Hey guys Cavalier checking in again, this time talking about my favorite list I’ve cooked up so far in 8th edition. This isn’t my BEST list, but its the list I love playing more than any other. Read along and I’ll explain why.
Flayed Skull Battalion
Archon- Warlord: Famed Savagery, Djinn Blade
Raider- Dark Lance
Warriors x5- Blaster
Venom- Dual Cannons
Warriors x5- Blaster
Venom- Dual Cannons
Warriors x5- Blaster
Venom- Dual Cannons
Hornet- Pulse Lasers x2
Crimson Hunter Exarch
Soaring Spite Patrol
Troupe Master- Kiss, Fusion
Troupe- Fusion x3, Kiss x3
Skyweavers x4- Haywire x4
So I invented a term which I call TAC+ which not only encompasses the standard definition of what we call “Take All Comers” but also extends a bit further in that its a TAC for all arenas of play. While this certainly isnt my best best when it comes to rocking into a local tourney, its strong enough to take up against my tournament-going friends in a pick up game and feel that I have a reasonable chance of winning if I play well. Furthermore I would feel totally comfortable taking it up against any of my casual buddies, playing it in a narrative or campaign game or against the “casually competitive” crowd that I’d lump myself in.
As someone who plays only Eldar armies, this is one of those lists that challenges you to not only know your codices, but most especially your stratagems, when to use them and when to save your CP. This is a very CP hungry army with a lot of units wanting to use Fire and Fade, Lightening Fast and other key stratagems every turn. Knowing when to throw down Lightening Fast, Prismatic Blur and Fire and Fade on just my Skyweavers and when to divvy up the stratagem love across them, my Crimson Hunter, Dark Reapers etc. becomes a fun mini-game in and of itself. Consistently remembering all the stratagems across 3 books and playing them at the right time is no small feat either, especially when you’ve got Drukhari and Harlequins who have a ton of them.
Also this army has a decent chunk of melee in it and Eldar assault is not easy when you aren’t running Talos and Grotesques. Knowing when to counter-assault or when to be aggressive with fragile finesse units is always a challenge but a very satisfying one especially when you come out on the winning side of it.
Playing an army that rings true with the lore of the game is something that matters to me. I’m always looking for an immersive experience and this army does that for me. I play a Ynnari themed army and while I have all the bits and bobs to run a full blown Ynnari steamroller I dont enjoy it and neither do my opponents. My last experience playing legit Ynnari was in Apocalypse game a month or two ago and I was outperforming armies legit Titans, Tau’nar’s etc. Its one of those things where, I want to feel like I’m the one winning the game with smart play and creative decisions, not the raw power of my army.
But back to theme- fielding the 3 principal Aeldari factions in a single army is core appeal to me in playing Ynnari. Putting my usual “Corsair Spin” on it is an added benefit with my Alaitoc themed battalion representing an allied Corsair Coterie (ala’ Imperial Armor: 11) and then the Corsair themed Drukhari in their proper Ynnari red and gold just ticks off so many of the boxes in regards to achieving theme that I couldnt be happier playing it.
The Way it Works
My list has a good suite of tools capable of dealing with the threats I most commonly face.
Anti-Infantry- I’ve got a decent stable of anti-infantry units, with my Kabalite Warriors in their Venoms serving as the foundation. The re-roll 1’s from Flayed Skull plus ignore cover is great especially if I go first and my opponent plays prepared positions. When the rifles and cannons are both in rapid fire it puts out a lot of reliable anti-infantry fire power.
The Incubi also fall into this category. While they dont excel at killing Marines quite like I’d like, they certainly can deal with T3 Guardsmen, Fire Warriors and the like which I see in massive abundance (Guard is my #1 most faced opponent). Units like my Starweaver and Skyweavers can help out in a pinch too, both in combat and shooting if they dont have other targets. The Harlequins can pitch in as well if I’m facing truly overwhelming numbers. Also the Hornet (a newer addition to this list) packs more signficant punch that can help out against vehicles, or wreaking havoc on infantry of all types provided their arent great invuln. saves.
