DARK ELDAR CODEX UPDATE
< 25.I.2002 >

For a while now, some Dark Eldar players have been voicing the opinion that their codex isn’t quite what it ought to be. We came to the conclusion that while it’s true that it takes a skilled general to be really successful with them, on the whole there’s nothing wrong with the Dark Eldar. Unfortunately most successful Dark Eldar armies look pretty similar to one another. In order to encourage a little more flexibility and variety, Andy Hoare and Phil Kelly have come up with these modifications.

Dark Eldar Retinue: The retinue may be equipped with plasma grenades at +2 pts per model.

HQ: Dark Eldar Kabals are lead by ruthless individuals who have murdered their way to the top: they do not share power with others. A Dark Eldar force may only ever contain one Archon, or one Archite. As many Dracons and Dracites may be taken as allowed by the mission being played.

Wyches: Wyches are the deadliest of close combat adversaries, experts in their particular style of gladiatorial combat. Although not possessed of great physical strength, they are adept at wearing their opponents down whilst dancing lithely from harm’s way.

Dark Eldar Wyches now receive a 4+ Invulnerable save whilst fighting in an assault. Their armour save versus shooting attacks remains at 6+.

Wyches are increased in cost from 10 to 12 points per model. The Succubus remains at +8 points. This special Armour save applies to Wyche squad members and Wych Lords only, and Wyche Lords riding Jetbikes or Hellion Skyboards do not benefit from it.

Wych Weapons: ‘Wych weapons’ is now a generic category that represents all the various instruments used by the gladiatorial Wyches. The effects described on page 9 of Codex: Dark Eldar are no longer used.

Instead, at the cost of +2 pt per model in the squad, the squad is equipped with Wych weapons. These have the following effects:

  • No member of a squad fighting the Wyches in close combat counts as equipped with an additional close combat weapon.
  • All enemies with an unmodified Strength below 6 halve their Weapon Skill characteristic (rounding up) for attacks made against the Wyches. Models with a Strength of 6 or more are unaffected (something that large is impossible to ensnare, even for a trained gladiator).

Note that it is assumed the Wych weapons are evenly distributed amongst the squad; it is irrelevant which actual models display them, so long as at least a small number do. A model armed with Wych weapons is still counted as carrying a splinter pistol and close combat weapon for the sake of it’s own attacks, or a shredder or blaster if this upgrade has been taken (although the Shredder and Blaster upgrades should be modelled).

Lelith Hesperax: Lelith is reduced in cost from 110 pts to 90 pts, and is now armed with an agoniser in addition to her other equipment.

Reavers: Reaver Jetbikes are reduced in cost from 30 pts to 25 pts each.

Hellions: Hellions are now able to make a Hit & Run attack at the end of each assault phase, after all Morale checks have been taken. The Hellions immediately fall back 3D6“ in any direction, and automatically regroup at the end of the move. Enemy models may not advance after the Hellions but can consolidate.

Hellions who have been forced to fall back may not choose to make a second move in the same turn. If they win the combat they may pursue as normal, if they lose the combat they may be pursued as normal, but on any other result they MUST disengage according to the rule described above.

The Crazed! Combat Drug result does not override the compulsory Hit & Run; the Hellions don’t fall back if they lose the combat but must still disengage as described above, i.e. they fall back, but cannot be pursued.

Hellions are increased in cost to 18 points per model. The Succubus remains at +16 points.

Hellglaives: Hellglaives now receive the +1 Strength bonus on the turn the bearer charges, even if they fired the weapon as a splinter rifle.

Hellion skyboard: The Hellion skyboard now confers a 5+ invulnerable ‘jink’ save against shooting attacks, providing the rider moved in the previous turn. Note that the rider does count as having moved in the turn they Deep Strike and so will receive the save.

Riders of Hellion skyboards are renowned for their insane diving attacks. They may now make use of the Deep Strike scenario special rule where allowed to do so by the scenario being played. Note that, as with Reaver Jetbikes, riders of Hellion skyboards may not carry webway portals.

Mandrakes: Mandrakes now receive a +2 save modifier when in cover. This means their cover save while in woods, rubble etc is 3+, while their cover save in the open remains at 5+.

Wych Lord: The following character may take the place of the Dark Eldar Lord as an HQ choice.

HQ - Wych Lord
WYCH LORD
  Points WS BS S T W I A Ld Sv
Wych Archite
65
6
6
3
3
3
8
3
9
6+
Wych Dracite
40
5
5
3
3
2
7
2
9
6+

Options: The Wych Lord can be given any equipment allowed from the Dark Eldar Armoury.

SPECIAL RULES

Independent Character: Unless accompanied by a Retinue (see below) the Wych Lord is an independent character and follows the Independent Character special rules as given in the Warhammer 40,000 rulebook.

