Kirb your enthusiasm!


"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

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Email in: Those Pesky Dark Eldar [DE weaknesses]

"Kirby, Brother Ed here again. I have been reading the barrage of DE lists and list requests as I strive to understand these new foes suddenly appearing on tables across the galaxy. But, since I don't play them, most of my interest has been in warning myself what to expect from the codex. We have a couple Flavor of the Month guys at the local store so I've clashed with them a couple times, but have generally come out worse for the wear managing to score victories only when they overextend or when my dice stop hating me for a few minutes and let me blow up some raiders.

As I was scanning more lists again today trying to understand the capabilities of the army, it occurred to me "Why not just ask Kirby and Company?"

So, instead of another email on how to make the DE better, tighter, more synergistic, etc., what about them sucks? What inherant weaknesses (aside from T3) should we be looking to exploit? What weapons systems, tactics, and such lay hurt down? Basically, how does one smear these bondage loving, sado-masochistic space elves across the table back to the dark corners that spawned them?

Proud member of the Pink Army,
Brother Ed"

Well the most obvious issue with DE is they are very much based on firepower. For their points they can inflict ridiculous amounts of wounds on models. Consider a Venom is 65 points, that's 16.25 points per wound on anything with a T value. Not great compared to things like Ord Barrage but compared to the standard Marine, that's 5-8 points more efficient. Done. To balance this obviously, DE are very fragile. The majority of their vehicles are AV10, open-topped with only Heavy Support having higher AV (max 11) or not open-topped. Their infantry are for the majority T3 (except for Haemon Coven things like Wracks, Grotesques, Talos, etc.) but can get FNP which improves their survivability significantly.

So what are DE weak against? Anything with a lot of medium strength, high rate of fire guns. Autocannons, assault cannons, Shuriken Cannons, etc. are all inflicting Instant Death and the majority of DE models and have the strength and rate of fire to get through DE vehicle armor and their 5++ invul. You will have to get used to sacrificing units so their individual units get stronger but you can protect your army as a whole. Yes sacrifice units play into DE hands with them gaining FNP tokens but it's better to lose a single unit than have multiple units tied up. They are very mobile as well and have a bunch of deployment options so slowing their mobility by tying squads up and suppression fire is also important.

Reserving is also a key tactic. Katie wants me to write a whole post on this which I just might but knowing when to reserve everything, bubble-wrap everything or castle up is important. DE can put out a lot of quick firepower with multiple lances and blasters and then crush infantry inside with poisoned shots/templates so if your army isn't capable of withstanding this and they have the first turn or have Vect, deploy defensively.

Stopping them from assaulting things you don't want assaulted is also important (i.e. use sacrifices). Even without Furious Charge you obviously want to be assaulting with your important units rather than them being assaulted. This means you need to skimmer block well as Dark Eldar transports are open-topped. This means parking units you are 'happy' losing where the skimmer wants to land. This means they either have to boost over the unit or land short of their target.

Those are all quick things off the top of my head. Thoughts anyone else?

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