40K: Biel-Tan, Shurikens, and You – A Primer

  • Posted by
  • at

Biel-Tan, aka the Kinder Surprise of Craftworlds, sure loves its Dire Avengers…

That’s right friends, the Eldar of Biel-Tan are back, and this time there’s a very specific thing for their Dire Avengers to avenge…direly. We’re talking about the fact that their Craftworld got broken open by Slaanesh, which worked out better than you’d think, because the silver lining to losing their home was the revelation of Ynnead. So just think, if the Eldar of Biel-Tan had just been a little better at fighting off chaos, we wouldn’t have Primaris Marines.

Their Craftworld rule plays up the fact that these are the most militant of the Eldar. They get a bonus to leadership and can reroll 1’s with all shuriken weapons. Being really good with Aspect Warriors and shuriken weapons might sound like something your friend who owns multiple katanas proclaims on a regular basis, but it also means that the Eldar of Biel-Tan are going to bring the Dire Avengers in addition to the noise and funk. And, as GW pointed out on the Warhammer Community site, Dire Avengers and their shuriken weapons are going to be cheaper now.

Combo that with stratagems that let you fall back and shoot/function like a normal unit, because why should the Eldar have to follow any of those pesky rules things everyone’s always going on about, they’re special and better than everyone else.

You’ll note, this is 2cp, but they can shoot and charge. So if you got tied up fighting one unit, but really wanna break off to charge a different unit, you can. This could be really good for durable close combat units who can hop from unit to unit, using the melee as cover. Or to keep important units from shooting.

The other big thing mentioned in today’s preview is the Avatar of Khaine. Master of all four elements, this HQ choice that seems to be smaller than he should probably be, is revealed to really help buff Biel-Tan units–letting them reroll misses and add 3 to their charge rolls. Make your assaults assaultier with just 2 command points.

That seems to be a recurring theme here–Eldar strategies are solid, but expensive. Good thing they have some cheap HQ choices, you’ll want at least a couple detachments. And if you’re worried about the Avatar getting shot off the table, don’t worry, unless he’s in the Avatar State, he’ll just move on to his next incarnation. Sorry. Yncarnaetion. But also there’s a stratagem that helps him endure the turn you really need him to stick around.

But it’s expensive and you can only do it in the fight phase. So, I guess he’ll still get shot off the table. This stratagem does encourage a little aggression, but that seems counter to what the Eldar are good at, which is staying mobile and protected. And armed with scatterlasers.

And that’s Biel-Tan. Tune in tomorrow for Craftworld Jetbikes Halloween Sam-Hainn.

  • Red_Five_Standing_By

    GW has clearly mis-applied these traits.

    Biel Tan’s trait should be the “never lose more than 1 model due to morale”, since they rely the most heavily on aspect warriors.

    Ulthwe’s trait should be re-roll 1’s with Shuriken weapons since Guardians make up the bulk of their military.

    Iyanden’s ability should be the 6+ feel no pain as it benefits multi-wound models (like Wraith units) most.

    • Hrudian

      yep, I agree.

    • DoctorBored

      Even if those were the traits, you’d have someone saying “GW has clearly mis-applied these traits.” followed by a list of traits and how they think they should be applied. :/

      • Xodis

        Yeah, honestly they could practically all be justified as Fluffy for each of the armies.

        • Inian

          The trait’s should never have been named after the craftworlds, they should just have been called something neutral like: “Ancient Resilience” and “Storm of Blades”… then you could pick any one of them for any craftworld as you see fit…

          • Bootneck

            Well it sucks if your the person who has a large army painted in the wrong colours!

          • Inian

            *raises hand* Biel-Tan colours here… Will probably play them as Iyanden though since that seems to be the best all-round trait.

          • Xodis

            Then why not use that same argument for all of the IG, Space Marine, CSM, etc… armies?

          • Inian

            Why not indeed? I think it should have been like that for all the Codices.

          • Xodis

            Then what wold be the point of even having different factions within an army?

          • Inian

            Fluff? I’m not saying to remove the faction/craftworld/legion/chapter/hivefleet/clan/whatever rules… just that they not name them after specific instances of factions. That way, if I play mechanized Biel-Tan I can take whatever trait makes sense for a mechanized army, rather than being forced into a specific play style because I happened to paint my army a specific way.

          • Xodis

            Isnt that the point of factions though? As a Long time CSM player, I know what its like to feel like every army is the same (and it be true)…and it sucks.
            All that boils down to is a bunch of the exact same armies in different colors.

          • Inian

            You are not understanding me. Keep the rules, change the names. Thus as CSM you would use either the “mechanized” faction or the “assaulty” faction or whatever. But it doesn’t matter what legion you painted your guys as, you can be the “assaulty” alpha legion or the “mechanized” alpha legion, it’s your choice. That way you get the advantage of different faction rules, but not having it connected to how your models are painted.

          • Xodis

            No I understand, and that is my point, everything is going to be the same. There is no reason that Alpha Legion should be as good in assault as World Eaters, No one should compare to Thousand Suns and their psykers, etc….
            Making everything Vanilla and just adding food coloring and a different topping doesnt change the fact everything is still Vanilla.
            The point of tying the rules to the factions is to add flavor, you’re idea would take away that flavor, and in the end because GW is incapable of real balance…90% of the armies will end up using the same 1 or 2 faction bonuses, so there will be more Hot Fudge then anything else……at that point there is no need for different Factions, its just food coloring.

          • Inian

            But everything is already vanilla. To get what you want each sub faction should have its own codex and units, but that it too much work/effort for too little value. Thus we end up with a compromise, still I think it’s great to have some army wide universal rules that promote different styles of play.

            Sadly, GW being who they are the balance is skewed and I think you are right that some army special rules will be more popular than others. But even if they weren’t, if we imagine that every codex, every unit and the rules are balanced and there is no particular meta going on to promote one list over another.

            I still don’t think that just because I painted my Eldar in the colors of one Craftworld I should be limited to one style of play. It should be my choice of how I play my army and how I paint my army should not be affected by that.

            Granted I painted my army in the colours of Biel-Tan because I wanted to play and aspect warrior heavy army. But imagine a patrol detachment with A fusion gun/death spinner Autarch, a squad of Rangers, a squad of Swooping Hawks and a squad of Warp Spiders. This would be a pretty fluffy Biel-Tan detachment with Autarchs and aspect warriors and no Guardians. But for some reason the detachment becomes a lot better if I play it as a non Biel-Tan craftworld. Sure we could complain to GW that they messed up, but they will never make everyone happy no matter how hard they try. So isn’t it better to leave it up to the players to choose how to play their armies?

          • Xodis

            I agree that each army should have its own options, and as we have seen with the CSM and Space Marines that is the direction they are moving in. Still there is something to be said from different factions within the same army, even if they are all trained the same. Its why the US Military has Mountain, Cavalry, Infantry, etc… division. They each have some of the others equipment, but their tactics compliment their focus.
            That being said I wouldn’t be opposed to some “generic” rules that are weaker versions so Ultramarines are not as good on Bikes as White Scars, but still pretty cool.
            I dont think your Craftworld is limited to a single style of play though…I think they are still effective even if not “the best Craftworld” at the job. Todays release of Saim-Hann is very biker focused…I dont think Iyanden bikers are going to suck without it though lol.
            I dont think your Biel-Tan army works better as a non Biel-Tan army either. That +1 to Leadership and improved Shuriken weapons is awesome…maybe not perfect, but its still awesome. And we havnt even seen what other goodies are Craftworld specific like Relics, stratagems, etc…

          • Inian

            I like your likeness to the US military. It’s almost like a chapter of space marines would have companies that are better/worse at specific things. Oh right, they do have companies that are better at different things, just like any modern army would have. This of course would translate to every other codex/race.

            But it seems we will never agree on this question anyway, the good part is, nether of us is wrong. =)

          • Xodis

            I saw it less a discussion over right/wrong and more a discussion over which is more flavorful while still being true to the lore.

      • Spacefrisian

        Dunno why it should all be trait stuff, force org changin like the original would already do good for 3 of 5, give Ulthwe the shurican/ morale (-1 ld but only lose 1 model a time) +webway strike thing and Aloitec re- roll snipers hits and wounds

        • Vinny Bulloch

          cough cough Ranger Disruption Table cough cough

    • Heinz Fiction

      Would make much more sense this way.

    • Muninwing

      had they stuck with USRs, i bet this would have been the case, mostly. but they are trying really hard to make each one distinct — and more complicated.

  • Heinz Fiction

    A lot of anti-synergies here. The shuriken buff is of very limited or even no use for most aspect warriors and the leadership bonus is superfluous if you have the avatar around.

    Also talking about Dire Avengers and not mentioning any point cost decreases? The craftworld codex feels more and more like a hack job. They better come up with something good tomorrow…

    • Yves Ewen

      Yeah, i agree, it really seems to me as if there is some serious flavour lacking. They just seem to get the standard codex procedure so they can be done with it. Pretty boring vanilla craftworld traits, not even another Craftworld added (Altansar, Yme-Loc, i don’t care really…)
      And the Stratagems seem pretty costly in CP for what they do.
      In the end, if rumors are right, everyone will play Alaitoc or simply take the discounts and buffs on units and just go Ynnari.
      Feels really wrong to get something like this served after the Guard Codex where they went all crazy and overboard with innovation and synergy.

  • I_am_Alpharius

    This ones a subtle attribute. Nice enough but very subtle in effect. The “The Avatar Resurgent” stratagem, whilst expensive at 3 command points, it is pretty nifty to have an Avatar come back (even if its with only 1 wound). Other stratagems revealed, so far, seem par for the course with other army stratagems.

    • Bootneck

      Double edged sword this one. Sounds great in theory – but its only useful if your in melee. Obviously this is where he needs to be, but again only if your opponent lets themselves get into that.

      But then there’s nothing saying you can’t keep using this stratagem from turn to turn – although that would be expensive in CPs, it could be powerful in long drawn out combats if they could never kill off the Avatar.

      • Red_Five_Standing_By

        The Avatar has 8 wounds, so just stick him behind something and your opponent won’t be able to shoot him.

  • Dulahan

    “Good for durable close combat units.”

    What durable close combat units? We’re Eldar! 😉 At least that can shoot? The… Avatar? Maybe? that’s about all I know! Wraithblades can’t shoot. Wraithguard can already withdraw and shoot.

    Admittedly, we haven’t seen how Scorps have gotten changed by the codex, they might slip back into that. Then again, they already can shoot because of pistols.

    • Shelltoon

      Wraithblades, son.

      • Dulahan

        They can’t shoot!

        • Simon Bates

          Extra attacks on the charge though…

    • J Mad

      Jain Zar, wraithguard/blades (wraithguards can shot then charge a vehicle to stop it from shooting you, then you fallback and shoot again, repeat).

      • Dulahan

        Wraithguard can already do that though. Don’t need the Stratagem.

        • J Mad

          Your correct I forgot came to correct this and saw you corrected it already

          • Pascalnz

            They can’t also assault which this stratagem would allow

    • Heinz Fiction

      Unrelated to what GW think this stratagem is meant for, it’s quite good for War Walkers that got bound in CC by some cheap chaff unit which would have prevented 300 points from shooting…

  • Arthfael

    Court of the Young King is a misnomer. Why not actually give us the unit?

    • Spacefrisian

      Cause we cant have Nuadhu Fireheart and Iyanna Arienal either… That last one would actually shut up some so called social peeps.

  • Mike Forrey

    They still need a better way to get the Avatar up into the game board so its auras and sheer power can be useful. Many times it’s just spending time trying to get around on the table while being easily avoided.

  • Elmex94

    Yeah, honestly they could practically all be justified as Fluffy for each of the armies.

  • ReveredChaplainDrake

    I saw what you did with that Avatar line. Oddly fitting, as the next codex release will see GW try to take away the ability of all Tyranid players to funbend.