A Haemonculus (from homunculus, Latin for "little man" and one of the usual buzzwords of alchemy in fantasy, and haemo-, the
British CORRECT spelling of hemo- [though they are pronounced the same way], from Greek for "blood" -- not that Haemonculi are little men made out of blood, but they are sort-of-alchemists and they work with flesh and blood) is a Dark Eldar mad scientist (in some ways, they're like the techpriests of the Adeptus Mechanicus) -- though the Haemonculi would insist that their works are far more advanced artistic than crude bionics of Mon-keigh technology, and the techpriests would be insulted by the comparison to filthy fabulous, deviant xenos). They are colloquially known as "flesh-sculptors" and "Lords of Pain" because that's exactly what their art is all about. They take great pleasure in modifying creatures, and the more bizarre and painful (to both the subject and whoever said subject gets turned loose upon) the better. They're not above self-experimentation, either, but it doesn't matter, because they're doing it in the name of ART ! Because the universe wasn't Grimdark enough yet and we needed the artists too to be raving lunatics with a need for scalpels and living beings to act as materials/canvases.
Nobody is quite sure where they come from, since Haemonculi are all extremely old and heavily modified from whoever they once were, but the structure of their covens suggests that they start their careers as Wracks (or "Haemacolytes" if you want to be polite) apprenticed to a Haemonculus, doing the dirty work with scalpels and such (like BDSM grad students). They were also probably were the masters of the eldar society pre-fall, meaning they predate a lot of stuff (and Eldrad!). If the Dark Eldar were Reasonable Dark Eldar, Wracks who impressed their masters would be given a chance to join the inner circle; as it is, Haemonculi are probably more likely to kill gifted students and take credit for their work, while said gifted students are busily plotting the downfall of their masters and maneuvering to take their places. This is made easier for all by the fact that Haemonculi usually group up in Covens, organisations of gifted mad scientists who all get together to perform experiments, get pimped-out bases and weapons, and perform huge raids where the populations of entire hives are taken away and tortured horribly. These guys recently got their own supplement, and some new models.
Haemonculi used to be an HQ choice for Dark Eldar armies, available in up to three per HQ slot (one of whom may be a Haemonculus Ancient, with some beefed-up stats), and allowing Wrack squads to be taken as Troops instead of elites. Nowadays, they got slightly pricier at 70 but have the Ancient's statline by default, and can no longer be bought at 3 for a slot. These guys serve a critical rule by granting the unit they're in a bonus turn for PFP rules, meaning free FNP on turn 1 for example. Relatively tough and with access to some pretty heavy-duty wargear, including the Crucible of Malediction, which gives all psykers within 3d6" an unsavable S6 hit, and your only source of HQ-level Concussive, via the Mindphase Gauntlet. In shooty lists, it's not uncommon to see a single, cheap haemonculus with a liquifier gun or a hex rifle (or an otherwise naked Archon with a blaster) stuck in which a larger squad just to fill up the mandatory HQ slot, because the DE will not be winning by combat in this edition (damn Overwatch).
- In the Covens supplement, these guys become your ONLY HQ choice. This makes bringing them even more critical, as their PFP boosting is the only way the Grotesques can last despite their shit Leadership. Keep them as cheap as possible, and keep the relics you grab from the covens as low as possible, because most of them kick ASS.
|Forces of the Dark Eldar|
|Command:|| Archons - Haemonculi - Kabalite Trueborn |
Lhamaeans - Medusae - Sslyth - Succubi
|Troops:|| Beastmasters - Commorragh Slaves - Grotesques |
Hellions - Incubi - Kabalite Warriors - Mandrakes
Scourges - Wracks - Wyches
|Beasts:||Clawed Fiends - Khymerae - Razorwing Flocks - Ur-Ghuls|
|Pain Engines:||Cronos Parasite Engines - Talos Pain Engines|
|Vehicles:|| Raiders - Raven Fighters - Razorwing Jetfighters |
Reapers - Reaver Jetbikes - Venoms
|Super Heavies:||Ravagers - Tantali - Voidraven Bombers|