Sunday, 29 April 2012

Back Through the Mists of Time: Footdar!

In the beginning, I played Eldar.

When I got back into the game at the very start of 5th ed. I played space marines.. this lasted a few weeks til I got bored. I then exclusively played Eldar and more specifically a hybrid build. This evolved over a few months into just playing "Wraithwall" - a build of seriously hardcore, seriously LIMITED Eldar robot badasses.. Wraithguard troops and Lord support, fun times.

It was incredibly good fun to run. T6 with a Fortuned 3+/4++(cover) save was awesome fun.. plus.. when you got to the magic efective range of 18" and unleashed 20 AP2, wound on a 2+, guided shots.. well.. a WHOPPING 2 targets per turn were definitely dead! lol.

Well, lets just say that Wraithwall was limited, but fun. Then I learnt how to play the game properly as I got stuck into ... hmm... let me consult my Bible..
Ven's Bible: The first volume!

Before there was Sons of Sanguinius there were my Bibles... I wrote down ideas, sketched designs, deployment ideas and recorded Battle Rports for later digestion and analysis..
I think I'm going to go grab one and show you lot a few photos..
Anyway, analysis of this book shows I then threw myself into Seer Council Saim-Hann style.. I read Fritz's blog back when far as I was concerned... there were no other blogs out there... apart from Jawaballs of course..

Then old school Dark Eldar... TRUE lance-spam.. it was so nasty I had to gimp myself by taking old school Incubi and a combat drugs Archon, tooled up to the tits! lol.
Let's have a look at some early Eldar builds. I am a bit bored of running marines of any variety (though I am finally reading Prospero Burns and I love my Wolves again!) and would like to finish 5th in the way I started.. naively enjoying a list for the sake of it.

Except I can no longer do that. The game has changed for me and I need to try and make it competitive. If that's at all possible.

So an early list straight from "The Venerable Bible":  Eldar 1500
Autarch - Jetbike, Laser Lance, Reaper Launcher, Mandiblaster
Farseer - Fortune, Doom, Spirit Stones, Singing Spear 
Wraithguard x 10, Seer w. Conceal 
2 x 10 Dire Avengers, Exarch - 2 ASC and Bladestorm 
Shining Spears x5, Exarch w. Withdraw 
3 x Wraithlords, Swords and 2 Flamers  

Jesus.. can you believe I actually won games locally with this!?

Look at it! No fire support at all! How do I kill tanks? Smash them with the Wraithguard and fist fuck them to death with Lords? Cheeky singing spear? My god thats poor... or was it simply that in... let me check the Bible.. March 2009 there were not that many tanks running about causing havoc in GW Cambridge?
There are no objective campers, no mobility outisde of one poor bastard Autarch.. who I used to love throwing around and killing marines, Reaper Launcher followed by a Laser Lance charge? Awesome fun!

Now, I like to think that as a player... I've evolved quite a bit over the last 3 years. I'm currently ranked 10th in the UK on Rankings.. I consistently place well and highly at tournaments that I attend...I also have a couple of readers on the blog... far more in fact than ever got a sneak peak at "The Venerable Bible".. in fact, there was no Venerable Brother.. just some sexy looking mother fucker who tore it up at GW's..

Ven's Bible: Random page, mid-Bat Rep
Anyway, fuelling this nostalgia is non other than a Bell of Lost Souls article. What? Bugger off! I still read that site..and? Reecius off of Frontline Gaming (not Frontline Gamer.. whole other kettle of cool fish) threw up his Adepticon performance with Footdar and he had gotten to the finals playing an army that he clearly enjoys and is full of that cool appeal. I do not care what anybody says about the format or the missions, INAT, whatever.. that right there, that's player skill and FUN...which is apparently, the number one rule in the game.

Now, I don't think ol' Reecius has ever heard of the Sons (seriously, where the fuck has he been the last 2 years?), however I'd like to say thanks for a cheeky throwback to Eldar.. I'm gonna play this bad boy til I can win consistently at the height of GK/Cron/IG/SW/BA nastiness.. Now, the 'Reecius Formula' is basically a crap-load of men who poop out shots.. more shuri-shots than poison spamming DE in fact.. with a few bits of antitank deceptively woven into the army. Plus, CLOWNS! Awesome.. time to dig them out.. ah wait.. I sold them all to Bringer of Death for his Fritz inspired Clown/Pathfinder army! D'Oh! Time for a phone call... anyway.. (on a side note, this is pretty much the first time I've not had all the toys required in my Horde to just pick up and play an army for a very, very long time.. :( lol), the list I will use is:

Avatar of Khaine
5 x Fire Dragons - Fusion Guns, Meltabombs, Exarch - Firepike, Crack Shot
5 x Fire Dragons - Fusion Guns, Meltabombs, Exarch - Firepike, Crack Shot
10 x Harlequins - 9 Kisses, Shadowseer, Death Jester - Shuricannon
10 x Dire Avengers
10 x Dire Avengers
10 x Dire Avengers
10 Guardians - Shuricannon Heavy Weapons Platform
3 x Guardian Jetbikes
Wraithlord - Bright Lance, Missile Launcher, 2 Flamers
Wraithlord - Bright Lance, Missile Launcher, 2 Flamers
3 x War Walkers - 2 x Scatter Lasers ea.

