Eldar Review: Troops: Guardian Defenders

guardian defender

What’s good my nerds?  Mr.MoreTanks back in action with a review of the militia of the Craftworlds, the well known Guardian Defenders.  The seemingly last line of defense for a Craftworld, these guys pop up on the tabletop with surprisingly regularity.  Cheap, reliable, and able to pack some firepower, Guardians can be an alternative to the ever so common Jetbikes or Dire Avengers.  If you’re looking to educate yourself further on the many options in the gaming world, be sure to check out the Tactics Corner!  I’ve been playing a ton of Fallout 4 and so prepare yourself for lots of Minutemen memes and comparisons to Guardians.  If they go over your head, do some more models.

alaitoc eldar 3


9 points a pop for these WS and BS 4 weekend warriors, Strength and Toughness 3, along with an Initiative of 5 along with 1 Attack make them the standard Eldar.  Leadership 8 is also pretty respectable for a plucky little civilian.  The spindly little Xenos prance and stroll across the battlefield with surprisingly impressive grace.  While these guys are at their most basic cost, the most expensive unit in the Eldar book, you do get significantly more bodies than the other units.  While Eldar aren’t really known for their big blocks of infantry, supported correctly, these little units can be a great platform for covering an Objective while packing some real firepower.  Preston would most definitely be sending these guys and gals out every five seconds they got back to Craftworld Sanctuary Hills to save another damn Exodite World.

minutemen i mean you


  • Mesh armor, gives us our 5+ Armor Save.
  • Shuriken catapult, 12 inches in range, Strength 4, AP 5, Assault 2 with Bladestorm.  Not too shabby at all for standard issue to minutemen.
  • Plasma grenades, basic little assault grenades that can work in a pinch.  Strength 4 AP 4 Small Blast is also no joke, and the short range is hardly an issue since the catapult’s range is hardly any further.

Special Rules:

  • Ancient Doom,
  • Battle Focus,
  • Fleet, because Battle Focus wasn’t quite enough.
  • Psyker (Warlock only)

guardians 2


  • You can opt to throw in up to another 10 Guardians for 9 points each.
  • Add a Warlock to the unit for 35 points, who can then swap his Witchblade with a Singing Spear for 5 points.
  • For every 10 Guardians, you can take a heavy weapon platform.
    • Shuriken cannon …15 pts/model
    • Scatter laser …15 pts/model
    • Bright lance …20 pts/model
    • Starcannon …20 pts/model
    • Eldar missile launcher …30 pts/model
  • Finally, you can opt to purchase a Wave Serpent for the unit as a dedicated transport.



Well, I’m not the King of Footdar, but I can tell you some great ideas for these minutemen right off the bat.  For one, saving the Commonwealth- I mean Craftworld, by holding onto those important Objectives while the rest of the war host can bring the hammer against the enemy.   As far as Infantry go, Guardians are fast, able to move with enough speed to make up for their weapon’s significantly short range.  While Eldar have certainly never lacked for speed or firepower, the fact that their infantry can even stay close to faster units like jump infantry or even bikes thanks to Battle Focus while still putting out their firepower is something that is critical.  

I don’t think you ever want to buy the Warlock.  The costs along with their likely unreliability to get off any meaningful psychic powers for their unit means they’re an investment that we can bypass.  Really, its somewhat of a shame, because the Warlock is such a cool and iconic character, but that’s the reality of the situation.

son no preston

So an important question with your Guardians is, will you be giving them heavy weapons?  The platforms having Relentless is a huge boon, and can make them far more tempting options.  Do not get sucked into having a big blob of Guardians though, they’re too easy to be swept in a Sweeping Advance.  Losing that big block of warriors will be a pain.  You’re better off investing in a platform for a single 10 elvish unit.  I’d advocate the starcannon, its one of my favorite weapons in the Eldar Codex.  It fits well with what the Guardians will likely be targeting should anything get too close, and since it’s Relentless it can really reach out and touch your enemies.  More low AP shooting is always a good thing, and its actually packaged in a reliable and affordable platform.  10 Guardians and a starcannon only sets you back 110 points, and the awesome thing is that any Guardian can wield the platform, so you really don’t have to worry about your model with the gun you care about getting snipped or dying do to your opponent’s clever positioning of models.

