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Thoughts on minor/additional Aspects

Aeldari Asuryani Aspect Warriors Phoenix Lords

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#1
Brother Tyler

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When the Craftworld Eldar as we now know them were first introduced, there were six common Aspects:

There are many different Aspects of the Bloody Handed God, each emphasising some facet of the War God's murderous character. Some of these are particular to certain Craftworlds, but the following six Aspects are common to almost all Craftworlds and account for the majority of Aspect Warriors. Their appearance, battlefield roles, and tactical preferences are described in detail in the lists that follow. Other Aspects are not covered in this list, but remain to be described as new models are released.

  • Dire Avengers
  • Howling Banshees
  • Striking Scorpions
  • Swooping Hawks
  • Fire Dragons
  • Dark Reapers
When the 2nd edition Codex: Eldar was published, we were also introduced to the Warp Spiders. In addition, the lore was expanded a bit:

There are many Warrior Aspects. Some are unique to specific Craftworlds, many are common to all, whilst others are practised on some Craftworlds but not others...

...and...

There are many different types of Aspect Warrior, each served by its own shrine on its Craftworld. Every individual Aspect represents one, tightly delineated aspect of warfare. Some Aspects concentrate on proficiency in hand-to-hand combat, others on marksmanship, some use heavy armour, others are fast and rely upon mobility. It is impossible to say how many individual Aspects there are. Some, such as the weirdly terrifying Slicing Orbs of Zandros, are confined to a single shrine in only one Craftworld. Others represent warrior cults common to many Craftworlds. The Warrior Aspects common to all the most important Craftworlds are the Dire Avengers, Striking Scorpions, Dark Reapers, Fire Dragons, Swooping Hawks, and Howling Banshees. The Warp Spiders and Shining Spears are also found on many Craftworlds. Each has its own distinctive style of dress and method of warfare, including a particular type of weapon...


We didn't see actual Shining Spears miniatures until 3rd edition.

The lore shifted a bit here and there through the editions, but remained fairly consistent. Two further additions to the Aspects were the Crimson Hunters and Shadow Spectres, who were introduced in 6th edition (the former via that edition's codex and the latter via The Doom of Mymeara). The Crimson Hunters are pilots and the Shadow Spectres are highly mobile with heavy firepower - mobile tank hunters.

In addition, other minor Aspects have been mentioned in the lore, but not really described or released in miniature form. These include the Eagle Pilot(s?) in the novel Shadow Point, the Crystal Dragons in the novel Path of the Warrior, and the Ebon Talons in the novel Asurmen: Hand of Asuryan. The Eagle Pilot(s) are, as their name implies, fighter pilots of some kind (somehow different from the Crimson Hunters). The others, however, are not described (as far as I know - I haven't read either of those novels).

At this point, it would be useful to identify each of the known Aspects, their battlefield role/specialism, and their signature weapon(s):
  • Crimson Hunters - air superiority, Nightshade interceptor
  • Crystal Dragons - unknown role, unknown weapons
  • Dark Reapers - long range fire support, Reaper launcher
  • Dire Avengers - general combat, Avenger shuriken catapult (these are the quintessential Aeldari warriors)
  • Eagle Pilot - fighter pilots, unknown craft
  • Ebon Talons - unknown role, unknown weapons
  • Fire Dragons - tank-hunters/anti-structure, fusion guns
  • Howling Banshees - melee combat, Banshee mask and power sword
  • Shadow Spectres - anti-tank, Prism cannon
  • Shining Spears - hit-and-run attacks, laser lance and Eldar jetbike
  • Slicing Orbs [of Zandros] - unknown role, unknown weapons
  • Striking Scorpions - melee combat and stealth, mandiblaster and chainsword
  • Swooping Hawks - airborne infantry support, Swooping Hawk wings and grenade pack and lasblaster
  • Warp Spiders - hit-and-run attacks, Warp Spider jump generator and death spinner
What we generally see is that, though there is a degree of overlap, each Aspect is distinct. Prior to the Crimson Hunters, I perceived Aspect Warriors as individuals. With the release of the Crimson Hunters, however, we see that Aspects might also include larger vehicles. This is bolstered by the Eagle Pilot(s). This leads to the possibility that there might be other Aspects that similarly focus on employment of other vehicles - not just flyers, but potentially tanks, walkers, etc. Imagine some Aspect that specializes in enhanced use of the Fire Prism, or another that uses the Vyper (some distinctive Aspect that has two warriors operating as a team), or some Aspect that uses War Walkers.

Then, too, there are different roles and weapons that haven't yet been represented on known Aspects. We've seen laser weapons employed by the Swooping Hawks, Shadow Spectres, and Shining Spears (not to mention those mounted on the craft of the Crimson Hunters); we've seen the Dire Avengers use their enhanced Avenger shuriken catapults; we've seen the Dark Reapers with their missile launchers and the Fire Dragons with their fusion guns. The Aeldari are also known for their mastery of sonic (dissonance) weapons, however, yet no known Aspects make use of such weapons (and I'm not counting the Banshee mask in this as that's a unique application, though it is a sonic weapon).

Looking beyond these, what if there were an Aspect that specialized in larger vessels - the spacecraft of the Aeldari. Such Aspect warriors would be consummate "pilots" at the highest level. I don't know if such an Aspect would be probable, but they're possible if we extend the interpretation of warfare to higher levels.

I imagine that many of the minor/unknown Aspects might be either very unusual, or they might simply be variations on a theme. Imagine an Aspect that takes the tank-hunters role of the Fire Dragons and Shadow Spectres, using dissonance weapons.

I've been working on the Void Hornets Aspect, a melee-oriented Aspect specializes in void warfare and boarding actions (both attacking and defending). You can see the rules development here if you're interested. At one point I conceived of another melee specialist Aspect, one that evoked a bestial motif from Aeldari mythology (I had a lion in mind) - using claws.

