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Stelek's Eldar Army Analysis

This is my Eldar army template, for those wishing to create an Eldar army.

Unit Critiques

These are the bad units of Eldar.

The Eldar are unique in that if used right the race will be superior, but it is getting to that point of perfection is what Eldarians strive for and few have succeeded in doing.

Wraithguard

Still costs like a terminator, but doesn't perform like one.

A terminator comes with a 2+ armor save, 5+ invulnerable save. A wraithguard has a 3+ save, and can be given a 5+ cover save via a warlock. A terminator has a stand-off shooting capability, that isn't as strong as a wraithguards but does not require moving into 12" to fire. Wraithguard's range is so low, it virtually requires a vehicle to deliver their firepower which isn't impressive against anyone but...terminators. Sadly Fire dragons get more shots that are more effective (against everything but Monoliths) and for less. Terminators all have power weapons. Wraithguard do not. Compare the points value, and I hope you see how Wraithguard do not impress me.

Edited by Alerian: Wraithguard can be very effective in 10 man squads with a Spiritseer. As such, they become a scoring unit that make up the core of most Eldarzilla lists, which include Wraithlords, Eldrad and the Avatar. The Wraithguard funtion not only as a scoring unit, but also as a T6 bodyguard for Eldrad (who casts Fortune on the Wraithguard and the Avatar), and as well as mobile cover save for the Wraithlords. When benifiting form their Spiriteer's Conceal, as well as Eldrad's fortune, they become an nigh unstopable wall that moves methodically towards their goal. Also of note, is that they do very well in CC in this type of list, because they have T6 to say alive, while the Wraithlords and Avatar do all of the heavy lifting and actual killing.

True, one must build their list around 10 man Wraithguard units in order for them to be highly effective; however, when done properly, they become of of the best troops options in the Eldar codex.

So it would seem Wraithguard are possibly one of the better units in Warhammer 40,000; simply requiring a certain combination of talent, style and forethought to be used correctly. I notice that this "Stelek," fellow, whoever that is, failed to point out the Wraithguard are now T6, unlike T5 in previous books. T6 makes them MUCH more resilient against S3/ S4 small arms fire than Terminators, even before Fortune. And at a cheaper points value while Fearless! While lacking power weapons the Eldar list is filled with close combat units and there are very few units in the game that can take down a Tyranid Carnifex with one shot. Which Wraithguard can! Which you can Guide. All in all a solid unit. And we even used to get that cool Special Character Warlock which will probably come back someday. Death to the Mon Keigh! - Tacobake

Howling Banshees

No way to scout, no way to deliver, Harlies do it better.

Tend to suffer from the universal problem of a unit trying to assault out of a transpor that is not open topped, i.e. die to small arms fire.

However they do make a good countercharge unit if you are playing gunline eldar, and feel that you must paint some models with armoured breasts (I have 20, so sue me). Excessivly effective against assault terminators when combined with doom. -- wiskinator

I have to concur that Banshees (which can Fleet) make a great counter-charge. They Fleet, they shoot Bolt Pistols at BS4 and they even have a 4+ save that stands up to Bolter fire. I previously played against an Eldar player that took two small squads of foot slogging Banshees in an Avatar based list. Great player and great games! Banshees have the edge on Harlies because of the 4+ although both benefit from Doom. - Tacobake

REQUIRE their target to be Doomed. Until Eldar gets an assault vehicle, these girls will collect dust. The other option is for the Banshee mask to be an initiative test for the opponent (based on average I) rather than leadership. ArmyC

Warp Spiders

With the changes to the vehicle damage table, say goodnight to this unit.

Yes, you can fire alot of shots at short range.

Then the enemy fires back, and your unit isn't in such good shape.

Edit by Kid_Happy :When shooting at a unit at 10" range and getting an average jump of 7" away you have gotten out of charge range of all infantry models (fleeting models need a 6) and outside of rapid fire double tap range. Usually there are only a few units that can get through the armour or have the range to hit the spiders. Either get them first or keep the cover/terrain between them

Edit by Xen: I'd beg to differ: The changes to the damage table now allow the spiders to penetrate a vehicle, albeit with the negative modifier to damage table due to ap-, and the spinneret rifle just got better in every way. Lethal as ever vs AV 10 and infantry.

Counterpoint by author: As someone who has noticed alot of 5E experts come along lately, here is how it actually works.

Spiders can only penetrate AV11. On a 6. Then they can only kill the vehicle on a 6.

Edit by Kid_Happy :Most vehicles have an AV 10/11 on Rear/Side. Easy enough to get these shots when Deep Striking. As has been pointed out on numerous threads about Falcons, you don't need to destroy a vehicle to make it useless. On AV 10 there will be 12 hits average (without Exarch). 2 Glancing and 4 Penetrating. No shooting for vehicle, and excellent chance main weapon and/or immobilized. Almost 30% of vehicle destroyed.

