Greetings, Dakkanauts. The following article is dedicated to picking apart the new Eldar codex unit by unit and allowing me to reminisce a little bit about how the new units perform compared to their old codex counterparts.
So the new codex saw a siginficant overhaul to the 41st Millenium's Space Elves: all Eldar have been bumped to Weapon Skill and Ballistic Skill 4 and Initiative 5 (except Wraithguard), if these values weren’t higher already. This finally gives back the space elves their superiority over lesser races (after about 3 generations worth of background that only made it seem so) – even making them strike before the honed Adeptus Astartes. In truth, only five units are directly affected by this: Guardians, Guardian Jetbikes, Warlocks, Rangers and Wraithlords.
I was never a fan of these guys – they always were a poor man’s Fire Dragon unit. In the new codex, they are now a poor man’s Fire Dragon/Howling Banshee mix, as a further two Storm Guardians can now take special weapons, namely power swords. But because 6th edition’s power swords are so underwhelming (and costly), these guys are still far from being useful. On the other hand, let’s not forget their newfound WS
4, now. This makes their two Meltas potentially dangerous, and with their superior Initiative, the unit has 6 power weapon attacks on the charge that hit on 3s before marines get to strike their blows on the squishy Storm Guardians. Not to forget that 2 Melta shots have already brought down up to two Marines from the target squad before blows have been struck in the first place, along with another one going down from the 8 Shurikenpistols’ Bladestorm. A 10 man unit of Storm Guardians shooting and charging into a 10 man Space Marine unit outside cover can thus take out half the squad on that turn, if they get lucky. And thanks to plasma grenades, they can also charge into cover and still strike first, as well as bring able to throw a S4 Ap4 small blast marker upto 8" in the enemy's direction, causing further casualties. My advice: if you are planning on fielding many Wave Serpents this edition, but don’t know what to put in them (Banshees, Dire Avengers, even Guardian Defenders are usually a good idea), you can fill them up with Storm Guardians just to drop them off near a tank or a Space Marine squad when your opponent is least expecting it. Just don’t expect to win battles with your Storm Guardians – they are only there to poke the enemy when he is getting all too comfortable. But because they are scoring units, they have an additional degree of usefulness over the more powerful Banshees or Fire Dragons. In fact, I'd say the best use for the Storm Guardians is to tackle an enemy squad sitting on an objective that otherwise has no support (except its transport nearby).
But here's where things get really interesting: By adding a Warlock to the unit, you give all your models a 5+ cover save by default. Obviously, fielding a 20 man unit of Storm Guardians led by a single Warlock maximizes the effectiveness of the warlock upgrade, although your Storm Guardians will still drop like flies when shot at due to them not being inside a transport. And 20 bodies won't make a difference as they are all T3. Still, if you are fielding such a unit, then having the Warlock roll Protect can suddenly turn your 20 guys into 4+ armor models, which is not bad at all. Empower is also a very handy power if your guys actually manage to get into close combat, as suddenly their power swords arent so harmless at all. Enhance is also pretty good, allowing your Storm Guardians to strike Marines on a 3+ instead of a 4+ in close combat. Given that they strike first, this will imrprove their kill ratio. If you want to simply tie up an enemy unit that is particularly shooty, rolling embolden is also a good thing. Making your Storm Guardians fearless means you won't have to worry about running away despite taking several losses (and thereby suffering a huge loss in leadership) and you now also have access to horrify, potentially helping rout (read: sweep) an enemy unit within a single turn thanks to the Eldars' high initiative. Overall, I think the best configuration for a Storm Guardians troops choice would be 10 men (2 Meltas, 2 Power Swords) joined by a Warlock and a Farseer (if you find no better place to put him) aboard a Wave Serpent with Holo Field, Spiritstones, Shuriken Cannon and twin-linked Scatterlasers.
With the stat increase, Guardian Defenders can now go down fighting instead of getting slaughtered when charged; add to this the new Bladestorm rules along with 6th edition’s Overwatch and we got a unit that can actually become dangerous to any overconfident foe who has deepstruck or infiltrated and is hellbent on rolling up the Eldar firebase. Since the previous Eldar codex, the Heavy Weapon platform (interestingly, classed as "infantry" with T5, 1 wound and a 3+ armor save - but the T5 is useless as mixed toughness rules mean the majority toughness is used for the enemy to roll wounds against, so unless your squad is reduced to 1 crewman and the heavy weapons platform, you can pretty much forget about the T5) makes all weapons mounted on it relentless, so an Eldar Guardian unit can really be mobile (incl. disembarking from their wave serpent transport and still firing that Brightlance at normal BS
), accurate thanks to BS
4 (this makes mounting one-shot heavy weapons on Guardian Defender squad platforms worth considering again) and, thanks to Bladestorm, potentially lethal to any marine or terminator unit closeby, making them – as their name suggests – good defenders when it comes to guarding deployment zone objectives. Understandably, Guardians are now 1 point costlier – a WS
and I increase as well as access to plasma grenades (and with it, a blast marker deadly to light infantry at close range) justify this, although they still aren’t my favourite units. I would have preferred it if GW
had kept their old stats and decreased their points by 1 or 2, especially because Tau Firewarrior units have now decreased by 1 point compared to their old codex, and since 6th edition allows rapid-fire to be half a weapon’s full range and allows models to move and still shoot once up to full range, it makes Firewarriors one of the most effective units in the game on a point value basis, although Guardians don't lose morale and break as easily as Firewarriors without a team leader do. Still, the idea of Eldar Guardians and Tau Firewarriors now costing the same amount of points is hard to digest, given that gameplaywise, one is still clearly inferior to the other in 9 out of 10 situations.
Anyways, due to the Guardian Defenders being Ballistic Skill 4, they can now reliably work as meatshields for a single-shot anti-tank weapon such as the Brightlance mounted on the Heavy Weapon Platform. In the previous codex I usually only fielded Scatter Lasers on these guys due to its volume of shots compensating for the BS3, which didnt really do much on the battlefield, but now in the new codex they actually have a purpose as tank-hunters and can simply sit back and keep targeting tanks although you have to keep in mind that the Brightlance has 12" less range than the Lascannon, so you might find yourself out of range if you go for this option. This makes the Aegis Defence Line worth considering, especially for 20 man squads. Why are 20 man squads useful in the new codex? Because you can now equip them with 2 heavy weapons. And this is where the Warlock comes into play. Buying a Warlock for a 20 man squad of Guardians is a very valid and recommendable option, because if they are behind 4+ save granting ruins, they now all have a 2+ cover save. And if you equip them with two Brightlances, just imagine how frustrating it is for the enemy to get rid of them. He'll have to use his markerlights (if Tau) or other cover-save ignoring weapons such as flamers (but then you're in range to unleash your storm of BS4 rending Shruiken at him), torrent or other exotic weapons, usually coming from tanks - but against tanks, you got your Brightlances. So really, I think in this configuration the Guardian makes for a great troops choice to keep in your half of the table.
Guardian Defenders can also be used as an Eldar "fish of fury" tactic by letting them hop aboard a Wave Serpent and unloading them about 15" away from the enemy so that they can then move 6" and unleash all their Shuriken Catapults the turn they get out of the Wave Serpent, plus the Heavy Weapon's shots as well. However, T3 and 5+ saves in the open mean your unit will evaporate during the enemy's next turn of shooting, so you better make that volley count.
Eldar Rangers on the other hand, can easily go toe to toe with Firewarriors and give them a run for their money. They received an impressive points reduction and are now only 3 points costlier than the Firewarrior. They have superior stats – better ballistic skill, vastly better initiative and weapon skill, and access to pistols, allowing them to thin down enemy attackers’ ranks by moving, shooting, assaulting, denying them the charge bonus and then striking blows first. Firewarriors make up for it with defensive grenades and their rapid-firing capability, being able to pump enough lead…excuse me…pulse rounds into the enemy and then some with overwatch. Their firepower is more or less the same – Rangers have more stationary range and hit better, while Firewarriors can match the range once they get moving. Firewarriors can also wound better, until the target’s toughness increases to 5, in which case both wound equally well, but Rangers still hit better. And at increasing toughness values Rangers maintain their superiority. Similarly, Firewarriors are initially better at swatting vehicles but soon become ineffective, while Rangers can theoretically strip hull points off AV12 vehicles. In addition, Rangers have the capability of being able to rend and pin their enemies, something the Shas’la lack. Rangers have a better save in cover, while Firewarriors have a better save in the open. The flamer nevertheless remains the Rangers’ bane. If anything, the new Eldar Codex cements the Ranger’s place as 1 mandatory Troops choice for any Eldar roster.
Just for comparison – for a 10 man Defender Guardian squad fielding a Starcannon, you get 9 Rangers. 9 Shots mean 6 will hit, and one of them is statistically bound to end up with AP2. The five other hits would wound half the time, so that’s 2.5 wounds that don’t ignore armor. Add 0.5 wounds with AP2 to the total and now compare that to the Starcannon’s 1.33 hits and 1.11 AP2 wounds. Given terminators’ 5+ invulnerable save, that’s 0.74 dead termies from a Starcannon firing, compared to 0.416 + 0.33 = 0.75 from the 9 man Ranger unit’s fire as well as pinning. In other words: the Rangers can do more damage than the Starcannon can. Now add to this the fact that the Rangers perform better when faced with lighter infantry or monstrous creatures, and you’ll see how they are overall a good jack of all trades compared to the Defender Guardians, who excel only at repelling deepstriking/infiltrating units and specializing in taking out one particular type of unit with their heavy weapon (either termies or light infantry or tanks).
Take the Brightlance, for example. A 9 man Ranger squad shooting at a tank, during rolls for armor penetration, usually end up with a single die that gets an additional D3, so that’s 1 guaranteed glancing hit on AV10, 0.66 glancing hits on AV11 / pen on AV10 or 0.33 glancing hits on AV12 / pen on AV11.
Compare it to the Brightlance and its 0.56 glancing hits on AV10, 0.44 glancing hits on AV11/pen on AV10, 0.33 glancing hits on AV12, 13, 14/pen on AV11 and 0.22 penetrating hits on AV
12, 13 & 14.
As you can see, the Ranger squad performs better against AV
10 and 11, both glance AV
12 equally, but glancing higher armor values and penetrating AV
12 and above is where the Brightlance gets the upper hand. However, note that the Brightlance is only half as effective against termies as a Starcannon; and the Rangers already proved that they are better at taking out termies than the Starcannon is by a hair’s breadth. So really, a unit of rangers outperforms a Starcannon, a Brightlance, and even the Scatterlaser (2.22 wounds vs. the Rangers’ 3 wounds inflicted on light infantry). The Guardian Defenders' only strength lies in their mobility, as well as their short range firepower against infiltrators or deepstrikers. They are inferior to Rangers in every other way, including survivability when in cover (10 bodies profiting from a 4+ cover save aren’t as good as 9 bodies profiting from a 3+ cover save thanks to stealth)
While the rangers can deal with a lot of units from far away, their major weakness is their immobility. This is why the second troops choice should be the exact opposite of what the rangers represent – something that excels in mobility and objective grabbing – Windrider Jetbikes (nice new name!) A weapon skill and initiative increase are next to useless for Jetbikes – these guys are toast when they get caught in close combat in any way, shape or form. However, their points cost has dropped an additional 5 points per model, which is fantastic, to say the least. Anybody remember the 4th edition days when Eldar Jetbikes occupied a valuable Fast Attack slot, were 35 points apiece on top of that and one of the most useless units in the army roster? Yeah, times have changed, haven't they? With Windrider Jetbikes, Eldar have access to one of the most effective scoring units in the game bar none – very cheap, very fast, self-reliant and fairly resilient thanks to their T4, 3+ armor save and turbo-boost mechanism. Still, keep in mind that each Jetbike is about as resilient to enemy fire as a single space marine. Which means they will die if kept in the enemy's LoS
. That's why using their Jetbike assault move to get them out of LoS
is paramount to survival. Jetbikes aren't here to kill anything. They're here to win you the game. Because in 6th edition, you can't make for a last minute objective rush with your dedicated transports containing scoring units - they can only claim an objective if they have disembarked, and moving more than 6" doesn't allow you to disembark in most cases. So Jetbikes are valuable because they are one of the few troops in the meta that can still pull this move off, claiming a far away objective in the last minute all by themselves. Which is why having as many minimum sized squads of these in your troops section as possible is better than lumping them all into one big squad and going after enemy infantry with their massed, mobile Shuriken. Still, I like making use of the option and giving them a Shruriken Cannon. A BS4 triple shot S6 "rending" weapon that can jump-shoot-jump can always come in handy on the battlefield, especially if I get lucky enough to target the side armor of a Chimera.
The huge gap between Guardian Defenders and Dire Avengers that was present in the previous codex has somewhat closed in the new one, as Guardian Defenders are BS
4 now, and both benefit from Bladestorm. Dire Avengers have received a 1 point increase, but now come equipped with plasma grenades and have the counter attack special rule, making them even better all-rounders than they already were. Now they don’t have to worry about charging into fortifications or getting charged anymore, although close combat still should be avoided with these guys as much as possible. Unfortunately, the Dire Avenger Exarch can no longer be kitted out with dual BS
5 Avenger Catapults (imagine the terror with old Bladestorm this model could unleash in the previous dex) and instead has to make do with a twin-linked one for the same points cost, which is a shame. The old Exarch powers "Old Bladestorm" (not to be confused with the new ability Shuriken weapons now have carrying this same name) and Defend are gone, but the Shimmershield has now been buffed to grant the Dire Avengers their invulnerable save against shooting attacks as well. This gives them a fighting chance when out in the open against Heavy Bolters, Railgun submunitions, Manticore missiles, and when in cover Eradicator rounds, Heavy Flamers etc. Upgrading to an Exarch and giving him the Shimmershield option is definitely worth the points because it also means 1 guy in your scoring unit is now a 3+/5++ model holding a power sword – this gives him good chances of being the last survivor and helping you secure or keep contesting that objective when all others around him die.
