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So I've been thinking on a few things lately. After reading posts by guys like Fritz and Jwolf, it's been an interesting determination that these tournament level players have been saying that it's important to have fun while playing. It's a fair enough maxim unfortunately not many people have this at heart and most everyone I've ever played against prefers to cheese out and win, while taking any losses on the chin as best they can ( but secretly you can see they're unhappy and just want to forget ). The result being that after-battle chatter is very rare, with the losing player quickly packing up and moving on to other things. I've also been guilty of this, particularly at first.
So I'm drawn to wonder that people playing FOTM lists and then losing against a 4e codex, getting upset by our only really viable builds.
Well by now most people would be familiar with the 2 or 3 variations on the same double/triple fireprism list so let's try something a little different, in both the interests of being both competitive (at an amateur level) and still intensely fun for the player. A critical component for that would be identifying what units have what position and priority when being shortlisted for the field. I'll begin.
Farseer; increasingly difficult to justify against all the shutdowns from enemy psykers. 7/10 unit score for form and function
Autarch; overpriced to be certain. Fixing this unit will either involve giving him +1 S or dropping his price a bit. Currently only for flavour I think. A brilliant commander might get more out of him than I have. 5/10
Avatar; Pretty good for what he is, but a firemagnet and not many wounds. Compared to tyranid unique units he seems quite inferior. More of a synergy unit than anything. 6/10
Phoenix lords; by and large overly expensive and outperformed by nameless HQ choices. 3/10
Prince Yriel; if he could take wings/warpjump he would be in my list a lot more often. Currently too limited for my tastes. A very powerful unit on his own however. 7/10
Eldrad; suffers the same problems as regular farseers, has a few more tricks up his sleeve but generally doesn't find any place in my lists. 7/10
Guardian defenders; there's a time and a place for everything. These guys don't get much limelight however due to limitations in their versatility. A creative commander could definitely get some mileage out of them but normally an underperformer. 4/10
Storm Guardians; these guys lack a place in the army over all. They're a small hurdle for enemies to cross before hitting the more important units and are normally ignored for this reason. I propose people re-analyse their use and have them to bulk out assaults made by scorpions/banshees, and thanks to musical wounds it will help to provide longevity to the heavy hitters. 4/10
Rangers: Niche unit used primarily in niche lists and serve a niche function. Sometimes perform impressively but in my experience generally have never done anything worthwhile. 4/10
Dire Avengers; an eldar player's bread and butter. Good overall performance and not too expensive. A bit gimmicky though, having been reduced to waveserpent/bladestorm duty and fundamentally nothing else. 5/10
Guardian jetbikes; faster tougher guardians. Nothing amazing here. Used mostly for turn 5 objective grabs. A skirmisher at best. 5/10
Scorpions; questionably effective. Desperately require farseer support if they hope to survive a rush by 30 gaunts. 5/10
Banshees; also dependant on outside support for much of their survival and killing power. Too few attacks to merit use against hordes and not enough strength for use against MC's. 5/10
Firedragons; another bread and butter unit. Primarily a one-trick pony. Jump out of the waveserpent, pop the landraider, Avengers bladestorm the occupants. Next opponents turn the dragons die. 6/10
Harlequins; like the rangers, they're a gimmick unit with only a niche to fill. Good against players who don't know how they work, terrible against someone who can exploit their weaknesses of which there are many. 5/10
Wraithguard; it's not normal to see these guys being fielded. Viewed as cost prohibitive? Their power is undeniable but often those 400 points can be spent on more versatile things elsewhere. 5/10
Swooping hawks; desperately need a revision of their points cost and definitely need the ability to charge after deepstriking. Currently among the worst units for power/cost in the army. 2/10
Warp spiders; Probably a little too expensive for what they do. A total lack of an AP value drops their value a lot. 4/10
Shining spears; like swooping hawks they're just too expensive for what they do, not to mention their weapons are quite weak. Ideally it should be S7/Ap3 for the regular spears and S9/Ap2 for the exarch spear but this will not happen during our lifetimes. 2/10
Vypers; abuse of movement/cover rules and inexpensive main weapons are good points for this unit. Having any upgrades to it cost almost as much as the model itself is not. Needs some revision to either its survivability or accuracy, or to its cost. 3/10
HWTs; might see some more game time now with hordes everywhere. I know someone who recently used d-cannons to great effect against the new nids. Any more than that I can't say. 3/10
Falcon; One of the most expensive tanks in the game. It needs BS4 more than anything else, if it had that it would be a brilliant unit. 5/10
Wraithlord; another bread/butter unit, especially for avatar lists. A force multiplier, people get intimidated by this unit even though it's actually quite weak. 5/10
Dark reapers; expensive, low number of shots. Exarch powers don't confer to the squad, coversaves limit viability. Ap3 is this units only real advantage, good luck getting any use from it though. 3/10
Fireprisms; seem to be in just about every list these days. Quite a boring unit, it sits there and it shoots. Strong in pairs but needs TLC on its own. 5/10
Conclusions that can be drawn are that most of the infantry units the eldar have are just plain bad. They cost too much, or don't do enough. The idea that this is a specialist race that needs synergy and tactics to win is interesting but not reflected in the game itself. Most tactics seem to involve using waveserpents to dump dire avengers/banshees on a target, then zipping off to pick up stragglers from elsewhere.
