Ok so after much waiting they are here.....but are they any good?
Frankly the internet is divided. So what do I think? My answer is.....yes and no.
Personally I think there is going to be some good lists coming out of it. So as a competitive book, yes I think you'll see them winning stuff...BUT.....not like Necrons or Tau etc, all the time. Its a good competitive book. Not a broken no brainer one.
Do I think its a good Codex? That's a slightly different question. Personally id er on the no side. I say this as there is just too much chaff with the wheat. When you have 3 different choices doing the same thing and ones better, it just means that 2 thirds of your choices just are not going to be used that much. Theres few effective synergy's and the AA is very lacking (mainly as there is no points effective skyfire and it has tissue paper planes). The rules on the models you ARE going to use are great however - its one of those kind of dealios.
It will also have a very sharp learning curve - your offence went up, the trickiness went up; but the resilience went dooooooown.
So lets dive in shall we?
Special Rules and wargear:
There's a nice fluff piece there that makes you both hate and fear Slannesh models. One for the bunnies out there. But really its all about Battle focus. This is your go to rule for the book I feel. Master this and your there. Being able to shoot and run in either order in the same phase. This extends the range of your guns a little or allows you a form of Jump Shoot Jump like Jet troops. Its fairly reliable as anything that has it also has fleet so you can reroll the run dice. Its tasty and you will need to hover around the max ranges or there abouts to make sure you can get your hits it but then also be far enough away to counter some retaliation. Its not going to be super effective all the time but it is some thing you are going to NEED to get good with.
The special wargear is a mixed bag to be fair. There's a few nice things; like making an old school solitaire with a shrouded stealthed, reroll cover save "no more IC for you" item. But frankly they all seem to have a big down side to them, even if that down side is "its for combat" and frankly as you cant give any of them to an avatar you should never be gearing any of your characters for combat....this is a shooting edition apart from a few exceptions and Eldar and not one of those exceptions.
The wings may see some use as late game contesting/line breaking tech.
While not a army special rule, it should be noted that shuriken weapons now rend (ish) but stayed the same range (ie fuck all). Its the rending rule but it don't work on vehicles. This is one of the reasons why your damage output is up but resilience is still bad. You can kill stuff nice but you have to be so close to use it that you need to be careful about the counter as your so close; and your more likely to try it now as the rewards are so much greater (so see Battle Focus).
Ok so here's one more reason why your resilience went down. You cant auto get fortune. Simple fact. If you get it then great, but you cant plan on it anymore. Add it to this that the Farseer powers are 50/50 great or bullshit and even Farseers themselves are not auto include. Guide as a primaris for Farseers is good especially when you can dip a toe in Divination too for Prescience (and there's another reason why your damage output goes up) and if your get fortune or doom your laughing. As I see it a Farseer is a reroll buff machine now that has a stab at getting fortune or doom in the Fate powers with 2 goes at it; a jank spell is then traded off for Guide. If you want a "reliable" seer; then take all three primaris powers from telepathy, fate and divination and stick him on a bike. You have two sets of rerolls and a nice shooting power to go with all that shuriken shot from his bike buddies. Done
There is also a second deck of powers. Battle. Available for Warlocks and the spirit seer. Now some of these are niiiiiiice. A spirit seer as a hq will see use because of this. The +1 save to your own unit or -1 armor save to an enemy one is of particular interest to me. Paladins in power armor? Nice if you can get it off. The only problem here is the warlocks. They have one wound and are ld 8, and, AND....AND,the sodding powers are not rolled until after you put the warlocks in the unit they are going to be in for the rest of the game. I mean *slow clap* well done, amazing games design :/. Warlocks killing themselves off after trying to roll a power which will probably be only of mediocre use to the unit hes with doesn't sound fun to me. Even the primaris, which is stealth, while good, is going to mean jack shit with all those markerlights and Helldrakes out there at the moment. Its not like they even improve the ld of the units they join. Stupid stupid.
(A Warlock bike council squad still may be viable however as you can still do the crazy baron thing and have a good chance at uping the bikes to a 2+ save as well, with 2 Farseers looking for fortune; then the crazy big deathstar thing may still just about work....just be prepared to lose warlocks and feel gyped alot).
Follows what I shall dub "the Eldar Dictum". Offence went up, tricks went up, defense took it to the pooper. Basically it got some better stats, got the option to fire its "gun/sword" twice with battle focus but its ++ save went down. Which hurts. Also went up in price and kept its fearless bubble. Oh and an option for night vision,should you ever want your combat monster to man a quad gun. Seriously Kelly, why?? What were you smoking.
