Pathfinders>Rangers Eldar sniper Tactica

Posted by President Evil on Friday, 30 April 2010 , under , , , | comments (1)

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.

Why should imperial tanks have all the fun?

Posted by President Evil on Thursday, 29 April 2010 , under , , | comments (0)

Interesting one, this.... weathered eldar tanks. So i was looking at my almost finished wave serpent yesterday. i was happy with the paint job, but something just wasn't looking right. You, guessed it, too clean. My army is normally full mech (bar pathfinders) and so i had no problems leaving my troops without weathered armour and battle damage - they just get out, kill and (hopefully) get back in again. It did get me thinking though... what about the transports? I know they are protected by force fields and what-have-you, but surely dirt and dust would find its way to the vents, surely mud would get splashed up from being at the back of a convoy, or having shells explode nearby. Surley when you pop the rear door to unload the passengers, it would get muddy, or attract small arms fire. Well... i don't really know the answer, but what i do know, is that you don't see weathered eldar very often and trying to rough up a serpent would be fun. Here are the W.I.Ps, there is still quite alot of detail to do, bits to highlight and gems to paint, but this gives an idea of what it might look like :)
I'm really interested to know what people think about this so far, and about the idea of weathering eldar in general.

Also - games night in bournemouth tonight. 6pm at the premier inn opposite the pavillion!

Avatar W.I.P

Posted by President Evil on Wednesday, 28 April 2010 , under | comments (0)

Just quickly... a forge world Avatar. Lava body is coming along nicely. I am literally working on about 10 different projects right now. I can't help it, it's how i work!

Also, regarding the status of the blog, still a few things to iron out, and half a million pictures to get round to uploading. Getting there though.

Quick update: that spare Dreadnought

Posted by President Evil on Monday, 26 April 2010 , under | comments (0)

I plan on talking about space marines soon, as i am drawing to the end of my eldar army target for now and have a new marine project waiting in the wings. Before i get onto that, however, i have to clear out some old stuff. So this plastic dreadnaught is for sale on Ebay. Its got some great battle damage modelled on, a nice base with some imperial bits, a few extra parts, gaps filled, weapons drilled, mold lines cleaned etc. Basically ready to paint. Incidentally if anyone wants it painted, i'll do it in whatever army colours and will paint on the required logos and weathering if desired. Or you can just take it off my hands and clear me a little space :)
Here are some pics:

Pictures came out a bit blue though...

Wraithbone, my desk & a quick sketch

Posted by President Evil on Sunday, 25 April 2010 , under , , , | comments (1)

Firstly, my apologies to anyone who has stumbled across this blog so early in it's life. It's a bit of a mess, but i'm still working on it.

So check out this sketch i did the other day. I was stuck at a family thing, miles from home, trying to avoid engaging anyone in conversation as i normally do when the OAPs decide everyone needs to be together in the same room. So anyway, i popped out a sketchbook and scribbled this down, trying to remember what the models looked like for reference.

It was done on pretty small paper - A5 or so, and i just scanned it a minute ago. Hopefully in the next couple of weeks i'll get some time to turn it into a digital painting, so look out for it.

Also, another unit from my current eldar army. I painted this a few months ago, i notice the infinity symbol on the face isn't quite right. I corrected this on my wraithguard squad (which i will post soon). i am happy with the freehand details and the pose in particular, there are a few little touches on this model that give it character.

The wraithlord on the tabletop is a fearsome opponent. Its a toughness 8, strength 10 monsterous creature. Reasonable points depending on weapon choices (no-ones going to choose the TL bright lance are they?!?). I gave mine a shuriken cannon, missile launcher and 2 flamers which i think gives good versatility. Being able to move and fire 2 heavy weapons is great, and its status as a monsterous creature is a huge advantage making him tougher in close combat and hard to kill. There are, however, particular disadvantages to the wraithlord. Most obviously: wraithsight. Having taken up a valuable heavy support choice, the last thing you need is for him to do nothing for a turn. This means it pretty much requires a psychic presence nearby. I've tried a few things for this...
1: walking a seer council around with it. pop in some destructors and you have a lethal close range flame squad and a good number of hits in cc which will hurt anything. This option is expensive on points and in practice the warlocks do little on the battlefield as not many players will risk letting this little tag team close enough to be effective.

2: lurk it with some Heavy weapon platform buddies. You can add a warlock to a heavy weapon team. So make you wraithlord a long range 'sniper' and have him sit at the back with a couple of vibrocannons. Also in this role it acts as a deterrent to pesky reserves coming in to shut down your artillery. You sort of miss out on the fear factor that a rampaging wraithlord causes when advancing. also, this is a second heavy support slot used and i like falcons....

3: Guardian guardians. Either vanilla with a weapons platform (which can also move & fire) or as i prefer - with storm guardians, 2 flamers and the all important warlock with either destructor or enhance (I5 makes a difference!). My 2nd favorite team. all those flamers can really leave a hole, and although the guardians almost always end up dead or running by the end, they normally cause a few headaches before they do so. Adding in an avatar is fun, but will attract lots of attention. Consider this a sort of wraithlord delivery system, almost great for assaulting objectives, if only those stormies had grenades....

4: Finally... The wraithwall. A troops choice of wraithguard and the wraithlord. At over 500 points, this is expensive and as a whole still quite vunerable to massed firepower or particularly large squads in CC like boyz or gaunts (they just dont have enough attacks to cut their way through). The main concern here is their points value. You want to avoid this expensive and powerful unit getting bogged down for 3 turns in assault.

Overall A wraithwall is my pick. As the rest of my army tends to be mobile i find that opponents will focus on the immediate threats of my skimmers and bikes allowing the wraithwall to move in close. Large outflanking units are still a danger, particularly if they are also fleet, which would make it unlikely to see a volley of wraithcannon shots hit home before the charge. i'm thinking genestealers are a particular concern, also given the rending rule.

As if all that wasn't enough.... here is my desk!
Notice the sinlge most important accessory in a painters arsenal:
a wet palette! if you don't use one of these, or worse... don't know what one is: stay tuned as i will be ranting about this very soon.

Special cases recommends: