Monday, 27 August 2012

The Art of Dark Eldar: Allies

The Art of Dark Eldar: Allies

Allies. You either love them or you hate them. However they are here to stay, several tournaments are in favour of them and such this is the biggest change to 40k as we know it.

A lot of odd and bizarre combinations will shake up the order of things. The combination of the two super powers of 5th Necrons and Grey Knights as well of 4th Edition Chaos and Orks.

In this edition I’m looking as Dark Eldar as the Parent Army as well as the Ally and I’ll take you through my thoughts on each pairing.

You have to have a HQ and a Troop for each Ally meaning there are restrictions to their selection. If you aiming for a Vendetta for example, you have to have a troop unit and a HQ.

Initial Thoughts

What makes a Good Ally? A good question. The simple answer is synergy. The Ally should be there to cover the army’s weaknesses to make a more solid elite army.

The question then is what are the weaknesses of the Dark Eldar army?

Holding Units: with the loss of the hellions, there is limited hard holding units for the army.

Psychic Defence/Offence: there is none bar the normal 6+ defence and no-one to utilise the new psychic powers.

Fragility: there is no Rock hard, difficult units to kill unit in the army now Hellions have been binned

Ofc Dark Eldar bring manoeuvrability and the best anti infantry units in the game to any other army utilising them with cheap venoms, shattershards and the ability to effect the dice to go first with the Baron.

So what army my thoughts?

Tyranids/Necrons/Blood Angels/Dark Angels

Anyone wanting any of these guys in your armies think again. Let’s wait for the apocalypse for this one!

Black Templars – Distrustful

A pretty weak combination for Dark Eldar hosts with expensive HQ’s and Troops and no psykers. They don’t fill the holes in the Dark Eldar army and.

The other way round is a different matter. Venoms cover the black Templars lack of ant-infantry very well and the fact they can’t score or contest isn’t too much a problem as black Templars have these areas covered.

Chaos – Distrustful

Not yet. Perhaps when a new codex comes out but at the moment troops are too expensive to get at lash princes and obliterators

Not great the other way round either, Chaos is good with infantry so you probably won’t see this combination.

Chaos Daemons –Distrustful

An Interesting choice. Bloodthirsters are horrific now and there troop units are pretty handy. The improvements to screamers and the opportunity to get at fiends and flamers perhaps as the armies combat force is an interesting option.

The other way around? No way, could you imagine going second and having to take the whole of the opponent’s fire power? That’s not what Dark Eldar can do unfortunately!

Eldar – Battle Brothers

Unsurprisingly these two complement each other perfectly. Eldar having fantastic Psychic potential great defence but lacking in offensive potential. Dark Eldar, great damage potential. Their battle brother status meaning farseers can join units like beasts or the baron can join a seer council. A fantastic combination both ways. Definitely one strong option for any army build!

Grey Knights – Distrustful

A great option, mainly with the saying ‘if you can’t beat em, join em’. Probably only works with Coteaz as otherwise the troops section is too expensive and with the restrictions of distrustful allies, advantages of paladins or terminators is reduced. Taking a cheeky psy dread and coateaz give solid anti-tank and a psyker. Only issue is his inability to interact with the Dark Eldar meaning coteaz is a bit hampered but still a cheeky choice.
Grey knights however don’t really benefit from Dark Eldar as there anti infantry is something they do well.

Imperial Guard – Distrustful

An interesting choice with guard filling an anti-tank gaping hole dark eldar can only fill with Darklight weapons. The option of Vendettas the current darling of 40k is also tempting. Being able to subcontract your anti-tank to imperial guard lets the dark eldar contingent concentrates on anti-infantry and combat.

On the flipside guard there seems to be parity with the baron giving the cheap +1 to go first and a strong combat unit in beasthunters to the table. A good Choice both ways I feel

Orks – Distrustful
Another Interesting choice here, another chance to allow combat units to be orkish rather than dark eldar. On the other hand, lootas seem to be pretty good for flyer killing and would provide a lot of high strength fire power to the cause. A choice id definatly consider

A good choice to fill in a gaming hole of anti av 14. A solid choice

Sisters of Battle – Distrustful

Hmm maybe a good choice if you wanted to go all melta death and wanted an exorcist. Unfortunately they would probably get in the way due to their range and as a result a lot of standing around might occur so probably not an issue

The other way around this is more viable. Venoms can stay away from the sisters easy enough and provide great anti infantry fire power a possible option.
Space Marines – Distrustful

The troops are too expensive really to bring in anything worthwhile such as their new fighter helicopter or riflemen unfortunately. Pretty much a no go.

Pretty useful the other way around though, can put in a lot of damage output into the army.

Space Wolves – Distrustful

Brings to the table a great anti psyker unit in the rune priest and a solid offensive unit (Grey Hunters) a definite maybe I think and they could work well with the dark ones.

As an ally…. Not so much. Space Wolves have plenty of what Dark Eldar brings to the table already. So this one’s a no go I reckon.

Tau – Distrustful

This alliance would have been brilliant until they made target lock useless. Still a good choice though if you want the best ranged anti-tank unit in the game. Cheap troops and Cheap HQ allow you to take plenty of the anti-tank goodness your average dark eldar army misses. Just a shame about target lock.

The Conclusion

Id Rank the alliances as the following….
Excellent: Eldar

Good Choice: Grey Knights, Imperial Guard, Tau

Sitting on the fence: Chaos Daemons, Orks, Space Wolves

Only if you have the army already painted: Black Templars, Chaos, Sisters of Battle, and Space Marines

Again just my opinion you guys might love your Sisters of Battle/Dark Eldar combo etc. what works for me on the other hand may never work for you!

So… I’ve discussed the list and I’ve looked at allies. It’s about time I put my money where my mouth is and start showing you lists I’ve played with right? That’s for next blog. See you there!

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