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Eldar Army Tactics HQ

HQ Tatics

The Eldar HQ is where most of the psychic can be found, and their psychic powers.


The Avatar is a living incarnation of a god. In game terms he is a monstrous creature with Daemonic abilities.

The Avatar is a slow model in the Eldar army. He can only more 6" (15cm) at a time and has no transport options. This means that any target over 3 feet (90cm) away is out of reach in a 6 turn game. For this reason I suggest leaving him at home if you will be fighting on larger tables.

Avatars are much better at being defensive roles than assault roles.

Fearless and Inspiring

Avatar's pass all their moral and pinning checks. You know that this is one model that you can rely on (subject to being shot at). The Avatar also inspires the Eldar 12" (30cm) around him to being fearless too. This gives you a strong point to your tactics from.

Independent Character

Always better than a invulnerable save. Use cheap troops to take the flak where possible.


A 5+ invulnerable save is good, but not brilliant.


Avatars follow all rules that apply to Daemons.


Farseers are the most flexible HQ. choice for the Eldar, and the most popular.


Rune Armour

All Farseers are given 4+ invulnerable save armour. As they don't get a basic save like the Space Marine Chaplin's all rolls to wound have a 50% chance of succeeding. This leaves your Farseers vulnerable to massed small arms fire i.e. Bolters and Lasguns.

Farseers Psychic Powers

Farseers must have between one and four psychic powers. In a low points game it is recommended that you keep to fewer powers and use the points to beef up your ranks.

Eldritch Storm

This is an 18" (45cm) ranged weapon. That means that fast troop will already be in assault range by the time you can use it. Do you want your enemy that near? he Eldritch Storm is also only Str3 / AP Zip. Not much use against Marines. On average, you will need to touch 10 Marines with the template for one kill (or 4 Orks, or 3 Guardsmen / Guardians). The Eldritch Storm forces a pinning test. Again this is more useful against low Ld troops.

The last effect the the Eldritch Storm is to spin vehicles to a random direction. This can be useful if the vehicle spins to reveal weaker side or rear armour to your shooting and assaulting troops. Not much use against Land Raiders that have armour 14 all round though! Also, do you want to get within 18" (45cm) of your opponents tanks?


Fortune can be a useful psychic power. Remember that you have to get a save before you re-roll it. Not much use if you AP is not up to the job. It does work very well for troops in cover, and can be used on your troops engaged in an assault, if your close enough!


Guide is a good way of getting more range from the Farseers powers. The most effective position is out of sight and within 6" (15cm) of a heavy weapon squad or Fire Prism.

Mind War

Mind War works far more effectively against troops with a low leadership value. For example if you are fighting Tyranids, direct your Mind War towards the smaller Termagants not the bigger Warriors and Hive Tyrants.

Warlock Bodyguard


Warlocks are characters but they are not independent characters. Individual Warlocks can be assigned to Guardian, Jetbike or Wraithguard squads. Alternatively you can band them together to make a dangerous Command Squad.


Warlocks get access to the Eldar Armoury Weapons. Unfortunately there isn't much available.

Rune Armour

Warlocks get 4+ invulnerable save armour as standard. This can be vulnerable to small arms fire, as discussed in the Farseers entry. If the Warlock is attached to a Jetbike squad then you get to choose between the bikes normal 3+ save or the rune armour 4+ invulnerable save. This brings the chance of being wounded be bolters down to 33.3%, a very good thing.

Close Combat Weapons

You can give your Warlock two close combat weapons. This will give them an additional close combat attack and keep the points cost down.

Witch Blade

Which Blades are not described in the codex. In the rule book (Black Codex) which blades hit on a 2+ armour saves as normal, and 3xStr +D6 ie. S9+D6 vs. vehicles. Witch blades are two handed so you do not get an additional attack in close combat, but you can have a Shuriken pistol for close ranged fire fights.

Singing Spear

Shining spears are described in the Wargear section at the back. They work like Witch Blades as described, but have an additional 12" (30cm) throwing option. Be careful as you can not use the spear in both the shooting phase and the assault phase of the same turn. It does return in time for your opponents assault phase.


Warlocks have several transport options. The transport available is determined by the squad that the Warlock has joined.

Jet Bikes

If a Warlocks join Jet Bike squads or Jet Bike riding Farseers, then they must ride Jet Bikes too. This gives them a 12" (30cm) move twin-linked Shuriken Catapults and the bikes 3+ normal armour save. If you have the points and modelling skills then these Warlocks will pack a punch.

Wave Serpent

If the Farseer or squad that the Warlocks join have a Wave Serpent, then the Warlock will join them. Remember that the maximum capacity of the wave serpent includes the Warlock.

Falcon Grav-Tank

If you get a Falcon as a Heavy Support choice then the Warlock's squad can hitch a ride. Again watch out for the maximum capacity.

Warlock Powers

Each Warlock can have a single psychic power. Because a Warlock does not have to pass a Psychic test there is no possibility of him being pulled in to the void. The down side is that you have to decide which power each Warlock before the start of the game.

The powers cost between 10 and 20 points and are well priced. If you get the right power for the right situation then they are well worth the points. Get the wrong one and the points are wasted.


This is a very useful, and popular power. It will stop 1 in 3 shots hitting you. If this squad if at the front then it has to be whittled down before rearward squads can be shot at.


A Heavy Flamer by another name. Short ranged and ignores cover. Just the thing for city fights and jungle fighting.


When you absolutely have to hold that ground this will help you pass those leadership tests. Not much use in a Wraithguard squad though.


This is more useful in Wraithguard and Guardian Storm Squads. The +1 I will mean that you will strike first against Marines. Against slower troops it's not worth having.

Eldar Elite Tactics

>Warp Spiders

It their most basic form Warp Spiders are just jump pack troops. They can move 12" (30 cm) during their movement phase. Their special abilities come in to play during the assault phase when then are allowed another 2D6" move.

Warp Spiders do not make good assault troops, they are far better at hitting and running. The ability to move in the assault phase means that they are able to move out of cover, shoot, and then move back in to cover.

Warp Jump Generators

These are mini warp generators that the Warp Spiders ware. There are two points to be aware of; first, if you roll a double for the assault phase move then you loose one of your warp spiders. That's a 1 in 6 chance.

Death Spinner

Warp Spider Exarch

Striking Scorpions

No Fleet of Foot

Striking Scorpions can not fleet of foot. On larger tables you will need a Wave Serpent or Falcon.

Haywire Grenades

Eldar Striking Scorpions can be upgraded to have Haywire Grenades. These are not as good as the Fire Warriors Plasma Bombs, but they do give tank busting abilities to the Striking Scorpions.

Howling Banshees

Fleet of Foot

Howling Banshees can use the fleet of foot rule. On larger tables you will need a Wave Serpent or Falcon.

Shuriken Pistols

Howling Banshees are armed with S4 Shuriken Pistols. There are times when taking a pot-shot at the back of a tank brings rewards, otherwise it's better to fleet of foot and get in to a better assaulting position.

Howling Banshee Exarch

Fire Dragons

Fire Dragons specialise in anti-tank assaults using their Fusion Guns and Melta Bombs.

Fire Dragons are fairly good at taking on Monstrous creatures at short range too.

Fusion Guns

2D6 + Strength armour penetration. Short ranged.

Fleet of Foot

A slight advantage when moving around the table, but a transport vehicle will get you there faster.

Fire Dragon Exarch


Good tactical troops but expensive. Their slow speed means that you will either have to invest in a transport vehicle. Be tactical on their initial placement, or use them as defensive troops.

Special Rules


Already dead, so what's the problem?


Wraithguard are slightly unpredictable without a Warlock to guide them. I recommend taking the Warlock for this reason as well as his fighting and psychic abilities.

Wraith Cannon

Wraithguard are armed with a Wraith Cannon as standard. This is a short ranged very powerful weapon. A good shot can take out tanks with any armour value and instantly kill multiple wound character.


Warlocks are a 'must have' for Wraithguard units. The Enhance and Conceal Warlock powers work well. Make your choice based on your style of play.

Eldar Troop Tactics

The Eldar army have a wide selection of specialist troop, but with out support from the 'Rank and File' infantry, you will find that they will be out numbered and easily beaten.

Guardian Defenders

Guardian defenders are the basic troops of the Eldar army. They can either fleet of foot or have a heavy weapons platform, but not both.

Guardian Defenders are armed with Shuriken Catapults. These are short ranged S4 weapons. You will have to get in to assault range for them to work. With the new close combat rules it is usually better to shoot that get the extra assault bonus.

Small Squads, Large Squads

Guardian Defenders can have squads of 5 to 20 Guardians. Smaller squads means that you can have more heavy weapons on the table instead of using valuable heavy weapon slots. Larger squads enable you to absorbed more casualties, bogging down assaults whilst specialist troops arrive.

Heavy Weapon Platforms

A good way of adding extra fire power to your army. Note that even though most of the weapons are heavy, they can still move and fire when they are on anti-grav platforms.

