Eldar Strategy and Tactics
The 4th Edition Eldar Codex was released in 2006, in the middle of 4th edition 40k and was quickly recognized as one of the dominant books. There have been a couple changes that toned down some of the uber-cheese (easier to penetrate Skimmers, as well as the change to the Consolidation rule) but the Eldar book remains viable. I wrote this mostly for fun, but also with an eye to how 5th edition has changed things. The biggest change in 5th edition, the Run rule, does not effect many Eldar units, but the 3+ save units all got a boost.
I am just going to focus on viable/ useful tactics, and not get into all possible builds and combinations. Feel free to add anything. That, and I hope my jokes are funny.
There are many ways to use an Autarch. He can be a close combat master on his own, and pairs well with with Exarchs at I6, making the squad LD10 and gives the army +1 to all reserve rolls, very useful for all units but especially for Swooping Hawks. Remember that any Exarch powers also effect the Autarch. He can also be used to defend stationary units from cc attacks, like in a unit of rangers or dark reapers.
Coming in at around 80 to 90 points he is a cost effective HQ. But you can change him up for different types of combat.
Give him a chainsword and mandiblasters and a shuriken pistol and he can be with scorpions, or defend rangers from hordes.
Give him a power sword and the same kit as before for more anti horde/marines.
Give him a reaper launcher and a power sword to defend and shoot well with reapers. Give him a fusion gun and he can do well with fire dragons.
Give him the banshee mask and a power sword and you get a good banshee Autarch.
Points may vary depending on the upgrades but all around a relatively cheap and good HQ for about 100 pts.
Take similar kits as before or give him other things and add wings for the extra points and he can now move faster and still get fleet as well. You now have a more tactical hq that can get to the enemy faster and thhus ensue he survives. If he is protecting units he can move in faster to attack them. He can also help other units that may need close combat support and he can re-position very quickly.
- And the beast: The Jetbike Autarch.
Give him a Laser Lance, a Jetbike and Mandiblasters and put him in a cheap squad of Guardian Jetbikes. Use him to speed 12' forward on the first turn then shoot at the nearest fast-moving squad. Assault the squad afterwads then annihalate them and consolidate 2D6 behind cover, then dart back out next turn and wipe out another squad! Make sure you have a squad of Rangers pinning down any heavy support the enemy has so they cannot shoot at you in you following turn! Happy blasting!
- A fourth option, the beast with a gun: Give the Jetbike Autarch a Reaper Launcher or a Fusion Gun at BS6. It flys, it chops, it leads and it even shoots. What a guy!
The real workhorse of the Eldar list, many generals consider a Farseer to be a bargain. Runes of Warding are psychic defence. Runes of Witnessing (with the improved 5th edition Perils of the Warp) and one or two psychic powers coupled with Spirit Stones (It is never ok for a Farseer to be seen without his stones--for a measly twenty points it's always worth it to throw 2 powers per turn) make for one of the best HQs in the game. He can also ride an Eldar Jetbike, throwing a S9 weapon at BS5 or else slog it out with the infantry with two Witchblade attacks and LD10.
- Guide, Fortune and Doom: You cannot go wrong taking these powers. Fortune and Doom will always help your assault squads. Guide and Fortune to work with a firebase such as Dark Reapers or Warwalkers in cover.
- Eldritch Storm and Mindwar: Eldritch Storm is less generally useful, however great for hordes, you dont require LoS and the large blast templates doesnt scatter. Mindwar is often opportunistically useful, great for removing powerfists/klaws/heavy weapons and the like from a unit. You can take up to four powers and cast up to two (with Spirit Stones).
Six or 10 Warlocks coupled with Fortune is one of the best units in the game, Fleeting/ Running up the table into the face of the enemy. Enhance and Embolden are must-haves for this unit, Conceal is nice for when facing Psycannons.(edit by woodbok: psycannons no longer ignore invulnerable saves any more, so conceal is pretty much useless now) Jetbike Warlocks, unable to fleet, make good use of Destructor and Fortune.
