Faction Focus: Craftworlds

The Warhammer-community team brings us an update on how Craftworld Eldar play in 9th ed 40k!

Of all the Aeldari, the Craftworlds are the most tactically flexible, with their Aspect Warriors enabling them to specialise in any style of warfare. But how will their versatility translate to the new edition of Warhammer 40,000? Well, in today’s Faction Focus, we’re here with playtester Matt Schuchman to answer that question and more besides!

Who Are They?

In the aftermath of the bitter War in Heaven fought against the Necrons before life had even evolved on Terra, the Aeldari’s dominion of the galaxy was absolute. Yet the depths of their hubris and decadence eventually gave rise to a new Dark God – Slaanesh, She Who Thirsts – whose apocalyptic birth decimated the Aeldari empire of old and forever cursed its people. However, there were those who foresaw this grim fate and escaped aboard impossibly vast, star-faring ark-vessels called craftworlds. Though their kind may be a dying race, the craftworlders still command highly advanced technology and possess a mastery of war that is all but unrivalled.

How They Play in the New Edition

For this bit, we channelled the collective wisdom of the infinity circuit and were granted a spirit audience with Team USA and tournament master Matt Schuchman. We’ve since consulted with the Farseers and they’ve confirmed his message…

Matt: The best thing for Craftworlds in the new edition is that you only need to include one Detachment to get the most Command points for your army. This not only nets you more Command points than you used to have, but ensures you’re now also on an even footing with other factions that could easily generate more in the past. Another amazing thing is that the new Look Out, Sir rules really leave most Craftworlds players unaffected. Characters are now only really safe if they are within 3″ of other units, but most Craftworlds Characters are fleet-footed or Skyrunners. This allows them to easily stay near other units or quickly hop around terrain to stay in the best possible positions.

I think that the point increases will initially challenge players as they try to fit in all of the units they previously fielded. It’s important to remember that every faction is feeling similar increases though, so it’s not a problem unique to you! I also suspect that, although the Craftworlds army is great when fielding a single Detachment, some players will miss the advantages of cherry-picking units from various craftworlds. A thing to keep in mind is that most competitive Craftworlds armies used to only start with 8-10 Command points, so if you really feel you need those Saim-Hann Shining Spears along with your Alaitoc Rangers, consider taking the secondary Craftworld in a Patrol Detachment alongside your main host.

My personal style of play involves highly aggressive units that stack the various psychic blessings inherent to the craftworlds. I usually take units that can move swiftly across the battlefield to remove high priority targets early, then use my superior mobility to control the board for the remainder of the game. Don’t forget that many of the new Battlefield Supremacy secondary objectives can allow the fast-moving Craftworlds armies to really rack up victory points. There are also a number of Warpcraft options which the lightning-fast Skyrunner Warlocks and Farseers can accomplish quite easily.


The last thing to take into account is that terrain is very important and about to become far more dynamic. Thankfully, many Craftworlds units still have the Fly keyword, which will continue to allow them to take great advantage by easily manoeuvring in, on, and around these terrain features.

Key Units

With so many specialised units – and none more so than as the various types of Aspect Warriors – to choose from, it’s difficult to know what to include in an army list at the best of times. Thankfully, Matt has some top picks that he reckons will shine in the new edition. So without further ado, let’s find out what they are!

Shining Spears

Matt: I believe most Craftworlds armies will still include at least a single unit of Shining Spears; their mobility, close-range firepower, and combat strength are still amazing. These guys supported by a Farseer and a Warlock will continue to be commonly seen in Craftworlds armies. They’re hard to eliminate at range at the best of times, but when combined with the new terrain rules, and a few key psychic powers, they’ll be a formidable threat.

Night Spinner

Matt: Another fantastic option going into the new edition will be Night Spinners. The updates to Blast weapons really help even out the damage potential of this current all-star unit, making its doomweaver deadlier still.


Dire Avengers

Matt: As far as Infantry units go, I suspect that Dire Avengers will become the go-to Troops choice. You can field them as durable, 5-man units with shimmershield-armed Exarchs, or you can even take a whole bunch of units and pick up Asurmen to give them all a 4+ invulnerable save. Phoenix Rising also offered these warriors some great alternative Exarch abilities, and I highly recommend trading out Battle Fortune for one of them. My personal favourite is Avenging Strikes, which punishes your opponent for not finishing off your units.

Thanks, Matt! From which craftworld does your Aeldari warhost hail, and how do you intend to take the fight to your enemies on the battlefields of the 41st Millennium? Let us know on the Warhammer 40,000 Facebook pageInstagram and on Twitter using #New40K.

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3 Responses to “Faction Focus: Craftworlds”

  1. Avatar
    Vipoid June 22, 2020 3:18 pm #

    Well that told us nothing.

  2. Avatar
    Joshua June 22, 2020 3:52 pm #

    What I worry most about Aeldari is if I will even be able to field my army. I bought a box set multiple years ago and then just added some stuff so my entire army is wraiths. I bought a farseer as an hq and a few transports with a flyer for backup. But I have no normal troop choices. Back then you could take wraiths as a Tripp’s choice.

    • Avatar
      abusepuppy June 22, 2020 7:16 pm #

      Vanguard detachments (or something similar) will likely still be a thing. You should still be able to field them.

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