Fly Keyword + Charge Nerf? Eldar Speed Still Trumps It

Hey guys, Cavalier checking in, commission painter for Frontline Gaming and co-host of Splintermind: The Dark Eldar Podcast back with a look at Aeldari and how the change to Fly keyword in the assault phase effect them.

After the FAQ dropped many people hit up myself and my co-hosts concerning the perceived nerf to Eldar in CC. For the sake of clarity, Eldar units with the Fly keyword can no longer jump over intervening models during the charge to get at juicy targets behind them. Since Eldar have a bevvy of such units i.e.: Shining Spears, Reavers, Hellions, Farseer, Warlock and Autarch Skyrunners, Harlequin Jetbikes (and Harlequin Troupes are similarly effected) this seems like a massive hit. As my co-host Thor would be keen to point out, it is a definitive nerf, since they no longer can do this. However, to my mind, since all armies are similarly effected  and with Eldar having an enormous advantage in the movement department compared to other armies, I think the effect is quite minimal. While they may not be jumping screens to murder characters on Turn 1, with their raw speed, they should be able to jump choice targets very easily. Here are just a brief list of units which in concert with “chapter tactics”, stratagems and psychic powers that should be able to get exactly where you need them to be.

Red Grief Reavers:

The Red Grief obsession is hands down my favorite of all the Wych Cults. They can move advance and charge (and re-roll charges) Their Reaver Jetbikes move an amazing 26″ (or 28″ with the +2 movement combat drugs). This is absolutely blistering speed that requires no psychic support whatsoever to achieve. Furthermore with the Eviscerating Flyby stratagem you roll a d6 for every Reaver and on a 5+ you do a mortal wound to any infantry unit you move over during the movement phase. You can also do this to characters and it can also help clear screens (perhaps in concert with Smite, Executioner, Shards of Light in the psychic phase from Farseers and Shadowseers) to help allow a path for say Y’nnari or Saim-Hann Shining Spears to get at juicy targets.


Harlequin Skyweavers

Harlequin Skyweavers can also move, advance and charge. With just moving and advancing Harlie Jetbikes are covering 22″. In conjunction with the Twilight Pathways spell allowing them to move again they are moving 36″ inches before the charge. Either way you slice it 22″-36″ inches before the charge is an enormous amount distance covered. Their combination of excellent shooting, and very respectable zephyr glaive attacks at Str 4 Ap-2 Dmg 2 open up endless opportunities either as as the spearhead of a shooting  + melee blitz or to open up opportunities for other Aeldari heavy hitters.

Y’nnari Shining Spears

One of the most infamous weapons in the Aeldari aresenal, Y’nnari Shining Spears are blisteringly fast when supported by Soulbursts and psychic powers. Whether its Y’vraine casting a Soulburst on them, or the death of a nearby enemy unit Shining Spears are moving 32″ after a Soulburst and can possibly move up to 48″ after a nearby Warlock or Spirit Seer casts Quicken on them. If getting at buffing characters or supremely well bubble-wrapped units is an issue, you can hold off taking advantage of the Soulburst by having them move right up to the offending screen and have support units take out said screen, thus generating a Soulburst after which they can simply stroll through the gap provided to their choice target.

Saim-Hann Shining Spears

Often overlooked, Saim-Hann Shining Spears are a very reliable alternative to their Y’nnari counterparts. The Craftworld specific Stratagem allows them to assault after advancing (and are re-rolling 1’s in combat), meaning they can move 22″ on their own and still assault. A nearby Warlock casting Quicken will allow them to move again, meaning yet a total 36″ movement all before assaulting. A nearby Farseer perhaps using Executioner and Smite can also clear screens allowing Saim-Hann jetbikes a path towards the most choice targets before Quicken. Also worth noting Y’nnari Shining Spears and Saim-Hann Shining Spears could work really nicely together as well, with the Saim-Hann bikes hitting the frontlines with a simple move and advance, while the Y’nnari bikers get the whole suite of psychic buffs boosting them into the heart of the opponents force.

