Return of the Footdar!


They’re mighty, oh yes, so mighty…

I’ve been waiting a long time to say that! The Mighty, Mighty Footdar are one of my all time favorite armies to play. In 5th ed, a skilled general could play his or her way to victory with them in even the most competitive metas. In 6th they had a brief period of time where the Harliestar was a thing, but Heldrakes but an end to that quickly. Then, the notorious Wave Serpent came out with the 6th ed book and was all the rage.

7th dropped and all anyone could talk about was the Scat Packs and Wraithknights and the War Host detachment was largely swept under the rug in favor of a simple CAD. I’ve been trying to make the Footdar work in various build-outs all this time but quite frankly, they’ve sucked. Well my friends, I have been play-testing Footdar again in a War Host and let me tell you, they’re back. Boo-yah!

The Mighty Footdar!

The Mighty Footdar!

Footdar 1850pts
Unit Description Size Cost
Guardian Stormhost
Farseer 1 100
Storm Guardians Melta x 2, P.Weapon x 2 8 72
Storm Guardians Melta x 2, P.Weapon x 2 8 72
Storm Guardians Melta x 2, P.Weapon x 2 8 72
War Walkers S.Lasers x 6 3 180
Vyper Star Cannon 1 45
Vaul’s Wrath Support Battery D-Cannon 9 165
Wraith construct
Wraith Knight Sword & Shield 1 295
Aspect Host
Warp Spiders Exarch 9 181
Warp Spiders Exarch 9 181
Swooping Hawks Exarch 6 108
Dire Avenger Shrine
Dire Avengers 10 130
Dire Avengers 10 130
Dire Avengers 9 117
Totals 92 1848

So there they is in all their Candy Colored glory!

So what makes the list work, you make be asking incredulously? A few things. For one: speed. HOLY EMPEROR’S THRONE, this list is fast! Like, you wouldn’t believe it fast, especially for a foot based army. The War Host Command Ability, Matchless Agility grants an automatic 6″ run for units that use Battle Focus. This means your infantry are typically moving 12″ a turn, each. The awesome thing about a Run move is that it ignores terrain! So, you fly across the table, even into terrain which typically slows you down. It’s so useful to be able to move a full 6″ avoiding terrain, and then another 6″ into the terrain to gain maximum distance and cover. Once in position, you can then move, shoot and move again out of range/LoS or into cover or out of your opponent’s charge range. It’s super useful.

Painted by Mayor Quimby

Painted by Mayor Quimby

Guardian Stormhost

The Guardian Stormhost is the core formation of the War Host. I chose this after initially going with the Guardian Battlehost (which also works great!). However, I needed to make room in the list for the Wraithknight (yeah, yeah, I know!) as I had been trying to make the Avatar in this list work as in my previous version of the Footdar. The reason being that for one, my Forge World Avatar is my favorite model in my collection, and for two, he is just so boss! Unfortunately, his rules suck hard in a competitive meta and no matter what I did, he just died like a punk without doing anything in test games, even with Matchless Agility. He’s just too easy to kill and too valuable of a target.

The Storm Guardians are actually really good! I was more than pleased with their performance. They get free wargear in their formation, so the 6 Fusion Guns at BS4 are so useful, better than the Weapon Platforms of the Guardian Defenders. They serve a similar function to Fire Dragons but at a lower price point and again, with Matchless Agility, they are quick. In melee, they are better than you’d think with I5, WS4 and 2 Power Swords.

The War Walkers just erase things. They’re fragile but have a ton of deployment options which is awesome. Twin Link them with the Farseer and they are savage. Definitely a fantastic unit but they do tend to be a high priority target and often don’t survive more than a few volleys. Be sure to position them to do maximum damage in their first turn or two because there often isn’t anything more than that.

The Farseer is incredible, as well all know. For a measly 100pts, you get one of the few Psykers in the game that can operate on his own. His rerolls and Ghosthelm make him very efficient. I tend to stick him in the Vaul’s Wrath Support Battery where he boosts their leadership, is protected by the gun’s T7 vs. shooting, and increases their accuracy and power with psychic buffs.

