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[Epic] Review - Swordwind

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Anonymous
February 5, 2005 10:20:07 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.miniatures.warhammer (More info?)

Well, prompted by the appearance of the supplement on the Online Store
confirming that the published version won't be out until I'm in Australia,
I've decided to review it now instead, based on the pdfs in the Epic Vault.
We are told these are the final versions bar correcting typos (so the Warp
Spiders might actually get a Firefight value) and adding colour, so this
will be the review of the effectively finished product.

We start, as ever, with an introduction setting the scene in sketchy
outline - a Death Korps of Kreig regiment conquered Baran, a world lost
to an Ork Waaagh!, and was granted rights of settlement there. Unable to
eradicate the Orks, they established heavily-fortified cities and eventually
gave rise to the Baran planetary defence regiments. Then, one day, the Eldar
invaded to get rid of the now-feral Orks, deciding they may as well take pot
shots at the humans while they were in the area. At some stage the Raven
Guard get involved, but as they use the standard Space Marine army list from
the Epic rulebook there are only three new army lists.

We have the obligatory "This is a statline. This is what it means"
introduction to the forces. While this is completely redundant as it is
repeatedly stated that Swordwind can't be used without the main rulebook, it
only takes up a page. This is followed by Eldar fluff reprinted wholesale
from the 2nd Edition Codex: Eldar (up to the sections on the Paths). This
means that, while there's nothing new here, Swordwind represents the most
complete Eldar fluff resource currently in print. Even for those of us
well-acquainted with Eldar fluff but who haven't dug out the Codex in a long
time, this is nice to have. Following the E:A format, this is followed by
the Eldar special rules and rules and background by unit.

Despite having a full Epic Eldar army, I haven't yet played an Epic game
with them, so my thoughts on the units aren't influenced by past playest
experiences. As in other systems, the Eldar aren't short on special rules,
manifested here as several army-wide rules. Eldar Farseers are better at
retaining the initiative for their formations than other races' leaders, and
once a turn the Eldar can try to retain the initiative twice in a row. The
most significant Eldar rule allows their formations to move, fire and move
again if using an order that allows them to make multiple moves and still
shoot (i.e. like the 40k CTM this affects when the Eldar can shoot, but it
doesn't give them a movement boost). The Eldar also have their
characteristic nice weaponry - armour-piercing lances, pulse lasers using
the same mechanic as BFG pulsar lances, and of course holo-fields and webway
portals. Added since earlier incarnations of the list are spirit stones -
these solve a problem highlighted in playtest discussions on the Epic forum
that Eldar formations don't easily recover from being broken due to low
numbers. However, the rationale tying this rule into the spirit stone idea
is sadly flimsy.

Onto the units:

Avatar of the Bloody-Handed God and Court of the Young King: Anyone who's
played Epic in earlier incarnations will know what to expect from the
Avatar - a close combat war machine who is (a) powerful, (b) tough and (c)
free. All is true of this incarnation, though war machines in general are
relatively fragile compared with earlier versions of the game, and as a unit
on his own this is exacerbated in the Avatar's case. He has five attacks in
close combat, two of them macro-weapon attacks, but he only gets one turn a
game - he's basically there to summon and throw into an assault when you
need an extra edge, or to lead other Eldar formations into combat (as he's a
Commander). Although he's listed as 0-1 the Avatar is basically an automatic
part of the army, another Eldar special rule - he doesn't cost anything and
doesn't prevent you from taking a real Supreme Commander (i.e., an Autarch).
An issue here is with a new part of the fluff, referring to the fates of
surviving Young Kings on Craftworlds other than Biel-Tan. It's been
established (not least in the Court of the Young King fluff) that Young
Kings are Exarchs, yet we are told that on Ulthwe they are invited to embark
on the Path of the Seer and become part of the Seer Councils, and elsewhere
they are excused from military service once they've finished on their Path -
neither of which can be the case for an Exarch.

Farseer and Warlock Bodyguard: Again hardly an optional choice, Farseers are
a rarity in the Eldar force, having the Commander rule, as well as allowing
the army to summon the Avatar and benefit from Farsight. The unit's
essentially an Aspect Warrior with the close combat Autarch weapon upgrade
in stats, trading the Aspect special rules for the Farseer's.

Guardians: There's been debate over whether Guardians with weapon platforms
are a worthwhile investment - they're slow as they can't take transports and
their range is pitiful. I'm not convinced myself - while Eldar are a fast
army and static Guardians stick out like a sore thumb, for 50pts less than
an Imperial Guard infantry company (13 units, 7 45cm AP5+/AT6+ heavy
weapons) you get 10 units including a Farseer (the equivalent of an IG
Supreme Commander in combat ability, with an additional +1 save and an
invulnerable save), 6 heavy weapons that will hurt anything on 5+ and half
of which ignore armour, Guardians have a superior firefight value to
Guardsmen and get to use the Hit & Run rule. Intuitively, too, they just
better-suit the role Guardians should have thematically, while Guardians
with Serpent transports are just cheap Dire Avenger formations with half the
firepower and none of the armour.

Rangers: Rangers are just a straight translation of Space Marine Scouts to
Eldar flavour, with a point less armour but otherwise essentially the same.
I like the idea of Scout units, but I'm still not sure how to incorporate
them effectively into a wider battleplan.

Jetbikes: The other reason, aside from Dire Avengers, not to take fast
Guardian Hosts. For 200pts, the cost of giving Guardians Wave Serpents,
these combine the speed of Wave Serpents with the firefight ability of
Guardians and the armour of Striking Scorpions. It's hard to see where to go
wrong or to think of a reason not to take all the Jetbikes you have models
for.

Vypers: While Jetbikes are flying Guardians, Vypers are their attendant
flying scatter lasers. However, unlike Guardians and weapon platforms,
Vypers and Jetbikes are not a good mix. This is because Vypers are light
vehicles and jetbikes are infantry - a bike formation with attendant Vypers
suddenly becomes vulnerable to casualties and blast markers from AT weapons
to which the basic formation is immune. Vypers are as good or better in a
firefight than weapon platforms, but mostly they seem designed to work in
their own harrying units of 6. Fortunately, the Vyper blister comes with six
models.

War Walker: Reinforced armour or no, a small light vehicle formation with 6+
armour is ridiculously vulnerable. Reports I've read from playtests bear
this out. However, War Walkers are fast and heavily-armed for the points,
with access to the cheapest lance weapon platform in the game. For firepower
fans like me War Walkers look seriously tempting even though I doubt their
effectiveness.

Exarch: There seems to be a new Exarch/Autarch model, apparently based on
Asurmen (though the Exarch in the Warhost set is still the Swooping Hawk).
An Exarch is what you expect - a powerful fighter, but without great
leadership skills. Mostly the benefit of Exarchs is that you can take up to
two in a Host, a +2 bonus to assaults due to their Inspiring rule. Like most
characters they add an extra attack to their unit, which will be either at
range or in close combat depending on the Aspect, though unlike most they
lack the macro-weapon ability. Nevertheless, for 25pts an Exarch adds the
fighting equivalent of an extra Aspect Warrior stand to the formation and I
doubt many people will take Aspect Hosts without the maximum Exarch
allowance, though they're perhaps of questionable use for Dark Reapers.

Autarch: A relatively conventional supreme commander, with an extra small
arms attack in place of the usual heavy weapon, the Autarch is cheap and
doesn't require a special model, just an Exarch. He's also the only way of
adding the Commander ability to an Aspect Host, and is a Supreme Commander
at that. At half the price of his Space Marine equivalent, he should be a
feature of any Eldar army. Where to put him? As a character he needs
survivability, so a 4+ save is a must. Fortunately, Scorpions and Spears are
both best in close combat and capable at small arms range, while Spiders are
respectable at both and their infiltrate ability allows the Autarch to
charge choice targets, which may outweigh the others' slightly higher chance
to hit. As First Strike is a Warp Spider special rule (rather than a listed
ability of their death spinners), they also confer this ability to the
Autarch in both close combat and firefights, increasing his survivability
further.

