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Thursday, May 27, 2010

Review: Eldar Night Spinner


So the stats are finally out on this 'new' Eldar tank. We discussed the rumors before here but now thanks to Heresy-Online, the stats have been published courtesy of a White Dwarf c&v. Here it is reproduced from H-O:

"The recently released Night Spinner stats are in the new White Dwarf.

Night Spinner…….. 115pts

Night Spinner 12 12 10 3

Fast, Skimmer, Tank

Linked Shuriken Catapult and Night Spinner

Range: 72″ S:6 AP:- Large Blast, Rending, Twin-Linked

Standard Eldar vehicle upgrades apply.

Any units hit moves as in difficult and dangerous terrain during their next turn.

- Nice!"

So pretty much what we expected. No Ord status. No barrage. No AP. No multiple shots. A 5" S6 template which is twin-linked, takes up a Heavy slot and has the lovely abilities of Rending and moving through dangerous terrain. Woohoo. It screws hordes a new one, news flash: hordes aren't good! You do have to account for hordes in your army but Prisms do this nearly as well with more anti-tank to boot. Add in Eldar's ability to simply destroy hordes thanks to their mobility and high amount of S6 firepower...ya not really needed.

For upgrades, same as Prism: chin shuriken cannon and nothing else thanks. Everything else is just a waste of points (see Eldar articles on Eldar vehicle upgrades) and doesn't add to the tank. So 125 pts for S6 AP- 5" blast, AV12 chassis & 3 S6 shots...no thanks.

So potential fixes. Again give it an AP, just 6 and Ord Barrage status and make it under 100pts. Now at least it's competing with the Prism in theory. Make it D3 shots or 2 shots and again, it's competing. Move it into the Fast Attack slot (or more likely the Faclon), now we're talking. The above changes actually make you consider it as you can keep your Prisms and/or Falcons, add more AV12 chassis to your army and not lose out significantly in scoring (DAVU Falcons) or anti-tank (because the Night Spinner is useless against mech or static armies).

Do I think these will happen? Unlikely, we'll see when the new codex comes out whenever. Do I think GW was using this just to release two tanks at once? Pretty much and I'm disappointed in them. They could of made it competitive with the Fire Prism/Falcon without making it an auto-pick and then changed the rules when the new codex rolled around. As it is, this will simply be a fun tool in fun games or another indication to Orks they should stop fielding hordes.

19 pinkments:

Chumbalaya said...

Those would be some great fixes. As-is, it sucks.

Bigfishboy said...

Dont forget! It is barrage! It has rending aswell! Read before you post lol!

Kirby said...

Good job at reading; rending is mentioned. I don't have the WD and haven't seen anywhere mentioned it's barrage. Even if it is, shame Barrage does nothing without AP (you still get cover), multiple shot or Ord status unless you really think pinning is worth taking this over the Prism?

Anonymous said...

The "Moving through difficult and dangerous terrain"-part is AWSOME! Not just against hordes, against almost anything imo...

Thud said...

Just what I needed. More S6. It's not like I have 74 S6 shots already or anything...

MasterSlowPoke said...

Being able to wound 1/6th of a unit just by nicking a single model with the template is pretty neat - bikers and jumpers will be pretty afraid of it. Do you think there's any use in this regard?

Kirby said...

in regards to the difficult/dangerous terrain; no. Again, simply being in Fast Attack as is makes it an okay buy but in its current form it doesn't compete with the Prism or Falcon. The above changes would not only make it viable in my opinion but compete with Prisms/Falcons but I still think one of them needs to go to FA otherwise there's too much competition in Heavy SUpport when you consider the emptiness of FA (Stelek pointed out though if Falcons were moved we'd all just take tri-Falc/Prism which is fair unless the Night Spinner got a real decent buff).

The terrain bit is "neat" as SlowPoke said and that's about it. Eldar need more anti-tank not more anti-infantry.

Karnstein said...

I still disagree and I don't think all the hate it gets is justified.

I won't write much about anti-infantery power, since even a blind one should see that spinner >prism tank against 99% of all non-vehicle targets. The only exceptions are hits with the small blast template against multiwound models sitting base to base or DS terminators, who don't run. If the enemy does use the full 2" formation, you won't score lots of hits, unless you get very lucky with your scatter rolls.

