This sounds like a slaughter by the match up, and indeed when facing 8 flyers with a completely ground based Dark Eldar list, that is what I was prepared for. I had just finished a lot of my Raiders and Ravagers, so I just really wanted to use them, and to see what would happen. 

I did not take many pictures of the game, mostly because it was a late night game, and I was already tired. Here though is a quick battle brief on what happened.

On the opposing side of things, it was an Imperial Guard list with double force organization fielding 6 Vendettas allied with Blood Angels to field 2 additional flyers, Hurricane boltered Stormravens. It went something like this.

Imperial Guard with Blood Angel Allies
2 Company Command Squads
6 Veteran Squads (in Vendettas) (3w/ flamers- 3w/meltas)
3 Ratling squads
2 Blood Angel Librarians
2 Blood Angel Scout Squads
2 Blood Angel Stormravens (with hurricane bolters)

Dark Eldar with Eldar Allies
7 Dark Eldar Warrior squads (5) w/ blaster 
5 Trueborn (w/ 2 splinter cannons_
7 Raiders
2 Venoms
6 Ravagers
3 Archons (with power axes and shadowshields_
1 Farseer
5 Dire Avengers
1 Harlequin squad w/shadowseer

The Dark Eldar list had no way to deal with flyers, but I knew that going in, and just wanted to get a game in.  the game was the Scourge with 6 differing point objectives. On my side of the table were 3 objectives, and on his side was same. He had the 4pt objective on his side, and I was stuck with the 1pt, so I had to move it, and that is exactly where the harly death star unit went from the get go.

Now with so much of his army off the board round 1, my forces were on the move immediately, and were in his backfield quickly. In fact, my armies plan was simply to move as quickly as possible and make him fight for every objective.

The harley death star very much just camped at the 4 point objective all game, and claimed it as no mans land. This was observed, and they saw no real action all game (besides throwing a few haywire grenades at passing flyers).

The rest of the army did well, and the Vendettas were launching mass attacks against my skimmer force with grim efficiency. However its amazing at how often jink saves come into play when fielding this many skimmers. At games end, there were still 3 skimmer (2 raiders and 1 Ravager still in action.). 

Overall, the dark eldar proved to be extremely ineffective at taking down flyers (I knew this going in), and only two vendettas were destroyed during the game, (one after it decided to go into hover mode) So coming into round 5, the Imperial Guard were still dominating the skies and the mobility. However, I had very much every objective in my grasp, and in round 5 his units had a lot of work to do. 

The imperial guard dropped its troops all over the board, attempting a round 5 objective grab, and barrage of anti infantry pelted down dark eldar positions to knock them off the objectives. Being 5 man warrior squads they were slaughtered with the exception of the units in ruins. 

In the end though, the Dark Eldar held onto only a single objective, while the Imperial guard were able to grab one for themselves. With First blood going to the dark eldar, and linebreaker to the Imperial guard, the game ended a draw. 

there were a couple things that could of made a huge difference during the game that I did not do. 

First off, if designing a list for a tournament, take into account flyers, and have something that can deal with them. When its for fun, like this game, have fun.

Second, dark eldar are fragile, place those objectives in ruins if at all possible to keep alive whatever 5 man squad you can. I normally run lists that always have solid objective holders for the backfield, and with your dark eldar you should have the same where possible. 

Third, when running a heavy skimmer force against an air cav army, Fly all your skimmers completely over to the opponents deployment board edge. You need to limit the initial punch as those flyers are coming in. A 4+ jink save is just not enough. 

Over all it was a good game, and even though I knew it was going to be ugly for the dark eldar, I was able to make a game of it.


  1. Throwing out a suggestion that may or may not work since I don't play Dark Eldar but what if you had just rushed the army with the skimmers? It seemed like you had enough to create a box zone past the 18inch mark where the fliers would have had to come on forcing them to hover and allowing you to shoot them normally. Would that have worked or is my crazy scheme too silly

    1. that was my third point in the conclusion. so yes, I think that would of been effective as so far as to take away some of the initial punch of the flyers coming on the board.

    2. The only army that doesn't work well against is Chaos. Because they can Vector Strike. Otherwise its the best the Dark Eldar have.

      My mates been running an Agies Line with Quad-Gun with a squad of Warriors and Hamie behind it camping out. Its not the best Anti-Air but it helps.

    3. I've given up on the Aegis & Quad Gun with my Death Guard, and instead added a 2nd unit of Havocs with Flakk missiles to try to deal with flyers. (The other unit of Havocs have Autocannon, which are pretty effective at most flyers (except AV12), and very effective at "crowd control".)

      The problem that I've found with the Aegis & Quad Gun is that a savvy player will concentrate fire on the QG in the first turn or two, and it's pretty easy to kill a QG, or at least has been for my more experienced players. So then what do you do? The Aegis is no help against Flamers templates, and you end up having to commit a squad to man the QG, which means they aren't doing what they probably should be doing elsewhere.

      Of course, this is CSMs I'm talking about. If I were running my DE these days, I'd be sure to have at least one Razorwing Jetfighter to try and deal with enemy flyers, and would possibly also take the Aegis & QG, even tho I know there's a good chance the QG would get shot to pieces before having a chance at taking out any enemy flyers...

      Just my $0.02. Thanks for the battle summary, Natfka!...

