I am going to pass on how to get pain tokens, because I am assuming everyone has read how to share the pain. If not someone please ask in the comments, and I can do a separate post. I am also going to pass up the strengths of poison weaponry and lance technologies. These are great, but we already know them. I had to break the post down section by section, so here is the first part.
Customization of Force.
The variability of the Dark Eldar forces is incredible, even for a 5th edition codex. Raiders for instance have 10 possible upgrades that very much change how your transport will be functioning on the table. That's 10 possible upgrades, without talking about the possible weapon swap or taking the Duke who effects all your raiders. Not to mention that you not only have Raiders for transport options, but you have the All-Star Venom. Although it only gets 5 possible upgrades, the combination of both of these transports creates a myriad of options on how to play your dark eldar, and we are only talking about transports thus far. There are so many good valid options for this codex, that I cannot get enough games in, just to try out different combinations and units. Lets get into a few specifics that I've come across.
The Power of Going First
The power of going first. Dark Eldar truly have a unique ability that you can choose to take advantage of, going first. Quite a few armies have the ability to manipulate reserves, Dark Eldar being the first that can truly grab ahold of taking that first turn. (yes I know the inquisition can get a +1 to deployment). Asdrubael Vect allows you to seize initiative on a 4+, while the Baron Sathonyx gives you a +1 to the die roll to take that first turn. We obviously can't leave out Lady Malys, who allows you to redeploy d3 units, even putting them into reserve (can we say fun with webway portals?).
The first thing I discovered playing with Vect, was that my opponent wished he had just given me first turn. Deployment is that important, and it was harsh for me to be able to set up second and take serious advantage of his set up by seizing on him. With Vect you are putting a serious crimp in how your opponent has to deal with your army. At this point, they probably should be reserving or just taking going second if they win the die toss, with a small chance to seize.
To take advantage of having Vect in your army, Lady Malys is a godsend. 50% of the time you get to go first, and 50% of the time you are going second, you will seize the initiative. Put in Lady Malys, and now you can really take advantage of both going first and redeploying some units, or deploying second and seizing. This combo really makes people sweat before the game even starts, and I love it.
Now you get to redeploy those assault troops that can make it across the board. Wyches, Incubi etc can now get those last few inches and redeploy directly across the table from their targets. Remember it's rotate 3", move 12", deploy 3", run d6" and assault 6".
As for the Baron, his +1 to the deployment roll was one of the first I tried with Vect. It was nice, but not only was it not as effective, it didn't cause as much anguish to my opponent as the Lady Malys and Asdrubael Vect combo during pregame.
As I said, I am breaking this article up. The next set will come later today or first thing in the morning.