Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Hammer units of Dark Eldar: Scary or ridiculous?

Hello, and welcome back. Today's topic is about something that some players would do at all cost to play them, while others would do at all cost to destroy them. That's right we are talking Death Star units!

For those who got no idea what Death Star units are, the video above should tell all that you need to know about them. They are big, scary, and downright destructive and most of the time, they are a pain to destroy. You have heard of Nob Bikers, you have heard of Thunderwolf calvary spam, you have heard of Juggernaut spam. Yeah, those are called Death Star units. There are others such as Tyranid Warrior spam and the likes, but the three mentioned above are the most common ones.

Yes Madam Spartan, we will make sure that your husband be on his shield....

But today, we are looking at the Dark Eldar and whether or not they have such nasty units. And lo, there are some combinations that can make for a rather formidable unit that would draw attention to it, and thus in this spirit it is a hammer unit. Some of these are tough and mean like a normal hammer unit, some are just plain mean but fragile. All share the notion of being very expensive.

Contender #1:


Urien Rakarth
10 x Grotesque with Urien's Grotesque Upgrade
1 x Abberation upgrade with Flesh Gauntlet
1 x liquifier gun

Now what we have here is something that I can consider a true Hammer-ish unit. Urien Rakarth's ability to give extra pain tokens are taken advantage of here and thus this squad will start with three pain tokens. Add that with some of Rakarth's steroids, T5, and 3 wounds each, and you get a rather tough unit that can mow down everything save that of a land raider (that one we will leave to the lances to crack aye?). With some instakilling in the form of flesh gauntlets and inchor gauntlets, and you can see more fun around the corner. For added effect of awesomeness, play them with webway portals.

Contender #2:

Leltih Hesperax
9 x Bloodbrides
3 x Shardnet and impaler
9 x Haywire Grenades
1 x Syren with Agoniser and Phantasm Grenade Launcher

Raider with Night Shield and Flickerfield

The unique thing about this squad is that despite Lelith's presence, it is a hammer in the most unique way possible: It is anti-hammer. The idea here is that with 4 shardnets (Lelith's hair counts as a shardnet) you are potentially locking down any squad that comes its way. Either way, they can potentially deduct up to 4 attacks from the attackers which is a huge amount to deduct out of specialist assault units, but if any hammer unit is foolish enough to charge them, this unit will negate up to 2-5 attacks (-1 due to Defensive grenades, -1 for each shardnet), down to a minimum of 1 attack.Suffice to say, if you want to lock down that pesky warboss or some Marine character of uberness surrounded by some bodyguards of some kind, then this is the unit to go.

Do not forget that you still got your 4+ in CC. The number of attacks that could be thrown out from this squad is also not to be underestimated.

Contender #3:

Asdrubael Vect
9 x Incubi
1 x Klaivex upgrade with demiklaives and Onslaught
Dais of destruction

Well, this squad is bloody expensive but bloody scary. Imagine all the power weapons that are being flung around and it can send shudders down your spine. Dais of destruction will make this squad reach whatever it is that it wants to hunt.

This squad is a little too much, and best seen in an Apoc game more than a normal game as its point cost is just too massive. Not to mention that this squad could be tarpitted by a Dreadnought.

Contender #4

Baron Sathonyx
20 x Hellions
1 x Helliarch upgrade with Stunclaw and Phantasm grenade Launcher

This is one big bat-ass squad (no pun intended) as the idea here is that they are to slam into anything and just pull the bejesus out of any IC they can't kill and bang him with sheer numbers (not the Super IC kind though). While you are at it, you will be ninja-ing in and out of cover with your maneuverablity, and also the baron's ability to reroll dangerous terrain tests and confers Stealth upon the team.

An asshole Hammer unit if I ever seen one.

Contender #4:

Duke Sliscus
10 x Kabalite Trueborns
2 x splinter cannons
7 x shardcarbines

Raider with flickerfield, night shield (optional: splinter racks.)

This unit is pushing the true power of shooting organic units destructively to a new limit. The Duke upgrades their splinter weaponry to wound things on a 3+, and with a total of 29 splinter shots, things will be rather scary very fast. If you so choose to not take Sliscus you will have more splinter weapons, but in return you wound things a little harder. Both conbinations benefit from the rerolls that the splinter racks provide, if you decide to move 6" and do gangsta. But usually that is already quite the overkill.

Contender #5:

10 x Reavers
3 x Caltrops
3 x Heat Lances
1 x Arena Champion with Agoniser

This squad is another ridiculous unit that could bring a lot of hurt, as that turboboost drive-by would actually obliterate a single unit every turn when it drives pass by, with the bladevanes attacks numbering around 10-30 str 4, and with the caltrops numbering around 6-18 attacks. With that number of attacks, expect one marine squad to go down fast.

The heat lances are there just in case there are some vehicles it could shoot, and the arena champ with the agoniser is just there to stick it just in case the unit would charge something (often this is done when the squad have accumulated like around 2 pain tokens and they really just want to kill).

Contender #6:

Beastmasters x 4 with Venom blades
1 x Clawed Fiend
5 x Khymearas
4 x razorwing flock

Now imagine the wound allocation of this thing, and you will understand what a nightmare to shoot at this unit. When these monsters charged you, you would realize that something wrong is happening as these animals are ripping your soul out. And a charge range of 12" Yes please, and add some sauce while you are at it.


These are a few of the deadliest things I come up with, barring point cost and some of you might disagree with me. Indeed I even disagree with myself over some of these death stars as some ae just too ridiculously expensive for their tricks. But nonetheless when they hit on the table, their presence will be felt. Plain nonsense? Or pure stroke of genius? I will leave you to be the judge of all these death stars.


  1. Actually there's one flaw to be pointed out: The Sliscus- squad doesn't get any benefits from splinter racks, for it only applies to splinter rifles and pistols.
    But overall, these are nice units indeed =D
    (never gonna play them tho, I don't really like hammer this kind of units)

  2. Actualy U mention only 3 Death Stars, first 3 from the top, rest is dust units with specials.

    I dont know about Vect unit...cuz incubi tend to be squishi so they dont hold for long. Lilith and qrotesqes units are good if not excelent.

  3. Well, it is more like a train of thought rather than anything else. And at the time of the article's conception, we are figuring out what the DE could do.

    These days we know better