Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Eldar Review: Initial Thoughts

 I was initially going to write an article on using Eldar as allies for Space Marines. However, the more I thought about that, the less it seemed like a good idea. Since the armies are only Allies of Convenience, the Eldar won’t be able to cast psychic powers on Marine units. With Eldar, that’s a big deal.

However, I started playing Eldar with their 3rd Edition codex, and I’ve got almost 3,000 points of them. I ran a Swordwind style army, with lots of aspect warriors and Wave Serpents. However, that style stopped being really viable (at least for me) about halfway through 5th Edition. While you could concentrate on just surviving and using your Serpents for last turn objective grabs, that was really boring. I shelved my Eldar.

Fast forward to last month. The new Eldar book came out, and I couldn’t be happier. Aspect warriors have the rules they’re supposed to without having to buy them for the Exarch. Wave Serpents are amazing. Shuriken weapons are legitimately threatening. The Eldar finally feel like that fast, maneuverable army they were always supposed to be.

As you may have noticed from my recent posts, I’ve been frustrated by my Space Marines lately. I know that they’re supposed to get a new codex in October, but I really need a break from playing them. I won’t be abandoning the Executioners, but I would like to concentrate on the Eldar for the moment. I hope that they’ll be enough of a change of pace to reinvigorate my hobby.

The main rule that defines the ne Eldar is Battle Focus. All of the non-wraith units have it (and the wraith units can have it if you use the Iyanden codex). This allows the unit to both run and shoot each turn, in whichever order you prefer. This grants some pretty impressive flexibility, and really enhances the army’s shooting. It allows your units to run a few extra inches to get into their relative short weapon ranges or to fire and then run away, getting out of assault and rapid fire range. I think this rule will function similar to Combat Tactics, making the army very slippery and hard to pin down. Like Combat Tactics, it will benefit from lots of practice and forethought. It’s hardly a straightforward ability to play, and can just as easily get units into trouble as out of it.

The theme of these pictures is to show my old models. Give me some Eldar nerd cred.
 The second army wide rule for the Eldar is Ancient Doom. This is more of a fluff rule than one that will come up a lot during games, but it gives all Eldar units Hatred against Daemons of Slaanesh and models with a Mark of Slaanesh. In exchange, they take a -1 LD against Fear tests when in contact with those units.

Over the next couple of weeks, I’ll be writing up my initial thoughts on the Eldar codex, similar to what I wrote for Blood Angels and Space Marines. This will be a bit different, as when I wrote those, I had been playing each codex pretty extensively and was very familiar with them. This will be the first time I tackle a new codex as I learn to play it. I hope it will be an interesting read for you. Fortunately, I’ll be able to start playing straight away as I have a pretty substantial army already.

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