Biel Tan and Saim Hann Previews

Biel Tan and Saim Hann have been revealed in Warhammer Community and they largely agree with the leaked picture of what each will do.

Biel Tan provides Aspects with +1 leadership and all models that are impacted by the Craftworld bonus can re-roll missed 1s with all shuriken weapons. The leadership bonus is nice but not amazingly necessary, particularly dependent upon what Aspect changes have been made. Re-rolling 1s for shuriken weapons is nice across the army, larticularly given there is no indication that these bonuses are restricted like Space Marine Chapter Tactics. Is it comparable to the other Craftworld benefits…? Probably not but some of their specific stratagems, warlord traits or relics maybe worth it. It is not bad, just not amazing.

Saim Hann on the other hand get to reroll charges and ignore moving and shooting heavy weapon penalties. Reroll charges is always useful, even if Eldar are not a combat army or have the same old useless combat units without changes but Serpents, Jetbikes etc. Charging more reliably are good options. Ignoring heavy weapon penalties moves scatbikes well ahead of shuribikes though they will never be the stupid goodness they were in 7th edition. Vypers are also apparently impacted by this but would need some significant changes elsewise to be worth it. It does indicate though that grav tanks are unlikely to get the same ability generically. Saim Hann Craftworld rules are a lot better than Biel Tan’s but if the rumors are true for Altaoic, -1 to hit on everything outside of 12″ will be pretty major.

Other rule reveals indicate a lot of point reductions. Specifically mentioned are Dire Avengers (and their catapults), Windriders, scatter lasers and Vypers. Along with a lot of the other reveals, we are hearing a lot of point reductions for Eldar. Again, Vypers will need a lot to be better and worth it but cheaper Windriders will likely see them again, just no where near as much as 7th edition. Something that is often mised for 8th edition, all basic bike units have 2W. While this means very little against big damage weapons, small arms are a lot less effective against them. Their weapons only being 1D also limit their effectiveness.

We see a couple of buffs through stratagems. The Avatar was specifically highlighted with a 3CP cost resurrection stratagem (comes back with D6 wounds). It has to be in the Fight phase though which really limits its usefulness and the Avatar is already a very expensive 250pts. With no points decrease alluded to and 3CP on top of it… going to be hard to justify.

The Biel Tan speciffic stratagem also involves the Avatar. A specific Aspect unit (with an Exarch) can add 2 to its charge distances and reroll misses of 1s. If the Avatar is within 6″, you add 3 instead and reroll all misses. At 2CP this is again expensive, but at least quite useful in particular scenarios. The Avatar is already allowing rerolls for charges so 2D6+3″ with a reroll is pretty good though several hoops are requried. Still probably not worth the Avatar cost.

The other stratagems we see are mobility based. Fire and Fade is oretty much what we all expected for the replacement of JSJ and at 1CP and 7″, is certainly decent. It can also be applied to any unit so unusual units like Dark Reapers or Fire Prisms not know for being mobile will love this. Bigger impact is the likelihood this is all Tau will get… Feigned Retreat is the other stratagem which allows a unit who Fell Back to act normally re shooting and assaulting. At 2CP it is expensive but can be well worth it at the right time.

All in all it sounds like there are a lot of point reductions for Eldar so far but a lot of the stratagems are quite expensive that we have seen so far. Ynnari still seem to lead the way with SFD…

Copy paste below.

Craftworld Focus: Biel-Tan

Biel-tan have had a bit of a hard time of late, what with their craftworld being shattered by a Slaaneshi assault and the awakening of the Aeldari god of death, Ynnead. Such events have done nothing to diminish the warlike spirit of this most militant of craftworlds, and in the new codex, they remain a ferociously powerful fighting force capable of making the most of Aspect Warriors and shuriken weapons alike.

The Craftworld Attribute

Aspect Warriors are a key element of any Craftworlds army, and the last thing you’ll want is to lose a costly Dark Reaper or Howling Banshee to a bad Morale test. Swordwind helps compensate for this with an additional point of Leadership.

Where Swordwind really comes into its own is with shuriken weaponry. Nearly every Craftworlds unit or vehicle has access to a shuriken weapon of some form or another, and with a near-universal Ballistic Skill of 3+ this essentially amounts to re-rolling a full half of all your missed attacks. Not bad!

Best Units

Dire Avengers are well placed to take advantage of both parts of Swordwind, possessing the Aspect Warrior keyword and wielding Avenger shuriken catapults. Both Dire Avengers and their weapons now cost fewer points, making them an excellent choice for filling out a Biel-Tan Battalion detachment. The new Stratagem Feigned Retreat particularly suits the short-ranged defensive warfare at which the Dire Avengers excel:

The Avatar of Khaine makes for a great leader for any Craftworlds army, possessing fantastic durability, a high Wounds count and devastating attacks in melee. In a Biel-Tan army, the Avatar of Khaine makes for a deadly lynchpin for your assaults.

Naturally, a powerful ability like this is likely to make the Avatar a high priority target for your enemies, but thanks to a new Craftworlds stratagem, not even death can stop this deadly demigod:

Biel-Tan armies are perfect if you love Aspect Warriors, shuriken weapons, or both. More of a fan of Jetbikes? You’re in luck – don’t miss our preview of Saim-Hann tomorrow, where we’ll be looking at the re-tuned and much improved Jetbikes, as well as even more handy Stratagems for your army.

