Tuesday, June 4, 2013
Break it down..
I mentioned my dislike of the new Eldar Codex (here and in person), some people have questioned me why so I'm going to go into it a bit. But I guess it's more of the whole release and Eldars' place in it. Above are pics of all of my Dar Dex's back to the first. I've always played them and they are my favorite army. It wasn't until 4th Ed that I even picked up another army, IG Armoured Company. In 5th I wanted a CC Army so picked up Blood Angels, but that doesn't really matter.
First off the change of Fluff has been going on for awhile now and I can understand some of it. But I can understand from RT to 2nd when they started to flesh out the whole universe. At that time they sat down and started to write out a timeline and story. That timeline and story are what lured in most of the older players, people picked armies based on their history, story, looks and play style. But sadly as time has gone on things have changed greatly, now (most) people seemingly decide what army to play by what is either the newest shiniest Dex out there. Typically it's the new strongest book out or if not they run what is the strongest. Why so many people run Necrons and Grey Knights and now will probably be Tau mixed in from what I've seen in the new Dex. It's because they are playing to win, just to win and I can't get behind that. I play what I like and that's it, I don't look at it's power level I look at what I like and will have fun playing. And a lot of people I play with are like that, we'll suffer through the Codex creep make the older armies work. Winning with something that is tough to play is more rewarding to me, Necrons win all the time but they are pretty much fly forward and roll sixes.... WIN!. So I really wait for the new Dexs of the armies I like and having waited all through 5th and now into 6th for Dar, expectations are large.
Originally in the Fluff Eldar are one of the most advanced technological races and the most powerful Psychers. But as the game has moved on they have lost a lot of ground on both.
Technology - With 6th Ed adding a lot of new mechanics and cool units or abilities seem to be worked into the new Codexes. The Eldar either created the Webway or maintain it after it's creation by the Old Ones (which ever you like). Wouldn't that be a perfect thing to incorporate into the game? Something that has been around forever in the fluff and would also solve Eldar's CC issues? Nids can pop up and other Nids can run out of the hole so it's already in the game. They could limit it or any number of things but it would get the fragile CC units into combat. Because the Eldar can't figure out how to make a transport with an Assault Ramp even though the Imperium can. The Imperium who can't even design anything new, they just have to find plans from people that were smarter then them thousands of years ago. To me they had a good opportunity to really add in something cool. They didn't.
Shuriken weapon ranges, WTF! 12" range for the standard ShurCat is still fail. Battle Focus will be a very nice addition to numerous units but not that much for Guardian. Sure they increased their Stats but also their price but they are made to defend and will most likely be camping an objective which you aren't going to want them leaving. They are holding the Objective and you are going to need that cover save, which you will really need a Lock to (hopefully give them Shrouded). All they would need is a 6" boost to all versions and it would fix the issue with the addition of Battle Focus. Now that you can fire RF weapons once on the move Marines can just sit out of range and shoot the hell out of them. And will be on the bubble of CC, staying near an objective will make it tougher. And 180 isn't that cheap for a blob of 20 that will just sit there doing nothing, add in 2 Scatter Laster it's up to 210. Add in a Lock and then you are at 245, 250 if you give him a spear. They are now a useful blob with staying power, unless they break, or get shot into with Ignore Cover weapons which others have a good bit of but were taken away from the Exarchs in this Dex.
Instead they add the WraithKnight. A worthless unit really, just add new options to the Wraithlord and done. Instead they add a new huge model that is just as hugely expensive in points as money. How much different is it then the Wraithlord? Well people already have Wraithlords so might not buy them, they will buy the new pretty model! I did get one and it's more for the fact that if it's Eldar I want at least one and it is a very cool looking model but that's it. It's expensive, is way weaker then the Riptide and it's load out is goofy. If it had a built in Invul save it would help, replacing ALL guns for the Sword and Shield then becomes Super expensive to throw guns back on it. Or go with the Suncannon and add a Scatter Laser which makes it even more expensive. I think running it standard is probably the best just make sure you have one foot in area terrain to get that 5+ cover.
