Monday 29 April 2013

Dark Eldar Tactics: Quick Tips.

Dark Eldar Tactics: A few quick tips on how to play (and win) effectively with Dark Eldar.

When I first started Dark Eldar I was entranced with the idea of playing a "glass hammer" army. The problem was, In reality, I really didn't understand what this meant. For the first six months of gaming with them I lost repeatedly through a combination of terrible list design and bad tactics. Recently though, I have begun to win more and more games both socially and competition level.

The codex, in my opinion, is fairly balanced (in that way that we have vicious offence but cardboard defence) and as such falls prey to players believing they can transfer common tactics over to them (like I did). Here are just a few points that changed my win/loss ratio:

They are not marines...........or Eldar.
This sounds obvious but is usually the most common downfall of Dark Eldar players. We do not have reliable armour saves or the ability to re-roll them (barring the Eldar allies shenanigans). If you run your troops out of cover or intentionally move them into range of enemy weapons, they will die. Which brings me on to the next point......  

The best kind of save for Dark Eldar are the ones that never have to be rolled. This comes down to three things:

1. Speed.
Using speed to avoid enemy weapons is our best form of defence. A Ravager can move 12" and still fire all of its weapons which means if you find yourself being rapid fired by bolters you have serious problems.

2. Line of sight.
What better kind of protection is there than your enemy not being able to see your models? Best used for raiders zooming across the battle field.

3. Night Shields.
Take them on ALL your non assault carrying excuses. 6" may not seem like a lot at first but it becomes hilariously frustrating for an opponent without many long range weapons or when someone realises that their Melta range has been halved.

4. Measuring.
Pre-measure everything. You need to measure and move so that your enemies guns are useless in their shooting phase. This is simple if you are facing Necrons but more difficult against long range armies.  

5. Cover.
If your battlefield has 4+ ruins on it, get your vehicles behind them. For the facings on a raider and ravager, check out:

If you are not getting a cover save from terrain, you need to either be moving constantly (which you already should be!) or equip vehicles with flicker fields.

I will be start a Dark Eldar tactics page and post/edit it as we progress over time. We should also see an Imperial guard guide in the near future.


  1. I'm gonna play my first game with Dark Eldars this thursday, so I'll try to put on practice everything I've read. Thanks mate!!

  2. I'm new to dark eldar and am trying to master them. right now I'm having trouble when facing tau and chaos space marines. any suggestions when facing these opponents?

    1. Tau will always be a difficult match up for us. They will out-shoot us very easily so getting into combat is the only real option. One route is taking the Baron with a Beast pack that includes 1-2 Clawed fiends and a tonne of Razorwings. Stick the Baron out front with a fiend and flock both in base contact. LOS all Str6-9 shooting onto the fiend and the rest onto the flock and go as fast as possible towards their gunline. Disentegrator Ravagers chew through Crisis suits, keep one in reserve and bring it on where you need it to kill them. If you are facing a Riptide, either shoot Disentagrator shots at it or run a Huskblade Archon with a Flesh Gauntlet Grotesque squad bodyguard and hope for some Insta-ills.

      Chaos is more diversified so without knowing what you are regularly facing then I can't help that much. I've run a Grotesque bomb (with Archons) vs Chaos and had reasonable success. Venom Spam is a decent option as well. Helldrakes aren't all that scary if you are holed up in transports with 5+ Invul saves. Ally in a Fire Prism and Crimson hunter for additional support.


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