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 Are the Dark Eldar supposed to be an Elite army?

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PostSubject: Are the Dark Eldar supposed to be an Elite army?   Sat Aug 05 2017, 10:21

I have been coming at things from the assumption that the DE are, in theory, an elite army that wins on superior skill, training and equipment.

However, I am beginning to question this assumption. Are we meant to be a spammy army with large numbers of infantry?
I don't think that we're cheap enough for that, but a lot of our stuff seems to indicate that we're more or less in that area. Our troops are trash for an elite army, but quite superior to most horde fare. Have I been viewing the entire point of the DE all wrong from the word go?

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PostSubject: Re: Are the Dark Eldar supposed to be an Elite army?   Sat Aug 05 2017, 10:26

I've read somewhere that Dark Eldar are basically Orks with BS3+.

Now of course that's not entirely true, both Orkz and DE have particularities that distinguishe them from each other, but i would answer your question with : we are both.

We are an army that has access to 7 points model (horde), but those models have BS3+, WS2+, high moral, good movement, good special rules, arguably good weapons (so elite).
We are forced to take vehicles (so elite army), but we have the most spammable vehicles of the entire game, with orks (so horde).
We have AT weapons that are on par with Laser Cannons (so elite), that shine with our BS3+ (so elite again), but we can take them on anything, and we generally have dozens of them (so horde).

You say we are bad for elite armies, and not numerous enough to be a horde. I say we are superior to horde in quality, and superior than elites in quantity. We are the most horde of the elites, and the most elite of the hordes Smile

Fluff wise, we are eldars (so elite as heck), but we are eldars that don't play the preservation game. We are eldars that don't care about others dying. We presumably fornicate like rabbits, live inside an infinite city that feels like a transdimensional hive-world, and life is worthless to us. So we are elite by nature, and horde by lifestyle.

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PostSubject: Re: Are the Dark Eldar supposed to be an Elite army?   Sat Aug 05 2017, 10:29

@Mppqlmd wrote:
I've read somewhere that Dark Eldar are basically Orks with BS3+.

Now of course that's not entirely true, both Orkz and DE have particularities that distinguishe them from each other, but i would answer your question with : we are both.

We are an army that has access to 7 points model (horde), but those models have BS3+, WS2+, high moral, good movement, good special rules, arguably good weapons (so elite).
We are forced to take vehicles (so elite army), but we have the most spammable vehicles of the entire game, with orks (so horde).
We have AT weapons that are on par with Laser Cannons (so elite), that shine with our BS3+ (so elite again), but we can take them on anything, and we generally have dozens of them (so horde).

You say we are bad for elite armies, and not numerous enough to be a horde. I say we are superior to horde, and more numerous than elites. We are the most horde of the elites, and the most elite of the hordes Smile

So the weaknesses of both and the strengths of neither then? Razz

Personally, I would prefer to push straight into the Elite niche. We lack the good force multipliers that make hordes shine.

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PostSubject: Re: Are the Dark Eldar supposed to be an Elite army?   Sat Aug 05 2017, 10:42

Hordes don't necessarly shine through force multiplier (i should know, i've played orks for years). The only thing you need to be a horde is resistance to moral, and we got that (through high ld, and PFP). The hordes rely on one thing, and one thing only : numbers. Threat multiplication. And we definitly got that.

I like our niche. I like having access to cheaper lascannons than the SM, and at the same time shoot at a better BS than the Imperial Guard.
I love having Space Marine killers that cost almost the same price as a standard space marine.
I love having planes that cost the same as Orks planes, but hit twice as much and have better AT weaponry.

All in all i enjoy having specialist units for less than 20 points, infantry for 7 points, and being always either outnumbering or outshooting my opponent.

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PostSubject: Re: Are the Dark Eldar supposed to be an Elite army?   Sat Aug 05 2017, 13:01

The problem with the OP here is that it makes no allowance for a middle ground, which is exactly where Drukhari are and should be.
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PostSubject: Re: Are the Dark Eldar supposed to be an Elite army?   Sat Aug 05 2017, 13:03

I have to agree with Mppqlmd. We seem to be in the middle ground with our relatively cheap infantry that can be armed with elite quality weaponry. Not to mention we get the benefit of being part of the Eldar race *cough* read as master race Razz *cough*. So we have BS, WS, and Ld that's on par with other elite races like space marines, and as the cherry on top, we're one of the fastest armies in the game.
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PostSubject: Re: Are the Dark Eldar supposed to be an Elite army?   Sat Aug 05 2017, 13:21

@Mppqlmd wrote:
Fluff wise, we are eldars (so elite as heck), but we are eldars that don't play the preservation game. We are eldars that don't care about others dying. We presumably fornicate like rabbits, live inside an infinite city that feels like a transdimensional hive-world, and life is worthless to us. So we are elite by nature, and horde by lifestyle.

Don't forget Kabalites come from tubes. That's why they're such a bargain! I guess the -1 attack compared to trueborn is because their foot got stuck against the glass and now it's clubbed or something. But the price is right.

Also, if you're attached to them you can have them regenerated so long as the battle is won, so if a few die, who cares?
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PostSubject: Re: Are the Dark Eldar supposed to be an Elite army?   Sat Aug 05 2017, 13:28

If a maimed and crippled Dark Eldar has as many attacks as a fit and well Craftworld, then i'm happy Very Happy

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PostSubject: Re: Are the Dark Eldar supposed to be an Elite army?   Sat Aug 05 2017, 13:39

That's how I always imagined it. Trueborn are expensive and get all the toys because they're naturally born Dark Eldar. They have actual relatives etc. But they're also physically more fit compared to vat-born kabalites. So I imagine the process is not perfect and kabalites are a little defective in some ways... but cheap.
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PostSubject: Re: Are the Dark Eldar supposed to be an Elite army?   Sat Aug 05 2017, 13:43

Well it's a reasonable interpretation of the term "trueborn"

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PostSubject: Re: Are the Dark Eldar supposed to be an Elite army?   Sat Aug 05 2017, 15:23

I'd describe DE as semi-elite.

We're certainly on the elite side when it comes to skill (with even our basic 7pt troops having marine-level WS and BS), and our Leaders and Elites are supposed to be very skilled.

However, Where we fall down is when it comes to strength, toughness, armour and weapons. Toughness and armour are probably the big ones - as one of the main aspects of elite units is durability (you're generally looking at T4 3+ as a bare minimum - most have extra wounds, better toughness/saves, invulnerable saves etc.).

Strength is definitely a concern and even out poison weapons only give us the equivalent of mediocre strength. Honestly, our melee weapons are almost universally lacklustre. This isn't necessarily awful - it's just hard to look at a model with a few AP- D1 attacks that wound guardsmen on 4s and think 'yeah, that's an elite model right there'. Wink

Our shooting weapons are a bit better, though I'd say they're still a mixed bag (and aside from Mandrakes, our Elite-elites don't really have access to any ranged weapons that aren't also available to basic troops).

The other aspect is that, Mandrakes aside, we lack the special rules most Elite units have (I'm not counting our army-wide rule for this). Granted, special rules have largely been toned back this edition, but I think the lack of any defining special rules on most of our models is still worth noting (especially when it comes to, say, "Elite" Bloodbrides vs "basic" Wych troops).

TL:DR I think our guys are elite in some areas but not in others. We have the skills and arguable the weapons, but we lack the strength and resilience of most 'full' elites.
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PostSubject: Re: Are the Dark Eldar supposed to be an Elite army?   Sat Aug 05 2017, 18:38

The Problem with DE is that we are point heavy.

We are point heavy b.c we have tools built into every unit to deal with.... every unit AND we have vehicles made for those reasons too.

If you look at Trueborn (Blasterborns) and compare them to Fire Dragons, you will see Fire Dragons are in every way better, points, armor, weapon etc.... But the difference is we have more options and can take open top while Eldar doesnt have Open top, and almost 0 options.

This leaves us with many units (not all) that feel elite, tho we do have cheap units too like our Troops and Beasts, but thats about it, everything else is costly.

IMO every unit in our codex is over costed b.c of rules bloat.

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PostSubject: Re: Are the Dark Eldar supposed to be an Elite army?   Sat Aug 05 2017, 22:57

Well Craftworld Eldar are supposed to be the quintessence of specialized units (with Path warriors), so i don't care much about Fire Dragons being better at AT than Trueborns... if only the trueborn REALLY had diversity and flexibility.
But with Splinter cannon doing the exact same thing as our basic troop, Shredder being Shredder, and Blasters being like Fire Dragons, but not melta, they are not flexible at all.

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PostSubject: Re: Are the Dark Eldar supposed to be an Elite army?   Sat Aug 05 2017, 23:32

@Mppqlmd wrote:
Well Craftworld Eldar are supposed to be the quintessence of specialized units (with Path warriors), so i don't care much about Fire Dragons being better at AT than Trueborns... if only the trueborn REALLY had diversity and flexibility.
But with Splinter cannon doing the exact same thing as our basic troop, Shredder being Shredder, and Blasters being like Fire Dragons, but not melta, they are not flexible at all.

Yeah, I think Trueborns only look flexible. The most you can say is that Splinter Cannons are at least usable on them. However, even that is really nothing that we couldn't get from a dozen other places in our army.

