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Sunday, September 12, 2010

Eldar.


Rather, 'the' eldar list.

Surely, you must have heard of it.

Eldrad - 210

5 firedragons: wave serpent with twin-linked brightlance and spirit stones - 225
5 firedragons: wave serpent with twin-linked brightlance and spirit stones - 225
5 firedragons: wave serpent with twin-linked brightlance and spirit stones - 225

5 dire avengers - 60
5 dire avengers - 60
5 dire avengers - 60


Falcon: holofields, spirit stones, scatter laser - 175
Falcon: holofields, spirit stones, scatter laser - 175
Falcon: holofields, spirit stones, scatter laser - 175

And at 1500 points, you're 90 points over the limit. Obvious, right?
Look at that list. On the table, it's gonna have 6 units. 6 units at 1500 points? Sure, okay. Maybe eldar just aren't built for small games? Let's assume that, and look at what's usually added to a 2k list.

We naturally take all of the above, and can add one of the following gimmicks, but no more than one:

3 yo-yo 'hawks (5 man swooping hawk squads droppin' plates). Cost: 396.
2 counter-assault knights (4 man shining spear squads with withdraw). Cost: 354.
2 star avengers (5 man dire avenger squads, aboard scatter laser, stones, and star engines serpents, used for last turn contesting/grabbing). Cost: 376.
2 template guardians (10 man stormguardians, armed with two flamers, led by destructor 'lock, and aboard a shuriken cannon and spirit stones serpent). Cost 474!
3 min-max bikers (3 guardian bikes, one shuriken cannon, and embolden warlock). Cost: 378.
1 wraithwall (10 wraithguard, spiritseeer warlock with embolden, taken as troops, and used to 'protect' Eldrad). Cost 396.

And that's all.
Yes, really.
That's all.

Surely, those units are few in number because they's so potent, indestructible, and overpowered cheese fests? After all, this is DAVU sac melt mechdar we're talking about, with the potential for yo-yo or wraithwall, and led by the all-conquering god of magic himself - eldrad the bearded cheese wizard!

Haha, no.

At 2k points, my marines will have 6 rhinos, 2 plasmabacks, and 3 predators. I pack a librarian, so after the first turn, the bearded cheese wizard risks being defanged.
Think about that for a second. 11 vehicles. Eldar gets 6 default, and can add up to 2 more.

While we're at it, let's compare ranged anti-armor firepower.
So eldar gets 3 pulse lasers, 3 linked lances and...and, what? You expect more? My god, n00by! They have Eldrad! No one needs more ranged armor-neutralization when you've got eldar.
But in all seriousness, that's what you can expect eldar to pack as a guarantee. 6 long-ranged anti-armor weapons.

My marines above have 2 lascannons on sternguard, 2 plasmabacks, 11 hunter-killers, 3 autocannons, and 2 multi-meltas. In total, that's 22 long-ranged anti-armor weapons. Oh my.
Yes, indeed.

Of course, if eldar wanted to, they could go twin strength 6 guns on all their 6 guaranteed vehicles. Yes, that's 12 guaranteed anti-armor weapons. Yes. they have no more than 36 inches of range. Yes, strength 6 does in fact only score penetrating hits versus rhinos on 6's. Yeah, they're all ballisticskill 3. Yes, the serpents pack a linked gun. No, this is nothing to fear.

A fun fact that's sure to tickle you in all the right places
'My' marines are just a common mechanized army. It's not a top-of-the-line super army. A more optimal one would have rifleman dreads, more plasmabacks, and landspeeders. That means even more long-ranged anti-armor shooting.

Okay, so maybe it's just mechdar. Of course, those 6 units are still 190% badass and awesome, but they're just 6, so not enough in the current metagame trends of WH40k, aka tankhammer/MEQhammer (grumble grumble, marines cheese SM thundershield eldratar flying circus grumble, FLEETING ASSAULT TERMINATORS OF SHRIKE CHEESE OMG! CAMEMBERT! grumble DAVU) and we need to search for other options.

Looking over the codex, you'll realize that eldar does indeed have quite competent infantry. It's expensive, yes, but this doesn't detract from the fact that eldar infantry is mostly competent.
So, okay, since mechdar didn't cut the limburger, let's look at footdar.

