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Tactica- Special Characters
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Old 25 Aug 2009, 09:39   #1 (permalink)
Shas'El
 
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Default Tactica- Special Characters

Overview

Eldar special characters I think can be seperated into 2 catergories (some of which do go in both). Supportive or offensive.

Eldrad: Supportive. He is easily our most recognizable special character, because he is so immensley powerful. For the points you pay you get immense amount of psychic ability, an extremely tough individual, and the ability to re-deploy some of your force. He works in nearly every army, adding guide to gunlines, doom to assault, and fortune to defensive armies.

Numbers: He does best with other squads, I usually see him being run with a warlock bodyguard or in a unit with wraithguard. On his own puts him at slight risk of being sniped, but he is pretty reliable with a re0rollable 3+ inv save. The problem is, if he is on his own and he is using fortune on himself, he isn't doing what he is supposed to, boosting the rest of the army.

Deployment: With ablative wounds around him... Simple. In a transport is okay too....

Targets The main attack point, where the toughest enemies are. His boosting capabilities make a huge difference, and the fact he can affect more than the standard seer makes him immensley powerful.

Caution: If using him in a tournament with composition scores, expect low. He has gotten a reputation, and recieves a lot of hate mail. Some European Tournamnets have banned him from play, he is that good!


Yriel: Offensive with slight supportive. Yriel, for his points cost, is fantastic! He has a better singing spear, can blow up enemies around him, and has all the perks of being an Autarch.

Numbers: Ablative wound units. He works well with aspect warriors (benefits from their powers) though I've seen him be used with Seer councils too.

Deployment: Out and about, or ready to charge.

Targets: Tough enemies with low output, GEQ, MEQ, some TEQ...

Eye of Wrath: This small item is amazing. I saw one guy use Yriel, charging him against a mob of orks, with avengers supporting. The orks mobbed around yriel, eye of wrath then killed 20 something orks! He lost a few avengers, but the orks had to either take a lot of no retreat saves, or be run down. It was beautiful! (Ork player was an anus too, so that made it all the better). This is the only time I will advise seperating him.

But he kills himself doesn't he? He can lose a wound at the end 50% of the time.... Its a risk well worth it IMHO if it can kill that many dam orks!


Asurmen Offensive with major supportive. Not used eough IMHO. He can put significant hurt out, especially when combined with doom....

Numbers With avengers, or wraithguard. His ability to instant-kill the un-instant-killable makes him powerful (combined with his ability to re-roll misses, combined with doom makes him nastier)

Deployment With wraithguard he works well on foot, Avengers in a serpent. Whilst he is great, he isn't invincible. Ablative wounds make all the difference.... Transports are an avengers best friend.

Targets With avengers he works well, adding combat oomph they need. And whilst he can instakill, it isn't the most likely. JUst remember, 4 attacks with a power weapon ain't too shabby.... He does best against MEQ and GEQ. Terminators he can do okay, but the squad with him will suffer.


Feugan Offensive, semi-supportive. The Fire Dragon Phoenix Lord is honestly not that great... His abilities aren't really that needed, and whilst he can do significant damage in CC, the fire dragons with him don't belong there.

Numbers I honestly think he is better by himself, or with a combat based unit (Harlequins) or major fire power units (Wraithguard).

Deployment If by himself, in a transport. LAscannons will be targetted at him, and whilst he can't be instantkilled, he only has FnP... If in a squad of Harlies, he is safer, and the same goes for wraithguard.

Targets Vehicles, GEQ, SMall MEQ squads. Against terminators he doesn't have enough attacks or Inv to survive their attacks back, against MCs they usually have too amny wounds. Walkers he does pretty well, near definately doing significant damage (50% of the time he will destroy the enemy vehicle in CC)

Jain Zar Offensive. She is quick, slashy, strong, great at shooting (!). Only weakness is she isn't really supportive at all....

Numbers Big squads of ablative wounds. 10 Banshees does well, and Harlies as well. She doesn't do well by herself, not having an Inv....

Deployment With banshees, a serpent everytime. Harlies are protected by Veil, so that always works well too. She adds power weapon atacks that boost them significantly!

Targets MCS,medium vehicles, GEQ, MEQ, TEQ. Walkers are a bit different though.... she isn't reliable enough to take them out.

