Goatboy here to say Codex Drukhari is an interesting book. Interesting and lethal. Here’s why.
I have never been the biggest fan of the Dark Eldar. Between games being bamboozled by the webway portal, every poison weapon hitting/wounding, and Vect telling me no – the Dark Eldar have been a pain in my butt for a while. I might not playing against them – but I have always liked how the army looks. I think as a whole the model designs are great and it is thankfully mostly plastic.
This isn’t a thought process on how the models are working – this is what I think about the book. Well, I think it is pretty dang good. I won’t go into too much detail as I am just taking a step back and looking at it as a whole. With that – let’s get into what I like and dislike about the book.
I think as a whole the book is pretty dang good. The Succubus and Drahzar got an extreme boost. So much of a boost – that you will see a lot of armies pay the 1CP to put that secret Eldar into any Realspace Raider list. Heck I think I will too as he is just a beat stick. The Succubus is another boost with a specific Kabal allowing her to attack twice and pump out so much damage it is bonkers. A relic, warlord trait, strat combo and you got a cheap character that can kill just about anyone.
The book as a whole is just a heck of a lot more killy. Incubi got a huge boost which is great. Those new models are amazing (even though I found some old metal ones) and expect to see them showing up. Very few things can survive a charge from them mixed with their stats, a chance to make opponents strike last, and just their damage potential. Most of the Dark Eldar got the ability to cause an extra -1 to AP on a hit roll of a 6 – which is cool but kind of annoying as someone how played a lot of chaos and has forgotten Death to the False Emperor a ton. These sort of things can be these gotcha moments you do to yourself throughout the game and can be annoying.
I know the Power from Pain got a big shift – and while it is sad they don’t all get Feel No Pain I do think the chart is better. The ability to get advance and charge after turn two will be powerful on all the different assault options in the game. Mix this in with some of the Kabal/Cults/Coven shifts to looking at the chart and you start to have some interesting options. As a whole it is a good shift and a simpler game plan for most players to deal with. A single save to stop an attack is usually less annoying to slog thru then a ton of damage 2+ wounds you have to roll Feel No Pain for.
Hellions got a nice boost by having the perfect strat to allow them to fly by and throw out some mortal wounds. Being able to have units of 20 do a bounce over a IC and watch as they melt to mortal wounds will be common. Remember all those old days of having 20 Helions in all your lists – they will be coming back.
Relics wise there are a few more combat options as well as their only deny option they have in the game. It is a bit of a doozy as it causes a peril on a deny so be prepared to get some whispers from the warp in your ear when you try to throw out a spell or two. The Coven stuff also lost their old 4+ invulnerable save option – but Grotesques are still good and will always be seeing one single set of Wracks helping their Gross daddy get their job done.
The biggest new thing is the Realspace raider force that sets up a way to have an army with all 3 different Cults/Kabals/Covens and keep all their rules. As well as get an extra bit of fun with being friendly with the Archon. It is kind of complicated in the set up but it is something I expect to show up when we start to see pure Dark Eldar lists hit the table top. All 3 leader options can be powered up by the new upgrades, you can turn all their friendly troops into true monsters, and feel cool in fielding a theme like force for Dark Eldar.
I still don’t think they know what to do with the Archon. The Succubus got an awesome boost to their abilities to be a killing machine but the Archon just feels a little off. They can’t do all the crazy damage options the Succubus can as well as becoming a force choice in the Realspace Raider detachment. It just feels like again – they don’t know what to do with them. Lelith also feels off when you compare it to the other regular Succubus bomb we have out there. I don’t know what else to do with her as she doesn’t want the drugs to make her a badass as well as just not being damage 2. I think if she was d2 she would be an awesome beat stick. Oh and not being able to get her a Warlord trait is annoying too. It is a nice model though.
Also – where the heck is Vect? The new Vect stratagem is interesting but not stopping a power is a hard thing to lose. Making them pay more just forces the player to either not use the crutch of the power as much (which as the new books come out is less and less) or it happens and they just know the tax is a bit higher. I Will see but I am glad it is a 0CP costing power.
I also love Drahzar but you can’t fit him in a Realspace Raider detachment. This feels like a duh moment as he is an awesome model that GW would want to sell more of. I mean at least the Incubi are pretty dang sweet and will show up in so many lists. Heck, you will see my Realspace Raiders list for this Friday. I want to make a Battleforce style army – one of most things and see if it will work. I think you can and still be effective due to the nature and synergies of the army. Gonna try to leave my Copy and Paste shenanigans on the tabletop.
The old Talos bomb did kind of go away as while decent they are not the awesome little murder machines we loved before. We also see the actual bird size for the Razorwing flocks and don’t have to worry about 2-3 different rules sources causing confusion as you try to build a list. I remember those old days of the old Beastmaster throwing out a ton of shadow dogs on the table, combo’ing spells up on them, and just being a bane on the table top.
This is the type of book design we should see for Ynarri if they ever come out with one. Make their army a specific set of options with different rules and bits to create a themed force. This Dark Eldar book feels like 3 different armies but with the added benefit of actually working together. This is the biggest win in the book right now and something I hope to see show up for other books – or other designs. Nothing feels bad just different.
Vect is watching…always.