Battlefleet Gothic: Armada 2 Void Combat Strategy Guide (Arsuyani/Craftworld Eldar)

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Are you tired of loosing matches as the Arsuyani ? Do you too struggle with evading Imperial nova cannon barrages, Tyranid charges, Space marine shock-attacks or Necrons who teleport behind you ? Are you too a Mon’keigh with a crude grasp at best of void combat Strategy ? Then this is the guide that will help you to live up to what I expect from your primitive race.

Introduction

Hello there,

Battlefleet Gothic Armada II has only been out for a couple of days by now, but the launch seems to have been rather sucessfull, and the community appears to be bound to grow. I Purchased the game at launch, and started to play around with the different factions until I finally found one that really intrigued me lore- and gameplay wise. The Eldar have always been among my favorites, and their spirtual and elegant approach to combat, in conjunction with their arrogance and elitism really intrigued me, whatever that says about me as a person.

At the time of the creation of this guide, I m among the top 9 Arsuyani players in the game and among the top 100 ranked players in general, which led me to the conclusion that I’m clearly up to something here. As such, I decided to share my experience and my findings with other aspiring Arsuyani players who want to look down on the less sophisticated ships of the primitive races and ravel in the arrogance of this particular faction as well.

The Basics of Void Combat Strategy I: Keep moving

I realize that most people would probably suggest that I should start this guide with an introduction to the different skills and upgrades of the faction, but my experience from matches against other Eldar players tells me that I should probably focus on telling you how to even move your ships, and maneuver them in the right way. The main reason I’ve encountered so far for other Eldar players loosing to me was actually their inability to keep their Holofields charged, and that’s simply just assanine. Seriously, some of you fight like Mon’keigh !

The most striking difference between Eldar ships in general and the ships of the majority of other factions is that they don’t use shields in the traditional sense. Instead, the Corsairs and Arsuyani actions use shields which decrease the accuracy of all weapons which are fired at them, or the damage inflicted in the case of weapons like the imperial lance which have a modificator which guarantees a hit, whereas the Drukhari use a shield which makes them stealthed instead of absorbing or preventing damage.
These shields are called ‘Holofields’ or ‘Shadowfields’ in the case of the Dark Eldar, and will only be charged while your ships are moving with an excess of 90% of their maximum speed, and only be effective if your ship is between 50% and 100% of its maximum speed. These Holofields will reduce the damage of lances completely with a probabiity of 80% and reduce the accuracy of macro weapons (which constitute like 90% of all weapons in the game) by up to 50%, which is quite a lot if you take the abyssmal accuracy of Macro weapons in mind.

TL;DR: If your ships move, they become nigh-invulnerable.

This should translate to: “Keep your ships moving” in most people’s minds, but for some reason it just doesn’t.

But you know better than having your ships simply sit somewhere and let them get pounded by the full might of enemy artillery now, so you might ask how to best keep your ships moving. The answer to his is: “In a group”

The Basics of Void Combat Strategy II: The dance of Death

Eldar lore oftenly speaks of their voidcraft dancing around the foe in an elegant ballet of some sort, the so called ‘Dance of Death’ -That’s at least what I dubbed it. And since this is my guide, I make the rules, Mon’keigh !

But what does that mean for the game anyways ? Well, it means that your should not only keep your ships moving, but have them ‘dance around’ the enemy fleet in circles while engaging the ‘Runic Targeting Node’ stance each and every single of your ships have in order to increase your field of fire to 270° around the nose of your ship, and your chance for critical damage inflicted on the enemy by your Starcannons/Lascannons by 100%. You also have the ‘Spirit stone targeting node’ Upgrade unlocked by default, which increases the range of those weapons by 4500 units to a total of 13500 units when in ‘Runic Targeting Node’ stance, which further adds to the redicoulous lethality a well-commanded Arsuyani fleet brings to the table.

Your basic combat strategy should thusly consist of circling aroung the enemy, selecting targets for focus fire with the ‘Lock on Target’ option all of your ships have in the UI, and only use your special maneuvers for carefull repositioning and avoiding hostile torpedos and AoE abilities, while turning towards their ships from tiem to time to either unleash your pulsar cannon beams or ocassional torpedo salvos. It’s also of paramount importance to keep your fleet together as one, since a lone eldar ship makes for easy pray, while the small size of your fleet and its enourmous firepower allows you to demolish lone hostile ships very quickly if you should catch your enemy off guard.

Following these basic instructions alone should suffice to get you into Gold at least, Mon’keigh, so be sure to memorize them !

