Monday, July 29, 2013

Adapting for the Foreseeable Future for my Dark Eldar

Heya all and welcome back!

Crisis_Vyper return an International player of 40k!!!!

Being back in Malaysia and having to adapt to the meta at home is always a toughie, especially when one have developed their army in the US to near perfection. It is not to say that it is a bad thing, in fact I really enjoy myself as I get to use the lessons learned from the US to increase my fundamentals in 40k which is based upon a Malaysian school of thought (lol). With that, I must say that combining both my 6th edition experiences in both nations I found that there are some things that would affect my finetuning towards the Malaysian meta;

1) Blasterborn in Venoms are not as amazing as they used to be. I am sad about this, but at the same time, things must change. Personally they have not been performing for a while now, and my use of Reavers and Incubi sparingly as fun elements proved to be superior choices to the Trueborns in most of the games they are in. Each edition brings its own nuances, and with that I must adapt to the only constant; change.

2) Eldar allies are important to increase consistency of the entire Dark Eldar army (or otherwise known as 'Dat Farseer!') as they help in being a force multiplier for the Dark Eldar, especially in the twin-linking department.

3) Assault is still alive, just that it is more of a high-risk/high-reward thing. Suits the Dark Eldar just fine to be honest, and an assault element needs to be tough, fast and able to hit hard enough.

I pity the Marine player here.......

4) Mech or some elements of Mech are also alive, especially with the Xenos factions. The prevalence of Wave Serpents among Eldar players is such that Samuel. L. Jackson would be cursing "I am sick of these motherfuckin' Serpents on this motherfuckin' table!' while the existence of Hammmerheads and Skyrays (mostly the latter), Annnihilation Barges and Land Raiders proved to show that everyone is breaking through the inherent meta of having footlists and Str 7 weapons.

Due to this, I am also seeing more meltaguns returning as well to counter the new wave of nonsense. This also means a more Hybrid approach to most lists. I rarely see a full foot-army here as everyone and their mothers are all armed to the teeth with anti-infantry guns to the point that cover is beneficial only when they go to ground to take the hits.

Honest reaction to Space Marines

5) Less Marines, more Xenos. In the US, I see so many bloody Marines (almost 80%) to the point where I often say to myself that any Marine matchup is a 8-2 in my favour, while Xenos are arguably the minority. Over here in Malaysia, there is a greater spread of armies to face, with Marines consisting only 30-50% of the armies here. In fact I like the variety, and thus nnow I am able to get my thinking hat on to make more balanced lists (not that I did not make them to be anti-Marine to begin with, but it is quite a Marine killer).

6) Interestingly enough, there is not a lot of flyer spam. I do not know why, but everyone uses around 0-2 flyers. I blame this on the Tau and Eldar to be honest, and I am fine with this.

American Table......

And the Malaysian table.

7) It is comfortable to see that the terrain here is a lot more than those in the US, especially when 25-40% of the table is covered in terrain, with a balanced mix of area terrain, Ruins, and other terrains. In the US, I often expect to see around 15-25% terrain. A true relief and a greater test of skill rather than pure dice rolling

With these observations in mind, I have also started to go about designing a list that best reflects the current mutation of the meta.

My list is somewhat spartan, but it does offer me a whole load of flexibility in terms of deployment, firepower and tactics. I am assuming that I will always get the worst possible situation for a Dark Eldar player; Being forced to be on Planet Bowling Alley without Nightfight and going second. My US experience opened my eyes about how important every little scrap of terrain is, even if you have to make one yourself using the corpses of your vehicles.

My 1750 pts list is meant to answer all the observations and field experiences I have seen in Malaysia (as stated above), and also throwing in my wisdom from my time in the US.

