So for the first time since the start of the rollercoaster ride we call 6th edition we have something that allows for a realistic choice in allies. The Eldar dex got me very excited…. A new way to play? Maybe! Certainly a few options really makes me wanna do a mushkilla style reserve army with jet bikes and so on. New options really make this ally much better than before. Below I’ll take a look at the units in the codex and have a go at rating them in the context of an ally. I’ll use the xx/x/-/+/++ scale when rating each unit. Unfortunately with the sheer size of the book this will have to be in 2 instalments but I’ll try and get the second instalment out early for everyone!
In the previous edition this section used to be an automatic choice for me. Eldrad. 210 points that could and would often win me a game. His vast selection of psychic powers was really unrivalled. But a new codex has shown up many new options for the leader of our allies. So let’s have a look.
Eldrad Ulthuan +
Jury is out for me on Eldrad now. He’s lost his ability to cast each spell twice but he gets an additional warp charge on a 5or 6 every time he casts a spell. He no longer ignores all armour with his sword just av 3 but now it’s also a force weapon. He now has fleet which means he combines with the beasts better. Overall I think he’s still very good, however with the increase in power of the normal farseer, this guys price tag is really high at 205 pts just for an extra spell and some ass kicking combat ability over a normal seer. Is that 100points more worth it? I don’t know. Still a solid selection.
Prince Yriel xx
Poor Yriel. An on foot T3 model with a 3+ save begs to be instant killed, especially when he’s reroll av saves of 6 in combat. He’s cheap but there’s just no-where for him to go really other than a beast/grotesque unit or an eldar infantry unit. A normal Autarch is much better for the points and can be made manoeuvrable. I really don’t see any reason to take this poor fellow.
Illic Nightspear xx
140 points is too much for this sniper and doesn’t really fit in with the army. He’s very good at doing wounds on monstrous creatures but frankly that’s about it, something we can do well anyway.
By taking Asurman as an ally you lose his best feature (his extra warlord rolls) He’s pretty nifty in combat with 4 strength 5 attacks and he gives the unit he’s with counter attack and fearless. Useful for both grotesques and a beast master unit. At 220 points though he’s probably too expensive to be useful for dark eldar.
Jain Zar +
I initially Dismissed Jain Zar. She brings probably the best combat punch of all the Phoenix Lords (6 str 4 ap 2 attacks and reroll to wound) She also brings fearless but is 200 points and has no tank punching ability. At 200 points that might not be worth it. But her compatibility with the beast master unit here is outstanding. Each time Jain zar charges a unit, it goes down 5 ws and 5 initiative. So for most unit that are charged, this means they’ll be initiative 1 and ws 1. Not only does this mean that the beasts would be hitting on a 3, the opponents will be hitting on a 5+. Definitely a great choice here, unless you don’t use beats in which case don’t bother! (I doubt a grotesque unit will charge as often!)
He’s a brute as much as Jain zar is a brute (perhaps even more so). He has infiltrate and the debate rages on whether he can give this to a unit. He gives stealth which is ok (baron already does that). But he’s very pricey potentially good with scorpions but I’m not convinced. 230 points is a hefty amount and perhaps in an army like dark eldar his benefits don’t really outweigh the cost.
This guy is pretty cheeky being pretty good in close combat and having his 2 shot fire pike to hand. If I were to use him I’d stick him in a unit and then split him off near the enemy to kill a tank, tank out a unit on his own. Don’t sit Fuegan back, send him forth. Probably best in an advancing unit. I quite like him tbh!
Too expensive at 195 points. Were as the other phoenix Lords are brutal in combat or provide a unique special rule baharroth doesn’t really give anything a normal swooping hawk unit doesn’t. He does give hit and run to any hit he wants. But that isn’t something worth 195 points really.
Maugan Ra +
This guy is probably the first useful special character (maybe Eldrad as well?) for the Muskilla reserve army. This guy can still in a unit of troops making them fearless and he pumps out plenty of str 6 rending shots. His str 6 ap3 combat attacks also useful when confronted by any deep striking units fancying a bit of action near the dark eldar lines. He’s also a bit of an assassin with marksmen’s eye, pretty good when his gun is 36 inch range as well. Again perhaps a bit pricey at 195 points, but a useful choice.
The Avatar of Khaine xx
This is a bit outdated now but really doesn’t go with Dark Eldar. Its slow its gun is short range (you can give it night vision which is silly since night vision doesn’t give it any bonus….) It’ll probably be killed very quickly and as such is pretty useless for us! (Although it would look menacing!!!)
Essentially the reason for taking an autarch would be the adding to reserves. Now for the reserve jet bike army, this guy is just brilliant. For me he’s best used as a solitaire boosting forward with the bikes with an aim to take out small holding units. He’d be hard to kill as well with his rerollable 2+ cover save a useful option!
A 100 point level 3 psyker that can make 2 units reroll to hit. Yes please! Access to fortune for any unit would make the beast unit hard as nails. Shooting a doomed unit with venoms? Plenty of useful combinations and at only 100pts, whose gunna argue? Well… the next guy!
Spirit Seer ++
70 points for an lvl 2 wizard that has access to the runes of battle. And a guaranteed shrouded power. So with this and the baron you have stealth and shrouded for any unit you want… Brilliant! With plenty of boosting powers as well but also aggressive maledictions another brilliant choice! Oh god I really don’t know which to choose!
Warlock Council xx
Can’t take this only works in primary detachments!
The special characters are nice. But the stars of the HQ options are the normal choices. Farseers, Autarchs and Spirit seers will be incredible useful and adds an edge to a dark eldar list that it currently lacks!
My Choice: Farseer/Spirit Seer – Not chosen this yet both have their advantages. I think the spirit seer is edging it for me to give the beasts shrouded. But a farseer's destructive potential might also drag me towards it! In a reserve list I’d definitely take an autarch, but in my math hammer damage output list, I’m going for one of the psykers.
Howling Banshees xx
Not much to say here. These guys have no grenades, can’t charge out of a transport and frankly are just cack. Leave these at games workshop!
Striking Scorpions –
An interesting unit, stealth making them deploy on a second turn charge, a small unit deploying in the opponents deployment zone might be useful. To draw them away from the dark eldar lines. I just think that there are better places to spend the points.
Fire Dragons x
These poor fellows got more expensive and as such although there a guaranteed vehicle kill, but needs a transport and they are expensive. Not a fan, stick with the lances and haywire grenades!
Better than before but still too costly, if they could go into a venom I’d consider taking them, but their far too vulnerable to shooting when they jump out of a serpent. When they update our book, these guys will be pretty good! At the moment? Maybe not.
Pretty useless as elites, too expensive, but as a troops unit their pretty useful. Pretty difficult to shift, and with a shadow seer can be even more so, they do some decent damage as well. Definitely a choice to consider. Maybe not right for Dark Eldar tho.
Some weak choices here. These units all need a transport to work and those are expensive as well as the choices themselves.
My Choice: Striking Scorpions. Only unit that doesn’t need a transport to be useful and at 85pts could be pretty useful. Although I’d probably not use anything!
Heavy Support, Troops, Fast Attack and dedicated transport. Plenty more of the book to go and plenty of choices to look at! Check it out next time!