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June 30, 2013

40k: Eldar Codex Review - HQ

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Mercer from Imperius Dominatus here. I am pretty excited about the new Eldar codex, there appears to be some great things in it. Kicking off with the Eldar codex review is the HQ, lets see what tasty little leader space elves we have:



Avatar of Khaine



The Avatar has increased in points, though is now BS10, gained an extra wound and attack along with becoming I10 - for the Eldar god of war that's not too bad.

The Avatar also now gets fleet, which is an awesome ability to have as it allows units to re-roll run distances.  Avatar also gets the Eldar army wide special rules battle focus (allows to shoot and run or vice versa) and ancient doom, -1 for fear tests against  Slaanesh models which cause fear and also hatred against Slaanesh models. If I remember correctly fearless isn't effected by fear anyway in the last FAQ.

Still gets fearless special rule, the fearless 12" bubble along and the meltagun weapon, which also gives AP1 in close combat. Speaking of melta, any form of melta weapons, flamers, pyromancy and soul blaze weapons/attacks do not harm the Avatar.

You can give the Avatar Exarch powers, though you can only choose two. Fast shot fires a extra shot, two melta shots from the wailing doom isn't too bad, that's worth considering. Monster hunter maybe useful too and perhaps disarm if you're worried about power fists or close combat weapons which cause instant death.

Summary

In a foot army supported with Wraithtitans, Wraithlords, Guardians and maybe Warp Spiders, the Avatar would be pure awesome. The 12" fearless would stop all those who are not fearless running away such as Guardians and Warp Spiders.

Still pretty costly for the points though and has taken an nerf as the daemon special rule gives 5+ inv instead of the 4+, so expect krak and lascannons to own the Avatar. Still, use ruins well and you're getting a 4+ cover which could be used with fortune psychic power or even invisibility on the telepathy discipline.

Rating: 6.5/10

Autarch



The Autarch has remained the same and still costs 70 points, not going to complain about that as the Autarch is pretty reasonable for what you get. 

The Autarch comes with a pistol, haywire and plasma grenades and also still has the 4+ inv save. Has the Eldar army rules battle focus and ancient doom. Still has the reserve bonus rule, which is useful if you want an ADL with quad gun - Autarch helps your reserves and takes stuff out with the quad gun for cheap as chips.

Not only is the Autarch the cheapest HQ choice (except Warlocks, but they do not take FOC slot), but also the most customisable. Like in the old codex, you can give the Autarch aspect wargear, though the Autarch can also access the remnants of glory wargear, which gives the Autarch some unique builds.

Summary

Personally I prefer the Autarch with remnants of glory wargear as with aspect gear the Autarch feels just like a juiced up Exarch. I have got an eye on an Autarch with eldar jetbike, fusion gun, mantle of the laughing god and firesabre. The mantle gives stealth, shrouding and hit and run and can re-roll failed cover saves. You do lose I.C though. I am thinking can move up and take out transport vehicles and then assault the weaker troops inside using the firesabre, which is +1 strength and AP3 and also has the soulblaze rule, which spreads to other units within 6" on a 6+ if the unit takes a wound from soulblaze.

Rating: 9/10

Farseer



At first glance the Farseer has increased in points from 55 to 100 and while this is partly true, you get mastery level 3 for those extra points, keep in mind that previously you paid points for each psychic power and they minimum cost 20 points and then you would need additional wargear to be able to cast multiple powers.

The Farseer has the battle focus and ancient doom rules along with previous wargear. New addition to standard wargear is the ghosthelm, which if the Farseer takes a wound from perils of the warp then can expend a warp charge point to prevent it.

Runes of witnessing and warding are still available to the Farseer, though both have changed massively. The former now lets the Farseer re-roll psychic tests, which is handy. The latter gives +2 to deny the witch rolls, lets face it runes of warding was going to get hit hard with the nerf bat, however one use is a little too hard I think. Both abilities are single use and for the points I am not sure if they are worth it.

The Farseer can generate powers from divination, telepathy and runes of fate. I am not going to talk about divination and telepathy as they are in the core rulebook, though runes of fate offer some interesting powers:

Guide is the primaris power and offers re-roll to hit to a single unit within 24".

Executioner is a focused witchfire power with a 24" range and suffers 3 hits with the Farseer's strength with the fleshbane rule. If the model is slain, then another model in the same unit suffers the same but with two hits, if slain then a third model with a single hit.

Doom re-rolls to wound and armour pen on enemy unit within 24" - excellent, this power got better.

Eldritch Storm changed and is a 24" S3 shooting attack with fleshbane, large blast, pinning and haywire - damn this is awesome. Does cost two warp charge points though.

Death Mission is a blessing which targets the Farseer. You place D3+2 death mission counters by the Farseer, while the counters are in effect the Farseer gains fearless and rampage rule along with +5 to WS, BS,I and +2 attacks. At the end of each phase roll a D6 on a 1-3 a counter is lost. If there's no death counters next to the Farseer or the game ends the Farseer is removed from play and awards victory points. In addition cannot manifest other psychic powers either...

