This may be a very short-lived Tactica thread as we are rumored to be getting a new book within a year, but with the new edition, there are a host of new strategies, and viable units, though still some strange questions that linger. So let's run down the list of units and see how things have changed. Note: a lot of this will be personal opinion, and theoryhammer as I have not yet gotten a chance to PLAY in 6th ed (which may change my ideas of efficacy) since I've been busy this weekend.
- RoWard are the best psychic defense in the game hands down. They got a HUGE boost with the nerf-batting of psychic hoods. Expect this to be a common reason for Eldar allies in other armies.
- Witchblades got shifted, but it's more of a lateral move than anything. The bell curve peaks a bit lower, so it's not quite as good, but the difference is minimal.
- Singing Spears are still S9, so huzzah! May be FAQ1.1'd out, but we shall see.
- Ghost Helms are now the only thing that can save against perils. Kinda huge.
- Some confusion about Spirit Stones and whether thay count as giving Mastery Level 2, but the FAQ for Eldrad makes it fairly clear to me that it does, so they have pretty good Deny The Witch saves.
- Divination is a better set for Farseers than the codex list... unless you want/need fortune and doom. It becomes a tough choice, and many eldar may start running a cheap-ish fortune/doom seer with Eldrad, or another Farseer that can swap for Divination.
- New Jetbike rules mean they are no longer instagibbed by S6. Hooray!
Uses: Obviously the most powerful and efficient of our HQs. Was before, more so now. One of the only psykers that can cast from inside a vehicle. I tend to use them as front-line fighters. Hang them out in a troop-sized Wraithguard squad so they can cover a large part of the table with Divination. Seer council is probably even more powerful now as you don't need to turbo-boost to get your free cover save, so can still shoot and cast powers. With turboboost and their free 2d6 hop during assault, they're still ridiculously fast and now even more durable than before, while being able to retain their versatility.
- Kinda meh in the last edition, but useful in reserve-shenanigans lists. New restrictions on the amount of reserves pretty much make this choice one for fluffy players. Poor Autarchs
- Kinda okay on a bike with spears now that S6 won't ID him. But Spears are still meh, so it's situational.
Give him a Fusion Gun, scorpion chainsword, mandiblasters and Warp Jump Generator, stick him with some Spiders and let him help them kill stuff... probably the best use of him now. You don't need to run 2 anymore to get your reserves on a 2+, so you don't have to sacrifice your ability to take psychers, Phoenix Lords, or the Avatar. Deep strike him and his spiders in to get some good looks at weak armor points. Against troops, directed hits with a melta gun is boss.
- Same issues as generic Autarchs. No option for wings or Warp Jump Gnerator, so, with the new restrictions on assaulting out of vehicles, the Yriel Bomb is pretty much dead in the water. Poor Autarchs
Kinda blah now since you can't kit him like a regular Autarch. Maybe run him in a unit of Harlies for some extra punch (though I'm not sure how he would interact with their terrain shenanigans, he should benefit from the Shadowseer if nothing else.
- See: farseer, plus all of Eldrad's normal dickery. Go-to for lore-swap because he's base Mastery 3, and gets 4 powers from our available lores.
Sweet beezus, he's a beast now. Even moreso than before. Just see the Farseer entry and turn it up to 11.
- Nerf to power weapons makes their lack of Invulnerable less of an issue.
- Still overpriced.
- Karandras and Jain Zar got a bit of a boost due to their AP2 weapons, but their respective aspects got kicked in the junk a bit, so they still suffer.
Avatar of Khaine
- Better Daemon save than most, though still vulnerable to regular power weapons.
- Wailing Doom is a shooting weapon, so probably gives no bonuses to his normal CC attacks, so he just attacks at his base stats, with normal MC rules.
- Witchblade nerf hampers their tank-hunting abilities a bit.
- Will need to be careful with placement for wound allocation. Can no longer try to save a guardian from a gun that breaks his armor (read: all of them) with her inv save, so she's likely to be leading from the middle in most groups.