Dire Avengers: Here's a good piece of advice when selecting an Aspect
Warhost: Take Dire Avengers. Then take more Dire Avengers. You see, in a
turnaround from their 40k (and earlier playtest versions of the Epic list)
pariah status, Dire Avengers in Epic are the best fighters among the
Aspects. Their extra attack ability allows them to throw out 16 attacks
within firefight range in a full Avenger Host, and with a firefight value of
4+ that's not to be sniffed at. Their armour of 5+ isn't the toughest, but
nor is it paper-thin. They can even hold their own in close combat if they
have to - superior to un-upgraded Guardians in every way, DAs should be the
core unit in Eldar armies. Shame they come 4 to an £8 blister (with 4 Fire
Dragons).

Fire Dragons: The walking Land Speeder. Fire Dragons are as good in a
firefight as anyone in terms of their skill, and having macro-weapons is
certainly not to be sniffed at. I've wondered about how best to use these,
and I think the answer is: in the same way as Wraithguard in Guardian Hosts
(with the crucial difference that Dragons can use transports). Fire Dragons
are not a stand-alone Aspect formation, but with a couple of units in a
mixed-Aspect Host based on Dire Avengers they can add punch and (short)
ranged attacks - do you really need sixteen firefight attacks rather than 12
anyway, especially when the Dragons trade the extra firefight attack for the
ability to make a shooting attack? Essentially, Fire Dragons can be seen as
a Dire Avenger 'upgrade'. A quick note on the models: While the Dire
Avengers are straight recastings from the plastic originals, the Dragons
have adopted the new look with serrated-crest helmets and loincloths, and I
think the result looks pretty good.

Dark Reapers: Another of what I might call 'upgrade' units - this time the
Aspect equivalent of heavy weapon platforms. Very strong in a firefight,
they've got good range and Devastator firepower (though with no anti-tank
ability). However, I'm unsure how these are best-used - on their own they
have no anti-tank capability aside from that conferred by transports; in
combination with other Aspects their range becomes irrelevant, and 2 x small
arms attacks hitting on 4+ are preferable to 2 x AP5+ at short range. Ranger
Troupes are a better dedicated anti-personnel unit due to the reduced cost
and the Sniper rule. I'm not sure what Reapers' best role is - supported by
Falcons in a dedicated (but hugely expensive) ranged Troupe would be my
first thought, or possibly combined with Fire Dragons.

Striking Scorpions: The close combat 'flavour' of the Dire Avenges - an
Aspect with extra attacks, and with its close combat and firefight values
switched. Second to the Avengers only because the need to be in base contact
is more limiting than the need to be within 15cm, but their extra armour is
good compensation. A mixed Host of Dire Avengers and Striking Scorpions
(maybe split 50/50, or 50/25/25, with the third Aspect being Fire Dragons or
Warp Spiders) might be the best overall Aspect configuration, to my mind.

Howling Banshees: Expert in close combat, the Banshees sadly only have half
as many attacks as the Scorpions, and two attacks hitting on 4+ are better
than one hitting on 3+. Banshees of course have weaker armour than their
counterparts, and to cap it all their first strike close combat ability
isn't the best in the game. I've said that in the past splitting Banshees
and Scorpions into different units at Epic scales would make one redundant,
and Banshees are indeed the one Aspect I can't forsee a need for in any
Host.

Shining Spears: An Aspect clearly intended to work alone by virtue of its
speed. Based on this, we can assess a 300pt 8 Spear Host compared with a
200pt 6 Jetbike Troupe. The Spears are weaker at firefighting but a lot
better in close combat; however, all else being more-or-less equal my
preference is for firefighters over close combat specialists. The only other
thing the Spears offer over the Jetbikes is the lance ability in close
combat. However, this is an ability that is only useful against heavy
armour, which isn't renowned for its ability to withstand close combat
attacks at the best of times. Unless you want a force specialised for
destroying armoured companies in close combat, I'd give the Spears a miss.
If you do want a force specialised in destroying armoured companies at close
range, on the other hand, I'd take Fire Dragons, who get to shoot *and*
firefight in the same round.

Swooping Hawks: Other Aspects are often intended to stand alone. For
Swooping Hawks it's effectively mandatory, as their Aspect ability is
teleportation. They're not the world's best fighters, but by popping up
anywhere and with the Scout ability it's been pointed out they're good at
area denial or providing support. They lack the special abilities of
Avengers or Fire Dragons, but are their equals in firefighting skill - think
of them as an armoured Guardian Host you can drop anywhere you want and
you've got the idea. Perhaps a bit on the expensive side, and in an army of
limited size you won't often have the luxury of specialising in
single-Aspect Hosts, but by no means a bad unit.

Warp Spiders: Some idiot's plonked the Warp Spider photo on top of their
firefight value - in other incarnations of the list this has been 4+, and I
doubt this has changed. The combination of Infiltrator and First Strike
(both in close combat and at range) is unusual, but effective. First Strike
is sometimes seen as a double-edged sword, as killing the closest enemy unit
can deprive your other units of targets and so waste their attacks. Being
able to infiltrate avoids this problem - the Spiders can get close to a
choice target (or simply make sure that their closest target isn't the
closest target for other members of your formation) and kill it with
impunity. Essentially, this is an assassination unit and so pretty
specialised in its application - I'd use them tied to other Hosts, but only
in a minority of those. Alternatively, a full Spider Host makes a great
assault force due to its ability to charge 30cm after disembarking from its
transports, but see my above comments on the viability of specialised Aspect
Hosts in 2,700pt games.

Wraithguard: For 50pts apiece Wraithguard are pretty much twice as tough and
twice as shooty as Fire Dragons for less than twice the price. They're
infantry, which means that they are useful for protecting Farseers and
Guardian platforms (or vice versa). They pack a respectable punch in close
combat as well. And I'm still not sold on them. They're the Eldar Terminator
equivalent, but lack several things Terminators possess - range, teleport
and transport access. Their Fearless ability is of little consequence in a
fearful Guardian Host, the only way they can be taken, and you're doubling
the cost of the formation to buy three units that can't be used outside 15cm
range (though inside that range they are formidable). With the formation
itself being bestsuited for firefighting and with a maximum range of 30cm,
this probably isn't fatal but I'm not yet convinced by Wraithguard.

Wraithlord: As vehicles in an infantry formation, Wraithlords make the Host
vulnerable to AT shots it would otherwise ignore and can be targeted
specifically by those shots (as Hosts containing Wraithlords can take no
other vehicles). On the flip side, unlike Vypers they're impervious to AP
shots and as tough as an IG battle tank against anything else. In the
context of the Guardian Host they provide strong AT firepower, are as
capable as Guardians at holding their own in a firefight and are excellent
in close combat. They are expensive for their firepower, though - almost
twice the price of War Walkers with the same AT attack and a scatter laser
to boot. The Wraithlord therefore has to use all of its abilities - ranged,
firefight and close combat - to pay for itself.

Wave Serpent: The fluff intro describes the Wave Serpent as "possibly the
best troop transport in the galaxy". This isn't much of an overstatement -
very fast, with the same armour save as equivalents like the Chimera and
Rhino but the added bonus of reinforced armour and, unusually, as capable as
the transported infantry in a firefight, the Wave Serpent is exactly what
you want, not only to get your troops in close, but to support them once
they're there. That's all it needs to do to earn a place in any formation
that can take a transport, but it also has a ranged attack not to be
ignored. A trend among Eldar vehicles in Epic is that they frequently have
fewer weapon systems than alien equivalents, but those are individually more
powerful, and the Serpent's AP4+ ranged attack is no exception. The vehicle
has no AT value, but its value as a firepower unit is in adding fire support
to transported Hosts that otherwise have none.

