Tuesday, October 8, 2013

So I Chose Eldar

So after much consideration, I chose Eldar. Sharing why may be insightful for those preparing for tournaments themselves.

First, I think the list has the tools to hang with anything, without spending egregious amounts of energy or dollars on tweaking to the meta.

The Tyranid list I can put down is almost abusive to the meta, but it's also abusive to my back and mind. It requires enormous amounts of concentration to play correctly (moving hundreds of models, then running hundreds of models, often assaulting hundreds of models, then performing I-step assault moves on hundreds of models). It's far different from a couple guard blobs, where typically each turn you are moving and shooting, but not moving ... then moving again ... then moving again, etc. It also requires a lot of memory flex that I don't necessarily feel like expending, in the sense of remembering every psychic power, when to cast it, making sure you don't mess up and mis-cast the wrong power and "Cheat" via memory failure, etc. It also can be taxing for opponents to have to spend long periods of time waiting, and also having to say "ok" or "not ok" when you forget something, or do something mistakenly - these things happen over a long tournament against top flight competition ... which the Battle for Salvation is.

Additionally, the Tyranid can be overwhelming unpleasant to play AGAINST ... not only for the above-mentioned waiting game, but because often in the current meta against the list mentioned it does not matter what you do ... you could feel you problem solved it correctly, rolled well, and played well, and lose miserably anyway. This happens a lot.

So for reasons of my own well-being, and my opponents', I'm choosing not to go with Nids ... despite believing they give me the best chance to "Win."

Onto the Eldar. I tweaked the list a little more ... with the time available, war walkers would have required me to borrow, and I want to bring my own models and my own paint jobs.

Also, I did not quite like the feel of just plopping a bunch of Space Wolves into an Eldar army, so I took the opportunity to get cracking on an Exodite-related component of guys to count as the Space Wolves, in the form of some metal lizard warriors I won at AdeptiCon a couple years ago who are armed with axes and rifles. These couple w/ a Lamian sorceress with a snake around her arm as my Rune Priest, to create a thematic group of lizard fighters recruited as Allies of Convenience by the Eldar, and handed a semi-burned-out marine raider as a ride.
Side note - I did some searching to try and find a land raider sized / size appropriate / gear appropriate proxy so as to reinforce this theme ... but it's just not plausible in the time available to find and convert one.

I think I have plenty of opportunity to win any game I'm in with the list I settled on, and the skill I can bring to bear, but I have a lower chance of winning the tournament as a whole due to match-up weaknesses and meta than I did with the Nids.

That said, this requires analysis of WHY I'm going to the Battle for Salvation. First off, significant others will be present and doing their own thing in NYC during the daytimes. Second off, it's one of the most concentrated groups of people I'm personally close with on the "Circuit" (NOVA has a higher #, but I'm occupied all weekend working). BFS is ALL about the social experience for me, a chance to hang with a ton of like minded individuals having a few brews and getting in some great games. IF I spend all weekend exhausting myself and my opponents with an unbearably difficult list to both play and play against, I'm not going to have a positive impact on that. If I go and have fun and compete well without embarrassing myself, while getting in a ton of social awesomeness ... I'm winning regardless of the outcome.

This isn't me advocating playing "Down" or not competing to win ... I certainly will play well and hard. It's just me saying that for THIS event, that I've placed highly at or won all three of the last years I've gone (Tourney Champ, Ren Man, and Bracket 2 Champ), I'm making sure to couch the list I'm bringing in my goals for the event. Look for a post on Torrent of Fire soon about exactly how this relates to the notion of what you aim to do when you attend a tournament or con. This is in a sense me practicing what I'm about to preach.

