Thursday, January 14, 2010

E-mail In: Eldar at 1500

Iggy from Sword of Vaul (and owner of the Banshee Exarch to the side) wrote in today with:
Hey Dverning, I really liked your comment on my blog regarding 'coming in with a left hook' - aggressive play, which I love more than anything. I was wondering if you might have any suggesions as to what I could build for a competitive 1,500 [Eldar] list? I've got everything down in my larger lists, but at 1500, I can't seem to cover all the areas I'd like. If you have any sample lists to try out I'd really appreciate it.

Well, I'm a self-confessed competitive player who favors aggressive tactics. He also asked quite nicely and buttered me up. How could I not respond?

Iggy, you're quite right... 1,500 is "interesting" as you have just enough points to really unhinge a list (Seer Council, V-spam, etc) but not quite enough to fully cover all the basics. For a good and recent article on the "basics", check out SandWyrm's "The 4 Things Every 40K Army Needs To Have." The one place I'd change his article? I think anti-tank could be a single category with the caveat that you have the capability to apply it no matter your opponent. Instead, I'd put in a 4th category of "Defense". This is the ability or redundancy to survive your opponent's attacks and still retain an effective force. There's a number of ways to create this in a list and might be worth it's own article later...

Normally I play 1750, but every now and then there's a need for smaller or larger list. Here's some of my 1500 point tournament lists:
Pure Mech
Farseer, Doom, RoWarding 95
2x 5 Fire Dragons in a Wave Serpent w Top Shuriken, Chin Shuriken 380 (80+110 each)
2x 5 Dire Avengers in a Wave Serpent w Bright Lances 390 (60+135 each)
5 Dire Avengers in a Wave Serpent w Top Shuriken, Chin Shuriken 170 (60+110)
5 Dire Avengers in a Falcon w Holofields, Spirit Stones, Top Shuriken, Chin Shuriken 225 (60+185)
2x Fire Prism 230 (115 ea)
1500 even. This list completely forgoes close combat in favor of maximal shooting and tank durability. The biggest downside to this list (other than cost) is that it's 15 KP. The upside is that I've yet to face an army that enjoys facing 8 Eldar Skimmers at 1500. The Farseer is kept in the Falcon and could run Guide just as easily. Optionally, swap him out for a basic Autarch if you want to play Reserves Denial and don't need the anti-Psyker.

Flaming Mech:
Yriel 155
2x 8 Fire Dragons, Exarch upgrade w DB Flamer & Crack Shot in a Wave Serpent w Top Shuriken, Chin Shuriken 510 (145+110 each)
5 Fire Dragons in a Wave Serpent w Top Shuriken, Chin Shuriken 190 (80+110)
10 Storm Guardians, 2 Flamers, Warlock w Destructor in a Wave Serpent w Bright Lances 262 (127+135)
5 Dire Avengers w Wave Serpent w Bright Lances 195 (60+135)
Falcon w Holofields, Top Scatter, Chin Shuriken 175 (DAVU mounted here)
1487 and only 6 tanks, but the added punch is entertaining. Again, note the lack of CC options. This list looks to hit hard from Reserves and ask questions later. Optionally, drop Yriel for a cheap Farseer (for anti-Psyker mostly) or a cheap Autarch (for Reserves Denial) and then up the third Dragon squad with Exarch and all.

Farseer, Jetbike, Doom, Fortune, Spirit Stones, RoWitnessing, RoWarding, Singing Spear 188
9x Guardian Jetbikers, 3 Shuriken Cannons, Warlock w Embolden & Singing Spear 281
2x 5 Fire Dragons in a Wave Serpent with Top Shuriken, Chin Shuriken 390 (80+110 each)
10 Howling Banshees, Exarch upgrade with Executioner, Acrobatics & War Shout in a Wave Serpent with Top Shuriken, Chin Shuriken, Spirit Stones 312 (192+120)
10 Storm Guardians, 2 Flamers, Warlock with Destructor in a Wave Serpent w Bright Lances 262 (127+135)
3 Guardian Jetbikes 66
1498 for a more mellow and "traditional" list with only 4 Skimmers. There's a decent bit of CC in here in case you make a mistake, but it comes at cost of redundancy. Reserves Jetbikes are your objective holders while the rest of the list pushes forward. Jetbikes play "Poor Man's Seer Council" with Fortune & Doom, using Jump-Shoot-Jump tactics. This is for when I want some variety from stock mechanized play.

By no means are any of these perfection nor are they guaranteed to work with your playstyle. Still, they're ones that work for me. Cheers and hope this gives you some ideas.


  1. I've decided after much consideration to roll all the ideas i've collected over these past few days into one: include a decent amount of cc in an other wise very shooty mechanised force.

    I think that way, I can cover my bases should I need to charge, and definitely this fits in well with my style of play. Like you, I fancy the aggressive art of warfare - it's all about hitting hard on those isolated units, and given the incredible speed of Eldar Vehicles, it's entirely possible to achieve.

    I personally shy away from the D.A.V.U. option, but that's a choice I've made based on my love of hording 10+ units together as one, whenever possible.

    Thanks for the helpful tips, and it's wonderful to get some insights into the kinds of successful Eldar lists that are out there, which work for you, and are no doubt fun to use :)

  2. "no doubt fun to use"
    Heh. Actually, the first list gets stale pretty quickly. It's fast, easy to play, and effective... but kinda monotonous. Much like a Serpent of Fury list, it plays the same pretty much every game.

    Though I coined the damned term, I tend to shy away from DAVU too. It's effective, efficient and ultimately gets boring. That's why I tend to play the "Flaming Mech" or even my Iyanden more often than not. I only pull out the DAVU spam for when someone needs a lesson on respecting the Eldar.

    Cheers and glad this helped. I look forward to seeing how your list evolves because of it.

  3. I'll be sure to let you know with some incoming battlereps in a few days! I had no idea you coined the term DAVU!

  4. "I had no idea you coined the term DAVU!"

    Yep. My little bit of internet "fame". Prior, people had been talking about hiding Rangers or other units in HoloFalcons to protect them from being killed, but never the idea of a unit for the sole purpose of making the tank Scoring. :-p It got coined in this post when I proposed the idea. As the first to throw it out there... it kinda stuck. I had no idea just how popular a tactic DAVU would become. Even less so that it would end up in the general Eldar lexicon. I might have put more thought into it. :-p

  5. I like the idea of the "4 things". I would welcome an article on "defense" or redundancy.

    Your first couple of 1500 point concepts are interesting.

    I'm in the midst of trying something similar for my mech list. Parking my Banshee squad on the shelf and replacing them in their boat with a second Dragon squad, and adding a squadron of 3 dual-shuricannon Vypers. Still running both a bike Farseer and a bike Autarch - call me a glutton for punishment.

    Just a point of math, aren't the Fire Dragons 16 points apiece, not 15?

  6. @DaveV: Woah, thanks for the catch there! I reduced these down using Excel and memory, without double checking my math in ArmyBuilder like normal. I don't know where the points (or my brain) leaked, but I made several mistakes beyond the Dragons. Post and numbers have all been re-run with benefit of coffee. It should all add up now.

    I love my Banshees and have used them to many nefarious ends... but clearing basic Marines off the field just wasn't a problem. I needed more punch against tanks, Termies, Nob Bikerz and other such. Thus the change of pace.