Today I just want to talk about the weird things I noticed with the odd style of deployment that could be incorporated into one of my rather odd idea that could work.
Just the other day when I was playing a 1750 pts game with my Dark Eldar against a Hybrid Deathwing-Dark Angels list using one of my more adorable testlists that I like to call the 'Cover Mania'.
The 1750 pts list consist of
1 Haemonculus with Liquifier gun
2 squads of 4 Blasterborn in Venoms with two splinter cannons
20 Hellions with Helliarch with Agoniser
5 Wracks with Liquifier Guns in Raider with flickerfield
3 squads of 5 Kabalite Warriors with 1 blaster in Raider with flickerfield
3 Ravagers with 3 Dark Lances and flickerfields
Since this is a fun game of sorts, I decided to try out a theory.
I reasoned that if I deploy them in a way that would allow everyone to get cover saves provided I had enough terrain/pseudo-terrain to get the hellions to get some cover saves, then I will not need to worry about an Alpha strike list or some mechspam-like lists. In the pic below, I managed to put that theory to the test and it worked.
In this picture, I managed to get my Hellions to get the cover saves they needed from the combination of hiding some of them in the terrain and also behind some of my vehicles while also covering my vehicles with their own massive profile. In return, due to the height of the hellions, I managed to get my vehicles cover saves as well. I managed to get the roll to start first here, but the formation is a one-purpose-fits-all deployment, as I am allowed to actually have enough numbers to soak up the shots if things goes badly for me (either due to them getting first turn or them seizing the initiative) and prevent the uncertainty of an all-reserve game which will feed my forces piece by piece.
This only gets better when my unit started to move.
My opponent unleashed quite a number of nasty whirlwind shots and also lots of high strength weapons at me, but my casualty in the second turn is just 6 hellions due to the cover saves that I can reap from all the turboboosting and Hellion-wall, while the hellions managed to get their cover raves from the various terrain and also buildings which allow me to get my much desired stealth cover saves.
In turn 3 the hellions dissappeared due to me being overconfident (Damn you Dark Angel scouts?!?!?! HOW YOU WIN COMBAT WITH ONE DEAD HELLION?!?!?!) but the DA army is quite disoriented from the large amount of targets to kill. Unfortunately for the both of us, we are unable to finish our game and we are forced to stop at turn 4, but the game was very tight indeed as I still have the superior numbers while he is trying to get all the objectives (He managed to get two with one Deathwing squad and a 4 man Tac squad, with one of my warriors getting the other one) but I have enough dark lances and venoms to kill all of them.
This game actually made my 'Cover Mania' list very viable, and despite it being rather abusive it allows for an unseen durability in a Mech Dark Eldar list. In addition, it also provides a very formidable psychological profile as the horde of both vehicles and also the Hellions will force the opponents to struggle with what they want to kill. If they kill the Hellions, the other parts of the army will wreak havoc but if the vehicles are targetted the Hellions will do their nasty deed. If you put the Mathhammer and common sense into the picture you can see that you can't kill everything. Furthermore, iF this is done right, I could actually pop some vehicles and also allow the Hellions to multicharge everything they can reach including vehicles and allow for the protection of the hellions in CC with infantry units as they bust the rest of the mechanized armies apart.
Combined it with the speed of a Mech Dark Eldar army and you can see that the opponent will have very little time to react to the ensuing wave as they got two turns at best to counter everything they see. Combined this factors of durability, speed, Synergy and sensory overload, we could see that this is the strength of this army.
In a 2000 point army, I would put either a Razorwing or for anti-infantry problems or some Reavers for anti-infantry needs and/or also some other units that could further help in harassing the enemy. In essence, this list is meant to make a person have a real big headache, and preferably not me. So far my playtesting with lesser versions of the list is actually quite successful (with one of the lesser version of the list being reported right here) but this is the first time I actually tested the list upwards of 1500 points.
Of course the game would change pretty soon, but the tactics will not differ too much as cover saves for vehicles would still be there (unless we have 4th ed rules again or something happens to cover saves entirely now) and the formation would be a pioneer to hybrid lists. I have heard that some person by the name of Reecius on the internet is now trying a Dark Footdar list with Webway portals and Grots as portal bodyguards. Of course his list is somewhat on the other extreme of what I am planning (I am aiming for a hybrid lists with lots of disruption), but the fundamental ideas apply. Mech Dark Eldar will need to be downtoned a little and the pattern of GW's old ruleset changes of always nerfing whatever is the overwhelming craze for the game of that edition will definitely affect the Dark Eldar in ways we do not know.
I love my Archon and my Mech Dark Eldar, but if I am too attached to it I will not be able to expand as a player and thus I will need to step out of my comfort zones to further advance my skills. Besides, bringing something unexpected is always a good thing as people will be unfamiliar with the way to combat the list. As of this moment of course, I am taking a sabbatical of sorts with real gaming but that does not mean that I am idle with my 40k theoretical thoughts. Besides this list is a result of a smaller sabbatical which allow me to see the game from an entirely different perspective (Amen Hallelujah Peanut Butter.....).
I will get another chance to test this out, either in 5th or 6th (?), and will see how this hybrid 'cover mania' list would evolve. See ya all later.