Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Beasts & Bodyguards Part Two - What I think of Clawed Fiends [Dark Eldar]

For my second article in this series we look at the big monster from the beastpack; the Clawed Fiend.  Compared to the Dark Eldar's other Toughness 5 monsters (the other two being Sslyths and Grotesques) the Clawed Fiends are the fastest, strike earliest (higher initiative), and hit with more attacks on the charge (unless the Grotesques are outnumbered), and they do this at the lowest cost per wound.  So why aren't these models seen more often, and what do I think of them ?

There are a number of reasons why this model is rarely seem on the gaming table.  The first is that the model is finecast and therefore expensive, next the model comes in only one pose, putting off modelers who don't like identical models in a group and don't want to convert finecast.

However a quick google picture search will show lots of examples of much cheaper alternatives.  This goes for all the beastpack models as this comparison shows:

A good example of an alternative conversion is the pic below from Dave Taylor Miniature's blog:
based on Undead Vargheists, but a google search will bring up loads of other examples from conversions based on Warhammer Ogres to Privateer Press and other manufacturer models.  Dark Eldar is great for conversions so let your imagination go wild.

So now we have got the cost and modelling issues out of the way, how good are Clawed Fiends on the battlefield.  The obvious comparison is against Grotesques & Sslyth, and the comparison starts off well with Clawed Fiends being the cheapest per wound, and being Beasts they are fast across the battlefield, are not slowed by terrain meaning they don't need (even if they could take one) a transport, and more importantly aren't slowed to infantry speed if they lose a paper thin transport.

The pluses keep coming:  Clawed Fiends have a high enough initiative that they strike before Marines (unlike both Grotesques & Sslyths).

So with these significant strengths what are their weaknesses:

The first is that they are only WS3 not 4 like the rest of the Dark Eldar army.  This means that they will get hit easier by WS4 opponents.  However it does not affect what they hit on against WS4, 5 or 6.  If you pick the right target and strike first doing enough damage that there aren't too many attacks coming back you can mitigate this issue.

The big weakness against their main competitors, is that the Clawed Fiends are fragile.  Grotesques get a 6+ armour save and Feel No Pain, Sslyths get a 5+ armour save and Feel No Pain.  Clawed Fiends get a 6+ armour save and that's it, and they don't have Power from Pain to get any bonus like the Grotesques later in the game.

Lastly Clawed Fiends have horrible leadership, and that it the same for their rivals (Grotesques and Sslyths), however rather than having to include a expensive independent character like Grotesques, they can include a 10 point beastmaster upping the unit's leadership to 8.  The beastmaster should be placed at the back of the unit, and if you have two beastmasters they shouldn't be placed close to each other to avoid them both being taken out with one enemy volley.

Overall the Clawed Fiend epitimises the Dark Eldar way of war.  They hit fast and hard but are very fragile.  To get the best out of them advance through cover to get a cover save (it doesn't slow you down after all), and hit targets that are not going to swing back with a decent number of attacks and definitely not high strength attacks (as having a high toughness is their only protection).

Even if they distract the opponent firepower, even the fragile Clawed Fiends should tie up a decent about of the enemy's firepower that would otherwise kill serious chunks of the rest of the Dark Eldar force.  Meltaguns and Lascannons will only knock off one wound, and they may even by saved by a cover save.

If you have a few aggressive elements of your army, Clawed Fiends can help give you the critical mass so that some of those elements get through.  In some games my Clawed Fiends have been seen as a huge threat and were taken out in two turns, but that allowed my Krymerae to get to assault the enemy, sometime it's the other way round.  Other times they are ignored in favour of the usual units people expect to see in a Dark Eldar army and know are good, Ravagers, Venoms, Grotesques.

Preferred targets for the Clawed Fiends are S3 T3 models (because they'll find it hard to wound the Fiends while being wounded easily by them), units with not too many attacks, particularly if they are Init4 or lower and will strike after the Fiends. Non-Walker vehicles with rear armour 10 or 11 are also good targets (5 charging fiends average 3.4 hull points against rear armour 11 and twice as much against rear armour 10).

