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

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Seshiru
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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 - Page 2 I_icon_minitimeMon Mar 25 2013, 20:33

@Shadow's Revenge It's a venomblade that rends on a 5+, not just a venomblade that rends

Duke is meh because you can't get great use out of his deepstrike ability in most cases and the double combat drug roll doesn't matter that much now. The poisoned 3+ is nice though for one unit.

I feel the Baron is another meh character, but has cool army flavor like the Duke. Alot of people like him and here goes there arguement "Beast are really cheap for what they provide...and they are even better with the Baron" which I read as "Beast are really cheap lets throw another 105 points into them so they aren't cheap any more". You can really only stick him in Beasts or hellions to get good use out of him. If you want to Hellions then yeah, you really need to take him. But the beast + baron combo is not point effective at all. To the beasts he is providing grenades, stealth, hit and run and +1 leadership for 105 points (which is probably 1/3 to 1/2 the cost of the unit) and he doesn't fix the problem that beast have where they commonly loose combat nor does he himself do much mellee damage at all. Hit and run is cool but your going to break combat almost every time anyway do to their poor saves and lots of wounds. Not to mention when you get caught with a sweeping advance you now lost an extra 105 points. So my findings have been that yeah he's nice with the beast but I'd rather spend the points on a more useful support HQ like the Haemy or an HQ that actually dishes out some damage like an Archon.

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Count Adhemar
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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 - Page 2 I_icon_minitimeMon Mar 25 2013, 22:45

@Seshiru wrote:
I feel the Baron is another meh character, but has cool army flavor like the Duke. Alot of people like him and here goes there arguement "Beast are really cheap for what they provide...and they are even better with the Baron" which I read as "Beast are really cheap lets throw another 105 points into them so they aren't cheap any more". You can really only stick him in Beasts or hellions to get good use out of him. If you want to Hellions then yeah, you really need to take him. But the beast + baron combo is not point effective at all. To the beasts he is providing grenades, stealth, hit and run and +1 leadership for 105 points (which is probably 1/3 to 1/2 the cost of the unit) and he doesn't fix the problem that beast have where they commonly loose combat nor does he himself do much mellee damage at all. Hit and run is cool but your going to break combat almost every time anyway do to their poor saves and lots of wounds. Not to mention when you get caught with a sweeping advance you now lost an extra 105 points. So my findings have been that yeah he's nice with the beast but I'd rather spend the points on a more useful support HQ like the Haemy or an HQ that actually dishes out some damage like an Archon.

I disagree with pretty much everything here. If you're going to run a beast pack then not including the Baron is pretty silly. He adds that much to the unit. I've run beasts with and without him and he more than makes up for his points cost in added efficiency and survivability.

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Aschen
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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 - Page 2 I_icon_minitimeMon Mar 25 2013, 23:15

two dice for combat drugs doesnt matter that much? You have extra chance to get fnp. If you dont get FNP, you can choose among something that is more useful for whatever you are running (perhaps rerolling failed to wounds, instead of +1 init or some sort) and most importantly, it lessens your chances of rolling that useless 1...
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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 - Page 2 I_icon_minitimeTue Mar 26 2013, 15:30

@Count Adhemar wrote:
@Seshiru wrote:
...Lot's of stuff saying Baron isn't worth it...

I disagree with pretty much everything here. If you're going to run a beast pack then not including the Baron is pretty silly. He adds that much to the unit. I've run beasts with and without him and he more than makes up for his points cost in added efficiency and survivability.

Your added efficiency = I presume grenades for beasts for charging through cover, the bigger the unit the more likely they'll need it and the less points per beast

Added survivability = I presume Stealth benefit for the unit, here it's a not such a big benefit for the khymera as their 4++ is usually better than the stealth + cover, but really nice for razorwings so the more razorwings and less khymera leads to greater benefit. So the smaller the unit the bigger the benefit.

Coolness factor = +1 to going first, yep that is awesome can't argue against that at all but it's only 1 roll per game and it only slightly puts the odds in your favor.

Hit and run = we'll I've never, ever, had the beasts actually win a combat without wiping the other unit under any build I've tried; they do a lot of damage but they take more wounds. This one has only ever mattered once they get three pain tokens into the unit.

