Eldar Craftworlds Codex Review Part 1

Your new/old overlords have arrived

By now you've read quite a few reviews on this codex, maybe watched some battle reports on youttube, and perhaps have even been unlucky enough to face it on the table.  I own and play a few armies and Eldar is one of them.  I've gotten quite a few games under my belt with them since the codex release, including 2 just tonight, which resulted in tablings of the opponents.

Bottom line tl;dr version: The Eldar are so good, this might be the scariest codex GW has ever released in history.

I'm not going on a unit by unit review of this book.  That would take too long and truth be told, they're all good in their own ways.  I'm instead going to focus on what you're likely to face on the table, and what some of this stuff can do.  Perhaps it will better prepare for you to deal with it, both good and bad.

Let's start with what has been on everyone's minds since the codex released; ranged D weapons.  The Eldar pack quite a punch in this department.  More than any other army out there from a basic codex in fact (that is, not factoring in Forge World).  So, how big of a deal is it?  Does it really make that big of a difference?  Well, that really depends. The flamer version of this weapon equipped by wraithguard can be devastating.  But obviously they need a delivery system to be effective before being shot to pieces.  Walking these guys across the board simply isn't smart.  You're likely to see these guys flying across the table in a wave serpent, although certainly other shenanigans are possible (like being in a raider with Dark Eldar with a web way portal).  The strategy against them is simple; kill their transport as quickly as possible.  Make them get out on turn 1 or 2 so they have to hoof across the board, and in the meantime shoot them from a distance until they are dead.  Even with a -1 on the D table, these things can pack enough punch because they hit so many models in a unit and ignore cover (thanks to being a template) that their effects can be devastating.  This unit is a death star killer, and it's very good at it.

Vaul's Wrath Battery can pack the D too, albeit at much shorter range, and with barrage.  Which doesn't sound too bad until you start to factor in a Farseer casting prescience or guide on them.  Then suddenly they are a real danger.  They make for great backfield board control.  Opponents will be extremely cautious about deep striking in the backfield with these things hidden safely behind a wall somewhere.  While they aren't as big of a game changer as some of the other D weapons, they are enough to create board control and that is huge in 40k.

Wraithlords. Don't bother.

Wraithknights.  Yes, the D weapons on this thing can be quite devastating.  In my games with it I've used it to explode an imperial knight straight up.  Monstrous creatures like the tyranofex and heavy tanks like the Leman Russ, whose 4 hull points and AV 14 up front are tough to deal with.  If you're running a heavy infantry army up against Eldar, the heavy wraithcannon shouldn't scare you too much.  It's best used against big things that it can insta-smoke like heavy tanks and monstrous creatures.  What's worse is that now the wraithknight is a gargantuan monstrous creature which means it can fire it's 2 D shots at 2 different targets.  Again, board control is more a factor here than anything, but the effects of a lucky D shot can change the shape of a game quickly.  Do not underestimate them.

Say hello to my little friend!
Which leads into the next topic.  Just how good are wraithknights now?  Very good.  Extraordinarily so in fact.  The change to gargantuan creatures is a huge change.  Gone are the days of tying up these things with a tarpit.  It just isn't a reasonable strategy.  Trust me, I've played numerous games against all sorts of tough tarpits, and the stomps just make them disappear.  If you find yourself across the table from one, or god forbid 2 or 3, of these things is to simply stay away from it.  And if you do get something close to it, be it a sternguard squad with combi-grav, or something else, be prepared to lose that unit.  It has feel no pain,  the stomp attack, jumps 12", and has 4-5 STR 10 attacks a turn.  Make no mistake, it will crush most things in assault.  Shoot it if you can.  Poison is no longer a reliable option as it takes a 6+ to wound them with poison shots.  Space Marines can answer with grav guns and, if given the chance, will drop them quickly.  However, smart Eldar players will know how to counter for this sort of thing so you still have to be cautious.

Moving on, let's take a look at the Farseer.  Pretty much the go-to HQ choice for every Eldar army now and rightly so.  For 130 points you get a ML 3 psyker who can roll on the best psychic trees in the game, drop the cost of a power down by 1 warp charge, and re-roll a psychic test AND a deny the witch test once per turn.  Invisibility or Prescience on a single warp charge? Yup.  And let's not forget the ghosthelm, which can negate a wound from a perils of the warp.. So, they lost access to summoning daemons.  They never should have had it in the first place.

The seer council is back with some major changes.  Now the unit has brotherhood of psykers, which means not every warlock can roll his own power.  Instead, the number of powers you generate is based upon how many of them you field.  The more warlocks in the council, the higher their mastery level up to 3.  Which sounds shitty, until you factor in that despite being ML 2, a council of 4 warlocks can bring 4 dice to the pool in the psychic phase.  They'll get conceal/reveal for free thanks to psychic focus, and two powers on the Runes chart, all of which are useful.  And their witchblades make them more than capable of taking on even the toughest of opponents should you need to assault with them.

The workhorse of the Eldar Craftworlds Codex

Scatter laser jetbikes are a real thing, and boy are they nasty.  It is quite easy to field an entire army slinging around shots that are no less than STR 6.  Once you start stacking bodies, these units become devastating.  Capable of wiping out hordes and MEQ alike.  The volume of firepower they can crank out is ridiculous.  I've found the sweet spot to be 6 windriders.  That's 24 STR 6 shots, and if you're smart you have a Farseer to cast Guide or Prescience making them twin linked.  Very little can stand up to that kind of firepower.  And the fact they are so mobile and the range is so good for the scatter laser makes them that much better.  Expect to see these things a lot on the table.  As bad as the D is, these things are far worse, and will end up doing most of the legwork for an Eldar army on the table.

These are the high points of the army thus far, but this is only scratching the surface of what they are capable of.  In the next part, I'll go over some of the other ugly units you're likely to see such as the aspect warriors, Falcons, and more.  I'll also explain why the internet is wrong about wave serpent spam being a thing of the past.  Hint: They're still very good despite what you've heard.

Eldar Craftworlds Codex Review Part 1 Eldar Craftworlds Codex Review Part 1 Reviewed by Robert Chandler on 12:58:00 AM Rating: 5

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