Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Dark Eldar and Me: Initial impressions

Heya and welcome back to the webway!

Now that I get to sit with the Dark Eldar codex, I will be talking about how this book will affect me as a Dark Eldar player. In addition, I am also looking ahead for this book with the shifting meta and the context of 7th edition.

I guess I should start with the stories first.

Now I will say that the art and direction for the fluff parts is a good direction, with the book looking more like a supplement than the previous few codices before it. Deep enough with the story, and the art is utterly gorgeous. Even my Marine and Eldar friends are complaining about how this book utterly trumps their book in that category.

Of course as with every codex, the main reason why people bought the book is so that they could play with their stuff well. In that regards, I am always open to the concept of my book becoming something that I am no longer familiar with and thus I actually do not give a darn about the people who are sore about some things that they used to have that are nerfed and things that no one used became better and even becoming the meta.

My first notice is that the Power From Pain rule is turned from an active mechanic that is isolated in units to a field-wide effect mechanic. Despite me not being fond of the first two turns of the mechanic, but otherwise it does give me something that allow me to have an end game exit strategy. Everytime I play, I noticed that my army becomes significantly weaker as I lose my juice and they can't do much. In particular, I am always desperately in need of some troops that could hold their ground during the final turns for those desperate clutch wins. With the new Power From Pain, I can do just that. It is an improvement in many ways and it provides the dudes with some means of stubborn resistance.

Secondly, I noticed that the army now has an emphasis upon deepstriking with Webway portals (pure win by the way) and also all ground vehicles being able to deepstrike. I will admit that playing the Duke a few times had taught me that deepstriking Dark Eldar vehicles allows for different vectors of attack. This in my opinion is a welcoming change, as I really do not comprehend the idea that Dark Eldar will deploy themselves readily and be honest about it (which is what most Dark Eldar players do by default due to not having units that could infiltrate and deepstrike unless you have the Duke).

The Realspace Raid Detachment is in my opinion one of the best detachments in the game, but that is only because most of the Dark Eldar's best units are in this slot. I really do not care too much about the additional rules, for I just want to get those additional fast attack slots. The Covenite Coterie and coven formations are also interesting to say the least as it does complement nicely with the dark eldar codex.

Another thing I noticed is that Raiders and Venoms have lost some things, but in essence got a slight boost. Venoms in particular have it going for them, as their power level did not change at all. Combined with the cheaper kabalite warriors and also some changes in some of the vehicle wargear, they can hold their own against most of the forces there. 

Now I will admit that I am still sore from the Wave Serpents, but due to the 7th edition deepstriking rules and passenger firing rules, I believe that it will not be as bad as the previous codex. Sadly enough I must also talk about the Ravager's nerfs, as now I really can't move them fast enough and press their unique advantage. However, I can see myself deepstriking them to get those back armour if I needed to.

Sadly enough, I also noticed that the book killed many Wych-based armies. Mass Haywire grenades on wyches are gone, and so are the BeastStar builds. Then there are the hellions......sad day indeed for them. I will honestly say however that I am never a fan of wych units (except the Reavers) and clearly do  not feel the sting other than losing one of my more reliable anti-tank unit.

On that note, I am still unsure about Reavers as they are the only unit I noticed that does not have grenades, but at the same time could mitigate this weakness via their new bladevane and cluster caltrop rules. With their cost reducing and also being able to take up to 12 in a squad means that this unit is an unit that was meant to ram themselves into any target that they see fit and rip it apart via HoW to minimize enemies that will strike them back in assault from behind cover. They also can kill vehicles with those HoW attacks.

However, the Scourges are now the new hotness as not only are they more reliable than Wyches to deliver haywire weapons, but they could do so at range. I know that these guys will be one of my most heavily used units for this edition for they assist me in one of my greatest problems with Dark Eldar; anti-tank.

The aircrafts are in my opinion awesome, and I personally like to use the Voidraven Bombers as they help me with my anti-tank and also horde problem on the fly. Razorwings are of course awesome for their point cost and also that they are moved to the fast attack slot which frees up my heavy support. I just love the Vodraven bomber too much, and I will be playing with two of them for the time being until something convinced me that it is a bad choice.

Talos and Chronos are really good for what they do, and I see no problems with them now that they could be taken in a squad of three. They were alright before, but they competed heavily with the Ravagers and other goodies. Now with the changes done, these guys might get to see the light of day once more.

However, with this book I find myself asking myself if GW is really wanting us all to become collectors rather than gamers. I personally do not mind as I am from a collector's background but for the competitive gaming junkies, this means that they need to grow larger than they wanted to be with very beer and pretzel rules. Their army hopping days are slowly unravelling as there is no way for anyone to predict the meta. As for collectors they will buy less models but they will have soo much options that by default they will have competitve builds for the armies without even trying.

With these thoughts, I will take my dark eldar with a happy stride across the battlefields of 40k.