Thanks to Faeit 212 and the World's 40k Bloggers!

This is shaping up to be an exciting week!
Witness my sheer excitement

Not only has the power gone out at work (twice), plunging chemistry labs full of students into darkness with their hands full of caustic chemicals, but I was officially rolled out on Faeit 212 - one of the best known of all 40k rumor blogs!

And, this also looks to be a good solid week for me to explore my hobby. I have at least one game tomorrow night, Friday night, and possibly even Saturday depending on how social I'm feeling. I'm looking forward to every moment of it.

But, today's blog is also special because the good folks over at Bell of Lost Souls (and Reecius from Frontline Gaming himself) who did a wonderful blog about the most recent Feast of Blades Invitational winner's Army List.
This is especially exciting to me, because not only did this player (Darkwynn) use Codex: Eldar. He used Codex: Eldar, no allies, and did not rely on any kind of spam. His list is clever, neat, and balanced. So I wanted to take a moment to dig into this list beyond what the creator himself said in his interview with Reecius.
(The original interview is here:

Here's the list, from the link above:

Farseer - Barebones 
Farseer - Barebones 
20 man guardian unit with 2 bright lances 
Wave Serpent- Shuriken Cannon and holo-field 
20 man guardian unit with 2 bright lances 
Wave Serpent- Shuriken Cannon and holo-field 
6 Rangers 
3 man Jet bike squad 
3 man Jet bike squad 
7 Warp Spiders 
7 Warp Spiders 

Now, some highlights. Possibly my favorite thing about this list is it uses two Farseers (on foot, no less), and leans heavily on Guardians. Darkwynn says in his interview that each unit/model was chosen with a specific battlefield role that it was meant to fit and stuck to it.
Also, there's a definite emphasis on not spending points on upgrades. No warlocks, no shimmershields, no heavy weapons on the serpents. In fact, the only upgrade he used at all in the entire list is Holo-fields.

Let's break this down-


 You have two very powerful Characters in those Farseers, with a wide variety of options for psychic powers that can vary game by game. This is a very cool thing to note, because Psychic Powers are game-defining and are one of the few things a player can control in the middle of a tournament game-by-game depending on the opponent.
For example, when fighting Tau, Darkwynn rolled heavily on Telepathy, looking for control powers such as Puppet Master and Hallucination, as well as Invisibility for defense. When facing Daemons or CSM, he leaned on Divination, looking for Forewarning, Perfect Timing, or Foreboding. When he needed offense, such as against other Eldar, he mixed in some Runes of Fate to get a little extra firepower.
This is key, because it allows for adaptation in your list beyond Deployment and actual play. It turns a nice flexible list into a list you can tailor to your opponent *after* you know who it is you're facing, something nothing else in a tournament lets you do. Using two Farseers with no upgrades is clever, because it gives maximum psychic powers for minimum cost (a meager 200pts for up to six powers/turn).

This I found especially interesting, because Guardian Blobs are something I've always thought could be great but never seen anyone use. 20 Guardians with two Bright Lances and a dedicated (more or less) Farseer is absolutely lethal, especially at close range. Also, Darkwynn probably benefited from the fact that most players will underestimate Guardians and focus fire elsewhere. But even if they didn't, a 20-man squad is durable enough to take a lot of punishment.

Toughest wet-paper on any gaming table!

The Jetbike squads and Rangers are included for one reason: scoring. With the two Jetbike squads, one Ranger squad, and two Guardian blobs, the list has a whopping 5 scoring units on the field. Rangers can Infiltrate onto a back or mid-field objectives and just camp out, maybe getting the occasional kill. Jetbikes can hide until late in the game, then use their freakish speed to zip in and score or contest at the 11th hour.

On this note, Darkwynn took Wave Serpents with 20-man squads of Guardians. Detail-oriented readers may notice that a Wave Serpent can only hold twelve models. That said, I checked the rules backwards and forwards and there is not a thing in any book that says you can't take a Dedicated Transport if the squad doesn't fit in it. Clever playing! Although I'm hoping he knew that and it isn't something that contributed to his win...

Support Units:
This is an interesting group - two Wave Serpents, two squads of 7 Warp Spiders, and two Wraithknights. A nice balanced list, rather than including different types of units, he just used two of each of his favorites. These are all so fast too that they can quickly respond to anything on the field, and several of them can Deep Strike if you're in the mood (and if it's a match-up where it would be favorable).
Warp Spiders and Wave Serpents have famously terrifying amounts of firepower, especially with some Guide/Doom support. And the Wave Serpents can serve as mobile cover, moving to a place were Guardians can move up behind them and avoid most volleys from opponents. The Wraithknights wrap up this group by being terrifying damage sinks. Most armies have trouble killing one Wraithkinght, two is just plain scary. They're very fast, very dangerous in CC, and those Heavy Wraithcannons will make a mess of armor at range.

In Conclusion-
At last scratch, we have one heck of a list. It keeps to the tried and true rules of conservation (using as few upgrades as possible), it has a big focus on scoring (blob scoring units, zippy little scoring units, and Infiltrator/early game scoring units. And just a LOT of scoring units), and has an unusual level of speed and adaptability.
This is a shining example of a skilled player using things many other players hadn't thought of, and looking at the army as a whole picture rather than number-crunching the one perfect unit and spamming it.

It is worth noting that not once did this army face down Space Marines, or some of the nastier spam lists (Triple Heldrake, Serpent Spam). Grey Knights, a lot of Flyers, Orks - all might have done a number on the list. But then, maybe not. A skilled general does his homework, and takes the time to learn the strengths and weaknesses of every enemy he may face, then changes tactics accordingly.

Take home lesson? Darkwynn is a genius.

This guy. Genius. Thank you Goatboy for the image!


  1. That IS a nicely balanced list, a great trade-off between mobility and fairly static, and AT vs anti-infantry.

    It's interesting to note that there's not one unit of Dark Reapers, War Walkers, a Wraithfigter or Hunter in there that has skyfire. Hmmm.

    1. I was wondering about that. There is a lot of S7/S6 firepower and a good load of Guide from those Farseers - but it sounds like he never faced a flyer.

      I'd been thinking of Reapers as something of an auto-include, especially now that they're relentless, can have S8 missiles, and ignore Jink. With all the bikes running around out their, it's hard to justify not having them...

    2. Aye, I always forget that they're Relentless thanks to S'n'P! Always a shame there's only 3 HS slots most of the time...


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