Friday, June 07, 2013

Resurrecting the Craftworld- and my enthusiasm for 40k?

Eldar.  Pointy eared psychic death machines.

  • Clown suits.

  • Pointy helmets.

  • Monomolecular filament spewing projectors.

  • Distortion Cannons that open warp micro warp singularities to implode thier targets.

  • Pinnacle laser technology like Bright lances and Prism cannon.

  • The Falcon Grav tank,  the Vyper, awesome models.

  • Maugan Ra,  Jain Zar, The Eldar Avatar,  Solitaire, Death Jesters, Shadoweer,  Exarchs.

  • I even have a HUGE replica Wytchblade/Wailling Doom (which it is depends on who you ask lol) you can see it in my banner pic above.

Those were the reasons I started collecting Eldar in 1998.  Feels weird to think that its been 15 years now.   But Eldar actually got me into 40k, and back into wargaming.  Previously, I had only played Battletech and was an avid RPG player.   They also got me back into painting miniatures as it came at almost the same time I had to give up shooting at a professional level(it was tearing up my hands/wrists).

It all started innocently enough.  My freind Bill and I were bored on a Saturday night and he asked "Want to try some 40k?  I don't have all my minis here but we can figure something out."   He handed me the 2nd ed Eldar Codex to look at,  and went to grab his miniatures while I started to flip through the book- and learned about the challenges of the dying elite race- and I was like 'Fuck that, I can save these guys!'

That game,  by most current standards would be viewed as absurd.   I call it 'FloorHammer' since we played it on the apartment floor,  the 'terrain' was like a bizzare Alice in Wonderland assortment of coffee cups, small pots, and some VHS tapes for hills.   Yes- VHS tapes,  you younger readers can go look them up on Wikipedia.

And the 'battle' was between some Harelquins and Craftworld eldar-as that was the box of minis he had.   I think I ended up winning,  but the actual victory was how much fun we had. 

After that game Bill was like "So you enjoyed it?  Here, take these."  And he just gave me a batch of Harlequins.   I still have every single one of them.  I think a few trades later I ended up with the craftworld Eldar too,  then he got them back, then I got them again and I think we each have some now.    

For the next  4 or 5 years we played together and painted at least 2 or 3 times a month.  The monthly pre tournament painting frenzy was a common event.

But Im sentimental about my Eldar.   I don't care how bad GW jerks around other codexes.   Sure, I have like a million points of chaos and orks that are fun to convert.  But a bad codex for them is just a money issue.  I an get over having money taken away.   

The Eldar however-  the Eldar are my memories, happy memories of better times.  And the whole reason I got into 40k, and buy extension wargaming and back to miniature painting.

Not long after that- when I was avid about all things Eldar- the mysterious Eldar pirates got thier own army and were released as part of the 3rd Edition Boxed set!  And I of course was an early adopter of all things Dark Eldar.  Im not as nostalgic about them as my old Craftworld stuff- theres no history, but I still like them.

With that in mind,  I will set aside my usual 'GW is a bunch of money grubbing retards, and if you're a GW apologist poke yourself in the eye and hit the back button' "GW is bad mm'kay" and see if I can find some way to make the Eldar Codex work for me.

I've flipped through it, and chatted to a couple people that have it.   Now I want to get some discussion going on my miniatures, and how they can best be used within the new Codex.

One thing I am really, disappointed about is that the shuriken catapult remained 12" for guardians.  Even with the Run gimmick, it just gives them a hyped up pistol.  And thats absurd.  They have no buisness getting within 12" of anyone.  Guardians needed,  18" like Avengers.   Or take a step back in history and let them take lasblasters again.  They really need a stand off option that won't put them in assault range.    

So- to solve this troop issue- Guardians when used will be back field Platform teams.   When I need 'tactical' Troop selections I'll look to Avengers, and in my eyes the superior Dark Eldar Warrior- Battle Brother!

With DE Warriors to add flexibility to what my guardians can't do-the Troops selections should work fine.

This got me to thinking about which HQ to take with an allied detachment?  Theres alot of options, and it starts getting crazy- since theres so many Eldar goodies- you dont want to cut into those.   But theres obvious synergy units,  like Haemonculi adding FnP, you add the defense of Eldar psychic powers on top of that- and you start getting some really good options going.

