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New Eldar Codex 6th Edition Review Warhammer 40k - Part 5

Updated on June 10, 2013
New Eldar Codex Review Fast Attack
New Eldar Codex Review Fast Attack

Introduction

My name is Murphy and I'm back with Part 5 of my new Eldar Codex Review for 6th edition Warhammer 40k. Follow me on Twitter (@BenMurphy) to get notifications on new articles or maybe catch me at The Battlezone for a pick-up game? In this part, I will review the Fast Attack section of the army list. In addition to the fast Aspect Warriors that we've come to know over the last 20 years of playing Eldar, the 6th edition codex also includes some new units in the form of two new Flyers.

If you have not yet read my earlier 4 parts of the review, I suggest you start back at the beginning. You will find the link there to all the other parts, as I've already covered generic HQ choices, Troops, and Elite units.

The Eldar are synonymous with spead and lethality. The new Battle Focus army rule (run and shoot, or shoot and run) lends to that notion. Fast Attack options are the fastest of any army list, usually with a high volume of offensive output. How will the Eldar versions stack up, especially compared to the rest of the army that is already pretty fast! Let's find out.

Eldar Codex Review 6th Edition Fast Attack
Eldar Codex Review 6th Edition Fast Attack

Swooping Hawks

Swooping Hawks are Jump Infantry with a host of special rules. Of course this means that they can move 12" in the Movement phase, jumping over intervening units and terrain. Combine this with Battle Focus and Fleet and Swooping Hawks will be moving 12" + d6 (with re-roll) and can still shoot. They have a set of additional rules and wargear. Here are some highlights:

  • Aspect Armor (4+ save)
  • Lasblaster - 24" Str 3 Assault 3
  • Haywire Grenades (glance vehicles on 4+)
  • Plasma Grenades
  • Grenade Pack
  • Skyleap
  • Herald of Victory

Those last three require some explanation. The grenade pack is awesome! If you arrive by Deepstrike, you can make a special shooting attack during that movement phase. Target an enemy unit 24" away (does not require line of sight). It's a Str 4 AP 4 attack with a blast, but if you have 6+ models in the unit, then it is a large blast. The Swooping Hawks can then make a shooting attack in the Shooting phase as normal. You must target the original unit if possible. I like this last part because if the first unit is destroyed or is not in line of sight, then you can shoot up another unit. Consider dropping grenades on an infantry unit and then landing on the far side of an enemy tank that will block line of sight. Shoot the tank and then assault with haywire grenades. Nice!

Skyleap is very cool. At the beginning of the Movement phase, you can "skyleap", which removes the Swooping Hawks from the table and places them in Ongoing Reserves. Units in Ongoing Reserves automatically come in the next turn and can deepstrike all over again (see grenade pack above). You just have to make sure that you don't do this on the last turn of the game because they will count as destroyed if they are off the table when the game ends.

Finally, with Herald of Victory, the Swooping Hawks do not scatter when they arrive via deep strike. No homing beacon required!

Of course, the Swooping Hawks can also take an Exarch, who has access to some cool wargear:

  • Hawk's Talon - 24" Str 5 AP 5 assault 3
  • Sunrifle - 24" Str 3 AP 3 assault 3 with Blind

He can also take up to 2 of the following Exarch Powers:

  • Night Vision
  • Marksman's Eye (5+ precision shots, remember)
  • Hit & Run

Murphy's Take:

The internet is pretty excited about Swooping Hawks. Deep strike them near some cover (they wont scatter), drop grenades on some infantry, blast the same infantry with lasblasters, and then run into the cover for protection. If they survive the enemy shooting phase, have them jump out of cover and assault a tank with haywire grenades. If not targets are near, then Skyleap and repeat next turn. Or you can use them as standard jump troops and jump them around the board firing at weak targets to finish them off. A five man unit can pump out 15 shots, which will usually be enough to finish off those pesky one or two surviving models.


New Eldar Codex Review 6th Edition Fast Attack
New Eldar Codex Review 6th Edition Fast Attack

Warp Spiders

One word: mono-filament. Alright, that sounds like two words smashed together. Regardless, it's a word that Warhammer 40k gamers will remember from 20 years earlier, such is the havoc that the Warp Spiders wrought across tabletops. In 6th edition, Warp Spiders are back and are better than ever!

