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The "How to beat..." anything thread!


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Having noticed a recent upswing in the "How do I beat...?" threads lately, I figured that I'd help by offering my immense tactical wisdom and infinite compassion towards giving good tactical advice, one step at a time.


This is geared more from a Space Marine prospective, but I hope I've written it in such a fashion that any player can use it.


...It's just that the Marine players need more help. ;) Just kidding. Please, though, feel free to add commentary and expansions on anything which I've written that you feel is covered inadequately.


First of all, you beat players, not armies. This is more of a founding point for the other points, but needs remembering over everything else. There's only so far army list advice, or even min/maxing, can take you. Expect to lose your first games, but lose them with a smile, and LEARN from them. "You learn more from defeat than from victory..." this is true of 40k as it is in real life.


But LEARN from your mistakes, don't just scratch your chin and go, "huh?" If evidence shows that a 670 point command squad always gets killed before it can even come CLOSE to earning its points back, don't be afraid to set that squad aside and try something cheaper. Please, please, please learn from your mistakes?


One thing that a lot of veterans will do (not all of them, but most) is discuss what mistakes you made and how he exploited them. Buy him a beer/soda/iced tea and it's a sure bet. He may see it as shameless boasting, and it may suck to hear how badly you played, but take the criticism like a man and do better next time. The buck spent on such a bribe is well worth it in view of future playing.


Second of all, know your army. A Space Marine player should know that his army isn't GREAT at close combat, and isn't GREAT at shooting, but is decent at both. A full-strength, well-equipped Tac squad has 7 Bolters, a Plasma Gun, a Missile Launcher/Lascannon, and a Veteran Sergeant with a Power Fist or Power Weapon ready to deal some death in shooting OR CC, whether directed at a vehicle or a squad - learn to trust your battle-brothers to do any job that you toss them at!


A Space Marine army CAN match Speed Freeks and Armored Company for vehicles fielded, with a versatility that neither of them can equal. The most efficient are generally considered to be Landspeeders, and debate rages about the rest. I like Dreadnaughts, as they're cheaper than most of the other Elites choices and the more armour on the table the better, these days. Predators with HB/Autocannons are (in my judgement) the most points-efficient method of squadcutting, but others swear by the 3 LC model. Whirlwinds and Vindicators are your only source of Ordnance - take the first if you need range, take the second if it's close-quarters and you often face 3+ save armies. Avoid Land Raiders at all costs in anything below 2000 points.


Your most effective HtH tool isn't the single Chaplain with a Jump Pack or the Librarian with I7 or the Venerable Dreadnought or even the Veteran Sergeant with a power fist and 9 buddies willing to die before he does, it's TEAMWORK. When you have to assault an enemy, focus as much of your might as you can on the squads. When you get assaulted, have your Tactical squads ready to recieve the charge, hopefully survive, and your Assault/Command/Veteran squads ready to blaze on in and save their battle-brother's lives.



Thirdly, the game is now about scoring units. Some here may remember the days of 2nd Edition where the game was about massively equipped characters dealing death indescriminately to any who opposed them, no doubt many here remember 3rd Edition where the goal was to charge the enemy with your Rhino-mounted Space Marines as quickly as possible, BUT those days are gone now. The game is about scoring units, scoring units, scoring units. Half points value for an immobilized vehicle or a squad under half strength, characters and transports don't count as scoring, etcetera.


This forces a different way of thinking than some are used to. In 3rd, it was entirely possible to ignore anything but grinding your opponent into the ground - now, in 4th, you have to concentrate on that AND making sure that you've got enough scoring units to outlast anything he may do to you. For a good, balanced Space Marine force, there should be one scoring unit for every 150 points or so - any less than that, and you're making your squads too big and overequipping your Marines, any more than that - and you're sitting fairly pretty, actually. :D If your army only has a single scoring unit for every 250 points, then you're in trouble! Cut back, buy a few Tactical marines - remember, 5 Tactical Marines cost the same as 2 Terminators. Even-numbered squads are better than odd-numbered squads for accounting on scoring units. This applies to Landspeeder squadrons as well.


In that vein, you have to focus more on making sure HE doesn't have any scoring units of his own. This is KEY. It's better to take two squads under half-strength (under the current rules) than it is to wipe out one and leave the other intact. The only exception to this rules are EXTREMELY expensive squads, like Possessed, Grey Knight Terminators, Command Squads, Land Raiders, and the like. Prioritize your targets correctly, and you're halfway to victory.



Which is what my next post will be about, which will cover point four, Know your enemy.



Oh, one thing about me when I get the urge to do threads like this - It's fine, in fact, it's peachy keen by me if you comment, add, quote, correct, or flame me for parts I've already written. One thing I do kinda ask is that you not steal my thunder by writing what I'm going to add anyway, so please, DON'T ADD ANYTHING about other armies until I'm finished, OK?


Besides, won't you look silly if you add just a little bit about one specific army only to find that I cover it insanely well in my own post? :lol:

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It's fine, in fact, it's peachy keen by me if you comment, add, quote, correct, or flame me for parts I've already written.


This has Good potential as a thread, ANY Flames at all will get it shut down, so as a favor to us all, THINK before you post.


Good Luck, fanboy, I like what you have written so far.

