I’ve enjoyed and continue to enjoy playing Eldar in Warhammer 40K, and while army specific tactics are important- like what if you are running a full Saim-Hann warhost vs. running say a mixed force of vehicles and infantry, there are two core tactica points that I believe (know) every space elf player needs to keep in mind.
This formula goes back to the very DNA of Warhammer 40K from the RT 1st edition and how the game was established.
Points have always been a part of 40K as a way, to balance out a “fair” game between two different armies with vastly different wargear and rules. If we both bring 1000 points the game should be somewhat fair- which means you win on tactics and commanding a good game…
How does Games Workshop calculate points?
Going back to the first run of 40K the Space Marine was the established benchmark of points. You paid X number of points for T 4 and a 3+ save. Any model that had a higher toughness or save got jacked up in points, anything lower got reduced a bit.
The idea kind of worked in that a Space Marine should be able on average to take out 2.5 Orks a turn.
Over the years Games Workshop has tweaked this formula by adding in wargear and special rules, but it still holds true here and today- except for ELDAR.
Eldar are basically T3 with a 4/5+ save.
They SHOULD cost less vs. a marine based on this formula, but this is where GW has gone a bit off with Eldar over the editions- by taking into account wargear, which gun/upgrades/etc. are generally better vs. Space Marines so many Eldar units cost more vs. Space Marines.
On paper in theory-hammer land @ Games Workhop HQ this seems to hold, but here is what we Eldar player KNOW, and would be Eldar players need to keep in mind as you are building your armies in general.
Eldar are base T3, which means against Marines if they hit you die- with only armor or cover to save you. VS. Space Marines the T4 shaves off a to-wound point which is big over numerous game rounds, plus the army wide 3+ save for them.
While in general Eldar weapons are stronger or put our more shots, their range is generally shorter, you get in range to take apart Space Marines- they are also in range to take you apart. Most Eldar stuff is not long range.
So right away you have to get the drop on Space Marines, they can’t shoot at you first and remove models bringing down your dice #’s.
What is your plan for that?
Lots of bulk Eldar guardians, but even that is not that efficient.
Eldar are also very vulnerable to the assault- S3 combined with T3 means you are not launching army wide or decisive assaults even with your dedicated units like scorpions and banshees. Scorps and banshees are a clean up unit- you weaken the opposing unit first with other mass fire units, and then sweep in.
Side note, this is what makes Harlequins so deceptive to play- most players expect them to play like Eldar, and they really are not “Eldar”- we need to use that tricknology.
S3 and T3 are the Eldar DNA.
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