First Looks: The New Eldar Codex

She knows she's better than you and doesn't care

Have you took a look at the new Eldar book? Curl into your nook ’cause we hooked it like a crook!

Shut up, I like words that rhyme.

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So, the new Eldar book is out and being played and so I think it’s high time we took a good, hard look at it to see what we can see. Like most of my “First Look” articles, this isn’t going to be a review of the codex per se– rather, what it will be is impressions I’ve gotten from my, well, first look through the book. It’s by no means definitive, but useful in terms of gathering what is important to pay attention to and what is still basically just background material. If there’s something that you think I’ve missed, by all means bring it up in the comments section below- it’s rather inevitable with every new book that something or another slips under the radar that will end up being pretty clutch.

The Physical Book

The actual book itself, like all of the new 7E codices, is hardbound and printed on the glossy paper that is the standard now. Unlike many of the others, however, its price increase comes with some actual benefits- it is not only longer than most any of the other codices (clocking in at 160 pages compared to the old codex’s ~105), but also contains significantly more illustrations, many of them entirely new (or at least new to print editions.) The fluff sections of the book are still about the same, feeling a little bit skimpy compared to 5E and earlier books, but perhaps that’s more a function of the rest of the book being so expanded- as, indeed, the book contains extensive paint scheme guides to various Eldar Craftworlds and Aspect Shrines, including several variants of each Shrine’s colorings. A large chunk of the book is still dedicated to nothing but photos of models, although this is made a bit more bearable by some good close-ups of characters and whatnot that have been given exceptional care.

The book otherwise cleaves to the new system of organization for the new codices, with each unit being given a single page dominated mainly by a picture and a handful of special rules and all wargear and weapons consolidated in a single listing towards the back of the book. Thankfully, extensive page references are provided to make looking things up easier, although I still prefer the unified army list at the back of the book that 5E/6E used overall. By far the most annoying thing I’ve noticed- both with this codex and with the Necron one- was the placement of the Warlord traits table as well as the lack of a quick reference version of it in the back next to the psychic powers- for something that players will need to roll every game and most will have trouble memorizing, it seems bizarre not to include it so.


The Craftworld Warhost Detachment

Like the other recent books, Eldar now have access to a unique type of detachment that consists of a combinations of different formations under a larger “umbrella” formation. It functions somewhat like more traditional detachments (such as Combined Arms, etc), but has combinations of units that take the place of “slots.” In the Eldar’s case, it is the Craftworld Warhost, whose universal benefit is always being counted as rolling a ‘6’ when Running with models in the formation. While this is undeniably a powerful ability (as virtually any movement-enhancer can be, especially in light of Battle Focus) it’s a very odd choice for a generic bonus because it simply does not apply to the new flagship jetbike models, nor does it have any functionality for vehicles of any sort. What I think this will end up meaning is that, unlike the Decurion, the Warhost won’t have the same sort of broad appeal to players because of its lack of bonuses and significant restrictions on many builds.

The Warhost, like the others of its type, consists of at least one Core choice along with up to three Command choices and 1-12 Auxillary choices for each Core choice. Unlike the others, the Warhost actually has three (or, really, two) variant Core versions to pick from. The Windrider Host is a Farseer, a Warlock Council, three Windrider squads, and a Vyper (with all models riding jetbikes as applicable) and can give all of its Shuriken weapons Shred once per game. Since the Scatter Laser is easily the better choice and the 6″ Run gives no benefit to its models, this version is actually surprisingly awkward despite its strong components. The other two variants are essentially identical but swap out for the two different types of Guardians included within them. Both require the Farseer, the Vyper, an artillery unit, a War Walker, and three units of their respective Guardians (Storm or Defenders), with the Guardians getting free heavy/special upgrades for the unit and everything else getting Preferred Enemy when in the vicinity of the Guardians or their target (again, depending on type.) Since both of these units have much better formation bonuses than the Windriders, I think they end up being superior choices for running it in many cases- although the Windrider Host has the advantage of being much cheaper basic entry cost and coming with very strong units.

The Command choices are relatively simple; you can get an Autarch or named character, an Avatar, or a Seer Council, which is a formation consisting of two Farseers and one Warlock Conclave that harvests warp charge on a 3+. None of them are exceptionally impressive, although the Council has some potential for use outside of the Warhost to form a hard-hitting deathstar that can be taken independently of the rest of the codex.

The Auxillary choices are just like with Necrons and Daemonkin- lots of good stuff, often with nice bonuses, but also some very awkward combinations that make it hard to build an army. Rangers and all of the multiwound Wraithguys (including the Hemlock) can be taken as solo models, but everything else comes in formations- and often pretty large ones. We’ll talk about the individual formations later, but the important things to take note of here are that Windrider Jetbikes, the artillery units, and Wraithguard are all available ONLY within their respective formations, all of which are expensive- you cannot just load up on any of these powerful units. That is a major strike against the Warhost, I think, especially combined with its comparative lack of benefits for losing Objective Secured.

I think the Warhost is most functional in an army that focuses a lot on using a combination of transports and Battle Focus to manipulate range to its advantage; being able to, say, drop Fire Dragons into one arc of a Knight and then Run into another with absolute consistency is a big deal, and for the shorter-ranged units (like those required Guardians) always getting maximum distance can really make their weapons shine like never before. It isn’t particularly good for spamming Jetbikes or Wraithguard, but it can bring a ton of pretty maneuverable guys to the table. It probably should have had some other more-general bonus that could be applied to all Eldar units to put it on par with the Decurion, but overall I think it is a very useable inclusion.

Individual Units

We’re just gonna tear through things one-by-one here and try and hit all of the different units and formations- there’s a lot of them, so I won’t go into extensive detail on any. Likely they’ll get more specific discussions in other articles by myself and others.

