Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Flying Blind: Coping without Seers

This past Saturday I got a game in at the FLGS with Vogrin. I have been fielding the Craftworlders for the past month taking a break from the Dark Eldar. I needed a break mainly because I will be fielding the Craftworlders at Adepticon. I also did not want to get rusty. I have to say though the 2 to 3 month stint of Dark Eldar use has honed my playing ability. Vogrin brought his Imperial Guard including 2 newly acquired Tallern Griffins. I left the Ulthwe army to rest this battle. The Aspect Warriors of Biel Tan came out to great the imperials. Lead by the Avatar and the Phoenix Lord Fuegan the Bahzhakhaine, “sword wind” to those that don't speak Eldar, was ready to purge the Mon-Keigh from the field. There was one big and very notable difference with this list as opposed to the ones I usually field. The Farseers and warlocks stayed home. Not only have the Dark Kin honed my game they have allowed me to play without Seers with confidence.
The absence of psykers in the Dark Eldar army is a major hurtle for Eldar players turning to the dark side. The Eldar army as it stands relies heavily on Farseers to augment the army. Doom and Guide work to increase the kills and Fortune helps keep troops alive. People base their whole strategy on using the seer to do what they are meant for. They of course are bolstered by a unit of warlocks or they tag along in a group of Aspect Warriors. The Seer helps keep the unit or units alive and help pick off the big nasties that may come try and interfere.
The only real problem with this strategy, especially with newer players, is that once the Seer is killed the whole army falls apart. In fact players go to great lengths to protect their Seers. Not a bad thing except this usually uses up resources that could otherwise be thrown at the opposing force.
The key to running an efficient Eldar army list, as I have said time and time again, is to have all the units working in concert and supporting one another. There are no real generalists only specialists. The key to good support is redundancy and trying to think a turn ahead even 2. This means having 2 or 3 different plans based on possible opponent actions.
That said you must be able to cope without a Seer. You must have a plan of attack that includes, but is not dependent on the Seer. As I said I ran the Avatar and Fuegan in my Biel Tan Sword Wind list. The strategy did not center around one unit as the hub. Each unit worked in mutual support of the other. Blade Storms were delivered to units that were in assault distance of Striking Scorpions. Transports were opened up by Fuegan or the Avatar and then promptly shot by Dark reapers. The key is fire order. You must plan out your fire before you start just randomly firing at units. Its kind of like knocking down domino’s. If they are lined up and spaced properly when you knock down the first one in the line the rest fall in sequence. Take out a domino in the line and the rest don't fall. You must make each shot count and contribute to the whole. When you get into this mindset, which is essential in my opinion for effective Dark Eldar armies. When you add the Seers to the mix with this all in mind you get a lot more use and utility out of the psychic powers. You also make your self ready for the loss of the Seer.
This can actually be a very effective ruse to players used to rampant Seer use. They will be so intent on taking out the fortuned Seer the rest of your army can carry out its mission and catch your opponent off guard. Being Sans Seer playing the Dark Eldar really has improved my game.
SO there ya go, some thoughts after my game. Tonight I plan on taking on Captain Obvious and his Marines. We will see how that goes. I am taking out the Banshees from the list and adding in more scorpions or possibly some War Spiders and see if ti does better. IF so I may have some painting to catch up on with my Craftworlders before Adepticon.

Although I won't be playing in it due to work. The boys at MI40K are hosting a tournament this Saturday at Get Your Game on in Ann Arbor. I will be stopping in after work to see how things are going. SO go over to MI40K for details. The Test of Kaine , my tournament will be the following weekend, March 19th, at Evolution Games in Lansing. I hope to see you there.

Until then...........

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

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