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Kage2020
12-11-2005, 17:05
I know that this is something that has been done before, but thought that I would bring it up since it has become relevant to my 'colony world' of Tir'asur over on the ASP. Or might become relevant. Or something. :D

Anyway, how do people think that eldar military is organised, chains of command, etc. Furthermore, the applications of their technomantic abilities to their military are going to have obvious affects, but what might these be in terms of communications, obvious light or heavy military technologies, etc.?

Now, before you answer I would rather that someone didn't say, "Check out the army list, dufus!" or something similar. I am also more that aware of the 'fluff', so telling me to read one of the codices isn't going to cut the mustard, as it were. Rather, what I'm interested in is something that is speculatory and not restricted by the wargame material. After all, this material is heavily biased by Wargame Balance and the premise of the Thematic Army that it is unfunny, even though the product is, as I'm sure that you can all attest to, fun.

So, to try and clarify in simple bullet point format:

How is the eldar military organised in terms of Aspects, elites, etc., in general and not restricted by a given 'resolution' of the game (i.e. 40k, Epic or whatever).
What are both the spiritual and pragmatic applications of eldar mythology (read: Aspects) manifested in the military?
How might eldar tecnology/psychic engineering ( =technomancy) be uniquely utilised on the field, i.e. communications, intelligence, etc. What are the implications of this?
In a 'realistic' (non-wargame) environment, how might the established eldar military structure stand? What real-world considerations might feed-back and alter the established military structure (even if this requires mention of the wargame army lists)?
Okay, it's a bit open I admit. The military organisation is something that is going to be relatively easy since, despite my comments above, I'm sure that people are going to look to Epic or what not.

Hmmn, okay the bullet points might not have helped after all! ;) Basically, how does the eldar military operate in an environment that is not bounded by the abstractions and assumtions of the wargame?

Kage

Sojourner
12-11-2005, 17:34
If I may, I'll address this using parallels with known experience.

First of all, there is almost certainly some heirarchical structure. Units created for the purpose of logistics or strategic purposes are surely essential. How large? How many levels? What chain of command?

Secondly, where do Guardians, Aspect Warriors and Seers (arguably the three relevant segments of Eldar society with regards to the military) fit into the scheme of things?

Thirdly, what are these units capable of, and how does their capability correlate to the sizes and structures defined?

Firstly; unit sizes and structures. The limiting factor here is manpower. The Eldar are supposedly desperately short of boots on the ground. That said; craftworlds are massive and likely have an exceedingly high population density. With this in mind, one could suggest that a Craftworld as a whole could field a moderately sized army relative to a typical inhabited planet. The difficulty they have is that they can only do it in one place, and can't afford to lose anyone.

How many people do they need? This is where it is pertinent to look at the capabilities of their adversaries. Firstly, the Imperials - arguably the most frequent protagonists. The Imperium is capable of deploying, at least in noteworthy situations, a vast amount of manpower. Mentions abound of the order of millions of tanks on one planet at one time. With this as a benchmark, and keeping in mind the eldar seem to be able to choose their battles at will, we might place a more normal deciding battle at five to ten thousand vehicles and up to a million soldiers on the Imperial side. The Eldar must have the capability to defeat such a force in straight fighting given the advantage of massively superior technology plus precognition.

Using the old technique of force multiplication; that is, combat power being the square of relative numbers (2 to 1 advantage = 4 to 1 in power, 3 to 1 > 9 to 1 advantage and so on), we can establish a rule of thumb of how many the Eldar would need in response. Say they can fight against a 25 to 1 disadvantage; that equates to 5:1 outnumbering. This would be the bare minimum they can cope with; it isn't unfeasible to imagine a single Falcon destroying a company of tanks at a time given favourable conditions.

(More later, dinner and Battlestar Galactica call...)

Inquisitor Engel
13-11-2005, 02:09
How is the eldar military organised in terms of Aspects, elites, etc., in general and not restricted by a given 'resolution' of the game (i.e. 40k, Epic or whatever).

Well, there's the Autarch. Currently, the Autarch is (unfortunately) an individual who has trodden many paths and now accumulated a good deal of practice, expertise, as well as wargear.

IMHO, the Autarch would defer to the BattleSeer, or Farseer, but would mainly make decisions based on his own instinct, still being a warrior.

In regards to there being an actual hierarchy of Aspects, I don't think there would be a formal one, although Dire Avenger Exarchs would more than likely be looked up to more than some others.

According to the newest DoW novel, Dark Reapers both dislike, and are disliked, by the other Aspects, which is a neat idea, but not one that would have a direct effect on how an army would work, they still know their duty.


What are both the spiritual and pragmatic applications of eldar mythology (read: Aspects) manifested in the military?

Very little I imagine, other than the obvious point of each Aspect acting in the manner that their aspect epitomizes, as other than Kurnous and Vaul, none of the Eldar Gods did any major fighting, that we know of.

I can see Vypers and Jetbikes being used in a sort of "Vaul-like" hunt sort of way, speed, mounted individuals and such, quite Vaul if you ask me. They may be given a good deal of free range in how they implement thier plans, or even hunt down specific targets with dogged ruthlessness.

Vaul though? Eh. We'll see what the next Codex brings in terms of how Vaul's aspects may permeate battle. (Bonesingers, etc)


How might eldar tecnology/psychic engineering ( =technomancy) be uniquely utilised on the field, i.e. communications, intelligence, etc. What are the implications of this?

I think all Eldar helmets contain highly tuned communication devices, vocal for those with less psychic ability, and warp-based for those with greater psychic potential. Those that don't wear helmets probably have extremely advanced bead-mics.

Intelligence wise, Rangers might give intelligence, giving more meaning or probability to some of the Seers' predictions in relation to the battle. No kind of advanced surveilance will out-do seeing the future, but will probably supplement it more than anything.


In a 'realistic' (non-wargame) environment, how might the established eldar military structure stand? What real-world considerations might feed-back and alter the established military structure (even if this requires mention of the wargame army lists)?

IMHO, the Eldar military structure is relatively loose during standard times, with training and meditation, as well as normal life going on inside the Aspect Shrines, the ascention and stepping down of the Young King, the alternations of those on the councils of the Craftworld (this depending on my personal views of Eldar society).

There shouldn't really be a standing military force, the Path is just a way to go, a way of life, not an invitation to go out and start war for no reason.

feintstar
13-11-2005, 03:40
I would imagine the structure of the Eldar host going to war would somehow be akin to the Greeks making war in the earlier part of the classical period.

The farseers would (like the oracle) impart the will and the necessity of the call, and then the Autarchs (rather like the Greek King-heroes) would gather the host rather like a collection of parrallel command structures, one for each host of guardians, one for each host of Warrior aspects. Once in the feild, the Autarch would relay his commands down the structures (exarchs for aspects, warlocks for guardian units) but at any stage, at any level of command the orders from above can be contravened by a seer, who exists almost outside the command structure, a combination of macro an micro management that must be necessary to tread the path of the future.

This has a marked effect on the way that intel is gathered and acted upon - rangers would relay their commands to their autarchs who would act accordingly, so effectively, the eldar heirarchy and command and control are acting entirely independantly of the seers, almost like an Imperial army. Its just that the seers are always taking a very actve hand in the workings, contraveneing on a regular basis, which is expected, welcomed and hoped-for by the autarchs.

I also imagine that the Eldar communications would not relay words as much as thoughts and even feelings, and that they are tuned firstly to their squad, then with a background hum/feel of their army/region, on the faint background of the war in general, and the craftworld and the webway barely audible beyond that, to those who are attuned enough. This rather ephemeral system would effectively cancel the need for much of the coms apparatus and logistics support that is present in human armies -if they "listen" hard enough, every eldar knows what needs to be done by him/her, wherever they are in the warhost. Co-ordination is a matter of heartfelt desire, relayed by a psychic impulse.

If the need was dire and the Avatar was called to battle, then the "feel" of the craftworld circuits etc would be throbbing with violence and fury. It would affect decision making at every level, and the influence would be directly proportional to the distance from the Avatar.

Talos402000
13-11-2005, 05:00
The eldar follow a clan like structure in their military. Each clan provides a number of Guardian Hosts as well as formations such as Falcons and Super-Heavy Tanks with more speacilized clans like Titan clans, Knight clans and others providing the heavy iron. The clan is ruled by a patriarch or matriarch who commands on the battlefield (or appoints a deputy to do so) as well as in day-to-day life. The armies of the craftworld are commanded by either Farseers or an Autarch or sometimes both depending on the size of the craftworld. The ranks of the Aspects are as follows: Exarch, Aspect Lord, Senior warrior, warrior. An Aspect Lord usually commands a Aspect Host, with senior warriors commanding squads. What ranks the Guardians use nobody knows but I think their squads are actually family groups with the patriarch commanding the Host. The Farseers provide the Hight Command with the Warlocks, Autarchs, and Exarchs providing Battlefield Leadership.

CELS
13-11-2005, 10:05
Is that from the Epic Armageddon background, Talos?

Kage2020
13-11-2005, 15:38
Well, there's the Autarch. Currently, the Autarch is (unfortunately) an individual who has trodden many paths and now accumulated a good deal of practice, expertise, as well as wargear.
The definition of the Autarch, though it has only recently been given a name, is something that has been a matter of canon for over a decade. I have seen people offer other arguments, but even the modern 'fluff' on the description of the Autarch seems to confirm the statement: the Autarch is a Mensad Korum, a 'Warrior in Search of Themselves' and an exarch that wanders from one Way to another within the Path of the Warrior. In some regards one would imagine them to be an even greater source of pity than a normal Exarch.


IMHO, the Autarch would defer to the BattleSeer, or Farseer, but would mainly make decisions based on his own instinct, still being a warrior.
I knew that this one is coming since they are a HQ choice. I would say that if the Farseer was actually a "battle seer" (i.e. a 'farseer' from the Way of the Warlock) they would have tactical/strategic authority or, alternatively, if they were truly a 'Menshad Korum' of the Path of the Seer. In the latter case, though, I would imagine that they would be far, far too rare to risk in normal circumstances in such a role.

A 'farseer', for me, would be advisory only in terms of warfare, even if they are the nominal 'leader' of an expeditionary force.


In regards to there being an actual hierarchy of Aspects, I don't think there would be a formal one, although Dire Avenger Exarchs would more than likely be looked up to more than some others.
A reference to the 'generic' nature of the Dire Avengers? Agreed, though, that there is no general hierarchy of the Aspects themselves, although Exarchs are obviously going to have a 'higher rank'.


According to the newest DoW novel, Dark Reapers both dislike, and are disliked, by the other Aspects, which is a neat idea...
Interesting. And the reason for this other than the term 'dark' in their title?


Very little I imagine, other than the obvious point of each Aspect acting in the manner that their aspect epitomizes...
It was a rather redundant question, though the 'essence' of the eldar is often used to explain the eldar's rather poor approach to armour (even power fields). ;)


Vaul though? Eh. We'll see what the next Codex brings in terms of how Vaul's aspects may permeate battle. (Bonesingers, etc)
I sit in horror waiting to see what they do with that. God sake, they're going to turn Bonesingers into TechMarines. I can see it now. <yawn> ;)


I think all Eldar helmets contain highly tuned communication devices, vocal for those with less psychic ability, and warp-based for those with greater psychic potential. Those that don't wear helmets probably have extremely advanced bead-mics.
Or the 'boost' is not located in the helmet? But, yes, I would imagine that they do not use 'radio waves' except as a redundant form of communications when the area is psi-damped.


No kind of advanced surveilance will out-do seeing the future, but will probably supplement it more than anything.
A statement that I both agree with and disagree with. Again, there is the tacit understanding that such visions are unbiased or cannot be tampered with! :D


There shouldn't really be a standing military force, the Path is just a way to go, a way of life, not an invitation to go out and start war for no reason.
Darned good point, and one of the reasons that I adopted the 'House' structure mentioned by Erriond over on EO or 40kOnline as it is now. Darned good idea without making a hash of things and mentioning kin-clans.


...one for each host of guardians, one for each host of Warrior aspects.
The term 'host' is a lay over from Epic, I presume?


This has a marked effect on the way that intel is gathered and acted upon - rangers would relay their commands to their autarchs who would act accordingly, so effectively, the eldar heirarchy and command and control are acting entirely independantly of the seers, almost like an Imperial army.
Agreed. It is strange, do you not think, that Rangers are attributed as being the primary intelligence gathering personnel of the eldar? One would imagine quite readily that there is a separate Way of the Path of the Warrior dedicated to this?


Its just that the seers are always taking a very actve hand in the workings, contraveneing on a regular basis, which is expected, welcomed and hoped-for by the autarchs.
I would say that it depends on the nature of the Farseer in question. Viewing an event as important doesn't mean that you don't destroy the army in getting to that point, or the point is what it was viewed as being. There are limitations to the precogntive abilities of the eldar in general, and the ability varies in each individual Seer as well.


This rather ephemeral system would effectively cancel the need for much of the coms apparatus and logistics support that is present in human armies -if they "listen" hard enough, every eldar knows what needs to be done by him/her, wherever they are in the warhost.
An interesting approach, but I cannot escape the idea that it is far too hazy. Or, rather, exclusive. But then again it is rather nice.