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Continued -


Fourth of all, know your enemy. One thing I've noticed is that no one asks how to beat Space Marines! And here's something else to notice - it isn't usually the beginning players who bring non-Space Marine armies to games and tournaments, it's the long-term vets who've cut their teeth with and grown bored of power armour (not that this happens to every veteran, though!) So, of course, you may not have an instant recipe for victory against such a player!


However, here are some thumbnail descriptions of each of the armies you may be up against, in alphabetical order.





Chaos is, by its very nature, hard to get a handle on, but there are several broad categories which are most common.


Frothing hand-to-hand maniacs: Worldeaters, Deathguard, Alpha Legion, Emperor's Children, Nightlords, Word Bearers and Black Legion can all lean this way, some more than others. They want to get as close to your lines as possible, whether it be by the Mark of Khorne's Rage Rush, Raptors and Bikes, or Rhino Rushing to get Icons to threatening positions. For an army like this, there's often a slower second-line element that moves up while your lines of fire and squads are engaged - Dreadnaughts, other foot squads, Terminators all fall into this category. Many of them will also have small shooty elements to take out threatening vehicles or thin down potentially troublesome units.


The trick is to figure out how he plans to get to your lines, and rip that to shreds. Note, as I said above in point three, that it's more beneficial to thin out several squads rather than wiping out one and leaving the others intact - if you've equipped your Tac squads with Vets and filled them out to a respectable level, you can recieve a charge from a couple of Bezerkers and bounce them back with only a few casualties.


Now, for a special note on what is rapidly becoming a player favorite - Daemon Bombing. While this definitely belongs here in the Frothing Maniac section, it necessitates special tactics of its own. A Daemon Bomb army is oriented around getting just a couple of icons as close to you as they can, then summoning an INSANE AMOUNT of Daemons in to chew you up in close combat - after which, they can digest you at their leisure.


There are two methods of doing this - the most popular of which is using Rhinos to move forward, dumping the squads out, and hoping (correctly!) that you won't be able to kill all of the Icons before at least one pack of Daemons will be summoned. The second (but apparently more threatening) is the Siren Lord - a Slaaneshi Daemon Prince with a minor psychic power that prevents you from shooting at or assaulting it.


The following points apply to any army with Daemons, but are most important when it comes to the Bomb armies. There are ways to counter it, but most of them are hard for a balanced Marine list. First, wipe out the most threatening squads. Concentrate fire until each one is wiped out entirely, force him to summon the Daemons to as few and as badly placed icons as he can. Second, block his Icons - jetting Landspeeders to as close to his Icon bearers as you can, engaging the units in hand-to-hand regardless of the risks, surrounding a Siren Prince with a squad of Bikes, Assault Marines, and two tanks - anything to have as many of YOUR models under his template so few very Daemons actually survive. Remember, none of them can deploy within 1" of your units, and they have to be fully under the template - be a dick about those two points.


The next kind of army is the shooting army. Iron Warriors, Thousand Sons, Black Legion, Alpha Legion, and Emperor's Children can all lean that way, though generally the most used are Iron Warriors. This army loads out on heavy support, had tons of Obliterators, and any troops squads will be stationary types. Generally speaking, it's reliant upon only one or two units for close-combat prowess. If you're running a balanced Marine list, then you're going to have to shoot back as best you can while keeping your close-combat units out of LOS while they move up. You're going to have to rely on your versatility to outdo this one-sided army - but remember, they're Marines as well, and may have some surprises waiting for you.


I can't really say a lot about outfighting shooty armies - in my experience, they're not very hard, with a very small model count. Remember to focus on damaging his scoring units, keep the basics in mind, and you shouldn't have a problem.


Now, for balanced Chaos Space Marine armies. Generally speaking, Black Legion, Emperor's Children, and Alpha Legion are the most prevalent examples, though some other armies spring surprises on you! A balanced army will run half-and-half of shooting and close combat - but it often relies on the close-combat prowess to swing battles in its favor. I run this kind of Chaos army, btw. It's dangerous to predict which way he'll jump with this army - try to figure out the biggest threats first, and counter them as best you can in accordance with what I've said above.



Dark Eldar


Better than 6 years of brutal, brutal games have weeded out almost all tactics for this army but one: the Raider Rush. In 4th Edition, this tactic is even stronger. Dark Eldar aren't very good at shooting (despite several shooty units that can be used as support), they die like flies if exposed to any fire more threatening than Grot blasters, but man, can they kick butt in close combat.


The Dark Eldar have a 21"-26" charge range from the back of a Raider, which is pretty much all they need. Their supporting stuff is liable to be just a couple of regular Warrior squads with two Dark Lances apiece - more than enough to take out your vehicles. Wyches are especially cruel. Their Raiders aren't just empty transports after they dump their troops, either - concentrated Disentigrator fire can wreck any upstanding Space Marine's day.


Essentially, there's only one way to win - and that's to outlast 'em. As one wise man said, "The Dark Eldar are like a hurricane - brutal at first, but after that they blow themselves out and you're free to pick them apart at you leisure." Don't be afraid to sacrifice entire squads to their first assault - if they wipe out those poor brothers, that leaves them WAY open to a withering hail of return fire. Deploy your shield squads so that they're farther than 6" away from the rest of your army, commend their souls to the Emperor, and watch the decadent aliens go for the easiest targets first.