Guardians are used defensively, this means that they will in all likelihood never leave your half of the board, if they even leave your deployment zone.  Sticking in terrain will be critical, as Toughness 3 and only a 5+ Armor Save means that anything that really cares about getting rid of you can do so with a minimal effort.  Again, we do not want to invest a lot of points into these units, going above a 10 man unit, one botched leadership test and these guys will be out of there in no time.

911 minutemen

Beyond the obvious CAD, Guardians find themselves at home in the Guardian Battlehost.  This is probably the best way to use Guardians as you’re required to bring three units of them and you get their weapons for free! Talk about a bargain.  The vehicles within the formation as well as the artillery gain Preferred Enemy when attacking anything within a foot of the Guardians, this is a nice bonus, but only occurs when your vulnerable Guardians are danger close to the enemy.  This formation is fun and uses good units, and is gone into greater detail in another article. The Warhost is always a boon, as a for sure roll of 6 for our Battle Focus means we can essentially use your Run move like a Jetpack move, moving out from behind the wall of a ruin or similar line of sight blocking terrain and then blasting the enemy with your heavy weapons and moving back into the terrain is always a smart move.  Guardians though may find themselves quickly overshadowed by other units in the Warhost.

At the end of the day, the Guardians will be far superior in a Guardian Battlehost.  Beyond that, the Guardians are really better for casual play.  Thanks for reading fellow gamers, be sure to let us know what you’re thoughts are for Guardian Defenders below in the comments.  Game on, and may the dice be ever in your favor.

Let us know your thoughts on Guardians in the comments section! And as always, Frontline Gaming sells Games Workshop product at up to 25% off, everyday!



About Mr.MoreTanks

Lover of gaming, whiskey, steak, poker, and politics. T.O. of the http://tshftopen.com/ and http://cruisehammer.org/ events.

10 Responses to “Eldar Review: Troops: Guardian Defenders”

  1. Reecius January 19, 2016 5:17 pm #

    Guardian defenders are a really solid troops choice, particularly in the Guardian Battlehost. They bring a lot to the table with mobility, low cost, and firepower. I dig them!

    • Donzo January 19, 2016 6:10 pm #

      Waiting to see the mighty might footdar back on the TNF (Tuesday Night Fight!)

      • Reecius January 19, 2016 6:22 pm #

        Yeah, you and me, both! Haha. The guy who’s helping me paint them up has been lagging on them and he has a bunch of the critical models, lol.

  2. Hotsauceman1 January 19, 2016 10:23 pm #

    I came for the eldar, stayed for the memes

  3. zyekian January 20, 2016 8:18 am #

    I love my Guardians and enjoy watching my opponents under-estimate them. A unit of them can put 2-3 wounds on a Wraithknight pretty easily.

    • ryan January 20, 2016 10:35 am #

      I find with a 12 inch range on the guns, than an at best 6 inch battle focus move giving you an effective range of 18 inches vs a knight that moves 12 and can charge 12, its pretty easy to keep the knight out of range of them. and thats not even counting the fact that why would the knight player send his knight towards the guardians to begin with, hes there to hunt tough targets. A unit of 5 scat bikes would obliterate those guardians. Its about applying the correct tool to the correct problem.

      • ryan January 20, 2016 10:37 am #

        actually to be accurate i neglected the actual movement of the guardians themselves giving them another 6 inch movement and matching the effective range of the knight. Got to lay off my glaucoma medicine before i post.

      • zyekian January 20, 2016 12:35 pm #

        Battles take place is a wider context though. And if a Wraithknight runs away from my Guardians I’ll count that as a win for me any day.

        • Reecius January 20, 2016 3:39 pm #

          Yeah, and if you get Doom…good night.

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