Watch out for str10 weapons, unfortunately on the increase with the new Eldar.  However pick your targets well and plan your approach and Clawed Fiends can do well.

Now what if we combine Krymerae from my last article with Clawed Fiends to try and get the best of both worlds.  The Clawed Fiends can bring the majority toughness 5, while the Krymerae can bring the 5++ inv save.

Say 1 Beastmaster, 4 Krymerae & 4 Clawed Fiends for a nice 170 pts.  It's a nice unit with majority toughness 5, lots of attacks on the charge (16 str 4, and 24 str 5) on a very fast platform.

The limiting factor is the leadership 8.  You shouldn't put to many points into a unit that is only leadership 8, so this is about as large as I'd go. Adding another Krymerae and Clawed Fiends puts the unit cost past 200, which is a large amount for such a fragile unit.

The beaststar is dead...long live the beaststar !!!

So after saying that the beastpack is too fragile and has poor leadership to have a big unit, if you did want to go this way this is what I would do:

Have 6 Krymerar and 6 Clawed Fiends - you want as much hitting power from the max 12 models you can take while maintaining majority toughness 5.
Then add an allied Eldar Autarch with Swooping Hawk wings and a banshee mask (remember eldar charaters on jetbikes no longer have fleet with the new codex).  Finally give the Autarch the Shard of Anaris to make him fearless.

The beastpack costs 240 pts, with Autarch pushing the total past 350 pts.  But you have a fast unit that starts of with 27 majority T5 wounds that have Krymerae at the front with their 5++ inv save, and best yet no one can overwatch them when they charge.  The beastpack alone puts out 24 Str 4 and 36 Str 5 attacks on the charge :)  Still has some big weaknesses, like a wraithknight would laugh at their attacks and them stomp them into next week, but against most units it will just roll over them.

Well that's it for Clawed Fiends, probably the least used out of the Dark Eldar assault units, however it's a unit that has a nice niche, and I think should be considered.

What's your thoughts and experiences with the Clawed Fiends ?  Do you run them alone or in a mixed beastpack ? Written them off as not worth it - let me know your thoughts.


Up next Sslyths !!

Friday, 12 June 2015

Beasts & Bodyguards Part One - What I think of Krymerae [Dark Eldar]


Welcome to the first of a 4 part series exploring the monsters of the Dark Eldar, and what I think of them.  A warning I won't be going to into the specific rules of units, but more about how I use them and what I like or dislike about them.

When I was about to start this series I came across a question on facebook: "Anyone use Khymerae? I'm thinking of trying them again".

Now to give some context Dark Eldar beastpacks were a lynchpin of a top Eldar/Dark Eldar army build in the previous codex.  In that codex you could take 1-5 beastmasters and each beastmaster could take either 1 Clawed Fiend, 1-2 Razorwing Flocks or 1-5 Krymerae.  A common build was to build a resilient and large beaststar made up of 5 Beastmasters and 25 Krymerae (who back then had a 4+ inv save), add to that a Farseer that would give the beastpack fortune and/or invisibility.  The Farseer could keep up with the beastpack with a jetbike and he could make them fearless with a relic if he joined them.  To top it off an old Special Character, the Baron, could join the unit giving them Stealth and Hit&Run.

In the new codex this all changed.  The Baron was gone, and the max size of the beastpack was reduced to 12, although you were free to pick any combination of models (up to 12 in total).  The Krymera's invulnerable save was also reduced from 4++ to just having the daemon rule, so having a 5++.  The beaststar was dead !

However Krymerae did go down from 12 to 10 pts and increased from T3 to T4, and you could take less beastmaster tax, as you only need to take one to get Ld8, so in my eyes if you didn't use the beaststar before they were just as good as before.

Here's my response to the Facebook post:

"1 or 2 beastmasters and 10-11 krymerae is a great unit for 120 pts. They are lightning fast (speed and initiative) and throw out a bucket of str4 attacks. They are fragile and only ld8 (from the beastmasters), but the damage output for the cost is great.

Compare them to 3 Grotesques (105pts) against 1 beastmaster and 10 krymerae (110 pts). If outnumbered (to get Ramage) the Grots will kill on average 3.1 marines vs 3.3 marines for the krymerae, against weaker opponents the krymerae will do better than the Grots due to the Grots already wounding marines 8 out of every 9 hits, so can't get much better. Lastly the Grots need a transport and a independent character to give them Ld above 4.

A great example of the pros and cons of Krymerae and the beastpack in general is my game against Eldar last night. For assault I had a Court of the Archon (Lharmaens & Sslyths) in a raider, Archon with 4 Grots in a Raider, a Beastpack (Beastmaster & 10 Krymerae) and a 2nd Beastpack (Beastmaster with 4 Clawed Fiends).

Both raiders, along with 2 Venoms were popped turn 1 before I got to move. Turn 2 my Eldar opponent saw the Clawed Fiends and Grots as issues, and wiped out the Clawed Fiends, and did a few wounds to the Grots. My turn 2 the Krymerae multi assaulted 3 ScatBikes and 4 Dark Reapers, making the Bikes flee, and killing the remaining Dark Reapers in the Eldar turn, Turn 3 they killed a Hornet, and got shot at by a Wave Serpent and lost 3 models (just 4 shots) but then killed another Hornet turn 4. The Court killed a wraithlord from shooting and assaulted and killed 5 Fire Dragons turn 4. The Grots and Archon (no Shadow Field) absorbed loads of Firepower and eventually charged a killed a 2nd wraithlord.

The beastpacks showed how fragile they are (Clawed Fiends dying easily, and the Krymerae losing models from few shots), but also their speed and their hitting power. If the Krymerar don't stand out as the immediate threat they can do wonders if the opponents leaves them alone for a turn to allow them a turn 2 charge. My opponent had played my army before and that time the Krymerae had charged and killed a wave serpent turn 2, but with venoms, ravagers, 3 toughness 5 assault units (Clawed Fiends, Grots & Sslyths) he left the Krymerae alone.

Make no mistake if any opponent decided to give the Krymerae attention they will die easily and do nothing, but in my game it would have meant leaving something out of the raiders with assault troops, venoms, ravagers or clawed fiends untouched. Force your opponent to make hard decisions and they are more likely to get it wrong.

If you couldn't guess I'm a big fan of Krymerae, and never write a list without them :)"

What's you experiences of Krymerae ?  Agree or disagree with my opinion, either way let me know your view.

Which monster will be up next ?


Thursday, 12 February 2015

Moto.Tronica Scenery Pack Unboxing... and Boxing (Infinity Terrain)


With the new Icestorm starter set there a very nice scenery set, which is now available to buy seperately.

The scenery pack is called the Moto.tronica Scenery Pack, and contains all that is pictured in the picture above; 4 large buildings and 6 smaller crates, and a 3' by 2' mat.

The pack is available direct from Corvus Belli (the makers of Infinity) or many independant stockists, and should cost £9-10.

I got my copy a few days and eagerly opened it up.  The package was encased in cellophane, and as the mat is folded into 1/8ths it was quite compact (about the size of an A4 piece of paper and 1-2 cm thick):

I quickly laid the pieces out:

There were 2 of each design, and the pack game a quick reference sheet:

Each building/crate comes as one complete piece, so there is no cutting or glueing involved, and after a quick scan of the instructions I was away:

and in a few minutes I had assembled the lot:

The buildings are made out of thin glossy card, look good, and the main buildings even have stairs on them which helps from a gaming points of view.

Models will sit on them fine, but a clumsy hand could ruin one, and it means they have to be stored carefully so they don't get damaged by something leaning on them.

Overall, for the cost, I think this terrain pack is an excellent start to an Infinity terrain collection, and allows you to get started immediately.  And for the price of you wreak one at £9-10 for the set I'm teampted to buy another one for spares.

It allows you to spend more money on buying more models, particularly as alot of 40k terrain people has does not completely block Line of Sight.

I've bought some Infinity Holo Ads to complement this terrain:
and I can't wait to have some games of 3rd edition, which should at the end of this month.