Baron Sathonyx
Farseer on Jetbike on Jetbike
1 squad of 6 Incubi with a Klaivex in a Raider
1 squads of 5 Warriors with 1 blaster in a Raider
4 squads of 5 Warriors with 1 blaster in Venoms with second splinter cannons
1 squad of 3 Windrider Guardian Jetbikes with one Shuriken Catapult
1 Squad of 9 Reaver Jetbikers with 3 Heatlances and an Arena Champion with a Venom Blade
2 Ravagers with Flickerfields
1 Voidraven bomber with Flickerfield and 2 Shatterfield missiles

The Baron is there sadly for one reason and one reason only; Getting me the option in deployment. Not the best use of HQ I know, but he is pure gold in the pre-game setup. However once he is on the table, he will be hanging out with the Windriders until the last possible turn where they will split up and the Windriders contest objectives. For 105 pts, I do not mind it too much.

However if the situation calls for it, he will also be flying forward to join up with the Incubi and charge together as one.

Farseer......this dude is utterly amazing. He is one of the main elements that can make the entire army ever consistent, with the Runes of Fate, Divination and/or Telepathy. Twin-linking is utterly brutal on Ravagers, Venoms and Reavers, and if I can get Doom, I am an utterly happy person. In other words, he's the handyman.

The Incubi provides me with an avenue for close combat, and also I realize that they help balance the army overall with their AP2 Klaives. There are times where I am forced to charge to stall or kill things, and they are the best unit for the job. They are also meant to be used in tandem with the Reavers whenever possible to provide an uneven fight for my opponents. They also play the role as distractions when the need comes for it. For obvious reasons, no one likes a bunch of Incubi with an Archon marching down their alley.

Warriors with blasters are solid dudes, and they only ever get out if the area is cleared. The blasters also provide additional anti-tank for the army and mop-ups if they have to do it.

The Bikers in my army are there for their mobility and also being excellent contesters. Guardian jetbikes are a requisite choice for me to take in an allied list while the Reavers are there to provide three things;

1) Backups for the Ravagers

2) Assault elements

3) Infantry firebase killers

If they are forced to, they could also become a distraction element (and they do excel in this department as well). They can also become anti-air if I need them to be, and with the Farseer around, this makes it a viable choice.

The raiders are there to become meatshields if the situation is such that I am forced to hide behind something. It also doubles up as extra dark lances platforms just in case my Ravagers and Reavers are shot down (which is quite often).

Venoms and Ravagers are just solid choices for anything, and the reason for their inclusion should not need any more explaining to do. The Voidraven is anti-flyer and also anti-tank while the bomb and the missiles it carried acts as both anti-parking lots and anti-horde for my list.

I find that this list has a lot of answers to a lot of things, but in return I sacrifice raw list power. Nonetheless, with the new edition running around and new supplements and codices being thrown into the mix, I find that it is almost impossible to just try and spam things due to the likelihood of pulling out a hard counter or the spam list being obsolete within seconds. The IG blobs are gone and the Cronair are tamer due to the combination of Tau and Eldar shenanigans, while the supplements only creates a meta where anything and everything goes.

In addition with the majority of the missions rewarding a fluid commander, I find that being able to adapt on the fly while also fulfilling the main strategy of the list to be the upmost importance these days. Hard counters are hard to use when some armies do not even have the solution to the problem, and thus having soft counters are more effective in the long-run. This edition is not even through its first year and the constant state of flux now is just amazing for the meta.

I will be testing this list out to see if the theory side of things will be proven in the tabletop. Wish me luck and happy gaming to all of you.


  1. Nice article and good list.

    Personally I could never leave home with out some beastmasters especially if I have the Baron. You could easily lose one troop choice and reduce the reavers to 6 to afford a big pack.

    For anti tank how about swapping 1 warrior squad for wyches with haywire grenades. Same cost, but they slaughter any tank they contact. Even if a vehcile has moved flat out, between throwing one grenade and slapping 5 more on they should get 4 hits, meaning you can get a 1 on one of the 4 to pen rolls and still wreak 3 hull point tanks.

    I look forward to hearing how you get on.


    1. I agree with you about the Baron needing some bodyguard (to protect him, make him useful and provide a third assaulting threat), but for all my games the Beastmasters did not perform to the best of their ability. However, I understood that at the time, my list is not Beastmaster-friendly. With this new build I may be able to use them more effectively.

      Wyches with Haywire....that might be an option in this list but I will try to see of this configuration works for now.

    2. I am also a little paranoid about not having at least 6 troop choices due to my experiences in the US. XD