He's not bad, but his abilities tend to lead to this semi-optimal beast build where you have something like 5 beast masters, 10 Khymera and 6 razorwing flocks, or 15 khymera and 4 flocks (sound about right?) so that you have some khymera to make saves with in mellee and things that would ID the flocks etc. but the flocks are doing most of the damage and that build is 375 to 405 points. You want to have it be big enough where you are getting the most out of adding him in and diverse enough that your getting to take advantage of all he's bringing to the table.

But what is the unit's job? To put down a blog squad threat right?

For 168 points you can have 4 beast masters with 8 flocks, less than half the points and just as big of a threat (40+ rending attacks).
Worried it will get focused on and you lose the unit before it gets to do anything? Well that's probably a good thing and typically means they are firing the weapons that destroy our ships at the beasts rather than our ships (since anything that doesn't ID the birds isn't that great to shoot at them) also that can just as easily happen to the higher point version, but if you want take 2 of them and have some points left over to help put down some more threats.

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Count Adhemar
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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 - Page 2 I_icon_minitimeTue Mar 26 2013, 15:54

The problem with the all-Razorwing Beast unit is that any S6 shooting will blow it away in a single turn and there is plenty of S6+ firepower out there. Plus, without grenades, the beasts will almost always strike at I1 if they manage to survive long enough to assault meaning that there are fewer surviving models to strike back with. I know 375 points is a lot to spend on a single unit but a maxed out Beastmaster pack (10 Khymerae, 6 Razorwings) with the Baron is a unit that simply cannot be ignored but also cannot be dealt with easily.

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Plastikente
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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 - Page 2 I_icon_minitimeThu Apr 04 2013, 16:38

Slow progress with writing the rest of this - who would have thought that being on leave was going to be so busy?! I had hoped to post the remaining 4 special characters this time, but I've only finished 2, so see what you think of these and I'll follow up with Sathonyx and Kheradruakh asap...

URIEN RAKARTH
Strengths: High toughness (for a Dark Eldar), very survivable in assault, heals himself, buffs coven units.
Weaknesses: Moderate WS, I and A, poor save, can’t deal with 2+ save.
Wargear: Rakarth carries an improved flesh gauntlet, a casket of flensing and a clonefield (all of which are covered in section 2 of the guide). Notably, he does not carry grenades, so will strike last if charging through cover, and his only AP1/2 item is short-ranged, single use and not guaranteed to do what you need it to.
How to use: Urien Rakarth is not so much a close-combat assassin as the king of challenge tarpits. His own low strength and lack of power weapon make it difficult for him to land a wound (although if he ever does, it will insta-kill). However, he is fairly tough, he has feel-no-pain, his clonefield lets him shrug off a few wounds every turn, and as long as he’s not dead, those wounds keep growing back. This makes him ideal for challenging your opponent’s chief killing machine (as long as it’s not S10) just to watch him spend the rest of the game trying to hack bits off your endlessly regenerating Haemi.
Rakarth is also useful for the advantages he brings to your other coven units. Handing out extra pain tokens before the game is great for giving a key unit that extra edge. If Rakarth also starts with that unit, they can easily begin the game with 3 tokens, which can make for a near unstoppable Grotesque deathstar.
Lists which include Rakarth can also choose to upgrade any Grotesques to have a higher strength (helpfully, this option is on p.83, in the army list, not on p.54 with the rest of his special rules). This is well worth it to get the Grots to a strength where they can insta-kill humans and improves their chances of popping vehicle rear armour.
Rakarth does bring some unique tricks to the party, but does so at a significant cost (more than a tooled Archon, but less than Vect or Drazhar). Compared to a Haemonculus Ancient, he has a higher toughness, a clone-field, and some special rules and improved wargear. Whether he’s worth it is up to the player.


