Sunday, November 1, 2009

Wave Serpent: Cannon vs Catapult

I hear this conversation all the time, and my true motive for posting this here is only to bring another idea/use for the Shuriken Cannon out. I bring it to every game and pop pesky vehicles/dreads in the side/rear constantly.

The Eldar Wave Serpent is our transport/tank hybrid vehicle and personally, I think it is by far the best vehicle in the game. It is my opinion that it should maximize both roles to be completely effective. I understand Eldar players may often want to move more than 6” in a turn thus voiding the Shuriken Cannon’s effectiveness for the majority of the game. The difference here is the potentiality now exists where you CAN shoot at vehicles and blow them up on the few turns you NEED to, instead of always shooting your two garbage shots that NEVER do anything worthwhile. Also when/if your main weapon is destroyed, you are STILL a threat.

Turn 1 – 3 Wave Serpent is a transport vehicle
Turn 3 – 6 Wave Serpent is a tank

Shuriken Catapult – 12” Range, S4, AP5, Assault 2, Twin-Linked

These will always hit with the TL, but will only wound 50% of the time against MEQ who will get a 3+ armor save anyway. If you fire this gun every turn (which you wont due to 12" range), you may realistically kill 2-5 troops in an entire game. They need 6’s to glance AV10 vehicles and are honestly not a threat to anyone.

Shuriken Cannon – 24” Range, S6, AP5, Assault 3 +10 points

With the BS: 3 you will only hit 1 – 2 shots each turn but your target completely changes. AV10/11 Vehicles become juicy possibilities, especially later in the game. If you fire this gun 3 times in a game, you may realistically penetrate 1 – 3 vehicles in a game, combine this with a Bright Lance and your target priority becomes much stronger.

Paired with Bright Lances
If you decide to shoot at a vehicle with a single Bright Lance, you have one shot to make it happen. If you hit, and you penetrate, and they do not have a cover save, and you actually roll on the chart they still have a 1-6 shot of nothing really happening. If you can combine this with 3 more shots at the same vehicle that you are already shooting at anyway, you have 1-3 more rolls to make that puppy blow up.

Eat Vehicles
I want to show you some of the vehicles you can pwn with Shuriken Cannon’s that you can’t touch with Shuriken Catapults. And you know just as well as I do how awesome Serpents are at moving into position when you need them to.

S6 vs AV10 = 4+ to Glance, vs AV11 = 5+ to Glance

AV 10 All around
Land Speeder (These taste the best)

Side 10, Rear 10


Front 11, Side 11, Rear 10
Looted Wagon
Piranha Light Skimmer
Penitent Engine

Side 11, Rear 10
Killer Kans

Rear AV10

Dreadnought (These taste pretty good too)
Lehman Russ Battle Tank
Hammerhead Gunships
Sky Ray Missile Defence Gunships
Deff Dread

Rear AV11
Soul Grinders
Lehman Russ Demolisher


  1. Nice analysis. I think I'll make sure I keep my Cannons on my wave serpents. Do you think the same applies for Falcons too? Or does having two main weapons already mean the cannon is superfluous.

  2. Thanks for your comment.

    Personally I roll my Falcon with Scatter Lasers and the Cannons. I find 7, S6 shots in addition to the 2 S8 shots make a nice little difference. 9 shots against anything but a land raider will land you a few extra chart rolls, and even against MEQ units that is a lot of saves to make.