After a somewhat uninspired showing by the Imperial units in Doom of Mymeara, we now turn to one of the two major factions in the codex, and the ones likely to actually see the most use on the tabletop: Craftworld Eldar. First though, a confession – I was going to try and cover the Craftworlders in a single post, but it’s just not going to happen, not without killing everyone with a wall of text. Instead, I’ll be dealing with the individual units in one post, and the formations, new detachment rules, etc. in a second.
DoM is a major update to the Eldar representation in Forge world. The same consolidation of units that lead to most Imperial units not being represented in the book means that basically anything Forge World makes with smooth curves and really good weapons got an entry in this book. Currently, this is awesome, as it means there’s only one source you need. It is somewhat concerning though, as it concentrates everything a faction has in one book – which means when that faction goes out of date, everything is out of date. As I’ve reported before, the median time to obsolescence for an Imperial Armour book is 31 months, so this concern is, in my mind, somewhat distant. And, honestly, as a problem this one is fairly easily addressable with an FAQ.
Generally, there’s not a lot of sweeping changes in this book – most things are logical adaptations of the previous book. The one nice thing is there aren’t “Corsair-y” things and “Craftworld-y” things – most units, if they’re usable by both forces, get two entries that will give them distinct feels. The Corsair versions will be discussed in the next installment of this review.
So, lets get down to the units!
The Shadow Spectres are DoM’s new Aspect Warriors, utterly beautiful models but a nightmare to assemble. They come with a whole slew of rules, including Jet Pack Infantry, Fear, the usual Eldar special rules, Spectre holo-field which grants them a 5+ cover save when they move and a 4+ if they also make a Thrust move, they’re a highly mobile heavy weapons platform, falling in a niche in-between Fire Dragons and Dark Reapers.
Armed with Prism Rifles, they have an array of firing options, like the Fire Prism. For scything down infantry, each can fire a S4, AP4 Heavy 1 Blast, while for tackling vehicles or heavier troops there is a focused, single shot S6 AP3, Heavy 1 shot with the Lance special rule, all at 18”. Not terribly impressive for anti-tank work, until you also consider the Ghostlight special rule that accompanies it – basically, you can trade in all your hits with Prism Rifles in exchange for one nastier hit, which gains +1 S and -1 AP for each hit inflicted on the target vehicle, to a maximum of S10 AP1. Potentially nice, but in my experience tackling tanks in this edition is more about hull points, and less about single, massive penetrating hits. Annoyingly, the Exarch can be equipped with a Heavy 2, S7 AP2 version of the same rifle, but if there are hits from multiple types of weapons with Ghostlight, you use the weapon profile with the lowest base strength. That somewhat negates the benefit of a weapon you paid 15 points for. Note that you also can’t pick-and-mix individual hits and combined hits – it’s all or nothing, so the Prism blaster also can’t simply be used as a different weapon. I’d seriously consider the cheaper, longer ranged Haywire launcher for the Exarch, which is a Heavy 2 Haywire gun.
Forge World has shown some forethought in the unit entry by also providing the Prism rifle, jet back and holo-field as equipment for Autarchs if you take a unit of them, which means you can have a Autarch accompany this squad. But there’s also some problems – as far as I can tell, there’s no way to incorporate Shadow Spectres into an Aspect Host (they get their own formation, discussed later). And they’ve got Fear, and their Exarch has the Shadow of Death rule, which causes these Fear checks to be done on 3d6 take the two highest. And they’re packing Haywire Grenades. Between that and the very short-range weapons, it’s definitely a unit that feels like they want them to get mixed in, which somewhat conflicts with the “Hop in and Out of Cover” strategy so common with jetpack troops.
More importantly, Shadow Spectres are expensive if you take them in any quantity, clocking in at 25 points each. The small base unit size of 3 makes it easy to drop some on, but that’s a 3 point premium over Fire Dragons, the nearest comparable force. And while Shadow Spectres are inherently more mobile, there are now a number of ways (especially with allies) to get Fire Dragons onto the field, and I’m having a hard time seeing how (optimistically) a single S10 AP1 hit trumps multiple S8 AP1 Melta hits with the Assured Destruction special rule.
It’s not that the Shadow Spectres are bad, it’s just that they fall into an awkward place, where I’m not sure they’re superior to Fire Dragons for anti-tank, and playing Fear games is conditional at best. Though they may be interesting as a minimum sized squad with an Exarch as 85 point Deep Strike leadership debuff bombs if you’re going with the somewhat unusual but stupidly fun seeming “Leadership Shenanigans” army build involving Eldar and Harlequins. Because taking damage Leadership checks on 3d6 take the highest two is going to hurt. A lot.
The grand-daddy of all Shadow Spectres, Irillyth weighs in at 185, which is decently cheap as far as Phoenix Lords go. Essentially a super-Shadow Spectre Exarch, he’s got all the rules described above, including the leadership debuff. He does have a few neat additional rules:
Hit and Run: The usual.
Twilight Terror: If an enemy unit is within 12” of Irillyth or the unit he’s in, they have to pass a Leadership check to shoot, or only fire Snap Shots. And this is effected by Shadow of Death, so that’s a pretty steep ask.
The Spear of Starlight. Basically an improved Prism rifle, it’s a 24” range, S7 AP2 Heavy 3 Lance weapon with Ghostlight. No joke, all on its own, but again, it’s somewhat annoying that if he’s firing in a mixed unit, his hits will be buffing the weaker Prism rifles, rather than the other way around. Against light armor, I could definitely see taking the shots as separate hits, as at BS 7 for him (BS 5 for an exarch) you’re looking at a fair number of shots glancing on 5’s and penning on 6’s. It’s also a S+2 AP2 weapon on the charge and a S+1 AP3 weapon otherwise, which is no joke in the hands of someone with WS 7, I7, 4 attacks, and Eternal Warrior.
Like all the Phoenix Lords, he’s very much an embodiment of “What the Aspect Warrior does, but better”. I don’t know that I’d include him outside a Shadow Spectre heavy force, but within one, he’s going to make one unit pretty damned dangerous. And again, for a leadership hijinks based army, he’d be an interesting choice.
Mymearan’s top Farseer and leader, Bel-Annath…is, if I’m being fully honest, not very good. A generic Farseer with Singing Spear is 105 points – Bel-Annath is 150. For that, you get Stubborn, a Fusion pistol, and The Sundered Spear, a Melee, Armourbane, Fleshbane close combat weapon that can be used as a S5, Assault 1 Fleshbane, Armourbane one-use flamer.
If you’re getting a “Farseer who wanted to stay a Fire Dragon” feel off this guy – you’re right. Basically, Bel-Annath is what happens when your generic “Autarch with Fusion Pistol” decides that they’d like to dabble in this divination thing. Thanks to the A Path Once Walked rule, he picks up Assured Destruction if he’s with a group of Fire Dragons, and a unit of them can be selected without taking up a slot on a force organization chart as long as they deploy with him.
All of that would be…quirky, but okay. Given the tendency of Fire Dragons to be suicide squads, attaching your Warlord to them seems like a flawed choice at the best of times, but sure. Then the kicker comes – Bel-Annath has fixed psychic powers. Specifically Doom, Fire Shield and Molten Beam. You don’t get Guide, and two-thirds of his powers are from Pyromancy, a discipline no one takes for a reason. Doom isn’t terribly impressive – yes, rerolling failed armor penetration rolls is nice, but the whole point of Fire Dragons is they don’t fail armor penetration rolls. Fire Shield is decently nice for granting a cover save, and Molten Beam…is another melta gun.
Access to a discipline no other Farseer has access to is a neat idea, but honestly, if you’re that worried about the performance of your Fire Dragons, take a generic Farseer and buy a couple more of them.
My beloved Death Lobsters. In the previous edition, thanks to dirt cheap access to heavy weapons, the Hornet was an outstanding unit. At Armor 11, Hornets are everything a Vyper wishes it could be but isn’t. The good news for Eldar players: The Hornet is essentially unchanged.
In an anti-infantry roll, the disparity isn’t quite as obvious. A double Shuriken Cannon Vyper comes in at 50 points, while a Hornet comes in at 70. But where the Hornet shines is as a fast vehicle hunter. A Vyper with a Bright lance is 50 points, whereas a Hornet can be packing two Bright Lances or Pulse lasers for 80 points. That is a pretty major increase in firepower for not very many more points, and it comes with immunity to bolters and other small arms fire (except Tau…). A Hornet is also not Open-Topped, making them marginally more survivable when they do start taking fire.
The really nice part is in their special rules – Hornets come with free Star engines, along with Scout and Acute Senses. The former is enhanced by the Skimmer Assault rule, which allows them to still fire Snap Shots when moving Flat out, and the former means they’re very dangerous outflankers. Combined, it means that it’s very hard for a Hornet not to be in the position it needs to be in, killing what it needs to kill. I’ve found Skimmer Assault particularly useful when using Hornets as an ersatz anti-air platform – since you’re firing Snap Shots anyway, you might as well be in a rear arc, where any hits you do score are going to hurt. My preferred armament for a Hornet is double-Pulse lasers, at a criminally cheap 5 points per gun. Below, I’ve simulated three Hornets in a full-sized squadron 2,500 times, snap-firing at an AV12 flier (blue) or a more vulnerable AV10 flier (purple):
It gets even better if they’re twin-linked through Guide.
Those results are assuming the flier is jinking and using their 4++ save. Even if they’re not certain to bring the flier down, twelve S8 AP2 shots are enough of a serious threat to make a lot of opponents Jink their fliers, vastly reducing the return fire next turn. Bright Lances, at the same points cost, may be a better choice if you know you’re facing down a lot of heavy armor.
Basically, the Hornet is an amazing skimmer, and remains so in this book. I prefer mine in squadrons of three – for easy Guide – but they can also be taken as single skimmers, minimizing the amount of incoming damage that can be done to them. Best case, they live. Worst case? An enemy anti-tank unit spend a turn of shooting killing an 80 point skimmer. Despite their amazing mobility, be careful not to overextend them however – in isolation, or caught in an assault – they are still very fragile.
The Lynx is probably the biggest change in DoM. In previous iterations, it was an on-the-cheap superheavy tank, doing most of what a Scorpion did at a fraction of the price. All that has changed.
Dropping 65 points to 255, it has lost the Super-heavy Tank rule, and is now…a weird hybrid tank. With the usual front and side AV 12 and 5 HP, it’s actually a Flyer with Hover now, rather than a skimmer. Armed with a new, Lynx-specific Pulsar, it can fire in two modes:
- Saturation: Closer to the old Pulsar shot, this is a 48”, Strength D and AP2, this is an Ordinance 1, Large Blast shot. That’s a significant loss of range, and one shot, which is pretty significant.
- Salvo: Ordinance 3, Twin-linked, this is a 24”, Strength D AP 2 shot – basically opening up the possibility of really hammering super-heavies like Knights or character-laden Deathstars as they approach.
There’s also the Sonic Lance, which remains unchanged, and is a nasty Hellstorm weapon.
The old Lynx could turn into a Flyer with no weapons using the Sky-hunter rule, and the new Lynx uses the same rule to forbid Jinking while the Lynx is acting as a zooming flier (basically, being huge and slow, it doesn’t so much zoom), and allowing it to only fire snap shots. Sky-hunter also allows you to deploy it on the table at the beginning of the game if it stays hovering for the first turn. It also gains Deep Strike.
I’m going to be honest – this rule is an odd one. It trades the ability to Jink for forcing Snap Firing, but the times when this is useful are, in my opinion, somewhat limited. It could preserve the Lynx when facing down a bunch of Ignores Cover blast weapons, or skittering out of melee range with a Knight, but other circumstances are pretty limited. Ironically, for a rule called “Sky Hunter”, a flying Lynx will be doing very little hunting – it’s limited to only the Salvo version of its gun, and hitting on 6’s, albeit twin-linked. It’s a moderately interesting defense move, but once I expect won’t happen most games.
The Lynx has also taken a hit in terms of survivability. In addition to no longer being a Super-heavy tank, it used to enjoy Eldar Titan Holo-fields, which in their most recent iteration meant that a successful hit had to make an additional roll, and only hit on a 3+ (4+ if the tank/titan had moved). Importantly, this wasn’t a save – it was a re-roll to successful hits, meaning it worked against Destroyer weapons, and could be doubled-up with another save – like that gained from hunkering down in cover. This made the Lynx remarkably durable for an Eldar tank, and infuriatingly so for Strength D duels.
