New Eldar Codex 6th Edition Review Warhammer 40k - Part 2
Murphy, here, and I'm back with the second part to my Eldar codex review for Warhammer 40k 6th edition. It's hardly been 8 hours since posting the first part of my review and I could hardly wait to get up and get the next part posted.
In Part 1, I covered the new army rules for the Eldar, from the new Battle Focus (run & shoot), the Warlord Traits, and even the new Psychic Powers list. If you missed it, you can stop and read Part 1 by clicking on the link below:
For continuing readers that are still here, keep reading to discover the secrets of the HQ section of the new Eldar codex 6th edition! Eldar have always been about skilled characters who were deadly in combat, combined with powerful psychics used to buff your own forces or destroy your enemies with a wave of the hand. Will this remain true in 6th edition?
Who Da Man?
The Eldar have two classes of characters: generic (but powerful) and the iconic Phoenix Lords. I will cover the standard HQ choices first, as the Phoenix Lords deserve a section all to themselves. The standard Eldar characters have that mix of lethality and fragility that we’ve come to expect. There are some great powers and wargear, and the right combination could really tip a battle in your favor. Let's first take a look at the meanest of the mean . . . and don't you dare paint him blue!
The Avatar of Khaine
This guy has some amazing stats! WS and BS of 10. Strength and Toughness of 6. 5 Wounds and 5 Attacks. He has the highest Initiative possible and a nice 3+ armor save, not to mention that he's a Daemon, which gives him a free 5+ invulnerable.
His Wailing Doom weapon is basically a meltagun, but gives him AP1 in melee. He has a host of special rules. He is a Daemon, has the Battle Trance (run and shoot), Khaine’s Presence (12" Fearless bubble) and Glowing Body of old (which also prevents Pyromancy psychic powers and Soul Fire attacks, which are new to 6th edition).
The Avatar can also choose TWO of the Exarch abilities from the list below (for extra points):
- Crushing Blow
- Disarming Strike
- Fast Shot
- Monster Hunter
- Marksman's Eye
- Night Vision
At over 200 points with his Exarch Powers, he is a little costly, but with the right combination of abilities he will be a beast in combat, taking on vehicles, monstrous creatures, and units alike. Even in challenges, he's gong to be able to "disarm" enemy characters, and at Initiative and WS of 10, he's likely to win that roll-off. Very deadly indeed. I also like that it gives a deadly melee and anti-tank unit that does not rely on psychics, as its just another build that Eldar players can try.
The Autarch is the martial leader of the craftworld forces. He or she is an ancient warrior who has walked the Path of Command rather than focus on psychic disciplines. He is the equivalent of a Space Marine Captain or a Chaos Lord in that he's your go-to combat character for the Eldar army. His stats are only so-so, and at Str and Toughness 3, he is pretty squishy.
However, his Path of Strategy ability gives you a +1 or -1 to your Reserve rolls for each Autarch in your army. That could certainly be useful.
Where the Autarch really shines, though, is the sheer versatility he has in the way of Powers and Wargear! You can kit him out to look like any of the Aspect Warriors, so you can give him Swooping Hawk wings, Warp Jump Generators, a Banshee Mask, etc, etc. Stick him into a squad of Aspect Warriors and he has now become a force multiplier for that unit.
Not to mention, he can also choose from the list of special wargear called the Remnants of Glory, a list very similar to the Chaos Artifacts from the Chaos Marine codex released last fall. I love that GW is giving us the option to really customize our characters through special wargear, something that I think was missing from a lot of the last edition codexes. So what are these ancient artifacts? Let's take a quick look!
- Shard of Anaris - melee weapon with +2 Str, AP -, Rending, Fleshbane, and Instant Death. It also gives the bearer Fearless.
- Fire Sabre - melee weapon with +1 Str, AP 3, Soul Blaze and every unit within 6" of a model taking a wound suffers Soul Blaze on a roll of a 6!
- The Spirit Stone - The bearer can reduce the cost of a Psychic power by 1 warp charge (to a minimum of 1) but then cannot use his rune armor's invulnerable save that round. (This could be great for Farseer!)
- Long Rifle - a 120" Sniper Rifle with AP3.
- Mantle of the Laughing God - Want to make a Solitaire? The character can no longer join any units, but he gains Hit & Run, Shrouded, and Stealth and can reroll cover saves.
- Faolchu's Wing - Can Run 48" but cannot shoot in that phase, and re-rolls cover saves. It is a Run, though, not a "jump". Very useful for moving around!
- The Phoenix Gem - When the bearer dies, blast a small blast marker Str 4, AP 5. If you kill a model, friend or foe, then the bearer comes back alive with 1 wound!
The Autarch is really like the Exarch's of old. There are some crazy combinations that players will come up with. What about a warp jump generator with a firepike? Why not! As a secondary character to a psyker, this could be a lot of fun.
Yes, this is what most of you have been waiting for. What is an Eldar army without a Farseer? Truthfully, you've always needed one in past codexes. Their psychic powers were just too mandatory and made up for some of the weaknesses of the Eldar army. Are they still mandatory in 6th edition? Honestly, I don't think they are! They are great and most people will want their psychics, but there are a few builds that I think will be strong without a Farseer. Still, let's take a look - bullet list style!
- Mastery Level 3
- 4+ invulnerable save from Rune Armor
- Ghosthelm - now ignores Perils of the Warp if you extend another warp charge
- Access to Divination, Telepathy, and then new Runes of Fate
- May take a Singing Spear
- May take a Jetbike
- May take Runes of Warding and Runes of Witnessing
Okay, Runes of Warding have totally change. Not for the better, but it is more balanced. In the 6th edition Eldar Codex, Runes of Warding is 1 use only. The Farseer can use it to boost his Deny the Witch roll by +2, which I think will give him and his unit a 3+ Deny the Witch save once per game. Total nerf from before, but a lot more balanced with other armies.
Runes of Witnessing is also one use only, and allows the Farseer to re-roll a failed psychic test (including a Perils roll of double 6's). I will be honest, this is great, but at only one use, it is worse than the Chaos Sorcerer's Spell Familiar, which gives him re-rolls all day long!
Did you already read Part 1 of my review where I discussed the new Eldar psychic powers? I hope so because now you might see how to use the Farseer. At the minimum, you should be casting Guide on a friendly unit every turn (re-roll misses in Shooting). Combine that with casting Doom on another unit (re-roll failed To Wound) and suddenly a Guardian or Dire Avenger unit became very deadly.
Our next HQ psyker is the Spiritseer. He is an Eldar necromancer, specializing in the binding of spirits to spiritstones, in the form of the Eldar Wraith units. I have always liked Wraithguard and Wraithlords, so I will be taking one of these guys. Let's see how he helps out.
- Mastery Level 2
- Access to Telepathy and the new Runes of Battle disciplines.
- Spirit Mark ability - mark an enemy unit within 24" and all Wraith-type units re-roll 1 to hit with Shooting.
- Opens up Wraithguard and Wraithblades as Troop choices!
- Can take cool wargear from the Remnants of Glory list like the Autarch and Farseer.
I love the idea of an all Wraith army, and this guy lets that become a reality. I know an all-Wraith list is kind of bandwagony, but so what? People like it because it's cool! It will probably be a gimmicky list and it will probably get boring to play or play against, but at least it's one more option for an Eldar army. I like that 6th edition codexes are opening up the options and are giving players real choices.
The Warlock Council
The last entry into the "generic" HQ section is the Warlock Council. These little guys add another layer to Eldar armies by providing a whole group of low-level psykers. Warlocks have two ways of being deployed, either as a single unit, or as a character attached to a Guardian, Storm Guardian, Windrider Jetbike squad, or Support Battery squad.
- Level 1 psyker
- Buy up to 10 Warlocks
- Rune Armor and Witchblade
- Access only to the Runes of Battle discipline
- Only Leadership 8
- Can be attached to Guardian units
- DO NOT use up a force organization slot.
That last point is important. For a primary detachment, the Warlock Council does not take up an HQ slot. If you wanted to max out your psykers, you could have 12 of them on the board: 2 Farseers or Spiritseers and up to 10 Warlocks.
Warlocks are obvious force multipliers. They are only passing psychic tests on an 8+ so the will not be reliable, but they are a great bonus. Look back at the list of powers in my Part 1 of the rulebook and you will see some gems there: giving units Shrouded, Improving armor saves or worsening them (3+ terminators? 4+ space marines?). For a Guardian based army, I think that the Warlocks are going to be a great addition. The random nature of 6th editions powers can be frustrating, but with enough of these guys running around, you are bound to get what you want most of the time.
Which HQ slot is your MUST HAVE?
More to Come!
That wraps it up for our review of the generic HQ choices. I've always felt that the Eldar army lives and dies by its HQ. I've never felt the impact of a generic Space Marine captain, but a single Farseer? Yep, been there and died there.
What's more, we are not at all finished covering the complete HQ section. There's a little group called the Phoenix Lords which are pretty nifty. What about Eldrad? Or the hero Yriel? They are all here and have all sorts of tricks of their own. There's even a new super-sniper by the name of Illic Nightspear that opens up Pathfinders as an upgrade option to Rangers.
Click here to keep reading my New Eldar Codex Review 6th Edition - Part 3 NEW!
Or check out the new Iyanden Codex Preview for Eldar 6th Edition.
Otherwise, feel free to leave a comment below. I love hearing from readers about their experiences, tactics, and opinions. I try to respond back as soon as I see them!
If you are sick of reading about space elves, why not check out some of my other Warhammer 40k 6th edition articles? Just click the links below: