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malika
27-05-2008, 11:10
Ok, so with the Ulthwe Webway Strikeforce we got introduced to a new unit, namely the Black Guardians. They are armed in a similar way as the normal Eldar Guardians but are superior because they are professional soldiers instead of a militia. Great right? Well...I'm a bit confused now! The Craftworld Eldar follow a very rigid path system, so those Eldar who are Guardians are normally in other Paths and once in a while put on their armour and weapons to fight for their Craftworld. The Black Guardians on the other hand are professional soldiers, so they couldn't really be on other paths since they are professional soldiers instead of a militia. Does this then mean that the Black Guardians follow the Path of the Warrior, and if so...could they therefore be considered Aspect Warriors since it's the Aspects Warriors who follow the Path of the Warrior. Or is it that all Aspect Warriors follow the Path of the Warrior but not everybody who follows that path has to be an Aspect Warrior?

Koryphaus
27-05-2008, 11:38
I suspect that because they are a standing army, they are indeed one of the Aspects of Kaela Mensha Khaine. Just like Warlocks are Eldar who once followed the path of the Warrior and are now seers, Black Guardians follow the path of the Warrior, possibly in addition to whatever path they follow (ie, architect, engineer, interior decorator etc). Could be wrong though.

Iracundus
27-05-2008, 14:53
Eldar Warlocks are on the Path of the Seer. It is just that to be a Warlock one has a prerequisite of having been an Aspect Warrior previously in order to be able to properly control their warrior self.

The Eldar Path system isn't of equal rigidity everywhere. Saim-hann is described as following it loosely compared to other Craftworlds while Alaitoc is described as being stricter.

One doesn't have to be on the Path of the Warrior in order to pick up a gun and fight with it. This is evidenced by the very existence of Guardians, who are Eldar that are walking other Paths but that don their warrior selves when needed.

In the old Craftworld Codex (the one that first expanded detail on the Craftworld armies and introduced rules for things like Pathfinders), in the section on Ulthwe it mentions that normally Guardian units are raised as needed but that Ulthwe maintains a standing army. This does not necessarily mean individual Eldar cannot come and go. It also does not mean they have to be walking the Path of the Warrior as they are still just Guardians, albeit with some additional training.

In short, all Aspect Warriors are on the Path of the Warrior. One doesn't need to be on the Path of the Warrior to fight. Eldar Guardians are Eldar that fight without being on the Path of the Warrior. Eldar Black Guardians are Eldar not on the Path of the Warrior that train more regularly than standard Guardians.

Idaan
27-05-2008, 18:01
I just happen to think that this Ulthwe Black Guardian stuff is because the writers "made some **** up on the run, deflect the antimatter on the tachyon dish", just as the old Star Trek song went. (could've messed up the lyrics, but you get the point). Ie, they needed something to differentiate Ulthwe from other craftworlds: it already had the advantage (more psykers), so they had to come up with the drawback (less Aspect Warriors=> reliance on Guardian standing army). But it doesn't make any sense, because:
- The points you've made are right, at least imho
- The Path system, and especially the Path of the Warrior is supposed to shield the practitioner from the worst effects of exhileration of battle. Supposedly, the Eldar are so bloodthirsty and so indulgent, that fighting without any protection for long periods of time would endanger them with corruption. That's the reason why shellshocked (or just amazed) Guardians often join the Aspect Shrines after some particularily bloody battles. That's also the reason why the Aspect Warriors have to alienate themselves from their deeds by donning their masks, and with them their battle-persona.
And now, just like that it's possible to fight as a standing army without being corrupted.
- The nature of the term "standing army" does invalidate the possibility of them practitioning other paths at the same time. If the Black Guardians are garrisoned at some place in the Craftworld, a Dragonship or even some craftworld colony (and they have to be garrisoned, because then it wouldn't be a standing army, would it?), how can they do their job/walk their path of repairing the Infinity Circuit, gardening food, etc.
- If they are a standing army, why not just send them into an Aspect Shrine to receive the Aspect training? I think it's voluntary on their part, so what's stopping the command from it? They're not doing their normal jobs either way.
- The whole point about smaller numbers of Aspect Warriors and larger of the Warlocks is crap too. The Warlocks are psyker Aspect Warriors. They've practiced at the Shrine of some Aspect and then moved on to the Witch Path. But they still have to return to their Shrine before battle to do rites, don their masks and wake their battle-selves. So for a lot of Warlocks to emerge, there has to be a lot of Aspect Warriors first.

