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!
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.”
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.