Friday, 24 May 2013

The Dark Eldar synergy list 1

Ok so here's what it's all been working up to then folks, if I were to create a list from the dark eldar codex using the best synergy I could find, what would it look like? Well I'm going to create two lists, for one very good reason - I don't personally use coven units so the first list will exclude things like wracks, haemonculi, talos etc. the second will be a no holds barred free for all.

I am placing some restrictions on the selection of the army though, which are as follows:
1. It must be balanced to take on all comers. If you tailor the list to a particular opponent then you can discount a lot of choices that are a necessity against other armies, and the whole point of the synergy project is that the army works as a whole against anything it faces.
2. No spam. I really don't like spam, and as such i won't be taking more than two units that are the same in weapons loadout.
3. Include as wide a range of units as possible.

With that in mind, and using the conclusions of my synergy reviews of the units and ruling out the non-synergistic options for upgrades i started categorising units according to their abilities, with the following results.

Ranged anti-tank: Ravager, Trueborn, Razorwing, Voidraven, Scourges, Reavers, Raiders, Archon.
Combat anti-tank: Wyches, Archon, Talos.

Ranged anti heavy infantry: Ravager, Raiders, Razorwing, Trueborn.
Combat anti heavy infantry: Incubi, Grotesques, Archon, Harlequins, Beastmasters, Talos.

Ranged anti infantry: Venom, Warriors, Razorwing, Hellions, Reavers, Mandrakes, Trueborn.
Combat anti infantry: Wyches, Bloodbrides, Incubi, Archon, Succubus, Wracks, Hellions, Mandrakes, Court of the Archon, Harlequins, Beastmasters, Talos.

The next step then is to think about when I want to utilise each of these elements. Anti tank is my main priority and will be alpha strike. Ideally any units that fulfill this role could then redeploy into taking on other targets if the tanks go down quick enough. This means that flyers are out, as they may not turn up until turn 4, by which time any tanks on the board will already have done too much damage to me. So my anti tank needs to consist of a mix of raiders, which are a bonus really as they're on the table to provide me with a way of getting my warriors up close enough to rapid fire, ravagers, scourges, reavers and trueborn. Bearing in mind the no spam rule, I'll stick with just one ravager, dark lances and night shields I think to give me an effective range of 48 while reducing incoming fire. Add to that a couple of 5-man units of scourges with haywire blasters and I can have a go at up to three tanks per turn, or standing a good chance of taking down two. Once the tanks are gone, the scourges can go anti infantry, and the ravager can go for heavy infantry or fortifications.

As I'm going for being able to take out all types of unit in both ranged and close combat, I've taken a unit of ten wyches with haywire grenades, which should be plenty to ensure I wreck any vehicle, and with ten of them, there's enough models to trap any transported unit inside to prevent them from deploying (I know it's a sneaky trick, but this is a dark eldar list!).

Heavy infantry is less common, unless you're facing death wing of course, so my main units for taking on these guys don't need to be quite so numerous. I toyed with the razor wing, but due to cost plumped for a ravager with disintegrator cannons instead, and supplemented it by putting a disintegrator cannon on the wych raider.

For close combat power, I took a unit of 4 incubi in a venom with an extra splinter cannon to add to my anti infantry (later). 

So on to anti infantry then. And with regard to ranged firepower I started off with a pair of warrior units with splinter cannons in raiders (with dark lances just to boost anti tank a bit more). Supplemented by the cannons in the venom that's a decent start. To that I added a unit of 15 hellions, who are capable of putting out a serious amount of splinter fire in one turn, followed by charging into combat, potentially using hammer of wrath too. Should scare even a unit of terminators! I've already got a unit of wyches, so the final piece of the puzzle is characters. 

As this is a list without coven units, I plumped for two special characters. Lady Malys gives complete immunity to psychic powers, so I put her in with the incubi, she's decent in combat and has a good invulnerable save, plus it prevents anyone from playing any psychic nastiness on my incubi. Added to that, she has her lovely deployment rule to mess with my opponent. The other character then is Duke Sliscus, he buffs my wyches and hellions by letting them choose which of two drug rolls they'd rather use. I did have a slight problem then however, as he has to be deployed with either warriors or trueborn, and if he went in with either of my warrior units they'd lose the splinter cannon as they wouldn't meet the minimum unit size. I thought about how I could maximise his impact therefore, and two options presented themselves. I could either a) place him in a unit of warriors on foot with two splinter cannons, or b) create a unit of trueborn with splinter cannons and shardcarbines to place him in. Clearly the max unit of warriors would have the most impact in terms of wounds caused per turn (assuming they're rapid firing having moved, it's something like 15 wounds) but they're very vulnerable unless the Duke stands at the front using his shadowfield (which is just asking for a short-out) and taking trueborn gives me another raider and therefore another anti-tank shot. If only splinter racks worked with shardcarbines and splinter cannons!

The full list therefore looks something like this, and comes in at under 2000 points.

HQ
Duke Sliscus
Lady Malys

Elites
9 Kabalite Trueborn with shardcarbines, 2 splinter cannons in a raider with flickerfield
4 Incubi with Klaivex in a venom with an extra splinter cannon

Troops
10 Kabalite Warriors with splinter cannon in raider with dark lance and splinter racks
10 Kabalite Warriors with splinter cannon in raider with dark lance and splinter racks
10 Wyches with Haywire Grenades, 2 hydra gauntlets in a raider with disintegrator cannon, torment grenade launchers and an enhanced aethersail

Fast Attack
5 Scourges with 2 Haywire Blasters
5 Scourges with 2 Haywire Blasters
15 Hellions with Helliarch with stunclaw & phantasm grenade launcher

Heavy Support
Ravager with dark lances, nightshields
Ravager with disintegrator cannons, nightshields

Tactics
All in all I've got ten units for reserve purposes therefore, which when combined with the Duke and Lady Malys' special rules means that i'm only going to have to deploy five units onto the table in the first turn, and will in all likelihood be able to redeploy two of those (taking the average of a d3). If i don't get the first turn therefore, i can present a minimal profile to my opponent in damage terms, and by deploying the ravagers and scourges on the table, i've got all my dedicated ranged AT in from the start with a threat range of between 36" and 48", and my final deployment unit would probably be either the duke and his trueborn or the hellions to make sure i've got some anti infantry there at the beginning.

The tactical flexibility given me by the Duke means i can drop my kabalite raiders within rapid fire range if i need to, and that would give my opponent a few things to think about whilst my incubi sneak up on him. alternatively my reserves can come on from my own table edge if there are threats that need dealing with close to my own lines.

Let me know what you think, I'd love to see some other Archon's thoughts!