Wave Serpents are amazing vehicles that add so much to any and every Eldar army. This post will debut my first ever tactical videos covering the Wave Serpent including weapon options, vehicle upgrades, keeping the Wave Serpent alive along with how to use it offensively and effectively deliver units.
So yeah, this is my first video ever so please let me know what you guys think, what I can improve, what I missed and that kind of thing.
This part covers the very basic stats of the Wave Serpent, the weapon options, vehicle upgrades and what I think is the optimal build. This first part is more for those that have no idea what a Wave Serpent is or what you can get for it as well as anyone who wants a refresh on their Wave Serpent knowledge. Part 2 (below) will have more of the "advanced" tactical aspects of using the Wave Serpent.
Just an FYI, in the video I mention Crystal Targeting Matrix only gives your Wave Serpent one shot but I meant to say that it allows you to shoot one weapon so I hope nobody is confused!
The Wave Serpent comes with a Shuriken Cannon turret and Shuriken Catapult underslung weapon. Both have 360 line of sight since they can both rotate as such (and GW FAQs confirm this). However, for a minimal cost, you can upgrade both of the weapons which are generally better than what the Serpent comes with..
Underslung Shuriken Catapults:
A 12" S4 AP5 weapon with the Bladestorm rule so anything wounded on a 6 makes the shot AP2. Good for maximum LOLs when you get those 6s to wound things like a Riptide. Can be upgrade to an Underslung Shuriken Cannon which no longer has 360 vision but offers you much more of a punch. I usually skimp out on the Cannon upgrade to save points and because I am either too far away to put the weapon to good use or I will generally be firing other weapons as I tend to move 12" a turn and if I don't, the Catapults work out just fine.
A 24" Heavy 3 S6 AP5 weapon with the Bladestorm rule. All in all, solid and cheap as it comes stock on the Serpent but as I said above, the other available weapons are generally better and offer more for the Serpent and your army.
A 36" Heavy 4 S6 Ap6 weapon with the Laser Lock rule so if this hits any of your other shots are also twin-linked. This is probably the most optimal weapon to have on the serpent since it will twin-link your Serpent Shield and Underslung Cannon if you got one. This option also makes your Serpents better against Flyers since you will have (hopefully) a lot of twin-linked shooting in general. What's not to love about a potential 11-14 (14 with the underslung cannon) shots at S6-7?
A 36" S8 AP2 Heavy 1 weapon with the Lance rule so anything above AV12 is counted as AV12. A Great anti-tank weapon but perhaps a waste on the Serpent as you really are not taking advantage of the Serpent Shield with this loadout.
A 36" S6 AP2 Heavy 2 weapon. Great for taking out anything with a 2+ save but again, a Serpent is not the best place to have this weapon.
Eldar Missile Launcher:
A 48" S4/8 AP4/3 Blast/Heavy 1 (for the Plasma/Starstrike versions respectively). Both versions have the Pinning special rule as well. This is the most expensive upgrade but generally not worth it compared to the Scatter Laser.
So yeah, Scatter Laser is what I think is the best option because it increases the utility of your Serpent Shield and that is the main thing about the Wave Serpent anyway. The Serpent Shield is a 60" S7 AP- d6+1 shot weapon that has the Ignores Cover and Pinning special rules...Quite a great weapon to take out anything that relies on cover for survival or av 10-13 vehicles.
Below are the Vehicle Upgrades available to the Wave Serpent in order of importance/usefulness...
+1 to your Cover Save if you move, what's not to love? 5+ Jink save turns into a 4+; 4+ Flat-out turns into a 3+; 4+ Ruins, Hill Crest and Aegis Defense Line save turns into a 3+. If you manage to position your Vehicle so that the enemy is in a facing they do not have LOS to then you get another +1 to your cover save so an otherwise 4+ Ruins save would become a 2+ save at that. Stacks with Stealth or Conceal so with Eldrad's Warlord power you can get 2+ Cover for a turn quite easily (for when you have destroyed everything with a Marker Light in a Tau army and want to get up close and personal but not get shot to death in the process).
A great upgrade that allows you to pivot after shooting your weapons. This mainly allows you to move up with any vehicle, allow a unit to get out of the rear hatch, shoot your turret weapon then turn your vehicle around so the back hatch is no longer exposed to enemy shooting. Essentially, it adds the length of the Wave Serpent to any Disembarking unit.
Ghost Walk Matrix:
Another great upgrade that gives your Serpent Move Through Cover so they automatically pass dangerous terrain tests...Never worry about immobilizing your vehicle when going through terrain! Now you can end on top of impassible terrain or move flat out in the craziest piece of terrain on the table without a care. Far superior to those silly Dozer Blades other armies put on their things, what, is there a snow storm they need to shovel snow in or something? Silly imperium...
An ok upgrade that allows you to ignore Shaken results on a 2+ and Stunned results on a 4+. Overall, the Serpent Shield is much better and this upgrade only comes into play when the Shield is down. Therefore, you will not get much use out of this upgrade as you will need to have your Serpent Shield down, take a Penetrating hit that happens to roll a 1-3 results which means chances are you will never need this upgrade on your Serpents.
Crystal Targeting Matrix:
This lets you shoot a weapon after you turbo-boost which could be the turret, Serpent Shield or Underslung...Though for 25 points why bother? Chances are you won't need the extra shooting of the Serpent if you are moving Flat out and it just makes your Serpents too expensive...Just move 12" a turn and keep shooting at your opponent.
An extra 6" when you go Flat-Out with your Serpents...Really? If you need that extra 6" you are doing it wrong. This is probably only good on War Walkers who can then Battle Focus up to 9" (this adds 3+ to their run moves). If you see this upgrade on your opponent's vehicles you will probably win the game.
So those are the upgrades...Really, Holofields is probably the only thing I would consider taking on most all of my Serpents and only on the ones I expect to be out front attracting the attention of my opponent. Ghost Walk Matrix is awesome and Vectored Engines is great for when you need to get a unit somewhere (like Fire Dragons, D-Scythe Wraithguard, Storm Guardians) and so these on those few Serpents carrying such units is a worthwhile investment. otherwise, keep the Serpents cheap and use them for some great shooting.
This part covers maximizing cover saves and using the Wave Serpent offensively which includes Tank Shock and deploying units to efectively engage targets.
I plan on doing similar videos for other units and perhaps a general overview of what I think about the new Eldar codex, let me know if you guys think the video format worked or if it is failtastic!