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22/07/2013

Top Eldar Units


The Eldar codex has been out a month now and slowly but surely 40k players are getting to grips with it. There's some nice units in the Eldar codex, but what is hot and what's not?

These units are NOT listed in any particular order and of course my own opinions, yours may vary!

Farseer

The Farseer is the craftworld's top psyker (not including Eldrad) and rumbles in with mastery level 3. The Farseer has a range of psychic powers which can be taken from runes of fate, divination and telepathy. Here's just a few tasty powers each discipline can give:

Rune of Fate

Guide lets a friendly unit re-roll to hit, this is the runes of fate primaris power.

Doom lets all failed to wound rolls to be re-rolled. If against a vehicle all failed armour penetration rolls can be re-rolled. This power is handy against aerial targets, particularly armoured units such as Chaos Space Marine Heldrakes. Stack this power with guide and you have a potent any air unit, say a unit of War Walkers for example.

Eldritch storm brings a shooting attack in large blast form with haywire, fleshbane and pinning. Eldritch storm is great for dropping on those parking lots, the high ballistic skill of the Farseer means should be little scatter. If there's no parking lots then drop on horde units, hopefully have them pinned.

Fortune allows re-rolls of failed saving throws and deny the witch rolls. Saving throws means any kind, so cover, armour and invulnerable saves.

Divination

Prescience lets a single friendly unit re-roll to hit, this is the primaris power.

Misfortune forces an enemy unit to re-roll successful saves. Stack this with doom and guide and suddenly you have a super anti air unit which is forcing them pesky flyers to re-roll jink saves or in the Heldrake's case re-roll those invulnerable saves.

Precognition is a very good power which allows re-roll to hit, to wound and failed saving throws! Stack this power with invisibility from telepathy and you can have a fast moving assault unit buffed into a deathstar from psychic powers. Re-rolling invisible Wraithknight?

Telepathy

Psychic shriek is the primaris power, it is a shooting attack which the Farseer rolls 3D6 and minus off the target's leadership - the difference is how many wounds the unit suffers with no armour or cover saves! This power is excellent for picking on small units such as Veteran Guardsmen, Space Marines, Ork Nobz etc where the small numbers will count the losses.

Puppet master allows you to take control of an enemy model and allows you to make a shooting attack if was your own - use the enemy's own meltagun to fry their own tank! Extremely awesome if you're using doom.

Invisibility gives the stealth and shrouding special rules and models being charged by an invisible unit do not gain counter-attack and count as WS1 - cast this on Striking Scorpions so they can get an early attack in or on a Wraithknight to get extra cover save bonus while having his toe in a crater.

If you want the Farseer to be uber survivable then pop him on an eldar jetbike and give the mantle of the laughing god. This costs about 150 points, but you have a super mobile psyker who doesn't need some unit on foot to act as wounds. The Farseer is also mega survivable as gains the shrouding and stealth special rule and can re-roll any failed saves, plus has hit and run if any close combat units try and get hold of him. Only needs to worry about ignore cover weapons etc.

Spiritseer

The Spiritseer is the Farseer's little brother who has some fascination for the dead. The Spiritseer is basically a cheaper mastery level 2 psyker. Powers are generated from the rune of battle discipline, all powers have a two abilities - so you're basically getting two powers for the price of one. Powers give a benefit to Eldar units i.e +1 armour saves (fancy 2+ armour save Wraithguard?) and do the opposite to enemy units, ever seen 3+ save Terminators? :) . If runes of battle isn't your thing then you can generate powers from invisibility.

Speaking of Wraithguard, the Spiritseer makes Wraithguard troops and who doesn't like T6 troops with big S10 AP2 guns or S4 AP2 flamers?

If that's not cool enough the Spiritseer can spiritmark an enemy unit and ALL wraith units re-roll 1's to hit against that enemy unit. This power is very cool as it can be done during ANY point of the movement phase, so move your vehicle closer, bail out and have your Wraithguard in range and then spiritmark something to make sure it gets blown to bits.

