Crossing the Void refers to getting your assault infantry across the board, often times through wide open space in the center of board. This is often where many armies lose their forward thrust against an opponent, and tend to get annihilated. While many armies use very tough to destroy armoured transports, several armies, which I will be discussing like the Dark Eldar, do not.

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.

6 Comments:

  1. One thing I like to do is make my raiders able to ram and give them sails. This way I can make them ram a vehicle close to their assigned destination, dealing damage at the same time as it's getting into position.
    1+S for each 3rd inch moved. With sails they often move over 30, which would make them able to deal a S10 hit! Look out opposing vehicles!

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  2. More like look out for the exploding raider. At that speed a str10 hit will kill a raider 67% of the time. I don't think it is a good idea to sacrifice raiders so carelessly.

    I find using range and mobility to focus on one part of the enemy while making the rest less effective (out of range, or having to move which reduces firepower). I also put my most resilient assault units at the forefront, in my case thats a full unit of wracks and wyches with feel no pain.

    Layering my vehicles to give the ones further back a cover save, normally means that you can have some control over which raiders die first.

    Apart from that I try to make everything a threat; assault troops on raiders in turn 2 strike range, trueborn in venoms advanced to mid field to give the option of striking multiple targets on turn 2 (33" treat zone, 12" venom move, 3" disembark, 18" blaster range), ravagers with multiple targets. By giving the enemy more to worry about than the assault troops crossing the void some will make it.

    Rathstar

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  3. Just so you know rathstar, the raider recieves D3 extra front armour when it makes a ram. So the chance of living is much higher. So your raider on average will have a AV12.

    Then if you are going to outfit a ramming raider with aethersails, you should always be adding a flickerfield. Gives a 5+ invul save.

    I use ramming raiders, and they do work wonders. However, never keep them loaded with troops, because you do lose them still, but it is not 67%.

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  4. Natfka,

    Thanks for the correction. The additional 2 armour and the flickerfield reduces the chance of the raider being wreaked or exploded down to 37% (assuming it's going fast and it's a str10 hit). A strength 10 hit against a rhino has a 27% chance to wreak or explode it. To me the 80 point cost of the raider (with prow, sails and field) seems excessive for the tactic used.

    Not as bad as I originally thought and could be useful against more expensive vehicles with weak side armour, eg. chimeras, predators, leman russes.

    Rathstar

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  5. As a Tau player, I leave a mobile unit as bait, and make sure I have clear firelanes to pick off vehicles as soon as possible ie: strand the infantry in the void. I find trying to turn the action 90 degrees to run the game down the long axis of the table makes a big difference too. A headlong unco ordinated rush is a gift to a shooty army.

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  6. As Natfka mentioned in a past blog. It comes down to deciding to lose Raiders on your terms or the enemy's. Losing Raiders on your enemy's term it's bitter. Losing them on your terms you are in control and thus have no problem with it. When I first read about Raiders ramming I was aghast. After re-reading it and thinking about, then finally executing it yesterday I have different feelings. They are better feelings. Feelings I'm comfortable with. Because it does a mind job on your opponent. While your head is clear, theirs aren't.

    Flickerfields are surprisingly helpful. Saved my Raiders several times yesterday. Out of some 8 glances and pens yesterday took only 3 results. At end of game three out of four Raiders were active.

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