Lame, GW.
Also please note that I'm playing Aspect heavy Ulthwe army led by a rogue Autarch who opposed the Council (and himself based on older, more reasonable Autarch fluff, so it's again me opposing the GW ;))

Caelnaethon
27-05-2008, 19:47
Ok, so with the Ulthwe Webway Strikeforce we got introduced to a new unit, namely the Black Guardians. They are armed in a similar way as the normal Eldar Guardians but are superior because they are professional soldiers instead of a militia.
The Black Guardians aren't quite that new - they were in the 3rd Edition Eldar Craftworlds codex, which also introduced Pathfinders and Spiritseers. Whether they were around before that, I don't know.


Does this then mean that the Black Guardians follow the Path of the Warrior, and if so...could they therefore be considered Aspect Warriors since it's the Aspects Warriors who follow the Path of the Warrior. Or is it that all Aspect Warriors follow the Path of the Warrior but not everybody who follows that path has to be an Aspect Warrior?
My understanding is as follows: the Warrior Aspects serve the purpose of keeping the Eldar sane when they embark on the Path of the Warrior. Most of the other paths are fairly manageable because they're peaceful and creative; trying to become an artist completely isn't a major problem. But when it comes to war, you're trying to become the spirit of the Eldar at war: Khaela Mensha Khaine. And as all Eldar know, Khaine is an insane, murderous monster.

So rather than try to study war all at once, the Eldar divide it into the Aspects of Khaine: the noble warrior (Dire Avengers), the Destroyer (Dark Reapers), and so on. An Aspect Warrior's armour is a "costume" for that aspect of the Bloody-Handed God, and while he's wearing it, the Warrior becomes that aspect. So in short - all Eldar on the Path of the Warrior are Aspect Warriors. The Black Guardians don't qualify.

As I understand it, the reason the Black Guardians are different from others is that there are always a certain number mobilised and ready for battle. It doesn't mean those Eldar have left their path, any more than normal Guardians do; but normal Guardians are armed, armoured and psychologically prepared for battle only when the time comes to go to war. The Black Guardians are on a rotating system so that Ulthwé is always ready to fight.

As for their improved skill, there are two explanations. One would just be that the extra training time they put in when waiting for battle hones their fighting ability that little bit more. The other would be that, since they "reactivate" their Aspect Warrior training more often and for longer, they find it easier to access when the time comes to fight.


...himself based on older, more reasonable Autarch fluff, so it's again me opposing the GW ;))
Which version of the Autarch is this?

Iracundus
27-05-2008, 20:38
The Black Guardians aren't quite that new - they were in the 3rd Edition Eldar Craftworlds codex, which also introduced Pathfinders and Spiritseers. Whether they were around before that, I don't know.


They have been around since the introduction of Ulthwe and have been mentioned as early as Epic Renegades supplement for 2nd ed. Space Marine.

Col. Tartleton
27-05-2008, 20:50
From what I've read, the Ulthwe only maintain one main aspect temple and that is of Maugan Ra, the Dark Reapers. The other aspects are faded and no longer recruit many if any eldar. The Black Guardians are most likely an aspect path, but an Ulthwe only one. After all, if the regular troops were not called guardians, Black Guardians would sound as aspect worthy as Fire Dragon or Dire Avengers.

Anyhow, for some reason, all Ulthwe Units have to be black, so theres your logic.

Iracundus
27-05-2008, 21:11
From what I've read, the Ulthwe only maintain one main aspect temple and that is of Maugan Ra, the Dark Reapers. The other aspects are faded and no longer recruit many if any eldar. The Black Guardians are most likely an aspect path, but an Ulthwe only one. After all, if the regular troops were not called guardians, Black Guardians would sound as aspect worthy as Fire Dragon or Dire Avengers.

That is not supported by the background at all. Ulthwe has all the Aspects just like any other Craftworld. The Craftworld Codex says Ulthwe as fewer Aspect Warriors, not fewer Aspects. The Dark Reapers received a spotlight role in the Ulthwe Strike Force listing only because Maugan Ra showed up during the Eye of Terror campaign.

Black Guardians isn't Aspect worthy as it has no mythological connection to Khaine. All the known Aspects are based off of one of Khaine's many aspects, and this mythological/cultural connection is at least in part why the Eldar can achieve their focus on their warrior self.

