Thoughts on Dark Footdar Part 2

We’ve been wracking our brains (pun intended!) and have been coming up with some really fun ideas.

So, in our last post on the subject we discussed how to deliver the WWPs.

We had some excellent discussion and brainstormed up some new ideas. In this article we will still be focused on the WWP delivery vehicle and which HQ’s to use as it is so hugely important in this list.

The Grotes seem to be the clear choice. Last time we discussed using the Baron but realized his H&R wouldn’t work with Grotes so that sets him back a bit. Still though, stealth, +1 to go first, Phantasm Grenade Launcher, and a bargain basement cost still makes him really appealing.

Lady Malys is a metagame choice. She makes the unit immune to psychic powers which renders most Grey Knights impotent. However, Paladins would still be rough, but not unbeatable in this set up as you take away Hammerhand, and ID on the NFWs. She does lack the Phantasm though, but considering just how tough Grotes are, and the fact that she will swing before damn near anything (8 Str4/I8 attacks on the charge in this setup) she will take out an average of 3 MEQs before they swing. Her redeploy ability and low point cost makes her a really solid choice in the ocean of Grey Knights we are sure to see.

Another really interesting choice is Urein. Urien can make the Grotes str6 for an extra 5pts a pop. This means they are Str7 on the charge and even if they get charged, can rip a lot of things to shreds (including scarabs) at base strength 6. Urien also has a clone field, and regenerates a wound a turn, and at tough 5, he can be a great defensive fighter in the unit, making it even more resilient. You throw in an Archon into this mix with a Clone field himself and a WWP and you reduce incoming attacks by 2D3 a turn! That is crazy. The Archon also makes the unit more versatile with a BS8 Blaster, and Haywire Grenades. The Agoniser and Phantasm really benefit the unit as well, making it an aggressive objective taker. The downside is only a single WWP.

So what you have is a unit with a lot of flexibility and a lot of nuance in how you equip them, all of the choices viable and potentially very powerful.

Off hand, I think Urien with another Archon makes the most potent unit. That can soak wounds like a champ and in combat with tough or troubling opponent’s (Like Dreads) you can use the dual clone fields to really neuter their ability to actually do anything to you. The souped up WGrotes can then just smash their way through damn near anything in an attrition battle baring Paladins. Paladins would require a different game plan.

These choices influence the rest of the army’s build. If you take Malys, you can safely engage nearly any unit in the game head-on and bring them down. With Urien you are nearly as resilient, but have that annoying vulnerability to Grey Knights and need to bring units to counter them.

I think I will start out with Urien and the Archon and build from there. If the single WWP or their increased resilience isn’t needed, then I can switch gears as I develop the army. Theory is all well and good, but now we need to start applying it on the tabletop.


About Reecius

The fearless leader of the intrepid group of gamers gone retailers at Frontline Gaming!

45 Responses to “Thoughts on Dark Footdar Part 2”

  1. Avatar
    sean April 30, 2012 3:05 am #

    I love clone fields. But remember it only negates hits. SO if they chose to attack the unit instead of the characters then you can do nothing with it.

    Still it was my go to set up for cool factor and I like it better than a shadowfield against anything but Necrons(sweep attacks instant killing you is lame) and massed Grey KNight psycannon fire if you get caught in a whittled down unit.

    • Reecius
      Reecius April 30, 2012 3:51 pm #

      I don’t have my book handy, but I seem to remember the clone field not just affecting the model with it, but the unit they are in as well. I could be wrong, but I am pretty sure it does work that way.

      • Avatar
        sean May 5, 2012 11:42 am #

        No its pretty black and white in the codex.

        Its still great, often means they wont attack your character at all, especially if you roll a high number. And when mixed with a 3 shardnet wych unit can be mathematically impossible to hurt your guy sometimes… which is better then the shadowfield at that point.

        But sadly doesnt protect the unit at all.

