I've had my copy of the new Eldar codex for a few days now and thought I'd share a few of my initial thoughts on the book. First off, no I am not going to blow my top at the sheer amount of Strength D, or even the 160 shot bikes. Honestly everything in the game has a paper to all the rocks in this book. Yes if the Eldar player gets turn 1 then they can possibly delete something form your side of the board before you can react, but hasn't that always been the case? That aside, on to the thoughts.
All of the HQ choices have seen a points adjustment, and the phoenix lords have had buffs to how they interact with the army. Gone is the daemon summoning for the psykers, and has been replaced with Sanctic. Eldrad and the Farseers pull also pull from divination and telepathy powers as well as their own Runes of Fate. Personally pulling from Telepathy and Fate would be my first choice, Divination being the situational powers and I don't see myself pulling from Sanctic. Warlocks pull from Sanctic and Runes of Battle. This is a tougher choice, but its still just going to be a match up choice. Spiritseer's no longer force org shift wraith guard, but does give a reroll of 1's to hit in a 12" bubble around him. He also pulls powers from Sanctic, Battle, and Telepathy. This is silly considering he is usually in a unit of wraith guards so invisibility on the unit sounds scary.
I probably will stick with just a seer and conclave, or possibly taking a full seer council formation if my points allow it.
Not much has changed in this section with one simi-major update on the Windrider squad. Gone is the limit of 1 shuriken cannon for every 3 bikes. Now every model in the unit can switch out his TL shuriken catapult for either a shuriken cannon, or a scatter laser. Whats that, I can't hear you over the screams of the internet. While yes this makes the jetbikes one of the best troops in the game, I honestly don't think we'll see the massive jetstars people keep thinking we will have. First off, the Windrider host limits the host to 3 units of windriders. Second the tempest of blades is shuriken weapons only. Third and finally, you still want more stuff from this codex. I could see three 5 man units with cannons being the break point for the formation. While the scatter laser gives you more shots over all, the difference between heavy 4, and assault 3 with 6 giving the almost rending that is bladestorm, is almost night and day. Sure the laser has a higher range, but the ability to get in ap2 hits is worth the reduction in range to me. One other change in the troop section is the Dire Avengers. As has been the case with several of the 6th & 7th ed codices, the exarch is now an upgrade to the unit. That aside, the unit has gained a trait called Defence Tactics. This allows the unit when it's been charged to either overwatch at bs 2 or gives the unit counter-attack and stubborn. For one of the more lackluster troop choices in the last book, this appears to bring them back in line with the rest of their foot brothers.
Honestly the bikes are the go to in this section, but the book has a solid chance to be a solid foot-dar book. Guardians, Rangers, and Dire Avengers are all solid choices for the section, but all have been over shadowed by the cheap cost and sheer shooting capability of the bikes.
That will bring the first part to a close, but look back tomorrow when I go though my thoughts on the elite and fast sections. Monday I'll cover the Heavy, LOW, and the formations. Feel free to comment below if you feel I glossed over anything, or want to give a different point of view.