Sunday, September 9, 2012

New FAQs and Eldar:

The new FAQs for both the main rulebook and the Eldar came out recently. This post will cover those changes in regards to how they relate to Eldar and what this means for the Eldar looking forward.

Good job GW!

Before I start, I want to say thanks to GW who actually addressed some pressing questions, and in a relatively timely manner! I hope this is a preview of things to come, that of timely and pertinent updates. Overall, I am satisfied with the FAQs and below are my list of the FAQ changes, ordered by categories, followed by my commentary.

The Elar FAQ changes:

Psychic FAQ clarifications:
-Spirit Stones now officially make the Farseer Mastery level 2.
-Runes of Warding DO NOT stack.
-Runes of Warding and Runes of Witnessing cancel each other out.
-The Warlock power Destructor cannot be used to overwatch.
-Dark Eldar do not count as Eldar units for Eldar psychic powers.

My commentary:
-Nice that Spirit Stones OFFICIALLY make Farseers Mastery Level 2, before it was merely an inference from Eldrad's FAQ entry.
-Good to know multiple Runes of Warding don't stack, I never thought they did or should-that would be retardedly OP.
-Good to know Warding/Witnessing interact smoothly now, the whole roll an extra dice, drop the highest, carry the 4 and then poke a badger with a spoon method was too confusing.
-Kind of obvious that Dark Eldar are not Eldar (even though I tried to argue that they were, the power gamer in me!). Still, I think DE Independant Characters still benefit from Eldar powers when they are in Eldar units.
-I think they messed up with the Warlock power not being useable for overwatch, especially since it is ALWAYS active and therefore ALWAYS useable.  Oh well, we can't have it all.

Vehicle FAQ clarifications:
-Star Engines now simply allow our fast skimmers to move 24" flat-out rather than 18".
-Vibro, D-Weapons (wraithgun/D-Cannon), Haywire weapons affect fortifications just like vehicles.

My commentary:
-Big nerf to Star Engines, 15 points for an extra 6" is not worth it (it wasn't even worth it before). This is a bummer as DE get something better for 5 points, looking forward to new codex to see what goodies we will get.
-The above weapons affecting fortifications like vehicles is kind of obvious but I suppose it needed clarification.

Vibro Cannon FAQ clarifications:
-They do NOT affect Zooming Flyers or Swooping Flying Monstrous Creatures.
-They DO affect Hovering Flyers or Gliding Flying Monstrous Creatures.

My commentary:
-Big bummer for Vibro Cannons now, not affecting zooming/swooping things, as it really puts Vibro Cannons at the bottom of the list for Heavy Support choices. It seems GW doesn't want us to use these things.

Feugan clarifications:
-Fire Axe is +1 S, AP2 and grants the Smash special rule to Feugan.

My commentary:
-Feugan just got that much better. S5 Ap2 attacks with Smash are really just icing on the cake, very tasty icing.
-Smash attacks mean he can be at S10 not just against Vehicles but MCs also.
-Fire Axe is not Unwieldy so he still strikes at I7.
I would mainly take Feugan for the Tank Hunter ability he can confer on squads he joins and the 2+ save/Eternal Warrior to tank ap3 attacks for a unit. When Fortuned, it is pretty ridiculous. The ability to kill tanks dead individually does increase his appeal though.

Swooping Hawk FAQ clarifications:
I wish Swooping Hawks were this
cool in the game...
-The exarch power Intercept now allows the squad to treat any non-walker vehicle as WS0.

My commentary:
-This is actually quite a significant boost for the Hawks. The only shame is that they each only get 1 attack with grenades so every casualty hurts and the unit is pretty much guaranteed to die horribly since they are likely to be bunched up after charging a vehicle.
-This unit just needs some serious redesigning. Either make them extra survivable through a better armor save or jink+stealth/Shrouding or some combination thereof so that they can survive close encounters with vehicles and firefights or make them more of a ranged anti infantry/support unit so that they don't have to be overexposed to enemy fire.

Harlequin FAQ clarifications:
-Viel of Tears clarified to only grant Stealth+Conceal.
-Viel of Tears not active when unit is in a vehicle.

My commentary:
-Long awaited "fix" to the GW goof that gave us both Stealth+Conceal and old spotting distance. Still, 2+ cover on average when in cover is nice, especially when Fortuned. Beware of things that ignore cover now, though...Sadly there are much more cover ignoring attacks in 6th than 5th. Harlequins are still a premier CC unit so don't let this discourage you from using them and remember that you can take cover saves from overwatch shooting.

Howling Banshee FAQ clarifications:
-Defensive Grenades don't work against Howling Banshees and Banshees don't suffer the I penalty for charging through terrain.
-Howling Banshees are clarified to only have Power Swords.
-Executioner is clarified to be AP3 (and any axe modeled on older Exarchs is to be treated as an executioner).

My commentary:
-If you ever end up using Howling Banshees, it will be nice to know that you still get your full attacks against things like Fire Wariors (which anything can kill in combat) and Plague Marines (who you won't be killing with this unit anyway). Sure other units can get defensive grenades but who cares, Banshees are anything but useful in 6th. No access to AP2 weapons means you will always want Harlequins as a CC unit who can rend.