Be warned - they are expensive in points. The Missile Launcher costs 55 points. Compare that to the 10 points that Space Marines can get them for.

Shuriken Cannon

Good for killing troops and light vehicles. Space Marines wound on 2's but get a save. It's 24" (30cm) range puts it in the medium range bracket. A good complement to the Guardians Shuriken Catapults.

Scatter Laser
Missile Launcher
Bright Lance
Star Cannon


Adding a Farseer with the Conceal Warlock Power can be useful if there is no cover available. if you do have cover then use the points elsewhere.

Guardian Storm Squad

If you want infantry support for advancing aspect warriors then the storm squads make a much better choice. They are not slowed down by heavy weapon platforms, they have two close combat weapons, and they can take Krack and Haywire grenades to deal with monsters and tanks.

Games-Workshop do not do Guardian Storm Squad models. A simple conversion of putting Dire Avengers arms on to Guardian Defenders bodies will be required.


Farseers do make a good addition to a Storm Squad. Choose his Farseers powers carefully depending on your style of play. Conceal is most useful if there is little cover, Enhance is best if you can get in to combat safely.

Remember that the Guardian Storm Squads work best as support for more specialised aspect warriors. Don't spend too much on them.

Dire Avengers

Dire Avengers cost 150% more than Guardian Storm Squads. For this you get a 4+ save and better Ws and Bs. Dire Avengers don't have grenades, special weapons, Farseers or the flexibility of squad sizes. Over all they are not as good value as Guardian Storm Squads.

Fleet of Foot

Despite having 4+ armour save the Dire Avengers can fleet of foot.


You can upgrade a Dire Avenger to being a Dire Avenger Exarch. Exarches start at a whopping 26 points and 66 points if fully tooled up. You will be hard pressed to get this Exarch to pay for himself.


Rangers are the Scouts of the Eldar army.

Eldar Fast Attack Tactics

The Elder's "Fleet of Foot" and Anti-grav tanks make the army capable of moving at speed. In addition to this the Eldar have a good array of fast attack options. The Eldar may not be the fastest army in the game, but they can give everyone a run for their money.

Jetbike Squad

Shining Spears

Viper Squadron

Swooping Hawks

Eldar Heavy Support Tactics

Every army finds that big guns are useful. The Eldar have a good selection to choose from. The popular Eldar tactic is to do as much damage to the other army as your hand to hand troops get in to position.


Good value for points. The Wraithlord is not fast, but with Bs4 it will hit things as often as a Marine will. Think about your enemy when choosing the heavy weapon.

Wraithlords can be vulnerable if they are attacked by squads with Powerfists. I recommend that you accompany your Wraithlords with Guardian Storm Squads if there are many about.

Special Rules

Wraithlords have two special rules so that they are treated as Dreadnoughts and not creatures.

Implacable Advance

This a good characteristic to have, again it brings the Wraithlord in line with Dreadnoughts.

War Walkers

A cheaper option to the Wraithlord, the two heavy weapons compensate for the mediocre BS.

The lack of close combat weapons means that they work best as infantry support vehicles. If you have a line on Guardians marching forward then they provide welcome heavy weapon support.

Special Rule: Energy Field

The War Walkers energy field gives a very small amount of insulation from Lascannons and larger Ordinance weapons, but as your main foe will be the Bolt Gun and Heavy Bolter, this is not much use. Still, it is better than nothing.

To make the most of the Energy Field, keep facing the enemy and beware of any deep striking troops.

Falcon Tank

The Falcon is a bit of a 'jack of all trades' and with this comes a point price premium. It uses skimmer rules that adds to its manoeuvrability, but adds the slight vulnerability of crashing if immobilised.


The Falcon carries two main weapons and a secondary weapon system. In most games it is advisable to keep moving over 6". It get you the glancing hits only benefits. If you follow this tactic then it makes sense to keel the weapon costs to a minimum. The exception to this rule is when you fight Tyranids. Their main weapon (the Venom Cannon) can only causes glancing hits, or if you are confident that you can stay 'Hull Down' most of the game.

Pulse Laser

The stats for the Pulse Laser can be found in the Wargear section of the Eldar Codex.

The Pulse Laser has the same range and strength and AP as a Krack Missile. It can penetrate the toughest tank armour with a good roll. It has one to three shots each round so there is a good chance that you will get one or two hits on target each turn.

Twin-linked Shuriken Catapult

With a 12" (30cm) range, I view this as a desperate last ditch weapon. There is a limited amount of use in them as support weapons when dropping off passengers.

