The Eldar race provide a very unique style of play within Warhammer 40k, the army is primarily composed of highly specialised “Aspect Warriors” back by a core of Grav tanks and Psykers. The main focus of the Eldar is a specialised force, balanced by fragility, all the Eldar units are designed with a specific purpose in mind and do not normally function well outside of that role.
The Eldar Race
Millennia ago the Eldar had a galaxy spanning Empire, their technology was great and their wisdom greater. But as the Eldar became more and more reliant on their technology, they began to crave a more hedonistic lifestyle. Many of the Eldar began forming cults of pleasure and excess, seeking new and more fantastic ways to “express” themselves. Groups of the Eldar saw the fault in the new lifestyle and left the empire aboard great star ships called Craftworlds, which protected them from the grasps of the fallen ones. Soon the amalgamation of the excessive emotions formed into the Chaos God Slannesh, and the birth of the Prince of Pleasure caused a massive psychic shockwave which tore apart the seam between warp space and real space, creating the Eye of Terror.
Those who left of the Craftworlds were protected from the shockwave and managed to escape the devastation it caused. The Eldar Empire had fallen, its population decimated, and it’s pride damaged. The Craftworlders swore that they would never allow the Eldar race to return to its old habits, and created “The Path”, a way of life which would please the Eldar need for perfectionism, while restricting them from going too far. An Eldar will choose a path, the warrior, the artisan, the psyker, the outcast, and travel its ways until they are satisfied with their progress, and then move on to a new path.
The Path of the warrior leads to the aspect warriors, specialised fighters who take on the fighting aspects o f the Bloody Handed Khaine. Those who travel the path too long become lost on it and take the mantle of Exarch, the leaders of the Aspect Shrines. A warrior who has perfected many paths becomes an Autarch, supreme commanders and excellent strategists.
Eldar Psykers are among the most powerful in the galaxy, many who travel the path only take on simple powers, usually peaceful ones which are used to help in the path of the Artisan. Some learn powers which are used in battle, they become Warlocks. Those who become lost on the Path eventually become Farseers, the spiritual leaders of the craftworlds.
The path of the outcast is the most dangerous of all, Eldar who take this path are banished from their craftworld until they feel they will walk the outcast path no longer. Most become Rangers, and search the galaxy in search of battle and treasure. Those who become lost are known as Pathfinders, expert Marksmen and skilled hunters.
On the Table
The Eldar can use one of many play styles on the table, and even though they are still a 4th edition codex, and at 4 years old, they still remain a Top Tier force.
The most effective and popular style is Mechdar, which focuses, as the name suggests, on a mechanised force, using Wave Serpents and Falcons to carry the warriors, and Fire Prisms and Vypers to supply Fire Support. The strength on this list comes from its ability to pick it’s fights, due to the high manoeuvrability of their tanks to move around the enemy, gain cover saves, and strike at its enemies when and where it wants to, and only when it will benefit them.
Saim-Hann is also a popular style, which uses mainly Jetbikes to make up from the general fragility of the army, and can also out-manoeuvre most armies, it also boasts decent firepower, with the ability to jump in, shoot and the hide in cover.
Footdar is a force that has lost popularity through the years, in 5th edition tanks and transports are no longer the moving fire traps they used to be, and due to the lack of fast moving anti tank, a foot army struggles to do its best in the competitive scene. This type of force will normally consist of multiple large guardian squads, and combat aspects mixed in to mess with target priority, wraithlords are good fire support, and Pathfinders will provide Objective holding and Farseers and the Avatar providing moral and psychic support.
For More Information, see this WIP article on 40kForums, written by yours truly - http://40kforums.com/phpBB3/the-basi...ar-t65960.html