I was going to post this in the Eldar Tactica thread, but to make it easier to find I figured it would be better to start a new thread instead.
Eldar Mechanized Tactica – Thud Style
Welcome, grasshopper, to this article on how to run your Mech army. Before we get properly started there are a few things I feel is important to get out of the way:
- This is the way I play Eldar mech, it’s not the only way. I make no claim to know the one and only way to run a successful Eldar mechanized army, I merely wish to add to the accumulating tactical wisdom of the Warseer Eldar community by adding my experiences. If you are a new Eldar player, do not use this as your sole basis for tactical development; use it in conjunction with the Eldar Bible (link in Irisado’s sig), Way of Saim Hann (google it), the Eldar tactica thread and even YTTH, if you can find some actual tactical advice amidst all the derogatory comments there.
- I don’t base my armies, or tactics, on fluff or what’s my favourite units. I do tend to add the occasional unit because I like the models, or whatever, but mainly this is not the case.
- I don’t believe there is such a thing as “cheese” or “unbeatable/unfair units” and I’m immediately suspicious of people who do. I don’t fear TH/SS Terminators, in fact I would want my Space Marine opponents to bring them against me, and hopefully after reading this article, so will you.
- DAVU is a term I expect will pop up a few times. For those of you who don’t know what it is; it refers to putting a 5 man squad of Dire Avengers in either a Falcon or a Wave Serpent, effectively making that vehicle scoring, without the intention of ever disembarking them (DAVU = Dire Avenger Vehicle Upgrade).
- I own not only one, but two pink shirts, and therefore I am twice as cool as you are.
As you’re building a fully mechanized Eldar army there are a few things you need. First of all you need your workhorses, the units that can lock down on, and take out, the enemy units that pose a significant threat to your skimmers. In the Eldar codex there is one unit which is perfect for this job; Fire Dragons. Personally I take three units of them, each in a Wave Serpent with Star Engines and twin Shuriken Cannons, one of them gets an Exarch with the super-flamer and crack shot. These guys are very efficient at what they do and they do it quickly. Not only that, but after they’ve completed their main mission for the game they are usually still a major threat (imaginary or real) to your opponent so the rest of your army tend to get a nice breathing space for at least one turn.
The second ting you need is scoring units. In 1,750 point games I recommend either three or four. Personally I usually go for two DAVU Falcons and one Wave Serpent with a full Dire Avenger Bladestorm squad. Even though the large DA squad usually dies every game it is still worth it, simply because of the damage it puts out and the attention it receives because of this combined with it being a scoring unit. So, at the end of the game this leaves me with two scoring units which, even in missions with 5 objectives, is enough thanks to empty Wave Serpents flying around contesting objectives.
The third, and last thing, you need in your army is killing power. This can quite easily be combined with the two former categories (the Fire Dragons and the full Dire Avenger squad), but you can also get it elsewhere. Yriel, for example, can do some serious damage do just about anything and Vypers are great for busting transports. Furthermore, your Wave Serpents, even with the humble Shuriken Cannon, can put a real dent in quite a lot when they combine their fire power.
Now that we have all these things in our plans, we need to synergize them in order to make an efficient and competitive army list. This usually comes down to what kind of weapons you are packing. Do you have enough anti-tank, anti-transport, anti-horde, anti-MEQ etc? Now, continuing with my example, I already have three unts of Fire Dragons in Serpents. This should take care of my anti-tank needs. So, how about anti-horde? Well, there’s the Bladestorm squad, and let’s add two Vypers with a Scatter Laser and a Shuriken Cannon each. Add to that the weapons on the Serpents and Falcons and we’re pretty good. Then anti-transport can borrow from the same guys; the Vypers, the Serpents and the Falcons can all deal with Rhinos, Trukks and Chimeras. And if the opponent is light on heavy tanks but heavy on transports, the Fire Dragons can always lend a helping hand. Now, how about anti-MEQ? Well, there’s always Yriel. But to be honest, you really don’t need to worry too much about getting special weapons to kill Marines, just have them roll save after save and they will fail enough of them eventually. Trust me. However, there is the problem of such units like Plague Marines etc, who are extremely hard to shake with just shuriken weapons, so someone like Yriel, or perhaps an Autarch with power weapon coupled with a Doomseer, or maybe even Banshees could definitely come in handy.
By now, the most observant of you will have a pretty clear idea of what my army looks like, and I’m sure you will have noticed one unit that stands out from the AV12 gang; the Vypers. Won’t they just be easy pickings for Heavy Bolters, Multi-Lasers and other anti-infantry weapons with nothing better t shoot at? Actually, no. Not if you use them right, but I’ll get more into that later on.