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Help - can't kill anything!

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I've agreed to go to a doubles tournament with a friend which I'm now dreading as I'm on a multi-game losing streak and I feel certain I'm going to let him down.


The problem?


I can't kill anything with my 1k list. This is what I've got:


Archon & 5 Incubi in a Venom

2 Kabalite Warrior squads, Sybarite, Shredder & Blaster in two Venoms, DL & SC from both squads doubling up in a Raider to make a pseudo Ravager.

2 x DL Ravager

5 Scourges with 4 DLs.


I've played five or possibly six games in a row now where I've been swept off the board and done virtually no damage to the enemy.


I've played two games against Deathwatch using Vanguard Spearhead rules with Knight support in quick succession.


In the first game I was greedy and shot a Ravager against a Warglaive, another Ravager against a Storm Speeder and the Scourges against another Storm Speeder and did nothing. 


This time I shot both Ravagers and the Raider with three Dark Lances at a single Storm Speeder and again did nothing, and as a result left all my anti tank platforms exposed to return fire so they died the following turn.


Even with pain tokens letting me reroll my hits, the -1 to hit and +1 save granted by either the Vanguard Spearhead or just by smoke, or even the opponent using armour of contempt (that was in another game against DA using Ironstorm Spearhead rules) means that no or minimal damage goes through.


I also played against daemons, and before that tyranids, and in both cases my whole army couldn't burn down a single monster by focus firing on it.


Am I just not running enough dark lances? Should I drop the Incubi and their Venom for another Ravager, or more Scourges? I'm a bit pessimistic that would work as I'm not getting the enemy vehicles/monsters down to a couple of wounds and just not being able to finish them, I'm barely scratching them, but perhaps it would allow me to bait out any defensive strats and then switch targets?


Any suggestions are welcome - except backing out of the tournament. I've tried that already.

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Nothing wrong with your list. I might try some new dice? Dark lances do work if given a chance. Use speed to keep at standoff range and keep the fire going round on round.  No more split fire, pick your target and kill it. Tournament is a great spot to let the dice tell stories.  I would relax, tell your partner you are in a bit of a slump and try not to cheer in your opponents face when your dice turn around.  Good luck!

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Dark Lances should kill things as tychobi mentions but I've definitely had games where they do absolutely nothing! :biggrin:

My best advice is to line something up and plan to overkill it with the resources you have. Statistics tend to go out the window as soon as you start rolling dice so it's best to plan for failing to kill something in the statisical average. 2 Ravagers with Pain Tokens should kill X, I'll line the Raider and the Scourge up to help just in case. If they don't shoot, it's not a big deal

It's also hard to do but Dark Eldar can't survive exposed, they need to be placed where very little can see them or charge them. It's better to bide your time, plink wounds off units, overkill a big thing at a time and then have a "Go turn" Turn 2 or 3

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I find when I do well, its because I positioned well. When I do poorly, it's because I positioned poorly. I think that has mattered more than pretty much anything else in my games.


Definitely focus fire. Anticipate enemy movement - when I play against WE or Orks, I want my Incubi to be out of charge range but not by much so I can charge them when they fail to get in. That's hard but the games I did that right were my strongest wins.


Coming from Necrons where I always had to move forward, I made a lot of movement mistakes when I picked Drukhari back up. As TC says, we really can't take a hit, so getting in someone's face always backfires if you don't roll hot enough to wipe them out. All of my losses but one came from me moving too far forward, especially if I go first.

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I'll uphold what others have said - lances are core to the army but can also be very frustrating when they bounce. With positioning and patience, any Eldar does well to play for late game.


I'll add that if you're continuing at lower point values, you might be slightly over-invested in transports; 1 or 2 wracks/mandrakes might give you more coverage and flex than 1-2 of the venoms. Basically you've got very little 'up front' to really tempt the enemy to shoot something that won't hurt your own ability to kill stuff. For Drukhari we need to force them to make bad choices, and that means having trash on objectives AND having big guns kiting and angle shooting, plus ideally at least one hidden melee blender ; ) If you go that route you might end up with a 5-man Kab squad or two hoofing it, but they are actually better in a firefight than most people expect with a shredder and cannon...


Finally, I'll encourage you and your local scene to start using some 6" ruins to give people a reason to go up and grab +1AP from Plunging Fire. We always have a couple of those on our tables, and they are always the first stop for at least one Ravager and Scourges to start raining AP-4 lances. If AP continues to be an issue, consider scourges with heat lances honestly... They can often kill something on the drop and then if you can hide them they'll come out swinging the turn after with that sweet sweet melta 3.




The Good Doctor.

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I did a doubles (1k per player) back in February that was:

-5 Incubi
-10 Kabalites with all bells and whistles
-10 Kabalites with all bells and whistles

I don't know how the points shake out on that these days, but we absolutely tore through that tournament, me + chaos buddy.

What others have said holds true and I found that when I was crafting the list I always just came back to "more firepower outweighs what venoms bring" in the smaller games. (And I am a man who has 5 venoms, so it's not like I couldn't take them)

Walking into games with 11 lances (none of them on squishy infantry bodies unless their ride got knocked out) was a terrifying amount of firepower at 1K; but as others have said, it is a dice game and you can always be betrayed by the dice.

An "oops all dreads" space marine ironstorm got absolutely torn to shreds by them. As did the various armies relying on 3-4 wound bricks: Thunderwolves, meganobs, etc....

