Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas and happy holidays to all!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Footslogging Dark Eldar WWP List

Howdy everybody!  I'm feeling pretty comfortable with my mechanized Dark Eldar list.  I win more games than lose, but haven't been able to find the right combination to make it a truly lethal list.  Kill Point missions in particular have been my downfall.  To help exercise my creative juices, I'm going to try running a WWP footslogging list against both Mech Guard and Blood Angels.  While I doubt that I'll be running a full foot list in any competitive event, I'm hoping to figure out a way to pool the best from both list types in order to create a new personal tier of Dark Eldar list.

On to the list...

3 Heamonculi (2 WWP, 3 VB) - 235

5 Harlequins (Shadowseer, 2 Fusion Pistol) - 140
10 Grotesques - 350

2x10 Wracks (2 Liquifier, Acothyst) - 260
2x10 Warriors (Syrabite, Cannon, Blaster) - 250

4 Beast Masters (5 Khymera, 6 Razorwing) - 198
4 Beast Masters (5 Khymera, 6 Razorwing) - 198

Talos (Chain Flails, Heat Lance)- 120
Talos (Chain Flails, Heat Lance)- 120
Talos (Chain Flails, Heat Lance)- 120

Total: 1,991

Here's how I envision the list working...

Two Heamonculi start with the Harlequins (so they can't get shot at first turn via Veil of Tears).  They'll deploy in a line formation 2" apart so the Heamonculi should be starting around 10-12" apart.  During my first turn, one detaches and move 6" toward my deployment / home objective.  The other moves with the Harlequins 6" up towards the enemy.  This gives me two portals that should be anywhere from 18-24" apart - I want them close enough so if my opponent tries to be smug and block one, the stuff coming out of the other can rain on his parade.  If they block both, then stuff coming in from the board edge should reach him as well.

Acothysts are there for the +1 Ld - I may give them a Venom Blade or Agonizer in the long run just haven't decided yet.

The third Heamonculi starts with the Grotesques.  More Heamonculi will join up with them or my foot Warriors (granting them FNP).  In general, Wracks will move towards my opponents objective, while Warriors will play defense.

I clearly don't have the ranged anti-tank required to take on most armies, but 2 Beast units, Grotesques and 3 Talos should minimize that.  If I find that CC doesn't do it for me I'll try investing in Scourges and Jetbikes to get as many mid-range anti-tank weapons as possible.

Call me a nerd but I also like the fluff, given that Harlequins are masters of the Web-Way and all.

Like I said, this probably won't develop into my competitive list or replace my mechanized list.  I am hoping that by running a list like this it opens my eyes to new unit combinations in the Codex.

Thoughts?  Has anyone out there successfully run a WWP list with the new Codex?  Or has anyone developed a list that is truly lethal even in KP missions?  Please share!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Dark Eldar: Battle Summary

Well, no detailed battle report as promised, but I did get a chance to test my Dark Eldar against my buddies Blood Angels.  Next time there will be pictures - I promise!

The main difference in the list from the ones in the past is having only four Troop choices, but making those choices strong.  This list was originally e-mailed to me by my friend Larry over at HERO's Gaming Blog, as a creative solution to combine what has worked for us individually in the new Codex.  I just edited it slightly to suit my taste.

Mission: Seize Ground (5 objectives)
Deployment: Spearhead

Dark Eldar Roster:
Vect - 240
2 Heamonculi (2 Liquifier, 2 Venom Blade) - 130

3 Trueborn (Venom SC, 3 Blaster) - 146
3 Trueborn (Venom SC, 3 Blaster) - 146
3 Trueborn (Venom SC, 3 Blaster) - 146

8 Wyches (Raider FF, Hekatrix: Agonizer) - 180
9 Wyches (Raider FF, Hekatrix: Agonizer) - 190
10 Wracks (Raider FF, 2 Liquifier, Acothyst: Agonizer) - 220
10 Wracks (Raider FF, 2 Liquifier, Acothyst: Agonizer) - 220

1 Ravager (NS, FF) - 125
1 Ravager (NS, FF) - 125
1 Ravager (3 Dissy, NS, FF) - 125

Total: 1,993
20 KP
Army Notes: Vect and Heamonculi go with one Wych squad, the other Heamonculi rides with the other Wych squad.  FNP FTW.

