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Analysis: Astra Militarum in 8th Ed, HQ Units

Let's analyse the HQ options available to Astra Militarum . Like all my reviews, this will be from a competitive play perspective, ...

Thursday, 14 May 2015

Analysis: Codex Eldar Craftworlds [Revised]



The new Eldar book has hit the streets, so it's time to delve deep and see what the Craftworlds can do. I will try to minimise excessive comparisons between old and new books, and stay future-focussed. Here we go!

Forces of the Craftworlds

Craftworld Warhost

Eldar get a new Umbrella-Detachment—like Necrons and Khorne Daemonkin before them—that comprises multiple compulsory and optional Formations. I will review all the individual units before I review these Formations, so at this stage we just need to keep a few things in mind:
  • Eldar can still use the Combined Arms Detachment 
  • All the Formations listed within the Warhost may also be taken as normal Formations (i.e. outside a Warhost, in a Battle-Forged or Unbound army list) 
  • All units within the Warhost gain Matchless Agility and always count as rolling 6 when they Run
I think the Combined Arms Detachment will still see fair use by Eldar for a number of good reasons:

  • Objective Secured is a very good bonus, especially for Jetbikes
  • Matchless Agility only benefits Infantry, not Jetbikes or vehicles
  • The Seer Council Formation only allows rerolling the Craftworlds Traits, not Strategic Traits 
  • A Lord of War slot is needed to field an Imperial Armour Super-Heavy (e.g. Lynx) 
  • A Fortification slot is needed to field Skyshields and Void Shield Generators

Ancient Doom

All Eldar get a small penalty to Ld in close combat against Slaanesh, and a corresponding To Hit bonus in close combat (Hatred). Fluffy but mostly irrelevant in-game.

Battle Focus

This army-wide special rule did not change either; the flexibility to Run and shoot, or shoot and Run, has been put to excellent use by Eldar players for a good couple of years now. Combined with Matchless Agility in the Warhost, Battle Focus is an exceptionally strong ability.

Warlord Traits

Craftworlds Traits are limited by their situational value or irrelevance to certain types of Warlord (with no conditional rerolls like Tau). Some of them would be excellent if you could guarantee you had them (that's where named HQs come in...) but you wouldn't build your army around them if you were rolling for them normally:

  • Ambush of Blades is a One Use Only ability that may be triggered in either the shooting or assault phase, and generates a 12" bubble around the Warlord of reroll 1 To Wound. Not bad, but not great, either.
  • An Eye on Distant Events confers Scout to D3 units in your army. This is potentially amazeballs if you use it to get a Seer Council, Wraithguard, Wraithblades or Wraithknights into midfield earlier.
  • Falcon's Swiftness allows your Warlord and unit to Run an extra 3" (if your Warlord can Run—Jetbikes cannot). Combined with Matchless Agility in the Warhost, this is a nice mobility boost, and could make 'Wraithblades and Friends' deathstars viable. 
  • Fate's Messenger allows your Warlord to reroll 1s on all saves. A nice little bonus that is generally useful.
  • Mark of the Incomparable Hunter confers Split Fire to your Warlord. Meh.
  • Seer of the Shifting Vector generates an enduring 12" bubble around the Warlord of no-scatter Deep Strike. This could make some very interesting builds viable, but no named character carries this Trait automatically.

The Forge of Vaul

I think it's worthwhile considering the weapons section of the new codex before we move on to the units; I will be proposing my ideal configuration for certain units, so it makes sense to know what our equipment options are beforehand! Most weapons have the rules we're already used to from the old codex, so in this section I'll just examine the significant changes.

Ranged Weapons

Distortion

Much has already been said about Distortion weapons becoming D weapons. It makes the Wraithknight slightly better at wrecking vehicles—and significantly better at wrecking Super-Heavies and killing Monsters/Gargantuans—but against most targets nothing has really changed. Expect the metagame to adapt by shifting away from Knights, Gargantuans and non-Flying Monsters.

Eldar Missile Launcher

An easily overlooked change to the Eldar Missile Launcher is that it now includes 'Starhawk' (Skyfire) missiles in its base cost. It remains the most expensive of the Eldar heavy weapons, but it is now the most versatile, with anti-personnel, anti-armour, and anti-flyer modes all available.

Scatter Laser

Laser Lock is gone—now you need to rely on Farseers casting Guide to get those sweet, sweet rerolls To Hit. Compared to the Shuriken Cannon, the Scatter Laser is better against vehicles, and slightly better against targets in cover. It of course also has a 12" range advantage. Both are still better than the unchanged Star Cannon.


Monofilament

This rule has changed subtly from the last codex: instead of getting a small Strength bonus against low-Initiative targets, Monofilament weapons now roll To Wound against Initiative instead of Toughness. A roll of 6 To Wound is still AP2.

Given that all these weapons are S6 or S7, this will not make much of a difference against most infantry—only T3 I5 Eldar become 'tougher' targets under the new rules—but it does make Monofilament weapons very good against Monsters and Gargantuans, which are typically characterised by high Toughness and low Initiative. For example, a full-sized squad of Warp Spiders should kill a Wraithknight in one shooting phase.

However, the loss of the Strength bonus does make Monofilament weapons noticeably worse against vehicles.

Melee Weapons

Laser Lance / Star Lance

The Laser Lance is still S6 AP3 Lance on the turn you charge, but it is now S3 AP3 in subsequent rounds of combat. Likewise, the Star Lance hits at S8 AP2 on the charge, and S3 AP2 afterwards. This makes Shining Spears significantly more dangerous in extended close combats, although this is a necessary change given they lost Hit & Run.

Treasures of Vaul

Banshee Mask

These no longer inflict a -5 Initiative penalty on enemy models in close combat, but instead confer Fear to the wearer and prevent Overwatch from being fired against a unit Banshee Masks. This is a very significant buff, especially for Autarchs who can take one for only 5 pts and make any unit they join immune to Overwatch.

Ghosthelm

This did not change, and that is significant—many pundits expected a nerf given how good it is under the 7th Ed psychic phase rules. Farseers are still mostly immune to Perils of the Warp, which allows you to throw a bucket of Warp Charge at 'essential' powers without fear.

Mandiblasters

Instead of inflicting a piddly S3 AP- auto-hit that has to roll To Wound, Mandiblasters now directly inflict a Wound on a 4+ (or 6 against Gargantuans). This is big buff as it allows Striking Scorpions to hurt any non-vehicle—and large squads will blitz Monsters and hordes alike.

Note that Mandiblasters trigger at I10, before anyone has a chance to make Pile-In moves, and are resolved against your choice of engaged enemy models. This means that a well-executed charge move with a Scorpion squad can enable you to snipe specific models out of an enemy squad, and there is not much your opponent can do about it.

Swooping Hawk Wings

Just like a Jump Pack, but they allow models to move 18" in the movement phase instead of 12". This makes Swooping Hawks very mobile, and enables them to present a significant threat to Flyers with their new Intercept special attack (like Vector Strike, but with Haywire Grenades).

The old Skyleap rule is now incorporated into the Swooping Hawk Wings—instead of being an Exarch ability—so an Autarch with Wings can now Skyleap too. This presents some interesting possibilities, like cheap non-Warlord Autarchs bouncing around the table shooting BS6 Fusion Guns.

Also note that you can embark buildings and Skyleap out from inside...

Warp Jump Generator

It still confers the Jet Pack type, and a 2D6+6" move in the movement phase, which combines with Battle Focus in the shooting phase and Thrust in the assault phase for extreme mobility.

The Warp Jump Generator now only eats a model when a double 1 is rolled on a Warp Jump—much kinder than the old 'any double' version. Again, this presents interesting possibilities, specifically for Autarchs who now have much less to fear from running solo with a Jump Generator. Also remember that becoming Jet Pack Infantry confers Relentless, making the Reaper Launcher a viable (if not great) option for Autarchs.

Vehicle Equipment

Holo-Fields

We saw this change previewed in Codex Eldar Harlequins—Holo-Fields now confer a 5++ invulnerable save instead of improving cover saves. I prefer these new rules to the old, since they now offer Eldar vehicles some protection when they can't afford to Jink, and against Ignores Cover weapons and close combat attacks which were previously indefensible.

Mindshock Pod

It still creates a 12" bubble around a Hemlock, but instead of forcing all successful Ld tests to be rerolled (enemy and friendly) it now imposes a -2 Ld penalty on the enemy alone. This change does not mean much in isolation, but it can be devastating in combination with Harlequin Death Jesters and certain Phantasmancy psychic powers.

Serpent Shield

I think that GW have done a good job of re-balancing the infamous Serpent Shield without over-correcting. Its range has been cut way back to a sensible 24" and its Strength has been dialled-down to the 'Eldar standard' S6. It still has Ignores Cover, and trades Pinning for Strikedown, but it now fires more shots: 2D6 instead of 1D6+1, so the old maximum is the new average!

But the biggest change to the Serpent Shield is that 'firing' it as an offensive weapon is now a One Use Only ability, and afterwards you lose your defensive bonus for the rest of the game. So the Serpent is no longer an 'all the dakka, all the time' affair but instead makes a single devastating attack; learning when and where to apply it will separate the good Eldar players from all those who simply jumped on the bandwagon in 6th Ed.

Note that the Serpent Shield's small reduction in Strength actually makes a big difference to the internal balance of the entire Faction; your definition of 'hard target' changes from AV14 down to AV13+, meaning you can't just take one squad of Fire Dragons or Wraithguard cover your AV14 gap and deal with everything else using S7. Eldar armies will now have to dedicate a non-trivial proportion of their army list to dealing with AV13+, which is exponentially more common than AV14. Remember that Warp Spiders are now only S6 against vehicles too.

Also note the flow-on effect of the Scatter Laser losing Laser Lock: Wave Serpents can no longer give themselves rerolls To Hit when they 'fire' their Shield, so they are no longer the de facto anti-flyer option for Eldar. You will actually need some real anti-air units to cover yourself against Flyers.

The net effect is that you will probably not see any more 4+ Serpent lists; Eldar no longer have a single super-versatile unit, and will need to adopt a combined arms approach to avoid capability gaps.

Remnants of Glory

The only change to Relics is the replacement of the Mantle of the Laughing God with Kurnous' Bow, an unimpressive S4 AP3 Rending pistol. The loss of the Mantle means that Eldar now need to hide their Warlord characters within squads.

Faolchu's Wing, Shard of Anaris and Spirit Stone of Anath'lan remain unchanged, and will continue to see use, while the rest of the Relics continue to gather dust.

Psychic Powers

We will touch briefly on psychic powers before finally examining units and Formations; not much has changed here from the last codex, so we will just focus on the highlights.

Runes of Battle

Literally nothing has changed in this Discipline.

The Primaris power Conceal/Reveal is solid, providing self-targeted Shrouded, which works very well with Warlock Skyrunners to provide a 2++ Jink save.

Embolden/Horrify provides self-targeted Fearless, which is useful to auto-regroup a Falling Back or Pinned unit; if you need to prevent Falling Back in the first place then you should invest in the Shard of Anaris.

Protect/Jinx continues to enable the Jetcouncil deathstar. Don't worry, that's what D weapons are for.

One thing to note is that the Hemlock Wraithfighter can now take this Discipline, so watch out for super-mobile debuffers.

Runes of Fate

There were a few significant changes to this Discipline.

The terribad Death Mission power is gone, and good riddance! In its place we have the new power Will of Asuryan, that generates a 12" bubble of Fearless and Adamantium Will around the psyker. This is a solid force multiplier, and if you're playing a Windrider list you will probably be taking multiple Farseers just to reliably get this power.

Mind War received a small buff, in that there are no longer any detrimental effects if the Farseer loses the roll-off.

Eldritch Storm changed significantly, and wow, is it good! If you ever played the Dawn of War video games, you will probably remember Farseers blowing away huge chunks of the enemy with a well-placed Eldritch Storm—now you can do that on the tabletop too. The new Eldritch Storm increased in cost to Warp Charge 3—and is still a S3 Fleshbane/Haywire/Pinning Large Blast—but it now gets AP3, making it a real threat to infantry, vehicles and Monsters alike. But it gets better: if you choose to cast it at Warp Charge 4 then it hits as an Apocalyptic (10") Blast!

Of course, Warp Charge 4 is a pretty steep casting cost—you would normally need to spend 10 Warp Charge to get over 80% likelihood of success—but between the Spirit Stone of Anath'lan and Runes of the Farseer it becomes much more feasible to cast. In fact, a Farseer using the Spirit Stone and his Runes rerolls can cast the Apocalyptic Blast version with 90% reliably when only spending 5 Warp Charge...

HQ

Autarch

The Autarch is one of the few Eldar units that can be customised through wargear to fill multiple different roles within an army. His stat-line is respectable and reasonable for 70 pts, but don't expect big things if you commit him toe-to-toe in challenges with the HQ characters of other races.

He comes stock with a 3+/4++ save, Plasma and Haywire Grenades, and a special rule that offers great utility in certain army lists: Path of Command. This rule allows you to modify your Reserve rolls by +1 or -1 after rolling, which is great for bringing flyers into play quicker or keeping dedicated Objective holders in the safety of Reserve for longer in Eternal War missions.

