First Craftworld: Iyanden

The first of the Craftword’s has just had some of its details shared, and from this brief glimpse it is instantly clear that if this is an indication of what’s to come with the rest of the Craftworld’s, the Eldar are about to be a reinvigorated race.

I guarantee the meme on the left will make a lot more sense when you find out the first half of the Iyanden craftworld’s attribute.



Codex: Craftworlds is our most detailed look at the Asuryani yet, packed with stratagems, warlord traits and psychic powers designed to let you build thematic, fun and powerful armies. There are also 5 new Craftworld Attributes to customise your army with, representing the distinctive ways the Aeldari go to war. In a series of previews this week, we’ll be looking at all of these in detail.

Iyanden is a craftworld renowned for its tragic history and its serried Spirit Hosts, making heavier use of ghost warriors than any other. Wraith constructs will still be an important part of Iyanden armies, but their Craftworld Attribute is versatile enough to allow for a range of powerful builds focused around elite units of all kinds, including tanks and aspect warriors.

The Craftworld Attribute

Stoic Endurance helps shore up the Craftworld’s vulnerability to Morale tests. Perhaps nothing is worse than watching a couple of casualties on a costly unit of Wraithguard turn into a devastating rout, and with this trait, you won’t have to worry. On the other side of the coin, 20-strong units of Guardians become much more efficient and make for an excellent target for Psychic Powers without having to worry about being mauled in the Morale phase.

The second part of Stoic Endurance helps your tanks and larger constructs keep kicking even after heavy damage. Enemies will need to chip 17 wounds off of an Iyanden Wraithknight before seeing any appreciable difference in its combat effectiveness!

Best Units

It’d hardly be an Iyanden army without some ghost warriors, would it? Wraithblades in the new codex are just as deadly as they’ve always been, with some added bonuses. Smaller Wraith units have received an additional point of Toughness in the new codex, bringing Wraithguard and Wraithblades up to Toughness 6 and Wraithlords to Toughness 8, making them markedly more resilient against incoming enemy fire.

What’s more, they don’t even cost any more points!

(Matt: 175 for unit of 5 Wraithblades, 200 for a unit of 5 Wraithguard with Wraith cannons, 225 for a unit of 5 with D-Scythes)

The perfect accompaniment to a Spirit Host unit is a Spiritseer. These guys are already an efficient HQ choice for a Craftworlds army, and have even seen a reduction in cost, now a steal at 45 points, only 10 more than a Warlock! (Matt – the Spirit Seer was previously 66 points)  Use yours to cast the new psychic power Empower on your Wraithblades, trigger the Psytronome of Iyanden and throw in the Guided Wraithsight Stratagem and you’ll be dishing out 60 Strength 7 AP -3 attacks, hitting on a 4+ with a reroll and D3 damage apiece – enough to scrap even a Baneblade in close combat.

Want your army to hit hard and take a beating in return? Iyanden is the Craftworld for you. Come back tomorrow, when we’ll be taking a closer look at Ulthwé, as well as how the Black Guardians are represented in the new codex.”

Worth Noting

Craftworld attributes will affect vehicles. The article says ‘The second part of Stoic Endurance helps your tanks and larger constructs keep kicking even after heavy damage’, and since the Iyanden Stoic Endurance does not specifically mention Vehicles it must mean that all the craftworld attributes affect them by default.

Iyanden can run large units of weak models without much concern about Morale. This is a very big buff, and as I mentioned it is like having Commissars everywhere, except that the effect can’t be removed or sniped out. However, this doesn’t make Guardians ‘the new conscripts’ because there is still the very different level of of model cost.

Instead, it improves the viability of large units that more efficiently benefit from the Eldar buffs.

The buff to toughness is a big deal, especially for Wraithlords. Moving from T7 to T8 is huge in 8th edition, as the vast majority of basic weapons and close combat attacks are Strength 4. It will now take twice as many bolter shots or marine punches to wound a Wraithlord.

Moving the Wraithguard and blades from T5 to T6 is also significant, but it will have much less of an impact because the most common strength of attack in the game (4) wounds on a 5+ either way.

Either way Plasma and autocannons still wound on a 3, and bolters and shuriken etc wound on a 5. It does however enhance their resistance against S3 (so it is great in a matchup vs Guard) and S5 and 6 attacks, as well as against the rare S10 (good vs Manticores -again, that’s a bonus vs Guard).

At 45 points, even with the current profile and psychic powers the Spirit Seer would be very appealing. Apart from full-fat smite, the Seer has Rune Armour 4++, a D2 Witch Staff which always wounds on a 2+ and Spirit Mark (see below). Add in access to some new powers and this model just earned a place in a lot of armies.

The Spirit Seer’s Spirit Mark is ‘reroll hit rolls of 1 for friendly <CRAFTWORLD> SPIRIT HOST units’ attacks against enemy units that are within 6″ of this model’ (not to be confused with the much better and more common reroll 1s to hit for all friendly units within 6″ of the caster). Spending a CP at the start of the turn increases the range from 6″ to 12″ – a massive increase that doubles the radius but quadruples the area of the table covered.
You know, like π(2r)²=4πr² from school. Anyway, more stuff will be affected and more stuff will die.

The Warlock may have gone down in price by 2pts to 35 (the 45pt Seer is described as just 10pts more). IMHO the 2 wound warlock would also need a bit of a buff to compete with the Spiritseer internally. Hopefully not a boost to its version of smite though, there’s too much of that in the game already!



So there you have a combination of the Imperial Guard’s commissar bonus but army wide, with the Valhallan ability to operate with casual disregard of damage, in an psychically charged army with serious close combat ability. This is not a Craftworld that will go down at the first punch.


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34 responses to First Craftworld: Iyanden

Just spitballing, but I'm gonna guess eldar as a whole will get 8 different -chapter- rules. 5 craftworld, harlies, commorah, and haemonculus covens.

That would mean Dark Eldar get no "chapters" at all which seems unlikely. I'd guess there will be different Cabals and Covens.

Dark Eldar seem like a really interesting case for the current <Subfaction> model, because they're so fractured. Most <Subfaction> tags denote the place where the model came from (Mars, Cadia, Iyanden) or the formal organisation they belong to (Space Wolves, Militarum Tempestus). In both cases, they're more or less army-wide.

The Dark Eldar really don't fit that model. They're all from the same place, and their units are split into subfactional Haemonculus Covens, Kabals and Wych Cults which are all basically expected to work side-by-side, without any over-arching organisational structure that would link them together. To have any kind of distinction you'd need at least a few of each (perhaps three).

Then, you've got the issue of how they're applied. I strongly doubt we'll be expected to build Wych-only detachments to get Cult benefits, or Haemonculus-only detachments to get Coven benefits, etc. That would be far too restrictive.

I expect one of two alternatives. When creating a Dark Eldar detachment, you could select a Kabal, Cult and Coven that would apply their subfactional abilities to the relevant units in that detachment. That would be pretty awesome. Unfortunately, I think the other is probably more likely – you choose a single Kabal, Cult or Coven for the detachment, and any Dark Eldar units that don't have the relevant type just get no benefits at all.

We'll see what happens, I guess! To be honest, I'm a bit surprised that they've kept the Craftworlds (and by presumable extension, the Dark Eldar and the Harlequins) separate from each other rather than rolling them all together, with the Ynnari, into the One Big Book of All Aeldari.

"with the Ynnari, into the One Big Book of All Aeldari. "
And miss out on the opportunity to sell 3/4 books instead of one? Never 😛 . But seriously, I think this way is better to not have Ynnari be the sole focus for the Eldar.

I was imagining them weighing up the opportunity of potentially selling 3 books against the opportunity of forcing anyone with a sole interest in Craftworlds, Dark Eldar or Harlequins to pony up for a massive book at three times the regular price. 😉

I'm mainly surprised because I assumed the Ynnari were going to be the sole focus for the Eldar going forward, just like Primaris are going to be the sole focus for Marines. Never let it be said that GW let the shittiness of their lore decisions stop them from forging ahead until everyone else is forced to accept them! Allowing the Ynnari to fade into Index obscurity is a proper Shyamalan twist.

Sure you are right with that. But they learned from the AOS disaster and this time at least act like old stuff still matters. Plus it allows them to sell a dozen codices right now and then smack down the big new books. Every new Eldar model will be Ynnari, they're gonna be the Primaris Eldar.

The thing is, I think 'fracturing' DE into Kabals, Covens and Wych Cults was a mistake in the first place.

Their HQs are already really weak in terms of both fighting ability and support ability. By fragmenting them like this, it makes them weaker still – as they can only buff a tiny portion of the army.

Let me give you an example – many HQs have an aura that lets nearby units reroll 1s (both in shooting and melee). In contrast, the DE Succubus has an aura that lets nearby units reroll 1s in melee. So, this is already a severe downgrade of the 'standard' aura. However, it's downgraded even further by the fact that it only affects wyches – so now the already-weak buff can affect maybe 1/5 units in the codex.

