Hey guys, Cavalier checking in, commission painter for Frontline Gaming and co-host of Splintermind: The Dark Eldar Podcast back with a look at Asuryani and their redeployment shenanigans post-FAQ.
One of the most enjoyable aspects of playing Eldar in 8th edition (and frustrating for players of the lesser races) is the tremendous amount of flexibility during deployment, which stands alongside movement as the two most important phases of the game.
A combination of Rangers “Appear Unbidden”, Webway Strike/Cloudstrike, the Shroudshift of Alansairr and the Phantasm stratagem, Asuryani players had a bewildering array of reserve and deployment manipulation. The FAQ has definitely impacted negatively from an Asuryani player’s perspective but certainly not to a crippling degree.
Rangers who have been my go-to troop choice for my Asuryani definitely took a hit with the release of the FAQ. Their pre-turn 1 redeploy has been changed to a deepstrike move. The first thing lost is the “phantom drop” where you just chuck them into reserves which often meant forcing your opponent to put units on the table enabling you to counter-deploy them. The bigger loss however is the redeploy before the first turn begins. This gave you immense flexibility, as either a screen or as character hunters. I primarily used this for screening purposes in conjunction with a big unit of Dark Reapers, a Farseer and Spirit Seer who I’d use Phantasm to re-deploy if it looks like I had placed my fire base in a bad spot. With my usual battalion of Rangers I’d be redeploying 6 units for only 2 command points which was immensely useful.
No longer being able to deepstrike Turn 1 is also a blow to suite of tricks up Eldar players sleeves. This was most often used defensively either keeping units such as Dark Reapers and Crimson Hunters out of harms way T1 and then unleashing hell on your opponents from the safety of their own deployment zone. This to me is arguably the biggest impact as its damage denial was 100% guaranteed.
The Work Around
Redeployment- While these changes definitely make Eldar players’ job a bit harder, its hardly reason to despair. Eldar have excellent stratagems and unit options to achieve the same goals, it simply requires a bit more cunning and CP expenditure to replicate the effects.
My go-to solution is the Phantasm stratagem which allows you to redeploy 3 units before T1. Whether it be a unit of say 10 Rangers, a big unit of Guardians I’ll be pairing them with the Reapers and the Spirit Seer and then giving the Shiftshroud of Alanssair to my Farseer which still allows me to deepstrike at the end of my first movement so I can very much replicate what I was doing before the FAQ.
The workaround for deepstriking is a bit more troublesome, especially for their long range shooting options. If you run into opponents without “barrage” or artillery units that ignore LOS and have great terrain you should be able to hide units like Dark Reapers out of LOS and again use Phantasm to your advantage. However if either of those threats are in play, you’ll most likely have to rely on Lightning Fast Reactions (for vehicles and infantry) and Wave Serpents for infantry specifically, both of which are not insignificant in terms of CP’s or points. That being said, combined with the Craftworld traits such as Alaitoc famous elusiveness, Spirit Stone Wave Serpents, those options are very solid and when used in conjunction with smart deployment using terrain to your advantage.
So while the FAQ certainly deals a blow to Asuryani suite of deployment tricks, its hardly crippling. What tools remain are excellent and would be hotly coveted by any other faction as they covet all aspects of Eldar greatness!
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