40k Tactics: The *other* Eldar

Tactics

Hello again, Folks! NoName1 here to weather the anti-Eldar angst and talk about the *other* Eldar…

Source: http://www.dakkadakka.com/dakkaforum/posts/list/378881.page

No, not those ones (great picture though) – these ones!

Source: https://eternalhunt.wordpress.com/2015/03/04/send-in-the-clowns-a-look-at-the-eldar-harlequin-release/

Harlequins!

Although they haven’t been D-eemed worthy of the same D-ismay as some other, unname-D releases, Harlequins are still new kids on the block, and I’ve been slowly collection and playtesting mixing them with Craftworld Eldar. As Allies, they already had some interesting effects on my Eldar armies, but now since the new Codex dropped, a few other combos have jumped out at me already-

Source: http://warhammer40k.wikia.com/wiki/Banshee_Mask

Combo 1: The Banshee Mask

The new Banshee Mask wargear in the Eldar Codex now makes their unit un-Overwatchable (sp?). It’s standard on Howling Banshees Aspect Warriors, but can also be found on two Independent Characters in the Codex who can spread the love throughout an army!

Incidentally, that also makes these some of the only units in the game that would ever want to charge the dreaded D-Scythe Wraithguard.

So, where to put one?

First, Troupes. Harlequin Troupes are, despite their obvious fragility and cost, one of the more dangerous Assault units in the game, because of their high Initiative and variety of S6/Auto-Wounding/Auto-Hitting/AP2 attacks. And unlike base Eldar assault units, they do have fast-moving delivery options in either their own Starweavers or Allied DE Raiders/Venoms.

That said, Troupes are most vulnerable on their way to the charge, and arguably most of all when they expose themselves to actually make a Charge roll and have to weather Overwatch. One solution? Take Phoenix Lord Jain Zar (the Howling Banshees Phoenix Lord) and add her to the unit. She grants the unit Fearless, offers up some 2+ Saves to tank a little, and adds her own considerable combat prowess to the unit. Last, but not least, her Banshee mask negates enemy units’ ability to fire Overwatch AND drops units in combat with her by -5 to Initiative and Weapon Skill. With that kind of gut-punch to WS, the Troupe don’t even need Fear to get the Defensive/Offensive bonus in CC. In return, Jain Zar gets a bodyguard unit that can keep up with her through terrain, and can offer better punch than the gentle S3/AP3 attacks of her Aspect.

Throw in a Shadowseer for the added defense of Veil of Tears, and your unit is now far more survivable than it would have been, and much more dangerous in combat once it gets there. It’s not cheap, and it takes an HQ or Formation slot to pull it off, but if you want to run Harlequins on foot, it’s not a bad choice.

Side note- Another reason to go with Jain Zar is her ability to add 3″ to her Run/Charge moves, making her one of the only IC’s capable of running with Harlequins on foot without potentially slowing them down as they completely ignore Terrain penalties.

The other combination that jumps out at me is an Autarch, on a Jetbike, with the Shard of Anaris, Banshee mask, and Reaper Launcher if you’re feeling saucy. Pop that bad boy in a unit of Skyweaver Jetbikes with Glaives and Shuriken Cannons, and he grants them Fearless (from the shard), a little extra oomph, a Character to handle those Challenges – and, of course, immunity to Overwatch. He, in return, gets slightly tougher bodyguards than Shining Spears (albeit more expensive) with a *lot* more threat at range, a little more teeth in combat (thanks to the AP2) and the ever-popular Hit & Run. Oh, right, and Fear.

The Autarch of course also works with Shining Spears at a discount, but with fewer wounds, less Dakka, softer punches, and no H&R.

Is either of these combos great? Hard to say. They’re no slouches, but they’re still fragile and mind-bogglingly points-intensive. However, with careful play, they can do some serious work. And, they’re not something most players would ever expect to face.

Source: http://i153.photobucket.com/albums/s212/Warlawk/Motivators%20and%20Funnies/Leadership.jpg

Combo 2: Leadership-based Attacks

The sheer number of ways Eldar and Harlequins have to mess with Leadership makes me want to make an entire army devoted to attacking Leadership. I ran some numbers the other day, and between Eldar and Harlequins, you can nail a unit with a Morale/Pinning test at -9 Ld. Negative NINE. In short, if it’s not Fearless, it’s failing.

How?

1. Hemlock Wraithfighter – the Hemlock’s Mindshock Pod now – wonderfully! – only affects enemy units, and so you don’t need to position it as carefully. The Mindshock Pod’s updated rules give enemy units within 12″ a -2 penalty to any Pinning/Morale tests.

2. Warlocks – on Jetbikes or on foot. Warlocks have access to the Terrify power, a -3 to Leadership Malediction power. Now that Warlocks are Brotherhood of Psykers (ish), a unit of them will no longer get duplicate powers, which increases the odds of getting any/all Warlock powers in a unit. So, a useful power that’s now more reliable to roll than ever. Not to mention, put them in the Seer Formation and they’ll Harness Powers on 3+! Granted, “more reliable than ever” is still no guarantee – this is the only element of this list that you can’t control and still have to roll for.

