Friday, June 14, 2013

The new Eldar: Prince Yriel

So I have had time to ponder the new Eldar units.  Some of you love Eldar and some of you just don't want to be caught flat footed.  Either one of those categories will find this useful.

The first one I was interested in was Prince Yriel.  As the Iyanden book is coming and he is the Admiral of their fleet, he's worth a look.  He's a tough Autarch with a whopping 4 wounds which is great.  He gets the Ambush of Blades Warlord trait and I thought for a while as to which units would benefit most from this.  Re-rolling to wound is most useful to weapons that are lower in strength, at the fore of the battle.  His Eye of Wrath makes him a terror to the unit of his choice in close combat.  The fact that the enemy can stop him from using the Eye of Wrath means you probably want to put him in a unit that HAS a character of some sort that can take the challenge, so Guardians are probably not a great choice.  He can also JUMP to a unit when ready.

He himself is only STR 3 so of course the Ambush of Blades is useful, but it really is great for helping with weapons that are higher in volume of attacks.  Imagine a swarm of high volume attackers empowered by the Ambush of Blades!  Striking Scorpions and Harlquins are both high volume attackers.  Shuriken Catapults in large numbers, and Lasblasters with their excellent rate of fire also? 

That ability makes a 10 Hawk unit cause over 11 wounds to T4, not counting the grenades.  Dire Avengers, solely on the strength of his Warlord trait, would cause 10 (and possibly Rend non-vehicles) for 130 points...  Luckily they dont compete for FOC so you can have both.  In other words, Yriel can make some interesting units more effective.  Interesting enough to take more of them?

Scorpions and Harlequins are the best receivers of Yriels beneficence at the fore of the battle, but why empower the already impressive?  It seems to me that empowering less EXPENSIVE units might be wiser, or ones who can be prone to catastrophic loss like the Banshees if they flub.

All things considered, Harlequins need the least amount of help and therefore gain the least from his ability.  If you want to maximize what he can do FOR the army, I'd suggest the Banshees or Scorpions to accompany him to the fore.  And given that Scorpions simply live longer and can be a threat sooner, I suggest the Scorpions.

So through a sort of deduction process, I feel as if Scorpions could actually be an EXCELLENT Elite choice when playing Yriel.  As he is Iyanden I am sure the thought was that WraithBlades and such would be where he would augment his army, but those are high cost LOW attack output models that beneift very little from him.  The irony of it all.

So in a Yriel led army (and not a purely Iyanden themed one) I might actually recommend Scorpions and Swooping Hawks as greatly benefitting from his presence..  But would that make for a good army?

Well let's see.  He has the path of Strategy, so Hawks WOULD come in on 2+ and would do some damage in round 2 with many many companion shots from Avengers and others for blasting the bubble wrappings away if the Serpents and others have not.  They then could provide serious anti-tank threats.  Lets try this odd combinatrion.

140pts  Prince Yriel

70pts  Spiritseer

170pts  10 Dire Avengers (Exarch w/DireSword+Pistol and Disarming Strike)
120pts  Wave Serpent (TL Scatter Laser)

130pts  10 Dire Avengers
120pts  Wave Serpent (TL Scatter Laser)

160pts  5 WraithBlades (GhostAxe and ForceShields)
120pts  Wave Serpent (TL Scatter Laser)

61pts  3 Windrider Jetbikes (Shuriken Cannon)

61pts  3 Windrider Jetbikes (Shuriken Cannon)

185pts  10 Swooping Hawks (Exarch w/ Hit and Run)

185pts  10 Swooping Hawks (Exarch w/ Hit and Run)

193pts  9 Striking Scorpions (Exarch w/ Scorpion Claw)

198pts  9 Striking Scorpions (Exarch w/ Scorpion Claw and Monster Hunter)

85pts  Aegis Defense line (Icarus Cannon)

Now with this list the game plan is something like this:

Yriel's Serpent comes to the center of the trouble area, accompanied by his WraithBlade servants.  Tough and at least capable in melee if not actually sterling themselves, their master provides the most serious melee power, leaving them to do their job:  Guard him if he gets shot out of the Serpent until he can join the Scorpions.

Striking Scorpions can infiltrate if going second to threaten anyone who tries to come forward in round one, pressing the enemy back a bit and drawing fire that might otherwise be directed at the Dire Avengers or bikes, which are scoring.  Of course if the enemy decides to focus on Avengers or the bikes which they might want to kill for First Blood, the Scorpions will be more free to do damage.  =)

In round 2, the Fit hits the shan.  In drops a fusilade of shots, Yriel goes off with his power and the storm of fire is truly impressive.  Literally 174 shots plus the blasts are possible, most re-rolling to wound because of a well coordinated pattern of Battle Focus movement!  Not only that but the re-rolls to wound will become rending in some cases and the field is now saturated with targets for the much diminished enemies to try and kill.  The Bikes will hide and wait their turn to matter.  The SpiritSeer will shoot down planes.  The Swooping Hawks will prepare to kill the vehicles if they themselves are not killed immediately by the enemy, forcing the enemy to fire on units they'd rather not.  And the charge in round two is not to be forgotten, if necessary.

It's...  a lot of shots.  Kinda like bringing an IG gunline to the middle of the battlefield in turn 2 and giving them a crazy upgrade.  Even for one round, its pretty menacing.  Best part is you actually HAVE three semi-hammers to protect that line of death from being overrun in the ensuing turn and Hit and Run is likely to save the weakest of the units from trouble.  they really will only be truly threatened by counter shooting.

I'd be very interested to see this kind of list.  Prince Yriel is 40 points less expensive than Karandras if you wanted the same impact from him.  Of course Asurman might well give you the chance to do the same thing but again more expensive and less certain than either choice.

The SpiritSeer can be icing on the cake really in this offensive set.

Anyways, this meditation produced a very unexpected result.  One I would love to see a battle report or two on.  Obviously the list can be tooled a little to allow a 6th scoring unit if it seems necessary.  Anyone game to try it?


  1. This is actually a very effective list you got there mate. Scorps and Hawks are an excellent unit. I love Banshee's and I see the only way to run them in the new Codex is with an Autarch due to them coming stock with Plasma Grenades.

    Do you run your Serpents with Holofields? I ran them on my prisms last game and found them invaluable.

  2. I have not had a chance to use them, no, but I have heard some positive reports. I tend to go minimalist when first making lists and then build up as the needs become apparent, because lets face it, even WITH such wargear you may just get glanced to death.

    ON PAPER, this list looks very very potent to me. As a died in the wool Tau player, I can tell you that I would not want to see this particular list arrayed against me.

    Monstrous Creatures might present a concern in my mind and that is where I think the tweaking will come from in a list like this. It might well be necessary to put a Vauls Wrath Battery out there to D-Cannon/Distory such things to death.

    On the other hand, movement seems the ideal way to create problems for most monstrous creatures and I have mnostly used movement tyo deal with things like WraithKnights. But we all know that eventually someone will show up with three of those and overload me.

    So one change that might not be a terrible idea is potentially giving up a scoring unit for the Artillery's inclusion. Having never tried this list yet, I think that it is a reasonable and NOT weakening factor. Imagine just getting ONE of the gunners into Yriels Ambush of Blades. The increased chance of Distortion as well as just the raw wounding would be pretty nice.

    Food for thought?

  3. Hmm...eldar got a new codex. I gotta get back in the game. Gonna go read it online. Are serpents assault vehicles?

  4. Negative. they are not. I did a couple blogs on the new eldar as you can see. And YES. You do need to get back in the game my friend!


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