Monday, 28 January 2013

Dark Eldar: The Caledonian Uprising

Dark Eldar: The Caledonian Uprising

So my first tourney of the year and what an experience it was! The northern tournament scene is very different to the southern scene. A lot of this is due to the major players and generally what they succeed with. In the north there’s always a shift towards the major list, the Meta list if you like. Whereas in the south, there is a weird aversion to this list time. When imperial guard ruled the north, space wolves ruled the south. When Grey Knights ruled the north, Necrons ruled the south.

So with this in mind I launched into my next tournament with a sense of apprehension. Thanks to Dave and Franco for letting me stay at there’s in Nottingham and on the Saturday I and Luke ventured into the eye of the storm.

The List

You’ll probably know what I’m going to say here but I’ll put up the list just in case regular readers have forgotten!


3x blaster born (2 blasters haywire grenades) in venom

3 x wychs with haywire grenades in venom

Beastmaster unit

3 Ravagers


3 Jetbikes

Warp Hunter

The tournament

The night before the tournament I had the pleasure of contributing to the 40kuk podcast (where I plugged the blog mercilessly). At this point I was asked by Josh Roberts. What do you do for anti-flyer?

This is where the north south divide came in.

Down south the ‘ignore the flyer’ tactic is a valid tactic, as flyers aren’t as popular (still see quite a few). Up north flyers are the flavour of the month and every list bar one had one. It wasn’t that these flyers caused me horrible damage each game, but their ability to contest without opposition in turn 5 really hampered the ability for my army to compete.

Round 1 - Blood Angels/Grey Knights

This ended up as a pretty sound win for me with meph charging into the beast unit and dying horribly. The opponent’s army was small but it had two storm ravens. The turn they came on they killed a couple of tanks however as I had so much anti-tank around I took one out (two ravagers with prescience) In the end the opponent had one crippled raven and 5 slightly irritated terminators and I got a 18-2 win.

Round 2 – Necrons

This ended as an annoying loss. 12-8 mind but it should have been a win for me. Why didn’t I win? A mixture of bad measuring and blood night scythes. The opponent finished the game with a necron lord 2 scythes, 2 immortals and 5 necron warriors. Issue was because of his night scythes he landed his two necron units on objectives and I was marginally out of mine. The game finished turn 5 due to time issues and id have won turn 6/7 pretty convincingly however my inability to kill the scythes was my downfall.

Round 3 – Grey knights

A 5th ed grey knight list…. Bugger.  Now I said I wasn’t as scared of grey knight’s in my last blog and that’s still true. However this was all the things I used to fear. I had to go first or it needed to be night fight. It was neither and as it was also kill points, I got routinely thrashed. Oddly enough I had almost pulled it back at one point, but one failed ld 9 test for the baron and his boys put paid to any chance I had. Down the tables I went!

Round 4 – Chaos Space Marines

My first win on the dice to choose who goes first and predictable the opponent seized the initiative. Fortunately my ability to kill vehicles wasn’t adversely affected and as such I tabled the opponent with the baron finally killing the final forge fiend. I was lucky to down the first flyer, but when the final one needed to go into hover mode, it was mauled by haywire grenades and with that the victory was secure. 20-0 to moi!

Round 5 – Necrons/Greyknights

More night scythe misery for me…. Neil Kerr (I finally got to play a scot!) was using a big paladin unit with Necron back up (2 barges 3 night scythes) and he got choice of deployment. This gave him a massive LOS blocking piece of terrain. As such he chose to go second and hid behind it with his paladins. Therefore I had no way to kill his paladins and draigo in 2 turns and as such his reinforcements all came on crippled my fleet of vehicles and landed 2 units in my deployment zone. It was a close game and Neil only won on secondary objectives (first blood and slay the warlord) But again as in game two, I lost a winnable game because I couldn’t stop those night scythes!

The verdict

I came 35th which I was pretty disappointed with. I once again had bad luck with my deployment dice rolls (that +1 really doesn’t help!). The main reason however was the inability to kill flyers. If I could cause at least threat to these things I’d have performed so much better! So it’s momentarily back to the drawing board.

I think it’s time to incorporate some form of anti-flyer along the lines of a quad gun and maybe a fire dragon exarch to shoot it. I’ll have a play around and get back to you guys next time. Also next time I’ll be talking Tyranids in my next nemesis article. Until then… TATA


  1. Nice report and interesting food for thought.

    I recently took the quad gun (and a Razorwing jetfighter) out of my list. I found the quad gun gave the enemy a place to attack where they knew some enemy would be. This restricted me from using the Dark Eldar speed to completely redeploy suddenly.

    I used to use a quad gun , razorwing & voidraven. Against most opponents I would win the air fight and the flyers would do well. However against 3 night scythes (some only 2) they would be taken out easily.

    Our best flyer for anti-air is probably the forgeworld nightwing (via Eldar allies). It exchanges the razorwing's missiles for 6 extra str 6 shots. I think it's got shroud to help the jink saves, but it's only 2 hull points.

    Fire Dragons firing the quad gun is nice, but I think it's expensive for it's extra effect compared with warriors firing the quad gun. I'd suggest swapping a ravager for a voidraven and trying out a nightwing and/or quad gun.

    However trying to make Dark Eldar too good against flyers will take too much away from the rest of your list, as the elements that are good against flyers aren't too good at much else (baring the quad gun). I'd suggest aiming to be able down a flyer or two, and accept that a balanced Dark Eldar list will not be excellent against flyers. You already have Eldrad able to make 2 units (ie. ravagers) reroll to hit, so I think you probably only need one more option, either a quad gun*, voidraven or nightwing.

    How did the Warp Hunter do ? Do you think war walkers would have helped ?


    * It's up to you whether you think they need to be manned by fire dragons, as a cheaper option is 5 warriors.

  2. the warp hunter was immense. Just use it theyre brilliant.

    The issue with the void raven is its just a bit cack really. Reduces amount of ravagers and stops the alpha strike.

    the thing with the fire dragon quad gun of doom is well that its excellent at killing not just flyers but just about everything. on average it takes 2/3 hull points off av 11. and 2 off av 12. It is reducing the venomage tho. Ill have a play around mes think!

  3. The model does look very nice, which IA book are the rules in ?

    The fire dragon firing the quad gun is very good, my concern is that it's a lot of points, and whether it will be worth it if someone just targets the quad gun. Will the expensive, small, fragile, short ranged foot unit do much if the quad gun dies. 5 warriors are not only a lot cheaper, but could run to a nearby objective (or an objective could have been placed near the quad gun) and hold it as they are troops unlike the expensive fire dragons. I suppose the larger the points value the more you can fit in the fire dragons.

    The reason I kept the voidraven is that I wanted to keep some large blasts in the list
    (I put 2 shatterfield missiles on mine) plus I spent ages converting one :) I've also found that it does distract the enemy flyers which see it's void lances as a serious threat to them. I agree with you that having 3 ravagers helps the alpha strike, it's just that I think the voidraven is some of our best anti-flyer tools we have.

    I'm looking forward to seeing what you come up with to help against flyers.

  4. Hmm youve got a point, i have a list in my heads im gunna use against dave symcox tonight.

    Warphunter is in IA 11: doom of mymera. Its so so good!

  5. Well i beat him but he had no flyers, so nothing learned lol

  6. What was dave running in his list?

  7. 3 strike squads
    2 dreadknnights