Opponent List (from memory):
1 Librarian - Jump Pack, Inerfnos Pistol - 140
1 Librarian - Jump Pack, Inerfnos Pistol - 140

1 Priest - Jump Pack, Power Weapon - 90
1 Priest - Jump Pack, Power Weapon - 90
5 Terminators - 4 LC, 1 TH/SS - 205

10 Assault Marines - Power Fist, 2 Melta Guns - 235 (combat squad)
10 Assault Marines - Power Fist, 2 Melta Guns - 235 (combat squad)

1 Land Speeder - Missile Launcher - 90
10 Vanguard Veterans - Jump Packs, 1 Powerfist Upgrade - 325

10 Devestators - 2 ML, 2 LC - 240 (combat squad)
10 Devestators - 4 ML - 210 (combat squad)
Total: 2,000
KP: 11 (15 with combat squads)

  • I knew that with 5 objectives, my mobility and ability to move 24" put me at an advantage.  My opponent wisely opted to combat squad his Assault Marines, giving him 4 options to capture objectives.
  • My opponent wins the roll to go first.  He deployed both Devestator squads (4 squads total), 2 combat squads of Assault Marines, and his Land Speeder.  Everything is in cover.
  • I deploy as far back into my corner as possible, just in case Vect failed to seize.  Raiders in front, Venoms and Ravagers behind.  I roll a 5 to seize, and Vect already comes in handy.
Turn 1:
  • I turbo everything up, getting into position.  A straggling Ravager takes 3 potshots at an Assault Squad but fails to do anything.
  • My opponent moves up his Assault Marines - one towards my main force, another towards an objective. 
  • His shooting is able to wreck both Wrack Raiders and blow the weapon off a Wych Raider.
Turn 2:
  • I continue to move into position and conduct my shooting.  I take out the majority of a Dev squad and the forward Assault squad.  Vect gets out of the Raider (Wyches stay in), and wipes out a Devestator squad in assault.
  • My opponent gets his Vanguard and one Assault squad in (along with Librarian and Priest).  His shooting takes out a Ravager and immobilizes both Wych Raiders.  His Vanguard assault my Wracks and we stay locked in combat.  
Turn 3:
  • I focus my fire on his remaining Land Speeder and Devestator squads.  Wyches get out, one squad joins up with Vect, while the other moves towards the Devestators.  Heamonculi detatch and attempt to Liquify stuff. Vect's squad rolls a 1 for fleet and shuffles around in place.  The other squad gets a 4 and engages (and wipes) 2 remaining Devestators.  Wracks and Vanguard still locked!
  • He gets another Assault squad, Librarian and Priest.  His shooting takes out another Ravager and 2 Wyches from Vects entourage.  Wracks win combat vs Vanguard and chase them down.  Bad rolling for the opposition. They consolidate towards an objective.
Turn 4:
  •  Shooting takes out some Devestators and Assault Marines.  Vect and his Wyches assault a Devestator squad, the other Wych squad assaults the other.  Vect makes short work of the Devestators, while the other Wyches win by 1 and stay locked in combat.  I consolidate Vect and Co. towards an objective.
  • His Terminators finally come in and drop between 3 objectives.  His Assault Marines take out a Ravager with shooting and close combat. His other Assault Marines take out a Venom, but the Trueborn inside don't get pinned.
  • Going in to turn 5, I had 2 Venoms/Trueborn remaining, along with both Wrack squads, both Heamonculi, both Wych squads and Vect.  My opponent had 2 Assault Marine squads, 2 Priests, 2 Librarians, and a lone Assault Marine sitting on an objective.
Turn 5:
  • The store is closing so this is our last turn.  One Venom with Trueborn aboard zoom over to contest an objective held by Assault Marines / Priest / Librarian.  Another Venom + Trueborn moves into position to unload on the Termies.  Wyches stay put on the objective but Vect fleets out, and is ready to engage the Terminators.  He kills 3 on the charge and makes all of his 2+ saves.
  • This game came down to my opponents inability to move through difficult terrain fast enough to assault me and potentially move me off objectives.  If he would have rolled better, it could have been a whole different end result.  He is able to wreck the contesting Venom, but the Trueborn stay put - able to contest.  Vect wiped the Termies and rolls a 6 for consolidation - putting him in position to contest the final objective.
  • Objective one: Wracks and Assault Marines contest
  • Objective two: Trueborn and Assault Marines contest
  • Objective three: Controlled by Wracks
  • Objective four: Controlled by Wyches
  • Objective five: Vect and Assault Marine contest
  • Final: 2-0 in favor of Dark Eldar
Post-Battle Thoughts:
  • Absdrubael Vect is a BEAST.  Most of the time I broke him away from his Wych unit and just let him go to work - and go to work he did.  On his own he took out two 5-man Devestator squads and a Terminator squad.
  • 10-man Wrack squads are rock solid and a good option to hold objectives.
  • Dark Eldar vehicles are as fragile as can be.  It's important to have stuff inside that can withstand a few turns of shooting (i.e. 10-man squads with FNP).
  • As mentioned above, Dark Eldar vehicles are fragile.  Spend your first two turns getting things where they need to be so when they DO get shot out, they don't have far to go.  Any vehicles that are alive during the last few turns can zip around to contest.

P.S. If you're interested in checking out a full batrep of my Dark Eldar in action against Eldar, check out my friends blog post about it here

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

How to: From Warriors to Wracks

So a few weeks back I put up a picture of my converted Wracks.  Here's a step by step guide on how they were transformed from Warriors to Wracks.

Step 1: Materials
To make a Wrack you need the (1) pony tail warrior head, (2) the splinter pistol arm and knife bit, (3) a warrior body & legs, (4) the close combat weapon arm and (5) the spike headdress bit.

