BoLS logo Tabletop, RPGs & Pop Culture
Advertisement

Dr. Z’s 40k: A Misunderstood Evil Part 3

9 Minute Read
Nov 25 2014
Advertisement

This time let’s look at some army lists.  Evil, fast, pointy, wicked army lists from the heart of Comorragh!


Doctor Z here from Doctor Z’s Laboratory with the third part of my Dark Eldar coverage.

I’ve gotten a lot of feedback on the previous 2 parts of my A Misunderstood Evil series and I’d like to first thank everyone who sent me emails or posted comments on them. I had originally planned on this being a 3 part column with the 3rd part being tips as to how to beat popular meta lists. however I received so many requests from people who wanted to see some sample army lists that I decided (sycophant that I am) that I’d expand the series by 1. So this week we do sample lists, all of the below are 1850 point lists some I’ve tried others I’ve only dreamed of.
This is an army that I took to a local tournament a few weeks ago. In the interest of full disclosure I did drop 1 game to an Ork player with a standard patten unkillable Stompa, but overall I have to say I was pretty happy with it. 

List1


Real Space Raiders Detachment

HQ
Archon: Shadow Field, Agoniser, Venom w/ extra splinter cannon.
Troops
5 Kabalite Warriors: Venom w/ extra splinter cannon.
5 Kabalite Warriors: Venom w/ extra splinter cannon.
Fast Attack
Razorwing Jetfighter:  Twin-linked Splinter Rifle, 2x Dark Lances, 4x Monosythe Missiles 
Razorwing Jetfighter:  Twin-linked Splinter Rifle, 2x Dark Lances, 4x Monosythe Missiles 
Razorwing Jetfighter:  Twin-linked Splinter Rifle, 2x Dark Lances, 4x Monosythe Missiles 
Razorwing Jetfighter:  Twin-linked Splinter Rifle, 2x Dark Lances, 4x Monosythe Missiles 
5 Scourges: 4x Haywire Blasters
5 Scourges: 4x Haywire Blasters
Eldar Allied Detachment
HQ
Autarch: Jetbike, Mantle of the Laughing God, Laser Lance
Troops
5 Dire avengers: Wave Serpent W/ Twin-linked Scatter laser, Shuriken Cannon, Holo-Fields
5 Dire avengers: Wave Serpent W/ Twin-linked Scatter laser, Shuriken Cannon, Holo-Fields
Fast Attack
5 warp spiders
The Autarch lets you add +1 or -1 to your reserve rolls which will obviously help you to get the Razorwings on the table on turn 2 but don’t get the idea that that’s all he does. He gives you the ability to Deep Strike your Scourges, Warp Spiders and Venoms with the relative certainty that they will show up on time, or he can help you to keep them in reserve until a suitable target presents its self. The Autarch is also great for grabbing maelstrom objectives or tank hunting (on the charge he has 5 S6 attacks hitting rear AV). Sure he dies to ignores cover weapons but he has great utility for minimal points.
The Archon in his own personal Venom has been my HQ of choice so far. If your local group lets you get away with running one member of a court by its self as your HQ go ahead but I think that is unlikely to be accepted most places. I go with the Agoniser over the other weapon options because I feel like it lets him threaten the most things (Wraithknights, Combat Squads, big Daemons/ Nids) but honestly he is only in here because Games Workshop says I have to have an HQ.
Only 2 Venoms? Well no, there are sneakily 3 because of the Archons ride but you’re right that’s not a lot by most people’s standards there are however reasons for this. First, this is a Real Space Raiders Detachment and as such neither the troops nor the dedicated transports for them have Objective Secured. That very much reduces the value of the Kabalites and their Venoms. Second, the value of venoms is largely in the ability to murder infantry and monstrous creatures and this list has other units that overlap in that role. Wave Serpents, Warp Spiders, and 16 s6 large blast templates from The Razorwings all serve as anti infantry fire that when added to the Venoms should be more than enough. The Wave Serpents also do a number on any Monstrous Creature That’s not T8. In fact the only time I wish I had more Venoms in this list is when I see 2 or 3 Wraithknights.
I already expounded on my belief in the value of the Razorwing Fighter in part 2 but it’s worth saying again that very few enemy infantry will survive to be the table the turn after 4 of them show up. They also serve as anti flier anti armour, though less effectively. 
Dark Eldar suck at killing tanks, I’m sorry but they just do. At least they suck at killing the armour that you are likely to see in a tournament. 2 units of Scourges with a total of 8 Haywire shots aren’t enough to totally fix the problem but it helps. You do have to be careful with these units as a metaphorical stiff breeze can knock them over (also I recommend weighting their bases with a coin or washer as a literal stiff breeze will knock them over as well). They do suck in matchups where your opponent has no vehicles and I’m starting to come around on the Heat Lance version as a result but honestly I feel like the rest of your army has enough of an edge in those matchups that it’s okay to risk it.
Wave Serpents are good so I added some.
What you want more? Fine.
The Wave Serpents are here as a catch all. They and the Dire Avengers inside are the only objective secured units in the army. They are good against infantry. They are the only ignores cover unit in the list, and most importantly they are good at killing the medium to light Vehicles that Deldar struggle with like for example other Wave Serpents.  If you can’t beat ‘em…
The Warp Spiders serve as an extension to what the Wave Serpents do. I typically Deep Strike them down to target the side or rear AV of a vehicle on hope that 10 S7 shots will do the job.

