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I don't just mean throwing a unit of rangers off to a side with a mech or reserves based army. I mean armies where the bulk of the points are standing on terra firma all the time.
It seems to me there are a number of significant problems in 5th edition.
1. While I don't have the mathhammer on me. I worked it out and while rail guns have just about the same odds of stopping transports as before, a scatter laser or missile launcher is only about half as likely to halt a rhino in 5th as they were in 4th. Meaning stopping the rush is a whole lot harder.
2. Those footslogging enemies are running now. Giving our gunlines a lot less time to whittle them down.
3. Eldar are generally driven towards using low AP weapons for anti infantry roles. The new rules in 5th make such weapons less deadly. I.e. before 16 wounds on a 4 MEQ unit would usually clear them out handily. Now, since they each make their saves seperately, most of the time there will be at least one left standing. The impact varies from case to case, but you get the idea.
4. The metagame seems to lean towards armies good at bringing the pain on the ground. I'm seeing a lotta rhino rushing and template weapons these days. Outflanking generally helps here too.
5. This has more to do with the codex. But, our shooting has generally been nerfed since the days BS4 guardians poured plasma from three shot starcannons across the gaming table and brighlances weren't so expensive. Some units have gotten shootier; so there is some give and take, but at the end of the day we just can't slap down the armored models like we used to. Though I'd entertain the proposition we're just as strong or stronger against hoards.
Of course that is just covering the shooty aspects. But we Eldar used to be able to function as a shooty army. One countercharge unit being all we needed, and that was kinda optional when you got down to it.
So what about a ground force more geared toward melee? We have gotten some love there. But it seems we have some real problems with troops. The only real melee troups we have are stormies and DA. Not worthless, but I doubt the chaos players are asking how to deal with them over in their board, especially if they're operating on their own due to some circumstance.
And our melee units, unmounted, are a bit slow. (exception the usually too expensive and vulnerable to send in alone spears). Meaning we'll usually be taking the charges from units capable of reliably charging from further away (or that are assaulting out of the comfort of their harder to kill transports).
So the name of our ground combat game seems to be countercharging. Fine enough I suppose. But it just doesn't seem like our units are tough enough to really go point for point on the ground with good fighters, even when our units are working together right.
Am I wrong? Are some people mopping up tournies and/or their local gaming club on the ground?
I think your main complaint is about low AP weapons aren't doing enough damage to be justified as a viable foot slog choice. I couldn't agree more. However, you could try using the weight of numbers in attacks to accomplish the same thing and in 5th ed it is even more effective. Bladestorms are even scarier to a marine player than they were before. Now they must take armor saves on their expensive sargents and special weapons as well. Once those are gone it will be easier to clear out the rest. My favorite foot slog choices whould be dire avengers, scorpions and I might have to say a few batches of guardians adding a last line. These would have to be backed up by some wraithlords or heavy weapons to give it enough punch for the heavy stuff but would do quite well I think.
Last edited by Dekendo; February 24th, 2009 at 01:13.
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I'm probably not the best person to respond to this considering I play a very mech based list. (The only two units in my list that ever touch the ground are DA's and thats only when they get out of their serpents). IMHO your dead on, the grounded shooty eldar lists have gotten slightly less effective. As ridiculous as footsloggin DA's en masse could be against hordes there still pretty decent against small MEQ squads.
Then again my main oponent plays pure Grey Knights that rip anything not in a transport or out of LOS to shreds...and then assualt the remains. which leads me to believe the best thing to do is max out on speed. It seems that 5th is more about troops taking objectives and lightning fast firefights to claim said objectives.
Cant go wrong with D.A's in a Serpent man...
We bring many guns, and leave only Carrion.
And while they can tar pit for a while, they'll still lose against speedy units that get into CC with them. You can countercharge with a different unit. But that assumes you've done enough damage so that the units that are charging you don't get nailed by another wave of enemy melee.
And I just don't think we have the firepower to deliver that.
You do have a point about occasionally getting lucky and cutting out a powerfist though. But again that requires popping their transports.
I was under the impression that your opponent rolls all of his saves of similar types of models together (ie - 20 wounds on a squad with a seargent and guy with missile launcher would allocate 2 to the seargent, 2 to the missile launcher and 16 to the normal marines. If there are 6 failed saves on normal marines 6 die, you don't do each guy individually - this would be painstaking in a squad of 20 orks...)3. Eldar are generally driven towards using low AP weapons for anti infantry roles. The new rules in 5th make such weapons less deadly. I.e. before 16 wounds on a 4 MEQ unit would usually clear them out handily. Now, since they each make their saves seperately, most of the time there will be at least one left standing. The impact varies from case to case, but you get the idea.
Aside from that point, I agree with you completely sunnyside, I've played recently with a footslogging army against mech SOB and hybrid marines and have been crushed both times due to the sheer fact that I can't pop their transports, and their squads unloading and firing generally with kill enough of my troops that I don't have enough left to damage/counter-charge their squads. I guess it doesn't help that both of these armies are full of AP4 weapons too...
Wait. Is cheart right? I'm away from my rulebook right now. But I could have sworn the example showed not only each model rolling indavidually, but that they put some unsavable wounds and saveable wounds on the same normal guy. (essentially throwing some of the potential kills away).
