The Heroic tale of Hebbish's DE
When I left the blog, I had achieved a fairly good understanding of how to use the dark eldar in 5th edition. I feel I demonstrated this by writing the report where I had placed 2nd in a tournament. I continued to place in tournaments, and after making some minor tweaks to my list, I began to consistently win tournaments. Granted, I wasn't uber good as none of these events were GT level, but I was good enough to be the terror of several stores in the Denver area. This drastically changed when the 6th edition rulebook hit the shelves. I pretty much went from winning tournaments to getting tabled in every game I played. This is not surprising, because the old dark eldar playstyle got severely nerfed. I won't go into details, as there are enough dark eldar nerd rages on the internet that have made my case. To be honest, the only reason I didn't rage quit the army was because I have this terrible habit of continuing to stand up regardless of the amount of times I get punched in the face.
It was around this point in August of 2012 when I found myself at a feast of blades qualifier. I went into the qualifier expecting to come in last when I found that the majority of the entrants had come with a bunch of high toughness daemon lists that hadn't yet incorporated the white dwarf flamer/screamer retardedness. Since dark eldar are a good matchup for these old style lists, I was able to claim best general, and qualify for the feast of blades invitational tournament.
After I won this tournament, I attempted to perform a list optimization to adapt the DE to sixth ed. Said attempt was a bit half-assed, as I spent most of my miniatures time being heretical by playing Warmachine. My half-assed optimization was able to yield the following list, which I used in the feast of blades invitational, that occured last weekend. The list format for the tournament was 2000 points, single Force Org.
4 Trueborn with Blasters
Venom with Splinter Cannon
3 Trueborn; 2 Dark Lances, Dracon with Venom Blade
2 x 10 Warriors, Blaster, Splinter Cannon
8 Hellions, Helliarch with Agoniser
6 Reaver jetbikes with 2 Heat Lances
2 Beastmasters, 5 Kymerae, 4 Razorwing flocks
Razorwing with Splinter Cannon, Flickerfields
Talos Pain Engine with Chain Flails, Heat Lance
2 Warwalkers with Scatter Lasers
Aegis Defense line with Quad Gun
Theoretical List Discussion and Practical Findings
The main strategy behind this list is to have Eldrad use his 4 divination powers to force multiply the list to generate a massive amount of "pew pew." I have him man the quad gun with a kabalite bodyguard, and the rest of the fire-base more or less deploys around him The purpose of the Baron is to get first turn, so that the "pew pew" strategy can be used to greatest effect; he then spends the game flying around with his hellions, picking on people that are smaller then him and seizing objectives. The talos and the beasts mainly tie up whatever gets too close.
I ended the tournament with 4 wins and 3 losses. Considering that I didn't get in many practice games due to my heretical warmachine playing, I would say that the list performed very well. It is very good at attritioning shooty or assault armies that approach you from the other side of the board. I found that the list struggles against drop pod style armies. I originally had not anticipated this to be a problem, as no one brought drop pods in 5th edition. However, with the nerfs to transports lots of marine players have been using drop pods to get their fire fight units into the fray. Most of these units were packing flamers, meaning that they negate the cover save offered by my fence. I think further list optimizations will have to incorporate a failsafe strategy to deal with this problem. The top 4 players played daemons, so deepstrike lists are most likely here to stay. I'm kind of at an impasse with coming up with a strategy. I thought of exchanging my fence(aegis) with a bastion to negate the flamers. I don't really think that solves much, though since they'll land their melta squad next to the bastion; If they roll a 5+ on the damage table, a lot of elves will die in a blaze of glory.
The main other thing I learned is that the list could use more jetibkes. (Eldar and DE) I think at the very least, I'll get a second squad of reavers and switch the pathfinders with eldar jetbikes. This will allow me to sieze/contest more backfield objectives in late game. Well, that's all I got for now. In the next post, I will likely write short summaries of each battle that was fought, and analyze them on single basis to see if I can further develop my strategy.