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Anyway, as the thread's title suggests, I have recently decided to collect an Eldar army, and have gotten the new codex for it.
Am I the only one who loves the changes? Doubtful is an understatement I believe.
Anyway, I thought I would go ahead and ask a few questions and get some advise that would help me out on a few matters that have been nagging at me. Generally just a few tid bits I was wondering if anyone would mind helping me out with. I have bothered to go over posts in the past on this forum, so hopefully I'll avoid stuff discussed a thousand times before (and if I do, please flame me in an extravagent, over the top manner. It's not mean if you make it silly)
Anyway, one problem I have been generally having is finding out some good strategies in the army. Now there are a thousand and one guides out there for the new Eldar codex, but I believe the majority here will agree that they are mostly the same and follow the general pattern of "This is a BLANK squad, it's good at BLANK, passable at BLANK, and horrible at BLANK. If you let them get shot at, they're going to die quickly". I was wondering if anyone knew some relatively good strategies and ploy for the army itself, useful manuvers and ploys, and general usage. For example, something along the lines of moving at though you are attempting dire avengers usually horde shuriken spammin on hormagents, solely to lead them into an ambush by SS hidden behind cover. Stuff like that is what I have been having trouble finding out about. Does anybody know a good source for this kind of knowledge or some good tricks of thier own?
As for army lists, I'm not particulerly worried like most new people to an army are. I intend for this to be my largest project to date, and intend to make at least one of everything, if not more. I will, of course, be influencedby certain habits of mine in general. One of these is my general dislike for too many large vehicles (not counting walkers and MC's, they're just big people). I doubt I'll have qualms about grav tanks (and with what they can do, who would?), but I'm worried my general dislike of troop transports will cause many problems with such a fragile army. The way I'm thinking of playing the army do no necceserily require I move into a offensive manner(and as I said, we the units i intend to eventually make there's no reason I couldn't trade armor for mass mobility if I do need to make such a move). Will my dislike for troop transports be a horrednous as I'm thinking it'll still be, or am I just worrying too much?
I've also been having some trouble when it comes to HQ's. Now, I hope to use the same HQ's every game, just because I happen to like HQ choices in most armies and usually like to make something nice to show off. Plus I want to give my opponents faces for the enemy.
No avatar, it's just not a model I like....I already own one, so if I feel as though I need it I could always switch it in or use it if scenerio's demand.
For my Farseer, i hope to use Eldrad, and I doubt I need to explain why. Even without his special abilities, extra toughness, and staff, your still saving an extra 5 points for what you get. Considering that the only psycher left who can even compete with him (I think Ahriman can match and even surpass him if he get lucky) is still 5 more points than him. Too much of a bargain not to take the way I see it. There'll be a slight problem since I no I'm not playing Ulthwe, but I'm not taking him for fluff I'm taking him for stats. The way I see it, my farseer just happens to be as good as Eldrad on the field, and as long as I have a witchblade and a staff of some sort on the model, I don't think people who demand WYSWYG have an arguement.
My autarch is causing more indecision though, as I'm frequently having trouble deciding his equipment. I know what he is going to take (mandiblasters, power weapon, and fusion gun at least), but it's choosing his moving methods, and thus the squad he's with,that i start to get problems. Warp jump generator is probably the least appealing to me, mostly because I don't like the idea of losing troops on such a gamble. I do like how it would look on a model though. The fact that I'm not having any real inspiration for particulerly cunning uses for warp spiders is giving me some worry though.
Swooping hawk wings are appealing on multiple levels. Considering that I'm taking a fusion gun, getting a bonus to reserve roles, and comes with haywire grenades, it seems as though he was made to lead swooping hawks. the idea of deep striking repeatedly around the field has may uses to me thanks to the template you get to drop. The odd chance that I don't kill whatever vehcile i intend to with the fusion gun is not really a bad gamble the way I see it, as I can either skyleap again if I'm in trouble, or if I got ignored/left to my own devices/considered the lesser threat, there are few vehicles that i couldn't destroy in assualt with the unit thanks to grenades. The fact that i'll have something to deal with a monolith is it comes doesn't hurt either, and I would get a autarch who could respond to anywhere on the battlefield reliably and without danger in about a turn.