They are Jetpack Infantry, but also have the special Warp Pack Generator. I will include its special rule in italics below:

  • May deep strike.
  • Move 6" in Movement phase and can "jump" over units/terrain or walk as normal.
  • OR may warp jump 6 + 2d6" in the Movement phase, ignoring dangerous terrain. If any double is rolled, then remove one member as a casualty (no save!).
  • May run and shoot in the Shooting phase with Battle Focus
  • May then make a Thrust Move of 2d6" in the Assault phase (if they are not locked in combat or charging.

Even without using the risky warp jump, they will be moving 6" + d6" Run (re-roll) + 2d6" jetpack. That's pretty fast for infantry! They aren't just fast, though, they are tough and hit hard. Let's see what else they have going for them:

  • Heavy Aspect Armor (3+ save)
  • Death Spinners - 12" Str 6, AP - monofilament: If target's initiative if 3 or lower (or has no initiative, these weapons are +1 Str. On all models To Wound rolls of a 6 are auto-wound and are AP 1.
  • Hit & Run

Their Exarch can take:

  • twin-linked Death Spinner
  • Spinneret Rifle - 18" Str 6 AP 1 rapid fire, Pinning
  • Pair of Power Blades - +1 Attack for two weapons and AP 3

He can take up to 2 of the following powers:

  • Fast Shot
  • Marksman's Eye
  • Stalker - in a challenge, roll off and add your Initiative. If you win, you can re-roll To Wound dice.

Murphy's Take:

On one hand, I was hoping that the death spinners would be template weapons, but a 12" range is a little safer and the high strength means you will be inflicting wounds on most everything. I love the warp jump generators because it will allows just a little more speed than your opponent might expect, especially with the ability to run and jet-pack afterwards. How cool would it be to warp-jump within range of an enemy, shred him with death spinners, and then run away d6" (re-roll) and then move further away 2d6" with jetpacks. Use this to chain together strikes turn after turn and your opponent will really be frustrated.

Combine that with the Exarch taking the spinneret rifle and both Fast Shot and Marksman's Eye. He will be getting 2 shots (3 shots if in rapid fire range) at Str 6 and AP 1, with precision shots on a 5+. Use that to take out standard bearers, powerfist sergeants, heavy weapons, etc. Alternately, versus vehicles he will be Strength 7 with an AP 1 weapon. Versus side or rear armor (not hard to reach with mobility or deep striking) there is a high chance to make tanks go boom.

New Eldar Codex Review Shining Spears 6th Edition
New Eldar Codex Review Shining Spears 6th Edition

Shining Spears

For some reason, I always forget about Shining Spears. They are a cool idea, lance wielding jetbike riders, but I rarely remember to include them in the list of Aspect Warriors. Maybe it was the prohibitive cost of fielding bike units when I was younger that made me skip over them in favor of cheaper infantry. For whatever reason, I would be making a big mistake if I forgot them in 6th edition. Let's check them out:

  • Eldar Jetbikes with twin-linked shuriken catapults and all their movement/Jink abilities.
  • + 1 Toughness (of course)
  • Heavy Aspect armor (3+ save)
  • Outflank
  • Skilled Rider
  • Laser Lance

The Laser Lance is both a shooting and a melee weapon. In shooting, it is 6" Str 6 AP 3 Assault 1, Lance (treats all AV as no more than 12). In melee, on the charge, it is +3 Str, AP 3. Lance.

The Exarch can be given:

  • power weapon
  • Star Lance - same idea as a laser lance, but it is Str 8 and AP 2

He may also take up to two of the following powers:

  • Monster Hunter (re-roll wounds versus Monstrous Creatures)
  • Disarming Strike
  • Hit & Run

Murphy's Take:

Imagine what a unit of 6 of these can do to infantry: Move within 6" and open up with their laser lance / star lance shooting attack. That's 6 shots at Str 6/8 at AP 3/2. You will likely kill 3 - 4 space marines. Then assault and you are throwing down 13 dice with the same stats, hitting probably 7 times, wounding and killing 5-6. It's possible to wipe out an entire squad of space marines in your turn.

However, the biggest problem with Shining Spears is that their melee attacks are only that powerful on the charge. They will not survive a drawn out affair. Give the Exarch Hit & Run and you should be able to escape on your opponent's Assault Phase, to charge another unit or run back in and finish them off on your own turn.

