Warhammer 40,000/Tactics/Dark Eldar(8E)
- 1 Why Play Dark Eldar
- 2 Faction Keywords
- 3 Special Rules
- 4 Stratagems
- 4.1 Universal
- 4.2 Kabal-Specific
- 4.3 Cult-Specific
- 4.4 Coven-Specific
- 5 Tactical Objectives
- 6 Psychic Powers
- 7 Warlord Traits
- 8 Armory
- 9 Unit Analysis
- 9.1 HQ
- 9.2 Troops
- 9.3 Elites
- 9.4 Dedicated Transport
- 9.5 Flyer
- 9.6 Fast Attack
- 9.7 Heavy Support
- 9.8 Fortifications
- 10 Army Building and Tactics
Why Play Dark Eldar
Dark Eldar are steeped in ancient and unnatural evil. They have chosen this path for themselves, and revel in their own cruelty, drawing physical sustenance from the infliction of pain. They inhabit a realm known as Commorragh, the Dark City, an impossibly vast stronghold from which they launch piratical raids across the length and breadth of the galaxy. The Dark Eldar live to inflict misery and death; what happens to the captives they bring back to Commorragh is best left undescribed. They are vain, devious and utterly self-serving, with no respect for any living creatures except themselves, though each individual Dark Eldar typically views every other member of their race with uncaring contempt.
Because of this the Dark Eldar have a diabolical appeal. They are the evil kings and super-villains of the 41st Millennium, and they have all the right tools for the job. The Dark Eldar are very fast-moving, have lots of firepower, and boast some of the most lethal close combat units in the game. However, because they conduct their raids at lightning speed, the Dark Eldar lack any real heavy armor and are hence quite fragile - it takes guile and cunning to use them well. If you possess the skill, though, your Dark Eldar army can run rings around its opponents, leaving them shell-shocked, terrified and utterly defeated. Best of all, the models in the Dark Eldar range are truly jaw-dropping examples of the sculptor's craft. In just about every way, the Dark Eldar are an army for the true connoisseur!
- Blisteringly fast army with massive firepower. Infantry moves at least 7" and Vehicles move in excess of 14".
- Our unique Power From Pain ability grants cumulative buffs to the army as the game progresses.
- Combat Drugs can now be chosen which makes them infinitely more useful. They also stack with Power From Pain buffs on most units.
- Gorgeous, highly detailed models that are all but begging for awesome conversions. Many kits fit well with Dark Elf kits little to no need for Green Stuff.
- Almost everything you need to start out as Dark Eldar can be found in the following boxes: Kabalite Warriors, Wyches, Scourges. Two of which are the best value boxes GW sells. You will have no shortage of bits for your bits box. Venom and Raider/Ravager kits also provide additional body parts to make entire units if you have several (assuming you don't actually mount the extra ones on the vehicle's hull as shown on the box...)
- You can now viably take standalone Covens, Cult, or Kabal armies... or a mix of the three.
- You share the AELDARI keyword with Craftworlders, Harlequins and Ynnari, meaning you get to cherry pick the best toys from your kin within the same list (unless Ynnari) and still remain Battle-Forged! Just remember to take separate Detachments if you want to keep Obsessions and stay Battle-Forged according to the FAQ Beta Rules.
- Plenty of ways of getting around your baseline S3 for Combat units.
- Almost everything has FLY, or can be shoved inside something that can fly which means easy traversal of terrain and flying out of pesky melee to still open fire.
- Mandrakes are awesome now meaning we finally get our one great infiltration unit!
- Dark Eldar vehicles count all heavy weapons as assault weapons
- The Blaster is now one of the most points effective guns in the game. It sucks you only get 1 in a Kabalite Warrior kit, but you can easily convert splinter rifles into Blasters by chopping the barrel tips off of unused Disintegrator weapons.
- No native access to Psykers so we miss out on an entire turn phase. Though, there is a relic (see below) that can combat filthy Psykers.
- Most units are extremely frail and have trouble surviving against even the humble lasgun. Exploit your supreme mobility to keep your distance, stay in cover or out of enemy LoS when possible.
- Almost everything has FLY and your transports are all flying, so the Drukhari are extremely vulnerable to units with bonuses against units with the FLY tag.
- Special Characters are effective, but their costs should be considered in list building. Also, the named characters are stuck with specific Kabal/Coven/Cult Obsessions and Warlord Traits.
- Haywire lost its famed reliability, but it can still put out a few Mortal Wounds. Just, ya know, not amazing.
- While there are no outright bad units or weapons in the Codex, there are some that have a very specific role or niche so won't see much use in a "Take All Comers" list.
- No native Lord of War units. (Though given how much Eldar LoW units cost now, this isn't necessarily a bad thing).
- Difficult to efficiently put Troops/Elites and HQs in the same transport due to inconvenient passenger restrictions. HQs usually require a "Command Venom" as a tax unless you're fine with them on foot.
To Ynnari or not Ynnari
23/07/2017 FAQ: You must have Yvraine, The Visarch or The Yncarne as your Warlord to be able to give any Aeldari units in your army the "Ynnari" keyword. Yvraine and The Yncarne are your only access to the Revenant Discipline and the same FAQ finally gave The Visarch a 4+ Invulnerable save.
17/11/2017 FAQ: In Matched Play games, Soulburst can now only trigger on your turn, and only one of each Soulburst action can be used per turn. In competitive play, this basically means you are better off taking a small Ynnari detachment abusing the hell out of the soulburst potential of any combination of the following: Shining Spears (Move, Shoot, Charge), Harlequins (Move, Shoot, Charge), Swooping Hawks (Move, Shoot), Dark Reapers (Shoot), with all your other points spent on your Dark Eldar.
16/04/2018 FAQ: Ynnari detachments now must also consist of entirely Craftworld, Harlequin, Drukhari, or Corsair units; you cannot take units from other Aeldari armies in the same detachment any longer. While this is pretty inconvenient, players may still take multiple Ynnari Detachments (Yvraine in one, The Visarch in another, for example) with one dedicated Drukhari force and the other with a dedicated Craftworld force.
The bonuses from Power from Pain are lost if you decide to go Ynnari for that Detachment, so it's a tossup as to if you think potential extra movement/shooting/fighting from Strength from Death is worth losing those very powerful bonuses as well as easy access to Drazhar, Mandrakes and <Coven> units. You will have to take them in a different detachment due to the Ynnari restrictions. They also can't, under any circumstances, have the Ynnari Keyword. Power from Pain is very strong in 8th as it protects you from Mortal Wounds, substantially boosts your mobility and eliminates losses from failed Leadership tests as the fight goes on. Strength from Death will also only apply to Infantry and Bikers meaning a number of units that would benefit from it (like Beast units and Monsters) can't.
Also, keep in mind that Drukhari, being extremely fragile and extremely destructive, are the perfect units to exploit the high risk/high reward system that is Strength from Death. Take Multiple Small Units and throw them at the enemy. They kill something? You gain extra turns. It is also worth noting that Yvraine and the Yncarne are both very powerful characters able to cast Word of the Phoenix onto valuable units. Yvraine near your Trueborn with 4 Blasters or Scourges with 4 Dark Lances become nightmares if you get Word of the Phoenix off on then, functionally doubling the number of shots they make. Another plus is Yvraine allowing your Incubi or Wyches an extra round of swings though Word of the Phoenix. The latter is extremely powerful and very fluffy.
Taking an Ynnari detachment is now more of a sidegrade than definite upgrade as you have many units that benefit from the Power from Pain bonuses. Drukhari seem to be balanced with this in mind, and have the most to lose from taking this very powerful sidegrade.
The overall keyword is DRUKHARI. You share the AELDARI keyword with Craftworlders, Harlequins and Corsairs, meaning you can combine them within any detachment. In addition, the FAQ states that "If your army is Battle-forged, YNNARI units can only be included in Detachments in which all units have the Ynnari keyword." So you can't mix within the same detachment and stay Battle-Forged, but you can add a separate Ynnari detachment to your army in addition to your Drukhari/Aeldari Detachment. This allows you to keep things like Power From Pain or Rising Crescendo and doesn't lock you out out of the <COVEN> units, Mandrakes or Drahzar. Just remember that only the units actually in the Ynnari detachment can actually benefit from Strength From Death.
In addition, you have multiple keywords to keep track of. There is <KABAL> for all your vampire space elf pirates, <WYCH CULT> for all your crazy gladiator ladies and <COVEN> for your Haemonculi Coven freakish genetic experiments. Note that Incubi, Mandrakes, Scourges and all the beasts have none of these Keywords and as such do not profit from buffs for these factions, including aura and faction specific obsessions. This split creates several complications with list building, and even in a "pure" Dark Eldar list featuring only DRUKHARI, you're still going to have HQ auras that are focused more on a single unit or two rather than supporting the larger force.
16/04/2018 FAQ: The AELDARI and YNNARI keywords are no longer sufficient to include units in a single detachment and remain battle-forged, per the new Battle Brothers rule. All units within any single detachment must share an additional faction keyword (Like DRUKHARI, for instance) in order to be included. You can still absolutely bring along other AELDARI units in their own separate detachments, just not in one giant pot of soup like before.
Keyword Quick Reference
- Archon, Lhamean, Medusae, Sslyth, Ur-ghul, Kabalite Warriors, Raider, Venom, Razorwing Jetfighter, Voidraven, Ravager, Reaper and Tantalus.
- <WYCH CULT>
- Succubus,Wyches, Beastmasters, Raider, Venom, Reavers, Hellions, Razorwing Jetfighter, Voidraven, Reaper and Tantalus.
- Haemonculus, Wracks, Grotesques, Raider, Venom, Talos, Cronos, Reaper and Tantalus.
- Drazhar, Incubi, Scourges, Mandrakes, Clawed Fiends, Khymerae, and Razorwing Flocks.
- Raiding Force: In a Battle-forged Dark Eldar army, you get a bonus 4 CP for taking at least 3 Patrol Detachments. The bonus rises to a whopping 8 CP if you take 6 or more Patrol Detachments instead. As an added bonus, more Detachments also means more combinations of Drukhari Obsessions to work with.
- One thing to keep in mind that most Events or Tournaments cap you at 3 Detachments per list. This cap is just a suggestion from GW and not an actual rule. It remains to be seen how tournaments will address this rule as it is currently unique to this army.
- Battalion Detachments now give 5 CP making a Double Battalion plus Patrol (for Alliance of Agony) the most optimal choice for maxing CP in a Tournament List.
- Power from Pain:Thanks to your army consisting of a bunch of sado-masochist freaks, you gain bonuses according to the turn number. Note that these bonuses are cumulative.
- Turn 1: Inured to Suffering - Any time a model loses a Wound or Mortal Wound, you roll a D6. On 6, the Wound or Mortal Wound is ignored. Adds a slight bit more survivability to everything, turns Wych Cult units into viable Tarpits and makes Coven units (and due to a loophole, their transports hilariously enough) obscenely tough. This is great, and the fact it starts on Turn 1 AND with Instant Death being a thing of the past, your troops are actually going to be able to take this roll. Even though you have to roll for multiple damage now, Drukhari foot soldiers are gonna love this.
- Turn 2: Eager to Flay - You can reroll dice when Advancing or Charging. Helps you get stuck in faster. Nice -- gives us back the Fleet USR we enjoyed for basically everything in the prior edition, without sacrificing our newfound Movement speed, which increased by 1" minimum to sometimes 4" on a straight move. Has become much more powerful in the Codex now that Deep Striking units can't benefit from any power or ability that grants a free move (Like Word of the Phoenix from Yvraine).
- Turn 3: Flensing Fury - +1 To Hit rolls in the Fight Phase. Combined with the very high WS most Drukhari units enjoy, this should make sure most of your army hits on 2+. It's amazing for Coven units, gives your Kabal units some close combat bite and frees up a drug choice for your Wych Cult units.
- Turn 4: Emboldened by Bloodshed - Immunity to Morale tests. Not too great given your fantastic Leadership scores and tendency towards MSU, but it's better than nothing. Note that this means that you will not have to spend CP on auto-passing morale tests which is the main benefit of this bonus. With the new Codex, this is actually fairly good now - since taking full-strength (or at least ten-elf) units gives you increasing benefits, dying to morale attrition is a greater risk. Couple this with Cursed Blade's near-immunity to morale and you'll only be losing dudes to weapon-induced death.
- Turn 5: Mantle of Agony - You lower the Leadership of enemies close to you by 1. Helps you clear out the last few pockets of resistance. Stacks with your Phantasm Grenade launchers to make up for your lack of native access to smite. Also forces your opponent into wasting the last of thier CP to auto-pass morale tests, instead of on more useful stratagems that actually threaten you. Forcing your opponent to throw away CP this late in the game is never a bad though.
- Combat Drugs: A lot of your <WYCH CULT> units have access to drugs. You can either choose which drugs you spread around your army or you can roll randomly. If you choose, you have to give out a different drug to each unit and can only take multiples once you've allocated each drug at least once. If you roll randomly, you get what you get and that's that. However, ask yourself this: Do you really want to risk gaining something weak like Hypex on a unit in a transport or Splintermind on a lone Character?
- Adrenalight: +1 Attack. Put on a big flock of Wyches or Helions, and send them after the biggest model the opponent has. See that Wraithknight? Now you don't. (Seriously, let's not get carried away, you're wounding the WK on a 6 and it still gets a 3+ save...) But this IS the best drug for your dedicated assault units. Cult of Strife already has lots of attacks, and with this they can drown anything in dice.
- Grave Lotus: +1 Strength. Now that you can pick a unit to take this, you could make something absolutely terrifying out of it. Putting it on a blob of Wyches, Bloodbrides or Hellions can make something truly nasty. Reavers are always hitting at S4 so consider something else for them. Second-best drug for a dedicated assault unit. The Cult of the Cursed Blade gets bumped up to S5 with this, allowing their Wyches to wound MEQs on a 3+.
- Hypex: +2" Movement. Makes Wyches and the like obscenely fast, but less useful if your strategy involves putting them in transports or using deep strike. Pairs very well with Hellions or Reavers, and with the Cult of the Red Grief's obsession mixed in, a first turn assault is very hard for an opponent to avoid. You may also consider dumping this on your Succubus -- since your characters are running solo this could help them keep up with the faster units.
- Painbringer: +1 Toughness. Could end up creating an amazing tarpit. Great on Reavers: T5, 2W bikes with 4+ save and 18" Move? Oh my my. Pretty nice on Wyches as well since in close combat it makes them T4 6+/4++ with thier 6+ to ignore unsaved Wounds or Mortal Wounds on top of that.
- Serpentin: Your WS is 1 better. This will make pretty much anything affected hit on 2+. Nice. But since you get +1 to hit rolls in the fight phase on turn 3, it's not the best in the world. It does have some niche uses for Ynnari detachments (who lose Power from Pain). This is currently only useful if you think you've got a plan to Alpha Strike and charge Turn 1 (probably by using the Cult of the Red Grief obsession), so you can get 2 turns of hitting on 2+ before PfP kicks in. Candidates for that are Reavers and Hellions, as Wyches/Bloodbrides in transports have to exit their boats at the start of the movement phase.
- The difference between this drug and the Turn 3 PFP is negligable. Giving it to a Succubus, who then has WS1+ means she is always hitting on 2+ since hits always fail if the die physically displays a ‘1’ and modifiers such as the Archite Glaive -1 to hit do not change the physical number on the die. [edit - this is not correct, both modified and non-modified rolls of 1 always fail. Edit2 - BRB states: "A roll of 1 always fails, irrespective of any modifiers that apply." That is physical result not modified result, just like Overwatch, which has similar wording.]
- Splintermind: +2 Leadership. Good for Beastmasters on Beast Unit lists, decent on a blob of Wyches, but there are better picks as from from Turn 4 onward your units with Power From Pain gain Fearless. Still, has it's niche uses for Ynnari detachments, especially if you didn't take the Yncarne.
- Vanguard of the Dark City: It's Objective Secured.
Your chapter tactics equivalents. Kabals, Wych Cults, and Haemonculus Covens all get their own bonuses. As usual, anyone not listed here can pick from the choices available to their corresponding faction.
- Kabal of the Black Heart - Thirst for Power: +1 to the turn on the Power from Pain table. In addition, any Kabal unit without PFP such as Raiders gets Inured to Suffering (aka the 6+ FnP save).
