Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Eldar Tactics: Wrathknight.

Prepare yourselves.....a long post is coming.
Well first things first, when I imagine the Wraithknight fighting with his sword all I can think of is Optimus Prime running around slicing and dicing.


Going to go straight out and say that:
1. They are tough......real tough.
2. They have access to some incredible weapons.
3. They actually die quite easily......

T8 is pretty dam awesome at first glance. It makes it Invulnerable to anything that is not at minimum Str5, which is pretty much wiping out the majority of weapons. The problems begin once you consider saving throws. 3+ is extremely average. Anything that can force you to take mass saving throws or negate that throw will drop this guy down relatively easily. For example:

1. Dark Eldar. Obviously. Even a single Venom can kill it (unlikely but possible). Also remember you will get no saves verses an Agoniser.
2. Tau. Especially missle broadsides with an attached Puretide chip.
3. Imperial Guard. Mass autocannons, Vendettas or the simple fact they can blob up two squads together, throw in a commisar and just tie up your WK for 3-4 turns.
4. Necrons, Tesla....Tesla....Tesla. One other thing.....Tesla.
5. Grey Knights. Nemisis Doom Hammers and Power fists.......Insta Death....ouch.
6. Space Wolves: Long Fang Krak Missle spam.
7. Ironically, Eldar Psychic powers can own a WK. Mind War will be a straight out gamble on dice that I would easily cast every turn on. Executioner flat out ignores the Toughness and don't be misled in believing that a 3+ save will save it completely, even causing a single wound on average is decent. 

I think we get the point and I'm pretty sure there are other units from every army that has a natural counter to the WK. Cover is another Issue. I highly advise posing the model to be kneeling down for gaming (I made the mistake of not doing this with my Riptide.......but at least he has a 2+ save and can get a 3+ invul and Feel No Pain). A standing WK won't get cover from most of the board. (25% is difficult to get when your legs are skinny). What about Invul saves! 5+ invul is terrible. However, in combination with Fortune it makes it considerably better. The Blind special rule is pretty hilarious to since you could essentially blind a Dreadknight who is attacking you. The problem with this is it costs a lot for a very small return. Which brings up the next issue, points.

The WK is EXPENSIVE. depending on the root you will take with equipment, you are looking at anywhere between 240-300. Wowwww not my cup of tea.

One last thing, you can only fire two weapons.......but it has an option to take fail.


OK that is the end of the negative stuff. Let's look at the specifics:

Firstly, the height. Ok so someone is standing behind his Aegis defence line thinking they are safe.....well if you have modeled the WK to be at his full height then models standing behind the shorter section of the line won't be getting cover saves....focus fire. If your opponent wises up to this then they are forced to bunch up in the tall sections, giving your Suncannons blasts even more to hit and likely force them to go to ground.

Nice! Str10 AP1 makes the distort rule a bit pointless but you never know, you might ID another Monstrous creature.

Nice! MEQ killer extreme, Scatter laser is essential to make them twin-linked.....essential.

To be honest I'm not impressed. A single re-roll to hit is cool but losing out on the other shooting sucks. If you want to roll with this then make sure you take two scatter lasers or two Star Cannons.

As I said before, its extremely average. The blind rule is cute and would be pretty hilarious if it worked.

Scatter Lasers:
Only required in combination with the Suncannon or if you want to spam S6 with the Ghostglaive.

Only possible situation for this is with the Ghostglaive. Same points as a scatter laser so it's a question of whether you are playing 3+ saves or 5+ saves. 

So, the load outs:

1. Cheap.
Standard WK with absolutely NO upgrades. Still packs a punch in combat and will pretty much wipe any vehicle off the board. However, you better be getting cover or say bye bye. Only really considerable if you want to squeeze him into a smaller points game for some trolling.

2. Suncannons.
Suncannon, Scattershield and one Scatter Laser. Expensive but get's re-rolls to hit and the 5+ Invul. This is the go to option if you have the points. If you need to take out a vehicle then simply charge it. Six s10 attacks is going to wreck any vehicle, especially since five of those are at AP2. Otherwise just roll around the board shooting stuff. 

3. Combat master.
Not worth it in my opinion. You are giving away your primary shooting weapons for a single re-roll to hit. If you do roll this route then take two Scatter Lasers or Star Cannons for support. Otherwise just go cheap and keep it with only the Ghostglaive upgrade which as I said before, isn't really worth it.

4. Bristling with options.
Suncannon, Scattershield, Scatter Laser and Star Cannon........never.....even.....consider this. Firstly, you can only fire two weapons anyway so you are just wasting points. I've seen some board posts about players loving the idea of it having all these weapons.........NO! Bad. Go back to your corner.


