Friday, April 24, 2015

Philosifelt - Codex Craftworlds Eldar


The rumor mill is shooting out hunks of bone and gristle, coating the onlookers faces with a torrent of gore.  So it goes, a terror unlike we have ever seen before.  Well, I'm lying, it's mostly the same terror, it's just a little more terrible.  I'm talking about the new Eldar Codex of course.  It's not out yet, but the rumors for the last N books have been correct, so we'll assume these are as well.  And it doesn't look good for the game at large.
We're going to solve a mystery - the prime suspects are US and GW.  We'll ask what's the point, where it started, who we're going to be annoyed at, and when this pain train will end.

You can get the rumor rundown somewhere else - I assume if you're here you're deep enough in this niche to already have read the list on a forum or competing blog.  I'm going to assume that everything will play out as rumored.  So what's the problem?
Scatter Bikes/Shuriken Cannon Bikes - People are getting mad about straight scatter spam, though I think we'll see a mix of them for the pseudo-rending on the SC.  These things are straight-up unprecedented and emblematic of what the bull is.  The best troop in the game can have as many heavy weapons as they want, and they're relentless, with a threat range of 48"?  27 points apiece?  F'ing ridiculous.  Assault can't do anything against this. 
Lets assume somebody brings the much-feared 1080 points of scatter bikes, and I bring my double wing screamer star (2x 8 screamers w/ 2 tzeralds on disks), a brutally durable unit.  Assuming one round of shooting - 160 * 2/3(hits from shooting) * 5/6 (S6 V T4) * 5/12 (4+ jink re-roll 1's) = 37 wounds.  I am left with one and a half tzeralds from THE FIRST ROUND OF SHOOTING.  That is the heart of my army, and there is literally no way to hide them on any board I've ever played.
This is really the same problem as serpent spam was, only a little more terrifying in damage output.  At least, indeed, there aren't two obsec units for the same price point as 5 scatter bikes.  But what can really stand against this terror?  Remember, S6 kills almost everything, and their threat range is the board.  Sucks.
This is simply the most obvious and egregious standout from this new book.  The seer council, always a brutally powerful unit, is even better with a free boost to WC.  Great.  All the aspects are awesome, and everybody has weird tricks.  The formations rule.  The Wraithknight lost it's big weakness to poison and now stomps and is gargantuan.  And the D is everywhere.
So, rant over, back to the mystery. 

Who is responsible?  Well, the author, primarily.  And the culture of fanboyism inside of GW that demands that the Eldar and only the Eldar get to fit their fluff.  But I think WE are responsible more than anything.  GW seems dedicated to making their most vocal fanbase angry, and to kill the "competitive" scene.  As there's a resurgence in interest in the game, with tournaments selling out and third-party websites like frontline and this lovely blog talking about the game, they lose control of their precious information stream.  What better way to kill us than to make our game unplayable?  And if, in the process, they sell thousands of jetbike kits, it's a win-win for them.
Where did it start?  It really started with the release of seventh edition, when the unbound rules and maelstrom missions forced the competitive community to come up with it's own systems.  There's a nascent feeling in the community that we should be playing to the letter of the books, and you absolutely can't compete and have fun with unbound.  WAAC demands a slew of WKs and Transcendent C'tans.  So many were lost when even moderate FAQ/mission systems were developed by FLG and NOVA.  Our overall resistance to balancing FAQs and comp missions is truly the place where it started - a place inside of us that feels like we're ruining the game by changing the broken rules and systems.

When will it end?  Probably never.  Overcoming total BS(not ballistic skill) in the systems, beyond some small house rules, is not in the cards.  Think about it - it's hard to let your opponent re-roll that 1 on the DS mishap table.  Because it's in the rules, and it benefits you.  Every codex comes with a few obviously broken things, and we willfully exploit them.  If our overall TO's (FLG on the west coast/NOVA on the east coast/somebody in Britain) would make some more broad-reaching FAQs, and I mean the ones that GW should but won't write, then we could at least shave down the brutal, exploitable aspects that rise again and again.  It's really not fun to see White Scars, Fiverant, Seer Councils, Leaf Blowers win again and again.  But for some reason it's preferable to have this bland repetition rather than saying, "ok, now we see that these things are really broken, let's change them a little bit, and see what's really broken now."  It would be more fun for the community, because we would have unknown quantities to chase.  We're about a year of tournaments away from a balanced, fun game that is never going to happen.

What's the point?  I seriously don't know.  I've always struggled against even the most basic Eldar builds.  They're cheap, and don't require any real tactics.  They can just blow you off the board.  I don't like the idea of my 4+ years of experience being slapped by a total n00b because their codex can shunt out all the firepower in the world.  I don't like my CSM being utterly useless.  I really don't like feeling like my friends are better generals than me because of what's in their case.s  It stretches to the whole, imbalanced game.  But the Eldar have the shotgun in the R/P/S game, and it has never been fun for me.

Mystery solved?  Nope.  We're all guilty of why the game needs to broken to such an extent.  GW wants control, we want to play outside that control.  I'm going to play it out and see how it happens, but I don't see how mathhammer can not accurately represent the utter hopelessness of what I have to work with here.  I'm going to run at least four games with the hardest cheese my friends can come out with after Tzeentch Daemonkin arrives.  If I don't feel like I can compete, then I'm not going to.
It sucks because I really enjoyed the BAO and LVO.  But I felt like I had a chance there.  I don't feel like I have a chance against this new book; honestly, I feel like I'm going to get tabled quite often.  And that's seriously not fun. 
How do we still win?  I'm going to make a pledge I want ya'll to join me in - not one more dollar.  GW doesn't care about us, so we can stop supporting them (and not get off the plastic crack).  You can get all your codices on KAT.PH from user: bran stark.  You can get all your models from many resellers.  Look up recaster threads on Dakka for who's selling models for 1/2 price.  And stay bitter friends.  Stay bitter.

1 comment:

  1. This did not start with seventh edition. GW has always been about selling models. I find it hard to beleive their rules people are not aware or even instructed to reinforce it.