The Exarch also has other options. Power sword and shurikenpistol is 5 points cheaper and gives him +1 attack, but I wouldnt take it as I'd rather have 5++ for my entire squad than saving 5 points and getting +1 attack on the Exarch. Dire Sword and shuriken pistol costs the same as the Shimmerfield and power sword; you lose the 5++ in your squad, but your Exarch gains +1 attack and the weapon's AP
improves to 2 and if you inflict an unsaved wound on a multi-wound model, it has to pass a LD
test or its removed from play. Again, not worth taking because 5++ is too good to pass up and with S3, your Exarch will have trouble inflicting wounds anyway, and whats more, most multi-wound models are LD9 or higher. However, if you take this option in combination with one of the Exarch powers, like disarming strike or Shield of Grace, then you can definitely make life hard for an enemy IC
who challenges you and thinks he can crush your DA
Exarch in a single round of combat. Because your Exarch is Initiative 6, he will strike before most MEQ ICs
, and 3 base attacks at AP2 in cc
5 is nothing to scoff at. Sure, you wound on 5+ against T4, but striking first AND having a 3++ invulnerable save means you can make life hard for the enemy IC
. Shield of Grace or Disarming Strike boost your chance to in fact even win a challenge. But for general play all of this is just a waste of points and I'd simply go with the power sword and shimmerfield.
Tactics for the Dire Avengers have largely changed. While in 5th edition and in the old Eldar codex one of the hallmark DA
tactics was to take the Bladestorm Exarch power, board a Wave Serpent, have it zoom 12" across the field on turn 1, disembark and unleash 22 S4 shots and on turn 2, open up with Bladestorm unleashing upto 32 further S4 shots and following up with a charge (since you couldnt shoot the next turn), this tactic is a thing of the past now. Now, you'll want to use Bladestorm to full effect and bring down even terminators through torrent of fire. A 10 man DA
squad has 20 S4 shots, equalling 13.66 hits which you then roll for wounding. Of these, you'll already achieve 2 AP2 wounds, so that's 2.14 dead tactical terminators or 1.47 dead assault terminators, meaning a single volley of a 130 point unit shooting will cause anywhere between 45-90 points worth of casualties even on the infantry unit type most resilient to its shooting. About 3 rounds of shooting and your DAs
will have already made their points back, even faster if they are shooting against more lightly armored targets. And against Stormbolters, CML
blast markers and Thunderfire Cannons, they will be able to take their saves, so there's that. Finally a note regarding their range: while DA
in the previous codex had an effective threat range of 24", this has now increased to an average 28" due to Battle Focus and Fleet.
The Wave Serpent got a complete makeover. Back in the previous dex, nothing could glance it from the front or side on a roll less than 4, and the best penetration roll any weapon – including the mighty Tau Railgun or a Multi-Melta at 1” range – could hope for from on the front or side armor was a 5+ on a single die. Now, all of that has been scrapped, the Wave Serpent’s points increased by 25 and all you get is either an 83.3% chance to reduce a penetrating hit to a glancing hit or fire D6
+1 S7 shots at the enemy each turn. While the former would be completely broken in 5th edition, in 6th, it just means that your serpent will get glanced to death, given that the Railgun can now glance the Wave Serpent on a 2+. In light of this, taking the Spiritstones upgrade is an absolute waste of points, since you’re going to make sure your vehicle will be glanced anyway…or will you?
See, there is an alternate method of using the Wave Serpent now, and that is as a full-fledged battle tank. By choosing to omit the Serpent Shield’s defensive capability, you can redirect its energies to leap 60” at the enemy and fry his nuts. No seriously….which idiot in Nottingham came up with this idea? A shield shooting anti-tank hits halfway across the game board? This is ridiculous. However, let’s bring things back into focus: You can potentially get seven shots at this extreme range. Seven shots that will make short work of Landspeeders, light transports and the like with the added bonus of ignoring cover saves – although the AP
is nil, this means no more jink saves, and Tau Disruption pods and enemy Eldar Holofields are useless, too. Because a mech Eldar army can have 6 or 7 Wave Serpents in a 2000 point game, THIS is where the mechanized forces player will draw his anti-tank capability from. No need for stationary War Walkers, Dark Reapers and such. For Saim-Hann players, the Serpent Shield makes for a very good weapon that fits into the theme of their army. But what really seals the deal is that the Wave Serpent – along with all other Eldar vehicles, is now BS
4, and if you mount a twin-linked Scatterlaser on the weapon turret, your Serpent Shield shots (and the Shuriken Cannon upgrade) will become twin-linked too. We're talking about a potential 14 BS4 twin-linked S6/S7 shots here, people. FOURTEEN! TWIN-LINKED! AT
BS4! And half of them ignore jink saves!!! Given the volume of shots, you will wreak havoc among light infantry, transports, flyers and light tanks alike with just a single Wave Serpent. For this points cost, not to mention it comes with the usual buffs of being a Fast Skimmer in 6th edition (move 12" and fire 2 main weapons; move 1" and benefit from a 4+ jink using holofields - an upgrade previously unattainable for Wave Serpents; ignore all sorts of terrain when moving over it due to being a skimmer; and its transport capacity of 12 models), the new Wave Serpent is broken.
Avatar of Khaine
The Avatar has been “dabbled with” by GW
’s rules division, whether you consider the new stats a boost or a nerf is up to you: the Avatar of Khaine has now a ridiculously similar Ballistic Skill to match its Weapon Skill; its Initiative went all the way up to 10 (which may a nice show-off as one of the few models in the entire meta with such a high initiative, but probably more due to the absence of frag grenades, allowing it to assault into cover without having to strike last) and it received another wound and attack value, but its invulnerable save has now been brought in line with 6th edition’s Daemon USR
. In addition, it is 40 points costlier than last codex’s iteration, so the viability of an Avatar leading your army in small point games diminishes somewhat. Anyone remember the old 4th edition days when the Avatar only costed 80 points? Haha, those were the days.
Remember though that unlike its 4th/5th edition counterpart, the 6th edition Avatar has, as a monstrous creature, received several additional benefits that you might overlook: it causes Fear now, has an additional Hammer of Wrath attack on charge, and on top of all this, has gained Battle Focus from the new Eldar codex, so you can move, run, re-roll the run die if you aren't satisfied with the initial result due to the Avatar now also having Fleet, and THEN still shoot the Wailing Doom at normal Ballistic Skill due to the aforementioned Battlefocus. Or of course, you can move, shoot and fleet-run.
More improvements in the form of options: for the first time, you can now take upgrades (Exarch powers) for the Avatar, similar to kitting your C’tan Shard out with godlike powers, but these are priced reasonably and don’t add much. There is one that makes your Avatar a monster hunter (very competitively priced...I would say a steal - you NEED this if you want to win close combats with enemy MCs
), another that boosts your strength (not really worth taking unless you absolutely, positively need to make sure you win combat against enemy monsters without having to resort to Smash attacks), another that doubles the Wailing Doom’s ranged attacks (again, very useful as 2 melta shots at BS10 are an awesome asset), and some really useless ones such as Night Vision. Sadly some of the better ones arent available like Battle Fortune (4+ inv
.) or Shield of Grace (3+ inv
. in challenges, but reduced to 1 attack)
In addition to the above mentioned 6th edition MC USRs
, Monstrous Creatures also have: Move Through Cover, Relentless and Smash. Smash is definitely useful if you want to crack open Monoliths and Land Raiders with the Avatar. When the Avatar of Khaine charges, it brings SEVEN S6 attacks to bear (one of which is HoW
), all hitting on threes 99% of the time, at Initiative 10, wounding most infantry on twos, and six of them having AP1. He's a beast, alright. The problem is he does not have Eternal Warrior. While T6 means he won't get insta-killed conventionally, and Force Weapons really arent much of an issue given that almost all who wield them have an inferior initiative, the Avatar will still get eaten for breakfast by Skarbrand. Makes sense fluffwise, of course, as a living statue of war really shouldnt have any chance against one of the mightiest Greater Daemons living in the realm of Khorne. Still, if the Avatar had EW
, it would have made for an epic fight between it and Skarbrand. With monster hunter, fast shot and crushing blow, the Avatar would have cost just as much as Skarbrand and might have had a chance due to EW
. Sadly, it doesnt have this.
Prince Yriel has been beefed – he is 15 points cheaper compared to the old codex AND gained an additional wound. This now makes him a whopping 55 points cheaper than the Avatar. Let’s see who is better in close combat, shall we? To begin with, the Avatar has 1 more attack than the Prince of Iyanden (2 more if you count Hammer of Wrath). On top of that, it hits virtually anything on a 3+ in close combat, while Yriel can only do so for most enemies. We’re comparing 99% to 85% here. When it comes to wounding stuff, both wound infantry equally, but the Avatar starts to struggle against higher toughness creatures, while Yriel’s Spear of Twilight cleanly slices through everything thrown at him with extreme ease (83.33% of his hits are converted to wounds). However, the Avatar can slice through terminators effortlessly while Yriel might as well hit them with a wooden stick, given his AP3. If surrounded by a mob of anything upto and including MEQs
, Yriel has a special attack that can “clear the space around him” which the Avatar doesn’t, but even that can’t hurt termies. The Avatar has an additional wound and much better toughness – no chance of getting insta-killed here. Yriel possesses a slightly better invulnerable save compared to the Avatar (and I say only slightly because although his inv
. is 50% by default, Yriel has to re-roll a third of the time he passes his save), but a slightly worse armor save compared to the Avatar (same mechanic). Nevertheless, if you want to have a pocket-sized Avatar board a transport and be brought from one end of the battlefield to another within a turn (your only other alternative would be Phoenix Lords, but they cost an arm and a leg), Yriel is the guy you are looking for – have him join a group of Banshees or Wraithblades aboard a Wave Serpent, send them into close combat and watch them tear up everything short of terminators standing before them. Both the Avatar and Yriel have problems hurting walkers and heavier armor, though both have the theoretical chance of cracking open a Land Raider. The Avatar can purchase abilities that make it even better, such as double its close range melta-shot number or up its strength to better wound those MCs
or even disarm opponents like Lysander to truly be the King of Duels. But, apart from the steep points cost increase the Avatar is also a foot slogger, so in games of 1.5k onwards Yriel in a transport that flat outs has better chances or arriving at his destination unharmed than the Avatar who has to march all the way from your deployment zone, testing for difficult terrain and such. And while the Avatar does give a 12" Fearless bubble and causes Fear, remember that Grey Knights (an oft played army thanks to Mat Ward) have special wargear against Daemons and no problems activating Force, and also remember that Yriel is an Autarch, so your reserve rolls will be benefitting from his presence...again, remember that in higher points games, reserves, outflanking etc. play a more vital role as they become more prevalent, and the number of high strength, ranged weaponry that can target your Avatar increases by a lot.
Asurmen - Phoenix Lord
Asurmen has always been my favorite of all Phoenix Lords - lorewise, he is the ideal leader of the Eldar, he reminds me a lot of Asuryan himself, the chief God of the Eldar even Khaine was subordinate to. Logically, Asurmen makes for a great commander and this also reflects in his rules: Asurmen gives you D3 Warlord traits instead of merely 1, unfortunately these must all be from the Eldar Warlord trait table. However, unlike an Autarch, he doesn't grant your army +1/-1 on reserve rolls, which is a real bummer. Still, this makes for a more strategic army, giving you armywide bonuses that can often turn the tide of battle. As for Asurmen himself, he has a solid 4+ invulnerable save, and wields a sword that can, with a healthy dosage of luck, insta-kill enemy MCs
. However, the Sword of Asur is only S5, so Asurmen will struggle against tougher opponents, although he will hit with some ease due to it being master crafted (grumble grumble 6th ed GW
master-crafted nerf). Asurmen also grants whichever squad he joins the Counter Attack special rule. Since Dire Avengers already have this, you might want to stick him with...say...a unit of Fire Dragons headed for the heart of the enemy firebase inside a Wave Serpent to make them better in CC
if they get charged. Asurmen can also perform well in duels as he has Eternal Warrior and Shield of Grace, being able to ward off 66.6% of allocated wounds. Besides, Asurmen will also give the Fire Dragon squad good CC
-capability with his 4 base S5 AP2 attacks at WS7 and I7, and if he rolls Ambush of Blades, Fate's Messenger and Seer of the Shifting Vector, and you are holding Warp Spiders in reserve, this can help establish an effective foothold in the heart of the enemy's firebase already at the beginning of turn 3. Combine Shield of Grace with Fate's Messenger and a Farseer with Fortune, and you are looking at a Warlord that simply flat out refuses to die, worthy of the Phoenix Lord title.
Karandras - Phoenix Lord
This guy is a real monster. To begin with, all Phoenix Lords have been having the same stats since the last Eldar codex, but with the change of the Scorpion's Claw in that it strikes at normal Initiative, Karandras changed from last edition's solid PL
to arguably one of the scariest CC
-monsters in the entire 40k
game. Apart from stealth, move through cover, the infiltrate ability and a Mandiblaster that hits at S6, you are looking at SIX attacks on charge at Initiative 7, hitting most opponents on a 3+. Not impressive? What if I told you all 6 attacks at I7 are resolved at Strength 8? Yeah, now we're talking, aren't we? He's monster hunter too, so this makes anything from tanks to Hive Tyrants, Carnifexes and Daemon Princes look like a joke. Delivering that many S8 attacks on an initiative higher than almost all independent characters out there means even with invulnerable saves, most of them will be insta-killed before they can strike back. And because Karandras automatically has the Warlord trait allowing, once per game, units within 12 to re-roll ones to wound, he will score 3.77 wounds on average - even when facing an independent character with a Storm Shield, at least 1 wound will be scored, so bye-bye whoever he is battling against, PERIOD. If Karandras kills the enemy IC
after issuing a challenge, his squad won't be able to hurt him anyway. And next assault phase, Karandras gets to strike first again due to his high Initiative, taking out another 3.33 guys. On the receiving end, Karandras has marine toughness and Eternal Warrior, along with a 2+ armor save, so although he doesn't have an invulnerable save, he can survive whatever's left of the independent character's squad's retaliation. However, Karandras is appropriately priced - he is merely 20 points cheaper than a Land Raider. He also comes with plasma grenades, so you can reliably assault units in cover and beat them to a pulp. While sinking this many points into a single guy is troublesome, I would definitely love to field him once and watch how much destruction he unleashes. Oh, I forgot to mention that Karandras has the Stalker Exarch power, so he gets even better in duels. And last but not least, he can infiltrate with a squad that doesnt have the infiltrate special ability - say, Wraithguard or Wraithblades, and totally F up your opponent's day. Verdict? Worth it.