The Avatar of Khaine is a monster, resilient and making your army Fearless all around him. The Run rule just makes him better. As the Avatar is immune to flamers/heavy flamers/meltas cannot harm him at all, using this to your advatage you can run the avatar at tanks and/or units with these weapons and still remain relatively unharmed, eg burna boyz ^^
The combination of Eldrad and the Avatar is infamous, Eldrad casting a second Fortune and putting it on the Avatar's 3+/4++ save. He also stacks well with mechanized/ Wraithlord lists.
Eldrad Ulthran is a very popular HQ, while expensive at 210 points. He costs about the same as you imagine a Farseer able to cast three powers would, comes with all of them (including Eldritch Storm and Mindwar) and has some nice bonuses, including his Divination where he can redeploy your entire army. His only weakness he does not Fleet, and as such is a poor accompaniment for assault troops.
Edit by Darkrider: If you take a Farseer, and buy all the upgrades that Eldrad has that a Farseer can be given, then it costs more. Then remember that you have 3+ invun, three spells per turn, T4, and a weapon that's the wytchblade equivalent of Yriel's Spear of Twilight (probably the best Eldar CC weapon in the Codex). In other words, he's totally worth it. Oh, and he's got Divination.
Prince Yriel of Iyanden, at 155 points, is a powerful Autarch choice. His Power Weapon wounds on 2+ and his Eye of Wrath power attacks enemies all around him. Use him with other units and he can easily do many cool things. he can be anti horde with the eye or he an throw his sword and kill things before he assaults them and he can destroy many different kinds of foot troops making him useful no matter what unit he joins. use him for anti marine for sure and he can do much of the same thing.
The Phoenix Lords are some of the best, if more expensive HQs in the game. Their only real weakness a lack of Invulnerable Save, with the exception of Asurmen.
I personally enjoy using Asurmen. His armour save is 2+/4++, Dire Avengers are an excellent squad on their own, and his shooting complements them while making them Fearless. That, and his Dire Sword re-rolls all misses with the possibility of causing instant death. A Fortune and Doom Farseer complements this even further.
His major downside is that while his exarch powers are worth 30pts alone, the rest of his cost can be too much for what he gives if you aren't fighting a close combat army or can take advantage of ID yet he can be a brutal character with doom. if you are going against hordes he is great cause of his shots and toughness while being awesome in cc. esp against orks and nids. he can also do better in a transport to quickly cut down hq's and nearby troops. and with it being a diresword, attacking any hard to kill monstrous creatures can possibly be taken down as well.
Karandras, the Father of Scorpions, is one of the better HQ options. He is most useful in Apocalypse where a data sheet is provided giving him and three Scorpion squads Fearless, Stealth and the ability to Deep Strike into and out of terrain. Wow! :)
Also just like Asurmen, his exarch powers make up for his higher cost than other exarchs, and his powerclaw can land many attacks on enemies; however, take caution when using this HQ. Like the scorpions, he is not meant for strong armoured opponents. the scorpions and all their leaders are meant for anti-horde and do that very very well. they also can take on light tanks like rhinos that have troops inside. and with them being able to infiltrate and get a bonus cover save from Karandras they are effective in cover. also try combining him with an exarch with chainsabres to get even more attacks on those pesky hordes.
In addition to making a squad of Banshees Fearless, Jain Zar is brutal in combat, with 5 S7 attacks on the charge, and her shooting weapon at BS7 S5 AP2 Assault3. Go girl. Jain Zar is another tactically awesome Phoenix Lord. she has furious charge and has a triskele that is highly worth taking interest in. She is very good against high armour opponents and is meant for taking on marines and other tough opponents.
Toned down a bit from the last addition with the loss of Fast Shot, Fuegan still holds up in close combat, especially with Feel No Pain.
