Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Dark Eldar - Garage Wars

So this weekend I am heading to a local group to throw down with the Dark Eldar all day Saturday. The wife is in the midst of finals, so it's a good time for me to get out of the house.

Now then, let's talk about what I am taking. I am not pointing this up directly until I closer to the event, so it's going to be a few points off here and there. I want to mention the units, and what I want them to do/expect and play a few games this weekend. After all, all plans come to an end when they meet the enemey... or something like that.

The Marquis of Fall
Archon - Huskblade, Shadowfield, Phantasm Grenade Launchers, Soul Trap.
This fellow is my headhunter. While he won't be useful all the time, I have never run a beatstick character, and it fits the army I think. He can potentially be devestating in some games, and will be crap in others. I've done a head swap and a few other things on the model. I have some background about him in my mind, but this isn't the place for it quite yet.

Incubi of the Temple of the Black Son
8x Incubi, Raider w Aethersails and Torment Grenade Launchers
This is the Archon's ride. I've only use these fellows one game, and they were in reserve until round 4. Still, the threat of them was enough to keep my opponent from crossing within 24 inches of my board edge. I hope for them to be better next game. I'm considering breaking the squad up to two 5 man squads in Venoms... but then where will the Marquis go?

Kabalite Warriors of The Fall
(2)Kabalite Warriors x10, Blaster, Splinter Cannon. Raider w/Aethersails, Torment Grenade Launcher.
I am still playing with the weapon load outs. Now that I realize that the blast pistol is only 6 inch range, spending 30 pts to upgrade a sergeant upgrade to have it and a venom blade for both squads hurts me. I will be trying them without them this time. The aethersails have to do with getting somewhere when I want them to be.

Wytches of the Cult of the Broken Heart
(2) Wytch Squads x10, Heckarix, Agonizer, Blast Pistol, 2x Wytch Weapons, Raider, Aethersails, Torment Grenade Launcher, Shock Prow, Haywire Grenades
I've loved these girls in both games I've played them. I want to keep playtesting them and see how I like them. I know some people don't like the haywire grenades, but here is how I have seen it play out. A vehicles comes near me, even if it moved 12+, the ladies jump it and WILL generate a glancing hit, and have a decent chance of immobilizing or stunning it. If that happens next time, they will blow it up. Also, if they hit a vehicle in hth, and it hasn't moved, due to the way that haywire grenades generate results, it's fairly hard for them the PEN "6" and blow themselves up. Most likely they will wreck it or cause so many weapon destroyed immobilzied that it will just fall apart.

Scourages of the Black Dawn
(2) Scouragesx5 with 2x Haywire Grenade Launchers in it.
They shut down vehicle shooting, it's as simple as that. With 1-2 glances a turn they should prevent vehicles from shooting long enough for me to get the knife work done. They also are fairly cheap at 130 pts for the entire squad.

Ravagers of The Fall
3x Ravagers with 3x Darklance each, Flickerfield, Nightshield.
These need no explanation.

Actually I think all my vehicles have Nightshields, not just the Ravagers. I will point it up.
I think the list does well against any other HTH army, or short range army. If it is a long range army, then I have to close asap and try and get into hth. If they beat me in shooting and in HTH, then I don't know what to tell you.

Things to consider?
1. Wracked. Math says they are pretty good for kill troops. I'm willing to paint what I have and wait for models. I will try them out later.
2. I like the figher plane actually, but now isn't the time to test it.
3. I've tried the reavers and didn't like them, I will playtest later
4. Are 5xtrueborn and 4 blasters (60 pts in guns alone) worth it in a 65 pt (minimum with splinter cannon gun) really worth it? Is anyone having any luck with them?
5. What would DE MSU look like?

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Let's Talk About... Blast Pistols.