What kind of minor/additional Aspects can you think of?
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#2
Ryltar Thamior

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I did a small amount of thinking about this awhile ago; and it occurred to me that there's some rather cool Aspects of Khaine mentioned in various Dark Elf fluff sources, that would be worthwhile to look at incorporating. I may go off and see about digging up the notes, but there was something about an Iron Panther stalking the void (might pertain to ship's crew?); 

I'd also noted with some interest that some of the Aspects seemed less Aspects of Khaine and more Aspects 'connected' to Khaine - which opens up a slightly broader array of potential Eldar mythological sources of inspiration. It may also allow for other members of the Eldar Pantheon to have equivalent formations (although Harlequins already cover this, somewhat, for the Laughing God, and to an extent, Kurnous).

Now, off to the miniatures shelf to grab, dust off, and photograph some of my own previous dabbling in this area. 


Vox Stellarum efforts:
The Unyielding Adamanticores [truescale Astartes, auxilia, and sectorial AdMech; M37/38]
The Haunting Harii of Hvergelmir [truescale Astartes ... and associates]
The Unification Wars [truescale Thunder Warriors, (Proto-)Astartes, Army of Unification, Aegyptian-style Proto-Mechanicus raiders, etc.]
Combat Archaeology [Tomb Raiding for Fun & Prophet]
Horus Heresy [truescale loyalist IVth, VIIIth; Agents of the Sigillite; VIth; and so much more; and Umbral's amazing Traitors]
The Worlds-Wide Webway [(Dark) Eldar, Imperial Inquisition, an a-maze-ing realmweave of fear and wondermeant]
Thorian Inquisition [some rather different Inquisitorial Storm Troopers, true-scale Fire Hawks, Black Dragon, Inquisitor and associates, etc.]
For Whom The Great Bell Tolls Thrice [attempts to put the 'priest' back in 'tech-priest' with more-medieval mechanicus]
InquisiNecronMunda [the log that incepted it all - at least two Inquisitors, truescale Deathwatch, local enforcers, cultists, etc.]

#3
Ryltar Thamior

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Having done a brief bit of  googling, here's a few of the Aspects of Khaine as mentioned in various WHFB sources .. plus some vague thoughts about potential renderings into 40k Eldar aspects:

* Yngril, the Devourer of Worlds; appears to be a Wolf, going off a magic item; may be something close to a Dark Reaper going off the name ['Yngir' after all ..; although that's a much more general term than the specific one for Nightbringer], although would presumably be rather swifter moving if it were a wolf. Could be interesting to explore the 'sun-devouring' [or, perhaps the other way around .. devouring sun] concept by having a d-cannon/wraithcannon-like thing, except instead of firing/tearing warp-vortices ... miniature black-holes (which is a recognized Dark Eldar party-trick), or for a more *restrained* concept, something analogous to the Darklight weapons of the Dark Eldar [whether a full-on darklance analogue for a longer ranged sort of aspect, or a blaster-alike for shorter and more maneuverable ... or, for that matter, a blast-pistol if going a close-combat route with some fangs of the wolf blades; or even a flamer style device]. Or, for the much less unconventional, something like the star bolas. 

* Iron Panther, the Stalker of the Void; there's a few ways this could go based on the magic item - the aforementioned ship's crew thought ['Void Stalker'], or anti-psyker? certainly, the stealthy stalking and pouncing of a big cat has something to it - it might seem a bit closer to the Striking Scorpion modus operandi, but could perhaps be tweaked via the utilization of holo-fields rather than heavy plating for protection, and added stealth? Claws would be logical, although not necessarily essential

* The Deathbringer, appears to have terrifying attribute based on the mask bearing this aspect's name; if continuing that vibe, then a suitably terrifying mask might be a good call - it's not quite the same thing as the Banshee Mask; overall, this might actually be another thing close to the Nightbringer-infused Dark Reaper approach

* The Executioner ... perhaps unsurprisingly, the Executioners of the Dark Elf army are basically a Fantasy version of Aspect Warriors for this; so with that in mind, perhaps take cues from there? Could have something similar to a Biting Blade, or simply a two-handed power weapon; or even go rather old-school and have an axe. Another candidate for Nightbringer-resemblance and Dark Reaper coterminity. Which could also, now that I think about it, open up the possibility of doing the Executioner as a 'same but different' on the Dark Reaper - whereas the Dark Reaper has missile launchers and/or a shuriken cannon ... have these with a much more precision weapon - a sniper rifle or an antique hunting rifle rather than an RPG or a machine-gun. So, a lance-weapon, perhaps? Or some sort of small-scale but reasonably ranged bolas launcher with the monofilament wire, for decapitations at range [which may also be a slightly less out there way to do the Slicing Orbs of Zandros]. 

* The Serpent Lord (also known as Chroesh, which is apparently the sound of a serpent strike); associated with the 'word of pain' spell, probably the agony of venom; a number of ways this could go, including the obvious utilization of poisons; whether in an ambush-killer role, or a close assault one. A shard carbine would probably fit the bill, potentially with a poison effect a la a needler, or even hexrifle etc, ; could also make use of active-camouflage armour, cloaks etc. 

* The Manticore - perhaps a more heavily armoured and destructive jump-pack equipped warrior? It's something that would be surprisingly possible given Eldar technology - the same anti-gravity property that lifts a tank or a jetbike or a weapons platform, could also be utilized to lighten the weight of power-armour equivalent for jump-pack lifting; would also require a suitable weapon to differentiate from the otherwise slightly similar Warp Spiders ; could actually be an interesting place for the otherwise rarely-sighted Eldar power fist, which might itself be a partial call-back to the scorpion's tail - or alternatively, something for disabling a heavily armoured walker or terminator etc. , perhaps like a haywire rifle?

