Chapter Tactics #70: How to Deal with the Emerging Dark Eldar Menace

Chapter Tactics is a 40k podcast which focuses on promoting better tactical play and situational awareness across all variations of the game. Today the guys go over 4 tournaments including 2 majors, and an event Reece and Frankie attended. Then afterwards, Geoff and Peteypab interview Skari, from Skaredcast. An undefeated Dark Eldar player, and a career denizen of the dark city.

Show Notes:

  • Don’t forget to check out our new sponsor! Broken Egg Games.
  • Click here for a link for information on downloading best coast pairings app where you can find lists for most of the events I mention.
  • Check out the last episode of Chapter Tactics here. Or, click here for a link to a full archive of all of my episodes.
  • Want more tactical information about the new edition? Check out our 8th Edition article archive to help get a leg up on the competition!
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  • Intro by: Justin Mahar

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About Petey Pab

Aspiring 40k analyst, tournament reporter and Ultramarines enthusiast, Petey Pab only seeks to gather more knowledge about the game of 40k and share it with as many people as he can in order to unite both hobbyists and gamers. We are, after all, two sides of the same coin.

13 Responses to “Chapter Tactics #70: How to Deal with the Emerging Dark Eldar Menace”

  1. Reecius June 19, 2018 11:43 am #

    Drukhari are indeed extremely good. I am already getting lots of chatter on the Black Hearts strat as it is the best in the game as we were saying and can totally alter the course of a game’s trajectory when used correctly.

    • Colinsherlow June 19, 2018 1:00 pm #

      I love the black heart strat. And I think the game needs something like this. I feel if DE didn’t get this strat tjey would have to have strats that help deal more damage or something?… idk.

      Either way I love the strat. It is game changing, bit I think in a way that is necessary. And with a higher abundance of CP And vect only being used to stop 1 strat per turn. Players can still attempt to use .ore strats then they previously could

      • Reecius June 19, 2018 3:31 pm #

        It definitely is game changing. Easily the best strat in the game.

  2. Spera June 20, 2018 1:03 am #

    First nerf I would do would be increasing disintegrator cannon costs. At the moment that are actually no brainer, outshine dark lances vs almost everything per point. Ad this makes BH spearhead no brainer. It doesn’t have to be much, just so dark lance competes with D cannons and you actually have to take both of them.

  3. SaltyJohn June 20, 2018 7:59 am #

    Hey guys, great episode. I was sent this to post by an attendee of the Gentleman’s GT in Vegas. They said they tried to post here several times but couldn’t and I don’t see any pending posts in the dashboard.

    “Since a majority of the coverage for the Gentleman’s GT was about slow play, here is some additional information that listeners might find notable. It was the only GT of all 4 events listed that had Imperium armies place 1st (Catachan, Custodes, and a Culexus assassin) and 2nd (Dark Angels and Blood Angels), whereas the best imperial players in the others was at best 4th. The tables looked great, at least in my opinion. Dan Olivas, the winner of this year’s Broadside Bash, took 3rd place with his only loss being at the top table got skipped in the shout-outs. Additionally his utilization of wraith blades is an uncommon and interesting unit selection. This was this events second year in action and while it can and will improve with proper feedback things ran fairly smoothly. Thanks to all who came out and hope to see you next year and hopefully lots of new faces as well.”

  4. Fulcrum June 20, 2018 12:44 pm #

    Yah, the Gentleman’s GT was a great event. Went smoothly, good location, and great support. Little disappointed that slow play was the main thing covered.

    • Reecius June 20, 2018 1:01 pm #

      It was a great event.

    • Petey Pab June 20, 2018 1:14 pm #

      Just a heads up guys, I knew the event was going to also be covered on Signals. I always hate to overlap them. I apologize for not mentioning it.

  5. Alpharius Walks June 20, 2018 5:55 pm #

    The ongoing success for Dark Eldar Venom spam and the like seems to rest in part on their ability to easily score many ITC secondaries in conjunction with Venom spam lists being built to deny ITC secondaries. Something like NOVA’s Marked for Death (pick 4 units before the start of the game, 1 point for each you destroy) would be a great thing to import as far as preventing lists that effectively do not yield secondary objectives. Because these lists force opponents to go with limited progressive objectives over anytime kills scoring they also create incentives for slow play so this would address issues with a specific army as well as general issues coming from this list style.

    The above is not meant to deny that Dark Eldar can be quite strong for their points individually or in conjunction with other Eldar but I do think the ITC format plays to their strengths extremely well.

    It was interesting to hear that many players view Mont’Ka in a negative light. At least in my own games I overwhelmingly see Tau players build around and utilize it over the other option.

    I did happen to travel to the Dallas GT so some comments on that.

    The terrain was similar to if a step above (quality wise) what caused controversy at the London GT. It was extremely functional as far as blocking Line of Sight which I am sure made for more interesting games overall. Board coverage was a little low with perhaps too much no man’s land lacking cover for infantry to move across but it was definitely a great start that I am sure will be improved each year.

    The TO mentioned that Frontline Gaming helped a lot at getting them a collection of 6×4 mats either for free or at a very affordable price (it was at the very end of the weekend so I apologize for not remembering the exact details). FLG does not really promote that they do this for the hobby but since the TO mentioned it I think it is important to note what they are doing for the tournament community. Especially with this being an FLG site and all.

    The venue was ritzier than a lot of other 40k events I have been to so I am not sure how well many GTs could afford it but the Four Seasons Resort had a lot of advantages and was a nice change of pace as far as a venue.

    Lists were submitted in advance and it was not stated that players would need to post their lists in BCP during the event. That is why some of the lists are either very poorly formatted or illegible. It was pretty easy for me to print my list to PDF out of google drive and upload it but I am sure not everyone can do that as readily on a moment’s notice.

    I unfortunately experienced 3 games with opponents that I would describe as slow playing, either deliberately or through not knowing 8th or their particular Codex well enough to play fast. Either one is disappointing in a tournament setting. It definitely showed the impact that judging or lack thereof can have though.

    In the first round I asked for and received help from the judges which got me a win after my opponent ate an hour with their first turn. It still hurt (basically it was a 50% split of remaining time after each player’s first turn) but I was able to get scoring through turn 5. In the third round I thought of but ultimately decided not to ask for judge help after a 40-ish minute first turn as I was confident of victory and did not want to bother the judges to get some extra secondary points from additional turns. In the fourth round I asked for help after a 40 minute first turn that I knew was severely hurting my chances of getting a win. One judge promised to address this but never did and I ended up with a loss.

    Slow play is definitely a scourge on tournament games. I played a horde army over the weekend and was recording turn times. My longest turn 1 was 19 minutes. The majority of my opponents were between 40-60 minutes for turn 1 which destroys balance in the game. My complete game time in every round was an hour or less while my opponents received the significant majority of time in each game despite universally having fewer models (mostly significantly fewer models) on the table.

    There is strong overlap in my experience between players who have “issues” with timely playing and lists who are strong at denying ITC secondaries. When a list is built to deny secondaries you end up forced into Recon/Behind Enemy Lines which it is generally not possible to maximize in 4 or fewer turns if you are not running fast Fly/Flyer spam*. It is of course frustrating and quite frankly unfair to outright lose or fall behind in event standings based on extremely limited turns when you are using significantly less time than your opponent and games are still not finishing.

    For whatever reason with this event I also had more games than normal with opponents not being able to deploy their armies and complete the pre-game timely, which you alluded to in the episode as far as time use in game. When the deployment goes me putting down one model or one movement tray in a few seconds and passing it back to an opponent who then spends a couple of minutes measuring the perfect placement of one model or small unit, that only exacerbates the time disparity and slow play.

    While I am not a huge fan of the idea of chess clocks or their apparent increasing necessity the more ITC events I play in the more it becomes clear that the social norms of the game and judges/TOs are not by themselves enough to provide for a consistently fair game in time wise. As one plays more events and against more players it becomes obvious that perhaps even a majority of ITC participants cannot play the game at “tournament speed” without incentives or requirements to do so. I have not heard or seen any effective solutions outside of chess clocks. In theory ITC scoring does help but I think most players would rather record the win and worry about their points later if they think they can slow play to a win as opposed to taking a draw or loss.

    *Let me plug again that models with the Flier battlefield role should not be eligible for Linebreaker/Recon/Behind Enemy Lines and any similar secondary objectives introduced in the future. Right now a lot of these are too easy for Fliers but challenging for most non-Flier units if the opponent can screen their deployment zone. This upsets the balancing of them quite a bit and I am sure causes issues with balancing these and other similar secondaries that might be introduced in the future.

    • abusepuppy June 21, 2018 4:47 am #

      With regards to Mont’ka: I think in my experience most Tau players are more enamored by the rerolls that the Kauyon gives, which are more surface-level powerful, than the movement that the Mont’ka gives. They are both extremely strong options in the right situation, but I think part of what we wanted to remind players of is that knowing when to use each of them is an important part of getting mileage out of your Commanders.

      I don’t feel particularly bad about Flyers being able to claim Recon, Behind Enemy Lines, or Linebreaker- given how many limitations are already on them as a unit type (not being able to touch objectives, not helping you avoid tabling, etc) as well as GW’s many increases to the prices of the most powerful flyers out there, I don’t feel like they are particularly unbalanced in that regard. I see players take Recon or BEL all the time and score them with non-Flyer units, so I don’t feel the balance is tipped particularly against doing so.

      I do agree that units like Venoms that present an extremely cheap, hard-to-kill threat that doesn’t qualify for any of the ITC secondaries are potentially problematic, though. The middle ground of units that are too small to count for Big Game Hunter but are also too dispersed to count for Thousand Cuts or Gangbusters is becoming rather awkward, since a lot more armies are starting to bring that kind of unit.

    • Vercingatorix June 21, 2018 7:54 am #

      just wanted to say I appreciated the detailed write up. I agree with you on the linebreaker/recon/behind enemy lines.

      As far as venom spam and carnifex and those 6-8 wound models go, I think generally they are weak enough that you should be able to get death by thousand cuts off on them. If not, then you’re playing an army that’s going for pure board control and well, you did pick this.

      I play nurgle so that’s usually me, I can’t pick a damn thing against it but if I’m not killing things it’s because I picked an army like that.

      • Alpharius Walks June 21, 2018 10:27 am #

        I mostly agree in that theoretically yes they should be vulnerable to Death by 1000 Cuts. In practice -1 to hit, 5+ invulnerable and potential 6+ FNP or additional -1 with the ability to Vect some good damage stratagems can be surprisingly hard to shoot through.

        I do think that it is good to have a vehicle rush army that has little fear of gunlines to help reshape the meta and DE work very well in that role.

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