Thursday, August 19, 2010

Eldar Tactics - critique and some GT thoughts

I read an interesting blog post on YTTH, here. The writer discusses his use of his Space Wolves army at the recent NOVA Open 40K tournament in the Washington, D.C. area. He analyzed how he used the different components of his army during his games at NOVA Open. I thought that it would be an interesting exercise to examine how I should be handling my Eldar.

The latest incarnation of my 1500 point list is as follows:
Farseer - Fortune; Doom; Eldar Jetbike; Runes of Warding; Singing Spear
Autarch - Eldar Jetbike; Banshee Mask; Laser Lance; Fusion Gun
6 x Dire Avengers - in Wave Serpent w/ TL EML
5 x Dire Avengers - in Wave Serpent w/ TL Bright Lances
5 x Fire Dragons - in Wave Serpent w/ TL Shuriken Cannons
5 x Fire Dragons - in Wave Serpent w/ underslung Shuriken Cannon and TL Shuriken Cannons
3 x Vyper Jetbikes in a squadron - each w/ Scatter Laser and Shuriken Cannon
5 x Warp Spiders - including Exarch with dual Death Spinners
Night Spinner artillery vehicle

Following the above-noted article's lexicon, I have three types of units available to me:
  1. Assault - These are units going forward to destroy, delay, and distract the opponent: Warp Spiders, Fire Dragons in Wave Serpents
  2. Support - These are units sitting back and providing heavy fire into the kill zone or otherwise supporting the rest of the force: Farseer, Vyper Jetbikes, Dire Avengers in Wave Serpents, Night Spinner
  3. Security - These units are there to fight off counter-attacks and kill or delay enemy reinforcements: Autarch
Looking at Astronomi-con, there are examples of both good and bad execution of my planning.

An example of mostly good execution is Game Six - Temple of Doom. I used the central temple to mask the initial deployment and movement of my skimmers. I protected the rears of the skimmers with jump infantry and jetbikes, so Charles dropped the Daemon Hunter Terminators into the northwest table quarter, to deal with the inevitable arrival of my mounted Apects, who were placed to move up west of the temple. However, this deployment put the Terminators into the kill zone of the Vypers, who ended up torrenting the Terminators away. The second Avenger skimmer moved east, to draw fire away from the three-skimmer phalanx coming up the middle/west. That lone Serpent had a Bright Lance, so it could not be ignored completely. As it turns out it was destroyed, but by using terrain and each others' hulls for cover, the rest of my transports and their Aspect Warriors got where they needed to be - in the face of the enemy Grand Master.

Bad execution was evident in Game Five - Sulfur Flats. I already mentioned the boneheaded consolidation move I made. I needn't have made it all, though. In hindsight, my deployment of the Vyper Jetbike squadron was very bad. I had thought to use it to get the attention of the Guard vehicles/infantry on the western table half. However, the missile launchers of the infantry could reach the Vypers, knocking out two of them, and Brock wouldn't conveniently maneuver his tanks to give me shots at weaker armour facings. Rather, the Vypers should have been deployed in the southeast table quarter, giving support fire onto the Guard lascannon squad. I could then have left the Eldar HQs behind the rocky outcropping to the east, threatening a counterstrike against Straken and his command squad. Time and distance would have kept the western Guard vehicles and infantry out of most of the fight.

I've started thinking about the Las Vegas invitational next year. I am inclined to take this list using these models, since the tourney will probably be at the 1500 point level.

Some Astro alumni have told me that this particular Eldar force is not optimized for non-Astro style scenarios. However, I've used it with success in basic scenarios from the main rulebook and from the Battle Missions book.

I would appreciate any constructive thoughts regarding tactics or list construction.




Muskie said...

Hope the official North America GT in Las Vegas is at 1500 points, otherwise it'll be 'Ard Boyz style with a tonne of figs crammed in on a six by four table.

The way things seem to be going down South from what I gather is "Leaf Blower" Imperial Guard ie lots of shots and lots of Chimera chasis stuff or you get Space Wolves or Blood Angels designed to run right up and smash you.

A few other builds that always get taken seem to be Vulcan lists and Battle Wagon heavy ork armies so like five or so of them.

Smaller points games limit the number of Deathstar units people can bring and also makes them consider more strongly how many Troop choices they will bring. A lot of tournament lists seem to have minimum troops counting on just blowing the enemy away or hitting them so hard, one or two quarters or objectives is enough to win.

So I don't know much about optimizing your list but practicing against these armies is what I'd do since there is a group of you. Find someone who can proxy lists from the net, but I think they like 2000 or even 2250 or 2500 in their tournaments. Whoever gets first turn or lucky on their reserve rolls wins.


I read some tournament summary and every single army he played was Space Marines or Imperial Guard. It is way, way, way over 50%.

Good luck!

MFraser said...

You operate a fairly high level of 40k gaming. I'm not sure what advice one could offer. What scenarios do they offer at Las Vegas?

DaveV said...

At the moment, I am unsure of what the Las Vegas scenarios will be. However, the U.K. "Throne of Skulls" rules pack has been available for a little while now:

So, potentially just the basic scenarios from the main rulebook.


This Eldar army has good capability for the two objective-based scenarios ("Seize Ground" and "Capture & Control") - even with only two Troops units. You only need to have one more objective than the other guy, so maneuvering, controlling one objective and contesting the rest is the order of the day.

In "Annihilation" games, the goal would be to button up, get some soft kills early, and then play keep away for the rest of the game.

The army has:
- Great mobility
- Resilient tanks
- A way to manipulate reserves (Autarch)
- Lots of Strength 6 firepower (good against infantry, Monstrous Creatures and light vehicles)
- 11 Melta guns (short range, but good against heavy infantry, MCs, and heavy tanks)
- a way to channel enemy movement (Night Spinner)

What the army lacks:
- Scouts (to make pre-game moves)
- Infiltrators (to hinder/prevent enemy Scouting moves)
- Significant long-range anti-tank capability
- Significant close combat capability
- Numbers (losses are really felt)

Reserving the entire army allows me to respond strongly to enemy deployment, especially if I'm going second. However, it means that I give up the initiative for the first two turns. It also means that the Farseer's psychic powers are unusable until at least Turn 3.

Dallas said...

Try to roll as many "6"s as you can...?

Except when testing Leadership, of course. Then roll low.

Follow that advice and you should be good to go!

Seriously, though, I doubt that there are many folks who would be qualified to give you advice on how to run Eldar... you've been doing it fairly successfully for 20+ years. Beat the pants off all of us, anyway.