Dark Eldar – Surviving the Game in 7th Edition

I need to begin with a preface, I’ve not yet managed to get any games in with 7th ed, and only read through the new rules once. This isn’t a intended as review, or detailed breakdown of old vs new, isn’t a soapbox from which to espouse “the sky is falling” or bemoan the nerf-bat. Instead, this is just musing on the changes that jumped out as having an immediate affect on how I play evil space elves on the tabletop.

So, what jumped out?

No way of hiding it, this is a big one for any Dark Eldar player. It affects every single one of our vehicles, jetbikes included. Positive, negative or indifferent will depend on individual play styles and how much you rely on vehicles bringing the Dakka. Dropping the must have moved pre-requisite at least means if you lose the Alpha-Strike, you still get a 50% chance to save anything coming at your paper planes, but that snap shooting will hurt any retaliation. Or will it?


Razorwings and Voidravens: These guys could only snap shoot if they jinked anyway, and now get a batter save. Bonus.

Venoms: Come with built in flicker fields so maintain the 5+ invul they had last edition without snap shooting, but now get the option to bump the save to a 4+ if there’s no one to shoot at in your turn anyway (poison won’t do much facing mechanised infantry hiding in their metal boxes).

Raiders: Mine are loaded with close combat units and always flat out T1 to deliver their payload so can’t shoot anyway. I say always, recently they’ve been getting blown up before moving and having to foot slog across the board. At least now they’ll get to attempt a save before they blow up.

Reavers: Now get a flat 3+ cover save even if they sit still thanks to skilled rider, and are not precluded from bladevaning after jinking. Probably still worth throwing some heat lances in just in case you get the opportunity if you have spare points, but bladevaning is so much fun and auto hits.

Ravagers: It’s a gunboat, ergo snap shots are bad and flickerfields are back in. Park them behind anything that will be going flat out (hello Reavers) to at least get a 5+ cover save for firing through a unit if points are tight

Overall for me that’s a big bonus to jink.


Night fight
Two things to note. There’s no longer a maximum targeting range, so no more skirting 36” with night fields for safety. Instead it’s trolling time with everything getting stealth. 3+ jink saves across the board, with 2+ on Reavers? Thanks. Also, stealth now stacks. The Baron with a beast pack in ruins or rubble at night also has a 2+ cover save. Just don’t forget Tau.

The Psychic Phase
We didn’t do psykers before, there’s no reason to start now and risk drawing the attention of She Who Thirsts. Although Malys might have to come out to play from time to time. Complete immunity to offensive psy powers – that can only help right?

Scoring units/objective secured
One thing Dark Eldar have never had an issue with is speed. Now we can really use and abuse it. Chuck aethersails into the mix and our skimmers have a maximum range of 42” per turn, are now scoring AND if bought for troops have the objective secured rule, so are guaranteed to at least deny VP’s, if not outright steal victory points from under people. Can you say last minute objective grab? Even Reavers now can take a break from bladevaning to pick up some points with a 48” threat range.


One thing the Dark Kin did lack were resilient objective campers. T3 with a 5+ save didn’t tend to hang around very long, even in cover. Meet the Grotesques. These guys are one of my favourite units anyway, have repeatedly proved themselves tough as old boots, and now they’re scoring? Result!

Oh, almost forgot. The shooting unit with no gun until it gets a pain token; Yes the much maligned Mandrake might see the tabletop. They can now be infiltrated directly onto objectives and hold them, so have a use until a delivery Haemy donates a token. Even Kheradruakh can score when he rocks up. Just place him exactly where he needs to be, claim your VPs and ditch that card.

Final thing on the topic of scoring units, is mysterious objectives. Having problems with an FMC? Park a Venom or Ravager on a Skyfire Nexus or Targeting Relay, odds are you’ll see one or both in most games. Flicking through Escalation there’s certain missions that gift a controlling unit both Fleshbane and Armourbane. I like the idea of Disintegrators pumping out AP2 Fleshbane, and now Splinter weapons are S1 getting them Armourbane would give them some utility against light vehicles in an Escalation match.

Fortifications have hull points now. FORTIFICATIONS HAVE HULL POINTS NOW. They’re also still auto hit in combat. Is it a bit unfair that a 60pt squad of 5 Hay-Wyches will reduce a 500+ point Aquila stronghold to “scenery” in a single turn of combat? No. It’s fucking hilarious!


Supreme Tyrant by the talented Beckjann

Independent character units
Vect, The Duke, Lady Malys, 6 Archons and a Haemy walked into a bar…ge. Ahem. Yeah so I will be trying this out for shits and giggles. 1800 points for the lot fully kitted out with Blasters, Huskblades, Drugs miscellaneous toys and Shadowfields on the Dais of Destruction. 4+ to seize initiative, redeploy your AV13 barge after deployment, 2++ saves all round with feel no pain and cannot be targeted by psy powers. What could go wrong?

Pretty ‘meh’ actually. I can’t actually recall ever charging a stationary vehicle so the jump to WS1 will have little effect. Likewise my lance rolls are always piss poor anyway so the bump in the explodes result won’t be that harsh. Heat lances will still make things go boom at least. Not much change so far, although flamers…. Open topped vehicles do not like flamers. D6 hits to the unit inside? Ouch. Best keep those templates at a distance. On the plus side though, bombs now allocate wounds as per barrage, so void mines make will make for some nasty character sniping.

A minor change, but one that will affect Wracks. Your strength now has to exceed the targets toughness to get a re-roll. So Wracks and Haemy’s with Furious Charge will no longer get re-rolls against Marines. If only Grots had poison weapons outside the Acothyst. Here’s hoping the new codex brings some toys.

Overall, I’m fairly positive about the tweaked rules and amendments the all powerful GeeDub have introduced with 7th Edition. Yes, it’s going to take a few games to get down and really start understanding the nuances, but it’s going to be fun finding out, and the relentless pace of current releases means it’s not going to be long before something else comes along and rocks the boat anyway. Don’t fear change, for the time of Dysjunction is not yet here.

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About John

After growing up on a farm in North Lincs John was attracted by the bright lights of Manchester at the turn of the century. He attempted to play drums in a few discordant bands through school and college before realising he was a better listener and could have more fun in a mosh. A reader first and and self confessed Rule Geek who enjoys poring over codexes and spends far too long painting. John hates the taste of Badab Black.