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The Path of the Exarch - Expanded Rules for Asuryani Exarchs


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These rules are my personal take on the progression of the Exarchs, as discussed in the How are Phoenix Lords made? discussion, especially starting here. I have made some modifications to my original idea (second link) following feedback and further research. I'll provide the designer's notes separately.

 

The following homegrown rules replace the Exarch Powers rules on pages 105-109 of Codex: Aeldari.

 

EXARCH POWERS

 

The Exarchs of the Aspect Warrior Shrines have long travelled the Path of the Warrior. Their skills honed over countless decades, centuries, and even millennia of war, they are amongst the finest fighters of the Asuryani.

 

If your army is Battle-forged and includes any ASURYANI Detachments (excluding Auxiliary Support and Super-heavy Auxiliary Detachments), then when you are mustering your army, you can upgrade ASPECT WARRIOR units from your army that contains an Exarch model by advancing the Exarch through the Exarch ranks, chosen from those presented here. To do so, select one ASPECT WARRIOR unit that contains a model that has the word ‘Exarch’ in their profile, and select one of the Exarch ranks from those listed here. That unit gains the benefits of that rank and the profile of the Exarch is adjusted as indicated, based on their Aspect.

 

You can also select any CRIMSON HUNTER unit from your army and upgrade that model to be an Exarch at one of the Exarch ranks. When you do so, select one of the Exarch ranks listed here for that model.

 

Make a note on your army roster each time you upgrade a unit to advance its Exarch in rank.

 

EXEMPLAR

The unit gains the EXEMPLAR keyword and one Exarch Power. The Exarch’s profile is adjusted to the Exemplar profile shown here. The unit’s Power Rating is increased by 1. If you are playing a matched play game, or a game that uses a points limit, then the points value of the Exarch model is also increased by the amount shown for the selected Exarch Power in the tables here.

 

PARAGON

The unit gains the PARAGON keyword. The Exarch’s profile is adjusted to the Paragon profile shown here. The unit’s Power Rating is increased by 2. If you are playing a matched play game, or a game that uses a points limit, then the points value of the Exarch model is also increased by 10 points.

 

REVERED

The unit gains the REVERED keyword and one Exarch Power. The Exarch’s profile is adjusted to the Revered profile shown here. The unit’s Power Rating is increased by 3. If you are playing a matched play game, or a game that uses a points limit, then the points value of the Exarch model is also increased by the amounts shown for the selected Exarch Powers in the tables here.

 

ANCIENT

The unit gains the ANCIENT keyword. The Exarch’s profile is adjusted to the Ancient profile shown here. The unit’s Power Rating is increased by 4. If you are playing a matched play game, or a game that uses a points limit, then the points value of the Exarch model is also increased by 10 points.

 

ASCENDED

The unit gains the ASCENDED keyword and one Exarch Power. The Exarch’s profile is adjusted to the Ascended profile shown here. The unit’s Power Rating is increased by 5. If you are playing a matched play game, or a game that uses a points limit, then the points value of the Exarch model is also increased by the amounts shown for the selected Exarch Powers in the tables here.

 

Your army (or Crusade force) cannot include more than one unit with the same Exarch Power (and no more than one CRIMSON HUNTER model upgraded to be an Exarch).

 

A Crusade force cannot start with any Exarchs upgraded to the Ancient or Ascended ranks, only one Exarch upgraded to the Paragon or Revered ranks, and only two Exarchs upgraded to the Exemplar ranks. To advanced beyond the starting Exarch ranks, you must purchase the appropriate requisitions (Exemplar of the Shrines, Paragon of the Shrines, Revered Warrior, Ancient Warrior, and Ascended Exarch; see later).

 

Note: The “new” Exarch Powers that you see below are all copied verbatim from Psychic Awakening: Phoenix Rising, which was published during 8th Edition. These were chosen because they were different from the three Exarch Powers that are available to each of the different Aspects, most of which have similar names and/or rules to their 8th Edition counterparts. Some of these won’t work under the 9th Edition rules structure, but I’m using these as a starting point. These can be tweaked, replaced, re-named, etc. to give an appropriate amount of variety and work well within the 9th edition rules and Codex: Aeldari concepts. The ideal outcome is that each Aspect has three Exarch Powers that buff the squad and three that buff the Exarch, allowing for tailoring of Exarchs to players’ desires. I’ve omitted the lore portion of each of the “new” Exarch Powers.

