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Wyches Tactica

Submitted By: Date: May 15, 2006, 09:36:35 AM Views: 2766
Summary: Dark eldar wyches tactica Our angels of death [i]This faq is written in my own free time and made for all those Dark Eldar players who would like to know more about how to use their wyches. I will discuss various configurations but also excluding some because I have no experience whatsoever with them.I hope after reading this Little faq you will have learned a bit more about how to field your wyches. -Archon Bjorn-[/i]


Wyches, our primary and most beloved close combat unit. Our angels of death showing no mercy to any of our foes. Our gladiatorial warriors. They strike fear in the hearts of our enemies. They cause terror and misery in their lines as they gracefully leap and chop them into pieces dragging the few survivors back to Commoragh. Seeming fragile at first sight and not being able to withstand a blow of a mosquito they are as strong as they seem to be fragile. How is this possible I hear you say? Well my young kindred perhaps I am able to open your eyes and show you one of the most deadly close combat units of the game.

A wych her stat line

A wych has around the same profile of a warrior. The only main difference in the stat line is that the wych ‘’traded’’ a extra I for a –1 armour save reduction (That doesn’t really matter in 95% of the cases if you look at the AP of the 40k weapons) So how come that there is this huge difference between a warrior and a wych?

Wyches their strengths in general:

The wych her strengths does not lie in her stat line. On the contrary her strength lies with the upgrades she is able to take and her special rules that she possesses. So lets take a closer look at her ‘’special rules’’ and upgrade options.

Combat drugs

The most obvious special rule that a wych has is her combat drugs. Before or during the battle you need to roll a single D6 that enhances your wyches close combat capability at some certain level. This may vary from increasing a certain stat from the stat line or giving her a special rule that allows her to charge further, strike faster or increases her chance to hit.

If you want to take a closer look at the effects I suggest clicking this link. In my opinion this tactica is really detailed about the combat drugs effects and it would only be a waste of time to write down the same. (And I consider it as ripping)

Now a good general rolls for his drugs BEFORE the battle or at the first opportunity he gets. Why? Because if you know what your wyches do then you can adjust your tactics in such a way that you can get the maximum performance out of their drugs effect. Learn to use each drugs carefully. Every one of them is useful at a different situation and so you need to learn how to master each of them. Going trough the number crunch numbers would be a good idea so you have a good idea about how many damage they can cause ON AVERAGE. Keep in mind that dice rolls do NOT follow statistics and there may be times when you roll insanely good or bad. Therefore always keep another support unit nearby or charge with several squads.

The dodge save

Another special rule that you get to see if you download the Dark Eldar codex update from the Games Workshop site. It states that once your wyches reach CC they receive a ++ save that saves them 50% of the time.

This save makes the wyches so lethal in close combat and durable. They suddenly receive a save that is equal to many of the HQ ++ saves of other races and it doesn’t cost a bit. Combine this with wych weapons and you are all set to go with your wych if you are facing a opponent on the field.

This also means that the safest place for our beloved angels is in close combat. NEVER ever leave them in the open if you are able to get into CC. A simple bolt pistol will blow a hole trough their heads but in close combat they stand a chance even versus the mighty Eldar wraithlord.

Fleet of foot

I was not sure if I had to include this rule or not but I do it anyway just as a reminder. Overall our angels don’t pack a high strength weapon (With the exception of the blaster every now and then) and therefore they are limited to their puny pistols. My battle experience has learned me that FOF is 9 out of 10 a better choice then firing your pistols just to make sure you are able to assault or to come even closer to another unit and being able to suddenly assault a even greater threat.

Wych weapons

This is THE most important upgrade that a wych squad is able to take. In my opinion GW should auto include this upgrade in the next codex so you young kindred DON’T make the mistake NOT to take them.

A wych weapon is the perfect equipment versus other races their CC units. All those assault marines Striking scorpions Banshees and such are reduced to a ‘’simple’’ unit thanks to your wych weapons that subtracts their bonus for being armed with a additional close combat weapon.

