So, lets look at the HQ section of the Eldar codex.

Autarch

An Autarch has a special rule, called Master Strategist. He lost part of the ability that this rule granted due to the changes in 6th edition.  Even so, it still adds +1 to reserve rolls, so with one on the field, your reserves come in on a 2+.  That is not bad at all.

Otherwise the Autarch is fairly customisable, although he can get expensive quite quickly. He also suffers from the typical Eldar traits of low strength and toughness.

In general, I feel that they are weak compared to other army commanders such as Space Marine captains and Ork warbosses.

Master Strategist is only really of benefit if using reserves or flyers.  Currently Eldar don’t have flyers in the codex and deepstrike options tend to be a bit lacking in my opinion.  I’d like to see them get more options to choose from as part of the master strategist rule.

Farseer

One of the most iconic Eldar units if you ask me.

Farseers have access to some nice wargear, such as runes.  Farseers buy their powers from the Eldar codex.  They can alternatively choose a random power from the new psychic disciplines for each power they have purchased.  Ok, now as far as I understand it, this is an all or nothing thing.  You either keep all your powers, or swap them all for random ones.  This is were it gets a bit infuriating really.  The powers in the Eldar codex tend to be either great, or next to useless really.  I almost never see Eldritch Storm used. Doom and Fortune tend to be super.  Mind War can be useful, but I personally have terrible luck with it.  Then there is guide.  Guide has always been really useful.  However, the primaris power in Divination is actually better than guide.  It has twice the range and works on all hits, not just shooting hits.  This means it is a no-brainer to pick a power and swap it for the divination power, if you simply intended on buying guide on its own.  However, if you wanted to use guide in conjunction with something like Doom, well now you have a decision to make.

Farseers present you with some interesting choices.  They can also get very expensive.  They look cheap initially, but once you start to kit them out they can spiral in points cost.

Warlocks

You can bring a unit of Warlocks if you bring a Farseer.  When combined with Fortune, this can make for a very durable unit that is able to soak up a lot of damage.  However, they can get expensive very easily.  They start at 25 points per model, before you add any powers or wargear.

Both Farseers and Warlocks suffered a hit to witchblades in 6th edition.  They also lack grenades.

Farseers lack options for grenades and took a few knocks in 6th ed, but I still feel that they are an essential option for any Eldar army.

The Avatar

The Avatar is not a bad unit for it’s points at all.  However, there is something that just annoys me about it. The avatar is a monstrously large creature, with a huge weapon. Yet it is strength 6 and the weapon has no additional rules for close combat.  A Phoenix Lord with an Executioner is strength 6. Jain Zar is actually strength 7 on the charge.  It might be minor, but it annoys me.  In 6th edition the Avatar can now halve its attacks to strike at strength 10, but I just feel that strength 6 and having a massive melee weapon is underwhelming.

In its favour, the Avatar projects a bubble of fearlessness around it, which can be great.  Although, this also results in models being tightly focused into one area.

Personally, I’d like to see the Avatar made a little more expensive and boosted up a bit more, with a more strength and wounds in particular.  Overall though the Avatar got even better in 6th edition.

Yriel

Yriel is interesting.  He is pretty much the same from a stat point of view as an Autarch (he is slightly better) with the same Master Strategist rule. He costs the same as an Avatar and has the Spear of Twilight, which is a powerful Singing spear.  His Doomed special rule also leaves him with the ability to wound himself.

Eldrad

Eldrad is pricey, but also awesome.  Some people say he is overpowered, although given his points cost I don’t think so. He has some nice abilities, but I really don’t think that he is broken in any way. I feel that there are many other characters in the game that fall into the broken category long before Eldrad.  For me, Eldrad is almost like having two Farseers in one HQ choice, thus freeing up another HQ slot.  However, that also means a lot of points going into HQ, so not such a good idea to be doing that in smaller games.

Phoenix Lords

I am putting these together.  Overall I feel that the Phoenix Lords are way too expensive.  With the Exception of Asurmen, they lack invulnerable saves.  I find this somewhat surprising really.  I don’t think that there are too many characters in the game that cost so much and don’t have an invulnerable save, or the option to buy one (or have a high toughness and plenty of wounds).  In particular, Asurmen is about the same cost as characters that have army wide rules and bonuses, like Logan Grimnar, Ghazhkull, Marneus Calgar etc etc.  Its something I feel that the Eldar codex lacks really.  There aren’t any characters that bring any army wide or alternative unit selection choices.  For instance, picking a Phoenix Lord and having the relevant Aspect warrior squad become troops would have been nice (this though could be abused perhaps), or at the very least, being able to pick one as a bodyguard without using up a force organisation slot.

Also, Baharroth has no unique wargear option.  All the other Phoenix Lords have some piece of equipment that is superior to anything that Exarchs have.  It just makes him seem a little left out really.

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