I’ve waited for a while before posting my 6th edition thoughts; I knew I wanted to be positive and give a good account with experience to back up my arguments.
I’ve only played three games of 6th and the most exciting of which were with my Eldar Saim-Hann. They performed much more closely to what my imagination of the Wind Rider Host is than the old rules allowed and there are several key points where they have been boosted in my opinion with the changes. Here’s my ideas and experiences, gathered from weeks of mulling and a game of experience.
The new Eldar Jetbike rules are some of the most satisfying in the whole book. What’s that GW? I can turbo-boost twice as far as I could in 5th; have an on average 7” assault phase move; have an additional attack on the charge; am considered T4 for instant-death (no more Str6/7 death for my Farseer); have a 5+ cover save basic; can cast psychic powers AND Turbo-boost; can rally below half-strength; can pre-measure so I am always exactly 12” away, so I don’t have to guess; am the one of the only units in the game that can still contest from more than 12” away and am the only unit which can CLAIM beyond that. Yes, please I’ll take twenty!
The only downsides I think are that the assault move is random (snake-eyes happen far too often!) and that my boost save is only 4+ and not a 3+. However, they have massively improved and I have even been considering dusting off my old Shining Spears and Autarch on Jetbike.
Explanation of psychic power AND Turbo-boost - I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw this, but as the Turbo-boost move is done in the Shooting Phase and it says you can’t do any voluntary actions AFTER the move, then you are allowed to cast Fortune, Doom and/or Guide as the psychic powers are done in the movement phase! Amazing!
Hammer of Wrath intricacies - Oh and lastly, if your buddy with Jump Units says he can move 12” AND reroll his charge he’s wrong. Look at the first paragraph on Jump Unit rules and you’ll see you can only use the Jump action in one phase, not both. This means that Jump Units will almost never get the benefit of their reroll charge range or use of Hammer of Wrath as you need to have not used your pack in the movement to do this. Conclusion: Jetbikes are better than Jump Units as they always get Hammer of Wrath even if they moved 12” previously!
I have always used a mounted council so I will talk about them. In my opinion they have gotten worse and are now not worth taking over regular Guardian Jetbikes. It’s only my opinion and I’ll maybe delve deeper later into the reasons but the changes to Witchblades are the most notable. They have changed to S3 and roll 2D6 for armour penetration. It means that my old AV14 killers are rendered useless, even with a 3+ to hit. They have gotten faster though and very importantly with the changes to Psychic Hoods, Fortune cannot be blocked! That is an argument for Farseer’s though and not council’s which will fall to a horde of Guardians in my list.
Psychic Hoods – If your Space Marine (but more likely Grey Knight) opponent goes to roll to block your bonus powers, show him page 68 where it describes Psychic Hoods. They only work if you target your opponent, meaning you can freely cast Fortune and Guide without him Denying the Witch. Also be aware that he cannot use the hood from within a transport vehicle.
Everyone agrees that vehicles took a massive hit in survivability terms in 6th. But that doesn’t matter when a single glance would have destroyed you anyway! I actually think Vypers have gotten much more survivable now that they have 2 Hull Points and a 5+ cover save (combined giving them 3 Hull Points or better if you think about it!). Fast vehicles can now fire 2 weapons after moving 12” which means every one of my Vypers is getting retro-fitted with new underslung Shuriken Cannons. They can also move 6” further than they could before and basically get Star Engine shooting-phase movement-tricks basic. Not being able to move the squadron if one gets stunned isn’t a problem either as with 2 Hull Points, it’s likely to die anyway and you would’ve been dead anyway last edition so who cares!?
Overall, Vypers are better than ever and I absolutely adore abusing the Focus Fire rule with Star Cannons.......
I still think Fire Prisms have a place in an Eldar army even if everyone else prefers Falcons. Now, I think 6th has helped them a fair bit as similar to the Vyper they weren’t very survivable anyway. Before, if you took a single penetrating hit, or even a glance, then you were either stopped from shooting, had your gun blown off or stuck in place if not dead. None of these results were good for a Prism so the first damage result would transform the tank into a flying ram 90% of the time. Now though, you can absorb a few glances before succumbing and you even get a cover save for simply moving, plus you can fire at the same time.
The idea of a blast weapon for anti-tank in 5th was horrible but now that if any part of the blast marker lands over the vehicle, it takes the full strength hit has really redeemed it. Being AP2 also has damage roll benefits so even when not combining fire they are still lethal.
Overall, 6th edition has done good things to Saim-Hann from what I can tell so far and although I will miss always moving 6”, getting 3+ cover saves and cutting through Land Raiders like hot butter, I think I will enjoy the updated Wind Rider Host an awful lot better and an awful lot more often. Now where’s my Blood Red paint......