Welcome to Librarium Online!
As the thread title implies, this thread will be a user poll dedicated to determining the usage of (imo) our most underused unit type, Fast attack.
While it's true that we undoubtedly have some of the best elites and Heavy support in the game, Eldar Fast attack choices have always been questioned in regards to their efficiency and usefulness when incorporated in the Eldar Warhost.
Lets discuss briefly each of our Fast attack choices:
Shining Spears are probably the most potent of the fast attack units in CC with their high strength power weapons on the charge, and the ability to escape combat to charge in again with the hit and run USR. They are durable by Eldar standards, sporting a MEQ statline for their Toughness and Armor Save. Like almost all Eldar fast attack they are extremely mobile, being able to reposition themselves very quickly should they eliminate a target and not have another close by. Shining Spears suffer from two major drawbacks, squad size and points cost. The average properly equipped spear squad costs over 225 points for 5 models. Therefore, utilizing proper positioning and planning is key to using the unit successfully and getting the most bang for your points.
(On a side note, this squad is probably the unit that benefits most from the autarch being joined to them since he can equip himself with their weapon and add a healthy number of attacks to the squad.)
Changes since 5th:
Hit and Run now requires a Leadership test, which if failed can prove problematic for the spears since they will not be able to strike with their terrifying weaponry.
Under the new wound rules, and due to their small squad size, it is forseeable that certain models may end up singled out for taking wounds and if the exarch dies in this manner it can severly cripple the squads efficiency.
Warp Spiders provide a little bit of extra oomph to the Eldar army. It is important to remember, however, that Warp Spiders are of little use all by themselves, in order to function well, they must be supporting other units in your army in achieving their goals, not trying to take on your opponents army single handedly. Warp spiders are the masters of high strength weapon saturation without taking up a precious heavy support slot. Sporting S6 weapons, they have a very easy time at wounding all but the toughest creatures, but they excel at light to medium (read 6+ to 3+) infantry hunting. Why infantry specifically? No standard infantry unit in the game has toughness higher than 4, which means warp spiders generally will wound on 2's against any troop they might encounter, this factor coupled with their relatively high BS, results in the opponent taking many armor saves, and as any good Eldar general knows, taking a lot of saves will eventually lead to many wounds.
Changes since 5th:
Since deepstriking has become relatively safer due to the deepstrike mishap chart, it is now a move viable tactic to hold spiders in reserve and let them drop down on their prey like they were intended to do, remember they can still use their warp jump after deepstriking. (I'm pretty sure at least, if this is incorrect please let me know.)
Being jump troops they are now given the ability to deepstrike for free, giving me another excuse to do so.
Swooping Hawks are probably the most commonly regarded as the least efficient Fast Attack unit due mostly to their low save, low strength and ap weapons, and equally low toughness. Many consider their saving grace is the ability to deny the opponent kill points by keeping them out of play by abusing skyleap. Many think that hawks only purpose on the battlefield is dropping bolter strength pie plates or trying to get to vehicles with their awesome grenades, though some would argue that the pie plates do little damage, and the hawks will be shot up long before they reach a vehicle. Is it really this simple? Are Hawks completely pants? You decide.
Changes since 5th:
See Above for deepstriking analysis.
Vypers have always been kicked back and forth between being good and bad. Pre Eldar Codex 2006 starcannon shuriken cannon configuration was the standard, but since the starcannon nerf, scatter laser and shuriken cannon took over. Now in 5th edition, with new defensive weapon rules, the Vyper has again undergone a transformation. Common loadouts being: EML and shuriken cannon, and dual shuriken cannons. The EML / Shuriken Cannon configuration has become popular on most of the eldar skimmers, since both weapons can be fired on the move and blast weapons no longer miss their targets outright. The dual shuriken cannon loadout seems to be for the more adventurous, allowing an Eldar general 6 strength 6 shots for 60 points that simultaneously draw fire off of your other units due to the fact that a Vyper can zoom accross the table 24" (perhaps with a fortuned 4+), then if ignored will continue to pump 6 shots a turn into the opponent, who will probably want to make the damn thing stop shooting his mans.
Changes since 5th:
[The complete overhaul of vehicles makes this somewhat difficult to tackle in entirety but here's the spark notes version]
All tanks are more resilient thanks to the new simplified vehicle damage chart.