So the final list is as follows:
Farseer w/ Singing Spear - 105
Rune Priest w/ Meltabombs, Force Axe / Exodite Farseer - 105

Lone Wolf w/ Terminator Armor, Storm Shield, Chain Fist - 85

6 Dire Avengers, Wave Serpent w/ Scatterlaser, Shuricannon, Ghostwalk - 218
5 Dire Avengers, Wave Serpent w/ Scatterlaser, Shuricannon, Ghostwalk - 205
5 Dire Avengers, Wave Serpent w/ Scatterlaser, Shuricannon, Ghostwalk - 205
5 Dire Avengers, Wave Serpent w/ Scatterlaser, Shuricannon, Ghostwalk - 205
5 Dire Avengers, Wave Serpent w/ Scatterlaser, Shuricannon, Ghostwalk - 205
8 Grey Hunters / Exodite World Natives w/ Meltagun - 125

6 Swooping Hawks - 96
6 Swooping Hawks - 96
6 Swooping Hawks - 96

Land Raider Redeemer w/ Multi-Melta - 250

I have some painting to finish Wed. Pics to follow; very proud of the aesthetic of this army.


  1. To what extent do you feel winning with a "stylised" list is important? You obviously value aesthetics when it comes to appearance but your list feels generic. Its obvious to me that you're being shackled by the meta - your list has none of the flair that you exhibited in your 5th edition lists (alrahem, straken).

    It points to a larger problem in 40k. A rapidly changing environment with no hint of the balance we enjoyed in pre GK 5th edition

    1. Harsh!

      I consider Swooping Hawks to be counter to the standard meta, especially lots of them. They're my aces in the hole, and do a lot of heavy lifting.

      But yeah, the serpents are certainly pretty stock standard, and rune priests are becoming a common ally.

      The truth is that while the Tyranid list I use has the typical flair that turns me on (parasite, much bigger unit sizes than your typical nid player, no flyrants or biovores or hive guard, etc.), there's no dex right now that I feel is giving me exactly what I want.

      The Eldar are relaxing and enjoyable to play, and have a few cool tricks that enable them to stay in games even when they're getting hammered. So that's pretty fun.

      We'll see what Nids and IG in the new year bring.

    2. PS - List variants have included Fire Dragons, Scorpions, Shining Spears, Shadow Weavers, War Walkers, etc., but some functionality is being abandoned in favor of build time / what I have / etc.

    3. Hey Mile, with your list I saw that you had the Runepriest listed with a Force Axe. Just wanted to shout out a reminder that it always strikes at S4 I4 AP3...Unusual force weapon and all that jazz.

      Best of luck at BFS!

    4. Tilly, I was of the understanding that wasn't the case here, due to the FAQ component that clarifies Njal's weapon as a Runic Weapon (Stave).

      If they are all S4 I4 AP3, what's the point of the clarification?

    5. Swooping hawks seem undeniably good imo and taking the msu approach as you have just emphasises my point. There's there's no room for personalization in thisgame we love - just efficiency at all costs to keep up with a rampant meta full out of control power units.

      My harshness is not directed at you. Please accept my apologies. I was only commenting on the regretable state of 40k that couples a rapid release schedule with terrible "shoot from the hip" game design.

      My point was that even you, a serious contender to some of the best players in the world, cant break free of cookie cutter lists

      How do you feel about 40k right now?

    6. Don't wanna drag the post to far into a rules debate and I do agree the clarification is out of place, but the BRB is fairly clear that if a unique force weapon has any cc modifications it is considered AP3, regardless of its weapon type.

      Also, I know via BA FAQ and their Glaive Encarmines, they have a full entry dedicated towards giving them a full profile. Regardless its fun living in the grey area of 40k rules lol.

      As for the list as a whole I really like it. I think that it can do really well, but want to issue a word of caution for when you go against a mirror match as I saw at the NOVA even good generals, Kurt and Eric, lost simply because they did not go first. I am assuming the LR is in the list for the purpose of hiding the Dire Avengers if cover is not sufficient which allows you the alpha strike.

    7. The LR helps with that, yes; I'm able to reserve the Serpents and deploy a few guys hiding w/ the LR, and thus guarantee alpha if I need it ... especially b/c going second is generally superior in this edition.

  2. Just curious... Eldar and SW are AoC right? Does that mean the RP must try to block the farseer powers with his runic weapon? Since they're treated as enemy models and all. I seem to remember reading this in a FAQ either on the GW site or one of the big tournament FAQ's.

    1. Yes. I'm doing it regardless. Should be fun, and occasionally funny :)