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Senior Member
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok guys, I kinda need your help.

Here is the deal. I have had considerable succes with Eldar. I have played Ulthwe, USF, Biel Tann, Iyanden and a boatload of vanilla. And though some are certainly more challenging than others I have been consistently winning with them all. I play against, Marines, Necrons, Nids and Dark Eldar. My problem is that I am pretty much fed up with the whole Eldar way of doing things... superior firepower, fragile yet hard hitting units that must be used right, and in the right context... yada, yada, yada... You know the party line.

I have given it a lot of consideration. One thing I have noticed is that I can make a perfectly valid Eldar army using only two heavy weapon choices, namely starcannons and bright lances. So one option could be to try making an army without any of those weapons. That got me thinking a little further...

How about I make an army without all those rock solid can't-go-wrong choices. Ie. an Eldar army without starcannons, wraithlords and falcons. And how about deciding to include some of the choices that simply are not very good. Like Shining Spears, Guardian Jetbikes, Swooping Hawks, Vibro Cannons, Fire Prisms. Can you see that working?

Now it was very clear to me, that by specifically selecting suboptimal choices I was in essense hampering myself. But maybe I could find a way to turn this to an advantage. Jetbikes, swooping hawks, shining spears... they all share one thing...speed. They are wicked fast! I could feel the general in me stirring at this prospect. Fielding an army that had a huge amount of speed, but would require very precise leadership in order to work.

The concept I am considering right now is something like this. (this is just a tentative outline, I will try to work out a real army list later today)

HQ
Farseer, not sure about powers and gear yet. Might give him witchblade and jetbike and have him join a squad of guardian jetbikers.

Perhaps an avatar

Elites.
Maybe scorpions since I feel I am gonna need something solid to form the center of the army. Joined with a fortune Farseer they will do that just fine.
maybe Warp Spiders since they certainly do the speed thing with gusto.

Overall I am not sure about these. They are both very solid choices and a stable element of 4th edition eldar armies.

Troops.
2 squads of dire avengers both with exarch and a power weapon.
Maybe a waveserpent for them in order to fit the overall speed-theme.
1-2 squad of rangers

Fast attack
Shinging Spears with exarch and bright lance. An expensive, but effective tank buster. This will be the only bright lance in my army btw.

Guardian Jetbikes. Shuriken Cannon(s). Warlock with conceal.

Swooping Hawks. Exarch with sustained assault. I take this in order to make the squad able to actually do something versus MEQ armies, but my plan is not to reduce them to an exarch delivery system. Therefore the squad will be close to 10 man strong.

Heavy Support

Fire Prism - meh... I can't find any realistic way of making this thing worth it. I could glue a farseer on its butt and continually guide it, but that just tastes wrong.

Vibrocannon or shadow weaver.


The armys strength is speed (although I would have no trouble making a Biel Tann army capable of the same speed) and maneuverability. I could realistially set up along one board edge and then use my first turn to turbo boost and fleet of foot towards one side of the table giving me superiority on that side. I could use the speed of say hawks, jetbikes and spears to make three squadrons focus on one enemy unit. On the other hand, I would have to do that. 10 swooping hawks alone shooting at a squad of marines don't make much of an impression.

The two main drawbacks are
1. a severe lack of any shooting power with AP. I will have a royal struggle trying to get marines or necrons to stay down. I have some power weapons for cc, but they are all in the hands of strength 3 guys and not likely to really cause anyone problems. Also, I will be using a lot of shuriken cannons, and their range is far from impressive.

2. Expensive and fragile units. I lack a solid centre of the army. Nothing really (apart from fortuned scorpions) can stand up to any kind of attention. Sure, my saves are pretty much all 4+ or 3+, which is rather good for an eldar army, but many of my models are amazingly expensive. That shining spears exarch clocks in at just under 100 points! For a one wound model!

So, my real question to you is... can this be made to work? I realize that by selecting several of the choices everyone agrees on to be sub standard I am giving myself a huge handicap. Can I build a functional army that does not crumble at the first sign of the enemy? And do you have any suggestions as to how I can make units like shining spears or jetbikes really do anything? I have really tried to see how shining spears can be anything but a flying three wound bs5 brightlance. They have neither the punch nor the staying power to be worth anything in cc.

