Friday, June 28, 2013

New Eldar Troops Review: or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the E-Bomb (part 3)

For this installment, I'll briefly look at our 6th ed Eldar Troops choices.  These guys are probably one of the most talked about changes to the Eldar codex, and they didn't even change that much!  What has changed?  Well, two things: the basic Eldar stat line and the basic Eldar weapon.  And that's just about it!  But these relatively small changes have had a very big impact. 

Guardians:  Your basic cheap troop choice is still the guardian, and they still come as shooty 'pult squads or as melee storm guardians.  The major change is a slight increase in stat lines.  These are probably more in keeping with their Dark cousins, who had an upgrade just a couple years ago.  It also makes more sense fluffily-speaking.  Your basic Eldar statline (guardian and variations) now have WS4 BS4 and I5.  Being as they are supposed to be the quick, agile, sensitive immortal-types, this makes more sense.  It also keeps up with a lot of other armies whose basic troops have more 4s in their stat lines.  They also all retain Fleet and now have the general Eldar power of Battle Focus, which adds even more to their quick-deadly-danciness.  They can move and shoot or shoot and move all in the same shooting phase.  This compounds well with the shuriken catapults, which have and have not changed.

Everyone's talking about the new "bladestorm" ability of shuriken weapons.  ("Bladestorm" used to be a cool fast shot kind of all-or-nothing attack by Dire Avengers, which we've now lost...)  Basically, on a 6 to wound the weapon becomes AP2 and auto-wounds despite toughness.  Suddenly our basic troops are worth having!  This is also compatible with the fluffiness because you would expect mono-molecular bladed throwing stars magnetically hurled at the enemy at great speeds to have an advanced cutting edge!  HOWEVER, our range has not improved.  The basic 'pult still only has a 12" range, meaning you have to get in close.  Typically your guardians had to get close enough to be killed before they got to shoot at the enemy.  This is still true, but thanks to Battle Focus and the new Bladestorm rule, you have a much better chance of killing the enemy... Before all your guardians die anyway.

Windrider Jetbikes:  First, I like that they picked up a cool name like "Windriders" -- better than "Guardian jetbikes".  Secondly, they retain all the basic guardian upgrades to their stats and weapons.  The only real individual advancement the bikers got was a decrease in cost -- from 22 to 17 points.  I like it, I'll take it.  And jetbikes in general, especially Eldar bikes, have become very cool and very fast in 6th edition. I foresee a lot of folks using these as their basic troops from now on.  (And I for one will be sporting a squad for sure, on account'a I likes me some fast and dirty eldar.)

Rangers:  These guys actually got a little better and a little worse.  Their stats match the new improved Eldar line (boost to the ranger WS and I at least) and all the general rules, and now per 6th ed they can move and still fire their long las sniper rifles as snap shots, which is nice.  They also got much cheaper (now 12 from 19 pts.) However, their super-sniper nature has degraded: they no longer get an AP bonus for good to-hit rolls.  That's okay though, that was kind of a weird rule anyway.  The main downer here is that you can no longer upgrade to Pathfinders unless you have Illic Nightspear as one of your HQ models.  To me, that stinks. Personally, I'd like to have seen Nightspear as a ranger upgrade model rather than an HQ slot.  But despite all this, they still make a good scoring troops unit that you can infiltrate on top of an objective and leave there all game.

Dire Avengers:  I'm not exactly sure why, but DAs have always been one of my fave units.  I like the look and the idea that they are the "noble warrior" aspect, the all round "knights" of the Eldar warrior class.  They, too, both got better and worse.  We lost two cool warrior powers -- Bladestorm (extra shot for entire unit, then reload next turn (good balance)) and Defend (reduce enemy Attacks by one).  But they now have Counter-Attack, which I think is very fitting and am actually satisfied with.  "You can take away Defend cuz you gave us Counter-Attack; not quite the same, but I'll take it as an even trade." The exarch's new warrior powers are still cool but more in tune with challenges (which was an interesting way to go with the exarchs in general).  The exarch's gear has changed slightly too, most notably the Shimmershield gives a general invuln save to the whole unit now rather than just in close combat, and rather than having the option of two 'pults for 4 shots, he just gets a twin-linked catapult (sucks--with BS5 who the hell needs that??)

