Sunday, April 29, 2012

My one-year experience report with the Dark Eldar

Heya all, and welcome back to the webway.

I have been playing these guys for a year now, and I am now confident enough to talk about what works and what does not work for me as of this moment. The more I play with them the more I realized that my style is evolving to become a little more unusual. Thus I think it is best that I phrase the topic in the questions I asked myself in my mind.

Of course I do not need to say the obvious pros and cons of Dark Eldar as that is done to death throughout the internet and practical games. What I want to talk about are my thoughts to improve and cover some of the glaring weaknesses of my current gameplan.

1) How do I keep my tempo running?
 My current list is quite formidable if I were to face against balanced opponents, as my list has all the tools needed to dish out the pain. however, the more I play the more I noticed that my Dark Eldar tends to run out of steam around Turn 3, and I would need some way to push the tempo to at least Turn 4. But the solution for my army would be; a) I increase the firepower of the list to intensify the aggro-time of when I have the tempo or b) I lessen the tempo to have a more consistent and prolonged damage tempo.

So far, I prefer b) over a), and I will most likely throw in some tougher units that will be used to tie down elements that I am not fond of (Hydras, Psyriflemen) while the rest of my army does my magic. In addition, I am also looking at a one-two punch approach to my army, where I would be able to chain a combination or sequence that can take my opponent offguard. I am currently looking at the Beastmasters how they could help me with this approach without breaking the bank too much like those of the Hellionstar. I may even throw in a Grotesque unit in if they could work to my specification.

2)How do I kill gun platforms reliably?

My current approach needs some rearguard harassers that could enter in behind enemy lines and blast those pesky things apart. Scourges are becoming more and more attractive for me as they would fill this role admirably. They could help me against my Psyriflemen and Hydra problems. Reavers can be used to fill the role of a harasser, but I want something dead when I shoot at it, or at least have some effect on it.

I can also attempt to assault said boxes as well.

3)Is too much speed a bad thing?

As of this moment, my force is extremely mobile as befitting a Dark Eldar army, but sometimes I find that I overextend myself due to my need for speed. This could be rather nasty if my opponent downs enough of my stuff within the first few turns and causing my force to be sitting ducks. I will have to take the lessons from my slower armies to rein in upon my 'Reaver' tendencies, but otherwise I really enjoy the mobility and fluidity of the force.

4) Should I have more shooting, or more assaulting?

My current playstyle is primarily that of a shooting-Kabal force, with the main assault elements being two squads of wyches and an Archon to bear the close-combat punch. As of this moment, I find that I may need more assault elements into the army, but at the same time I want to maintain the shooting elements within my army as they are very effective (barring psyriflemen). I could use more wyches, but I want it to be less obvious when my entire force moves forward. Beastmasters are so far fitting into the theoretical role very well.

5) Should I have more or less guys?

So far, my army is evolving down the MSU route, but I do realize that I have a weakness with this approach. My most practical solution would be to pump up the Kabalites to full 10-men squads for objective grabbing, or I can take several Wrack squads to compensate for this department, as they have FNP.

6)Should I spend more on vehicle upgrades?

My answer here as of this moment is a rather shaky 'maybe'. Shock Prows and Torment Grenade Launchers could do wonders, and I have tested them out, but sometimes I like the very spartan approach of just slapping a flickerfield and be done with it. This would also solve the problem of those annoying blobs of infantry at times.

So my experience is telling me that my approach is slowly becoming a rather interesting mix of things that would allow my force to have more dimensions of engagement. The synergy of my army as of this moment is quite nice, but it does have its glaring weaknesses that I would need to change to allow for some ace up my sleeves. I would want to take mechanized and infantry blob lists by surprise while also allowing me to deal with hybrids as well.

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