Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Reactions on Dark Eldar- thus far

Well, lots of people have seen the new codex, and though I haven't been able to get my hands on a copy yet, I've been reading the forums like crazy for the new rumors.  Lots of information means I can start coming up with ideas for what I want to do with them eventually...

The thing I've been thinking most about lately, is the 5 point upgrade raiders get to be able to move an extra 2d6 in the move phase.  Raiders can already move 24" in a turn, so this upgrade gives them a disgusting average of 31", which is actually quite a change from the 24".  Those extra 7" mean that if you reserve your entire army, you can be roughly 5" from the enemy the turn you move onto the board.  Even if they hide on the back edge of their table (as they'll likely want to do, lol) you'll be 11" away from them (assuming they're 6" onto the table).  This means that even if they wreck your raider (which is likely), your guys will still be able to easily move/fleet/assault the next turn.

It gets better, if you bring in a few cheap screens of the Reavers, who can turbo 36".  All you gotta do is move them onto the table, and move the raiders behind.  While this won't give you a better cover save or anything silly like that, it will give your forcibly-disembarked guys some cover, and act as a screen to keep your guys from being charged/potentially flamered.

I guess the thing I'm most nervous about is the anti-tank situation.  Maybe it sounds foolish to be nervous, but I am.  I think we have like one melta weapon (also Lance, S6 I think?), which I hope to God is AP1.  Sure, lances are great and all that, but even taking AV down to 12, you still need to roll a 5+ twice in a row to destroy a vehicle, and that's after hitting.  You have to realize that if Dark Eldar have to waste a turn charging a vehicle to kill it (which they'll be able to do), that entire squad is going to die.  Horribly.

Playing a fragile army like Dark Eldar sort of puzzles me on how to approach the game.  In an objectives game with my Wolves, or Blood Angels, or Salamanders, or Chaos, or... heh, any of my armies generally, I want to go second.  I can afford (usually) to withstand firepower for the advantage of claiming objectives at the end.  With Dark Eldar, your first reaction is to go first, just because you can't really afford to try and bunker down and avoid being shot.  Even minimal shooting might really end up making your day long.

Which makes me wonder- how good will Vect end up being?  We know he has his Shadowfield, which is always nice, but his best ability (in my opinion) is the ability to seize the initiative on a 4+.  It has the potential for excellence, but I wonder if it's really the way to go?  If I already want to reserve my whole army most games, going 2nd really isn't that bad.  In games where you *need* to either go first or reserve everything, is it worth taking the risk?  Sure, after a roll-off and then Vect's 4+, you have a 75% chance of going first, regardless.  But in a 5-game tournament, that means you'll be going second (against your will) at least once.

Archon has a weird retinue, that can do some cool stuff apparently.  One makes their poison weapons poison on a 2+.  I wonder if that'll be worth it or not.  If they can take a bunch of splinter rifles, it might well be.  If it's just a bunch of combat attacks, it might as well.  The archon is only going to be S3- I wonder if s/he's even going to be worth it at all.

Everyone is talking about how super overpowered Lylith is going to be.  Sure, she has WS9, I9, with a 3++ in close combat (4++ outside of it), and gets like 11 attacks on the charge against marines with power weapons.  Broken, right?  Wrong.  It's such a fail way of thinking.  Sure, 11 attacks is a huge number of attacks for a single model, but then think:  what's the strength?  And when you find out the Strength is only 3, you realize that she'll only really end up killing like 2-3 marines a turn.  Heh, and only like 3-4 guardsmen a turn.  Overpowered?  Hardly.  Not for 175 points.  That's like, an entire squad of Wyches in an upgraded Raider.

How about the Incubi?  They look cool for sure, and at 22 point/model, they look like they might really be worth it.  A 3+ save, and still getting fleet, as well as good WS, 3 attacks on the charge, etc. might rock.  Against marine combat armies, they will likely prove to be invaluable, since they get to strike first against counter-charging wolves, and ignore armor/FnP Blood Angels.  Still, after a couple upgrades that I'm sure you'll want, and taking a transport, the squad will weigh in for over 300 points, if you take 10 of them.  Guess like everything else, we'll just have to see.

The webway portal looks interesting.  Apparently only troops can use it now (not vehicles), so it might potentially just do nothing.  If someone can park a unit on top of it, you can't use it.

I want mostly to know what the Talos/Chronos can do.  I hear the Chronos can kill enemy models and distribute pain points to your units for each kill, but who knows what it's stats are?  I have no clue.  If it's only BS2, and the guns are S4, range 12", it's not going to be very plausible.  The Talos reportedly has T7, which is a bonus, since I really like the idea of T7 MC's running around in my weak-as-shit army.  But who knows if it's too slow to keep up, or has other crappy stats?  Some people do, and maybe I should ask on the forums, but they're the biggest question mark left to me.  If they can move 12" and fleet, I'll be happy to take them.  I guess it also just depends on how awesomesauce the other Heavy Support choices are too.

Mandrakes look like a fail.  They can move through cover quick, infiltrate, stealth, and... then assault and hope to Jesus that the opponent misses, because you have to rely on 5++ saves.  Space Wolves Longfangs might actually end up *winning* that combat, lol.  No grenades really might break them.

