Tactics vs. Dark Eldar

Discuss tactical and strategic development for 40K/Tau.
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Pogman
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Tactics vs. Dark Eldar

Post#1 » Sep 14 2017 03:06

Hey gang, I've got a 2k game coming up against a dark eldar player. I had a 1k game against him earlier this week and managed to squeak out a win, but i was hoping to come in with a bit more of an idea of what to do. He's probably going to run a whole bunch of venoms, so the biggest question i have is how best to deal with that -1 to hit. But any other sage advice is also appreciated. :fear:

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Panzer
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Re: Tactics vs. Dark Eldar

Post#2 » Sep 14 2017 03:20

Flamer and the usual Commander spam sounds like a good bet to me. ^^

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Pogman
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Re: Tactics vs. Dark Eldar

Post#3 » Sep 14 2017 04:31

What do you figure is the most effective way of actually get said flamers in range?

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Arka0415
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Re: Tactics vs. Dark Eldar

Post#4 » Sep 14 2017 07:48

Pogman wrote:What do you figure is the most effective way of actually get said flamers in range?


I assume the idea would be to use Fusion Blaster Commanders to bring the venoms down, then advance your Flamer XV8s to burn out the occupants. The only way you can "catch" Venoms is using Manta Strike, I think, or Missile Pod Commanders.

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Panzer
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Re: Tactics vs. Dark Eldar

Post#5 » Sep 14 2017 11:26

Best way to deliver? Definitely Homing Beacon supported Manta Strike plus a bunch of Shield Drones.

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Pogman
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Re: Tactics vs. Dark Eldar

Post#6 » Sep 15 2017 12:29

Clever, I'll see if i can move some points around how i could make that happen.

One thing I have noticed is that none of their saves are 3+ (minus a couple units), and they lots of them have 5++ saves. So, by that logic, it doesn't really make sense to have anything throwing out AP -2

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Vio'ra Mal'caor
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Re: Tactics vs. Dark Eldar

Post#7 » Sep 15 2017 12:52

If you are playing against Dark Eldar (really don't like the new name 'Drukari' or however you spell it), then there are some key points about your army to consider:

1. Are you taking any Heavy Support in the battle??? I would advise against it. At the moment, my XV88 Broadside squadron and my three Hammerhead MBT's tend to suffer against the zippier (and more mobile) Dark Eldar Jetbikes and Skimmers. As a rule of thumb, try to avoid units like the Broadside that have a slow movement speed of 5", and avoid using the unfortunately useless sniper drones (despite their higher mobility). Due to the hammerhead being a skimmer in the fluff, the crunch tends to reflect that, and it's movement is quite fair (at full health it has 12" of movement). However, take fewer than three, and try to keep them back out of medium range (which effectively eliminates the use of Ion Cannons). With other units like the R'vhara and other Forge World HS units, things are different. The R'varha is actually quite fair in medium and close range (at least to my knowledge (I don't have the luxury of owning one)) and I have some experience with using the Heavy Bombardment Variant of the Hammerhead (Don't. Use. It. Seriously). The others I have no idea about.

2. Are you using a troop heavy Army (more than three units)? This is a good way to go, but make sure you have cover. I recently faced off against a Dark Eldar player using mostly troops. His splinter rifles and other weapons are quite mean, and took out my entire 5-man strike team in the first shooting phase of the battle. As for the vehicle mounted weapons??? *Shudder*. The Dark eldar jetbikes have some of the best damm weaponry for a Fast Attack unit there are. Just DON'T let them get within range of your troops. I recommend using a strategy of deloying from a devilfish, and then boarding whenever they get close. Try to broaden the distance between your troops and theirs.

3. Do you have Commanders??? If not, get some. Even ONE commander with a loadout of 3 missile pods and a Advanced Targeting System can take out a Tyranid Swarmlord. I tested mine against a Dark Eldar Jetbike unit (one on three) and it poned them massively (excuse the dated language). I pulled a all-fusion loadout for that, so you might want to take that loadout if you have such a valuable choice of unit

4. Are you using flyers?? These are mediocre at the best if your opponent has a lot of jetbikes. Due to both Tau flyers and Dark Eldar Skimmers having the 'Hard to Hit' rule, you will find it hard to hit them. Of course, the latter is a benifit, as also having the Hard To Hit rule will greatly benifit your defence. Just don't use Razorsharks. They suck. A lot.

Anyway, that's my five cents of advice. Hope your game goes well/has gone well (if I'm late to join the metaphorical party!!)
For the Tau'va ATT!!!

