Hello and welcome to ‘Things You Need’! This is a series of articles that will unlock the forbidden knowledge of the ancient Art of War. Navigate the labyrinth of the webway to unlock the hidden gems found within one of the sacred tomes of the game Codex: Craftworlds. Old Man Brad and Archon Skari have teamed up to bring you the top 4 “Things You Need as a Craftworld player to Survive in a Marine Dominated Game”.
We stumbled upon our writers having a meditation on this very topic, let’s see what was said. The words that follow are the full transcript of this secret conclave conversation, read at your own peril…
Brad – “Eldar do speed really well, embrace that aspect of the race within the game”
Skari – That’s all fine, the Dark Eldar are speedier however.
Brad – “That’s not entirely true, for example Shining Spears, can move and advance (22”) then cast quicken on them to move normally again (16”) and once they have fired, you can then even use fire and fade to move an additional 7”… with the right craftworld attributes you can even charge after advancing! That a potential threat range of… the ENTIRE TABLE.
Skari – I guess that right, even the fastest reaver jetbike is only moving 28 inches with the right combat drugs. That gives the craftworlds a lot of options when trying to take objectives and move into advantageous positions on the table to score points.
Brad – Lets not also forget the stratagem, Phantasm, allowing you to redeploy units in your army to reposition and take the full advantage of that speed and any mistakes in your opponents deployment.
Skari – Thats right! This means that you can totally overwhelm the enemy at top speed, RUSH EM.
Wisdom of the Autarch
Brad – Using that speed tempered by the wisdom of the Autarch however.
Skari – So, don’t just run full tilt into the ten DeathWing Knights that are on the middle objective? But that would be so much fun! What do Autarchs know about waging war?
Brad – Just everything about the ebb and flow of battle. Don’t throw your units away needlessly. You must use your speed, and choose where you fight. This is the number one element of the Autarchs wisdom, fight where your opponents is weak, yet you are strong! My dearest Archon, not all aledari are wracks to the slaughter.
Skari – Oh so, if I see the Deathwing Knights and they are challenging me to come into combat, I should use this speed, to bypass their position and attack the smaller, more vulnerable units in their rear? This would allow us to take their objectives and deny them points, while also disrupting their battle plan and forcing them to split up. Them splitting up would dilute their strength and we can once again, use that speed to move into and exploit the next weakness in their battle line.
Brad – That is Autarch Rule #1, the second rule is: don’t be afraid to abandon flanks or to leave one area of the table, to run away, and move your strength to another area of the battlefield. Run circles around the sluggish monkhei as you have the speed to completely change the pace of the game to bring it to favorable terms.
Skari – Your are such a wise Old man Brad, even Vect pales in comparison to your knowledge. This would be a great time to think about taking the proper secondaries! The inherent speed of the army allows one to pick those that do not require agency from one’s opponent, we can dictate where our units will be, making things like Deploy Scramblers or Engage on all Fronts auto takes and ones that we can reliably score max points (or close to) in every single game! The last one can be a bit of a tougher call but try to pick ones that do not let your opponent defend easily against them. This means that yes, we can use that Autarch’s wisdom to only engage the enemy where we absolutely need to and in a way that takes advantage of our opponents weakness. However, sometimes we must deal with tougher and more challenging targets.
Brad – Eldar have, some of, if not, the BEST psy powers in the entire game. And NOT using them is a CRIME to the craftworlds.
Skari – like using soulstones for fun ?
Brad – Dirty Dark Eldar…. Some of the best combinations that you can use are Smite and Executioner on a Farseer. This is an amazing mortal wound machine that can deliver up to 3d3 mortals to a unit. Doom + any gun or attack – is still the great equalizer for eldar as rerolling all failed wound rolls let’s you engage those hard targets that you might not have been able to take down without some help from friendly neighborhood farseer. Protect/Jinx might be my favorite power from runes of battle with the ability to either combine Protect with Fortune to make a unit amazingly durable or combining Jinx with Doom to take that previously unassailable target and bring it to its knees. Coming in at a close second is Quicken/Restrain with Quicken giving you the ability to expand your threat range dramatically on the board its power is well known and rightfully feared. However I feel the use of Restrain is highly underrated and can be a game changer especially when you catch a powerful yet slow unit in difficult terrain to completely shut down the unit and trap it making it ineffective for the immediate future and possibly the game. If you’re bringing an abundance of eldar psykers and you have options outside of the usual suspects I love some of the runes of fortune and their utility, such as FocusWill to really guarantee a must have power goes off or Impair Senses to protect a backfield objective. To be fair the entire Runes of Battle tree has the ability to make a previously unwinnable combat into a crushing Eldar victory.