His high strength power weapon also makes him very useful as a deterrent to strong assault units. His high armor save and feel no pain can compliment harlequins and seer councils too as wound allocation can let him save (statistically) 11 wounds before taking 1 failed armor save, and fortune makes him more powerful (though keep in mind he can't reroll his FNP save, as it isn't listed in the rules for fortune. This is a mistake I see on other forums when hypothesizing on his usefulness). this hq is meant for high armour units and all sorts of nasty armour. use him in a group of fire dragons with the exarch taking the flamer and crack shot to re roll those attacks and you get all your bases covered from assaulting tanks, to assaulting hordes in cover, to attacking high armour targets, as well as taking on tanks of all kinds. With Fuegan being a monster in combat, the enemy better pray they can survive.
Baharroth By far gives you the most tactical advantages of all the phoenix lords. however, he is meant as a disruptor... this means use patience when using him and DO NOT TAKE THE ENEMY HEAD ON WITHOUT SUFFICIENT SUPPORT!! sorry just had to make that fact known :) These are Baharroths skills. he can fly and use fleet so he could move 18 inches and assault 6 inches if need be. he can shoot 24 inches with a S5 ap5 weapon. he can use the grenade pack to drop a S4 large blast on opponents. he can use haywire grenades to take out tanks. and with all this he still has 2+ armour save and can't be insta-fried. and he always hits any tank or skimmer or wahtever on no more than a 4+. he also has hit and run. so with all that in mind... here is how to use him properly. Put him in a unit of swooping hawks and give the exarch the sunrifle so they can pin units, and deep strike them in to take out weak groups. think of Baharroth and his units as guerrilla fighters and don't put them against the big guys and keep them far away and pick off units all by themselves or the weak ones or take out things in the back. Because he moves fast him and his units can move from the side and assist units already in combat. also, this is another unit primarily for hordes so attacking high armoured units is very risky, but against nids and guard or orks is no prob.
Maugan Ra is very powerful as a pheonix lord but he shines most when put in units that are mobile. These units are most appropriately guardians (add embolden warlock, EML / scatter laser), or harlequins. He can take down vehicles very well, pin infantry, and remove cover saves at a distance. His rending ability also is very useful vs. vehicles and his high strength is great for counter assault. The only problem he has is the lack of grenades for his points, but if he rends and kills a land raider 36" away, you will be very happy. Also, maugan ra works well for defending a unit of reapers from assault and also is good against hordes/high armour because of his high strength and good number of attacks. besides who doesn't want to see maugan ra, the reaper, sow the lives of conscripts like wheat at the harvest?
Striking Scorpions are awesome. They infiltrate, they Run, even if they don't Fleet, and they stand up to pretty much all T4/ T5 infantry in the game. And they annhilate T3. They are OK on their own for counter-charge but much better with their Exarch.
- Biting Blade: Is a bit of a gamble as for every hit you increase your strength by 1, this can result in have S7, this can be good for taking out walkers and little armoured troops.
- Scorpion's Claw: Generally regarded as the best choice, due to anti 3+ and 2+ armour saves. You always get the plus one attack from mandiblasters, and you also get a chainsword as well, so you get two options for attacking different kinds of troops/tanks. Remember you don't get the extra attck from the extra cc weapon, 'coz it's a powerfist.
- Chainsabres: I personally like them, they are cool and still good against MEQ. Just a reminder, they are actually only S3. but you do get the re roll attacks and wounds and plus one extra attack.
- Stalker and Shadowstrike: The whole point to taking an Exarch here is to take the powers. Take them.
- Wave Serpent: Shadowstrike lets them outflank this (check the infiltrate rules) so this lets you use a wave serpent to outflank and shoot shuriken cannons/scatter lasers at side armor.
- Falcon: Scorpions work best in larger squads. however smaller attack units can be an annoyance that the enemy may need to take time to address as you got six 3+ units running around in the shadows and killing things.
Fire Dragons What Fire Dragons do, they do it well. A whole squad of BS4 Meltagun shooting, at 4+ save. Not bad. Great shooting against MEQ and awesome against vehicles. Exarch optional.
- Firepike: OK choice, it is only 8 points. It is not hard to argue that is also 8 points wasted. The extra range can get you a good shot at a light transport, or can help you get into melta range.
