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Wednesday, October 9, 2013

List-building: 1500 AspectDar

When I first got into Eldar it was the synergy required of aspect warriors, each operating at maximum efficiency and in perfect harmony, that had me falling in love with the flavor of the army. My first taste of Eldar gameplay was in Dawn of War and I found immediately that depending on the match up, my units either slayed or were slain. The steep learning curve and fierce tactical demands were exhilarating. When I first tried it with models I had a little success, and then far less as my opponent got used to my army. I found that in the face of sheer optimization and efficiency, our masterful warriors were just too pricey and not quite good enough to justify it. Well now we have a new book and have seen a lot of improvements for certain aspects--luckily they were the ones I already own and enjoy, so I have gone back to enjoying the Eldar play style that I think most embodies the harmony and calibration that drew me to the army in the first place. This list focuses on synergy, board control, overlapping target priority, and deceptive deployment:

--Farseer - Singing Spear 105

--8 Dire Avengers 249
  Wave Serpent - TL Scatter Laser, Shuriken Cannon, Holo-fields, Spirit stones
--10 Guardians with Bright Lance 110
--5 Rangers 60
--5 Rangers 60
--10 Striking Scorpions - Exarch w/ Scorpion's Claw and Crushing Blow 220
--9 Fire Dragons 343
  Wave Serpent - TL Scatter Laser, Shuriken Cannon, Holo-fields, Spirit stones

Fast Attack
5 Warp Spiders - 95
5 Warp Spiders - 95
5 Shining Spears - Exarch w/ Hit & Run and Star Lance 160

12 Kill Points, 4 Scoring Units and 1497 Total Points

It's not what I'm used to these days. It isn't especially heavy on the long-ranged firepower and doesn't have any dedicated anti-air. In lists I make, I generally try to have a couple of ways to deal with every threat in the game while keeping my units' movement speed roughly the same. 

Well this list has a huge variety of weapon ranges and movement speeds. Playing it means deploying smart. You have to make good use of infiltration on the Rangers and Scorpions. Using reserves with Spiders deep striking and Spears outflanking can cripple crucial enemy units mid-late game. The slow/immobile units are best used to hold back-field objectives and depending on the enemy's ability to close in on them they should be supported accordingly. Objectives can be used to split up the enemy force and then you can apply pressure with the right units.

Being a hybrid force, this army could easily get separated into small battle groups that would be easily destroyed. The key to playing it is to evaluate the opponent's ability to do that and not to overextend your units. None of the units are meant to suicide into the enemy, least of all the Fire Dragons who have a reputation for that kind of thing. With their new armor and a Farseer backing them up, they should delay their attack until absolutely necessary and deliver a crucial blow at a vital moment. They're too pricey and have great survivability with their new armor; they are wasted when thrown away on a single target. The Spiders and Spears can easily find themselves outnumbered in the enemy backfield and that is something that must be avoided as well.

I think this list has a solid chance against many opposing forces. It's far from a power build, but I have had some success with it already and find it to be a lot more strategically demanding (and rewarding) than my mech lists.

What are your thoughts? What style of Eldar do you prefer? How do you feel about playing aspect-heavy with the new book?