Eldrad - 210
Avatar of the cheese god - 155

6 scorpions: exarch with infiltrate and move through cover - 133
6 scorpions: exarch with infiltrate and move through cover - 133
6 harlequins: master with power weapon, shadowseer, 2 fusion pistols, 5 kisses - 198

15 guardians: scatter laser - 135
15 guardians: scatter laser - 135
15 guardians: scatter laser - 135
5 rangers - 95
5 rangers - 95
5 rangers - 95

Wraithlord: twin flamers, brightlance, missile launcher - 155
Wraithlord: twin flamers, brightlance, missile launcher - 155
Wraithlord: twin flamers, brightlance, missile launcher - 155

Okay, so it has 3 'blobs,' 3 'invincible' scoring units, 4 super-mega monsters - one of which creates a fearless bubble - 3 'hardcore elite' assault units, and the cheese wizard himself - eldrad the great and terrible.
So yeah, here's how this army plays.
You multi-charge the 'tar and the lolords while they're close to guardians, kill the guardians with buttstocks and knives, and laugh as the lolords and 'tar poof from no retreat wounds. "I have to take take 8 armor saves for each!? But you only killed my guardians!"

Firepower-wise, it has the same problem as mechdar. but this time around, the carrying units have ballisticskill 4, are open to poisoned attacks (sternguard, all tyranids, etc.), and can only move 6 inches a turn, plus must stay within range of Eldrad, or risk not moving at all ("BUT IT'S ONLY ON A ONE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!").

So it has 9 ranged anti-armor guns. Okay. What else does it pack?
Toughness 3 infantry. Lots of it. More precisely, 78 toughness 3 infantrymen. At roughly 2000 points.
Seeing as how imperial guard gets 50 toughness 3 bodies for some 300 points, this is not impressive.
Out of all those 78 dudes, only 12 are resistant to flamers of any type. Range 12 or less for pretty much everything.

Alright, so footdar's not good, either, but this must surely be coincidence. VT2 only picked the bad units, and has no idea how great and powerful the eldar truly are. They must be awesome, since they win all the tournaments alongside orks. The secret must be in the way it's played - what with great generals turning conscripts and bolt-action rifles into the most hardcore of forces. For realz, you gaiz.

No.

Eldar are very bad, and very poor. To dispell the fear you have for the elves, look at the numbers.
2000 points. 4 monsters. 78 toughness 3 infantry. What can tyranids pack in at that level?
2000 points. 8 vehicles max. 3 suicidal melta-units that are guaranteed to die after delivery. Almost no ranged guns capable of even threatening rhinos. What can guard and space marines do with 2000 points?

The truth is, eldar are only strong if you're suffering from forumitis - exactly like the orks.
The difference between green and elf is that while orks are powerful and bad, eldar are purely bad.
Kids playing against kids, the ork is just as viable as any other modern or semi-modern army. Veterans playing against veterans, the ork still has a chance, although a much smaller one. Good list versus orks, orks lose almost everytime, but not 100%.

Eldar have shiny blades, but they're not sharp at all. Almost every unit they have is overcosted and bad. Their troops are second to necrons in worthlessness, and are such a liability you only ever think of them as scoring upgrades for falcons. Your primary meltaplatform is taxed 100 points at the least, and will die after it slags a unit. Fast attack is almost out of the question, with such greatness as shining spears - 35 points apiece, 1 attack assault units, at a massive toughness 4, and with 3+ armor save. That's almost assault terminator cost for a tactical marine on a bike, in case you didn't know.
Falcons cost more than twice as much as dakka predators, and really have WORSE firepower, thanks to being ballisticskill 3, and only getting two actual guns.
Your monsters are few, and built around the old 'monsters assassinate characters and hidden powerfists'-template. Two attack wraithlords. 90 points base. Does it get anything fun? No, just toughness 8, and a handicap rule that declares it must stay within range of a psyker to be guaranteed to function. Overpriced guns.
The most expensive, overpriced, and bad transport in the game. Trukks are better than serpents, because you get 3 for the price of an unblinged one, and people can shoot and charge out of it. It's cute to be immune to melta, but melta isn't used to kill you at range, but massed autocannons, krak missiles, and similar.

