View Full Version : Starting DE - Worthwhile?

02-09-2006, 01:17
Hey yīall, I got a bit bored from painting Marines, and I think itīs (about) time to start thinking about new possibilities.

And, so, finally I decided to ask away at the more experienced people around here, to see what might come out of it.

I was thinking about DE (as anyone who read the topic knew). But the thing is, I donīt like anything, except for the plastic miniatures. And Iīm not the adventurous type in conversions. So, itīd be an army made of raiders, warriors, and jetbikes. And the odd Talos.

That somewhat limits my choices (alright - severely is more appropriate), since the only metals I considered were the Incubi and the haemonculi. Would it be viable as an army? Perhaps it could be themed around an emerging kabal, that had little or no dealings with the Wych cults (because I donīt like them, but arenīt the jetbikes from the WCīs?). So please, answer my plead and help me out! :D

Thanks a lot for your time and attention (and patience) :angel:

Light of the Emperor
02-09-2006, 04:37
The army set up that I've come to love is the DE airforce.
This force involves almost nothing but plastics and is very effective.

Archaon on bike. It gives him an important +1 T...great for hand to hand since that is where he should be. Put him in with a large reaver squad with a blaster or two.

For a second HQ choice, I go with a drachon who does ride a raider with incubi. Don't go overboard on lots of incubi or wargear. Keep it simple and you'll have a cheap yet effective close combat squad.

Wyches are your friends. Take at least one squad of them with a succubi, combat drugs, agonizer and blaster. Of course, stick them in a raider.

Warriors...these guys are the real winners. 4 squads minimum of 10. Upgrade one to a sybarite with an agonizer and then arm the rest as you wish. I'd go with a blaster, splinter cannon combo and stick them in a raider. Remember you can shoot off a raider and that you will almost always be moving so dark lances are a no go.
Or, you could have 3 squads in raiders and one squad of 20 with 2 dark lances for anti tank, anti monstrous creatures. The large size allows you to take a lot of damage.

Two squads of at least 6 reavers. Remember that one squad will be joined by an archaon so gear them towards CC. Again agonizers, combat drugs etc...

Finally your heavy support. All the raiders should have dark lances. Which leaves you with 3 ravagers. A talos is too slow to keep up. Arm 2 of the ravagers with 3 disintegrators. That's equivalent to 6 plasma cannon shots. The third ravager can be armed like this as well (since all the raiders have DLs) or you can make it a tank hunter with 3 dark lances.

Remember that crashed vehicles count as terrain so all your raiders can serve as cover. With the turbo boost rule for bikes and fast skimmers, the army will be able to cover the table in one turn. If you get shot down, you are in the enemies deployment zone anyways.

But yeah, this army is a great force that consists mostly of plastics and is a killer on the table top. Trust me, I know...unfortunately.

02-09-2006, 04:37
Thanks for the feedback :)

I don´t have a problem with metal kits, it´s the metal troops that I dislike, mostly. Like the Mandrakes, the Scourges, and the Wyches... the grotesques, too, but they´re more forgiving when it comes to converting.

I was thinking of a tooled up lord, with a hellmask incorporated into the tormentor helm, an agoniser, and a splinter pistol, plus the three haemonculi on his retinue, and the rest made up from basic Incubi.

Thing is, I don´t know the DE as an army, and it could be a dangerous gamble, basing the army on lots of core troops. But they´re the only thing I like about the current incarnation of the DE, IMO they´re head and shoulders above many other good miniatures (the inverse of the wyches, sadly).

Apart from that, I have little in the ways of tactics and such-like - I´m more of a collector than a player/tactician. Any more help? :)

Light of the Emperor
02-09-2006, 04:44
Well the haemonculi aren't part of the retinue. They are independent characters. The hellmask is a good idea. I don't know...I've been taught not to go overboard on wargear. You tend to forget half the things you give a guy and in the end, it just doesn't do much.

As for troops, the DE have some of the best in regards to points vs. stats. The large amount of troops one can take is a strength of the DE. People go overboard with all the special units and then find themselves outnumbered. A solid block of troops, in my experience, is key.

The DE are very unforgiving in terms of mistakes. It will take some time to figure out what strategies suit them best...so don't give up on them too fast!

As for models, the wyches are pretty bad. There is however a simple solution: dark elf witches. Just stick them on round bases and you're good to go. You could even mix and match plastic DE with plastic dark elves.