- This means you start the game already able to re-roll Advance and Charge distances and get more resilient vehicles for good measure. The archon and the melee units in his court will benefit from this the most, but it can give a slight edge to Warriors. Just don't expect miracles immediately; when the game goes on and you become Fearless by turn 3 on the other hand, the benefits really start to come into play.
- While the Obsession bonus might seem mediocre at first, remember about the excellent Warlord Trait, Relic and Stratagem it unlocks as part of the package.
- Kabal of the Poisoned Tongue - The Serpent's Kiss: Re-roll to wound rolls of 1 for melee weapons and weapons with the Poisoned Weapon rule. This does not apply to relics.
- A fairly middle of the road obsession, The Serpents Kiss has the distinction of being useful in both the shooting and melee phases. It is also the most forgiving obsession in comparison to the others.
- Kabal of the Flayed Skull - Slay from the Sky: + 3" movement to all units with Fly. Enemy units do not receive cover benefits to their saving throw against flying models or units with this obsession embarked on a flying transport with this Obsession. Finally, units that either have Fly, or units with this obsession who are are embarked on a flying transport with this Obsession re-roll to hit rolls of 1 for rapid fire weapons.
- The upshot of this is that all your vehicles are faster, their splinter rifles and cannons are more accurate, and they're able to ignore cover saves (but not penalties to hit) for good measure. Note that this help giving reroll 1 to model inside transport when normally the character aura won’t affect(cause not on the field).
- Kabal of the Obsidian Rose - Flawless Workmanship: +6 to the range of all assault, rapid fire, and heavy weapons. Does not apply to Eyebursts or relics.
- 24" Blasters and 42" Dark Lances? Put a unit of 10 Warriors with 2 Blasters inside a Dark Lance Raider to obtain a Ravager Lite with some anti-infantry firepower to boot.
- Remember that this will also increase the rapid fire range of your splinter rifles (15") and splinter cannons (21"); while this may not seem big on paper, remember that every inch you can put between you and your opponent is potentially -1 to the likelihood of them making that charge.
- Also note that this buffs the range of your Shredders, making them the same range as unbuffed blasters, making them a fair bit more viable
- Cult of the Cursed Blade - Only the Strong Will Survive: +1S and only 1 loss from failed morale tests. S4 base Wyches with near-immunity to morale tests that already got cheaper and 1 more attack? Niiice!
- Due to blade vanes having a set strength value of 4, Reavers gain do not benefit from the strength increase.
- Cult of Strife - The Spectacle of Murder: +1A when charging, charged or heroic intervened. So that means 4A base for your standard wych before weapons and combat drugs. Drown your enemy in dice! Use this with Hellions to throw a ton of attacks with S5 and 2D each at any Primaris or Terminators or Vehicles coming your way!
- If you end up mixing Cult of Strife units with others melee units (incubi, Wracks, archons, etc), try and position your Wych Cult units around non cult units in a screen. That way the opponent must either declare a charge against them in order to get into melee or risk a longer charge to avoid triggering The Spectacle of Murder.
- The obsession triggers when charged, but does not specify you have to target the charging unit. if your opponent sends in a unit to help save something locked in combat, then you can punish them by turning those additional attacks against the original target.
- Cult of the Red Grief - The Speed of the Kill: Advance and charge plus re-roll failed charges. This drastically increases if not guarantees your chance of your overall improved wyches to make it into close combat. Your Wyches are now as speedy as Genestealers! Jetbikes love this, nothing beyond their reach now!
- At first, the re-roll on the charge seems to only matters if you are trying to launch a first turn charge, since PFP will give this naturally on turn 2. However, it also allows your vehicles to join the fun. You can reliably charge with EVERYTHING in a Red Grief raiding party turn 1.
- The Beta Deep Strike rules have killed off Alpha Strike lists in favour of Gunline lists, so this is going to be your only competitive choice if the Beta rules go live.
- Prophets of Flesh - Connoisseurs of Pain: The invulnerable save from Insensible to Pain is increased to 4+, giving your units the equivalent of a free Iron Halo.
- Dark Creed - Distillers of Fear: Models in enemy units must subtract one from their leadership for each unit with this obsession that is within 6" to a max of -3. Phantasm Grenade Launchers can push the penalty further, and if you bring in an allied Eldar detachment with Hemlock Wraithfighters on top of that you can bring almost any unit to the Ld of a mere Conscript.
- Coven of Twelve - Butchers of Flesh: All melee weapons have one better ap. (0 ap becomes -1) Does not apply to relics. Helps compensate for the generally poor ap of coven melee weapons and turns agonisers into poisoned power swords.
Strength from Death (Ynnari)
This amazingly powerful ability allows one <Ynnari Infantry> or <Ynnari Biker> unit from a Ynnari Detachment one immediate action (either moving, firing, charging or using a psychic power) whenever any unit (friend or foe) is completely destroyed within 7" of it (units destroyed due to any Morale phase do not trigger it). This allows you to either immediately get more mileage of a unit that diced its way through an enemy or take an action out of sequence when one of your units bites the dust to fuck up your opponent's sequence and plans. While this ability costs Craftworld, Harlequin, and Dark Eldar their signature abilities in Ancient Doom, Battle Focus, Rising Crescendo and Power from Pain; the sheer devastation that can be unleashed by two rapid salvos from units like Scourges or Trueborn or Incubi charging and tearing through a second enemy unit immediately after the first more than make up for any lost mobility (which in the case of Wraithblades and Wraithguard, who don't have thier signiture Battle Focus, is a complete non-factor). While no unit can benefit from more than one Soulburst during a given turn, a bit of careful placement will let you cascade this from unit to unit, allowing the majority of your army to act twice. Oh, and Yvraine/The Yncarne can trigger that as a psychic power if really necessary without anybody having to die/death happening too far away thanks to "Word of the Phoenix". Enjoy!
Note: There are a number of caveats and errata to the Strength from Death ability. A link to the FAQ, with the most recent changes in magenta can be found here
With 33 stratagems overall, including a mix of reprints from the Craftworld codex, Drukhari specific stratagems, and game changing faction exclusive stratagems, Dark Eldar are among the most command point hungry factions in the game.
- Alliance of Agony (1 CP): Used before the battle. If the Warlord is an Archon, pick up to 1 Haemonculus and 1 Succubus. They get to pick a Warlord Trait. It's like having three Warlords for the price of one, and Raiding Force was already encouraging you to take detachments from multiple sub-factions. If the Haemonculus is from the Prophets of Flesh, the Diabolical Soothsayer WT will immediately let this Stratagem pay for itself.
- The Archon is the only one that counts for things like Slay The Warlord. Keep that in mind.
- 16/04/2018 FAQ: This can only be used once per battle.
- Architects of Pain (1 CP): pick a unit at the start of the battle round and treat its Power form Pain as being 1 turn higher than the actual game turn for the rest of the battle round. As with Hyperstimm Backlash, this specifies battle round, not turn. That means you get potential bonuses for two fight phases and two morale phases, but you also telegraph this to your opponent. If they go first in the battle round, they will know what is coming and can try and avoid it.
- On turn one, combine this with webway strike to increase the chances a unit can pull off a vital turn after deep strike.
- On turn two, combine this with a melee unit that is about to disembark from a transport to give them that extra edge.
- The Kabal of the Black Heart can stack this with their own bonus to grant one of their units morale immunity from the second turn.
- Cruel Deception (2 CP): Used if a Drukhari unit in your army falls back. If it does so, it may still shoot and charge this turn.
- Enhanced Aethersails (1 CP): Use when a Raider or Ravager advances. Add 8″ to their move instead of rolling for it.
- when combined with the Cult of the Red Grief, this stratagem can allow a raider to pull of a first turn charge, potentially preventing a unit from shooting and setting up a Wych unit for a second turn disembark. Attempt at your own risk.
- Fire and Fade (1 CP): Allows a Drukhari unit to move up to 7″ after shooting but cannot charge that turn.
- While this may be a duplicate of a Craftworld stratagem, it is still an amazing tool to have access to. Use on deep striking scourges to get into cover after dropping in or on a a Talos to get an extra 7" move toward the enemy. (You don't have to move away from the target).
- Do not use this on your Razorwing or Voidraven unless you want to suicide your own planes.
- Haywire Grenade (1 CP): Used when a Drukhari model throws a plasma grenade at a Vehicle unit. Make a single hit roll, if it hits, it deals D3 mortal wounds.
- Useful for finishing off a badly damaged vehicle or dropping it a damage tier.
- Hunt From the Shadows (1 CP):use if a unit in cover is targeted by a shooting attack. Increase your cover saves by 1. Warriors in cover will go to 3+ saves while scourges will have a 2+.
- Lightning-Fast Reactions (2CP): Use when a Drukharii Infantry, Vehicle, or Biker unit (except for <Haemonculus Coven>) is targeted by a ranged or melee weapon. For the rest of the phase, subtract 1 from hit rolls made against that unit for the phase. Same as their Craftworld cousins, but no less annoying for your opponent.
- Onslaught (1 CP): When an Incubi unit fights in the Fight phase, every unmodified roll of 6 scores 2 hits instead of 1.
- Pray They Don't Take You Alive (1 CP): If you slay the enemy Warlord in the Fight phase, the entirety of the enemy army takes a -1 to Ld for the rest of the game. Tricky to pull off, but a permanent debuff on every enemy unit makes it worth it.
- All three Eldar factions have units that synergise extremely well with this and it can set up some great Leadership Bombs in Soup Lists.
- Prizes from the Dark City (1 CP/ 3CP): Your standard more relics stratagem.
- Screaming Jets (1 CP): As Webway Portal, but with a Drukhari Vehicle that can Fly instead & only one unit (1 CP to Deep Strike 1 unit, units inside a transport do not cost extra). Totally not a copy pasta of the Craftworld stratagem Cloud Strike. Honest. NOTE: You cannot use both Screaming Jets and Webway Portal in the same game; you have to choose one or the other.
- This has drastically better performance than Webway Portal, provided you're using it on valid targets; you can spam it (because it's not used during a phase) at 1 CP per unit, meaning 2 units cost you 2 CP, not 3, and you can keep on paying for it. The big downside is the restriction on valid targets, of course.
- The Great Enemy (1 CP): Re-roll failed wound rolls in the fight phase for one of your units fighting a Slaanesh unit. Also a Craftworld copy-paste, but still helps against Emperor's Children and Slaanesh Daemons.
- Torment Grenades (1 CP): Use before a model fires a Phantasm Grenade Launcher. If an enemy unit is hit, in addition to the usual effects, roll 3d6. If the result is higher than the enemy unit’s highest Leadership characteristic, it suffers 1d3 Mortal Wounds.
- Webway Portal (1 or 3 CP): One use only. When deploying, you can set up either 1 (for 1 CP) or 2 (for 3 CP) Drukhari Infantry, Biker, or Beast unit(s) in the Webway, which can deep strike at any time in the game following the usual rules for deep striking.
- You're probably thinking "Why don't I just shove them in a Raider and use Screaming Jets?" The answer is that you can use these on 1-2 20 elf wych or kabalite blobs to protect them before they get to slashing/blasting your opponent's army off the table.
- Soul-Trap (1 CP): Use when an Archon kills a character, increase the Attack, Leadership, and Strength characteristics of that Archon by 1.
- Not as ridiculously OP as it was in 5th Edition but melee Archons are definitely viable now and it's only 1CP to make them that much more dangerous.
Kabal of the Black Heart
- Agents of Vect (3 CP): Use when your opponent spends CP for using a stratagem but before it takes effect. Roll 1d6; on a 1, nothing happens. On 2-5, the CP used by your opponent is refunded but the stratagem does not take effect and can't be used again this phase. On a 6, the CP is not refunded and the stratagem does not take effect and can't be used again this phase. This stratagem cannot be used against a stratagem that is used before the battle or during deployment.
- Very expensive, but the value of a "counter-Stratagem" cannot be overestimated. Denying an opponent a crucial Command re-roll may be all you need to guarantee a victory on your part.
Kabal of the Flayed Skull
- Masters of the Shadowed Sky (1 CP): Gives a Kabal of the Flayed Skull unit +1 to hit when shooting at a unit with Fly. Perfect for negating the hard to hit rule on most aircraft, and since the Flayed Skull specializes in flyers themselves it'll help their Razorwings dominate even further. Also gives you a hilariously Dark Eldar way of shooting out Jump Pack equipped characters as well.
Kabal of the Obsidian Rose
- Failure is Not an Option (1 CP): Use when a Kabal of the Obsidian Rose unit fails a morale test. Select which models will flee, BUT first they get to make a shooting attack or a single close combat attack each. If this causes even a single enemy model to be slain, no models flee. Maximum sized units can turn what might have otherwise been a devastating loss in the morale phase into an unexpected gain thanks to this, and takes an extra chunk out of your opponent's army for good measure.
Kabal of the Poisoned Tongue
- Insidious Misdirection (2 CP): Use before the first battle round, one use only. Allows you to redeploy 3 Kabal of the Poisoned Tongue units.
- Hyperstimm Backlash (2 CP): At the start of the battle round, choose a unit with the Combat Drugs rule. For the rest of the round, the benefit of Combat Drugs is doubled, but at the end of the battle round, the affected unit must roll a d6 for each model in the unit- it takes a mortal wound for each 1 rolled. If used on a unit with the Stimm Addict WT or the Phial Banquet relic, all its bonuses are doubled but it will suffer D3 mortal wounds at the end of the turn.
- Because this specifies battle round and not turn, you can use this stratagem even if your opponent goes first. For instance, it could make your Reavers with the +1 toughness drug into T6 to guarantee they survive. In addition, you functionally get two entire turns out of the bonus. If you know a unit is going to likely be in combat for more than one fight phase, this can be of great assistance.
- But because it's used at the start of a battle round if you don't get the first turn you'll have to use this when your opponent's turn starts. SO be careful on how you use this.
- Release the Beasts (1 CP): Used at the start of the charge phase. Choose a Beastmaster, your Drukhari Beast units within 6″ of him can re-roll failed charge rolls for that Charge phase.
- Beasts don't benefit from Power from Pain or Obsessions, this patches that very nicely.
- Eviscerating Fly-By (1 CP): Used when a Wych Cult unit with the Fly keyword advances. If you move over an enemy unit with this move, roll a D6 for each model in your unit, adding 1 to the result if the enemy unit you picked is Infantry. On a 6+, the enemy unit takes a Mortal Wound.
- Note that only one model has to move over the unit to trigger this.
Cult of the Red Grief
- Athletic Aerialist (2 CP): When consolidating after combat, you can move a Cult of the Red Grief unit 6" towards the nearest transport. If the move brings all models in the unit within 3" of the transport, they can embark on it as if it was the Movement phase- even if they already disembarked from that transport on the same turn.
Cult of Strife
- No Method of Death Beyond Our Grasp (3 CP): Use after a Cult of Strife unit destroys a unit in either the Shooting or Fight phase (if the latter, after consolidating). Depending on the phase the enemy unit was destroyed, the unit can either shoot or fight again. A single 20-strong blob of Wyches from the Cult of Strife which had its Obsession trigger can put out 81 attacks per turn before Combat Drugs and weapons get factored in. Now imagine what a total of 162 attacks can do to just about anything. You're going to need more dice.
- Do remember to declare your multicharges, Pile In and consolidate properly before using this. Nothing is more expensive than regret
Cult of the Cursed Blade
- Concealed Boobytraps(1 CP): When an enemy charges a unit that is in a terrain, roll a die. On a 4+ deal D3 damage.
- Crucible of Malediction (2 CP): One use only. In the Psychic phase, select a Haemonculus and roll a d6 for each enemy psyker unit within 12". On a 4+, that unit takes D3 mortal wounds.
- Note that Haemonculus get this for free use via the Index anyway as a Wargear option so it's only really worth it for Urien Rakarth, but ask yourself if it's really worth 2CP and getting your Haemonculus that close to an enemy Psyker. No, you probably don't get this anymore as a free upgrade. Tau lost index unit options when they got a similarly named stratagem to replace them. You can try to use index crucibles, but your opponent is going to have a very good case to call you dumb.
- Fleshcraft (1 CP): Used at the end of the movement phase on a Haemonculus Coven Monster that is within 3″ of a Haemonculus. That Monster regains D3 lost wounds.
