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Offline Nutty

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Starting an Eldar Army
« on: July 27, 2019, 07:10:48 AM »
Hello Everyone,


I've been thinking about collecting Eldar for a while now; as I'm getting a bit bored with my Imperial Guard army. It would be nice to be able to switch things up, from both a gameplay and a painting/modelling perspective. The army is going to be a secret (for my gaming group anyway) project until I can field a small army (750/1000 points).

The other day I placed what turned out to be the wining bid on a (somewhat older) Eldar army. It will take a fair bit of TLC to get it table ready; but the price was good and there's a bunch of cool stuff in there. It looks like a solid basis for a new army. However my experience with Eldar is limited to going "oh god not again" when facing 8-9 wave serpents during 7th edition, so I would love to get some pointers.

What I've got to work with (based on what I've seen in the pictures):

1 avatar
1 farseer
3 warlocks (or maybe spirit seers)

14 rangers (previous edition)
~40 guardians + 1 platform
8 Dire Avengers

8 Striking Scorpions
9 Banshees

9 swooping hawks
5 Windriders
5 Warp Spiders
2 Vypers

3 War Walkers
1 Wraithlord (previous edition)
1 fire prism  (previous edition)
1 Falcon

1 Wave Serpent


Now I would like to prioritize on building a 750 point patrol detachment first, as it is a local staple. Since I play a fairly static Cadian army, I'd also like to focus on mobility and take some cool aspect warriors. So I came to the following:

HQ: Farseer

Troop 1: 5 Rangers
Troop 2: 10 Guardians
Troop 3: 10 Guardians

Elite: 5 Striking Scorpions w/ exarch

FA 1: 9 Swooping Hawks w/ exarch
FA 2: 5 Windriders w/ 2 Shuriken Cannons

Heavy 1: War Walker w/ 2 Bright lances
Heavy 2: War Walker w/ 2 Shuriken Cannons


The Guardians seem like a good way to get some numbers, but that might be the Guardsman in me talking... dropping/replacing them could get me some other toys on the table. Maybe a warlock for additional Psychic support. I've also seen mention of the 'tactic' where you use the webway deployment to drop a unit of 20 into range of something and hosing it down with shots, but I'm not sure if it's a good idea at this point as it would be a good chunk of points and there is not a lot of CP available.

I'm also considering going out and grabbing a farseer/warlock skyrunner; it seems like a good unit, and it would get me something to paint whilst I wait for the rest of the army to arrive. But I'd like to hold off on buying to much additional units until I get at least some of the above fixed up; although I don't mind picking up a crucial unit before that time.

Thank you for reading my wall of text; I would love to hear what you all think? Am I on the right track, or setting myself up to fail miserably? Are there other units I should prioritize painting that might work better than the ones I've included in my original list?

Offline Blazinghand

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Re: Starting an Eldar Army
« Reply #1 on: July 27, 2019, 11:50:14 PM »
re: identifying the warlock models: if they ahve swords or spears, they're warlocks. If they have a staff, they're a spiritseer. There's a new plastic spiritseer with a staff and a dagger

Farseers work very well alongside Warlocks, as Warlocks give access to the Runes of Battle spell list and also let you use the Seer Council stratagem, which significantly boosts both of them. If you're allowed to go up to a Battalion, I highly recommend it.

Regarding troops: If you're staying as a patrol, I highly recommend merging the two guardian squads. Why? Because certain stratagems (Celestial Shield, for example), and certain spells (Guide, Fortune, Protect, etc) buff Guardians on a per-unit basis. This means that a 20-elf guardian squad benefits twice as hard from eldar buffs. If you're hopping up to a Battalion, I'd consider adding in a 5-elf Dire Avenger squad and merging the Guardians. I'd run the 20-elf Guardian squad whether you use webway strike or not, since you can buff them up more easily to keep them durable. I like using webway strike with a 20-elf guardian squad.

Striking Scorpions are a solid disruption unit, just bear in mind that unless you do something to boost their charging (biel-tan stratagem, saim-hann craftworld trait, etc) they're not likely to stick a charge when they arrive onto the table. I like to drop them into cover in case they miss their charge. These guys are not hero-killers or anything, but are great for disrupting enemy shooting units that do not want to be in melee.

