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"Pink isn't a color. It's a lifestyle." - Chumbalaya
"...generalship should be informing list building." - Sir Biscuit
"I buy models with my excess money" - Valkyrie whilst a waitress leans over him

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

First Crack at a Dark Eldar List Part Two: The Second Crack

So my first crack at a DE list was posted, and it was ill-received (as it should of been). The comments really helped me to see the flaws within and question which units I wanted to use, as well as what they brought to the list. Having written about 10 more lists and trying things out in my head, I started observing and talking to local playtesters as I began to concoct what I believe to be one of the better lists I have written thus far (which is probably not anything special), so without further adieu here she be:

HQ: 135
Archon w/ Shadow Field, Phantasm Grenade Launcher, Agoniser

Elite: 192
6 Incubi
Raider w/ Shock Prow

Troops: 660
10 Warriors w/ Splinter Cannon, Blaster
10 Warriors w/ Splinter Cannon, Blaster
9 Wyches w/ 2 Razor Flails
Hekatrix w/ Phantasm Grenade Launcher, Power Weapon
Raider w/ Shock Prow
9 Wyches w/ 2 Razor Flails
Hekatrix w/ Phantasm Grenade Launcher, Power Weapon
Raider w/ Shock Prow

Fast Attack: 198
6 Reavers w/ 2 Heat Lance
Arena Champion w/ Agoniser

Heavy Support: 315
Ravager w/ 3 Dark Lance
Ravager w/ 3 Dark Lance
Ravager w/ 3 Dark Lance

Alright, allow me to explain myself yet again:

Archon + 6 man Incubi squad in the Raider makes for a 7 man strong heavy infantry sweeper that I would trust to tangle with anything short of the Swarmlord + Guard. This is your unit that makes other dedicated CC units scared, drawing some fire as you can sit in cover all day and not worry due to the PGL on the Archon.

The troops selection gets you two decent CC troop options in the Wych squads who I feel will fare better with the Razor Flails over the ever internet-popular Shardnet + Impaler due to the Wyches lacking FNP. In other words, whatever you hit you want to kill quickly, or risk being smoked yourself. You can sit in cover and decide who gets to attack whom with the PGL upgrade. The Wyches can easily just come in reserve on foot to get at faster armies who will be knocking at your deployment zone early-game (such as Blood Angels) or can sit comfy in their Raiders tank shocking the bejesus out of people before assaulting the peons below. The Warriors are mostly objective campers who can put the hurt on any infantry from a far range or can potentially snipe a vehicle if the need ever arises. I tried to pack as much duality as the points allowed into this slot and others.

The Reavers serve as the disruption element in the list, it can fly over a squad to hopefully cut some members down on its way to snipe a tank, whilst if it blows up a transport with its lances it has the potential to actually win in a assault (albeit not vs anything born to tear new ones in CC). It has the numbers to not just poof whilst being shot at which I think is worth the points spent on the Arena Champion upgrade.

Finally we have something that I'm sure people here are accustomed to seeing: 3 Ravagers all with Dark Lances. Perhaps if I had some more Dark Lances in other slots I would have room for the x3 Disintegrator variant to help mow down heavy infantry (or FNP duders) but at the moment I can't find the room; you just plain need about 10-12 Dark Lances at this point total, maybe as low as 8 if you're running a heavy WWP Dependant variant.

Now on to some more general observations on the army/things to ponder about this list:

-Blast Pistols: Except on Archons, I'm far from sold. 6" range means you're only hitting something that is an immediate danger to you and yours anyway, and if you are a Wych squad you are probably much better off with Haywire Grenades for just a handful points more.

- Wych Weapons: I think smart players can play around the S+I combo, while if you do the math Razor Flails equate basically the same performance vs Gauntlets if you aren't charging, and are better if you are. Too early to decide here.

- Night Shields: I still don't like these. If you think about it, what weapons are you really, honestly afraid of as a DE player? Lascannons? Missile Launchers? Autocannons? Basically any weapon 36" plus right? Well, Night Shields do diddly against most of these. Night Shields were the bomb back before Imperial Guard and Space Wolves were rewritten, but I feel that besides on perhaps Ravagers their time has passed. Could be wrong though, they are very nice vs. Hive Guard for example.

-Unfortunately, the army is still very alpha strike dependent. If you go first you will get one, read one turn of full capacity shooting if you're opponent isn't a half-wit or you win the lotto and silence all his relevant guns in one turn, or has a good list. As people have been saying, if you can't get full cover on something and you're not going first, you should probably reserve it. Unfortunately since one Ravager has a little over 60% chance of doing anything to a Rhino you will see DE players quit in frustration in the coming months (especially when Grey Marines-oops I mean Grey Knights come out next year). Even at 1500 you will still see plenty of Razorbacks, Dreadnoughts, and Chimeras so prepare to learn the real meaning of being a "finesse" army the hard way (IE, playing your ass off and still needing to get lucky if playing vs. someone good).

This brings me to...

- Why 1500 pt armies?: I think most would agree that it is much harder to find a truly balanced 1500 pt list than it is to create a 2K one. I believe this mental exercise will better prepare myself and hopefully others to examine what kind of lists they are writing and what kind of elements fit into those lists.

Hopefully by the end of this novel you have disagreed with me in some key areas. You should talk about those in the comments section so we can be cool internet buddies and attempt to learn from each other.

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