Thursday, June 6, 2013

Winds of change part 2: Transitioning foot Eldar into 6th with the new codex

This is part two of my four part series covering different types of Eldar armies and how they will transition into 6th with the new Codex. This post will cover an Eldar army comprised entirely of models on foot, affectionately called "Footdar."

While Mechdar is all about maxing out on as many Grav Tanks as you can, using their mobility and firepower to achieve victory, Footdar are about flooding the field with models on foot that are either (1) so resilient that no normal amount of firepower or combat can dislodge them; (2) are so numerous that no normal amount of shooting or combat can hope to remove them all from the table; or, (3) a combination of the above. Examples in the first category include Wraith units, Stealth/Shrouded units like Rangers/Pathfinders and Harlequins while examples in the latter category include Guardians, Dire Avengers and Aspect Warriors. Ultimately, Footdar can be built in so many different ways that I'll just go over some basics and cover the units most likely to be seen in this type of army followed by a sample list. I will give a more detailed overview with the HQ/Troop options as they are more integral to a Footdar army and the other options will get more of a general gloss over since really, how you build your army comes down to personal preference/meta.

Footdar flashback:
So what did a typical Footdar army look like and what will it evolve into with the new Codex and 6th edition rules?

A typical  Footdar army generally centered around and relied on three different unit types to succeed. First, we have the traditional Guardian/Dire Avenger focus in ground units; second, we have the Ranger/Pathfinder focus in ground units; third, we have the Wraithguard focus in ground units; and, there were also some armies with a mix of all of the above. Sometimes these armies also had some Aspect Warriors, an Avatar, Farseer and some Wraithlords for support with maybe some War Walkers. Mainly, by skimping out on the Vehicles in the Eldar codex, you were able to put a lot more bodies on the table which allowed you to sort of balance out the lack of mobility and forgo the protection that transport vehicles often provided.

-The Guardian/Dire Avenger heavy armies were most likely lead by Eldrad/Avatar where the Avatar was Fortuned for maximum survivability and to ensure a perpetual Fearless bubble while the ground units either tarpitted other units in combat or shot them up with the cunning use of Shuriken weaponry and the odd support weapon shot here and there. Wraithlords were thrown in for good measure to add some much needed long ranged fire support and close combat potential and when Harlequins became available, they were usually in the mix as well.

-The Ranger/Pathfinder army focused on taking a lot of units that would ultimately have a 2+ cover save and annoy people by not ever dying to shooting so close combat was the only way to dislodge these units. However, with proper close combat support from units like Harlequins and maybe even some Wraithlords, this army was dangerous at range and in close quarters.

-The Wraithguard army focused on having a few units of Wraithguard with Farseers for Fortune, Wraithlords for long ranged fire support and perhaps a Harlequin unit or two for counter-charge duty. This army was successful due to the sheer resilience a wall of T6 3+ save models with Fortune up could be so dislodging them from objectives or getting killpoints from them was virtually impossible. Also, the army had a super effective kill zone if an enemy got too close. This was my favorite army to play and I did very well with it, despite what the internet had to say about Wraithguard in general.

Going forward:
Now with 6th and the new Codex in play, we have a lot more to work with when making a Footdar army. For starters, a lot of our units got cheaper and/or more effective for this style of play. To effectively discuss this topic, I'll focus on three major areas that I'll discuss individually then apply them to unit entries that players will most likely use for a Footdar army. These topics are: Mobility, survivability, and offensive capability.

This topic goes hand in hand with survivability and offensive capability, however, mobility is important enough to discuss individually.

Mobility is important because (1) there are objectives on the table (usually) that you want to get to; (2) there are enemy units you sometimes want to avoid; and, (3) there are enemy units you want to get near so that you can either shoot them or charge them. Footdar players will have to focus on these three concepts when moving their forces as they are more limited than faster (mechanized) armies in how fast/effectively they can get to certain places on the table. Therefore, every move of a unit needs to have the "end game" in mind; that is, where will this unit be at the end of the game to let me win? If you can afford to stay in your deployment zone, then you don't need to worry so much about moving that unit. However, if you want a unit on an objective in the enemy deployment zone by the end of the game, you'll need to worry a whole lot about movement because you'll have to make sure the unit can get where it needs to go with minimal interference from enemy units. This means using other units you have to destroy, tarpit, or divert enemy units/shooting that would otherwise get in the way. Think of Footdar as a sports team where units that can stay back are like the defense trying to hinder/keep enemy units from getting near your objectives while the units that need to move into enemy territory are the offense and with proper support, can score a point on the enemy. Consequently, I'll point out which units are better on the offense vs defense as I discuss them.