DUKE SLISCUS THE SERPENT
Strengths: Rending venomblades, Serpent’s Venom, Low Orbit Raid, Contraband.
Weaknesses: Like an Archon, but not quite as good.
Wargear: Sliscus is tooled out similarly to a close-combat Archon – everyone’s favourite forcefield, a slightly pointless (due to its range) pistol, an improved, sort-of-rending Venomblade and some grenades. He weighs in at 20pts more expensive than an Archon with the same kit, and for that you get lower WS, BS, W, I, A and Ld. His extra cost is paying for the special rules he can apply to the rest of your army.
How to use: Despite the fact that he is not as good as an Archon, Sliscus is still pretty handy in an assault, and has the advantage that his weapons can deal with 2+ saves (if you get the right roll). Sure, he has fewer wounds, but actually, any Archon has pretty much had it if his Shadowfield goes, so it arguably doesn’t make such a huge difference. On the table, Sliscus should therefore be used like pretty much any other close combat Archon. His big attraction, though, is the aforementioned special rules:

  • Serpent’s Venom. Note that this rule means that if you have any units of Kabalite Warriors or Trueborn in your force, then Sliscus must deploy with one of them. Whichever unit he starts with gets a buff to its poisoned shooting. Thing is, like a combat Archon, Sliscus isn’t going to want to hang around with the gunslingers for long. Remember that you can’t disembark and embark in the same turn, so the easiest thing is to start Sliscus with some foot Warriors/Trueborn who he ditches on Turn 1 to jump into a Raider of Venom carrying his escort.
  • Low Orbit Raid. Lets certain vehicles in your forces have access to a special deployment option. In contrast to retrofire jets, which have a very similar effect, this rule will let passengers disembark on the turn that the vehicle arrives. This is a key advantage, because it protects them from the fireball when your paper planes get shot down.
  • Contraband. An army containing Sliscus can influence the roll on the combat drugs table. This is probably the strongest reason to take him, as it halves your chance of getting the 1 useless drug, and doubles your chance of getting that excellent extra pain token.

To get the most value out of Sliscus then, you should take at least one unit of splinter armed Warriors or Trueborn (the bigger the unit, the more return on your investment), and as many units as possible which use combat drugs. Low Orbit Raid is a useful trick, but probably won’t influence you to take any more or different vehicles to what you would want in your list anyway.

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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 - Page 2 I_icon_minitimeThu Apr 04 2013, 17:05

Thanks for the good advice, again. I would suggest you stop writing anything about Kheradruakh and focus on Sathonyx though Wink
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Plastikente
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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 - Page 2 I_icon_minitimeFri Apr 05 2013, 07:46

@Mngwa wrote:
I would suggest you stop writing anything about Kheradruakh and focus on Sathonyx though Wink

Kheradruakh will be in, for completeness. I think he probably wins the prize for most useless entry in the codex though - Mandrakes are poor, but at least they're not super-expensive and poor.

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Barking Agatha
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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 - Page 2 I_icon_minitimeFri Apr 05 2013, 09:05

@Seshiru wrote:

Duke is meh because you can't get great use out of his deepstrike ability in most cases and the double combat drug roll doesn't matter that much now. The poisoned 3+ is nice though for one unit.

In the edition for which he was written though, those abilities were quite good. It's hardly his fault that they changed the rules around him. You should probably mention that he is indeed David Bowie in Space (again), as the Rule of Cool is probably worth a few points?

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Plastikente
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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 - Page 2 I_icon_minitimeFri Apr 05 2013, 11:55

Agreed - that'll get added to his advantages Smile

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Squierboy
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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 - Page 2 I_icon_minitimeFri Apr 05 2013, 18:37

@Plastikente wrote:
as it halves your chance of getting the 1 useless drug, and doubles your chance of getting that excellent extra pain token.
It actually much more than halves the chance of getting a 1. As a number cruncher yourself, I think you'll appreciate that the chance to roll a double 1 on two dice is 6 times smaller than the chance to roll a 1 on a single die (1 in 36 vs 1 in 6).

I like your assessment of these two characters, and just have a few suggestions:

At one point, you refer to Sliscus being '20pts more expensive than an Archon with the same kit', but I should point out that his Serpent's Bite blades are unique and an Archon could never choose identical equipment to him....it is pretty much a combo of a venom blade & agoniser in one. Also his combat drugs will be more efficient. The problem for me is that you're paying for some kit that I wouldn't routinely give an archon anyway, like ghostplate armour, combat drugs, blast pistol.

Also, Sliscus doesn't have a PGL, so would not be able to provide assault grenades for those combat units who lack them (unlike a normal Archon).