Swooping hawks are great. Make sure they shoot at a Doomed (and Jinxed, perhaps) target unless they're shooting at something very light, like Guardsmen.

Windriders - I'd try to give these guys all the same wargear, that way it's easy to tell what range to put them at.

War Walkers - I'd consider merging these into one squad for reasons of buffing, but running them separately can be fine as well. Personally, I think that Shuriken Cannon War Walkers are pretty decent and are also cheap, and i don't normally put more expensive guns on them. I consider War Walkers to be a bit flimsy in 8e, even compared to their usual flimsiness, so I try to keep them inexpensive and disposable


regarding your unused minis:

Banshees are a lot like Striking Scorpions in that they mostly want to focus on annoying the enemy, getting the enemy's gunline into unwanted melee, etc. They don't have a built in delivery mechanism, which is a problem, but they can charge a heavily armed opponent without worrying about overwatch, which gives you more options. It's fine to leave them out in a smaller list like this.

Warp Spiders are in a tough place this edition. They're harder to shoot than most of our infantry, but their price is just a bit on the high side atm compared to things like windriders, swooping hawks, and so on. I don't think they're bad, but our other stuff in their weight class is a bit better.

Wave Serpents are great, I love using them to deliver fire dragons, wraithguard, etc, and after they drop off their delivery they are respectable battle tanks. I almost always prefer Wave Serpent to a Falcon.

I'd definitely consider bringing a cheap Wraithlord - if you have the old metal "eldar dreadnought" style Wraithlord, you can just run it with nothing up top, as a mega cheap wraithlord with just his fists and 2 shuriken catapults. This is actually very cheap, very durable, and capable of taking on lots of enemies just by Advancing up the field and eventually getting a charge in.

Fire Prisms usually operate a lot better in pairs or groups of 3 due to the Linked Fire stratagem, but they're not that bad on their own. I wouldn't take a single one though.


---

Regarding new minis: A Warlock or Farseer skyrunner is a fine choice, but as you already have both on foot, it's not necessary. The models you have are sufficient for a wide variety of 750-1,000 pt battles already, and it looks like you're on the right track for list building. In terms of areas of weakness in your collection, the biggest that jumps out at me is anti-tank. only your heavy support units seem to have the capability, but you have weaknesses:

- 3 war walkers with BLs is actually pretty decent if you buff them up, though they are flimsy and will get targeted down
- you only have one fire prism, which means you can't use the Linked Fire stratagem to boost its firepower
- your Wraithlord is an old metal wraithlord, so he can't take a sword to make his melee threatening to T8 targets
- Falcons are a bit on the pricey side for what they do this edition, though Falcon with BL is a reasonable threat
- Wave Serpent with Bright Lances is actually solid, though usually he will have other jobs besides just shooting in the first half of the battle, which reduces his effectiveness

If you do want to make a purchase, I'd consider something that can put out high strength firepower in a cost-effective way, and either take a beating in return, or at the very least be able to provide that firepower without fail. We have a lot of options for this, actually. In terms of decent looking plastic kits:
Wraithguard with wraithcannons are decent at this if they have a Wave Serpent to deliver them. Even armed with D-Scythes they're a threat to most vehicles.
Crimson Hunters are some of our best tank killers if you don't mind taking a flyer, and the mini itself is very handsome.
Hemlock Wraithfighter can also take down tough targets with its powerful Heavy D-Scythe.

If you don't mind working with resin:
Fire Dragons have excellent anti-tank firepower for the cost, though they need a delivery mechanism (a wave serpent is good for this) and often die after shooting
Dark Reapers can provide great long ranged firepower to bust tanks

Buying an additional fire prism, or one of the new wraithlords with the ability to take a sword, may also work well for you.

There are also other ways to crack open rhinos, dreadnoughts, and leman russ battle tanks available to eldar. You could take a lot of psykers, or use Shining Spears with Doom, and so on, but these are the things that come to mind for me.
« Last Edit: July 28, 2019, 03:22:48 AM by Blazinghand »
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Offline Nutty

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Re: Starting an Eldar Army
« Reply #2 on: July 28, 2019, 06:08:48 AM »
Wow, that is a very detailed response; thanks a lot.


