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Howling Banshees Kill Teams for SWA

Shadow War: Armageddon Howling Banshees Shadow War 40K

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#1
Ioldanach

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While the official Craftworld Eldar Kill Team rules are decent, they don't do a good job of reflecting the variety to be found within the craftworlds. A wise Autarch will use all of the tools available to her, and sometimes the shooty, but flexible, Dire Avengers just aren't the right tool for the job. Sometimes you need someone that knows how to stick sharp objects into soft flesh.

Here's the good stuff before I bore you:
 

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


I initially wavered on whether or not this kill team should be Howling Banshees or Striking Scorpions. Both are stabby, each in their own unique way. Lore-wise, the Striking Scorpions are the folks you send in when you need someone to sneak in and spill some blood. The only problem was that their signature weapon is the chainsword, which has the Noisy rule in Shadow War: Armageddon, making it less than ideal for a few of the missions. Also, I really wanted to give the screaming and leaping ladies their time in the spotlight. They're a good counterpoint to the Wych Cults of the Dark Kin, and sort of a shadow of the Harlequins. Truth be told, I could easily create a variation on this list that replaces the Howling Banshees with Striking Scorpions, with the rest of the rules remaining unchanged (I'll probably do just that, but later).

So I pulled the Dire Avengers out and replaced them with Howling Banshees. I also replaced the Guardian Defender squad, identified by the option to take the weapons platforms and not special weapons, and replaced them with Storm Guardians. This change, more than anything, defines the shift from the Craftworld Eldar [Dire Avengers] Kill Team to the Howling Banshees Kill Team. Able to take power swords and special weapons (flamer or fusion gun) and not able to take the weapons platforms dramatically changes the whole dynamic of how this kill team operates compared to their blue-armored brothers. Sure, the Guardians are the New Recruits of both squads, so they'll be half or less of the total kill team composition, but a shuriken cannon weapons platform operates in a vastly different manner from a flamer, providing good covering fire from a distance without having to get within charging range.

Other than those two (monumental) changes, everything else remained the same - Battle Focus, skills, and special operatives. I really don't like the special operatives choices in the Craftworld Eldar [Dire Avengers] Kill Team rules (you can see why here, scroll down to the fifth paragraph below the images), and I really wanted to change them. However, it didn't feel right in that it would have changed too much from the Craftworld Eldar [Dire Avengers] Kill Team list. So much as I'd like to change those special operatives, any Aspect Warrior Shrine kill team lists I come up with will keep those three - Autarch, Wraithblade, Wraithguard.

This is just my first stab at this list, and it will be revised based on playtesting and feedback.

Thanks!

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

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#2
Ioldanach

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The rules have been updated to bring things in line with 8th edition Codex: Craftworlds.

Here are the updated pages:
 

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


Itemized list of changes:
  • Acrobatic and War Shout rules (Howling Banshee Exarch, Howling Banshee) brought in line with 8th edition Codex: Craftworlds versions.
  • Howling Banshee mask rules have been updated.
  • Mirrorswords brought in line with Codex: Craftworlds. The cost of mirrorswords has been reduced to reflect the reduced Str and Save Mod. Note that I kept the Executioner as-is, which is a copy of the power glaive that is available to Dire Avenger exarchs. Each of the SWA versions (official power glaive, unofficial Executioner) is slightly different from their Codex: Craftworlds counterpart, but they are close enough to each other to warrant similar rules and points value.
  • I adjusted the skills. Troopers no longer have access to the Stealth or Shooting skills, replacing them with Combat and Ferocity. Specialists no longer have access to the Shooting skills, replacing them with Ferocity. On the page (4), the skills they no longer have access to have the orange rune, while the ones they now have access to have the green rune.
Thanks for looking.

Edited by Ioldanach, 08 December 2018 - 12:31 AM.