A few broad proposals to some units could see them revitalised but for the most part I don't think the game is going to change significantly in any positive way for us. Until we can take squadrons of 3 falcons as a single heavy choice, or warlocks granting +1 BS as a power I do not foresee our viable strategies evolving. A few rules clarifications need to occur as well.
What are everyone elses thoughts? Why do you use the units you use? Do you have fun while playing? Or is it beginning to feel more like work?
I agree with the low notes as an overall army, but i strongly disagree with some rates and some ideas. An eldar army that do not work together will lose. Period. As unit vs unit we lose any shooting/combat you name. Even if we wipe a squad of marines with our banshees in 3 phases we lose cause we have so few models and we cannot afford to stay in 3 assault phases locked only to be shot in the 4`th.
So we need really need tactics. That`s why you still see eldars in first places on tournaments. Our army demands from us to be better and adapt.
So units i disagree with points:
Autarch - +1 on reserves is his main power. IS so important in my last 20 games i never left home without him. the ability that my walkers/scorpion will outflank in turn 2 with a higher degree of success is very important.
..........have to leave for work will finish this post in 1 hour...hmm 1 hour turned into 9 hours...sorry for delay work>posting about wargames
So where i was?
Eldrad : he should be simple better as a note than one farseer. he is in fact 2 farseers at the price of 1 and 1/2. Only downside is that he does not have eternal warrior and cannot ride a bike. He is simple a must for competitive builds that does not use a seer council and has the points for this baby.
Storm guardians with adequate support can make wonders and they give those flamers we need for crowd control. We simply have them or the fire dragon exarch.
Scorpions can trash 30 gaunts with adequate support (if those gaunts do not have toxin sacs but that`s another problem). Alone they will die of course.
Wraithguard are simply way way too much expensive. nice fluff nice models, cannot be taken in competitive builds due to prohibitive costs. Way too high as a score regarding effective model on battlefield. 12" guns do not help either even they are the ultimate AT/MC killing machines.
Falcon are now too expensive, too easy to stun. too high rating for them.
Wraithlords miss a invulnerable but seems cheap on paper. a 4/10 would be better.
and you miss the stars...war walkers 1 boy with armor 10 and 6 shots of S6 at bs 3 out flanking costs less than a terminator. They are my best antitank weapons. Or anti infantery weapons in my builds. Always performed for me better than prisms so they should get same rating as them.
Last edited by niraco; January 27th, 2010 at 16:58.
Hight elf and Craftworld Eldar army project pics heavy: linky
I disagree. Eldar arenīt that bad.
Do I have fun while playing? Yes.
Is it beginning beginning to feel more like work? If it doesnīt feel challenging, it would be boring for me. I donīt want an autowin nobrain army. As you said Eldar are specialists and need synergy. So it should always feel like work. Letīs take your Firedragons example. Yes, combine them with Avengers. But position them in way that they or sth. else can shield your Dragons. And of course donīt strike with only these two units this turn. It is easy for your oponent to decide what to shoot at. Pose many threats! Try to force errors.
So sometimes it may feel like work. But we arenīt lazy, are we?