Falcon: Strangely, one of the Falcon's selling points is that it can only
transport one unit rather than the Wave Serpent's two. This allows Apect
Hosts to be supported by more vehicles than would be the case if they relied
on Wave Serpents alone. Doubling the number of vehicles is expensive, and
used as transports Falcons should probably only be used to replace one or
two Serpents. Their lack of reinforced armour is also a hindrance when
employed as transports, but they complement the Serpent with a potent AT
attack. Falcon Troupes fulfill the same role as Predator Detachments, a
respectable tank formation made of respectable tanks, and free to move and
fight as a formation rather than acting as a well-armed taxi service.

Fire Prism: For the price of a Leman Russ, the Eldar can take a grav-tank
armed with an upgraded battlecannon and...well...that's it. It's true that
the range is a bonus for the Eldar, it's true that it gives the Fire Prism a
useful edge as an AA tank and it's also true that the lance ability is
useful, but for a fragile support formation Prisms are expensive. What's
more, for the same price as 3 Prisms you could take 5 Falcons with AT4+
pulse weapons and a respectable secondary weapon. My feeling is that the
lance ability, while useful, is overpriced on nearly all platforms, and Fire
Prism Troupes don't have the numbers to represent a significant threat to
the armoured formations they're best-suited for fighting. Meanwhile the
lance ability is nearly worthless against infantry, and Night Spinners are
superior in the anti-personnel role. Fire Prisms are cheaper than Nightwings
and don't eat into your Titan/flyer allowance, but considering that only the
Thunderhawk, Space Marine Landing Craft, Phoenix and Vampire come with
reinforced armour, the lance ability you pay so much for will only
occasionally be used, and the Firestorm's a better anti-aircraft platform
against anything else.

Night Spinner: Artillery is a fairly prominent feature of Swordwind, and
with the Night Spinner, Cobra, Void Spinner, Phoenix, Warlock Titan and
spacecraft, the Eldar have no shortage. Night Spinners are the cheapest, but
like most Eldar artillery the disrupt ability compensates for relatively low
barrage firepower. Crucially for a small, fragile support formation, Night
Spinners benefit from indirect fire. This also makes them the longest-range
support tanks in the Eldar arsenal. A Troupe or two of Night Spinners are
found in most Eldar army lists I've seen, and with good reason.

Firestorm: As an upgrade to a Falcon, the Firestorm is an interesting
trade - it loses the accuracy of the pulse laser and is restricted to only
one ground attack weapon system, but it has the same potential anti-tank
ability and is superior against infantry. Most importantly, of course, the
Firestorm is an AA tank. It lacks the rate of fire of Ork or IG equivalents,
but is as accurate as the Space Marine Hunter and benefits from the pulse
special rule. Being found in Falcon Troupes of five vehicles, the Firestorm
is less susceptible to suppression than the Fire Prism. Given the choice
between 3 Fire Prisms for 250pts or 3 Falcons and 2 Firestorms for the same
price, I'd plump for the latter, though I doubt I'd upgrade more than one
Falcon formation with Firestorms. A note on the new model; while the Forge
World one has laser batteries that are unbalancingly large, these look
pitifully small, especially in comparison with the other Eldar support
tanks.

Scorpion Super-heavy Grav-tank: It's tough, it looks good and it's got a
long-ranged MW2+ pulse attack - there's really not anything to dislike about
the Scorpion. It's perhaps not quite the no-brainer that it was in early
incarnations of the army list, before the Cobra upgrade or the introduction
of the Great Hawk/Avenger/Void Spinner, but it can't be beaten for accuracy
or rate of fire.

Cobra: This was the surprise of the final Swordwind list when I saw it - the
Cobra now sports a barrage weapon (but lacks indirect fire). On its own it's
not accurate, needing 5+ to hit infantry and 6+ for its ideal targets, war
engines (and other vehicles), but a pair of Cobras have 4BP between them.
Despite its short range, the Cobra's barrage attack and two secondary
weapons make it arguably the best anti-personnel Engine of Vaul as well as a
potent war engine killer (when it hits).

Storm Serpent: The Storm Serpent is certainly the most unusual vehicle in
the Eldar force (pity it's the only one for which no model is shown), which
makes it difficult to assess its value. Certainly it isn't a good gunship -
its firepower is almost identical to that of the Falcon a fifth of the
price. The Storm Serpent is a flying webway portal - because it is 'passive'
rather than a transport actively disgorging troops, there's nothing to stop
the Storm Serpent moving at full speed (marching) on turn 1 and then, with a
subsequent action, a Guardian Host can leap from the portal. With a
successful retention of the initiative a Storm Serpent march and Guardian
Host advance could get the formation into play 90cm from the Serpent's start
point (almost close enough for Wraithguard to come in useful). I can see
little use for including multiple Storm Serpents in any but the largest
armies; with a Serpent and two Cobras or Scorpions in a Troupe the portal
will most likely survive until you need to use it, unless you plan on
withholding several formations. However, the only formations that will
benefit hugely from portals seem to be infantry Guardian Hosts and War
Walker Troupes, possibly some Wind Rider Troupes.

Void Spinner: Not sure about the fluff for this one - rather than just being
a web weapon, it's also a form of bio-weapon utilising modified bacteria. I
don't think this explanation is actually needed - the weapon is basically an
array of Night Spinners, hence the higher BP. Having said that, considering
the size of the rereleased Night Spinner's weapon, the Voidspinner Array is
laughably small. The Void Spinner is the true artillery super-heavy, selling
itself on long range and the ability to take several in a Troupe (and hence
take from 3-9BP in a formation). However, it's generally agreed that 4BP is
the optimal size for artillery batteries, with larger ones having no
significant effect that can't be accomplished with several formations.
Therefore the only things the Void Spinner offers over the Cobra are range,
disrupt and indirect fire - these aren't insignificant bonuses by any means,
but cheaper Night Spinners have all of these abilities. The Void Spinner
certainly isn't weak - a pair of them can be hugely disruptive, causing two
blast markers for coming under fire in addition to the effects of the
disrupt attack - but they're no longer the most obvious choice when you have
four types of super-heavy to choose from.

Nightwing Interceptor: I've neve been a huge fan of the E40k flyer models,
and it's clear that they need replacing since none is armed with the weapons
shown on its statline. It was a shame they weren't redone. Anyway, onto the
vehicle. The Nightwing is excellent as a pure interceptor, not simply
because both its AA attacks are 30cm range (the Thunderbolt has one of 15cm
range) and one has the lance ability, but because it comes in squadrons of 3
rather than 2. Of course Nightwings take points away from your Titan
allowance, and the Eldar are not short of ground-based AA capability, but
Nightwings also have a firepower advantage over the Fire Prism, mounting two
weapon systems.

Phoenix Bomber: Basically a Nightwing squadron with a Night Spinner battery
thrown in and reduced AA capability. The Phoenix is popular where enemy
interceptors aren't expected in any numbers - and again, as a squadron of 3
(and with reinforced armour, at that) they're resilient. Thematically,
though, the idea of a fast-moving aircraft attacking with Night Spinners is
implausible.

Vampire Raider: Epic is a good effort at recreating modern warfare in a GW
wargame, and one consequence of this is that airdrops are very effective.
Without the option to take more than one in a formation, the Vampire's
transport capacity is lower than it might be (though it can theoretically
transport Wraithguard and support platforms, with a maximum transport
capacity of 8 it can't fit an upgraded Guardian Host). Wih reinforced armour
and damage capacity 2, the Vampire has a good chance of successfully making
its transport run even in the face of unsuppressed AA fire - with their 30cm
charge move Warp Spiders are ideal for these sorts of missions. The
Vampire's armament is of secondary importance, but with 3-7 AT shots it's no
slouch at tank-hunting although it lacks the Phoenix's versatility, with
only nominal AP firepower.

