Wednesday, 13 October 2010

Dark Eldar - First Look at the Codex

I was expecting it to be another week or so until the GW stores would be getting the Dark Eldar codex in, so imagine my surprise when I walked into my local GW to ask when the codex would be on show to see a customer reading the codex and the new raider and warriors on the painting table.

Fortunately for me the customer with the codex had to dash back to work, so I was able to get a good read through the army list. Apart from browsing the pics of the new models in the book (there are some amazing models), I mainly looked at the army list for the points values, as a lot of the rules are already out on the web. Lots of things sound great, but it all depends on the points cost as to whether it's going to be effective in a game.

First Impressions

The points costs and unit structures have been bought in line with the current codexs, ie. you can have only 1 heavy weapon for every 10 models in a warrior squad. This effectively is the death of the sniper squad. Where as before we could have 10 warriors with 2 dark lances for 100 pts, now to get the same number of dark lances in a warrior squad we have to have 20 models, and with dark lances costing two and a half more, and warriors being 1 pt higher than before such a unit would cost 230 pts.

With there being no distinction between warrior unit and raider units, the other element of the dark eldar gun line (small raider squad) is not hit as bad as the sniper squad, as you just have to increase the unit size to 10.

In line with other codexs the cost of heavy and special weapons have gone up. Blasters (although increasing in range to 18") have tripled in cost. Worse yet wyches have lost access to special ranged weapons, no shredders or blasters for wyches.

Looking at the changes to a gunboat unit of 5 warriors, with dark lance, blaster & raider, which at the moment costs 110 pts, we now have to use 10 warriors and the unit costs 190 pts.

My conclusion is that getting heavy weapon firepower from the troops selection is not cost effective.

Ok, so the old dark lance gunline army is gone (or will have to change radically). There are alot of good things in the book.

Wyches went down to the cost of a fire warrior. Elite versions of wyches and warriors were created in the elites section. Both have an extra attack, and only cost 3 pts more than their troop versions. The elite warriors also have the option of carrying up to 4 special weapons, but beware the cost of the unit will spiral up fast.

For those trying to get dark lances into their list the good news is that the cost of the ravager has remained unchanged, and owners of 3 disintegrators have dropped to the cost of dark lance ravagers (bear in mind the change to the disintegrator, S5, AP2, Heavy3). Ravagers also gained the ability to fire all weapons after moving 12".

Jet Bikes and Scourges can also help to add firepower, both can take the new heat lance weapon, as well as the longer ranged blaster. Scourges have also joined Jet Bikes in Fast Attack.

Well the Dark Eldar can still get the firepower they used to be able to get in the troops choice from other areas, but what are we going to use our troops for ? Well my initial reaction is close combat wyches, at the cost of a fire warrior they seem like a good buy. Add in that web way portals have gone down by the cost of a space wolf grey hunter.

So my initial thoughts on an army would be 2 Haemonculi with Portals, accompanied by warriors (which get feel no pain from the pain point that the Haemonculi start with), run forward first turn hopefully into cover. They may be only T3 but a 4+ cover save, and a possible 4+ feel no pain on top, should mean the portal can be activated on turn 2. Firepower supplied by ravagers, jet bikes and scourges. Close combat supplied by an archon and wyches coming out of the webway portal. Whether this will fit in any sensible points limit will have to wait until I have my own copy the codex to go through the finer points.

Edit: Having found out that vehicles can not come out of the webway portal, so the Haemonculi will just join wyches to give them feel no pain, and the warriors will have dark lance, blaster & raider. Although they don't give the firepower as before they are 3 AP2 shots at short range (dark lance, blaster & blaster pistol on sybarite) is useful, and the raider is useful as a spare for the wych raiders start blowing up.

Lastly I was disappointed by the incubi rules. They have gone down only 3 points, although they gainted fleet, and access to come nice abilities on the leader they will always have a huge hit me sign on them, and their raider will be blown out of the sky at the first opportunity, meaning how often will they reach combat. Maybe a small squad in a webway portal. Soon tales of incubi squads slaughtering whole armies by rolling loads of 6's to get extra attacks will mean that an opponent may be distracted by even a small squad.


Overall I like the codex, it brings it in line with the current codexs. We lose some of the staple of current lists, such as sniper squads, and small wych units with two blasters, however we keep some, such as ravagers, and other get better (ie. scourges, wyches, additional weapon options). Also the character of the army will remain the same, it will hit like a hammer, but shatter like glass if it meets organised resistance.

Roll on the 6th Novemeber :)


PS. If you have any questions please post a comment, and I'll try to remember what I saw.

1 comment:

  1. Thx for the info, cant wait for the codex



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