They beefed up Jetbikes and they are pretty nice right now, but they didn't release new models. I can't bring myself to buy any more of the current ones, just like most Eldar players we are sick of them. DE have nice models and a conversion can be done but do I feel like buying a ton of DE ones and converting them? I'm holding out hope that new bikes will be released when/if they release the Saim-Hann supplement. I'm hoping the same for the Aspect Warriors, not for actual models(which I would like to see redone in plastic but doubt we'll see them all) but for updated rules.
They also add in all the new Wraith units, which are cool in theory but we already have three CC units. Banshees, Scorps and Harlies. Make them all useful and worth putting on the table, Scorps got a boost (well see if the Scorp Claw gets FAQd), Harlies are good but now as crazy as I think they should be (and if anyone should have a Webway style deployment it's them) and then you have Banshees. No grenades and still no delivery system plus AP3 still. How weak they are is not even worth going into in detail. The Aspect Warriors got very little love in this book to me. Sure some may have gotten a little bump in power but are still just as expensive if not more. I would have liked to see some orginally added something really related to the Fluff. These are the units that should have gotten love, if they are releasing Craftworld Supplement wait for the Iyanden supplement. The main Dex should be the core of their forces not slighted toward one CW in the main release. Even the new D-sy ones need to get there, so it's back to expensive transports that can only hold 6 max. Not that numbers matter that much, you aren't going to be getting very many as they are EXPENSIVE. Now it comes down to supporting them, you don't want to run that many points down the middle. Holding them back and defending will make them tough and people won't want to assault them but do you want to spend that many points for a 12" range unit that just stands there. If you are slogging hopefully you have a lot of terrain out there as people aren't going to want you getting all that near.
Wave Serpents - The main battle tank of the Eldar, oh yeah and it's also a transport. You can really buff up the WS which can be cool but as the buffs go up so do the points. I don't want a WS battle tank, I want a transport that's just that. Something that will move troops quickly and cheaply. Something that you can hope to zip across the board and drop some peeps, something that if blown up won't be a huge loss. The shield while sounding good isn't that impressive now that vehicles can be glanced to death. With the price of them it will hurt if they don't make it and now you are out in the open, even if you make it your CC has to get out and wait a turn. Go go toughness 3. Have a tough transport is nice but an open topped or assault ramp options is needed for the fragile CC units to be useful.
Psychics - This is the place where I think the Dex really fails. Eldar are suppose to be the most powerful Psy race in the universe but they are no where near that. Some of it stems from Psy in 6th Ed as a whole but they didn't do enough to make the Dar stand out. They should be the strongest Defensive at least and the modification to their Runes are pretty high on the list. They use the most Psy yet are not destroyed by it and have staved off a Chaos God who wants to "Swallow their Souls!". A once per game 2+ Deny is not worth the points, they will go from a staple to a never used piece of wargear. Random Powers suck, for everyone. Does a mechanic go to sleep and wake up the next day only able to fix three makes of cars? No they don't and that would make it pretty tough for them to do their job. If race should be able to pick it's Dar, they read the damn future. Only the old school powers are still always useful and hopefully you can get them .. yah. Locks with only one roll could theoretically roll poorly and get crap for a game. So nice to buy them and be useless. With Ld8 even with the luck of getting a useful power other then the Pri you have to get it off and if you get a Perils he's straight up dead. They live for thousands of years and focus on one aspect of their psyke I think their leadership would be a little higher.
Some people are mentioning all kind of crazy combos out there that might be really tough but they don't factor in the total cost of that combo. Points will really have to be managed, so when building combos keep that in mind.
Eldar are suppose to be Fragile but Deadly, right now they are mostly fragile and/or expensive. I don't get the feeling of overlapping support that makes up the Dar in Fluff and game play. I could really go so much farther into it but I'm done with it haha.. There will be builds that will work but I just don't like them or how they will play out. Going all out in Wraith style is boring to me and while I don't mind a Jetbike army I don't want the old models or be forced to play that way. And like I was saying there are good units but to me the army always worked together like building a chain. These are my opinions on the Dex so take them as such. 8)