Wrapping up my discussion on mobility, there are 2 specific rules that interact together quite nicely that change everything about how many units in a Footdar army will move on the table. These rules are Battle Focus, which allows us to run then shoot or shoot then run, and Fleet, which lets us re-roll run and charge distances.  Most of our units can now move 6+d6" with a re-roll on the d6" part without having to sacrifice shooting at a target. I say most because Rangers can't run and shoot their Sniper Rifles, though they can with their Pistols, and Wraith units don't have Battle Focus or Fleet. Still, these rules make  Guardians/Dire avengers  and many Aspect Warriors  more maneuverable, survivable and lethal. All of this will be discussed in greater detail with individual unit entries but the main point I want to drive home is that a Footdar player has to keep in mind where he wants his units to shoot/assault to accomplish the end game goal of victory. Targeting the right enemy units and moving into the right position on the table is the only way to accomplish this and Battle Focus with Fleet go a long way to help us in this matter.

Vital to any game of 40k is having units alive at the end. Eldar, while being predominantly T3, actually do quite well as they have certain rules, Psychic Powers and Wargear to help them survive. Whether it is having improved saves of some sort or being able to re-roll such saves through powers like Fortune, or even just being able to stick around by virtue of being a larger unit, Eldar can combine these elements in some way to ensure they stick around longer than people expect them to.

Traditionally, many units relied on Conceal, Fortune, Wargear or numbers to be survivable. Now in 6th, with our new Codex, what do we have to work with that can help us improve unit survivability? After all, Conceal is no longer available to every unit that previously could have Warlocks, Fortune is randomly generated so it cannot be relied upon and a lot of our Wargear changed. Well, for starters, a lot of our units got better stats, rules, Wargear or just plain cheaper to compensate for the changes in 6th and the new codex. Increased WS to 4 means units that were WS3 are hit less easily; Battle Focus and Fleet means that we can put an extra d6" between an enemy unit and our own units so we don't have to make the choice of shoot and die or run and live as often as we had to; majority of our units got cheaper so we can field bigger units than we previously did; certain wargear options have changed to be more protective and the list goes on...

I'll discuss how each unit can be made more survivable in their individual discussions but overall, hugging cover, limiting enemy Line of Sight to your units and all around better play is what it will take to make a Footdar army work.

Offensive capability:
In addition to needing models alive at the end of the game, a good sign of victory is if you have more alive than your opponent-a sign that you had a pretty good offense going. Previously, our units lacked any real oomph and every Eldar player, despite how much they loved certain units, can admit it: we all wished our units had more of a punch. This is especially true when looking at what other armies were capable of, usually for less points. Well, now we have that fixed! Several changes to units, weapons, wargear and Eldar in general come together quite nicely to turn our army into quite the hurricane of destruction...

-First, as briefly mentioned in the mobility and survivability topics above, the Fleet and Battle Focus rules play a huge part in offensive capability for a lot of our units. As an example, people always gripe about some of our weapons only being 12" but if you think about it, Guardians, Fire Dragons, Warp Spiders and any other unit with the Fleet/Battle Focus rule actually has a respectable threat range because now they can add d6" to their weapon's range or get close and put d6" of distance between them and enemy units, all with a re-roll (thanks to Fleet). Ultimately, most of our units can now operate as mini Jetbikes with an additional d6" of movement and any Eldar player worth his salt knows how awesome our Jetbike movement in the assault phase is. Using this extra movement, you can get just into range of an enemy unit, light them up and then if the enemy gets too close, run away thereby always being in range of your weapons while not ever being close enough for the enemy to do any meaningful damage.

This last concept I just described is something I can see good Eldar players pulling off to deadly effect. It will look like our units going close to enemy units to get in range of shooting, then running away when the enemy gets close and essentially kiting them to their death. I will have to write a special article for this tactic alone as I can see it as being an awesome Eldar strategy.

-Second, WS/BS4 across the board for all of our units that were WS/BS3 is another huge buff to our offensive capability. No longer do our units get hit on a 3+ by most things in the game and no longer do we have to rely on Guide to get an effective shooting phase out of our units. Remember that even though Fortune/Doom are randomly generated, we still have easy access to 2 "guides" through Guide and Prescience so 2 Farseers can buff 4 units with re-rolls while potentially throwing down a 3rd buff from Runes of Fate or Divination. Ultimately, this upgrade means we hit more and therefore do more damage which is always a good thing.

-Third, buffs to many of our weapons,  cheaper/better weapon options and cheaper units in general make for a more lethal and effective shooting/combat phase. Shuriken, Monofilament and Reaper weapons, amongst other wargear and options, come together to ensure that many units we have can pose a significant threat to any unit your opponent can throw at you. Specifically, Shuriken weapons auto-wound on a roll of 6 to-wound while becoming AP2 so MCs, Meqs and Teqs beware. Monofilament is resolved at +1S against I3 or less units while being AP1 on a roll of 6 to wound. Reapers have access to Krack Missiles that ignore Jink saves so we can spam S8 in a single unit. The list goes on but I think it's best to dig deeper in my discussions of individual units with access to the upgraded rules/wargear.

Composition of a Footdar army:
Now that we kind of understand what Footdar was before and how 6th and the new Codex has changed our army in general, lets move on to talking about individual units themselves and how they fit into a Footdar army along with how they were buffed in their own way...

HQ elements:
We have many options for HQ but only a few really help a Foot army out that much. What you really want in an HQ is one that can support and increase the effectiveness of your army in general. Therefore, there are only really a few options that really appeal, namely the Farseer, Spiritseer or Avatar.

Give a Mastery level 3 Psyker Binoculars and pointy ears and you get a Farseer...Runes of Fate, Divination and Telepathy are the powers available so these guys can end up being buffing maniacs and are the number one choice for Footdar armies. Since Fortune/Doom are no longer guaranteed, I recommend one roll on Fate and if you get a bad power, take Guide then roll on Divination and if it's a bad roll take Prescience. The 3rd roll should be whatever chart you want, Fate for hopefully getting Fortune or Divination for any of their good buffs. If you are running a Seer Council, Telepathy might not be a bad bet for the Primaris as Warlocks can roll the -3 Ld ability which increases your average damage against other targets by a 3 points right there.

More expensive but gets 1 more wound, access to Exarch powers and gains Battle Focus/Fleet. Pretty useful for a Fearless bubble if you can keep him alive and he is more likely to get into combat as well. He can throw his Spear twice with Fast Shot which is cute as well.

If you want Wraithguard as troops and access to some awesome Warlock powers, this is a good option. You don't get Ghosthelm or any other real options but it's still a solid utility character. Also useful for giving Warlock buffs to other units that normally can't take Warlock powers since it is an IC and can join Aspect Warriors and so on.

These guys can be attached to any Guardian based unit (so Defender/Storm units along with Windrider Jetbikes and Vaul's Wrath Weapon Batteries). As of right now, it is not entirely clear if Warlocks are joined before or after they roll for their powers but we can assume that it is after so this kind of limits their utility since you don't know what power each unit will roll. However, Conceal is the Primaris power for Runes of Battle and I see no reason to ever take any other power over this one for our Guardian based units as the extra cover bonus is a huge boost to survivability. I honestly don't see why you wouldn't include a Warlock in each Guardian based squad unless you are just that tight on points. This gives our Guardian units a 3+ cover save in area terrain or 2+ cover save in ruins along with a Wytchblade or Singing Spear. Jetbikes get a 3+ Jink from just moving and a 2+ Jink from going flat-out and are a great place to have a S9 Spear due to their mobility. Definitely a good utility model for increasing survivability and offense.

Scoring elements:
Every army needs units that can claim objectives and these are the units we have to work with...

Since Guardians are the civilians of Craftworld Eldar, they are not the best Eldar have to offer us in terms of survivability/offense but they are a cheap and effective toolkit for any particular role your army might need. They have increased utility, flexibility and options in the new Codex so I'll discuss each type of Guaridian (Defender/Storm) individually below.

In the old Codex, these guys were a cheapish scoring unit that had access to a Weapon Platform so it was the only real place to have certain long-ranged heavy weapons in our Troops section. In the new Codex, they went up a point but that is more than fair as their WS/BS increased to 4, got Plasma Grenades, have Battle Focus/Fleet, cheaper weapon options on their Weapon Platform (which is relentless so can benefit from Battle Focus/Fleet as well) and now can take a Weapon Platform for every 10 models rather than just one per unit in general. Put it all together and you have a better scoring unit that will shoot more accurately and thanks to the Bladestorm rule for Shuriken weapons, potentially wreck face with their Catapults should the enemy get close enough. Finally, Guardians still have access to a Warlock so they can potentially get some nifty powers but the Primaris Runes of Battle power, Conceal, is probably the best one for Defenders because it will give them a 3+ cover save when in area terrain/behind other units and a 2+ cover save in Ruins or behind an Aegis defense line which makes them about as survivable as Pathfinders used to be!

One thing I want to point out is how people continually gripe about the Guardian Catapult being only 12" but you never bought Guardians for their Catapults just like you never bought Guardsmen for their Lasguns...You bought them for the Weapon Platform and Scoring status and now that their Shuriken weapons can actually do a lot of damage, that's just icing on the cake. Plus, keep in mind that all Guardian weapons now essentially get +d6" to their range. For those that still want to complain about Guardian Catapults being 12", if you really want to kill stuff with Shuriken weapons, take Dire Avengers instead...For everyone else that wants a decently survivable unit with 1 or 2 BS4 heavy weapons that can move/run and shoot, take Guardians.

building the defenders:
When putting together a Defender squad, I try to think of what kind of shooting my army could use the most. If you want anti tank, because Guardians are BS4 now, a Brightlance or Eldar Missile Launcher is not a bad idea. However, I still think the best option for the Defenders is a Scatter Laser because it can help threaten light vehicles at range and if you want to shoot your Catapults at an infantry unit, you are not wasting a Bright Lance shot that might prefer shooting at another vehicle or MC. A 10 man unit with Scatter Laser and Warlock comes out to about 145 which is pretty good for what you end up with, not the cheapest but rather survivable and has decent damage potential.

In the old codex, these were a cheap place to have 2 Fusion guns or Flamers which pretty much died once they got out of a Wave Serpent. Not much has changed for them except they can do more damage with the increased WS/BS and I boost. Sure they can now also take 2 Power Weapons but unless you really want a fluffy Ulthwe Black Guardian type army, you are better off taking some Aspect Warriors for CC or Fire Dragons for anti-tank. Guardians are already pretty fragile so I don't see a point in putting them in a dangerous situation which Storm Guardian options kind of force you to do. Still, if you want a backfield scoring unit wich can pose a threat to infantry/vehicles, this might be a good unit to use...

Bringing the Storm:
Ultimately, if you need an anti-tank unit, 10 with 2 Fusion guns and a Warlock with a Spear isn't a bad way to go. If you need anti infantry, 2 flamers would work as well. Though, I don't see how these guys can ever be superior to a simple Fire Dragon unit with a Flamer, I'd skip these guys all together as they are a unit that doesn't really offer much of anything to a Footdar list that other units can do better.

Dire Avengers:
In the old codex, these guys were an effective unit to spam S4 AP5 shots thanks to Guide/Doom/Bladestorm. They could put out about 32 shots which was bound to hurt something. Now, they no longer have the oldstyle Bladestorm which gave them an extra shot, instead they have improved Shuriken rules, Counter-attack, Plasma Grenades and Battle Focus/Fleet. Put it all together and you have a decent unit that can get and stay in range of it's Shuriken weapons relatively fast and threaten incoming enemy units. This is a great anti-infantry/MC unit to have running around supporting your Guardians as incoming units are definitely going to feel the pain from 18-20 "rending" shots a turn. Plasma Grenades are a nice touch if you ever want to charge a unit in cover or threaten a vehicle (since Plasma are S4 against Vehicles). Ultimately, the Exarch powers are kind of a let-down but do offer some decent options in helping the unit survive a bit longer in certain situations.

Building your Dire Avengers:
There really isn't much variety in how to build these guys...You mainly just want a lot of decently ranged S4 "rending" shots so a simple squad of 10 works just fine. Conversely, if you want a little extra protection or you KNOW you will be facing things that ignore your armor and cover (like Hell Drakes), an Exarch with Shimmer Shield isn't a bad idea as it will give you a model that can give the unit a 5+ invul and get get a 3+ invul himself in challenges to protect your units from super killy things like Demon Princes that would otherwise destroy such a unit.

