Building on a Budget: Eldar Craftworlds

Eldar, a bunch of xenos on the run from Slaanesh. Sounds pretty cool, unfortunately, no-one so far has written Eldar with any decency, and in this thread we don't even care about Fluff until after we've written our list. Crunch-wise, Craftworlds is one of the best Codecies in the entire game. Not because it's powerful - although it certainly is in many respects - but because nearly every single unit in the book is usable. What do you like? Well, chances are that it's probably good on the table, too. That makes Eldar a really strong book for new players because they can't really make bad choices and waste their money on unusable units - well, they can, but it's difficult. Speaking of money, that's what we're here for, so, let's get Building.

Rule #1: Get to 1850 as cheaply as possible, while
Rule #2: Not being bad.

Spoiler: List Building Process
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First step, Warlord. A single Infantry-sized model that costs a load of points, is pretty cost-efficient.
First on the block, is Fuegan at 220 Points. Unfortunately, his defences are a 2+ Save with T4/FNP. He goes down fairly quickly unless he's supported by a batch of Warlocks behind him, and, Warlocks cost more money, so...Next! Jain Zar, at 200 Points, is very, very strong in Melee. Unfortunately, her defenses against Shooting attacks are...Nothing. If your opponent wants your Warlord VP, they're going to take it from you without even trying. Next up is Baharroth. Unlike Fuegane and Jain Zar before him, he only has an AP3 Melee weapon and is doomed to fail, since he doesn't have an Invulnerable or FNP either (Baharroth happens to be one of few Eldar options that is never going to be good). Finally, at our fourth most cost-efficient option in the book, we have...

(W) Eldrad Ulthran - 195 Points

While he's not the most efficient, he's still reasonably efficient and complies with Rule #2, which the three before him, didn't. His Warlord Trait is strong, he has a 3+ Invulnerable save, he's ML4 with Divination and Telepathy. How is that not strong? Oh, okay. So he doesn't have Eternal Warrior. Well, if that really bothers you, very close behind Eldrad is Asurmen, and he's very strong too. But, we're only writing one list, and I'm in charge, so I pick Eldrad.

Next we need Troops. Guardian Defenders are the best option, since they have the most bodies, and come stock with Bright Lances, and that's really strong. Unfortunately, Guardians only have a 5+ Save, and that really sucks, cause it basically means that any model who looks at them funny, is going to wipe them off the board. Dire Avengers are very efficient, but, the bulk of that comes from the 43 Point Exarch model. Which means that every box of Dire Avengers that you buy where you don't build an Exarch, you're losing efficiency. But, as I just pointed out, Exarchs are 43 Points per model, and you really don't want to be doing that en masse. Not if you can help it, which you can. So, what we want is exactly one unit of Dire Avengers, and then a bunch of Guardians. Well, we're in luck. Eldar Battleforce.

Guardian Defenders (x10); Bright Lance - 110 Points
Dire Avengers (x5); Exarch; Power Sword and Shimmershield - 95 Points
Wave Serpent; Twin-Linked Bright Lance - 115 Points
Vyper; Starcannon, Shuriken Cannon - 55 Points


For a total of 375 Points. Efficiency of 0.49. While a box of Guardians on their own is 0.50, and Dire Avengers (with Exarch) is 0.58. In fact, the Battleforce is so good, you should probably just go ahead and buy a second one.

Guardian Defenders (x10); Bright Lance - 110 Points
Dire Avengers (x5); Exarch; Power Sword and Shimmershield - 95 Points
Wave Serpent; Twin-Linked Bright Lance - 115 Points
Vyper; Starcannon, Shuriken Cannon - 55 Points


Basically, the two Vypers are almost free, and since we have Bright Lances pretty much everywhere, we may as well use the Vypers for killing Infantry. Then we'll just go ahead and buy the strongest unit in the book, to bodyguard Eldrad, just in case.

Wraithblades (x5); Ghost Axes and Forceshields - 150 Points

We have four Troops, a Warlord and his bodyguard unit and change. That's our core.

(W) Eldrad Ulthran - 195 Points

Guardian Defenders (x10); Bright Lance - 110 Points
Guardian Defenders (x10); Bright Lance - 110 Points
Dire Avengers (x5); Exarch; Power Sword and Shimmershield - 95 Points
Dire Avengers (x5); Exarch; Power Sword and Shimmershield - 95 Points

Wraithblades (x5); Ghost Axes and Forceshields - 150 Points

Wave Serpent; Twin-Linked Bright Lance - 115 Points
Wave Serpent; Twin-Linked Bright Lance - 115 Points
Vyper Squadron (x2); Starcannon, Shuriken Cannon - 110 Points

Total: 1095 Points
That's actually quite a low points value for a 'core army list', still, that's good, 'cause it gives you a bunch of points left to play with, but, it's bad, 'cause it means your currency-to-points ratio is pretty bad. Still, at this point we can start adding flair.
The most cost-efficient non-HQ choice, is, funnily enough, the Avatar of Khaine, at a very nice 0.31. Unfortunately, the Avatar is just terrible. The Avatar works strongest in what could be called a Parking Lot/Gunline, unfortunately, parking lots have been dead since 5th Edition, therefore, so has the Avatar. The other version of the Avatar focuses on the Rage and Furious Charge auras, which just aren't strong. Point is, ignore the Avatar, because you need to build around him. Which we're not, we're building around our wallet. So...