If you get first turn, they could be meat - but if you don't, then be prepared to take some casualties.


Also note that Raider-mounted Dark Eldar are particularly vulnerable to Escalation - the last tournament we went to, the DE player started with nothing on the table for THREE GAMES, and what came in was piecemeal. Dark Eldar players rely upon that unstoppable momentum to bowl you over in the first couple of turns, but if they don't get that, they're toast. If you're having a problem with a DE player, try setting up a game with Escalation in it...


IF he starts out with only a couple of raiders and the rest off to the side - watch out! He may be running a Webway Portal army! Webway Portals are generally accepted to be the only way of getting some of the nastiest gribblies, like the Talos, into hand-to-hand - but this army has its own vulnerabilities. One thing a lot of Portal players forget is that the model holding it has to be completely stationary for both the movement AND shooting phases - also, it can't be carried by a Bike or Skyboard equipped model. This is an example of knowing your enemy's rules better than he does... though most DE players are too experienced to pull that kind of stunt.


Of special note is the growing-in-popularity Wych armies. This army is the dirtiest in hand-to-hand, but is consequently weaker in shooting. With the above tactics, you should do fairly well for yourself.




OK, that's two armies covered. Time to take a break and then think about the next two: Daemonhunters and Eldar.


EDIT: Whoops, forgot about Wych armies!

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So when I play DE if I get the 1st turn would it be even a considerable idea to take a dev squad with lascannons and try to shoot down a raider to 2 or should I go HB and try to kill with that? Suggestions?

Missile launchers. Raiders are too flimsy to waste (very, very expensive) lascannons on. I would never recommend lascannons in a dev squad, if you want lascannons put them in your tac squads or on a predator. With AV10 they could be taken down by HBs, but by the time they get in range they will probably also be in range to assault something of yours. If you take devestators, go missile launchers first, if you need a second squad, go for heavy bolters. But I find that MLs, or MLs with tankhunter are better in the long run.

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If you use the above mentioned tactics the good DE players I know (myself included) would feast on your souls. The raider rush is not the only viable option and against a player with his wits about him doesn't work to well. The way to beat a WWP army is to eliminate the WWPs. It also pays to remember that DE can shoot quite well and that shouldn't be underestimated. DE are an extremely versatile force and should not be underestimated or stereotyped. To believe that they all conform to one standard is to invite death.
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I'd just like to point out there's two more ways of daemon bombing: infiltrating Word Bearers and bikers. The Word Bearer list can be especially nasty if one of the infiltrating Chosen units has a MoCU Daemon Icon with a large unit of Bloodletters or Daemonettes that can be summoned on the first turn legally without any scatter.


A large unit of bikers or two will just be hard to stop when they all turbo-boost forward, as they now all have a 3+ invulnerable save.


As for DE, I have to say that they can be one of the nastiest lists at 1500 points, in terms of sheer shootiness, if min-maxed. 5 or 6-man Raider and Wych squads with dark lances and blasters with disintegrators on the Raiders and 3 all-dark lance Ravagers thrown in can be very overwhelming at 1500 pts. You can fit 9 Raiders in at 1500 pts, along with the 3 Ravagers.

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Since Ironloki hasn't popped in I'd like to make one comment for him. About tactical squads.. it's best to take 6 with 1 heavy weapon and assault weapon, or 8 geared for close combat with a sergeant with a powerfist or weapon. Don't try to do both with your squad. Yes, your army is tactically flexible to shooting or combat. But each individual squad shouldn't be.


A full-strength, well-equipped Tac squad has 7 Bolters, a Plasma Gun, a Missile Launcher/Lascannon, and a Veteran Sergeant with a Power Fist or Power Weapon ready to deal some death in shooting OR CC, whether directed at a vehicle or a squad - learn to trust your battle-brothers to do any job that you toss them at!


You should probably avoid this.. if you split that squad.. for 100 more points you could have this:


Tactical Squad

6-man, 4 bolters, 1 plasma gun, 1 lascannon


8-man, 6 bolters (bolt pistols if you take that wonderful trait), 1 meltagun, 1 veteran sergeant with a powerfist

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I'd add a few general rules on top of those posted by the thread maker.


1) Love your troops


Alot of marine players tend to leave out tacticals in favour of bigger, cooler, meaning looking choices. I don't need to look far; in my local gaming scene I'm one of the two only marine players that usually take three or more troop choices. And we are talking alot of marine players here. Your standard tactical marine is an amazing unit; its has an I like the dark eldar, WS and BS of elite choices from other armies, as tough as an ork, as strong as a striking scorpion, and you get a nifty 3+ save, all for 15 points. Other than being really cheap, tacticals are also almost spoiled by super cheap (IMO) weapon choices. I've seen so many marine players whine about how bright lances make lascannons look crappy. Yeah, but they pay like 35 points more than what we pay for our lascannon. Lets not forget tactical marines can also hold their own in a fight.


