Goatboy’s Monday – Dark Eldar Winners and Losers!

Goatboy here again on another lovely Monday morning.  It’s time to look at how good (or not) the Dark Eldar codex is!

If you are living under a rock, a bridge, or in some kind of basement then you might not have heard that the Dark Eldar got a new book.  Now it isn’t as terrible as some comments have let on – but it still showcases a big theme of 7th edition – lower power levels mixed with Ally combo nonsense.

Is that a bad thing?  I don’t really know yet.  The issue we have right now is one book has probably too much power in it.  You know the book I’m talking about.  Of course while the Dark Eldar book itself isn’t as mean as the Eldar book it still benefits from being the only true Battle Brother with the supreme pointy eared jerks of the Grimdark out space.  This means that in reality the books are intertwined into what is pretty much one book.  This lets you create all sorts of combos that could very well dominate a lot of table tops until people figure it out.

But hey – I could be wrong.  I forget that no matter how much math we shove into an army design doesn’t really make it good.  I think too many people forget this hobby isn’t just about crushing jerks and winning all the babes/dudes.  If the army is too auto play it really becomes a waste of time.  No event gives you enough prizes/prestige to somehow make the costs worth it.  Heck nothing is worse then playing a boring game on both sides of the table.  I also find any army I can’t convert models in is just – well boring.

Let me step off the soap box a bit and just go into a review of sorts.  I thought about doing an army rating article – but really it is Eldar at the top – followed by Daemons then Tau.  Everyone else, even Daemons and Tau are so close together that it makes you think that this game will get balanced in the end.  Just like Fantasy did when they laid off the bad ass crack on new releases gives me hope we might get a balanced environment.  Until then I say ban the Wave Serpent for 2015!

Winners
– Players that hated playing against beast star.  đź™‚
– Succubus got better.  They have the only IC AP 2 weapon upgrade and while – I say when is the last time you really worried about 2+ armor it still seems to drive people crazy online.  Still this new plastic model looks good.
– Haemonculus got a lot better.  The are cheap enough to add a Webway portal too plus they give the benefit of making the unit attached too stronger.  That’s why the 10pts above an Archon will see these guys in a lot of armies versus the so called leader of the Cabal.
– The Webway Portal got a lot better.  IC’s can take them and it gives you a deep strike without scattering to the IC, unit attached, and even Vehicle they embarked on.  Can you say Deepstriking Wraith Guard?  Fire Dragons?  Deep Striking nonsense from Codex:Eldar?  A big batch of Grotesques coming in and causing issues is pretty spicy too.  This is the item that will define the Dark Eldar. 
– Razorwing Flyers got better as well.  I wish they had Vector Dancer – but they can put out a good deal of damage.  These will be upgraded with Dark Lances and used to knock out Knights and other vehicles.
– Scourges also got a big boost – with options for 4 Special Weapons.  Haywire blasters could do some damage to things as well as Heat Lances.  I think the FA slot is filled with good things so expect some fights based on what you want in your army.  It helps that Scourges look good.
– Talos and Cronos both got more interesting – as you can take them in units of 3.  The Cronos might be a must for the upcoming Coven armies that will come out with that one Detachment.  Isn’t it crazy how these MC’s are cheaper then a batch of Carnifexes.  

– The Raider and Venom got kind of nerfed a bit but better in other ways.  Getting shrouding is pretty strong versus a lot of the normal armies but again – the Wave Serpent takes a steaming pile on ideas of dominating with Jinking Dark Eldar paper airplanes.  I do like the ability to gain deep strike with this army as you can do some crazy combos with Eldar and the Auratach.  Put the mantle of the laughing jerk on him, hide him out and make the opponent lose a few turns of shooting.

– Grotesques got a lot more interesting.  The continuation of taking away bad/complicated rules hit this unit with no more explosions of gore if they lose their baby sitter.  I do like the GW model but the cost prohibits people from playing them.  Thankfully there are a ton of conversions online you can see.  I think mixing some of these armies with the Deep Striking potential will be giving opponents fits as they try to figure out what to when their deployment area is shortened by portals to a dark place opening up.

– Warriors got better as they really are the default troop for this army.  I always preferred to paint Warriors over Wyches so that is always a bonus in my book.

Losers

– Vect (and those who converted him).  Man I think taking this guy out of the book is a big mistake.  Even if he had bad rules he is still needed to create some interesting narratives.  Right now there doesn’t feel like there is a true main baddy in the book and it is a shame he got kicked out.

– Archon really took a hit – with no AP2 weapons and some overall lack of bonuses to the army.  I think the army will look at Webway shenanigans in the future so the Haemonculus will be the default HQ choice being cheaper and giving a benefit to the unit it is attached too.  It is a shame as I think the new model is pretty cool looking.

– Wyches really took a hit.  They lost haywire grenades so the role they played is just gone.  I don’t see the army assaulting with their troops anymore so expect your Wyches to stay in their foam prisons.

– Incubi lost a leader that gave them grenades.  Why GW?  3+ armor isn’t going to save them when people wound on a 3+ on overwatch.  Heck tripping over some dust just ruins their day as they try to get mixed in.  Just like the Banshees lost any type of grenade these guys just took it in the junk.

– The Bomber just seems to expensive for what it does.   The Razorwing flyer just works much better and this new model, while hot looking, just doesn’t justify adding it to your army.

– I did say Beaststar is dead?  The lose of the Baron was a huge hit and then making these units much smaller just hurts this army.  The Dogs are now Daemons and each choice just doesn’t have enough weight of attacks/IC bonuses to make it worth while.

– Wracks not having a way to become troops is rough.  Yes one of the Coven formations does a Space Wolf trick and makes the Troop choice a non needed option.  I don’t know if this is good for the game but still it isn’t the best.

– Hellions seem to get worse.  The lack of Grenades is going to hurt this army especially when it tries to get involved.  It has a lot of poison shooting but it really needed grenades and the other options the Baron gave them.

The Maybes

– The Reaver Jetbikes might be better.  They lost their fly over hit options (wondering if a new Daemon book will make those go away for screamers) and instead of got a much better set of Hammer of Wrath ability.  I still don’t see the benefit of a 5+ armor save jet bike.  Why couldn’t they be a 4+?  Still they have some nice weapon options but Scourges or Razorwing flock really work better in the FA choice.

– Urien might be a good lynchpin.  I don’t know if the Power From Pain rule will work out as well for the army – but if you plan on using it this guy will need to be a part of it.  The Coven army with tons of Deep striking Grotesques might be the one that works.

– Mandrakes seem to be better.  I do think Shrouded/Stealth is a better set of rules then the Daemon option.  They also get Balefire right away so they could pop out, shoot some things and be a nuisance pretty quickly for an army.  If they were fearless they might be a good option to create a null deployment army.

That’s my initial review from doing a few looks at the book.  I think it fits in nicely with all the other recent 7th edition books.  By itself it seems fine but when you mix in it’s a$$hole brother it becomes a different animal.  In fact the detachment options are where you have to question how an army should be built.  I still don’t expect a non-allied Dark Eldar army to crush the hopes and dreams of players.  It does beg to question when the army by itself is fine but adding in a very choice ally it amps it up into a whole new pain in the butt territory.

~What’s your take on the new book?

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