Rangers and Pathfinders, Oh My!

No, this isn't Honoring Battleforce Armies: The Eldar Edition.  This is a quick look at Rangers and Pathfinders, written as a comment to Fritz' article on Bell.  I decided to post it here... 'cause I'm lazy and it saves me the trouble of thinking of another idea.

I like Rangers and Pathfinders well enough, and I think they are different enough that you have to make a choice about the use you intend to put them to.

The Pros: Fritz' article.
The Con: Shooting Mech.  Lack of speed.

I'm not sure I would use either of these units if I were to redesign my Eldar list... which I will, eventually.  The reason?  In Round II Hard Boyz 2009, I was matched against another Eldar player for the win. That's a game that sticks with me, hard to shake off. My Pathfinders were worse than useless. They literally couldn't do a thing against he Wave Serpents Falcons flying across the board, ripping me apart bit by bit.

They couldn't participate in the first scrum, when battlefield dominance was being decided - they were in the backfield! When the dust settled, it was a matter of time before his tanks forced me off objectives... that, of course, being the biggest downside.  Pathfinders simply can't stop a tank from shocking them off an objective.  They can't even Death or Glory!

Other thoughts...

I've used Pathfinders to provide cover for my Reapers on boards with little terrain. They go to ground and block with their flimsy bodies.

Here's a use I put Rangers to that I've never seen others do: put them in Falcons. The norm is putting a 60pt unit of Dire Avengers in a Falcon to make them a scoring unit. For 35pts more you can put 5 Rangers - something that can benefit from the cover when your Falcon is blown up. By that point of the game there are usually troops on foot to shoot at.

Just some thoughts.

 Is it a Warwalker or a Wraithlord?  I'm poor - I build stuff that can be either.  I've used this model and its two brothers for both purposes.


Herr Fernseher said...

1) I love the Poorhammer Walker/WL.

2) I like your Ranger/Falcon combo. I've never used it, but when it first occurred to me, I thought of the rule ~When your tank explodes, IF you have a crater, then you may use it.~ Basically, I would travel with craters if I were fielding Ranger/Falcons.

3) Fritz mentions screening Rangers with Harlequins, which is nice (if you don’t mind giving the enemy a 4+ cover save also), but once the enemy gets close enough to penetrate the VOT, moving the Harlies behind the Rangers for cover makes sense. At this point they are there for counter attack OR the Death or Glory long shot if needed. (If the tank isn’t fast, the Harlies have a good chance of assaulting and immobilizing the approaching tank before it can shock you-—if you paid for kisses.)

4) I used to think that Footdar would want a clump of objectives as close to the table center in order to have a chance with any deployment style. One variation however, is to bring lots of Outflankers and put objectives on both sides of the table--that way it doesn't matter about that 1 in 3 times you don't get the roll you want for an outflanker. Even though Harlequins can't outflank, I think they are fast enough to run down the sides to join up with the Pathfinders. Or you could buy waveserpents for the Pathfinders, but give them to the Harlies. Of course, the rest of your army would have to be cheap guns: maxing out war walkers and vypers and hope you can shoot half of your opponent's mech dead in the first two turns. Yes, hare-brained, I know.

Chumbalaya said...

That stickwalker is neat. What's it made from?

The Ranger+Falcon idea is interesting, though I'd probably just use Rangers for camping or scout/infiltrate cock-blocking. Think of them as more expensive SM scouts without any versatility. Aww, made myself sad.

lamiss ibrahim said...


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