MSU Footdar in 9th Ed

Unit coherency is a very, very big deal in 9th. So much of eighth edition, Eldar revolved around buffing up large squads of Shining Spears, Guardians, Harlequin Troupes, or, if you were a real hipster, Wraithblades. 

Gone are the days of stringing a unit out to tag multiple enemy units on combat or hold multiple objectives, so it only stands to reason that we are going to take multiple small units going forward to hold the board, and not be threatened by unit coherency and morale. Of course, those 9 man Spear units will still exist, and we have access to fearless bubbles from Will of Asuryan and the Avatars, but the real kicker for those units is that they will need to stay bunched up to avoid coherency casualties. In reality, morale, and the new attrition rule,  aren’t nearly as impactful as coherency checks and is even less deadly than morale was in 8th ed. You could just not roll any ones.

I’ve always really enjoyed footdar over mechdar, and with some of the new terrain rules I think that a footdar army will still be playable and strong in 9th edition. The real test will be the terrain rules, and how much terrain on tables that infantry will be able to easily interact with.

The Mighty, Mighty Footdar!

A build I believe most Eldar players have toyed with or theory crafted is the fabled 40 Dire Avengers and Asurmen. Asurmen gives all of those guys a 4++, and since they are only 5 man units they don’t have to worry about morale. They also don’t really string out, since they want to be bubbled around Asurmen’s 6 inch 4++ aura, so this build may have some legs going forward. One downside is that you can only get 30 Dire Avengers in units of five out of a battalion, which almost requires another detachment to reach a solid number of Dire Avengers. And, of course, we have no idea what the points will be on these units. 

On the Harlequin side, you could just say screw it and run a few big units of Troupe with some complementary Skyweavers. Sure, you can’t string these guys out anymore, or string them back to a Troupe Master who is more than a couple of inches away, but they still hit pretty hard by themselves, and the Twilight Encore stratagem to prevent units from falling back is even more powerful now that Tri-pointing has become more difficult.

Personally, I plan to pair my Dire Avengers with some Wraithlords for CC support and a bit of ranged shooting (AMLs equipped) and then a few close combat characters to make it messy for my opponent to just charge them in close combat. Asurmen is, of course, awesome, and a patrol with some Harlequin characters can help me balance it out. Not much of my Craftworld component needs command points, so I can use all my CP to fuel the Harlequin character. Not to mention, I’ll get a CP every turn of the game!

Superior Shurikens and Masterful Shots

  • Farseer
  • Warlock Skyrunner
  • 5 Dire Avengers (Exarch w/ two catapults)
  • 5 Dire Avengers (Exarch w/ two catapults)
  • 5 Dire Avengers (Exarch w/ two catapults)
  • 5 Dire Avengers (Exarch w/ two catapults)
  • 5 Dire Avengers (Exarch w/ two catapults)
  • 5 Dire Avengers (Exarch w/ two catapults)

Midnight Sorrow Patrol

  • Troupe Master ( Fang)
  • Troupe
  • Death Jester (Warlord)
  • Solitaire

Expert Crafter and Masterful Shots

  • Avatar of Khaine
  • Asurmen
  • Wraithlord with AML and 2 Flamers
  • Wraithlord with AML and 2 Flamers
  • Wraithlord with AML and 2 Flamers
  • 3x Dark Reapers (Exarch w/tempest and Long-Ranged Firearms)
  • 3x Dark Reapers (Exarch w/tempest and Long-Ranged Firearms)
  • 3x Dark Reapers (Exarch w/tempest and Long-Ranged Firearms)

A cool detail of strategic reserves is that the outflank style ability Is based on power level, so I can outflank two of the reaper squads for 1 CP!

What are you cooking up for 9th edition?

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



8 Responses to “MSU Footdar in 9th Ed”

  1. Styro-J July 4, 2020 9:58 pm #

    That list is a little CP hungry! You have spent half your CP on detachments and are pretty likely to spend most of the rest on your characters. Sure, you do not need much but it is always handy to have some to work with.

