Masters of War: Enter the Autarch...
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an Eldar HQ explanation byYummifoamycoffee
Only when you have soared through the morning skies on wings of flame can you understand the Hawk. Only when you have fallen screaming upon those who know they are already dead can you understand the Banshee. Only when you have annihilated those who would oppose you can you understand the Dragon. And only one who has travelled but ultimately turned away from each of these paths can understand the Autarch.
-Anthrillien Morningchild, Autarch of Yme-Loc
Autarchs are the supreme commanders of the Eldar warhost. Each Autarch has mastered many paths over the centuries. At some point in their lives all Autarchs start developing a passion for command and strategy.
Autarchs believe that the path to martial excellence lies in gaining a wider vision of the battle. This is the Path of Command, a burning obsession of truly understandi ng how each mission can be made part of a complex battle plan, and in turn each battle can be made part of a grand war plan.
The Autarch comes with many options, which can result in many builds, like lasblaster/scorpion chainsword/mandiblaster/swooping hawk wings or reaper launcher/laser lance/jetbike. In this tactica, we will discuss only the three most common variants* of this magnificent master of war
The Tank hunter
The tank hunter, as the name suggests, hunts tanks and other heavy vehicles. The major traits should be mobility and, of course, damage. The Autarch lacks strength to harm vehicles in close combat, so the only viable option that remains is a lot of fire-power. This doesn't mean that you should forget close combat, but it certainly shouldn't be one of your major concerns. The only real anti-vehicle weapon that is available for the Autarch is the Fusion Gun. The downside to this weapon is that it lacks range. So again, mobility is important. To increase survivabili ty, joining a Guardian Jetbike squad isn't a bad idea, but you will be saddled with Guardian Jetbikes, which cost points, and aren't to great against vehicles. A squad of Shining Spears could also be used, seeing as they have more anti-tank potential, but they aren't cheap.
Fusion Gun, Scorpion Chainsword, Jetbike
The Hawk swoops down from above and wreaks havoc before withdrawing, leaving dead and confused in his wake. The keyword is mobility. The build should be focussed at close combat and shock-and-awe tactics. This means having either a Power Weapon or a Scorpion Chainsword is an absolute must. The Swooping Hawk wings mean that the Autarch may deep-strike. This could also mean that the drop may not fall where you intend it to be, so ranged weaponry should not be taken lightly. An Avenger Shuriken Catapult or a Death Spinner is the weapon of choice, because they are both Assault weapons. Although not necessary, to increase the impact of the Autarch, dropping in with a Swooping Hawk squad is not a bad idea. Mandiblaste rs may also be given, but they are not necessary.
Swooping Hawk Wings, Power Weapon/Scorpion Chainsword, Avenger Shuriken Catapult/Death Spinners
The Heavy Weapons Guy
The Heavy Weapons Guy is focussed on fire-power and range. Blasting down heavy infantry and light vehicles is the sole purpose of this bad boy. Obviously the weapon of choice should be the Reaper Launcher. This is the only long-ranged high-damage weapon the Autarch has at his disposal. Close combat is not a factor to this build, but a way to stay out of the claws of the enemy is more important than many would imagine, so Swooping Hawk Wings or a Warp Jump Generator isn't unnecessary. This build does not require a supporting unit.
Swooping Hawk Wings/Warp Jump Generator, Reaper Launcher.
*Names are entirely made up
Building Your Autarch
The Autarch blister pack does not give a lot of room for conversion, but luckily there are more ways. The best (and cheapest) is using a Dire Avenger squad combined with a Guardian squad. If you have both these units, you're bound to have spare parts, which can easily be used for many things. A more expensive solution is searching the internet for the correct bits.
May your fate fortune you in your Future!