Aaand.. we’re back. Next up to the plate is Baharroth.
Baharroth is the Phoenix Lord of the Swooping Hawks and has always been a bit hard-done-by as a special character. In the previous edition of the Eldar dex, he didn’t actually have any equipment (bar the armour if you’re being pedantic) that a regular SH exarch couldn’t get his hands on. Stat-wise, he’s not any worse, but her wasn’t particularly great at fighting (great statline, but no Inv save and only a regular power sword) and his shooting wasn’t anything in particular to write home about. I mean 3 S5 shots at BS7 is cool and all, but you could afford an entire squad of Hawks plus an exarch for the cost of the Cry of the Wind. It’s a shame. I quite like him in the background, with his oddly ‘buddy-cop’-esque relationship with Maugan-Ra and his accompanying his friend to save his craftworld. It was neat, but the rules made him unviable unless you were determined to put him in there or wanted to run a Phoenix Court.
Has that changed in 6th? A bit. But regrettably, probably not enough. He’s the joint-cheapest of the Lords (at a pretty hefty 195 points) and comes with a raft of special rules, just like all the other Phoenix Lords. Ancient Doom, Eternal Warrior, it’s all there. I checked. He (unsurprisingly) also comes with the normal Swooping Hawk rules, allowing pinpoint precision on his deep strikes, which is very useful with one of his character-specific rules; Sun’s Brilliance. When he deep strikes he inflicts a blind test on all enemy units within 6”, which is very nice, although highly situational depending on your opponent’s army. Nevertheless, if you’re trying to take down some shooty Orks, or the Tau, the one-two punch of Deep Striking and blinding could be used to great effect, cementing a role for the guy at last: that of backfield disruptor. Best deployed mid-early in the game, when the opponent’s assault elements have advanced and his firebases are relatively undefended. Drop in, grenade stuff, blind some guys, skyleap away before they’ve recovered. Similarly in this role, assaulting can be viable option, especially as Hit & Run is part of Baharroth’s repertoire now.
Equipment wise, you’re packing grenades (haywire & plasma), the hawk grenade packs, the 2+ save, the wings and the Hawk’s Talon (Assault 3 S5). You also have a special melee weapon: The Shining Blade. It’s not spectacular, as it’s really just a power sword that inflicts Blind. Again, quite situational, but deployed against the right enemy, very useful, especially when against low I enemy units, as I think the Blind effect will take place before the return blow can be struck. This will help them tarpit otherwise massively superior assault-based forces and is really handy on occasion. Even when you’re against Marines, hey, you could get lucky.
Another new thing Baharroth has is Battle Fortune, which means he finally has an Invulnerable Save! Yay! Obviously, you can’t really rely on a 4+ save, but it sure as hell is better than the nothing he had previously. Overall, Baharroth has definitely taken a step up in usefulness, although I have my doubts he can bring enough whoop with him to account for his hefty price tag. Nevertheless, he has a viable battlefield role that doesn’t rely on him being absent for half the game, and that’s got to be worth something!
Also, while I’m going through the aspects, I should probably point you in the direction of Rampage’s blog (see the Underlings list on the right). He’s been going through the Eldar Codex as well, and seems to be covering a broader scope of units, so give him a read if you want a different viewpoint on the same units, or to read an analysis of some of the other Eldar units available. He’s been known to talk sense (on occasion)!