Revenant Titan: There's a good reason to take Revenants - you can argue
about whether or not they look like Titans, but they may be the best models
in the army. Holofields make Eldar Titans extremely tough. Each Revenant
sports nearly twice the firepower of a Scorpion, albeit with shorter range,
and they invariably come in pairs. This of course restricts you - if you
take a pair of Revenants, you can't take any other Titans or flyers save a
Vampire in a 2,700pt army.

Phantom Titan: My favourite of the Titans. Armed with a pair of pulsars it's
just an up-gunned Revenant, but both it and the Warlock are murderous at
short range when armed with a power fist (9 3+ firefight attacks, or 8 3+
close combat attacks). Oh, yes, or 6 battlecannon attacks at range. Overall,
its firepower is closer to that of a Warlord than a Reaver Titan.

Warlock Titan: Yes, it's better than the Revenant, but is it 100pts better?
The psychic lance is essentially a high-power Cobra D-Cannon with the
disrupt ability. It also has a small arms ability - with a power fist as the
other primary weapon, that gives it a daunting 11 firefight attacks,
including Titan Killer ones. I'd like to use a Warlock and get it into
firefight range just to see it wipe out an entire formation in one go (or
thoroughly smash a Warlord), but it is pricey given that it's no tougher
than the Phantom.

Wraithship: Comparing Eldar spacecraft with their Imperial Navy
counterparts, there isn't much comparison. The Wraithship can make a 4BP
macro-weapon attack compared with the Lunar's 3BP one. Although the
Wraithship has the option of making a pinpoint attack instead, the Eldar
aren't short of accurate macro-weapons and more barrage templates are always
welcome...

Dragonship: Transport of up to 12 Vampires and their cargo is somewhat
excessive, isn't it? Otherwise the Dragonship is a closer match for its
Imperial counterpart, with the same type of bombardment attack.
Alternatively it can make two pinpoint attacks. Unless you desperately want
to use the Vampires' planetfall ability, though, I'd be happy sticking with
the Wraithship.

IMPERIAL GUARD SIEGE REGIMENTS

Siege Infantry: No pioint complaining about these, they're your basic grunts
and you'll have lots of 'em. That being said, in the Imperial Guard that's
par for the course and at least they come cheap. Though personally I prefer
to have as many big gun-toting support formations as possible and the
minimum number of Siege Infantry. The exception is the Siege Command HQ -
since it counts as the Break Their Spirit victory condition if destroyed,
you have nothing to lose by making it your biggest and most expensive unit
to keep it alive as long as possible, and the extra grunts could come in
useful there.

Rapier Laser Destroyer: This and the Thudd Gun are basically copies of one
another with the AT and AP values reversed. The only difference is that the
Thudd Gun has direct fire and the Rapier doesn't, and so is the superior
weapon. As good AT ability is easy enough to come by with tanks, my
preference is always for the Thudd Gun.

Thudd Gun: See above. As a unit you can attach to Siege Companies, the Thudd
Gun adds need long-ranged punch and is cheap for it.

Gotterdamerung: Siegemaster artillery - so you'll naturally need lots of
these. Artillery companies are support units, and inexpensive compared with
their more elaborate counterparts. The Gotterdammerung is nothing but a
stationary BP generator, but its range is huge and what would the IG be
without vast amounts of artillery?

Blitzen AA Gun: Like most Siegemaster equipment, a stripped-down immobile
counterpart to Guard support tanks in the main list. The AA gun is not a
very good unit - its firepower is poor and its accuracy woeful - but aside
from your own aircraft it's all you have.

Bruennhilde: What you need if you want to move Siegemaster artillery from
one place to another. If you don't, take fortifications instead. My
preference is for fortifications.

Siegfried: The light 'combat tractor'. Basically it's a faster version of
the Sentinel with a shorter-ranged weapon. As such it has all the uses the
Sentinel does; I regard both as being of limited value except as a way to
get very cheap firepower.

Ragnarok: A walking tank? What are they thinking? Okay, it says it isn't
really a walking tank but surely they shouldn't have called the 'Walker'
rule 'Walker' if they envisaged giving it to things that, well, don't walk?
Essentially a stripped-down Leman Russ, Ragnaroks have the Russ's main
advantages - battlecannon and heavy armour - and come in squadrons twice the
size. Good for the army, bad for the wallet.

Imperial Guard Sappers: Looking remarkably like Storm Troopers modelwise.
Close-range troops with no armour to speak of in an army with no transports.
Hmm. Can't see much use for them yet.

Fortified Positions: When the first Siegemasters list came out it was a
slight readjustment of the main list with a few new units but no
fortification rules, and was basically very dull. Then they decided to make
artillery companies auxiliary formations and to add bunkers, trenches and
razorwire to the army. Now that, as I thought at the time, is how an
Imperial Guard army should play. Fortified positions also have the advantage
of saving you money on models, though the maximum limits do place
constraints on the upper size of your siege companies if you want everyone
to be protected. Still, I wouldn't play Siegemasters without all the
fortifications I could physically use.

THE FERAL ORKS

Feral Ork fluff seemingly drawn from the Chapter Approved article, followed
by a reminder of Ork army rules and the new units.

Wyrdboy: A powerful character, with a macro-weapon AA attack or long-ranged
(for Orks) macro-weapon ground attack. Wyrdboyz aren't expensive and there's
no reason not to add them to the formations that can take them.

Wildboyz: Half-price Boyz without the ranged or firefight attacks. Since
these attacks are fairly negligible anyway, the extra numbers might be
helpful, though massed firepower may work instead.

Madboyz: A Fearless version of Wildboyz, though with a firefight attack.
They're restricted to their own small formation, and as such of little
obvious value except as a distraction.

Boarboyz: These are to Boyz what Jetbikes are to Guardians - fast versions
of the same thing, which pack a punch when they reach combat. Having the
Infiltrator ability, they have a 50cm charge move to boot. Best of all, they
don't cost any more than Boyz.

Squig Catapult: Very cheap artillery. With the disrupt ability and available
in unlimited numbers, every Ork formation that can use them has no reason
not to take four or more. They lack indirect fire, so don't need to keep
their distance from the enemy or stay on orders that keep them at a distance
(though the latter would help their aim).

Junkatrukk: A free upgrade for Boyz (effectively) in a Junka Brigade, these
give the Boyz mobility, extra firepower and some close combat support.
They're also the army's only transports and valuable for that if nothing
else.

Squiggoth: Okay, this is a transport after a fashion, and heavily-armoured
at that. The most heavily-armed light vehicle in the game, the Squiggoth is
the Feral Orks' tank equivalent, though it's no slouch in close combat.
Squiggoths are attached to infantry formations, though taking one
fully-transported in its Squiggoths would be pricey.

Orkeosaurus: What a ghastly model it is - shame, since all the other Feral
Ork (and most of the Swordwind) releases have been pretty good. It seems
undergunned for its cost, being three times the price of a Squiggoth but
with only twice the weapons, and with a movement no greater than that of the
Boyz the only reason you'll want to use it as a transport is to increase
their survivability. One thing an Orkesaurus won't do is die easily.

Steam Gargant: The highlight of the army modelwise, and indeed as a unit.
It's fairly vulnerable - despite having damage capacity 4 it will be
destroyed by a single critical - but it comes with three macro-weapons, up
to two of which can be 2BP soopaguns. My favoured combination would be 2
soopaguns, for maximum barrage ability and to make this a long-ranged unit.
Squiggoths are for assaults. Both for the model and for game capabilities,
the Steam Gargant should be found in any Feral Ork army.

The units are followed by a painting guide - of limited use in my
black-and-white copies. :-) The techniques are simple and produce fairly
thorough (if monochromatic) results - I'll have to speed up my Epic painting
with the next batch. Guides are given for a couple of infantry types and
Falcons, and there is a showcase of other models. This is followed by
similar Ork and Siegemaster showcases.