You could also mention that he doesn't get access to the court-of-the-archon. This is not really much of a disadvantage, but it is a reduction in options compared to a normal archon...and who knows, even a small adjustment to the rules for the court (in an actually useful FAQ, for instance) could suddenly make it a desirable choice! Shocked

Also, Urien's toughness: T5 is high for any man-size character, let alone dark eldar! For example, the great majority of SM characters are still only T4 unless you stick them on a bike. It really does make the clone field & regeneration combo very effective in most cases.

Great work as always, though. I look forward to the final 2 special chars. Hmmm, where to next? Very Happy


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Plastikente
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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 - Page 2 I_icon_minitimeSat Apr 06 2013, 17:44

@Squierboy wrote:

It actually much more than halves the chance of getting a 1. As a number cruncher yourself, I think you'll appreciate that the chance to roll a double 1 on two dice is 6 times smaller than the chance to roll a 1 on a single die (1 in 36 vs 1 in 6).
Oops, yeah - too much mathhammer can make you a bit number-blind, I think.

@Squierboy wrote:

At one point, you refer to Sliscus being '20pts more expensive than an Archon with the same kit', but I should point out that his Serpent's Bite blades are unique and an Archon could never choose identical equipment to him....it is pretty much a combo of a venom blade & agoniser in one. Also his combat drugs will be more efficient.
Yeah, I wanted to try and do a bit of a comparison without getting bogged down in too much detail - I'll see if I can re-word it.

@Squierboy wrote:

The problem for me is that you're paying for some kit that I wouldn't routinely give an archon anyway, like ghostplate armour, combat drugs, blast pistol ... Also, Sliscus doesn't have a PGL, so would not be able to provide assault grenades for those combat units who lack them (unlike a normal Archon).
Really valid point - I'll weave that in somewhere.

The rest of the stuff you said is good too, but I don't feel it needs a point-by-point reply.

Keep the feedback coming!

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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 - Page 2 I_icon_minitimeFri Apr 12 2013, 22:32

The last 2!...

KHERADRUAKH THE DECAPITATOR
Strengths: High strength, power weapon which may cause instant death, special deployment option.
Weaknesses: Expensive, no grenades, low toughness, poor save.
Wargear: He has a power weapon that sometimes causes instant death. Other than that, he’s basically a Mandrake with better stats.
How to use: Kheradruakh costs almost as much as Sliscus, but with essentially none of the perks. His rules seem to suggest that he could be a sort of assassin, able to deploy almost anywhere and gain preferred enemy against certain enemies, but the devil is in the detail: he has a low toughness and poor (but invulnerable) save, just asking your enemy to hose down this lone character before he can assault. If by some miracle he survives the enemy turn, he will probably have to strike last as the target character will have grabbed some cover. And he can only use the preferred enemy rule if he can direct his attacks specifically against that target, ie. if the character is not in a unit or accepts a challenge. At least he starts with a pain token, so he can get one turn of shooting off before he meets his end...
In writing this series of tactica, I have tried to be even-handed and see the possible uses of every unit in the army list, but the concept of Kheradruakh as some sort of fear-inspiring assassin from the shadows has been entirely hamstring by the practicalities of his rules. I have to award this character the prize of Most Useless entry in the army list.


BARON SATHONYX
Strengths: Allows a certain fast attack unit to be taken as troops, abilities and wargear can seriously buff units he joins, especially fast ones, cheapest DE special character.
Weaknesses: Not as good as an Archon.
Wargear:[list]
[*]Custom Skyboard. A very useful buff on the turn he assaults [anyone know, does it affect Hammer of Wrath?], and because he can hit-and-run you should be getting in plenty of charges over a game.
[*]Bones of the Seer. Not game-changing, but a nice-to-have little bonus when choosing deployment zones.
[*]Twilight Shroud. Very useful for increasing the survivability of any unit Sathonyx joins, particularly beast packs (not slowed by cover) and Hellions (not so worried about cover due to Sathonyx’s Master of the Skies rule).
[*]Phantasm Grenade Launcher. Another reason why Sathonyx is great with beasts and Hellions, neither of which carry their own grenades.
How to use: Baron Sathonyx is an absolute bargain, costing not much more than a fairly basic Archon, and given the amount he brings to a unit he joins. Because he is Jump Infantry, he is ideally suited to join fast, assaulting units, such as Hellions and Beast Packs. There’s really not a lot more to say about using him – add him to one of these two units, hug cover until you’re in range, and then use hit-and-run to assault the enemy again and again and again. This is not a man to run off on his own to attack a target of opportunity – keep him with a unit, where you will get the most out of his wargear and abilities.