But let's take a look at the anti-tank ability. Prism tank only shines if you field to and tl. them with a combined shot. That means both must be on the table (reserve anybody) and not suffer from a shaken/stunned result. Most MEQ armies beat eldar in the fire suppression game, so if you get more than one shot you're either lucky, a genius or your opponent is a complete moron in my book.

Unless GW faqs the spinner, it works against tanks too. Why? because it says "any unit hit" and a tank is a unit (read p3). No restrictions like they did with JotWW or tempest. LS squadron of 2-3 tempest speeders? clip even one and the whole units needs to take a terrain test. And imo=destroyed thanks to the squadron rule... beat that with a prism tank.

Sure, no Ap sucks if you want to kill a single outright. But if you only look at the suppression aspect, the spinner wins, because some tanks want to move and against other you only need 1-2 turns of stun/shaken to deliver your dragon squads. And with being twinlinked, barrage and rending, you can stun/shake more than one tank esp. against castle wall lists like chimera-wall with hydras behind them or LS squadrons behind rhinos/razorbacks.

Point drop would have been nice, but quit of senseless unless the fix the falcon and prism too. They can still do that with the next codex, so I don't feel cheated. I also don't think a tank with barrage weapons fits into the FA department.

Kirby said...

@Karnstein; I think as it was if it was FA it would receive a lot less hate. I agree in terms of fluff for it being FA, but one of the tanks needs to be and if it becomes the Falcon, the Spinner has to compete much better with a Prism. Add in at least Ord status (I'm assuming it is Barrage? I've heard mixed reports and don't have the WD on me) and it would be a good "de-castling" in terms of making everyone move through terrain (I think this would again me improved through 2 shots or D3 instead of TL). Again though, static armies just giggle at it.

Whilst it's anti-infantry power is without a doubt better than the Prism, the double Prisms have more versatility as you mentioned and versatility is key in 5th edition against other 5th edition armies. Start versusing old 4th ed lists and the Night Spinner would more than likely edge it out.

Karnstein said...

It is barrage...and I'm happy that it isn't ordnance barrage. O-barrage can only shoot unmoved, unless you want to fire it with only using the ordnance rules. Sure, the -1 pinning modifier would have been justified, but ordnance doesn't fit the weapon description (basing my opinion on the ed2 eldar codex).

The question if static armies giggle at it depends on a) the tables you play at and b) the missions you play (or rather the scoring system you use at a tournament). Let me give a quick example from my first game at the last tournament I went to.

Deployment was spearhead and primary objective was kill points. KP difference was used to work out the scoring result, which was 10:10 for a draw, 13:7 for a minor victory and 17:3 for a major one. VP difference could change that result up to +/-3 points. Secondary objective in each mission was worth 2 additional tournament point. In mission one you needed to control table quarters.

Now let's take a look at the table:

Table: http://i801.photobucket.com/albums/yy292/Tabanis/WET%202010%20-%20Platten/IMG_3200.jpg

Huge LOS blocking piece of terrain in the middle, I won the roll of and deployed first against a SW army running 2 squads of longfangs with ML, a squad of scouts, 3 squads of hunters in rhinos, 3 WG guys attached to the scouts&gh, a priest and 3(!) lords with a shield, 2+ armor and a Thunderwolf each, attached to a squad of 3 TWC guys with another storm shield.

I deployed my whole force in the south-east quarter. He deployed his fangs behind the barricades. rhinos+twc with HQs in front of them towards the center of the table. I used the huge wall in the center to minimize the firepower from his fangs, so it was basically a match between his deathstar unit, the rhinos and my whole army. Thanks to him passing 18 out of 21 3+ saves in one shooting phase, it took me 6 turns to kill the freaking unit and I only scored a draw. with his firepower ruined, he started running his LF into the south-west quarter, contesting it in turn 6 and thus scoring the extra 2 TP.

My two prisms tanks did nothing, except for pummeling a small squad of GH and killing one of the LF guys. His uber-unit was spread out quite nicely until it hit my lines, after that he detached all the HQ models, thus denying me any sweet blast hits against them.

