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rotforge
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PostSubject: Need some guidance for a good start   Sat May 11 2013, 00:57

Hi everyone! Since this is my first post here, let me just quickly introduce myself. My name is Peter, I'm 33 years old and I'm a baby archon that needs some help Very Happy I've only been playing 40k for about 1,5 year but having 2 PA armies, I think I got a pretty solid grip on the gameplay. Now I want DE to be the 3rd force, but unlike the first 2, I really want to thoroughly think it through before I start. Plus I need a change from all those space muhreeenes!

Apart from the awesome models, what is very appealing about DE is that they require a lot of tactical finesse and planning in order to be successful. I'm very much looking forward to having the advantages of being a glass cannon, since in my gaming group, thick armor means nothing, as I am known to fail an incredible ammount of even 2+ saves anyway Very Happy

I've watched many battle reports on youtube, read through a lot of threads on this forum, including some very useful unit and tactics guides, so I definitely know the basics and yet in the end, decided to post a noob thread, because I really need some specialized advice.

I have to say, that model wise, I'm definitely most inclined to play a coven style list. However, seeing as dice gods hate me, I really want to squeeze out the most out of statistics and probability and therefore prefer buckets'o'dice. Elite units are ok and are pretty much always a must, but at the same time, I want to try to minimize the ammount of surprises and not have to rely so much on lucky rolls. That's why gunboats and venoms have really sparked my interest. For cc units, I was thinking grots/wracks or incubi with archon, perhaps one squad with a haemmi + of course wyches. I'm pondering a talos since it's soooo cool but even though it will draw a lot of firepower, it will take him a while to get into cc since he has to footslog accross the table.

Having that in mind, I only play with some specific opponents. Our gaming group is fairly small an we shuffle around with only a few armies, so the field that I'm up against is quite limited. That's why, I want to prepare an all round list that would do ok vs. a few specific setups. These setups are:

- tau (riptide, 2-3 vehicles, lots of firewarriors and markerlights)
- IG (leman russes with plasma cannons/manticore/no flyers/lots of plasma infantry)
- necrons (mostly infantry, 1 flyer, a few vehicles)
- space wolves (2-4 vehicles, dropping infantry, some longfangs, aegis + quadgun/rifledread)
- chaos (nurgle, bikes+lord, oblits, plague marines, daemon prince, sometimes vindi/rhinos)

OK, this is quite a lot of stuff to process but if I were to sum up the largest threats, those would be:

1) facing heavily fortified gunlines (often behind aegis)
2) high ammount of plasma/str 7+ shooting
3) borderline ridiculous ammount of str 4/5 dakka at close range (necrons / tau)
4) deep strikig suicide vehicle snipers

The obvious answer to the above would be to quickly establish multi targets to dillute the firepower and get into assault asap. However, even if I get into position in turn 1 (with covers etc.), I still have to face at least a turn of massive shooting. With the armies I run at the moment, I use drop pods, bikes and in-theory-resillient termies to arrive at the face of the enemy but even with their 3+ or 2+ saves, I often get so thinned out, that subsequent assaults lack the punch. Having said that, I really fear to basically do the same thing (though in a different way) with the much weaker armored DE...

So this is my big dillemma - how to build a cool looking, yet funcional coven list that would have a chance at combating the 4 biggest threats that my opponents present and at the same time, provide a reasonable ammount of dice buckets Very Happy Reading through a lot of threads on this forum, I found that this community is quite awesome and I hope that you'll find the time and effort to get through this wall of text and help me out Very Happy

Oh and a few more random things that I wanted to clear up:

1) I've never used fast+skimmer+transport+open top combination before but as I understand it:

- all DE vehicles can move 12' and shoot all guns at full BS
- the occupants can shoot at full BS only with a 6' move, at 12' they snap shot
- transport can shoot one target but occupants can shoot another
- having a heavy weapon I'd have to remain stationary to fire at full BS, therefore getting no jink at alll (so flickerfield on those transports would be required)
- if I move 6' and shoot with the occupants I'll only have 5+ jink - turbo boost will give me 4+ (btw., what's that 3+ cover save about, that appears in some of the battle reports?)
- If I want to charge I can still only move 6', disembark 6' and then charge right? So two ways to get into combat would be to either turbo boost in first turn into the opponent's face, land in cover, very likely get exploded, have 2-7 guys remaining (depending on transport) to maybe get a charge in on turn 2 but, at the same time, possibly get shot off the table from neighbouring units OR jump from cover to cover with transport to remain out of LOS to get into position for an assault on turn 3-4?

