So with a cheeky review of Elites and HQ in the bag, today I’m focusing on 2 very strong areas Fast Attack and Heavy Support. I’ve decided to separate troops from this countdown and include it in the next blog focusing on how a dark elder can use eldar allies. Let’s face it Fast attack and heavy support are a bit more exciting than troops!!
Arguably the strongest section in the book. There are 6 interesting choices here all of them I’d say useable in a dark elder army.
Swooping Hawks ++: A very strong choice here. The internet hates them; I think they are absolutely stunning against the current Meta. For 80 points you get a jump pack unit that never scatters and that has haywire grenades. They launch a small blast that’s str 4 ap 4 and ignores cover. If there are 6 models in this unit (another 16 points) make that a large blast. If you get an exarch (10 pts) it becomes BS 5. Finally they have a 3 shot str 3 weapon. Not stunning but in the large quantity of shots bound to finish off what survived the original bombing run. Very good against Tau. Very good against big necron blobs. In a dark elder army these guys are perfect. Land these guys near a tank and use the blast to take out a unit of infantry in cover. Then if the opponent chooses not to kill them or doesn’t shoot them with enough firepower, they will run off and destroy a tank. A solid choice in – frankly – any army.
Warpspiders +: Another strong choice here. Spiders shoot at 12 inches 2 strength 6 monofilament shots. Which means there shooting str 7 shots. For cheap a unit like this will come down, shoot 10 or more shots at the rear armour or side armour of a tank and likely do serious damage. With battle focus if they scatter out of range they can always run back into range then jump 2d6 out of harms way. Only a + for me because of the scatter, but definitely a very good choice, again, in any army.
Shining spears -: A good unit brining lances to the battlefield to cause threat. Flanking tanks hitting with str 6 and 8 shots and again forcing the opponent to deal with them or loose a deckchair/tank unit. I’d say they probably don’t have the same power as the above 2 units still manoeuvrable and they fit in well with dark elder.
Vypers -: Another very good choice, if you want to add more manoeuvrable bright lances into the army, these guys are a solid choice. For the same price as a raider tho possibly not the choice I would go for.
Crimson Hunter ++: this unit is our saviour. I’m very vocal with how terrible our flyers are. So why is this one better? Especially for an extra 20 pts. The answer is 2 fold. Vector dancers makes this flyer the most manoeuvrable in the game and means it’ll always be able to circumnavigate any terrain. It’s 2 lances and 2 pulse laser shots then also cause serious hurt on what it’s shooting. Its forte however is its ability to reroll pens against flyers. Dark Eldar flyers just aren’t equipped to down enemy fighters. This beast will reroll pens against them. Finally an answer to Heldrakes and annoying necron flyers. Almost a must take for me.
Hemlock Wraith Fighter xx: Well fast attack has been ruined. For an extra 20 odd points your fighter can have 2 str 4 blast weapons and force the opponent to reroll there leadership tests. It can also terrify opponents as a psychic power. It cannot hit enemy flyers tho and 2 small blast templates will not cause that much damage. It’s potentially useable with rangers, but rerolling leadership 10 (most tau necron/guard armies) won’t be too much of a problem. Even if they do say get pinned they would be shooting these things on a 6 anyway. Not for me especially in such a strong section.
Anything other than the Hemlock is a hit in my opinion, but I’ll personally be using a crimson hunter in my list. It covers a massive hole in Dark Eldars defines and attack. Don’t get me wrong the other units are also very good, the hawks and the spiders especially, I’d be tempted in a normal Eldar army to take all 3, but there role can be done by units in heavy support, which I will come to now.
Guns guns guns. But are any of these selections good enough for the army?
Dark Reapers x: these guys are expensive although they can now have rockets they really don’t fit in dark eldars manoeuvrability. Since an aegis is so prevalent, not being able to ignore cover makes there ap 3 a bit useless. Not for me
Artillery (Vauls guns or w/e) x: these guys are interesting as their cheap, barrage and tough to kill. However they are static and the night spinner (in a bit!) does a much better job. The vibro cannons are useless and the d-cannons are ok but expensive. I think there are much better options.
Night Spinner ++: Another fantastic unit and one will be gracing my army! A 48 inch range tank that’s a skimmer and is also a str 7 barrage. Great against Aegis guarded units. It’s also ok against tanks going up to strength 8. It’s brilliant against multiple wound low intuitive units, the kind of units you find in a tau army an imperial guard army for instance. No hiding from this by battlesuits either. But what I like most about this is that it covers a major weakness or dark elder. Behind an Aegis infantry squads. How does a dark elder unit kill guard for example? Well…. This!
Falcon xx: an overly expensive ravager basically. A throwback to old elder when it was almost unkillable now it dies easily enough and only pulls out 3 str 8 ap 2 shots, 2 of which aren’t lance. No good anymore let’s move on.
Fire Prism x: This is the most overrated unit in the elder codex. I don’t care if the internet likes them, they are much worse than other choices in the elder heavy support section. Their utility doesn’t make up for the fact they are no good at any role. For example its nice having a strength 9 Ap1 shot but with something like that you’re looking for a kill shot and against a av 12 tank the chance it will actually kill it is 11%. To normal bright lances get a kill at 12%. The larger blast is ok, but most units sit behind an aegis in armies like tau so the fact it’ll ignore armour doesn’t actually help. A night spinner here is better. My verdict? The tactical squad with a flamer and a missile launcher of the elder codex.
War Walkers ++: Brilliant. Can bring a lot of damage potential at the same efficiency as our own tanks. Their ability to jump in and out of range also is great against say broadsides and anything static. It forces units to come out from behind an aegis. Definitely in competition with the nightspinner for top spot here.
Wraithlords xx: too expensive too slow. Eclipsed by their larger brother well hear about in a sec
Wraithknights +: these guys are very expensive but hard to shift and incredibly distracting for the enemy. Its guns are tank killers too. The best part is that it’s manoeuvrable, this means he actually works in a dark elder army. Definitely a good choice.
So for me it’s either night spinner or war walkers and both are a good choice. Maybe the choice here will depend on your fast attack option. Extra bright lances might be needed if you want hawks. Do you want a crimson hunter? Maybe in that case you want a unit to attack large infantry units. I wouldn’t rule out the wraithknight tho. Big distracting units like that really ruffle opponent’s feathers.
Next time I’ll be talking about troops, my list and how it did at Aldershot! Stay tuned!!