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PostSubject: Cheap starting army   Cheap starting army I_icon_minitimeWed Jul 03 2013, 20:10

I want to start a dark eldar army, it's my first tabletop war game and I was wondering what would be a good starting army that does't cost much money.
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PostSubject: Re: Cheap starting army   Cheap starting army I_icon_minitimeWed Jul 03 2013, 21:16

To be honest, no.
We are stuck in that we need transports unless we take a coven list, then you can take loads of ogres as grots.
Blood angel and space wolf battle forces are the best value I believe.

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PostSubject: Re: Cheap starting army   Cheap starting army I_icon_minitimeWed Jul 03 2013, 21:17

Hmm, it's hard to know to start without knowing how much you know about wargames and what you consider 'cheap'. Let's get one thing clear: cheap is relative here. (And Dark Eldar are probably a mid-price army in general.)

My main suggestion would be to start off small. You only need 2-3 units and an HQ to get your first (small) games in, so I'd advise picking a variety of units you like the look of and trying that. A unit each of Warriors and Wyches are a good bet, since they come in plastic kits.

As you build your army and play, you'll get a sense of what you want to add as your army grows. Some of the additions may be expensive themselves, but it's better to buy the expensive item you need rather than a cheap one you don't (which will then often require another purchase).

Also, if you're after cheap, try shopping around, e.g. on eBay, Craigslist, the Barter Port on here, etc. If you don't mind the old figures (like the plastic Warriors from 3rd edition 40k) then those can be much cheaper than the new models: I got about 40 for £10 on eBay not long ago!
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PostSubject: Re: Cheap starting army   Cheap starting army I_icon_minitimeWed Jul 03 2013, 23:25

Thanks for the advise, my two friends who play warhammer use space marines and orks, as I will probably be playing them the most if you know any good units agains them too it would be very helpful.
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PostSubject: Re: Cheap starting army   Cheap starting army I_icon_minitimeThu Jul 04 2013, 00:35

At this stage, if you're all just starting out, the need for 'good' units is lessened. It's more about picking stuff that interests you.

Edit: except for Mandrakes - don't get any Mandrakes.

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PostSubject: Re: Cheap starting army   Cheap starting army I_icon_minitimeThu Jul 04 2013, 00:36

I would purchase the battleforce. It gives you a good introduction to DE.

After that, I'd purchase your favorite HQ.

Then expand from there.
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PostSubject: Re: Cheap starting army   Cheap starting army I_icon_minitimeThu Jul 04 2013, 07:47

You can make a Succubus or an Archon from the battleforce easily.
I have three battle forces, I converted the Raiders to Ravagers by attaching the HW kabalites to the sides, Succy and Archon are just well posed Wych and Kabalite.

But three BFs doesnt really fit "cheap" in my book, and I have venoms on top.

I suppose it depends what your budget is and for what size games.

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PostSubject: Re: Cheap starting army   Cheap starting army I_icon_minitimeThu Jul 04 2013, 09:18

I'd say the DE are more on the expensive side than midprice. Most of the cool stuff is Fine cast and part from incubi sold 1 by 1 in each blister.

But Battle force and HQ is the way to go.

Converting is another matter but if you are just in the beginning of the hobby...

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PostSubject: Re: Cheap starting army   Cheap starting army I_icon_minitimeThu Jul 04 2013, 10:09

@Vasara wrote:
I'd say the DE are more on the expensive side than midprice. Most of the cool stuff is Fine cast and part from incubi sold 1 by 1 in each blister.

Not entirely true: Wracks, Mandrakes (not that you'd want them), and Khymerae are sold in multiples.

You're right, of course, that Finecast figures are expensive if you want to run a large unit of Grots, for example. I converted mine from Rat Ogres, but that may not be feasible for a newcomer to the hobby.

On the other hand, I still think DE - while more expensive than Space Marines - are cheaper than an IG or Ork Horde (not forgetting that they have pricey units of their own, e.g. Ogryns and Rough Riders). Again, a lot comes down to your chosen list.
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PostSubject: Re: Cheap starting army   Cheap starting army I_icon_minitimeThu Jul 04 2013, 11:48

Like stated before, what makes DE expensive is the transports.