Scouts, on the other hand, get to infiltrate (infinitely useful esp. without so many rhino's nowadays) and can take BP+CCWs. This means you can get them stuck in close combat early game; never a bad thing especially if your army is assault-orientated. At the same time, scouts also have access to weapons unavailable to tacticals, such as sniper rifles. While I'm not too big a fan of sniper rifles (reason being big baddies, which are generally the targets of snipers, tend to have 3+ saves or better), their potential is hard to overlook. The trick to using them, IMO, is to take only a few, instead of a full squad of them, for pinning purposes. SOmething, for some weird reason, alot of people tend to forget about sniper rifles.



2) Land Speeders


If I had to name my favourite marine unit, this would be it. Landspeeders provide very good fire support, especially considering they are cheap, very fast, and AC variants cost alot lower now, just that the AC got a huge boost. The general trick to playing speeders is not to take one. Take many, like three. Or nine :D This is generally because speeders are soft, taking one would probably get it creamed without doing much. However, if you DO take one (say, points restrictions) recall that speeders can deep strike; its a fast moving gun platform, so deepstriking doesn't actually reduce its efficiency that much (your only concern would be its deviation), but virtually ensures it kills something before it dies.


People playing against speeders genenrally fall into two categories: those who don't care about them, or those who are just paranoid about them. FOr the former, thats all fine and dandy, but don't expect them to leave them alive in consequetive games (most of them would end up being paranoid after you kill half their army in the first game ;) ). THis also leaves them free to run around capturing objectives and table quarters towards the end of the game. For the latter, let them shoot your speeders. By trying to keep out of the standard 24" "rapid fire" range, your opponent wouldn't have many other choices of what to shoot with; never a bad thing since the more long ranged firepower your speeders take, the less the rest of your army takes.


Just FYI, I usually take about 3 speeders with HB's and AC's (tornado variant). Speeders are one of my trademarks (other than massed tacticals), and have contributed to my three year winning streak ;)



3) Cool, nasty looking units are point sinks.


Things like terminators, beefy command squads and land raiders (mainly the normal ones) tend to be nothing more than point sinks. I recently saw a post with this guy using a squad of terminators, a squad of GK terminators, and a beefy command squad (or was it DW), and he was complaining about how he couldn't win. While I mean no insult or disrespect to that person, when you take three potential point sinks, you don't win games. Not that often, anyway. If you want to take such units, take only one, unless you have some sneaky plan for them, or its fluffy/themed to do so. Or be like me; don't take them. The only time I touch such units are for fun games, I generally never consider 200+ point units as "viable" though admitted when they work, they usually smash a large portion of your opponent's army. When they work.


Just me 0.02 (erm, maybe 0.03) cents :lol:

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Daemon Hunters


Daemon Hunters are, in my 'umble opinion, a 'gimmick' army - but man, do they ever have a TON of gimmicks! Just like Chaos, however, there are broad sweeps of armies which are chosen either because they're dramatically effective or because they're dramatically fluffy.


First of all, I need to discuss Inquisitors. These are, basically, RPG characters put into a wargame, and most players treat them this way - which means you can't predict what they're going to have beforehand.


Some like the close -combat approach, and with a Daemonhammer, some Combat Servitors with Power Fists, the right psychic powers, and a couple of Acolytes to suck up spare wounds, they can be deadly against Daemons, and hardly less so against Space Marines - but such a squad is fairly expensive, and most DH players prefer to leave the close combat to the GKs.


There's also the proven shooty approach, with an Inquisitor armed with a Psycannon, some Heavy Bolter Servitors, and a Mystic to make sure they can take a free potshot at deep striking enemies. This one is more common because it's still fairly cheap, is quite deadly, and serves as as substitute for Devastator squads - but it also takes up an Elites slot. Still and all, I'd use it if I had a DH army...


But don't forget that Inquisitors are hardly tough for the points some players load into them, and (for the most part) they're hardly troublesome to a space marine player... a Chaos player hates 'em, but that's neither here nor there is it?


A mixed, no allies army will generally be bossed by an Inquisitor Lord or Grey Knight Grand Master, but it'll have at least one Inquisitor in it for the ability to take Assassins. The main troops will be Stormtroopers configured for short-range firepower - probably with twin plasma guns in a Rhino, and the Veteran having a Thunder Hammer.


Elites will probably be an Inquisitor configured in a shooty unit (the most efficient and cheapest way to make them work), an Assassin (Callidus is favored for the head-fragging effect, but there's a cheap tactic with the Culexus that I cover in more detail later), and a squad of GK terminators if the GK Grand Master doesn't already have an escort. He may also have some Death-Cult assassins - those guys are a suicide squad, and he'll treat them as such. I'll cover Daemonhosts in a little bit, under the Radical Force. Fast Attack - well, there's only one option for a no allies army and that's the Teleport Attack squad. Heavy Support could come in the form of a Land Raider Crusader, a GK Dreadnought or two, and if he's a gambling man or is very tactically minded, a cheap Orbital strike.


I'm going to diverge a moment here and explore two points. Grey Knights are good at close combat, to be sure, but what they should be truly feared for is their ability to hose down squads. With Stormbolters on all of the regular troops and two Psycannons, they have a deadly rain of fire they can direct anywhere, and it's sometimes difficult to see them with their special rule to return the fire. GK squads are deadly on the move, but expensive... as I'll discuss later.


