Hey everyone, Reecius here from Frontline Gaming to talk about why the Eldar codex is such a fantastic book.

Ah the Eldar codex, this thing is such a beauty! Great fluff, great rules, so much fun to play. Really just a magnificent codex and one that I personally will hold all others after to as the bar. Phil Kelly, you're my guy, bud! Every now and then you deliver a hyper OP unit (Super Falcons and Dakkafexes in 4th, Long Fangs and Deff Rollas in 5th, Hell Turkies in 6th, etc., etc.), or a flat-out disappointing book (Chaos, whhhhhyyyyy?!?!?!) but when you hit your stride bud, do you ever hit it.

Much like the Dark Eldar book, which he also wrote, this is in my eyes a masterpiece of the codex writing art. Why? It lets you play the game in a wide variety of ways with themed lists that are also good on the tabletop. I was told once by a gentleman that talked to Mr. Kelly about this exact topic who said that when writing a codex Phil thought up a certain number of lists within the book he would like to play (I believe it was 9 or so) and then wrote the rules to allow you to play all these different ways with a single book. I think that is a really sound strategy as it forces you to not only make every unit viable, but viable for multiple lists and play styles.


One of the things I like most about this book is that every single unit is good. For once, they actually pulled it off. I almost don't believe it, but so far it has proven to be true. Nary a Warp Talon or Kheradruakh in sight! Some units don't scream power right out of the gates, but upon closer inspection you see that they actually do all have uses. A perfect example is Swooping Hawks. At first I thought they looked pretty crummy, but upon seeing them in action and thinking about their uses further, I realized they're actually a game winner.
While they won't kill a lot of stuff, they are fantastic skirmishers to go hunting back field units and they will mince any tank in the game with ease. However, the real ace in the hole is the ability to sky leap turn 4 and then come down with certainty turn 5, without scattering, drop an ignores cover pie plate on an enemy unit, shoot the same or another unit and then contest an objective anywhere on the table! Not bad, not bad at all.

The units strike a really fine internal balance and each have their place. For example, I wrote off Warlocks with their low leadership and high cost. However, when taken as a Deathstar they are BRUTAL. Grant, a member of our tournament team, uses an old school Jetseer Deathstar and if anything the unit got better. Now granted some units clearly stand out as amazing, like Warp Spiders, but there are no stinkers in there that I would never use.

Things like this just go to show that you really need to rethink how to use units in the book in the context of 6th ed before judging them. I also thought Autarchs wouldn't hold up compared to the Farseer and Spiritseer, not that they were bad just not as good, but upon further play-testing I found that the good old Autarch adds a lot of utility where he lacks brute strength. In fact the choice of HQs is MUCH harder to make than I initially had thought. They all have their utility and uses.



More so than ever with Eldar, you need to take a list that strikes a harmony between units. Eldar units are often individually weak (apart from the Wraith units, obviously) but when used to buff one another and working together to support each other, they form a seriously powerful army. There is no army in the game they can't take head on and expect good odds of winning. I have been running mine through the paces against a wide variety of tournament players and lists, and so far have not found any big miss-matches. You can see some of our test games on our YouTube channel.

I really have to tip my hat to the design team for this one. The army is just great fun to play, does something in every phase of the game and can be played any way you want. You can go blazing speed and firepower with a mech list, hoof it with a colorful variety of infantry units, go uber resilient with a Wraith army or Deathstar list, dominate the psychic phase with a literal army of psykers, assault well, shoot well, play a tricky army or a blend of any of them. You name it, this book provides it.

So well done GW, please deliver more of this and less of the disappointing Chaos Space Marines and 6th ed will be a great edition.

54 Comments:

  1. Too bad I'm stuck with the Phil Kelly Chaos action...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Daemons can do almost all of that.. Except for the shooting part unless you count Psychic powers as shooting. Slaanesh has a great advantage with preferred enemy as standard and can just about keep up pace with them. Khornes, Karanak and flesh hounds are good for dealing with pyskers. Nurgles poison doesn't care about T, Tzeentch has Fatey who can reroll warpstorm and one dice per turn which is always handy especially when facing Eldrad. More chance to turn him into a herald? Yes please!