In the old codex, these guys had nifty rules that let your shot be AP1 on a to-hit roll of 6 and came with Stealth, move through cover and all that jazz. Now, they are a lot cheaper but only offer us the base Sniper rules with Stealth, move through cover and infiltrate. Still a nice place to have some Sniper weapons and a decently priced unit for what you get. Can be upgraded to Pathfinders if you take Illic but I am not sure that is worth-while, no matter how fun 5+ Precision shots are. Otherwise, a very static backfield kind of unit to plunk down on an objective in cover.

These guys have changed a little bit throughout the ages but ultimately have always been a tough unit with a devastating gun. In the new codex, they remain T6 and go down a few points while they get a slew of new options. Also, while they lost access to a Warlock and their Min unit size is now 5, the fact that they can easily be made scoring from a decent HQ (the Spiritseer) works out in the Wraithguard's favor. I want to also point out that Spiritseers roll on Runes of Battle so you can potentially still get a 2+ save or Conceal in a Wraithguard unit by joining a Spiritseer to them, which makes them that much tougher.

As discussed above, our standard Wraith infantry. They are ultimately cheaper and have more effective guns as S10 essentially still wounds everything on a 2+ while their weapons can Instant-kill anything on a to-wound roll of 6 (so multiple wound T6 models beware). Also, S10 is easier to penetrate vehicles with so rather than always glancing on 3-4 and penetrating on 5-6, you get a sort of scaling bonus to armor pen for armor weaker than 14. The other options that Wraithguard now have are super cool too. D-Scythe, while costing a bit much per model, is a very solid upgrade as it can still auto-pen or Instant kill on a 6 as well as do a lot of damage to tightly packed infantry/vehicles. It is also an annoying unit to charge with d3 S4 AP2 shots per model.

For so long fans of Wraith-centric armies wished there was a CC variant of Wraithguard and here it is. Either 2 S+1 AP3 weapons or 1 S+2 AP2 unwieldly weapon with a 4+ invul are the options we get. One is better against anything that doesn't have a fist and the other is a solid tanking build against units like Thunder Hammer/Storm Shield terminators.

building Wraithguard:
Ultimately, you can spam multiple units of 5 Wraithguard with different weapon options but if you are walking, one or two units of 10 with a Spiritseer/Farseer in them is sufficient. Still, I'll probably wait until the Iyanden supplement comes out to build a Wraith-centric army.

While not a true foot unit, they are still nice to have in a Footdar list for the sheer maneuverability they can offer. They are MUCH cheaper, more effective thanks to WS/BS4 and the Bladestorm rule for their Shuriken weapons. Add in a Warlock with Conceal and you have a very mobile, survivable unit that can throw down some serious firepower then use their Jetbike move to run away. One or two 3 man units for a Footdar army should be cheap and sufficient to help get those hard to reach objectives or to get that Line-breaker secondary objective.

Close Combat elements:
Every army may need to face threats in Close Combat and this is still a part of the game last I checked. Some armies focus entirely on this part of the game (mainly Demons) so having a solid close combat element is never a bad idea...

A long-time standard and effective CC unit. They were so powerful because of WS5, Viel of Tears and Rending+Doom=death and destruction. They are pretty much the same except Viel of Tears needs to be cast and no easy access to doom, though we now have easy access to Prescience so that might make up for it. A fast, effective counter charge unit. Simply take a 6-10 man unit with Kisses, Shadow Seer and call it a day. Fusion guns are a nice touch along with a Death Jester if you prefer and have the points. 

Striking Scorpions:
These guys got quite an overhaul in that they now come with Stealth, Infiltrate and Move Through Cover. The fact that the Exarch can now take a Fist that is not Unwieldy or a Specialist weapon is huge too as we have a unit that can deal with hordes and power armor equally well. The Exarch is going to trash many Sgt. type upgrade models in a challenge as well so that fist/power weapon wielding Sgt. in a Space Marine unit won't be doing much while it gets its face smashed in by the Exarch leaving the rest of the unit free to trash the unit with their flurry of S4 attacks. An 8-10 unit with Exarch, Fist and whatever powers you want is a solid option and I think Scorpions may surpass Harlequins in terms of survivability/mobility and offensive power.

Howling Banshees:
Well.. They exist. No grenades or real way to get them into combat is a problem. They can be a good counter-charge unit if you hide them and then move them out to charge whatever is already engaged with you, though they are still only AP3 and don't have any great abilities. I really see this unit as a counter-charge unit more than anything so their application will be limited and unique. A Spiritseer with +1 S, +1 Save or +1 ws/I might be a good addition as will a Warlock casting -1 armor save on the intended target thereby making Terminators easy prey for the Banshees. If you really want to take this unit, 8-10 strong with Exarch and Executioner is probably the way to go.