I played Tau for a long time, so when I got back into my Marines in 2008, I eagerly unpakced all of my old models and started painting. I was sure that a glorious paint job would make the models work well on the table.
I specifically had this limited edition Dark Angels sergeant with a chainsword and a plasma pistol. I cut his chainsword on and slapped a powerfist on him. He was the first sergeant that I painted. I then made my army, and scratched my head at his 15 pt plasma pistol, but then put him on the table.
During the game, he got into HTH, which of course made me realize I got no bonus attacks for the pistol, and then after I got out of hth, I killed myself shooting it. Needless to say, that particular model doesn't come out of the closen very often anymore. In fact, I am painting a new sergeant for the squad right now, he simply has a trusty combi-flamer.
In 40K, you seem to have a large amount of ubiquitus basic pistols, Shuriken Pistols, Bolt Pistols, Splinter Pistols, Sluggas, Pulse Pistol (yes, one model has the Tau pulse pistol, two points if you know the unit). These are standard, what you don't seem to see very often are the other 'upgrade' pistols that much.
The worst of the bunch seems to be the plasma pistol, it's cost, chance to kill you, and ability means that people simply don't take it. It also doesn't work with a P-fist. The fusion (inferno... whatever) pistols you see a little bit more, but not that often. Did you know harliquins can take them? Ever seen them do it? I don't see blood angels take them much easier.
All this has lead to no one taking pistols much anymore, they are an ignored option in general as the cost and range of the weapon means you often get one chance to shoot it, before you are engaged in HTH.
Well, saying that, lately I have been taking warrior squads in raiders, no biggie, right? Well a blaster is 15 pts with 18 inch range, str 8, ap 2 lance. A blast pistol is 12 inch range, same stats, and counts as a extra hth weapon. Plasma is one point lower and can kill you firing it. They are the same cost (15 pts). I'm not here to make any type of argument for the plasma pistol, it's crap.
But the blast pistol is probably going to be ignored because it is a pistol, people will overlook it. Every sergeat, every hq (just about) in the book can have a blast pistol... and I think DE like to be in HTH or near it to begin with. I wouldn't count the blast pistol out just yet.
How are you out there arming your Syberites/Heckatrix lately?
Syberites are getting blast pistols and venom blades for me, and Hecks are getting blast pistols and agonizers.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Dark Eldar - Test Model Day

I often ask my wife for her opinion about how I should paint an army.

I then generally ignore her. I don't do this in any contrarion sense of spite or anything so normal. I enjoy her opinion, but most of the armies that I have painted tend to be very... manly. Space Marines are a man's army (as manly as we can be while playing with plastic dolls that we name ourselves). My marines I wanted a split scheme and I had to deal with a Dark Angels pallet (Dark Green, Black, Bone and red highlights) and my tau I wanted to be a cityfight army (they are mixed light and dark greys, very WWII german).

My Dark Eldar however are a cross between insane super-villian and twisted dark fey. My wife is a energetic ball of lightning with a healthy dose of mescheveous glee thrown in. I've always thought that if she did play 40K, that Dark Eldar would be her army. So I am painting this army, according to my wife.

So of the models, I have airbrushed the dark purple on all of the Warriors, Wytches and my Archon. I've also darkened in some of the recesses.

Tonight I will take one lone wytch model and paint him up completely to make sure the scheme will work, but I feel confident. Here is how I am painting them.

Dark Eldar Armor
75% Liche Purple/25% chaos black mix. Base coat with airbrush
Make a light wash 5% chaos black, 5% Purple Glaze, 90 % water, put in the recess
Liche Purple, (watered down slightly, don't work with straight paint) on the highlights
Liche Purple 75%/Skull White25% Edge Highlights
Liche Purple 50%/Skull White 25% as a final Highlight

Instead of doing bronze or gold as the DE in the book are, I will be doing boltgun metal/chainmail/silver on these parts.

I will doing the GW directions in the last White Dwarf for the skin, so far it is an interesting skin tone, very palid, and skinny/gray. I will finish the model tonight and put him up tomorrow morning.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Dark Eldar Painting Plan

Each time I paint an army, I try and learn some new tricks that I can (hopefully) use later. The last army I painted was marines and I did a lot of weathering on the army. However, I don't believe that Dark Eldar should be weathered, they probably spend more time cleaning their armor, then they ever do fighting, and when they do appear, they come right out of the city to fight. It's like going to a party for them, and I'm sure they are going to want to be at their best.

So, this time I want to try and learn how to paint an army that usually takes me a year, in six months, because I would like to kick my tournament attendance to twice a year, as opposed to once a year. I'm looking at going to the GT in Dallas in April, or perhaps to the Kalm Before the Waaagh once it has a fixed date this year... and bringing the DE to one or both.

Now, to assist me, I will be picking a non complicted color scheme, and trying to work that color scheme up to a great level. My marines ended up being a split scheme, which is great, and unusual, but hard as hell to pull off.

So, first off, instead of doing a unit by unit as I did with my marines, I am doing the entire army as follows: Infantry, then Vehicles. About 50+ infantry at the moment, then focus on the 8 vehicles I want for my base army (5 raiders and 3 ravagers).

The infantry at this time are put together, based and base coated.

Step One: Over the next week I will pick a base color and use my airbrush to spray them that color.

Step Two: Go in with a darker wash and get in the recess of the armor of all the models.

