Tuesday, September 30, 2014

The New Dark Eldar Codex -- First Impressions

Posted by Ranillon on 15. November 2010 18:08

I got my hands on my copy of the new codex the other day and I have to say that my first impression is generally positive.  The rules are interesting and at first glance suggest a number of possibilities for army tactics and builds. 

• "Powered by Pain" is a Real Game Changer -- In the past Dark Eldar came off as less effective regular Eldar, but with this new ability a DE player is really encouraged to get stuck in as soon as possible.  Each time you destroy a non-vehicle enemy unit you gain a new ability for the unit in question, the first one being "Feel No Pain!"  That makes the unit almost twice as durable right there!  Given how fragile Dark Eldar (more so than regular Eldar, IMHO) this is a wonderful ability.

• There are Plenty of Interesting New Units -- There are a bunch of new units and independent characters, enough to provide a lot of variety to anyone wanting a more unique sort of force.  There is the Venom, a new transport (which looks like just a converted Vyper), a bunch of new infantry (Wracks, Bloodbrides, and the Court of the Archon), and two flying units as well!   My one big complaint about these new units is that there are few if any pictures of many of them so that makes during your own conversions almost impossible -- unless, of course, you are just going to do your own design and call it an "Ur-Ghul" or whatever.

• Dark Eldar are Fast, Fast, and Fast! -- Almost everything in the army can hitch a ride on a dedicated transport or has the equivalent of a jump pack.  Add in bringing along a Webway Portal and these bad natured pointy ears can get into close-combat as fast as any force out there.  Meeting the enemy mano-a-mano is reasonably possible on the first turn and pretty much guaranteed by turn two.  The new Dark Eldar are an army that you cannot count on being able to whittle down over two or three turns before hand-to-hand.

• Okay, the Models Are Better than I Thought -- Yes, I still am a bit disappointed that GW decided to keep with the whole "fetish" look for Dark Eldar, but with that said I have to admit that the models are nevertheless quite well done.  There is a stupendous amount of detail while many of the different kits have been designed to make it easy for you to mix and match parts between them. 

• There are Multiple Basic Army Builds -- By default DE only come with two Troops choices, namely Kabalite Warriors and Wyches.  However, if you take the right special characters you can likewise take either Hellions or Wracks as Troops as well.  The first option is a good, if a bit expensive, basis for a fast, all mounted force -- add in some Reavers and flying vehicles and you have an army whose speed is second to none.  The other choice of Wracks gives you a tougher force that comes with "Feel No Pain" by default.  You'd still want to mount them in a Raider regardless as they'd be way too slow otherwise.

• Lots of Nice Toys to Play With:  Dark Eldar come with a wide arrangement of wargear and weapons, far more than before.  They also fill different roles and allow you to have units with real anti-armor ability.  The "Arcane Wargear" seem especially flavorful to me.   There is no unit that doesn't come with a bunch of possible options.

• Can't Any Dark Eldar do Push Ups?  We all know that Eldar (and elves) pretty much all go around with meager threes for Toughness.  What surprised me was to see that almost no DE have greater than a three for strength.  Unless they are "manufactured" units like Wracks it's threes everywhere you look.  Not even the Incubi, the elite of the army, have any better than a three (although their swords give them a +1 strength).  Heck, not even an Archon has better.  Sheesh, can't any of them buy a set of barbells and get working?

More material as it occurs to me.  Still, overall I have to admit that this new codex interests me more than I had thought it would.