        • Reecius
          Reecius May 5, 2012 4:53 pm #

          Yeah, I saw that too when I looked it up. Like you said, with shardnets it can be amazing, but not so much with Grotes.

  2. Avatar
    Greg Swanson April 30, 2012 3:38 am #

    I would think that hammerhand will still work as it effects the GKs directly not the unit lady Malys is attached to. I can see how there will be no force weapons.

    • Reecius
      Reecius April 30, 2012 3:48 pm #

      I can see it going either way, but Malys’ ability says it makes them immune to the effects of any psychic power, which would mean Hammerhand too, I would think. However, it certainly isn’t clear cut.

  3. Avatar
    Skari April 30, 2012 7:55 am #

    I am following this thread and series quite closely! As an avid DE player (as you might know there!) I am liking what you have to say. I agree with the grotesques, and I agree with urien… but I dont think you need the extra archon, just another heamy as a WWP carrier. And make Split the grot unit up, into two. One each with a WWP heamy. Like that you can spread the love then it comes to WWP deployment. Now, you will also need a wrack unit as a troop to deploy the WWP’s in a DOW scenario. Urien then beefs up the units you need to make Fearless (to prevent them from ever fleeing) As for paladins… lots of blasters are key. I personally dont see paladins as a big threat for DE, each failed save is a dead paladin.

    Now, how many points are you trying to gear this towards? And are you leaning for the chronos or the taloi? I would assume at least one chronos, as you need to try and get fearless as quickly as possible, not having an avatar hampers the LD aspect.

    Anyhow, continue and If you would like to chat about it I am open to discussion. Cheers!

    • Reecius
      Reecius April 30, 2012 3:47 pm #

      I think you may be right about the Cronos, but the Talos just adds so much more offense. I think the thing to do is to try both and see which functions better. I lean towards the Talos on paper, but you really never know until you try.

  4. Avatar
    FacePuncher April 30, 2012 12:58 pm #

    Greg is right. Hammerhand does not “directly” affect the grotes. You may also check on whether or not Malys helps you with NFW. In reserching my Necrons on the INAT, i found that the gloom prism does not actually cancel our NFW. The reason is the wording. When a GK unit activates it NFW, it does not actually target an enemy model like regular force weapons do.

    You can think of it as the GK making their weapons cause ID, but not actually using a power to insta-gib an enemy like a regular Librarian would. The enemy is never actually “targeted” by anything the GK does. I may be wrong, but given that everything else in the GK book ignores the core rules it might actually be the case.

    If this is not the case, then Malys with Grots is ridic. Even with GKs at str 5 and striking first with a majority of the unit, there is no way they can deal 30+ wounds. D-star units are so good.

    • Reecius
      Reecius April 30, 2012 3:46 pm #

      INAT says Lady Malys does indeed stop NFWs, which leads me to believe that she would also work on Hammerhand.

      But yeah, that unit is pretty damn awesome. I am liking the look of it more and more!

      • Avatar
        FacePuncher April 30, 2012 4:42 pm #

        Dude, if she craps on hammerhand…. that’s sauce. Cant even double you out with the hammers. At str 4, i bet a full Pally unit wont even remove a whole model with wound allocation. Let em strike first. It wont matter.

        • Reecius
          Reecius May 1, 2012 1:22 pm #

          Exactly =) I think there is a lot of potential there.

  5. Avatar
    FacePuncher April 30, 2012 4:58 pm #

    Yeah, looks like Mayls gets the pass on NFW. I don’t get why the gloom prism cant help you with that?

    • Reecius
      Reecius May 1, 2012 1:23 pm #

      I don’t know? It must be the wording regarding the effects of psychic powers. That is a really vague, broad blanket.

  6. Avatar
    Red Corsair April 30, 2012 8:04 pm #

    Hey boys, I have been tooling with the Dark Footdar for the last 4 months. I own the ugly ’97 erra DE for now though (eek). I LOVE grotesques but find the web-ways a bit lack luster against a smart mobile opponent. The main issue is not being able to impact your reserves. This sucks because it means you need to drop a web-way usually turn one or your stuff has a bit of a hike. Mainly the taloi, I used to love these guys but they are not cheap compared to wrath lords (my bro plays the good elves :P) and theyare SOOOOO SLOW! I mean it’s painful, and with only T7 and three wounds they really are not that tough to drop.

    This is why I am now shifting to 2, 8 man sized grotesque units (I had two old fantasy ogre bat forces in my closet lol) one with urien an the other with two haemis, this leaves me with one floating haemi to apply where needed.

    These two bricks have TORN through marines in play testing. and having two allows you to almost always counter assault to free the other unit, or to trap your opponent. The Talos died quickly almost every game or were forced to hide as soon as my opponent realized that shooting the grots was useless. This is why I don’t like the taloi, in the rematch your opponent won’t screw the pooch on target priority and they are pretty easy to take down. They also add an assault element that is no longer needed with the two bombs. Insert ranged AT here.

    I also am finding jet bikes better then scourges, they have the speed for late game contesting, but they also can jump away with their assault move which makes them better suited for applying some heat lance love while keeping their distance from occupants.

    I have toyed in my head with the idea of bringing two taloi and a cronos to give the taloi FnP but it seems way to hokey. I want to love taloi, I mean I own two of the old ones, they just always under perform.

    As for troops I was trying wracks as small objective grabbers but I think warriors are the way to go. They bring some added AT to the table and have ranged poison weapons.

    Well this was long winded but I love my DE even if they aren’t the new pretty elves haha. Hope some of this is helpful.

    • Reecius
      Reecius May 1, 2012 2:18 pm #

      That sounds pretty awesome, actually. I had not considered two bricks of Grotes. It is a huge points investment, but that is a lot of Pain Train.

      I want to like the Talos, too. Once they get FnP, they must be so hard to kill.

      At the very least, I am really excited to try this list out. There is a lot of potential in it for fun play and creative tactics.

      I was on the fence between Reavers and Scourges. I think probably one of each is a smart play.

      I am not bothered by the lack of influencing reserve rolls. I played straight reserve armies all 4th, and I enjoyed it. You just have to learn to adapt to what you get, and to take multiples of what you need as hvy3mynd does.

  7. Avatar
    Defeatmyarmy April 30, 2012 8:25 pm #

    With the majority of players being grey knights I’m not sure how well dark dar would do. Hammer hand seems like it would still go off but if it is a psychic power weapon id should still be nullified. Is the psychic nullifier a range ability or does it only nullify psychic powers directed against them?

    • Reecius
      Reecius May 1, 2012 1:24 pm #

      It protects them from the effects of any psychic powers, which is a really broad term. It covers a lot of ground.

  8. Avatar
    BigToof May 1, 2012 4:27 pm #

    Hi Reecius,
    Long time fan, first time poster.

    You HAVE to try the Malys-Star.
    I played it last night, with the ruling that she negates NFW instant-killing and used a Death Star made up of six Grotesques, two WWP Haemonculi and Malys.
    My opponent brought his usual nonsense of GK, this time with Coteaz AND Crowe.
    The result?
    I rolled through him. MSU Purifiers tried to assault, but I managed to squeeze Malys safely next to a Psycannon and then everything else died before the Hammer even got to swing. This happened more than a few times.
    The only time the Malys-Star stopped was when they hit my opponent’s Dreads in the back of his army and were Dread-locked on turn 5. But until then, nothing could touch them.
    Just make sure to bring lots of anti-tank 🙂 I brought three units of Reavers and out of the portals they were worth it.

    Wow, this got long. Apologies there.


    • Reecius
      Reecius May 1, 2012 4:51 pm #

      Hey, Big Toof!

      Wow, that is encouraging news! Super cool, we have not had a chance to try it out here, yet, but your results are really encouraging! That makes me even more excited to give it a go. It is just extra awesome to win using all the “bad” units, so much more satisfying.

  9. Avatar
    BigToof May 1, 2012 5:26 pm #

    I entirely agree Reecius.
    Good luck and I hope she works out as well for you as she did for me.
    BTW there is no greater joy than watching Crowe run full-tilt for your Malys-Star, getting stuck in, realize he can’t do anything and then beaten like a one-legged kitten.
    Good times.


    • Reecius
      Reecius May 1, 2012 6:00 pm #

      I can’t wait to see that for myself!

  10. Avatar
    Red Corsair May 1, 2012 5:39 pm #

    I don’t want to take ravagers but it looks more and more like they are the AT choice for their points. I mean 5 scourges with 2 blasters cost 140, A ravager with FF and NS is only 125 and puts out more heat at longer range. I am not sure about three, but the DE book really does try to back you into a corner with them at 105 stock, having aerial assault is just cake. This is how I freed points to take two 7 man bricks of uriels uber grots. I think this is much better then the taloi.

    • Reecius
      Reecius May 1, 2012 6:00 pm #

      Yeah, we were considering Ravagers, Razorwings and Void Ravens for the same reason. Ravagers especially seem like a good call. 3 of them and you have a really solid core of long range shooting.

      • Avatar
        Red Corsair May 1, 2012 6:52 pm #

        Really looking forward to a report from you boys soon 😉 😉 Ha ha

  11. Avatar
    crazy_irish May 2, 2012 5:06 am #

    Hey there, nice idea with the DFootDar, but Grotesques aren’t anywhere the worst units in the codex, They just don’t fitt into the cheap and deadly category like the ravanger and the Blasterborn.

    Mandraks on the other hand, they are really not often played, but i guess could be used to buy you the time to cross the board. If you combine them with reavers you could really distract the enemy. I guess i’ll keep that one in my mind myself 😉

    reguarding the clonefield. Your char counts as a single unit, and therefore can only use his clonefield aginst attacks, that are directed at him. And remember, it only works against CC attacks.

    And with Malys. She negates psycic powers directed at here and here unit. HH is directed at the grey knights. The fist hits here with his armoured gauntlet, even though the fist is propelled by psycic powers… 🙁

    What i’m looking farward to is seeing some army lists 😉 but to start with speaking about different aspects of your list, is a good start!


    • Reecius
      Reecius May 2, 2012 1:17 pm #

      Glad you’re enjoying it! We’ll dig into lists in the 4th installment of the series. Right now, I am a bit stuck on troops. Nothing really jumps out at me, and I think only play-testing will reveal what’s best.

      Grotes are awesome, though. We have a very good DE player here that uses a squad of them in a Raider with an Archon and it works really, really well.

  12. Avatar
    Alarum May 2, 2012 5:06 am #

    I was pondering the use of Grotes and came across a synergy you may like to think about. With the 10 strong unit 2 Haemies and the Baron. Now add the magic unit, Mandrakes yes Mandrakes. My theory was to keep the Mandrakes in front of the Grotes (infiltrate) giving them a mobile 3+ cover and FNP. This will give you the first turn to place your WWP anywhere you want without being shot to pieces. If the opponent wants to shoot the Mandrakes they have an 5++ and your Grotes go unmolested. At minimum the opponent will need to redeploy some units to get clear shots at the Grotes. After the first portal is down the Mandrakes will be the least threat to the enemy but still in their face. Just a quick thought that I will test out when I get a chance.

    • Avatar
      BigToof May 2, 2012 5:18 am #

      Actually I’ve thought about using Mandrakes with Malys as she can re-deploy them for shenanigans, but that means that I would have to give up a unit of Trueborn (cue anal-clamping sound).


      • Reecius
        Reecius May 2, 2012 1:15 pm #

        Mandrakes have such awesome models, too. I would love to be able to make them useful. Maybe we’ll have to try some tricks with them, see if we can make them good.

    • Reecius
      Reecius May 2, 2012 1:16 pm #

      Not a bad idea, because who is gong to shoot the Mandrakes, anyway? A good player will likely ignore them.

