Our new Dark Eldar Codex is an amazing codex. It gives us some very unique things not yet seen in any other codex. While some of them are obvious, others need to be dug out and decrypted. Today I am going to be discussing something very unique to the Dark Eldar.
This incarnation of the Webway Portal is far superior to what we used to have. To use it you simply choose to activate it instead of shooting. It doesn't mean the unit with the carrier of the portal cannot shoot, only that the model carrying the it cannot. He places the small blast marker equivalent (or GW sized model since they've released it) in base contact with the bearer. From then on, any of your units coming in from reserve may move onto the board from the portals edge instead of entering as normal. It doesn't matter if they were deepstriking, outflanking etc, they can choose to use the portal. Also note that nowhere anywhere in its description does it say the portal acts as your board edge (sorry Space Puppies). No vehicles can move enter play from via the webway. It is also impassible terrain and cannot be destroyed, however it could be possible to block it in (I love this tactic in my opponent as it plays into my gamestyle, so bring it).
First off, get yourself a GW made Webway Portal or at least one that you can size off of. Why? because it has height. In the description it specifically tells you to use a spare blast marker or similarly sized counter, however, GW's model gives you height. You essentially could open up two webways and stand behind them. While not the perfect cover, its one that you place. Place it wisely.
Tournament wise, I have played some local moss, that would definitely bring up anything custom sized on the field, (yes you nuts that make battlewagons so large they can't fit anywhere) which could force you to use a blast marker. A GW model however, no one can argue. Despite peoples objections to buying webways, they are a thin metal, and kind of cool. If you do buy one, don't destroy the packaging. It comes with plastic that fits right onto your portal (on top and beneath), so basically, you can make two of them to the same size with some work. Buy one, get three in total.
The ability to create your own impassible terrain where you see fit. Deploy three of these portals slightly less than 1" apart, and nothing can get through them. Setting up 3 of them creates a wall about 11" across. The dimensions of the GW one are 3" dia and about 1 1/2" tall so they make a nice wall. The best thing about creating a webway wall, is that your reserves can come out through any part of it, and quite a few dark eldar models can just fly over it. An impassible wall for your opponent and a board edge for you.
To place your webway wall, look for objectives, and simply block the path of your opponent to reach them. Lets say round 1 that these objectives are mine. In some cases where the portal is threatened, or the people behind them (baals), simply fly a raider flat out to block the best path to reach you in that first round.
All units that are not vehicles can use the webway. Some simply make more use of it than others. Reavers are excellent, as are scourges. Lets assume you wall it or place two near the center of the board, figure out the threat range of your units. Reavers can do their flyby's 36". So we will simply say there is no unit they cannot reach out of a webway, Scourges can move 12 shoot 18". Beastmaster units can move 6" fleet 6" assault 12". You can't really deny that nothing says "stay away from my webway" (notice my rhyme?) like a Talos and it's cousins the Cronos Parasite Engines as they emerge from them.
Deployment of the webway. The most you can carry in an army is 6. Wow, and far too expensive to ever need. Even 3 might seem somewhat excessive, but hey, I am that obsessive compulsive Dark Eldar player. Two however will be plenty on the table top for most dark eldar lists, unless of course you plan on walling up. Your first round webway placement can reach quite a bit of the table. Round 1 on a raider, rotate 3", move 12", deploy 3", and your webway is 3". Hmm, that is literally 21" away from your lines, and 3" from the enemy.
I know it is possible, but I haven't done it yet or ran into the instance where I could do it; but I know it will be possible to literally trap someones army in a heavy terrained table with webways. Trap them in so that their vehicles cannot get out. It will happen, as I see alot of people locally starting to over terrain the tabletops.
Flexibility. They make your incoming units extremely flexible. Get those webways up, and you have a choice of where to strike. My scourges were set to deepstrike, well, here they come. Take your choice whether or not you want to deepstrike or simply fly in through the webway. I really enjoy anything in 40k that gives me control over something. If there is no control or manipulation of an ability (like outflanking, reserves, deepstriking) then I generally wont use it. Webways give you such flexibility with how your reserves come in, that they are definitely going to be used by my Dark Eldar.
I've decided to keep this series of posts going. So check back, and I will keep up other unique tactics that the Dark Eldar bring to the table.