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"Pink isn't a color. It's a lifestyle." - Chumbalaya
"...generalship should be informing list building." - Sir Biscuit
"I buy models with my excess money" - Valkyrie whilst a waitress leans over him

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

BoLS and Eldar

Well for their follow-up post to Eldar in 5th edition it could of been worse and I'm quite impressed with a few nuggets of "gold" such as:

With a mech list you are paying for speed, fire power and defense against small arms fire. To get this you typically have to give up numbers. What this means is that what you do take must perform its function in your list well, or you will not win games. This list’s overall strategy is speed, overwhelming force applied where needed, and the ability to always alpha strike your enemy and react to him after he has committed to his game plan.

That's pretty good general advice and particulary applies to Eldar due to their 24" movement speed. So kudos to Bigred there. Now I don't want to rage all over BoLS again (I'm getting too old for that) but if you can find Smurfy's comment he rages pretty well :P. I'm going to pick out what irks me the most and show why it's wrong. If you have any other questions about this post just let me know and I'll explain (or if you want to know what other nuggets of "gold" there are in there...). So let's see what Bigred says about Eldar Elites...

The next section to fill this list out is Elites, where Eldar are spoiled for choice.

No they are not. They have let's see...Fire Dragons and Harlequins and in most games you want to be using triple Fire Dragons. Why do Banshsees/Scorpions not work? Their reliance on a transport. If you were making an assault based army, that's fine (see Blood Angels, Space Wolves, etc.) as you don't have a max of 3 "assault units". As it is, getting into assault range with these two units is difficult. Zoom forward and get surrounded and if you are destroyed, byebyesquad or leave yourself some room and watch your opponent run away (because they are generally mech'd up, too). This means at some point against competent players you have to get out on foot a turn before you can launch an assault and then they are dead. Harelquins can at least move quickly w/MTC, fleet and an invul save + their Veil of Tears. Furthermore, what do Banshees and Scorpions scare in combat? Orks for Scorpions (or anything with I4 or less and high saves) and that's about it. Banshees need Doom to work. Sorry, but I'd rather Doom something I can shoot to death because if the Banshees don't wipe their opponent, they'll suffer a lot of deaths with T3/4+. Oh and if they do wipe their opponent they suffer a horrible death to shooting (again here Harlequins at least have an invul, Veil of Tears and Hit & Run). So really Banshees need a Farseer to run properly with Doom/Fortune and relying on another unit for one unit to work is not a good idea. Scorpions are a glorified and slower Assault Marine squad (who aren't great at combat) but they have the added disadvantage of needing a transport. And then taking either of these (or Harlequins) makes you lose out on Fire Dragons. Hands up if your army wants a squad which costs 16pts a model with a BS4 meltagun and meltabombs. Every army raises their hands. It's simply that good.

For this list I think a solid mix of units is the best choice as in a tournament or league setting where you may not know who your opponent will be, you need to be prepared for any list. Therefore, taking one full unit of Fire Dragons with an Exarch with Firepike and Crack Shot, a full unit of Banshees with an Exarch with an Executioner and Acrobatic, and a full squad of Striking Scorpions with an Exarch with a Claw and Shadow Strike, all of them in Wave Serpents with Spirit Stones with Shuriken Cannons, gives you a wide range of very fast units able to engage a number of different opponents. I know many number crunchers will make the argument that 6 Fire Dragons is the optimal amount to destroy any vehicle (baring a monolith), and that no more than 8 of an assault unit are needed as it makes the squad points inefficient, but in practice with a list with this few bodies, you need to get more than one assault out of the combat specialists and those fire dragons need to destroy more than one tank to make the list function. More bodies mean more endurance on the board. Also, since in 5th the ability to outflank is transferred to the unit’s dedicated transport, the Striking Scorpions are able to come on from a flank if needed which can really disrupt an opponent’s plans.

So, tournament settings. Fire Dragons again. Everyone has some form of tank/MC or high T/low save unit out there. If not ya DBF is pretty damn good. Why are we taking other squads again? Where does our redundency come in? If you do versus a mech player they are going to target your Dragons and when they are gone what is your fall-back for anti-tank? In a list w/3x Dragons in Serpents that's 300% better anti-tank. That's 300% more anti-tank targets your opponent has to shoot at. And if you've spread your other AT across your other units (i.e. BLs on Troop Serpents, etc.) there are more anti-tank units to deal with. The pattern? Overwhelm your opponent with targets. Taking one squad when it's very feasible to take two or three is asking your opponent to exploit your weakneses. And they will.

Don't need Spirit Stones all the time as well. On Dragons I like them because it helps you get over on T2 more reliably but again, 3 targets + whatever else you have. They are not necessary but too many Eldar players think the game is "hope I don't die and then tankshock end-game". That's a bad battle plan. The ability to tankshock end game is excellent but is not a battleplan. Also, tell your opponent to neutralise all your Mech by T6 when you've got 9+ AV12 fast skimmers out there. 90 extra points = another Vyper.

Btw Striking Scoprions flanking =/= win. It leaves them isolated and alone 33% of the time.

P.S. that picture is from here. Some really nice paintjobs and kudos to Redbeard.

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