Sharing the Pain: Tactica

Having the actual Dark Eldar Codex makes it much easier to read than the...

...er, um... other option.

The... er, um... 'other option' I've had access to for weeks now.  Which I unwittingly failed to share with the locals, assuming in one case that I'd sent it and in others that they had it already.

I faced an icy reception at the FLGS on Friday!

I figured it out when I asked Gauthic, the resident Dark Eldar player, why he was acting like he'd never read the rules before.  Well, because he hadn't.

Uh, oh.  In my defense, I'm thoughtless, not mean.

Anyway, getting a good read-through today allowed me to solidify the build I'm planning - a Urien Rakarth Wrack and Grotesque build, if you're curious - but it also clued me in to some dirty tricks we should expect to see.

For example, the Share the Pain rule.  Basically, an IC joins a unit and they pool the pain tokens.  If both have one, then the combined unit has two.

Feel No Pain and Furious Charge are nothing to sniff at.

If the IC leaves, the pain tokens are split as evenly as possible, with the odd tokens going to the unit the Dark Eldar player chooses.  Obviously, this has it's uses.

An IC can steal Pain Tokens outright.

You're smart: you see the potential, don't you?

A Warrior Unit has a Token; the IC joins in one round and takes off in another, with the Token.

A Warrior Unit has two Tokens; the IC joins in one round and takes of with one Token in the next.  It has to be split evenly.

A Warrior Unit has two Tokens; an IC with one joins the unit in one round and takes the extra Token in the next, leaving the Warrior Unit with one token but making off with two to Join a group of Incubi.

It goes on and on.  Why would you make use of this?  Two reasons I can think of.

1)  The unit with the extra Token can't make best use of it.  For example, it's a dedicated shooting unit so the 2nd 'Furious Charge' Pain Token is wasted.
2)  The unit is almost destroyed, so the Dark Eldar plays the double-knuckle shuffle (heh) to safeguard the valuable Pain Token.

Advanced Uses

An IC with a Token joins a unit with none, leaving it behind in the next round to 'borrow' the Pain Token of another unit.  The reasoning here is the IC divests himself of the Pain Token first, freeing himself to steal the second unit's Token... otherwise he'd leave with an equal split.

A unit with an IC has 3 Pain Tokens.  The IC leaves with one prior to a suicidal, softening-up combat, so the unit won't be Fearless.  If the unit does well, it will probably stick around; if not, fleeing combat might preserve it for use later.

In Closing

There are only so many rounds in a game and there are only so many Independent Characters available to utilize these tricks.  They are tactics, not strategies.  Even accomplishing this tactic once or twice in a game could prove useful.

I see this happening more often in Haemonculus-lead armies, simply because of the number of IC's.

I'm planning on building that... coincidence?

Lastly, I haven't seen Sharing the Pain discussed elsewhere in this fashion, but there are a lot of sharp talking-heads out there, so it may well have been.  I say this because I rarely choose to write Tactics articles since inevitably someone has done it before, or because most people pay lip service to improving their game but rarely do so.

And no, the pictures aren't Dark Eldar, but I hate posting without giving you something to look at!


Black Blow Fly said...

I am wondering why you like the higher T army. You are losing out on fleet which I have found to be one of the biggest advantages for dark eldar.

I am not sure how the pain tokens are going to flush out but I'm not planning to design my army around them. A strong unit well played will naturally rack them up over the course of a game. People I've talked to who are playtesting the army don't seem to mention pain tokens much. As a beginner to dark eldar I see them as more of a perk than anything else. Furious Charge and Feel No Pain will be great for Wyches though and that's what I'm going to design my army around.


Brent said...

You've got a point, of course, regarding Pain Tokens. I don't intend to build the army around them, in that sense.

I do have a fun idea though!

Black Blow Fly said...

Cool bro ! That's what it's all about.


Master Manipulator (every store needs one) said...

I also wonder how much use you will really get outta pain tokens with this army. Seeing how the majority of this army is T3 and the plethora of S6+ weaponry out there you are going to lose that save a lot of the time.

I could be way off base on this, but I think making drastic plans in the army for pain tokens will lead to heartache in the long run. I think if you plan your army assuming you will have none...the ones you get will be a bonus. A bonus that could take a solid build and give it an extra advantage. This is opposed to planning around it, failing to get it, and having your army fold because your opponent managed to keep a model alive in a unit or you fail to break them out of their transports.

Brent said...

MM(esno): I actually tend to agree, in some ways. I think making drastic plans to add pain tokens is a bad build. I think we'll see some of that out there.

Still, there are a few easy ways to add Pain Tokens without disrupting the list in odd ways. And I do think Pain Tokens are very, very important to the functional operation of the army.

T3 and a 5+ or 6+ save is a great argument for that, since without Feel No Pain things will go south quick!

Your point is well taken though.

tim said...

i thought of doing the same army, basically an extremely tough army that can't be wounded, Urien, Grotesques, wracks, razorwing flock beasts, and talos (or chronos)

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