Shuriken Cannon Tactics

Well, not so much “tactics” but more of an observation. Throughout the Eldar codex, especially with a Saim-Hann flavored build there are many options to upgrade to a shuriken cannon- is it worth the points throughout your list? I would vote “yes” for a number of reasons.

Most of the upgrades come from replacing a shuriken catapult with a shuriken cannon. This increases your range to 24” inches, gives you a extra shot, along with a S 6 punch. Beyond an increased chance to wound Vs. MEQ it gives you some light anti-tank and anti-monstrous creature options. There are so many places to upgrade it almost makes most of your Eldar army pumping out S 6 shots- some quick examples off the top of my head- vypers, wave serpents, guardians, war walkers, wraithlords, death jester, jetbikes, etc.

That S 6 makes a big difference, especially in unexpected situations. Personal example: a doubles tournament I was playing with Jawaballs as we faced off against an ork and daemon combined list. (First battle in the vid below.) At one point we were dealing with or knob bikers coming in for the kill as a greater daemon came in materializing right along our front line. With my seer council occupied with a soul grinder we faced an interesting choice- deal with the bikers or the daemon. Given the daemon’s high toughness I turned the shuriken cannons on my jetbikes and vypers on it bypassing its high toughness and gunning it down in one turn of shooting, while Jawaballs dropped on the ork nob bikers. In that instance if I didn’t have a bunch of S 6 weapons we probably would not have brought down said daemon and might have lost the game. Shuriken cannons fit really well into a Saim-Hann type build as the speed of the jetbikes and vypers makes hitting side or rear armor really easy- where S 6 can really cut through them.

Prepare To Deepstrike!

Fritz here with some thoughts on deepstriking in 40K. Now I am only going on what I see in my local gaming group and in the NY tourney scene, so correct me if I am wrong, but in tournaments and on the friendly tabletop I never see any type of serious deepstriking by my opponents. I’m not talking about armies like Chaos Daemons and Deathwing, or assisted DS with icons and teleport homers, but rather naked all or nothing deepstriking to fundamentally change the game.

I can understand why I’m not seeing it from the mathhammer perspective- a pricy unit like terminators that may not arrive when you need them, and even with a slight scatter it could take them out of the game. A good opponent will also use strategic unit placement to limit your deerstike ability, etc. That said, I totally believe there is a place and a time for it, even in tournaments if you have the courage for it and it can and does win games. Let’s go to the examples…

My Space Marines Vs. Imperial Guard, capture and control, the battlefield littered with exploded rhinos and space marines taking cover from leman russ tanks. There is no way I’m getting to my opponent’s objective and I’ve got mine locked down tight so there is no way the IG is taking or contesting mine. High in orbit on the strike cruiser is a group of assault terminators waiting for the command to deepstrike. “Priests of Mars Engage! Emperor Protects!”

Terminators arrive top of turn three and I’m looking around on the table where to place them. My opponent’s objective is behind a stone tower surrounded by russ tanks and chimera spam. The top of the tower is not defended and is just close enough to contest said objective… I go for it and BAM! I land dead on. Dangerous terrain? Bah! I pass my rolls. We are playing true line of sight so those russ tanks need to back up to see the tops of my terminators burning a turn of shooting. I go to ground for the 3+ as needed and if the game actually ended on turn five I would have won, turn six had my termies blasted with the game ending in a tie.

Of course in my next game vs. Necrons my terminators scattered like 10” right into a group of immortals and promptly vanished in the warp. Many times I’ve set the 1st company of the chapter back 100 years…

Second example is with my Death Guard Vs. Eldar in an objective based mission. Typhus and his terminators are held in reserve and arrive mid game where I promptly drop him right next to a full dire avenger unit that is camping on an objective. Invoke the dark gods, roll the scatter, and I land dead on frying said avengers with winds of chaos and bolter fire. If I deviated even a bit the unit could have been lost or out of range to really do anything before taking a face full of blade storm fire in return.

In both examples the feeling that I got from my opponent was that nobody is crazy enough to risk a close deepstrike with such expensive units so they don’t cover their holes on the table. No need to protect the tower or harden the objective with more units, and THAT is what I am looking to exploit in the moment. If I lose the units I lose them, but If I land it is something we will be talking about for days after.

~What do you guys think about crazy deepstrikes? Valid tactic? Noob fantasy? How do you use your deep-strikers and why?

Fire Prism Tactics

Fritz is back with some more ideas for my fellow Eldar players! Time to look at some grav-tank ideas to go with your jetbikes, so let’s start with the fire prism…

I want you to see the fire prism as more then just a back line support tank. It is for the first few turns of the game, but then later its role shifts. I want you to be able to take advantage of that shift when the time hits. As a back line tank the fire prism is best for the first few turns of the game, we want it to be fully useful for the entire game! Consider this load out:

Fire Prism W/ Shuriken Cannon, Star Engines, Vectored Engines, Holo-Fields

Start of the game is SOP with the fire prism in the back, hopefully with some cover so I get a save from those incoming las cannon shots. This is fine for the first two turns of the game what all I have is the range with the prism cannon. By turn three my opponent should have advanced enough with his units that they are now mid board. If I just left my prism with the twin-linked shuriken catapults I’m down an option- but since we upgraded them I can now send three S6 shots down the table hitting on a 3+ plus the crystal fire. By turn five I’m now looking to shift over to contesting objectives, and nobody ever suspects the fire prism- after all it is a back line tank right? Visually it is so far away on the table, but with the upgrades really so close.

With star engines I will move 24” and then boost the extra 12” onto an objective. Vectored engines are on it not so much for shooting since I get the 4+ from moving fast, but from the assault since I don’t want to immobilize and crash. Nothing more frustrating for my opponent then immobilizing a grav tank when moving fast only to have it float to the ground and still contest. Holo-fields are there for some backup protection….

Upgrades also give your fire prism something to do when the crystal gets blown off with a weapon destroyed. A shuriken cannon means I can pop rhinos to get guys out for my vyper star cannons. Star engines means I can move fast for the 4+ cover save ending right beside my vypers, fire the vypers, and then star engine the prism infront of them for cover saves on both units. And if your gaming group allows tank shock with the star engines look out! Often once the “threat” of the fire prism has been removed by blowing the crystal off, people tend to dismiss it, perfect time for a tank shock run.