Besides negating the 2 CCW bonus they also cut down your opponent’s weapon skill in halve 95% of the time when attacks are made against them. This means that almost everything in 40k hits your wyches on 4+. If you are lucky and happen to roll the +1WS drugs roll the 4+ turns into a 5+ instead 90% of the time yeah!

Plasma grenades

Another useful upgrade in my opinion are the plasma grenades. Your wyches have a very high initiative but this will be negated when a opponent’s unit stands in cover. (Because now suddenly he strikes first and that’s a bad thing) And that’s where these grenades kick in. You don’t have to equip all of your squads with the grenades just a few. Let those few that have been equipped with grenades charge the ones in cover (keep in mind that you combat drugs result can change your mind) and the ones without the grenades units in the open.

It might seem a bit expensive as first (almost 1.5 wyches for a whole squad) but striking last and suffering casualties cost even more points so you are actually saving them (without knowing it)

Haywire grenades

I have only used them several times. However I still would like to note them down because I see that they have a good potential of dealing damage. These kind of grenades should be given to tank hunter wych squads (usually 5 strong). Give them a blaster and they are all set to go dreadnought hunting or any other target. This is especially useful against those pesky hidden barrage tanks like whirlwinds and basilisk or hiding dreadnoughts. They are also a great weapon versus monoliths and the new BT LRC with blessed hull.

Weapon options


I never used a shredder. I never saw their use over a blaster. The only time I would use a shredder is when I am facing armies like tyranids with allot of gaunts but I would prefer to spend the points in another wych instead.


The blaster is one of the 2 weapon upgrades that a wych squad is able to take. It is basicly a assault dark lance with a shortened range and therefor primarily used to tackle down tanks or soften up the squad that the wyches are assaulting before charging in and finishing it off.

So when and how do you use the blaster?

The blaster is primarily thrown in the tank hunting wych squad (I will detail this further down the article). Allot of Wych cult players also tend to use the blasters due to their limited amount of dark lances (compared to a standard kabal)

I would not use them on a regular wych squad if they are part of a kabal. Most of the time you have plenty of dark lances because of your warriors. Therefor I would not include them in a normal kabal list on every wych squad. HOWEVER there are of course those pesky hidden tanks like whirlwinds and baselisks that you can take care of with the help of your blasters.

I recommend using them in a wych cult though. Like I stated before you lack dark lances when compared to a kabal and therefor you also depend on your raiders/ravagers and wych squads for taking down tanks and such.

I don't have much experience with wych cults but I see that 1:2 or 1:3 should have 2 blasters in it. Remember that you don't always have to fire them at a tank. If you are able to take down a space marine before charging in then they already have their pts back.

The reason why I wouldn't use them in a kabal besides the dark lances is because I always tend to prefer FOF over a blaster shot or 2. Some other vets will argue with me about this but this is my personal preference. In the end it is up to you. Look at your list. If you see that you have a lack of anti tank weapons then include them in your wych squads. If you think that you are able to take down everything with your dark lances then don't include them in your list. If you don't have enough anti tank weapons then do so or if you have some spare points left.

Their anti-tank use is limited on an assault squad, but the main reason for having them is to kill a member or two of a heavily armoured infantry squad, or chip wounds off a Monstrous Creature, right before assaulting them. This can make a significant difference in favour of the Wyches (especially at the cheap cost of Blasters), and certainly helps hasten the Wych's victory (Wyches not being the fastest killers in the game...). While this does mean losing FOF, a Dark Eldar player should never routinely rely on FOF for his units to reach assault (it's unreliable because it's random, and pushing your luck too much means lots of squads often stopping short ready to be rapid-fired to death next turn...)

In a WWP army, you'll rarely even want to FOF with Wyches anyway if they are riding a Raider - the portal + transport movement is almost always enough.

General weaknesses of a wych

Now you have a general idea about the strength of a standard wych we move on to their weaknesses.

