I am in the process of picking up some Epic Eldar Knight miniatures and so I thought that it would be interesting to see what, if any, army lists are available to use the Knights in. The NetEA 2012 army list compendium contains the Fir Iolarion Eldar Titan Clan army list (an older version, the most recent version is available for download) but it has several issues with it that make it less than interesting from my perspective. No disparagement meant to the work that Kalen has done on the list (as he has done some interesting work), its just not the type of list I want to play and I think that it strays from the background in several areas.
There are no SHT units in the list
While it is true that the inclusion of items like the Cobra and Scorpion would take away tactical opportunities from Revenants and even Titans this makes a lot of sense from the perspective of an Eldar commander. Titans seem to be far more precious and expensive to build than an SHT and so if a commander can fill the same battlefield role with an SHT I assume that they would.
I also like how the SHTs look and perform and so I want a list that has them in it.
Gate of Vaul
The list includes an option for a very large Wraithgate called the Gate of Vaul. This is a Wraithgate large enough for Titans to come through. The idea is very neat but it doesn’t seem to be in fitting with the background for the Eldar Titan formations which appear to be a fast reaction force that the Eldar use to quickly overwhelm opposition forces and just as quickly leave the battlefield.
The idea that anyone would fight anywhere near a gate that let in Titans is insane unless the aim of the game was to destroy the gate. Which seems more like a special scenario to me. The gates are, it would seem reasonable to assume, totally immobile and so any battle next to one implies that the gate is itself the focus of the battle. So as a special scenario this makes sense but as a general part of the army it seems a little far-fetched.
The Fir Iolarion list includes options for Guardian formations and Support Weapons. This seems an odd inclusions in the list especially since the formation has no transport options and appear to be a very non-standard Guardian formation that exists just to put Support Platforms on the table. The entire formation would be squished quite quickly in a battle and would quickly lag behind the rest of the army if it needed to move.
Despite having Guardians the list has no War Walkers. There isn’t any reference to the list not using the “May Not Garrison” rules so that means that the list only has squishy, slow Rangers as a garrison option.
So to help rectify these issues and build what I think is a more interesting list that fits closer to the background I am going to start work on the Fir Lirithion list. The focus of the list won’t be Titans but it will be intended to be a fast response list that utilizes Titans. The Fir Lirithion is associated with the Iyanden Craftworld and I chose it for this reason. I thing that the Iyanden focus on machines and Spirt Stone enabled vehicles fits in with the idea of having an effective mechanized list and also provides the background for limiting the use of troops like Guardians and Rangers.
The background for Fir Lirithion also talk about the force focusing on decapitating the leadership of a force to put it into disarray and confusion to help make it easier to destroy. This also fits in with what I see as the purpose of these forces, quickly defeating or nullifying an enemy force with fast, overwhelming force before the enemy can counter-attack.
So there will be a few design themes that I will utilize to keep the list on track and keeping with its original intent.
Eldar lives are dear and the Guardians in most Eldar armies are the citizens of the Craftworlds. Any effort to reduce the number of Eldar Guardians or troops in the force should be taken. Units like Guardians and Rangers are also quite “squishy” and would probably get eliminated quite quickly fighting next to Titans.
The force needs to advance quickly into combat and move out just as quickly to avoid being caught in an attrition battle. No formations should be used that don’t have transport or are too slow.
Titans as a tool not as a focus
A Titan is a tool to apply an overwhelming amount of firepower to a target. Titans are also previous items and so the army should be built to providing scouting and probing elements that identify and pin down targets for the Titans to advance and destroy.
I’ll be starting the list soon and hopefully have a test document in a week or so.