Step Two: Slice and Dice
(1) Cut off the pony tail.
(2) Cut off the splinter pistol above the hand.  Cut the knife bit above the handle.
(3) Shave off any spikes on the legs (if desired - not shown here).
(4) Leave the close combat arm as is.
(5) Cut the headdress 3 spikes down from the top.

Step Three: Glue!!!
Step Four: Repeat!!!
Step Five: Liquifier and optional poses

For the Liquifier I did everything the same, except cut off the hand holding the Splinter Pistol after cutting off the top half of the Splinter Pistol.  I then trimmed the edges of the Splinter Pistol in order to fit into the arm of the poor, poor Wrack.  The same could be done with the knife bit in order to give the Wracks a more deformed look.

I'm still of the opinion that the best Wrack conversions are going to involve WHFB Tomb King Ghoul and Zombie bits, but if you have an abundance of extra Warrior sprues this method provides a cheap alternative. 

Monday, November 29, 2010

Dark Eldar Batreps: Coming Soon!

Even before the whole blog-o-sphere movement, I've been a huge fan of battle reports.  I used to frequently visit the now defunct to read about other players experiences and apply them to my own army.  They're a good way to learn about an army's strengths and weaknesses, without conducting hours of play-testing yourself.  Starting next week, my goal is to get up at least one detailed battle report a week in order to make my contribution to the ever expanding online resource that is Dark Eldar tactica.

So my question to you is... Are there any Dark Eldar army themes or units you'd like to see put to the test?  What about any particular opponents, match-ups or scenarios?  Let me know and I'll try to accommodate.  Otherwise you'll be stuck with whatever crackpot army list I scrap together.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

2k Dark Eldar with under 20 KP

So far the major vulnerability in my Dark Eldar lists have been the number of Kill Points I give up.  I'd really like to get my 2,000 point list under 20, and closer to the 17 or 18 mark.  This means the small Wrack squads are likely out.  I'm going to try a Wych-style theme so the Duke and Baron are in.  Lelith is a possibility as well, but since the Duke benefits all Wych and Hellion units, I'm gonna try him out first. 

Cult Army (Version 1.0):

Duke - 150
Baron - 105

10 Hellions (Helliarch; Stunclaw) - 195
10 Hellions (Helliarch; Stunclaw) - 195
10 Wyches (Raider: FF; 2 Hydra Gauntlets, Hekatrix; Agonizer, PGL)- 230
9 Wyches (Raider; FF; Hekatrix; Agonizer, PGL)- 200
10 Warriors (Splinter Cannon, Syrabite- 110)

3 Trueborn (Venom +SC; 3 Blaster) - 146
3 Trueborn (Venom +SC; 3 Blaster) - 146
3 Trueborn (Venom +SC; 3 Blaster) - 146

Ravager (FF, NS) - 125
Ravager (FF, NS) - 125
Ravager (FF, NS) - 125

Total: 1,998
18 KP (Success!)

The Duke starts with the Warriors then hops on the Wyches Raider.  The Ravagers and Trueborn wreck vehicles and transports, while the Wyches and Hellions work in groups mopping up what spills out.  I might have to add in some other CC elements (Incubi, Beastmasters, etc...) to replace the Trueborn.  I have finals this week so no gaming.  This means the list might (99% sure it will) evolve from now til next Monday.

My biggest concern?  The Hellions.  Everyone I talk to is gaga about this unit but I don't quite see it.  They seem way too fragile to make an effective close combat unit.  I'm hoping that combining them with Wyches will help a bit.  Has anyone experimented with the Baron and Hellions? Stunclaws?  Successes?  Failures?  Let me know about it.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Dark Eldar Weaknesses

In order to fully master the Dark Eldar army, we Archons (and Succubi and Heamonculi) must be aware of the weaknesses the new codex has.  Through two tournaments and numerous practice games I've come up with a short list of weaknesses that have plagued me.  I would appreciate any readers to contribute what they perceive to be some inherent weaknesses in the Dark Eldar Codex, or tough match-ups for Dark Eldar.
  • KP Missions - my 1,850 point list has 22 kill points in it.  Not to mention the KP's aren't exactly difficult to get.
  • Mass S6+ Shots - it's bad enough we have armor 10 on just about everything.  When the opponent throws down a mass of shots that glance on a 4+, our flickerfields and night shields only go so far.
  • Armies that can cripple 3+ Raiders a turn with 48"+ weaponry like Space Wolf armies with 3x Long Fangs or Mechanized Imperial Guard.  Our vehicles will obviously be hiding turn one, but it's only a matter of time before we have to advance.  
  • Not getting the first turn - this can be minimized with defensive deployments, cover and reserves but I think Dark Eldar perform much better if they are able to get the first round of shooting off.  Blown up or immobilized transports leaving Wyches or Trueborn to trek across the field puts a big damper on strategy.  

