View Full Version : Dark Eldar Tactics?

12-12-2006, 02:25
I've been into BFG for a few months now, and I've pretty much studied the rules pretty well. But, I can never really get a handle on my Dark eldar fleet.

honestly, I chose them out of convinence. From my old 40k dark eldar force I some unassembled bikes and bits, so I made my fleet.

my opponents are a Craftworld eldar, Chaos, and an Ork player.

my fleet for 1000 is:

Torture class cruiser-launchbays and dread archon
Torture class cruiser-phantom lance
corsiars A- 2 weapon batteries and 2 lances
corsairs B- 4 torpedoes


Zhai Morenn
13-12-2006, 05:07
Well the DE tend to be tougher to get a handle on b/c they req tactics fairly different than other Eldar but they arent like the younger races either. Personally when I use my Dark Eldar fleet, I always try to incorporate some impaler ships with at least 1 LB Torture. Really your list looks good, though I would recommend getting some impaler escorts and perhaps another LB torture.

I personally tend towards risk taking with DE: Most ships have mimics and whether you do really well in the battle will be determined in Turn 1 or 2. Basically you use Mimics on Ordnance-heavy ships to cross the table and strike most foes in Turn 1. Without AAF a mimic escort can reach out and hit a ship with its ordnance from 110 cm away in turn 1 and a cruiser 100cm. Personally since these ships are ordnance heavy I AAF them to get better distance so by the end of turn 1 my enemy has torp impacts, Impalers critting their ships and Slavebringers taking weapon systems offline. After that its exploiting the weak points you have opened in their ranks. This is risky b/c you have fewer ships on the board, but it gets you right next to the enemy faster.

You could always go more conventionally with a normal loadout but I tend to like Impaler escorts operating in tandem with LB Tortures since you can feel free to AAF and overshoot your enemy. Granted you cant bring batteries to bear, but that many H&R attacks is tough for most ships to deal with. (Incapacitating the majority of an enemy battleship's weps is fun) Use those to incapacitate one or two targets and then let your torp ships hit them (or better yet, ships with still-operational weapons) with leeches. An IN cruiser with a leech crit and a blast marker in base contact cant turn remember. And finally you can use your gun and phantom escorts to pick apart the stragglers, or strike an unexpected area of the enemy formation that is vulnerable. Also dont forget you can use slave taking to beef up your VPs over the course of a few turns if your enemy isnt in a position to fire back.

Personally I see playing any Eldar fleet as very Sun Tzu (more so than the other races) since mobility properly applied can easily win a battle, so flow around and past your foes, from their guns, all the while striking his weak points.

14-12-2006, 11:10
uhm... what does AAF stand for?

Zhai Morenn
14-12-2006, 12:30
The special order All Ahead Full. Unlike the Corsair and Craftworld Eldar, the Dark Eldar may make use of all special orders that conventional fleets use.

14-12-2006, 13:03
To slightly contradict Zhai's tactics (which are viable, I just ain't so keen on 'em), I highlight the following points:

- Mimic Engines win you the battle on turn one, or leave you a fair few ships short the rest of the game...
- Launch Bay Cruisers are immense, but expensive. The only other cruiser I use is the Phantom Lance equipped one
- Optimise your Escort Squadrons.

The first is self explanatory. Mimic Engines can win you the game, but if they don't on the first (or by manouvering the second) turn then you're playing having invested points in something now utterly useless.

Cruiser Options. Torps on a Cruiser just ain't worth it IMO. LB is most efficient, but Lances also work reasonably well as a heavy support ship.

Escort options really fall into two categories:

Direct Fire

Don't mix 'em.

Why? You'll waste Special Order opportunities. Keeping a squadron 'all ordnance' (ie Torps, Impalers) means you'll likely always be reloading or manouvering. With 'all direct' you have opportunity to do what you like without loss of Lock On (with any ord in a Squadron you'd need to Reload Ordnance[RO] to get your weapon reloaded).

Other than that my strongest advice is:

- Don't split your fleet into 'roughly equal pincers'. It never works (in my experience)
- Make 'Alpha Strikes' where your whole fleet moves from 'safely out of main weapons range' to 'if they fire at us it'll hurt' in one turn, hopefully whilst on Lock On, and open up all weapons into their most dangerous vessels/squadrons. This means that you can stand a chance at surviving the return fire.

That is, essentially, the last of what Zhai said: use your awesome (ignoriong other Eldar) mobility to keep on top of things.


14-12-2006, 13:40
so... should I increase my number of impalers? would 4 be too much, or more like an even split for my ordinance squad(2X2)?

Zhai Morenn
16-12-2006, 09:58
Well first I agree with Xisor, its much more effecient to separate gun and ord squads, and my tacs are definitely risky alpha strike, win the battle quickly oriented. But as to impalers...

I personally love them, its a free shot at the full critical hits table, only problem is if you roll a 1 you now have a 2 wb escort. I have had good results of mixing them with torpedo boats, while your AC squadron you launch that turn will be smaller than an all impaler escort group, you force the enemy to choose whether he wants to face eldar/leech torps or impalers. I personally say that in a large fleet 3-4 impaler armed escorts is enough, unless you're the crit crazy sort in which case knock yourself out. Remember to field torp escorts with them to force enemies to choose what they want to hurt from. (not that its likely they will intercept either)
Admittidly in 500 pt games my fav loadout is a LB Torture and 3x Impaler Corsairs, all with mimics, or 5 corsairs and the cruiser none with mimics.

Im a fan of Dark Eldar cruisers and once again Im in agreement with Xisor- LB config first then Phantom second. In truth the phantom configuration is imo one of the most effective Eldar ships (of any eldar faction) for fighting Necrons. As to the LB config, the assault boats are just brilliant- they normally always succeed against most enemies and thats really useful in the longer drawn out games and the rest of the DE AC are wonderful as well.

One tactic Ive always been a fan of with Eldar ships is to spread my fleet out at relatively random intervals, but within reach of one another and when you pick a target to kill, all the ships close and concentrate fire on one or two targets then either run and setup another pass or brace and then setup for another pass. If you do it right your enemy won't be able to anticipate your attacks and thus wont be able to defend effeciently.

Also a small aside: Xisor, it does me good to finally have another player who uses a DE fleet to compare tacs with =)

20-12-2006, 15:37


I suggest getting more impalers. I'm afraid carriers are the best ships to take, they're naaaasty. I agree with not mixing squads, it's a silly idea and I'm not a fan of impaler/torpedo mixing as well. Make large squads that can take damage and still be effective.

I also don't bother with mimic engines. you can buy another ship for what you save.

Zhai Morenn
21-12-2006, 07:35
Woops! Sorry A.A.! Didn't mean to leave ya out there. Its been so long since anyone talked about DE before this particular thread I had forgotten. It wont do for the few DE Archons out there to forget one another.