Now what would have changed, if I had 2 spinners in that list? More wounds on the LF thanks to having S6... diff/dangerous terrain test for those guys at least in turn 5 after cliping them in turn one. 2-3 turns of dangerous terrain tests for his TWC-deathstar, so some potential wounds w/o giving him the chance to "abuse" the complex-units/multiwound rule. Chance that they would get into striking range one turn later. Heck, w/o his LF getting into the south-west quarter, I could have scored the 2 extra Tournament points.

So yes, the two prism tanks beats two spinners in terms of versatility, but in my book the prism tank is a "jack of all trades, master of none" and I prefer competent units. a single prism tank isn't that good against most armies(esp. if the general is competent enough to space them the full 2") and two get shut down far too easily through botched reserve rolls or enemy fire suppression.

Kirby said...

Ord status gives it some penning ability against tanks. If you want to fire Ord barrage you can't move but without the AP it has minimal use; all you have to do then is be able to see your target. The "chance" to immob a tank is fun but not reliable but if you're reliable suppressing your opponent's mech? It's not that bad. I think Stelek's idea of alternate fire is making it to versatile but at the same time I think it needs more oomp against tanks and static infantry (most static units aren't going to move, different scenarios aside).

A unit's effectiveness should not also depend on the board/mission (btw that building is huge and placed terribly; middle BLoS terrain dictates how a game goes terribly).

Again, as it is just moving it to FA (and a point drop but Prisms/Falcons deserve one, too) will make it usable simply because it's another AV12 chassis but it doesn't add enough to the Eldar army as a whole currently. Prisms are much more competent at bashing units which bail out of transports or get tank-shocked and have some anti-tank ability (which isn't great unlike Warseer thinks...).

Again, the Eldar army is fine against infantry for the most part but needs help against tanks. If you could keep your Prisms/Falcons and add in the disrupting effects of the Spinner? Potential.

Anonymous said...

I play against Tau (Broadsides = ouch) so I find the ability to fire from behind terrain invaluable, especially against those 72", S10 twinlinked shots. Against shooty armies Nightspinner>Fire Prism because of its increased survivability. Against non-mech armies Nightspinner>Fire Prism because of its suppression. Against Mech Fire Prism>Nightspinner because it can kill tanks more reliably.

Karnstein said...

I don't like eldar tanks which can't move&shoot... so don't want an ordnance barrage spinner. Automatic hits vs AV10 in cc are sucky in my book, so I tend to avoid them.

I also think that the spinner is the wrong tank for AT purposes in terms of established eldar background. Making the spinner into a prism v2 tank with decent AT power would be wrong in my book.

I'm not sure if a move to the FA section would help me, since I neither have the points for 11 tanks, nor do I want to run that amount of tanks on a table with lots of terrain.

http://www.gw-fanworld.net/showpost.php?p=2138458&postcount=1 are all the table from the last tournament I played at...

Try move 11 tanks on those tables while staying clear of the small edges to reduce the effect of outflanking units. Unless you only play for fun, you will very likely mimic the local terrain standard on your own tables, if you either train for a tournament yourself, or mainly play against guys who go to tournaments a lot. Playing against each others on a plain desert table doesn't helps you much, if the all the local tournaments to run tables like the ones I linked above.

So for me anything beyond 8 tanks gets really unwieldy, so I even with spinners being FA I wouldn't run something like yriel +3xdragons, 2xdavu serpents, 1xdavu falcon, 2xprism tanks and 2xspinner at 1850.

Basicaly the root of all eldar problems isn't the fact that the spinner can't pop tanks (esp. not in my local area), or that the HS department is overcrowded (it is, but I would rather like to a) see falcons as a BA style upgrade or b) walkers move to FA). It is the fact, that the prism tank isn't reliable and esp. that the BL is way to overpriced for what it does.

@mission efficiency: Well, we now live in ed5 and the flavor of the month isn't "wipeout" or VP denial anymore. 2 out of 3 missions from the rulebook use objectives, so I don't see anything wrong with units excelling in shutting or slowing down enemy movement.

Thought of the day: I wrote so much again, I just could post my thoughts on my own blog, which didn't saw much love in the last week. Oh my! *laugh*

Chumbalaya said...

It's not a Prism and it's not a Falcon. You are losing out on either of those if you take a Shitspinner.

Seriously, that's all there is to it fuckheads.

Smurfy said...

You know, Dangerous AND Difficult isn't that bad for vehicles in the slightest?

