Goatboy here and do we have a bit of a pickle. Sometimes it’s hard to see past what’s good for an army to see what’s good for the game.
Making an army good again is a wonderful way to get a company to sell some minis that weren’t rushing off the shelves. Creating a big fancy update and getting the player scene chomping at the bits to try out something new. We all want that for our pet armies and will defend any “too good” of an update from the haters because it’s time for our plastic friends to shine in the sun. But that exchange of a good time for consistent winning isn’t always that great.
I have a friend that likes their armies to be unique but deadly. He almost always wants to come into a game with a positive chance to win no matter the match up. I can’t blame him as I want my armies to always give me a chance at a win but sometimes it felt like the sacrifice of a back and forth game was worth it to that player. I told him you shouldn’t have sold your DE as this is the army for you now.
There are a ton of articles that go on about how to fix this army. We all agree there are probably 3 things that need a simple fix just to bring the army a bit down. Liquifier guns, free CP for 3 Patrols, and something to tweak that 42 attack succubus. I am sure some people could argue for more things but the other stuff still feels like it fits in the same package that you want DE to sit in. What isn’t really talked about though is there is another issue with all of this that starts at the top of the army – and that is how you pick your obsessions.
GW “Best Way” Problem
GW has an issue where they obviously build a book out and favor a specific “best way” to build your army over all others. A small set of an army’s extra rules become the go-to best option out of the book and eventually you just see that single type of army each time you play. You can see this in the Marine books where if you are playing the basic book Marines you are most likely playing White Scars or the Blood Angels supplement. This isn’t to say all the others are completely bad but after multiple FAQs and a new book we all know which armies work out to be the best. It is also what you see in a lot of the other books too – from Ad Mech really being just a Cawl book and Imperial Knights starting off as House Raven then rotating to Krast thru their build. Heck you see it in Chaos Space Marines too with specific design purposes forcing a Legion specific build.
Drukhari Are Today’s Problem … There Will Be Others
I am all for following a theme and building your army around it – but when was the last time you saw a true try hard playing a themed army that just wasn’t the best theme in the books? Right now the Dark Eldar book isn’t a book fool of intrigue, Covens, Kabals, and Cults. It is a Black Hearted, Strife filled, and dark cyber punk dream thing. I think we saw one other Kabal in a winning list but almost every army is the exact same thing. Max out as many Kabal of the Black Heart Raiders with one Trueborn squad, mix in some Strife nonsense (Flailing death or Mortal Whip Cream Machine), and then throw in some badly painted/converted techno beat masters. Heck you never even see a Haemonculus because Drahzar is all about those block rocking beats and wants to lead his creepy friends to freedom.
This is why I think the main issue we have to look at is just making the other stuff better. They build this entire detachment to allow you to play this combined raiding party but why do that when 3 Patrols nets you a +2 CP and you get Drahzar. Who wants to take creepy uncle Fester and his love of puzzles when you can swap that out for a murder machine?
It isn’t like the other options are bad – they are just not as efficient as you need them to be. This army is a very well greased murder ball designed to come in, throw out damage above their points, and hopefully leave you with nothing to respond back with. Beyond just the ability to deal damage they also are so perfectly designed to play 9th with their movement and waves of pain that it makes it hard to both respond and score points.
Sure we can wait for the next book to come out – but if it “answers” this then it most likely answers anything else that might show up. Ok I need some good anti vehicle power that can burn thru the boats fast. Then I need enough firepower to wreck whatever falls out before it touches me. Doesn’t this sound too good and would wreck any other army? This would just create another rough pounding for other armies to slog thru and build a bit of hype for the army baggers to jump too?
We Need List Diversity – BAD!
I think GW needs to look and do minimum tweaks to Dark Eldar and address the lack of diversity in list building first. When you see the same options show up over and over you have to start to question are they too good? Points could help, tweak to rules can help, and just a better approach to looking at games would be needed. Heck my two loses were to the Dark Eldar and I expect to lose to them again during my next event in 2 weeks. Let’s just hope I don’t play 5 of them this weekend and maybe only one.
~What do you think GW needs to do be stop the “1 best list per faction” problem?