Tuesday, September 17, 2013

List Building: 1,000 Point Eldar Army

I thought I would take a break from the Space Marine lists (at least for a couple days) and think up a list I might actually bring to my store's next tournament in about 3 weeks. I say might because after the last tournament, I told myself I would only show up with painted armies, and I'm not sure I could get 1k of Eldar painted in time. That said, this will give me a good idea of what to work on leading up to this or the following local tournament.

Unlike previous list building exercises, this one will begin partly with what I want to bring to the store and field; namely, the Wraithknight and Wraithlord I got from Moridian7th. I'm not sure I'll be able to fit both of them in at 1k, but I can give it a shot, even if it will make the list a little unbalanced.

The Wraithknight is built with the standard Heavy Wraithcannons as well as a pair of Scatter Lasers. I'll put in the secondary weapons for now, which will help if there are more infantry targets than armored ones for the Wraithcannons, but they'll be the first things to go if I need the 40 points. The Wraithlord will similarly get the equipment he is assembled with - Bright Lance and Missile launcher, with two flamers.

Now, going back to the essentials, I still really like the Farseer with Spirit Stone, and he will serve as my general, though an Autarch might save me some points.

As for Troops, this time I'm going to avoid Guardian blobs and go small. I want a bit of long range fire power, but also increased mobility. I'll start with a min squad of Rangers, partly because I'm going for an Alaitoc scheme, but also because they give me some additional options in deployment and can provide a little bit of fire support from a distance while camping on a backfield objective. From there I'll add two five-man Dire Avenger squads to keep points down while giving me the ability to go for objectives. Their role will be to stay out of harm's way and stick to the midfield behind the Wraith constructs.

After the core of the army, I'm left with a bit over 250 points to spend, and I'm going for Fast Attack. I need more mobility in this army, and without Wave Serpents at my disposal, I need the speed fast attack can give me. I'll start with 7 Swooping Hawks with an Exarch. These guys will start on the board and skyleap turn 1 to ensure a turn 2 grenade drop. Although it's rare in the local tournament, if I play fast with this smaller army, I could conceivably get to turn 4 for a second drop.

After the Hawks, I'll add a smaller unit of Warp Spiders. I'll again load include the Exarch, though if he gets lost in the warp again I might ditch him. Unlike in previous tournaments, I'll reserve these guys and deep strike them. Hopefully this will cut down on my warp-jump losses before they get into range.

The final list is:
Farseer: Spirit Stone (115pts)
2x5 Dire Avengers (65pts)
5 Rangers (60pts)
7 Swooping Hawks: Exarch w/Hit & Run (137pts)
6 Warp Spiders: Exarch (124pts)
Wraithknight: Wraithcannons, 1 Scatter Laser (260pts)
Wraithlord: 2 Flamers, Brightlance, Eldar Missile Launcher (170pts)

I chose to drop a single Scatter Laser from the Wraithknight. At least with one I can still choose to laserlock a single wraithcannon. As far as gameplan, the idea with this list is to use the constructs to attract all sorts of attention and push aggressively forward. The Dire Avengers will follow in their wake, using Battle Focus to stick to cover. Meanwhile the Rangers will camp on an objective in cover, making a nuisance of themselves. The two fast attack units will be jumping in and hopefully causing problems. In most cases I expect to pick a flank and try to clear it, then bug out when my opponent moves to counter. Finally, the Farseer will probably end up using prescience and guide to help my somewhat limited shooting and stick with one of the troop choices, depending on the opponent and situation.

The weaknesses of this list are combat and simple volume of fire. I still don't have a lot of shooting, and I also can't really hope to overwhelm opponents in combat. While I plan to be aggressive with the Heavies, I can't expect them to tank everything and keep kicking. That said, if the Wraithknight can cause some damage turn one and ensure he will attract attention, it should help the rest of my army use its mobility to concentrate on parts of the opponent and pick the army apart. Also, considering the short game time for this tournament, that mobility should help me contest objectives when most of each army is still remaining.

Going back to my resolution to not field an unpainted army, it looks very unlikely this army will see the field in October, or even November. I essentially need to paint everything except the two Wraiths I want to show off, so it will be a while. I could also see the list changing a bit to include either Dark Eldar or Farsight Tau Allies, since I don't have major intentions of focusing on a single army like I had been doing for NOVA.

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