Fast Aspect Warriors

Which of the 3 Aspect Warriors here do you like most?

See results

Fast Attack Vehicles

I've covered the Aspect Warriors found in the Fast Attack section of the new Eldar Codex 6th edition. I've loving what I see. Did I not say that each choice would be fast and lethal? I didn't lie!

Now we must move on to the rest of the Fast Attack choices: Vyper Squadrons and the two new flyers: Crimson Hunters and Hemlock Wraithfighters! The Crimson Hunter specializes in killing other flyers (and ground vehicles, I suppose), while the Hemlock Wratihfighter specializes at killing troops and sending them scattering.

I am out of room for this article, so I am starting another one immediately! Follow the link to read about the rest of the Fast Attack section:

In the mean time, please take the poll above and leave a comment below this article. I always respond and we've had great discussion so far on my other Eldar articles. If you are tired of the Eldar (what?!) why not read one of my other Warhammer 40k 6th edition articles or visit my personal blog so you can see what I've been up to?

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    • SomeEldarGuy profile image

      Alex 4 years ago

      I think the only units that can assault out of reserves/other means of arrival are Yrmgarl Genestealers and SMs with Heroic Intervention. But when you're pumping out the amount of fire a full swooping hawks unit can, you won't need to assault on the whole, as even 3+ save units are hitting the floor when the exarch has a Sunrifle.

    • murphy80 profile image
      Author

      Murphy 4 years ago from Florida

      I think this is a great tactic. Sometimes I get ahead of myself! I will come into a game with some brilliant new strategy and then, once models are on the table, I'm all . .. "Wait . . what was I thinking?!" New codex excitement, I suppose!

    • murphy80 profile image
      Author

      Murphy 4 years ago from Florida

      Thanks, Andy. I don't know what I was thinking! Correct, you cannot assault the turn after you deep strike. I must have been too excited thinking about jumping all over the board! Sorry about the mix up!

    • SomeEldarGuy profile image

      Alex 4 years ago

      I would not suggest first turn attempts at destroying vehicles with swooping hawks, they have a 4+ save still, anything with average firepower in the area will chew them up, so what you can do to avoid this is to deep strike on the edge of some terrain, shoot, then run into cover, It worked like a dream for me. -then- you can mount an assault from next turn, while hopefully having most of that unit left.

    • profile image

      Andy 4 years ago

      You can not assault on the turn you deep strike with your swooping hawks, so you'll have to survive a round of shooting before you can assault with the haywire grenades or deep strike behind some terrain (no scatter) and jump out in the next turn. You can still run and shoot as normal though so you could deep strike near some terrain before blasting a nearby unit with assault 3 lasblasters and then run behind the terrain with battle focus to hide from the tank or other units etc. and still assault the tank the turn after.

    • profile image

      ShadowViper 4 years ago

      Question on the Swooping Hawks. You use the grenade pack on infantry, then shoot and assault a vehicle with haywire grenades all in the same phase that you deep strike. How are you assaulting in the same phase that you performed a deep strike. It does not seem like the rules allow this.

    • profile image

      Jim 4 years ago

      Dark Reapers are very good now, with the possibility of upgrading them to S8 shots as well as what they had before, they can take out pretty much anything. I think I'm going to go with what you said and go with an exarch with an EML and flakk. Add fast shot and guide them with a farseer and they have a good chance at taking down flyers as well.

    • SomeEldarGuy profile image

      Alex 4 years ago

      well if you give them ghostwalk matrix and holofields, they'll have a very nice save if you hide them in terrain, but that's even more costly, BUT because of the 48" range you can avoid most fire and target what you want from those positions, so it's a possible combo, just expensive. I'm gunning for Dark Reapers at the moment, because they avoid those annoying jink saves that we Eldar get a lot of use out of.

    • profile image

      Jim 4 years ago

      Good points, it just the fact that 3 war walkers with flakk EMLs are 120 points more than 3 war walkers with any other option and they're still easy to kill. But 5+ invulnerable helps a lot though!

    • SomeEldarGuy profile image

      Alex 4 years ago

      but EMLs can effectively engage and destroy whatever you need them to from across the board, most flyers are going to be AV 10 or 11 anyway, so a Flak should be routine destruction of them, if not, get a Scatterlaser on a falcon and hope to twin link it's pulse laser, of course the Crimson hunter is the best anti-air option, it's the best AA unit in the game, given it's the only flyer capable of BS5 and can reroll non-damaging penetration rolls vs. flyers.

