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Dark Eldar was the second Codex I read after Space Marines. I have since read Eldar, Daemonhunters, and Necrons.
Now, after having model my first box of Dark Eldar Warriors, but not yet buying the paint, I have decided to cut my losses and play a different race. Necrons look very cool.
1) Dark Eldar fluff is insufficient. All they are described as is a very evil race that enjoys to inflict pain and takes you back to their homeworld to torture you. That's it. The other Codexes I've read, in particular Necron, blew me away with their rich history and significant place in the universe. By comparison, Dark Eldar seem like just an annoyance compared to everyone else, with no significant impact on the course of events in the Universe. It would be really nice if the Dark Eldar, being the most disgusted race, turned out to hold the key to bringing balance to the universe (between Chaos and the C'tan). After all, the Old Ones created the Eldar specifically to fight the C'tan, but the Eldar's psychic powers introduced Chaos. But the Dark Eldar shun psychic powers. So perhaps hidden in this darker side of the Old One's creation the answer will be found. It would kinda resemble Darth Vader bringing balance to the force (though I only realized the resemblance after I imagined the possibility). Really anything that gives more insight into the history of the Dark Eldar and their motives, and also (very important) magnifies their role in the grand scheme of things, will make them a much more satisfying race to play.
2) Dark Eldar armies are insufficient. Their armies are not well rounded. Games Workshop admits this when they say in the Codex that the Dark Eldar army list is only intended for piratical raids and thus they will always be the attackers. Every other army can be put into a variety of situations and missions and has a selection of units to deal with them. The Dark Eldar do not, and people who play them are forced to justify it by saying they just take more skill to play. The reason they take more skill to play is they are a worse army. Why would I want to pay the same amount of money to collect an army that was never intended in the first place to be as effective as others? Solution: Forget about the idea of the Dark Eldar being an expert's army, and give them some powerful unit choices that can actually stand up to other armies.
3) Their models are unattractive. I looked in the window of a Games Workshop store two days ago and, low and behold, I actually saw some Dark Eldar Warriors, albeit a few, in the window fighting with some forces of Chaos against Daemonhunters. Standing next to these others models, I saw then that the Dark Eldar models really were horrible. They looked so less detailed and just, well, plastic. Equally bad, the overall look of the models is sickening/disgusting without being cool. There is too much unattractive flesh. The Dark Eldar simply do not look like an army, particularly the Elite units (Grotesques, Mandrakes, Wyches). They look like ignorant wild men who do, indeed, fight in arenas. But not like organized troops who have a goal or sense of purpose in the 41st millenium. Make the entire Dark Eldar army more stealthy and coherent. Make them more like Ninjas, and cover up more of their bodies and face. They did, incidentally, do a good job with the Incubi.
When the Dark Eldar are changed in such ways, I will gladly take another look at them. But until then, there's a whole galaxy of events out there, and I'm going to pick a race that is actually of some consequence to them.
I'm inclined to agree that the DE army was never fully thought out and well rounded. I have no proof of this, it's just my opinion but the units seem cobbled together and piecemeal. But maybe they were given the built in weakness of being poor on defense by design. Anyway, as you say, this is what makes them an 'experienced' players army.
GW has put out a range of army types which we have informally labelled, from Beginner (necron and SM) to advanced (DE, So. But just because an army is harder to 'win' with doesn't make it better, or the game more fun.
Naturally army choice is very personal, especially given how much money you're likely to spend on it. I put the most emphasis on how I percieve a typical army choice will play (horde vs shooty vs mobile) when picking an army to collect and practically ignore the fluff.....with the possible exception of Orks cause who wouldn't like to order around da boyz using thier outrageous vocabulary.
Even a crap model can be made to look pretty good with the right conversions and good painting skills, so I'm not too busted up about the DE models being cartoony and plastic looking.
War Record Since Sept 2005
Old Codex 48-20-9 Dark Eldar
New Codex 1-0-0 Dark Eldar
Well, maybe GM decided to CREATE an army for more 'advanced' players. I personally have no problem winning with DE, but when I lose, I lose bad. Model wise, i must disagree, yes the plastic warrior kits look terrible, but you must remember how old they are, however, incubi, reavers wyches, raiders, beasts and most of the other models look gr8 to me.
Legendary Dark Eldar Site
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Effectiveness of the Dark Eldar rests in the hand of the player. What you read through the codex is merely GW's intrepetation of how Dark Eldar are like, and what they SHOULD be like, not what they are.2) Dark Eldar armies are insufficient. Their armies are not well rounded. Games Workshop admits this when they say in the Codex that the Dark Eldar army list is only intended for piratical raids and thus they will always be the attackers. Every other army can be put into a variety of situations and missions and has a selection of units to deal with them. The Dark Eldar do not, and people who play them are forced to justify it by saying they just take more skill to play. The reason they take more skill to play is they are a worse army. Why would I want to pay the same amount of money to collect an army that was never intended in the first place to be as effective as others? Solution: Forget about the idea of the Dark Eldar being an expert's army, and give them some powerful unit choices that can actually stand up to other armies.