Something else that bothers me is that they seem reminiscent of SoB Celestians. They have more attacks than their non-elite brethren, but no way to make use of them. Dracon aside, they're not even allowed to purchase a basic +1A weapon, let alone anything meaningful.
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PostSubject: Re: Are the Dark Eldar supposed to be an Elite army?   Sun Aug 06 2017, 00:04

What strikes me is that the lore clearly states that they have access to Splintercarbines and Ghostplates armors. If the rules allowed it, i'm sure they would be played more. 4+/6++ would change everything for them, and splintercarbine as a default weapon would be awesome as heck.

And it's not like Scourges would lose flavor : they have access to more DL, to HWB and HL. If only they didn't stink on ice...


This reminds me that the Archon is supposed to have access to the electro corrosive whip and Ghostplate armor.
Just like Kabalites are modeled with Darklight grenades.

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PostSubject: Re: Are the Dark Eldar supposed to be an Elite army?   Sun Aug 06 2017, 00:23

If the imperial guard can give every coscript a grenade, we should logically be able to equip our troops likewise.

Also, isn't Ghostplate supposed to be favored by Archons? I remember that from the 5th edition book.

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PostSubject: Re: Are the Dark Eldar supposed to be an Elite army?   Sun Aug 06 2017, 00:33

@Mppqlmd wrote:
Well Craftworld Eldar are supposed to be the quintessence of specialized units (with Path warriors), so i don't care much about Fire Dragons being better at AT than Trueborns... if only the trueborn REALLY had diversity and flexibility.
But with Splinter cannon doing the exact same thing as our basic troop, Shredder being Shredder, and Blasters being like Fire Dragons, but not melta, they are not flexible at all.


I agree with you that they are specialized (E:CW) and that was the point i was making that DE feel elitist due to the fact that we are meant to be Jack of all Trades units.

Trueborn also get (if you pay for it) a Melee weapon, LD mods, they have 2 attacks base, they get PFP to make them 2+ hit, re-roll charges etc. etc.. but they dont have 1 weapon that is AMAZING at 1 job, we have a large amount of options, we can have 2 heavys and 4 assault weapons, out of those there are 4 total points with a 5th being cheap, very cheap for 3 shots.

The point was we dont specialize so we are a bit more costly for less power output in some area's but can be tailor to more needs more easily.

Flexibility
You can have a unit with 4 blasters and 2 lance, or 4 shredders and 2 splinter cannons, yeah they cant break a vehicle as well, but we can hurt vehicles, infantry, heavy armor units, hordes, etc.. with 1 unit than 1 unit of eldar, but eldar can fill a roll extremely well for a job.

We also have LD mods and Melee as back up that is better than Eldar.... Hence flexibility.


You dont have to agree with me, just stating how im see it and why i feel many players thing we are more of an elite army even tho we can horde out.

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PostSubject: Re: Are the Dark Eldar supposed to be an Elite army?   Sun Aug 06 2017, 00:53

While I see the idea with the flexibility argument, our very limited arsenal means we don't really have much actual flexibility. Trueborn have two special weapons options and two heavy weapons options. Compare that to chaos chosen who have access to plasma, flamers, meltas, and a host of melee weapons, combi weapons for extra flexibility too. and they are considered to be an inferior choice by every chaos player I know for this edition. And their squad leader can take a combi weapon too so they get to join in the fun.

If we want a flexible unit to be good we need more than two options.

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PostSubject: Re: Are the Dark Eldar supposed to be an Elite army?   Sun Aug 06 2017, 01:18

Chaos also cost dbl the points.

And IMO CSM is one of the best customizable armies in the game and an older army, for a relative newer army (but we just came into 3rd and only got updated in 5th with a minor coven update in 7th) the newer the army the less options.

I was comparing to E:CW and E:HQ's as E:CW has been around a lot longer with more units they dont have no where near the amount of options for many units as we do.

They do on Vehicles tho, they have alot of heavy gun options where our vehicles are 1-2 options.
DE Units tho get more options, 4-7 options on a 5 man unit is a lot more compare to 1-2 and a melee weapon.


Eldar is a finely cut diamond type of army with a clear goal in mine for each unit, where DE are more of a Rough quartz, good and costly still but also sharp and coarse.

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PostSubject: Re: Are the Dark Eldar supposed to be an Elite army?   Sun Aug 06 2017, 01:33

@amishprn86 wrote:
Chaos also cost dbl the points.

And IMO CSM is one of the best customizable armies in the game and an older army, for a relative newer army (but we just came into 3rd and only got updated in 5th) the newer the army the less options.

I was comparing to E:CW and E:HQ's as E:CW has been around a lot longer with more units they dont have no where near the amount of options for many units as we do.

They do on Vehicles tho, they have alot of heavy gun options where our vehicles are 1-2 options.
DE Units tho get more options, 4-7 options on a 5 man unit is a lot more compare to 1-2 and a melee weapon.


Eldar is a finely cut diamond type of army with a clear goal in mine for each unit, where DE are more of a Rough quartz, good and costly still but also sharp and coarse.

To each their own, but I find that more often than not DE "flexibility" leaves gaping holes in the army's capabilities that they cannot effectively plug on their own. Last edition it was AA, where our only options were our fliers that were clearly designed for tackling ground targets almost exclusively. This edition the most obvious hole is anti-horde, which is a problem due to the current meta.

A unit like the even younger Tau Battlesuit is an excellent example of flexibility done right. It can be kitted out for a wide variety of tasks and do any of them well, at the cost of a rather expensive base chassis.

Dark Eldar Trueborn, on the other hand, have one option: Blasterborn. Shredderborn just isn't a thing, and there is a good reason for that. Sure you can tinker with the specifics a bit with squad size and heavy weapon loadout, but for the last 4 editions the staple has been a squad of trueborn 5 man strong, with 4 blasters, in a venom. You're arguing that we have flexibility that we frankly do not have.

The same is true of our vehicles. With the exception of unique weapons, our vehicles have 2 options for heavy weapon: Lance or Disintegrator.

This edition has over-emphasized this problem by nerfing our options heavily outside of Darklance and Poison. Shredders are unreliable and cannot penetrate even thin armour. Heat Lances are overpriced and unreliable due to low ST for their primary purpose. Haywire is a joke, an anti-tank gun that with perfect rolls (always hits, always rolls a 6 to wound, always rolls max number of mortal wounds) takes 4 turns to destroy a tank. That leaves us with Blasters and Darklances for AV work, and Splinter Weapons for everything else.

Two types of weapons does not a flexible army make.

EDIT:
Addendum: We suffer from the same Illusion of Choice with our Melee arsenal. Depending on your options you take in order: Electrocorrosive Whip. Agonizer. Hydra Gauntlets.
You only take other options if you are forced to, as these choices always outshine any competitors for the slot and outshine each other in order.

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PostSubject: Re: Are the Dark Eldar supposed to be an Elite army?   Sun Aug 06 2017, 04:56

We have options compare to other Eldar not other armies.

GW is scared of our options so we are over costed.

This is the Tl:DR of what i've been saying.

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PostSubject: Re: Are the Dark Eldar supposed to be an Elite army?   Sun Aug 06 2017, 04:59

Well craftworlders have excellent flexible spamming options in the form of War Walkers, and the fact that each unit has a niche is countered by having a unit for every niche.

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PostSubject: Re: Are the Dark Eldar supposed to be an Elite army?   Sun Aug 06 2017, 07:28

@FuelDrop wrote:
Well craftworlders have excellent flexible  spamming options in the form of War Walkers, and the fact that each unit has a niche is countered by having a unit for every niche.

War Walkers are vehicles..... I said Eldar options are on vehicles not infantry.

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PostSubject: Re: Are the Dark Eldar supposed to be an Elite army?   Sun Aug 06 2017, 08:05

Dark Reapers then. Mobile, good vs all targets, tough. A very tactically flexible unit which excels against anything from medium infantry up.

Trueborn lack flexibility on the battlefield after loadout. They are a dedicated shooty unit and do not fare well in assaults. The ability to give them two loadouts means nothing if the Eldar match each loadout with an equivalent specialist unit, as suddenly the Trueborn are inferior to both.

The only advantage one could eak out of this is a mixed loadout. Doing two jobs, and doing neither very well. They need more options to be a flexible unit.

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PostSubject: Re: Are the Dark Eldar supposed to be an Elite army?   Sun Aug 06 2017, 08:18

You know what? I am going to hammer the point home.

Let us say you outfit a Trueborn Squad for maximum flexibility. 10 man. Pistol/agoniser leader. 2 blaster. two shredders. One Dark Lance. One Splinter Cannon.

The majority of the time you are not going to be able to hit optimal targets with all guns, as both Shredders and Blasters have fairly poor range. However, assume you can... you effectively have enough tank hunting to be a minor annoyance to any vehicle in the area, and you have enough firepower to harrass light and medium infantry, but not enough to be at all decisive and barely enough to scratch a horde. In melee you can put out a good number of S3 AP - hits, plus the agoniser.

The lack of focus means that it can always do something, but that same lack of focus means it does nothing WELL.

Going all out in a loadout is far better (hence blasterborn are a thing) but once you do that you find that Eldar have a squad that already does what you do, better, because they are specialists.

Trueborn can be half-assed Fire Dragons (blasterborn), Half Assed Warp Spiders (Shredderborn), or half assed Dire Avengers (Splinterborn). They lack any rules or options that allow them to excel as their own unique thing.

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