Fortune effects a friendly unit within 24" and that unit can re-roll all failed saving throws - wicked.

Mind War is 24" range and target model and Farseer roll a D6 and add leadership; is target model gets higher than Farseer's weapon skill and ballistic skill are reduced by 1. If drawn the target model's weapon skill and ballistic skill are reduce by 1. If the Farseer's score is higher then then the enemy model suffers wounds equal to difference lost with no armour or cover saves and still has weapon and ballistic skill reductions by 1.

The Farseer may take an eldar jetbike and wargear from remnants of glory; perhaps mantle of laughing god and then have the Farseer zip around giving out psychic buffs?

Summary

The Farseer seems a cool HQ choice for what you get for the points. Pretty much all the powers are useful, though death mission seems a bit meh as you're not getting a psyker any more and getting a tuned up combat monster. Execution and mind war powers will be very good for sniping too, particularly mind war against models which carry banners etc as they generally have a lower leadership than the Farseer.

Rating: 9/10

Spiritseer



The Spiritseer is a new HQ addition to the Eldar codex and is a cheaper Farseer who has a single less wound and mastery level.

Spiritseer has the same wargear as the Farseer, though has a witch staff instead of a witch blade and doesn't have the ghosthelm. The staff is pretty cool as it has armourbane, fleshbane and soul blaze.

To make up for the lack of three mastery levels and less wound over the Farseer, the Spiritseer can make Wraithguard and Wraithblades troops. In addition has a rule called spiritmark, which any point during movement phase the Eldar player can make an enemy unit within 12". All Wraithguard, Wraithblades, Wraithlords, Wraithknights, and Hemlock Wraithfighters re-roll 1 to hit against the enemy target.

The Spiritseer can generate powers from runes of battle and telepathy. Runes of battle tend to have two effects, a buff for the Eldar i.e shrouding with conceal power and then a negative in the form of the opposite so conceal/reveal for example takes away shrouding and stealth from enemy units effected. Here's the powers available:

Conceal/Reveal - Conceal targets the psykers and gives the shrouding special rule, while reveal removes stealth and shrouding from an enemy unit within 18".

Destructor/Renewer - Destructor is a nice shooting attack in heavy flamer form which also has the soul blaze special rule. Renewer targets a single friendly model within 18" and the model immediately gains a wound back. It cannot return a slain model to the table however.

Embolden/Horrify - Embolden is a blessing which effects the psyker and gives the fearless special rule. Horrify is a nice power which does a -5 modifier to leadership tests on a single enemy unit within 18" - the Wave Serpent bow shield has pinning, hit the enemy unit with this and they will probably be pinned.

Enhance/Drain - Enhance targets the psyker and his unit and gives +1 weapon skill and initiaitve. Drain targets a single enemy unit within 18" and does -1 weapon skill and initiative.

Protect/Jinx - Protect effects the psyker and his unit and gives +1 armour save, 2+ armour save Wraithlords you say? Jinx does -1 armour saves to an enemy unit within 18", 3+ armour save Terminators?

Quicken/Restrain - Quicken targets the psyker and his unit and gives an additional 3" to run while restrain effects an enemy unit wihtin 18" and that unit cannot run - you want an objective but don't want the enemy to get close, then this power is for you.

Empower/Enervate - Empower gives the psyker and his unit +1 strength while enervate effects an enemy unit within 18" and does -1 strength.

Also has access to remnants of glory, though unfortunately no eldar jetbike.

Summary

The Spiritseer is another cool HQ choice and offers something extra from the Farseer, which is making Wraithguard and Wraithblades troops. The spiritmark rule is cool as it allows ALL wraith units to re-roll 1 to hit, this power can be used each movement phase and if used correctly you can use it with battle focus.

Rating: 9/10

Warlock Council



Long story short, the Warlock has increased by 10 points to 35 points a model and profile remains the same. However, Warlocks now work like Necrons Royal Court, so you can have psykers in each unit - the way it should be!

Warlocks have the usual Eldar army special rules and are mastery level 1 psykers, they generate powers from runes of battle. They can take an eldar jetbike or a singing spear; the singing spear has a 12" range and is S9 with fleshbane rule, though will mostly wound on a 2+ anyway. In close combat it has the armourbane and fleshbane rule.

Summary

Warlocks are nice if you still want to take an Eldar jetbike council, which works out to be slightly more expensive. They are also LD8 (unchanged from previously) so may have issues getting those psychic powers off. I think the question you need to ask is do you need Warlocks as a mastery level 3 Farseer is pretty cheap for the points and should be enough for an Eldar army.

Rating: 7/10

That's the Eldar HQ out the way, though will be coming back to special characters later in case you are wondering. The Eldar book offers some really nice choices; the hulking Avatar which works nicely in Elfzilla lists; Autarch with extreme sneakyness; Farseer for Eldar pimping; Spiritseer for more pimpage and Wraithguard and Wraithblades as troops and Warlocks for additional psyker funnies.

Everyone seems to be running different HQ builds at this time.  So what are you running for your Eldar HQs?
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