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Old time player with a whole new world of rules facing me.
I did previously play Necrons for the wrong reasons (easy to paint) but find that tactical element a little lacking.
I also played Eldar before that point (before Vypers and tanks were released for them!) so I have around 2k of models all very much out of date.
My problem is this - for a lovely and tactical game where I feel I could be competitive I am always brought back to creating a Space Marine army - be it a vanilla, specialised (ie: wolves) or even the Chaos variant.
Eveyone else who plays in my area also thought of this and as such, if I went with my first choice I would be remarkably unimpressed with repeated SM vs SM games.
So I need your help. Obviously I'm going to face SM and therefore feel I should cater my army towards this - but which army?
Instinct screams Eldar - buy myself some transports, improve my numbers of Banshees, Stick a Farseer on a bike as a tank hunter (which I did years ago), use my Spiders for hit-and-run and rely on my old tactic of a whole load of Eldar dreadnoughts (wraithlords now apparantly) ponderously firing away and approaching objectives.
Questions are -
Is this valid?
Are there better ideas out there?
Are there better armies out there?
I'm all for shooting - but assault wins you the game
Oh and the SM I will face will typically be mechanised.
I'm not an old time player, but a new player who struggles a bit. I started with demons and I really dislike the deployment. They split their army in two, roll to see which side comes in first and the rest go into reserve. All models Deep Strike from there. Some people love it, some hate it. I then decided to go with the Chaos Space Marines and bought the Battleforce for it. I had some models I could use with it already from my Daemons and I added a Predator tank and Terminators. To tell you the truth, I found it a million times easier to use them than the Daemons and I found it was easier to find a competitive list to use. I still use Daemons, but I really like the Chaos Space Marines. They are just different enough from Vanilla Space Marines to make you fell you aren't using a Space Marine type army. Plus, you can summon Daemons to help you out, which gives them a bit different flavor. CSM have shooting units, assault units (Khorne Berserkers are some of the best assault units in the game all things considered) and they have tanks and walkers. The army tends to be a bit slow, but in the end their build options more than make up for it. I really can't speak for other armies except Necrons, but I wouldn't recommend them until they get a new codex.
It sounds like Eldar are what you're leaning towards, but if your looking for an assaulty army, then it's really not the first choice. Eldar are incredibly nasty in the right hands, but they're one of the more challenging armies to play right. Their units are powerful but fragile, and somewhat expensive. Buying more transports is never a bad idea: Falcons and Wave Serpents are some of the best transports in the game. One classic Eldar tactic is to play keep-away and hit and run until the last turns, then turbo boost to the objectives. If you're looking for a thinking-man's army, then Eldar are your best bet.
Sorry, old motto for an older set of rules.
I am certainly leaning towards Eldar - gives me lovely conversion opportunities (3 wraithlords to create sponsons on for 2 heavy weapons without it looking silly and warlocks on jetbikes) but my main concern is effectively dealing with Space Marines.
I'm thinking primary tactic should be to immobilise the mechanised armies with bright lances, then pound on the survivors with starcannons and reapers before Banshees finish them off.
Not the greatest fan of this seer council on bikes idea - seems a little fluffy and expensive to me. But a roaming Farseer with a singing spear & mind war seems to be a nice assassin type model - be it characters or armour. Is it feasible however?
Bright lances really aren't your best choice for transport popping, that's really a job for your fire dragons and support weapons. Mind, I'm not really an expert on Eldar, but it seems to me that lances are best for dealing with heavy armor rather than light armor. I think you ought to put a post out on the Eldar forum and ask what the best tactics are for MEQ support. Still though, I'm a fan of the all-comer list, I think if you have to specifically tailor your list to fight one army or another, you're doing something wrong. Overall though, an Eldar army thrives on mobility. Transports and hit and run tactics are your friends. Again, I'm no expert, I think if you've got your heart set on Eldar you'll need to head to their forum for some advice.