The Support Batteies are so good! Wow. I tried the Shadow Weavers first as they are cheap, but, found that my army didn’t need any help with anti-infantry. The D-Cannons are just brutally powerful. The short range means they often act more as a board control device than anything else by scaring away enemy units, but that is also super useful. My first turn I typically move and then Run them forward to the middle of the table into cover and then project a 24″ bubble of death around them. It forces enemy units to be very wary. They often draw a ton of attention and some games die without shooting once, but they are ALWAYS useful. When you play against an army that comes at you, that’s when these bad boys shine. They will reap a heavy toll on your opponent and they will come to hate these weapons, quick.

The Vyper is a tax unit, but not bad at all. I slap a Star Cannon on mine for some mobile AP2, but mostly he zips around grabbing objectives, Linebreaker, etc. As tax units go, he’s not too shabby.


So, as Storm Guardians come in minimum units of 8, it cut the points I needed (along with a single Dire Avenger) to squeeze a Sword and Board Wraithknight. The Wraithknight is an amazing tool–as we all know–and comically underpriced. In my list, he provides a pressure unit, a mobile counter assault asset, and a counter to other big nasties like Knights, Stormsurges and Wraithknights, etc. Not much to say, lol, the Wraithknight is a bully of the battlefield.

Aspect Host

This is a ridiculous formation. Most people who’ve faced Eldar are familiar with it. So, so, so good. I pack mine with two of the best units in the game:

Warp Spiders. Yeah, they are over the top. The speed on these guys is absolutely absurd. At BS5, they simply shred things. Damaging vs initiative is brutal, most units are getting wounded on 2’s. These guys are my heavy hitters and they fly around the table just obliterating things, then annoyingly fading away with Hit and Run and Flicker Jump (and yes, I play it as only a single jump, not infinite as that is just too obnoxious! haha). Oh yeah, and choosing to pass morale tests…lol, sure, shy not?!

Swooping Hawks are just as good as Spiders, in different ways. Where Spiders shoot you off the able, Hawks are a fine instrument for winning games. Their incredibly speed, ability to go anywhere on the table, ignores cover weapons and Haywire Grenades make them incredibly versatile. They grab objectives, Linebreaker, and kill vehicles (and Imperial Knights) like nobody’s business. Easily one of the best units in the game.

Dire Avenger Shine

This is a vastly underrated formation in my opinion. To be fair, I love Dire Avengers and am certainly biased. Easily one of my favorite units in 40k. I have always used them, even when they were pretty dang sub-par. Now though, WOW. These guys are savage. With Matchless Agility, they have an effective 30″ range. BS5, Bladestorm and especially Killing Strike, make this formation so incredibly deadly. On the turn they choose to shoot 3 times each, you get 87 BS5, pseudo rending shots…it is absolutely devastating. Anything toughness based just gets shredded. Combine this with psychic buffs (particularly Doom) and it’s messy. Great formation, plus reroll morale tests because why not, is super useful.

In Practice

So far I have taken these fellas out against a wide variety of top tier lists and never felt outclassed. They really have the tools to hang. Some of the lists that used to give me trouble aren’t around any more (Leaf Blower IG, etc.) and now with the incredible speed the army has, I don’t think it would be as much of an issue. The only game I got my butt handed to me was a game going second vs. Tau, who D’d the Wraithknight in one shooting phase and then double shot the Riptide formation…lol. That was a short game! But, in the same match-up going first, it was a slaughter the other way with Tau getting wiped out by turn 2. Eh, that is kind of the way it goes with Tau.

I really feel it is dang near a TAC army. It is fragile, takes some getting used to but once you do, the hitting power on it is absolutely crazy. I will continue to play test it, but so far, I am stoked to have one of my favorite lists back!


About Reecius

The fearless leader of the intrepid group of gamers gone retailers at Frontline Gaming!

57 Responses to “Return of the Footdar!”

  1. Jeremy Veysseire
    Jeremy Veysseire December 16, 2015 12:11 am #


    I have been toying with a Footdar list as well using the Mymeara Core Formation and I wanted to ask you about some clarifications.

    In the Pale Court Battlehost, I can take the Aspect Lord-Shrine to get access to a 3 Units of a Single Aspect which is pretty amazing as a Core Formation but the rule states if I dont take Dire Avengers, I lose the ability to take Dire Avenger Shrine Formation. Do you keep it RAW and thus allow Aspect Warhost formation taken from that Detachment to take other Aspect or do you think RAI meant that you can only take 1 Aspect in the entire detachment if you run that?

    Honestly, the new Pale Court Battlehost with Aspect Lord-Shrine Trait just unlocks almost an entire Aspect Warhost which I feel your list would do well.

