My copy of the new Iyanden supplement finally showed up yesterday. Was it worth the wait?
Before I pass judgement, lets break it down.
This is probably waht everyone wants to know about most, and will likely complain about most as well. The complaint? There are a mere TWO pages of standard 40k rules. While this might seem like an insignificant amount, you have to look at the rules themselves and what they do for a Spirit Host. A new Warlord Trait table, new Primaris Power for your Spirit Seers (Which an Iyanden army can take FIVE in a single HQ slot), and the ability to make a Wraithlord or Wraithknight your General make an Iyanden army play very differently from a standard Eldar force. The new Gifts of Asuryan wargear options are both fluffy and useful. Two pages of stratagems for Cities of Death and Planetstrike are a nice way to continue to add to the unique feel this book provides.
With five fluff-based missions to recreate famous battles from Iyanden's tragic history and three more "Altar of Battle" missions to swap out for the standard book missions, there is a HUGE amount of play ability within those pages.
As with all the new 6th edition codexes, the artwork here is SPECTACULAR! Some of the drawings are reprints from the main codex, but there are so many new images and photos, you don't notice the rest. The section on the heraldry of the Ghost Houses of Iyanden is particularly interesting.
This is where this book REALLY shines. There are over thirty pages of fluff, most of which is completely new! Some of it has been glossed over in the past (The Doom of Iyanden and the return of Prince Yriel, for example), but the level of detail included here completely blew me away! The crusade against Chaos after the fall with Craftworld Biel-Tan, Iyanden's involvement in the Doom of Malan'tai, joining the hunt for the Fallen with a detachment of Dark Angels, and a campaign against a fearsome Ork Warboss are all new to the history of this once powerful Craftworld. The in depth retelling of the invasion of Hive Fleet Kraken is icing on the cake. None of it is over the top, like much of the fluff written by Matt Ward. It all FEELS like a proper Eldar story.
Now for the big question; is it worth $50? To me, a long time Iyanden fan, the answer is, of course, a resounding YES! Is it for every Eldar player out there? No, but it does provide some great insight to the mind and history of what was once the greatest Craftworld. What has me most excited is the precedent it sets. If GW wants to continue to push the idea of narrative over WAAC gaming, this has some great potential. One can easily envision one or more of these books being released for every 6th edition codex that has a more esoteric version of it's standard army build. White Scars for Space Marines (this is the next rumored supplement, btw), Speed Freaks for Orks, and Steel Legion for Imperial Guard are all possible! A waste of money? Not really. Wave of the future? I hope so!