Wave Serpent

The Wave Serpent is currently the high daddy transport in the entire game of 40k. If you do not know it is an av12-12-10 fast skimmer and has a funky serpent shield; the shield can change a penetrating hit to a glance on a 2+ or can fire D6+1 S7 60" AP- pinning, ignores cover shots. If you add a scatter laser (if the scatter lasers hit, which it will do as twin-linked, then all other shooting attacks re-roll to hit) then the serpent shield and any other weapons are re-rolling to hit. If that's not enough dakka for you then you can add an underslung shuriken cannon and have a nasty skimmer spaceship of S6/S7 death.

Not only is the Serpent survivable thanks to the funky shield, but also thanks to the holofield. This item of wargear gives +1 to cover saves. As a Wave Serpent is a skimmer it gets the jink rule providing it moved, so providing you do move your Wave Serpent you are looking at a 4+ cover save. Now imagine if you have 25% of your Eldar tank behind a ruin or better yet a fortification...

Wave Serpents have brought back mech (though I say it never went away) and themselves are masters of transport destruction - Rhinos etc stand little chance against Wave Serpents barrage of fire power and if you find yourself against something with tough front armour i.e Predator, Vindicator or Chimera then the Wave Serpent is fast enough to get into the side armour. Think you are safe behind cover and hiding in your bubble of smoke? Forget it, the Serpent ignores cover. Majority of vehicles stand very little chance against a Wave Serpent.

Striking Scorpions

Striking Scorpions are one of my favourite aspects and are total badass! Think of Striking Scorpions as Space Marines who are S3 and T3 but with I5. At first look the strength might be a worry but the funky scorpion chainswords gives +1 strength bringing them more into Space Marine terrority. In addition the chainsword is AP6, so will be chopping Orks and weak xenos such as Tyranids to bits.

If that isn't good enough the Scorpions have the mandiblaster which inflicts a S3 hit at I10 (basically hammer of wrath), sure S3 isn't awesome but it is a nice bonus.

To compliment the chainsword and mandiblasters Scorpions have plasma grenades, so if assaulting through terrain there's no worry of losing that nice high initiative. They also have a shuri pistol, which gives them a little shooting bonus but more importantly an extra attack in close combat. On the charge the Scorpions have 3 x S4 attacks and 1 x S3 each!

If all the above doesn't warrant them as being one of the top units in the Eldar codex then consider this; Scorpions get stealth, move through cover and infiltrate along with the normal Eldar rules of battle focus and fleet. You can place the Striking Scorpions into prime positions and have LOS blocked to them and get in a first turn assault (if you go second) with good rolls.

One more cool thing, the Striking Scorpion Exarch can take a power claw. This is essential a power fist which strikes in initiative order and will get +1 attack if with a shuri pistol.

Fire Dragons

Fire Dragons are the ultimate destructive unit in the Eldar codex, if you want something dead then these guys are for the job. Dragons are your typical Eldar who are armed with a fusion gun (meltagun), melta bombs and have a 3+ armour save to survive the backlash after enemy unit destruction.

As Dragons have fleet and battle focus they can get closer to an enemy target if their transport drops them too far away - never think Dragons are just out of range until they have used battle focus. If Dragons are already in range they can use battle focus to move into terrain for cover, to block LOS or even act as a buffer against enemy assault units.

Warp Spiders

Warp Spiders are another favourite aspect of mine. Who doesn't like teleporting dudes with S6 guns?

The Warp Spiders come with a warp jump generator which gives them the jet pack unit type. In addition the unit may move 6" +2D6", this ignores all terrain and models. If a double is rolled then a model is randomly removed. This jump ability can move the Warp Spiders a prospective 18", though on average you are looking at 13".

Like majority of Eldar the Warp Spiders have battle focus and fleet. On average you should get an extra 4" to run, if you get something poor then you have fleet :) In total the Warp Spiders could have a move of 24", though on average you are looking at 17".

