Friday, July 12, 2013

Ode to Warp Spiders

Okay, here's the deal-
I hate Warp Spiders!

Or at least I kinda do.  I am on my third Eldar army.  And only now do I have Warp Spiders.  And it's funny how that happened.
First I painted up a small army of Ulthwe with Wraithey stuff.  This was back in 3rd edition and that army last one game.  I figured that since Warp Spiders were not common in Ulthwe, that wouldn't be a unit I have to include.
Then I traded and got a BEAUTIFULLY painted Saim Hann army, sorta.  The army had two Falcons, a Viper, 6 bikes, some Reapers, some Banshees, and TONS of Guardians.  It was 'codex'.  Again, no desire to add Warp Spiders to this force.  That was back in 4th edition.
Then I made my own army.  I got everything except War Walkers, Warp Spiders, Fire Prisms, and bikes.  And I mean EVERYTHING else.  Alot.  Sadly, as you see, my army didn't have any of the good stuff.  I liked the idea of 'codex' and I wanted only stuff that looked Eldar.  War Walkers, Warp Spiders, side-heavy Fire Prisms- they all just looked wrong (or were horribly-weighted models).  Nothing against them, I just wanted my army to appear a certain way.  

Then it happened.  It happened in a twist of fate that I never saw coming.
One of my customers/hobby buddies challenged me to a mano-e-mano paint contest  We were each to paint a unit of Fire Dragons and have the hobby community judge it in the shop.  Another buddy of mine then bet me that I wouldn't win, and we wagered that I would have to buy a unit that I absolutely HATE, and paint it up.  I took that wager because, well, I didn't lose at paint contests.  It's nice to be underestimated.

I lost, by one vote.  40-something people voted, and my first buddy had a much brighter squad of Fire Dragons.  Mine were 'technically' better, but that didn't mean better.  His were faded from orange to white in a very striking and convincing way.  One.  Vote.

Before I'd even fully registered that I lost the paint contest, by second buddy was holding the box of Warp Spiders at me.  Being a man of honour, I begrudgingly took the box to the till and bought it.  I wasn't happy. I wasn't upset because I lost the paint contest (I figured it was bound to happen sooner or later, and those Fire Dragons were striking!), I was upset completely because I now owned a unit that I would rather not.  Why, you ask?

The Eldar are a graceful, lithe race.  Their warriors are clad in very tight and efficient uniforms, plated sparingly in simple armour-plates.  They have ornamentation on their heads, and carry small, elegant weapons.  Then there's the Warp Spiders.  They're BIG, bulky, carrying oddly-shaped guns, have bald heads, and are posed dumb.  That's right, every reason I like the aesthetic of the Eldar is the reason I don't like the Warp Spiders.

I failed to get that unit painted for years after (still to this day, in fact).  I refused to even include them in my army.  But then I had to fight the new Daemons back in 5th edition.  A third customer suggested an army list out of my stuff to use, and this guy isn't bad at all.  Of course he included Warp Spiders.  I begrudgingly deployed them.  The game raged, my Guardians were problematic for my opponent, and the Warp Spiders single-handedly killed a Greater Unclean One.  I was blown away.  I was befuddled.  I was disappointed in my own underestimation of the unit.

Now I use them almost all the time.  The new 6th edition book gave them a little more love with the 'Monofilament' rule, and the speed and resilience of the squad (even at small size) is refreshing in the army.  I have seen them cause more damage as a 5-man squad than an entire Dire Avenger squad for every turn of a game, it seemed.  They are almost an 'auto-include' to me now.

Now let me be straight and specific here:
I hate the way Warp Spiders look!
but I do love THIS image- credit to the creator!

But that's just me.  The way that unit performs is outstanding!  They are a great unit, worth their points-cost (almost, anyway), and do things for my army that are needed (like be able to hurt big stuff more than once).  My enemies have found that unit surprisingly dangerous, and I've found myself pretty happily impressed with them so far.  So impressed, in fact, that I bought a second unit.

That's right, I bought another box of five.  For 140  points, why wouldn't I?  It's a deal.

Do you have any?  If not, why not?  Besides not playing Eldar, of course.  If so, on the other hand, how've they been for you?  Let me know.


  1. I've always liked the idea of, and fluff behind Warp Spiders, but I agree with ya that the models leave much to be desired. They're just a little too bulky to really tie in well with the rest of the line's aesthetic - was really hoping to see some re-tooled spiders in the recent release but alas, it was not to be.

    I have a unit of 'em for the Eldar army I'm painting currently and they will likely be the very last unit to be finished. I've picked them up twice and almost immediately put 'em back on the still-to-be-painted shelf in favor of more 'fun' minis...

    1. I totally understand that. Despite the bet being about getting the unit painted, my models are still bare metal. Now I have the Finecast unit to add to that, and I'm not even motivated to build them yet. Bare sprue for the win!
      I was hoping to see some new models too. Sad.
      Oh well, the unit rules on the tabletop, at least!

  2. Im struggling on how to paint them, i have no idea how