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 Tactica - Wych Cult

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Posts : 39
Join date : 2011-07-22
Location : West Sussex - England

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PostSubject: Tactica - Wych Cult   Tactica - Wych Cult I_icon_minitimeFri Jul 22 2011, 23:44

IASGATG's Dark Eldar Tactica: Part 2 - The Wych Cult

Part two in my review of the new Dark Eldar codex. It’s been a month or so since my last Tactica and given a couple of hours free and a little motivation, I went about writing the second edition. As the title suggests, this Tactica will focus on Wyches and their derivatives.

Just for clarity sake, the following units will be covered in depth:
- Succubus
- Hekatrix Bloodbrides
- Wyches
- Hellions
- Beast Masters
- Reaver Jetbikes



The Succubus is the leader of a Wych cult. Agile and deadly on close combat, for her points cost she is one of the best HQ and perhaps the most underused HQ in the Dark Eldar codex. Personally I have rarely field her, but this is because I do not have tend to have Wych themed armies.

When it comes to her stats, she appears to be an altered Archon, sacrificing leadership and ballistic skill for initiative and weapon skill. As a result, she’ll always roll on 3s (well, almost) and will always go first (again, disclaimer). She is also far more fragile than the Archon. This is due to the fact that both her armour save is less (although the Archon’s base save isn’t great anyway) but mostly due to the fact that her available wargear is much more restricted. Nevertheless, like all Wyches, she gets a 4+ invulnerable save in close combat, as well as free combat drugs.

The drugs can have great synergy when paired with another Wych squad. If a 6 is rolled, you can get Feel no Pain and Furious charge right off the bat. However, you may choose something more unorthodox and decide to take Grotesques instead, this offers the Succubus a toughness of 5 when being shot at, allowing her to get into combat at a lower risk.

Regardless of what her retinue consists of, weapon loadout is cruical for a Dark Eldar player. Just like the Archon, the same rules apply to the Succubus. When fighting hordes, venom blades are great for their points; when fighting Marines, Agonizers and power weapons. Her armoury is expanded beyond the Archon’s however, offering her Wych weapons as well.

The shardnet and impaler is not a weapon I’d recommend on the Succubus. Whilst it is useful on regular Wyches, the point of your HQ is to be able to smash down as many foes as possible as quickly as possible. Leave tarpitting your enemy to your other ladies. The razor-flails are nice for their points costs. With extra attacks, re-rolls to hit and re-rolls to wound, the Succubus can get six attacks on the charge, seven with drugs, and guaranteeing almost all hitting. The issue through is wounding, which with such a low strength will be hard work, even with the re-rolls. Furthermore, it is not a power weapon, which means that even if by luck you get seven wounds against a squad of Marines, only 3 will die. Finally the Hydra Gauntlets. This weapon is a beast against hordes. You’re suddenly doing up to 12 attacks on the charge and with your obscene weapon skill, most will hit, wound and with horde’s low save, kill.

Final notes: Haywire Grenades and Blast Pistols. The grenades are useful if you get ambushed by a dreadnought, which happens shockingly often despite your speed. As for the blast pistol, it’s a waste of 15 points. You wont ever be using it, you shouldn’t ever be using it, the points are much better being spent on something else. She should not be sitting around shooting tanks, she should be maiming marines.


Hekatrix BloodBrides

These ladies are attack dealing machines. If you want to make your opponents mouth fall open when he asks “How many attacks” and you say “seventy one”, these are the ladies for you. How I got to seventy five? Well it’s hacked dice I know, but merely ten Bloodbrides, 3 hydra gauntlets, a Syren with gauntlets, combat drugs and a charge. Without hacking the dice? Well on average you’ll be saying something closer to only fifty. These ladies are so good at fighting hordes that after the first game, your opponent will always target them first.

As always with the Dark Eldar, you have to think several turns in advance as well as who you’re fighting and what is likely to happen. If you bring ten ladies of death, kitted to the max and throw them at something, they will kill it. They will then die however. After you consolidation out of combat. You’re going to have so many bolter rounds fired into your 6+ armour save that you’ve just lost your 200 point squad. A decision needs to be made about the number of Bloodbrides as well as the type of weapons they bring to maximise your chances of leaving combat on THEIR assault phase.

