Sir#67 here with the second half of the Dark Eldar in 6th series.
If you missed the first article: Things in 6th Dark Eldar Don’t Care About it can be found here: http://apostatesanonymous.blogspot.co.uk/2012/10/6th-edition-changes-that-dark-eldar.html
This time round I’ll be talking about the things in 6th edition that Dark Eldar do care about.
The biggest one for me here is not hull points as you might expect, our vehicles always went down to a couple of decent shots anyway. The biggest change for me is explosion damage. Previously occupants would only take a S3 hit when an open topped vehicle exploded, now its strength 4. This means a lot more casualties when one of our transport vehicles inevitably explodes. When the dust settles expect half your unit to be off the table.
Now we can talk about hull points. In 5th I used to bemoan by Dark Lances. They always seemed to get the pen rolls but never did anything of note. Now through the hull points system every pen roll counts for something. The manoeuvrability of the ravenger also makes it fairly easy to deny cover saves.
Shaken and Stunned results have changed things a little bit. A few months ago if my venom full of trueborn was shaken/stunned I’d hop the guys out into some terrain and keep shooting away. Now of course your left with the choice of hunker down in the vehicle or get out and hunker down somewhere else. I’d still be tempted to get out and hide to avoid the explosion damage.
The changes to disembark have cut down on our threat range. Only being able to move 6” then disembark completely within 6” leaves our squad 2-3” further back than where they would have been in 5th. This may not seem like much but in a tight game between 2 good players 2” is an eternity. It could be argued that the changes to assault and fleet have minimised this change but assault distance is random and therefore can’t be counted on.
Webways took quite a hard hit with the nerf bat. In case anyone has missed it: you can no longer assault out of a webway portal. Whereas I understand that this change brings the portal into line with the reserves rules I think its overkill. For the record I think that the no assaulting out of reserves rules in general were a bit much. I think this has killed off the Web Way style of army. The only use I can think for it now is a Reaver/Scourge delivery mechanism. If anyone has had any success with a webway build let me know.
The Random assault distance has changed things up a bit but not as much as I thought it would. I find myself being a little more cautious with my assault ranges and even going so far as to charge through cover to get extra dice to re-roll with fleet. Snap fire has only added to this. I tend to position my units so that at least 3 models are within average assault range to allow for losses.
One of the stranger things to come out of 6th edition is the rise of whyches as an amazing anti-tank unit. 10 of these girls with haywire grenades will take down any tank in the game bar now when they assault it. It’s even possible to take down 2 tanks with a multi-charge if you have a decently sized squad. Don’t forget to throw a grenade on the way in!
The changes to the shooting rules have altered how a couple of units behave. The 10man warrior unit in a raider with splinter racks was never one of my favourite units in 5th but being able to move and still shoot splinter rifles 24” opens up quite a few options. The downside of this is that everyone else can move 6” and shoot 24” to. Given that raiders and venoms are only armour 10 I find that a lot of savvy marine players are moving the non-heavy weapon carrying models in their tac sqauads into range to try to get a few glancing hits on top of what their heavy weapon can do.
The changes to wound allocation have had a profound effect on one unit: The Beast Pack. In 5th a Baron led beast pack was quite a common unit in a lot of Dark Elder armies for good reason. The unit could absorb quite a bit of punishment and hit fairly hard. In 6th your opponent gets to allocate when wounds of different strengths are allocated. This means it’s no longer possible to take low strength hits on razorwings and high strength hits on kymeare. I think you need to either invest in a large pack to make it across the board now or you tank all the wounds on the Baron if he’s with the unit.
Night Fight is now fantastic for Dark Eldar. If night fight is in play and you’ve got first turn you can use pre measure to hang at the edge of your ranges and enjoy a good cover save for the opponents shooting phase. If you’re lucky it’s almost like having an additional shooting phase.
Allies are something that you need to take into account now. They really have changed the game. Cleaver use of allies can cover up the weakness in an opponent’s army and exploiting those weakness is how we used to win games. To put this in perspective in 5th when I played Geek’s Tau we both knew that at its’ core the game would come down to how much damage Geek can do before I get into assault and beat face. Now the situation is pretty similar but I have to chew my way through 40 Orks before I get to the Tau.
The changes to Feel no Pain have effected Dark Eldar a lot more than the other races. In the past FNP was a buffer against small arms fire, now it’s only a 5+ save so not as nearly as effective and the ability to take saves against non-instant death ap2 shooting that marine players love doesn’t matter to us because these weapons are inevitably St6 and above.
For my last segment I was going to talk about cover saves only being a 5+ in area terrain now but to be honest I haven’t found it that much of a difference yet. It could just be my meta but a lot of terrain on the boards I play on regularly are ruins so give a 5+ cover save anyway. The only real impact I’ve found is vehicle craters now only give a 5+ save. This is a bit of a bummer but you can sill go to ground for a 3+ cover save the same as before.
I hope that’s been interesting reading. I’d love to hear comments from other Dark Eldar generals with regards to what changes they’re making to their armies to adapt to 6th.
Until next time