Eldrad is pretty much identical; like all Eldar, he lost access to Maelific Daemonology, but he’s still got an AP3 Fleshbane force weapon and has T4/3++ while sometimes getting free Warp Charge. Yriel and Illic are also pretty much the same and thus very mediocre; Yriel can’t use his Eye of Wrath while in a challenge now and Illic’s gun works like the old Distort rules rather than getting upgraded to Str D. He doesn’t let you pay to upgrade Rangers to Pathfinders, but instead confers their rules onto any Ranger unit that he joins- probably a lot better. Being able to Infiltrate up close to the enemy with your unit of snipers is still silly, though.

The Phoenix Lords are improved from prior versions, but still mostly not good. Asurmen gets d3 warlord traits, but only off the Eldar table- though this does give him the potential for a 2+ rerollable armor save. Jain Zar gets to keep the old version of Disarm, which is quite strong, and cripples the Init/WS of any unit she charges. Karandras can come on from reserve from any board edge (along with any Scorpions he joins, but not other characters) and he pew-pew mask cuts through armor, but for some reason lacks the Stalker rule that all other Scorpion Exarchs have. Fuegan is a 220pt meltagun. Baharroth really, REALLY likes the Blind rule, but is notable for being the cheapest Phoenix Lord while also having Hit and Run. Maugan Ra gets to shoot twice (at whatever targets) and is still surprisingly good in melee, but not even close to worth it.

Autarchs are still mostly the same, although they gain access to the Fusion Pistol. With how good the Farseer is, it’s a hard argument to really want one.

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Farseers are amazing. They lose Maelific, which is sad, but gain the ability to reroll any number of psychic dice (casting or denying) once per turn- meaning you can reroll only failures, reroll a ‘6’ to try and avoid Perils, etc, etc. They also still have the Ghosthelm and access to many strong disciplines, making them one of the premier psykers in the game. See also the section on psychic powers later.

Warlock Conclaves are significantly different- while they still generate dice equal to the number of members, they do not have individual powers anymore (and cannot split off to units- instead, units can simply buy a Warlock as an upgrade.) Instead, they have a number of powers (and Mastery Level) based on the number of squad members; ML1 at 1-3, ML2 at 4-6, ML3 at 7+. If you lose models, your ML will go down and you’ll have to choose a power to forget. As the Runes of Battle powers are essentially unchanged, this makes them still not an ignorable unit, though with about a third as many power choices as before they are significantly worse.

Spiritseers don’t have to designate a target for Spirit Mark (it just works on anyone within range) and can’t make Wraithguys troops, but are otherwise identical. Just take a Farseer instead unless you REALLY want Runes of Battle and refuse to take any Warlocks for some reason.

Guardian Defenders are the same, with the addition of the Warlock upgrade. They seem… okayish? Storm Guardians can now be taken in squads of eight minimum (rather than ten) for some reason, but are otherwise identical. They’re still pretty bad. Why the fuck are Power Swords 15pts on a S3 model?

Windriders (i.e. Jetbike Guardians)… you have probably heard about, but if not: they are pants-on-head crazy. Same cost, same stats, but now with the option for Scatter Lasers instead of just Shuriken Cannons and with either one available on every model, for the same cost. (Protip: always take the Scatter Laser, on every guy.) For those that wanna do the math, they work out to about the same per-cost firepower as a unit of Broadsides does against T4 targets, but are also insanely mobile, bring their own cover save when needed, and are a Troops choice.

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Rangers are… they’re guys who don’t matter. They have Shrouded rather than Stealth now I guess or something. Still can’t really use Battle Focus at all, still not very good.

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Dire Avengers are around, although with the Wave Serpent no longer king of the world they won’t be seen nearly so much. They are our first showcase for the new Aspect Warrior system: all units get one special rule possessed by all members and another rule that only the Exarch possesses. Also, Exarchs are two Wounds in addition to being +1 to WS/BS/I/A, which makes them pretty attractive buys. Dire Avengers’ special ability is to choose between either firing Overwatch at BS2 (decent) and gaining Counter-Attack/Stubborn when charge but not firing Overwatch at all (garbage.) The Exarch comes with a 4++, which is pretty dumb and a terrible example of how every other Exarch functions so let’s just forget that these guys were the first on the list.

Howling Banshees! Still not good, but no longer the laughingstock of the entire craftworld. They keep the same setup as before, which is a bit unfortunate because they REALLY needed S4 to be viable, but Acrobatic now applies to both Run and Assault moves and lets them ignore the Initiative penalty for terrain (but not the -2″ penalty, oddly.) The Exarch gives enemies -2Ld while locked in combat, which is decent I suppose. Banshee Masks now cause Fear and prevent Overwatch, which is kinda cute, although it does make you wonder about why they would use them against Daemons of Slaanesh (against which neither effect applies)…

Striking Scorpions get several major boosts that bring them well into the realm of playability. First of all, they have Shrouded until they shoot or assault (in addition to natural Stealth), making them a lot tougher. Second, Mandiblasters always wound on a 4+ (except against Gargantuans, where they wound on a 6+), making them a lot more effective against most things. Third, their Exarch gains bonus attacks on the first turn of a challenge equal to the amount his Init exceeds his opponent’s- meaning, in most cases, that he is getting six WS5 attacks with that S6 AP2 claw of his. Badass.

Fire Dragons also got a big buff even though they didn’t really need anything to stay viable- they add a +1 bonus to any roll on the vehicle/building damage tables above and beyond what their guns give them, so rolling at +3 against most things and +4 on Open-Topped. So yeah, pretty much destroying Knights and any other vehicles they can push a damage result through on. The Exarch can reroll a single hit/wound/pen per turn, which is… eh, it’s not terrible I guess, but seems silly with BS5 melta weapons. If Wraithguard get banned, look for these guys to be a primary solution to heavy targets.

