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Incubi Tactica

Submitted By: Date: September 13, 2006, 12:56:27 AM Views: 3034
Summary: The Silent Watchers. This faq is written in our own free time and made for all those Dark Eldar players who would like to know more about how to use their Incubi. We will discuss the various strengths and weaknesses of the Incubi. If you have any suggestions then please feel free to pm us about it. We hope after reading this article you will have some new ideas and insights for using your Incubi. -Ventris and Archon Bjorn-

Incubi Tactica


Our Incubi, known to be the elite of our race, a secret organization of bodyguards. Yet they don't differ much from our regular warriors when you look at their stats. With an increased WS to represent their martial skill and a MEQ save it doesn't make them seem the killer unit that everyone tells us they are. So why is it everyone fears the fallen aspect? And why do they cost 4 times the points value of Warriors? To answer this, let us take a closer look:

Incubi Strengths, in general:

Incubi have several strengths which set them apart from regular Warriors. It isn’t just their stats in that make them such a powerhouse unit, but their weapons combined with their stat line.


One of the first significant advantages is one which is shared by our entire beloved race. A high initiative. One of the best ways to keep your models alive is to kill their enemies before they are given a chance to strike back right? Initiative plays a large role in a Dark Eldar's capacity to do this. An Incubus or Warrior can hit and kill a standard marine before they can strike. Thus ensuring that fewer attacks will be returned. Keep in mind that your Incubi squad is relatively small and each casualty can hurt alot, so the more enemies you can kill before they even have a chance to attack the better. I'll touch on this a bit more later on.

Weapon skill:

Another advantage of the Incubi is their high weapon skill. Like thier initiative, it is higher then a standard marine allowing the Incubi to hit the vast majority of units in 40k on a 3+. Combine this with their high initiative and you are looking at a unit that not only strikes first in most cases, but also hits alot.


Another thing that sets our unit aside from that of our regular Warriors is the enhanced strength of their Punisher attacks. The Incubi attack with the same strength as a Space Marine thanks to their Punisher. When combined with their high initiative and weapon skill they will almost always strike first, hit on a 3+ and wound on a 4+ or 3+.

This is already very powerful, but the best is yet to come.

Power Weapon:

The final thing that sets the Incubi's offensive power a cut above our other units is that they come automatically equipped with a power weapon, ignoring even the most powerful armour in the game.

Combined with their other advantages they can cut through almost any standard moderate sized unit without fear of reprisal as there will be few, if any, survivors left after the Incubi initiative step.


What’s the save of a Warrior? No better than that of a Guardsman? Hah bolters pierce through them with ease. Sound familiar?

The Incubus laughs at the Marine's bolter, as he wears Power Armour as well.  An Incubus can withstand blows far greater than their lesser kin.

Tormentor Helm:

Last, but certainly not least, the Incubus comes equipped with a tormentor helm which grants him a pistol shot along with a bonus attack which he normally wouldn't be able to use with a 2-handed weapon.  Considering all he's got going for him, the Incubus isn't all that expensive at all!

Incubi Weaknesses in general:

Of course every unit has its flaws, and weaknesses. So lets take a look at Incubi's weaknesses so we can try to avoid these at all cost.

HQ Bound:

This might not seem like a weakness at first but it is. Your Archon or Dracon needs to lead the squad. Meaning that your powerful HQ, who can devastate squads all on his own, needs to be part of a powerful squad which is fully capable of handling most squads on its own.

This also means that if you happen to fall back and are at less then 50% of your squads starting strength you can't regroup anymore including your Archon/Dracon which you then get to watch run off the board with them!

Another drawback is that this means that the Archon/Dracon is slowed down which will be covered next.

As a tip we suggest taking a Dracon with Incubi and keeping him as cheap as possible.


Probably the Incubi's biggest disadvantage, compared to other units in the army, is that they are unable to use Fleet of Foot thanks to their heavier armour. This not only makes them slower then the rest of your army but also means that they slow down your Kabal Lord which leads the squad, since squads must move at the pace of the slowest model.

Side note: An Archon or Dracon with combat drugs is not allowed to use his 12'' charge drugs when he has an Incubi retinue.

Close Combat only:

So our Incubi are rather slow. By itself this isn’t always a problem right? The thin is, they need to be in close combat both for survival and to accomplish their role.

Any smart player will start shooting at your expensive HQ unit with all the weapons they can spare to prevent it from reaching their lines. The Incubi are overall only armed with the 'splinter pistols’ on their helmets in terms of shooting weapons which means they are no good at range.


Even though Incubi are fairly cheap for what they do, they can still easily run upwards of hundreds of points even not counting the Lord. Therefore I advice not to take more then 5 incubi’s MAX in a HQ. As more incubi will generally be a bit overkill against any unit they should be fighting. 5 Incubi should be more then enough to cut through almost any squad. Like stated before you DON’T want to let them end up in the open if you can at all prevent it.

Weapon Options:

The Incubi are able to *cough* upgrade *cough* their weapons, exchanging their punishers for blasters or shredders. Now this means that your squad, which is awesome in close combat, will give up a significant portion of their close combat effectiveness in order to shoot just ONCE before charging. As if that wasn't bad enough, not only does this decrease your units effectiveness it also cost a heap of points to upgrade them. We strongly advice never to exchange your punishers for a blaster or shredder. As these weapons aren't making up for the powerful punisher that you must give up to get them.

The Incubi Master:

Like most squads in our army the Incubi are able to take a squad leader.  Theirs is called the Incubi Master. A figure which stands above the already powerful Incubus with their fighting skills. Now if only this increased ability was well reflected in their rules.

