Dark Eldar

Dark Eldar Tactical Summary as of 10-26-16

Dark Eldar are comparatively a recent development for Warhammer 40k. Dark Eldar have traditionally filled the role of space pirate in the 40k universe, but it wasn’t until the 2010 that their backstory was really fleshed out and an amazing model line was released. Dark Eldar are a direct link to the Eldar before the Fall, surviving in the Webway from the clutches of Slaanesh.

As an army the Dark Eldar are known for speed, cardboard transports, and poison weapons. This has led them to be mostly a spoiler army and one which in long tournaments always ends up losing at some point. Dark Eldar crumble easily, unless they get a good alpha strike and lack the tricks normal Eldar possess. This Dark Eldar story has never changed since their inception, no matter the codex it is always the same. When asked about it Games Workshop says it won’t be changing it; this is the niche the Dark Eldar fill, even if it means you rarely see them as complete force on the battlefield.

The amount of detail on the Dark Eldar model line is exquisite; making them very time consuming to paint, hurting the Dark Eldar playability, worse still the best units are overpriced or in resin. Thanks to the Haemonculus Covens supplement the Dark Eldar have some good tools (Corpsethief Claw Formation), you just have to buy, tons of Talos or Grotesques.

The Dark Eldar do get some minor battlefield play as Eldar allies, just because of the Webway Portal Archons can get. The big problem for the Dark Eldar is the defensive deficiencies, iconic units like Wyches are just unplayable. Helions and Scourges have no good way to not die from a light breeze. Leaving you with cobbling together certain units like; Talos, Grotesques, Reavers, and Razorwing Fighters. This combination just doesn’t have the synergy necessary to be any good on the battlefield for a long enough time.

Below you find all the quick reference material you need to build an competitive or fluffy Dark Eldar army.

As of 10-26-2016 Dark Eldar Detachments are…

  • Combined Arms Detachment
  • Allied Detachment
  • Air Superiority Detachment
  • Realspace Raiders Detachment
  • Covenite Coterie Detachment

(See tabs for details)

Combined Arms Detachment

 

 

 

 

Force Organization

Compulsory: 1 HQ, 2 Troops

Optional: 1 HQ, 4 Troops, 3 Elites, 3 FA, 3 HS, 1 Lord of War, 1 Fortification

Restrictions: All units chosen must have the same Faction (or have no Faction).

Command Benefits:

Ideal Mission Commander: If this Detachment is chosen as your Primary Detachment, you can choose to re-roll the result on the Warlord Trait table.

Objective Secured: All Troops units from this Detachment have the Objective Secured special rule. A unit with this special rule controls objectives even if an enemy scoring unit is within range of the objective marker, unless the enemy unit also has this special rule.

Source: Warhammer 40k 7th ed. Rule Book

Allied Detachment

 

 

 

 

Compulsory: 1 HQ, 1 Troop

Optional: 1 Troop, 1 Elite, 1 FA, 1 HS

Restrictions: This Detachment cannot be your Primary Detachment. Your Warlord can never be chosen from this Detachment. All units chosen must have the same Faction (or no Faction). All units chosen must have a different Faction to any of the units in your Primary Detachment (or no Faction).

Command Benefits:

Objective Secured: All Troops units from this Detachment have the Objective Secured special rule. A unit with this special rule controls objectives even if an enemy scoring unit is within range of the objective marker, unless the enemy unit also has this special rule.

Source: Warhammer 40k 7th ed. Rule Book

Air Superiority Detachment

 

 

 

 

Force Organization

Compulsory: 1 Flyer Wing

Optional: 2 Flyer Wings

Restrictions: All Units must have the same Faction.

Command Benefits:

Air Commander: Pick a Wing Leader from this Detachment to be its commander. If the commander is in Reserve, you can re-roll the dice in the Interception sub-phase. If you have Air Superiority and the commander is in Reserve, you can add or subtract 2 from your Reserve Rolls, rather than 1, and your opponent must subtract 2 from their Reserve Rolls.

Combined Formation: You can roll once for all of the Wings in this Detachment to see if they arrive from Reserve. If the roll is successful they all arrive. If it fails none of them do. You can roll individually for each Wing if you prefer.

Objective Secured: All Transports from this Detachment which can Hover have the Objective Secured rule. A unit with this special rule which is Hovering controls objectives even if an enemy scoring unit is within range of the Objective Marker, unless the enemy also has this special rule.

Source: Supplement: Death from the Skies

Realspace Raiders Detachment

Force Organization

Compulsory: 1 HQ, 2 Troops, 1 FA

Optional: 1 HQ, 4 Troops, 3 Elites, 5 FA, 3 HS, 1 LoW, 1 Fortification.

Restrictions: All units in this Detachment must have the Dark Eldar Faction (or have no Faction).

Command Benefits:

Realspace Raider: If this Detachment is your Primary Detachment, you can re-roll the result when rolling on the Warlord Traits table in Codex: Dark Eldar.

Hunt from the Shadows: During the entire first game turn, and during any turn in which the Night Fighting rules are in effect, all Troops units from this Detachment have a 5+ cover save, and all other units from this Detachment have a 6+ cover saves.

Source: Codex: Dark Eldar

Covenite Coterie Detachment

Force Organization

Compulsory: 2 HQ, 2 Elites

Optional: 4 HQ, 6 Elites, 4 HS

Restrictions: Only units from the following list may be selected as part of this Detachment: Urien Rakarth, Haemonculus, Raider (must be taken as a Dedicated Transport), Venom (must be taken as a Dedicated Transport), Wracks, Grotesques, Talos, Cronos.

Command Benefits:

Seeker of Torment: If this Detachment is chosen as your Primary Detachment, you can re-roll the result when rolling on the Warlord Traits Table.

Freakish Spectacle: Enemy units within 12? of one or more models from this Detachment suffer a -1 penalty to their Leadership value.

Source: Supplement: Haemonculus Covens

As of 10-25-2016 Dark Eldar Unique Item groups are…

  • Artefact of Cruelty
  • Diabolical Playthings

(See tabs for details)

 

Only one of each Artefact of Cruelty may be taken per army.

The Parasite’s Kiss 5 pts:

Range 12 inches, Str 1. AP 5, Type: Pistol, Master-crafted, Poison 2+, Soul-leech = Each time the bearer inflicts an unsaved Wound with the Parasite’s Kiss it immediately gains one Wound lost previously in the battle.

The Armour of Misery 15 pts:

The Armour of Misery confers a 4+ Armour Save, a 6+ invulnerable save and the Fear special rule. All enemy units within 6? of the bearer suffer a -2 Leadership penalty.

The Animus Vitae 20 pts:

Range 8 inches, Str 4, AP 2, Type: Assault 1, One Use Only, Agonising = If an unsaved Wound is inflicted with the Animus Vitae, all models with the Power from Pain special rule (friend or foe) treat the current turn as being one higher than it actually is when determining what special rules they benefit from. This benefit applies for the remainder of the battle and is cumulative with the Architect of Agony and/or Master of Pain special rules.

The Archangel of Pain 25 pts:

Once per game, the bearer can open the Archangel of Pain instead of firing a weapon in the Shooting phase. When he does so, each enemy unit within 9? of him must take a Leadership test with a -2 penalty; a unit suffers a single Wound, with no armour or cover saves allowed, for each point this test is failed by. Hits cannot be allocated to models with the Fearless or And They Shall Know No Fear special rules (any excess Wounds are lost).

The Helm of Spite 25 pts:

The bearer of the Helm of Spite, and all friendly units with the Dark Eldar Faction within 12? of the bearer, have the Adamantium Will special rule. In addition, enemy Psykers that are within 12? of the bearer suffer Perils of the Warp when they roll any double when making a Psychic test.

The Djin Blade 30 pts:

Range -, Str User, AP 3, Melee, Sentient Blade = When fighting with the Djin Blade, the wielder gains +2 bonus Attacks. Immediately after resolving all of the attacks made with this weapon, roll a single D6 – on a result of 1, the model using this weapon immediately suffers a single Wound, with no saves of any kind allowed

Any units from a Detachment or Formation presented in Supplement: Haemonculus Covens that can select Artefacts of Cruelty cannot select from those listed in Codex: Dark Eldar, but can instead select Diabolical Playthings, presented opposite, at the points costs shown. Only one of each of the following relics can be chosen per army.

Syndriq’s Sump 10 pts:

At the beginning of each of his turns, the controlling player nominates one of the following special rules to apply to the bearer of Syndriq’s Sump: Fleet, It Will Not Die, Poisoned (4+) or Rampage. The effects last until the start of the controlling player’s next turn.

The Vexator Mask 10 pts:

When fighting in a challenge, the bearer’s opponent suffers a -5 penalty to their Initiative (to a minimum of 1).

