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Saturday, April 17, 2010

Eldar Vehicle Upgrades: Spirit stones and Shuriken Cannons



We’ve covered holo-fields and specifically falcons and fire prisms before so I thought I might complete the ‘series’ here and talk about other upgrades for Eldar Vehicles, specifically spirit stones and chin shuriken cannons. Commonly you will see spirit stones on every Eldar AV12 tank possible which adds up over an army and these are often taken in the advent of last turn contesting. This is a crap tactic as the premise is you need to tank shock/go fast to claim/contest objectives. If you are planning on this every game you need to play better and change your tactics. Whilst as a fail safe it’s excellent, it’s not worth the 90+ points you pay for it.

So is it really worth it for stones? Conventionally most armies don’t run extra armor anymore. With the changes to the armor damage table (1/6 chance to stun) and general increase in stun ignoring upgrades, they are less viable. EA however is still used on important units which need to get into combat such as terminators and with Spirit Stones being cheaper it certainly is viable to use them in this role but not across an army. So, I would therefore advocate stones on your Falcon (combined with HF) to give a really tough tank which is pretty much always going to move and score (stay out of melta range) and you can argue they can be on Fire Dragon serpents as they are often very important in the scheme of things.

However, taking them across your army is simply a waste of points. Whilst Eldar are relying on their speed to keep them in play, the chances of multiple stuns across your army is not worth coughing up the points as your army holistically can still operate and even mass stones isn’t going to overcome a mass stun (it may alleviate it but it will not overcome it). If your tank can’t move and gets assaulted well tough luck, that’s 40k. I’d much rather that extra tank to force the spread of my opponent’s firepower and add another unit which they need to deal with.

This is obviously more of the less is more approach but what about an upgrade that is useful? Every Eldar vehicle has the option of replacing their TL-shuriken catapults with a Shuriken Cannon. For 10 pts. What armies can unconditionally put out 3 S6 shots on a tank for 10pts? Nothing jumps to mind. Replace all those stones with ~30 S6 shots is just jaw dropping and for the majority of Eldar tanks (Vypers, Serpents and Prisms) it offers some weapon durability to the tank. Most times when one of the aforementioned tanks suffers a weapon destroyed result, its pure offensive capabilities are reduced to near null. Double the heavy weapons they carry and it takes two weapon destroyed results for this to happen. No longer is a Fire Prism essentially useless when its Prism Cannon is taken off nor a TL-BL serpent just a transport, etc. When you multiply this across the army and get ~30 S6 shots, suddenly you have a huge amount of firepower which is both capable of anti-infantry and anti-tank duties. Why would you ever leave home without them?

So stones are very situational. Excellent on Falcons w/DAVU and HF but even questionable on Dragon Serpents whilst Chin-Shuriken Cannons offer a lot of cheap firepower to the Eldar army, duality to tanks like a TL-BL Serpent and a certain amount of redundency on single weapon tanks.

4 pinkments:

Chumbalaya said...

Chin Shuricannons ftw, massed S6 is never a bad thing. Eldar have problems with massed mech, so why not increase your chances against it?

The_King_Elessar said...

MechDar also struggles v Hordes, because of lack of Flamers and Fire Points. Adding S6 shots makes a load of difference.

MagicJuggler said...

"BUT ITS NOT A DEFENSIVE WEAPON SO YOU CANNOT FIRE UR SHORT-RANGE CATAPULTS AT THAT VEHICLE UR FIRING UR BRIGHT LANCE AT!!!"

:/

Raptor1313 said...

Yeah, I'll never get the folks that'd prefer the TL shuricats. A gun that MIGHT annoy an infantryman (or kill a guard/termagant in the open) or a second weapon that can reliably wound infantry, and threaten tanks/MC?

I WONDER!

I'd rather have at least the ability to THREATEN Rhinos and Chimera flanks, and handle anything I can point it at smaller than that, than have the useless shuricat.

Past that, I"m with you on Stones, more or less. Consider it on the Fire Dragon serpents, and it's a thought on Falcons (maybe) and it stays in the armory past that.

Frankly, Eldar need all the guns they can get.

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