Friday, October 19, 2012

The Song of PAIN and MURDER

When it comes to the Dark Eldar of the sDm Kabal it all starts with Attitude! Kill everything that wont convert, kill some of the things that do, kill a lot of other stuff also just for fun. Killing, killing and more killing! Give 'em six in the belly - one at a time of course to maximize the PAIN!

The sDm Kabal is thriving in the grimdark environment of 6th edition 40k. Huge additions have been made in the wake of the new Game. Hellions, Scourges, Jetbikes, and a craftworld worth of Eldar Allies joined right into the Murder Fleet alongside this years earlier Grotesque and more recently Beast unit builds.

Im not into comparing anything in terms of 5th vs 6th edition and often caution folks to stay away from doing it in almost any sense. Sometimes its hard to frame items in any other context. Still a bunch of stuff got better and other things got worse and a lot of it just changed. As far as laying down the MURDER on the Tabletops when it matters its still all about Gaming the Mission and to do that we have to be able to put checks in all the boxes.

Night Vision is a BFD!
In the past its has always been a nice albeit unreliable edge in the small amount of games it ended up applied to. Now in a real big way it has become an often used and dependable advantage. Other things like Lances getting the ap2 boost on the vehicle damage chart, hull points, new leadership rules making once flimsy units very sticky on the battlefield, skirmishing with rapid fire weapons at  full range when moving, +2 to cover save when going to ground in area terrain, Defensive grenades offering units stealth, Fearlessness and other USRs being transferred to units by single models, multiple pile-ins by initiative assaults for the rooftop pros - and the list can go on: true hardcore advantages offered to Dark Eldar with just the drop of a Rulebook...

The Web Way Portal is not useless!
Not being able to assault the turn units arrive from reserve is a big change for a lot of army builds. The real killer for the web way assaults is the 3+ reserves on turn two and changes to units disembarking from vehicles. Many hardcore Dark Eldar web way generals were not even using much in assault units from the webway itself, and now there is not much choice as the speed and durability of web way assault units has been reduced. The advantage of the web way portal remains that it utterly protects the units 'inside' from being shot dead with big guns (or anything.) Changes to fleet and new obstacles/tools like Overwatch and the Secondary Mission Objectives have really drastically altered the entire landscape of the Murder-field.

They are basically great in almost all ways. The can even score in tournaments that use The Scourging mission type (although they can give up an extra VP also.) Nowadays they ignore difficult terrain, can get up into buildings/ruins, and are super-fast as ever. The avalanche of wounds, models, and attacks this unit can put on the table is amazing and always hard to ignore whether you are list-building or standing on the other side of the table. Being so ultra fast and able to kill almost anything can really clarify your opponents target priority very quickly. 

With The Baron and other buffs the unit can gain hardcore durability or even get some of that invisibility unstop-able-ability. My favorite part is that they are scary - and they make the Baron even harder to kill as Warlord. They play a huge role in keeping the rest of your army alive as very few opponents can handle this unit with concentrated shooting and WILL die in close combat, so they end up with no choice really but to pound the Beasts in order to survive their charge.  For the same reason they are an almost vital to any competitive webway list - to ensure safe delivery of the portal, of course as an early first wave super threat, but also to put much needed boots on the ground when it comes time to count units for possible reserve.

Long Lost Brothers
Eldar allies are super-leet additions to the Kabal. Although including many or any of them in most lists is a hard sale more often than not. Craftworld stuff cost billions of points and its not like anyone has any of those to spare to begin with. Harlystar options are hard to ignore but start to quickly force the army build into very few choices. Very little of the codex offers much that cant be found cheaper, better, faster in a Commorragh version - with the exception of Farseers.

Farseers in all shapes and sizes and flavors. Harlystar aside - my favorite is one on a Jetbike with one or four powers, usually one. With the right build and three Jetbike guardians to babysit its a real bargain for the awesome utility package of psychic power possibilities and psychic defense. Nothing of its kind is really anywhere to be found within the pages of the Dark Eldar codex.  At two to three hundred points max its a scalable and very useful addition to the Kabal that has been able to more than carry its own water across many games and opponents.

The Baron and Hellions
Not really great in 5th edition compared to the cost, use and utility of Wyches in Raiders or Webway delivered. 6th brought great buffs for jump infantry in general and other changes mentioned above have shifted the ranking of Hellions vs Wyches in a big way. Three items in particular quickly boost them to the top of the list for troops in almost any list currently: Stealth from Baron plus +2 for going to ground in area terrain, Skilled rider from Baron plus armor saves and FnP versus dangerous terrain failures, and Defensive Grenades from Baron plus Overwatch among many other advantages.

For me the web way portal is a basic necessity for the Big Baron Hellion unit as it lets Baron fly with the Beasts for a turn or two without needing him to protect the hellions, meanwhile they are completely safe from any turn 1 and sometimes turn 2 bombardments/torrents that are out to flatten your troops, and when they hit the board they have increased tabletop range and a guaranteed turn of shooting. Fifteen Hellions pack the same poison shots as two and a half Venoms. Hull points has made them a serious threat to almost any vehicle, and thats before combat drugs, power from pain or say any buffs from a Farseer are stacked on them to really create a mean as hell shooting, jumping, scoring, gigantic footprint of pure Murder that is capable of being wherever its needed in a real hurry.

This unit particularly combined with the Farseer is the new utility belt I often reference. On thier own or as backup to the Beast unit, its a major bundle of  threat, footprint, and scoring. Almost impossible to pass up.

Whats next for the sDm Kabal?
Currently I am playtesting a couple Forgeworld Tantalus as the next real addition to the Murder Fleet. They are dripping with murderous potential and becoming harder to ignore as mainstream tournaments like the Bay Area Open and others start to allow Forgeworld models and units. They are expensive and will be pain in the ass Forgewold kits, so I havent pulled the trigger yet. But soon.


  1. Dark Eldar 343 - Advanced Murder

    Prerequisite: Dark Eldar 233 Application of Murder & Haemonculous 101 - Intro to Pain Amplification

    Professor - Shotdownmind

    Laboratory Instructions - Tuesdays & Thursdays 9-12a.m. pst.

    Syllabus is Online @

    Recommended reading material -

  2. Great article, I like the dark eldar. They are EVIL and they like to MURDER!!! Everyone do the MURER dance, cha cha cha. Muahahahahahaha