Triskele Hers is awesome. Don't be afraid to use it, the potential for 3 more dead enemies is huge....

Karandras Offensive with some Supportive. He is another Phoenix lord that works okay by himself.

Numbers Either with a full squad of scorpions or by himself outflanking. He is faster by himself (fleet), so take that into consideration when fielding him.

Deployment Whatever the scorpions are doing, he should too. He does well alone too, outflanking and causing chaos to the enemies army from the side.

Targets GEQ (using scorpion chainsword), MEQ (using fist) TEQ (Using fist), vehicles (Using fist). Just be careful you don't throw him against units with power weapons that are too fast (Genestealers, Banshees, MCS)


Maugan Ra Offensive, very small defensive. He is another Phoenix lord that does okay by himself. He is usually wasted when fielded with his aspect.... He is better with Either guardians with shuriken cannons or Harlequins with death jester.

Numbers Lots of ablative wounds or something that can move and shoot with him.

Deployment On the field.... keep him shooting or chopping. Unlike the rest of the Eldar SCs, he has fantastic range! If he is in a transport, get him out ASAP!

Targets
CC: GEQ, MEQ, Some TEQ
Shooting: Eveything bar vehicles, MCS and TEQ.... Rending is too 50-50... Combined with doom however, shoot what you want!

Fast Shot or crack shot? It is a hard decision. If doom is in play fast shot. But if you definately need something tough dead, and you don't have doom in play (or they are in cover) crack shot. He does very well against orks with Custon Force Shield....


Baharroth Supportive with medium offensive. Whilst he can make your hawks a little better, he isn't worth it....

Numbers Big squad of hawks. More shots the better.

Deployment Deepstrike. If you don't need the grenade pack, do it on foot. But they are easy targets for the heavy bolter...

Targets Non-walker vehicles, GEQ.... Thats about it. May cause damage with doom, but it isn't worth it...

Hawk charge? Combine a squad of hawks, exarch with power weapon, Baharroth and Autarch with Power weapon, mandis, pistol and wings, and you have a decent CC unit that can hit and run too... However, it isn't that reliable, and doing this tactic means you don't have a seer or avatar in your list, which can be quite painful. If you do want a very fact unit that can get in the enemies face, do a huge amount (of unlikely wounding) shooting then follow up with power weapon attacks, go for it.... Just don't base your game plan on it....

As usual, comments, suggestions etc etc...



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Old 25 Aug 2009, 17:06   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Tactica- Special Characters

Great article, good read. Add's a few different perspectives to some of the characters that I hadn't thought of before.
Thanks.
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Old 25 Aug 2009, 17:50   #3 (permalink)
Shas'El
 
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Default Re: Tactica- Special Characters

Have you recently been laid off or something? Because this is the third (very helpful) tactica you've sprung on us in a short time ^-^

Anyway, excellent job. I've always shied away from using our Special Characters because of the price tag (points-wise), of all of them only Yriel is ''cheap''... But now I'm gonna have to try a few of the Phoenix Lords out 8)... and Eldrad... Although I might have to make a fluffy Ulthwe-type army list to validate using such a powerful character... > It'll be fun
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Old 25 Aug 2009, 21:12   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Tactica- Special Characters

L O EL..drad! Nick name my group gave him, hence the forum name. They hate him with a passion! Good to hear that the non eldar playing hatred for him is universal.

For special characters I've only ever used Eldrad and Yriel, however I've always wanted to use Jain Zar... I mean look at her hair! I'm just nervous due to her price tag with no invun. Do you really think she's worth it? I've read posts by some players on these boards that said they've used her to great success however I'm still a bit nervous myself...

Also I always thought Maugan Ra looked cool, might try throwing him in with a small group of harlequins. Well as usual Shakey, another helpful, well thought out article!
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Old 26 Aug 2009, 02:37   #5 (permalink)
Shas'El
 
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Default Re: Tactica- Special Characters

I'm a trainee at an independent CD shop.... So I only work 3 days a week. Haven't got a girlfriend, so don't need to spend time with her, and I'm not that tired after work....

So I can write all I want.... THanks for the positive comments everyone.

One last thing....

Special characters out of 5

Eldrad 5/5 (4/5 because of everyone's hatred of him)
Jain Zar 4/5 (I've used her and she has done brilliant)
Yriel 4/5 (Haven't used him, seen him be used to great effect)
Maugan Ra 4/5 (Used in friendlies, pretty good. Gotta try him in a serious list though)
Asurmen 4/5 (Haven't used him, seen him be used to great effect)
Karandras 4/5 (Only ranked this through speculation....)
Feugan 3/5 (Has uses, but doesn't cut the rhino)
Baharroth 2/5 (Just not enough ooomph)
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Old 26 Aug 2009, 03:01   #6 (permalink)
Shas'El
 
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Default Re: Tactica- Special Characters

I own 2 phoenix lords, Maugan and Jain... both of which I use with harlies. I think the rest of them are garbage for their points cost. I've used all of them before, but the only ones I stick with are Maugan and Jain. Eldrad is the great equalizer in my opinion. I have proxied one from my own personal craftworld, another Master Farseer who isn't from Ulthwe, and yeah he's sick... but so is a hive tyrant, or a ludicrous space wolf iron priest and indestructable reroll-everything command squad, or plenty of other things other armies have that scream 'cheese'.

If you can get a hundred ork boyz for 600 points, add in Waagh, and I have to pay 16+ a piece for most of my infantry, yeah I'll take all the help I can get. Still, anyone who wants to hate on Eldrad, look at their armies' special characters, and sleazy underpriced stuff like hive tyrants and demon princes and so on flying around ruling the board, who cost less than he does, and could wack him easy. Don't let anybody hate on Eldrad, he is one of the few equalizers we have, that can provide some support muscle against all the overpowered new codex and 5th ed. nerfing we have to compete with now. Remind people that Eldrad is a ludicrously pointsy HQ choice, who is at best mediocre at what most of their characters do best (i.e. kicking ass in assault, a nice brainless tactic). We have to plan ahead with our powers and aren't afforded the obvious tactic of just charging foreward and slaughtering things because of a huge statline. So all the Eldrad haters in your club should go rethink their own cheese before they dis the one piece of cheese we have left.

BTW your advice on running Karandras (or any of them) solo seems kind of suicidal since 5th. You're just inviting massed fire on him, and cover save for having an intervening unit be damned, they'll take that chance for such a valuable kill. A squad of rapid firing lasgunners could kill them if they don't have meatshields armound them. They were made to be fearless and bestow it on the aspect they fight with for a very good reason.

Barring a maxed out squad of their own aspect, Harlequins seem to me the best way to field a phoenix lord, if nothing else just to give it the Veil. It isn't unfluffy either, since all the Phoenix Lords travel the webway eternaly, showing up where needed, and harlequins do the same. Chances are they would congregate at a crucial moment in time for the same purposes.
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Old 26 Aug 2009, 06:20   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Tactica- Special Characters

I've got a bit of gripe with some of those summeries.

Most of the Pheonix Lords aren't nearly as useful as they look on the surface.
First, the lack of an invulnerable save on all (except Asurmen) is not much of a downside, as they have Eternal Warriors rule, with 3 wounds. They will surivive two hard hits, or numerous light hits. Combined with high initiative, and a good number of attacks, they will survive long enough against most targets in close combat (just don't go off against an MC).

Second, Asurman is probably the second worst Phoenix Lord there is. Hardly no shooting, hardly no damage in CC, the only thing he has going for him is his invul save, which doesn't add to much, as the rest of him is garbage.

The Dire Sword sounds nice, but the instakill is only good when the opponent fails their leadership test. When was the last time you saw a multi-wound model fail a leadership test? Half the time they're fearless! All you've got left is a dual-shuriken cannon and a power sword. A 5 model Dire Avenger squad does better than that, and they're still half the price.

Of the characters, I personally rank them in this order:
Elderad
Yriel
Karandras
Jain Zar
Maugan Ra
Fuegan
Asurman
Baharroth

Now, Elderad is definately as good as everyone says he is. But just because he's that good, doesn't mean he fits in all armies. I actually stopped taking him myself, since I never rarely more than one psycic a turn. I just never needed more than fortune most of the time.

Yriel on the other hand, saved my ass many times over. Wreaking havok among various Space Marine squads, taking on tanks solo, he's probably the Eldar codex's second most versitile unit after Elderad himself. Almost guaranteed to make his points back as long as you have an entry plan. And don't worry about him killing himself. If Yriel survived to the end of the game, he's probably done more than enough to make up for dying to something petty like that. Besides, that's presuming Yriel only had one wound left, as his Spear of Twilight can only take off one wound.

Karandas himself is more versitile in CC than anything between the Space Marines and Chaos combined. He can handle almost anything other than MCs and Monoliths. Outflank, Waveserpent, or just plain creep up hiding with Harlies, he'll do the job the second his hits CC.

Jain Zar is quite similar to Karandas, except she is not good at dealing with armour or high toughness targets. And that is it. Period. She can do everything Karandras can do, but is even more potent against Marines and Terminators. High initiative, good strength, always ignores armour, the only fear she has are MCs, armour, and blobs of 30 orks wanting to bang her, and not in a good way.

After that, Maugan Ra is the pinicle of versitility, as he's good at shooting as well as in CC, and feels comfortable anywhere on the battlefield except among his bretheren, sadly enough. Anywhere where he can shoot, or dive into CC is where he is good at, but be careful as he is not nearly as capable as some of the others in CC.

Fuegan is unusual that he is good against armour and good save models, but that's it. His native attacks are poor against taking out hordes, but his FnP makes him the single most survivable Phoenix Lord, but only if there's no power weapons. Otherwise, he's pretty much only good at busting Tanks, Terminators, Dreadnoughts, and holding down a giant swarm of guants until a squad of Scorpions can charge them.

Asurmen and Baharroth aren't even worth mentioning beyond that they are only to be chosen if you like the models. And that's it. In my opinion, there is no feasable way of making them pull their own weight around, and should be left to watch MASH on their rocking chairs.
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Old 26 Aug 2009, 06:42   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Tactica- Special Characters

Regarding your comment about the Diresword on Asurmen...

Fearless does not make you automatically pass leadership tests. It makes you automatically pass morale checks, which are rolled on Leadership. A diresword can kill anything. Since the highest Ld in the game is a 10, that still leaves you 11s and 12s to kill anything. Note also, it isn't 'instant death', there is no save, even invul saves... they just remove the model and that's it. 11-12 on 2d6 is a 1/12 chance. Sure that ain't much chance, but it makes some people a bit nervous. The problem with the Diresword Exarch is the low STR so it isn't as likely to wound and cause that kind of test. Asurmen, rerolling his hits, with many more attacks and a higher ST and infinitely higher WS does actually hit pretty hard. I'm not saying I would want to pay that many points for anyone but Eldrad, but he is no pussy in cc, just based on his staying power, Initiative, WS, number of attacks, and that chance of the crucial strike(s) with the diresword.

Still, I would only use him in a theme army.

I think all the phoenix lords are just way over-pointsy compared to some of the better superhero stuff other armies can field for less points. I think the only special characters actually balanced pointscost-vs-effectiveness are Eldrad and Yriel. Jainey-and the-banshees/harlies is okay, but I've seen her gunned down before she ever got in charge distance, despite the meatshield. Lack of invul means lasgun target, bolter target, pulse rifles would rip them apart, etc.

Sucks being stuck with an old codex with a new set of rules hell bent on getting people to buy the more recently upgraded (oops... I mean updated... wait... no I didn't) armies that GW pays more attention to.
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Old 26 Aug 2009, 07:29   #9 (permalink)
Shas'El
 
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Default Re: Tactica- Special Characters

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tsumishi
I've got a bit of gripe with some of those summeries.

Most of the Pheonix Lords aren't nearly as useful as they look on the surface.
First, the lack of an invulnerable save on all (except Asurmen) is not much of a downside, as they have Eternal Warriors rule, with 3 wounds. They will surivive two hard hits, or numerous light hits. Combined with high initiative, and a good number of attacks, they will survive long enough against most targets in close combat (just don't go off against an MC).

Second, Asurman is probably the second worst Phoenix Lord there is. Hardly no shooting, hardly no damage in CC, the only thing he has going for him is his invul save, which doesn't add to much, as the rest of him is garbage. It depends how you use him. I've seen people run him in a scoring squad of wraithguard, and it is exrremely powerful. As I said, combined with doom he becomes extremely powerful in CC, and with fortune all the more survivable. And no shooting? 4 shots is still pretty decent, 5 if bladestorming.

