List Review: Mechanized Dark Eldar

So, this time on List Review we’ve got a Dark Eldar army up for assistance. DE are in a bit of a bad place right now and can certainly use whatever help they can get from their Craftworld brethren, but the trick is avoiding turning it into an Eldar list that happens to have some DE in it. Let’s see if we’re up to the challenge.

So, the starting point is as follows:

DARK ELDAR COMBINED ARMS

1 Lhamean (Venom w/Cannon)

5 Warriors (Venom w/Cannon)

5 Warriors (Sybarite, Warlord, Venom w/Cannon)

5 Scourges (4 Haywire)

5 Scourges (4 Haywire)

5 Scourges (4 Haywire)

1 Voidraven Bomber (Shatterfield Missiles)

1 Voidraven Bomber (Shatterfield Missiles)

ELDAR ALLIED

1 Autarch (Windrider)

3 Windriders (Scatter Lasers)

CORPSETHIEF CLAW

5 Talos (Ichor Injectors, Haywire)

The original poster was looking for a DE primary list, trimmed to 1850pts for use in tournaments, that doesn’t sink so heavily into Eldar allies so as to accidentally become an Eldar list instead. While DE aren’t really the best around, they do have a couple tricks in their sleeve and some of their matchups are really, really good for them. (Unfortunately, some others are just awful.)

The original list really illustrates a big problem for Dark Eldar- they can be built to kill infantry, or they can be built to kill vehicles, but it is extremely difficult for them to do both. Haywire and Lances do well against tougher AVs, but against Rhinos and the like they end up being a bit inefficient- and as that is what predominates these days (thanks to Battle Company), we really need to look for some better solutions to killing tanks. The Autarch is there to bring our reserves in early and the Scat Bikes are, well, Scat Bikes.

Scourges themselves, while decent end up being something of a one-and-done unit due to their extreme fragility; even just regular Bolters will cut them down in pretty short order. For a unit that is costing a non-trivial number of points (and that has all the difficulties involved in reserves, Deep Striking, and 24″ range) it really doesn’t make for a great solution overall, especially if Tau continue to keep their Interceptor options. Similarly, the Voidraven is just too fragile for its cost to really justify itself- especially since the Razorwing is so much cheaper and does practically the same thing.

The Corpsethief Claw is one of the best things that DE have to offer, but if we’re being wholly honest with ourselves the “right” way to run it is probably as an addition to an Eldar force, but obviously we’re going a different route here- however, since we’re going to bring some Eldar allies to the party, we have to at least consider the potential for bringing along some psychic support to make it be able to work a bit harder.

So, how do we leverage our strengths best here? We use each of our parts to do what they’re strongest at. The Dark Eldar can be pretty punishing to infantry and MCs; Eldar have excellent options for everything, but we can cherry-pick the AT ones for our purposes here. And the Corpsethief can give us our melee defense as well as acting as a solution to most types of deathstars (and Wraithknights.)

1845pts

REALSPACE RAIDERS

1 Lhamean (Venom w/Cannon) (75)

1 Lhamean (Venom w/Cannon) (75)

5 Warriors (Sybarite, Warlord, Venom w/Cannon) (115)

5 Warriors (Venom w/Cannon) (105)

1 Razorwing Fighter (130)

1 Razorwing Fighter (130)

1 Raider (Dark Lance) (60)

1 Raider (Dark Lance) (60)

1 Raider (Dark Lance) (60)

ASPECT HOST

5 Fire Dragons (Exarch) (120)

5 Fire Dragons (Exarch) (120)

5 Fire Dragons (Exarch) (120)

CORPSETHIEF CLAW

5 Talos (3 Ichor Injectors, 5 Haywire Blaster) (680)

Seven light transports, two airplanes, and the melee deathstar give us pretty solid tools against most things. We keep the Haywire blasters on the Talos so that we have a backup plan for transports, but ideally we aren’t really using them- we could potentially drop them entirely and sink those 50pts elsewhere. Ichor Injectors ensure we can murder a Wraithknight if needed, but the full five of them is a bit needless in this case (and we’re likely to lose 1-2 squad members before getting into combat with it anyways.) The Fire Dragons go in the Raiders- while they’re pretty fragile, we can Deep Strike them as needed (followed by disembark and Run if we have to) to wipe out targets- and five BS5 shots with +3 on the damage table should wipe out most any vehicle pretty easily. Razorwings and Venoms punish infantry units and the Razor’s S6 blasts can also mess with clustered vehicles where needed.

