Playing Eldar: An Overview

UPDATED FOR THE 9th EDITION CODEX!

The Essentials

1. Craftworld Eldar are an Elite Army that Relies on Cunning
Elite armies are primarily composed of powerful units with high point costs and significant potential. Craftworlds players are likely to have fewer units on the table than their opponents, but each of those units is an enormously powerful tool. Most Craftworlds units have the capacity to be significant damage dealers, but may need to be enhanced with the right buffs or deployed in very particular ways to earn their keep. Because the majority of Eldar units are fragile, they are at their best when they stay out of line of sight of the opponent until they are ready to make a big play.

2. Eldar rely on synergies created with faction bonuses, relics, exarch powers, psychic buffs, and stratagems
Craftworlds units often have considerably more opportunities for buffs than units from other factions. A unit of Howling Banshees with the right enhancements, for example, can be  auto-succeed on a charge out of deepstrike, increase its damage output by over 100%, gain the Objective Secured ability, become immune to moral tests, and shrug off a third of incoming damage. The downside for new players is the learning curve for Eldar is steep because to make them function you need good knowledge not only of what your units and weapons do, but your options for enhancing them with specific faction and sub faction abilities, stratagems, psychic powers, relics, and exarch powers. That’s a lot to get the hang of.

3.) Eldar require patience and careful use of superior mobility
Eldar are fragile, but highly mobile. When you deploy your army do so in a way that minimizes your opponent’s ability to target them first turn, even if it means not firing with all of your units right away. Use speed and various deepstrike options, psychic powers, and stratagems to move in a way that makes it difficult for your opponent to bring the full brunt of his or her firepower against your army. Eldar don’t win slug fests, so don’t play that game.

If you want to buy your very first models, but don’t know where to start, check out:
Your first 1000 points
Your first 1000 points on a budget

If you are trying to design an effective 2,000 point list, or you have a modest collection that needs to be developed or improved for more competitive play, you are ready for:
How to build an effective army list for 9th edition

If have no idea what books/etc. you need to play Craftworld Eldar, have a look at my guide below called GETTING STARTED.

GETTING STARTED: What you need

If you are just getting started with Eldar, you have chosen a good time. The 9th edition rules update for Craftworlds has made them one of the most dynamic factions in the game. If you want to have a look at what space elves have to offer before you invest, you can use this free resource to get an idea of rules and unit stats: https://wahapedia.ru/wh40k9ed/the-rules/playing-this-game/

Eventually, you will probably want to buy:
-Codex Aeldari (Rules for the faction and related factions)
-A 9th Edition 40K Rulebook (Core rules for how to play the game)
-The Newest Edition of Chapter Approved (A supplement that comes out once a year with updated missions and point values- essential for serious play.)
NOTE: A copy of the basic 9th edition 40k rules, available from GW for free: https://www.warhammer-community.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/Lw4o3USx1R8sU7cQ.pdf

-A Good List-building App
When it comes time to actually put an army list together, you will save yourself significant time if you use either:
-The 40K App ($5 a month plus fees to unlock faction-specific content.)
OR
Battlescribe

An army

Best of Luck! There is lots more content on this site and on my Youtube channel to help you make the most of Craftworld Eldar on the table