3. Shadowseers have access to the ever-wonderful Mask of Secrets, a 12″ bubble of -2 Leadership to all enemy units. Oh, and it makes the Shadowseer (and unit) Fearless.

4. The Death Jester’s “Death is not Enough” rule means that any unit that takes a wound from his shooting takes a Leadership Check at -2 Ld. And, for extra lulz, if they fail that check the Death Jester’s controller gets to choose which way the unit falls “back” to.

Add it up (with a lot of luck and careful positioning of course) and your maximum penalty to a target unit is -9 (2+3+2+2). Not to mention, if you screw up or get unlucky, that’s still Ld. Penalties all over the board. Sprinkle with Psychic Shriek, Mind War, Hallucinogen Grenades, or – heck – the Fear that all Harlequins come with stock.

If you’re playing in an event that allows 3+ Detachments, you can also always toss in a DE Archon with the Armor of Misery for an utterly absurd -11 Ld. on that test, and/or to just bring down enemy Leadership all over the board *even more.* Just remember to pack some punch to still deal with Fearless units and Vehicles as well.

Source: https://goldfishofjustice.wordpress.com/

Combo 3: The Shadowseer

This one is fairly obvious, the Shadowseer is an awesome addition to any army, most notably so for the Phantasmancy Psychic Discipline (to which it has exclusive access) and the guaranteed-if-you-want-it Primaris power, Veil of Tears. Veil of Tears is a Blessing that targets the Shadowseer and their unit, and forces any unit that wants to shoot at them to roll 2d6 and multiply the result by 2. If the number total is less than the range between the firer and their Veiled target, the firer doesn’t fire. At all. This power (if it goes off, of course) is amazing. It means, at worst, any unit more than 24″ from the Blessed unit won’t even bother shooting at them, while any closer unit takes a big risk in trying to shoot them, with the average distance on that (2d6)x2 being 12 to 16″. Also a base Shadowseer won’t break the points bank, so you could have several of them (Masque Detachment) in an army.

Units that come to my mind as powerful places to stash a Shadowseer are:

1. Dark Reapers. Reapers are unspeakably nasty shooters, with their re-roll to hit vs. Flyers, Ignoring Jink outright, and the option of S5 AP3 (two shots) or S8 AP3 (one shot). The only problem is they’re one-Wound, T3 Infantry that do their best work on foot and cost a bucketload of points. Sure, they’re solid in a Starweaver, but a Shadowseer with Veil of Tears makes them just that much less likely to go up in a red mist as soon as they step into the open. Their own 48″ firing range also helps here, meaning they could be well out of Veil of Tears range for most enemies and still contribute a lot of fire to the game.

2. Guardian Defenders. Backfield-camping (or not) Guardian Defenders, either a big blob of 20 with two Heavy Weapons, behind an Aegis Defence Line, or both. Guardians are very fragile, and if put in a Transport tend to die when it blows up on them. Throw a Shadowseer in there, it costs a little more than half as much as a Wave Serpent and actually has almost better odds of keeping them alive late into the game.

3. Wraithblades, Harlequin Troupes, Howling Banshees, etc. This one is obvious, all of those Assault units need to keep their strength up as they get in close, and dropping the threat of incoming fire, even a little bit, goes a long way towards getting a unit where they need to be, with enough bodies to make an impact. You do lose a little speed though, not putting them in a Transport, as Blessings can’t be cast while embarked on one.

Keep in mind here that every unit that can’t be shot at is extra firepower directed at your other units. So if you start using a lot of Shadowseers, be ready for your un-Veiled units to take a lot more heat than before, in a lot of games.

And that’s that! Anyone had the chance to put the new Harlequins through their paces? I think they’re being seriously overlooked in the current Meta, but my playtesting of them has been limited so far at best.

  • benn grimm

    I don’t think they’re being seriously overlooked, they’re just a complete joke in comparison to the utility(power) and diversity level of all other recent releases (except perhaps the ‘other other Eldar’). With next to no variety in the list and next to no content in the ‘dex, is it really surprising they’ve been ignored pretty much on the whole, apart from as a cool thing to paint?

    • An_Enemy

      Harliquin book really was kind of crappy. There was some nice art, but all of that was plastered on the web to convince people to buy it. The fluff was minimal and those color plates…wow. Those were so bad. They had a lot of them too. Obvious page count fluffing was obvious.

    • vonDietdrich

      Really, if you have to sit there and apologize for a unit’s flaws before any tactical discussions (I -know- Harlequins are overcosted and way too fragile but..) odds are they’re not a sound choice.

      Eldar can just double up on their own codex and table the enemy. Obtuse tactics that may or may not work just don’t hold a candle to the comparitive points worth of pure Eldar options.

      • Nathaniel Wright

        Doubling up would just be win-more.

      • deris87

        Or even just run Banshees on their own, since they’re actually capable of doing their job unsupported, and cheap enough that even if they do fail you don’t care so much.

  • foulestfeesh13 .

    Warlocks can’t get terrify, it’s embolden/horrify.

  • Kako

    other? bah, stack D weapons.

  • ZeeLobby

    Poor DE. So awesome to look at. So impossible to win with…

    • Andrew Thomas

      Nah. Haywire, Lances, Reavers, and jets, that’s how you win.

  • Defenestratus

    Another worthless Eldar article that starts off complaining about D weapons. Christ same Bols everyone is over it. People have played against Eldar and have found out for themselves how much huff and puff the complaining is.

    • ZeeLobby

      And they found that the complaining was totally validated. Been tabled 3 times here…

      • Jet Voidweller

        Personally I have not been tabled by a heavy D army once yet and I have played against them many times. many it is just your list that is lacking.

        • Aurion Shidhe

          It really is too bad that one would have to look to the contents of their list and not to their tactics or play style for deficiencies.

          • NeonPhoenix

            welcome to 40k? lol games are certainly won and lost in the list, that fact has been around for along time now…, sad but true (wallethammer not only exists, it’s alive and well)

          • Chris. K Cook

            ” games are certainly won and lost in the list”

            In older editions yes, but one of the great things about 7th is that because there are so many possibilities you can’t win at the list writing stage any more. This is why the WAAC folks hate the edition so much and are desperate to straight jacket it back into Neuterhammer’s psuedo-5th.

          • deris87

            I wouldn’t say you can’t win in the list writing, but I doubt you could win a tournament in the list writing. There’s so many possible options and combinations now that you’re guaranteed to come up against some spoiler list to yours.

          • Chris. K Cook

            Yeah that’s what I was getting at, the days of the all comers list in a tourny are over and that’s a good thing. Blows the field wide open and makes the winner about tactics and strategy. Which is why the WAAC crowd hate 7th so much and want to ban this or that.

          • Chris. K Cook

            A poor workman blames his tools.

          • NeonPhoenix

            i think you misunderstood. dude 1 bring scissors, dude 2 brings rock. games over for dude 1. a workman can’t work without the proper tools on hand.

          • Chris. K Cook

            Only if dude 1 is silly enough to sit there and let dude 2 bash his scissors with the rock.

        • ZeeLobby

          Heavy D is the least of my concerns, though it does hurt. Its more the 200+ S6 long range firepower which is just ridiculous. People only think its the D? If so then they’re fools…

        • Pyrrhus of Epirus

          totally agree, i would be looking at my own tactics and list if ive been tabled three time in a row by any army.

          • ZeeLobby

            With 3 separate armies, all that I’ve placed well with at local tournaments? I’m sorry, the book is OP, my Eldar playing friends thinks it’s OP. It simply erases armies off the table. DE, Orks, etc. those are gone. Other armies have a chance of making it to the end of the game, but it’s slim.

  • Sloordrigg Metselverk

    “Incidentally, that also makes these some of the only units in the
    game that would ever want to charge the dreaded D-Scythe Wraithguard.”
    Dirge caster. Just sayin’.

    • Rich_B

      True, but the ranged D spam blew up the vehicle it was attached to before it got there ;-p

      • Sloordrigg Metselverk

        It was only a Rhino, anyway – the jetbikes S6’d it 😀

  • Rotten Deadite

    -9LD? Nice. Let’s see what we can do with Allies!

    Cast of Players – Harlequin Formation [300]
    Troupe w. 5 Harlequin’s Caress (Warlord)
    Death Jester w. haywire Grenades
    Shadowseer w. ML 2, The Mask of Secrets

    Dark Eldar – Combined Arms Detachment [550]
    Archon w. Webway Portal, Phantasm Grenade Launcher, The Armour of Misery
    Archon w. Phantasm Grenade Launcher, The Archangel of Pain
    5 Kabalite Warriors w. Blaster, in Venom w. Splinter Cannon
    5 Kabalite Warriors w. Blaster, in Venom w. Splinter Cannon
    Raider w. Torment Grenade Launcher, Night Shields

    Eldar – Combined Arms Detachment [767]
    Farseer w. Eldar Jetbike
    Warlock Council w. 5 Warlocks w. Eldar Jetbikes
    Windrider Jetbike Squadron w. 3 Scatter Lasers
    Windrider Jetbike Squadron w. 3 Scatter Lasers
    3 Shadow Spectres w. Exarch upgrade, Shadow of Death
    3 Shadow Spectres w. Exarch upgrade, Shadow of Death

    Scalpel Squadron – Dark Eldar Formation [230]
    5 Wracks, in Venom w. Splinter Cannon
    5 Wracks, in Venom w. Splinter Cannon

    Collectively that’s -12 to Leadership in an 1850 point army, thanks to the geniuses over at thedarkcity.net.

    If you shave some duplicates off here and there, you can get a lower point value and throw in some D-strength weapons. You know, if you wanna get banned from your LGS.

    • jeff white

      i think that the warlord should be in the largest formation/detachment measured by points cost.

      • Rotten Deadite

        Is that right? It seems reasonable, but I’m curious if you happen to know if that’s written down somewhere.

  • majorwesjanson

    If Harlequins were not locked into their one stupid detachment, they would be a lot more viable. Skitarii are great because they have a minimum 2 troops detachment that can be built as desired, as opposed to “must take 3 troops, 2 FA, and a heavy” that Harlequins have.