I’ve been experimenting with much faster build orders lately, trying to apply my success with the Tau to my other favorite factions. At the moment, I’m concerning myself with a mastery of speed Eldar, which is fun because they’re sure fucking built for it. Listening posts at 80 requisition, for example. Yeah, money. So, not to distract myself to much here, but the point is, some units are useful with the Eldar much earlier than others. Like the Dark Reapers, which have 2 upgrades available at tier 2, and Third once you hit tier 3. All to weapon damage. Sick, right? And also a clue, pointing me towards a build order focused on getting nasty ranged units on the field with only a handful of vehicles as backup. And those vehicles are usually a Wraithlord (or six) in melee mode hammering structures or making short-work of infantry. Then, hopefully, the picture is becoming clear. With ranged units at tier 2 that immediately counter other larger units, like big vehicles or aircraft or reenforced structures. Fire Dragons kill everything that’s not an infantry unit. Easily, once upgraded. And Warp Spiders do wicked things to units, but have little affect on buildings or other armored things.
My battles have gone like this: I am largely left alone for 6 minutes or so before I am forced to address the military issue. Or build a counter unit, or some such. But by then, I can build Wraithlords, which take over on melee immediately, and then build Warp Spiders, Fire Dragons or bring my left over Dark Reapers along to finish off stragglers. This has not failed me yet. There seems to be no stooping a pissed-off Wraithlord. It can maul damn near anything that could try and harm it, or put a stop to it. They struggle against aircraft, but that’s what the Fire Dragons are for! They annihilate armored vehicles and anything even vehicle flavored, and on top of that, they punish structures. They can raze an entire fortified position in moments… which is the fastest of any counter-unit I have yet seen. Mixed ranged squads control the true battle-line, as they march, slowly tightening the noose. Typically leave them in the hold ground stance, so they don’t get kited off anywhere (which the AI will try to do mercilessly, and trick them into running through mine fields and such, very MM). Then, as the Wraithlords work the threats to a minimum, the ranged units just walk forward, purging the land of anything enemy as they go. It all works rather seamlessly, even at the cost of a few Wrathlords losing it somewhere along the way. They have weaknesses, namely, rockets. But they serve a function of engaging the AI’s melee units and keeping them busy while the ranged units work the real power, and demolish things that the Wraithlords are being attacked by, or happen to be near. Their Line Of Sight (LOS) is critical to establishing ranged dominance. They can shoot farther than they can see, but with a greatly expanded LOS, they kill, mercilessly.
I think this strat has a cogent build order, but right now I don’t think listing it out is worthwhile. I’m still in flux, myself, over it’s sequence. I’ve been working with the first few establishing moves Eldar has to make in order to go win later. I still am murky on the very first military, and what unit works the best to pair with the Dark Reapers to keep them safe. Reapers have no melee attack whatsoever. Like a much better beefier Fire Warrior squad. Anyway.
I’m going to have that build order figured out soon enough, and when I do, you’ll no doubt be the first to know about it.