Let’s have a think about Eldar list construction in 9th ed.
Currently, my favorite way to run Eldar is to soup them up. Eldar, specifically Harlequins, want a lot of command points to pull off tricks.
I usually find myself taking three detachments (two battalions and a specialist detachment) to get a bevy of command points, and also so I can have different Craftworld and masque traits for flexibility and power. In particular, I want a lot of HQ and elite slots for characters (I really love Eldar characters.) In ninth, with new command point regeneration and the tax for taking detachments, I have a few thoughts on how this will affect my army lists.
Now that we just get CP for free, the biggest choice will be about souping and taking different Craftworld traits. In eighth, detachments cost you troop taxes, but gain you CP and attributes to buff your units. In ninth, They cost you CP, but you start with more CP overall, and don’t have to pay for troops as much, letting you take more power units. But, you lose out on things like HQ slots.
For example, If I have a detachment of Shining Spears, I want them to have traits like reroll ones to hit in combat and +1 attack within 3 of objectives. If I have a detachment of Nightspinners, I want them to ignore cover, so that’s two detachments right there. Granted, Craftworld Eldar don’t want CP as much as Harlequins do, but I’m also considering the impending vehicle rush into the tournament scene. Skorpius Disintegrators were already great, now they are incredible. People will be busting out Tank Commanders, Hammerheads (shouts out to Mech Tau players,) and even more Eldar tanks like Falcons and Fire Prisms. So, for my style of play I want Skyweavers, who need CP and suck up a detachment, which is going to take away those precious Command Points.
The New Normal?
So, now that army construction has been inverted, what do we do? Without knowing how much something like an Outrider will cost, it is a bit hard to say, but I’m going to assume that an Outrider will cost less CP than a battalion. So, now I’m thinking, what Craftworld Attributes synergize the most with my style of play, the units I like to take, and the units that are good?
I’ve always been a big close combat fan, and with the smaller board and changes to overwatch, I want combat units that are hard to kill and hit reasonably hard, and I want some scary characters hiding behind them. So, I’m looking at some combination of Wraithblades to bully the mid-board, a Guardian Bomb to screen out other enemy combat units for a turn, and Shining Spears and Skyweavers to harass the enemy, with the Skyweavers specifically going for enemy vehicles, and probably spending a turn or two using Fire and Fade to keep them alive and shooting.
My big thoughts going into 9th for list building is that I’m going to have to be more specialized. Before, I could take three detachments for three different benefits and be stacked to the gills with characters. Now, I’m probably taking two detachments, getting more CP, overall, and taking fewer troop tax units, but I’m not going to have as many units with a set of Craftworld traits I’ve picked just for them. Overall, I think the good outweighs the bad because I can take a battalion and get my troops to screen with, and one specialist detachment to take my toys. Much of what I select will be base on the meta and how points changes shake out. Until then, I’m just hoping for a surprise announcement about a new line of Eldar models. One can only hope.
And remember, Frontline Gaming sells gaming products at a discount, every day in their webcart!