Friday, 6 February 2015

Facing The Grey Tide: Painting Challenge - Part 03 - January (Wolves Progress & lists for 1k Highlander event )


Well it's been a quick 2 weeks since my last update, where my progress was less than stellar.  I had only started my Dec month challenge, but I had made changes to my painting area, if you can call it that:
[how it was - just a bit of a blocker to getting anything done]
and I had made the following progress by late Jan:

In the last 2 weeks I had a painting & catch-up evening with a mate, and I got a bit of painting done one evening this week (the only evening I didn't bring my work laptop home).

My 2 weeks of  progress

I have painted the silver on the belt feed, plasma cables & weapon nozzles, I've done the blue on the smaller power cables, I've done the shoulder pad edges, and, so I could show the final colour scheme, I painted light grey on the leader's weapons and one of the long fangs heavy bolter.

Still lots to do such as touching up the lighter colours (light blue & light grey), detailing, some washes, highlighting all the colours I have done so far etc., but here's he progress so far:
and you can just see 4 undercoated trueborn (part of the January challenge) in the background.

As I started the challenge in mid December, it's been 6 weeks for this progress - man I paint slow, but I suppose any progress is good.  I'll have to give the Wolves another game when I get these models painted.


For the 1000 point Highlander event I looked myself into I know I won't get enough of the new Dark Eldar models painted in time, plus I just couldn't see a Dark Eldar Highlander list doing at all well with the restriction of only 1 of each transport.  Therefore for that tournament I will be taking my Tau and I was think of something like:

10 Fire Warriors
17 Kroot (with Sniper rounds)
3 Broadsides with 6 Drones
3 Marksmen with 9 Sniper Drones

Let me know your thoughts on the Tau list, and for comparison here's the Dark Eldar list I was tempted to try out:

Archon (Agoniser)
1 Lharmaean & 4 Sslyths
  Venom (2 Splinter Cannons)
4 Grotesques
  Raider (Disintegrator Cannon)
Beastpack: 1 Beastmaster, 5 Clawed Fiends, 4 Krymarae
5 Warriors
5 Warriors
Ravager (3 Dark Lances)
Razorwing Jetfighter (2 Dark Lances)

Hoping for more painting progress over the next few weeks to catch-up.  I have the half term week off work, so I'm hoping once the kids are asleep I can do some painting each night, however the other half wants me to watch Supernatural with her, and there is that Game of Thrones boxset that my friend lent me...


Friday, 23 January 2015

Facing The Grey Tide: Painting Challenge - Part 02 - December (Progress and Quick Wolves vs Nids battle report)

So we are getting towards the end of January, and the blog has been depressingly silent.

That has mainly been because of my embarrassment from completely FAILing so bad at the December portion of the Challenge.

Apart from finishing off models not being the most exciting thing in the world, my painting work space was, to put it bluntly, not really helping:

Way too many projects on the go at once, and if the desk was bad enough the area in front of the desk made it harder:

As I mentioned in my last post I was due to have a have a game over the xmas break against a mate with his Nids with my Space Wolves.  It's nearly an xmas tradition that my mate's Nids give my Wolves a good kicking, but I was determined to change that !  Deciding on my list I thought it would be better to have a 2nd squad of long fangs rather than a Predator.  So effectively I changed my December challenge, and having to have the models all assembled gave me more of an incentive to get them ready.  As well as assembling the long fangs I got the last two thunderwolf riders assembled.

Although the battle was short and sweet I leant about my army and had a fun game.

A quick recap of the list I took was:

Canis with 17 Fenrusian Wolves
6 Thunderwolf Cav
Iron Priest on Thunderwolf,with 10 Skyclaws
5 Scouts
10 Bloodclaws in a Drop Pod
10 Grey Hunters in a Drop Pod
6 Long Fangs with 5 Missile Launcher in a Drop Pod
6 Long Fangs with 2 Heavy Bolters & 3 Plasma Cannons

The Wolves set-up
The Nids set-up.  The nearest MC is being an Exocrine, and I drop podded on the far right of the pic]
Turn 1 started well with the 2 units of 15 gaunts that had moved a bit forwards to allow the 24" range exorcrines to fire was charged by the Wolves, Cav & Assault Marines, while the Bloodclaws and Grey Hunters came down on a flank next to the Nids.

