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I've been puzzled by how to use two of the Eldar units, even after reading a lot of good tacticas and Q&As.
1. Dire Avengers:
People have been talking about how great it is that they can move and shoot 18" with their assault weapons, and how they can keep away from the assault units for 1-2 turns more by doing that. My question is, how is 18" enough to do that? Any good assault unit will have one of three things:
- Fleet - Well, this one is not as bad, but it gives the mover the potential to charge you from 18" away. So the Avengers would want to stay at least 16-18" away from them to avoid being charged, right? Then you would really hope that you kill the closest chargers so they can't make the 18" if they get lucky the next turn.
- Jump Packs - These can definitely charge you from 18" away, so the turn before they plan to charge, they'll move within 18" of you, normally around 16" or so. If you want to shoot at them, you can't move farther than 18" away, so you'll get charged the next turn for sure. If you move away, then you can't shoot at them, and while you can play "hide and seek" for a few turns, and let your other units take care of the chargers, your avengers aren't doing any shooting. Of course, the chargers can move within 12" of you to guarantee a charge (even if you move 6" away), then you can shoot them before you get charged. Or if the chargers corner you. But the point is, the move away and then shoot thing will only work at most once, in special cases spelled out above.
- Cavalry - Oh boy... now these usually have fleet, so 19-24" charge range... there's no way the Avengers can shoot the chargers before they charge them.
So with that, I don't see how the Dire Avengers can be effective unless they fight against regular movement assault troops like Khorne or non D-Speed/Jump Packed marines. Any ideas?
2. Warlock Units:
With the new codex, you can have 3-10 Warlocks as a unit. I know this is trying to simulate the old Seer Council, but what I'm trying to figure out is, what are these Warlock units good for? A couple things I can think of is if they're all put on jetbikes (very expensive!) and get singing spears, they can go tank or MC/character hunting. But is that an effective use of points? Just wanted to see what other people's ideas were.
You use the Warlock squad for the squad that, with a Farseer, laughs at TMCs and Terminators(and runs from GKs). 75% chance of ignoring wounds. Hitting on 3+ (enhance) wounding on 2+, with enough attacks that not all the saves will be made.
Mind you, its still not quite the same as the days of 36" Mind War, picking off the heavy weapons troopers and pfist sarges before they got to use their gear. But its still a good squad, for survivability and hurtiness. I had the old seer council compare well GK squads of roughly equivalent price, I see no reason the return won't.
The Dire Avengers have a few good tricks for their range. Defend for one, and a diresword/shimmershield option. The idea is shoot, then bladestorm/charge the next round, or just bladestorm charge. Lose of the charge and Defend will wreck assault troops - those big, fancy LC Terminators/jump troops will get a single attack each. The shimmer-shield option plus the Dires WS can make the attacks they do get flub. Personally though, I'd go for the Diresword. Forget its special rule - you take it for the extra attack, which with the charge (one more attack), and the 3+ hits, gives you plenty of room to kill a smurf a turn. With neutered terminators, that's enough.
As far as the dire avengers go, the 18 inch range on their guns may not be able to keep them out of charge range of fast moving combat units, you have to remember that they have that 6 inch movement as well as the 18 inch range, giving them a total of 24 inches to work with. Combined with the movement you can usually get at least one round of shootiing on your opponent, and if you combine that with a bladestorm, doom and/or guide, it will severely damage almost all units, causing an average of 6 casualties on a meq unit with both powers or about 24 on geqs, (a fairly average stat line for calvary). Basically, you have to plan and time your avenger strike carefully so that afterwards, though you may very well get charged after it, you've already done a tonne of damage. If they are used against slower combat units like footslogging orks or khorne, you can imagine how absolutely devastating they can be.
For the warlock squads, I think that the best use for them is a farseer bodyguard. The farseer can use fortune to keep the squad alive, and with a few smart psychic purchases for the bodyguard (enhance and destructor come to mind), combined with their witch blades they can become an incredibly deadly all-around combat force able to crush vehicles and infantry alike.
good points gamerfreak and king!
I'll need to try some of these out real time before I get the hang of it!
Anyway, one more question about Destructor, or flamers in general.
I haven't found any use for flamers and I don't know why everyone says flamers are so good (like on Wraithlords, warlocks, etc.). I understand you don't need to hit, and the amount of wounds is crazy (especially with Doom), but the template is very short, and again, against assault units that will try to charge you before you charge them, you'll never get a shot off.
For example, if I see a Wraithlord with 2 flamers, or a Warlock/Farseer unit with Destructor coming at me, if I had any assault units near by, I would have them charge the Wraithlord/Warlocks, or charge them with the unit being threatened. Of course, I do see the point about how sturdy both the Wraithlord and Warlock units are, so the enemy probably doesn't want to get their good assault units tied up with them till turn 6, or lose the shooting abilities of their non CC army.
But in the end, I feel that flamers are only good if you have jump packs, since you can close in from out of rapid fire range, use the flamers, and then charge.
Any thoughts on that?