- reavers have to turbo boost one way in a straight line right? I can't just make a 36' arc through their deployment zone? Very Happy Or even better, fly over a unit 18' and then come back 18' for double the pain?
- can they do the 2d6 assault move after turbo boosting and bladevaneing? BRB says that you can't do any voluntary actions after turbo boosting.
- when does the wound resolution of bladevaneing take place? Is it right after the turbo boost? I've read somewhere that it's in the assault phase? wuut?

Ufff, I think that's all for now. I'd really appreciate if you guys could clear up those things for me as that would really allow me to better construct and analyze potential lists.
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Erebus
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PostSubject: Re: Need some guidance for a good start   Sat May 11 2013, 01:48

I'll leave the list advice to others, but to answer your other queries:

rotforge wrote:

1) I've never used fast+skimmer+transport+open top combination before but as I understand it:

- all DE vehicles can move 12' and shoot all guns at full BS
- the occupants can shoot at full BS only with a 6' move, at 12' they snap shot
- transport can shoot one target but occupants can shoot another
- having a heavy weapon I'd have to remain stationary to fire at full BS, therefore getting no jink at alll (so flickerfield on those transports would be required)
- If I want to charge I can still only move 6', disembark 6' and then charge right? So two ways to get into combat would be to either turbo boost in first turn into the opponent's face, land in cover, very likely get exploded, have 2-7 guys remaining (depending on transport) to maybe get a charge in on turn 2 but, at the same time, possibly get shot off the table from neighbouring units OR jump from cover to cover with transport to remain out of LOS to get into position for an assault on turn 3-4?
Yes.

rotforge wrote:

- if I move 6' and shoot with the occupants I'll only have 5+ jink - turbo boost will give me 4+ (btw., what's that 3+ cover save about, that appears in some of the battle reports?)
Vehicles move Flat Out, not Turbo Boost. Only Reavers Turbo Boost, and they will be what the 3+ save is about since they have the Skilled Rider special rule.

rotforge wrote:

- reavers have to turbo boost one way in a straight line right? I can't just make a 36' arc through their deployment zone? Very Happy Or even better, fly over a unit 18' and then come back 18' for double the pain?
Grey area. There's a discussion about that here. However, even if you doubled back on yourself, it would still only be the one lot of hits (assuming you are referring to Bladevaning).

rotforge wrote:

- can they do the 2d6 assault move after turbo boosting and bladevaneing? BRB says that you can't do any voluntary actions after turbo boosting.
Rules are pretty clear on that one. No voluntary action = no 2D6 move in assault phase.

rotforge wrote:

- when does the wound resolution of bladevaneing take place? Is it right after the turbo boost? I've read somewhere that it's in the assault phase? wuut?
Again, pretty clear cut. You don't resolve wounds from shooting in the assault phase, so why would Bladevaning be any different? It's not a close combat attack after all. So yes, wounds are resolved after the move is made.

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sgb69
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PostSubject: Re: Need some guidance for a good start   Sat May 11 2013, 01:54

Another nifty thing is that if you deepstrike your skimmers they can move flat out during that shooting phase.

General Tactics:

1) facing heavily fortified gunlines (often behind aegis)

Speed, lots of cover, make LoS blocking stuff work for you. Suppress their biggest threats at range then apply dakka. Even Kabalite Warriors stand a good shot of beating Tau or IG in combat.

2) high ammount of plasma/str 7+ shooting

This is pretty much the bane of our existence. Armies that pack in buckets of this stuff do really well against dark eldar.

3) borderline ridiculous ammount of str 4/5 dakka at close range (necrons / tau)

Nightshields are an amazing upgrade. Use that mobility.

4) deep strikig suicide vehicle snipers

Deploy your units outside of their transports, with any possible "leftover" transports near your assault units. Kabalite Warriors with a splinter cannon work wonders. Venoms trade favorably against Longfang packs, which is a plus.

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rotforge
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PostSubject: Re: Need some guidance for a good start   Sat May 11 2013, 02:30

Thanks for the answers so far!

sgb69 wrote:
Another nifty thing is that if you deepstrike your skimmers they can move flat out during that shooting phase.

General Tactics:

1) facing heavily fortified gunlines (often behind aegis)

Speed, lots of cover, make LoS blocking stuff work for you. Suppress their biggest threats at range then apply dakka. Even Kabalite Warriors stand a good shot of beating Tau or IG in combat.

