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Shining Spear Tactica
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Old 04 Jun 2009, 07:22   #1 (permalink)
Kroot Shaper
 
Join Date: May 2008
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Default Shining Spear Tactica

Shining Spears Tactica

Introduction

Hello to all, and welcome to my Shining Spear Tactica. Hopefully you will find it useful or inspiring. Critiques, comments, and suggestions are, as always, welcome. First, a couple of key points about Shining Spears that don't easily fit into any of the later categories as a main topic but are important enough to warrant mentioning. These are important, so try to remember them as (and if) you read this tactica:
  • Shining Spears are vulnerable - you may look at the MEQ (Marine equivalent - T4/Sv3+) statline and wonder what I'm talking about, but another look at their squad size and cost should tell you why. Be especially wary of AP3 or lower 'blast' weaponry such as plasma, demolisher, and earthshaker cannons.
  • Shining Spears are expensive - there's no getting around it, you're paying a lot of points for a handful of models. Combined with their psychological aspect and small squad size, this is liable to make them a priority target, enhancing their vulnerability. Also, Shining Spears will not always 'make their points back'. Try not to focus on this too much - there is more to strategy than simply trading point for point. The ability to disrupt an opponent's battle plan far more important.
  • Shining Spears are Eldar - obvious I know, but you'd be surprised how many people don't appreciate what this means. Eldar units work in unison, covering each others' weaknesses and multiplying their effectiveness. If you send your units at the enemy piecemeal or without a plan or backup they will die. No Eldar unit is an island. Remember this.


Now that my preachy first points are out of the way, on to the main body of the tactica!


Equipment, Exarch Powers, and Independent Character Analysis

Twin-Linked Shuriken Catapults

The twin-linked shuriken catapults provide a moderate amount of small arms fire that can be quite effective against the right opponents (see the damage tables below for details). With Shining Spears it is important to know when and which weapon to fire, to ensure that the right balance between too many and too few casualties is reached.

Laser Lance:

For details of laser lance shooting efficiency against different targets (and relative to the other Shining Spear shooting options) see the damage tables below. It is worth noting, that the laser lance is capable of inflicting 'instant death' on low-toughness, multiple-wound models (such as Imperial Guard heavy weapon teams, Primaris Pykers, and Company Commanders), and that the laser lance also nullifies the 'feel no pain' special rule.
The moderate strength of the laser lance also makes it a somewhat useful weapon in shooting against vehicles with an AV (armour value) of 10 on at least one side. Due to the lance rule these weapons are also capable of damaging heavy tanks (barring special rules such as the 'living metal' special rule of Necron Monoliths), however a Shining Spear squad firing laser lances simply cannot generate a high enough rate of fire to compensate for the moderate strength of the laser lance in order to reliably cause significant damage against AV11 or higher.
The short range of the laser lance means you will almost always be firing upon a target you wish to assault later in your turn, and again this must be carefully considered to ensure that you don't kill too many models from shooting and consequently deny yourself the charge, leaving your expensive Shining Spears stranded in the open.
In the first round of any assault that the Shining Spears initiate (due to the laser lance rules) they are capable of dealing with a vast array of different models in the game, from GEQ (Guardsman equivalent - T3/Sv5+) to the lower-toughness MCs (monstrous creatures). However, this ability ends after the first player turn of assault. It is worth noting that in (the first round of a Shining Spear-initiated) assault the laser lance also nullifies the 'we'll be back' special rule.
In the first round of any assault that the Shining Spears initiate their ability to damage vehicles (excluding walkers) possessing an AV10 is either greatly improved (target moved at combat speed or lower in previous turn) or decreased (target moved at cruising speed or faster in previous turn), by an increased number of attacks and increased or decreased difficulty in hitting the target. Against walkers, the ability of the laser lances to cause damage in assault relative to their shooting damage is determined primarily by the highest AV of the walker (decreased against dreadnoughts and their variants, increased against sentinels, etc) due to the rules regarding walkers in assault.

