|Cult of the Sand Viper ready to raid|
So what does the actual list contain? Here's the rundown:
|15 very squishy units.|
The Jagged Spear
Varchilde is the Archon of the Cult of the Sand Viper. When he heard rumour of the upcoming Mayhem he decided to send a small raiding party to participate; to take slaves and steal souls. These opportunistic dark eldar are led by one of Varchilde’s minor lieutenants, a Lhamaean called Syrene, and they raid under the banner of the Jagged Spear.
|Shoot that thing over there!|
The cults of the Dark Eldar are many and mysterious. Of the more arcane are the sisterhood of Lhilitu; courtesans, master duellists and poisoners without equal. Syrene is a member of the sisterhood, a Lhamaean, and one of Varchilde’s advisors. The Archon is testing his servant by giving her the position of command in the Jagged Spear. It is a challenge she relishes almost as much the pleasure she seeks to take from those she kills with her poisoned blade.
Kabalite Warriors: The Blooded Hand
The core of the Jagged Spear raiding party is formed of the Kabalite warriors. First to answer the call to arms were the Blooded Hand. These infamous warriors swore their oaths of allegiance in their usual manner; the slicing of their right palms to draw blood as they utter their promises. Their leader is the Sybarite Jalax; he draws the power from their blood offerings as he in turns makes his offer to the Archon.
|Gunning for you.|
Archon Varchilde sent Warriors from the Skull Taker Kabal to Space Hulk CST6012 to loot and raid. On the derelict space ship they encountered all manner of other forces including Dark Angel Veterans. Hungry for glory the Skull Takers attacked the Space Marines as the derelict space craft fell planet side. Casualties were severe on both sides; a single Kabalite managed to escape the Hulk via a teleport pad while some marines remained trapped on board. The surviving Warrior fell planet side in a firefight with other escapees from CT6012, but when Dark Eldar scouts scoured the battlefield after combat had finished they found his hard won trophy; a Dark Angel head, still encased in its helm. The ghoulish prize now resides on a trophy rack on a Skull Taker Venom, a gauntlet thrown down to the Dark Angels!
The Skull Takers are led by the Sybarite Garel; he is easily recognised by the shrunken heads lashed to his belt and the pair of sharp cleavers he carries to take his trophies. All the members of the Skull Takers wish to emulate their leader and adorn their wargear with the heads of their foes, but Garel insists it is his right alone.
Kabalite Warriors: The Shattered Fang
The Shattered Fang are a relatively minor faction within the warrior Kabals; however they desire more power and influence within Commoragh. The soldiers of the Shattered Fang have a reputation for aggression and risk taking; daring to make attempts at first blood so as to gain notoriety and reputation. They favour short range weaponry such as blasters and shredders which are designed to cause carnage when face to face with their targets.
Their leader is the Sybarite Lorax who has made his way to become the head of the Shattered Fang by a combination of cunning and aggression, having duelled and beaten the previous Sybarite. Lorax loves nothing more than to close with his opponents before unleashing a torrent of splinter fire and seeing his enemies fall from the potent venom carried by his shots.
|Gathering for battle|
Different emotions from different creatures provide different sensations, and certain of the Dark Eldar will chase those feelings like collectors, or more extremely addicts. The Wizened are one such group of Kabalites; they are not elderly or decrepit themselves but seek the emotions released by the infirm and aged. They enjoy hunting the weak, and if they cannot cull the elderly they will seek other cowards and similar prey on the battlefield.
The Wizened’s Sybarite Leric has an uncanny ability to sense emotions, particularly fear. He uses this skill as a radar to guide his unit of warriors on their Venom towards their prey and their prize. Occasionally the Wizened will take prisoners who are lashed to the transport, their pain and agony providing refreshment and vigour as the Kabalites seek their next victims.
|The Kabalite transports|
|Spot the Dark Angel competition|
Many gangs of Reaver bikers have joined the Jagged Spear, and these fearsome warriors form the spear tip of the war band, striking hard and fast among their enemies. The Ghost Wind are named for the ethereal air currents which travel the web ways; the first their victims know of their approach is the rushing sound as their jet bikes speed towards them. The last thing their victims hear is their own dying breath as the Ghost Wind Reavers wreak havoc.