What else... hm.  Warriors look alright.  Poisoned weapons are going to be good, and you never want to use them for combat, anyways.  Taking a squad of 10 + raider for 150 points might be worth it.  Maybe put the melta-lance thing on one of them.  It's either them or Wyches, which look like they might be good too.

One thing I have trouble picturing myself taking are the construct things, like Grotesques and mini-grotesques (called Wracks or something?).  If they play like Ogryns, they'll die like Ogryns.  Maybe they'll be worth it if you take a special character or something, who knows.

I guess the two other questions I have are this:  will there be *any* form of anti-psychic anything, or will we just be screwed by Null Zone?  and will there be any way to boost/decrease your reserve rolls, so that you can come onto the table with a larger percentage of your army at once?

I'm overall pretty optimistic about this codex, I really hope they did a good job on it.  Hopefully my LGS will have a copy soon, and I'll be able to read it, and talk in more detail about my plans.

What do you think so far?


Chumbalaya said...

Wow, I hadn't heard half of these.

I want a zoomy, zoom death chop shoot blarg army. Hopefully DE can do that for me. And hopefully the army I like won't be invalidated by a FAQ.

Kyle said...

blah blah blah my name's Adam, I play Space Marines, why can't Dark Eldar be more like Space Marines. . .*sad panda face on tall white guy with goatee*

But seriously I think you've got about 90% of this codex right.

It is going to come down to points and raw speed, which most of the vehicles will allow. I really don't think webways are going to be relevant since reserved raiders will generally be able to cross 2/3 of the board coming off long edge. The reason they will matter for troops is that it will extend the board range of DE footsloogers in objective games.

The Guard furor seems to have died down so hydras will likely be more of the rare occurrence that requires adjusting for rather than something DE players find themselves constantly butting their heads against.

Something I think DE players can take advantage of is the prevalence of wolves and BA in the current meta-game. Properly used Archons and Incubi are going to play havok with traditional playstyles. Both wolves and BA right now extensively use weak ICs like priests and librarians that are an exceptional source of available buffs. And that's just one example. (Oh, and Mephy gets owned by huskblades)

I actually think that limited psychic defense is going to be less of an issue than considered, simply because DE can BE anywhere they want on the board to apply pressure in a given turn. The current psychic meta game is largely focused on multiplying force strength and resilience over a long series of turns. Units like librarians are not going to live long enough to play that game anymore. Like you said, there is just simply no "sitting back" and slogging it out against this codex. It just doesn't work.

My main impression is that this is going to be one of those codices thats force strength is exponentially multiplied by the experience and knowledge of the player. Beginners beware, but opponents of capable generals more so.

Zac Pauga said...

Where to start

There are two forms of psychic defense in the Codex, Lady Malys, a special character that makes her unit immune to all psychic effects and the crucible of malediction, a haemonculous item that makes all enemy psykers within 3d6 take a leadership test, if failed they are removed from play.

There are a few units in the codex that look like absolute winners, Incubi are amazing especially with pain points, Reavers are also look really good on paper, Hellions look good to and with them being able to be taken as troops opens a whole other level of strategy, and scourges look awesome they can pump out some serious fire power for pretty cheap. The court of the Archon looks like it can be messed with to get some pretty amazing results as well.

The Chronos is Bs3 has one S3 AP3 large blast gun and one random strength random AP template, pretty decent but your heavy support are going to be hotly contested with ravagers and the two fliers which completely rock depending on points.

As for the grotesques I don't know Ogryn stats but if they are S5 T5 W3 with feel no pain I guess they die the same but that seems pretty resilient to me.

Xaereth said...

Kyle: yeah, the lack of Psychic defense just makes me nervous for if I want to take Wyches, since they have then 4++ in combat, which amounts to not much at all if the player has null-zone. Otherwise, I don't really see what psychic powers out there really hurt us anyways (besides maybe the Wolf one that makes all skimmers/jump troops take dangerous checks... that would could really mess your day up if you took Raider Spam)

Zac: Heh, I've been reading the rumors nonstop for forever now on like 3 different forums- how did you get the Chronos' weapons? Sounds alright,I guess we'll see what sort of army I want to take. I hear Scourges are pretty hot right now, and the Dark Lances they have only cost like 15 points. Maybe they'll be my mobile fire suppression force, if they aren't too expensive.

Chumb: Pretty much agree on all counts. who DOESN'T want a zoomy, zoom death chop shoot blarg army?

Sorrowshard said...

The flyers make me happy in my pants, whats not to love about something called an IMPLOSION missile ....

the bikes look like they are going to bring alot to the table also.

Shame GW seems to have over priced them ($) *sulk*

Im kinda underwhelmed by the ravager , is it just a really fragile pred equivalent and I would also argue that disintegrators have been nerfed given the abundance of cover.

Kyle said...

There seems to be no mention of a price point change with dark lances. Something that bodes very well for DE in the current meta game. If dark lances are slightly more expensive than, but just as readily available as missile launchers, DE have some very effective shooting options with the addition of the new shorter range weaponry.

This is looking to be a very dynamically effective Codex.

Zac Pauga said...

the price for Dark lances vary depending on the unit that can take them, I think its 25 points for warriors but only 15 or so for scourges