The primary category of Eldar small arms is the Shuriken Catapult. A gun that fires bursts of hypervelocity plasti-crystal ninja stars. Its actual effectiveness is greatly inconsistent throughout the fluff, depending on the source material. On the tabletop, the Shuriken Catapult is around as effective as a Bolter, shorter range but capable of scoring an armour piercing critical hit. It should be noted that, according to the earliest versions of the game, the Shuriken Catapult was available to nearly every army (just like most basic weapons) including Imperials. The weapon works by shaving off a very thin slice off a solid munitions core and accelerate it to lethal speeds (if you have read Mass Effect's Codex, it's a lot like that, just with monomolecular disks instead of bullets), with a very high rate of fire. Coupled with the fact that the weapon supposedly does not suffer from recoil since the gun uses a gravity accelerator (yes, not magnetic acceleration tech, its projectiles are not magnetic) to propel its munitions at high speeds; it's quite easy for basic Guardians to be a significant threat since they can lay down a curtain of accurate and deadly ninja stars with very little effort.
It is for this reason Orks respect this weapon, due to the fact that it shoots choppy dakka, and a lot of it. Back in the day of 3rd edition Shuriken Catapults barely saw any use (before that they were decent enough for a mook's weapon, but 2nd edition suffered heavily from the Herohammer complex and their wielders saw little use). In 3e, Guardians got fielded all the time but it was for the heavy weapon platform they shielded with their bodies and not these babies. The reason for this is fairly simple: the Shuriken Catapult has a criminally short range that puts it wielder smack in the sweet point for getting assaulted. Someone clearly noticed that having T3 5+ guardians toting around a weapon they had to risk getting assaulted to fire was a bit derptastic so they got a rather noticeable buff: now all Shuriken weapons have the "Bladestorm" rule which causes rolls of 6 to wound to cause an auto-wound at AP2. This means its theoretically possible (although really fuckin' unlikely) for a decent sized squad to wipe out things like Wraithknights in one round of shooting. The short range of the weapon is actually somewhat against common logic, seeing as how it fires high speed aerodynamic projectiles, there's nothing in specific that is fluff-wise stopping them from having the same or better range compared to most standard weapon.
There exist several variations of the Shuriken Catapult.
As commonly used as the Laspistol by the Imperial Guard, the Shuriken Pistol is the main sidearm for the Eldar war hosts. They are part of the equipment of the Howling Banshees, Striking Scorpions and Storm Guardians, and are used by Farseers and Warlocks as well. Special amongst pistols by having the same range as the "full size" variant of the weapon, so it is now a complete upgrade compared to Bolt pistols.
The Shuriken Catapult is the full rifle-sized (but more like a carbine) version of the Shuriken weapon series. It's light, sleek, and reasonably powerful, the hallmark of everything Eldar. This weapon is only carried as a primary weapon by members of Guardian squads since other, more elite forces of the Eldar tend to use more specialized and generally better pieces of ranged equipment.
An improved version of the Shuriken Catapult and carried by the Dire Avengers. The Avenger version has a longer barrel and better targeting equipment to achieve better range and accuracy and the weapon itself has been modified to sling out shurikens at a much faster rate than the stock version (though that part isn't reflected in tabletop). Asurmen, the Phoenix Lord of the Dire Avengers, carries a pair of twin-linked Avenger Catapults on his wrists, showing the other races how to do Dakka.
The heaviest of the Shuriken weapons, the Shuriken Cannon is a heavy version of the regular Catapult. It has several uses: it can be mounted under jetbikes, onto vehicles, gun platforms and can be carried on foot. Due to its light design it can be fired even when on the move, allowing nearly any unit in the warhost to augment its firepower.
Used by the Death Jesters, the Shrieker Cannon fires shurikens saturated with violent toxins, causing any target struck to rupture and explode. For the Aeldari, hyper-sharp-ninja-star cannons just aren't quite enough.
The ultimate shuriken weapon is Maugan Ra's famous Maugetar, that doubles as a power scythe, thus making it a choppy shooty choppa, and is able to cut hierophant biotitans in half. Which doesn't really make sense simply because hierophants are so large that the scythe wouldn't be able to to reach all the way across its body, not even close. Whatever, space magic. That or Maugan Ra is the Eldar's version of cyborg ninjas.
- Splinter Weapons - The Dark Eldar's dark and edgy take on Shuriken weapons.
|Weapons of the Eldar|
|Sidearms:||Shuriken Pistol - Fusion Pistol|
|Basic Weapons:|| Shuriken Catapult - Avenger Shuriken Catapult - Ranger Long Rifle - Reaper Launcher |
Eldar Flamer - Fusion Gun - Lasblaster - Death Spinner - Laser Lance - Prism Rifle
|Exarch Weapons:|| Fire Pike - Dragon's Breath Flamer - Tempest Launcher - Star Lance |
Hawk's Talon - Sunrifle - Spinneret Rifle - Prism Blaster
|Warp Weapons:||D-Scythe - Wraithcannon - D-Cannon|
|Heavy Weapons:|| Shuriken Cannon - Scatter Laser - Eldar Missile Launcher - Bright Lance |
Shadow Weaver - Starcannon - Suncannon - Vibro Cannon
|Vehicle Weapons:||Pulse Laser - Prism Cannon - Doomweaver - Phoenix Missile Launcher|
|Super Heavy Weapons:||Pulsar - Psychic Lance - Sonic Lance - Revenant Missile Launcher|
|Melee Weapons:|| Diresword - Eldar Power Sword - Executioner - Ghostglaive - Mirrorsword |
Scorpion Chainsword - Scorpion's Claw - Singing Spear - Witchblade