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June 18, 2013

40K: How I Love the Wave Serpent - Let Me Count the Ways

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I think the game has a new best transport - behold the real hidden gem of the Eldar codex- the workhorse Wave Serpent.



Now once upon a time the Wave Serpent looked like this:


Don't ask - the 1990s were odd and EPIC had some pretty far out units.  After 20 year's I'm still trying to find the door, or where the troops fit.

But even back then the Wave Serpent had that cool energy field that defended it.  In fact it had this little cardboard "wave thingy" you put in front of it (EPIC loved it's counters), and you could fire off the wave! It would go off speeding straight ahead till it left the board, and stunning every target struck, making them easy meat for your Aspect Warriors waiting to pounce!

So when Phil Kelly brought back the Serpent's energy wave weapon option I was tickled pink - but I turned the page and moved on...

But then something odd happened.  People like Reecius, started to talk about the sleeper hit of the codex - the Wave Serpent.  It turns out that all the weapon options were potent indeed.  Folks are already coalescing around the following "all-rounder configuration"

Scatter Laser
Shuriken Cannon
Serpent Shield
Garnish as desired...
130pts

It's the scatter laser's laser lock that is the hero here.  First remember that the Wave Serpent is now BS:4 and the measly 5 point Scatter Laser is twin linked.  If even one of it's 4 s:6 shots connects everything else is twin linked. Between the Scatter and the Shuriken you have 7 S:6 shots.

But twin-linking the Serpent Shield is super nasty.  An Assault D6+1 S:7, Pinning, Ignores Cover with a 60" RANGE is nuts! 

Reecius was running the numbers and found that many twin linked shots is mighty effective at nailing flyers even (over 80% chance of getting one or more hits), much less the surface stuff with tons of S:6-7 shots.

When you consider that much Eldar Fast Skimmer firepower is costed ten points more than a Space Marine Lascannon/Autocannon Predator we have a recipe for success.

Oh, I also forgot - this superb medium tank also has a rear door and you can cram 12 dudes in there!

What's not to love?

Here's a list of other tricks some folks are using:

-Run cheap serpents with only Holo-fields and vectored engines. Turbo 36", drop troops into cover rear first, support fire with cannon, then switch facing. Alternatively deploy in the open and combine battle focus with vectored engines to have the tank block the enemy's view of the troops.

-Go objective-camper hunting.  Those crappy Chaos Cultists, Pathfinders, IG and the like drop like flies to the S:7 No cover Serpent Shield.  Eat it Aegis Line!

-All your quad gun are belong to me: It's hard to find a vehicle that fears Death or Glory less than a Wave Serpent with your Serpent Shield up (turning penetrations to glances on a 2+). So tankshock those enemy losers off "your" quad-gun, let the Eldar in the back disembark/run onto it and light up it previous owners. It's a tactic so deliciously - Eldar :)

~So what are your thoughts and tips on using the humble Wave Serpent? 
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