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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

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Discussion: Eldar Jetbikes; viable scoring?

So we have another discussion post prompted by another e-mail. This time it's about Eldar and running units of Jetbikes as scoring. Let's take a look at the e-mail:

"Hey there Kirby, i have another matter on which i'd like your oppinion. I've been using my mechdar for quite a while now (the non-council, non-eldrad type), pretty much exactly the same as your list. It works brilliantly, except of course against guard, but that's just something we eldar players must accept (unless when running a council). However, i've recently decided on trying out a variation. Specifically, a variation for a tournament which allows special characters (very rare around here) and thus i'd like to take Eldrad. Not only that, but i've found that 3 DAVU squads (including the falcon) just doesn't do it for me. I've been running the following:

-3x 5 Fire Dragons in Serpent with twin shuricannons and underslung shuricannon
-3x 3 Guardian Jetbikes
-5 dire avengers
-2 Vypers with scatter laser and shuriken cannon each
-Vyper with scatter laser and shuriken cannon each
-Vyper with scatter laser and shuriken cannon each
-Fire Prism with underslung shuriken cannon
-Fire Prism with underslung shuriken cannon
-Falcon with holofields, missile launcher and underslung shuriken cannon

That adds up to 1748 or something like that. So i've gone for scatter lasers on the vypers as well, since i believe that extra range helps, especially on the first turn. And a missile launcher on the falcon as a little try-out, though that's really just a gimmick more than something i need advice on. I'm especially curious on your thoughts on the list, specifically on the jetbikes as scorers (obviously, these are always held in reserves)

Kind regards,


A quick look at the list does show us a weakness in terms of scoring with only one DAVU squad but a lot of firepower whilst still having 4 Troop choices. The question is, are the GJB squads better than DAVU Serpents? The short answer is no. Although they highlight the Eldar tactic of hiding in reserve and late-turn objective taking rather than actual firepower, your scoring is very weak without DAVUs. The more complicated answer is whilst they aren't better they are certainly different and add another dimension to an Eldar list. Running one or two squads in conjunction with say 2+ DAVU squads gives you survivable and mobile Troops in the DAVUs and nimble/reserve based Troops in the GJB. This allows you to be more aggressive with your DAVU Serpents whilst still having some scoring options allowed. Let's take a bit of a longer look.

For 76 points we get a 3-strong squad with a 3+ save and some pretty minimal firepower (but not negligible). This squad isn't going to survive for very long but is pretty cheap and therefore there is reason to take one or two squads and always reserve them (except against armies with no shooting). You could increase the squad size to 6 and two shuriken cannons for 152 points. This makes the unit more survivable, harder to hide and packs a bigger punch and if you start adding in things like Farseer/Warlocks/Autarch on Bikes these guys can stick around quite a bit and provide some offensive punch. Again though it comes down to them being viable? I think overall they are but they often don't fit well into Eldar lists which really rely on the survivability of their Wave Serpents to give opponent's trouble. They are rarely going to shoot you off the board and will rather aim to bludgeon you around with lots of survivable tanks and reserve fun (hi Autarchs). In the end the small GJB squads can add to this type of army but don't replace the DAVUs whilst the larger squads are harder to fit in.

With your list then Kildash I'd cut down to two GJB squads and look to fit in a DAVU Serpent. By dropping one of the GJB squads and a Vyper you'd have 138 points to play with which isn't enough for a DAVU Serpent. You could drop Eldard down to a normal Farseer but you want to use Eldrad so we'll leave him be and we'll end up dropping one of the other GJB squads. This only gives you one GJB squad but you've got two rather survivable scoring squads with the DAVU Falcon+Serpent whilst still having the flexibility of the GJB squad in reserve. The GJB are nice but they really need to supplement an Eldar's scoring rather than be a focal point.

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