  13. Avatar
    FacePuncher May 2, 2012 3:01 pm #

    If the mandrakes actually get a pain token they can do some work. What is it like an assault 2 weapon? Shoot + charge is like 50 str 4 attacks or something close to that? Assuming you get everything your way which almost never happens, but who knows since as someone pointed out… they are Mandrakes.

  14. Avatar
    hyv3mynd May 2, 2012 5:13 pm #

    I’m liking the Malys thing more and more. The only problem is my next local RTT and GT are both comp heavy so I’m not going to be able to test her out unless I put something else on the plate like NOVA or FoB.

    Regarding talos, look at it this way. Once you take 10 diversified grotes with say malys and 2 haemis to make them fearless, you’ve got 700pts sunk into one unit. This unit is basically immune to any shooting under str10, wraithcannons, and leadership flamers. In assault, they can take out most basic units and most exotic deathstars except pallies or a big brick of FnP hammernators. However, one 120pt dread will lock them all game. You can do your best to prevent this with triple ravagers, but poop happens and in the end, 9 lances may not be enough to stop a shrouded storm raven or shielded libby dread from getting stuck in. At that point, a talos is pretty much the only thing that can jump in and save them.

    If you take any of the heavy skimmers and deploy them, you actually make the choice easier for your opponent because they want to ignore the grotes when they realize they can’t be shot down. If you reserve them, they will most likely come in piecemeal and take every remaining anti-tank shot the turn they arrive.

    If you’re going to build the 700pt grote deathstar and play wwp’s, I’d stay 100% vehicle free. I have one venom in my list just because I wanted to paint a skimmer, but it’s going to get dropped for another 5 man warrior squad with blaster I’m sure.

    • Avatar
      Red Corsair May 2, 2012 5:50 pm #

      Yea I agree with you based on theme, which is that tloi rock and are super cool. But, for their points they really won’t dig you out of the two scenarios you listed very well. I mean, they have horrid shooting abilty, coupled with random attacks, add in the fact they don’t fleet or jump and are only T7. For their points they are worse then wraithlords in every single way. I mean 120 points for a less skilled wraith lord that is only T7 but remember he is also only S7 their s know guarantee they kill a dread. In fact a furioso will still rape it.

      IDK it’s just that in every game I have play tested them in my opponent knows I will lack ranged AT so he dances away from the single grot blob and portals and just kills the taloi as they appear. Like I was saying, I think 10 grots is too many really. In the first few games you may trick an unaware opponent into wasting his time with them but any good gamer won’t bother shooting that blob and will avoid it as easily as draigo wing except draigo wing shoots 30+ shots lol.

      I am toying with two smaller grot blobs, we’ll see though. I am primarily playing DE for fun anyway so it won’t matter but it is fun trying to see f they could be a take all comers list.

      • Avatar
        hyv3mynd May 3, 2012 4:50 am #

        My experience with talos is fairly different. However, my experience is only 6 games.

        In game #1 vs mech BA with ~12 vehicles, each talos wrecked one tank and took out a 5 man combat squad (objective mission) all while also drawing the fire of lascannon preds off the rest of the army.

        In game #2, they took out a scarab blob, spyders, and an annihilation barge. Keep in mind, at t7 they are fully immune to scarabs and entropic strike. The t/l heat lance makes a joke of necron vehicles that wraithlords would envy.

        In game #3, they locked up a unit of horrors (again immune to them in cc) and then got shot down due to that lame TO call.

        In my game vs Coteaz, they both rushed out in his face surviving 8 psycannon shots each as well as storm bolters from “I’ve been expecting you”, instagibbed coteaz and his purifier pals.

        They have consistently been my 2nd best (after grots) performers every game either in pure destruction or in setting my other units up to succeed. Yes, they don’t have the range or toughness of wraithlords, but they are rushing out of portals that should be 6″-18″ onto the field already.