Quote from: Blazinghand
re: identifying the warlock models: if they ahve swords or spears, they're warlocks. If they have a staff, they're a spiritseer. There's a new plastic spiritseer with a staff and a dagger

I think I've got (or will when they get here) 2 warlocks and a Spiritseer, they all have weapons that could work as spears/staffs, but upon closer inspection I noticed one of them has wraithbone "antlers" (for lack of a better word)attached to his helmet.


Quote from: Blazinghand
Regarding troops: If you're staying as a patrol, I highly recommend merging the two guardian squads. Why? Because certain stratagems (..), and certain spells (..) buff Guardians on a per-unit basis. This means that a 20-elf guardian squad benefits twice as hard from eldar buffs. [..] I like using webway strike with a 20-elf guardian squad.

I had a 20 man combine squad in my original list but I split it up; thinking it would allow me to capture/hold more objectives. The added benefit of them all benefitting from a certain spell/strategem is certainly somthing to keep in mind.


Quote from: Blazinghand
Striking Scorpions are a solid disruption unit, just bear in mind that unless you do something to boost their charging (biel-tan stratagem, saim-hann craftworld trait, etc) they're not likely to stick a charge when they arrive onto the table. I like to drop them into cover in case they miss their charge. These guys are not hero-killers or anything, but are great for disrupting enemy shooting units that do not want to be in melee.

Swooping hawks are great. Make sure they shoot at a Doomed (and Jinxed, perhaps) target unless they're shooting at something very light, like Guardsmen.

Cool, I think the models are great so it's nice to know they have their uses on the tabletop.


Quote from: Blazinghand
Windriders - I'd try to give these guys all the same wargear, that way it's easy to tell what range to put them at.

That was more of a "I have the points to spare" kind of thing, I'm guessing all the bikes have Shuriken catapults. So I'm not sure if I will be able to upgrade to cannons. I also really need to get used to the low range on those catapults. But I'll keep it in mind going forward.


Quote from: Blazinghand
War Walkers - I'd consider merging these into one squad for reasons of buffing, but running them separately can be fine as well. Personally, I think that Shuriken Cannon War Walkers are pretty decent and are also cheap, and i don't normally put more expensive guns on them. I consider War Walkers to be a bit flimsy in 8e, even compared to their usual flimsiness, so I try to keep them inexpensive and disposable

The idea here is that I wanted some anti-tank in the list, so the one with the lances will hopefully live long enough to do that. The other one might than go and outflank to bother/distract my opponent. Altough I could keep him back as a meatshield instead.


Quote from: Blazinghand
regarding your unused minis:

Banshees are a lot like Striking Scorpions in that they mostly want to focus on annoying the enemy, getting the enemy's gunline into unwanted melee, etc. They don't have a built in delivery mechanism, which is a problem, but they can charge a heavily armed opponent without worrying about overwatch, which gives you more options. It's fine to leave them out in a smaller list like this.

The Banshees are cool, but I took the Scorpions for the deepstrike deployment. Maybe I will use them in combination with the Wave Serpent or Falcon at some point.


Quote from: Blazinghand
Warp Spiders are in a tough place this edition. They're harder to shoot than most of our infantry, but their price is just a bit on the high side atm compared to things like windriders, swooping hawks, and so on. I don't think they're bad, but our other stuff in their weight class is a bit better.


I like the idea of them, and I think they are in one of the Dawn of War computer games where I used to enjoy using them. The higher strength on their guns seems nice as well. But I like (the look) of swooping hawks better so they didn't make the cut.


Quote from: Blazinghand
Wave Serpents are great, I love using them to deliver fire dragons, wraithguard, etc, and after they drop off their delivery they are respectable battle tanks. I almost always prefer Wave Serpent to a Falcon.

These are both based on the same chasis right? I don't think I've ever faced a Falcon, so I might look into getting replacement turret or something so I can run the Falcon as a Serpent. But on paper it doesn't look like a bad tank to me.


Quote from: Blazinghand
I'd definitely consider bringing a cheap Wraithlord - if you have the old metal "eldar dreadnought" style Wraithlord, you can just run it with nothing up top, as a mega cheap wraithlord with just his fists and 2 shuriken catapults. This is actually very cheap, very durable, and capable of taking on lots of enemies just by Advancing up the field and eventually getting a charge in.