Thursday, November 25, 2010

The Kabal Evolves

Happy Thanksgiving everybody!

Well, after the tournament and two more practice games my army is rounding out into something fairly consistent.  There are still some things I'd like to experiment with and tweak, but overall I like how the army plays.  I've been playing mainly at the 1,850 level, but will expand to 2,000 in preparation for the Sprue Posse Mini-GT in January.  I'm not 100% sure that I'll attend, but it's shaping up to be quite an event.

Here's my list as it stands for 1,850 points:

Succubus (Agonizer)- 85
2 Heamonculi (1 Agonizer, 1 Liquifier) - 130

8 Wyches (Raider FF, Shardnet, Hekatrix: Agonizer, PGL) - 200
9 Wyches (Raider FF, Shardnet, Haywires Hekatrix: Agonizer, PGL) - 228
5 Wracks (Raider FF, Liquifier) - 130
5 Wracks (Raider FF, Liquifier) - 130
5 Wracks (Raider FF, Liquifier) - 130

3 Trueborn (Venom SC, 3 Blaster) - 146
3 Trueborn (Venom SC, 3 Blaster) - 146
3 Trueborn (Venom SC, 3 Blaster) - 146

1 Ravager (NS, FF) - 125
1 Ravager (NS, FF) - 125
1 Ravager (3 Dissy, NS, FF) - 125


The army acts cohesively, but is split up into "attackers" and "defenders".  Wracks and Ravagers act as defenders, while Wyches and Trueborn act as the attackers.  The nice part about the mobility and duality of this army is that the attackers and defenders can move to support one another with a quick movement.

I've tested this army out against Marines, Orks and Horde Guard.  I pump out enough long range shots to deal with horde at range, and have enough AP2 and power weapons to deal with Marines. I do need to find better ways of dealing with armored vehicles and very shooty armies, ala Mech Guard and Space Wolf Long Fang spam.  

  • I've dropped the Incubi.  They have HUGE killing potential, but aren't consistent enough for my competitive lists.
  • To replace the CC power of Incubi, I replaced a MSU Wrack squad with a Wych squad.  I'm also testing out Agonizers on the Haemonculi.  I don't want my Wyches to be losing combat.  Any extra wounds generated by Heamonculi is welcomed.
  • The extra Elite slot allowed me to take another Trueborn unit, though I've dropped the squad sizes to 3.
  • I like the way my army is set up to support the duality notion; every unit / transport has both anti-tank and anti-infantry capabilities.  However, once the Venoms start unloading they become a high priority target, regardless of the Trueborn on board.  I'm considering swapping the Trueborn Venoms with the Wracks Raiders in order to lessen their threat.
  • To some degree my army is lacking long ranged anti-tank.  I will try some games where I replace the Dissy Ravager with Dark Lances.
  • I need a more refined strategy for KP missions.  I can nearly table my opponent, have half my army left on the table and still lose.
  • For 2,000 point games, the simplest option is to replace the Succubus with Vect.  I haven't tested him out yet but my friend Larry over at HERO's Gaming Blog has had success with him.
  • I've tested out using Scourges as well.  I go for a big squad with 4 Splinter Cannons.  To make up the extra points I have to swap 9 Wyches with 5 Wracks, and drop a Heamonculi.  Gives me some points to play with, and gives me a whole lot of anti-horde.
  • At the 2k level I'd also like to test out Baron / Hellions, as well as Reaver Jetbikes. 
Here are a few questions for my (imaginary) readers [Prove to me you're not imaginary! I'll give you cookies!]:
  • How have Dark Eldar players been able to deal with Mech Guard, Long Fang Spam, and other shooty armies effectively?
  • What kind of strategies or army lists would you implement to compete with the top tier lists?
  • How do you minimize your opponents ability to get Kill Points, when all of your stuff is so effing fragile?

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Dark Eldar Tournament Results!

My W.I.P Tournament Army

I attended another local tournament this past weekend hosted by The Realm in Brea, CA.  I finished with a Massacre victory and two minor losses - the losses coming at the hands of the 1st and 3rd place finishers.  Despite the 1-2 record, I was happy with how the army performed.  Here's a brief summary of the games:

Kabal of the (adjective) (noun)

Succubus (Agonizer, Haywire)
2 Heamonculi (2 Liquifiers)
2x4 Trueborn (Venom SC, 4 Blasters)
5 Incubi (Raider FF, Klaivex)
5 Wracks (Venom SC, Liquifier)
3x5 Wracks (Raider FF, Liquifer)
8 Wyches (Raider FF, Haywires, Hekatrix; Agonizer, PGL)
2 Ravagers (NS, FF)
1 Ravager (3 Dissy, NS, FF)

Total: 1,847
22(!) KP

Game 1:
Deployment: Spearhead
Scenario: Seize Ground 5 Objectives
At the end of turn 2 and 4, roll a scatter dice and 2d6 to see where the objectives move (except for the middle one)
Bonus points:
Kill a nominated opponent HQ (+2)
Keep your nominated HQ alive (+1)

I played against a mostly footslogging Plague Marine army.  Good player, but his army just didn't stand a chance against all my AP2 shots.  He was able to shoot down a Raider, but I quickly took out his fire support (Predator, Defiler, Oblits).  I lost a Wrack squad after charging into a Plague Marine squad to tie them up away from an objective.  My Incubi and Wych's didn't even get out of their Raiders, and I was easily able to control 3 objectives.  My HQ is left alive, and I pop his during turn 6.  20 points for me and I'm in a 3-way tie for first.

Game 2:
Deployment: Pitched Battle
Scenario: Annihilation
All HQ, MCs and Vehicles (including Dreads) are worth 3 points (Squadrons count as 1 choice)
All Troop choices (not including vehicles) are worth 2 points
All Elites, Heavies and Fast Attack are worth 1 point.
Killing double his kill points gives you a decisive victory.
Bonus points for having a scoring unit in enemy's deployment zone (+1), and having more units alive than your enemy (+2).

From memory, my opponents list:
2 Sanguinary Priests
2x10 Assault Marines
5 Assault Marines in Rhino
2 Furioso Dreads in Drop-pods
2 Baal Predators
2 Predators

Kill point missions for any breed of Dark Eldar army is a tough draw, but note the first line; all vehicles and HQ count for 3 KP's.  That's 41 KP's against me right there and 54 KP's total if I'm not mistaken.  My opponents list gave up 38 KP's and his were much tougher to get.  My goal for this game: escape with a minor loss and collect as many bonus points as possible.

This was a very fun and tactically challenging game, despite the lopsided mission.  We traded blows all game long.  The MVP for me was, once again, Trueborn in a Venom.  I also found that the Disintegrator Ravager is fantastic for any sort of Marines on foot (or Mephiston).  I'm tempted to swap them for Dark Lances, but 4-5 dead Marines a turn is just too good to pass up. The game ended in my opponents favor; 33 KP for my opponent, 18 for me.  I had more units alive, so I got +2 bonus points.  I'm sitting at 29 points total and in fourth place going into the final round.

Game 3:
Deployment: Spearhead
Scenario: Seize Ground (3 Objectives)
One objective is in the middle and each player places an objective in the quadrant to the left or right of him.
Capturing all the objectives gives you a decisive victory.

Same opponent, different army comp. at the previous Realm RTT
I'm not very familiar with guard, so I know the basics of my opponents list, but not the details:
6 Chimeras with dudes inside - some tri-plasma others tri-melta...
2 Vendettas
3 Hydra's
2 Manticores

I needed to win big in order to get a top 3 finish... and I drew a Mechanized Imperial Guard army.  He won the roll to go first, and I opted to reserve my army.  I knew I couldn't stand up to his firepower, so I figured the later I came in, the more likely chance I could snag some last second objectives.

As my stuff came on I took potshots here and there, but failed to do any substantial damage.  His return fire effectively eliminated all of my vehicles the turn they arrived.  This was when FNP came in very handy on the Wyches, Incubi and Wracks.  They survived the wrecks and clawed their way to contest objectives.  The T4 on the Wracks withstood Hydra shots, the Wyches haywired a Chimera.  My third Ravager finally came in turn 5 to contest an objective.  If the game ended it would have been a tie even with the majority of his army in tact, and mine blown to bits.  The game goes on to turn 6 and by blowing up the Ravager contesting an objective, my opponent essentially sealed his victory.

Even with my army in ruins, I was thrilled to make a game out of it.  My opponent likened my late push to a swarm of fire ants.  Another minor loss for me gives me 36 points total, and put me somewhere in the middle of the pack.  The Imperial Guard took home first, Blood Angels got third and my friend Adam took home second place with his "Iyanden" Jetbike Eldar (Saim Hann imitators). 

Some final thoughts:
  • The Incubi didn't provide much during this tournament.  Game one they didn't get out of their transports.  Game two they got shot out of their transport, charged by Mephiston, failed to wound in return and broke.  Game three was not a good match-up for them anyway, but once again did not effect the games outcome.
  • MSU Wrack squads with Liquifiers are great.  Not so much for the liquifiers, but for their durability and scoring ability.  
  • Trueborn and the Venoms they ride in are probably the most consistent unit in the list.  It takes a turn or two to get in position, but they bring the pain once they do.
  • The Succubus is a fantastic investment for only 85 points.
  • I'm still torn on how to arm the third Ravager.  I DO need some additional long ranged anti-tank, but the anti-MEQ capabilities of the Disintegrators is just fantastic.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Dark Eldar Dynamic Duo's

 Do Dark Eldar have any dynamic duo's ala Eldar's Eldrad & Avatar / Yriel?  I think there are a few worth exploring...

Baron / Vect:
I mentioned this one in a previous post, but by granting you a +1 to go first and 4+ to seize, these two should be at the core of any dedicated alpha strike army.  Supported by a unit of Hellions and Raider / Darklight spam, this army should be designed to unload a devastating round of first turn shooting and have some support elements ready to be in assault on turn 2.

