Saturday, November 28, 2009

Eldar: The Early Games

A combination of heavily math-hammer reliant strategy coupled with an inability to acknowledge a losing list helped ensure a series of four bitter loses against this wiley bastard.

My list (which I won’t bore you with the details here) consisted of what might be deemed a ‘balanced list’ ala White Dwarf: that is, a mostly foot-based and utterly discordant group of units that looked impressive on paper but lacked any real punch.

My opponent employed a simple but very effective build of a Noise Marine gun-line, backed by havocs and obliterators.

The outcomes of our four battles ranged from a near draw to a turn 3 blow-out; none of which were victories for Craftworld Jeronimus.

I learned several things from these defeats however:

1) Foot-slogger Eldar suck . Period. Walking T3 dudes across a board, even with fleet, and reasonable cover is a fool’s errand.

2) Eldar firepower, while potentially nasty, is useless when spread out against several targets. Target priority is absolutely essential with any Eldar build.

3) Eldar aspect warriors can launch devastating attacks, and these attacks will subsequently will entirely for naught if they are sent unsupported into enemy lines.

Yeah, I know, any jackass who spent five minutes reading a Warseer ‘Tactica Eldar” could have probably gleaned these lessons, but these battles drove home (to me anyway) the power of personal hubris when combined with the ability to rationalize losses as the product of defective codices rather than inferior generalship.

More importantly, they got me thinking about a new built which centered on a entirely mechanized force which used speed to generate cover saves and thus mitigate a major weakness of the Eldar list.


  1. We do have to acknowledge a few lucky first turns on my part, which wrought havoc with your transports and occasionally stranded your Banshees. Aside from that, to be perfectly honest, I though you were too timid with your vehicles and too eager with your troops. Very often, you scuttled about the battlefied with your transport ships while my Marines belted them with missile fire. Then, when you did disembark those nice troops, you attacked the first thing you saw (which I made sure was an expendable unit of Noise Marines). You're definitely right about the target priority thing for ranged attacks, but don't forget that it's ALSO important for deciding whom to assault! Hit the soft spots and hit them well. As for the hard spots, run away from those. Victory is mostly certain with that strategy. See Sunb Tzu's "The Art of War," hehe.

  2. Yeah, now that I've played a few more battles with the mech Eldar list, I feel that I'm getting a much better handle on how they play. I think your comments on assault priority are also well, met, especially in a mech build. Basically, my thinking now is that all assaults from a mech list are going to be suicide missions, and must thus only be done on things which 1) have to die 2) can't be avoided by movement 3) can't be neutralized by shooting.

    Next time your in Portland or I'm anywhere within 400 miles on MN, expect a re-match sir.