The backbone of any army is its core units. In 40K this is the troops slot. These units make up the minimum, in most force organization charts, to have a legal army along with one HQ. They are the only ones that can hold objectives in scenarios with objectives. They are an important and oft overlooked choice. They are seen a mandatory or secondary to the elites and heavy support options. This should not be the case though. They make up the core of your army and are the foundation upon which you build the rest of it. Much Like HQ's they set the theme or tone of an army. At very least they continue the theme and tone of the army you started with your HQ choice.
The Eldar have some varied choices. I covered Dire Avengers in my Aspects of Khaine series. Dire Avengers are a good all around troop choice that is very flexible. You have 3 other choices though in the Eldar Codex. You have the ubiquitous Guardian squad, the stealthy Ranger squad and the Fast Moving Guardian Jet bike Squad.
I have an affinity for Guardians. Maybe its just because my army hail from Ulthwe. Guardians have the same basic stat line as an imperial guardsman. You can take up to 20 in a squad and have several options. You can have Guardian Defenders which gives them shuriken catapults and a support platform or you can have them as Storm Guardians which means up to 2 fusion guns and close combat weapons. You can also have them all mounted on Jet Bikes with 1 shuriken cannon for every 3rd bike as an option.. This caps the Squad at 12 though. All the squads can have a warlock to accompany them. For Guardian Defenders I like to give the Warlock a singing spear as it has the same range as a catapult. I also give the warlock either Conceal or Embolden for powers. If I include the Avatar in the army list I do not worry about leadership as I keep the Guardians close to the Avatar so the warlock gets conceal.
For the Storm Guardians Embolden is a good choice but Enhance is a better one. This means your guardians will have a WS of 4 and an Int of 5. I also do not give the warlock a singing spear so he has an extra attack in close combat.
Jet bike Guardians give you a much better armor save, higher toughness and lots of mobility. You can use them to grab objectives in the zero hour by turbo boosting to them to claim them or contest them. They are also a nice mobile kill unit. Giving the Warlock a singing spear gives the unit vehicle killing power. Embolden is the power you want to equip the Warlock with as if you are trying to take an objective you don't want the unit running.
Massed units of Guardians with the Avatar close at hand are great for cutting through enemy lines and swamping troops. They are also ideal for holding objectives. Its hard to get within 3 inches of an objective with 20 guardians that are fearless, due to the Avatar, surrounding it.
Rangers are a nice troop choice with lots of ranged killing power and ability to weather heavy enemy fire. They get really nice when upgraded to pathfinders. AP 1 hits on a 5 or 6 plus the rending on 6's when rolling to wound. Add this to the fact they get a +2 instead of a +1 to their cover saves and you get a unit that is ideal for holding objectives in cover. As long as you can keep the assault troops off them you are all good. I like to use them in units of 7 or 8. Any more an you have hard time fitting all the models in the cover. This also gives you a good number of shots. Keeping a Farseer close at hand to guide them will up your hits and the possibility of punching through the armor of your foes.
So there ya go. Troops of the Eldar Codex. Next time we will be discussing the next campaign game at evolution and also this weekend session 2 of the Rogue Trader campaign.
Blood Runs, Anger Rises, Death Wakes, War Calls!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!