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 Plastikente's Dark Eldar Unit Guide Part 6 - Special Characters

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Plastikente
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PostSubject: Plastikente's Dark Eldar Unit Guide Part 6 - Special Characters   Plastikente's Dark Eldar Unit Guide Part 6 - Special Characters I_icon_minitimeMon Mar 18 2013, 18:09

Hi All,

it's been a while, because real life has been keeping me busy. Only got half of this finished so far, but I figured I could post this to keep you busy with feedback whilst I draft posts for the remaining special characters. As always, your input is welcome!

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Plastikente’s Dark Eldar Unit Guide Part 6 – Special Characters [6th Ed]

SPECIAL CHARACTERS
Special Characters are the Archetypes of numerous Dark Eldar units and traits. Looking for an über-Wych, über-Haemonculus, über-Hellion, über-Incubus or even the Supreme Overlord of Commoragh? They’re all here. For fluff, they’re hard to beat, but in terms of combat effectiveness, most offer very little that you can’t get for cheaper by tooling up a standard HQ. Nevertheless, many offer certain special rules which you can’t get into your army any other way.
Note: To avoid infringing GW Copyright, I have had to be especially careful in this article not to spell out which wargear and special rules each character has. I advise reading with your Codex open to cross-reference.


ASDRUBAEL VECT
Strengths: Awesome at close range due to wargear and Ancient Nemesis. Master Tactician.
Weaknesses: Very expensive. No long-range shooting capability. No capability to deal with 2+ Sv.
Wargear:

  • Obsidian Orbs. Useful, but short range. Vect’s massive BS means they should seldom scatter, and they will kill SMurfs outright on a 2+. Watch out for 2+ saves though.
  • Sceptre of the Dark City. Mitigates for Vect’s poor (ie. Dark Eldar standard) strength, and burns straight through most armour. Combined with his massive I, high attacks (+1 for 2 close combat weapons) and Ancient Nemesis rules this weapon makes him fearsome to all opponents in an assault. Unless they are wearing Terminator Armour (or equivalent), in which case they will just laugh as his puny blows bounce off them.
  • Dais of Destructor. A pimped up Raider/Ravager which is really not worth the inflated points cost. It can’t take any wargear, so no Nightshield or Flicker Field to protect you, and it can’t swap its lances for Disintegrators to give Vect that much needed close support against Terminators. It has to start the game full, and Vect is a combat monster, meaning your armoured Ravager (which would prefer to sit at max range and take pot shots at armour) must zoom forwards to deliver its passengers, unless you perform a turn 1 passenger swap. But Vect can’t get into another vehicle in the same turn that he gets out of the Dais.

How to use: Vect is very expensive close combat monster. Give him an escort and use him like any other assault-tooled Archon. He carries grenades, but no phantasm launcher, so his unit can’t benefit from them on the charge. The grenades do, however, give him an option against vehicles, if required. The Master Tactician rule is nice to have up your sleeve if forced to deploy second, but it is not reliable enough to let you risk placing units in the open at deployment.


LADY MALYS
Strengths: The only psychic defence in the army list. Deployment tricks (Precognisant). Invulnerable save. Lots of attacks (Lady’s Blade)
Weaknesses: No guns. No capability to deal with 2+ Sv. The psychic defence only affects Malys’ unit.
Wargear:

  • The Crystal Heart. Read the Codex entry. Given the increase in the effectiveness of Psykers, this can be very useful, but it only protects 1 unit, and can’t prevent the enemy from buffing himself with powers (eg. Grey Knights’ Hammerhand).
  • The Lady’s Blade. Basically a Djinn Blade that won’t bite its bearer. The extra attacks are handy whilst they last. No better than a standard weapon against Terminator armour though.

How to use: Malys’ Precognisant rule can be useful for making a bluff if you deploy first, but is useless if you deploy second. She has an Invulnerable Save, but it’s no Shadowfield, making her less survivable than most standard Archon builds, but also less hampered by that infamous first-save fail. She has reasonable hitting power in an assault, provided you aren’t meeting any 2+ saves. If you are the kind of player to run a death-star unit, her psychic defence is very useful, but if you just run her with one of many assaulting similar units the enemy will just turn his Psykers on something unprotected.