In short, their effectiveness is a smidge above that of Necron Immortals but ONLY if they roll that 6 to pen.

They can roll a 5 and destroy a vehicle.

When it comes to glancing hits, they are WORSE than Necron warriors are because they need to roll a 6 to even take a weapon off.

Sadly, that classifies them in the suck range.

When you look at just how dangerous it is for Warp Spiders to be on the battlefield, and play with them...you see them for what they are. A unit that has sucked for years and will continue to suck until their weapons are improved.

Spinneret rifle is one shot. I should take a unit for one short-range subpar shot that might, just might, kill a terminator?

Warp Spiders do suck. They can't be hidden any more, and since every army runs into the middle of the table now...where do you plan on hiding your expensive do very little unit?

Edit by Kid_Happy :On a board with some LOS blocking terrain the unit is easy enough to hide with a Warp Jump from the units in range with the firepower/strength to really kill them. If playing on an open board where the opponent can bring every one of his units to fire at the Spider, they'll get creamed.

Torrent of Fire is the name of 5E, and that absolutely wrecks Warp Spiders.

22 points for a T3 marine? Why yes, please take more of them and my army thanks you for it.

Edit by CK - Warp spiders are specialized to kill slow low armored hoard armies. They can kill guardsmen and ork boys, but that's about it. 10 spiders are roughly the same cost as 10 dire avengers and a transport, with a little more mobility. Never use them outside of their very specific role.

Edit by GTKA666 6th ed.- Warp spiders, if used right, can be the unit that lends a helping hand or can be the guerrilla force that harasses units and withers them down to the point where you have other units be the mop up crew. They are great at jumping around and shooting into the rears of tanks that normally only have AV10 and with the volume of shots that they put out it is hard to believe that a tank will survive the brutal assault they give. How many you put into the squad actually defines what the unit is going to do.

The 5 man squads can pop a few units here and there along with a separate 5 man squad wreaking more havoc. Having a 7man+ squad means your looking to annihilate a flank or at least slow it down by killing a squad or two. You don't want to use guerrilla warfare with this group because you have the potential to beat a squad down and possibly force it to run. If not then you can jump out of range and wait to strike again and force the unit to focus on something other than what they were originally going for.

So Warp Spiders could be either the annoying fly that you can never really hit or the snake in the hole, just waiting to strike and swallow up a unit whole.

Swooping Hawks

Imagine two squads of guardsmen, that can move 12" and fire their lasguns 24".

Yeah, not too impressive, is it? Not for 21 points per.

So I don't know who this 'guy,' "Stelek," thinks he is but lets take a second look. OK what can they do. Well for one thing they are mobile. duh. They have OK guns, which need Doom tbh, which you probably really need to use them properly. Oh and look what else they do. They fly around and drop this template on Imperial Guard weapon teams and they can even kill vehicles with Haywire Grenades! WOW! Do they do anything else you ask? Well I'm glad you did! They are also WS4 BS4 I5 4+. I5? You say? WOW. That's right, kids! Swooping Hawks are a solid Fast Attack selection. Now get out there and kill some Mon-keigh! Death to the Mon-keigh! - Tacobake

I have to disagree with Tacobake. You are spending min 105 points on a one time blast template unless you go to about 130 pts for a S4 blast template every turn. Not worth it. If you run them on foot they still suffer difficulty hitting vehicles with grenades. Even on a 4+ a unit of 5 will average 2 glances/ turn. In 4th, that was a big problem, but in 5th you cant kill a vehicle with glances so this is kind of sub par. They are then left standing in the open next to a stunned vehicle with T3 4+ and will die fast. Shooting and melee is near non-existent for Hawks. For the cost they are not worth it. Conversely, Dark Eldar Wytches can get haywire grenades for 2 pts/model on a 10 pt base model that is just as, if not more mobile than hawks thanks to raiders/venoms. -Zephoid-

"Yeah but...." - Tacobake

GTKA666 6th ed.- Swooping Hawks are one of the more 'controversial' units of the group. They have potential to wipe out a good chunk of blobs, but outside of that is where people tend to say their usefulness runs out. They can be used as a last minute objective contester, line breaker, tank buster, and/or mob control. The first two are obvious from the deepstrike ability they have with their wings, but the real issue lines up with living long enough to get to a tank and wreck/explode it. They have the capability to, but they are so fragile that most of the time they never live to see another day once they are done flying back into the sky. They can control mobs, like gaunts, with their grenade packs and dwindling down so that your more shooty units can focus on the scary scary ones or they can come down and the exarch can shoot a gun that shoots 6 shots on its own. Right there that makes it a very interesting thing to invest in, but take into account the fragility of them so you better shoot and then run away since they follow the jump pack rule, that is if you allow them to stay on the field for more than jsut the movement phase.

