The real military strength of the Eldar armies derives from their highly specialized Aspect Warriors. These Eldar are walking the Path of the Warrior. Once an Eldar has chosen to tread this path he joins a specific Aspect Shrine. There, Exarchs train them in a specific aspect of warfare.
Each Warrior Aspect represents one, very specific aspect of warfare. As Kaela Mensha Khaine is the god of war, each Aspect embodies a facet of the god. Each shrine was founded millennia ago by a single Phoenix Lord. It is impossible to say how many different Aspects there are. The most common Aspects have shrines on most Craftworlds, while some Aspects are unique to a particular Craftworld - such as the weirdly terrifying Slicing Orbs of Zandros, which are confined to a single shrine on a single craftworld.
|Name||[Known] Phoenix Lord||Battlefield Role|
|Dire Avengers||Asurmen, The Hand of Asuryan||General combat|
|Howling Banshees||Jain Zar, The Storm of Silence||Melee combat|
|Striking Scorpions||Karandras, The Shadow Hunter||Melee combat, stealth|
|Dark Reapers||Maugan Ra, The Harvester of Souls||Long-ranged fire support|
|Fire Dragons||Fuegan, The Burning Lance||Tank-hunters, anti-structure role|
|Swooping Hawks||Baharroth, The Cry of the Wind||'Death from above'|
|Warp Spiders||Unknown||"Aggressive defense", hit-and-run attacks|
|Shining Spears||Drastanta, The Tempest of Starlight||Hit-and-run attacks|
|Crimson Hunters||Unknown||Air superiority|
|Shadow Spectres||Irillyth, The Shade of Twilight||Highly mobile warriors with powerful Anti-tank weapons|
|Eagle Pilot||Amon Harakht||Fighter Pilots|
|Slicing Orbs of Zandros||Unknown||Unknown|
An Exarch is a former aspect warrior who "has lost himself upon the Path of the Warrior" and is unable to ever leave it again. He becomes an Exarch; simultaneously a priest of Khaine, a caretaker of the individual shrine, and trainer, teacher, and instructor of the respective aspect. He is equipped with very ancient weaponry and armour. Each aspect has its own particular kind of Exarchs. On the battlefield an Exarch commands an individual squad of aspect warriors. Exarchs are formidable warriors, and most of them can use their abilities to help the whole squad of aspect warriors under their command.
The Aspects in Closer Detail
- Crimson Hunters are rare aspect warriors that pilot Eldar aircraft and excel in dogfighting and air combat.
- Dark Reapers represent Khaine in his aspect as a destroyer, and specialize in long range firepower.
- Dire Avengers are the most common of all the warrior aspects - they are also the most tactically flexible and least specialised. They are armed with Avenger shuriken catapults, an improved version of the Shuriken Catapult. It is an effective if somewhat short ranged weapon.
- Fire Dragons: modeled after the mythical dragons, the main role of the Fire Dragons is to destroy enemy war machines and strongholds. They are superbly equipped for this task with Fusion Guns and Melta bombs.
- The Howling Banshee aspect represents enraged close combat, and is named for the banshees of the Eldar Myth Cycles - a harbinger of woe and death whose cry can lure an Eldar's soul from a Spirit Stone to their doom in the warp.
- Shadow Spectres are the Eldar warriors who take Khaine's embodiment of the Eternal Warrior. Burning tank chassis are the constant reminder of the power of their Prism Rifles. Fallen Shadow Spectres are often put into wraithbone bodies.
- Shining Spears represent the aspect of Khaine that embodies the single, perfect, killing blow.
- Striking Scorpions represent the aspect of Khaine that embodies strength, toughness, and the surprise attack.
- Swooping Hawks represent the aspect of Khaine that embodies combat in and from the skies.
- Warp Spiders represent the aspect of Khaine that embodies taking great risks to defeat the enemy. This is represented by their use of Warp Generators to jump through the warp, an act that puts their souls in danger but allows them to make surprise attacks.
- 1: Shadow Point (Novel), [Needs Citation], pg. 42
- 2: Codex Imperialis (Background Book), [Needs Citation]
- 3: Path of the Warrior (Novel), [Needs Citation], pg. 279
- 4: Codex: Eldar (2nd Edition), pg. 23
- 5: Shadow Spectres Aspect Warrior Squad  by Forge World (accessed 2010.11.08)
- 6: Codex: Eldar (6th Edition) [Needs Citation]
- 7: Asurmen: Hand of Asuryan (Novel), [Needs Citation]
- Codex: Craftworld Eldar (3rd Edition), [Needs Citation]
- Codex: Eldar (4th Edition), [Needs Citation]