The assault was brutal and all 30 gaunts died in the assault.

However the whole Nid army was at optimal firing ranges, and the Wolves were wiped out, and the Cav was bought down to 2 models (I had lost a few Wolves, and 1 thunderwolf on the Nids first turn shooting from an Exocrine and a Hive Tyrant).  Canis and the remaining thunderwolves were then charged by a big gaunt unit with a Prime.  Although Canis put up a brave fight slicing gaunts left, right and centre (he had 18 attacks over 2 combat phases due to counter attack and rampage) he was eventually dragged down, and the Prime finished of the thunderwolves easily.

On the flank the Iron Priest and Assault marines were just about to kill an exocrine (before we called the game), however the Bloodclaws were tied up in combat by Hive Guard.

The number of very accurate (twin-linked from a formation) large blasts from the Nids took it's toll, not to mention the low AP shots from the exocrines.  As well as being a bit over confident, I attacked along a wide front (although to be fair I had to set-up first and then was seized on), which meant all of the Nids could fire back at optimal range.  Also I was too cautious (as always) with the drop pods meaning the units did not have much effect on the game, they should have been placed more in the middle so they could help assault the middle of the nid lines on the following turn.  Even if they had disrupted the charges and only two of the three assault units had got in on turn 1 it would have be better because with the gaunts being fearless both sides would have been locked in combat (safe from any Nid shooting).

I like the list through.  The only thing I'd like to change would be the scouts, they did nothing before we called the game, and they were only taken to give me a 2nd Elite so I could run the Suppliment detachment which gives thunderwolves and wolf guard WS5.  By dropping the Long Fangs Drop Pod (although it means one of my troops has come in via normal reserves) I can upgarde the scouts to 5 Wolf Guard with Jump packs (only upgrade is melta bombs on one member).  A 2nd Iron priest would probably be more effective, but I don't want too many duplicates.

and maybe not face Exocrines, let alone where one is twin-linked :)

[to see more of my mates wonderful models, his blog is:]
So getting back to my painting progress, below is the poor progress on the Long Fangs:

So you can see 3 weeks after the deadline I'm not even near half way through.  At least I have cleared up my painting area, and the army cases around it, plus I have assembled all I need to put 1750 points on the field.

What I'm going to do is keep my Month's tasks the same, apart from switching December to the Heavy Bolter / Plasma Cannon Long Fangs squad, and adding the last Missile launcher & 2 Thunderwolf Riders.into January (to replace touching up the drop pods).

This will mean that they there is no way I can finish the January challenge on time, but I'm hoping that I will catch up over Jan & Feb.

Other news is that I've played a couple of games with my Dark Eldar, particularly trying out the new units in the painting challenge (ie. Grotesques, Court of the Archon & Clawed Fiends) and they performed very well.

To give me more of an incentive to paint I've also signed myself up to a few tournaments.  I can always take my Tau, but it will give me an incentive to try to get the Dark Eldar ready.

The events I'll be attending are:
  • a 1000 point Highlander tournament at my local GW - March
  • the A Small Matter of Honour tournament (2 games @ 1250, 2 @ 1750) at the Aldershot Game Shop - May
  • a 1750 point tournament at my local GW - May
Here's hoping more hobby progress over the next month :)


NB: With the change to December, not focusing on completing half painted models, and being reasonable and ignoring stretch goals, my Challenge Schedule is:

December:  2nd Long Fang Squad (Ancient & 6 Long Fangs with Heavy Weapons) - Late :(

January: Last Long Fang, 2 Thunderwolf Riders, 4 Trueborn - Will be Late :(

February (Double Month): Court of the Archon (4 Lhamaens, 5 Ssylths)
March: 5 Clawed Fiends (Corrupted Wraithguard)
April: 4 Grotesques (Converted from Rat Ogres and Talos parts)
May: 5 Scourges (Converted from Raider Crew with Blood Angel wings)

Friday, 5 December 2014

Facing The Grey Tide: Painting Challenge - Part 01

Painting wise since I painted up 4 Grotesques for my last tournament, my painting has ground to a halt.

