Monday, September 17, 2012

Dark Eldar 6th Edition Tactica Part 2: Troops

Welcome back readers! Sorry it's been so long since I've written, but I had my hands full with our first Battle Report featuring my DE list (and also Guild Wars!). Today I come to you with part two of my comprehensive 6th edition Dark Eldar Tactica and this week we're taking a closer look at troop choices, the t-shirt armored boots on the ground that builds the core of your piratical raid. So let's dive into it!

In 5th edition, these girls were one of my favorite units in the book. When FNP was a 4+ they were a good deal survivable in the event that they were shot out of their transport (which a raider is pretty much mandatory in order to ensure they get to their target). In close combat, however, wyches were all but unmatched. 6th edition, however, brought several changes to this unit. The change to FNP, first of all, means it is not as mandatory to take a Haemonculus with your wyches to ensure their survivability, but it also means they have no reliable way to survive shooting. Overwatch also hurt the ladies because they belong in close combat, but now they're getting shot up before they charge, which can be devastating. However, once they do get in CC, they are still a force to be reckoned with. They're stat line is already pretty impressive, but what most people fail to take into account is combat drugs. You are guaranteed some sort of great bonus to your wyches that's included in the point cost (10pts a model). Also, their 4++ in CC means they are much safer in swirling melee than out in the open. The sheer volume of attacks and survivability in CC, along with sky-high initiative means wyches are monsters in CC, often doing most of their damage with a sweeping advance. One of the best parts of a wych-led combat is they often like to finish of units in opponent's turn. This means they can head straight into another charge on your turn, and be safe from enemy shooting. I'm not afraid to throw wyches into any enemy unit, because they don't care about power weapons, and they bring enough volume attacks to shred through any armor value fairly reliably.

Now for the upgrades. I absolutely love the Hexatrix upgrade. You basically get, for 10pts, a mini Succubus to lead your squad, with some great wargear options. I've found that an agonizer is very reliable (although has a much harder time with TEQ) but against any other target, will help significantly contribute to your wound total in order to force your opponent to get swept. As you may or may not know, I love having as many S8 AP2 lance shots in my army as possible (and you should too!) so I will always recommend taking a blast pistol on the Hekatrix. One piece I've recently been making points for is the Phantasam Grenade Launcher. It gives your squad both types of grendades, but with new 6th edition rules now allow defensive grenades to give stealth to a unit if they are being shot at within 8". This means that one saved wych pays for the upgrade, and if you charge from cover it could be very beneficial. Try it out at least, because they potential payoffs are great if you plan your charges accordingly.

The weapon upgrades on wyches are fun, but I usually opt for the hydra gauntlets, because the extra attacks are great for wyches. You could certainly make an argument for the other special weapons, so you really can't go wrong if you're paying the points (however I've been dumping the extra special weapon for the PGL). Finally, I ALWAYS take haywire grenades on my wyches. For 2pts/model, the grenades add tremendous versatility to the unit. I took these even in 5th edition when hull points weren't around, but now that they exist, wyches have become reliable tank hunters (and have in fact won me games because of it). One vehicle assault with haywire grenades and you will easily see the rewards, so give them a try!

All in all, wyches are a fantastic unit that took some hits from 6th edition. Taking a raider with these guys is pretty much mandatory if you want them to see combat (which you do), but when they do see combat, you will be quite satisfied. Even if they don't, their splinter pistols can still be quite handy in several situations, so definitely consider some wyches in your list.

Kabalite Warriors
The second core unit of any well-balanced Dark Eldar army, Kabalite warriors bring a great deal of fire power to the table, but at the cost of very limited survivability. Now if you're playing Dark Eldar, you know that they are the epitome of a finesse army, and Kabalite Warriors (as well as wyches) perfectly embody this philosophy. At 9pts a model, these guys are almost half as much as space marines but can arguably be twice as effective if played correctly. Splinter weapons are worth their weight in gold against high-toughness units, but suffer from potential payoff if shooting against t3 or lower (you basically pay for a poisoned weapon instead of S4 when a S4 weapon would be more beneficial in that situation). However, if you can keep these guys safe (such as in a Raider) you can ensure that they remain at their full damage dealing potential. In addition, raiders have a 10pt upgrade in splinter racks, which makes all your rifles twin-linked. This obviously provides huge advantages and maximizes the firepower of your splinter weapons, and I almost ALWAYS take them. Splinter racks turn your warriors from a cheap scoring unit to an extremely efficient killing machine, capable of downing TEQ with sheer weight of fire. The important distinction for splinter racks, however, is that you can only re-roll to hit rolls on splinter rifles and pistols, NOT splinter cannons or shardcarbines. Very important. In addition, splinter racks are great for anytime you are forced to snap fire. Since raiders are open topped vehicles, overwatch becomes awesome with splinter racks. You can now shoot twin-linked shots if anyone has the guts to assault your warrior-toting raider.

