|Submitted By: Seer Fox Date: January 8, 2006, 08:49:40 AM Views: 746
|Summary: (A TACTICAL WRITING OF OUR FAVORITE ASPECT, THE WARP SPIDERS) Ah, Warp Spiders, one of the most controversial of all the Aspects available to Eldar, perhaps even the most, seeing as most people generally agree that Shining Spears arenâ€™t worth a damn for 50 points. Other Aspects are more clearly defined in their purpose, Fire Dragons take down tanks, Scorpions run into close combat, Dark Reapers blow stuff upâ€¦but what about Warp Spiders? Indeed players have often tried to place a category on them and have failed dismally, as the ever elusive Spiderâ€™s do not conform to the normal rules of categorisation. They are unique, excelling neither at Close Combat or Ranged. In this piece of writing, I shall attempt to compile their characteristics into one, baseline explanation, and finally categorise these strange warriors.
But first, to know what they are, we must first know what they can do; and there is one thing the Warp Spiders can do better than anyone, or anything, else.
RUN. These boys fly, fastest thing one two legs, though they donâ€™t really fly, nor use their two legs. The reason that this is the best thing a Warp Spider has going for it is that it makes the squad flexible, and a flexible squad is a happy and, more importantly, useful squad. â€˜Why?â€™ I hear you cry. Well, it is fairly obvious. Banshees not doing too well, fly the Warp Spiders over, they lend assistance, enemy is crushed, they fly away with nary a mark to show for it. Need to destroy that tank, Warp the â€˜Spiderâ€™s around the back and let rip with those high strength Death-dealers, all the better for transports because more often than not they will have covered the exits, making neat little lumps of whatever tries to get out. Of course, out of all the movement, quite possibly the best part is the second jump, yes, it can kill, but believe me when I say
always take your second jump. This jump could catapult you out of sight of big enemy guns, or that mean looking terminator squad, so who cares if you lose one spider jumping when you could have lost them all just standing there like an idiot?
Speed, however, is only the key to the tool-shed, to make use of the shed; you have to use the tools. The first of these tools is the humble Deathspinner. I use the word humble rather loosely when I mention this, high strength Rapid-firing weapons generally arenâ€™t seen humbly. Most people moan about them not being able to penetrate armour, and are thoughtlessly branded as â€˜rubbishâ€™ by some of the more hard-headed people; and I can comfortably say that they are absolutely wrong. The AP of the gun I feel is fairly meaningless anyway, would you be happy with an increased cost and AP of 5 when your main Warp Spider targets are usually light tanks or wear 4+ or better armour? Nope, didnâ€™t think so; but then how do you use them effectively? Gone are the days of a mere 11 shots ringing out from a fully tooled up Warp Spider squad, now a mighty 20 always being capable of firing. However, these are still precision pieces of equipment, so I believe the only way to use them is thus:
Use Deathspinners with speed, use Deathspinners against suitable targets. If you are going to shoot someone with them, make sure they are something worth shooting. Against Dark Eldar shoot the Grotesques, they donâ€™t have an armour save anyway and will fall before your cheap and powerful guns; against Marines go for those annoying Assault Troops, this will not kill them, but sure as hell will annoy them, hopefully you can then lead them on a merry chase around the board, where they do no harm to your army. This is another point of the Deathspinners; they are good at attracting attention, especially from the characters. The Archon with his Incubi will be very shocked to see those insta-killing webs to be fired at his personage, and if he survives it then he may send someone to deal with them, depleting his assault on the rest of your army. The Deathspinners are also great Daemon hunters, laughing at their invulnerable saves as they pummel them with an in-ordinate amount of high strength fire (The thing to do with nigh on all Daemons). This is where the second jump comes into itâ€™s own, you can happily move into their charge range to fire, then easily warp back to where you cannot be reached, denying the massive Terminator squad or Bloodletter horde the pleasure of killing you in close combat.
A note must be made here:
Use cover. Sounds simple, but seeing as the warp jump generators donâ€™t function like jump-packs they can land in the cover without dieing horribly. This is useful if you fear the man with the plasma gun (And rightly so) or the guy with the Lascannon (Which you should be happy to face down, better your Spiders than your Wave Serpent). This saves your Warp Spiders from terrible death, which is always paramount, you paid the points for each and every one; youâ€™ll be sorry if you donâ€™t make it back!