The Ghost Wind Reavers are led by the ex-Shining Spear Craftworlder Arane. Since her first visit to Comoragh she has been enamoured with the Wych Cult arenas, eventually renouncing her aspect before joining a Reaver gang and partaking in the bloody spectacles of the arena games. She is a master of close combat from saddle back with an intuitive knowledge of when to strike as her jet bike passes her opponent.
|The Ghost Wind|
The second band of Reavers among the Jagged Spear are the Tail of the Comet; these bikers announce their presence on the battle field by bleeding fuel into their exhaust trails which then ignites at extremely high temperatures, giving the jet bikes the appearance of flaming tails. Like portents of old the sign of the comet heralds omens of doom for their opponents.
These Reavers are led by Scarred Ivar; this Arena Champion is superstitious and has been known to seek audience with Farseers and other fortune tellers so as to know when to go war. He will only commit to battle when he has been told he will win! The fact his gang has joined the Jagged Spear for the Mayhem is testament to good signs in the stars.
|The Tail of Comet race to out do their rivals...|
Drug taking is a popular pastime among the Reaver gangs, usually to enhance combat performance and sometimes for recreational purposes. The Dragon Chasers have elevated this activity to new heights, always seeking the latest high or fighting boost. They have a number of talented chemists in their ranks, and seek favour with the Hamonculae who deign to trade in the pharmaceuticals with the Reaver bikers.
The Dragon Chasers are led by an Arena Champion named Arwel. Arwel is a skilled chemist and regularly provides combat drugs to his squad. He has an unfortunate predilection of trying his own concoctions and is heavily addicted to Adrenalight; he seems to be in constant motion and seemingly incapable of focusing. This isn’t actually true, as time appears to pass more quickly to his perceptions he is simply moving from one activity to the next faster than his kin expect.
|...The drug fuelled Dragon Chasers|
The cult’s primary anti-tank firepower in the raiding party is provided by a pair of Ravager gun ships known colloquially as the Wicked Sisters. Their crews have been working cooperatively for a number of years and have claimed a number of impressive kills between them. Sometimes they hunt as a pair whilst on other occasions one acts as bait to lure out their target whilst their sibling triggers the trap and makes the kill.
The crews keep tallies over their kills, and sometimes the rivalry leads them to take on bigger and bigger targets on the battlefield. As of today the “Red Messenger” has the lead!
|The Red Messenger lurks on the flank|
The “Crown of Thorns” is the second of the Wicked Sisters. Where the “Red Messenger”s crew tend to be the more cautious of the pair, the Crown of Thorns is the more aggressive. It seems the Ravager’s crew also have an almost mystical ability to sense a kill. Like a shark is drawn to blood in water, the Crown is drawn to opposing armours weak spots, exploiting vulnerabilities and making kill shots.
I had the opportunity to play a practice game a couple of weeks ago against Duncan's Space Wolves. We played a Mayhem special mission called Mayhem Domination where you score points for controlling table quarters and objectives starting from the 2nd turn onwards; it's basically a structured Maelstrom mission.
And the Dark Eldar mobility is well suited for it. I won't BatRep the whole game (as honestly I don't recall all the details), but I'll leave you with a selection of pictures.
|T1: Move to right flank|
|T1: move to left flank|
|T1: And cover centre|
|T2: Advance on right objective|
|T2: Cover centre objective|
|T2: Push on left objective|
|Wolves push back|
|Cheeky turbo boost from the Reavers to contest the Wolves home quarter|
|Wolves force leadership tests on Reavers all over the place. One unit replaces the falling back squad|
|Venoms at work|
|Venoms very not working. Jink failures :(|
|LOL of the game. Furious charging Warriors kill the Vindicator with their bare hands|
|The Reaver is still playing Hide & Seek!|
|And the rallied Reavers zoom over the wrecked Rhinos to claim their objective!|
Phew! If you are still with me, then thanks for reading. Catch you next time with the post Mayhem news.