Monday, May 21, 2012

My Dark Eldar List for Blog Wars 3

As promised, here's my army list for Blog Wars 3. I'm sure I've posted it up on here before but thought since I've now seen all of your lists it was only fair for you to be reminded of mine. Frankly, if you get drawn against me you're in luck because it really isn't competitive. Anyway, here it is:

1,747pts of Dark Eldar
Baron Sathonyx
2 Haemonculi w/ Webway Portals

3 Blaster Trueborn in Venom with 2x Splinter Cannons
3 Blaster Trueborn in Venom with 2x Splinter Cannons

8 Hellions
4 Wracks
10 Wyches with Haywires, Hekatrix with Agoniser
10 Wyches with Haywires, Hekatrix with Agoniser
10 Wyches with Haywires, Hekatrix with Agoniser

6 Reavers with 2 Heat Lances
6 Reavers with 2 Heat Lances

Talos Pain Engine with Chain Flails and T-L Heat Lance
Cronos Parasite Engine with Spirit Probe and Spirit Vortex

So it doesn't take a genius to see that it's a dual webway list. The only vehicles are the two venoms which will transport the haemonculi and trueborn forwards to drop the portals. Everything else will come on from reserve. The beauty of a webway list is that you have the option of using the portals or bringing units on from reserve as normal. In my experience this often catches people out (though it might not now I've mentioned it here!). Opponents focus on the portals and forget that I can still deep strike or turbo boost on from the board edge.

Baron Sathonyx is a popular choice with regards to DE special characters. There's some great characters in the codex but frankly he's a no-brainer choice. Not only does he make the speedy hellions (fleeting jump infantry) but he also gives a +1 to the going first roll off. He comes with a Shadowfield which makes him difficult to kill if you don't roll a 1 for a while but otherwise he isn't really that impressive. High strength (S6) is nice but without ignoring armour saves he doesn't really worry many marine units. It's more about what he does for the hellions than anything else. As I've mentioned they're troops but also they gain stealth, re-roll dangerous terrain tests and re-roll hit & run rolls. This makes the already fast unit even better.

Whilst I love the look of the hellion models they never particularly blow me away on the table top. The combination of shooting and S4 attacks makes them decent but not all that exciting. If they get a decent combat drugs roll they're a little better but most of the time they don't do enough damage on the charge and with only a 5+ save they die pretty quickly. I think ideally I'd have a much bigger unit (think 20) to join Baron but I don't have the models or the time to paint them so maybe another day.

The haemonculi are just a webway delivery system. You're basically paying 85pts for the portals which is a bit steep but still the cheapest way. I originally gave one a shattershard and the other a liquifier gun but frankly they don't usually live into turn 2 so it seemed a waste. The trueborn should be in 18" of a tank so they can steal the pain token from the haemo and find nearby cover to take pot shots at vehicles. Should the enemy choose null deployment I'll keep them in the venoms and try to ride out some fire. As you can imagine, having an entire turn with essentially 2 units on the table usually means there's little left for turn 2 but by then they've hopefully done their job.

The wyches are pretty self explanatory. I'm quickly coming around to the idea of ditching the haywires in favour of a blast pistol because they have a nasty habit of blowing up vehicles and losing a lot of bodies in the explosion! Having said that it's always fun to blow up a dreadnought with a 12pt model! That 4++ save in combat really irritates dreadnoughts! The wracks serve two functions. Firstly, should one of the haemonculi survive that long then they'll join him and either charge something nearby or hug an objective with their FNP saves. If both haemos are dead they'll just walk on to an objective near my table edge and hold on for dear life. For 40pts they don't need to do much to be useful.

The pain engines can be really nasty but they're very slow. That's why I'd never consider taking them in any list that didn't have a webway. Well, that and the fact that they have to compete with ravagers and they normally lose that battle. The talos is probably the better of the two as it can be nasty in combat and with T7 is pretty durable. I've also given it a twin-linked heat lance so it can help with the de-meching. The cronos is great if you can catch a unit bunched up in the open and throw out 2-3 pain tokens to nearby units. On it's own it isn't deadly, it's a pure force multiplier.

The most obvious difference between this list and a normal DE list (aside from the webways of course) is that there are no ravagers! This means the rest of the army needs to be capable of de-meching things. This is where the reavers come in with their pair of heat lances. Their speed and the 18" range of the lances should mean they can blow something up when they emerge from the portal. In the unlikely event that there's no vehicles on the table they'll turbo-boost and hit things with their bladevanes. If they're still around late on their massive speed and 3++ save will allow them to contest objectives effectively.

Sounds pretty nasty right? Well the problem is that Dark Eldar have absolutely no way of modifying the reserve rolls. This is probably why we don't see webway lists.... ever. This means that success is in the hands of the dice gods. You can stack things in your favour by having plenty of redundancy but there have  been games when I just get things in totally the wrong order. For example, the wyches emerge on their own and can't demech anything to get stuck into in combat and by the time the anti-tank units emerge the wyches have taken heavy casualties. Ideally I want half of my army in turn 2 which I should  get but as you know with a 4+ save it never feels like 50:50!

So that's my army and my entire strategy laid out for you guys. Obviously there's the odd thing that I haven't mentioned but I don't feel like I lose anything by telling you about my list. Frankly it isn't going to do very well but when/if it does it will be huge fun! See you on the tables!

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