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The Five Craftworlds
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Old 23 Feb 2005, 21:38   #1 (permalink)
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Default The Five Craftworlds

When people start playing Eldar - they don't know what they want to collect.* Do they collect vanilla, or one of the five craftworlds or perhaps even they might like the look of the Eldar Harlequins. However they're never sure which one to use.* So this is my very own guide for newbies to the great civilisation of the Eldar on the strengths and weaknesses of the five craftworlds.* However do bear in mind that you will need the codex craftworld Eldar book to properly use one of these armies.

Iyanden
Be careful about this craftworld.* Many beginners start off using this army, seduced by the fact that wraithlords are troops.* However they don't think of the fact that the number they can use is limited by the number of wraithguard squads they use...

Pros
This army is extremely powerful.* Wraithguard and wraithlords are extremely good units with terrific firepower.* the wraithcannon is undoubtedly one of the Eldar's best infantry weapons and can dispatch anything in normal armour, power armour, terminator armour and the toughest of tanks.* The wraithlords too are a firebase of weapons with their good BS and their single heavy weapon (starcannon or scatter laser recommended.)* The wraithguard and lords can more than stand up for themselves in assault.* the high toughness will ensure that the wraithlord rarely gets scratched and the wraithguard have excellent toughness (for infantry) and a good save.* using fortune on them (if you have fortune works wonders!)
* * * * * The Spiritseer is excellent for use as a mini farseer as it can have a singing spear/witchblade.

Cons
Although powerful, a typical Iyanden army has relatively few models and is very slow.* Wraithguard and wraithlords cannot fleet of foot and unless you're careful, they can be easily outflanked and destroyed by weaker, yet faster units.* The wraithcannon, although being a great weapon as a terrible range.* Because of this it is recommended that you use plenty of fast attack units to counter balance this.* A Wave serpent would be useful for transporting small wraithguard squads to ensure that they reach the target.* However bear in mind that this too would be expensive and with the wraithguard's and wraithlord's high point cost your army could end up having dangerously few models.* Also bear in mind that the wraithguard have wraithsight - meaning that you really do need to keep a warlock/spiritseer with them.* This will mean that the Spirit seer won't be very mobile - as you will need to preferably keep it within 6 inches of a wraithguard squad.*


Saim-Hann
This craftworld is fast.* Very fast...however beware - it is also expensive and fragile.

Pros
Guardian jetbikes are the standard 'troop' unit now for Saim-Hann rather than the normal guardian.* For this change you get more weapons - which hit more often, a better toughness and save and a faster, more tactically mobile force.* It is very easy to outflank and harass the enemy while potentially being able to remain annoyingly out of range of assault or enemy weapons.* A greater number of shining spears and vyper jetbikes can be used - adding to the anti-tank abilities of the army and giving it a greater number of heavy weapons.*
* * * * *The craftworld also has the potential to have the Wild Rider Chief as an HQ choice.* This unit (and his kinsmen) when used correctly have the potential to unleash devastation upon the enemy.* Your enemy should definitely be scared of this unit.

Cons
This army is not for powergamers!* There are a very limited amount of heavy support and elite choices available.* As such it is very important to choose carefully to make up for it and to make sure that the army has plenty of heavy weapons to take on armies in power armour.* Vypers can come in useful here and so can wave serpents.* Wave serpents can be used to transport troops and also provide much welcome weapon support - although be warned this will be expensive.* Think about your choice of heavy support carefully.* Do you want a falcon (another fast vehicle) or perhaps do you want a nice solid wraithlord or perhaps a squad of war walkers?* Choose wisely and carefully.
* * * * * * Also be aware of what army you're fighting.* choosing an army made up mostly of vehicles/jetbikes might not be the best choice against a great tank busting army such as Tau.* Also remember that they are expensive.* Guardian Jetbikes and Shining spear may cost more points than a normal space marine trooper but they get killed just as easily.* The Wild Rider Chief also, although he's a great unit, can be killed all too easily if he isn't used correctly - and he is too expensive to be wasted.


Alaitoc
silently the rangers watch the skies.* This army is usually a fairly static, immobile force which concentrates more on long ranged fire than offensive cc.* Be sure that that is the line you want to take...

Pros
The Ranger disruption table!* This is one of the most useful things you will ever come across.* Roll on the table and if there's a unit you don't like - just put them into reserve/pin them.* Cackling your opponent puts down a nasty squad of (insert nasty squad name here) to take out a flank of your army.* Cackling, you remove them from the board - forcing them to start in reserve.* Be careful to think tactically about which units you want to pin/reserve/shoot at.* Putting that squad of terminators in reserve might look like a good idea but bear in mind that they can deep strike back in...
* * * * Pathfinders and rangers themselves in high numbers are massively useful - especially pathfinders.* Pathfinders are amazing units.* reserve their fire for high armoured units and watch them take them out with their expert shooting skills.* Their cover save skills can also help them survive very well.* they can also always deploy and effectively infiltrate on the board - helping to make sure that your force always outnumbers the enemy (if you are playing a mission where you are limited in the number of units you can have on the board at the start) or that it can make its way easily into good, tactical, firing positions.*

Cons
OK.* Rangers and Pathfinders have very weak toughnesses and a very weak save.* this means that they can get shot up very easily - even with their cover saves.* To ensure that you have enough firepower and enough rolls on the ranger disruption table you will want to take lots of rangers.* Beware - this will be expensive and it can be all so easy to lose many of your rangers (and your points and tactical opportunities) due to enemy fire.* Stick them behind as much cover as possible and give your enemy plenty of other targets to worry about.*


Biel-Tan
This is probably the most used craftworld.* Aspect warriors pour on to the battlefield killing the enemy in various imaginative and colourful ways.

Pros
Aspect warriors - and lots of them!* These guys mean business and lets face it - they are a lot better at killing than guardians are.* A Biel-Tan army is fairly flexible and there are lots of tactical ways to use it successfully.* Aspect warriors have clearly defined rolls - eg Banshees are used for cc so it is easy to assign different jobs to your squads.* When used correctly, the sheer power of the swordwind can overwhelm any enemy.* Wave Serpents and falcons can be used to add the firepower and transport aspect warriors to where they are most needed.
* * * * *The court of the young King is a wonderful HQ unit.* In cc, it is capable of inflicting many casualties on the enemy - your enemy can and will be quite rightly terrified of it reaching their lines.* A nice fire Dragon exarch would perfectly ensure that it had extra fire power capabilities and also add to the tank busting abilities of the squad.*

Cons
Fragile.* Like Guardians these guys can be killed all too easily but unlike guardians you really don't want them killed as cannon fodder.* Unfortunately, aspect warriors can be shot down all to easily making transports and fast units (such as swooping hawks) vital for ensuring that your units reach the enemy lines.* In a battle - the Biel-Tan army will either slaughter or get slaughtered.* There is no in between.
* * * * The court of the Young King is slow.* It can't fleet of foot and it can't be transported.* Although it is great at killing it is not much good at staying alive.* However adding a farseer to the squad (with fortune of course and a nice witchblade) might make all the difference for the good!


Ulthwe
relying on it's black guardians and psykers, this army is the most controversial Eldar army and could also be the one most underestimated...

Pros
Black Guardians.* These guys are often underestimated - but with free upgrades from normal guardians they are lethal killing machines at close range.* *they can also have great upgrades.* A 20 man guardian storm squad with warlock, haywire grenades and a couple of fusion guns are great units - if admittedly fragile.* Being guardians the enemy could fatally ignore them with disastrous results.* Disastrous for him of course...
* * * * * * *A Seer Council is necessary for a good Ulthwe army.* Use those psychic powers to your best advantage and make sure that you have spent plenty of points on them.* Guide must be used on a guardian squad - cackling watch the results(!) and fortune is fairly necessary for use on the seer council itself.* Your opponent will find that with multiple wounds, invulnerable saves and fortune the seer council is horribly survivable and can batter its way through the worst of weapons thrown at it.* As said before - use psychic powers wisely, tactically and logically and don't waste them.* Most importantly - don't forget that you have them.* It can be a horrible sight seeing the seer council die before your eyes - knowing that the previous turn you could have fortuned them - and you forgot.*

Cons
Lack of aspect warriors.* Choose wisely which warriors you want to field as the numbers are limited.* It is of course entirely up to you but I like the combination of scorpions and fire Dragons - as they both have radically opposite rolls so that they can fulfill together more than one useful roll on the battlefield.* Bear in mind that with the aspect warriors goes many of your special weapons/combat abilities so make up for it in other ways.* I think that wraithguard are useful and tie in nicely with Ulthwe fluff.* Guardian jetbike squadrons are also very useful units.
* * * *Dare I say it again - Guardians die easily.* Bear this in mind and remember that guardians can't take much.* Conceal works wonders (if you're lucky) and normal cover on the battlefield works even better wonders.* Black Guardians are the great advantage of the Ulthwe army - don't waste them!

Vanilla
Forgotten by many.* Even I, knowledgeable as I am forgot it when I originally wrote this post...

