Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Blackmoor's Eldar Codex breakdown Part 1: Eldar Combat HQs

I know most of you know me as a Grey Knight/Paladin player, and I am! But what a lot of people don’t know is that I am also a hardcore Eldar player. I was the originator of the foot Eldar build that was winning a lot of tournaments back before anyone knew about it. Here was my first list that I took to the Las Vegas GT all the way back in 2007:

I ended up on winning on table #2 at that GT, and a few months later I scored 97 (out of 100) battle points for 2nd best general at the Baltimore GT. I would have scored a perfect 100 but I was tired and I misread the rules package. I thought that I had to keep a unit alive when in reality I had to have it die.

Now I still play my Eldar since I took them to the Nova Open and Duel Con last year, and I have been allying them with my Grey Knights at events like the 11th Co GT and the So Cal Slaughter GT.

So now that I have my Eldar credentials out of the way, let’s talk some Eldar!

I am going to break down the HQs like this:
Eldar HQs Part 1: Combat HQs
Eldar HQs Part 2: Farseers, Spiritseers, Warlocks & Psychic Powers
Eldar HQs Part 3: Phoenix Lords
Eldar HQs Part 4: Special Characters

Part #1 Combat HQs

The Avatar

I use to love using this guy. He kept my guardians from running and was a bad-ass in combat. Slap fortune on him and he was nearly unkillable.

The Good

He received a stat boost. He is now BS10 (where was this when I missed like crazy when he was BS 5?), +1 wound, and he went up to I10. These are all great stats that you want, and need.

The Bad.

Point increase: He went up about 30 points
Pedestrian: In a fast army he is a slow foot slogger.

The Ugly

No longer being able to count on having fortune.
-1 Invulnerable Save


The Avatar use to be cheap for everything that he did. He created a fearless bubble, was an awesome counter attack unit, and he took all kinds of fire power that the rest of your army didn’t. Now the foot army works a little differently. Everyone knows that mobility is at a premium in 6th edition, and he is rather slow. The second is that fearless bubble is not as good as it once was because the foot elder army now works differently than it did in the past. With the old codex you needed to have your army all compacted together not only for the fearless bubble, but because of the short range of the farseer’s psychic powers. In 6th edition fearless is now bad for a shooting army. First off you can't go-to-ground. When you have a lot of 5+ saves you want to hit the dirt from time to time to keep some models alive. Second, let’s say you get assaulted by some fast moving units. What would happen in the past is that they would all die due to fearless/no retreat wounds. Now what happens is that if you get charged and the whole squad does not die (which your opponent can manipulate to kill as many models as they want to) the unit stays locked in combat and then can’t be shot. Then the next (your) turn they are safe from getting shot and they butcher the survivors and then gets free to cause mayhem in their turn. Then the last part that made the Avatar so good is that he was such am awesome bullet magnet. Since you can’t depend on getting fortune for him the dependability of his durability is compromised. So all you are left with is him being a close combat monster which will be enough for some people, but not me.

Final word

I can’t recommend him but if I was going to take him I would just take him stock. The exarch powers are not worth it (Night vision on a 12" weapon?). Even disarming strike is too many points especially since you should cut down anything in a challenge that can hurt you with a special weapon.

The Autarch


I don't think that I have every used one, or faced one across the table. You only saw them in an all skimmer list for the +1 to the reserve roll, or you saw them used because they were the cheapest HQ slot. Being taken because you are 50 points cheaper than a farseer is not a ringing endorsement.

The Good

He is cheap and can take a lot of different movement modes. Can still manipulate the reserve rolls up or down one.

The Bad

Farseers and Spritseers are much better

The Ugly

Strength 3 and Toughness 3 is not what you want from a combat character.


The Autarch is still very disappointing. I thought that they would get a little better (like the DE Archon) but they are still underwhelming. The good news is that they are still cheap, and their options are inexpensive as well. Some of their wargear is bad (Mandiblasters are horrible now, but kept the same cost?). I have seen people trying to make Autarchs work but I have not seen anything that I like yet. Yes, you can have them as a 100 point fusion gun caddie but you are better off taking a squad of fire dragons at that point. They still have the ability to manipulate the reserve roll up or down one, but that still does not make them worth it since reserves are very different in 6th edition. 

Where Autarchs are bad is in assault where they have to be good. These should be the assault IC choice but they really do not assault well at all. Their main problems are they are Toughness 3 which means that anything with strength 6 doubles them out, but their other weakness is that they only are strength 3. Strength 3 will not hurt anything that you want to kill.

There is some help with the new addition to the Eldar codex of all the new wargear they get to choose from the Remnants of Glory chart but what is there is still underwhelming. The Shard of Anaris is probably the best choice because that does boost the Autarch with a +2 strength and this is ok with Rending/Instant Death. The down side is that there is no AP, and that it is expensive. That is ok if you are fighting a multi-wound toughness 4 or less creature, but against anything with some numbers he will struggle. I see everyone else talking about the Mantle of the Laughing God as well. Since I am doing a harlequin themed army I wanted to like the piece of wargear but all it does is give stealth, shrouding, Hit-and-Run and re-roll cover saves for a lot of points, and at the cost of being an IC. Yes you can put him on a jet bike to help out, but there are so many weapons out there that ignore cover saves. Heck, just look at the primaris power for Spiritseers and Warlocks and you can drop the cover save off of him right there. So if you want to get depressed just look at the other CC ICs from the other top codexes that he will be dueling with (Destroyer Lords, Demon Princes, Hive Tyrants, etc) he will be less points sure, but nearly powerless against them.

Final Word

If I did take an Autarch I would arm him with a fusion gun because that is always nice to have in an Eldar army, and I would mount him on an Eldar jetbike for #1. Mobility, #2. Toughness, and #3. So you can take Laser Lance. With that build you can move fast and hit as hard as you can. Make sure he is with a unit that has hit-and-run because if he gets stuck in combat he loses all of his effectiveness.

Edit/Update: After thinking about how many MC there are running around these days in a lot of top armies I am starting to like an Autarch with the Shard of Anaris. With Rending/Instant Death this is a good way to take a lot of them out.