Thursday, April 14, 2011

Dark Eldar and Torrents and Skaven

More and more I've been considering Demitra's and my relative 500 point armies, and I'm fairly sure it's safe to say I'm boned. I have one asset in my army, and that is mobility. 54 bodies with a 5+ Invulnerable save against my shooting (my only hope against his sheer volume of bodies). This leaves my main weapon, a squad capable of pumping out 21 shots on the move, wasted. The fact that all it takes is a single model within 6" of the Big Mek's Kustom Force Field (and both mobs easily will be) to gain this save is the biggest issue.

I've considered strategies, the biggest of which is avoidance and thinning the herd followed by the glorious charge, and there's one big problem with that. The "Green Tide" army has the answer to the Dark Eldar's one biggest weak point; torrenting attacks in assault.

If you don't know what "torrenting" attacks is, it's the concept of attacking so many times that the target must eventually fail its save. With a whopping Toughness of 3, Dark Eldar have very little chance of standing up to the massive volume of attacks the Orks will crank out. Then there's the shooting. Lots of Strength 4, 5, &8 shots will likely stun-lock my transports (which at 500 points cannot afford Flickerfields) if not simply downing them and leaving my warriors stranded.

So what, then, are my options? The most likely one is dropping the Incubi. They're a pretty big point-sink which, while very good at what they do, will likely fail at their mission. On the charge (and with a Raider and the Fleet Special rule they'll probably charge) they'll kill, on average, 5 Orks. Sure, this does mean the Orks will have to wipe out the unit to win, but through sheer volume of attacks they shouldn't have too much problem. After the assault any remaining Incubi lucky enough to have survived the Ork counter-offensive will likely only down a fraction of an Ork apiece.

Wyches are also a liability. They're great at tarpitting enemy units, but Ork Boyz are even better. The Wyches also have the liability of not being Incubi. Incubi are Strength 4, which allows them to wound Orks on a 4+, Wyches need a 5+ to wound. Again, Wyches are vulnerable to being torrented off the board, and with their low Toughness and worse save, will be handily dispatched.

This is not to say I won't try to defeat this army. I will. I just know that I'll be going into every game at this (and maybe the next) point level fighting an uphill battle. The Ork army simply has to saunter up to objectives and squat on them.

What, then, is my answer?
Well, I can't stand tailoring my army to deal with my opponent's, so that's out. I mean, sure, I could re-write my army to include no incubi and nothing but Raider-mounted Kabalite Warrior squads. That would address the bodies issue in a hurry. Against other armies, however, (and I do build my armies to take on all comers) all those Poisoned 4+ shots would kind of fail to do much damage.

I actually think my army fails to realize its true potential until the 2,000 point level right now. I think it's the Incubi's fault.
Clocking in at a hefty cost per model, they are consumate killing machines. They offer a ton of average (let's face it- Strength 4 is average in 40k) strength attacks, and with Feel No Pain granted by the Haemonculus who starts the game with them, are very, very good at offing elite units. This makes them an elite unit good at taking out elite units, which sort of ends up as a wash in my book. Well, I have other answers for elite units- Dark Lances. Lots of Dark Lances.

I am, however, at a loss as to one major aspect of my Incubi- They're the reason I started Dark Eldar in the first place. I'll have spent nearly $100 on miniatures which will do nothing other than collect dust if I switch them out of my army. They're just so damn cool.

The only real options left open to me are either sucking it up and taking it on the chin (kinda like my Deathwing, who are now in permanent mothballs after 4 consecutive complete massacres) or re-structuring my purchasing / army composition system. This only really works if Wracks and Venoms are included in the next wave, and then only if the next wave comes in the next couple of months. It's looking sort of grim for my ol' Dark Eldar, eh?

In other news, my Skaven have been challenged to a showdown with the new Orc army list, a gauntlet that once thrown cannot be ignored. I've been hearing a lot about the new Orc list on my podcasts, and I must say I'm not too intimidated. This may be folly on my part, but they still suffer from Animosity, they're still on big (25mm) bases, and they're still fewer in number than my Skaven (thank you 2 point slaves). As long as we don't roll up the stupid "Watchtower" scenario again, I'll be just fine. Now all I need to do is pick an army list.

I really want to go with a Screaming Bell, but with the Grey Seer on top, that's an awful lot of points in one place...

I may just suck it up and go with this list. It's one that I've theory-hammered pretty long and hard, and it has several models I've never used before. In the end, however, it's down to what models I have room for in my car, as the core of my army already takes up three figure cases!

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