 

Note that I have left the Shadow Spectres out, though I hope to explore them later.

 

large.1498686228_01CrimsonHunters.jpg.92

 

EYES OF KHAINE, STRAFING ASSAULT, SWOOPING EVASION

See Codex: Aeldari page 105.

 

AERIAL PREDATOR

When resolving an attack made with a ranged weapon by this model against a unit that can FLY, add 1 to the Damage characteristics of that weapon for that attack.

 

HAWKEYE

This model does not suffer the penalty for moving and firing Heavy weapons.

 

AERIAL MANOEUVERING

When this model moves, you can pivot it up to 180o before it moves, instead of up to 90o.

 

large.2029462056_02DarkReapers.jpg.c1a2e

 

BRINGER OF DEATH, FOCUSED FIRE, REAPER'S REACH

See Codex: Aeldari page 108.

 

DEADLY TOUCH

When resolving an attack made with a melee weapon by this unit’s Dark Reaper Exarch, an unmodified wound roll of 6 inflicts 2 mortal wounds on the target in addition to any other damage.

 

LONG-RANGED FIRE

Whilst this unit contains a Dark Reaper Exarch, add 6”  to the Range characteristic of ranged weapons models in this unit are equipped with.

 

GRIM VISAGE

Whilst this unit contains a Dark Reaper Exarch, subtract 1 from the Leadership characteristic of enemy units whilst they are within 6” of this unit.

 

large.1544350125_03DireAvengers.jpg.ab55

 

DEFENSIVE STANCE, SHREDDING FIRE, STAND FIRM

See Codex: Aeldari page 106.

 

BLADESTORM

Whilst this unit contains a Dire Avenger Exarch, when resolving an attack made with a ranged weapon that does not have the Grenade type by a model in this unit, an unmodified hit roll of 6 scores 1 additional hit.

 

DEFEND

Whilst this unit contains a Dire Avenger Exarch, when resolving an attack made with a melee weapon against this unit, subtract 1 from the wound roll.

 

AVENGING STRIKES

Whilst this unit contains a Dire Avenger Exarch and any models from this unit have been destroyed, when resolving an attack made by a model in this unit, add 1 to the hit roll and wound roll.

 

large.469998169_04FireDragons.jpg.b570c9

 

BLAZING FURY, BURNING HEAT, DRAGON'S BITE

See Codex: Aeldari page 109.

 

TANK KILLER

When resolving an attack made with a firepike by this unit’s Fire Dragon Exarch against a VEHICLE unit, you can re-roll one D6 when making the damage roll.

 

SWIFTSTEP

Whilst this unit contains a Fire Dragon Exarch, when this unit Advances you can roll three D6 and discard two of the results.

 

WALL OF FIRE

When this unit fires Overwatch, a Fire Dragon Exarch in this unit equipped with a Dragon’s Breath Flamer can make a wall of fire attack. If he does so, instead of shooting with that model, roll one D6; on a 2+ the charging unit suffers D3 mortal wounds.

 

large.1315225751_05HowlingBanshees.jpg.0

 

GRACEFUL AVOIDANCE, NERVE-SHREDDING SHRIEK, PIERCING STRIKES

See Codex: Aeldari page 107.

 

DISARMING STRIKE

At the start of the Fight phase, you can select one enemy model within 1” of this unit’s Howling Banshee Exarch. Subtract 2 from the Attacks characteristic of that enemy model (to a minimum of 1) until the end of that phase.

 

WHIRLING BLADES

Add 1 to the Attacks characteristic of this unit’s Howling Banshee Exarch. If that Howling Banshee Exarch is equipped with mirrorswords, add 2 to its Attacks characteristic instead.

 

DECAPITATING STRIKES

When resolving an attack made with a melee weapon by this unit’s Howling Banshee Exarch, an unmodified roll of 6 inflicts 1 mortal wound on the target in addition to any normal damage.

 

large.1957251187_06ShiningSpears.jpg.644

 

EXPERT LANCERS, HEARTSTRIKE, LIGHTNING ATTACKS

See Codex: Aeldari page 107.