I will also throw in at this point that my main disagreement with the new basic Eldar statline was that the Aspect Warriors have the same line!  (except leadership, 9 rather than 8).  It seems to me they should be better than Guardians by more than that, but I've learned to accept it.

Overall, our Troop game has definitely improved!  I'm more inclined to take more than the required Troop number and we get way more bang for our buck.  Happy Avenger here.

Note: Images stolen from various sources around the internet -- please blame Google, not me. 

Monday, June 24, 2013

Eldar WindRiders Progress and the New Schedule

My hobby time this weekend was spent working on my new squad of old Eldar Jetbikers.  (Though that time was supposed to be spent on more important things... more on that momentarily.)

Most of what I have for traditional Eldar jetbikers are from a past generation, to include some lead torso-head pieces, two different chemical make-ups of plastic bikers, and best of all an old Harlie High Warlock which I'll be using as a Warlock and/or Farseer.

I like to make my models unique, even in a squad of rank and file troops.  I took a couple of these guys and snipped off their heads with wire cutters, shaved down and drilled out what was left, and inserted new ones.  One is a newer guardian artilleryman with a cool visor and the other is (you guessed it) a Dire Avenger variation.  I just HAD to get a mohawk into my punk biker gang somehow!  There's also a shining spear guy in there who thinks that he has to dress up in fancy armor to go parading around the sky routes.  The drawback to having a collection of odd bits, though, is that I actually do NOT have enough biker arms to go around.  This will mean sticking in weapon hands and odd limbs from other eldar or dark eldar.  i also want to figure out how I can make a hand flipping the bird for one guy!!  Now THAT'S an Eldar punk-ass jetbiker!

I've been working on the bikes as well, spending WAY too much time figuring out how to attached a shuriken cannon and also magnetizing the Harlie canopy.  My fear there is that it's going to be very heavy for my light plastic bike with magnetic stand.  Maybe if I stack a couple magnets it'll stack the field and strengthen the hold??  Or does that only work on Star Trek?

The "New Schedule" refers to my blogging habits (sorry, i don't have any rumor insights into GW's releases).  It has been my intention for about a month to only post on Fridays.  That obviously hasn't worked out.  The reason I want to limit my blogging is because I have so much else I could be doing with that time!  (Revising my novel, writing another one, building models, painting those models, etc.)  But I just have so much to say about Warhammer!  And a thousand modeling projects I could share!  Therefore, I am planning to limit myself to Fridays and--if I absolutely have to--also on Mondays (today, for example).  But that's it!  So if you catch me posting  a blog on any other day, I would greatly appreciate it if you'd tell me just how weak-willed I am and tell me to get back to work!  Thank you.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

My Two (Thousand) Sons

After a lot of typey blog posts (and more to come) I thought some good old fashioned modeling was in order.

Starting to get some Thousand Sons painted after about two thousand years.  I started out wanting to do something different, so I tried out a turquoise look...

I like it but it didn't have the excited glow I was looking for.  So I tried the classic yellow again (which I love but, you know, wanted to try something different)...

So now I'm thinking the squad will be yellow as is expected, but I'll leave this one model blue.  He's the icon bearer for the Icon of Flame -- as long as this model--who burns with a strange blue fire--is alive, then the whole squad has Soulfire on their Inferno bolts.

By the way, I also tried adding color to their inferno bolts to match the eldritch fire in their eyes...

So that's two down.  Who knows when I'll get back to them...  I just have SO MANY models to assemble and paint, even if we're just talking about Chaos and Eldar.  My list of "to do" modeling projects is longer than my life span.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Dawn Fire: New Eldar Battle Report

J and I waged war last weekend and therefore gave me a chance to test out my new beloved Eldar.  And I think J would agree, the Eldar definitely caught up with the trend of the new Codices in that they got pretty damn good at what they do!

