Updated May 15, 2006
Lots of Eldar rumors out there. Some credible. Some not. I'm going to list the rumors I'm aware of which I consider to be credible.Note that there are three kinds of "rumors":
- "Officially confirmed": This is a rumor which is confirmed by Games Workshop by way of a Sneak Peek or a statement made on the record in public at an event like Games Day. Private conversations with designers or sculptors don't constitute "official confirmation", nor does typing your favorite rumor in all caps or holding your breath till you turn blue.
- "Actual rumors": Persistent chatter about something which is at least tied to a possibly credible source. Private conversations with designers or sculptors fall into this category, as do leaks from playtesters.
- "Wish Lists": Something which has no credible basis as a rumor, but is a very popular concept among the community (or some of its louder members). Due to the fact that "Wish Lists" are often discussed over and over, people sometimes make the mistake of thinking that they must be actual rumors or officially confirmed.
Make sure you take a moment to remind yourself of what those differences before you read, and note that everything described here falls into the[i] "Actual Rumor"[/i] category.
The codex (which is due in October, according to White Dwarf and recent seminars at Games Day Baltimore) is reportedly going to remove all Craftworld-specific lists. In an effort to curtail "sub-lists" of all kinds (such as those found in codices like Armageddon and Eye of Terror), Games Workshop is going to be introducing a greater level of flexibility and customization into the vanilla list that will supposedly lend similar variety to the Eldar army without having to resort to Craftworld specific Force Org Charts and special rules.
Eldar psychic powers will get a major re-working. I've been hearing that Mind War and Eldritch Storm will disappear, but Doom (a 2nd ed power) may make a return. The emphasis will be on modifiers and buffs rather than offensive psychic attacks (especially for the Farseer). The Farseer is also getting a new metal model that's supposed to be absolutely brilliant. Some rumors claim that he'll be reduced to T3. This appears to be in keeping with their desire to delineate between the psychic power of the Farseer and the combat power of the Autarch.
The Avatar will get a new model and be made into a Special Character, complete with new rules. The model is supposedly twice the height of the current one, but sources say that it's being redone because studios aren't happy with the sculpt. Word has it that, rules-wise, he'll be brought into line with stats similar to a Greater Demon. Forgeworld has also reportedly claimed in private emails to individuals that they [i]will[/i] be doing an Avatar, but it will get done after the four major Chaos Daemons are complete.
Autarch. Though rumors persist it'll be metal, this Uber-Exarch is supposedly going to be customizable to the nines. Sources say "He can be anything you want". Apparently he'll be able to take wargear and powers from various Aspects, but what those wargear and powers look like in the new codex, we're not sure yet. Apparently he will also have an influence on certain strategy-related factors of the game, such as reserve rolls. For good fluff on the Autarch which explains his role in relationship to the Aspects and their Exarchs, check out Games Workshop's downloadable rules for Epic: Armageddon.
No-one can really say if the Phoenix Lords are going to be removed from the line and just remain in the fluff or if they'll be relaunched as playable characters. Lots of strong arguments in both directions, but only in "wish list" form. Still nothing from GW. The fact that the models have been removed from many store shelves and even at this late date no whisper has been uttered as to their resculpting, that should tell you the tale.
There will also be new Warlocks, I'm hearing, but no info on that, either.
One of the stranger bits of news/rumor going around is that there WILL be a Bonesinger model made... just no rules. It'll be a Special Edition model. Not sure what the deal there is, but it may be released with the army box.
Harlequins will be returning in the new codex as an Elite choice, complete with new models. The Shadowseer, Solitaire and Death Jester have been confirmed as being recreated by Jes Goodwin, an will be playable in an Eldar army (there may also be Mimes). The thrust of the Harlequin presence in the new codex is that, for now, they will exist solely as an Elite choice for the Eldar. If they are popular enough, GW may consider giving them their own codex at some later date.
Rumors persist of plastic Wraithguard. Can't tell yet if this is going to be legit or what.
