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First off, I'd just like to say that I've never played a tabletop game before (except for two practice games using coins and other random bits to get used to how the game flows) so I hope you'll forgive my long list of questions. I also would greatly appreciate any advice and opinions you'd have for me.
Currently I think my friend group wants to aim for something along the lines of 750 to 1000 and then eventually 1500, so my points and rough army list might seem all over the place.
HQ- Autarch, Farseer
Elite- Harlequins w/shadowseer, Fire Dragons w/exarch, Striking Scorpions w/exarch
Troop- Dire Avenger w/exarch (wave serpent), Dire Avenger w/exarch
Fast Atk- Warp Spider w/exarch
Hvy Support- Falcon w/EML & star engines/holo field, War Walker w/EML (maybe two with a starcannon each)
So my idea for this was basically hiding the Autarch and the Farseer both in the harlequin squad to benefit from the shadowseer and to doom/guide the harlequins while a DA squad would follow somewhat close (while trying to avoid large blasts engulfing both groups). The War Walkers would probably try and keep the infantry safe from things like hellhounds and dreadnoughts. Falcon would most likely take the Fire Dragons around, maybe to the harder stuff in the back (I'm actually not sure how it would make it back there without dying).
The striking scorpions would probably counter snipers or maybe use them for outflanking, the warpspiders would play a similar role, basically just surprise tactics.
And the waveserpent DA I hope would be drawing some fire zipping around, hopefully drawing his melees into a advantageous formation or into range of the War Walkers EMLs.
I'm also curious about some other things in Eldar:
Avatar, can this guy really get places going twelve inches a turn before he gets burned down? or is he supposed to be an aggro magnet?
Pathfinders, are they kind of high for pointcosts considering they only fire once a turn? Snipers ingeneral I don't really understand there use, are they more for dealing with more infantry based armies?
Swooping Hawks, I don't seem to hear much about them here but from what I gather from the codex they seem like a good grunt infantry killer and even Anti Vehicle with haywire grenades. Is it because other people can do the same job or is the deep strike large blast thing as frowned upon as it sounds like people would?
Fire Prisms, I've read that most people take them in a pair or not at all. Is it a good unit by itself? Would it be worth it for me to get just 1 or would I really benefit from two?
How do you normally keep your troops alive? From what I've seen in the practice games, things die in a drop of a hat. Should I expect lots of casualties and play through or is there something to be learned here?
Thanks in advance!
PS: Completely forgot to ask about support platforms! Are they a bit slow for a mobile army? Would I need to get a waveserpent for them if I planned to play one? Is there a kind of support platform that is recognized as useful in most/all situations? Vibro Cannon... are they as ridiculous as they sound?
Last edited by Club Sandwich; January 19th, 2009 at 07:00.
Hi and good choice picking eldar.
going to try and cover your questions if I miss some sorry in advance.
farseer hiding in the harlies isn't a bad idea. Putting him in the wave serpent DA squad might make him/her safer and give you more mobility to get the powers where you need them.
The elites are all great units, the harlies are the most fragile but can also IMO be the most destructive. You don't need a transport because of the veil of tears but once enemy units get close you need to get into combat or they will be shot to pieces.
Firedragons in a falcon is the classic eldar anti tank unit. Give the falcon holo fields and spiritstones and the enemy will have to be very lucky to stop it before you can drop the dragons next to a tank.
Scorpions are generally ment for anti horde, but with the infiltrate they can get close to the enemy to start or outflank so using them to try and deal with back line shooters is possible.
Warpspiders are great harrasment unit, try to keep them out of melee though even with the powerblades for the exarch they arn't very good at CC.
The wave serpent DA squad is a very good troop choice drive by blade storms are amazing. the footslogging DA squad is still solid, might want to look at the defend power and the shimmer shield as the unit can be caught fairly easy in melee.
Warwalkers are great most will use the dual scatter lasers for max number of shots, the EML can be a good alternative as the blast templates will generally hit infantry units what ever you take it is generally believed that taking all of the same weapon is best.
You will note I didn't list the autarch that is because how he is set up with change greatly on where you put him in your list. I think the harlies are a poor place, I would look at getting a cheap one with power weapon, fusion gun, and mandiblaster and put him with one of the DA squads or give him a warp pack and let me drop in with the war spiders. ( this is one of the more common autarch set ups )
Avatar is the big scary monster, He will either soak up alot of the enemies fire at the beginning of the game or he will make it to the enemy line and cause problems there. For the points he has great stats and is an aggro magnet ( people will take him just for this )
Pathfinders are the best snipers in the game, get them in cover and they get a 2+ cover save so the opponent will need to redirect a melee unit to deal with them most of the time. The best targets for them are good armor save units and MCs as they can get shots that ignore armor and they always wound on 4+.
Swooping hawks are a tough sell. Against low toughness bad save armies they will be great, against MEQ units ( T 4 S 3+) they will struggle to get kills and earn their points. the yo yo hawks to drop pie plates can be very annoying. The tank hunting can also provide good results but the unit is fragile and can't assault when it deep strikes so the opponent gets a round to shoot them off the table. Having said that if you like the look or the idea of them give them a go some people love them.
1 fireprism is alright the two different setting on the main gun make it good against multiple targets and the range and holofields make it a tough nut to crack. 2 is generally much much better as it can be even more flexible on targets ( linked large blast is AP3 so will ingore marine armor saves ).
Eldar are very fragile in general so if you get shot at expect to loose models, I have had alot of problems keeping my scoring units alive. My answer was to become mechanized ( all my units are in tanks ) this makes it much harder to kill them off as the enemy must destroy the wave serpent before getting to shoot my troops.
If your looking for tougher troops you can make wraithguard a scoring unit and with the right support they are one of the toughest troops in the game. Rangers in cover are very tough to kill unless you remove the cover ( melee or some weapons will do this ). last is the jetbikes they have MEQ stats and the warlock can give them conceal to act as a poor mans inv save. ( fortune farseers can make alot of eldar units much tougher ).
Last one I think, support platforms. In a fast list they have no place you can't put them in transports and they move very slow (also can't fire if they move ). As for which weapon is best it depends on what you want. I like the D-cannons they will kill just about anything they hit but they have short range so opponents can avoid them. Vibro cannons are a great weapon but with the changes to glancing hits on vehicles they are just not as good as they used to be, still a fun weapon that will make anyone call cheese when they line up 4 or 5 units in one shot. Shadow weavers have the advantage of being very cheap they have a good range and decent strength but the target will get armor saves. Biggest problem for all the choices though is that they are a heavy support slot where eldar have things like falcons, warwalkers, fire prisms, dark reapers and wraithlords.
Wow that is a wall of text hope it helps you out some and that you could manage to read it all.
Thanks for the quick reply! Your advice looks sound and I think some small changes to my list will suffice. Also, about some of the things you were saying...
The Autarch, I'm curious as to why he plays a better role in shooting than melee. From what I gathered, he had a lot of melee attacks. Do people usually go headhunting for HQs that would make this a poor choice?
How would DA in a Wave Serpent actually play? drive around, step out, blade storm, get back in the next turn? Seems somewhat clunky to me(embarking and disembarking is kind of a hazy area for me in the rules).
Starcannons, I noticed there wasn't much to say about them, are they considered a vanilla weapon? s6 ap2 seems like it would be pretty handy in most situations, but then I gues the Scatter Laser has double the shots with the same strength.
I think I might switch out the Autarch for an Avatar and hopefully fit in a Fire Prism without going over my point cost.
I don't like the autarch in the harlie squad because he isn't going to make a major difference in the unit ( a troupe master will give you power weapon attacks and for the cost of the autarch you can simply take more harlies to make up the wound difference and get more attacks). In a DA squad that has defend and shimmer shield he will provide anti tank with a fusion gun. A second power weapon with good WS and INT to help it win combats against normal units and hold out against serious CC units. You can drop him into the warp spiders and once again get a second power weapon making the unit an actual threat in melee and with the fusion gun he can break off and hunt a tank on his own.
You have the basic idea of DA's in a transport down pat the wave serpent can move 12" drop them off the blade storm ( hopefully on a doomed target ) will hopefully wipe them out so you don't get assaulted, next round pile back into the wave serpent and move toward the next target. The best thing about this is you can get the DAs to the target intact for a full blade storm and they move faster overall.
Star cannons are nice but they are expensive in a warwalker squad you can almost get 3 with scatter lasers for the same cost as two with starcannons. All the cover saves out there will also make the AP2 useless so the higher shot volume will end up killing more. ( if you magnetize the weapons you could try out different weapon setups and find what works best for you )
Realized I made it sound like the autarch is bad for melee units I love the jetbike autarch with laserlance in flying councils and shining spear units as the power weapon attacks can and sometimes are needed to tip the combat in your favor.
Last edited by nakaruru; January 19th, 2009 at 08:57.
I stand behind what nakaruru has said thus far. I'd just like to add a few things from my own experiences.
Dire avengers, the wave serpent embark/disembark thing seemed very clunky to me at first too. When you get more used to the army however, you get into a rhythm of kind of leap frogging your units. It sounds strange but the whole Eldar thing is built off of synergy. Don't be afraid to run a squad away from combat while another takes it's place. If done correctly, waves of enemy troops will hit your alternating units and just crumple.
Also, on the autarch, some people don't find him particularly spectacular in close combat but he's not horrible. He can cover the weaknesses of some units very well but harlequins really aren't one of those units.
And finally, starcannons vs scatterlasers, the starcannons loose out because the good AP is really lost in all the cover saves floating around the board.
Best of luck to you, and if you loose a few games to start off don't be discouraged. Eldar take some getting used to.
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