    Be sure to Pivotal Role that Death Jester. Picking the 1st model to flee from morale wasn’t too great in 8th, but in 9th you could use it to knock half a squad out of coherency!

    • Conor Lobb July 5, 2020 3:54 pm #

      I actually updated it for a practice, dropped the avatar, wraithlords, and reapers for a harlie battalion for some cheap objective holders and screens, along with 2 units of 5 skyweavers. It was pretty strong, and the 1 cp every turn was super nice! I was impressed by the dire avenger blob.

  2. Theophrastus July 4, 2020 11:34 pm #

    Just my opinion, but I don’t think CWE troops of any kind will be valuable in 9th. Granted Asurmen backed 5 man twin cata bladestorming avengers are the best choices.

    Also the reapers are just gona get killed/nLoS’d, I’d go bright lance /aml walkers. The reapers are way overpriced, they never got their points increases due to Ynnari shenanigans rolled back and carry that albatross into 9th.

    • Conor Lobb July 5, 2020 3:57 pm #

      I disagree, I think Dire Avengers will be decent in 9th–not as good as other troops but playable and deceptively tough. War Walkers are pretty intriguing, I just don’t have any and dislike most of the mech eldar options. The furthest I go in that direction is Wraithlords lmao. As for the reapers, In this style I think they’re relatively low on the threat totem pole. If they’re shooting reaperts with their indirect they aren’t putting that into my dire avengers, who are going to be the ones scoring points and doing the bulk of my work.

  3. Charles Lowry July 5, 2020 3:15 am #

    There are some interesting ideas I’ve been looking at. I’ve been looking at ways to remove cheaper support characters from the opposing army. Points notwithstanding, I think those min sizes Dark Reapers with Tempest Launchers could be quite useful. Either start on table, or utilize the Webway Gate for two squads. The Exarch has the ability to target characters within 18″. It does not require Los which provides added flexibility to model placement. 4D6 Tempest Launcher shots that always it on 3 could remove some of those support characters. I never felt Rangers performed very well sniping characters and, for 8th edition points, the Exarch appears better suited.

    With the updated terrain rules, a squad of 3 Hornets and the 1CP Fire and Fade, can get them up to a terrain with the obscure keyword, shoot, then move away from it slightly and benefit from obscure. I don’t need to purchase 3 CTM anymore, so if somewhat offsets the anticipated points increase.

    For Match Play Strike Foces (2000 Point games which I regularly play), all Primary Objectives are to hold, hold more than one, and hold more than opponent. With that, I need a lot of fast moving MSU, and try to build some resilience. Windriders, Skyweavers, Harlequin Troupes, and Dire Avengers with Asumen stand out. Wave Serpents getting to objectives with Wraithblades (Axes) or Wraithguard with D-scythe, a Spirit Seer, and use the Wraith Host in order to give them an invulnerable save.

    Tournament missions could be very different, but I suspect they will be quite similar in overall concept as Matched Play missions. Holding objectives will likely be key to winning games.

  4. Rob Butcher July 6, 2020 12:40 am #

    I’m not a fan of the warlord coming from a different faction to the majority of the army. Having a weak character with few wounds also makes it a prime candidate for any eliminators (and picking Assassinate as a secondary.)

    And until we get the competitive missions in CA2020 it’s hard to assess, but mobility is key. Then deciding which units go into strategic reserves to avoid the heavy incoming fire in turn 1.

    • Conor Lobb July 6, 2020 8:30 am #

      Sure, It doesn’t bother me, but I’m not using this list for fluff purposes. Also, keep in mind that Shadowseers are much tougher than most Eldar characters because of their -1 to wound aura.

      • Charles Lowry July 6, 2020 6:16 pm #

        With the updated list you mentioned, it appears you are flooding the board with cheap objective secured units and trying to outlast your opponent. The list likely won’t be as deadly as other lists, but the objective is to score points. Harlequin Troupes with Shadowseer support combined with Dire Avengers with Asurmen support is very intriguing.

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