DRAZHAR
Strengths: TEQ-level save, immune to instant death, low-AP weapons, high WS, I and A. Drazhar is a close combat assassin.
Weaknesses: Very expensive, can’t shoot, no grenades.
Wargear: Kit-wise, Drazhar is basically a Klaivex with a better armour save. That save makes an important difference though with the current lack of low-AP weapons since the change to the rules for power weapons. Note that his own swords will chomp through Terminators as easily as any other model. As mentioned in the section on Incubi in Part 2 of this guide, the strength increase almost always performs at least as well as the attack increase you could choose instead.
How to use: In an army full of close combat monsters, Drazhar is near the top of the pile. Unfortunately his cost shows this, making him significantly more expensive than anyone else in the army, bar Vect. It is quite difficult to get a good return on this investment (for the same price you could have, say, 2 Ravagers) and if you want to take an HQ for competitive reasons (rather than fluff, or because you like the model) you can get at least as good an effect for less cost by tooling up an Archon.
If you definitely want Drazhar though, you need a delivery system for him. That means a transport (probably) or a Webway Portal, and a unit to take the shooting for him. As he can only join Incubi, this ablative shield for him is very expensive, and most importantly doesn’t have grenades, unless you shell out for yet another character with a Phantasm Grenade Launcher to join them. This drives up Drazhars exorbitant cost even more.
Once you do get into combat, Drazhar is going to annihilate whatever he touches. He comes with both Klaivex powers (discussed in Part 2) and his Riposte rule lets him slap anyone who has the temerity to survive long enough to strike him. The Darting Strike rule is what really turns him into an assassin though. You generally won’t want to issue challenges with Drazhar, as that would let the heroic sergeant sacrifice his 1 wound on your many high strength, low AP attacks. Instead, use Darting Strike to place Drazhar in base contact with his target so that you can allocate hits to it. Either your opponent will use Look Out Sir!, sacrificing other squad members and increasing your combat resolution, or your target will face the full wrath of Drazhar.
By the same token, you should always escort Drazhar with a Klaivex (yet more cost!) to take challenges from those heroic sergeants and let the killing machine go about his business.
As with Incubi squads in general, Drazhar also has to watch out for being a victim of his own success. Very few squads will last more than a turn with him and his escort, leaving you stuck in the open with an army’s worth of gun barrels pointed your way. The other problem to watch out for is high toughness monstrous creatures, which will be difficult for you to wound but can squash you with ease.


LELITH HESPERAX
Strengths: So many attacks! Massive WS and I, Quicksilver Dodge, Penetrating Blade, and she has grenades.
Weaknesses: Low T makes her vulnerable to instant death.
Wargear: Lelith barely wears any clothes, let alone carrying wargear!... But nevertheless, she manages to secrete assault grenades somewhere about her person; remember that you can throw these, using her massive BS. She also has a shardnet and impaler hidden in her hair, so it is worth getting her into base-contact with a multi-attack model so that she can rob one of those, if the lucky fool survives her attacks.
How to use: Get her into close combat and watch the fur fly! Lelith is much better value than Drazhar, coming in at about the same price as a fully tooled Archon. Even so, at that price the Archon has a Phantasm Grenade Launcher to help out his squad, a low AP weapon which causes instant death, potentially increasing strength and a better save (until he fails one).
Lelith, on the other hand, has loads of attacks and doesn’t care about the opponent’s armour. Her dodge save keeps working after failing one, but at standard DE toughness that one fail can easily lead to her instant demise. Although Lelith can dodge bullets, she will only dodge about half of them, so try to avoid letting her get shot up.
Like Drazhar, Lelith needs a delivery system, but she isn’t limited in the squads she can join. Wyches offer good synergy, Wracks can offer a higher majority toughness or Grotesques bump that even higher. Whatever squad you escort her with, it’s worth having a sergeant-equivalent to take those unwanted challenges and let her single-handedly slay the entire squad whilst the Independent Character in charge piles all his attacks into a 1-wound model. Due to her massive initiative, very little is going to flee from combat with Lelith without being cut down.

