Games Workshop has teased some of the new Dark Eldar Rules and they just might the first hope for Melee armies everywhere.
The debate of “Shooting vs Melee” in 8th is still going strong. I’ll be honest, things weren’t looking good for the Melee side of things, especially after we saw what the T’au were brining. Now, the shooting side of the equation is looking pretty strong, I don’t want to dismiss that at all. However, the new Dark Eldar Teaser has some pretty good news for anyone that has some dedicated Melee units.
via Warhammer Community
“When an enemy infantry unit in melee tries to Fall Back out of combat with Wyches, they can only do so if they win a roll-off with you. That is so incredibly powerful because it will protect your close combat units from getting shot and allows you to kill whatever you are locked in combat with.”
Combine that with the Tactical Reserve rules we saw earlier and it seems like Melee Armies will have a fighting chance at getting into combat, staying in combat, and avoid getting shot to ribbons. Now, before anyone sets their static gunline army on fire, let’s just be clear – this special rule currently only applies to Wyches (for now). But, this rule or something similar could be included with other dedicated Melee units – that’s the hope/fear anyways.
If it were up to me, I’d have this a rule like this available in each army, but NOT for each and every melee unit. No, that wouldn’t make sense – what would be the point of the Fall Back rule if everyone just had a way to ignore it or contest it? But, it would make if sense if a specific unit (or two) per army had that ability. Let’s use the Tyranids as an example (because they were used as the Reserves example):
Here are the Trygon’s rules for Subterranean Assault. Now imagine if that other Troop unit (like Hormgaunts or Genestealers) in the Trygon’s tunnel had the No Retreat rule or something like it. So when this new threat pops-up the ‘Nid player has a few choices to make. Do they charge with the Trygon and hope they can weather the overwatch shots first? Do they send in the Troops first so they can hopefully tie-up the unit? Do you split the units and charge two different things? Do you charge a single unit and hope that both the Trygon and the Troop can hold-off killing it so they can follow-up on your next turn? Decisions, decisions…
Oh and it’s not like the unit that was trying to fall back will forfeit their melee or shooting(pistol) attacks. And hey – it’s a roll-off, it’s not an automatic thing! So, as of now, I’d still say that Shooting has the edge vs Melee in 8th. However, rules like this do give me hope that Melee armies might have some more rules to help them balance (or perhaps tip) the scales in their favor. After-all, we’ve seen a lot of info about ranged weapons and only a handful of info on close-combat. At this rate we might all have new theories by Friday!
Aside from that glimmer of hope for Melee units/armies, Frankie did mention a few more cool things for the Dark Eldar – things that I think are important to call-out:
“In the new Warhammer 40,000, Raiders are exactly what they should be. They are blisteringly fast, open topped transports that deliver warriors where you need them but remain a little fragile. Open Topped vehicles allow you to shoot out of them still, which is a massive benefit. You can even fire Pistol weapons out of the vehicle when it is engaged in close combat!
With a toughness value and wounds, these vehicles are also much more durable. Lastly, these vehicles have a 5+ invulnerable save versus shooting attacks which will help when getting blasted by heavy weapons, and they ignore the -1 penalty to shooting heavy weapons after moving, keeping them agile.”
- Open Topped vehicles still allow you to shoot out the top
- Passengers can even fire Pistol weapons if the vehicle is engaged in close combat – neat!
- Dark Eldar vehicles will have a +5 Invulnerable save vs shooting
- Dark Eldar vehicles ignore the -1 penalty for shooting heavy weapons while moving
Plus, if you think about how the new vehicle rules will work, then Raiders and Venoms won’t explode and kill everyone inside anymore (they only die on a 1). That’s a big boost for the Dark Eldar attack!
They also teased a few of the weapon profiles, too:
- Dark Lance – Strength of 8, AP of -4 and D6 damage
- Disintegrator Cannon – 3 shots, all do 2 damage at AP -3.
- Incubi Klaive – +1 Strength and AP -3 (leader has +2 damage on 6’s to wound)
- Hydra Gauntlets and Razorflails – -1 AP for Wyches’ attacks
Wyches will also have a +4 invulnerable save in the fight sub-phase, too. This also should give melee heavy armies some hope. Why? Because if Wyches as a melee unit get a special save in the fight sub-phase, why would they be the only ones? I can think of a couple of other super fast units that should probably have a special fight sub-phase invulnerable save, too…
Overall, I’m happy for Dark Eldar players – it sounds like they are getting some cool, new rules to help them out in 8th. And I’m cautiously optimistic about the state of the balance between Shooting vs Melee. I think it’s safe to stay in a “need more data” mode before any final judgement calls can be made. Again, based on what we’ve seen as of right now, Shooting still has an edge but I’m not ruling Melee out of this one just yet. Time will tell!
Well Dark Eldar Players, what do you think of your teaser? And all you players that favor melee vs shooting – are you willing to push your luck and stick it out for 8th or are you going to load up on guns?