My quest for a thematic Eldar colour scheme for my RT army continues… I recently sold on all of my epic collection and but before I did I found this little beauty in amongst the white dwarf articles; Eldar Knight colour schemes. I quite like the blue and silver of the Seatalon Clan but the Green and gold of the Swifthorn speaks to the stereotypical Celt in me.
Raising my head up from every gamers nightmare… moving house, I return to the Eldar project with reaffirmed commitment and somewhat perversely a lot less time. In getting back into the swing of things I was mulling over the paint scheme I’d decided and after a bit of research found this image of the ORIGINAL craftworld colours from White Dwarf 131. I’m drawn to the Orange and Blue of Lugannath but the Blue an Green of Alaitoc is pretty cool too. Hmmmmm………
Very excited about this one! Last week I received the bits and bobs needed to begin the Court of the Young King. Comprising of a Forgeworld Avatar and 7 Exarchs. The client has yet to decide on the schemes and basing for the Exarchs but I’ve started on the Avatar.
Below are a couple of WIP shots showing the bulk of the body work is done. I just need to tidy up the areas around the runes
Re-written for the 6ed codex but thankfully the core remains the same
Usually a fast moving race the Eldar kill teams can be surprisingly effective. You’ll easily be able to manage to field the same number of models as your opponent but don’t always count on it. Movement and a decisive plan will see you through but be deliberate in your actions and do not react more than you have to… save it for the right time.
House Rule: Psychic Powers: Where a power affects a “squad” we have been using the large blast template placed within the listed range of the power. Anything under it is affected. This rule is for all powers and just those of the Eldar
Single Squad Kill Teams
- Striking Scorpions: 10 Scorpions including an Exarch. Take the Crushing Blow warrior power with the chainsabres. Use the special rules to buff out your movement or assault capabilities.
- Fire Dragons: 8 Fire Dragons including an Exarch. 8 fusion guns and a heavy Flamer. Take the Iron Resolve power to round out the team. I’d focus on the movement skills to add to the Fleet you already have and avoid buffing some Assault or Ranged. This gives you a fast moving and very hard hitting Kill team. This Kill team is also the answer to the “1 Dreadnought” that certain players think is awesome…
- Wraithguard or Wraithblades: An odd and slow choice but very powerful if used cautiously. The team would comprise of 5 of either type and 1 Warlock. The hitting power and survivability of the *pinkie to mouth* mini-wraithords can be increased further by application of Skills. Stealthy Wraithblade anyone?
- Harlequins: Each codex seems to have an “obvious” choice for kill teams and it is Harlequins for the Eldar. 200 points will get you 8 Harlequins including a Troupe Master and Death Jester with some Kisses and Fusion pistols thrown into the mix.
- Guardian Defenders: For 200pts you get 15 Guardians Defenders including a missile launcher and a Warlock. You would have to rely quite strongly on the skills you pick in order not to get minced within 3 rounds though. Still 30 shots per round… not to be sniffed at.
- Storm Guardians: 1 Warlock, 15 Storm Guardians two with special weapons and one with a power sword. As mentioned watch the terrain and pick skills wisely.
- Warp Spiders: 10 Warp Spiders including an Exarch and nothing else! Drop a couple of aspect warriors to beef up the Exarchs weaponry and powers. What was said about the Shining Spears holds true for the warp spiders too but this team is a bit more robust.
- Swooping Hawks: 10 Swooping Hawks including an Exarch with a sunrifle, Marksmans Eye and Hit and Run. This is a very high maintenance Kill Team because you need to keep track of which model is in the sky and which is not. You’ll also need to come up with a variation of the Grenade Pack rule. Perhaps a small blast template per model?
Mixed Squad Kill Teams
Some of the more recognisable squads fell just short of being in the above list but mixed kill teams allow them to come into the fold. More than any other force the Eldar have troops dedicated to a single “aspect” of the game. Be VERY careful in your combinations.
- 5 Fire Dragons & 6 Dire Avengers: The original odd couple. This includes both Exarchs and some weapon upgrades. A fast moving firing platform with anti-armour capability. Both squads have Fleet which will be great for getting into position.
- 5 Rangers and 6 Harlequins: Snipers and assault monsters. The rangers could pin the tougher troops of you opposition allowing the Harley’s to mop up the rest before moving in force to give then the ol’ kiss. With the new points costs you can also include the Death Jester and Troupe leader!
- 5 Warp Spiders & 5 Banshees: Very fast moving and pretty harrowing for your opponent with 5 jet pack infantry with Assault 2 weapons and 5 that ignore armour in assault. Also now everyone has fleet…
And if money were no object…
- 5 Rangers, 5 Dire Avengers and 3 Shining Spear: basic choices with no upgrades or Exarchs. A difficult force to master but wouldn’t the look on our opponents face be worth it?
