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  1. #1
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    Dec 2005
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    Having trouble with Dark Eldar


    Im having difficulties with playing Dark Eldar, altough im going to stick with them as I went with them initially for a challenge.

    I play other armies and always seem to have a high win ratio, so I stared Dark Eldar for the challenge. Thing is, I've had two games now and lost them both quite miserably and I'm unsure where I'm going wrong as I thought I played off great tactics through all the games.

    My list in both these games consists of:
    HQ with Archon w/ 3 Incubi, 2 Splinter C and Raider.
    2x 9 Wyches on Raider w/ Agoniser
    2x 10 Warriors on Raider w/ Splinter C, Blaster and Agoniser
    2x Sniper Squads
    1x Ravager
    1x Warp Beast pack

    The first game I played against Iron Warriors 1500pts sporting Defiler, Basilisk, Predator, Dreadnought, 2x Oblits, Lord, 27 Space Marines + 1 squad w/ Rhino sporting metla gauns/autocannons and lascannons.
    I deployed everything with my my warriors raiders blocking los to my HQ raider and wyches where possible, sniper squads in cover and beasts in cover. He got first turn and I lost 3 raiders plus a sniper squad ran off the board. It was a very messy game for me but I found even when I got in combat with my wychs they cut through things very slowly. I eventually lost by a crushing defeat on turn 6 with only 4x raider warriors left and 2x dark lances. He had a predator, dreadnought, basilisk and obliterator left.

    The next game was against Tau 1500pts, he had a something like 20 Firewarriors, Hammerhead, Devilfish, 3 Stealthsuits, Un shie special character and 2 other battlesuit looking things that deep striked with something like 3 or 4 wounds each.
    This game was aweful, I deployed in the same manour but managed to get first turn. I turbo boosted forward the full "24 as I didint want to be stuck foot sloggin for a couple of turns and managed to destroy his devilfish with a sniper squad. In his turn I lost a few raiders, a ravager and a couple of troops. I managed to get mostly everything in assualt this turn but my Raider Sqaud and Warp Beasts lost combat against AunShie and got cut down, my wyches remaind in combat with the battlesuits for most of the game and the time i got free was shot down by everything.

    What am I doing wrong? I always thought dark eldar was a glass cannon in respect they have the punch but not the resilience. In both my games though I found I cant take damage but I still can't give it. My wyches just dance about while im lucky to get 1 or 2 wounds with all their attacks and my warriors just run away or barly do anything. Hell even my HQ got killed in close combat by a single crises suit!! It killed 2 Warriors, 3 Incubi and my Archon!, and saved all its wounds with the 4+ Invunerable shield generator.

    Im not so much struggaling with the strategy side of things on where to strategically place raiders to block los ect, its more the fact that I just can't do enough damage - am I just incredably unlucky with dice? Or is my list not very good - do I need to put some more vairety in?

    Please help; I have no idea where I am going wrong. I am sorry for the long post.

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  3. #2
    Son of LO Tenozuma's Avatar
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    Firstly, you can't block line of sight to a raider with another raider. Skimmers do not block line of sight, ever, even to other skimmers, you really need to hide the skimmers behind level 3 terrain so the enemy can't see them, or keep them in a webway portal. Its pretty typical as far as i've heard to lose the first 10 or so games with dark eldar till you get the hang of them and then you start slaying marines left, right and center. You REALLY have to use cover, you can't just turbo-boost up to get closer because you will get shot down in flames, you have to play carefully, hopefully never letting them see your fragile raiders untill you are already upon them. How much terrain do you play with, beause you can demmand that the table is at least 25% full of terrain. I bet the tau player would love there being no terrain. Don't be down about, dark eldar do hit very hard, like incubi and ravagers, they slaughter marines, but the ravager will fall out of the sky if anything remotely decent shoots at it, and incubi are very vunerable for their points, and have a flying coffin as a transport. Your list is fine (though I'd want a couple more incubi, say 5, instead of those 2 warriors in the retinue, you don't want to shoot them so you aren't in assault range do you?, and 3 doesn't have the hitting power) If you want the list critiqued, post it in the army list section (you probably, already have, I'll check in a minute). As for that battlesuit smashing your lord and incubi and stuff, well, thats clearly just luck and nothing to do with strategy or your list. Play a few more games and read some articles and see how you go.

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    Tenozuma - The Burninator... I came, I saw, I posted.
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  4. #3
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    Sounds like there's a couple of little things you could consider

    1. As the other fellow said, skimmers don't block LOS.

    2. You sound like you expect the Wyches to cut through units like a hot knife through butter. This doesn't actually happen. If you look at it, they're still S3 attacks, even though they hit on 3s. Wyches are excellent for taking on the enemy's dedicated assault units because they take away their advantages and wear them down, but they don't tear through them.

