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Dark Eldar: Can THE Glass Cannons Flourish in 8th Edition?

4 Minute Read
Mar 29 2018

The new Drukhari sound amazing, but can they hold up to the cruel math of 8th Edition?

The Eldest Eldar

The Dark Eldar have had a mercurial history.


Introduced arguably in Rogue Trader as the Eldritch Raiders, one of the first Army Lists ever in Chapter Approved – First Book of the Astronomicon from 1989. they then had the misfortune of getting a codex and starring in the 3rd edition starter set in 1998, and waiting TWELVE YEARS for their reappearance in the game in 2010!

But what a reappearance it was!

The New Dark Eldar were gorgeous, fast and lethal. But they were not meant to last and by the time of 7th their time in the sun was over.


8th Edition has seen them reduced to being taken as dirt cheap squads to fill out detachments for mixed Ynnari lists.

Can the Dark Eldar Work in 8th?

But with a codex on the way this weekend – we will see if GW can make an army work that defies standard faction organization and background.

  • The Drukhari aren’t an army – they are brigands. Pirates one and all.
  • The Drukhari are raiders – they define the battle and it’s terms. They don’t do Napoleonic set-piece battles.
  • The Drukhari are fast – maybe the fastest faction in the game (Harlequins may disagree).
  • The Drukhari are lethal – able to dish out the pain efficiantly and bring down even the largest of foes with their cruel weapons.
  • The Drukhari can’t take a punch. If this army takes one solid punch during a turn it’s probably curtains for them. they fold like a house of cards.

And that brings me back to how exactly GW can pull this off in 8th Edition. The edition most defined by pure math and solving all problems with a greater application of dice.

The Dark Eldar’s greateat fear.

I was at first skeptical of the Adeptus Custodes – but GW proved me wrong and pulled off a great “Uber-elite army” with a tiny model count that provides nail-biter games.

I have a feeling that for the Drukhari to survive in 8th they are going to have to bend some rules.  I fully expect them to have exceptions to the following:

  • Special Detachment rules that only they get to break.
  • Heavily dependent upon and able to utilize command points.
  • Special rules for missions and victory conditions.

GW has already teased some very interesting concepts with tons of detachments that don’t seem to work with Matched play – as it exists for every other army.  If any army will get to bend these rules – it should be the Dark Eldar.  If there is an army that NEEDS to rely on command points to twist the odds in their favor it’s the one that can’t take a punch. Finally if there is an army that needs to avoid standard attritional missions it’s the Drukhari. GW will be hardpressed to price them exactly right.  To costly and they wont have the bodies to survive. To cheap and they become a mad-max reflection of Craftworld Eldar.


So it’s all on GW, and the codex is done and shipping out across the world. I expect to see some really crazy rule mechanics that defy convention and reflect the lighting quick and razor sharp way of the war of Commorragh.

Because if they end up being a “traditional” list – the Astra Militarum will grind them to dust.

~What do you think the Drukhari need to fight like the fluff says they should?

Author: Larry Vela
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