Eldar Weapons in 40k 8th edition

Using Neil’s awesome spreadsheet, I’ll be doing two posts on weapons of 8th edition – one for Eldar and one for Tau. You can also find the spreadsheet for general use here.

We will start with Eldar.

Unlike the Imperium armies, Eldar have a lot less weapon variety to go through but there is a specific group of weapons that are options repeatedly – the Eldar Missile Launcher, Bright Lance, Starcannon, Scatter Laser and Shuriken Cannon. Let’s check these first.

The Starcannon jumps out as a strong damage dealer – straight 3D is huge at providing consistent damage, even to a Land Raider thanks to the -3AP. They are very expensive though (30 points) and have a lowerish strength when considering its potential damage against the T7/8 vehicles (Doom of course exists). The Missile Launcher is much like the Imperial one – good across the board with its multiple shooting styles, the Bright Lance like the Lascannon (but slightly cheaper) does reliable damage to the bigger unit values thanks to AP-4 and D6D and diddly squat to infantry. The more interesting comparison though lies with the Scatter Laser and Shuriken Cannon – both are similar, cheap(er) weapons that can also be bought for Jetbikes / Windriders and we see their damage is very similar. The Scatter Laser is slightly better against lower armor models due to its rate of fire while the Shuriken rule for the Cannon makes it consistently more reliable against units with higher toughness values, particularly when you’re wounding on 5’s regardless. Based upon this, they seem a wash but there are two key differences we need to look at – their weapon type and range. The Scatter Laser has an extra 12″ of shooting power which is fantastic, particularly given the increased threat ranges of assault armies and the lack of a JSJ move; however, the weapon is also heavy compared to the assault type of the Cannon.

Here we see the damage disparity of the two grow and the Shuriken Cannon is consistently better across every model type from T3/5+Sv to T8/2+Sv. The 12″ range if important on Scatter Lasers but losing damage output for moving and paying for that improved movement ability in standard unit costs seems to tap the Shuriken Cannon as the better weapon here, particularly if we start considering the Doom psychic power will allow some re-rolls to Wound generating more potential 6s (though we also must acknowledge Guide will be better on a unit of ScatBikes than CannonBikes).

The -1 to Hit is super important for all the other weapons as well given their heavy typing though the Crystal Targeting Matrix can help with this on occasion for just 5 points.

Overall, I like each option though the Starcannons damage output is the clear winner, they are the most expensive and they probably need Doom to really chew through most vehicles who are T7+.

Let’s look at some of the other heavy support options for Eldar with the Fire Prism, Falcon, Support Batteries and Night Spinner.

Vibro Cannon I did not include as annoying to code if someone would like to do that as the +1 to wound is really, really big. Wounding a Land Raider on a 2+ with -3AP and D3 damage on the final shot is pretty solid and they no longer require the previous shots to hit. Not sure if they are worth it but would like to see their numbers… Anyway. Really solid numbers across the board here for Eldar except the Shadow Weaver but the Doomweaver, D-Cannon and Pulse Laser have pretty significant numbers to multi-wound models. The D-Cannon though has to take the cake in terms of damage against the more durable targets, even outstripping the strongest of the Prism Cannon shots. The Doomweaver takes the cake in terms of damage against weaker infantry though its straight 2D and rending keep it pretty consistent against tougher, multi-wound models.

Despite the gaudy numbers, the D-Cannon is insanely expensive given its defensive statline with a 77 base point cost and a 50 point gun upgrade, a full unit of three measures in at 381 points. You could essentially take two Falcons, Prisms or Night Spinners for the same cost on much more durable platforms (though these platforms could also protect the Support Battery for the first turn at least).

Looking at some other weapons, all of the Wraithknight weapons are super strong – the Suncannon on average dropping a light vehicle in one volley. The normal Wraithguard Wraithcannon and D-Scythe are not flashing the table green, particularly given the D-Scythe’s destructive power of last edition (being reduced to D3 hits for a previous template is a big hit) but they are both decently consistent across the multiwound board if not amazing. The Warp Spider weapons aren’t bringing the house down like they used to with Hull Points so it will be interesting to see if they still get table time while the Dark Reaper weapon is now appears pretty poor at what was always it’s primary job – mowing down MEQs. The Tempest Launcher though seems a beast at putting lots of wounds on those lower toughness models.

Other than some of the bigger and expensive weapons *looks at Wraithknight* there do seem like multiple options available for weapons across Eldar, particularly in their heavy weapon options. The days of spamming Scatter Lasers on everything appear to be over and while we are probably not going back to the days of spammed Starcannons of 3rd edition, there does seem to be a decent case for most of those weapons.

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36 responses to Eldar Weapons in 40k 8th edition

Yeah I made my own sheet for T'AU, made some simplifications in regards to damage calculation.
Wondering how close I am to Neils results and if Kirby comes to the same conclusions…

SO, since you're never posting the Tau article, I'll tell you here:

I've heard per hit of X weapon, commanders are actually cheaper than crisis suits. And of course you can't shoot them. Makes sense, they're only 76 pts vs 42 on a crisis, hist 66% more often.

Probably not true with markerlights. But still.

Any chance I can get whomever creates these .xls files to add in Power of the Machine Spirit as a special rule?

That would be me.

What are you trying to do exactly?
Just use the numbers for Heavy Weapons Moving = False
Or to compare the numbers for moving and not moving, copy the gun and make it Assault instead of Heavy.

So I do, woops! Double the normal Bright Lance damage obviously – 3.56 against Piranha / Harpy / Dreadnought, 2.67 against a Leman Russ and 2.22 vs a Land Raider.

I've done one for Necrons but there are a few I need to figure out.

Is Synaptic Disintegrator basically a Sniper?
Gaze of Death Wounds on a 2+ or 6+ if vehicle
Tesla is 6+ for 3 wounds.0

Does it allow it to target a character? Then it's a sniper. There's no "sniper rule" anymore. Just rules that let things act a lot like snipers.

Oh yeah some of those Special keywords may not be obvious.

Sniper = 6 to wound does a Mortal Wound in adition to other damage
(Common to the Sniper Rifle and Rail Rifle)

Anything Modal (like Gaze of Death) needs to be entered as two lines. You can represent “Always wounds on 2+” with Strength 20, and “always wounds on 6+” with Strength 1. Have a look at the IG Chem Cannon for referance.

Tesla probably needs to be coded in specially. Unfortunately the damage calc formula has become unwieldy to edit further.

Some very interesting math there. Starcannons are back to being one of the strongest guns available, but their cost is definitely a little offputting- especially for the Twin Starcannon you see some places. I wonder what the best platform to bring them would be- a Wave Serpent for the added durability? Guardian Defenders for the ablative wounds? War Walkers or some other light platform? Hrm. Doom is definitely a necessity if you're gonna rely on your S6 guns to kill vehicles, but that's not the worst thing in the world.

I've definitely leaned towards the Shuriken Cannon on a lot more units now due to it being Assault. It's pretty snazzy on, say, a Wave Serpent or Windrider, whether you run them as Craftworlds or Ynnari.

Totally missed that the Doomweaver was Dmg2- that gun was already looking pretty alright, this just makes it fantastic. I think the abundance of Heavy weapons on vehicles will mean you'll see Crystal Targeting as a pretty common upgrade, 'cause otherwise their accuracy is fairly lackluster when on the move (and I think the new edition really wants you to be on the move.)

I've taken CTM in all my mock lists – its 5 pts. My main issue with it is you have to target the closest unit to gain the benefit.

With the movement shenanigans that Ældari* units all have, it shouldn’t be too hard to make the closest unit to you be the one you need it to be…

* Yes, GW, that’s a real letter in the English language. Please learn to use it.

This may be the strangest criticism I have ever read.
(And in English it's not a letter, it's a ligature. Please learn the difference.)


Said nobody, ever. 😀


May I recommend the ÆMY POEHLER DROP POD?

Except that unlike in the word "daemon" (which contrary to modern assumptions and dictionaries, is actually a seperate word to demon), we have no way to know if AEldari (I don't know how to type that ligature. 😛 ) is supposed to have the AE construction or if it's actually an ae.

At least, they are called Aeldari in the German translation, not Äldari, which would look beyond stupid

thx for this review, thinking of playing Aeldari in 8th. What 1000 points army would you guys suggest to beat necrons ?

Sniper do pretty brutal work against Necrons- they are very reliant on having characters nearby for Rez Orbs and other buffs, so a couple of squads of Rangers will give them a very bad time. You'll also want lots of weapons for bringing down their basic infantry- Night Spinners, Windriders, and other such units can do good work against them. Having a way to handle their heavy vehicles is also recommended, though this is a bit trickier thanks to Quantum Shielding; you best bet may be to use medium-strength weapons and Doom to tick a lot of damage off them one at a time.

IDK if Rangers at 20 points a pop are worth it – hitting on 3's and wounding on 4's with no negative AP modifier isn't going to do much. Illic I feel is a good cheap HQ that can reliably drop a character throughout a game though.

I feel Eldar lists in general aren't going to change that much in their core make up. Their good units still look good (Serpents, Wind Riders, Night Spinners, Farseer, Fire Dragons, etc.) with maybe the exception of the Wraithguard with a better range of Aspect Warriors to choose from.

So is a Longstrike Railhead :p.

I think 88 pts for Illic is not bad – yes its one shot but you're still likely to kill a character, even a tough one, over the course of a game with Illic.

I assume you also mean the Vindicare? Same with him for 90 points but doesn't fill a HQ slot.

The final image cuts off after Heavy D for me. The one with Aspect and Wraithknight weapons. Is this happening for eveyone?

Not giving me any problems. I assume you've tried reloading/clearing your cache for the page?