How can you justify that Dark Eldar are not versatile and cannot hold their own in various situations and mission? Dark Eldar have above average WS, BS, Initiative and are naturally more skilled than many rival armies. You are not making any logical sense here. You are falling into the trap that most do about Dark Eldar, that they cannot change they way the are "supposed to be played." With Space Marines, every unit is designed for generic tasks and can typically hold themselves in all situations. Dark Eldar units, on the other hand, are not designed this way, much like Eldar, although to even greater extremities. Every unit is specialized to a frightening level (except for basic warriors), from Wyches to Hellions to the Reaver Jetbike (this can actually have dual roles).
You are implying that the Dark Eldar are not an experts army, that they simply suck. Define "suck" for me please. Have you done mathematical comparisons between Dark Eldar units and other army's units? Have you systematically compared various units and what certain responses would be like in varying situations? An army does not just "suck"; everything depends on the unit, the general's decision, terrain, time, enemy(ies), skill, and army composition. Simply because you yourself do not know how to form a correct Dark Eldar army list does not mean that others do not.
Another fact that you seem to believe (again, DE myths and the Cons of them) is that Dark Eldar have not "strong" units that can stand up to others. Let me correct you a bit. Incubi, for one, are perhaps THE deadliest HQ, right up there with Death Co., Deathwing, and quite a few others. Why? Due to the speed of the Incubi and Archon. On the charge, 1 Archon and 6 Incubi can inflict up to 24 wounds at Initiative 5, ignoring ALL armor. Add Drazhar, and you can potentially inflict another 1 - 8 wounds (4 average). This HQ is faster than Marines w/powerfists, has better WS than virtually all others, and ignores all armor saves. The point is the charge and NOT be charged.
On Wyches: stastically speaking, they will DESTROY any other unit at equal points (except Pariahs, unless on the charge again (Y) ). And if you were wondering, yes, this includes Howling Banshees, Khorne Berzerkers, Genestealers, Ferocious Genestealers, Termagaunts, Terminators, Death Companies, Space Wolves, Harlequins, or any other CC-unit there is. If you simply judge Wyches by their feeble S3, then you are mistaken. VERY mistaken. This is perhaps the biggest mistake newbies make when they look at wyches.
On Warrior Squads: The typical warrior is so much better than lots of other army's, including Eldar, Tau (yes, I believe so), IG and Tyranids. Space Marines are better because GW decided to make them good in everything. Virtually all other armies, not JUST DE, do not recieve this benefit or boon as GW's favorite child. Now, take into account that the normal squad can field 2 heavy weapons. TWO heavy weapons per squad, plus 2 assault weapons. Dark Lances are the favorite, as they have the same probablity of destroying a Land Raider as the Tau Railgun, and is VERY cheap (a mere 10 points), and have been utilized in killing tanks, Daemon Princes, Tyrants, and various other big, nasty things.
You are right in saying GW did not put much effort into the Dark Eldar. However, due to their lack of patience with this army, they have left us with many "gifts" as well. A randomly thrown together army will NOT win; this is law with Eldar as well. You are angry at Dark Eldar becasue their survivability is very low, much lower than Space Marines, and several others. This is becasue this is part of the army style, part of the fun. Each army is desinged to be different. Dark Eldar are VERY different in their basic fighting fundamentals and philosophies than all other armies.
It is not they cannot be versatile, it is the sad fact that virtually no one without proper experience DO NOT know HOW to make them versatile. They do not know the proper usage of each various unit. They do not know how to utilize unit strengths to benefit the army as a whole. The try to play Dark Eldar the "easy way." You are implying that DE suck in situations because they are "not designed" that way? Give me a break, for that is the biggest joke I've heard in a long time. Dark Eldar can be used for ANY mission regardless. Defending, they can be amazing. Try it. Try using 3 Ravagers fitted with Night Shields and disintegrators. Try using 24 Dark Lances in one army. Try playing a Wych Cult. Try using an Archon w/Incubi and Drazhar.
See what happens. Your opponent will be utterly crushed, as mine were. Do not give up hope, young DE players out there. There will be a day where your opponent will not know what they did wrong. This is another thing with Dark Eldar: Speed. Typically, a game is played on not one person's terms, but both, and depending on situations as well. However with DE, you get to choose what happens. You decide what attacks what, and what gets attacked. You decided what units to sacrifice and what not to. Everything is ON YOUR TERMS, with enough experience. If you are playing DE like some noble Marine army, then you are doomed. Wars of attrition are not for us. Use subtlety, PLEASE. Use tactics. Use strategies for once, will you? Think a bit before you throw your units into combat and out of cover.
