Hey guys its Cavalier, commission painter for Frontline Gaming and co-host of Splintermind the Dark Eldar Podcast, checking in with an exciting update for all my Craftworld Bro’s with a spotlight on Asuryani points adjustments in Chapter Approved 2018!
Real quick, all those rumors about Craftworld Traits being changed (Alaitoc) were bunk. The only changes made to ANY army were in the points department. Yet this alone did give many Asuryani players room for pause. Even as a playtester, I myself was not sure how the Asuryani were gonna be handled in Chapter Approved. They’ve been a lightening rod faction since 6th edition (after a 4 year wait for their codex) and very much felt like they had been put into the dog-house during the Index days after savagely marauding through 6th and 7th edition as the top dogs. Their codex brought them immediately back into prominence however as more codices came and went, many of the utility units felt like they just did not have a place.
You were paying premium points for units that did not perform like premium units to justify a regular spot in the rotation. My classic example is I want a 10 man unit of Striking Scorpions in my army as a late game, line breaker + objective clearing unit. Or perhaps as a scalpel to go in and root out something out of LOS like a pesky Mortar squad that is high priority enough to allocate offensive resources, but too well protected to risk sending in something super valuable that can get around terrain impediments. Those things come up a lot, yet despite a great suite of rules perfectly suited for the job, at 152pts fully loaded we’re not far off from Crimson Hunter Exarch points totals here.
There were many similar examples throughout the Codex of classic Eldar units that while not wildly expensive simply never made the cut, especially in any kind of remotely competitive environment, especially considering how easily Eldar fold when you actually land a blow on them.
GW has clearly seen this and thus sweeping points reductions were made across the codex. There are too many to get into all of them (plus you should just go buy the damn book!) but I’ll highlight the ones that really got my attention.
Yet there were too very important points increases that must be commented upon first. One of which I expected, the other was somewhat surprising but not unwarranted. Anyway lets look at them.
Points Increases of Note
Shining Spears– Up 6
Twin-Catapults- Down 2
Wave Serpent- Up 13pts
Everyone knew Shining Spears were going to go up in points, it was really just a question of by how much. Yet the devil was in the details… 6 points was significant increase, yet it was softened by the points break on twin shuriken catapults, reducing it to a 4 point increase. What I like about this is that Shining Spears remain a very points efficient unit that remains near the top of all the Aspect Warriors which is very nice. Since 3rd edition Shining Spears have been terrible, finally they’ve risen to prominence and feel like they are here to stay.
The Wave Serpent likewise went up a very significant 13 points. This is a very reasonable points increase, especially considering how the triple shuriken cannon variant is still very affordable and provides healthy anti-infantry on this incredibley durable transport. I’ve had to adjust my lists a bit due to this points, increase but it certainly wont deter me from using this excellent vehicle.
Points Decreases of Note
I think these points decreases will hardly come to dismay of any non-Eldar players and will be whole heartedly embraced by those players of the pointy-eared variety. Most of these units have been languishing throughout the edition and in some cases for decades.
Falcon- Down 15
Nightspinner– Down 25
Vypers- Down 10
My Thoughts: These are all highly welcomed changes. Vypers are extremely cheap and when played as Saim-Hann are decent highly mobile, heavy weapon platforms. Also worth noting is that they are decent harassing units that can go in bare bones at extremely fast making turn 1 charges and tying up vehicles or hordes. At their price point its not a horrible option. In a streamlined list they can find a niche. The Falcon and Nightspinner still do not make the cut in my opinion. While the Falcon still has access to the great Pulse Laser (a critical weapon for Asuryani players) you are better off investing those points in a Crimson Hunter despite the substantially higher points cost. The Falcon just doesnt have the special rules, stratagems or combo potential that Wave Serpents, Fire Prisms, Crimson Hunters et all have, nor do they have points efficiency or utility of say a Warp Hunter or Hornet. The same can be said of the Nightspinner.