Mobility options include the Warp Jump Generator, Swooping Hawk Wings or a Jetbike. The Jetbike is your go-to option, since it makes the Autarch faster, tougher and shootier for only 15 pts. However, it now also costs your Autarch the loss of Fleet. Both the Jump Generator and Wings confer Deep Strike so are worth considering; the Wings are probably better though since they also confer a risk-free 18" move and Skyleap.

Remember that all these mobility options prevent the Autarch from embarking transport vehicles. If you do want to hide your Autarch inside a transport then an alternative mobility option is the Relic Faolchu's Wing, which allows a model to Run 48" but does not change an Autarch's type from Infantry.

An Autarch can take either a Banshee Mask or Mandiblasters, but I think you'd need to have a damn good reason not to always choose the Banshee Mask.

You also need a really good reason not to give your Autarch a Fusion Gun—leave that Fusion Pistol in your purse, and take a real man's gun.

The Laser Lance is the best of the melee weapon options, hitting at S6 AP3 on the charge and S3 AP3 afterwards. This option is only available if your Autarch is riding a Jetbike; if you haven't bought your Autarch a Jetbike, but you still want him to fight effectively in close combat, then you either need to pay 15 pts for a Power Spear or look to Relics instead. The Shard of Anaris is still your go-to if you want to make a high-value squad Fearless.

Overall, the Autarch is a great utility HQ if you're planning to run any Reserves in your army list. If not, then I would probably stick to Farseers instead. My standard Autarch configuration is Jetbike + Banshee Mask + Fusion Gun + Laser Lance and add him to a Windrider squad to buff their Ld and combat prowess.

Alternatively, you could use a non-Warlord Autarch for distraction or harassment duties with Wings + Mask + Fusion Gun + Power Spear. He can move 18" on your first turn and declare a charge from 6" away—with Fleet and immunity to Overwatch, you may as well! Five S4 AP3 attacks at WS6 I6 will hurt softer targets. Or he can Deep Strike in to gank a backfield vehicle, then Skyleap, rinse and repeat.

Prince Yriel

This named Autarch is sadly underwhelming, especially given he costs double the base price of a generic Autarch. He is basically a just beatstick character, with four S3 AP3 Fleshbane/Armourbane melee attacks at WS6 I7, and a One Use Only option to 'nova' hit everyone within 2.5" at S6 AP3 at I7 instead of attacking normally. As a beatstick Yriel is not bad, but he is slow, and I would rather gear up a generic Autarch instead. His fixed Trait is Ambush of Blades which is ok, but does not open up any new list building options.

Illic Nightspear

Ok, so first up, this guy's name is "I-Lick Knight-Spear". Huh. Read whatever you want into that...

This guy is the other named Autarch option (functionally, if not fluff-wise) for double the base cost of a generic Autarch. He is basically an Eldar version of the Vindicare Assassin, with a 48" AP2 Sniper Rifle with Instant Death on a 6 To Wound, and all his non-Snap Fire shots are Precision Shots. Not bad, but lack of Ignores Cover makes him far inferior to the Vindicare, and he is simply overcosted for what he offers.

Illic has Shrouded, so he can make a squad harder to shift out of terrain. If he joins a Ranger squad then they all get auto-Precision Shot, and they can all Infiltrate to anywhere on the table without enemy range restrictions. Because deploying your snipers closer than 12" to the enemy is so pro...

Finally, Illic also has Hatred and Preferred Enemy against Necrons only, which is situationally useful. His fixed Trait is Mark of the Incomparable Hunter for Split Fire. Meh.

Farseer

The iconic Eldar hero is even stronger this time around. The new Farseer remains one of the most efficient, versatile and reliable psykers in the game. With Mastery Level 3 and access to great Disciplines for only 100 pts, the Farseer is even more awesomesauce than the Harlequin Shadowseer. And with the unchanged Ghosthelm and new rule Runes of the Farseer, he is now arguably the most reliable caster in the game.

Farseers can still use their Ghosthelms to burn one Warp Charge to ignore a Wound from Perils of the Warp. And Runes of the Farseer allow them to reroll any number of dice from one Psychic test or Deny the Witch test each turn. Think about that for a moment: you can selectively reroll just the failed dice if you want a second (improved) chance at success, or you can even just reroll excess 6s to prevent Perils in an otherwise successful cast. And you don't even need to declare you're using your Runes until after you've seen the first roll. This is a really strong combination of rules, and makes casting expensive powers like Eldritch Storm and Vortex of Doom quite feasible, especially when combined with the Relic Spirit Stone.

This table shows how many Warp Charge you need to spend to have an 80% or higher chance of successfully casting.


The Farseer can ride a Jetbike, and unless you want to hide him inside a vehicle or building, you'll need a good reason not to buy one. Even if he's hiding in a foot-slogging squad, that boost to T4 and Sv 3+ is very valuable. However, taking a Jetbike now costs the loss of Fleet, so keep that in mind if you're going to hide your Farseer amongst foot-sloggers—but if you have Matchless Agility from the Craftworld Warhost Detachment then you're always running 6" anyway.

Of course, the Farseer did lose one very significant capability in the new book: no more Daemon summoning. This loss is a good counterbalance to all the benefits described above. And while it was a legal and effective tactic, Daemon summoning was just not in keeping with the fluff of the Faction and I am very happy that GW have improved the rules-to-fluff alignment in this new book.

Eldrad Ulthran

The Grand Old Pimp Daddy of Farseers himself, Eldrad is all the awesomeness of a Farseer and more, and is still quite a reasonable buy even at nearly double the base cost of a generic Farseer!

Compared to a Farseer, Eldrad has an extra Mastery Level and an improved invulnerable save, and is significantly better in close combat. His unique Relic, the Staff of Ulthamar, is S3 AP3 Fleshbane/Force and is very good for killing characters in challenges, or Monsters and Gargantuans, although he does only have two attacks at WS5 I5 so don't get too excited! Eldrad's Staff also confers a special rule that allows regenerate a single Warp Charge on a 5+ after successfully casting a psychic power.

Eldrad's fixed Trait is An Eye on Distant Events, which allows D3 units to Scout. This is really a big deal, since you can take Eldrad as your Warlord then build your list around Scout guaranteed on at least one unit; for example, a 'Wraithblades and Friends' deathstar or Jetcouncil, or maybe just a Ghostglaive Wraithknight.

Warlock Conclave

This is a squad of between one and ten Warlocks at 35 pts per model, or 50 pts per model for Skyrunner (Jetbike) Warlocks. The squad acts as a Brotherhood of Psykers, with a Mastery Level determined by the dynamic size of the unit: Level 1 for up to three models, Level 2 for up to six models, or Level 3 if you have seven or more models. They generate their pre-game powers based on their initial size, then discard powers during the game if/when they take casualties. Note that you choose which powers to discard so you can keep the best powers until the last; this also incentivises generating all your powers from a single Discipline, so you get the extra power from Psychic Focus and more flexibility in discarding.

Also note that a Warlock Conclave generates Warp Charge equal to its current size, not its Mastery Level. This means that a full-sized unit will add 10 dice to your casting pool, even though the squad only counts as a single Level 3 psyker! This is very significant as it opens up the possibility of running cheaper Conclaves on foot—perhaps for holding backfield Objectives or manning Fortification emplaced weapons—as psychic batteries for your Farseers or Seer Councils.

Conclaves can access both the Runes of Battle and Sanctic Disciplines, although there is really not much reason to take Sanctic. If you want your Seer Council to have Gate of Infinity, Sanctuary or Vortex of Doom then you are better off having one Farseer roll on Sanctic instead.

If you want to field a Warlock Conclave then you really need to find the points to field them within a Seer Council Formation; outside that Formation they are much less effective.

Finally, note that an Eldar Combined Arms Detachment or Allied Detachment can fill its mandatory HQ slot for only 35 pts by taking a single-model Warlock Conclave.

Spiritseer

A Spiritseer is for all intents and purposes a pair of Warlocks mashed into a single model. For 70 pts you get a Mastery Level 2 psyker with two Wounds, who loses Jetbike access but gains Relic access instead, and access the very good Telepathy Discipline. Spiritseers also have the Spirit Mark special rule which buffs all Wraiththings within a 12" bubble.

If you were thinking of just taking a single Warlock to satisfy your HQ tax, then you are generally going to be better off taking a Spiritseer instead if you can afford it; Independent Character and Telepathy increase his utility by a great deal. However, if you really want Telepathy psykers that you can attach to other units, then you are better off trying to fit in some Harlequin Shadowseers instead—Hit & Run is very valuable for Footdar builds, even if it comes at the cost of Battle Focus.

Phoenix Lords

All the Phoenix Lords share a very robust stat-line, with a 2+ save, Eternal Warrior, and Fearless making them all tough little cookies. But as in codexes past, they lack invulnerable saves and are very expensive, so I doubt we will see a resurgence in their popularity with this new book. I will address them individually after examining their respective Aspects.

Troops

Guardian Defenders

These are your basic infantry, starting at 90 pts for a 10-man squad that can be grown up to 20-man. They are very squishy at T3/5+ but pack a healthy offensive output with their Shuriken Catapults, and Bladestorm allows them to hurt any non-vehicle model. A Guardian Defender squad may take a Warlock for 35 pts; note that Warlocks are no longer 'detached' from a Conclave, they are just a squad upgrade, so you can't attach a tougher Warlock Skyrunner to your foot-sloggers anymore. It's debatable if 35 pts for semi-reliable Shrouded is worthwhile—unless you're running a 20-man squad—but keep in mind that you can also take Warlocks in Guardian squads just to act as 'psychic batteries' for your Farseers and Seer Councils.

A 10-man Guardian Defender squad may take a single heavy weapon, while a 20-man squad may take a pair. These heavy weapons are taken as additional models—not weapon upgrades to an existing model—and the weapon platforms have their own stat-line, with T5/3+ (although they will rarely ever use their own Toughness value). Heavy weapon options are all different flavours of either multi-shot S6 or single-shot S8; but remember that the Eldar Missile Launcher now includes Skyfire missiles by default. Missile Launchers are very expensive, but the Guardian Battlehost Formation allows you to take heavy weapons platforms for free, so they are worth considering in that context.

Guardian Defender squads can work well as either cheapish MSU squads that sit on Objectives in cover and shoot a heavy weapon, or in big blobs supported by lots of psychic buffs that provide board control and healthy anti-personnel firepower. Despite all the hype over Windriders, I think that this new codex will enable competitive Footdar builds to be played. If you are going to run big Guardian blobs then I recommend the addition of Harlequin Shadowseers for Veil of Tears, Hit & Run, and Fearless from a 15 pts Relic. I would also recommend running your squads within a Guardian Battlehost Formation inside a Craftworld Warhost Detachment for maximum special rules stacking.

Storm Guardians

A long time ago, I converted a really nice-looking Storm Guardian squad. Today they are coated with years of dust, because they are just too terribad to use even in a casual game.

Storm Guardians have half the firepower of Guardian Defenders for the same cost. They get an extra S3 AP- close combat attack instead—and that just does not make up the difference. They can take a pair of Flamers or Fusion Guns quite cheaply (or free within a Guardian Stormhost) and/or Power Swords quite expensively (again free in the Formation) but sadly that is just not enough to make them a viable unit.

Windriders

We reach the first unit that generated so much nerdrage prior to codex release!

A Windrider costs 17 pts and is extremely fast, reasonably tough (by Eldar standards) at T4/3+, and packs twin-linked Shuriken Catapults—this is more than twice as good as a Guardian Defender at less than double the price.

Windriders are simply a great unit, and the reason why you will probably not see that many Footdar builds—everyone will be running Jetbikes instead! But Windriders just keep getting better, because every single model in the squad may upgrade their weapon to either a Shuriken Cannon or Scatter Laser for only 10 pts per model.

That's right, for 27 pts per model you can get three S6 AP5 Bladestorm shots or four normal S6 shots. Take a big squad and that's some extremely efficient S6 shooting. A full 10-man squad with Scatter Lasers can wreck any AV12 vehicle in one round of shooting, even if it Jinks, or wipe out a 5-man Marine Biker squad.


But don't be blinded by the big numbers you see in the mathhammer; remember that while T4/3+ is tough by Eldar standards, a Windrider is no tougher than a normal Space Marine in cover—and you can kill Space Marines pretty easily, right?

You can add a Skyrunner Warlock for 50 pts, with the Runes of Battle Primaris power Conceal, and buff your Windriders with Shrouded for a 2++ Jink save—but if you Jink then all that firepower is much less effective. And a Skyrunner Warlock costs as much as two much shootier Windriders, so they are only efficient in big squads. So you are left with a painful paradox: run big squads with a Warlock for resilience, and lose lots of firepower when they Jink; or run MSU squads without Warlocks and accept lots of casualties.

