Thursday, May 21, 2015

Codex Eldar: Craftworlds Discussion

Army for Armies on Parade
The new Codex Eldar: Craftworlds is interesting to say the least.  The armylist I have been working towards for about a year has become cheaper points wise.  I added Harlequins to fill out the list from ~1700 points (without Illic Nightspear) to 2000 points. Now, the army with the Codex Eldar: Harlequins Cast of Players formation is 1850 points!  Illic Nightspear will bring it back up to 2000 points. The list however has a not insignificant point sink in the Phoenix fighter-bomber.  All of this is a long way of saying that the new Eldar are cheaper and deadlier than before.
A lot has been made of Distortion Weapons becoming S-D.  This clearly makes Wraithguard very effective; Hemlocks can put the hurt on a unit up close; Support Battery's can wipe-out a unit a turn; and Wraithknights can bring the hurt in close combat (as if they couldn't before).  But those are the units with access to Distortion Weapons, no one else.  It is certainly possible to bring a significant amount of D-weapons, but they will mostly be short range or very vulnerable (looking at you Support Battery) if left undefended.

Dire Avengers
I think in general players have ignored the improvements to the rest of the army list and formations that an Eldar player can potentially field.  From Swordwind style armies built on the Aspect Host and Dire Avenger Shrine formations to Ulthwe militia armies built on the Guardian hosts.

Each of the Heavy Support tank squadrons has special rules from Deep Striking to increased strength if they combine firepower. The Aspect Host formation make the already improved Aspect Warriors even better.  There do not appear to be any horrible choices in the Eldar army and even obvious choices I think become less obvious when the potential of other choices is considered.

The final boost I think came before the newest Codex in the form of the Harlequins, which provide even more variety to an Eldar player's selection of units.

All of that being said, I think Eldar continue to require finesse and skill when playing them.  They are not an auto-pilot army.  I fought a Tyranid army and was unable to effectively manage his Flying Monstrous Creatures, despite being faster overall and working to isolate parts of his army from the main thrust of the fighting.  Average T of 3 and no armor values above 12 make the army still fragile (or super elite with heavy Wraith usage).