        • Avatar
          Red Corsair May 3, 2012 11:15 am #

          I fully understand where your coming from, I am a long time follower of your blog and actually it’s the reason I decided to try out my taloi again (they were all dusty). I see yours doing good things but then again we don’t have similar opponents either. It just occurred to me that I don’t play any of the opponents you have.

          In my experience, portal or not vanilla marines can tear through those guys with stern guard and the like and then combat tactics allows their squads to escape them in CC.

          Chaos will lash them where ever thy want and there is no defence to it, obliterators then make a joke of them.

          Eldar are a pain for this list no matter what, again fire dragons and war walkers, and especially warlocks just cream these.

          Guard have so many guns and support squads that again, even Kamakaze-ing them into the enemy will at best usually be a trade and wash.

          Tau, well, need I say more? Their combat ability is wasted points and missile pods/rail weapons are a pain.

          And tyranids have all the tools to claw them out, though I do like them in this match up for cinematic effect.

          So like I was saying I guess it depends on your opponents and their armies/style. It is kind of funny that I hadn’t noticed the disparity between our opponents armies until you listed your games again.

          So I guess it is all dependent on the local meta. In mine, talos are total crap still. They just are too expensive to earn their place with their shaky damage output. mine never survive even with the portals to get close enough, if/when they do survive they are not contributing nearly enough. I do love them though, I love my old models with the flayed crew so much and even though I own two I want a new one too. He reminds me of a crayfish ever since I saw your orange ones. Love em. Well, hopefully I get a game in with them against orks, I think they will rock in this match, but again I guess it’s the build.

          Thanks for the awesome blog btw mate! You inspired me to overhaul my motly crew DE ha ha.

          • Reecius
            Reecius May 3, 2012 12:28 pm

            The best part of this discussion besides the great tactical info, was the “Motley Crew Dark Eldar.”

            Awesome! Do you have pictures?

    • Avatar
      BigToof May 3, 2012 4:12 am #

      I was hoping you would comment, as I really enjoyed your run with the Grotesque Deathstar. It broke my heart when you had that last game stolen from you in the tournament by a really silly (bad) scenario.
      I also agree with the Talos idea. So far, they’re one of the few ways you can unstick the Grots.


  15. Avatar
    Alarum May 2, 2012 5:33 pm #

    If they ignore the Mandrakes then they did what they were supposed to, give the deathstar mobile cover.If they kill the Mandrakes then they have 10 Grotes wel on the way to beating them down with a few surprises out of the WWP. I will be running a Cronos in my list to give a token to the Mandrakes but I know that gives the army alot of things to rely on. I do agree that you can spend the points on another Blasterborn but I intend to use Reavers, Scourges and Taloi for my AT. I will try to fit a game this weekend andsee what happens. I will let you know the outcome.

    • Reecius
      Reecius May 2, 2012 9:49 pm #

      Yes please do. If you could make Mandrakes work, that would be beyond awesome!

      • Avatar
        Red Corsair May 3, 2012 11:21 am #

        I used to use the old mandrake rules to terrifying affect, they got better in damage out put in the new dex, but unfortunately the delivery is a bit tougher. If he can figure out a good method to get these guys into charge range at full strength that would be epic!

        • Reecius
          Reecius May 3, 2012 12:23 pm #

          Yeah, I agree! It’s just the inability to give them a PT while infiltrating them.

          • Avatar
            Red Corsair May 3, 2012 5:24 pm

            @ Reece- About the Motley crew lol, I will have to dust them off and get some pics, they aren’t bad for the time but, geeze it must my 10 or 11 years since I painted them ha ha and the Big Hair on those old models still cracks me up. I feel like listening to some Steel Panther while painting those fellas. Ha ha!

          • Reecius
            Reecius May 3, 2012 6:28 pm

            Dude, that is awesome! Haha, I wanted to make a GWAR! themed chaos army, just because it would be ridiculous, but a Motley Crue themed DE army is equally awesome and fitting. Please do send some pics! haha

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