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Author Topic: Expanding a Start Collecting! Craftworlds Box into a Basic Army  (Read 4360 times)

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Offline Blazinghand

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Expanding a Start Collecting! Craftworlds Box
Into a Basic Army

Introduction

Craftworld Eldar are capable of many styles of play. Our forces excel using long ranged shooting, heavy tank and walker armies, close ranged high-firepower shooting, mobile assault, mechanized vehicle-based armies, and so on. Eldar is currently a well-balanced faction, able to compete at all levels of play.

If you want to begin collecting Craftworld Eldar, the Start Collecting! Craftworlds box is a great way to begin. This article will be an overview of what you need in order to collect, assemble, paint, and play a 1,000 point Craftworld Eldar army based on the Start Collecting! Craftworlds box. If you have already purchased a Start Collecting! Craftworlds box, and want to know how to grow it into a 1,000 point army, this is the article for you.

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Basics: the Start Collecting! Craftworlds box and a Wave Serpent

A good way to begin your army is with a Start Collecting! Craftworlds box. This box contains 5 Wraithguard (Elites), a Farseer (HQ), a Wraithlord (Heavy Support), and a War Walker (Heavy Support). This is a great core for an army. The Farseer appears in every Eldar army, almost without fail. The Wraithguard are considered tough, heavy hitters, particularly with D-Scythes. The Wraithlord is best taken as a melee monster with a sword, and is reasonably effective in this role. The War Walker, armed with Shuriken Cannons, makes for a nimble harasser. This box costs about 50 GBP or 80 USD, and provides 500 points of units.

You will want to add a Wave Serpent hover transport. The Wave Serpent box contains a Wave Serpent (Dedicated Transport) with various weapons. This is a necessary unit in most Eldar armies, delivering our elite short-ranged units to where they will be most deadly. The Wave Serpent will be particularly useful for the slow-moving Wraithguard in the Start Collecting! Craftworlds box. I never leave home without one. The Wave Serpent box costs 30 GBP or 45 USD, and provides 150 points of units.

From this core, where you go from here depends on what you want to do. We can build a diverse army by adding light foot units, or we can build a specialized army by adding long ranged heavy support units. Both are fine ways to build your way up to 1,000 points.

Option One: adding Troops to form a Battalion and hit 1,000 points

A simple way to reach 1,000 points is to round things out with some light infantry Troop units and a Warlock HQ. Guardian Defenders have great firepower and weapon options, while Dire Avengers are more durable, longer ranged, and can access unique Exarch Powers if you have Psychic Awakening: Phoenix Rising rules supplement. One double-size squad of Guardians and 2 squad of Dire Avengers is 300 points of troops and will run you about 90 GBP or 140 USD total. The Warlock is 10 GBP or 15 USD and 45-50 points. This will let you reach the 2 HQ, 3 Troop requirement for a Battalion.

Total Purchases:
  • Start Collecting! Craftworlds
  • Wave Serpent
  • Warlock
  • Guardian Defenders
  • Guardian Defenders
  • Dire Avengers
  • Dire Avengers
  • Total Cost: About 185 GBP or 270 USD

An example of an army you can make this way:

Quote
BATTALION of AELDARI ASURYANI <CRAFTWORLD>
HQ: Farseer  with Witchblade - 110
HQ: Warlock with Witchblade - 45
TROOPS: 20 Guardian Defenders with 2 Shuriken Cannon Platforms - 190
TROOPS: 5 Dire Avengers, 1 is Exarch with Two Catapults - 58
TROOPS: 5 Dire Avengers, 1 is Exarch with Two Catapults - 58
ELITE: 5 Wraithguard with D-Scythes - 185
HEAVY: Wraithlord with Ghostglaive, 2 wrist-mounted Shuriken Catapults, and 2 shoulder-mounted Shuriken Cannons- 110
HEAVY: War Walker with 2 Aeldari Missile Launchers - 75
TRANSPORT: Wave Serpent with Twin Bright Lances and a Crystal Targeting Matrix - 162

993 points

This is a balanced army capable of fighting at a short distances and dealing with threats in various ways. Being grouped up into a single large squad, the Guardians will need to rely on Advance or the Webway Strike stratagem to move around and may run into some trouble, but their firepower is excellent. To expand this army towards 1500 points, more long range firepower, some kind of deep striking or fast unit (swooping hawks for example), melee threats, and units that are good at busting tanks such as Fire Dragons, Dark Reapers, or Fire Prisms would be a good choice.

