Welcome back to another lovely Goatboy Eldar Review. Today I want to chatter on about the other red headed stepchild of the Eldar Assault unit options, the Striking Scorpions. The changes to the shooting of the game as well as the other assault units becoming so much more effective leaves this unit staying in the army box. Still, they are very neat and have a ton of cool things that while fun are not always the best for the competitive game.
Striking Scorpions are supposed to be the patient hunters of the Eldar army. They will hide from their prey and slowly work their way to bounce and perform the perfect killing blow. They wear heavier armor, have much more brutal style weapons, and are set up to be the brute force versus the graceful fighting of the Eldar Banshees. While their rules reflect this the game really doesn’t seem to care about all of these “fluffy” rules interactions. I have seen some units of these used as backfield “protection” units or a way for the Eldar player to get line breaker without having to turbo boost Bikes across the field.
- Heavy Aspect Armour – 3+ Armor save that thankful doesn’t stop them from fleeting/battle focusing anymore
- Shuriken Pistol – The Default Eldar Weapon – 12″ Str 4 Ap 5 Bladestorm Pistol
- Scorpion Chainsword – Melee Weapon that is +1 Str and Ap 6. So watch out those wearing just tee shirts.
- Plasma Grenades – I like to keep my initiative when I charge through a bunch of rocks/bushes/debris.
- Mandiblasters – Their special weapon that is attached to their faces. During combat at In 10 step, roll a d6 for each model with this wargear. On a 4+ they cause a wound to their appointment that they get their normal armor saves on. In a Challenge it goes on the Opponent who is fighting the model. Versus GC’s they wound on a 6+. Extra wounds is always nice – especially if you are doing it before everyone else goes.
- Scorpion’s Claw – Exarch Only – Str X 2 Ap 2 Melee weapon as well as 12″ Str 4 Ap 5 Assault 2 Bladestorm. So an Initiative striking Powerfist is pretty spicy, eh?
- Biting Blade – 2 Hand weapon – Str +2 and Ap 4. It isn’t terrible – but the Claw is just a much better option.
- Transport Options – Can take a Wave Serpent – Which we all know are not nearly as auto include as they used to be.
Overall their wargear isn’t bad for what they are supposed to be – Infantry butchering close combat fighters. They have a good save, a good deal of attacks and are not too weak in combat.
- Ancient Doom – All Eldar have it so they have it too.
- Battle Focus – Look man, I like to run then shoot or shoot then run. You ain’t my dad I can do it however I want.
- Fleet – I don’t like to fail charges Bro.
- Infiltrate – Sneaky sneaky sneaky
- Move Through Cover – Doesn’t like the Decurion give this too. Or something else – do I get Move Move Through Cover?
- Stealth – Even though I am bright Green it is harder to shoot me.
- ShadowStrike – Exarch Power – When you infiltrate you get Shrouded. If you shoot you lose it including shooting Overwatch. You also lose it when you fight in close combat.
- Stalker – Exarch Power – In the first round of a Challenge you get 1 attack for each point of Initiative that is higher then your opponent. This is the real secret sauce of the unit! The Exarch will do most of the damage at I6 and WS5 or 6 (in the Aspect Host). He is a beast, comprable to many characters, and can punch some fools’ lights out with his Scoprion’s Claw!
I think personally I have played against them 3 times in all my years of 40k and have found facing them to be underwhelming. They have a lot of neat rules but the way the game has gotten they just can’t out-assault the true assault units, can’t out-shoot the shooting units, and just cost to much to be useful for a truly competitive list. I could see using them as a way to push back scouting armies but I feel to get them equipped to do some damage just ends up costing you more points then they are worth. I am happy they have grenades unlike the Banshees (although Banshees are able to effectively ignore charging through terrain penalties in most cases!). I think if they could take some kind of Fusion Pistol or other shooting weapon they could see some use but as is they just seem like expensive Assault Marine like models without the added benefit of a special weapon.
Now, that said, they are very good at killing the crap out of MSU scoring units and non-dedicated assault units. As stated, the Exarch is what does all the damage. Slaw a Claw on him and let him do his thing. He’s essentially a melee character light, with 2 wounds, I6 and WS5 or 6 with bonus attacks in a challenge. In the Aspect Host (which is a great formation and an auxiliary in the War Host), they gain +1 BS. In the War Host they automatically run 6″ which is awesome for an assault unit. If you run them with Karandras, they can come in from behind the opponent, too. It provides a lot of options for them and he obviously packs a mighty wallop in combat in addition to the Exarch’s already formidable offensive power.
As the unit grants Infiltrate to it’s dedicated transport, you can put them in a Wave Serpent and Infiltrate them or Outflank it! Not a bad way to get them into position and grab good firing position for the Wave Serpent.
Scorps require some creativity to implement well, but they are seriously amazing models and can be great in games where they have viable targets to go after. Check the Tactics Corner for more great articles!