That’s gone. They can take the standard 5++ Holo-fields that any Eldar hovertank can take (and I would, given the dire effects of Jinking on the Lynx’s firepower). That’s dramatically less impressive. The Lynx is still a pretty nasty weapon – at 24”, this is the simulated effect of firing the Salvo Pulsar at a Knight-class target 2,500 times:
You see the same thing we see for most Strength D weapons – a widely dispersed, “Go Big or Go Home” distribution, where you likely either destroy the enemy Knight, or do very little. Whether this is enjoyable or not is left as an exercise to the reader.
But that’s at 24” – not the old Pulsar’s 60”. That’s dangerously close to a Knight’s one-turn threat range – and the Lynx is much less likely to be able to shrug off incoming fire while it closes to that range.
A pretty serious nerf – but it does do some interesting things. First, it pushes Strength D weapons further into the game – the list of units, especially for the Eldar, you have to ban is pretty long at this point. And it’s simply a Heavy Support choice – not a Lord of War. Second, it makes the Lynx no longer the clear and logical choice over any other Eldar super-heavy. If you want that long-ranged slugger, you now need to take a Scorpion, instead of the vastly cheaper Lynx.
Speaking of which…
Substantially more expensive than it was in the previous edition of DoM, but the same price as it was in its most recent rules, the Scorpion comes in at a hefty 650 points. With the massive changes to the Lynx, the purpose of the Scorpion is much more clear – it’s the major long-ranged Strength D non-Titan artillery platform of the Eldar army, capable of putting out AP2 Ordinance 2 Large Blast shot at 60” that’s twin-linked.
As with the Lynx however, it’s survivability has taken a bit of a hit. It’s Eldar Titan Holo-fields have been downgraded to Improved Holo-fields, which grant a 4++ save unless the vehicle is immobilized. With that save and 9 HP, it’s still a hard target, but it does mean you can’t double up saves, and with a relatively fragile AV 12 chassis, it can be worn down through weight of fire.
The Scorpion’s fixed-gun and slightly more expensive counterpart, the Cobra, has also seen some changes. First up is the same defensive power nerf that the Scorpion got – gone are the Titan-class Holo-fields in favor of a straight 4++. How big of a deal this is really depends on things like how terrain heavy your boards are, and how common it is for there to be Ignores Cover weaponry on the board, but it’s definitely a thing.
The Cobra’s Distortion Cannon has been renamed the D-impaler, which will likely make the inner 12 year old in all of us snicker a bit. It largely follows the same principle as the older gun however – a fixed front weapon that direct a single Massive Blast shot. With a much shorter range than the Scorpion (36”), this blast is however quite nasty – Strength D, AP1, and carrying the Distort Rift special rule. This weapon now ignores (but does not remove or destroy) all void shields and power fields. Similarly, on a 4+ roll, the massive blast template remains in place until the beginning of the controlling player’s next turn. While it’s around, anything beginning or ending it’s movement on the template needs to make a roll. Non-vehicle models take a wound on a 6 with no saves of any kind allowed, and vehicles take a glancing hit on a 6 which similar caveats. Super-heavy vehicles and Gargantuan creatures ignore this.
While not super-clutch, this does mean the possibility of stripping another wound or two off an infantry or bike-based Deathstar, and ignoring Void Shields certainly has potential for countering “Bunker Up in the Void Shield Generator” builds. That will quickly become untenable with a Cobra on the field. With fewer shots (and thus fewer chances for 6’s on the D weapon table) and a bigger blast area than the Scorpion, this definitely seems more aligned to countering multi-wound, invulnerable-save protected units over tank-killing ala the Lynx or Scorpion.
The Eldar air superiority fighter that existed long before my precious Crimson Hunters, the Nightwing has dropped to 125 points from 145 in Imperial Armour Aeronautica, and remains very much a viable alternative to the Crimson Hunter, and slightly cheaper to boot.
Extremely fragile at AV10 and with 2 HP, they do however have better native defenses than the Crimson Hunter, thanks to Stealth. When Jinking, this gets even better, moving their save up to a 2+ via Agile. That’s a very decent save, though it’s all cover based, so you’re going to struggle against dedicated anti-air units, who should be your first target.
It should be noted that the Nightwing can take holo-fields while the Crimson Hunter can’t, giving them a little bit of an extra survival edge under some circumstances (not Jinking, enemy has Ignores Cover or the Crimson Hunter isn’t in the Crimson Death formation).
