Author Topic: How to Play Ulthwé  (Read 9595 times)

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Offline Ramses135

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How to Play Ulthwé
« on: June 01, 2014, 02:00:06 PM »
How to play Craftworld Ulthwé

PART 1

As the members of this forum probably know, I love the fluff of the Eldar race as a whole. All five Eldar factions (Craftworlds, Dark Kin, Exodites, Harlequins and Corsairs) have very special place in the 40k universe for me – I admit I tend to see the galaxy with their eyes, not caring for the Imperium at all and hating equally Chaos, Necrons, Orks and Tyranids as enemies of my favoured race.

But from all the Eldar folk, I like the Craftworld Kin most, as their way of life seem to be the only „right“ and sustainable in the long run. They are the ones with any chance to rebuild their old empire and purge the mon-keigh vermin out of the galaxy (and not destroy themselves in the process, as the Dark Kin probably would). And from all the Craftworlds out there, the most intriguing will always be Ulthwé for me.

The power of the Seer Council of Ulthwé can't be even understand by lesser races, their grip of the strands of fate exceeds even other Craftworld Kin. With the words of Inquisitor Czevak, Ulthwé is the craftworld which probably „interferes the most with the affairs of other races“. They are the ultimate manipulators. Their warhosts strike lightning fast and are accompanied by many, many, many psykers. Yeah, just love them.

So, what would a „typical“ Ulthwé army look like? What strenght and weaknesses it has, what does not fit there? Let's see.

Background of the army: Path of the Seer + Strike Force

„As fewer Ulthwé Eldar tread the Path of the Warrior, the craftworld does not have many Aspect Warriors and must rely on its famed Black Guardians in battle.“ (Eldar Codex Supplement: Craftworld Eldar, 3e)

First, when building Ulthwé army according to their fluff, we have to keep in mind, that there should be many who tread the Path of the Seer (and/or Path of the Warlock, if you consider this a different path), many Guardians and only small number of Aspect Warriors.

The old Craftworld Eldar supplement transpired the fluff into the game as follows:

- it brought us a new unit, the Seer Council (something which every craftworld now has)
- Seer Council was forbidden to use jetbikes („They are far too old and proud to go racing around the skies!“)
- the two compulsory troop units had to be either Guardian Defenders or Storm Guardians

And that was it, no other limitation, for example, how many Aspect Warriors you can take, any changes in the Force Organisation Chart etc.

Also, keep in mind, that the same book stated explicitly, that every single of the five major craftworlds (Ulthwé, Saim-Hann, Iyanden, Alaitoc and Biel-Tan) is so great, that it can field virtually any kind of force.

Now, the favoured way of war of the Ulthwé warhost is a lightning strike from the webway. As one of the most famous campaign of our Craftworld was against 13th Black Crusade, the playstyle and list building could reflect this series of battles – we will prefer smaller units (War Walkers and Vypers) over bigger ones (grav tanks) and we could explain the considerable Dark Reapers presence (as the phoenix lord Maugan Ra came to the aid of Ulthwé with a huge number of his followers – these are not Ulthwé born and so do not violate the fluff of Ulthwé having only small number of it's own Aspect Warriors). I remind you, this playstyle was reflected in the older Apocalypse book, as there was a formation of Guardian horde coming out of the webway, which could be accompanied by Maugan Ra and how many, 30 Dark Reapers?

Preferred units

So yeah, we can take almost anything and it would be ok. But which units should be in a typical Ulthwé warhost? Let's check it.

a) Must have units

- Farseer – Absolutely must have! You can't play the best psykers in the galaxy without psykers!
- Warlocks – Again, you can't leave your craftworld without them.
- Guardian Defenders – The backbone of your army.
- Storm Guardians – Now this is a bit special to us. Other craftworlds do not use Storm squads much, but Ulthwé does. GW models even have the Ulthwé rune on the helmet, lol! So we need to include at least one unit in every warhost.

b) Good units

- Vaul's Wrath Support Battery – Fits very well the theme, some Guardians will crew the platforms to support their kin.
- Dark Reapers – With or without their Phoenix Lord, you can fill all your Heavy Support slots with these Aspect Warriors and it would be fine and supported by the fluff.
- War Walkers – Some paths in the webway are too narrow to be used by bigger vehicles. War Walkers can squeeze through these easily – and are piloted by just another Guardian.
- Vypers – The same as the War Walkers. Although as the codex states, Vyper was developed by Saim-Hann and is somewhat typical to that craftworld, I would limit myself to not more than one unit of Vypers.
- Windrider Jetbikes – As these are nothing more than just more Guardians on Jetbikes, they still fit the theme of a great Guardian Host reasonably well. But apply the same as Vypers – not more than one unit, we do not want to be mistaken for these crazy Saim-Hann Windrider Hosts!

c) Other units

From the other units, I consider Wraithlords and grav tanks neutral (as these are pretty common on every craftworld), Wraithguard are ok as one unit in Elites, but taking them in higher amount and as Troops just doesn't fit the theme, imho – that's more an Iyanden thing. Aspect Warriors like Howling Banshees, Striking Scorpions and Fire Dragons are possible, but only in very, very limited amount. You certainly can include 20 Striking Scorpions into your Ulthwé warhost, but it lowers the „fluff rating“ of your list, lol. Leave these to Biel-Tan hosts.