The next section deals with modelling fortifications - this was first
printed as a Fanatic Magazine article. It's a good piece and includes
templates for entrenchments and bunkers as well as full modelling tips on
these, razorwire and craters.

THE BARAN WAR

We start with the familiar tale of an Ork Waaagh! as background to the
conflict. Baran started off as an Exodite world which fell to the Waaagh!,
before the Death Korps of Kreig were assigned to claim it for the Imperium.
Raven Guard forces involved in the initial attack on the Orks assisted the
Guardsmen in hunting down the surviving Orks as new settlements were built.
Meanwhile, Biel-Tan discovered the legacy of the Waaagh! and, led by a Fire
Dragon Autarch, its forces attacked. Again I'm not sure about some of the
background (Bonesingers and Spiritseers creating Wraithguard and Wraithlords
from scratch on a planet's surface, for instance) but the story is moved on
from battle to battle capably enough. It means more semi-reprinted fluff
along the way, on the Exodites and Biel-Tan, which is welcome. At first the
Biel-Tan uncharacteristically ignore the humans and concentrate on fighting
Orks, though as the Orks retreated they found themselves fighting the
Siegemasters. The Siegemasters called for help and the Raven Guard
responded, discovering that the Eldar were ultimately behind the attack
before their contingent was destroyed. The situation at the end of the story
has the Feral Ork Waaagh! broken up, but Siegemaster, Ork and Eldar forces
still on the planet (though with the Eldar yet to make contact with the
humans).

We then have the army lists - I've described them as I've gone along in the
units section, but as examples I'll give the 2,700pt army lists I've planned
for each:

Eldar: 2,700pts


Wraithgate 50pts



Avatar Free



Aspect Warrior Warhost 525pts



Warp Spiders (Autarch) 75pts

2 Striking Scorpions (1 Exarch)

3 Dire Avengers

2 Fire Dragons

4 Wave Serpents



Aspect Warrior Warhost 525pts



2 Striking Scorpions (1 Exarch)

4 Dire Avengers

2 Fire Dragons

4 Wave Serpents



Guardian Warhost 200pts



Farseer

4 Guardians

3 Heavy Weapon Platforms

3 Support Weapon Platforms



Falcon Troupe 250pts



3 Falcons

2 Firestorms



Night Spinner Troupe 175pts



3 Night Spinners



Engine of Vaul Troupe 250pts



Scorpion Super-heavy Grav-tank



Engine of Vaul Troupe 250pts



Cobra Super-heavy Grav-tank



Phoenix Bombers 400pts



3 Phoenix Bombers



Total: 2,700pts

Activations: 8 (9)



This was the one I spent longest puzzling over - I decided to start from
scratch rather than going with models I already had. Aspect Hosts are just
so attractive I couldn't pass them up, but they've gobbled a fair portion of
the army's points. In the end I decided against jetbikes on the basis that
my three Hosts gave me plenty of firefighting ability and the Aspects were
well-supplied with speed. Which Engines of Vaul to take caused me some
thought as well - only the Scorpion really seems to work as a unit of one,
but feeling short of macro-weapons (and AA weapons) I plumped for one Cobra.
I eventually decided against the Storm Serpent on the basis that the only
formation I had that would benefit from it cost less than the war machine
itself.



Baran Siegemasters: 2,700pts



Siegemaster Regimental HQ (Supreme Commander, 9 infantry) 150pts

Siege Infantry Platoon (6 Siege Infantry)
75pts

Thudd Gun Platoon (3)
75pts

Griffon Battery (3)
100pts

Fortified Positions
100pts



Siegemaster Infantry Company (Command unit, 9 infantry) 125pts

Thudd Gun Platoon (3)
75pts

Griffon Battery (3)
100pts

Fortified Positions 100pts



Siege Regiment Artillery Company (9 Gotterdammerungs in gun emplacements)
450pts



Heavy Tank Platoon (6 Ragnarok heavy tanks) 300pts



Heavy Tank Platoon (6 Ragnarok heavy tanks) 300pts



Siege Regiment AA Battery (3 Blitzen AA guns in gun emplacements)
125pts



2 Marauder Bombers 300pts



2 Marauder Bombers 300pts



Total:
2,675pts

Activations: 8





*This* is what an IG army should be - aside from the AA battery and the
tanks, absolutely everything has some sort of barrage capability, and
everything bar the tanks and aircraft has enough fortifications for the
formation. World War One, here we come.



Feral Orks: 2,700pts



Warband 300pts



2 Nobz (1 Wyrdboy)

6 Ork Boyz

2 Grotz

4 Squig Catapults



Warband 325pts



2 Nobz (1 Wyrdboy)

6 Ork Boyz

2 Wildboyz

2 Grotz

4 Squig Catapults



Warband 350pts



2 Nobz (1 Wyrdboy)

6 Ork Boyz

2 Grotz

2 Squiggoths



Big Wildboyz Warband 500pts



4 Nobz (Wyrdboy)

12 Ork Wildboyz

4 Grotz

4 Squiggoths



Big Boarboyz Horde 225pts



10 Boarboyz (1 Wyrdboy)



Boarboyz Horde 225pts



10 Boarboyz (1 Wyrdboy)



Big Junka Brigade 335pts



Nob (Warlord)

12 Ork Boyz (1 Wyrdboy)

13 Junkatrukks



Big Junka Brigade 335pts



Nob (Wyrdboy)

12 Ork Boyz

13 Junkatrukks



'Uge Steam Gargant Mob 500pts



2 Steam Gargants: 2 Soopaguns, Fist of Gork

Steam Gargant: Soopagun, Mega-Choppa, Fist of Gork



Total:
2,700pts

Activations: 9



There was no plan at all to selecting this army - I just kept adding
warbands until I ran out of points, which took a while. With no
point-gobbling Fighta Bommerz or large Gargants and no vehicle formations,
you can throw almost endless Orks into a Feral Ork army (wonder how I'd
afford to buy them all?) I've ended up with six fully mobile fighty
formations, two artillery formations and a full set of Steam Gargants. Just
don't expect much in the way of shootiness except for all the Wyrdboyz and
the Gargants (8 Wyrdboyz and 3 Fists of Gork? Feral Orks may be one of the
best anti-aircraft forces in the game).



Swordwind ends with a Collectors' Models section for the Eldar. This is not
large - except for Harlequins practically all the Eldar units ever produced
have been revived in this list, with the return of the Firestorm. I think
I'd very much like a tremor or Titan D-cannon for my Titans, though...The
Exodite Knight units are pretty potent for armoured vehicles of their size
(though the Towering Destroyer is considerably weaker than the Revenant it
'counts as'). Not sure why the vibro-cannon has a shorter range than the
D-Cannon; otherwise it's a nice weapon.



And that, at long last, is it. I have to say I'm unhappy with Swordwind for
one particular reason - it's come along when I don't have any spare money,
and I want to start/add to all three armies. :-(



Philip Bowles



Philip Bowles

More about : epic review swordwind

Anonymous
February 6, 2005 6:44:50 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.miniatures.warhammer (More info?)

On Sat, 05 Feb 2005 19:20:07 +0000, Philip Bowles wrote:

> We are told these are the final versions bar correcting typos (so the Warp
> Spiders might actually get a Firefight value) and adding colour, so this
> will be the review of the effectively finished product.

Hopefully the font will be changed as well. I've had the pdfs for a while,
but i find the font to be hard to read. The original version had a
readable font, i don't know what went wrong when they made up the current
version.

> This is followed by Eldar fluff reprinted wholesale
> from the 2nd Edition Codex: Eldar (up to the sections on the Paths). This
> means that, while there's nothing new here, Swordwind represents the most
> complete Eldar fluff resource currently in print. Even for those of us
> well-acquainted with Eldar fluff but who haven't dug out the Codex in a long
> time, this is nice to have.