Speaking of which- Wraithguard are cray-cray. Same cost as before (so 32 each, or 42 with flamers) their weapons are now Str D instead of S10, which is a massive leap. They vaporize most targets with ease and the D-Scythe version in particular ignores cover AND armor saves with all of its wounds and can hit multiple models. It does suffer a -1 on the Destroyer table (boo hoo), but that will still annihilate most things in a heartbeat while being functionally immune to charging. Like Windriders, expect these guys to go completely out of control if nothing gets changed about them.

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Wraithblades, to contrast, got a little bit better but not amazingly so. They dropped down to 30pts each and now come with Rage to match their fluff, while the weapon swaps are still free. Being able to stuff them inside a Raider may end up working out for them decently, but they’re still awfully expensive for what they do.

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Wave Serpents, as expected, as now FA choices and significantly weaker, although still far from terrible. They got a 5pt discount and the Serpent Shield is a once-per-game in its offensive capacity, but fires 2d6 Str 6 shots and trades Pinning for Strikedown. The defensive function is identical, though it ceases once the gun is fired off. The real change, however, is Holofields being a 5++ rather than +1 cover, which makes them significantly less survivable. All in all, probably a very reasonable unit now, which is a drastic shift from its previous incarnation.

Swooping Hawks join the rest of their aspect brethren in being actually pretty reasonable. They move 18″ now rather than 12″ and can still drop bombs or leap back into reserves, but they scatter normally unless an Exarch is present in the squad. They can also make a “flyby” attack on flyers and FMCs they pass over while moving, hitting on a 4+ and causing a S4 AP4 Haywire hit for each strike- not amazing, but at least interesting, especially as they are quite cheap.

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Warp Spiders got some very interesting options as well; their “warp jump” now only eats a model on a result of double 1s, rather than any double, so there’s very little reason not to use it every turn. It can also be used in response to an enemy shooting attack targeted at them, moving them 2d6″ immediately- and if that puts them out of range or LOS, the attack simply fails. They are prohibited from doing so while Falling Back, but not while Pinned, and if they use it can’t “jump” on their next turn. The Exarch lets the squad autopass all Fear/Morale/Pinning/Regroup checks, which is a decent little trick. Also of note is the change to Monofilament weapons- they still have faux-Rending against nonvehicles, but now roll to wound against Initiative rather than Toughness, meaning that there are almost no targets in the game they don’t wound on a 3+ or better. Sadly, however, they lose their +1Str against vehicles, so they are more of a dedicated infantry and MC killer than anything. Note that it works just fine against Gargantuan Creatures, so Wraithknights and Barbed Heirodules beware.

Shining Spears… didn’t actually change much, awkwardly. They now have a 4+ cover save all the time, but given you can Jink for a 3+ there is very little reason to use it. The Exarch rerolls failed wounds against MCs and pens against vehicles, but that is arguably worse than giving the whole unit Monster Hunter. Their Lances are at least AP3 even when stationary, which helps them a decent amount, but one attack and S3 when caught in a bad fight is a very awkward thing for them.

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The Crimson Hunter dropped 20pts, which is a good start on it, and is otherwise… the same? Hmmm. Probably not really enough to make it useable when the Nightwing is around.

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Vypers, on the other hand, have finally gotten cheap enough that their mandatory inclusion in the Warhost doesn’t feel like a punishment. At 40pts each (the same as a Tau Piranha) they are pretty solid little zippy shooters, especially if you give them Cannon/Cannon or Cannon/Scatter for setups. Still fragile, but cheap enough to potentially justify it.

The Hemlock, like anything else with a Str D gun, is pretty stupid. it didn’t change in price any, but bumped its way up to ML2 and gained access to all Telepathy, Sanctic, and Runes of Battle powers rather than the fixed Terrify it had before. While still pretty intensely fragile, it can hit hard enough the turn it comes on the table that it isn’t awful- and a Str D weapon on a flyer is always a big deal for killing Knights and the like. Mindshock Pod is a little worse than before (-2Ld rather than a reroll), but still helps push its primary job pretty well and can support the goofy Eldar/Harlie/DE build that focuses on Leadership modifiers.

Dark Reapers also see a major boost, dropping down to 25pts base and gaining the ability to reroll misses against Swooping/Zooming targets as well as anything that moved Flat Out/Turbo. They also still ignore Jink, which makes them into pretty decent bike or airplane hunters when set up right. The Exarch still gets to fire an extra shot with any of his weapons, lending itself well to shenanigans with emplaced guns and such. Getting pseudo-Krak missiles is still expensive, but 33pts total rather than 38 is a lot more bearable, especially when they’re alright at shooting down flyers and FMCs.

Vauls’ Wrath Batteries get the same treatment as other Distort weapons, turning the D-Cannon into an absolute monster for 55pts. The Shadow Weaver is still a nice little bunker for 30pts, but is pretty easily overshadowed by its bigger brother. Also, I’d like to take this opportunity to point out that GW modeled their own unit incorrectly, as the two crewmembers are both sitting on the platform (even if one is detachable), making it impossible to know which model to allocate wounds to first. Ooops.

Falcons have gotten a ton of attention for their ability to Deep Strike when in full squads of three, but the sheer expense of that plan (as well as its limitations due to being a squadron) seem not really worthwhile to me- it can’t carry Wraithguard or even squads beyond the minimum size in most cases. With the Wave Serpent no longer a fantastic guntank in addition to being a great transport the Falcon has a niche again, although it isn’t a particularly deep one.

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Fire Prisms and Night Spinners are also available in squads now, with the Spinner also getting a 15pt price break. Both units can link fire, but the effects are surprisingly different- Prisms have to give up their shots to give the “main” unit +1Str/-1AP for each member, which feels like a pretty raw deal unless you’re trying to use the pie plate version to kill some Terminators or whatever. Spinners, on the other hand, benefit from the +1 Str for each extra vehicle, but also add an additional shot to the barrage- and since you would be anyways, there’s no real reason to ever not link fire with them.

War Walkers are the same, as are Wraithlords. Mmmmyup. Not a lot to say there at all.

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The Wraithknight has been upgraded to a Gargantuan Creature, as it probably should be, but without the consequent price increase (or at least not much of one.) Gaining Stomp, immunity to Instant Death/autokill effects as well as Sniper/Poison, and Feel No Pain all for a mere 50pts, the Wraithknight is now even more of a strong contender even while you can’t take as many of them. All of its weapon swaps are now free, meaning you can pick between a pair of Str D guns, a 5++ and the Suncannon (why?), or a 5++ and a Str D melee option (that is also Master-Crafted.) The change to GC status also makes adding on secondary weapons a lot more attractive, as they aren’t limited to firing two guns or at only a single target anymore.

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The Avatar of Khain is likewise a Lord of War, but is a lot less impressive. He’s S8 in melee combat now, which is something, and grants Fearless/Furious Charge/Rage rules to nearby Eldar, which is kinda a thing, but for as expensive as he is he really needs better than 3+/5++ for protection. Poor guy is still kinda stuck back in 3rd edition.

The Formations

I’ve already talked about a handful of these previously- the Windrider Host, Guardian Battlehost, and Guardian Stormhost are all the core requirements for the Craftworld Warhost, and the Seer Council is a command selection. All of them are decent but not amazing and may occasionally show up as a reasonable way to bring some Eldar along to the party without having to invest massively. Some have noted the Seer Council as a potential deathstar, but it’s worth remembering that it will be much harder to roll up Protect (for that 2+ armor save) now that you get a maximum of three powers for your whole Conclave, not to mention not getting two or five Renewers to keep your Farseers alive.

The Aspect Host is the most promising of the new formations, being both flexible and powerful. It consists of three units of Aspect Warriors of your choice, each upgraded with an Exarch, and gives all models in the formation either +1WS or +1BS (your choice, and can vary game-by-game) as well as rerolls on Morale/Pinning/Fear. With the ability to get them some good transports if needed and most of the aspects being fairly solid choices, the Host is actually a pretty strong contingent for including in either an Eldar army or as a one-off solution in some other force. BS5 makes most of them exceptionally reliable at their jobs, whatever those jobs may be, and WS5 for the melee ones (if you try to push that version) can help as well. The most important feature, however, is the ability to mix and match any of the shrines that you want as needed, letting you bring a wide variety of specialist units to fill your army’s needs. I think without argument this is the formation with the most promise in it, at least ignoring the sheer silliness of Str D via the Wraithhost.

Oddly, there is also a Dire Avenger-specific formation as well, consisting of three units with a single Exarch amongst them. It gives +1BS to all the models and lets them fire an extra shot with their guns once per game as well as the Ld-type rerolls from the Aspect Host. It’s… decent enough, I guess? If you are trying to field maximum Avengers than certainly it’s just better, but I feel like generalist troops are not what most armies will want the Aspect Host for.

Crimson Death has three Crimson Hunters (one of them an Exarch) and gives them Preferred Enemy (FMCs and flyers) as well as a 4+ cover save, which improves to rerolling saves if they Jink. Though it does a long ways towards solving their main problem (i.e. survivability), three airplanes is a pretty big investment to ask for most armies and I don’t really expect it will show up a lot. On the other hand, flyers are really the only thing that RAW-Eldar struggle with at all (as Str D and massed S6 take care of everything else) so it might end up having a place in that sort of environment after all.

The Wraith Host is essentially a replacement for the old formation Eldar had, consisting of a Spiritseer, three units of Wraithguard/blades, a Wraithlord, and a Wraithknight. It grants them all Battle Focus and extends the Spirit Mark radius out to 18″, and unlike its predecessor doesn’t prohibit you from taking transports. Nothing about it is exceptional except for the fact that it gives you access to Str D weapons en masse, so its viability really depends on how that aspect of things is handled at tournaments.

Universal Rules and Gear

Ancient Doom, and Battle Focus are still present and largely the same, although Ancient Doom is now a universal Ld penalty anytime your units are locked in the same fight as Slaaneshi models. The warlord traits are also pretty similar- one-shot Stealth is now Scout for d3 units, +1″ Run is now +3″ Run, and 6″ Deep Strike beacon is now 12″, but otherwise it is the same.

All Eldar Missile Launchers come standard with Flakk (or Starhawk, more properly) but lose Pinning on their other fire modes. This makes their price tag a lot more bearable and can actually make stuff like missiles on Serpents or Guardians a somewhat-defendable choice, given their lack of other decent options. Dark Reapers still seem like the general go-to, though.

Scatter Lasers don’t twin-link other stuff anymore. Probably for the best.

Mantle of the Laughing God has been replaced by Kuranos’ Bow, a Shuriken Pistol with AP3. Unfortunate for running HQs, but you’ll usually have a pretty good place to bunker him with one of the artillery units, so not as bad as it could’ve been (and you no longer need to rush forward to drop Daemons anymore.) The Bow is pretty mediocre, but like most of the other “cheap gun relics” that have been pretty standard to every book nowadays it’s not awful or anything if you want a fluffy little thing to add to someone.

The Runes of Battle table is still pretty much identical to before, which makes it a solid choice. Conceal/Reveal is stil an amazing power and Horrify and Jinx are also both really huge as well. It’s rather unusual that so many of the “best” powers from the table are actually Maledictions, which are typically worse than Blessings.

