I just played in a 1500 point tournament with the new eldar and I have to say that I learned a lot of valuable lessons from the new Codex. This post will cover my battle reports of all three games while providing a general overview of lessons and insights that I hope will help every Eldar player who reads this.
Obviously 3 games is not enough to fully test the units I brought to the tournament this past weekend, however, I did get a lot of good data because 2/3 of my opponents were Eldar players themselves who brought various units that I got to be on the receiving end of. So first, I'll go over my list, then I'll go into each game I played followed with an analysis/conclusion of what I learned from it all.
I took an Autarch on a Bike, Laser Lance, Fusion Gun, Mantle of the Laughing god; 3x5 Dire Avengers each in a Wave Serpent with Holofields/Scatter Laser; 2 Crimson Hunters (one upgraded to an Exarch); 2 Fire Prisms with Spirit Stones; 1 Night Spinner with Crystal Targeting Matrix.
I wanted to test out the Mantle, Wave Serpents, Crimson Hunters and how Fire Prisms/Night Spinners would fare and I must say that I learned quite a bit in their use and capabilities. As you'll see in the battle reports, Wave Serpents did most of the damage while the rest of the army kind of just performed in a mediocre fashion...
This first game was against a Tau player who brought an Etherial; Commander with Drone Controller in a large unit of Markerlight Drones; 2 Riptides with Skyfire/Interceptor; 4x Fire Warriors; Hammerhead Gunship; Skyshield Landing Pad. The mission was Kill Points with Dawn of War deployment and my opponent won the roll to go first. I got the Warlord Trait that let me re-roll failed saves of 1.
|You can see my opponent pointing to my Autarch under the Skyshield...|
who's laughing now, Markerlight Drones?
On his turn he shot his Hammerhead again but nothing else was in range of my tanks so he shot everything else at my Autarch, so 80 Pulse Rifle Shots and some Riptide Smart Missile systems and I only took 1 wound! Mantle of the Laughing god FTW. On my turn, I move up a bit more with my tanks, my Flyers come on and I have to Jink my Exarch Crimson Hunter to avoid damage from the only Riptide in range. In the Shooting phase my Night Spinner moves Flat-out and puts 9 wounds on the Markerlight unit and the Tau Commander leading them eats one of the S8 shots and fails his save...That worked out better than I thought. My Crimson Hunters took out the Hammerhead and my Autarch charged the Markerlight Drones and took no damage from incoming shooting thanks to the Mantle. I whiffed in combat and the Drones held with the Ethereal's Ld10 (though he probably wished they broke so he could shoot my Autarch up next turn). A very productive turn now that the Marker Lights were out of the game for a bit.
This turn he blew my Exarch Crimson Hunter out of the sky with his Riptides and Fire Warrior shooting while my Autarch and Markerlight Drones had fun playing a failtastic version of laser tag...my Autarch failed the I test for Hit & Run so the combat dragged on with his Ld10 Drones of tarpitting doom. On my turn, my Night Spinner took out 8 Fire Warriors on the right while my Serpents took out a lot of Fire Warriors on the left with only 5 and an Ethereal left. Fire Prisms scattered or did meaningless damage to the Fire Warrior squads and my Autarch
This turn he finished off my other Flyer with Pulse Rifle shooting while his Riptides shot and put a HP worth of damage on my Night Spinner...After losing 8/12 Fire Warriors last turn I imagine he wanted it dead. Also, my Autarch finally broke and ran down his Markerlight squad. On my turn, I eliminated all of the Fire Warriors on the left, killed one of his Riptides with Shuriken shooting from Dire Avengers and wounded the other Riptide a bit with my other shooting while my Night Spinner put a bit more wounds on the Fire Warriors on the left. I charged the Riptide with my Autarch and got obliterated by a well placed Smash attack...I imagine the Riptide gleefully uttered "who's laughing now!?" as he destroyed my Autarch. At this point my opponent called the game seing as how he only had around 14ish Fire Warriors and a Riptide with 2 Wounds left against my 6 Grav Tanks and Dire Avengers. This game I learned how painful having air can be against Tau along with how potent the Wave Serpent shield shooting is against infantry and even side armor on tanks (they did the most damage).
This second game was against an Eldar player who brought a Spiritseer; Avatar w/Fast Shot; 2x 10 Dire Avengers; 6 Rangers; 3 Jetbikes; 2x5 Warp Spiders; 3xD-cannon weapon battery with Warlck; Wraithlord with Scatter/Brightlance; 3xWarwalkers with Scatter Laser/Shuriken Cannon; Aegis Defense Line with Icarus Lascannon. The Mission was The Scouring with Hammer & Anvil deployment and my Autarch rolled the "Dust of a Thousand Worlds" trait for a nice move through cover bonus.
He won the roll to go first and also got the side that had all of the good objectives (mine had the 2s and 1 objective while the 4 pointer was in the middle and 3s were on his side). He set up his Aegis 7" in front of his deployment zone on my left with D-Cannons, Dire Avengers and Warp Spiders a bit behind it while the Spiritseer in a Dire squad, Avatar, Wraithlord were in middle and Rangers in the back on an objective. His War Walkers, a unit of Warp Spiders and Jetbikes were in reserves.
I deployed my longer ranged vehicles in the back to try and take whatever shots of opportunity I have while avoiding as much of his shooting as possible while my Serpents and Autarch deployed aggressively right in front of his Defense line (while still out of range of his D-Cannons).
|A set of saves his Avatar failed=(|
This turn he moved his units up a bit, Deepstruck his Spiders next to a Fire Prism and moved the last Warp Spider onto the Icarus. He destroyed the Fire Prism from his Spider's and Ran into it's wreckage with Battle Focus to get cover from any other sooting I may have while he took off a HP on another serpent between the Spider shooting the Icarus and Wraithlord shooting the Brightlance. On my turn, my Crimson Hunter Exarch came on and promptly got shot down by the Icarus Lascanon while I moved my remaining Fire Prism away from the Spiders, moved the Night Spinner up to eventuall Flat-out near the central objective and I moved my other serpents on the left so their backs were against the board incase the War Walkers came on next turn. I managed to immobilize a Serpent in the Ruins while everything else wiped out the remaining model manning the Icarus, put 2 wounds on the Wraithlord and brought the other Spiders down to 1 model. My Spinner used Crystal Targeting Matrix to put some wounds on the Dire Avengers in the middle as well.
Well, eventually we just kept exchanging fire and it came down to me being able to dislodge his scoring units from objectives and eliminating his War Walkers. He managed to take out a Dire Avenger unit of mine along with my Night Spinner and Autarch (which died to counter-attack hits from when he charged the central Dire Avenger unit). I managed to wipe out everything except a few Dire Avengers on the left 3 point objective by the end of the game as focused Wave Serpent shooting that ignore cover was too much for his Rangers, Central Avengers and War Walkers. The Crimson Hunter that managed to come in later took out maybe a Warwalker or two but otherwise just flew around to secure an objective I cunningly placed on the top floor of the ruins (Fast Attack were scoring). I won this game with 3 objectives killed, First Blood, Slay the Warlord, Line Breaker and 2 Fast Attack choices killed while he just had Slay the Warlord and a single FA kill.
This third game was against yet another Eldar player who brought an Autarch w/Fusion, Warp Jump Generator; Spiritseer; 5 Wraithguard w/Serpent and Scatter Laser; 2x10 Guardian Defenders w/Scatter Laser and Warlocks; 10 Warp Spiders; Fire Prism; 3 Warwalkers with Brightlances; 3 Warwalkers with Scatter Laser/Star Cannons. The mission was Capture & Control with 4 objectives and Vanguard Strike deployment. My Warlord rolled "Eye on Distant Events" for Stealth in an enemy shooting phase which I thought was pretty handy this game.
My opponent went first and deployed as the picture shows. I was worried about the War Walker alpha strike so I was out of range of the War Walkers in the upper left and deployed as much behind cover as possible. In his shooting phase, he put some hits on some of my vehicles but I used the Warlord power and saved all but one shot from his Fire Prism that got downgraded to a Glancing hit thanks to the Serpent field. He also moved his Serpent and Warp Spiders up close (but I forgot to take a picture of that).
In my turn, I spread out and took some shots at his War Walkers bringing the Brightlance unit down to 1 Stunned Walker, while his Fire Prism shrugged off all of my Fire Prism shooting and his War Walkers on the left survived my Serpent shooting. Finally, my Autarch, needing only a 6 to charge, failed his charge against the WarpSpiders+Autarch but shrugged off every overwatch shot that wounded him.
My opponent this turn moved his Spiders up, moved and unloaded his Wraithguard with Spiritseer and shot at my Autarch which passed every save...Realizing the futility of shooting my Autarch anymore he focused on shooting at my Serpents but didn't do anything.
On my turn my Flyers came on and my Crimson Hunter Exarch blew up his Fire Prism hitting rear armor while my other Crimson Hunter missed with all of his shooting at the rear of his Wave Serpent. The Rest of my shooting also finished off the lone War Walker with Brightlances and brought the Scatterlaser/Starcannon War Walkers down to 1 model. I think I put some wounds on his Warp Spiders from my Night Spinner/Prisms as well and then charged, won combat and ran down my opponent's Autarch/Warpspider unit. First Blood and Slay the Warlord this turn for me.
Forgetting that Mysterious Objectives were in effect, my opponent managed to roll "Skyfire Nexus" on both Objectives being controlled by his Guardian Defenders...Which happend to be right next to my Flyers. Great =(. I managed to roll "Sabotaged" for both of the ones on my side so that was not so good lol...
Well, he shot down my Crimson Hunter Exarch in short order while my other Flyer suffered an Immobilized result and he used "Reveal" to take away Shrouding/Stealth from my Autarch and blew him up with Wraithguard shooting. A very cunning use of the Conceal/Reveal power and Slay the Warlord to my opponenet.
On my turn, I moved my remaining Crimson Hunter up taking some ineffective potshots at his Wave Serpent while I finished off his last War Walker and started shooting at his Guardians on objectives doing some decent damage. I moved my Serpents in position to get objectives the next few turns while I moved the Night Spinner up via Flat-Out and with combined shooting got one of his Defenders down to just a Warlock and a single Guardian.
This turn my opponent continued to shoot at my Flyer but I managed to Survive with some good Jinking and his Wraithguard try to do some shooting against my Wave Serpent but I make my cover saves. Meanwhile, his Wave Serpent turned around and blew up my Night Spinner which killed his remaining Warlock and Guardian via rolling a 6 on the pen chart. His Wraithguard moved up and did some damage to my Serpent then finished it off in a charge.
On my turn, I continued to move my Serpents around to take shots at his Guardians in cover and move away from the Wraithguard in the middle as best I can. I also got out of some of my tanks and ran to secure objectives while moving one Serpent Flat-out towards one of the objectives his Defenders had previously controlled. The Skyfire Nexus was soon to be MINE!
This turn he continued to try and take out my Flyer but failed to do so while his Serpent did some damage to mine but my Serpent Shield reduced his penetrating hits to Glancing ones. His Wraithguard did 2 wounds to my Dire Avengers that were running from the burning wreck of their Wave Serpent, failed their Ld test and fell back just in range of his Wraithguard to get a nice charge off...Except during Overwatch I rolled well enough to wound a single Wraithguard who failed his 3+ cover save (thanks to conceal) and he failed his charge as a result. Good times.
On my turn I got out my remaining DA squad and secured 2 Objectives while I eventually blew up his remaining Serpent, reduced his Wraithguard unit to a single Wraithguard and reduced his remaining Defender squad down to 4ish models that were not in range of their objective anymore. The game ended on turn 6 with me having First Blood, Line Breaker, Slay the Warlord and 2 Objectives to his Slay the Warlord point.
So overall, the games were fun and I had really nice opponents. I learned a lot about Playing with and against Eldar as well as some inkling about how painful a solid Tau army can be to face. I ended the tournament with best overall as nobody came close to my margine of victory and it was a successful run with a Mechdar type army.
Some things I specifically took away from my games:
-How vulnerable foot elements can be to attacks that ignore cover. If you do have buffs like Conceal, your units can generally be very resilient but against Tau/Eldar and Helldrakes, beware, otherwise you are going to be fine.
-Wave Serpents are AMAZING. Every game they did the most damage and they are ideal for taking out units that rely on cover while the rest of your units can focus on things that are not otherwise so well protected by cover. They are very survivable as I only lost any Serpents due to losing all 3 HP rather than lucky Penetrating hits. Having an improved Jink save thank's to Holofields was nice but not essential so I'll probably keep some Serpents with the Holofields to test them out more. In the future, if I can, I will take Serpents on anything and everything that can take them.
-DAVU is still viable with how resilient Serpents are as their transports can last a lot longer which means that by the time your Dires are disembarking, there is a lot less of the enemy to shoot at them. They are a cheap way to get a Wave Serpent as well which is such an amazing tank now. Also, Dire avengers in general are much better. Their Shuriken weapons can make MCs and higher T models cringe in terror as you auto-wound on a 6 and become AP2 at that. My Dire Avengers, even though only 5 strong each, took out a Riptide and Avatar over the course of the tournament while my Autarch got cut down by the Counter-attacking bonus of a full Dire Avenger squad he charged. I imagine 10 man Dires in Serpents is a very solid unit indeed.
-Night Spinner was awesome as well...The S7/8 Barage against Vehicles and units in the open is very strong and being able to move 30" to use the Torrent version of the weapon makes certain units cry. I think the Crystal Targeting Matrix was made for this tank and I'll be using this vehicle in any Mech list for Heavy Support now over the Fire Prism.
-Fire Prism was underwhelming...Their targets were either saved because of cover, or I missed, or I failed to pen the armor or failed to wound in general...For their points, I'd rather have a Wave Serpent or Night Spinner. These are going to turn into Night Spinners until maybe the new codex comes out in 80 years =(.
-Crimson Hunters were cool, I love the models and still want to make them work. Interceptor units make life MISERABLE for these guys and they are just so fragile. They are very maneuverable and have a lot of potential but ultimately, I didn't face any Flyers so I have no idea how effective they are against other lists. I'll have to keep trying them out for sure but ultimately my initial reaction is "meh."
-Some things I learned from playing against Eldar are that getting hit by Serpents in return SUCKS...They hurt. Also, Wraithguard turned out to be quite a thorn in my flesh as in my last game, that unit and it's Serpent was doing all of the damage to my army!
-War Walkers can put out good shooting but seem too fragile to use if you can expect any modicum of retaliation sent their way.
-Avatar is too easy to kill and just a waste unless you have other things that can draw enemy fire while a Wraithlord can deal some good damage while being pretty survivable. I'll prob try a Wraithlist soon with some Wraithlords to see how they do.
Well, there you have it; in some ways Eldar have a lot more offense now but slightly reduced survivability in other ways. I'm pleasantly surprised with how well Wave Serpents and Wraithguard did against me so I will definitely be trying a list with both in my next tournament.
I Hope you guys enjoyed the battle report and learned some things from my mistakes/game play.