Autarch Skyrunner- Showcase and Tactica Development

At long last, I finished one of the most iconic Asuryani HQ choices and am deep in development on how I intend to use him. I’ll show you how and why I made the modelling choices I did and how I plan on using him in games.

I’ve spent about 9 years carefully converting, kitbashing, collecting and painting my Corsair themed army. During the heyday of the Corsairs in 7th edition, the Corsair Prince on a Jetbike was an absolute monster. Sadly the Corsairs have come and gone… but the modelling opportunity to represent a Corsair Prince on Jetbike is still in play via the Autarch Skyrunner and possibly in his strongest incarnation yet.

For the occasion this model had to be some of my best work. About 2 years ago I’d assembled, painted the first incarnation of this model, but I was unsatisfied with the final product and never played him. So thanks to the inspiration from my podcast-bro Brian and our Archon’s Painting Challenge (1 Aeldari unit a month, bonus points for sticking with that months theme) I had all the inspiration I needed to start over again. Into the Simple Green he went with about 50 other models and a weeks worth of painting him in between commission projects and this is what I’ve cooked up.

I really emptied this bits box into this guy, using all my best and most coveted bits which I’ll detail. So to begin with let me discuss his load-out. My intention is to use this guy as either a Ynnari or Saim-Hann Autarch Skyrunner with Index options. My vision for him at the moment is as Saim-Hann which I’ll explain later on in the article. So lets detail the model and all his wargear options.

Modelling and Wargear

So the base model is actually a 3rd party sculpt for Shining Spears. The pauldron on his right side is a really nice detail that I love in particular. Sadly this company has been lost to the warp and I’ve been unable to find them again. The head from the Dark Elf Corsair kit and a bit I’ve jealously horded over the years, scooping them up as much as possible from ebay so that I can make multiple iterations of my Corsair Prince. I imagine this is a relic which is a counts-as Banshee Mask (from the Index) and it seems comensurate with the fluff for things like Falochu’s Wing is simply a pin a character wears on his cloak. Speaking of cloaks, my dudes cloak is from the White Lions of Chrace kit as my Corsairs are known as the Lions of Asuryan. I particularly like the moon talisman he’s got on there which can act as another relic, and ties in with the icongraphy from my second Eldar army my Alaitoc themed Umbral Watchers (allies to my Lions of Asuryan as a nod to the old coterie system from Imperial Armor 11 2nd edition) who use the moon and blade symbol from Alaitoc as there own. From that same kit is his left shoulder pad which helps cement my Corsair Warhosts iconography. His lance, is from the High Elf Dragonblades from AoS. This particular bit was really important to me as I wanted it to stand out from the standard laser lance since I plan on running it as the Nova Lance relic from Saim-Hann. Also important to me was the flame motif on the tip of lance. For those familiar, at the heart of every is a chamber of sacred flames the Phoenix Kings of Ulthuan had to pass through (from the old world of Warhammer) to become a true king. That motiff can be seen on the Craftworld rune for Iyanden with shrine raised over a flame. As my Corsairs are Ynnari , who venerate Asuryan and seek to recreate the old ways before the Fall, incorporating as much old High Elf stuff into my army is always high on my priority list and a fun challenge.

Meanwhile his jetbike is from the Windrider Kit, with an underslung fusion gun (heat lance from the Drukhari Reaver kit), some plasma grenades and pouches from both the Guardian and Harlequin Troupe kit and a Wraithblade shoulder pad over the exhaust.

Painting

My paint scheme for my Lions of Asuryan has always been red and gold with turquoise gems. Their background as pursuers of the ancient Aeldari relics, and adherents to the pre-Fall ways was always there background. When the Ynnari were unveiled, their paint scheme and background were a dead match so I happily embraced them as my faction of choice (though I seldom play them with actual Ynnari rules).

So the paint scheme is pretty simple for the red, its Khorne Red, Mephiston, Evil Sunz, Wild Rider and a touch of Cadian Flesh here and there. The gems are Abaddon Black, Incubi Darkness, Sotek Green, Aehriman Blue, Temple Guard, and Bahrroth Blue. The gold is Retributor with a custom brew for the highlight using P3 Platinum and Retributor. The cloak is Rakarth Flesh, Ushabti and Pallid Wych.