Want to field a wyches, better put them in a transport
Want to field kabalites, better put them in a transport
Ohh, Incubis are nice, for sure we need a transport for em.
Grots... Better stick them in a raider as they are too slow otherwise.

Almost everything youn would want to field requires a transport. Talos & Cronos obvious exceptions, but even a Coven list would field a number of transports for all Infantry.

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PostSubject: Re: Cheap starting army   Cheap starting army I_icon_minitimeThu Jul 04 2013, 14:01

"Converting" an archon isnt hard.
Pick the fanciest body, the fanciest head, and give it the power sword, paint it bone coloured. Boom, archon.

My grots are tyranid warriors.
Somewhat converted, in that they have pain engine bits stuck on.

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PostSubject: Re: Cheap starting army   Cheap starting army I_icon_minitimeThu Jul 04 2013, 17:19

@Phiandros wrote:
Like stated before, what makes DE expensive is the transports.
I agree with this. It's functionally like a +$30 to any unit you field.

That said, we can get away with smaller squad sizes and be competitive, so one $20 box of Warriors can usually lend us 2 units of 5...Hurm, let's do the maths just using GW formula prices;

Okay, so I made up a hyper generic 1,000 point DE list;
1x Archon
2x 5 Warriors in Venoms w. Blasters
1x 9 Wyches w. Hek, HWG, PW, ect in Raider.
1x 4 Incubi in Venom
2x Ravager with FFs
1x 3 RJBs w. Heat Lance

It contains a little bit of everything that DE would field and is a nice 1,000 point list that probably would be considered of mid to low-high range effectiveness. Now let's toss up a equal roughly in competitiveness list via Grey Knights, arguably one of the more elite/small armies.

1x Inquisitor - Daemonblade Mastery Level 1 Power Armour Emperyan Brain Mines
1x Vindicare Assassin
2x Grey Knight Strike Squad - 5 Marines 2x Psycannons 1x Daemon Hammer Psybolt
1x Grey Knight Terminators Squad - 1x Daemonhammer 4x Halberds 1x Incinerator Psybolt

And also a classic 'horde' list via the ever popular ladz in green.

1x Big Mek - KFF, Klaw
3x 20 Man Boyz mobz - Klaw, Shootas, ect.
3x 5 Lootas - with no upgrades because Lootas get weaker with upgrades Wink
1x Dakkajet - +all standard upgrades

Looks like a nice mix of stuff, so what tends to be priciest?

1x Archon - 16
2x 5 Warriors in Venoms w. Blasters - 29+60
1x 9 Wyches w. Hek, HWG, PW, ect in Raider. 29+37.25
1x 4 Incubi in Venom - 41.25+30
2x Ravager with FFs - 99
1x 3 RJBs w. Heat Lance - 39.50
------------------------------------
$340.25 (I chose to buy a Battleforce at 110 to save money, and decided with the extra Incubi, Wych, Warrior, passenger bits that you would just kitbash the Archon)


1x Inquisitor - Daemonblade Mastery Level 1 Power Armour Emperyan Brain Mines - 15-16
1x Vindicare Assassin - 16
2x Grey Knight Strike Squad - 5 Marines 2x Psycannons 1x Daemon Hammer Psybolt - 66
1x Grey Knight Terminators Squad - 1x Daemonhammer 4x Halberds 1x Incinerator Psybolt - 50
-------------------------------------
$148 (and probably a good example reason for why Sphess Mahreens are a popular starting army)


1x Big Mek - KFF, Klaw - 22.25
3x 20 Man Boyz mobz - Klaw, Shootas, ect. - 174
3x 5 Lootas - with no upgrades because Lootas get weaker with upgrades Wink - 75
1x Dakkajet - +all standard upgrades -45.50
-------------------------------------
$316.75

Which, interestingly, suggests it's cheaper to make a horde Ork army than it is to make a DE army.
And, yes, the vehicles make a big part of it. Now, probably IG could trump this, as they can go horde *and* vehicle spam all in one list pretty easy. I could probably come up with a slightly more expensive Ork force. I could also probably come up with a cheaper DE force just by cutting out the Incubi and going with more Warriors or something...but then I might need more vehicles.

I would actually say that probably DE are one of the most expensive armies to field. I hadn't figured so, but I think the numbers suggest it.

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PostSubject: Re: Cheap starting army   Cheap starting army I_icon_minitimeThu Jul 04 2013, 17:59

@Thor665 wrote:


Which, interestingly, suggests it's cheaper to make a horde Ork army than it is to make a DE army.
And, yes, the vehicles make a big part of it. Now, probably IG could trump this, as they can go horde *and* vehicle spam all in one list pretty easy. I could probably come up with a slightly more expensive Ork force. I could also probably come up with a cheaper DE force just by cutting out the Incubi and going with more Warriors or something...but then I might need more vehicles.

I would actually say that probably DE are one of the most expensive armies to field. I hadn't figured so, but I think the numbers suggest it.

Awesome post, not much to say about it, thanks for validating with gruntwork!
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PostSubject: Re: Cheap starting army   Cheap starting army I_icon_minitimeThu Jul 04 2013, 19:19

I will say I think that DE force would eat alive the other two armies I listed there though Wink

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PostSubject: Re: Cheap starting army   Cheap starting army I_icon_minitimeThu Jul 04 2013, 19:33

@Thor665 wrote:
I will say I think that DE force would eat alive the other two armies I listed there though Wink

Small battles are good for Deldar, our mobility on a less crowded board is a good thing! but either way, that Deldar force would easily expand into a bigger point battle simply by adding things on.
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PostSubject: Re: Cheap starting army   Cheap starting army I_icon_minitimeThu Jul 04 2013, 19:47

I agree with both points. I think at 1500 and lower DE are one of the most effective codices. At 1000 and lower I think it pretty much has to be us or the Orks and I honestly don't think any other Dex can even compete.

Oh, look, both were written by Phil Kelly - go figure Wink

I would also agree the army example I did would probably be relatively easy to expand on or adapt and keep in a fairly competitive vein depending on which way you wanted to go with it. The big drag I see on it is the cost of either expanding out the bikes or adding the Beastmaster/Hellion aspect. Though there are affordable ways to do that as well.

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PostSubject: Re: Cheap starting army   Cheap starting army I_icon_minitimeFri Jul 05 2013, 00:02

@Thor665 wrote:
Which, interestingly, suggests it's cheaper to make a horde Ork army than it is to make a DE army.
And, yes, the vehicles make a big part of it.

Thanks for doing those calculations - quite interesting - but I'm inclined to think that the real upshot is that armies with transports tend to be expensive. If you did Orks with Trukks or IG with Chimeras then you'd probably find them expensive too.

Granted, insofar as DE tend to rely on transports more than others it has some knock-on effect for how cheaply you can build the army - Orks are more viable without (though IG without tanks of some sort are rare) - but transports aren't actually mandatory (I hear people running 20-man Warrior blobs or WWP lists, albeit less effective in 6th edition).
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PostSubject: Re: Cheap starting army   Cheap starting army I_icon_minitimeFri Jul 05 2013, 03:11

I would submit transports are mandatory for DE to play competitively (or even halfway decently)
I would submit many other armies do not have that as a limitation and can play foot based pretty well.

For instance, at 1000 points I wouldn't try to run a Trukk based Ork force because it wouldn't really be all that good. Honestly Overwatch did to Trukk Orks about the same as it did to Wyches for DE - except Trukk Orks basically have no other job they can possibly do in a game. They have some minor use as objective grabbers/meat shields but that's about it, and footslogging boyz can do all of that for cheaper and with moar dakka on the table - so...y'know ::shrug::

I already noted that I think IG are probably the most expensive army if you're doing competitive style builds. But foot lists are likely to be less expensive than mech lists, and DE tend to be mech heavy regardless so are, indeed, one of the more expensive armies.

I mean, really, probably SoB are still the most expensive, but you get the point.

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PostSubject: Re: Cheap starting army   Cheap starting army I_icon_minitimeFri Jul 05 2013, 14:57

The problem with comparing armies is the variability in their builds - an Ork army can be done relatively cheaply or very expensive depending on what units you wish to include. But the OP wants a cheap Dark Eldar army, not just to be told that other armies are cheaper.

So, given that the cost comes largely from transports, I suppose the best approach is to reduce reliance on transports as far as possible. Obviously spamming '3 Wracks in a Venom' is out then. But not all units need, or even can have, transports: e.g. Scourges, Hellions and Harlequins. So I guess the best approach to building a cheap DE army will use plenty of these.