A utility character and nothing else - you cant use him as a combat beatstick, he just dont have the grunt for it. Kept the reserve manipulation and access to some cool wargear. Basically give him a melta gun and some swooping hawk wings or a bike and a lance and he might cause some damage while making your reserves more reliable.
I think I've kinda covered them in the psy powers. But to add to it. The runes are now balls (so there's that little crutch gone) and the bike is pretty much mandatory for the save and toughness boost at just 15 points. The fact you cant get fortune reliably now has far and wide implications on the innate resilience of your army. You cant slog it out anymore. Your an elf, dance round them.
Your cheapo hq. Good for his points and also makes wraith units troops. So I can see him popping up regularly in the wraith builds or the min max ones; or even lists that actually want battle powers in a unit other than guardians.
Bad, just bad. They can only join Guardian based squads now (sorry wraith guard) and have no utility in power selection/unit assignment, no ld buff to the squads and no chance at ever making it in to a list ill ever write (outside the already mentioned bike council)
Not the no brainer he was anymore. level 4 though. Kept his redeploy tricks. But with the average Farseer powers and not being able to cast the same power twice; id rather just take 2 regular seers instead. He got fleet finally though and still t4, so a tough little cookie.
Pretty much as he was but with an extra wound and his doom takes the form of having to reroll his save rolls of a 6. Hes an ok beatstick, but his eye attack is a bit lame now due to the new combat moving up rules and having an initiative thats too high to use it properly.
The new guy on the block. Pretty good I suppose. Lets you take upgraded Rangers. So he and other snipers all become like Vindicare assassins - choosing which models you assign wounds too. Pretty snazzy. Also can infiltrate with no range restrictions.....now if this is passed on to any unit he joins he'll be amazing. But the debate rages as we speak.
Ok life is too short, I cant be arsed to do all of them. Needless to say that if your going to pay 200+ points for a t4 3 wound combat beatstick then please please give it A/some stick to beat with and B/ some invulnerable save. Both. Not one. Or none. Both. Karandras might see some play as he does hit like a truck and can infiltrate a unit while giving it stealth. But that's it really. Oh maybe Maugan Ra as at least he can shoot something that's worth a dam too. If im honest they may need a look at later more in depth as I get some games in and identify possible synergies. But as a knee jerk article, its jerking towards the "meh".
Old faithfuls. One of the rare exceptions of going against "The Eldar Dictum", they have better armor now. So battle focus and melta guns keeps them viable and power armor will help a lot to weather the storm. They did get more expensive though but still a good deal rather than a stupidly under costed one.
Actually pretty good now ...for a combat unit. With infiltrate, move through cover and stealth as standard and the price similar to the old basic rules (before you had to buy those usr's as Exarch powers), these are not bad at all. Still, its a combat unit in a shooty mans game. But at least a initiative swinging power fist will cause a few sweats.
Same as they ever were, oh wait I lie, the power that makes them great and almost immune to shooting is stuck on a one wound ld 9 model that needs to test. If you perils then that buff goes out the window. Down goes that resilience again.....Im sorry but one wound psykers are just fucking stupid.
Wraith Guard and Wraith Blades :
Your old wraith models in shiny new plastic. Much cheaper. Shooty version has a new ap 2 flamer option (expensive but awesome if Illic's infiltrate rule works). Has new combat options in the form of ap 3 lots of attacks or ap 2 with 4++ and unwieldly. Can score with the Spirit Seer. Still tough as old boots. I like, but keep to the shooty ones I think.
Howling Banshees :
You know how they used to be bad and universally hated. Well nothings changing. A fragile combat unit with no way to get them in combat that quick and no resilience to help either. I don't care that they run a bit faster. Avoid.
Windriders (Aka Jetbikes)
Same as ever. Cheap scorers with infiltrate. Good and solid.
The Eldar Dictum strikes again hard. Its a flyer - yay! With great offensive capabilities - yay! With vector dancer - yay! With armor 10 all round and no defensive buffs - boooooo! Seriously, this is a flyer with all mouth and no trousers. It doesn't even have the option for spirit stones. Which leads me to the conclusion that its dog balls or you need to build a list that's dam sure it can take out all the skyfire by turn 2.
As above so bellow. I could start talking about all the great synergies you could have with the amount of pinning in the eldar book and the way this plane could really do a number on so many hard units.....but I wont because its armor 10 all round and will die to a dirty look.
