They Stalk their prey from the shadows. They pounce upon it with emotionless fury. They are my favorite Aspect warrior. The Striking Scorpion. They are not as nimble as Howling Banshees nor do they sport power weapons enmasse, they do have several advantages that make them some of the best close combat troops in the game. Striking Scorpions are a great vanguard or relief force depending on how you deploy them. Having a strength of 4 , thanks to the scorpion chain sword, and a 3+ save puts them on par with Space marines. They have the advantage though thanks to high initiative. The basic Scorpion is nice but the flexibility and the way you use the unit hinges on how you equip the Exarch.
The Exarch can be armed with very formidable weapons. Although the power claw is nice I prefer to arm my Exarchs with the Biting Blade. I do this for two reasons. First the biting blade gets to strike at the Exarchs initiative of 6. This means you strike first in most combats. The second reason is because you could potentially strike at strength 8. If you hit with all 4 attacks you are strength 8. This is good when attacking high toughness units and especially vehicles. You could glance armor 14 which you cannot do with the power claw. Although it is not a power weapon I would rather have the high strength.
Exarch Powers are the other important factor. My Scorpions always have both Stalker and Shadow Strike. When Infiltrating your Scorpions mobility is important since they are not Fleet like other Eldar. Being able to traverse cover to reach the enemy increases their survivability. It is also very important to have when assaulting units in cover. I have used Scorpions many a time to contest objectives. This is in part because even if the objective is deep in cover you will be able to assault the troops holding it because you are rolling 3 dice rather than 2.
Being able to outflank or infiltrate is also Important. Shadow Strike lets you do either. It also allows you to contest objectives right from the start. If your opponent thinks he is being clever putting objectives in cover he will think twice as his troops are cut down trying to take it. The ability to outflank gives you the option of holding the Scorpions in reserve for later use. This can be especially effective against armies that sit back and “turtle”. Tau and Imperial guard are notorious for this. They sit back and pound you with the big guns and make you come to them. Having close combat troops suddenly in their midst takes focus off of your advancing troops and allows you to inflict some casualties in their backyard. You should avoid out flanking Scorpions however, if your opponent sets up in such a way that you cannot reach his units quickly. Your warriors stand the risk of getting gunned down before they reach their targets. Infiltrating as close as possible is a better bet. Unless you have an Autarch in your list you run the risk of not seeing your reserve units until later turns by which point they may make no difference in the battle and are wasted points.
You must have ample units to support the Scorpions as they advance though. Pathfinders and long range support from vibro cannons or Dark Reapers are good to distract enemies and have them direct fire away from the scorpions. The new Night Spinner is an excellent support option as it has very long range and makes it difficult for the enemy to move and engage. I will be doing a review this weekend of the new kit. Again running an Eldar army is about balance. The units must work in conjunction. Long range support backing up the middle range and close combat troops while the medium rang troops are backing up the close combat units.
To be most effective you must divide up the opposing army. Striking Scorpions are good but if you get mired down in combat with more than one unit you could be in trouble. You must thin the herd so to speak with your tanks and other Aspect warriors. Destroy back bone units while avoiding the temptation to take out the biggest thing on the table. Case in point, if you eliminate scoring units , troops choices, first you make it a very desperate battle for your opponent as he struggles to get units into position to contest objectives.
Striking Scorpions are one of the best close combat units in the game. Great saves, good strength and lots of tactical flexibility. Not being Fleet is their only real short coming.
SO there we are. Two down, Next week we will cover death from a distance. Dark Reapers. This weekend I will post pics and a build report and review of the new Night spinner.
Blood runs, Anger rises, Death wakes, War Calls!!!!!!!!!!!!!