So you lucky lucky people get a brand new Rant to mull over.
Banshees are an elite close combat specialist choice for the Eldar army as such this puts them in a difficult spot to start with ,contending with fire dragons and two other CC units for slots.
There have been several circular arguments over the subject of which is best , I like to spam dragons at present, if I were to spam something else or maybe only take 2 squads of draggies it would be Harlequins.
So you end up with the debate of Scorps Vs Shees which to be honest is a pointless debate as you’ll never take either of them if you are trying to win games at a competitive level, both can be kinda fun to play as a break on a casual basis but I honestly find them to be underwhelming for ‘elite’ units.
I’ll evaluate the unit and then discuss some ways of getting the most out of them .
Currently I would argue that the asking price of 16 points is possibly a bit too high, it’s actually how many points a shee should cost but they need either a boost or a points drop , I would prefer the former.
The stat line is meh, not that you can change a huge amount , but the simplest way to ‘fix’ banshees would be to give either ws5 and/or baseline 2 attacks, as sucky as str and t 3 is , its eldar and I would not see it change for the world, currently banshees seem to be designed with the assumption a farseer is always available to cast doom on their target and costed accordingly with a unit that would re-roll to wounds , not taking into account the hidden cost of said doomseer. not only is this a big problem with the banshees it’s a syndrome prevalent in this whole book.
Lets discuss their Basic equipment and rules.
Banshee masks are actually pure win: I 10 , and negates cover , so in theory they are great assault troops even when cover is involved as 99% of the time they will go first , its worth mentioning that they have fleet which is essential coupled with their bad but entirely correct armour save of 4+ means you do not want to get stuck out in the open out of a transport , even having cover is not going to help a whole lot as your pitiful toughness and astronomical cost (including serpent + some points investment represented in the necessary Farseer) means bad times for you, also banshees str 3 and one base attack is a bit crippling for a dedicated assault unit, even if they do have power weapon spam.
Shuriken pistol: like a bolt pistol only …. not. It does give them a total 3A on the charge, however as most troop level units with a CC bent can manage that it’s again a little bit on the weak side when accounting for the str3 t3 issue, De wyches are actually statted better and will statistically beat banshees most of the time and cost 10 points a pop , I don’t even consider wyches an especially good unit so you can imagine how banshees fair in the scheme of things…
Power weapons – well a whole unit of them has to be good right ? I can’t complain too much, power weps are pretty kick ass. I tend to like anything that will deny my opponent freak luck opportunities, now all you need is your own freak luck to generate the amount of 5’s and 6’s banshees need to semi effectively accomplish their role. –
First option to choose from is an exarch, sadly you loose the benefit most sgt’s bring to a squad which is a ld boost, however ld9 is a good place to be so it’s not the end of the world , as banshees struggle to kill shit and are limited to ten models the only way to get a bit more kill power is to plump for the exarch. she does actually work out fairly expensive for a 1 wound t3 model, she does however bring counter attack for the unit for a measly 5 points, and once in a while war shout is hilarious, (I kinda hope it stays in the next book but becomes a bit more likely to happen) I flubb fleet rolls all the time , not that most people will bother charging them, they are terminally allergic to shooting of any kind and will go down like broke hookers when pelted with handfuls of spent shell casings.
Her options are: Executioner, which after stubbornly using mirror swords for ages as I really liked the model that way I have to agree with the general consensus that more str 3 is just more fail , better to bring something the unit does not already have in abundance, so str 5 power wep is in, it also has the fringe benefit of making banshees not completely useless vs vehicles , coupled with doom she can even put a dent in mc’s, actually the squad is quite good at tackling doomed mc’s for the record.
Se can also choose a Triskelle – yup it’s a death frisbee, at first glance it looks like a fair choice, except if you want to shoot it = no fleeting, also opponents have the nasty a habit of removing models to prevent you making charge range, plus its moAr str3 and most importantly NOT an Executioner…
Mirrorswords: Move along nothing to see here *looks shifty*
Warshout – although largely useless due to 40k games design having issues with leadership based tests, occasionally hitting marines on 3’s and being hit back on 5’s is epic, it’s only five points, and think I mentioned Acrobatic (ie. counter charge) back there ^ (why this could not be a rule allowing them to treat their serpent as an assault vehicle boggles the mind, how do you sleep at night Kelly ?) I suppose you could use mind war to snipe the sgts to increase the chances of getting it off (now we’re really leaning on that crutch)
Lastly and probably most importantly take a Serpent do not pass go do not collect 200 dollars, if anyone that reads this blog ever sees someone footslooging their Banshees please correct their error with a bullet and do the gene-pool a favour , (If you are not big on guns I’m sure repeated blows to the genital area with a sock full of banshee models will serve admirably)
Blood from the stone:
Put them in a transport (it must be a FULL size squad), pick a target, flat out towards said target , might be worth a fortune depending on the state of things or if your opponent is ignoring the dragons for some reason, get as close as you can, hope to survive the ensuing shooting phase, also hope opponent can’t back off out of assault range, get out, hope for good fleet roll,* cast doom on target unit* pray for 5’s lots of 5’s. If the dice gods smile you won’t quite wipe the enemy and be saved from being turned into a 6’ft alien swiss cheese. If not you flub and become a pile of exotic tasting plant food. yummy.
(next week: water from wine)
Obviously thats a bit simplistic, getting them in position is as much about what is going on elsewhere and table manipulation positioning and timing always being the keys to succesfully running an Eldar army.
Remember Doom is not actually a given, psychic defense can and will screw with it , so maybe pre disposing enemy psy defense might be part of the plan, in all honesty they can be hard work to get any meaningful value from, they can’t even cope with various other CC elites they in theory should be MADE for destroying.
With a few changes they could be a great unit, assaulting from their vehicle and re rolling missed hits or getting ws5 followed by an improvement to the way exarchs work would just about cover it.
In summary, not a brilliant unit stuck in a section of the FoC with other choices that are clearly better value to the army, I quite enjoy them when they work and having it pay off is indeed satisfying, but reliable, competitive and cost effective they are not, they underperform at what they are supposed to specialize in too often to be worthwhile.
Next up a DE unit review and possibly some minis .