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Void Hornets Aspect Warrior Shrine

Aeldari Void Hornets Aspect Warrior Asuryani Craftworld Eldar Selgairhán

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#1
Brother Tyler

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First, here is the first draft of the rules.

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Introduction to the Void Hornets

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Void Hornets basic rules, explanation of masks

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Void Hornets stratagem and alternate Exarch powers (a la Phoenix Rising), shrine color scheme examples

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Selgairhán, Phoenix Lord of the Void Hornets Aspect

(you can click on the images for full-size verions)

The initial idea for this grew out of the concept that Eldar Corsairs jet packs were inspired by something from the Asuryani. Since there are many minor Aspects for which there are no official rules, I decided that there might be some minor Aspect that served as the inspiration to the Corsairs. There were two competing ideas initially. The first was a derivation of an idea I had two decades ago - some Aspect that invoked something bestial and used claws. The second was an Aspect that would draw upon both Storm Guardians and Eldar Corsairs, using pistols and swords. In the end, I decided that I couldn't put the jet packs and claws together well, so I went with the pistols and swords (I might do the claws Aspect later). The concept of boarding parties set in pretty quickly. Initially, I wanted to give everyone fusion pistols and Aeldari blades. My understanding of fusion pistols, though, is that they superheat the air between them and the target (like meltaguns). Since this Aspect is supposed to function in the void, though, I wasn't sure if that would work. Yes, I know this is a game with space magic and all that, and fusion guns/meltaguns aren't adversely affected in void combat in the rules. However, I wanted things to work as realistically as possible. For this reason, I also avoided dissonance pistols. Knowing that I wanted a pistol to be one of the weapons, I focused on the signature weapons of the Aeldari. The two foremost among these are shuriken weapons and laser weapons. There was a great sketch in the 3rd edition Warhammer 40,000 Rulebook that had what looked like a laser pistol:
 

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The problem with this is that the old Eldar laspistol bits from 2nd edition don't look like that (see the top left corner). Knowing that I wouldn't be able to convert anything great, I had to focus on something a bit more simplistic and readily available. So I settled on the shuriken pistol. This worked well with the concept of this Aspect being a sort of Storm Guardian +.

Then I had to shift to the sword. The Howling Banshees use power swords and the Striking Scorpions use chainswords. The Storm Guardians use both Aeldari blades and chainswords. Since I knew this Aspect was going to use heavy Aspect armour (rationalized as armour hardened for the void), it seemed likely that I would use one of three models as the basis for a [simple] conversion: Striking Scorpions, Warp Spiders, or Fire Dragons. Ultimately, the Striking Scorpions offered the easiest option since they are already equipped with a pistol/sword combination. What I didn't want, though, was for this Aspect to be better than the Howling Banshees or Striking Scorpions, the best known of the melee combat Aspects. There had to be trade-offs to make this Aspect comparable, or perhaps slightly worse [under normal circumstances]. The specialization in void combat and the use of the jet packs already provided a distinction, comparable to the acrobatics and Banshee masks of the Howling Banshees and the stealth and mandiblasters of the Striking Scorpions. So the swords had to be something either less than or between the power swords and chainswords. The Warp Spider Exarchs use paired power blades, but I didn't want to use that implementation (forearm-mounted). Instead, I drew inspiration from the Amallyn Shadowguide miniature from the Warhammer Quest: Blackstone Fortress game:
 

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This worked well with the concept - a shorter weapon for use in the close Zone Mortalis confines of a ship boarding action. From a conversion perspective, I might take the blades of the Howling Banshees and shorten them a bit, attaching them to the Striking Scorpions models (after removing the chainswords). I'll probably keep the chainsword grips, hilts, and knuckleguards (despite the images shown in the rules).

The key thing that created the identity of this Aspect, however, was this old concept image:
 

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Those look like normal Aeldari, comparable to Storm Guardians, but employed on ship. That art temporarily drove the idea of the Exarch being able to take a plasma pistol, but I don't recall any such bits for the Aeldari, so I dropped that train. The big takeaway, though, was the helmets. In many ways, those look a lot like the masks used by Warlocks, though the psykers don't use the breathing hoses. Since each Aspect has a unique mask, I figured I could chop the heads off of Warlock models for use as this Aspect. I'd previously considered the "Knights" naming convention that was part of the Dire Avengers concepts, possibly using Dire Avengers heads and having some "Knight" name for the Aspect. When I shifted to the Warlock head combined with the Striking Scorpions bodies and the jet packs/wings, though, I shifted over to "Hornets" and "Wasps" as the basis. I really wanted to use the tabards, too, as the concept on the right, but the Striking Scorpions models don't have those and I would have hosed up any conversion attempt.

I wanted the jet pack to be slightly different from that of the Corsairs, largely because it's difficult to come by those bits. So I wanted something that would evoke the Corsair jet pack while being different. I figured anyone interested in converting any of these minis (which is probably juse me, but there might be some other crazy person out there) could just use some plasticard and cut into the backpack of the Striking Scorpions models for attachments. In concept, the wings fold down when not in use, spring out only when needed. If I ever get around to converting these guys, I'll include lots of pictures.

One indulgence I incorporated was the star glove. The reality of this is that I still have some of the old 2nd edition Eldar power gloves and I wanted to be able to use those. I figured that it would be similar to the Scorpion's Claw, but more of a glove. Since the Void Hornets are used for boarding actions, I wanted a way for the Aspect warriors to be able to breach a ship's hull or heavy doors. Since the main Aspect warriors use meltabombs (after I took away the fusion pistols), I figured the Exarch might just punch through things.

For the alternate Exarch powers, I looked at those for the other Aspects in Phoenix Rising and took one from each (up to six). I chose those that I felt were most appropriate to the concept. Another thing I wanted to represent was the possibility of some later Exarch developing into Phoenix Lord level (see my post in this topic for the theory). So three of the powers simply allow an Exarch to approach the Phoenix Lord in development, with the others serving as variations on a theme.

With regard to the Phoenix Lord, Selgairhán, I just made her an Exarch +. Her stat line is comparable to the other Phoenix Lords. Her Blade of Vengeance is just a master-crafted power blade, and the Glove of Doltoriel is a power glove/fusion pistol combination. Like Asurmen, she has a forceshield. I think that the number and potency of her abilities is balanced relative to the other Phoenix Lords.

As for the artwork, I owe a debt of gratitude to Ioldanach. Though he couldn't send the painter file that he uses for his Corsairs, he did send the basic outline and a description of the process he used to create his Corsair painter. I adapted that process, removing or adjusting the Corsair bits and incorporating elements from the Striking Scorpions (armour banding, inner thigh plate, arms and weapons, backpack), Warlock (mask/helmet), Howling Banshee (power blade and female armour plates), and Storm Guardian (helmet plume). It was a pretty painful process and distracted me from other things for the better part of a week, but I'm pretty happy with it. I plan on creating a few Exarch images, too, but first I need to create those layers, which will take some time. A few of the full size shrine schemes are shown below. From left to right they represent the Venom Swarm , Dread Mask, and Shadowed Strike shrines (with Venom Swarm representing a "basic" scheme for this Aspect):
 

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(you can click on the images for full-size versions)


You'll note that I included females. One thing that has always bugged me about the various Aspect Warrior models is that they tend to be of a single gender. All of the Aspect Warriors are all male, with the exception of the Howling Banshees, which are all female. Neither exclusion ever worked for me. In my mind, the various Aspects should be relatively evenly split gender-wise, with the exception of the Howling Banshees, who should be predominantly female. So even though my models will be all male because I'm using the Striking Scorpions as the basis of the conversion, I wanted to depict the more likely diversity in the images. I also applied this to the Phoenix Lord, making Selgairhán a female.

As I said at the beginning, this is just a first draft. There are some things I'm considering changing in order to establish the proper balance [with the other Aspects]:
  • replacing power blades with Aeldari blades (Exarch can take a power blade, or twin power blades)
  • replacing shuriken pistols with laspistols+ (only if the power blades are retained - laspistols+ would be better than regular laspistols the way Avenger shuriken catapults are better than regular shuriken catapults and the way lasblasters are better than regular lasguns)
  • something else?
Feedback will help me to make these rules better/more acceptable, and is greatly appreciated. Once I get the rules finished, I'll convert the models (holding off in case weapons change), add a conversion guide to the file, and make the whole file available for download.
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#2
Brother Tyler

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I've convinced myself that I need to change the stock weapons. I seriously considered changing the shuriken pistol to a [special?] laspistol, but the practicalities of having to convert them stopped me. I have several of the old 1st/2nd edition Eldar Weapons sprues with laspistols, but I'm pretty sure I'd screw that up. So the stock power blade is being changed to an Aeldari shortblade (it is to the Aeldari blade what the power blade is to the power sword). The Exarch options then allow changing the Aeldari shortblade to a power blade or shuriken pistol (a la gunslingers!) or a star glove (which just becomes a power glove, no shooting profile), or exchanging the Aeldari shortblade and shuriken pistol for a pair of power blades. This change (Aeldari shortblade) brings their overall power level down, which will be compensated via a special rule. This will probably be something enhancing them when they charge or are charged - I'll have to be sure to make it distinct from the Howling Banshees and Striking Scorpions.
 
