It’s new army time! I’m sure all of you, if you’ve been in the hobby for long enough, have been taken by an idea for an army that you just have to make one day. Well for me, that army is eldar and one day is today. I even ordered my first models this afternoon.
I’ve noticed that people nearly always paint eldar models in vivid clean colours, which I think is a bit odd for a dying race. I have this really strong image of a Wraithlord whose wraithbone is cracked and pitted, supported by infantry in faded finery. This was the image that started off my idea.
Whilst flipping through the eldar codex I came across a snippet of information about the craftworld Iybraesil. It doesn’t say much, which is the way I like it – sketchy information gives you much more creative space. What it does say is that the Iybraesil eldar worship Morai-heg the blind crone goddess, and are dedicated to exploring the Crone Worlds.
For those who are less familiar with eldar lore, the Crone Worlds are dead or Daemon worlds in or near the Eye of Terror that used to be eldar homeworlds. This is so awesome that I can’t believe I’ve never come across an Iybreasil army before. I can envision a small exploratory force, braving the horrific environments of the Crone Worlds to recover their secrets for the good of the eldar people. Such a force would be equipped for scouting, infiltration and sudden raids, so all of my favourite eldar units would fit the theme: Rangers, Striking Scorpions, and Harlequins to name a few. I’ve wanted to paint some Harlequins since I was eleven years old dammit, and it’s just never happened for me.
Not only that, I can model and paint my Iybraesil eldar the way I described above: hardened, mysterious and exuding faded glory. Their colours are blue and white, which is pretty much perfect for my idea. They are eldar who have seen too much. Not exactly tainted by Chaos (although that is a possibility) but weary, jaded and slightly changed by the bizarre planets they have visited in their forlorn and endless quest.
From a modeling perspective I’m thinking kitbashes of eldar, the new dark eldar, and Warhammer Fantasy Battle elves of all three flavours. Iybraesil is a matriarchal society so I’m looking forward to building some sexy and/or crone-like character models!
The only slight problem I can see on the horizon is actually gaming with them. I’ve never played eldar before, and from what I hear they are an unforgiving army that relies heavily on synergy between units. This would suggest that a themed eldar army would by its nature be severely lacking certain elements, making synergy difficult. If there are any seasoned eldar generals out there I would greatly appreciate some help with list building. How would you build an eldar army with a explorer/raider theme that could at least hold its own on the table?