I called my list "Dawn Fire" because it was my first of the new 6th ed codex.  Because I could spend a vast amount of time typing up a detailed report when that time might be better spent assembling or painting troops (or more likely, mowing the lawn and repairing the garden hose), I'm going to keep this pretty basic, similar to my "battle tweets".

I made my list not knowing what J would bring and he surprised me with his first unholy allience: Dark Eldar with Chaos Allies. It was a cool list and we had a hell of a fight.  While my Eldar seemed more killy than his forces for most of the battle, at the end of turn 5 J was winning due to a great strategic move that contested my prime objective, though rolling into turn 6 allowed me the opportunity to take his objective and tip the scale to my favor.

Each side had their own objective tucked away.  The Dark Eldar and their Chaos allies were more aggressive, allowing the Eldar to play defense and shoot into them as they came in. 

* The Avatar got a bit too aggressive himself and wandered out alone.  The enemy's Helbrute was just out of reach. Turn 1 the Av approached and tried to melta bolt him but missed.  The Eldar Falcon sprayed scatter and pulse lasers at the Helbrute, inflicting a hullpoint of damage. This sent the helbrute into a shooting rage and he stood still to fire twice, wasting two multimelta shots on the fiery hide of the Avatar who is immune to such attacks. This was also disppointing to the Avatar, who was hoping the Helbrute would come closer.  Since it didn't he went to him, failing his charge by less than an inch!  This left the Avatar of Khaine exposed to a LOT of poisonous fire, the last volley of which came at the bottom of turn 2 from the newly arrived Talos.  The embodiment of Khaine, and my warlord, was dead in turn 2.

*My scorpions outflanked at the top of turn 2, coming out on the opposite side of the board than I'd hoped.  But they'd also been itching for a rematch with the Talos, who had slaughtered my scorpions in the last Eldar Cousins Feud Brawl.  So J accommedated me and brought his Talos in right there with the scorps.  They fired their shuriken pistols on the way in, inflicting 2 "bladestorm" AP2 wounds, then the Exarch torn out the monster's heart with his S6 AP2 I6 powerclaw.  The scorpions were avenged and the new Eldar rules proved very deadly.

* The Falcon maneuvered about and destroyed the Archon's raider transport with heavy firepower.  Meanwhile the Fire Dragons unloaded from the back and melta'ed the Helbrute to death, exploding the metal monstrosity (though the blast reached no one).

* The Warp Spiders teleported in a little closer to the Chaos Marines than intended, but that was okay.  The Exarch's spinnerete rifle and the squad's razor-sharp webbing killed all but one marine and wounded the Chaos Lord.  The spiders then bounced back away from the enemy in the same turn, proving themselves deadly assassins.

* Though not totally competent.  The next turn the spiders tried to warp jump and rolled double-ones ( doubles mean one man doesn't come back thru the other side of the jump).  Having been robbed of the distance needed for my plan, I ended up just moving them a few inches and they popped back out of the warp one model short, sacrificing a man when they could have just walked!

* Reaver jetbikers dodge around the field taking deadly pot-shots and zipping over my units, severing heads as they pass.

* The Dark Eldar's air support enters the battle with tragic firepower.  Its splinter cannon contributes to the Avatar's death (that black lump in the jet's sights is him) and its missiles take out Avengers, Reapers, Jetbikers, and a Warlock.  The fighterjet makes a long slow pass over the field, shot at by dragons, snipers, the falcon tank, and then some, and passes back into reserve near the end of the game unscathed. 

* My primary avenger squad ravages the Archon and his Warriors with shuriken fire (popping the archon's 2+ invuln bubble and inflicting 2 wounds on him), as well as the mob of Chaos Cultists.  Half the Avengers are killed off by enemy fire but they remain stalwart and stand their ground.

* The surviving cultists make a slobber-jawed charge at the avengers, but they're too slow in combat and are slaughtered by the nimble space elves and their power sword toting exarch.