Killgore
27-05-2008, 23:34
As I understand it, the reason the Black Guardians are different from others is that there are always a certain number mobilised and ready for battle. It doesn't mean those Eldar have left their path, any more than normal Guardians do; but normal Guardians are armed, armoured and psychologically prepared for battle only when the time comes to go to war. The Black Guardians are on a rotating system so that Ulthwé is always ready to fight.

As for their improved skill, there are two explanations. One would just be that the extra training time they put in when waiting for battle hones their fighting ability that little bit more. The other would be that, since they "reactivate" their Aspect Warrior training more often and for longer, they find it easier to access when the time comes to fight.




I imagine all this to be true, makes most sence anyway

I expect Ulthwe has at least one of every aspect shrine, just not as many as other craftworlds

either way ill never stop using aspect warriors in my Ulthwe army

Idaan
29-05-2008, 15:39
From what I've read, the Ulthwe only maintain one main aspect temple and that is of Maugan Ra, the Dark Reapers. The other aspects are faded and no longer recruit many if any eldar. The Black Guardians are most likely an aspect path, but an Ulthwe only one. After all, if the regular troops were not called guardians, Black Guardians would sound as aspect worthy as Fire Dragon or Dire Avengers.That's not true. There are Ulthwe Fire Dragons and Banshees in the Codex art. In the Eye of Terror short story an Ulthwe Striking Scorpion Exarch is chosen to become the Young King. There are all 7 Aspects with Ulthwe markings shown on Dark Millennium CCG cards.
Yes there are less Aspect Warriors than on other Craftworlds but with Ulthwe being one of the 5 biggest Craftworlds it could easily field an army entirely of one Aspect without any problem. That is if you don't interpret "dying race" tagline as an indicator that there are only thousands of Eldar on even the biggest Craftworlds. I see it rather as one-two billions.


Which version of the Autarch is this?
Well, basically it's the version presented in the Epic:Swordwind supplement, with the Autarch being just a title taken by an Exarch taking command of a Warhost. The Eldar avoid Autarchy as it's an example of willful forfeiting of control over one's actions in exchange for Khaine's blessing and part of his power. So basically it's like Roman dictators.

The added twist is that my Autarch is also Menshad Korum - a term introduced in WD 127, meaning an Exarch of more than one Shrine, caught on the Path of Warrior as a whole, rather than only in one Aspect.

theHandofGork
29-05-2008, 16:08
The 2nd edition Eldar codex mentioned that "The Guardians of Ulthwe' are known as the Black Guardians after the predominate colour of their uniforms" (p. 24). It wasn't until later that they became a standing army of Eldar, rather than just Eldar wearing black.

Flame Boy
29-05-2008, 16:54
I do think that people did take the portrayal of the Ulthwé Craftworld to the extreme in the 3rd edition codex. Taking all of the aspect warriors out of your army to replace them with large roaming packs of squishy Guardians always sounded daft to me.

If I were to take the idea of a Guardian standing army to it's extreme, I'd be more inclined to include Jetbikes, War Walkers and Vypers into my army. If Ulthwe bother to keep a standing army, they would equip them more like an army and less like a bunch of roaming hooligans.

Regardless, I plan on fielding several Aspect Warrior squads in my army. Tying in the Shrine colours of each aspect with the dark, sinister colours of Ulthwe sounds too fun to miss. Banshees already use bone and red, which feature lot in my Ulthwe force, then you could have stormy sky themed Swooping Hawks, dark smoky, ember-like Fire Dragons with vivid, blazing highlights... Almost any aspect I can think of could benefit from a dark, moody painjob to blend them into an Ulthwe army, so hamstringing yourself with plain black Guardians due to the 3rd edition Craftworld codex (which seems the exception to the rule in the background anyway), seems to hurt your creative possibilities.

All I'm going to add is that I hope those new Jetbike prototypes enter production sometime soon, as that is the sort of machine I'd want to see my Guardians taking to the battlefield on. :)

LexxBomb
30-05-2008, 02:24
i think you guys are missing something very simple.
All eldar who fight are on the path of the warrior. - very simple
*this includes all Eldar - guardians included
the Aspect warriors study an ASPECT of the warrior path, that is why they excel at a given style or pedagogy.
guardians dont specialise... they use:
Shuriken
Flamer
Close combat weapons
Support weapons
Walkers
Skimmers
Tanks
fusion guns
and so on

this means that they have to study war in it entirety not specialise and as such never attain the level of skill of the Aspect warriors. But, they are warriors and as such follow the path of warrior for as long as they are guardians. the clue is in their name they follow the path of the guardian aspect.

in regards to black guardians this is even more evident... they are a standing army that is constantly training being deployed for special missions.

