Goatboy here again with another quick review on the new Eldar book to come down the pipeline.
Overall the book didn’t change up as most Eldar armies are still going to use Ynarri as their “faction”. Which still leaves the book with the same old Stratagems as they can only get it if they have a full “Eldar Craftworlds” detachment. Sure you can do this with careful unit picks but it still leaves the army somewhat in a lurch until the hinted at “Ynarri” book comes out that will most likely have all the units available, reprinted, and reset up to just be Ynarri with their own Stratagems, spells, and other goodies. Overall I find the book a tad boring as it does bring something good to the army – unit wide point drops in almost every choice – but still leaves something to be desired with some kinda meh Craftworld rules.
Let’s begin with the good from the book. Almost every unit sees a point drop. In fact that is the best thing to come from this book as so many things got cheaper and still stayed the same power wise. So many units just got better by being less points. Eldar finally have a decent troop choice in the Rangers as they saw a huge drop to make them viable. Dark Reapers are going to do wonders murdering any big Daemon Primarch that decides to get into range. Banshees also saw a big point drop and a complete shift in their rules that is pretty dang interesting. The Mask lost the rule of always going first – but instead they just turn off your overwatch. Mix this in by become Acrobatic (move, advance, and charge) as well as still keeping their extra 3″ on advances and charges means you have a unit that can book across the field, hit pretty hard, and maybe with Doom become an absolute murder machine. There is even a cool stratagem for 1CP that lets automatically go 6″ for your advance. Hrm doesn’t that seem pretty dang good?
Overall the Craftworld don’t seem nearly as interesting as some of the other “Legions, Chapters, etc”. I am not sure why they felt a bit more – lackluster and again – I feel most people will forgo the Craftworld and just go Ynarri. Ynarri removes the craft world rules they get so it feels a bit weak to me. The ones I like are the Alaitoc as they gain the -1 to hit if over 12″ away. This can get pretty dang annoying with some of the other powers and combos they can stack up. There are no troop movement shenanigans so Saim Hann are the in the same boat as before. Ulthwe gain a 6+ FNP for every model which can be pretty annoying when those 6’s get hot. Inyanden have already been shown by GW – and with their special relic and army builds they could be very strong indeed. Still it just pales when compare to pulling all the crazy Ynarri tricks of going in your opponents turn when something dies.
There appears to be no new units in the book which is a shame. You would think the Bonesinger would come back (IN the codex) as that would be an easy one to put in there. The Autarch had a huge change as while they did get an extra rule – ability to gain back CP on a 6+ – they did lose a ton of options. In fact there are just 3 of them – the basic on foot one, the one with the Swooping Hawk back pack, and a Jet bike one. It just feels really odd to not be able to make them like one of the Aspect warriors in the Banshee set up as well as the old Warp Spyder one. All of the Phoenix lords saw a drop in point costs with only a real change to Jan Zar in that she is the one that gives out the always go first Aura. All the Lords do not gain any Craftworld bonus as well as no Warlord Trait. I think Rangers will end up being the default Troop choice for most all Craftworld armies.
The Stratagems are ok. I already talked about the one that lets you auto advance 6″ – but there are a few other ones that are decent. The Wave Serpent was one of the few things that didn’t see a point drop but that is ok as it still is one of the best Transports in the game. They have a new Stratagem called Overloaded Energy Shield that lets you shoot the shield again once you have already shot it. So now they have another avenue of “Smite” spam coming and I expect most armies to burn those shields all game. There is also a funny Avatar one for 3 CP that lets the Avatar come back after dying with d6 wounds.
Warlord traits it feels like the normal ones are somewhat out of place. They just don’t feel nearly as interesting as they could be – while the Craftworld ones have a few interesting ones. I like the Ulthwe one that lets you roll a d6 each player turn to gain a CP back on a 6. That feels pretty interesting. The regular Warlord trait of Fate’s Messenger gives you an extra wound a 6+ FNP so with a Ulthwe Craftworld you can gain 2 6+ FNP rolls as needed. There is another one that lets the Warlord “target” characters but with very little long range shooting for the HQ models – no Reaper Launcher etc – it becomes less viable.
The Relics just don’t feel nearly as amazing as some of the Chaos ones or the AM ones. We saw the Iyanden one already which is pretty fun in a Wraith based army. There are a few other ones that give more abilities to HQ’s like a -1 to hit and other options. Still the HQ’s are staying the same as before – which is normally a few Farseers, Warlocks, and the Ynarri big dress lady. Again I don’t want to just be a full on Meh to the book – it doesn’t help that I am not an Eldar player and this book does nothing to make me want to be one.
The shining bit of the book really is the Runes of Battle Psychic spells. There are a few neat ones as they are designed to be useful in most games. Quicken and Restrain seems pretty amazing with a Casting Value of 7 and Quicken allowing the unit to move again and Restrain causing an enemy unit to move half their distance. This is all within the “sweet” spot of 18″ so this could be pretty interesting to force things like Magnus or Mortarion to slow down. The first 3 from the Index stay the same and the 3 additional ones are Protect/Jinx, Quicken/Restrain, and Empower/Enervate. The two other ones stay the same as the old powers from 7th edition with staying at Casting Value of 7 or 6. Overall the Fate powers gains 3 more powers as well with Executioner, Will Of Asuryan, and the good ole Mindwar. Executioner seems to be the decent as another “mortal wound spam” option as it hits the closest unit with d3 mortal wounds and if it kills a model does another d3 mortal wounds.
Overall this book will be great for those Ynarri players out there as one third of their unit choices has had a huge drop in point costs. This has me feeling like most of the other options in their build will see a point drop as well – and if their book combines all the choices into one grand set of units to pick from – means they will get access to Objective Secured troops, more Stratagems, and some interesting “forbidden” relics. I expect most armies to have Rangers, Dark Reapers, and some mixture of casters with Farseers, Warlorks, and maybe a Phoenix lord to help “lead” the army. Still it just feels like Soul Burst is too good to pass up in most pointy earred space jerks.
~ Have at it Eldar fans. Will a codex of mainly reduced cost units get the job done?
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