In terms of their actual performance as fighters, they’re slightly different than their codex counterparts. They retain the all-important Vector Dancer special rule, as well as Supersonic, which basically ensure that they will be where they need to be. They do however lack Skyhunter, so there will be no re-rolling of armor pen when shooting at fliers. In terms of weaponry, they basically swap out the Crimson Hunter’s Pulse Laser for two Shuriken Cannons. If you ask me, this is a middling exchange – there’s definitely something to be said for volume of fire, and 6 S6 shots is nice, but I like S8 AP2, especially since Nightwing’s don’t get to reroll failed armor pen. However, in a meta heavy with light fliers (other Eldar…) or flying monstrous creatures, your friendly neighborhood Nightwing pilot might just want to switch their Pulse Laser off.
In short? They’re a slightly less brutal Crimson Hunter that’s potentially apt to live longer, and if it dies, was cheaper to start with. They can also be squadron with a second Nightwing, if you’re really pressed for Fast Attack slots. Definitely a viable option, and a slick looking one at that, but don’t expect them to work miracles.
The Phoenix Bomber is marketed as a ground-attack craft, swapping Agile for Strafing Run, which makes it marginally less survivable (though it has 3 HP) in exchange for hitting ground targets at BS 5. It does however have more weapons than it can actually use – Two shuriken cannons, Two Phoenix missile launchers, and a Pulse Laser. The Phoenix missile launcher is a Heavy 3 S5 AP3 weapon, and despite it’s name it’s not a missile – you can shoot these as much as you please. That right there is a pretty brutal MEQ killing payload. If killing weaker infantry is more your jam, for 10 points you can go with the Nightfire missile launcher, which is S4 AP5, Heavy 3, Blast, Ignores Cover, Pinning. That’s going to ruin some poor infantry platoon’s day.
The Pulse Laser can be swapped out for either a twin-linked Bright Lance or a twin-Linked Star Cannon. I have my own reasons to like the Star Cannon swap, namely that the old model that had that weapon loadouts is one of the few ways to get a female Eldar fighter pilot figure without conversion work, but in a general sense? You’re already rocking BS 5, it’s not like you’re going to miss enough that sacrificing shots for twin-linking is a great idea. There’s also two Shuriken Cannons, which again, I suppose you could fire if you wanted to.
While the name and weapons give a decidedly ground-attack feel, you shouldn’t underestimate the power of a Phoenix bomber in a pinch as a fighter. While it knocks the BS down to “only” 4, Vector Dancer means you have good odds of being in someone’s rear arc, and 6 S5 shots/4 S6 shots and 2 S8 shots is nothing to ignore. For example, here’s the 2,500 simulated outcomes of firing at an AV11 flier that’s jinking. Firing the Phoenix Missiles is in purple, while the Shuriken Cannon is in blue. In both scenarios, I assume you fire the Pulse Laser as well. We’re ignoring the “and one of the other weapon…” option for the sake of simplicity.
The Phoenix clearly does some work – not enough to reliably assume you’re going to take something down at full strength, but definitely enough to, in a pinch, hope to strip a hull point or two off a flier. The Shuriken Cannon appears to be a marginally better bet in this regard, assuming it’s in range. This will be progressively more true with a stronger target, and less true with a weaker one.
The biggest weakness, in my mind, is that the Phoenix comes in at a very spendy 205 points. The Eldar aren’t generally lacking in things that will completely ruin an infantry squad’s day, so I think the Phoenix will struggle to justify its points over the more efficient options in the Codex. That being said, I own one, because they look amazing. Fair warning though, getting them on a flight stand is difficult – the underside is heavily sculpted, so there’s not much room for a magnet or mounting point.
The Eldar Super-heavy Flier, which used to be two different units, the Vampire Hunter and Vampire Raider, has now been rolled up into one. Heavily armored (for an Eldar flier…) at AV11 and rocking 12 Hull Points, it’s a non-trivial target to shoot down. Again, I am saddened that this unit lost Eldar Titan Holo-fields in favor of Improved Holo-fields, but given super-heavy fliers can’t Jink, the 4++ save is a decent one. Like the Phoenix, it’s got Strafing Run, which means good odds at hitting what it’s firing at.