Second of all, the Culexus assassin. It has a weapon which gets +1 to its shots for every psyker within 12". Every GK Justicar, Brother-Captain, Grand Master, and Inquisitor all count as Psykers - which leads some players to use the Culexus and keep his army as close together as possible. It's an oddball thing, but one you're more likely to see in a mixed, no allies army than in any other one.


A mixed, Inducted Imperial Guard is actually quite lethal. The fluff-minded will lead it with an Inquisitor Lord, the ones with a bent towards winning will field a GK Grand Master - the cheapness of the IG will counteract the expense of the GKs. For Troops, remember that he has to have two Troops choices of DH before he can pick any allies, but that's only as expensive as two small squads of Stormtroopers. For IG allies, he'll want relatively large platoons - figure on at least 3 squads in each platoon, not counting the command squad. Lascannons and Plasma Guns are standard kit for IG, at least according to the way this player will probably pick 'em. If he knows anything about IG, it's entirely likely that the small 5-man command squad will be equipped with 4 Flamers - that many flamer templates will kill even Space Marines. Or he may not get them anything at all.


For Elites, see the above section.


For Fast Attack, figure on a Sentinel squadron - because of their ability to deploy even in Escalation, move fast, carry heavy weapons, and general cheapness, they're a no-brainer choice. He may have a Rough Rider squadron as well, but those are mostly for a surprise effect. They really aren't too great, even with Hunting Lances, but they can gallop around as last-minute objective grabbers. However, as proved in World War 1, horses don't like machine guns - one round of fire should reduce these to hardly dangerous levels. With the numbers of the IG brings an impo


Expect to see a Leman Russ added to this army - with the only (reliable) Ordnance weapon available to the DHs, it's another no-brainer. Probably with heavy bolters all around, too, just because it's relatively cheap.


A mixed, Space Marine Allies force is generally the exception rather than the rule - because most DH players like the Grey Knights, the fact that having Marines excludes the GKs turns a lot of players away. The exception to this is the Radical Force that I'll discuss in a bit. The tactics for such an army aren't clearly defined, but expect to see Landspeeders, plenty of Tactical Marines, lots of Assassins, and maybe even two Inquisitors.


A Radical Force is someone taking the roleplaying aspect of the Inquisitor to the farthest level - and adding Daemonhosts to his army. Daemonhosts are, quite honestly, dead hard but very random - one may be able to move and assault 24", another may be able to drop an S3 AP2 Ordnance blast... ask him to roll the psychic powers in front of you and study which Host has which power. A Radical Force is quite likely to include Space Marines - thus adding some hard shells to the army. More likely than not, this force will be oriented towards getting in close and getting personal - expect to see Assault Squads, Deathcults, and plenty of Space Marine heavy support.


A pure Inquisition force is a downright oddity. I don't think I've even HEARD of such a thing. For troops, it would have plenty of Stormtroopers in Rhinos geared towards short-range Rapid Firing, and, uh... has anyone seen a force like this? Help me out here! My Omniscience has failed me!


People who play pure Grey Knights don't expect to win. Seriously. They play because they like the fluff of the GKs, they like the models, they like the challenge, but they never, EVER go in expecting to win. Planning to win? Yes. You can expect a low model count, expensive but deadly units, and not much else. Follow the doctrine of reducing his scoring units to a maneagable level, blow up any heavy support vehicles he may have, avoid close combat with his Terminators, and you shouldn't have any problems at all. You'll lose some models to concentrated storm bolter fire, but it isn't really all THAT much to worry about...






Some, SOME of what I've said about the Dark Eldar also apply to regular Eldar, but overall the Eldar are much more durable and more versatile


Also, the problem with the Eldar codex is that approximately half of the units listed, and all but two of the heavy weapons, are pretty much useless. I may give props to people who include well-modeled Guardian Jetbike squads or Fire Prisms in their armies, but I won't include such wretchedly awful units in any general tactica. Just remember, they're overpriced.


First off, a short lecture on Wraithlords: You're going to see at least one, more likely two, possibly even three, in any competitive armies. They attract fire away from the softer bits of the army, they're very tough, and they're very nasty in close combat: All things that are a bit lacking in most of the Eldar list. Lascannons, plasma guns, and (actually) Power Fists are your best bet. Remember, it only has three wounds and a 3+ save - sure, that's tough, but it's not invincible... don't be afraid of it to the point that you fire ALL of your guns at it because those Heavy Bolters are much better directed at other parts of the army, but don't discount it either. It is, after all, very slow...


Next, Farseers - these guys are almost infinitely deadly. With the ability to use two psychic powers a turn, one that lets a squad nearby reroll any failed saves, one that lets him snipe out a model of his choice, a third that is a pinning Ordnance blast, and the last (and most lethal) that lets a nearby squad reroll any failed to-hits, this guy is a primo threat - but he supports OTHER squads, rather than being a huge threat by himself. Figure out what job that the other player has given his Farseer, and crush his ability to do that job - kill the squads he was supposed to Guide, keep your soft models out of the 18" Mind War range, etcetera.


There are six (or seven) potential armies in the Eldar purvey, and I'll cover them in order of descending popularity.