Perhaps. GW has always tried to produce rulebooks that are much more than
just a set of rules. And it makes for an appealing product. Unfortunately,
it seems to me that for every new book i open, i'm flipping through pages
going "seen it", "seen it", "read it", etc.... So, from my perspective a
sizeable portion of the books are just more dead trees.

> Eldar Farseers are
> better at retaining the initiative for their formations than other
> races' leaders, and once a turn the Eldar can try to retain the
> initiative twice in a row.

I like this, it fits well with idea of farseers guiding the eldar paths.
And, i think it emphasises the strategic nature of the game, which is an
aspect that keeps E:A from just being 40k with smaller models.

> The most significant Eldar rule allows their
> formations to move, fire and move again if using an order that allows
> them to make multiple moves and still shoot

There

> An issue here
> is with a new part of the fluff, referring to the fates of surviving
> Young Kings on Craftworlds other than Biel-Tan. It's been established
> (not least in the Court of the Young King fluff) that Young Kings are
> Exarchs, yet we are told that on Ulthwe they are invited to embark on
> the Path of the Seer and become part of the Seer Councils, and elsewhere
> they are excused from military service once they've finished on their
> Path - neither of which can be the case for an Exarch.
>

I had thought the Court of the Young King was unique to Biel-Tan, is this
not the case? Also, my understanding was that the Epic:A lists are all
tied to a specific army (in this case the Biel-Tan swordwind army
attacking that world) rather than a general army, such as generic Eldar.
So the stuff in the swordwind book wouldn't necessarily apply to other
craftworlds or even other Biel-Tan armies.





> However, unlike Guardians and weapon platforms,
> Vypers and Jetbikes are not a good mix. This is because Vypers are light
> vehicles and jetbikes are infantry - a bike formation with attendant
> Vypers suddenly becomes vulnerable to casualties and blast markers from
> AT weapons to which the basic formation is immune. Vypers are as good or
> better in a firefight than weapon platforms, but mostly they seem
> designed to work in their own harrying units of 6.

Plus, if you're hanging around shooting with the vypers, the jetbikes
aren't really doing much. That can get annoying at times.
Similar situations with mixing vehicles and infantry come up in other
cases as well. Most armies see this with transports. The different
shooting modes/target types makes sense, but i'm not fond of how it works
out in cases like this.

>
> War Walker: Reinforced armour or no, a small light vehicle formation
> with 6+ armour is ridiculously vulnerable. Reports I've read from
> playtests bear this out. However, War Walkers are fast and heavily-armed
> for the points, with access to the cheapest lance weapon platform in the
> game. For firepower fans like me War Walkers look seriously tempting
> even though I doubt their effectiveness.
>
> Exarch: There seems to be a new Exarch/Autarch model, apparently based
> on Asurmen (though the Exarch in the Warhost set is still the Swooping
> Hawk). An Exarch is what you expect - a powerful fighter, but without
> great leadership skills. Mostly the benefit of Exarchs is that you can
> take up to two in a Host, a +2 bonus to assaults due to their Inspiring
> rule. Like most characters they add an extra attack to their unit, which
> will be either at range or in close combat depending on the Aspect,
> though unlike most they lack the macro-weapon ability. Nevertheless, for
> 25pts an Exarch adds the fighting equivalent of an extra Aspect Warrior
> stand to the formation and I doubt many people will take Aspect Hosts
> without the maximum Exarch allowance, though they're perhaps of
> questionable use for Dark Reapers.
>
> Autarch: A relatively conventional supreme commander, with an extra
> small arms attack in place of the usual heavy weapon, the Autarch is
> cheap and doesn't require a special model, just an Exarch. He's also the
> only way of adding the Commander ability to an Aspect Host, and is a
> Supreme Commander at that. At half the price of his Space Marine
> equivalent, he should be a feature of any Eldar army. Where to put him?
> As a character he needs survivability, so a 4+ save is a must.
> Fortunately, Scorpions and Spears are both best in close combat and
> capable at small arms range, while Spiders are respectable at both and
> their infiltrate ability allows the Autarch to charge choice targets,
> which may outweigh the others' slightly higher chance to hit. As First
> Strike is a Warp Spider special rule (rather than a listed ability of
> their death spinners), they also confer this ability to the Autarch in
> both close combat and firefights, increasing his survivability further.
>
> Dire Avengers: Here's a good piece of advice when selecting an Aspect
> Warhost: Take Dire Avengers. Then take more Dire Avengers.
> DAs should be the core unit in Eldar armies.

DAs have always been my favorite aspect. It's great that people actually
have a reason to use them. My 40K Eldar have a bunch of Dire Avengers, and
everyone always laughs. :( 

> Fire Dragons: The walking Land Speeder. Fire Dragons are as good in a
> Essentially, Fire Dragons can be seen as a Dire Avenger
> 'upgrade'.

Yep, i think they'll fit that role nicely. I think it costs to much to
take a whole host of them in transports to go hunting stuff with
macroweapons. Something i'm a bit too fond of doing with landspeeders.

> Dark Reapers: Another of what I might call 'upgrade' units

When i first looked at the aspect hosts, i thought mixing of units would
be a bit unwieldy since they mostly have different functions. The
'upgrade' viewpoint is a better way of looking at it.

> Howling Banshees: Expert in close combat, the Banshees sadly only have
> half as many attacks as the Scorpions, and two attacks hitting on 4+ are
> better than one hitting on 3+. Banshees of course have weaker armour
> than their counterparts, and to cap it all their first strike close
> combat ability isn't the best in the game. I've said that in the past
> splitting Banshees and Scorpions into different units at Epic scales
> would make one redundant, and Banshees are indeed the one Aspect I can't
> forsee a need for in any Host.
>

I've never played a game that where anything used the first strike rule,
but i'm not sure it's as bad as you make it out to be. Two attacks at 4+
is better than one at 3+. But if you get the 3+ before the enemy can
attack, they might be comparable simply because it reduces the enemy
attacks. Perhaps banshees might be better against small formations that
hit hard, where taking out the enemy before they attack keeps you from
getting slaughtered.

> War Walker: Reinforced armour or no, a small light vehicle formation with 6+
> armour is ridiculously vulnerable. Reports I've read from playtests bear
> this out. However, War Walkers are fast and heavily-armed for the
> points, with access to the cheapest lance weapon platform in the game.
> For firepower fans like me War Walkers look seriously tempting even
> though I doubt their effectiveness.
>

Did they take out the 'may not garrison' rule? I haven't read all the
rules, but i seem to recall in earlier versions of the list, that only
warwalkers and rangers could garrison.

> Void Spinner: Not sure about the fluff for this one - rather than just
> being a web weapon, it's also a form of bio-weapon utilising modified
> bacteria. I don't think this explanation is actually needed - the weapon
> is basically an array of Night Spinners, hence the higher BP.

I though the fluff added a lot to the character of the army. I think it's
likely that lists for other craftworlds will not included the void spinner
for fluff reasons.


> IMPERIAL GUARD SIEGE REGIMENTS
>
> Siege Infantry: No pioint complaining about these, they're your basic
> grunts and you'll have lots of 'em. That being said, in the Imperial
> Guard that's par for the course and at least they come cheap. Though
> personally I prefer to have as many big gun-toting support formations as
> possible and the minimum number of Siege Infantry.

Gun slut

>
> Imperial Guard Sappers: Looking remarkably like Storm Troopers
> modelwise. Close-range troops with no armour to speak of in an army with
> no transports. Hmm. Can't see much use for them yet.
>

It seems like their main use is to bolster other formatins at short range
or in close combat. Doesn't seem to fit the fluff very well

> THE FERAL ORKS
>

Having a whole army of lower tech orks makes a great theme. I
just wish some of the units were available to the regular ork army. I do
plan to use the rules for things such as boarboyz and weirdboyz in some
scenarios, but don't think i'll ever use them on their own in a tournament
style game.