    • profile image

      Jim 4 years ago

      I guess the best anti flyer is the crimson hunter with a pulse laser and two bright lances and sky hunter (re-roll failed to glance/ penetrate against flyers). Upgrade to an exarch and even better. However, with 10 all round, if it comes on before your opponents flyer it might not even get a chance to shoot before it is shot out of the air.

      The problem I find with EML is to get flak missiles can be expensive, and at str 7 if your up against storm ravens you get one shot at 3+ to hit and 5 to glance , 6 to penetrate. It's unlikely to penetrate, and a glance isn't going to do much. Even with war walkers EML are 10 points more expensive than other weapons and then another 10 to get flak missiles. That's 20 more points per missile launcher than a bright lance!

    • murphy80 profile image
      Author

      Murphy 4 years ago from Florida

      Jim, good catch! With it being Rapid Fire, he'll get three shots at 9" if he takes the Fast Shot. If he also takes Marksmand's Eye, then that's three chances to roll a 5+ to take out a selected target. Chances are, you are going to kill the model you want. P.S. I'm also editing the article to reflect the change. Thanks!

    • SomeEldarGuy profile image

      Alex 4 years ago

      Flyers can never be assaulted, and Jump monsters aren't flying monsters, don't get them mixed up, everything's hitting a jump monster on full BS unless it's a skyfire weapon without interceptor.

    • profile image

      Jim 4 years ago

      For anti-flyer can a wraith knight assault a flyer. It's a jump monstrous creature and is certainly tall enough! Also can't flyers shoot jump monstrous creatures at normal ballistic skill when using skyfire or something so it's only fair that they could assault back.

    • SomeEldarGuy profile image

      Alex 4 years ago

      good point Jim, that's bordering on firm light vehicle destroyer as well because of the S7 on I3 or less (come to think of it, that's the ONLY rapid fire Eldar weapon I've ever seen...)

    • SomeEldarGuy profile image

      Alex 4 years ago

      Don't Forget that Hemlock WRAITHfighters are counted in on this, they can really hammer those terminator equivalents that could pose a threat, or just thin out some hordes. Problem is -anti- air units, not much a wraith army can do about that, so I'd be tempted by War Walkers (solid contenders for HS top spot) or Dark reapers with exarch w/Flak ELM, either would work superbly with a wraith army to fill in long ranged support, just depends on exactly what you're after from those units.

    • profile image

      Jim 4 years ago

      I think the spinneret rifle is rapid fire not assault, so if you combine that with fast shot and are in rapid fire range that's 3 str6 AP1 shots at 2+ to hit and with monofilament and pinning that's not a bad exarch!

    • murphy80 profile image
      Author

      Murphy 4 years ago from Florida

      I think wraith armies are going to need some form of long range threat, or else armies will just sit back and make the wraiths chase them all game. Hmm... I have to think about this. Wraithknights get some good long-range weapons, as do Wraithlords. Maybe throw in some guardian squads with weapon platforms? I think a core of wraithguard or blades would be solid for taking and holding objectives, though.

    • SomeEldarGuy profile image

      Alex 4 years ago

      the only thing I can say for certain is that Mechdar armies are going to be great considering the BS increase, and if you max out the Serpent shield there's gonna be some really destructive results.

      Iyanden lists? well we'll need to wait and see, Wraithblades and Wraithguard as troops are certainly going to be interesting, especially if they get a 2+ save from a Spiritseer in their unit with Protect/Jinx...

    • murphy80 profile image
      Author

      Murphy 4 years ago from Florida

      I think a meta-game review will have to come after a few weeks of playing. I can only say how things look on paper at this point. For instance, a lot of people did not like the new Daemon codex when it released, but I've had good luck with it.

      Regarding the Iyanden army, I do think that it will be competitive! You will have to take some non-wraith units just to fill out some numbers. It's the build I'm most interested in, so I hope it can win some games :)

    • SomeEldarGuy profile image

      Alex 4 years ago

      ^ I can answer the for a few units from my points of view, but it's gonna take more space than this comment box can hold; and that's for a first game opinion. Putting it simply -every- unit has changed to some degree with no exception (especially Wave Serpents and Dire Avengers in my opinion), and we're only having first reactions so far, I'd suggest waiting a few weeks then checking back, by then there'll be a good range of opinions on each unit for different roles.