* The striking scorpions finish off the archon and his last two warriors with shuriken pistol fire, then reroute toward the wracks holding the DE's primary objective in the back corner.  The wracks meet them halfway, getting just close enough to fire their liquidator gun and reduce two scorpions to goo and armor (the exarch is saved by a "look out sir" dive).  Shuriken pistols and flacon cannon fire reduce the number of wracks holding the base.

* The Haemonoculus rides his raider up along the Eldar's flank and opens a warp portal.  Next turn a pack of khymerae and their sky-boarding master come tearing through to attack my back line.  Unfortunately in 6th edition, they have to enter the board and wait to be shot.  My warlock Triad, a small squad of Dire Avengers, and my Dark Reapers are there (all of them having taken casualties here and there from Dark Eldar ranged attacks), and my windrider biker squad arrives from reserves.  The khymeraes' invuln save holds out and keeps two beasts alive.

* DE Reavers streak across the board, killing those they pass and ending in the back line of the board.  The Eldar jetbikers zoom around and attack. The warlock biker casts Destructor, summoning a roiling scourge of blue fire... and then the Warlock's head explodes!  I rolled double ones (again!), this time for his psyke check and he then failed his Perils of the Warp invuln save.  To make matters worse the Reavers passed their Deny the Witch!  The blue flames sputtered out and instead filled the warlock's helmet!

* Coming to the bottom of turn 5 things are not looking good for the Axis of Evil.  The Eldar have their objective (3 VPs), first blood, slay the warlord, and potentially line breaker (3 more VPs).  The Dark Eldar/Chaos have their objective (3 VPs), slay the warlord and potentially linebreaker (2 more VPs).  So in a brilliant strategic play, the remaining khymerae change course and charge the eldar rangers that are holding my prime objective, thus contesting it and taking away 3 of my Victory points. Turn 5 ends and if the game ends here the Dark Eldar have won!

* Roll a die.  Turn 6 begins.  The Eldar have the chance to tie up the loose ends, and do so.  The last avenger of the defensive DA squad, as well as the remaining avengers of the offensive squad all pile into the ranger-khymerae combat and the hell hounds are killed.  Objective is freed up.  The remainnig jetbikes, warp spiders, and fire dragons all fire on the reavers and kill them, denying Line Breaker.  And the scorpions attack the wracks and overwhelm them, securing the last objective.  Eldar take the game in Turn 6.

** Actually, I don't think we played out the Khymerae melee -- I think that was last and a moot point after the wracks lost so we just called the game. 

***AND I realize now writing this that we forgot about the grav generator objective (mysterious objective) that the wracks were holding!  It may have prevented the scorpions from completing their charge.  (But with fleet and being only a short distance away anyway, it probably wouldn't have made a difference.)

MVP -- My MVP unit for this game was the Striking Scorpions, one of my all-time fave units anyway.  They took revenge on the Talos and defeated it without losing a man, then killed the enemy Warlord, and without breaking stride moved on to secure the enemy objective.  Way to go, fellas!!

Boobie Prize -- None of my units were a total failure in this game but there are three nominees...  The Avatar who ran out on his own and got whacked.  The Warp Spiders who decided to teleport 4 lousy inches and lost a man doing it.  And the biker Warlock who blew himself up using his power and didn't even kill anyone in the process...  The Spiders made up for their mistake.  I'm giving the Warlock this battle's Boobie Prize!

It was a good game and the new Eldar definitely proved their mettle.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

New Eldar HQ Review: or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the E-Bomb (part 2)

I present here an overview of the new Eldar Codex HQs, as filtered through my Phoenix Lord helmet visor.  I will try to keep this (relatively) brief.

I don't know who's Ra this is, but it's AWESOME.
For me, it's all about the HQs in 40K.  I love the characters, the personalities, the superheroes.  I generally build a list based on who my HQs are, no matter the army.  They flavor the whole thing -- well, I have core units I almost always use in each army, but the true character of the force comes from the HQ choices.  So here's my personal take on what we have...