Craftworld Focus: Saim-Hann

Warriors from Craftworld Saim-Hann are noted for their ferocity, striking the enemies of the Aeldari in vast Windrider hosts. On the tabletop, Saim-Hann is the ultimate Craftworld for fans of Jetbikes and Aeldari assault units, making for a fast moving and highly aggressive army.

The Attribute

Wild Host provides re-rolls to charges for all of your units, as well as allowing your Bikers to avoid the penalty for moving and firing their Heavy weapons. This makes the armies of Saim-Hann exceptionally mobile and aggressive, and helps you get the most out of any of your Biker units, from mounted Skyrunner Conclaves to the humble Windrider. Remember, thanks to Fly, all Jetbike units can fire the turn they fall back – one particularly deadly trick you can pull of with Saim-Hann is shooting, then charging a unit to bury yourself in a relatively safe combat, before falling back and firing again!

Best Units

Windriders in the new Craftworlds codex are fantastic, and scatter laser-armed Saim-Hann Windriders are a fast moving (if fragile) fire support unit. Naturally, being able to move and shoot these weapons without penalty is great, but there’s more. Both Windriders and the scatter laser have seen considerable points reductions, making them highly efficient choices in a Craftworlds army list.

Thanks to the Biker keyword, Vypers benefit from the Saim-Hann Craftworld Attribute and, as such, make superb heavy weapons platforms. Again, this unit has seen a small but welcome reduction in points, while several Stratagems only serve to make it more effective on the tabletop. Our favourite is Fire and Fade – you’ll be able to dash out of cover to take a key shot against an enemy vehicle, before returning to a safe spot behind some line-of-sight blocking terrain.

In short, Saim-Hann armies are fast, fierce and have a lot of firepower – everything you’d expect from the Wild Host! If you prefer to wage war with a little more subtlety, then you won’t want to miss our look at the stealthy armies of Alaitoc (and the vastly improved Fire Prism) tomorrow.

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9 Responses to “Biel Tan and Saim Hann Previews”

  1. Craig says:

    They specifically call out the lack of heavy weapon penalty as being for bikers with Vypers counting as bikers, not only does this mean no effect on grav tanks but also no effect on infantry either. Biel-tan seems nice but ultimately meh compared with some of the other benefits, Saim-Han only seems worth it if you’re going heavy on the jetbikes which makes a certain amount of sense. Of course as you say we’ll have to wait to see what other goodies each craftworld gets but GW haven’t been all that good at balancing the subfactions out so far with there being big winners and losers.

  2. Andy says:

    I think Saim-hann is the best craftworld yet, its benefits stack with being ynarri, and the reduction in points cost might make the cheaper bikes a viable option alongside already viable shining spears.

    Shining spears are used in my army as the heavy fire support unit that can set off turn 1 strength in death to allow a turn 1 charge by jet bikes to lock up enemy fire support in melee, this often leaves them trying to make long distance charges, the only sad thing is it is re-roll failed charges, since they normally multi charge a whole bunch of units not sure it's possible, still its very good.

    To include a jetbike detachment is going to be a small investment, and they are amazing at objective control, unless altaic is -1 to hit which i very much doubt this i think is the best craftworld yet.

    • Andy says:

      Scratch that, -1 to hit at over 12" on an army as fast as Eldar is nuts. There is no balance, no point in even pretending the other craft worlds are viable, the damage mitigation offered from this is ungodly.

      If they retain their original psychic powers its -2 to hit infantry. Nothing can trade with that. Guard and t'au are on 6's, elite stuff is on 5's you force people to go assault, and what can safely assault eldar who get free actions whenever one of their units or one of your units dies?

      I forsee jet bikes running around taking objectives whilst the majority of the Eldar army sits back trading blows quite happily. Not to mention the issue trying to deal with flyers with -2 to hit.

      • Andy says:

        Hemlock would be -3 to hit?

        • Kevin says:

          They have specifically stated that Ynnari armies will not benefit from Craftworld bonuses, even though they keep the craftworld keyword. Also, the Hemlock does not benefit from conceal unless it is the caster (which it can no longer do). Conceal only affects infantry and bikers so bringing a warlock skyrunner to cruise around with it won’t work. So -2 is the best you can get on the hemlock, but it is now the same as a crimson hunter. With their points decrease, I think the crimson hunter can compete with the hemlock. The main gimmick I could see with the hemlock is to run horrify, for effectively -3 Leadership (Mindshock pod is -2 now).

          • abusepuppy says:

            Their answer was admittedly a bit ambiguous, though- it's possible that models will qualify for (and benefit from) a Craftworld trait despite being Ynnari as long as you take your Ynnari warlord (Yvraine, Yncarne, Visarch) in a separate detachment. I'm not expecting it, but it does seem like the kind of oversight that might slip through.

  3. Strateger says:

    shame a review told hemlock got only the 2nd part of the warlock spells so it shouldnt cast conceal now. The -3 is still doable you would have to brind a warlock

    • Kevin says:

      Conceal only affects infantry and bikers, so running a warlock around with the hemlock wouldn’t work. -2 is going to be the best you can do for the hemlock. Rangers, on the other hand, would happily sit at -3 to hit with a warlock