Dark Eldar Review: HQs: Succubus

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Zyekian here, bringing you the run-down on the wicked witches of the 40k universe: Succubi.  Vicious yet fragile in combat, these True Kin warriors can be an effective part of a Dark Eldar list.  For tips on this challenging but rewarding HQ read on.  And check out Frontline Gaming’s Tactics Corner for more ways to make your army hum!

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Stabby, Sexy, Stabby, Angry, and Stabby

“Succubi are the ruling elite of the Wych Cults, beautiful and utterly deadly”.

WS8, BS6, S3, T3, W3, I8, A4, Ld9, Sv6+

For 75 points we get an impressive yet fragile stat line.  Players will sometimes run a stock Succubus in a Dark Eldar list, however you’re probably going to want to kit her out in order to mitigate her low strength.  Let’s take a look at what she brings to the table:

Special Rules:

  • Combat Drugs – more reliable and useful on Succubi than most other units because getting +1 WS means she’s hit only on 5+ by many enemies.  +1 initiative makes her attack before Demon Princes.
  • Independent Character
  • Fleet
  • Night Vision
  • Power from Pain
  • Dodge: The Succubus has a 4++ invulnerable save in close combat.

Wargear:

  • Wychsuit: 6+ armor.  The ITC ruled that you win 40K forever if your Succubus makes a successful Wychsuit save.
  • Close Combat Weapon
  • Splinter Pistol: A solid poison (4+) pistol that mainly serves as an extra CC attack
  • Plasma Grenades: Eldar assault grenades that function as a S4, AP4 blast.  Underrated.

Options:

  • May replace close combat weapon with an excellent Archite Glaive for +20 points.  This weapon has two profiles, the first of which is usually the best option:
    Double-handed: S+1, AP2, two-handed
    Single-handed: S:user, AP3
  • May replace splinter pistol with a blast pistol for +15.  It’s a 6″ Dark Lance, no thanks.
  • Haywire Grenades: For just +5 points the Succubus can threaten armor.  Take this every time.
  • Webway Portal: +35 points get the Succubus’ unit a no-scatter deep strike.  It’s one way to get her across the map but it means a turn 3 charge at best.  Use with caution and possibly with Wraithguard.
  • May take Wych Weapons, power sword, or an Agonizer.  Wych weapons don’t do much but are only +5 points.  Power swords are overcosted at +15 points when Archite Glaives are available, or the Agonizer, a poison (4+) AP3 power sword.
  • May take Dark Eldar artifacts, the most interesting of which is the Armor of Misery.  For a reasonable +15 points the wearer gains 4+/6++ armor and emits a -2 Leadership bubble to all enemies within 6″.  Being able to make saves against dakka compensates for one of the Succubus’ major weaknesses.  Honorable mention goes to the 5-point Parasite’s Kiss pistol, a poison (2+) master-crafted pistol that heals the user for every unsaved wound it delivers.  Can’t argue with almost free.

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Dressed for the Kill

The Dark Eldar codex floods us with HQ wargear options so let’s cut through the clutter.  A good stabby Succubus build purchases an Archite Glaive, the Armor of Misery, and Haywire Grenades.  For the reasonable price of 115 points we get an HQ that can reliably threaten anything that’s not a high toughness MC.  Dark Eldar typically run enough ranged poison however that these aren’t major threats.  Succubi running an Agonizer will frighten most MCs, making it a viable option.

As with most Dark Eldar models Power from Pain and Combat Drugs are the wild cards.  The right drug will put the Succubus at S5 for her Glaive or give her a much-needed T4 to escape instant death from S6 or many powerful CC attacks.  A 4++ invulnerable save followed by a functioning FnP is a winning combination.

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Countering the Scatter Laser

This is where we get to work.  Your first instinct may be to put her in a Raider and jink like a cricket and maybe that will be okay.  The over-abundance of ignores-cover makes it a dicey proposition though and exploding vehicles really punish Dark Eldar.  So… meh.

Do this instead: run your Succubus in a unit of about four Grotesques with an Abberation.  Soak unsavory challenges it with the meat bag while the Succubus slaughters the unit.  Win combat and factor in the Armor of Misery’s -2 leadership for the sweep.  Dead Necrons for days.  Remember, this is going to be a somewhat low model count unit where the Grotesques will be flipping their rampage switches and wrecking face.  Hordes will die along with with Imperials.

The Grotesquerie formation is particularly useful here, as powered-up grotesques are all the more deadly.  That formation requires two units of Grotesques and a Haemonculis, meaning one unit is normally alone.  And the Succubus is a superb escort for them, compensating for their lack of AP with her Glaive.  We’re not going to stop there though.  A Cronos Parasite Engine in the vicinity will give the whole unit +1 to its Feel no Pain checks.  The Dark Artisan formation is the perfect companion to this unit, though a free-floating Cronos from a CAD works just fine.

So what we’ve done is taken the S6 hard counter up to a S10 hard counter.  Knights can be a problem, therefore it’s advisable to plan the rest of the list around countering one.  A damaged Knight near this unit is already dead, he just doesn’t know it yet.  They’ll fall to the Succubus’ haywire grenade plus the Abberation’s S5 rending Scissorhands, so by all means pounce when the time is right.  Opponents won’t realize how flexible this unit is until it’s too late.

Has anyone else found successful ways to field this unit?  Be sure to add your thoughts about the Succubus to the comments section below!

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8 Responses to “Dark Eldar Review: HQs: Succubus”

  1. BBF June 7, 2016 5:23 am #

    She’s a tough old gal for sure. Good review.

  2. Reecius
    Reecius June 7, 2016 6:11 am #

    I actually really like the Succubus. I wish she had some options to really flesh her out but as a wwp delivery system that also packs a decent ounch, she’s great.

  3. Requizen
    Requizen June 7, 2016 7:58 am #

    I really only ever see her (or many DE HQs) as WWP delivery-slaves, sadly.

  4. gvcolor June 7, 2016 8:20 am #

    Yeah, I think I like a raider or venom for 20 more pts over the Portal, at least they have some firepower and can act as a further target – not charging out of the portal is such a downer and so un-fluffy!! Like the parasite Kiss for that 2+

  5. C-Stock June 7, 2016 9:33 am #

    Great article. The Succubus suffers from Dark Eldar syndrome but running her in that Grotesque unit sounds actually really good. I’d never thought of that…

  6. punchymango June 7, 2016 10:33 am #

    Someday I want to test my theory that a covens-themed DE list with a grotesquerie, a corpsethief claw, and then all the lances I can pack into a realspace raider detachment could be a contender. I’d totally take a succubus as my HQ for that list.

    • Reecius
      Reecius June 7, 2016 12:51 pm #

      I’d love to see a really competitive DE list.

      • Grumpage June 7, 2016 1:35 pm #

        Well you’re still young, you will probably see one in your lifetime 🙂 Was excited when I heard DE were getting an update but it looks like that was some guy dreaming. They are a gorgeous looking army and I’ll still take pride in painting them up nicely but a few buffs would be nice.

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