Exarch

The Exarch is the lynchpin of a Shining Spear squad, with the option to carry a laser lance, star lance, or power weapon, upgrade his twin-linked shuriken catapults to a shuriken cannon, and purchase the 'withdraw' and 'skilled rider' Exarch powers.
These options (analysed in detail below) allow you to tailor your Shining Spear squad to maximise their potential, and so I consider the Exarch to be all but essential to a Shining Spear squad in most situations. Because the Exarch is so critical to the use of Shining Spears, make every attempt to keep him alive. Even if it costs you all your normal Shining Spears, an Autarch and Shining Spear Exarch team can still deal an impressive amount of damage in assault and in shooting against vehicles.

Star Lance (Exarch Only)

The star lance upgrade available to the Shining Spear Exarch possesses all the same strengths as its more common sibling, but also has a number of advantages over the standard laser lance, all provided by the sole improvement of greater strength.
Against non-vehicles the star lance grants the ability to wound even the toughest models, as well more consistently wound models with moderate toughness. The star lance also enables the wielder to inflict 'instant death' on tougher multiple-wound models than the laser lance (such as Ork Nobs and Space Marine Captains).
Against vehicles the star lance grants the ability to damage even the heaviest tanks in the game, and consistently cause moderate-serious shooting damage against all tanks without special rules preventing AV decreases, such as the 'living metal' special rule, due to the high ballistic skill of the Exarch and high strength and lance rule of the star lance. In assault the star lance loses the 'lance' special rule and is therefore less capable reliably damaging heavy tanks, but it is still consistently able to deal moderate-serious damage to light-medium tanks, especially considering that melee attacks against non-walker vehicles are resolved against the rear AV.
Because of this additional versatility and more consistent damage-dealing ability against moderately tough opponents I consider the star lance to be an upgrade well worth its points.

Shuriken Cannon (Exarch Only)

The shuriken cannon allows the Shining Spears to perform in the classic shuriken cannon sniping role of Guardian Jetbike Squadrons (with an Exarch's high ballistic skill), as well as providing the option of a moderate strength, greater ranged, high rate of fire weapon (compared to the other shooting options of Shining Spears) when not turbo-boosting. The shuriken cannon is also a better anti-personnel weapon than any of the other shooting options of the Shining Spear Exarch except the star lance against moderate-high toughness opponents with a 4+ save and toughness 10 opponents, and is a better anti-light vehicle weapon than the laser lance.
This upgrade is a tough call to make, and so it may be best when considering this option to finalise the rest of your list first, before adding the shuriken cannon if you have the points available. This upgrade also risks making the role of the Shining Spears unclear by tempting players to take pot-shots with the Exarch at distance instead of turbo-boosting (for increased resilience) into a good position from which to launch a devastating assault. Also, while the shuriken cannon may be the better choice against AV10, the star lance is a far superior weapon against vehicles of AV11+ than the shuriken cannon, whilst the rest of the squad's laser lances provide sufficient firepower against AV10.

Power Weapon (Exarch Only)

The power weapon option for the Exarch allows for more sustained damage against the opponent after the first round of assault, something that the laser and star lances fail to achieve.
However, on the charge the laser and star lances are far superior to the power weapon, and the poor performance of Shining Spears in subsequent rounds can be minimised by use of the 'withdraw' Exarch power (discussed below). The power weapon also fails to ameliorate the low strength and number of attacks of the Exarch, ultimately resulting in fewer casualties over a two rounds of combat. Finally, by taking the power weapon upgrade the Exarch is unable to take the star lance which compliments and positively expands the role of the Shining Spears so well.

Skilled Rider (Exarch Power)

The 'skilled rider' Exarch power grants the squad the 'skilled rider' special rule. This can be useful on terrain heavy boards or when playing Cities of Death, but otherwise I would generally advise against this purchase as assaulting into cover with jetbikes is very risky, especially with such an expensive squad, and Shining Spears do not carry plasma grenades to even the odds when assaulting into cover, and the loss of the first strike will hit this small and not very resistant unit hard. As with the shuriken cannon, this non-essential upgrade is often only worth considering after the rest of your list is finalised, especially considering that the speed and manoeuvrability of the Shining Spears makes simply moving around cover an often viable option.

Withdraw (Exarch Power)

The 'withdraw' Exarch power grants the squad the 'hit & run' special rule. This ability is key to the effective use of Shining Spears, allowing them to ameliorate their sub-par performance in all rounds of combat not immediately preceded by their assault and avoid getting bogged down by withdrawing to strike again or manoeuvre into position to attack a different target. Without this ability Shining Spears run the risk of being trapped in combat (whether due to poor rolling, high numbers of enemies, enemies with invulnerable saves, etc), where they cannot win a war of attrition, especially considering their poor performance after the initial round of assault. This power is expensive, but nigh on essential for effective use of Shining Spears.