In depth tutorial can be found here how I paint my red and gold. You can see here how I paint my gems too.

The part I’m particularly happy with is the rune at the top of the bike. I free-handed the Ynnari rune (which is simply the Biel-Tan rune without the heart) and used the Flame of Asuryan (for Iyanden) transfer to complete a custom rune. I think this is now going to be the official rune of my army in addition to the Lion of Chrace transfer I use too.

Playstyle

So my big impetus for running him is 2 fold. One my local group is running a great campaign and we can use 4 of the Chapter Approved 2018 Open Play build-a-hero rules. 2nd I’ve got a lot of interest in trying to run a Saim-Hann themed army using the Wind Rider host and see how well I can do with it.

I’ve played Ynnari, Alaitoc and Iyanden to death. I’ve got a massive load of victories under my belt and I’m looking for a good challenge. Also playing my Harlequins as much as I have (and currently working on additional bikes to round off my squad at 6) I’m very much interested in running a Jetbike themed 3 detachment list of Red Grief Wych Cult with a big unit of Reavers, Soaring Spite Harlequins with 6 Skyweavers, and finally Saim-Hann with a big unit of Shining Spears and a huge mess of scatter laser Wind Riders either 9-12.

I’ll detail a list in the future as its early development, but the Wind Rider host has 1 stratagem I’m really keen on trying out, particularly with this Autarch.

So the Autarch’s goal is to ride along the Shining Spears and pretty much take out whatever they cant in combat. Using the Nova Lance he’s Str 8 AP -4, Dmg 2. When he roll’s 6+ to wound he does 4 damage. Thats insane! So my plan is to use the Saim-Hann Stratagem to either advance and charge the Shining Spears and use Quicken on the Autarch (or I can switch it around). With Supreme Disdain and possibly the Empower psychic power (+1 to wound) the Autarch become an absolute monster in combat. He can do SERIOUS damage to anything, possibly even landing a KO or near to it on an Imperial Knight if he’s lucky (especially with both his Fusion Gun and Lance backing him up in the shooting phase).

Vigilus Windrider-Host Tricks

The trick I’m really keen on trying to use is the Nimble Escape stratagem. For 2 CP you can Move and Advance after you’ve fought as if it were your Movement Phase. However the trick is that if an enemy unit is with 1″ you can Fall Back instead. I’m not sure if that means you HAVE to Fall Back or can simply choose to. I’m assuming it means you have to, so you’ll have to position yourself to kill a model in combat and have no others within 1″ after that. But with all the positioning tricks in combat its something I’m used to at this point and would love to learn how to pull off reliably.

 

Narrative/Open Play

My main inspiration for actually biting the bullet and getting this guy in games is a campaign I’m currently playing in. We are able to take 4 traits at present and if I win enough games I can take more. So in narrative or in open play, this dude can approach gloriana-class leveles of badassery. For the campaign I’m currently playing in, I’m going to give him the +1 Strength (I may drop in this in favor of another ability since he’s gonna be strength 6 even if he’s stuck in combat), +1 Attack as well as +1 Armor and +1 Invuln save to get him a tasty 2+/3++ to fulfill all my hero-hammer dreams as a new Phoenix Lord is in town.

Conclusion

So as you can see from the modelling, painting to gaming getting the most out of this model is something I’ve spent a long time thinking about. I couldnt be happier with how he came out and now its just a matter of getting him into games.

If you are interested in more Aeldari discussion check out our podcast: Splintermind for exclusive Drukharii and all things Aeldari news and discussion. If you are interested in following my painting exploits check me out on Instagram! Thanks for reading and stay tuned!

 

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About Cavalier

Commission Painter for Frontline Gaming + Co-Host of the Splintermind: The Dark Eldar Podcast

One Response to “Autarch Skyrunner- Showcase and Tactica Development”

  1. Cheesy Poofs February 8, 2019 6:54 am #

    Kick-ass!

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