As mentioned above, Warp Spiders are jet pack infantry and so in the assault phase can move 2D6" - on average this will be 7". So add on the average 17" movement and you are looking at 24" movement in total in a single turn!

To match their awesome movement ability the Warp Spiders have the death spinner which is 12" S6 assault 2. The death spinner has the cool monofilament rule, which if shooting against initiative 3 or lower or no initiative the death spinners gains +1 strength, so you're talking about a highly mobile unit of autocannons! In addition if a 6+ is rolled to wound then it counts as AP1.

When you take all of the above into account the Warp Spiders become effective vehicle hunters and assassins of multi wound S3 models i.e Imperial Guard Heavy Weapons Teams.

With the right movement and deployment, it is possible Warp Spiders could be in range on turn 1 no matter who goes first - 12" deployment, 13" average movement, 4" average run = 29".

War Walkers

At first glance the War Walker seems very puny; av10-10-10 open topped along with a 5+ invulnerable save. Not exactly taking punches is it? Well believe it or not the War Walker can take more of a beating than you think. The force field will save 33% of the damage on average, that's a fair amount of damage the War Walker can absorb. Then the War Walker has battle focus and fleet, this can allow the War Walker to dive in and out of cover or LOS blocking terrain ensuring survival.

If the survival of the War Walker has you concerned then the War Walker has scout, which you can outflank and if using an Autarch bring on turn 2 with the right rolls - excellent for getting side armour shots and destroying camping armour or infantry. Having a unit of War Walkers rampaging around in your deployment zone isn't cool at all. With War Walkers coming on on the flanks they will bypass some of the opponent's force and be taking little damage in return, plus with their fire power and range as soon as they come on they will be having an impact and contributing to the game.

All of the War Walker weapon options are very cheap (except eldar missile launcher) and they can be fitted for a variety of roles. Due to the long range of all weapons the War Walkers can hang back with little worry of return enemy fire power. Speaking of the eldar missile launcher, you can take flakk missiles giving the War Walkers skyfire, but this is very expensive and you'd be better off taking a Farseer with powers mentioned above and using those powers for skyfire duty.

Building the list

Lets gather all of the above and throw it into one big Eldar ball of a list. I think due to the amount of units best make this list 2,500.

At the moment I'll take a single Striking Scorpion unit as I think 10 is enough plus due to points.

A single Dragon and Wraithguard unit will do, they both offer redundancy and this reduces points. Plus the Wraithguard are troops thanks to the Spiritseer.

I have take Avengers in units of 10, but if points allow could reduce them to units of 5 and take an additional unit or 2.

Spiders I have kept as units of 5, they will be nice distraction units.

War Walkers provide the bulk of the fire power and with a laughing-seer around they will put out some serious damage.

Eldar 'Top List' - 2,500 

HQ

Farseer - eldar jetbike & mantle of the laughing god
Spiritseer

Elite

10 x Striking Scorpions - Exarch w/ power claw
5 x Fire Dragons w/ Wave Serpent - Wave Serpent w/ twin-linked scatter laser, shuriken cannon & holofield

Troops

5 x Wraithguard w/ Wave Serpent - Wave Serpent w/ twin-linked scatter laser, shuriken cannon & holofield
10 x Dire Avengers w/ Wave Serpent - Wave Serpent w/ twin-linked scatter laser, shuriken cannon & holofield
10 x Dire Avengers w/ Wave Serpent - Wave Serpent w/ twin-linked scatter laser, shuriken cannon & holofield

Fast Attack

5 x Warp Spiders
5 x Warp Spiders

Heavy Support

3 x War Walkers - 2 x scatter lasers each
3 x War Walkers - 2 x scatter lasers each
3 x War Walkers - 2 x bright lances each

Total: 2,365


Do you agree with this assessment of the top units in the Eldar codex or do you think something has been missed out or doesn't deserve to be in the list?