My name is Caldera. I've been playing warhammer 40k for 14 years now with a gap where 4th edition should be. Armies I have played and know pretty well are Tyranids, Chaos Marines and now Dark Eldar.
With that out of the way, the reason I am writing this article now is to relay my gaming experience with others. I would like to share my thoughts on my favorite army with you all. be it the avid gamer or newer person to our hobby, my hope is that everyone can take some small piece of the article and apply them to their gaming.
I have wanted to play Dark Eldar for a long time now. Back when this all began for me Dark Eldar, had just been released. I had a choice between them and something else that peaked my interest, Tyranids. Nobody in my area played Dark Eldar though, so I ended up with the nids. Also, the models for DE back then were hideous! Now with the arrival of the new Dark Kin, my eyes just lit up with how gorgeous the models were. I was compelled to rekindle that initial yearning for them. Ok enough of that, on to the meat and potatoes.
My initial thoughts:
Speed - Holy cow this army is fast. I love it. Coming from Tyranids, the outright speed of this army is overwhelming. I didn't know what to do exactly. Even an all foot DE army is fast via web way portals.
Fragility - The army can pack a punch against every other army. With that said though, it hurts to get punched back! This was something I had to learn the hard way how to deal with. Vehicles are opened very easily and my squads can not with stand too much of a beating.
Options - There are so many ways to play this army, it makes me ecstatic thinking about all the ways you could play this codex. All wyches, check. All coven, check. All Warriors, check. Hybrid, check. So many possibilities.
I started with my Dark Eldar in November when they were released. I've played hundreds of games with them versus almost every other combination of army(I love my gaming scene here in Austin). Also, I have taken them to lots of local tournaments, Adepticon, Alamo GT, and Railhead Rumble. I have done fairly well with them so far but they are going to take some more time to master. Dark Eldar are not forgiving of their archons making mistakes!
Now on to what I have learned since I began playing them:
Speed - One of our best assets when you get comfortable with how fast this army can be. The speed becomes a very valuable tool for you. If your opponent knows what your army is capable of, it becomes a weapon for you. It plays mind games with your opponent because they can't make mistakes or they will pay for it. Usually in most games, your opponent only has one good round of shooting to cripple you or you are going to get where you want to be.
Fragility - Pain tokens, pain tokens, pain tokens! The only one that matters is the first one. The rest are just a bonus. With Feel No Pain, my wyches no longer fear being blown out of their transports(which is will happen). Also, when you get in a fight, your durability goes way up. This will cause your opponent to have to deal with your units with more force, in the process limiting their options.
Options - This one just pulls at the hobbyist in me. So many ways I could play this one army. I still have not played with every option yet! I have played with so many different variations though. The things I have found out about them is that there is not a whole lot of bad units in the army. So you can pick the units you like and still have a solid army.
In the end, it all comes down to play style. Thankfully there are many ways to play this book and that is truly fantastic. Some things to take away form this article hopefully; Dark Eldar are a glass cannon, lots of ways to play them and it takes patience to play them long enough to learn the In's and outs. Dark Eldar are not forgiving or easy to play, but they are very rewarding once you get the hang of them.. You will hear the cries of your opponents and it will bring pleasure to your dark soul......as it should be!