Also, you can duplicate the effect of these units with your Guardians. Dire Avengers? Just take more Guardians Defenders, it's basically the same type of unit. Striking Scorpions? Don't underestimate the Storm Guardians, with some psyker support, they can hold their own in close combat against hordes (not with elite infantry, but you either flood these with Shuriken fire or stall them with your Seer Council). Fire Dragons? Just give Fusion Guns to your Storm squads and equip their Warlock with Shining Spear. All of these options are of course a bit worse than the specialised Aspect Warriors, but they are cheap and in great numbers can achieve their goal as well.
« Last Edit: June 04, 2014, 07:28:53 AM by Hawkeye299 »
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Offline Ramses135

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Re: How to Play Ulthwé
« Reply #1 on: June 01, 2014, 02:00:31 PM »
PART 2 will follow  ;)
We bring only death, and leave only carrion. It is a message even a Human can understand.

Online mcphro

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Re: How to Play Ulthwé
« Reply #2 on: June 02, 2014, 04:08:03 AM »
See this is what I think 40k is becoming for me. Enjoy the fluff. Sometimes who cares if it wins. So much of what we argue about ... and on forums etc is about winning that game. Sure... you want to win and you dont want to suck in games too. But, if you were enjoying your games in 5th 6th then you will enjoy them in 7th too.

keep adding dude, love to read it.

Offline The Mattler

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Re: How to Play Ulthwé
« Reply #3 on: June 02, 2014, 05:20:50 AM »
Sometimes it's hard to tell from my nitpicky mathhammering, but I actually agree with you two on this point: choosing to play 40k due to inspiration derived from fluff and model sculpts is the best way to get long term satisfaction out of the hobby.  I remember taking a break from Dark Elves in 4th edition of WHFB to play Slaanesh Chaos Warriors (which were crazy awesome at the time), and I sold/traded the Chaos stuff away within a couple of years.  Ulthwe in particular strikes a chord for me because it's the Craftworld that caught my eye and got me interested in 40k in the first place, and I'd love to see a pile of psykers and Guardians able to stand toe-to-toe with any opponent.  Meanwhile, I'm probably going to keep doing what I do now: analyzing rules to identify imbalance, encourage players to use the most effective units (which gives GW a monetary reason to make everything useful), sending feedback to GW, and hoping that they slowly but surely work the bugs out of their system (especially the codices) so that  someday even "unbound" lists will be balanced.

Online mcphro

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Re: How to Play Ulthwé
« Reply #4 on: June 02, 2014, 07:38:21 AM »
Good stuff.. Also, this is a discussion we have here all the time. Itis important to note: EVERY decision made by GW is about selling models!

If you remember that... then it all makes sense... I mean hell, summoning a daemon army... lets make every army out there have to buy daemon models... blergh!

Offline Ramses135

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Re: How to Play Ulthwé
« Reply #5 on: June 02, 2014, 02:02:13 PM »
Funny thing guys, I am actually more of a competitive player and when building my lists, I do not care about the fluff much  ;D If my post suggest otherwise, do not be mistaken.

I simply LOVE the fluff, I really do, and I actually like Ulthwé armies (as Warlocks and Guardians caught my eye first time when I started to think about WH40k) BUT, for example, vast majority of my 6e lists did include Mantarch and not a Farseer (heresy!) and none of my tournament lists contained at least a single Warlock.

I guess I just like to speak about "true" Ulthwé lists - sometimes I even play them in friendly games, lol. MCPHRO is right, sometimes even does not matter who wins, we simply roll some dice, have a chat, laugh about the incredible situations our models are getting into etc.

Promise I'll finish the article as soon as possible, it will need some time, my life is very bussy right now  :(
We bring only death, and leave only carrion. It is a message even a Human can understand.

Online Angelic

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Re: How to Play Ulthwé
« Reply #6 on: June 02, 2014, 05:50:17 PM »
Waah! You got way more replies than me!! You win this time Ramses.. but I am not defeated!