02-09-2006, 04:52
Thought of that (the witch elves bit), but it doesn´t really cut it for me... I think I´ll close my eyes when it comes to them, for the time being. Especially since I´ll be working with mostly what I can get (and trust me, it´s very hard to get stuff around here), but I think I found a place where I can nag a battlebox for 30 euros. I only hope they´ve got two of them lying around. Online shopping is a bit hard, too, but I think I´ll start with a small force, up to 1000 points, and then slowly (I do mean slowly) add up. But the Archon on a Reaver is a fine option indeed... But most likely I´ll be fighting Eldar (my brother´s army, and the only 40k player I know...) so it´ll be equally matched but for the variety, which is what scares me.

Did I mention he´s Ulthwé and he´s got loads of Guardians? So, two leaders - Archon and Drachon - to tear the heart out of his troops.

My other option are "Star Wars Imperial Stormtrooper" meets Tau (who doesn´t love the white armour?), and if not for the crappy quality of the white paint, it would be a strong contender for next army.

Come to think of it, I think I´m "core troop" addicted.

02-09-2006, 04:53
Drop in on the FoMV Dark Eldar gathering.

From your criteria, I'd say you could build a couple of effective armies, and that's a gathering of players that would have some first-hand experience.

I might suggest a WWP-based Haemonculus coven, but that's just my first impression.

I will also throw out my standard reply: "It depends, what do your local tables look like?"

02-09-2006, 05:23
They ain´t much of a looker. No stores around here, bub :) Try to picture two over-twenties players stranded on an island. Resources are limited, but I´ve got room for big tables and big battles. But I´ll take your suggestion and have a look at the threads, but only tomorrow - 5 in the morning is a bit too late for me. Off for now, and thanks for everything so far, guys!

02-09-2006, 08:05
Finally someone who likes the look of the basic DE troops and NOT the rules, mostly it is the other way round (as with me, I think of a Kroot army based on DE rules). Most effective DE armies concentrate and depend on wyches for close combat. But there are also other options, but not many (and all shadow lance heavy). Have a look at the following threads with the same theme as yours and the DE Tactica. (P.S.: The single DE jetbike has no wych as driver).


Dark Eldar Tactica:

02-09-2006, 08:16
My DE tio. The metal Mandrakes are bobbins, so just collect the splinter pistol and ccw arms from your plastic DE warriors, along with the helmetless head, and make loads of DE plastics with those. Paint em up in dark colours and voila, plastic mandrakes, w00t!

02-09-2006, 09:15
My chief opponent plays DE on occasion, an I have to say the troop models can look pretty sweet if they arent super spiked up. If I was to play them I'd go for a heavy troop base with some Raiders and Ravagers, I think just those models all together look pretty slick. I absolutely love the kneeling Dark Lance warrior model. My opponent uses those wyches, which are pretty nasty, but I'm with Irenicus I can't stand the figs.

I'm almost ashamed to say it, but I like the Hellion Skyboard model. Especially when theyre flying around other portions of the army like the raiders or jetbikes. The unit is kinda crappy though from what I know.

Isambard has a good point with the mandrakes, make em out of the warriors if you want them. I don't really know how effective they are, my opponent has never used them, but they seem kinda awesome.

They are absolutely a competitive army with their good and bad aspects. They can pack a rediculous amount of firpower, and their BS 4 and the fact that they can fleet around with heavy weapons unlike their Craftword bretheren is very nice. But they do have problems with Leadership tests, since they lack special rules that so many other races get. In my last battle Ld became a big problem for the DE player later in the game.

02-09-2006, 17:48
Most effective DE armies concentrate and depend on wyches for close combat. But there are also other options, but not many (and all shadow lance heavy).
Not alll.

There's the gunboat army (an army of Raiders and Ravagers, just arm the people in them to stay there), and WWP armies that rely on Talos and Incubi instead of the standard Wyches, for example.

(P.S.: The single DE jetbike has no wych as driver).
That driver is part of the jetbike sprue.

You get the Wych riders, the 2 special weapons, and the chain accessories added in in the box of 3.

just collect the splinter pistol and ccw arms from your plastic DE warriors, along with the helmetless head, and make loads of DE plastics with those. Paint em up in dark colours and voila, plastic mandrakes, w00t!
Actually, I've made a similar suggestion for Wyches - painted with bare heads, upper arms, and thighs for a lightly armored DE with the proper armament. You can even do simple conversions and have half the warriors you buy become Wyches.