So before I went on a tangent plugging the ever living daylights out of the Craftworld open and the other events the Craftworld team is bringing you at UCON, I was talking about killing Riptides and trying to break the current meta, which quite frankly is pretty rough right now. Last time we talked about shooting mostly. Now I want to delve into a subject there is much conjecture about in 6th , edition, close combat. I want to also cover the use of Psychic powers, as this is one of the biggest Benefits the Eldar have when it comes to taking down tough enemy units. So lets get into the fray as it were.
Close Combat aka Assault
The Eldar have some crack assault troops. Howling Banshees and Striking Scorpions at the fore. There are some oft overlooked gems in the ranks of the Warhost though. One of my favorites and an excellent slayer of Riptides is the ignored and unused Shining Spear. Now that the Shining Spears can be taken in units of more than 5 they can be a very potent Assault unit. The Laser Lance Is a very short range weapon for shooting, but its primary function is close combat. At a strength of 6 and an AP of 3 they are very effective in hunting big varmints like Riptides. Combine this with the Ability of the Exarch have a strength 8 AP 2 Star Lance and Monster Hunter you can take down most monstrous creatures in a turn with a big enough unit. You also have Hit and Run so you can get out of combat and charge again to get your strength 6 again with the Laser Lances. I personally like running a Farseer and or Autarch with the unit to add some more punch and resiliency. Having invulnerably saves in the mix along with a possible Fortune is pretty handy. Now I know the Laser Lance is only AP 3 but that is effective against most targets. It is not effective to deal with a Riptide though, until that is you hit it with Jinx from a Warlock. I will get into this though when I cover psychic powers.
Deployment for Scorpions is going to be completely situational. Infiltrating will probably be your best bet for many situations. Deploying in terrain to take advantage if the move through cover and more importantly Stealth will help keep the unit alive as it advances. The real trick is using your other units to funnel your quarry towards the Scorpions. Scarier mobile units can be used in this way. Shining Spears or even the dreaded bike council can really make big critters move where you want them to when you have them barreling down on them.
Arming your Exarch, and actually running an Exarch, is pretty clutch when hunting big critters. Also running a squad of 10 is important. When monster hunting I always arm the Exarch with a Scorpions Claw. With Crushing blow he is strength 7 and strikes at initiative. Adding Monster Hunter to the mix helps the rest of the Squad possibly finish off the high wound models. The only real snag is if the Monster is a character and it challenges the Exarch. With only 4 attacks on the charge the Exarch cant kill a full wound Riptide or Tervigon in one round. Which is kind of important as the Exarch will die quickly on strikes back in a challenge. Dedicated monster hunting units are substantially bolsters by the presence of a Phoenix Lord. Karandras and Jain Zar in their receptive Aspect units make the units much tougher to deal with for your opponent and the killing power is also increased.
Howling Banshees are not really suited to hunting big prey, but they seem to be geared towards hunting characters, especially IC's, and death star units, at least in a support kind of way. They strike fast, but not particularly hard. The Exarch can be kitted with an Executioner which makes her strength 5 with an AP of 2. This is pretty decent for hunting IC's. You can neutralize the IC by giving the Exarch disarming strike and shield of Grace. With very few exceptions you will always be striking first as well. The Banshees are great for supporting Scorpions if you have another unit moving in to support the unit or model the Scorpion unit is attacking.
The Seer Council is a good bridge between Assault and our next topic, Psychic powers. I have always preferred a council on Foot, but its proving to be quite cumbersome anymore. I prefer the foot councilmainly because you cant put Eldrad on a bike. Oh lord do I want Eldrad on a bike. The Bike council is a Death Star at its best. Mobile and chuck full of Eldar psychic Shenanigans. They are good against pretty much everything. Their resiliency make them excellent for fighting other death stars and tough units. If anything just to tar pit them so they are completely ineffective for the rest of the game. The only real down side to a full bike council, that is 10 warlocks on bikes and 2 Farseers, is the amount of points the unit takes up in a list. They can, however, completely cripple a unit before slamming into it and laying waste to it. Jinx, reveal, horrify, enervate and Drain all sap out a units effectiveness and with 10 Warlocks in the group you should get most all of these powers, sometimes doubling up so you can use the Blessing portion to further enhance your already formative capabilities.
We will get into the intricacies of Psychic powers next time. The real thing I am trying to convey is thinking outside the box and trying different things in the codex. The Eldar have changed substantially and it seems people are hung up on Wave Serpent Spam and the old way of doing things.
SO next time Psychic powers.....and probably more UCON plugging
Until next time.....
Blood Runs, Anger Rises, Death Wakes, War Calls!!!!!!!!!