First up, I haven’t played a game of 8th edition yet. Its important to say that, as what I am saying is not based on experience in the new edition. That being said, I have seen and read lots of reports on battles etc and there is also the general experience of playing since 2nd Edition. Still, on paper vs on the tabletop are often two very different things…

So, the Eldar index……

So, lets start with general things. For the most part, the index seems fine and gives a more than playable and competitive army. I think that some of the really overpowered and underwhelming units have been evened out a bit more.

Battle Focus

Hmm…. I am not a fan really. The main use of this, seems to be to rush headlong into the enemy. While you could actually advance away from the enemy, the shuriken catapult still has that stupid twelve inch range. When you couple this with the fact that every Eldar heavy weapon bar the Shuriken Cannon is a heavy weapon, the problem is compounded. That sentence reads funny, I know, but in previous editions, some weapons like the Brightlance, were assault weapons, or there were rules for things like grav platforms being able to move and fire without penalty.

Also, Eldar tanks used to be fast skimmers and therefore had benefits with regard to moving and shooting. This is now lost, as Battle Focus doesn’t help any Eldar tank moving and firing with anything other than a Shuriken Cannon.

Eldar Heavy Weapons

I have constantly been annoyed at the way Eldar heavy weapons are mostly str 6 or str 8.

(I know there are plenty of other strength weapons, but they tend to be unique to certain units. I am talking about the more general purpose/multi-platform weapons).

Shuriken Cannons, Scatter Lasers, Starcannons and Shadow weavers are all str 6.

In particular, I just cannot see a reason to bring Scatter lasers, or Starcannons over a Shuriken cannon. The Shuriken cannon is cheaper than both the others (almost a third of the cost of a Starcannon). While having one shot less than a Scatter laser and shorter range, the Battle Focus rule more or less negates any loss there. With regards to the Starcannon, you can get two Shuriken Cannons on most vehicles and walkers for less points than one starcannon. You get more shots and may get some sixes to wound, to bring the AP up to par with the Starcannon. The Starcannon also had its damage reduced to D3, so you may get as many wounds with the Shuriken Cannons.

The Starshot missile, Brightlance and Pulse laser are all str8. There are some variances in damage and AP though. 

Command Points

None of the Eldar characters seem to give any bonus CPs. I feel that Farseers should really do that. Eldrad should definitely do it. Farseers are casting runes and influencing events before the Eldar even take to a battlefield. I think that CPs would be a great way to reflect that. Phoenix Lords probably should too.

I don’t want to break into a commentary of every single Eldar unit, but there are a few that I have issue with.

Dire Avengers

Dire Avengers appear to cost 17pts a model. This seems very expensive to me. At least, compared to a Necron Warrior or space marine.

Rangers

I feel that Rangers are too expensive. In cover, they have the same save as a space marine scout without a camo cloak. The scouts have the same leadership, but with ATSKNF. In addition you can have the free scout sergeant, which improves Ld.

Scouts are also stronger and tougher. Rangers do get the -1 to hit them rule, but flamer style weapons will ignore that and they are easier to wound than a scout. Scouts can also opt for camo cloaks, giving them a 2+ save in cover. This should mitigate the -1 to hit rule at least somewhat (if not completely). So a tooled up sniper scout is 18pts and a Ranger is 20pts.

The Avatar of Khaine

The Avatar of Khaine has less attacks than the Yncarne. Equally, the Phoenix Lords (except Asurmen) have less attacks than the Visarch. 

The Falcon

The Falcon still seems to be a bit crap compared to a Wave serpent. Even if you feel it is on par, it takes up a heavy support choice.

The Falcon also suffers from the same fault as the Fireprism and other Eldar vehicles. That being the penalty for moving and firing the Heavy weapon. I know this may sound like wanting your cake and eating it, but as I said before, they were fast skimmers. Remaining stationary to fire at full effect seems contrary to that design ethos and indeed the Eldar way of war.

The Crystal targeting matrix can help offset this a little bit, but not everything has access to it (Vypers, Warwalkers) and when the nearest unit to a Brightlance wielding Falcon is a unit of grots or some equally very much none Brightlance worthy target…… Better hope your opponent likes to put his big and tough units out front and doesn’t attempt to shield them with smaller squishier things.

Rune of Fate

They are all warp charge 7. I am sure the codex will bring back some of the other powers, like Executioner. Hopefully they will vary the casting values a bit more and through in a few warp charge 5 or 6 options.

Shining Spears

They really need a new model. I think that all the finecast aspects do, but Shining Spears are really suffering from being a composite model and the jetbike looks so dated now compared to the new one. At the time of writing they aren’t even in stock on the GW site.

 

To finish

I know this is a stopgap before the codex, but its likely that stats won’t get changed much, if at all. I am really hoping that GW will change a few things up though.

I am also hoping that we will see some craftworld specific rules, like the space marine chapter rules. It seems that Deathguard are getting an army rule that is a bit like a Battle Focus 2.0 (although granted its mainly for infantry).

With a bit of luck we will also get some new plastics to replace some of the really old models we have. I believe that Eldar have some of the oldest models in the game at this stage and a large selection of our units are finecast and/or composite (mix of plastic and finecast e.g. Shining Spears, Rangers).

 

 

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