- Quite nice considering other stratagems like this cost 2 CP
- Freakish Spectacle (1 CP): Used when an enemy unit fails a Morale test within 6″ of a Haemonculus Coven unit in your army. One additional model flees from the enemy unit.
- Combine with the Dark Creed's obsession for maximum effect.
- A nice addition to the Leadership Bomb tactics Aeldari Soup are now very good at.
- Situational at best. The difference between this and a straight up leadership penalty is pretty significant. A leadership penalty will affect things other than morale (such as Mind War, or the shadowseer's grenades). A leadership penalty can convert a passed morale test into a failed one. This cannot. It can only increase the loss by one model on a failed test. So you should only use it on units that have expensive models. Which tend to be small in number anyways, and would probably rout with your other leadership penalties. Always consider if you'd be better off just spending your CP to make a unit hit harder or more often, or to bring a second unit into range, etc, etc. If you can use your CP to simply kill one extra model from a unit in the shooting or fight phase, you're already doing more damage than this stratagem can gain you.
- The Torturer’s Craft (2 CP): Used before a Haemonculus Coven unit from your Army fights in the fight phase. You can re-roll failed wound rolls for that unit.
Prophets of Flesh
- Black Cornucopians (2 CP): Use at the end of the movement phase. Lets you remove a unit of Prophets of Flesh Wracks from the board and return them to the table at full starting strength. The unit is set up wholly within 6" of a table edge and more than 9" from an enemy model. Basically Tide of Traitors from Chaos Space Marines, but with a unit that can be good as something other than a meatshield...and has a 4++ and 6+ FnP for good measure.
The Dark Creed
- An Esoteric Kill, Delivered From Afar (2 CP): allows a Dark Creed unit to shoot at enemy character even if they are not the closest. Coven units are not exactly known for their shooting, but this stratagem can allow a dark lance equipped raider or a Talos with Heat Lances to snipe a character. Try not to miss. Speaking of which, Tantalus is a perfectly viable unit choice to employ this stratagem, so you might vaporise the enemy character with 12 Pulse Disintegrator shots instead. Also has good synergy with the Dark Creed relic pistol, 3 shots hitting on 2s, wounding on 2s, ignoring almost any save is pretty menacing and gets really dangerous to even tough characters as the game goes on and they start losing wounds (less powerful than the tantalus but still).
Coven of Twelve
- Administer Punishment (1 CP): Select a Coven of Twelve unit during the Shooting phase. It can shoot at enemies that are within 1" of another friendly unit, but any hit roll of 1 is resolved as a hit against the friendly unit instead. If more than one friendly unit is present, choose which one gets hit. This Stratagem can't be issued to a unit which is itself within 1" of an enemy unit.
- Unlike the Valhallans' "Fire on My Command!" Order that this is based off of, auto-hitting weapons are affected by this. For each hit from such a weapon, roll a d6; on a 4+ it hits normally, but on a 1-3 it hits one of your units. This makes it much more risky to use than its IG counterpart, which can just use Flamers to avoid the possibility of self-inflicted damage. On the other hand, Liquifier Guns and Spirit Syphons aren't exactly that dangerous to Coven units, so its probably less of a risk than simply the loss of about half the shots.
- Could be very useful for a Talos equipped with Haywire Blasters or Heat Lances depending on how their Codex pans out. Wracks Tarpit something big, and the Talos blasts it apart.
- Very useful for trapping a character and having a Talos blast it apart with Heat Lances.
- 11 - Take Them Alive!
- 1 VP if at least one enemy unit was destroyed in the Fight phase. Improved to 1d3 VP if an Infantry Character was slain.
- 12 - Fear and Terror
- 1 VP if an enemy failed a morale test this turn.
- 13 - Death of a Thousand Cuts
- 1 VP if at least one model was lost from three or more different enemy units this turn. Upped to 1d3 if you did it with at least 6 different enemy units instead.
- 14 - Trophy Hunter
- The opponent nominates one objective and one of their Characters. Score 1 VP if you control the objective, slay the Character, or both.
- 15 - There Is No Escape
- 1 VP if you completely destroy an enemy unit that began the turn on or within terrain.
- 16 - Pain, In All Its Forms
- 1 VP if you destroyed an enemy unit in both the Shooting and Fight phases this turn. If at least two units were destroyed in each phase, score 1d3 VP instead. If at least one of these units was destroyed by a Kabal unit, one by a Wych Cult unit, and one by a Haemonculus Coven unit, score 1d3+3 VP instead. Another reason to take at least 3 detachments on top of the Raiding Force bonuses, but the base form is Take Them Alive! only harder.
Dark Eldar do not have native access to psychic powers but can include Ynnari or Craftworld psykers to fill the gap. That said unless you have a mixed list only Doom, Executioner, Mind War and the debuff portions of the Runes of Battlepowers are worth it. Oh and Smite. Just remember not to stick an Haemonculus next to a Psyker unless you like explosions (or a hilariously Dark Eldar way to trigger Soulburst). See the Craftworld Eldar Tactica for more information on the Psychic powers Craftworlds units have.
Revenant Discipline (Ynnari)
Only available to Yvraine and the Yncarne, these powers allow them to play both a supportive and offensive role for your army.
- Gaze of Ynnead: Essentially Smite on crack, this power deals damage based on a D6; A roll of 1 results in 1 Mortal Wound, 2-5 causes D3 Mortal Wounds, and a 6 Results in D6 Mortal Wounds on the target. This is perfect for either softening up a hardy unit or vehicle, or dispatching whatever battle-worn foes that didn't quite bite it last turn.
- Ancestor's Grace: This power allows the targeted friendly unit to reroll whatever To-Hit rolls of 1 they may have cast during the shooting phase. A nice supplemental power, but it might be better to simply utilize an Autarch who will benefit multiple units automatically with his aura (so long as you're using primarily <Craftworld> eldar in your Ynnari detachment).
- Word of the Phoenix: This. This is why the Ynnari are so damn good. At a warp charge of 8, this power allows one Ynnari Infantry, Biker, or the Yncarne to use one immediate Soulburst action (if they have not triggered Soulburst that turn already). Firing off two salvos from Scourges or Kabalites at range, or melting everything up close with Incubi or Trueborn, this power can all but guarantee the death of at least one enemy unit, possibly even two. What's better is that with proper positioning, you could unleash a domino effect and trigger multiple instances of SfD as long as your units can keep killing your targets. Kill em all and let Ynnead sort em out!
- Hatred Eternal: Changed from Chapter Approved to reflect the Archon's new aura. Re-roll ALL failed to wound rolls for the Warlord. Drazhar has this.
- Deliciously sadistic if you use this on an Archon with a splinter pistol relic, since it's one of the few things that allows you to reroll with a relic. Or just a Blaster/Blast Pistol for that matter.
- Obviously worse on a Black Heart Archon with the Writ of the Living Muse, due to overlapping buffs. But you weren't taking this over Labyrinthine Cunning anyways.
- Soul Thirst: Get +1A when charging, being charged, or performing a Heroic Intervention. Additionally, slaying a model in the Fight phase restores one wound.
- Remember, this heals you for every model you kill.
- Ancient Evil: In the morale phase, enemies within 3" of the Warlord must roll an extra d6 for morale checks and choose the highest one.
- Good on a leadership bomb army, especially combined with an allied Dark Creed detachment.
- Remember, the additional die happens on every roll, so if the rolling unit has a re-roll ability, the additional die still happens on the re-roll. This is also independent of what die they roll, if they can roll 1d3 instead of 1d6.
- This is a compulsory effect, so beware its tendency to increase the chance of a Tau unit with Bond of Brotherhood to pass Morale tests, since they autopass on 6s.
- Kabal of the Black Heart - Labyrinthine Cunning: Roll a d6 each time you or your opponent spends a command point to use a stratagem. On a 6, you gain one command point. It may not be original, but that's never stopped it from being useful. Pair it with Agents of Vect and your opponent will strongly reconsider using any kind of Stratagem against you. FAQ confirms that they just have to be on the Battlefield so can't use this from the comfort of a transport as models in transports are not on the battlefield.
- Kabal of the Poisoned Tongue - Towering Arrogance: Friendly units within 12" of the Warlord can use the Warlord's Ld. Typically, this is worth a whopping +1Ld. Yawn.
- Kabal of the Flayed Skull - Famed Savagery: Get +1A and +1S when charging, being charged, or performing a Heroic Intervention. Useful if you want to kit out an Assault Archon using the Husk/Djinn Blade.
- Kabal of the Obsidian Rose - Deathly Perfectionist: The Warlord's weapons gain +1D. Does not affect relics. D2 Agonizers and Splinter Pistols are nice, but using this with a Blast Pistol is just evil.
- Master Regenesist: Heal d3 lost wounds at the start of your turn.
- Master Nemesine: In the fight phase, gain +1 on rolls to wound.
- Master Artisan: Friendly <haemonculus Coven> units within 6" can reroll 1s on their Inured to Suffering rolls. This will allow one extra success for every 36 rolls - very underwhelming.
- Prophets of Flesh - Diabolical Soothsayer: Once per battle, reroll a single hit, wound roll, saving throw, or damage roll for your warlord. In addition, if the army is battle forged, roll a D3 before the battle begins; you gain a number of additional command points equal to the results. Urien Rakarth has this.
- Note: This refers to your Warlord. This means that if you gave a Haemonculus a Warlord Trait through Alliance of Agony, then it is your Archon that gains the benefit (no as these characters are considered the warlord in relation to their warlord traits. This mean that the Archon is the only warlord that can give up slay the warlord as it is the warlord in all regards). Combining this with Alliance of Agony makes this at worst, CP Neutral. If you have the Labyrinthine Cunning Warlord Trait you stand a chance at making even more back as well.
- Dark Creed - Fear Incarnate: At the start of the Fight phase, roll 2d6 for each unit within 3" of the Warlord. If the result is higher than that unit's highest LD, the unit takes a mortal wound. Does synergise with your obsession, but the failure to deal more mortal wounds the larger the gap makes it end up decidedly underwhelming compared to Master Nemesine, particularly on a Haemonculus with an Ichor Injector.
- Coven of Twelve - Scarlet Epicurean: Reduce incoming damage by 1, down to a minimum of 1. Usually better than Master Regenesist in melee, but if you're trying to survive sniper rifles, remember that it won't reduce incoming mortal wounds at all, unlike Master Regenesist (if you live long enough to roll to recuperate).
- Quicksilver Fighter: The user always fights first in the Fight phase, unless fighting a unit that has charged or possesses a similar rule.
- Stimm Addict: Can take 2 Combat Drug choices instead of one if choosing. If rolling to determine Combat Drug effects, rolling duplicates will make the effect stack.
- Precision Blows: Wound rolls of 6 inflict a bonus mortal wound on top of their normal damage.
- Cult of the Red Grief - Hyper-swift Reflexes: Increases invulnerable save by 1. Not much but useful nonetheless, especially if you intend your Blood Glaive Succubus to duel enemy HQs.
- Cult of Strife - Blood Dancer: When rolling a 6 to hit in the fight phase, that attack counts as 3 hits instead of 1. Due to Power From Pain, this can trigger on 5+ from turn three. The Cult of Strife's extra attacks from their Obsession will make sure the extra hits happen with considerable frequency. Lelith Hesperax has this, and boy, does she benefit from it.
- Keep in mind, however, that a Succubus using an Archite Glaive cannot trigger the trait until battle round 3...unless you give her the right drugs.
- Cult of the Cursed Blade - Treacherous Deceiver: Each unmodified save roll of 6 made by the Warlord in the fight phase causes the attacker to take a mortal wound.
- Suicide Succubus anyone?
- Bale Blast: Exclusive to Mandrakes and damn good. 2 shots with 18" and AP-1 that each have a chance to deal mortal wounds in addition to the normal damage.
- Blast Pistol: Tiny range, massive stopping power. Since you can fire Pistols in melee now, these might actually be worth taking for a change. Upped to d6 damage, making it kind of like an Inferno Pistol without the melta effect but with better availability and just as hilarious when you vapourize your opponent's special snowflake character with a single shot.
- Blaster: Same profile of the pistol but Assault and with three times the range. The S8 AP-4 combination will plow through most tanks and D6 damage for every wound will add up fast. It's a shame they don't have the same "roll 2d6 pick highest" rule as their Imperial cousins, but they're cheap, have better range than a meltagun, and and they're much more easily spammed in most lists. The 18" range, 24" if Obsidian Rose means that it's also generally difficult to charge the unit with the Blaster for all but the fastest of units. Generally will be your Workhorse as far as Special Weapon options go.
- Dark Lance: The good shit. Same as above but Heavy and twice the range. Also interesting is that it becomes an Assault weapon when mounted on a vehicle, most likely so you don't have to compromise their accuracy when mounting them on paper boats. Infantry that use them still class them as Heavy though, so keep that in mind if taking one for a squad in a Raider. Like the more portable Blaster, this will be your Workhorse Heavy Weapon for your Kabalite units and generally your default choice.
- Dark Scythe: D3 index blaster shots (that is to say D3 damage). Pretty useful for sniping characters or taking out heavy infantry, but overshadowed by the buff blasters got. Voidraven exclusive.
- Plasma Grenade: Frag grenades with S4 and AP-1. Fun when softening infantry up before a charge, but little else. The AP means they will do more damage than a Splinter Weapon if something is close enough. Remember to toss one out for Overwatch if your opponent is charging from 6" away. For 1 CP you can make it do an instant d3 Mortal wounds against vehicles, so don't forget to toss one at a vehicle foolish enough to come close to your units.
- Disintegrator Cannon: Half the price it was in the Index now, 15pts. A DC Ravager is cheaper than the DL ver. by 15pt!! A frankly terrifying statline of Assault 3, S5, AP -3, Damage 2, so it has lower base than the Dark Lance but with a high enough rate of fire that it's still decently effective against light vehicles while also scaring the living hell out of all kinds of infantry. The only downside is that you are usually trading away a Dark Lance to take one so make absolutely sure that you have enough Anti-Vehicle weapons before taking one as nothing is more expensive than regret. A Dark Lance will score 1.55 Wounds against T7, 4+ vs 1.33 per Dissie so Dissies can still do work against Tanks from the sheer volume of fire.
- Eyeburst: Oddly not a Flamer anymore, the Eyeburst of the Medusae has 4 shots S4 with AP-2. Burns through armour well enough, but keep an Archon close for those rerolls to Hit because this thing does NOT hit automatically.
- Haywire Blaster: This was once the most reliable anti-tank gun in the game, and has spent some time on the shelf, gathering dust. The Codex has buffed it to Assault d3, with it still Automatically inflicting a Mortal Wound on a 4+, and d6 Mortal Wounds on a 6+ regardless of if the shot actually caused any wounds. Each hit giving a 50% chance of stripping a Mortal Wound isn't quite the electromagnetic rape the gun dished out in 7th Edition, but it is a very cheap and reliable weapon at tossing out Mortal Wounds. It has an excellent niche in countering things like Quantum Shielding or Serpent Shields as Mortal Wounds are always dealt one at a time.
- Heat Lance: Strength of "only" 6, but with a massive -5 AP and usual Melta rules of "on half range, roll 2D6 and pick the highest for damage". Codex reduced the price to, 12 POINTS - Rejoice Dark Brethren! Great for sniping out T3 characters with Scourges, Reavers and Talos (with the relevant Stratagem)
- Hexrifle: A bog-standard Sniper Rifle now. Can shoot at characters and has a tiny chance of inflicting a mortal wound in addition to normal damage. The fact that both the Acothyst and the Haemonculus want to get stuck in melee and not stand back and fire Heavy weapons further hurts it.
- Liquifier Gun: D6 auto-hits with AP-D3. Nice. Even the worst roll for the AP still screws with armour and that 33% chance of turning power armour into a 6+ save is fantastic. Shame about the strength of 3.
- Twin Liquifier Gun: Shockingly, this is the same as above but with 2D6 shots.
- Ossefactor: A single shot with AP-3 that always wounds on 2+ (or 6+ if shooting at a vehicle) is already great at sniping the odd wound off the opponent but the chance to toss in a mortal wound as a chaser if the first shot kills something makes it even better.
- Phantasm Grenade Launcher: D3 shots at a piss-poor Strength of 1, but it's not meant to kill things (although it totally can). It simply lowers enemy Leadership if they're hit by it. Stupidly cheap at 3 points a pop, and it can be taken by Sybarites, Hekatrices, Dracons, Syrens, Archons, Raiders, and Ravagers. Best on the Archon, as with his BS of 2+, he is pretty likely to hit something with it. Could also potentially force your opponent into burning CP on morale tests as well. There is nothing more hilarious than an S1 weapon killing a model in a squad of 3 Leadership 7 models and your opponent then rolling a 6 with 0CP...
