Dark Eldar VS. Space Wolfs

   Do you remember, that a week ago we promised to test new Dark Eldar in the narrative battle against Space Wolfs? So, it’s time to tell you how was it and what units are now the power of the sharp-eared sadists.

   We had Ambush mission, where Space Wolfs had to escape from the surrounding tides of Dark Eldar. The Wolfs could win by sending 1/3rd of their roster in power points out of the opposite table border. However, they didn’t succeed. In the severe battle, Dark Eldar killed almost everyone. Only 3 space marines managed to escape. They will tell their brothers about bravery of the fallen and the memories will live forever in sagas…

   In comparison to the previous edition, there are some definite improvements in DE army. First -relatively cheap units. It’s especially obvious if you use PowerPoints. The wolfs simply didn’t have time to kill all the Eldar attacking from every direction. This compensates the vulnerability and lets you sacrifice some of the squads.

   Also, the speed has improved. Even usual troops move 8 inches. Venoms and Reavers easily cross almost the whole plate per turn. Sure, they all used to have turbobust and so on which let them cross even bigger spaces. However, this kind of movement happened instead of or after the shooting. Now you can move 16 inches and then shoot with no penalty. Considering that mission rules supposed catching the enemy, Dark Eldar had a great advantage.


   New Power from Pain table is definitely great. Sure, there’s no more 5+ FNP and I missed it very much. However, the bonuses now start from the very first turn. And on the 3rd one, you already have +1 to hit in close combat. That means that almost your entire army starts to hit on 2+. Some of them – with re-roll. There’s nothing to add to the power of such feature. And ordinary Fearless which used to be just a pleasant bonus is now an efficient upgrade since the morale system has changed.

   Transports indeed don’t live long. However, due to the high speed, it’s enough to take close combat units to the enemy. And then he has a lot more dangerous targets and the boats can stay alive. However, if your enemy decides to take it down, he will do it easily – no more 3+ jink save for you.

   Coven units are really more durable now sins Haemunculus increases their toughness. Not so deadly though. (Mortal wound on 6+ from Grotesques is much worth that instant death). But at least poison weapon can now hurt vehicles somehow, which added choices for them and for the whole army.

   Scourges are really nice. They were great before, and now, since they have a solid Deep Strike, they’ve reached their maximum effectiveness. Yes, haywire is useless now. Heat lances with their 6th strength is only useful against characters. But blasters and dark lances are still one of the best weapons in the game. Moreover, now you can shoot dark lances on 4+ rather than 6+ after the movement. Considering the damage, they can make, it’s worth risking. 

   All other units, in general play as they did before. Still a lot of dangerous shooting from vulnerable units. The situations where Lelith kills the Wolf Lord in one turn or Incubi squad destroys the whole bunch of 3+ space marines have always been. And it’s great that these things haven’t changed.

   So, what advice can DE player get now?

   Indeed – mix close combat and shooting. Close combat is too good to ignore, but without proper fire support, your fighters can’t do much.

   Maneuver. This has always been the key feature of the DE army. You have a pretty long shooting range and the fastest units in the game. Use it to keep enemy units far as long as you can.

   Create multiple threats. You will definitely have many units. So, make it hard for the enemy to choose whom to kill first. Let him spread his firepower – this will help your warriors love long enough.

   Compulsory units are Scourges, trueborn (you definitely have a lot of them). Coven units can be the tip of your spear as they used to, and take the damage. Incubi are now great since they’ve gained some extra attacks and no longer suffer from lack of grenades. Also, with the new AP mechanics, they can carve even through terminators.

   The best characters are Haemunculus – for giving coven units extra toughness and Succubus – for nice close combat potential.  Witches, if taken with her become angrier and can become a serious threat. (Combat drugs are still nice) Lelith is awesome, but low strength and character orientation make her a specific kind of choice. Archont, who can’t now protect the unit with his 2++ and transport it wherever you want with his portal is kind of lame. Maybe, if the new codex brings artifacts, he will become more interesting.

   So, at this moment, Dark Eldar have given me the greatest pleasure from the game in this edition. They are still an interesting army to play, regardless of all the simplifications. And they can create a lot of challenges for the enemy. However, if my opponent decided to destroy me rather than escape as fast as he could, the game might end differently…