Jain Zar - Phoenix Lord
Jain Zar is probably the only Independent Character in the metagame who can kick Karandras' ass. And only because of her high initiative and mask further reducing enemy initiative and weapon skill. Her Executioner got buffed in this Codex in that it (just like the Scorp's Claw does for Karandras) also grants her profile +1A for 2CCWs, but unfortunately her Executioner got nerfed in that it no longer gives +1 to her Strength (+2 when she charged due to her having furious charge, which was also dropped). However, it does have the Shred special rule now, so you can re-roll failed wounds. But even before that, she can hurl her Silent Death Triskele at the enemy and take out 1.15 terminators (5+ inv
. already counted for). Jain Zar goes with the Falcon's Swiftness Warlord Trait, which isnt much, but it does mean that your Banshees no longer need a transport now. Stick Jain Zar with a 10 woman Banshee unit with an Executioner Exarch and have them move 6" + D6
(re-rollable)+3" (Banshees' Acrobatic) +1" (Falcon's Swiftness) every turn. So on average, you are looking at a guaranteed 14" movement, giving them a perfect chance of entering close combat on turn 2 if they start the game in the open (alternately they can afford to start the game behind LoS
-blocking terrain and still have a good chance of reaching cc
by turn 2). Jain Zar however doesn't possess plasma grenades (neither do Banshees), so you'll have a hard time assaulting units in cover and taking them out before they get to strike back. A really nice trick is sticking Jain Zar with a unit of Wraithblades armed with Ghost Axes and Scattershields - a unit that is already hard to take out due to T6 and 4++ now becomes even harder to take out in cc
, as the Mask of Jain Zar makes most enemies only be able to hit them in CC
on a 5+. And then they still have to get past T6 and a failed 4++ inv
. to be able to take out a Wraithblade, so this makes for a costly, but perfect unit whose main purpose is to draw enemy attention from the rest of your army. Jain Zar also greatly contributes to the cc
damage output of this squad as Ghost Axe wielding Wraithguard arent really known for a multitude of attacks. But, this combo gives the unit a solid edge over any and all monstrous creatures you'd otherwise be too afraid to tackle in close combat. And I'm not even going to go into all the buffs the squad can receive if you have a Farseer in range as well. It also helps that Jain Zar has the Fear USR
. Jain Zar's Disarming Strike can also come in real handy in making sure she wins 9 out of 10 challenges.
Fuegan - Phoenix Lord
While Karandras can crack open tanks with ease in close combat, there are three reasons that make Fuegan viable: 1) he can do so at range, 2) He gives your Fire Dragon unit much needed close-combat ability while contributing to their A-T/anti-TEQ
Firepower and 3) unlike any of the other Phoenix Lords, he has Feel No Pain. While Feel No Pain has been nerfed in 6th edition, it still is good, because apart from being the equivalent of a 5+ inv
. save, it also allows Fuegan to re-roll failed armor saves. Fuegan's Fire Axe is a S5 weapon (thanks to the Exarch power Crushing blow), AP1 and Armor bane, and on top of that Fuegan gets +1S and +1A for each wound he suffers, so this guy can definitely do well in combat and crack open tanks just as effectively as Karandras. Mark of the Incomparable Hunter Warlord Trait allows Fuegan to target a different tank than his squad and because he has Fast Shot on his Firepike, you are looking at 2 guaranteed hits on any tank within 18" range, so he makes for a nice addition to a Fire Dragon unit, albeit a costly one. But in bigger point games, when getting a squad of Fire Dragons to the enemy's tank is crucial, he can make all the difference when the opponent wants to charge and finish off the squad. And if the opponent leaves Fuegan wounded with 1 life remaining? Oh boy, prepare for a world of pain, dear opponent. You are looking at SEVEN S7 AP1 attacks at I7 on charge. Fuegan is my 2nd favorite Phoenix Lord lorewise, and also because I'm a fan of Dragons.
Baharroth - Phoenix Lord
In the pre-previous Eldar codex, both the Swooping Hawk Exarch and Baharroth were really cool in close combat. They had this special power where for every hit they inflicted with their power weapon, they would get to roll an additional attack. So a Swooping Hawk Exarch that had 2 base attacks +1 for 2CCWs (Shuriken Pistol & Power weapon) would have 4 on charge and hit most opponents on a 3+. Now he would keep rolling until he scored a 2 or 1 on all 4 of those dice, and then only his total amount of hits would be estimated. I had some dice lying by and just took 4 of them and started rolling....I ended up with 16 attacks from 1 guy. Now imagine the same thing with Baharroth and his S4. No wonder this was ditched in the last Eldar codex, and didn't make a comeback in this one.
Baharroth is not my favorite Phoenix Lord. Granted, he is the cheapest of them all (5 points cheaper than Jain Zar) and unlike Jain Zar can Deepstrike. Just like Jain Zar he has Falcon's Swiftness, and he also comes with Night Vision and Hit and Run, and the latter is very useful to a squad of Swooping Hawks because it no longer requires you to pay for an Exarch and those abilities (30 points saved in total), and the last thing you want is your Hawks to be tied in close combat. He also comes with a Grenade pack, so that's an additional cover-save ignoring AP4 small blast template the turn he deepstrikes (along with your 6 man Swooping Hawk unit's own big blast grenade pack). He also makes all units within 6" suffer from Blind the turn he deepstrikes (remember that Swooping Hawks dont scatter anymore when they deepstrike), and this is EXTREMELY EFFECTIVE against both Tau and Necrons! Arguably also against Imperial Guard gunlines. In fact, I just remembered that the Grenade Packs can take out Necron Warriors with ease. And having two of those land on enemy troops while your Hawks arrive with extreme precision on the spot you want them to, can help you foil a Tau player's battle plans and seriously disrupt that of a Necron player too - given 6th edition's shift from putting all your infantry in transports to an increase in static gun lines, this is useful. Last but not least, Baharroth is armed with the Shining Blade, a power sword, and arguably the best buff he got in this codex is that he now also has - just like Asurmen - a 4+ invulnerable save. The Shining Blade also has the Blind special rule, so if Baharroth and friends assault a Necron squad, there's a good chance they will only be getting hit back on 5s and up. Add Baharroth's 5 S4 power attacks with an Exarch's 3 and an Autarch with Swooping Hawk wings, power sword and fusion blaster's 5, and you are looking at 13 AP3 power attacks coming from a unit that can bombard and take out light infantry from range and also glance tanks to death, and one that also has Hit & Run. In light of all this, I think Baharroth actually is better in this codex than he was in the previous edition, and makes for a perfect HQ
choice if you will be fighting light infantry or Necrons. Tired of quantum shielding? Use your haywires and glance their craft to death including the mighty Monolith, plain and simple. Unlike other Phoenix Lords, thanks to deep strike, EW
and 2+/4++, Baharroth can be a potent force even on his own, deep striking with pin point precision and reaching close combat usually by turn 3, and from there on using hit-and run to slice through squads and blind the enemy gunline or simply be enough of a fire magnet for one turn to buy the rest of your army precious time to move without being shot at.
Maugan Ra - Phoenix Lord
Maugan Ra is probably the coolest Phoenix Lord in terms of both fluff and appearance - having gone back into the Eye of Terror and saved an entire Craftword (Altansar), he is the definition of badass. Unfortunately, in game terms I don't quite know what to do with him. He costs just as much as Baharroth, and unlike any other Phoenix Lords, has the Hatred USR
towards Chaos Demons (makes sense). He also has Relentless, but I fail to see what the point of this is, because his weapon is an Assault weapon anyways. He has Mark of the Incomparable Hunter, so while the Reapers are shooting at something else, like MEQ
or vehicles if you give them starshot missiles, Maugan Ra can instead direct his shots at a different target, such as light infantry or light vehicles. He gets Precision Shots on a 5 and up, and has Fast Shot, as well as Night Vision, so you bet this guy will be firing at something. We're talking about five S6 shots that pin and rend upto 36" here. With his Ballistic skill, you bet they are going to hit. In melee, he gives Dark Reapers a much needed boost, as the Maugetar makes him S6 and AP3 with his 4 base attacks. But that's that, I guess. In my opinion way too costly for someone who gives you a 5 shot S6 weapon and only has situational use in terms of close combat. The ranged weapon can easily be compensated for if you invest these points in War Walkers, and besides, even Baharroth already comes with a 24" 3 shot S5 ranged weapon. Verdict: waste of points for a jack of all trades, master of none. However, there is an alternate use for him, and that is by attaching him to a Harlequin squad with a Shadowseer with Veil of Tears and a Death Jester. This squad can now move, run, and still pump out 8 S6 rending shots, 4 of which are rending and all of them pinning...something the opponent can no longer ignore. But if he directs his firepower at the squad, he has to get past the Veil of Tears, potentially wasting his firepower while the rest of your army is on their way to tear him up in CC
, claim objectives or shoot him to oblivion. And by playing Maugan Ra at the front of the Harlequin squad, he can act as a shield, "tanking" all small arms firepower directed at your otherwise very fragile Harlequin unit thanks to his 2+ armor save and Eternal Warrior. And when the Harlies reach CC
, Maugan Ra will compliment their CC
ability nicely with his 5 S6 AP3 attacks on charge.
Unfortunately, even with this edition GW
didn't add a Warp Spider or Shining Spear Phoenix Lord, which is a real shame because many of us had been waiting for these for such a long time. There is, however, a Phoenix Lord for the Forgeworld Shadow Spectres aspect named Irillyth.
The Autarch has received some changes. For starters, he can modify your reserve rolls not only by +1, but also by -1 now. This comes in handy when you want your Crimson Hunters to arrive after the enemy flyers have arrived, for example. His stats remain unchanged, the points cost for his upgrades mostly, too, although the power sword, avenger catapult and death spinner have gone up in points while the laser lance has dropped by half. Also, his jetbike, warp jump generator and swooping hawk wings are cheaper now. In short: has be been buffed? Yes. My favorite build still remains giving him a jetbike and laser lance (+1 A due to his shuriken pistol). On a jetbike build, the reaper launcher and fusion gun are largely a waste, as you'll get to use the former very seldomly if your goal is to get him to charge into close combat, and the latter isn't necessary as the Autarch can charge a tank and will use his S6 lance against rear armor. Not that you should use this guy as your primary tank hunter in the first place anyway. On top of all this, the Autarch has access to the Remnants of Glory wargear list, giving him some cool (but costly) options. Since he doesn't have the Hit And Run ability, you might want to kit him out with the Firesabre, which is a power weapon but with +1S and soulblaze so he can continue dishing out damage after the devastating first turn of charge. If he is on a Jetbike, Mantle of the Laughing God is almost mandatory, as this improves his standard 5+ jink to a solid 2+ re-rollable, which is incredible, to say the least. He also gains the much needed Hit & Run as well and finally, loses his Character unit type, so he can no longer be challenged by an enemy character and can thus dish out his damage at leisure to the enemy's squad members without having to waste a round slaying the enemy character first or not get to strike at all. Faolchú's Wing is probably the coolest though, because it allows him to run 48". Every turn. If that's not insane I don't know what is. Imagine the hilarity of it - a single infantry model skittering from one corner of the game board to another the next turn. That's creepy. And the best thing is, it will guarantee you Linebreaker. Lots of stuff to play with, including the Uldanorethi Long Rifle that allows him to sit back and take potshots at marines (although the reaper launcher is probably better at this) and deal wounds on Monstrous Creatures with relative ease.
The Autarch also adds a much needed close-combat punch for both the Warp Spider and Swooping Hawk aspects if you kit him out with the warp jump generator or swooping hawk wings, allowing said squads to shoot an enemy and then finish them off with a charge, both their exarchs providing additional pain through their power weapon upgrades. As you can see, there are lots of different ways to field him, although I still think the Jetbike Lance Mantle-Autarch build is so far the best available.
One of the best snipers in the galaxy, perhaps not as good when it comes to raw
killing power as the famed Vindicare Assassins, but with abilities that give you more board control including the ability to field entire units of Alaitoc Pathfinder snipers that always target whichever enemy model you want - the strategic implications of this are bountiful. Illic Nightspear has against Necrons both Hatred (makes him better in close combat) and Preferred Enemy (re-rolls 1s when wounding that C'tan Shard? Yes please!), can infiltrate anywhere he wants on the entire game board, and also allows a Ranger or Alaitoc Pathfinder unit to arrive around him without scatter if they are deployed as reserves. To top it all off, he has Shrouded, so that 4+ ruin you deployed him behind will give him a 2+ cover save, not to mention that he has 3 wounds anyway. It is interesting to note though that Illic neither has Stealth nor Move Through Cover. If you decide to stick him in a unit of Rangers for added protection, he gains both of these USRs
, but can no longer start the game anywhere he pleases and instead follows the normal limitations for infiltrators, but he can still split fire due to the Mark of the Incomparable Hunter Warlord trait. As mentioned before, Illic Nightspear can turn your Rangers into Pathfinders (very characterful for Alaitoc armies) which does look like a very pricey upgrade, as each guy is now literally twice as costly as a normal ranger, but benefits from shrouded in addition to stealth and most importantly, they can precision shot anyone they like without having to get lucky, although the victims still get to take their cover and usually also their armor saves. Except Illic Nightspear's sniper rifle doesn't allow them the latter thanks to AP2. This guy can take out sergeants and heavy weapon/special weapon guys with one shot, and what's even better is that his rifle has Distort...so if any....ANY!... multi-wound character or monstrous creature without Eternal Warrior fails a SINGLE invulnerable save if you rolled a 6 on the to-wound roll (and afaik
apart from zoanthropes dont usually have any), it is insta-killed. Problem however is the fact that his sniper rifle does not ignore cover saves. Still, we're talking about his BS9. NINE!!!!! That means if he rolls a 1 to hit, he can roll again and will fire the shot on a 3+. And you want to know what the best thing about him is? He costs just as much as Yriel. But will oh-so-obviously be of a much more valuable strategic asset to your army than the cc
-monster can ever hope to be, nevermind the fact that he is that much cheaper than the cheapest Phoenix Lords. However, in addition to cover saves, there is another caveat: and that caveat is called Lookout, Sir! This makes him very useless when it comes to taking out enemy HQs
that are part of squads, or Hive Tyrants with Tyrant Guard. Still, I think for the points you get a lot and in high points games this guy becomes a must have due to the sheer number of special weapons and upgrades among certain squad members you will be encountering. In lower points games he isn't worth it, especially since he is competing with Farseers and Spiritseers that also gives you strategic advantages with their psychic powers buffing/debuffing units all over the place.
