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The dark eldar are generally considered one of the harder fleets to play in BFG.
With the fragile armour and low hit points of eldar but lacking their powerful movement rules.
The question I pose is the dark eldar fleet that bad?
When we look at the fleet list we can see 2 ships. Kind of a poor variety no? However when we look again we can see that both the torture class cruiser and corsair class escort sport a choice of weapons and upgrades. Now this in my opinion changes things.
First lets take a look at the corsair escort.
Its quite typical of eldar ships in its armour value (a somewhat poor 4+) but that is the only connection it has with its regular eldar counter parts in terms of statistics. The craft has a 90-degree turn arc and sports a pretty impressive movement of 40cm which is only matched by necrons. Though an eldar ships move - shoot - move will probably let it travel even father than its Dark eldar counterpart depending on solar facing the corsair class has the distinct advantage of being able to move this distance regardless of facing.
as well as this high movement the corsair has the benefit of free come to new heading orders allowing it to make very fast and very sudden course changes in combat meaning its able to manoeuvre with incredible ease compared to most fleets (bar eldar) and get into positions normally restricted to other fleets (again, bar eldar).
The big advantages in the corsair class escort however seems to be in its selection of weapons these being either:
An extra 3 weapon batteries
A Phantom lance
2 torpedo launchers
The impaler assault module
3 extra weapon batts:
Give the corsair a total of 5 weapon batts this weapon choice boosts the firepower of the escort to match that of the aconite making it one of the premier escort gun boats in the game. not much more can be said here but a small group of aconites are a potentially deadly escort hunter in its own right as well as being a serious threat to enemy capital ships however when we look at the torture cruiser this particular upgrade leaves the weapon batteries not that necessary as the cruisers speed is able to keep them close to the escorts and use their formidable weapon batteries to down shields.
An ideal choice as this weapon lets the corsair make use of that free come to new heading turn without risking loss of firepower. the phantom lance is considered by a few members to be inferior to the pulsar lance but in the grand scheme of rolling the phantom lance has a better chance of causing those 2 hits than a pulsar lance. Using corsairs with phantom lances in combination with torture cruisers seems like an effective tactic as the cruisers down shields letting the escorts smash the enemy ships directly.
With the option of leech torpedoes dark eldar torpedo launchers are VERY powerful escort hunters and great for isolating an enemy ships. the leech torpedo causes an instant hit on contact but doesn't cause damage. instead it causes an auto critical hit. While this doesn't roll on the critical hit table it presents a horrendously effective means of eliminating escort craft with the shots only having to get past the turrets to kill the ship outright. Against capital ships it removes 10cm from their movement until repaired, perfect for breaking up enemy formations and picking on a single target.
The Impaler assault module is the only attack craft launchable by any single escort. It works like an assault boat but after rolling a 2+ to make the hit and run attack you roll 2d6 on the critical hits table giving you the full range of chaos in contains.
from what i can tell the corsair escorts have no poor choice of weapons and are perfect for hunting enemy escorts or harassing enemy capital ships. fast and agile i can see these things causing huge amounts of damage assuming you can get yourself into a position behind the enemy.
the torture cruiser is something quite different. Sporting 5+ armour the torture is something of an enigma within all the eldar ships. Relatively tough, agile and tremendously well armed the torture is possibly one of the best cruiser level vessels I’ve come across.
With a 90 degree turn and the free come to new heading rules the torture is just as manoeuvrable as the corsair if a little slower but combined with its higher armour lets you place the cruiser in positions normal eldar would never dare.
As far as weapons go the cruiser sports a S 12 weapons battery on its prow outmatching anything but the dominator or craft world eldar cruisers in its class range for direct firepower. on top of this you get the choices of:
2 dark lances
4 launch bays
4 torpedo launchers
An impaler assault module.
Personally i would think that the impaler and torpedo launchers are a waste here and the ideal equipment to use would be the launch bays or the phantom lances.
With the launch bays you get to make use of the dark eldar's +1 in hit and run assaults or deploy eldar fighters and bombers. Fairly straight forwards and lets dark eldar fight while retreating from the enemy. The downside to this is that dark eldar cruisers don't get this upgrade for free like the escorts but has to pay around 40 points for the launch bays. add that to the mimic engines and you end up with a 290 point cruiser. a huge investment in points but i would think one which has the potential to seriously make good on its spending.
with the dark lances you produce a credible capital ship hunter letting you cause some horrific damage assuming you roll well with your weapon batteries. Again cruiser upgrades are not free but I can see them being worth the extra points.
then there is of course the mimic engines. a free move at the start of the game and immunity to attack for the first turn is a tremendous advantage when you consider that it gives you between 80-120 cm of movement before the enemy can even consider shooting at your escorts and 70-105 cm of movement before the enemy can target your cruisers! the only condition being you avoid being within 30cm of the enemy on the first turn (not too hard in my opinion ^_^ it doesn't work against necrons or nids sadly but the difference in points would let you deploy a larger number of ships which against these foes are probably a better idea.
This is of course all I can assume from the two games I’ve played as dark eldar (loosing both mind you but getting a good idea on how they should be played) and further ideas are welcome.
*sorry for the long read by the way*
spambot kill tally: 79
[16:19] <@Alzer> Arky's right though
[16:20] <@Kaiser-> I know he is.
[16:20] <@Kaiser-> He usually is.
[16:20] <@Kaiser-> Sometimes it's intentional.
[00:01] <+zubus> i love you, ya skirt wearin nothern monkey! ^_^
Good run over Arky well i they can be quite underestimated but nothing compare to the 40k dark eldar since i fought you twice and for my first 2 battles using your imperials against your new dark eldar fleet even tho you have had shadow fields which was really annoying me since you basically gave me a fleet full of lances!!! and all your ships were double the speed of my ships and i was still able to destroy your fleet in the end.
Also your frigates have the firepower of dauntless or cruiser since you pay nearly 100pts per frigate , I am still yet to face necrons which from i read are the cheese of all cheese in the game hopefully ill have my tyranid fleet done for next yet.