- Pulse Disintegrator: Found only on the Tantalus. Assault 6 S8 AP-3 D2. A Dark Angels player's wet dream, this thing is essentially an overcharged Plasma Cannon, but with a cooling system that actually works and the rate of fire of an Assault Cannon... Oh, and the Tantalus comes with two of them. You couldn't catch a bus back to 'overkill'.
- Razorwing Missiles: The Jetfighter is equipped with all types of missiles by default, which is awesome. Even more awesome is the fact that they don't go away after being fired once. Rather, you choose one type of missiles in a shooting phase and use their profile.
- Monoscythe Missile: Strength 6 and no AP value but Damage 2. Force 'em armour saves, the enemy will hurt when they fail them. Better than shatterfield against multi-wound models with lower toughness and lower saves (break even at T5, 4+, 2W, for example)
- Necrotoxin Missile: 3D3 shots (averaging out to the Pre-Nerf number of shots it had in the Index) that wound non-Vehicles on a 2+. You are looking at an average of 3 Wounds per missile against non-Vehicle units, 4 if you use the Flayed Skull Stratagem on non-Vehicle units with Fly. Solid choice.
- Shatterfield Missile: S7, AP-1, re-rolling to wound. Edges out the Razorwing missiles against most vehicles, and all 1-wound models.
- Shredder: Finally buffed in the Codex to Assault d6, S6 AP-1, Re-Rolling Wounds against Infantry putting them slightly ahead of Splinter Cannons for your dedicated Anti-Infantry option. Shredders are cheap and chew through GEQs, hurt MEQs and can even threaten light Vehicles. Plus the range synergizes well with Splinter Rifles since, if you can shoot the Shredder, then you're also in Rapid Fire range. However, their range means your unit is dying to Rapid Fire, or getting charges as 12" range is a death sentence to the Kabalite Warriors carrying them. Obsidian Rose's Obsession alleviates this somewhat, as does putting them on Scourges to hit and run with Fire and Fade. The other downside is that they do compete in the same weapon slot as the Blaster. All told it is a good gun now, and a clear upgrade to a Splinter Rile or Shardcarbine, but it competing with the Blaster in your Special Weapon slots does hurt the value proposition.
- Splinter Weaponry: All of the following weapons do not have a Strength score. Instead, they always wound non-vehicles on 4+, and vehicles on 6+, so if you're desperate, you can still unleash a torrent of poisoned shots at that Land Raider and hope something sticks. Since they don't have a Strength score, they inherently ignore abilities that trigger on strength values, like the Krieg abilities that make some of their models more resistant to attacks of Strength 4 or less.
- Splinter Pistol: Pistol with 1 shot and 12" range. Don't forget to use it in melee.
- Splinter Rifle: Rapid Fire 1 with 24" range. Stock on Warriors and Trueborn. You know it. You love it.
- Twin Splinter Rifle: Shockingly twice the above at Rapid Fire 2.
- Splinter Pods: Assault 2 18" range so your Hellions can shoot something.
- Shardcarbine: Assault 3 as a stock gun for Scourges and Sslyth.
- Splinter Cannon: The big'un. 36", Rapid Fire 3. This is technically a nerf since you only get your 6 shots at half range now. On the upside, your Infantry can now move and still fire 6 shots. Synergises pretty well with Blasters actually as if you can shoot the Blaster in the unit, the Splinter Cannon on the Venom/Unit the unit can Rapid Fire that target as well.
- Spirit Syphon: D6 auto-hits with nice AP and a chance of doing extra damage. Only S3 though so keep that in mind.
- Spirit Vortex: Exchanges the auto-hitting of the Spirit Syphon for 10 more inches of range. Still only S3 so keep that in mind.
- Stinger Pistol: Buffed up Splinter Pistol wounding INFANTRY on a 2+, and VEHICLES on a 6+. It also only costs 5 points!
- Stinger Pod: 2D6 S5 shots. Would be far better if the Talos had a better BS. Like the Shredder, it's useful in those situations where the Strength score on your gun matters (which is a lot actually). Now the cheapest option for your talos, much more reasonably priced at 15pts.
- Void Lance: Lascannon with -4 AP but less range. Given you get two stock on a Voidraven, the range doesn't matter. Voidraven exclusive.
- Voidraven Missiles: You can equip the bomber with missiles for 10 pts. Like in RJW's case, they don't go away after using them once anymore. Simply choose one type per shooting phase and fire away.
- Implosion Missile: Exclusive to Voidraven, D3 shots at S6 and AP-3.
- Shatterfield Missile: Same as the Razorwing's. Strong, but you better roll good with that D6.
- Agoniser: Wounds everything but vehicles on 4+, wounds Vehicles on a 6+ and has AP-2. Good stuff. Better for the Archon than a Huskblade against single wound models with T5. Only costs 4 points. Go HB if you plan on pretty much anything else.
- Archite Glaive: S+2, AP-3. Sounds like a dream right? Nope, you also take a -1 penalty to your Hit rolls and only have Damage 1 for your troubles. That said, your Succubus has a WS of 2+ anyway so don't worry about the penalty too much, and she can functionally ignore the penalty entirely if you give her Serpentin or from Turn 3 onwards with PFP.
- Beastmaster's Scourge: Normal weapon with an additional point of Strength. Better than nothing.
- Bladevanes: These come stock on your transports and Reavers, for a little extra melee clout. S 4, AP-1.
- Chain-Flails: Rerolls To Wound and make 2 hit rolls for each attack allocated to this weapon. Nice if you want your Talos to do horde duty
- Claws and Talons: Standard close combat weapon with no bonuses on Ur-Ghuls. They do make 2 bonus attacks on the charge, though.
- Demi-Klaives: You can choose between either S+1 and AP-3 or AP-2 and two additional attacks. With the way Wounding works now, use the dual blade profile for the T8 or higher enemies.
- Electrocorrosive Whip: An Agoniser but with damage 2. This, right here, turns Haemonculi from weak and helpless into fantastic character killers.
- Flesh Gauntlet: Come stock on Grotesques but Haemonculi like them, too. S:User in the codex, Wound-rolls of 6+ also deal a mortal wound. No AP but you have your cleavers for that but Haemonculi should stay away from this. Instead you use this against units with high Invul saves like Daemons and Crusaders
- Glimmersteel Blades: Mandrake ccws with AP-1
- Haemonculus Tools: The quintessential poisoned weapons from which all others here are offshoots. Wounds on 4+ (6+ if you target a VEHICLE).
- Hekatarii Blade: Grant an additional attack. Makes your Wyches and Bloodbrides scary.
- Hellglaive: S+1 and Damage 2. Oh dear lord, send those Hellions at multi-wound models and watch the opponent devote all his shooting to killing them(which they will).
- Huskblade: Strength +1, AP-2 and D3 Damage, rejoice! Huskblades are good again! makes your Archon great for murdering characters and swarms with all of the Multi-Wound damage they can do, especially with a Blast Pistol
- Hydra Gauntlets: AP-1, an additional attack AND it lets you reroll To Wound. Take as many on your Wyches as you can.
- Ichor Injector: Only one attack can be made with this weapon. Strength User (so either 6 for the Talos or 3 for Urien) and rerolls To Wound. If you roll a 6+ To Wound, you deal D3 mortal wounds in addition to the normal damage, which can potentially kill 4 models in one strike but don't bet on that happening with only one attack.
- You can take this in addition to your other melee weapon in the codex and it gained AP-1 but it's still not worthwile
- Impaler: AP-1 and Damage 2. For when your Wyches need to deal with two-wound enemies like Primaris Marines.
- Klaive: Strength +1, AP-3. The basic tool for your Incubi.
- Macro-Scalpel: AP-1 and Damage 2. Also, if you have 2, you make one additional attack with it Cheap and effective. Come stock on the Talos and still a decent weapon.
- Mindphase Gauntlet: Bog-standard weapon, except with Damage 2. Since damage doesn't spread between models, this is worthless against 1 Wound models and with Strength: User and no AP it won't help much against anything else, either.
- Monstrous Cleaver: Stock on Grotesques and damn good. AP-2 and lets you make an additional attack with it. Use it to kill GEQs and MEQs in the droves.
- Power Lance: Basically the same as a Power Axe now. S+2, AP-1. Nice, but kinda wasted on the Solarite.
- Power Sword: S:User, AP-3 can opener. Shame about your awful Strength stats.
- Razorflails: Similar to Hydra Gauntlets, AP-1, +D3 attacks, re-rolls to hit for Wyches; use these if you want to chew through GEQs or deep strike a big 20 elf unit.
- Scissorhand: Haemonculus Tools with AP-1 and an additional attack. Great on an Acothyst, but a Haemonculus can use the Electrocorrosive Whip better.
- Shaimeshi Blade: Haemonculus Tools adds 2 to Wound, on a 6+ it deals a mortal wound in addition to its normal damage (Note: with the +2 to wound this means a roll of 4+ turns into a Mortal Wound). Exclusive to Lhamaeans. Use this on a Poisoned Tongue kabal and you will put a dent on anything
- Shardnet and Impaler: Impaler statline, plus an extra attack. Also forces your opponent to roll-off with only a d3 when trying to fall-back. Need to hold someone's bubblewrap in place? Well, you just found the perfect option.
- Spirit-Leech Tentacles: S:User, AP-1, 1 DMG that does D3 damage on a wound roll of 6+. Available to the Cronos.
- Sslyth Battle-Blade: AP-1, just in case a Sslyth's melee didn't look intimidating enough already.
- Stunclaw: Like the Hellglaive, it is S+1, but only does one damage. However, 6+ to wound with this weapon does a mortal wound in addition to other damage.
- Venom Blade: Haemonculus Tools that wound on 2+. Exclusive to the Covens, Archons, and Solarites. Pretty cheap.
- Chain-Snares: When attacking with blade-vanes, re-roll hit rolls of 1.
- Dire Scythe Blade: Because your warlord just has to have the biggest blades on their floating death catamaran. Unique to the Tantalus and similar in form to the Shock Prow and Sharpened Prow Blade, but isn't limited to just one attack and hits at S8 AP-2. Useful to finish off anything that you didn't quite manage to completely annihilate with the Pulse Disintegrators.
- Enhanced Aethersails: Tantalus exclusive. Instead of rolling a die, Tantalus simply doubles its movement value when it Advances. A movement value of 16", by the way.
- Flickerfield: Venom exclusive. Your opponent must subtract 1 from all hit rolls that target the vehicle in the shooting phase.
- Night Shield: All Dark Eldar Vehicles are equipped with those, which grant them 5+ invulnerable save against all ranged weapons. Jink is gone, but there's that to compensate.
- Sharpened Prow Blade: The Reaper's scythe, works the same as the Shock Prow below but at Damage 2. Make sure to paint some blood on it.
- Shock Prow: Lets you make one attack at S User AP-1 and gains d3 D on a charge. It's only 1 point, so knock yourself out. Available to Raiders and Ravagers.
- Splinter Rack: Raiders only. Gives embarked splinter pistols and rifles exploding 6's. Any 6+ to hit cause two hits instead of one.
- Great on a Flayed Skull detachment, since you get to re-roll 1s while on your murder boat.
- Grisly Trophies: For every model that flees within 6" of a unit with this, roll a d6. On a 6, an additional model flees.
- 2 points, so always a good idea on a Dark Creed detachment.
- Animus Vitae: One use only. 6" grenade that deals d3 mortal wounds if it hits. If it kills a model, anyone within 6" of the bearer counts their Power from Pain bonus as 1 round higher for the remainder of the turn, which stacks with similar effects (e.g. Kabal of the Black Heart's Obsession).
- Don't force yourself to get into a situation to take advantage of that second effect. You have d3 mortal wounds in any one shooting phase, and if you get a bonus in the following fight phase that's just icing on the cake.
- Djin Blade: Replaces a Huskblade, making it Archon only. Gains an extra AP, and you can make 2 extra attacks with this weapon. However, after combat roll a D6, on a 1 suffer a mortal wound.
- Mortal wounds can't burn out your Shadowfield, because you don't get to use it in the first place...
- Also, Sslyth can 2+ absorb wounds from the blade just fine.
- Great on a beatstick Archon, shame about it occasionally eating their souls.
- Give it to an Archon with Soul-Thirst to heal that mortal wound.
- Helm of Spite: Auto-include for next time you're fighting Thousand Sons or the likes. Allows you to attempt to deny like a psyker. If successful, the enemy psyker suffers a perils automatically. Nice.
- Nightmare doll: Haemonculus only. Improves FnP to 4+.
- A Prophets of Flesh with this and Master Regenesis can just laugh off almost any attempt to kill it.
- Parasite's Kiss: Replaces a splinter pistol; is an upgraded stinger pistol - +2 to wound rolls against non-vehicles (i.e. 2+ usually, 4+ against just titanic). +1ROF, -2AP, +1D, and when it kills an enemy model, the bearer gains a wound back.
- Triptych Whip: Succubus only. An agoniser with +3 attacks.
- Give it to a Blood Dancer for some poisonous fun.
- The Armour of Misery (Kabal of the Obsidian Rose): Archon only. Grants a 3+ armour save, and enemies have a -1 to hit in the fight phase. Gives your Archon a good amount of protection after his Shadowfield has burnt out (which we know will definitely happen at the worst possible time - aka the 1st time).
- Soul-Seeker (Kabal of the Poisoned Tongue): Archon only. Replaces a splinter pistol; is an upgraded stinger pistol - +2 to wound rolls against non-vehicles (i.e. 2+ usually, 4+ against just titanic). +6" range, +1ROF, -1AP, changes D from 1 to 1d3. Ignores cover save modifiers, ignores LOS, can snipe enemy characters.
- Great for a character hunting Archon since nothing will protect a character in range of this weapon.
- Writ of the Living Muse (Kabal of the Black Heart): Archon only. Allows friendly units within 6" to reroll 1s to wound. Put that Archon next to a bunch of Ravagers and let him orchestrate a symphony of destruction.
- Obsidian Veil (Kabal of the Flayed Skull): Archon only. If (i.e. when) your shadow field fails, gain a 4++ invulnerable save for rest of game.
- Blood Glaive (Cult of the Red Grief): An Archite Glaive with +1S (+3 total), D1d3 instead of 1, and most importantly, no -1 to hit. Not much else to say but take it and engage blender mode!
- Phial Bouquet (Cult of Strife): Gain the effect of a random drug every round, in addition to the currently selected drug. If the randomly chosen drug is the same as the one the bearer is already under the effects of, the bonuses stack.
- Traitor's Embrace (Cult of the Cursed Blade): Succubus only. If the bearer is slain in the Fight phase, the unit that killed it takes d6 mortal wounds on a 2+.
- Vexator Mask (Prophets of Flesh): No overwatch against the bearer. At the start of the Fight phase, choose a unit within 6"; that unit fights last.
- Spirit Sting (Dark Creed): A 3 shot stinger pistol, Ap -4. Adds +2 to wound against non-vehicles, and ignores invulnerable saves.
- Flensing blade (Coven of Twelve): Replaces Haemonculus Tools. -2 AP, d3 D. Adds +1 to wound against non-vehicles and always deals 3 D against characters.
Note: Characters in Transports are kind of a pain due to capacity being 5, 10, or 16, while many other armies have an odd number for their transports so you can fit in a character. Because only Yvraine and The Visarch (and technically The Yncarne but yeah...) ignore keyword rules with transports, you have to either buy a Venom just for the character (inefficient use of points), put multiple characters into a Venom (Puts so many eggs into one basket it will draw fire from the Empire vs Dwarfs game from the nearby Warhammer Age of Sigmar table) or put them with a 9-Elf unit in a Raider (gimps a unit, but is the most viable option). Just keep this in mind if you are taking multiple HQ units.
- Archon: The very customizable leader for your <kabal> army. Has the standard re-roll 1s to hit aura. He comes stock with a Huskblade, which you can switch out for an Agoniser, Power Sword, or Venom Blade, and a Splinter Pistol, which you can swap out for a Blast Pistol, or, using the Index, a Blaster. Can also take a Phantasm Grenade Launcher, again using the Index. No reason not to splurge, really, since all his upgrades are useful. The Blaster will do work if you plan on keeping your Archons in their Venoms, and is a very worthy purchase. If you do wanna get in melee, then by all means go for a Blast Pistol and Huskblade, because you will just murder any multiwound characters with that setup.
