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Thursday, May 13, 2010

Eldar Thoughts: Vehicle Upgrades, Night Spinner & anti-horde


So this is going to be a combined post really. First I’m going to cover the final of the Eldar vehicle upgrades (Star & Vectored Engines), point you in the direction of a discussion about this on Warseer (they still believe Stones > Underslung Cannon) and jump up and down on someone saying Eldar don’t deal with horde very well which will draw me into the new Eldar tanks. Lot’s to talk about!

So first the final Eldar vehicle upgrades. We’ve already established Cannons should be taken on everything for the simple reason it’s 3 S6 shots for 10pts, Stones only taken on a Falcon and sometimes Dragon Serpents if you have the points and Holo-fields should only be taken on a Falcon which should avoid melta range. Do the engine upgrades add anything? Currently, no. Vectored engines is a nice upgrade to have, for 5pts. For 20pts across your whole army? It’s just too expensive considering you generally only go flat-out the first turn w/a limited number of vehicles or when you can’t shoot. The increased chance of dying from a hit has been mitigated by the new 4+ cover for moving fast. Now if Eldar had assault ramps and a decent assault unit who could buy Serpents...maybe but still no.

What about Star Engines? No again. The concept is great for a tank to create an expensive mobile cover (i.e. move tank, shoot with something that was behind tank, move tank back) but this costs the vehicle its shooting and there is nothing in the codex worth that amount of sacrifice. They also can’t be used to drop off infantry and then provide cover for them (now that WOULD be useful). I’m also in the camp where you cannot tank shock with them twice but again is it worth taking star engines over a Shuriken cannon which could continue shooting after you lose your main gun? No. So our original verdict on the upgrades stands, keep most of them except the cannon home.

Now that’s done and dusted, new Eldar sprues. Finally (where are those jetbikes)? This makes me hope for a new codex by mid-late next year but I won’t get my hopes up. It also seems to me like they’ve finally heard everyone complaining about the Fire Prism (I think L Industries did a great post about their logic in that...I should go find it) and the top heavy aspect of the model, produced a plastic model (which I think looks terrible and...just not right) and decided to produce another sprue to “box” them together. And the winner is...the Night Spinner!? Okay, fine fine. The rules? Not confirmed yet but S6 AP-, Rng 72”, Rending, Heavy 1 5” Blast, twin-linked, all units hit (or wounded? Not sure) move as in dangerous terrain next turn. Pathetic when we consider the amount of cover though if it turns into Ord Barrage w/some AP it could be useful and doesn’t suffer that poorly against tanks. Even then the Prism still would come out ahead in both anti-infantry overall and anti-tank (remember it’s anti-infantry first like the Dakka Pred). Again, I think this is just a release with the Prism tank and a hint Eldar might be coming out sooner than we could hope but in terms of ‘fixing’ Eldar it does nothing, particularly since it comes in one of the ‘competitive’ slots for Eldar (i.e. Falcon or Prism?).

And this leads us to this little quote from Kelanen:

“As posted above, it's only chance of a slot is that we have Prisms & Lords want to be in pairs, and that then leaves you with a squad of Reapers, a DAVU Falcon or this as the lone 3rd slot, all of which have issues. I'll definitely stick with the Reapers, but if you are in a hordey environment then this be worthwhile.

Incidentally, whoever said Eldar doesn't have a problem with hordes clearly plays a very different style to me. I only ever face MEQ, and to my mind, Eldar have no problem with MEQ - it's hordes that they are weakest against. From that perspective a weapon that shores up that weakness is useful, even if I don't see myself using it personally.”

Yes I do play a different style to you, one where Reapers and Wraithlords are laughed at. Anyway, a standard Eldar mech list is going to have at least 40+ S6 shots and much more if it’s going for Vyper/Falcons over Prisms. Add in the Prisms and you’ve got two large blasts which can combine nicely against anything that might fall out of a transport w/a high save value. Backed up by the fact most horde armies (i.e. Orks) suck against Mech, particularly mech which can move 12” and still fire. Eldar laugh at hordes because they can move 6” fire everything, move 12” fire main gun, move 6” fire everything, etc. as their front line and their back line of skimmers can just stay put and fire all the way minimising cover due to speed. Then if we actually have to get the Storm Guardians or Dragons out you’ve got happy time templates. What Eldar struggle against is Mech. Because mech is now good across all armies Eldar have lost some of their advantage in speed. They then don’t have reliable anti-mech outside of Dragons but rather rely on mass S6 shots to ping things to death. Add in the increasing dominance of psychic powers across the game and they’ve lost an edge there, too. As was replicated in the two WBR’s using Eldar (5/5/2010), Eldar really have only one viable build, Mech and then due to old pricing and a lynchpin of Dragons, Eldar have become increasingly predictable as more armies can match their psychic and mobility strengths.

From this perspective, the Night Spinner adds nothing. It’s essentially an anti-infantry based form of the Fire Prism but with the Fire Prism still currently better (unless the Night Spinner is significantly cheaper), the Prism is still going to win out. Now if the Prism (or Falcon) were moved into the FA slot next codex...you can see the logic behind this somewhat (if the Night Spinner ends up being Ord Barrage w/some AP).

