First I would just like to say thanks for all the insight you have given me into winning in 40k. You(and Eldar Corsair) have even inspired me to start a Saim-Hann(ish) army.
I was thinking about the idea of next time I play just try to kill all the other guys troops, along with the importance of secondary objectives when I came up with this...
These are all the ways you can score/deny points in a 40k game...
First Blood/Deny First Blood(one in the same since only one person can get it)
Slay the Warlord
Deny Slay the Warlord
Enemy Line Scoring
Enemy Line Contesting
Raw Killing Power(Purge the Alien and so much more)
Now, how would you place them in order of importance when building your army? I would say that the answer would be different for all Codicies since some armies have easier/harder ways of accomplishing these goals, but I am wondering specifically about a Saim-Hann army.
Just for laughs here is what I have come up with so far
1. Linebreaker - I would think that this is obviously built into a Saim-Hann Army. Just make sure to keep something alive by the end of the game.
2. First Blood/Deny First Blood - To me most all armies should rank this as a #1 or #2 priority since it is the only secondary objective that really gives you 2 points. The main problem I see with Saim-Hann is Denying your opponent this if you don't get first turn.
I can recall In one of your vids talking about deploying your Saim-Hann that you want them in the center of the board, so at the start of the game you have 3 directions you can go. I kinda think that because of the Importance of First Blood that this might not always be the way to go. With speed on your side I would think that it would be better to castle up(or even spread out) a Saim-Hann army in deployment to deny First Blood until you can go get it. Even if it meant seperating you force so your juicy AV stuff was behind terrain.
3. Raw Killing Power - This is what I think the beauty of a Saim-Hann army is. The ability to move, isolate a target, and then rip it to shreds is what has peaked my intrest the most about Saim-Hann. And obviously if your opponent doesn't have anything left at the end of the game to score or contest, you win!
4. Backfield/Midfield/Enemy Line Scoring/Contesting - Another beautiful thing about a Saim-Hann army is that Backfield, Midfield, and Enemy Lines don't matter to them(at least I would think it to be so). The board seems to be their oyster since at any time you can go anywhere. And since Jetbikes are troops, they are Scoring and Denying.
5. Deny Linebreaker - Mainly blow away everything your opponent has that might accomplish Linebreaker, and draw your enemy away from that side of the board. I would think that during setup I should place my objectives as far in as possible to keep the most out of my deployment zone as possible.
I also recall in one of your vids that you like squads of 7 for your jetbikes, but I was thinking why not go with minimum squads of 3 with or without a Warlock? That way the squad can always rally since 33% of 4 is less than 1 and 25% of 4 is 1, and you can put more Scoring/Denying/Targets on the table. The only time I would think that it would hurt you would be during Purge the Alien missions.
So far I think I have a good understanding about the above points. Now for the 2 points that I have no idea about...
6. Deny Slay the Warlord - So my big question here is, what does my Farseer and Seer council need to fear? What do I have to watch out for, and when should I seperate the Farseer and have him go hide in a corner?
7. Slay the Warlord - First I was wondering just who might Mind War work on? I know it takes alot of dice rolls, and bad things happen when we roll dice, but who does it actually have a chance on working on? And, who should I not even bother trying Mind War on. Are there any tricks to taking down Certain popular Warlords that you know about with Saim-Hann?
Finally I would like to again say thanks for all the insight you have provided me since I have been reading your blog and watching your vids. If you never respond I will not take it badly as I know by all the stuff you put out that you must be a busy gamer. But any thoughts about stuff I have mentioned would be appreciated. Please feel free to critisize away if I got something wrong as all my knowledge of Saim-Hann so far is strictly from watching battle reports and theory.
Brad, thanks for emailing! If we are talking about running a pure Saim-Hann army, which I define as all jetbikes, vypers, and grav-tanks, along with any foot aspects (guardians, dire avengers, fire dragons, etc.) riding along in wave serpents, then there are two ways to aggressively win the mission- go for the primary mission objectives, OR deny them and go for the secondary.
