(Seriously, if you miss another shot with BS4, you'll never make Exarch. I got a Sunrifle gun last year, but it takes real dedication to wear this helmet and these wings. Keep working, maggot)
Lord Farseer Nilendrel gathered his warlocks and acolytes in the Dome of Seers after the Cult received its latest setback to review his force for proper application of skills for effect. The assembled leaders of the Cult murmured in anticipation of the news. None were able to divine what this meeting was about, but all sensed an uncertain or turbulent future.
As the Lord Seer entered, there was a psychic recognition and all turned in deference to the approaching master. Immediately, gasps were let loose in an uncharacteristic breach of composure that those on the Path of the Seer strive to maintain. Striding alongside the Lord Seer was a figure never before seen in this sacred place. If the Lord Seer registered the psychic shock of his underlings, he made no mark or mention. He rested his hand simply at his side and gestured the outsider forward, nodding almost imperceptibly.
Thus spoke Kaluren, Autarch, Herald of Ynnead: "War has ever been the purview of those set upon the Path. Our great leader and master, Lord Farseer Nilendrel--" at this some glanced at an impassive Lord Seer "--has recognized that recent.. setbacks.. have showcased the need for some changes in our great plan. Disposition of our strike forces will no longer be decided by the Seer Council, but be decided by the War Council with the Lord Farseer's blessing"
The slight, airy, but beautiful Warlock Farandiel's face formed what only an Eldar could tell was a grimace. Kaluren continued unabated, "I realize this is somewhat out of keeping with our tradition, but our craftworld brothers and sisters have thwarted us because they rely not just upon Vision, but honor skill and understand the importance of even an individual Warrior to change the fate of a battle."
"We must continue our fight against She Who Thirsts, but we must do more than that. We must succeed. Our sacred goal has only two outcomes: Ynnead's holy victory or our entire race's damnation." This added by the Lord Seer. There it was. No longer is it acceptable to fail, and that means accepting the input of the Warriors instead of relying on a calculated manipulation of the timeline.
SO... in the Ynnead Cult's sailing of the road of blood and slaughter, reliance upon psychic powers and farseer augmentative effect on the force I have neglected to consider the strength of even an Autarch's simple +1 reserve roll increase. Reading tournament and battle reports recently, I've had to try and decide what to do against first strike lists like elite Force Recon Space Marine Scouts in land speeders (I know, I know... it's funny), or more realistically - the all-powerful mechanized guard--especially Air Cavalry. DoA Blood Angels, although not particularly scary could be concerning if I sit around to get melta'd.
I have a list I like at 1850, but is Eldrad worth it for Divination and 3 powers a turn if, admittedly, I'm primarily using him for Guide on the Falcon? On the flip-side, am I ignoring tweaking other units because I'm too dependent on the psyker blanket?
This, and other things have plagued me. I don't want an Autarch to sit there for 70 points doing nothing. I LOATHE units that exist just to exist (like 'so-called scoring vehicle squads'). How do I fit an Autarch in? Maybe....
Eldrad gets dropped. Junior Varsity Farseer Doesn't-have-a-cool-name who JUST learned Guide after flunking out of Fortune and Doom classes in the Dome of Seerstakes over the Falcon and I get Warp Jump Generator Autarch with ubiquitous fusion gun for romping with my Spiders (potentially dropping a spider for points for Runes of Witness/Warding).
The DAVU squad in the Falcon (60 points of suck) get dropped along with Eldrad, and instead of a lame 115 point Autarch with burny-gun.... I get farking Prince Yriel of the Burning Spear of Doomslaying with the Monocle of Marine Killing to add onto the Storm Guardian squad. That gives me 2 singing spears in that squad for tank popping alongside the Tri-Flamer templates. I get the +1 reserves, but I get Yriel to throw at things in the bargain, again... with a Guideseer only. However, I roll with 2 troops and recognize that in objective games, my objective is really to mutilate my enemy in the hopes that we draw or I garner a minor victory.
However, all these things hanging in the balance, the real change in paradigm is no longer relying on the 'civilian leadership' and making sure I listen to those military instincts sometimes. Not everyone needs a Doom or well-timed Fortune to be effective. Bladestorm can be effective without augmenting if the squad size is right.
This leads to the next post, where I plan to talk about purely military issues. What is the right squad size and load-lout for Exarchs leading their squads deep into enemy territory--outside of the aid of the Seers. Specifically, Warp Spiders and out-flanking Scorpions. What does it take to make them go from 'meh' to critical mass effectiveness? We'll talk soon, friends. I have experience to impart.
Symbolic of this, and honoring what is done when an Exarch steps alone into the Temple of the Bloody-Handed God to wake the terrible Avatar in times of dire need, all around the Autarch, bows of respect were given. His helmet in hand, the Autarch departed the Dome, eager to gather his Exarchs for war... for in the end, there is only war and death.