    I am really digging the resurgence of Footdar.

    • Reecius
      Reecius December 16, 2015 9:46 am #

      I’ll have to look into that, still getting caught up on the new book.

      And yeah, wow, all Apsect Warriors would be savage.

  2. Avatar
    ntdars December 16, 2015 12:16 am #

    Awesome write up Reece! I too miss the days of Footdar…shame there isn’t room for a Seer Council blob in there 🙁

    • Reecius
      Reecius December 16, 2015 8:55 am #

      Thanks! Glad you liked it. You can totally fit a Seer Council in there, you just have to make some tough cuts to fit it. I think the list would lose power though, honestly.

  3. Avatar
    Cavalier December 16, 2015 4:00 am #

    Excellent article as always Reece. Glad to see you are having fun with your Eldar. My question to you sir… is do you actually assault with your Storm Guardians? If so, do you have all 3 go after a single target, and how have they faired? I’d love to see a bat-rep my man. Anyway keep up all the great work you guys are killing it right now

    • Reecius
      Reecius December 16, 2015 9:08 am #

      Thanks! Glad you liked it. And yes, I do assault with them but only vs. weaker units like Cultists, 5 man Tactical Marines, Scouts, Skitarii Vanguard, Gants, etc. Anything that is fairly puny in melee is a good target. Mostly they blast stuff with Fusion guns. However, I have thrown them into tougher units before just to hold them up and that has worked quite well, actually.

  4. Avatar
    Charlie December 16, 2015 5:13 am #

    Great article! I’ve been playing the Craftworld Warhost using the Guardian Warhost as my Core choice. The most flexible that puts out unbelievable shooting has been the Warhost with an Aspect Host (Hawks, Spiders, Reapers), an Avatar, and a Wraithknight. For a single Wraithknight, I think having a Scatterfield on him is a must and with the new Doom of Mymeara FW book, we can now get a Wraithknight with a multi shot melta weapon and Scatterfield. There are a lot of bodies and target priority can be quite difficult for some players.

    For myself, the key with the Avatar has been two reasons:

    1. Folks underestimate him and target the Wraithknight
    2. I use the GW model, not the FW model and for some reason, folks don’t expect much from such a small model. Fleet on this model has been clutch in so many games and he hits really hard. When I really need to tie up a unit and my Wraithknight is not avaialable, throwing Fortune or Invisibility on an Avatar does fantastic work.

    As far as the basis of your article, I agree 100% Footdar is a great army right now and has lots of flexibility. Thanks for sharing.

    • Reecius
      Reecius December 16, 2015 9:11 am #

      I could totally see the Avatar working in tandem with a Wraithknight as it takes the pressure off of him. On his own, he just has a huge sign that says “shoot me!”

      Reapers are brutal, too! I went with two units of Warp Spiders for the mobility, but yeah, Reapers get it done, too.

  5. Avatar
    iNcontroL December 16, 2015 7:56 am #

    Awesome writeup and it’s so good to see mass infantry lists back.. this one is impressive too!

    • Reecius
      Reecius December 16, 2015 9:10 am #

      Yeah, it’s been working well so far!

  6. Avatar
    Clover362 December 16, 2015 8:33 am #

    Reece, I could definitely see that wrecking a whole lot of lists. How do you deal with flyer heavy armies like Flyrrant spam or FMC daemons (or heldrakes) ? Seems like the only AA you got is the 6 swooping hawks which have to be a) still alive and b) close enough to move over them. Think a 5 flyrant list would be a hard counter?

    • Avatar
      abusepuppy December 16, 2015 9:07 am #

      Flyrants don’t like Wraithknights, but if they kill everything else in the list he’s probably not going to be able to hold the field by himself. Swooping Hawks do virtually nothing to Flyrants because their flyby attack is only S4 AP4 even when they manage to pull it off.

      I think there are a lot of lists that will run roughshod on Footdar, to be quite honest. It has pretty decent speed, but very little range and extremely limited melee options- most of the units fold up and die if they get caught in a fight with anything stronger than a MEQ.

    • Reecius
      Reecius December 16, 2015 9:10 am #

      Flyrant spam would be tough, yes, but I just focus on killing the rest of the army and winning the mission. Plus, twin linked shooting will take them down in a pinch. It would be a tough fight though, for sure.