I hope you guys can help me. I need a new take on Eldar. Otherwise I think I am just gonna let them sit on the shelve until the new codex.

Arizzar
 

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Drills baby.
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6,481 Posts
Have you not considerd a Saim-Hann almost-only-Jetbikes-army?
I had a 1000pts army calculated that included 2 Vypers with Bright Lances, a HQ of 1 Chief with a 5-man Wild rider squad (total of three shuri. cannons in that squad) and some 12 standard Jetbikes in three squads with a cannon in each one.
That army is faster han anything it can come up against, have more manouverability and the cheapest model is 35pts. Small squads with almost no good Ap weapon. Talk about challenging ;)
That other army you posted would require some sick skills and tactics, and would probably lenghten each game by considerable time 'cus you need to carefully think over each little move/attack/assault. Could be fun if you do it right :)
 

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Librarian from Hell
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I tink it's less about armycomposition then about the opponent's skill. I've had the same experience when playing with my Thousand Sons. I was getting so bored so I started a Lost and Damned (Ld 6 guard units) just to lose. Well I didn't, so it was a great joy for me when someone finally kicked my Thousand Sons behinds. (Thanks Kristofer)

He did it with a Blood Angel army, not anything fancy, but he used it's components right and put me in difficult situations. It is now much more fun to play, even though I use my Thousand Sons.
 

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Drills baby.
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It is like Andusciassus puts it, all about the opponents skillz.
My pal plays a completly assault-oriented IG army. No 'experienced' player would recommend that army, but he plays them like that (constantly on the move, no heavy weapons in infantry squads, no leman russ (ATM, he have 2 WIP) and so on...).
And that army is more succesful then you might expect, all thanks to his skills.
 

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The Fallen
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7,745 Posts
Absolutley agree, the other approach I ahve adopted is taking on bigger armies, commonly I use 2/3 of my opponents force when playign weak oponents or I will take 1250 points and fight 2x1000 point armies, that becomes very challenging very quickly
 

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Drills baby.
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6,481 Posts
Cheredanine said:
Absolutley agree, the other approach I ahve adopted is taking on bigger armies, commonly I use 2/3 of my opponents force when playign weak oponents or I will take 1250 points and fight 2x1000 point armies, that becomes very challenging very quickly
The problem with this is that many will probably start thinking that you see yourself as 'The ultimate gaming-god' that can take on several players with a smaller army. But I guess your friends don't mind :)
 

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Favored of Tzeentch
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3,140 Posts
You don't have to make a crappy army just because you want to make a unique one. However if you want to make it unique with crappy things you should use the crappy things in the best possible ways.

Or just use good units in... less effective ways, like this:

HQ:

Farseer on jetbike

Elite:

Wraithguard maybe?

Troops:

10-men guardian squads, plain.

Rangers

Maybe the Dire avengers you mentioned.

Fast attack:

Scatter laser Vypers

Jetbike unit, warlock should have destructor and singing spear.

Heavy:

D-cannons, they're not too common.

War walkers
 

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i wouldn't recommend running spiders, as they are far to common. Scorps with stealth and 'nades, serpent (pulse lasers) mounted WG, and a bright lance Shining Spear would be a solid anti-tank base. can you assault the turn you DS? if so, DS your 8hawk-1exarch squad into the enemy, preferably near your units (they DS ti soften up an area for the bikes to finish sweeping fluffwise?) dire avengers are often underrated, they would be great. I would go with all support weapon batteries. no more than one fire prism (while its weapon sucks, still can take great eldar upgrades.) i say try out Shadow Weavers in squads of 3. it seems to me that while support weap batteries are rare, shadow weavers are the rarest. D cannons also are tricky (short range, guess, and scatters? with a small template? yeah thats some hard stuff. Also- take a jetbike warlock bodyguard for whichever farseer isnt with the scorps... or if both are... iono.

take jetbikes in this format:
6 Jetbikes
-shurikannon upgrade x2
-Jetbike Warlock
-Enhance/destructor
-witchblade
 

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señor brushman!
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1,434 Posts
Sounds like a very interesting idea. If your willing to be losing some games, I'd say go for it!

Seems like it'd be fun and unique to play.

~Ben
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Yeah, well. The point was not to lose games, but to get more challenging games with units I rarely get to use.

