads back with the 3rd edition book.
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The Shredder
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PostSubject: Re: Dark Eldar's best edition?   Wed Jan 13 2016, 18:53

6th was the only edition where you got rerolls against models with T equal to your S.
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