The new Eldar codex is here! I went into town to pick up my codex and data cards this morning and just got home, having a quick flick through the book and a look at the data cards. Throughout this week I will be writing both what I think of the new codex as well as some tactics articles and theories on army builds, both using the normal Combined Arms Detachment as well as the new Warhost Detachment.
First I will look at the data cards.
I really like the data cards and was not expecting to get what was inside. I was expecting the psychic power cards, which are nice but nothing special; as I got the psychic power cards with the last codex I was expecting the same with this one. I was not disappointed at least. The tactical objective cards are nice, though I believe that they are smaller than the normal cards. This, however, is not a problem as it comes with an entire deck of tactical objectives, something that I did not previously own but did intend on getting at some point. The back of the cards feature Eldar artwork similar to the front cover of the codex, being the Saim-Hann Warlock with a witchblade. I like this as an added extra, giving me even more of an Eldar feel at the tabletop. All in all, I am glad that I purchased these.
Moving onto the codex itself, I will say that it is a hefty one, weighing in at 160 pages, a lot larger than the previous 106ish page codex!
The artwork is great, a lot of pictures from the last codex re-appearing but also a lot of new pictures making an appearance. Also, there are a lot more high-quality photos of actual miniatures, featuring lots of close up of finer details to help with one’s painting ideas. At least, it’s doing that for me! Everything is clearly laid out in this codex, making rules referencing and list building a joy, rather than an exercise in page turning. First is your fluff, mountains and mountains of background and flavour for the Eldar army with what I interpret as more attention to detail. For a person like me who enjoys building fluff-accurate armies and playing them on the tabletop it is a wonderful. Each of the major Craftworlds gets a double page feature, consisting of a large picture and some background, giving the reader an idea how the Craftworld acts as well as any major plot points of their history. Every unit has a page explaining their role and where they come from, though one thing that really stands out, and I imagine will stand out more-so to the avid painters out there, is that every unit’s rune is depicted and explained; grab your paintbrushes my kin, it’s time to get free-handing! Next, there are pages depicting the colour schemes of the major Craftworlds, much like in the old 3rd and 4th edition codices, basic 2d illustrations showing differences in colour schemes to offer inspiration to a person who may wish to collect and field the forces of that specific Craftworld, as well as showing off the colours of each Aspect shrine, again with variations to offer inspiration and show that there is no singular way of painting up each Aspect. After this we have a photography section, showing various pictures of the studio armies which I have already spoken briefly about and expressed my appreciation of, but finally we move on to the rules section. I will not go into details on rules in this article, as the rules section will be several articles by itself, but as with the rest of the book it is nicely laid out. The equipment costs are first, followed by the various units where each has a page to itself to explain all the rules that they feature, then there’s the armoury where all of the equipment is explained and then, finally, there are the Warlord traits, tactical objectives, psychic powers etc. Most of all though? There’s no irritating fold out pages! That was a feature that I really did not like about the previous codex and I am very glad that it’s gone.
All that said, is the codex worth the money? It is very well made and is a joy to read, but I do think that £35 is a little bit too steep. I buy the Eldar codex because it’s my main army and I own close to 9000 points (but I do not think that I own -over- 9000 points yet), but I tend to just borrow the rest of the books from friends and other hobbyists. The data cards are worth it for every Eldar player, as they just make life a lot easier when tracking psychic powers and tactical objectives; they are especially worth it if, like me, you do not already own a tactical objectives deck. In short, I would only buy the codex if I were a dedicated Eldar player (which I happen to be), but the objective cards are a great purchase for any Eldar player.