Support elements:
Every army needs some support elements in the form of units that can take out particular targets. Whether it is extra anti-infantry or anti-tank, the Footdar need more than just their Harlequins and Guardians running around...They need some solid specialist units that can engage key targets effectively..

Fire Dragons:
A solid anti-tank/MC unit that usually needed to be delivered via Wave Serpent. In a foot list, they still featured well when Fortuned and the Fire Pike wielding Exarch usually got into range fairly fast to do some damage; they were always good at unloading at anything that got too close to your army. Now they have  3+ armor which is roughly the same as a Fortuned 4+ and they have Battle Focus/Fleet. Put that together and you have a unit that is more mobile, survivable and better suited for a foot list than it previously was. What's not to love about 12"+d6" range Melta guns along with a Fire Pike that can shoot twice? For Foot lists, I'd recommend at least 8 in a unit with an Exarch, Firepike and Fast Shot.

Swooping Hawks:
This is a very mobile and multi-purpose unit in a sense. It can spam S3 shots at 24" and when it Deepstrikes it doesn't scatter and you can throw down a S4 AP4 small/large  Blast that ignores cover. It has Hit & Run and can enter ongoing reserves on a turn it didn't Deepstrike which adds to the utility of the Grenade pack. Haywire Grenades are nice for undefended vehicles as well, although I think Storm Guardians and other Aspects should have had access to Haywire. A Decent anti-infantry and vehicle unit for a decent points cost, though you might as well take Warp Spiders...

Warp Spiders:
Much cheaper and much deadlier. Weapons are now S7 against I3 or less (which includes most every Vehicle). Very mobile with a lot of options in how they can move between Warp Jump and regular Jetpack movement.  This is a solid harassment unit that is likely to take out vulnerable infantry units and vehicles (as you can easily jump behind things and get rear armor then run away).

Dark Reapers:
Now that they have Slow & Purposeful they can move and shoot and that means you can also move
them into position with a Wave Serpent and still shoot when you disembark. Options for Krack Missiles is a definite plus as is ignoring Jink saves. I think this is a very solid Fire Support unit for Footdar and is as close to Longfangs as we can get.

Vaul's Wraith Weapon Battery:
Used to be useless but now they give us interesting options. Blast with Monofilament, Blast with Distort rules, or Vibro with the potential to get 3 S9 AP2 shots...Interesting if you can get a Warlock in the unit with Conceal or +1 armor save but you might as well just take something else, honestly.

War Walkers:
Our only Walker which boasts a considerable amount of firepower for a decent cost. Two Scatter Lasers per Walker at BS4 and Guide are going to add a lot of long ranged fire support for your army. Beware of Av10 and 2 HP...2 Brightlances each and Outflanking them isn't a terrible option though as BS4 means you don't have to rely on Guide to be effective.

A solid fire support unit that can add utility with 2 Flamers and some solid CC punch. Now you don't
have to worry about Wraithsight and you can take 2 of the same weapons without worrying about the silly twin-linking stuff. 2 Brightlances and a Sword comes in at 165 and that is a bargain IMO.

A bigger Wraithlord that offers some unique weapon options and mobility on a MC. This model is sure to attract a lot of shooting that would otherwise be directed at your other units so in that sense, not a bad idea. Think of it as our Tyranofex with a Jump Pack.

So with all of those options touched on, what would a typical Footdar army look like?

HQ: 305


-Avatar: 205
195(base)+10(Fast Shot)=205

Explanation: Farseer is just there for buffs and can be an easy to hide Warlord. The Avatar is there for taking shots and giving us a fearless bubble. Fast Shot is there to make him a decent Tank Hunter and more effective in the Shooting phase. The Avatar can also hang back behind an Aegis and shoot twice with an Icharis Lascannon at BS 10...if you can fit one in.

Elites: 417

Fire Dragons: 211
22(base)*8=176+10(Exarch)+15(Fire Pike)+10(Fast Shot)=211

Harlequins: 206
18(base)*8=144+32(8 Kisses)+30(Shadow Seer)=206

Explanation: Fire Dragons are a solid and decently survivable anti-tank/MC unit for anything that gets too close. Harlequins are good CC support unit that can go toe to toe with almost anything your opponent will throw at you. 

Troops: 401

90(base)+20(Scatter Laser)=110

90(base)+20(Scatter Laser)=110

Dire Avengers:130

Guardian Jetbikes: 51

Explanation: decent and solid troops that typically feature in Footdar armies.

Fast Attack: 192

Warp Spiders:192
19(base)*8=152+10(exarch)+10(Fast Shot)+20(Spinneret Rifle)=192

Explanation: A fast harassment unit that can easily get linebreaker. Spiders can pretty much threaten any unit or Vehicle (as long as the Vehicle is not AV14 on the back).

Heavy Support: 530

-Wraith Lord: 160
120(base)+40(2x Brightlance)=160

-Wraith Lord: 160
120(base)+40(2x Brightlance)=160

-War Walkers: 210
60(base)+10(2xScatter Laser)=70*3=210

Explanation: Wraithlords are great places for 2 Brightlances and they are good in combat against anything really. War Walkers just put out so much shooting. Both units add a lot of unique shooting to cover the army's weaknesses.

This army comes out to about 1845 and offers you a wide range of units to work with that can threaten and handle just about anything your opponent can throw at you. You get 4 Brightlances, a decent amount of Melta and a ton of anti-infantry and light vehicle shooting. You could always drop the Avatar for another Farseer and take more Troops or an Aegis as well.


One key ingredient to winning a game of 40k is having models left alive at the end of the game. If you can manage that, you've probably done something right with the surviving units/models. Beyond that, you also need to make sure you have them alive and in the right spot while making sure your opponent has less alive and those that did survive are in all the wrong spots. This is 40k in a nutshell but it is more vital for Footdar armies because you don't have much room for error in terms of positioning and targets you choose to engage. You only have between 5 and 7 turns to kill what you need to kill and get where you need to get, after all...So Footdar will have a lot more offensive capability with the new weapons and rules for our army than it previously did but it will be limited in terms of survivability since we have limited access to Fortune and such. All in all, more viable but still fragile.


  1. Funny, you're HS is exactly what I have except I have the SL/BL set-up on the WLords. Stick the Avatar here and just move across the field. Also big fan of the upgrades the Spiders/Scorpions got - so I differ just slightly to taste as I also agree the Scorpions may overtake Harlies pending but we'll see how the codex takes shape over the next few months.

    Nice write up, as usual.

  2. Found your blog about a month ago or so. Really good stuff. Althouch I may actually bust out my old D-Canon models because in 6th Artilery are treated as T 7 W 2 3+ AS models from shooting attacks so they are actually decently survivable (amusingly they also have Battle Focus despite artillery being unable to run).

    1. @ Alexander:
      Equally silly is the Guardian crew for artillery having Plasma Grenades even though they cannot run! Anyway, thank's for your comments and thank's for checking out my blog.

      Artillery might be ok behind an aegis with a Warlock and Conceal, nothing like T7 with a 2+ cover, eh?

      There are some builds that can make good use out of the Artillery though I generally don't use them myself. Good luck with them and feel free to let me know how they work for you.

      @ Mr.Dad man:
      Thanks for the comments, Wraithlords are very versatile in the new dex so glad you found a build that works for you, interestingly enough, think the Scatter Laser twin-links the Flamers so you can re-roll wounds for one of them?

  3. Hi,

    Great article and blog only thing to pick up on you cant have powers from both a codex and a table from the main rulebook see FAQ entry below:

    Q: Can psychic powers be mixed and matched from the psychic
    disciplines and those found in the Codexes? (p418)
    A: No. You may select from the psychic powers listed in the
    Codex as normal orswap them for a number ofrolls on the
    psychic disciplines tables.

    1. I believe that is referring to the older codexes where powers were not rolled for

    2. Indeed, Atreides is correct as the Codex specifically says a Farseer may generate powers from any table available. The FAQ was a stop-gap until a codex would be updated to 6th ed.

  4. Great article, thanks. It is a shame to see that Eldrad doesn't seem to be getting a look in on listings these days. Not had much of a chance to try out the new codex yet. However, in the past I've always found that he's been great for a predominantly foot-slogging list. Though from what I've been reading a lot of folks are finding he's just too expensive these days, when compared to the standard farseer with a cheap setup. Guess we'll have to wait and see how it pans out over the coming months.