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Black Guardians Kill Teams for SWA

Shadow War: Armageddon Black Guardians Shadow War 40K

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#1
Ioldanach

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One of the diversions I had when reading the Craftworld Eldar Kill Teams rules was that those rules were a bit too limited. The Eldar of the craftworlds have a rich diversity that just isn't represented in that list. That list should really have been called a "Dire Avengers Kill Team." It occurred to me that there are probably plenty of occasions on which crack Guardian squads, whether Guardian Defenders or Storm Guardians, have been dispatched on special missions that are within the realm of what Shadow War: Armageddon covers. So I've crafted this set of kill team rules as an alternative to the official Craftworld Eldar [Dire Avengers] Kill Team.

Here's the good stuff, before I get all boring with words:
 

(The originally posted image links no longer work as the file has been updated. See this post for the current version.)


I used the Black Guardians of Craftworld Ulthwé as the package, though the list could easily represent a crack Guardian (Storm or Defender) squad from any craftworld. I retained the Battle Focus special rule found in the Craftworld Eldar [Dire Avenger] Kill Team rules since it seemed appropriate. I also kept the same skills options.

I used the [Ordo Xenos] Inquisition Kill Team rules as a model for the basic enhancement that the [Trooper] Black Guardians get, allowing the player to make each separate Guardian a "Storm" or "Defender" Guardian.

As with my Eldar Corsair Kill Team rules, I've introduced the wildcard of a psyker into the kill team, this time the kill team's Leader is a Warlock. That appropriate from a lore perspective, but it does create problems, especially since the Warlock, unlike the Eldar Corsair Void Dreamer, has psyker powers that affect the enemy. Okay, one power, but it's a good one. Destructor. It's not as good as the 1st edition version, but a witchfire shooting attack can be a pretty dramatic thing if you're on the receiving end. By my estimation, the Ammo Roll does a decent job of introducing a sort of drawback. Instead of suffering Perils of the Warp is in regular WH40K, though, the Warlock loses the psyker power for the rest of the mission. The way I see it, when used "correctly," the Warlock won't be a walking gun. He should be using his powers to improve the performance of the other members of the kill team (via his other two psyker powers). Your input on this is welcome (especially if it's based on playtesting).

Otherwise, the basic kill team rules, along with the weapons and equipment, do a fair job of representing either a Guardian Storm Squad, a Guardian Defender Squad, or a mix, all depending upon how the player applies their bonus WS/BS and equips the fighters.

One area where I deviated strongly from the Eldar Craftworld [Dire Avenger] Kill Team rules was in the special operatives. I didn't like the Autarch in the Eldar Craftworld [Dire Avengers] Kill Team because it just didn't seem right that the army's general would lead a small mission. Nor did it seem right that the ghost warriors would go on a special mission without either a Warlock or a Spiritseer to keep them from getting lost in the sauce. So I swapped out all three for other elite warriors. I decided to use Exarchs of various shrines. I figured a decent spread of three special operatives would include one that was shooty, one that was stabby, and one that was "other" ("jumpy" in this case). The Shining Spears and Crimson Hunters weren't options (neither bikes nor flyers really have a place in Shadow War: Armageddon). The Shadow Spectres were out because they're a niche Forge World Aspect Warrior Shrine and not in the main WH40K codex. So my shooty options were either the Fire Dragons or the Dark Reapers; my stabby options were either the Howling Banshees or the Striking Scorpions; and my jumpy options were either the Swooping Hawks or the Warp Spiders.

Since the Fire Dragons are meant to be used against armor/vehicles/fortifications and none of those really has a place in Shadow War: Armageddon, I went with the Dark Reapers.

The stabby option was another story altogether. In the end, I decided to go with the Striking Scorpions because I was using the Howling Banshees for something else.

The jumpy option was a toss up. In the end, I went with the Swooping Hawks for no other reason than they were introduced to the game first. I don't really have a dog in the fight, though, so if there is strong feedback to shift over the Warp Spiders, I might be compelled to do that.