      Delete
    2. That doesn't exactly fix up Chaos Space Marines however.

      Delete
    3. Thanks for the reply! Yeah, I have been trying to keep it mono-Khorne but have realized I might have to buy into some Tzeentch/Slaanesh, even poor Nurgle's getting shot to pieces. Disappointing there is already a focus on allowing a fluff craftworld army list, yet mono-god/chapter lists for CSM got the cold shoulder. For some reason I now have to ally my World Eaters with hair metal marines. Sad!

      Delete
    4. Also I can see Slaanesh prince's being quite favourable against some Eldar lists. Give them an ether blade, whip and iron arm and you are going to be auto killing Eldar by the dozens in cc and auto hitting and wounding a lot with the whip.

      Delete
    5. Edit: Sorry was thinking for a minute all Slaanesh had preferred Eldar but it is just the KoS. Shame, still it makes him a lot more viable now and he will make absolute mincemeat of nearly all Eldar units if you can get in close combat with them.

      Delete
    6. CSM is better than that Vetok fail DA dex.

      You just got to take allys now.
      Add more allys till you are actuall not playing youre dex anymore then you have a playable army ;)

      Delete
    7. @Nurgle. That's the problem though: lasting long enough to get into CC. And Eldar with Tau buddies...

      Delete
    8. Lol dude if u think the D.A. codex is inferior to CSM...then why have I not lost to chaos at all this year? I played as recently as Monday, and it was a sad attempt from the traitors, final tally; 16 to 2. time before that; 14 to 6.

      Yes it could have been a lot better! Not at all saying it's incredible, but iv been doing great with it.

      Delete
    9. There is nothing wrong with CSM or DA Codexes. They fit well within 6th edition, and with supplements will only get better.

      I play both those armies for FUN which they are.

      It was unrealistic to expect a return to the age of the 3.5 dex

      Delete
  2. How do you like this book compared to the Tau Codex, Reece? Is that a fair comparison?

    Do you think the Edlar Supplement is worth the money competitively speaking?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I really like the Iyanden supplement. It is almost all fluff (I like that, though) and light on rules but the rules it does have are quite good. If this is what we can expect form further supplements, I am very happy. I would just like to see some more FoC swapping.

      Tau are very powerful but so are Eldar, just in different ways. Eldar takes more skill to play well than Tau do, IMO. With Tau you can build a SAFH and then it comes down to just target priority and screening properly. Eldar need to blend offense and defense to really pull it all together, which I think is a lot of fun.

      Delete
  3. Nurgle no likey Elder. Eldar are like mosquitoes, easy to swat.. if you can ever catch the buggers and don't dare get me started on their dark cousins.. Boo!

    ReplyDelete
  4. I've been saying the same things about the JetCouncil. It's so much cooler than it used to be! Sure, you have to test with everyone, but they're proper psykers now. It's the only deathstar made up of all psykers casting individual powers. Very cool IMO. I think the only thing it lost is guaranteed Fortune, but with other powers to improve their defense, I think that's far from a deal-breaker.

    Been doing a series of posts about the Council over at dnanoodle.blogspot.com

    I still have a long ways to go before I finish. There is so much that is situational and dependent on random rolls that it's hard to say anything brief about the unit

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, I was 100% wrong about that unit. I thought it was dead and buried but as so often happens, after actually trying it, I saw that it actually got BETTER! I almost couldn't believe it.

      Delete
  5. Congratulations to all Eldar players! About the Chaos Space Marine codex, do you think it's possible to arrange a huge boycott of Chaos models going on for a month to get GW's attention? The idea would be to get some changes to the codex.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think that would have absolutely no effect.

      Delete
    2. I'm hoping for a supplement soon ;)

      Delete
    3. Chaos supplement they have to be very careful about. Say if they brought out a supplement purely devoted to crimson slaughter. I'm not sure 99% of chaos players would be best pleased at all.

      Delete
    4. Also no Boycotts do not work. If they did, EA would've been out of business along time ago and the gaming industry would be a happier place. :P

      Delete
    5. Emperors Children or nothing :p

      Delete
    6. I'm holding out hope that the Chaos supplements fix the problems...

      Delete
  6. Thanks for this Reecius. Your enthusiasm alone made me run out and pick this book up. I was surprised by how much Eldar stuff I had laying around and am well on my way to cracking some of the goodness this codex has.

    On an aesthetic note, the codex is built very well. Colorful, elegant in the artwork placement, to make it feel very different from the codex I have so far (Chaos and Dark Angels). I mean the general layout is there, but where it feels the Chaos codex fumbled the ball in its depiction of what Chaos represents in the 40k universe, the Eldar codex lands these guys mythos to a 'T'. THAT impressed me too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, right?! It is so well done, I love it! It blew my expectations out of the water, I was just so happy with it.

      Delete
  7. The history part was a little lacking I think. One of the major eldar battles wasn't even talking about in there that being the battle of Haranshemash. It was only mentioned once in the whole book and only in Fuegan's part

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thats because the battle hasn't happened yet. Its the final stand of the galaxy.

      Delete
    2. You are thinking of the Rhana Dandra

      Delete
  8. The history part was a little lacking I think. One of the major eldar battles wasn't even talking about in there that being the battle of Haranshemash. It was only mentioned once in the whole book and only in Fuegan's part

    ReplyDelete
  9. Well I guess I'm the only one that thinks its passable but a huge missed opportunity to really do some cool and unique things with certain units.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Really? What do you think it is lacking?

      Delete
    2. You aren't alone Defenestratus.
      Plenty of people talking about how amazing the codex is and how it is just hard to play, and you need to build the lists properly.

      No ones providing these amazing builds that work with all this talk of synergy that I've seen.
      Also most of the games people have had success with them are the typical crappy list versus equally crappy list situation, or in some cases, just a matter of getting lucky with psychic powers.

      That being said I only read batreps, I don't watch youtube vids of them, so I haven't seen Reece's.

      There's plenty of disappointments in the book if you ask me. So many missed opportunities to really make every choice viable and actually add some real synergy. I find warlocks a huge disappointment, particularly not joining aspect squads...
      People seem to forget that the stuff that didn't work last codex hasn't had those issues fixed, despite receiving some buffs. No major price decreases though, no delivery vehicles, a few gimmicky rules.

      Way too many vacuum arguments about how things are good IMO, a good player never lets all these 'amazing' tactics work.

      Delete
  10. Yeah no... Warlocks have failed too many psychic checks for me... To the shelves with them!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Reece, while I agree this dex is realy good, it has some major flaws. Not game breaking and you will be able to top tournies with this book, some units will fade back into the background.

    I really wish they would have done less cut and pasting and thought a little more about unit roles, particularly with regards to CC. Our Elite spot is where we see three units competing for a slot, ok 4. But lets look at Banshees, Harlies and Scorpions. All three suffer from no assalt ramps. Sure harlies have the veil of tears for 30 points, but you are gonna fail that 1/3 of the time. Thats just not stable enough. I would rather just get another wraithguard unit and blow stuff up. The warlocks suffer from the same deal, leadership 8 and psycic tests do not go together. I mean why would I take any of these units when I can grab a 10 man spider unit with a spinnerest rife and fast shot? They just dont make the cut and back up to the selves they go. The one unit I think might be ok to take are the scorpions.

    Another huge fail are the Phoenix Lords. First off no Shining Spears or Warp Spiders lord? Why did they not make their aspects troops? Lost out on a very cool way to color up the tournie table.

    I also think the Hunter got shafted. I am paying alot for a 10/10/10 flyer. Give me a jink with full BS and its worth it.

    All that being said there is no single "cookie cutter" list. There are some very fun and rocking lists, and the possibility for some battle brother action really expands an already deadly book. I am putting together a list with some shenanigans planed.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There have never been Phoenix Lords for the Spiders or Spears. I wasn't expecting them, myself, but it would have been cool and easy to add them.

      I also didn't expect assault ramps on Serpents, I wonder why people did? They deliver shooting units. Assault units hoof it, but Scorps infiltrate and Banshess run like the wind. Harlies are invisible (most of the time). Perhaps it is just because I am a long time Footdar player, but I never felt handicapped with no assault transport.

