Saturday, August 20, 2011

Email in: DE List for Critique

Howdy!  Got another email in today, about the ironically pale Dark Eldar.  Let's get to the email first:

The Email:

I've enjoyed lurking and reading your Delusions of Grandeur site, thanks for making it!
I've been playing Dark Eldar for several years now. Frankly, I miss the old codex. There were just so many things that I enjoyed more than now....sigh...nostalgia. I want my CDD back! :)
 I've been using a pretty standard list for awhile now, since the new book came out, that includes bloodbrides, some trueborn with blasters and venoms, warriors in raiders, ravagers, and a couple small reaver units for disruption.
This basically works as a mobile gunline that just tries to shit out more S8 shots than the other guy can get (I think I'm in the area of 30 at 2k points), then splinter fire everything that falls out of an enemy transport. The Bloodbrides tie up mean things that I don't want to deal with otherwise, and have proven to be a lot more killy than folks give them credit for...especially with 3 razorflails!
Anyway, the gunline thing is getting stale for me, and the meta has changes so much with the latest few books giving us massive numbers of shots with high enough S to shred our vehicles and troops alike. I've been looking for a way to change up how things work, and have been inspired by the Kabal you took to BOLScon.
I would love your feedback on what I've come up with, if you have the time!
Baron -105
2 Haemi -100
3 Trueborn (Blasters; Venom: xtra SC) -146
3 Trueborn (Blasters; Venom: xtra SC) -146
6 Incubi (Raider: FF, Shock Prow) - 207
3 Wracks (Venom: xtra SC) -95
5 Warriors (Blaster; Venom: xtra SC) -125
5 Warriors (Blaster; Raider: ff) -130
5 Warriors (Blaster; Raider: ff) -130
18 Hellions (Helliarch: Agonizer) -313
3 Reavers (Heat Lance) -78
3 Reavers (Heat Lance) -78
3 Ravagers (Lances, FFs) @ 115 345
Total: 1998
I'd use your Pain Point shennanigans to get FNP/FC on the Hellions, and FNP on the Incubi. I lose the beasts you used (they seemed pretty worthless, I think they need a WWP to get across the table) and replaced with the Trueborn. And I like to keep the Reavers cheap. The unit of 3 is dirt cheap, but does enough damage to kill a marine or two with blade vanes and are very credible threats to vehicles. The enemy has to dedicate something to kill them, and it probably means he's spending a few hundred poitns to shoot at 78 of mine. If he doesn't kill them, even better. Now I have some fast, shooty, things running around his backfield threatening to contest and blow things up all game. :)
So, a list almost completely (and blatantly!) stolen from you, with a bit more lance-firepower and less melee (loses the beasts and an incubus...I think I have one fewer Hellion too). Any input?
Ordo Bob
My Response:
Thanks for the email :) I'm glad that my list has given you a little food for thought, that's why the blog is around, after all.  That, and pissing the internets off with my boring 'netlist' Wolfstar batreps :-p
So, first to group stuff up, let's figure out a few numbers, of what is being taken.  Lists are such fun :)

9 Blasters
12 Dark Lances
4 Venoms
2 Heat Lances

Well, lots of Lance shots, respectable splinter shots, and a fairly strong close combat core in the Hellions.  Very similar to my own list (obviously enough, lol).  As such, I think it's pretty good 'as is'.

However, there are a few things to think about.  Tweaks, really.

Smallest thing first:  Incubi + Haemonculus

Whereas it's not a terrible choice (who doesn't like FNP on their 3+ save dudes?), I personally think that adding two Incubi will make the unit more resilient.  When the vehicle explodes (because it will), it injures... 4 guys, since we're pessimists.  Half of one dude dies, leaving you with ... 5 or 6 Incubi.  
Instead, when there are 8 incubi and it explodes and also wounds 4 (no opportunity to be a pessimist this time), you'll be rather unlucky to be reduced to 6, which is still a better number than 5 or 6.

We are, of course, assuming that the Haemonculus is a nonfactor other than handing out the pain point.  Sure, against shooting he takes the first wound always, but... in the end, he's a 50-point pain token.  Well, that and a free kill point for your opponent if (when, lol) they kill your Raider.
Anyways, the whole argument of him being better because of small arms fire/strikes back resilience for the squad makes sense, I realize.  To an extent though, those extra two bodies will do the same, as well as lending an extra 6 power attacks on the charge instead of giving your opponent an opportunity to allocate wounds when you're charging into cover.