- Archon has an in-built 2++ (that is not re-rollable by any means), which is lost after the first failed save roll, meaning Mortal Wounds do not affect that, and are flat out ignored on a 6+ anyway. Cool, huh?
- The Agonizer deals with T4 and up 1 wound models while the Huskblade deals with T3 and T4 characters and other multiwound models (Swarms especially).
- The new Character Targetting rules in the FAQ have made Archons the best objective camper and deep strike denial unit in the army, and possibly the whole game. The tl;dr is that as long as there is a non-character unit between Shooter and Character, the character can't be targetted, even if the intervening unit is not in LoS. So not only are your Archons a pain to target, but your opponent also needs to pop the 2++ before you can get a unit between it and Archon, and the Archon can fend off a lot of units to boot! Sit back and let the peons do the dying while you bask in the warm glow of the souls being reaped by your Raiding Party!
- Succubus: Buff Vector for your <wych cult> units. Still only 4 attacks, but there are now so many ways to get around this limitation or make the most of what she can do that it hardly matters anymore. She lets Wyches reroll 1s To Hit in melee, which, for her and from turn 3 on for everything will probably mean they will be hitting on 2+ rerollable (yay!). The Succubus herself comes stock with an Archite Glaive, which lowers her Hit rolls to 3+, but if you absolutely must ensure you hit she comes with an Agonizer as well (the Glaive will usually outperform it anyhow, even against infantry). Her 4++ Dodge Save (that works outside of close combat now! Double yay!) will also keep her safe that much longer and don't ever forget about her drugs. All in all, this codex is exactly what the Succubus needed to truly shine as a badass leader for your Wyches!
- Succubi can (and should) swap the Agonizer for a Blast Pistol, which can deal with the heavily armored targets they struggle with in melee.
- You can also replace both the glaive and agonizer with a wych cult weapon. For the love of Khaine, do this! Don't take the Razorflails, though, you're wasting the re-rolls to hit and the extra attack or two aren't worth it compared to the other options. but Hydra Gauntlets can also be nice to make sure your attacks have a better chance of wounding, and the shardnet & impaler are definitely the best of the three against anything with more than one wound.
- The Red Grief Succubus can be one of the best and cheapest duelists of the Drukhari. First, with the specific Archite Glaive Relic 'The Blood Glaive' (which you should absolutely take because it doesn't have a negative modifier to hit like the stock weapon!) and Adrenalight she can make 5 S6 AP-3 DD3 attacks which will basically never miss, or with Grave Lotus 4 S7 attacks and if you fancy dropping a couple of CP on Hyperstimm Backlash to make her S8, you can giggle at the mental image of your Succubus bisecting tanks and Dreadnoughts with her Glaive. That alone makes her quite good, but add the Red Grief Warlord trait, and she reaches a 3++ Inv save - or take Stimm Addict for both A5 and S7 at the same time (still not usually worth it, but your mileage may vary). Throw in a Blast Pistol as well for good measure and it only costs 60 points total for a model that can go toe-to-toe with characters and monsters that are double or sometimes even triple her points cost! A true champion of the Commorrite arenas!
- Another option is to take a Cult of Strife Succubus with a Triptych Whip and just bury your opponent under the sheer volume of attacks. 8 Poisoned Attacks (9 with the +1 Attack Drug) at AP-2 is nothing to sneeze at.
- A Cursed Blade Succubus with hydra gauntlets, the Precision Blows trait, and Traitor's Embrace relic may be useful to deal with almost any target character thanks to amount of mortal wounds she can cause.
- Take a Cursed Blade Succubus with the Treacherous deceiver trait, Traitor's embrace relic and a shardnet and impaler and watch as enemy HQs have no choice but to kill your 55 pt succubus and take ALL the mortal wounds in return. You'd be giving up slay the warlord, but in games where that isn't worth any points this can be a hilariously effective character assassin.
- Haemonculus: A nasty little Character for your <haemonculus coven> army. On the one hand, he's a buff vector that flat increases your <haemonculus coven>'s Toughness by 1 within 6". This makes Grotesques all but immune to small arms fire and is generally nice. However, the Haemonculus is now actually an impressive combat character. Like all <haemonculus coven> units he comes stock with a 5++ Invulnerable save, so combined with his 5 Wounds and effective Toughness of 5 and the PFP save he can survive quite a bit. But he also has 5 attacks and access to all the nasty poisoned weapons you could want. Give him an Electrocorrosive Whip and go Character-hunting or take a Scissorhand or Venomblade and kill scores of light infantry. Just, don't send him after Vehicles. Can also take a Crucible of Malediction, which is a nasty anti-Psyker tool and since it is apparently free, you should always take one along, just in case you find yourself surrounded by Grey Knights.
- Going by RAW, the Aura can buff the toughness of Raiders and Venoms that have the same <haemonculus coven> tag. Remember that you need to be actually standing outside the Vehicle for it to have an effect. Outside meaning in an easy target for Deep Strikers, Snipers and Bikers.
- Drazhar: Your favourite (and only) Incubi special character dropped even more points and gained a 5+ invulnerable save! All the while keeping his amazing stat line as well as his buff to Incubi which allows them to add 1 to their hit rolls (a bit redundant at WS 3+, of course, and even moreso on him, since he comes with a 2+). Perhaps surprisingly he doesn't have the Klaivex's +2 damage ability, but now he can fight a second time if he charged. He can also use an alternate profile for his klaives, giving up a point of strength and AP for two bonus attacks.
Cult of Strife
- Lelith Hesperax: The Queen of the Arena came out of the codex much closer to her classic form. Instead of doing drugs, she simply chooses a stat each turn and gains that bonus. 3++ special Dodge now works outside of combat, and she still has bucketloads of attacks that will never miss. She re-rolls failed hits and wounds against other Characters, meaning she does an average of about 3 wounds on T4-T5 characters at AP-4 D1 each. Then her hair gets 2 more attacks (yep!) to put maybe another wound plus another from her obsession. Even things with Storm Shields might not be able to count on their invulnerable saves protecting them from all of her attacks. She can swap out one of her knives for an impaler, but the extra point of damage from the impaler isn't worth the reduced AP or the loss of the other extra attack for having two of the knives.
- The Cult of Strife WT is what really makes her shine. On a charge, she'll make 5 attacks with her two blades (and that's without choosing +1A) and 2 with her hair, which will translate to more than 6.8 blade hits and more than 2.7 hair hits. With the Strength boost you are looking at 3.86 dead Marines or 5.75 dead Guardsmen per charge before Turn 3, and 4.96 dead Marines or 7.39 dead Guardsmen as of Turn 3. The Attacks boost will get you substantially fewer kills against these targets - with the sheer number of swings Lelith gets, you want to only choose +1A when +1S won't help, such as if you find yourself stabbing a T8+ target. And we haven't even started with what she can do to characters (even SMASHFUCKER needs to be wary of her due to Re-rolls to Wound and boatloads of AP-4 attacks). If you take her alongside Yvraine, her soulburst is ridiculous, and does make up for the loss of extra attacks. Very solid choice and probably our best HQ choice now. Vect must be furious. She can also bully Monsters, TEQs, and Bikes with the sheer number of S4, AP-4 attacks she can put out (Exploding Flavour or Soulburst Flavour), and the Cruel Deception Stratagem will let her keep getting those bonus attacks from her Obsession again and again while keeping her safe from anything that a 3++ alone might not protect her from.
Prophets of Flesh
- Urien Rakarth: Dead hard, and awesome in all the ways a Haemy is awesome. T6 due to his own buff, and halves damage; this dude will take a lot of firepower to bring down. However, being equipped with only a meh Ichor Injector and some bog-standard Haemonculus Tools, he is none too scary in melee. He does have an aura that inflicts mortal wounds on enemies within 3" of him on a 6+, though, which can act as a deterrent against enemy charges.
- He now buffs Prophets of Flesh Strength and Leadership too. Wracks won't notice much, but your Grotesques and Pain Engines will. See your opponents' faces as your menagerie drills a hole through their army.
- Yvraine (Ynnari): The linchpin of any Ynnari detachment, Yvraine costs 132 points and is exclusively armed with Kah-vir, the Sword of Sorrows (basically a Force Axe stat-wise). While her statline itself might seem like a sub-standard Phoenix Lord at S3 T3 with 5 Wounds and only an invuln of 4+, her psychic powers can cause unyielding destruction upon your foes should they be unfortunate enough to be near her. Her pet Gyrinx adds 1 to her Psychic and DtW rolls. In addition to her impressive powers, Yvraine also has several abilities that make her surprisingly survivable. Whenever any Aeldari model (model, not unit) dies within 7" of her, Yvraine regains a lost wound on a 4+ roll. In addition, if that model happened to be a Psyker, it allows her to immediately generate another power from the Revenant discipline (you have been bringing those absurdly cheap Warlocks to accompany her, right?).
- The Visarch (Ynnari): Now actually a better combatant than Yvraine. At 141 points and a statline that puts him on somewhere between a close combat Archon and the Phoenix Lords, The Visarch is a very nice but expensive character, especially now he has a 4++ Invulnerable save thanks to the recent FAQ. His BFS, Asu-Var, the Sword of Silent Screams is a Strength 5 Force Sword that reduces the enemy unit's Leadership by 1 allowing him to be the linchpin for Leadership Bomb setups. Very tanky as when any Aeldari model within 7" dies, on a 4+ he regains a lost wound, and gains +1 Attack (caps at 7) if it was a character (you have been sticking him near super cheap Court of the Archon Characters, right?) in addition to his standard Soulburst activation. He also acts like a bodyguard to Yvraine and if he's within 3" of her, he can take any wounds for her as a Mortal Wound on a 2+. He doesn't have his free Warlord trait anymore but I'm sure he will get something similar for Strategems and/or Command powers once the Ynnari codex is out.
- The Yncarne (Ynnari): The single most expensive HQ choice for the Aeldari, the Yncarne clocks in at a whopping 337 points to field equipped with nothing but Vilith-shar, the Sword of Souls, an awesome weapon that is S6 AP-4 and D6 Damage with re-rolls to wound. With 6 attacks, 7 with the relevant Warlord Trait, whatever it is hitting is dying. If that in itself doesn't seem like much, the Yncarne is a flying, monstrous character that can cast two of the three Revenant Discipline powers. The Yncarne is also pretty resilient, T6 with a 3+ armor and 4+ invuln that covers 9 wounds that regenerate on a 4+ for any Aeldari model killed near it. It also provides a 6" Fearless bubble any any friendly Aeldari within 6" shrugs off any Wound or Mortal wound on a 6+. While the 8" of movement it has may not seem particularly fast, the Yncarne also has the unique ability to teleport to the location where any squad (friend or foe) is killed so long as it is at least 1" away from enemy units. This makes it one of the few units able to deep strike easily within charging range to wreak some melee havoc, and can give it a terrifying threat radius. Use your Dark Reapers to nuke some squishy back-line unit, then have the Yncarne teleport behind enemy lines to hit 'em where it hurts!
- Note: The Yncarne can't charge after arriving in this way so you ideally want it popping up on your opponents turn so you are ready to charge on yours. You also want to be exploiting the ability to redeploy when anything dies as a mobility/escape tool. If anything else the Yncarne popping up somewhere unexpected can divert a ton of fire away from your other units though you might want to leave the DISTRACTION CARNIFEX role to something designed for it like a Succubus, Solitaire or Character in Venom.
- Kabalite Warriors: You know them, you love them. They're your cheap scoring, your anti-infantry or anti-tank, and your source of Raiders and Venoms. The big question is whether to take them in 5-man Venom or 10-man Raider squads. Now with everything being able to split their shots, there is no reason not to stick that one Blaster in a Venom squad and there's no reason not to add a Splinter Cannon to a Raider squad, to increase their firepower further. Remember, never enough dakka.
- Your weapon choices boil down to if you need more horde killing dakka (Shredders and Splinter Cannons), or you want more tank killing dakka (Blasters and Dark Lances). Just keep in mind the needs for your army when picking weapons. Also be wary of the different weapon ranges and types you are mixing into your squads. Don't forget that you get -1 To Hit on the Dark Lance if you close in to fire the Blaster, or the different Rapid Fire ranges of Splinter Cannon and Rifles.
- Probably worth noting: At 30 points per 5-Elf Squad, spamming multiple small units of Kabalite Warriors is the cheapest and most efficient way of getting a lot of Venoms onto the field, and filling out the Troops tax for a Brigade Detachment.
- These guys rock: They are so cheap and so effective at what they do that when writing a list, you have to seriously ask yourself, why AREN'T I taking Warriors? They're cheap enough to throw away as screens, are killy enough against infantry and monsters, and can take Blasters (and even Dark Lances). They just rock.
- Wyches: These ladies and guys are now finally awesome again. They can still do fuck all about tanks (unless you give the Hekatrix a Blast Pistol, which you absolutely should do!), but they're now a perfectly fine melee unit for your Troops slot, especially with Adrenalight. Take ten, give them as many Hydra Gauntlets as you can, give them Adrenalight and stuff them in a Raider. Then bury something in an unholy number of attacks. (UPDATE: With the new Codex, the other Wych weapons are now just as viable as the Gauntlets, but for different reasons. Flails give you +D3 attacks and still let you reroll hits, while the Shardnet and Impaler combo forces your opponent to roll on a D3 when you utilize the No Escape rule. Choose your weapons wisely, and don't get stuck thinking that Hydra Gauntlets are the only way to fly anymore. Tying up a big, scary unit in melee indefinitely is just as valuable in the right situations as being a lawnmower.) The other option is to go Painbringer to exploit T4 along with your new Codex-granted 6++ invulnerable save (which is upped to a 4++ in melee combat) and the ability to shrug off unsaved wounds on a 6 from Power from Pain to make a resilient tarpit. These ladies do also have rules that make them dedicated to keeping enemies stuck in combat. With their 4++ save, they can be quite a trouble, specially tanks since if they Fall Back they can't shoot their guns for a turn. Also remember that you have Grenades! If you are charging from within 6" then always toss a grenade before charging. In the codex they received a +1A base while having their points reduced, oh boy! This sadly makes Bloodbrides completely obsolete, but on the upside, combined with the awesome Cult options like +1S, +1A, or charging after an Advance ON TOP OF combat drugs these killers are finally going to wreak some real havoc!
- Adrenalight (+1A) is the MathHammer king and should be your default choice if no other unit needs the bonus attacks. Against MEQ a unit of (non-Cursed Blade) 10 Wyches with 3 Hydra Gauntlets and Agoniser Mathhammers out as 1.32 Wounds in the Shooting Phase (factoring in the Plasma Grenade and Phantasm Grenade Launcher), and 6.64 in the ensuing Fight Phase, totaling 7.96 dead MEQs, and the two survivors of a 10-man Squad stuck in close combat (and more than likely fleeing anyway unless your opponent wants to waste CP on keeping your Wyches in close combat for some reason).
- An Alternate Take: Where taking 10 might be tempting for the 3 Wych Weapons, consider that an Agoniser is the same cost as a Hydra Gauntlet. Two 5-elf units will run you 96 points for 6 Agoniser attacks (AP-2 Poisoned) and 6 Hydra attacks (AP-1 S3/Re-roll failed wounds), as opposed to 1 10-elf unit for the same cost, with 3 Agoniser attacks and 9 Hydra attacks, but the latter will be more susceptible to Morale up until Turn 4, on top of the other downsides of bulkier units, like vulnerability to overwatch. As an added bonus, they can both be placed in the same Raider you were planning to put them in anyway. Small 5-Elf groups are a nice and cheap way of paying Drugs taxes in pure Wych Cult lists too!
- Cult of the Cursed Blade, with its minimization of morale losses, can take full squads of 20 with none of the usual drawbacks to doing so while being able to threaten anything up to T7. That said, remember, from 11-20 additional elves you're not adding any special weapons.
