Thursday, March 18, 2010

Eldar: Xenos Lies!

I just wanted to blog really quickly on something I've been seeing on a lot of the gaming forums (Warseer, Dakka..etc): Eldar players complaining about the metagame and codex creep. Now I don't know about you guys, but I find the Eldar Codex to be one of the best books ever written. I just want to say that I think Phil Kelly is a man that has the ability to write books that can last through the editions. Not to mention he wrote the latest Wolf Dex and that thing's amazing.

Let's take a quick glance on why I still find the Eldar army to be one of the best in 40K. During my time in 4th Ed, I played over a hundred games with Eldar before I sold them for Space Marines. The Eldar have specialized units that are really good at doing what they're supposed to. Fire Dragons melt tanks with their meltaguns, Dire Avengers bladestorms infantry to death and Wraithguard puncture holes in everything that they touch. All of these awesome abilities can be further augmented by Farseers that can guide, doom and fortune all day long. Their mastery of the warp is unmatched by any of 40K because all of their spells compensate for what their army lacks; which is huge. The army moves and flows like water but has the ability to strike like lightning if it wanted to.

I'll just list a few things I find great about Eldar:

Avatar - For a 155 points, how is this thing not the best HQ choice in the entire game (not just the Eldar game, 40K as a whole)? It's a S6, T6 toughness creature that's immune to Melta weapons (which makes up the majority of the metagame) and has 4 wounds. It gives all units within 12" of it Fearless, has a 3+/4++ invulnerable save which can be re-rolled because of Fortune and has a built-in Meltagun of its own. It's WS10 meaning basic WS4 units needs 5s to hit it, it's I6 so its going before most things in the game and being a MC it can wreck anything from Marines to vehicles. Words cannot describe the awesomeness.. but maybe Eldrad can help.

Eldrad - He makes Tigerius look like a pet monkey with his ability to cast 3 spells per turn (2 of the same if not in combat). He has all the tools of a suped up Farseer (Runes, Spirit Stones, Ghosthelm) and has a 3++ invulnerable save. There's a reason why you see him walking alone his Avatar friend as he buffs his Wraithguard army up and down with the ability to destroy faces.

Runes of Warding - 15 points of field-wide psychic protection. Best item purchase in the entire game. The average roll on 3 dice is a 10.5, which means psychic test failure. And Runes say that when you fail, you take Perils, and perils is no joke in 5th. I don't know what you're complaining about when you talk about the Space Wolf Codex; I'm afraid to cast anything vs. Eldar, period.

Yriel - For some reason, this guy is not as popular as the other two but he's one of the best. He has a Singing Spear (S9 vs vehicles) that's a power weapon that wounds anything on a 2+. He's an Autarch so he can secure reserves with Master Strategist, has a 3+/4++ save and goes before most things in combat with his I7. I love it when I see marine players charge into the fray of the Eldar warhost just to have Yriel pop open his glass eye and everything around him takes a S6 AP3 large blast hit. Yes, please sir, can you kindly remove all your models off the table?

Dire Avengers - Can be taken in Wave Serpents, allowing you to disembark and Bladestorm. With Guide and Doom nearby, whatever you shoot at is most likely going to die. This is on the infantry side of things.

Fire Dragons - This is the vehicle side of things. Whatever you shoot at will die. You have melta weapons with BS4 and 3+ save. You can take these in those Eldar Wave Serpents and boost across the field from one target to another. No armor is safe from these guys.

Harlequins - I remember doing Harlie bombs in 4th Ed. vs. poor Marine players.. with the old rending rules things just got out of hand. But in the new edition and the nerf to rending, thing's aren't as bad. This doesn't mean that Harlequins are no longer good.. they are still one of the best assault units in the game as they ignore terrain, has Fleet, FC, Hit and Run and Rending when you attach kisses. One of the best counter-assault units in the game when behind Wraithguard. The Shadowseer will keep you safe.

Seer Councils - You have Jetbikes and then you have Warlocks and Farseers. You put them together and now you have something that can doom and fortune and re-roll cover saves of 3++ because of turbo-boost, carry Singing Spears that can make a mockery out of armored vehicles, and carry multiple S5 templates that goes over doomed infantry units. I think enough have been said here.

Eldar Vehicles - All their vehicles are costly but justly so. Energy Fields on the Wave Serpents offer solid protection against melta and Holofields on Falcons and Fire Prisms keeps them in the game forever. You pay for what you get.. although I can see a decrease in points for a nerf to Holofields next edition. Trying to kill a Eldar vehicles with Holofields in 5th Ed. when glance can no longer blow a vehicle up (without modifiers), where everything gets a 4+ cover and when I still need to roll 2D6 and pick the lowest on the VDC is just aggravating. Not to mention it's not really realistic when a flyer zips across the battlefield at break neck speeds, gets shot down and its survivors safely descends to safety like beautiful butterflies. I liked it more in 4th Ed. when you got shot down at death-defying speeds: You crash, you lose.

Well, that's all I have to say about the Eldar codex right now. The book is still very solid and competitive and has a lot of life to it still. I can see why Eldar players are getting pissed off at Guard and Blood Angels because now their fast vehicles don't seem so special, but look on the bright side: Your units are awesome.


Chad said...

The problem with the Avatar is they've made too many things like SpaceWolves over write him. It's like they no longer wanted him to be scary in the game (very lame). His biggest weakness is that he really needs fortune to be effective and he's slow (no fleet).

Dire Avengers an holo fields melee tar pit? Had a function in 4th, worthless in 5th.
Dire Avenger Exarch is generally overpriced and not worth getting (same with blade storm -- every other is not as good as every turn).

Swooping Hawks?




Warp Spiders?

Your list is lacks many of the units that have problems...

Granted, they still have playable builds but it's mostly limited to Mechdar

HERO said...

Sorry I didn't get a chance to reply, but here's what I got for that. Swooping Hawks are indeed pretty subpar, I agree, but every book has its weak points. It's really how many weak points the book has makes it good or bad (competitively). Wraithguard are really good because they offer ID, can hurt both infantry and vehicles and can be supported by other elements of your army such as Farseers, counter-charging Harlequins, Avatar and Wraithlords. They form the backbone of a KP denial castle list and with T6 and 3+, they do a pretty good job at that. Scorpions and Banshees both fight with Harlequins on best CC choice. Harlequins are the best, for sure, but that's because pay a healthy number for them. Scorpions offer a ton of attacks before MEQ and late fist. They might even infiltrate their way in, but they remain a lesser version of Khorne Berserkers. Banshees often compete head to head with Harlequins vs MEQ. They are cheaper, makes it so you strike at I1 and has enough attacks to do significant damage. Vs everything with higher toughness, the lack of rending is what really hurts them. Like I said previously though, what makes a book really good is the options it presents, the flavors it offers and how many viable, competitive lists you can make out of it. Seer council, Wraithguard castles and Mechdar are just examples of the silly thing I've seen Eldar do since 4th Ed. The fact that you can do so much makes it a winning book imo.

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