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I am very tempted to start DE (mainly because I may get some free models and I may be able to bargain the price of the last models down my local GW) and I am in need of advice.
1) How good are raider armies?
2) Are WWP armies better?
3) I would like a balanced list (some shooting some assault), does this work?
In addition, any trade secrets that anyone is willing to share would be greatly appreciated.
To begin with, welcome to Commoragh and its always nice to see more and more new people choosing the path of the true eldar. Suprisenly there are many people that joined our ranks within the last few weeks which really adds tons of fuel to our onglowing power.
Anyway, when starting dark eldar, the very first thing you should always get is the codex. Dark eldar are a one of a kind army, the feature their own rules, have their own strategies and tactics and so before purchasing any models, I really advise you to come up with an army list so you wont end up buying models that you dont need. There are a couple different types of dark eldar armies out there that you can collect:
True Eldar - the primary focus of these armies is warriors, lots and lots of warriors. In fact probably at least 75% of the entire force consists of just warriors, on foot or raider squad. Fluff wise, the army tries to stay of the "true" path and thus reject intervention of other creatures like warpbeasts, mandrakes and wych units like hellions, bikes and wyches. The most common types of units for these armies are warriors, raider squads, lord with incubi, ravagers and a maximum of a single wych squad. But be advised that this is a simple fluff breakdown, you can break, bend and twist the rules however you want.
Standard Eldar - the most common type of eldar, these are the normal eldar that dont hold any specific beliefs and thus accept any and every type of unit into their ranks. Everything in the codex is fair game for these guys, think of them as "vanilla" eldar in the craftworld army, who can include any types of units and have no real focus and include both CC and ranged specialists
Coven - One of the rare types of armies, these are lead by hamonculi who uneash their hellish creation on the universe. This type of army features units like hamonculi, grotesques, taloses and mandrakes. Fluff wise and historical wise, covens dont get along with wych cults and thus never include units like wyches, hellions and bikes. This is a really rare army to see on the field, however many players have much dificulty trying to counter a force, whose basic troop type is immune to Str5 and less weapons. Feature grotesques as troops. This army, I guess you could think of it a "resident evilish" where you have a bunch of zombies who are pretty much immune to gunfire walking across the battlefied, or riding in a raider and once in CC, pretty much scare anything to death any force the run away. (Terrifying opponent rule)
Wych cult - basically opposite of hamonculi coven, this is pretty much an entire army of gladiators with wyches as troop types. This type of army is extremely lethal in CC and it is fairly common to see a wych cult wielding a WWP to help them get into CC without too many casualties. Wych cults are all about CC and have no real chance in ranged fighting, but once in CC...your enemy will start praying and blessing his rolling hand.
Speed freaks - another one of the fairly usual armies to play, these are like standard eldar but every single type of soldier in this army is mounted on something, a raider, bike, hellion wutever. This force excels in speeds and usually consists of raider squads, raider HQs, bikes, hellion and wych raider squads as well as everything else in the codex that can be transported. This is a fairly common army to see on a battlefield if not using a WWP, they are powerful in ranged and CC but sometimes lack number of men as raider obviously cost points, and the largest squad in this army consists of 10 models. Such armies are excelent for harassing swarms and slow advancing units liek orks. Overall tactics somewhat resemble sam-han eldar who focus on their speed and hard hitting charge to break their opponents. With the new rules however, raider rushing bacame very hard as raider can be gunned down by weapons as weak as boltguns, however many veteran DE player have exceled in their tactical thinking on the field, and have no problem using them.
WWP armies - these are numerous, any army can include a WWP which is a very useful tool to get your foces into CC without having them shot to death while they walk across the fied or have their raider blown to bits. WWP is usually taken in armies of at LEAST 1500 points, for a 1k army theyare too darn expensive and raider ush is the far best tactic most of the time. WWP can be included in any army, those that include it have a primary focus on CC as the portals themselves are quite expensive and the carriers that carry it have to be reliable with preferably 2 wounds. And for your benefit, never take less then two since if you unexpectfully loose one, you loose everything that you have left in webway and thus probably loose the battle. Wych cults, Covens and Standard dark eldar are the most likely to use the WWP strattegy as wych cult and coven focus on CC, while standard eldar also find WWP usefull if their primary focus is CC. Armies with WWP are a little unpredicatable, and many who have used it have won and lost battles because of its unpredictability. After all, you never know what unit will come out of the WWP as the roll for reserves is 4+ so its a 50/50 chance per squad.