> Wildboyz: Half-price Boyz without the ranged or firefight attacks. Since
> these attacks are fairly negligible anyway, the extra numbers might be
> helpful, though massed firepower may work instead.
>

It's hard to tell, but are these just normal boyz models? Including the
guns?

> Madboyz: A Fearless version of Wildboyz, though with a firefight attack.
> They're restricted to their own small formation, and as such of little
> obvious value except as a distraction.
>

Madboyz really never had any hope of living up to their past glory.

> The next section deals with modelling fortifications - this was first
> printed as a Fanatic Magazine article. It's a good piece and includes
> templates for entrenchments and bunkers as well as full modelling tips
> on these, razorwire and craters.
>

This goes back long before the Fanatic article. I was using these same
guidelines and templates out of the space marine battles book (8 years
ago), and that itself was taken from an earlier White Dwarf. I think it
may have also been in the epic:40K version and a White Dwarf from that
time period as well. It's been touched up some, but GW's gotten a lot of
use out of this one. But like you said, it is a good piece. I'm not
normally a fan of GW trying to sell the same thing over and over, but i am
glad this one is still around.

> We then have the army lists - I've described them as I've gone along in
> the units section, but as examples I'll give the 2,700pt army lists I've
> planned for each:

Why 2700 pts? Is there a significance to this particular point total that
i'm not getting?


>
> *This* is what an IG army should be - aside from the AA battery and the
> tanks, absolutely everything has some sort of barrage capability, and
> everything bar the tanks and aircraft has enough fortifications for the
> formation. World War One, here we come.

Bah, the guard have so many possible configurations. If you're going for
WWI than this list seems a good choice. But the IG can operate in so many
other ways as well. I like that the 40K version is branching out to
explore that more. That may be harder to do in Epic:A. Since all the lists
are so closely tied to a specific army in a specific campaign, the choices
are going to be far more limited. I'm glad this one matches how you
invision the army.

--
ap2rotr ??
Anonymous
February 7, 2005 1:14:15 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.miniatures.warhammer (More info?)

"disgruntled pawn" <see@sig.invalid> wrote in message
news:p an.2005.02.06.21.44.50.430090@sig.invalid...
> On Sat, 05 Feb 2005 19:20:07 +0000, Philip Bowles wrote:
>
> > We then have the army lists - I've described them as I've gone along
in
> > the units section, but as examples I'll give the 2,700pt army lists
I've
> > planned for each:
>
> Why 2700 pts? Is there a significance to this particular point total
that
> i'm not getting?

This is supposed to be the "official" tournament army points value - not
quite enough to enable you to include everything, just restricted enough
force you to make choices.

So it's rather odd that the first GW tournie is going to be a 3000 point
event . . .

http://uk.games-workshop.com/events/diary/default.aspx?...

Cheers, Martyn
Anonymous
February 7, 2005 1:44:45 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.miniatures.warhammer (More info?)

"disgruntled pawn" <see@sig.invalid> wrote in message
news:p an.2005.02.06.21.44.50.430090@sig.invalid...
> On Sat, 05 Feb 2005 19:20:07 +0000, Philip Bowles wrote:
>
>> We are told these are the final versions bar correcting typos (so the
>> Warp
>> Spiders might actually get a Firefight value) and adding colour, so this
>> will be the review of the effectively finished product.
>
> Hopefully the font will be changed as well. I've had the pdfs for a while,
> but i find the font to be hard to read. The original version had a
> readable font, i don't know what went wrong when they made up the current
> version.

That's true.

>> An issue here
>> is with a new part of the fluff, referring to the fates of surviving
>> Young Kings on Craftworlds other than Biel-Tan. It's been established
>> (not least in the Court of the Young King fluff) that Young Kings are
>> Exarchs, yet we are told that on Ulthwe they are invited to embark on
>> the Path of the Seer and become part of the Seer Councils, and elsewhere
>> they are excused from military service once they've finished on their
>> Path - neither of which can be the case for an Exarch.
>>
>
> I had thought the Court of the Young King was unique to Biel-Tan, is this
> not the case?

The Court is. The Young King isn't - he's the Exarch sacrificed to the
Avatar when he needs to be woken up. It seems from Biel-Tan and more recent
fluff that the Young King is appointed from among the Exarchs as a rank
which he holds for a year unless the Avatar gets hungry. It's the surviving
Young Kings who are later honoured by appointment to the Court or whatever.

Also, my understanding was that the Epic:A lists are all
> tied to a specific army (in this case the Biel-Tan swordwind army
> attacking that world) rather than a general army, such as generic Eldar.
> So the stuff in the swordwind book wouldn't necessarily apply to other
> craftworlds or even other Biel-Tan armies.

The Court of the Young King fluff refers to the cultural practices of
Biel-Tan and Ulthwe specifically. The only way I can think of to reconcile
the Swordwind Ulthwe bit with the existing fluff regarding the Young King is
that different Craftworlds may have different cultural traditions regarding
the Young King - perhaps, while he's an Exarch on most Craftworlds, he's
only an Aspect Warrior on Ulthwe. Of course this raises the question: why
does everyone else waste valuable Exarchs if an Aspect Warrior will do?
Maybe it's because Ulthwe is even shorter of Exarchs than most and can't
afford to use them that way.

>> Dire Avengers: Here's a good piece of advice when selecting an Aspect
>> Warhost: Take Dire Avengers. Then take more Dire Avengers.
>> DAs should be the core unit in Eldar armies.
>
> DAs have always been my favorite aspect. It's great that people actually
> have a reason to use them. My 40K Eldar have a bunch of Dire Avengers, and
> everyone always laughs. :( 

Shrink them and they won't...

>> Fire Dragons: The walking Land Speeder. Fire Dragons are as good in a
>> Essentially, Fire Dragons can be seen as a Dire Avenger
>> 'upgrade'.
>
> Yep, i think they'll fit that role nicely. I think it costs to much to
> take a whole host of them in transports to go hunting stuff with
> macroweapons. Something i'm a bit too fond of doing with landspeeders.

Perhaps more to the point, and something I forgot when writing this review,
is that a formation can't shoot and assault in the same turn, and with a
15cm range you need a good firebase. A couple of Fire Dragons are good for
adding punch to an Avenger Host in a firefight, in the same way as a
character upgrade with a macro-weapon. In fact, since they have FF4+ macro
but only MW5+ at the same range, I can't actually think of a reason to shoot
with them at all.

>> Dark Reapers: Another of what I might call 'upgrade' units
>
> When i first looked at the aspect hosts, i thought mixing of units would
> be a bit unwieldy since they mostly have different functions. The
> 'upgrade' viewpoint is a better way of looking at it.

Considering the fact that the engage order doesn't let you shoot, though,
mixing Reapers probably isn't that good an idea after all.

>> Howling Banshees: Expert in close combat, the Banshees sadly only have
>> half as many attacks as the Scorpions, and two attacks hitting on 4+ are
>> better than one hitting on 3+. Banshees of course have weaker armour
>> than their counterparts, and to cap it all their first strike close
>> combat ability isn't the best in the game. I've said that in the past
>> splitting Banshees and Scorpions into different units at Epic scales
>> would make one redundant, and Banshees are indeed the one Aspect I can't
>> forsee a need for in any Host.
>>
>
> I've never played a game that where anything used the first strike rule,
> but i'm not sure it's as bad as you make it out to be.

Oh, it isn't bad, it's just not completely advantageous in the way that,
say, an extra attack is. I can't see Banshees being useful for much except
filling in when you run out of Scorpion stands in your collection.

Two attacks at 4+
> is better than one at 3+. But if you get the 3+ before the enemy can
> attack, they might be comparable simply because it reduces the enemy
> attacks. Perhaps banshees might be better against small formations that
> hit hard,

Too specialised a role to plan around, and any edge Banshees might get in
that situation wouldn't be significant enough to be worth the trade.

