I've been doing a lot of thinking since my game last weekend where I ran my Eldar against my buddy Tom. I posted the list online and got shouted down for running Wraithguard. It was almost like this unit is extremely overpriced and completely ludicrous. That was not my experience, so I wonder what he was doing wrong.
Reading a post today that on Librarium Online folks were debating whether two units of Wraithguard in Wave Serpents were better than three units of Dire Avengers in Wave Serpents. Apparently the need for a transport has dominated Eldar play in tournaments, so that is exactly how you should do it. Twin-linked Scatterlasers so you can reroll misses with your Serpent Shield attack. That is a 120pt boat. Pretty handy right because Eldar have short ranged weapons and Jink saves on transports are awesome. It also gives you another unit that can camp an objective.
I ran three units of six against my friend for just sixteen points over the the two 5-man plus transport costs. Since he didn't have any big pie-plate AP3 templates, I wasn't afraid to keep them together. Lol, never ever put sixteen expensive models in a formation against a large blast AP3 or D-weapon. The whole idea of fielding three units is being where you want to be. You can stagger them with Dire Avengers or Guardians between them. My 2000pt list had three guardian units with weapon teams and two 8-man Dire Avenger squads. But I stacked them right in the center and took the middle of the board.
They were laid out like this:
Unit A__Unit B__Unit C
What really happened was once he started shooting at me, he missed his ability to assault because I removed the closest models. That was awesome against Space Wolves. Unit A got shot a little bit and moved left. Unit B got shot and assaulted going down to his general's unit in two rounds of close combat. Unit B shot a unit of terminators off the board. All the while I had Wraithlords advancing behind this wall taking pot shots without drawing fire. It was awesome.
I guess the thing that has me pausing about all of this is how slow they are. Wait,.. I start 12" on the board. Move once for 6", run for an average 3.5" (not Fleet or Battle Focus, but not Slow & Purposeful either), then my second turn I move 6" and shoot 12". So we are playing on a 4ft wide table right? That means 8.5" is out of range by turn two. Do I really need to spend 120pts for a transport to get that extra distance? The game lasts for five or six turns- what is the hurry?
I'd rather field two S-Cannon Vypers for 120pts. That is twelve S6 AP 5 Bladestorm shots on turn one. The Scatterlaser and the Serpent Shield attack aren't bad. It is firing 4 S6 AP 6 shots, plus d6+1 S7 AP- shots, all of which should be reroll misses. That is still only 11 hits max, then you wound, and they make armor saves. A single lascannon turn one hits the Wave Serpent- it will penetrate. Same lascannon against the Vyper will do the same thing, but get a +1 on the damage roll. The difference is two Vypers still give you a second vehicle to continue moving and shooting with. In my game against Tom he attacked both of my Vyper units and successfully blew up one out of each unit. I was excited about the idea of losing 60pts because it actually freed up my second Vyper to move around and take six more shots. Had they been Wave Serpents that got hit, I am not sure what would have happened.
I don't know it was a good game. He lost a lot of units in two and half turns and decided to call it. I was down a Vyper on either flank and lost a single unit of Wraithguard. His general's unit had ended the combat with my unit and were stuck in the center of my line. I had already scored 9-2 or something like that on the mission and would have gotten a pile more at the end of turn three. He could have charged something on his turn and caused some damage, but those guys were doomed where they were. I am really looking forward to getting some more games in. I have lots of options moving forward.
If I win this eBay auction with a pair of las-cannon razorbacks and multi-melta Salamanders I might run some allies in the next game. Two hundred points for a multi-melta, twin-linked lascannon, five marines, and a power sword veteran sergeant sounds amazing to me. I think stuffing a pair of those in between my Wraithguard units would be awesome.