Thats about it, unless I missed anything. Every single one of these armies are quite challenging to play and require their own tactics and strategies, so for the beginning...well, lets just say prepare to loose the 1st 50 battles that you play before you start getting a feel to what the dark eldar can do.
(1st thing is 1st, I advise you to post an army list so you can get a basic idea about how good the units are in their roles, even if its in words)
Last edited by WraithGuardian; December 17th, 2006 at 00:07.
1) Raider armies were very good in the third edition rules as skimmers blocked line of sight, not so good now in the fourth ed.
2) WWP armies are in my opinion the truest to the Dark Eldar nature and are unique to this race. Good about 3/4 of the time, but stunningly good when they work.
3) A "balanced" list is the most commomnly used, probaly because not many understand how to use a polarised army like DE let alone making it even more so. We have "aspect" warriors like the Eldar but even more fragile but paradoxically more deadly. For example we have 2 heavy weapons per squad as oppossed to their 1 so if we get the charge or first shot then we have an enormous benefit but if not...........
Not sure what you really mean by "balanced" though, if its close combat abilities evened out with shooting strength then yes you can balance a DE army but on the other hand if you are after defensive coupled with offense, forget it . Dark Eldar "must" attack, "must" use their movement and "must" get the charge to be effective. They do poorly at defensive and reactive games, you must be proactive and take the lead at all times to win.
In short make sure that it is your plan in effect and not theirs.
In a controversy the instant we feel anger we have already ceased striving for the truth, and have begun striving for ourselves.
1) While Raider armies took a bit of a hit with 4th Edition rules, I still believe they are quite satisfactory, and choose to run an army with 4 Raiders and 2 Ravagers in it (1500 points). Admittedly my gaming group plays with at least 25% scenery, and probably a touch more, but you still have the opportunity to outmaneuver people by exploiting their weapon ranges and the likes on more open tables.
2) I think it's fair to say that some people are a fan of WWP armies, and some prefer Raider-based armies. I personally don't like the idea of spending 50 points to not have half my army on the board at the start, and possibly not have it arrive at all if the carrier of the WWP is killed, or the portal is surrounded. On the other hand, other experienced players swear by it, and I'll concede that if it works it will probably get a good amount of your force close to the enemy without them having been shot.
3) One of the reasons I like DE is that they can do a bit of shooting and a bit of assault. I run a list which is basically:
Lord+Incubi in Raider
Wyches in Raider (Succubus with Agoniser)
Raider Squad (Sybarite with Agoniser, Blaster, Splinter Cannon)
Dark Lance Sniper Squad (10 men, 2 dark lances)
Dark Lance Sniper Squad
Reaver Jetbikes (2 Blasters)
As you can see just from this, the HQ and Wyches are pure assaulty, the Ravagers, Sniper Squads and usually the jetbikes are shooty. The Raider squads are all-rounders who can do both at barely more cost than if I just specialised them. They have a couple of good shooting weapons, and the Agoniser is handy, or if nothing else they can add numbers when trying to outnumber an enemy in close combat. So yes, you can run a balanced/mixed army.
Thanks you guys, your replys have given me much food for thought.
I really love the idea of a raider army so I am keen to make one work.I have a codex in my possession but I am led to believe that it is out of date since the only HQ choices in it are the dracon and archon (so I am missing wych HQ's IIRC).the very first thing you should always get is the codex.
The latest codex has a big white seal 'stamped' (not really but they printed it to look that way) on the cover that says 2nd Edition.
The others have given very good descriptions of the various Dark Eldar army theme types so here's my tournament list. I consider it just a regular run-of-the-mill Kabal although it's not very diverse in unit composition. As you can see it looks very similar to SilentTempest's list and if I had to cut 200 points to get down to 1500 they would be practically identical as I'd drop the Drachite+retinue. Assuming he didn't just copy my list and tweak it I would say this is a coincidence born of simply choosing the most effective units.
Raider w Archon+Incubi (assault group)
Raider w Drachite+retinue (assault group)
Raider w Wyches (assault group)
Raider w gun troops (aka The Gun Boat)
So three solid assault groups, a Talos to protect the shooty things (or float up and claim something) and 5 shooty groups. Although in a pinch the Gun Boat crew can pile out and charge in there just to help with the outnumbering.
War Record Since Sept 2005
Old Codex 48-20-9 Dark Eldar
New Codex 1-0-0 Dark Eldar
Well, medic, it seems great minds think alike
Really, it's just indicative that there are only so many unit types in the Codex worth taking, and between our two lists, they're all covered. Well, maybe Warp Beasts are useful too... if they don't get shot up...