Seriously. Metalore, you are simply judging the Dark Eldar by a codex, without proper consultation of people who know their DE, strategies and such. So let me ask you this: do you think every army that is "difficult" to play is simply designed to suck? No. They are designed to be more challenging to play, and to offer more. Typically, these armies can completely destroy an opponent when used correctly, and will severly punish the general who heedlessly throws them into battle.
Dark Eldar are simply the most extreme of this case.
"And whoever wants to be a creator in good and evil, must first be an annihilator and break values. Thus the highest evil belongs to the greatest goodness: but this is--being creative."
~ Friedrich Nietzsche ~
I agree with infrazael- statwise- we kick ass.... warhammer is also about a lil stats.
DO you know why I made my name incubi!?! Cuz I get 3 power weapon attacks off a charge for 25 points!! Also a 3+ save! hmm... I can kill your nec friends with ease...
THe way I see it, you chickened out. Instead of the hard rewarding road you took the chicken road that most people take when they want a "consitent" army. IF your attitude is like this, I am close to doubting your chance of being a succesful dark eldar player.
SOrry if I am assuming too quickly, but you havent seen our powers. We are succeful at shooting and assaulting.
DArk eldar models aren't actually butt ugly, they dont look bad when you know how to paint. MY first wyche model is AMAZING..haven't gotten the chance to post in on the gallery, but you'll see it.. the warriors yes suck.. .thats the only thing I will agree with you.
Anyhow, DE are getting "extreme makeovers"
"There is no middle ground. Strike Hard, strike fast and strike first."
One of my regular opponents plays blood angels. He considers DE to be horribly overpowered. 'Nuff said.
With DE, you either win big or lose big...it's all in your hands.
I disagree with the Dark Eldar only being able to fit one battlefield role as a super-uber close combat freak eating machine
While it does that better than any other race and is actually intended to do just GW overlooked some other things they gave the DE
Like Dark Lances and Ravagers (12" movement and fire 3 dissies is the best your goin get) combined with the talos and reavers with blasters the DE can be a very shooty force try facing something with 17 Dark Lances and like 10 Splinter cannons in 1850 pts i have made a list to do that
Scourges with 4 splinter cannons are far better than anything like devastators because you get jumppacks and then assualt 4 weapons with a 5 man squad you get around 18 shots provided within rapid fire for the last rifle but still and also they can deep stike
For the part about the models being unnactractive thats why you can convert things. And also who says you have to gaint the DE like GW does? mine are a goblin green with white drybrush. I havent ever seen one like that yet
Also i have heard from many people on this forum that the fluff is the reason that people choose the DE a bunck of piratical raiders who like nothing more than torturing things and consuming their souls (its no fun to play perfect superhumans CoughSMCough)
well theres my input
I agree only with the point about the models.My little brother is quite good with the DE and he's very far from an expert player.They're so damn fast! He keeps the little bastards in constant movement and they run circles areound my poor marines *sob*
The models however are wretched..even my brother agrees with that and he loves his little goth elves.The wyches are just nasty looking,the Helions look like Batman villains,the warriors look like a depressed teenaged Eldar stole his parents armour and "gothed it up" while he was high on Heroine..and what's up with that face stretched over the Archon's head?What did he kill somebody with Down's Syndrome and decide he liked thier face? And why the hell doesn't anybody have any hair? That little sewpt to the side mohawk the female Lord has isn't winning her any beauty contests.Warp beasts annoy me too. They just look like big shaved rats.For the love of god (or whoever) please give these people some new models! I mean I don't even like putting my marines on the same shelf as my brother's Eldar..I'm afraid the ugly might rub off on them (and my brother's a really good painter,but no matter how many times you paing over crud,it' still crud,now it's just different coloured crud)
This is wrong, but I don't blame you. You have to be a total DE obsessive to know their fluff properly. They do have some more detailed fluff, but almost all of it was published in WD magazines, most of them a couple of years ago. There was a story called 'A Torturer's Tale' that tells of the origin of the Dark Eldar (they are the survivors of the Pleasure Cults) and tells of how Slaanesh leeches away at their souls. A few other articles offer other little bits of insight.Originally posted by Metalore@Oct 14 2004, 144
1)Â* Dark Eldar fluff is insufficient.Â* All they are described as is a very evil race that enjoys to inflict pain and takes you back to their homeworld to torture you.Â* That's it.Â* The other Codexes I've read, in particular Necron, blew me away with their rich history and significant place in the universe.Â* By comparison, Dark Eldar seem like just an annoyance compared to everyone else, with no significant impact on the course of events in the Universe.Â* It would be really nice if the Dark Eldar, being the most disgusted race, turned out to hold the key to bringing balance to the universe (between Chaos and the C'tan).Â* After all, the Old Ones created the Eldar specifically to fight the C'tan, but the Eldar's psychic powers introduced Chaos.Â* But the Dark Eldar shun psychic powers.Â* So perhaps hidden in this darker side of the Old One's creation the answer will be found.Â* It would kinda resemble Darth Vader bringing balance to the force (though I only realized the resemblance after I imagined the possibility).Â* Really anything that gives more insight into the history of the Dark Eldar and their motives, and also (very important) magnifies their role in the grand scheme of things, will make them a much more satisfying race to play.
