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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
The plan for this thread is not specific discussion on a unit or tactic but rather a discussion on the state of Eldar army as a whole in a combat patrol game type. This involves both the different aspects of an Eldar army along with how those parts all work against specific opponents and how to perfect those pieces to make a better whole. When I say pieces i mean that loosely since 400 points does not leave much room for redundancy in a combat patrol list. Rather than a restrictive rule set I see combat patrol as a different view of the same picture it allows other units that are regarded as inferior choices in a codex to become more effective since the combat patrol rule set provides it with a niche. I realize there are several different variants to the combat patrol rule set, while many rule sets have many similarities some create a vastly different game based on key exclusions that are left in other versions.

So why play Eldar?
For continuity let’s go over the combat patrol rules, these are the main rules we will be addressing but be aware others exist and some are excluded based on specific gaming environments.

• Armies are no more than 400 points.

• You must have one Troop choice.

• You may have one HQ choice, but no more than one

• Armies are not required to take mandatory unit choices.
All other unit restrictions (i.e. 0-1) apply.

• You may spend remaining points from anywhere in the
Codex.

• No model can have more than 2 Wounds (except models
with Swarm universal special rule).

• No model can have a 2+ save.

• No Special/Unique/Named Characters are allowed in the
Combat Patrol event.

• No vehicles with a total Armour value greater than 33. This
is calculated by adding the Front, Side and Rear armour
numbers. (Only count the Side once).

Sad but True
More so than any other army an Eldar combat patrol player must branch out from conventional knowledge. The acceptable way to play Eldar in a competitive environment revolves around the almighty wave serpent, the gem of the Eldar codex. The restriction of Armor value of 33 and up cuts the only dedicated transport out of the Eldar codex.

This in itself is a huge blow but it only gets better from there. Ask any veteran Eldar player what the best “section” in the Eldar codex and 9 times out of 10 you'll get a response of Heavy Support. I know I’ve fallen into this mind set when list building I tend to pick my heavy support options first then fill in the rest of the list around it, and why not? The heavy support section has many of the power houses Eldar have to offer such as the monstrous wraithlord which is central to any foot slogging build. Except… it has 3 wounds and is therefore prohibited from seeing any table time during a combat patrol. Next up is the Fire Prism which is the cog in the mech Eldar machine in fact it is arguably as powerful as anything else in the codex. But… again the AV restriction of 33 gets us again. This is also true for the Nightspinner and Falcon eliminating the possibility of a Mech build.

In fact 4 out of the 7 options are cut out of the codex for this game type, leaving us with Support weapons, Dark Reapers, and War walkers. The last one in particular makes up for the loss of all the other 4 options.

Next lets look at the HQ section since we are allowed to take 1 but sadly all Eldar HQs are blessed with three wounds eliminating themselves from this game variant.

In fact if we go back and look at the units that are excluded Wave Serpent, Fire Prism, Farseer. These three units are included in 90% of the competitive Eldar lists out there. That means we need to adapt and look at what the codex still has to offer

Bright Sides

Well as I stated in the intro there is a reason to play elder in a combat patrol mission even if that means giving up your grav tanks. For the sake of organization and simplicity I’m going to point out the shining stars while many other units can be quite effective if geared that way these are the units that should grab a list builder’s attention.

First what is an Eldar player looking for when it comes to units? It boils down to two things power, and a way to deliver it. And if a unit has both it becomes a shining star in this game type let’s look at a few examples first everyone’s favorite, Fire Dragons, sure they pack a punch but what are they going to punch in a game with no land raiders, terminators, or ICs and how would they ever get there without a wave serpent? For another example let’s look at Striking Scorpions as far as Eldar assault units got the Str 4 counts as power and with the ability to outflank and infiltrate in combination with a 3+ save it looks like a winner; a unit with punch and the ability to get that punch where it needs to be.

This leads us to another star in the codex the scatter laser, with the limits placed on tanks the scatter laser becomes king of the battlefield in my opinion. Units in the codex that can take a Str 6 weapon become increasingly useful.

Units like Howling Banshees, Swooping Hawks or even storm guardians with their str3 attacks just won’t cut it without doom support so we need to look to other units that don’t rely on psychic powers.

These are the units that I personally have build combat patrols around and have found to be quite powerful

Guardian Defenders w/ Scatter laser, Rangers, Guardian Jetbikes w/ cannon upgrade, Warp Spiders, Vypers w/ Scatter laser, Warwalkers, Harlequins and Striking Scorpions
These units have the ability to pack a punch with their Str 6 weaponry or Str 4 melee attacks along with the ability to use the range on their guns, their speed, or outflanking infiltrating etc… to hit what they want

Here are some lists that I’ve had success with in combat patrols in the past every one contains units with the key factors that I’ve outlined above.

#1
Troops
6 Guardian Jetbikes w/ 2 cannons + Warlock w/ Jetbike, Embolden, Singing Spear (205)

Fast Attack
3 Vypers w/ Scatter lasers (180)

#2
Troops
Guardian Defenders w/ Schurcan Cannon (85)

Elites
6 Striking Scorpions w/ Exarch, Biting Blade, Shadow Strike (133)

Heavy Support
3 Warwalkers w/ Scatter Lasers (180)

#3
Troops
5 Rangers (95)

Elites
7 Warp Spiders W/ Exarch, Dual Death Spinners (171)

Heavy Support
3 Warwalkers w/ Shrunken cannons (120)

Wrap up

Enough of my rambling though I want to know what other players have found out using Eldar in combat patrol games and offer their own advice on the topic and how to adapt this army to the combat patrol rules type.
 

