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Well, as aforementioned in the title, I am indeed the newest type of blood. Never having before cast a single set of die in the heat of battle. However on a rather uneventful day, a rather unexpected surprise (albeit not one entirely unwanted) plopped, quite literally, into my lap.
I was bestowed with what appeared to be an opened box (sans the top) of Dark Eldar warriors of varying types. I labored (forgive me) under the delusion that I was in possession of an Eldar force. After fruitless and frustrating attempts to figure out what kind of models I could possibly have, I stumbled across an image in the 5th edition that looked strikingly familiar. Alas, I discovered what I truly had.
Now then, I have a force of 19 Dark Eldar warriors (the gift-giver figured out he liked the Orks more after making -and losing- one model, and thusly tossed the lot into his closet). So what precisely would be my next steps in crafting a formidable army? What information I've searched on other sites has dredged up an insanely dizzying array of builds, but I'd like to hear from the seasoned veterans before I decide to drop a few hundred dollars on something that I am unsure I could make work from a simple first assessment.
I suppose the two biggest and most base-line questions regarding my newfound interest lies in just a few questions;
What are the pros and cons of the Dark Eldar?
What are their strengths and weaknesses?
What forces would build at the very least an army I could field? (500-1000 points)
Forgive my prattling, but I'm rather eager to begin the Warhammer 40k experience, and I understand that one cannot take on a seasoned army when one is armed merely with an unsharpened stick and a couple of rocks.
Well that's a big couple of questions you've asked there and I'm sure you'll get a lot of response.
Pros for Dark Eldar - fast, nasty weaponary, are very very good in the areas that they try to be good in.
Cons - Generally fragile, they go to war in their pyjamas (don't be fooled by the spikes) low leadership, not much unit choice.
You need to get some form of HQ, I'm a lover of Incubi so it's got to be an Archon or Dracon for my money. It's fun seeing them charge a bunch of Terminators and watching them tear the SMurfs apart before they can even lift that cubersome power fist off the floor.
Ravager is alway in my army as well. It's a bit fragile but tricked out with 1 Dark lance and 2 disintegrators I think it's a great anti-anything tank. You can take a squad of 5 MEQs out quite comformtably once a turn and still be fairly mobile.
Also like jetbikes as you can mount nasty weapons and the strength and toughness boosts help out a lot. Not to mention that they can now move in the assault phase like the normal Eldar.
Personally I hate mandrakes because other than some very cool deployment rules, they are so weak that once they do jump out of the shadows, nodody is really very scared of them.
*nobody else plays them - one of my favorite "pros"
*everyone want to play against them - at least once
*opponents under estimate their capabilities - what can a girl in a bikini really do?
*fast army - initiative, fleet of foot and raiders make us one of the fastest in the game
*close combat specialists - army is designed around getting into close combat
*Cool army background - everyone loves a pirate and taking slaves is fluffy goodness
*98% of the army is T3 with a 5+ armor save or less
*Low leadership - I roll 9+ leadership results 75% of the time, grrr!
*Obscure rules - cryptic codex leaves alot up for interpretation
*If you win its because your list is "cheesy" and your codex is "broken".
*Not easy to get your hands on models in the US other than eBay or a hobby store that time forgot.
*A lot of metal figs - wasn't an issue with me until they started to break
*Boring figure poses - hope you are good with a pin vice.
"On a hunch, I melted them down and inhaled the fumes and read the dark eldar codex again, AND FOUND A BUNCH OF NEW RULES HIDDEN BEHIND THE OTHER WORDS..." [Gardeth on modelling & interpreting the DE Codex]
Pros: Fast, Flavorful, Specialized troops, and some neat tricks/toys
Cons: Fragile, Unforgiving of errors, Specialized troops, Generally poor armor. and did I mention fragile.
Keep in mind that DE are a fast, light, highly mobile raiding force. They should not ever get into a slugging match with heavy troops. Your doctrine should be one of superiority at the point of contact, quick destruction of enemy forces there, and moving out before other enemy troops can arrive. Always play for the mismatch of forces. Stay in cover.