And then there is the non-trivial matter of Morale; Windriders are only Ld8, the addition of a Warlock does nothing to boost their Ld, and when they break they flee 3D6". If you're taking MSU squads then expect to lose a lot of units from Morale test fails.

Finally on the topic of resilience, always remember that Windrider do not like to get caught in melee; Shrouded won't help you there!

So yes, Windriders are good, but don't be fooled into thinking they are going to take over the entire game. Play them smart, use their speed and range advantage, and keep them out of close combat. I think they will be best played MSU in 5-man squads with either Shuriken Cannon or Scatter Laser.

One final thing to keep in mind is that using Windriders as actual firepower contributors means that it is a lot harder to hide them from the enemy—line of sight works both ways! You might get away with some jump-shoot-jump shenanigans on tables with very dense terrain, but typically you won't get to shoot with your Windriders and keep them safe for Objective snatching.

Rangers

A 5-man squad of Rangers still costs 60 pts, but they now have Shrouded instead of Stealth, making them significantly tougher against most shooting. However, snipers are just not that useful in 40k, so you are unlikely to ever see these guys in a competitive context.

Dire Avengers

At last, we reach the first of the Aspect Warrior units! All the Aspects share a couple of interesting changes to their general mechanics:

  • Special rules that were previously purchased as 'Exarch Powers' are gone; instead, each Aspect gets one of their old Exarch Powers built-in to their base rules, and the other comes free with the purchase of an Exarch (still only a 10 pts upgrade in most cases).
  • Exarchs are now all two wound characters, but share the armour save of their Aspect rather than having a universal 3+ save.
Dire Avengers start at 65 pts for a 5-man squad and individually have the same offensive output as a Guardian Defender; those extra points buy you an extra 6" threat range (significant) and better Ld and armour save. Avengers are less efficient that Guardians—and do not benefit as much from psychic buffs due to their smaller unit size—but are a much more reliable unit. And they also remain the cheapest way to unlock an Objective Secured Wave Serpent!

Their 'built-in Exarch Power' is Defence Tactics: they can either fire Overwatch at BS2, or trade their Overwatch opportunity for Counter-Attack and Stubborn. Note that you can still opt for Stubborn if your Avengers are already Locked in combat, even though they could not Overwatch anyway, but you would not benefit from Counter-Attack in that scenario.

Their 'free Exarch Power' is Battle Fortune, which still just confers a 4++ invulnerable save to the Exarch alone. Note that an Avenger Exarch can still buy a Shimmershield for 20 pts to confer a 5++ invulnerable save to their entire squad.

If you are not just using Avengers to unlock Objective Secured Wave Serpents then I recommend taking them in their Dire Avenger Shrine Formation (covered later).

Asurmen

The Dire Avenger Phoenix Lord is the only one with an invulnerable save: a reasonable 4++ that improves to a respectable 3++ in a Challenge. In melee, he has four S5 AP2 attacks (with one reroll) at I7 with Soulrazor: enemy models must take a Ld test on unsaved wounds, with a failure resulting in them being removed from play. Very nice for Challenges and ganking Monsters, as it bypasses Eternal Warrior, and good for putting D3 wounds on a Gargantuan too.

Instead of having a fixed Trait, Asurmen generates D3 Craftworlds Traits; not great given that the main advantage of the Craftworlds Traits is the new list-building options they offer if you have a useful fixed trait (e.g. Eldrad).

Sorry, he's just not worth 220 pts.

Elites

Howling Banshees

Also starting at 65 pts for a 5-man (she-elf?) squad, Howling Banshees are sadly just scrub-bait; Striking Scorpions are simply better in every way, just pay the extra 4 pts per model!

Banshees are fast on foot; their Acrobatic rule allows them to Run an extra 3", for a guaranteed 9" Run with Matchless Agility in a Warhost, and also Charge an extra 3" too. This means that they can auto-make a 5" Charge across open ground; not bad at all. However, while Banshees are closing on the enemy, they will simply get shot to pieces—T3/4+ is just not resilient, especially not within enemy Rapid Fire range.

Banshees are, however, immune to Overwatch, and also have Fear. An Exarch's War Shout imposes a -2 Ld penalty on enemy units Locked in combat with Banshees, which helps make Fear meaningful. An Exarch also has access to S5 AP2 attacks. But overall, Scorpions are just better, as we will see shortly.

Jain Zar

With the stat-line of a Phoenix Lord, decent weapons, and great utility, Jain Zar is one model you just might see in a 'Wraithblades and Friends' deathstar. She lacks an invulnerable save, but this is mitigated by her Disarming Strike special rule that allows you to deny an enemy character the use of one melee weapon in a Challenge—great if you can neutralise an AP2 weapon, not so great against a Monster who always has AP2 due to Smash.

Jain Zar has four S4 AP2 Shred attacks at WS7 I7 which will do significant damage to most squads. She has an improved Banshee Mask that prevents Overwatch as normal, but also inflicts a -5WS -5I penalty on all enemies within 6". This applies based on proximity, even outside of close combat, so you could potentially combo Jain Zar with Monofilament weapons (e.g. Warp Spiders) to devastating effect against a normally high Initiative target.

Jain Zar's fixed Trait is Falcon's Swiftness, which boosts Run moves by 3". If she is attached to a Banshee squad then they could potentially Run 12", but a more likely application is attaching her to Wraithblades to make them Run 9".

You'll pay a hefty 200 pts for all this utility, but that just might be worthwhile if you want to build a list around a Wraithblade deathstar...

Striking Scorpions

More expensive than Banshees—starting at 85 pts for a 5-man squad—but so much better on so many levels. Scorpions may not move any faster than normal infantry, but Infiltrate allows them to start 6" closer to the enemy, which is equivalent to two turns worth of the Banshee Run/charge boost.

Consider the following comparison between Banshee and Scorpion movement: Banshees deploy 24" from the enemy, move 6" and Run 9" on the first turn, then move 6" and charge 3+2D6" on the second turn; Scorpions deploy 18" from the enemy, move 6" and Run 6" on the first turn, then move 6" and charge 2D6" on the second turn. There is actually no real speed difference between the two Aspects.


However, there is a significant resilience difference between the two: Scorpions are far more likely to make it into combat than Banshees, thanks to their 3+ armour saves, and the Stealth and Shrouded they enjoy prior to their first combat thanks to the Shadowstrike special rule.

Once in melee, Scorpions also do more damage than Banshees, and they also have the potential to do respectable damage at the I10 step with their Mandiblasters, reducing the incoming damage from high-Initiative enemies.


A Scorpion Exarch is particularly potent in a Challenge; he can take a Scorpion's Claw for S6 AP2 attacks at I6, and gets +1A per point of difference if he has higher Initiative than his opponent.

If you want an assault squad, without going down the all-out deathstar path, then Scorpions are your go-to unit. They are far superior to Banshees in every way. A 10-man squad including an Exarch with Scorpion's Claw is the best way to field them.

Karandas

While Scorpions are better than Banshees, Karandas is notably inferior to Jain Zar. For the same hefty 200 pts, you get a more powerful beatstick but with no utility. His unique special rule Hunter's Strike allows Karandas and a Scorpion squad to automatically walk on from any table edge on turn two if they start in Reserve—not bad, but it costs them their excellent Shadowstrike bonus (Shrouded until they get into combat) because that requires them to Infiltrate to benefit. His fixed Trait is Ambush of Blades, which does not change your list-building options.

Fire Dragons

While expensive at 110pts for a 5-man squad, Fire Dragons are very much worth their high cost. Each model is equipped with a Fusion Gun and Meltabombs, making them deadly to vehicles, Monsters, Gargantuans and elite infantry. Their Assured Destruction special rule confers an extra +1 to vehicle damage chart rolls, for a total +3 modifier on their AP1 weapons, making them excellent for wrecking Super Heavies. Battle Focus—potentially buffed by Matchless Agility—mitigates the short range of their weapons, as does their ability to embark Falcons (unlike Bulky Wraithguard).

A Dragon Exarch can replace his Fusion Gun with a Dragon's Breath Flamer (Heavy Flamer) for no extra cost, and I recommend taking this option for the duality of purpose it provides the squad; it means your Dragons stay useful even if there are no vehicles or Monsters to kill. Unfortunately, the Dragon's Breath Flamer does not synergise very well with the Exarch's Crack Shot special rule, that allows him one reroll per turn for To Hit, To Wound or armour penetration rolls. If you're confident that the rest of your army can deal with infantry well enough, you can just keep the Exarch's default Fusion Gun to make better use of Crack Shot. I just don't think a Firepike (Fusion Gun with extra 6" range) is worth an extra 15 pts.

Given the across-the-board change to cap Eldar shooting to S6, Fire Dragons play a very important role in the army, as without them (or Wraiththings) you will struggle to kill heavy armour. A basic 5-man squad, mounted in a Serpent or Falcon, should do the trick most of the time; an Exarch with Flamer is a good addition if you have the points.

Fuegan

One of the more expensive Phoenix Lords at 220 pts, Fuegan has Feel No Pain to make him even tougher than the rest, but that is just not enough to justify his high cost. His unique Relic makes him very good at killing vehicles in close combat, but that's not exactly difficult anyway. His unique Trait just confers Split Fire, and does nothing for your army. His special rule Unquenchable Resolve confers a permanent +1S and +1A buff whenever he loses one or more Wounds in a single phase, but given that he only starts with three, this is unlikely to transform him into a melee powerhouse worth 220 pts. Yes, a Warlock could cast Renew on him to theoretically allow to reach S10 A10 by late in a game, but good army lists are not built around such gimmicky nonsense.

Wraithguard

Another source of pre-release controversy, Wraithguard have not actually changed from the last codex, but they have gained D weapons. As I have previously explained, this is really not that big a deal when the starting point was already S10 AP2 with Instant Death on a 6 To Wound. In summary, Wraithguard are now:

  • The same against single-Wound models
  • Slightly better against multi-Wound models
  • Slightly worse against AV10-11
  • The same against AV12
  • Slightly better against AV13-14
The most significant change is that D weapons typically inflict D3 Wounds or HP per hit, so Monsters, Gargantuans and Supers have much more to fear from Wraithguard than before; however, given that Wraithguard squad size starts at 5-man and caps at 10-man, if you're being shot at by Wraithguard the difference between 1 Wound/HP per hit and D3 Wounds/HP per hit is mostly academic—you're dead anyway.

In other words, Wraithguard are not any more dangerous with D weapons, they just perform more consistently with D weapons. They can be used as very effective and fairly efficient 5-man squads without any need for extra models.

But of course, the problem with Wraithguard has never been their raw power, but successfully delivering the payload to the target. Wraithguard are slow and short-ranged. Six can ride in a Wave Serpent, or five in an allied Dark Eldar Raider, but that is the extent of their transport options due to the Bulky rule.

Raiders cannot be expected to last very long on the battlefield, especially when loaded with a high-priority target! You can Deep Strike them in and shoot out—if you are willing to risk Deep Striking a single, large, 200+ pts model within Mishap range.

Serpents are obviously a more reliable transport; however, consider that the sum of changes to this codex will likely shift Eldar army lists away from the 'AV12 Wall' style we have grown used to over the last few years. One AV12 tank amongst six or seven others is hard to stop, thanks to the armour saturation effect (your opponent does not have enough anti-tank to stop them all); in contrast, one AV12 tank amongst two or three others is a lot less survivable.

I expect that the primary delivery mechanism for Wraithguard will be an allied Dark Eldar character with a Webway Portal, for no-scatter Deep Strike. This can be a very effective tactic against a mediocre opponent who cannot deploy appropriately to counter you; against a competent opponent who understands how to deploy defensively against Drop Pods and the like, you will likely find it a lot harder to hit a high-value target with your Wraithguard.

And then there is the D-Scythe upgrade: you can still pay 10 pts per model for the entire squad to swap their 12" D weapons for Template D weapons with -1 to the Destroyer table. D-Scythes take D3 Wounds or HP off anything on a 3+. On average, a 5-man squad will take 6 or 7 Wounds or HP off a single model, making them a deadly threat to Monsters/Gargantuans/Supers at an even shorter range than conventional Wraithguard. More significantly, D-Scythe Wraithguard can also kill hordes very effectively and are thus more versatile than all the other D shooters in the codex. However, D-Scythes have no way to bypass invulnerable saves, so Monsters/Gargantuans/Supers who start the game sitting on a Skyshield have much less to fear.

If you do use the Webway Portal to Deep Strike your D-Scythe Wraithguard, keep in mind that you can never get all your Templates on target on the turn your drop in.


Please forgive the roughness of the diagram, but it should illustrate the point. Feel free to experiment by adding more models to the squad to see what happens; the best I can achieve is seven templates on target from a 9-man squad. You might get more if you pad the squad with extra Independent Characters, but that is likely to get very expensive, very fast.

Instead of Deep Striking on foot, you can put a 5-man squad and their Dark Eldar character inside a Wave Serpent, Deep Strike the Serpent, then disembark the Wraithguard to 6" from the rear access point and that way get all five Templates on target—for an extra 115+ pts on your already expensive one-trick-pony.

