Monday, 20 May 2013

Synergy review of the Dark Eldar Codex: Part 5 - Special characters

You may have seen my earlier posts about synergy in 40k and how it influenced the creation of my latest army list. That idea also made me think about reviewing my current codices to pick out the synergistic elements (and therefore to see where my army lists are disjointed). This is Dark Eldar part 5 - Special characters. This is going to be slightly more brief than the last four episodes due to the way characters work, but hopefully it'll still be worth a look.


Asdrubael Vect.
What can you say, arguably the oldest character in the 40k universe, there's nothing he hasn't seen/done so if there's a game changer it really should be him. In that regard he's an absolute beast, with one exception, S6 weapons and above as he's not immune to instant death. 

Synergistically speaking however, there are two main points to consider. First is his master tactician rule, which significantly improves your chances of going first. For a glass hammer army, this is really major, and therefore synergises extremely well. the downside is that it you deploy expecting the first turn then don't get it, which can signal the end of the game.
Second is the dais of destruction. Armour values that other dark eldar vehicles can only dream of, armament to match a ravager and the transport capacity of a raider all in one vehicle, plus the requirement to carry a full squad. It does have an issue, but as that's cost it's not something I need to worry about here. In synergy terms, the combination of armour values, carrying capacity and firepower does mean that it is able to form a rock around which the rest of your force can base itself. The downside is it suffers from a split personality. It must begin the game as a transport, yet the number of weapons on it make you want to use it as a gunboat.

On the whole, Vect synergises well with the rest of the dark eldar army.

Lady Malys
Some interesting synergistic elements here. First is her immunity to psychic powers, which also includes joined units. As an army that's otherwise almost completely bereft of psychic defence, this is massive. other than that, as with most DE, she's really a combat character, with a funky sword that increases her attacks and an invulnerable save. She also comes with a quirky deployment trick, allowing her to redeploy a random number of units once the opponent has set up. Again, for an army that relies on getting the right units in the right places, this is a huge benefit.

Malys synergises really well with the Dark Eldar army.

Drazhar
Only able to join units of Incubi, he has several rules that synergise well with the incubi unit in general. Chief among these is his fearless ability, which prevents the incubi from being run down should they happen to lose a combat. second, his is allowed to be placed in base contact with any enemy model at the start of th eround, and so can be used to take out any pesky weapons/characters that might cause the other incubi problems.

Drazhar synergises well with incubi in your army.

Lelith Hesperax
Until recently, everyone's favourite quad gunner due to a slight wording issue, she's now back where she belongs as the codex's chief gladiatrix. All her rules benefit her directly and no-one else however, so in synergy terms all you get is the ability to enhance a combat unit by her presence. That's still pretty good though given that she can often boast attack numbers in the double figures.

Doesn't synergise particularly except through the combat enhancement mentioned, so she comes out as average in that regard.

Urien Rakarth
Has an average statline for an independent character, and in casket of flensing carries probably the most random ranged weapon in the game. Where he does excel though is in enhancing other units as he's able to gift a random number of pain tokens to other units in the game before it begins. This can potentially be a game changer, and he synergises well for that reason alone.

Has good synergy with the Dark Eldar army as a whole due to his father of pain rule.

Duke Sliscus the Serpent.
Not quite as lethal now thanks to the changes to deep strike rules in 6th edition Sliscus is still a decent, if fragile, character. His main benefits come from his synergistic use with the rest of the army as he can make a unit's poison more potent, give more choice in terms of combat drug results, and also keep your vehicles out of harms way by letting them deep strike.

Sliscus synergises extremely well with the rest of the Dark Eldar army.

Kheradruakh, the decapitator
This guy is not an independent character so may never join units of other troops. As his rules solely benefit himself, he has zero synergy with the rest of the army.

Baron Sathonyx
The basis for a lot of good conversion opportunities, Sathonyx is another character in the Sliscus mould, he's fragile, but can help you get the best table side for deployment, and makes Hellions troops so that there are many more slots available for them (and interestingly under 6th edition, they also become objective claimers!)

Sathonyx's rules mean he synergises very well with the Dark Eldar army.