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A guide to War Walkers
The Eldar have a good choice of Heavy Support options. Therefore it is important to understand the strengths and weaknesses of each choice. My intention is to try and create a post which covers War Walkers in as much depth as I can.
I’m a real fan of War Walkers, fielding five at the moment, with two more to make. I also use ten Sentinels in my IG army. Before I wrote this post, I went back and read as many of the previous Walker posts as I could find. So as well as my own take on War Walkers, I’ve included information originally posted by other LO members.
First, some terminology for those who’ve never seen it before:
MEQ = Marine Equivalent. MEQ refers to any models with great armour and good Toughness, i.e. T4 and 3+ Armour save.
GEQ = Guard Equivalent. GEQ refers to any models with poor armour and average human Toughness, i.e. T3 and 5+ Armour save.
USR = Universal Special Rules. See page 75 on the 40k main rule book.
ROF = Rate of fire. In this context, a high ROF means that the weapon fires more than one shot per Shooting phase.
WYSIWYG = What you see is what you get. This means that your models accurately represent the Wargear they are armed with. (WYSIWYG is a good practise to use whenever you can, as it can prevent arguments and keeps your games simple)
War Walkers are armoured vehicles with very weak armour. It is so poor that basic troops of MEQ armies, Witch Hunters and the Tau can destroy War Walkers with their basic weapons. Our Walkers have the USR ‘Scout’, but if they are used as scouts in the military sense of the word, they can easily be destroyed. What War Walkers excel at, is pouring high volumes of Heavy Weapon fire at our enemies. This is the only reason you would field War Walkers over other Heavy Support choices.
Firstly, all the weapon choices for War Walkers are capable of destroying vehicle armour up to 12. This includes most side and rear armour in the game, and much of the front armour too. So one role for Walkers is to kill vehicles.
Second, all our Walker weapons have high Strength and can therefore kill all Infantry, Jump troops, Bikers, Jetbikes, Cavalry etc. Some of our weapons aren’t good at killing Toughness 7+, but thankfully we don’t meet too many of these horrors. Some of these weapons are very good at killing MEQs.
Star Cannon, Scatter Lasers and Shuriken Cannon all have high rates of fire. As all War Walkers carry two weapons, this means they can each have many shots per Shooting phase, and are capable of pouring high volumes of fire into your enemies. This means that multiple War Walkers can destroy whole enemy units in one Shooting phase.
So all War Walkers are anti-vehicle to some degree, but can be divided into anti-all vehicles, and anti-light vehicles (meaning armour 12 or less).
Some War Walkers with a high ROF are specialists at destroy non-vehicle units.
Some War Walkers are also anti-MEQ.
Almost always, War Walkers are defensive vehicles, not intended to advance towards the enemy.
If you choose to make your models WYSIWYG, you will need to permanently decide what your War Walkers purpose is. In this case it is probably a good idea to make sure that your Walkers are designed as part of an army list capable of taking on any kind of enemy.
). Eldar Missile Launcher (EML): Long range. Moderate points cost. Single shot. The EML can kill most things in the game. It is a reasonable anti-vehicle weapon. It is not so good against 2+ armour save. The EML is a very good general multi-purpose weapon which allows your War Walkers to stay far away from your enemies. The counter argument to this, is that EMLs are o.k. at everything, but not the best at anything. Good against T7 and T8.
). Bright Lance: Medium range. Expensive points cost. Single shot. Can kill anything in the game. Bright Lances are the best choice for killing vehicles. Good against T7 and T8.
). Star Cannon: Medium range. High points cost. Two shots. Can kill poorly armoured vehicles, and virtually everything else in the game. It is not so good against T7+. Star Cannons are the best choice for killing MEQs.
). Scatter Laser: Medium range. Cheap points cost. Four shots. Can kill poorly armoured vehicles, and virtually everything else in the game. It is not so good against T7+. Scatter Lasers are the best choice for killing 5+ and 6+ armour save models.
). Shuriken Cannon: Short range. Extremely cheap points cost. Three shots. Can kill poorly armoured vehicles, and virtually everything else in the game. It is not so good against T7+. The Shuriken Cannon’s short range limits its usefulness for War Walkers.
