Eldar First Thoughts

Avatar and Titan, ready to rumble!

Avatar and Titan, ready to rumble!

Hey everyone, Reecius here to discuss first reactions to the new Eldar book as it pertains to my list.

First of all, this is not an exhaustive article, this is meant to be a first impression reading of the book as it pertains to my specific list. I will write a more in depth review after I’ve had a chance to play a few games.

I have to say that right off the cuff, I REALLY like this book! A lot of naysayers online see nothing but problems and to them I say: be cool, son! Almost every unit in the book got better!

So here is the list I was running previously (Note: this is NOT the list I propose to run), adjusted to the new rules. It was 1750.

Footdar 1750pts
Unit Description Size Cost
HQ
Eldrad 1 205
Avatar 1 195
Troops
Rangers 5 60
Dire Avengers 10 130
Guradians S.Laser 10 110
Jetbikes S.Cannon 3 51
Elites
Harlequins Shadowseer, Kisses x 10 10 250
Fire Dragons Exarch, Fire Pike, Fast Shot 7 189
Fast Attack
Heavy Support
War Walkers S.Laser x 6 3 210
War Walkers S.Laser x 6 3 210
Wraithlord Scatter Laser, W.Sword 1 145
Fortifications
Aegis Quad Gun 1 100
Totals 55 1855

However, adding up my 1750 list, to play the exact same units and as close to the same wargear as I could get (I don’t use many upgrades, typically) my list went up from 1750 to 1855 in points! Yikes, a 105 point increase for almost the exact same list, only super minor differences. However, as my Footdar were pretty dang optimized, this doesn’t surprise me too much as like most competitive players, I gravitated towards the undercosted units as they were more efficient. The real offenders were Fire Dragons, Wraithlords and War Walkers in my list which saw the biggest increase and accounted for about 125pts of that increase alone. The Avatar also jumped up quite a bit.

On the flip side, Guardian Jet Bikes and Rangers went down…wow! Already 2 of the best troops, one for holding the other for taking objectives, and they got cheaper! Guardian Jet Bikes, like all Guardians, got a significant boost in stats and and power, too. They are easily two of the best buys in the game right now. As I had been using Pathfinders which were double the cost at that squad size, that saved me some serious points.

So the real question you have to ask is, do the increases in power warrant the increased cost? I think yes.

The Mighty Footdar!

The Mighty, Mighty Footdar!

War Walkers

These mainstays got some subtle but meaningful changes. For one, their offensive output went WAY up. Holy crap, BS4? Twin linked on the second volley of scatter lasers so long as one hits from the first volley? Wow. That means I no longer need to guide them to get maximum punch. They will roughly average 19/24 hits with dual Scatter Lasers, better than the previous edition WITH Guide. The other big benefit is that it means they don’t have to hang out within 6″ of a Farseer, they are so much more mobile now.  Plus having Battle Focus and Fleet….too awesome. They can run and shoot, or shoot and run. That ability is going to prove so useful for Eldar, I don’t think people see it yet. Fleet makes it VERY reliable, too. I think Scatter Lasers is still the right choice, Guide or Prescience them and they will be better point for point against most Flyers than Flakk Missiles. With their speed, getting rear armor shots should be fairly doable.

However, on the downside, they got a lot less durable. Why? Open topped and, this is HUGE, no assurance of Fortune. Fortune is what made these guys so hard to kill for me. I made sure they had a 4+ cover save and Fortuned them every turn. That gave them a 75% chance of stopping any hit. The 5++ is nice for all of the things that ignore cover now, but it really isn’t anything to be relied on. With +1 to the damage table and only 2 HP, these guys are going to drop like flies. I think the key is going to be keeping them at maximum range and then using Battle Focus to dance back out of range or ideally, out of LoS. Hell Turkies will eat these guys up.

Wraithlord

5th ed I ran these guys with B.Lance and EML as I needed the ranged AT. 6th ed I opted for the Sword and Scatter Laser (Go, Go Magnets!) as I found it worked better. Being a Character meant the Wraithlord could play the challenge game. So what do we have now? More expensive, lower strength, but no more Wraith Sight (thank Kaine!!) which means like the War Walkers, he doesn’t have to be babysat. Awesome. He can also now take a sword and 2 heavy weapons which are also no longer twin linked if you take 2 of the same, which is cool.

Con side, he is more expensive. A MC can only fire 2 weapons now, so loading him up with guns may not be optimal. I see these guys running as either a dedicated gun platform that can also counter attack well, or a dedicated assault unit with Flamers and a Glaive. Comparing him to a Wraithknight I don’t think he looks so bad, actually. Yes, half the wound but also half the price and only 1 less attack and 1 less strength if you give him the Glaive. He is a lot slower though and lower In. I don’t think this is nearly as bad as the Trygon/Carnifex or the Defiler/Mauler&Forge Fiend stunt Phill pulled, though. I think Wraithlords still have a place. Triple Wraithknight is going to be pretty incredibly overpowering for a lot of armies out there, though. That is an article for another day, however.

Harlies

Same points, slightly nerfed. They still hit like a freight train, still slippery as hell, still very mobile, still a premiere counter assault unit.

Old Veil (which I prefer, actually) however now it is a psychic power and at ld9, you have a 1/6 chance of failure. That could be devastating at the wrong time. It also means Nids and Wolves can shut it down which coincidentally, are some of the armies you want Harlies the most. You actually have to make a tough choice between them and the cheaper, and much improved, alternative assault units.

Fire Dragons

Hmmm. 38% points increase. Ouch. They did get a 17% armor increase and the jump from 4+ to 3+ is pretty big as so many weapons are ap4. Battle Focus is big for these guys, too.

38% points increase. Ouch. The other biggie is no more Crack Shot, which was the money maker for these guys. An Exarch with a BS5, 18″ melta weapon that ignored cover was just insanely good. The unit they way I ran them is probably moot. The Exarch is still not a bad buy though as for +20 points you get an extra BS5 shot as opposed to +22pts getting you another BS4 shot, but also another wound. With the decrease in mech lists and the much improved Wraithguard and tank busting goodness that is the Wraithknight, this old standby unit may have seen its sun set.

Eldar

Eldar

Jetbikes

Wow. Just, wow. They were an absolute STEAL at 66pts. So how about a BS, WS, and I, increase plus buffing their guns to be rending against non vehicles….and Battle Focus? Holy crap. This just become one of the most useful, points efficient units in the game. This is a unit that for a measly 51 points, will routinely win you the game. Reserve every game, scoot onto objectives, profit. They can now fight fairly well, too and with the awesome buffs Warlocks can being, will actually be able to contribute. You can viably run a Saim Han army now, too.

No cons at all. None. This unit is pure, unadulterated win.

Guardians

Another HUGE boost. I likes Guardians before but now they are so good! They don’t have to take a HWP, but they can take 2. They have rending guns (!!!!!), Battle Focus with Fleet (I seriously don’t think people realize how good this is yet), stat increases and Grenades for a measly 1 point increase. Yeah, these guys are money. You can skip the weapon platform too, if you don’t want it. It doesn’t compliment the rest of their guns all that well, but a move and shoot Scatter Laser is pretty nice.

The only real con I see to be honest, is that they are more expensive for what I did with them before: meat shields. I used my Guardians as screening units that sat on objectives and popped off an occasional shot here and there. For 85pts I had 10 bodies and a Shuriken Cannon. Now for 105 I get the same thing that dies just as easily but hits significantly harder. For my play-style probably a net loss, but it means I just need to rethink the way I play them.

Dire Avengers

Ahhhhhhhh yeah, boy!!!!! Yes! These guys are the absolute business! I loved them in 5th ed when they sucked and now they rock! For 1 point I get rending guns (!!!!!!!!!!), Battle Focus with Fleet, Grenades and Counter Attack!!! Holy shite, that is a massive increase in power for the way I play. I really can’t emphasize how much better these guys got in a Footdar list. I previously ran them naked, as I would now, but did not have all the bells and whistles. Now these little bad asses have increased range, increased hitting power, increased defense, etc., etc., etc. For 10 points, I can play them the same way I have been but they are SO much better in the same roll. Wow, I am stoked, I think these guys just put Chaos Space Marines and Dark Angels Tacticals to shame. I am so stoked, and I have about 50 of these guys fully painted! Yes sir!

No cons. None. These are a dream troop with so many tactical options to make them just a blast to play. These are phenom skirmishers.

Revenant Titan

Revenant Titan

Rangers

Scoring unit,12 pt BS4 sniper with Infiltrate, Stealth, Move through Cover, Battle Focus, and Fleet. What’s not to like? This is a unit that like Jetbikes, will win you games regularly. I imagine every list I write will start with a unit of these guys and of Jetbikes.

They don’t do that much damage but who cares? They aren’t meant to. They hunker down on an objective and snipe characters out of units, then win you the game on the last turn. Money in the bank. If they actually kill something do your happy dance, that is just icing on the cake.

Avatar

Big Daddy! Well, he certainly got a major stat boost. He’s close to his 2nd ed glory in terms of numbers. And, thank Isha, he FINALLY has Fleet!!! Ah I wished for that last edition so many times. Battle Focus, AP1 in HtH, immunity to flame attacks. Still grants the oh so amazing Fearless aura. This means he’s way faster, and can run and gun like a boss dipped in boss sauce. He is gong to keep up with the army, be fast and a big time threat. But, is it worth the increased cost?

Exarch powers are interesting. The only ones that really jump out at me are Fast Shot (probably gong to be always taken) as at BS 10 he hits 35/36 times and with Battle Focus and Fleet (seeing a pattern here?) he can fly up the table and start hucking the Wailing Doom around first turn. This combos will with Marksmen’s Eye, but for 15pts I would probably pass. Night Vision is pointless, Monster Hunter is too situational as is Disarming Strike. Crushing Blow will always be good, and you may see this one, too.

Will his invul save dropped to a 5++ and that really hurts. Plus, again, not being certain of getting Fortune is such a big deal. Fortune was a cornerstone of my previous Footdar tactics. I almost always cast it twice per turn, and Guide or Doom once. Avatar, War Walkers got Fortuned every turn, and made them damn near unkillable. It will take play testing to see if the new, speedier, killier Avatar is worth the decrease in durability and increase in cost. Easier to kill but generally less turns to try.

I want to like the big guy as I have the FW version throwing a spear like a Spartan and it is my favorite model that I own. However, I think the Spirit Seer is so good, it may be hard to choose…and then there’s the wonderousness that is the Phoenix Lords…ooh, and the Autarch….haha, going to be a touch call here, but that means smart game design!

Eldrizzle, my Nizzle

The old boy is still a powerhouse, as he should be! So he changed subtly, but for better or worse?

Well, he went down in points. Always a buff. He retained T4 and he got Fleet!!!! Finally, the old timer doesn’t slow everyone down. He also has Battle Focus, and his usual panoplyy of goodies. Pistol (Rending!!!) Witchblade, Ghosthelm, Runes of Warding, Runes of Witnessing, 3++, and his Fleshbane, AP3, FORCE staff! Boom! That means the old man still brings the heat in combat. He isn’t a beatstick, but he packs a punch. It also allows him to gain more warp charge on a 5+ if he passes a psychic test. This means he generally will get 1 extra point which is cool, but since he can’t cast the same power twice any more (que sad trombone) it isn’t as big of a deal. Still cool, though. He still has his awesome redploy, too. Oh, and–of course–mastery level 4. Who didn’t see that coming, though? All in all, pretty damn awesome. His Warlord ability is quite good too, giving all units within 12″ Stealth once per game.

Cons? He cost double what 2 mastery level 3 farseers cost and triple what the very, very good Spirit Seer runs. Is he worth it? Without reliable Fortune (hmmm, definitely a pattern here, too) he isn’t nearly the tarpit he was. Divination is boss though and with Death Mission (new Eldar power) he becomes brutal in combat, but a lot of the other Runes of Fate powers are pretty crummy. I see most folks going with Divination and Telepathy to be honest, unless they really, really need that Fortune. Biggest con by far? Can’t cast the same power twice. Ouch. That was the main reason I took him before: 2 Fortunes. Now that you don’t get that, I really question if the Old Man is worth it. Perhaps the cheaper Spirit Seer, who is a buffing/debuffing champion, is the better bet, now.

Closing

My army got better by a lot, it’s almost like the new rules were written to make Footdar better! More punch, more speed, more options but less durability. That is the general impact on my army.

It has changed subtly. I need to find the new sweet spot between balancing all the various units to find that mix that allows me to orchestrate all the various buffs, debuffs and abilities that makes playing Eldar–specifically Footdar–such a blast! I am very excited to give it all a whirl, so expect a bat rep soon. I have a feeling this is going to be my top played army again. It was always my favorite, and I am very pleased to see it get such a great overhaul.

I still lack serious AA, and a triple Hell Turkey list is still my absolute worst nightmare. I will need to find a solution as Guided/Prescience War Walkers can get the job done if they get those rear shots, but it isn’t a guarantee by any means.

I will go into more in-depth reviews of the other units as time passes.

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About Reecius

The fearless leader of the intrepid group of gamers gone retailers at Frontline Gaming!

38 Responses to “Eldar First Thoughts”

  1. The voice June 2, 2013 1:21 am
    #

    Yea. I agree with alot of what youve said. Battle focus is (ironically) going to have to be the new focus of the army. You just cant rely on the right psy powers now..their good ofc, but you cant have any solid plan around anything but the primaris. Scoot and shoot is now the name of the game.

    The battle powers are just gold though – the buff/debuff to armour saves is just insane. 2+ save jet bikes? terminators in power armour..the wraithknight in pheonix armour? id be tempted with 2 spirit seers on that spell alone.

    personally i think youd get mileage out of going for a darkeldar allie combo. it gets you a baron, your old harlies and some nice ranged poisond troops too

    • Reecius
      Reecius June 2, 2013 5:41 pm
      #

      I totally agree, battle focus and the powers you can count on are the name of the game.

      Don’t forget though that a lot of the buffing powers only work on the psyker and his unit.

  2. umbo June 2, 2013 3:49 am
    #

    Does battle focus work on bikes (who can’t rule brb)? I am not sure, as codex trumps BRB etc..
    I saw this codex as, wow this makes Tau even better… Farseer to make them twin linked (and maybe fortuned) and then jet bikes to help get objectives (thats the main weakness with current Tau). Also I think the virbocannons are really good.

    • umbo June 2, 2013 3:51 am
      #

      can’t run**** not rule..

      • B R Lovecraft June 2, 2013 8:18 am
        #

        As of right now, battle focus has no effect on jet bikes. Yes the codex would normally trump the rule book, but the new codex actually says, models that cannot run are not affected by this rule. It’s the second paragraph under the battle focus explanation.

        So it needs an FAQ to either remove that entry from their stats, or redefine it for the context of models that turo-boost.

    • Reecius
      Reecius June 2, 2013 5:42 pm
      #

      They will combo with Tau extremely well.

  3. Skari June 2, 2013 4:05 am
    #

    Very well written. I agree on all counts. I think your list was well optimized and of course some key point increases do get noticed. I really like the new book and I am very excited to get those allies into my DE, why? because DE and Eldar should really be looked at as one single book IMO. -Eldar- hehe. I also like that the powers in the eldar book now affect “friendly” units and this really assist with allies.
    I am a huge fan of Battle Focus (i really see the potential) I am very excited to see what you do with it because I know I would milk the hell out of it (especially with the dire avengers, like you said). The unreliability of not getting fortune is a bummer, but something I really like about the new eldar powers is that each one is two powers… this really gives you 6 powers on a farseer to choose from and for a few points more (instead of eldrad) you get 12 powers… (eldrad gets 8) well you get the idea.

    Thanks for the article. Much appreciated and a good read.

    • Reecius
      Reecius June 2, 2013 5:44 pm
      #

      As the Voice said, only Spirit Seers get Runes of Battle, only Farseers get Divination and Runes of Fate.

      But yeah, Battle Focus is amazingly good. It will define this army to a large extent.

  4. The voice June 2, 2013 5:01 am
    #

    unfortunately farseers catn take the battle powers , only the seer ones – which is why the spirit seers (who can) look very appealing.

    the support batteries i think are crazy good for the points apart from the d cannons.

  5. Mike Zogz June 2, 2013 6:55 am
    #

    Agree on all counts – the article over on BoLS essentially comes to the same conclusion.

    My Ulthwe footdar will benefit immensely from the new book.

    5 Dark Reapers, one of whom is an Exarch w/ Fast shot,all with TWO missile types (Str 5 Ap 3 H2 AND Str 8 Ap 3 H1) cost the same as the did in the previous book. So wild.

