Monday, 7 September 2009

A Fellow Heretic...

In response to a PM from fellow Heresy Online member psoshmo, some advice regarding his Eldar list.

"hey, you seem to be the most knowledgeable eldar player on the site. i have a list i was thinking of running, just wanted your opinion. the popular choices for lists seem like power builds with little differntiation in unit types. this makes me feel like my list is therefore inferior. take a look.


Farseer (guide and doom , spirit stone, jetbike) - 150pts
3 warlocks on Jet bikes (3 destructors, 3 singing spears) - 204pts

10 Dire Avengers (Exarch with Bladestorm and extra shuri catapult, Defend) - 172pts
6 Guardian jet bike (2 have shuri cannon) - 152pts
3 Guardian jet bike (1 shuri cannon) - 76pts

7 Howling Banshees (exarch with mirror swords + War shout, Acrobatic) - 144pts

Fast Attack

5 Warp spiders (Exarch with death spinner, suprise assault) - 137pts
7 Swooping Hawks (Exarch with sunrifle, skyleap) - 189pts

Heavy Support

3 War Walkers (1 have EMLs,1 has one EML and one scatter, and 1 has scatter lasers, 2 have spirit stones) - 205pts
2 Fire Prisms (holo fields and spirit stones) - 320pts


2 Wave Serpents (scatter lasers + spirit stones, assigned to bansees and avengers) - 250pts
Points Total = 1999

Im not playing in tourneys, jsut casual play, but i wanna play a competitive list. im going for lots of speed. and general tips are appreciated. thanks man"

Firstly, thanks! :D

It is true that the majority of Eldar lists follow roughly the same formula, simply because there's very little in the Eldar Codex that is truly a top-tier unit. There are a great number of also-rans, such as Banshees and Pathfinders, but very little that approaches the Win that is Fire Dragons.
That said, for semi-competitive play, the Eldar are amongst the best armies out there - not least because of a nicely fluffy correlation to the rules for each Aspect.

Let's start with my favourite section, Heavy Support.
Fire Prisms, are excellent. Holo-Fields are excellent. In combination though, they are not. Why? Well, quite simply, despite the restrictions of the table size, you have a 60" range, and should ideally be as far from the enemy forces as possible, certainly far enough way that the Holo-Fields shouldn't be your saving grace. With a Prism, you only have one way to threaten the enemy, the Cannon, and so ANY result on the Damage Chart, which prevents you firing on 5/6 rolls, negates your effectiveness next turn. Holo-Fields make you significantly harder to destroy, but this is to no avail if you are neutered so easily.

So, dropping these, 70 points.

Next, War Walkers. I don't run them, they're neither mobile enough nor tough enough for my tastes, however, they are certainly a viable choice. Unfortunately, I think you may have misread the Squadron Rules - in a Squadron, you essentially already have Spirit Stones/Extra Armur attached, so we can drop this. :) (Even if you go down to one Walker, and they would ocme into effect, they work 1/6 of the time, and one Walker is nowhere near tough enough to warrant paying points for such a thing.) As for the mixing of weaponry, it's a bad plan. Wound Allocation is irrelevant, as you can do it even with identical Vehicles, so swap them for all EMLs. This gives the ranged anti-tank you are somewhat lacking at the minute. It's still not as much as I would like, but it's sufficient for most games.

Next, Fast Attack.
Units of 5 Aspect Warriors NEVER take Exarchs, for several reasons. Most of these are already covered in THIS post. While that specific example cites Dire Avengers, the principle holds true for any Aspect, save Spears and Reapers. They are special again...Spears are dealt with HERE.

Surprise Assault is also a bad choice, regardless, as you are Jump Infantry. While you didn't have the option in 4th Edititon, since the advent of 5th you can Deep Strike Jump Infantry, without recourse to this rule. On the other hand, if bumping this unit up, Power Blades and Withdraw are reasonably good investments.
Swooping Hawks are a bad unit, plain and simple. That said, yours would be as effective as any I've seen and, as long as they stick to Infantry hunting (and don't encounter a nasty vehicle) then they can perform their task adequately, even well, if you play IG/other Eldar a lot.

7 Banshees with an Exarch is actually just under my recommended squad size of 8, although Ipartly recommend this as i recomend never using the Mirrorswords. Good as +2A surely is, they're at S3. You'll find that you can't always rely upon Doom to see these girlies through, and wounding Marines on a 3+ is invaluable at times. In addition, the capacity to threaten AV10, MCs, and Bikes of any variety (well, except Seer Councils) seriously advantageous. Admittedly, Nob Bikers would likely inflict a heavy toll, but with them not getting anything but a Cybork save (and no FnP), you could do some serious hurt, especially with Doom - you could potentially win the combat, and break them, inevitably chasing them down in the process.

HQ - You have made solid choices, but the thing is that your Council is just too small to be as effective as it needs to be., The problem with the unit is less the cost itself, more that it needs to be at nearly full strength to be much more than glorified Shining Spears, and at that point it's running into the 500point mark, certainly not viable for 1500 games. :(

They are a great unit, and used as a Counter-Attacker in this force could do well, except that you have fairly little ranged firepower to have both these as a Counter-Unit, and the Banshees.

Without Fire Dragons as well, any AV14 threats will likely prove too much for your fragile troops. In Semi-Competitive play, you could be fine...I recommend playtesting the Banshees, then replacing with 7 Dragons (Exarch, Dragon's Breath Flamer, Crack Shot) in order to see which you prefer etc.

Finally, Troops. GJBs are good, and certainly more resilient than the majority of Eldar units. That said, a unit of 3 isn't. I'm not sure what to recommend here - you want the third Troops choice, but haven't really go the points to beef it...maybe if you drop the Council you will, even after beefing the Spiders to 8. A unit of 6 GJBs with 2 Cannons is a pretty tasty unit, very fun to use. Good ranged fire, and the ability to dance away from retaliation every Assault Phase.

Overall, there's very little wrong with the list, but at 2k you may find you lack of anti-tank to be troublesome. I recommend you play the list a couple times, and then playtest a few of my suggestions, to see what kind of feel you get for the list then. As it's not a Tourny list, I don't know how much you'd beenfit from a more hardline response from me, ie writing a sample list, but if that's what you want I will do so. Leet me know, either way! :)
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