Thursday, June 30, 2011

Dark Eldar Force Org slot Rankings

In this article I will be ranking the top unit\selection in each of the different force organization categories along with a runner-up for my favorite S&M loving space elves, The Dark Eldar.  I have been playing Dark Eldar for a few years and have been able to put most of the units in the new codex through their paces in-game.  I am not claiming to be an undefeated Warhammer superstar like most posters on this grand ole’ innanet hype themselves up as.  I have won my fair share of games using the new codex and this article is more my personal choices in each slot for a regular game, not what fits best for a super-competitive 3+ game tournament.  For anyone not familiar with Dark Eldar  in the 40k setting, they are a perfect example of a 'Glass Cannon'.  Which means that they can dish out an incredibly large amount of punishment, but in general cannot take it.


Business begins after the jump!



Each force organization slot will have two listed units; ‘The Balls’ which is in my opinion the best selection for the slot and a ‘Runner Up’ who falls just a bit short of the glory of being numero uno.  The only exception to this is that I broke the HQ slot into named and generic selections and rated them both separately.  I did not take specific theme builds into account for the most part, so if running Baron Sathonyx with giant Hellion squads is your thing you might be disappointed.  Feel free to post your disagreements in the comments section!

Heavy Support

The Balls – Ravager
This thing is consistent, doesn’t cost very much, and provides your army with speed and the ability to bring a large amount of firepower to bear after moving.  Throw in Night Shields and FlickerFields and Ravager’s are unmatched.

Runner Up – Talos
Outfitted correctly this thing is a beast in close combat. With its high strength and toughness, and the ability to have up to 8 attacks on the charge it can cause massive damage.  It can make short work of enemy Dreadnought’s or knock a Stormraven out of the sky with ease.  Its weakness when compared to the rest of the DE army is definitely a lack of speed, and a legit argument can be made for the Razorwing Jet Fighter in this slot instead.

Fast Attack

The Balls – Reaver
Reaver Jetbikes are my favorite fast attack unit by far.  I like their turbo-boosting gear and related rules and the option to add heat lances or blasters as a shooty option gives them great versatility. I personally need to work on restraint and picking my spots better with these guys as I have a tendency to rush them into bad situations, but they usually draw so much attention that it lets me maneuver the rest of my army into advantageous positions.

Runner Up – Beastmasters
I am not a big fan of hellions or scourges, so Beastmasters (and their associated beasties) kind of default into this spot.  The downside is the way GW sells these models it is incredibly expensive to just get a playable squad of these guys and their assorted beasts, but they can definitely be effective if you are willing.

Troops

The Balls – Kabalite Warriors
These guys are not too expensive, and while their additional weapon options for the squad are not quite what they used to be, they are still functional.  They have trouble holding objectives and you want to keep them out of close combat but they are still the best option at the troop slot.

Runner Up – Wracks
Now this selection is slightly cheating as you can only take Wracks as a troop squad instead of in their normal Elite slot if you bring a Haemonculus HQ, but in any objective based game you will probably need these guys to stand much of a shot.  They come with feel no pain and two poisoned close combat weapons out of the box and are also fairly cheap.

Elite

The Balls – Incubi
This is probably my most controversial pick here as most DE players do not seem to use these guys. I like to pair them with an HQ and have a melee hammer that I can assault into whatever target I manage to get out in the open with my dark lances.  While Incubi are pricey, they have good WS, Initiative, power weapons and are one of the only options in the army with a 3+ armor save so they have the potential to survive some shooting.

Runner Up – Kabalite Trueborn
These guys are more expensive versions of Kabalite Warriors with the only major base difference being another attack in close combat.  The real reason these guys are good are their options for extra equipment.  In a small squad you can replace 80 percent of the weapons with Blasters and stick them in a Venom transport to have a mobile and potentially deadly fire team, among other configurations.

Honorable Mention – Hekatrix Bloodbrides
Basically more expensive Wyches with better equipment options.  I like to take squads of 9 of these with three ‘Shardnet and Impalers’ to control combat and run them with one of my HQ selections like Lady Malys or even Lelith.  Just like normal Wyches though they die with the quickness to any shooting attacks.

HQ – Special Characters

The Balls – Duke Sliscus
The value of this guy is off the charts in my opinion.  He comes with a Shadow Field (2+ invulnerable save until a fail) and a plethora of special rules to take advantage of.  His ability to improve the effectiveness of all splinter weaponry in any squad he is a part of makes it easy to find a fit for him and can lead to some brutal rounds of fire, and the ability to roll two dice when determining combat drugs can be very useful if you happen to be playing a lot of Reavers, or versions of Wyches.  He can also allow all Raiders, Ravagers, and Venoms the ability to deepstrike which can be an unexpected surprise for your opponent.

Runner Up – Lady Malys
Again, the value here seems excellent to me.  Not only does she get 6 power weapon attacks standing still (at least until doubles are rolled for her bonus attacks) but they come at a high initiative and she is one of the only special characters to have an invulnerable save not granted by an item that can fail.  Also, her pre-cognizant ability to re-deploy d3 units at the beginning of the game can come in handy.  Lastly she is immune to psychic powers as is any squad she joins, which can be very useful depending on the matchup.

HQ – Generic

The Balls – Archon
The Archon is very solid as an HQ choice.  Slap a Shadow Field and Agoniser on him and you have a very capable close combat HQ option that I like to pair with a squad of Incubi.

Runner Up – Haemonculus
It is difficult to not give these guys ‘The Balls’ rating they seem to deserve, and I can definitely see the argument for it.  Not only are they cheap without any gear, but they come with a pain token and allow you to take wracks as troops at no extra cost.  If you join one with a squad of wracks to begin the game then not only do they have Feel No Pain but also Furious Charge.  Add to that the fact that you can take up to 3 Haemonculi as a single HQ choice and all the different equipment you have at your disposal, including Hexrifles and Webway Portals (one of the few units that can take them as equipment), and you have a very solid HQ option while not sinking too many points into it.

So that's how we feel about the ol' whips and chains.  What's your favorite unit in the new codex? most improved? Let us know in the comments!

2 comments:

  1. I love the way they evolved the Dark Eldar codex. It has so many viable options in every FOC slot. I really think they can be a capable army in a lot of different configurations. Good post!

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  2. My favorite balls are the venoms. I just wish they would let Harlequins ride in them like they used to. Giving them no options but to take a shadowseer makes me sad.

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