Each War Walker has to have two weapons, and there are a number of combinations which work well together. In theory, two of the same weapon is the best choices, allowing you to focus your Walker squadrons on specific tasks. However, your opponent may not oblige, by leaving your preferred targets out of line-of-sight of your Walkers. Sometimes this means that mixed weapon Walkers can be more useful.
). 2x Eldar Missile Launchers. War Walker costs 70pts. If you don’t have many anti-vehicle weapons in your army list, then this is a very good choice. Most experienced players know how to minimise the effect of Blast weapons, so don’t rely on the Plasma Missiles being too effective at killing masses of models. Plasma Missiles are Blast Pinning weapons though, and against average or low Leadership units, that can be very useful. Blast will force your enemy to spread out models which have armour 4+ or worse. Because EMLs have very long range, your Walkers can stay far away from your enemy, only moving when they need to re-acquire Line-of-Sight.
). 2x Bright Lances. War Walker costs 90pts. If you don’t have many anti-vehicle weapons in your army list, then this is a very good choice. They are also an obvious choice to use against any army who can field 2+ armour save units, Terminators being the obvious example.
). 1x Bright Lance and 1x Eldar Missile Launcher. War Walker costs 80pts. If you don’t have many anti-vehicle weapons in your army list, then this is a very good choice. This weapon combination gives long range to strike your enemy with at least the EMLs from Round 1, and the capability to kill anything. As Bright Lances are very expensive, this is a reasonable compromise.
). 2x Star Cannons. War Walker costs 80pts. This is the ultimate MEQ killer combination, but is expensive. They are also an obvious choice to use against any army who can field 2+ armour save units. The two Starcannon combination is so powerful against MEQs, that your opponent will try and kill the Walker(s) as soon as possible, and is likely to use cover till he achieves this.
). 2x Scatter Lasers. War Walker costs 60pts. With eight high strength shots for 60pts, this combination is very popular. Its only problem is that almost everything in the 40k games gets a save against it.
). 1x Star Cannon and 1x Scatter Laser. War Walker costs 70pts. This combination offers a good compromise, with six high strength shots.
). 1x Star Cannon and 1x Eldar Missile Launcher. War Walker costs 75pts. This combination is an anti-MEQ army specialist. As well as being able to kill MEQs, it is capable of killing Rhinos, Dreadnoughts and the side armour of most tanks. Its failing is that both weapons are not AP2, and therefore it is not as efficient at killing Terminators.
). 2x Shuriken Cannons. War Walker costs 40pts. If you are playing a very fast moving offensive army, this could be the Walker for you, as it needs to get closer to your enemies than all the other Walkers. Its six high strength shots can destroy GEQ units with ease. This Walker variant can be used to advance towards the enemy as part of a co-ordinated attack.
Farseers have two psychic powers that can improve the destructive capability of War Walkers.
‘Guide’ gives us the chance of more successful hits, and requires that a Farseer is within 6” of the Walkers at the start of our turn. If your army includes one or more powerful shooting units who will deploy close to each other. A Guiding Farseer can directly increase the effect of these units.
‘Doom’ increases the chance of wounding our enemies once a War Walker unit has successful hits against it. However, as all War Walker weapons have high Strength, they will already been wounding with most hits, a Farseer using Doom, will be far less effective than one using Guide for the Walkers. Doom is much more effective against enemy units with T5 or better.
With such poor armour, War Walkers are very vulnerable and fragile. Any hit of Strength 4 or better can destroy them, and this makes all MEQs very dangerous to them. For example, a basic Marine has S4 and a 24” range S4 shooting weapon. So if anything of Strength 4+ is in range, you are in trouble. Note that this includes close combat.
This fragility makes War Walkers vulnerable to many enemy Fast Attack and Deep Strike units. For example: even a basic unit of Jump Pack MEQs (Assault marines, Raptors, Necron Destroyers) will smash War Walkers to bits in close combat, and any Power Fist or Chain Fist will annihilate them. Just because War Walkers have a decent Strength, Initiative and multiple attacks, does not make them good in close combat. They could be used as part of a combined attack however, against weak enemies.
