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...!

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