List 2

This is going to be a little different, this list uses the 2 separate Real Space Raiders Detachments giving us access to a maximum of 12 fast attack choices.

Who doesn’t love alien bikers
Real Space Raiders Detachment #1
HQ
Urine Rakarth
Troops
5 Kabalite Warriors: Blaster, Venom w/ extra splinter cannon.
5 Kabalite Warriors: Raider with Night Shields
Elites:
3 Mandrakes
3 Mandrakes
3 Mandrakes
Fast Attack:
6 Reaver Jetbikes:  with 2 Blaster
6 Reaver Jetbikes:  with 2 Blaster
6 Reaver Jetbikes:  with 2 Blaster
6 Reaver Jetbikes:  with 2 Blaster
6 Reaver Jetbikes:  with 2 Blaster
3 Reaver Jetbikes:  with 1 Blaster
Fortification:
Imperial Bunker:  Comms Relay
Real Space Raiders Detachment #2
HQ
Archon: Shadow Field, Agoniser, Venom w/ extra splinter cannon.
Troops
5 Kabalite Warriors: Blaster, Venom w/ extra splinter cannon.
5 Kabalite Warriors: Blaster, Venom w/ extra splinter cannon.
Fast Attack
3 Reaver Jetbikes:  with 1 Blaster
3 Reaver Jetbikes:  with 1 Blaster
3 Reaver Jetbikes:  with 1 Blaster
3 Reaver Jetbikes:  with 1 Blaster
3 Reaver Jetbikes:  with 1 Blaster
3 Reaver Jetbikes:  with 1 Blaster
I admit that this list is something of a gimmick, but is that really bad? I mean Centurion Stars are a gimmick, they are just a good one. The short version of this lists strategy is to deploy as little as you possibly can on turn 1 and then have everything come in on turn 2 using the Comms Relay.
Why Urien Rakarth? Every Dark Eldar unit within 12” of Urien counts the turn number as being 1 higher for than it is when checking the Power Through Pain chart, if he’s in a Raider that bubble extends from the hull. Line that Raider up sideways in the middle of the table and that bubble is pretty big and when all of your bikes come on the table turn 2 anyone within it will have a 3+ jink and a 5+ Feel No Pain. Reaver Jetbikes are far from being close combat monsters but if you can keep them in Urien’s bubble and get a charge on turn 3 you will be getting S4 Hammer of Wrath hits as well as 3 attacks each with Furious Charge for S4, that’s not too bad.

List 3

This is more your classic venom spam list. What can I say if it ain’t broke…

Combined Arms Detachment #1
HQ
Archon: Shadow Field, Agoniser, Venom w/ extra splinter cannon.
Troops
5 Kabalite Warriors: Blaster, Venom w/ extra splinter cannon.
5 Kabalite Warriors: Blaster, Venom w/ extra splinter cannon.
5 Kabalite Warriors: Blaster, Venom w/ extra splinter cannon.
Heavy Support
Ravager: w/ 3 Dark Lances
Ravager: w/ 3 Dark Lances
Ravager: w/ 3 Dark Lances
Combined Arms Detachment #2
HQ
Archon: Shadow Field, Agoniser, Venom w/ extra splinter cannon.
Troops
5 Kabalite Warriors: Blaster, Venom w/ extra splinter cannon.
5 Kabalite Warriors: Blaster, Venom w/ extra splinter cannon.
5 Kabalite Warriors: Blaster, Venom w/ extra splinter cannon.
Heavy Support
Ravager: w/ 3 Dark Lances
Ravager: w/ 3 Dark Lances
Ravager: w/ 3 Dark Lances
This list gives you access to 6 ravagers putting out 18 dark lance shots per turn as well as 6 blasters in your venoms, that’s 24 S8 AP2 lance shots in total. The quick math is that will do 8 hull points in damage to anything that’s AV 12 or better. Couple that with the 96 poisoned shots the venoms can put out at range 36” (not to mention another 24 splinter rifles in those open topped venoms) and you can basically just beat your opponent over the head with your whole dice cube.
Unlike the other 2 lists above this one uses the Objective Secured rules to its advantage, 6 Kabalite Warrior squads and 6 Venoms all have it. while admittedly not quite as good as Eldar Windrider Jetbikes Objective Secured Venoms are very good at running around the Board on turns 5 and 6 and claiming or contesting objectives, here are a couple thing to remember when doing this.
1)      Unlike Craftworld Eldar who want to go second so that they can zip onto the Objectives on the last player turn of the game you want to go first.  Dark Eldar are best when they strike first, the army is simply too fragile to chose the second turn in all but the most specific of situations. Taking the second turn with the intention of reaching out and grabbing objectives at the end of the game is ultimately a self defeating strategy as you will likely have too few units remaining at the end of the game to do so.
2)      Don’t be afraid to keep your guys in their Venoms. Anyone who’s played with Venoms in 7th edition will tell you that they are death traps. When they explode everyone inside is wounded on a 3+ and only have 5+ armor to protect them. You’ll end up losing a little less than half of the guys inside then have to make both a pinning check and a morale check. The odds of failing one of these 2 checks are pretty good. So why am I advising you to leave your guys/gals in their death traps? Due to the Power From Pain rule by turn 5 the unit has feel no pain 5+ to go with their armor save increasing the chance that they will survive a wound from 33% to 55%, In addition at this point they will also be fearless so there’s no need to take those pesky moral tests. Bottom line is they are almost always just safer in the transport.
3)      You only can turbo boost 18”. I know that sounds like a lot but it’s not as much as you might think. Unlike with jetbikes you have to know where you intend to be on turn 5 when you’re planning your moves on turn 4. I have found myself an inch or 2 short more times than I care to count (insert joke here) because I didn’t want to tip my hand by pre measuring.
  

List 4

And since I’d hear about it if I didn’t do it the obligatory Webway Portal list.

Combined Arms Detachment
HQ
Archon: Shadow Field, Agoniser, Webway Portal, Haywire Grenades, The Armour of Misery.
Archon: Shadow Field, Agoniser, Webway Portal
Troops
5 Kabalite Warriors: Blaster, Venom w/ extra splinter cannon.
5 Kabalite Warriors: Blaster, Venom w/ extra splinter cannon.
5 Kabalite Warriors: Blaster, Venom w/ extra splinter cannon.
5 Kabalite Warriors: Blaster, Venom w/ extra splinter cannon.
Eldar Allied Detachment
HQ
Spiritseer
Elites
7 Fire Dragons: Wave Serpent W/ Twin-linked Scatter laser, Shuriken Cannon, Holo-Fields
Troops
5 Wraithguard: 5x D-scythe, Wave Serpent W/ Twin-linked Scatter laser, Shuriken Cannon, Holo-Fields
5 Wraithguard: 5x Wraithcannon, Wave Serpent W/ Twin-linked Scatter laser, Shuriken Cannon, Holo-Fields
I can hear some of you saying that this is an Eldar list. Yes, there is an extent to which the Eldar half of this list is what’s doing the heavy lifting, but you can’t make this list with Eldar primary you need the 2 Dark Eldar HQ choices to make it work. You could just as easily make the argument that the Eldar half of this list wouldn’t be able to cut it without the Dark Eldar.

The main Idea is that you have 2 Webway Portals and 3 units that you can put them in; The D-Scythe Wraithgaurd for killing infantry (centurion stars) and the Wraithcannon Wraithguard or the Fire dragons for killing Vehicles. No matter what your opponent puts on the table You can Deep Strike something they don’t want exactly where they didn’t want it. This list is also packing 3 Wave Serpents and 4 Venoms for solid ranged fire power. I’ll be honest I have not yet tested this one but it’s on my work bench and as soon as I have the Wraithgaurd and Fire Dragons converted up to look sufficiently evil I will be giving it a shot.
So there you have it 4 lists all different all of which I think are pretty good. I had never intended to do a sample list column because I never wanted to give anyone reading it the impression that they had to play Dark Eldar the same way I do. That being said now that I have I’m pretty happy I did the act of writing this helped remind me how diverse this book really can be, and why I love it.

What about you? Do you play something wildly different from these? Do I have no Idea What I’m talking about? Tell us in the comments or email me at [email protected]

Avatar
Author:
Advertisement
  • Wargames Gallery 11-23-14