It's not the most optimal army, but with a Battalion and a box of Scourges you could make:

HQ
1 Archon (converted from Warriors - you could alternatively make a Wych into a Succubus)
ELITE
4 Trueborn, 2 DLs (sit on home objective, don't really need transport)
TROOPS
10 Wyches in a Raider
5 Warriors w/ Blaster
FA
5 Scourges
3 RJBs

A Venom for the Warriors would then be high up the priority list for future purchases, but I think there's the basis of a viable small force there without spending all that much (£80.50 at GW prices).

(Also, as I suggested earlier, one way of doing DE cheaper is to use some old models. This also works for Orks - e.g. AOBR models - but not for all other armies.)
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PostSubject: Re: Cheap starting army   Cheap starting army I_icon_minitimeFri Jul 05 2013, 15:57

@Ben_S wrote:
The problem with comparing armies is the variability in their builds - an Ork army can be done relatively cheaply or very expensive depending on what units you wish to include.
Agreed - my noted control was that I was trying to build semi-competitively. i.e. the lists should be any good at all.

@Ben_S wrote:
It's not the most optimal army, but
Wink 

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PostSubject: Re: Cheap starting army   Cheap starting army I_icon_minitimeFri Jul 05 2013, 16:41

I don't think we're too far apart in views really.

I would distinguish between what's 'viable' (i.e. what's 'any' good, or not useless) and what's 'optimal' (or nearly so). Scourges, for example, may not be optimal choices (they don't usually figure in the most competitive tournament lists), but I think they're viable (they can be used without handicapping yourself).

While obviously there's even more variability in army builds if we dispense with any viability/competitiveness threshold, I think there's still considerable variation between viable builds (some armies more than others). So the aim is to build a cheap yet still viable army, rather than the most competitive one at any cost ($/£).

I guess it depends largely on your meta and how competitive you want to be. If the aim is to play against friends (as the OP suggests) then I'd say most of our units, except Mandrakes, are viable. Granted, if you want to go to tournaments and do well then you need a more competitive army - but you don't try to do that on a small budget.
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PostSubject: Re: Cheap starting army   Cheap starting army I_icon_minitimeFri Jul 05 2013, 16:59

As noted, my goal was to build something that could be called competitive and compare prices thereupon. If the goal is 'most affordable army no matter what' then I would have used a different build mentality. I think the point that DE are one of the more expensive armies holds solid because though one of the first things that draws people to an army is the fluff/look of the army, basically the very next most basic need is 'how do I win with this army' I've yet to find a 40k player who didn't want to win at least around 50% of his games.

I will accept that your build is viable and agree that it is not optimal. Frankly, I don't think my list is optimal (though it is far more viable than your list) The cost of that viability is being twice the cost. The OP may feel free to decide his own price point and needs, I think we're just trying to offer him awareness.

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PostSubject: Re: Cheap starting army   Cheap starting army I_icon_minitimeFri Jul 05 2013, 20:46

I'm sure everyone would prefer to win more than lose, and indeed to win as much as possible, but we can't all win around 50% (or more). I think the main consideration is that one's losses be close - a close defeat can still be a good game, whereas no one wants to get tabled all the time.

Anyway, what it takes to win around 50% depends on one's 'meta'. The OP suggests he'll be playing his friends, not tournaments. If everyone fields 'fluffy' armies, rather than min-max spamming netlists, then no one suffers a competitive disadvantage as a result: you can still win 50% with your non-optimal list against other non-optimal lists.

Agreed that ultimately it's up to the OP to decide, in light of various points of view offered. (I wonder whether he's still reading?)
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PostSubject: Re: Cheap starting army   Cheap starting army I_icon_minitimeFri Jul 05 2013, 20:54

I will note, just on a purely abstract math concept - yes, we *can* all win 50% of our games.

I will agree if everyone else is playing lists built like your list then there won't be many issues with playing that list as far as win ratio goes as long as it avoids infantry heavy lists.

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PostSubject: Re: Cheap starting army   Cheap starting army I_icon_minitimeFri Jul 05 2013, 21:39

I was going to say we can't all win more than 50%, but thought that a bit unfair since it wasn't what you said.

As a matter of maths/logic, yes we could all win 50% (provided we all play an even number of games!), but in practice we can't given that some people will win more than this and some games will be drawn.
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