Though Deathspinners are all well and good, excellent for a spot of light-tank hunting, they donâ€™t kill much that is well armoured, but what they do kill is important. Nonetheless what about those squads who won't die? Those with lots of people in them or ridiculously tough? One word for you. Exarch.
Do not get on this guyâ€™s ugly side, as he is more than capable of handling almost everything you can throw at him (Iâ€™ve seen the man take down a Hive Tyrant, I know what Iâ€™m talking about). Time for another wise nugget of information:
Always give your Exarch withdraw. This is for two reasons; if someone charges you then you can simply warp-out and plaster the offending unit with rapid firing, teaching that player not to do it again. Or you charge, for whatever reason, you can then call it a day whenever you like, setting your withdrawn troops up into a tantalising position for your next turn. â€˜Why would I want to charge?â€™ You cry, â€˜Warp-Spiders are second-hand fighters.â€™ Second hand fighters they may be but no-one will argue with 27 attacks, even at strength three and especially 5 power weapon attacks, courtesy of your ever-loving Exarch. (Though to be truthful Surprise Assault is not needed nowadays)
Admittedly this tactic is rather dented with the new assault rules in that you cannot shoot and charge, but it is a perfectly legitimate tactic to charge an isolated squad to avoid plasma death, and then appear out when you feel like it. The idea of equipping your Exarch with all these special weapons is not only to make him and his squad good at what they do, but to control the flow of the game, to get your opponent reacting to you, making him worth every last point.
Move in, move around, distract and unravel their forces, you must control the initiative, once lost; the battle will be soon to follow.
My other tactical advice, as has been mentioned before is this: Go crazy. Withdraw them so it looks like they're going to attack the Necron Lord; then go and charge the Flayed Ones some 18" away in your next turn. Charge squads you wouldn't normally charge, or pretend to and charge the unit next to it. Dance in front of Devastator squads and pounce on the Dreadnought 24" away. Unpredictability worries opponents, just when they came up with a plan to destroy the 'Spiders you go and screw it up by doing something unexpected. You need to control the game, only you know your plans so try to not let the enemy in on them; don't worry, the Warp-Spiders will always make it.
Though this writing is just to reflect on their tactics, but I must make a passing reference on the models themselves. Never before did killing look so damn good.
Another point is how hard these guys are, with that armour of 3+, these guys arenâ€™t disappearing for a while (Except when they move, of course), but due to high levels of fire and low toughness of 3, they need something else to make them truly feared. After extensive testing, I have found that by attaching a Farseer on a Jet Bike to the squad, it makes it a nigh-on invulnerable killing, whirling, twirling machine of ultimate not-nice thing. Why? Fortune. Have you ever seen a squad with a re-rollable 3+ armour save get shot at? I have, I own two, and let me tell you that an entire 1,000 point Tau army, replete with plasma rifleâ€™s and Rail guns failed to even dent the armour (1â€™s to wound for the Plasmaâ€™s, lucky there.). So I just have to add him to my list of essentials, but you may not like this idea, so I shall say
I recommend a Farseer on a Jet Bike with Fortune.
Besides their nigh-on invulnerable properties, they also offer other things to the squad. A singing spear is the way to go, providing some meaty anti-tank power to go along with those Deathspinners, and thanks to his toughness and 4+ invulnerable save, heâ€™s even good in close combat. It was bad enough for the enemy before trying to kill him, but now heâ€™s got a re-rollable 3+ save and an extra toughness to boot. Interestingly, there is no rule saying he doesnâ€™t get a +1 attack for two close combat weapons either, even though he's on a bike, so you can give him a Witchblade and Shuriken Pistol combo if you want.
So to summarise:
Always take your second jump
Use Deathspinners with speed
Use Deathspinners against suitable targets
Always give your Exarch withdraw
Move in, move around, distract and unravel their forces
You must control the initiative
I recommend a Farseer on a Jet Bike with Fortune
You donâ€™t have to listen; I merely offer sound tactical advice. I play a solid Warp-Spider only army, with only Farseers and Warlocks on Jet-Bikes for company (By the way, these are great back-up squads). This army has yet to be beaten. It has yet to be pulled under half strength. It has yet to lose half a squad. In my most recent battle, I did not lose a single Warp-Spider. So suffice to say I believe I know what Iâ€™m saying.
However, I cannot cover all the angles, I have only sparingly used them in conjunction with armoured assaults, so cannot comment fully on this role.
For now however, I must take my leave, dust those cobwebs and shake my enemy until I cause brain damage, for they shall know of the might of the Warp-Spiders.
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