Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Codex Thoughts

So it's been a couple months with the codex, unfortunately Christmas/New Years ate up alot of that time, so I didn't get any games in across that time. But I have gotten in about a half dozen games, and tried to change up parts of the list each game to keep trying new stuff. I've tried to stay away from special characters, I only used Drazhar in one list, because there was a phoenix lord on the other side of the table.

I still need to get in a game with scourges, mandrakes, hellions, succubus, archon court, and the fliers. Some of the units have performed dismally, and I may re-visit.


Archon - this guy seems like a glass cannon, it's a gamble whenever you use him, even more than before. The plus side is he's cheaper, depending on how heavy you go on upgrades. I suspect that I'll find most of the archon type special characters out perform the basic archon very well. I think there would have been a great benefit in an upgrade of some sort that conveyed the Eternal Warrior rule to the Archon. For a viscious eternal overlord of the web way, it seems like they would be easy to kill and replace.

Haemonculus - I was already a huge fan of the haemonculus before, they were great cheap HQs, that came in bunches. They still come in bunches, but they are a bit more expensive now. But with all the new toys you can get, still pretty cheap, these guys are still the jewels of the HQ slot in my eyes. I've particularly become a fan of my webway snipers, a Haemie with a wwp and hexrifle. These guys jump off a transport turn one and drop portals, then go into an overwatch with the hexrifles from there.

Haemonculus Ancient - I'm still trying to find the right spot for these guys, a little faster, another wound and better skill. My initial thought is to load these guys up with the Electrocorrosive whip and make them part of a CC unit, unfortunately they fall to similar issues as the Archon. Alot of investment in points for basically a space marine captain in a bath robe and special toys. I'll need to keep toying with these guys.


Incubi - Little cheaper, and some nice upgrades. I'm actually liking these guys now, which says alot, because I was a big hater of the old Incubi. They didn't do anything special, and by comparison wyches were always better. With the slightly less godly wyches, and some tweaks to make the Incubi like aspect warriors give it some fluffy effectiveness that just pulls me in. In my eyes, the Klaivex with Onslaught is a must. Whenever you roll wounds and then tell an opponent, oh I get more attacks, it really demoralizes them. They thought they were safe with you only rolling 5 hits, but Oh!, now you have 4 more swings, all with power weapons. Beyond that, demi-klaives are nice, but everything else is just for the heck of it.

Bloodbrides - I know everyone seems to LOVE these guys, and I can understand why, more attacks, more special weapons, they are closest to the wyches of old. But I just am not feeling them. I feel like they are just glorified Dark Eldar Ork Boyz, lots of attacks, not alot of punch. In most cases, you can get the same number of attacks from a wych squad of the same points. I'll definitely give them another go, but it will take alot to convince me of these guys over Incubi, or a normal wych squad.

Grotesques - If I use them, I'll likely convert from the same Rat Ogres I proxied with. Big, strong, tough, and lots of wounds. They draw alot of attention, unfortunately, it's usually the attention that ignores their FNP save. They are a bit prohibitive because of the high points cost, but I found that they really do a job vs. rear armour when accompanied by a Haemie to give them furious charge. I'll likely use them again, but I won't count on them as a major unit, more a distraction. Besides, even though it happens infrequently, it EXPLODES!

Kabalite Trueborn - My first pass through the book I dismissed these guys as the standard veteran squad. But realistically, most of the veteran squads are good and these are no different. These are closer to what the old Warrior squads were, a small cheap squad with 2 heavy weapons. But where they really start to shine is the addition of 4 special weapons and the option for shardcarbines for the whole group. They can get expensive quickly, but some smart shopping gives you a really tough squad to ignore.


Wracks - I know they show up in the elite slot, but since I abide by always having 1 Haemonculus, these guys will be troops in virtually any army I run. That aside, T4 starting with FNP makes these guys surprisingly tough in a Dark Eldar army. Add the paired poisoned weapon and the Acothyst with an agonizer makes for a flexible close combat unit. Especially with up to 2 Liquifiers making a mess just before you hit assault. One trick I've already warmed up to is a minimum 3 man squad with the Acothyst with a Hexrifle escorting a Haemonculus with a Portal and Hexrifle. I know the Hexrifle catches some flack, but it's a nice cheap assault 1 sniper rifle and I think it's a bargain for a unit that would otherwise be expendable.

Wyches - It's great that they are a core troop all the time now. They lost a little bit of punch because of some changes in the combat drug chart (I'll miss the 12" charge), and they split the wych weapons back into individual upgrades. But they got cheaper for the same basic statline. I'm not sure which if any of the upgrades I'm sold on, I think the shardnet/impaler combo helps bring the wyches a little closer to the tarpit unit they were before. I forsee atleast a squad of wyches in virtually all Dark Eldar armies.

Warriors - Same basic warrior, but with the night vision and Power from Pain. Apparently those are worth 1 pt. I don't think I'd have complained about them being 9 pts instead of 8 if the wyches hadn't seen a reduction, and the Wracks been introduced as another viable cheap troop. As it stands, although it needed to have the Lances limited. I think the increased heavy weapon costs with the increase per model makes these guys a little less desireable. I think the way to go with warriors is an anti-infantry squad, with the rifle and cannon spam sitting on an objective.

Fast Attack

Reavers - Worse save, worse strength, worse unit. The points reduction is nice, but really, with the terrible save and lack of strength to push into close combat, the reavers have two options. Try and move around the board and get side/rear armour tank hunting, which should be familiar to old reaver users. Or use the new gimmick to blast over units to try and hurt them, and give yourself any measure of survivability. With the uselessness that is a 5+ save vs. shooting, the anti-tank role is very limited, because most vehicles steer clear of terrain to avoid getting stuck. That just leaves the gimmick, which doesn't seem that great.

Beast Masters - Although the mix and matching style of the unit can be confusing, this is by far the hidden gem of the codex. Razorwing flocks are ridiculously powerful, mixing in Chymera's gives some great survivability. This is the close combat deathstar unit of the codex, all for much less than your standard deathstar price.

Heavy Support

Ravager - Same basic stats, but the change to move 12" and fire 3 lances make these a much better gunboat then they were before. The disentegrator changes are disappointing, but not as disapointing as them basically becoming star cannons. I understand the theme change behind it though.

Talos - Finally, gone are all those ridiculous rules that made this an arguement waiting to happen. It's an MC now, all of it's attacks hit and pen on vehicles like normal, and it starts with a normal ranged weapon that shoots like everything else. All for the same cost. Add to that some spiffy upgrade options, like chain flails, twin linked liquifiers, or even another CCW to add to the painful number of attacks. This thing is much more beastly than it was before, and people should worry much more about it getting into their lines.

Cronos - The smaller, less assault oriented brother of the Talos. It's still an MC, but with WS 3, and Str 5, close combat isn't it's main goal. However, with an AP 3 flamer, and an upgrade to take a AP 3 large blast template, I doubt there should be much left to assault. Oh, and just for giggles, if you kill any model with either of those weapons, you can give a free pain token to any Dark Eldar unit within 12". I love this thing, run it close enough to the incubi, have it shoot one unit, buff the incubi, and the better stronger faster incubi assault a seperate unit and turn it into paste.

So that's my opinion so far. In all likelyhood I'll give everything else except the Harlequins a try, I don't like the odds of the Hellions or the Jetfighter doing enough in my eyes, but I'm very interested in trying the Bomber with the Str 9 lances in place of a Ravager.

I'm going to be trying a couple new methods for posting over the next week or so, hopefully it will help get updates much faster.