The Exarch will retain the option to take a shimmershield separately.
 
I'm also going to change a bit of the lore. Currently, the lore talks about how they are a rare Aspect with few shrines. That is going to be changed to their "rarity" really being due to most of their shrines being located on the spacecraft of the Aeldari. They should remain uncommon in most Aeldari warhosts, and that might be represented by a rule limiting them to 0-1 per army except in a boarding action scenario (not sure how to make that stick).
 
I'm also going to change the image a bit. First, the power blade needs to be shortened a bit. Also, there needs to be an Aeldari shortblade option. Then I'll have to make a left-handed power blade option and a right-handed shuriken pistol option (which will include a holster). I'll also have to make a star glove option (that will suck as I'll have to actually draw that from scratch rather than tracing out an existing image). Something I'm going to incorporate from drawings in older Eldar codices is making the forearms and lower legs a separate layer that can be colored differently from the rest of the arm/leg undersuit, representing extra part of the extra void-hardened armour that this Aspect wears. This was inspired by the schemes for the Striking Scorpions seen in a book/section titled Dark Millennium (this was the setting book in the three-volume 7th edition rules, but I can't find the image therein). I'll also need to create some Exarch layers - special masks, extra decorations on the armour, shoulder plates, probably some loincloths or other elements common to the Exarchs of the other Aspects. Lastly, I'm thinking about making some layers for the Phoenix Lord, Selgairhán (so special mask, even more Exarch doo-dads, special power blade, special glove, etc.). All of that will take some time, of course.
 

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#3
Ioldanach

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I like how the graphics came out. Including the weapons was a good choice, but it clearly took a lot of work to get there. One thing I'm considering is resizing the graphic, making it 2x or even 3x larger and then shrinking the finished schemes down. That might reduce some of the choppiness of the lines. Getting there will take some work - less for me than for you, but it might be worth the effort.

The aspect is an interesting concept. I think that changing the power blades to mundane weapons was probably a good choice in terms of both balance and distinguishing the aspect from the Howling Banshees.

The exarch power alternatives seem fine, especially since they're already proven via the other aspects from which they were taken.

I think you're selling yourself short regarding converting the shuriken pistols to laspistols. If you have the old eldar laspistols, it shouldn't be too difficult. That would further distinguish the aspect from the Striking Scorpions. The only two issues I could see would be in terms of making it worthwhile (i.e., a basic laspistol sucks, so you'd probably want to enhance them a bit) and potential for overlap with the Swooping Hawks, who also fly and have las weapons. I wouldn't be too concerned about the latter, though, since the Swooping Hawks are decidedly shooty whereas this aspect is decidedly stabby.

I like the warlock masks idea, and adding plumes both distinguishes this aspect from the psykers (not that the rest of the miniature profile doesn't do that already) and allows for the use of existing heads for the exarchs. You might even find it easier, though not more economical, to simply purchase from among the current range of psykers. One skyrunner seer council set, for example, would give you all of the heads you need while leaving heads for the actual skyrunner seer council. You might then chop the plumes off the storm guardians sprues for your void hornets, minus the exarch (you might file off the embellishments from the farseer head for the exarch).

Do you plan on converting a model to represent your phoenix lord?
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Anhrathe (Eldar Corsairs): KT faction rules
Ynnari: KT faction rules

#4
Brother Tyler

Brother Tyler

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I like how the graphics came out. Including the weapons was a good choice, but it clearly took a lot of work to get there. One thing I'm considering is resizing the graphic, making it 2x or even 3x larger and then shrinking the finished schemes down. That might reduce some of the choppiness of the lines. Getting there will take some work - less for me than for you, but it might be worth the effort.

2x or 3x larger might work. I was thinking about trying a different method for blurring the outlines (i.e., blur them more).
 

