Friday, August 14, 2009

Winning With Warp Spiders

I had an experience in a recent game that I thought would help out my fellow Eldar players. I have loved Warp Spiders ever since their heavy flamer template/roll against Initiative instead of Toughness days. I still try to use them as often as I can as their abilities are the signature style of the Eldar.

Anyway, the mission was Capture and Control, a difficult mission to win and an easy mission to tie. In this case, it was turn 5 and we each were holding our objectives. My opponent had been running his Marines to his objective, and as such were strung out. I simply assaulted the far end of his line and watched them all respond to the charge, pulling them 6" off the objective. The game ended and I won.

Warp Spiders are a fantastic harassment unit. They aren't as fast or tough as jetbikes, but they pack a much stronger punch (their guns can punch through most vehicle rear armor, and they're maneuverable enough to get back there). Since they are Aspect Warriors, they also fare slightly better than guardians at close combat, even though they aren't built for it. Furthermore, they can Hit and Run to get out of sticky situations.

Now that they get Deep Strike for free, that saves a lot of points. Don't think you have to deep strike every time- remember that they can just walk on from the table edge if you wish. If they're needed close to your table edge, just walk them! I know this sounds like common sense, but it's easily forgotten when you want to use their abilities (similar to how people will sacrifice movement to get a few shots off).

Charging with your Warp Spiders is another good trick. To keep them safe from shooting for a turn, you can launch them into an assault, their high armor hopefully keeping them alive. If you upgraded your Exarch you may even take a few down. I have found that against all but dedicated assault units, Warp Spiders can hold their own, finally using Hit and Run to get to safety.

As for the Exarch, I always give him the double spinner, powerblades, and Hit and Run. Any extra shots I can give are worth it, and seeing as I often use their melee abilities to harass and lock down units, they might as well take some down with them. For unit size, I try to go with the max. A small unit can be effective, but having full size makes their advantages even stronger. With a large unit, you can take casualties and still be able to make a difference on the battlefield, being effective through the whole game.

I have never experimented with putting an Autarch in a unit. It would be interesting to give him a fusion gun and power weapon, so the unit would have greater vehicle popping abilities, and an intense close combat presence. This is a unit that can pop transports easily and take out the squishies inside.

I'd like to hear how everyone else uses Warp Spiders (or if you don't use them at all, why).


  1. I've used them a few times, and haven't really gotten a taste for them.

    I would use them as you suggested with a decently-sized unit, and Exarch w/ blades/dual spinners. Take the hit 'n' run power. Hide in melee during the enemy's turn.

    My beef is that they're just not that hot against vehicles. They can threaten rear shots, but that AP- really is a pain.

    They can put wounds on enemy infnatry, but the problem is that htey can't hide well. IF the enemy wants to delete them, it's a matter of paying attention to them. The 3+ save is nice, but you're still T3.

    On the other hand, if you want a torrent of S6 fire, they're there.

    I don't think they're necessarily terrible, I just think they don't really fill a hot niche in any of my builds.

    If you want actual BAD Eldar Fast aattack, it would be the swooping hawks. Similar torrent attempts, half the strenght, less speed, no melee, inability to harm vehicles outside of grenades.

    The whole 'assault people off their objective' trick IS win; it's something the enemy won't try again. I got a win off Orks the same way; he'd done the objective conga line and I pulled him off both.

  2. Just a quick response to the poster above me - Hawks have really come into their own in Planetstrike. Haywire grenades are amazing against bastions and vehicles alike. I played defensively against my friend's Eldar army last week, and he ran 2 squads of Hawks /w exarchs + the Hawk Phoenix Lord. He picked all my armor apart with them, and had enough hawks left to harass my infantry for the rest of the game.

  3. In fairness, Blood Angels are the single best army in Planetstrike, so... ;)


    I'm a fan of Spiders, wish they could fit in my lists more often. Excellent against Biker armies, in particular, with the torrenting smallish units at S6.


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