Well Things are starting to get back to normal around here. October was a busy month. Between my promotion at work, UCON and Samsquatch Monster Wedding its been pretty hectic and I have not been able to get in the amount of 40K games I wanted. Something has become painfully clear to me. My 40K game has been going downhill. I could blame old codexes and a major change in rules, I could even blame a lack of tactics and strategy. Although theses may be a factor I think the real reason is that for all my tactical acumen and ability to plan and plot lists that work with great synergy, as soon as I hit the table I let my temper get the better of me and all my planning and strategy break down and I let the fury of Khaine overtake me.
So I am trying to get back to basics. I have taken the Dark Eldar off the shelf and dusted them off. As they require much more finesse to play than the Craftworlders I surmise that honing my skills and reining in my temper and excitement while playing them will ultimately help me get my game back. I have broken the second Foundation Of Vengeance, Patience.
Its hard letting go of old tactics and methods of running lists and armies. 6th edition is a shooting game and you must adapt to that. All Dark Eldar a blessed with a ballistic skill of 4. This is a good foundation. The real trick is to out range your enemies while still being able to ht them. You can supplement this with close combat units but you have to use them very selectively and choose your targets very carefully. As always the Dark Kin are very fragile and cannot stand a prolonged exchange of fire. So what can a canny Archon do to exploit his enemies weaknesses and hide his or her own? There are some simple things you can do.
The first thing is actually an old thing made new. Raiders. Although vehicles have become more easily destroyed the raider has not really lost any resiliency as its always been a glass cannon. Night shields are a big advantage as you can shoot with an embarked unit and out range your opponents just enough to tempt them closer and fill them full of splinter fire for their trouble. Combine the Night Shields with the Splinter Rack upgrade and you have a very deadly fire platform for your Kabalite Warrior Squads.
The Raider itself provides a bit of anti vehicle in the form of the prow mounted Dark Lance. Now there is some debate, mostly between myself Old School Terminator and Wolfson, as to whether or not you want to take Flicker fields on Raiders anymore. I am of the belief that they should. The main argument presented to me opposing this is that you get a 5+ jink save just for moving. So when you move your Raiders only 6 inches so the embarked squads can fire at full ballistic skill, you get a save. My main point against this is that the Jink save is a cover save. There are many things that deny cover saves. Also if the Raider is assaulted a cover save cannot be taken, the Invulnerably save of the Flicker field can be. In a fully mounted force Flicker fields do eat up a lot of points. If you have 5 Raiders a couple Ravagers and a Void Raven, lie I do in my new Dark Eldar List, that’s 70 points eaten up by Flicker fields. I could almost fit a small warrior squad in a venom into the list taking the fields out.
So we have good arguments for and against the Flicker field. Me being the paranoid Archon that I am, any good Archon has a paranoia level over 9000, I prefer to have an invulnerably save over a cover save any day.
Dark Eldar really lack range beyond 36 inches. Void Ravens do have a 48 inch range with the Void Lances, but as a flyer range really is not an issue most of the time. I think having one of the flyers is pretty key now in any list. It lets you deal with enemy flyers and it gives you a nice platform to harass enemy units. I actually prefer the Razorwing. Its cheaper and it mounts a Splinter cannon so it can still hit infantry units when the missiles run out.
I have some more thoughts and it involves using the units with alternate deployment options as well as defending against deep striking units and such. I will have that later this week.
Until next time......
Blood Runs, Anger Rises, Death Wakes, War Calls!!!!!!!!!!!