    A Warlock with ANY battle runes power is an amazing investment in a Guardian-heavy army, and now that Guardians are only 1 pt more expensive and can output so much more lethal fire… Only good things here.

    New wraith toys definitely seem to trump Fire Dragons for me. Having a tough spongy unit with either Cannons or Axe/4++ seem to be a better investment than Dragons (165 pts vs the 189 pts in your list, Reece) , and with my Reapers now able to cover some tankage, a good unit to counter-charge in the backfield will be valuable.

    Bummer the flyers are so flimsy. It make sense that they would be – it just massively limits their effectiveness.

    • KriegXXIX June 2, 2013 8:01 am
      #

      I agree they made the flyers a bit too flimsy. Powerfields would have helped a lot. I may rely on FW flyers for the time being but the Hemlock does provide some interesting abilities to the table.

      • Reecius
        Reecius June 2, 2013 5:46 pm
        #

        Yeah, the Nightwing is so much harder to kill.

    • Reecius
      Reecius June 2, 2013 5:46 pm
      #

      Yeah, I am on the fence right now as to Wraithguard/Fire Dragons. It is a tough choice now. Dragons you get more of, and have Battle Focus, Wraiths are tougher, fearless, and can be scoring. It is a tough choice. I may have to try them out and see.

  6. Casey H June 2, 2013 10:14 am
    #

    Damn it.

    I’m just getting my Tau-buzz into high gear for tourney time, and now I’ve got to try the new elves. … Reece, your forum needs emoticons, especially the Face-palm.

    • Reecius
      Reecius June 2, 2013 10:58 am
      #

      Haha, if I can figure out how to add those, I will!

  7. David Key June 2, 2013 12:06 pm
    #

    I think the book wants the Eldar player to mess with leadership tests. Lots of “pinning” added to old weapons and the wraithfighter thingy. Too bad it is so weak.

    • Reecius
      Reecius June 2, 2013 5:47 pm
      #

      Pinning is so unreliable, though. The Wraithfighter can be fucking brutal, though. Lowe the target’s leadership with Horrify and then hit them with Scream, you will wipe out entire units.

      • David Key June 3, 2013 4:52 pm
        #

        There is the Warlock power that -3 to leadership. I am seeing stuff coming together here… I am thinking it is the massive bike host with a ton of warlocks. I was bumming on the randomness of the whole thing, but you can take a TON of warlocks all running around messing with stuff. On bikes you can totally get the right debuffs where you need it. IDK… I am still in that phase where I read it all the time on the shitter and come up with great head-Hammer lists. Good times!!

        • Reecius
          Reecius June 3, 2013 7:43 pm
          #

          Warlocks are a dicey investment, IMO. LD8 means you fail 5/18 checks, just about 1/3. However, their powers are REALLY good, so it is definitely a risk worth considering.

  8. Gordy June 2, 2013 1:50 pm
    #

    I’m a little disappointed at the direction a lot of units went (still 12″ catapults, slightly mediocre Wraithknight, and of course random psychic powers but we knew that was coming), but I’m glad I picked up eldar over the last couple of years just for the new codex. I’ll have to get some Reapers, Warp Spiders, Wraith-everything, and Jetbikes to round out what I’ve got, and I don’t think Eldar will sweep onto the competitive scene the way that, say, Tau or Grey Knights did, but it’ll be fun.

    • Reecius
      Reecius June 2, 2013 5:48 pm
      #

      I am used to the ranges of the weapons as I have played it that way for years on foot. So for me, I only see benefits as Battle Focus helps out so much!

      I am stoke don the book, can’t wait to try it out some more.

  9. Tarrasq June 2, 2013 2:21 pm
    #

    I still can’t see myself running any HQ other than double farseer, unless you have/want a wraith heavy build. Doom is doubling as Anti-Armor is fantastic (especially against flyers). Guide goes up to 24″ now so less baby sitting. I really don’t feel like I need fortune as much now though it is a nice bonus.

    Warlocks on the other hand are total crap. 1 wound LD 8 psykers that only buff their own unit and can only join a very limited number of units. To make matters worse you roll for powers after you join them to units. So basically they are only good as a death star (and only if you get fortune and the +1 to armor is useless here) or for giving a limited number of units shrouded.