Wraithknight - 295 Points

At 0.44, it's far from as efficient as the Avatar, but, it's a far stronger model, and will slot into any Eldar army you choose to make. If Orks are using a Stompa, you should be fielding a Wraithknight - they're just that good. Now, Flier Defense. The Eldar Codex has exactly two options; Crimson Hunters, or Dark Reapers. Dark Reapers, being Infantry models, are a lot cheaper than a Flier, and slot nicely into your already Infantry-heavy army.

Dark Reapers (x5); Starshot Missiles, Exarch; Starshot Missiles - 180 Points

1570. If you were playing 1500, you'd be done by now. Just in case, let's throw in a Scout-blocker.

Striking Scorpions (x6); Exarch; Scorpion's Claw - 142 Points

Eldrad's Warlord Trait is random, and having an extra unit eases the stress, and Rangers are at 0.92 efficiency, which is really bad. Yes, Infiltrating Melee units are pretty bad, but, if your opponent does decide he wants to Charge you, your Exarch still has I6, and will pummel anything he comes into contact with. If you've rolled well, you could be Scouting Wave Serpents, too, and that'll hopefully distract your opponent from shooting the Scorpions.

We now have ~140 Points left, and that's not a lot. Another Farseer? Sure. Eldrad can't lift everything on his own. Which gives another 3 Warp Dice, and another 3 rolls for...Something. Dark Reapers enjoy Divination support nearly always, but, you have a very strong Melee unit in the form of Wraithblades, and they like Telepathy support. Whatever, it's basically down to dice work, at the table, and there's nothing that can be said on the internet that can tell you what to do until your see your opponent's army list, and you know what Psychic Powers you have.

Farseer; Singing Spear - 105 Points

30 Points left, which gets us two sets of Spirit Stones for each Wave Serpent, and, since you will always roll at least '1', it's handy to have a Wave Serpent that's always going to be Scouting, so give it a Ghostwalk Matrix, and you're done.


Spoiler: Eldar, CAD
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Eldar, CAD
(W) (W) Eldrad Ulthran - 195 Points
Farseer; Singing Spear - 105 Points

Guardian Defenders (x10); Bright Lance - 110 Points
Guardian Defenders (x10); Bright Lance - 110 Points
Dire Avengers (x5); Exarch; Power Sword and Shimmershield - 95 Points

Dire Avengers (x5) - 230 Points
Exarch; Power Sword and Shimmershield
+ Wave Serpent; Twin-Linked Bright Lance, Ghostwalk Matrix, Spirit Stones

Striking Scorpions (x6); Exarch; Scorpion's Claw - 142 Points
Wraithblades (x5); Ghost Axes and Forceshields - 150 Points

Wave Serpent; Twin-Linked Bright Lance, Spirit Stones - 125 Points*
Vyper Squadron (x2); Starcannon, Shuriken Cannon - 110 Points

Dark Reapers (x5); Starshot Missiles, Exarch; Starshot Missiles - 180 Points

Wraithknight - 295 Points

Total: 1847 Points

* While a Wave Serpent is a Fast Attack choice, making it not a Dedicated Transport means you can put any unit in it that you want. However, Dedicating it does have pros; Slaving it to a Troops unit, gives it ObSec, and that's good. But Slaving it to a unit of Scorpions gives it Infiltrate always, which is always good. But, on the occasion that Eldrad rolls a '2' or better for his Warlord Trait, well, you've got the Scorpions Infiltrating already, and now you can have the Wave Serpent Scout with a different unit inside, putting even more pressure on your opponent. It's the players' choice, really.
Remembering that this Guide is a guide, and you do have to actually think about your army a little bit, depending on your meta, whether or not you use Mysterious Objectives, how much Terrain you use, etc. 40K isn't Chess, the game isn't the same every time (for better or worse), which means that the only person who can make these kinds of decisions is you, using knowledge that can only be gotten at the table, at the time of the game - the same goes for where you put your Farseer...No. He does not join the same unit every game. You're doing it wrong. Eldrad joins the Wraithblades nearly (nearly!) every game, because he's your Warlord and Wraithblades are a bunker, but your secondary Farseer doesn't hand out points to your opponent, so he's not as important, which means that if it is advantageous for you to do so, you should move him around.


$731 (AUD), for an cost-efficiency of 0.40. Skew lower if your currency is worth more, skew higher if your currency is worth less.