Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Eldar- First Game With New Codex

Hi guys,
Well last Thursday I played Ugo’s Death Guard in a 1650pts battle, the first one with the new Eldar Codex. You may have seen Ugo’s Death Guard on here before and if not check out this Battle Report. His army is truly one of the best painted armies I’ve ever seen and the camera just doesn’t do it justice.
Firstly this isnt a battle report but I will give an idea on how each unit performed in the battle. The list I took is slightly different to my normal list. As some of you may know I am building a new footdar 2000pts army list that comprises of a bit of air support too. But anyway here is what I ran.
Eldrad – I rolled and got Executioner, Guide, Mind war (All Runes of Fate), and took Prescience (Divination).
Avatar of Khaine
6 x Guardian Jetbikes (2 Cannons)
6 x Guardian Jetbikes (2 Cannons)
6 x Guardian Jetbikes (No Cannons)
10 x Dire Avengers with Exarch and Power Weapon & Shimmer Shield
2 x Vypers with Dual Shuriken Cannons
2 x Vypers with Dual Shuriken Cannons
5 x Fire Dragons
Wave Serpent with Dual Shuriken build
Fire Prism with Holo Fields
Fire Prism with Holo Fields
Performance Evaluation
Eldrad was with the Dire Avengers Squad and I deployed them midfield and in the front lines. I did this because I wanted Eldrad to manipulate as much as he could and be in range of everything. I also deployed the Avatar right next to them in the middle of the army to give the 12” fearless bubble but also act as a deterrent to any units wanting to get too close to Eldrad and the Avengers.
Eldrad First;
Eldrad performed amazing during this battle, he really pulled all the strings and had his hand err oh should I say mind, in many parts of the battle field to assist other units and generally be a nuisance. Granting Prescience onto the Avengers was fun rerolling to hit and Casting Executioner on the Havocs. However twice he cast Mind War and twice I rolled below my opponent reducing Eldrads WS,BS and Init to 1.
In the later part of the battle a squad of Plague marines double charged Eldrad and the Dire Avengers and a squad of Guardian Jetbikes. This battle lasted a few turns until the Plague Marines were wiped out. Only then the last remaining Death Guard Terminator charged but was cut down in overwatch by Eldrad and 3 remaining Dire Avengers. Eldrad isn’t so shabby in close combat either, with a base of 2 attacks due to his sword and pistol and with Fleshbane and AP3 it made mince meat of Plague Marines.
Eldrad finished the battle with just one wound and it is worth mentioning that both of those wounds were cause by Perils of the warp and not having any warp charges left to prevent the perils. It was typical that I would roll over 10 on my last casting each turn.
Believe it or not this was the first time I have ran an Avatar since 2nd edition. The Avatar acted as the fire magnet and also to generally give my opponent a big worry from the very start. I had to go second so the Avatar lost a couple of wounds in the first turn due to some good shooting. It must be said that if a unit of havocs shoots at your Avatar or anything that bypasses his 3+ save, then you will notice the slight decrease that his  inv save provides going from 4+ to the now 5+.
Overall though the Avatar performed well this match, be it earning his points back and more but also dying after dispatching a Maulerfiend and Typhus along with a few terminators. It was the last few terminators that took him out though. Overall I am happy with his performance and not having to take those Ld8 break tests on guardians was a godsend. I think in future game though I will be taking the Fast Shot Exarch power on him for two wailing doom melta shots a turn at BS10!
Dire Avengers;
The Dire Avengers tagged along with Eldrad during this battle. I didn’t get much success out of their 18” range catapults apart from killing a Plague marine or two but that was due to the over effectiveness of my Guardian jetbikes which I will come to. However the 5+ Inv save offered by the Exarch’s Shimmer Shield really saved my bacon a few times when the Forgefiend dropped those multiple plasma cannon templates on their heads and I think overall this is a better option than the dual catapults due to its flexibility that they can be somewhat a threat in CC and get a inv save of 5+ compared to 2 Shuriken Catapult shots.
Their CC ability was tested later in the battle as mentioned already, where the Exarch was stuck in combat after being challenged by a Plague Marine Sergeant with a power first. This combat lasted 3 rounds believe it or not due to poor to hit and wound rolling by the Plague marine and also great inv saves by the Exarch himself. Eventually the Exarch struck down the Plague marine with his power sword. Overall I was very happy with this unit. It packs plenty of punch ranged and can hold itself in close combat. The Exarch is an exceptional upgrade.
Guardian Jetbikes;
I’m going to come out and say this right now, these guys have had such a boost in the new codex it almost seems… broken. But I say almost because it’s about time Eldar got a unit like this. Most other armies (not all) have an overpowered unit and I’m just glad we got one.
I ran three squads of these guys, two of which sporting two Shuriken Cannons. They performed absolutely brilliantly. The BS4/WS4 upgrade along with the new Bladestorm rule has had a huge impact on how good this unit is. The range of the twin linked Catapults is still only 12” but the bikes also move 12” so you are effectively getting 24” threat range. All shots are twin linked and all to wound rolls of a 6 are AP2… just nasty!
And all this for 17pts as opposed to a 23pt plague marines. Granted the Plague marine is fearless, has T5 and good poisoned CC ability but after a good discussion, myself and Ugo agreed the Jetbike is much more bang for your buck. The sheer number of twin linked and semi- rending shots these guys put out is crazy. If you are not playing Eldar and looking for an allied unit, pick these, you won’ be disappointed.
I ran with two squads of two Vypers for this battle. Many people have said and continue to say that Vypers aren’t good. I have used them consistently for a year now in all my battles and rarely do they disappoint. Now though they are BS4 and Semi-rending Strength 6 24” guns that still fire 3 times each. They were just absolutely nasty and did an incredible amount of damage to the Deathguard.
 I think going forward I might equip them with a Shuriken cannon and Scatter Laser for the Laser Lock ability (Twin links any other weapon if the laser has hit previously). One squadron really decimated some Plague marines and the other unit flanked around and took out a Forgefiend through its rear armor and then finished off the havocs in the ruins. Really great unit even though they are made of wet tissue.

Fire Dragons;
As per usual I still think more than five fire dragons is overkill and a waste of points that could be better spent elsewhere. Unfortunately the Wave Serpent carrying them blew up after being hit by a Lascannon and even with their 3+ save now, two of them still died in the explosion. This mean’t I had three left in area terrain in the middle of the battlefield. Even after some shooting these three survived the entire battle and managed to take out a couple of Terminators probably earning back their points in the process. Overall they performed OK but I don’t think their roll has changed much. They are now slightly tougher and more expensive and still do the same thing as before. Still though, always was and still is a solid unit.
Wave Serpent;
The Wave Serpent has gotten a massive upgrade. In this battle I ran it with Twin linked Shuriken Cannon turret and underslung Shuriken Cannon. In future I will put Holo Fields on it for that 4+ save. The Wave Serpent was blown out of the sky by a bullseye shot from a Lascannon totting havoc but it did manage to cause some casualties beforehand which ironically led it to becoming target no.1 for the Death Guard next turn.
 When it was still alive I shot at the havocs with it firing the BS4 6x Strength 6 semi rending shots, 50% were twin linked and then along with D6+1 Strength 7 shots (I rolled a 6 lol) that ignore cover and pin at the havocs killing about half the squad. It was awe inspiring to see such a formidable amount of fire power from one tank that has a transport capacity of 12. The above setup only cost 135pts too! That was 13 Strength 6/7 shots in all from one tank… wow! Although it didn’t last long enough in this battle it showed a glimpse of what is yet to come of this transport or should I say Battle Tank?
Fire Prism;
I took two Fire Prism tanks in this battle and equipped both with Holo fields to give them that +1 to cover. These tanks are still a steal at 125pts. Both tanks performed OK during this battle. They did manage to worry some Terminators but mainly dueled at range with the Forgefiend humorously stripping all 3 guns off the daemon engine over the course of the battle. The Forgefiend did manage to regenerate a couple of wounds throughout but eventually dying after getting flanked by a couple of Vypers. They didn’t perform too well in this battle but did enough to worry the Death Guard and draw some fire away from the rest of my army. Also the new Lance ability of the Prism Cannon was great for shooting single targets like the Forgefiend where you didn’t have to worry about scatter. Big upgrade and a main stay in a lot of my games going forward.

I am absolutely delighted with the well earned boost Eldar have gotten with the new Codex. I truly believe that all the moaning on the internet about lack of assault grenades and random generation of powers are only a minor hiccup in an otherwise exceptional piece of work by Phil Kelly. The army still requires finesse and is still quite fragile but it certainly got its sharp teeth back. From what I have seen so far, the Wave Serpent and Guardian Jetbikes are the star of the show.

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