Seers:  I know the Seers are the most popular HQs with most Eldar players (though not usually with me).  With the new Runes of battle dual-powers the Eldar come into actually being the most powerful psychics in the galaxy.  And the Farseer gets mastery 3 for only 100pts, which is awesome. I also like the new Farseer powers -- or should I say, the old ones.  Some of them (like death mission) harken back to the very first farseers of the early 90s, which is cool.  Now, I have heard some players griping that, "Oh, Eldar took a big blow cuz we can't pick fortune anymore, we have to roll it."  My resoonse is, "Tough $#!^."  So you don't get your guarenteed cheat anymore.  I personally like the random powers, it adds a fun and uncontrolled element to the game.  The farseers Runes of Witnessing and Warding have become much less potent and are now one-use expended, which is good for balance but I did like them better before. 

We now have 3 seer HQ options, the Farseer, Spiritseer, and the Warlocks.  The Farseer I don't need to say much about.  The Spiritseer is pretty much wraith-oriented, which will make a lot of folks happy, as he makes wraithguard/swords troops and gives them a markerlight-type ability. He is also a mastery 2 warlock using the same Runes of Battle discipline and a 2 wound model, which is nice (though I don't expect to use one much personally). 

The Warlocks have become just about what I hoped they would. They are a non-slot HQ choice you can always take and they work similar to SW Wolf Guard -- you can make a council unit of 1-10 models, branch off one at a time to lead guardian units (troops, bikers, and heavy wpn teams), and keep the rest to form their own unit.  I was hoping they'd go so far as Indepenedent Characters like the Blood Angel medic so they could join about anyone, but no such luck.  I personally will be having one join my Windrider Bikes and have a Warlocke Triad unit who stick together and help others in the battle.  (I've dnoe that once now and I held them back too much to be of any real use).  So I'm kind of excited about the Warlock changes.

And of course Eldrad.  He finally lives up to the ultimate psyker title too.  Mastery 4 and he can regenerate warp charge points while he's casting on a 5+ roll.  He's going to be even more popular than before.

Illic Nightspear:  This guy is a cool, badass type ninja sniper.  Very cool character but...  I don't think I'll be giving up a precious HQ spot for him.  (I might once just to try him out.)  I'm a bit disappointed that taking him is the only way to upgrade rangers to pathfinders, but if you do so they can deepstrike right up next to Nightspear, who can infiltrate without limitations, like they're all crawling out of the bush at just the right spot. I just wish he were a ranger upgrade character rather than an HQ. If you just want to run allies, though, him with some pathfinders would make a cool add-on unit of Outcast snipers.

Autarchs: Pretty much unchanged from the last edition.  What I like about them is the Autarch is basically a "make your own hero kit," which is fun. 

Yriel is also pretty much the same, though he has 4 wounds now (not sure why...  Maybe they just figured some Eldar character should as many other codexes have a W4 hero?).  I hever used him much but as Autarchs go he's pretty cool.  Fluff-wise though I'd prefer to think of his large blast melee attack as a ninja-like whirlwind of spearwork rather than some lame eye-piece energy blast...

Avatar:  The Avatar got monstrously badass, as he should be.  Stat increases: WS10, BS10, I10, A5, and W5!  I was shocked to see 5 wounds.  I was a little disppointed to see his S6 and T6 remain the same as any generic monstrous creature -- seems to me a giant of living molten metal should be T7...  I also think I10 is a bit much for such a big guy, but I ain't complaining. I like that the Doom that Wails gives him AP1 attacks, thus the SWORD has more value than just having a shooting attack.  I also like that he can be given warrior powers -- they are, after all, HIS aspect warriors.  He also saw an understandable increase in point cost.