Finally, some have suggested that the new D-Scythe rules make Fire Dragons obsolete. I disagree; D-Scythe Wraithguard are simply twice as powerful as Dragons for twice the price. It follows that you could run two Dragon squads for the cost of a single Wraithguard squad, and gain all the benefits of the MSU approach (damage compartmentalisation, threat distribution, overkill minimisation). Dragons also have some definite advantages in Battle Focus, the ability to ride in Falcons, and having Meltabombs for melee threat.

Wraithblades

These guys got better and cheaper, starting at 150 pts for a 5-man squad and gaining Rage to mitigate their one base Attack. They can wield either a pair of Ghostswords for two S6 AP3 attacks, or a Ghostaxe and Forceshield for one S7 AP2 Unwieldy attack and a 4++ invulnerable save. The latter option is your go-to, for the same reason why Assault Terminators always take Hammers and Shields instead of Lightning Claws—you want to hit as hard as possible, and you can afford to wait to I1 when you're that tough (and only I4 to begin with).

I think the best way to run Wraithblades is as a 10-man squad on foot, with either Eldrad or Jain Zar/Baharroth attached. Eldrad as Warlord enables them to Scout, while Jain Zar/Baharroth as Warlord enables them to Run 9", either way mitigating their slowness. You can give them a further head-start by buying an Imperial Bastion with Escape Hatch, deploying them inside with the Hatch placed 12" into midfield, enabling them to effectively move 18" on the first turn, then Run a further 6" or 9" to set up a nearly guaranteed second turn assault.

I think Eldrad offers more to a 'Wraithblades and Friends' deathstar, since all these powers are useful in various ways:

  • Gate of Infinity and Sanctuary from Sanctic
  • Shrouding and Invisibility from Telepathy
  • Fortune from Runes of Fate
Such a deathstar would also greatly benefit from the attachment of a Harlequin Shadowseer:

  • Hit & Run
  • Veil of Tears and Dance of Shadows from Phantasmancy
  • Adamantium Will from The Laughing God's Eye Relic
Of course, if you can't afford both, you could just take Baharroth for the Run buff and Hit & Run, but your deathstar would lack resilience from all those psychic buffs.

You could also attach one or more Spiritseers to try and get Protect, but I don't think the gamble would be worth the points cost.

Now I am not an advocate of deathstar lists, because I firmly believe that MSU lists are more competitive in every way; however, if you do like playing deathstar lists, then I think 'Wraithblades and Friends' is the way to go with Eldar.

Fast Attack

Wave Serpent

The former 'Ultimate Scourge of the 41st Millenium' is once more a normal transport vehicle, and can be taken empty as a Fast Attack choice in accordance with established 7th Ed codex conventions. Its only actual change is a 5 pts discount; but the parallel changes to Scatter Lasers, Serpent Shields and Holo-Fields have all altered the Serpent into a very different unit than its previous incarnation.

I think that Scatter Lasers, Shuriken Cannon and Holo-Fields will remain the default configuration for the new Wave Serpents, since that still gives you a very fast, tough and shooty tank at a very reasonable price. But I do expect to see less of them in Eldar armies (2-3 instead of 4-5) and I also expect to see a lot of lists without Serpents altogether. I don't know if such a knee-jerk is warranted—these guys are still very good, and Eldar still benefit from the Ignores Cover firepower. But they will need a Guide from a nearby Farseer on the turn they 'fire' their Serpent Shield if you want to get maximum effect, since they can no longer give themselves rerolls with Laser Lock.

Another important effect of the Laser Lock and Serpent Shield changes is that Serpents can no longer be your de facto anti-air units; well-balanced Eldar lists will now need to bring along some dedicated anti-air to protect against Flyers and Flying Monsters.

Serpents have the potential to be Objective Secured when taken as dedicated transports for Dire Avenger or Guardian squads, and they still make good mobile scoring gunships.

Swooping Hawks

Starting at only 80 pts for a 5-man squad with great mobility and good anti-personnel and anti-tank attacks, Swooping Hawks are quite the bargain in this codex. They can move 18" in the movement phase, Run and shoot with Battle Focus, and Skyleap for total repositioning. They may Deep Strike and do so without scatter if they include an Exarch thanks to his Herald of Victory rule.

Swooping Hawks come with Haywire Grenades by default, making them very dangerous to vehicles in melee, and they can also use them in the movement phase with their new Intercept rule: it functions similarly to Vector Strike, in that you can hit something you fly over. Each Hawk that moves over a Flyer or Flying Monster in the movement phase hits it with a S4 AP4 Haywire attack on a 4+. Note that the target does not need to be Zooming/Swooping at the time, they just need to have the Flyer or Flying Monster type. Intercept by a large squad of Hawks could put a couple of Wounds on a Flying Monster, but even a moderate-sized squad can wreck a Flyer very easily thanks to Haywire.

Hawks also come with a Grenade Pack that allows them to make a single shooting attack in the movement phase, immediately after arriving by Deep Strike. This attack is 24" S4 AP4 Barrage/Ignores Cover and has a Small Blast for squads up to five models, or a Large Blast for squads of six or more models.

The great thing about Hawks is that they are never wasted in an army list; they are great for killing Flyers and vehicles, but if your opponent lacks such targets, they are still great for killing infantry with their Ignores Cover blasts and their multi-shot direct fire. I recommend a 6-man squad including Exarch (without extra gear) as their default configuration.

Baharroth

The cheapest Phoenix Lord at 'only' 170 pts, Baharroth's main claim to fame is that he is an Independent Character with the very valuable Hit & Run special rule. He also has Herald of Victory to confer no-scatter Deep Strike only any unit he joins if they could already Deep Strike. When he Deep Strikes, enemy units within 6" must test for Blind, but you probably don't want to land Hawks so close to the enemy; Spiders, on the other hand, would love a no-scatter Deep Strike that Blinds nearby enemies, but I don't know that they'd always be willing to give up their Thrust move for the privilege.

Baharroth has a Grenade Pack and can use it for a Small Blast even without a Hawk squad, but strangely he lacks the Intercept rule of his Aspect. His fixed Trait is +3" to Run moves, which makes him a viable addition to a deathstar like 'Wraithblades and Friends'.

Warp Spiders

The other fast shooty infantry option, Spiders start at 95 pts for a 5-man squad. They used to be much faster than Hawks, but the changes to Wings has made the two Aspects fairly equal in speed—but while Hawks are fast in the movement phase, Spiders split their speed across the movement and assault phases.

While Hawks shoot infantry from afar, Spiders need to get a lot closer to do damage, but once there can handle infantry, vehicles and Monsters alike with their two S6 Monofilament shots (roll To Wound against Initiative and get AP2 on a 6 To Wound).

"Elusive" is a good way to describe Spiders, as they have both Hit & Run and a unique rule Flickerjump: when they are targeted by a shooting attack, they can choose to immediately make a 2D6" Warp Jump move (in your opponent's shooting phase!) to try and get out of range and/or line of sight of that shooting attack. If they succeed then the shooting attack fails—very useful! Using Flickerjump costs them their Warp Jump in the next movement phase, but they can still move their normal 6".

A Spider Exarch makes the squad auto-pass most Ld-based tests, but they can still Go To Ground since they are not actually Fearless.

Spiders were very popular in the previous codex, but given that they are now only shooting at S6 (instead of S7 against vehicles) and it is very easy to get mass S6 on Windriders, they just may not enjoy the same niche in the new codex. They are very good against high Toughness low Initiative targets like most Monsters and Gargantuans, and could be worth taking for that role; but if the metagame shifts away from Monsters and Gargantuans thanks to continuing D proliferation then Spiders may just find themselves stuck on bench.

Shining Spears

Starting at 75 pts for a 3-man squad, Shining Spears are quite expensive compared to other Aspect Warriors; however, as Jetbikes they enjoy greater speed and resilience for that added cost. In fact, with both Skilled Rider (3++ when they Jink) and Aerobatic Grace (4++ cover even when don't Jink) further boosting their resilience, Spears are an assault unit you can rely upon to actually make it into combat most games.

Like Banshees, Spears have AP3 melee attacks, but also enjoy S6 on the turn they charge, making them a lot more dangerous. A Spear Exarch can also upgrade his weapon to a Star Lance for only 10 pts to get S8 AP2 attacks on the charge; and his Expert Hunter rule allows him to reroll armour penetration and To Wound against Monsters.

Unfortunately, Shining Spears lost access to Hit & Run in this codex, which really hurts; they also lost Monster Hunter, which hurts to a lesser degree. But despite these losses, Spears are still quite a decent melee unit, and can play a valuable 'linebacker' role in an Eldar army, keeping pace with your skimmers and other Jetbikes ready to counter-assault any threat that gets too close.

Also remember that Spears can shoot; twin-linked Shuriken Catapults are good against infantry and the 6" S6 AP3 Lance shots fired by their Laser Lances can do a lot of damage to Monsters and elite infantry before you charge.

If you are going to run Shining Spears then you may as well run them as a full-sized squad with Star Lance Exarch so they can do meaningful damage on the charge. I would also recommend adding an Autarch Skyrunner or Farseer Skyrunner with the Shard of Anaris, to make that expensive unit Fearless—fleeing 3D6" will bite you otherwise. Just be careful that you don't invest so many points into the unit such that you expect deathstar-like performance from them—you will probably be disappointed.

Crimson Hunter

The best anti-air Flyer in the game, now discounted to only 140 pts! The Crimson Hunter fires four S8 AP2 shots—two with Lance—making it great for killing vehicles and Monsters alike, both on the ground and in the air. The Skyhunter rule (Tank Hunter against Flyers) makes the Crimson Hunter the true king of the skies of 40k.

The Crimson Hunter has the often-underestimated Vector Dancer rule, which allows a skilled player to always have line of sight to the target of their choice, whilst keeping out of range of most enemy fire. While the Crimson Hunter may look flimsy on paper with only AV10, in my experience of regularly using multiples of this unit, it is very rare to lose more than one in a game if you use Vector Dancer to its full potential.

One Crimson Hunter per Detachment may be upgraded to an Exarch for 20 pts, providing BS5 and Precision Shots on a 5+ To Hit. The Exarch upgrade is not a bad use of a spare 20 pts (and mandatory in the Crimson Death Formation) but don't be tempted to exchange his Bright Lances for Starcannon—the default weapon configuration is optimal.

Vyper Squadron

Vypers have just one good thing going for them: they're dirt cheap. A basic Vyper costs 40 pts for a single Shuriken Cannon, and can be upgraded with a second Shuriken Cannon for 10 pts. You can exchange one Cannon for other Eldar heavy weapons but there is really no point; once a Vyper stops being dirt cheap, it stops being a worthwhile addition to your army list.

Sadly for the Vyper, there are simply better ways to spend points if you want light gunships. Dark Eldar Venoms and Harlequin Starweavers bring similar firepower for similar cost to a double-Cannon Vyper with Holo-Fields, and both alternatives have transport capacity too. Eldar Hornets (from Imperial Armour) can bring amazing firepower for only slightly higher cost. So the only reason to field Vypers is because they are so cheap.

Vypers can now be fielded in squadrons of up to six, but there is no advantage in fielding squadrons at all—keep them solo unless you are out of Fast Attack slots for some reason.

You will probably only ever see Vypers in the context of a Guardian Battlehost, Guardian Stormhost or Windrider Host Formation—GW were smart enough to make these suboptimal units a mandatory selection.

Hemlock Wraithfighter

The poor cousin to the Crimson Hunter is now a force to be reckoned with! It still costs a big 185 pts, but comes with a pair of D Small Blast weapons (with -1 on the Destroyer table) and is now a Mastery Level 2 psyker with Telepathy, Runes of Battle, and Sanctic access. Its Mindshock Pod now inflicts a -2Ld debuff in a 12" bubble, which synergises very nicely with various Harlequin and Dark Eldar Ld-based shenanigans. As written, Mindshock debuffs from multiple Hemlocks do stack on enemy units; if this is not FAQ'd/Errata'd by GW, then a pair of Hemlocks in midfield could be simply devastating to non-Fearless infantry-based armies.

Heavy Support

Dark Reapers

The last of the Aspect shrines, Dark Reapers received a nice price drop in this codex to only 75 pts for a 3-man squad. Their Reaper Launchers are still 48" S5 AP3 Heavy 2—that can move and fire thanks to Slow and Purposeful—and it still costs 8 pts to unlock Starshot (Krak) Missiles for the 48" S8 AP3 Heavy 1 fire mode.

Reapers ignore Jink saves thanks to their Reaper Rangefinders (sorry Windriders!) and also get a reroll To Hit against Zooming Flyers, Swooping Monsters, Turbo-Boosting Jetbikes and Flat-Out Skimmers thanks to their Inescapable Accuracy rule (note they will still be Snap Firing at Zooming and Swooping targets).

A Reaper Exarch is more expensive than those of other Aspects—at 15 pts rather than the standard 10 pts—but he does come with the Fast Shot rule that increases his number of shots fired by one. Not that big a deal when he's just equipped with the default Reaper Launcher, but if you shell out a little 8 pts for Starshot (Krak) Missiles, or a big 20 pts for an Eldar Missile Launcher (including Starhawk/Flakk Missiles) then the extra shot means a lot more. Keep in mind that this also works with Emplaced Weapons on Fortifications—so yes, you can fire a third shot from that Macro Cannon if you're hiding in an Aquilla Strongpoint...

Assuming you're not building some Fast Shot Fortification shenanigans into your army list, I would just run Reapers in a 5-man squad with the Starshot missile upgrade. These can kill 4-5 Marines (or Windriders) per turn, or take 2-3 HP off an AV12 vehicle. If you want more Reapers then I recommend taking a MSU approach, since there is no significant benefit to massing them into a larger squad.

Finally, note that Reapers lost access to Night Vision in this codex.

Maugan Ra

The last of the Phoenix Lords to review, Maugan Ra costs 195 pts and is basically just a shooting beatstick who offers very little utility to an army. He does have Night Vision—in case you're desperate to get it back for your Reapers—but his only other special rule is Whirlwind of Death: shoot twice in the shooting phase. Not bad considering that gives him eight 36" S6 AP5 Rending shots, potentially at two different targets, which could be two separate targets to his squad, since his fixed Trait is Split Fire. But is that really worth 195 pts? No.

Vaul's Wrath Support Battery

You get one Artillery piece and two Guardian crewmen for 30 pts, and can double or triple this initial unit size for 30 or 60 pts respectively. Their default weapon is the Shadow Weaver, a 48" S6 AP6 Barrage/Monofilament Small Blast. This is not a terrible weapon for killing infantry, and a unit of three is cheap and quite capable of sniping valuable models out of units if you can Guide them.

Alternatively, you can exchange your Shadow Weavers for Vibro Cannon for no extra cost. The Vibro Cannon is an interesting weapon, in that its profile improves depending on how many hit the target. If only a single Vibro Cannon hits then it is resolved S7 AP4; if two hit then both are S8 AP3, and if all three hit then all are S9 AP2. If you want to run Vibro Cannon then you really need to run three of them with Guide/Prescience them to get any good use out of them.

It is fortunate then that Support Batteries are a popular place to hide Eldar HQ characters; their Artillery type means that your otherwise-squishy Farseer or Spiritseer can enjoy most of the benefits of being T7 whilst attached to the unit (beware, their Instant Death threshold is still S6). A basic Farseer attached to a Support Battery will typically roll his powers on Divination to get Prescience and hope for Perfect Timing. This is not a terrible option, but if I was looking to hide a Farseer or Spiritseer in a foot-slogging unit then I would probably look to a 20-man Guardian Defender squad instead, because I am just not a fan of static shooters.

Lastly, a Support Battery may upgrade their weapons to D-Cannon for 35 pts per model. Yes, this is another big scary D weapon, with a Small Blast and Barrage—but it only has 24" range on a static shooter, so if this scares you then you have bigger problems with this game.

Like all other Guardian units, a Support Battery can take a Warlock. If you're taking a three-gun unit then I would consider an extra 35 pts for a Warlock points well spent—adding Shrouded to an Artillery unit makes them very hard to shift in the shooting phase.

Falcons

All three types of Eldar gunship can now be taken in squadrons of up to three tanks (of the same type), and also gained special rules that only apply when taken in a squadron.

Falcons are still 125 pts base, but their turret heavy weapon options have all been discounted by 5 pts (except the Eldar Missile Launcher) so the standard Scatter Laser+Shuriken Cannon+Holo-Fields Falcon is now only 155 pts.

Falcons only get their squadron special rule when taken at full-size, but wow, is it good! Cloudstrike confers no-scatter Deep Strike to the squadron, and they can be placed in squadron coherency (4" separation) instead of in contact as per normal Deep Strike rules.

Cloudstrike may not seem so special on its own, but remember that Falcons still have transport capacity—many players forgot this during Wave Serpent Edition! This means you can load up any of your three Falcons with something nasty and short ranged—Fire Dragons, for example—and precision drop them next to the enemy ready to disembark, Battle Focus and shoot.

Given that the typical cost of a Webway Portal to precision-deliver just one Wraithguard squad is 200 pts (Archon, Kabalite squad, Venom), and this is nearly pure tax (other than an Objective Secured Venom), I would much rather spend 465 pts to get a powerful gunship squadron that can precision-deliver up to three Dragon squads to up to three different targets!

Fire Prisms

Fire Prisms suffer from the colloquial 'one-shot syndrome' much like Tau Hammerheads. No matter how good that single shot is, they only have one chance To Hit, one chance To Wound or penetrate armour, and can be blocked by one cover or invulnerable save.

For 125 pts you get a tank with a Prism Cannon, that can fire with three different profiles: 60" S9 AP1 Lance, 60" S7 AP2 Small Blast, or 60" S5 AP3 Large Blast. For 10 pts extra you can get a Shuriken Cannon, but Prisms don't want to be within 24" of the enemy, so I would normally save those points instead.

In a squadron, Prisms get the Linked Fire rule: instead of shooting each Prism Cannon normally, you can nominate one model to shoot once, with +1S -1AP for each other Prism that does not fire. Now the first problem with this rule should be obvious: you're just making that 'one-shot syndrome' even worse! But the more subtle problem is that it's only really useful for pairs of Prisms; this lets you fire a S10 AP1 Lance shot, or a S6 AP2 Large Blast, but the contribution of a third Prism can't make the former any more powerful, and the latter is already wounding most infantry on a 2+ and bypassing their armour saves. Since you can't choose to link the fire of just two tanks in the squadron, and fire the third normally, their special rule is actually a detriment to full-sized squadrons; bad rules design, GW!

There are much better anti-tank and anti-personnel shooters throughout this codex, so sadly Fire Prisms are just not a competitively viable unit.

Night Spinners

Thankfully the Fire Prism is a dual-build kit, and its counterpart—the Night Spinner—is a hidden gem in this codex. You get a grav-tank for only 100 pts, which is a great start, especially if you're building for armour saturation. It comes equipped with a Doomweaver and, as usual, can also be upgraded with a Shuriken Cannon for 10 pts—worthwhile if you're using your Spinners for close-support, but unnecessary if you're using them as artillery.

The Doomweaver has two fire modes: a Template S7 AP6 Monofilament/Torrent  or 48" S7 AP6 Monofilament/Barrage Large Blast. The former profile is great for close-support of other tanks in a mech list, while the latter is great for killing enemy infantry camping on backfield Objectives.

Unlike the Fire Prism, the Night Spinner actually has a good squadron rule that rewards taking full-sized squadrons. Monofilament Shroud works similarly to Linked Fire, with one Spinner firing on behalf of the entire squadron. However, Monofilament Shroud is so much better, since each non-firing Spinner provides +1S and an extra shot to the firer. And because its a Barrage weapon, it gets resolved as a Multiple Barrage, regardless of whether you use Monofilament Shroud or fire normally, so there is no disadvantage to using the special rule to get the Strength bonus.

A full-sized squadron can therefore fire three S9 AP6 Monofilament Large Blasts as a Multiple Barrage. Now those Spinners are even good against vehicles, especially if they are parked close together!

Three AV12 hulls for only 300 pts, with a triple S9 Barrage is quite the bargain. Add the extra utility of the Torrent firing mode and you have a very nice Heavy Support tank squadron. I can see Spinners being the Eldar equivalent of Astra Militarum Wyverns.

Finally, a note on the old Crystal Targeting Matrix trick; it still works, and moving 30" then firing a Torrent Template can be quite the nasty surprise for an unprepared opponent. But at 25 pts per vehicle, this is not a cheap gimmick, and I'm sure you could find more efficient uses of your points.

War Walkers

These guys are lightly-armoured Walkers with potent firepower; for 60 pts you get a single AV10 HP2 Walker with two Shuriken Cannon, that can be taken in squadrons of up to three models. They can upgrade their weapons to Scatter Lasers for free, or Bright Lances or Starcannon for 5 pts each. The Eldar Missile Launcher is also available, but at 15 pts it is really just too expensive to consider.

War Walkers will nearly always be seen in full-sized squadrons to maximise their efficient firepower. Dual Scatter Lasers and dual Bright Lances were both previously popular configurations for these guys, but I suspect they may have been edged out of their old niche in this new codex by Scatter Laser Windriders and cheaper Crimson Hunters. I expect you'll only see these guys as a mandatory choice in certain Formations.

Finally, Walkers have a permanent 5++ invulnerable save from their Power Fields, which unlike Holo-Fields are not conditional on being mobile. It makes you wonder from a fluff perspective why the two different fields exist; why would the Eldar make two different fields that provide equivalent protection, but one type only works if you're moving? It'll take yet another codex rewrite to reconcile these rules with fluff...

Wraithlord

Yet another old model left behind by rules evolution and new model releases. You get a naked Monster for 120 pts that can take a small melee buff (Ghostglaive) for 5 pts, or pay excessively for up to two heavy weapons. I'm not of the design rationale behind it, but the Wraithlord pays 15 pts extra for its heavy weapons than everything else in the codex. This tax effectively makes its base cost 150 pts before two heavy weapons, which is more than half the cost of a Wraithknight for much less than half the capability. Bizzare design, GW.

The only use I see for Wraithlords is running them with just a Ghostglaive and two Flamers for 125 pts, within a Craftworld Warhost Detachment. This gives them a guaranteed 6" Run thanks to Matchless Agility, so they should be able to get into melee by turn two or three at the latest. Once there they just chop up 2-3 guys per turn whilst laughing off most of the attacks coming back at you; Krak Grenades that hit need a 6 To Wound and you still get a 3+ save, so if your target lacks Power Fists or Meltabombs then you can just attrite them over the course of a few turns.

Alternatively, take a Wraithknight with a Ghostglaive instead, and do some real damage in close combat...

Lord of War

Wraithknight

Finally, the much maligned Wraithknight!

Now a Gargantuan, the new Wraithknight has much less to fear from Poison and Sniper weapons, and Instant Death now only strips D3 Wounds, but don't be fooled into thinking your big expensive model is unkillable—this new codex alone has significantly advanced D weapon proliferation, and it would be very foolish to expect this trend to stop any time soon... And the bigger they are, the more it hurts when they get D-shotted!

The Wraithknight comes with two Heavy Wraithcannon as standard: 36" D AP2 single shot weapons, that are great for killing Monsters/Gargantuans/Supers, especially other Wraithknights. As a Gargantuan, remember that the Wraithknight can split its fire between multiple targets, so if you're not shooting at a Monster/Gargantuan/Super then you should probably aim to nuke two smaller targets instead; but remember he is still only BS4, so missing is a non-trivial risk.

Also note that the Wraithknight can now make use of its two extra heavy weapon mounts, since a Gargantuan can fire all its weapons in the shooting phase. But I would probably not bother with heavy weapons, since they start at 15 pts for a Shuriken Cannon or Scatter Laser, and you can get those cheaper elsewhere; and for the last time, Starcannon are bad, leave them at home!

The Suncannon is now a pointless weapon variant; why would you want a few S6 AP2 Small Blasts when you can have two D shots for the same price? The Ghostglaive variant, however, is promising; the Wraithknight is fast, has four Attacks, Hammer of Wrath, Stomp, and is very hard to hurt in close combat—so why not Leeroy him across the table and start ripping through the enemy ranks with a huge-normous D sword?

I don't think you'll see multiples of them in most lists—maybe two at most—because they are now 55 pts more expensive at 295 pts and have not really changed that much in their offensive output. Overspending on resilience at the cost of offensive output does not make good army lists.

Avatar of Khaine

Once upon a time, the Avatar represented the apex predator of 40k—the might T6 Monstrous Creature! But the game has progressed a long way since then, and the poor old Avatar is very much a dinosaur—and not a scary T-Rex or Velociraptor, but a slow, fat herbivore just waiting to become a tasty snack for a new apex predator.

For a huge 195 pts you get a slow Monster that is not super-tough by modern standards at 'only' T6/W5/3+/5++, although he is immune to Melta weapons which helps a little bit. He has a 12" S8 AP1 Melta shooting attack and five S8 AP1 Armourbane Attacks at WS10 I10, so he is great for killing vehicles and other Monsters... But I'm pretty sure you can find easier ways to do that for 195 pts.

No, there is only one reason to take an Avatar, and that is for his 12" buff bubble—he confers Fearless, Furious Charge and Rage to all Eldar in range. This is actually quite significant, since one of the biggest problems with running non-mechanised Eldar armies is Morale, specifically for Jetbikes that flee 3D6" and can zoom off the table before they can Regroup. If you take an Avatar within a Craftworld Warhost Detachment then he benefits from Matchless Agility and can keep up with your Jetbikes and keep them fighting-fit.

But is the Avatar worth 195 pts just for his Fearless bubble? A Farseer can do the same thing for half the price—if he generates the Will of Asuryan psychic power—so I guess it depends on whether you want to gamble on Morale or not...

Formations

Wow, it's been a long journey, but we're almost at the finish line! Big congratulations if you made it this far in a single reading!