- Dragon's Breath Flamer: The Dragon's Breath Flamer is horrific when combined with Crack Shot, giving the S5 a re-roll.
- Crack Shot: It is only 5 points. The exarch can create a roiling cloud of death (see above) or use Fusion weapons and ignore cover saves.
- Tank Hunters: Tank hunters makes all the S8+(2)D6 rolls to penetrate armour into S9 + (2)D6 under 5th edition rules. A great upgrade.
- Marching: Small squads can make use of 4+ cover.
- Wave Serpent: Wave Serpents are a great transport in 5th edition.
- Falcon: "Snakes on a Plane", an A+ tactic.
Wraithguard are expensive, short ranged and lousy in close combat. Many people like taking them in large numbers or in a Wave Serpent. Despite such a short range they make it up with the power of the weapon, wounds on 2+ and on a roll of 6 inflicts instant death, they are even better against armour glancing on 3 or 4 and penetrating on 5 or 6
- Conceal: Mitigates the cost of the unit. Pass two Conceal saves and you just got a free Wraithguard.
- Destructor: Similar to a Dragon's Breath Flamer, only more useless, it gives the unit versatility.
- Embolden: A complete waste of points - remember, your Wraithguard are FEARLESS.
- Enhance: Interesting upgrade for the unit, since they still suck in close combat. Haha.
- Wave Serpent: Good upgrade, making them compete with Fire Dragons. Note that in 5th edition Fire Dragons are now S8 AP1 from 12" away, making this less of a power tactic than it was in 3rd edition.
note- the wratihguard are not meant for cc... unless against hordes. they are however meant to tie up units if need be and are good for midrange shooty destruction. their guns are their best asset so getting them locked in combat voids their purpose. they are great against any toughness or armour or wounds opponents and can take anything out by shooting.
Possibly eclipsed by Harlequins in 5th edition, Howling Banshees might be about even now with improvements to Wave Serpents. If you really want to use Banshees well, combine them with a Fortune and Doom Farseer. They get a 4+ cover save now from any infantry in front of them.
- Executioner: Good choice. and great for armoured troops.
- Triskele: You cannot shoot if you Fleet. You were warned.
- Mirrorswords: Work well with Doom, and makes this unit most effective for hordes.
- War Shout: Five points, why not.
- Acrobatic: Gives the unit Counter Charge for five points. Good upgrade.
- Marching: Small squads can make use of 4+ cover.
- Wave Serpent: If Banshees do not take Wave Serpents, who will?
- Falcon: OK choice if you have a Falcon and want to put something in it. i you are just starting with banshees good place to start and can get those six troops there before you know it to kill stuff.
Transport Option: Wave Serpent
A Wave Serpent is an okay tank on its own. It is AV12 on the front and back and has its Energy Field rule, which is helpful against assaulting Meltaguns. Its real weakness: It only has one gun. That, and if you give it a good one you are asking to get shot, 'too many eggs in one basket'. But it is a bit more survivable in 5th edition.
- All the weapon options are good, really. Many people like to twin-link the Bright Lance, I (Tacobake) just like to take the cheapest.
- Vectored Engines are a good upgrade.
- Star Engines are great to get your units on top of the other army, and are also good for capturing points.
- Spirit Stones are OK.
- The underslung Shuriken Cannon is probably unnecessary, but it stacks well with the S4 blast on the EML, firing it as a defensive weapon.
(Edit by Cryonicleech: Quick note here, but 2 Shuriken Cannons is incredibly cheap, and nets you 6 S6 AP5 shots)
(edit by woodbok: spirit stones are a must for wave serpents, eldar are fragile and need to use there speed to there advantage. They cant do that if they cant move)
The unholy gods of 4th edition, Harlequin Troupes are still first rate. Hit and Run took a small nerf, and the new Consolidation rule makes them Bolter-bait at T3 5++. Poor babies. Combine with Doom to take advantage/ alleviate the change to Rending.
- Harlequin's Kiss: Many people consider it a mandatory upgrade.
