Saturday, September 12, 2009

Eldar Tactics, Lessons Learned

I've been pretty successful with my Eldar since we started playing. I haven't lost a game yet, although I have suffered several tactical draws (man, I hate those). The guys I'm playing against are just as inexperienced as I am, though, so it isn't like I'm some Warhammer 40K prodigy or anything. I'd probably still get rolled by an experienced player. I want to point out some interesting Eldar quirks that I've noticed...

Farseer
Man, farseers are awesome. I think what I like most about the farseer is that I can fiddle around with almost all of his upgrades without changing anything on the model. That's definitely a plus for me. In almost every battle, I've fielded him with just Eldritch Storm and put him in a squad of dire avengers. This has worked pretty well so far. The large blast template either kills lots of infantry or spins tanks for glancing hits vs. rear armor. These guys aren't exactly the best tank hunters, but I've found that it is often advantageous just to manage a shaken result and not have to eat a rail gun template the next turn.

Fire Dragons
I think I'd like these guys more if I was facing more real vehicles and fewer walkers. They have a tendency to kill one dreadnought but then get assaulted by the next one the following turn and get tied up in close combat way too long.

Guardians
Man, these guys suck. Most of the time, the only thing this unit does the whole game is shoot its heavy weapon platform and shadow the wraithlord so that the warlock can prevent wraithsight bullcrap. I did get really lucky one game and kill off a squad of terminators with these guys, although technically it was just the warlock because the guardians themselves never inflicted a wound and the warlock was the only one left in the squad by the end of the fight.

Dire Avengers
I love these guys, but figuring out how to use the exarch confuses me. Bladestorm seems worthless unless it is either the last turn of the game (which is only a known factor about a third of the time) or if I'm planning on assaulting in the next phase. However, I've found that I usually want the assault to last until my opponent's assault phase so that my avengers don't get shot at, and bladestorm makes that less likely to happen. Tactics with the defend power are equally confusing. Generally, the opponents I assault fall into one of two categories: those I don't need defend to destroy, and those who will destroy me whether I have defend or not. Thus, both exarch powers seem useless. I've switched to fielding squads of 9 basic avengers because spending the extra points for the exarchs feels like a waste.

Warp Spiders
I like these guys, but for 137 points (4 norms + 1 exarch w/ powerblades & twin death spinners) I think I'd rather upgrade other units or just add more guardians/avengers. Perhaps I'm not using them correctly. I usually deep strike them into cover near a juicy target and let them play assassin. This usually works, but then I find them either surrounded by too many baddies or too far away to make a big difference in the game. I guess it hurts that I haven't managed a decent reserves roll before turn four in a single game. Maybe they're just coming in too late to be effective.

Wraithlord
What can I say? He's a beast who scares my opponents silly. With the EML / brightlance heavy weapons combo, he's pretty good at popping vehicles from a distance... and I love the fact that he's monstrous and gets to ignore armor in close combat too. The only thing that irritates me about this guy is that he is so doggone difficult to maneuver. In an army that is supposed to be about speed, this big lug just plods along behind everybody else. Needing to keep him near a psyker doesn't help matters.

Wave Serpent
I love dumping troops off, shooting, and then tank shocking stuff the following turn. It might not be the most effective tactic, but it's quite amusing.

Falcon
So far, this is my favorite model. It packs some respectable firepower and has a halfway decent transport ability tacked on as well. I can't decide whether or not I like the holo-fields. They do make me feel better, but I generally play so conservatively that the falcon just doesn't get shot at too much... and when he does, he's usually getting a cover save.

What's on my list next? I want a jetseer (a farseer on a jetbike). I've ordered a jetbike and some bits for the conversion, but I'm still waiting for them to arrive. I really wish there was a way to protest Games Workshop putting an option in the codex that they don't sell a model for. That just seems dirty. I really want a whole squad of warlocks on jetbikes too, but I want to see how much of a pain the conversion is before I commit more than $15 to the idea. I'll post pics of it as soon as I start the job.
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