    3. I once made the mistake of shooting with my HQ before charging. The fellow removed the nearest models and I was out of charge range. Needless to say, the Archon+Incubi got mauled by shooting. So I'd say get rid of the shooters and use more Incubi. Ideally you finish off a unit in the 2nd round of combat (ie your opponent's turn) so as soon as it's over it's your turn to move.

    4. Tau are nasty for DE, because they can shoot down even our heavy support vehicles (Ravagers) with their basic troop weapon. Ouch.

    Make sure you're playing with 25% of the board covered in terrain, and make sure some of that is size 3 terrain so you can hide your Raiders. If you can, try to pick on units that get isolated so you can kill them and there's nothing left to shoot back. The worst thing you can do in DE is try to take on a whole army at a time. (I've got a Deathguard opponent that realised this recently, and he's a much more difficult opponent these days).

    It sounds like you were a bit unlucky. You'd bet on a DE HQ to run through a Crisis Suit, or even a Crisis Team 9 times out of 10. The Iron Warriors player getting the first turn also would have hurt you a lot. I agree with Tenozuma. Play a few more games and see how it goes for you, so you can work out whether it's mainly bad luck, or bad management.

  5. #4
    Archite of Caerbannog KwiKwag's Avatar
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    Everyone has given you really good advice - I will add some of my thoughts in addition to what was already said.

    During setup you must hide your loaded raiders - if you cant then you might as well start the passengers off the raider for footslogging.

    Set-up of terrain - you should have placed terrain so that your raiders are blocked by line of sight during setup. Placing terrain to your advantage is a key component - dont take this part of the game lightly. I have a miserable record when playing on a pre-set board or a board with less than 25%. I will now DEMAND at least 25% AND demand to set up the terrain.

    Looking beyond placing terrain for the initial set up I place terrain near the middle of the board where my cc units can advance to safely. You should be developing your charge across board in your mind and placing terrain (cover) down accordingly. If the center of the board is barren, it becomes a "no mans land", a killing field, death trap for your forces - Cover is your friend so use it.

    Wyches are great for close combat but alone and unsupported they will falter. Do not fight one on one with marines as their 3+ save will wear you down. You might win in the long run but you dont want a long drawn out battle that will weaken you. I treat wyches as a "shock" troop - they hit very hard on the charge but if you fail to take your opponent down to at least half strength then you find that the wyches have a hard time later on - the majority of Dark Eldar units are this way, they are built for a strong first hit. So dont fight fair and team up on marines, that warp beast pack is a good example of a supporting unit - charge the beasts in with the wyches and you will find that marines will get hammered with a small return of attacks back. Even teaming up with a lord will give them that extra "umph" over that hump.

    The only unit that doesnt need support (in my eyes) is the retinue of Incubi - this unit will always do well once they are in cc. I use 5 inbui and no warriors and when accompanied by a lord you have 6 power weapons slicing through - Wyches only have 1. Incubi are slow but they have always killed the unit they were pointed at. If the wyches had another power weapon in the squad they would do alot better. Only problem with Incubi is that once they have finished off their target they get stranded by their slowness and often dont make it to the next target.

    As for raiders blocking line of sight, only when they crash. When the cover is sparse or not where I want it I will sometimes send an empty raider to location where I need cover. When they shoot down the raider it becomes level 3 and I now have a place to advance to. This is an extreme example (sacrifice) but it does work when playing on board with a little cover.

    The dice gods were a little angry with you - i too lost my lord in a game where I rolled three "1's" on the shadowfield save from 6 kroot in the second turn!

  6. #5
    Tomb King medic_4077's Avatar
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    Welcome to the DE forum. As Tenozuma said your first games with this army can be tough, mine certainly were. But fortunately the hobby isn't going anywhere and there are no lack of opponents so don't sweat it, you will definately improve.

    I'll just reiterate a few things already said (cause they're important and I agree with them)
    -Make sure you have a full 25% terrain coverage against shooty armies. lvl 3 area terrain in the centre of the board is always appreciated
    -Don't leave Raiders in los if you can possibly help it. (or unless you actually want them to get shot down and create terrain)
    -support your wyches (or better yet think of wyches as a unit that support other combats)
    -Agonizers win combats, not S3 attacks (which is why you need to have other units supporting each other)
    -attack one part of his army at a time, with as much of your own force as possible. It's very hard to win with DE if you match up Unit A vs Unit A, Unit B vs Unit B, etc, all down the line.

    That said you probably had the worst two armies to play against for your first games and you definately got some bad luck there with the Crisis Suit (Battle Suit?) and your Archon. Try a game against a Black Templar list that has a Land Raider and you'll feel better.
    War Record Since Sept 2005
    Old Codex 48-20-9 Dark Eldar
    New Codex 1-0-0 Dark Eldar

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