Eldar Combat Tactics in 9th Ed.

Well, well, well! 9th ed is starting to take shape, and as an Eldar player who loves combat, I’ve got some thoughts on these new rules!

Desperate Escape:

This is pretty big for janky combat armies. Sure, Tri-tipping was becoming less prevalent in the era of 3 or 4 attack Primaris Marines, but the ability for the enemy to slip out of any tri-tip for 2cp is pretty big, especially with the looming return of Imperial guard (Which means Squishy guardsmen to wrap) and how powerful Admech have become (squishy rangers to wrap.) The solution for this isn’t too complicated; we’ll just have to wrap multiple units so we aren’t exposed to nasty enemy shooting. But, still, it’s a new wrinkle to iron out.

Changes to overwatch and fly:

No overwatch rules! Well, at least limited overwatch. This really cranks up the importance of Humbling Cruelty Death Jesters and Silent Shroud units to take away overwatch from scary units like Centurions and at least one Riptide. Furthermore, with fly no longer granting so many blessings we should be tagging them! To this end, I’m looking hard at a 20 man Guardian unit. Sure, blast will affect them, but they will be invaluable for launching a multi charge into several units to force them to shoot the Guardians. Slap them with Protect, Fortune, and then Celestial Shield, and I think we’ll have winner!

Changes to characters:

This is perhaps the most significant change. No more holding backfield and mid-board objectives with your characters while your close combat units tri-tip your opponent’s army and render your squishy elf heroes un-shootable. This will necessitate tougher backfield units to hold objectives (Maybe Wraithlords with Aeldari Missile Launchers?) and a new playstyle we’ll all have to figure out in playtesting. How exciting!

List Idea:

This list clocks in at 1800 points; I am cutting a fair few points off the top in preparation for points changes. Here we go!

Headstrong/Superior Shurikens Battalion

  • Farseer
  • Warlock
  • Warlock
  • 20 Guardian Defenders w2 Shuriken Cannons
  • 8 Storm Guardians
  • 8 Storm Guardians
  • 9x Shining Spears (Exarch w/Star Lance and Withdraw)

Headstrong/Hunters of Ancient Relics Spearhead

  • Avatar of Khaine
  • Farseer Skyrunner (Warlord)
  • 9x Wraithblades w/Axe and Shield
  • 3x Wraithlords w/flamers and 2x Aedari Missile Launchers

So, we’ve got some strong units in here, and enough buff characters to keep them alive, deadly and fast. I think the Avatar of Khaine will be a real winner in 9th ed, depending on points of course. He isn’t as easy to kill if he’s on his own, and now that morale is significantly scarier he’ll be very useful to keep my big squads alive. And, with tanks and monsters poised to be popular, he’ll be nice to have around for murdering big scary models. 

I’m not sure if Wraithblades will be incredibly useful, but they sure are tough and will protect characters, and the smaller board will do them some serious favors considering how slow they are. That’s why I value headstrong and combined with Ghostwalk on them. +3 to charge is legit!

Wraithlords are solid, tough models and the missile launchers aren’t bad for launching shots downfield. I think that Expert Crafters will be useful for them, so I may have to give my detachment attributes some thought.

Finally, my Warlord Farseer will either take the ignore overwatch trait for key combat scenarios, or the extra reroll of a psychic power.

I think this is an interesting list idea, and one I’m keen to try. Not to mention all of these models are going to look badass on the board!

And remember, Frontline Gaming sells gaming products at a discount, every day in their webcart!



11 Responses to “Eldar Combat Tactics in 9th Ed.”

  1. Rob Butcher June 27, 2020 11:09 pm #

    Interesting to see that list, a pure aeldari without an air wing .. the first battalion is similar to one Spider played at LVO 2018. The second has wraith’ which are nice models but failed to get played often in “Dark Imperium” even though they were in the “Start Collecting” set.

    As we are getting a jigsaw piece a day, it might be more sensible to start with a combat patrol/incursion force.

    The lock-downs today in Texas (and Florida) will also sadly further postpone the re-opening of GW Citadel and the start of serious competitive gaming using any lists and the new rules 🙁

    • Conor Lobb June 28, 2020 2:35 pm #

      I’ve never liked planes personally. I recognize they’re good, just not my cup of tea. Wraiths never saw the board in the past, but hopefully the new edition and smaller board give them some play.

  2. Charles Lowry June 28, 2020 11:32 am #

    I will be quite excited if the Avatar was a significant piece in an army. I’ve run the model several times in early 8th, but he seemed to have less and less impact as the edition continued.

    A significant factor for me will be missions. If several missions have progressive scoring and the new game mechanic that forbids any unit to shoot and assault, I am hesitant to have several expensive units whom would forgo their greatest assets. Wraithguard with Axes could be interesting; with the right powers, this could be a very effective unit to hold an objective effectively daring the opponent to shoot and/or assault. I’ve been reviewing what would be solid unit choices for the purpose of scoring points, having some tuupe of resiliency, and not make me feel I am sacrificing too much of my shooting/assault in order to score.

    • Conor Lobb June 28, 2020 2:33 pm #

      I love the Avatar! He can be really, really disappointing though. I do think the reroll charges is going to be fantastic with the new charging rules, especially coupled with +1 or +3 to charge with buffs. So much of the future depends on points values, but I think this will clock in effectively since I ‘ve given myself so much leeway.

    • Conor Lobb June 28, 2020 2:35 pm #

      I’m also really curious how much the missions will shake up the game!

    • Venkarel June 28, 2020 4:27 pm #

      Wait….what? Can’t shoot then assault is this confirmed?

      • abusepuppy June 28, 2020 6:53 pm #

        I think they mean the “action”-based missions that require you to give up part of your turn to score an objective in some fashion. Or at least that’s how I read it.

      • Venkarel June 29, 2020 9:47 am #

        I get it now, I did not put that together originally. The action thing seems very similar to the ITC secondary engineers. I used durable low cost units for that secondary, wracks or grotesques are ideal, as they don’t have any shooting to lose, are durable, and can serve as a counter attack/ tar pit unit in a pinch.

  3. The big cheese August 4, 2020 5:00 am #

    Hmmm….not enough long range anti tank in my book!!

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