Tuesday, February 22, 2011
I apologize for the absence having been lost in the warp known as ASP.net projects I have returned and boy was this weeked productive. Being a victim of cronic laziness that big beautiful str D slinging death machine set in its pretty little Forgeworld bag for about a year now. I can't tell you really what possessed me to finally dig it out and go through the process of putting it together but I started out with the simple goals of just putting its legs on its base. Now as a long time hobbyist superglue + skin + shaving of said skin is a well known and accepted tradition, however.... when it comes to my man beard that crap is off limits. It was on that woeful day that I had to shave part of it to be rid of a jump pack exhaust port that had lauched out of my fingers richocheted into my chin pelt that it became personal. Long after the legs were pinned into place and glued to the base I was trudging away at getting this bad boy finished.
But then in the majesty of the moment I glued the last piece into place, that devil upon my shoulder whispered dreadful words into my ear. When will you ever use this? That got me thinking, I like most people who play Warhammer 40k look at the forge world and see pieces that make me go oooh and ahhh and entice us when we have money to purchase said pieces. Anyone you ask in this hobby about some new hotness in Forgeworld will agree that its cool or say that they are not into it etc etc. but when the subject is brought up to play with said piece most people seem to take a step back and say well they don't play with forgeworld stuff/rules. While I can only speak for the local gaming community I wonder why that is? If we can agree on FW pieces are cool then why do we always seem so resist to try these out. I know the general consensus is that FW rules are usually far from balanced, but if you go to any 40k forum you will find that exact same description for dozens of entries in dozens of codices. How are FW all that different? Granted their rules are printed in a different book from the Codex but how is that greatly different from the various flavors of Space marines they all seem to adhear to a similar template yet just have different options at different costs with each of their rules in a different book.
Now before anyone starts to cry out well they are play tested and balanced I would just like to mention again about the whole balance/fair issue that was posted above. In the end its really based upon everyone perception and opinion yet even I fall into the masses that agree FW stuff is cool yet are very resist to play with it. One day though I hope that my lovely Titan gets throw down on a table and make some people believers in the might of the Eldar. Until then it would seem he gets to lord over the rest of the mini's on the table.
Tuesday, February 15, 2011
Sadly the pic I posted in the last post would have worked much better for the this topic but alas I did not forsee this conversation. This topic came up earlier today while talking to The Grizz about Stevo's uncertainty on the playstyle of his Dark Eldar. The Grizz's rough description was "He hates the feeling like he has to play gay and fly around and shoot stuff before assaulting instead of just charging in." To which I replied "Thats Eldar, they bring a scalpel to a Knife Fight."
Eldar units are specialized for the most part in performing one primary role, Dire Avengers -> Shooting, Banshee's -> Close Combat etc,etc. Given the right circumstance they can perform their primary tasks quite well. But given the right circumstance, while the banshee's are queens of close combat charging into a thirty man strong orc mob is not going to turn out as well as one would hope. But charging banshee's into a squad that has been softened up by some of our shooting support units or Farseer powers the outcome can be completely different.
Playing Eldar one of the first facts that you must come to grips with is that you are most likely going to be out numbered by the enemy be it in tanks, troops etc. There are ways that the Eldar can out number their foes but in truth when this usually happens the opponent has highly skilled and tooled out choices. While the Eldar boasts some of the most specialized troops in the game they are not the singular best. Other armies can turn out things that the Eldar have no direct counter to, Thunder Hammer Stormshield Termies come to mind. Eldar Units seem to sit at a nice middle ground as for skill and pts cost with usually a rule that gives them an advantage at a right circumstance. Such as Banshees on the charge etc.
While this may sound weird I actually enjoy this fact that my troops did not win because they had super human stats and great armor or overwhelming numbers but struck with percision and overwhelming power. While I will admit it is fun to wade into a nice big blood bath and see who comes out the victor those are just not the fights the Eldar should enter, we are a dying race after all. While your opponent might have some choice words or sigh about you avoiding combat with an obvious assault oriented unit or army remember that once your army starts to take damage the synergy and cohesion of your army breaks apart quickly. This brings me to an important point, our units do not do well alone, yet when working together as one unified entity they can be utterly amazing, like a symphony of destruction and pain, with you as its orchestrator.
Monday, February 14, 2011
Fritz from Way of Saim-hann has used these words many times in his Youtube bat reps, Eldar Trickery. In truth I don't think there is any more accurate way to describe the very spirit of the play style of Eldar than those words. At the very core of our army is based the common notion of bending or out right ignoring some of the fundamental rules of the game. This was much more prevalent in the 3rd ed days when our tanks could move shoot during their move and then finish their move. While some of those curse word inducing silliness is gone there is some of it that remains.