Now, it is NOT a tough list on paper.. I think I will get smushed the first few games vs Bringer and his tournament Grey Knights and Kabalite and his Baron led DE.. but you know what.. I am really excited to go back to playing an army that I totally loved.. and then abandoned like an unwanted, mutant baby.

Any of you guys play Eldar still? Is it just the Mechdar version that flies around, after spending 2-3 turns in reserve with Dual Autarchs, and does not actually kill anything, then zooms in for the win/contest? Any one out there able to provide insights into footdar? I've run foot armies before so I know target priority is incredibly important (to what army is it not?), I know mobility is an issue, although the whole army is fleet and can move and shoot...Speak up peeps..what's the word? Did anyone else keep a wargaming diary to record their thoughts for later analysis? just me?


  1. I am doing the exact same thing Ven, and my next few posts, outside of game theory and meta game shit will be on the topic.

    Basically I saw a picture from Adepticon, and it totally changed my perception of what I want to be doing with GW stuff.

  2. With Eldar? To be fair Bully, you change your mind even swifter than I do.. you are a fickle mo fo!

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. No not with Eldar, just playing something I actually get enjoyment out of playing.

    I probably won't make a "serious" list now until 6th Edition, and certainly won't have an army ready until then. I am just going to focus on painting opposed to rushing.

    I was tempted by Eldar and a few other things.

  5. Painting being the enjoyable side of things for you at the minute?
    You going to continue to develop your Custodes though yeah?

  6. Yeah, painting will be the big feature.

    I am taking a slightly different route with the Adeptus - I am doing a post on it probably tomorrow, but it will be completely painting focused.

  7. That cool man..look forward to it..

    On a seperate note, you picking up your texts? Get back to me bud.

  8. As you know, I have played a bit of Eldar, now and then....
    I am currently quite sad that mechdar seem to be the only "competitive" build- if you are successful with the footdar, I think that would be great. With that in mind, here are some thoughts...and they are only thoughts as I don't currently play footdar.

    1) you are very light on anti tank. The wraithlords will take a couple of rounds to take out one tank on average and your short range, slow, fire dragons just won't make it to the enemy lines- they have no ablative wounds, a poor save and there is nothing of higher priority in the list. Yes the avatar is tough, but it is only one model.
    You could add extra anti tank to the harliquins, the guardians or even the walkers (not much point there though due to poor BS)

    2) Nothing has a decent armour save- fear those heavy bolters. The only exceptions are MCs which won't get cover saves. If you need to hold/deny an objective, very little in your army can take shooting and survive. Scorpions give good counter assault punch or warp spiders can get where ever you want, quickly.

    3) I think your harlequins might be slightly too big- you really need them to not wipe out the enemy in your turn, or they get shot and killed. It is a delicate balance as too many return attack will also kill them- you will kill ~7 marines on the charge. Hmm not sure.

    4) I would suggest a second assault unit. The Harlies can't be everywhere and wraithlords will kill 1 model a turn and are very vulnerable to powerfists... Even a dire avenger unit with the right upgrades could be a light assault unit.

    5) speed. Most of the effective foot lists have fast moving units. Only your jetbikes are fast, and they are very fragile (1 casualty causes a LD8 break test). Maybe more jetbikes, some warp spiders... looking at the list I think even hawks could be viable, if a little suicidal.

    1. Cheers Tim! I'll consider.. I'm getting a game in tonight and hopefully Wednesday.. so I'll play with it as I go.

      Not sure where the points would come from for those changes, the second assault unit would be practically impossible to get in. The Avatar and Wraithlords are actualy decent enough given the tournament proclivity for MSU marines. Most often, without Fists.

      The speed is a natural issue of foot lists, I get your point, Warp Spiders are a good shout and I have some, so even better!

    2. points are a bit tricky. If you don't want to drop any units, then downgrading the walkers to shuriken cannons will give you 60 points- I find the extra 6" rarely makes a difference and 50% more points for 25% more shots is not great (plus they are better anti infantry). Dropping one shot from one walker would allow you to add 3 shots to the guardian jetbikes. Adding a scatter laser to the guardians for another swap also makes sense as it splits your firepower across more units.
      Losing the death jester is an easy save- Harlies often need to fleet so he is not as useful as he could be (nice model though and useful if you are going to use them for base defense)
      Firepikes are possible drops, but in a foot squad that 6" might mean a shot before you get killed. Note that this will be an over half range single shot meaning maybe 50% chance of hurting a tank- is it worth it?

      If you were going to drop a whole unit, for me it would be the defender guardians- poor armour save, rubbish weapons, no upgrades to improve this and you have another 4 troop choices.

