Sunday, April 7, 2013

The final conclusions... testing for 6th and Adepticon

When we last left our intrepid Dark Eldar, they had chosen to take advantage of the Night Fighting in the first turn by deploying everything to start the game.

As you saw, they had hustled over to the right side of the board, where some objectives were waiting.  On their left side, however, waited an awful lot of tough CSM units, including the Forgefiend.

On the first turn, I managed to roll nothing but 1's for all the enhanced cover saves, which rendered  the Cronos useless (again) and almost brought down the raider with the Grotesques.  I am starting to realize that against any sort of space marine armies, as much as possible stays off the board, and whatever is on will just hide as much as possible.

The jetbikes were safe over here for now, since they had turbo boosted, and they were in cover.  However, the dreaded Hell Drake was yet to arrive, as were 2 other units of Khorne CSM's.

This was the 'high point' for the Dark Eldar, as they killed a lone obliterator, and a few space marines.  Unfortunately, I had to mover everything I had to shoot at them into relatively open spaces, and that would make things ugly.

A Venom failed its save and crashed to the ground, killing 4 of the 5 Wyches inside.  The Cronos was shot down as well.

Both of the fliers showed up, so I knew that it was either now or never.  With the fly over capacity of the Hell Drake, I knew I was going to lose one of the vehicles.

In desperation, I tried to get the Archon's unit into the main unit of Khorne marines.  The spacing did not work out too well, and that was not the only thing.  The shooting by the Razorwing only killed a few marines, and dozens of other shots also did nothing.  So, they would be facing a mostly intact squad, even though half the army shot at them.

As you can see, many more CSM's were waiting behind the first squad, so this gambit was going to fail big time.  The Grotesques could not make the charge distance to that squad of Khorne marines, which meant disaster was imminent.

As expected, the Archon and the Incubi were completely wiped out.  I issued a challenge with Asharah, which was bypassed by Kharn, and taken by the unit champ instead.  Free to do what he wanted, Kharn killed all the Incubi by himself with no problem.

The next turn, the Hell Drake flew over the Razorwing, blowing it up.  The Grotesques were wiped out by shooting and assaults by the main Khorne squad and Kharn.  The Fiend shot down the Grotesque's Raider.

With things looking very bleak on the left, my hope was that the big jetbike squad could cut down the squad of space marines in the fortress.  This might have caused the big units of Khorne marines to head in that direction, since there was an objective worth 4 points sitting there, and the Jetbikes counted as a scoring unit in this scenario.

 The big squad of jetbikes did execute that flyover on the CSM squad in the fortress.  Between the bladevanes, cluster caltrops, and the shooting from the other jetbike squad behind them, dozens of hits were inflicted on the small squad.  Sadly, only 3 marines were taken down.

That meant the big jetbike squad would be easily wiped out on the next turn.  The Raptors never even had a chance to arrive, as the game was done on turn 3.  Even if the CSM didn't fire a single shot for the rest of the game, they already had more than enough VP's to win.

If they did shoot, whatever was left of the Dark Eldar would have been blown away very quickly.

What we have learned about the Dark Eldar in this edition is that against non space marine armies (we did tests against Demons and Imperial Guard), this army can be quite deadly.

However, against anything with a 3+ save, you can forget it.  We tried everything, even doing some small little tests and "what if's" during and after the massacres, such as this latest debacle.  Nothing mattered, as DE weapons are quite useless against what the marines bring to the table.

Dark Eldar do really nasty stuff to low toughness, low save armies, but they fail in armor, shooting (both distance and AP), and even in combat, against those space marines.  I had a feeling this would be the case, but seeing it happen in front of you was less enjoyable.

So, let's hope that I only play against  low save armies at Adepticon!  

On the other hand, if I play against marines every game, I will have plenty of time to relax between rounds!  If the dealer area in in the tournament room as it has been, I might actually get to check it out. :-)


  1. Do not get discouraged! Dark Eldar are a very complicated army, and are not an easy one to learn at all. It takes some time to really get used to them, but once you do, they are incredibly fun to play! Play more games, learn what the enemy can do and dare to be bold in your tactical decisions - the Dark Eldar are about the momentum, and can be likened to a shard of glass - you either build up speed and skillfully slash anything open in your way, or you shatter against a brick wall.

    You could also drop by the forum Dark City - - and read some tactics articles there. Those could also really help you to deal with your current problems with marine armies.

    1. Thanks! It really comes down to simple math. SM's have the higher toughness, better saves, and more long range weapons. The snap shot/overwatch stuff makes assaulting very dangerous for the DE no matter what.

      Against stuff that is as squishy as the DE, this army has executed the same kind of 3rd turn massacre as the space marines did to them :-) It just has no chance against triple Hell Drakes!

  2. Noooooooooo

    Its painful to see such beautiful army lose to some inferior looking Khornites..
    My heart hurts !

    From what I read ( I don't play 40k for many years now just play with the miniatures) your army is not very cheesy.
    Ttuff like Blasterborn in Venom and similar min maxed spam tactic that make DE deadly..

    1. Well, the armies that I create are based around a specific story (finalizing the writing for these guys!) instead of whatever is cheezy, since it's more fun for me. :-)

      Besides, the rules swing so wildly from one extreme to the next, a nasty list becomes unplayable or even illegal. Might as well have the fun with it instead! Plus, the idea behind the painting of my own armies if to experiment with new painting and basing techniques, as I did with these guys...

  3. Can't really say I like the booster thing much, but your battle looked cool. Oh, and that pillar, with the red on, it's brill.

  4. Hi ,

    I admire you paintings of DE . i have DE army of my own .... not so skillfuly painded but its nice .
    I was not sure on how many points the game is played but my list : 1850pts
    Archon -Husk Blade , Shadow Field ,combat Drugs, Phantasm Grenade launcher , Soul trap 170pts
    9 incubi -198 pts
    Raider - Enhanced aethersails, Night Shields 75 pts

    3x 10 Kabalites - Spliter Cannon ,Blaster 115pts
    3x Raider - Splinter racks, night Shields 80pts

    5 Wytches - Haiwyre Grenades 60
    Venom Dual Splinter cannon 65
    2x 6 Reavers - Cluster Caltrops 152

    2x Ravager 105 pts
    Void Bomber - 2x Necrotoxin missiles ,Flicker Field 175 pts

    How this Army Works The raiders with Cabalites are mobile gunboats with twinlinked splinter rifles The raiders them selfs blast at armor . incubi with HQ are counter charge unit if a blob gets too close . Wytches work as a anti mechanized threat or if they survive a run/grab turn 4 unit . Also experimenting with Eldar allies and other variants . Cheers