Ulthwé armies are the most popular, for several reasons. One is the ability to load up on cheap Guardian squads and stick plenty of Starcannons in them, another is the very, VERY tough Seer Council, a third is... well, I guess that's about it. This army is pretty hard for a Space Marine army to beat, to be honest. Fast attack is likely to be more Vypers with Starcannons or possibly Brightlances to hunt down tanks, heavy support is going to be Wraithlords with maybe a squad of Dark Reapers or War Walkers that are Guided by one of the Farseers. Seer Councils will likely be able to snipe out anyone they want with Mind War Augmented out to a truly dangerous range. He'll also quite likely have Warlocks detached from his Council to protect the Guardians with an ability that gives them a 5+ cover save - just the thing to help out against Bolter fire.


My recommendations: Don't waste ANY firepower on the Seer Council if you can help it. Concentrate on eliminating one squad of Guardians at a time, starting with the BS4 Guardians. Make War Walkers, if he has any with double starcannons, your TOP priority - they're very expensive, very frail, and very lethal. If they get a chance to fire at a squad of Marines, that squad is toast - make sure they didn't die in vain. Wraithlords can be ignored for a while in favor of whittling down his numbers; once they get close, THAT'S when you want to blast them with all you've got.


A subsect of Ulthwé is the Ulthwé Strike Force - though honestly, this army isn't much of a threat. One failed Ld test and the squad never returns. Most of the army has to start in reserve. Sure, they shoot better - but they're also more vulnerable.


A Codex Army is for someone who likes shooting, but also likes Aspect Warriors - a variable force. Expect him to have enough shooting to tie you down, but be using close combat to finish the job. With the death of Rhino Rush also came the death of Serpent Rush - but still, you shouldn't discount even the foot speed of basic Eldar. Depending on which way he goes, my comments about any of the armies here could apply - read those notations and once you see a Codex army, use those notations accordingly.


An Altioc army depends on Rangers and Pathfinders to mess with you, then gun down your squads with their eldar sniper rifles. "Sniper rifles?" you sneer, "I ain't afraid of those!" Remember, Eldar rifles have AP1 on a roll of 6 to hit - and Pathfinders get that on a 4-6. Enough shots could take down ANYTHING. Cheesy players will take the three Wraithlords - but more moderate players will balance things out and max on their Disruption rolls. Striking Scorpions are the most likely aspect here - the ability to Infiltrate coupled with close combat ability and the durability that the Rangers lack make them a no-nonsense choice. Swooping Hawks are also likely - watch for their Exarch with the Sustained Assault power.


A Biel-tan army is, in my mind, the oldschool way of playing. Aspect Warriors are the bread and butter of this army, with Guardians, Rangers, and Vypers pushed to a backseat. Also, it's the only army where you're fairly likely to spot an Avatar - the Avatar isn't so scary by themselves, but they support other close-combat Eldar very nicely. Take it down with Heavy Bolters - it may be T6, but with a measly 5+ Invulnerable save it won't last long against sustained fire. Don't waste too much fire on it, however - regular marines can and will kill it in CC eventually.


Biel-tan is bent on getting close in and dirty as fast as possible - quite a contrast to the other two armies! With lots of Howling Banshees and Striking Scorpions available, you'd best hope to be quick.


A quick rant on Aspect Warriors - each Aspect is spectacularly good at one job, and pretty darn bad at everything else. The most popular Aspects, however, are close-combat oriented - Howling Banshees and Striking Scorpions. Of the two, Howling Banshees are the bigger threat, but Striking Scorpions are more likely to live - a player with both is gambling that you'll shoot down the Banshees and leave his Scorpions alive. Fire Dragons are good at both Terminator and tank-hunting - don't give him an opportunity to do either with them. Few people use Dark Reapers these days, what with the popularity of the Guardian Starcannon platforms, but if you see them, KILL THEM - they're brutal against Space Marines.


An Iyanden Craftworld force is almost the antithesis of Eldar forces - very slow, very tough, and very low model count. You'll probably see three squads of Wraithguard and three Wraithlords - but for this army, it's actually FLUFFY to have that many Wraithlords! He'll likely have close combat Aspects to support his Wraithguard, and the army will be led by a Farseer - he needs those Warlocks to make sure his Wraithguard go where he needs them. Wraithguard are very, VERY effective against both vehicles and heavily armoured troops - I destroyed two Monoliths with a single Wraithguard squad in a game. However, they're not good at CC (despite being tough) and against hordes they do very little good.


The last (and least-used) force is the Saim Hann strike. You'll see lots of Vypers, lots of Jetbikes, and not much else in this kind of army - but honestly... it isn't that much of a threat. Anything in this army has to be mounted in a vehicle or on a jetbike, so that raises the price of the average model to quite high numbers. Generally, it's a fluffy/modeling army rather than a serious one, but that doesn't mean it can't be very fast and very nasty.



Finally, one last word on Eldar and Dark Eldar: People playing these armies are liable to be very experienced. I don't meet many n00bs who play with either; if they start with those armies they set them aside or sell them in favor of more durable 3+ save armies. After all, it isn't as if either of these armies get ANY FRAGGING SUPPORT from GW... :D So only veterans are interested in them still. That means you have to be just as good to beat them - or, at least, to tie them.

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I b'lieve I added a notation about DE players bein' real good in my last post; kinda forgot to add that before... plus, I was talking to my friend about the Wych army he was building at the time, so I wasn't focusing too much on DE shooting!