      Delete
    2. A tip for your Hunter play. If you are making verticle movements towards the enemy with this vehicle you are just gonna get it killed. Remember with Vector Dance you can turn before and after movement. This is perfect for making horizontal movements roaming back and forth BEHIND your line, sniping targets using the full range of your weapons to keep it safe. These movements combined with presenting closer more immediate threats and killing skyfire weapons before your Hunter appears should see it sniping targets for many turns.

      I even like the thought of two passing each other back and forth.

      Delete
    3. I agree that Banshees are good at counter assault, but they are also useful as a pile-in unit.

      High points game: deploy them behind but as close to the forward infiltrated striking scorpion as possible. They use the close threat of the scorpions to advance and pile-in on anything that either assaults or gets assaulted by the scorpions. The two aspects working together in this way can make a mess of large units.

      Delete
  12. I'm certainly not a know it all or anything, as I don't play eldar, but as recent as last night I overheard 3 Eldar players in my club bitching excessively about how Howling Banshees still suck? I always assumed myself the were a counter-charge type unit, but I got told "To stick to my shitty Templars and stay out of it.." It was half jokingly said, but I really don't know how they'd work otherwise, someone who doesn't mind giving me some insight I'd really appreciate the enlightenment!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. People who think Banshees suck are trying to force a round peg into a square hole. You have to play them in a new way. They are fantastic as a counter assault unit which is what I think they are designed for.

      Delete
    2. Stick to your shitty Templars ;) LMAO, what dbags.

      Delete
  13. Hmmm, I have to agree… I think this is one of the best codexes out there, balanced exceptionally both internally (units compete well within their FOC) and externally (a very competitive chance against any other codex, but not auto-win by any means).

    This is like a teacher saying “If you correct this your term paper goes from a 98% to a 100% in score,” but if I could wishlist and change only one thing per FOC of Codex: Eldar, it would be as follows:

    HQ (non-unique)
    -Autarch — Can take any of the Exarch Powers (but not Iron Will or any of the Crimson Hunter powers) for same points costs as the Exarchs
    *Rationale: Gives Autarchs even more flexibility in their build and enables them to be taylored to support a specific unit, Aspect Warriors or otherwise, in combat. Fluffy and competitive option, I believe.

    HQ (unique)
    -Yriel — Has a special ability called “Master of the Fleet” which enables his army, if he is the WL, to bring in a single unit from reserves each turn (including Turn 1) without having to roll for that unit. All other units in reserve have to roll as normal (and are affected by his “The Path of Strategy” rule).
    *Rationale: I think Yriel is pretty decent for his points, but he just lacks that special bit of uniqueness that really makes a player consider bringing him in their army. This rule would be both fluffy for him and would truly allow Eldar players who chose him to master Reserve play, which I think would be outstanding for this codex.

    ELITES
    -Banshees — All Bashees (and Jain-Zar) gain the special rule “Howling Death,” which allows them to ignore cover when charging and prevents any enemu unit they charged from being able to overwatch.
    *Rationale: As many have noted, this is one of the few units that truly seems to struggle in the codex, both in terms of role and competitiveness. Letting them ignore cover on the charge and enemy overwatch tremendously buffs their usefulness, while not make them overpowered (still S3 and T3 with 4+ Armor Save)… plus, again, I think it fits with their unit design/fluff