Main Rulebook FAQ changes:

-Any weapon that "ignores armor saves" does just that, so no matter what armor save the target has, they don't get to use it against attacks made with these weapons.
-All psychic powers in codices require 1 Warp Charge to cast.
-Feel no Pain can be used against Perils of the Warp wounds.
-Witchfire powers cannot be used to overwatch.
-Modifiers such as to reserve rolls do not apply to allied detachments.
-Vehicles immobilized from dangerous terrain tests lose a hull point in addition to being immobilized.
-Unless a Vehicle has the "Assault Vehicle" special rule, units that get out of a tank because it was wrecked or exploded in your turn cannot assault in their next turn.

My Commentary:
-Weapons that ignore armor saves mean that Eldrad's staff and Yriel's spear are effective at taking out 2+ save things. The fact that they always wound on 2+ is also very nice.
-Being able to take FNP saves against Peril's wounds is nifty, shame it only comes into play for us if we roll the Warlord trait that gives us FNP when 3" from an objective or if we cast Enliven from a Wraithseer on a unit of Wraithguard that a Farseer is in.
-Dangerous Terrain potentially causing 1 HP of damage makes the Night Spinners much more useful as it can invariably do a HP worth of damage in subsequent turns.
-The vehicle exploding bit above preventing troops from being able to assault the following turn is a nice clarification. This means that if you blow up a rhino in your turn that is carrying Grey Hunters, that unit cannot charge you in their following turn which gives us some breathing room. Eldar NEED some kind of assault vehicle upgrade IMO.

So with all of those new FAQ changes and my commentary out of the way, what does this look like for the Eldar going forward?

Regarding Psychic Powers:
-First off, Eldar still have the best Psychic defense out of anyone especially since SW have been FAQ'd to get either their Runic Staff or Deny the witch, but not both. Eldar now force an extra D6 through Warding AND can deny the witch as well.

-Eldar still cast powers more effectively considering they can use 3d6 drop the highest when casting,  have a 3+ save against Perils and can now take FNP against these wounds.

Going forward, I think that Farseers will be essential in every Eldar list in one form or another even though there are other viable choices. This may especially be true for when the new CSM/DA codices comes out with all kinds of Psychic powers and we will want to be prepared to protect our units from them.

Regarding Vehicles:
-Being immobilized really hurts our tanks even more now than ever as if we roll poorly on a dangerous terrain roll, our tank is 1/3 dead (1/2 dead for Vypers/War Walkers) and can't get where it may NEED to go in order to win us a game. I would like to see some sort of protection from being immobilized in a future codex such as perhaps Vectored Engines allowing you to ignore the first Immobilized Result (with perhaps suffering a stunned/shaken result instead or something?).
Note: There is a warlord trait-Dust of a Thousand Worlds from the command chart-that gives the Warlord and units within 12" move through cover which essentially allows everything within 12" to auto-pass dangerous terrain tests...including vehicles.

-Going forward, it will be more difficult to deal with flyers, now that Vibro Cannons no longer affect them. For me, I've dealt with this situation by taking larger units of Fire Dragons in Wave Serpents with Farseers to cast Guide on them. 7-8 Melta Shots and a Singing Spear with re-rolls to hit and Armor Penetration (re-roll to-hit from guide and Armor Pen from Tank Hunter) should net you at least 1-2 hits which should destroy your target. Otherwise, Eldar are SORELY lacking an effective answer to flyers outside of Allies and that simply should not be the case, every army should be able to be deal with any threat in and of themselves. I look forward to our flyers being released.

Regarding our units:
-Certain units remain virtually useless, like Swooping Hawks, Banshees and now, the Vibro Cannon. While each of the above have uses, they pall in contrast to available options out there.

-I feel as though Eldar players are going to have to change their outlook and change how they approach building and playing their armies. Vehicles are still pretty strong, but dice can ruin your day with them and scoring units are incredibly important and survivable troops at that are even more important. Taking larger units is a trend I believe we will start seeing. I also foresee an emergence of Jetbike units as their survivability and maneuverability is greatly enhanced in 6th.

Well, that's my coverage of the FAQs affecting Eldar, let me know if I missed anything or if you have any points you'd like to add!


  1. Thanks for your thoughts on the new faqs I play eldar almost exclusively and being they aren't the mist popular its hard to find bloggers that favor them.

  2. A great read, really well layed out and some good views as well, nice to hear a fellow Eldar players opinions :D

  3. Yep, still feel like I'm spamming aspects but Dragons, Scorpions, and Spiders are very effective right now. I ditched the Vypers and went to 3 squads of spiders. May not pen very well, but I can glance the hell out of things.

  4. So just a thought, Banshee Exarch with Mirrorswords according to the new faq they aren't power weapons and so they still ignore all armors.

    1. Thanks for the insight. Very few Eldar players in my city any more. Trying to make do with the old MechDar tool box is getting more difficult.

      Foolish_Hyena, that does seem to be the case.

      There's a 1500 point tournament coming up where we are being allowed to PICK the warlord power. OP, maybe, but there it is. I am torn between Tenacity (FNP) and The Dust of a Thousand Worlds...

    2. If you pay mechdar, Dust of a Thousand Worlds is pure win, take that one hands down. The FNP one is meh, I prefer the one that makes your HQ scoring where applicable.

      Regarding the mirror swords, that is a slight oversight on GW's part...Same with power blades, make them power axes? lol...

    3. The same can be said for the Singing spears they still strike at S9 unlike the Witchblades :)