Warning: This is an army list thought experiment not based on any play-testing, with a  goal to generate some discussion on the viability of a Dark Eldar Foot list.

Sometimes I wonder what gets the Internet more hot under the collar Leafblower or Footdar?  I think it is about time for a new abomination to take hold… at least after some play-testing. I haven’t really seen anything to indicate its creation, but I was thinking is it even possible? Dark Footdar? It would look quite different from the Craftworld counterpart. The most important of which is no Eldard/Farseer or Warwalkers to guarantee unit destruction. As well no Avatar to keep weak knee units in line.

So where would you start with a Dark Footdar list?

An initial thought would be a portal army, on the surface they make a lot of sense. You can’t get your transports through the portals anymore, which screams sadistic nymphomaniac space elves running rampant out the gate. The concept of Footdar though has never been about being a blunt instrument, it is a finesse army (at least that is what the proponents say). Portal lists while tricksy, rely on proper timing and execution all in one turn. It is the similar problem you have Drop Pod armies or relying reserve rolls. Of course, you can use the portal as tool not the focal point, but then you run into the problem of your opponent knowing exactly where your units are coming from. Either way I don’t think Portal armies are the way to develop a “true” Dark Footdar army.

Once I decided that portals weren’t the way to go, “I thought what elements in a Footdar army can be replicated with Dark Eldar”? I had to decide what the focal point of the list would be (since Dark Eldar didn’t have Farseers), it was clear that everything had to revolve around Harlequins. Harlequins are the most important unit in developing a Dark Footdar strategy. More importantly Veil of Tears being the critical importance: providing cover to any unit behind them and immunity to all long-range shooting. They are necessary, providing the rest of army time to crack open transports and torrent units to death.

Harlequins don’t relieve a potential Dark Footdar army of its most glaring problem: Anti-Tank. By going the foot route you instantly put raiders and ravagers back in the display case. So what does that leave you with?  Scourges and Reavers? Problem: you are looking at a Land Raider in funds to make either unit anti-tank viable and almost as fragile as their vehicle equivalents. So where to next? Trueborn they are a cheap alternative. At a cool 98 points you can get two Dark Lances and two meat shields, not the best, but for this concept they have the job. You lose mobility, but if you cannot hide four guys in cover then you need to get more terrain. Still you cannot count on four Dark Lances to get the job done. So back to Reavers or Scourges? I think again the choice is clear, Scourges they are better equipped especially with Haywire Blasters to stay at range and avoid suicide missions.

So now you have marginally enough shooty anti-tank to get by. Your real bread and butter is the short-range shooting that can devastate any unit that gets to close. Between Warriors and Wracks you should be able to shoot and template anything that needs a quick death. Throw in a Scourges which will have six Shardcarbines and you still pack quite the punch. Throw in a Wych squad for tarpiting and you start to put the proper recipe in the pot.

We are still missing a few things though. Typically Footdar armies have Wraithlords to soak up wounds and be generally annoying. So throwing a couple Talos’s in the mix doesn’t hurt, especially with a twin-linked Haywire Blaster in an army already anti-tank deficient isn’t a bad call. What about HQs? Well a Haemonculus is a must to throw FNP on a unit. What about the other HQ slot? For me at least, I kept on coming back to one HQ: Lady Malys. She can float around the army with anti-psyker power and as well throw off opponents with her redeploy ability. The Lady also benefits from being pretty darn cheap and can buttress any unit in close combat.

Here is an army list that features everything I just talked about.

Dark Footdar

Does Dark Footdar have any chance at being effective or competitive I am not sure, but I plan to try to find out. What would you do think? How would you design a Dark Eldar version of Footdar from the ground up?