Online colleges have design classes for those who would love to design games like this.
I did not get this out on Friday, so it is a day late, but better late than never.
The Words of Faeit is a weekly post, dedicated to my thoughts on the strategy and tactical side of the game. They are not to be written in stone as "No plan of operations extends with certainty beyond the first encounter with the enemy's main strength" (or "no plan survives contact with the enemy"). Quoted from Helmuth von Moltke.
Here is the scenario:
You are a raider and venom heavy dark eldar list. Your incubi/ Vect/ whatever is loaded up and must try to reach the enemy lines where he can do some damage. The question becomes how does he get there. The intent here is to give readers some ideas upon which they can build upon to make it across that void where most dark eldar die.
Lets assume the opponent knows the distance you can assault, chooses to go second, and deploys out of round 1 assault range. I recently did this to a dark eldar player and it has happened to me several times playing my own dark eldar. There is a huge void, or death zone that the dark eldar must cross, and getting to the other side often includes several tactics, many of which can fall short and ruin your game.
The Massed Rush.
Unlike it sounds, you do not blindly rush anything or the result against a good player will be devastating. I have been on the short end of this stick a few times, so using it against an opponent is second nature for me.
When you are rushing your dark eldar at the enemy lines, you cannot rely upon your dark eldar to survive the exploding vehicles syndrome. So getting there depends on many factors, especially knowing what your enemy has and can do. Here are some examples of things to do for dark eldar.
Layer your assault. Send aether sail raiders headlong at a section of the enemy line with something in it that is not going to die from the raider exploding or send them empty to provide a line of sight barrier to disembarking units behind. Use them to limit the movement and shooting of the enemy.
Use scourges with haywire grenade launchers to disable enemy vehicles from a distance while you close the gap.
The second group from behind should be disembarking to provide close range fire support, hopefully there is cover out there, if not you will be needing to provide your own. Get your warriors/ wyches out of those raiders, as there will be exploding raiders and losing half your unit to an exploding raider does not work well.
Warriors work extremly well in this mid range. Being able to rapid fire with your poison weapons, while dedicated close combat units are doing there thing, is a great way to produce pain tokens and make these units very hard to get rid of.
Reaver jetbikes are also a good one here turbo boosting for a 3+ cover save, but you must be aware of flamers. A wall of chimeras will be very deadly to a small group of reavers. However, a mid sized group of reavers provides a great cover save to any units that are following them up. For example wyches with a haemonculi pain token.
Speaking of reaver jetbikes, with wyches behind them. Some interesting tricks include starting your haemonculi with cool things like a shadowshard etc, and attaching them to the wyches in a raider. The wyches disembark round 1 behind your reavers for a 4+ cover save and take the pain token with them. Your haemonculi stays inside the wych raider with his shadowshard for a very destructive flamer round next turn (good chance of surviving since the target priority of the vehicle has dropped significantly). His toughness 4 and multiple wounds will keep alive in the case of an exploding raider. Your wyches are now receiving a 4+ cover save from the reavers and will get a 4+feel no pain from their pain token.
Do not just simply charge forward straight into the enemy line. Hit the end of an mech line, or a weak spot in it. Hit that section of the opponent from the front and the side. You must limit the amount of shots where ever possible coming at you. Not doing this can put you on the short end of a battle by the end of round 1.
I recently played against a dark eldar player, and knowing what his army is capable of doing, my Grey Knights were really able to create a kill zone where the dark eldar tried to push into my enemy line. Very little made close combat and not until the third round, those that did, I was able to pick and choose what and where.
Timing, layering, and limiting the amount of counter fire coming in at you is not an easy thing. If your dark eldar must get in close (and many do), you cannot count on a first round assault. Dark Eldar players often have a "I must reach close combat round 1" attitude. This is not a good idea. Set up your list to be able to do a first round assault, however, be primarily designed to make a second round hit on the enemy.
Dark Eldar hit hard and fast, but crumble and fail when over extended improperly. Have some Patience.
I know I did not get to everything and this barely scratched the surface. I would love to hear more of your tactics and strategies for Dark Eldar units that must cross and play in the void.