...

So, I've got through all the special characters, and, as always, feedback is welcome. Personally, I've been getting more and more dissatisfied with the format for this particular section, but because I'd started, I wanted to stick to it rather than changing half-way through. Specifically, I changed the "upgrades" section of the entries that were in all the other tacticas to "wargear", because SCs don't get upgrades. Now that I'm done, I think that I should probably have made that into "wargear and abilities" and dealt with their special rules there, instead of in "How to use", as I have done. What do people think? Is it worth re-formatting when I incorporate all the feedback, or do you like it as it is?

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Erebus
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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 - Page 2 I_icon_minitimeFri Apr 12 2013, 22:43

@Plastikente wrote:

[*]Custom Skyboard. A very useful buff on the turn he assaults [anyone know, does it affect Hammer of Wrath?]
It does. From the FAQ:

Q: Does Baron Sathonyx’ Custom Skyboard add +2 Strength to his Hammer of Wrath attacks? (p48)
A: Yes.

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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 - Page 2 I_icon_minitimeSat Apr 13 2013, 00:31

@Plastikente wrote:
Is it worth re-formatting when I incorporate all the feedback, or do you like it as it is?

Yes, if you're willing. It is great now but consistent formatting never hurts; maybe it would help someone avoid a misunderstanding.

Really an amazing amount of work and a tremendous resource. I know it's been said a lot but thanks again for doing this.
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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 - Page 2 I_icon_minitimeSat Apr 13 2013, 03:36

The baron also gives +1 to choose deploying first or second instead of choosing deployment. It's in the FAQ. Which is great

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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 - Page 2 I_icon_minitimeSat Apr 13 2013, 11:06

Worth noting that Kheradruakh is not an independent character, so can't even join other units to gain protection - or offer/accept challenges! Even more useless, unfortunately.

You could mention that the Baron has a shadow field, so can tank damage at the front of a unit if necessary (useful because the units he is typically joined to attract a lot of fire and are not particularly resilient). And probably needs other characters in a unit to accept challenges on his behalf, as his combat abilities are not enough to handle really tough enemy characters.

Congratulations on finishing this guide, brilliant work! Any new players can simple be refered to it to get themselves started. 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 - Page 2 I_icon_minitimeSat Apr 13 2013, 11:20

@Plastikente wrote:


[*]Bones of the Seer. Not game-changing, but a nice-to-have little bonus when choosing deployment zones.

This got changed in the DE FAQ. The Bones give +1 to who deploys and starts first. (which is different from choosing deployment zones in 6th edition)

@Squierboy: Every character can accept/offer challenges, not only IC's.

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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 - Page 2 I_icon_minitimeSat Apr 13 2013, 11:36

@SleepyPillow wrote:
@Squierboy: Every character can accept/offer challenges, not only IC's.
True, but he is not even a 'character'. Still no challanges.

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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 - Page 2 I_icon_minitimeSat Apr 13 2013, 11:41

As others have pointed out bones of the seer are pretty game changing as it gives you a +1 to the who goes first dice roll. It works on the re-roll too if there is a tie. Giving you a 67.7% chance of going first (0.5833 + 0.1389*0.5833 + 0.1389*0.1389*0.5833+0.1389*0.1389*0.1389*0.5833...).

Squierboy also made a really good point, that his shadow field is great for tanking S6 and above shots at beasts. Not to mention he is the only way to give beasts assault grenades (without them loosing their mobility).

Hope that helps. 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 - Page 2 I_icon_minitimeSat Apr 13 2013, 12:34

Quote :
" Giving you a 67.7% chance of going first (0.5833 + 0.1389*0.5833 + 0.1389*0.1389*0.5833+0.1389*0.1389*0.1389*0.5833...)."