Autarch

An Autarch equipped with a jetbike, laser lance, and mandiblasters (also known as a Speartarch) is a popular and effective addition to a Shining Spear squad that can turn a good assault into a devastating one. The Speartarch brings many more laser lance attacks, higher leadership, weapon skill, ballistic skill, and initiative, and an invulnerable save to the squad, as well as the 'master strategist' special rule, and for a handful more points you can arm the Autarch with a fusion gun which will very effectively augment the squad's anti-vehicle firepower. Some people like to equip the Autarch with a reaper launcher, but I feel that this detracts from the rest of the squad as it requires that they not turbo-boost in order for the reaper launcher to be shot, reducing both speed and durability. Always remember that attaching an Autarch to the squad does not negate the use of Exarch powers. The Autarch is also at risk of suffering 'instant death' from strength 6+ firepower or melee attacks, so be careful with him. If at all possible use the normal Shining Spears to carry high strength wounds in order to prevent this from happening.
All of this does cost a lot of points though, and a full Shining Spear squad with Exarch, star lance, 'withdraw', and fusion gun toting Speartarch will set you back 367 points, an awful lot to tie up in a single squad of six models. However, used correctly, this squad can decimate enemy squads and vehicles like almost no other.

Farseer

A Farseer is not usually attached to Shining Spear squads, as this prevents the use of Exarch powers, and more specifically the use of 'withdraw' upon which Shining Spears so often rely to perform effectively. However there are a couple of tactics that make use of an attached Farseer in a Shining Spear squad, one of the most popular applications of which is the casting of the Psychic Power 'fortune' on the Shining Spear squad to vastly increase their survivability. The Farseer also provides some sustained damage output in close combat should the Shining Spears fail to or be unable to use 'withdraw'.


Configurations

Below are the most common configurations for Shining Spear squads. There are of course more than those present: such as the 'maxed out squad' (two fusion gun wielding Speartarchs, a star lance Exarch with 'withdraw', and 4 Shining Spears) which suffers massively from a case of 'all your eggs in one basket' syndrome and prevents the use of a Farseer; and squads containing a Farseer (or two) which I consider to generally be counter-intuitive to the way in which Shining Spears are intended to work. Depending upon terrain conditions, player preference, and available points the 'skilled rider' Exarch power and shuriken cannon upgrade may also be purchased.

Speartarch (with fusion gun), Exarch (star lance, 'withdraw&#39, 4 Shining Spears - 367 points

This configuration has an extremely high damage output in the first round of assault, and can consistently damage all vehicles without special rules preventing AV decreases and/or application of the 'melta' rule. Its downside is the high point cost of so few models, and so requires a very careful hand. My favourite configuration.

Speartarch, Exarch ('withdraw&#39, 4 Shining Spears - 342 points

This configuration has a slightly lower damage output against moderate-to-high toughness opponents than the first configuration, and lacks the ability to consistently damage any vehicle without an AV of 11 or less, but is also cheaper.

Speartarch (with fusion gun), Exarch (star lance, 'withdraw&#39, 2 Shining Spears - 297 points

This configuration concentrates on the high damage output of the Autarch and Exarch against both moderate-to-high toughness models and all vehicles without special rules preventing AV decreases and/or application of the 'melta' rule. This minimises the cost whilst maximising the ability to damage the toughest models in the game, but results in this configuration being even more vulnerable than those previous to being overwhelmed by large/resistant enemy squads, poor rolling, etc. My second favourite configuration.

Speartarch, Exarch ('withdraw&#39, 2 Shining Spears - 272 points

This configuration forgoes the ability to consistently damage high toughness models and tanks with no AV10, and instead concentrates on maximising the economy of attacks against low to moderate toughness non-vehicles whilst keeping the point cost of the squad relatively low.

Exarch (star lance, 'withdraw&#39, 2-4 Shining Spears - 147-217 points

If the option of a Speartarch is not available then this squad provides a moderate damage output against low-moderate toughness enemies and AV10 vehicles, as well as the chance to damage high toughness and AV11+ vehicles, though this should not be relied upon. My least favourite configuration, due to its identity crisis regarding tougher opponents.