Runes of Fate is very similar, but has had some substantive shifts. Will of Asuryan has replaced the garbage power of Death Mission; it’s WC2 and gives everything within 12″ of you Adamantium Will and Fearless, which is a fairly reasonable buff. Denying on a 3+ with rerolls can make you essentially immune to most spells. Eldritch Storm is now WC3 or WC4, depending on version, but is grossly more powerful- it gains AP3 in both versions, with the lesser one being large blast and the greater being apocalyptic (i.e. 10″) blast. It’s still only 24″ range, but that is a CRAZY big template that hurts everything, even vehicles, on a 2+ and has Pinning. You’re gonna see a lot of people rolling on Fate now, as it has very few “dead” powers in most matchups and a variety of good ones. However, it also has a lot of very costly spells (two WC1, four WC2, and one WC3+) so you’re really gonna need to be careful about where those dice go and make good use of your Spirit Stone of Anath’lan.

Overall Thoughts

If it weren’t for Str D guns everywhere and Windriders with dozens of Scatter Lasers, I would call this a very good book and a solid successor to the Necron codex in terms of setting the new power level for the game at an appropriate (and interesting) place. Unfortunately, I feel those two screw-ups (as well as the lesser but still significant one with the Wraithknight) are gonna occupy a lot of people’s attention, as they rightfully should. How the Eldar book ends up being received will ultimately depend on what sort of solutions to those two problems, if any, the tournament scene decides to accept.

I want to like this book- it has more content and better content in terms of the fluff and art portions of the game than most of the previous books and while it is expensive, it feels much more like it’s expensive for a reason rather than simply to soak the customer for as much money as possible. The formatting and tone of the book are solid throughout and no glaring rules or editing errors jumped out at me, unlike many previous codices. For players that hate Wraithguard and all their kin, this is actually a pretty decently-balanced book for the most part and I suspect you’ll have a lot of fun with it… but for anyone with even the slightest conception of balance or power levels, there are some serious issues to deal with.


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56 Responses to “First Looks: The New Eldar Codex”

  1. Fagerlund April 28, 2015 3:53 am #

    I feel pretty much the same, except that I rate the super cheap WK as the major problem. It’s basically the only reliable platform for ranged D. While Wraithguard seem strong on paper I find them to be very hit or miss in play – kinda like a slightly better version of Terminators, either they never die or they die to a single round of bolters. And bikes while certainly powerful still have a lot of hardcounters to them available to most armies.
    Compared to Necrons they seem pretty much on par. However if that’s a good thing I leave unsaid… much depends on the coming books.

  2. DCannon4Life April 28, 2015 5:51 am #

    You (understandably) glossed over War Walkers, but in doing so missed the opportunity to point out that they are now the best platform for the EML (because you can get 6 and there is no loss of firepower by being equipped with other weapons that lack Skyfire). That is how I plan to field mine.

    • Cowboy April 28, 2015 6:14 am #

      What does that Skyfire ML cost? I will bet you anything that it is much cheaper than the ridiculous 25 points required to get Flakk Missiles.

      • Davis Centis April 28, 2015 8:58 am #

        How about free?

        No really, I’m serious. It’s just a regularly stocked option in all of them.

        • abusepuppy April 28, 2015 12:25 pm #

          The inclusion of the Skyfire missiles on all the MLs was a pretty big change and makes them a lot more worthwhile.

    • colinsherlow April 28, 2015 9:41 am #

      War walkers also don’t pay extra points for scatter lasers. So a scatter walker is 60pts base.

  3. Cowboy April 28, 2015 6:12 am #

    How is this codex in any way fair to the other 7th Ed codicies? Necrons MIGHT be on roughly equal ground if there are nerfs to D weapons, but what about BA, GK, DE, etc. Are they just doomed to set way behind the power curve until the next time they get updated I na few years? All 3 of these books were showing their age, (something the Eldar were most certainly not doing) and then they get a middle of the road, possibly nerfed codex, that has been immediately followed by Necrons and now Eldar. How is that fair?

  4. Kartr April 28, 2015 6:56 am #

    What’s the ap on d-scythes?

    • Xig April 28, 2015 7:01 am #

      AP 2.

      • Kartr April 28, 2015 7:10 am #


        • Ayy Lmao April 28, 2015 7:16 am #

          Rekt Nerdo

        • cuddles April 28, 2015 8:49 am #

          Don’t complain or next round of codex updates will see MEQs losing ld and all Eldar weapons will be AP1

          • Nomeny April 29, 2015 5:49 am

            They were AP2 before. Indeed, with S:D-1, they’re turning most models to casualties on a 3+, as before. Plus if you can deny them overwatch through an item like a Dirge Caster, or simply throwing cannon-fodder at them to absorb the overwatch, they’re dead-meat.

  5. gvcolor April 28, 2015 7:38 am #

    Such a Kid-in-a-candy-store codex – so much variety, so many cool units that do different things – awesome if you play Eldar and just depressing if you don’t.

  6. tag April 28, 2015 8:09 am #

    I don’t think you give the Crimson Death formation enough credit. It turns the Crimson Hunter into the most points efficient flier in the game. That formation fills the anti-air / anti-vehicle niche so well that basically every other codex should at least consider including it.

    I know I’m looking at it for my Tyranids. It puts out more / better fire than a Barbed Heirodule (8.6 Hits at S8 AP2 with 50% of them Lances vs 6 hits at S10 AP3), and is even more survivable, and is 125 points cheaper.

    No other flier in the game is as effective (Or survivable!) for its points as the Crimson Hunter taken in the Crimson Death formation.

    • iNcontroL April 28, 2015 9:01 am #

      very very different though. Barbed has access to 2+ saves without jinking, can stomp, can assault, can score and has higher strength which is better in a anti Mech world. Making something Av12 at strength 8 is nice but you still need a 4 to glance whereas the barb vs av12 needs a 2 to glance OR vs av13 needs a 3 to glance.. you get the idea.

      Not saying the formation is bad.. it obviously is amazing. But for Nids? We have flyrants for AA and a barbed has more to offer.. oh and it doesn’t MAYBE come in turn 2 btw 🙂

      • tag April 28, 2015 9:37 am #

        The reserve thing is the problem. If the formation included an Autarch it would be a no-brainer. That being said, Crimson Hunters are better at anti-mech than the Barbed Heirodule because they hit more often, and can explode things, and get better damage results, and better at anti-elite because of the AP:2.