    3. Having gotten in my first test game, the Guardian may very well go.. just don't really cut it without at least a Warlock or a decent platform weapon..

      Death Jester I found to be wasted indeed.. I was always looking to fleet or run in order to position the unit correctly..

      Means the GJB unit can grab a Shuricannon..

  9. While I am not interested in Eldar, I did find this article a good read, nice :) .

    That Autarch conversion is pretty sweet as well :)

    1. Cheers Merc.. did you not run an Eldar army for a while? MechDar?

  10. I'm supposed to be typing up a PhD proposal and applying for a position with a government department but here I am on SoS.

    I know there were a few players that ran a Footdar list over here (Ireland) and they've done alright for themselves. It's not forgiving by any measure so it's a challenge to get results alright but it looks like a laugh.

    One variant I was tempted to use was:

    Avatar (for the Fearless bubble and to be a target)
    10 Wraithguard and SpiritSeer with Spear, Embolden (for Eldrad psychic-power re-rolls)
    10 DA with Exarch with Bladestorm
    2 x 10 Guardians with Scatter Laser
    9 Harlies with Spirit Seer, 2 Fusion Guns and some Kisses
    3 x 2 War Walkers (2 Scatter Laser/shuricannon squads to save points), 1 all-Missile squad

    I'm not sure of the points at this stage but you've got a lot of mobility and a decent amount of anti-tank with the outflanking War-walkers: a pile of S6 shots in side armour is never good and then they get to unload with 6 S5 attacks if they assault something. They might get bogged down but if they are there holding something up they're buying time for the rest of the army to arrive and WG & Harlies can wreck stuff on the charge. Some lists will give you fits but's unavoidable really: I'd suggest you get in lots of practice against DE to learn how to deal with Poison spamming you.

    1. Herp Derp: I forgot to mention that if at all possible you put EmboldenLocks with the Guardians. And that Spirit Seer in the Harlies should of course be a Shadow Seer.

    2. Cheers Stormy.. Thats a decentenough list mate, I have got rid of my Wraithguard..just sold all of mine to fund a little forray into DUST Warfare.

      I got my first test in the other day and was a little underwhelmed by the Wraithlords, although they did perform admirably against I may try the War Walker set up you suggest..
      Cheers dude and good luck with that PhD

  11. Hi Ven

    I played a foot/hybrid list at the recent brighton 1850 event just to try them out and it was fun but a bit tedious!

    I played against space wolves (standard build), battlewagon orks, horde orks, marines, deathwing and eldar. I got 3 wins,1 draw and 2 loses. I felt the loses were matchup related as I lost to horde orks in seize ground where we only had 4 turns and then to deathwing in a Kill point game (where he had an achilles LR because of dirty forgeworld allowances at brighton!)

    the list was:


    Eldrad: 210 pts

    Avatar: 155pts


    5 x Dire Avengers: 60pts

    10 x Guardian Defenders – Scatter Laser: 95pts

    10 x Guardians Defenders– Shuriken Cannon: 85pts

    10 x Wraithguard – Warlock Spiritseer with conceal and singing spear: 399pts

    5 x Fire Dragons: 80pts

    5 x Fire Dragons – Exarch with fire pike and crack shot: 105pts

    10 x Harlequins – Shadowseer with harlequin’s kiss, trope master with power weapon, 6 Harlequins with harlequin’s kiss, 2 Harlequins with harlequin’s kiss and Fusion pistols: 286pts

    Heavy Support:

    Falcon – Holofields, Spirit stones, Eldar Missile Launcher, Star engines: 195pts

    Falcon – Holofields, Spirit stones, Eldar Missile Launcher: 180pts

    This weekend gone I went to a local event and won with my old seer council list (over a year old) and played necrons twice (one win and one draw). The necron build were James Taylors Masters list with some changes. For the remainder of the edition im going to stick with the seer council as its alot better against GK and Necrons that you face at events these days.

    Gald to see your trying eldar though!


  12. Hey Kiran,
    Man, I can;t imagine that LR-mounted Thunderfire Cannon was fun of the Eldar.. messy!

    Thanks for the input, I have thought of throwing in Wraithguard to revisit the old Wraithwall tactics, but I got rid of my 20 Wraithguard this last week! D'oh!

    I never actually tried the Seer Council build, I think I'd moved on to Marines by the time it really took hold over here.

    I may have a stab though..

    Congrats on the win this last weekend dude!

    Stay tuned for more Eldar goodness!

  13. Hi ven,

    Definitely try the seer council on bikes, they are great in the current meta. The only reason i stopped using the list 18 months ago was because alot of people played leafblower guard.

    Also with GK and necrons, they have most firepower at 24" which means going second with the seer council (no fortune!) is fine as most of their big hitting stufff will be out of range. Previously being made go second almost lost you the game to start with...

    The foot list you have sounds really fun, should be fine versus any GK build/compete against others depending on mission but will struggle vs IG and DE venom spam alot!

    looking forward to see you try the finest 4th ed codex around!