When you first look in our codex you notice the horrible save wyches have. This save still applies versus shooting and thus that means wyches can NOT eat bullets. Like stated before the safest place for a wych is in CC. Even when outnumbered and such a wych is still better of in CC then in the open or in terrain. (Due to the large amount of bullets that will fly into their direction) Any wych squad in the open has a death wish and you should avoid this situation whenever possible.

Their low toughness is their second main weakness. Everything goes down in 40k as long as you force it to keep saving allot and our wyches are no exception to this ‘’rule’’. Their strength causes most of the MEQ armies to wound them on 3+ and thus they will most of the time die pretty quick when hit back with plenty of force. Therefore always try to hit in such a way that the opposing squad is crippled and unable to return sufficient damage to pose a threat. Throwing in a supporting unit like a raider squad or a warp beast pack usually gives you enough CC punch to maul trough them.

Their last ‘’weakness’’ is that the average wych with wych weapons and grenades costs a little bit more then a standard marine. Add up the points for the raider that will be purchased 9 our of 10 times and you will quickly notice that your squad is quit ‘’expensive’’ (Although if you ask me well worth its points.) Therefore you usually end up outnumbered if the opposing players is a fan of infantry based armies. Don’t worry to much about it just keep supporting your wyches every now and then to make sure they don’t get stuck for to long in close combat.

These are the 3 weaknesses of the wyches if you ask me. Now you have a general idea about the strength and weaknesses of a wych we move on to the squad leader transport and the rest of this tactica.

The succubus

The succubus is the angel with black wings. The leader of our death dealing angels as I call to like her. Even though at first sight the succubus seems nothing more like a wych with a extra attack (not even giving the squad a extra LD like almost any other squad leader in 40k) it is still one of the most deadly models in a DE army. This is for several reasons. One of them is that she gains access to our armory the other one is that she can’t be picked out due to the other wyches and therefore stays alive till the last wych is dead.



if you had any misgivings about the low Strength of the Dark Eldar army and in particular the wyches, then this baby is the answer to all your prayers. She suddenly wounds anything in 40k on a 4+ with no armour saves allowed being it a guardsman or a Eldar wraithlord. I recommend including at least 1 or 2 agonisers in every DE list (except if it is shooty) and succubuses are the best models to carry these babies around. Use it in conjunction with a pistol this gives her a +1A.

Use agonisers versus races that field several units with a higher toughness then 4 like necrons (immortals destroyers) nids (TMC) Eldar (WL’s) or similar units in a army. (Also versus exceptions like nurgle armies)


While the agoniser is made to chop down everything of T4 and higher the punisher is made to chop down everything with T4 or lower. If you are lucky and roll +1S with your combat drugs then you have a S5 power weapon squad leader. Not bad at all huh? Use this weapon in conjunction with a tormentor helm for a extra attack.

Use punishers against races with T4 or lower. Good examples are: SM IG CSM (debatable) DE Tau etc.

Poisoned blades

While this weapon does not ignore armor saves it still wounds allot easier then any other weapon. It is just a CWE witchblade 10 points cheaper without the special rule versus vehichles. However never use this weapon alone. Always take a agoniser with it. This is a combo you can use when you have spare points. It allows you to choose to wound very easy or ignore saves and wound decently easy.

This weapon is best to be used versus armies with allot of models and that have a crappy save like imperial guardsman tyranid gaunts and orks


Besides weapons the succubus has acces to all kind of wargear. I will write down the wargear that is actually USEFULL and not writing down things that are way to expensive and don’t work at all. (Like giving a shadowfield to one of your succubus -.-)

Trophy rack

One of the most usefull options for a succubus IMO is the trophy rack. This enables you to get that extra LD other squad leaders give for their normal points if you are able to kill something in CC first. Its relative cheap and will save your squad quit a lot overall. IMO it is a good investment if you have leftover points.

Haywire grenade

Although it may sound strange but I have given my succubus more then once as the only one of the squad a grenade when I had pts left. You never know what you will encounter and I find it pretty useful to have a grenade at the squad even though it will most likely do nothing most of the time.

