Monday, June 10, 2013

1500 Eldar battle report:

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.

My list:

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...

Game 1:
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.

set-up/turn 1:
You can see my opponent pointing to my Autarch under the Skyshield...
who's laughing now, Markerlight Drones?
Seeing how my opponent set-up his Skyshield centrally with the Markerlight/Commander unit, Hammerhead and both Riptides on top with Fire Warriors in arrea terrain on either side of the Skyshield, I thought it best to deploy my army out of range of his Markerlights and try to take out his Hammerhead and Markerlights at range (Serpent Shield shooting) before I got too close with my vehicles/Dire Avengers to engage the rest of his army. His first turn he simply shot the Hammerhead at a Wave Serpent and my Serpent Shield shrugged it off (lost a HP) then I moved up to take some shots at his tank which passed all of his invul saves (Stupid Skyshield!). I moved my Autarch up then moved Flat-out to end up under his Skyshield pad so his Markerlights, Hammerhead and Riptides did not have LOS. I hoped to charge next turn and tie up the Markerlights while the rest of my army moved up.

Turn 2:

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.

Turn 3:

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 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

Turn 4:

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).

Game 2:
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.

set-up/turn 1:

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=(
His first turn, he moved and ran whatever he could up while the Wraithlord took some shots that did nothing against a Wave Serpent of mine. He tried to get his Warp Spiders in range of the Icarus lascannon but was just short even with fleet so my Serpents were spared any meaningful first turn shooting from him. On my turn, I moved my Autarch up and was around 7" away from the D-Cannons while the rest of my army moved up a bit and taking advantage of move through cover, I sent my Serpents into the Ruins they were hiding behind, unloaded some Dire Avengers and shot up his Avatar killing it thanks to some reaaallly bad rolling on my opponent's part. I also did a lot of damage to the Warp Spiders killing the Exarch and 3 other Spiders leaving just 1 alive. My Autarch then charged and broke the D-Cannon Battery leaving only the Warlock and a Crew member alive to run away.

Turn 2:

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.

Turn 3-end:

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.

Game 3:
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.

set-up/turn 1:

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.

Turn 2:

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.

Turn 3:

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.

Turn 4:

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!

Turn 5-6:

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.


  1. That is awesome, the mantle of the laughing god appears to be quite the trump card, wouldn't mind a shard of anaris as well if your going for overkill, I am suprised he got past those markerlights for the charge though.

    And waveserpents appear to be the new falcon, fun times ahead.

    Nicely done as always.

    1. Thanks! Regarding the Markerlights, on the Tau player's turn, he simply did not have Line of Sight to my Autarch to hit him with any of them so he was never able to strop my cover save. Also, the way I moved to charge, only maybe 1 or 2 Markerlight drones were in Line of Sight and none of them hit him on overwatch.

      Losing your cover save through Marker Lights/Reveal means the model with the Mantle is DEAD if the opponent focuses on him. Therefore, you have to be cunning and hide him from anything that can take away cover. Usually this just means moving Flat-out from LOS blocking terrain to LOS blocking terrain until you can get a good charge off.

  2. Great report. I like the Wave Serpent quite a bit but also found that Tau is really a strong counter to the Wave Serpent. With Tau being so easy to ally in to so many armies, I'm anticipating seeing more Tau show up (I've got some I'm trying to work into my own lists).

    War Walkers do put out an incredible amount of firepower, but they are the ultimate glass cannon. I've found they just go down hard after a turn or two of fire. Nobody lets them survive after their one initial volley.

    I am on the fense with the Fire Prism. Not sure what I want to do with it. I think one may have a spot in the army b/c of the 60" range and Vanguard/Hammer and Anvil are great deployments for this tank. Undecided, but it's not an overly expensive tank.

    Wave Serpents. Well, it's just plain solid. Because of their Serpent Shield, that single handedly makes me feel comfortable going second; I generally want to go second b/c most missions are objective based, but in the past was afraid of getting my army crippled or giving up first blood. Wave Serpents and reserves really mitigates both my fears.

    The new Shuriken weapons with Battlefocus adds a lot to DA and Guardians. However, I wasn't impressed with only 5 DA, but did do the same thing mainly to get the tank.

    The Crimson Hunter has good/bad matchups. Tau swats them out of the sky and IG Vendettas will get rid of it as well. This is another unit I'm on the fense about. However, I think the only way to go with this unit is just pay the 20 points for the Exarch upgrade as it may be a one shot wonder and you need to squeeze every ounce out of it before it gets shot down.

    Surprisingly, Scatterlaser Serpents can be ok anti flier defense. Essentially, you get 8 dice to roll a 6 with the Scatterlaser (or more if you're lucky) and then the Serpent Sheild will get 4-14 dice looking for 6's. So, with a minimum of 12 dice, we should get 2 sixes and max 22 dice, we could get closer to 4 sixes. Not bad against many fliers.

    I fought against the Laughing God Autarch. I noticed my opponent didn't have the Fleshbane/Instant Death sword, so after it blew up one of my Wave Serpents with its Fusion Gun, my Wraithknight assaulted it and insta killed him. After running a Fortuned Shadowfield for awhile, I've learned to not fall into the trap of wasting time shooting at it, unless you have something that ignores cover (Serpent Shields, for example).

    Thanks for the write up and thoughts on the various units you ran and faced off against. Now, just need to figure out how to counter Tau.

    1. Tau are the army to beat it seems, though I have some tricks up my sleeves I am bouncing around in my head.

      Ultimately, letting Tau go first and deploying your stuff out of range and LOS as best as possible is the best bet. The majority of Tau's scary stuff is 36" and you can easily outrange that with Serpent shooting and other options. Also, I think Wraith heavy armies will do great against Tau.

    2. I think the trick with War walkers is to do the pop out of cover Battle focus back into cover trick to keep them alive.

  3. Excellent reports as always!

    Couple of questions if you can:

    Do you think Eldar would benefit from using the skyshield?

    I noticed you didn't take any implacements, and I'm on the fence about them to as I want to get as much on the table as possible.

    Ever considered allying with Tau just to get the Riptide vs. using two eldar fliers or our own super barbie? Thoughts on the Riptide vs Wraithknight?

    I know our fliers are glass cannons, but they can out dual just about anything - but you haven't played chaos yet I don't think.

    Heavy Slots = I haven't gotten to play just yet so I'm living vicariously through you. And since you did play vs eldar - I'm seriously vexed on my heavy slots.

    I have run 3 WW and 2 WL for my heavies, but your reports on the Night Spinner really have me wanting to run two of them... thoughts here?


  4. Great batreps! Thanks very much for sharing. your Wave Serpents and CTM Night Spinner seemed to e rock stars.

    I've written both pure mech lists and mixed lists to test out. Played against Necrons on the weekend. Found Spiders and Hawks to be highly entertaining, the Hawks ultimately winning the game with their ability to unerringly Deep Strike from ongoing Reserves and contest.

    Playing a Tau player tomorrow night. Will probably try the mixed list again, though the pure mech (4 Serpents and a Night Spinner in 1000 pts) is tempting...

  5. Cunning indeed, after reflecting on the list for the night there's just one concept which seemed to stick.

    Would there be any drawbacks to starting the game with only the autarch with the mantle on the field? Ensuring that both sides have a fully concealing piece of cover. Your survival of alpha strike would be practically guaranteed, then suddenly on anything, but a one the rest of your tanks come on to the board and the whole thing surges forward together as one. Or is that simply too audacious a move?

    1. You can only reserve up to half of your units (rounding up), p.124 BRB.

  6. ahh damn, forgot that part.. thanks for the obviousness, lol, I'm slipping.

  7. Something I just learned is that a Reaper squad can be as large as 10 models and all be upgraded to fire S8 missiles. That, and the Exarch can be upgraded to have Flakk missiles. I'm going to run with a full unit of these guys in my next few games to see how they change the landscape of tank/Riptide/Wraithknight/Flyers taking so long to kill. I'll let you know how that goes!

  8. Also, vs. Tau, a unit of 6+ Swooping Hawks is dirt cheap compared to what they used to be, and their ability to DS, drop an Ignores Cover large blast, unload with their laser pointers, and then Battle Focus into cover all in the same turn will make a mess of medium/large Tau units in cover.

  9. Just keep in mind that with the S8 missiles, I believe a single Dark Reaper is 38 points. This unit can get really expensive fast so there definitely needs to be a plan to keep them alive.

  10. Nice Battle Report.

    I have had a couple of games with the new codex (one against orcs with FW models and one against a Tau double Riptide army). Definitely being out of the 36" range is a must and kill the marker squads quickly (gotta love the serpent shield)

    I don't think the flyer is worth it, with only armour ten most things will knock it out of the sky.

    I found an aegis line with quad cannon and Reaper exarch with night fight, fast shot and missile launcher with flak (I only use 5 reapers in total due to cost of unit) is handy as you get to intercept and next turn you can us the flak missile + night fight is a must for first turn strikes).

    The Wraithknight has been in both games and is a mixed bag at the mo. More games will tell.

    1. To protect my Reapers, I plan on taking a Spiritseer so they get 2+ cover naturally behind the defense line as well as potentially a 2+ armor save. Tau Commander will have a 2+ armor save with T5 to be in front so he can tank hits from things like a Baleflamer =). The Tau Commaner gives the unit ignores cover, tank/monster hunter and Nightvision so I think that is how I will run them...Expensive but oh so destructive.