Also don't forget that S6 makes them forget about FNP altogether.  Lots of stuff that meet the 'S6' requirement.

So to sum it up, I prefer 8 Incubi to 6 Incubi + Haemonculus because of similar resilience, more attacks, and fewer kill points.

On to Reavers!

I personally don't like the small squad size at all.  Stated as a general rule, I think that MSU is an excellent approach to the game.  Redundancy, etc.  right?  It's awesome.  There are times, however, when it can be taken slightly too far.

The impact a 3-man Reaver squad should technically be exactly equal to half of what a 6-man squad can accomplish, right?  In theory it sounds good at least.

Still, there's plenty of reasons to take 6 Reavers over 3 (well, 6 Reavers vs. 2 squads of 3 Reavers)
  • When a squad of 6 Reavers explodes a Chimera, they can charge in and eat the Guard squad inside easily enough.  This isn't true of only 3 Reavers- they might win, but they also have a great chance at failing (especially when striking last, which is usually the case in this scenario)
  • A squad of 6 Reavers has 4 wounds as a cushion before the weapons start being affected.  A squad of 3 has only 2... which makes an enormous difference when being rapid fired.  Even bringing into the equation that you'll be wielding 2 squads of 3 instead of 1 of 6, it's kind of the equivalent of making the following agreement with your opponent:  Alright, every time you wound me 3 times with one squad, I'll take a save on a Heat Lance, even though normally you'd need to wound that squad 5 times to get that result.
  • Kill Points are also a factor.  Normally I'm not a huge proponent of worrying about Kill Points, but a couple 3-man squads will go away the second any gunline even looks at them.  Killing 6 is a rather bigger investment of effort.  Trust me, KP games in a competitive setting are hard enough as Dark Eldar player.  No need to make it more difficult.
  • 3-man squads are unreliable.  Sure, you might kill a tank.  You honestly have a great shot at not hitting in the first place though.  If it comes to the point that they need to be relied on, a single S6 melta isn't going to do the trick.  
  • The main thing is that whereas a 6-man squad can take 3 (even 4!) wounds and still be at optimal tank-killing capacity (since that's why they exist, in the end), two 3-man squads can only take 2 wounds before they start being reduced in effectiveness.
So... I recommend merging your squads of Reavers.  I especially like having two squads of 6 (as you've seen in my lists), since it's pretty tough to get rid of all of them in a single round of shooting, and if they're shot up, the rest of the shooting in your army isn't.

You could do that by dropping a Trueborn Blaster squad (3 blasters and no combat ability/survivability/shootability (if their ride gets shaken) vs. 2 heat lances and some reasonable combat/resilience) and turning one of the Raiders you have elsewhere into a Venom instead.  Wow, awesome runon sentence, right?

Less shooty, more practicality.  Or something like that, lol.

I'll eventually write some sort of article on Reavers vs. Blaster Trueborn, since I feel like the two play extremely similar roles despite handling rather differently.  As it is, I don't think that the Trueborn are a bad choice, just a different one than I personally would make.  They certainly make your life easier against things like Storm Raven spam (haha, as in, if your opponent takes... 2... of them), Paladin Stars, etc.

If you don't want to add more Reavers, you could always drop them for something weird like more incubi, more Warriors in Venoms, more Trueborn/blasters in each squad, etc.  You could even do something crazy like add another Wrack squad (for an extra scoring Venom, essentially) and upgrade a squad of Warriors up to 10 w/ a Dark Lance.  I mean, 10 warriors is fun, right?  At least, until someone rolls up with a melta and rolls a 4+, lol.

As they're currently configured however, I don't see them being much more than a detriment to your overall goal.

So, just a couple tweaks.  Wow, I went on a while about those tweaks though, didn't I?  Whoever said an asthmatic can't be long-winded?

Otherwise, looking good, thanks for the email, you'll have to let me know how you end up doing with it, I'm hoping that Hellions start becoming trendy:-p

Other comments, questions, concerns, corrections, etc?

Let me know :)

No comments: