One of the only reasons I couldn't ever beat him lies in 3 words: crystal targeting matrix. Which, apparently for the new Eldar doesn't exist. So, if I wanted to get close enough to get him with the SMS, I'd have to brave coming into his range of all his other weapons.
Like I said, he's too cautious about his army's safety, so, if I have an opening to take out anything big of his, its going to come at an enourmous cost to me. Remember, he treats 40k like chess. Every unit backs up the other. The Tau, I love, because if I'm patient enough, I can find a tiny opening and take the opportunity to kill him without getting myself in danger. It's the only way I can really beat him. Otherwise, its a giant stalemate or my loss for going out after him. This is why he fears the Tau. If I catch one hole in his positioning, I take him out. With almost any other army I field, I can see the hole, and he knows it, but I can't do anything about it. The other army he fears are the Hycrymen, because, in the case of having 3 Basilisks, it doesn't matter how he's positioned: he's going to lose something. In such a case, he will cautiously and efficiently sweep the board, carefully picking units to wipe out to set up his new positions (basically, redeploy) within 36" with all his forces. Then your cornered. The only place to get him now is behind his own lines (which is usually protected by an Avatar or Wraithlord... you're lucky if its both).
His second favorite army is Tau, and in Tau terms, he uses his deployment zone and my deployment zone as bait for a Mont'Ka tactic. If I don't take the bait (moving onto the battlefield or I get smart with him), he always has Plan B, C, and D. And he even tells me what he's thinking sometimes. "Plan A doesn't look like its going to work, Plan D seems a bit risky but could possibly destroy you, and Plan B and C are going to take awhile but are safer alternatives." In one game, I made the mistake of believeing he's pulling my leg (1,500 to 0 in a 1,000 pnt game).
As the saying goes, "A good commander doesn't take risks. He simply waits for his enemy to do so."
Colonel Marksman. The type of opponent you are playing is going to require you to get him to play your game. My basis on any list is to have your plan and make the enemy follow you. The getting the initiative part is the waiting for your opponent to make a mistake. But as we see in even tick tac toe, a wrong move early will eventually cause your loss.
I would try playing as eldar.
I always recommend forming a tangable plan and executing it.
If you are playing by the book it starts as early as terrain placement right through to rolling to see who goes first.
Missions as well.
I take great pride in my terrain placement meta game.
I see. I am actually going to field 2 Eldar armies against him to help him figure them out and see how well they fair, but I will keep these in mind.
As for terrain set-up, the usual way we do it is, one person sets up the terrain, and the second person chooses the deployment zone. He doesn't go as far as to base his entire army on the board either. He simply makes something interesting, though, its usually symmetrical (he's growing out of that though).
Concerning making him play my game: A rather difficult thing to do when you're playing Eldar (who seemed to be designed for that). If you're talking about forcing him to come out after me, its very difficult to make him budge. Now, I can move him with Witch Hunters, very easily. It's all about rounding up your opponent. The tricky part is, when I have him where I want him... what do I do? I finally discovered that my neglection to use the right units for the job was my problem.
LOL! I was studying Sun Tzu's The Art of War for help, only to discover that my cousin follows the book like a religion without ever knowing of its existence. Other than this, I am figuring out some things and improvements of my own.
Having studied my games with him, I can honestly say that what intimidates him the most are long-ranged powerful or potential weapons. Example: snipers with special rules (Vindicare Assassin), rail/ionheads, Basilisks, etc. He has a lot of respect for those things I put a lot of effort into creating or using: Monoliths, Land Raiders, Hammerheads, Terminators, anything that Deep Strikes. The one thing he fears above them all, almost, is my Shas'o Commander Dram'Ka.
But, anyway, more thoughts?