Monday, June 13, 2011

Codex Review: Autarch


To kick this bad boy off, we begin with the unloved Eldar Autarch.  It's not that his stats are bad or anything, quite the opposite in fact, rather that the Farseer tends to chew up our points and HQ slots, being far more crucial to Eldar armies.

TACTICAL VALUE

His most useful asset by far is the Master Strategist rule, increasing the chance of your reserves turning up quickly, something which has been increasingly important in 5th Edition.  He is also highly adaptable, with equipment choices to fill the majority of roles presented to him, though these can quickly raise his price to higher levels than desired.  
Unlike the Farseer, however, he does not give any buffs as such to other units, being less subtle.
The Farseer is almost always the primary choice for HQ's, so I only recommend choosing him for games >2000 points, otherwise your points are going to be consumed far faster than usual.

Here is a list of some of my main configurations for him

Firstly a Warp Spider stylised one.
  • Warp Jump Generator 
  • Fusion Gun/Deathspinner
  • Power Weapon
  • Mandiblaster
This guy is designed to join a Spider squad, with high mobility and good short range fire power, much needed in an Eldar force.  The power weapon can be swapped out for a Scorpion's Chainsword, a build I do not personally like, mainly because 4 attacks with the PW at WS6 is deadly against MEQ.

Next comes the standard jetbike build, a fairly common one, particularly in Saim-Hann armies.  

  • Jetbike
  • Laser Lance
  • Fusion Gun
  • Mandiblasters
Essentially, throw him in with some jetbikes or spears, if you're crazy enough to take one that is, point, click and attack.

Finally, the foot Exarch, similar to Dire Avengers in many regards

  • Power Weapon
  • Avenger Shuriken Catapult 
  • Mandiblasters
A cheap and somewhat effective Autarch designed to be thrown in with some Avengers and shoot the enemy to death, particularly with Bladestorm and Guide being thrown on them.
The shuriken catapult is a cheap'n'cheerful upgrade, being very little points, a rare commodity in Eldar armies, and being quite useful as well.

Theme

These guys are some of the best HQ choices available to reinforce a particular theme within your army, be it dedicated to a single Aspect or splinter factions, mainly due to his high degree of customisability, able to be designed to reflect numerous leaders of almost any Eldar army, such as a Harlequin Troupe Master or a Croneworld Leader.   
You may also wish to use one to reinforce the Biel Tan style Eldar, who have a vast number of Autarchs; regardless of what you're after, he can be built to fit it, provided they don't rely on the Warp too much, but that's what Farseers are for!

Painting and Modelling

Painting one is relatively easy, just wearing Craftworld colours and some extra bling, however modelling can be difficult.  I recommend saving the construction of one till after a decent core of your army has been built, as the kits available are somewhat limiting in choices, requiring you to mix and match components, quickly building up expense.
By saving the purchase of this kit until last, hopefully you have amassed enough bitz to build one using a single model, without having to by other kits just to complete one.
One kit is also available in Finecast, which I actually like, being more expensive, but easier to assemble and convert; however your opinion on said material may cause you to loathe the mere thought of purchasing the kit.  

Well there we have it, our first Codex Review! 
What do you guys say, Yay or Nay?
Thoughts, criticisms, unfathomable rage?

3 mutterings:

Calos the Bonesinger said...

Good review I have the same feeling about them too. They are not the most useful as a farseer or one of the special characters.

Radical Edward said...

I have a few disagreements here...
I think you can use Autarchs below 2k, but they probably start fitting in better around 1500. A decently kitted Autarch can be pretty cheap.

I personally wouldn't ever put him in a jetbike squad unless they could have a jetseer with fortune, making them the true 'deathstar' unit.

Also, it's important to note that he is just another squishy elf with T3 S3, so don't expect heroic feats from him. 2 Farseers will almost always be of more use than Farseer/Autarch or Autarch/Autarch.

Great models to paint though, great for your army theme too!

idget said...

T3 S3 I didn't really mention, it's kinda a given with Eldar armies.
The jetbike squad option isn't really that viable I agree, but I was attempting to cover all bases here, with some people running Saim Hann lists, it's their only option.

Sure, you can run one below 2k, but it severely limits the points to spend on Farseer upgrades like RoW and various Exarch abilities. Given the price of Eldar units, the Autarch is mostly a waste of points that could be spent on other units like a Farseer and he does very little to buff your army, so I believe that have one in a list <2000 is not really an option with regards to what the points could have been spent on.

I'm actually glad you disagree though! it means that alternative views can be voiced, as I am certainly not so self believing to think that all that comes forth from my mouth is gospel truth :)

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