Our Choice for 40K for £40:
Certainly this was a most difficult choice. With the 5ed codex we selected the Scorpions but this time around we’re going for a mixed team of Rangers and Harlequins.
- 5 Rangers
- 6 Harlequins including a Deathjester and Troupe leader.
Due to the costs involved we would normally have to buy these from a discount reseller to get them for under £40. Alternatively we would keep our eyes pealed on eBay. Fortunately DB has a massive collection of Rogue Trader Eldar minis so He’s going to sort something out. Woot!
The original concept for the Eldar flight packs is captured in a picture on page 89 of the Rogue Trader rulebook. Fairy wings… there’s no other way to describe it. I mean … Look;
Vetoing this idea immediately I wanted to try something perhaps a bit more conventional but still use RT era components. After looking through the material at hand I figure that the best starting point is going for the “jump pack” look. I’ve used the pod at the bottom of the original Eldar standards.
I’m planning on sculpting on some exhausts etc… but at the moment I’m pretty happy with how it will look.
While I ruminate on the colour scheme for the army I’m cracking on with preparation and planning
The infantry miniatures will be based on the original 12 minis released in 1988. I’ve divided them into four groups of three based on their roles/equipment.
The Basic troopers for Serpent and Dragon squads will be taken from these three. L to R they are armed with Laspistol, 2x Shuriken Catapults
The troopers for the Razorwing squads will primarily be made up of this group of three. FL to R it’s Laspistol & Flamer, 2x Laspistol & Shuriken Catapults.
The Viper squad and heavy weapon miniatures will be made up of these three as they fit the look of powered armour. L to R it’s Shuriken Catapult, Lascannon and Missile Launcher
The final infantry group is for leaders, characters and spare parts. L to R it’s Meltagun & Power Glove, Hand Flamer & Power Sword and Laspistol & Power Glove
The Zoats are pretty much ready to go once they have been stripped
In terms of preparing the miniatures they simply need to be stripped back to bare metal and I pull no punches here. I place the miniatures in a small ceramic bowl and cover them in Nitromors, a very effective branded paint stripper. I cover the bowl in tin-foil and leave it outside, usually overnight. The beauty of Nitromors is that it doesn’t react with the metal so you can leave minis in it for a week if you want. The next day I remove the models one by one with pliers and scrub the mini with an electric toothbrush. This is done under running water (hose) and that is usually enough to remove 99.9% of paint, repeat if needed.
1. If you are using any type of chemical stripper read and follow all the manufacturers instructions. If you are not careful or think you know better than the manufacturer then you deserve everything that comes of it, stupid.
2. This only works with metal miniatures, plastic and resin will simply dissolve.
3. I purchased an apron, safety goggles, packs of disposable gloves, pliers and the electric toothbrush specifically for stripping miniatures. I perform all of this outside, well away from anything I do not want the stripper to come into contact with.
4. It’s very difficult to paint with hands and/or eyes that have suffered chemical burns …
The thing I wish to avoid the most is duplication within each squad i.e. have two exact same miniatures in the same squad. I’d also like all of my squad leaders to
be unique. In terms of weapons I need to be able to represent:
- Close Combat: Sword, Power sword, Power Glove
- Pistols: Hand Flamer, Las Pistol, Shuriken Pistol, Bolt Pistol
- Basic: Shuriken Catapult, Bolt Gun
- Special: Plasma Gun, Flamer, Melta Gun
- Heavy: Heavy Plasma Gun, Multi-Melta
In addition I need to resolve the flight pack issue for the Razorwing squads and characters. There is also the matter of head swaps on models where the helmet is sculpted onto the torso.
With the planning under way I wanted to get a grasp on how I would paint up the Eldar. Digging back through the reference material I have I came across the painting guide on the back of the Epic Eldar Legions box.
I spent a bit of time roughly, very roughly…, painting up an example of each of the above.
These test figure are to give me an idea of composition, layout etc… the final result will be a bit more polished that these. I have discounted the Eldritch Raiders and I’m on the fence about the Sunblitz Brotherhood, mostly because the look like they are wearing rubber gloves. The Black Suns were my initial choice but I must admit to being a bit confused about the Void watchers as I hadn’t expected all that yellow to look … well, ok.
A bit more thought on it is required.
Running from page 101 to 104 of the Book of the Astronomican (BotA) is the original Eldar Pirate army List for Rogue Trader (RT). Written as a list for the Eldritch Raiders it comprises of five differing ranks of characters, six types of Squad and three types of vehicle. It is structured to allow a “balanced” force of between 1500 and 3000 points. The list primarily focuses on Infantry with light support and vehicle options. This was true of all lists at the time given that mini production was not yet geared towards large vehicles.
