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A (possibly) soon to be Eldar player here. I lurked these forums months ago when considering to collect and Eldar army. Never did because of the shortage of opponents. Now I have the opportunity to enter a 501 point tournament, I'm considering spending a relatively small amount of money on a force to be able to paint something and see whether I like 40k, which I've never played before. The rules are: 501 pt limit, at least 1 HQ and 2 Troop choices, and armour values can not exceed 33 (front+one side+back).
Not being overly concerned with winning every game, but more concerned about painting a decent looking army that is enjoyable to play, I'd like to concentrate of a few choices that might not be optimal in regards to winning games, but will give me pleasure to have painted. These are Rangers, Harlequins, Banshees, Hawks and Scorpions. Those I would like to paints and so they will get painted.
The choices I'd like to avoid would be Dire Avengers and Guardians. I've only ever bought one box of Avengers before and they frustrated me with the endless assembly.
Jetbikes, Tanks and Walkers I am impartial to.
The HQ, I'd like to buy the best looking model and spend a while painting it. Either Khandaras, Baharoth or Jain-Zar if possible.
The way I'd like to play is sneaky sneaky with units that are fast, hard to hit and can concentrate their force where they choose while avoiding the strongest of the enemy. I don't really know how to play Eldar or build an army list so I was hoping that someone could give me a few tips to create a 501 pt list using the information I have provided. Thanks.
ps Found out that no tanks are allowed, only APCs for this tournament. Also once this tournament finishes there will be another of 1000 or 1250 points, so I can biuld up a progression of troop choices while I go. I'm a little concerned at painting harlequins, I could maybe include them in the next tournament while buying troops that are easier to paint for now.
Last edited by Mahatma; February 16th, 2008 at 15:44.
*punted to the Eldar Army List Sub-Forum*
Spambot kill tally. . .337
Eldar are certainly a challenging choice for a first-time player, good to see you looking for some advice. Old Cheredanine should be able to give you some great tips once he comes around, but I'll offer what I can in the meantime.
First off: Troop choices. You say you'd like to avoid guardians, and that's perfectly fine. I avoid them as well. The problem is that Dire Avengers are a much better choice for most players as a nice, flexible, relatively cheap unit. Since you don't like assembling a large number of pieces, jetbikes might not be a great idea either, and I won't even mention the horrendously old riders they have on those things. The only way to get the rider looking cool is to replace his upper body and head with newer guardian parts. The only other real choice left then are Rangers, which you've said you are fond of. Opinions of rangers are somewhat split amongst Eldar players, with some loving them to bits and others feeling that they aren't worth the points. I think they can work well when decently supported, but on their own are very vulnerable to a small assault squad. Rangers just can't kill quickly enough to reliably stop a group of space marines charging at them. That said, they definately aren't bad, and with the pathfinder upgrade(highly recommended!) they can perform their function well against the proper targets. Nice models too, I have some of my own primed and waiting to be painted.
Elite slots: The fun stuff. I think that by your description of what you'd like to play, Scorpions would be a good choice for you. Good saves, good strength, high number of attacks and the ability to infiltrate closer to their enemy at the start of the game make them a solid choice. Very cool models as well. Harlequins are evil incarnate as long as you can get them into combat. Upgraded correctly, they can tear almost any opponent apart thanks to the rather silly rending rule. Also very high-quality models. Banshees I can't so mucn recommend in this particular level of gameplay since they really need a wave serpent and possibly a farseer to work the best. They can work very well when they have access to a transport, but footslogging them is asking for trouble. Rather fragile, and a little bit expensive for it.
Heavy Support: The BEST stuff. No, seriously. Eldar have some of the greatest HS options available. In your case, you obviously can't take any tanks due to the armor limit, but the options left are still great. War Walkers are great for laying down a tremendous number of shots for relatively cheap. Wraithlords are amazingly tough, amazingly cool and can carry a couple of big nasty guns. Deceptively easy to convert as well, since the arms and legs are somewhat spindly and easily cut and repositioned. Dark Reapers are a marine's worst nightmare, as the reaper launcher is tailor-made for murdering anything with a 3+ save. A group of 5 reapers can effectively scare many opponents away, denying them a section of the board even when not reaming down their troops. They become rather useless when facing something like Orks though,since they don't get enough shots to kill horde armies.
