Tuesday, October 11, 2011

What Makes a Strong Core for Dark Eldar??

As I have perused forums and blogs, I am beginning to get a distinct vision of what I imagine to be the strengths and weaknesses of Dark Eldar units. Here's what I have.

Insane Mobility
Torrents of Fire

Low AV values
Low Toughness and Strength
Low to no armor

So, it seems to me that were I to play Dark Eldar, I would need to mitigate enemy shooting on my own transports and units while handing out as much damage as I can.  Duh!  It seems pretty simple and really want any player hopes to accomplish with their army.  Dark Eldar have distinct ways of doing this though.

Mobility allows me to redeploy large portions of my army so that large portions of my opponents' armies can't bring their guns to bear on me. I can use night shields and dark lances to the greatest effect for this particular tactic.  Setting up a refused flank would be one of the best ways to accomplish this in my opinion.  Using our larger movement to slide the entire army to one half of the board and focus fire on transports and troops means that I have to effectively only handle half of my opponents' armies at a time. 

That is where our core comes in.  I feel that in order to do this, our two troop choices fulfill certain roles that you will need but that need to be used correctly.  In both cases, I think our troop choices need to be used with patience and appropriate timing.  Our warrior squads fulfill a great tank busting/ranged attack role.  I imagine them to be the preferred units to sit back and shoot massed darklight weapon fire into enemy transports, opening them so that our combat elements and close range, poison shooting elements can go to work.  They also can use a combination of movement and night shields to hang back as long as possible before moving to home and midfield objectives. 

Our wyches on the other hand are obviously intended to get into hand-to-hand as their best defense comes into play when they are in hand-to-hand (4++ invul, combat drugs).  However, they can't go flying forward until they have targets softened up. These are the units that require the most patience and will power.  They will generally wait until turn 3-4 to zoom in and eitehr tarpit or mop up enemy units. 

Which leads me to my next thought.  If we are trying to mitigate weaknesses and capitalize on strengths, I see a strong core including both troop choices. 

I have come up with the following troop selection for a 2,000pt army.

10 Warriors- dark lance, blaster, raider w/dark lance, night shields, flickerfields-210pt.
10 Warriors- dark lance, blaster, raider w/dark lance, night shields, flickerfields-210pt.
10 Wyches- 1x hydra gauntlets, 1x razorflails, haywire grenades, hekatrix w/agonizer and blast pistol, raider w/dark lance, flickerfields- 255pt.
10 Wyches- 1x hydra gauntlets, 1x razorflails, haywire grenades, hekatrix w/agonizer and blast pistol, raider w/dark lance, flickerfields- 255pt.

I feel that the units are somewhat pricey and it may appear that I am taking every bit of bling possible, but I feel that the loadouts above yield good fruit for what the units need to do.  The warriors additionally, got blasters in order to scare mech when they move into midfield positions.  Likewise, I gave the Wyches' raiders dark lances in thoughts that while waiting, I could use their lances to open up mech.  I added hydra gauntlests and razorflails for added combat prowess, though they may not be needed.  I also thought haywire grenades were fairly mandatory as these two units would be my most forward units and may have cause to assault mech.  The hekatrixes have blast pistols, but could easily lose them to save points.  The agonizers are present for added combat ability and wound dealing. 

I get 40 bodies across 4 scoring units that can hang back and use cover/flickerfields initially to keep them safe and then later move in the for the kill or to claim objectives. This also still leaves me with quite a few points to fill out my other forge slots. 

So, what do you think?  Does my rambling make sense?  Would the above units create a strong core?  Am I far off base?  I like the look of that troop selection.

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AbusePuppy said...

Lance + Blaster means you will almost never be able to shoot them both- honestly, 10man Warriors are often not very impressive at 2000pts, since they die pretty easily even compared to 5man and you aren't gaining a whole lot for your cost. Dark Lances will greatly limit your ability to maneuver your transports, which is critical.

Mixing special weapons in the Wych squads is a huge no-no. Also, you're using all of them except the actual good one that complements the Wyches' primary role, i.e. tarpitting dangerous units and wearing them down. Shardnets are golden in that respect, and I can't recommend them enough. Haywire Grenades are a good choice, I very rarely leave home without them. The Hekatrix upgrade is not bad, but you're making her very pricey- your squads cost more than Space Marines, almost as much as Grey Knights, and they are not nearly as capable; the Blast Pistol tends to be a marginal upgrade for when you're otherwise short on AT shots, and the Agonizer is only barely better than the Venom Blade against most targets.

With DE, you can't really "protect" your units- they're all pretty paper-thin, even under the best of circumstances. The solution, instead, is to take lots of them- overwhelm your opponent with targets. At 2K points, you REALLY should be filling all your troop slots- heck, I do that by 1750, sometimes even 1500.

Running both types of Fields is almost always a poor choice; if you're dashing in close, Flickerfields are your friend. If you're staying far out, Night Shields are what you want. Close-in units don't care about -6", and when you're far away you should be able to layer your tanks and use terrain to keep a 4+.

Thomas said...

I have to agree with AbusePuppy here. While taking 10 man squads seems like its the "smart" tactic, for DE, unless the raiders are stipped to make them cheap, it really isn't a points effective selection.

Like AP said, massed troops is where DE thrive, Max warrior squads will tarpit just about everything because of their size. And, combined with a webway portal, you can really effectively moblize your army to be where ever you need it to be.

Your mindset on protecting your core is correct, for MEQ armies. DE need a bit more finesse. From what i've seen they are very effective at Alpha Strike set ups, or large area denial tactics where your individual squads can bring combined firepower to wipe out enemy opposition.

Make your core cheap, down and dirty, and most importantly, max them all out if you can. Large units while fragile, can still intimidate an opponent. Having 6 full bloated squads makes people think twice about movement and deploying, because they know they will be stuck if they try to melee you out of position. That way, you can fire from range, and use the specialist units to steer your enemy exactly where you want him to be.

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