1/6 chance to immobilize...it doesn't slow them down at all otherwise.

Kirby said...

@Anon; Eldar aren't Tau. As Karnstein rightly points out, Eldar should always be moving. Ord Barrage does not stop this (it can be used as normal Ord when there is LoS which there should be) but does give the Spinner more of a chance to pen armor so it has some suppression ability. Furthermore, try hiding an Eldar tank. There shouldn't be much terrain that is that big.

@Karnstein; in regards to those boards...too much terrain. 25% =/= 30-50% which some of them seem to be (only 4 loaded up for me) and some of those terrain pieces were quite large. I haven't been to any local tourneys in a while but if their boards were like that I would refuse to go again if changes weren't made. More than 25% terrain starts to stick it to Skimmer/Jetbike/Bike/Mech armies and gives more bonuses to Hordes. See above for Ord barrage as well. Oh and 11+ tanks is easy to field for Eldar and many more for most armies. A lot of Eldar players are cottoning onto Vypers being decent fire platforms for their cost and just replacing a squad of them with a Spinner works out though you still lose out on anti-tank (no more 14 S6 :().

@Chumby; language! lol

Let's break it down some more. Both the Prism and Nightspinner are anti-infantry (no the Prism is not anti-tank, Warseer stop saying it is). In a direct one to one comparison the Nightspinner is generally better but when we take a pair, the Prism becomes much more versatile in essentially having 4 shot types. The Spinner also relies on its secondary bonus (the dangerous terrain) to do more damage (rending btw, is not making up for lack of AP) so against static armies this does little. Again, when it comes down to it Nightspinners are much better at destroying foot hordes which move (i.e. Orks) but these armies are generally inefficient and bad armies anyway or don't care hugely about the wounds inflicted by Nightspinners anyways and are glad there are no AP1/2/3 Prisms about (BA/SW). In the LF example Karnstein wrote before, the chance of them being slowed by the Spinner isn't huge and the loss of the Prisms versatility would of generally hurt.

When it comes to anti-tank Smurfy nailed it. There's 10+ tanks out so it's not going to matter much if one or two get immobed when a Prism which is still a dodgy AT platform, is more likely to put a result on a tank.

Overall, the Nightspinner doesn't excel in shutting/slowing enemy movement. It makes hordes cringe when they move but they should be cringing anyway. Eldar have no need for extra anti-infantry but still need a boost to anti-tank outside of S6 & Fire Dragons. Losing the minimal anti-tank Prisms bring for more anti-infantry isn't worth it currently.

Dave said...

I personally think the Night Spinner has got potential against the right opponent. Yes against mech and static armies it will suffer due to either not being much cop against vehicles or lack of targets to make the most of the difficult/dangerous terrain effect, but against foot horde armies (orks/tyranids) or armies with little in the way of vehicles anyway (necrons), we will see more out of them.

The only way to be certain is to proxy one for a couple of games and I will certainly do that when I have a prism to stand in.

The only problem I have with it is the taking up of a heavy support choice which already is rather crowded. I would personally like to see falcons either moved to fast attack or made dedicated transports for aspect warrior squads (not guardians as min squad size of 10), which will free up heavy support slots. I don't think fire prisms or spinners should be used in squadrons as this won't help get more heavy support on the board except in bigger point battles.

Eldar do need a bit of help in the anti tank department currently. S6, Missile launchers, bright lances, prisms and fire dragons only go so far in the ever popular 5th edition environment. Still, we make do with what we have until the next codex comes out (whenever that is).

Kirby said...

Excellent points at the end Dave but the issue with taking a unit against specific armies where there is a large opportunity cost is its general ineffectiveness against those armies. Psychic defenses would be a great example on the flip side. 50% of games I imagine you wouldn't see psychic powers but you're not losing a massive amount to get that ability into your army.

MagicJuggler said...

As Kirby said, most Eldar armies take a Farseer anyway, for Doom, Guide, etc. It's not much of a stretch to add Runes of Warding to the equation.

Contrast with a Spinner, which comes at opportunity cost to a Falcon or Prism. Or with Banshees/Scorpions, which come at opportunity cost to Harlequins/Fire Dragons. Slotwise competition/opportunity costs exist beyond simple point values.

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