Arizzar
 

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again play saim-hann it will give you all that you want
 

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I think its a great idea. I use the "rock-solid" units that you mentioned all the time around here, and I sure as heck don't always win. Of course, some of the opponents around my area are GT winners, so...

Anyways, I think you can make a perfectly effective army given the units you are interested in. However, these units need to be used properly, just like any other Eldar unit.

Some ideas:
--If you like Guardians, using big mobs (20) with a warlock with your choice of power, backed up by an avatar can be a LOT of fun. No heavy platforms allowed.

--Dire Avengers are a pretty good choice. Nice well-rounded Aspect that can hold its own in most situations. The key with these guys is to exploit the Shuricat's assault profile--you'd better be following up a round of fire with an immediate assault! They really like riding in Wave Serpents, I always run a squad of them in a Wave Serpent with TL Starcannon, Crystal Targeting Matrix, and Upgraded Shuriken Cannon. Expensive and not easy to use, but it pays off in entertainment.

--Jetbikes of any kind are a good route to go. Personally, I try and keep my Shining Spears (yes I do occasionally use these) assault-oriented. Giving the Exarch a brightlance totally ruins the expensive price you payed to get his extra attack and initiative. I recommend using a bare-bones squad of 5 'Spears with an attatched Jetbike Farseer, or running 3 and an Exarch (more common due to model kits only coming with 3 'Spears) with attathced Farseer. At any rate, the Farseer is near-mandatory with Fortune, and the squad become pretty scary when it turbo-boosts turn 1 with re-rollable 3+ invulnerable saves! Throw Mind War on the Farseer (not cheap 'cause you'd also want Stones...but you dont care about expense anyways) and this unit actually becomes pretty effective. Try and whittle down the target of your charge with Shuriken fire and some supporting fire, Mind War any power swords/fists, and charge! Always an entertaining assault. But like I said thats an awful lot of points to pay for a BS5 brightlance the way you mentioned running them...

--Infantry-Based Biel-Tan can be boatloads of fun. Its very difficult to get Fire Dragons or Banshees to survive long enough on foot to do their damage. This is one of my favorite "i'm bored and want to have fun" lists.

--You talk down the fire prism, but I think its a great tank. Its a LOT cheaper than a Falcon, and doesn't require that you put 30 friggin points of upgrades on it to be halfway useful. With a 5' range, you of all people should be able to exploit this tank's strengths to the fullest...

--I don't think D-Cannons are a "rock solid" choice. Their short range makes them very tough to use and keep alive. Shadow Weavers could also be a lot of fun.

--Swooping Hawks are always a blast. Using two squads of them in place of Warp Spiders, and/or including Baharroth is some of the most fun I've had with the Eldar. They're faster than 'Spiders, and Baharroth is powerful but defensively weak, and thus very tough to use effectively.

--The Court of the Young King is a very difficult unit to use, and one of my favorites. I highly suggest it if you want to base your army on Biel-Tan rules.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thanks! Some good pointers. I will use a lot of it in my next game.

Arizzar
 

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just the other day...

i recently played someone with this type of army, a very similar list. The one thing i had the advantage in was shooting for a change (i play Grey knight style cc). The masses of units hitting one squad after another tore into me. Also, the invulnerable saves on the jetbikes were vicious.
 

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LO's unofficial Jester
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One of the problems I see you having is that the general size of the boards that are used to play an average game just aren't big enough to really show the advantage of a speedy army.

I guess there is a built in bias in WH40K towards slow but durable troops.

Apart from that, fast attack eldar I think is pretty cool.
 

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Festo Diata
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917 Posts
Hey, I'm doing the same thing! It's a lot like the stupid little-brother of Biel-tan:

Avatar

Farseer
--Guide

9 Storm Guardians
--Frag/Kraks
--Fusion Gun, Flamer
--Warlock with Witchblade, Enhance
Wave Serpent
--Twin Bright Lances
--Spirit Stone

9 Storm Guardians and Wave Serpent
--Same as above

Fire Prism
--Spirit Stone, Holofield

2 Warwalkers
--Scatter Laser
--Shuriken Cannon

20 Guardian Defenders
--Shuriken Cannon
--Warlock with Witchblade and Conceal

5 Rangers

3 Shining Spears (No Exarch!)

It's great! And the funny thing is, it actually is very effective... :D
 
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