Orbs of Despari 25 pts:

When a model armed with the Orbs of Despair makes a shooting attack, the controlling player can choose to throw a grenade with the following profile, rather than using another shooting weapon. Vehicles hit by an Orb of Despair are unaffected. The Orbs of Despair cannot be used in close combat. Range 8 inches, Str 1, AP 2, Type: Assault, Blast, Instant Death

Khaïdesi Haemovores 10 pts:

A model equipped with the Khaïdesi Haemovores makes D6 additional Attacks and are resolved at Strength 3 with AP-. These Attacks does not benefit from any of the model’s special rules (such as Furious Charge, Rending etc.). These Attacks are resolved during the Fight sub-phase at the Initiative 10 step, and grant the model an additional Pile In move.

Panacea Perverted 20 pts:

The bearer of the Panacea Perverted has the It Will Not Die special rule, but passes these rolls on a 4+. Furthermore, attacks with the Poisoned special rule only ever inflict Wounds on the bearer on the roll of a 6.

Nightmare Doll 35 pts:

The bearer of the Nightmare Doll adds 1 to any Feel No Pain rolls he makes. Furthermore, the Nightmare Doll automatically negates the first unsaved Wound with the Instant Death special rule that the bearer suffers, though as soon as it does so, the Nightmare Doll will immediately cease to work for the rest of the battle.

As of 10-25-16

The next section features all the various Formations each faction has. Expand each Formation for detailed information for, including (red highlighted) links to shopping lists for each Formation.

Kabalite Raiding Party Formation

Kabalite Raiding Party Formation

Requirements: 1 Archon, 1 Court of the Archon, 1 unit of Incubi, 1 Ravager, 6 units of Kabalite Warriors, 1 unit of Scourges, 1 unit of Hellions

Restrictions: All units in this Formation, except the Archon, must take a Raider or Venom Dedicated Transport if they have the option to do so. The Archon may choose whether or not to take a Venom Dedicated Transport.

Special Rules:

Architect of Agony: If the Archon in this Formation is your Warlord and he is alive, all units in this Formation with the Power from Pain special rule treat the current turn as being one higher than it actually is when determining what special rules they benefit from. This is cumulative with the Agonising and/or Master of Pain special rules.

Hunt from the Shadows: During the entire first game turn, and during any turn in which the Night Fighting rules are in effect, all Troops units from this Formation have a 5+ cover save, and all other units from this Formation have a 6+ cover save.

Realspace Raider: If this Formation is your Primary Detachment, you can re-roll the result when rolling on the Warlord Traits table in Codex: Dark Eldar.

Source: Codex: Dark Eldar

 

Grotesquerie Formation

Grotesquerie Formation

Requirements: Urien Rakarth or 1 Haemonculus, 2 units of Grotesques

Restrictions: None.

Special Rules:

Freakish Spectacle Latest Experiments: After determining Warlord Traits, but before deploying the first unit in your army, roll a D6 and look up the result on the Latest Experiments Table. All units of Grotesques in this Formation receive the characteristics bonus or special rule listed on the table for the duration of the battle.

Source: Supplement: Haemonculus Covens

Scarlet Epicureans Formation

Scarlet Epicureans Formation

Requirements: 1 Haemonculus, 1 Cronos, 2 Units of Wracks

Restrictions: None.

Special Rules:

Freakish Spectacle Macabre Collectors: All units of Wracks from this Formation that are within 12? of this Formation’s Haemonculus have the Precision Strikes special rule.

Master of Epicureans: The units of Wracks in this Formation treat the current turn as being one higher than it actually is when determining what special rules they benefit from as the result of the Power from Pain special rule. This is cumulative with the Master of Pain or Father of Pain special rules (see Codex: Dark Eldar). Furthermore, if this Formation’s Haemonculus is your army’s Warlord, do not roll to determine his Warlord Trait; he automatically has the Master Epicurean Warlord Trait.

Source: Supplement: Haemonculus Covens

 

Scalpel Squadron Formation

Scalpel Squadron Formation

Requirements: 2 Units of Wracks, 2 Venoms

Restrictions: Each unit of Wracks in the Formation must be given one of the Formation’s Venoms as a Dedicated Transport.

Special Rules:

Freakish Spectacle First Pickings: If a unit from this Formation completes the First Blood Secondary Objective, the controlling player scores D3 Victory Points instead of the usual 1.