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Last edited by Plastikente on Tue Mar 19 2013, 19:38; edited 1 time in total
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Mngwa
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PostSubject: Re: Plastikente's Dark Eldar Unit Guide Part 6 - Special Characters   Plastikente's Dark Eldar Unit Guide Part 6 - Special Characters I_icon_minitimeMon Mar 18 2013, 19:01

Great guide yet again! Thank you thank you!
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PostSubject: Re: Plastikente's Dark Eldar Unit Guide Part 6 - Special Characters   Plastikente's Dark Eldar Unit Guide Part 6 - Special Characters I_icon_minitimeMon Mar 18 2013, 20:48

Great work as always man. I'd say Lelith's weak S is a con worth mentioning as well.
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PostSubject: Re: Plastikente's Dark Eldar Unit Guide Part 6 - Special Characters   Plastikente's Dark Eldar Unit Guide Part 6 - Special Characters I_icon_minitimeMon Mar 18 2013, 21:23

I would like to note, that if you take Drazhar, you could also put Baron in the unit. Gives them PGL, stealth, as well as hit and run (if anything survives two turns of that unit). It also gives you someone that can take a challenge with a 2+ invul, not to mention that if you roll luckily on the chart, the unit starts with a pain token. Along with the other special rules that the Baron brings, he's really quite an inexpensive choice. He lacks a power weapon, buuut the rest of the squad has em, so it shouldnt be missed too much. Points wise, He's about 50 ish more points than a klaivex w/ weapon, and brings more of what is needed

I also look forward to your thoughts on the duke. He's my favorite.
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PostSubject: Re: Plastikente's Dark Eldar Unit Guide Part 6 - Special Characters   Plastikente's Dark Eldar Unit Guide Part 6 - Special Characters I_icon_minitimeMon Mar 18 2013, 21:37

@Aschen wrote:
I would like to note, that if you take Drazhar, you could also put Baron in the unit. Gives them PGL, stealth, as well as hit and run (if anything survives two turns of that unit). It also gives you someone that can take a challenge with a 2+ invul, not to mention that if you roll luckily on the chart, the unit starts with a pain token. Along with the other special rules that the Baron brings, he's really quite an inexpensive choice. He lacks a power weapon, buuut the rest of the squad has em, so it shouldnt be missed too much. Points wise, He's about 50 ish more points than a klaivex w/ weapon, and brings more of what is needed

I also look forward to your thoughts on the duke. He's my favorite.

The Baron doesn't have drugs IIRC. You could pull a pain token from some cheap wracks first turn with the Baron, but that is throwing even more points into an already costly unit. Got to admit, if Drazhar had a better model I might try to use him, but that combined with the price just doesn't do it for me.

I'm a big fan of the Baron/Lady combo. It sorta puts emphasis on alpha strike (improved 1st turn chance, redeploy to better fire lanes first though), but it does ok in the event you don't get that turn 1 too.

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PostSubject: Re: Plastikente's Dark Eldar Unit Guide Part 6 - Special Characters   Plastikente's Dark Eldar Unit Guide Part 6 - Special Characters I_icon_minitimeMon Mar 18 2013, 21:47

The Baron is a Swiss army knife not the best at anything but has everything never thought of baron and Drazhar with his extra move you have a higher chance to chain movement for a long charge plus all his other buffs. Drazhar might not be statistically the best but he beat Vect or anyone else out for being the most bad A$$ (Arhra will have is vengeance)

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PostSubject: Re: Plastikente's Dark Eldar Unit Guide Part 6 - Special Characters   Plastikente's Dark Eldar Unit Guide Part 6 - Special Characters I_icon_minitimeMon Mar 18 2013, 22:12

You are probably right about the Baron not having drugs...

I dont have the rulebook with me, but I believe all the models get to move at their own speed as long as they move in coherency.

