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Saturday, 3 April 2010

Email In: Ixe's Eldar list

Okay, sorry this took so long mate, but your list was pretty good to start off with! lol

Bear in mind, as always, my intention is never to be condescending or patronising.  I simply type this as it comes into my head, and fix typos because the stream of consciousness approach works for me.  Unfortunately it creates a situation where I'm trying to balance the assumed common knowledge of the game with the need to explain clearly to people who are thinking of starting Eldar.  So...
Firstly...

"The list"

Yriel

Autarch, Power weapon, Fusion gun, Banshee Mask

ELITES

3x4 Fire Dragons + 3x Exarch w/crack shot DBF
3x Waveserpent w/Scatter, Undercannon

TROOPS

2x10 Storm Guardians w/ 2x Fusion Guns + 2x Warlocks w/spear, destructor
2x Waveserpent w/Scatter, Undercannon

2x5 Dire Avengers

HEAVY SUPPORT

2x Falcons w/cannon, undercannon, holofield

1x Fire Prism

Points: 1999


I don't like Fire Dragons to have Exarchs at less than 7 men...
My reasons are contained in this article here - and so I won't go over them again here...but the counter argument, I suppose, is thus:

IG Vets carry 3x BS4 Melta, and that's good enough.  A CCS carries 4 BS4 Melta and that's plenty! Even a PCS gets away with 4x BS3 Melta.  These are used often as suicide units - they arrive, they kill something dangerous, and they promptly get massacred by concentrated enemy fire.  No biggie...that's their role.  Differences though, are several.

1) Cost - Self explanatory...you're paying almost twice for the Dragons, for no more survivability, and less than the Vets.  The Vets also add anti-Infantry firepower through the Shotguns/Lasguns, and the Officers add a little CC power in the PCS/CCS.  Exarchs add both these utilities, but are 28 points for a single model.  A single, ONE WOUND model.

2) Versatility - Alluded to above...to add Infantry killing, you need the 28 point BS5 Flamer.  Oh wait... :p  We also need to mention the weapons on the Transport here - a ChinCannon added is some anti-infantry, yes, great...but it's not as good as a Heavy Flamer vs Infantry, when you're flying close anyway.

3) Target Priority - The ONLY thing in an Eldar list that can often take more heat than the Dragons is a Seer Council.  They're even faster at getting over and putting the hurt on things - in the IG list, however, the inbuilt redundancy and much MUCH better support fire from range is such that the MeltaVets headed your way aren't the most immediate threat, and have to be ignored.

It simply has to be remembered that your list deploys 8 models - for 2k IG can reasonably have twice that, and some Infantry to boot...It's much easier to pick your targets out well if there is less choice to be made.

That said, I don't think it's the worst thing you can do...I'd just like to take those 36 extra points, and see what we can do with them.  (Note - I forgot Crack Shot entirely here.  Duh.  Turns out you save an extra 15 points, which is great.  I like Crack Shot, and if Exarchs were free it's be an excellent purchase...as a support power though, it's effectiveness directly correlates to the number of models in the squad...so :( ]

HQs:

Grand.  Great, even.  You get the +2 to Reserves that allow you to Full Reserve against even IG (necessary!), and there are no wasted points here at all.  Personally, I think Mandiblasters a much better upgrade than the Mask, but that's a points issue/personal choice kinda dealie, either way it's fineamundo.  Good stuff, moving on...

Prism:

No upgrades?  On the one hand, perfect, but on the other - ideally we want a ChinCannon for this bad boy as well.  Suffering from a Weapon Destroyed means you are nothing but an expensive, inaccurate Exocet missile.  While I think Ramming is a very useful tactic indeed...(see here) it's non-optimal - and a wasted opportunity.  Since we've found somewhere in the list we can leech points from, we'll use that for now.

Falcons:

Chincannon, Holo-Field - PERFECT.  DAVU - excellent.  Problem now, is the Turret weapon.  By giving them a second SCan you give the vehicle an effective range of 30" (to fire multiple weapons.)  The Falcon is moderately to very successful at this range, yes...but the problem is its role in the list.  The Storm Guardians that form the bulk of your Troops are going to close with the enemy, because they need to.  You don't have enough units to play a counter-attacking stylee, so you need to press home your advantages of speed and mobility and pick where you engage the enemy, and only fight the battles you will win.  Stormies are can be very useful at this role, especially backed up by an Autarch or Yriel.  However, DAVUs can't do squat on the ground.  If you are forced out by damage, then those guys are going to fall to the ground screaming and burning.  DAVU + Explodes! = THIS.

As a result, we NEED to get them a bit further from the enemy to increase survivability, and most especially stop the foe simply mopping up the likely 3 survivors from the crash.  Remember that these guys are a Scoring Unit and as such need to be mollycoddled ridiculously.  lol

So, to improve their guns to the minimum range boost (to escape Dragonfire Rounds, especially.  Sternguard aren't exactly common where I am, but they must be common somewhere.) We spend points (10) to upgrade to Scatter Laser - then again for +20.  That's 30 of the 38 we had to spend...ouchy.  [Yeah, unless my math is off, your list is 1998.  ;)  ]

Now we come across the final issue.  By choosing to take Stormies we end up in a situation where we are carrying nothing better than S6 on our Tanks.  If you said Prism Cannon, go to the Naughty Corner.  Sigh.  It's a Blast, it can't be twin-linked, it isn't AP1...it has virtually nil reliable anti-tank ability, fluff or no fluff.

We DO have Pulse Lasers, x2...but until these become as popular in the Eldar options as Autocannons then they're going to suck.  Sadly.  Don't get me wrong, they;re fairly good - but with only BS3, they're far from enough ranged anti-tank.

Now, we do have a lot of close-range anti-tank.  The problem is that this literally involves throwing units away.  Personally, I run Lance/Cannon on all my Grav Tanks that can.  It adds the ranged anti-tank we need to pop far away Transports, and has just about enough anti-Infantry to put the hurt on most enemy Foot, though not really dedicated Foot lists as much.

I think your list is fairly solid, and would do much better than mine against Tri-Raider, statistically.  Obviously, I don't know what's prevalent in your area, so I ignore the concept of metagame and discuss here what is universally good (because there IS such a thing, thanks.  You know who you are.  lol)

I think the only other suggestion I could make would be to drop a unit of Dragons (GASP) and use the points from them and the Serpent to put Lances on for all those Scats.  Those Lances set you back 75 points, which should leave you enough to put the Dragon units up to 7/8 and put Crack Shot Exarchs back in.

It maeks the enemy's Target priority easier, but it gives the Dragons a chance to survive when they hit the floor.  It supports the onrushing Dragons and Stormies by giving them stuff they can hit in CC and kill.


Really though, your list is pretty solid, as I said.  It's largely personal preference at this point for how to make edits...and while I seriously suggest trying out my 'fixes' for yourself - I won't pretend they're the answer to any and all problems you have with the list.  At least, not without more data to build that Theory on.  lol

Thanks for emailing, this was a nice mental exercise (it's been ages since anyone emailed me a list for perusal...my fault for not being here, obvs!) and I thoroughly enjoyed it.  :)

I hope you can get as much out of my analysis as I did writing it.
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