The default “Vampire Raider” is a troop transport, capable of carrying 30 models, and providing fire support to them with a nose-mounted Scatter Laser, and two twin-linked Pulse Lasers. I find it ironic that the one Eldar flier that can shoot a whole mess of weapons has only three weapons. While 4 BS5 Twin-linked S8 AP2 shots and 4 S6 AP6 shots will probably do a number on whatever unit is nearby when the Vampire touches down, it’s definitely a troop ship, not a gunboat.
The gunboat version, the “Vampire Hunter”, comes from swapping out the Pulse Lasers for either a pair of twin-linked Phoenix Missile Launchers for a veritable hail of anti-infantry fire, or a single twin-linked Pulsar, giving the Vampire the same armament as the Scorpion. Neither one of them costs any points, but they do cut the capacity of the aircraft to 20 models. I’ll admit I’m a fan of the Pulsar option – it is, in my mind, the classic Vampire and a beautiful model, and I like the idea of running around with a Titan-weapon wielding fighter jet. The Pulse laser vs. Phoenix missile launcher question is a somewhat more interesting one – again, more shots vs. hitting harder. I’ve done the simulation out against a large group of MEQs, and this is what it looks like, with the Pulse laser option in purple, and the Phoenix missile in blue:
While against TEQs we get something like this:
In general, if AP3 is enough to deny your opponent’s save, the Phoenix Missile Launcher is indeed marginally more dangerous, though whether or not one or two dead Space Marines per turn is worth dropping your transport capacity by 10 is a question. If you’re going after harder targets, the volume of fire from the Phoenix Missiles isn’t enough to get past the Pulse laser’s superior AP, at which point you might as well have more dead marines and more troops inside the Vampire. To my mind, that somewhat eliminates the missile launcher as an option – if you want a gunship, go whole hog and get the Pulsars. On the other hand, if you want a heavy transport, stick with the Pulse lasers – they’ll get most of the job done, and deliver ten more Eldar on their way in to boot.
One disappointment is that the Vampire Raider, while blessed with a massive transport capacity, is not an assault transport, something the Eldar still natively lack without taking allies. I think watching 30 Howling Banshees spill out of one would be comedy gold, but it seems this is not to be. But there are still some use cases for it – rapidly transporting an entire Eldar gunline into position during an Apocalypse game, for example. Or perhaps using this with the Dire Avenger Shrine formation as a “close assault” option that doesn’t actually get into close combat – thirty Dire Avengers shooting 90 shots at BS 5, plus the shots from the Vampire itself, is again, probably enough to seriously ruin someone’s day. Even with scarier Apocalypse baddies, that’s a lot of Blade Storm hits.
But really, when we’re talking about Apocalypse-level models, lets face it – most of us take them because they’re cool. And in my mind, the Vampire is stupidly cool. At the moment, it’s out of production at Forge World. I’m hoping that’s just because they’re redoing the (admittedly very old) mold and it’ll be back someday soon.
A single-gun Falcon-variant like the Fire Prism, but with a fixed gun rather than a turret, the Warp Hunter is a means of introducing Destroyer weapons into the familiar Hover-tank gunship line. Drastically more expensive than in the previous printing of DoM, the Warp Hunter comes in at a very spendy 185 points – 210 points if you want to equip it with a Shuriken Cannon and Holo-fields to keep the damned thing alive.
What you get for that, as promised, is a Strength D weapon on a highly mobile platform. The D-flail, like the Cobra’s gun, has two fire modes. The first is “Blast”, which is a Strength D, AP 2, Heavy D3+1, 3” Blast, Barrage shot, with Dispersed, which is a subtract 1 from the D table similar to the D scythe rules in the main codex. The second, “Rift”, is a Strength D, AP 2, Heavy 1 Template with Dispersed.
Here, I’m going to bring up a problem with Forge World’s rules, and one I’ve emailed them on, but have yet to hear back about.
In the rules for the D-flail in the unit entry, it says:
A weapon with this special rule rolls on the Destroyer table and subtracts -1 from the result (to a minimum of 1).
Whereas in the appendix in the back it says:
When rolling on the Destroyer Weapons Attack table, this weapon counts all rolls of 6 (Devastating Hit/Deathblow) as a 5 (Solid Hit/Serious Wound) result instead.
These are subtly different – what happens when I roll a 2?