The 'good' units, for those who are interested, include harlequins, farseers, scorpions, dragons, and that's it.
Passable things, or things that you otherwise need, are falcons, dire avengers, and nothing else.
Because 5h edition is indeed about armor, and you have to bust it, you must add vypers with your spare points, or else you simply will not have enough firepower to survive in uncomped environments.
Since books have gotten a lot more teeth in combat (all tyranids, space wolves, all blood angels, combat-focused marines, blob guardsmen), it's now necessary to include something that can not only stop/'tarpit' such units, but destroy them.

"So are you saying that eldar can't compete at all now?" They can, to a certain degree, but it requires an alternate build - one that takes advantage of what they actually have, rather than what warseer and BALS pretend they do.

That's just currently, however.
With dark eldar as competition soon, the vanilla elves will look so much worse, and once knights pop out, their psychic might and puny lack of AP will doom them until a new codex is created.

Let's hope it's not another Gav Thorpe copy-paste job.

16 pinkments:

Autarch James said...

I agree with you completely. The Eldar were my second army when I started playing the tabletop game a year and a half ago (I'm a Dawn of War convert.) For the past several months I have been playing them casually and at tournaments while I build up my Blood Angels army. I have tried several different builds and regardless of opponent, or tactics, or my attempts at synergy to overcome some of their glaring weaknesses, I have always fared poorly with the Space Elves.

I jumped on the Eldrad bandwagon almost immediately. Since Librarians of some sort seem to be the HQ choice du jour, there's a proliferation of psychic defenses, including table-wide hoods and the ridiculously good jamming abilities of the big lump of Rune Priests every Space Wolf player seems to have. Eldrad is useless a fair amount of time when I field him, and in an army that lives and dies on psychic power, you just can't afford that.

As you pointed out, you can't field enough of their vehicles to compete with the other mech armies out there. The points costs compared to utility of their units is ridiculous.

I've taken what I thought were the best lists I could manage to tournaments. My first tournament I was massacred three times, by the likes of such esteemed opponents as Tau and Sisters of Battle. The second tournament I fared only marginally better, with one massacre and two major losses - although Eldrad did have one shining moment where he fortuned himself and survived the massed firepower of an entire IG army...

Anyway, just wanted to conclude that your assessment of the SpElves is correct from my experience. So, just like Dean Stockwell did to Lucy Lawless on Battlestar Galactica, I boxed the whole line. They're tucked away in my closet somewhere, waiting patiently for a good codex to come along. Hopefully they won't have to wait as long as their dark brethren have....

Wallshammer said...

Some of the examples are a bit eldar hate, no? You're multicharging guardians, an avatar AND multiple wraithlords with one unit? There isn't a unit in the game that can do that, nor a real instance where that will happen.

Heretic said...

I have to disagree with you both, VT and AJ. I started playing 40k with Tau two years ago when 5th ed. came out and played them for almost all of those two years. Recently I've been playing a slightly different style of Eldar than you posted VT and I've been having a lot more success than I did with my Tau.

The primary advantage I see with Eldar is their ability to dictate, to some degree, where the fighting will take place with their fast vehicles. My seer council (on bikes, I know horribly inefficient) is the only real weak link I find unless I'm fighting our local Templar player who has the best army I can think of against Eldar. Psychic stop is an annoyance, but I've had enough luck with my lance serpents and fire dragons to take out enough vehicles while my fire prisms take out their contents.

The points costs of some units seem to be a bit high (primarily the council) and there aren't any appealing fast attack choices, but I think that if you play to the speed of the Eldar and can focus on just one target, the codex works rather well.

Gunn Bot Mk IV said...

Eldar got the same 4th ed treatment that Chaos did. Lots of people thought they were overpowered, so they made a 4th ed codex simply to "rebalance" them. Both codices were made much more flexible, but were also made less powerful. I can't think of any actual new units in the codex compared to its 3rd ed (and craftworld) cousin.

Even in 4th ed, Eldar weren't really powerful because of their codex, but because skimmers were very powerful, and Eldar had the best skimmers.

-willydstyle

VT2 said...

Six fast vehicles allowed you to 'dictate' things during 4th edition, but these days, when imperial guard have 15+, and marines back 11+, it's just not scary.

I see eldar being put on the defense, rushing their dragons forward as fast as possible, through huge hailstorms of linked plasmaguns, autocannons, missiles, and lascannons.
It doesn't even work more than half the time now, and destroying a single rhino at the expense of a 225+ points unit is really not a good deal.

Multi-charging lolords is easy.
People either hold the lord in front of the guardians for 'cover,' or they march the lords, avatar, and guardians forward in a tanking formation, kinda close together, so you have to 'deal with them all the same time if you dare charge!'
You don't really need more than 10 men in a squad to do it.

Heretic said...

Yeah VT, I don't think my gaming group has really caught up to the internet and the idea that MSU and Razorbacks are actually good. The current idea of good is a hammer unit, usually terminators, Templar blobs and triple vindicator armies. That probably has a big effect on how my army does, but they are catching up to psychic defense.

Lyracian said...

Interesting Take on Eldar. Most of the Eldar I see are now packing Seer Council.

So what is in your Marine List to get 11 tin cans at 2k? 3 Preds. 2 Plasmabacks (Sternguard & Command Squad I assume), 6 Rhinos (2 Tacs, where are the other four from?)

VT2 said...

3 predators, 2 tactical rhinos, 3 sternguard rhinos, 2 plasmabacks, 1 assault marine rhino.

Wallshammer said...

I think people are doing assault wrong if they think they can do that. Everyone in your unit moves into B2B with the opponent you declare against first. THEN if there is anyone left over, you go to the next closest and pile onto that one. 10 guys is about 2 wraithlords and that's it. No way the guardians are close enough behind to get into b2b with them as well.

Wallshammer said...

However, I do generally agree with your sentiments... sorta. Eldar just aren't as sharp as the new codexes. But then again... is anyone? Chaos Marines have even lost a ton of their lustre now. It's sorta the big 3, then everyone else.

Gunn Bot Mk IV said...

Wallshammer, you are incorrect. As long as each model maintains coherency, you can move freely into other nearby units. Read the CC rules again, and you'll see that there is no requirement to fully engage one unit before moving into another.

VT2 said...

No, you just have to move the guy closest to the original target into contact with.

So assault marines want to charge guardians.
They move the closest guy, who's say within 4, then move another guy into contact with the wraithlord, and a third into contact with the avatar.

All units must still be within charge range, of course, and once all your charging models have been move, defenders react.

Kirby said...

@Lyracian; the Eldar you see are years behind then ^^.

@post; I think the outlook is too negative against Eldar. They have certainly gone downhill with the release of 5th edition codecies but it's not all doom and gloom. Whilst they can only saturate to a certain extent + Vypers, the biggest issue Eldar have is relying on the opponent's rolls. Energy fields are awesome but if they 'fail' all at once or on a couple of tanks in the same turn, Eldar don't have as much ability to recover as your modern day mech lists.

Are they still competitive? Yes. You can still put out 9+ AV12 tanks which are quite survivable, mobile and put out an impressive amount of firepower. The problem with this firepower is it's all about stopping the opponent from shooting and basically attritioning your opponent away until late game. This makes them quite predictable because there's only so much they can do on the table but they do have the tools for the job unlike Orks/Chaos/Necrons/Daemons.

Are they in desperate need of an upgrade? Yes.

Aaron B said...

I'm glad this post didn't sink to a wishlist of how to "fix" eldar, but it still has quite the zing to it.

I personally don't think that eldar are broken, even if they may not be as super as we'd like. for the most part, I think that they play as they should. I mean, all the units play roughly as we'd expect them to with a long term knowledge of the trajectory of space elves. The units are distinctive specialists. Yeah, they are not king anymore, and our poor Farseers should be able to counter counter psy, but banshees still chop and scorpions still tear. The poor dying race just aren't doing enough of each respective thing to keep up.

And how much would Eldar change? Since I started GW has given us what, three new units? Shining spears, Fire Prisms and Nightspinners; the latter two essentially being revamps from epic scale precursors anyways. Maybe the Eldar are a sacred concept, can't change too much or Jes Goodwin will quit (which would make us all cry). A copy/paste job might be inevitable, but everything will get cheaper points wise so we can put more on the table money wise.

Good thing they're still fun to play regardless ~: )

Lazaro said...

really ?? is this suposed to be an eldar article . in favor o against . Really it only mock on eldar , and it joke with them and their true power .
Are you jealous ? Yo cant win against Eldar ? Are you playing the right players ? from the end of the world . Argentina

BrotherOracle said...

I thought "the" eldar list was double autarch reserve hammer

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