Art Of The Star Cannon


“Foolish Space Marines! The stars themselves once lived and died at our command, yet you still dare to oppose our will!”

The majestic starcannon, pinnacle of the Eldar’s mastery of plasma technology compared to the crude and often dangerous plasma weapons of the mon-keigh. Have they taken a hit in 5th edition with cover saves for everybody all around? Only if YOU let them be played this way!

I love thinking about starcannons, I like saying the word, and if my Eldar unit or model can pack one they are- damn the points! Kidding aside, I really play them because the majority of the players at the club and in 40K play space marines or a variant of them. Starcannons with their S6 and AP2 make sense. Plus, there is nothing more satisfying then gunning down a squad of marines without your opponent getting an armor save. Here is how it is done…

Beyond spamming them out the key to exploiting starcannons is range and lack of cover. You want to get your opponent out in the open with no cover saves other then a pathetic 6+ go to ground and then open up on them. If you are playing an objective based missions put as many objectives as you can way out in the open and then go to work removing transports and other vehicles that can be used to build a wall for cover. You really want that objective out in the open? You can have it!

For mech rush armies have your fire prisms on one side of the incoming rhino/chimera and your star cannons on the other. Take out the rhino and get the guys inside out on the table piled on the side away from the fire prism templates using the wrecked vehicle as cover or to block LOS- open up with the starcannons on the other side.

To deal with pesky marines in cover I’ll rush a unit of jetbikes up to them 12” away and open fire to score a kill or two and get my opponent’s attention. I’ll then move back 6” in the assault phase which means if my opponent wants to rapid fire my jetbikes he has to move out of cover. When he does then it is starcannon time.

The second thing to add to this is range. I don’t want to be up close 12”-24” firing my starcannons since my opponent is going to see them and not go for the bait of moving out of cover or into the open. I want to hang back the full 36” and mix them in with my other models using the distance to not draw attention to the cannons. I want my opponent to overlook the range of them and think they are safe out in the open.

For you non Eldar players, substitute starcannon for plasma-like weapon, and exploit these ideas even if your weapons are not as sexy as mine…

~What's your experience with both Star Cannons, and the broader plasma family of late Mon-keigh? Your turn?