|My Dark Eldar, who are sitting on a shelf right now.|
Today let's talk about something everyone seems to 'know' but has no real solution to: namely, that Dark Eldar suck in 6th, and don't belong in a competitive setting as anything other than a "spoiler army."
I'm actually of the opinion that Dark Eldar have been *buffed* in many ways this edition, with the exception of one fatal weakness: Fliers. With the advent of the new Eldar book coming out in the next couple days, we might just see a return to power for the DEldar. :)
A Few Weaknesses in 5th
Hindsight isn't really 20/20, honestly - look at the number of bad relationships people end, then eventually try again (and fail at). However, I think hindsight does allow us to examine the weaknesses of Dark Eldar in 5th.
|What a rough list for DE for face last edition. I somehow won this game... but I probably shouldn't have.|
Thing was, the need to kill cheap vehicles was paramount, because Dark Eldar really suffered from both Tanks' ability to shoot them, and the guys inside not being exposed to the extreme harm Dark Eldar could deal to them. Needing a '5' on the damage results table was just too inconsistent. Once Grey Knights came out, Dark Eldar couldn't even rely on stunlocking vehicles anymore. A dark time for such a cool army.
Lack of survivability
|In the middle you can see my brown crudely-named "penis-templates" as craters of my dead Venoms.|
I'm not entirely sure this is as 'weak' as many would have you believe - Dark Eldar vehicles and troops died pretty quick in 5th, though none of them were so points-heavy that you felt their cost was unjustified. With 5+ invulnerable saves and cover saves easy enough to get (in a wide variety of ways, i.e. Baron's unit, Turbo-boosting Reavers, etc.), Dark Eldar were reasonably resilient for the points expended.
|Maybe I should have gone into reserves here... but he would have just whittled me down anyways :-/|
I wasn't a fan of putting any Dark Eldar in reserves - it was too easy for an opponent to just pick you off piecemeal as you came in and did very little damage. But, if you went 2nd and your opponent had 38 vehicles, all of which could shoot, you tended to lose very quickly if there wasn't good enough cover available.
Why Those Weaknesses Mean Less Now
Simply put, the game has become more reliable.
|This game isn't nearly as miserable to play in 6th (picture taken in 5th though), now that vehicles aren't as awesome! I seem to remember that Leman Russ on the left never dying, despite like 4 Pens with melta.|
Killing vehicles is a matter of math now, not just luck. If you shoot enough shots at an enemy vehicle you need dead, they're very likely going to die due to Hull Point loss. No longer do you have 3 Ravagers and 18 Reavers shooting at a single Smoked Rhino, only to stun it 7 times and immobilize it. Instead, it takes 6 glances and dies like it should.
I realize that someone can 'get hot' rolling, and that Rhino might still survive through luck, but the layers of luck for vehicle survivability have been stripped away. Instead of contending with both a 4+ save then a 5+ roll to destroy it, the vehicle now gets a 5+ (sometimes a 4+) and then it takes damage.
The point is that vehicles are much more reliably killed now. They aren't nearly the threat they used to be. People have widely acknowledged this, and it's fairly rare to see an enormous number of vehicles out there anymore.
As a direct result, we may also conclude that Dark Eldar benefit from the nerf of vehicles in that:
- Vehicles are no longer a threat that sometimes can't be dealt with (fliers excluded, of course)
- The lack of vehicles means much easier access to the troops that, before now, were so impossible to shoot at. Either an opponent only has infantry, or their transports can be destroyed reliably and you can kill the troops after you open their vehicle
|Here's a fun fact: this speeder never died the whole game, despite me tabling the rest of the guys army in like 4 turns.|
- They all got cheaper now - why buy a Flickerfield when you can move your Ravager and get a Jink save for the same effect?
- Venoms have 2 hullpoints, but they seldom lived after 2 hits got through their invulnerable save anyways
- Premeasuring means we can keep our Vehicles exactly far enough away from the enemy guns that matter, while staying in range of the ones we want to shoot. Survivability in terms of deinal has never been better for DE, and the speed/range of DE weapons means they can play keep-away better than most.
|Don't you kind of feel bad for those marines? Look at the dead pile in the back there too, haha!|
|Missile Spam Space Wolves. I also somehow won this game, despite him seizing the initiative. Ridiculously tough game in 5th edition for Dark Eldar.|