Monday, 23 September 2013

Dark Eldar: Desperate Allies: Choices!

So as the veritable storm of new Codex’s appear to have ground to a halt for now and the next one rumoured to be tyranids, it seems like a good time as any to revisit Allies. Allies, initially controversial, now are an excepted part of the game. It allows a better variety of armies and isn’t the overpowered game breaking mechanic many people thought it was.

Dark Eldar can ally with A LOT of armies. Unfortunately these are mainly desperate allies except of course Eldar. However considering how popular this duo is, I’ll leave the rest of the internet to tell you can get fortune on a beast pack and the baron and that gives him a 2+ reroll able invulnerable save. The more interesting choices are the desperate allies. Are these useable? If so which ones? Well let’s have a look shall we?

What do you need in a desperate ally?

Desperate allies aren’t useless; they just need to be used correctly. These are the following conditions for me to use desperate allies for my dark elder in games of 40k.

1) Troops who cause damage – Troops can’t hold. Therefore they need to do a lot of damage to work or be very cheap (were talking 30 points or less!)
2) Be able to avoid my army – I Don’t want to lose a unit to infighting, therefore my allies would need to be able to stay out of 6’ of the enemy
3) Synergy – Tough one here, multiple targets to confuse target priority is a must!

Firstly although Dark Eldar can ally with, Grey Knights, Imperial Guard, Space Wolves, Sisters and Orks as these don’t have shiny new codex’s and as such they’re pretty much as they were in terms of allies, so I’ll concentrate on the new codex’s instead

Space Marines/Black Templars

Ah the shiny new book. So can these guys work?

1) Troops who cause damage: SM Bikes with a captain and Gravguns here potentially. Also if an army is Salamanders, Scouts with a flamer on a landspeeder Storm also seems like a good and annoying selection. Tactical marines whether in a drop pod or a rhino are still a bit poo in killing the current Meta. But 2 in 3 aren’t bad!
2) Be able to avoid my army – As scout occurs after deployment any unit with it could easily get out of range of my army and get into the position to threaten the enemy turn 1 without causing any infighting
3) Synergy – Potential here. Scouting troop bikers or Drop podding turn 1 can create the same sort of target confusing I like. Meltas/ Flamers/Gravguns could really cause some hurt here while keeping the distance from my own venom spam. Potentially used in place of a beast pack I could see this working

So promising here. Plenty of synergy but would the drop podding/scouting army do some serious damage/ Enough to get the enemy army quaking as much as the beast back does? I’m not sure.


The evil ones, how would these guys work?

1) Troops who cause damage – erm the troops choice for CSM are poor really. Cultists would be the only option and their essentially all tax.
2) Be Able to avoid my army – With a deployment zone crammed full of my own vehicles it’ll be hard to put the good CSM units down.
3) Synergy – Well having a heldrake and obliterators doesn’t help as Heldrakes don’t start on the board and Obliterators aren’t actually mobile. A lord on bikes would be ok but just aren’t great in terms of damage output and would become an instant target. I don’t want that, I want a spread of potential targets.

No Deal with these guys!


An Interesting option

1) Troops that cause damage – Well they all do really. Daemonettes or horrors here cause supply cheap damage dealing and getting in the opponents face.
2) Be able to avoid my army – Deep striking/ Speed should mean this isn’t a problem, only turn 1 would be an issue
3) Synergy – Bringing cheap dangerous units to the table would actually be pretty good. I’m thinking chariots and Slaaneshy speed units to cause a lot of threat turn 1

I like the idea of Dark Eldar using daemons and I think this could be an interesting option. Adding volume of bodies might scare a lot of people into shooting daemons rather than venoms.

Dark Angels

Do these guys have anything that space marines don’t?

1) Troops that cause damage - Same advantages as marines if using ravenwing no Grav Guns but can replace this with melta goodness. No drop pod fun with these guys though it just isn’t as useful.
2) Be Able to Avoid My army – a lot of manoeuvrability. Question is can I deploy any of the non-scouting units turn 1?
3) Synergy – again speed is a factor here. The problem with ravenwing is they are better in larger numbers. As such potentially don’t do the damage my army requires.

Although these guys have potential, the new SM codex probably does more for me.


The darlings of 6th Ed. What can the firepower of Tau do for me?
1) Troops that do damage – ah well at least kroot outflank and are cheap…. Only option here would be to go for either a lot of kroot for infiltrating/ scouting threat or take farsight enclave and use crisis suits. Crisis suits would have a lot of potential to do damage especially with a commander.
2) Be able to avoid my army – riptides and crisis suits can move into 6 then jump out of 6. Kroot can infiltrate out of range. I don’t think this would be an issue.
3) Synergy: Multiple missiles would certainly help flay down light vehicles and move away on the reliance on the ravagers which would help. Only issue is cost. The crisis units/ Broadsides/Riptides would need to be cheap to allow for greater targets for the enemy.

I like these guys aswell! Oh dear kinda spoilt for choice.


A lot of options particularly amongst the 3 newest codex’s. Sorry Chaos and Dark Angels you guys just aint gunna cut it!

I’ll revisit this in a month and come up with some new and different lists and compare them to what I use now. Next time I’ll be reporting on the GT Heat and Woking Weird Boyz.

Until then! Peace out!



  1. Never really considered Desperate Allies, but White Scars and Tau are interesting.

    Do you think they could also be used to improve the Dark Eldar's weakness against flyers ? A Stalker and a Quad gun, won't kill many flyers but will probably be enough of a threat for the enemy to divert firepower to getting rid of them. Adding Stormtalon along with a Voidraven could really help against flyers (but it does mean less points starting on the board).

    Tau could also give good anti-air without relying on flyers, plus if you use the Farsight Enclaves you could use crisis suits as troops so the allied troops do more damage.


  2. I've recently completed a experiment in trying to use Chaos vehicles with Dirge Casters to get some of the CC units from the DE locked in combat. It was a bit more micromanagement to keep the units apart, but with the 6" range on the Dirge Casters, it was often not worth the extra hassel.

    I may still fall back to a Slaanesh demon army, since they have a psychic power that can negate overwatch. My initial thought was some cheap nurgling units that could also draw some overwatch fire if I didn't get the requisite power.

  3. If i was gunna try and go anti flyer it would be with a tau contingent because there inherently anti flyer

  4. I have been dabbling with using daemons (my other army) as allies. So far I have found the following detachment to be quite strong.

    Daemon prince, MoN, 2x greater rewards,mastery level 1 - 265
    6 Nurgling bases - 90
    Total: 355pts

    Why nurglings? They are multi wound, can infiltrate and have a 2+ cover save in most terrain. This means they need to eat a lot of S6+ shots to be cleared out quickly or become a serious annoyance. That's the same "class" of weapon that is best suited to taking out our transports and beast. I find this gives us a nice bit of extra target saturation.

    The daemon prince is cheap, doesn't rely on psychic powers for survivability or grimoire due to good positioning with shrouded meaning he should be rocking a 2+ cover save most of the time (don't forget stealth from within 8" thanks to defensive grenades). The wings give him great mobility and make him draw even more fire, the plague primaries (AP3 poison 4+ template) combined with vector strike turn him into a mini helldrake with more flexibility. Finally the two rewards can boost his survivability and also give him access to the balesword poison 4+ instant death (re-rolling to wound against anything with T6 or less), which is pure gold with all the wraith knights and riptides running around.

    So far so good.