Exarch ('withdraw&#39, 2-4 Shining Spears - 132-202 points

Very similar to the above configuration, this setup concentrates on damage output against low-moderate toughness opponents and AV10 vehicles, and is the least expensive configuration.

...
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Old 04 Jun 2009, 07:23   #2 (permalink)
Kroot Shaper
 
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Default Re: Shining Spear Tactica

...

Tactics and Synergies

Reserve or deploy

Don't forget that you can reserve your Shining Spears to start and bring them on to the table turbo-boosting to gain their cover save. This tactic is especially viable when an Autarch is included in your army (Speartarch in the squad perhaps); as it is generally reliable and avoids the risk of losing your expensive Shining Spear squad on the opponents first turn because you haven't had an opportunity to turbo-boost yet.

Disengaging the Speartarch

It may be beneficial at times to disengage the Speartarch from the Shining Spear squad prior to assault. The Speartarch may be useful tying up a nearby firebase in combat (for example, a Devastator Marine squad be careful though) to prevent them opening fire on the Shining Spears if they wipe out their own target. If assaulting a unit in cover the Speartarch can also disengage from the Shining Spears and assault first in order to gain the benefit of his plasma grenades, cutting down the number of attacks the Shining Spear squad must weather before their own turn to attack.

When to withdraw

Most people will advise that you weather a round of combat in the opponents player turn and then use the 'withdraw' Exarch power at the end of that assault phase so that the Shining Spears are set up at the beginning of your own movement phase ready to charge again, move to a safer location, or hunt new prey. Generally this is good advice, however there are a few scenarios in which it may be beneficial to 'withdraw' after the initial round of combat: for example, if your opponent has dedicated combat support within counter-assault range but limited shooting options in range then it may be best to take a turn of light arms fire in order to avoid being caught without the bonuses of your laser lances against another dedicated assault unit; or if there is a significant risk of your Shining Spears sustaining extensive damage in the second round of assault.

Counter-charge

Shining Spears can be used in the standard counter-charge tactic, and with the use of 'withdraw' can charge several times if need be. Shining Spears are particularly viable for this tactic as their high manoeuvrability, speed, and ability to move over other troops enables them to hang back, using cover saves to stay alive, and then move forward to support wherever they are needed, delivering devastating retaliatory strikes.

Second wave-assault

Another standard tactic, this benefits the Shining Spears as it does not use them at the forefront of the battle where they are at risk of facing overwhelming firepower. Using Shining Spears as a second assault wave in support of such units as Striking Scorpions allows the Eldar player to quickly resolve assaults and keep moving, maintaining the pressure on the opponent.

One-two punch

One of my favourite tactics, the one-two punch utilises a Shining Spear squad in conjunction with another fast moving squad. The first unit moves in support of the Shining Spears, providing (if possible) both cover and covering fire, before assaulting a chosen enemy unit, holding them in place. The Shining Spears are then able to join the assault, tipping it in favour of the Eldar. If the enemy falls back then the first unit makes the first sweeping advance roll, hopefully allowing the Shining Spears to manoeuvre into a good position for another assault or to claim some cover or turbo-boost to safety.
My favourite combination is that of a Speartarch (with fusion gun), Exarch (with star lance and 'withdraw&#39, and 4 Shining Spears working in concert with a nine-man Guardian Jetbike Squadron (with three shuriken cannons) led by a Farseer (with a jetbike, singing spear, and 'fortune&#39 and Warlock (with a jetbike, singing spear, and 'conceal&#39. The two squads turbo-boost into position, with the Farseer casting 'fortune' on whichever unit is likely to take the most firepower. The Guardian Jetbike squadron also possesses a large enough silhouette that the Shining Spear squad can hide behind it, claiming a 4+ cover save when not turbo-boosting, whilst the Jetbike Squadron makes use of the Warlock's 'conceal' power. The combination of plentiful MEQ statline bodies, turbo-boost cover saves, Jetbike Squadron silhouette cover saves, 'conceal' cover saves, and 'fortune' makes this combination deceptively resilient. The Jetbike Squadron possesses enough small arms fire to soften up both large and small squads prior to assault (with the help of the shuriken cannons) and enough bodies to absorb sufficient numbers of attacks to effectively protect the Shining Spears from a great deal of retaliation, as well as the ability to assist the Shining Spears in destroying all manner of vehicles via their shuriken cannons and singing spears. It is even possible to use the Jetbike Squadron to surround enemy squads and tanks in shooting and assault (leaving a gap for the Shining Spears to make their presence felt) in order to prevent the enemy from falling back or exiting transport vehicles and therefore automatically destroying them. This configuration has the advantage of very effectively protecting the Shining Spears and Jetbike Squadron, whilst also providing a fast and durable scoring unit.
There are numerous variations possible on this configuration: the jetbike-mounted Seer Council (very expensive, but very durable and able to compensate for the Shining Spears' weakness against hordes); two smaller Jetbike Squadrons (more scoring units, more manoeuvrable, but not as durable and provides more kill points); and other fast options such as Swooping Hawks and Warp Spiders.

Unit-hopping spearhead

This tactic uses a Shining Spear squad combined with a Warp Spider squad, both of which must have the 'withdraw' Exarch power (the Warp Spider Exarch may benefit from the powerblades upgrade). The two squads identify a chain or cluster of relatively close enemy units, and move into assault range of one. Depending on the target unit's composition both, one, or neither of the squads may open fire (the Warp Spiders complement the Shining Spears well with their mass of high strength anti-infantry firepower) and then both squads assault, hopefully crippling the enemy unit but not wiping it out or forcing it to fall back. The two squads then weather the opponents assault phase before 'withdrawing' behind the enemy unit. In the following turn the two squads then move on to their next target, and repeat, jumping from combat to combat while a 'clean-up crew' ('bladestorming' Dire Avengers, Guardian Jetbike Squadrons, etc) mops up the remainders of their assaults. In this way the Shining Spears and Warp Spiders keep the enemy disoriented, preventing at least one unit a turn from firing (the two squads can split up and rejoin where appropriate), and maximise both the Shining Spears combat damage and application of the Warp Spiders' short range assault weapons, as well as the high speed and manoeuvrability of both these units. This tactic is extremely well supported by a second-wave assault in conjunction with a 'clean-up' crew of scoring units.

Counter-mech

This tactic is designed primarily to counter mechanised Space Marine lists, although it can be tailored to deal with other armies. The premise of this tactic is simple: use the Shining Spear squad's firepower to destroy a Rhino (or similar transport), and then assault the newly exposed Tactical squad. The Tactical squad is not melee-dedicated, so that if the Shining Spears fail to wipe them out they can be reasonable confident of weathering the return attacks. It is entirely possible to destroy a Rhino and Tactical squad per turn in this manner, without even including the actions of the rest of your army, swiftly whittling down the opponent's ability to claim objectives, as well as his manoeuvrability, allowing you to regain the advantage of speed.


Conclusion

That's it for now. Obviously there are more configurations and tactics out there, and hopefully this tactica will inspire you to reconsider the use of Shining Spears and/or consider some new tactics. Critiques, comments and suggestions welcome are welcomed.


Shining Spear Statistics

For those that are interested, below are the basic mathammer statistics for Shining Spears.

Shooting

These numbers represent the number of unsaved wounds against enemies of varying toughness (vertical) and armour save (horizontal) assuming no cover or invulnerable saves or 'feel no pain' (all to three decimal places). A dash (-) represents an insufficent strength to wound.

Autarch (Twin-Linked Shuriken Catapults)

Save
6+ 5+ 4+ 3+ 2+
1 1.620 1.620 0.810 0.540 0.270
2 1.620 1.620 0.810 0.540 0.270
3 1.296 1.296 0.648 0.432 0.216
4 0.972 0.972 0.486 0.324 0.162
T 5 0.648 0.648 0.324 0.216 0.108
6 0.324 0.324 0.162 0.108 0.054
7 0.324 0.324 0.162 0.108 0.054
8 - - - - -
9 - - - - -
10 - - - - -

Autarch (Laser Lance)

Save
6+ 5+ 4+ 3+ 2+
1 0.718 0.718 0.718 0.239 0.120
2 0.718 0.718 0.718 0.239 0.120
3 0.718 0.718 0.718 0.239 0.120
4 0.718 0.718 0.718 0.239 0.120
T 5 0.574 0.574 0.574 0.500 0.096
6 0.431 0.431 0.431 0.144 0.072
7 0.287 0.287 0.287 0.096 0.048
8 0.144 0.144 0.144 0.048 0.024
9 0.144 0.144 0.144 0.048 0.024
10 - - - - -