What I'm saying is, is that out of 30 units including vehicles, only 10 are worth using in a 5e game. There has to be something fundamentally wrong with an army to have 2/3rds of it as non-competitive.
I think the problem is that almost all Eldar units are very specialized and only serve one single purpose. So the more versatile units are more expensive or not as effective. But I think thatīs exactly the way an Eldar army has to work. I know this limits your choices concerning tournaments, or makes the matches feel like hard work, but thatīs okay. Not everybody plays tournaments. And a tough allround Codex Eldar wonīt feel right.
By the way... A real downset for me in 5th ed is, that Eldar arenīt the fastest anymore with everybody running around. THAT doesnīt feel right as well. Iīd like to see the "Go for it"- Blood Bowl rule adapted for Eldar (of course without stumbling!).
*mumbles* Huh. Eldar as fast as clumsy humans?...
Yes that and other reasons is probably why eldar lost a lot of their edge with many units. Dire Avengers ideally should have been able to shoot an enemy infantry squad twice before getting charged, but now that advantage is gone and so we're forced to rely on good rolls rather than having the benefits of good positioning as well. This is reflected across many units too. Nevermind Swooping Hawks having weak weapons, they have limitations elsewhere that remove them from the list of viable units.
As GW tries to push into more and more apocalypse games I'm in favour of telling people to play smaller.. 1500pts or less.. because above that we simply don't have the killing power per turn to deal with other armies.
I think you are being a bit to harsh on the scores for alot of the units but overall I agree that eldar are having to work alot harder than they used to if they want to compete. The biggest problem is not that eldar can not compete it is the limited ways we can build lists if we want to compete. The 5ed codexes are very flexible and have many viable builds, eldar ( and alot of older codex ) are being forced into one or two styles of list. If the troops only score part of 5th was gone I think we would be a bit more flexible. I also have to agree with niraco that the +1 to reserves is the autarchs biggest contribution to an army, but yriel does that also and costs about as much as a well built autarch and is much meaner. I like yriel so much that short of eldrad I think he is the best HQ we have and will all the anti LD/pysker stuff that keeps coming out he looks better and better.
I'm curious exactly how your scale works? Are they just arbitrary numbers or do you have solid facts on what consitutes a 1/10, plus what each integer represents (some kind of formula perhaps?)
Howling Banshees were and still are one of the most feared units in close combat in the entire game, yet you only rate them a 5 since they aren't effective against monstrous creatures.
I really like this thread! These sorts of problems are the second reason I've recently returned to Eldar (the first being that I got 2000pts of them for free). After playing a rather successful Raven Guard themed Space Marine army I was sick of steamrolling the opposition. I'm not saying that I was a great player, I just had an army made entirely of hard-asses who could take almost anything. GW really did Space Marines well imo since they perform just as the fluff promises. Eldar on the other hand are only T3 and most armour saves are only 4+. We have to be careful and we have to be tricky. Another point to make is that there are actually several viable Eldar lists out there. War-walkers for example can dish out enough firepower to make a theme unto themselves. How about 2 Autrarchs, 9 Walkers outflanking with scorpions, and appropriate support? Expensive? Yes. Ineffective? I actually have no idea, but its there for someone to try.
The only points I agree on completely are that out Troops suck hard. Guardians may as well not exist considering anything they shoot will eat them whole the next turn. Dire Avengers are the only think I can see working, with Storm Guardians as flamer support. The other point is that we do have some completely useless units like Swooping Hawks that have great fluff, pretty good models, but are basicly a waste of time to paint.
As for Fire Prisms, I don't see where this hate is coming from. How many 3 Hammerhead, or 2 Defilers, or 2 Land Raider, etc lists have you seen. Hell even the Space Wolves with their vaunted new codex seem intent on spamming. All I've seen is a) no army without their awesome Long Fangs b) no army without furious charging special character c) almost no armies without a rune priest. Fire prisms have our only good template weapon.
On another note: Why do spacewolves have guys on wolves? Is this fantasy? Are these wolves actually machines? I'm very confused.
I've thought about getting a Yriel for a while now. What would I stick him with? I could forsee using Yriel + a phoenix lord (either kharandras or jain zar depending on your victims) and ramming them all into waveserpents for a turn 2 massacre. If he could take upgrades I'd field him more often (ie for once, actually).