Being able to play in my local GW which allows some unpainted models (not that I've done much of that either) and having no tournament on the horizon has really zapped my enthusiasm.  What's worse is that I also have quite a few Space Wolves sitting on my desk in various states, from just assembled, uncoated, needing a repaint to nearly finished,

Then from out of the blogshere Evan over at Facing the Grey Tide threw down a painting challenge inspired by the old White Dwarf series Tale of Four Gamers:

The goal is very open, you set your own spending limit a month that you aim to get painted each month, they suggest $75, but it's up to the individual (eg. because I paint slow I've given myself the lower limit of £35).

You also do not need to buy more models if you have (like most of us) I heap of grey plastic/resin sitting around the house.  You can use the spending limit to purchase from yourself so to speak, once you aim to paint up models to the value of your spending limit.

You can have double the budget for one month, if you want to go crazy one month (or just need to buy a big kit), and the challenge runs from 1st Dec '14 to 1st June '15.

What sets this painting challenge apart is the organisation and the community.  Here are some links:

The Rules
and most importantly the Facebook page

With new enthusiasm I looked at my models from my 3 main 40k armies and tried to decide what I wanted my goal to be:

My Tau are fully operational and competitive, they only thing I really wanted to do was a Tau Knight.  I'm sure some of you may have seen the model below from a few years ago that I recent came across:

[It's from the very talented people at Master Minis, and you can follow the link to see more stunning pics of the model]

I would also like a Ra'Varna for my Tau, but my other two 40k armies are in need of more attention.

My Dark Eldar army got affected badly by the new codex; my Wyches, Hellions & Razorwing Flocks will rarely see the gaming table, and to a lesser extent Wracks and the Voidraven Bomber may see the same fate.  I have been considering some of the big melee units, so would like a Court, another Beastmaster unit (with Clawed Fiends) and a 2nd Grot unit (using GW models so I could use them in my local GW).

My Space Wolves progress grounded to a halt when I made the decision to take my Dark Eldar rather than the Space Wolves to the last tournament.  They need a few units finished to make it to 1500 points, however I would like them to get over 2000 points, so I have lots of choice when it comes to making a 1500 or 1750 point list.

I listed all I wanted to paint, but quickly realised that at my normal pace I wouldn't get everything done, so I had to leave out Space Marine Allies (Bike Captain, Bikes & Centurions).

So without further ado, here's my schedule (for models which were part painted I reduced their value for the budget challenge (HV=half value, QV=quarter value):

Space Wolves: Complete Canis (QV)
Space Wolves: 3 Fenrusian Wolves
Space Wolves: Update old Bloodclaws, ie. weapons painting, should pad rims & basing (QV)
Space Wolves: Complete 2 Thunderwolves (HV)
Space Wolves: 2 Extra Riders (Leader with Shield, Wolf Claw)

Space Wolves: Iron Priest Conversion
Space Wolves: Squeese In Completing Drop Pods
Dark Eldar: 4 Trueborn, 2 of which with Blasters (to flesh out 2 units of 3 to 2 units of 5)
Dark Eldar: Repair 6th Venom & 3rd Ravager

and then start 3 months of monster mash...

February (Double Month)
Dark Eldar: Court of the Archon (4 Lhamaens, 5 Ssylths)

Dark Eldar: 5 Clawed Fiends (Corrupted Wraithguard)

Dark Eldar: 4 Grotesques (Converted from Rat Ogres and Talos parts)

and to finish off...

Dark Eldar: 5 Scourges (Converted from Raider Crew with Blood Angel wings)

and in case I get ahead of schedule...

Stretch Goals
Space Wolves: Void Claws (Converted with Robes)
Space Wolves: 4 Iron Priest Cyberwolves (using Ogre Sabertusks)
Space Wolves: Arjack Conversion (Robed)

and finally a sneak peek of two of the monster mash months:

Happy Gaming :)


Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Last Tournament with the Old Codex & Grotesques 1st Run Out [Dark Eldar]

So 8 days after the new codex hit I went down to Promethean Games in Bracknell for 3 games of 40k.  With the Grotesques finished to a state I could take them to the tournament (I need to finish the, vials, spines on their back & a light green wash on the edges of the weapons):

I put the army out on my kitchen table (always a good check before a tournament):
[sorry about the poor light]

The army looked sizable, and I was confident that with 22 haywire grenades I would be fine against vehicles.  However I failed to notice just how much I had reduced my ranged anti-tank.  Turn 1 I just had 1 ravager, and then a Voidraven if it turned up on turn 2.  This led to fun agressive tactics to get my assault elements (most of my army to be fair) in range.