There is now an advantage to taking vypers in a squadron thanks to the rules about stunned results being downgraded to shaken.
4+ cover save against any weapon thanks to flatout movement speed.
EML Blast no longer misses outright somewhat mitigating the low BS of the Vyper
So there you have it, now it's up to you to decide. Which Fast Attack Unit will reign supreme?
Last edited by Amishcellphone; August 28th, 2008 at 09:44.
"War does not determine who is right - only who is left" Bertrand Russell
We bring only death, and leave only carrion. It is a message even a Human can understand.
I have to say I'm in all kinds of love with the WarpSpiders. Taken in squads of 10 there are very few opposing units that are not going to get either utterly destroyed by a shooting phase or become so crippled as to be no further threat.
Couple that with the assault move that can be used after deepstrike (see GW FAQ) and if you've got good terrain and cover they can get the hell out of dodge and become very hard to track down. And if they do get caught, with an Exarch with Powerblades and the general high initiative plus decent armour save they are still not an easy take down in CC or shooting.
I think that they are the most flexible and most resilient of the options available + in Apocalypse you can use Shard of the Void Weaver which looks great but I haven't used it yet.
Vypers. They are still a hard-hitting and fast weapon platform. They are brilliant for how cheap they are.
Spears can be awesome and look like awesome potential but I've never tried them myself and I've beaten down my friend's spears so many times that I'm not sure if they're worth the points (or if my friend is just that unlucky, in 2 regular games and an apoc game vs. my chaos, and guard and guard respectively I've only ever lost a termie and 3 guardsmen overall and have always beaten them down in close combat)
I like vypers and spiders myself, but I don't own any spiders so vypers are really the only thing i have experience with.
Running a jetbike army, I use shining spears, which in my opinion are very effective. This is probably only cause the rest of my army moves just as far and with my shining spears. The main draw back is definetly the squad size... once my opponent hones in on my shining spears they are toast, but when I do get in assault with meq's they kick but... but one thing I always remind my self is don't rush right in to combat with them. They are nice and can effectively win back their points especially when fighting necrons. I do wish they were only 30 pts. rather than 35pts. a piece, or be able to take a warlock... none of which will probably happen but I will still play with them if even for the only fact that they look sweet
I would just point out one thing..... Hit and run doesn't require a leadership test, it requires an initiative test so because of their I6, spears can only fail hit and run on a roll of a 6.
Personally, i like Vypers, Spears and Spiders...... Hmmmmm that just leaves Hawks. Never really liked them.
Yay warpspiders, now if they'd only get some new models made up!! The only reason I haven't bought any yet. I've been using guardians in friendly games hehe.
Tomb Kings, Marines, Eldar
Hawks are awesome in some situations and in others they fail to do anything but jump around and look annoying.
I think when your up against a gun line army or something with huge packs of low armour (I’m looking at you orks) their bombs can be really effective, but if you are fighting something with good armour saves and not huge numbers, might as well not bother.
Also they are a kill point the enemy cant get, use them last turn to jump in and contest an objective.
I have recently been using hawks with mixed results (have to remember to roll for reserves lol)
I think what really lets them down is the fact they are almost completely specialised at taking on low armour save hordes that when you come up against armies that have good saves or tanks, which is almost every army you will fight (there are a few space marine players out there yes?), they struggle to even kill one model.
But it’s a nice looking model.
"Playing it safe is the most popular way to fail." - Elliott Smith.
I have Hawks and use them from time to time but what I like to use most are the Shining Spears. Not only can they be darn awesome against troops with their high str power weapon attacks now in close combat against tanks no matter what side they can bring them down quickly attacking against the back armour. They are expensive but I see them as an excellent swiss army knife unit. They are good at pretty much most things key is keeping them alive. Always remember if your zooming along to get that 3+ cover save if you want to ensure they will stay alive (say their contesting an objective) drop to ground to make it a 2+.
Oh yeah and nice poll, here is a rep point from me.
Last edited by ShaselMudd; August 29th, 2008 at 02:12. Reason: Update.
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Cant really say theres a "best" fast attack as like all Eldar it's situational. I love warpspiders for lower armor classes and spears for HQ/termie hunting. Ive never had much success with Vypers but Id probably use them in a 2000pt army ( I usually play 1500- ).