Seize will trow this off badly, especially if facing one of the several seize on a 4+ chars out there

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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 - Page 2 I_icon_minitimeSun Apr 28 2013, 22:47

After much procrastinating, I have got round to incorporating all the changes suggested, and tweaking the format a bit. As there has been quite a lot of reorganising, I'm posting the whole lot again. When the feedback dies down I'll make any final changes and upload it to the master thread.

I haven't had the chance to browse the sight much lately - have people noticed that the loophole in Lelith's Penetrating Blade special rule has been removed in the latest FAQ? No more armour-piercing Quad Guns.
---------------------------------------------------------

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 they 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. Fearless.
Weaknesses: Very expensive. No long-range shooting capability. No capability to deal with 2+ Sv.
Wargear and Abilities:

  • 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 rule, 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.
  • Ancient Nemesis. As mentioned above, this rule gives Vect an extra edge against everyone in close combat, and doubly so against Eldar and Dark Eldar.
  • 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.
  • Master Tactician. Useful 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.

How to use: Vect is very expensive close combat monster. Give him an escort and use him like any other assault-tooled Archon. He is still a low toughness character who is not an Eternal Warrior though, so his survivability is limited after his Shadowfield goes, even with his moderate backup save. 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.


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 and Abilities:

  • 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.
  • Invulnerable Save. Does exactly what it says on the tin. Won’t short out like a shadowfield, but doesn’t protect as well either.
  • Precognisant. Lets you move some units after your opponent has deployed. Useful for making a bluff if you deploy first, but is useless if you deploy second.

How to use: Malys is a variety of cc-tooled Archon, but you could make a more effective build for less points by just taking a normal Archon. 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.
What she brings that you can’t get any other way, is her psychic defence, however, as mentioned, it can only shield one unit at a time. If you are the kind of player to run a death-star unit, her Crystal Heart could make them that much harder to take down, 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. And he’s fearless.
Weaknesses: Very expensive, can’t shoot, no grenades.
Wargear and Abilities: 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.

  • Master of Blades. Limits Drazhar to only joining Incubi, but gives him both Klaivex powers. Unfortunately, this is quite a limitation, which pushes his effective cost up even more, as you will want an escort to stop him from getting sniped.
  • Darting Strike. A very useful trick that will let you pick on the enemy you want to take out, provided there is space to get into base contact. Lookout Sir! limits its effectiveness against characters, but if you want to take out a power fist or other special weapon, this is ideal.
  • Riposte. Allows Drazhar to strike back sometimes when he passes a save. Unfortunately, the only people who are really a danger to Drazhar are those which can disallow his save, so he won’t be slapping them back anyway.

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 Drazhar’s 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. Or, if you are set on a deathstar unit, Baron Sathonyx or Lady Malys (see separate entries) can add useful buffs to your cornerstone unit. It all drives up the cost though!
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 and Abilities:

  • Plasma Grenades. 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.
  • Quicksilver Dodge. A handy invulnerable save. Not enough to let her weather a storm of fire though.
  • The Penetrating Blade. No need to worry about terminator armour...
  • A League Apart. More attacks for the close combat queen Smile

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.


URIEN RAKARTH
Strengths: High toughness (for a Dark Eldar), very survivable in assault, heals himself, buffs coven units.
Weaknesses: Moderate WS, I and A, poor save, can’t deal with 2+ save.
Wargear and Abilities: Rakarth carries an improved flesh gauntlet, a casket of flensing and a clonefield (all of which are covered in section 2 of the guide). Notably, he does not carry grenades, so will strike last if charging through cover, and his only AP1/2 item is short-ranged, single use and not guaranteed to do what you need it to.

  • Meld the Flesh. An awesome ability that allows Vect to keep regaining lost wounds, as long as he’s not dead.
  • Father of Pain. Allows the big boss-Haemi to hand out some free pain tokens to coven units at the beginning of the game.

How to use: Urien Rakarth is not so much a close-combat assassin as the king of challenge tarpits. His own low strength and lack of power weapon make it difficult for him to land a wound (although if he ever does, it will insta-kill). However, he is fairly tough, he has feel-no-pain, his clonefield lets him shrug off a few wounds every turn, and as long as he’s not dead, those wounds keep growing back. This makes him ideal for challenging your opponent’s chief killing machine (as long as it’s not S10) just to watch him spend the rest of the game trying to hack bits off your endlessly regenerating Haemi.
Rakarth is also useful for the advantages he brings to your other coven units. Handing out extra pain tokens before the game is great for giving a key unit that extra edge. If Rakarth also starts with that unit, they can easily begin the game with 3 tokens, which can make for a near unstoppable Grotesque deathstar.
Lists which include Rakarth can also choose to upgrade any Grotesques to have a higher strength (helpfully, this option is on p.83, in the army list, not on p.54 with the rest of his special rules). This is well worth it to get the Grots to a strength where they can insta-kill humans and improves their chances of popping vehicle rear armour.
Rakarth does bring some unique tricks to the party, but does so at a significant cost (more than a tooled Archon, but less than Vect or Drazhar). Compared to a Haemonculus Ancient, he has a higher toughness, a clone-field, and some special rules and improved wargear. Whether he’s worth it is up to the player.


DUKE SLISCUS THE SERPENT
Strengths: Rending venomblades, Serpent’s Venom, Low Orbit Raid, Contraband. David Bowie in space!
Weaknesses: Like an Archon, but not quite as good.
Wargear and Abilities:

  • Serpent’s Bite. A couple of super-rending venomblades. These are what every Archon wants: a weapon which wounds on a fixed value but can also cut through terminator armour (sometimes).
  • Serpent’s Venom. Note that this rule means that if you have any units of Kabalite Warriors or Trueborn in your force, then Sliscus must deploy with one of them. Whichever unit he starts with gets a buff to its poisoned shooting. Thing is, like a combat Archon, Sliscus isn’t going to want to hang around with the gunslingers for long. Remember that you can’t disembark and embark in the same turn, so the easiest thing is to start Sliscus with some foot Warriors/Trueborn who he ditches on Turn 1 to jump into a Raider of Venom carrying his escort.
  • Low Orbit Raid. Lets certain vehicles in your forces have access to a special deployment option. In contrast to retrofire jets, which have a very similar effect, this rule will let passengers disembark on the turn that the vehicle arrives. This is a key advantage, because it protects them from the fireball when your paper planes get shot down.
  • Contraband. An army containing Sliscus can influence the roll on the combat drugs table. This is probably the strongest reason to take him, as it massively reduces your chance of getting the 1 useless drug, and doubles your chance of getting that excellent extra pain token.

How to use: Sliscus is tooled out similarly to a close-combat Archon – everyone’s favourite forcefield, a slightly pointless (due to its range) pistol, an improved, sort-of-rending Venomblade and some grenades. He weighs in at 20pts more expensive than an Archon with the similar kit (no-one else has access to his swords), and for that you get lower WS, BS, W, I, A and Ld. His extra cost is paying for the special rules he can apply to the rest of your army.
Despite the fact that he is not as good as an Archon, Sliscus is still pretty handy in an assault, and has the advantage that his weapons can deal with 2+ saves (if you get the right roll) and high toughness opponents. Sure, he has fewer wounds, but actually, any Archon has pretty much had it if his Shadowfield goes, so it arguably doesn’t make such a huge difference. On the table, Sliscus should therefore be used like pretty much any other close combat Archon. You should note his lack of Phantasm Grenade Launcher if he joins a unit that doesn’t carry their own grenades. His big attraction, though, is the aforementioned special rules.
To get the most value out of Sliscus then, you should take at least one unit of splinter armed Warriors or Trueborn (the bigger the unit, the more return on your investment), and as many units as possible which use combat drugs. Low Orbit Raid is a useful trick, but probably won’t influence you to take any more or different vehicles to what you would want in your list anyway.


KHERADRUAKH THE DECAPITATOR
Strengths: High strength, power weapon which may cause instant death, special deployment option.
Weaknesses: Expensive, no grenades, low toughness, poor save.
Wargear and Abilities:

  • Decapitator. A power weapon that sometimes causes instant death.
  • Shadow Stalker. Kheradruakh has a unique method of deployment. The inherent weaknesses in this rule are discussed later...
  • Hunter of Heads. Allows Kheradruakh to gain bonuses in assault against his nominated target. Unfortunately, this special rule is also unlikely to be of much practical use to you because of the way targeting attacks in assault changed in 6e.
  • Altered Physique. Other than the above, he is basically a Mandrake with better stats, with all their standard abilities. His slight perk is that the Altered Physique special rule means that he came use his baleblast as soon as he arrives.