I don't like how most the wings look though, and this takes out the one CC power I could rely on for a game with certainty. The wing thing is something that could be easily dealt with conversion's though.
The jetbike is another appealing option to me, if not just for the better CC power from the lance. The better toughness also appeals to me, as well as the movement I get. The problem is that it means I'm either stuck with jetbike squads, who I shouldn't be assualting with, or shining spears, which is the obvious target for enemy fire as they march thier demon prince in. Having that cavalry to take out the big baddies and claim those last minute objectives sounds good, but a little bit predictable. Plus it would require heavy converting, double the equipment cost for him, and generally make him more of a target. I am considering Saim-Hann though, and a jetbike mounted leader is the most fluffy.
So given my thoughts on each choice, what do you think would be the best Autarch for me?
The last thing really coming to mind about the army is also the color scheme. I have no qualms about using an armies fluff being disregard (alaitoc is all about the way, so you get a bunch of people becoming ranger to get out....but that means there are still people stayng in line though). I'm thinking Saim-Hann, as I like the colors and think they wouldn't be too hard to paint well. Though plus my opponents might be thrown off expecting to see lots of jetbikes eventually. Are my thoughts about this color scheme?
Yeah, that's about it really for my questions for the moment.....
As for HQ, I stick to Avatar (mneh, falling out of favor) and Farseer (growing on me), and I'm going to soon start using Feugan. I try to make an alt list - one using a vanilla Farseer and I ask my opponent if he's using a special character (or two...) and if so, I bust out Eldrad and use my modified list (where I've clipped minor things here or there to compensate for the point difference). I feel ambivalent about special characters and so only play with them if the other is using one.
As for the Autarch... haven't found just the right use for him... you're right - seems perfect with swooping hawks but my hawks just haven't panned out for me. I end up rubbing-banding them because, unlike a Lictor, they can't assault when they deep strike so I'm invariably stuck between leaving them where they deployed (near-always resulting in death) or bouncing them back. Seems a shame to spend points on the Autarch's WS/BS and never really bring it out to play.
The Autarch's low Toughness makes him too vulnerable to instant death so I think using him as a "Super Exarch" is better served by using a Pheonix Lord. I like Fuegan because I can attach him to my Fire Dragons and also buy an exarch for that squad (with only the Fire Pike - no skills since Feugan has 'em). My opponents run from my Fire Dragons and having two dudes with great BS and extended range means they can run but they can't truly escape...
So I guess I don't have any good thoughts on the Autarch as of yet.
As for general tactics - I agree, most of the tactica out there is too specifc (all about the unts) or too general (use your speed!). I'll likely just repeat that sin with the following advice but here goes:
* 5-man Pathfinder teams make incredible sacrificial lambs. You can Infiltrate/Scout them into an annoying position and every time I use them, they die but they basically cause my opponent to play my game. I know EXACTLY where his deepstriking terminators will be - they'll be on my Pathfinders - killing them because if he doesn't - they will pose a threat to everything on the board.
* I try to use a formation I think of as Armored Core/Flailing Limbs. I use a Conceal-Warlock-led Guardians (someday Wraithguard) that are ringed with 2 or 3 wraithlords (held stable by Spiritseer upgrades on the guardian's warlocks) and a Farseer attached to one of those Guardians. This "Armored Core" footslogs up the board while I use a Wave Serpent full of Fire Dragons and/or Warp Spiders zoom across the board. Enemies tend to try and shoot at my Wraithlords and Guardians while my faster troops pick off whatever's easiest. The fact that Wraithlords hide the troops (and are incredibly tough) means the core units are hard to kill... but if the player tries to kill my "Flailing Limbs" well... the spiders/dragons WILL die but by then, the core units are controlling the board and cause incredible havoc.
* When creating squads, I ask "Can this squad handle a light vehicle?" and use that as my metric. Not that I plan on using Banshees against Land Speeders but I find that if I keep this in my mind, I'm rarely meet an impossible wall. That means using Executioners, Spinneret Rifles, Scorpion Claws, Singing Spears, and so on... I realize that as an Eldar general, I should never be using the wrong tool for the wrong job but my opponent is honor-bound by the Milwaukee Convension of Gamer Ruthlessness to force me into mis-using my troops. Not sure why but the "Make sure each unit could maybe kill Armor 10" rule hasn't let me down yet.
* In my experience, a hopeless charge is better than being charged. The vast majority of Eldar have assault or pistol weapons. If the shooting phase is over and an enemy's uber-assault unit is still standing close enough to charge you on your opponent's turn... go for it... deny them the charge bonus since you're dead anyway. The only time I recommend this is if his 3" consolidate would mean getting with assault range of another unit that it otherwise couldn't reach next turn.
* With your assault troops, hit hard but not TOO hard. If you kill everyone on an assault in your turn, you're vulnerable next turn. Sometimes you DON'T want to squeak out extra kills with your shooting weapons before rushing into melee. Your ideal situation would usually be to kill all-but-one enemy so that your units are bullet-proof on your enemy's turn.
* Always move all skimmers 6" no matter what. Seriously - don't forget. I do because I'm dumb. Don't be like me.
Anyway, hope that helps.
Ok, short and sweet, here it comes...
You want manouvers and stuff read Cherradanines tactica on bikes, skimmers and walkers.
You like eldrad, cool, stick with him don't worry about Autarchs (cos they suck), what ever they can do, exarchs can do better, for less points. Really don't go worrying your self about Autarchs.
Don't have qualms about eldar tanks because they do not die. Wave serpents are probably the best transport in 40k, even tough they cost a lot they are more suvivable than other transports and they pack more firepower aswell.
Wave Serpents are the best, cuz they're just a step down from the Falcon and do not take up a choice. As for Autarchs, I haven't used one yet. But I think the best combination would be: Banshee Mask, Powersword, and Swooping Hawk Wings. This combines the incredible initiative of the Banshees with the movement speed of Swooping Hawks. With the pistol the Autarch gets 5 power weapon attacks at Initiative 10 with WS 6. Get the Farseer to use Doom and only T7 monsters can survive that! In addition, all this costs only 103pts, pretty cheap in my opinion(most my characters cost at least 150). Remember, you can use fleet, so he's even faster than most other jump infantry(on a good dice roll you can charge a model 24" away! Scary!)
Another way to go with the Autarch is Laser Lance, Jet Bike, and Reaper Launcher(you can also add a Banshee Mask or Mandiblasters if you like). With the Jet Bike, the Reaper Launcher essentially becomes an Assault weapon. Laser Lance will provide a nice strength boost, and the Jet Bike would take you far across the Board(remember, you can move 12", then move another 6" in the assault phase to move away from enemy fire). With this you can soften up the enemy with the Reaper Launcher, for a few turns, then unleash total hell by charging. The downside is the massive points. This combination costs at least 145pts and can go up to 155pts. If you consider Saim Hann then I would think this is a must. If you stick to fluff, then your basic trooper will be the Jetbikes. This way the entire situation of joining units is changed.
I want to add another thing. Though Eldrad is tempting I find that he's not so good with speed armies. Since you cannot give him a Jet bike his mobility is somewhat reduced. I also doubt that his close combat perks would ever be used, as he only has 1 attack. Eldrich Storm is also wasted as any enemy that gets too close is sure to charge. Also, his staff is also useless when in combat(psychic power wise. That single attack also doesn't help).
Eldrad's 3+ invulnerable save is impressive though. He's also good with Dark Reapers(I mean, how can you resist S5 AP3 guns with re-rolls?). He can also reposition enemy units so that they're in plain sight of the reapers. If you get first turn, then the enemy will be begging for mercy(which is why I would recommend Reapers). This can also be used to put enemies in plain sight of Wraithlords and weapon platforms. With this I would say he's a must in shooty armies.
First off don't worry about not taking troop transports. Especially if you're taking multiple falcons I find you often can hide the serpents in deployment. Leading to some nasty starts becuase skimmers aren't impressive until they get to move.
But also because eldar can take jetbikes as troops! If they we're so freaking expensive I'd probably use them. Highly mobile and that twin linked shuri cat/shuri cannon action adds up. But their best advantage is using their high mobility and shoot and scoot to really avoid enemy fire (and get objectives extremly easily!)