Shuriken Cannon
Scatter Laser
Eldar Missile Launcher
Bright Lance

Vehicle Upgrades

Crystal Targeting Matrix
Spirit Stones
Star Engines
Vector Engines


Because the Falcon is a Heavy Support and not attached to a squad it can be used as a taxi. You can carry different squads (one at a time) back and forward. Only certain squads can be carried. There is a limit on the number of models that can fit inside. A keen strategist will be able to formulate ideas on how to orchestrate lighting strikes, and quick regroup.

Fire Prism

The fire Prism is not an Ordinance weapon. This means that you only have a 50% chance of hitting anything. If you can gat a Farseer to cast Guide upon it then the probability of hitting rises to 75%.

The Shuriken Cannon upgrade is not recommended. To use it you would have to give up the use of the Fire Prism or be stationary. Neither option is good.

Vehicle Upgrades

The full range of Eldar Vehicles are available to the Fire Prism Tanks.

Crystal Targeting Matrix
Spirit Stones
Star Engines
Vector Engines

Support Weapon Battery


Vibro Cannon
Shadow Weaver

The Shadow Weaver is the longest ranged the two Guess Weapons available to the Eldar.

Special Rules

Weapons Platform

Dark Reapers

The Dark Reapers and their Reaper Launchers are great Space Marine / Necron killers, if you can see the enemy.

Strategic placing of your troops are, as usual with heavy weapons.

Weapon: Reaper Launcher

The Reaper Launcher is a long ranges medium strength two shot heavy weapon. It's AP2 make it a great Marine and Necron killer.

The Reaper Launchers H2 stat gives the Dark Reaper 25% chance of hitting or missing and a 50% chance of hitting twice. Basically the more Reapers you have on a squad, the more likely you are to land one hit per Reaper. Knowing this allows you to predict your kills per turn.


The Dark Reapers can take a an Exarch in their number. The extra points give you a model with a better weapon skill, initiative and extra attack. Not too useful if you intend to keep your troops well away from any hand to hand combat. You do get an extra point of Ballistic Skill. This is a mega-bonus, enabling you to hit on a 3+.

Shuriken Cannon

The Shuriken Cannon is a waste of points for the upgrade and a waste of the Exarch's better Ballistic skills.

Eldar Missile Launcher

65 points for a Missile Launcher carrying model.


The purchase of a Wave Serpent seems to be a waste of points to me. It might be useful in games played on very large game tables, otherwise don't bother.

Warhammer 40000 Eldar Tactics

Elves by any other name, Eldar are an ancient race with many sophisticated advanced technology weapons. What they gain in speed and stealth they lack in numbers. Eldar players often find themselves out numbered and must use all their cunning to win.

The Eldar army has been part of the Warhammer game since conception. Because of the their are a lot of different troop choices and additional rules. As an Eldar player you can pick and choose which style of play most suites your nature, and build an effective army in that style.

In this chapter I will be looking at what makes the Eldar special, the different Eldar Craft World types and offering Tactics and Strategy to improve your game.

Eldar Strategies

Like games of chess, the best Eldar tactics are those where several different troop types are used in synchronisation. Each Eldar troop type has it's own strengths and weakness. The art of being an Eldar player is the art of getting the right mix of troops in the right place at the right time.

The first lesson is knowing your troops and what the skills of each type are. When you are familiar with their skills practice your timings and manoeuvres until you can precisely time different unit type from different places to arrive at the right place at the right time.

Hammer and Anvil

My usual style of play with the Eldar is a 'Hammer and Anvil' approach. I use fast troops to harass, flank and disrupt the enemy; tanks and heavy weapons to whittle their number down; and stubborn troops like the Wraithguard, Avatar, and Guardian Defenders to provide the backbone that keeps the army together. This combination is flexible enough to work well for any on the usual missions.

Bombard and Assault

This tactic is for those who love heavy weapons. Basically you want to hit the opponent with as many heavy weapon blasts as possible in the first two turns. Then strike with fast moving assault squads. I Highly recommend loading your squads in to Wave Serpents. This will speed up the assault phase and also give you some twin linked heavy weapons during your barrage.

Be careful using this strategy as there are armies with better barrage capabilities like the Imperial Guard, Tau, Marines, and some Chaos armies.

Hit and Run

The Eldar 'Hit and Run' strategy appeals to those players who like a fast flowing force. The idea here is to your forces to fire on isolated enemy units and then withdrawing. Withdrawing before your foes main force can target you with his artillery and main forces.

This tactic if far more effective against a slower force on a large table. It has limited effectiveness against a faster army like the Dark Eldar.

 Copyright David Haynes 2005
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