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Sunday, 30 August 2009

Double Whammy: Mathew Wong Advice2, and advice for Mercer's list. Also, as a special bonus, DoomBubble thoughts.


FROM MATHEW WONG:

"Hi Richard,

Thanks for the reply I took into account some of the things you said and I came up with this list. It's for 1850...

HQ
Maugan Ra 195

Eldrad 210


ELITES

4 Fire Dragons w/ Exarch – 217

+ Wave Serpent

+ TL - Scatter Laser

+ Shuriken Cannon


5 Fire Dragons – 205

+ Wave Serpent

+ TL - Scatter Laser

+ Shuriken Cannon


5 Harlequins w/ Shadowseer, Deathjester - 210

+ 6 Harlequin's Kiss

+ Shrieker Cannon

+ 2 Fusion Pistols


TROOPS
5 Dire Avengers 60


5 Dire Avengers 60


5 Dire Avengers 205

+ Wave Serpent

+ TL-Bright Lance

+ Shuriken Cannon



5 Dire Avengers 205

+ Wave Serpent

+ TL-Bright Lance

+ Shuriken Cannon


HEAVY SUPPORT

Falcon 140

+ Scatter Laser

+ Pulse Laser

+ Shuriken Cannon


Falcon 140

+ Scatter Laser

+ Pulse Laser

+ Shuriken Cannon


Total: 1847"

REPLY:
Without dropping one or other of the Special Characters, there's nothing can really be done with this list. It's not really a critiscism, not least since you've decided upon that them, and fair play to you, but I don't feel entirely comfortable with 2HQs at 1850, at least not ones that average 200 points apiece.

Not really got much to add, as a result. It's a solid list! :)




FROM MERCER:

"Dude, I need your Eldar wisdom! Hit me up >

btw I know about the Falcon ;)

HQ

1 x Autarch mandiblasters, power weapon & death spinner 95
Eldrad Ulthran 210
3 x Warlocks conceal, 2 x destructor 110

Elites

10 x Striking Scorpions w/ Wave Serpent serpent w/ EML 307
6 x Fire Dragons w/ Falcon falcon w/ shuriken cannon 216

Troops

8 x Dire Avengers w/ Wave Serpent exarch w/ 2 x shuriken catapults - serpent w/ EML 233
9 x Dire Avengers w/ Wave Serpent exarch w/ 2 x power weapon - serpent w/ EML 255
9 x Dire Avengers w/ Wave Serpent exarch w/ 2 x power weapon - serpent w/ EML 255

Heavy Support

Fire Prism 115
Fire Prism 115
Fire Prism 115

total 1999"

REPLY:

EMLs aren't really sufficient anti-tank, especially at 2k, where the number of AV14s increases exponentially. With only one squad of Fire Dragons, you're essentially putting yourself in the position of an Ork against AV14, although obviously Fire Dragons are still miles better than Deff Koptas - and since their S9 TOC is the biggest threat Orks have to AV14 (only threat? :P) it's a pretty solid analogy.

Walking Seer Council = bad. Walking 4-Man Council = a lot worse.

Nowhere for Autarch to go = bad. Death Spinner rules him out of travlleing with Dragons, because his shooting will be wasted (along with him, although that's okay) when they suicide.

When you have a Farseer, especially Eldrad, it genereates what is known ads the DoomBubble. Thsi is the area of effect the Farseer can influence with the power Doom, essentially guaranteeing that one enemy unti per turn, minimum, within that sphere dies. obviously, it's not quite as cut and dried as that - you can fail Psychic tests, get Psyhcic Hooded, and roll all 1's to hit and wound, but, statistically on average, Doom sees things die. Obviously Eldrad extends this to a potential for two units to be Doomed, but this is a lot less likely than one Doom and 2 Guides, IMO, so can be disregarded in most circumstances. Within that Doom Shpere, all Eldar units are more effective, obviously - they can't fail to be imporved by re-rolls to wound. Often that difference is negligible (Scatter Laser War Walkers vs Ork Boyz, for example) or vastly superseded by a Guide in the same situation (see previous example) but this is a judgment call. Sometimes (IE, on a WAve Serpent) there's literally no purpose to using Guide. Sometimes (Ratlings) you're better off with Eldritch Storm than Doom. Even if I could list every possible situation in which you could desire to use one or the other, I wouldn't, as that's learning the exam, not the subject, the problem with the UK's education system.

I bring this up to point out the contrast to Eldar units who often operate outside of the Doom Sphere - Fire Dragons, Warp Spiders, Swooping Hawks, Striking Scorpions, Shining Spears, Fire Prisms, War Walkers and Vypers. Whilst any and indeed all of these untis benefit from a bit of Farseer lovin', they can often perform their role adequately without support, before dying in the subsequent turn. MechDar doesn't really work that way.

Your model count is already low enough (thanks Phil, overpriced Wave Serpent FTW!) that you simply cannot afford to allwo aa unti to be isolated from the bulk of your army in any situation other than your own choice to do so. Since that unit will almost always be Fire Dragons and/or Yriel, you leave them to die, and kill as much as they can first. Kobayishi Maru.
Striking Scorpions are not fitting of this role in a MechDar army, which is a lot of why I rate them as the worst of the 3 Elite CC choices in the Eldar Codex. Rather than acting as a speedbump, a'la Dragons, they act asa a roadblock, a tarpit, holding things up, and slowely getting whittled down. A 3+ save isn't enough to save your T3 models from dying, it merely proolongs the inevitable. Of course they can beat Ork Boyz, better than any Ork unit. If all you evber play is Orks, then you NEED these, but, in a Tournament environment, it should be a relatively simple matter to play the entire event without hitting an Ork player and, if you do, you have 3 Fire Prisms.

When you take Eldrad, he automatically becomes the focus of your army. It's unavoidable, he's a 210 point model, FFS. He has unparallelled ability to screw with the opponent, and grants benefits in every phase of the game, and even before it begins. With MechDar, you can't afford to ahve aS many throwaway units as you would often like. While you need to keep your troops spread enough to prevent the nemy multi-charging you, and to spread their forces as much as possible, you also want to stay releatively close togethewr to deny enemy fire and to benefit from cover saves off each other. Units that aren't supported sufficiently quickly die, and there's no real benefit to throwing assets away when yuo simply don't have as many as the opponnet. The types of units that are conducive to being thrown away are those that operate frequently outside the Doom Bubble. See where I'm going with this? lol

While Scorpions are an adequate CC unit, on the counter-attack, they aren't a great CC unit, even within the Doom Bubble (they benefit less from the boost than either of their rivals) - and as a result find themselves outside of their optimal place in a list that centres around Eldrad. While this does not necessarily make them a poor unit, it makes them an inferior one to either of the others you could have picked for the role, even though at first glance a base S4 and 3+ save makes them more versatile than the other options. For these reasons, I recommend switching to Banshees. I would have suggested Harlies, but I don't think the loss of the Serpent would do anything but hurt the list, which is a shame given that Harlies are more versatile than their all-female cousins, even if stupidly overcosted in 5th. They were a no-brainer anyway in 4th, surely it would have been fine to undercost them as futurte-proofing? Ah well.

Conceal on a Warlock EVER is a bad thing...you can always expect to claim a 4+ cover rather than a 5+...better not taking a power at all tbh.

DA Exarchs are overcosted. while I've recently been convinced the extra attack on the PW/SP beats out the DS/SS combo, I'd still never consider using them aggressively enough that they needed it - if they're in CC I'd happily just let them die, and be glad I didn't waste the additional 22 points trying to make them a decent unti, when the extra 2 guys that cost 2 points more would have been better against non-CC Specialists or MEQs, either of which will beat my face in regardless. Sure, a PW may well deter a single MEQ from charging if his mates are dead...but probably not, as he could still win - even if not, him not chaqrging forces you to deal with him, assuming he's scoring - either way it's win-win for the SM guy. 9 charging DAs is statistically enough to kill a lonely MEQ as is, and costs less than your configuration, while having a much better ranged output per point.

Dakka Falcons work better with Eldrad than Prisms, btw. Guiding a Prism is Fail, because it has the capacity to do so itself, and will often prefer to. Guiding a Falcon is never a bad plan...unless of course for an obvious reason, like it's Shaken or Stunned/going to move 24"/got no weapons left/blah blah. As a result, I'd probably switch to two Dakka Falcons and one Prism. One Falcon doesn't give Eldrad enough to do, while one Prism alone is still a decent target for the occasional Guide, because it can't t-l itself anymore. I know that seems to run against my earlier assertion that "Orks are ok, you have Prisms" - but really, you'll be fine. The firepower laid down by all 3 DA squads is a dead mob a turn, and the DakkaFalcons can easily kill another Doomed mob/all the enemy Trukks/sides of Battlewagons, even if the Prism misses.

The Autarch doesn't add as much utility as you think. He runs counter to Eldrad, becasue you can't deploy on the table then Divinate into reserve...admittedly, it'd be broken if you could. Without a Fusion Gun or even Reaper Launcher(lol) he's not a significant shooting threat, even with S6. Again, I wonder if 2 HQs are even necessary. At 2k, yes, usually 2 is fine, but the Warlocks eat up the point for the second, if chosen, and rightly so.

So, we drop him, drop the Scorps, drop that Heavy selection, drop the Council to start again, and drop the Exarchs in the DAs.

New list:

Eldrad Ulthran - 210

8 DAs:
Serpent; BL, S-Can. - 241
*See Note One*

8 DAs:
Serpent; BL, S-Can. - 241

8 DAs:
Serpent; BL, S-Can. - 241

5 Dragons:
Serpent; BL, S-Can. - 235

5 Dragons:
Serpent; BL, S-Can. - 235
*See Note Two*

Dakka Falcon:
Shuriken Cannon, Shuriken Cannon. - 130

Dakka Falcon:
Shuriken Cannon, Shuriken Cannon. - 130

Fire Prism:
S-Can. - 125

SUBTOTAL: 1788


Note One: While it requires 9 to kill a MEQ on the charge for certain, 8 is usually sufficient for shooting, especially since the foe should be Doomed anyway.

Note Two: Is this unit necessary? Obviously it's redundancy here, covering the other squad of FDs, and providing another Lance to the party...we'll get back to this in a moment.

That's without a CC element, so far. We know we need one, and ideally we will have a Seer Council, + Harlies.

212 points isn't enough for both though...we're looking at a 222 point Harlie Squad alone! Hmmm. This is where we have to start looking more closely at trimming the fat.

Of course, the Seer Council is a unit that can (kinda) fulfil the role of the Fire Dragons, and kinda act as the CC element too. Realistically then, all we need to do is have one. Both is of course preferable, but I don't really see a way to get both, without dropping a Scoring Unit. Hell, there aren't even Holo-Fields on the Falcons, the need for points is so great.

Dropping the second Dragons squad gives us 447 points to claim from. That's enough for a really kick-ass Council.

10 Warlocks:
1 Embolden, 1 Enhance, 2 Destructors (1 with Spear), 6 No Power (1 with Spear) - 296

Wave Serpent:
The Usual - 145
TOTAL: 441

2 more Spears optional...although I'm not sure they're necessary. One wouldn't hurt I suppose, although maybe 2 is too many. I recommend playtesting to iron that out.

It really highlights the inherent problems with the Council though, they're just too expensive for what they do. :(

Hope that helps guys!
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