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With the release of 5th ed the static gunline seems to have diminished for the extremely effective mech lists. The ability to move out the way or get close quick seems to precede tearing them apart as they approach or try to shoot you back.
My friend plays an eldar static gunline for fun yet it still seems to be very effective. It involves Eldrad and two reaper squads (or reaper and warwalkers) getting fortuned/ guided every turn and a 2nd farseer who does similar things, Eldrads use of mind war is also very annoying as it can kill 2 models from a squad and then fortune himself or whatever.The hq choices also shut down any pschic powers i use in response.
He has essences of fast such as a squad of DA in a wave serpent but only one. He also normally runs a counter charge unit of some description.
In summary, my question is: Is a eldar gunline still a viable and half-decent army or will mech just out-class it every time? Also, if you were to build a gunline, what units would be must-haves and what units would you avoid?
Erm... Mind War can only kill one model per pop. Is he using it twice? That would run down his guide/fortune tab, thus giving you an opening.
Long-range units of significant killy are; Rangers, Dark Reapers, Prisms, Wraithlords, Vipers or War Walkers (in the role of glass cannon of various descriptions), as well as Maugan Ra.
Killy short-range shooty units include; Dragons, Avengers, and Wraith Guard
Obviously I am leaving out many units, but this is a good survey of a powerful Eldar gunline (inasmuch as the strategy still works).
Terminator armor going critical would be like Three Mile Island only very, VERY angry, and carrying a hammer.
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Even Eldrad cannot use Mind War more than once per turn, as it is a shooting attack and he is only allowed one per turn. The same goes for Eldritch Storm, you can use that, or Mind War or his Shuriken Pistol in one turn. If he were a MC he would be allowed to use two shooting psychic powers per turn, but he isn't.
Anyway, back on topic. A shooty gunline with an Eldar list will only really be effective against slow Space Marines (or possibly chaos, I don't know anything about their lists). Lists with a few Rhinos and a Land Raider, or footslogging, or hybrids of these two. Drop Pod lists will tear you apart, Orcs are fast enough and plentiful enough to get in your face, the same goes for IG that also outdakka you, Tau will also tear you apart from afar. Nidz will either be in your face right away, or have enough of everything that you can't shot them away before they reach you. Then there's Necrons and Dark Eldar, in general they can beat a shooty Eldar list, Necrons can take the punishment and DE outdakka you.
But you might be in luck and have a gaming circle with people who play slower lists, or casual/fluff lists or similar, then it can be more effective, but for tournament play any build like this will fail miserable. For a gunline list I'd suggest Reapers, Pathfinders, Prisms, Walkers, and anything that can use EML's, Lances or Starcannons. Use the Pathfinders and EML's to pin your opponents troops and the Lances to stop his armour from moving, starcannons will be your main killing power with the Reapers, and then pray he doesn't reach you... A counterattack unit might also be of use, possible Harleys as you can use Veil of Tears to use them as cover and the Shrieker Cannon to pin, although I'd probably go with Scorps.
gunline lists are garbage for any army except IG.
no other army can remain truly static and be competetive.
but if i was playing a for fun game, id only take wrathlords and war walkers for HS. 2 guardian defenders with EMLs or scatter lasers, harlequins for counter charge w/ death jester and shadow seer, Farseers with guide and fortune, maybe an autarch with a reaper launcher (probably not though)
Eldar -APOC- 6500 Points
Chaos Daemons -Fate Crusher- 3500 Points
Grey knights - 1000 Points
The problem with eldar gunline is that anything that isn't a gunline will immilate you. Every Mech, Drop Pod, Infiltrating, or Ordinance list will wreck you hard. Even a slow Space Marine list with some Plasma cannons will make short work of your Reapers and walkers. The main problem imo is that your basic troops are so short-range. You buy 10 guardians to get only 1-4 shots per turn for most of the game. Every other gunline can shoot at leat 24 and so gets in 2 round most of the time. As a result you pay way to much per shot and can't get those points back.
I know what you mean about the troops, I played my friend today and he has 5 guardians and 3 rangers left troopwise. However, I have 6 marines and 2 attack bikes left. I just can't face the fortuned (and sometimes guided) reapers, with tempest launcher with crack shot he killed 5 marines in cover and then 4 more fell from the others shooting (this time the unit was guided). He runs wraithlords etc. that can shoot long but when my transports get to him they assualt transport =KABOOM. And then i get one turn with my marines and then reaper death (i charged the reapers, killed one (they were fortuned) and then got counter-charged by, maugan-ra, eldrad and a 3-man seer council squad. So it can beat SM mech for one.
Hes playing orks tomorrow and i'll ask him how he did. At the moment though, i think the gunline could still have a place if you prioritize targets correctly.
p.s. i woudn't mind, and would actually apprecate, examples of common builds that are the reason the gunline is thought of as "garbage".
A note on Eldrad, he can in fact use Mind War twice. His staff gives him a 3rd psyker power as long as he's not in assault and it can be one he's used.
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Eldrad could use mindwar a second time but he can only shoot once, and since it is a shooting attack he can only do it once a round. As to gunline eldar the biggest problem is that with cheap transports or deepstrike/outflank, large numbers of the enemy can get to you mainly intact and once that happens the gunline starts to crumble very quickly. If you fight another gunline style army they will outnumber you or even have more shots. When I run a gun line it is very common for 3 or even 4 transports to drop their cargo near me on the same round. The limited options for grabbing or contesting far objectives has also been a problem. If your friend is getting a gun line to work I give him alot of credit as it simply does not work for me in a competitive setting.