This is what i have learned over my last year and a bit of playing dark eldar as an assault army. I have learned we are very potent but need to be played carefully, but thats already in our MO
. This is my first tactica so take form that what you will. Also note i am a young player (13) and while i did write it with word (spellcheck FTW) please excuse the odd mistake. Also my knolige is very limited to what models i have used so would like some help to finish the tactica from my friends here at TDC so feel free to add any thing and i will add it to the OP. I may add to it on my own because i have the strangest feeling I've forgot something but carn't remember what it was.
Dark Eldar and assault.
Dark Eldar may not have all the strength of a raging ork, or as armoured as the mighty SMurf, but the DE are still a potent close combat army. With an above average WS, un-godly I and access to some deadly wargear. DE can cleave a path through the heart of the enemy force while the shooting elements of the army get all they can out of the distraction.
Dark Eldar and the charge.
Get it. With open topped transports, fleet and just the inherent DE mobility you have no excuse not to with the exception of rolling a double 1, but no! with fleet you will never have that again. The point of getting the charge is less you getting an extra attack, but denying it to the opponent. But the things that extra attack can do is not to be under-estimated. Beasts can put out an un-holy amount of attacks already, the charge is just dandy. Incubi on the charge can be a bit to killy, but it sure is fun!
Hellions get hammer of wrath,
which isn't that good
, which is great! It is the same as two extra attacks on a marine but you still wound on 5's. Its something that en masse can put a dent in quite a few things before you even swing.. The Charge. Get it. No Excuses.
**NOTE** HoW only works in you dont use jetpack movement, so you can only move 6'' and use hammer of wrath. Am i right in thinking bikers always get it?
Dark Eldar and drugs.
Drugs are bad...Mmm ka*SPLAT*. *Holsters splinter pistol* Drugs are great! Drugs are what makes our mediocre Wyches and Hellions actually quite offensive. Don't forget then. While Hypex does absolutely nothing there isn't a bad roll apart from 1.
2:Serpentin: +1 WS. Not the best at your disposal, possibly getting you more hits and making MEQ hit the Succubi on 5's. if you have the duke with you, skip it for the above mostly but its not terribad. It statistically isn't much worse then +1 str and is better for V.blades and agonisers (if you still use them...)
3:Grave Lotus:+1 strength. YES! Very helpful for all our units. wounding that much easier. it used to be not the best because it never helped the agoniser, but who uses that any more? Id much rather re-roll that 2+ venom blade or have my Hellion swarm glance that tank to death with strength 5 hits.
4:Painbringer: re-roll to wound. Bring the pain! it is statistically better then Grave Lotus. Helps agonisers if you still use them. Overall one of the best for our basic troops (wyches) but the +1 str is better for hellions if only for utility. The sheer amount of str 5 hits will wreak most things, even vehicals.
*NOTE* does this effect HoW because it happens before the game starts? If so that is amazing!
5:Adrenalight:+1 attack. Good, not the best, but good. Blood Brides getting 5 attacks each is nothing to be sniffed at and that non assult unit of reavers isn't bad with 4 attacks +HoW will shred those shoota's/guardsmen/tau/ even kroot.Helpful, not game changing.
6:Splintermind.:PAIN TOKEN. Game changing. feel no pain with infantry will help your chances against shooting, and FC of the bat from a Haem unit. Get this.
**NOTE** If you, like me always start a haem with your wyches then you already have FnP. And if its a choice between FC and +1 str/re-roll id go with that one insted.
Dark Eldar assault units.
Wyches. Great tar-pits if they make it into combat, which is no easy feat. With an armour save that might as well not be there, if your found out of cover (which is easier to find this edition), pray to the muses they offended the dice god. But in combat they are stupidly survivable with a 4++ usually followed by a 5+++., they can hold there own indefinably. don't send against swarms, send against specialist of combat like terminators, khorne berserkers and such to make full us of the 4++. Not incredibly killy, but don't underestimate these girls. But to be fair I am obscenely lucky with my gals who can boast the heads of almost any prized unit out there but thats not the point. Wych wepons arn't amazing and usually arn't worth the points. But if you have a habbit of your raiders exploding WW keep the unit effective despite casualties. Razorflails are my preference but hydraguantlets keep the unit dishing out a LOT of attacks. But remember no amount of str 3 hits makes it a good assult unit, even with re-rolls. Shardnet is in a whole nother ball park. Being the only defensive wepon it has its uses in limiting the amount of power fist hits are coming your way. People like to use them in conjunction with an escorting IC to help him survive in combat. If being used as a tarpit (which they should be) then limiting the amount of attacks can only be a good thing. The only WW which its effect carnt be done with another body. Always get the Hek unless youir using them as a haywire delivery. She has access to wepons that ARE the punch of the unit. A simple power weapon can do its part for cheap, but wounding on 5's is a problem, hitting last isn't thinkable and as a tarpit we are going to be in combat for more then 1 turn. The agoniser is too many points on such a fragile character.
On that note I'd also advise use of the venomblade, cheap and brutally effective, that marine can't out run those 1's and 2's forever. This makes her a great cheap challenge winner and remember, some MC are infact challengable. You never know, the Hek might really win!
*NOTE* Haywire grenades are now awesome, with the ability to G-2-D any vehicle in the game even in tiny units. Many people now use 5 with just haywire grenades in a venom as a cheap AV and a free venom which never hurts, will most likely slip past that marines notice to get close to the land raider the first time but don't count on it after the first game.