The Farseer is perhaps the most iconic unit in the entire Eldar faction. People who haven't played Eldar will still know what a Farseer is, that's how popular these psykers are. Let's see what the new codex has turned them into, shall we? To begin with, let's remember that in the old codex, running a Farseer with Spiritstones (+1 mastery level) and 2 psychic powers cost you anywhere between 115 and 130 points. Of course, you could also wield a single-psychic-power Farseer ranging from 75 to 85 points. Either way, giving him Runes of Witnessing gave all enemy psykers a real tough time passing their tests throughout the game, while Runes of Warding made the threat of Perils of the Warp negligibly low. Also keep in mind that the Farseer's Ghosthelm allowed him to pass Perils on a 3+. In the new codex, there are quite a few changes. To begin with, the Farseer's cost has been altered in that he is cheaper than the Spiritstone wielding dual-power version of the old codex, and is now Mastery Level 3, but costlier than the single power version of the old codex which is no longer an option. Given the randomness of psychic powers, this is a balanced points cost. However, both RoWa and RoWi are useless now, as they cost just as much as before, but are one use only and also have different rules that have severely nerfed them. On the pro side, the upgrade to Eldar Jetbike has dropped by half its points cost, making a Farseer on Jetbike just as much of a tempting option as sticking him with one of your Aspect Warrior squads in a transport. As to the psychic powers themselves, Guide is now the Primaris Power, so your Farseer will always have access to this if you are unhappy with what you roll...not thaaat useful anymore as Eldar Ballistic Skill has increased across the board. All other psychic powers from the old codex have made it into the current one (Doom, Eldritch Storm, Fortune and Mind War), but have received some buffs. To begin with, their range has been noticeably boosted to a common 24 inches. Mind War especially benefits from this, as the new rules now prevent enemies from using cover saves against it, only allowing for invulnerable saves, making your Farseer a very effective sniper - remember that we're not just talking about enemy ICs
here, but also single-wound sergeants and heavy weapon dudes that can now be cleanly shaved off a squad with no cover save to protect them. However, this power is still relatively harmless as Lookout, Sir! rolls can still be made by ICs
targeted by the power, and on top of that, page 69 of the Warhammer 40,000 rulebook says that you can only select the model in the enemy squad if you roll a 5 or less when rolling for your psychic test. If you roll worse, you have to select a random model.
Fortune has been buffed in that it now also allows your unit to re-roll failed Deny the Witch rolls, but both Fortune, Mind War and Eldritch Storm now cost 2 Warp Charges to cast. Doom can now allow a unit to re-roll failed armor penetration rolls against vehicles aka the tank hunter USR
), so that's a big buff to an already great power. Eldritch Storm has also received an amazing buff in that it is now FLESHBANE. Yes, you heard right - FLESHBANE. Ignore its strength in the weapon profile - the S3 big blast was a thing of the past. You are now wounding everyone on an incredible 2+!!!! Against vehicles, you are no longer hurling them around to a random facing, but are haywiring them instead - stripping a hull point off on a 2+. Is that cool or what?
The Ghosthelm has been nerfed in that you now have to use up a Warp Charge to negate Perils. There are two new psychic powers: Executioner and Death Mission, with the former being a good sniping power that works great against Monstrous Creatures due to Fleshbane, and the latter being somewhat unrealistic in that it beefs your Farseer up (at the expense of being able to cast other psychic powers) to become an incredible close combat fighter in terms of WS
, I and A, but puts a countdown timer on his own life. There are three ways to field a Farseer - either joined with a unit and usually aboard a Wave Serpent, on a Jetbike with the Mantle of the Laughing God relic, or on foot at your firebase, buffing your long range. Because the Farseer has access to the Remnants of Glory wargear, you could swap out his Shurikenpistol with either the Uldanorethi Longrifle if he is at buffing your firebase, or the Fireblade, which will him a +1S AP
3 weapon, as he has a 50% chance of rolling the Death Mission power. He only has 1 base attack, but would then get +1 for 2CCWs, and gain an additional 2 attacks from Death Mission and an additional D3 attacks due to Rampage if the enemy squad is larger than his own, and +1A for charging, so if things work your way, you are looking at a Farseer with up to 8 S4 AP3 soulblaze attacks or 8 fleshbane, armorbane (singing spear) attacks on the charge. The best way to cheaply deliver him into CC
is to either buy him a Jetbike and turbo boost, or stick him with a Storm Guardian squad in a Wave Serpent or if that's too costly, just footslog them with a Conceal Warlock. By the time the Farseer reaches CC
most, if not all of the Guardians will have died, guaranteeing his Rampage USR
. On the way, he can Mindwar enemy heavy weapon dudes and sergeants. The Farseer has plenty of uses where he can boost squads or even prove his worth in close combat himself, so overall I think this guy is well worth his points, even though he received some nerfs, because in other areas he has received buffs. Remember that the Farseer can also roll on the Divination and Telepathy tables in the BRB
, gaining access to the Forewarning (4+ inv
. for squad), Misfortune (enemy unit must re-roll passed saving throws), Puppet Master (enemy shoots enemy), Invisibility and/or Hallucination psychic powers. I don't take him because I loathe unpredictable units, but this unpredictability itself is a fascinating new side to 6th edition 40k
and makes for some very interesting builds and games, and an Eldar army with a Farseer is a staple and welcome sight on any battlefield.
The Spiritseer is a more aggressively oriented Psyker compared to the Farseer. He is 30 points cheaper, has 1 less LD
, 1 less wound, and 1 less Mastery Level, but makes Wraithguard and Wraithblades Troops choices. Which is insanely good, because having these guys as scoring units is what makes them that much more worth their points. He has access to Telepathy and Runes of Battle psychic disciplines, and can take gear from the Remnants of Glory list. Best to stick him with a Wraithguard/blade squad (because Warlocks can no longer join them) and buff their stats. Shrouded as Primaris? I'll take it. 33% chance of getting the power that improves their armor saves to 2+? Yes please. 33% of getting the one that buffs their stats to +1 to WS
and I? Yes please! Or a Soulblaze Heavy Flamer to compliment a Wraithblade unit? Definitely!
The daddy of all Eldar psykers; probably the most badass psyker in the 41st millenium itself. Canon has been rewritten to bring this guy back from the dead as the Medusa V Campaign had otherwise doomed him to end up in (or, technically you can say the events written in the previous codex haven't taken place yet during the timeline setting of this current codex, meaning they will happen after all, but the 13th Black Crusade is pretty much the end of the 41st millenium and the beginning of the 42nd, therefore no longer being relevant for the Warhammer 40k
universe's meta). Question is: is Eldrad the powerhouse he used to be in the last codex? Before we compare him to his former self, let us compare him to the new, bog standard Farseer. He essentially costs 100 points more, is +1 Mastery Level, +1 T and comes with unique abilities and equipment that hasn't changed from the last codex: reposition D3 units, 3+ inv
. save, and a witchblade that ignores armor saves (AP3 only). What probably justifies his points cost however, is the fact that he has a special rule called Spiritlink, giving him a 33% chance to regenerate Warp Charge points the moment he casts a spell. And because he can cast upto 4 spells per turn, the chance of him being able to cast at least 5 spells a turn is almost guaranteed.
The Staff of Ulthamar has been buffed in that it is now a Force Weapon, allowing Eldrad a chance of taking out any multi-wound model he fights in CC
, although his number of attacks remain meagre. But just imagine having Eldrad cast Death Mission on himself and then charging the enemy...nothing short of terminators will be able to stand in front of him. I have no idea why he even has a Witchblade - the Staff of Ulthamar is neither two-handed nor unwieldy, so he has 2 base attacks with this and his shuriken pistol, making the Witchblade only relevant if some enemy's special rule renders his Staff of Ulthamar obsolete (like the Disarming Strike Exarch power) . With Death Mission, he gets boosted to 4 base attacks (5 on charge + upto 3 due to Rampage) So imagine having this guy charge a Carnifex or Riptide or enemy Wraithknight or Flyrant or Daemon Prince or Greater Daemon or what have you. That's 6-8 attacks at Initiative 10, Weapon Skill 10, i.e. hits on a 3+ and wounds on a 2+ with AP3. Unfortunately, Death Mission poses a restriction in manifesting psychic powers other than it, so Eldrad can't activate his Force weapon to insta-kill them. So if the enemy MC
has survived, Eldrad nevertheless doesn't need to worry - he still has a 3+ inv
and only S8 can insta-kill him in most cases, so you can be sure he will emerge victorious after another round or two of cc
. Of course, Eldrad is more effective when aiding your army with his plethora of powers, and the tactical repositioning at the beginning of the battle also helps, so I'd say this guy is definitely worth his points cost (although he can't take a jetbike), probably more than any Phoenix Lord whose scope is far more limited. Compared to his former self Eldrad is far more vulnerable to perils of the warp, as his fancy invulnerable save is no longer useful and the ghosthelm and rules of warding/witnessing have been siginficantly nerfed.
Unfortunately, Warlocks have received a major nerf in this codex. In the last codex already they had been nerfed by being made costlier because they then came equipped with Shuriken pistols and Witchblades by default (in the pre-previous codex a warlock costed 11 points and came with a Shuriken pistol and cc
-weapon, so you could spam them with the Heavy Flamer psychic power for relatively cheap...something that became considerably costlier in the last codex). In this codex, they are 10 points costlier than in the last (but no longer have to buy their psychic power) and received a +1 Initiative upgrade.
Since psychic powers are randomly rolled for in 6th edition, you no longer know what you will get, although now each Warlock has 2 psychic powers he can use (offensive and defensive versions of the same power he rolled). What used to be Conceal is now the Primaris Psychic power in the Runes of Battle discipline. Even though it only targets your psyker, the Shrouded USR
in the BRB
says that the entire unit will benefit from it if one model has it. Thus, out in the open you will get your 5+ cover save as you used to - for 10 points cheaper than Warlocks with Conceal in the previous 'dex. What's more, the new Conceal also improves your cover saves by 2 if you are in cover, which is incredibly useful, because just imagine how frustrating it is to have a 10 man Guardian Defender squad hidden behind ruins firing a BS4 Brightlance at the enemy's armor improve their 4+ save to 2+ ...something that was unthinkable in the previous Codex. It is also great if you want to hold that home objective at all costs, no matter how much (non cover save ignoring) fire the enemy pours at you. Getting 20 or even 10 models with 2+ cover saves off an objective is a very difficult task to accomplish, but watch out for Tau and their markerlights. Either way, I have never been a fan of moving Guardian Defenders out in the open - even with Conceal, they will die easily and there is no point in sinking this many points to make your squad just a bit more survivable. When they are in cover however, taking the Warlock is worth it, but personally I'm happy with the 4+ cover save they get. Those 35 points are put to better use elsewhere. The offensive ability of the Primaris Power, Reveal, is only useful in situations you seldomly encounter on the battlefield - it does help immensely against Tau Stealth Suits or disruption podded vehicles and the like, but its short range and the Tau suits' assault move means you need to get there with your Warlock in the first place - good luck with that.
Destructor/Renewer is a good combo; you will need a transport (with Storm Guardians) or jetbike (with fellow Warlocks - can get very costly) to put Destructor to good use, though, and if not, it still turns your Guardian Defender squad into an even more potent anti-infiltrator/anti-deepstriker unit than they already have been buffed to in this edition. Renewer can immensely help your Wraithlords, Avatar and Wraithknight stay afloat.
Embolden/Horrify is also a good combo, especially the latter - tactical use of it will send your enemy routing, one unit at a time (especially when combined with a Hemlock Wraithfighter or Farseer who has rolled the Terrify power). Horrify is cumulative, so if two Warlocks get it, all the better. Now you are lowering a squad's leadership by -6. Oh I'm sorry did you say your Deathwing Terminators are fearless? Well right now they are running for the hills, hmm gee I wonder what the Inner Circle will make of this. However, it also only has 18" range, just like all other Runes of Battle powers, so getting your Warlock in range is the tricky part.
Enhance/Drain is not really useful, as Eldar usually strike first and hit on threes anyway.
Protect/Jinx is a very useful combo - having terminator armor suddenly worsened to a 3+ can make your banshees lethal like in the old days, or even better - have your Dark Reapers cut them down from range; and upping a 20 man Guardian unit's 5+ armor to a 4+, or basically any squad's armor save by +1 is extremely helpful. Power armored Dire Avengers (if you are fielding a Spiritseer), anyone?
Quicken/Restrain is very situational and the latter virtually useless.
Empower/Enervate is also a pretty good power, it will give you the upper hand in close combat. Unfortunately, Warlocks still cannot join Aspect Warrior squads, so these powers are largely put to waste unless you field them as a unit or really let the core of your army consist of Wave Serpents transporting Storm Guardians, or attach a Spiritseer to an aspect warrior squad. But because Witchblades and Singing Spears have been made worse against armor (earlier they used to be S9+D6
in close combat against vehicles, now they are merely S3+2D6
, but the singing spear has kept its S9 ranged attack against vehicles and now also against infantry...so you could theoretically insta-kill enemies upto T4 if they fail their armor save to the single shooting attack, plus the singing spear now grants you +1 attack for 2 ccws
), and because Psychic powers are so random now, my verdict is that Warlocks are no longer a useful unit in the Eldar roster.