Support Weapon battery

Pretty much all 3 suck, unless you max them out (so that's 3x3).

These units are dangerous in numbers like that.

Used singly or in conjunction with other heavy support units, they lose the scare factor and gain the laugh factor.

OK Support Weapons. What are Support Weapons good for. Well D-Cannons are a great compliment to Guardian/ foot slogging Aspect armies, which is exactly what they are supposed to do. Deploy, move up 6" or maybe shoot if they are REALLY coming for you. You can Guide them, you can Embolden them, GREAT unit. I (the legendary Tacobake) don't use Vibro Cannons myself but lots of people swear by them. Death to the Mon-keigh!

GTKA666 6th ed.- Support Weapons are one of the weapons that Eldar people are looking to see if they get changed in the new rumored codex. As for now they are not a common unit and are not considered to be competitive. What is a must though is that they should have a body guard at all times.

D-Cannons: This is a great weapon for its point cost except the only problem with it is it's range. At 24" they can be hit at from a few weapons, so target priorities are needed when fielding this. Another thing to consider is that since it is a heavy with a template, you can't even snap fire if you move it. So you should think carefully if your going to use it to maintain dominance over the middle of the board by advancing or will you allow the enemy to come to you and open up an array of fire that can send entire squads into the warp for them to float aimlessly for all time.

Vibro Cannons: This choice has a lot of questions revolving around it. To not address them atm I will just talk about what they can do. First off they don't need TLOS to hit people, second any unit the 36" line hits ( yes even yours) the unit has to roll d6 and that is how many saves the unit has to make and a potential pinning check, but with tanks and skimmers they automatically deal a glancing hit. Now another weird thing they can do is be able to hit units in combat. Wait what? Yes they are probably the only model that can hit units while they are in combat per the FAQ. Now all you have to do is make sure you don't line up with your own unit so that the advantage is all yours!

Shadow Weavers: These are probably the silent kid in the corner that no one pays attention to. Mainly because there are so many things that overshadow it, but the few things it has going for it is the 48' range and ( I believe) it has multiple S6 barrage.

Notice how biased I am with the first two :P.

Special Characters

All the non-Phoenix Lord special characters are good choices.

Phoenix Lords

Still a very mixed bag, but everyone seems to have one thing in common: Pricey!

Asurmen

Uhh he's a tarpit, but with the new CC rules...he's a dead tarpit.

Baharroth

This guy's reign of terror is over. He'll never be good again.

Jain Zar

Sadly, her best place is with...Harlequins.

Karandras

Yes, I'll take two please. Scout, fleet, massive attacks on the charge...nasty!

Maugen Ra

Mr. Everything. He can shoot, he can assault...he's a bad bad man.


While people laud his shooting, its only good in comparison to other Pheonix Lords. He is an assault platform at heart. Best used to support a group of 10 rangers since the similarities of range, rending, and targeting heavy inf. Also the ability to distribute AP2 wounds onto 2+ cover saves or flamer wounds onto armor really helps.

In melee is where he shines. 4 S6 power wep attacks at I7 is incredible. He will demolish regular assault squads, but be wary of power weps. T4 and no inv means hes not incredibly survivable. -Zephoid-

Fuegan

He's like a mini-Maugen Ra. Not quite as good, sadly.

Choosing an Army

Now comes the time where you have to decide what kind of army you want to run.

What Flavor are you?

There are essentially 4 'flavors' of Eldar.

Mech Eldar, Foot Eldar, Bike Eldar, and MC Eldar.

I will show you how and why you run each of these lists.

All of these lists will be 1850 points.

Mech Eldar

This is for those that like the tanks.

HQ

  • Autarch, Fusion Gun. He's there to give you +1 to your reserve rolls.

Troops

  • 4 x 9 Dire Avengers, Wave Serpent w/ TL Bright Lances

Fast Attack

  • 3 x 2 Vypers (or 2 x 3 if you prefer) with Scatter Lasers

Heavy Support

  • Fire Prism w/ Shuriken Cannon
  • Fire Prism w/ Shuriken Cannon
  • Fire Prism w/ Shuriken Cannon

Tactics

This army runs much like a Tau mech army.

Your DA units move up and knock out infantry formations by ganging up on them, usually 2 at a time.

The Wave Serpents knock out enemy tanks.

The Fire Prisms help with hard to kill tanks, or fire blasts at infantry.

The Vypers help with hordes and enemy vehicle squadrons.

You don't engage in CC, because the enemy is dead before he gets there.

