Torture and Fear

Preview the Dark Eldar Faction from Warhammer 40,000: Conquest


The Dark Eldar exemplify everything that is wanton and cruel in the ancient race they descend from. Fiercely intelligent and devious to a fault, these piratical raiders revel in pain. Feeding upon the suffering of others is the only way they can stave off the slow death of their own souls.

The Traxis sector is wracked by war as mighty armies face each other, battling feverishly for control and domination. Warhammer 40,000: Conquest puts you in command of these forces, leading a warlord and his entourage into battle after battle. As you engage in combat for crucial planets, you must simultaneously plan for future conquests, balancing your armies across the Traxis sector.

At the beginning of our series of previews for Warhammer 40,000: Conquest, we focused on gameplay, exploring the deployment of armies, the command struggle, and combat at planets. We also looked at a detailed example of a battle, before moving into the various factions and their distinct play styles. Before now, we’ve looked at Space Marines, the Astra Militarum, Orks, and Chaos, but now we turn to the raiding parties of the Dark Eldar!

The Way of the Wych

Dark Eldar raiding parties flow outwards from Commorragh, the Dark City, finding prey wherever they can. The lucky ones are slain by the pirates; those unlucky enough to be taken prisoner are dragged into the coliseums of the Dark Eldar. The leader of the Dark Eldar raids in the Traxis sector is a deadly Wych, Packmaster Kith (Core Set, 5). Although this feared warrior can acquit herself perfectly in combat, she never travels too far without her pets – the Khymerae. These token units are put into play by Kith’s Reaction, which allows you to put a Khymera token into play at a planet whenever Packmaster Kith commits to that planet.

Khymerae are born of the Warp, and these nightmarish creatures can quickly rend your opponent’s forces to shreds. You’ll want to maximize your number of these beasts, and fortunately, Packmaster Kith’s signature squad has numerous options for gaining more Khymerae and taking advantage of the ones you have. The signature squad begins with four copies of Kith’s Khymeramasters (Core Set, 100). Whenever these units enter play, you may put a Khymera token into play at the same planet, increasing your numbers and terrifying your foes.

Your Khymera tokens are most powerful in a pack, but your methods for bringing Khymerae into play may leave them spread across the sector. Thankfully, you have a means to bring them together in the Khymera Den (Core Set, 101). You may exhaust this support card to move any number of Khymera tokens to any planet. Triggering this support will not only unify your Khymerae, but because you can exhaust this support as an Action, you can wait to see where your opponent’s forces will move before you commit your Khymera tokens.

You’ll also find one copy of the Agonizer of Bren (Core Set, 103) attachment in Packmaster Kith’s signature squad, allowing you to capitalize even further off your numbers of Khymera tokens. This attachment is attached to an army unit, and it gives that unit +1 ATK for each Khymera token you control, increasing your attack power even as the Khymerae you lead grow more numerous.

The signature squad concludes with two copies of the Pact of the Haemonculi (Core Set, 102). By playing this even during the deployment phase, you may sacrifice a unit to discard a random card from your opponent’s hand, before drawing two cards yourself. At first glance, this card might not seem to have much to do with Khymera tokens, but to gain the effects of Pact of the Haemonculi, you must sacrifice a unit. Khymera tokens cost you nothing to bring into play in the first place, and they certainly offer a tempting unit to sacrifice.

The Knife that Cuts Unseen

The Dark Eldar, like the Khymerae, are most deadly in combat because of their speed and adaptability. You’ll find ways to suddenly gain an advantage over your opponent throughout the Dark Eldar forces beyond Packmaster Kith’s signature squad. One such unit is the Vile Raider (Core Set, 110). This army possesses the Mobile keyword, allowing it to move to an adjacent planet at the beginning of the combat phase. By committing the Vile Raider to one planet, you can take advantage of its two command icons, before moving it to an adjacent planet to partake in battle.

Another dangerous Vehicle is the Black Heart Ravager (Core Set, 111). This army bears the Flying keyword, meaning that it takes half damage from non-Flying unit, which makes it difficult to destroy. The Black Heart Ravager also has an important Reaction that allows you to rout a non-warlord unit after damaging it with the Black Heart Ravager. A routed unit is returned exhausted to its owner’s headquarters, and by using the Black Heart Ravager, you can quickly cause your opponent’s most powerful units to turn tail and run. The event card Archon’s Terror (Core Set, 117) offers you another option for routing your opponent’s army, by allowing you to rout a non-unique unit during the combat phase. Applied correctly, routing can quickly diminish an enemy army.

A final tool for neutralizing the armies of your foes lies in the bowels of the Twisted Laboratory (Core Set, 122). As an Action, you may exhaust this support to blank a target army’s text box for one phase. Since the true potential of most units lies in their special abilities, negating those powers is a sure way to bring your enemies to heel. Whether you crush your foes beneath packs of slavering Khymerae or run circles around them with your mobile armies, your Dark Eldar forces make an excellent spearhead for your efforts in the Traxis sector.

Terror and Pain

The pirate fleets of the Dark Eldar are ready for you to lead them in raids and assaults on the planets of the Traxis sector. The warriors of the Dark City may sweep over all in their way, but they won’t get there without a fight. Prepare to lead your armies to war! Preorder Warhammer 40,000: Conquest today.

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