Got bs 4 and stayed the same points. Was a little disappointed you cant take them in units of 5 as has become the trend. But a solid if not outstanding unit that can be tailored to pump out whatever pew pew you want with out spending points out the wing wang.
I love these guys. I'm not sure if they are going to be the new hotness but for their points they are speedy as hell and hit like a bag of hammers. Love love love em. Firstly they have assault 2 12 inch guns that are s6 with no ap.....but....but, they have the monofilament rule. This is a great little rule. Anything with I3 or bellow or without an initiative (like vehicles) will take the hits at +1 s instead, on top of this rolls to wound of a 6 happen at ap1! With a move of about 17 inches in the movement phase/assault phase with their pack and battle focus plus a jet pack move after you've shot - you can really move about the table hosing things. They each carry a shot range rending autocannon too ferchristsakes!! Also i'll note here that the Doom psy power allows you to roll any roll to wound, not failed ones. So if your really looking for those 6's......
Pretty much as they always were, a s6 lance weapon for both close range shooting and assaults. Next to no attacks and on a jet bike. At least the got skilled rider (and outflank, but meh). Still no clue why bikes have battle focus though.
Well they aren't as bad as they used to be which is good news. In fact I think they could be a great harras unit. They got lots of shots, good range and haywire grenades. Also they never scatter with deepstrike. Don't get me wrong. I don't think they are the new big thing, but they just don't suck ass any more. I could see an Autarch with a melta gun and wings going in a unit to try and do some damage. Still got the ability to "take off" again and deep strike yet again next turn (with the useful grenade pack drop as you do).
Again, pretty much the same as it ever was. Got a bit cheaper though. Not really much to add. Some of the wargear for vehicles is cool now, vectored engines allow you to turn after shooting - so you can dump off some dragons out the back after showing your ass to the enemy and then pivot round to show your front armor again. But for the falcon. Its the usual jack of all trades master of none.
Pimp. Just pimp. They got a bit expensive, but thats fine as the weapon options are much cheaper so it evens out. But then they also got a 5++ , bs4 and fleet/battle focus!! So who cares!!!! Basically its Jump Shoot Jump to victory with amazing fire power. Invest in some and profit.
Cheap (if you dont go for the D cannons) and effective. The D cannons are a bit pricey for such a short range, but it is s10. The vibro cannons are basically a s9 ap 2 weapon as you'll always take 3 of them (the shots get better the more you take); but the real winners are the shadow weavers. Barrage weapons with the monofilament rule. Hide them and plonk s6 rending sniping barrages on people or s7 on the sides of tank. Great little unit for only 90 points.
Lost the need to stack shots with others now and gained a 3rd firing mode. You now have a shot for all seasons - a large blast ap 3, small at ap 2 or a s9 lance. Great little utility tank for a good price.
Once again, monofilament makes this good. S7 too, so upped to s8 vs good targets. Has 2 firing modes: a barrage large blast or a torrenting flamer. Can really turn its hand to anything. Love this one too. The vehicles really seemed to have upped their game in both utility and cost effectiveness I feel.
Gained an attack but went to s8 now. Not really a problem as with crush attacks your getting the same as you used to get. Went up in points a bit but lost wraith sight and access to better weapons (scatter lasers new rule and the cannons kinda rend) so really upped the damage output. I can still see it getting punked by poison but then didn't it always. No bad.
The one the internets been buzzing about. Personally I think its got shit/expensive options and not enough damage output or resilience to be worth its 240++ price tag. Dont get me wrong, some games it may own as you cant deal with it, but vs the big boys (crons, gk, tau et all) it'' just get dropped too easily. T8 is ok, but with only power armor and 6 wounds (only..lol) rending/instant death/sustained s7 spam will just drop it without a thought, and against anything with poison its just 6 marines..it will die to 3 venom's in a turn. Its not that it might not be a bit of a problem, its just its not worth its points...at all :/
Got relentless, ignoring jink saves and a points reduction. Not bad. For 8 points extra you can get proper krak missiles too or hideously expensive flakk ones. I suppose I could see a use for them but they still seem a bit pricey for t3 models that will die to a stiff breeze.
So in nut shell, what do I think?
- Your going to have to get creative with you tactics to make the most of the army
- Generally the aspect warriors suck still (warp spiders an exception)
- The vehicles and anything guardian based/crewed will be the back bone of the army.
- The AA sucks so get some allies/quad gun/reroll powers on those multishot weapons
- I don't think you'll be see any Phoenix lords any time soon.
Anyway. What does everyone else think?