Fire Dragons have been redone with models which more closely resemble their 2nd ed counterparts (same with the Howling Banshees). Striking Scorpions and Dark Reapers (with targeting vanes returning) are reportedly going to be redone as well and, like the Dragons and Banshees, all in metal. No word on dramatic rules changes for them, however, but rumors persist that the Striking Scorpions are going to become Troop choices in the new codex (though this is mostly "wish list"). There are on-again, off-again rumors about Shining Spears being redone, but no final word and no sculpts to show yet. No-one can seem to get any traction on whether Warp Spiders or Swooping Hawks will be redone or not. Right now the consensus seems to be "no" due to time constraints... though some rumors have started to surface that so much community-level stink is being made about the Warp Spiders not being redone that they may fast-track some new models through. Take that with a grain of salt, as GW hasn't officially confirmed that there will be no Warp Spider resculpt, so it's unclear how the community is supposed to object to something they don't know about yet.
Dire Avengers are in for lots of changes. They're being completely remade in plastic and the rules are getting a huge rewrite. For one, they will be able to shoot their Shuriken Catapults (which may or may not be of the same class that Guardians get) a full 18" and, if they employ a power called "Shuriken Storm", they can fire 3 times in a turn (rather than 2) and give up the chance to fire in the following turn (though they can still assault). This has all been corroborated by so many sources that I'd be surprised if it didn't happen.The models come with two sprues (5 Avengers each) to a box. It seems that GW would like to see more people using Dire Avengers, as they are identified in the fluff as the most common Aspect of all.
Speaking of Aspects and rumors: When an Exarch takes a power, it now affects the entire squad. Exarch powers will be retooled somewhat to make this more practical (specifically, the Dire Avenger power "Defend" will allow enemies to hit on a 5+ in CC instead of a 6+), but it seems like this is a done deal.
Guardians will get some changes, but probably just in the form of new gubbinz and so on. Jes Goodwin (who is doing most of the Eldar stuff) says the current gubbinz aren't "Eldary enough". Not-quite-as-for-sure rumors say that the basic Guardian box will be reduced to 12 Guardians, but could include the Heavy Weapons Platform (redone in plastic, which most of you have already seen). No change is apparently going to be made to their 12" Shuriken Catapult range, and rumors persist that no changes will be made to the rest of their rules except to say that they're more likely to be relegated to support roles (i.e. manning artillery or piloting vehicles) than kept as the front-line troop choice. That seems to be the Dire Avengers' role now.
Rangers are already redone in metal. Most of you have seen that. No firm word on changes in rules for them, but the new models no longer carry Lasweapons, so I imagine that (aside from Swooping Hawks), that'll be the last we see of the 2nd ed Eldar Lasweapon trend.
Jetbikes will not be redone (apparently time constraints make it impossible, though Jes would like to and may get to it later), but the torsos will be. Interesting new thing that's come up recently: There will be Farseer and Warlock torsos in plastic included with the bike.
War Walkers are already redone and, in general, the public seems to really like them. No confirmations of rule changes for the War Walker, but rumors suggest two things might happen: 1. Instead of two weapons, it'll be one twin-linked weapon (this seems to be unlikely due to circulating photos of the WW armed with two different weapons), 2. They'll get the Scouting Universal Rule. There's also "wish list" talk that they may see a splash release of 3 to a box, like the recent Tau Pirhana splash release.
We don't know much about the new Wraithlord rules, but much chatter about the sculpt exists. Not only will he be in plastic and made by Jes Goodwin, but he'll look like a miniature Revenant Titan (with the blank face and "collar" in the style of the Wraithguard). He'll also have an optional sword and shield. Lighter weapons (flamers and Shuriken Catapults) will be up on the shoulders instead of the wrists. The joints will all be ball-joint sockets, so that's good for posability. The sword and shield suggest better CC rules for the Wraithlord, but no confirmations of that yet. This has been corroborated from at least three independent sources... so I'm confident that it's true. Lonnnng ago (like over a year) I heard that the Wraithlord would stay the same, stat-wise, but be increased in points cost. I haven't heard anything since then, though. The Wraithlord's toughness being reduced to 7 from 8 is a popular topic of discussion, but not one credible rumor about it has surfaced.
I've now heard a few times that playtesting saw Dark Reaper Exarchs with an ability to upgrade the squad so they can use indirect fire (one shot per squad). As this was part of the playtesting, there's no guarantee it'll end up in the rules.
There are small murmurs at the moment that the Fire Prism will get a plastic turret, but the sources are good... so keep your fingers crossed.
The Shuriken Cannon will not get the Rending ability.
Starcannons are expected to stay exaclty the same, stat-wise, except for the loss of one shot per turn, reducing it to Heavy 2.