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Formosus
19-09-2011, 03:55
I recently read Path of the Seer and then re-read Path of the Warrior which got me thinking about the Craftworld Eldar paths.

The Path of the Warrior and its sub-paths are well recorded for infantry, but what are is/are the Path/Paths Eldar vehicle pilots follow? Or do they just stick a Guardian in there and tell him to go? I half-remember hearing that Phantom titans are piloted by twins raised from birth to do so.

After reading over descriptions of various Craftworlds, it also looks like there is a significant difference in how they implement the Paths.

Anyway, does anyone have any conjecture on the matter?

MajorWesJanson
19-09-2011, 06:04
There is a Path of the Steersman, Exarchs of which pilot Phantom Titans. Presumably lesser members of the path pilot things like Warwalkers. I'd imagine similar Paths for skimmer/armor and for combat aerospace craft.

Tindalos
19-09-2011, 07:50
There is at least one Warrior Aspect devoted to vehicle piloting.

The Eagle Pilot (or Amon Harakht) aspect is mentioned in the novel Shadowpoint, and pilots the Eagle Bombers.

It would not be unreasonable to belive there would be other paths for other vehicles.

AndrewGPaul
19-09-2011, 10:13
I'm sure I posted here before ...

The non-Exarch "Titan Aspect Warriors" probably drive Revenants and other unseen super-heavy walkers - perhaps Craftworld equivalents of the Exodite Knights. All the examples of Eldar vehicles - from bikes to super-heavy tanks - have thus far been driven by Guardians (except the Singing SPears, obviously). Like Tindalos says, though - I've seen references to Aspects which drive vehicles. The main issue with representing that in the game is having BS3. :)

TheLaughingGod
19-09-2011, 10:19
I'm sure I posted here before ...

The non-Exarch "Titan Aspect Warriors" probably drive Revenants and other unseen super-heavy walkers - perhaps Craftworld equivalents of the Exodite Knights. All the examples of Eldar vehicles - from bikes to super-heavy tanks - have thus far been driven by Guardians (except the Singing SPears, obviously). Like Tindalos says, though - I've seen references to Aspects which drive vehicles. The main issue with representing that in the game is having BS3. :)

for what its worth, titans and eldar flyers are BS4 (as are the Super-Heavy tanks?)

AndrewGPaul
19-09-2011, 10:22
I knew some of them were, so fair enough. So far, they've all been painted in Craftworld colours, which led me to think that they were Guardian-crewed rather than by Warriors (but see the background for the Phantom ... :) ).

N0-1_H3r3
19-09-2011, 11:39
Or do they just stick a Guardian in there and tell him to go?
Titans aside, I tend to work with this being the case - in combat, the pilots of Eldar vehicles are Guardians.

However, on the battlefield, Guardian is essentially synonymous with "anyone who isn't an Aspect Warrior or some form of combat-capable Seer". It doesn't rule out there being Paths for the piloting of vehicles, it simply says that those Eldar pilots serve in their Craftworld's defence forces as Guardians (because they're not included anywhere else).

From that perspective, it makes sense to me that those Eldar who are trained pilots in peacetime also serve as pilots in wartime - they are, afterall, the most qualified to operate those vehicles, and if it's the norm then their training as part of the Guardian Militia will include vehicle operations as well (in a similar way to the use of Guardian crews on Shadowhunter escort vessels).

Fundamentally, it boils down to understanding that not all Guardians are poets and artists and gardeners - Guardians are simply 'everyone else', which will include a significant proportion of individuals whose talents are as valuable in war as they are in peace... indeed, Eldar who have that sort of skillset will likely be called up to serve as Guardians in preference to those who have no such useful talent - you take the ones who've served as Aspect Warriors in the past, and those who're skilled as pilots, before you take the untried and those lacking in skills relevant to combat.

GraveGuard
19-09-2011, 15:58
Titans pilots/controllers are a seperate section of Eldar society they are Family Clans.

Tindalos
19-09-2011, 17:25
Actually now, although still piloted by twins/triplets, the titan pilots are now a form of aspect warrior (as mentioned upthread), with exarchs piloting the phantom titans (although annoyingly, the phantom lacks the BS 5 of an Exarch)

Jaded Patriot
19-09-2011, 19:07
Actually now, although still piloted by twins/triplets, the titan pilots are now a form of aspect warrior (as mentioned upthread), with exarchs piloting the phantom titans (although annoyingly, the phantom lacks the BS 5 of an Exarch)

Only Space Marines and Guard can have BS 5 vehicles, apparently. Maybe they think it would 'unbalance' the Titans, as if those things were paragons of 'balance' beforehand...

As far as I can tell, the only real side effect of BS5 Titans would be 1'' less scatter when firing blast weapons, which is all Titans really carry. Not at all overpowering, especially compared to what is already being fielded...

BooTMGSG
19-09-2011, 20:54
Curious thing with Guardian Pilots is that how do they cope with the stesses of war.

In both the path books it seems that you need a war mask to deal with the stresses of warfare. Path of the seer sugested that those Farseers that turn up to batle are those have previously trod on the path of the warrior, while those that haven't stay way back.
Does this mean that the guardians pilots have no previous experience, or are they far enough back not to feel the full force of the blood shed?

Or prehaps its because the Path books are set in prissy Alaitoc and less straitlaced craftworlds just get on with it.

Tindalos
19-09-2011, 21:31
Curious thing with Guardian Pilots is that how do they cope with the stesses of war.