- Fusion Pistol: Some people like them, some don't. I don't. You cannot shoot if you Fleet.
- Troupe Master: LD10, Power Weapon is a good upgrade too at S4 on the charge.
- Shadowseer: Gives them assault grenades (which are no longer initiative order) and puts them under better-than-Night-Fighting protection. Good buy for marching harlies.
- Marching: Small squads can make use of 4+ cover and Shadowseer.
- Falcon: The old classic, still viable in 5th edition. Moreso that Falcons block LoS.
note- the shadow seer also makes them harder to see by the enemy as well as giving them cover so moarching is really the safest bet as the enemy will only be able to see a maximum of 24 inches. plus with all of them with the harlie kiss... the enemy will pray for death.
Subpar in the earlier book, Dire Avengers are an A choice in the 4th and 5th editions.
- Power Weapon and Shimmershield: First rate choice, gives the squad a real role in close combat.
- Dire Sword and Shuriken Pistol: It is not a Force Weapon, it is a Dire Sword.
- Two Shuriken Catapults: Good choice if you want more shooting, or if you want to be awesome.
- Defend: Gives the squad the equivalent of defensive grenades in every round of close combat. Must have. [These are far better than defensive grenades. -Spycer]
- Bladestorm: Very cool power, perfect for using transports or before you charge.
- Marching: Very viable, even for small squads. Quality infantry. They are even LD9.
- Wave Serpent: Why not. Good for popping out then bladestorming a squad.
- Falcon: Why not, although there are probably better options.
Rangers and Pathfinders
Rangers upgraded to Pathfinders especially do well in cover (watch out for flamers) and stack with Doom. Quality infantry. Note that while Pathfinders get their improved rules, they also keep the Ranger Infiltrate rule as well.
Guardians are Guardians. Meaning they are LD8. They go well with an Avatar and provide decent bulk infantry. You can take them 10 man squads with say a Brightlance or you can bulk out larger squads.
- Small (10 man) squad: OK choice, they work well on their own or with an Avatar. Make sure you give them a good gun and do not be afraid to commit the Shuriken Catapults (S4 at 8 points) and get into combat when the time comes.
- Moderate (13/14 man) squad. Good choice, give them Conceal and watch them be awesome.
- Large (17+ man) squad. Probably better off breaking your Guardians into multiple squads, unless you really want one big one. They are not Orks, they are not Imperial Guardsmen. Dude, they are Guardians.
- Brightlance: Good weapon choice. Plunk-plunk, giving you some extra anti-tank in the early game. You can still let rip with the Shuriken Catapults when the time comes.
- Eldar Missile Launcher: OK choice but you may as well go with Brightlances. You can put EML on Vypers and Warwalkers if you really want. It has the pinning blast, of course.
- Scatter Laser: Good weapon choice. You always want a couple for shooting at Land Speeders and Rhinos.
- Shuriken Cannnon: Not the best choice, take something longer ranged for when you are running away.
- Starcannon: AP2 is good against FNP. Call it an OK choice, if you really want it.
- Conceal: Great choice.
- Embolden: Good choice, pity you cannot take two powers.
- Enhance: Personaly this is a good choice. This ensures your oppenents get a nasty surprise when they think they will just walk through them. Become WS4 and I5. Almost as good as Dire Avengers, just needs to work on that 5+ save. So, if your tired of people picking on your poor defenceless Guardians in close combat, then take this upgrade and give those nasty bullies a surpise. This also means that you can charge them forwards with fleet, and they will be ignored, i mean they are just silly Guardians, but wait until they fire off their shuriken catapults and their other heavy gun with an assult to follow. Watch your opponet die of shock when they see the effect.
- Marching: Cannot go wrong with marching Guardians.
- Wave Serpent: If you want a Wave Serpent you probably want Storm Guardians.
- Falcon: There are to many in the Squad for a Falcon!