Mutual Support

The ground covered by that list of 4 meat and potatoes units is simply unparalleled by any other family of codices. Factor in the incredibly fast mobile psychic support from Farseers, Warlocks, Hemlocks, speedy Shadowseers (who can as a warlord with the Soaring Spite warlord trait disembark from a Starweavers after it has moved) all can help clear screens to a very  large degree through psychically generated mortal wounds, all before those critical second movement phase powers are activated. All this in totality provides Aeldari players a bewildering amount of speed and maneuverability for their elite jetbike combat units. Give them a turn or 2 for their high powered ranged support to blow some holes in an opponents well placed defensive lines and you should be able to get these elite combat units exactly where you want them to be.

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About Cavalier

Commission Painter for Frontline Gaming + Co-Host of the Splintermind: The Dark Eldar Podcast

14 Responses to “Fly Keyword + Charge Nerf? Eldar Speed Still Trumps It”

  1. NinetyNineNo October 12, 2018 5:37 am #

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but the way Ynnari subfaction rules work means that you can have Saim Hann units in an Ynnari detachment, who won’t get the Saim Hann trait (in favor of Soulburst) but can still use their stratagems (including paying for their relic)? So you could have a unit of Ynnari Shining Spears from Saim Hann benefit from both Soulburst and the advance+charge stratagem.

    • Venkarel October 12, 2018 7:00 am #

      You are not wrong, the detachment is counted as a (Asuryani, Drukhari, or Harly) detachment so it has access to the stratagems. As far as I am aware there is no official rule that you have to have a detachment of X faction to get access to that factions stratagems (except Kabal of the Black Heart although that was not included in the FAQ so do not know if it a rule now). Also a unit can advance with each move. So Harly Bikes can go 16″ advance 6″, psychic power, 16″ plus 6″ for a total of 44″ moved before charging. The same applies to Shining Spears and Quicken and/or soulburst.

      • Laurence October 12, 2018 8:30 am #

        100% correct. Ynnari shining spears with the saim hann craftworld can use the advance+charge strat to move 22, then 22 again with quicken, to charge something hiding away at the back

  2. Sean October 12, 2018 9:37 am #

    Great comments guys, echoing my thoughts from the article on Ynnari stratagems and advancing.

    I do think we are going to see wise opponents bubble wrap in more closely, preventing us placing our large units over top of the screen but still one inch away from the bubble wrap and the that juicy centre. With the Ynnari shining spears Quicken is really a better option to boost their movement, allowing you to keep their soul burst for either fighting twice or moving after fighting to get out of reach of the enemies counterattack.

    Thanks for the article!

  3. N. Rais October 12, 2018 10:03 am #

    I’ll hunt it down if I get the chance, but one of the faqs (not to be confused with the “Big FAQs”) stated Stratagems can only be used to benefit detachments from the faction that Grant’s access to that stratagem. And yes, I realize this would seem to contradict the wording in the Codices. on the plus side, however, a lot of the units listed above are even faster than you’ve figured on, because they’ve FAQ’s that the extra distance you generate for an Advance modifies the unit’s Movement characteristic for the entire turn and units that are apecifically granted “Movement” during the paychic please, unless stated otherwise, can Advance as part of that movement. So, they Move 22″ in the Movement Phase, then 22″ in the psychic phase, and this creates a problem where their Movement characteristic is 22 and they choose to Advance, thus adding ANOTHER 8″ Movement… So they probably need to fix that… Note that Charge distance doesn’t involve the Movement characteristic.

    • abusepuppy October 12, 2018 2:16 pm #

      That is absolutely not true- in fact, there are FAQs that say the _opposite_ of that. They have explicitly ruled that if you have a stratagem from one codex (e.g. Tide of Traitors) and a unit from a separate codex (e.g. Death Guard Cultists), it is legal to use the stratagem on that unit provided that it meets all of the requirements.