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You have pretty much hit the nail on the head with that. Allthough I would still rate dark reapers in this as not much will be in transports (for long anyway) so they will have a few turns of shooting before retaliation in any way.

Also I fully agree on the scatter laser love, no other weapon seems more suited to these missions.

I would not however take the risk of outflanking or deepstriking seeing as you may end up with your unit either late or not where you want it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I have yet to try Dark Reapers in this game style but since all my rating of them would be from a theoretical stand point I shied away from giving them a thumbs up or a thumbs down although their battlefield niche would become vastly more important with the restriction on AV

Im glad you brought them up since they are a unit that frequently gets overlooked in normal game play
 

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I do think Dire avengers are a good investment at Combat Patrol.

120 points will buy you ten Dire avengers. Who bring essentially 20 rng18" bolt gun shots onto the table.

Not to be overlooked imo.
 

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I love dark reapers. I just take 10 rangers and 5 dark reapers with tempest launcher and crack shot or missile launcher and fast shot if I believe transports will be present.

Wraithguard make a great unit in these games due to the innately high tougness. a combat patrol could consist of just 10 wraithguard and a spiritseer. Really is funny on the opponents face.
 

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To view it another way - what are you more likely to face?

Rhinos are still possible, although whether someone wants to pay 35pts for a movable piece of cover and 2 bolter shots in a 400pt game is debatable.

I see Chimeras as the "tank to beat" in this game type. With the ability to shoot 3 heavy weapons when loaded with the right squad, and a front AV of 12, they make extremely effective bunkers in a game-type that is largely without Melta or Lascannons.

Having effectively removed everything that isn't a light transport from the game, man-spam is favourable, expecially with Orks, Nids and Guard who can field silly numbers of models for very cheap. Having access to multiple decent-S shots is very important.

Bikes also become good for all races, with speed being rare, they offer a lot more tactical options against foot sloggers than they do against 12-24" moving tanks.

If I were to build an army for this, I would consider the following as good options:

Reapers: Normally excluded due to being static and vulnerable, they gain points here because your entire army is more static by nature. However a lot of people like to put down as much cover as they can in smaller point games, so the AP3 may be wasted, depending on your table setup. Also ties up a lot of points in a small unit.

Avengers: Still probably my troop choice of choice (ah-hah), a 10 man bladestorm squad should do well against most other infantry due to the 18" range allowing you a lot more options to stay out of combat.

War Walkers: Decent enough in large games, I think they have great potential in small ones too, although I'd shy away from a squadron of 3 with the same weapons. I'd consider using 1 as a sniper, with 2x EMLs that hides in as much cover as possible and focuses on enemy armour (and can switch to frag if needed), and/or a pair of them with 2x Scatters that goes after infantry/AV 10 vehicles.

Jetbikes: I can see a squad with a Warlock being a good-to-great anti-tank unit, with S6 shots from the cannon and a S9 shot/melee attack from the 'Lock. The speed is a welcome bonus, but considering that they're as easy to kill as a standard marine, I hesitate to recommend them outright.

I like the look of your list #2, but would personally drop out a walker to turn the Guardians into Dire Avengers, and give one of the remaining Walkers EMLs. Depending on who you're fighting I might even consider Harlies instead of Scorpions due to the same number of S4 attacks, but with Rending (and power weapon option). The problem would be the price tag.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
Thank you Sethis for your input, and all others. Its nice to see some senior forum members hop in on this thread to offer their advice

I can say after the initial writing of this thread ive gone back and done some more homework in the form of 10+ combat patrol games vs. tyranids, orks, codex SM, Tau, Necrons and CSM. everything previously stated holds true with the addition of finally picking up some Dark reapers and Harlequins to play test them.

I would highly recommend either unit to any player so inclined. Each preformed its job well when used with a steady hand. The nature of the combat patrol game creates a wider niche for them to fill

Although I still stand by my theory of the Scatter laser being gold since at a BS of 4, as most Eldar units capable of taking it are, the Str 6 in volume works magic against AV10-11 I did run into problems with a Devil fish though so AV12 does happen (as Sethis mentioned the Chimera) the answer In my game vs. Tau was the Singing spear in list #1 along with the mobility of the Cannons on the bikes. And mobility of the spiders in list #3 both units were able to take the Devil fish out of the game the Bike did it better of course.
 

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"Although I still stand by my theory of the Scatter laser being gold since at a BS of 4, as most Eldar units capable of taking it are"

I think most units capable of taking a Scatter Laser are actually BS3 not 4.
Guardians, Vypers, War Walker, Wave Serpent, Falcon...
In fact, I think that it's pretty much only the Wraithlord that can field a Scatter Laser at BS4.

That doesn't stop me fielding the 3 x War Walker Squadron c/w 6 Scatter Lasers at every available opportunity, though.
 
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