- Quick Mathhammer: Both Strife and Cursed Blade are level against MEQ if you are going with Grave Lotus (3 Hydra Gauntlets and a Power Sword for Weapons choices). The main advantage of the Cursed Blade is they can also threaten up to T7 reliably and have a built-in pre-nerf Commissar, while Strife is ridiculously good against any sort of T3 horde play (and punishing players who Daisy Chain to buff units) while still threatening T4 Boy/Necron Warrior blobs from the sheer volume of attacks. Red Grief are better off sticking to Reavers and Hellions instead.
- Protip: After disembarking, charge their Raider or Venom into combat first! Drukhari vehicles are actually not too bad in melee unlike lumbering Imperial vehicles, and your Wyches will thank you when the enemy's Overwatch fire harmlessly riccochets off of their transport and allows them to get into combat without being shot up on the way in.
- Wracks: Now unconditionally Troops. The basic Wrack comes stock with two poisoned attacks and for 1 in 5 can take either a Liquifier or an Ossefactor. The squad leader, the Acothyst, has access to all the same shiny tools as the Haemonculus sans the Crucible and with his lower Attack count you might want to consider a Scissorhand. For best use, stuff into Venoms, crap the Wracks out of the Venom, charge with the Venom and soak up Overwatch, then charge with the Wracks.
- Don't touch the Hexrifle. You want these guys as your shock troops. If you want Snipers, just take a squad of Rangers and Deep Strike them into some cover, or grab some Scourges if you want a Pure Dark Eldar list, or use a <Dark Creed> Talos for your sniping needs
- Wracks from the Prophets of Flesh coven are the toughest objective secured troop unit in a pure dark eldar list. Combine with a nearby Haemonculus and you have both a decent anchor for controlling an objective and a simple patrol detachment.
- RAW for every five models, one Wrack may take a Liquifier, which means that the Acothyst is still free to take a Liquifier from the Tools of Torment list, and doesn't interfere with taking melee options
- Court of the Archon: If you have an Archon in the same detachment, these don't take up slots - which is now a compulsory rule. In Matched Play, you can only have four of these in total per detachment, and you can only take them if you have an Archon (meaning it's impossible in Matched Play for them to fill out an Elites slot). They also all gain re-rolls To Hit if the Archon is within 3" of them. Keep in mind that they are not characters, and they are all single model units. This also means everything has to be rolled individually for them, so keep this in mind when advancing and charging.
- Ynnari Note: Due to the cost, these are excellent fodder for Strength from Death in any Ynnari Detachment. All but the Sslyth are cheaper than a 5-Elf Kabalite Squad, and they are all Infantry, so do trigger Strength from Death when they die.
- Lhamaean: 15 Points, comes with a Poison 2+ combat weapon that does a mortal wound in addition to its normal wound on a wound roll of 6+. Note that she adds +2 to wound rolls for tasty mortal wounds on a 4+.Remember that unlike normal damage mortal wounds do carry over to the rest of the unit. Buffed when hanging out with an Archon, and at 15 points they're a relatively cheap source of potential mortal wounds. The statline seems mediocre, but she does benefit a lot from Power from Pain (turn 3 onwards); stick near the Archon to make sure those measly 2 swings actually connect.
- Medusae: 21 Points, their eyeburst is no longer an AP3 flamer but instead is Assault 4 at flamer distance, S4 AP-2. No automatic hits, but a more reliable number of shots and with an Archon nearby it's more or less like a very reliable flamer. Still pretty deadly to single wound infantry models and only cost 21 points per model.
- Sslyth: 27 Points for a terrifying melee statline and 3 ablative wounds for your Archon. Going by RAW, the Cold-Blooded Bodyguard ability can only be activated when the Archon loses a wound (and loses his Shadowfield). However, Mortal Wounds ignore the Shadow Field, and can be directed to a nearby Sslyth on a 2+ instead. Worth considering for a close combat Archon.
- Note: When taking saves, you can choose from all your possible saves which kind you want to make. In some circumstances, it can be worth it to have your Archon take normal armor saves (5+) instead of risking his 2++. Then, when you (most likely) fail those regular saves, you still have a 2+ to pass them off to his Sslyth buddies.
- Tip: An Archon with 4 Sslyth in a Venom equipped with two Splinter Cannons will put out 24 Splinter shots per turn at 18 inches. They may not kill an entire unit by themselves but that is certainly a sizable amount of shots coming from just one unit. The downside here, of course, is that the Court buff won't work while embarked, so none of those shots will re-roll misses.
- Ur-Ghul: 15 Points and a crapload of S4 attacks for a single model, particularly on the charge. Unfortunately those attacks have no AP and only do 1 damage. It has no access to Power from Pain though. That said, 3W a unit does make them excellent Smite shields to protect a more important character.
- Kabalite Trueborn (Index): Want to hear something scary? How about a Venom + 4 Blasters deepstriking 17.99" away from your frontline? With the new Screaming Jets Strategem, Blasterborn are crazy good now. Warriors with an additional attack and point of Leadership, and a much higher density of special and heavy weapons (not anymore, unless you take two squads in a Raider - Venom Blasterborn get the same number of special/heavy weapons as a 10-elf squad of Warriors in a Raider now). Stuff 4 Blasters in a Venom, shoot some tanks, and leave the opponent wondering what the hell just happened to his favorite centerpiece. The Dracon may actually take a Blast Pistol and/or Agoniser, if you feel cocky. With 3 Attacks on the Dracon, it's not a terrible investment.
- The Biggest Problem surrounding Trueborn: The main issue with these guys are the expense, and you putting all of your eggs into one basket. Against any smart opponent, they will rarely get the chance to make their points back. 4 Blasters or Shredders sounds awesome until you realise that Dark Eldar need to be saturating your opponent with targets that are all a bad trade to shoot at. This means 1) You are presenting a massive target to your opponent that is clearly better to shoot at than anything else. 2) All your opponent has to do is destroy one Raider and those Trueborn are useless and lose thier Flayed Skull obsession. 3) Scourges and Ravagers fulfil the exact same role anyway, one unit can Deep Strike to guarantee that they make thier points back and has a far greater variety of weapons, the other is much harder to kill. The Codex has made them an extremely situational unit now. Treat all of the below mathhammer as there for information purposes, and not what yu will realistically be able to do with them per game against someone who knows basic target priority:
- You should be planning your unit's loadout around the transport they'll be riding, and they should be riding a transport.
- Venom with 2 Splinter Cannons: 2 Splinter Cannons, 2 Shredders, and aim for infantry. Alternatively, you can take one of the 2 Darklight units listed below for a Raider, but the Venom won't be able to meaningfully help the unit inside it kill anything; the benefit is that if they pop a transport, it'll typically be pretty good at shooting whatever fell out.
- Raider with 1 Dark Lance: Take 2 units; either take 8 blasters (4 in each) if you plan on getting down and dirty, or 4 blasters and 4 dark lances if you want to primarily hang back. You can also invert the Venom, above - take 1 Darklight unit and 1 Poison unit, and use the Poison unit to hurt whatever falls out of a transport you pop. However, this is unlikely to work out particularly well; you're probably better off dividing tasks, with any given transport and all of its contents committing to killing either heavies/transports or infantry/transport contents. It's not like you lack the speed to get whatever guns you bring into position.
- Tantalus: Depends on what what you want; you can take 3 of the MSU-style units mentioned above, and have 1 seat left over, with 3 seats occupied by Dracons, or you can go larger, with 2 units of 7 and 2 empty seats; in any case, an empty seat or seats can always be occupied by characters of your choosing, if you'd rather not bulk up a unit. The examples below are meant to be illustrative - tailor to your needs.
- Maximum Blasters: 3 units of Dracon/4 Blasters + choice of Archon with Blaster or Trueborn with Lance (13 Blasters or 12+1 Lance, 3 Splinter Rifles).
- Average of 5 Dead Terminators, 11 Dead Marines, 12 Dead Guardsmen.
- Maximum Darklances: 3 units of Dracon/2 Blasters/2 Lances + choice of Archon with Blaster or Trueborn with Blaster (7 Blasters, 6 Lances, 3 Splinter Rifles).
- Average of 7 Dead Terminators, 13 Dead Marines, 15 Dead Guardsmen. Average damage is enough to one shot a Gulliman, a Land Raider, Stormraven or Repulsor each turn. Will statistically drop a Baneblade to its bottom bracket. Will average 14 wounds per turn on a Knight.
- Maximum Darklight: 2 units of Dracon/4 Blasters/2 Lances + 2 Archons with Blasters (10 Blasters, 4 Lances, 2 Splinter Rifles).
- Average of 9 Dead Terminators, 15 Dead Marines, 17 Dead Guardsmen. Still enough damage to one shot Gulliman or a Land Raider. Does most damage on average against a Knight at 17 Wounds.
- Maximum Cannons: 3 units of Dracon/2 Shredders/2 Cannons, and one unit takes an extra guy with a Shredder (7 Shredders, 6 Cannons, 3 Splinter Rifles).
- Average of 1 Dead Terminator, 7 Dead Marines, 18 Dead Guardsmen.
- Maximum Shredders: 2 units of Dracon/4 Shredders/2 Cannons + 2 filler Trueborn with stock rifles (8 Shredders, 4 Cannons, 4 Splinter Rifles).
- Average of 5 Dead Terminators, 9 Dead Marines, 12 Dead Guardsmen.
- Maximum Blasters: 3 units of Dracon/4 Blasters + choice of Archon with Blaster or Trueborn with Lance (13 Blasters or 12+1 Lance, 3 Splinter Rifles).
- Beastmaster: Little more than a buff vector for all the beasts. If they stick close to him, they reroll To Hit and can use his Leadership. Now comes stock with an Agoniser for melee, but he is hardly spectacular in a fight, even with combat drugs and obsessions. Same ranged weapon as Hellions too, just in case you wanted to fly around harassing infantry.
- The beasts don't take up slots in a detachment with a Beastmaster, but you can't take a Beastmaster unless you have at least one Beast in the detachment (why you'd want to do that is a mystery). Also, it can't get Warlord Traits.
- A Note About Drugs: Always, ALWAYS give the Beastmaster Splintermind. The +2Ld makes his ‘shared leadership’ Aura much more potent, and he’s not really ‘fighty’ enough to justify any of the other Drugs (unless you’re taking small Beast units and need to offload the terrible "WS+1" onto a unit that doesn’t care).
- Hekatrix Bloodbrides (Index): Take ten, give them as many Hydra Gauntlets as you can, give them Adrenalight, and stuff them in a Raider. Then bury something in an even unholier number of attacks. Just keep in mind the cost when bringing them over Wyches. Everything that has been said for Wyches is relevant to these. 5 in a Venom make an awesome MSU hunting unit. 10 in a Raider is a Tarpit that will eventually kill something due to the sheer number of attacks.
- Or... Since normal Wyches have been given an extra attack each and therefore do exactly the same amount of damage as Bloodbrides there is now literally no reason to take these, especially when you consider that they are 5 points more expensive for only +1 Ld over a standard Wych. If you have models that are made up as Bloodbrides, then just run them as normal Wyches or put them in a separate detachment to grab the benefits of a different Obsession.
- Grotesques: Massively scary. They have an impressive statline complete with S/T5, 4 Wounds and 4 Attacks that hit on 3+ all for 35 points and you can take 10(!) of these. Also like all <COVEN> units they come stock with a 5++ Invulnerable, all of which makes them both tough as nails and scary enough that your opponent will still focus everything he has into them. For armament they come stock with a Flesh Gauntlet and a Monstrous Cleaver. The Cleaver does very well indeed against T4 and less while the Flesh Gauntlet does well against high invulnerable saves unit. Can also take Liquifiers but why bother?
- An alternate take: While their most significant weakness (Instant Death) is gone they did lose much of their appeal. They are more expensive, lost the Rampage rule, lost re-rolls to wound against T4 or less and lost the amazing Grotesquerie formation (basically Grotesques on Combat Drugs). And they are by no means more survivable, as their 5+ FNP basically already was an Invulnerable Save equivalent and T6 is less significant in this edition. To make things worse, many weapons now deal D3 or D6 damage. Mind you, they used to be able to tank Lascannons easily. I would consider investing into a much cheaper T5 blob of Wracks.
- Counter point: While they are not what they were in 7th, so were a lot of things. Grotesques can still shrug off a lascannon with their invulvn save (particularly Prophets), something they could not do against S10 and up in 7th. And while they have less attacks then in 7th, they now can hit on 2's in cc, and have -2 base, so I'd say that's a wash. With 4 wounds, a 4++ and 5 attacks at S5 -2, I'd say grots are just as strong as they ever were, just in a different context.
- That being said, there are a few things Grotesques excel at, and that is killing T4 and lower. Where Wracks are hemmed in by having poisoned weapons and only poisoned weapons, the Grotesques have an answer for situations where their Strength stat actually matters. Similarly, due to their ability to throw out Mortal Wounds via their Flesh Gauntlets, they can threaten Thunderhammer Terminators and other high-invulnerable saves models, which the Wracks are almost entirely powerless against. In addition, the Monstrous Cleaver with its S5 allows the Grotesques to more effectively threaten VEHICLES. In short, they aren't the end-all be-all of the Covens anymore, but they are far from useless.
- Taken in a prophets of flesh detachment and with Urien nearby these guys will put out 5 WS3+ S6 AP-2 D1 attacks and then have a defensive statline of T6 4++ 6+++ to back it up. A squad of 4 will kill 11 GEQ a turn and even put a decent dent into MEQ and light vehicles. Grotesques are back!
- If you dislike the models or failcast resin, the Crypt Horrors from AoS are nice plastic alternatives.
- An alternate take: While their most significant weakness (Instant Death) is gone they did lose much of their appeal. They are more expensive, lost the Rampage rule, lost re-rolls to wound against T4 or less and lost the amazing Grotesquerie formation (basically Grotesques on Combat Drugs). And they are by no means more survivable, as their 5+ FNP basically already was an Invulnerable Save equivalent and T6 is less significant in this edition. To make things worse, many weapons now deal D3 or D6 damage. Mind you, they used to be able to tank Lascannons easily. I would consider investing into a much cheaper T5 blob of Wracks.
- Incubi: Edgy Aspect Warriors, armed with what are essentially six-foot long butcher's cleavers. Not only does each Incubus make 3 attacks at S4 and AP-3, the Klaivex hits on 2's and also has a chance of dealing massively higher damage, enough to cleave a Tyranid Warrior in two in a single strike. The Klaivex can also switch between S4, AP-3 Attacks or dropping 1 AP for two extra swings!. Check your target before deciding which one to use. (You can still take the demi-klaives via the unit entry in the Index). He also gets +1 A and W over a standard Incubus though, which is nice. They hit on 2's from Turn 3 onwards turning them from scary to horrifying. Take 5 in a Venom and go hunting high value targets, a practicable choice, or take two units of 5 in a Raider and go drown a unit in an unholy number of S4, AP-3 attacks (expensive but a lot of fun).
- Modelling Tip: Need some Demi-klaives? The blades on the ends of Hellion Hellglaives make awesome looking swords! If you head to your neared bits auction then grab Hellglaive F as it has has the hands already on for you so all you need to do is clip them into swords and Kit Bash straight on to one of the Incubi pointing the sword downwards, pinning as needed. If you want more slender swords, the Harlequin Troupe Box set has a big number of Right Handed sword options and most of the Dark Eldar Sprues all have left handed sword options.
- Mandrakes: Damn good now. No, really. They can pop up more than 9" away from the opponent and immediately shoot with Assault 2 S4, AP 1- attacks with a chance to do Mortal Wounds in addition to the damage on a 6+. ANY attacks targeting them at them take a -1 To Hit penalty and they have a 5++ as well as the PFP save to keep them alive and if their Baleblasts don't quite do it, their 3 S4 AP -1 attacks per model should damn well make sure. Probably the unit that received the biggest buff in the new edition. Mandrakes do work now, son! Maybe taking over Comorragh was just what they needed to get their day in the (Dark) Sun.
- If you dislike the models or failcast resin, the Idoneth Deepkin Namarti Thralls from AoS are nice plastic alternatives.
NOTE: Not that it comes up often for the Drukhari outside of embarking characters, but you can mix units inside transports now.
- It's also worth adding that they benefit from Obsessions. This comes into play the most for Flayed Skull (Flayed Skull Kabalites only get their obsession bonus while in Flayed Skull transports) and Red Grief (The transports can advance and charge!), but it's always worth checking which detachments they are in as they might just benefit from that Detachment's Obsessions (for example, a Raider with a Shock Prow from the Cult of the Cursed Blade will get a single S7 attack instead of S6, and transports from a Black Heart detachment gain the benefit of Inured to Suffering; not a huge boost, but used correctly it can make the difference between wounding on a 4+ and wounding on a 3+, or shrugging off that last vital wound, respectively)...