I think you're selling yourself short regarding converting the shuriken pistols to laspistols. If you have the old eldar laspistols, it shouldn't be too difficult. That would further distinguish the aspect from the Striking Scorpions. The only two issues I could see would be in terms of making it worthwhile (i.e., a basic laspistol sucks, so you'd probably want to enhance them a bit) and potential for overlap with the Swooping Hawks, who also fly and have las weapons. I wouldn't be too concerned about the latter, though, since the Swooping Hawks are decidedly shooty whereas this aspect is decidedly stabby.

I'll think about it.
 

I like the warlock masks idea, and adding plumes both distinguishes this aspect from the psykers (not that the rest of the miniature profile doesn't do that already) and allows for the use of existing heads for the exarchs. You might even find it easier, though not more economical, to simply purchase from among the current range of psykers. One skyrunner seer council set, for example, would give you all of the heads you need while leaving heads for the actual skyrunner seer council. You might then chop the plumes off the storm guardians sprues for your void hornets, minus the exarch (you might file off the embellishments from the farseer head for the exarch).

The full council is a bit rich for my blood. I did buy the single skyrunner model to get one or both heads. I have a lot of the older metal warlocks, and most of them are armed with laspistols, making them useless (unless I convert the laspistols to shuriken pistols).
 

Do you plan on converting a model to represent your phoenix lord?

Maybe. If I do that, it will be much later. I want the model to be distinct from the other Phoenix Lords (rather than looking like, say, Karandras with a Farseer mask).

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#5
Brother Tyler

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Here is some further thought on this, primarily driven by the possibility of changing the shuriken pistol to some sort of laspistol.

What I've considered is that the Void Hornets might wield a special laspistol, similar to how the Shadow Spectres wield special las rifles ("prism rifles"). They would have two settings. The first would be a diffused beam, weaker than a normal laspistol, but with the potential to cause damage to more targets (so D3 for damage?). The other setting would be a focused setting that is slightly more potent than a laspistol of the Imperium.

This sparked another line of thought, though. Since the wings that the Void Hornets use don't control flight the way the Swooping Hawks' wings do, perhaps these "wings" serve another (additional) purpose. Perhaps the wings are also like solar panels in that they collect light energy to power the special laspistols (and potentially the thrust of the jet packs). That's not too bad in that it doesn't inherently complicate rules or anything, but...

...What if there were some effect that resulted in rules. The idea occurred to me that the "wings" are so effective at absorbing light energy that they effectively shroud the Void Hornets [when the wings are in use]. They basically darken the area around the Void Hornets, making it more difficult for enemies to shoot at them. This is sort of the opposite of the holo-suits of the Harlequins (and the similar devices used by the Shadow Spectres). It's also another play on the "void" in the Aspect's name - a void of darkness when they are striking. The challenge here would be in ensuring that the rules don't duplicate the effects of the Howling Banshees, Striking Scorpions, or Shadow Spectres. What I was thinking was that models shooting at the Void Hornets when they use their "wings" (i.e., when charging or performing their deep strike) suffer a slight penalty.

Of course, the wings of the Swooping Hawks were said to be prismatic when in use during 2nd edition (I forget the exact wording), but they don't have a game effect, so I don't need to incorporate the whole darkness aspect. It might be enough to say that the wings serve the dual purpose of helping the Aspect Warrior to maneuver when flying as well as collecting energy to power their wargear.

I'm probably going to change their base weapons to Aeldari blades, with options for the Exarch to replace their Aeldari blade with a power sword or a power glove, or their Aeldari blade and pistol with a pair of power blades. This keeps conversions simple (though the shuriken pistol - to - laspistol won't be simple if I decide to do that).

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#6
Ioldanach

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I would skip the darkness field thing, leaving it as a lore explanation of the functions of the wings. I think that the darkness field thing would infringe a bit on some combination of Howling Banshees/Shadow Spectres/Harlequins, and the aspect is already a hodgepodge of Howling Banshee/Striking Scorpion/Shadow Spectre/Swooping Hawks. The laspistol is probably sufficient to distinguish them further from the Howling Banshees and Striking Scorpions.
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Anhrathe (Eldar Corsairs): KT faction rules
Ynnari: KT faction rules





Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: Aeldari, Void Hornets, Aspect Warrior, Asuryani, Craftworld Eldar, Selgairhán

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