While Fluff does not reflect rules I think the essense of an ancient and enigmatic race is represented well in the regards that we can do things that few if any others can. While I do have my criticisms about our current Codex all in all I am enjoying pulling shenanigans upon my opponents. I know what your thinking. "Elthrai, your just telling us, great and powerful almighty shenanigan wielding Eldar players things we already know." or in the case non eldar players. "Durrrrrrrrr pointy ear fairies durrr... I like power armor durr." ;)
But I ask you, what does Eldar Trickery truely mean? I have defined it above as what it means in a sense to the army and somewhat to the game in the regards to rules. But in truth it goes beyond that, beyond the codex, and the rulebook, to the players themselves. While I strongly do not advocate any kind of psychological warfare upon your opponent to gain advantage in a game with little plastic men and fickle d6. An effect still occurs, The Eldar Army as far as I have seen has been the one most people cock their heads to the side and ponder what crazy tricks is going to be pulled out of its hat. The reason being is the Eldar follow closely enough to the standard formula and rules that people get a base sense of what will happen yet that complete uncertainty of the 'trick' that is coming. While the game and rules are based around two armies battling each other when you boil it right down it is two players playing against each other and that uncertainty can affect the actions and tactics of said player. Does this give you an advantage? *Shrug* Maybe.
What ever affect it does have the one I enjoy the most is being able to completely say something off the wall about some upgrade or combo I have worked up with my Eldar. For example I told Stevo once that my seer council had purchased all Ctan weapons as upgrades. Stevo cocked his head to the side and said "No way." but his eyes narrowed and his tone spoke more of his thoughts of ... Seriously... While such things are completely absurd the effect of Eldar Trickery is strong enough to give them a moments pause and wonder if it is just another trick in our hat.
Sunday, February 13, 2011
My what wonderous webs we weave. To my infinite shame I must admit it have just recently returned to the Glorious Eldar. Due greatly in part of reading http://saimhann.blogspot.com/ often. I had shamefully hidden by the wonderous kool-aid of Sanguineous praying that a new codex was on the horizon. Though I still love the kool-aid and The Sanguinor I felt a calling to return to the rightful shenanigans that had carried me through most of my time with 40k. Accepting that Foot Eldar/Starcannon spam lists of the past were just not going to work in this new edition of Mech craziness and having Stevo's Nob bikers ramed through my teeth and out my cinnamon hole more than once I turned to Seer Bike Council and Mechdar.
Holy Jesus.... The Seer bike squad can take fire like no other of our pointy ear pals. The last game I played with them against a Space Marine player one turn he dedicated a TFC, ten rapid firing sternguard, las plas razorback, and a tac squad with a missle launcher and a tac squad with plasma cannon firing at them and after all the dust had settled and the saves rolled my Farseer suffered only one wound and the rest of the squad untouched. I can only really say one word to sum up that caused the most hair pulling, curses of a deeply pornographic nature, and mindless animalistic noises.. Rerolls. That squad would have probably died three times over if it had not been for Fortune.
I have read alot of negative things about this ugly duckling of the Eldar world. The In-tar-webz general consensus is they are for the most part completely useless. However let me share with you my experiences with it. The very first game I used it was in a cap and control against the Dark Emodar with Vect. Now I have seen what Vect can do to people in clost combat. Let me tell you my poor Autarch was not looking forward to facing him in a fight. But being a master of strategy and tactics he changed into his brown pants and ordered all guns to open fire. Following the usual trend my Fire Prisms completely scattered off, then atlast came the firing of the NightSpinner. Placing it where it would hit two transports and with some luck hopefully down one and atleast make the other take a dangerous terrian test, well unlike the FP it hit on the scatter yet failed to glance Vect's transport. Thinking it had no chance with a Str 3 to even touch the paper mache armor 10 of the venom I remembered yet another lovely word.. Rend. Laughing to Stevo at the odds of that actually happening to his Venom I proceeded to roll said six then follow it with a five. "Well Bolly Sir." I said as I got a pen, "Well it is a negative one for being ap -" to which Stevo replied "Its open toped." Rolling a base die on the dmg chart I was hopeing for at best an immoble yet rolled a 6. Good times to be had for the Nightspinner. Yet better was still to come in the following turns knocking out Vects transport and causing a few Incubi to die to dangerous terrian and the rending hits of the web. But the greatest moment, quite possibly the moment I feel in love with this ugly duckling of a tank, was when I hit Vects squad and wounded Vect himself. Confident in his two up invul save Stevo rolled the die and it came up one... There was a moment of silence. Followed by a question. "Does Vect have Eternal warrior?" to which the answer was a no... Praise be the Eldar Gods! So with a performance like that it warranted to be taken in future lists and thus far performed well for its points.