View Full Version : Biel-Tan or Saim-Hann?

Brother-Captain Endymion
26-09-2011, 19:23
Greetings fellow 'seers!

Now that I have a sizable host of Dark Eldar and a number of games under my belt, I'd like to start up a small (500-1000) Eldar force as a side project. I am prone to boredom, and I feel like this would be a nice little distraction from the endless monotony of painting hordes of purple-armored Kabalites and their transports.

Seeing on how this is completely for fun and to help pass the time when I can't be bothered to paint, I'd like to keep this force completely themed. Having said that, I don't want it to be a pushover list. The two craftworlds I really like are Biel-Tan and Saim-Hann. So here is my question to you:

Which theme is going to be more viable in a friendly environment? A load of Aspect Warriors or a quick strike force? I play mostly against a footslogging IG horde, Blood Angels, Grey Knights and 'nids.

Again, it doesn't need to be uber-competitive, but I'd like for my opponents to have a good time as well - you see, I'm the least competitive of our group, and unless they are being challenged, I'm liable to have a problem getting a game in. Thoughts?

EDIT: I suppose I should have asked this to begin with: are Eldar playable at such small points? I've never played against them (even at higher points)!

26-09-2011, 19:40
I say go for Saim-Hann. It's a style you don't have yet, and the fewer models will allow opportunity for more individual painting on the bikes. Set them up right, and they can act as Reavers for your DE.

Gorbad Ironclaw
26-09-2011, 19:51
On the other hand Jet bikes aren't that great and if you want to make the stereotypical Saim-Hann list there are very few options, something like a handful of choices from the list?

But then I also think that the aspect based list should be the default eldar list as that's how they are described in the background. But it will give you more options and let you have more fun with them.

26-09-2011, 20:06
The craftworld themes don't really matter anymore. In the same way, IG regiment themes, Ork clan themes, and Chaos Legion themes don't mean anything.

So just collect and use whatever works or whatever you want, and paint them anyway you feel.

26-09-2011, 20:09
I d say Biel-Tann. Can paint each aspect in a different colour, hence minimal boredom going through the same paint scheme over and over and over and over again....

Also I truely think that what seperates Eldar from the other armies is the extre÷e specilization and aspect warriors truely represent this.

26-09-2011, 21:07
go for which ever you like the look of most, or make up your own craftworld.

26-09-2011, 21:15
Biel-tann all the way man, because they are my favourite craftworld, the style of them and the feel of using them is unbelievable and i genuinely think all eldar players at some point should try that aspect style of gameplay(ps i think you would really enjoy them too)

Lars Porsenna
26-09-2011, 21:57
Saim Hann, because that's what I have... :)

I agree that "theme" isn't so important. For my army I usually take 1 unit of jetbikes...theme done! But otherwise you can play it just like any other army. Want aspect warrior assault? Saim-hann can do that. Want a "Ghost" army of Wraithguard and Wraithlords? You can do that too. Remember that at the scale 40K plays, you are essentially playing a platoon-to-company sized game, so is a smaller snapshot of a much larger battle. If this was Epic, it'd be a lot different, but at 40K scale, you can easily justify any army composition by saying "this is the taskforce composition chosen for this specific engagement, not a cross-section of the entire army..."


26-09-2011, 22:27
I would lean toward Biel-Tan.

There are several reasons behind this. All are valid for me, but not necessarily valid for anyone else.

1. Background. IMHO, Biel-Tan represent the "standard" way the eldar are described as waging war. Use of specialists to gain the most efficient use of force and minimize casualties.

2. Versatility. You can add a lot of different types of play by adding or switching out different aspect warriors (and this does not break the theme).

4. Flexibility. You are not locked into one style of play (other than non-horde).

5. Visual diversity. Each aspect warrior unit can be different from every other. They represent a small "school" of martial tradition (mirroring some of the mythic kung-fu do-jos), so each can have its own uniform that differs slightly from even other units of the same aspect.

6. Expandable. This style of list is easy to expand without breaking the theme. Add new aspects or new shrines of the same aspect. The only thing you have to be careful about is not to add more "civilian militia" units (guardian) or ghost (wraith) units than aspect units.

All that being said, look at the play styles. If you want a jetbike heavy force, go with Saim-Hann. Otherwise, Biel-Tan may be a better fit.

26-09-2011, 22:52
If you're planning just to keep it at 500-1000pts then I think that Saim Hann is your best bet. Biel-Tann tends to work better in the 1500-2000pts range because you really need Transports for everything (footslogging Aspect Warriors are a bad idea!).

Jetbikes are a good Troops choice for a smaller force and despite what people say, Vypers are okay as long as you keep them cheap.

26-09-2011, 23:46
go for which ever you like the look of most, or make up your own craftworld.

Like Biel-Han or Saim-Tan....

I know, I've probably just done a swear in Eldarish now....

I'd plump for the Saim-Han, just because, thematically I see them being more likely to be willing to hang out with Dark Eldar, making for groovy Apoc action.

26-09-2011, 23:48
beil-tan. here is a sample list:

autarch with power weapon fusion gun and mandiblasters = 100 points
3*5 dire avengers = 180 points
5* howling banshees = 80 points
5* fire dragons = 80 points
5* striking scorpions = 80 points
heavy support:
3* dark reapers = 105 points

thats 625 points. should be a hoot in a footslogging environment

27-09-2011, 00:19
The rumour mill reckons that Jetbikes and Vypers are getting a resculpt within the next 18-24 months so you may want to hold off on the Saim-Hann, but then that's been apparently coming for a long while. By the same token the rumours also tell of an aspect warrior resculpt, but I quite like the aspects as they currently are, with the exception of the Warp Spiders which are a bit dated.

In terms of play, they both have strong points, but against the armies you've mentioned, my instinct is that Biel-tann will give you the best results and perhaps be more interesting to paint if you include a diverse number of aspects in your list.


27-09-2011, 11:01
Biel-Tan (Beltane) from the Gaelic May festival - bright and fey, gay etc (trad.),

Saim-Hann (samhain) from the Gaelic October / Harvest / Halloween festival, darker, festival of the dead, bonfires.

Whether that aligns with the eldar fluff is questionable, but suggests some nice painting themes for either army.

Brother-Captain Endymion
28-09-2011, 18:07
Thanks for all the advice! It has been very helpful. As of the moment, I'm leaning towards Biel-Tan, but it's hard to rule out those crazy Wild Riders!

28-09-2011, 18:10
So mix.

Use Saim-Hann Guardian Bikers for Troops, and bring out the Aspect Troops for everything else. Hard to do in a small points game, I know, but if you do it right, it can work.

30-09-2011, 15:47
I'd say, forget official craftwords for the moment and put together a force you enjoy. No matter you can't have, say, jetbikes and Banshees, or Vypers and Scorpions. ;)

That being said, I feel Eldar suffer quite a bit from the in between status - we can't compete with the shooty armies when it comes to shooting and we can't compete with the assaulty armies when it comes to melee, so we usually end up middle of the road forced to prepare against both. What's worse, many of our units tend to be over-specialized - our melee units often struggle the moment they come up against something else than their primary target group (and sometimes even when they attack the very unit they were designed to fight - ever seen Banshees stall against a Marine unit that cost less or Scorpions charging an equal-points Ork boys mob?). Similar thing with our shooting - we got great S6 spam, but our ranged AT is isn't really that good, nor are our "ignore cover" options, and so on.

But, what do I know?

30-09-2011, 15:52

White is a terrible colour to paint and eventually always gets cheeto stained for whatever reason, even if you have never eaten cheetos in your life.

30-09-2011, 17:23
You could paint snake eyes, and such instead of gems on serpents etc if you chose Saim-hann.

You could keep your decision simple by deciding if you want to paint red, or green with white/grey. Simples.

30-09-2011, 23:34
well, i have a beil tan army. i paint the tanks for the guardians in green and white but i am giving each aspect their own special paint job tank. so far i have a blue and white one with beil tan thorns for my dire avengers and a red falcon with dragon scales on.
only the underside of my tanks and the hats of my guardians are white. and a few minor details. i dont even paint them i just undercoat white and leave them as they are