LexxBomb
30-05-2008, 02:31
The added twist is that my Autarch is also Menshad Korum - a term introduced in WD 127, meaning an Exarch of more than one Shrine, caught on the Path of Warrior as a whole, rather than only in one Aspect.


he could never be an Exarch of more then one shrine as when you become an Exarch you cant leave the shrine it forever becomes your pysche and identity. maybe he followed mutiple aspects until he became an Exarch but once he does he can only be of that one type.

Caelnaethon
30-05-2008, 10:04
All eldar who fight are on the path of the warrior. - very simple
*this includes all Eldar - guardians included
the Aspect warriors study an ASPECT of the warrior path, that is why they excel at a given style or pedagogy.
guardians dont specialise... they use:...
this means that they have to study war in it entirety not specialise and as such never attain the level of skill of the Aspect warriors. But, they are warriors and as such follow the path of warrior for as long as they are guardians. the clue is in their name they follow the path of the guardian aspect.
Most of what you're saying here is right, but it still doesn't make Guardians into Warriors. The Eldar Path is about giving oneself totally to a task, becoming the ideal artist/farmer/seer/whatever. Becoming the ideal warrior is impossible, though, because the ideal warrior is Khaine and trying to become him would just make you crazy. Besides, Guardians (other than Black Guardians) don't get time to study. The call to war goes out, they accept, and within as little as a few days or hours they're armoured up and on their way to the battlefield. They get to train and practice before they become Guardians, not after.


he could never be an Exarch of more then one shrine as when you become an Exarch you cant leave the shrine it forever becomes your pysche and identity. maybe he followed mutiple aspects until he became an Exarch but once he does he can only be of that one type.
As I understand it, this is correct, partly for the reasons above. An Exarch has succeeded in becoming the identity of the Aspect, but now he can't change back. Changing Aspects would require a complete change of identity. On top of that, once an Exarch has been sealed into his armour, there's no turning back.

Rockerfella
30-05-2008, 10:09
Hmmmm.

Right. Not sure about this to be honest. How can a guardian be on the path of the warrior, and then also go back to being on the path of the 'artisan' or the path of the 'brick layer' when he ttakes off his considerably inferior helmet and body armour?

Aspect warriors are on the path of the Warrior, I didn't think Guardians were.

Ah well!

Caelnaethon
30-05-2008, 10:43
Yeah, I think maybe my post was a bit unclear; I was trying to say that Guardian's aren't on the path of the warrior, because guardianship doesn't work the same way as a Path. If you're on the path of the Warrior, you're an Aspect Warrior. "Guardian" is no more an Aspect than "ranger" or "wild rider."

LexxBomb
30-05-2008, 11:25
[QUOTE=Caelnaethon;2657256]Most of what you're saying here is right, but it still doesn't make Guardians into Warriors. The Eldar Path is about giving oneself totally to a task, becoming the ideal artist/farmer/seer/whatever. Becoming the ideal warrior is impossible, though, because the ideal warrior is Khaine and trying to become him would just make you crazy. Besides, Guardians (other than Black Guardians) don't get time to study. The call to war goes out, they accept, and within as little as a few days or hours they're armoured up and on their way to the battlefield. They get to train and practice before they become Guardians, not after./QUOTE]

Even a few days would be enough for an eldar to change their path for a brief period of time. and as you said they train before battle. At the time of battle the eldar would be on the path of warrior, if an eldar chouldn't change their path then you wouldn't get warlocks or Aurtarchs (cant spell)
evidence of the ability of eldar to change path instantly can be seen by Harlequins... upon joining them they are totaly different... Harlequins recruit from both the Craftword Eldar and the Dark Eldar.

and as for other warrior groups such:
wild riders - are technicaly guardians
rangers - the warrior sub aspect of the Outcast

Idaan
30-05-2008, 21:02
he could never be an Exarch of more then one shrine as when you become an Exarch you cant leave the shrine it forever becomes your pysche and identity. maybe he followed mutiple aspects until he became an Exarch but once he does he can only be of that one type.
White Dwarf cares to disagree:

Exarchs sometimes remain trapped within the Path of the Warrior but continue to cycle from one Aspect to another. When they go to war this enables them to wear one of two or more armoured suits representing the different Aspects they have undertaken. Similarly, they choose weaponry appropriate to any of these Aspects. Exarchs who continue to cycle in this manner are sometimes called the Lost Warriors - or Menshad Korum - which roughly translates as, hunters in pursuit of themselves'.
In most cases however, Exarchs cease to change their Warrior Aspect once they become Exarchs, although they may pass through several cycles as different Aspect Warriors before they are finally trapped by the Warrior Path.
It's rare, but not unheard of. Yes it's old fluff and you can argue that's no longer valid but I prefer it over the new "I've been switching my aspect for some time now so that gives my right to boss people around". Aditionally, Phil Kelly said in some interview prior to the publication of codex that he intended the Autarch to be an Exarch (he specifically mentioned arming him with Executioner and some other Aspect's weapon, as well as giving him Exarch powers). It was later cut because of balance issues.
But that's a bit OT


Even a few days would be enough for an eldar to change their path for a brief period of time. and as you said they train before battle. At the time of battle the eldar would be on the path of warrior, if an eldar chouldn't change their path then you wouldn't get warlocks or Aurtarchs (cant spell)Well, but when they are a standing army that's not a brief period of time, but rather a prolonged one. So even if what you're saying is true, it doesn't apply to Black Guardians.


evidence of the ability of eldar to change path instantly can be seen by Harlequins... upon joining them they are totaly different... Harlequins recruit from both the Craftword Eldar and the Dark Eldar.Harlequin isn't a Path. It's a part of the Eldar society that doesn't fit into Path System. So it's more of leaving path than changing one. And even then it's not so instantly - one can imagine that it requires lots of trials and rituals, one of which is soul binding to Cegorach, eliminating the need of Spirit Stones.

and as for other warrior groups such:
wild riders - are technicaly guardians
rangers - the warrior sub aspect of the OutcastWild Riders aren't on a Path - the Saim-Hann society is rather unorthodox and doesn't use Paths very often, preferring Clans to it.
Rangers aren't an Aspect of anything because Outcast exile isn't a Path - it's a suspension of Path caused by punishment or one's choice.

The_Outsider
30-05-2008, 21:16
Rangers aren't an Aspect of anything because Outcast exile isn't a Path - it's a suspension of Path caused by punishment or one's choice.

Perhaps a lack of path is a path within itself?

Caelnaethon
30-05-2008, 22:47
I've always figured that the whether the Path of the Outcast is truly a path depends on the Eldar. Some would continue to live according to certain Craftworld codes and heed the call to war when the Craftworld was in danger; others would just go off and do their own thing. The ones who explore the galaxy without letting it change them are truly on the Path of the Outcast, and have a good chance of being allowed back once they've satisfied their wanderlust. They would be the Rangers. Some get so caught up in preserving this balance that they become trapped in the identity of the ideal Outcast, and become Pathfinders. The others end up as pirates/corsairs, join a Harlequin troupe, or go to live in Comorragh.

Not sure if all that can be supported by the existing background, but it's what makes sense to me.

Condottiere
31-05-2008, 06:07
Actually, it makes a great deal of sense to me.

As regards to the Black Guardians, maybe they just happen to be trained militia to an elite level, with their equipment ready and armed in their cupboard, with 40% mobilization in 2 hours and 95% in 12 hours. Perhaps Ulthwe has distributed armouries well stocked with replacement equipment and heavy weapons.

LexxBomb
31-05-2008, 06:17
na black guardians are more like marines vs national guard (for the yanks)

Condottiere
31-05-2008, 06:25
na black guardians are more like marines vs national guard (for the yanks)

A real Marine would tell you that the Corps are Aspect Warriors.;)

LexxBomb
31-05-2008, 06:46
is that why marines dont have medics

Orthodox
31-05-2008, 06:59
Even a few days would be enough for an eldar to change their path for a brief period of time. and as you said they train before battle. At the time of battle the eldar would be on the path of warrior, if an eldar chouldn't change their path then you wouldn't get warlocks or Aurtarchs (cant spell)
Well, but when they are a standing army that's not a brief period of time, but rather a prolonged one. So even if what you're saying is true, it doesn't apply to Black Guardians

You don't know two things. You can't talk about what black guardians are when you don't know what an eldar is. Any eldar is a thousand years old and physically superior to humans. If you pick any random eldar off the street, of course he's going to have the skills of a forty year old, combat veteran guardsman. They don't need to go to boot camp to raise their ld from 5 to 7, they're just the oldest, formerly most powerful race in the galaxy.

That's what regular guardians are, a mob of guys who happened to pick up weapons. They're not an actual militia with unit structures and assembly points. If aspect warriors haven't been invented yet, they just use people from the neighborhood. Due to their farseeing obsession, Ulthwe are more likely to butt in to other races' business, so the citizens are more likely to get involved, and they're a little more organized about doing some basic push ups and vfw picnics. It qualifies as a standing army because black guardians have unit patches and personal weapons. Wild riders are the same, they need to park their jetbikes somewhere, so they have a regular spot to muster out and they're in a regular gang.

I'm really glad you know what a menshad korum is and you're not like the naysayers who won't consider something they happened not to have previously heard of. It really pleases me when people have primary sources for their personal background, instead of running their mouth because something doesn't match the vague composite they've assembled. You have also described the current autarch perfectly in one sentence. Adam Troke i (http://warseer.com/forums/showpost.php?p=184610&postcount=1)s right when he says exarchs are terrible generals, but I think it's more fun to have someone nuts in charge. There's no aspect shrine for officers' school, so it's stupid that the current autarch seems to come from one.


na black guardians are more like marines vs national guard (for the yanks)

like national guard vs. ****** with guns.

Caelnaethon
31-05-2008, 15:30
That's what regular guardians are, a mob of guys who happened to pick up weapons. They're not an actual militia with unit structures and assembly points. If aspect warriors haven't been invented yet, they just use people from the neighborhood.
Well, to a point. The interpretation of what a Guardian is has changed a bit. In the 2nd edition codex it's said that the Guardian squads are led by former Aspect Warriors, who retain some but not all of their old skills, while the rest of the Guardians just have some level of battle training. In the 3rd edition version, all Guardians were past Aspect Warriors, and the shrine to which they had belonged determined whether they ended up in a defender or storm squad, or manning a weapon platform. The newest codex isn't really clear on which of these is current. Either way, all Eldar who can become Guardians have some past training.


I'm really glad you know what a menshad korum is and you're not like the naysayers who won't consider something they happened not to have previously heard of. It really pleases me when people have primary sources for their personal background, instead of running their mouth because something doesn't match the vague composite they've assembled.
Primary sources it is.


The Exarchs are the high priests of the Bloody-Handed God and keepers of the shrines of the Aspect Warriors. They are warriors who have become trapped in their Warrior Aspects, unable to put aside their adopted mental perspective.

When an Aspect Warrior becomes an Exarch he adopts an armoured suit from his shrine... Once put on the suit is never removed and becomes a permanent part of the Eldar.


Aspect Warriors learn how to control their warrior-selves, putting on and casting aside their blood-hungry persona as they don or discard their ritual costumes. An Aspect Warrior who becomes an Exarch loses this ability to dissociate himself.

An Aspect Warrior who becomes an Exarch is reborn as an ancient warrior hero. Memories and experiences of departed Exarchs merge with this new bearer, and the heroic ideal of that Aspect is reborn in new flesh.
I'm not saying that the Menshad Korum idea is completely impossible, and I can't dispute the source, but how would you reconcile it with the way Exarchs actually work? What you're describing sounds more like the current Autarch - an Eldar who has been on the Path of the Warrior so long without being trapped in one Aspect, that they've begun to transcend the Aspects themselves.

Iracundus
31-05-2008, 20:55
Well, to a point. The interpretation of what a Guardian is has changed a bit. In the 2nd edition codex it's said that the Guardian squads are led by former Aspect Warriors, who retain some but not all of their old skills, while the rest of the Guardians just have some level of battle training. In the 3rd edition version, all Guardians were past Aspect Warriors, and the shrine to which they had belonged determined whether they ended up in a defender or storm squad, or manning a weapon platform. The newest codex isn't really clear on which of these is current. Either way, all Eldar who can become Guardians have some past training.


Not quite. The latest Eldar Codex just reprints the 2nd Eldar Codex and says every Eldar is trained to fight. The last 3rd ed. Codex Storm Guardian entry says Storm Guardians were formed from past Aspect Warriors of close combat Aspects. Nothing is said about Defender Guardians, so it is possible that Defenders are the default and Storm Guardians require a bit of past experience as a prerequisite, which might explain their relative rareness.

The 2nd Eldar Codex said Guardian squads were led by former Aspect Warriors, who fulfilled the similar role of a IG squad sergeant. This was not represented by any rules however and was more just background information.