It's this guy:

He does look as though he has a gun, but I suppose I can leave it off. It really isn't a model I'm excited about painting though.. So I might just strip the paint off and put him back on ebay. We'll see how it goes. I do like the new version though; So I'll probablt get one of those in the future.


Quote from: Blazinghand
Fire Prisms usually operate a lot better in pairs or groups of 3 due to the Linked Fire stratagem, but they're not that bad on their own. I wouldn't take a single one though.

Yeah that strategem looks pretty mean; especially with them firing twice. I'm guessing you won't take a single prism because your opponent will focus on it and kill it before it does anything? or is there another reason besides the strategem that I'm not seeing?


Regarding the patrol detachment; it is the standard format for a local tournament/organized play event that I enjoy attending. It keeps a lot of the cheese at bay because it is a mono-codex, no CP spam, kind of deal. It's a bit friendlier to new-comers and a nice challenge to vets. The rest of the time I usually play 1k-1.5k without restrictions (although mixing multiple codecis is somewhat frowned upon) so I'll certainly mix and match more later on. But I'd like to focus on the patrol detachment first so I can use it for that.

Quote from: Blazinghand
Regarding new minis: A Warlock or Farseer skyrunner is a fine choice, but as you already have both on foot, it's not necessary. The models you have are sufficient for a wide variety of 750-1,000 pt battles already, and it looks like you're on the right track for list building. In terms of areas of weakness in your collection, the biggest that jumps out at me is anti-tank. only your heavy support units seem to have the capability, but you have weaknesses:

- 3 war walkers with BLs is actually pretty decent if you buff them up, though they are flimsy and will get targeted down
- you only have one fire prism, which means you can't use the Linked Fire stratagem to boost its firepower
- your Wraithlord is an old metal wraithlord, so he can't take a sword to make his melee threatening to T8 targets
- Falcons are a bit on the pricey side for what they do this edition, though Falcon with BL is a reasonable threat
- Wave Serpent with Bright Lances is actually solid, though usually he will have other jobs besides just shooting in the first half of the battle, which reduces his effectiveness

If you do want to make a purchase, I'd consider something that can put out high strength firepower in a cost-effective way, and either take a beating in return, or at the very least be able to provide that firepower without fail. We have a lot of options for this, actually. In terms of decent looking plastic kits:
Wraithguard with wraithcannons are decent at this if they have a Wave Serpent to deliver them. Even armed with D-Scythes they're a threat to most vehicles.
Crimson Hunters are some of our best tank killers if you don't mind taking a flyer, and the mini itself is very handsome.
Hemlock Wraithfighter can also take down tough targets with its powerful Heavy D-Scythe.

If you don't mind working with resin:
Fire Dragons have excellent anti-tank firepower for the cost, though they need a delivery mechanism (a wave serpent is good for this) and often die after shooting
Dark Reapers can provide great long ranged firepower to bust tanks

Buying an additional fire prism, or one of the new wraithlords with the ability to take a sword, may also work well for you.

There are also other ways to crack open rhinos, dreadnoughts, and leman russ battle tanks available to eldar. You could take a lot of psykers, or use Shining Spears with Doom, and so on, but these are the things that come to mind for me.

That's something to think about.

I already went out the local hobby store yesterday to grab some paint, and I ordered a skyrunner because they didn't have it in stock. I'll pop a magnet or two in there so I can run both options, but it's a cool model I don't mind dropping a few bucks on.

It's not so much that I don't want to make new purchases; I just don't want to get carried away and sit on a big pile of unpainted plastic/resin/pewter and feel like I'll never finish it... So I'm trying to pace myself as best I can.

The flyer is also a beautiful kit; I wouldn't mind picking up one of those in the future, nor would I be opposed to a start collecting kit and/or some of the new wraith units. Not to mention the FW Shadow Spectres, Hornets and some of those other tanks & flyers, and then I remember I was pacing myself. :)


I think I'll have another go at the list and maybe try and work one of the tanks in.
« Last Edit: July 28, 2019, 12:52:54 PM by Nutty »

Offline Blazinghand

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Re: Starting an Eldar Army
« Reply #3 on: July 28, 2019, 09:21:27 PM »
I think I've got (or will when they get here) 2 warlocks and a Spiritseer, they all have weapons that could work as spears/staffs, but upon closer inspection I noticed one of them has wraithbone "antlers" (for lack of a better word)attached to his helmet.