Plasma grenades

If you are not able to afford the points for the whole squad then at least I beg you give your succubus a plasma grenade because on average she is able to take down 1.5/2 marines on her own.

Goblet of spite

At first sight it sucks. Other units hit your succubus and such also on 3+. HOWEVER when you are looking at hitting vehicles it improves a lot and will often put a evil grin on our faces. Thank god that we are able to hit that monolith with haywire grenades on 3+! Also riding tanks or pesky skimmers shouldn’t be such a problem. I would only give this piece of wargear to a tank hunting wych squad.

Wargear items that ]]IMO

Combat drugs: (Way to expensive! And the chance that your succubus commits suicide is to great)

Shadowfield: (Your HQ should take this wargear not a model that wouldn’t even benefit from it when it would be mass wounded)

Terrorfex: Although allot of players will disagree with me I find the terrorfex a expensive and worthless piece of wargear. Of course pinning ain’t bad but the problem is that you want to assault the squad not pin it! And that’s why IMO you should not take this piece of wargear.

Reaver jetbike: hellion skyboard Quite obvious

Other similar stuff

Purchasing wings for your angels

Wyches represent the general concept of DE. A hard hitting fragile unit that is fast. But to make it even faster they have the option to purchase a raider. You basically buy wings for your angels. Although as you can imagine feathered wings aren’t though and so raiders lack a decent armor value. It still is insanely cheap for what it does and is open topped thus you may assault out of it! I always purchase raiders for my wyches even when I am using a WWP because it increases their chances to reach CC drastically or function as a counter unit. Never underestimate the power of speed my young kindred because this has been the downfall for so many of our opponents and our own kindred already.

Except transporting the wyches the raider also has a different role. It is actually able to get a anti tank weapon into your enemies deployment zone. I use my raiders to take out hidden vehicles and such. But besides this they are a excellent fire supporting unit (Although they won’t last long) softening the target up that your wyches are to assault.

I would give the following upgrades to your raider if you have points left.

Disintegrator: More shots or a plasma cannon blast. It softens up allot of the targets you are to assault and is worth its pts.

Horrorfex: When you are sure that your wyches are able to deal with a certain unit you can always let your raider try to pin units. Although allot of units are somewhat immune to pinning or have such a insanely high leadership since the 4th edition it still is cheap and effective every now and then. I would suggest using it versus low LD armies with models that are often packed together (tau or IG are the best examples I can give you) Keep in mind that this upgrade won’t do much versus armies like Tyranids.

Unit configurations

Standard raider squad:  254/259 points

9 wyches with wych weapons and plasma grenades.

1 succubus with agoniser/pistol and trophy rack.

Mounted in a raider with a disintegrator/dark lance horrofex.

A standard used wych squad that has about everything it needs to deal with anything it encounters.

Standard raider squad for smaller point games: 196 points

7 wyches with wych weapons

1 succubus with agoniser/pistol

Mounted in a raider with a dark lance

I tend to use this configuration the most of all the other ones. It is pretty cheap but still damn effective.

Pimped up wych squad: 287 points

7 wyches with wych weapons and plasma grenades

2 blaster wyches

1 wych succubus with agoniser/poisoned blades haywire grenade and a trophy rack

Mounted in a raider with disintegrator and horrorfex.

Well pretty obvious. It has everything it needs but I doubt that allot of us will field these kind of squads because they are simply to expensive. I would advise going for cheaper squads and getting more wyches but if you ever need a really hard hitting unit then it will look like this.

Tank hunting squad: 168 points

2 wyches

2 wyches with blasters

1 wych succubus with goblet of spite

All wyches are equipped with haywire grenades.

Raider with dark lance.

Pretty obvious. This unit is meant to bring down any tank in the game. The blasters can blow up 90% of the tanks while the grenades in conjunction with the goblet hit every tank/skimmer on 3+. It is the perfect way to get rid of that monolith or LRC with blessed hull nowadays.