Beta Rules: With the Beta rules functionally killing off Alpha Strike lists that use a lot of Deep Strike stratagems in favour of Gunlines, the value of these have skyrocketed considerably.
- Raider: A big paper boat with either a Dark Lance or a Disintegrator Cannon. Can also take a Shock Prow if you're feeling lucky. The Raider is now actually decently tough and might even survive until it discharged its CC cargo, or ferrying a Kabalite squad for a few turns. Can hold 10 Infantry models (Grotesques take 2 slots each). Zoom across the table at full speed (14") and shower the enemy with hails of poisoned splinters unabated. Use that to either close in to that Cultist or Scout squad on an objective, or to keep your distance from approaching CC units as you gradually wear them down. They won't appreciate that. Even better with Kabal of the Flayed Skull, which makes them even faster, and also boosts their accuracy while negating cover. More importantly, it and the venom are the only ways for Flayed Skull infantry to benefit from their Drukhari Obsession.
- An Alternate Take:The Raider is not only more resilient due to their guaranteed 5++ save against shooting (even more so with Kabal of the Black Heart), and having toughness/wound stats, but now they also benefit a great deal of getting into Close Combat. No, really. Raider always hit their enemies on a 4+, and the little guys inside are still protected (until it dies). It's a tactic for when your opponent has too many shooting weapons to bring your boat down, and in CC you can keep relatively safe (until a specially dedicated weapon comes to take on you, obviously), and when you Fall Back you can STILL SHOOT. Do note that while the Raider may shoot after falling back, its passengers may not. (Note that you can first disembark and afterwards fall back with the transport and this way the passenger's can shoot normally)
- Something To Think About: Where Venoms have been the purported kings of transports for a while now, the new codex makes a very compelling argument for Raiders over Venoms. Raiders are now only 10 more points base than a Venom; they can carry a ten-elf squad which, in the case of Warriors, drastically increases your firepower over that of a Venom; they have access to Splinter Racks which give you two hits per hit-roll of 6; and they can take either a Dark Lance or the much, much improved Disintegrator Cannon. Wyches also benefit greatly from being in 10-elf squads now due to the buffs to their special weapons. 5-elf MSU squads are no longer the must-take option that they were with the index, so think carefully about what you want your army to do before choosing your Dedicated Transports.
- Venom: A small paper boat with a Splinter Cannon and either a Twin Splinter Rifle or a second Splinter Cannon. Now that the Twin Rifle is free but the second Cannon runs you another 10 points, it may not be too bad an idea (eh...) to keep the Twin rifle. Just ask yourself, is the difference between 24" Rapid Fire 2 and 36" Rapid Fire 3 worth 10 points? (It is if you can spare the points, not the end of the world if you can't.) Either way, it transports 5 and Grotesques cannot ride in it even if you took an under-strength unit. It's also now 2" faster than the Raider, so zip around and crap out a massive amount of poison. Note that its -1 to hit penalty doesn't come from the Hard To Hit rule; this is important as a lot of anti-aircraft weapons ignore the effects of Hard to Hit.
- Alternative Take: One thing people have missed out about the Twin Linked Splinter Rifles is that closing in to Rapid Fire the thing results in either 1) The Venom dying to Lasguns, Bolters, Melta Guns or a random Krak Grenade following a round of Rapid Firing Bolters, 2) The Venom just getting charged (6" move plus 6" Charge ain't hard to make) which loses you a turn of shooting for the passengers, assuming the Venom survived combat, 3) You not quite getting into Rapid Fire Range Turn 1 resulting in you losing the unit 4) A combination of the above. Remember that while Venoms can be spammed, they are not exactly expendable. You take the additional cannon for extra firepower at range while skirting just outside the range of weapons that can reliably threaten it. Plus it Synergises well with a Squad of Blasterborn given that if you are in range to fire the Blasters, you are in range to Rapid Fire the cannons on the same targets. Addendum: With the release of the codex, Venoms have gone down to 55 base points and Splinter Cannons have gone down to 10 points. Splinter Cannons are definitely worth taking now if you have the spare points. This transport is a cheap weapons platform and should be treated as such.
- Note: Weapon facing does not matter anymore. You should always prioritise whatever facing will keep your flyer on the table for the longest.
- Razorwing Jetfighter: A few changes make the Razorwing into what is probably the best flyer in the game right now. It always has access to all three types of missile (but can only fire one each turn). All Dark Eldar heavy weapons turn into assault weapons when mounted on a vehicle, so it will hit on a 3+ most of the time. Each weapon may fire at a different target on a 360° firing arc, meaning you don't need to worry about any wasted splinter shots or where the flyer's nose is pointing at. Getting out of sticky situations or into the enemy's face is no problem either with a move of 20-72". The Razorwing comes equipped with Disintegrator Cannons for ruining the day of any Bike Squad or TEQ, or can opt for Dark Lances to go after vehicles and characters. Also comes with a Twin Splinter Rifle that you can upgrade to a Splinter Cannon. With Kabal of the Flayed Skull, it's just plain evil.
- Razorwing Missiles No longer one use only, and you get all types by default now. You declare which missile you use when you declare the weapon to shoot with.
- Monoscythe Missile: Assault D6, S6, 0 AP , 2 Damage. Nice for drowning a Bike Squad or TEQs in saves.
- Necrotoxin Missile: Assault 3D3 (averaging out to the Pre-Nerf number of shots it had in the Index), Wounds on a 2+ (6+ for Vehicles). Your infantry hunting and character sniping choice. You are looking at an average of 3 Wounds per missile against non-Vehicle units, 4 if you use the Flayed Skull Stratagem on non-Vehicle units with Fly. Solid choice.
- Shatterfield Missile: Assault D6, S7, -1 AP, 1 Damage with Shred. Necrotoxin is much more consistent but this has a nice niche in burying MSU MEQ units in armour saves.
- Razorwing Missiles No longer one use only, and you get all types by default now. You declare which missile you use when you declare the weapon to shoot with.
- Voidraven Bomber: Behold, one of the most durable and powerful models in the army! 12 Wounds at T6 combined with the new Flyer rules and a built-in 5++ mean that for Dark Eldar standards, this is one tough son of a bitch to bring down. But that's not the end. The Voidraven is equipped with two Void Lances, which are +1S compared to the Dark Lances. You can switch these out for Dark Scythes which are Assault D3, S8, AP-4, D3 damage. Both options are awesome. For 10 points you can equip the Voidraven with pretty mean missiles that don't go away after one shooting. Also, it is a bomber, and a bomb it has. Once per battle you can drop a tactical nuke on a single unit the Voidraven has moved over. Then, you roll 3D6 for each Monster or Vehicle, or a D6 for each model in the unit up to a whopping 10D6. For each roll of 3+, the unit suffers a mortal wound. Very, very nasty. (To put the power of the bomb into perspective, when nuking a squad of 10 2+Sv Marines, you can expect 6 of them to be vaporized away from the board).
- Voidraven Missiles No longer one use only, and you get all types by default now. You declare which missile you use when you declare the weapon to shoot with.
- Shatterfield Missile: Assault D6, S7, -1 AP, 1 Damage with Shred. Has a nice niche in burying MSU MEQ units in armour saves.
- Implosion Missile: Assault D3, S6, -3 AP, 1 Damage. Sadly nerfed from 7th Edition. Can still reliably threaten a lot of units. Still not a bad choice.
- Voidraven Missiles No longer one use only, and you get all types by default now. You declare which missile you use when you declare the weapon to shoot with.
- Raven Strike Fighter (Open and Narrative Play only):
In Matched Play, you can only take 3 Beasts per detachment, and the detachment itself must contain at least 1 Beastmaster.
- Clawed Fiends: Horrifying but overlooked. Lots of Wounds, high Toughness and lots of attacks at high strength and with damage 2. Its only weakness, the 4+ WS, is remedied by the Beastmaster granting it rerolls.
- Khymerae: Decent harassers with a 5++. Basic stat line of a marine but much cheaper and 3 cc attack, able fill up small hole in your deployment zone to deny alpha attemp.
- Alternate Models: Dire Wolves work pretty well as a cheaper and plastic alternative. Just green stuff the undead bits and add in spikey bits and job done.
- Razorwing Flocks: Horrible Strength and Toughness of 2, but with Instant Death being a thing of the past, all you can see are the 4 wounds per flock and no longer have the insane attacks from the codex, but a fluffy -1 AP with 4 attacks each. For best results, throw them at big stuff like Wraithknights. You'll wound most things on 6+ anyway so might as well make those 6s count. 48 wounds for a maxed out unit and 48 attacks for 144 points (if I'm mathing right and not totally retarded) is great for a throwaway unit. These will either be ignored or shots will be dedicated to stopping them. Plus how badass would you feel if your Archon could just summon murders of murder birds to the field? Be sure to use these things like a tau shield drones, let your bird bois soak those lascannon shots so your raiders can nice and close. Then charge the birds in to soak the flamers in overwatch. Saves your Raider the trouble from losing out on his juicy dark lance by charging in.
- Alternate Models: These things are disgustingly overpriced IRL. So if you arn't running tourneys and want a cheap alternative use the Murder of Crowz from zombicide. The model looks a little janky, but it might mean that you can actually afford these guys.
- Reavers: For Dark Eldar standards, Reavers are indestructible juggernauts with T4 2W and a 4+ save. They combine decent shooting (Splinter Rifle and Splinter Pistol) with decent melee (S4 AP-1 Bladevanes). They can also take either a heat lance or a blaster for every three models in the unit. In light of the new Codex, heat lances are now the cheaper option. The difference comes down to whether you prefer S8 AP-4 DD6 (Blaster) or S6 AP-5 DD6/Melta (Heat Lance) - both are viable after the update and both have the same range. Finally, they can take either Cluster Caltrops or a Grav Talon, at a rate of one per three models. The difference is, the former can deal Mortal Wounds when the Reavers Fall Back while the latter can deal Mortal Wounds when the Reavers charge. Your choice. They are now 19 Points, rejoice!
- Given that it turns these guys into T5, 2W models with a 4+ save, Reavers are the best candidate for Painbringer, and it should really be your default Drug of choice. A big group of these with Grav Talons is one of the best tarpits in the army that your opponent really doesn't want to fall back from.
- With the Eviscerating Fly-By strategem, Reavers have regained their old wonderfully fluffy tactic of simply flying over something and causing damage! A unit of 9 bikes will reliably put a mortal wound or two on something which can be a nice way to soften up a target before a charge.
- Agonisers are only 4 points so consider them on your Arena Champions if you have the spare points. Extra AP is never a bad thing.
- Hellions: For some reason each little Hellion gets a damage 2 melee weapon on top of their Splinter Pods, which makes them both better at shooting and scarier in melee than Reavers. However, they are far more fragile than Reavers, too. These guys are horde sweepers. They fly around blasting suckas with a bunch of poison shots, then charge in. With no AP on their weapons and striking at S4 (maybe S5 if you gave them that Combat Drug), their attacks will bounce off big and tough things with a decent save. That 2 damage is there for one reason only: making sure infantry with FNP-type saves (a la Ork Boyz with a Painboy) have to roll boxcars or 5+ TWICE to stay alive. They could maybe harass some light vehicles (oddly enough they'd be extremely effective against enemy Dark Eldar vehicles) but will in no way, shape or form charge in and take out the enemy's centerpiece model. They are, however, a nasty, hard counter to horde-style armies. Give them +1A Combat Drug and send them in against a 30 man Ork Boy or conscript squad and let the bodies hit the floor. The 2 damage attacks also make them somewhat interesting against multiwound infantry like Crisis or Stealth Suits, Wraithguard, Nobz or Tyranid Warriors/Raveners/Shrikes.
- Note: The new FAQ confirms that Helions can't be taken in Raiders or Venoms.
- Alternate Take: Take 14 with Adrenalight and a Succubus for those Re-Rolls of 1's and shove them all into a Tantalus (the wording of the FAQ does not mention Tantali are illegal transports for Hellions). Watch your opponent weep at the Alpha Strike.
- Scourges: Heavy weapon squads with wings. Their stock weapon is a Shardcarbine, which is already a very nice gun, but let's be real here, you take Scourges for the clusterfuck of heavy weaponry they can shlep with them. With how specialised Haywire Blasters have become, Blasters and Dark Lances may be your best bet for general use against vehicles, but Heat Lances have received a point reduction that makes them by far the most effective anti-tank option within melta range. Splinter cannons have dropped 5 points each, and are cheaper than individual scourges. Shredders also received AP -1, so both are now valid weapon options to kit out scourges! Also don't be afraid to mix weapons as you can split your fire.
- Note: The new FAQ confirms that Scourges can't be taken in Raiders or Venoms. The Tantalus is legal. 3 Squads of 5 with Carbines, Blasters or Dark Lances, or a mix of the three? Congrats, you just became That Guy.
- Melee Note: If you do want to take a Melee weapon on the Solarite, all the weapons perform about the same given the number of Attacks the unit has with the Lance being best due to it basically being a Power Axe and you should always expect to have to fight MEQ. If you want to abuse Shoot, Charge, Fallback, Shoot shenanigans to stop an enemy unit from shooting for a turn, then there are other units that do it better, however your Scourges mobility does let them easily support the Reavers or Helions with a follow up charge. If you are going to do this, however in Matched Play its best to keep the unit as cheap as possible. In Open/Narrative Play you're probably having a Casual/Fluffy game anyway so go nuts.
- Scourge Weapon Analysis - Short Version:
- Shardcarbines: The cheapest option and the one that gives the most mobilty being 18" and Assault 3.
- Blasters, Dark Lances, Haywire Blasters, and Heat Lances: The weapons for fighting Vehicles and Heavies. Dark Lances are heavy, range 36" but deal as much damage as blasters. Heat lances are very efficient when in melta range and awesome for sniping out characters that are badly wrapped, and Haywire Blasters are the cheapest and extremely effective at dishing out mortal wounds to vehicles now that they are assault d3 (which you really want against Quantum Shielding, Invuln Saves, and other defenses where the best bypass is mortal wounds). Pick according to the needs of your Army List.
- Shredders and Splinter Cannons: Splinter Cannons now give more shots per point (3.7) than flat carbines (4) but give up being assault weapons for more shots at the same range. Shredders are also more efficient in terms of points per wound inflicted against GEQ, MEQ AND Light Vehicles, but give up 6” of range, leaving them vulnerable to Rapid Fire and being charged.
- Cronos: The support Engine. The Cronos comes stock with a flamer with high AP and a chance to do massive damage with each hit and can take a second weapon that does nearly the same but without the auto-hits. It also, more interestingly, lets DRUKHARI units within 6" reroll 1s To Wound in melee, which makes your Taloses and Grotesques even scarier. It also has a chance of healing friendly models if it kills something in melee but its melee stats are so lacking that this will rarely happen. Can now fly again thanks to the FAQ.
- Talos: The killy Engine. The Talos comes stock with two Macro-scalpels and you can replace one with chain flails or a talos gauntlet and the other with a twin liquifier or an ichor injector. The Chain-flails are good if you need even more anti-horde melee (and they're very good at it) and the Gauntlets (being power fists) do pretty well against vehicles and other high T and wound targets but the Ichor Injector is just trash. It can also get guns on the tail, with the Twin Heat Lances being a bit of a trap option, sure their 24 points now but you'll unlikely to hit with your shitty BS. In a pure <COVEN> list, you should probably take Haywire Blasters as they're decently cheap. Otherwise, stick to either the Stinger Pod or the Splinter Cannons. Can also fly again thanks to the 2018 FAQ which means they can now charge and assault jets, bombers, etc.
- Macro scalpels vs. Talos gauntlet: while the extra strength and AP from the talos gauntlet seems attractive, the dual macro scalpels will ultimately do more work for your pain engines because of the hit modifier and loss of extra attacks on the gauntlet. Against everything bar heavy vehicles and monsters (T8) the scalpels outperform the gauntlet and when you have urien around to buff Str, the scalpels start to outperform on those vehicles as well. The only time you shouldn't take macro scalpels is when you're assigning your pain engines to horde lawnmower duty, in which case you should take chainflails.
