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 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.
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.
If you are interested in exclusive Dark Eldar and all things Aeldari coverage check out our podcast Splintermind the Dark Eldar Podcast!
And remember, Frontline Gaming sells gaming products at a discount, every day in their webcart!