Surgical Excision: All of the Wrack units in this Formation begin the game embarked upon their Venom transports, and must be placed in Reserve. All units in this Formation arrive automatically in the controlling player’s first turn, and must deploy by Deep Strike.

Source: Supplement: Haemonculus Covens

Corpsethief Claw Formation

Corpsethief Claw Formation

Requirements: 1 Unit of Talos

Restrictions: The unit of Talos must include 5 models, even though this is not normally allowed.

Special Rules: Freakish Spectacle, Scout.

Let the Harvest Begin: Each time a unit from this Formation completely destroys an enemy non-vehicle unit in close combat, the controlling player scores 1 Victory Point. In missions where players earn Victory Points for completely destroying enemy units, the controlling player will score 1 additional Victory Point each time a unit from this Formation completely destroys an enemy non-vehicle unit in close combat.

Source: Supplement: Haemonculus Covens

Dark Artisan Claw Formation

Dark Artisan Claw Formation

Requirements: 1 Haemonculus, 1 Talos, 1 Cronos

Restrictions: None.

Special Rules: Freakish Spectacle

Follow Me, My Children!: All units in this Formation must be fielded as a single unit, even though this is not normally allowed. Models with the Independent Character special rule cannot join this unit.

Master of Diabolical Machines: This Formation’s Talos and Cronos add 1 to the Weapon Skill and Initiative characteristics on their profile. Furthermore, if this Formation’s Haemonculus is your army’s Warlord, do not roll to determine his Warlord Trait; he automatically has the Master Artisan Warlord Trait.

Source: Supplement: Haemonculus Covens

Covenite Fleshcorps Formation

Covenite Fleshcorps Formation

Requirements: 1 Haemonculus, 3 units of Wracks, 3 Raiders

Restrictions: Each unit of Wracks in the Formation must be given one of the Formation’s Raiders as a Dedicated Transport.

Special Rules: Freakish Spectacle.

Master of Flesh: As long as the Formation’s Haemonculus is alive, his Master of Pain special rule affects all units of Wracks in this Formation within 12?, not just his own unit. Furthermore, if this Formation’s Haemonculus is your army’s Warlord, do not roll to determine his Warlord Trait; he automatically has the Master of Apotheosis Warlord Trait.

Source: Supplement: Haemonculus Covens

Carnival of Pain Formation

Carnival of Pain Formation

Requirements: 1 Grotesquerie Formation, 1 Scarlet Epicureans Formation, 1 Scalpel Squadron Formation, 1 Corpsethief Claw Formation, 1 Dark Artisan Formation, 1 Covenite Fleshcorps Formation

Restrictions: The units in this Formation must adhere to all of the restrictions detailed in each of the corresponding Formation datasheets.

Special Rules: Freakish Spectacle.

Lord of Pain: As long as Urien Rakarth (or the Haemonculus from the Grotesquerie Formation) is alive, his Father/Master of Pain special rule affects all non-vehicle units in this Formation.

The Torturer’s Art: All non-vehicle models from the Carnival of Pain re-roll failed To Wound rolls of a 1 in close combat.

Source: Supplement: Haemonculus Covens

Blackheart Talon Formation

Blackheart Talon Formation

Requirements: 1 Flyer Wing consisting of 2 Razorwing Jetfighters and 2 Voidraven Bombers

Restrictions: One of the Voidraven Bombers must be the Wing Leader.

Special Rules:

Close Escort: If the Formation is in an Attack Pattern then the Razorwing Jetfighters receive the Interceptor special rule until the start of their next turn, in addition to the other benefits that the Attack Pattern confers. In addition, enemy Flyers cannot engage the Voidraven Bombers from this Formation in a Dogfight if any of the Razorwing Jetfighters from this Formation are also in Reserve.

Priority Target: After deployment is complete, pick one enemy unit as the Priority Target for this Formation. All of the Flyers in this Formation have the Preferred Enemy rule when they attack the Priority Target.

Source: Supplement: Death from the Skies

Purge Coterie Formation

Purge Coterie Formation

Requirements: 1 Archon, 1 Kabalite Warriors Unit, 1 Raider, 1 Reaver Unit

Restrictions: None.

Special Rules:

Marked for Death: At the start of each friendly turn, pick an enemy unit within line of sight of the Archon. All other units from this Formation have the Preferred Enemy special rule against the unit picked until the start of your next turn.

Source: Start Collecting!: Dark Eldar

Below are any links to any buying guides, product reviews, or tactical articles related to the Dark Eldar.

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