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.
|Harlequins||Shadowseer, Kisses x 10||10||250|
|Fire Dragons||Exarch, Fire Pike, Fast Shot||7||189|
|War Walkers||S.Laser x 6||3||210|
|War Walkers||S.Laser x 6||3||210|
|Wraithlord||Scatter Laser, W.Sword||1||145|
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.