The Arsuyani Arsenal I: Skills

This is a comprehensive list of all Skills at your disposal while playing as the Craftworld Eldar. Skills are active abilities which can be used to either impair your enemy or grant you a momentary advantage on the battlefield. I will not bother to copy the in game descriptions of the skills in question into this guide, but simply give my oppinion on them, and suggestions how to use them.

Wraithbone Probe: This is the Eldar version of the basic combat probe. Take it if you feel like it, but it’s a wasted skill slot in my oppinion, since your escorts do a far better job at scouting out enemy fleets due to the fact that they can PERFORM SPECIAL MANEUVERS WHILE STEALTHED, which means that you will not only be far swifter in your reconnaissance efforts, but also catch the enemy entirely off guard. They can probably evade a slow moving, well telegraphed probe, but they can’t possibly evade an invisible eldar destroyer who performs a drive by scan.

Disruption Bomb: The best bomb in the game. Serves as extremely potent area denial, and also increases the damage your fleet is able to do. Always take this with you.

Stasis Bomb: The stasis bomb doesn’t actually live up to the hype quite as it used to. It’s AoE is relatively small, it takes a long time to detonate and you actually don’t really profit from cathing anything with it. You are playing an Eldar faction, which means that you can effortlessly catch up with anything that tries to flee from you and effortlessly escape anything that wants to pursue you. The only exceptions to this are factions like the Orks or Necrons, which you are not going to stop with a single, low radius stasis bomb anyways, since the former come in a quantity which will make meaningfully using the stasis bomb impossible, and the latter can simply teleport out of it half of the time and are too slow to justify slowing them down even more the other half of the time. Just don’t bother with it.

Augur Dirsuptor Bomb: A must have if you want to play a stealth heavy build. But then again, why would you play the only Eldar faction which doesn’t come with universal stealth if you want to play a stealth build ? Like, Mon’keigh, what even are you doing ?

Micro Warp Jump: Sounds cool, but isn’t really worth it. This skill only helps you if your flagship is for some reason sperated from the fleet – which it shouldn’t be – and doesn’t have its Wraithbone shift ready to escape the situation it finds itself in – which it should always have, unless you’ve been doing everything wrong so far. I.e., this skill works as a safe for when you somehow managed to maneuver your flagship into the center of the enemy fleet. If you however accomplished such a feat of surpreme stupidity, the 2.5 charge time on this ability will prevent you from escaping anyways. Just don’t get yourself into such a situation, okay ?

Holofield Overload: If this ability would affect all of your ships, and work to quickly recharge Holofields after you got stuck in a Disruption bomb’s AoE, I would highly suggest to take this ability. It however does neither of that, and is thusly worthless. -Unless you planned to entirely ignore my guide up to this point, and forgot that you’re supposed to KEEP MOVING !

Wraithbone Reinforcements: This ability is actually pretty good if you run a torpedo or Pulsar beam heavy build. Just be carefull with your timing.

Maelstrom: What am I going to say about this ? Well, nothing but that it is a MUST HAVE ! it works extremely well in conjunction with the Disruption Bomb, has no cast time and thusly gives your opponent no opportunity to evade it, works are highly efficient area denial and wreaks absolute havoc on light ships while inflicting solid damage to even the sturdiest of battleships. Apart of that, this ability can be used to force necron ships to use their inertialess drive, which then makes it far easier to torpedo them since they just lost one of their only two real defenses against torpedo strikes. it also isn’t limited concerning its number of uses, and can thusly be used any number of times. All in all great stuff.

The Arsuyani Arsenal II: Upgrades

This is a comprehensive list of all Upgrades at your disposal while playing as the Craftworld Eldar. Upgrades are passive bonuses to your ships, which can highly influence your playstyle.

Polarised Field: A potentially good ability when used in conjunction with ‘Void Predator’. The only problem here is that apart of the ability to hide yourself in, and maneuver trough asteroid fields, there is nothing gained here, which means that it probably isn’t worth taking in most cases.

Void Predator: The same applies as with ‘Polarised Field’. It’s probably not worth taking, unless you want to spend a lot of time in asteroid fields instead of doing trivial things like winning the game or something.

Kin Crewed Batteries: This would be a must have if it would work with the ‘Runic Targeting Node’ stance. It however doesn’t, so it’s not worth taking. Not even if you run a Pulsar Beam Cannon/Starcannon Hybrid build.

Accelerated Batteries: Don’t.

Spirit Stone Targetting Node: Must have, unless you play a Pulsar Beam Cannon only build. This skill adds an 4500 unit range increase to the already utterly bused damage and field of fire increases of your runic targetting stance, and allows you to utterly demolish hostile fleets from absurd ranges with very little risk to your own fleet.

