Last week when i was at my local gaming club (battle report this Friday) when the game was finished a few people came over and asked me about my army choice as my wriathstar army was rather unusual for the area. While I was more than happy to explain my choices, including taking dark eldar allies (some people really dislike this idea... but that’s another story) and my unit choices. As the conversation carried on it all boiled down to one unit, the humble Eldar Guardians.
I was quite surprised by peoples reactions to this unit, the opinion on them swayed greatly ranging from the worse unit in the world to a guy claiming he would take an army of them as they are ‘soo cheap’. Now my personal opinion of the humble guardians is that they are a good choice to hold and objective and give a little extra fire support but to say they are worthy of being the staple of your army is going too far. As they are 8 points a model I feel they are too expensive for what they do, especially with only 12 inches of range on their guns, but they do fill in a role for my personal army. Anyway back to the reason for this pile of words, I was thinking, what uses to they humble eldar guardians have? And what fun can we have with them? (just the eldar codex for this, no allies).
What uses are guardians commonly used for? What off the wall and generally unexpected uses can you get with them? I am going to go over a couple of uses of guardians, some useful, others just for the fun of it. Remember this is fun with eldar, not how to spend points wisely.
I place my squads of guardians (well 1 normally) on objectives and hold them while shooting what ever heavy weapon i give them (usually a scatter laser) at the enemy from afar. When units then get close to them the assault 2 weapons then unleash a torrent of shots which might not scare many marines, it can make another xenos army think twice.
Fritz40K uses a variation of this but takes several units of guardians in his footdar list and uses them to some effect. While i have never really been able to use them like that, it’s not to say it can’t be done as he is evident.
The main weakness of using guardians this way is if they get charged they will probably die, even when charged by none combat units. Hell tau fire warriors can give them a run for their money which isn’t something you want to boast about. But that’s just a weakness we have to deal with.
Something that i used a long time ago, and some people still do, is to use a large number of guardians, or several squads, accompanied by the Avatar, to have a relatively cheap fearless wall of eldar. Combined with a warlock with conceal this makes the guardians a little harder to shift, but it doesn’t make them any better in combat, they just stick around longer. Now provided you have some other units and this isn’t your whole plan this little guardian trick can be quite useful as it will make your opponent deal with the guardians other wise they will just irritate them all game. However if the avatar does die, well, that’s game over for the guardians i guess.
Now this is a little more unorthodox use of the army but i love doing it ever now and then. You get a full 20 man unit of guardians, give them a warlock with conceal, then either add a farseer with fortune and guide or Eldrad (to use fortune, guide and doom on what ever they shoot at). With a 5+ cover save, with a re-roll from conceal, it makes shifting the 22 models a lot harder than you would expect. As they are only T3 your opponent will think he can shift them quickly but it won’t happen. Unfortunately they aren’t fearless but will have LD 10 from the farseer joining them. If you have Eldrad joined with the guardians (not a wise use of points, but we are talking about fun here) you have quite a deadly close range unit as well. With 38 shots + heavy weapon re-rolling to hit and/or wound, even marines will have to roll a lot of saves so you will kill some models. Again, not great in combat, but such is life.
Now when you say guardians, you never think of them as much of a threat, but if you add in a fun little phoenix lord called kharandras you can make them outflank. Now before you shout nay! If you look at the outflank rule it says you need ONE model in a unit to outflank. Now the phoenix lord has a power to infiltrate, and while he can’t pass this ability onto a none striking scorpion unit, the unit will still be able to use it as one model does.
So if you have a large squad of guardians, with a warlock with conceal (plus stealth from kharandras to give them a 4+ cover save) coming in from a flank, you should be in range of a unit, and while you wont have the re-rolls from a farseer the surprise factor and sheer fun has to be worth it. And for once, they might have a chance in combat, with the phoenix lord being fearless the whole unit is, and he can lend his considerable combat prowess (6 power first attacks) it should be able to ward off most enemies.
Tank hunter unit
This last one is a bit of an odd ball one but it could be fun to try once. 10 storm guardians, with 2 fusion guns, a warlock with singing spear, and joined by Fugan, in a wave serpent. This little unit has 4 anti tank shots and tank hunters will confer to the whole unit. This should mean you destroy a tank with little to no problem. Just something to think of.
Anyway that will do for my first Fun with eldar article, i hope while the guardians might not be the strongest unit, nor the most cost effective you can look at this list of options and if nothing else have a little chortle at some of the possible ideas you can do with them.
Hope you have enjoyed this little bit of fun.