My final army list was very slightly changed from the list I posted in my last blog post.  I lost the Hellion Helliarch with an Agoniser (41pts) to gain a 4th Grotesque (35pts) and give haywire grendes to the trueborn (6pts).  The full list used is at the bottom of this post.

Game 1 vs Orks

Getting the warlord trait which allowed me to infiltrate my warlord and 3 non vehicle units, allowed me to keep my cards close to my chest even though I was going first.

By using the infiltration I was able to refuse flank the orks and move the game into a diagonal front rather than the initial Dawn of War straight accross from each other.  The game started well with me mauling a large storm boyz unit spread in front of his army, and then on turn 2 sacrificing a small wych squad and the hellions to surround the truck with 5 mega nobz in it and wreak killing all the occupants.

Then I made 2 huge errors which cost me the win.  My beasts who were threatened by a bike squad with a warboss and painboyz decided to charge them thinking better to charge than be charged.  With hindsight I was always going to lose that battle very badly and the better option would have been to move forward and and kill the remainder of the stormboyz.  This would force the bikes to deal with the beastpack rather than advancing on the rest of my army.  Instead the beastpack was killed in my own turn for the loss of 1 bike allowing the ork bike squad to advance on my army straight away rather than a turn later.

Second mistake was when I sacrificed the small wych squad and hellions, I moved my grotesques and large wych squad too far back, so that when 20 ork boyz shoot and charged them my main assault units were not close enough to counter charge.  So when my shooting failed to deal with them they were able to contest the last objective, drawing the game with all objectives contested, and vps at 2 (first blood and line breaker) - 2 (warlord and line breaker).

With the game ending early because of the tight game length (only 2 hours), it could have been anybodies game if the game had gone the full distance.

Game 2 vs Imperial Guard with an Imperial Knight

The game was Purge the Alien (or as I say for Dark Eldar "Table your opponent or lose" in a Hammer & Anvil (sideways) deployment.  At least I was going first and wasn't seized upon.

I gave the Guard a bloody nose, but some failed morale tests on turn 2 meant I was eventually wittled down.  However not only did the haywire grenades do well (although they were a bit of a one hit wonder being carried by wyches) the beastpack also showed how good it was with it's speed and huge number of attacks (finishing off Pask and doing 8 out of 9 hull points to a hydra squadron in a turn).  Even without the Baron and reduced to 12 models I think they can be a useful unit.  The Grotesques also smashed a vehicle with ease and absorbed a lot of firepower before they went down.

At the end of the game I had 4 units left and the guard had 5 units, but I still lost 17-6.

Game 3 vs Eldar

Moving towards the lower tables I faced Eldar.  No Wraithknights, but 2 Wave Serpents (filled with guardians), Fire Prism, 6 Vipers & 6 War Walkers, 2 x 3 Jetbikes.

The last mission was a maelstrom mission.  The basic one where you get to draw additional cards to fill your hand up to 3 each turn.

I knew my army couldn't face that firepower, so my only hope was to be agressive to pin the Eldar back, while concentrating on the objectives to build up a lead in victory points.

My opponent made a mistake of outflanking the war walkers.  With so little ranged anti tank he would have been better with them on the board to be firing from turn 1.

My Grotesques and large Wych squad went flat out towards the enemy (with their pilots ready to jink for all they were worth).  Venoms tried to get a bead on the enemy jetbikes, but poor rolling only killed 1.

My opponent was intimidated by the grotesques so after killing the raider he fired loads into them including a disembarked full guardian squad.  This bought the rest of the army the time it needed.  On the flank with jetbikes and the other wave serpent a small squad of wyches got turfed out of their venom (after getting an objective point on turn 1).

