Monday, June 3, 2013

Eldar Codex Review: or Where am I going to find $320 worth of jetbikes

Well I'm disappointed. I was hoping that I could un-box some of my neglected Eldar units, but if it was bad in the old codex it's still bad in the new one. The book really suffers from "the designers don't play this game"-itis.

The Good:
Pseudo-rending on shuriken weapons is pretty nice.  Costing on the heavy weapons for vehicles has also been fixed.  There seems to be a place for every heavy weapon in the army based on ability and prices.  The missile launcher seems a little costly, but not overly so.

Jetbikes are stupidly cheap in points.  For the cost of a marine you get a bike that's better than the marine equivalent.  The only problem is I'm not spending the ridiculous amounts of money it would cost to get a decent amount of them.

Overall the troops sections of the book is pretty strong.  Between Wraiths as troops and guardians you can go quality or quantity for scoring units.

The Meh:
Vehicle upgrades are overpriced.  Not that they're not good, it's just that with the cost of the vehicles in the codex, it seems like your making an overpriced option more overpriced.

War-gear in general is overpriced by 5-10 points per option.  The relics are the worst offenders here.  How can you justify 30-40 points for ap dash CC weapons that's good effects only trigger in a challenge?    Exarch weapons are also pretty annoying.  You're speeding about 26 points for the Exarch, then it's 15-20 points for a decent weapon, and a further 10-15 points per Exarch power.  The challenge effects from the powers are pretty cute, but spending 50+ points on a T3 1 wound model is not a smart play.

AP2 in Melee is very expensive in the army.  Which is probably a good design goal to have.  But keeping Necrons in the meta really screws up any attempts at a more reigned in design approach.  What's the point really?  Every army has the problem where they can play their own units, or ally in a Necron unit that does the same job better for cheaper.  

Really expensive skyfire options.

The heavy support slot is way overcrowded. It's where most of the good options are.  They should have not bothered with being able to switch Wraithgaurd to troops and should have instead done so with Aspect Warriors.  Banshees, Scorpions, and a few others might be worth taking if they where scoring.    

Random Psychic powers.  Not quite as bad as it could be since the BS boost to the army and having decent primus powers.  However, more than a few units only get good if you can manage to roll a particular power.

The Ugly:
The fundamental misunderstanding from the design team on how to fix Eldar.  They gave the army big offensive boosts and raised point costs as well.  Offensive power was never an Eldar weakness.  Even with how over-costed the last book was you could still put out a terrifying amount of good shooting.  The problem with Eldar is that they where too expensive for being T3 models with 4+ or 5+ saves.  The army needed either a points reduction or boosts to their survivability.

Codex by Copy-Paste.  They didn't bother to change anything about the Autarch.  I was mildly surprised they even remembered to remove their special rule about strategy ratings.  Banshees got some token changes, but not the rending or furious charge they would need to be remotely playable. There's barley enough changes in the book to justify a FAQ update.  It feels very much like a half assed or rushed effort.  I really feel cheated out of 50 bucks.

Edit: And there's a day one FAQ nerfing Shadow Weaver batteries.  Go figure.  One less thing to fight for a heavy support slot I guess.

Edit: Edit: Review Continued in Part II


  1. It really seems like a lazy rush job to support a quick cash grab. But at least you can pay double the money for a fancy dust cover! ;)

    1. I just don't know. They didn't do much better the last time they updated the Eldar codex. So it could be that they just don't know how the army works outside of the lol-sy beer & pretzels bubble the dev team seems to live in.

      It would be interesting to get a picture of what it's like internally right now at GW. Though it really doesn't matter. It's either a cooperate culture that despises competitive gaming or one that is overly rushed and sales driven. Regardless it leads to a poorly balanced rule set.

      I went digital. At least that way I get back-filled FAQ updates.

  2. There's a difference between what we want, and what the devs want to put out.

    Half-assed efforts are perfectly fine for a beer-an-pretzels "dude, that was AWESOME!" kind of relaxed game you play to have fun with your buddies in the basement.

    Expecting 40K to be tight and competitive is a bit like expecting a Dodge Dart to show up and perform alongside an Alpha Romeo.
    They're meant to be two different beasts. I think 6th ed, and the glut of codex releases are re-inforcing that difference. Because the Dev teams are designing Dodge Darts, which are perfectly fine to hang out and drink beer and pretzels with.
    I suspect designing an Alpha Romeo game is something GW finds to be too hard to do. I mean, Why should they design a top notch game when dodge Darts sell pretty well, the Dart is marked up to Alpha Romeo prices, and most gamers don't know the difference. The Dart works just fine for Beer an Pretzels.

    1. ah and I saw a sale on jetbikes:

      you could also try getting old DE jetbikes, cut off the spikes, and cut up guardians to be drivers.

    2. Unfortunately the quality of jetbikes is pretty obvious, and have been bid up more than I like. I might get some guardians for a buck though.

      I'm thinking about downloading blender and creating some space elf hoverboards. Than I can just print some out using shapeways.

    3. Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the future. :)

  3. Replies
    1. That may work. How many do you have, and are they painted?

  4. Every game should attempt to fair and balanced, even with beer and pretzels!