Welcome to Librarium Online!
as we know, DE are ment to be very much a close combat army, however their rules don't support this, first off; their fragile (as they should be!), second; they have good bs, third; low No. of attacks, forth; rapid fire guns
any who, here are my thoughts on how to rectify this:
~ make splinter rifle 18" assault 1 or 2
also with all the blades on them, they count as 2 ccw's
~ all dark eldar units have WS 5, BS 3 (the biggy) & have plasma grenades as standard
~ wyches have no guns, or options for guns
~ scourges have options for shredders/blasters
the pts costs for units would obviously have to be reviewed for these changes (especially raiders, ravangers, & warriors/scourges weapons options.
this should encourage de players to get stuck in a bit more, a 10 man warrior unit has 30 WS 5 attacks on the charge + sybaryte, striking before pretty much everyone.
it should also reduce the large No. of sniper squads & DL raiders going around who sit back & shoot.
I play a shooty DE army, this would cause me to quit.
Well, the assault weapons & extra ccw would certainly help. WS 5 & BS 3 is an intriguing idea too, but I'm not ready to give up my BS 4 shooty. To me, the DE are never going to be all that great if they become unanimously CC-inclined. It's due to their low S and T, which cannot be changed.
I mean, look at what lengths the CWE go to in order to have good CC units: 16 pts/model for initiative 10 all with PWs, or 16 pts/model for 3 attacks (4 on charge) at S 4 and a 3+ save. We can't get anywhere near that without being accused of being unfair.
And I think I should point out that the introduction to Dark Eldar describes them fairly accurately. It touts their impressive firepower and mobility rather than their close combat prowess, also mentioning that it is meant to be played with "subtlety and cunning" rather than charging straight into the thick of battle. Food for thought.
Personally, I prefer to make their short ranged weaponry more effective where needed, so that that there is more incentive to get close and wipe out targets. We can't do that currently because of the S3 splinter guns. I would like to have S4 splinter rifles & pistols, but I think people would cry foul on that one too. Adding extra shots instead is fluffy (at least to me, I think of lots of splinters flying like buckshot or swept across several models), but it presents balance issues when facing T3 Sv 5+ models because they get wiped out easily while tougher units only lose 2-3 models. This is why I created this weapon as an optional replacement:
Type: Assault 3 (but you may not charge after firing, unless relentless)
So far, it has worked well. It's dependable for a MEQ casualty, but has a higher potential for more casualties when the rolls go your way. SCs and shredders/blasters obviously help do a bit more damage, as does soul seeker ammo for twin-linkage.
Another thing I did to keep the army playing as mobile as it should is to make the splinter rifles 24" Assault 1 guns. That way, moving doesn't reduce our firepower, except in the case of DLs sniper squads. Also, I made the Scourges more affordable and effective. For 110 pts, you can have 3 DLs on 5 models. For 210 pts, you can have 10 models with 6 (!) DLs. This puts the long range anti-armor firmly in the heavy support role, freeing up your troops to focus on close range tactics if you want.
Additionally I also made CC specialist units (mandrakes, grotesques, warp beast packs) worth taking so that they compliment the short ranged approach.
There are even more changes I've made to this effect but they're too numerous to list here, so I'll just point you to my fandex for everything else (shameless plug!).
giving troops WS5 is too powerful
i stopped reading after that
Thanks for your comments guys, maybe i have a different idea about DE, they delight in the infliction of pain & the consumption of souls (best enjoyed the closer you are & the only way to capture is through cc.
even with these changes, they still aren't a point & click army as they're still so damn fragile, they still require finesse & concentration of force, i've just changed it from shooty to cc.
these ideas were a little radical but constructive criticism please (& have an open mind), i had the WS 5 justified by dropping them to BS 3 & leaving them only str & t 3. they still get butchered by anyone in cc, it just gives them a chance to actually do some damage first.
Splinter rifles I think should definitely be assault 2, I think even if you are playing a shooty army, you should be able to have your shooty warriors be nice and mobile.
I don't know about the two CCW, it seems potentially too powerful, I think I would rather see warriors get an option for a splinter rifle or a splinter pistol + CCW, since if the rifle is assault 2, and gives 2 weapons, that's potentailly 5 S3 attacks per warrior when you assault someone. Sure S3 isn't much, but I think when you can throw out that many attacks it eliminates some of the tactical needs.
I agree on the Plasma grenades(atleast mostly, some units could stand to miss them) but I think WS/BS4 is fine the way it is, for one, WS5 is just ridiculous, Space Marines are superhumans trained in the best training the imperium has to offer and who dedicate thier life to combat and are only WS4, Sure DE spend alot of time dueling in commoragh and fighting on raids etc. I think WS4/BS4 is a good representation of how much DE life revolves around combat compared to the Eldar Guardian.
I could live with wyches not having guns as long as they can still get anti-tank grenades. Although I would want to see a tradeoff for it.
I'd like to see scourges become relentless jump infantry, although giving them an assault weapon anti-tank option kind of achieves the same thing. I kicked around the idea of jet pack infantry for a while, but in the end, I think the 12" move represents DE speed better, and JSJ would add to their durability (by hiding them after attacking) whereas I would rather see them as a unit that has to take down their enemy with their fire or risk being annihilated by the retaliation.
It is worth mentioning that the main purpose for any DE to fight is to capture prisoners, and we must get into close combat to do that. So I can see some reason for initially thinking we should be close combat oriented in our attack. However, Eldar as a race prefer a balanced attack where they can use their speed to get the most out of both gunplay and assault, but occasionally specializing in one or the other for tactical (or intellectual) reasons.
The problem is that the DE's balanced units now lack the ability be effective. Rapid fire splinter rifles is a prime example. Warriors were actually half decent in 3rd edition when RF guns could fire one shot and still assault. Also, they could outnumber tougher assaulting units, which meant the morale checks after CC were usually better for them than for Space Marines etc. (and they could make that even more an advantage with gruesome talismans). Now those extra wounds they take means they are much more likely to run away like pansies when before they didn't really care all that much.
If you think about that, the Warriors were actually better in CC than they were at shooting back in the day. Now we have learned to live with settling for their weaker abilities of shooting with slightly improved flashlights. But even Guardsmen are better at that than we are thanks to FRFSRF and Take It Down.
That's enough rambling from me for one night.
Hmm well fluffwise I do visualize the DE as a force who has a slight melee orientation.
I'd say a force that is sneaky, fast moving which weakens the enemy from afar and than dashes into closer combat to indulge in the 'fun' of bloodshed.
All those spikes and all that bloodlust, decadence etc... I just see the DE Warriors as enjoying the kill. However without being Space Marine killers (bar perhaps specialized units)
Atm the DE are perhaps a bit too shooty, spamming Dark Lances and the likes. Which is not the fault of the DE players. The codex is hardly inspiring when it comes to making decent and varying armylists.
When the DE are up for their reformat, i do hope to see a little bit more cc killyness on their end with more usable mid and short-range performance or something.
Take a look here: