Dark Eldar: Day 1 armylist

And we’re back!

The Dark Eldar codex was officially released this weekend and as avid readers are aware of, I was rather let down by the initial rumours about the new list and the changes done compared to the old one. I have to admit that I was overtly pessimistic at the time and maybe the fact that my last 5 games all featured multiple flyers might have me overrate their role in 7th edition, but I still maintain that this book is not a first rank codex. Currently, I would assert that Eldar are the sole king of the hill, with Space Marines, Space Wolves, Tau, Tyranids and Daemons coming second. Each of those armies has strong units that make multiple potent lists possible and they all have good match-ups without having crippingly bad match-ups. Beyond that, the remaining armies all suffer from having one or more weaknesses that gives them some unwinnable match-ups or suffering from the fact that another army is just plain better at doing the same thing they do (also known as the Dark Angels syndrome). And this is where I see Dark Eldar reside, having no access to psykers, no meaningful way to handle multiple flyers, giving up too many easy kill points and suffering against anyone bringing enough Ignore Cover guns.

Nevertheless, I will give the codex a spin and this is my first attempt at an army list for the new book. In essence, I have cut the no longer legal Baron from my previous list and then eliminated the Hellions as they have become pointless without Baron to give them Stealth, Grenades and pseudo-Move Through Cover. Maybe someone will find a use for them, but right now I am not feeling them. I then took those points and the points saved when other stuff got cheaper to adapt my old list to the new book. I have also tried to steer away from the Webway Portal,  the most important part of the release. I firmly believe that the Webway Portal is a key item, but I think that its most efficient usage is in a list taylor-made to use it, either through use of Eldar allies or with Dark Eldar units, though I am currently not sure which Dark Eldar units would actually benefit from it that much. I guess you could drop an Archon with 4 Medusae and the Armour of Misery to flash-burn someone with 4 AP3 templates followed by a morale check at -2 Ld, but that does look awfully involved for not that much effect. I will let the Internet have fun with the WWP and see what people can come up with, whilst keeping my own scrapbook close at hand in case I have a stroke of genius. However, at this stage I feel that it is not an item to simply shoehorn into a list, so it will remain in the armouries for the moment.


In the list, I am going to use two detachments, a Combined Arms detachment using Codex Dark Eldar and a Coven detachment from the upcoming Haemonculus Covens supplement. Should the rules in the supplement vary significantly from the rumours, I will retool the list.


Combined Arms Detachment:

Succubus: Warlord, The Animus Vitae, Archite Glaive: 115 points

I needed to keep the compulsory HQ cheap and she fits the bill. The Aminus Vitae is probably only going to work in 40% of all cases or so, having to hit and wound, but if it does, you automatically skip ahead a turn for Power from Pain, which is huge. She will join the Grotesques. Mostly, she will roll on the Strategic table for her Warlord Trait, though she might switch to Personal if fighting an army without decent melee fighters just to have a shot at Legendary fighter.


5 Kabalite Warriors: Blaster, Venom with 2 Splinter Cannons: 120 points

5 Kabalite Warriors: Blaster, Venom with 2 Splinter Cannons: 120 points

5 Kabalite Warriors: Blaster, Venom with 2 Splinter Cannons: 120 points

Simply to have some Objective Secured units. I initially skimped on the blasters as they are quite expensive at 15 points each, but having lost a game over the weekend on a single killpoint due to not being able to kill the one flyer my opponent had over three turns (the rest of his army was dead and my army was still mostly intact, but even a mostly intact Dark Eldar army easily concedes 11 kill points). So those blasters need to be there to make sure I have enough separate units that can take out a flyer with a lucky shot. 6 Objective Secured units might be risking it, but that’s what Dark Eldar do. In fact, I have had only one game so far where Objective Secured actually mattered and even then only for one Victory Point, so I am willing to take the risk of not having many units with it. They might look fragile, but in an army filled to the brim with harder units, they might just slide under the radar.


4 Incubi: Venom with 2 Splinter Cannons: 145 points

4 Incubi: Venom with 2 Splinter Cannons: 145 points

Each unit will get a Haemonculus minder. I am not sure if the units are not too small, but they have been able to hold their own up to and including last week. The trick is not to bite off more than you can chew. I guess I could combine them into one unit with a Raider and buy an empty Venom with the leftover points, but then I would have to find a place for the second Haemonculus and drop to 6 Venoms, which might not be enough.


Razorwing Jetfighter: 2 Dark Lances, Night Shields: 155 points

Just to have some degree of anti-air capacity. With the Shields, he can jink for a 3+, then fly off the table unless there are still multiple Interceptor weapons around.


Venom: 2 Splinter Cannons: 65 points

Consider it a getaway car in case the first one breaks down. Right now, I want to have that 7th Venom to create a meaningful volume of fire against hordes or to force failed armour saves against Marines. If necessary, they can even try to down flying monstrous creatures, but I wouldn’t count on it.


Ravager: 3 Dark Lances: 125 points

Ravager: 3 Dark Lances: 125 points

Ravager: 3 Disintegrators: 110 points

How the mighty have fallen. 20 points more for a Ravager with 3 Lances hurts, but I guess that the cheaper cost of most other units compensates for it. I am still convinced that Ravagers are still much better than the remaining heavy support choices. Sure, Taloi and Chronoi are now able to be fielded in units of three, but they are so slow compared to the rest of the army. The Chronos might give +1 to FNP in 6″, but what’s the point of that if your assault units are a foot away from them in turn 2?


Coven Detachment:

Haemonculus: Scissorhand: 80 points

Haemonculus: Scissorhand: 80 points

They will join the two Incubi units. If rumours are true, the Coven detachment requires 2 compulsory HQ choices, so that will it be for the moment.


5 Wracks: Venom with 2 Splinter Cannons

10 Wracks: Acothyst with Venom Blade, Raider with Dark Lance

4 Grotesques: Raider with Dark Lance

The 5 Wracks will be my replacement secondary close combat unit instead of the Hellions. They are not meant to take out enemy elite, but they can hold up or even take out enemy Troops rather well with their poisoned weapons. The 10-strong unit will continue to serve as a monster-killer unit or act as a crack assault unit to clean out hordes. The Grotesques will be joined by the Succubus and will form the spearhead together with the Incubi.


The basic tactic is still the same: Be faster than the opponent, rain down poisoned shots to soften up the opponent, then overwhelm one part of the enemy army with the Incubi and Grotesques whilst the rest of the army buys time.

If the rumours concerning the Coven having a different Power from Pain table are true, and it would be logical as the first three turns are pointless for them on account of them already having Feel No Pain, this opens another realm of possibility by joining units from one detachment to the other one. Here, this would mean the following:

The Haemonculi in the Incubi would result in:

Turn 1: Fearless (it is enough that one model has it) and FNP 6+

Turn 2: Fearless, Fear and FNP 5+

Turn 3: Fearless, Fear and FNP 5+ for everyone, It will not die for the Haemonculus and Furious Charge for the Incubi

Turn 4: Fearless, Fear, Zealot (one model with it gives Hatred to every model in the unit) and FNP 5+ for everyone, It will not die for the Haemonculus and Furious Charge for the Incubi

Turn 5+: Fearless, Fear, Zealot and FNP 5+ for everyone, It will not die and Eternal Warrior for the Haemonculus and Furious Charge and Rage for the Incubi


The Succubus and the Grotesques would have (with the proviso that wounding a model with the Animus Vitae in turn 2 would give you each bonus one turn earlier):

Turn 1: Nothing

Turn 2: Fearless for everyone and FNP 6+ for the Succubus (the Grotesques always have FNP 5+)

Turn 3: Fearless, Fear and FNP 5+ for everyone

Turn 4: Fearless, Fear and FNP 5+ for everyone, Furious Charge for the Succubus

Turn 5: Fearless, Fear, Zealot and FNP 5+ for everyone, It will not die for the Grotesques and Furious Charge for the Incubi

Turn 6+: Fearless, Fear, Zealot and FNP 5+ for everyone, It will not die and Eternal Warrior for the Grotesques and Furious Charge and Rage for the Succubus


It looks ugly and blunt at the moment, but that’s what all day 1 lists look like. We will see how it fares.


Any thoughts are comments?





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