Then we have oddities like Haemonculi – sculptors of flesh whose aura can affect vehicles but not Kabalite Warriors or Wyches.

Oh well, maybe Craftworld Eldar or Harelquins will get some good HQs that I can pinch for my Dark Eldar.

Yeah, I agree. It was an interesting design in a pre-8th world, but in a framework where your subfaction actually means something, it's a terrible mess.

On the other hand, my Ork Warboss would like to have a word with you about these "standard" reroll auras 🙁

Oh, absolutely. I just meant that the Succubus' aura starts out objectively worse than the reroll auras many other HQs are given – and theirs typically work on their entire army.

Out of interest, would you prefer the 'reroll 1s' aura on a Warboss to the current 'charge after advancing' aura?

I think not really no.

It would be close, but the succubus is significantly worse in melee than a troupe master. She can't fly, and has a much worse pistol, all this and she actually costs more.

The aura she is giving is reroll 1's on models with 4A each, but the models only cost 21pts, so to buy her, I have to give up 3 models. 3+ rerolling 1's vs 3+ with 12 more A.

To get those 12*6=72 72/4=18 – so she needs to buff 18 models before I should consider taking her. This is very rarely going to be the case, therefore she is not worth taking.

Out of interest, would you prefer the 'reroll 1s' aura on a Warboss to the current 'charge after advancing' aura?

Really interesting question! The distance of their charges and the power of their melee are pretty much the two greatest strengths of the Orks at the moment, so both auras are potentially very useful. If allowing an extra D6 movement makes the difference between making or failing a charge, then the Waaagh! aura is obviously more powerful than rerolling ones. On the other hand, it would be much better for the more heavy-hitting elements (power klaws, killsaws etc who get -1 to hit) to have the ability to reroll 1's on their attacks. A Brides of Death-style aura also works in the opponent's turn, while Waaagh! is only when charging and then provides no further help.

On balance, yeah – I'd prefer rerolling 1s in melee. It's a fairly close-run contest, but rerolls are more generally useful. If it was one of these auras that allowed rerolling 1s on all to-hits, that would be even better to shore up the abysmal Ork shooting – no contest at all, at that point.

A commissar that can't be removed by snipers.

Just have to kill the troops the old fashioned way….which fortunately isn't that hard in the case of eldar. People need to stop pretending that morale matters. I thought 8th ed was going to be different, but we're back to where it only comes up in edge cases. Tau, maybe.

I think it's odd that they switched back to T8 for wraithlords. Or rather that they switched to T7, and then switched back so soon. T8 has been a rather iconic stat for them, that if they changed it, I would have thought it had a purpose (which I thought was trying to make them and dreadnoughts directly equivalent). Conversely, T8 is a big deal because it's the first point that bolters wound on 6's….better cost them appropriately.

People need to stop pretending that morale matters. I thought 8th ed was going to be different, but we're back to where it only comes up in edge cases. Tau, maybe.

Or… any Eldar other than Iyanden?

We're still in the new edition hype phase. It'll take a while for the shine to wear off. Still the same old designers up to the same old bollocks. Cruddace is still a hack and Johnson just plain oblivious.

They just had an article on warhammer community where the GW guy going to the GT got hyped about his Night Lord army and its ability to do X, Y, Z and reduce enemy unit leadership by up to 5.

A truly terrific ability – except in all the many, many cases where it's not. 😀

Heh. You can't really have "terror troops" in a universe where a Commissar shooting someone magically makes everyone else in their unit incapable of feeling fear. Or only one person ever runs, because they come from a Craftworld where seeing someone run away throws everyone else into a fearless patriotic rage.

If the Night Lords had a Stratagem that prevented an enemy unit from reducing the number of casualties they suffered as a result of a failed Morale test by any means, they could be a force to be reckoned with.

I've been thinking that they got the Legion Traits wrong – NL should have gotten the AL trait and AL gotten a clone of the UM one. Terror troops would have been their stratagem – that would have been much better.

Interestingly it seems the rules are affecting vehicles, which who cares for this, it's dross, but likely mean we're going to see some really nice buffs for the super heavies. Though I think that titans are from a conclave not a craftworld from memory.


I actually tweeted Pete Foley about this just now. Not holding my breath for a reply, but at least I tried…

Marines are already the best they can be, obviously! They're genetically engineered to always give 110%.

"Moving the Wraithguard and blades from T6 to T7 is also significant, but it will have much less of an impact. It enhances their resistance against S6 and S7 attacks (and ok, S12 and 13 if you insist) which are much less common."

They went up to T6 (from the Index T5), not up to T7.