Also, in my own posts, I'm being (deliberately) inflammatory in some cases to draw out the people who play various armies to give more information.


I love the posts so far, people! Thank you for your comments!


Next up - Imperial Guard and then Lost and the Damned (which really should have gone under Chaos in the format I've decided to use, but oh well I'm doing it now anyway). :D


But first, something to eat!

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Another note I'd like to add to the Eldar bit is that any Eldar player that's good won't take Wraithlords, they'll take 3 uber-Falcons instead. Be prepared for those virtually unkillable skimmers. Multi-shot weapons are the only 'reliable' way to take them down, like rapid fire plasma guns and assault cannons.
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Another note I'd like to add to the Eldar bit is that any Eldar player that's good won't take Wraithlords, they'll take 3 uber-Falcons instead. Be prepared for those virtually unkillable skimmers. Multi-shot weapons are the only 'reliable' way to take them down, like rapid fire plasma guns and assault cannons.


I'd like to mention the local biel-tan eldar player at my local store. 3 Uber-Unkillable-Cheesy-Falcons, 1 squad of warp spiders, 1 squad of deep-striking swooping hawks. (And I think 2 squads, 1 banshee and 1 fire dragon, in 2 of the 3 falcons). Honestly the ONLY way we've figured out how to beat this guy is take insane amounts of plasmaguns and missile launchers. Since 90% of the time you can only glance, lascannons (especially in devastator squads) don't really seem worth it for the extra points.


+EDIT+ Did I mentoin this is 1500 points?

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Deepstriking landspeeders, meltabomb assault squads with 3 plasma pistols including the vet., drop pod marines with 2 melta's (take C&P) and a combi-melta vet, just to name some ideas. 9 speeders actually work very well against that kind of army, but then again not everyone has 9 speeders.....uh, remmeber, I'm a speeder freak XD
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Also you haven't mentioned the "sniping" vypers. CTM's and Brightlances.


As the Eldar were my first army, I didn't know what to do so I bought hordes of guardians but the vyper was always good to me.


Edit: Spelling mistakes :D

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Imperial Guard


Imperial Guard armies (effective ones) come in two flavors: Shooty and shootier.


Well, that's a lie, but it's a lie wrapped in truth. There are three broad classes of Imperial Guard armies: Infantry heavy, tank heavy, and balanced - with many different shadings in between.


Before I get started on a more in-depth examination of more specific armies, I want to cover the much-maligned flashli- er, lasgun, that friend to the infantryman. Just one lasgun isn't likely to do much harm to a big brave space marine and his 3+ armour save, no?


But what about 50 of them? Imperial Guard commanders put their trust in quantity - after all, there's more where that came from! They're not afraid to conentrate their firepower and smash you bit by bit. Try to avoid that by using terrain so he can't see you with his entire army, split him up, focus on one flank at a time, assault him and he'll crack like an egg. There are stories of Chaos Lords and Assault Squads with a Chaplain singlehandedly ripping apart entire IG armies for a REASON, you know.


Don't play his game, make him play yours. Force him to maneuver his static army and you've already placed him off-balance. keep shoving and you'll tip him over.


An Infantry-heavy army places his trust in the strength of his infantry. At only 95 points for a squad of 10 with a Lascannon and a Plasma Gun, why shouldn't he? Expect to see PLENTY of squads out there, more likely than not upwards of 8. Most Guard players go with the LC/PG combo in their squads - but some kit out on Heavy Bolters for anti-infantry firepower, and other guns as fluff requires them.


Very likely, he'll have a squad of Ogryn to give him some CC punch. Ogryn are very tough, and very strong - at three Wounds apiece, the only way to carve through them quickly is by way of a Power fist. If he's a veteran player, he'll probably have a Veteran Squad too - these guys can be kitted out very nastily with three BS4 plasma guns, can infiltrate, have access to 'officer only' items like Power Fists... Toy Boys, or rather Stormtroopers, will be added if he likes the models and if he feels that the 4+ save will help his army out, and their Veterans can be equipped with power weapons for that in-a-pinch help. Ratlings are rare to see these days - do they still even cast the models? Enginseers don't really make a splash in infantry-heavy armies, I'll cover them later.


His HQ squads will possibly be equipped for more CC punch in a pinch - expect to see Commissars or Priests, possibly both, along with the Officers. It's very possible that he'll have Sanctioned Psykers, too - doubly likely if he has the Iron Discipline doctrine.


Fast attack will be Roughriders (if he's holding to the infantry-only thing strictly) or Sentinels, if he wants a bit of armour along with his footsloggers. As has been mentioned in the DH post, Sentinels are fairly good for what you pay for: always deploy in an escalation, free scout move, can be kitted out for anti-tank or anti-infantry... Roughriders are (no pun intended) a one-trick pony, but a lethal one. Their Hunting Lances turn a mediocre CC unit into an S5, I5, ignores armour saves powerhouse - but only for one turn, so if he has the 'riders he'll use them well.


Heavy support will be, if he's adhering to infantry, Heavy Weapons platoons. These guys are no joke. Concentrated heavy firepower where he needs it, and don't discount the effectiveness of 27 Heavy Bolter shots at even Space Marines...