So,  I haven't got the finer details nailed down- I need the codex for that.  But Im looking at a Farseer, and Guardian squad with platform(multiple if possible) for backfield objectives.  Dire Avengers.   Allied in, at least one squad of DE warriors with a Haemonculi(1-3, will ad more if I take other squads).  The DE  compulsory HQ will be tuned to fit whatever balance the army needs.   

For the rest- probly 700-800 pts  for a 2k list, would be the Fast Attack/Heavy/Elites.   Of which I have the full spread of Aspect warriors, several warwalkers, vypers(15 lol), falcons, serpents, prisms,  DE stuff out the wazoo.

And of course,  the old Harlequins- but I'm pretty sure they'll have the same stat line as the ones in the DE codex.  Which makes them hard to fit in most lists.

So, feedback!!  For those with the Codex, what 'old' Eldar stuff do you think is viable?   I don't really care about a theme,  I jsut want to dust off my old stuff and have fun with it again.   

I want to see the antique War Walkers and Wraithlords I have on their original SQUARE bases lol  and finally have a reason to put them on round ones-  not to mention repaint them and update them to useful weapon loadouts.

And just maybe-  get inspired to convert some 'Seers and do that epic Avatar paint job I've been putting off.

I figure the Eldar are supposed to be an ancient race- using my ancient miniatures (some of which are more than 20 years old!) is appropriate and makes a ready made '30k' Eldar Army lol


  1. Awesome news. I'm glad you're getting the kick to restart with your older models in their freshly updated form.

    I'm also working on a Dark Eldar/Eldar combination themed around speedy things. Venoms, scourges, Eldar Jetbikes, maybe the new flyer and even some swooping hawks, we'll see.

    I'm keen to see what you produce :-)


  2. I don't know about 'old' eldar stuff - I'm too much of a new player - but from what my friends keep telling me, Wave Serpents are absurd these days. Yes, Guardian guns are meh, but I'd probably play them as cheap backfield objective-sitters with heavy weapons platforms just so I could give 'em Wave Serpents - those things are expensive, yes, but they're less 'dedicated transport' and more 'main battle tank that happens to come with some Guardians'. Basically in addition to the normal wave serpent guns and energy field the tank can overcharge the shield and fire it off as an energy wave - 60" S7 AP- Assault 1d6 Ignores Cover Pinning, or something to that effect. The only downside is that the shield itself will go down until your next turn.

    And yes, Eldar minis are awesome. The relative fragility doesn't seem to fit my playing style, but I'm the first to admit that most eldar stuff is just plain lovely - I'm so very tempted to get some just as a painting project but my 'painting projects' tend to cap out at about 2000 points so..

  3. I stumbled across your blog (while searching for primer problems, thanks for the help!), and mostly related to your Eldar story as I also discovered them about the same time, and while not into 40k at the time, couldn't resist the poetic desperation and determination of the Eldar, who I came to love. I have a huge collection of the miniatures and have read all of the fluff, soaking it in... until now. I bought the latest codex (numbered edition, why did I do that?) but when I saw the new models such as the WraithKnight, I was crushed. They're just getting goofy. They're no longer cool, mysterious aliens. They're just... bumpy, bitty space junk, and the rules have changed so much that all the 40k races pretty much blur together - the Eldar have lost so much of what made them unique and special rules-wise. At least, that's how I feel. Since we both got into it around the same time and love the Eldar I'm curious what your thoughts are on the latest Codex and new mini's such as WraithKnight. Thanks! Great blog!

  4. Interesting post! I got into the hobby through Eldar and have to admit that I'm pretty sad these days.
    I was always a Biel Tan/Saim Hann preference. I have like 6 Wave Serpents/Falcons in a draw unmade and a few more put together. I just don't like mech and to me the new Eldar codex did very little right.
    Jetbikes are good, but the rest of the codex...
    Why aren't all the iconic aspects usable? I mean really DA should probably have a 3+ with the way the Marine cost is slowly creeping down, and the ability to really represent a dying race... sad days indeed.
    Personally I think the DE codex is more interesting if flawed similarly.
    Sadly Haemonculus not providing a FNP bubble like the BA version just makes them ridiculous this edition...

    I had high hopes but am sticking with Necrons now.

    I don't mind the new Wraithguard models, or the Wraithknight, but the rules are still meh and you can't build a proper army with the option of using almost any unit like you can with Crons.
    Ironic that the Eldar's most ancient enemy is the only army I really like these days.