Here’s a review of the new book.
First off, unfortunately, they’re sold out. Le bummer.
But, I would bet they make more eventually as they tend to. There are still digital products available too, and stores may have a few on the shelf.
That said, let’s talk about this bad boy.
First off: I like it. I like it a lot. It is a nice bookm with a ton of really cool fluff to further flesh out Iyanden, a great color section with examples of paint schemes and unique Iyanden markings, etc. This book really brings the sub-faction of Iyanden to life.
I have read a lot of belly aching online about the fact that there are only 2 pages of rules. That is true (if you don’t count the rules for Planetstrike, City Fight, custom scenarios, etc.) but what rules they are! Seriously, these are a few rules that pack a lot of punch and variety into the book.
You get a new Warlord Table that is really, really good. I would argue that it is better than the Eldar book’s because each of the options is all around useful, not just situationally as with some of the Eldar powers (such as splitfire: amazing on some warlords, pointless on others). You have options such as a 6+ FnP bubble, gain Spirit Mark for your Warlord (or an additional one if you already have it), D3 rerolls, Hatred for the warlord and his unit, +1 to Deny rolls or faux-Fortune for the warlord (goes away when failed). All of those are super useful (assuming you have at least one wraith unit). You can also make a Wraithlord or Wraithknight your Warlord, which is cool. Using this table for normal HQ’s is the hotness also, as an Avatar or Autarch for example, can really gain a lot form it.
The Primaris Spirit Seer power is really hot, 2 warp charge, but grants all Wraith units within 12″ Furious Charge and Battle Focus! Wowzers, that is really, really good! It makes Wraithblades hit even harder and a Wraithknight with Battle Focus is so solid! Also, Wraithguard with D-Scythes becomes even more devastating than they already were! Plus you can take 1-5 Spirit Seers as a single HQ choice. You can go crazy with some death stars with that, but don’t forget you have to take that Iyanden Primaris.
You also get access to some really cool special issue wargear! Some of these are real gems. It is important to note that while you can take items from this or the special Eldar lists, a single model can not choose from both. The ability to cherry pick to an extent is really, really good.
The Wraithforge Stone gives you a 3+ to heal a wound on a Wraithlord or Knight!! Holy moly, that combined with the Restore power could be incredibly useful. If your opponent can’t kill a Lord or Knight in a single round of shooting, they shouldn’t even bother.
The Celestial Lance is a pretty solid weapon, to me designed for an Autarch on a bike or with Wings. It both shoots and assaults pretty well so long as you get the charge, you will be doing some work. It also causes models killed by it to explode for extra damage.
The Guardian Helm of Xellethon is solid as well. It means you auto pass LoS! rolls so long as you can pass the wounds to a Wraithguard or Blade. It also allows you to use either of those types of models to accept a challenge. Nice! That could be really useful for dealing with per powerful characters like Draigo or Abbadon. Let them munch a single Wraith model while you unit kills theirs.
The Spear of Teuthlas is a rending Singing Spear. A bit pricey for what you get, but cool.
My favorite though, is the Soulshrive! This thing is straight up bananas. It is S3 AP2, Master Crafted, Melee. Nice, but the rela kicker is that for each unsaved wound you cause with the weapon, it’s strength goes up by 1 to a max of 10!!! Holy crap! Put this on an Autarch on a bike, have him turn two assault a squishy unit to go Super Sayan, and then run around bringing the heat on anything he touches! That is pretty solid, right there!
While that is essentially the extent of the rules, they subtly add a lot to the army. This really allows you to play the army in a very different way. It is still Eldar, but you can have a distinctly Iyanden force. Or, if you like to power game, you can pick and choose the best abilities to build exactly the list you want to build. My only minor critique would be that it would have been nice to see a little FoC swapping, but as you can already make Wraith units troops and they allow a Wraithknight to be your Warlord, I can see why they didn’t. However if we see a Biel Tan supplement for example, I hope we can at least get a single Aspect as a troops choice or something similar.
What really excited me about this though, is that the book sold out. Hopefully this means that we will see more of them! And why not? if it turns a profit it could really, really open up the game for us. I mean, we already have seen an exponential increase in build opportunities and with multiple supplements for each army, plus allies, plus Forge World….holy crap. Your imagination becomes the limit to what you can do. Imagine supplements like this for Space Marine Legions, Ork Clans, IG Regiments, Dark Eldar Cabals, Necron Tomb Worlds, Tyranid Hive Fleets, etc., etc., etc. It is pretty awesome to think about what could be done with this. So here’s to hoping we get more!
Now for that broken combo we promised!
I can’t take credit for this and I am sure others have seen it already, but it was new to me. While on the Imperial Vox Caster pod cast the host, Bill, asked me if it was legal to attach Illic Night Spear to a unit and infiltrate using his special rule which allows you to ignore the normal range restrictions on infiltration.
That is straight up cray cray.
As infiltrate confers onto a unit from an IC, it appears that you can take Illic and say, a unit of Wraithguard with D-Scythes, and infiltrate 1″ away from the enemy. Assuming you have first turn and don’t get seized on, you then erase an enemy unit with little to nothing they ca do about it. And considering infiltration occurs after normal deployment, you can put this unit where they will do the most damage. I can’t imagine this was intentional, but I see no rule that prohibits it.
(Edit: Has this broken combo been broken? I have always played the rule that an IC with infiltrate can join a unit in deployment and grant the ability onto them. Pg.38 strongly implies that that is the intent. However, Pg.39 tells us that IC’s can begin the game with a unit, but with the caveat that to do so they must deploy in coherency with them or be placed in reserves with them. In order to be placed in coherency with a unit, both the unit and the IC must have infiltrate. Therefore, an IC doesn’t actually confer his ability onto a unit as order of operations tells us you can’t do both simultaneously without both units have the rule. Now, to me the implication is quite clear that the opposite should be true, however, perhaps GW is more clever than we give them credit for and this was a way to say an IC with Infiltrate can only Infiltrate with a unit that has the rule but they can outflank a unit that does not. Possible, but I think the rules for an IC joining a unit were just poorly written as the first sentence of an IC joining a unit stating they can begin the game already with a unit seems to tell the story. What do you guys think? I am glad to have an argument to stop this broken combo but are we throwing the baby out with the bathwater? A lot of other units will get affected by this, too.)
(Edit 2: Illic’s rule states that he has infiltrate, and then goes on to state that he ignores range restrictions. The way the rule is worded it is unclear of the modification to infiltrate applies to him specifically or to his rule. It is an important distinction because if it modifies the rule he would be able to grant his improved infiltrate onto his unit. If it pertains to him, then no. However as a second caveat, assuming you accept the above argument it is moot as the units would have to both deploy and then join, and as only Illic at that time would be able to ignore the range restrictions, it wouldn’t work. What you could do though, is use him to get the unit a little bit closer 2″ coherency and his 1″ base. What do you guys think?)
If you go second it isn’t as punishing (still really solid, though!) and if you get seized on this often means you instead handed all those points to your opponent, but when it works….wow. Roughly 5/12 games it will work out for you (assuming you don’t try and pull this off with a seize) which is not bad odds considering how powerful it can be.
Until and if it gets FAQ’d, that is going to be pretty gnarly.