With the new Craftoworld Eldar book out and lots of analysis going on, most people seem to agree that the majority of the codex is solid and fluffy, but that three groups of units stand-out as potentially overpowered from a competitive sense.
1 – Windrider Jetbikes (especially with the option for EVRY model to upgrade with either a Shuriken Cannon or a Scatter Laser)
2 – Wraithguard with D-Scythes (i.e. auto hit D weapons means they can “point and click” kill almost any vehicle or squad in the came, especially when coming in with no scatter on an allied DE Webway Portal)
3 – Wraithknight, with new Gargantuan Creature status (i.e. reduces sniper and poison weapons to wounding on a 6+ and gain FNP), all for less than 300 points
So, looking from a Space Wolf perspective, how does a cunning Wolf Lord combat these crazy new Xenos threats?
The answer, I think, lies in Long Fangs…. lots and lots of Long Fangs. And Lascannons. And Ulrik the Slayer.
Imagine the following battle-group:
-3 packs of Long Fangs, all with 5 Lascannons
-Ulrik the Slayer
-Skyshield Landing Pad
Putting all of the models on the Skyshield Landing Pad (for elevated LOS and a 4++ save) and making sure that each squad is within 6″ of Ulrik (for Preferred Enemy), this gives you very solid potential against the “Big 3” Eldar threats:
1 – Jetbikes — With 15 Lascannon shots, all with PE support and Spilt Fire (potentially targetting up to 6 different units), the Lascannon Long Fangs get 11-12 hits, 11-12 wounds, and 11-12 dead Eldar Jetbikes a turn (unless the Jetbikes Jink, which reduces the unsaved wounds to 5-6 on average, but which also neutralizes the Jetbike shooting… if multiple Jetbikers Jink, then that means multiple Jetbike squads can’t use their Shuriken Cannons/Scatter Lasers effectively). Over the course of the first 2-3 game turns, the Long Fangs should be able to wipe out (or at least neutralize via Jinking) a very significant portion of your opponent’s Jetbike squads, in turn allowing the rest of your Space Wolves to operate freely, get across the table into combat (which Eldar DO NOT like with Space Wolves), and/or seize critical objectives in Maelstron missions.
2 – Wraithguard — With their T6 and short-ranged but super potent D-weapons, the threat of Wraithguard coming in with DE Webway Portals or jumping out of Wave Serpents and laying waste up close is very real. Regarding Wave Serpents, now that they have been nerfed a bit, Lascannon Long Fangs are much better prepared to “de-mech” the Wraithguard and make them walk (which makes them much less of a threat). With 15 Lascannon shots, the Long Fangs should get 11-12 hits and 7-8 glancing hits (or better) against Wave Serpents, meaning they can potentially kill three Wave Serpents in a single shooting phase, thus preventing Wraithguard from getting in close for the killing blow. If you are facing a “footdar” army with lots of Wraithguard sans transports, then the Long Fangs can snipe them down with 15 Lascannon shots, 11-12 hits, and 11-12 dead Wraithguard a shooting phase (given that they will likely take 2-3 turns to get accross the board, you should be able to kill most of them before they get in range). The greatest threat is from Wraithguard with D-Scythes riding in on DE Webeway Portals… while you can’t do much to prevent this outside of bubble wrapping key units and deploying to prevent effective eldar deep striking, once they have come in and done their initial shooting, the Long Fangs can “counterattack” with lots of Lascannon shooting to the face, killing of those dangerous models quickly and preventing them from shooting more with their D weapons in subsequent turns.
3 – Wraithknight — This is where Lascannon Long Fangs really shine. With their 15 Lascannon shots, 11-12 hits, 9 wounds, and 6 unsaved wounds after FNP rolls, the Long Fangs should statistically eliminate a Wraithknight every shooting (unless it has a 5++, in which case they would need some extra help to bring it down in a single phase). Even if your Eldar opponent spams multiple Wraithknights via the Cratworld Warhost detachment, that is a lot of points and the Long Fangs should be a plink one down each turn meaning that, by turn 3-4, your opponent doesn’t have any Wraithknights left (and not much of an amy either, given their points cost).
Of course, none of this is full-proof, especially since there is no guarantee that the Long Fangs will be able to keep shooting all game long without casualties of their own or enemy interference, but the point is, combined with Lascannons and Ulrik, they provide a very strong, 48″ counter to the most potent Eldar threats in the new book.