Nice guide, will have to agree with mcphro and Sir Mattler I play for fluff sometimes and others I play to win, but i'm always playing to enjoy myself. This is what 40k is for me^^.
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Offline The Mattler

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Re: How to Play Ulthwé
« Reply #7 on: June 02, 2014, 06:15:58 PM »
Nice guide, will have to agree with mcphro and Sir Mattler I play for fluff sometimes and others I play to win, but i'm always playing to enjoy myself.
Wait...did I just get knighted?

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Re: How to Play Ulthwé
« Reply #8 on: June 02, 2014, 07:12:33 PM »
I hate to be off topic, but if you'd like to think that way, by all means, Sir Mattler. Though, don't expect everyone to call you that when the knighting comes from me^^
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Offline Ramses135

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Re: How to Play Ulthwé
« Reply #9 on: June 02, 2014, 10:15:55 PM »
Waah! You got way more replies than me!! You win this time Ramses.. but I am not defeated!

You know what, Ulthwé is far more interesting than Iyanden, that's all  :P

I hate to be off topic, but if you'd like to think that way, by all means, Sir Mattler. Though, don't expect everyone to call you that when the knighting comes from me^^

LOL, Eldar players raising to nobility on Warmaster  ;D
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Online mcphro

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Re: How to Play Ulthwé
« Reply #10 on: June 03, 2014, 12:20:00 AM »
I'm afraid i'm a Beil Tan player myself. I love the fact they are trying to rebuild the Eldar Race, they are xonophobic themselves and as the fluff says, really cant be trusted as allies because theres a good chance they will stab them in the back.

I love the colour, and the idea of the swordwind - A swift hard strike! I am really struggling painting with black lines on white atm, so i've given up for a while. So many models to paint.

I'm also a fan of the aspect warriors. I really feel that Eldar while able to, were never intended to take huge squads and I tend to see aspects as extra wounds for the Exarch - almost treating a aspect squad like a MC. I see 5 scorpions as a way to get the exarch with the claw into combat, as it is he that will win the combat for them. etc. I cant say the same for EVERY aspect though. e.g. Dire avengers, though if you can get the Exarch with dire sword int combat, he is a little asurman.

Beil tan for me... now i just want a supplement with the Avatar council

I therefore tend to treat and think about aspect squads as a MC with extra wounds. I see the real power comes through the Exarchs and their abilities.

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Re: How to Play Ulthwé
« Reply #11 on: June 03, 2014, 06:52:49 PM »
MCPHRO! DO YOU KNOW WHAT YOU JUST VOLUNTEERED FOR?! THAT'S RIGHT!!! YOU GET TO MAKE THEE!!!! "How to Play Biel-Tan" Thread!!! I'll get Hawk to sticky all of these or maybe even combine them for the world to see :D!
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Offline Ramses135

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Re: How to Play Ulthwé
« Reply #12 on: June 04, 2014, 08:57:09 AM »
I'm afraid i'm a Beil Tan player myself. ...

I'm sooo looking forward to your How to Play Biel-Tan article!  :D
We bring only death, and leave only carrion. It is a message even a Human can understand.

Online mcphro

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Re: How to Play Ulthwé
« Reply #13 on: June 04, 2014, 09:14:39 PM »
MCPHRO! DO YOU KNOW WHAT YOU JUST VOLUNTEERED FOR?! THAT'S RIGHT!!! YOU GET TO MAKE THEE!!!! "How to Play Biel-Tan" Thread!!! I'll get Hawk to sticky all of these or maybe even combine them for the world to see :D!

LOL, I can try, trouble is there is no Beil Tan suppliment. Mind you there doesnt need to be. I dont always play "traditional foot beil tan" as ina fluffy list yes, but if its cometitive we always move back to whats best dont we... Ok Ill see what I can do...

Offline Ramses135

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Re: How to Play Ulthwé
« Reply #14 on: June 05, 2014, 01:45:11 AM »
MCPHRO! DO YOU KNOW WHAT YOU JUST VOLUNTEERED FOR?! THAT'S RIGHT!!! YOU GET TO MAKE THEE!!!! "How to Play Biel-Tan" Thread!!! I'll get Hawk to sticky all of these or maybe even combine them for the world to see :D!

LOL, I can try, trouble is there is no Beil Tan suppliment. Mind you there doesnt need to be. I dont always play "traditional foot beil tan" as ina fluffy list yes, but if its cometitive we always move back to whats best dont we... Ok Ill see what I can do...

You can always do what I did - start with the old Craftworld Eldar Supplemeńt from 3e  ;) Swordwind army had great options - playing Fire Dragons or Warp Spiders as troops, imagine that with the current codex, lol  :P Actually - our Aspect Warriors are scoring in 7e and you can take a lot of Combine Arms Detachments. So it can be relatively easy to simulate the old list, with for example 6 units of Fire Dragons and 6 units of Warp Spiders at the same time.
We bring only death, and leave only carrion. It is a message even a Human can understand.