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#3
Ioldanach

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One complete oversight I recently realized I'd made was the lack of the Noisy rule for the Banshee Mask (they're called "Howling" Banshees, after all). So I'm going to have to add that, but it might take a bit of effort making it work - the basic rules of the Banshee Mask are that enemy fighters can't shoot Overwatch at them. So I guess they're using these all the time ... ?
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#4
Brother Tyler

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You could simply require the controlling player to identify when a fighter is using the Howling Banshee mask (i.e., assume that the fighter is not using the mask unless specifically identified otherwise).

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#5
Ioldanach

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That might work. I'll tinker a bit and post the updated rules here soon.

In the meantime, I'm also going to have to paint up a suitable kill team to decorate the rules. Unless there is any additional feedback, these rules might be ready for prime time.
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#6
Ioldanach

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The rules have been updated to add the Noisy rule to the Banshee mask. I also changed the Eldar blade (sword) to an Aeldari blade, duplicating the rules for the Aeldari blade in the Index: Xenos and 8th edition rules (increasing the cost by 5 points). Other than that, there are some cosmetic/format changes as I prepare to consolidate all of my Aeldar kill team rules into a single file.

Here are the updated pages:
 

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The one remaining question (aside from playtest feedback, of course) is whether or not the Howling Banshee Exarch's War Shout should automatically raise the alarm in missions such as The Raid. For now, I've given it the Noisy rule, which forces you to check to see if the alarm is raised.
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#7
Ioldanach

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I'm considering the return of shuriken catapults as an option for the Guardians, as Brother Tyler suggested. If this happens, it will be implemented in both this and the Striking Scorpions Kill Team lists.


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#8
Ioldanach

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I haven't implemented the shuriken catapults in the Storm Guardian squads (yet), but I did make a few other adjustments:
 

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(click on the thumbnails for versions you can read)

Summary of changes:
  • All instances of "Eldar" were changed to "Aeldari."
  • I changed the special operatives. All Asuryani kill teams have access to the autarch as the first special operative, then two exarch special operatives. The first is the Dark Reaper exarch. For the hand-to-hand aspects (Howling Banshees and Striking Scorpions), the second exarch is from the Swooping Hawks.
One thing I forgot to do was to remove the triskele. That was an option in a previous WH40K Eldar codex, but there was no model option (unless you converted or used Jain Zar).
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#9
Brother Tyler

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It might be worth stating that Storm Guardians that become Troopers retain their other weapons/wargear when upgrading to have Aspect armour and Banshee mask/mandiblasters (this applies to both the Howling Banshees and Striking Scorpions Kill Teams). At least, that's what I assume takes place. If they do exchange weapons, it needs to be more explicit. The wording is currently a bit vague.

 

Note my suggestion about Howling Banshee movement/acrobatics in the Dire Avengers Kill Team discussion (they're too fast right now).


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#10
Ioldanach

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It might be worth stating that Storm Guardians that become Troopers retain their other weapons/wargear when upgrading to have Aspect armour and Banshee mask/mandiblasters (this applies to both the Howling Banshees and Striking Scorpions Kill Teams). At least, that's what I assume takes place. If they do exchange weapons, it needs to be more explicit. The wording is currently a bit vague.

Since the Guardian Defender to Dire Avenger progression includes the Aspect armor and the Avenger shuriken catapult, the Storm Guardian to Howling Banshee/Striking Scorpion progression should be similar. The advancement to Striking Scorpion is a bit more palatable, consisting of heavy Aspect armor, mandiblasters, and chainsword. The progression to a full Howling Banshee, though, might not be as palatable since it would include Aspect armor, Banshee mask, and power sword. Perhaps an Aeldari blade would be a more acceptable starter kit for new Howling Banshees...?
 

Note my suggestion about Howling Banshee movement/acrobatics in the Dire Avengers Kill Team discussion (they're too fast right now).

Per my response in that discussion, I'll adjust the M of Howling Banshee (exarch) fighters to 6" and remove the Acrobatic rule (unless it is turned into something else, though I can't think of anything necessary off the top of my head).
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#11
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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Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: Shadow War: Armageddon, Howling Banshees, Shadow War 40K

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