Personally I use dire avengers as troops. Mostly because my old guardians can be converted into them easily (I'm effectivly poor at the moment). I like using a bunch of small 5 man squads, because it forces my oponent to almost always finish deploying well before I do. Especially in the 1500pt games I typically play.
These leads to perhapse my default tactic against anyone I haven't played before(or recently). Which I believe is technically called a refused flank.
I set up units initially roughly evenly across the field. Looking for good places to hide my falcons (and single D-cannon to fill a slot and because I accidentally bought it). Then I lay out my six five man avenger squads evenly unless my oponent finishes doployment.
Once they're done I deploy things hard to one side. Whichever one I think will work better for me. On my first turn I fire the star engines on whichever falcon is on the refused side to get them into play and basically slam nearly all of my army into half of theirs. While keeping the lone avengers on the weak side out of trouble. Ideally they get to shoot at the rear ends of enemy units trying to reach the main battle.
The second time I play someone I typically deploy the same, but they'll sort of clump their army to avoid a repeat of last time.
Except this time around I'll be using the fun eldar tacitc of ducking and shooting around terrain. Which works against clumped foes. Basically you have units like shining spears move up using the abundant cover the clumped foe gives you and with shooting units you have them peek around terrain so they can hit a handfull of enemy models, but, not many enemy models can shoot back. Ideally none will be able to return fire due to casualties in the unit you picked on.
(granted this worked better back in the starcannon days when it was brutal).
Oh and a big piece of advice. Don't let opponents screw you on terrain. Eldar like the terrain generally suggest by GW. Varied and distributed across the battlefield. Other armies don't though.
Ways other armies will try and screw you.
Shooty armies: Nice terrain in rear of deployment zones for cover, shootying gallery in between.
CC armies: Strips of LOS blocking terrain along the midfield. Often too much terrain. You see less of this, but I remember looking over and seeing a nid and IG player facing off with a forest stretching across the middle of the field from one side to the other. Guess no leman russ fire this battle.
Finally the weird angled terrain. You should, I think, be able to hide at least 2 skimmers at the start of the game. But sometimes by angling the common types of square terrain to look like diamonds an opponent can deny you anywhere to hide where they can't hit you on turn one. Try and avoid this.
Plus more interesting terrain makes for more interesting battles. In my experience if you get to place a piece of terrain as Eldar(or really any army if you want an interesting fight) plop something that blocks LOS right in the middle of the battlefield.
ok you have some good stuff up there, the problem is ....
Edary armies = orchestrastion = combining units and their effects to make the whole greater than the sum of the parts
Accordingly what works well in one army is pants for another
in turn this means that even the most veteran commanders can have completely different and yet bizarely both correct, opinions
so once you start looking at tactics and army selection, you either take it at the most simple level (the sort of post you were talking about eg - banshees- need transport, good in combat aginst meqs, bad at shooting, getting shot, killing hoards to a degree) or you get very specific style of play advice (eg I take a Mechanised list, you need to put everything in serpents, or take a biker based list..) the tactics for one style of play is different from that of another
so generally the best way to put an eldar army together is look at it holistically, decide how you want it to play, then for everything you put in the list ask "what is it giving me? how does it contribute to the style of my army? what job does it do? is there anything that does it better?", then finaly consider "what job have I forgotten?"
When you get to that point, put a list up and you will get suggestions on changes and tactics, particularly if you ask or explain your thinking
When considering your HQs, you really need to ask these Qs, Eldrad for example, - cracking no issues with what you are saying, on a points assesment he is good value, generaly he is pretty handy, but absolutley no use to 2 of my eldar armies, just because he is good doesnt mean he fits.
Whilst this is important for farseers, it is doubly so for Autarchs, paying 100 or so points for a fast fusion gun can be a big waste, the purpose of the Autarch is enhance the effct of a squad ,as such, IMHO, by far the best autarch is bike, laser lance and either mandiblasters or banshee mask and hang around with his little shining spear buddies
colour scheme: well commonly Eldar armies contain large numbers of aspect warriors which have a predefined colour scheme, although you by no means need to stick to it.
I find the best thing to do is pick a scheme you like and feel you can paint a load of models without getting board
Everything you have been told is a lie!