The talos were chunky back/mid-field boys while everything else zoomed around excising anything that needed to die.  The skysplinter disembark (I'd built the list before skysplinter was around) was a fantastic tool for removing midfield pressure, "mild deathstars" etc...  Having some kind of anvil (a bit of an oxymoron in deldar, I know) like the Taloses goes a very long way to letting the rest of your list "get around" I've found.


Found the NR link from the day before the tournament: Da' list in question

Edited by Dark Legionnare
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Posted (edited)

I want to thank everyone for replying, I will try to put your advice into practice.


I had a tournament practice game tonight but unfortunately my team mate was delayed and I had to take a 2k Drukhari list against 1k Votann / 1k Chaos Daemons.


I didn't have any time to change my list so I took one I already had:



5 Incubi

4 x 10 Kabalite Warriors

2 Raiders

5 Venoms

2 Ravagers

1 x 5 DL Scourges

1 x 5 HL Scourges

2 x Voidravens


The table was full of LOS blocking terrain and I hugged cover much better, despite going second I only lost the one Venom in their first turn due to poor positioning. The Voidravens and the Scourges being off the board helped there.


I was able to keep my army alive longer but I still struggled to kill much and couldn't play for the mid-board objectives because anything that left cover was pretty much guaranteed to die so I was nailed on for a loss, but it wasn't so bad until a Great Unclean One with the ability to deep strike 3" away dropped into my deployment zone T2 and I made the mistake of trying to kill it.


4 Void Lances, 13 Dark Lances and 4 Heat Lances did a total of five wounds, and I wasn't able to kill the thing for the whole game.


From this experience I'm assuming that greater daemons should be ignored?


Also, once the GUO was in my deployment zone it was able to bring in other daemon units 6" away from my models, while the rest of the enemy army was steadily moving across no man's land.


My army was crushed to a paste in the middle.


Beyond getting all my Kabalites out of their transports to completely screen out my deployment zone I'm unsure how to deny this tactic, and if I did that I'd have even less chance of playing for the mid board objectives, so I'm somewhat at a loss.


Raiders might be better than Venoms as has been suggested, but at the moment I only have two Raiders. I have two more, and two more Ravagers, on back order but it's been a couple of months now.

Edited by ServoBadger
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Do you remember what the rest of their armies consisted of? I haven't played against Daemons this edition but I'd imagine a GUO is one of the most durable things shy of titans, so avoiding it might be the best option (at least until other threats are dead).

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I'll add in. I've found that reavers loaded and hellions work pretty good for me. Ravagers of coarse and my scourge with blasters. Hellions in reserve to pounce. It has been awhile since I played mine, been really focused on my sisters of battle.

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 6/29/2024 at 7:20 PM, ServoBadger said:

4 Void Lances, 13 Dark Lances and 4 Heat Lances did a total of five wounds

Yeah... you got unlucky, but really any 4++ is a big brake on lance reliability if opponents roll saves well or you roll low damage. I literally just rolled this out to see if I could do better and got 11 wounds dealt from the dark lances, but then all 6 wounds from void and heat lances were saved...


GUO at 230 points is frankly incredible for 10pts per T12/4++/6+++ wound.


On 7/1/2024 at 10:12 AM, Tyriks said:

avoiding it might be the best option (at least until other threats are dead)

Some things are definitely 'play around/ignore'. Once it is committed the GUO can't really keep up with drukh units, especially if you move block it with some skirmishers. Essentially with bigger aggro bullet soakers I try to avoid banking on them dying to shooting and thus try and at least move block or zone out further waves a little with a sacrificial unit.


Instead of focusing on other 'threats', I'd focus on movement to snipe as many little action units as you can. So maybe all available dark lances do go at the big lug to at least make him vulnerable in the coming turn, but line up shots with your splinter rifles, shredders and whatnot as well to deal with enemy scoring units at the same time. Kabalites' lances are accessories to their splinter fire, not the main event IMO. If you're taking 40 Kabs and not leveraging that anti-infantry 3+ as early as possible, you're going to find yourself outscored. Maybe you do still assign most of the specialized shooting units to try and spike something through on the GUO or similar aggro threat, but not at the expense of degrading enemy action economy.


The list you used was basically glass cannon all the way down, whereas taking out like 20 kabalites and a couple venoms for light assault or tech pieces would cost a little bit on ranged potential while greatly increasing screening and blocking... This is why Beastmasters and Cronos show up so much. Their whole point is to add and keep space between you and the enemy until they inevitably die, and I'm quite happy with up to like 25% of any list being pure 'useless' blocking chaffe as soft counters to wrecking balls.


On 6/29/2024 at 7:20 PM, ServoBadger said:

Also, once the GUO was in my deployment zone it was able to bring in other daemon units 6" away from my models, while the rest of the enemy army was steadily moving across no man's land.

Right... with a modest 50-100pt move block on the GUO you likely could have kept them bottled up alright, but I think it's important to recognize that in a 2v1 game the opposition is benefitting from double the army rules, stratagem options, and datasheet access than you were. The points may have been equal, but adding lists together like that can easily create situations where in-built weaknesses in an army are almost totally mitigated by their ally's strengths. Daemons + Votann seems like a pretty insane hammer/anvil setup.


Surely the 'rest of the enemy army' in a straight daemons match-up wouldn't have had the sheer efficient toughness and shooting of Votann, and indeed against only Votann you wouldn't have to deal with any of this 3"/6" DS shenanigans, nor indeed quite the tankiness of a GUO in the first place (though land fort comes close).


Anyway - hope you keep at it!




The Good Doctor.

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