Option Two: adding Heavy Support to form a Spearhead and hit 1,000 points

You already have 2 Heavy Support units from the Start Collecting! Craftworlds box, and you can add more to form a Spearhead detachment. The trusty Fire Prism is a classic, with 32 GBP or 55 USD getting you a top-notch model that runs about 150 points. Buying two Fire Prisms will bring you to 1,000 points. These hover tanks have great damage output and are some of our best vehicles. Two Fire Prisms will also allow you to use the Linked Fire stratagem.

Total Purchases:
  • Start Collecting! Craftworlds
  • Wave Serpent
  • Warlock
  • Fire Prism
  • Fire Prism
  • Total Cost: About 160 GBP or 265 USD

An example of an army you can make this way:

Quote
SPEARHEAD of AELDARI ASURYANI <CRAFTWORLD>
HQ: Farseer  with Witchblade - 110
HQ: Warlock with Witchblade - 45
ELITE: 5 Wraithguard with D-Scythes - 185
HEAVY: Wraithlord with Ghostglaive, 2 wrist-mounted Shuriken Catapults, and 2 shoulder-mounted Aeldari Missile Launchers - 130
HEAVY: War Walker with 2 Aeldari Missile Launchers - 75
HEAVY: Fire Prism - 142
HEAVY: Fire Prism - 142
TRANSPORT: Wave Serpent with Twin Shuriken Cannons and Vectored Engines - 149

996 points

This army lacks table presence due to its low model count, but will be easy to play since there are few to move around, and puts out impressive firepower and mid and long range. Without light infantry to support the gunline, you may find yourself getting a bit bogged down at times, but remember that the Fire Prisms are actually pretty mobile, and the Wraithlord is not bad in assault. Everything except the Wave Serpent and the Wraithguard is loaded out for long range combat To expand this army towards 1500 points, infantry to support the heavy guns will be needed, as well as short ranged specialists.

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General Advice - Budgeting and Purchases

Models and play tools: Start Collecting! Craftworlds box is 50 GBP or 80 USD, Wave Serpent is 30 GBP or 45 USD. Together with either the troop units and warlock (Battalion option) or the fire prism (Spearhead option), your total price for models before shipping and tax should come to about 160 GBP or 270 USD. If you are new to the hobby, there will be other expenses. Remember to buy the Codex+Cards (£35/$55), a Measuring tape (£4/$8), some dice (a cube of reasonably priced d6s should be 15 GBP or USD), and hobby equipment, which I describe in detail below.

Modeling tools: For glue, any superglue (Cyanoacrylate) will work. The kind with a brush cap or narrow nozzle is ideal, since you will easily put too much as you start out. This should cost ~10 GBP/USD, more or less depending on size. You will also want a set of modeling files, a hobby knife, and clippers. Clippers will remove the pieces of the model from the sprue. Modeling files will clean up mold lines and bits of sprue stuck to the model. The hobby knife is a general purpose knife as you will find you have all sorts of things that need to be cut or trimmed. A miniatures file should be between 5 and 10 GBP/USD, a hobby knife should be in the same range, sprue clippers should cost in that range as well. Some companies sell hobby boxes that include all these items and let you get a better price.

Painting tools: For paints, I prefer to use Citadel paints as GW recommends, but there are as many opinions on paint brands as there are painters. If you can, spray-on base coat and spray-on primer make things easier. There are paint bundles that include large numbers of paints available from GW, but these will often include paints you do not want. Do research, ask on forums, and figure out how you want to paint before purchasing paints, so you only buy what you need. Expect to pay between 50 USD and 120 USD unless you are very frugal for paints.

For brushes, buy cheap paintbrushes. A cheap set of miniatures paintbrushes goes for about 10 GBP/USD. You will ruin them, that is what happens to most people's first set of brushes. This way, you will not feel bad about it. Read and watch lots of guides for newbies.