I also think the increase in Drazhar's statline should be noted....
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PostSubject: Re: Plastikente's Dark Eldar Unit Guide Part 6 - Special Characters   Plastikente's Dark Eldar Unit Guide Part 6 - Special Characters I_icon_minitimeTue Mar 19 2013, 19:41

Fair point about Lelith's S being a con - I'll include that in the final draft.

I wouldn't be keen to put the Baron in a unit with Drazhar, just because it becomes a HUGE points sink. He does undeliably bring some useful skills to the party though.

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PostSubject: Re: Plastikente's Dark Eldar Unit Guide Part 6 - Special Characters   Plastikente's Dark Eldar Unit Guide Part 6 - Special Characters I_icon_minitimeTue Mar 19 2013, 21:29

All of our SCs minus Vect can be a massive liability.
Nothing better than a humble low-point Archon or Succubus I'd say.

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PostSubject: Re: Plastikente's Dark Eldar Unit Guide Part 6 - Special Characters   Plastikente's Dark Eldar Unit Guide Part 6 - Special Characters I_icon_minitimeTue Mar 19 2013, 21:57

HEROBEAR wrote:
All of our SCs minus Vect can be a massive liability.
Nothing better than a humble low-point Archon or Succubus I'd say.

I'd disagree, and have to say that Vect is probably the one who is most likely to be a liability. He should at least have a shadowfield that doesnt go out after 1 fail (even though in my experience, that 1 fail is usually instant death).

The Baron is cheap cheap, and has a lot of utility. No power weapon, but plenty of special rules for his point cost

The Duke is comparable to a kitted out Archon, his weapon is a sort of mix between a venom blade, and an ap 2 power weapon (str 3 usually wounding on 5's anyways). Not to mention the shadowfield, and the fact that he buffs ranged AND CC units.


Though truthfully, I've not used any of the other special characters yet, so I can't comment on their usefulness

In all honesty, it fits with the theme of Dark Eldar....you either survive long enough to do some massive killing, or you fail...and die...at a horribly inopportune moment
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PostSubject: Re: Plastikente's Dark Eldar Unit Guide Part 6 - Special Characters   Plastikente's Dark Eldar Unit Guide Part 6 - Special Characters I_icon_minitimeTue Mar 19 2013, 22:02

I don't see anyone as useful, except for Baron and Vect.

The reason why I think Vect is worth it is because in a lot of scenario-based missions, the very threat of going first will force your opponents to defensively and thus, gives you the opportunity to outmanuver and outposition your opponent.

Baron is just underpriced. And yes, I do like Duke, but only in the right kind of lists. 20x Warriors behind an ADL sounds like a good deal, especially if you run some FNP.

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PostSubject: Re: Plastikente's Dark Eldar Unit Guide Part 6 - Special Characters   Plastikente's Dark Eldar Unit Guide Part 6 - Special Characters I_icon_minitimeTue Mar 19 2013, 23:52

Great stuff - the final leg!

I have a few comments:

Vect
You could note that he is fearless, also making his own unit fearless as well of course - useful for 'deathstar' builds.
Also has at least a half-decent save once the SF goes (if he's still alive).
Lack of eternal warrior is a problem for a T3 expensive HQ.

Lady Malys
No eternal warrior. Not so bad in her case as she's pretty cheap compared to most special characters.

Drazhar
Also fearless.

Lelith
Perhaps a note about the debatable use of the penetrating blade rule being used for firing a quadgun and ignoring armour saves with it? Or a warning?!
No eternal warrior, though you have implied this is the case by saying she is vulnerable to ID

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PostSubject: Re: Plastikente's Dark Eldar Unit Guide Part 6 - Special Characters   Plastikente's Dark Eldar Unit Guide Part 6 - Special Characters I_icon_minitimeWed Mar 20 2013, 13:16

[quote="Aschen"]
HEROBEAR wrote:
The Duke is comparable to a kitted out Archon, his weapon is a sort of mix between a venom blade, and an ap 2 power weapon (str 3 usually wounding on 5's anyways). Not to mention the shadowfield, and the fact that he buffs ranged AND CC units.

