Thursday, January 22, 2015

One Year On - Unit Review: Fast Attack

Oddly there is a rumor of a new Harlequin codex or supplement coming soon, which will hopefully address some of the concerns I mentioned in my post on Elites. I look forward to it, despite my surety the Solitaire will have no rules in the book.

Crimson Hunter

I want this unit to come as a squadron because it would feel right as an aspect. I enjoy this unit.

Game Play - a solid unit, and I use them often. Vector dancer is an amazing rule, but it is a fragile unit.

In 7th: pretty much the same as in 6th, though Jink has improved. One is ok, but two are better. If you roll as poorly as I do you'll also upgrade one to an Exarch, and then probably fail to pen anyway.

Swooping Hawks

This unit received a huge boost in a point reduction and an additional shot per weapon and deep strike without scatter. Also the exarch received the ability to simply purchase a power sword without giving up a good gun.

Game Play - there isn't much not to love about this unit. In a pinch they can finish off a wounded vehicle with a Haywire thrown by an Exarch, and the squad can take down an Imperial knight in a single round of combat. What their guns lack in strength they make up in volume.

Phoenix Lord - I have not used Baharroth, but I like his rules (the addition of the invul is notable) and he makes the unit even faster, capable of repositioning very quickly. blinding units on the deep strike allows them to affect multiple units in a single turn, as can clever positioning compared to where the grenade pack drops.

In 7th:  Scoring is an improvement on a solid unit.

Warp Spiders

This unit was awful in 3rd edition, and has seen steady improvement ever since. It is now, in my opinion, the best unit in the game. Fast, solid save, powerful short range shooting that threatens anything shy of AV 14. The only down spot is the models are over 20 years old and static.

Game Play - If wielded like a scalpel they are brutally efficient. They are flexible enough to target heavy or light infantry, monstrous creatures or light to mid armor vehicles. With deep strike or their insane move distance per turn they can get where you need them when you need them.

In 7th:  The ability to score objectives has boosted them from stars to super stars.


Possibly the most maligned unit in the book at its release I enjoyed its less than direct approach to warfare.

Game Play - be aggressive and keep it close to opponents you intend to force break tests on.

In 7th:  now it can cast psychic shriek and cast on the turn it arrives (and shoot swooping monstrous creatures). 7th has made it a nightmare to units like broadsides.

Shining Spears

Shining Spears received a 10ppm price reduction in this book making them a unit I strongly consider, but they retained the AP3 in close combat.  They also received skilled rider and outflank thrown on.

Gameplay - In 4th edition they were a unit I would aim at terminators, but now they're a unit only suited to taking on small units of heavy infantry as they've been reduced to AP 3.  Their actual damage output is very low on the charge because they cannot get a bonus attack, but their shooting is slightly improved with bladestorm.  They need support in the form of an attached Autarch (who now only gives 5 bonus attacks, as opposed to the 6 he could previously give with the scorpion helm.  An exarch is still required (for hit and run and a little oomf), but the overall cost of a unit has thankfully been reduced.  I ran a unit of 5 supported by an autarch, which made them expensive, but deadly.  I haven't run them in 7th, but with the reduced cost I might simply run 5 with no support character and see how it goes.  The ability to run 6 fully tricked out for under 200 pts is an excellent option as well, but they are one of the units that are not for amateur players.  You need to have a plan, and stick with it, and once you've had a good game with them expect they become a priority target for your opponents.


Here have some BS4 and bladestorm.  Really that's the only change from the previous book, but if you liked to upgrade your turret weapon the upgrades got cheaper.

Gameplay - This really hasn't changed.  For me I run them in a squadron of 3, each with dual shuriken cannons.  The change to jink does hit their output, but if you focus more on intervening terrain to provide cover rather than jinking you'll get an idea of just how gross their firepower can be.  They hit more and are occasionally AP2, all in a tidy package for 180 pts.  They're flexible enough to take on light to medium vehicles and have a high enough volume of fire (That's 18 BS4 shots at str 6 ap 5 bladestorm) to scare light and heavy infantry alike.  Also, opponents often deprioritize them in favor of other targets, so in the early game you can use them aggressively and force your opponent not to ignore them.


Eldar may have the best Fast Attack section in the game.  Most players will take Warp Spiders in just about every list, and Swooping Hawks finally 


Warp Spiders: 8 with an Exarch with Spinneret rifle and Fast shot.  You can absorb a couple casualties and still be terrifying.

Swooping Hawks: 7 with an Exarch with sunrifle allows you the big blast when you drop, small arms fire that will shock your opponent, and their grenades make them a counter to the ever-present threat that is an imperial knight.

Crimson Hunter: Exarch.  That upgrade is worth it for the bump in BS.  The Marksmen upgrade is solid if you want to surprise your opponent and force some look out sir rolls.

Hemlock: it has no options, but should definitely be run.

Shining Spears: 6 with an Exarch with star lance, hit and run, and monster hunter.

Vypers: 3, each with dual shuriken cannons.

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