You do stick the Autarch with a DA unit, of course.

Foot Eldar

Foot Eldar run a bit differently than a Mech Eldar list, but tend towards the same tactical concepts.

This one is built for assault.

HQ

  • Jain Zar.
  • Karandras.

Elite

  • 2 x 9 Harlequin Troop. Fusion Gun x2, Shadowseer, 8 Kisses.

Troops

  • 2 x 7 Dire Avengers.
  • 4 x 10 Guardian Defender Squads with Bright Lance.

Heavy

  • 2 x 4 Dark Reapers, Exarch with Crack Shot and Tempest Launcher.

Tactics

This army is fairly straightforward.

Jain Zar and Karandras hitch rides with the Harlequins. Anyone who wants to tango with these combined units in CC, please sign here. Your next-of-kin will be notified.

Signatures:

Doomseer

Idiot

Mr. Numbskull!!


The Dire Avengers are escorts for the Harlequins (they sit behind the Harlies). They have a 4+ cover save. They can hurt large enemy units (the bane of Harlequins). After the Harlequins run forward and assault someone, they can fall back through the Dire Avengers. Thus, a nice speed bump for the other guy to overwhelm. And then the Harlies hit home again. Yes, I know the Phoenix Lords do not have Hit & Run. You send them off into a different unit, which they deal with, while the Harlies deal with their own.

The Guardians sit back and try to kill tanks at range. The Dark Reapers will draw fire (and that's ok, you want them to) and will continue to do so until the tempest launcher exarch is dead. S4, re-roll to wound...BS5 to reduce scatter...two templates...AP3...no cover saves...yeah, it sucks to be on the receiving end of that. Usually everyone hit just dies. ;)

Jetbike Eldar

Ok it's 1851 points, sue me. lol

HQ

  • Farseer, Doom, Fortune, Jetbike, Spirit Stones, Witchblade
  • Farseer, Fortune, Jetbike, Runes of Warding, Witchblade
  • 2xSeer Council, 6 total Warlocks, Jetbikes, Witchblades, 4x Destructor, Embolden, Enhance.

Troops

  • 2x Guardian Jetbike Squadron, 9xJetbikes, Warlock w/ Embolden, Witchblade; 3x Shuricannons

Heavy

  • 3x Fire Prism

Tactics

This is a mobile firepower/assault army. You can direct your attacks wherever you need to, against almost all armies out there.

The Seer Councils do most of the work, the Jetbike squadrons and Fire Prisms are support for the councils not the other way around.

Since I've had several requests for Destructor spam, here you go.

You don't run the standard spearlock on the jetbike guardians because their role isn't to hunt tanks.

They support the Seer Council, whittling down the enemy so the Seer Council doesn't get overwhelmed.

The Fire Prisms take out mobile enemy units so only the Eldar are mobile. If it's a horde, the big template is excellent for dealing with that.

MC Eldar

HQ

  • Avatar. Well, he IS a MC.
  • Farseer, Runes of Warding, Runes of Witnessing, Spirit Stones, Doom, Fortune, Singing Spear

Elite

  • 3 x 3 Wraithguard, Spiritseer with Spear/Destructor.

Troop

  • 2 x 10 Guardian Defenders, Warlock w/ Conceal, Scatter Laser
  • 1 x 10 Guardian Defenders, Warlock w/ Conceal, Shuriken Cannon
  • 2 x 10 Guardian Defenders, Warlock w/ Embolden, Missile Launcher

Heavy Support

  • 3 x Wraithlord, Flamer x2, Bright Lance, Wraithsword

Tactics

It's a moving castle.

The Guardian squads with Conceal each stand in front of a Wraithguard unit, who in turn stand in front of the Wraithlords.

So everyone gets cover saves.

Avatar makes the Guardians fearless.

The Guardians with the missile launchers sit in the back guarding objectives (They have embolden so they stick around once the Avatar moves away.)

They can move forward with the castle if there are no objectives.

The Wraithguard provide close range melta-class fire, their warlocks give slightly longer range anti-tank fire and anti-horde templates.

The Farseer keeps the Avatar around, and Dooms whatever is lucky enough to be in range for you to fire your army at.

Wraithlords and Avatar are your countercharge force, with re-rolls to hit on the Wraithlords and the Avatars 3+ to hit everything...you should do well in CC if you fortune the Guardian unit most likely to take a beating in CC, to minimize your casualties.

You do have long range anti-tank and horde killing on the Wraithlords.

Just remember to keep moving in a bunch towards the enemy, you don't have a ton of shooting but anyone that gets close will fear the shooting you do have.

The End

I hope this helps new people. These are all excellent armies that have performed well for me in my many playtests.

The author of this article is Stelek.

Feel free to PM me with questions.


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