Time to revisit my Eldar Rangers and their place in 6th edition. In most of my lists they work as a troop choice for my harlequins and they are the primary troop choice, but this doesn’t really hold up in a generic Eldar warhost list.
As always my observations are based on where I play, and the games I play…
Rangers and by default pathfinder discussion starts off with the fact that one now needs six troop choices fully filled out as standard for 6th edition. I say this from the following observations- more objectives to take, reduced cover saves so space elves die faster, and that fact that more guys seem to be shifting to infantry and allies over mass tank spam (although still seeing lots of tanks!) means two or three Eldar troop choices just don’t last as long as they do.
Rangers are a troop choice but I think we should think of them more as elites or a heavy support- something to enhance your warhost and not as the base troops for capturing objectives. Rangers need cover to survive, and they also need to work in isolated places on the table where they will get hit with single shots or only three or four a turn due to their range. If a unit can rapid fire on them, then they die, even if they have the 2+ cover save.
The problem with taking them as your primary troop choice is that in 2000 point games or higher there is literally nowhere to hide and be isolated from enemy attack- the entire opposing side of the table is full of units- rangers are in the line of fire everywhere and they are to fragile and expensive for this. Mass ranger armies just don’t have the terrain and range to hide to make them viable troop spam choices- of course if you are playing a “themed” list and don’t care about competition then that is different of course.
Does this make sense?
So for “troop” choices I’ve been using a mix of guardians and dire avengers. Guardians to sit on the back objectives and spray and pray with the weapon platforms, while farseer supported dire avengers forage ahead to mid field objectives. (3 guardian + 2 dire avengers)
My final troop choice is a group of pathfinders since I have the points to pay for them in a 2+ plus game. Ten strong they try to sit on an objective if they can, or if not they take to tall terrain and use the range and sniper rifles to support the dire avenger advance.
I take ten of them so I can maximize the odds of getting a 5+ for the AP 1 hit, and for the 6 to hit to assign to models- trying to literally snipe away troublesome guys. More pathfinders gives me more weight of dice- this is what I mean by thinking of them as heavy support units- they sit and shoot, not go out and get objectives actively mid field.
End of game, if needed they start to move on any back field objectives if they are not there already.
This is the primary way I use them- secondary options are not great, but they are there…
Depending on the army I face and the situation the ability to infiltrate with a large cover augmented unit is nice- get to that mid field gun emplacement or building quicker. Control the center terrain piece and soak up shots as a sacrifice/place holder unit so the rest of my warhost can advance.
Perhaps even outflank for the linebraker bonus point?
Other options to keep in mind, although again not exactly optimal with how I want to use 20+ point models.