* [there's also a mention of Ravens being a sacred animal of Khaine ... which would fit with some obvious real-world mythology points, including the diet thereof; but may also make for some perhaps intriguing inspiration in a 40k context with the Void Raven.] [haven't given this much thought] 

And, not that I've checked too thoroughly, but according to the fantasy wiki, there's a scorpion, hawk, bull, and "wounded warrior" in there as well from an old High Elf armybook ... which is probably a bunch of nods to the 40k Eldar Khaine, although intriguing because there's no "bull" Aspect that I'm instantly aware of in 40k; [could run the bull as a heavily armoured charging 'shock' aspect - their speed and strength augmented via the technologies of their armour so they hit with additional velocity and a bow-wave of force, perhaps something like what a wave-serpent has, or a heavy thunder hammer's impact; some of those horn stle bayonet attachments from the Dark Eldar kabalite sprues as bull-horns on a helmet could be cool] 

Now, there's also a few others that're mentioned, some of which may be other renditions of others:
These include the Winged Predator - which may also be something to do with Harpies [it's what an old fan-article had suggested, I haven't bothered to trace back either the Aspect or the equivalency; although there is a thing in the 6E army book around Harpies and Khaine that i dimly recall, not that it matters hugely for inspiration purposes]
the Black Cloud [which ... is an odd name, I suppose what they were going for was somewhere between a storm-cloud, and the effects of one of the more gruesome DE spells; again, the main source i've found for this is a fan-article, although that doesn't mean they weren't running off some actual official fluff for it]
the Ravening Beast [again, main attestation's fan-material, and they link it to the Manticore anyway]
there was an Avenger [which .. seemed rather more focused on the "vengeance" bit than what we might associate with a Dire Avenger], and a Kinslayer also. 

Personally, I think that there's some interesting value not only in the 'animal' or 'vocation' characterizations for further aspects [e.g. scorpions, hawks; hunters, soldiers; etc.] but also in mythological creatures, and despite the longstanding presence of Banshees, Dragons, and nowadays the Specters, this can be somewhat overlooked.

But at the same time, it's important to keep tying things back to either some viable attribute of Khaine, or an associated concept, rather than simply a totemic animal or an engagement style (although both obviously can strongly contain within them exactly this). 

Anyway; that's more than a few thoughts; i'll see if i wind up inspiring myself. 
 


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Vox Stellarum efforts:
The Unyielding Adamanticores [truescale Astartes, auxilia, and sectorial AdMech; M37/38]
The Haunting Harii of Hvergelmir [truescale Astartes ... and associates]
The Unification Wars [truescale Thunder Warriors, (Proto-)Astartes, Army of Unification, Aegyptian-style Proto-Mechanicus raiders, etc.]
Combat Archaeology [Tomb Raiding for Fun & Prophet]
Horus Heresy [truescale loyalist IVth, VIIIth; Agents of the Sigillite; VIth; and so much more; and Umbral's amazing Traitors]
The Worlds-Wide Webway [(Dark) Eldar, Imperial Inquisition, an a-maze-ing realmweave of fear and wondermeant]
Thorian Inquisition [some rather different Inquisitorial Storm Troopers, true-scale Fire Hawks, Black Dragon, Inquisitor and associates, etc.]
For Whom The Great Bell Tolls Thrice [attempts to put the 'priest' back in 'tech-priest' with more-medieval mechanicus]
InquisiNecronMunda [the log that incepted it all - at least two Inquisitors, truescale Deathwatch, local enforcers, cultists, etc.]

#4
Ioldanach

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I wonder how many of the WHFB concepts might be more appropriate to, or already represented by, drukhari. The dark elves, after all, are the WHFB counterparts to the drukhari. The executioner concept might be represented by the incubi; the "winged predator" (harpy), if not already represented by the Swooping Hawks, might be represented by scourges; etc. Granted, the drukhari often appear to have evil twins of various aspects. The Howling Banshees, for example, are sort of matched by wyches. Meanwhile, the incubi might be considered a counterpart to both the Howling Banshees and Striking Scorpions. So even if the drukhari do have groups that represent aspects of Khaine, that wouldn't necessarily prevent the asuryani from having their own less dark versions.
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#5
Ryltar Thamior

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It's a legit point; although perhaps worth also noting that in contrast to the WHFB setup - Khaine appears much more closely identified with the Craftworld Eldar than the Dark Eldar; after all, it's the Craftworlds that bear the metal shards of his Avatars at their heart, burning away in the smoldering depths of the gestalt communal subconscious, and suffusing the broad collective of a Craftworld's populace with the awakening drumbeat of war when it stirs - meanwhile, the Dark Eldar, as far as I understand it, have largely abandoned the notion of Gods all up, with the partial exception of the Dark Muses, and the recent developments around the Ynnari. [and Incubi .. but more on them later]

This contrasts with the Dark Elves and High Elves, wherein the former has Khaine, and .. not quite only Khaine, but definitely *mostly* Khaine, while the latter has an array of deities that are largely deceased in 40k. 

It's definitely true that the DE Khaine of WHFB is quite a lot darker and more 'murderous' than 'merely' martial though, and this will undoubtedly have coloured what facets of belief gain prominence therein. 

Although having said that, some of the extant Craftworld Eldar Aspects are pretty grim as well - Dark Reapers, as a death/destroyer aspect literally imprinted by *the* Death figure of the setting [Kaelis Ra], or Howling Banshees running around personifying the noise that portends doom and accompanies an Eldar soul being sucked into the warp from erstwile safe keeping.

It's just that Striking Scorpions, say, aren't Dark Elf Assassins, despite both having some coterminities of approach; because the former's a warrior-cult of a war/death god that engage in unexpected and powerful strikes on the battlefield ... whereas the latter's a death (specifically, the causing of)-cult of a death (particularly through war) god who engage in unexpected and all sorts of strikes, just about anywhere, and for quite an array of nefarious aims (or, at least, aims of those employing them)in effect but for the killing-as-devotion as the personally relevant aim. 

Now, for most Dark Eldar ... that sort of deific devotion and/or emulation just simply doesn't enter into the equation. I do agree that the 'functional' forms of some of those WHFB aspects might be pretty legitimately similar to some Dark Eldar units - but fluff-wise, with the potential exception of the Incubi, depending upon whose account you're listening to [more on that in a moment], they aren't running on a similar modus operandi mentally or metaphysically. They may - in fact probably do, in various cases - emulate the way of war of this or that Craftworlder Aspect Shrine, but it's just that .. an emulation of the outward form, and due to the lack of ritualization and a much more pragmatic attitude, probably open to all manner of over-writes. It's got no "soul", in multiple senses. 

