40K: Craftworld Eldar – Saim-Hann Spotlight

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Saim-Hann speeds into the spotlight with today’s Codex Eldar preview.

That’s right. Everyone’s favorite Craftworld that isn’t spelled like Halloween, even though it should be, have their turn in the center stage today. Famous for Jetbikes, Jetbikes, Wraithknights, and Jetbikes, if there’s one Craftworld that’s gotta go fast (and maybe eat some Chili Dogs) it’s Saim-Hann. This bright red Aeldari Host is rumored to be one of the reasons that Orks believe that red ones go fasta, though when pressed for comment the Blood Angels repudiated that claim, and then made a point of saying that they do not drink…wine.

At any rate, as you might expect, their Craftworld Attribute is pretty broken biker-centric.

Holy cow. Move your Bikers while still firing heavy weapons, reroll charges for whatever units you want–ensure that your army always has the advantage of mobility and a good chance of getting in when it needs to. Why would your jetbikes when nobody takes shining spears or even knows what those are? Easy. Charge a tank. Deny the enemy the opportunity to shoot their shoot machines, then fall back and shoot them with your weapons because your jetbikes are all flyers. It’s one weird trick that will make doctors (and your enemies) hate you.

Unsurprisingly, Windriders are an important part of any Craftworld Gaelic Equinox Celebration army. They will be cheaper in the codex, as well as scatter lasers, so–get ready to ride that wind. Similarly Vypers will enjoy getting to bring their heavy weapons to bear–and hey, do you remember the days of Jump-Shoot-Jump? Well they’re back.

Not only have Vypers gotten cheaper, but they’ve also gotten a little deadlier. Hop out from behind cover–or more likely, dash into range, shoot, then fall back out of range. Watch as your enemy cries a little on the inside. Good times had by all. At any rate, that’s to be expected when you’re playing the bikingest of bike armies–admittedly, they do suffer a little from the fact that fast, mobile units, by and large, don’t quite have the same protection they once did. It’s still relatively easy to shoot them out of the sky, so playing a Saim-Hann army will definitely take a little finesse.

Be sure and tune back in tomorrow for the Craftworld Alaitoc and Fire Prism preview.

  • Heinz Fiction

    Finally a craftworld trait that fits the fluff and promotes a particular playstyle! Also nice to hear about cheaper Vypers.

  • kloosterboer

    Vroom. Zap. Zap. Vroom. Happiness.

    (cross posted from another site, which shall remain nameless)

  • Melkor

    eldar bikes again T_T

    • ZeeLobby

      Get ready, lol.

      • DeCold

        Well we back at 7th trash, 2++ for loyalists, broken bikes for eldar. Can’t wait to see broken tau gunlines again.

        • Heinz Fiction

          Scatt-Bikes were broken because the Scatter Laser was strong against almost everything. It isn’t in 8th edition…

          • Shelltoon

            S6 without AP is a good place for them, honestly.

  • I_am_Alpharius

    All very tasty and again rooted in the background. Re-rolling charges is all a nifty ability to have, and ignoring the penalty to hit for Heavy weapons keeps everything in the army a lot more mobile. Interesting the cost of Jetbikes and Vipers are going down. Good stuff all around.

  • Steve Wilson

    Better to run biel tan jetbikes. Can get more bonuses and always prefer shuriken cannons over scatter lasers. 1 less shot but reroll the 1s and have a chance of so -3

    • Heinz Fiction

      But don’t forget about the shorter range.

      • Red_Five_Standing_By

        But you can advance and shoot with Shuriken Cannons, you cannot do that with Scatter Lasers.

        • Heinz Fiction

          You’ll still have more range with lasers though and don’t end as close to the enemy. It’s often overlooked but if you want to shoot at anything other than the closest target, 24″ is a little short…

          • Charon

            You want to shoot at the closest enemy… that is why you used your M + Advance to get there.
            M helps you to hit wherever and whenever you want to hit. Staying beack and relying on range is an invitation to get terrain between your guns as it is easier the further you are away.

          • Heinz Fiction

            With squishy units such as jetbikes, you want to stay as far away from the enemy as possible (while still in LOS and range to your prefered target). I mean they have the fly keyword now so they aren’t totally screwed, when they get charged but still…

            Also you gain flexibility in target picking with increasing range. What if 60 Conscripts are blocking you from getting near anything valuable? What if you drive close to your desired target and it gets obliterated with an lucky volley from another squad before you even fire your weapons? While high movement speed somewhat compensates for lacking range it doesn’t substitute it.

          • Charon

            No it does not substitute. If is far more reliable in the hands of a good player where range is doesnt reward good movement in the same margin. Players who know how to play the movement phase prefer speed over range while players who move randomly prefer range.

          • LankTank

            Agreed I would choose speed over range. Especially with Jet bikes as you position yourself where the enemies response should still not squish your fragile unit, but can still use the advantage of charging certain units to minimise enemy counterfire/lock up the enemy. Then next turn still free to move and shoot at will.

      • Steve Wilson

        14inch +d6 on a 4ft wide board is hardly a problem.
        Plus let’s go your scatbikes from saim hann vs my cannon bikes from biel tan. I win as hit more and even take out your save.
        Also biel tan effects every shuriken weapon whereas for saim hann it’s just bikes. If it had been every vehicle then it could have been good but currently biel tan runs bikes better and can charge further and Iyanden does vehicles better through survivability.
        Only things saim hann has going for it is vipers. Very lack luster

        • Heinz Fiction

          They win by a slight margin, however scatbikes win out vs ork boys or imperial guardsman (or HWT for that matter) and put themselves in less danger doing so.

          On a more general note: while shuriken cannons are better vs high armor saves, they still aren’t good vs it. You don’t bring them to shoot at 3+, you’re just less screwed if you really have to.

          • Steve Wilson

            The maths for 10 bikes with either is about the same kill ratio against guard.
            Scatter lasers only get better against 6+ saves and anything 4+ or better goes to the shuriken that reroll 1s.

            Also biel tan effects every shuriken type weapon in the army whereas saim hann only does bike heavy weapons

          • Heinz Fiction

            Scatbikes have a slight edge vs guard even with Biel Tan rerolls factored in (scatbikes can get rerolls from other sources as well). It’s not much but about the same magnitude shuriken bikes are ahead in a direct shootout vs scatbikes that you brought up.

  • Red_Five_Standing_By

    Now the debate becomes – which Craftworld is better for Bike Armies.

    Saim Han lets you use Scat Bikes. You get a longer range in exchange for not having wounds become AP-3. Scatter Lasers are also heavy, so you cannot advance and shoot.

    Bial-Tan Jet Bikes let you re-roll 1’s for Shuriken weapons.

    Alaitoc makes enemy models -1 to hit you at 12″+ range.

    Ulthwe gives you a 6+ FNP.

    No sure if Saim Han is really the Craftworld you want for a Jetbike army, honestly. I think Alaitoc and Bial-Tan might better…

    • Heinz Fiction

      However if you’re already playing Saim-Hann you’ll probably want some bikes 😉

    • MelonNeko

      saim-hann is good if you like shining spears and charging, which i do. After 10 or so years of using shining spears they are actually pretty good now =D

      • Red_Five_Standing_By

        Ok, true.

        But Shining Spears are niche, lol

      • Steve Wilson

        Dunno. Saim hann reroll charge or biel tan on a +2 or +3 further charge so probably better in biel tan still. As well as getting +1 ld

    • Bootneck

      Seeing as though you’ll probably be boosting all over the place. I think Biel-Tan is pointless as the reroll 1’s is effectively the same but worse as having -1 to hit for advancing with assault weapons.

      Which gives Saim Han the edge if you load out with heavy weapons you have no penalty.

      Guess it depends how you use them but really you shouldn’t be stationary with that kind of speed.

      • Red_Five_Standing_By

        You cannot fire Heavy Weapons after advancing. So you have to rely on your longer range with the Scatter Lasers to keep the enemy at bay.

        With the Shurkien Cannon, you can move, advance and shoot. Sure you are at a -1 but you are still attacking (and re-rolling 1’s).

        It comes down to playstyle. Biel-Tan is riskier (because you have to be within 24 to hit) but you are also much more mobile.

        • Kesek_

          Battle focus means you wouldn’t even be at the -1 for the shuriken cannon if you advance, right?

          • Red_Five_Standing_By

            Great point!

      • Simon Bates

        Because Battle Focus allows you to ignore the penalty for advancing and firing Assault Weapons, even Saim Hann are faster with Shuriken Cats/Cannons than with Scat Lasers. The main advantage of Saim Hann over Biel Tan is their Vypers. Even then, Biel Tan double Shuriken Cannon Vypers are pretty nasty.

  • That Saim-Hann trait is pretty evil. Imo far better than any other we’ve already seen.

  • tylran

    Dude, Vypers seem pretty good for a Biel-tan player as well. Double Shuriken cannons on a Vyper squadron, just sayin’

    • Khelban Blackstaff

      That should have been the Ulthwe trait. Shame, they got them all confused.

  • Matthew Manall

    No one uses Shining Spears? I wish the writers played local games instead of just looking at tourney internet lists. Lots of LGS’ use shining spears and even other units these articles keep saying no one uses.

    • Khelban Blackstaff

      I use them. Always have, since they got released. My Elven cavalry. They actually work well now. Bonus!

    • happy_inquisitor

      I think they are really nice but they definitely suffer from the “grossly over-costed Xenos weapons” issue. Twin catapaults really need to come down in cost to something much more like a Storm Bolter. As it is everything that has that weapon is just a points sink.

  • L0RDZ3R0

    So Saim-Hann gets the old JSJ the Tau had so many years ago

    I’m not bitter 😉

    • Red_Five_Standing_By

      All Eldar get it.

      And Eldar had it, for free, last edition 😉

      • Shelltoon

        Yes, and that lead to a ton of shenanigans that pissed many people off. Now we have to decide when it should happen.

  • Chet Atkinson

    Any new Eldar mins?

  • Chet Atkinson

    With their non-aerodynamic headgear I can’t take the SS seriously :/ Would like to

    • Red_Five_Standing_By

      its a space elf flying on a hyper advanced anti-grav bike.

      And the helmet bugs you, lol.

  • Simon Bates

    I’d be sorely tempted to use Saim Hann tactics for my mostly Assault-oriented Biel Tan Swordwind (the Avengers, Dragons and Reapers will lose out, but other than the Avengers they weren’t getting much anyway). Re-rolling charge rolls across the board is pretty good for Banshees, Scorpions and Spears. Ironically, I also have quite a few S-Cat/S-Cannon Jetbikes though, and they’re much better off with the Biel Tan tactics.

    Personally I would have preferred:

    Saim -Hann – Re-roll 1s with Shuriken Weapons; no penalty for heavy weapons on Jetbikes.
    Biel Tan – Re-roll charges; +1 Ld for Aspect Warriors (actually I’d prefer almost any other bonus for AWs than this, but sticking with the rules that are out there).

  • Xodis

    So far Ulthwe is still in the lead for best faction for Shadow Spectres. -1 to hit and then a 6+ FNP