Hideously overpowered with complicated weapon and equipment options, oh how I love the characters of old! There are a couple of minimum selections options in the list but these are champions/leaders so it’s not too onerous to include them. I’ve added a couple of stronger characters who also happen to be Psykers. All are equipped with Shuriken catapults together with at least 2 pistols and a melee weapon. All but the Probati have flight packs. My selections are;
- 1 Shadowlord Major Hero L3 psyker
- 1 Malefactor Minor Hero L2 psyker
- 2 Prefectors Minor Heroes
- 3 Probati Champions
In terms of modelling I’m looking at a couple of head and/or weapon swaps but the concern I have just now is how do I model the flight packs for the first 3 types of characters?
Again I have to factor in a couple of minimum requirements for the Squads. However as these are the base squads I planned to take anyway it’s not at all limiting my options. All Eldar squads comprise of five models with a leader, 1-2 special/heavy weapons and 2-3 troopers. The Zoats squads are 4 strong with a leader, 1 heavy weapon and 2 troopers. I have taken;
- 3 Serpent Squads (infantry): The building block of the Pirate force armed with a mixture of shuriken catapults and special weapons.
- 2 Razorwing (Jump Infantry): Taken as an upgrade from a Serpent squad that gives them flight packs.
- 1 Viper Squad (Heavy Infantry): Taken as an upgrade from a Serpent squad that gives them increased stats and equips them with powered armour.
- 2 Dragon Squads (infantry): The support squads of the Pirate force. They are armed with a mixture of shuriken catapults and Flame/Plasma weapons including a Heavy Plasma Gun
- 1 Zoat Terror Squad (Cavalry?): The heavy hitting allies of the Eldar pirates they are armed with a mixture of Bolter and Melta/flamer Weaponry.
Again my only real concern is the flight packs for the Razorwing squads. There are a couple of head and weapon swaps in each Eldar squad but the most complicated of these will be for the squad leaders
Vehicles and Support
The three vehicles associated with the list are pretty much generic to all of the armies found in BotA so I’ll be eschewing them in favour of those from the White Dwarf articles. This means it’ll pretty much be Walkers unless I want to spend more time converting up grav-attacks such as the infamous deodorant vehicle. In the end I’ve gone for;
- 2 D-cannons on Anti-grav Platform
- 1 Banshee Dreadnought
- 1 War-Demon Dreadnought
- 1 Vampire Spirit Warrior
- 2 War Walkers
There will be straight builds with no conversions outside of posing the models.
In total this gives me a model count of 66 minis. 7 characters, 40 Infantry, 4 Zoats, 2 Artillery (3 models each), 5 walkers.
Next: Model preparation and conversion planning.
While I will always love the wargaming hobby my relationship to it has changed dramatically over the past 20 years. primarily due to the onset of real life but also due to The advent of different systems/worlds has reduced the amount of time available and indeed the desire. As of writing I have not stepped into a GW store in over 4 months. I know it may not sound like much but I used to be a regular at LGSs of all flavours.
Introduced to wargaming via GW I received both WFB 3rd and 40K RT at Christmas 1987. I immediately became addicted, specifically with the drawings and miniatures of Jes Goodwin. Wood Elves for WFB and, of course, Eldar for 40K. I fell into the background of the Eldar and scoured issues of white dwarf for new models or fluff. This was all of course pre WD 127 and the advent of Aspect Warriors.
Now that I find myself with time on my hands (self employment is a beautiful thing!) I’m going to accomplish what I failed to at the time. Build a complete Eldar army. I dunno … maybe it’s a nostalgia thing.
Ref Materials: I’ll be building the list from the following sources.
- Age of the Imperium entry: Rogue Trader p177-183
- Mercenary Army List: Book of the Astronomicon p88-90
- Pirate Army List: Book of the Astronomicon p101-104
- Dreadnoughts: WD 100, Rogue Trader Compendium p65,p68
- Spirit- and Ghost-Warriors WD 101,
- Rogue Trader Compendium p72-73
- D-Cannon on Anti-Grav platform WD 101
- War Walkers: WD 102,
- Rogue Trader Compendium p70-71
- Jetbike WD 106
- Eldar legion Painting guide Back of the Epic Eldar Legion boxed set
Raw Materials: In terms of models to hand I have my original collection but I spent 2005-07 picking up a few extra RT Eldar models at car boot sales, ebay etc… and I now have;
- 4-8 of each of the original 12 Eldar models
- 1-3 of each of the Eldar command models
- 1-3 of each type of Walker
- 1-2 of each type of support platform
- 1-2 of each Harlequin
They’re are kept in a cutting edge hermetically sealed storage receptacle… as seen below …