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Blood Vow

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Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Trueborn - Dark eldar unit analysis

Introduction to Trueborn
My current 2000 point list has three ten man Warrior squads all mounted in raiders:

Dark lance & blaster
Syrabite: venom blade & splinter pistol

This is the core of the army and they are my only troop choices. I am playing in a local escalation league to gain more experience with dark eldar versus a wide variety of other armies. I have to play games with lower points than 2000 points and this has been a great opportunity since it allows me to experiment with other units I typically don't use. If you follow this blog then you're probably aware that I'm a huge fan of Warriors. Warriors are basically the dark eldar equivalent of tactical Marines and in my opinion they are better except for the lack of ATSKNF.

Why I originally did not like Trueborn
What I saw a lot on the interwebz was five squads with blasters mounted in a venom with dual splinter cannons. Often I loath net hammer... Sure this particular build is solid but the multiple blasters are 15 points apiece with an upper cap of 4 while the carbine is 5 points per model and unlimited. The venom with dual cannons is very nice - you've got a mounted unit that can topple tanks and blast Marines but on the other hand any knowledgeable opponent will recognize the threat of 4 blasters - they'll have bull's eyes painted on the front of their helmets. I also see some players simply running a small squad with four blasters on foot - they are going to die real quick versus a good opponent if they come out to play... It's just the way it is unfortunately. So I saw them as expensive for what you get overall and very fragile even by dark eldar standards.

Trueborn vs Warriors
As I said I was not very impressed with Trueborn when I first read the codex while designing my 2000 point list but after some time well spent to re examine my original army design due to league play I decided to take a second much closer look at Trueborn. I love the Warrior and the Trueborn is simply a better version of the same thing.

Basically I have to drop a squad of Warriors to field Trueborn and I feel that three troop choices is the minimum required for a competitive list. So I thought about it - Trueborn have everything that Warriors have plus some and much better options. The basic Warrior has one base attack and a leadership of 8 while the basic Trueborn has two base attacks and a leadership of 9. Trueborn also have access to plasma grenades and the shard carbine. The shard carbine costs 5 points per Trueborn and is a 3 shot poisoned assault gun. So you can take a smaller unit of Trueborn that can shoot roughly the same amount of shots as a 10 man squad of Warriors with the same number of attacks in close combat. The Trueborn can also launch an assault after firing their carbines and hit at I5 when charging into difficult terrain (lovely plasma grenades).

Note that I am planning to kit one Trueborn with a blaster since it's also an assault gun and synergizes well with the unit as a whole. The two basic drawbacks are you lose a scoring unit plus they obviously die faster as a unit. I see Trueborn as a suicide unit that can soften an enemy unit plus they will do well in melee versus enemy units such as guardsmen. Like I always say guardsmen are pretty much a joke when it comes to close combat but on the other hand if you play against guard a lot you will have to assault them... There is no getting around it either plus assaulting guardsmen is a lot of fun too !!

Unit Composition
I can downgrade my Bloodbrides to Wyches in order to regain the third scoring unit and any free points I can scrounge will go towards beefing up the squad of Trueborn... I think a squad of 7-8 Trueborn including a Dracon is the way to go with this unit:

6x shard carbine
Dracon: venom blade & splinter pistol - OR - agonizer & blast pistol
(plasma grenades)
Raider: flickerfield & shock prow

I have given a comparison between two very similar units and provided what I think is an optimal build for Trueborn. The Kabalite component of a dark eldar army can be quite powerful if built well. I look forward to using mine in a few games later this week so I'll see how they truly perform on the table. Except to see a second article on this subject fairly soon.

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