How??? One less WS, BS, W, and I for what??? venomblade that rends (so say... 10pts total) a blast pistol (15 points) a shadowfield (30 points)... An equal Archon is between 110~115pts (first is for venomblade, second is for a power weapon) So are you willing to take the stat loss and still pay 30pts for 3 abilities that A: pull you in different directions with your army, and B: you normally only use two anyway???

Nothing against Duke... but he is a bad character... I dont see everyone's fascination with him, other than him being David Bowie in space...

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PostSubject: Re: Plastikente's Dark Eldar Unit Guide Part 6 - Special Characters   Plastikente's Dark Eldar Unit Guide Part 6 - Special Characters I_icon_minitimeWed Mar 20 2013, 22:59

shadows

I said comparable, not exact. For the moment, I believe we can ignore his 'deep strike' ability...

Stat loss isnt THAT severe, unless you are going for a CC monster..which then of course, you would take an Archon. (though I find the first shadow field loss often your only chance anyways) You are still shooting on a 2+, attacking at a WS higher than average, and an initiative that is higher than most still. As for your choice between Power Weapon/venom blade...I find it irrelevant. His ability is slightly better than a power weapon, as it ignores armor (power weapons usually only ignore 3+ armor)

As for pulling my armies in different directions, I would completely disagree. He buffs two important segments of the army...The shooting through the poison upgrade, and the CC (or distraction) through the combat drugs (very useful on jetbikes)

I personally never found much use for an archon. T3 means too easy to insta-jib... He can be a CC monster, but I still think CC is very shaky in the new edition.

You are welcome to your opinion, but i do not think that the Duke is a bad character by any means
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PostSubject: Re: Plastikente's Dark Eldar Unit Guide Part 6 - Special Characters   Plastikente's Dark Eldar Unit Guide Part 6 - Special Characters I_icon_minitimeThu Mar 21 2013, 19:52

Don't forget that this is meant to be a discussion thread to help Plastikente's excellent Summary of ALL units in our codex, so even if opinions of a particular character are dismissive, it is still important that they get discussed.

Keep up the good work Plastikente, us newcomers are hanging off of every word!
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PostSubject: Re: Plastikente's Dark Eldar Unit Guide Part 6 - Special Characters   Plastikente's Dark Eldar Unit Guide Part 6 - Special Characters I_icon_minitimeThu Mar 21 2013, 21:13

Of course, but debate is what sparks intelligence.

Also, your horse only has two legs...
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PostSubject: Re: Plastikente's Dark Eldar Unit Guide Part 6 - Special Characters   Plastikente's Dark Eldar Unit Guide Part 6 - Special Characters I_icon_minitimeThu Mar 21 2013, 21:18

Plastikente thankyou for the massive amount of work and effort that you put in.
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PostSubject: Re: Plastikente's Dark Eldar Unit Guide Part 6 - Special Characters   Plastikente's Dark Eldar Unit Guide Part 6 - Special Characters I_icon_minitimeFri Mar 22 2013, 22:49

Hi guys hope it's cool me asking this quick question in this thread but i don't wanna start another thread as i have done a fair few already. Very Happy

Im now working on a list that is a Coven/Cult alliance with Lelith Hesperax and really don't want to have Raiders as transports, what would you say is the best way to get her where she needs to be WWP or a Venom in which case what unit would you put with her?

Oh and thanks for the write up Plastikente, a helpful read just like the rest of your tactica.

Edit: Im open to having one Raider in the list if it is the best way to deliver her but it would be instead of a Ravager as transporting my army to gaming nights is a problem.
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PostSubject: Re: Plastikente's Dark Eldar Unit Guide Part 6 - Special Characters   Plastikente's Dark Eldar Unit Guide Part 6 - Special Characters I_icon_minitimeFri Mar 22 2013, 23:42

Well, you'd probably need a transport of some kind to get your WWP up the field in the first place, and once you have one it's generally easier and less risky (relatively speaking) to put her in the boat anyways
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PostSubject: Re: Plastikente's Dark Eldar Unit Guide Part 6 - Special Characters   Plastikente's Dark Eldar Unit Guide Part 6 - Special Characters I_icon_minitimeSat Mar 23 2013, 10:37

Great work as always Plastikente. Very Happy

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PostSubject: Re: Plastikente's Dark Eldar Unit Guide Part 6 - Special Characters   Plastikente's Dark Eldar Unit Guide Part 6 - Special Characters I_icon_minitimeSat Mar 23 2013, 12:40

Venom, 4 blood brides.
What else could you put her with?
Venom, three blood brides an succubus?