The Dire Sword sounds nice, but the instakill is only good when the opponent fails their leadership test. When was the last time you saw a multi-wound model fail a leadership test? Half the time they're fearless! All you've got left is a dual-shuriken cannon and a power sword. A 5 model Dire Avenger squad does better than that, and they're still half the price. Hit that squad of avengers with 2 heavy bolters and they are dead, or as good as. Asurmen will shrug it off and keep going.

Of the characters, I personally rank them in this order:
Elderad
Yriel
Karandras
Jain Zar
Maugan Ra
Fuegan
Asurman
Baharroth

Now, Elderad is definately as good as everyone says he is. But just because he's that good, doesn't mean he fits in all armies. I actually stopped taking him myself, since I never rarely more than one psycic a turn. I just never needed more than fortune most of the time.

Yriel on the other hand, saved my dyi many times over. Wreaking havok among various Space Marine squads, taking on tanks solo, he's probably the Eldar codex's second most versitile unit after Elderad himself. Almost guaranteed to make his points back as long as you have an entry plan. And don't worry about him killing himself. If Yriel survived to the end of the game, he's probably done more than enough to make up for dying to something petty like that. Besides, that's presuming Yriel only had one wound left, as his Spear of Twilight can only take off one wound.

Karandas himself is more versitile in CC than anything between the Space Marines and Chaos combined. He can handle almost anything other than MCs and Monoliths. Outflank, Waveserpent, or just plain creep up hiding with Harlies, he'll do the job the second his hits CC.

Jain Zar is quite similar to Karandas, except she is not good at dealing with armour or high toughness targets. And that is it. Period. She can do everything Karandras can do, but is even more potent against Marines and Terminators. High initiative, good strength, always ignores armour, the only fear she has are MCs, armour, and blobs of 30 orks wanting to bang her, and not in a good way.

After that, Maugan Ra is the pinicle of versitility, as he's good at shooting as well as in CC, and feels comfortable anywhere on the battlefield except among his bretheren, sadly enough. Anywhere where he can shoot, or dive into CC is where he is good at, but be careful as he is not nearly as capable as some of the others in CC.

Fuegan is unusual that he is good against armour and good save models, but that's it. His native attacks are poor against taking out hordes, but his FnP makes him the single most survivable Phoenix Lord, but only if there's no power weapons. Otherwise, he's pretty much only good at busting Tanks, Terminators, Dreadnoughts, and holding down a giant swarm of guants until a squad of Scorpions can charge them. Against the standard horde unit (Guard or Nids) he is wounding on 2+, being wounded on 5+, passing a 2+ save with FnP. Whilst he doesn't work well with his aspect, he isn't near worthless.

Asurmen and Baharroth aren't even worth mentioning beyond that they are only to be chosen if you like the models. And that's it. In my opinion, there is no feasable way of making them pull their own weight around, and should be left to watch MASH on their rocking chairs. They both have their place, provided they are used right. I've had Baharoth go through many Chaos Space Marines by himself, I think it was three squads. He still has 5 attacks on the charge that ignore armour, can hit and run and get to the places he is really needed, as well as put a few shots out at a dceent strength. He can do alright against non-walker vehicles too. The only reason I don't rate him higher is he doesn't suit his aspect enough, just like Feugan

You can gripe as much as you want, but from my tournament, friendly and just plain thinking, I see our Phoenix lords as great units. Whilst Eldrad and Yriel can be game turners, the Phoenix lords aren't entirely suposed to be. If you are expecting them to win the game for you, you are a moron. ELdar work as an army, not uber killy individuals.
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Old 26 Aug 2009, 07:34   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Tactica- Special Characters

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Originally Posted by Guitardian


BTW your advice on running Karandras (or any of them) solo seems kind of suicidal since 5th. You're just inviting massed fire on him, and cover save for having an intervening unit be damned, they'll take that chance for such a valuable kill. A squad of rapid firing lasgunners could kill them if they don't have meatshields armound them. They were made to be fearless and bestow it on the aspect they fight with for a very good reason. Karandras works great solo. His scorpions honestly slow him down. He outflanks, and keeps safe in CC. That is how you survive. Stick in cover if you can't make it, stealth gives him a 3+ cover save. And if the enemy is targetting him with enough fire power, he isn't targetting the rest of your army. keep pressure on from all fronts.

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