How to use: Kheradruakh costs almost as much as Sliscus, but with essentially none of the perks. His rules seem to suggest that he could be a sort of assassin, able to deploy almost anywhere and gain preferred enemy against certain opponents, but the devil is in the detail: he has a low toughness and poor (but invulnerable) save, just asking your enemy to hose down this lone character before he can assault. If by some miracle he survives the enemy turn, he will probably have to strike last as the target character will have grabbed some cover. And he can only use the preferred enemy rule if he can direct his attacks specifically against that target, ie. if the character is not in a unit. Kheradruakh cannot issue or accept challenges, because he’s not a character, so can’t single his opponent out that way. At least he starts with a pain token, so he can get one turn of shooting off before he meets his end...
In writing this series of tactica, I have tried to be even-handed and see the possible uses of every unit in the army list, but the concept of Kheradruakh as some sort of fear-inspiring assassin from the shadows has been entirely hamstring by the practicalities of his rules. I have to award this character the prize of Most Useless entry in the army list.


BARON SATHONYX
Strengths: Allows a certain fast attack unit to be taken as troops, abilities and wargear can seriously buff units he joins, especially fast ones, cheapest DE special character.
Weaknesses: Not as good as an Archon.
Wargear and Abilities:

  • Custom Skyboard. A very useful buff on the turn he assaults, especially as it also affects his Hammer of Wrath attack (ref?), and because he can hit-and-run you should be getting in plenty of charges over a game.
  • Bones of the Seer. This rule has been FAQ’d. It now gives +1 to your roll to decide who can deploy first, which is a very handy little edge to have as that also dictates who goes first (barring stolen initiative).
  • Twilight Shroud. Very useful for increasing the survivability of any unit Sathonyx joins, particularly beast packs (not slowed by cover) and Hellions (not so worried about cover due to Sathonyx’s Master of the Skies rule).
  • Phantasm Grenade Launcher. Another reason why Sathonyx is great with beasts and Hellions, neither of which carry their own grenades.
  • Master of the Skies. If Sathonyx joins a unit of Hellions they get a bonus to their difficult terrain tests and advantages when trying to hit-and-run.

How to use: Baron Sathonyx is an absolute bargain, given the amount he brings to a unit he joins at the cost not much higher than a fairly basic Archon. Because he is Jump Infantry, he is ideally suited to join fast, assaulting units, such as Hellions and Beast Packs. There’s really not a lot more to say about using him – add him to one of these two units, hug cover until you’re in range, and then use hit-and-run to assault the enemy again and again and again. This is not a man to run off on his own to attack a target of opportunity – keep him with a unit, where you will get the most out of his wargear and abilities. You could use his shadowfield to tank fire at the front of this unit, but they’ll lose a lot if he fluffs his save and gets taken down. Likewise, make sure to include other characters to save him from challenges.

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wanderingblade
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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 - Page 2 I_icon_minitimeMon Apr 29 2013, 12:06

Thankyou for you work! Still, two minor points. No mention of Leilth's S3 - a major issue with her imo, albeit one mitigated in part by the army's tendency to blow through high toughness troops like it ain't no thang. Still, it does limit her range of potential targets.

I also feel Drazhar's lack of invulnerable save is something of a weakness - and would point out that Urien's challenge shenanigans come to an abrupt end at the end of a Force Weapon as much as a S10 weapon; a not unimportant point in a world where Space Marines are rampant and Librarians are much loved, particularly as they make their psychic test before the Feel no Pain save.

Three minor points then.
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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 - Page 2 I_icon_minitimeMon Apr 29 2013, 12:38

I only saw at Urien Rakarth - Meld the Flesh you wrote "Vect" by accident. Other than that, awesome stuff!

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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 - Page 2 I_icon_minitimeSat May 04 2013, 12:51

Thanks for all the feedback. Section 6 has now been added to the master thread.

As I have mentioned in a couple of places, I'm going to have a break from this guide now as the Codex is finished and I'm running out of steam. If I ever get round to it, I can see scope for further sections on allies, fortifications and Forgeworld models, so if anyone else wants to have a stab at those, be my guest.

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