    ReplyDelete
  14. TROOPS
    -Windrider Jetbikes — Armor Save is reduced from 3+ to a 4+ save.
    *Rationale: While there are many very powerful, competitive units in the codex (Wave Serpent and Warp Spiders immediately jump to mind as almost too good for their points), I actually think Windriders are the most undercosted, especially given their status as Troops. Dropping their armor to a 4+ is in line with Guardians (usually more lightly armored than the rest of the army), reinforces their roles as rapid raiders (fast, deadly, but fragile), and tones them down just a little bit so they are not an “auto-take” unit every game.
    FAST ATTACK
    -Hemlock Wraithfighter — Heavy D-Scythes have range upgraded to 24″ and are Assault 2, vice Assault 1.
    *Rationale: While Terrify/PML(1) is the most unique part of the Hemlock, I think its role as a “bomber” is significantly undercut by the poor range and damage output of its primary conventional weapons. Hence, the buff to Heavy D-Scythes, making them genuinely a weapon to be feared and a factor on the battlefield. The Hemlock is still expensive points-wise and very fragile, so should not be over-powered, but still able to fullfill that “glass cannon” role, albeit more an an anti-infantry flyer than the anti-armor/anti-flyer role of the Crimson Hunter.
    HEAVY SUPPORT
    -Falcon — Gains “Assault Vehicle” rule.
    *Rationale: A good vehicle, but seems to struggle with competition in the HS slot, especially against FPs, Night Spinners, and even against other transports like the Wave Serpent (which can hold double the number of models and is more survivable). Giving the Falcon “Assault Vehicle” status gives players a real reason to take it and a special niche within the Edar army, since this is the only way they can conducted mechanized assaults into close combat. Given that the Falcon can only hold 6 models (so no Wraithblades), this capability is tempered from being too OPed while forcing players to use them in a very surgical, Eldar-ish fashion… i.e. you can only take 6 Banshees or Scorpions or Harlequins and assault out of the vehicle, so players must employ a great deal of care and skill when doing this.
    PHOENIX LORDS [I broke them out because they are a "separate class" of unit in my mind]
    -All Phoenix Lords gain the rule “Disciples of War,” which gives the Phoenix Lord and any unit of his Aspect Warriors that he has joined the Preferred Enemy USR.
    *Rationale: While I think overall Phoenix Lords are pretty decent this time around (especially Karandras and Fuegan), this buff makes them better in both shooting and CC, giving them a slight edge in gameplay for their high points cost and also being fluffy, given that they are the total embodiment of the Eldar art of war personified. Allowing a unit of their Aspect that they have joined to also have Preferred Enemy is very fluffy, in my opinion, and gives players solid incentive to do this in actual gameplay.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good stuff. I agree with every change, especially the jetbikes. The only thing I would add is to increase the cost of warp spiders. They're a little too good at the moment.

      Delete
    2. Saw the jetbike changes, realised you must be on drugs/a total idiot and stopped reading.
      Sorry what range are shurikens again???

      Delete
  15. Here are the places where I think the book falls apart:

    HQ: Autarchs have one build with bike and mantle. I can't tell you how many times I've seen this crap already.

    Farseers cannot reliably synergize their units with random psychic powers. Guide is a watered down prescience and either Doom or Fortune should have been a primaris power. Otherwise a nice 25 point piece of wargear that would let you pick your primaris power from all the powers would have been great and not game-breaking.
    Phoenix lords clearly have pros and cons. I've had good luck with Asurmen but Maugan Ra seems a bit lackluster. Not bad but not great against his peers.

    Troops: Guardians still suck with their 12" range. I know I know "BUT BATTLEFOCUS NEEEEYAAAA" ... yeah well if you're battle focus running to get INTO range then you're going to get counter assaulted next round. If you're running after you shoot, you're probably STILL going to be in charge range. They don't work as defensive "backline" objective holders since they're way too fragile. Rangers do that better for cheaper.
    Dire Avengers and Counter assault? Why? I don't get.
    Jetbikes are great.
    Rangers are decent for what you pay for them.

    Elites:
    Everyone knows the plight of the banshee. No need to rehash that.
    Scorpions are fine if expensive with the exarch with his power glove.
    Wraithguard are fine except you can't stick a warlock with them anymore.
    Wraithblades are pretty slot to get into combat. Pity too since I have a nice batch of them that I want to be able to use but just can't seem to ever get them to get the assault. (they get assaulted just fine)
    Harlequins I don't play with and hate the models. I'd just as well wish they'd get their own book and get out of the CWE one.

    Fast Attack: (the shining jewel of the codex)
    Spears I love. They got cheaper, got a bigger squad size and got outflank and skilled rider. Whats not to like.
    Spiders: OMGWTFBBQPWN unit. I'm trying really hard to not spam 30 of these guys and maintain my "not a douchebag player" card.
    Hawks: A bit too situational for my tastes but I can definitely see where they might be effective. I would never take these guys in an all-comers list but against orks or IG I'd be hard pressed not to take them. Why they didn't get an ability to interact with flyers is one of the biggest let downs of the book.
    Vypers: Meh. Take em or leave em. Not bad.
    Flyers: Both crap. Comes in one round then dies - if it lasts that long. Just go get yourself some nightwings instead.