Also, remember that while Psychic Powers used to work 66% of the time in the previous codex and edition for a psyker with LD8, in 6th they now only work 50% of the time because the enemy can make a Deny the Witch roll. Furthermore, Perils of the Warp no longer allow invulnerable saves to be taken (even if successful ones had to be re-rolled in the previous edition).
What turns the Warlocks from somewhat useful to an utterly useless unit however, is the fact that in the previous codex Warlocks (unlike Farseers) didn't have to test for Psychic powers, well now they do, so there's a solid chance your guys will derp themselves (on a double one or double six, respectively), and finally, also cannot join Wraithguard/Wraithblade units anymore so this really makes Warlocks USELESS. Don't bother with them.
Perhaps one small little fact worth mentioning is that you can now take them without having to take a Farseer. So if your list has the Avatar, a Phoenix Lord or an Autarch as HQ
, you can now field warlocks, which wasnt legal in the previous dex. However, keep in mind that you cannot take them as your sole HQ
choice, as 6th edition requires a legal armylist to have a Warlord, and as defined in the BRB
, this has to be a model with the character keyword and from your HQ
section. Warlocks merely have the infantry unit type when taken as a group, and only gain the character keyword when sent off to lead units, but at that point they are no longer in the HQ
Fire Dragons are different now. In the previous codex, they were a suicidal unit (due to their 4+ armor save) whose peak efficiency was guaranteed by boarding either a Falcon or Wave Serpent and then being dropped right in front of a tasty tank they would then successfully barbecue, and if that wasn't enough, assault, making their points back in the turn they disembarked. If they survived the withering hail of enemy fire in the opponent’s next turn, they would then proceed to die trying to take out more stuff close by. In the new codex, they suffered a 6 point increase per model, but are now granted a 3+ armor save, essentially turning them into a poor man’s Wraithguard. Their need for a transport however, doesn’t diminish, as their deadly guns are only effective at close range and they lack the Wraithguards’ toughness to even think about footslogging. Still, what this means is that your Fire Dragons are now more survivable after they disembark, giving them a fair chance of surviving into that additional turn during which they could take out another tank. I personally take them as a 6 man unit aboard a Falcon with an Exarch using Dragon’s Breath – this makes for a versatile unit that can use its 5 Fusion blasters to take out a tank or terminator squad and use the Dragon’s Breath to vaporize half an infantry squad if there are no tanks, MEQs
or termies to fry, preventing them from being swarmed by infantry and the heavy flamer also gives them a nice overwatch bonus. The Falcon will be kitted out with a Scatterlaser (to make its other weapons twin-linked), Pulse laser (Anti Tank) and Shuriken cannon (together with the SL
for some solid anti-infantry firepower as well). What this makes for is an expensive, but mobile unit that can be dropped off next to something - anything - and make it disappear, regardless whether it is a tank, huge infantry blob or terrifying monstrous creature. A 5 man Wraithguard unit aboard a Wave Serpent is another tank hunter unit, although it can’t deal with light infantry as well as my Fire Dragon configuration does – the question remains which one of the two is more effective. Both clock in around 280 points, the Falcon contributes to AT
firepower via its 2 TL
-S8 AP2 shots, while the Wave Serpent can unleash D6
- shots. The Wraithguard are definitely tougher, but the Fire Dragons possess a Heavy Flamer and come with melta bombs to make sure whatever tank they shot at will get blown up if for some miraculous reason it survived the shooting phase, something which 5 Wraithguard can't do, should they fail at taking out the tank during their shooting phase. Another thing that makes Fire Dragons insanely better than their counterparts in 5th edition is that they can now actually charge a Monstrous Creature and finish it off in close combat. Yep, you heard right. Their Meltabombs can be used against MCs
in close combat now, and while each Fire Dragon only gets 1 attack with it, this attack is still S8 and AP1, thus wounding most MCs
(except Greater Daemons, C'tan and Wraith constructs) on a 2+. And because the Fire Dragons all have initiative 5, they usually get to strike first. So if you have reduced an MC
to 2 wounds or less (3 is pushing it) you can charge in with your Fire Dragons and bring the beast down instead of despairing like you used to in the previous edition. Good hunting!
Banshees got a 1 point reduction, but this hardly redeems the desolate state Eldar Banshees are currently in. I remember the good old days when Banshees meant something on the battlefields of the 41st millennium – they were a unit feared by many and rightly so, for they would slice through a terminator unit with their plethora of armor ignoring attacks before the swiftest of them could even strike a blow. Then came the 5th edition Space Marine codex and retrofitted all storm shields with a 3+ invulnerable save, and after that codex Grey Knights was released where suddenly, non-Eldar players could field cheap units of massed power weapons, aka Death Cult Assassins who additionally benefited from Strength 4. And now, 6th edition has made power swords about as useful against terminator armor as a wad of cotton candy. I also remember the eternal debate raging years ago between Banshees and Striking Scorpions – both had their uses, but which one to take was the ultimate question. Now it is settled once and for all, isn’t it? In light of all these developments, Banshees have taken a back seat and lurk in the shadows, watching Eldar players take other units to battle in their stead. Thus I am saddened to see that the newest Eldar codex didn’t address their plight at all. They did gain a new special rule – acrobatic – which gives a massive boost to their Run distance. The Fear Exarch ability is not very useful, as your girls will be hitting WS3 and lesser creatures on a 3+ anyway, and when it comes to WS4 opponents, chances are good that they will be marines and marines are immune to fear (And They Shall Know No Fear) and units with a better WS
are not likely to fail their LD
roll. Still, the Exarch with her 3+ armor and Initiative 6 AP2 Executioner is the only redeeming feature of the unit. Don't even bother with the mirrorswords as they have been nerfed to kingdom come (just as expensive as the executioner, one additional attack over the executioner for 2ccws but no longer gives you +2 attacks as it used to. Instead, it has master-crafted meaning ONE failed to-hit re-roll. And you lose your shuriken pistol, unlike when taking the two-handed Executioner. So, compared to this the Triskele is a better buy as it only costs half as much and instead of the ONE re-roll, you get 3 S4 AP2 shots at BS5 before charging in. But the Executioner still remains my favorite - S5 always comes in handy.
Because Banshees now move an estimated 12" on average (anywhere between 6" + 1" + 3" = 10" to 6" + 6" + 3" = 15"), they will make it into close combat by turn 3 if they haven't been blown to bits beforehand, or with a bit of luck will even make it into close combat by turn 2 on foot (but would have to deploy in the open, 24.1" from the enemy and roll above average for their run move to be able to do that. This however means that they may not get to assault the enemy unit they actually wanted to assault (as it may be further back) and we're also not taking into consideration that the target enemy unit can move backwards and still shoot at the approaching banshees). While in the previous edition a Wave Serpent got them safe and sound into CC
by turn 2 (24" flat out on turn 1; disembark on turn 2 and then move, shoot and charge upto a total of 12") in 6th edition you can no longer assault the turn you disembarked from a transport, even if it was stationary, so you won't be able to assault before turn 3 (12" vehicle move on turn 1 and shoot with all weapons at normal BS
, 6" vehicle move on turn 2 and 6" disembark, shoot with everything once more; then 6" move, shoot and 2D6
" assault on turn 3). Purchasing a costly Wave Serpent for your girls, in effect, only protects them from enemy fire during turn 1 - they will still be exposed to one round of enemy fire on turn 2. Banshees on foot, having an average run distance of 12", which is the same as a Wave Serpent moving at cruising speed, are exposed to 1 more round of enemy fire than Banshees aboard the transport are, so the question is...is the enemy really going to kill 150 points worth of stuff in 1 turn? A 10 woman Banshee squad is cheaper than a 5 woman squad inside a Wave Serpent. But on the other hand the Wave Serpent has mutated from a reliable transport to a killer Gunship in the new codex, so really this is no longer about transporting the fearsome Banshees into CC
as it used to be in previous editions, but rather purchasing a fearsome battle tank with a Banshee "cleanup" squad as a mere bonus.
Striking Scorpions are also benefactors of the new codex. For an additional point per model, they gained fleet, the stealth special rule, the infiltrate special rule and the move through cover special rule, all without having to take an Exarch. If all of this isn’t already great enough, perhaps the most significant of all changes comes with the Scorpion’s Claw: costing twice as much as it used to, the scorpion’s claw has two distinct advantages now – not only does it not have unwieldy and thus strike at normal initiative (and we’re talking about the Exarch’s Initiative 6, here. That’s landing blows before even Space Marine Captains can strike. At S6. And AP2…again, making the other Exarch weapon options utterly useless. Seriously, who would even consider them now?), it also does *not* have the specialist weapon special rule. Yes, you heard right – this weapon was certainly designed by Matt Ward and is probably the most overpowered non-IC
weapon in the entire metagame right now. We’re talking about 4 S6 AP2 attacks at Initiative 6 on charge, here – something only monstrous creatures and fabled heroes can deliver. This mighty weapon in the Striking Scorpions’ arsenal puts the Howling Banshees’ Executioner to shame, doesn’t it? +1S compared to the other, and comes with a built-in Shuriken Catapult. Add to this the Striking Scorpion Exarch's ability to purchase the Crushing Blow power and make his Claw S7, as well as Monster Hunter to re-roll all failed wounds against MCs
- if that isn’t the final nail in the Banshees’ coffin, I don’t know what is. However, note that the Mandiblasters’ rules have changed in that they no longer confer an additional attack per model, but rather a special attack made at a very high Initiative but low Strength. Only from 2006 – 2008 did Striking Scorpion Exarchs possess 4 base power attacks at S6 and 5 on charge…albeit at Initiative 1. 5th edition removed the +1 attack for 2 CCWs
because the Scorpion’s Claw was treated as a power fist, and now, Mandiblasters have their own attack profile, so another attack is gone, but the new Scorp Claw grants the +1 attack for 2 CCWs
back. Given that you no longer need an Exarch to have your guys infiltrate, I’d say unless you know you’ll be facing MEQ
, spare the points and don’t take him – let the Scorps do what they do best: infiltrate near an enemy shooty squad, move, fleet, then on the next turn move and charge into them and tie them up before proceeding to roll up the rest of the enemy’s firebase. The 50 points you save this way can be used to purchase a Vyper, which will come in handy against GEQ
. Before we wholly dismiss Banshees however, note that the Striking Scorpion Exarch can be theoretically taken out in a challenge, and once he is gone, there are no armor save ignoring weapons in your squad anymore, while with Banshees you cannot do that. Still, 4 out of 5 times the Striking Scorpions come out on top now.
The Eldar equivalent to Space Marine Terminators and Necron Lychguard. In the previous dex, which boosted them from expensive, useless units to tough-as-nails sons of b’s, they had one purpose only: make dangerous stuff disappear. In the new codex, they have become more versatile. To begin with, the standard Wraithguard-wielding-Wraithcannon configuration has gotten 3 points cheaper. However, you can no longer field 3 man units as the minimum squad size has risen to 5. With the advent of plastic Wraithguard (we had been waiting for a loooooong time for this) there’s no reason for 3 man units anymore…Wraithguard are affordable now. So the standard Wraithcannon loadout exists to either destroy armor, monstrous creatures, or heavy infantry, although Fire Dragons can do these equally well, albeit take a lot less punishment. Wraithguard are essentially Fire Dragons with insurance – no need to depend on melta range and you can take a (ranged) beating. However, Wraithcannons have been changed somewhat. Against infantry, they are no longer Strength X and wound on 2+, but are S10. So this is actually a boost, as now your Wraithcannons can potentially insta-kill any multi-wound character upto T5 without even having to roll a 6 to wound, as long as they fail their invulnerable or cover save at least once. Against vehicles, the Wraithcannon profile has also been changed in that they no longer glance vehicles on a 3 or 4, and penetrate them on a 5 or 6, but merely penetrate them on a 6 IF they havent done so already in a lesser roll. Now this makes no sense to me. A S10 weapon is going to penetrate even the toughest tank (AV14) on a 5...so unless there's some special rule somewhere in 6th edition that makes a tank receive glancing hits only, this rule is useless. Wraithcannons are now worse against glancing AV14, but better at everything else (incl. penetrating AV13 and under, and glancing AV12 and under)
For quite a sizable amount of additional points per model, you can kit Wraithguard out with D-Scythes. This essentially replaces their 12” weapon with a flamer that can vaporize anything upto and including terminators. However, not only is your squad anywhere between 50 and 100 points costlier, but you’ve also lost your tank-busting capability and diminished your MC
hunting capability – only when you are charged by an MC
can you overwatch and land between 5 and 15 auto-hits…all you need to worry about is wounding. Should the MC
even fail a single inv
. save, he is a goner. Which is why an intelligent opponent won’t charge your D-scythe Wraithguard and instead just stay more than 8” away from them. I personally see D-scythes as a costly, useless option – there are plenty of other troops in the Eldar army that excel at taking out light infantry, and even against heavy infantry do we have ample amounts of weaponry that safely do the job from afar. However, against tanks and MCs
, we lack punch – if the MC
has a 2+ save, even a unit of charging Shining Spears is useless; Dark Reapers can’t do anything, even if they are carrying Starshot missiles, and our Rangers still grant the creature its 2+ armor save 5 out of 6 times. So really, the only weapons that can reliably take out MCs
are Brightlances, Starcannons, Firedragons and our own MCs
such as the Avatar, Wraithlord or Wraithknight. Massed Brightlances/Starcannons can only be mounted on fragile War Walkers; the Crimson Hunter & Falcon’s Pulse laser / Brightlance combo is too expensive and also only somewhat effective in quickly bringing down MCs
…at best, they can make their points back. This is the reason why we need Fire Dragons and Wraithguard…drop them off near an MC
and watch them bring it down in 1 turn of shooting.
Wraithblades offer a different approach. Personally, I hate the dual Ghostsword Wraithblades…what are they trying to accomplish? At best, they are an improved (read: more resilient) version of Banshees, as you can get 1 for every 2 Banshees you would otherwise be able to field and that 1 Wraithblade will likely last longer than 2 Banshees do and even though it only has half the number of attacks, it wounds things far easier, but has no banshee masks to reduce enemy initiative. Their swords are still AP3, so if I really want to take out MEQ
I will actually prefer to do it from afar using my Fire Prism or Dark Reapers. What I am more interested in, is Wraithblades wielding Ghost Axes and Forcefields. Now the Ghost Axe doesn’t give them +1 attack for 2 CCWs
(as the Forcefield is a piece of equipment and not a close combat weapon) i.e. their attacks are halved, and on top of that, it reduces them to Initiative 1. However, it gives them 1 additional strength over the Ghostsword (making them better at wounding monstrouc creatures) and makes their attacks AP2, being able to crack open even terminator armor. But that’s not the important bit. The important bit is…they get Forcefields. That means a 4+ invulnerable save when previously they had NONE. And at no additional cost over the dual Ghostsword option. This makes Ghostaxe and Forcefield-armed Wraithblades viable as (running) footsloggers. No need for a 120 point transport – in fact, for those points you can get 4 more guys and chances are you will lose less than four T6 3+/4++ Wraithblades before you reach your target, leaving you with a bigger squad than the 5 man team that jumps out of a Wave Serpent. It also makes them a good target as part of psychological warfare to soak up enemy fire and still not take casualties (ESPECIALLY when combined with a Fortune Farseer or a Protect Spiritseer...in fact, if you are planning to field the latter, then ranged Wraithguard make for a better option because your Primaris Power is a 5+ cover save anyway), while the rest of your force can reach their targets unscathed. Previously, you either used Wraithguard with transports to get them to blow stuff up with their short range guns, or marched them on the battlefield as a bullet sponge to keep the rest of your army safe - but AT
weapons, plasma and such could still bring them down quickly. With invulnerable saves, you are putting your opponent into a real dilemma – should he waste his anti-tank shots on your Wraithblades when they have a 50% chance (potentially re-rollable) of warding them off? Or should he focus them on your tanks and let your running Wraithblades reach him in the next turn or two? The Ghost Axes still allow them to crack tanks, although I wouldn’t go against the Hammernators or Lychguard because they either strike first or have more attacks and wound easily and thus win in a prolonged combat against the Wraithblades due to them having identical or better invulnerable saves. Ghost Axe Wraithblades' only bane is getting bogged down by light infantry in close combat, something the standard Wraithguard also fear, but unlike their Wraithcannon wielding cousins, the Ghost Axe wielding Wraithblades need not worry as much if they get assaulted by more dangerous things. Out of all Wraithwarrior options, I believe this one is the most versatile one, as you can use them either as effective footslogging bullet sponges, tank hunters or with a little bit of luck, MC
and heavy infantry hunters, too. Standard Wraithguard need a transport (or they'll get vaporized by plasma) and can only do these things within 12” range, but not in hand-to-hand, while their D-scythe wielding brethren are even more specialized, being extremely effective at only 1”-8” against infantry of all sorts, but little else – neither tanks nor MCs
, unless they get charged by the latter.
Perhaps the best thing about Wraithblades is by taking a Spiritseer as HQ
you can make ALL of them troops choices, thereby not only freeing up Elite slots in bigger battles that can then be filled with Fire Dragons, Striking Scorpions, Harlies and so on, but also making your Wraithwarriors scoring units. Enemy tough-as-nails unit occupying an objective? No problem. Drop a D-scythe Wraithguard unit near them and watch how their toughest warriors are swept off the objective like leaves in the wind when your Wraithguard turn on their leafblowers...err..D-scythes. Alternately, have the Forcefield Wraithblades run towards an unclaimed objective and watch your enemy try to kill them in vain, wasting incredible lots of firepower either way: high strength low ap
shots reserved for your tanks are wasted on their 4++ saves, or light infantry firing on them and hoping for 6s means they soak up a lot of fire either way.
Remember: 5 normal Wraithguard or Wraithblades lead by a Farseer or Spiritseer are together about as costly as a Land Raider, but in the case of the Spiritseer, a scoring unit with a 5+ cover save or potential chance of having 2+ armor saves (Protect) and in the case of the Farseer potentially being able to re-roll ALL failed armor saves or ALL failed invulnerable saves.
Ah yes, the Harlequins. Enigmatic and frivolous, Harlequins have beeen gleefully wrecking havoc on battlefields for a long time. How have they changed in the new codex? The answer is simple: not at all. The stats, equipment and points cost have remained the same. The Shadowseer however must now test for the Veil of Tears psychic power and no longer passes it automatically like he used to do in the previous codex (this should have warranted a slight points reduction...say, 25, but alas), but on the other hand, the Death Jester's Shrieker Cannon as well as the entire squad's Shuriken pistols now benefit from the Bladestorm special rule. However, the 6th edition Furious Charge means Harlies no longer get I7 when charging. They are also subject to the nerfs to close combat 6th edition brought with it, such as assaulting out of stationary transports and most importantly overwatch...5+ saves just wont cut it. Interestingly, the Harlequins do not benefit from any of the new Eldar special rules such as Ancient Doom and Battle Focus either.
The issues with harlequins and shadowseers seem to be becoming one of my pet peeves in the new eldar codex. Let's look at it this way: the shadowseer is mandatory for the unit to function. Without it you have T3 5++ close combat models costing roughly 20 points that don't have an assault grenade equivalent. Second, the spiritseer provides the obvious way for the unit to move across the board on foot. This is something most assault units must do somehow - either through toughness, transportation, cheap bodies, and other tricks. Except now that he's a psyker the spiritseer can derp and leave the unit exposed... or die to perils, taking the assault grenades with him. Design issue number two.
Third, harlequins are supposed to be an exotic, weird unit even by the eldar standards. The fluff talks about some pretty crazy things about them and their abilities - and the vast majority don't make it to the codex. The masks projecting fearsome images don't give them fear. Their focus on fighting chaos and slaanesh in particular does not get them any special rules against slaanesh or daemons - in fact, they lack a rule the rest of the army gets. And their hallucinogen grenades are notably weaker than the Dark Eldar ones (PGL
), nevermind the crazy stuff GK
get. And why didn't the Solitaire make it in this time? Harlequins can perform decently if their veil works, or die like thrice overpriced daemonettes if it does not.
Warp Spiders are another Aspect Warrior unit that received a points reduction. They now cost 3 points less per model AND already come with the Hit and Run Special rule – something you had to take an Exarch and a special power for, in the previous dex. This makes for a very solid unit that can operate without an Exarch. Akin to what was done to the Dire Avengers Exarch, dual death spinners are no longer an option now, merely a twin-linked one for the same points cost. I’m assuming this was done to avoid the whole confusion centering around a model firing more than 1 ranged weapon if it didn’t have a special rule allowing it to do so (like walkers, monstrous creatures and Tau battlesuits do). Fast Shot and Spinneret Rifle (which is a rapid-fire weapon now) make for a deadly Exarch combo, but apart from the massive points cost (Exarch upgrade points cost included) it doesn’t help if the rest of your squad’s weapons are useless against terminators. Nevertheless, I have to point out that monofilament weapons did receive a buff in that they can now potentially take out terminators. However, I believe we should leave the terminator/monstrous creature hunting to the Fire Dragons and Wraithguard. Overall, no complaints from me regarding Warp Spiders – a unit that had been feared since 4th edition and continued to hold its own in 5th now just got that much better in 6th. One thing should be noted, however – Warp Spiders are no longer jump troops with a jetpack assault move, but jetpack troops who can either move as normal jetpack units, or use their warp jump generators to gain an additional 2D6
” movement, but beware of those doubles. On the other hand, you are now no longer forced to move every unit as far as the die roll shows, but rather treat that as the maximum distance they are allowed to move. In the previous Codex, it explicitly stated that should a Warp Spider end his move on impassable terrain, to remove him as a casualty, which isn’t stated in the new Codex, so that makes the Warp Jump a bit safer.
In 5th edition, Swooping Hawks were a very effective unit: all you needed was an Exarch with Skyleap & Intercept and if there were no tanks nearby, you would bomb the crap out of the enemy every turn (you arrive via deepstrike, you bomb them, then at the end of that same movement phase you leap into the sky again – your unit cannot be targeted by enemy fire, next turn you arrive via deepstrike again and repeat the process), or if there was a tank that could be reached, you’d deepstrike them into cover close by, and in the following turn, pop the tank (haywire grenades + intercept Exarch power means you will hit vehicles never worse than on a 4+). 6th edition rendered Intercept useless, as even Fast Vehicles that moved Flat Out merely have WS
1 when being assaulted and Flyers are anyway safe from assaults as long as they are zooming, but made Haywire grenades that much better because now a squad of Swooping Hawks assaulting with Haywires won’t merely keep glancing the tank and rendering it unable to move/shoot, but outright destroy it as most vehicles only have 3 Hull Points. In the new Eldar codex, a couple things changed. To begin with, the Swooping Hawks’ crappy Lasblaster was upgraded to have 33% more firepower per model. And to top it off, each model’s points cost dropped by 5. This brings the Hawks on par with Space Marines – except they are far more mobile, can deepstrike and have tankbusting grenades that can take out Monoliths in one round of assault with a bit of luck. Granted, they possess neither the S, T, or armor save of an Astartes and also aren’t scoring units, but this recent trend of reducing jump troops points cost is remarkable. Their grenade ability was beefed and nerfed: its AP
has improved by 1 and it now also ignores coversaves and doesn’t need LoS
(horde armies beware – your hiding dudes are in for a surprise when these boys land), but is only a small blast marker if you take the minimum sized squad. Last but not least: upon arriving from reserves, your Hawks do not scatter, so you can precisely have them deepstrike in close proximity to cover, but in view of an enemy squad, shoot everything, and then Battlefocus-run into cover, re-rolling the die if you're not satisfied with the run distance due to Fleet. Don’t bother with the Exarch as you don’t need him to make your unit do what it does best – bomb infantry and hunt tanks. However, if you are facing Tau, Orks, Necrons or even Guard, then take the Exarch and give him the Sunrifle. Why? Because Blind, that's why. With little chance of passing the blind test, you can render a whole squad of the enemy pretty useless in shooting in the coming turn. Especially against Tau and Necrons, the S3 AP3 Sun Rifle is a must-have. Hawks are best used with an Autarch in your army for those reserve roll modifiers.
The Vyper has received a noticeable boost. Those of you who fielded dual Shuriken Cannon Vypers won’t notice any points difference, although you are now benefitting from an improved Ballistic skill and the Bladestorm special rule. Kitting the Vyper out with better weapons definitely pays off now, as their points cost was deducted and you can now actually hit stuff for a change. You can turn the Vyper into a cheap, quick and effective anti-tank unit by kitting it out with a Brightlance and Holofield, allowing you to zoom 12”, shoot your weapon and ward off incoming hits 50% of the time thanks to your improved jink save. The Vyper also makes for a good infantry hunter – mount a Scatterlaser on top and you can land 7 shots every turn, 3 of which are twin-linked.
Although the Shining Spears dropped by a whooping 10 points per model compared to the previous dex, they are no longer the mutt's nuts, because 6th edition made them lose their ability to take out an entire squad of terminators upon charging. That's the reason why these guys were so feared in 5th - their charge was universally terrifying, best employed against any tough-as-nails MCs
or units out there (except terminators with storm shields) and watch it/them die. With AP3, these guys are no longer a must have, as they can't accomplish anything that Dark Reapers can't solve from afar. On the plus side, they gained Skilled Rider without having to take an Exarch and now can also Outflank. The Exarch lost his ability to upgrade the twin Shuricats on his jetbike to a full fledged BS5 Shuriken Cannon, but still has access to a Power Weapon; Star Lance (AP2!) and Hit & Run (essential!!!). Unfortunately, the unit is not armed with Shuriken Pistols, otherwise each Shining Spear would have had 3 power attacks on charge, and the Exarch with Starlance 4, but that remains a dream. Still, I think in a typical 5 man Shining Spear squad, 3 Star Lance attacks on charge that hit on 3s and wound on 2s along with the unit's accompanying 8 S6 AP3 attacks can ruin any Monstrous Creature's day (unless it is a Riptide or Tyranid MC
with armored shell) - especially now that Shining Spears can make their shooting attack with the Laser Lance at AP3 prior to charging as well (good news!) however if it has a decent inv
. save (*hint* Swarmlord *hint*), chances are it will still survive with 1 or 2 wounds, and then the Shining Spears won't be able to take the blows they'll receive before they can disengage at the end of your or (if you want to remain stuck in cc
to be safe from enemy fire) the opponent's combat phase because, at the end of the day, they're T4, 3+ sv
., 1 wound models whose jink saves don't work in cc
. In fact, it is a very bad idea to assault a Swarmlord as he has Initiative 6. If you're out hunting MCs
, the monster hunter Exarch power is a must have. For its points cost it's a steal, as it benefits your entire unit. The Exarch makes for a situational BS5 vehicle hunter, given his Star lance, and charging into the front of a tank that has AV10 on the rear isn't a bad idea either with all those laser lances, but all of the things the Shining Spears can do, can be done more efficiently by other units such as dual Shuriken Cannon War Walkers, Dark Reapers, Fire Dragons etc., which is why you shouldn't really bother with Shining Spears in this edition, in my humble opinion.
The Crimson Hunter is one of the best Flyer-hunters in the game so far. Armed with 4 S8 AP2 shots hitting zooming flyers on a 3+ is nothing short of amazing. And re-rolling armor penetration on enemy flyers cements its role as King of all Flyer hunters in the 40k
metagame. You just have to make sure it arrives on the battlefield *after* the enemy flyer has arrived, which is why it can pay off to go second if you are fielding one. Also, having an Autarch as HQ
helps. Heck, if you are playing Imperial Guard and the enemy has an officer of the fleet, that's even better for you! Either way, people refer to the Crimson Hunter as a Glass Cannon, but I disagree. Only weapons with skyfire can pose a serious threat to the Crimson Hunter, and even then it can evade on a 5+; all other weapons only hit it on a 6. Until then, it can target enemy tanks and leave smoldering wrecks behind, and generally do its job without much problems. It even has the option of upping its BS
to 5 by taking an Exarch if you really want to make sure those shots hit home, plus it also gives you a small chance of sniping characters. Remember that Eldar flyers have Vector Dancer, so the chances of it prematurely leaving combat airspace are reduced by quite a bit. Overall, this is a great addition to any Eldar Warhost facing flyers, so if you know your friend will be fielding one, take this bad boy to ruin his day.
The Hemlock Wraithfighter forgoes its role as an enemy flyer and tank hunter for TEQ
hunting and psychological warfare, not really excelling at either of them. Granted, two AP
2 blast markers are nothing to scoff at, but the meagre S4 means only 50% of what you hit (and with the large termie bases, that's usually only 3 per blast that didn't scatter), you are looking at maybe 1.5 wounds per template, so that's 3 wounds, i.e. 2 dead termies per round of shooting, if my math is correct. Isn't that about the same as a Crimson Hunter shooting at a terminator squad? With the added bonus that the Crimson Hunter can hunt MCs
too? Paying close to what a terminator squad itself usually costs and the guns only having 18" range means this will never pay off. You'll do a better job investing those points in Warwalkers with Starcannons than taking the Wraithfighter. And its psychic ability is also only useful when playing against Tau or Imperial Guard, as everyone else has good chances of passing their LD
tests, even if they have to re-roll every pass. Defensively, the Wraithfighter is more shooty than the Crimson Hunter because it has Spiritstones, however once you have achieved a penetrating hit you're pretty much done for anyway.
Dark Reapers are also benefactors of the new codex. While they generally received a solid boost in that they became cheaper by a respectable 5 points per model, their Exarch no longer has access to the ability that basically turned his Tempest Launcher into a cover-save ignoring, failed to-wound re-rolling instrument of Space Marine destruction. I loved fielding that loadout in the previous Eldar codex – marines had nowhere to hide. However, he can still take the Tempest launcher and with the appropriate Exarch power, turn it into a devastating Heavy 3 blast, barrage weapon – because of the newly added barrage ability, you still have a chance of denying Marines their cover save AND cause pinning now - going to ground won't help. But if those marines are holed up in a multi-storied building, such as a ruin, then your Tempest launcher becomes completely ineffective as it can only target the topmost level (see page 100 of the BRB
) and enemies tend to usually be on the ground or first floor.
Dark Reapers still feel out of place in the new codex because the Fire Prism has stolen their job: delivering dedicated AP3 fire on the enemy. In the previous dex, its submunitions could only hurt non-MEQ
infantry, but in this codex it received a boost and thereby, also pushed the Dark Reapers out of their place in the Eldar Warhost by performing what otherwise only they could deliver reliably from afar. However, Dark Reapers still EXCEL AT
TAKING OUT SPACE MARINE BIKES (and they'll get ample chance of doing so with the new White Scars craze) and the reason I wrote that in caps is because of a nifty piece of equipment called the Reaper Range Finder - it denies jink saves, so that's the equivalent of flipping the bird at White Scars players above all others. The Dark Reapers also outperform the Fire Prism when it comes to hurting Monstrous Creatures - they might wound on a 5+ with their starswarm missiles, but the volume of shots all denying that Carnifex or Hive Tyrant its 3+ armor save (as long as it hasn't purchased the rather expensive armored shell upgrade) is good in my book.
Perhaps the most useful addition for Dark Reapers (probably in light of this shift toward MC
hunting) is that each squad member can now take what was previously reserved for the Exarch only – Eldar Missile Launchers. Yes, you heard right. An entire Dark Reaper unit kitted out with these bad boys now instead of merely the Exarch; if that’s not the definition of nasty I don’t know what is. Of course, the limitation is that unlike regular EMLs
, they can fire pinning krak missiles only – now called starshot missiles, so you can’t spam the EMLs
’ anti-horde blast markers. Still, this makes your Dark Reapers very versatile (because they can switch between profiles and do not replace the starswarm with starshot missiles) and turns them into a dedicated anti-tank or anti-MC
unit, if you will – large volumes of high strength AT
shots were something the Eldar in the previous dex could only field on War Walkers (with a measly ballistic skill and at ridiculous prices, mind you). It’s about as close an equivalent an Eldar player will ever get to a 5 man Space Marine Devastator squad armed with 4 Lascannons. However, the latter is 40 points cheaper (although 1 weapon fewer in number, the Lascannons have +1S and AP2 to boot (bonus on the vehicle damage roll table) and thus can be targeted at enemy terminators as well. The squad is also made up of S4 and T4 marines and one of its heavy weapons can be fired at BS5 so long as the sarge with his auspex is alive, but on the other hand unlike the marines, the Dark Reapers can move and shoot and even charge thanks to Slow and Purposeful, switch weapon profiles to continue firing starswarm missiles if they wish, giving them unparalleled tactical flexibility, and on top of that also take the Nightvision upgrade to ignore the restrictions of night fighting. They also fare much better against enemy skimmers than a squad of Devastators ever will, as the Reaper Range finder denies jink saves. And being able to field upto 10 Dark Reapers in a Heavy Support slot can also come in very handy in large games while the Space Marine Devastators can only take more bolter-wielding bodies to bolster the squad's survivability, but not make that occupied Heavy Support slot any more lethal).
My personal opinion though, is that giving Dark Reapers starshot missiles makes them too costly, and if you're going that way you should rather invest in Brightlance War Walkers to get the additional advantage of lance. 1 dual Brightlance War Walker is slightly cheaper than two starshot missile wielding War Walkers, granted, doesn't have the alternate firing mode of 4 S5 AP3 shots, but with 2 HPs
a 5++ inv
. save and AV10, is probably more survivable than 2 T3 3+ sv
One thing you need to keep in mind is that because the Dark Reapers have the Reaper Range finder, they make excellent crew to an Aegis Defence Line's weapon emplacement. It's doubly sweet when the flyer you are targeting can no longer evade. And since the Exarch has BS5, you can let him man the Icarus Lascannon and watch it bring down Stormravens from the sky. Why so? Well because the exarch's Fast Shot power will turn that Icarus Lascannon into a Heavy 2 BS5 weapon. Even better, fire that BS5 Heavy 2 Lascannon at a Tau Hammerhead and tell your opponent his Disruption Pod is a useless piece of wargear. He'll be left with a tank that is sitting ducks and has decreased firepower to boot as his twin-linked smart missile system can only fire snapshots due to having moved. The Dark Reaper Exarch can also take Flakk missiles on his EML
, and can thus be turned into a reliable (BS
5) dual shot (Fast Shot) Flyer hunter even without manning an ADL
's gun emplacement, but because he can't split fire, this puts the rest of his squad's firepower to waste as each of them would need to roll a 6 to be able to hurt the Flyer, so I say don't bother with this.
A way to get the most out of the anti-air defense tactic is by attaching Illic Nightspear to the Dark Reapers. He has Shrouded, so their cover save gets boosted to a staggering 2+ behind ruins, and they in turn confer their reaper range finder power to him as well. Because Illic can split fire, he can man the weapon emplacement (with an even better Ballistic Skill) and fire at Flyers while the Dark Reapers target something else.
Ah yes, the good old Wraithlord. I remember when I brought one to a 500 point match once against OLD Necrons. You should have seen the look on my opponent's face who only had a Lord and 20 Warriors. It was literally -.-
In light of the recent, humongously large creatures 6th edition 40k
has been filled with, the Wraithlord has lost some of its awe, but don't be fooled, for this codex has given him some upgrades. But first things first: The Wraithlord is no longer S10, but has been docked by 2 Strength values, so no more insta-killing Necron Overlords or Ogryns. I guess in an attempt to make the Wraithknight seem that much more powerful compared to the 'Lord which merely reaches the Knight's waist. And, given that the Avatar is only S6, it did seem odd how the Wraithlord had double the Strength. However, remember that the real reason for the Wraithlord's original Strength value was because it was considered an Eldar Walker (except an "organic" one with T and W instead of armor values) and so it was brought in line with Dreadnoughts and their S10. Since puny Dreads still have S10, here's to hoping that maybe that's something GW
will address in the new Space Marine codex, although the Dark Angels codex already continues the S10 Dreadnought tradition. Be that as it may, a buff the Wraithlord received is that it (along with Wraithguard/Wraithblades) not only no longer suffers from Wraithsight (which in 6 turns of game time means you'll get an extra turn from this beast without having to worry about Spiritseers) but also gained an Attack, bringing its attacks in line with what the 'Lord could dish out on the pre-previous Eldar codex - 4 attacks on charge, 3 every combat phase and wounding 99% of things on a 2+ at AP2 means this guy can tear stuff up. Don't forget his Monstrous Creature special rules giving him an additional Hammer of Wrath attack and - just like the Avatar - causing Fear.
However, the Wraithlord always seems to lose against the Fire Prism now. Competing against the AP3 big blast template, there’s really nothing the Wraithlord can offer that the Fire Prism can’t already do better. 3 Wounds? The Fire Prism has 3 Hull Points. A S10 weapon can wound both of them on the same roll, although on a 3+ the Fire Prism will suffer more than the Wraithlord, including becoming a casualty after a lucky roll. At S9, S8 and S7, similar mechanics apply, but the Fire Prism’s chances of suffering a penetrating hit (and thereby e.g. losing its weapon or exploding) decrease by 16.66% per decreasing Strength value if my math is correct. At S6, the Fire Prism and Wraithlord are equally vulnerable. However, it’s the AP
of the weapon that really makes a difference: AP2 or AP1, at best, mean “1 Hull point” less for the Wraithlord. These AP
values are more disastrous to the Fire Prism, though – upon penetration, apart from stripping a Hull Point, they get your opponent that much closer to removing your tank from the table. However, in comparison to the Wraithlord, the Fire Prism has its jink save, upgradable to ward off 50% of glancing or penetrating hits. In comparison, the Wraithlord has a 66.6% chance of warding off wounds thanks to its armor save, but doesnt get any save if the AP
is 3 or better. The Wraithlord can also fall prey to massed S5 weapons (think Tau) while the Fire Prism is immune to them. The Wraithlord can also get tied up by a blob of light infantry if you didn't make effective use of its dual flamers, while the Fire Prism can just fly away. So really, who is more survivable can’t be easily determined.
Fire Prism is more mobile due to it being Fast, and on top of that, unarguably dishes out more firepower – large blast against MEQ
, small blast against terminators, solid shot against tanks – there’s something for everyone, and all at a very convenient range. The Wraithlord on the other hand, even with dual Scatterlasers, or dual Star cannons, struggles to achieve the same damage output, while being unable to take on light and heavy infantry effectively at the same time. Only with dual Brightlances can it surpass the Fire Prism in terms of AT
firepower, but at a far smaller range. And at the expense of anti-infantry capability of both sorts. And at 35 more points. As you can see, the Fire Prism has gained a phenomenal buff and become a mobile jack of all trades, thus helping it take the Wraithlord’s place in most Eldar armylists.
However, it's interesting to note that the Wraithlord is also a Character. It can't join units, but it can accept and issue challenges. For instance, when your opponent charges you with a full squad of terminators, expecting to powerfist you to death, you simply issue a challenge and kill that sergeant, forcing the other termies to just stand and watch. On the next round of assaults, you use your higher initiative (compared to power fists or thunder hammers) to hopefully kill the remaining models before they strike.
Finally, what I would like to add is that compared to the previous codex, the 'Lord's loadout options have also been improved in that it can now take a Ghostglaive AND two heavy weapons, and on top of that, if you take 2 heavy weapons of the same kind, they no longer count as one twin-linked heavy weapon. This makes for a dangerous Wraithlord carrying 2 Brightlances or 2 Starcannons for example, laying waste to tanks or terminators as it marches toward close combat. Being a character also means the Wraithlord can make precision shots - this is why taking dual Brightlances is almost a must, now, as you bring the insta-kill pressure on any bold "Hero" unit out in the open, nevermind taking out special weapon dudes.
Aye, the Wraithknight – the Eldar’s answer to the Tau Empire’s Riptide and centrepiece of any Eldar army. Given the direction GW
is going, this warrior will probably be dwarfed by whatever Tyranid monstrosity is to be released in January. Anyways, the question is: is he worth buying? Personally, I’m not a fan of the model itself. On top of that, I’m not a fan of this new model scale – I remember the good old days when an Avatar or Wraithlord was an imposing sight on the battlefield, now those days are long gone. However, given that most of us already possess Avatars and/or Wraithlords, the question is – how similar is the Wraithknight compared to them? What does he offer, that they do not? And is he worth his points cost? Let’s begin by comparing him to the Avatar. In close combat, the Wraithknight usually needs 4s to hit and gets hit on 4s, possibly even on 3s. You can kit the Wraithknight out with Ghostglaive and Scattershield, but that still doesn’t make it better than the Avatar in dishing out (because 6th edition has seriously nerfed master-crafted to the point where it’s just not worth it anymore), and the Wraithknight still can’t parry blows even if its life depended on it. The Scattershield grants it the same invulnerable save as the Avatar possesses, with the added bonus of blinding folks around it and thus bringing its parrying ability in line with the Avatar’s – but only if it passes an inv
. save. The Avatar’s Weapon Skill on the other hand already guarantees that he hits on 3+ in 99% of situations, and on top of that, the opponent usually needs 5s to hit him. So is the Wraithknight better than the Avatar at close combat? Well, its Strength value is far greater, so it doesn’t need to worry about to-wound rolls as much as the Avatar does, although against regular infantry both perform equally well. Only against tougher gribblies does the Wraithknight have an edge. However, keep in mind that the Wraithknight has 1 less attack than the Avatar as well as far less initiative, although his greater toughness and better armor save mean he will be safer. So yeah, I’d say close-combat wise it’s a draw – the Wraithknight can only wound better but is worse than the Avatar in all other aspects (number of attacks, initiative, weapon skill etc.), but will get earlier into, and stay longer in the fight thanks to it being a Jump Monstrous Creature and having two additional wounds and two additional points of toughness, justifying its greater points cost.
In terms of ranged combat, things get more interesting. The Avatar has essentially a melta that WILL hit – and he can double its shots with an upgrade, so that’s two guaranteed hits on tanks when he gets within range. Compare that to the Wraithknight’s ranged arsenal: To begin with, monstrous creatures can only fire 2 weapons, so kitting the Wraithknight out with 4 is fairly useless unless you have enough points to spare and give him a fair assortment of anti-tank and anti-infantry weapons to make him an expensive jack of all trades. I’d rather you stick with 2. He comes with two Heavy Wraith Cannons – the only imposing thing about these weapons is their Strength value. In practice, they are only have an edge over the Brightlances when it comes to dealing with AV
13 and less – and in the new codex, Eldar have plenty of BS
4 places to stick a Brightlance on, and plenty of weapons to take out light vehicles. If you are someone who often encounters enemy MCs
(such as when playing against Chaos Daemons or Nid monster list, or facing a Tau player who you know will be bringing a Riptide or two), then keep the Heavy Wraith Cannons - their 16.66% chance of causing insta-death will be very unnerving to the enemy, and the HWCs should be also employed against Necron lists due to their plethora of quantum shielded AV
13 vehicles. However, given the monstrous creature’s ranged weapon limitations (can fire only 2), I’d rather replace these two in most other cases with the direly needed Scattershield and – depending on which of the bottom two tactics you follow, either Ghostglaive or Sun Cannon. If you are a jerk, you will have your Wraithknight with one toe in area terrain and thus claim its cover save.
Tactic 1: Close combat. Turn 1: Move 12” and run. Turn 2: Move 12” and assault. Tear up stuff for the rest of the game with the help of the Ghostglaive. Even though it isn’t particularly useful, it keeps the points cost down, in addition to being a cheap way of obtaining that 5+ inv
save - and over the course of any average game, believe me when I say that a Wraithknight with a Scattershield will last 1 turn longer than a Wraithkngiht without. Often it can be pivotal if your Wraithknight can survive into turn 4 or is already killed during turn 3. With the Wraithknight stuck in melee, your opponent suddenly finds himself not being able to empty his entire arsenal of anti-tank weapons into it. In close combat, you can put its T8 to good use as even S4 attacks cannot hurt him. A cheap and effective way to utilize your Wraithknight.
Tactic 2: Ranged combat. The Sun Cannon allows the Wraithknight to tear gaping holes among the enemy’s toughest formations, and I’ll wager the Sun Cannon will vaporize (or rout) more stuff in 1 turn than the Wraithknight is able to in 2 turns of close combat (yours and your enemy’s), justifying the additional points cost. But here’s where it gets interesting: Combine the Sun Cannon with a Scatterlaser and you’ve got yourself a twin-linked Sun Cannon. This will greatly contribute to your blast markers falling where you want them to, making the ranged Wraithknight superior to the close combat one, albeit costlier. On the other hand, a ranged Wraithknight is, despite his inv
., prime target for AT
weapons and the new SM
Grav weaponry, so maybe the Knight is safer in close combat after all?
Tactic 3: Tank/monster hunter. Also a cheap option, your job is to utilize your two S10 cannons to full effect by firing them at the enemy's toughest armor. You can insta-kill any IC
out in the open upto T5, and have a 16.66% chance per hit of insta-killing an enemy MC
provided it doesnt have an invul. Since the Eldar army doesnt have many long range S10 guns, having two of these in one place is not bad at all.
War Walkers have been nerfed. They are open-topped once again, reminiscent of their pre-previous Eldar codex. At the same time, they lost their shielding which made even the enemy’s best anti-tank weapons only glance on a 2 and up, and penetrate on a 3 and up. This has been replaced with an invulnerable save giving you a 33.3% chance of warding off damage – if this is for the better or the worse remains murky, albeit the return to open-topped status definitely makes war walkers more fragile now. On the other hand, perhaps the biggest good news concerning War Walkers is that they are BS
4 now, so no need to rely on Farseers to make their volleys count. They’ve kept their scouts move, allowing them to get in range (or head back into cover) before battle commences, or outflank the enemy and target the side armor of tanks. Nevertheless, their points cost is now greatly increased – a squadron of 3 War Walkers all armed with Shuriken Cannons now costs a whopping 60 points more than it used to in the old codex. They’re all open-topped, so the only advantage I can see is that they are BS
4 and have 5+ invulnerables, although their original shield rules are gone. They are the only AV
unit to have Battle Focus, so if you are fielding a lone War Walker, you can pull off JSJ
moves from behind LoS
blocking terrain to greatly annoy the enemy and keep your fragile walker safe. They also have Fleet, which allows for more efficient repositioning. I wouldn't field War Walkers with dual Shuriken Cannons though, as you can get the same setup on Vypers with the added benefit of greater move distance. Nevertheless, the points cost leap concerning better weapons hasn’t increased much at all. While upgrading from Shuriken Cannons to Scatterlasers cost you 60 points for a 3 man unit in the old codex, it now only costs a fraction of that. And since you can get Brightlances and Starcannons at the same cost as Scatter Lasers, you won’t notice a real points increase if you had always been fielding War Walkers armed with these weapons. Plus the ability to field a Scatterlaser/Brightlance combo and make the Brightlances twin-linked while retaining anti-horde capability definitely makes the War Walkers versatile now. Due to their fragility, you better keep them away from small arms fire – the Shuriken Cannon option is, despite the Bladestorm ruling, arguably the worst of the bunch (especially in light of its points increase), as it brings your now open-topped, much costlier walkers in range of small arms fire, although JSJ
with Battle Focus can help get you out of bolter range under the right circumstances, but it is a risk I wouldn't be willing to take. I miss the old days of the previous dex when for a mere 40 points you already had a War Walker up and ready for battle. Either way, something I really recommend is spending the 50 points and buying an Aegis Defence Line for your War Walkers. It improves their save by +1 and for a glass cannon unit like this, such an improvement - despite being relatively tame on paper, can make all the difference on the battlefield.
Once the main battle tank of the Eldar, the Falcon – despite gaining Ballistic Skill 4, is no longer the pride of the Warhost. It is superceded by the slightly cheaper Wave Serpent, with its improved shielding, more numerous high strength attacks, larger transport capability and the fact that it doesn’t occupy a Heavy Support slot. The Falcon’s inability to transport Wraithguard or Storm Guardians really only makes it useful either as a battle tank, or as a transport for Fire Dragons. And the Fire Prism is definitely a better battle tank compared to the Falcon, so unfortunately, this vehicle is no longer the King of the Skies. Still, if you give it a Starcannon and Holofields, this AV12 vehicle with a 4+ jink save can be a decent MC
or terminator hunter, being relatively resilient and pretty good (BS4) at bringing the hurt to the big baddies on the table, and from a relatively safe distance to boot. Remember that the Pulse Laser wounds most MCs
on a 2+, so we're definitely talking business here. 4 BS4 AP2 shots every turn is a pretty solid way to take out MCs
, something a Fire Prism can never hope to do, and something the fragile War Walkers can only reliably pull off if they're not being shot at. The falcon on the other hand can be used to draw fire - you have a 50% chance to ward them off, and then still 3 Hull Points to go. In fact, trading the Starcannon in for a Brightlance is an ever better idea - sure, you lose 1 shot, but you would be wounding MCs
on a 4+ with the Starcannon anyway, and now you're wounding them on a 2+. So you only lose some firepower against terminator-type targets (as the starcannon would also be wounding them on a 2+ but with 1 extra shot) but for that you now increased your anti-tank firepower by a noticeable bit. Any tank that comes under the sights of a Pulse Laser and a Brightlance - especially if it is AV12 or below, had better start praying.
What shall I say? Back in 5th edition, me and my mate (who plays Tau) were arguing which is the better Gunship - the Eldar Fire Prism or the Tau Hammerhead. The debate continued into present day. While the Hammerhead has +1 front armor and the Railgun +1S, the Prism Cannon has now finally superceded the Railgun in terms of who wields the galaxy's best Alien WMD. You see, back in the pre-previous codex the Prism Cannon was only a 60" S9 AP2 weapon. The Railgun had 12 more inches range, +1S, and 1 better AP
, although it was a solid shot and couldnt take out half a squad of marines or terminators like the Prism Cannon could. On the other hand, its submunitions vaporized light infantry, so the Railgun (along with its +1BS) came out on top in the early days of 4th edition. Then, when the Eldar got the previous codex around mid 4th edition, the Prism Cannon gained a submunitions option as well - just at 1 worse Strength compared to the Railgun's. That brought the Prism Cannon on par with the Railgun, because even though it wasn't a good tank hunter (5th edition = blast marker scatters), it could keep up with killing light infantry and also kill heavy infantry. Additionally, linking two Fire Prisms together produced a high strength AP3 pie plate, allowing entire MEQ
squads to be taken out, which even two Hammerheads couldn't. With the current Eldar codex, the debate is settled once and for all and the young Tau got schooled in terms of superior technology by their elders (har, har) - a single Prism Cannon now produces an MEQ
killing pie plate. Add to that its termie killing small blast, and to top it all off, a solid shot that, despite being -1S compared to the Railgun, is also AP1 now. What completely settles the debate once and for all though, is the fact that the Prism Cannon's solid shot is now lance. LANCE!!!!! That means the Railgun solid shot penetrates a Land Raider on a 5+ while the Fire Prism penetrates it on a 4+!
Sure, the Fire Prism lacks 12" range and its front armor is -1 compared to the Hammerhead, but it is a Fast Skimmer by default, so not only can it move 12" and still shoot (something the Hammerhead could only do with the Multi Tracker vehicle upgrade which however didn't make it into the new Tau codex), but also go flat out and reposition itself, something the Hammerhead is never capable of. Holofield is equivalent to the Hammerhead's Disruption pod, but Spiritstones additionally give the Fire Prism a good chance of continuing to Fire after having received a penetrating hit. And don't forget the Crystal Targeting Matrix, allowing - even after Flat Out - for a precise shot from an impossible angle, bound to penetrate the side or rear armor of a tank when your enemy is least expecting it, and letting it go up in a ball of flames.
So the Eldar finally have a new tank variant in their army after more than 2 codex editions, which is an exciting thought, although the Night Spinner had been around as a Forgeworld variant for a long time. The Doom Weaver is definitely a better light infantry hunter than the Prism Cannon - it is 10 points cheaper, its large blast marker is +2S and pinning, although at -12" range. The Doom Weaver can also be used as a 12" Hell Hound torrent Flamer (at +1S, but AP6, mind you) should enemy infantry get close to your deployment zone (and because the Night Spinner is a Fast vehicle, it can move 12" and still fire the flamer, having a good chance of roasting an entire squad of light infantry with just one model peeking from LoS
blocking cover with more success than firing the big blast marker at it and rolling for scatter. However, I would still pick the Fire Prism over the Night Spinner because its weapon is far more versatile; not only can it bring Marines down but also terminators AND hunt tanks on top of that, all at 12" more range. I wish the Fire Prism had never been updated to AP3, as it ruined the viability of both the Night Spinner AND the Dark Reapers in the Heavy Support section. But hey, a S8 large blast against vehicles due to the monofilament special rule is nothing to scoff at.
Vaul's Wrath Support Battery
I never really liked these - they always used to lose against the other choices in the extemely contested Heavy Support section of the Eldar codex. Dark Reapers, Wraithlords, Fire Prisms, Falcons, War Walkers etc. always brought more guns to bear on the battlefield and were generally tougher and more mobile than these guys, so they got preference. In the new codex, these guys have also been redone. For starters, I'm happy about the name change - back in the old codex I always had a hard time (in terms of nomenclature) differentiating these (support weapons platforms) from the heavy weapons platforms squads of Guardian Defenders fielded. Now that that is out of the way, let's take a look at the unit proper:
In 6th edition, Artillery pieces had a slight rules change. Perhaps the most prominent change is: "If shooting at an Artillery unit, the Toughness of the guns is always used whilst at least one gun remains. Any Wounds that are caused are still allocated to the closest model first." This means that you can place your squishy Guardians in front of the artillery pieces once they have all taken 1 wound, so that you won't lose the guns, but the enemy still has to hurt T7 and get past a 5+ armor save (or usually a better cover save) if he wants to take your Guardians guarding the damaged gun models out from afar. Back in 5th, artillery was A LOT less survivable as the gun models were counted as AV
10 and a single successful hit instantly destroyed them, without any further damage roll made, although a die roll decided what the enemy's shots hit - the crew or the platform. But anyway, back to the new Eldar codex:
Vaul's Wrath Batteries have received a buff in that at no points cost increase, the Support battery is BS
4. Unfortunately, the Vibro Cannon has been severely nerfed in that it is now merely a mediocre single shot light vehicle hunting weapon that, with 2 other Vibro Cannons, can beef itself (and the others) up to Lascannon strength and AP
- but ONLY if all 3 weapons hit the target. The old Vibro Cannon with its insta-glance against tanks and D6
hits against any and all intervening infantry units was really, really cool, shame they did away with it. D-Cannons are more or less left as is, but due to BS
4, you can now effectively use them to create denial zones for the enemy (both infantry and armor alike), especially on objectives in the middle of the battlefield and such. Remember that D-Cannons are barrage weapons, so while they have trouble taking out squads entrenched in lower levels of multi-storied buildings, if you local meta has a lot of area terrain instead, they will deny the enemy his cover saves. The Shadow Weaver is a much cheaper alternative at double the range, plus the fact that it can also be used as a barrage weapon means you can safely hide your battery from enemy fire, and have the small chance of creating a blast template that ignores terminator armor and cover saves to boot, not to mention that they get boosted to S7 when firing at vehicles.
Many errors I had made in this article have been ironed out thanks to the suggestions of (in no particular order): PredaKhaine, Daba, chaos0xomega, toocool61, Erik_Morkai, zephoid