Wind Riders- Down 2
Scatter Laser- Down 3
Storm Guardians- Down 1
Flamers Down- 2
Fusion Gun- Down 2
Striking Scorpions- Down 3
My Thoughts- I think Wind Riders are the big winners here. Going down 5pts a pop is a big points break on a unit that I think is already undervalued. I’m very excited to see how this is going to combo with the Specialist Detachment teased in Vigilus. In an age of 40k where the screening horde is king, I think Wind Riders especially taken in large units with just a bit of psychic support can really do work. At their current price point they are doing it at reasonable points too. Having played my Drukhari in almost every game since their codex dropped, I find myself missing my Venoms whenever I play pure Asuryani. Wind Riders will now answer that call.
Striking Scorpions got a nice reduction too. I actually want to give mine a whirl again in a pure Alaitoc army where all the resources are going into a single faction. In such a build I think they can shine.
Storm Guardians while still underwhelming on the surface do seem a little tempting. With Fusion Guns they can operate a bit like Warriors with Blasters (albeit without the great open-topped transport option) while big squads with Flamers can serve as an aggressive counter-attacking screen against other screen type units. I do see a potential combo with perhaps the Avatar of Khaine who also got a big points reduction. Its certainly a stretch, but it could be interesting in certain builds.
D-Scythe- Down 2
Wraithcannon- Down 2
Wraithlord- Down 18
Flamers- Down 2
Wraithknight– Down 87
Scatter Shield- Up 10
Suncannon- Down 58
Star Cannon- Down 2
My Thoughts: This makes a big, big difference for Eldar players. I think Wraithguard have been a bit of a sleeper unit all edition long. In the early goings my D-Scythe Wraithguard were invaluable, especially in the index days. I did get away from them after the Drukhari dex dropped, but I’ve been giving them some serious play lately and I’m shocked at how good they are. The Wraithcannon versions are can be deadlyand need less help then their D-Scythe brothers who need a transport or psychic support (quicken) to make their biggest impact. I think big units of Webway Striking Wraithguard with Cannons are very solid, while 5 man units of the Scythes in Serpents are likewise very solid as well.
The Wraithlord got a significant points drop as well. Sadly I still dont think this enough to get him on the table. His degrading stats, drop in accuracy on the move really hamper him. Perhaps as a lone counter-attacking unit hidden out of LOS meant to intercept incoming melee units is an option, but in army of specialists there tend to be other units that do the job better and more easily than the Wraithlord where points-allocation is critical to building a cohesive list.
The Wraithknight finally got the points reduction he so desperately needed. While the most hard hitting Wraithcannon version didnt get a break, the more durable sword and board build became very intriguing. As did the Suncannon version. Its worth noting that Starcannons also went down by 2 points which gives him a significant bump in ranged offense in either build. I think the Wraithhost detachment in Vigilus will make the Wraithknight even more intriguing when the full scope of that Detachment is revealed.
Avatar of Khaine- Down 30
Eldrad- Down 15
Fuegan- Down 10
Jain Zar- Down 25
Karandras- Down 25
Prince Y’riel- Down 30
My Thoughts: These are all very much welcomed changes. With the exeption of perhaps Y’riel and Eldrad all these legendary heroes of the Asuryani have been languishing for ages. The points drops to Karandras really have me chomping at the bit to try our Mr. Abuse Puppy’s awesome combinations in his excellent articlel which you can read here.
The Avatar also becomes somewhat interesting as well. The Eldar have a combination of doughty vehicles, good screening units (again thinking Storm Guardians) and many high priority targets that can distract your opponent from the Avatar. When he connects he can be an absolute menace. Definitely a challenging play even with the points reduction but tempting nonethless.
The double-steal to my mind is Y’riel and Eldrad. I thought both were excellent for their points. Y’riel is now a no-brainer if you are playing Iyanden (which I think is very good in this edition). He can tangle with anything in combat, kicks out that great re-roll 1’s aura (perfect for Wraithblades + the Pystronome of Iyanden) and is cheap as a barebones Archon.
Hornet- Down 25
Hornet Pulse Laser down 5
Warp Hunter- Down 110!!!
Twin-Catapults- Down 3
Skatatch Wraithknight– Down 100
Deathshroud- Down 40
My Thoughts: This to me is the game changing bit for Eldar players. These are options you cannot replicate through the Codex. The Skathatch Wraithknight is a deepstriking Wraithknight that can have the scattershield option and one of the excellent shooting options as well like the Inferno Lance which is a D6 melta gun with 36″ range. Even though it is very expensive it can be a game winning unit, especially with a little psychic support like Guide and Fortune.
The Hornet likewise becomes a very intriguing option. I’ve found with playtesting this unit to a be very high performing unit with points reduction to Hornet Pulse Lasers (Heavy 3 Str 6 AP -3 Dmg 3). While not outright the tank slayer it was, with its rare (for Eldar) 48″ range,fantastic rate and quality it is now a serious threat to monsters, tanks and any variety of infantry perhaps suited to finishing off or softening up targets. With the 48″ range it can stay safe from harm and with Alaitoc Craftworld trait can be maddening to uproot especially when high priority targets like Crimson Hunters and Dark Reapers are in play.
But damn. DAMN the Warp Hunter. The Warp Hunter has dropped massively in points and is now a serious contender to be in any list. The excellent “artillery” mode that doesnt require LOS means you do not need to play an Alaitoc detachment to save them. I actually think Iyanden Warp Hunters are very good. They can stay out of LOS for as long as possible and even on the last few wounds, with star engines can zip out and flame you with automatic hits. Speaking of flames… the “rift” firing mode is essentially a flamer, doing d6 Str 10, Ap-4 Damage D6…. at 12″ range! This makes this vehicle a perfect fit with the Cloudstrike stratagem if you want to go all out. Before it was ludicrous proposition when the tank was nearly 300pts! Now its a whole new ballgame. The Warp Hunter can be an invaluable tool for Eldar players, as it goes perfectly in line with the “keep away” game of hitting, without being hit or it can be used as a blitzkrieg tool spearheading an assault.
Its not all rainbows and Gryinxes though. There are some notable missed opportunities. A few units remain far, far too expensive.
Wraithblades– In particular the Axe and Shield variant are far too expensive. Costing more than a unit of auto-hitting D-Scythes is a major, major deterrent from putting these guys in a list. Its unfortunate too, because the tools Wraithblades (axe and shield) bring can really change the way an Eldar player constructs an army. With a big tough assault unit, you could see potential assault based Eldar armies come into prominence as Banshees and Scorpions could lean on their big undead brothers as they charge into battle.
Corsair Sky Reavers- Loaded with Lasblasters, these guys are 41pts more expensive than Swooping Hawks, yet lack the ability to deepstrike, have zero access to stratagems, and take away command benefits from any detachment they are a part of. As a guy with an entire Corsair army this is so hard to get over. Luckily changes to the Warp Hunter and the Hornet still enable me to get that old Corsair vibe, but I’d love to use my proper Corsair models again, without being punished on the tabletop for doing so.
Lynx- Its only chucking out 2d3 Str 7 Ap-3 D3 Damage shots in in Saturation mode, compared to the Fire Prisms 2d3 Str 9 Ap-4 D3 damage shots in Focused Mode. Comparing Salvo Mode of the Lynx at Heavy 2 Str 12 AP-4 D6 Damage to the Fire Prisms Heavy 2 Strength 9 Ap-5 D6 Damage also highlights the almost identical stat lines of the Lynx’ principal weapon and that of the Fire Prism, while the Lynx costs well beyond double the points. Even with the 4 extra wounds and Lumbering Flyer rule which is highly situational, the Lynx has no prayer of competing for a place in even the most casual list when options the like the Fire Prism, Crimson Hunter Exarch, the Hemlock and others.
This was a very nice surprise for Eldar players. Shining Spears and Wave Serpents got a little more expensive and deservedly so, but still remain affordable tools to put front and center in your army. Likewise languishing units that have suffered for decades in some cases are very much usable, although they do remain niche. Perhaps more importantly is Forge World finally made some hugely important steps to fixing the debacle that is the Eldar Corsair problem and what seemed the painful “dog house” treatment (but what was probably mere caution) the rest of the FW Eldar line received after their reign of terror in 6th and 7th.
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