Using Wyches in combination with a WWP

Now one of the best ways nowadays to win with a DE force is by the use of a WWP. It allows you to ‘’move’’ your units forward without letting the opponent getting the chance to shoot them away. This tactic does has its flaws but overall it is a GREAT tactic and I advice to use it. You do eliminate the biggest weakness of your wyches this way.

Besides wyches other units are also suddenly able to tag along like talos and other creatures. (You can even footslog a unit or 2 although IMO this still is not the best idea) Remember to keep tagging with other units if you want to win CC.

I also advice to give them a raider even when they are in a WWP. The raider basically ensures that they reach CC. (turn one walk 6 deployment of both sides 24 raider movement 12 unboard 2 raiders length 2 FOF 1/6 charge 6= a total of 53/58 inches!)

This tactic is a bit difficult to accomplish with a wych cult army due to their limited amount of warriors. I know that you guys need those dark lances but as I have seen in allot of wych cult list you should give the WWP carrying squads dark lances. Once they have dropped the portal they are not the biggest threat anymore on the board and thus your opponent fixes his attention on different things. You can just sit down afterwards and blast away most of the time.

General tactics and units to tag with

As we approach the end of this article I still want to give some last minute advices and little tricks of the trade.

Wyches should not be used as a single hard hitting unit. Unlike assault marines the wyches are not meant to fly of on their own over the open being able to take allot of punishment and then charge into a random squad. You should pick your targets carefully and tag along with other units or other wych squads to ensure you breach his lines. Once you are able to get trough his battle formation lines then you have ALMOST guaranteed yourself a victory.

Now other units that are good to use with wyches are IMO warp beasts and raider squads. These units are both fast and able to help your wyches in CC throwing in a insane amount of attacks or just that couple of extra attacks you need. They are cheaper then the average wych squad and I would advise to always include a warp beast squad to accompany your wych squads in CC if you are unable to purchase a second squad.

Keep your wyches their bodies covered. They are extremely fragile and if you are unable to protect them then they end up dead in a few turns. Try to set up one or 2 fire supportive units for them if you are unable to purchase more CC units. Dispose of big threats that might lock them in CC forever. (C’tan or swarms)

Soften up your targets before assaulting them. Make sure that you won’t get hammered till death when they are able to strike back. A ravager or a few well aimed dark lance shots from your warriors can make the difference between winning or losing that combat!

Try to win the CC in your OPPONENTS turn. This way you are able to walk FOF and charge again in your turn. If you would chop down his units in your own turn then they will most likely be death the turn after if they are unable to consolidate in another squad.

Try to entangle several squads at the same time. Place one or 2 of your models in such a way that they are close to another unit of your opponent. This way you can consolidate into that unit if it happens that you would win in his turn. (Yes lame but use full)

Versus necrons. ALWAYS lock 2 units with one squad in combat if his veil or monolith is nearby. The biggest mistakes that most of us make is throwing their wyches versus a single squad and then soon discover that they teleport away just to appear next to them again and rapid fire their squad to death.

Move your models in such a way that you always have several options to assault (at least 2 units). It will happen every now and then that a unit will run due to shooting and you don’t want that to happen when that’s the only squad your wyches are able to charge or do you?

Only tag along with a talos if he comes out of a WWP. Don’t rely to heavy on him because he is still slow even if he comes trough the portal. Also keep in mind that close combat BLOCKS LOS and thus you are able to block LOS from size 1 creatures with plasma guns or other high S low AP weapons for your talos.

You can always make a squad of 9 wyches total and include a lord in that squad. Unlock him once they get out and watch him slaughter a squad or 2 on his own.

I hope you will find these tips useful.

Last words

And now my young kindred I need to say goodbye for now. I hope that this article has been of any use for you and improved your skills. I also hope that his article brings you as much pleasure as it did to me when I was writing it. If you ever have any questions comments or ideas to add then feel free to pm me about it and I will respond ASAP.

So I guess farewell. I hope to see you again in another article.


Arcas for commenting several things in the article.

Bill for pointing out some mistakes.

Lomendil for more blaster tips.

P.S. Don’t forget to rate this article

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