Monday, May 17, 2010

Fixing Eldar: What If?

Eldar seem to be getting weaker every time a new codex comes out. Space Wolves nullify their powers with impunity (and don't even get me started on Njal, an upstart who is a better psyker than Eldrad), IG get a fast skimmer just as good as a Wave Serpent and cheaper, Blood Angels also get a fast skimmer. Seer Councils get shut down and other armies can match the speed of mass skimmers. Aspects mostly suck, leaving Dire Avengers as Falcon upgrades to make them scoring and Fire Dragons are suicide squads.

That said, I still love my Eldar. Tyranids are just a fling, Eldar are my first and true Warhammer love. I'm positively giddy over the new Prism and Nightspinner. They are due for a new codex eventually, so here's some ideas I've been kicking around. I haven't really thought these through, so some may be imbalanced and others may not help at all, but that's what the comments are for.

I put my thoughts on some of these, in italics.

1. What if every Farseer's first cast power were unstoppable, but you could nullify the second normally?
This would force you to choose which power is the most important to you, and I hope something like this makes it in. Foolish Mon-keigh should not be able to nullify a Farseer so easily.
2. What if Farseers could use one Warlock power per turn for free (after all they were Warlocks once)?
3. What if the Avatar could join squads and not be picked out, much like the Hive Tyrant in a Guard unit?
4. What if the Avatar could deep strike (and he'd better get fleet)?
5. What if the Phoenix Lords allowed you to take one or two squads of their aspect as Troops (I got this idea from Stelek)?
I really like this idea. It would create so many more interesting possibilities in army builds. We would need Warp Spider and Shining Spear Phoenix Lords, however.

6. Fire Dragons are currently a suicide squad- what if they could shoot out of the rear of a Wave Serpent (and perhaps the Wave Serpent counts as open topped in a turn they do that)?
7. What if Wraithguard kept their gun as is, but with a 24" range?
I really like the idea of Wraithguard, space elf zombie robots, but that short range just kills them, seeing how pathetic they are in close combat.

8. What if Pathfinders were an upgrade character for Rangers, much like and Exarch, that would confer new abilities on the squad? One power could be to allow him to take a shot at any member of a squad. And what if they could fire twice per turn as another power?

Fast Attack:
9. Swooping Hawks, as they are, don't know what they want. They have anti vehicle grenades and pathetic anti troop guns. What if they could do fly-by bombings like in second edition (with either the Haywire or the Frag grenades), with the number of bombs being dependent on the number of warriors in the squad (perhaps one bomb per two members)?
They used to be able to fly up to 36" and drop bombs anywhere on their path. That was fun.
10. Warp Spiders. How I used to love thee so. What if they got the flame template again?
Old school Warp Spiders were unstoppable with large flame templates and instant death. I would like people to be afraid of them again, not simply mildly annoyed.
11. What if Shining Spears were cheaper and could come in larger squads?
12. What if Vypers could come in squadrons of 5?

Heavy Support:
13. The biggest problem with Heavy Support is there's just too much competition. To resolve this, what if Falcons could be bought as dedicated transports for certain units, such as Elites?
14. What if the Fire Prism came in squadrons?
I would love this. GW gets to sell more models, and you can take plenty of tanks in the same list. You could even have the Prisms fire individually or charge up for SUPER SAYIN OVER 9000
15. What if the Night Spinner doesn't suck (I would like to see Heavy 2, large blast, barrage, S6 AP 6), and could be bought in squadrons?
16. What if Wraithlords had more attacks and could live without a psychic babysitter?
17. What if Heavy Weapons platforms were bought as attachments to a Guardian squad, like Imperial Guard (and had a drastic improvement in range/power)?
18. What if Dark Reapers had regular missile launchers?
I got into the game because of Maugan Ra. Dark Reapers are my favorite aspect looks wise, and I'd like people to be afraid of them again.

So, thoughts?


  1. I agree that eldar have fallen out of where they should be. Tau have better range weapons, IG have great skimmers now, in addition to tanks, and almost everyone has better psychic abilities.

    I like your ideas.
    1. I like it. What if the farseer was able to cause some kind of psychic resonance/interference in the hood, rune weapon etc to cause it to fry the fledgling psycher's brain, that couldn't be nullified. it it. I have also thought that the avatar should gain in power with the more troops/pts that you have in battle representing the greater psychic energy in the battle-thus giving the avatar more power.

    4.Total sweetness. Maybe if they make a new model, we will get some avatar upgrades.

    5.I like that idea for some interesting fluffy army builds.

    6. and 7. both seem like good ideas, but might overpower both squads. I think with fire dragons firing out of the back of transports, that is all you would ever see in the elites section.

    8. really like the ranger-pathfinder upgrade. I would like to see them with more options. Like relentless, better outflanking, deploying like ymgarl genestealers, maybe an old overwatch rule. It seems like rangers are the closest tie-in to classic bow wielding, long range elves. I would like to see them feasable as a mostly ranger army.

    9.Swooping hawks definitely need some work. I say drop the guns entirely, and make them an assault unit. Or really upgrade the guns to make them something useful. Sniper weapons? Rending? AP2 weapons? Something.

    10. I agree on the warp spiders. They are packing a large gun. lets let them do something with it.

    11. 12. I like the bigger squadron ideas. I really like both spears and vypers, but they are hard to use now.

    I really like all your heavy support ideas. Wraithlords should be tough enough to not need a babysitter, and prism squadrons would definitely sell more models.

    great article.

  2. 1. In rules terms, much easier to increase casting range and power scale than to make a power unblockable. Hood range is 24", but outside of this it is harder to block a power except where the Warp itself is dampened. If an abusive power or combination arises, the resulting effect upon the game is much worse if it is always unblockable. This will invariably provoke a 'correction' by which somebody will have the ability to block the 'unblockable' power.
    Bruteforce shieldbreaking shows much less finesse and skill than greater ability and adaptability.

    3. Not being picked out would probably require a special unit - something like an Avatar Honour Guard. Eldaraddict's suggestion that the Avatar gain more strength with the size of the army is nice, but is very harsh in terms of points costs. If balanced for an army of 1500 points, the Avatar becomes an under-strength points sink at any small game. While that may be in line to represent the Avatar participating more often in larger battles, this may not be good for army flexibility. Additionally, it is difficult for the Avatar to get stronger without overtaking Bloodthirsters and Keepers, unless its base profile is made weaker and it catches up at an army of about 1500 points.

    5. Two. If multiple Phoenix Lords are present, they should be able to compose an army primarily out of aspect warriors. Additionally, if Phoenix Lords occupy a HQ slot, they should be able to take one squad of their aspect as their 'command squad' that does not occupy a slot on the chart.

    6. Ideally, Fire Dragons and other Eldar squads should not be so wholly reliant on Wave Serpents. This doesn't mean dropping Wave Serpents, but instead means presenting other alteratives, even if it is as simple as making a thematic Wave Serpent variant for each aspect. Each aspect temple should have their own car, instead of borrowing from mommy Craftworld's armoury every time. Otherwise, reliance on basic transports makes aspect warriors look like troops with better guns who are controlled and limited by the resources of their Craftworld.

    9. Large blast +1 per Hawk model, or each model has a single use small blast. 7-9 overlapping small blasts per turn would be overkill through overlapping hits, but a large blast with extra hits will be more reasonable and sustainable. Guns should be pulled in line with other laser weapons, especially lances.

    No objections to the rest.
    - 7eAL


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