    • Reecius
      Reecius June 2, 2013 5:50 pm
      #

      They don’t have grenades, either. That was the kicker for me. And with Perils taking them out of play? Too expensive for the risk, IMO.

  10. Tarrasq June 2, 2013 2:29 pm
    #

    Whoops I forgot the bike confers a 3+ armor save so protect isn’t useless in a jetbike blob.

  11. Gordy June 2, 2013 2:40 pm
    #

    By the way, 3++ pointed out that Farseers can take both Guide and Prescience. Awesome. I’d probably put two rolls into Runes of Fate and hope for Doom/Fortune, one into Divination, and default any bad powers to Guide and Prescience. Eldrad can do even better.

    • Reecius
      Reecius June 2, 2013 5:50 pm
      #

      We came to the same conclusion here, play assuming you have both Guide and Prescience. You can build a list around that, no doubt.

  12. David Key June 2, 2013 3:01 pm
    #

    I did not want to give the perception I thought the book was at all disappointing. I think it is excellent. There are no units that I would not take in a given list. Even the Swooping Hawks. I actually really like them.

    • Reecius
      Reecius June 2, 2013 5:51 pm
      #

      They are great for last turn objective contesting!

  13. Hippesthippo June 2, 2013 3:53 pm
    #

    Before I even read the article, I have got to thank you for the pics. That Avatar is absolutely beautiful. Hopefully, the army transitions well enough to the tourney scene that I can get a chance to see it in person.

    • Reecius
      Reecius June 2, 2013 5:52 pm
      #

      Thank you, sir! It is my favorite model that I own. So far it is OK, I hope I can find a way to make him work though, he was a mainstay in my old list, I just hope he can survive without Fortune.

  14. Hippesthippo June 2, 2013 4:24 pm
    #

    Great article. As some people have already mentioned, Guide/Prescience = Money. Cheap barrage = Money.

    Jetbikes are autotake now. Scoot/shoot DA look great. Teleporting s6 Spiders look awesome. BS4 Walkers! Wave Shields reverting back to their Rogue Trader ways is super cool.

    To me, the biggest downside is no guaranteed Fortune. In general, the army trades durability for increased speed and firepower. A good general can take advantage of traits like those, however. I suppose with Dual Farseer, you have a darn good shot at Fortune at least.

    This codex really begs for double force org.. At 2000pts, I could definitely see paying 270pts for trip-seer. Prolly the Avatar as well.

    • Reecius
      Reecius June 2, 2013 5:55 pm
      #

      Thanks! Glad you liked it.

      Yeah, losing Fortune is the biggest set back by far. It was a key tactic in my previous list. I will have to try and find a way around it and I think planning for quad guide/prescience is the right choice. You can plan around that certainty. With 2 Farseers you roll on Fate first, hoping for Fortune or Doom, then fall back to Divination.

  15. Black Blow Fly June 2, 2013 5:26 pm
    #

    Excellent article Reecius… This is just what you needed. Your star is ascendant again.

    Pure win !

    • Reecius
      Reecius June 2, 2013 5:53 pm
      #

      Yeah, as soon as I figure out a solid AA solution, it is game on!

  16. BJ June 4, 2013 10:16 am
    #

    Hey thanks for posting this and the batrep. You guys are much appreciated 🙂
    I’m not sure if you added the 10 points for the S. Cannon on the jetbike squad. So your list got 115 points more expensive. Yikes haha

    • Reecius
      Reecius June 4, 2013 2:49 pm
      #

      Glad you liked them!

      I wasn’t using the S.cannon, but you would be right.

  17. BJ June 4, 2013 3:42 pm
    #

    Oh my bad Reece. I saw it listed in the chart at the top and just assumed. Hey how bout Karandras? He looks like a beast. I wonder if he’ll end up with stealth or shrouded. My iPad says stealth but I hear the print version says otherwise. Maybe it was missed like the Ravenwing Darkshroud 🙂 Keep up the good work bro.

    • Reecius
      Reecius June 4, 2013 4:01 pm
      #

      Oh wait, it does say it on the list! My bad, I forgot to erase it.

      Karandras does look vicious! The Claw is a melee weapon now! So he just owns face.

      He has stealth and night vision, and infiltrate and I haven’t seen anything that says he can’t join other units! So, you can use him to sneak people up and he packs a serious punch. I like him a lot.