Phoenix Lords:  My fave HQ choices (and I know I'm in the minority there).  I won't try to address each one, but in general they all got better!  I was afraid they'd suffer from their unpopularity but nope, they actually got cooler.  Stats stayed the same, I think, and they retained their Eternal Warrior.  Two main disappointments were the lack of changes as reagrds to invuln saves and disciples.  Paying 200+ pts for an HQ with no invuln is kind of a ripoff, though save 2+ has more weight in 6th ed than it did in 5th.  And no one (other than the Spiritseer) makes their units into Troops -- would have been nice for Disciples to become "makes his/her unit Troops," or at least a scoring unit.  I say "unit" cuz the spam potential might have been ridiculous if the whole aspect became troops.  They each got more warrior powers to make them more the legends they should be and even the Hawk Lord got cool in this version (and actually does have an invuln).  I'm also happy to see they didn't add new Lords, just stuck with the originals (I'm an aspect warrior purist, btw). I'm excited to try each one out, though my faves will always be Karadras, Maugan Ra, and Asurmen (who MUST be your warlord if you take him and gets D3 warlord traits, which is super cool as he is THE original aspect warrior).

I might also note that some folks are coming up with all kinds of creative (and sneaky) ways to combine Independent Characters with different units to produce super-units.  If that's your thing then good for you, enjoy that.  There's nothing technically wrong with it.  I, however, as I said, am an Aspect Warrior Purist (and snob).  While combining Nightspear or a Seer with your Reapers or Scorpions might make then super-killy, it pollutes the purity of the kill.  My aspects will only ever be lead by their Phoenix Lord--they're too proud for anything else.

If you've managed to read through this whole thing, CONGRATS!

So those are my abridged thoughts on the new HQs, filtered through my personal preferences and play style.  What doYOU think???

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Black Phoenix: Dark Warp Spiders

At long last I (may) have finished my squad of homemade "dark" warp spiders!

I say "may" because my original vision was/is to have warp vanes on their backs, using the DE trophy racks, as seen here and here.  I bought a finecast box of Incubi with the intent of using their racks for that purpose... and man that $#!^ is terrible!  My first encounter with "Failcast" and it lives up to that name.  There are so many tabs and extra crap on them, and when I tried to clean up the first one it ripped in half!  *sigh*  I'm trying not to go into an anti-GW cheap selfish bastards tirade here...  So lets move on with the Spiders instead.

So anyway, I went for a cooler, more Spider-man-esque look.  I'm very disappointed that the new Eldar release didn't include updating the old warp spider models which are of the very first design.  They really don't do it for me--big lumps of static ying-yangs.  So I made my own.  These guys are mostly Scourge bits with Reaver heads.  The spider-crawling chick has Hellion legs and the one running headlong into trouble has Wych legs.  In retrospect I should have made another crouching figure but...  oh well.  Gotta save some torso parts for my Scourges/Dark Swooping Hawks.  (I'm not likely to field more than 5 spiders anyway.)

On each back is the warp-jumping apparatus, six small reality-rending pods that give them somewhat of a spidery look.  I was really leaning on the big warp vanes sticking off their backs for even more spider-esque-itude but am so discouraged by the Failcast incident I don't know if I'll bother.  For their death spinners I used DE shredders, which are weapons of the same general breed.

My Exarch I wanted to REALLY be a dark spider freak, so I gave him four arms!  Under the new codex I'll be equipping him with the Spinnerete Rifle (represented by the Scourge haywire blaster).  His spiderweb is a wych shardnet and he has a powerblade on the other arm.  Melding four arms onto his tiny torso actually wasn't as hard as I expected it to be.  I first attached the arms that had to link together (gun) on kind of low, then filed the tops flat and the fit on the upper arms, filling the gaps with a pinpoint worth of greenstuff.  His head is a cool wych head with scars carved into his own face.  I was tempted to use the biker dome head with ponytail, but this one has so much more personality.

Color-wise...  I'm expecting to paint them all black with red highlights and red glass on their helmets, plus try to make a red glow on their warp gadgets.  Weapons will be silvery.  Should be slick if I can pull it off well enough.