Guy with one antler coming out the back of helmet, plus antlers emerging from back = spiritseer
Guy with two antlers, one coming out from each side of his head, posing on an upraised spine of bone = bonesinger

These are both based on the same chasis right? I don't think I've ever faced a Falcon, so I might look into getting replacement turret or something so I can run the Falcon as a Serpent. But on paper it doesn't look like a bad tank to me.
Wave Serpent has a longer rear and has shield projectors on the front of the hull. The Wave Serpent kit is basically a Falcon kit, plus a different turret, the shield projectors, and the extended rear compartment. Falcons are imo worse than wave serpents as transports, and are a bit expensive and underpform compared to our other tank options. If you already own one, it's fine to run it, but if you don't own one, don't buy one.



It's this guy:

He does look as though he has a gun, but I suppose I can leave it off. It really isn't a model I'm excited about painting though.. So I might just strip the paint off and put him back on ebay. We'll see how it goes. I do like the new version though; So I'll probablt get one of those in the future.

That's a Wraithlord with two wrist weapons (they look like shuriken catapults to me), no sword, and no heavy weapons, though i see a Bright Lance on the ground next to him there. If you just run him as a Wraithlord with 2 shuriken catapults + fists, he should be fine as a melee bruiser. While these old metal wraithlords are charming, the newer plastic kit is imo very nice

Yeah that strategem looks pretty mean; especially with them firing twice. I'm guessing you won't take a single prism because your opponent will focus on it and kill it before it does anything? or is there another reason besides the strategem that I'm not seeing?
Mostly it's for the stratagem. If you're running a Battalion, you have 8 CP (3 base + 5 from Battalion) so you can probably use the stratagem every turn.
« Last Edit: July 28, 2019, 09:22:50 PM by Blazinghand »
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Offline Nutty

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Re: Starting an Eldar Army
« Reply #4 on: July 29, 2019, 10:44:15 AM »
Thanks for the info! I'm sure I'll get the hang of this soon. :)

The seer has two little antlers sticking out the side of his helmet, but he isn't standing on anything in particular as far as I can tell. The aspects/characters should all be metal, so maybe he is simply an older version.

It's been a slow day at work so I've made some new lists, with your feedback in mind, that include some of the units I had left out in my original list.

Quote from:  List 1
HQ: Farseer
HQ: Warlock

Troops: 20 Gaurdians
Troops: 1 Dire Avenger Exarch w/ 2 catapults, 4 Dire Avengers

Heavy: Wraithlord w/ 2 Shuriken Catapults
Heavy: Falcon w/ Bright Lance, Twin Shuriken Catapult

Transport: Wave Serpent w/ Twin Shuriken Cannon, Twin Shuriken Catapult

The idea being that the falcon might take a bit of heat of the Wave Serpent and contribute a little anti-tank to the list. Between the two tanks and the wraithlord the list is pretty high in Toughness for 750 points, so that might catch some people of guard.

Quote from: List 2
HQ: Farseer
HQ: Warlock

Troops: 20 Gaurdians
Troops: 1 Dire Avenger Exarch w/ 2 catapults, 4 Dire Avengers

Elites: 1 Howling Banshee Exarch, 4 Banshees

Heavy: Fire Prism w/ Crystaline Targeting Matrix & Twin Shuriken Catapults

Transport: Wave Serpent w/ Twin Shuriken Cannon, Twin Shuriken Catapult

When I put in the Falcon, I figured that I'd might as well try and put the Fire Prism in since it is considered to be a better tanl.  Also; if I'm bringing a wave Serpent I might as well work some Banshees in the list since I already have a transport for them.


Quote from: List 3
HQ: Farseer Skyrunner w/ singing spear

Troops: 20 Gaurdians
Troops: 1 Dire Avenger Exarch, 4 Dire Avengers

Fast: 5 Windriders w/ Twin Shuriken Catapults (oror 4 Windriders w/ Scatter Lasers or 3 w/ Shuriken Cannons provided I can get the parts to make them)

Heavy: Fire Prism w/ Crystaline Targeting Matrix & Twin Shuriken Catapults

Transport: Wave Serpent w/ Twin Shuriken Cannon, Twin Shuriken Catapult

Pretty similar to the second list but with jetbikes instead of banshees and the Warlock. Which means the entire army becomes pretty mobile... provided I Webway Strike the Guardians.


