|This article is about the Eldar Unit, for the Ultramarines Tactical Squad see Guardians (Ultramarines)|
Guardians are the militia of the Eldar Craftworlds. In times of peace the Guardians pursue their normal civilian roles, however, all Eldar are trained in warfare and can be called to arms if their Craftworld is threatened. As the number of dedicated warriors - Aspect Warriors - in a Craftworld are simply too few, Eldar dedicated to a civilian path serve as Guardians in battle, forming the bulk of the Eldar armies. That these citizen levies are capable of engaging and defeating other races' warriors is a testament to the Eldar skill and technology.
With their population in decline and their Craftworlds beset on all sides by merciless enemies, Guardians form an essential part of the Eldar military assets. They are primarily a defensive force, guarding their Craftworlds from direct attacks, but will also accompany Aspect Warriors on offensive operations. Guardians are raised on an as-needed basis, and each unit will be led by an Eldar who has already walked the Path of the Warrior. These former Aspect Warriors are effectively an officer corps for the Guardians, and while they cannot fully revive their previous battle skills they nevertheless retain the experience required to organize and lead the Guardians into battle. Other Eldar who have yet to travel the Warrior Path, or who were forced from it for various reasons, also relish the opportunity to go to war as Guardians.
All Guardians are armed with the signature Eldar weapon, the Shuriken Catapult, and wear Mesh Armour for protection. As each Craftworld has its distinctive style of clothing, typified by a colour or pattern, so too is the armour of their Guardians - green, white or grey for Biel-Tan, blue and yellow for Alaitoc, etc. However, this does not constitute a fixed uniform, leading to numerous variations not only between squads from the same Craftworld but even individuals within the same squad.
Many Guardians will serve as an infantry force, organized into squads known as Guardian Defender or Storm Squads. Others will instead form the crew for various heavy weapons and light vehicles, such as the Grav Platforms, Eldar Jetbikes and War Walkers. Larger, more specialised vehicles are piloted by crewmembers who tread a path dedicated to these war engines.
Guardian Defenders are the basic Guardian force, organised into squads of ten to twenty members armed with Shuriken Catapults and occasionally Plasma Grenades. Each squad will also include a Grav Platform crewed by two of its Guardians and mounting a Bright Lance, Eldar Missile Launcher, Scatter Laser, Shuriken Cannon or Star Cannon. These squads can be transported by a Wave Serpent if they do not exceed its capacity, and will sometimes be joined by a Warlock to lend them their aid.
Storm Guardians are Eldar who were once members of an Aspect Shrine that specialised in close combat. Rarer than the more typical Guardian Defenders, they are also effective assault troops capable of assisting Aspect Warriors. Numbering ten to twenty members, they are armed with a potent combination of Shuriken Pistol and Close Combat Weapon, as well as the options of Krak and Plasma Grenades. While they lack a Grav Platform for fire support, two of the Guardians in this squad can arm themselves with either Fusion Guns or Flamers. If small enough to fit within its transport bay these squads may ride into battle within a Wave Serpent, and are sometimes accompanied by a Warlock to lend them their aid.
Ulthwé Black Guardians
Black Guardians are a special Ulthwé variation on the typical Guardians used by other Craftworlds. Because the Path of the Seer is the longest and most dangerous Eldar Path, and because Ulthwé relies especially on its Seers, this leaves little time for its denizens to tread the Warrior Path. To make up for this lack of Aspect Warriors, the Ulthwé Black Guardians are a professional standing army rather than a militia. They are more highly-trained compared to standard Guardians but are arranged in a similar manner, consisting of both Defender and Storm units as well as crewing heavy weapons and light vehicles. Their uniforms are predominantly black, the Eldar colour of mourning, for the frequent attacks it has suffered passing close to the Eye of Terror leaves much to grieve. Tactically, they make heavy use of the Webway, which allows them to appear anywhere on the battlefield, seemingly emerging from nowhere.[Needs Citation]
- 1: Codex: Eldar (2nd Edition), pgs. 7-8
- 2: Codex: Eldar (3rd Edition), pgs. 12-13
- 3: Codex: Eldar (4th Edition), pgs. 39-40
- 4: Codex: Craftworld Eldar (3rd Edition), [Needs Citation]
- 5: Epic Swordwind, pg. 14
|Command||Avatar • Autarchs • Farseers • Spiritseers • Warlocks • Exarchs|
|Aspect Warriors||Dire Avengers • Fire Dragons • Howling Banshees • Striking Scorpions • Swooping Hawks|
Dark Reapers • Warp Spiders • Shining Spears • Crimson Hunters • Shadow Spectres
|Troops||Guardians • Windrider Squadrons • Rangers • Harlequins • Wraithguard • Wraithblades • Support Battery|
|Phoenix Lords||Asurmen • Baharroth • Fuegan • Irillyth • Jain Zar • Karandras • Maugan Ra|