Another point for the dire avengers is that if your opponent is sending his assault unit at them, than that means your banshees, scrops, harlies, or spears are off causing mayhem else where. Avengers are designed to shoot and slow down enemy assault troopers, so the 18" range works perfectly, because its just enough to bait an assault squad into changing course to come and get you.
And I'm not personally a fan of the new "seer council" They have their uses at the center of your army, but unless they have transport, they get left behind. They definitely serve as a support unit, and can also be a very effective assault unit in the right circumstance. But I don't really use them so thats just what I think. Cheers
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Destructors usually only come when the warlock is getting out of a tank. That lets you get a good position. Who charges a wraithlord?
It's tough to assault dire avengers because you stick a skimmer in the way. It is now easy to disembark them and hide them behind their skimmer, blazing away.
Orks and most chaos still only move 6" for assault. World Eaters don't always frenzy.
Warlocks are a kind of in-between banshee and scorpion. They can accompany guardians along the field providing some cc power. Or they can hop out of a falcon and bust a tank/squad with witchblades/singing spears/destructors.
A 10 man squad in a wave serpent is basically just meant to be an uber squad. Harlequins can't take a wave serpent so they can't fill this role. 10 enhanced, emboldened warlocks in a wave serpent /w an autarch and phoenix lord can be a lot of fun. Or you could go without the HQ's.
Although I'll admit warlocks are slightly overpriced. But remember they can get enhanced and embolended! that makes them positively lethal!
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Good points all around. I guess in low points games when i can't give all the apsects transports, I usually leave the Avengers sitting in the back as "bait" for the enemy to move forward.
As for "Who would charge a Wraithlord?" I've had a friend's Termagaunts charge a wraithlord just to tie it up from shooting and all that. THey can't kill it, but 80-90 pts of gaunts can tie up a Wraithlord for a long time, especially now that it only has 2 attacks.
Warlocks are a bit expensive to do what Scrops and Harlies do... but I might try it out sometime!
Flamers can be very tricky to use, but are totally worth the effort as there is nothing like landing two flamer templates from a wraithlord on a squad with 5+ saves or worse. There are a couple of things that you can do to improve you odds of getting those templates off. It's true that they're quite short range, but as with the dire avenger's catapults, you have to factor in the movement of the model as well, (it adds up to about 14''). Using that extra six inches makes it a little more feaseable that you will get a chance to fire the flamer, especially if you put the flamer unit in the middle of the board and keep their movement directions flexible. Going after units garrisoning bunkers or hiding in forests also works pretty good, especially since flamers negate cover saves and being cramped in that bunker ramps up the number of hits you should get. I also find that even though the unit may get charged with a faster moving unit to keep them from getting their flamers off, they are in prime locations to use their flamers if they survive that initial combat. This is because the slower moving units will have usually just caught up the the fast moving units who charged.
hope that helps!
By having Warlocks a Farseer can gain the advantages their psychic powers provide. In addition to this the whole squad then becomes a scoring unit, a very tough one at that, which makes them great at holding objectives but their resilience and potent weaponry also enables them to be a good counter measure against larger creatures such as Dreadnoughts and Daemons, they can also provide the additional hitting power needed to turn the tide of combat. Although when pitch against very heavy infantry like Terminators, a Farseer and his bodyguards are likely to loose but you can be Guaranteed that they will hold up that one potent squad for a good deal of the game. Just like the Farseer; Warlocks can carry Singing Spears, this will only prove more useful when thrown but can be a handy weapon to have on those Warlocks who have defensive powers as they’ll be able to make full use of it. Combining a mixture of Spears and Blades will make the squad more multi-purpose, especially if a few Destructor psychic powers are also included. Keep note that Spears are more useful in catching moving vehicles and not in combat. However because this unit is tough it does not make them invincible and their squad size will be rather limited due to their expensive nature, as a consequence it is a good idea to utilise whatever cover is available to avoid getting shot to pieces.
This is not a very good power to have in a Farseer bodyguard as their invulnerable saves will always be readily available. However when faced against foes that negate this save like Daemon Hunters psycannons this ability becomes more useful in the protection of this rather expensive squad.
Where the whole squad may struggle against swarms due to their low number of attacks this power is a great crowd clearer. Useful when employed against Tyrannid Gaunts or Swarm Bases.
Embolden is a highly useful in keeping your squad in the fray even against unbeatable odds and remain in the front lines to support your army. It is always a good power to take, especially when faced with a more morale based army like Dark Eldar with their Horofexes and Witch Hunters psychic powers.
Enhance greatly improves the combat efficiency of the squad the caster joins, this is a very useful power to have even if the squad does not intend to move into combat as the extra Initiative boost will often allow the members to strike first and reduce the amount of incoming attacks, the Weapon Skill boost will increase the chances of the squad parrying attacks. Striking first will often prove the most important issue in winning a combat so it is always a good idea to have a Warlock carrying this power
Dire Avengers are a medium armoured aspect that functions as the armies core infantry units. Armed with an extended Shuriken Catapult and decent ballistic skill they can more than hold their own in a fire fight. Their ability to fleet of foot also makes them a very manoeuvrable and flexible infantry choice. However because they only do have medium armour they don’t take too kindly to being shot at in mass, the armour is only sufficient enough to protect them from the odd pot shots and blast weapons, so when moving it is best to avoid line of sight to the opponent until the time is right for the squad to strike or have them supporting shock troopers like Striking Scorpions. Their moderate points cost makes them a viable troops choice utilised in maximum squad numbers.