Dodge: Wych Lords benefits from a 4+ Invulnerable Dodge save in close combat, as their years of experience in the gladiatorial arenas of Commorragh enables them to avoid their opponents’ blows with ease. Their Armour save against shooting attacks remains at 6+.

Wych Retinue: Wych Lords are often accompanied into battle by a bodyguard of their most skilled Wyches. The Retinue consists of 5 to 10 Wyches, chosen from the Wych army list entry and has the same squad upgrade options with regards to characters, special weapons and transports. These Wyches are highly experienced and successful gladiators from the arenas of Commorragh, and may be equipped with Wych Weapons as per Wych squads. Note that the Retinue presented on page 7 of Codex Dark Eldar is not available to the Wych Lord.

Wych Cult: An army led by a Wych Lord must make the following modifications to the army list:

  • Wych squads count as a Troops choice rather than an Elite.
  • Warrior and Raider squads are Elite choices instead of Troops choices.
  • The following troop types cannot be used: Haemonculi, Grotesques, Talos and Dark Eldar Lords.
  • As many Warp Beast Packs may be included as there are Wych squads in the army, these do not occupy any force organisation slots.
Dark Eldar Arcane Wargear

All of these items are extremely rare or even legendary, and only one of each item can be included in any Dark Eldar army.

Goblet of Spite (Succubi only) (5pts) - The Goblet of Spite is a sacred relic of the Dark Eldar Wych cult. It exudes an almost palpable aura of menace and hatred, driving those near to it into a state of such utter savagery that their frenzied, atavistic screams mingle with those of their victims.

A Succubus that carries the Goblet of Spite, any models in the same unit as the Succubus and any units with a model in base contact with the Succubus and/or his unit will always hit on a 3+ in hand to hand combat, regardless of other factors.

Vexantrope (10pts)* - The Vexantrope is a delicate mask of bone and flayed skin that has been adorned with runes of confusion and illusion. It grows onto its wearer's face, and psychically projects the appearance of the viewer's most trusted friend or loved one.

Models wishing to attack a model with a Vexantrope in any round of combat must first pass a Leadership test or direct its attack against a different model within 2" as per the normal rules for a supporting attack. The Vexantrope cannot affect daemons, vehicles, Talos, Tyranids or walkers.

Nightmare Doll (20pts) - The creation of Nightmare Dolls is a risky practice in Commorragh, as the Dark Eldar view those who use psychic powers as amusing playthings. These vile toys ooze an aura of pain, and can place their owner into a feverish delirium whereby they are often granted visions of the future.

A Dark Eldar model equipped with a Nightmare Doll may force his opponent to re-roll the dice when ascertaining who may choose table edge or quarter. If the Dark Eldar player opts to do this, the model with the Nightmare Doll takes a Strength 3 hit at the beginning of the first Dark Eldar turn with no saves of any kind allowed.

Mask of the Damned (15pts)* - The Mask of the Damned plays upon its victims' deepest fears and phobias. It projects hellish visions into their brains; often dropping them to their knees even in mid-charge.

Any enemy unit that wishes to assault a model wearing a Mask of the Damned or a unit of which it is part must take an unmodified Leadership check. If the check is failed, the unit succumbs to sheer horror, and may not make an assault this turn. A character cannot wear more than one mask and so cannot combine these effects with those of a Hell mask.

Archangel of Pain (5 points) - The Dark Eldar are said to be able to seal the essence of a daemon within a rune-covered cask. The runes are inimical to the imprisoned djinn, and drive it wild with agony. Upon the daemon's release, it appears as a winged, blinding figure before returning to the warp, and its screams can incapacitate even the bravest foe.

A Dark Eldar model with an Archangel of Pain can release the Archangel in the shooting phase instead of firing a weapon. Place the flamer template touching the model's base. Any unit with a model at least partially underneath the template must make an immediate pinning test at –1 to their Leadership. Any unit with a model in close combat is immune to the Archangel's effects.

Animus Vitae (15pts) - This detestable device resembles a sphere of barbed wire, which can be made to explode outward, capturing unfortunates within its agonising embrace and slowly draining their life force. The Dark Eldar find this highly invigorating.

Any models captured by a unit including a model equipped with the Animus Vitae count for five victory points each instead of the usual one. Once one or more models has been captured by the character with the Animus, he benefits from +1 WS and +1 S for the rest of the game.

Xenospasm (20 pts) - Xenospasms, variants of the Terrorfex grenade launcher, shoot pitted obsidian spheres laced with tortured wraithbone. The wraithbone reacts to such suffering by exuding a black aura of agony that plunges non- Dark Eldar into excruciating convulsions of fear and pain.

Range: 12"
Strength: 3
AP: 3
Assault 1 Blast

Any non-Dark Eldar unit with models under the Terrorfex blast marker must take a pinning test at -1 per model hit.

* - Note that as these items, like the Hell Mask are masks, and therefore only one may be taken by a character.