Step Three: Highlight with straight Liche Purple (my base color is Liche purple and chaos black I think)

Step Three: Highlight with Liche Purple+ Something else... not sure what

Step Four: Highlight the very edges where armor meets with the second color

At this point I would figure that 60% of the model is finished. I'm not sure how I am going to handle the metal and other non purple parts, as I have not made a decision on any symbols etc.. on the army. I can tell you that I like the GW markings and intend on using those.

A few questions for anyone that reads this:

1. Do you think the Wytch Raiders would bear the symbol of their Wytch Cult? If so, would I then have an army of different marks, and would that take away from the army effect?

2. Are Incubi rather like Aspect Warriors, and the black with white helmets are their trademark look? If not, what if I painted them in inverse colors from the rest of the army. I haven't made a decision about my accent color yet, but they would be that color with purple as the accent color.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Dark Eldar Progress

So over this week I have put together the following:

20 Kabolite Warriors
20 Wytches
5 New Incubi
6 Old Incubi
1 Homoculous
1 Archon

I've also got some scourges that I have semi-put together, but until I hace made a decision regarding their weapon load outs, I'm leaving them that way.

So on Sunday/Monday I got all of the models together, and all of the old models stripped. I meant to play some 40K with Don (or watch really) on tuesday, but I was so beat after work I couldn't quite get myself to go drive 30 minutes down the road.

So instead I put together a Raider on tuesday and then did the basing on all of the above models.

Last night I did the base coating with Games Workshop Chaos Black spray paint.

I doupt I get any work done tonight, as my wife has this night off from studying. However, I might be able to get her to help me work on my base color, which I will be applying with my airbrush over the next week.

I tried at first something with Hormagaunt purple, but just didn't like it. I think Warlock purple should have just been called pink. The last purple, a nice dark one, I think I will use as part of my base, with a mixed chaos black in to give it a deeper shade. I am using a random Eldar Guardian that I have as my test model.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Dark Eldar Play Day Results

So last weekend I had the opportunity to playtest the new Dark Eldar codex. My friend Shawn Rogers had a lot of the old models, so we threw down with broken/old stuff to see how it worked now.

I was impressed, and I think so was everyone else.

I think that I may have it a bit easier, as I have never played Dark Eldar before, so I am not going in with any preconceived notions. I want to see battlefield results, and that's all that matters. Someone asked me what my theme was, my theme is that my Archon is a winner, and he surrounds himself with winners. If you aren't a winner, you will not make it into the list.

Now, the first game I played was againay Ryan Graham's tournament blood angels list. Mephiston, 2x10 Assault marines, 1x Sanquinary priest w/jump pack, 2x razorback w/assault cannons with 5 man RaS, 2x Baals, 2x Vindicators, 1x Predator, librarian dreadnought.

I ran.
Archon w/Husk Blade, Shadowfield, Phantasm Grenade Launcher, Sul Trap

9x Incubi w/Raider w/Aethersails

10 Warriors w/Splinter Cannon, Blaster, Upgrade Sergeant w/Venom Blade and Blast Pistol
Raider, Aeithersails, Torment Grenade Launcher, (the -6 inch range ability), Shock Prow

Wytches w/Hekatrix, Agonizer, Blast Pistol. Haywire Grendades, 2x wytch weapons (one squad of Razorflails and one squad of Impalers and shardnets).
Raider, Aethersails, Torment Grenade Launcher, Shock Prow (-6 inch range ability)

Scourges, 2x Haywire blasters

2x Raiders with 3x Dark lances, -6 inch range ability, Flickerfield

1 Razorwing Fighter with 4x Monosythe Missile, Flickerfield, -6 inch range ability.

My list isn't to the letter, but that gives you a good idea.

I'm not going to go through with a complete battle report, but here are my thoughts in general.

Archon + Incubi - I hated putting them in the same unit, but I put them in reserve, and they were powerful enough to make sure that Ryan's assault marines didn't really want to even cross the board at me, or face being destroyed when they arrived. When they did arrive they blasted 33 inches onto the board, near his objective. Sadly, when the had their ride blown up, they loaded out pinned (11 on pin check). Made me wish I had taken grisly trophies on that vehicle. I didn't get a chance to see them in action, but the fear they generated in my marine opponent was worth their point value.

Warriors - I can't say they did that much actually. The Aethersails +shock prow is amazing, as is the -6 inch range ability. The raider performed better then I had anticipated throughout the game. the move 12 disembark 3 fire two darklight weapons was nice. I didn't notice not having the darklance in the squad.

Wytches - Amazing. I got outflanked by two baal's on turn two, and they jumped on them with haywires and destroyed them both almost effortlessly. They then reboarded their vehicles and dealt with some small squads of blood angels later. I've done the math though, don't take the razorflails. When you roll the re-roll wounds it will suck, go with the +2d6 attacks of the 2x hydra guntles. I liked the shardnet and impaler... but it's selectively useful. Make sure to place them in base to base with people he doesn't want to remove, or he will just remove them in combat resolution and the shardnet will not matter. So sergeants/characters/special/heavy weapons. I love taking haywire genades on them.

Scourges - I do NOT understand why no one talks about the Haywire Grenade Luncher. The math on fire suppression is amazing. The unit, for 130 pts for 5 and 2x haywire can suppress a vindicator almost every time, and any other weapon. It doesn't destroy a lot, but it's ability to suppress the most damaging vehicle is nice. They guys also have a 4+/6+ save (read GhostPlate, it has the 6+ under that). I like the unit, I will be playtesting them some more

Ravagers - No bad comments. I lost one on the second turn to a flamestorm baal, but the other was golden, able to knock vehicles out easily.

Razorwing - Needs more playtest. I didn't see anything on turn one, so I lost my firing (night fight), and his baal blew it up on turn 2 before it could shoot. I think it is a great way to deal with hoards and also longfangs (4 str6 blast templayes hurt). Problem with it is lack of model.

I played a second game with some other units and here are some other thoughts.

Beastmasters are pretty bad news. They obliterated a 30 man squad of ork boys, and while I ended up taking 4 wounds, I lost no models.

Cronos Parisite Engine - My first test game I generated a few pain tokens during the game, but I think I had one unit that got 2. In game 2 when I tested this thing, I ended up with every DE unit having 2-3. I was actually running out of units to give them to and I only had one of these. I charges a unit of Ork boys and gained 4 tokens and gave them to nearby units. My units got so charged up, that when it came to my turn again, my opponent coseded because of the math (beastslayers/2x Wytches all with FNP and Furious Charge) and the wytches had re-roll all wound rolls.

Talos - Not bad for 100 point, makes the Trygon look like crap. Sad when this thing will probably kill a trygon if it assaults, and is half the cost. I puta haywire blaster on it, I love those things.

I tried Duke Siliscus out with 20x warriors with splinter cannon, and didn't like it much. I just like the death dealing archon, and the duke for his abilities, isn't that great. I think that if I was going to go with some of the special characters, I like the Baron (attach him to 10 scourges... they get stealth, and become decent in hth), and I like Lady Malys, who I think for her abilities is appropriately priced. Drazar, to expensive, Lilith, too expensive for her failure to deal with toughness 5+ and vehicles.

I'm actually a litter interested in drying out the decabitator, I'm not sure he sucks quite as much as everyone thinks. I think he would be interesting to scare the crap out of a pack of longfangs, but his T 3 means that he will be instant killed so quickly, even if he deployes into terrain (3+).

Units I still want to playtest:

Mandrakes (??!!!)

While I don't have a problem with wracked or grotesques, i think that a homoculi army works very differently. I am going to focus on a army in the first list, and get it up and running and painted, and after that is completed see what other units I want to add.

Rogers game my all his banged up guys, that I have since stripped, which gave me the following (old models)

1 Old Urian Rakarth
1 Old Homoculi
1 Drahzar
6 Old Incubi
10 Old Wytches (not stripped... doubt I use)
9 Scourges
5 Hellions (will be coverted to Beastmasters)
10 Metal DE with mixed heavy weapons
2 Old Raiders (converted to Venoms?)
1 old Ravagers (Converted to Venom?)

I also have purchased the following:
20 Warriors (put together, ready for basing)
20 Wytches (put together, ready for basing)
1 Archon (put together, ready for basing)
5 Incubi (put together, ready for basing)
3 Raiders (in boxes, will put together tonight)
2 raiders (ordered, in the mail)
3 Ravagers (ordered, in the mail)

So far my assessment of the army is not that it is a steam role of epic proportions. Some people will pick this army up and not be able to get it to work. I picked it up, and I can tell you that it felt more right playing the games, then it ever did playing my marines. I was never able to make my marines do what I wanted them to in my mind. These, while playing different then my Tau, felt more like my Tau. Lots of movement, combined with firepower. These guys just have some HTH to fall back on when everything hits the fan.

I've modified the first list above now and lost the Razorwing (no model), added a Ravager, and added a homoculi with Animis Vitae, Agonizer and Crucible of Malidication to play test. I can't wait to play against a psyker and drive 5 raiders on top of him and watch as he fails a LD test at -5. That will be funny, as will tank shocking space wolf cavalry off the board doing the same thing.