Soldiers of the Craftsworlds
Preview the Eldar Faction from Warhammer 40,000: Conquest
“Trust not in their appearance, for the Eldar are as utterly alien to good, honest men as the vile Tyranids and savage Orks. They are capricious and fickle, attacking without cause or warning.”
–Imperial Commander Abriel Hume
The planets of the Traxis sector offer a tempting target for any burgeoning faction in the galaxy. Filled with valuable resources and possibilities for military strongpoints, cultures as different as the ravaging Orks and the Tau Empire are drawn to clash within this sector. In Warhammer 40,000: Conquest, two players take command of these factions, leading warlords and armies to war and die among the unforgiving expanses of space.
Thus far, we’ve given a detailed overview of gameplay, beginning with the deployment phase and moving onto the command struggle and battles, including an example of a battle. More recently, our previews have turned to exploring the factions available in Warhammer 40,000: Conquest, beginning with the Space Marines and moving on through the Astra Militarium, Orks, Chaos, and Dark Eldar. Today, however, we turn to the wonder of the craftworlds and their inhabitants – the Eldar.
Wraithbone and Psychic Power
The Eldar’s outlook on the galaxy is fundamentally different than nearly every other race, and the way they practice the art of war reflects their curious attitudes. A key Eldar strategy revolves around eliminating your opponent’s choices, and you’ll find plenty of ways to do just that, whether by exhausting your opponent’s units, discarding his cards, or using other combat tricks.
The first Eldar warlord in the Traxis sector is the mighty Psyker Eldorath Starbane (Core Set, 6). Starbane exemplifies the Eldar approach to warfare by offering a powerful Reaction, allowing you to shut down your opponent’s plans. Whenever Starbane commits to a planet, you may exhaust any non-warlord unit at the planet. By exhausting your opponent’s most powerful attacker, your opportunities for the coming fight increase dramatically.
Starbane’s signature squad proffers more tools for playing around your opponent, beginning with four copies of Starbane’s Council (Core Set, 123). These Psykers normally have an attack value of three, but when Starbane’s Council attacks an exhausted unit, they gain two additional ATK, giving them enough power to destroy a wide variety of units in one attack. Their ability pairs naturally with Starbane himself, but since units that come with a warlord from headquarters arrive at a planet exhausted, you may find Starbane’s Council is an excellent way to destroy these units before they can attack.
The next card you’ll find in Starbane’s signature squad is the Alaitoc Shrine (Core Set, 124) . This support bears the text, “Reaction: After an Eldar unit moves to a planet, exhaust this support to ready that unit.” Using this support gives you an excellent way to get around the fact that your units arrive from headquarters in an exhausted state. Triggering the Alaitoc Shrine gives you a leg up on your opponent, and lets you get the most out of the units you bring to a planet with your warlord.
Two copies of Foresight (Core Set, 125) are the next cards in the signature squad, and by playing one of these powerful events after your warlord commits to a planet, you may immediately commit him to a different planet. This gives you the opportunity to trigger Starbane’s ability twice, potentially exhausting two units at different planets, but it also invites you to commit your warlord again with full knowledge of your opponent’s plans. Once you know where your opponent’s warlord has gone, you can move Starbane to oppose him directly or seek his downfall on another planet.
The final card in the signature squad is a free attachment entitled Mobility (Core Set, 126). This card can be attached to an army unit, and it grants that army the Mobile keyword, allowing it to move to an adjacent planet at the beginning of the combat phase. Whether you use Mobility to have an army win the command struggle at one planet and battle on another, or use it to hedge your bets and counter your opponent’s maneuvers, you’ll find plenty of options for using this card.
Elegant in Battle
The Eldar’s tactics of restricting their opponents’ choices continues outside of the signature squad. One such card is the Shrouded Harlequin (Core Set, 134). This army unit bears an Interrupt that allows you to exhaust a target enemy unit at the planet of your choice when the Shrouded Harlequin is destroyed. Whenever your opponent fights back against the Shrouded Harlequin, he pays the price by letting you exhaust one of his units, shutting down his attacks and foiling his plans.
Another army that can help you pin down enemy forces is the Silvered Blade Avengers (Core Set, 136). This unit lets you ensure that your foes can’t strike back, since whenever the Silvered Blade Avengers are declared as an attacker against a non-warlord unit, that unit is exhausted. When it comes to eliminating your opponent’s options, the Silvered Blade Avengers are a dire threat, setting your opponent up for a unit like Starbane’s Council to finish off exhausted units.
Exhausting units is an excellent way to control your opponent in battle, but truly adept Eldar warlords strive to control their opponent even beyond combat. You’ll find one way to do this in the Biel-Tan Warp Spiders (Core Set, 137). Whenever you attack with the Biel-Tan Warp Spiders, you may look at the top two cards of any player’s deck, then discard one of those cards. By using this against your opponent, you can discard cards before they even get to your opponent’s hand, as well as gaining some knowledge of what you can expect in the future.
Another way to foil your opponent’s plans off the field of battle is the event card, Nullify (Core Set, 140). This event is free to play, and it allows you to exhaust a unique Eldar unit, such as your warlord, to cancel any event card played by your opponent. With this amount of control, you can easily deny some of the most powerful effects your opponent can throw at you, leaving you firmly in command of your armies in the Traxis sector.
The Anger of a Master Psyker
Take command of a craftsworld and wield the power of the Eldar to take control of the Traxis sector. The fate of countless worlds rests in your hands. Preorder Warhammer 40,000: Conquest at your local retailer today!