More and more as I play my Saim-Hann in 6th edition I’m finding that going for the secondary objectives is the way to go- warlord, first blood, and line breaker.
Well, first of course there is the sneaky nature of it, just like contesting objectives on turn five was in 5th edition for me. It is difficult for some players to see it coming, especially if you play along like you are going for the primary mission goals while slowly gobbling up the secondary mission goals.
The second reason this is a viable strategy, actually almost necessary, is due to the age of the codex and the point cost. Eldar stuff, especially Saim-Hann is expensive! Also, if we are talking pure Saim-Hann then allies all meched up to match are also expensive, and for me playing Saim-Hann pure means no allies.
Against many armies and spammy allies builds we just don’t have the model count to win multiple objective missions, so switching to the secondary is the way to go.
Of course it is a bit difficult to do, and requires approaching the game from a different point of view…
The three things Saim-Hann Eldar have going for them, and what we want to exploit are the speed, firepower, and the seer council on jetbikes.
Let’s look at some ideas on how to get the secondary mission points.
At the start of the game I always deploy in the center using cover, or making cover with my AV 12 hulls. First turn has me looking to see what unit I can take out in a round of shooting to get me first blood. By being in the center of the table, I can swing right or left on the flanks to isolate the unit, and protect myself a bit from return fire.
Shuriken cannons, star cannons, bright lances, and scatter lasers when combined with the mobility and their 24”+ range means lots of high strength shots to threaten a variety of targets. The only problem here is that all my units except for the fire prism(s) hit on a 4+- not good. We get around this through twin linking and one guide from a farseer- usually cast on one of my vyper gunboat units- star cannons and shuriken cannons under slung.
Next is linebreaker- easy to get without really having to explain it, while at the same time, early on in the game I’m identifying any potential enemy linebreaker units and looking to target them.
Slay the warlord is up next…
This could be difficult or easy depending on the warlord being used. A Tyranid flying have tyrant warlord is easy enough to gun down, even on needing 6’s to hit- guide, high strength low AP shots- start cannons, lances, etc.
Space marine HQ’s that run around the table either get torrented to death OR hit with mindwar- which yes does have a ton of dice barriers to break through- psychic test, witch roll, LD test, invul saves, etc. BUT it is another layer to remove that HQ and you can pick out the target.
Speed and mobility are also key to killing HQ units as it could potentially allow you to get an angle where the HQ model is exposed and has to take the wounds straight up or make look out sir rolls.
And then there are the HQ choices that are only taken to fill the mandatory slot and hang out in the back not doing much- in this case you have to ask if you can really get the warlord point while not exposing your own warlord or losing so many models along the way that you can stop your opponent from the primary missions.
After the first blood point on turn one we then switch over to targeting and killing troops as quickly as we can so there are no units for the opponent to score with. A seer council with destructors I find is mandatory so it can doom + destructor and clean out pesky central blob units or cheap horde troops. If the council starts taking losses and is in deep, be ready to detach the warlord farseer and zoom the jetbike away to join another group of jetbikes.
That is the template I try to follow when I face an army on the table that I can’t win against going up against the primary mission objectives.
One last point on jetbikes and killing power…
Yes, Eldar still have lots of S6 shots, and when combined with the mobility of jetbikes and grav tanks you have the ability to apply it, but even at 2K points our model count is SO low. You will only be able to maintain decent fire output for three or four turns- at that point your model losses will catch up to you, and you won’t have enough shots to kill a unit a turn- so you have to have good target priority and act fast.
Small scoring jet bike units work in hybrid or foot lists, but I find for all Saim-Hann bigger is better- and 7 has been the magic number to save points, but I would prefer 10 of course, with a warlock destructor. The jetbikes have to kill stuff, and if you can pop off a doom on the unit you are targeting, a squad of jetbikes with twin linked catapults, cannon, and destructor + doom can actually dish out some mean anti-infantry firepower.
Hope that helps!