So your War Walkers need to stay away from enemy units. Luckily most of War Walkers weapons have a range of 36”. But needless to say, your opponent will also have 36”+ range heavy weapons, all of which will be capable of trashing your Walkers. If you are going to field War Walkers, or any other vehicles, you need kill all enemy units with multiple Heavy weapon shots as quickly as possible. This means you army will have to include other long range shooting weapons and/or plenty of fast moving close combat troops.
To protect Walkers, they really need to be ‘Obscured’ – see page 69 of the 40k main rule book. See Scouting and Deployment below for more detail.
War Walkers have the option of taking Spirit Stones. On the Glancing Hit and Penetrating Hit tables (page 67 of the 40k main rule book), four of the results Destroy the vehicle and three of the results include Stunned without being Immobilised. So if the vehicle survives there is a 37.5% chance of it being Stunned. The question is, is it worth reducing Stunned to Shaken. The reason being that not being able to move increases the chance of the enemy being able to destroy the Walker, and also increases the chance of the Walker not having future targets in its Line-of-Sight. Maybe for individual Walkers it is not so important, but for Walkers in squadrons it is critically important to be able to move as a group.
War Walkers can be deployed in Squadrons of one, two or three. Squadrons of two or three vehicles have special rules (page 73 of the 40k main rule book), and it is very important to understand that if your Walker squadron is hit more than once by an enemy unit, each Walker in the squadron will takes hits.
For example, if a Space Marine with a Lascannon shoots at your unit, it can only achieve one hit, and therefore potentially only destroy one Walker. However, if a Space Marine Land Speeder Tornado shoots at the squadron, it has seven shots, and could potentially destroy all the Walkers in the squadron in one round. It is this reason that makes S4 shooting weapons so dangerous. Your squadron’s worst nightmare is a squad of MEQs or Scourges with Splinter Cannons rapid firing at it or a Land Raider Crusader laying waste to them.
The second consideration of vehicle squadrons is Victory points and Scoring units (page 85 of the 40k main rule book).
). For a vehicle squadron of one vehicle, things are simple: Your Walker is destroyed, or Immobile or mobile. Even if its weapons are both destroyed, a mobile Walker still counts as a scoring unit.
). For a vehicle squadron of two vehicles: As long as one Walker is mobile, even if its weapons are both destroyed, the squadron counts as a scoring unit.
). For a vehicle squadron of three vehicles: As long as two Walkers are mobile, even if all their weapons are both destroyed, the squadron counts as a scoring unit.
The third consideration of squadron size, is its weapon configuration:
). Walkers with 2x Eldar Missile Launchers or 2x Bright Lances or 1x Bright Lance and 1x Eldar Missile Launcher:
It has been argued that Walkers with these configurations are best fielded in squadrons of 1, because shooting at a vehicle with 4 or 6 shots is ‘overkill’, i.e. too much. One could also argue that a squadron of 3 War Walkers with BL or EML is very expensive, and is likely to be targeted quickly by your opponent. I actually prefer squadrons of 2 or 3 for the following reasons:
1. Eldar have average BS so half your shots will miss.
2. I’d rather kill off a vehicle that leave it just Immobilised or with one weapon system destroyed.
3. When you are shooting at MEQs, you need to kill off as many as possible as quickly as possible, especially their heavy weapons units. A single War Walker will hit once, with an 83.33% chance of killing one T1-6 MEQ.
4. Larger squadrons are more suitable to be ‘Guided’ by a Farseer, than a single Walker.
). Walkers with 2x Star Cannons or 2x Scatter Lasers, or 1x Star Cannon and 1x Scatter Laser or 1x Star Cannon and 1x Eldar Missile Launcher:
Without a Farseer using Guide, these Walkers are best in squadrons of two. With a Farseer, then it is best to maximise their firepower, by using squadrons of three Walkers. A squadron of three ‘Guided’ by a Farseer on average, will kill 5-7 MEQs…. bye bye Tactical squad, Devastator squad, Berzerkers etc.
). Walkers with 2x Shuriken Cannons:
Because these Walkers need to get closer to the enemy, they are likely to attract plenty of fire, and unlikely to all survive. With that in mind, I think that squadrons of 1 or 2 are more useful. With a squadron of 3, if only one is left, it can’t count as a Scoring unit.
Deployment and the USR ‘Scout’
Because our War Walkers have the USR ‘Scout’, we can cause problems for our opponent after he has finished deploying. You can:
1. Deploy your War Walkers behind size 3 terrain, so that your opponent has no Line-of-Sight on them at the start of the game. This means of they get to go first, your Walkers should survive until your turn. Remember that this means behind size 3, not in size 3, unless all your Walkers are at least 6” within the terrain so your enemies can’t see them. You can use the Scout move to shift position without leaving cover.
2. Deploy the Walkers so that your opponent can see them (this can be in cover), but so that they can use their ‘Scout’ move to get behind size 3 terrain, or into size 3 cover where all your Walkers are at least 6” within the terrain so your enemies can’t see them.
3. If you have Walkers armed with two Shuriken Cannons. You can deploy them so that they can use their Scout move to advance towards your enemy, preferably into some kind of cover giving them ‘Obscure’ status. For example, behind a size2 wall, or into a Wood. If the enemy perceives these Walkers as being very dangerous, they will shoot at them, ignoring your other units.
Because Walkers are vehicles they can move and shoot heavy weapons, so they do not need Line-of-Sight at the beginning of round 1. What they need to is to be able to get Line-of-Sight by moving up to 6” during your turn.
I'm sure you guys will come up with other angles, and comment about my take on Walkers. So as these come up, I'll edit this intial post to add corrections and good stuff in, and note the edits at the bottom.
Last edited by Lord Ramon; October 5th, 2007 at 09:19.
okay, starcannons are in my opinion shocking, 80 points for 4 ap2 shots. there are things in ur army that will fill this role better like falcons or prisms. shruiken cannons make the walkers a scoring unit thats as cheap as chips, and if you control the game this will actually work out well for you, although i prefer vypers in this role theyll do an admirable job. single shot weapons on walkers are a big no no in my book, twin lances on a walker can be pretty handy but too unreliable for me. generally a pretty good tactica
Signed Sealed Saint
Fortius Quo Fidelius
It's a great explanation of war walkers, although I'm sorry to say a lot of it has been said before (albeit in bits and pieces).
One thing though, you need to hype up the pair of scatter lasers war walkers a bit more, you've discussed the uses of the various kinds but the pair of scatter lasers is far and away the best and that should be included.
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I use three walkers all armed with scatter lasers. great for picking off swarms.
Excellent guide Lord Ramon!
"The sword that takes life gives life."
I just got finished painting my walkers and I like them a lot. One thing I would say is for everyone to make sure you either magnet or pin the weapons... Don't be a noob and glue on the weapons only to later say "this scatter laser is a brightlance." anyhow, I use two scatter lasers, it kills a lot of stuff fairly well (avg. 5 MEQ per turn-ish) and the great thing about it is they usually get ignored for other "more dangerous targets," my walkers are kind of my sleeper cell of my footlsogger army, and its great!
Veni Vidi Vici
"The plan is to win, if we don't win its cause you guys didn't follow the plan!"
Eldar: 25,000 pts
Thanks for the feedback chaps. As I said, my intention was to collect War Walker infomation togather, including my own take. Something which is good for newbies as well as more experienced players.
Maybe this intro to Walkers can become the basis for a good Walker Tactica, if one of you wiser, more experienced heads fancies it.
Something to consider when talking MEQs is cover like you allready did partly. It shifts the odds strongly towards Scatters and Shuricannons. Who indeed seem to be the #1 choice.
The more aggressive the rest of the army, the better 40 point Shuricannon Walkers with scout move will get, for people will propably have more important targets then. The low armour can actually work in your favour once you get close, because Powerfists will very likely blow up the walker and some of the surrounding attackers as well. Its quite funny when someone assaults a Walker with 10 Assaultmarines just to find two of them dying in the explosion. (40 points destroyed with 44 points lost and standing in the open.)