The last thing we'll look at in this codex review are the Formations; we've touched on several of them so far as we reviewed the individual units, but it's worth spending some time looking at the Formations in detail, especially in their trade-offs between taxes and benefits.

Guardian Battlehost

This Formation comprises:

  • 1 Farseer
  • 3 Guardian Defender squads
  • 1 Vyper squadron
  • 1 War Walker squadron
  • 1 Support Battery
  • 0-1 Warlock Conclave
This Formation is one of the three mandatory options for the Craftworld Warhost Detachment, so taking this Formation automatically unlocks Matchless Agility. Other benefits of this Formation are a free heavy weapon for each Guardian squad, and shooting-only Preferred Enemy for the Vypers/Walkers/Battery if they target something within 12" of a Guardian squad.

If you're taking this Formation then I would keep the Guardian squads minimised and give them a free Eldar Missile Launcher so they can plink away at Flyers. The Vyper is a tax, so just keep it a single model squadron with a second Shuriken Cannon at a nice cheap 50 pts. Likewise with the Walkers, I would just keep it as a cheap single model with dual Scatter Lasers for 60 pts. If you're not going to use the Farseer elsewhere in your army, then he can hang out with a full-sized Vibro Cannon Battery and buff them with Divination; otherwise I would just keep the Battery as a single Shadow Weaver for sniping special/heavy weapons out of squads.

Don't bother with the optional Warlock Conclave in this Formation, they are really only worth taking in the Seer Council Formation that we will review shortly.

If you keep it all cheap then this Formation should only cost you 510 pts, and congratulations, you've unlocked Matchless Agility! Of course, if you were serious about building a Footdar army, then I would base it on this Formation and bulk out the Vypers/Walkers/Battery to maximise the benefits of Preferred Enemy. The Guardian squads can be bigger, and should get Warlock leaders to protect your investment—likewise for the Battery.

Guardian Stormhost

This Formation is just like the Guardian Battlehost, with Storm Guardians instead of Guardian Defenders. Given that Storm Guardians are an inferior unit to Guardian Defenders, it follows that this Formation is inferior to the Guardian Battlehost. However, this Formation might get more use out of Preferred Enemy, since Storm Guardians are more likely to be within 12" of the enemy than Guardian Defenders. But I would skip this Formation in any kind of competitive list.

Windrider Host

This Formation comprises:

  • 1 Farseer Skyrunner
  • 1 Warlock Skyrunner Conclave
  • 3 Windrider squads
  • 1 Vyper squadron
This is another mandatory option for the Craftworld Warhost Detachment, but while it unlocks Matchless Agility, none of its models can actually benefit from the rule, so you should only take this if you have other Formations within the Warhost that could benefit from the Run boost.

This Formation has an ok unique special rule, Tempest of Blades: One Use Only Shred for all Shuriken weapons for a single shooting phase, as long as your Farseer is still alive. Considering that most of your Shuriken weapons would be S6, which wounds most infantry on a 2+ anyway, this is not a huge boost. The constant Preferred Enemy enjoyed by the Vypers/Walkers/Battery in the other two Warhost mandatory options is generally going to be better.

Furthermore, since Windriders will probably want to take Scatter Lasers for the extra range, this Formation is really not that great. Plus it forces you to take a Warlock Skyrunner Conclave, which is not that great outside the Seer Council Formation.

I would skip this Formation, unless you were taking another Formation that really needed Matchless Agility. A Combined Arms Detachment with Objective Secured Scatter Laser Windriders, and no Warlock/Vyper tax, is nearly always going to be a better option.

Seer Council

This Formation comprises:

  • 2 Farseers
  • 5+ Warlocks
The two Farseers are permanently attached to the Warlock Conclave to make a single unit, and the Skyrunner upgrade is an all-or-nothing option.

This is one of the best Formations in the codex; all its members Harness the Warp on a 3+ instead of 4+, a huge bonus to psychic reliability. Check out these numbers:


A Farseer with Spirit Stone in a Seer Council can cast the Apocalyptic Blast version of Eldritch Storm with over 80% reliability using only four Warp Charge and his Runes rerolls—if that doesn't impress you, then nothing will! Even the Warlocks can cast all their powers with over 80% reliability using only two Warp Charge.

Some may consider Warlocks somewhat nerfed in this codex, since a Conclave of 7+ models will only generate three psychic powers (plus the Primaris), due to gaining the Brotherhood of Psykers rule. However, I like this change, because it means that critical powers can never be sniped out of the unit, since you have full control of what powers you lose as you take casualties.

A Seer Council should always be upgraded to Skyrunners; that 15 pts per model does add up quickly, but it makes such a big difference:

  • A 3+ armour save that can be improved to 2+ with Protect
  • A 4+ Jink save that can be improved to 2+ with Conceal or Shrouding
  • Jetbike mobility, including movement options in three phases
That last point is really significant, as a Seer Council can close on the enemy in the movement phase, cast Witchfires in the psychic phase (e.g. Psychic Shriek, Eldritch Storm, Vortex of Doom) then move out of enemy threat range in the shooting or assault phase.

Your Warlocks should always roll all their powers on Runes of Battle to get Protect and Conceal, and you should take 7+ models if you can afford it to maximise your powers.

Your two Farseers should carry the Spirit Stone and Shard of Anaris (for Fearless) between them, and the Spirit Stone Farseer should roll on Runes of Fate to get Fortune. If you are facing low-AP Ignores Cover firepower, or cannot avoid melee against low-AP attacks, then the other Farseer should roll on Sanctic to get Sanctuary; otherwise the second Farseer should roll on Telepathy for Invisibility.

If you want Hit & Run to recapture the glory of the infamous Seer Councils of 6th Ed, then your best option is to add Baharroth. He is not cheap at 170 pts, but he is Fearless so you don't need the Shard, making his real cost only 130 pts—which is actually cheaper than the old Baron+Kabalite tax! But I think that new-school Seer Councils will be much better as mobile shooters and debuffers than as an assault unit; run Wraithblades+Eldrad+Baharroth if you want a melee deathstar.

Aspect Host

Another great Formation, this one comprises three squads of any Aspect Warriors, with an Exarch in each unit. The entire Formation rerolls Morale/Pinning/Fear tests, and more significantly, gains either +1WS or +1BS (chosen pre-game).

This really is a huge buff, particularly for the shooty Aspects; having your Dragons, Hawks, Reapers and Spiders hitting on a 2+ makes these guys so much more dangerous and reliable. And because this buff affects all models in the Formation, if you buy dedicated transport Wave Serpents for your squads then those tanks can also enjoy BS5—this really helps to mitigate the loss of Laser Lock.

A +1WS buff for melee Aspects is less valuable, since you're only hitting on a 3+ at best, and it's unlikely you would want three assault Aspect squads in a competitive army at normal points levels. A dedicated transport Wave Serpent also does not care about a WS boost.

Three BS5 Dragon squads, mounted in three Falcons (with no-scatter Deep Strike), is a phenomenal alpha strike capability—while D-Scythe Wraithguard with a Webway Portal still represents the best way to nuke a single target, Dragons in Falcons are by far the best way to nuke multiple targets at once and cripple your opponent on turn two.

Dire Avenger Shrine

This Formation comprises three Dire Avenger squads, with the limitation that only one may include an Exarch—but you don't have to take an Exarch at all if you don't want to, and I probably wouldn't.

The Dire Avenger Shrine benefits from the same special rules as the Aspect Host, but also gets an additional unique rule, Killing Strike: a One Use Only extra shot on all the Shuriken Catapults in the Formation. That's up to 90 S4 AP5 Bladestorm shots at BS5 when you need it most; in other words, that's 15 dead Marines in cover (or Windriders) in one salvo, divided amongst up to three different targets.

If you are going to run this Formation then you really want to go all-in: full-sized Avenger squads and Serpents to get them safely into range. If you cannot afford that then you are probably better off taking Objective Secured MSU Avengers in Objective Secured Serpents within a Combined Arms Detachment.

Crimson Death

My personal favourite Formation in the codex, the Crimson Death comprises three Crimson Hunters, including one Exarch. Three of the best anti-air Flyer in the game—zero tax—pure winning.

In addition to the phenomenal firepower and Skyhunter of the normal Crimson Hunter, this Formation confers Preferred Enemy against Flyers and Flying Monsters. This is a really nice buff because it makes them similarly reliable against all airborne targets—I never liked how my old Crimson Hunters had no rerolls against Flying Monsters.

But it gets better; in addition to their offensive buff, the Crimson Death also has the Evasive Manoeuvres rule, which provides a constant 4++ cover save, without needing to Jink and compromise their firepower! And if you do choose to Jink then your 4++ becomes rerollable.

At only 440 pts, taking the Crimson Death basically guarantees your air supremacy against nearly any opposition. And given how vulnerable Windriders are to certain Flyers (e.g. the good old Helldrake), and the demise of the Wave Serpent as an anti-air unit, I think we will see the Crimson Death in a lot of competitive Eldar lists. We will probably also see this Formation being parachuted into other Factions needing solid anti-air capability.

Also note that there is very little reason to field the Nightwing (from Imperial Armour) any more, because the Crimson Death simply offers significantly better firepower and similar survivability for a similar cost.

Wraith Host

This is quite a big (and expensive) Formation, comprising:

  • 1 Spiritseer
  • 3 Wraithguard or Wraithblade squads
  • 1 Wraithlord
  • 1 Wraithknight
The key advantage to taking this big Formation is gaining Battle Focus on all your Wraiththings; combine this with Matchless Agility if you also have a Guardian Battlehost or Windrider Host and you mitigate the main weakness of Wraiththings, their slowness.

This Formation also gets Guided Wraithsight: all the Wraiththings can reroll To Hit against targets within 18" of their Spiritseer. If you're to deliver a Wraithguard squad by Webway Portal then I recommend adding the Spiritseer to that squad, which will enable you to buff the reliability of your whole Formation against a good chunk of the enemy army.

There are lots of tricks you can play with this Formation. A 'Wraithguard and Friends' deathstar built from this Formation can Run a full 9" each turn with Jain Zar or Baharroth attached. D-Scythe Wraithguard love being able to Run 6" and then shoot, lessening the need for Webway Portals. Wraithlords can actually be useful as mobile gun platforms.

Unfortunately, the minimum cost of a Wraith Host is 935 pts; when combined with the 500+ pts you need to spend on a Guardian Battlehost or Windrider Host to unlock Matchless Agility, you probably won't have many points left over to finish off your list. Anti-air is probably going to be hard to fit in, and there are quite a few Flyers and Flying Monsters around that will wreck this style of army.

Conclusion

And that's it! Craftworld Eldar, analysed in depth.

The previous Eldar codex was the biggest single defining factor of the competitive 40k metagame. The departure of the old book will significantly change the face of 40k: infantry, light vehicles and Flyers will emerge once more, free of the fear of dakka Serpents. And the arrival of this new book will shift things even further: Monsters, Gargantuans, Supers and deathstars will retreat in fear of D weapon proliferation. I expect we will see an end to the current age of Titanhammer, and a resurgence of Mech MSU and horde builds.

It's very important to assess this new codex with the new metagame in mind—don't judge the new book against opposition adapted to the old book.

On a final note, it is very apparent how old the Eldar Faction is when you look at the vast number of units in their codex; they've had 25+ years of rules expansion with very few subtractions from their order of battle. I think GW have done an excellent job with this new book, both in achieving good internal balance and making nearly every single one of 39 different units useful in some way. In fact, there are only a few suboptimal units in the entire codex, and they are generally not terrible, just clearly inferior to a direct competitor within the Faction.

I have constrained this review to the codex itself, and will take a fresh look at the Eldar units available in Imperial Armour in a forthcoming post. Until then, go forth and have some games with and against the new Eldar, and please share your experiences in the comments section.

"Their arrogance is matched only by their firepower."

80 comments:

  1. Víctor Yanguas4 May 2015 at 22:45

    mandiblasters doesn't allow you to snipe models. It only says that if a SS is engaged against multiple units it must choose which unit takes the wound.

    Unit, not model

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  2. Jonathon Bunn5 May 2015 at 02:34

    Good comprehensive review - way easier for me to link it than write my own :)


    The Seer Council is ridiculous. 6th ed Farseers in 7th were hit-or-miss compared to the guaranteed Autarch bonus, but the new runes put them much closer to a reliable bet. Seer Council bonuses push that overboard, personally. I ran a single Farseer on foot this past weekend and was hard-pressed not to find a use for Eldritch Storm - I can only imagine its utility on one or two bike Seers with a decent warp charge battery backup.


    Avatar in the Warhost was fun. Obviously not the most competitive option, but his damage output is surprising with 7 Str 9 Armorbane attacks on the charge. He's relatively strong against the shooting attacks from Imperial Knights (prior to the top-mounted krak missile release), so he has some use as an odd counter to a random Ad Lance/Knight Primary player locally.

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  3. Mandiblasters affect "a unit engaged with the model" and wounds must be allocated to base contact first. This means that Mandiblaster wounds are resolved on a model by model basis, with the wound being allocated to a model in base contact. This allowed sniping.