I think all three lists would be more of challenge to face than my original list, although they do so at the expense of cool looking aspect warriors. I might try to work in the hawks at the expense of the Dire Avengers, as they appear to perform similar roles and I technically only need 1 troopchoice.
« Last Edit: July 30, 2019, 03:55:21 AM by Nutty »

Offline Iluvhir Strafermeyer

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Re: Starting an Eldar Army
« Reply #5 on: July 30, 2019, 03:59:19 PM »
I think all three of those lists would work well, to be honest.

That being said, here's what I think:

When you say you only need one troop choice in a patrol detachment, you are of course technically correct (which is the best kind of correct).
However, consider the fact that for a lot of missions Troop choices are preferred for controlling objectives. If you only take the one, all a clever opponent has to do is destroy that one unit (Eldar units aren't too durable), and you will likely have a hard time scoring VPs.

So, if I were you, I would built a list around the following:

- Farseer and a warlock
- 20 Guardians + your platform (use a shuriken cannon) - Use the webway strike stratagem with these guys.
- 5 Dire Avengers and 7 Banshees in the Wave Serpent.

I feel like this is a good start. :)
"Consider the battlefield: it is essentially a dawn in grim guise. It is a scenario in which darkness meets light and is annihilated by it.
Imagine that the enemy are the shadows lurking in the night - The arrival of our warhost is like the sun's light breaking the horizon. Let the Bladestorm expel the darkness."

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Re: Starting an Eldar Army
« Reply #6 on: July 30, 2019, 06:01:10 PM »
Thanks Iluvhir; that sounds like something to try out. Although to m it feels a little light on anti-tank; do you think the psykers and the serpent will put out enough damage to handle that department? Or am I missing something.

The list won't have to deal with superheavies but it is not uncommon to come across a list with multiple (2-3) vehicles.

I'm enjoying the challenge in putting these lists together, but it always feels like I end up missing something. Maybe I'm just used to playing guard, where I can; take 3 troop choices, 3 fairly though vehicles, and than start looking at ways to fill out my list. ???

Anyway the stuff I bought should get here tommorrow; I'll start with 20 Guardians and reward myself with painting a farseer. And I'll see where to go from there.

Offline Iluvhir Strafermeyer

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Re: Starting an Eldar Army
« Reply #7 on: July 31, 2019, 01:48:42 PM »
Remember that Banshees aren't that good at dishing out damage these days, so don't expect them to take on a 5-man marines squad and wipe them out. Use them to lock shooty units out of shooting, and/or to finish off reduced small squads. A warlock casting Empower on them will help a lot. While Doom is good as well, I think you're better off casting that on another target.

As for your anti-Tank - War Walkers with Bright lances will take care of that. If you have the points, take the Falcon or the Prism too.

I did notice, however, that there isn't much room for anything else after you take a serpent and a large guardian squad. If you expect to face a few tanks, you probably want to sacrifice some of the anti-infantry. :)
"Consider the battlefield: it is essentially a dawn in grim guise. It is a scenario in which darkness meets light and is annihilated by it.
Imagine that the enemy are the shadows lurking in the night - The arrival of our warhost is like the sun's light breaking the horizon. Let the Bladestorm expel the darkness."

Beaujl'blef Philosophy

Offline Nutty

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Re: Starting an Eldar Army
« Reply #8 on: July 31, 2019, 05:21:28 PM »
Well that's the plus side of being new to the army I guess; I never fielded banshees as a "killer" unit.

Now I have to confess that I didn't tally the points on the list you suggested; I just assumed it would come out to 750.  :-[ There is plenty of room to put a warwalker with a pair of brightlances in there, alternatively I could drop a banshees or two and fit in a Falcon.

Between your advice and that of Blazinghand I at least got an idea on what to start with; for which I'm very grateful. Now I just need to fix up some of these models and start playing some games; I'll be sure to report back after the first game. :)

 


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