        The Barbed Heirodule is good in assault, but almost every time I’ve lost one it has been in assault. At least when he wasn’t 6’d with a D weapon, or killed by buffmanderstar. Barbie goes down more often than I would like, and if I lose him on turn 2 or 3 my game plan is pretty derailed, and most places have consequences for Gargants like +1 to seize or bonus points for killing it.

        He is great. I like him, but I don’t like how critical he is to my ability to win games, and would prefer a list that is more tolerant of losses, and has better answers to 2+ saves. Riptides, and Dread Knights are popular in my Meta. More popular than most vehicles, especially now that Annihilation Barges and Wave Serpents took a nerf.

        • iNcontroL April 28, 2015 9:48 am #

          Which is why I run him with Swarm Lord so he has more hits/wounds and a body guard for assault 🙂

          Apples and oranges I just thought the comparison was a bit silly considering you are talking about 4 fliers vs a GC. Most of my tourneys that I go to won’t allow CtA btw as well.. in any case! Let me know how you do with Nids/Eldar fliers.

          • tag April 28, 2015 10:35 am

            Just Theory hammer at this point. A few times when I’m not allowed to use super heavies I’ve run Nids with an Eldar ally consisting of essentially a serpent full of Fire dragons, and an Autarch.

            These days I’m a little bit more focused on Orks because Tyranids have become too popular in competitive metas.

    • abusepuppy April 28, 2015 1:10 pm #

      Well, a couple things:

      First off, they are flyers and start in reserve. They won’t affect the board turn 1, can never score, and even with Vector Dancer it’s quite possible to limit their targets by proper maneuver.

      Second, I don’t think they’re as tough as you’re making them out to be. They’re still just AV10, and Ignores Cover weapons will cut them to pieces pretty badly- Serpents might not be ubiquitous anymore, but there are still plenty of weapons that have it around and can shoot at you. Even just regular Boltguns are a non-trivial threat to you, though obviously they’re hardly deadly, either.

      The formation is definitely good and may see some use, as mentioned, but against ground targets the Crimson Hunter is actually fairly mediocre in firepower output (a Hornet shoots just as hard for half the price) and there is plenty of competition. I would be very worried about running into some Flyrants and getting chewed to pieces by sheer weight of fire.

  7. Eldarain April 28, 2015 8:47 am #

    A baffling addition to the game. In the sense that in an edition where most of the books have gone through a blandification this one is loaded with special snowflake rules on almost everything.

    It reads like the kind of across the board fanboy upgrade proposals which usually get laughed out of proposed rules forums.

  8. Eldarain April 28, 2015 8:51 am #

    I am also extremely skeptical of this and the Necrons representing a new power level. We had similar thoughts about the Chaos and DA books (at the other end of the spectrum of course)

    The next releases will be extremely interesting to follow. Knights are coming up and they have no access to ranged D. Their upgrades are also insanely expensive when compared to the Wraithknight.

  9. cuddles April 28, 2015 9:42 am #

    This book is so damned depressing. I look at my plague marines, obliterators, and heldrakes, and wonder what the fuck happened. Yeah, I got FW shit, but even that isn’t that great, it’s just average. GW is run by a bunch of morons.

  10. Alex Yuen April 28, 2015 10:49 am #

    I was in the same thought as everyone why eldar got such a buff but the more I look into eldar the more i come to the conclusion that eldar overall actually got nerf; a pretty big nerf.

    Most unit in a vacuum got buff or so it seem. but the re balancing cost eldar any major long range threat in it overall planning. I know most players dont care or know what i am talking about. also any counter attack on eldar is a lot better for my enemy than before. for space marine player they got more option against eldar strategy.

    • Eldarain April 28, 2015 10:52 am #

      I would be very interested in a more expanded version of your thoughts.

      • Alex Yuen April 28, 2015 11:17 am #

        i am still working on that. I am not looking into this unit or that unit but the overall battle plan. I was building my army and i notice that each unit or most of them get a buff but comes in a way of a trade off between one thing for other just the other most consider a buff.

        however, after i finish i find the army lack of options as far as long range threat and neutralizing threat. All the buff seem to buff in one direction and not evenly. so turn out that i can do these tasks very well and much better than before but i lost almost any ability to perform these task. Is not losing just one thing but overall army lost that ability. example of that is before a farseer can just go solo to a save back field area and drop a unit. Or an autrach can go and clean up something small in this area. but now they can’t really solo safely so for the same task i have to send a much larger force. yes there is other unit can do fill in that role but then whatever that unit is are not doing what they were doing before. another one is jetbike. before they are objective grabber. can they still do the same role? yes but what I end up with is 6 unit of bike of which 4 is strike unit with firepower and 2 is just grabber. on surface, nothing wrong but mono type does not give me a diverse option on the field. I might not need it but still having less tool in my box makes me not happy. on the unit level, 7 s.laser bikes are a better trade off for a serpent with shield. but not for overall.

        So i was unhappy and start over again. but again and again i keep getting the same conclusion so that why i think eldar actually get nerf not at the unit level but at the overall level. I am still trying to form a conclusion on eldar but so far i think eldar got the short end of the stick.

        ps. if you looking 40k from the pov of x unit kills y unit or x unit is great for this list of reason and why x unit is a must include then what i said makes no sense what so ever.

        • Nomeny April 29, 2015 6:11 am #

          I agree. You have to look at 40k from the army-level down these days, rather than just seeing how units do in mathhammer match-ups. Take the Wraithguard, for example. They still need delivery, but the Wave Serpent has been nerfed and they don’t fit into a Falcon well. They still don’t do well against cannon-fodder, since they’re either firing 1-shot 12″ ranged weapons, or using 8″ range template weapons, and they’re either taking up Elite slots at a whopping 160pts per minimum of 5, or they need a Warhost buy-in.

