So, lets look at the Fast Attack section of the Eldar codex.

Shining Spears

Some of the changes in 6th edition have helped Shining Spears.  If you take the upgrade on the Exarch for skilled rider, they get a real benefit.  Jetbikes can also move really fast and they now get a jink save.  Their lances are now AP3.  That doesn’t make them useless or anything, but it does reduce their effectiveness against 2+ save models greatly.  The main issue with Shining Spears is their cost. They work out quite expensive, especially when you take an exarch and upgrades (which you really want to take by the way). The only upgrade that I wouldn’t bother with is the shuriken cannon upgrade.

The big problem though is that the Exarch actually costs a whopping 112 points if you take all the upgrades for him.  Its just too much points to be spending on a one wound model that also happens to have all the unit upgrades (shuriken cannon, skilled rider, hit and run).

Furthermore, Shining Spears are essentially an assault unit that lack assault grenades.  You can give them skilled rider to help them assault through cover, but then they strike last.

Warp Spiders

First off, one of the Exarch abilities is null and void.  This ability allows you to deepstrike, which you can always do now in 6th edition once you have a jump pack.  They also only have a 12 inch range, so deep-striking in forces you dangerously close to the enemy if you want to fire the turn you arrive.  Surprise assault is useful for getting the Warp Spiders out of combat if they get assaulted, the problem though is that you most likely won’t have too many of them and if they do get assaulted by a dedicated assault unit they are most likely going to die quickly.

They need the exarch powers re-tooled and going forward a points drop would be nice, but they are still a good unit.

Swooping Hawks

First of all a word on Skyleap.  This ability sounds great, but I feel that it isn’t.  Dropping in via deepstrike and dropping a large low strength blast, then jumping out and repeating it next turn can sound good.  However, you are paying a large amount of points to do this and with Interceptor weapons in 6th edition, this tactic has become a little dangerous.  If you use deepstrike they also make a juicy target for things like whirlwinds or other large blasts.  So for me at least, the grenade pack they carry never sees any use.

For me, they work best in tandem with psychic powers like doom.  They can pump out a lot of strength 3 shots at mid range.  Combined with Doom, you get to re-roll to wound rolls and this can lead to a lot of wounds even against T4 units like space marines.

They can also go vehicle hunting with their haywire grenades and the Intercept Exarch ability can make this even easier.


Too expensive.  Even with the new jink save, they are just too expensive.  They are on a par in cost with space marine Landspeeders, but they suffer from Open-topped, lower BS and cannot deepstrike.  Their vehicle upgrades are also too expensive and generally pointless.