Fast Attack: All about the Warp Spiders. Once you get the hang of these boys, You'll love them to bits. They pack a lot of mid-strength firepower into an incredibly mobile package, with good saves to boot. A group of 6 with a well-upgraded Exarch is a very flexible little unit, capable of tearing up infantry, heavy infantry, light vehicles, and even the rear armor of heavier vehicles. They would appear to fit well with your playing style as well, since they can effectively avoid most enemy units as long as there is decent terrain to do so. Swooping Hawks are not so amazing, simply not resilient enough and not enough firepower for their points. They are stupidly manouverable however, and can scrap tanks with their haywire grenades. Can have their uses, but you have to be careful. Shining Spears are very hard hitting on the charge, and can escape later as long as you've brought along your Exarch. I can't recommend them at this points level though, since they get a little expensive when kitted out properly.
HQ choice: Autarchs are newer models, and very cool looking in my opinion. Not generally the most effective HQ choice around, but they can still perform quite well as long as you choose a task for them and equip them properly. Farseers are the old standby, generally a bit cheaper than the Autarch and very powerful in a supporting role. Pheonix Lords like Karandras or Jain Zar should be saved for for higher point games, when their ~200 point price tag isn't so devestating.
Anyway, I've kinda just been rambling on here. Ask specific questions if you've got them, and good luck!
Fuzzy has the right idea, but I suppose I'll add my two cents:
For the HQ, for a small game you're basically limited to farseer and autarch. A phoenix lord would account for almost half of your army, so I wouldn't recommend that. Even the avatar at 155 is too expensive for my liking in a game this size. In terms of look, I really like the way autarchs look. I have the one with a warp generator and mandiblasters, but I swapped out the arms for the Dire Avenger diresword and sheild arm. Very easy and it looks great. And for 90 points you can get a decent HQ with 6 powerweapon attacks on the charge (albeit at S3). Of course you can also simply take a farseer with doom (usually my standby power for when I can't think of how I'd use his others) and that will only set you back 80 points, and can be very effective. I always take a farseer simply because my army feels naked without it, but both would be useful.
For troops, exactly what fuzzy said. Though, again, pathfinders (a much better choice than rangers) are waaaaay too expensive for a 500 point game. Jetbikes are not too expensive (76 points gets you a squad of 3 with a shuricannon). They are expensive in terms of money though, since the best you an do now is 1 for $15. If you're on a budget, I wouldn't recommend them. I cannon say enough good things about DAs, though I tend to avoid guardians unless they are simply there to support the DAs. If you don't want them, that's perfectly fine, but they are a very effective troop choice.
For elites, scorpions are my favorite unit in the entire game. Staying power, high strength, and a lot of attack (not to mention the exarch's powerfist). I haven't used fire dragons much, but at 500 points you're unlikely to face anything they'd be particularly useful against anyway. Don't even think about wraithguard at this level because they are way too expensive. Like fuzzy said, banshees need a transport to be effective, and Harlies are very good, but in my experience, they attract way too much attention from my opponents. 6 with kisses and a shadowseer is effective, but I'd wait for a 750 point list or 1000 before adding them.
For fast attack, I really like warp spiders, but they like being in squads of 10, which is far too expensive for a 500 point game. The same goes for shining spears. I'd be tempted to ignore the fast attack slots at this level play.
And finally, for heavy support, 3 war walkers with shuricannons is dirt cheap (point-wise, not in terms of cash) and gives you a lot of shots. A full dark reaper squad with a missile launcher and fast shot (which is how you'd probably want them kitted out) is 217 points. Almost half your list, so I wouldn't recommend it. I'd stay away from falcons and prisms, though you could potentially go for a reasonably cheap wraithlord, maybe with a shuricannon and a scatterlaser.
Alright, so to wrap up my thoughts and end this very long rambling post, here's my recommendations:
HQ: Autarch with mandiblaster and powersword or farseer with doom
Troops: 2 3-man jetbike squads with a shuricannon each or 2 5 man DA squads with an exarch with 2 shuricats (10 is always better, but for a small game you can probably get away with less)
Elites: I'd start with 6 scorpions, and if you have points left over at the end, add more
Fast Attack: I'd skip this.
Heavy Support: 3 warwalkers with shuricannons
Keep in mind that those are just recommendations for this size of game. You still need to make sure that what you choose is used to maximum effect.
Hope that helps. Good luck!