Friday, August 16, 2013

New Eldar Heavy Support (part 2): or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the E-Bomb (part 7)

This is my last installment of How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the E-Bomb (the reference made here, my friend Josh assures me, everyone understands).  Here I will briefly look at the last two categories of Eldar Heavy Support: the Wraith constructs and Grav-Tanks.

Wraith Lord:  The WL was always a staple in my Eldar lists.  I love that I can have a faceless monstrous creature of pure wraithbone animated by the spirits of the dead.  I always liked the look and style of the big, smooth head with spindly limbs sasquaching it across the battle field, flaming units of infantry to death and tearing tanks apart with its bare hands.  This was the heaviest of all heavy support for them, at least in 5th edition.  No longer...  In order to make room for the bigger, better, more expensive hugiest thing you've ever spent a whole paycheck on, the wraith lord had to take a hit in the Strength department, from S10 to S8.  You can, however, buy a ghostglaive to boost it up to S9 and gain a Mastercrafted reroll.  Other than that, the WL is pretty much unchanged.  He never did get that invuln save we were all hoping for, but I suppose 3+ and T8 isn't too shabby.  You can still swap out flamers and/or shuriken catapults, and give him up to two heavy weapons.  Personally, with the advance of shuriken technology ("bladestorm" cutting everything on 6s), I'll likely just opt to give him a shuriken cannon and a pair of flamers, plus the ghostglaive.  The downfall of this monster is close combat -- while nearly nothing can stand against him, a big crowd would keep him bogged down for hours.  Thus I have 2 flamers for crowd control, and the close combat bonuses the glaive provides.

Wraith Knight:  Not to be outdone by the Tau, the Eldar now have a model your kids can ride around the yard on.  The Wraith Knight is the biggest, most brutal word in Eldar warfare.  It resembles the WL in its stats, but now it has the S10, 6 wounds, can jump, comes with two wraithcannons (S10, AP2, distort) and options on even bigger, more shootier cannons, and can even get itself an invuln save (which the lowly WL was never allotted).  This is the next best thing to a titan and certainly one of the biggest hype items the Eldar have had since the invent of the aspect warriors (circa 1991).  And I'm sure that even though, dear readers, many of you have read article over article about these giant baddies, you're hungry for more confirmation here of their abject awesomeness. Sorry to disappoint but...  I'm not a fan, for many reasons, which I wno't go into.  Chalk it up first and foremost to stubbornness.  I never needed one before and I don't need to jump on that bandwagon now (nor do I have the spare cash -- that's like a car payment or something).  So to sum up:  They're huge, they can't be killed, they throw nuclear bombs like footballs.  Have one and you will win 8 out of 10 games.  Nuff said.  

Grav-Tanks:  I'm kind of clumping these together because the main difference is turrent-mounted.  Overall, the Eldar excel at speed and grace, and even their tanks exemplify that.  Fast skimmers that can jink past missiles and lascannons, bolt across the field and let fly with a hailstorm of hyper-charged death.  They kick a lot of ass.  Of course, in 6th Ed vehicles aren't what they used to be, but having speed and that jink save certainly help make the Eldar's vehicles a little more valuable. 
     Falcon:  The falcon is your back-up heavy transport.  It can carry a small squad of 6 (most often for me a unit of fire dragons) and still deliver two turrent-mounted heavy weapons.  One of those is always a pulse laser (S8 AP2 Heavy2), one of the biggest guns in the Eldar arsenal, and the other comes from the standard list of options.  I predict (and have used) the scatter laser will be the most common of those, since its new laser lock ability will make your pulse laser twin-linked.  I also predict that even though this is a great heavy choice for its weaponry and transport ability, with the new and improved Wave Serpent (carries 12) and the terrible abundance of Heavy Support choices to be made, that the Falcon is going to get a lot less use than it used to.  When the Serpent can carry more, endure more hits, and now cast its shield off for D6+1 S7 ignores cover hits on a target, AND not take any force org slots doing it, I think the Falcon may be headed for the scrap yard.
     Fire Prism: This is your high-penetration, anti-armor tank.  The Fire Prism now has 3 modes of fire and apparently cannot piggy-back shots like they used to (because there's no need).  These 3 modes go from S5 AP3 Large blast, to S7 AP2 small blast, to S9 AP1 Lance.  Whatever your target, there's an option for you.  Killy, very killy.
     Night Spinner:  Whereas the Fire Prism is for killing heavy things, the Night Spinner is best at killing lots of little things.  Its monofilament-casting Doomweaver also has two modes: S7 AP6 large blast barrage, or S7 AP6 torrent flamer template (both also get AP1 on to-wounds of 6).  Great for catching lots of models under one blast.  Used to be twin-linked, which was nice for those high deviation rolls, but not anymore.  That's okay, I think it'll still do well...

In summation, I'll say again that the only Eldar choices that are harder to make than the limited 2 HQ choices are the limited 3 Heavy Support picks.  There are just too many good units to pick from, all of which are durable and deadly.
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And now that my review of all things 6th Ed Eldar is complete, I suppose I should go play with some!  (Though I've been on a Chaos/Daemons kick lately...  I am happy to say, though, that the new Space Marine release is having no effect on me, even though I have a great Crimson Fist army I could play with.)

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