Pros
Flexible.* You can specialise a Vanilla army in anyway you want with no restrictions (beyond normal FOC requirements.* As such you can use any type of units you like, easily specialising your army towards certain rolls on the battlefield or even against a certain army.* Vanilla offers a greater amount of choice to Eldar players than any of the other five craftworlds and as such it is perfectly possible to create a good, lethal Eldar force out of it.
* * * * * * Firepower and speed.* Freed from restrictions, a good vanilla force should have the traditional Eldar strengths.* Firepower is one, speed is another.* Eldar have available some of the best weapons in the warhammer universe so use them.* Their only weakness is their range...so use speed to get them there. Plenty of fast attack units are usually massively useful and the wave serpent, with its ability to transport and to have some very nice weapons also comes in useful here.

Cons
Well...a Vanilla force has two main weaknesses.* One weakness is that unlike the other it has no specific strengths.* This can either work well for you, or you can end up fielding a poorly organised force which falls apart on the battlefield.* Because it has no special exclusive units it is very easy to become confused over which units to collect.
* * * * * The second weakness is the traditional Eldar weakness.* Terrible armour.* Eldar are killed all too easily in the shooting phase (is it just me or do I keep saying this over and over again.* Oh well...may as well enforce the point!)* Many units have a sadly dismal toughness of 3 making them very killable.* Cover is vital for ensuring that your squads reach the enemy lines.* Transports are also vital for the same reason.* Also, use your long ranged weaponry (starcannons, bright lances, ranger long rifles etc) to the best tactical advantage to inflict the most casualties on the enemy.* Also never forget to fleet of foot with your units if you have to.* If you're out of firing range - why not?* There's no point hanging back as you'll only get horribly shot and killed.


Harlequins
Fast, deadly, difficult, deadly, dangerous and deadly. These are just a few of the words one can use to describe the Harlequins, probably the most mysterious and deadly of all the Eldar 'races.'

Pros
This army is deadly! It reeks of death and can kill anything. Harlequins have extremely high WS, BS I and A values so make full use of them. In the wargear section you always have the opportunity to equip your Harlequins with excellent weapons, many of which woulnd on a 2+ and can explode quite nastily...Harlequins are designed to kill in the shooting phase and in the assault phase with a multitude of special psyker rules designed to destroy the enemy. Harlequins also have access to many weapons and grenades, many of which are far better than the normal 'Eldar' weapons in range and effectiveness. This army can kill whatever is thrown is at it.

Cons
Low toughness. Arghhhhhh this is the Eldar's main weakness. the Harlequins have great weapons and statistics but their toughness is low and their points cost is high: - this makes a horrible combination. Their armour/cover save is ok and some units admittedly do have multiple wounds but this still makes Harlequins really vulnerable to shooting. The high points cost means that you can't afford to waste these guys, but as the Harlequins have no transports and only have one vehicle (which can't transport anything) the only solution is to make the best use of cover that you can. however because of low squad sizes/ 4 inch coherency rules and lots of independant characters it shouldn't be too much of a problem to spread the army out and move through the cover.
Beware, this army will be a challenge and only masters of the game will be able to use it well. With no fast attack and few general units and the the horrible weakness detailed above you will have to work hard to make this army work. However if you do make it work...

So, there it is.* Hopefully I have given a balanced and unbiased view of all five craftworlds, the original vanilla Eldar and the Harlequins.* Make your choice wisely.* However, bear in mind that I am not all perfect.* There are eldar players who would probably disagree strongly with some of my opinions so be aware of that.* Look at the codexes yourself and decide which Craftworld (if any) suits your playing style best.
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Old 24 Feb 2005, 00:28   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: The Five Craftworlds

Thats awesome.. great work..
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Old 24 Feb 2005, 17:00   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: The Five Craftworlds

thats a great 200th post there! lets get it stickied or linked to in a sticky, great help for eldar beginners as you say ;D
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Old 24 Feb 2005, 21:00   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: The Five Craftworlds

Great advice. Good for people new to eldar. Defintely deserves a sticky.
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Old 25 Feb 2005, 06:47   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: The Five Craftworlds

Great advice! But for that little bit more you could add the same thing for vanilla eldar... Most eldar players pass them off as being boring but they posses multiple advantages that the craftworld do not.
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Old 25 Feb 2005, 06:50   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: The Five Craftworlds

We'll it really depends ulthwe has basically a better list than standard vanilla does.
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Old 25 Feb 2005, 06:52   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: The Five Craftworlds

Well, I'll probably add on a vanilla section later when I have time

Section added!
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Old 25 Feb 2005, 06:55   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: The Five Craftworlds

Yeah that'd be cool but apart from that great job even I learnt some new things.
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Old 25 Feb 2005, 07:08   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: The Five Craftworlds

Gdgd, that's what it was meant for ;D
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Old 25 Feb 2005, 10:56   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: The Five Craftworlds

I'll link it to a sticky shortly.
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