    Jain Zar is a typo, and you are right on the other two points, thanks for spotting those and letting me know. But I hope you got more out of this article than just editorial practice ;P

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  4. Thanks Jonathan. Yes the Seer Council is very strong now, but I think it will be moderated by the increase in D weapons. They still die easily to the big D!

    I think the Avatar deserved a price cut, but if you have a Battlehost then you probably have enough infantry to get good value from him bubble.

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  5. Rudd Olmstead5 May 2015 at 13:35

    Excellent, insightful, detailed analysis, which seems to be the norm for your articles.
    There is tons of useful analysis here and I appreciate the obvious effort you put in as well. One small note: you say that an Autarch with Swooping Hawk Wings or Warp Jump Generator cannot embark on vehicles/buildings.... actually, Jetpack and Jump Infantry can embark on buildings, just not vehicles (unless specifically designated, like Jump Infantry in a Stormraven).
    One other point. I agree with so much of your article, but one area which I differ with you on is the value of Karandras (especially vs Jain Zar). While she is not doubt an exceptional "buffer" with her great rules, Wargear, and WL trait, Karandras has something that almost no one else in the game does.... 6 x S8 AP2 at I7 on the charge.... throw in his Scorpion's Bite, which amounts to an additional S10 AP2 attack at I10 (against non-vehicles only) and his WS7 AND his WL Trait (one turn re-rolling 1s to Wound means he is basically auto-wounding with all of his attacks on that turn against almost all non-vehicle units in the game) and he can take almost any squad or character on the table-top single-handedly.

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  6. Hi Rudd, thanks for the feedback, I appreciate it :)

    Good point on Jump/Jet and Buildings, I'll fix that. This would mean that Wings allow you to Skyleap from inside a building... I don't know if that was intended by GW!

    I agree that Karandras is a great beatstick, but for his price I just expect more. There are other ways to do direct damage to the enemy for 200 pts, so I expect some utility from named characters too. Eldrad, Jain Zar, Baharroth all add something to the unit they join, or your whole army, and that's what makes them special in my assessment, and worth 10% or more of your points in a 'normal' size game.

    But for big games there is certainly a role for Karandas, especially if you Infiltrate him solo to hunt backfield.

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  7. Great write up! I really enjoyed reading it. The changes to the serpent shield are great (don't forget that they cleared up that it is a front facing hull mounted weapon). The lack of twin linked s7 fire will hurt a lot of Eldar builds. Av13 will be back, heck even av12 will survive longer. My personal favourites are - Dire Avenger Shrine, Swooping Hawks, triple Falcons and triple Night Spinners.
    I think that putting one squad of Fire Dragons and two squads of Dire Avengers in the Falcons can be quite useful as well. All round usefulness.

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  8. the_cosmic_serpent6 May 2015 at 03:11

    You are wrong about the formations. Only those with Datasheets can be used outside of the warhost. It explains that clearly in the new codex (formations shown in the back of this book may be used on their own) or worded something like that. The other auxiliary formations that do not have a datasheet in the back can only be used as part of an Eldar Warhost Detachment.

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  9. In order to exit a building you must use the rules for disembarking a vehicle. Using Skyleap to exit a building would be like using deep strike to enter it.

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  10. Thanks Thomas, I'm glad you enjoyed it. You are spot-on that the loss of S7 is a REALLY big deal. Mixing Dragons and Avengers could work to get the Aspect Host cheaper, but I think I'd rather have Dragons if I can afford them ;-)

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  11. Incorrect, here is the EXACT wording: "Note that you can also include any of the Formations presented in this section as part of a Battle-Forged army." There is no requirement for a Formation to have a datasheet to be used, either inside a Warhost or as a normal Formation.

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  12. Except that Skyleap doesn't require a model to exit the building, it is simply "removed from the board". I agree it is silly and probably an unintended loophole, but it is legit the way they've written it...

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  13. Barry Gregory6 May 2015 at 08:42

    Not so sure. You are correct that it says that but I'm not sure that all the things in the warhost are described as "formations".

    In fact it says that the slots in the Warhost Force Organisation Chart are a combination of "Formations" and "Army List Entries". So some are "formations" and some are merely "Army List Entries".

    So it is correct that the formations (easily distinguished by the "formation" icon later in the section) from the warhost can be included in a battle forged army but those that are merely "Army List Entries" cannot. Nowhere in this book or in the main rules does it say that you can put any "Army List Entry" into a battleforged list.

    "Army List Entries" would be those slots from the Warhost that represent a single entry from the army list - so the Heroes of the Craftworld, Living Legends, Engines of Vaul, Wraith Constructs, Outcasts, all of which are merely "Army List Entries" and nowhere described as "Formations".

    Of course, as a Warhost is a special formation, the Warhost as a whole (including its constituent formations and "Army List Entries") can be part of a Battleforged army.

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  14. the_cosmic_serpent6 May 2015 at 11:37

    A formation defined by the Codex Craftworld Eldar is on page 96. As listed by the book it is noted with a specific formation icon.



    Also you didn't list the whole paragraph from which you paraphrased.


    It starts out with "use the datasheets later in this section that correspond to the models in your collection." then it ends the same paragraph with what you posted. Both sentences are referring to the same section that happens to be the datasheets in.


    If you can show me where it lists Living legends, heroes of the craftworlds, wraithcontructs, etc with a formation icon in the Codex Craftworld Eldar codex than I will let you call them a formation. Otherwise they are just a unit choice, much like a fast attack, elite, heavy slot etc.

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  15. Incorrect.

    The Warhost DOES NOT have slots for HQ, Troops, etc like a Combined Arms Det. It ONLY has slots for FORMATIONS.

    EVERYTHING listed within the Warhost box is a Formation, even if it has no data sheet. For example, "Wraith-Constructs" is a Formation. It has to be, because there is no UNIT called "Wraith-Constructs". As a Formation, it can be dropped into any Battle-Forged list, in accordance with the Rulebook, and also as specified in the codex.

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  16. the_cosmic_serpent6 May 2015 at 12:11

    It has to be a formation because you interpret it to be? There is no rule saying it is a formation only that it is an auxiliary *choice* read pg 96 on how they define what is a formation and how those formation data sheets can be used according to the formation rules in the brb. It never states anywhere that all auxiliary choices are formations.

    and you didn't get my analogy I know fully that there are no HQ elite fast heavy etc slots in the war host, you missed the point

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  17. Hi Barry, I understand where you are coming from. If we follow your logic, please show me the "Army List Entry" for a "Wraith-Constructs" unit. I can't find any unit with that name. That is because a "Wraith-Constructs" is not a unit, it is a Formation.

    While this Formation does not have its own datasheet, it is still a Formation. It can still be added—independently—to any Battle-Forged list.

    This is not the first time this has happened. IIRC, the Necron Decurion includes a Formation that is just one squad of Flayed Ones.

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  18. And you are missing the point that everything in the Warhost—Core, Command, Auxiliary—are all Formations.

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  19. the_cosmic_serpent6 May 2015 at 12:15

    No they aren't only entries that follow the rules for the definition of a formation on pg 96.

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  20. So your argument is, "it's not a Formation, it just follows the rules for a Formation"?

    OK then, I'll just follow the rules for Formations and drop them into any list, outside the umbrella of a Warhost Detachment. No worries ;-)

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  21. Haha, it would only ever be for fun, to be honest a 200 point character with no invulnerable needs to offer a lot more to justify competitive inclusion

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  22. I'm not sold on the Aspect Host formation, at least not regarding Fire Dragons. Lets say you bring six of them (you will do that in a Falcon) that extra BS will give them five hits instead of four. Most of the time four hits will get the job done. It's better to bring Shrine avengers in the Falcons. The third squad will have to get another transport though.

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  23. Well, if you aren't still in the building you have exited the building. If you try to skyleap you leave the building in an incorrect manner thus it is not legal. It like saying that you deep strike into a building or transport because you didn't need to enter it as you were placed inside due to deep strike.

    Regarding this rules question, I demand a roll off as per the rules! :)

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  24. I think you've drastically understated the difference Destroyer weapons have on Wraithguard. Its D3 HP damage on a 2-5 and 6+D6 HP damage on a 6 to basically any vehicle in the game. Against an AV10 vehicle the D6+6 result makes its chance of being destroyed slightly higher than the old weapon, and significantly higher still for every other AV.

    This is much more deadly than Fire Dragons, who must be in melta range for proper effect. Combined with the significantly higher Toughness and leadership I think most people would be defaulting to Wraithguard in all but the smallest of games.

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  25. Your comparison is only meaningful if you could take 1-2 man squads of either type. In reality, you start at 5-man and can only grow from there. 5 Wraiths will overkill their target, 5 Dragons will kill it comfortably but not excessively. Either way your target is dead, but the Wraiths cost 50% more (or 100% more for D-Scythes).

    I think most good players will reconsider Wraiths when they realise they can get 3 Dragon squads for the price of 2 Wraith squads, and have more control over their damage distribution.

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  26. Well it's not really a meaningful comparison, because if your army needs something to kill hard targets then taking Avengers doesn't help you at all in that regard.

    I would not put Avengers in Falcons for two reasons:

    Avengers need to be in big squads to maximise their damage. Six Avengers is just not scary, even with Shrine bonuses. If you're not running big squads then you're better off with Objective Secured minimised squads instead.

    Avengers have no need to Deep Strike. They have a 30-36" threat range. They are better off as big squads in Serpents. Dragons, on the other hand, need to get much closer and benefit a lot more from Falcon Deep Strike.

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  27. Turn the page in your codex and read the definitions of 'Army List Entries'. They are synonomous with 'single unit'. That page also defines Formations as being made up of Army List Entries.

    Now look back at the Warhost. Take Wraith-Constructs as an example. There is no Army List Entry for 'Wraith-Constructs'. Furthermore, Wraith-Constructs is made up of three different Army List Entries. Both these characteristics indicate that it is a Formation, not an Army List Entry a.k.a. single unit.

    If GW had not attached unique names to each component of the Warhost then I would agree with you 100%. But they have written them with unique names, so by the definitions on the following page, they are not Army List Entries, they must be Formations.

    I do realise that the example text suggests that your interpretation is probably closest to what GW may have INTENDED. But those are not the rules that GW have WRITTEN. I would say "wait for the FAQ to be sure" but those don't really seem to happen any more.

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  28. Barry Gregory7 May 2015 at 07:59

    Nope it has slots for what it calls "Choices", which would seem to be either "Army List Entries" OR "Formations". Some choices are one thing and some are the other.

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  29. Barry Gregory7 May 2015 at 08:00

    Show me which of the items of the Warhost are "Army List Entries" then, as the codex claims that the warhost is made up of both formations AND Army List Entries. Things like Wraith constructs are just lists of army list entries (Wraithlord,hemlock and wraith knight), not formations I feel.

    If that's not the case then I can't see the "Army List Entries" that is says are there. Could you point them out because they have to be there somewhere.

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  30. Barry Gregory7 May 2015 at 08:06

    Nope they are "choices". And it says that the warhost contains both Formations and "Army List Entries" (like the Wraithknight in the example), not just formations.

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  31. Barry Gregory7 May 2015 at 08:07

    Nowhere does it say that an "Army List Entry" follows the rules for a formation, just that you can take it as a "choice" in the warhost.

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  32. Barry Gregory7 May 2015 at 08:13

    The Wraithknight and Yriel in the example are unambiguously called "Army List Entries" in the example. The book says that there are things called "Army List Entries" in the warhost. If all the "choices", even those that are never referred to as such, are actually formations - where are the elusive "Army List Entries" that are there?

    Answer, Exactly as in the example, they are those things of the same type as are called "Army List Entries" in the example (ie those single Army List Entries listed under headings like "Wraith Construct", Living Legend" etc., like Yirel and the wraithknight in the example).

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  33. Don't be utterly foolish. The example is completely clear, as is the Codex wording. Why on Earth would there even need to be a Battlefield Role assigned to any of the units listed in those boxes if they could be taken as Formations? You could just add a single one of them to any army, even one using an entirely different Codex, and claim to be Battleforged if that were the case. There is a Dataslate for every Formation in 40k, and an Army List Entry for every unit. The Formations you're imagining simply do not exist.

    Bottom line- you are completely wrong on this, and if you, or someone who reads this, turns up to a tournament with a list written according to this interpretation you'd better hope they allow Unbound, or you're going to see that list ruled illegal in short order. I'd hate to see someone waste a long drive and an entry fee on that, and so should you.

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  34. The old S10 distort gun reliably penerated av10 (all hits were penetrating hit) and glanced av11. The Destroyer gun is more powerful but also a little less reliable as rolls of one means no damage at all. That is good to bare in mind.

    Fire Dragons are probably better at destroying one tank (as they are much cheaper) but they lack resilience and survivability. The Wraightguard is on the other hand a continuous threat as a even a single one left unchecked can kill or destroy anything in your army.

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  35. If your opponent is going to leave your Wraithguard unchecked then winning is a foregone conclusion ;-P

    There's a reason "suicide squads" are named thusly.