  2. That board and fleet of skimmers look sweet!

  3. I have to say, I'm incredibly jealous of your terrain! It looks fantastic!

    1. I'm saving the pictures for future terrain-building inspiration.

  4. I imagine the guard player probably only had about 10 models on the field to start with, I feel like you probably could have taken them out before his reserves started coming in, winning the game before it even started. I also can't believe there are people who take lists like this to 'friendly' games. I'd wager his list to be more asinine than Cron Air

    1. But I am going to have to agree with the above posters, your raiders look freakin sweet

    2. he wasnt being an ass. We tend to play pretty hard core games. It was a fun game.

      He had enough guys with stealth in ruins and other area terrain that I could not get out quicky enough on a long table deployment (hammer and anvil). He started with 29 guys on the board that all head camo cloaks.

    3. Oh fair enough, I was under the impression it was a random game your LGS or something, forget I said anything. Stealth in ruins and Hammer and anvil are definitely a sure fire way to get around the low model count. Well anyway, congrats on a close game against a beat stick list!

  5. Replies
    1. You sure can! It's still BS1 though, so it takes a bit of luck.

    2. That makes next to no sense, but whatever. My Eldar will take what they can get.

  6. Your archons confuse me, what's the idea behind using such a high initiative model if you're going to drop it to 1? Whenever I fight dark eldar, I find myself getting ripped apart by a husk blade before I can so much as roll a die. I in no way mean to sound offensive, just curious why you make that decision.

    1. they are all travelling with the eldar codex harlies and the farseer.

  7. If someone randomly walked into to the GW I got to, asked for a game and then dropped 6 Vendettas on the table I'd keel over and die.

    1. why? its a legal list. he wasn't trying to club baby seals, he was trying to make a competitive list that in reality is not a very balanced list.

      In a competitive environment its a rock/paper/scissors list.

    2. I'm not saying it's a bad thing full stop, I'm saying that personally my lists couldn't deal with that unless I was expecting that many flyers (and even then Deathwing have limited, dedicated AA options).

    3. To be honest on this game, I had two chances to win it, one I failed because i did not move my unit far enough to get linebreaker, and the other was due to his Warlord making two 5+ saves.

      I only mention this, because my list had zero AA options. I had figured I was going to get my butt wiped clean in the game. Over-all I played a very good game though, and took it to a draw.

      I have since this match up changed that list some, and expect it to deal with flyers much better than the previous game. The game also forced me to really dig into my tactics box, and see what I could come up with. In that way, it was a very very good game for me to play. Personally, I do not think I would of made it much longer, and a round 7 game would of been the end of me.

      Round 5 was looking like I was going to win, (but ended in a draw), round 6 was looking more like a draw in waiting, and 7 was looking like a loss as my dark eldar were really starting to run thin on guys.

    4. Yeah, people hype up flyers to the point that people seem to think if the opponent has any/more than you, that you'll lose (see my original comment*). As you've just described, it can actually swing either way, since spamming flyers leaves your list lacking in other places. I think everyone should at least consider a dedicated AA option in their lists if there's a chance they'll face flyers.

      We'll see what happens with the new flyer book though (if they change the rules, I haven't kept up with the rumors).

      *Outlook still grim though, pure Deathwing only really has Cyclone Missile Launchers and Assault Cannons for dealing with flyers. When I expand to 2k it might be worth looking into a Doublewing list, or splashing in some Green guys (flak Devastators maybe).

    5. I run Flakk Havocs at 2K points with my Death Guard, but they draw a lot of attention early in the game, which you would probably have to face, too, and they are expensive points-wise. In my case I also run an Autocannon Havoc squad and a Heldrake, both of which can be useful. I don't know about your local ganging community, McBlobbicus, but for Deathwing I would suggest one ore two Contemptor Dreadnoughts with twin-linked Autocannons on each arm. If they don't move they gat SkyFire and Interceptor, although just at S7. But they're BS5 and twin-linked, so you're hitting in 2s with a re-roll, which gives you a fair chance at glancing a flyer to death. They're stamped "40,000 Approved" in the FW Aeronautica book, so your opponents shouldn't have a problem with you running them. At my FLGS they allow 40K Approved FW models in tournaments, so you'd have to check with your local TO about that. Yeah, being FW, it's kind of a pricey alternative, but it looks good on paper, and as you say, what other options do you have? Sure, there's the Nephilim, but that takes up a valuable Fast Attack slot, when you could be running Ravenwing there. What else are you going to put in your Heavy slots? (I'm pretty sure a Contemptor is a Heavy & not an Elite, but I'm not certain. If it is an Elite, and you're running Deathwing with either Belial or Azrael, then your DW are Troops & you'll have room in the Elites slots for a Contemptor or 2...).

      Anyway, just a suggestion...

    6. Tournaments in my area don't allow Forgeworld, I don't really do 40k tournaments though (only Fantasy). But I'll have to look into some Dreads, even normal ones with auto-cannons would work I think.

  8. The DE models are so pretty. If I hadn't already invested gobs of money in three other armies, I probably would have started DE.

  9. Can someone explain to me the appeal of the Harlie Star thing? Ive seen it played quite a few times now and I'm still unsure its point. Usually a very expensive unit does absolutely nothing. I'm confused.


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