  7. Avatar
    fluger December 16, 2015 9:13 am #

    I wish I had storm guardians, but I don’t have the models. I’ve run a similar list for a while now, but instead of the wraithknight, I run 3 wave serpents.

    • Reecius
      Reecius December 16, 2015 9:47 am #

      Wave Serpents are still solid. Actually, ALL of the Eldar tanks are really good, now.

      • Avatar
        fluger December 16, 2015 10:09 am #

        Well, truth be told, it’s more of me using what I have rather than a tactical choice.

        • Reecius
          Reecius December 16, 2015 10:25 am #

          Which is totally valid! haha, that dictates most gamers’ choices.

      • Avatar
        fluger December 16, 2015 10:11 am #

        Oh, one other random benefit of just getting 6″ runs always is that you don’t have to physically roll dice. That might not sound like a lot, but with fleet re-rolls I spent a lot of the shooting phase rolling dice for fleets and also trying to run the odds of whether re-rolling a 3 to get a 4 or better was worth it or not (because I might get a 1 or 2). It actually saves TIME as well as reducing variance.

        • Reecius
          Reecius December 16, 2015 10:26 am #

          Indeed, it totally speeds things up. And, typically you can just do it in the movement phase if it doesn’t impact what will happen in the shooting phase to really speed things up.

  8. Avatar
    HKMac07 December 16, 2015 10:09 am #

    Glorious review Reecius thanks so much I cant wait to try some of this stuff out.

    • Reecius
      Reecius December 16, 2015 10:26 am #

      Thank you! Glad you liked it.

  9. Avatar
    Farzad Mehdipour December 16, 2015 11:09 am #

    Vaul D cannons are 55 points. Not 35. They are also not relentless, they can’t battlefocus. The heavy support platform of the guardians can battle focus.

    If you really want to have fun, run a super seer council on foot. Maybe even two.

    • Reecius
      Reecius December 16, 2015 11:26 am #

      Yes, they are 55. What made you think I was implying they were 35?

      And no, they cannot Battle Focus, I accidentally wrote that instead of run. Fixed it.

      I don’t like the Seer Councils as much, although they can be very good.

      • Avatar
        Farzad Mehdipour December 16, 2015 1:34 pm #

        You have 9 listed for 165. Assuming you mean 3 for 165?

        • Avatar
          fluger December 16, 2015 1:40 pm #

          9 models. 3 guns, 6 guardians.

          • Reecius
            Reecius December 16, 2015 2:47 pm


        • Avatar
          abusepuppy December 16, 2015 5:15 pm #

          That one threw me as well the first time; it’s just the really weird formatting.

  10. jy2
    Jy2 December 16, 2015 1:00 pm #

    So Reece, are we going to see another Footdar streak with money on the line? 😉

    • Reecius
      Reecius December 16, 2015 4:35 pm #

      Haha, that can be arranged!

  11. Avatar
    Ibushi December 16, 2015 4:13 pm #

    Love it, the Footdar are on the return! Cannot wait to see these bad boys in a bat rep, or better yet, live on Twitch!

    A few months ago I tried out the Stormhost as well, but with a Harliestar along for the ride, and it was the worst tabling I have ever received. Instead having the Dire Avenger Shrine next to 3x D-Cannons is a really neat idea, I will have to try it out!

    Just like the Footdar of yore, nothing about this jumps off the page or brings up red flags, but I’m sure with the right terrain and the right general, the sheer amount of shuriken will bring tears to even the grizzled face of an Astartes initiate.

    • Reecius
      Reecius December 16, 2015 4:35 pm #

      Yeah, it will certainly be appearing in a bat rep, soon!

  12. Avatar
    Fubarnation December 16, 2015 4:45 pm #

    IM curious as to why u think vauls cannot battle focus it says they have it. And Heavy weapons says in rule book u cannot Shoot if ” You moved in the preceding movement phase” As battle focus happens in the shooting phase. So if u dont move in the movement phase im not seeing why u couldn’t run then shoot like everything else in eldar.

    • Avatar
      Fubarnation December 16, 2015 4:46 pm #

      Lol also not trying to start a uproar im just curious as too thats how i would see how its played.

      • Avatar
        Ibushi December 19, 2015 11:20 pm #

        They are heavy weapons and do not have Relentless, so not allowed to Battle Focus as per the rule description unfortunately.

        Same with Rangers firing sniper rifles.

  13. Avatar
    Alex Yuen December 16, 2015 5:25 pm #

    So what is the Vegas odd on footdar? So i can put some money while i am at LVO.

    • Reecius
      Reecius December 17, 2015 9:52 am #

      Well, considering I won’t be playing and not many other players use Footdar, I’d say low!

      • Avatar
        Alex Yuen December 17, 2015 12:07 pm #

        NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! I was going to bet everything I got on it.

        • Reecius
          Reecius December 17, 2015 12:38 pm #

          Lol, sorry to disappoint!

          • Avatar
            Ibushi December 19, 2015 11:21 pm

            Dont worry, Alex is only going in order to pick up hot chicks anyway

  14. Avatar
    Fubarnation December 16, 2015 5:40 pm #

    nvm my post i see that n the eldar book it self it says it cannot be done.

  15. Avatar
    Colinsherlow December 16, 2015 6:52 pm #

    I will probably give the Eldar Corsair’s and Eldar a shot at the LVO 🙂

    • Avatar
      Colinsherlow December 16, 2015 6:58 pm #

      Will the corsairs be allowed at the LVO?

      • Avatar
        abusepuppy December 17, 2015 1:48 am #

        Since they are a 7E army list, I can’t imagine any reason they wouldn’t be.

        • Reecius
          Reecius December 17, 2015 9:53 am #

          Yeah, they’re good to go.

  16. Avatar
    Belly December 16, 2015 7:02 pm #

    Great article Reece, but you’d got a few rules issues with the army.

    Artillery cannot run, to the best of my recollection.

    I believe you need to take a exarch somewhere in the Avenger Shrine formation.

    • Avatar
      Belly December 16, 2015 7:34 pm #

      My bad, they can run.

      • Reecius
        Reecius December 16, 2015 8:46 pm #

        All good! We all make rules mistakes from time to time.

    • Avatar
      abusepuppy December 17, 2015 1:50 am #

      They couldn’t run (or ever fire Snap Shots) in 6E, which is likely what you were thinking. They also used to treat all Difficult Terrain as Dangerous, which is also no longer the case.

      The Avenger Shrine is limited to taking no more than one Exarch, but unlike the Aspect Host it isn’t required to take one.

      • Reecius
        Reecius December 17, 2015 9:53 am #

        Yeah, and unlike the other Exarchs, he’s not that appealing. He can be awesome for specific situations, but generally speaking isn’t needed.

  17. Avatar
    Picard December 17, 2015 5:27 pm #

    The list here looks fantastic and Eldar should be on foot ?

    This is what I café up with. Some changes from the build you got. Probably to the worse. But i dig the concept.


    10 warlocks
    Vyper with lance
    One D battery
    3 war walkers: all scatter laser
    10 storm guardian: 2 meltas, 2 PW
    10 storm guardian: 2 meltas, 2 PW
    10 storm guardian: 2 meltas, 2 PW

    Aspect host

    7 hawks plus exarch
    8 spiders plus exarch
    8 spiders plus exarch

    Wraith constructs

    Wraithknight: 2 scatter laser, sword and shield

    Living Legends


    Seer council on foot with hit and run has been a dream for some time.

    Have no Idea what to do if i end up going second. That is always a great feeling. Hehe.

    There are a lot of things I need to find answers to. So I’d give it a few games and tweak here and there. Just want a break from the scatbikes and D cannon on WK, so this is perfect.

    • Reecius
      Reecius December 17, 2015 6:44 pm #

      You can take the Storm Guardians in units of 8 if you want to save points!

  18. Avatar
    Picard December 17, 2015 5:29 pm #

    And the best part is we are guaranteed that even sicker 9″ run due to baharroth leading the way.

    • Reecius
      Reecius December 17, 2015 6:51 pm #

      Yeah, it’s a super fun army!

  19. Avatar
    Rasmus0 December 19, 2015 10:52 pm #

    Your dire avenger shrine is missing 1 exarch thats requires

    • Avatar
      Ibushi December 19, 2015 11:24 pm #

      Glad the Dire Avenger Shrine doesn’t require an Exarch, because I think he is the worst Exarch option of all the Shrines.

      At least Shadow Spectres have an awesome Exarch ability, even if only 1 wound…

  20. Avatar
    Rasmus0 December 20, 2015 11:26 am #

    My codex says that there need to 1 exarch in The formation /shug

    • Avatar
      Rasmus0 December 20, 2015 11:45 am #

      NM says only 1 May containe

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