I personally find Storm Guardians to be useless. That said, one thing they do do is give you a Warlock to help with Wraithlords. So say for 200 points you can take a squad of 10 Scorpions but for 250 points you can take 14 Storm Guardians and a Wraithlord with Wraithsword. So maybe they are OK, especially with weapon options. But at S3 they are just expensive Gaunts, really. With a Warlock and a couple cool guns.
- Fusion Guns or Flamers: Pick whichever you like, and take it. Do not forget the Fusion Guns are BS3.
- Conceal: OK choice if you really like them.
- Embolden: Good choice. In fact, it may be worth taking them just to bring an Embolden Warlock to tie up close combats. Or not.
- Destructor: Probably not the best choice, but you can min-max three flamers here.
- Enhance: On paper, best choice but Conceal or Embolden might work out better in the end.
- Marching: Fleet them up the table.
- Wave Serpent: If you take them, you may as well take a Wave Serpent. Their cheap cost makes Wave Serpent spam viable.
A good use for them: Take Storm Guardians in a Serpent, with 2 flamers and a Warlock with Destructor. 3 templates and 8 Shuri-pistol shots, as well as the Serpent's shooting is pretty nasty.
Guardian Jetbike Squadron
A Guardian Jetbike Squadron can do different things. They can be awesome, they can carry a Shuriken Cannon and they can bring a Warlock.
- Three man squad with 1x Shuriken Cannon. Jump-shoot-jump, shoot the cannon. Try not to die. Count as Scoring.
- Six man squad with 2x Shuriken Cannon. Same thing with a bit more resilience. OK front line unit. Do not forget the Shuriken Catapults are Twin-linked. 8 shots that can stack with Doom.
- Four/ Five man 'Spearlock' squad. A three man squad plus a Warlock with Singing Spear and Destructor. Versatile and scoring.
- 10 man squad with 9 Jetbikes and a Warlock. Toss in a Fortune and Doom Farseer and you have a cheap Bike Council. They can still fly around and Shuriken Catapult infantry. Probably not the best choice. (Turbo-boosting with this and Fortune gives a re-rollable 3+ cover save, it will take 378 bolter shots to kill a squad of 12, brilliant objective nabbing tactics- Pguard. Changes to 5th editon turbo boost rules mean this tactic is no longer available. Can't do anything voluntary other than turbo in the whole turn now, p76 )
- Conceal: Skip the Conceals on this one.
- Embolden: Always useful.
- Destructor: Useful here.
- Enhance: Enhance makes these WS4 I5, not bad. Their achilles heel in combat will still be their leadership at LD8.
The Shining Spears squad are a first rate squad in 4th edition, the change to Consolidation and the Counter Charge rule makes them less useful, but they are still brutal with an Autarch against anything with an armour save.
- Shuriken Cannon: At BS5, why not.
- Power Weapon: Why? It is utterly pointless. you already have a S6 power weapon for cying out loud! What idiot takes a S3 power weapon?!?!!?!?!?!!?!
- Star Lance: Sure, why not.
- Skilled Rider: Awesome.
- Withdraw: Awesome.
note- this is by far one of the better anti tank units you can get. they work well at moving fast and destroying tanks. these can also be great shock troops and can help ot bolster assaults but not take them head on.
(Edit: The power weapon is not pointless, laser lances are only str6 power weapons in first round of combat, Power weapon will always be a power weapon.)
Being moved to Fast Attack, Warp Spiders are a great unit. They have great mobility, a 3+ save and a cool gun. What's not to love. They could use an update on their model but it is still standing the test of time. Exarch is optional. 5+ man with or without and larger squads with.
- At BS5 the Exarch Death Spinner is 10 kinds of awesome.
- Spinneret Rifle is even better.
- Power blades are OK. Just avoid combat in the first place.
- Surprise Assault? If you want. (Pointless in 5th ed now that all jump infantry get to deepstrike anyway - Xen)
- Withdraw: If you are taking an Exarch, you may as well take it.
note- taking any of the exarch powers takes down their usefulness even more. this unit does well against hordes and does a very good job at it. take withdraw if youi know at some point you will get into an assault you can't win. and only assault if most of the unit is dead and you have other cc units close by. they move fast and provide the extra fire power you may need for taking down those units of guard or orks or nids or even to take out marines and whatnot. take the spinneret rifle only if you absolutely need that one tough shot... otherwise always take the dual death spinners just to keep the whole unit geared toward its main specialty of anti horde.