The eldar follow a clan like structure in their military. Each clan provides a number of Guardian Hosts as well as formations such as Falcons and Super-Heavy Tanks with more speacilized clans like Titan clans, Knight clans and others providing the heavy iron.
I'm going to be ignoring this in one regard: the obviously kin-status of the clans in question. I cannot abide that idea, myself. Too 'human with pointy ears' but, then, what else could we expect?

Might be useful as a form of inspiration, though. Thanks for the information, Talos. I do appreciate it!

Kage

Talos402000
13-11-2005, 18:40
Is that from the Epic Armageddon background, Talos?

No, that's something I inferred from Warhammer Fantasy and various 40k novels. Also, it just seemed to make sense. Titan and Knight clans are canon, so I thought that if the Eldar have them in one area, why not others?

Your welcome Kage.

Talos402000
13-11-2005, 18:54
Now that I think about it, maybe clans are not dependent on kin status at all but are instead made up of individuals who all follow the same Path, like the Artist's Path, the Farmer's Path, et cetera... in that case maybe an Eldar clan is more like a guild, with the children probably, but not necessarily following in their parents footsteps. I do know for a fact that Exodites and Dark Eldar do form clans (or cabals) based on blood kinship.

Kage2020
13-11-2005, 20:40
Problem comes from terminology. I personally define a 'clan' as being a group of individuals that have a shared paradigm; a philosopy or tao, if you will, that represents their approach to eldar society and the outer universe. This can be influenced by Path, but since Path does not entirely define the individual it just results in some 'clans' being more appealing to the eldar of some Paths than another.

Lineage is another matter, one that is normally less important to the eldar since it harks back to mythological origins. E.g. the line of Mannan from Ulthwe defines a disparate group of genetic 'familial lines' that are associated with the mythological figure of Manan. In a similar manner you have lines of Eldanesh, Ulthanesh, etc., which are present throughout the eldar craftworlds. For me, that is.

The 'Titan Clans' are a manifestation of a subset of activity whereby lineage can comprise hereditary use/fuction and/or cultural identifies, i.e. 'kin clan'. (This non-standard approach is found with the Titan Clans and in the non-standard clans of Saim-Hann as an outgrowth of lineage and clan.)

But that's all me and is a completely separate issue. Suffice to say that the premise of lineage-clans, assumed or familial, are something that are easily incorporated without taking the 'exception to an exception' rule required in the Thematic Army approach of the wargame.

Dark eldar are another matter entirely, of course. As are Exodites for the matter.

Anyway, moving on. The 'Host' can easily be incorporated into the 'House' premise mentioned previously and elsewhere (once again thanks for that Erriond), though I'm not overtly fond of the implicate 'barbarian'/'celtic' approach implied. Hmmn...

Kage

Talos402000
13-11-2005, 21:04
As I understand it, the Aspect warriors are the standing army of most of the craftworlds with the guardians being called out during major assults or when large field armies are required, but that system would breakdown with things like Wraithguard or Titans or Rangers or other speacilized units. How do they fit in?

Sildani
13-11-2005, 23:44
Not so fast. At least one Craftworld does have a standing army, Ulthwe. As such, the Black Guardians take to the field at all times.

The problem with coming up with an Eldar TOE is accomodating the various Craftworlds' army styles. For example, Iyanden's army is based heavily on constructs, with very few actual bodies on the field. It would seem to me that the Warlocks, Spiritseers, and Farseers would be the ones in overall command as only they can guide the Wraithguard. It would thus make sense for the Autarch - if Iyanden has one - to give advice but defer to the Seers.

Am I making sense at all?

Kage2020
14-11-2005, 00:20
You're making sense, but your argument revolves - seemingly - around some of the concepts that I'm not fond of: Wargame Balance (troop types, etc.) and the Thematic Army (i.e. different craftworlds). Given the common culture and the reasonable cultural homeostasis, methinks that there is more commonality than disparity. In other words, the exception is not always the rule no matter how many cool army takes it creates.

Oh, and I still disagree that 'Seers' are in tactical/strategic command based merely upon a basic consideration of the nature of the Eldar Path rather than strictly what GW says. With the eldar they so often have very little teeth behind their statements, but much tongue!

If you don't agree with that then let us talk about - what is the term? vanilla? - armies.

With that said, the premise of 'standing army' seems somewhat dubious given the nature of the Guardians and the 'elite' Aspects...

Kage

Khaine's Messenger
14-11-2005, 05:09
As Khaine's Messenger, I feel that I should at least say something.


Anyway, how do people think that eldar military is organised, chains of command, etc.

In general, the Eldar "military" will consist of the Clans (however you define them) and what assets they are willing to dole out, what military assets are independant of political divisions and directly subordinate to the "government" as such (perhaps portions of a craftworld's fleet, those Clans who cannot withdraw pledges or duties, and any conscription of Outcasts that happen to be skulking about), and those other assets that could be political powers unto themselves or as apolitical as they please (eg, the shrines, to whom warlocks are usually endebted). It's quite likely that each of these "organizations" is capable of fighting battles (but never wars) by itself.

Given the position of "Young King," it's unlikely that the craftworld's "government" would ever be without the Shrines in support or titular control of its war efforts (nevermind that it's the entire point of their Path...), but I imagine there are times....


How is the eldar military organised in terms of Aspects, elites, etc., in general

Insofar as standing organization goes, the whole thing would look like an utter mess unless you lived on a fairly rigid Craftworld like, say, Biel-Tann or Alaitoc...or the constantly-at-war Ulthwe. In other words, a varying strength of duty is going to bring the clans and shrines faster into line or into the warhost. Which is not to say that there is not a typical organization structure...just that for certain craftworlds the pecking order is going to have fewer dotted lines than on others.


How might eldar tecnology/psychic engineering ( =technomancy) be uniquely utilised on the field, i.e. communications, intelligence, etc. What are the implications of this?

One could assume that it would make their C3I even more super-dooper than most electronic hardware organizations can make their own, simply due to small measures of precog and psionics. And naturally, it's quite possible that most battles will be pre-rehearsed to such a degree and with such interwoven complexity (I mean, they don't just sit around dancing in their little Shrine Studios, do they?) that they'll have rewritten their "plan orange" twenty times before Japan's even finished the Russo-Japanese War, if you catch my drift. If only, eh?

Further, tech like the warpspider jump generators can be used to instantly relocate a massive number of troops and would, in general, serve as good assistance to recon operations (even if only drones of some description). Indeed, the Eldar could probably deploy a full localized intelligence satellite (or other eye-in-the-sky tech) network within a few mere hours if they so desired*, although there might be some problems with that. Further, if you could teleport a remote warpgate generator, hehehe...well, to be honest, the possible uses for teleportation are rather massive. Presumably Eldar don't bother with it much because it might have range/reliability issues (how much so is perhaps up to you to decide, as this crosses into the realm of gameplay)...nevermind that it probably uses the warp, which is not all that comfortable a subject for a few Eldar.

The drone/satellite suggestion brings up a minor point, of course; if Eldar technology is powered and operated primarily by spirits of ancestors or psychic manipulation in general, then it seems that Eldar "systems" are far more precious and not readily deployed, and, if so, then careful attention has to be made to re-inventory everything before they mop up, which could be bad if they're doing one of their infamous hit-and-run maneuvers. Considering that Eldar tech seems jerry-rigged to not accept non-Eldar users (wha-hey, this is the same setting that has gene-encoded bolter grips that hardly ever amount to anything much), there's probably some interesting materiel restrictions placed on Eldar warriors either due to their own warrior ethic or some other reason.

And another point is that most Eldar communications seem to depend on "wetware," as it were...one wonders what sort of chatter one picks up if one eavesdrops on the Eldar "battlefield intranet." Considering how much radio discipline and jargon modern (and Imperial) soldiers have to digest, one wonders how effective psionic communication "networks" are in comparison to, say, the upper-level Guard units where everyone has a microbead or some form of subvocalization gear at the least.

*Nevermind remote viewing, which, if reliable enough, would make such remote technology obsolete depending on how well you integrate the remote viewers into the hierarchy/support structure...but then again there's always the possibility that the enemy will have taken steps to prevent either or both [insert Eldar infallibility complex rant here]. There's always the Eldar analog to Project Stargate, and for some obtuse reason, I think it might actually work...well, better than Project Stargate at least. Seeing the present should be a lot easier than seeing the future, surely? ;)

Kage2020
14-11-2005, 23:55
Thanks for the developed reply, Khaine's Messenger. If you haven't guessed by the posting by me of an eldar topic, I'm a bit 'down in the dumps' about 40k at the moment and am returning to my home ground, as it were, as a means of reinspiring myself!


As Khaine's Messenger, I feel that I should at least say something.
Ah, but silence is sometimes a statement. Erm, not as if I would like it! ;)


In general, the Eldar "military" will consist of the Clans (however you define them) and what assets they are willing to dole out, what military assets are independant of political divisions and directly subordinate to the "government" as such... [snip]
Sounds a tad on the anarchic side, surely? And a bit of a tip of the 'ole hat to the approach to the adeptus terra? (Not sure that I agree with the premise of 'conscription', BTW!)


Given the position of "Young King," it's unlikely that the craftworld's "government" would ever be without the Shrines in support or titular control of its war efforts...
Definitely. If you were unaware, I keep the 'Court of the Young King' as present on all craftworlds, even if the influence might wax or wane depending on the unique history of said craftworld. Generally, though, given the close association of the Young King with the awakening of the Bloody Handed? Definitely. It is very unlikely that they're going to be ousted from any form of influence.


Which is not to say that there is not a typical organization structure...just that for certain craftworlds the pecking order is going to have fewer dotted lines than on others.
Well, it is a given that craftworlds are going to have a variable structure dependent on whatever 'Theme' that GW has given them. Again, though, it might be useful for us to consider the 'vanilla' (again, is that the right term?) eldar craftworld military organisation...?


One could assume that it would make their C3I even more super-dooper than most electronic hardware organizations can make their own, simply due to small measures of precog and psionics.
Well, I'm personally all for moderating the attributed significance of precognition on the battlefield. I guess I'm overtly influenced by Mercedes Lackey and Gael Baudino in this regard. :D


Further, tech like the warpspider jump generators can be used to instantly relocate a massive number of troops and would, in general, serve as good assistance to recon operations (even if only drones of some description).
Now that's a good point, despite the GW tendency to keep things mundane with the use of regular scouts. (Also, I skimmed the reply and saw your mention of 'remote sensing'. Clairsentience should play a definite position in a 'realistic' approach to eldar warefar!)


...well, to be honest, the possible uses for teleportation are rather massive.
Definitely. And one problem with the premise of Wargame Balance since it inherently restricts this potential, if there are not 'fluffalogical' reasons for it.


The drone/satellite suggestion brings up a minor point, of course; if Eldar technology is powered and operated primarily by spirits of ancestors or psychic manipulation in general, then it seems that Eldar "systems" are far more precious and not readily deployed...
I would personally suggest that this is a personal assumption. Even though eldar 'souls' are used as control systems, the eldar are obviously both technological (material) and psychic engineering ('magic') in terms of their technology. I would imagine that they both use 'spirits' and artificial systems for their, erm, control systems. Limitations of biological systems in controlling complex operations, etc.

Suffice to say that the 'value' of all technology in the terms that you mention is not going to be an issue. With that said, any technology that does use 'soul tech' is going to require that special consideration.


Considering how much radio discipline and jargon modern (and Imperial) soldiers have to digest, one wonders how effective psionic communication "networks" are in comparison to...
Well, one could take the 'standard' approach and say that, as a more developed system in terms of technology, it is going to be more effective. With that said, empathic and telepathic communication are arguably going to be similar to wi-fi/developed EM communication systems.


There's always the Eldar analog to Project Stargate, and for some obtuse reason, I think it might actually work...
Erm, pardon?

Kage

Sai-Lauren
15-11-2005, 08:36
Apologies if some of this has been covered, but there's some very long posts there.

IMO, eldar military organisation is a slight contradiction in terms. Whilst there are those in a craftworld who's role it is look after and maintain everything from Jet-bikes to Phantom Titans (path of the Mechanic perhaps), there's no real formal structure to those that use them.
Instead, when a farseer determines there is a need for an eldar warhost to be raised, there's a psychic signal sent out around the craftworld, and the individual eldar that will make up the forces that the Farseer has forseen they require will receive it, and move to their temples in the case of aspect warriors, or those who're going to form the guardian forces will move to their armoury and take up their tissue paper armour, peashooters and starcannon :p .
Of course, if it's serious enough that the avatar wakes, then the same signals are sent out around the infinity circuit, but the whole craftworld receives it.

MvS
15-11-2005, 11:08
I would say that if the Farseer was actually a "battle seer" (i.e. a 'farseer' from the Way of the Warlock) they would have tactical/strategic authority or, alternatively, if they were truly a 'Menshad Korum' of the Path of the Seer.
I know that you have mentioned that you wouldn't want to take the whole precognition abilities of the Eldar as a war machine too far, but it seems to me that ifwe take it as written that seers are sometimes included in battle formations then I think there has to be a reason beyond just their position in a heirarchy - ie: they lead simply because they're leaders simply because they are...

(not that I'm saying that's you think Kage. :)).

Anyhew, as others have mentioned, I think that the role of seers in an Eldar army must be the crux in determining the structure, capabilities, strategies and tactics of Eldar military. I mean, for a race that is supposedly so saturated with psychic potential that most, if not all, of their engineering has an element of psionic and quasi-living spooky psychically reactive crystal stuff 'wet-wear', I think some emphasis would be put on the role of the seer in battle.

At the bottom end of the scale I would imagine that the greatest seers, Farseers or whatever, would be the ones who decide upon grand strategy. They decide where the Craftworld is going and point out what dangers might need to be neutralised along the way. But I agree that this wouldn't be an exact science, even for the Farseers - even for the now late Eldrad. That's why I think such grand-seers would be the strategy formers, as the strategy is just the goal and the reason why the goal is important - it doesn't need to hit upon the daily decisions of the 'how', or at least not much.

It would be "we need to get the X planet in Y system, before the conjunction of these stars. To do that we need to kill this Ork warlord before this time, because as soon as we do, Z is likely to happen".

Just how to run the battle that will kill the Ork warlord tactically I think would have far, far too many variables for any workable precognition wargaming based around definite scenarios. The Eldar would, however, have an edge on second guessing some of the tactics and goals of the Ork army they are facing, and that would feed back into the battle strategy, and then down through the disseminated tactical command structures. Regardless, I would view the Eldar as fighting maneuverist wars, not just because GW says 'they're fast moving and like surprising people', but because it seems to be the only style of warfare that makes sense when every soldier counts in the sense that they can't be replaced easily.

Such maneuverist warfare would mean that the dissemination of command decisions to different squadrons and units would be fundamental to operations - so a strategy is presented to each major section of the armed forces, heavy artillery suppress this area, air formations support these divisions, etc, etc. But within those orders I would imagine that tactical command (all the 'how' decisions) would be diffused amongst the Exarchs and whatever seers (or Warlocks or whatever) are present in the fighting formations. As long as the strategy is achieved, the tactics would be flexible.

I think that seers, besides being valuable and reasonably rare, would be disseminated only amongst those units that need a intelligence gathering capability beyond any technological intelligence gathering capabilties that the Eldar might have. So if a particular an Eldar formation needs absolute realtime intelligence on how the commander of the enemy formation they are engaged with is thinking and feeling, rather than just aerial imagery and signals intelligence on what he is openly planning and doing, they would have a seer in place.

Although this might not be so important for an Eldar formation fighting against any mundane army of non-psychics, in the sense that non-psychic methods of intel gathering would more than suffice (particularly with what we must assume is the exceptional technology base of the Eldar), but in a galaxy where opponents may have psychic abilities, or even some kind of daemonic assistance, then a seer in a formation would just be a necessary and reasonable counter-measure.


A 'farseer', for me, would be advisory only in terms of warfare, even if they are the nominal 'leader' of an expeditionary force.
I would take that further in the sense that they would be formers of the grand strategy, if not the battlefield strategy or tactical commanders.

I think they would be listened to in the same way that a political leader is listened to in war (bearing in mind that even in the Bosnian and Iraqi wars commanders have refused to do some things asked of them by political leaders, and have got away with doing so), but also these Farseers would have an extra authority to what they say in the sense that they would also be seen as providers of intelligence in some way and on some level.

So they would have both some political and strategic authority - though again, this doesn't mean that they would plan every battle, nor would it mean that they would have automatic precidence over anything an Autarch might have to say about the ebb and flow of a particular battle.


there is no general hierarchy of the Aspects themselves, although Exarchs are obviously going to have a 'higher rank'.
Or indeed, deference to, or the leadership potential of, an Exarch may yet be another demonstration of the primacy of maneuverist (ie: swift, very flexible and most often 'behind enemy lines') style of Eldar warfare. Perhaps the Exarch's rank, or at least the deference given to his or her decisions in battle, is based purely upon their acute and immense situational awareness and judgements with regards to how their precise section of the combat is going.

So in other words, their authority over their troops (the other aspect warriors) isn't just a doctrinal authority that is drummed into aspect warriors during training, but is instead a cocktail of doctinal authority, religious authority and practical good sense. To explain:

Doctrinal authority - tactical command is disseminated to the Exarch so long as he or she pursues the strategy decided upon by those higher up the decision-making ladder, so those under the Exarch will accept that.

Religious authority - to his Aspect warriors the Exarch is a minor avatar of their Way, and so is a being whom they deeply respect and seek to emulate (and possibly seek the approval of?)

Practicality - most profoundly, it is unlikely that the Exarch will get carried away or lose his head to the moment, so sunk is he within his combat role, and so whatever he did and wherever he led would be the optimum place and action for those subordinate to him go and emulate. In other words, this isn't a case of trust being put upon the being inside the Exarch armour ("I trust Fred with my life, Exarch or no!"), but a deeper trust based upon the fact that the entire entity that is the Exarch simply is like a minor personification of a particular style of combat and tactical awareness. So his millenia-formed instinct of what to do in a combat situation is pretty much as exact as a military historians intellectual analysis of a tactic after a battle has been fought, with all the shreds of imformation of what preceded and followed on from and action at his fingertips. So when timing and speed-of-decision is vital at the tactical level, it makes practical sense to follow and obey an Exarch.


though the 'essence' of the eldar is often used to explain the eldar's rather poor approach to armour.
Indeed. It's frustrating when game-mechanics have an unrealistic impact on the imagery.


they're going to turn Bonesingers into TechMarines.
:D

The Eldar would have some kind of technical and logistical battlefield support - although I guess with the Eldar this could just as easily be self-healing or replicating devices, or perhaps some kind of 'remote fixing' of a device from afar, as it could be 'mechanics' on the ground...


I would imagine that they do not use 'radio waves' except as a redundant form of communications when the area is psi-damped.
I'd agree. Although perhaps even in a psi-damped environment the Eldar would have some kind of psychic intranet that has been hardened against such damening - like a mini webway. Think how army radios and computers are proofed against giving off radio waves that can be intercepted and even proofed to a degree against electro-magnetic interference.

The Eldar might have a psionic equivalent with regards to hard-wired communications.

MvS
15-11-2005, 11:23
Rangers are attributed as being the primary intelligence gathering personnel of the eldar? One would imagine quite readily that there is a separate Way of the Path of the Warrior dedicated to this?
It seems to me that Rangers represent a more generalist human (or rather Eldar) resource of intelligence, like SIS (MI6) operatives. I see them as dispersed across sectors, gathering all kinds of information to send back to their Craftworld. But this isn't the same as battlefield intelligence. The Rangers might be used in this role of they are on hand, but I doubt it is their prime role, or that the Eldar don't have a better means of gaining battlefield intel.

For a start there must be unmanned devices, like the Eldar equivalents of spy-satellites and aerial camera drones, in addition to signals intelligence listening to radio chatter etc. Then we have the intelligence roles, in whatever way and on whatever level, of the Seers. Then I imagine units of Warp Spiders, or other troops equipped with similar short Warp-jump technology, who can pop behind enemy lines and report on dispositions or just sabotage stuff.

The Rangers have their role, but the idea that they are the sole intel gatherers in battle, or even at any other time, is just daft.

MvS
15-11-2005, 11:31
Aha, I should read more before posting.

Seems that Khaines Messenger has said everything I've said, and much more, and in a clearer fashion.

Ah well... :)

Sojourner
15-11-2005, 11:44
We seem to have a (in my opinion) poor interpretation of Guardians.

The way I see it, Guardians are far, far superior to most ordinary human soldiers - they'd easily have the tactical capabilities of the average Kasrkin, for example, and athleticism and marksmanship a fair way in advance of them. Fighting a Guardian - particularly a Storm Guardian, who excel at such things - one-on-one would be like facing down Bruce Lee with a Mac-10 and a lightsabre.

Aspect Warriors are those who go beyond Godlike. Every one of them is a living embodiment of the art of war. You deploy Aspect Warriors when you can because the luxury of using them is a rare opportunity. Having a fully-prepared Aspect squad ready to use is almost a certain victory. Rush them, or push them to do something without being prepared, you will get them and most of the rest of your force killed. Keep AWAY from them when they're in fighting mode, because they have only two imperatives - take orders, and kill anything that gets in the way.

Enough waffling though. The question is, how do these units interplay in the greater deployment strategy?

Guardians are the mainstay. That much is clear. They are not meatshields as used in the board game. They are not heavy weapon delivery systems. They are superb troops in their own right and really deserve to be Elites by the standard of the other armies. Guardian training will differ though from human experience as their means of expertise is not precision and practice as with expert human soldiers. Their ability is honed and instinctual - allowing the memetic imperatives they learn during training to take over and guide them to do that which is natural to them.

Seers are an interesting and specific role that doesn't have a clear human analogy. Eldar leaders command not by knowledge and estimation but by prescience. They don't need to take educated guesses as human commanders do, they know what will happen and what must be done to meet that situation. The role of Seers is to adapt and support the battle plan as and shortly before it happens. They also act as another kind of weapon - destruction and disruption through psychic means. Warlocks in Guardian squads are not so much leaders as planners - they forsee the squad's future and advise the Guardian leader as necessary, while supporting his decisions with his own psychic abilities. They themselves are formidable individual fighters too of course, so they have a tertiary role here.

Sai-Lauren
15-11-2005, 12:19
they're going to turn Bonesingers into TechMarines.
I see them as much more than that, that whilst a part of their powers may be as simple as repairing a damaged grav-tank, they might also be able to do things like temporarily enhance a guardian squads armour or weapons (say armour goes to 4+, or shuriken catapults get assault 3, but for one turn only), create a wraithbone wall for them to shelter behind (cover save), or generate snares and trips in front of an enemy squad to try and prevent them assaulting a squad (unit moves as if in difficult ground, and the guardians can then either scarper, or take the advantage and go ploughing into the assault themselves) - I'm thinking some kind of one-use wraithbone runes/tokens that they deposit somewhere close to them and then manipulate for the desired effect based on what type of token they are.

I think in battle, seers will be the command and control for the combat units, so whilst the squads themselves form some kind of a peer-to-peer psychic network, the seers provide overall control and direction, plus communications redundancy (for example, acting as an emotional regulator if the Avatar is present, to stop them all going into blood frenzy).

As an example, say the squad leader of a guardian squad wants to assault a marine tactical squad, he might want a salvo from some Dark Reapers to soften them up first. This "message" enters the network, the Reapers sense what they're being requested and the Seer can either allow it to happen, or overrule and get them to target a Land Raider, choosing instead to support the guardians with a Swooping Hawk squad - maybe taking more casualties in that assault, but less overall for the battle with the Reapers destroying the Raider and killing the marine captain and his retinue, or possibly cancelling their assault altogether and tells the squad to move back out of danger, because he's forseen an Assault squad hiding behind some trees, ready to counter attack at the exact point required to win the day.
Basically, everything links in together - the eldar way of war.

Khaine's Messenger
15-11-2005, 23:17
If you haven't guessed by the posting by me of an eldar topic, I'm a bit 'down in the dumps' about 40k at the moment and am returning to my home ground, as it were, as a means of reinspiring myself!

I'm still waiting for that reply on the Tir'asur thread you posted here when Warseer was knee-high to a gigabyte. :p


Sounds a tad on the anarchic side, surely?

Not as such, no, primarily because the municipal/civil/etc. authority of a craftworld will not possess as many nosebleed-inspiring redundancy/overhead problems as one will find to be endemic in such galaxy-spanning bureaucracies as the AdTerra (the organization where some organizations have hierarchies with more dotted, dashed, and blue, purple, red, maroon, and turquoise lines and other Euclidean forms than one can care to shake a leper at). Mobilizing an entire craftworld for war is surely an epic and complex feat, but I don't think it's fair to make it directly analagous to marshalling the Imperium's warhosts.


And a bit of a tip of the 'ole hat to the approach to the adeptus terra?

No, just a recognition that military affairs are often political as well; the possible semi-sovereignty of typically subordinate bodies (the clans, the shrines) is something to be accounted for. I had considered going into comparisons about the branches of the US armed service, but I don't think normal Western armies function this way (or at least not in the popular idea of the modern soldier; the blackest of tinfoil-hat black ops, maybe, but not your grandfather's military).

Comparison to the Adeptus Terra is probably inevitable, but I see no reason to "go there."


(Not sure that I agree with the premise of 'conscription', BTW!)

My point about the conscription of Outcasts stems primarily from the idea that Outcasts are not members of Craftworld society as such and will have to be encouraged in some way to serve alongside a Craftworld's armies. Out-and-out mandatory service and press-ganging need not apply...perhaps a poor choice of words on my part?


If you were unaware(...)

To be honest, tacking it on to that last post was a rather embarassing afterthought after wading through that mess about Eldar social/political factors. "Oh yeah, that Young King thing...coulda done something with that, eh?" Oops.

Anyway. "Vanilla" Eldar military structure? At the top of the military ladder is the Court of the Young King; presumably there will be some relationship between it and whatever ruling authority is present on the craftworld (whether Tir'asur-like or what have you). Beneath that are the various war-bringing machinations of a craftworld...the titan wargroups, the battlefleets (incl. affiliated corsairs/privateers), the shrines (incl. warlocks and Autarchs...by extension, the warmaking spiritseers and Eldar "automatons"), and the standing representatives of the clans. A more exact hierarchy, like Brusilov's Imperial Guard chain of command, would take some thought, because defining the exact (or even more than hazy) organizational structure of the shrines and the clans would take some doing.

As an aside...while Eldar mechantmen and artisans can fall under the jurisdiction of the Court in times of war, I doubt many of them will be able to perform their duties well with their "war face" on, so it is debateable if they would ever see the actual battlefield. While it's possible that the Eldar have military construction groups, I'm somewhat doubtful.


Well, I'm personally all for moderating the attributed significance of precognition on the battlefield.

Most precog is going to hit serious diminishing returns, especially when it comes to hack and slash combat. While wasting the effort may make you look cool, it'll mostly be a waste because fancy tools will only get you so far before you have to rely on actual skill and experience (which is something to the point of the Warrior Shrines in the first place). Of course, fancy tools are nice.... ;) Typically, precog will have a more tactical and less individual level if applied to any great degree, and will most likely be used to forecast events outside the scope of one's clairsentient abilities (that is, that niggling random factor that you can't nail down because even Eldar intel isn't omniscient). Further, since this ability would probably be limited to "squad leaders" and "advisors" anyway, I doubt one will take it to "the max" of individual combat unless our precognate is a show-off (or wants his head caved in, one of the two). The old "why use a nuke when a flyswatter works just fine" argument, I suppose?


With that said, empathic and telepathic communication are arguably going to be similar to wi-fi/developed EM communication systems.

True, except depending on how universal you imagine Eldar psionic communications to be, the background chatter might simply be barbaric. This is one of those places that the purportedly over-ornamented Eldar language might grow a little tiresome.


Erm, pardon?

A research project into remote viewing.

Kage2020
16-11-2005, 01:13
First off, thanks to everyone for engaging my eldarphile nature! :D


IMO, eldar military organisation is a slight contradiction in terms. Whilst there are those in a craftworld who's role it is look after and maintain everything from Jet-bikes to Phantom Titans (path of the Mechanic perhaps), there's no real formal structure to those that use them.
The one thing that really should not be forgotten in all this, and the reason that I sometimes get a bit narky when people harp on about the 'leadership' of Farseers or the prerequisite of Bonesingers to material artefact production, is that we shouldn't forget that the eldar do have 'artificial' means of production. Autofactories, etc., while not necessarily in keeping with the current Theme of the eldar and, therefore, something that tends to be lumped under the inappropriate use of Revisionism to the 'fluff', it still exists out there. Not only that, but it does make a great deal of sense. As a quick statement, for me the Bonesingers are more artisans than engineers: shapers rather than builders. We'll probably get back into that at a later time, though...

...Indeed, that's one of the most interesting features about the eldar. Because we have so little information on them, when you try and talk about just one feature of their society you end up bringing everything else into the melting pot. I love it!


Instead, when a farseer determines there is a need for an eldar warhost to be raised...
While there are some bits of the rest of your post that I agree with Sai-Lauren, again I have a knee-jerk reaction against the importance placed upon the Farseers. A part of this is because, increasingly, it doesn't seem to consider the limitations of the Farseers. Again, though, this is part preference and a part resistance to the approach that the novels have been taking with Farseers. (E.g. They are the McGuyver mixed with Superman of the eldar.)

With that said, I do believe that Farseers are important in the overall decision to go to war, though they do not necessarily determine it themselves. They are a part of the decision making tree but, thankfully, do not micro-manage everything. Yes, they might have a vision about one war, but they are not consulted on an expeditionary force sent out to guard a distant construction project... Although the Farseer may have a vision about that and, as such, have an input.

Hmmn... How to put that another way? Has anyone done any genealogical research? People spend years trying to trace the history of their families. Now imagine that you have to do that on not just one family, but twenty. (Trust me on this one, it is not a pleasant experience.) How long is that going to take you? Are you going to do everything yourself or, if you find another source, are you going to utilise that? In the same way that the Farseer possibly could determine every minor facet of a military action, more so if they were gifted in that way (i.e. a 'Battle Seer' rather than a non-war aspected Farseer/paramount practitioner of the Path of the Seer) it's just too much information to process. Rather, an established protocol and structure for the military would take out much of the work and leave the powers that be to focus on the slightly more important matters.


...the guardian forces will move to their armoury and take up their tissue paper armour, peashooters and starcannon .
<snicker> I like it!


I know that you have mentioned that you wouldn't want to take the whole precognition abilities of the Eldar as a war machine too far, but it seems to me that ifwe take it as written that seers are sometimes included in battle formations then I think there has to be a reason beyond just their position in a heirarchy...
Glad to have winkled you out from wherever you've been hiding, MvS. As to your comment here (and caveat about it not necessarily thinking quite that), then I broadly agree. I think. Rather, I am against the automatic reaction by which Seers are attributed as both cause and solution to all woes, or the not-so-secret super weapon of the eldar. With that said, it is a part of the eldar Theme and their position is a given. It is not, however, difficult to find reasoned positions for them, nor difficult to find a reason for a Farseer to be present on a mission or whatever.

As mentioned above, I can personally see an appropriately aspected Farseer (i.e. the aforementioned 'battle seer') being in tactical/strategic command of a given military force. If a non-appropriately aspected Farseer is present, I do not see them as automatically being given that command merely because they are a Farseer. Hence the concept of structure to the eldar military that was given some light to the re-mention of the Autarch or, rather, their naming given the fact that they've been around since WD127.


Anyhew, as others have mentioned, I think that the role of seers in an Eldar army must be the crux in determining the structure, capabilities, strategies and tactics of Eldar military.
I would agree with this with the caveat that Seers, as manifestations of the ability to achieve certain things by the utilisation of psyker or warp powers, are crucial. Even automated technologies probably work on technomantic principles. That does not make the individual Seer automatically valued, though.


That's why I think such grand-seers would be the strategy formers, as the strategy is just the goal and the reason why the goal is important - it doesn't need to hit upon the daily decisions of the 'how', or at least not much.
I'm also reminded of the 'Path to Chaos' (or the City of Chaos? story in RoC: StD). In many ways it can be argued that Farseer powers in some way mimic the journey to that distant city. But, yes, Farseers are definitely involved in the decision making processes, more so when they are the 'super' Farseers equivalent to the Menshad Korum.


The Eldar would, however, have an edge on second guessing some of the tactics and goals of the Ork army they are facing...
One must remember that the eldar are millions of years (if you believe the GW timeline) ahead of all the other races in terms of military science. Tactical surprises should be very hard to pull on the eldar. <grin>


...but because it seems to be the only style of warfare that makes sense when every soldier counts in the sense that they can't be replaced easily.
A reasonable point. Then again, if this were also the case then they would also have a bit more armour, whether in the form of powerfields or not, then they are given in the game! :D


As long as the strategy is achieved, the tactics would be flexible.
Dynamic operations and tactics/strategy are a part of human warfare, though. Indeed, all warfare, not just a preference for not getting caught up in static defence.


I think that seers, besides being valuable and reasonably rare, would be disseminated only amongst those units that need a intelligence gathering capability beyond any technological intelligence gathering capabilties that the Eldar might have.
Does that not depend on what you believe the 'Seers' - read: Warlocks for battlefield Seers - are capable of recovering? Are all Warlocks going to be trained in practical applications of clairsentience?


...then a seer in a formation would just be a necessary and reasonable counter-measure.
I reminded of Turtledove's book of 'fantasy WWII'!


I think they would be listened to in the same way that a political leader is listened to in war...
You mistake me, as you mentioned above. I'm not talking about the influence of Farseers (note: not just 'Seers') upon tactical/strategic command. It is a given and a bit of a no-brainer, as well as canonical, to have Farseers influencing the politics of a craftworld.

Exarch situational/experiential leadership... Nice way of putting it.


The Eldar would have some kind of technical and logistical battlefield support - although I guess with the Eldar this could just as easily be self-healing or replicating devices, or perhaps some kind of 'remote fixing' of a device from afar, as it could be 'mechanics' on the ground...
Indeed. But the simplistic abstraction of the wargame tends to personify such requirements and, from there, feed back into the 'fluff'.

Kage2020
16-11-2005, 01:14
I'd agree. Although perhaps even in a psi-damped environment the Eldar would have some kind of psychic intranet that has been hardened against such damening - like a mini webway.
Again, a given if you have a form of communications that can be compromised by anti-communication technologies, be that EM or psi-jammers.


The Rangers have their role, but the idea that they are the sole intel gatherers in battle, or even at any other time, is just daft.
Indeed.


We seem to have a (in my opinion) poor interpretation of Guardians.
There is a poor, general view of Guardians in general. Whether it is being espoused here is another question.


The way I see it, Guardians are far, far superior to most ordinary human soldiers - they'd easily have the tactical capabilities of the average Kasrkin, for example, and athleticism and marksmanship a fair way in advance of them.
While I agree with this, one must also balance this against the nature of the Path and what I would view as compartmentalisation of non-current Path information behind a permeable 'barrier' in their mind. This is a product of the focus engendered by the Path. With that said, all eldar are physically and mentally far in excess of their human equivalents (speed, ability to process information, minor telepathy/empathy in 'reading' their opponents, etc.).


Keep AWAY from them when they're in fighting mode, because they have only two imperatives - take orders, and kill anything that gets in the way.
Well, kinda. I wouldn't want to go too far down the whole Eversor approach to the Aspect Warrios, though.


[Guardians] Their ability is honed and instinctual - allowing the memetic imperatives they learn during training to take over and guide them to do that which is natural to them.
erm, wasn't it meant to be trained? Even those that were once Aspect Warriors arguably have to draw/dredge the information back up and refamiliarise their bodies with the mental disciplines of old.


Eldar leaders command not by knowledge and estimation but by prescience.
Again, something that I feel is an overstatement. It is an advantage, but doesn't allow the eldar to use it without a cost in terms of time spent in precognitive trance, or whatever. This goes back to the genealogy example, again. I can very well imagine a Battleseer, or even 'just' a Farseer, capable of defeating even the best Imperial warrior by precognitively memorising the conflict and ensuring that it goes down certain pathways. But the time that it takes to get to that point might make it less worth the effort. Best still to put the 'sword' in the hands of someone that are best able to wield it and leave the foreknowledge of the conflict to ensuring that you have that 'sword' handy.


Warlocks in Guardian squads are not so much leaders as planners - they forsee the squad's future and advise the Guardian leader as necessary...
Precognition is not generally a feature of the Warlocks, even though the 'fluff' does not disclude them from having that 'gift'.


I see them as much more than that...
Ack, don't do that to me. Posting wargame mechanics at me tends to make me twITch... ;) (And I would be against the conjuration of 'wraithbone walls'. Leave that to WFB!)


This "message" enters the network, the Reapers sense what they're being requested and the Seer can either allow it to happen, or overrule and get them to target a Land Raider...
Again, something that I see as the importance of Farseers (or 'Seers') being shifted into a means by which this can be validated. While the above is possible, not all Farseers necessarily derive from the Way of the Warlock (with nominal ability in warfare)...


Basically, everything links in together - the eldar way of war.
Well, that's the Eldar Seer way of war... Whether it is the eldar way of war is another question! <grin>


I'm still waiting for that reply on the Tir'asur thread you posted here when Warseer was knee-high to a gigabyte.
That will be from the time when there were, for me, no interesting topics and thus when I wasn't checking. I shall try and find it!


Mobilizing an entire craftworld for war is surely an epic and complex feat, but I don't think it's fair to make it directly analagous to marshalling the Imperium's warhosts.
Lucky that I'm not, then!


My point about the conscription of Outcasts stems primarily from the idea that Outcasts are not members of Craftworld society as such and will have to be encouraged in some way to serve alongside a Craftworld's armies.
What about a sense of responsibility to the craftworld in general? Then again, perhaps there is a bias there since I view the Outcasts as still on the Path and, rather, rebelling against the structures of eldar society. (Note: The assumption there is that eldar society is not solely defined by the Path.)

Anyway. "Vanilla" Eldar military structure? At the top of the military ladder is the Court of the Young King...
Indeed, that would make a whole lot of sense. Craftworld eldar having a fairly homogenous culture, and all.


Beneath that are the various war-bringing machinations of a craftworld...
Are they truly separated in hierarchy, or is this merely a reference to the fact that the CotYK would nominally control these elements with approval of the political elements of the craftworld?


This is one of those places that the purportedly over-ornamented Eldar language might grow a little tiresome.
Only insofar as you view something as acontextual, though? The context is pretty much defined, here. Call it a 'battle tongue' if you will, though a natural extension of complex language shaded by simple associations?

Kage

Khaine's Messenger
16-11-2005, 02:28
What about a sense of responsibility to the craftworld in general?

I don't think it would be that simple, since any Outcasts present on a Craftworld are not guaranteed to have any loyalties whatsoever to that particular Craftworld. To a certain extent there will be craftworld loyalties, but as they are of a path apart from the norms of Eldar society, their compliance (indeed, their presence) is not assured, and it's quite possible that summoning Outcasts (okay, "Rangers") to task will be somewhat difficult. Much as (to take as a quick example) Ulthwe Outcasts might have a loyalty to Ulthwe, I do not think the sum total of all Outcasts available to the craftworld Ulthwe are going to be Ulthwe Outcasts...and while it might not be Ulthwe's place to pressgang other craftworlds' Outcasts, I'm sure there are some offers that Ulthwe could give for enticement of some sort (if not general appeals to the glory of the Eldar race in general).

In short, loyalty will only take you so far. In war, I imagine Outcasts would flock...for battle, they would probably drag their feet.


Are they truly separated in hierarchy, or is this merely a reference to the fact that the CotYK would nominally control these elements with approval of the political elements of the craftworld?

Mostly a wartime thing, which would require endorsement of the political authority or, more to the thrust, a divine authority; lacking either, its authority barely extends beyond the shrines, what powers the political authorities have given it on a permanent basis, and what loyalty it can instill through its own charisma or display of "power." In other words, when the forces of a craftworld are being deployed in the name of that craftworld, the CotYK is going to be involved somewhere along the line, generally near the top.


Call it a 'battle tongue' if you will, though a natural extension of complex language shaded by simple associations?

You can break it down however you wish; I'm not saying they wouldn't have the means to operate effectively with such a system, just that a sort of "radio discipline" would be useful for an open-end network of as many nodes as there are Eldar in the army...it seems to be effectively like dumping a tsunami in a bucket. Eldar minds are guarded as always, but such a distributed "communications network" might have its drawbacks as numbers become an issue (which you'd think they wouldn't, Eldar being Eldar....).

sulla
16-11-2005, 03:46
It's annoying that all of this speculation may be undone by the next revision of the Eldar codex and the introduction of new HQ choices, nonetheless...

One of the things I liked about Farser and some of the more modern stuff on eldar sers, was the way it portrayed the inaccuracies and uncertainties of their visions. Also, the way in Farseer, how the main eldar character has failed to convince the other sers of his preferred course of action, indicating that the seer councils of the craftworlds don't buy into every vision of every farseer...in other words bringing internal politics into the craftworlds.

This means that Eldar warbands are (or have the possibility of being) just that; groups of soldiers united by the personal charisma of a particular seer.

If this is the case, Seers and warlocks become, by default, the generals of the force, although the soon to be introduced autarch may assume tactical control of the army.

Outcasts could still be loyal to a seer without being part of a craftworld's cloying hierarchy. In fact, seers could even recruit groups of outcasts to be their personal agents off the craftworld. Rangers covertly gathering information and pirates raiding. (It will be interesting to see if Eldar pirates still have access to wraithlords when they are revised. This could point to them having support from elements in the craftworld).

I don't agree that guardians are generally superior to guardsmen. I think the average eldar is physically superior to even a prime human specimen, buta human warrior is far better trained than an eldar militiaman IMO. I would doubt the average guardian has the tactical acumen of a professional human soldier. They may fight the same number of battles on the tabletop, but in the 40K universe, I would imagine the IG soldiers life is war, while the guardian a few times every century. To me, the eldar fight battles so they don't have to fight wars.

Sai-Lauren
16-11-2005, 09:21
While there are some bits of the rest of your post that I agree with Sai-Lauren, again I have a knee-jerk reaction against the importance placed upon the Farseers. A part of this is because, increasingly, it doesn't seem to consider the limitations of the Farseers. Again, though, this is part preference and a part resistance to the approach that the novels have been taking with Farseers. (E.g. They are the McGuyver mixed with Superman of the eldar.)

I know, I much preferred the 1st edition farseers. But I guess GW thought they weren't heroic enough, and decided they should be combat monsters. Hopefully, with the Autarch, they'll be returned to the frail old mage stereotype.



With that said, I do believe that Farseers are important in the overall decision to go to war, though they do not necessarily determine it themselves. They are a part of the decision making tree but, thankfully, do not micro-manage everything. Yes, they might have a vision about one war, but they are not consulted on an expeditionary force sent out to guard a distant construction project... Although the Farseer may have a vision about that and, as such, have an input.

I think part of the problem here is that we don't know how many farseers a craftworld has. Are there only a few, forming a guiding council and only looking at the major events, or are there many covering everything from going to war to blessing unions between two eldar? What about the crystal seers? Are their spirits travelling around in the infinity circuit, performing the more mundane precognitions, whilst the living farseers look at the bigger picture? If there's only a few, and they simply focus on the important points in time, something others see as insignificant (like say founding an outpost somewhere) may actually be a focal point for the future (that outpost might supply a great warrior a hundred years from now who'll be instrumental in fending off a huge enemy assault).



<snicker> I like it!

Don't know what you mean. :angel: :D



Ack, don't do that to me. Posting wargame mechanics at me tends to make me twITch... (And I would be against the conjuration of 'wraithbone walls'. Leave that to WFB!)

Sorry for the rules, but I think that if they're just there to repair the falcon when a land raider blows a hole clear through it, they are just Eldar techmarines. I'd like to see them have more of a role in supporting the whole army like the other seers do, and was offering examples of things they could do.



Again, something that I see as the importance of Farseers (or 'Seers') being shifted into a means by which this can be validated. While the above is possible, not all Farseers necessarily derive from the Way of the Warlock (with nominal ability in warfare)...

Well, all Farseers by their very nature can see into the future ;) . Even if they're not militarily trained, they can still see what actions will give the best eventual outcome for the eldar.
The problems only start when you have two farseers who've seen different possible futures.;)



Well, that's the Eldar Seer way of war... Whether it is the eldar way of war is another question! <grin>

I'm sure that you've noticed when you've played Eldar that everything in your army has to work together for you to win, wheras for nearly every other army, if one part doesn't do so well, another can pick up the slack.
That kind of interdependence must come from somewhere within the Eldar culture, and IMO the paths only partially explain it.

Kage2020
16-11-2005, 21:30
I don't think it would be that simple, since any Outcasts present on a Craftworld are not guaranteed to have any loyalties whatsoever to that particular Craftworld.
In that case it would be just as difficult to argue that they could be conscripted in any form, since that is a matter of agreeing with the ability of a given government structure to conscript them. Arguably this would be even harder on a non-home craftworld than their home one. Furthermore, this also ties in with how one believes the eldar view the nature of 'family'. As I've mentioned elsewhere, for me the eldar's first obligation is to the eldar in general, rather than something like 'kin'. So a sense of responsibility to ones species is something that is more likely to be in place than a sense of duty or a recognition of the authority of a craftworld, more so when the individual in question is an Outcast who has rebelled against the strictures/authority of craftworld eldar society...?


Much as (to take as a quick example) Ulthwe Outcasts might have a loyalty to Ulthwe, I do not think the sum total of all Outcasts available to the craftworld Ulthwe are going to be Ulthwe Outcasts...
And on that I agree. Another reason for the 'clan' concept of mine as well.


Mostly a wartime thing...
Ah, I shall readily ignore this then. :D


In other words, when the forces of a craftworld are being deployed in the name of that craftworld, the CotYK is going to be involved somewhere along the line, generally near the top.
A given.


...just that a sort of "radio discipline" would be useful for an open-end network of as many nodes as there are Eldar in the army...
The same, of course, applies to non-eldar communication systems, i.e. the ones evidenced in the Imperial Guard.


It's annoying that all of this speculation may be undone by the next revision of the Eldar codex and the introduction of new HQ choices, nonetheless...
Well, not really. Look at what GW have produced thus far. Hardly anything significant has changed and they're only taking the eldar more down the 'future fantasy' approach. The only worry, for me, is that they will prove to be superficial once more and just make Seer the actual leaders of everything rather than allowing a more complex society. GW are ever simplists when they come down to the alien races, which is probably why they don't want people writing from their perspective.


One of the things I liked about Farser and some of the more modern stuff on eldar sers, was the way it portrayed the inaccuracies and uncertainties of their visions.
Indeed. Although the origins of much of my personal interpretation to the eldar are pre-King, as it were, the idea of precognitive inaccuracies, manipulation, etc., are all things that I would definitely agree with.


This means that Eldar warbands are (or have the possibility of being) just that; groups of soldiers united by the personal charisma of a particular seer.
Again, I'm not going to personally go down that route since it follows along the association of Seer=leader. I think this is a failure of understanding or application of the Eldar Path, more so when the Seer in question is a Farseer.


...although the soon to be introduced autarch may assume tactical control of the army.
Again, the Autarch has been around since WD127 and makes a whole lot more 'cannon' sense than the Farseer-as-leader.


In fact, seers could even recruit groups of outcasts to be their personal agents off the craftworld.
This is true and a potential. But as the structure of eldar society? It's basically a hash-up of the Inquisitor warband and not something that I would personally argue to be very 'interesting'.


I don't agree that guardians are generally superior to guardsmen. I think the average eldar is physically superior to even a prime human specimen, buta human warrior is far better trained than an eldar militiaman IMO.
That all depends, though, doesn't it? Whether someone is 'green' or 'elite' is more a matter of experience than necessarily training, even if the latter is important. And the eldar have far, far more time to train.


I know, I much preferred the 1st edition farseers. But I guess GW thought they weren't heroic enough, and decided they should be combat monsters. Hopefully, with the Autarch, they'll be returned to the frail old mage stereotype.
I hope not, since that means that they would be just going down the typical cliche route with the Autarch when this is not strictly necessary. (Cf. Menshad Korum once again.)


I think part of the problem here is that we don't know how many farseers a craftworld has. Are there only a few, forming a guiding council and only looking at the major events, or are there many covering everything from going to war to blessing unions between two eldar?
Seers in general are not the same as Farseers, of course, and one does not need to make the association of 'Seer=authority'. With that said, though, Seers do tend to be older individuals and one could imagine that acquiring a certain amount of respect. With that said, Farseers as 'paramount practitioners' are going to be rare, given both the awe and horror that they are held in. In a population of 90,000,000 that I have on the craftworld of Lugannath, I would have no more than a horrendously small fraction of them being Farseers. Perhaps 1 in a million. It's still a large number, but not all of them are going to be actively engaged in the 'political' life of the craftworld, or even when they are they might not be directly active since, as PPs, they spend most of their time in divinatory trances (a feature that is often forgotten). Also, the various Farseers are going to be involved in different activities, etc.


What about the crystal seers? Are their spirits travelling around in the infinity circuit, performing the more mundane precognitions, whilst the living farseers look at the bigger picture?
I would personally put a limitation on the ability of a (Far)Seer to use their abilities outside of the IC. They are, after all, dead. That's despite the 'fluff' on Warlock Titans...


I'd like to see them have more of a role in supporting the whole army like the other seers do, and was offering examples of things they could do.
I would like to see them not present in the army.


Well, all Farseers by their very nature can see into the future . Even if they're not militarily trained, they can still see what actions will give the best eventual outcome for the eldar.
As I mentioned above, time is going to be an issue in this and, therefore, their application to the battlefield.


I'm sure that you've noticed when you've played Eldar...
Sorry, I refuse to play the wargame. I used to when WD127 just came out, but nothing since then. Cannot abide the game mechanics.

Kage

Khaine's Messenger
17-11-2005, 04:04
In that case it would be just as difficult to argue that they could be conscripted in any form

As I said, conscription may simply be a poor choice of words in this circumstance.


So a sense of responsibility to ones species is something that is more likely to be in place than a sense of duty or a recognition of the authority of a craftworld, more so when the individual in question is an Outcast who has rebelled against the strictures/authority of craftworld eldar society...?

Yes, but one might argue that loyalty to the species above political authority is a stricture of craftworld eldar society and will thus be one of the many tethers an Outcast may have cast off for the duration of walking that Path. Philosophy aside, though, yes, the situation is largely going to consist of convincing an Eldar that this situation is his responsibility or duty. Some might blindly die for the cause, but appealing to their sense of duty will only take them so far when they may not be convinced that it is in the species' best interest. But then again I suppose that's "a given."


A given.

True, but it's a starting point.


The same, of course, applies to non-eldar communication systems, i.e. the ones evidenced in the Imperial Guard.

Only for communication systems of a particular scope/scale/networking. If everyone has a mic, the chatter becomes just awful, which was the point--if every Eldar is at least a telepath and can utilize the ability under duress, then routing that traffic is going to be a severe headache (pun not really intended). Presumably they will have some lid on this simply because this will be an issue (and I don't think the Eldar will be stupid enough to let such a potential screwup handicap them). I was only stating, for the purposes of stating it, that this is something the Eldar will have to accomodate. Same goes for Space Marines, one assumes (and for Abnett-y Guardsmen, but not so much for Mitchell PDFers or the wargame representation in general).

To move on....
The major question is, I suppose, how non-Shrine groups are "organized" and supported (or how the shrines themselves are organized). To which point most people have suggested "clans," although without some knowledge of overall Eldar society, it becomes difficult to pontificate on actual organization skills. This doesn't particularly tell us much. So I'll just throw something out there.

Every Clan can raise its own military forces, typically led by a representative of that clan and possessing its own hierarchy and possibly logistical structure. Clans are not kin groups as such, and therefore nepotism is not usually as much a problem as one might expect (especially as concerting the paths being followed by relations would be difficult), and while it is true that pulling someone from a path for service in a "militia" may occasionally be necessary, this will not be so if the craftworld is keeping at least a small reservoir of non-shrine soldiers to draw upon.

These military forces are organized as follows:
The Retinues of Khaine: While Shrine warriors explore the facets of Khaine himself, it is the Retinues who form the thin bubble that support Him. This is a force in multiples of a hundred (usually less, as the one hundred figure's derivation is a bit squishy and not popular) standing warriors organized into two forces, usually mechanised infantry (mounted either in APCs or bikes) and armor, with the majority of most deployed forces being of the vehicles despite the "paper" majority being the mechanised infantry. Internal hierarchies are typically based on how many warriors will fit in a vehicle and how many vehicles can be coordinated at once, each "unit" usually led by former shrine members or followers of the path of the witch (not necessarily warlocks). Some Retinues are devoted to space warfare and crewing craftworld vessels, and it is these who see action most often.

and the Iron Knights: organized as "units of one," the Iron Knights are knowledgeable artisan commanders of nonmilitary support forces. Bonesingers they really aren't; although they do possess similar skills, their application of them is bent more towards engineering than actual construction. As a group, they are directly responsible for the maintenance and augmentation of "clan owned" equipment. It is the Knights that most Seers seem to supplement (or the other way around), as their presence is often attributed to the craftworld Eldar's own version of "technical ability" or its psychic analogs to the physical gear of other races.

and the Hunt: Outcasts are lumped in here when they're available; there's rarely a pecking order here, as the Hunt is subordinated to the Oligarchy in mandated unit sizes that can be reorganized by battlefield commanders on a whim. A craftworld might have standing units that function similarly to Rangers as we know them, but those would typically be bound into a Retinue. As may be surmised by their "title," Hunts are a bit more earthy than the Retinues.

are led by->The Oligarchies of the Blood Moon: overall command of a Clan's military forces is relegated to political appointees, usually in pairs per one hundred warriors. Again, preferences may fall where they lay. Typically, the Oligarchy of the Blood Moon is made up of one living and one dead Eldar, with the living Eldar being the superior, often allowed the honor of representing the Clan in councils of war. Some extreme craftworlds may have the Oligarchy duplicated on all levels within a Retinue, although most craftworlds see this as a waste of resources. Those farseers or senior battleseers that wish to "integrate" usually ally themselves with an Oligarchy and may be welcomed as a member of it. Oligarchies do not like to challenge the primacy of the Court of the Young King, as its "basis" is formed from the myth of Eldanesh's struggle with Khaine.

are responsible to-> The Clan (or the CotYK in time of outright war)
who participates in-> The craftworld's government.

All of these "organization" levels, however, are unlikely to form in every Clan all the time. While a Clan might maintain its levels within the Iron Knights, who spend their time in peace mending and polishing, and might retain its highest level Oligarchy simply so it can keep tabs somewhat on its military capabilities should they become a necessary option, most Clans will not have much reason to call on their "on paper" military assets all the time, as proper functioning with military forces will require a substantial shifting of associations of its membership from their normal duties in the craftworld.

All just some uninformed speculation for the purposes of a higher wordcount. :angel: ;)

sulla
17-11-2005, 07:25
Again, I'm not going to personally go down that route since it follows along the association of Seer=leader. I think this is a failure of understanding or application of the Eldar Path, more so when the Seer in question is a Farseer.



Only in the same way as an Imam or similar religious leader may be the spirtual leader of a faction. It doesn't stop him/her having military 'lieutenants'. I see individual Farseers who 'lead' armies as leaders of factions, not neccessarily representing the majority view of the craftworld.



Again, the Autarch has been around since WD127 and makes a whole lot more 'cannon' sense than the Farseer-as-leader.

Well, I never bought WD back then. It may have been in the compilation that reprinted the aspect rules but I can't remember it from that. The only stuff I know of autarchs is what I have read on here (generally wishlists for uberpowered exarchs with free reign of all exarch abilities and wargear) and the little bit from the epic eldar list which was very wishy washy.




That all depends, though, doesn't it? Whether someone is 'green' or 'elite' is more a matter of experience than necessarily training, even if the latter is important. And the eldar have far, far more time to train.

Well, I don't see elite and green as 2 opposites. Green is the opposite of veteran. 'Elite' in military terms means specialist more than veteran. And specialists do not always do the job of line troops very well. For example, british commandos, US SEALS etc make very poor frontline infantry. They lack the heavt support and armour needed to fulfill the job and carry a lot of kit that is needless in a pitched battle. So being 'elite' in military terms is very much a matter of training (and equipment). Being green, however, is a matter of experience and I would assume that the average guardsman would accumulate far more campaign experience in 5 years (due to the imperium's crusading policy) than a guardian would in 50 yrs.



Seers in general are not the same as Farseers, of course, and one does not need to make the association of 'Seer=authority'.
Kage

No, but Farseers are an extension of the path of the Warlock which is a military seer and intermediate battle leader. Nonetheless, I see farseers (particularly those who lead Eldar in battle) as visionaries or perhaps even agitators among the Eldar. Capable of swaying either the craftworld's council, or enough eldar individuals to form a warband.

At least I see this as one possibility to justify Farseers leading Eldar forces. Farseers 'leading' eldar armies can of course also be extensions of the will of the craftworld's council. But I like the wargaming scope allowed by 'rogue' farseers acting on their own half-revealed prophesies...

Sai-Lauren
17-11-2005, 09:09
I hope not, since that means that they would be just going down the typical cliche route with the Autarch when this is not strictly necessary. (Cf. Menshad Korum once again.)

I disagree to an extent, it does tie in with every thing in the eldar army having it's own role, and the whole army needing to work together to get the desired result. The Autarch is this great warrior and military leader, whilst the Farseer is almost the tribal shaman reading the bones to tell the Autarch when and where to do certain things, or the relationship between King Arthur and Merlin.



Seers in general are not the same as Farseers, of course, and one does not need to make the association of 'Seer=authority'. With that said, though, Seers do tend to be older individuals and one could imagine that acquiring a certain amount of respect. With that said, Farseers as 'paramount practitioners' are going to be rare, given both the awe and horror that they are held in. In a population of 90,000,000 that I have on the craftworld of Lugannath, I would have no more than a horrendously small fraction of them being Farseers. Perhaps 1 in a million. It's still a large number, but not all of them are going to be actively engaged in the 'political' life of the craftworld, or even when they are they might not be directly active since, as PPs, they spend most of their time in divinatory trances (a feature that is often forgotten). Also, the various Farseers are going to be involved in different activities, etc.

I was actually thinking 10 would be a lot for a craftworld :)
But are they really going to be doing different things when they're divining the future? They'll look for something of importance that's in their future, and then come back and look for the ways of making it happen if it's beneficial, or stopping it if not.


I would personally put a limitation on the ability of a (Far)Seer to use their abilities outside of the IC. They are, after all, dead. That's despite the 'fluff' on Warlock Titans...

Only their bodies are, although I certainly do see them losing their connection to the real world as they inhabit the circuit - but over decades and centuries rather than days and weeks.

But I don't want to see Seer wraithlords either.:D


I would like to see them not present in the army.

Spoilsport :D


As I mentioned above, time is going to be an issue in this and, therefore, their application to the battlefield.

Well, going back to the story in WD127 with the Farseer, they're constantly monitoring the runes for the whole battle, rather than scanning individual futures of each action just before it's done, so I don't really see time as much of an issue.
That Farseer's even got time to change channels and see through the eyes of one of the warlocks involved. ;)


Sorry, I refuse to play the wargame. I used to when WD127 just came out, but nothing since then. Cannot abide the game mechanics.
Kage
Ah, fair enough.

Commander Ozae
17-11-2005, 18:27
Farseers have command because they are both old and assumed to have lots of experience and because they can see the future to an extent. The Farseers are the virtual rulers of the craftworlds because in all matters they are trusted becasue they can see the future and will guide the eldar the most ably.

Kage2020
17-11-2005, 21:38
I disagree to an extent, it does tie in with every thing in the eldar army having it's own role, and the whole army needing to work together to get the desired result.
It is less a question of functionality in wargame terms, but more one of function in terms of the 'fluff'. Without further extension of the 'fluff' the definition of the Farseer, for example, generally precludes 'leadership'. Remember that they are consumed by the Path of the Seer. Isn't it a tad boorish to have it suspiciously include 'leadership'?

Again, though, it is more a case of the proper utilisation. The wargame doesn't have the correct resolution or detail to allow the proper representation of Farseers, in my mind. That doesn't mean that they shouldn't be present, just that a bit more thought needs to go into just what the Farseers are and not transform 'HQ choice' into leader. It's a rather nasty little bit of feedback from the wargame into the 'fluff'.


I was actually thinking 10 would be a lot for a craftworld
That really does depend on the size of the population, I'm guessing, not some of spiritual limiter (i.e. 'preference' ;)). We - that is, most gamers - are just not used to thinking of eldar demographics when it involves large numbers. Throw in that 'dying race' cludge and, well, everything looks weird.


But are they really going to be doing different things when they're divining the future?
That depends. Some people might have a particularly affinity to one type of event or another, i.e. similar to the idea of 'Battle Seers'. I freedly admit, however, that I'm being overtly influenced in this regard by the precognitives in McAffrey's Pegsus books. Well, and that mystical preference again! <grin>


Only their bodies are, although I certainly do see them losing their connection to the real world as they inhabit the circuit - but over decades and centuries rather than days and weeks.
That is true... Guess even I'm subject to the dictates of balance. Since there is absolutely no reason for my statement, I'll now reverse it!

As to the 'connection', that is not something that I would stress in terms of that horrendous game mechanic where Wraithguard cannot 'see' the world. That is god-awful. Sorry. With that said, in terms of 'fluff' I also see eldar spirits maintaining their connection for... some reason. It is only when this connection is lost that they join the gestalt consciousness of the 'craftworld spirit' itself. (And the only time that you really need Spirit Seers is to get a hold of these individuals.)


But I don't want to see Seer wraithlords either.
Exactly. It smacks of the munchkin/cheesy, although there really isn't that much of a reason that they shouldn't be remarkably common.


Kage2020: I would like to see them not present in the army.
Sai-Lauren: Spoilsport
Pllllttttthhhh...


Well, going back to the story in WD127 with the Farseer, they're constantly monitoring the runes for the whole battle...
There is a difference, there, between precognitive monitoring and the use of 'runes' as foci for clairsentience.


Ah, fair enough.
Although Epic... <sigh> That could bring me back to the game if it wasn't for the horrendous miniatures, i.e. the 40k ones are rather pretty!


The Farseers are the virtual rulers of the craftworlds because in all matters they are trusted becasue they can see the future and will guide the eldar the most ably.
Actually, that is not exactly the 'fluff', which states only that the eldar base most of their political decisions off the visions of the Farseers... But you are correct, that is the standard answer that one sees in response to the Farseers. My apologies, though, since I think that it is also the wrong answer! :D

Kage

Commander Ozae
17-11-2005, 23:52
Remember that many Farseers served as Warlocks (i think) and that Warlocks have extensive combat experience. All eldar travel down the Path of the Warrior for a short time in their life (relative to eldar lifespans) so all Farseers have at least some combat experience.

Kage2020
18-11-2005, 22:20
Yes, that is indeed correct. Although taking it to the extent that Warlocks are 'apprentice' Farseer is obvioiusly tenuous at best, even if the 'fluff' tended to hint rather strongly at that at one point. You will note, however, that I mention the 'combat potential' of Farseers with specific reference to the 'Battle Seer', an individual that becomes a Farseer while walking the Way of the Warlock.

One thing that should be remembered, though, is the nature of the Path. Again, everything ultimately comes down to this. In the transition to becoming a 'paramount practitioner', what little 'fluff' there is on the matter strongly suggests that it is all consuming and, indeed, burning away much of the 'personality' of the individual. (Well, that might be over-stating it but not by much if at all.) Thus a Seer on, say, the Way of the Bonesinger is going to be consumed by that Way, and for me, aspecting their 'Farseer-hood'. Much of their former experiences are going to be burned away in making that transition since now they are completely consumed by the Path of the Seer and, noteably, the 'Way of the Bonesinger'.

This, of course, relies upon analogy to the Path of the Warrior where you have the 'Shrine Sworn' as I call them, i.e. Exarchs that remain within a single Shrine, and the Menshad Korum (trans.: 'Warriors in Search of Themselves'), or Exarchs that move from Shrine to Shrine; from Way to Way. Thus the extension to Farseer since, in general, I find it deplorable that there is so much exceptions being created for the sake of supposed simplicity. You have both the 'Shrine Sworn' equivalent, those that are aspected by their latest Way and only more generally by the Path, and those presumably rarer type that can move at will between the various Paths. It is the latter form that can more than likely draw upon more general experience.

Oh yes, I also prefer it as well as it having a 'fluff' basis. :D

So, thus far what about this as reminders of the main thread topic?

Farseers do not necessarily have tactical/strategic command on any given task force, more usually having an advisory role. This is despite their selection as a HQ choice and the implications of this, though it is interesting to note the original (and possibly current) selection of Farseers as an '0-1' option.
Using the Path of the Warrior as an example, there may exist a type of Farseer who 'specialises' in the utilisation of psyker abilities in warfare. These 'battle seers' maintain tactical/strategic knowledge since they arose out of the Way of the Warlock. Their precognitive abilities may be tempered by this 'aspecting', such that they are on a much shorter order (i.e. battles/conflicts) or, alternatively, they spend much of their studying future battles over numerous probability threads.
The aformentioned 'battle seer' might have tactical/strategic command.
Beyond any Seer presence, the Autarch maintains tactical/strategic command and, ultimately, his 'authority' derives from whatever government structures you believe are in place on a given craftworld.
Almost by definition, an Autarch must be Menshad Korum.
Aspect Warriors operate, unsurprisingly, as 'elite' units under the direct supervision of the Autarch or, beneath them, any Exarchs from their Shrine that may be present.
Guardians remain under the command of the Autarch. They may be divided into 'hosts', or what I prefer to call 'Houses', but that need not imply the barbaric over-tones that come with this. (E.g. Taking the so-called 'celtic' influence a tad too far.)
Communications may be moderated by psyker powers, though likely these are boosted in some way. This includes 'hardening' and the use of redundant non-psychic means of communication.
Anyway, with the representation of eldar in the wargame - a self-evident result of Wargame Balance - what changes would you make to eldar 'troop types' to bring them into 'fluffalogical' line?

Kage

Commander Ozae
18-11-2005, 23:22
I think in terms of leaders most squads are kind of on their own to make decisions. The Farseer or Autarch will act to coordinate them and the Farseer will use their ability to see the future to figure out where and when they will make the most impact on the battlefield. Also, in normal 40K usually there is an objective and most likely the Farseer requisitioned the Warhost they are leading from a larger army to seize an objective. I'm not saying that's always the case, just that it is a possibility.

Kage2020
20-11-2005, 16:22
I think in terms of leaders most squads are kind of on their own to make decisions.
One would imagine that the obvious was in operation: that a squad leader has certain tactical freedom, but is integrated into the grander strategy by the upper echelons of the military. Again, for me approaching the eldar as a 'high tech' variation of the so-called 'celts' is not the best way to go, even if they are an obvious source of inspiration for the eldar. Again, though, each to his own... A part of this thread is to see through some of the more obvious approaches, through interpretation to see if there is actually anything there to the eldar that is not a part of somewhat simple setup of the wargame.


...and the Farseer will use their ability to see the future to figure out where and when they will make the most impact on the battlefield.
Again, I feel this to be a tenuous approach since it presupposes an almost 'instant' observation and analysis of the future. Again, this ties in with how you see the ability of the Farseer working, but I do not view it as a 'get out jail free' card that allows instant viewing of the absolute future.


Also, in normal 40K usually there is an objective and most likely the Farseer requisitioned the Warhost they are leading from a larger army to seize an objective.
That would be the only reason that the Farseer should be there.

Kage

Commander Ozae
20-11-2005, 20:40
You never know why Farseers do something. They are able to scan the future very poorly in a few seconds or can "cast the runes" and look to see a more accurate picture. They just try to influence probability.

Kage2020
20-11-2005, 20:55
Pardon? The first sentence was almost on the lines of 'They're too alien for your puny human mind to understand'. Very GW, very BL and, more than likely (and hopefully), not what you were trying to say.

As to the last bit? Smacks of preference there. That's fair enough, but even then I'm not sure. Seems to be shading into mixing 'precognition' as a psionic gift with more developed future seeing.

Again, though, it really does depend on what you intend to do with the 'fluff'. It's easy to make general statements! :D With that said, though, I have yet to see even a rough attempt at defining the abilities of eldar Farseers. Well, other than the rough drafts on my own hard-drive.

Kage

feintstar
20-11-2005, 21:55
Now hang on, Just because a Farseer can't necessarily see the future in real-time doesn't mean that he can't know with some degree of foresight where and when what actions by what people are going to become significant events.

The farseer will cast runes to facillitate his visions of alternative futures, and gain an understanding of the probability of each, and the main decisions and events that would cause one future to come to pass rather than another.

Note, these events could be as grand as a full scale assault on a planetary system and as tiny as rescuing an Imperial Noble from a band of Orks on a savage backwater planet. It could be even finer tuned yet - Guardian X of such and such a craftworld will be too concerned for the life of his wife and will miss the subtle signs in the falcon's sensor battery that indicates an Incoming Necron attack that he alone has the equipment to halt, therefore the seer ensures that the guardian's communications are given priority. How much info they get on the future will be fickle and inconstant, sometimes a great deal of specific info and sometimes none, but it may require intervention on every level and every aspect of Eldar society.

This is micro and macro management. The Farseers are trying really hard to be the dude sitting on the computer during the game of dawn of war. They are trying to influence everything that might have significance, according to the signs that they have seen, which might be of major events but might also be of miniscule, outwardly insignificant 'butterfly flaps its wings' kind of stuff.

The Seer could be seen equally at the head of a planetary invasion or at the head of a 50 strong taskforce to defend a bonesinger who builds a set of defences and fortifications on a world in the middle of nowhere before leaving and not returning for 7000 years and never having an Eldar presence on that planet anyway.

They do not exist within the organisational hierarchy, but outside it, and In regards to the military, the Autarch and his Exarch deputies will conduct battle as they see fit, and they will be interfered with.

Commander Ozae
21-11-2005, 18:55
Seers are amazing warriors but you're right, the eldar usually try to be the secret masters of the galaxy.

Kage2020
21-11-2005, 19:03
Now hang on, Just because a Farseer can't necessarily see the future in real-time doesn't mean that he can't know with some degree of foresight where and when what actions by what people are going to become significant events.
That is not quite what I was saying, feintstar. Rather, that there is a practical time limitation on the ability of the Farseer to view and interpret the 'dendritic' reality of future time.


Note, these events could be as grand as a full scale assault on a planetary system and as tiny as rescuing an Imperial Noble from a band of Orks on a savage backwater planet.
Indeed, though there is nothing new there.


How much info they get on the future will be fickle and inconstant, sometimes a great deal of specific info and sometimes none, but it may require intervention on every level and every aspect of Eldar society.
I would suggest that there is a great deal of difference between the various forms of divination and Farseeing. Further, the importance of Farseers for the eldar has not been questioned, merely assigning them as leaders purely because of their divination.


The Seer could be seen equally at the head of a planetary invasion or at the head of a 50 strong taskforce...
As what, though? Again, the presence and function of a Seer must be moderated by a consideration of the Path itself and the nature of the 'paramount practitioners' (i.e. Exarchs and Farseers).


They do not exist within the organisational hierarchy...
You're making them sound like the Black Robes from Feist's fantasy world of Kelewan. In short, though, 'you cannot take away the right of people to be a*sholes'. The ability to see the future does not mean that people have to listen.

Kage

Commander Ozae
21-11-2005, 19:50
Warp Seers from the humans use divination to spew out randow prophecies like Abaddon taking the Blackstone Fortresses. But the Farseers have the ability to look into the warp and see all possible paths the future can take along with the probability that each of the paths will happen. They try to figure out how to increase the probability of the path they want to take but there's no guarentee that that's the way it will happen.

Kage2020
21-11-2005, 21:48
Seers are amazing warriors but you're right...
A common premise, but one that I find flawed. Why are they good fighters? Other than the fact that it is feedback of the simple assumptions of the wargame shading into the 'fluff', i.e. elites and 'leaders' are needed and the Theme of the eldar are 'psykers' (magic users), thus psykers are leaders and elites. Or something like that! :D

The Path operates to focus the individual on the activity governed by the Way walked by the individual. Yes, the eldar have 'free time' but with the 'paramount practitioners' that is not the case: they are the embodiment of the Way and Path. There is no room for anything else. Indeed, while eldar can reach into their past experiences to perform an activity that might be otherwise outside of the 'skill set' of a given Path or Way, one might even argue that this is burned away in the paramount practitioner (i.e. Exarch or Farseer). Perhaps even much of their memories are destroyed in the act of this 'becoming'? All that is left is the Farseer or the Exarch...?

And therein the problem with the representation of Farseers, etc.: they are increasingly becoming represented as just a 'dead end' to a career. Indeed, the Path itself nothing more than careers to be travelled variously on by emotionally unstable eldar (cf. Shadow Point :eyebrows: ).

I freely admit that a part of this is tempered by my own representation of the eldar. Talking about the 'fluff' in purely canonical terms - librarianship as I refer to it (since all you see are page references or 'fluff' quotes) - isn't the most exciting of things to do and, as such, interpretation and representation are of paramount importance... especially to the person they come from! :D

The next paragraph is about the representation, so you needn't read if you don't want to!

For me the Path is represented through, basically, different 'levels' of skills. Primary or Core skills represent those abilities that are being developed on a given Path, e.g. Sword for a Howling Banshee. Secondary skills are those that are appropriate but might otherwise not be considered directly related, e.g. Strategy for a Howling Banshee. Tertiary or Unrelated skills are those that are, as the name implies, not needed for a given Path. The infamous Flower Arranging for the Howling Banshee would be an example of this. Given the approach that I would strongly advocate, paramount practitioners (Exarchs, Farseers) have only their Primary and Secondary skills to draw on. All other abilities are 'removed' and the points redistributed. Ergo the 'special skills' that Exarchs develop almost instantaneously. It is also tempting to have 'memory' burned away with those skills.

So, in this case interpretation of 'fluff' became canonised in RPG rules abstracting the representation of the eldar, and this has fed back into the interpreted 'fluff'. Same way it happens in the wargame, hypocritically enough!

Anyway, getting back to Farseers and their divination. Well, it's not really necessary to tell me 'how' Farseers use their powers, although sometimes a statement of well known 'fluff' can be useful just in case the obvious has been missed. In this case it does little but reinforce the strategic limitations of actively engaging in Farseering in the battlefield. They have to follow the strands of probability, more than likely, through several branches to determine not only the singular outcome but also the implications. It's not as if they are viewed with a simple one-stage decision tree with a handy little probability counter next to them saying something like, "Eldar win here, 77%; Eldar win here, 100%".

Furthermore, one could also question why eldar ever lose? Granted you can argue that a loss at this point might prevent a greater one at a later time, but isn't that reaching somewhat? Of course, then you can get into the difference between Farseeing and Prophecy.

It's fun trying to make the eldar work! :D

Kage

feintstar
22-11-2005, 01:10
Yes, that's exactly right! They're the blackrobes of Kelewan!

As for people not 'having' to listen, I reckon the eldar would want to listen, regardless of whether they have to or not. Add to that the fact that it would be a brave, nieve or utterly insane Eldar who would contravene or disobey the wishes of a Farseer.

As for why the Eldar Lose, I think that has something to do with the nature of Farseeing.

Really, what the Seers use is a heavily upgraded, somewhat more accurate and ultimately more reliable Imperial Tarot, in the form of Runes. Through the interpretation, I feel they can gain visions of alternate futures. However, the Imperial tarot is hardly reliable at all, and thus, for all its sophistication, the Rune Panoply is just as susceptible to the butterfly effect.

Add to this the fact that the Eldar are rarely ever face a threat with the amount of force they would wish to bring to bear due to their dwindling number, and so they send what they can, and simply attempt to do what the seers suggest with limited resources. Like the Elves of Tolkien, better than everyone, outnumbered horribly, aware of the futility but fighting on in spite of the hopelessness - but fighting the long defeat nonetheless.

I think we're all agreed on the majority of points, the only sticking points being the way that Farseers relate to Seers and Battleseers, and other subsets of those that follow the path of the seer.

As I'd see it, Seers are of warlock level power, but can utilise many other 'tertiary level' skills and attributes. Farseers are Exarchs of the seer path, and no they should not be good at fighting, and they aren't. The powerful precognitive skills are manifest only if that is the aspect of the seer path they concentrate on - i.e. every seer/exarch is simply a focussed down follower of the flavour of the path they followed - the skills of every Banshee exarch will not be identical. For the non warrior Farseers Some small degree of precognitive/mind reading ability gives them WS5, and that's it. Battleseers on the other hand, are, as I see it, Eldar who have become exarchs of the sub-path of the Warlock - the martial flavour of the path of the seer. These could be quite significant warriors and seers besides, but probably without quite the same ability and concentration on the precognitive skills of the Farseers, instead, these rare seers probably utilise SM librarian or Chaos style of psyker powers, perhaps supercharged variants of warlock powers.

sulla
22-11-2005, 04:54
I hope fluff on farseers is expanded to allow the possibility of their visions being interpreted incorrectly. Otherwise it does really make a mockery of the Eldar ever losing a battle.

Kage, I know what you are saying about Farseers and how they have sort inherited a de facto leadership of the Eldar but I think you may be reading too much into their presence in armylists. I don't think their is any doubt that they are the spiritual leaders of their race on and off the battlefield and an extremely powerful unit in a tactical sense too. That doesn't mean that they wouldn't defer to the most skilled Exarch for advise on tactical deployment. In fact, the with the level of telepathy we are led to believe Eldar posess, they may even act like computers to multitask the tactical acumen of all the Exarchs on the battlefield. This would allow Warlocks and Farseers to collect and disseminate all the relevant battlefield data in a far more efficient way than any technology mankind or any race short of the Tyranids use.

As for the question of why warlocks and farseers are neccessarily good fighters, just by loooking at their stats in 40k we can see that they are. A comparison of an aspect warriors stats to a warlocks show that warlocks are extemely skilled warriors, lacking only the finely honed instincts (initiative) and resolve (leadership) of the warrior-priests. Farseers are better fighters still. I'd like to think that this skill wasn't a representation of their prescience (since divination seemed to be a ritual activity for the eldar, not something that can be done on the fly).

I also don't have a problem with Farseers as strategic battlefield leaders since every general would love the ability to prophecise the outcome of a battle with any degre of certainty.

So really, if Farseers can access accurate tactical information and decision making form their exarchs and warlocks using their psychic powers, and minimise strategic risk with their scrying powers, they would make very capable generals... certainly much better generals than a space marine chaplain or a greater daemon should make at any rate...

Commander Ozae
22-11-2005, 13:16
Yes, but exactly how many exarchs are present in a warhost. It is doubtful that there are many and the farseer has to determine if the exarch's plan fits with the overall plan. The Farseer has the last and final say in just about everything.

sulla
22-11-2005, 15:39
Yes, but exactly how many exarchs are present in a warhost. It is doubtful that there are many and the farseer has to determine if the exarch's plan fits with the overall plan. The Farseer has the last and final say in just about everything.

Ah, but then who leads if the farseer isn't present? I can't see the Avatar issuing coherent orders...

"Blood for the blood god!...Oops, I meant bloody handed god..hehe..."

Kage2020
22-11-2005, 16:51
Yes, that's exactly right! They're the blackrobes of Kelewan!
Only problem there is that it makes only minimal sense given the nature of the Path. The supporting 'fluff' from such things as Farseer does little to exaccerbate the situation. So, a 'no' for me on the Black Robe analogy. Again, I would argue that they are a part of the 'government', not the government. And then only a limited portion of them that are considered 'worthy' and have offered themselves up to a position of authority/personal responsibility.


As for people not 'having' to listen, I reckon the eldar would want to listen, regardless of whether they have to or not. Add to that the fact that it would be a brave, nieve or utterly insane Eldar who would contravene or disobey the wishes of a Farseer.
Isn't that circular reasoning? They would want to listen, even if they don't have to, and you would have to be insane to contravene/disobey the wishes of the Farseer who you don't have to listen to, but you want to listen to...


As for why the Eldar Lose, I think that has something to do with the nature of Farseeing.
Which was my ultimate point: time considerations, limitations of the accuracy of any given precognition depending on chasing a vision forwards and backwards on pre- and post-cognitive 'time trees', etc.

And despite the 'fluff' otherwise, is it not strange that the magnificent eldar Farseeing ability - the one that if you are to follow through some of the arguments advocated above - is little more than tarot casting? Or is it something else? I would suggest that the runes are talismans for inducing visions, but the activity that one sees Auric Stormcloud engaged in is little more than 'tea-leaf reading', not Farseeing. Why? Personal preference since the eldar are meant to attribute significance to Farseeing and it is meant to be something... more.

Again, though, even though I take that approach it doesn't mean that I take it to excess.


Add to this the fact that the Eldar are rarely ever face a threat with the amount of force they would wish to bring to bear due to their dwindling number...
Which is, of course, merely enforcement of the premise of the 'dying race' over everything else. 'Dying race' taken to mean small numbers, or huge mortality rate (because in the 'dark future there is only war' :rolleyes: ), etc.? The scale of the 40k universe allows much, much more, coupled with the fact that it is all relative: small numbers doesn't mean that the eldar in any given conflict are going to be outnumbered by hundreds or thousands to one.


As I'd see it, Seers are of warlock level power, but can utilise many other 'tertiary level' skills and attributes.
Power level is not going to be attributed necessarily to function. That is one of the points at which the abstraction of the wargame falls flat on its face. A Seer can have any level of power, although their abilities will differ either in form or extent to the Farseers.


Farseers are Exarchs of the seer path, and no they should not be good at fighting, and they aren't.
A given, which has been my point. Again, though, by 'fighting' this also translates to tactical/strategic ability only if they do not derive from the Way of the Warlock (i.e. 'Battle Seer').


For the non warrior Farseers Some small degree of precognitive/mind reading ability gives them WS5, and that's it.
Again, arguing for the wargame statistics is redudnant in this regard since it is such a grainy abstraction as to be all but meaningless. When is it technomancy, technology or pure 'psychic engineering/psyker powers'? With that said, as you say limited forsm of mind-reading/precognition can be used to explain the Farseer perhaps handling more than their limited understand of warfare might otherwise allow them (though arguably not so high). This is, however, not going to be limited to Farseers.


Battleseers on the other hand, are, as I see it, Eldar who have become exarchs of the sub-path of the Warlock - the martial flavour of the path of the seer.
As I have been arguing for quite some time.


These could be quite significant warriors and seers besides...
Terminology is becoming an issue. All individuals that walk the Path of the Seer are automatically 'Seers'. That does not necessarily mean that all Seers will have Farseer-like abilities. Then again, I would personally argue that there is a great deal of difference between Divination (precognition) and the abilities of the Farseer.


I hope fluff on farseers is expanded to allow the possibility of their visions being interpreted incorrectly. Otherwise it does really make a mockery of the Eldar ever losing a battle.
My point. To bring in another fantasy-book analogy, I would say that it is more akin to the abilities of Lyndon Hardy's "metamagicians" than anything else, i.e. the magical/psychic conflict that they have for control of the nodes of the metamagic and, therefore, influence upon the fabric of magic itself. Thus different Farseers operating around the universe shift the 'nodes of time' by influencing a given point all in contradiction to the actions of the others. This is, for me, one of the powers of Eldrad: he had people shifting in the same direction.


Kage, I know what you are saying about Farseers and how they have sort inherited a de facto leadership of the Eldar...
In the minds and continuing 'fluff' (cf. 'Edition Drift'), but not necessarily based in the 'fluff' itself.


... but I think you may be reading too much into their presence in armylists.
I don't think so. My statement has only been this: Farseers are not the de facto leaders of the eldar race merely because they can see the future, even though this does give them a (varying) degree of power within craftworld eldar government. Their presence on the battlefield will be moderated by the nature of the 'Farseerhood', namely whether they derive from the Way of the Warlock (in which case I use the term 'Battleseer') or any other Way, accepting of course those incredibly rare individuals that are capable of moving from Way to Way within the Path of the Seer even though they have become 'paramount practitioners' (cf. the Menshad Korum, i.e. nominal Autarchs). If it is not a 'battleseer' then their position there is advisory, only to ensure that the visions that they have previously had go the way that they would like them, i.e. their personal intervention in some way is required.


I don't think their is any doubt that they are the spiritual leaders of their race...
Actually, I'm not overtly considering them to be 'spiritual leaders', either. But there we go.


...on and off the battlefield and an extremely powerful unit in a tactical sense too.
Although the nature of said power is dependent upon the nature of the Farseer themselves. Again, the wargame doesn't have the resolution to follow this through, though that doesn't mean that because it is not present in the wargame that is absent in the interpretation/consideration of the 'fluff'.


In fact, the with the level of telepathy we are led to believe Eldar posess, they may even act like computers to multitask the tactical acumen of all the Exarchs on the battlefield.
An interesting idea, although in their absence this would create a problem. Probably best to go with 'technomantic' solutions and not have Farseers acting as the Emperor from Star Wars (cf. Dark Force trilogy).


As for the question of why warlocks and farseers are neccessarily good fighters, just by loooking at their stats in 40k we can see that they are.
As above, this is not relevant given the nature of 40k wargame mechanics and the abstractions that they make. Further, in this game a simple linking of 'ws' to 'fighting ability' is counter-intuitive. In this feintstar has the right of it. With that said, Warlocks can be good fighters: it is in their nature.

Kage2020
22-11-2005, 16:52
...since divination seemed to be a ritual activity for the eldar, not something that can be done on the fly...
I would suggest that it depends on the nature of the divination in question. Full Farseeing? No, definitely not something done on the fly. A simple act of precognition? Yep. But that is also not something that I would restrict to Farseers. (E.g. the fact that birth gifts covering precognition are mentioned in the 'fluff', along with the normal suite of three for the eldar, and without creating a Farseer autocracy it is a reasonable extension to take.)


I also don't have a problem with Farseers as strategic battlefield leaders...
...Only insofar as the nature of the Farseer can impinge upon the abilities of said Farseer.


Yes, but exactly how many exarchs are present in a warhost. It is doubtful that there are many and the farseer has to determine if the exarch's plan fits with the overall plan. The Farseer has the last and final say in just about everything.
The Farseer does not comprehend tactics/strategy beyond what they view in their visions, though. They are not the 'super-mage-masters-of-the-universe' but limited by the nature of the Path itself. It is entirely feasible that a Farseer might say, "It is vitally important that this wraithgate is protected", at which point the Exarch/Autarch must determine how this is to be done and at what cost. On the other hand, unless they are aspected by the Way of the Warlock, it is highly unlikely (for me) that they are going to say, "It is vitally important that this wraithgate is protected. Exarch, make a flanking manoeuvre with one squad laying down surpressing fire against that hill over there. At this point a Marine squad is going to come into view. Redouble your efforts and two Marines will fall. Incidentally one of those is going to kill me in the future, so that's a good thing. Anyway, once those two are down, have the other flanking unit engage while the first element hop-skips with them until the Marines are obliterated and the galaxy saved."

In some ways it was said above: it is a case of micro vs. macro management, the nature of Farseer and the relative savings that can be made.

Kage

Commander Ozae
22-11-2005, 18:37
I think it really depends on the Farseer. Some of them are more experienced in the military, having walked the path of the warrior before becoming farseers. However, some of them are not as skilled as generals and leaders as other seers.

Kage2020
22-11-2005, 19:02
I would say, as above, that it doesn't depend strictly on the past experience that a given 'Farseer' has walked. It is irrelevant if they have walked the Path of the Warrior before, or the Path of the Outcast or whatever. Once they have become a Farseer the only significant Way that they have walked is the last.

In that regard, yes, it does make a difference as to the last Way upon which a Farseer was upon unless, of course, they are 'lucky' enough to be the Seer equivalent of a Menshad Korum. Remember, paramount practitioners - Exarchs, Farseers, etc. - are figures of both awe and pity. Yes, you can argue that the pity results from them not continuing on the Path but consider that: it is not strictly movement on the Path that defines success, but self-imposed controls on 'perfection'. Once a Way has been perfected, another Way or Path can be selected. It is movement through perfection that is significant. So is it just termination of the cyclical nature of the Path, or the fact that the specific Path so consumes the individual that they are not capable of maintaining a holistic progression, i.e. previous non-related experiences are 'burned away'.

I obviously select the latter. To me it just makes the eldar more... alien. Again, less a question of 'career progression' ala WFRP! ;)

Kage

Commander Ozae
23-11-2005, 13:38
I bow to superior knowledge. Just imagine (smiles evilly) if a farseer walked all the paths and had perfected each way before becoming a farseer. That would be nearly impossible but it would still be really cool.

Kage2020
23-11-2005, 21:20
One must remember that one of the few arguments that has any strength to 'Seers' (generically Seers) becoming the leaders of eldar society is that the Path of the Seer is only normally walked at the end of the life of an eldar. When they have walked some of the Ways of the other Paths and reached a certain level of emotional, intellectual and spiritual development do they often feel strong enough to walk the Path of the Seer. So, at least with some, they would be those individuals. A Farseer, by definition, canont be that individual, even if they are equivalent of a Seer Menshad Korum.

As to perfecting each Way? Now I'm not sure that would even be possible. Again, I'm biased by my own approach, but while I have a small number of Paths (Warrior, Seer, Seeker, Steward and Outcast), I have a very large, if finite, number of Ways! Given that 'perfection' seems to be on a similar order as eldar-equivalents of druidic (so-called 'celtic') training, it would be difficult for eldar to fit even just one or two Ways from each Path into their lifespan! :D

It is strange, but a few pages before someone was talking about the wargame and the inter-reliance of eldar units that is emphasised more with the eldar army than anywhere else. Yet the fact that 'every bit has its function' seems to escape consideration of Seers/Farseers in eldar military organisations! ;)

Well, some of the time. It seems that some resolution is being reached, at least in the mids of some people! :D

Kage

Hellebore
24-11-2005, 10:28
I don't actually understand the reasoning behind the autarch concept.

The whole point of an EXARCH is that they are STUCK on the one path.

How do you get an exarch jumping from different aspects?

I can see an eldar going through each aspect until they reach one and become an exarch, but the definition of exarch precludes them from doing anything else- it is a psychological dead end.

hellebore

sulla
25-11-2005, 22:15
I don't actually understand the reasoning behind the autarch concept.

The whole point of an EXARCH is that they are STUCK on the one path.

How do you get an exarch jumping from different aspects?

I can see an eldar going through each aspect until they reach one and become an exarch, but the definition of exarch precludes them from doing anything else- it is a psychological dead end.

hellebore

Absolutely correct... I imagine they (GW) will have to 'massage' the fluff to get around that one...

Kage2020
27-11-2005, 16:38
The premise of the Autarch has, once again, been around since the altered image of the eldar was introduced, i.e. WD127. (What's that? Fifteen years?) That is, they are the Menshad Korum: they remain fixated on a singular Path, but cycle between the Ways. in that regard they are 'luckier' than other Exarchs, who are 'trapped' upon a single Way. Thus I personally differentiate between the Shrine Sworn, those that remain within a single Way, and the Menshad Korum - the 'warriors in search of themsevles' - that cycle between the Ways of a single Path at their discretion or, indeed, the 'tides of fate'.

Is it entirely consistent? Hmmn. That's a hard one to answer. Since it has been present since the original 'fluff' I've pretty much accepted it since it explains so much about the nature of 'paramount practitioners' and how some individuals might acquire a greater deal of flexibility. Further, it also explains a great deal of 'fluff' about the eldar.

It's just a 'what you can belief' situation. I can believe it, explain it and, further, am willing to believe those explanations. Is any 'fluff' massaging necessary? Nope. It is one of the few examples of GW fossilising a concept that was already there rather than creating an ad hoc exception to an exception as they are want to do.

Kage