Monday, 10 June 2013

The First Battle for the New Eldar

I had my first battle with the new Eldar at the weekend. It was going to be a battle report, but I recorded the events on paper, just forgot to get photos as the game went on. So I thought I’d throw down my army list and do a class report on my impressions after one game.

HQ Choices:

Illic Nightspear (Warlord): The miniature is probably my favourite of the new releases, and as I am rather fond of the Rangers, he was top of the list. In game he did well, he survived, which is a major plus point, and his ability to deploy wherever the hell he wants is a nice edge, especially when there is a nice building behind your enemies deployment to place him . He was deployed with the Pathfinders, which, I am not sure if his special rule applies to the squad he is with (it’s on my FAQ e-mail) but it was agreed before the game that they could be deployed that way.
His special rules didn’t really get used, there wasn’t a need for a precision shot and I wasn’t facing Necrons. Although his distort rule did end up taking out a Whirlwind.

Would I take him again? Yes, an emphatic yes. I am biased towards Rangers, and he is a Ranger on steroids. Worked pretty much how I wanted him to, and would probably be an even better credit to team with more targets to shoot.

Spiritseer: It’s hard to evaluate the Spiritseer, as I kind of forgot about him during the game. In a way, it was because I didn’t really have a use for him outside of making the Wraithguard troops. He’s a difficult one to place, because his main reason for existing is to make Wraithguard and blades troops, and to buff them with a Spirit Mark (which I forgot to use), he’s only a level 2 psyker, so not as good as a Farseer but better than a Warlock.

Would I take him again? Yes, but only because I need to understand what he can bring to the game. Maybe next time I should attach him to a Wraith unit and see what happens?

Warlocks: I took 3, because I had spare points. One fulfilled the usual conceal role with the Guardians, and the other two. Well, they got brutally murdered in combat with a Sanguinor. Honestly, I misused them and it was more of that than the unit being below par.

Would I take them again? Yes, but in bigger numbers, or if I only use them as points fillers, put them in units rather as two dudebros looking for a fight.

Troop Choices:

Guardians: They did their thing. Didn’t get much of a look into the fight due to the terrain, then got mowed down by bolter fire. The Warlock with conceal meant they survived a bit longer, and bladestorm took down a few of the marines, but in the end, they are still Guardians. Using the Grav Platform as a shield to block a few shots was pretty nifty when they got down to the last two .

Would I take them again? Always. I’m a fluffy Ulthw√© gamer so there is always room for them. With their increased Ballistic Skill and now you can take two grav platforms in a maxed squad, their usefulness is increased. Also the fact that anyone can fire the platform at the sacrifice of their shooting is better than the old rule of having two gunners only is a buff. Also, Bladestorm in massed numbers is potentially very tasty.

Rangers: Well Pathfinders. Always worth taking, and caused a nuisance with Illic. The Pathfinder upgrade gave them survivability, but again, didn’t really have use for the specific targeting on hit rule. They could probably have taken a few more scalps if I could roll properly.

Would I take them again? Rangers have always been one of the first units on my list, and this is not changing in the new Codex. I might have to invest in some more though, as the vanilla Rangers are 7 points cheaper in comparison to the older dex, and it might be worthwhile seeing what they can do, especially as a Pathfinder upgrade makes them 1 point more expensive, and you need to invest in Illic to take them, which is a large portion of your quota, especially in the smaller games.

Elite Choices

Wraithguard:  Deadly. The terrain setup gave them a chance to move about unhindered, but the Sanguinary Guard came to them, and ended up on the business end of the Wraithcannons. Took all but one down in normal shooting, then vaporised them with a 6 to wound in overwatch.

Would I take them again? Sure. Might keep them at a size of 5-6 and chuck them into a Wave Serpent before sending them straight towards the unsuspecting foe.

Wraithblades: They met the business end of the Sanguinor, and didn’t live to tell the tale. The swords are AP3, so in retrospect, when the drop pod fell, I should have got them to move on the Marines and cut up the Power Armour. But these are lessons learnt.

Would I take them again? Not sure, with Ghost swords, they really need to go towards anything with 3+ and above, get the in trouble with 2+ and despite the T6, they will start to fall as they don’t put out enough attacks to threaten a bad roll. Might be worth giving the axes a go?

Fast Attack Choices:

Swooping Hawks: I took the full 10 because I felt that putting out 3 shots each, with 4 from the Exarch ( I gave him Fast Shot), on average would cause some failed saves. In reality, they put out 59 shots over two turns and took down two Tactical Marines. I think that statement shows how well the rolls went for me in this game. They were decimated by one shot from the Whirlwind, but used Skyleap to leave the scene of the failure and dropped down on a squad of scouts atop a building and wiped them out with a well placed Grenade Pack.

Would I take them again? Yes, I’d give them another shot. I wanted to use them as a surgical strike unit, drop down on an unsuspecting unit, drop a grenade pack and then unleash 31 shots at the target before skyleaping again, it’s also why I took Hit and Run on the Exarch to stop them from getting caught up in combat. Not scattering is a great upgrade, there is potential here for a great strike team, but poor rolling could seriously reduce their effectiveness.

Hemlock Wraithfighter: Not as effective as I had hoped, Space Marines are pretty good at making double leadership tests, and for the D-Scythes, lets just say I struggled to see the hit marker, or low rolls on the dice.

Would I take it again? It feels like an anti-horde unit, with blast weapons and a leadership based attack. Against armies that push Ld9+ across the board, it loses effectiveness. Maybe if you could chuck Horrify at a unit first to drop it’s leadership by 3 you’d see more running units. Tie that in with some CC units charging them causing fear each time and you can see potential. Looking at it that way, it needs to turn up later in the game, when the psyker with Horrify is in range, and your CC units are close by. Maybe an Autarch would be of use here to adjust the reserve roll?

Crimson Hunter: I took this as a standard fighter, the intention was to hunt the aircraft, and maybe the armour if the targets weren’t there. As such, I didn’t need the Exarchs precision shot, and as I was taking Bright Lances, I didn’t need the Starcannons, and I felt that the price increase wasn’t worth it just for an extra BS. To that end it worked, and if I had rolled better on pens, I would have had a Whirlwind and a Dreadnaught on the kill count.

Would I take it again? Yes, I was really impressed by the anti armour capabilities of this unit. I would feel that it would work better as an anti flyer if it reacted to the enemies movement and came on second. As such, like the Wraithfighter, an Autarch adjusting the reserve rolls could come in handy.

Heavy Support Choices:

Wraithlords: I took two as usual. One with dual scatters, on with Starcannon and Ghostglaive. I tried to get them to work in tandem to take out the Death Company, but ended up with the Death Company Dread cutting up the Ghostglaive Wraithlord. Damn AP3 to hell and back. The other one struggled to take down the Death Company, but that is down to my rolling again. Having them as separate weapons instead of twin linked is definitely more useful.

Would I take them again? All day E’ry day. They are comparatively cheap, have only lost Strength, not Toughness and can now put out a lot of Firepower. If you take a Ghostglaive though, it still means you can punch a tank, and in most cases, take a hull point by simply rolling a number.

Wraithknight: This thing is as disappointing as it is big. Admittedly, I cheated because I forgot Monstrous Creatures can only fire two weapons, and I was unloading both Scatter Lasers and Heavy Wraithcannons at a Vindicator. Again my poor rolling only took two Hull points off it, and on the third turn, it was taken off the board in the first round of combat with Mephiston. Six AP3 attacks, all six wounded.

Would I take it again? Leaning towards no. You can tell that it wasn’t going to be a powerhouse when Games Workshop tries to sell you it because it is big. I was even met with an aggressive response in a local Games Workshop store when I said that I found it disappointing, I was counter pointed by this helpful member of staff by saying don’t buy one (I had, and used it, thats why I found it disappointing), go take my negative views out of the store and to a forum, write my own rules for it, or throw marbles at it because that is what some 5 year old he knows does with his models.  What was even more annoying was he then agreed with my viewpoint that it was weak in game and he loved it, because he could pick it up when it inevitably died....because it was big.
Back on course, for a £70 model, it is a huge investment. One which I don’t feel is represented with a strong model on the tabletop. It’s 3+ armour is easily bypassed by a lot of units, which means it’s 6 wounds will disappear pretty damn quick thanks to no invulnerable save as standard. Which leaves the only viable build Suncannon, Scattershield and one Scatterlaser. If you want to make it some kind of bullet sponge. You could take it vanilla and use the Heavy Wraithcannons to take out armour at long range, but honestly, in a congested Heavy Support section, the Wraithknight is a display piece.   

1 comment:

  1. Brilliant article dude, and not biased either.

    Shame you didn't get a proper response inshore.