An alternate build that would be more specialized for spamming vehicles onto the table might look something like this:

1850pts

REALSPACE RAIDERS

1 Lhamean (Venom w/Cannon) (75)

1 Lhamean (Venom w/Cannon) (75)

5 Warriors (Sybarite, Warlord, Venom w/Cannon) (115)

5 Warriors (Venom w/Cannon) (105)

5 Warriors (Venom w/Cannon) (105)

5 Warriors (Venom w/Cannon) (105)

5 Warriors (Venom w/Cannon) (105)

5 Warriors (Venom w/Cannon) (105)

1 Raider (Dark Lance) (60)

1 Raider (Dark Lance) (60)

1 Raider (55)

1 Raider (55)

1 Raider (55)

1 Raider (55)

ASPECT HOST

5 Fire Dragons (Exarch) (120)

5 Fire Dragons (Exarch) (120)

5 Fire Dragons (Exarch) (120)

ASPECT HOST

5 Fire Dragons (Exarch) (120)

5 Fire Dragons (Exarch) (120)

5 Fire Dragons (Exarch) (120)

THIS is what we mean by “spamming.” Eight Venoms, six Raiders (two with Lances, even) and two different types of guns in total. You’ve got no backup plan to speak of here- if the enemy can weather your firepower, you’ve got basically nothing, but for anyone who can’t you will grind them down pretty hard. Lack of ObSec hurts a little bit in terms of scoring, but on the other hand you have so MANY scoring units that you can really put the hurt on a lot of things. Jink freely with everything; the Fire Dragons aren’t even affected by it! Oh yeah, the Fire Dragons- while their rides are a bit fragile (even with Jinking) they will wreck tanks of any kind and even most other targets as well. Your warlord is fishing for either Conqueror of Cities (on boards where this is applicable) or Target Priority (to effectively twin-link all the guns in range.)

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About abusepuppy

AbusePuppy is the one who has been ruining 40K for everyone this whole time. He is also searching for the six-fingered man and is one of the three people who know the secret recipe for coke (not the soda, the illegal drug.)

22 Responses to “List Review: Mechanized Dark Eldar”

  1. fluger October 20, 2015 7:20 am #

    I like the look of this. Leverages most of their strengths and glosses over quite a few weaknesses.

  2. Charliethrottle October 20, 2015 7:56 am #

    The problem with DE…. No matter what list you build its always vulnerable to the same counter lists. Flying Mech/ MCs(2+jinks), deathstars, droppods, tau interceptor(if you deepstrike) etc. Those lists are widely prevalent. Even if you null deploy and keep just the CTC on the table, a centurion star or grav heavy drop pod list will do serious work.

    • abusepuppy October 20, 2015 10:31 am #

      Actually DE aren’t all that worries about Cents or Grav in general- those weapons are little better than Bolters against their transports (and worse against their troops.) But it’s very true- the codex has a ton of things that it just folds up and dies to and there’s very little you can do about it.

  3. CaptainA October 20, 2015 8:02 am #

    I like the idea of the Corpsethief with Eldar. Been working on my Ratdar idea.

  4. iNcontroL October 20, 2015 9:17 am #

    Nice review and I agree. I think at this point DE players know they are at/near the bottom of the barrel so making a solid list is good enough for now. Expecting to win a tourney these days with DE taking up significant points seems an impossibility for the most part.

    • Jural October 20, 2015 11:28 am #

      Unless you cheat… and Dark Eldar would cheat! It’s kinda a fluffy way to get banned…

  5. jmanj123 October 20, 2015 9:42 am #

    Why not put the dragons in Venoms instead of Raiders? Then you have the duality of tank and infantry killing.

    • abusepuppy October 20, 2015 10:33 am #

      Raiders have 3HP and the AP2 gun to use in a pinch. The list already has so much Poison in it that having at least a token amount of firepower diversity is useful.

  6. Jural October 20, 2015 11:29 am #

    The biggest problem with the Dark Eldar codex is that whenever you design a list and put in an option to fill a role, you can almost always just look at your Eldar battle buddies and say- yeah, they could do that better, more efficiently, and may actually get a rules update in the next decade…

    • Jural October 20, 2015 1:13 pm #

      Lol- after I posted this I saw the Eldar Corsair rumored updates from Natfka…

  7. Dbiesto October 20, 2015 12:32 pm #

    Haven’t read up on the Eldar codexes this edition but I think the 5 talos list is solid. Then again, do they still have a decent save? Haven’t played against any talos lists since 5th but they always gave me a headache.

  8. Deuce11 October 20, 2015 5:32 pm #

    I really like the corpsethief list. It looks like good fun.

  9. jamie October 20, 2015 11:55 pm #

    woooooo!! my list is on frontline 😀

    and I have all the extras so I can try out some of these alternatives that you have mentioned. i do like the aspect host i run 20 warp spiders with my eldar.

    thanks for the input

    • abusepuppy October 21, 2015 3:26 am #

      Warp Spiders were a consideration for the list, since they’re more mobile and flexible than Fire Dragons, but they really have to get into the rear arc of tanks to be able to do anything to them, which just isn’t reliable enough.

      Hope you find it helpful, lemme know if you run into problems with the list or have other questions.

      • jamie October 21, 2015 11:47 pm #

        yea it’s good to have another person look over the list. it was helpful

  10. jy2
    Jy2 October 21, 2015 12:47 am #

    Anyway to fit in a unit of D-scythe wraithguards for maximum killing power and anti-Death Star duties?

    • abusepuppy October 21, 2015 3:24 am #

      You’d have to fundamentally revamp either of the armies to do it, although I had considered something with that option. Run an Archon with WWP and a Venom as a dedicated transport for the HQ, then go back to Farseer + Scatter Bikes for the Eldar half of things and slot in, say, some Wraithguard and maybe a couple of D-Cannons.

      It ends up with a better deathstar of its own (since you can potentially Invis/Shrouding/Fortune the Corpsethief), but much weaker AT firepower.

  11. AnEnemy October 21, 2015 6:20 pm #

    I’ve tried the Corpsethief many times. I don’t like it. It’s slow. Anything that will be shot against it will make a mockery of the 3+. And most damning…its expensive for what little it will accomplish. The odds of it making back its points in a game are not good. Especially with Force being in just about every Space Marine army.

    • abusepuppy October 21, 2015 7:58 pm #

      Most guns that can hurt it ignore its armor, sure, but that’s why you’re rolling cover + FNP. It’s actually really tough to hurt in most cases.

      Force is certainly annoying, but most Force weapons are S4/5 and thus needing 6s to do anything- and Force Axes (the most common version in my experience) have to wait until after your unit has pummeled them to get a chance. The Claw his hard enough (averaging ~14 AP2 wounds on the charge) that now a lot of things can wait that long.

      The real beauty of it, though, is the combination of Scout and bonus VP for killing units. Scout ensures you’ll get into combat reasonably quickly; the bonus VP mean that, unlike other deathstars, the enemy can’t afford to just feed you sacrificial units.

  12. Jason Brown October 22, 2015 8:42 am #

    With the new corsairs coming out, who needs thenDE dex? In all honesty, I am going to be buying a bunch of the conversion kits and having a grip of relentless warriors and reavers turned haywire wielding cloud dancers pumped full of narcotica supplied by my Drug Prince.

    • abusepuppy October 22, 2015 10:38 am #

      I haven’t yet seen stats for the update of the Corsair Venom, but the last one was blatantly inferior to the DE Venom, since it was unable to swap out its underslung weapon for anything. We’ll see what the Corsair book ends up being like- it certainly has some good things in it that we’ve seen so far, but the overall functionality remains in question.

      • Jason Brown October 22, 2015 11:43 pm #

        You can get jetbikes with splinter canons for 25 points a pop. The whole unit can take HWG for 25. I see all kinds of shenanigans. The Drug Lord looks awesome. True, we need to see more but both the Barons and Princes look potent.

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