          Windriders with Scatter Lasers, for example, are weaker against Sv5+ units than their equivalent with just Shuriken Catapults, thanks to twin-linked and bladestorm: They gain range and anti-vehicle capability at a serious expense in staying power. It’s very Eldar-y.

    • Julio Rodriguez April 28, 2015 12:31 pm #

      Are you being serious or is this sarcasm? I honestly can’t tell.

      • winterman April 28, 2015 1:20 pm #

        I think he is saying the waveserpent nerf, the removal of options for 3 wraithknights (in ITC) and removal of mantle farseer/autarch as well as daemon summoning makes for an overall weaker army? Maybe?

        Wouldn’t go so far as saying its a nerf though. But I can see where he is going with his point.

        To some degree people are discounting the effect those things have on eldar from an army building standpoint. As an example switching from waveserpents to jetbikes as the be all obsec + shooting platform has its downsides. Many downsides in fact. But people seem to focus on the firepower, not the loss of little things like tankshocking obsec, twinlinking when jinking, S7 ignore cover, 60″ range option, etc.

        • colinsherlow April 28, 2015 1:25 pm #

          +1 winterman and Alex

      • Alex Yuen April 28, 2015 3:06 pm #

        I am being serious. I think winterman got where i am going. however, this is still a working in progress so not sure where I will end up.

        this new eldar codex end up with a lot of trade off. new codex comes out better on many one on one trade. logically, if more positive then negative then the new codex should be better. But i find out that many armies have holes in them and keep happening so that why I think the new codex is actually a nerf

    • colinsherlow April 28, 2015 1:16 pm #

      Hey Alex!

      A more expanded version would be nice, but a more expanded version might take some time or a little more digging to get the points across. I don’t really disagree with you at all. Def losing a bit on range now. Meaning eldar having to come within striking distance sooner then before.

  11. Mike April 28, 2015 11:24 am #

    I’m definitely hoping the ITC does some tinkering with the bikes, the D weapons, and the ridiculous steal of a price on the wraithknight. Otherwise I can’t see myself being very drawn to tournaments where I know I’m just competing for “best non-eldar player,” which in a Swiss tourney, means I just got lucky and ran into less eldar than everyone else.

  12. Scumlord April 28, 2015 11:40 am #

    Great write-up, thank you! You covered many points we missed in table talk and kept a clear tone. Discussions like this move the meta forward and I feel your points about what should be addressed will go a long way towards making the environment livable for those of us who have been “left behind.”

    • abusepuppy April 28, 2015 1:12 pm #

      I figure if I’m gonna be obsessively-knowledgeable about this nonsense, then someone other than me oughta get something out of it. 😛

  13. CNitram April 28, 2015 1:02 pm #

    I’m starting an Eldar force for the first time, a small 1k TAC List, and I find the regular CAD and ObSec much more appealing at this point. However, I’ll probably use an aspect formation or something similar to supplement my Bike troops (3 x 5 with 2 sc/sl each).

    I’m also a big fan of Crimson Hunters, but then again, my primary army has Nephilims and Dark Talons…

    • CNitram April 28, 2015 1:03 pm #

      Also, great write up!

    • abusepuppy April 28, 2015 1:13 pm #

      Aspect Host is a great complement to a lot of lists, since it can do… well, almost anything you need. I definitely agree that CAD is usually gonna be superior to the formations, though.

      I kinda gloss over the Hunter, but it’s significantly better than it was before at the very least- if you don’t want to shell out for a Nightwing or convert one, or just REALLY hate enemy airplanes, it’s a perfectly acceptable unit.

  14. Pascalnz April 28, 2015 5:07 pm #

    a tiny thing missed, the wraith hosts spirit seer buff grants rerolls out to 18 inches, not just rerolls of one. I talso lasts all the time unlike the old spirit mark which just worked in your turn. it’s free presience for his and probably a couple of other units, yikes! 🙂

    the nerf to the serpent means eldar actually have to come up the board to play and don’t just ignore cover from the back edge, scouts in terrain can actually survive:)

    While D is scary, the whole play style changes and they actually have to risk more units now.

    please goodness don’t mess it yet

  15. @miral April 28, 2015 8:51 pm #

    What Alex says sounds kind of right. I thought this Codex was too strong, but now I just will wait until people have adapted to the new meta. My friends try the new codex for a week and a half now (with leaked info) and the Eldar score is not better than before. It seems Newcrons are still stronger (in my group at least) and we considered them top tier, but fair.

  16. VonCrown April 28, 2015 11:28 pm #

    You know, I get the funny feeling that the easiest way to balance this codex, if necessary, might actually just be to ban taking a CAD with it. I’ve been on the “It’s not that bad” bus, and I think that’s mostly because I’ve been thinking of it in terms of using the war host detachment, and to my mind in that context it seems perfectly balanced, honestly (assuming a limit of 1 wraithknight).

    That might probably be too restrictive to fly, I know, but eh, it’s my thinking on it.

  17. Nomeny April 29, 2015 5:57 am #

    Wraithknights aren’t immune to Instant Death or Sniper or Poison.

    In the case of Instant Death they take D3 wounds, meaning on a W6 model it’s now 2-6 ID wounds will kill one. ID will deny their FNP roll.

    In the case of Sniper, they still take wounds on a 6, which is when Sniper is AP2. The non-AP wounds had 2/3s saved by their Sv3+, so that’s a marginal loss. The addition of FNP will prevent more wounds.

    Poison is likewise only on a 6, which is better than nothing where they’re T8. They’re still in trouble if a squad of DE Warriors takes interest. In the case of Blinding Venom they’re only ahead because of FNP, because that’s Poison (6) anyways.

