Friday, January 20, 2012

Fixed List Unit Analysis- Jetbikes

This is the first of a series of articles where I talk about how I built my fixed list for the Legios Sparticus League.  This list isn't what I would do next year, even if it was still 5th Edition and the Eldar don't get a new codex.  I had to rush the list a bit because of last minute point changes to the Nightwing and Phoenix in Imperial Armour 11. 

One of the ways this shows in by the inclusion of three jetbike squadrons.  Two squads are pretty much mandatory in my book for claiming objectives but three can be overkill, especially with the warlock upgrade but I was at an awkward point level so I put in a third squad to get over 1500 points.  Three still work just fine and with the addition of a warlock, you can even get some in game use out of the them.

Even though they are all jetbikes, the two three-man squads are very different from the four man squad.  The three man squads are there to claim objectives and that is it.  I use to put a cannon on them, but found that all that did was tempt me shoot with them instead of turbo-boosting them which typically results in me having one less scoring unit the next turn.  Just like all Eldar, you need to have a plan for what you want out of the unit and focus them on the task.  Eldar jetbikes are the only unit in any army that have "win the game" as their sole purpose.  They are unable to fight and have almost no shooting all they do is claim objectives.   66 points for a unit that can move 24 inches, claim an objective, and win you the game is worth it in my opinion.  In a 1850 point game 2 squads will only cost you about 7% of your total points.  The only other thing I ever use them for is they can provide cover for other units, especially if terrain doesn't allow hiding them.  They almost always start off in reserve to ensure that they are turbo-boosting from the start, and frankly the longer they stay off the board the happier I am, as it means they aren't being shot.

The four-man unit includes a warlock.  Much like the cannon, the warlock is really a temptation to use them in a sub-optimal fashion.  The warlock does provide them with embolden so they can re-roll their morale tests and a single casualty doesn't break them very often.  The spear can also be used to take down the occasional vehicle, especially if they are able to get behind enemy lines and hit the support tanks.  They are still there primarily to claim objectives but have a little more diversity.  I am ok, giving them a cannon as well but forgot to in this case.  The added resilience of this squad isn't worth doubling (almost) its point cost but it is still a worthwhile investment.

Summary:  IMO, fifth edition has made these guys a just have.  As other armies get stronger and stronger, the Eldar have to rely more and more on tricks and efficiency and these are one of the best, as long as you can support them with the rest of your army.  I highly recommend 1 unit / 1000 points (or part there of).

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