As for the weapons to bring, I’m always a fan of massive damage. I’m a greater believer in the two turn crush. To achieve this I bring whatever will offer me the highest potential in achieving it. This is where the Hydra Gauntlet comes in. The Razorflail offers us the most wounds reliably, with its re-rolls, however there is a chance, albeit a 33% chance, of getting even more wounds out of the hydras. As for the shardnets, I’d leave them to the lesser wyches to tie down other squads that may cause problems. This squad is for crushing the biggest thing on the board.

Like all Dark Eldar, there are two ways of getting into the fight. Either on a skimmer or through the webway. Due to my experience with the old codex, I have always favoured the skimmers, yet I have been practicing with the webway to interesting effect. The Raider is a reliable means of transport. It’ll more than likely get you to where you want to be so that you can assault on turn two. The raider wont survive and you might lose a couple of Wyches, but all in all, 60 points to kill 250 points worth of terminators is worth it. The Webway however offers you the element of surprise, although at the cost of more randomness. You might get them right when you need them, right when you don’t need them, or right when it doesn’t matter anymore. It does make life more interesting though.



The bread and butter of your army list and very smilier to their big sisters. The only changes here are the number of special weapons and the number of attacks, as well as being troop choices. Like conventional troop choices of the Dark Eldar, and I imagine most races, these women cannot sit on an objective all game, less they go mad and attack the nearest unit. I jest, but it has a lot of truth to it. The points you’ll be spending on an objective holder that can literally do nothing all game is just unfeasible.

This leads us to a problem and thus to several solutions. How do you claim objectives? Either you take a squad of warriors and leave them on an objective. This is a solution, however they can be quite expensive, especially if you want them to field a dark lance and be useful. You also may have fluff issue if you want to run a completely pure Wych list. Alternatively, you can take a Haemonculus and bring Wracks to sit on an objective. This is my preferred strategy as Wracks are great for holding an objective, cheap, tough and you can give one a sniper rifle that has instant death characteristic. Furthermore the Haemonculus will give one squad of lucky ladies a pain token. Finally you can be ultra aggressive and attempt to crush your opponent so much, they you’re able to hold an objective in the last turn, whilst denying him any. This is very risky however and I would advise against it.

As with the Bloodbrides, the size of the squads is important. They are less effective at completely destroying a target than their bigger sisters, however this isn’t always a bad thing. If you break a ten woman squad down into six women squads (So you have a Hekatrix), you can afford to have more smaller squads. This is a double edge sword. You are more mobile, you have more targets that can be shot at. You can attack more targets or consolidate into one big unit that is tough. Furthermore you have more objective grabbers for the last turn. However it also means that you have a LOT more kill points on the board to worry about. If you have six wych squads, odds are you’ll lose four squads of Wyches, as well as their transports.

You can also create squads with specific tasks, such as tar pits with shardnets to tie up something nasty for the whole game, letting you get around to killing it with Bloodbrides when the time comes. As for special weapons in general, the typical philosophy of hydra gauntlets for normal Wyches, then a choice of upgrades for the Hekatrix depend on who you are fighting. When in doubt, agonizer if you have the points, venom blade if you don’t.

Finally we must discuss transportation. The raider is the old favourite, a machine that can comfortably get you into combat by the second turn, well, when I say comfortably, I mean it’s going to explode in a hail of shrapnel, but you’ll still get there by the second turn. In the unlikely event it doesn’t explode, it can then be used to ferry other units around that lost their rides and/or a long range Dark Lance platform. Alternatively there is the webway, which offers Wyches the element of surprise. It also lets you take larger numbers if you wish. The draw back with all reinforcements is that they can turn up too early or too late, depending on the battle. Regardless, its another option that’s well worth testing.



The unit everyone now thinks of when you mention Dark Eldar. These fast attack choices are another weapon in your anti-infantry arsenal. They are very very fast, especially out of a WWP, enabling 24” of assault without the portal and a lot more with. Used primarily for harassment, they are able to get into assault range, unload a ton of shots, assault, then hit and run away so they can repeat. With drugs, they can also harass light tanks, getting up to strength 6 on the charge.

They are extremely fragile however; at toughness 3 and no armour save to speak of, you must pick your timing and your targets carefully. Due to this, I wouldn’t take them in a massive horde, but in smaller wolf packs like the Wyches. I think I should mention at this point that the Baron makes Hellions even more powerful, making them troop choices, but also boosting their cover saves and making them skilled riders.

Finally their Helliarch. I’m conflicted about the stun-claw. On paper it seems to be quite effective, enabling you to hit and run on your turn without the risk of getting shot at (still locked in combat) as well as letting you continue to wail of one hard unit without too much risk of counter-attack. However it rarely happens like this or is desirable to do so. As such I find that the agonizer or the venom blade to be a better option for the Helliarch.

When used in combination with Reavers, the Hellions are able to move up behind the jetbikes, being granted a cover save until they get to target, the Reavers then dart off, aggressing something else, or softening up the target with clatrops before the Hellions hit them. As said above, the Baron only increases their survivability. This tactic is especially effective when used in combination with a webway portal, having the Reavers shoot out and forming a wall so that your hellions can follow, assaulting a target on their first turn of being on the board.


Beast Masters
Beast Masters are another unit to be made useful in the new codex. These units are still largely unused or unconsidered in modern lists, however this may be due to the lack of models. Regardless, on to the theory.

The beast masters have three different pets at their disposal, suited for different roles. Firstly you have the Khymeare. This is your tank pet, high toughness and an invulnerable save, it is generally useful to have at least one of these in order to soak up those nasty insta-death hits from power fists and the like. Next you have the Razorwing flocks. They have lots of wounds and lots of attacks, but all their other stats are pretty weak, this means they’re rather good at dealing out lots of damage to hordes, or to help harass down bigger units. Finally you have the monster that is a the clawed fiend. High strength, high toughness, high wounds, gaining more attacks as it is wounded. This means that you can spread the wounds out across the models, buffing him up and then letting the rest of your pets take the hits.

As for the beast masters themselves, I’d kit them out in as less a way as possible so that I can maximise the pets. Whilst I haven’t come up with a preferred list of models that I think you should field, I postulate that about four beast masters with venom blades, a clawed fiend, a few Razorwings and lots of Khymerae.

I would only ever use beast masters if I were taking a webway portal. I do not trust them to be able to get across the board and hit a suitable target in time or without suffering catastrophic losses.


Reaver Jetbikes

My love/hate unit. The Reavers offer you a route of extreme aggression at the cost of extreme risk. Able to move 36”, damaging a unit they fly over with 1d3, strength 4 hits per Reaver, they offer you the chance to kill any scouts foolish enough to scout move too close to your lines. This ability to can be upgraded by grav-talons and/or cluster caltrops. I don’t favour the talons as the chances of pinning an enemy unit after your chances are wounding them is not high. The cluster caltrops however are far more dangerous, although a lot more expensive.

You are also able to grant one in three models an AT weapon, which lets them move down a board edge, strike at a tank and dart off again. When given heat-lances, they’re pretty devastating, assuming they hit, which with ballistic skill of 4, there is a good chance one should.

A final upgrade is an arena champion, which grants these boys the ability to defend themselves in close combat. Please note that Reavers should not be used in assault, and should only be done in desperate times.

As you might have guessed, it’s a slippery slope upgrading Reavers, as the points rapidly sky rocket to give them all the things you want on them. You have a further issue of increased models to have increase survivability, or fewer models to pose less of a threat and sneak in easier.

My own load-out tends to reflect the army. First I decide on the number of Reavers, I tend to favour six. Then depending on the need for anti-tank, it’s either Heat Lances or Blasters. Finally if points allow a slap on a single cluster caltrop. This strikes up a comfortable balance of adaptability. Not overly expensive, but overly damaging to a specific target and things they are in the way of their target. Never expect them to survive contact with the enemy however.

[i]Disclaimer: It has been several months since I wrote this and at some point I will go over and review this tactica, changing my belief's and advice accordingly. Until that point, treat it accordingly.[/u]
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PostSubject: Re: Tactica - Wych Cult   Tactica - Wych Cult I_icon_minitimeMon Jan 23 2012, 20:15

Bumping since I found this on the 7th page back. afro
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PostSubject: Re: Tactica - Wych Cult   Tactica - Wych Cult I_icon_minitimeMon Jan 23 2012, 21:21

Quote :
Well it’s hacked dice I know, but merely ten Bloodbrides, 3 hydra gauntlets, a Syren with gauntlets, combat drugs and a charge.
Either change Syren for Succubus or that is not legal.1 wych weapons per each 3 bride, Syren included.
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PostSubject: Re: Tactica - Wych Cult   Tactica - Wych Cult I_icon_minitime

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