In battle they were expert assassins.  I have played them once under the new rules (brief battle report forth-coming) and they did their job well.  They dropped in via deepstrike, shot the hell out of a small squad of chaos marines, killing all but one and wounding his Chaos Lord, and then bounced out of reach the same turn.  That was the pattern, jumping in to kill with S6 AP1 shots, then jumping out.  (Hardly seemed fair sometimes.) While the Exarch can be equipped for combat, I think that'd be a mistake.  I've tried it in the past and it generally doesn't turn out so good.  He's just not built for it, and with this kind of maneuverability, there's little chance of him getting charged.  My exarch had the spinnerete rifle and warrior powers of Fast Shot and Marksman's Eye (tho I completely forgot the latter the whole game). And as my report will reflect, I had one get needlessly lost in the warp when I rolled double-ones for a jump.  My opponent had no pity for me (nor should he -- all that moving should have SOME risk).

But three of these brave aspect warriors returned to the Black Phoenix Craftworld to revel in their freaky glory!  Though some say we are tainted, the Black Phoenix will rise again!

Thursday, June 6, 2013

New Eldar Codex Review: or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the E-Bomb (part 1)

I was very pessimistic.  We've been waiting for a a new Eldar codex for a long long time and knowing that most players these days favor wraiths, seers, and flyers, and those being the only rumors we heard about, I was thinking my Path of the Eldar was doomed to near extinction.  Then yesterday I stopped at a local hobby/comic shop just to leaf through the book and see for myself... And those tricksy Eldar sucked me in!  I bought the damn expensive book but never looked back.

Almost all of my fears and pessimism were relieved at finally getting my hands on it.  I feared my aspect warriors and beloved Phoenix Lords were about to get snubbed in favor of the crowd-pleasing spam units, but I was happily wrong!  I'm now very excited to get back to my Eldar force and see what i can do.  (So much for the Rise of Chaos I had planned...  Though I oscillate like a fan, I'll be back to Chaos by next week.)

General impressions (good):  The fast raider/corsair feel of the Eldar I was hoping for has come alive for me.  I like that they are more mobile (partially due to 6th ed rules revisions, not just the codex) and can be played even more like the fast and agile sneaks they are.  I love that some of the old aspect powers you used to have to pay for now come standard for the most part, AS THEY SHOULD BE.  Scorpions are stealthy by nature, Hawks can deepstrike without scatter and Skyleap at will, Lancers (shining spears) can outflank now, Avengers have counter-attack (though I'll miss their Defend and Bladestorm powers), etc.  The Phoenix Lords also got a big boost (for the most part).  Avatars are super-monsters now, AS THEY SHOULD BE, though they took a proportional points cost hike too.  Warlocks ALMOST became what I'd hoped as they are now like Wolf Guard in that they are a non-slot HQ unit that can be distributed to lead guardian-based units.  Eldar's rep as the most psychic race is better founded too.  Cool return to the original Warrior powers and Psychic powers of 1991 (still got my White Dwarf with the orginal aspect warroiors and craftworld eldar that evolved into today's species -- do you???)  LOTS of great stuff, too much to cover here. 

And yes, the new Wraith stuff is pretty cool, and the Flyers, though I've never been much into either, so...

General impressions (bad):  My Phoenix Lords still don't get an invuln save (except for 2 of them).  Wave sperents are still our only transport and no cheaper than before (maybe more expensive!).  Pathfinders are out of reach unless you spend an HQ slot on the super-ranger (who is super cool but not sure he's that cool -- would be better as a ranger upgrade character).  Would liked to have seen a more extensive Harlequin revision (especially a Solitaire -- I suppose you could make an Autarch and and give him unique artifacts but it certainly would not be Harlie enough, though I may put a Farseer on a bike and call him a Harlie "Air Dancer" or something).  No HQ units that make Troops -- at the very least a Phoenix Lord attached to his aspect should make that a Troop unit!  The rumor we heard about Autarch paths and making troops turned out false.  And very disappointed that there wasn't more original art in the book!  They just colored in old pics for the most part, which looks nice but C'MON!  Almost every shot in the Chaos book is new!  Give us more lovely Eldar art!

But really, not that much bad stuff for me to say.  I'm really impressed and surprised at how this turned out.  And I'm so excited I am planning to do a blog run on each org chart category and unit with brief comments on my take of each.  Stand by for Eldar overload...!