Swooping Hawks are very very efficient at what they do. remember that not every units job is to take the enemy head on. other units are intended to take side positions or to annoy the enemy or attack at key points. this is one such unit that is meant to annoy the enemy. this is also a unit that requires great patience to master.
- Power Weapon: don't take if you include Baharroth. it is a unwise choice and defeats their purpose of avoiding the enemy head on.
- Hawk's Talon: 10 points. great weapon for the added strength and ap. highly recommended for a very shooty and effective exarch.
- Sunrifle: 15 points. great weapon. good amount of attacks and can also pin the opponent. which works extremely well at their goal at annoying and killing key points.
- Skyleap: Yeah! takes them off the field during the movement phase. and when they deep strike they drop the blast again. only use this if you are sure you won't need them soon. like if there are units close to your own objectives or units that can't defend themselves.
- Intercept: Now here is a cool idea, Phil Kelly is on my Christmas Card list for this one. They are the masters of grenades, give them all the grenades and let them kill tanks, too. Awesome! very good for annoying and killing tanks. use this to take out key tanks and only if you are sure units nearby won't be able to assault them after.
The Vyper Squadron is cool, just do not forget they are open-topped or your opponent is going to get shrill. Why Land Speeders are 50 points, no one knows. Note the underslung Shuriken Cannon is no longer a Defensive Weapon although you can fire it along with the S4 on the EML.
- Eldar Missile Launcher: First rate weapon, especially given the range and its ability to target side armour.
- Scatter Laser: Not a bad choice, but there are probably better ways to include them.
- Starcannon and Brightlance: Probably a bit pricey. Just take the EML. If you really like Starcannons, you can take a couple here.
You can take Guardians with an Eldar Support Weapon Battery. Embolden is a great upgrade for a 3 gun battery. It (the Warlock) can also be used to fire the guns, at BS4. Note you cannot do this in regular Guardian squads.
- D-Cannon: Very effective but very short range. useful at defending from high armour opponents but are expensive and require cc units to protect them just incase ;)
- Vibro Cannon: Good. not the best but can be useful.
- Shadow Weaver: cheap and have a long range. these also affect a large area. these are also good at defending your base form hordes as they are S6 and blast.
Dark Reapers are just awesome. Put them in cover and let them fire their guns. While it might seem expensive, a Fortune and Guide or Fortune and Doom Seer (Or Eldrad) works well with them, too.
- Eldar Missile Launcher with Fast Shot: Great combo. and ok against hordes and effective against tanks
- Tempest Launcher with Fast Shot and/or Crack Shot: Great combo. highly effective against high armour targets and great against hordes as well. use the fast shot when enemies are in the open and use the crack shot for high toughness enemies and if enemies are in cover for maximum effectiveness. follow up with the rest of the unit to kill whatever remains
- That, and they do pretty good without an Exarch.
- Wave Serpent: Probably pass, unless you really like them as gunboats.
As long as you keep him near a Seer, the Wraithlord is a great choice.
- Starcannon: OK choice, good place to put one, at BS4.
- Brightlance and Eldar Missile Launcher: Good anti-tank combo.
- Shuriken cannon is good, but remember that it being an assault weapon doesn't really matter, on a MC.
- scatter laser is good against anti horde and high toughness units. and can add extra firepower for those hard to kill units.
- Wraithsword: Good weapon for a cheap running Wraithlord, do not forget it has two flamers on there, too. You can give him a Starcannon or Brightlance with it too if you like.
note- the wraithlord works most effectively if running behind a unit of wraithguard and this will provide he wraith guard with the cc they need in case htey get assaulted and also it can take fire for them and add extra fire of its own.
Oh mai. The War Walker Squadron was good in 4th and just awesome in 5th. They can get Cover Saves now, for starters. The other thing they can do is come in from the sides as Reserves, although you probably want to have them on the table from the start. And the model rocks. Stack with Fortune and Guide. Double weapons on a Wraithlord is twin-linked but double weapons on War Walkers is double shots.
- Starcannon: OK choice, if pricey. Useful if you know you have cover (giving a 4+ save to vehicles) and a Farseer nearby. If you want to be hated.
- Eldar Missile Launcher: Probably the best choice. Long range, anti-tank and they lay down pinning, AP4 templates. With guide you can re-roll the scatter. Awesome.
- Scatter Laser: Just awesome. Lots of shots and good range. 6 of them is 24 shots. Mow down those Orkses, not to mention Veteran Sergeants. Actually, take EML instead. But you get the idea.
- Bright Lance: OK choice but 30 points more than EML for a pair. Take the EML.
- Shuriken Cannon: these are cheap and kill, the real problem is range, but if you take 2 or 3 walkers with all shuriken cannons and outflank thats 12-18 cheap horde killes you have there freeing up points for other places. (I think this as the best option, you are getting a 40pt walker. That's 360pts for 9 which can pump out 57 shots, add Eldrad and infantry won't stand a chance-Pguard)
- Starcannon and Scatter laser is great choice (take shuriken cannon if scatter is too exspensive) They give you a 36" range and 6 shots a model
War Walkers in close combat:
Another use for war walkers, particularly the cheap duel shuriken cannon armed ones, is to tie up enemy units in close combat. Nothing says “Ha ha” like charging a warwalker in a mob of 30 orks or strength 3 hormagants and trapping the unit up for the rest of the game. The large units will wrap around the war walker preventing characters and monstrous creatures from destroying the machine and freeing the squad or squads. With a squadron it might be possible to snag multiple units. This effectively creates a terrain feature on the board that you can freely exploit, if done in an ideal situation you can effectively plug an avenue from the enemy by sealing off a bridge or narrow passageway.
Strength 4 units can only hope to glance the walkers and grenade possessing units will have a hard time at attaching their payload, marines with krak grenades are a threat, but a squad of 10 will be lucky to take down one war walker a turn, his is while they are taking strength 5 kicks to their faces. The war walkers also have an often overlooked, somewhat impressive statline for close combat. Two strength 5 attacks at initiative 4 (3 on the charge) is nothing to sneer at coming from such a cheap point investment (I consider 40 points cheap as the primary function of the war walker is shooting down the enemy with the six strength 6 shots it gets a turn, not punting orks or stomping marines).
Combine this trick with mind war to take out powerfist/claws from a unit before charging in and locking it into close combat for the rest of the game. A lot of dedicated close combat units will be unable to hurt the walkers, and often those that can will not be able to pull down the walkers anytime soon as strength 5 is required to inflict a penetrating against them and grenades only hit on a 6.
You know what are good? Falcons. The Pulse Laser is a great weapon. Give them two more guns and sit them in cover. Or fly around with a transporter. Or do whatever. Not as rock hard as they were they are still annoying.
- Just pick a weapon.
- Vectored Engines are a good buy.
- Star Engines are probably not necessary.
- Holo-fields are a good buy.
- Spirit Stones are OK.
You know what sucked in the old book? Fire Prisms. You know what are 10 kinds of awesome, now? Fire Prisms. The blast scatters now, but it's ok due to available twin-linking and BS4. Note that it's the maximum range shots for Eldar -- 60". I suppose, that three of them would be unworthy, but two is ok.
Upgrades are optional Never take any upgrade due to hull point system introduced in 6th. Personally I skip the upgrades and take say an extra Vyper with EML. That is also why I take Fire Prisms over Falcons. They work well on their own, and their range keeps them safe.
Thanks to Tri for the BS6 guns on the Autarch, the defensive weapon EML and the Warlock with the support weapons. Xan provided some key edits as seen in the article history, especially regarding the use of Fire Dragons. Death to the Mon-keigh!