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I recently invested in some warp spider and have since come to regret as i seem unable to figure outwhat their ment to be bloody well good at! Where does the warp spider fit in in an elder army. i appreciate their ability to wound most infantry but the lack of ap seems to constantly let them down. Granted the sheer rate of s6 shots tends to make short work of light vehicles... Any advice?
 

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Sparta!
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Basically they are a distraction unit, ideal at being a thorn in the side of your opponent and if you give the exarch power blades and withdraw can be a real headache in close combat.
They are one of only a couple 'jack of all trades' units in the eldar list. Their ability to take down light (and even medium) vehicles as well as the strength to wound most critters makes them useful, just as the jump generator makes them mobile and versatil and their armour makes them somewhat resilient.
Use them to tie up an opponents units/flank, distract him from the rest of your army and basically annoy the hell out of him by bouncing around and blowing stuff up.
 

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Use them against elites and light vehicles. They are fast enough to get to a vehicles rear armour, their high strength is useful against tough opponents, and if you think "but they don't have any AP" remember: most things you use to shoot at them won't ignore their armour either, they'll get a save anyway. So use the strength and speed, and don't worry about the AP!
 

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ive found that, given a good terrain rich table spiders are good at poping in and out of cover harrasing units and taking care of light tanks, failing that the exarch with some power blades can keep units tied up in cc until the cavelry arives.
 

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The Fallen
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as above, warp spiders are unbiquitous, not something that you can say of most eldar stuff, which is very specialised and fragile, they work really well and can be used as a filler unit, take the exarch, give him the ability to dep strike, then consider power baldes, a second death spinner and withdraw, then add on some more spiders, a squad of 6 is effective, as is 8 or 10, so you can drop or add them to sort out those problem points things at the end of creating an army

use them as above, at a basic level ,deep strike behind vehicles and pour fire into rear armour,

I have seen a squad of 6 damn near glance a bane blade to death simply because the imperial player couldnt turn around because he needed to deal with the rest of the eldar army, so they stood there and glanced off all his weapons and imobalised him over several turns, (about 5 I think)
 

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I love these guys, for both fluff and tactical reasons. 12" move, can withdraw from cc, 3+ save and a squad of 9 (incl exarch /w extra deathspinner) can unleash a salvo of 20 S6 hits at 12". The extra 2D6 move gained by forfeiting your assault is also a great way to avoid retaliation. These are probably one of the few units in my Eldar army I would never not take. I know that the IG player who I play against regularly will pretty much target them before anything else (he's seen one too many of his squads get monofillamented ;)). Anyway, great unit and definately recommended! (with the small caveat that if you only ever play necrons or nedzilla, they probably aren't that useful).
 

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Great vs horde!

I concur with most everything the others have written, but no one seems to emphasize they are really good against hordes.

I've found spiders are the bane of Imp Guard where they insta-kill most characters, get across the board quick, and the basic spider can be effective in CC. (And like the other said, pop rear armor)

They are great at killing orcs and DE, and most anything with low armor.

They are also great gap-fillers and objective grabbers (like all jump infantry).

What I find they are not good at is taking on enemy squads by themselves. Always support with another squad of something. That should be THE FIRST ELDAR COMMANDMENT, but with spiders high str folks forget and think they can shoot a tac squad to death by themselves...don't try it.

Personally, I find the combo of a full 10 man squad of spiders combined with a four-ship of shining spears will kill most anything. You shoot it up with both squads, charge your spears, pile in your spiders and if anything survives (try to not let this happen) you can hit-and-run.

happy hunting!
 

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They may not have ap but if you think about it, if they were given ap 5 (that of most small arms weapons) the better armoured troops will get their save anyway and anything with a 5+ save will probably fail their save. So in this respect the ap isn't that much of a loss.

Just because they don't kill heavy infantry out right doesn't mean they can't be good at it. the amount of shots they can spit out with a decent ballistic skill and almost always wounds on a 2+ on man sized models means you'll be forcing alot of armour saves. The idea is after the shooting the Warp Spiders use their second movement during the assault phase to get out of line of sight from the opponents guns. So unless they're shooting at light infantry, light vehicles or monstrous creatures, warp Spiders are more of a grinding down unit than an out right kill.

This extract may also help:

Warp Spiders:

With a mixture of heavy armour, hard hitting weaponry and Jump Generators this squad is one of the most ideal shock troopers available to the army. Their most unique ability is to be able to make a second jump; this movement is much like the Jetbikes assault movement but operates a little more randomly and is also unstable. This means you can effectively have them target units that are given cover from long ranged heavy weapons as they won’t be exposed to that fire power the following turn since they can retreat to the safety of terrain during the assault phase. Their ability to do such hit and ran attacks and being heavily armoured; they can become one of the most impossible squads to kill.

Warp Spiders are highly suited to dealing with light infantry due to their large volumes of shots but their high strength means they can effectively bog down tougher infantry like Space Marines and Tyrannid Warriors, but only to some degree of success. This is why hit and run strategies are quite effective with Warp Spiders, if they are unable to kill off a unit they can jump back behind terrain. Be weary of opposing fast moving infantry though, because their weapons are quite short ranged it would mean they have to move quite close to the opponent, this will give him opportunity to strike them with units such as Assault Marines, Dark Eldar Wyches or Chaos Marine Raptors etc. Since Warp Spiders don’t have as much combat abilities such as Striking Scorpions such attacks can be very deadly to them. However, given their moderate weapon skill and high initiative they aren’t too bad in combat when supporting other more specialised squads as their armour gives them ample protection from basic melee attacks. Warp Spiders can improve their resilience with the aid of a Farseers Fortune, with their second jump they can warp into range with the Farseer for the following turn.

Exarch:

The addition of a Warp Spider Exarch will enable the squad to take up a more offensive role or provide protection against assaults. The Exarch can also add some combat potential to the squad which is quite lacking.

Additional Death Spinner:
The Exarch can shoot at a high rate of fire. This ability increases the squads’ offensive power when more numbers are concerned.

Spinneret Rifle:
Quite a potent piece of weaponry when considering heavily armoured infantry. The downside is that it has a single shot capacity but given the Exarchs high Ballistic Skill and high strength of the weapon itself there is a low chance of this weapon not causing a casualty. Because of its ability to pin down a squad the weapon also acts a decent safe guard should the squad not roll a high enough distance for their second jump. Although not certain to work these kinds of guards can be quite useful.

Power Blades:
Offers the squad some combat potential, in the hands of an Exarch this can be quite deadly even if it’s just on a single model. However, this does not lend the squad to taking the offensive combat role but it does offer a bigger punch to when they’re supporting a combat aspect in an assault or if they get assaulted. It can also be useful in finishing an opposing squad that has taken heavy casualties during the shooting phase.

Surprise Assault:
Allows the squad to come into play using Deep Strike, useful in that they are able to come in behind an opponent and hit him when not expecting it or strike his more vulnerable troops, but because of the speed Warp Spiders have anyway they can do this quite effectively without this power. Also the use of Deep Strike means they cannot utilise their Warp Generators during the assault phase, this leaves can leave them highly vulnerable to shooting the following turn despite their decent armour saves, so when using this movement be weary of surround infantry. Note that they do not have to shoot the turn they come down, so if no such safe spots are open when their time comes to drop down it is worth deploying them into your lines for safe measure for the following turns.

Withdraw:
This power is highly useful as a safe guard to close combat. This is a power worth always taking as Warp Spiders cannot last too long by themselves when in combat, so this power offers a counter measure to such situations.
 
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