It’s not easy to write about new Craftworlds codex. They brought a lot of pain to their opponents in the previous edition and can still do it now. But what can we say about the codex itself?
The difficulty is in the fact that now it’s hard to choose the best units. There used to be auto-choice units like scatter-bikes, wraithknights or warpspiders, but now they are at the same level with the others and you can easily create a competitive roster without them.
The interesting thing that is this balance shift happened not because of the unit’s changes but because of the new edition mechanics. For example, fearsome D-strength weapons are now only 10+ str. Deadly, indeed, but it doesn’t make difference for light infantry or heavy T7-8 units. New wounds mechanics, ladies ang gentlemen. Sure, D-weapons are cool, but they don’t outperform analogs from other factions.
Scatterbikes are another victim of the mechanics. First, Eldar bikes no longer can move after they’ve shot. Second – they now get a penalty for the heavy weapons shots after the movement. And the famous scatter-laser is a heavy weapon. So… The mobility is destroyed. Sure, if you choose Saim-Hann attribute, the problem is partly solved, but you should admit – the time for scatterbikes domination is over.
However, the units you could barely see on the tables before, have now risen. For example, shining spears will make you redo a couple of your windriders units. And the fire prism is now a weapon of mass destruction – against both single tough targets and crowds. Just one extra shot makes a huge difference.
Another unit that will draw your attention is wraithblades. One more attack in the profile and one attack for charging (which is a rare thing in this edition) make them quite proficient close combat fighters. Another thins – AP3 is a very useful thing now. So, swords may be even better than the axes.
Speaking about wraith-constructs, they’ve always been my favorite part of the codex. Maybe, because of the awesome models. Now such army seems playable due to the Iyanden attribute which we’ve written some time before. Now your wraith will be tougher and lords and knights will remain at the full strength much longer. By the way, you might be interested in the wraithknights – an obligatory part of each 7ed tournament. Well, the unit is definitely cool. It can potentially destroy any unit in the game per one turn, and it’s quite durable. But the price has gone up and now it can’t regenerate. As a result, it’s not an auto-choice anymore.
As for the stratagems, attributes, and magic – the things that make everyone wait for the codex – they are surprisingly simple and remind us of the ones we’ve seen in the space marines book. You just choose the units you like and boost them with proper stratagems. There are no complicated combinations like grenades of the Death Guard.
In general, the codex looks solid, nicely done, but maybe, not complicated enough. Almost every unit is worth trying – now you can create an Eldar army according to your own taste. The army is still very diverse. But there’s nothing special, game-changing nothing that could make you as excited as AM or CSM books. Maybe we are just getting used to the special rules typical for the 8th edition. However, if you play Eldar and don’t care about other books, you should feel cozy with this book – now even the tournaments won’t make you ignore the most part of your collection. Everything can appear to be useful on the right place.