I picked up my two War Walkers yesterday, and purchased a pair of extra Scatter Laser bits as well (since these kits pre-date the days of GW making every possible option available in the sprue), so I am set for right now on my Eldar detachment. Part of me is tempted to also buy a squad of Warp Spiders, as I loved them back in the 2nd Edition days and they look to have gotten a bump up in 6th Edition, to get myself up to 1000 points or so of Eldar, but that's a deal for another time.
The issue now, though, is where does this Eldar addition put my Black Templar project? I want to get these Eldar ready for the Midwest Massacre, which is in mid-September, fully painted and ready to field side-by-side with my Tau. Fortunately, I don't think it'll set me back too far. I think my my goals look like:
- This weekend, build out Eldar (possibly magnet-modding the War Walker weapons if I'm feeling brave)
- Next week or so, prime EVERYTHING. Black Templars, Eldar, and some Chaos Marines and Daemonettes I'm still sitting on. All of it's getting primed black.
- Once everything is primed, paint the Eldar. The model count is relatively low - 20 infantry models and 2 walkers - although there's a fair amount of detail. That pretty much covers me through August.
- September, back to work on the Black Templars, which should be a relatively simple paint job.
For the Eldar, I'm going with an Alaitoc color scheme, as it's one of the two craftworlds near Tau space. (The other's Iyanden, and their army is far too yellow for my aesthetic tastes.) I love the stippled blue and bone scheme that I see on a lot of Alaitoc Eldar, so I plan on following that general look. It's fluffy, it keeps the bright yellow at a minimum, and it will make my Eldar very visually distinct from my Tau. I'll probably paint up Eldrad in Alaitoc colors as well, just for consistency's sake.
I also ordered a set of Raging Heroes' Preying Mantis models. They're basically a new take on the old metal Daemonettes I like, so I'm looking forward to adding them to my Chaos army to break up the blob of semi-identical daemons. I still need to figure out an HQ to take so I can actually run a Daemon detachment. I suppose that an inexpensive Herald would be the way to go. Of course, there's still the wave issue, and I'd hate to have a Herald show up without her Daemonettes to support her. Decisions, decisions...
My birthday was this past weekend, and flush with birthday money and gift certificates to various friendly local gaming stores, I managed to grab the haul pictured above - Eldrad, a Farseer and Warlocks, a squad of Rangers, and a squad of Dire Avengers. I'm in the midst of working on a Black Templar army, and here I am grabbing a detachment's worth of Eldar, which I will probably attempt to paint in time for the Midwest Massacre GT in mid-September. Why? Because I want to run Eldar allies in my Tau army, and I wanted to have a couple of options to use while doing so. Sure, I have two other armies, but none of my armies - Tau, Black Templars, and Chaos Marines - play particularly well together. Eldar, on the other hand, being battle brothers with Tau are a perfect choice. I can build them out as a shooty detachment, so the overall gameplan doesn't change much.
Basically, what I want from an Eldar ally is:
- Psychic support
- Psychic defense
- Another troop unit to control an objective, whether camping
- Possibly some anti-light-vehicle/anti-infantry fire
In a previous post, I mentioned running the bare minimum Farseer + Dire Avengers detachment for 150 points, but I don't think that's sufficient. What I'm looking at instead is a larger points investment, but brings more to the table. There are a couple of possibilities:
HQ: Eldrad Ulthran (210 pts)
Troop: 9 Dire Avengers; 1 Dire Avenger Exarch w/2 Avenger Shuriken Catapults, Defend (152 pts)
Heavy Support: 2 War Walkers w/2 Scatter Lasers (120 pts)
That hits all my desired support features, and comes in at 482 points. Now, I can also switch things around and hit roughly the same points level. Swap out the Dire Avengers for:
Troop: 5 Pathfinder Rangers (120 pts)
and the total package drops to 450 points and I get one of the best sniper units in the game. That's great for sitting on an objective in cover, or just sitting in cover and picking off enemy models. Alternately, if I don't mind giving up access to all the powers that Eldrad provides, I can switch him out for:
HQ: Farseer w/Guide, Runes of Warding, Runes of Witnessing (100 pts)
HQ*: 2 Warlocks w/Witchblade, Destructor; Warlock w/Singing Spear, Enhance (113 pts)
* doesn't count towards HQ slot
For 3 points more, I get a little Seer Council unit that can do decently in assault, and with Destructor can put out a little bit of death in Overwatch as well. So, for anywhere from 450 to 485 points, I get a detachment that can meaningfully contribute to my force. The point levels make it easy to add on to an existing list, too. Whatever the point level is, build a list for 500 points lower, and add in the Eldar. I wouldn't necessarily do that for anything less than 1500 points, though.
Of course, now this means I need to buy 2 War Walkers. Well played, GW, well played.