Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Grand Preceptor's Eldar Review

I seen quite a few reviews of he new Eldar Codex pop up on forums lately. Honestly, the best one I've seen came from my friend Mike (a.k.a. Grand Preceptor, a.k.a M1ke). Since he sent it to just a few select friends, I got his permission to post it here. I know that this has nothing to do with the Thousand Sons besides that fact that the Eldar are the Sons' favorite adversary. Plus the Sons have access to the webway, so why not know the codex.

Enough rambling, here's Mike's Review:


Autarch:Truly a military commander, with nice stats: WS BS and I all 6 and Ld 10. Gives you a Strategy Rating of 4 and allows you to add one to your rolls for Reserves (note that's plural rolls, not one roll per turn). Can mix n' match Aspect wargear: Banshee mask or Scorpion mandiblasters, Warp Spider teleport or Hawk wings or jetbike, Shining Spear laser lance (if on bike) or Scorpion chainsword or power weapon, Avenger shuricat or WS deathspinner or fusion gun or lasblaster or Reaper launcher.

Farseer:More affordable- basic cost is higher but includes Ghosthelm and Witchblade. Spirit Stones much cheaper so you can expect pretty much every one of these guys to have 2 Psychic Powers. Sadly (for me), GW realized that re-roll on Saves (Fortune) should be 30 pts and re-roll on To Hit (Guide) should be 20 instead of the old reverse. Hot new power is Doom- nominate an enemy unit in 24" (no LOS needed) and all your units re-roll wounds on them. Mind War more expensive.

Warlocks:About the same, except with no craftworld-specific lists anymore anybody can upgrade one to be better at keeping Wraithguard/Lords from being inactive. No more IC status for them, though. Either 3-10 of them as a Farseer's retinue or single Warlocks can be taken as an option for squads of Wraithguard, Guardians, or Guardian Jetbikes.

Avatar:Finally worthwhile. Twice as expensive but lives up to the fluff now. Basically a Bloodthirster w/o wings but carrying a meltagun. Speaking of meltas, this guy is 100% immune to any harm from melta weapons or flamers.

Phoenix Lords:Overpriced, but nasty. No Instant Death ever. Fun combos of Exarch powers. Can only join squads of their own aspect now, so you don't have to worry anymore about Baharroth giving my Banshees the Hit & Run power (not that I tried that more than once, or got it to work that time).

Prince Yriel:Autarch special character. Interesting powers, but kinda hard to use so I don't expect you'll see much of him.

Eldrad Ulthran:Expensive at 210 points but possibly worth it. Comes with every Farseer power and if he's not in assault can use a THIRD power every turn and it can be a second use of one he's already used that turn, both really neat tricks impossible for any other Farseer. Has a power weapon which always wounds on 2+ and after deployment he can move D3+1 units anywhere inside your DZ.


Striking Scorpions:Much the same, but simplified somewhat (Mandiblasters now just add +1A). Chainswords add +1S to starting S3. They used to be straight S4 and the reason that's important is the Exarch's powerclaw only gets him to S7 instead of te old S8, so no more Instant Death for MEq (and ergo, I expect, you won't see any more Exarchs carrying power claws). Also, no more Haywire Grenades for these boys (they moved to the Swooping Hawks). Purchasable Exarch powers still include Infiltrate, but new is... Move Through Cover! I guarantee you here and now that I'll buy it for 5 pts. when I field them.

Fire Dragons:Fusion guns finally S8 up from 6. Exarch can take what is basically a Heavy Flamer now, and the Firepike is finally priced right. No more purchasable Exarch power that was basically a Lightning Claw- replaced with the mildly useful at best Crack Shot.

Wraithguard:Fixed. Price the same but up to T6 from 5 (good luck killing them now). AP1 Gun used to be wound on 4+, glance vehicles on a straight roll of 4 (5 or 6 pen)- now it's 2+ wound and glance on 3-4. Wound roll of 6 still causes Instant Death regardless of your Toughness. Expect people (including me) to field these as a solution to Greater Daemons and TMCs and the like.

Howling Banshees:Basically the same. New Exarch weapon options: paired power weapons that give +2A or replace power sword with power throwing weapon that's S3 AP2 assault 3 in Shooting phase (but use of which precludes the often-necessary Fleet of Foot, so I'm not that impressed with it).

Harlequins:Much like King Midas, except everything they touch turns into dead bodies instead of gold. Exaggeration, but they're scary. I'm sure you've read plenty elsewhere online about this Killer Klowns From Outer Space miniatures game. That said, there's always "counts as", so if my power-gamer instincts win out I may field something that looks less retarded and has less laughable fluff but with the same rules.


Wave Serpent:More affordable- they wisely transferred a bunch of point cost from the chassis to the turret weapon, so a Bright Lance model costs about the same as before but the economy version with Shuriken Cannons is finally reasonable. Otherwise the same.


Dire Avengers:Their shuricats reach 18" at Assault 2 now, and Exarch can get one that's Assault 4. For more shootiness, purchasable Exarch power lets each model fire one extra shot at the cost of no shooting next turn while they reload. Other Exacrh power reduces enemy units' WS by 1, and other weapon options also choppy: diresword (sorta like a Force Weapon) or power weapon plus shield which gives whole squad 5+ Invulnerable in assault.

Rangers:Same except now anybody can upgrade them to Pathfinders at 5 more points each. Doing that means they 1) ignore Diff Terrain instead of just Move Through Cover, 2) add 2 to any cover save, not just 1, and 3) a to hit roll of 5 or 6 gives their gun AP1 (it's only a 6 for plain Rangers). Oh, and no more overpowered Alaitoc Disruption Table.

Guardians:Same except for two things: Min squad is 10, so no more small suicide squad of Storm Guardiands with 2 Fusion Guns riding in your Falcon Defenders MUST take a grav platform heavy weapon, it's no longer an option. Fortunately the platform makes it an Assault weapon so they can move and fire it, and it doesn't seem to prevent Fleet as far as I can tell.

Guardian Jetbikes:Affordable at 22 points and survivable with T3(4) and 3+ Save. Every third one can have a Shuriken Cannon. Don't forget they can move 6" in the assault phase (read your BT)- closest thing left to the old Crystal Targeting Matrix.


Shining Spears:Still a bit overpriced. No more Bright Lance for the Exarch- they're almost pure assault.

Warp Spiders:Guns finally Assault 2 instead of Rapid Fire. New Exarch weapon options are double Deathspinner that's Assault 4 or Spinneret Rifle that's S6 AP1 Assault 1 and Pinning. Exarch can still buy Hit & Run and can now also buy Deep Strike capability (regardless of mission).

Swooping Hawks:No more Sustained Assault, but they're still all about their Exarch. Squad's lasblasters now AP5 from 6 still 24" Assault 2. Delightful new Exarch weapon options ratchet his gun up from this either to S5 Assault 3 or to Assault 6 and Pinning- yee-haw! One Exarch power lets them use Movement phase to return to Reserves (from which they can then DS again) even if they're engaged in HtH, and the other lets them hit vehicles in HtH on 4+ even if it moved over 6" (they're the ones with Haywire Grenades now).

Vyper:About the same.


Support Weapons:About the same- too short-ranged and killable to function well as artillery.

Dark Reapers:Now have 3+ save, so clearly I wasn't cheating when I played them that way with the last codex, I was just psychic. New Exarch weapon is G36" S4 AP3 Heavy 2 Blast. Otherwise the same.

Wraithlord:Now suffers from same stupidity chance as Wraithguard unless friendly psyker within 6". A bit more expensive. Officially a Monstrous Creature instead of ill-defined. New "heavy weapon" option is big freaking sword which re-rolls to Hit. Can have a second heavy weapon, but if it's a duplicate it counts as twin-linked (so you'll probably never see that since he's already BS4 and the guns are expensive).

War Walker:Not as good as the hype. No longer open-topped, but still AV10. Cheap and well-armed but BS3 and fragile. Do have the Scouts special rule, so they may actually be useful in Escalation as a way to have a shitload of heavy guns on the table while your opponent doesn't yet?

Falcon:Basically the same.

Fire Prism:The new hotness as they're BS4. Gun is either S9 AP2 blast or S5 AP4 large blast. However, more than one can combine their beams into a single twin-linked shot with +1S and -1AP for each additional tank. While sweet, this gets hideously expensive (at least twice the cost of a Basilisk for less power albeit more accurate). However, one of the things that makes it so pricey is most people will be loading them down with all the options that make Falcons so durable, so at least you probably won't lose these points sinks, especially if you make good use of their 60" range to keep them out of harm's way. Still... I dunno. If the model wasn't so damned expensive I might buy two to screw around with, but as it is I'll probably give it a miss.Hmm, speaking of those options, I better cover them too, huh?


Pay lots of points and those gravtanks become REAL hard to kill.

Sprit Stones: Is now basically Extra Armor at twice the price. However, no more of me constantly failing the roll to make it work, so I'm cool with that. This also eliminates Brian's favorite method of killing Falcons by Stunning them one turn to rob them of their Glancing-Only movement for the next turn.

Holofield:Slightly less cool due to a difference in wording. Used to be "may force opponent to re-roll results on damage table" if you wanted, now it's "opponent rolls two dice and lower result is applied." Still a must-have, though, but still unavailable to Wave Serpents since they have their energy field.

Star Engines:Used to be extra 2D6" move straight ahead only, now it's a flat +12" to your regular move.

Vectored Engines:Used to let you re-roll difficult terrain, so nobody took them, even at 5 points. Now it's four times as expensive but lets your skimmers land safely if they become Immobilized.

Crystal Targeting Matrix:Gone.

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