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Themed Army Ideas
Other Eldar Themed Army Ideas

Exodites by Ken Lacy
Regular visitors to the Millenium Gate's excellent forum know Ken as The Fabulous Orcboy, resident academic genius. In addition to what you read here, you can also check out some of Ken's brilliant 40K analysis and battle reports at The Warmonger Club.

By the way, in November 2001, Ken won a Rogue Trader Tournament in Rockville, Maryland, using an Exodite army described below. Not only can this army be done, it can do well, too!

I'll let the Fabulous One take it from here. Note that all of the units described use the rules fromCodex: Craftworld Eldar (thus, the list is perfectly legal), but will vary in name and appearance. In all cases, the new name is given first, followed by the original name in parenthesis. Thus, a Clan Memory (Farseer) riding a Dragon (Jetbike), is actually an Exodite on a small dinosaur, not Eldrad on a hoverbike!

According to the 2nd Edition Eldar Codex, Exodites fled Eldar society before the Fall and settled on untamed worlds, where they still remain, contending with the forces of nature, hostile aliens, and even (at times) each other. Exodites tend to be more physical, less refined than their Craftworld cousins and care little for the past. They are tough, fierce people, not unlike the archetypal "frontiersman" of American folklore. 

Exodites eschew vehicles and are similar to the Wood Elves of Warhammer in that they frequently use animals in warfare, in particular reptilian mounts called Dragons....

I've designed this army list to be a "stop-gap" until the eventual (if ever) release of Codex: Exodites (or Exodite rules).Although only barely possible as a legal army under 2nd Edition rules, the fluff itself has inspired a wealth of websites and army lists, and while I've seen several versions on the Web, even the legally-playable Exodite armies are a bit dated, and do not take advantage of the Eldar and Craftworld codices. Codex: Craftworld Eldar, in particular, truly provides inspiration for the current list.

Above: A portion of Ken's Exodite army, featuring converted Warhammer Elves on various mounts

I suggest using the Saim Hann list from the Craftworld codex. While it doesn't provide a player with a very powerful army, it approximates the heavy use of Dragon Knights in a stereotypical Exodite list, plus neatly curtails the use of other types of units simply by limiting the army composition. Think of it as a tactical challenge for the 40K connoisseur. To add additional flavor, I provided new names for the various units available through the Saim Hann list, and I give some conversion suggestions, based on ideas I have made myself.

Exodite armies may be led by any one of three HQ types. The most common HQ choice is a Great Dragon (Wild Rider Chief), the greatest leader amongst a given Exodite clan. He is often accompanied by a Retinue of eliteKnights(Kinsmen), and may even be accompanied by a Clan Memory (Farseer), riding a Dragon (Jetbike), of course! 

In rare instances, the Memory will lead a small warband by herself, but even if a Clan is fortunate enough to have two Clan Memories, they will never be fielded in a single force. At times, a Clan Memory will lead a small cadre of Dragontamers (Warlocks), but usually these warrior-psychics are few in number, and themselves lead squads of Knights or Squires. Finally, in times of great crisis, the Clan Memory can summon forth an avatar of the Earthmother, a Spirit of Isha (Avatar) to lead her people!

Clan MemorySpirit of Isha
Left: Clan Memory mounted on a Dragon. Right: Spirit of Isha

Rules Note: All weapons upgrades and wargear options are as listed, but Farseers and Warlocks should typically be fielded riding Dragons (using the rules for Jetbikes).

It is extremely rare for Exodite armies to include any Aspect Warriors, as Exodites do not follow any Paths themselves; Aspect Warriors would necessarily have to come from a Craftworld. A few Exodite warrior cults do simulate to some extent the combat prowess of some Aspects, such as the Kurnous Wardancer cults of the Northern Galactic rim (Banshees), but these are rare. 

Sometimes Harlequin troupes will temporarily lend their more feral cousins a hand. More commonly, although still not frequent, Exodite Dragontamers (Warlocks) have managed to tame vicious indigenous reptiles known generally as Landwyrms (Wraithguard), who spit highly corrosive acid capable of eating through solid plate duranium!

Left: Exodite Dragontamers (Warlocks by another name). Right: Landwyrm

Rules Note: Landwyrms must be accompanied by a Dragontamer, who does not need to ride a Dragon. Exodite armies typically include no more than one or two Tank-type vehicles (which include Wave Serpents). Rules for Harlequin units, and how they may be taken in non-Harlequin Eldar armies, can be found in Citadel Journal #39.

Although most members of an Exodite Clan are trained as warriors from a very young age, the Clans by their very nature will leave the bulk of the fighting to the Dragon Knights. It is only in situations of some desperation that Exodite clans will call forth Citizen Levies (Guardian Defenders), preferring instead to draw on what the Imperium has termed a Knight-Sergeant class (Dire Avengers) of elite warriors that have either not yet acquired a Dragon mount. Alternatively, they will call upon warriors-in-training, called Squires (Storm Guardians)

Above: Exodite Squires brave the horrors of battle for their Clan and the Eldar people

Just as often, however, Great Dragons and their advisors make use of the services of small cadres of Craftworld Outcastes, as well as highly individualistic Exodite Dragon Hunters (Rangers), whose training and armament perfectly equips them for the role of battlefield scouts and snipers.

Dragon Hunters
Above: Exodite Dragon Hunters turn their rifles on the foes of the Clan

Rules Note: Due to a powerful aversion to drawing on their common citizens, as well as absolute limits on the number of Knights-in-training available to any given Clan, Exodite armies shouldn't field more than one or two Guardian units, regardless of the number of detachments. These units may be accompanied by a Warlock, who does not need to ride a Dragon. Exodite armies typically include no more than one or two Tank-type vehicles (which include Wave Serpents).

