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Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Red Herrings in the New Codex (1 of...more than 1)

In my last post I talked about Pathfinders and Illic. The Ranger upgrade seems pretty neat until you look at what you're paying just for: double cost for better cover on guys with good cover. And for precision shots on guys that don't shoot enough shots to get through Look out Sir rolls. Illic features a special deployment rule that is ineffective for poorly armored snipers who can't move and shoot and who also can't survive failed dangerous terrain tests. His gun is great, but falls flat against characters because it doesn't ignore LoS and can only do one wound unless you roll a 6 for ID. Likewise, only 6s are of any use against vehicles. They may seem neat, but really have no business against a list with enough wounds or offensive power. There are other options that I don't think will stand up to trials and I'd like to go over a few of them.

The first is flakk missiles. The Eldar codex unfortunately went the same route as the other 6th edition codices. I'm not saying GW is bad at math, but...wait no that has got to be the problem! In what universe is an expensive EML + expensive missile upgrade supposed to provide the firepower needed to protect against even 2 flyers? God forbid there might be more than that! I think this option is bad on everything. Especially War Walkers which have well-priced options across the board until you see the EML.

I also see it as problematic for Dark Reapers as they can only get a maximum of one and to unlock it you have to buy the Exarch. This splits their role and reduces their effectiveness against their preferred target. A minimal unit on a Quad Gun with a regular guy manning the gun and the Exarch on his EML might be functional, but wouldn't it be nice to not need the fortifications? Or won't it suck when these 3 less-than MEQs get vaporized turn one? Or when the Quad does? The point of flakk missiles ought to be to spread out some AA across the army. Reapers might have been a fine place to do that, but as they are I think it's just a distraction from better options.

Scatter Lasers twin-linking shots was something I was ecstatic about until I saw the nuance of the rule. It only works on the model that fired the laser. That pretty much says it all. It doesn't help Guardians at all. War Walkers need one each, so you'd have to get a Scatt and a second weapon on each model to twin-link the whole squadron. But once again, doing the math this is almost entirely pointless. If I want to twin-link Star Cannons, why not just take two for the same cost? Now I have the same chance to hit as many times as a single TL one and I can do more hits if I roll above average at all. The same goes for Bright Lances and you also have the problem that it confuses their role and targetting if you mix S6 Scatts and S8 Lances. Scatt and ShuCan? Mixed ranges confuses their role. If you're counting on 24" range, just take double ShuCans for free.

There are four places I can think of where TLing through Scatts makes some sense. For Walkers one might be the exorbitant EML with flakk missiles. Now you need to roll a 6 on 4 shots to TL the single skyfire shot. The flakk missile does cost enough that buying two isn't worth it, but twin-linking it won't be easy. I don't think it looks efficient for the cost. It will also be a pain to roll as you have to twin-link each Walker seperately. But if taken in a squadron of 1-2 it might not be pointless. Two other places are the grav tanks: the Serpent and Falcon. Especially the Serpent which already has a TL Scatt for not that many points. You could get the most out of the shield when firing it this way. And it might work well as anti-air, especially because the shield ignores cover saves. Falcons have enough guns where it might be good there too. And lastly, the Wraithknight with a Suncannon and shield. I think that costs too much, but if you're going to take it anyway, you should TL it to get the most out of what would otherwise be your only gun.

There are a lot more that I'll have to get to later. Some exarchs (but not all) and especially some of their powers. Certain wargear options. Some of the psychic powers. The flyers. I think there are a lot of places where the wary Eldar player can avoid mixing the roles of their units and can fine-tune their force by knowing what to expect from their units. Avoiding certain combinations that only seem attractive at first glance will be vital to squeezing enough effective firepower out of what is still an elite army that can't afford to waste points on shiny distractions.