Even at -1 to the roll, the D weapon table is no joke – multi-wound models or “light” Super-heavies like Knights should look at D3+1 Blasts as a serious threat, and that’s a good way to smear a large Deathstar with a shocking amount of wounds. That it’s also Barrage is just icing on the cake, and will help get past some cover saves.
It is a very expensive tank though, and relatively easy to shut down – even worst than the Fire Prism, there’s no fire mode on the D-flail that’s capable of being used after jinking. Cover, or Holo-fields are a must. In balance, I think the question of whether or not this tank is worth it depends on your local meta. If it’s dominated by “Imperial Cast of Characters” armies? Possibly. If you’re running house rules that subtract an additional -1 from the D table for reasons, I’m much more skeptical, as that vastly skews the math versus integer-strength guns like those on the Fire Prism.
I don’t really play Wraith armies – doesn’t fit my theme – but the Wraithseer has always made me lament that a bit, and having been on the receiving end of one, they’re definitely a threat on the battlefield. Essentially, a Wraithseer answers the question “What if my Wraithlord was also a Psychic Badass I could take as my HQ choice?”
Coming it at 185 points, exactly as previous, the Wraithseer is swimming with options. Rocking one more wound than the standard Wraithlord stat-line, it also comes equipped with a 5++ save, and a S+2, AP2, Sunder, Master-crafted spear, meaning it’s swinging at S10 AP2 and rerolling failed armor penetration. That’s not to be trifled with in close combat, especially when your opponent is also a T8 model with 4 wounds and a 3+/5++. It can also take practically any crew-served weapon option in the codex as a shoulder-mounted gun, including all the usual options as well as a D-cannon or Wraithcannon.
Finally, the Wraithseer has a single Psychic Mastery Level, and an array of fixed powers – it can Bless a friendly unit of Wraithguard, Wraithblades or a single Wraithlord with Fleet, there’s a modest Witchfire power, and one that grants a single friendly unit of Wraithguard, Wraithblades or a single Wraithlord a 5+ Feel No Pain. Definitely a unit to look toward if you’re considering an all-Wraith army (which, spoilers for the next post, you can do now while remaining Battle Forged).
The new Wraithknights were the subject of their own post here, and my feelings on them remain unchanged – at 315 points with roughly the killing power of the standard Wraithknight but adding some neat re-deployment tricks, they’re probably closer to balanced, and definitely not as “Go Big or Go Home” as the standard Wraithknight, which should hopefully make for better games. There is however one thing to note – the Skathach Wraithknight can choose to swap out only one weapon for a Scattershield, which may be a decent durability vs. firepower compromise if you find yourself wishing you had an invulnerable save.
Wasp Assault Walkers:
The Codex Eldar get their very own version of the Wasp Assault Walker, which again, is an excellent model (and the one I use for my own standard War Walkers before this codex came out). They are, in essence, the same thing as a standard War Walker with an additional piece of mandatory wargear for 10 points: The Wasp jump pack.
Capable of being used in the movement phase or assault phase, but not both, the jump pack can be used to give the War Walker some serious hustle (up to 12” but no less than 8” in any direction, ignoring terrain) at the cost of only snap-shooting. That’s an interesting option for repositioning, getting a better arc when shooting at a zooming flier, bugging out of an impending assault, etc. With Battle Focus as well, that’s a lot of movement on a given turn.
In the assault phase on the other hand, charge distances become the two highest results on a 3d6 roll, which means with Fleet you’re going to be making all but the longest assaults, and you get D6+1 Hammer of Wrath hits (at S5) instead of a single hit. While a War Walker doesn’t really belong in close combat, I’ve found on occasion that it’s very helpful to get them stuck in, and when they do my opponent finds them infuriating. Generally, it’s a sacrifice, losing the much superior shooting of a War Walker in favor of something else living to fight another day, but against standard infantry who aren’t rocking anti-tank grenades or weapons, or some monstrous creatures that are horrid in close combat (Tau…) they do okay. The nice part is that there’s nothing that says they can’t be Wasps or not-Wasps depending on the day – it’s just a 10 pt./model difference, and there’s no need to change weapons loadouts.
At last, we turn to the big, heavy hitters of the book – the Revenant and Phantom Titan. And really, what is there to say about these – they’re skinny, they’re graceful, and they hit like ten-ton trucks. These are also the first showing of the new Horus Heresy-type Titan rules worked into 40K – in this case, Wraith Titan.
