The Eldar Elites! Well, aren't all Eldar elite now? With the change of the basic Eldar statline (see my comment on my Troops review), all space elves are superior of mere humans. As they should be (c'mon, they're all inhumanly agile and a thousand years old).
Anywhoo, the Elites list is where most of my favorite heroes hang out -- the Aspect Warriors! Actually, with this new codex I'm leaning more toward the Fast Attack section for faves now. The the Striking Scorpions are still here, and the Harlies, as well as many other great choices. Let's take a quick look (quick because they haven't really changed much).
Howling Banshees: I hear folks complaining that they got worse. I don't think this is the case. They just didn't quite get the boost that every other aspect got. So yes, in comparison they kinda got the shaft, but not really. Their main boost is that Acrobatics became run faster, an additional D3" (used to be counter-attack but you had to pay for it). That's okay, i guess, they can get to cover and close in faster. But... Not really that helpful. Still sporting the power sword and new and improved shuriken pistol. Their masks make more sense now too, reducing the enemies Init by -5 rather than making the banshees Init 10. Same general effect (they are going to go first 95% of the time--remember their Init is 5) but more logical. The downside (but also still logical) is that they only get this when they charge. Used to be "first round of any combat". Not anymore. The exarch's executioner did what i was hoping it would, which is became AP2 under the new melee AP system, and is still S+2. Warrior powers for the alpha chick is mostly for dueling, including disarm, which is kinda cool (init-base roll-off, prevents opponent from using his best melee weapon for this phase). My general impression: as I said, didn't get worse, really, but didn't get much better either. The girl in the group gets excluded from the boys' game again.
Striking Scorpions: Still my fave unit. They have finally come into their own as being the naturally stealthy and sneaky hunters they were supposed to be before. They got fleet back (as they should, they're still Eldar) and all have Move Thru Cover and Stealth, which were warrior powers before. This is the best thing about their upgrade, as with all the aspects -- the very aspect nature that made them what they were now comes standard; you don't need ot pay extra points for one exarch model and more for his powers to grant them all their aspect abilities. So major changes for the scorps: natural hunters now. Mandiblasters make a little more sense now: auto-hits at Init 10, S3 AP-. I was pretty happy with the extra attack from last edition, but then you were taking a chance on the dice. This is a very acceptable change. Weapons are slightly better, with scorp chain swords now S+1 and AP6. Exarch weapons got cooler, most notably the Claw, which i don't see anyone turning down anytime soon. Basically retains the powerfist effect but at normal initiative. I've already used this to deadly effect. And (if memory serves) chain sabres became rending, which is cool. The exarch's warrior powers are kinda cool now with Monster Hunter. Stalker is kinda weird (roll off to backstab which = rerolls to wound) but i'll take it. Overall, very happy that scorpions became the deadly hunters they were always supposed to be.
Fire Dragons: Pretty much unchanged, except that they cost more points, which is hard to argue with. A squad full of meltaguns is unseen in any other army. These are your tank hunters. Caeful not to send them on a suicide run for kill them, though (done that too many times). They kick butt but attract a lot of fire too. 'Nuff said.
Harlequins: Again, vitually unchanged. Which disappoints me. They were good before, and I can't really think of too many changes I'd like to see, but I'd like to have seen SOMETHING new. What did change is that the Shadowseer has to roll a psyke check for Veil of tears, which is back to being a 2D6x2 range check rather than a cover save. This is good and bad -- no longer auto but could negate firing on them all together. What I'd have liked to see change is some of their weapons. The Kiss as a rending weapon is okay, but... It's a blender for the guts, it should be Instant Death I think. Or a toughness test or death, or something. Not sure what, but rending doesn't seem to quite cover it--it works okay, but seems to me it could be better. Also the Shrieker Cannon -- again, unchanged. It's a shuriken cannon that causes targets to explode -- should be better than just pinning. The ammo is toxic, make it 3+ poison. Or... or SOMETHING. Pinning just doesn't seem to cover it. Lastly, we STILL don't have a Solitaire! The description box of them is really cool, and maybe makes it even harder to come up with rules to cover their strange role, but I'd like to see you try at least! They did include a strange artifact in the codex tho that seems geared for making a Solitaire. I already plan to address this in a later post: how we might make our own.
Wraithguard/Wraithswords: I don't really have much to say here because I'm not a Wrathy-player, but GW certainly invested most of their Eldar changes into the Wraiths for this edition. They are pretty damn cool. Badass statline as before, new options for D-flamers and AP3/AP2 weapons and even invuln save options. Even did away with the wraithsight limitation, their only achilles heel. They are the new black, i guess. Though they are still short-ranged and will still attract a lot of fire. If anyone's had any experience with them, please share in the comments!
Wave Serpent: I might as well address the DT here as anywhere. I haven't used one yet, but my first impression is -- they're still 120 points for our only Dedicated Transport!!! We got crapped on again here. Marines can have THREE DTs for that amount of points. Wave serpents can now project their energy shield, not sure how effective that will be but I've heard some folks excited about it. And they can now take holofields as well (which only add +1 to their jink saves, not as super-duper as before). I really would have liked to see a venom-like DT, something small and quick and affordable. No such luck.
(Art stolen from various sources via Google search -- bravo to the artists!!! All save the Harlie image -- that was derived from the original white dwarf featuring Harlies back in the 80s (and altered by someone else for their own codex rules) -- i HAD to run that. Wave serpents stolen from Mordian 7th's blog...)