It’s another day and another article from the one and only Goatboy – today’s topic of review is the Vaul’s Wrath Support Battery. This is an Eldar unit that cause a lot of ruckus when it was first reviewed and while decent I think the overall lack of availability stunted its use in the every changing landscape of competitive 40k. But enough of that – lets see how good this movable Artillery is.
We all remember the days of Vibro Cannons and other older Eldar artillery causing all kinds of problems. I still think I have some old Metal ones laying around somewhere and I still fear the damage potential these guys could throw out. GW came out with a new plastic version before the codex update so while it was neat to have a decent model it was not so readily available which left a lot of new armies without a model to practice with. Still they are pretty strong, have access to the dirty D, and seem pretty decent as the Heavy Support slot is not nearly as crowded as some of the other Eldar choices.
This unit is pretty simple – it is an Eldar artillery option that has a lot of Eldar rules that make it better then the ones your Daddy used to man during the Horus Heresy. Two of the options have Barrage while the other has a weird Strength plus -Ap bonus if you hit with everything. Lucky for the Support Battery, all those Guardians got better at shooting so almost every option has purpose. Each Platform has 2 Guardian friends and the ability to include one Warlock Leader.
- 2 Guardian Crew – Mesh Armor (5+ armor), Plasma Grenades, Shuriken Catapult (12″ Str 4 Ap 5 Assault 2 Bladestorm)
- Up to 1 Warlock Leader – Rune Armor (4+ Inv save), Shuriken Pistol, Witchblade they can upgrade to a Singing Spear
- 1-3 Support Weapon Platforms – Comes with a Shadow Weaver (48″ Str 6 Ap 6 – Hvy 1, Barrge, Blast, Monofilament – Uses Initiative instead of Toughness to wound). It is also Artillery so that’s something neat – so T7 for all its friends.
- Upgrade to Vibro Cannon – (48″ Str 7 Ap 4 Hvy 1 – for ever hit Add 1 to the Str and -1 to the AP Value for each hit)
- Upgrade to D Cannon – (24″ Str D AP 2 Heavy 1 Barrage, Blast) – The Dirty D in all its glory.
- Support Weapon – Oh it is Artillery unit so it’s Toughness of 7 goes out to all its homies when getting shot at. So lucky right!
- Warlock Leader is Mastery Lvl 1 and can take Runes of Battle or Santic
- Ancient Doom – ELDAR!!
- Battle Focus – Cuz why not
- Fleet – Cuz again ELDAR
These are the Eldar big guns, that sit in the backfield and rain down destruction on the enemy. They have a wide variety of weapons, but what stand out to most is the access to full strength D in the D-Cannons, which is extremely powerful – especially in a psychic heavy faction like Eldar.
The D-Cannon is a great answer to the Necron Menace as it denies their Reanimation Protocol rolls. Really, it’s a great answer to ANYTHING due to the devastating power of D weapons. It is also great for hunting anything with Feel no Pain as it also denies those rolls. Adding a Warlock to the battery is fun too, as it adds Warp Dice and more psychic buffs. The Primaris power, Conceal, is awesome for this unit, too. Plus with the move of the Wraith Knight to the Lord of War slot you didn’t have to worry about taking up heavy support space.
This is a locked in option for the Guardian Battlehost and Guardian Stormhost. As such, you’ll be seeing them fairly frequently, but often they have a place in a CAD as well.
The guns come stock with the Shadow Weaver which is an excellent weapon due to the 48″ range and Monofilmaent rule. These weapons can cut swathes through light infantry but are still a threat to light and medium vehicles as well as MCs and Heavy Infantry, too. They really are an excellent weapon for the points.
The Virbo Cannon is seen quite a bit less due to the strength of the other options. Single shot weapons like this simply don’t bring a lot to the table when compared to the destructive potential of the other options. They’re cheap, for sure, but just don’t really pack the same punch.
The D-Cannon is the truly scary option! The limiting factor though is the 24″ range. Often what happens with these weapons is that they are used for area denial. Most opponents will really fear the deadly D blasts and stay away form them. So, play them aggressively! If you find yourself with no targets on the first turn, move forward and then Battle Focus them into position. If you are in the Warhost detachment, that is 12″ of movement, turn 1! Move to the center of the table and then dominate mid board. I also like to stick my Farseer in this unit to increase their leadership and to keep him safe from shooting attacks thanks to benefiting from their T7. The psychic buffs help a ton, especially Guide. However, the real killer is Perfect Timing which is just brutal on this unit.
This is the thing with the Eldar Craftworld Codex: there are so many strong options in there. We also know how amazing Barrage can be to snipe out important “FNP” givers or other USR providing characters in a unit. Heck, I can just see a ton of Shadow Weaver templates removing those pesky meat shield models, like the Fenresian Wolves in a Wolfstar, that always love to jump in the way of “deadly” firepower. Or, just lob the D blasts right into the characters in a Deathstar and laugh maniacally when you 6 them out!
Slapping a few D templates on the upcoming scourge known as the Storm Surge will do a number on those piles of 8 wounds, and doesn’t care about FnP, either. I think the need of a movement combo or some other option does hurt the artillery. The new Corsair book could have a lot of fun moving these guys around, too with their teleporting shenanigans. If Marines had this as a weapon option it would show up in so many armies – but as its Eldar there are just more efficient options. I kept thinking we would see some of these with a Gate pyschic power set up to go around the table, blast stuff and just cause problems, but that has yet to make table tops in my experience. In all though, this is a great unit for Eldar players, if they decide not to just take more Windriders, lol.
As always, share your thoughts in the comments section! And remember, Frontline Gaming sells Games Workshop product at up to 25% off, every day.