On a side note, yesterday the blog generated the most hits so far, 1074 and has been averaging 800-900 for a while now. Good to see the circulation up :) (it’s the pink isn’t it?).

4 pinkments:

Chumbalaya said...

Seems like a shitty gun if that's all it's going to have. Now, if it were at least AP6 we'd have something to work with.

Must...read...pink...

Karnstein said...

I think your vehicle upgrade analysis is right on the spot. But I tend to disagree with your view on the night spinner.

The value of the spinner will rise or fall with how the special rule for the tl. shadow weaver is spelled. 1. Does it inflict dangerous and difficult terrain test on units only hit by the gun and 2. how long will that effect last. If you don't need a wound and the effect holds for one turn, I will swap my prism tanks out for it. And I think at least the "any unit hit" ruling is reasonable if you take a look of how GW described described that kind of weapon back in ed2+how the old warp spider weapon worked back then.

Let me tell you my reason for the prism to spinner swap, starting with some words concerning my play style and the local surrounding:

First off I don't like Footdar, so my choice is between a fully mechanized army or one, which makes use of a jetlock council.

Concerning my surrounding: Here in Germany you see two new trends in tournament/competitive gaming at the moment. Lots of guys swap out their first choice armies for SW/BA/SM. Second trend is a move from SS/TH-filled raiders to razorback-spam (esp. with BA dex) and terminator walls (SM dex).

This leads to a lot of loyal MEQ armies running around, plus some ork players going green tide with lootas and lots of IG players.

With the amount of LOS-blocking terrain on german boards sometimes being a little bit lacking and the high chance to run into a army fielding 1-3 guys who can negate/block fortune, jetlock council is dead for me.

So not let's move over to the prism vs spinner comparison:

Spinner doesn't need doom, since he is s6 and the lack of ap doesn't hurt my in most cases, because most targets for the prism tanks large blast template either wear power armor, sit in cover or carry their own cover save (orks with meks + kan wall in front of them), so the lower AP of the prism tanks won't matter.

This only leaves the small blast template from the prism tank and around here most guys who play lots of oblis or terminator walls are too clever not to space them out the full 2". So most times I hit 0-1 targets, which isn't that good and I can get rid of terminator walls with my 3 large dragon squads anyway. I don't really need the small template from a single prism tank and the combined effect is too easy to negate with proper fire suppression.

Now what does the spinner offer me in return? Good amount of numbers even w/o doom. Better accuracy (we even don' know if GW will give him BS 3 or 4 yet) thanks to being twin-linked. The ability to slow down any non-mechanized units + enforce pinning tests. And if the rumor is true and you enforce dangerous/difficult terrain tests for a full player turn, you can screw up enemy battle plans a lot. You don't move 6+d6+12 inch with a TWC anymore for example. And don't forget that dangerous terrain tests are not affected by wound allocation. Each single model has to test and you can't circle wounds around. That way you work around complex wound abuse...with a bit luck a squad of boys, which moves, fleets (waagh) and attacks loses his claw-nob or even the mek with the field hiding in it. Try that with a fire prism.

And nobody knows if the special rule doesn't affect tanks. So depending how the rules work out, the spinner could be either a "must have" or a "apo only" unit for me.

Cheers, Karnstein

Lauby said...

All right! A reference to me. Everything is comin' up Lauby.

I'd really need to see some confirmed rules on the Spinner in order to make a serious decision. But if its AP -, not ordnance and in a heavy support slot, then Its pretty worthless to me. The nice thing about the Prism is that it can sub in for anti-tank duty. Which is very important against the people I regularly play with.

The night spinner is going to have to be very good to replace that. Or cheap and in the right slot.

Kirby said...

Gah, annoying. Comment disappeared. Anyways, Karnstein made an excellent case of why Mech Eldar is pretty much the only viable build currently so he will get getting 10 internet cookies in the mail.

However, I still disagree with the Spinner analysis :P (I'm summarsing what I said previously now). The Spinner is focused on one type of army: assaulting foot armies. It doesn't have an AP so doesn't really scare shooting foot/hybrid armies or mech armies. When things do fall out of tanks all the Spinner is being used for is it's special ability, much like murderous hurricane but on an AoE scale, which is not bad.

The problem is its niche pocket. Most armies don't really care. Now if it was given Ord Barrage 1 (or D3? I like D3) 5" Blast & AP 6 (maybe 5 so it can kill Guard too), I can see this guy being a lot more useful (again particularly if the Falcon is moved to Fast Attack). These changes make it more useful against all armies. It can damage mech due to Ord & an AP although not reliably, it's not as useless as it was before and with the added AP it can actually kill hordes that don't move. It's still being bought for it's special ability but as it stands a Prism is generally better against all opposing lists if the rumoured rules are correct.

Again, against assaulting foot armies like Jumpers, Orks (lol), TWC & Tyranids it works a charm. Against mech or stand and shoot armies like SM, IG, Tau, etc.? Not so helpful.

I like that GW is trying to release supplementary items but it has to stay balanced in their current codex (if for example they made it 80-90 points, well it would be competition for the Prism as you can fit more into your army elsewhere). So hopefully we'll see a change in the actual rules when it's released or when the codex is re-released (really I think GW should errata all Eldar AV12 vehicles to be 20 pts cheaper =D).

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