- Choosing tail weapons: Pain engines suffer from BS 4+ so their shooting weapons should be chosen with care depending on what role you want your engines to play. Splinter cannons will give them some extra anti-infantry firepower but reduce their effectiveness against vehicles. Haywire blasters are surprisingly effective against vehicles for their price (a squad of three taloi with haywire blasters will put out 6d3 shots which will cause mortal wounds on a 4+ and D3 mortal wounds on a 6+ against vehicles) but are hot garbage against infantry, and heat lances are underwhelming against vehicles but effective against heavy multiwound infantry like obliterators or centurions. The stinger pod is the worst choice out of all, but is the cheapest in case you want pain engines exclusively for their melee potential.
- Ravager: Even more survivable than the new-and-improved Raider, the Ravager is somewhat sturdier with T6. Similarly, built-in Night Shields provide a 5++ save against all ranged weapons. Because Dark Lances count as Assault when equipped on Vehicles it has got an effective threat range of 50" at full accuracy. That, and their ability to deal D6 Damage at S8 AP-4 means the enemy won't escape and will die when you shoot them. Use their mobility to dictate the terms of battle and stay away from enemy charges. Disintegrators are a good choice if you want to erase enemy TEQ or Bikers from existence, especially now that they're slightly cheaper than Dark Lances.
- Archons allow friendly Kabal units to re-roll 1s to Hit, so it's not a bad idea to put one next to a few Ravagers to increase their accuracy. You can even go the extra mile and form a Black Heart Spearhead Detachment and give the Archon Writ of the Living Muse so that the Ravagers re-roll 1s to Wound as well. Quite nasty. Even though maintaining formation within the 6" aura reduces their manoeuvrability, the increase to effective firepower and the fact the Archon can move 8" and advance all the time to keep up render this a viable tactic.
- Reaper (Forge World): The One Big Gun alternative to the Ravager. Comparable points cost to the Dark Lance variant with +2 Wounds for greater survivability. The weapon has got two firing modes: the first is 24" range blast with 2D6 shots at S6 to drown the enemy in saves, the second is 36" range beam with D6 Dark Lance shots to vaporise a tank or a monster. Should the enemy unit endure this, both modes prevent the survivors from Advancing if any models have been slain. Unfortunately, the weapon is Heavy so its accuracy is reduced on the move. That shouldn't be too much of a problem with proper deployment, though. Moreover, the Reaper is no slouch in CC thanks to 5 attacks one of which is done at S6 AP-1 D2. Overall, a tactically flexible skimmer with great potential.
- 23/07/2017 FAQ Update: Because of a hilariously badly worded FAQ giving every single model a Close Combat Weapon, even models that physically can't carry one, you can make all of its attacks at S6. You know what that means? RAMMING SPEED, STEERSMAN! I WANT THAT MON'KEIGH COMMANDER'S HAT FOR MY COLLECTION!
- Tantalus (Forge World): Drukhari Superheavy. No, really. 18 Wounds at T7 and 3+ armour is insane for the faction's standards. Two pulse disintegrators fire a total of 12 shots at 36" range, with S8 AP-3 D2. In close combat, it's got 6 S8 AP-2 attacks which hit at 4+, and on the charge it inflicts D3 mortal wounds on a 4+ roll to any enemy units within 1". When the Tantalus Advances, you simply double its movement value. Combine that with Open-topped transport capacity of 16 (works the same as a Raider's) and the ability to grant the embarked Warlord's Leadership to all friendly LoS units (except for those in cover, for some reason) to complete the most powerful model in the army. The price for that is your wallet, your soul, and a points cost that exceeds 3 Disintegrator Ravagers.
- The PARTY BUS: three units of Trueborn carrying whichever gun you want (preferably Blasters), with one spot left to put a character in (and use the Chariot of Tortured Souls ability). Not as good as the Sslyth-based party bus of the previous edition as you can no longer deep strike using a webway portal (but you can with screaming jets), but still a terrifying basket filled with terrifying eggs.
- The FAQ that banned Scourges and Hellions from transports only mentions Raiders and Venoms. This awesome boat can still transport your Scourges and Hellions and protect them from fire, and give your Scourges a second deployment option to boot. 15 Dark Lances plus the 12 total Shots from the main gun is about as Dark Eldar as you're going to get. And with that volume of fire, you stop caring about the -1 to hit if you have to move too.
- Dark Creed Tantalus: Use An Esoteric Kill, Delivered From Afar to melt an important enemy HQ with the aforementioned Pulse Disintegrators. Ouch.
- Red Grief Tantalus: Want a First Turn charge? Total 32" of movement and then a re-rollable charge on a model with Fly. Double ouch.
- Webway Portal: For 120 points you can finally pick this giant arc. Fluffwise, it is the very reason of Eldar trollobility to suddently appear somewhere, where they completely shouldn't be. Crunchwise, it is still a giant arc with T8, 14 wounds, 3+ and 5++ which helps you to deep strike your units. It is set up anywhere on the battlefield more than 12" from enemy deployment zone and their units during your deployment and, of course, is immobile after that. What it allows you to do, is to be able to set some of your AELDARI units in the Webway (aka Necron style Tomb World), but, aside from 1 unit per gate (aka 1 unit per Night Scythe) restriction, you also must be 9" away from enemy, just like for normal deep strike AND within 3" from the gate. Of course, if the gate is destroyed, all units, that were in the gate's Webway (the Webway from Webway Portal strategem is not the same one, so they doesn't count) are slain. On the one part, it does let you save some CP for not using aforementioned Webwey Portal strat and, furthermore, allows you to deep strike your Vehicles on the contorary to it. Still, the restriction for model placement (9" away from the enemy and within 3" of the gate itself) poses a large threat that your opponent just bubble-wrap your nice and large gate with infantry blob, thus making actually using the gate a bit of "Risk-Reward" tactics, if not even a bit of a doubtfull one. The model is very nice thou, so don't restrain yourself from using it as a piece of terrain.
- Keep in mind, that to use Webway Gate specific Stratagems from Harlequins Codex you need to have a small detachment of this nice and deadly murderclowns (and pray to any god of your choice for this to be FAQed and Labirinth Laughs and Webway Ambush to be accessable to all AELDARI, as it actually affects all of them).
Army Building and Tactics
- Overall: The Dark Eldar have the potential to make some extremely potent Alpha Strikes. Their absurd firepower coupled with high mobility coupled with smart positioning makes them extremely viable as of the beginning of 8th Edition. The Meta is bound to shift as more Codexes come out but as of right now your access to lots of very good Anti-Infantry and Anti-Vehicle weapons is allowing the Dark Eldar to stay competitive.
- How Many Drops? Recent changes to the rules to determine who goes first means an interesting meta for your list building. You now roll off to determine who goes first, but whoever finishes first gets a +1. So you can pick between finishing first to get that +1 and potentially not have to burn a CP to re-roll seize the initiative, or you can use Chaff units (Venoms, Kabalites, Wyches and Court of the Archon usits are excellent at this) to get more information on your opponents deployment.
- Unit Spamming: Formations are gone yet spam is still legal to a silly degree. Venoms are among the best units for spamming as they are absurd mobility, high durability (for a Dark Eldar unit), no damage chart, and can combine strong anti-armour (Kabalite units inside with 1-4 Darklight weapons, Wych unit leaders with Blast Pistols, Blaster Archons etc), anti-infantry (Double Splinter Cannons), and Fly in one point efficient model cheap enough to may a role as chaff for deployment.
- Keep your
AlliesLesser Kin you aren't currently scheming against close...: Remember you aren't just a Drukhari army, you are an Aeldari army. You can cherry pick the best units from the Craftworlds, Ynnari, Harlequins and Corsairs lists. While you do have a Mirror to most Craftworld units, there are some things that cover what you lack:
- The most notable and fluffy unit you can bring are Rangers, which provide something that you sorely lack: access to a good sniper unit.
- An allied Farseer sounds odd given it can only Buff Asuryanni units, but Doom can be cast on anything, and it makes your already strong melee and ranged damage potential even more powerful. Smite and Executioner are also a reliable source of Mortal Wounds that can be tossed around against harder targets or smaller squads of infantry, as the situation demands. It also gives you an answer to enemy Psykers as spamming Haemonculi is not efficient.
- Warlocks are another cheap source of Deny the Witch and reliable debuffs. Remember that Drain and Reveal work on anything!
- Harlequin Troupes are another fluffy pick. They are much more offensively oriented than Wyches, plus Shadowseers bring along more Smite and Deny the Witch.
- Of course Wraith units are a very powerful addition to any Dark Eldar force. Heck, you could even paint them in Kabal colours and say your Archon captured a bunch. Plus your only Lord of War options are in the Craftworld List. Though just how your Archon managed to get their hands on a Wraithknight is another thing entirely...
- Corsairs are one last Fluffy option. For 60 Points you can get a unit of 5 Pirates with Shardcarbines and Jet Packs! Plus one of them can swap out their gun for one of several heavy or special weapons including Flamers, Fusion Guns, Shredders, Shuriken Cannons, Dark Lances, Blasters, and even Aeldari Missile Launchers!
- Darklight & Poison: It's pretty well known but For 1982 Points you can take a
BrigadeBattalion Detachment with 2 Archons with Blaster, Grenade Launcher and Agoniser in a Double Cannon Venom, 5 Units of 5 Kabalite Warriors with Blaster each, Sybarites packing Agonisers and Grenade Launchers all in a Double Cannon Venom each, and 3 Ravagers along with an Air Wing Detachment with 3 Razorwings with Double Dark Lances and Splinter Cannon each.
- So that is a total of: 7 Command Points, 12 Drops, 2 Leadership Auras you won't use, 7 Blasters, 15 Dark Lances, 16 Splinter Rifles, 15 Splinter Cannons, 7 Agonisers and 7 Grenade Launchers. It's not hard to switch an Archon for a Succubus, Haemonculus, or even switch the Archon's Blaster for a pistol if you want more close combat bite. Dropping the Agonisers and Grenade Launchers from the Sybarites frees up enough points to take a Sslyth to guard the Archons so there is that too. Each Venom is packing 7-14 Splinter Shots and 1 Blaster shot. In one round of shooting you can put out 35-70 Splinter Shots from the Venoms alone! Add in the Razorwings and you have 44-88 Splinter Shots and add in the Darklight Weapons from the Ravagers and Razorwings and that is 44-88 Splinter Shots and 23 S8 AP -4 Shots. Totalling 111 Shots. You can play leadership Shenanigans with the cheap Grenade Launchers and if you have to charge something or get charged, the Agonisers on every infantry unit let you do work in the Fight Phase. You ARE punching on 2's and rerolling Charges from Turn 3 onwards after all so you might as well use those stupidly cheap Agonisers for something if the Venom explodes.
Detachments and CP
- Detachments and You: The Dark El-- I mean Drukharii's Raiding Party rule gives them an interesting army-listing consideration that other factions don't have. Usually a Patrol detachment is only useful for low point games or Tyranids using them for allying with Guards using Genestealer Cults; our edgy knife-ears, however, can gain Command Points if they have 3 or 6 Patrols (+4 or +8, respectively), although the latter will virtually never happen if you're following the rulebook's suggestion detachment limit based on points limit. The difference between using a Battalion + 'specialist' and multiple Patrols is that while you may not have as many Elites slots available, you'll have more varied Obsessions to use, which isn't something you want to ignore considering how powerful they are if you use Patrols. Read the Raiding Force section above for other considerations, but overall taking an MSU approach to your Patrol detachments (i.e. a bare bones HQ and one MSU troop per patrol) can give you a disproportionately high amount of CP relative to the points cost of using them.
- Raiders and You: AKA "How to love your Paper Boats" The Dark Eldar are in a nice spot where all of our Infantry are viable (your local meta may or may not affect this), giving us a surprising number of different units we can field. While Venoms are very hard to pass up, Raiders are pretty cheap compared to most transports and can bring a lot of units into "Fuck you" range of the enemy. And they can lower the number of drops you have for MSU lists too! Aside from the classic Gunboat setups by filling it up with Kabalite Warriors, there are now a surprising number of options:
- Trueborn: You can get 2 units of Trueborn into one Raider so that's 8 Blasters, 4 Splinter Cannons or 5 Dark Lances flying up the board. But Trueborn no longer exist, so this tactic is no longer viable. But you can run two squads of 5 warriors each with a blaster. (Wrong, the unit exists in the index so BRING UP THE TRUEBORN AND LETS DUMPSTER SOME FOOLZ)
- Incubi: Two units of Incubi with Demi-Klaives is going to ruin the day of any MEQs you drop them near. One fun thing to do is combine a Unit of 5 Incubi with 5 Kabalite Warriors in a Raider. You get a terrifying melee unit supported by a versatile unit that can shoot, bubble wrap and generally support. It's like the Banshee+Dire Avenger+Warlocks team that the Craftworlders can pull, except it's actually good.
- Wych Cult Units: 2 units of Wyches/Bloodbrides in a raider will give your opponent a hell of a time thanks to No Escape and the Pile-In rules. They can take an Agnoniser and Hydra Gauntlet in each unit and Wyches themselves can be resilient now with their 4++ in close combat and Power from Pain. While they are best used as an Anvil for your Incubi or Coven units, or act as a good pinning unit while your characters dismantle an enemy unit, with the sheer number of attacks they can potentially have, they're got a good chance at killing a unit themselves.
- Grotesques: You can take 5 Grotesques or take 4 plus have room for a Character or two. Makes a pretty effective Hammer to your Wych Anvil. Their statlines are frankly terrifying and with Strength 5 and 4-5 attacks (depending on Weapon) each, they can threaten anything they charge. Having them in a Raider negates thier one weakness which is the huge target they have painted on thier backs by anything using Blasters, Heavy Bolters, Assault Cannons or Autocannons (or thier equivalents).
- Wracks: 2 units of 5 or a blob of 10. Either way you can bring Ossefactors and Liquifier guns. They're a versatile unit that do work in melee as a hammer or anvil.
- Sslyth Party Bus: 2 Archons and 8 Sslyth. Still works if you have more than one Detachment. Heck, you can fill the whole thing with Sslyth if you have 3 Detachments but at that point you might as well go all in and shove them all in a Tantalus. Still awesome, still hilarious. Just remember that each model is an independent character now so wait until you can re-roll charges before getting into melee. You will thank me later.
- Also remember that the Raider model is huge compared to the Venom. You can disembark from any point of the model which can give you a ton of options. It also makes it very difficult for an opponent to pull a Quirk and attempt to surround the transport with infantry so the unit inside a destroyed transport can't be placed within 3" and are removed from play due to having no legal deployment options. You have a pretty big paper boat so your opponent will have to dedicate a pretty huge unit to do that. Venoms on the other hand can be very easily surrounded by any opponent willing to pull that shit on you.
- Dark Eldar Soup: With the way the new codex is effectively three armies in one book, you have a lot of options. A lot of options - more than the Dark Eldar have ever had, in fact. While the tournament meta may continue being mono-build Kabal spam, something to consider is the ease with which we have access to very good HQ choices, and all the benefits they bring with them. Fielding an army that consists of all three Dark Eldar sub-groups gives you arguably greater tactical flexibility than simply spamming Warriors in Raiders while camping your Archon among your Ravagers. Consider the strengths and weaknesses of each group: Kabals are ridiculously shooty, but they have trouble holding objectives due to their unfortunate tendency toward dying if looked at crosswise; Cults are screamingly fast, hit like a metric ton of spikey bricks in close combat, and can keep your enemy's most valuable units perpetually tied up in combat, but have almost no ranged weaponry to speak of and suffer from the same objective grabbing issues as their Kabal cousins; Covens are the toughest units in our army (and can be made to be even tougher), can dish out the pain in close combat, and can camp objectives like nobody's business, but suffer from a lack of any reliable ranged weaponry. So, combining all those strengths together - and peppering in Scourges/Mandrakes/Incubi to taste - gives you a tremendously versatile army that can do basically anything you need it to, whenever you need it to. To boot, you can buff your already great HQ choices into CC murder machines and/or megatanks that double as force multipliers and character assassins for just a few CP. In smaller games taking three Patrol Detachments will get you by just fine (Raiding Party, mmmmmm...), and in larger ones it's a simple process to take two Battalions and a Patrol/Air Wing/Outrider/Spearhead/Vanguard Detachment. This edition should be making you think outside the box rather than clinging white-knuckled to what worked in the past (*cough*Trueborn*cough*).
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