Sunday, May 26, 2013
Spirit Chamber editorial: Speculations and concerns about the new Eldar codex...
With just about a week ft for the new Eldar Codex to come out and a lot of the info already available floating around, there are still a few unanswered questions and concerns I have about the Eldar... specifically how prevalent Warlocks will be and how accessible Fortune and other Staple Eldar powers will be or how the lack of access to these things will affect Eldar going forward?
First off, based on the rumors floating around, I think that most all of the changes I have heard seem well thought out, good and functional. I have a lot of faith that Phil will do a good job with how our vehicles, Aspects and special rules will work out in that they will be powerful and fluffy. My only real concerns now will be how one of the biggest aspects of the Eldar codex, Psykers and their powers, will pan out? Perhaps this is just fear of the unknown or a desire to not have to change/adapt to a different play style but I know first hand the sheer power of having a good set of psychic powers your army can be built on (i.e., Fortuned Wraithguard). I definitely think, for example, that without a reliable means of Fortune, certain units/builds will not be as viable or strong and that concerns me!
What does this mean?
Not being able to guarantee certain powers limits the utility of certain units/builds that pretty much relied on these powers...Such as Wraithguard and Harlequins. I know that from my own experience (and as can be seen in my battle reports) that Fortune, for example, really made Wraith units resilient, not necessarily their T6 (thought T6 helps). Other units really benefited from Fortune and Doom as well such as Harlequins since they were so fragile to begin with. Also, Doom was essentially the "on" button to the blenders that the Harlequins were.
Does it make sense that a Farseer, to prepare for an upcoming battle that he saw through his "Crystal Ball," throw a bunch of Runes in a bag and draw some out at random hoping they will be useful? That sounds dumb to me and if that was how many Farseers prepared then I'd imagine the Eldar would have become extinct long ago...But alas, that is the 6th ed. we live in, where you roll dice to see what dice you roll in each and every game =(.
Going forward, it seems like some units here and there will have a reduced point cost to maybe offset this limited access to Eldar powers but hopefully we still have a means of reliably getting the powers we want.
Speculating leads me to think that Eldrad will perhaps be our best bet, yet again, to get the powers we want as he might come stock with all of them (as he currently does) and if he can cast the same power twice in the new codex, this would allow us to reliably get the right powers every game. Otherwise, I think that many lists will have 1-2 Farseers to try and get the best Eldar powers and more access to Warlocks and right off the bat Eldar will be forced to take certain options to have the most optimal builds, which is a shame if true.
Access to powers:
Access to Psykers/Warocks:
Another concern I have is how prevalent Warlocks will be in the new codex. We know from the current codex that Warlocks are Eldar's equivalent of a Sgt. upgrade for units without Exarchs and a solid bodyguard for Farseers when on bikes...But how is that changing?
-If Warlocks are less prevalent such that they cannot be spammed as unit upgrades then (1) units that relied on them need to be reworked so they will not need to be dependent on them (such as Wraith units); and (2) units that had them as an upgrade option will need to have better/different options to offset the loss of a Warlock as an upgrade.
-Rumors have it that Farseers somehow unlock a certain number of Warlocks. I am not sure if this is one Warlock per Farseer, if there is a Seer Council option or if Warlocks can be broken off to join other units from this Seer Council like Wolfguard? We know that in the WD Battle Report Jetbikes did not have a Warlock in them so I am not sure if this was poor list design or if that option simply isn't available? Time will tell and I am hoping that each Farseer allows you to take 1-10~ Warlocks and that each Warlock can be broken off to join a squad...Of course Warlocks will probably increase in points but that is expected if they have an increased utility/power.
Psykers as HQ:
-There are apparently different Psyker HQ options (not sure on all of them) and it remains to be seen how these options will pan out. Allegedly the Iyanden supplement will have some additional rules for a
true Wraithguard style army but who knows?
-Wraith armies will need a Spiritseer to unlock Wraithguard as troops...How powerful will this option be compared to any other one and will it be worth it? I wonder how much this will feel like a tax to play a fluffy army vs an actually viable HQ option.
So with all of that said, a large part of the Eldar codex hangs in the balance and this balance has to do with how Phil works out the Eldar Psykers. The other parts of the codex, I think are minimal or I have enough faith that Phil will do the right thing such as the reworking of the Aspect Warriors and vehicles (the rumors seem to be pretty nice).