    They’re still vulnerable to Rending, Fleshbane, anything S5+, D-weapons, and things like Krak missiles and Lascannons.

    • abusepuppy April 29, 2015 1:08 pm #

      “Immune” meaning “does not suffer the normal effects of the rule” rather than “is not affected in any way, shape, or form.” It’s shorthand. Considering you need ~40 shots (or, to put it another way, three full Venoms) firing at a Wraithknight in order to do a single wound to it, it is functionally (if not literally) immune to Poisoned shooting.

      • Nomeny April 30, 2015 7:24 am #

        I’m sorry, I thought you were using English. My mistake.

        • abusepuppy April 30, 2015 7:54 am #

          Well if you wanna get all nitpicky about things I wasn’t USING English I was TYPING English. And you didn’t specify what locale or dialect of English I was typing, so your statement really has no meaning at all. And what does “your” mistake even mean? It’s not like you own it or anything.

          We can play stupid word games all day if you want, but we both knew what the rules for Gargantuan Creatures interacting with Poison are. Gimme some fuckin’ credit.

          • Nomeny May 1, 2015 4:27 am

            I’ll give you credit when it’s due, and when you write clearly and thoughtfully. Until then, I’ll take you at whatever word you mistakenly write.

  18. Nomeny April 29, 2015 6:41 am #

    So here’s a ‘terrifying’ CAD force I whipped up:

    Farseer on Jetbike
    Warlock Conclave (3) on Jetbikes (3)
    Wraithguard (5) with Wave Serpent
    Wraithguard (5) with Wave Serpent
    Wraithguard (5) with Wave Serpent
    Windrider Squadron (3) with Scatter Lasers (3)
    Windrider Squadron (3) with Scatter Lasers (3)
    Windrider Squadron (3) with Scatter Lasers (3)
    Windrider Squadron (3) with Scatter Lasers (3)
    Windrider Squadron (3) with Scatter Lasers (3)
    Windrider Squadron (3) with Scatter Lasers (3)

    All upgrades and changes from basic equipment are noted.

    • abusepuppy April 29, 2015 1:06 pm #

      No Spirit Stone of Anath’lan on the Farseer.

      Warlock Conclave has exactly the wrong number of members.

      No Scatter Laser or underslung Cannon on the Serpents? WWP is probably a better delivery system anyways, but that’s not a given.

      Wraithguard should probably have D-Scythes.

      Lack of D-Cannons is pretty disappointing.

      You can do better than this for 1850, especially because (unless I have my math wrong) you’re 6pts over anyways.

      • Nomeny April 30, 2015 7:22 am #

        That’s my point, an army composed of these units in supposedly ‘terrifying’ quantities can’t have upgrades, and doesn’t really fit into 1850pts. Those upgrades are going to cost half the units of Jetbikes to achive…what? Nothing much.

        • abusepuppy April 30, 2015 7:55 am #

          Building a middling army using good units is entirely possible. The fact that you didn’t do a very good job of optimizing it doesn’t mean that someone else can’t do better.

          • Nomeny May 1, 2015 4:25 am

            Okay. Can you show me what you would consider an optimized army? 1850pts?

  19. MikeN (HippyWook) April 29, 2015 11:55 pm #

    Anyone feeling the New Eldar codex is fine ‘power level wise’ needs to read it cover to cover and then immediately do the same with the Ork codex. Its a power difference so infinitely vast that its laughable. 😀 …I didn’t think GW could get worse at rules and balancing but they have outdone themselves once again.

  20. fluger April 30, 2015 7:28 am #

    I have nothing constructive to add here, but wanted to thank you for the article.

    Also, I’m REALLY excited about Striking Scorpions. Above and beyond my favorite aspect since aspects were at thing and I feel like they’ve FINALLY given them rules that match their fluff. Comboed in the aspect warrior formation to get WS5, they are a real threat in melee to quite a few things. Only drawback is no AP2 on the whole unit, but the Scorpion claw makes up for a lot of ills.

    I’m also quite excited about Dark Reapers getting a bump in abilities as well as a drop in points. Again, if you put them in the aspect warrior formation, getting BS5 is pretty cool.

    Anyway, those are just personal things I really like, but, overall, I’m both excited about the dex and upset at the few things we agree on being OTT.

    • abusepuppy April 30, 2015 7:57 am #

      I’m pretty pumped about Scorpions, yeah. A big squad with an Exarch with Claw is no laughing matter and can put a lot of hurt onto most units. The Claw’s AP2 will typically be enough, I think- those 4-6 attacks on the charge will tear up most things. Your only real worry is MCs, which the Claw is merely okay against, but Mandiblasters can spam wounds onto them reasonably well, so…

      Reapers being a lot cheaper and semi-functional against air targets is a nice upgrade. I feel like they’re actually possibly worth using now.

      • fluger April 30, 2015 3:00 pm #

        Yeah, manidblasters going to 4+ wounding is a BIG buff. I ran numbers on the S3 version vs the bonus attack like it was in the previous dex, and even that was a bonus (just barely). Now with WS5 the unit should tear through most light infantry.

        A unit of 10 with Exarch upgrade (with scorp claw, natch) does ~14 wounds to an Ork unit on the charge (assuming all 10 are in B2B at I10…), and, critically, before the Orks even get to swing. Bonus points that the Exarch should almost always be challenging because unlike Chaos, he actually gets a BONUS for doing so! Unless the Ork player had great positioning to keep the Nob out of combat coherency at I6, odds are the Nob is either dead or declined the challenge and denies the Orks their only real shot of doing damage on the scorps. The remaining 15 Orks would do maybe 4 wounds back, assuming they were all in range and assuming they were at full 30 when the scorps charged.

  21. Randy April 30, 2015 9:21 am #

    Makes me glad I stopped playing 40k in 2012. Anybody want a Necron army cheap?

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