Autarch (Fusion Gun)

Save
6+ 5+ 4+ 3+ 2+
1 0.718 0.718 0.718 0.718 0.718
2 0.718 0.718 0.718 0.718 0.718
3 0.718 0.718 0.718 0.718 0.718
4 0.718 0.718 0.718 0.718 0.718
T 5 0.718 0.718 0.718 0.718 0.718
6 0.718 0.718 0.718 0.718 0.718
7 0.574 0.574 0.574 0.574 0.574
8 0.431 0.431 0.431 0.431 0.431
9 0.287 0.287 0.287 0.287 0.287
10 0.144 0.144 0.144 0.144 0.144

Exarch (Twin-Linked Shuriken Catapults)

Save
6+ 5+ 4+ 3+ 2+
1 1.620 1.620 0.810 0.540 0.270
2 1.620 1.620 0.810 0.540 0.270
3 1.296 1.296 0.648 0.432 0.216
4 0.972 0.972 0.486 0.324 0.162
T 5 0.648 0.648 0.324 0.216 0.108
6 0.324 0.324 0.162 0.108 0.054
7 0.324 0.324 0.162 0.108 0.054
8 - - - - -
9 - - - - -
10 - - - - -

Exarch (Shuriken Cannon)


Save
6+ 5+ 4+ 3+ 2+
1 2.083 2.083 1.042 0.694 0.347
2 2.083 2.083 1.042 0.694 0.347
3 2.083 2.083 1.042 0.694 0.347
4 2.083 2.083 1.042 0.694 0.347
T 5 1.667 1.667 0.833 0.556 0.278
6 1.250 1.250 0.625 0.417 0.208
7 0.833 0.833 0.417 0.278 0.139
8 0.417 0.417 0.208 0.139 0.069
9 0.417 0.417 0.208 0.139 0.069
10 - - - - -

Exarch (Laser Lance)


Save
6+ 5+ 4+ 3+ 2+
1 0.694 0.694 0.694 0.231 0.116
2 0.694 0.694 0.694 0.231 0.116
3 0.694 0.694 0.694 0.231 0.116
4 0.694 0.694 0.694 0.231 0.116
T 5 0.556 0.556 0.556 0.185 0.093
6 0.417 0.417 0.417 0.139 0.069
7 0.278 0.278 0.278 0.093 0.046
8 0.139 0.139 0.139 0.046 0.023
9 0.139 0.139 0.139 0.046 0.023
10 - - - - -

Exarch (Star Lance)


Save
6+ 5+ 4+ 3+ 2+
1 0.694 0.694 0.694 0.231 0.116
2 0.694 0.694 0.694 0.231 0.116
3 0.694 0.694 0.694 0.231 0.116
4 0.694 0.694 0.694 0.231 0.116
T 5 0.694 0.694 0.694 0.231 0.116
6 0.694 0.694 0.694 0.231 0.116
7 0.556 0.556 0.556 0.185 0.093
8 0.417 0.417 0.417 0.139 0.069
9 0.278 0.278 0.278 0.093 0.046
10 0.139 0.139 0.139 0.046 0.023

Shining Spear Aspect Warrior (Twin-Linked Shuriken Catapults)


Save
6+ 5+ 4+ 3+ 2+
1 1.574 1.574 0.787 0.525 0.262
2 1.574 1.574 0.787 0.525 0.262
3 1.259 1.259 0.630 0.420 0.210
4 0.944 0.944 0.472 0.315 0.157
T 5 0.630 0.630 0.315 0.210 0.105
6 0.315 0.315 0.157 0.105 0.052
7 0.315 0.315 0.157 0.105 0.052
8 - - - - -
9 - - - - -
10 - - - - -

Shining Spear Aspect Warrior (Laser Lance)


Save
6+ 5+ 4+ 3+ 2+
1 0.556 0.556 0.556 0.185 0.093
2 0.556 0.556 0.556 0.185 0.093
3 0.556 0.556 0.556 0.185 0.093
4 0.556 0.556 0.556 0.185 0.093
T 5 0.444 0.444 0.444 0.148 0.074
6 0.333 0.333 0.333 0.111 0.056
7 0.222 0.222 0.222 0.074 0.037
8 0.111 0.111 0.111 0.037 0.019
9 0.111 0.111 0.111 0.037 0.019
10 - - - - -

Assault

This table shows the number of unsaved wounds against different toughnesses (assumed weapon skill 4)

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Speartarch 3.333 3.333 3.333 3.333 2.667 2.000 1.333 0.667 0.667 -
Exarch (Laser Lance) 1.667 1.667 1.667 1.667 1.333 1.000 0.667 0.333 0.333 -
Exarch (Star Lance) 1.667 1.667 1.667 1.667 1.667 1.667 1.333 1.000 0.667 0.333
Exarch (Power Weapon) 1.667 1.333 1.000 0.667 0.333 0.333 - - - -
Aspect Warrior (Laser Lance) 0.833 0.833 0.833 0.833 0.667 0.500 0.333 0.167 0.167 -


Apologies for the length of this thing! My congratulations and a metaphorical drink of choice to anyone who actually manages to read it!


Isariel
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Old 04 Jun 2009, 15:29   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Shining Spear Tactica

Well done, I don't mind the length of the article, it's a brilliant read, well done.
I love the Mathhammer tables.
This has given me a (several actually) new insight into uses for SS's.
I shall be asking the mods to Applaud you for this.
Once again, great article.

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Old 04 Jun 2009, 15:53   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Shining Spear Tactica

Absolutely awesome writeup, very nice.
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Old 05 Jun 2009, 02:52   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Shining Spear Tactica

Congrats Isariel for a great post ;D Karma given

Keep it up,
Wingates_Hellsing
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Old 05 Jun 2009, 03:05   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Shining Spear Tactica

I loved the tactic quite a bit and it has almost convinced me to start using more Shining Spears in my (already relatively) mechanized army. However I do have one grievance with your tactics. I'm pretty sure that the below quoted is an illegal move (assaulting a rhino's squad after busting open the transport). Otherwise I do believe that everything mentioned is a legitimate tactic. So once again, nice write up

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Originally Posted by Isariel
Counter-mech

This tactic is designed primarily to counter mechanised Space Marine lists, although it can be tailored to deal with other armies. The premise of this tactic is simple: use the Shining Spear squad's firepower to destroy a Rhino (or similar transport), and then assault the newly exposed Tactical squad. The Tactical squad is not melee-dedicated, so that if the Shining Spears fail to wipe them out they can be reasonable confident of weathering the return attacks. It is entirely possible to destroy a Rhino and Tactical squad per turn in this manner, without even including the actions of the rest of your army, swiftly whittling down the opponent's ability to claim objectives, as well as his manoeuvrability, allowing you to regain the advantage of speed.
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Old 05 Jun 2009, 10:25   #7 (permalink)
Kroot Shaper
 
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Default Re: Shining Spear Tactica

Thanks for the karma Wingates, and thanks to everyone for their kind words.

Regarding the legitimacy of the counter-mech tactic, as per the rule on p.67 of the 5th Edition Rulebook (the note paragraph under 'Destroyed - explodes!' and above 'Dedicated Transports&#39 a unit that shoots at a transport and destroys it (either result) may then assault the disembarked passengers (following standard assault rules).


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Old 05 Jun 2009, 13:03   #8 (permalink)
Shas'Ui
 
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Default Re: Shining Spear Tactica

Very impressive and very informative. Simply excellent. I can see you put a lot of work and thought into that presentation. It hasn't convinced me to use Shining Spears though as I'm an Iyanden player at heart.

A few things that I would like to see elaborated upon ...
- which lists are they best suited for
- how do they compare with other fast attack choices ( particularly Warp Spyders)
- they are not a scoring squad. how does this affect their viability as they come at a high cost
- how do they compare with some of our elite choices used for the same counter charging and tank hunting purposes ( scorps, banshees, harlies)

I ask these questions because I need to know their viability in comparison to other choices I can use in my lists. I know they are more durable then Banshees ( which would need a transport and there fore would cost more), faster then Scorps and Harlies ( although one can outflank and one has Veil). I know Warp Spyders can also jump/shoot and are pretty effective as an all rounder (unusual for Eldar) squad. What makes Spears the better alternative?
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Old 05 Jun 2009, 17:23   #9 (permalink)
Kroot Shaper
 
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Default Re: Shining Spear Tactica

Thanks CanaBebe, glad you like it.