 

SWOOPING DIVE

Whilst this unit contains a Shining Spear Exarch, when a charge roll is made for this unit, add 1 to the result.

 

BLADEMASTER

A paragon sabre that this unit’s Shing Spear Exarch is equipped with has a Damage characteristic of 3.

 

SKILLED RIDER

This unit’s Shining Spear Exarch has a 3+ invulnerable save against attacks made with ranged weapons.

 

large.819622859_07StrikingScorpions.jpg.

 

CRUSHING BLOWS, DEADLY AMBUSH, SCORPION'S STING

See Codex: Aeldari page 108.

 

STALKER

Whilst this unit contains a Striking Scorpion Exarch and is wholly on or within a terrain feature, when resolving an attack made with a ranged weapon against this unit, subtract 1 from the hit roll.

 

SCORPION'S GRASP

When resolving an attack made with a scorpion claw by this unit’s Striking Scorpion Exarch, an unmodified hit roll of 6 inflicts 1 mortal wound on the target in addition to any normal damage.

 

WITHDRAW

At the end of the Fight phase, if this unit contains a Striking Scorpion Exarch and is within 1” of any enemy models, this unit can make a Fall Back move of up to 6” as if it were your Movement phase.

 

large.378870857_08SwoopingHawks.jpg.1c1d

 

RAPID REDEPLOYMENT, SUPPRESSING FIRE, WINGED EVASION

See Codex: Aeldari page 109.

 

RAPID ASSAULT

If this unit made a charge move or was charged in this turn, add 2 to the Attacks characteristic of this unit’s Swooping Hawk Exarch this turn.

 

FAST SHOT

Ranged weapons this unit’s Swooping Hawk Exarch is equipped with have a Type characteristic of Assault 6.

 

INTERCEPT

Whilst this unit contains a Swooping Hawk Exarch, when resolving an attack made by a model in this unit against an enemy that can FLY, you can re-roll the hit roll.

 

large.1307177906_09WarpSpiders.jpg.5d9a6

 

SPIDER'S LAIR, SURPRISE ASSAULT, WEB OF DECEIT

See Codex: Aeldari page 108.

 

WITHDRAW

At the end of the Fight phase, if this unit contains a Warp Spider Exarch, this unit can make a Fall Back move of up to 6” as if it were your Movement phase.

 

FLICKERING ASSAULT

Whilst this unit contains a Warp Spider Exarch, models in this unit can pile in up to 6” instead of 3”.

 

SPIDER'S BITE

Powerblades that this unit’s Warp Spider Exarch is equipped with have a Strength characteristic of +1 and a Damage characteristic of 2.

 

CRUSADE RULES

(The Crusade Rules in Codex: Aeldari remain intact except as noted here.)

 

REQUISITIONS

The Exemplar of the Shrines Requisition is replaced with the following:

 

large.1945297581_10ExemplaroftheShrinesR

 

The following Requisitions are also available:

 

large.1147684730_11ParagonoftheShrinesRe

 

large.547078533_12ReveredWarriorRequisit

 

large.443665166_13AncientWarriorRequisit

 

large.158403721_14AscendedExarchRequisit

 

large.eld_ga_vengeur0.jpg.3ae1197860b9bd

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Designer's Notes

 

These rules are intended to represent the progression of an Exarch from a "basic" Exarch (i.e., as they appear on the datasheet for the unit, without Exarch Powers) through their lore-based progression that has the Phoenix Lords as the ultimate expressions of Exarchs. The "ranks" I came up with have been adjusted and are subject to change (all except the "Exemplar" which is the starting point by having one Exarch Power and one or two characteristic bonuses in the official rules).

 

By combining Exarch Powers and relics, a player might develop their own mighty Exarchs, with the most powerful rivaling (but not eclipsing) their respective Phoenix Lords. The Ascended Exarchs remain confined to their squads and lack the special rules of the Phoenix Lords. In my mind, there's room for even higher level Exarchs that, like their Phoenix Lord counterparts, are able to operate outside of the squad structure. I haven't created that level yet. If I did, it would probably adjust the rest of the progressions.