In both the path books it seems that you need a war mask to deal with the stresses of warfare. Path of the seer sugested that those Farseers that turn up to batle are those have previously trod on the path of the warrior, while those that haven't stay way back.
Does this mean that the guardians pilots have no previous experience, or are they far enough back not to feel the full force of the blood shed?

Or prehaps its because the Path books are set in prissy Alaitoc and less straitlaced craftworlds just get on with it.

A few possibilities:
Guardians, especially those piloting vehicles, don't have to get in close to the enemy, and if they do, something has gone very wrong.
Your average guardian just keeps his head down, sprays a bunch of shurikens in the rough diretion of the enemy, and hides.
The helmets they wear are specifically designed to hide the horrors of war, the guardian is seeing merely an auspex contact and not a bloodthirsty ork charging at them.
Of course, storm guardians, being former aspect warriors, can call once again upon their war mask. Albeit in a lesser state. This is the only way they can close to melee with their enemies.

TheLaughingGod
19-09-2011, 21:43
I've always assumed Guardians aren't at risk because they aren't on a warrior path. A Striking Scorpion eats drinks and breaths the art of death. Guardians are whatever they are first, and Guardians second.

Jaded Patriot
19-09-2011, 21:57
Guardians deal with warfare the same way we (modern day humans) deal with warfare - they have to try and forget about (or just cope with) the horrors we've seen and move on with our normal life.

The reason the war mask is required for those on the path is to prevent them from becoming trapped, as they will start to obsess over the art of warfare. For those not on the path, they stand much less chance of becoming trapped because they <Adam Jensen> never asked for this </Adam Jensen>. It is possible that after their stint as a guardian they may end up joining the path of the warrior to deal with their rising bloodlust, or entering some other path to express their grief. Thrianna -> Path of the Warrior -> Path of the Poet, basically.

Threeshades
19-09-2011, 23:09
According to everything i've read regular Eldar vehicles are manned by Guardians. Titans ans spacecraft are a different story though. I've heard something about a path for some sort of space fighter pilots. Yeah but all i remember about it is that vague.

N0-1_H3r3
20-09-2011, 06:47
Curious thing with Guardian Pilots is that how do they cope with the stesses of war.

In both the path books it seems that you need a war mask to deal with the stresses of warfare. Path of the seer sugested that those Farseers that turn up to batle are those have previously trod on the path of the warrior, while those that haven't stay way back.

Does this mean that the guardians pilots have no previous experience, or are they far enough back not to feel the full force of the blood shed?
A Guardian pilot may well have already walked upon a Warrior Path, but that's not particularly relevant, IMO, as that's more about experience than about the war mask (because a Guardian who was once a Dire Avenger will have created a war mask appropriate for a Dire Avenger, as each Aspect comes with its own psychological trappings, rather than one suited for a Guardian).

IMO, Guardians are placed in a war mask-like state by Warlocks before battle; the Warlocks are both former Aspect Warriors and have learned a great deal about the nature of the Eldar mind and how it responds to battle (because they need to, so they can wield their powers effectively), so each Warlock dons his own war mask and then guides a group of Guardians into a similar state.

The original Eldar codex, for 2nd edition, contained a number of short stories focussed on different Eldar in a single warzone, that described warfare from their point of view - I regard the Exarch's perspective in that to be quite informative, while the Farseer's musings consider that something in the Eldar psyche craves the thrill and danger of war against all reason, and the Guardian jetbikers view their normal day-to-day lives as being distant, largely irrelevant memories, almost like events that happened to someone else, which strongly implies similarities to the war mask state.

Harwammer
20-09-2011, 08:24
I love the jetbike guardian story from the 2nd ed Codex. Here are some nuggets:

"The Eldar warriors sat cross-legged, in positions of meditation... When the time of war came every Eldar on a Craftworld changed, assuming the personality of a warrior, of someone completely different from his everyday self."

"When they made a commitment to fight, the Eldar made it totally... For the moment the Eldar lived in the Now, and this now meant war."

"Karadryel found himself smiling. The sheer joy of riding his vehicle was exhilarating... Now he felt fully alive ... He knew now the full attraction of Khaela Mensha Khaine to the Eldar. There was a part of their psyche that craved danger and violence and speed... This was the secret mystery of Khaine's attraction."

It seems guardians forget their path while at war, becoming warriors. How do guardians cope with war? The truth, and they are loathe to admit, is simple. They enjoy it.

N0-1_H3r3
20-09-2011, 08:52
It seems guardians forget their path while at war, becoming warriors. How do guardians cope with war? The truth, and they are loathe to admit, is simple. They enjoy it.
Which is, I imagine, why the war mask exists - not to protect the Eldar from the horrors of war, but to keep war at a distance so as to experience it in a controlled way, to keep it from overwhelming them. Some Eldar become addicted to war, and down that way does Exarchdom lie.

It's all something that has long appealed to me about the Eldar - that they're not calm and logical creatures, but vicious, passionate and violent beings who struggle every moment of every day to control that side of themselves or see it control them.

BooTMGSG
20-09-2011, 09:00
Which is, I imagine, why the war mask exists - not to protect the Eldar from the horrors of war, but to keep war at a distance so as to experience it in a controlled way, to keep it from overwhelming them. Some Eldar become addicted to war, and down that way does Exarchdom lie.


True.
I imagine the Avatars presence sort of helps this although after the battle there may be trouble, but then there is always the warrior paths to work that out. So I suspect there is an uptick in aspect warrior trainees after a war. Which would be useful as there may be some empty suits to fill.