    • profile image

      tango 4 years ago

      I was reading your review just before the release in my country and I was craving for every bit of news, and secretly good ones. Your thoughts gave me hope and a critcal, non-whining opinion is far more worth than anything else, but you are in general a more optimistic guy, I guess :D

      I appreciate your thoughts on the performance of each single unit.

      I also would love to hear, and THAT IS a huge thing to me, the detailled changes of eldar units and their part in the so-called meta-game. You did this in some respects. It is crazy to describe in a detailed manner, that no one can argue with, how other unites become redundant as you might use certain units, eg. warpspiders but I would not blame you for that try. I don't know it better, but an analytical exchange of thoughts is really refreshing. You know, a change of all haters and all-over-lovers :P

      I personally play an ONLY eldar army. I love the fluff and the design of our space-elves. It might sound ignorant or strange, but it feels much more satisfying to use only race-exclusive units and create a harmonic composition of war, with all its weaknesses and powers. I really love the idea of Iynaden, immortal ghost warriors with no faces, but do you REALLY think it has a competitive position?

      regards

    • SomeEldarGuy profile image

      Alex 4 years ago

      Tau bring durability and ranged supremacy to an allied force, whereas Dark Eldar are on a par at least with the Eldar's speed, so cause less of a clash of ideals, the best things are that DE get assault transports (open topped n' all) and of course the horrendous amount of monster killing poisoned weapons (think nids/other high toughness enemies). On the whole DE fit in with the Eldar synergy, but who's gonna protest at an allied Hammerhead or Broadside?...

    • murphy80 profile image
      Author

      Murphy 4 years ago from Florida

      I don't have a favorite craftworld, honestly! I love how Iyanden uses wraith units a lot, so I think I will be going with them as I expand my force. However, the red jetbikes of Saim Hann always look amazing! When I was younger, I always liked Biel-tan with their white-green armor with the thorn motif. I would probably do Biel-Tan, but I'm tired of painting white, as I did a white and purple Chaos Marine force for many years.

      I think Eldar will be ally to Dark Eldar, but I don't know if an Eldar force really needs their dark cousins as much. Kabalite warriors are probably better than straight Guardians, and Incubi can kill terminators well, so there is some use there. I've heard a lot of people using Tau as allies for their Eldar because you get access to some devastating firepower via the crisis battlesuits and broadsides!

      Personally, I will be running Eldar/Dark Eldar or Dark Eldar/Eldar, as those are the models I already have!

    • murphy80 profile image
      Author

      Murphy 4 years ago from Florida

      Wow, that's an awesome tactic! Land behind their defenses, blast, and then take the quad gun for yourself. Amazing!

    • SomeEldarGuy profile image

      Alex 4 years ago

      (My favourite Craftworld is still kinda Saim-Hann, but I love Mymeara nowadays; even if their imperial armour is poorly written.)

    • profile image

      ghostmask 4 years ago

      Hey, I love your articles, advises and the way you present your articles in general. Great sense of humour. I would love to know which craft world is your favourite, and which army would be best as an allied detachment for eldar?

      (I am a big Saim Hann fan, and I think dark elder or tau would be the best choice.)

      Enlighten Me!?!

    • SomeEldarGuy profile image

      Alex 4 years ago

      I've yet to try Warp Spiders and Shining Spears (next game hopefully ^.^) but Swooping Hawks are -very- effective, land them behind the fortification your enemy is using (so no cover save) blast the living daylights out of the poor, POOR, unit there, then run into the position they were once in to take their nice hidey hole. if you have Baharroth in there it just gets better (well yea, obviously), because then you can use TWO grenade packs on the turn they arrive (and if you have an Autarch, that's going to be on turn 2 hopefully), I used this to great effect on a quad gun I really didn't want messing around with my flyers, then took the gun for myself and had some fun with the 48" range gun my Phoenix Lord could now operate at BS7...

    • murphy80 profile image
      Author

      Murphy 4 years ago from Florida

      You are correct, that is regardless of initiative! Let me make that more clear with a quick edit. Thanks!

    • profile image

      Bob 4 years ago

      Isn't monofilament auto wound at AP1 only on a roll of a 6 regardless of initiative.