 

Going back to when the Aspect Warriors were first introduced during the 1st edition of the game ("Rogue Trader" via a White Dwarf article), the Exarchs have been allowed for varying levels in power. This was primarily represented by their Exarch powers, with the Exarchs being allowed up to 2 such powers (potentially only 1 or none, if the player desired). The Phoenix Lords, meanwhile, had 3 Exarch powers. More recent editions of the game have drifted away from that, such that the Phoenix Lords bear less of a resemblance to the other Exarchs (though the lore maintains that the Phoenix Lords are Exarchs). A "weakness" of these rules is that the Phoenix Lords often don't have special rules that represent three of their corresponding Exarch Powers. In a perfect world (okay, my perfect world), they would. I won't presume to "fix" the Phoenix Lords in these rules, however.

 

One area that I am exploring is expanding the relics available to the Exarchs. In most cases, I think we can use the normal relic structure whereby a relic replaces a similar lesser item (e.g., a named sword replacing a power sword, or a potent pistol replacing a regular shuriken pistol). I don't think that is overly important, however, and it can be tackled later. The rules presented here provide the basic structure that needs to be tweaked in order to support the overall effort.

 

Practically speaking, the limitation on Exarch Powers (i.e., the inability to duplicate them) will ensure that armies are sufficiently limited. A player might have up to six Exemplar Exarchs of a shrine, but most will have fewer because more potent Exarchs are more fun and characterful, and armies generally can't support having six different squads from the same Aspect.

 

As far as the lore concept of the progression as an Exarch advances in rank, you can look at it in two different ways (and different Exarchs in the same army might use either of these methods). The first is an actual progression in skill and ability - an Exarch learning new abilities and enhancing their characteristics through warrior training and experience. The second is my personal interpretation of the lore. In this, when an Asuryani warrior becomes lost on the Path of the Warrior and dons the armour and panoply of an Exarch, while they assume the name and role of that Exarch, they retain some level of individuality. Over time, the persona of the older Exarch asserts its dominance. As the older Exarch persona asserts more and more dominance, the warrior is able to draw upon more and more of the older Exarch's abilities and experience, becoming more and more powerful (i.e., "advancing" in rank). At some point, the older Exarch persona establishes full dominance and the personality of the younger Asuryani warrior is absorbed into the gestalt whole. At that point, the Exarch may no longer remove their armour and, when they are eventually killed, all that will be found within is dust, the armour animated by the psychic power of the gestalt Exarch whole. In my mind, the more powerful the older Exarch warrior (i.e., the higher in "rank"), the quicker they are able to establish dominance. The least powerful of the Exarchs have some potential for escaping the Path of the Warrior, though this is very rare (there are two instances that I know of - a Fire Dragon Exarch that became an Autarch and the Visarch, who was once a Dire Avenger Exarch).

 

As far as the characteristic progressions go, the "Exemplar" rank is verbatim from the official rules. That rank was called "Exemplar" because of the Crusade Requisition (though I originally called it a "Greater" Exarch). The ranks then alternate between 3 or more characteristic increases and an Exarch Power with 1 or 2 characteristic increases. The progression of the characteristic increases is such that the Ascended Exarch has a stat line that is identical to that of the respective Phoenix Lord, except for the Sv (which I assume is based on the actual armour worn by the Phoenix Lords, so the Ascended Exarchs are limited to a 3+ Sv). Each Aspect's progression of WS and BS is based on their speciality - melee Aspects reach a 2+ WS early, but BS doesn't reach that level until later. That is reversed for ranged Aspects. Beyond that, the progressions are fairly straightforward and each Aspect is designed around 3 characteristic increases at the Paragon rank and 4 characteristic increases at the Ancient rank (there are some exceptions).

 

The Crimson Hunters are the notable exception in all things because their stat lines are so different from the others. In addition, Exarchs aren't available normally. I consider the stat lines that are shown for this Aspect to be a starting point, and they are bound to change based on input. Since many of the Crimson Hunter Exarch stats start very high, a lot of their niftiness comes from the increase in Wounds. Since I didn't adjust the thresholds for diminished stat lines, higher ranking Crimson Hunter Exarchs are more potent in part because they can sustain more damage before their performance degrades (not to mention the Exarch Powers that they gain as they advance).

 

Anyways, I look forward to seeing your feedback and ideas for improvement.

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