Playing: Exploring Footdar


I've been experimenting with a new army type lately: Foot Eldar. Despite the propensity lately to "mech up" armies this one army type keeps showing up at tournaments and doing quite well. I'm not sure if Foot Eldar are a "tier 1" type of list, but they are certainly competitive and my explorations of this army type have yeilded good results and educated me greatly on how the army works.


First some background, I've been monitoring foot eldar for quite some time now. It's obviously not a new list but has some history of performing well in various tournaments. Most recently, Reece Robbins did quite well with footdar at a sanctioned Sprue Posse event, the SLO Ironman, going 4-0. Reece's list was a pretty standard take on the strategy and the army has a battleforce look to it:

Reecius's Footdar (1500)

HQ

Eldrad
Avatar

Troops

Rangers x5
Dire Avengers x10
Guardians x10 and Seer (Shuriken Cannon, Destructor, Spear)
Jetbikes x3 (Shuriken Cannon)

Elite

Harlequins x9 (Kisses x8) and Shadowseer

Heavy Support

Wraithlord (Bright Lance, EML)
Wraithlord (Bright Lance, EML)
War Walkers x3 (Scatter Laser x6)

Reece's list has the standard core of an Avatar, Eldrad or Farseer, Harlequins and then double wraithlord and triple warwalker. His troop choices appear scattered to me but you have some defensive abilities with the scouts, guardian support, and mobility with jetbikes. As we'll see almost all footdar decide to use the Avatar to enjoy the benefit of fearless troops. As the troops are no longer protected with Wave Serpents, the emboldened infantry are necessary to hold those objectives.

While not recent, I thought Blackmoor's footdar was an interesting place to continue analysis. His list is a higher point value and therefore has a bit more flexibility. His take makes some notable changes though.

Blackmoor's Footdar (1750)

HQ

Eldrad
Avatar

Elite

Fire Dragons x5 and Exarch (Flamer)
Harlequins x6 (Kisses x5, Fusion Pistol x2) and Shadowseer (Kiss) and Troupe Master (Power Weapon)

Troops

Guardians x10 (Brightlance)
Guardians x10 (Brightlance)
Guardians x10 (Missile Launcher)
Jetbikes x3 (Shuriken Cannon) and Warlock (Singing Spear, Destructor)

Heavy

War Walker x3 (Scatter Laser x6)
War Walker x3 (Scatter Laser x6)
Falcon (Missile Launcher, Shuriken Cannon, Holo-Field, Star Engines, Vectored Engines)

Blackmoor mixes together a solid sprinkling of long range str 8 and str 6 suppression fire. One notable difference is the lack or Wraithlords altogether. He migrates the str 8 shots to the guardian units instead. He then moves the str 6 shooting to the warwalker units. His lone falcon can transport his fire dragons and now he has the benefit of melta shots. Blackmoor has a more homogenized troop selection with guardian spam in lieu of scouts or dire avengers. He does retain the lone mobile bike unit.

Finally, Toby Walker's Footdar was another take on the same list. We met at the Broadside Bash in 2010 and this was the list he beat me with:

Toby Walker's Foodar (2000)

HQ

Eldrad
Avatar

Troops

Dire Avengers x 10 w Exarch (Bladestorm) w Wave Serpent (Shuriken Cannon, TL Bright Lance, Spirit Stones)
Guardians x 10 (Bright Lance)
Guardians x 10 (Bright Lance)
Pathfinders x 5
Jetbikes x 3

Fast Attack

Warp Spiders x 8

Elite

Harlequins x 8 (Kisses x8, Fusion Pistols x2) Shadowseer (Fusion Pistol, Kiss)

Heavy Support

Wraithlord (Bright Lance, EML, Flamer x2)
Wraithlord (Bright Lance, EML, Flamer x2)
War Walkers x3 (Scatter Lasers x6)

Toby's list seems to combine some elements of both Blackmoor's and Reecius. Toby uses the troop assortment that Reecius had along with a Wave Serpent for some mobility. He runs Wraithlords for long range fire support though and doesn't bother with the fire dragon / falcon combo. He relies on Warp Spiders for some back line mobile support and has very little str 6 shooting spam. Notable in these lists are the point progressions in them. We're comparing 3 similar lists but they are all at different point levels.

Here is what I've decided to go with:

Nash's Footdar (1500)

HQ

Eldrad
Avatar

Troops

Guardians x10 (Scatter Laser)
Guardians x10 (Scatter Laser)
Guardians x10 (Scatter Laser)
Jetbikes x3 (Shuriken Cannon)

Elite

Harlequins x6 (Kisses x4 and Fusion Pistols x2) Shadowseer

Fast Attack

Warp Spiders x 5

Heavy Support

Wraithlord (Bright Lance, EML, Flamer x2)
Wraithlord (Bright Lance, EML, Flamer x2)
War Walkers x3 (Scatter Lasers x6)

I've decided to forego vehicles entirely to deny my opponent any use out of anti vehicle shooting, especially under the str 8 variety. The Wraithlords can be str 8 bait but with proper use we can give them a cover save and hopefully up their survivability. Str 6 spam is a staple of proper eldar, and footdar in particular and we have loads of that here. Guardians all possess scatter lasers and the war walkers provide solid shoot down support from reserve if we're afraid they won't last very long. I like Warp Spiders in these lists as it offers the ability to get to a remote location quickly and they can also stick around to even take out the occasional str 10 rear vehicle or just unload on some troops in the backfield. Harlequins boast a Shadowseer to keep the Wraithlords compliant. Between him and Eldrad you shouldn't have any issues with Wraithsight.

This list has been a work in progress for me. The troops have changed numerous times and I'm trying to find the right combination of troops and types without over-committing. I like the bikes for their mobility but they really don't last very long under any kind of pressure. I think more than one is far too many. But a singleton unit necessary for that occasional objective grab. In kill points they are just a liability but hopefully their shuriken cannon can take something with them. Triple guardian might seem heavy but I like them with an Avatar keeping them fearless and they are shootier than avengers and really almost as resilient as scouts. Their weapon platform puts them over the top.

My test games have gone well so far. It shows surprising resilience from range and then has some great mid range shooting and powerful counter assault elements. The biggest challenge is getting around the lack of mobility. I think I've put together a list that does just enough to overcome that.

3 Response to "Playing: Exploring Footdar"

  1. lordcarrigan February 28, 2011 at 2:44 PM
    I like the lists of "footdar". It'll be nice to see figures on the board instead of all mech. Im a fan of the soldier armies. They usually look cooler.
    Hopefully it'll play well and we'll see it more often
  2. lordcarrigan February 28, 2011 at 2:45 PM
    I like the lists of "footdar". It'll be nice to see figures on the board instead of all mech. Im a fan of the soldier armies. They usually look cooler.
    Hopefully it'll play well and we'll see it more often
  3. Nick Card February 28, 2011 at 11:27 PM
    I must say Footdar is one of the funnest armies to play, but you're right, their lack of mobility can be a challenge. Your list does counter that as effectively as Footdar can with Spiders, outflanking Walkers and the small Jetbike squad.

    It's truly an army that gets better with practice. Deployment, movement, and casting the correct psychic powers is crucial. Let us know how it develops.

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