Saturday, 13 August 2011

As time closes in - Part One: Next Tournament Army List

Time is running out fast until my next tournament.  In 8 Days I will be on my way to the 10th 40k Online Tournament.  This tournament gives me the opportunity to try out a new 1750 points list.

In my first tournament with the Dark Eldar since the new codex I used a list with 6 troop choices.  After that I played in two 8 games over two tournaments using a 1500 point list that did nothing apart from drop 2 troop choices from the list.  My experiences over these 8 games and other games against my mates is that I should try out adding none troop units when I move back up to 1750 pts.  Part of the reason is that you only need to win by one objective and because the rest of the Dark Eldar army is so fast they can contest objectives.

The two main things I think my list needed were (my previous 1750 point list can be found in this battle report, and my 1500 point can be found here):
  • Some AP1 - Reavers seems to hit the bill here, they got the nod over scourges due to their increased toughness, 36" turbo boost allowing them to get into position quickly, and their jump-shoot-jump movement meaning they have a chance of withdrawing after killing a target to survive retribution.
  • Beastmasters to give some redundancy in anti MEQ close combat power (as I didn't want to lose a trueborn unit to have a second unit of incubi).
Lastly I wanted to upgrade a ravager to a razorwing (whose missiles could help against hordes).  Anyway here's the list I'm planning on taking at the moment:

Haemonculus Nalix Soulseer - 55
with Venom Blade

5 Incubi - 110
in Venom with 2 Splinter Cannons - 65
3 Trueborn with 3 Blasters - 81
in Venom with 2 Splinter Cannons & Grisly Trophies - 70
3 Trueborn with 3 Blasters - 81
in Venom with 2 Splinter Cannons & Grisly Trophies - 70

9 Wracks with 1 Liquifier Gun - 100
in Raider with Dark Lance - 60
8 Wyches incl. Hekatrix with Venom Blade - 95
in Raider with Dark Lance - 60
9 Wyches incl. Hekatrix with Venom Blade - 105
in Raider with Dark Lance - 60
3 Wracks - 30
in Venom with 2 Splinter Cannons - 65

6 Reavers with 2 Heatlances - 156
Beastmaster unit - 132
containing 3 Beastmasters, 3 Krymera, 4 Razorwing Flocks

Ravager with 3 Dark Lances - 105
Ravager with 3 Dark Lances - 105
Razorwing Jetfighter with 2 Dark Lances - 145

Total: 1750 Pts

Obviously trying to fit in a beastmaster unit, a reaver unit and upgrading a ravager to a razorwing (which cost well more than the extra 250 points I had over my 1500 point list) meant that I can to cut into the existing list.  Sacrifices include droping the incubi to 5 models, reducing my troop choices to 3 units of 9 (after the haemonoculus joines a wych unit), and even the wracks lost their Acothyst.

There was not even the points to upgrade the twin-linked splinter rifles on the razorwing to a splinter cannon (a measily 10 pts), or add unit leaders to the wracks, reavers or incubi for extra leadership.  Vehicles upgrades are also absent (I would dearly love some flickerfields on the heavy support vehicles).

Also although I said that I wanted AP1 to help my anti-tank, even though I have included 2 heatlances on the reavers my lance total has dropped by one.  I lost one dark lance by using a razorwing rather than a ravager, the incubi raider (with dark lance) was replaced with a venom, and one less wych squad meant one less raider with a dark lance.  I'm hoping that because I regularly moved my transports fast to get my assault elements into position will mean the reavers dedicated to tank hunting will offset the drop in lances.

I feel the list is more balanced in two main areas:

Close Combat

The close combat ability is better balanced between light and heavy infantry.  In my old 1750 points list (seen here) I had assault elements of Incubi, 3 Wych squads & 1 Wrack squad, now I've lost one wych squad but included a beastmaster unit, plus the reavers can help if neccessary.  Also both the beastmaster and reavers aren't reliant on paper thin transports for their speed.

Shooting / Combat

Compared to the 1500 point list the list is more balanced between shooting and combat.  My most convincing games were where I almost shot the opponent up so bad that combat was just a mopping up exercise.  However when I faced another shooting army, good examples are a battle report here and when I faced a shooty marine list, I was outshoot and I didn't have a good enough alternative response and I only won through good generalship and being focused on the objectives.  I think having a gunline Dark Eldar army leaves you at the mercy of tournament match-ups turning into a game of paper-scissors-stone.


This tournament will be a real test for the beastmasters.  Some people like them (including myself in the few test games I've had against my mates), and other people think their fragility is too much of a weaknesses.  I think they are a unit that will need to be played carefully.  I will try to adopt simular tactics to my incubi, partically because with the incubi they are the only two units good at killing MEQs quickly.  They will follow just behind the wave of 3 raiders and aim to kills target of opportunity or help extract the wyches and wracks from combats with heavy infantry they are struggling with.

Beastmasters, along with the many units that are leadership 8 in the army, are the reason the grisly trophies on the trueborn venoms were not cut.  I will have to plan my approach to the enemy carefully to try and keep the trueborn venoms in range of the beastmasters and key combats I may lose by 1 or 2, where their granted leadership test reroll could be cruicial.

Ideally I'd like the beastmaster unit bigger but the points were too tight at 1750.  I've got a 1800 point tournament in October, so if they do well I will increase them to 14 models (an extra beastmaster, krymera, and 2 razorwing flocks), as well returning the incubi to 6 models in a raider.

As time closes in - Part Two

Later in the weekend I'll post what's on my painting table for the tournament, but feel free to leave your comments on my intended list, tweaks you think would make the list better, or tactics I can use.



  1. Interesting list... Lots of mobility in those 11 vehicles! Granted they are made of paper but if they get you close they've done a good job. I'm not sure on the Razorwing... it's a big target.

    My problem is that I don't really know enough about this new Dark Eldar to effectively pick apart an army of this nature - there are a number of things that look like they will all threaten my force. I have some ideas (and lots of guns) so this should be fun!

  2. Would definitely be a brutal game. Having played shooty armies before I know my "10" vehicles will not last long. Hopefully having some of more anti-tank on non infantry (reavers) and having the beastmasters which can stun tanks in combat I'll have more of a chance than my last list.

    The razorwing is more for hordes (with it's missiles). Against some armies I would reserve it, so it can more on nd off load it's missile payload once some infatry is shot out of their transport. However against your 13 vehicles I'll probably have to risk putting on the board as I'll need every dark lance I can get to kill a few vehicles before I run out of vehicles myself.

    Should be a fun game, still don't like that nasty forgeworld breaching drill :)




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