With the grotesques absorbing so much firepower the rest of the army was ready to get revenge. The large wych squad haywired the fire prism to death (I probably should have tried to multi assault the nearby wave serpent as I did 7 hull points).  The small wych squad, which had it'd venom wreaked the turn before, managed to down a wave serpent on their own.  Finally the beastpack multi assaulted the disembarked guardians and their wave serpent putting most of the unit including the Baron on the wave serpent.  The guardians ran off the board, however the wave serpent was left on 1 hull point.  The Voidraven also helped the Ravager reduce the Vypers to 2 units of 2 (rather than 3).

With a good tally of 5 victory points in the first turn, and getting at least 2 each turn after that I built a good lead (even drawing 2 cards it was impossible for me to achieve - one about fortifications and the other about mysterious objectives).  With my opponent not scoring at all one round, and an annoying objective secured venom not dying preventing a vp I was able to hold on for a 13-9 win.

Other Notable Points

Other highlights of the game 3 were three wyches from the small squad that killed the wave serpent charging 2 jetbikes, after killing one on the 1st round, they then failed to kill the other over a number of combat rounds even losing one of their own members to the jetbike.  Without haywire grenades I can't see them being efficient with the new codex.

The beastpack was good in both the 2nd and 3rd games, and were just outmatched against the ork bikes with characters in game 1.  However you have to consider them and the Baron together which comes to 291points for 16 models.  The Baron's stealth, ld9, Hit&Run are all big losses, but with the price decrease in the new codex on Krymera I can get 2 units with 2 beastmasters & 10 Krymera each for 51 points less.  Unfotunately my Dark Eldar only have 10 Krymera, however my Space Wolves use the same models (just different basing) for the Fenrusian Wolves so I may have to transfer the models and give it a go.  It's the sheer speed of the packs with 12" move, and charging while ignoring terrain movement penalties plus fleet means they can cover huge distances regardless of terrain.

The Wracks performance was medicore thoughout the day.  Even with their new ranged gun (24", Fleshbane, AP2) I don't think they would as efficient as a gunboat warrior squad and spending the points saved elsewhere in the army list.

Hellions were another medicore performing unit.  It could be that I wasn't using them well (as it was my first time using them), but it'll probably be my last for some time, as they have lost an extra attack (from the Hellglaive) and they are forced out of contention by Scourges and Reavers who are both tougher than them, for only 3 points more.

So it's looking like a serious redesign of my army list with the new codex, with all 6 troops choices that I used in the tournament not making it to the new codex list.

New List Design

I read it many a time, on blogs and forums coming up with lists for the new codex, that when they compare Dark Eldar units to Eldar ones the Eldar ones are always better, a perfect example being blasterborn (trueborn with blasters) against fire dragons (cheaper and better).  Well lets looks at that, coming up in my next post will be what I think Dark Eldar do best and attempt to build a list round that.

Also I think Dark Eldar will always find it hard (if not nearly impossile) to out shoot Mech Eldar or Gunline Tau so maneovrability and combat (yes, even in shooty 7th edition rules) will play a part.

Until then, what are you finding that works in the new codex ?  Are you enjoying the new codex ?


The army list I used for the tournament:

Baron - 105
Haemonculus with Venom Blade - 55

3 Trueborn with 2 Splinte Cannons & Haywire Grenades - 62
Venom with 2nd Splinter Cannon - 65
4 Grotesques - 140
Raider - 60

9 Wyches with Haywire Grenades - 108
Raider - 60
9 Wracks - 90
Raider - 60
5 Wyches with Haywire Grenades - 60
Venom with 2nd Splinter Cannon - 65

5 Wyches with Haywire Grenades - 60
Venom with 2nd Splinter Cannon - 65
3 Wracks - 30
Venom with 2nd Splinter Cannon - 65
9 Hellions - 144

Beastmaster Pack - 186
   consisting of 3 Packmasters, 10 Krymera, 2 Razorwing Flocks

Ravager (3 Lances) - 105
Voidraven Bomber with Void Lances & 2 Shatterfield Missiles - 165

Total: 1750 Points (73 models)


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