Yea, the thing is that:

- if I play vs tau, they markerlight and take cover away. All the dakka squads sit in ruins/cover and you can't really lance away at firewarriors... I'll take care of the vehicles but close range shots will still eat me up.
- if I play vs ig, they order rerolls on cover saves, which with my rolls basically means, taking cover away. What follows is a sad hail of rapid fire plasma
- If I play necrons, ok, I can snipe some vehicles with lances but then I get into rapid fire range of 2-3 warrior squads

I mean, all 3 types of units produce a hail of str 4+ rapid fire that will ignore my cover (well except for necrons) which means, they will most likely destroy all my transports if I set them up for assaults. LOSing can only get you so far and those raiders aren't exactly small.
Overwatch will also become a big issue here especially with multicharging.

sgb69 wrote:

3) borderline ridiculous ammount of str 4/5 dakka at close range (necrons / tau)

Nightshields are an amazing upgrade. Use that mobility.

Hmmm, now that I think about it, I guess it could save some exploding transports. If they have 24' range, that would make it 18' so 9" rapid fire, so I could risk going flat out first turn and stop in cover around that 18' mark. Then for sure, not all his models with have range so less shots and on my turn I could go 12' with disembark and have only 6' to charge... Tau firewarriors have 30' though IIRC.

sgb69 wrote:

4) deep strikig suicide vehicle snipers

Deploy your units outside of their transports, with any possible "leftover" transports near your assault units. Kabalite Warriors with a splinter cannon work wonders. Venoms trade favorably against Longfang packs, which is a plus.

I'm more worried about ravagers since transports should already be near his deployment. Then again, if he dses to take those out, I get popped too far from effective assault range. On the other hand if I don't flat out first turn, and instead move 6' -> disembark, I'll leave too much time for the opponent to gun me down. Ehh.

Anyway, I think I'm still too much in a space marine army mindset so any further suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
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wanderingblade
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PostSubject: Re: Need some guidance for a good start   Sat May 11 2013, 04:57

Dark Eldar are all about fighting how they want, when they want, against who they want. That is the heart of our army. You should be seeking to control the parameters of every conflict on the table. You will, of course, fail at that lofty goal - but keep it in mind. That is what all our mobility is about.

And what that means is that if you see an Imperial Guard line cowering behind their fortifications, you do not want to be thinking "How am I going to get there intact" - because you don't want to be fighting them at their strong point. You want to be thinking "How am I going to persuade them to come out from there".

That's not going to be easy. Sometimes it won't be possible, and sometimes you'll simply have to recognise there's nothing for it but the Charge of the Very Light Brigade. But generally, that's what you want to do. Force them to come after objectives. Force them to move away from it to engage you army. See if you can lure them out by positioning sacrifices nearby if needed. Or simply kill units he was relying on, forcing him to change his plans, particularly if you can deny him the ability to kill your army from where he was stood.

So don't worry about making the Assault as quickly as possible. Worry about keeping your troops alive and worry about luring them out.
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PostSubject: Re: Need some guidance for a good start   Sat May 11 2013, 12:51

Quote :
Dark Eldar are all about fighting how they want, when they need, against who they can

Dark Eldar need to go all agression against certain armies, like Tau. Thats certainly not when they want. And thats also demanding some sort of alpha strike capability. Which usually means lots of lances and splinter cannons.
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PostSubject: Re: Need some guidance for a good start   Sat May 11 2013, 14:31

Your basic building blocks should be troops in venoms.
5 Kabalites / wyches / wracks with a blaster / haywires / liquifier and a venom with a second cannon is 125pts.
AI/AT, AT/CC and CC/AI
6 costs 750pts.

Heavy Support is tricky, all of our options are good really.
Three Ravagers is the usual advice, and its good advice. But three razorwings is good too, so is a cronos and two taloi.

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PostSubject: Re: Need some guidance for a good start   Sat May 11 2013, 14:50

Quote :
- if I play vs tau, they markerlight and take cover away. All the dakka squads sit in ruins/cover and you can't really lance away at firewarriors... I'll take care of the vehicles but close range shots will still eat me up.
Why are you going to be close? Our primary weapons are both 36". If you are going to face tau often seriously consider night shields to force them to move. Markers are heavy so shields can really reduce their effectiveness.
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PostSubject: Re: Need some guidance for a good start   Sat May 11 2013, 14:58

Yes. It seems that the most viable way to play vs those opponents would be to force them to move out of their comfortable gunline position while at the same time setting up my cc units out of LOS. That could work well with hammer an anvil deployment but what about dawn of war? I guess hugging a corner would be ok and if he deploys right accross, then move flat out to the opposite corner in order to bait him out.