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Pogman
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Re: Tactics vs. Dark Eldar

Post#8 » Sep 15 2017 01:14

Vio'ra Mal'caor wrote:If you are playing against Dark Eldar (really don't like the new name 'Drukari' or however you spell it), then there are some key points about your army to consider:

1. Are you taking any Heavy Support in the battle??? I would advise against it. At the moment, my XV88 Broadside squadron and my three Hammerhead MBT's tend to suffer against the zippier (and more mobile) Dark Eldar Jetbikes and Skimmers. As a rule of thumb, try to avoid units like the Broadside that have a slow movement speed of 5", and avoid using the unfortunately useless sniper drones (despite their higher mobility). Due to the hammerhead being a skimmer in the fluff, the crunch tends to reflect that, and it's movement is quite fair (at full health it has 12" of movement). However, take fewer than three, and try to keep them back out of medium range (which effectively eliminates the use of Ion Cannons). With other units like the R'vhara and other Forge World HS units, things are different. The R'varha is actually quite fair in medium and close range (at least to my knowledge (I don't have the luxury of owning one)) and I have some experience with using the Heavy Bombardment Variant of the Hammerhead (Don't. Use. It. Seriously). The others I have no idea about.

Anyway, that's my five cents of advice. Hope your game goes well/has gone well (if I'm late to join the metaphorical party!!)


So I was thinking of putting Longstrike in an Ionhead with an SMS and to have him back upped by a railhead. Do you think that's not worth the points?

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Vio'ra Mal'caor
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Re: Tactics vs. Dark Eldar

Post#9 » Sep 15 2017 04:10

No. The ionhead wouldn't be worth it for the effective range. As well as that, the railgun has higher strength and AP stats that the ion cannon's overcharge, and doesn't have the penalty of inflicting mortal wounds on the user (though longstrike does negate this). It means that the ion cannon isn't worth spending those points on. The only advantage the cannot has is that it has more shots. Against Dark Eldar, you'll need to engage them at long range to avoid getting tangled in a melee. The railhead is most effective when they don't have the distance. Only problem is that if you fail the solid shot hit, then you don't have a followup. However, the ion cannon brings the enemies within a range that allows them to easily close the gap and attack. This severely complicates things if you are trying to take out...say four or more jetbikes. So in short, yes, the points cost isn't worth the extra shots.
For the Tau'va ATT!!!

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Panzer
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Re: Tactics vs. Dark Eldar

Post#10 » Sep 15 2017 04:34

For Hammerheads I'd try the Fire Support Hammerhead with Twin heavy burst cannon from Forgeworld. 16 S6 AP-1 shots sounds pretty nice.
Longstrike can't take it unfortunately but he can buff them to BS2+ at least. Longstrike himself is without a doubt best with a Railgun.

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Pogman
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Re: Tactics vs. Dark Eldar

Post#11 » Sep 15 2017 09:34

Vio'ra Mal'caor wrote:No. The ionhead wouldn't be worth it for the effective range. As well as that, the railgun has higher strength and AP stats that the ion cannon's overcharge, and doesn't have the penalty of inflicting mortal wounds on the user (though longstrike does negate this). It means that the ion cannon isn't worth spending those points on. The only advantage the cannot has is that it has more shots. Against Dark Eldar, you'll need to engage them at long range to avoid getting tangled in a melee. The railhead is most effective when they don't have the distance. Only problem is that if you fail the solid shot hit, then you don't have a followup. However, the ion cannon brings the enemies within a range that allows them to easily close the gap and attack. This severely complicates things if you are trying to take out...say four or more jetbikes. So in short, yes, the points cost isn't worth the extra shots.


Fair enough. I didn't realize the difference between the railheads 72" and the Ionhead's 60" makes that big of a difference.

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Panzer
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Re: Tactics vs. Dark Eldar

Post#12 » Sep 15 2017 09:36

It really isn't that big of a difference to be honet. Most enemies will start within 60" anyway. The Ion Cannon is just not that good in 8th imo.

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Pogman
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Re: Tactics vs. Dark Eldar

Post#13 » Sep 15 2017 09:38

Panzer wrote:For Hammerheads I'd try the Fire Support Hammerhead with Twin heavy burst cannon from Forgeworld. 16 S6 AP-1 shots sounds pretty nice.
Longstrike can't take it unfortunately but he can buff them to BS2+ at least. Longstrike himself is without a doubt best with a Railgun.


Also, not necessarily that i'm even going to purchase this, but where would I find the bits for this conversion?