Hellions: Im sorry to say I don't play Hellions, so I can't comment. Need Help.
Incubi: Super awesome badasses of the dark city with big ass swords of ugly death. in short. Killy. 3+ armour is the best your gonna get, live with it. but that 5+++ will come soon enough as you will slaughter anything in your way
short of terminators
, scrap that thanks to an FAQ even terminators!*Still don't go for SS/TH ones though*. I always take the klavex with demi-klaives making him a beast in challenges but most people see this as too expensive. I do this because since i dont run an IC with the unit it means he will win most challenges against non characters.
stone is too expensive to me but another flame template never hurt. An almost-expensive but brutal unit. Unit of 5, venom. no grenades though, take care with that. If taken with Archon makes it really too killy, don't bother unless you REALLY want grenades but a single high strength blast will make you extremely unhappy.
Beastmasters: Always wanted to try them out but never got the chance. Need help.
Reavers: While I wouldn't call it an assault unit when it gets its first pain token it can do well against undedicated melee units. They, unlike other stupid bikers, remembered to bring there knives and pistols giving them 3 attacks on the charge + HoW allowing them to swamp shoota's in wounds hopefully. Drugs help a lot though, with a good drug roll they can become a good assault unit but remember thats not there goal. Reavers are fast AV, nifty in the movement phase, linebrakers, contesters and good AI shooting and they CAN assault. They are a jack of all trades but they are certainly not the masters of assault. Take a look at Mushkilla's reports.
*NOTE* Bikers are relentless meaning they can fire there splinter rifles before they charge reliably. This could be the difference between beating those marines or not.
Wracks: Need help.
Grotesques: Need help.
I have no experience with any of the pain engines, again look at Mushkilla's reports for some help with Talos's. Need help.
Archon: The head honcho, the big man, the demolisher, is strength 3
. Not surprising but we as dark eldar have some workarounds for his bad stats and make them useable with his godly stats of I and WS. Venomblade works well and reliably but you might as well take a Succi for that. You take an Archon for his special gear that no-one else can get such as the shadowfield giving him the best, if most unforgiving, save in the game. You take him for a Djin blade and for 8 attacks on the charge. You take him as an ultimate for the instant deathing goodness of a huskblade, especially with a soultrap as i know it is the secret desire to get a strength 10 Archon and then punch a landraider in. I for one can boast this accomplishment. All these special weapons with a stat line only dark eldar can justify for under 100 points basic is what you take an Archon for but he's not our cheapest HQ to make the obligatory slot and he isn't the best combat character HQ until the points go considerably up but he has the best defence, kinda...
*NOTE* Alternatively you can give him a blaster and stick him with your blasterborn for a shot that will ALWAYS hit.
Succubus: The original dark eldar hell-cat. With a frankly unholy stat line for a tiny amount of points you get what you paid for and more! While she has no armour out of combat when she gets in she benefits from a nifty 4++ dodge which is more reliable then the shadowfield the Archon can take. She can take wych weapons, but forget about them. She can *read WILL* take either a venomblade, power weapon or agoniser to make use of the unholy WS and A. Fully upgraded she is hard pressed to go over 100pts and out of our HQ's she's got hest point-to-kill ratio. A statistic from Mush says that when not on the charge and with nothing more then a venom blade she does as much damage as 6.666 wyches and this means wyches will still be effective despite casualties and also means that the wyches survive better in a crashed raider by allocating some wounds onto her as those wounds rarely matter being T 3 an all. Taking a blast pistol to make use of her BS seems good but if your close enough to shoot with it you could charge it with HWG and finish it with less chance of an explosion. On that note always take HWG as you can throw it using that BS to almost guarantee a glance.
*NOTE* Use you BS to throw the units grenade and you'll be hard pressed to miss by to much even if you roll over 10 on the scatter.
Haemonculus: Our utility character. He is needed to give units paintokens (WYCHES, HELLIONS!!!!) and is no slouch in combat either. Note he is *only* I4 meaning he strikes last in most of our units making him ideal for a power axe, as he is not losing much. His main job done (transporting pain tokens) then you have to deside what to do with him. Many delegate him to drive-bys with the amazingliquirfier (best flamer in the game!) while some keep him with the wyches on the charge. Remember he is without fleet, so the whole unit is. The wepons he can get in CC are mainly poisened, but thats not a bas thing. Even if your only giving him a liquifier guve him a venom blade, those 5 pts means he can assult a unit of guardsmen and have a good chance to win after the liquifier has done its work. Scizzor hands are better then the venom blade but x3 more expensive (15pts, still not much) and not as good as a V.blade on the anciant. A simple power wepon is ok, you get what you pay for. This is how to describe the haemonculi best. You Get What You Pay For.
*Ancient* With better stats across the line ( notably wounds, attacks and I) he makes a better carrier for the better wepons. The agoniser is worth it one him with his better I and the amount of wounds he dishes out with a V.blade will even scare a terminator.
*NOTE* In the movement phase before a charge, detatch the haemon from the wyches and charge him in seperatly taking the overwatch for your fragile wyches. But note if he fails his charge he will be a sittign duck.
**NOTE** with there immense cheapness, there utility and the ability to take 3 in a single HQ slot, every army can use a Haemon if you have an assuly element.