- Conceal is still good, even though generic cover is 5+ but easier to get. Enemies can't focus fire to deny cover. If you can get a stealth or shrouded char in the same unit, it becomes pretty crazy.
- Embolden, Enhance and Destructor (except for overwatch, where this is now kinda awesome) are still the same-ish.
- Mastery 0, so they will only ever get a +1 to Deny the Witch.
- Rapid fire boost puts their guns so far behind the curve that they're practically useless.
- Inability to assault out of a vehicle (even when parked) put a pretty hefty few nails in Storm's coffins.
- Starcannons got a bit of a boost from the cover adjustment, and focus-fire.
- Worst troop in the game right now. Poor Guardians. Sit over there by the Autarchs. Maybe we'll see you again in a few months.
Okay, that was the bad... so what can we do with them? The way I see it, there's two possibilities: The first is to run a huge blobsquad with a conceallock and divination/gunline support and camp one or two back objectives, daring people to trudge through your gunline to knock them off objectives. The other way is to run small, barely-dangerous squads as a way to get more Scatter Lasers on the board. Spread them out and try to cover as many angles as possible, and make sure there are some more important things to shoot while they try to shave HP and trim unit sizes.
- Holy crap. Choosing targets on a roll of 6 to hit, where we also get AP1!? They are ridiculously good now. Maybe not 24 points apiece good, but certainly our best troop option.
It is now a tough call as to whether to run Rangers or Pathfinders. Scout is okay, as is ignoring terrain, but their shooting boost is somewhat wasted now as the 6's are where the money be. You may just want to set up in a ruin, save 5 points a model and just go to ground if you really think you need the 2+. These guys are the clear winners of the edition change. Pure gold.
- Man, our guns just get worse and worse. Shuricats just lag behind every imperial gun out there, and most other xenos' as well.
- Defend plus snap fire plus Divination help makes them a pretty serious contender for an actual tarpit worth using as a tarpit.
- Exarch's Power weapon looks like a spear, so options exist if you charge, but AP4 afterwards is pretty crap. Best to convert to a Power Axe of some sort to get S4 AP2. Even at I1, it'll be better. If anyone whines about modelling for advantage, remind them you're using Dire Avengers.
- Direswords are pretty decent now, as they are a power weapon with special rules, so regardless of appearance, they're AP3... which is enough for this unit. If you're fighting something that can save against a regular power weapon, you're probably dead, and just trying to slow someone down for a turn.
They lag behind pretty hard now in midfield firepower, where they were originally designed to do well. They will be out-ranged by bolters. If they can shoot a unit, that unit has a reasonable chance to charge them next turn. Bladestorm can only reliably kill 4 marines (for me, that's usually more like 2, but my dice work for the enemy), and they need counterattack help to reasonably expect to take a midfield objective. With Harlequin support, PW/Shimmershield and Defend, they can help soak the tip of the enemy's spear, if you can get them to a place where they can take it. However, they can't take a whole lot of shooting, so you're going to have to use them wisely. Even with the new vehicle rules, it's probably best for them to spend the first two turns or so inside a Serpent so they can survive to where you need to be. Since you can't score from inside a vehicle now, the old DAVU trick is no more. You gotta work HARD to make these guys useful in my opinion.
- New Jetbike rules make them T4 straight up, and Jink, they're actually quite good at zooming around and staying alive.
- Can actually use them as an aggressive unit rather than just hiding in the backfield to nab last-minute objectives, though that option is still on the table.
- Hammer of Wrath rule gives them a decent assault option. I still wouldn't run them into anything harder than a wet paper sack, but they're better than they were at this.
- 12" in the movement phase and 36" in the shooting? Holy crap that's fast. They can cover the entire board in one turn. Even better than they used to be for stealing late-game objectives. Jump-shoot-jump shenanigans still apply.
