Wednesday, October 19, 2011

How to Pack in those Dark Lances

I read a great article by Kirby over at 3++ yesterday.  It was basically an article about whether or not to run Dark Eldar aggressively or defensively.  He talked about the two extremes of the tactical scale that DE can participate in and then the middle.  The more I read, the more I decided that were I to play Dark Eldar (and believe me I am thinking about it), I would play it in a more defensive manner.  This includes using movement to negate the effectiveness of portions of your opponents' armies, using massed shooting to strategically weaken portions of their armies, and then to finally pounce when they are weak.  This is how I learned to play Dark Elves when I initially started with WFB and it has left an indellible impression on how I play the game. 

That said, the idea of dark lances greatly appeals to me and makes sense to me from a strategic standpoint.  So, after writing my article analyzing the effects of an explodes result on 5 man and 10 man units of warriors, I really wanted to see how best to pack in those dark lances in an army.  This means finding the most cost efficient means of doing so.  Here are the setups I have come up with:

3 Trueborn- 2x dark lances, venom w/ 2x splinter cannons- 151pt.

10 Warriors- dark lance, raider w/dark lance, flickerfields- 185pt.
20 Warriors- 2x dark lances- 230pt.

5 Scourges- 2x dark lances- 140pt.

Ravager- 3x dark lances, flickerfields- 115pt.

So, here are my thoughts.  The 3 trueborn are the out and out best option. You get 3 dark lances and a fast skimmer transport that can pump out 12 poisoned shots.  For their price tag, they are good.  Unfortunately, at the size they are, if their transport explodes, they are done. I have talked about the warriors.  10 warriors with a dark lance is the cheapest way to take a dark lance in a troop choice.  On top of that, you can add a raider for a second dark lance for much cheaper than it would be to add more models to get the second dark lance.  In that case, you have to pay 230pt as opposed to 185pt.  So, the 20 man squad is probably not going to happen unless I go with portals.  5 scourages is another option.  5 with two lances is only 140 points and the cheapest  infantry option, but with a lack of transport to keep them safe, I think they will be gone in no time.  Finally, we have the ravager which is hands down the best way to get dark lances.

So, I am definitely going to take some ravagers, but where else to pack in those lances??  I think the ten man unit in raider is the most efficient unit for this.  They are scoring, have enough bodies to absorb a round of shooting should they be demeched, and they can hang back initially using their range and speed to handle enemy mech. 

That said, I think I am going to take 1-2 units of that setup.  A unit of wyches to provide some combat support, and then fill in the rest of my troops with 5 man units with blasters in venoms to add dakka. 

What are your thoughts on dark lances?  Are they as good as they look on paper?  I would assume they need to be massed to be truly effective, but I think that is easily done in a Dark Eldar army.  That's it for tonight folks.  Hopefully more thoughts coming soon as I puzzle my way through DE.

Other articles you might find interesting:
Dante, Lord of the Angelic Host
Sanguinary Guard- A Different Look

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