>> War Walker: Reinforced armour or no, a small light vehicle formation
with 6+
>> armour is ridiculously vulnerable. Reports I've read from playtests bear
>> this out. However, War Walkers are fast and heavily-armed for the
>> points, with access to the cheapest lance weapon platform in the game.
>> For firepower fans like me War Walkers look seriously tempting even
>> though I doubt their effectiveness.
>>
>
> Did they take out the 'may not garrison' rule? I haven't read all the
> rules, but i seem to recall in earlier versions of the list, that only
> warwalkers and rangers could garrison.

It's still there, and still the same. From what I've heard from playtesters
on the forum, no one wants to garrison with Eldar anyway due to their
fragility, so it's an ability that gets little use.

>> Void Spinner: Not sure about the fluff for this one - rather than just
>> being a web weapon, it's also a form of bio-weapon utilising modified
>> bacteria. I don't think this explanation is actually needed - the weapon
>> is basically an array of Night Spinners, hence the higher BP.
>
> I though the fluff added a lot to the character of the army. I think it's
> likely that lists for other craftworlds will not included the void spinner
> for fluff reasons.

They don't - there are playtest lists up for other Craftworlds which don't
have it. However, the fluff for this one looks to me as though as though
Jervis is stretching to justify his stated aim of making this tank a
characteristic Biel-Tan unit.

>
>> IMPERIAL GUARD SIEGE REGIMENTS
>>
>> Siege Infantry: No pioint complaining about these, they're your basic
>> grunts and you'll have lots of 'em. That being said, in the Imperial
>> Guard that's par for the course and at least they come cheap. Though
>> personally I prefer to have as many big gun-toting support formations as
>> possible and the minimum number of Siege Infantry.
>
> Gun slut

Hey, they're the Imperial Guard!

>>
>> Imperial Guard Sappers: Looking remarkably like Storm Troopers
>> modelwise. Close-range troops with no armour to speak of in an army with
>> no transports. Hmm. Can't see much use for them yet.
>>
>
> It seems like their main use is to bolster other formatins at short range
> or in close combat. Doesn't seem to fit the fluff very well

They're in the list because this is WWI, and in WWI the Germans employed
elite, short-ranged units of storm troopers with this sort of gear to
spearhead their assaults. They're a better match than Rough Riders - cavalry
was an important aspect of many WWI battlefields, but not the trenches.

>> THE FERAL ORKS
>>
>
> Having a whole army of lower tech orks makes a great theme. I
> just wish some of the units were available to the regular ork army. I do
> plan to use the rules for things such as boarboyz and weirdboyz in some
> scenarios, but don't think i'll ever use them on their own in a tournament
> style game.

Great thing about Orks is that their technology is so erratic and varied
that you can include all of these units as 'Count As' in standard Ork
armies - Boarboyz as Warbikes and Squig Catapults as Big Gunz in
Snakebite-themed warbands, for instance, and Steam Gargants are infinitely
better models than Supa-Stompas with much the same armament.

>> Wildboyz: Half-price Boyz without the ranged or firefight attacks. Since
>> these attacks are fairly negligible anyway, the extra numbers might be
>> helpful, though massed firepower may work instead.
>>
>
> It's hard to tell, but are these just normal boyz models? Including the
> guns?

So it seems; Fanatic seems to be distinguishing them by the simple expedient
of not giving them heavy weapons. I wondered if these were just stand-ins
and we'd get some metal versions of the old Wildboyz models, but considering
how many Wildboyz you might want in your army, it's probably just as well
they aren't.

>> Madboyz: A Fearless version of Wildboyz, though with a firefight attack.
>> They're restricted to their own small formation, and as such of little
>> obvious value except as a distraction.
>>
>
> Madboyz really never had any hope of living up to their past glory.

Not sure about these models either - they look like normal Boyz, but one or
two have Night Goblin hats. Stand-ins slightly converted to make them
distinct from Wildboyz, or the final models?

>> We then have the army lists - I've described them as I've gone along in
>> the units section, but as examples I'll give the 2,700pt army lists I've
>> planned for each:
>
> Why 2700 pts? Is there a significance to this particular point total that
> i'm not getting?

It's the standard tournament size for Epic armies - presumably set at that
level to be just enough to allow a Warlord Titan without allowing anything
else in the Titan/flyer allowance.

>
>>
>> *This* is what an IG army should be - aside from the AA battery and the
>> tanks, absolutely everything has some sort of barrage capability, and
>> everything bar the tanks and aircraft has enough fortifications for the
>> formation. World War One, here we come.
>
> Bah, the guard have so many possible configurations. If you're going for
> WWI than this list seems a good choice. But the IG can operate in so many
> other ways as well.

It can, but if you want it to you don't use the Siegemasters list, any more
than you use the Siegemasters list if you want mechanised infantry.

I like that the 40K version is branching out to
> explore that more.

I'd like 40k Siegemasters as an option...

That may be harder to do in Epic:A. Since all the lists
> are so closely tied to a specific army in a specific campaign, the choices
> are going to be far more limited.

Fanatic seems to be exploring different basic types of IG army in different
lists - the basic list is the Armoured Company/Mech Inf. list, Siegemasters
is the Planetary Defence Force list. 40k IG would probably work better if
that did more of the same, rather than its unsuccessful attempts to shoehorn
Mech Inf., paratroops and the like into the basic Infantry Company list.

I'm glad this one matches how you
> invision the army.
>
> --
> ap2rotr ??

?

Philip Bowles
Anonymous
February 7, 2005 10:36:34 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.miniatures.warhammer (More info?)

> Fanatic seems to be exploring different basic types of IG army in
> different
> lists - the basic list is the Armoured Company/Mech Inf. list,
> Siegemasters is the Planetary Defence Force list.

Any IG lsit can be used as a PDF. The Steel Legion list can be used as a
PDF on a better equipped world.

Rob
Anonymous
February 8, 2005 12:14:42 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.miniatures.warhammer (More info?)

In article <cu8g04$iod$1@news8.svr.pol.co.uk>, "Robert Williams"
<mail@rscc.freeserve.co.uk> writes:

>> Fanatic seems to be exploring different basic types of IG army in
>> different
>> lists - the basic list is the Armoured Company/Mech Inf. list,
>> Siegemasters is the Planetary Defence Force list.
>
>Any IG lsit can be used as a PDF. The Steel Legion list can be used as a
>PDF on a better equipped world.

Steel Legion has no provision for fortifications as part of the list, and it
doesn't make much sense to think that a PDF, however well-equipped, wouldn't be
well dug-in. You can play Steel Legion as a PDF in the same way that you can
play Siegemasters as an assault force - there's nothing technically preventing
you from doing it, it just isn't very effective. The main reason for the
separation of the lists is to cater to the main IG archetypes - the 'modern'
list for treadheads and those who want fancy late 20th things like airborne
cavalry and half-decent tanks, and the WWI list for those who like the static,
basic but shooty IG of 40k.

Philip Bowles
Anonymous
February 8, 2005 10:30:31 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.miniatures.warhammer (More info?)

"P Bowles" <pbowles@aol.com> wrote in message
news:20050207161442.00824.00000099@mb-m19.aol.com...
> In article <cu8g04$iod$1@news8.svr.pol.co.uk>, "Robert Williams"
> <mail@rscc.freeserve.co.uk> writes:
>
>>> Fanatic seems to be exploring different basic types of IG army in
>>> different
>>> lists - the basic list is the Armoured Company/Mech Inf. list,
>>> Siegemasters is the Planetary Defence Force list.
>>
>>Any IG lsit can be used as a PDF. The Steel Legion list can be used as a
>>PDF on a better equipped world.
>
> Steel Legion has no provision for fortifications as part of the list,

It can. See the siegeline scenario in fanatic mag 7.

Rob
!