I just want to start off by saying that since I purchased my first Eldar unit about 2 months ago, I've had issues controlling the Eldar correctly in combat. I was getting extremely frustrated with how little I was contributing to team games and how quickly I'd find myself with little hope during solo-play. But, today I report my first victory with them, wishing I had a BatRep to go along with it. Sadly, I do not. But I will try and provide a briefing of the game.
This was a team battle; Tau/Eldar vs IG/Chaos (don't ask me how Chaos persuaded IG to join them for the day, I hear they're offering goodie bags.) Capture and Control, 2000 points per team.
I held my 10 Pathfinders in a corner, being a ruined building. Behind them, 10 Guardians with a Bright Lance and a Farseer with Guide to make it twin linked. My Tau partner left his Crisis Suit, Stealth Suit Squad and Hammerhead with me as well.
Closer to the enemy and sitting near our control point we had a large group of Fire Warriors and Kroot all in area terrain for the Tau along with 5 Clowns, 1 Troupe Master and 1 Shadowseer to accompany them by yours truly. Between these 2 pockets of infantry is my Fire Prism. And off the board is 5 Pooping Hawks with an Exarch and a War Walker with 2 Scatter Cannons (multiple S6 shots = Yum.)
I'm hazy on the details of my opponents, and even my Tau partner as we played 2 games tonight and the battle I'm describing spanned over 2 different days 1 week apart. So, as filler, the IG brought some stuff and the Chaos brought some more stuff.
In my Eldar adventures thus far, I've used a Fire Prism 3 times and a Falcon twice. All 3 times the Fire Prism has had its Prism Cannon destroyed in turn 1 (Yes, even with Holo upgrades.) The 2 times I've used the Falcon it's been blown up in either turn 1 or turn 2. Needless to say, I'm getting my jimmies in a bunch over bringing "tanks". Despite the setback of the Fire Prism, it ended up winning us the game--more on that later. But if my frustrations all stem from luck, I'm usually a happy camper. Moving on.
My Pooping Hawks, a unit I usually struggle with using to their full potential, really performed well this game. Deepstriking on turn 2, minimal scatter. Up in the air on turn 3, back down on turn 4. Back up on turn 5, in preparation for the game continuing further to turn 6, though it did not. The "Poop" large blast they bring with them on deep strike got some good shots out. I was really thinking twice about this unit's usefulness before this game, but with some luck and strategy these guys can be an issue for your opponents.
Next up, Pathfinders. This is the first time I've ever used them. They spent all 5 turns either running away from flamers on the IG's tanks or being locked in melee with a couple of sneaky IG walkers. They didn't fire 1 shot. This was especially frustrating as my Guardians with the Farseer who should have been firing their TL Brightlance had to save my Pathfinders from a never-ending close combat. The next game we played, the Pathfinders have done much better (not having to run from flamers is always a plus.) With a 2+ cover save combined with 5+ AP1 wounding is eventually going to cause me to bring a change of pants to every game.
The War Walker came in quite late in the game, and got a few shots off, but nothing too flashy.
Lastly, the Harlequins. Every time I field this unit I get better with them. A Shadowseer is a must, in my opinion. There's literally no point to bringing this unit unless you have her Veil of Tears. It's like night fighting on crack. The power of this unit... words can't explain. Their downfall is survivability which is why they're very tricky to play, but the amount of power they bring to close combat blows my mind. In this game they eliminated a unit of Chaos chosen and in the next turn destroyed 3 Chaos Obliterators with ease. The clowns took zero casualties. It's making it hard not to bring these guys.
So, how did a Fire Prism that lost its manhood in turn 1 save the day? Star Engines ladies and gentlemen; don't leave home without them. With the Clowns and Rail-guns kicking anything near our control point in the teeth. And with my Pathfinders/Guardians tied up in melee for half the game, our only option was to contest the enemy's point for a win. The Fire Prism took care of this without issue with a quick 36" move on the last turn. We won with a score of 1-0.
The win wasn't what held my attention as much as a win with half of my army not being able to do their job. With my Fire Prism castrated, Pathfinders running around with fire on their asses and the Farseer's Guardian squad coming to rescue their Pathfinder pals: I would have expected our side to get creamed. Luckily the Tau fought like Inglorious Basterds, and together we strategically took everything on that we could with somewhat grace.
Final thoughts: I'm wrapping my head around Eldar strategy. It's not the brute force tactic SMs use. Not that SMs are simple, but in comparison to Eldar I feel they're close to it. Each Eldar unit is unique almost to the point of fault. This makes them quite the homework assignment when starting out, but in the right hands they should be able to handle anything thrown at them. Except SWs... Fucking cheese...
Soon, I'll hopefully have some completed SM paint jobs to show off. Until next time!