      Also, as for the “double advance” problem that one has already been FAQed as well. They have already specified that if you advance more than once in a turn, you simply use the result of the original advance roll for the second movement.

    • WestRider October 12, 2018 7:58 pm #

      Advancing only increases a Unit’s Movement value for that Phase. The FAQ you’re referring to currently only applies to a single Tyranid Stratagem that allows a Unit to move twice in the Movement Phase. And maybe Ynnari if a Unit somehow dies in the Movement Phase.

  4. Reepy October 13, 2018 5:45 am #

    Both Twilight Pathways and Quicken can be used with advancing (Harlequins can charge after advancing and Saim Hann have a stratagem that does so too) so the Skyweavers go from 22″ to 44″

  5. Amof October 13, 2018 7:48 am #

    There seems to be a huge difference between the haves and have not’s when it comes to speed. Charging something 44″ turn one feels just as abusive as deepstrike+warptime/quicken/Hive commander. I wonder if its on the designers radar.

  6. Daniel Micallef October 13, 2018 1:55 pm #

    The biggest issue I have with this new change is that units must now circumvent terrain in order to get a charge in. This makes it extremely difficult to do tactical charges from around corners to not have to suffer overwatch, further disadvantaging melee units/armies.

    For example, yesterday I played a game and my skyweaver jetbikes were trying to assault a Tau gun line. I had a unit behind a building and a unit very close to the enemy in line of sight. The charge would of been 8″ for the first unit behind the building in a direct line, however now they cannot reach the target because I needed to add 6″ for up and down to FLY over the building and make the charge. If I went around the building and then straight lined it it added 3″, thus I needed an 11″ and failed the charge. I had no choice with the 2nd unit sitting in the open, since it was the charge phase I could no longer use Fire and Fade, and yes they got hit hard by overwatch making them unable to wrap the enemy target to save them from next turns shooting.

    Yes Aeldari is hit the most and Im all for reducing their effectiveness to balance all the other armies, but there are plenty of other units outside of them effected similarly. Ie. Flying Tyrants, Daemon Princes, Helldrakes, Custodes bikes, etc.

    • Rathstar October 15, 2018 3:18 am #

      However a unit that can move 22″, let alone 44″ is going to be less affected by the FLY rule change than another unit that can not move as far. Yes Aeldari were got the same nerf as other units, but they are affected less than other melee units which also FLY.

      whether you see it as a Nerf or Rebalancing is up to each person, but I don’t think we’ll suddenly see Shining Spears or Skyweavers not being taken in competitive armies. Aeldari will still be sitting at the top (along with the Knight/Guard/maybe BA) unless the points changes in Chapter Approved changes things.

      • Koldan October 18, 2018 6:58 am #

        Yes for getting there it is not a really a nerf, but he was talking about charging from outside line of sight of at least part of the enemy unit, which now is not really possbile anymore, as getting terrain betweeen you and your enemy also increases the charge distance.
        And aeldari units which are normally more fragile then other army counterparts, are hit harder by this. Look at the hellions for example, even before this change they were not a competative choice, but i think we can agree, that they are one of the units that suffer the most from not charging across line of sight blockers.

  7. Victor December 12, 2018 2:33 am #

    Where is the change to the fly rules regarding the charge phase? I mus’t be blind because I don’t find it.

    I have next saturday a game against blood angels and I don’t want his death company jumping over my poxwalkers.

    • Jake January 16, 2019 12:58 pm #

      It’s in the wording of the September 2018 errata. Namely:

      Page 177 – Moving
      Change the second paragraph to read: ‘If the datasheet for a model says it can Fly, then during the Movement phase it can move across models and terrain as if they were not there.’

      Fly only functions during the Movement phase. Charges don’t occur during the Movement phase, so you can’t Fly. They say this is how it was always supposed to work so it’s a rule clarification rather than a change.

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