Dire Avengers can be very flexible indeed when an Exarch is added to the squad. Depending on the equipment given to the Exarch the squads’ role on the battlefield can be very focused or quite multi-functional. However, unlike some other Exarchs a Dire Avengers upgrades aren’t as cost effective so it is recommended not to over spend.
Avenger Shuriken Catapult:
The basic small arms weapon which the rest of the squad carries. Although he won’t sport much combat hitting power the weapon is free, as such with this he can happily spend away on Exarch special powers, the weapon itself is relatively good in supporting the rest of the squads role.
Twin-avenger Shuriken Catapults:
The Exarch sports an addition Shuriken Catapult, thus allowing him to unleash twice as many shots. This is a relatively cheap upgrade and adds more shots to the squads’ total. Combined with Bladestorm this weapon lends itself to a heavy shooting unit. Highly useful when finishing off opposing squads or supporting other units with suppressive fire.
Diresword and Shuriken Pistol:
This choice adds a power weapon to the squad. Although the Diresword functions like a Force weapon it is not as potential and only has a minor chance of knocking out characters in a blow. This choice is cheaper than the power weapon and Shimmer Shield option and offers defence against combat with heavy infantry, a good choice when points are considered but otherwise a shimmer shield will better protect the squad against combat. However keep note that the Diresword and Shuriken Pistol combination also gives the Exarch a bolstered amount of attacks unlike that of the Shimmer Shield.
Power Weapon and Shimmer Shield:
This combination is the most expensive of all the Exarchs choices in weaponry but it is also the most useful in defence against combat for the whole squad as it gives all members an invulnerable save. This offers a good protection from opposing squad leaders that may carry power weapons that would normally cut through the Dire Avengers armour while the Exarchs own power weapon offers a retaliation punch, although he will have limited amounts of attacks. Because of this, the Power Weapon and Shimmer Shield can be considered as a purely defensive upgrade and not offensive. But saying that, the combination works well in offence when supporting other units in combat when the Exarch and his squad can combine their combat potential with someone else. They also work well as a barricade to prevent opposing infantry from advancing further, the inclusion of the Defend Exarch power will reduce the number of return attacks directed at the squad. You will even be able to hold down Terminators for a few turns. Even though the invulnerable save is not the best in the world it is greatly improved with the aid of a Farseer with Fortune. Both Bladestorm and Defend Exarch powers compliment this weapons upgrade well, the inclusion of these power enables the unit to be both offensive in shooting and defensive in combat, but this becomes an expensive choice to combine all three.
This power enables the Exarch to reduce attack directed to his squad in combat. It is quite an expensive power but it greatly reduces the amount of offence they take making it harder to kill them all. A good upgrade to take if the squad ever considers taking on an opponent in close combat weather it’s at a defensive or aggressive nature.
Like Defend this power is quite expensive but it does allow the squad to unleash a large volume of shots that can easily cut down medium and light infantry but also threatens that of power armoured foes. A good power to take when considering shooting heavy Dire Avenger squads. Useful in finishing off squads for certain or adding shots in a combined effort with other units, but when facing heavy infantry like space marines it is unlikely that Bladestorm alone will be able to wipe out a whole squad. Very useful when used in conjunction with a Wave Serpent as the Dire Avengers gain an advantage in striking first. When considering purely offensive shooting a unique combination of Blade Storm and a Farseers Eldritch Storm and Doom psychic powers work very well in thinning down an opponents infantry, with both Avenger Shuriken Catapults can Eldritch Storm being the same range it should be rather easy to get both the squad and Farseer Shooting.
The Wave Serpent:
Where Dire Avengers may suffer against shooting due to their medium armour, the Wave Serpent offers a remedy to this. Its armoured hull will provide ample cover for the squad as well as give them enough mobility to enable them to cover a much larger area, giving them more choice of targets. Shuriken Catapult fire however isn’t the most guaranteed killing weapon so even if a “Drive and Drop” strategy goes according to plan it may still not enough to destroy those tougher targets. The Wave Serpent does help in area depending on the weapon given to it. Anti-infantry weaponry such as the Scatter Laser, Shuriken Cannon, Eldar Missile Launcher and the Starcannon will compliment the Dire Avengers given role. A less common strategy would be to add an offensive Farseer to the squad with the Eldritch Storm and Doom psychic powers, not only will this improve the squads chances of wounding but it also adds a large blast marker that can cause pinning. The pinning offers a light failsafe feature should the target not be destroyed.
Due to the mobility of the Wave Serpent and nature of Dire Avengers they can take up the role of take and hold quite effectively but they also be used to support forward squads with their shuriken catapults.
I use at least a couple Dire Avengers squads in Wave Serpents along with a dual Catapul toting Exarch and Bladestorm with Defend. These units acutally do quite well, so what if they dont have any real hard hitting weapons; enough armor saves will cause your opponent to lose several men.
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