Hello, and welcome to another tactical tidbit by Skari. In this article, I will talk about the adaptation of the Craftworld Eldar faction into 9th edition. This article aims to explore the nuances of the faction, general concepts, and thoughts on how to adapt your game. For more tactical information, coaching, and training, you can always reach out to me through the war room!
The game of Warhammer 40k has an up and down relationship with the Aeldari race. The faction itself has fluctuated from mega-powerful to middling as frequently as the tides of the sea, it seems. In 8th edition (especially in the early part of the edition), the Eldar could bring to the forefront some of the most robust rule interactions that the game had to offer. Swift movement, crazy good firepower, and the stacking of negatives to hit were probably the most intense of these. Alaitoc lightning-fast aircraft make their units almost impervious to enemy firepower with a -3 stacked to hit (-4 if you also used conceal). The codex has a great mix of rules and options to use.
So, how does that affect us in 9th edition? Eldar (specifically Craftworld Eldar) are not what they used to be. Well, no faction survived the edition change unscathed. The Eldar still have some significant competitive elements for 9th edition, and although the army might feel a bit “bland” at times with their options, this does not mean that all is lost. The key is to lean into their strengths, no matter how small these may be.
A New Game
The new edition of Warhammer 40k plays differently to 8th, and this is apparent in the missions. There are two main elements to the game, a primary objective and a secondary one. The primary mission is all about taking and holding objectives. The secondaries are all over the place. They encourage you to kill enemy units, take areas of the table (like the new Engage on All Fronts), and the new dynamic of Actions, where units do things to get points.
I have found that building an army to facilitate scoring, not simply killing the enemy, is a great way to make sure you get points to score. The primary scoring is almost always the same. This means that it is good to try and tackle the secondary objectives’ fluctuations with army construction and unit choices.
The Eldar have two main strengths – speed and firepower. They pay a premium for both of these. However, they are to be leveraged to make the most of the scoring potential of the army. One of the other things that an army NEEDS to be able to play well is survivability, and Eldar can do that as well. However, this is relegated to a few units that can do this well in the army (with the help of the psychic powers).
So, what units and elements will the new Eldar armies want to rely on to play the game effectively? Let’s take a look at some units that highlight these strengths.
Some Units To Rely On
The Wave Serpent –
This unit is a classic. In 8th edition, it was a beacon of survivability and mobility for an incredible cheap point cost. This unit, in 9th edition, is also a durable unit that is not to be underestimated. The Wave Serpent will help you, as an Eldar player, keep your valuable units alive for long enough to have them do their job. They are a shell, and the goodie insides are the things that will do the job. It is fast and can freely move over terrain and obstacles; it reduces incoming damage and has a moderate number of wounds. It also has the option to be equipped with a great variety of ranged weapons that really turn it into a threat! (my favorite is the Eldar Missile launcher or the Starcannon).
I would not use TOO many of them, but two or three of them will give you a leg up on the game and can be formidable.
Dire Avengers –
The Dire Avengers are probably the best troop unit that the Eldar have at the moment. They help with the scoring of the primary mission, and this WILL be the key to winning the game. They are flexible, as they can have a variety of rules that help them be flexible and are relatively inexpensive compared to the other troops. They are also quite durable! They can have invulnerable saves (with the Exarch wargear), or you can be like Nick and take like six units and take Asrumen to give them a 4++ save. Of course, I think using a few wave serpents to keep them in would be very useful!
They are also incredibly mobile, and this is not to be understated, don’t forget they can move, use a strat to auto-advance, then use a power like Quicken to move them again and then can fire and fade! This allows them to move at an INCREDIBLE pace and be used to taking or contesting objectives that your opponent thought they were totally safe.
Wraith-Host Units –
The toughies of the lists. I am talking about Wraithlords and Wraithguard here. They are highly durable, and I think that they will add a lot to the Eldar armies that you build. One of the game’s key elements is to control the center of the table and get into a position that lets you control multiple objectives! They are tough, but they are also Eldar, and you have to play them as such. Make sure you don’t throw them away! To use these units effectively, you still need to make sure that you buff them with powers such as conceal and fortune. However, they can tackle the most potent enemy in a mano a mano fight! This is also one of the best places to get some firepower, as Wraithlords can take some hefty weapons to shoot downrange!
Warp Spiders (one to take a look at) –
The last unit I want to highlight is the warp spider. They are among the most flexible units in the Eldar book that allow you to play to the secondary objectives! They can MOVE and move they do, allowing them to score things like Linebreaker or Engage on All Fronts. They are also the BEST unit in the codex to complete action secondaries from almost anywhere on the table. They also have a decent gun at str 6, and they also have some of the best armor in the Eldar army.
The Eldar race and army still have a lot of play for 9th edition. I feel like having to change the way you play is going to be key! And one of the things that you must do is open your mind and be flexible!
I hope you found this interesting. What sort of fresh ideas do you think you can come up with? What about using it to get equidistant between two models to pile in towards the model of your choice when activating the character? As always, reach out to me for coaching or list building advice on the Art of War. Thanks a lot for reading, and I shall see you on the next Skari Tactical Tidbit.
Skari – Out