Eldar Review: Elites: Striking Scorpions


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.

striking scorpion

Special Rules:

  • 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!



14 Responses to “Eldar Review: Elites: Striking Scorpions”

  1. Cavalier December 27, 2015 5:00 am #

    I have found Striking Scorpions to be an extremely good unit. With stealth and shrouding they are fantastic protection against drop-pod armies. The Scorpion Exarch is an absolute beast and will shred almost any infantry unit by himself. I’ve found people really underestimate these guys including Eldar players. I think CC options are really important for Eldar and Scorpions with their durability, versatility and the punch of the Exarch to be invaluable. They aren’t there to win the game but when you need to remove a unit from a mid-field objective, bring order to your back lines after a drop-pods land the Scorpions are johnny on the spot.

    • Reecius December 27, 2015 5:42 pm #

      Yeah, I think that they can be quite good, too. MSU seems to be the obvious way to run them, as the Exarch is a mini character like you pointed out. He can walk through most things on his own.

      • abusepuppy December 28, 2015 2:01 am #

        I actually prefer running more bodies than just the minimum, because you are relying so much on the Exarch (and he is so expensive.) Having the extra guys around to soak up wounds makes the Exarch much more able to do his job, not to mention their piling in additional wounds of their own.

        • Cavalier December 28, 2015 3:58 am #

          Yeah I favor the big squad myself. Ablative wounds to keep the Exarch alive against tougher units like Marines, Centurions etc. and then against other non-Marine armies the standard Scorpions offense is actually quite good when taking care of Guardsmen, non-Nurgle Daemons etc, Orks when you see them or just keeping Necron infantry pinned down for more turns.

        • Reecius December 28, 2015 8:54 am #

          Fair play. How many do you typically run?

          • abusepuppy December 28, 2015 9:22 am

            8-10, generally. It’s not a cheap unit (the full 10man runs at 210pts), but it ends up being hard enough to get rid of and enough of a threat that it does its job pretty well.

          • Reecius December 28, 2015 10:22 am

            Nice. I would lean towards min/maxing them to get more Exarchs, but I see that logic.

          • Cavalier December 29, 2015 3:54 am

            Yeah same here 10 has been the magic number for me. Gives them the staying power to do work early to mid-game and just hang in there when the going gets tough late game

  2. Talon of Anathrax December 27, 2015 11:42 am #

    I love fighting these guys: it feels like you’re fighting CSM! Loads of odd rules that you pay through the nose for, to make a sub-par unit whose main hitting power comes from its character.
    Yep, Chaos in a nutshell! Except that for Chaos it’s actually fluffy…

    • abusepuppy December 28, 2015 2:03 am #

      Considering how many rules and wargear they come with, you really aren’t “paying through the nose for them.” Infiltrate, Stealth, conditional Shrouded, Mandiblasters, Fleet, and then the S4 I5 3+ statline makes these guys a pretty good buy, all things considered.

  3. abusepuppy December 28, 2015 2:05 am #

    Also, it’s pretty hard to believe that the writer completely missed the fact that Scorpions can Infiltrate with their Wave Serpent, which can be an easy way to get side armor shots on lots of vehicles (not to mention scooting them in close for an easy second-turn charge.)

    • Reecius December 28, 2015 8:52 am #

      Ah, he just forgot. I will add it in, though, that is a good point. Think of these articles like Wikis, we can continue to update them as we go.

  4. Ibushi December 29, 2015 7:55 am #

    I like running 8 of these guys for three potential roles, and have had GREAT success:

    1. Infiltrate mid-board and just sit tight utilizing stealth+shrouded to hold objectives and be resilient (for Eldar). If anything scoring comes close, you can pounce, but often they just hunker down and win the game by denial and scoring. Credit to Cavalier for this one.

    2. Counter assault against softer armies like Eldar or Battle Co., and then against armies with just one assault unit like Wraiths, where the free wounds from Mandiblasters really add up — that’s why 8 bodies can come in real handy. Exarch can go to town, but he’s not quite enough on his own I’ve found.

    3. Backfield harassing — outflank into cover in the enemy DZ and take out all those annoying backfield units like Lootas, Techmarines, artillery, etc. Exarch can really go to town against these guys, but you need the extra bodies to weather a turn of shooting and grind down for a few turns.

    These are great articles, and I like the idea of them being more of a wiki. Seems like it helps when the author actually uses the units in question (hopefully successfully haha).

    • Reecius December 29, 2015 12:00 pm #

      Hey, great ideas! And yeah, we will continue to edit them as we go, with updated and more information so that they are useful informational resource that evolves with time.

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