Tuesday, June 04, 2013

Same Path, Different Direction

Hey guys. Sean was nice enough to let me use his platform to post my thoughts on the new and improved (I think) Eldar. I won't be doing a unit-byt-unit breakdown in this article. Instead, I'll give a more "big picture" kind of opinion on the latest incarnation of the Eldar.

I've been playing the space elves since Second Edition. Back then they were fabulous and deadly in equal measure. They've toned down the fabulous for the most part over the years. Their big thing is that they can move very, very quickly, have extremely specialized units and are expert psykers. As such, jetbikes, grav-tanks, wraith constructs and Farseers have always been key components to the Eldar identity.

The ruleset in 6th edition has seen many people to declare that any army that relies on vehicles will be at a severe disadvantage. This is true, to a degree. The advent of hull points has made it near impossible for vehicles to be nigh immortal machines of death. Assaulting from a vehicle is now the exception rather than the norm, unless you play Orks or Dark Eldar. And finally, the way the missions in the rulebook are written will most of the time not allow vehicles to claim/contest objectives.

The new Eldar codex seems to be a throwback to some of the older editions while giving the finger to some of the preconceptions about 6th. A MechDar list is actually viable. Not overpowered, but viable. Wave Serpents have fun new rules to ensure they deliver their payload, holo-fields are back, and some of the best units in the codex are tanks. Jetbikes are better than they were before (and they were great before), the army as a whole is faster, units that were ok and crap are now good if not great (though some are still crap - sorry, Banshees), and there is a huge emphasis on Wraith-constructs.

For me though, the biggest changes happened in the HQ slots. Avatars got quite awesome, Autarchs are useful, Farseers are the psychic beasts they should be, Spiritseers allow for FOC shenanigans while bringing some potent psychic ability, and Phoenix Lords could be interesting. Given that Eldar are spoiled for choice, only picking two HQ options does not allow for the player to fully take advantage of everything on offer. I think for best results, play 2000+ points and use the dual-FOC. 2x Farseer, Spiritseer and Avatar anyone?

Once I have more games in I may start to go into more specific detail regarding various army builds, how the army plays, and the effect on the meta (if any).


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