Dire Avenger Honor Guard: You’re not playing Space Marines, Mon’keigh.

Spirit Chrystal Lenses: A procentual damage bonus to hostile shields is always good, but what really makes this ability worth it is the fact that it increases your weapon’s damage against necrons by an amount which actually lets you do any damage to them at all.

Shrine to Arsuyan: This raises the bravery of your fleet to Necron levels of not runnng from a fight. It’s a really good ability when fighting Dark Eldar, but your already fairly high bravery score means that there are usually more worthwhile things you could spend your upgrade points on.

Blessings of Vaul: This is basically an upgrade that counters Necrons, nothing less and definetly nothing more. The problem here is that this upgrade reduces the armor of an enemy not BY a fixed or procentual amount, but TO one. Most factions only have side and rear armor between 50 and 70 at the most to being with, thusly don’t have enough all around armor to justify this upgrade, and will typically wreck you regardless of it if they manage to get that close to you, so you should only equip it if you expect to fight a lot of necrons.

Ship of the Dead: This ability pretty much counters the most common tactics of Space Marines, Tyranids and Dark Eldar/Drukhari to a fair degree. I personally don’t usually take this, but it’s definetly worth it in many cases.

The Arsuyani Arsenal III: Ships and Builds

So, you finally made it to the section your are probably most interested in Mon’keigh ? Well then, let us not waste any more time.

The selection of ships the Arsuyani have is very limited, which means that I don’t have to say a lot about them. The only real difference between the cruisers and the light cruisers is that Wraithships can use the silent running command, while Dragonships just can’t. Aside of that, the fact that they are far less well armed, armored or crewed makes wraithships not worth it in like 90% of cases since their fairly high price by far exceeds their powerlevel. Whether or not you take a Pheonixship into battle really depends on your personal preference as well.

There are currently only two Craftworld Eldar builds im aware of and which can be considered Meta, Those are the 5 Dragonship and my personal ‘Akasha’ Build, both of which I will explain in the following chapter.

The 5 Dragonship build:

This build is the epitomy of cancer as far as Craftworld Eldar go. It consists of nothing but 5 Starfall Dragonships, and typically features the ‘Spirit Stone Targeting Node’ in conjunction with either the ‘Spirit Chrystal lenses’ or ‘Ship of the Dead’. I would also suggest to take the ‘Wraithbone Reinforcements’ Skill when using this build, since you will turn your ships towars the enemy quite oftenly with this build.

Pros:

  • Running five Identical ships means that you will have an easy time to maneuver all of them around in a group without loosing cohesion or encountering collission problems.
  • You have a total of 120 torpedos at your disposal, which makes dealing with Necrons pretty doable, and allows you to utterly cripple an Ork fleet which is charging towards you by applying a total of 40 Torpedos to their prows at once.
  • Starfall Dragonships are solely equipped with Starcannon/Lascannon Artillery. They thusly benefit from the ‘Runic Targetting Node’ stance the most, which is really strong on them.
  • You’re going to outgun effectively outgun every other possible Eldar build there is.

Cons:

  • As with all mono-builds, your Flagship will be just as vulnerable as anyone else in the fleet, which can have unfortunate consequences.
  • You won’t have enough points to bring any escorts, so you aren’t going to have a fun time against Stealth-heavy builds.

My Personal Build

The only other good build I’ve encountered so far is my Personal one, which I dubbed the ‘Akasha’ Build. Instead of bringing 5 Starfall Dragonships, this build fields only three of them, and replaces one with a Pheonix ship and the other with an Escort. In addition, I take the ‘Spirit Stone Targetting Node’ and the ‘Spirit Chrystal Lense’ upgrade, aswell as the ‘Disruptor Bomb’ and ‘Maelstron’ skills. This build is surprisingly versatile, as it has all the tools you need to deal with just about anything you might encounter, while retaining at least some of the pure strength of the other build.

Pros:

  • The escort ship will enable you to scout for stealthed hostiles which will help you greatly in matches against Necrons, Orks, Eldar and Tyranids
  • Using a Pheonixship as your Flagship provides more safety towards your admiral, and also gives you acces to two Pulsar Beam Cannons which can be used to very effectively deal with enemy escorts.
  • Having Accces to fighters and bombers further diversifies your tactical options, and slightly helps dealing with Bomber and torpedo heavy builds.

Cons:

  • You might actually run out of Torpedos in matches against Necrons.
  • A salvo of ‘only’ 24 torpedos in total is far less of an effective countermeasure against charging enemy fleets than a salvo of 40.

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Written by Karl V