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Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Email in: dark eldar army with grotesques


I've been keeping up with the blog for a good while now and have enjoyed all of the articles. Unfortunately as a primarily Necron player not much came my way outside of the general articles or just figuring out my enemies from the advice given on how to play the other armies. But now I have a new army brewing. I had always liked the idea of the Dark Eldar, and now that my Necrons are mostly finished I feel ready to delve into a new realm of debauchery. Looking over the codex and the models I love most everything, but the modeling potential of one unit in particular caught my eye: Grotesques. Giant Frankenmonsters? Yes please! Unfortunately they require an independent character to guarantee they'll get anywhere, for how tough T5 is they feel a bit fragile (maybe this is just because I'm used to my Necrons), and their speed either requires a webway portal or a small squad to fit into a Raider if you want them to see combat. Then once you're in combat their punch is a bit lackluster as it completely relies on torrenting an enemy with wounds, so if you want to bust through armor (not AV, I think they'll do fine against that) you need your IC to be packing the heat. I've designed two Coven lists with them participating, but I'm not comfortable with either one.

Make sure you check out Chumby's Necron summary post we imported over for Old Stuff Day. About everything you need to know with Necrons :P. I think the only way Grots are viable is with Urien who is meh at best. By giving them that extra strength bump they are scarier in combat but still suffer from the issues you outlined, though T5/FNP is nothing to sneer at.

The first is a 1000 point list because my group mostly plays with 1k or 1.5k armies.

HQ: Haemonculus Ancient w/ liquifier and agoniser - 110

Elites: 4 Grotesques - 245
w/ liquifier
w/ Aberration equipped with scissorhand
w/ Raider transport equipped with flickerfield

Troops: 2x10 Wracks - 440
w/ two liquifiers
w/ Acothyst equipped with agoniser
w/ Raider transport equipped with flickerfield

Heavy Support: 2 Cronos Parasite Engines - 200
w/ Spirit Vortex

You don't really need Cronos engines here. Everyone starts with a least one pain token and you're handing out a 2nd one to the Grots. You'll basically have an over-abundance of tokens really quickly which won't benefit your army. I'd rather see Talos here which can actually hurt something or since you're running Raiders get some bog standard Ravagers for more anti-tank firepower. Not a really balanced list but still themed.

The anti-tank in this list is nearly nonexistent, and that worries me. I'm not sure about the agonisers on the Wracks, but when I tested the list without whenever they hit combat things got a bit dicey, so the added punch would be nice. The plan was to fly around liquifying opponents until they were weak enough to assault, and to have the Cronoi(?) march up the field double-templating anything they got close to.

The second list is a 2000 point list (with too many leftover points) that I wouldn't get to use too often, but I would enjoy it as the higher points allow for more diverse armies (and for Dark Eldar opens up Webway Portals as a legitimate option).

HQ: 3x Haemonculi w/ Liquifiers and Webway Portals - 285
2x Haemonculi Ancients w/ Liquifiers and Agonisers - 220

Elites: 2x5 Grotesques w/ Liquifier and Aberration w/ Scissorhand - 420

Troops: 3x8 Wracks w/ Liquifier, Acothyst, and Raider Transport w/ Flickerfield - 510

Fast Attack: 2x5 Scourges w/ 2 Heat Lances - 268

Heavy Support: 2x Taloi w/ Chain Flails, extra CCW, and Twin-Linked Heat Lance - 270

Much better in terms of anti-tank but you've got over 500 points invested in HQs when it's not needed. Here is where Urien helps I think as you can buff your Grots and hand out quite a few pain tokens whilst not breaking the bank. Otherwise I'd just go with 2x Haemons. If you're looking for a WWP perhaps a Harlie unit (I'm sure you can fit the fluff in somehow...)? This gives you more access to some melta weapons as well. Outside of that I'm not really sold on the three Raiders in the list. They can't come through the portal and are the only mech on the field so won't last too long.

In this list the plan is to only start the Wracks with WWP toting Haemonculi on the table in their Raiders and have at least one drop a portal on the first turn (preferably keeping them out of sight if possible). Again I feel anti-tank is a weakness, but I tried to mitigate that problem with the addition of the Scourges and Taloi carrying heat lances.

I'm not really comfortable with either one of these lists at all, so I'd like to ask for your help. I really want to use Grotesques because I have awesome models/conversions lined up to take the field, and I don't want to waste them. In the end I guess I'm not really asking for a list review, but instead I'm asking for recommendations on how to build a list around Grotesques, who as far as I've seen so far are one of the more subpar choices in the codex.

Thank you very much!


If you don't want to go fully themed I think two units of Grots in Raiders with a more 'standard' Dark Eldar template built around them works fine. Something like Warriors/MSU Wracks as Troops, Reavers in FA and Ravagers or Razorwings in Heavy. If you wanted to make it WWP based I'd consider a Harlie unit for Shadowseer fun and start running things like Scourges, Talos, Grots, Wyches, etc. out of the Portal. I've done a fully themed list for someone before here and whilst it's not fantastic, it's not terrible either. Hope this gives you some ideas.

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