    I've been meaning to write a post about the virtues of MSU building for quite a while now, and I think it will explain quite a few things if I do.

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  36. The resilience of the Wraightguard makes it less of a suicide unit than Fire dragons, who die to angry looks. A Wraightguard unit will tie up more of the opponents offensive capabilities as they need to be destroyed (or locked in a tarpit) to the last model. It is by no means impossible to kill a unit of 5 T6 models but it is way easier to kill a total of 10 T3 models.

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  37. That only holds true if your opponent is shooting you with small arms—if they are shooting special or heavy weapons then Wraiths and Dragons die equally.


    If my opponent shoots my squad with 5 meltaguns and rolls well then I lose either 5 Wraiths or 5 Dragons; in the former case I have nothing left, in the latter case I still have half my squad.


    Remember that with only a very few exceptions, more bodies trumps fewer tougher bodies. Would you rather face 50 Guardsmen or 20 Marines?


    All else being equal, I would always choose Dragons over Wraiths, because Dragons are better suited to MSU and MSU is the strongest way to build in 40k.

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  38. Well, if the fire dragons are close, small arms is an option and the special and heavy weapons can target other targets.

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  39. But a pen still doesn't guarantee its destruction. Most AV10 vehicles in the game only have two hull points which means only one shot from a Destroyer weapon will take it out with one hit more often than not. Even with open topped 4+ explodes from AP1 the Destroyer weapon has an edge in that situation.

    Dont forget the range. Five Fusion Gun shots from dragons on a Land Raider say will barely ding it up over 6" range, and an AV13 vehicle will lose an average of 1.1HP and get .18 Explodes! results. The Wraithguard will cause an average of 4.44 HP damage on ANY vehicle with non Devastating Hit rolls, and Devastate (D6+6HP) .444 of the time.

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  40. I mathhammered this out and the response may have been lost due to refreshing this page. The argument that Wraithguard are not a drastic improvement over the last codex, and that fire dragons are just are good are frankly false. Outside of melta range dragons have a less than even chance of destroying even AV12, and IN melta range less than even chance of destroying AV14, although there will be other effects immobilized etc. 5 Wraithguard will get 4.44 HP damage from non Devestating Hits and cause D6+6 HP damage NO SAVES ALLOWED .444 times per volley AGAINST ANY VEHICLE IN THE GAME.

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  41. Your preference for Striking Scorpions over Banshee's isn't quite as clear cut as that either. An AP3 weapon MEQ hard counter is apples and oranges when compared to an AP6 melee unit. Also Banshee's have a higher threat range on first turn owing to the fact the +3" applies to both run AND charge, meaning 30" threat range, not 27" as stated.

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  42. Jonathon Bunn8 May 2015 at 00:36

    This is variable due to target AV as described earlier. Nobody would argue that WG are worse in their current form, but what often gets lost is the fact that against many targets, it doesn't matter how much better they have become. The two situations that you've described happen to be times when WG are much better than Fire Dragons with an equal number of models. There are plenty of other events where FDs do the job, cost less, and take up a smaller footprint.

    We haven't covered the utility of being able to ignore an IKs ion shield with Battle Focus, the ability to have more than 6 models in most transports, nor the fact that it IS useful to explode a vehicle, something that FDs do much better than WG.

    Also, my rough calcs show FDs destroying an AV14 target ~85% of the time within Melta range.

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  43. A painting chaos8 May 2015 at 02:34

    Very nice review with lot of interesting points!

    As a fellow Eldar player I must join other who already pointed this out and tell you that unfortunely those 1-unit entries (Outcast, wraith construct, Heroes, etc) in the Warhost detachments are not Formations an so you can't use them outside the Warhost

    For something to be a Formation there must be a Formation Dataslate in the relevant Codex, like the ones we got for the Seer Council, Dire Avenger Shrine and so on :\

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  44. They can't Run and Charge...

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  45. This is spot on. If you pay 10 pts for an Exarch then you will take 3-4 HP from AV14 and average 2 Explodes—more than enough. Remember that Dragons get +3 on the damage table.

    I have never had trouble getting Dragons into Melta range, between transports, Battle Focus, and Fleet. And being able to move after shooting, or Run around to a Knight's unshielded side as Jonathan says, is very powerful.

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  46. Thanks, I'm glad you enjoyed it :-)

    I've been debating the Formation point with a few people both on- and off-site, and it does appear that the consensus interpretation is going with the GW example text rather that the strict RAW on the page. Once I'm satisfied with this interpretation I'll revise this guide.

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  47. A painting chaos8 May 2015 at 07:03

    Yup it was a fine read and it gave me some interesting ideas :)


    If I can chip in again, I would say that it's not the GW example text what make them not a formation.


    A formation is a pretty precise thing defined by the main rulebook: a formation is a dataslate that list units, restrictions and benefict. So to have a Formation you must have a Formation Dataslate that list what's in there, the restriction and the beneficts.



    In the new Eldar codex you can find 8 said Formation Dataslates both none of them are for the 1-unit entries of the Warhost wich exists only within the Warhost itself

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  48. Ah, apologies. I dont actually play Eldar although a friends army lives on my shelf. Not much fleet in my codex. Still, mobility has its uses beyond the first and second turns, although I'll grant you only in a battle that isn't going decidedly one way or another.



    Banshee's are not better than just basic marines, they're better against anything with a 3+ save. Thats a marine armies entire foot gunline that are vulnerable to banshee's which will cost quite a bit less. Granted their lower survivability will be a problem getting them in, but that can depend on terrain and existence of covered assault routes.

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  49. No worries. The difference between Banshees and Scorpions against the T4/3+ profile is really very small—ten Banshees kill five Marines on the charge, while Scorpions kill four. And in every other match-up, the Scorpions trump the Banshees significantly; if Marines are your primary concern, Scorpions are three times better than Banshees at killing Terminators, so I would still go for the Scorpions.


    Having +3 to cover saves and a base 3+ armour save just makes Scorpions better again. It's all well and good hoping for favourable terrain to allow your Banshees to get into combat, but Scorpions make their own cover. They are overall just a more reliable and effective unit, which is a pity really because there is no good reason to take Banshees at all, which is not good internal balance.

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  50. Bit of a rounding error there. Five scorpions will only kill 1.65 marines on the charge where five scorpions will kill 2.5. That is 66% better for 23% less cost. This is unupgraded. Scorpions only become good at 115 points with the claw on the exarch, where you could almost take TWO units of banshee's and potentially be chopping up two units of MEQ gunline at a time.

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  51. Sorry Nasty but I really don't know how you're getting those numbers! Are you forgetting Mandiblasters?

    A Banshee has 3 attacks on the charge, gets 1.5 hits, 0.5 wounds and 0.5 unsaved wounds. In subsequent rounds she does 0.33 unsaved wounds.

    A Scorpion does 0.5 wounds with Mandiblasters, and 0.17 unsaved wounds. Then he has 3 attacks on the charge, gets 1.5 hits, 0.75 wounds and 0.25 unsaved wounds. Total 0.42 unsaved wounds. In subsequent rounds he does 0.5 unsaved wounds.

    Multiply that out by 10 models and Banshees kill 5 Marines on the charge for 130 pts, while Scorpions kill 4 Marines on the charge for 170 pts. Scorpions are more likely to get into melee intact, have better staying power once there, and do more damage than Banshees in subsequent fight phases. For only a 30% difference in price.

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  52. Ah I see, the scorpion chainsword gives +1S.
    That is really good.

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  53. Another good write up! Oddly my digital codex doesn't have the Crimson Death formation special rule for the 4+ save thing. Only the preferred enemy rule.

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  54. With Vypers being overshadowed by troop bikes and allied transport bikes, what kind of change do you think they need to be viable as gunships? Another points reduction, cheaper missiles, come with holofields standard like the Venom?

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  55. Thanks! The eBook has some errors, apparently it also gives Jetbikes to Rangers!!

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  56. All they need is the same rule as Crimson Death, or Shining Spears at worse, to give them an auto cover save that improves if they Jink. Or free Holofields would work too, but the former is more fluff-aligned.

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  57. Haha I did read that but that's been fixed I think as they don't have jetbikes in mine.

    They seem v slow issuing fixes and FAQs these days.

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  58. A painting chaos15 May 2015 at 22:16

    Good revision!


    One thing I noticied in the last couple of days is that the +1 BS/WS rule of the Aspect Host is applied to "every model in the formation" so to any DT you buy for the 3 Aspect units.


    BS5 dual-cannon Serpents for a Bladestorm fest ?
    A re-rollable 2+ Skyfire missile?
    Not that all the other heavy weapons are bad ...

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  59. What was the revision?

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  60. That is a really great pick-up! I'll add that to the post :-)

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  61. Lots of little fixes throughout the post.

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  62. Archon Malan'tai23 May 2015 at 15:09

    Huge thing. /Did Banshees get assault grenades??? or are they still Init 1 assaulting into difficult terrain, and now without the -5 Init masks, everyone will just punch them to death as well as shoot them up at least a full round before they arrive?

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  63. Banshees did not get assault grenades, but their Acrobatic rule ignores Initiative penalties for charging through terrain. But that is not enough to make them a worthy alternative to Scorpions.

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  64. Could you possibly equip with wraithcannon and ghost glaive as the points are the same it would still be worth the same amount of points but boosts versatility 1st wraithcannon 2nd unit of high point models amied at with wraithcannon and then assaulted giving maximum casualties

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  65. also can any psyker use the warp charges that are in the bank or is just the one. And if so is it just those in a same unit because I was planning on running eldrad 2 Jetseers and a spiritseer but it seems like like eldrad 1 jetseer and 5ish warlocks would be better
    And can eldrad replace a farseer in the seer council

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  66. Hi Joseph, unfortunately you can't equip a Wraithknight with cannon+glaive; the only options are cannon+cannon, or glaive+shield. That is one of the inherent limitations of the Wraithknight compared to say an Imperial Knight; the WK is ~300 pts for either pure melee or shooting, while in the IK is ~400 pts for versatility.

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  67. Yes, all your Warp Charge sits in a single pool that any of your pskyers can use. So you can have a bunch of Warlocks or Spiritseers in different squads all acting as "batteries" for your Farseers.

    You can take Eldrad as one of the Farseers in a Seer Council, but if you do then you have run the rest of the Seer Council on foot too; you are better off running your Seer Council as Skyrunners and adding Eldrad as a HQ slot or Heroes of the Craftworlds slot.

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  68. thanks that is useful to know so I can get a farseer to cast guide on several key units i.e wraithknight and fire dragons without wasting his own warp charges

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  69. For your 1850 point mecdar perhaps a revision could be instead of upgrading avengers to fire dargons add a windrider squad with a shuriken cannon and 3 extra dire avengers to buff other units so 6 in 3 units 5 in 1unit

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  70. Just remember that each psyker can only cast each of its powers once per turn. You can pour all your Warp Charge into one psyker with lots of powers (e.g. Farseer or Eldrad) but there is no point generating lots of WC if you only have one or two useful psykers!

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  71. Avengers, Windriders and Dragons are all optimal against different target types (i.e. infantry, light armour and heavy armour, respectively). So you have to be very careful to get the right balance between them. Simply spamming S6 on Windriders makes a bad army list, since you're boned against AV13+. You need Dragons or Wraithguard to deal with hard targets that S6 is incapable/inefficient against.

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  72. sorry I miss read your list and I thought you had upgraded all your dire avengers to fire dragons
    Also if you want to take windriders like you said you did you could rotate your night spinner and them because in the new codex they are both great against hordes a unit of 5 windriders each upgraded with a heavy weapon would cost 135 points similar to the cost of a nightspinner. low init/ high toughness go for nightspinner which is also great against necrons and most monstrous creature whereas jetbikes are more versatile as they will take out things like sergants/broodlords out easier and most of their unit to. And they can be used as an escort or rescue team just to save your fire dragons or an extra serpent because that a nightspinner can not do

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  73. Could you arm a jetseer with scatter laser or shuriken cannon like you can on regular windriders
    Because singing spear and 3 or 4 strength 6 shots ruining a riptides day if you take with seer council or warlock conclave if that is your equipment for each of them

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  74. they will be shooting with heavy weapons so you cant take out their monolith or land raider

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  75. You don't buy Night Spinners for their raw damage output, you buy them for long-ranged Barrage, and for the Torrent template.

    The former lets you kill infantry hiding from your Jetbikes and other direct fire units. The latter lets you kill Deep Strikers or anything that gets too close to your shooters.

    You need to let go of the idea that you can simply spam Jetbikes and win. That may work against scrubs, but you need to be capable of dealing with the full spectrum of threats to succeed on top tables.

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  76. I don't think that you said earlier in your post you would like jet bikes so I was just suggesting some ideas

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  77. I do want Jetbikes, I just want all the other toys too, and that's the problem ;-)

    Check my latest post for an 1850 pts list that includes 15 Windriders and lots of other toys. I think it will be hard to include more Jetbikes than that in a normal list.

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