Duke / Succubus or Lelith:
Re-rolling combat drugs can be game changing.  While Lelith is the most logical choice to lead a Wych Cult, only the Succubus actually benefits from the combat drugs.  Think 2-3 Wych squads mounted in Raiders, supported by Ravagers and at least one unit of Warriors / Trueborn with a Splinter focus. 3+ to hit and 3+ to wound thanks to the Duke can be devestating.

The other HQ / Elites option I've heard numerous people mention is the Clone Field HQ supported by Bloodbrides with 2+ Shardnets & Impalers.  This guarantees that 3-5 attacks against the HQ in question are completely ignored, allowing them to essentially go untouched in close combat.

Do any Dark Eldar players out there have some dynamic duo's they've had success with?

Friday, November 19, 2010

1,850 Tournament List #1

Well, my second tournament with Dark Eldar is just a few days away.  The competition will be tough, and I can't expect to get lucky and face 4 Marine opponents again. 

2 Heamonculi; 2 liquifiers – 120
Succubus; agonizer - 85

4 Trueborn; 4 blasters ­- 173
Venom; extra Splinter Cannon (65)
4 Trueborn; 4 blasters - 173
Venom; extra Splinter Cannon (65)
5 Incubi; Klaivex upgrade ­– 195
Raider; flickerfields (70)

8 Wyches; 1 Shardnet & Impaler, Hekatrix; Agonizer, Phantasm Grenade Launcher – 200
Raider; flickerfields (70)
5 Wracks; 1 liquifier – 130
Raider; flickerfields (70)
5 Wracks; 1 liquifier – 130
Raider; flickerfields (70)
5 Wracks; 1 liquifier – 130
Raider; flickerfields (70)
5 Wracks; 1 liquifier – 125
Venom; extra Splinter Cannon (65)

1 Ravager; flickerfields, night shields ­– 125
1 Ravager; flickerfields, night shields ­- 125
1 Ravager; 3 disintegrators, flickerfields, night shields ­– 125

Total: 1,836

I'm hoping this tournament will answer some of the following questions:
  • When looking for cheap mounted troops, are 5-man Wrack squads with Liquifiers effective, or should I go with 5-man Warrior squads with Blasters?
  • Do Incubi pull their weight, or should I run with 3 Trueborn squads instead?
  • Do Disintegrators have a place in competitive lists?
  • Does a Succubus added to a Wych squad make them more of a CC force, or will they fold as easily as they did in the last tournament?
  • Are 11 Dark Lances and 8 Blasters enough anti-tank in an 1850 list


Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Wargaming on the Cheap: Three-Step Method

One of the two DE lots I purchased

Let's face it, Warhammer is an expensive hobby.  There are very few armies you can start on a budget.  There are, however, some different tips and tricks that you can employ to make the hobby more affordable.  The three-step method listed below is my standard protocol when trying to acquire new models / armies.  Hopefully others can get some use out of it as well.

Step One:  Search the trade forums (Dakka Swap Shop, Bartertown, etc...) and eBay for army deals.   If you have specific models in mind, try finding deals with the largest amount of desired models included.  Try to find people getting out of the hobby, or who will give you a discount for buying in bulk.  The lot should be somewhere from 50-75% off the original purchase price.

Step Two: Sort out what you want, and what you don't want from the large lot.  If the models you wish to sell are in poor condition, it may be beneficial to spend a little time cleaning them up by priming over bad paint jobs or (if you have the time / patience) giving them the Simple Green treatment.

Step Three:  Sell the remainder individually on eBay for 30-50% off retail value.  Selling the remainder as an army deal is an option as well, just don't expect as good of a return.

Most recently, I did this with my Dark Eldar.  Before the announcement of the new Codex came, I found some HUGE army deals on Bartertown and Dakka for between 65-70% off retail.  I then sold a chunk of it on eBay for just 35% off.  The portion I sold contained Raiders (some damaged, some in good condition), a converted Ravager and models I already had plenty of.  In other words, it was nothing I would miss.  When it was all said and done I paid just over $500 for 7,000+ points of Dark Eldar (in good condition).  If I were to purchase the same army through a storefront, I'd have spent $500 on just the 11 Raiders and 3 Ravagers (which, by the way, accounts for less than 1,000 points).

If I so desired, I believe I could sell $500 worth of my Dark Eldar and still have enough models for an army left over.  What does this mean?  There's potential to play Warhammer 40k for free if you don't mind turning over armies, spending time working with eBay and searching for great deals.

Now, not every transaction will be so beneficial for the buyer.  In the past, I've made some miscalculations on the resale value of miniatures and struggled to get a good return.  It's important to be realistic about what you think the resale value is on some miniatures, as some are in high demand, while others are not.

Practice makes perfect.  Try scouring the trade forums for some good deals.  Imagine how you would dissect the army in order to make a good portion of your money back while acquiring some models on your wish-list.