Fast Attack
The heart of any Exodite army is always its bands of Dragon Knights (Guardian Jetbikes), and these are often accompanied by Dragontamers (Warlocks) who lend their considerable psychic talents to any battle. Many Clans also feature a small aerie of Skydrakes (Vypers), and the Knights that ride them, and almost every Clan has a number of elite warriors known as Dragon Lords (Shining Spears) that are experts in the use of rare and powerful laser lances.

Dragontamer on DragonDragon Lord
Left: Dragontamer. Right: Dragon Lord (converted Rogue Trader-era Zoat)

Below: Skydrake, the Exodite equivalent to a Vyper

Rules Note: Every Exodite army must include at least one unit of Fast-Attack Jetbikes, either Guardians or Shining Spears. It just wouldn't be an Exodite army without it!

All Jetbike rules should be used as normal--but one should at least make an effort to avoid moving through impassable terrain as, after all, these aren't Jetbikes but rather very fancy cavalry. Knights are assumed to be excellent shots (thus the re-roll for twin-linked shuriken catapults), and capable of hit and run attacks (thus the extra Assault move). Any Jetbikes armed with Shuriken Cannons are assumed to be one of an elite breed of "Dragon" capable of spitting bolts of lightning at the enemy--their riders will not be armed with a shuriken catapult as they will be assumed to be too busy controlling their comparably more fiery-tempered beast. 

All Vyper rules should similarly be used, and all possible vehicle upgrades are allowed, with each being appropriately re-interpreted as inherent to the special skills of the mounted Knight.

Heavy Support
This is usually one of the most precious or unusual parts of an Exodite army, featuring either a virtually irreplaceable Grav-Tank (Falcon, Prism) acquired from an allied Craftworld.

Many Clans have tamed the herbivorous Tri-horns that are found on many Exodite worlds as beasts of burden, but it takes a special skill to train these giant beasts in the arts of war. Such Tri-horns (Wraithlords) are ridden by one or two Exodites, who guide the ferocious creature and man the heavy weapons platform carried on its back. 

Above: Exodite Tri-horn saddled for war, carrying a bright lance

As many Clans build and maintain scout walkers for use in herding Dragons, by raiding a Clan's surplus of heavy weapons, a few can be readily modified for military use as War Walkers. A few Clans have captured and tamed even larger versions of the Landwyrms seen on some worlds, and these Greatwyrms (Support Batteries) are then herded to the battlefield, where they can rain destruction of various kinds onto the enemy. Finally, some Clans short on available Dragon mounts, even have a small group of Knight-Sergeant Sharpshooters (Dark Reapers) that have trained in the use of powerful laser long-rifles.

Rules Note: Support Batteries must be accompanied by a Warlock, who does not need to ride a Dragon. Exodite armies typically include no more than one or two Tank-type vehicles.

Modeling and Painting 
Tying into the simple, "pastoral" feel of the army, I used Wood Elven (Glade Rider) miniatures throughout, and High Elven Silver Helms for the Shining Spears. 

Keeping with the "dinosaur" motif, Cold Ones were used as the mounts for the various units on "jetbikes" (models with "Shuriken Cannons" use the Horned One piece to easily distinguish them from "normal" Cold One/Jetbikes), and Vypers were represented by Lizardmen Terradons with Wood Elven (Warhawk) Riders. 

Virtually all weapons can be converted to be "hand-held," from shuriken catapults (easy) to starcannons (more difficult), and really adds to the flavor of the army. Wraithguard can easily be represented by Lizardmen Salamanders, and Warlocks and Farseers by various Fantasy Elven mages. Finally, the centerpiece of an Exodite army very likely is the Wraithlord conversion, which if you hadn't guessed from the name, uses a Lizardman Stegadon as a base, with the gun platform from a Vyper on its back. For simplicity's sake, I went with just a single Exodite rider, instead of two.

I also converted Rangers from Wood Elven Waywatchers and 40K lasguns (a challenging conversion!)--although note that the fluff easily allows you to use standard Eldar Rangers models--and intend to use High Elven Seaguard to represent any Dire Avengers I field. 

My Squires were converted from Mordheim Shadow Warriors, and the Zoats represent Shining Spears -- I wasn't very happy with my initial Dragon Lord conversions, and decided that some of my classic Zoat models would work quite nicely. But the Avatar is my real pride--the Wood Elven goddess special character Ariel was the obvious choice! 

Support Weapons Batteries could be converted from the new Ork Wyvern model (although I don't plan to convert any because I don't plan to use any in my Exodite force), and there are many other giant lizard models available from other miniature ranges. Any suitably sized model with decent detail should do quite well, also.

General Tactics 
As the Saim Hann from Codex: Craftworld Eldar.

Related Pages
Being Different: Ken explains how he uses his Exodites
Striped Ork-Eaters of Auros IX: Another Themed Army Idea from Ken Lacy
The Warmonger Club
Other Eldar Themed Army Ideas

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© Copyright Ken Lacy, November 2000. All photographs by Ken Lacy. Used with permission.


Fighting Tigers:
Codex <> Tactics <> Gallery <> Allies and Enemies <> Tales of the Tigers

Other Pages:
Main <> What's New <> Site Index <> The Tiger Roars <> Themed Army Ideas
Events and Battle Reports <> Campaigns <> Terrain <> FAQ <> Beyond the Jungle