The Incubi master is nothing more then a expansive tooled incubi, which will never make its points back in ordinary circumstances. We advise never to take an Incubi Master. Do you want an agoniser? Give it to the Dracon/Archon. You want another close combat monster with a trophy rack and combat drugs? Give it to your Dracon/Archon instead.

Not only does the master costs too much. The real squad leader (Dracon/Archon) is able to accomplish the same role with a greater effectiveness. And besides, you need to purchase him/her anyway so why not make use of that if you want a combat monster in your squad?

Getting rid of your first Weakness - The Raider:

Mounting the squad in a raider eliminates one of their biggest weaknesses; their lack of speed. Suddenly your foot slogging unit that can't keep up with the rest of your army is able to zip around 12" a turn disembark 2" and charge 6" giving you a potential threat range of 20". Not to shabby is it?

There are still risks, of course.  If the raider gets gunned down your squad could end up pinned which leaves them open to ranged fire from high AP weapons.

Darklance or Disintegrator?

Now a question we hear allot is whether to take a Darklance or a Disintegrator on the squad's raider. To be honest it all depends on the situations you might face.  If you are often facing large Marine Equivelant squads, such as Necron Warriors, then a Disintegrator is an excellent tool to soften up enemy squads before charging in.  Please be careful that your opponent can't just remove casualties within 6'' of your Incubi, as that will render them unable to charge.

When taking a Darklance the raider takes on an entirely different role. Mainly destroying vehicles or other tough threats nearby. If your squad is charged by a dreadnought it will end up dead. Therefore the raider should aim at threats like these. Other possible targets are high toughness monstrous creatures. Though Wyches or a lord with an agoniser are generally better suited to tackling monsters.

Squad configurations:

Dracon: w/ poisoned blades
5 incubi
Raider: w/ disintegrator
220 points

Essentially the economy squad, this setup is meant to deal with average Marine squads. The disintegrator will soften up the target for your Incubi where necessary. The Dracon is armed with poisoned blades to give him some punch while remaining as cheap as possible.  He can cause some damage but you should never count on his close combat capabilities over that of his retinue.

Archon/Dracon: 'Tooled' (see Lord article)
5 incubi
240-350 points

This setup is meant to take on virtually anything, but excells at decimating Marine squads of all variety.  Generally anything in heavy armour. Just make sure that they don’t kill end up in the open after slaughtering their foes too quickly.

Incubi in conjunction with a WWP army:

A wonderful way to ensure your squad will reach close combat is using the squad in conjunction with a Webway Portal army.  With careful deployment, and strategic placement of a webway portal, you can give your Incubi squads a tasty range of close combat targets to engage, plus the threat of this murderous squad waiting silently inside the portal is enough to make most hardened commanders sweat.

When possible, try to charge the opponent's HQ units, although never without support. Try to add some backup to finish off anything that remains.

General Tactics and units to Provide Support:

Due to the insane amount of punishment that this squad is able to dish out they hardly needs any support except when going up against the opponent's powerful combat units, such as enemy HQ squads. Warp Beasts or Warriors are a great at supporting close combats, and work as well with Incubi as other melee fighters.

Wyches can keep a unit busy long enough for another squad to join in and finish it off. Even though they don't always need the help it can be advantageous to throw in your Incubi into the fray to free up your Wych squad. This is useful when an opposing unit threatens to tie up your wyches indefinately or even when they might actually overpower and destroy them.

Incubi should rightfully fear high initiative power weapon squads, such as other Incubi, or Howling Banshees. Some HQ units (such as our own) tend to have insane initiative. We strongly advise to avoid these units at all cost as some of them can slaughter a minimum sized Incubi squad in a single round.

Keep in mind that your squad is small, and thus every retaliation strike is a potential casualty, and every casualty is a serious blow for the squad, greatly reducing its effectiveness. Therefore don’t throw them head long into the midst of the enemy army without a thought for support or enemy retaliation.  Incubi can still die, despite their impressive armour and skills.

Horde units with allot of wounds are anathema to a successful Incubi rush, particularly if they are fearless, or have some way to avoid falling back. Try to avoid squads like Scarab Swarms, or large mobs of Slugga Boyz at all cost.  Keep in mind that Disintegrators can instant kill Swarm units two at a time due to their low toughness and vulnerability to blasts rules.  Wych squads are much better suited to tackling larger lightly armoured squads than Incubi.

Choose your targets carefully. Also remember to think a few steps ahead, will the Incubi have another good target to assault after they have slain the first? Is it a good use of their abilities, or would another unit perform slightly better in that area?  Does anyone else look like they might need assistance from a squad of Incubi?  Where would your opponent expect you to move them, and what might he do to try and counter them?

Never take warriors in your Incubi retinues with occassional exception of 2 Splinter Cannon.  We would advise to avoid mixed retinues, as the warriors aren't difficult to kill. You wouldn’t want your expensive squad to runaway because a couple of warriors died and forced a break test.

Consider carefully how you will equip and use your Lord. In some situations you will desire to have your archon in the squad. More frequently though, you'll find you'll want your archon somewhere else. I [ArchonBjorn] tend to let my Archon run loose on his own; deployed with a Wych squad then  goes his own way when they disembark. Remember that he will always have the speed to catch up with the Incubi squad if he needs to.

Last words:

We both hope that you will have learned something from this article. Seeing as the incubi are more then just a pimped bodyguard. This was the first time that Ventris has created an article, so I [ArchonBorn] also hope that he learned allot about how to write a article like this.

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