What do you need: You need an HQ of some type. This can be an Archon/Dracon as suggested above which is probably the easiest. You also need two units of troops. At minimum for your troops, you need 1 other model (2 groups of ten). Better bet is that you need 21 more.
You also probably want a close combat unit: Either Incubi as suggested above or Wytches.
Finally, you'd like some vehicles. Ravagers are nice, but you might want to invest in a two or three of Raiders. This will give you a force of roughly:
1 HQ possibly with troopers in a Raider or on its own (or on a smaller vehicle).
1 Assault Unit (probably in a Raider).
1 full squad of 20 troops.
1 or 2 Raider Squads.
The other thing you should know is that it has been ages since we had a new Codex. you still need the Codex though. I think there is an update floating around out there. You might want to Google "Dark Eldar Codex Update" and see what pops up. You also will want to check the GW UK site for the new Dark Eldar FAQ for 5th Ed. The others here can help you (and me) figure out what the most current rules set is.
Last edited by MalevolentStorm; September 16th, 2008 at 21:40.
As a fairly recent recruit to Commorragh myself, welcome! I hope you stick with the Real Eldar - despite the steep learning curve, I have found them an entertaining and rewarding army to play.
* For the points, the Dark Eldar warriors are among the best troops in the game. Numerous, skilled, fast, and plenty of access to heavy weapons (scary ones!)
* Some of the best close combat options in the game. An archon or archite can take just about any other HQ choice
* Fast and very rewarding of good tactical play
* This is probably the friendliest and most helpful group on LO, possibly because a heavily armed and psychotic society is a polite society.
* Why paint space marines when you can paint wyches?
* DE in play punishes tactical mistakes harshly
* Old, old codex - we are all sacrificing hundreds of souls to the Gods of Codex Updates, but they continue to thirst so!
* Ugly 1998-era figs, particularly metals. You compare a mandrake or DE Lord to say, the new WHFB dark elf figs, and just cry. But I guess plenty of scope for modding, if you're so inclined.
Firstly, welcome to the boards as I see that you have just had your initial post, and secondly, I like your writing style as it speaks volumes of your education.
So you have been gifted with one of the most expensive to buy tactical role playing games known to man and you are trying to identify exactly what it is and what to do with it? Cherish it would be my first response to this, of course after thanking the presenter for their gift.
You have been given what I class as an ancient anomaly in the universe that is Warhammer 40K, it shouldn’t really exist but it does and it does more through lack of attention from its parent than anything else. Dark Eldar are the most neglected race in the entire game, in both models and rules but they endure through the attentions of a small fan base that champion the under dog.
And it’s a testament to their original strengths that DE have survived as long as they have.
(And you reckon that you can prattle!)
Anyway I can presume that you are indeed keeping said models and are expanding their number to a workable level.
The good points I see in DE are –
• They have the potential to dictate the course of the game through their speed and (if successful) hard-hitting nature,
• They reward a good general, when you win you really can see that it all went according to plan,
• They are relatively unknown to the rest of the gaming community and as Kwi has already said that makes them a desirable opponent,
• They have a certain…………undefinable flavour in their background, and once mastered they have tangible flow in battle. In other words, you get a ‘feel’ for them that more balanced armies seem to lack.
• Barring warriors DE units are polarised in their abilities, when played to their strengths you will be rewarded well.
The bad points I see in DE are –
• If you lose the inertia in the game its hard to get it back, this can be interpreted as a lack of defense or resilience,
• The Codex specific rules are sooo dated that an interpreter can be handy at times to glean what the intent of the rule is rather than its content in regards to satisfying the 5th Ed core rules (and it here that these forums can be invaluable),
• And the models are definitely of a certain vintage and the metal models look like a splayed science dissection that’s pinned to a mounting board – but I personally don’t mind this look at all.
Ok but what to add to round out a usable force? The obvious starting point would be to satisfy the legal requirements of the game of having one HQ and 2 troop choices.
Since you have 19 Warriors I would buy at least one Sybarite (an upgraded warrior) to complete your compulsory troop choices.
And purchase an HQ, at this points level a Haemonculus would be preferable to keep the ratio of points spiralling out of balance for just one model (its more than possible to spend more points on your single HQ than you would on 10 Warriors.)