How to use it:

Firstly, you need to consider why you are taking a WK. Is it just for fun? A tournament? Apocolypse? Secondly, how many points are you working with? The smaller the points size of the game gets, the more effective the WK is. The main strength of the WK is the fact that it can Jump 12" shoot and assault.

Pick your targets. There is absolutely no point in assaulting a 10 man guard squad with a Commisar in it that can hold you up for 2-3 turns. Also, just because you can charge a squad of terminators, doesn't mean you should. Consider the odds. You assault, WS4 with five attacks. Do you have Prescience? Is the unit Misfortuned? Doomed? Blinded? Odds are playing with Eldar you will have at least one of those multipliers so it can go in your favor. You kill on average 2-3 models which is ok but for the points cost it's not effective. The termies strike back and can cause just as many wounds. 

What I would charge though, are unit's like Crisis suits, Broadsides, Riptides, Land Raiders, Dreadnoughts, Tervigons, Tyranid Warriors, Thunderwolf Cavalry (without thunder hammers), DE Cronos Engines (NOT Talos, those bad boys have a change of Insta killing you with Ichor), Grotesques without a Flesh or Mindphase Gauntlet, and Ogryns. Pretty much anything that is a multi wound or vehicle that has little chance of hurting you back.

DO NOT let it anywhere near a Dreadknight unless you have the support of Prescience, Doom and Misfortune to make sure you down it before it hits you.

It is a massive thorn in your opponents plans. They either have to dedicate shooting at it (which is interesting combo in alliance with DE) or try to Ignore it. I would say most guard players will simply ignore it but armies that rely on low model counts will need to kill it ASAP.

Keeping it alive:

As I said before, you have two options. Make it kneeling so you can get cover saves easier (especially 4+ ruins) or get it into combat. Synergy is of course a major factor. If your opponent is running Splinterborn Venoms that can pump out 24 shots a turn then kill that unit first......pretty obvious. Fortune is of course your best friend in this case but that is a random roll which can't be relied on competitively. 
Opportunity Cost:

Do you really need a Wraithknight? Are you pouring 300 points just to get three small blast templates? What does it really bring to your army? For fun play, then go for it. However, what about more competitive play? Let's see.

For around 300 points I could get the following:

- 3 Tau Broadsides with missles + Missle Drones.
- A Riptide + Small Crisis team.
- An Ethereal with two units of Fire Warriors.
- A Puretide chip commander on a Quad Gun + points left over.
- Two Wraithlords.
- A unit of Wraithguard with D-scythes in a Wave Serpent.
- Two Unit's of seven Jetbikes with double cannons.
- Two Fire Prisms.
- Pretty much anything you wanted double of from the Eldar, Dark Eldar and Tau codex.

If your local gaming area is packed full of Dark Eldar or Space Wolf Missle spam then don't bother putting points onto it. In my opinion, I would much rather spend the points on filling out Tau allies or double Fire Prism then a single WK but everyone is entitled to their own position.


As always, ANY feedback is welcome. We never take credit for non original ideas so anything that we have missed will mean that you will be mentioned as the source on our tactics page. 

Let the games begin.........


  1. It's dirt easy getting it cover. one toe in area terrain and wahey! 5+ cover.
    it will be getting guided or presienced each turn so, don't worry about the scater laser get it a starcanon instead. if you take the suncannon

    base 240 points, getting guided.. possibly fortuned is nasty! a kitted out wraith lord is about 165. so for 75 more points you get 3 more wounds, waaaay better guns a jump pack an extra attack and a higher initiative.

    also, it only takes up one heavy support rather than the two all the other options take up. maybe you want more points spent in the heavy section of the eldar.. maybe;P.

    vs a five man termy squad. if your presienced it's 2 invul saves from shooting
    1 str10 initiative 10 hit, then probabaly 3/4 more invulsaves. so, most likely 5/6 invul saves and one armour save before they get to swing back

    so two survive swing back and do on average 1 wound.. maybe. next turn the knight kills the last 2. not a bad deal:)

    1. Hey mate, welcome to the site! Good points all round. I do however, disagree with your Star cannon idea. The Scatter Laser is pretty much guaranteed re-roll. Relying on Guide/Prescience is A) Making the Farseer tied to the WK for range, B) has the risk of not going off and C) that guide/prescience could be used on something else! Good catch on the area terrain save, 5+ is better than nothing if you don't have the Invul I guess. Will add your notes to the overall Tactica post.

  2. I know that as soon as Chris comes back from holidays I will be facing that beast... And to be honest, I have no idea how to kill him quickly with my space marines...

  3. 10 sternguard using hellfire rounds(potentially in a drop pod), autolas predators, devastators.
    i was going to add typhoons but realized they would be an unwise choice. eldar have way too many s6 weapons available to most of their units for a typhoon to survive long. hope that helps :)

    1. Yeah nice! Drop pod always a good option, drop next to it and shoot rapid fire. Prob worth taking a Melta to.


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