About Me

Hey there, as you can see this is blog is all about gaming. And that's what I've been doing for pretty much all of my life. Currently I'm completely enveloped in Warhammer 40,000 and I'm breaking into the new Warhammer Fantasy system with the release of the new 8th edition.

Follow me as I build new armies, find newer and better ways to destroy my enemy, learn more about the rules, and just complain about the things that don't go my way :)

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

What are the Eldar?

Once again there was a wish listing thread on Warseer. I know it's not uncommon, actually almost a weekly occurrence for one codex to start wish listing until it cycles over again. But the main problem with the Eldar wish listing thread was the need to find out how you want your Eldar to play, or how are they expected to play.

From the fluff of the most recent codex, the Eldar are small in numbers, but an elite group. Each unit specializing in the dismantlement of different parts of an enemies army. The Eldar themselves are much more advanced physiologically then humans, with heart rates twice that of a normal human, their mind processes with baffling speeds, and they can physically move almost faster then a human can see.

What we don't want is a generalized Space Marine army, where everything can do everything. Each unit should have more or less a specific task, do it very well, and maybe be able to do something else, but not to any great degree.

To start figuring out what the Eldar are, we should start by looking at the design of the Guardian. As this should be the most abundant unit in the army, seeing as how they make up almost the entire Troops selection.

What we're looking for.
1. Small in Number
2. Specialized in their role
3. Advanced Race
4. Dying Race
5. Technologically advanced Race

To satisfy 3 and 4 I suggest to create new Eldar Special Army Rules. As of now they actually have no special rules. Fleet was given to everyone as Run, and Fleet was actually handed out to quite a few groups.

So other then Fleet being there as a Mainstay freebie I recommend adding a rule called Eldar Agility.

Eldar Agility - The Superior Mental and Physical Prowness of the Eldar shines in everything they do. To represent their speed all eldar with this ability have +1 to cover saves at all times (so in open terrain this would be a 6+ cover save). All Eldar with this ability roll 3d6 for difficult terrain and run checks and take the highest result. In close combat, opponents can never have better then a 4+ to hit an Eldar Model with this ability as their shear speed allows them duck and weave in combat.

To satisfy number 4 we need to look at the fact that they are a dying race. The Eldar do not just go out and fight battles on a whim. They are very tactical, and every battle must be fought to be won, or the entire race may be lost.

Eldar Last Stand - All Eldar units with this ability may always attempt to regroup.

This should satisfy both 3 and 4 and help Eldar to feel more like the race they are portrayed to be.

Now let's move on and take a look at the Guardian, the back bone to the Eldar army. There are quite a few things that are wrong with the guardian if we are to consider those 6 simple rules for making Eldar. First, they are not small in numbers, 10-20 is bordering on Ork levels. Eldar are quite frankly, not Green Skins, and never will be. So first thing is we should limit Guardians to 5-10.

Secondly, Guardians do not represent a dying race, or the fact that they are specially trained to defend their craft worlds. Most people say they are just a militia, but remember militias defeated the Elite British in the Revolutionary War. Not to mention these militia are super humans in prowess and have survived for centuries. Not to mention, a technologically advanced race does not send it's troops out wearing paper bags. I believe upgrading the BS to 4, and armor to 4+ will help satisfy being part of a dying race, and the Eldar physical ability, mental ability, and training.

Now lets talk about Technology, especially technology for defenders. Everyone knows you do not defend a place with pistols when everyone is shooting at you with rifles. The key to defense is range, and 12" allows one volley of fire before you're knee deep in your own guts from the bayonet the 18 year old human was holding. To fix this, it's imperative we give Eldar Guardians a 24" gun. This allows a minimum of 2 volleys, and possibly 3. Now lets look at the gun itself. It's a Shurikan weapon, and fluff wise it basically slices through anything. Now I'm not advocating AP4, but I think AP5 with re-roll passed saves would represent this weapon very nicely.

Let's take a look at what we have.

______WS BS| S | T| W| I | A LD Sv
Guardian 3 | 4 | 3 | 3 | 1 | 4 | 1 | 8 | 4+

Special Rules
Fleet, Eldar Agilty, Last Stand

Shurikan Catapult - 24" range, Str4, AP5, Assault 2, Re-roll Passed Saves
1 Weapon Platform per 5 men
Defensive Grenades, Haywire Grenades

Now how much should these new warriors costs? I think the closest comparisons to these men are Sisters of Battle, Space Marine Scouts, and Imperial Guard Vets

For BS 4 armor 4+ vets, it's 10 points a model, with a Seargent and grenades
For WS 4, BS 4, Shield of Faith, and Act of Faith 3+ Sisters it's 11 points a model
For Str 4, T 4, ATSKNF, Scout, Infiltrate, Move through Cover, grenades Scouts it's 13 points a model

I think 11 Points a model would be about appropriate for the new stats on the Guardian Defenders. Sure it's about 3 points more a model then before, but they'd actually be worth taking, and would feel much more like Eldar then they do now.

Let me know what you guys think.



  1. I agree. Why would a dying race send its people out with sub-par weapons and and armor? I would love the agility rule as elves have always been known for their quickness and agility, not brute strength or toughness.

    I also agree about the longer range on the shuriken catapult. I think the Tau have out eldared the eldar. Eldar should be like fantasy elves, with long range bow fire being a staple of their attack, combined with high dexterity in close combat.

  2. I agree with your statements, but I also think the Eldar statline should personify the idea of an "Elite" fighting force. Your proposed stat line change is a great move forward, but I think it should be more emphasis on the skill and less on the save.

    A basic guardian should be WS4/BS: 4; while an aspect warrior should be WS/BS: 5. This would make Eldar slightly better at hitting Marines, and Marines slightly better at wounding Eldar.

    I just don't think it makes sense that these ancient races who train for thousands of years in the way of battle suck at hitting/shooting their target. An Eldar Ranger spends a 1,000 years training to be a sniper, and hits 1/3 of his shots? Dire Avengers can't even win in an assault against basic Tactical Marines. You can say an MEQ's advanced armor manipulates the wound and save rolls with the T4/
    3+, but an Eldar should still be able to hit them relatively easily.