|Art by Chris Trevas www.christrevas.com|
I was happy to see a nice mix of armies at Adepticon this year. The Eldar and Dark Eldar did not have a great showing though. Yours truly included. I noticed the typical Craftworld lists with lots of war walkers, falcons and fire dragons. The Dark Eldar lists seemed to have lots of warriors and wyches and hordes of raiders and venoms. The later, the small squads and venoms, kind of surprised me. Maybe its just how I think about game outcomes and how I build lists, but I saw these spammed lists as a very bad idea.
Although they had lots of fire power and objective grabbing potential in theory, I saw the lists as inherently flawed and very weak in terms of how you, or at least how I, run the army. So what do I see as flaws in the Venom spam and mass small squad trend that seems to have been popular this time around?
The list does play to the strengths of the Dark Eldar army. Its fast, mobile and packs a potential punch with the amount of lance weapons you can pack into it. The real problem comes in when you see that you are losing your mobility when you use dark lances. Granted you can use blasters in your squads, but this lessons your range substantially. Since you can't shoot while embarked on the vehicle if it moves 12 inches you loose your mobility or your ability to shoot. You could disembark, but this leaves you very exposed. This is doubly bad if you have less than 10 in the squad. That was the main thing that really bugged me. You take a very fragile army and make it so the squads can get wiped out in one turn by a combat squad. You have a lot of squads that can get one shot with anti tank weapons. You can address a bunch or targets and maybe get some kills but its kind of an all or nothing deal. The return salvo is going to decimate you if you were not successful in suppressing your opponents fire. You are also going to get wrecked if you don't have first turn. As you know I am also not a fan of lists that have tons of kill points in it. Venom spam lists have tons of kill points in them. All this just won't do.
So what do I think is a good list. Well you have to take in a few different considerations. First you have to consider the type of mission you are playing. Tournament missions typically are multi tiered. This means you have to really look at what the objectives are. Kill points, objectives and some sort of table quarter or deployment zone control or denial is involved. You can't try and do them all, so you should gear the list to do two. As two out of 3 mission objectives wins you the game. I like to go for holding an objective and Kill points. This gives my army model some synergy. I have to deny table quarters and prevent units form contesting or controlling anything and I do this by destroying them. The next consideration is army size. You have to mind how many kill points you potentially could give up. Although its hard to do I try and limit the amount of Kill points in a Dark Eldar list to a maximum of 12, and that is if I am hurting for something. Limiting the amount of transports helps quit a bit as does limiting HQ choices. You have to be able to do the mission objectives while at the same time denying your opponent. Having built in safe guards, such as limiting the amount of kill points in a list, is the way to do this. You also want to go heavy on the troops. Good solid troop choices let you deal some death and complete your objectives. In my mind a solid troop choice is a squad of 10 Kabalite Warriors with a sybarite, deployed in cover or in a transport. You can even go bigger than 10 if you want to ditch the added firepower of the raider, but this limits your mobility and takes away an extra anti tank weapon. It does however eliminate a kill point your opponent could score rather easily. Increasing the survivability of a unit is how you make it solid and deny your opponent the kill. This means pain tokens and using cover for dark Eldar outside their transports. It means keeping your wyches locked in combat. It means using Flicker fields on your raiders and adding night shields to those vehicles that stay at range. In missions using victory points its good to avoid point sink death star units. Even at half strength they can give your opponent the edge when it comes to tallying victory points.
SO some tips to star with. I am calling this road to list building “The 13 Foundations of Vengeance”. I will be posting more specific tricks ploys and stratagems as I get the list honed. As always though I am not going to post a list as You should develop that for yourself and play the crap out of it.
Now I go to lament my lack of funds and inability to go to Evolution Games tonight due to said lack of funds. If I learned anything form Adepticon, it is to over plan and save money like crazy before I go.
Until next time.........
Blood Runs, Anger Rises, Death Wakes, War Calls!!!!!!!!!