From there your legal requirements are done with and you can either explore your tastes and/or what is recommended as effective to win in the game.
Since speed is our calling card so I would highly recommend transports in the form of Raiders – aim for two to start with and embark the Haemonculi with 9 Warriors on one and the Sybarite with 9 warriors on the other. Get the feel for this and by that time I am sure that you will have your own opinions on what you would want to round out your army to 500 points.
Hope that helps, Wicky.
P.S. Firstly buy the 5th Ed rules and the second printing of the Codex ‘before’ you purchase any models of course!
Oh, and good luck with figuring out how to transport the spiky sea urchins that our race without breaking anything.
Last edited by Wicky; September 17th, 2008 at 00:53.
In a controversy the instant we feel anger we have already ceased striving for the truth, and have begun striving for ourselves.
*smiles warmly at the proffered gifts of welcome and seasoned advice*
Indeed, I am heartily humbled by the warmth recieved and even more grateful for the shared words of wisdom. I've been fortunate enough to locate a mentor of sorts to aid me in my travels through the world of Warhammer 40k, and while I am going to have to endure the friendly taunts of an ardent Space Marine player, I will nevertheless persevere.
In but a single test scenario, I swiftly learned the outright deadliness of their ways. I understand to hurl waves of hapless soldiers against a solid opponent is tantamount to suicide, rather the Dark Eldar sends a clarion call to the right player, beckoning their cunning and tactical sides. Oh yes, I am indeed exceedingly enamored with the shadowy enigmas and I desire to walk their oft-untrod paths.
I've already savored the thrill of a well-executed assault, I've already felt a cathartic satisfaction as splinter cannons rain down an eldritch wrath... I had previously run a curious eye to the Space Marines, awed by their models and straightforward tactics. I didn't know that I'd begin the nurturing command of something that demands precision, craftiness and a certain eye for exploited advantages.
However, I also have learned that my beloved Dark Eldar are indeed the proverbial paper cannon. Losses are inevitable, and defeats are something to be looked at as merely a small stumbling block and major learning experience.
Rarity of pieces shall not daunt me, my Kabal will grow. Even if I must build it single piece by single piece. My gift-giver has indeed been most profusely thanked and now my sights are set on building my poisoned blade in the darkness.
Wish me luck for now, then wish me good hunting.
I think most of the pros and cons are said. Now, I'll give you some advice on the army list. First, in my opinion, the best troop for the Dark Eldar are the Raider squads. As you now have near 20 warriors, you only need to buy the special weapons and 2 Raiders for your 2 troop choices. At 500 points, I field 2 squads of 10 warriors in a Raider and give them a Blaster and a Splinter Cannon. Dark Eldar have the best HQ choices in warhammer: The dracon/archon can take out any enemy in the universe, while the haemonculi give you a nice cheap HQ for your points. For a mere 40-50 points, you get a Haemonculus with a special flamer and Scissorhands, suited for multiple roles. Now, with the 2 Raider squads and a Haemonculi ( why not dracon? well, he/she just need a bit more points for wargear to make him efficient enough ) you need to give the Haemonculi a bodyguard, unit to stick in with to prevent him from getting shot down. If you don't want one more Raider squad, you'll have to take out 1 warrior from either squad, so he can get inside. Now you have around 150 or so points to spend somewhere. Talos could make for a very tough unit to kill, and to draw most of the fire away from the Raiders. Another choice would be to field a Ravager with 3 Disintegrators. This would give you a huge boost in anti-infantry and also in killing marines and such. And of course, one choice would be to field a third Raider squad. Wyches are, in my opinion, too expensive for what they offer in such a small game. Their power lies in defeating the enemies' special close combat troops ( Grey Knights spring to mind )
Well, there you go, hope it helps you out with making your first True Eldar army list
Ooh, another fellow n00b.
May we both prosper in synchronicity, or else one shall surely usurp the other and wreak havoc upon him, in the true way of the Genuine Eldar.
One of the biggest cons is after outmaneuvering, out thinking and then proceeding to decimate their forces with a deadly barrage they call cheese...
-No one plays
-They're hard to play
-Good equipment and units
-Crappy saves and flying death traps!
-some models are fugly
-People call cheese