Sunday, March 18, 2012

Fighting The Necron: Second Look at Eldar Units

Its been a busy week. Its been very very warm in Michigan this week, especially for March. Between the nice weather and car repairs its been tough to sit down and write. I have been contemplating the Eldar this week though. Contemplating how the fit into the new meta. Or I should say how they fit into the new meta now that Necrons have stormed the field once again. Old School Terminator and CVinton have been converted. They have been running rampant with their respective Armies of soulless killing machines for well over 2 months now. I have gotten in about 6 games against the Necron Codex and have lost every one. I am not ashamed to admit it. It has been a very good learning experience though.

I have been forced to really go through the Eldar codex and take a second look at units. Mainly units that have the capability of chasing down Command Barges and Night Scythes. I also have to balance the list out with units that can take down squads of immortals with little trouble. I am trying a different approach now. Units that have gone by the wayside have once again come to the forefront. It just goes to prove my point that you can know your army in and out, but you should always re read the codex. New situations and uses for units will always pop into your head.

Case in point I was faced with a modified, some would say meaner, version of CVintons “Tesla Orgy” when we played this past Friday at another local store, The Fortress. I broke out a very specialty unit for this battle. One that Eldar players oft overlook. In fact I seldom if ever use the red headed step child of Aspect Warriors. The Shining Spears. I took a hard look at all the units in the codex and the Spears kind of stuck out. Although their laser lances are very short range, they are strength 6 and a lance weapon. The Exarch can also pack a Star Lance which is strength 8 lance weapon. Given the Shining spears mobility and ability to hit and run. They make ideal Command Barge hunters.

In the game in question the Spears Acquitted themselves very well. Destroying a command barge on Turn one and then hunting down the Lord like a dog. Sadly due to the small unit size casualties were high. The Exarch, however, was on fire as he was the only member to live for most of the game. He claimed both command Barges and a Lord.

Another favorite Aspect of mine is the Swooping Hawks. They made a go at one of the Command Barges as well and were able to destroy its Tesla weapon before it ran off into the welcoming arms of the Shining Spear Exarch. I needed to run a bigger squad though. The intercept ability along with haywire grenades make them ideal for hunting fast vehicles and fast skimmers. You just have to be careful as they have a tendency to draw fire and they are fairly lightly armored. I only ran 6 in the squad and I should have run 8 maybe 10.

I don't know why I have not been running Dark reapers enmasse in the backfield. They are classic “Marine killers” and when you have a Farseer guiding and dooming they can wipe out heavy targets pretty quickly. Again I should have run more than one squad. The single squad was able to punish the immortal squads, despite the solar pulse being used on 2 turns. In fact the Solar pulse was the only thing really keeping all 3 Immortal squads alive, that and me only running 1 squad of Reapers. The squad was also able to clean up the scarab farm after a nice cleansing in the form of twin destructors from Eldrads Warlock retinue.

I am starting to see the value in running Pathfinders as my troop choices. Its a rare thing anymore where fluff actually points to an efficient army. Alaitoc Craftworld has been hunting down tomb worlds for thousands of years. They are the last of the Eldar that still remember their duty to the old ones. I may be starting up a second Craftworld soon. Running lots of Pathfinders and Rangers. The 2 squads I ran were able to get most of the Necron army in a nice big field of overlapping fire. Although they are more expensive than Dire Avengers and guardians, their shooting ability and range is better and they can deploy pretty much anywhere, giving you the ability to hold objectives effectively. Since pathfinders can potentially have a 2+ cover save they are very hard to get rid of without dedicating a ton of shooting. Even so they out range most other units. They are effective at taking out normal infantry and monstrous creatures.

So now I go to refine the list. With all this work going into dealing with the Necrons you may think its a massive amount of list tailoring on my part. It is actually, but any army I bring that is effective against the Necrons I think will also be very effective against any other army as well. Also my justification for tailoring is this. Although its nice having an all comers list, Eldar are a very specialized force and with the age of the codex showing, a bit of tailoring to the meta is very much needed to roll with all the new kids on the block.

So more on the list development as it happens. I will be announcing the official date and posting missions for the “Test Of Khaine” tournament in the coming week. I will also be hopefulling continuing my old series “The Foundations Of Vengeance” on Dark Future Games.

Until next time..........

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


  1. Shinning spears...flippin' shinning spears...

    I think adusting your list to the meta isn't tailoring; its growing. I don't know much about eldar but I think your style would lend itself to more pathfinders and reapers. I think eldar can be tricky bastards with stuff but you like to play more aggressive with seer council of doom and heavy shooting. More broadsword than scalpel. So do it, dark reapers and pathfinders.

    Proxy before you buy! I'd be more than happy to swing my big metal dong around some more. :)

  2. I have fallen into the Ranger trap before. They are great for what they are, yes, but going too heavily into them sucks up points and cuts your rate of fire to next to nil.
    Plus, combined with the Reapers you say you want, you're looking at dumping many points into a very static selection of units.
    Though, running Maugan Ra with a group of Pathfinders is a good time, incredibly expensive, but a good time. Maugan gives some much needed punch to the Rangers and makes them less of a pushover in close combat.
    One last thing, you ever thought of running a Farseer on a jetbike with the Shining Spears as an adhoc retinue? Fortune and Doom for the Spears might give them the edge they need. And the Farseer could take a Singing Spear to fit in with them.

  3. Had one more thought, if you're in the market for some rarely used static units for busting up Necrons, how about a threepack of Vibro Cannons? 36" range that would ignore their little night fighting trick. Pointing the line through the command barge might give you some good results as well. Just an idea.

  4. I have not considered the farseer with the spears as of yet, but I see it as the next natural step. Vibro cannons are rendered mostly useless due to the "living metal" rule that allows them to shake off stunned and shaken results on a 2+. The full strength battery is also only strength 6.
    I had actually considered that option at one point though.

  5. Have you tried using Warp Spiders against them? I think they are a generally underused unit. Which is odd to me, they have only ever performed well in my armies. I finally got a second squad and need to see if two squads is too much a of a good thing, or just a good thing.
    Necron saves aren't amazing, so the lack of AP doesn't much matter, but the strength 6 shots firing with marine BS means it. Plus, they are highly mobile.