Jwolf here, Today I want to finish off last week’s “Against the Imperium” series with the 3 remaining Xenos. Lets dive into how to lay down the smack with the Necrons, Orks, and Dark Eldar. A few thoughts on these armies.
Necrons are the hardest army to win consistently with in Fifth Edition, with high point costs and an FAQ that takes most of the teeth out of their best advantage, the We’ll Be Back rule. Coupled with only one relatively bland and overcosted Troops choice, the Necron player is starting with 2 strikes out when they walk to the plate. No other army has to run screaming from a unit of Plague Marines like Necrons do.
Orks are so ingrained in the world of 40K that it’s a shame I don’t see them on the tabletop more. Orks have the second best Troops choices in 40K for dealing with Mechanized Guard and Marines, if only because their Troops are cheap and have access to useful upgrades. Many people treat Orks as a mindless blob of green, but there are actually a lot of nuances to excellent Ork play, even without Nob Bikers.
Dark Eldar are the best response to the argument that old codices can’t compete with the new. At 1500 points, a Dark Eldar army simply mauls Space Marines, no matter the type. Dark Eldar do suffer from poor scalability, because so much of their greatness comes in the form of fantastic Troop weapon load outs- they just don’t have the super units to spend points on effectively when ramping up to 2000, 2500, or 3000 points.
#1 Destroyers – Destroyers are the unit in the Necron army that kills things. Durable with excellent firepower and mobility, these would be excellent units in any Codex if they weren’t overpriced like almost everything else in the Necron book.
#2 Destroyer Lord, with Res Orb, Phase Shifter, and Warscythe – One of the few units in the Necron Codex that can actually kill something in assault. The innate toughness 6, 3+/4++ save, and a “no saves for you” weapon might give some potential assaulters pause – and just that chance is worth its weight in gold. And a Destroyer Lord isn’t actually a bad deal for what he brings to the party and his point cost.
#3 Warriors – Sure, they’re your only troop choice. Sure, they’re overpriced and underpowered. But Warriors, with proper support and a good bit of chicanery are durable and effective. Try holding some in Reserve to drop out of Monoliths (if the firepower on the table favors this) or just walk them onto the board later in the game – they aren’t doing anything much but sucking down bullets for the first couple of rounds anyway.
#4 Tomb Spiders – Tomb Spiders are another trick that lets you increase the survivability of your Necrons, which is the key to having a prayer with robot zombies. They are cheap, and with one Scarab base popped out, get cover and an expendable wound at toughness 6.
#5 Monoliths – Sure, if you play Tau all the time, Monoliths are just really expensive dead things, but the fact is that Tau are few and far between in most of the world, so Railgun fear isn’t worth depriving yourself of the chance to reroll more WBB rolls and drop a nigh-unkillable (to most forces) block of irritation into the enemy’s face.
#1 Lootas – With most of the Imperium driving around in shiny metal boxes, Lootas are the can opener unit that you must have.
#2 Boyz – Orks, just plain old Orks, are an amazing choice. Give them a Nob with Klaw and Bosspole, and they are just plain great. Slugga or Shoota; each has value and each has proponents. Cheap units of 20 with a couple of Rokkits are bread and butter for a Warboss’ horde.
#3 Stormboyz – Stormboyz can’t Waagh, and that’s a bit of a problem. But their innate mobility advantages more than balance that out, and they are in the Fast Attack section, and thus not competing for one of your full Troops slots. I like Stormboyz on the flanks of the Battlewagon, ready to pop to the outside or center and throw a bucket of attacks into the enemy line.
#4 Trukk Boyz – Underrated and maligned, the Trukk Boyz do one thing really well – go fast. Dumping a small unit with a Nob into the enemy’s face helps the rest of the Boyz get their work done. And yes, I know that Trukk Boyz is no longer an actual unit, so this means a Boyz mob of 12 or less in a Trukk.
#5 Big Mek with Kustom Force Field – The glue that makes the whole thing hold together. A Big Mek in a Battlewagon full of Boyz driving right in the middle of your lines ensures that only half as many of your Boyz die to shooting as would otherwise, leaving you with only Flamer-heavy units as high priority targets to neutralize on the way in.
#1 Warrior Squads in a Raider – Raiders are the best thing since sliced bread. Totally expendable with a BS:4 Dark Lance, and carrying troops with more Lance weapons (either more Dark Lances or Blasters), the Raider makes gunboats look good.
#2 Blasters – I know, Blasters are not units, but they are the best assault weapons available, and they’re almost free. One of the best ways to use Wyches is 2 Blasters in a Raider; who cares if they ever get in assault when they can demolish everything from their Go Kart of Doom?
#3 Archon with Retinue – Since the Archon cannot be singled out due to the retinue rule, the Dark Eldar Archon is reasonably guaranteed to get a billionty attacks for 2 rounds at a minimum, against any opponent the Imperium can field. Make sure your Archon has a Combat Drug Dispenser and everyone’s favorite Shadow Field. I prefer the Agoniser, but an argument can be made for Animus, Punisher, and Tormentor Helm.
#4 Ravagers, With Disentegrators and Night Shields – Simply put, Ravagers with 2 or 3 Disentegrators are the best firepower for the buck around. Add in Night Shields to give them a little edge in survivability, and cruise around killing MEQs like popcorn. Yes, the Plasma Cannon firing mode is awesome, but the secondary mode is a defensive weapon that lets you get away from the enemy and still pump 7-9 AP3 or better shots into the enemy.
#5 Foot Warrior Squads – Cheap, 2 Dark Lances, and decent in assault with a tooled up Succubus (though without a Succubus is still an amazing unit). Dark Eldar, more than any other Codex, would benefit from having unlimited Troops choices; as it stands, taking 6 troops choices is always the right choice.
~So my fellow xenos players, the next time those smug Marines, incessantly praying Sisters, and Guardsmen cowering in their steel boxes come your way, show em who’s really the boss!