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Saturday, February 20, 2010

Dark Eldar; A beginners Guide: Part 2

In the last article we spoke about why you should start a Dark Eldar army and about what makes the Dark Eldar such a great faction in Warhammer 40k. In this article we’ll be getting to the really fun stuff; buying your first Dark Eldar miniatures.

You might remember me briefly mentioning the Dark Eldar Battleforce at the end of the last article. For those who don’t know, a Battleforce is a set which gives you the core section of a 40k army in one handy box. They generally contain a couple of troop choices, a vehicle and a further specialist unit. The sets retail at £50/$90(US) and are pretty good value when you look at how much it would cost to buy the contents individually.
Let’s take a look at what you get inside the Dark Eldar’s own Battleforce:

    20 Warriors (up to 4 can be given Splinter Cannons)
    5 Reaver Jetbikes
    1 Raider
    1 Set of Plastic Trees (Scenery)

As mentioned above the contents of this particular Battleforce would normally set you back around £70/$150(US), so you are saving a fair bit (In fact a lot more if you are from North America).

Are these miniatures going to be a good choice for your army?
The short answer to that is yes. The long answer is definitely, yes. The true power of a Dark Eldar Kabal is in its Warriors and Raiders and until you’ve got enough to max out the force organisation chart you haven’t got enough.

What about the Reaver Jetbikes?
I haven’t been able to fit Reaver Jetbikes into my own 1500pt list (apart from my Archon who rides around on one) but for smaller games I think I would drop something else and make room for them and I would definitely take them in larger games. They are definitely one of the stronger units in the codex and if nothing else they look great.

Is it worth buying more than one Battleforce?
I would consider buying two but three will leave you with far too many Jetbikes. That is unless you plan on making a Jetbike themed army in which case I believe you could potentially field 36 of them (I’m giving myself ideas now!) But for a balanced army I would say one or two Battleforces will serve you well. (If you are so inclined you could potentially buy as many Battleforces as you needed and sell off any unwanted bikes, maybe worth considering if you have the time to do so).

Are there enough miniatures in the Battleforce to play a game?
Yes. Here is a 500pt list I’ve drawn up using the Battleforce contents:

Dracon (Jetbike, Shadowfield, Agoniser, Splinter Pistol, Combat drugs, Plasma Grenades)
Raider Squad
4 Warriors (Splinter Cannon)
Sybarite (Terrorfex)
Raider (Horrorfex)
Warrior Squad
13 Warriors (2 x Splinter Cannon)
Fast Attack
4 Reaver Jetbikes

Total: 498pts

Everything used in the list can be found inside the Battleforce. The Dracon can be simply made by combining the remaining Reaver Jetbike with left over Warrior parts just to make him stand out a bit. The Sybarite can be equipped with the Splinter Pistol and Close Combat Weapon to distinguish him from the rest of the squad.
Bear in mind that this is not a list tailored to be great at 500pts but at least you will be able to play games and get a feel for the army. Don’t worry if you don’t win much with it, once we bulk it out a bit we’ll soon have your opponents weeping.

I hope that gives you a good idea as to why the Battleforce is a good place to start. In the next article we’ll talk a little about how to expand your army.
Happy Raiding!


  1. Where was this article when the codex & battle force first came out???

    Great battle force box list!

    I'm digging how buying a second box can boost your force up to the 1000 point mark. :)

  2. Battleforce? I just want the trees =P

    Nice article. I don't like the list too much but at least it enables you to buy the battleforce only. Sole problem is that those RJB could frighten beginners as they're quite hard to use ^^ I had some in my first game and they died sooo quickly ^^

  3. can we please please please get the next article(s)? I've just got my force to a little over 500 pts, and I would love to see an archon/dracon/incubi post, maybe even include archites and drachite(?)

  4. @Mizzrym

    That's actually a good idea. Look out for an article on the Archon/Dracon in the next few days!

  5. tyvm, been needing my DE tactica fix for a little while now :)

  6. I've just started wh40k and at first wanted to just play Chaos Space Marines. I saw the dark eldar army but thought that it would be too hard to play but after reading about the talos, the flying torture machine I got much more interested in their aesthetics. Everyone plays Space Marines and seeing how effective Dark eldar against them makes me excited. I want to start a dark eldar army too now and this is a great help!

  7. had a look on the games workshop website.. still not enough units... :( need more units :'(