Farseer Bill Speaks

After posting my editorial, entitled The Vision Thing, I got some excellent feedback from my good pal Bill, aka Farseer Bill. To be honest, a lot of my thoughts about what Eldar are (and should be) all about have emerged from discussions from him, and he has given me permission to reprint his comments here because he says that the same is true on his side. So that's nice.

In particular I'd like to point out how Bill starts with large-scale vision and then distills it down to stats and rules. This, in my opinion, is exactly how the creation of 40k rules should work. Too often we see a philosophy where rules should be created by democratic process, but the emergence of an army's identity is a question of art, not science, and as such it has to be born out of a creative process.

Secondly, I believe the three little words, "War As Art", should largely guide the creative process for GW when they develop the new Eldar codex, and I thank Bill for articulating that.

Anyhow, here are his comments:

There are three things in my vision that are important about Eldar.

Craftworld Eldar are about the mystic side of the universe, the constant struggle of life versus death, of purpose versus desire. They are a dying race that not only steps up to struggle against their fate, they embrace the struggle as part of their pysche. The outflow from this embracing is the artistry of war and the beauty of dealing death. That is why beauty and function meet so powerfully in the Eldar armies.

Technologically, Eldar are near or at the top of the current heap. They have lost more technology than humanity has ever learned, and the remaining technology operates at a level beyond the brightest minds of Human, Tau, etc. Only the Necrons match their technological level and remember, Eldar defeated the Necrons before humans came down from the trees. (Pre fall Eldar true, but the point stands).

Finally, the third point is that Eldar are inherently powerful psykers, skilled and practiced. They use psionics in their tools, weapons, war machines, everything. Their most powerful seers can divine the future possibilities and lead the craftworld from danger, or into it as need be. Some seers have experience in combat as aspect warriors from a previous Path and so have taken on the mantle of Warlock. Seers that become fixed in the Path of the Seer become farseers, but not all farseers are of the warlock kind.

Combining these three things:
1) War as art
2) Superior Technology
3) Powerful Psychics

Gives a vision for me that is unique to Craftworld Eldar. The details (speeds, skills, powers) are all extraneous to focusing on Eldar as the Beautiful Destroyers, the Masters of the Fates. To acheive a good start in this direction I think the new codex needs to have these main components:

1) Extremely customizable Farseers not only in wargear and powers, but also in stats and skills.
2) Different levels of Warlocks. Warlocks, Warlock Masters, and Warlock Champions used to be the three levels, but I would settle for two.
3) War machines with the option of BS4. Make it extremely costly or limited, but at least one tank in the Eldar army should be able to get BS4. Failing that, more twinlinking.
4) Aspect warrriors that are very focused in their method of deathdealing yet can be customized some way.
5) Guardians that can be defensive more than they can now. (Give them splinter rifles for all I care!)
6) Weapons that demonstrate superior eldar technology, yet still are limited in some way.

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