Good questions. I'm afraid I'm going to beg your indulgence regarding the second and fourth questions, as I intent to write a tactica for each of the fast attack choices (I'm a Speed Freek at heart) and then for the elites choices, moving on later to the troops, heavy support, and HQ choices. The writing of the tacticas is as much a learning experience for me as for anyone else, so I would like to take the chance to complete those for the fast attack choices before covering their comparisons in a separate article. Once the fast attack collection is done I can move on to the elites and repeat the process. Ultimately I plan to write a tactica for each of the unit choices in Codex: Eldar, and several separate articles covering comparisons within force organisation slots, and between close combat viable selections, vehicle hunting selections, etc. Each tactica takes a couple days to a week to write so hopefully I can have them done in reasonable time.

It is my opinion that Shining Spears are best suited to armies employing at least one mechanised or otherwise fast moving detachment. Obvious, I know, but still important. As I mentioned above, Shining Spears need support (due to their specialist and fragile nature), and anything not moving a minimum of 12 per turn (possibly even 18) will significantly slow them down. When you consider the cost and fragility of the Shining Spears, this is just not acceptable in most cases the speed (and resilience it can bring) of Shining Spears is one of their greatest advantages, and it is wise to maximise this advantage. Due to their high cost and the demands they place upon their synergistic partners the inclusion of Shining Spears should be a key consideration when building a list. In my opinion, the inclusion of Shining Spears should only be considered in games of at least 1500 points per side, because when Shining Spears are included you must also factor in the cost of their synergistic partners, and this can be a considerable amount of points (if I use Shining Spears it is almost always in the first, and most expensive, configuration mentioned in the tactica). It is this key consideration (inclusion of synergistic partners in cost and strategic calculations) that presents the biggest stumbling block to the viability of Shining Spears within an army they both inherently require the building of a list at least partially around them, and limit the amount of points that may be spent on scoring units (and thence upon other fast attack, elite and heavy support choices). This can leave the army with an insufficient or limited amount of scoring units and/or specialist non-scoring units clearly presenting problems with objective claiming and/or possibly the ability to effectively counter the enemy.
One of the reasons I favour the Shining Spear-Guardian Jetbike configuration mentioned in the 'one-two punch' section of the tactica is that it provides a resilient and fast scoring unit, as well as providing an effective synergy that compliments each unit.

I've never used an Iyanden-style list before, but my feeling would be that if the army is built solely around a Wraithguard and Wraithlord core then Shining Spears would not be an effective choice partly due to the great expense of the Wraithguard and Shining Spears and the partial functional overlap of the Shining Spears' high strength laser lance attacks and wraithcannon wounding rules. Off the top of my head, with such a list I would most likely be concerned with acquiring a measure of counter-charge ability that I feel the elite close combat options would provide more effectively (being able to hide behind the Wraithguard, providing more bodies, and costing a fraction of the price). Also, I don't think Shining Spears really suit the 'feel' of Iyanden, but that might not be a concern for you.

I hope that has helped. If you have any other questions or comments please feel free to air them, as I said earlier, it is as much a learning experience for me as anyone else.


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Old 06 Jun 2009, 06:07   #10 (permalink)
Shas'Vre
 
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Default Re: Shining Spear Tactica

Quote:
Originally Posted by Isariel
Regarding the legitimacy of the counter-mech tactic, as per the rule on p.67 of the 5th Edition Rulebook (the note paragraph under 'Destroyed - explodes!' and above 'Dedicated Transports&#39 a unit that shoots at a transport and destroys it (either result) may then assault the disembarked passengers (following standard assault rules).


Isariel
Must have missed it, sorry. Silly me
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I wear a y'xa'uuk pretty dress, suggestively tilt my tankard of beer, and it's all "bet this" and "persuasion that". Mianko wakes up, grabs a photo, and everyone's mesmerized. What the y'xa'uk do I have to do to earn affection????
Hey baby, what're you doing this weekend? :-*
Quote:
Originally Posted by coolmule
Tiwaz is my new forum favourite.
Quote:
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This is the kind of man who has to shave out eyes and a nose every morning before work. :P
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