Anti-Armor- Probably the strongest asset of my list is the anti-armor punch I carry with this list. I face a ton of IG with lots of Leman Russ’, Knights and things of that nature. The Crimson Hunter Exarch is big dog in this respect putting out truly horrendous damage. In my “best list” I carry two of these every time, but its a bit over the top for my casual opponents and besides 1 is all I really need. His re-rolling 1’s, natural -2 to hit makes him a good lone operator that needs very little psychic or stratagem support which is good because the other units really need it.
The Skyweavers are sort of my “finisher” that deliver the killing blow against Knights and other super heavies after my Crimson Hunter has made his attack run.
The Dark Reapers are sort of free-lancers and insurance against a bad round of shooting from my Crimson Hunter. As are the trusty Blasters in my Kabalite Warrior squads and the 4x Fusion Pistols my Harlequins have in their back pocket.
My Harlequins and my Archon’s are geared up to deal with support characters. The combination of high volume attacks, multi-damage melee weapons, fusion pistols etc. make them perfect for dealing with most characters. However they do need to go bully style when they do so, ganging up on characters rather than solo-ing them. Even with my warlord kicking out 8 attacks on the charge at Str 5 Ap-3 D3 damage, the entire collective are also not up to snuff for rumbling with real heavy hitters characters, but for generic HQ choices they can do work, especially with fire support from the stable of Alaitoc Rangers chipping away here and there.
Objective Holding + Objective Grabbing
In terms of holding objectives, my Alaitoc Rangers and Dark Reapers usually hold stuff in my own DZ and do so with very solid elusiveness due to being Alaitoc.
In progressive missions or late in game grabbing my opponents objectives usually goes to my Venoms, Skyweavers and Starweaver who has most likely deployed the Harlequins. At full strength thats 5 super mobile units (thanks to Flayed Skull’s bonus movement and Soaring Spite’s stable accuracy after advancing) capable of moving out while I’ve got 4 back line units holding my own objectives. This area is slightly weaker than I’d like it to be, but its the cost of having a lot of very good tools and honestly units that are just fun to play (like the Harlie Troupe).
Obviously this army carries a lot of -1 to hit around. Everything but the Raider is -1 to hit bare minimum. At the top end I’ve got a trio rocking easily a -2 to hit with the Alaitoc Crimson Hunter generating a natural -2 to hit, the Skyweavers slated for Lightning Fast they are -2 (with a 3++ after Prismatic Blur which I pop as a matter of course) and my Alaitoc Reapers being babysat by my Spirit Seer they are my designated target for Conceal. So besides the Reapers that trio of units is able to start on the table with an easy -2 to hit. Less quantifiable is the relatively small footprint of the units. I’ve found its really easy to hide out of LOS with the sort of “Vyper” class vehicles such as the Venoms, Starweavers and Hornets, or just peak around corners minimizing LOS my opponent can draw to them.
Also I’ve found the smaller unit of Reapers a lot easier to use in regards to Fire and Fade. I tend to get them clogged up at weird angles exposing them to fire power when I’m running 8-10 in my “hardcore list”. I’m losing a lot of firepower at only 5 men but the fact that they can duck and dive so easily does seem to add to the frustration factor of my opponents lol. I feel this list is considerably dialed back from what I can run so they’ll just have to deal with it! lol
This is a list I’ve had tremendous run of success playing, yet one I feel like I’m busting my brain to win with every time regardless of opponent. Its also a nice showcase of some of my favorite units and models which is pure win in my book. If you guys have similar sentiments about running your favorite list which might not be your strongest, please share in the comments below along with any other thoughts and opinions.
If you are interested in more Aeldari discussion check out our podcast: Splintermind for exclusive Drukharii and all things Aeldari news and discussion. If you are interested in following my painting exploits check me out on Instagram! Thanks for reading and stay tuned!
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