Thursday, March 19, 2015

Dark Eldar Don't Suck

I hear so often how poor the Dark Eldar 2014 codex is. How it got nerfed in all the wrong ways. How there are only a few units you can win with. It's all rather depressing. To top it off there isn't much out there in the way of strategy support for DE players. They're not all over the place like other top tier armies. To be honest right now that's what has me so into them. It is also the position of gaming that makes them the most dangerous.

I want to debunk rumors about Dark Eldar. I firmly believe people see them as the same army that they were in 2nd edition. Glass Hammer gets thrown around a lot. Poison Spam or Venom Spam is something I see as "the only winning tactic." People still think Dark Lances are good.

In fact, with so much to say about this...let's just start off with tackling poison and lances. I can write an argument alone on these two things.

Weaponry is broken down into 2 categories:

  1. What's good against infantry
  2. What's good against vehicles
90% of responses:

  1. Poison/Venoms
  2. Dark Lances
This was the case. For the majority of DE existence. I agree. But in this new book there are more efficient ways. You do not have time as a Dark Eldar player to leave any inefficiencies on the table. You will die.

My response:

  1. Disintegrator Cannons
  2. Haywire Blasters
Poison has its place. Lances have their place. But taking them in spam that we see so often is not the answer in my not humble in any way opinion. Let's break down what we are doing.


We see the Venom being the primary poison delivery system. There are others, but it's very hard to argue the point efficiency of dual splinter cannon Venom's as the go-to for massed poison shots. Add in that you can take buckets of Venom's and all of a sudden it starts to look really appealing. I don't think we need to take poison this way to be competitive.

Looking at the basic level of 1:1 shooting between a poison shot and a Disintegrator it's very easy to see why the Dissie wins. I asked my wife who has no knowledge of this game which she would take:
  • "A weapon that needs a 3 to hit, a 4 to wound, and gives a save"
  • "A weapon that needs a 3 to hit, typically a 3 to wound, and doesn't give a save."
She looked at me blankly and asked, "Is this a trick question?" I laughed, shaking my head no, and asked for her answer. She said plainly the 3 to hit, 3 to wound no save. To push the issue, I said, "What if I told you that the first gun gives you 6 shots and the second only gives 3." She didn't balk. "I would still take the second one because there's nothing they can do to stop it."

Hmmm. I know there is cover and there are invulnerable saves and yadda yadda. My point is simply this: One weapon is more efficient at killing one infantry model. Take more of them.

Dark Lances

Triple lance Ravagers! 9 S8 AP2 Shots at 36" range are an awesome alpha strike! Sure. It's a good use of range. GW built in these new rules though, that almost kind of show you how it might not work anymore. There's a new point tax to switch to Dark Lances on Ravagers. You can't move 12" and shoot all 3 at full BS anymore either. So staying stationary or moving a little less is pretty much the only way to use them at full efficiency...which, again, is the goal.

Scourges can take 4 Haywire Blasters. With a 24" gun and a 12" jump not effecting my ability to shoot any number of shots, I suddenly have 4 36" shots instead of 3. So again, on the same post-it note I said to my wife:
  • "A weapon that needs a 3 to hit, a 4 to glance."
  • "A weapon that needs a 3 to hit, a 2 to glance."
"I swear you're trying to trick me,"

Haywire Blasters retain mobility, can be taken in abundance with the Realspace Raiders detatchment, and open up your Ravagers to taking 3 Disintegrator Cannons each.

There will always be those that argue my points. There are plenty of counter points to this. I know them well. Just play fluffy. Dark Eldar strike fast, aren't afraid to die, and do it with a cackle. Take the most efficient tools for the role you need to fill.

More to come!


  1. Oh do I know the pain of the Dissie Cannon...

  2. Yeah, Haywire Blasters are good weapons, but only Scourges can take them. Furthermore, you they are screwed if your enemy does not bring tanks and they are squishy as hell.

    So, Haywire Blasters can never be your main AT. This is why we need Darklight... and this is why we can't take our awesome dissies. We need every bit of Darlight we can.

    And now look at every post-Necron Codex and now tell me that Dark Eldar DOESNT SUCK. It will easily become the weakest, or at least one of the by far weakest dexes when the Codexes for all other races appear.

    Based on the wording and the timing, you can easily see that the Codex was designed to be in the 6th edition. So yeah, they needed some time to adjust to 7th and just throw in the dexes of factions nobody wants to play from their eyes... god I hate GW so much.

  3. Sorry that you're having such a hard time Imaginary Number. The only post Necrons army I have played so far IS Necrons but I did not take much haywire and nearly tabled him.

    Please take a look at the battle report. I took out quite a bit of his tanks with it. One being a super heavy turn 1.

    Another game was against quite a bit of tanks with AM and Haywire also did lots of work for me in this one.

    Haywire is found in grenades and on Talos as well as scourges. Keep that in mind.

    1. Sorry took lots of haywire didn't take much dark light.

  4. I've had amazing results with the reaper (forgeworld model, looks like a raider with an over-sized haywire blaster where the ram usually goes). It has a weapon with s7 ap3 haywire or s5 large blast ap4. the s7 version has a thing where it causes d3 haywire rolls instead of one. meaning that it can strip multiple hull points per shot. and warriors in raiders with racks, night shields, and a disintegrator.

  5. you shoud consider the cost of the weapons for the damage they do.
    A s5 vp 2 shot has double cost than a poisoned ap5 shot; and you can't ignore that you will face invul. and cover saves.
    I used scourges only once in a tournament, I did not face a single vehicle, so I played with 100 pt less than my opponents