The problem is, money-hogging GW have never bothered to compile it all together. They didn't even put 'A Torturer's Tale' in the updated Codex, the cost-scrimping gits.
Add to this the pathetic and self-contradictory fluff for the Dark Eldar in the Eye of Terror campaign. I would have to agree with your general point that Dark Eldar fluff is neglected, but in my view it's worse because the stuff has been written, GW are just too focussed on other (almost invariably Imperial) fluff and virtually ignore anything on the fringes.I'd rather see the weaker units upgraded. There are some rather pointless things in the list, such as Scourges able to take Dark Lances and Hellions with Rapid-Fire weapons, plus a certain amount of over-pricing. It would suit me perfectly if these were just improved to be cost-effective.2) Dark Eldar armies are insufficient.Â* Their armies are not well rounded.Â* Games Workshop admits this when they say in the Codex that the Dark Eldar army list is only intended for piratical raids and thus they will always be the attackers.Â* Every other army can be put into a variety of situations and missions and has a selection of units to deal with them.Â* The Dark Eldar do not, and people who play them are forced to justify it by saying they just take more skill to play.Â* The reason they take more skill to play is they are a worse army.Â* Why would I want to pay the same amount of money to collect an army that was never intended in the first place to be as effective as others?Â* Solution:Â* Forget about the idea of the Dark Eldar being an expert's army, and give them some powerful unit choices that can actually stand up to other armies.
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Dark Eldar are superior to all other armies if played properly. They have significant advantages in all aspects.
In movement Dark Eldar beat out all other races hands-down. Fleet of foot on almost all infantry, Fast, Topless Transports, and with units like Warp Beasts, Jetbikes, and Hellions you can cover the table in about a turn.
In Shooting Dark Eldar are easily superior with the ability to take 4 special weapons (2 Assault, 2 Heavy). The capacity to field between 5 and 20 men depending on whether you are in a transport or on the ground is a varied range, allowing access to a multitude of combat configurations. Even an HQ Retuine can carry several weapons if you include Warriors. Dark Eldar have a BS rivaling a Space Marine and have very cheap weapon upgrades. A Dark Lance is only 10 points. A disentigrator is only 5 more. The Ravager strikes fear into the heart of an expierienced player. Donned in a Nightshield and wielding 3 Heavy Weapons, they can almost hold a Table Quarter by themselves.
All Dark Eldar units are statistically better in assault then other comparible troops at the same cost. A basic Initiative of 5, with most elites having even better speed, almost guarantee you the first strike. With some of the most deadly Close Combat Weapons in the Game, Dark Eldar have a wide variety of options. Agoniser, Poisoned Blades, Gruesome Talismans, Punishers, etc...All allow for a tooled up Assault unit and can even be regarded as "Cheesy" by some players. Wyches and Incubi are possibly the best assault units in the game. Nobody survives a charge from either unit, and a Raider allows for a speedy, early-game strike against weak points and protecting them from many other units, allowing you to be selective with your targets. A high WS and Wych Weapons guarantee many hits and possibly prevent hits against you. The Archon is undoubtably the best single model for beating down on burly models like Hive Tyrants, Greater Deamons, etc...The Talos is a cheap unit at 100 points that is extremely difficult to take down. Mandrakes and Grotesques also have useful combat purposes, although are a prime example of why Dark Eldar are so specific in their functions: they allow them amazing options against any opponent. A Wych-Cult Army is ferocious in Close Combat.
Dark Eldar have some of the best characters in the game: Lelith Hasprex, Urien Rackath, Drazar are all among the top characters of all time. With the new rules not requiring consent to field characters, Dark Eldar are always coming out on top.
This is simply a small sampling of the tremendous power that is Dark Eldar. I do agree though that Dark Eldar need a little more fluff, but how would you pull off describing a race so hidden in shadow. Perhaps it is better that so little is known about Dark Eldar - The simple lack of knowledge about their ghoulishly twisted, disturbed, and unknown desires.
In my opinion, if you find Necrons preferrable to Dark Eldar, switch. Some armies are simply made for certain players, but Dark Eldar will always be here with me.
40k: Dark Eldar, Eldar, Imperial Guard, Space Marines
Fantasy: Lizardmen, Skaven, Vampire Counts