Skari – I don’t use many psykers however I am very jealous of all the cool tricks that they bring to the table. I have a protege of mine that loves his runes of battle and makes use of stratagems like seer council to make their casting more reliable as well as underused units such as the foot warlock conclave that even opens the door to doubling the range of those powers! Halving the movement (with restrain) of a jump pack vanguard veteran unit from 36” away can take the teeth out of any white scar strategy! Those Veterans would also be equipped with storm shields normally making a power like Jink extremely powerful, so it’s nice that even that minimum sized conclave can take two powers from the runes of battle tree and pick and choose what one they want to use!
Brad – Speaking of the abundance of storm shields and 2+ saves. A must have is an abundance of high AP shots/attacks. Things like starcannons really -shine- .
Skari *snickers* I see what you did there.
Brad – I’m a huge fan of versatile units like war walkers with star cannons, 3 man strong dark reaper units, Hornets with their standard pulse lasers. They are units that can tackle a variety of targets from an Intercessor to a Dreadnought with the speed and/or distance to choose how to engage.
Skar- Don’t forget rules like outflank for the War Walkers, that allow you to threaten the enemy from all sorts of different angles during the game. Nothing will be safe.
Brad – The aim is to change the math enough to put it in your favour. Forcing an opponent to take 4+ saves instead of 2+ saves is a huge difference in damage done! Especially with muti damage weapons. In a marine dominated world the muli – wound model is prevalent, you have to factor this in, not only do you want the damage to GO through you need the damage that does to make sure it is having an impact.
Skari – Ohhh like the Forgeworld Lynx, that has those awesome 3 Damage weapons that will nuke a terminator or a gravis marine if they fail a save.
Brad – You had said before we started you were going to jump out of the box and blow my mind.
Skari – YES, like a well placed eyeburst from a medusa during a realspace raid. We talked about VOLUME of attacks, one of the best units right now, that takes advantage of the things we posted above and even rivals the dreaded sororitas repentia for killing potential and speed are the HOWLING BANSHEES.
Brad – You must be joking!
Skari – Hold My Cup Full of Souls – A banshee is 15 pts, 10 of them is 150pts. They move 8” They have advance and charge standard built in to their abilities with the use of one command point and the Matchless Agility stratagem they auto advance 6” you can always quicken them for another 8” move, out of a wave serpent that’s another 3” , so with NO powers that’s 17” out of a wave serpent (or 25” with quicken) already SIMPLY MOVING faster than a repentia squad can charge! (almost) add this to getting +3” to their charge roll, so minimum of a 5” charge maximum of a 15” charge and they can declare units within 15” to be charged. Their masks also deny overwatch (take that flamer aggressors) So they have the speed that they need.
Brad – Right , so they can get to where they need to go, and then what?! Will they actually kill anything?
Skari – The key, like any true craftworlds knows, is in the combo. Each banshee has 2 base attacks, the exarch has the whirling blades exarch power (from Psy Awakening) for one extra attack so that’s 22 Attacks. Cast doom and potentially jinx on a target to lower their saves. Then, cast both enhance and empower for a +1 to hit and +1 to wound. Once they have charged, use the Stratagem Supreme Disdain to gain additional attacks on a 6+ to hit is another attack. So this would make it a 5+ with the +1 to hit stacked for another attack. So! 22 attacks, hitting on 2+ , with no rerolls that is 25-26 hits after misses. The secret sauce is the +1 str buff that power swords got, being able to wound T4 on 4+ and then get the +1 OR wound vehicles on a 5+ instead of a 6+ and then get +1 to that (to wound on 4+) means you are getting about 13 wounds against T5 targets, and if they are doomed thats 18 to 19 of them… at AP 3 (or basically -4 if jinx is in play). That’s not to mention against T4 targets! So…. Brad ill take that cup back now before you drop it.
Brad – So with just ONE hidden wisdom out of the box combination, feel free to try things! Put those models on the table. We need to use the Wisdom of the Autarchs to get the most out of the faction. Lets get those Craftworld armies back on the table.
Skari – I think they are better in the arena where they belong.
Brad – Classic Dark Eldar…..
So there you have it! Leaked from the super-secret Art of War Vaults. What do you think? Are you Howling with excitement? Will you be a banshee to your enemies? What did we miss! What combos are you excited about trying? What frustrations do you have! – let us know with a comment and if you enjoyed (or disliked) the format please let us know. Brad and Skari are both Coaches over at the Art Of War 40k – if you want coaching, list building services, or tactical advice make sure you head on over and join the Team today!