    Heavies:
    All of them are ok except Dark Reapers who are waaaay too expensive and Falcons who just don't have a place - they should have been cheaper dedicated transports to the wave serpent.

    The codex is basically the same as the last one with some glitter thrown in which apparently is enough for fanboys to think that its an awesome codex when its just "ok".

    ReplyDelete
  16. I think that we can all agree that the new book is better than the last one. However, it still didn't address the primary problems the other book faced. Specifically, close combat. Harlequins, the only competent close combat unit, got much worse. Scorpions got slightly better and banshees went from being on the shelf to being in the attic. In 90% of situations, these units will get their asses handed to them, yet they are as expensive as generalist units.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Warlocks are you premier assault unit if you are looking to go in and smash stuff, along with the Avatar and Wraithlords and Wraithknights to an extent. I have never had an issue with it, even with the loss of Harlies, honestly. And even there, they are still really, really good, just not auto-invisible anymore.

      Scorps and Banshees serve different roles. They were never meant to engage heavy assault units head on, I mean, look at their points cost. They kill non-dedicated assault units and counter assault.

      Delete
    2. You just used the oldest shitty assault unit defense in the book. The problem is NOT that they can't kill weaker stuff in the assault or cannot counter assault, the problem is that they fill this role worse then practically every other 6th or 5th edition book. DCA of Grey Knights are cheaper and can be scoring. Assault Marines have a bigger threat range / are more durable and can buy meltaguns. How many banshees did you see fielded before this book came out? Very few? Well these are WORSE than those.

      If I want a real assault unit I can go with a bike council which, even if it was good in real life (it isn't) and wasn't a massive headache to keep track of (it is), it still is functionally worse than it was before.

      The last thing I'll say is that a lot of these units (Banshees, Scorpions, Warlocks, harlequins) are all over shadowed by almost everything else in the book. Why would I ever get a 160-230 point counter assault unit when 3x Scattor Walkers will threaten everything on the board and kill more stuff over the course of a game? 96 points of swooping hawks in my experience, have been a far better investment than a full unit of banshees. They actually have the tools to isolate lone, vulnerable units.

      Delete
    3. DCA of Grey Knights are cheaper and can be scoring. Assault Marines have a bigger threat range / are more durable and can buy meltaguns.
      -->Ward

      Delete
    4. How is a 35 point model with poor leadership, limited attacks, the need of a jetbike for mobility and no power weapon a premier assault unit?
      Warlocks are a deathstar unit because of their cost, disregarding the impracticality of relying on random powers.
      Not to say you can't make them work, but they are hardly the be all end all, and at their cost are taking a huge chunk out of your army.

      Delete
  17. Idk if I agree. Most of the exarchs are not worth it in my eyes and the dark reapers are too fragile to be 30 points a pop.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Hey Reece. So glad to see you supporting the Eldar codex. I'm an Eldar only player and haven't understood all the wailing and gnashing of the teeth over the book since its release. In only limited play its been very nasty for me, and I've checked out your bat-reps and seen you wreck house. Glad you enjoying it, and also glad to see you giving the book some love across the various sites. Cheers!

    ReplyDelete
  19. Well , i think the Eldar codex is one of the best ones , but Banshees and Harlequins now truly suck , anyway.
    However the codex is very good and a fun read nonetheless.


    ReplyDelete
  20. I do like the new book but was disappointed that aspects didn't move to troops with the relevant phoenix lord and no flying infantry rule for swooping hawks to let them assault flyers with haywire grenades.

    LD9 warlocks would have been nice too. Other than that top quality codex!

    ReplyDelete
  21. Lol... I haven't won a game with them yet! I did alright with them in their old dex... Oh we'll to be fair my dice have been super crap lately... Damn those Warlocks too! Always blowing their brains up... Sucks that you can only join them with Guardian type units too... Oh why did they nerf bat them, but give them better powers than the Farseer?

    ReplyDelete

 
Top
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...