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I'm entirely new to 40k- all my prior experience is in fantasy playing high elves. Now in fantasy, when you took a special character, it was a major point sink, and often boiled down to "kill him and win" for your opponent. I notice that the 'special characters' for the eldar don't seem exceptionally pricy for what they do. so the questions are as follows.
1) Is it legal to take any of the special characters in the book at any game? Or should I clear it with my opponent?
2) Will any of the characters make my opponent enjoy the game less?
3) I know that WYSIWYG is more important in 40k than fantasy. Is there a specific way to represent Pathfinders as opposed to rangers? (Not a character question, but one I would like to have answered)
I don't think the Eldrad characters count as special characters. They are just another HQ choice. Both are excellent in game though, especially Eldrad.1) Is it legal to take any of the special characters in the book at any game? Or should I clear it with my opponent?
None of the special characters require your opponent's permission (anymore). They used to, back in the day, but they stopped doing that.
If the special characaters make your opponent like the game less, they are not prepared. Eldrad is so awesome for what he does, and the phoenix lords can really pack a wallop. Some of them do more than others, and it will depend on what you are facing.
I painted my pathfinders different from my rangers. But honestly, there is really no WYSIWYG difference between them.
* "I'm Significant!" -screamed the dust speck
* "Call me old fashioned, but an evil ascension to power just isn't the same without someone chanting faux Latin in the background."
It depends, both Yriel and Eldrad are pretty powerfull, but you pay for what you get, does your enemy like fluff? is he desperate to win?2) Will any of the characters make my opponent enjoy the game less?There is no difference in the models, there is no official "paint them differently"3) I know that WYSIWYG is more important in 40k than fantasy. Is there a specific way to represent Pathfinders as opposed to rangers? (Not a character question, but one I would like to have answered)
Everything you have been told is a lie!
I must say, this is quite the helpful website.
Then let me be the first to welcomme you to this fantastic forum! Any of your questions can be answered! "Why isn't the sky red and filled with flying dogs?", "does my eyes bleed?" etc.
Enjoy your stay and feel free to ask anything!
The others have pointed out the important parts. Thing to keep in mind is that some of teh special characters are really 'ard. A couple of those Phoenix Lords are just scary...