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A friend of mine who plays eldar is reaching the end of the line - he can't seem to win a game even against genuinely poor players, and is often fighting off the back foot by the end of turn 2.
His last force (1000 pts vs chaos) looked roughly like :
Farseer (runed up) & 2 D-cannons (which he always takes)
Autarch & 5 fire dragons riding around in a pimped-out falcon
6 Howling banshees
Two squads of scouts
As a general rule he doesn't make any obviously major misjudgements, rather he plays strictly by the numbers - dcannon the biggest group, melta the vehicles, use the falcon to shoot the anti-tank first, etc.
It is fairly easy to predict what he's going to do and his forces never seem to have unit backup (that is to say - he throws the right unit forward but there is rarely anything behind it to clean up messes).
So ... what kind of units / combinaton is suited to a straightforward player? Which types of units are forgiving and/or able to deliver devastating one-round blows without over exposing themselves?
Any thoughts on advice I could give him?
2 much points are in the HQ.
Model count is far to low
Falcon kinda sucks in 5th now
2 many pathfinders for 1000pts.
Get some direavengers for 152 points thats them with an exarch and bladestorm
Drop the falcon imo and get a wave serpent (buy the conversion kit from FW or off ebay if money is a factor)
5 fire dragons fine
6 Banshee's arnt enough to do the damage with only a 4+ save and a t3
Essentally he is losing to poor players cause of his poor list.
I've heard good things about bladestorm on the forum (though i've never seen him use it) - best used in a wave serpent? (and any specific veh upgrades useful here?)
The falcon survived well enough but spent the whole game shaken.
The fire dragons I agree with, but in the two games i've played him against them they first wiffed an attack on seraphim (faith saves) and got wiped out, and then against the CSM they only managed to shake a rhino through cover the entire game (then died in a bolter crossfire - IMHO they deployed on the wrong side of the falcon and it cost them).
They just seem quite vunrable to rapid fire when they get into range - falcon/serpents do block LOS don't they? Perhaps it's just a deployment adjustment they need.
He mentioned he'd considered an Avatar - are they any good? Is a wraithlord a better bet?
He had previously tried wraithguard who - like the falcon - survived but didn't do anything.
For reference - his current typical opposition are marines and CSM, with the potential to face the occasional WH/DH, orcs, and tau (and possibly necrons).
3+ saves and S4 bolter fire are the norm. Rhinos are common. Cover tends to be abundant.
Cover saves = Useless Pathfinders
5 fire dragons I'd keep for 80points and 5 melta guns Its a keeper
More banshee's in a WS that will deal with the Sm CSM Crons etc
Def needs Dire Avengers
No need for an Avatar in 1000pts if you have a farseer
WL = good
though id also try Dark Reapers 5 reapers with an Exarch and tempest launcher vs SM and CMS = win
I might try to think of a list
that i would use
Too much bling, not enough substance.
5th ed is all about troops. if you can't take and hold objectives, you're never going to win.
pimped out falcons are a hindrance rather than a help in 1000pts, they cost too much for too little return.
Also 2 Hq in 1000pts?
He's putting too much into units that can't score.
More troops+Fewer fancy upgrades=More victory.
"i am a leaf in the wind, see how i soar"
Don't have the codex, but at a rough guestimate a farseer and two squads of bladestorming avengers in wave serpents would cost between 650-700 points (depending on starcannons, seer equip) - does that sound about right ?
I'd guess he'd still want the d-cannons, though they are jekyll and hyde for him.
Leaves about enough for half a dozen dragons and a squad of banshees with an exarch i'd guess - this final bit seems a bit vulnerable without points spare for transport(s) - would he be safer with pathfinders/reapers holding the line while the avergers push forwards?
Id put the Banshee's in the wave serpents over the dire avengers.
Dire Avengers have an 18" range over Guardians 12" range. Best to keep them back as much as you can.
The more i look at what he is playing against the more i keep thinking Dark Reapers.
I'll have a look at a wee list fo things now
Farseer Spirit stones, Doom, Guide 120
Banshee’s Exarch, Executioner, Wave Serpent, Brightlance 317
Avengers Exarch, Blade Storm Dual catapults 152
Reapers Exarch, Tempest Launcher 207
If I was running 1000pts vs what he is playing thats what id roll with imo
What is the wisdom on d-cannons ?
He typically guides them with his farseer. In the first few games against other players he did a lot of damage, but since then (against me anyway) he gets one wild shot at a sacrificial lamb and then wiped out by assault or drive-by shooting.
Assuming no cannons, who is the farseer best supporting ?
Until the banshee's get into melee support the dire avengers.
doom has a 24" range so he doesn't need to be up close and personal with them to doom whom ever they charge.
Guide the dire avengers or the Reapers
If your blade storming something and the banshee's are in combat Doom + Guide + Bladestorm = 32 str 4 shots rerolling to hit and wound... its yummy.
D Cannons are good but the fact you have to guess the range and they scatter makes them very unreliable....
Again with the Shee's if the the farseer is supporting them thats 32 ish power weapon attacks at int 10 rerolling to wound... its pretty much i win vs SM CSM Necrons...