One thing I did was make the kill team larger than normal by allowing it to include up to 12 fighters. That was a complete SWAG, so I'll be playtesting against a Craftworld Eldar [Dire Avengers] Kill Team of 10 models to see how the two different kill teams balance out; and I'll adjust the maximum size of the Black Guardians kill team accordingly.

Anyways, the rules you can see by clicking the images above are my first draft, pending revisions based on playtesting and feedback. Thanks in advance.

Edited by Ioldanach, 08 December 2018 - 02:40 AM.

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Anhrathe (Eldar Corsairs): KT faction rules
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#2
Ioldanach

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I’ve made some updates to this (after buying Codex: Craftworlds this weekend).

Here are the updated rules:
 

(The originally posted image links no longer work as the file has been updated. See this post for the current version.)

Here’s an itemized list of the changes:
  • The Warlock’s psyker powers have been updated. Destructor and Enhance have been brought in line with 8th edition Codex: Craftworlds counterparts, and the Quicken power has been replaced with Empower (also based on its Codex: Craftworlds counterpart).
  • I’ve removed the weapons that don’t appear in Codex: Craftworlds. This only affects the exarchs (special operatives). The deleted weapons include the sunrifle (Swooping Hawks exarch), chainsabres (Striking Scorpions exarch), and Reaper rangefinder (Dark Reapers exarch).
  • The witchblade, Reaper missile launcher missiles, and singing spear have been adjusted to match their Codex: Craftworlds counterparts.
  • The special operative weapons & wargear options and special rules/powers have been updated to match their Codex: Craftworlds counterparts.
Anyways, the rules you can see by clicking the images above are my first draft, pending revisions based on playtesting and feedback. Thanks in advance.

Edited by Ioldanach, 01 March 2018 - 03:02 PM.

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Anhrathe (Eldar Corsairs): KT faction rules
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#3
Ioldanach

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The rules have been updated. The only substantive change to the Black Guardians was the change of the Eldar blade (sword) to an Aeldari blade, duplicating the rules from Index: Xenos and the 8th edition codex, with a 5 point increase in cost. I also added a note on the last page clarifying that the rules can be used to represent a kill team of Guardians from any craftworld. Other than that, there are some format changes as I prepare to consolidate the files.

Here are the updated rules:
 

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Anhrathe (Eldar Corsairs): KT faction rules
Ynnari: KT faction rules

#4
Brother Tyler

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I haven't commented before on this one because it seems pretty straightforward.

With regard to the Warlock, the Tyranids also have a Zoanthrope as a special operative in their kill team rules; so there's room for psykers as long as they're kept reasonable to the scale of the game.

From a theory perspective, the kill team size of up to 12 models seems reasonable, especially when compared to the official Craftworld Eldar kill team. I'd have to playtest the Black Guardians against a comparable Craftworld Eldar kill team, but it seems like a good starting point.

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#5
Ioldanach

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Since there has been no further feedback, I'll work on getting the models painted up so that I can finalize these rules.


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Anhrathe (Eldar Corsairs): KT faction rules
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#6
Ioldanach

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I made a few minor adjustments:
 

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(click the thumbnails for full size versions)

Summary of changes:
  • The timing of the warlock psyker powers was written into each of the powers rather than the inaccurate phrasing that was in the introductory rule.
  • All instances of "Eldar" were changed to "Aeldari."
  • The special operatives were changed. All Asuryani have access to the autarch as the first special operative, with the other two being exarchs. I changed the close combat exarch from a Striking Scorpion to a Howling Banshee as I felt that the acrobatic nature of the latter was more applicable than the stealthiness of the former. The third special operative remained the Dark Reaper.

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Anhrathe (Eldar Corsairs): KT faction rules
Ynnari: KT faction rules

#7
Ioldanach

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Even though GW appears to have abandoned SWA, there is apparently still interest in playing. Since there hasn't been any further feedback, I've finalized the rules and made them available for download. You can find them here.
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Anhrathe (Eldar Corsairs): KT faction rules
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