As far as upgrades go, you can never go wrong with more S8 AP2 weapons, so the blaster is a great choice.  Being an assault weapon means you can stay in your raider and fire at full BS (as long as you only move 6"). This is always helpful for anit-armor duties, and if you know me at all, I like to max out these weapons. As far as heavy weapons, I usually love having more splinter shots in the form of a splinter cannon, but taking another dark lance isn't a bad choice. However, I often find that I rarely get the chance to fire it, being a heavy weapon (although this is mitigated somewhat by the option to snapfire).

Overall, warriors will always find their way into your list. The incredible amounts of shots they can pour out will ruin high-toughness targets, but definitely take some skill to keep alive.

While normally Elite choices, I am choosing to cover this unit under the troop section because that's really the only reason they should be fielded. A Haemonculus is all you need to unlock them as troops, and as you will soon see, they clearly were designed as a scoring unit. I never quite know what to make of these guys. Some people swear by the (relative) resiliency of Wracks, but I'm still not sold. T4 is average by MEQ standards, and only a 6+ save with FNP (provided by their free pain token) means that Wracks don't exactly jump out at me as "Survivable". However, when compared with the other scoring options available in the codex, they are definitely the toughest of the bunch. If your looking for a little bit more staying power in your troops, then a case could be made for Wracks. However, I don't really see much advantage. In CC, their 4+ poisoned weapons and plenty of attacks are appealing, but I think wyches get the job done much more efficiently with a reliable save and a higher Initiative. And while it is pretty easy to get these guys a second pain token, wyches have pain tokens which further augments their offensive capability. As far as ranged combat, Wracks are extremely lacking. They can take some liquifier guns which have the (random) potential to be awesome, but it's not something that can be relied on, even if you do plan on running small squads for drive-by liquifying. Aside from that, a lack of any mid-range weaponry is pretty disappointing, and wyches just do CC better.

Wracks can still find their usefullness, however. Like I mentioned before, if you find yourself with a lack of staying power with your scoring units, or you just like the idea of having a horribly mutated band of mauraders rampaging through the battlefield, then look no further than Wracks. I would be weary of their reliability, however, especially if you're looking for a competitive option.

Well that does it for the somewhat limited options for your scoring units. Please feel free to leave some suggestions for the next installment, or your thoughts/opinions on Dark Eldar!


  1. Wrecks are nice... or evil in this case, in that they reroll to wound if there strength is equivalent to the targets toughness. Get that second pain token that grants furious charge and your rerolling on MEQ. Have your opponents cursing poison in a matter of minutes.

  2. Wracks require a subtle play I feel. If you place an objective in cover, then a unit of 4-5 wracks can move in and go to ground the second that they are shot at. A save of 3+ or 4+ (cover save +1 for going to ground) with FNP and T4 can make them a very annoying unit to shift outside of combat. The opponent must either dedicate a unit of considerably greater value than 40-60pts to shifting them along, or risk losing the objective.

    1. I can definitely see the utility in that, I just prefer a much more offense-oriented approach :)But yeah for how cheap wracks are they definitely make efficient objective holders that can be a pain to deal with. I've also recently discovered the awesomeness of liquifiers, they can do some serious damage with lucky rolls.

  3. Wracks are better at taking out MEQ than wyches especially when they have Furious Charge and their poison weapons re roll to wound... the number of wounds they will hand over means more failed saved. Sadly they did loose the Initiative bonus...

  4. What a cool wrack picture!
    I also wrote an article on wracks on my site( I find them to be quite useful, especially because of the token.