In brief, in addition to being generally badass, if they’re attacked by things that are not Super-heavies or Gargantuan Creatures that aren’t swooping, they can only be hit on a 6, while the aforementioned classes of units hit on a 5 or 6. They also run 12” instead of D6, and it may do so as long as it has fired one or fewer Primary weapons.
This allows the Revenant to do a flat 12” run move every turn, as it has no weapons with Primary, rather than the scaled extra-d6 of movement for every weapon you don’t shoot. These rules carry over to the Phantom as well.
The Revenant has bounced a bit in price, now at an even 900 points. In the process, it has picked up an extra attack. It’s also marginally more flexible now – rather than going in for purely Pulsars or purely Sonic Lances, it may select two, allowing you to pick-n-mix if you so desire. The shoulder-mounted missiles have changed considerably as well – gone is the 24” S5 AP3 Heavy 4 Revenant Missile Launcher of yore. In it’s place is the Cloudburst Missile Launcher, which is a 48” range, S8 Ap3 Heavy 4 missile with Skyfire, Interceptor and Sunder. My former plan for how to deal with these guys (“Hit them from the air”) is now basically gone – that’s going to put a lot of hurt on fliers.
The Revenant Jump Jets have also changed – they now allow a 36” move that ignores terrain as long as you end up outside impassable terrain and more than 1” from an enemy if fired in the movement phase, or they can be fired in the assault phase for an additional 2d6 when determining assault range. Not an extra 2d6 keep the highest two. Just a flat 4d6” charge. Plus d6+1 S10 Hammer of Wrath hits to boot.
The Revenant was a beast before, and it’s a beast now. I think it’s still a serious contender for the best “light” Titan in the game.
The Phantom…the Phantom is still 2500 points, and Apocalypse-level force all on its own. It had something approaching the “Only hit on a 6” rule before, so that’s unchanged. In terms of Carapace Weapons, the Phantom Missile Launcher has gone from 12”-48” to just 48”, allowing for some danger close missile action, and is now S9 AP3 Heavy 4 Sunder, making it more of a threat to vehicles. Similarly, the “Phantom AA Launcher” is now the Cloudburst Missile Launcher mounted on the Revenant. The Phantom Star Cannon has been nerfed down however, to a standard Starcannon.
The big change is in the Phantom D-cannon, now called a “Phantom D-bombard”. It remains a 72” range, Strength D AP2 weapon Apocalyptic Blast weapon, but the D-cannon special rule, which used to mean it inflicted D3 rolls on the Super-heavy damage chart per hit inflicted has been changed to Spatial Rift, which like the Cobra means the template persists to the next turn (though this one does so automatically). Any model under it at the beginning of any subsequent Movement or Shooting phase takes a Strength D AP2 hit. Which means anything in the center of the blast that can’t move 12” is in serious trouble in the next few phases. I will say I’m a little sad it didn’t get the Cobra’s ability to ignore active void shields as well, which would have amounted to an amazing threat to heavy Titans like the Warlord. It had that in the previous version and well…it will be missed. Finally, the Phantom glaive, the close-combat Titan Weapon, but it doesn’t gain the +3A when doing so. On the other hand, it picked up Spirit Shock – those attacks that do cause hull point damage on another Super heavy force the victim to only be able to fire Snap Shots, and have their attacks knocked down to 1. Honestly, the Phantom feels like it’s been weakened a bit, especially as larger Imperial Titans have appeared since it was last released, but it’s still capable of covering a table in Strength D template weapons. It is nice, given it’s likely going to be somewhat lonely on a board, that it’s no longer limited to being able to fire on units within 12”.
Here we are, those of you persistent enough to stick it out to the end of a 6,000+ word treatise on the new Eldar units. Thanks for sticking around. My overall impression?
Doom of Mymeara’s Second Edition has done a good job at updating the rules for 7th edition, bringing the units out of obsolescence and cohering them with their modern Codex Eldar counterparts, without rocking the boat too much. That’s likely good news for anyone who has built an army out of these and isn’t looking for a major categorical shift in any units. It will however come as a disappointment for anyone hoping Forge World would dramatically “fix” a unit or two rather than just hauling them into the modern age.
Of course, there’s a second aspect to that – the “modern age” involves Decurion-style detachments and formations. That’s a subject for another post…
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