Alpha Strike Dark Eldar

Dark Eldar have the ability to launch quite a devastating Alpha Strike if used correctly.  I haven't decided on the complete list just yet, but I'm building it around Absdrubal Vect and The Baron.  Given the high point total of Vect, this would probably only be utilized in 2000+ point games, but what these two characters provide is a +1 to go first roll, and a 4+ Seize the Initiative. In other words, the odds are weighted heavily in your favor.

The major downside of this HQ combo is that Wracks are out as Troops.  But since the focus of the army is firepower, they will probably be replaced by 5-man Warrior squads toting Blasters.

Get the first turn, shoot your opponent up, and have some assault support elements to be in his face by turn 2. 

Monday, November 15, 2010


It's still missing something... maybe more spikes?

Also, does anybody have opinions on where to put the guns?  I have them underslung, but it really doesn't mention anything in the Codex.

Tournament List and Results

Well, I attended a 1500 point tournament at Pair-A-Dice (paradise, I get it now!) Games in Vista, CA.  I went 3-1, which was good enough for 4th (ties were broken by KP's) and a $30 gift card.  The venue was nice, the store had enough room for 4 tables, and set up 3 more in a vacant storefront next door.  The terrain was pretty sparse, and not much blocked LoS completely (at least on the tables I played on).  I must be getting spoiled playing all my games at the LA Battle Bunker, where there's an abundance of GW scenery.  Still, it wasn't terrible, but it was an adjustment.

The store seemed to have a pretty tight-knit group of players, as my two friends and I were the only individuals people didn't recognize.  All of my opponents were friendly, and I thoroughly enjoyed each game.  The more I play Dark Eldar, the more I like them.

Here's the 1,500 point list I ended up bringing:

Heamonculi w/ liquifier
5 Incubi w/ Klaivex in Raider (flickerfields)
4 Trueborn w/ blasters in Venom (Extra cannon)
20 Warriors w/ 2 Splinter Cannons
10 Wyches w/ 2 Shardnets & Hekatrix w/ Agonizer in Raider (ff)
5 Wracks w/ liquifier in Raider (ff)
5 Wracks w/ liquifier in Venom (Extra cannon)
3 Ravagers w/ night shields and flickerfields (3 Dissy, 6 DL)

  • Trueborn and Venoms were my MVP's.
  • Wyches performed well in theory, but poor leadership rolling lead them to run away from every combat they were in - even though they usually only lost by one.  
  • The large Warrior squad played well in practice games, but with nowhere to hide them they struggled to get things going.
  • Incubi were solid as always (played 4 MEQ armies)
  • Wracks didn't often get out of their vehicles unless they were shot out, but offer a good way to deal with devestator and other small Marine squads. 
I didn't get to take any pictures, but maybe later I'll post the details of the wacky missions and some pseudo battle reports.

Next up I'll be playing in a 1,850 RTT this Sunday at The Realm in Brea, CA.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Check Out My Wrack

Converted from the OOP (gosh it feels good to say that), Dark Eldar Warrior sprue.  Heads are from the pony tail dudes (minus the pony tail).  Spikes and knives galore. 

I think they turned out pretty well, and I have the models for 10 more, giving me a total of 30 if I include my OOP Grotesques.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Saturday Tournament & Two Lists

Well, on Saturday there's a 1,500 point tournament down in Vista, CA at Pair-of-Dice Games.  I'm looking to put my Dark Eldar to the test after getting in a few practice games. 

List #1:
Archon; Agonizer, Shadow Field, Combat Drugs - 120
2 Heamonculi; 1 liquifier - 110

5 Incubi; Klaivex Upgrade -205
Raider; Flickerfields, Night Shields

5 Wracks; liquifier -125
Venom; Splinter Cannon upgrade
5 Wracks; liquifier -125
Venom; Splinter Cannon upgrade
20 Warriors; 2 Splinter Cannons - 200
10 Wyches; 2 Shardnet & Impaler, Agonizer, Haywire Grenades - 240
Raider; Flickerfields 

Ravager; Flickerfields, Night Shields - 125
Ravager; Flickerfields, Night Shields - 125
Ravager; 3 Disintegrators, Flickerfields, Night Shields - 125

Total: 1,500

A few thoughts after two games; one a tough loss against Orks, and a tie against Imperial Guard:

-The squad of 20 Warriors did great.  Set them in cover, get Feel No Pain from a Heamonculi and crank out 30 Poison Shots per turn. 
- My Incubi and Archon were largely ineffective both games; but flopped largely due to poor rolling / bad luck / good target priority from my opponent.  I'm confident if they get into combat they'll lay down the pain.
- Wracks and Wyches were mediocre.  In the first game Wyches did quite a few wounds and kept a large Boyz squad locked up.  In the second they wiped an Imperial Guard squad then despite consolidating close to a Leman Russ, got hit with Ordinance.  Liquifiers were good, but again, something better utilized vs Marines.
- I'm debating on whether or not to convert my third Ravager to have 3 Dark Lances.  Not sure how essential Night Shields were either - don't think they came into play much these games.
- Still happy with Flickerfields :)
- I had a hard time taking out armor.  I don't think I destroyed any vehicles vs Imperial Guard.
- Overall, the list performed "average".  Now, these were two tough match-ups for Dark Eldar against a high caliber opponent.  