Incubi are a potentially different kettle of fish - and I'm closing with them because it brings things back to the topic of 'alternate' aspect warriors quite nicely. 

Because according to the Craftworlder take upon them, they're effectively just the pupils of the former-Phoenix that ... forgot who and what he was (or, perhaps, became who and what he was too .. fully); the one who stopped being the emanation of a semi-fallen War God's Wrath, and just became a general self-perpetuating and self-fueling (some might even say "self-directed") anger. That's partially why Karandras' reforms of the Striking Scorpion Aspect were so necessary - the discipline, not just to keep a warrior from going too far down an all-consumingly emotional route in a miniature version of their own personal Fall [it doesn't quite become a ... non-miniature version of their own personal Fall until the daemonic manifestation/possession starts happening ... which it appears that, no matter which of the Dark Eldar or Eldar accounts you go with, for Arhra, it eventually seems to have] - but in fact, to keep it as a concept of the holy warrior, in stead of a mindless berzerker, to keep a disciplined focus upon the "Why" and the "Whom", and thereby not simply become inchoate rage. Remarkably useful concept, that, - that the Mask of the Warrior, and also the attendand God(head) for which it stands in miniature, is actually a *limiter* , as well as being potentially all-consuming in the same time and the same way. 

The Incubi themselves, of course, see it quite differently - and per some accounts, it *does* appear that they think of themselves as being a less rigidly construed holy warrior order, albeit with a rather different and more ... old-school means to interface with their divine patron (i.e. living sacrifices); although despite still evidently maintaining significant callbacks to Arhra's original conception of the Scorpions (hence the heavy armour and the heavy blows), they may perhaps seem to be somewhat different to Aspect Warriors, insofar as what they're devoted to isn't the emulation of an Aspect (a situation presumably helped by the lack of 'true' exarchs and soulstone-anchored psychic gestalts) ... so much as being really, really good at killing. Which I suppose you can argue is a *functional* 'aspect' of Khaine, even if it's not quite an intentionally specific one. [It's definitely closer to the WHFB approach we see with various areas of the Dark Elves] [It is also interesting to note, in line iwth what you've said, that Drazhar's position within the Incubi is that of "Executioner" - which, given he appears to be a not-Phoenix Lord in all but name .... ] 

Anyway ... where I was actually going with this, is that there's some interesting scope for some of these 'earlier' and more wild and pre-formulaic Aspect Temples that might somehow have survived; perhaps Arhrite Scorpions that predate their founder's fall, yet never updated their traditions when Karandras engaged in his 'restructuring'/'reformation' - ever walking a fine line between the incredible power of a potently enraged Eldar mind .... and falling into a self-immolating damnation by giving themselves over to it *too* completely. Perhaps with shades of how the Fire Dragons are supposed to be the wanton destructors ... except instead of with close-ranged fusion-guns for tank-hunting, dual-wielded power-weapons of some variety to simulate scorpion's claws and facilitate an unbelievably dextrous oncoming storm of fury as their thick armour and quick reflexes give them the darting implacability of the wind, and some sort of proto-mandiblaster or simply limited-use grenade launchers for the 'sting in the tail'. 

 


Vox Stellarum efforts:
The Unyielding Adamanticores [truescale Astartes, auxilia, and sectorial AdMech; M37/38]
The Haunting Harii of Hvergelmir [truescale Astartes ... and associates]
The Unification Wars [truescale Thunder Warriors, (Proto-)Astartes, Army of Unification, Aegyptian-style Proto-Mechanicus raiders, etc.]
Combat Archaeology [Tomb Raiding for Fun & Prophet]
Horus Heresy [truescale loyalist IVth, VIIIth; Agents of the Sigillite; VIth; and so much more; and Umbral's amazing Traitors]
The Worlds-Wide Webway [(Dark) Eldar, Imperial Inquisition, an a-maze-ing realmweave of fear and wondermeant]
Thorian Inquisition [some rather different Inquisitorial Storm Troopers, true-scale Fire Hawks, Black Dragon, Inquisitor and associates, etc.]
For Whom The Great Bell Tolls Thrice [attempts to put the 'priest' back in 'tech-priest' with more-medieval mechanicus]
InquisiNecronMunda [the log that incepted it all - at least two Inquisitors, truescale Deathwatch, local enforcers, cultists, etc.]

#6
Lord_Caerolion

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Judging by the fact that we have a statue of Ahra in the Incubi kit, and he's equipped with some form of klaive, I'd argue that any pre-Reformation Scorpions would be almost indistinguishable from the Incubi, ruleswise at least.


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#7
Brother Tyler

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We have a statue of Ahra as the Incubi view him, but it doesn't commit to anything. At best, it tells us what the Incubi think Ahra looked like after he arrived in Commorragh. And the only element of that statue that is Incubi-like is his serrated weapon, which might be klaive-like. The mask, though, is much more reminiscent of a mandiblaster; and the armour is much more like heavy Aspect armour. In that, he looks much more like Karandras, albeit with a different weapon. And we must keep in mind that Karandras was a disciple of the Ahra-era Striking Scorpion Shrine and is representative of its teachings. Ahra [as we see him in the statue] is to the Striking Scorpions as Darth Vader is to the Jedi - derived from, but not representative of. The difference, of course, is that Ahra's "murderous nature" (that doubtless influenced the proto-Striking Scorpions) was tempered by Karandras's influence, with the Warrior Aspect shifting to include the "patience of the hunter that now pervades the Aspect's teachings" from their new Phoenix Lord. The Incubi, if they truly developed from Ahra's teachings, are merely representative of what Ahra became after he fell, not necessarily purely how he was before that fall. After all, they also have their roots in Commorrite culture. In this, I think that they might be a good representation of that "Executioner" Aspect that Ryltar Thamior theorized; the theory here being that Ahra shifted from the sinister form of the Striking Scorpion into the more maleveolent form of the Executioner.