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Panzer
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Re: Tactics vs. Dark Eldar

Post#14 » Sep 15 2017 10:33

Pogman wrote:
Panzer wrote:For Hammerheads I'd try the Fire Support Hammerhead with Twin heavy burst cannon from Forgeworld. 16 S6 AP-1 shots sounds pretty nice.
Longstrike can't take it unfortunately but he can buff them to BS2+ at least. Longstrike himself is without a doubt best with a Railgun.


Also, not necessarily that i'm even going to purchase this, but where would I find the bits for this conversion?

That's a very good question.
The Sky Ray turret as start and then ... well The Riptide Burst cannon would probably work but where would one get that bit without buying a Riptide (and if you buy one, why would you equip it with the Ion weapon instead of the Burst cannon with the current rules lol).
It's something I haven't completely figured out myself yet. :P

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Pogman
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Re: Tactics vs. Dark Eldar

Post#15 » Sep 17 2017 07:31

So I had a thought. I know he's going to be running a lot of venoms, which have the fly keyword, but also have that flicker field nonsense that puts me at -1 to him them at range. So here's the question, would it be worth subbing out one of the fusion commander's fusion blasters for a velocity tracker so he has 3 shots to hit on a 2 or should i just keep him with 4 shots to hit on a 3?

Blinx
Shas'Saal
Posts: 14

Re: Tactics vs. Dark Eldar

Post#16 » Sep 18 2017 02:54

I find that with the low toughness of Dark Eldar vehicles, the CIB works better than fusion (at least it's more consistent, rather than the spiking of FBs).

Pogman wrote:So I had a thought. I know he's going to be running a lot of venoms, which have the fly keyword, but also have that flicker field nonsense that puts me at -1 to him them at range. So here's the question, would it be worth subbing out one of the fusion commander's fusion blasters for a velocity tracker so he has 3 shots to hit on a 2 or should i just keep him with 4 shots to hit on a 3?

For commanders, I wouldn't worry about VT but on bigger things it's quite handy. A Stormsurge with ATS, SG and VT works wonders

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Panzer
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Re: Tactics vs. Dark Eldar

Post#17 » Sep 18 2017 03:16

Yeah hitting on 3+ is good enough for 4 Fusion Blaster. However VT would be an option on other suits like HYMP Broadsides or CIB Crisis.

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Taiwaz
Shas
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Re: Tactics vs. Dark Eldar

Post#18 » Sep 18 2017 07:17

Well, I have a Dark Eldar army and I disagree with some points said here earlier.

1st. Sniper drones are a real pain for some DE builds. Get a drone controller and 1-2 marksman and snipe the Beastmaster ;) He just has 3HP and a low 5+6+++ and his death reduces the flocks & co from LD9(with +2 LD drug as he should) to LD4! allowing for some efficient morale check :) otherwise those massive amounts of wounds on the beasts can easily ruin your day.

2nd. DE lack good AP or IC on single wound shooting. This makes 5-man strike teams one of your most tanky units. poisoned shooting still wounds just on 4+ and they have a 3+ save in cover. When he actually wipes 2 squads of them, he just killed models worth 80 points. the same amount of shooting will wipe a full 3 man Crisis team or a Ghostkeel ;)
I would not recommend to overly rely on them as cover may be a scarce resource, but 3-6 small units do not eat a lot of points and are a really nice backbone to your army scoring objectives and giving some pod shots here and there that are fairly good against any target the DE can field.

3rd. Their vehicles are T6 at best with 4+5++. This is pretty much the sweet spot of our missile weaponry. So I advice to use them on Crisis, Commander or Turrent, IMHO try to avoid fielding a broadside as the DE have extremely efficient shooting against it.

4th. Bringing T5-7 with many wounds may be painful, as they can field S8 AP-4 D2+ in a very cost efficient manner on multiple platforms.

5th. A single unit full of flamers has a pretty short range and need some Stealth team set-up. This may be potentially effective, but DE does not have huge problems wiping the Stealth teams if they get turn 1. However, some hidden flamers like 1 flamer per Crisis is a great hindrance as they cannot be bound and multiple overwatches will thin their ranks. This also works wonders against their transports when they try to soak the overwatch ;)

So units I would recommend in total are: Strike teams, Crisis, Coldstar, Stealth teams, Piranhas and loads of drones. Try to be on the mobile side. They are faster initially, but when you de-mech them to some degree, you will have the mobility advantage with suits and drones (and the ever usefull Prianha).

IMHO both armies are pretty evenly matched and in the end, may the dice be with you.

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