First Thoughts on the New Dark Eldar Codex

So, I have spent the past few days looking at the new Dark Eldar codex, since it is my secondary army besides Eldar, and I must say that I am not a huge fan with what they have done with the codex. They have removed a lot of combinations and potential uses for equipment, as well as the special characters who lack models, including Vect! Whilst the lack of special characters does not affect me, as a narrative player with my own characters, the equipment nerfs have hit my lists hard. I will summarise what I mean by this below:

1 – No more dual-wield melee weapons on HQ units. This is harsh as I had JUST converted up a model for Lady Esthine Narésiel, the Archon of the Kabal of the Venomous Lotus, with an agoniser and huskblade combination. Now you may only replace your close combat weapon with a melee weapon, and your pistol with either a ranged weapon or a Djin Blade. I do not like the Djin Blade, so that means that my Archons And Succubi are limited to either the Parasite’s Kiss, a Master-crafted splinter pistol that wounds on a 2+ and restores a lost wound when it is unsaved, or a blast pistol, a 6” dark lance in pistol form, or a blaster, an 18” dark lance that is Assault rather than Heavy. It’s a shame, but it’s at least workable.

2 – Phantasm grenade launcher no longer gives the unit assault and defensive grenades. I do not care for defensive grenades, as I am the one who will be charging most of the time, but the fact that it does not give the unit assault grenades is bad news for Incubi. I used to run an Archon with a phantasm grenade launcher attached to an Incubi squad so they did not have to worry about charging into terrain, as Incubi lack assault grenades themselves and the launcher used to count the entire unit as having them. Whilst they remain your best answer to units such as Terminators or other such 2+ Armour Save units, you have to be a lot more careful with them now. Again, workable but a shame.

3 – No flickerfields for vehicles apart from Venoms! I will certainly miss my 5+ Invulnerable Save on all my vehicles. We are now incredibly vulnerable to anything that ignores cover. With AV10 on pretty much everything, almost anything can hurt us.

4 – Nerfed night shields and no night shields on Venoms. Again, my uniform vehicle loadout included night shields and flickerfields. Night shields used to be devastating (6” less range for enemy when shooting at it) as opposed to just “useful” now. I will still be taking them on everything that I can, but I cannot put them on my Venoms any more and they now only give Stealth. Guess I shouldn’t complain too much though, they are better than holo-fields for my craftworld Eldar and cost the same points. I just preferred them in the old codex.

5 – No more haywire grenades for Wyches. I will certainly miss this as it added yet another highly reliable method for my raiding party to turn vehicles into slag. The Hekatrix can still take them, but now the normal members of the squad do not have the option. Guess I’ll have to rely on my darklight weapons even more then…

And by contrast, a few things that I like about the new codex…

1 – Clone field got a massive buff. It now gives a 4+ Invulnerable Save as opposed to that useless -D3 attacks. Lady Narésiel will still be using her Shadow field, but her right hand woman, Dracon Mira Ithielle, will most certainly be rocking a clone field.

2 – Razorwing Jetfighter moved to Fast Attack. I did not like the Fast Attack section in the previous codex and always felt that my Heavy Support slots were quite full, as I liked the Voidraven, Ravager and Razorwing. Now that it has been moved to Fast Attack, I can take lots of them. No more worries about air superiority!

3 – The Archon’s Personal Pimpmobile. Archons can now take their own, personal Dedicated Transport in the form of a Venom. I just… Really like the idea.

4 – Raiders and Venoms are now Fast Attack choices as well as Dedicated Transports. That’s right, you can now take Raiders and Venoms as separate Fast Attack choices without taking a unit to take them as a Dedicated Transport option.

5 – Realspace Raider detachment. It’s basically a worse version of the Combined Arms detachment, taking away the Objective Secured rule and replacing it with a semi-useful cover save boost during Night Fighting and the first turn, giving Troops a 5+ Cover Save and everything else a 6+ Cover Save, as well as requiring you to take at least 1 Fast Attack choice, but giving you 5 additional slots, allowing you to really focus on taking a heavy Fast Attack detachment. Considering Objective Secured is so powerful, this is largely not worth taking unless you really really want the extra Fast Attack slots that it gives you. Why do I like it then? It’s individual and lore friendly. I’ll be running most of my armies with this detachment as the primary!

Regardless, I have been working on new army lists to run with my Dark Eldar and spent a few hours yesterday coming up with a small, 500pts army list using my models, however I am unable to test it due to currently living in Spain and all my Warhammer models being in Brighton!

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