Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Swift Death: Eldar Fast Attack

Being able to close quickly with your opponent is important in 5th edition. The usual method is transports and deep striking units. Most units fall under the Fast slot in the organization chart. The Eldar being a quick and fast race have some very nice fast attack choices. Warp Spiders, Swooping Hawks, Shining spears and Vyper Squadrons gives you four very different options for your army.
Since 3 out of 4 fast attack choices are Aspect Warriors I will only touch on them briefly since they were all covered in individual detail in my Aspects of Khaine series.
Warp Spiders are deep strike specialists. Since they are jump infantry and have the warp jump packs they are very mobile and can cause a lot of chaos in the enemies rear. Armed with strength 6 weapons they can easily deal with tougher infantry and light vehicles and then jump away from harm. I don't use them often which some find odd. Don't get me wrong they are great back field skirmishers but they don't fit into my play style often. They are a stronger choice than swooping hawks though in most situations. Swooping Hawks are more lightly armed but are better at taking out vehicles. Since transports and mechanized forces are a lot more common now I use Swooping hawks more. They have the Intercept power so they never have worse than a +4 to hit vehicles and they have Haywire Grenades which are very effective in disabling vehicles. Especially vehicles with high armor values, since you don't roll for armor penetration. They are mobile and can bring some nice massed fire for light infantry. I have an idea for an 1850 list for Adepticon this year that involves the Hawks, but more on that as it develops.
Shining spears are quite specialized and really don't fit well in most lists. This is a shame because they really are effective in dealing with heavy infantry and light vehicles. They work well in support of Guardian Jet bike Squads and Vyper Squadrons. They can hit and run squads so they can take maximum advantage of their laser lances. Firing a volley in before assaulting usually wipes most squads out. You only run into problems if they fail to hit then run and get stuck in combat. I personally like turbo boosting them across the table and killing any manticore or other long range artillery that might give my advancing troops some trouble. Drawing lots of fire is ok when you have the unit fortuned and a +3 cover save thanks to the turbo boost.
Vypers have always been my favorite. I remember when they came out in the mid 90's. It really set the tone for the models that came later. Vyper squadrons are my favorite mobile heavy weapons support unit. You can give them a nice mix of weapons and upgrades and they are fast skimmers. My typical Vyper squadron consists of 3. Two armed with scatter lasers and one with a bright lance. This gives a good mix of anti infantry and anti tank. Though you have the option to give them holo-fields I would not do so. They are only armor 10 and are open topped so you would be essentially wasting 105 points. I would however arm them with shuriken cannons as the secondary weapon though. This allows for multiple weapon destroyed results and still gives you a decent heavy weapon in the event the turret weapon is destroyed, which it will be. You can also really lay into units if you only move 6 inches. My only complaint is of course the ballistic skill of 3. Oh how I long for Crystal targeting matrices. A well placed doom can make up for lack of hits though by maximizing wounds.
Vypers act like a fighter screen for the tanks and Wraithlords. They can't be ignored because of the weapons they carry. It forces your opponent to choose his shots wisely and split his fire. This is really important when you are out numbered and your opponent is maximized for heavy weapon spamming. The less he can concentrate fire the better.
So there's my two cents about Eldar Fast Attack. Next time we will tackle Elites. Before that though game 3 of the campaign and the “End Of days” Tournament this Saturday hosted by Evolution games and brought to us by the boys at Dark Future Games.

So until then................

Blood Runs, Anger Rises, Death Wakes, War Calls!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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