An army like this will use doctrines such as Grenadiers (to toughen up his basic troops some), Iron Discipline (to keep them on the battlefield longer, like ATSKNF on the cheap!), Light Infantry (to give him some infiltrators), and Sharpshooters (because with this many BS3 models, he will LOVE to reroll any 1s. Just don't let him do it for plasma guns!)


Oh, in case you didn't know, the Sharpshooters doctrine is incompatible with Plasma Guns and Sniper Rifles. Don't let your opponent pull any stunt with it.


A tank-heavyforce will be of the mentality of, "Damn the men! Give me more TANKS!" He'll have the minimum of infantry required to get by, probably an armored fist squad or two, 3 Leman Russes, Hellhounds, Sentinels...


He'll probably have a pair of regular Leman Russes kitted out with 3 Heavy Bolters (for anti-infantry), and a Basilisk hidden behind terrain with indirect fire. A Demolisher is unlikely but not out of the question; some Guard players like them despite the limited range because of the option to kit them with Plasma cannons. Hellhounds, with the new rules, are more popular, but still the trusty Sentinel does duty here. Remember that he can have one squad of Sentinels detached to his Headquarters squad and not touch his FA choices - just a thought if you think you see WAY too many sentinels on the table.


Hellhounds are good because they ignore cover saves and can angle that flamer template any which way it chooses - sure, it may not have AP3, but marines WILL fail saves eventually.


He can have his entire army mechanised with one of the doctrines, but (I think) it's prohibitively expensive - a tank-heavy IG player isn't totally into Armoured company but still likes his tankses, precious *gollum, gollum*


Take out his tanks as best you can - try to get flanking shots if you can, because that front glacis plate of AV 14 can defeat quite a bit of normal fire. Landspeeders with Multi-Meltas or Assault Cannons would do a number on these, but be careful about getting too close.


Armoured Company deserves a special notation here - of course, i have yet to face one myself but there's an AC player in my local tournament circle! If anyone has any notes on AC, please haul them out - about the only advice I can offer (and something I've taken myself) is for every squad in an army to have a little 'something' for tanks, be it a lascannon or power fist or melta gun.


Balanced forces will take a little from column A, and a little from column B - and one of the best things about the IG army list is that a 'little' is actually a LOT. My own 1500 point army list is balanced - and it has 6 Ogryns, 3 Leman Russes, 2 Sentinels, and near 70 infantry with Doctrines.



Doctrines. Doctrines are what turns a normal IG army into something odd and (potentially) deadly. If you're unfamiliar with the Imperial Guard Codex, ASK YOUR OPPONENT what Doctrines he has, and ask him to explain them to you - many of them add additional points costs to the units, and some can be exploited. If he has Close-Order Drill, than frag missiles will frag him up badly. If he has Xenos Fighters, make sure that he's modeled his guys with the appropriate trophies...



Another thing to consider is Witchhunter and Daemonhunter allies. One of the things that I'm adding to my IG army at a certain point is a GK grand master, a small retinue of Terminators, and a teleport attack squad to represent the GK teleporting down for reasons of their own to the battlefield... but allies are going to be covered in their own respective sections. Remember, however, that they may add a but of punch to an otherwise standard-seeming army.


Urk. I'm too tired to go on to the LatD tonight... tomorrow, expect to see that and Necron in the same post.

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Hmm, as a sucessful IG player, I use russes and 4+ save IG. Because CA is knocked off as a horrible doctrine, no one knew how to go against it. The frags didn't work!


Sometimes, the sheer pyschological effect is very useful.

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A subsect of Ulthwé is the Ulthwé Strike Force - though honestly, this army isn't much of a threat
No, they are much of a threat. Including CTM vypers with starcannons, guardins with starcannons and a large Seer Counsil makes for one of the more usefull tactics:

The everything-at-once tactic.

Remember, their reserves may choose to come out of a web way portal, but they cannot arrive until one of those are set up.

So, he rolls his reserves, keep the portal closed and somewhere around turn 4 half the army suddenly appears.....which may include a Spear of Khanie(An Avatar and 5 warlocks), a unit of 10 banshees, 20 enhanced storm guardians(which is dangerous!) and such things.


The last (and least-used) force is the Saim Hann strike. You'll see lots of Vypers, lots of Jetbikes, and not much else in this kind of army - but honestly... it isn't that much of a threat. Anything in this army has to be mounted in a vehicle or on a jetbike, so that raises the price of the average model to quite high numbers.



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Nice thread. Keep it going.


Here's my 2p on the Dark Eldar


It's been said before, but underestimate the Dark Eldar at your peril. A good player will protect the WWP until he has made enough reserve rolls to guarentee a well co-ordinated assault from the portals ( he will probably have 2). Once 3 talos, a tooled up wych squad and a lord (with or without Incubi) get into your lines you will suffer.


They can also bring an insane amount of AP2 weapons to the table if they decide to go shooty, 24 in troop choices alone (no raiders). Then 3 ravagers with 3 dark lances each.


They are very versatile and the bigger the points game the better they get.

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Carapace armour is becoming a very popular doctrine with IG players of all sorts. The reason? A large number of standard guns are AP5, especially with the profusion of Marine armies. Taking CA literally halves the numbers of IG killed by bolter fire. To deal with it, a heavy bolter is ideal. Or assault...
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