List #2:

1 Heamonculi; liquifier - 60

5 Incubi; Klaivex Upgrade -205
Raider; Flickerfields, Night Shields 
4 Trueborn; 4 Blasters - 178
Raider; Flickerfields

5 Wracks; liquifier -125
Venom; Splinter Cannon upgrade
5 Wracks; liquifier -125
Venom; Splinter Cannon upgrade 
5 Wyches; Agonizer - 150
Raider; Flickerfields
5 Warriors; Blaster, Syrabite - 140
Raider; Flickerfields
5 Warriors; Blaster, Syrabite - 140
Raider; Flickerfields

Ravager; Flickerfields, Night Shields - 125
Ravager; Flickerfields, Night Shields - 125
Ravager; 3 Disintegrators, Flickerfields, Night Shields - 125

Total: 1,498

This list gives me more skimmers, more anti-tank and more troop choices.  What I lose is the Archon, a Heamonculi and some of the "meat" for the army.  The large Warrior squad pumps out a lot of shots and has quite a bit of resiliency.  The Wyches also give some nice CC support.  At the end of the day, I'll probably stick with the first list because I have some familiarity with it, but this list at least gives me an alternative.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Dark Eldar Test Run

Greetings!  I ran two trial games using the new Dark Eldar rules last night (from best memory).  Don't have time for a detailed write-up, but I must say I was impressed.  I tied against both Chaos and Blood Angels using a pretty tame Dark Eldar list.

2 Haemonculi; liquifier gun, agonizer

2x5 Wracks; liquifier gun, champion upgrader with agonizer
2x10 Wyches; 2xshardnet & impaler, champion upgrade with agonizer
-Mounted in 4xRaiders; night shields, flicker fields

6xJetbikes; 2 blasters

2xRavagers; 3 DL, flicker fields, night shields
1xRavager; 3 Dissy, flicker fields, night shields

-The combination of Wracks and Wyches worked fantastically.  2 Flamer templates, 10 splinter pistols and a bunch of agonizer & poison attacks would erase a Marine squad.
-Wyches were good at bogging down Marine squads on their own - but suffered against assault marines with IC's attached.
-Flicker fields are going to appear on all my vehicles.  Night shields were beneficial too; especially against melta's. 
-I don't know how to use Jetbikes effectively yet :(
-Ravagers still put out a good amount of firepower.  Disintegrators may have been nerfed, but they still kill 4+ Marines a turn when mounted on a Ravager.

Next week I'm going to try some standard Warriors and see how poison shooting works out :) 

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

My Eldar Project

 While we're on the topic of projects, I figured I might as well discuss my Eldar project as well.  I recently sold my painted 2nd / 3rd edition Biel Tan Eldar army and currently have a mound of Eldar ready for paint.  Some has never been painted, other stuff I got off eBay or Bartertown and need the Simple Green treatment.  I'm going to start with the Saim Hann portion, which will be followed by Iyanden and Harlequins.

While I'm not the most skilled painter in the world, I think making the effort to get a painted army out on the tabletop is important.  I subscribe to the (outlandish) theory that painted models perform better.  Whether its true or not, who knows, but having two painted armies duke it out enhances enjoyment for both player.

I guess the question for my non-existent readers is should I paint the whole army to match the Saim Hann scheme, or have separate Iyanden and Harlequin themed portions?  The downside is that when I mix and match, it'll be obvious - half the army is yellow and blue, the other half black and red.  The upside is that I can have super fluffy armies that are painted accordingly.


Read more for army lists

Monday, August 9, 2010

Nice Little Article...

Nice little article I came across on the Space Wolves blog on Choosing a Warhammer 40k Army.

I've kind of followed this strategy with my Eldar, and will be implementing it with Dark Eldar as well.  If you focus your energy on one or two different armies, and insist on having a complete collection instead of just a specialty tournament army, your army will be able to withstand the test of time and survive new rules and codices.

Quick and Painless Yriel Conversion

Dire Avenger Exarch + Dark Eldar head :)  I guess it's not so painless for the headless Dark Eldar Warrior...

Thrifty Jetbike Farseer and Warlock Conversions

Took a break from studying to upload a pic of my WiP Farseer and Warlocks on Jetbikes.  Pretty simple conversions really...

Warlock Torso: High Elf Archers
Warlock Sword: High Elf Archers / Seaguard
Warlock Head: Dark Elf Warriors
Farseer Torso: High Elf on Dragon Torso
Farseer Sword / Head: Dire Avenger Exarch

When it was all said and done the bits cost me less than $10, and I still have some left over to finish up a full squad of ten.

Purchased on eBay through seller hoard_*_bits