Pathfinders>Rangers Eldar sniper Tactica

Friday, 30 April 2010 , Posted by President Evil at 16:38

Introducing a particular favorite unit of mine: The Eldar Pathfinder. Not to be confused with... er, the tau pathfinder (nice one GW). Making the upgrade from rangers to pathfinders is a tough call for some, but a unit of these pesky scouts will reliably win back their points for any eldar general with an ounce (or more) of cunning.

Vanilla rangers are a decent enough choice. They are a scoring unit especially adept at a couple of roles which i am lacking in my mostly-mech list - Reliable long (ish) range fire, and being able to survive a turn of shooting. Paying the few points extra for the Pathfinder upgrade basically improves both of these qualities to a point where they make their points back everytime. The key to their use lies both in deployment AND in ensuring they the remain part of your strategy throughout the game.
With the skimmers and bikes that make up the rest of my army, it is rare for a battle to ever be fought in my deployment zone, and that's exactly how i like it. Sometimes the pathfinders are my only unit that opens fire for the first 2 turns. with my transports racing into an ideal battlefield position to drop their aspect warriors, the Pathfinders have opportunity to thin the numbers of enemy squads as their slow and lumbering vehichles attempt to maneuver into positions to counter the skimmer rush. In the game i played last night, they killed a whole tac squad over the course of the game and ran last turn to claim an objective all for 0 casualties. This is not uncommon. With all the attention focused on trying to penetrate the forcefields and coversaves of the skimmers, the Pathfinders are allowed to go about their sneaky business almost un-noticed. Sneaky, sneaky Eldar.

Ok, i'll admit weapons that negate coversaves will make very short work of them, and you must decide whether keeping them safe from such threats is a priority or not, and obviously, deep striking flamer or CC units will also see them off in no time.
But i return to my earlier point - deployment. They need to both be close enough to do their work and be within supporting range of your nimble units (i use jetbikes and hawks for this), yet far enough away to remain low on your opponents threat radar, and near, but not necessarily ON an objective that they can claim in turn 5 (if they even need to - remember, you only need ONE more than your opponent!).

So a conclusion of sorts:
I believe the essence of the eldar army is to be where your enemy doesn't want you to be. To force them to try and out maneuver you. This is playing by Eldar rules. In a game of maneuverability, the eldar take some beating. Force them to turn their tanks to protect the rear armour, to dedicate the majority of their army to protecting their own objectives and to waste all their shooting on your resiliant transports. These tactics let your snipers pop a few heads and the occasional dread or transport and more often than not, claim a crucial objective which can win you the game.

Close up the the rear of a pathfinder. I've given them muddy cloaks and weathered backpacks.

The squad. I made their cloaks the same colour as their base to give the impression of camouflage. I also wanted them to be patterned, but not with military style camo, so i painted on the vine pattern you can see.

Currently have 1 comments:

  1. RealGenius says:

    Nice! I'd love to see more on how you painted these guys.

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