Thats actualy quite funny, Ultimate Wych, Super Wych, Special Wych and two elit wyches Smile

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PostSubject: Re: Plastikente's Dark Eldar Unit Guide Part 6 - Special Characters   Plastikente's Dark Eldar Unit Guide Part 6 - Special Characters I_icon_minitimeSat Mar 23 2013, 15:58

Thanks everyone for the feedback.

@Squierboy - a load of good points; I'll incorporate them in the next draft.

@HERO wrote:
All of our SCs minus Vect can be a massive liability.
Nothing better than a humble low-point Archon or Succubus I'd say.
I did try to make this point in the intro section. Not that I agree entirely - which is what I try to get across in each individual character section.

This week has been manic, and next week will be just as bad, so I don't expect to be able to look at the remaining Special Characters until Easter weekend. Hope you can all hold out that long Wink

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PostSubject: Re: Plastikente's Dark Eldar Unit Guide Part 6 - Special Characters   Plastikente's Dark Eldar Unit Guide Part 6 - Special Characters I_icon_minitimeSat Mar 23 2013, 19:11

You're fired.

EDIT: Kidding! Please don't stop!!!!

As much as I love seeing your two legged horse avatar race itself please don't double post. Thanks. Very Happy - Mush
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PostSubject: Re: Plastikente's Dark Eldar Unit Guide Part 6 - Special Characters   Plastikente's Dark Eldar Unit Guide Part 6 - Special Characters I_icon_minitimeSat Mar 23 2013, 19:25

Thanks for the tips guys and really looking forward to the rest of your article Plastikente especially Duke Sliscus who is another character im considering long term.
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colinsherlow
Hekatrix
colinsherlow

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Join date : 2011-11-23
Location : Vancouver BC

Plastikente's Dark Eldar Unit Guide Part 6 - Special Characters Empty
PostSubject: Re: Plastikente's Dark Eldar Unit Guide Part 6 - Special Characters   Plastikente's Dark Eldar Unit Guide Part 6 - Special Characters I_icon_minitimeSun Mar 24 2013, 04:33

[quote="Shadows Revenge"]
@Aschen wrote:
HEROBEAR wrote:
The Duke is comparable to a kitted out Archon, his weapon is a sort of mix between a venom blade, and an ap 2 power weapon (str 3 usually wounding on 5's anyways). Not to mention the shadowfield, and the fact that he buffs ranged AND CC units.

How??? One less WS, BS, W, and I for what??? venomblade that rends (so say... 10pts total) a blast pistol (15 points) a shadowfield (30 points)... An equal Archon is between 110~115pts (first is for venomblade, second is for a power weapon) So are you willing to take the stat loss and still pay 30pts for 3 abilities that A: pull you in different directions with your army, and B: you normally only use two anyway???

Nothing against Duke... but he is a bad character... I dont see everyone's fascination with him, other than him being David Bowie in space...


Is this like facebook so that I can LIKE your comment!

I am 100% with you about the Duke. I don't feel he brings much to the table. People think he is much better then he is.

My go to character/hq in general is the Baron. I almost never leave home without him.
not just for the +1 for choice of going first or second (i oftain prefer going second as I like to counter deploy). but for his whole set up.
he can jump from unit to unit where I think he will be needed the most for his stealth or grenades. Usually with a beast pack for myself. and he can even punch holes in vehicles once in awhile.

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Plastikente's Dark Eldar Unit Guide Part 6 - Special Characters Empty
PostSubject: Re: Plastikente's Dark Eldar Unit Guide Part 6 - Special Characters   Plastikente's Dark Eldar Unit Guide Part 6 - Special Characters I_icon_minitime

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Plastikente's Dark Eldar Unit Guide Part 6 - Special Characters
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