A long time ago, one of my fellow gamers started a new army; Dark Eldar. In a fit of over enthusiasm (similar to one that had me promised I could get a 1200 point Nurgle army done in the two months leading up to Arcanacon 2010), I inherited it because he was no longer interested in it!
The Dark Eldar are widely known as piratical raiders of the Warhammer 40000 universe. Dark Eldar do not occupy many planets, but rather one dark city – Commorragh. They are mainly pirates, though are sometimes used as mercenaries. They are seen not to expand their empire, but to capture more slavese to take back to Commorragh.
Games Workshop decided to make the Dark Eldar as a separate army, after it became fairly common to see gamers collect “Dark Eldar” armies, which are total conversions/customizations of Eldar miniatures while still retaining the standard Eldar rules. It was also relatively convenient to add the Dark Eldar to the existing Eldar storyline without any conflict, right at the catastrophe that destroyed the Eldar homeworld.
The origins of the Dark Eldar can be found in the Fall, the great cataclysm that nearly destroyed the entire Eldar race. It was an event so terrible that not only did it kill trillions of Eldar, but it breached the gap between real space and the warp, and gave birth to a Chaos God.
Unlike the Dark Eldar, Eldar armies have a wider array of heavy weapons and fast attack platforms and have constantly received additions in regards to miniature line development and additional supplemental rules. Also, due to the age of the codex, there are very few decent builds and some units are much weaker than others.
Dark Eldar are lightly armoured and rely more on speed than brute force. I can imagine it will be quite a while before I am a worthwhile Dark Eldar general. Massive changes in tactics are required; foregoing full frontal attack with strong troops (Plague Marine) for patience, cunning, and even a little daring. Things like flanking manoeuvres, screening, and the like to achieve victory. Their strengths – speed, close-combat prowess, and hard-hitting firepower make them pretty unique in the warhammer 40000 universe and that much harder to master.
The original idea behind this Dark Eldar army was sump dwelling mutants, the like you would be unlucky to encounter in Necromunda. Tim has done a stellar job using Warhammer ghouls to represent the troops and I am planning to run with it as much as possible.
In the depths of the underhive, below even where the gangers dare to tread, lurk unnamed horrors and ancient evils… Mad doctors and scientists who are surrounded by their unholy creations… Plagues that will rot the brain and leave behind little more than a lingering corpse…Viruses that will turn a man into a bloodthirsting immortal… Twisted, inbred mutants that have lurked in the dark spaces for too many generations to count…
Think not that these creatures will deign to keep within their shadowy lairs, for they crave a regular supply of warm bodies. The need to hunt runs strong in the nature of the beasts below, and when the dark hunger rises, the things that should not be gather in the shadows. When the glow-tubes grow dim and night falls on the underhive, the creatures will hunt, and it is the citizens of the underhive that will be their prey…
One of the biggest questions was which army list to use. After much thinking and postulating, interspersed with large quantities of soft drink and junk food, I ended up deciding on the Dark Eldar. It may seem a strange choice, but the high initiative and weapon skill could represent the general wiliness that is required to survive in the underhive, and the effects of being hopped up on drugs like ‘Slaught or mushoom spores. The haemonculus could be mad scientists/doctors and the grotesques represent plague zombies. When it comes to explaining how they have anti-grav (raiders) and dark lances, you can equate it to things like archeotech or the mad scientist’s inventions. And the talos? That could be a converted cleaner/defense servitor.
Here we strike the stumbling block.
The current range is somewhat limited. So, maintaining the existing theme is paramount (and because they look pretty awesome, too!). To add my own little touch, I have added some fluff to come soon!