Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Transitioning from 5th to 6th

Now that I survived my first semester in law school and have a bit more time I wanted to talk about Eldar, 5th edition and potential 6th edition changes. Change is always difficult and uncertain, even for Tzeench but luckily we are Eldar and we have Farseers and stuff, right?

I miss the 3rd edition power house that Eldar were...

All in all, I feel pretty happy with Eldar as my main army. They are super cool while still being a solid and potent army if used properly, more so than other armies due to the specialized nature of available units. On the flip side, Eldar pay a lot for what they get compared to other armies who get more firepower, close combat and vehicles for less. Bottom line is that it isn't easy to win with Eldar and it takes more skill/effort to pull out a great win with Eldar than with other armies. It feels good winning with Eldar against 3 vendetta, hydra/manticore and vet spamming IG. Winning with my Gk, on the other hand, feels more like stepping on snails-not very tactical and you generally don't feel good about winning if you do. But alas, everything you know and I know about Eldar may very well be about to change...

The times are a changin'...

In 5th edition I had many hopes and dreams in regards to writing tactical articles and so on but with 6th looming so close on the horizon (a few days from now even) I am holding my breath to see what the rules actually are alongside any FAQ/Errata updates that may come our way to say anything definitive. I will say that things will change (DUH) but for better or worse? Regardless, I wanted to talk about two of the changes that I think will most impact Eldar and how they will play in the new rules (from what we know).

Specific concerns:


I am worried that our vehicles will lose their survivability and give us WAY less bang for our buck than they already do. Specifically, hull points worry me. To recap for those that are not in the know about the rumors (confirmations from ppl that have the rulebook), every vehicle will have a set number of hull points, probably a min of 2 and a max of 4. Every glancing hit will remove a hull point (no roll on vehicle damage chart-no damage is done to the tank aside from losing a hull point from glancing hits) and when a vehicle loses all hull points it simply becomes a wreck. Every penetrating hit will remove a hull point and grant a roll on the vehicle damage chart which is now 1-2=shaken, 3=stunned, 4-5=weapon destroyed into immobilized (or a 5 is immobilized) and 6=explodes. 

What does this mean for Eldar vehicles, and all vehicles for that matter? It means that nobody will have to deal with that "unkillable rhino" that takes a zillion glancing/penetrating 1s and 2s. It means that simply glancing a vehicle a set number of times will effectively destroy it so that every result (glancing or otherwise) is meaningful and brings you one step closer to that goal of destroying the target vehicle. Invariably, every vehicle has a wounds characteristic via hull points with a chance for instant death from penetrating hits. Good or bad, feel free to give your feedback on this topic.

A Wave Serpent might have 4 hull points (I am guessing 4 since it has the same armor value as a defiler which also has 4 hull points).

Regarding Glancing hits:
This means that glancing hits will no longer have any effect on our tanks other than removing hull points. Specifically, glancing hits will no longer be preventing us from shooting, moving, losing weapons or being immobilized until the last hull point is taken out. This is both a good and a bad thing as a few glancing hits will have no affect on our battle plans while focused fire will see our tanks destroyed in a horrible, terrible, no good, very bad way.

Regarding Penetrating hits:
 Penetrating hits, on the other hand, are something to really worry about as AP 1 weapons are apparently +2 and ap 2 weapons are +1 to the damage chart (fear the melta/plasma spam even more).

In short, vehicles will be more effective despite suffering glancing hits but more vulnerable and easily destroyed, especially from penetrating hits. I imagine 40k will be a visceral destruction derby with things blowing up left and right. Expect both your opponents' and your own tanks to die a lot faster.

What is our saving grace? Skimmers all have a 5+ save if they move at all which is increased to a 4+ if they go flat out. Other vehicles only get a 5+ for being 25% obscured. Our skimmers can now be out in the open and not have to worry about cover while other armies need to be concerned about how to hide their tanks.

How many 5+ saves can you roll? Well, lets hope a lot. How many glancing/penetrating hits will our tanks take? Lets hope not many. This is nice for when you turbo a full hull point wave serpent towards an objective and only suffer a few glancing hits which will have no chance to destroy your vehicle =).

Close Combat:

The biggest changes to close combat is that charge moves are 2d6 added together with fleet allowing you to re-roll one of those results (and possibly the dice for a run move). Fleet no longer allows you to charge after a run move, too. This almost works out to be the same as a fleet+charge from 5th as you'll average 7-8" of total movement with that re-roll so that doesn't mess with us too much. Still no consolidating into new combats. Power Weapons are AP3 and Snapfire allows a charged unit to shoot at whatever is charging them at BS1 with template weapons doing d3 hits (no blast weapons can be fired). 

All of a sudden Banshees are useless against terminators and Xenos armies in general will have to deal with terminators by ignoring them or forcing a ton of saves against them. Harlequins may be our best friend against terminators if they survive the snap fire shooting. I think Eldar will shift more towards a shooty/move and skoot type of army but Harlequins and Seer Councils may change that depending on how the rules pan out with our units.

On the flip side, this makes charging Eldar a lot more dangerous, considering how there is a confirmed psychic power Eldar will have access to that allows Snapfire at a units normal  BS. Imagine shooting at a Doomed unit with Guided Dire Avengers in your shooting phase only to be able to shoot again before getting charged in the enemy assault phase. That is likely to put a big dent in anything that comes your way. Consequentl, footdar may make a comeback for the reasons that vehicles will be easier to destroy with high volume S6 shots and getting assaulted is not so bad with random charge length and snap fire as an enemy may roll horribly and fail their charge while you get another free round of shooting off.  

Working around the new rules:
Ultimately, I think all vehicles will be easier to destroy which will mean that armies will need more robust units to have in the tanks when the tanks blow up. S6 spam will make a comeback for Eldar as most vehicles are AV12 or less and all you need now is to glance the heck out of things. Incidentally, the S6 spam will also be very nice for killing whatever comes out of the tanks.

I think my fun list with 9 warwalkers and 9 vypers might turn out to be a solid choice for Eldar. Take some Fire Dragons with some decent scoring units and you are set for life, yo. Even Warp Spiders and Swooping Hawks will be super effective against tanks and make them faint. Make sure to take 2 Autarchs to enjoy a +2 to reserves along with any other reserve bonuses that might be available to you in the new rules. Limit enemy shooting at your tanks and come on with a nice alpha strike to destroy their vehicles/threats to your vehicles.

So let me know what you think personally with what you've heard of the new rumors. What do you think all of this means for Eldar?


  1. In my meta (lots of Termies) I'm thinking that I'll either S6 spam or bring back AP2's. Fire Prisms + full S9 blast could take care of parking lots better. Star Cannons are expensive but effective. I think Wraithlords get a boost (too bad they don't fly). Finally Hornets and Warp Hunters are interesting - hope the rules address 'official 40k' forgeworld units.

    Also waiting for the digital version....sigh...another 70+ dollars...

  2. Oh....and stacking Runes of Warding too!