Yes, you could do that in certain situations. Take for example the last example, except there was an extra wound caused by an AP2 weapon. The space marine player could honerably sacrifice either the seargent or the missile launcher dude by giving them an AP2 wound, and still allocate another 2 normal wounds to them! However, if they wanted their normal guys to die then it would be just one more wound to a normal marine. I`m pretty sure this is how it is played now, or at least thats how i`ve been playing for the last 8 months...Wait. Is cheart right? I'm away from my rulebook right now. But I could have sworn the example showed not only each model rolling indavidually, but that they put some unsavable wounds and saveable wounds on the same normal guy. (essentially throwing some of the potential kills away).
I've played more or less footslog from day one. The prospect of expensive (game-terms and $$$ wise) transports wasn't something I looked forward to. But once 5th rolled around and the need for troops to be able to get somewhere very quickly since they're the only scoring units, I've mounted both my DA squads in Wave Serpents to fill this role. Now don't think I love masses of guardians, I actually hate guardians with a passion when other things kill stuff so much better (ok, so not THAT much better, but that 12" range really kills their effectiveness.) Besides my two serpents, all my units are footslogging, but they're divided into two groups, the counter-charge/firebase group consisting of two Wraithlords, a squad of kiss armed Harlequins with the Troupe Master and Shadowseer (Death Jester and Maugan Ra added in when I go from 1750 to 1850,) and a squad of 5 Pathfinder Rangers. The other group is the mobile strike force consisting of a 6 man Guardian Jetbike squad, and a squad of 8 Warp Spiders including Exarch. Now normally I sit my Rangers in a piece of cover in my deployment zone on an objective (or within 3" of one I deployed close to that piece of cover just outside my deployment zone,) and my Wraithlords blow tanks/MCs up and the Harlequins counter-charge anything that thinks my objective is worth the pain to take. The nice thing is that everything but the Rangers can potentially advance and provide full support so the list is anything but static.
So overall, I say footslogging is still pretty good in my oppinion, but for troops, in order to do well, you'll need to mechanize them, or get Jetbikes, but Jetbikes aren't exactly powerhouses.
I wouldn't consider models that can travel 24" on their own "footsloggers". They may not be in vehicles, but they've got the ability to avoid being overrun due to their high maneuverability.
So it seems pointwise you're about 1/3 on the ground.
I think that has some solid potential.
Could you tell us something about how games tend to play out (or show up a batrep for many kudos).
I would guess that against a good rushing force your sloggers cave. But they sell their lives well and then the opponent will be in a bad position to deal with the rest of your nimble force, as hopefully by this point you've knocked out some of their transports, hurt/killed their other fast models, and the deep strikers have deep struck.
That's actually how I try to use the force I have. Which still has ground elements from when they were good. I don't expect my D-cannons to be there at the end of the game. But they can more than pay for themselves in one volly.
Well I've pretty much only fought marine variants (Chaos, SM, and my brother plays Ravenwing so I've got quite a few games against his army) so I don't know a whole lot beyond that, barring some 2v1 matches against Orks/Marines. Before I get to deployment here's my 1750 list.
Farseer - 98
---Runes of Warding
Farseer - 83
2 x 10 Dire Avengers - 152 
---Dual Avenger Catapults
2x Wave Serpent - 130 
---Eldar Missile Launcher
6 Guardian Jetbikes - 152
---2 Shuriken Cannons
5 Rangers - 120
8 Harlequins - 222
---7 Harlequin's Kiss
8 Warp Spiders - 193
---Dual Death Spinners
2x Wraithlord - 155 
---Eldar Missile Launcher
TOTAL - 1742
I usually deploy both serpents off to the most preferable flank, my Wraithlords near the middle with the best fire lanes and the Harlequin squad between them, my Rangers in a piece of terrain in my deployment zone, the Spiders are usually placed somewhat near my Serpents but always behind or in a piece of cover if possible (since you don't take dangerous tests for starting in difficult terrain. The Jetbikes ALWAYS hide behind terrain, most of the time behind the terrain piece the Rangers are in.
First turn I move out the two Serpents into more favorable positions towards the middle, but try to stay behind terrain if possible. The Spiders usually move up near them if they have a place to go without getting caught in the open. Rangers stay put and fire if possible. The Wraithlords shoot the biggest threats and the Harlequins wait for something to get closer.
Turn two, if my opponent deep strikes something that could threaten my firebase significantly (such as my brothers three squads of Terminators,) then my Serpents double back, Doom the poor souls, Bladestorm them to death, and if they're in range, assault them with my Harlequins (that is if they're in range.) Rangers hit whatever they can kill that's worth their shots (MCs and Terminators mostly.) Spiders hit an isolate unit, or support the Dire Avengers on their target usually. If no deep strikers/utflankers are present, then the two Wave Serpents move forward and go for the unit that bladestorm can wreck the most, usually an isolated, or poorly supported troop unit.
Turn three: At this point things start to tip towards what the opponent has done, as you can't fight all opponents the same way after the first turn or two as each army has different capabilites. Wraithlords keep hitting hard targets, Rangers hit the same stuff they always go for, or, if the unit is capable of being pinned (Tau or Guard for example) then the Rangers might go after that unit to keep them under check.
Turn four: Pretty much the same thing as turn three, except at this point I usually turbo-boost my jetbikes to a better position so they can grab objective(s) next turn, and load up my DA's to move onto an objective themselves.
Turn five: Clean up any major threats to my troops, and get my troops onto the objectives. Also, get rid of any troops near objectives that I'm heading for myself.
Turn six & seven: If these are rolled, then I hold position with my troops and just simply continue to cleanse the board of threats in order of importance.
P.S. I'm heading down to the Battle Bunker this weekend, so I'll write a batrep when I get back from there.