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PostSubject: Re: Need some guidance for a good start   Sat May 11 2013, 17:07

Azdrubael wrote:
Quote :
Dark Eldar are all about fighting how they want, when they need, against who they can

Dark Eldar need to go all agression against certain armies, like Tau. Thats certainly not when they want. And thats also demanding some sort of alpha strike capability. Which usually means lots of lances and splinter cannons.

Then be aggressive how you want. Don't fly up to him, but use a refused flank and cover to shield yourself from as much of his firepower as possible. Lets be honest, most games of 40K are certainly not what Dark Eldar want, but within what you've got you must always be trying to fight on your own terms as much as possible. Of course, what Dark Eldar want is a tricky thing, and I think your edits capture it well - staying alive is one of the main things, and that shapes a lot.

Rotforge, if you haven't seen it already, this battle report - http://www.thedarkcity.net/t6173-br22-the-black-buzzards-vs-tau-rematch-1500pts#66826 - is a very good example of how to play aggressively against a gunline.
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PostSubject: Re: Need some guidance for a good start   Sat May 11 2013, 17:32

I've read that one but it incorporates mainly warriors and reavers, while I'm trying to figure out a best way to play coven style against such opponents.

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PostSubject: Re: Need some guidance for a good start   Sat May 11 2013, 23:01

rotforge wrote:
I've read that one but it incorporates mainly warriors and reavers, while I'm trying to figure out a best way to play coven style against such opponents.
Grotesques would be very useful vs most gunline type armies. Zoom them right up into your opponent's face (maybe using enhanced aethersails on their raider). Sure, the raider will be wrecked, but the passengers are tough and will need to be dealt with.
Multiple threats is the key - both shooty and assaulty - for target saturation.
Liquifiers will melt troops in cover.
Talos, taken in multiples, will also provide a threat that cannot be ignored. If they make it to combat, gunline forces are in trouble.
Cover ignoring stuff can be a pain, but they can only have so much of that, so don't sweat over it too much. Target the marker lights if you want. Venoms come with a flickerfield as standard, which is handy.
Reavers would be really useful to provide a distraction (and some anti-tank if you end up with not many ravagers).

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PostSubject: Re: Need some guidance for a good start   Sun May 12 2013, 03:59

rotforge wrote:
I've read that one but it incorporates mainly warriors and reavers, while I'm trying to figure out a best way to play coven style against such opponents.

Don't read it for what he used, read it for how he did it - I can't give detailed list advice in terms of units, but in terms of making the transition from thinking like a MEQ player to thinking like a Dark Eldar player, something I myself did recently, I found it invaluable. Good generalship will win bad list match-ups and bad generalship will lose with good lists; I'm sure you're aware of that, but it becomes doubly so for Dark Eldar. Maybe I'm doing you a disservice because I'm too used to 40K tactical discussions that get no further than "This unit's good, this unit does this", and it is certainly true that as a general you do need the tools to do the job, and different tools allow you to do different things, but working out what opportunities you're looking for, what risks you can take, is more important to the new Dark Eldar general than working out what units are good.

That aside - going Grotesque/Wrack/Pain Machine heavy will change the way you do things. It will severely limit your firepower, unless you take a lot of Wrack squads in Venoms, and you have a slight issue in that your coven troops will likely be mounted and looking to close in assault while your Pain Machines are still working their way across the table. When you say Coven style, what exactly do you mean? No Warriors at all? Heavy Support full of Pain Machines? Some Wych cult troops, or none? Or does the answer depend slightly on the advice you get?
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PostSubject: Re: Need some guidance for a good start   Sun May 12 2013, 11:32

I'm thinking wracks/grots with haemmis as sort of a core. To build up on that, I'll definitely want warrior gunboats for those dice buckets, perhaps some wyches and reavers. HS slots will be really tough and ideally I'd really like 2 talos 1 ravager/flyer.

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PostSubject: Re: Need some guidance for a good start   Mon May 13 2013, 15:55

That can work.

Thing is, once you've brought a bunch of Wracks and Grotesques, you don't really need much more close combat stuff in your army by most people's standards. So I'd probably not recommend Wyches. I'm also inclined to recommend thinking about taking a few of those Wrack units really cheap in a Venom, as that gets more firepower, and a 5 man unit can still hold an objective.

Mass Pain Machines can work, but their use I don't know much about alas.
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PostSubject: Re: Need some guidance for a good start   Mon May 13 2013, 17:12

My train of thought was that if I were to use 2 talos in my list, I'll lack AT so was considering wyches with HWG in venoms. Talos are there to be fire magnets + tl SC for some longer range fire support and tl LG for cc mayhem Smile

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