Sunday, September 11, 2011

Bringing out the Dark Kin from Commoragh

Hi everyone,

So now that my Deathwing force is well into the painting stage, is complete at 1500 and just needs a couple of units to make it to 1750 (see other post), I'd like to talk about another army entirely.

Deathwing are, to me, the epitome of a durable, slowly moving elite force. There aren't many of them so you have to concentrate your attacks carefully but they will weather a storm of fire, never run since they are fearless and will often surprise you with just how long they can plough through the opposition when the chips are down. You can trust in your 2+ armour and 3+/5+ invulnerable saves all while gunning the opposition down with storm bolters, assault cannons and cyclones, or pulping them in assault with lightning claws, power fists and thunder hammers.

If Deathwing are the proverbial brick outhouse, now I want to have a try with the glass cannon that is the Dark Eldar army.

This might just be the most awesome cannon ever :-)

I've really enjoyed the tactical challenge of having to carefully consider each and every move I make with my small, elite Deathwing force and from all counts, playing a mechanised Dark Eldar force brings many of the same thinking challenges. Knowing that you are very vulnerable to shooting and assault from pretty much anything in the game makes me feel like I'll have to have razor focus all the time. Now that can be a tiring way to play but it is exhilarating too.

So having read a few tactica articles on Dakka and considered the kind of army I'd like to play here is my 1500point army list.

- Haemonculus.
- Haemonculus.

- 3 Trueborns with blasters in a Dakka Venom (two splinter cannons)
- 3 Trueborns with blasters in a Dakka Venom (two splinter cannons)
- 5 Incubi in a Dakka Venom (two splinter cannons)


- 7 Wracks with an Agoniser wielding acothyst in a Raider (flickerfield, aethersails, shock prow).

- 7 Wyches, haywire grenades, razorflails, Hekatrix with agoniser in a raider (configured as above)

- 7 Wyches, haywire grenades, razorflails, Hekatrix with agoniser in a raider (configured as above)

Heavy Support

- Ravager, 3 Dark Lances and Flickerfield
- Ravager, 3 Dark Lances and Flickerfield
- Ravager, 3 Dark Lances and Flickerfield

NB: To bring this up to 1750, I'd probably add another Haemonculus and ten Kabalite warriors in a Raider.

Rargh! We've come for your souls.

Army Selection Thoughts

Despite the tasty selection of characters in the codex I decided to start off with cheap Haemonculi to bring some paint tokens. With one token I get FNP, two tokens give me furious charge and three make me fearless. The first one is really key for a fragile dark eldar army and will make my Wyches even nastier in assault. I'll probably put one with each wyche squad.

For the elite selection I knew I wanted some nasty shooting and assault ability. The blaster trueborn are a tried and tested way to kill off tanks and terminators. Putting them in a dakka venom lets me move 6" and fire 3 blasters plus 12 poisoned splinter cannon shots out to 36". If I need to move 12" I still get to unleash the dakka since poisoned weapons always count as defensive. I added Incubi because the models are really nice and they will let me take out armoured foes or those with FNP that I don't want my wyches tied up against.

For the troops I started with wracks who bring their own pain token. With poisoned weapons they can put a nice hurting on an enemy in assault. I see these as being effective troops to tie up the more basic enemy forces that I don't want my wyches engaging or to sit on an objective if needed. The wyches are nasty assault units that can kill off enemies with the agoniser, threaten tanks with haywire grenades (possibly on turn one if the opponent deploys on the 12" line) and tie up big assault units because of their CC invulnerable save.

All of my raiders get a flickerfield (5+ invul) since they'll be in danger most of the game, aethersails to make sure I get a turn 2 assault, redeploy rapidly or tank shock at speed, and a shock prow in order to make tank shocks. It not only adds a threat to armour but lets me tank shock units to put them in a good position for controlling the number of models who can hit me back.

The ravagers are tank and heavy infantry hunters. Because they can move 12" and still fire all three weapons I think it will be very tough for a foe to stop me getting side armour shots. Also it lets me redeploy a lot of force very quickly that can reach out and touch hard at range.

The downside

So while this is an exciting army idea I hope to get started on soon, the inevitable downside is pricing. GW has made it quite costly to mechanise your army and having to shell out some £20 for each raider, £18 for each venom and £30 per Ravager makes it a big investment, even before I put troops in them.

Still it's a nice project to look forward to.

Thoughts, criticism and jokes all very much welcomed

Pete :-)


  1. As per usual I have no idea about force composition (my choices are always based upon appearance rather than ability), so I'll just have to ask:

    Colour scheme? ;)

  2. I've half chosen this for appearance too, Andy. I love the Finecast wracks, the Incubi and the Wyches so having them be great in game is icing in the cake.

    Colour is a tough one and may be an entire post as I try to figure it out. I do NOT want to paint 6 Raider hulls and 3 Venoms by hand if I can help it.

    I have been thinking about making a dusty, dirty look using spray paints to represent a Kabal who've been on an extensive raid to an arid world. Something like this ( and done using a variety of browns, beige and khaki sprays from different angles.

    If I can get the main base colours done with spray that would make me so much happier and then I can just hand paint the details.