Conclusion

By buying a Wave Serpent and building towards either a Spearhead or a Battalion, you can build a fun and interesting 1,000-point Craftworlds army out of the Start Collecting box. All together, this should cost about 160 GBP or 270 USD for the models, another 50 GBP or 70 USD for gaming tools, and another 50-150 GBP/USD on paints and painting tools. On the high end, this is going to be about 370 GBP or 500 USD in total.
« Last Edit: February 18, 2020, 11:49:34 PM by Blazinghand »
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Offline Myen'Tal

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Re: Expanding a Start Collecting! Craftworlds Box into a Basic Army
« Reply #1 on: April 30, 2018, 09:00:41 PM »
I really like the article you crafted here, Blazinghand, crammed with advice and guidance from a hobby veteran :). I think it's a good reminder that it's always great to begin slow and build up naturally rather than purchasing an entire army and quickly becoming overwhelmed (I still have this temptation, even knowing how it will end :P). Good call on buying normal miniatures brushes rather than the expensive ones. The first brushes I brought got destroyed because I took care of them wrong, even with the Masters brush cleaner and mineral oil to purge the paint. I simply let too much paint creep into the upper parts of the brush bristles and I think that just killed them in the end.

Always loved Craftworld Eldar, if so much of their stock was not always sold out, I would consider them more closely. But I think I'm going to try and wait for that faithful day when their model range is re-imagined in plastic. I have Dark Eldar to tie me over until then though I suppose ;D.

I think I'm getting into the point where I want to start the hobby soon. The only conflict with my progress is my 6-year old PC, which is crying out for an upgrade. That said, I definitely want one 40k army before Sisters of Battle roll out next year!
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Offline Fenris

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Re: Expanding a Start Collecting! Craftworlds Box into a Basic Army
« Reply #2 on: May 1, 2018, 03:34:04 AM »
I would wholeheartedly disagree, sorry for being the dull one.

The "start collecting" box is the worst combination of units in a eldar box so far, while the discount is really nice; I think you are better off with the "Craftworlds army" box as a starter, unless you are really into Iyanden.

What you need is actually 2 "craftworlds army" boxes to get started;
Now you can field all your models as a battleforged army, heck you can almost call it a battalion, you just need a third troops choice.

What you get is:
2 Farseers
20 Guardians with 2 platforms
10 Wraith guards/blades
2 War walkers
2 Wraithlords
2 Wave serpents

That's a 1500p army right there, 1 Ulthwé patrol + 1 Iyanden spearhead. For 240€ or 2400SEK.

Still if you, like me, are not into necromancy, these boxes are crap.
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Offline Irisado

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Re: Expanding a Start Collecting! Craftworlds Box into a Basic Army
« Reply #3 on: May 1, 2018, 04:26:35 AM »
Many thanks for compiling this.  It will be a very informative and useful resources for new players.  I've added it as a link to the Crystal Library section of the PoC.
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Offline dog_of_war

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Re: Expanding a Start Collecting! Craftworlds Box into a Basic Army
« Reply #4 on: May 1, 2018, 08:38:31 AM »
Great article Blazinghand! I really think you approached this correctly by encouraging the new player to start small and build up their force. Trying for a 1500 point army out of the gate tends to lead to frustration and a sense of being overwhelmed for new players. It's better to learn the game on a smaller scale and trying to build 1500 points of the bat to play a game would lead to weeks of building and no playing, leading to further discouragement.

A few additional thoughts that you may add to the article.

Maybe a brief note on magnetizing weapons. Wraithlords, walkers, and weapon platforms would all benefit from being able to easily swap weapons. Also another note on which models come with single weapons when you traditionally want a dual load out, (I'm looking at you war walker) and how to potentially get around this (use wraithlord extra weapons for example.)

I'd also suggest bringing up the spiritseer instead of the warlock, especially after the most recent errata. A newer playing would tend to have more success with a spiritseer in a wraith heavy force and they are now a better value for the points. Also being a wraith heavy force, additional wraithlords instead of fire prisms may be a better route.

All together a great article. Thanks for putting it together.

Offline Blazinghand

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Re: Expanding a Start Collecting! Craftworlds Box into a Basic Army
« Reply #5 on: February 18, 2020, 11:50:36 PM »
I've updated this guide to reflect latest points values as of Chapter Approved 2019 which came out in December 2019, and the new GW prices for its miniatures. I've made some slight changes to the lists - such as swapping out the resin Rangers for plastic Dire Avengers in the first list - to take advantage of these changes.
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Offline Dread

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Re: Expanding a Start Collecting! Craftworlds Box into a Basic Army
« Reply #6 on: February 24, 2020, 08:49:48 PM »
This is such a good post. You really out did yourself and thanks so much for the time you spent on it. I will try to push folks to come read this that are thinking about getting into pointy ears. They see my army at the local stores and always ask. I give them a general run down and they watch the game. Unfortunately they see the super new stuff steam roll me but still one of the most beautiful armies out. 8) I'm getting close to 30 years playing Eldar which besides Deathwing, is my oldest army.
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