To be quite honest, I've never been able to use Jetbikes very well. It's certainly a personal failing, and not one of the unit, as I know of many people who swear by them. But now, with the limited transport mobility, but greater shooting mobility of vehicles, these guys look like a contender for some really good S6 support. Hop out front of a serpent, shoot, then 2d6 back behind the serpent to keep them out of charge range. Think like a Tau, I guess. You really want to be careful, of course. If you get too close, even with the cannon, you could be in bolter range if you futz the assault jump. Combined with a bunch of Vipers, and a Prism or two for some punch, this could be the core of a crazy-fast army that, with a fortuneseer or two, be far more survivable than people would expect.
- Rough day for my girls. Power weapon nerf means no more termie-hunting for these girls.
- No assaulting out of transports makes for an unlikely chance for them to assault anything.
- Still need Doom Support, though Divination helps them a LOT.
- Converting to axes could make them a lot better, but unsure how that will interact with the Banshee Mask. As both are a set value it would be a roll-off... so a 50% chance to negate going first in order to gain S4 and AP2... not sure it would even be worth it.
Ouph. They can still hunt marine combat squads, but not much else. Still need either doom or divination support. Have to hoof it for at least one shooting phase, most likely 2. They are rough. Let us hope for an open-topped CWE transport in the next book, or an Assault Vehicle upgrade for the waveserpent. They had it rough in 5th, and they're even worse now, so maybe just hang them out behind that Avenger unit to counterattack whoever might try to assault the Avengers.
- Actually, they're pretty much the same as before. This edition didn't change them much at all. Vehicle nerf was harsh, but I never ran them in a transport anyway.
Can now infiltrate or outflank with their transport: kinda big. Can't assault out of a transport: rough. Can't assault from reserves at all: why would we outflank again? Yeah, infiltrate these guys... outflank is kinda ruined for them. One of our only AP2 cc attacks remaining in this unit with the Exarch. With precision strikes, they could be even more important, but with 3+ armor, other chars with power swords could be a problem.
- Still the go-to Vehicle killers.
- Transport nerf hurt them a little, they lose a couple inches of range when disembarking and shooting.
- Melta Bombs in CC make them pretty decent against walkers and MCs now, as they hit on WS but at I1.
- Still underpriced, but may see less necessary use as the meta shifts away from Mech.
- Current FAQ gives them both their spotting rules AND Stealth and shrouding. Do not expect that to last past the 1.1 FAQ.
- FC losing the +1 Init is rough, but they usually go first anyway, so whatevs.
- Actually survivable out in the open now, especially with fortune support.
- New HP rules make them a really good answer to light vehicles (though, honestly we have better answers).
- The go-to CC unit for taking down TEQs.
- Love me some Wraithguard. 10-man with a fortunseer and divination help make them one of the toughest bricks to move in the game (except for vs DE who can go lick a frog).
- Guns will still kill god.
- Snap fire and divination will pretty much guarantee noone wants to deal with them in the normal way (CC).
- Great centerfield anvil that you can use to manipulate enemies' movement and tactics.
- Improved Mobility, Jink save and access to Skilled Rider make them much more survivable than before.
- Lances still meh, but Hammer of Wrath attacks give them a bit of a boost.
- Still too expensive and too small a unit for anything beyond running around the periphery and taking out already-torn-up units.
- Meh all around, especially as they are now unable to break Termie armor on the charge.
- Unsure whether their lances follow the BRB "Power Lance" rules or their own. It's kind of moot due to the nature of the difference between AP3 and AP4, but may need to be FAQ'd.
- New HP rules actually make them a really good light-tank hunter.
- Spinneret Rifle kinda worth taking now due to the bonus on the pen chart. Also good at sniping special weapons in units due to the new character rules.
- Better, but unsure if good enough to take in general games. Will need to see how things shake out a bit.
- Hey, we can toss grenades now... cool?
- New HP rules make them actually good at what they're supposed to be good at: Killing tanks.
- Jump infantry AND fleet make it so that they are good at getting where they need to be.
- Still overpriced and fragile. Better but not great.
- HP system made them even more fragile than they already were, which is saying something.
- Can fire two weapons at full BS while moving 12 means the chin cannon is back.
- Using flat-out jink saves and "wound" allocation means you can use one vyper to screen two others who can still shoot. Very cool new tactic.
- All in all, I think they got a boost, but they're still hard to justify at 70+ points apiece.
Support Weapon Battery
- New Artillery rules actually make these a lot better with T7, 4 Wounds (2 for gun 2 for crew).
- Vibro-cannons are pretty good at shaving hull points now... can do so from multiple vehicles if they line up nicely.
- D-cannon got worse due to the new blast rules, unlike most others, since it doesn't have a strength value.
- Shadow Weaver is still blah.
- Just what we need: more HS competition.
- Always one of my favorite aspects, they got quite a bit better with the reduction of cover.
- Can now be a threat to light vehicles with the HP system.
- Still cost too much, exarch still needs to be able to spread his powers around, but better than last edition.
- Is a Character. Yeah. Let that sink in.
- No need for Smash as he's already S10.
- Hammer of Wra(i)th rule makes them fun, though they're still meh in CC.
- 3+ armor still sucks against long range AT weps, power fists, thunder hammers and the like.
- DE still chuckle with pity when you bring one to a game with them.
- Still the bomb.
- Scout is about the same for Walkers.
- Now threatens light/medium armor like whoa.
- They are our best anti-flier without taking Forgeworld.
- Reduced cover may make starcannons somewhat viable again.
- HP system made them more fragile, but new squadron rules mean that immobilized guys can be left behind and still shoot. Awesome.
- HP system hurt them a lot.
- Holofields no longer worth it. Any result is equally bad, now, due to the HP system.
- Can fire two weapons at full BS while moving 12" is good... means no longer having to take EML for plasma defensive bull.
- No more DAVU shenanigans due to needing to be disembarked to claim/score.
- Big Guns Never Tire make them a huge target, and their reduced survivability almost guarantees you're giving up a lot of VP.
- HP system hurt them a lot.
- Holofields no longer worth it, spirit stones however, are still worth it.
- Blast rules Make them VERY dangerous... Full blast strength make a pair of them a huge threat to everything.
- Cover nerf makes them even more dangerous against MEQs and TEQs with the combined shot.
I think Prisms actually got better (now that I reviewed the blast rules) in this edition. You need to run with more than just them for vehicles or they become a target. I think with a unit of Vypers and/or Warwalkers and maybe some Serpents will make them much more survivable. In what seems to be the theme of the edition, you need to take a lot of vehicles to ensure the survivability of at least some of them to later turns, or none/few.
- Probably the largest casualty to the new vehicle rules, waveserpents are now nearly worthless.
- The energy field no longer really helps, because glances are nearly as dangerous as pens now, and any result is bad.
- Only being able to disembark after moving 6" is pretty terrible for us. That you can move afterwards might be okay if our only exit wasn't in the rear.
- Inability to assault out of a parked transport basically guarantees that our transported troops will never meet their target at full strength.
- Star Engines mean you can move 12" in the movemenet phase and 30" in the shooting phase, so that's a bit of a boost.
- But being easier to hit in CC means that you can't rely on speed to keep you alive when charging a flank.
I'm not going to go over Forgeworld stuff, because it's late and y'all can talk about that. These are my first impressions of how the new rules effect the Eldar. Please, if I am wrong about something let me know. I would love to find new and cool ways to make some of our stuff shine again. The biggest thing is that our vehicles, due to their mid-range AV and high price tag, are severely hurt by the new rules, moreso than many other lists. Imperials still have 35-50 point rhinos that will work nearly as well as a waveserpent for 1/3 the price. Necrons get the extra HP on vehicles with similar costs. We just can run enough of them to overcome the ease at which they will be going down. Let us hope for some cheaper transport options in the new book, maybe an open-topped Venom-like one, though seeing the serpent get an assault ramp would make it the bomb again. But enough wishing... what can we do in this edition to compete with the big boys?