I had another point about Ahra, but I took it over to the How are Phoenix Lords made? topic.

There are quite a few interesting ideas brought up so far in this discussion.

It occurred to me that the Crimson Hunters are distinct [from other Aeldari pilots/craft] in that they have a unique craft that isn't used by their "Guardian" (?) counterparts. I'm not sure if that establishes a pattern that is necessarily followed by any other theoretical vehicle-based Aspects (if such exist).

Ryltar Thamior brought up a "bull" aspect of Khaine. Coincidentally, one of the themes I initially considered for my Void Hornets (DIY) was a gorgon. This was when I had them equipped with fusion pistols.

Is the Kaela Mensha Khaine of the WHFB universe identical to that of the WH40K universe?

We already have Aspects that aren't derived from Khaine in theme (Fire Dragons, Howling Banshees, Warp Spiders), so I think it's safe to say that the Aspects simply draw upon Aeldari mythology, making some extensions into other aspects of that mythology tenable. It might be argued that the Harlequins might be Cegorach's version of Aspects. This makes one wonder what might be possible for the future development of the Ynnari (granted, their treatment of death makes the Exarchs/Phoenix Lords concept less tenable, so such a development would necessarily have some differences).


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#8
Captain Coolpants

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What is this ahra statue? Google isn't bringing anything up in images

#9
Brother Tyler

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Top right corner
99120112041_DRUIncubi02.jpg
It's not explicitly identified as a statue of Ahra. Rather, it is "a single-piece Drukari symbol that could optionally be used as an objective marker."
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#10
Darvell

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Admittedly, I have actually given some thought to a potential Aspect that I might feel tempted to write rules for when I (eventually) get some games under my belt with the Craftworld army that I will be (eventually) getting and sorting out.

 

As stands, all I really have is a rough idea... a concept... that still doesn't have a name yet because I suck at naming things.

 

Said concept is an Aspect that embodies Khaine's role as a Protector - a type of heavily armoured Eldar infantry unit that carries large energy shields (Think like the Gungan shields from Phantom Menace - Just Eldarfied) that provides them some manner of Invulnerable Save alongside a melee weapon. No ranged equipment except, perhaps, for the Exarch.

 

These Warriors might then have a rule that allows them to nominate a friendly infantry unit nearby, and have any ranged shots against said unit be resolved against the Protectors instead so that they form a sort of tanky unit that's there to help other units avoid being shot to death. Said rule would need tweaking, but I would ultimately want them to have an ability to that effect.


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#11
Iron Father Ferrum

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On the note of Eagle Pilots, if memory serves, the Eldar bombers from BFG are called Eagles. Therefore it is possible that Eagle Pilots pilot Eagles, though given the flowery nature of Eldar naming conventions this might be a little too on-the-nose.
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#12
Brother Tyler

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I found the Phoenix bombers mentioned in the Doom of the Eldar (Craftworld Eldar fleet list) and Yriel's Raiders articles, but not "Eagle" bombers [for the Craftworlds].

The Eagle bombers are mentioned in the Eldar Corsairs fleet lists (i.e., the Eldar covered in the main rules are Corsairs, not Craftworlds).

The Doom of the Eldar article (about the Craftworld fleets) has the following very interesting snippets, though:

Aspect Warrior Fighting Crews
Unlike Eldar Pirates, who rely on the same self-serving rogues who crew their ships to conduct raids and boarding actions, Eldar craftworld vessels are able to go to war carrying hosts of Eldar Aspect Warriors who form fighting crews aboard their ships. Many of the Aspect Warrior shrines excel at the kind of rapid assaults which are ideally suited to teleport and other hit-and-run attacks and hence specialise in attacking enemy vessels in this manner. Certain ships in an Eldar fleet are permitted to carry Aspect Warrior Fighting Crews as chosen from the fleet list. Ships with Aspect Warrior Fighting Crews add +2 to their dice roll when fighting in a boarding action, or +1 to the dice roll when conducting a hit-and-run attack (normally a teleport attack, since the Eldar do not have access to boarding torpedoes or assault boats).


...Each [Craftworld] fleet might typically number from ten to twenty warships and is commanded by an Eldar Admiral, though it will inevitably also rely greatly on advice and counsel form the craftworld's Seers. The vessels themselves are crewed by those Eldar who have chosen the Path of the Mariner, symbolised by the blue and white feathered birds of Eldar myth who guide the Eldar southward and westward over the seas. Helmsmen and Wayfarers, dedicated specialists within this path, each provide their own valuable skills as part of vessel's crew, allowing the Eldar to navigate the Webway with a mastery unknown to most.


So interestingly, the Paths associated with the fleets are not those of the Warrior Path and thus, are not Aspects. Of course, all of that information was from the early 2000's, and we all know how malleable the lore can be. This does force me to reconsider my Void Hornets [assuming I want to remain true to the lore I've cited above].
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#13
Lord_Caerolion

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Thinking about the statue further, and given the Howling Banshees have a Morai-Heg statue, it could be that the statue isn't necessarily Ahra himself, but a statue of Khaine-as-Scorpion, or at least how the Aspect is interpreted by the Ahra School, for want of a better term. It'll be interesting to see what statue is included in the eventual Striking Scorpions plastic kit.

 

EDIT: In regards to Doom of the Eldar, couldn't that be interpreted as the Path of the Mariner providing the "sailing crew", with the Path of the Warrior still providing the Aspect Warrior fighting crews"?


Edited by Lord_Caerolion, 17 March 2020 - 09:40 PM.

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#14
Brother Tyler

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In regards to Doom of the Eldar, couldn't that be interpreted as the Path of the Mariner providing the "sailing crew", with the Path of the Warrior still providing the Aspect Warrior fighting crews"?

Yes, that's pretty much exactly what it says.

My points, though, were about previous conjecture made in this discussion about how there might be Aspects of the Warrior Path involved in crewing the ships of the Aeldari fleets. And my DIY Void Hornets are currently written as void warfare specialists. The BFG articles don't necessarily exclude such specialists from existing. The Aspects that the articles seem to point towards the most are the Warp Spiders, Howling Banshees, and Striking Scorpions. The Dire Avengers and Fire Dragons might also be included. The Swooping Hawks, Shining Spears, Crimson Hunters, and Dark Reapers are probably not covered (though each might find situations in which they might be useful, especially in cases where a craftworld is attacked). The Shadow Spectres didn't exist when that article was written. As a flying Aspect that combines elements of the Swooping Hawks and Dark Reapers, they are probably in the group with those two Aspects.
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#15
Lord_Caerolion

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Ah, my bad. Given we've seen the Aspect Warrior concept gradually expanded to include all aspects of warfare (pun somewhat intended), including the piloting of vehicles, I'd be surprised if void combat were excluded from this. 


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#16
Ryltar Thamior

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We already have Aspects that aren't derived from Khaine in theme (Fire Dragons, Howling Banshees, Warp Spiders), so I think it's safe to say that the Aspects simply draw upon Aeldari mythology, making some extensions into other aspects of that mythology tenable. It might be argued that the Harlequins might be Cegorach's version of Aspects. This makes one wonder what might be possible for the future development of the Ynnari (granted, their treatment of death makes the Exarchs/Phoenix Lords concept less tenable, so such a development would necessarily have some differences).

Cool find with the Ahra statue - I wasn't aware of that one [although unfortunately the image-link's now non-working; oh well] 

Now, as applies the three aspects you've mentioned, Fire Dragons, Howling Banshees, and Warp Spiders ... I think it's perhaps important to note that while you're correct that they're *directly* taking inspiration from broader Eldar mythology, they are figuratively and in essence using these mythological visages to express something about Khaine. 

The Fire Dragons, for instance, are Khaine's somewhat 'careless' and omicidal destructive appetite, particularly via heat and flame. The Howling Banshees, Khaine's portending of imminent and inescapable doom for His foes and quarry [this may perhaps be kinda like what was going on with the Deathbringer and associated mask aforementioned]. Warp Spiders .. that's rather more uncertain; I've seen it suggested that they're Khaine as Guardian against encroaching chaos and suchlike in the dome of crystal seers, around the infinity circuit, and of the integrity of the Eldar community in much the same way as the Webway. Although that's .... highly speculative. Shadow Specters are presumably something like these two/three as well - Ghosts .. but Ghosts not just as Ghosts, but representing the undying dedication thing. 





 


Vox Stellarum efforts:
The Unyielding Adamanticores [truescale Astartes, auxilia, and sectorial AdMech; M37/38]
The Haunting Harii of Hvergelmir [truescale Astartes ... and associates]
The Unification Wars [truescale Thunder Warriors, (Proto-)Astartes, Army of Unification, Aegyptian-style Proto-Mechanicus raiders, etc.]
Combat Archaeology [Tomb Raiding for Fun & Prophet]
Horus Heresy [truescale loyalist IVth, VIIIth; Agents of the Sigillite; VIth; and so much more; and Umbral's amazing Traitors]
The Worlds-Wide Webway [(Dark) Eldar, Imperial Inquisition, an a-maze-ing realmweave of fear and wondermeant]
Thorian Inquisition [some rather different Inquisitorial Storm Troopers, true-scale Fire Hawks, Black Dragon, Inquisitor and associates, etc.]
For Whom The Great Bell Tolls Thrice [attempts to put the 'priest' back in 'tech-priest' with more-medieval mechanicus]
InquisiNecronMunda [the log that incepted it all - at least two Inquisitors, truescale Deathwatch, local enforcers, cultists, etc.]

#17
Ryltar Thamior

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Ryltar Thamior brought up a "bull" aspect of Khaine. Coincidentally, one of the themes I initially considered for my Void Hornets (DIY) was a gorgon. This was when I had them equipped with fusion pistols.

 

 

 

Admittedly, I have actually given some thought to a potential Aspect that I might feel tempted to write rules for when I (eventually) get some games under my belt with the Craftworld army that I will be (eventually) getting and sorting out.

 

As stands, all I really have is a rough idea... a concept... that still doesn't have a name yet because I suck at naming things.

 

Said concept is an Aspect that embodies Khaine's role as a Protector - a type of heavily armoured Eldar infantry unit that carries large energy shields (Think like the Gungan shields from Phantom Menace - Just Eldarfied) that provides them some manner of Invulnerable Save alongside a melee weapon. No ranged equipment except, perhaps, for the Exarch.

 

These Warriors might then have a rule that allows them to nominate a friendly infantry unit nearby, and have any ranged shots against said unit be resolved against the Protectors instead so that they form a sort of tanky unit that's there to help other units avoid being shot to death. Said rule would need tweaking, but I would ultimately want them to have an ability to that effect.

Interesting thoughts. And you can tell when somebody might have a D&D background :P - the main bull-like gorgon I can think of is the fittingly metallic one, that's probably informed by the Catoblepas (although for our purposes, Cavorting Catoblepas probably doesn't *quite* work as an aspect-lineage); although now that I think about it, there's also the ghorgon from AoS/Fantasy. 

Anyway, allow me to do something nobody asked for and partially hybridize those two concepts, with additional helpings of Indo-European mythology & linguistics. Which I'll put in spoiler tags. [and before I do that, there's a fascinating discursion for another time about the manner in which Indo-Iranian conceptry considerably informs the earlier Eldar fluff development ... which I largely mention here because I'm quite keen on going 'back to the classics' and reintroducing them vibes wherever possible in new developments. Others may, of course, have other flavourings they prefer]. 

Now, first up, here's a brief analysis on "Gorgon" and "Medusa" in Ancient Greek, that I prepared earlier. 

Spoiler


So while there's definite potential to take a Gorgon approach down the 'petrifying gaze' [perhaps not quite so much the 'lethally bad breath'] approach, and even some (Dark) Eldar technology with which one could rather directly do it ... I think that that "protective" approach is an interesting, and underexplored angle for the mythological conceptry in question. I also think that the "roar" and "terrifying" angle has other saliency to it than that immediately entailed in the Howling Banshee concept ... but more on that, perhaps, some other time. [maybe 'Roaring of the Storm Wind'; or perhaps something like the Dune film's weaponized speech ... which, now that I think about it .. that 'Word of Pain' fantasy bit from earlier] 

The 'shield' concept is an interesting and useful one - and goes well with the Ancient Greek 'Gorgoneion' motif ; as well as some of the stuff we've seen from the plastic Van Saar energy-shields, and the Tau Tidewall and for that matter, shield-drones. Oh, and, now that I think about it, the Imperium's atomantic pavaise technology and/or that one Deathwatch relic that can be planted on the ground and project shielding. 

It makes additional sense because one of the overweaning considerations of the Eldar is their lack of numbers - they can hardly spare casualties (hence the wraith-construct employment) , so things that increase survivability of their combatants are logical areas for development [for a real-world comparative example, there's Israeli MBT development: mounting the engine of a merkava toward the front to absorb incoming fire instead of the crew compartment, improved exit hatches to facilitate bailing out, and the much more recent development of active-protection measures]. They're not that keen on heavy plating (with some exceptions), or conventional field fortifications and static defences ... so the ability of energy-shields to provide protection for others, and potentially replicate small-scale entrenchments without the staticness or the prep-time are an obvious plus. 

[another way this could be approached, would be mobile holo-field disruption providers - basically laying down template-areas of visual distortion like a high-tech equivalent to smoke bombardments (with the added bonus of it not being as obvious that there IS such a distortion), and/or shrouding units perhaps n the manner that Arbiters exerted a mass cloaking field for Protoss units in Starcraft]

Now, in terms of Darvell's original thought, the idea of Eldar close-combat warriors with large shields and weapons, I see that as something different. It might be something like a Roman formation - large energy-shields (possible coz lack of weight other than the generator/emitter), which may be interlocking and overhead as an advance is engaged in, followed by a sword oriented stabbing and slicing employment up close. Or operating kinda like how Lord of the Rings handled its Elves - shields and half-spears, or shields with those quasi-katana things. The Roman approach is quite an aggressive application, potentially;  the Elvish one, I have that rolling wave of blades from the Last Alliance in my head, but is also multi-role. [there may be an analogy in the form of Necron Lychguard ... except faster and more fluid; I kinda like the idea, now that I think of it, of 'echoes' and 'resonancies' with some Necron units in the Eldar's martial array - after all, they've already got a scythe-armed Harvester of Souls :P ] [the 'bouncing shots back' thing might also be relevant]  

Another possibility would be shields with short-spears, long-spears, shining spears, or some sort of combination of weaponry to simulate the deep thicket of a hoplite phalanx [think not so much long pikes, as shorter-reach pointy weapons and short-mid range weapons in combination]. It would make a kind of sense , as it's a way to receive charges while holding a position - something that's not historically an Eldar strength. There's them Skitarii units FW does that work in such a manner, too, iirc

Certainly, in either case, the slightly Greek looking aesthetic of various Eldar helms would lend itself rather well to a Classical influenced shield-bearing Aspect. 

However, where I was kinda intending to go with this was also somewhere a bit different ... specifically the aegis of Pallas Athena. [on a sidenote, it's been a subject of smile that the deity often thought of as emblematic of 'civilization' in the modern Western imagination ... is also wearing the flayed skin of a fallen foe as a cloak :D ] 

Now, etymology and mythology time: 

Spoiler
 

So, whether somebody wants to interpolate an attribute to Khaine of some sort of impervious cloak that's perhaps forged , or flensed from a fallen foe ... or, come to think of it, whether one wants to take a slightly more directly canonical element, and take the 'living metal' of the C'Tan with which Khaine is semi-infused and run *that* as the 'protective element' [it is certainly from a fallen foe] [and is also partially why I referenced the D&D Gorgon art earlier - that metallic exterior [just like that, we've come full circle :P ]] ... well, I think there's probably some potential there, particularly if it's perhaps an 'adaptive armour' that instinctively 'reacts' to incoming force, either of certain varieties (therefore negating or mitigating some weapon characteristics in whole or in part) or just in general (maybe 'just' invulnerable saves to go along with the regular armour-save) ; may or may not , have some interesting interplay with psychic and more especially chaotic phenomena - after all, chaos doesn't handle necron-style substance well (it's one reason why Khaine survives the conflict against the Chaos Gods, I think, hence Khaine Himself turning up in metallic bodies after] 

What I'm getting from this, I think, is the possibility for three or four general directions for a 'protective' Aspect: 

i) the Roman/Elven shields and short-reach melee weapons approach - advancing across the battlefield, or acting defensively, but with reasonable flexibility. 
ii) the Greek shields-and-long-reach (melee weapons) approach, with a less flexible approach that's strong on defence and shorter maneuvers, but may have some issues with speed and being bypassed or outflanked if exposed, and will presumably advance either in transport followed by deploying [shields being energy means they don't take up space inside a transport because they don't 'exist' until activated by the bearers], or on foot somewhat methodically across the battlefield, absorbing fire and acting as a DISTRACTION CARNIFEX, or i suppose, with shields de-activated (or, perhaps, on a 'smaller' setting?) in a skirmisher non-formation and moving more swiftly. 
iii) the 'Palisade' / 'Pavaise' approach, wherein Aspect warriors with much larger shields capable of providing protection not only for the bearer, but also Eldar units behind them ; perhaps even mounted and deployed by larger emitters mounted on anti-grav carriers like theose used by weapons platforms [you could perhaps upscale this by having the Aspect Warrior piloting a war walker or hornet sized semi-anthropomorphic warsuit with attendant .. large shield, and an offensive weapon capacity to match, like a lance weapon perhaps akin to that borne by Shining Spears .. and, of course, big fists and such; after all, as noted, Crimson Hunters appear to be a vehicle-borne Aspect] 
iv) a heavily armoured and 'implacable' advancing 'destroyer' aspect - that instead of the sneak up in near-power armour of the Striking Scorpions, or stand back and shoot in near-power armour of the Dark Reapers, or blink in and out of material reality in near-power armour of the Warp Spiders, would be embracing the DISTRACTION CARNIFEX approach in a manner akin to how Terminators work for Imperial forces - be prominent, scary, draw fire, and interpose both physically and figuratively to take the blows that the rest of the army cannot as they head forward with all the divertability of an oncoming storm. [they'd probably be quite a rare bunch, given that that sort of head-on and straight-up engagement style is ... not that well suited to the Eldar psyche; not a glass cannon but an adamantine one] [visual aesthetics, if going down the potentially c'tan/necron resonant bit from the Khaine mythology, would be probably somewhat similar to Maugan Ra, and/or some Ossiarch parts - and them shields are an interesting thought on another note for a non-energy kind] [could also equip them close-combat wise with axes, for .... reasons partially relating to the "executioner" thought many posts above, and partially for other Indo-European mythology resonant reasons] 

Anyway, that's probably enough for now; I should go eat. 

There's a few more thoughts I have  on other potential Aspect styles that've come up in relation to thinking about the above [including spear-fighters; and making use of Brother Tyler's sparks around Bull, non-guardian-equivalent vehicular equipment, etc. ] .. but i'll pick those up another time perhaps


Vox Stellarum efforts:
The Unyielding Adamanticores [truescale Astartes, auxilia, and sectorial AdMech; M37/38]
The Haunting Harii of Hvergelmir [truescale Astartes ... and associates]
The Unification Wars [truescale Thunder Warriors, (Proto-)Astartes, Army of Unification, Aegyptian-style Proto-Mechanicus raiders, etc.]
Combat Archaeology [Tomb Raiding for Fun & Prophet]
Horus Heresy [truescale loyalist IVth, VIIIth; Agents of the Sigillite; VIth; and so much more; and Umbral's amazing Traitors]
The Worlds-Wide Webway [(Dark) Eldar, Imperial Inquisition, an a-maze-ing realmweave of fear and wondermeant]
Thorian Inquisition [some rather different Inquisitorial Storm Troopers, true-scale Fire Hawks, Black Dragon, Inquisitor and associates, etc.]
For Whom The Great Bell Tolls Thrice [attempts to put the 'priest' back in 'tech-priest' with more-medieval mechanicus]
InquisiNecronMunda [the log that incepted it all - at least two Inquisitors, truescale Deathwatch, local enforcers, cultists, etc.]

#18
calgar101

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It would be very interesting to see more aspects and Phoenix lordships introduced. This is a very cool topic and very interesting replies here, in slowly reading through.


#19
Dread

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I made up an aspect years ago called the Crystal Mantis'. Based off of using 2 cc weapons made from a crystal shard. They had the ability to be hidden during deployment. Made a conversion for them but that was way many years ago. Used them in a few friendly games, 4th edition I think but nothing ever came from them.
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#20
calgar101

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They sound really cool, this thread has started making me come up with ideas.
I was thinking of one called the Dread Knights; they use fear as a weapon -possibly a psychic projection- then finish cowering foes with broad swords.
I've got some names for other aspects but that's about it.


#21
ThePenitentOne

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So we've got plastic Banshees and Dire Avengers, and a Plastic Jain Zar. The first priority should be getting every existing Aspect in plastic and PL for every Aspect.

 

I suggest paired releases of PL + Aspect box, much as we saw with Jain and the Ladies. Because Striking Scorpions are playable in Kill team, they are my suggestion for the first update. However truth be told, GW would be killing more birds with fewer stones if they began by releasing a a pairing that does not currently have a PL- Warp Spiders. 

 

As for new Aspects, I know it is a divergence from CWE, but I'd like to see the Ynarri get a new aspect; it's power would be an unchained version of strength from death or something similar. I'd like to see this so that Ynarri could begin to move out of the weird limbo they're in an make progress toward being a real army. What I really want is to get something that shakes my fear that Ynarri will pull units away from the CWE and DE lists; giving them a new actual unit of their own would help me lay that fear to rest; it wouldn't be a guarantee of safety, but it would be something.


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#22
Lord_Caerolion

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I don't think Ynnari should get Aspects though, at least not in the sense of the other Aspect Warriors. I'd love to see some sort of equivalent thing, however. They should get their own things, not just be "goth Craftworlders and morbid Drukhari".


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#23
Red_Shift

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I agree striking scorpions should be next in line for an update and gw couldn't go too wrong in tying them closer to the predator vibe like the artel sculpts do. It's a shame the banshee and incubi kits have unused sprue space that could have been used to sneak some head options in but that's by the by. I do think that the march of time has left some units undergunned but short of giving the scorpions fusion pistols I'm not sure how you get round that.

Shadow point was a great novel and the concept itself was cool, a point where fates intersect that can't be seen by the farseers so they have to go in person and see it. However it's a very old book, long out of print and I think the reason that the aspect warrior pilots were passed over when the crimson hunters came out was just that largely they had been forgotten about.

I think a daemon Hunter aspect, a little like the grey knights, would be a cool unit for eldar. Something that targets slaneesh specifically. Quite how that would work I'm not sure but I have a vision of an aspect that goes to hag worlds, abandoned craftworlds and roots out threats whilst recovering artefacts. Complementary to the rangers maybe.

#24
Doctor Perils

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While of absolutely no canonical worth, I've used the name "Ebon Talons" for the concept of Aspect Warrior titans in the past, and have called an aspect warrior artillery type "Golden Manticores" (who fought with a vibro-cannon support weapon and two-handed axes, a bit like the WHFB white lions of chrace). I can't see any reason for there not to be Aspect Assassins or some kind of Vyper or War Walker aspect either

Would anyone be interested in creating some "Custom Aspect" rules for open play (like Chapter Approved created Land Raider rules)? Could be a fun little project 😃
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#25
Lord_Caerolion

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Given we've got Aspect Warrior fighter jets, and given Khaine is meant to represent warfare and bloodshed in all its forms, I'd honestly be surprised if there weren't Titan/War-Walker Aspect Warriors. Was it only the old Dark Elf books that said that Khaine has 1000 faces?


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