I myself have often bemoaned the lack of mounts for our Archons outside of Raiders and Venoms. However, I was thinking about it the other day and the way Archons are written in the fluff provides what is at least a palatable explanation for their self-restraint.
Please keep in mind this is just the impression the fluff made on me. Your interpretation is just as valid as Phil Kelly's. I'm not discussing what the Drukhari were originally designed to be, but what they are to me. The only way Drukhari should/i] be, is, in my opinion, up to each hobbyist. Here is my pitch:
[i]Being an Archon is different from being anything else in Commorragh, so much so, that once you become an Archon, you are instantly made into a target far more so than you ever were before, much more so than a Succubus or a Haemonculus. Succubi struggle for power too, but to my mind it is usually an overt struggle, it is a struggle to always be the most skilled gladiator, anything less is unacceptable to the culture of the Wyches. "Only the strongest shall lead" might as well be the motto of the Succubi. They don't have to worry about poisoning, assassination, sabotage, treachery, or crashing Astartes spaceships nearly as much as an Archon does.
Haemonculi on the other hand, are already so powerful that they do not really need to vie for it. As long as they have their endless slaves and other resources they are content to just pursue fleshcrafting as they see fit. By contrast, the main hobby of Archons seems to be the often mentioned "political game" that Vect is so good at playing.
This massive "political game" invites contestants to supplant and murder each other in every way imaginable. Inventiveness and subtlety are greatly admired here, rather than in the Wych cults, and it is much more competitive than the Haemonculi. Image in the face of the other Archons is everything. Any sign of weakness - even the perception of potential weakness - is like a siren alerting rivals to turn their scrutiny to the perceived weak-link-Archon. This creates a culture where doing something different can be seen as struggling to have the edge you wouldn't otherwise need. In other words, if you can't play by the rules, if you cheat, you're weak for having to sink to that desperate measure. No Archon will ever need to mount-up because he will have his own transport to leisurely carry him to a place he has already timed perfectly to be the right place at the right time. He won't need the extra speed because his own blade shall be so swift, or he won't even need to raise his own. He won't need to do it himself. The Archon who is customizable is a heroic, do-it-yourselfer for the glory type. As the fluff stands, the Archon does not need to be the one to do it because every Kabalite warrior, every vehicle, every hired blade is an extension of his own power. He does not need to do it himself.
This is at odds with our normal instinct as players to put ourselves in the shoes of our Archons. We all do it as 40k gamers to a certain degree I think. We put a bit of ourselves into our armies. That is why we want to see our Archons be unique, like we are (or at least as we imagine ourselves to be). I am all for customizable Archons, but I want to a fluff where that is encouraged first. A simple fix would be that within the ranks of the Archons it is natural for them to have been all walks of life. I know that this is already the case to some extent, Vect is the perfect example, as is that other Archon who was a former Reaver. The fluff would have to emphasize that it is natural and expected by other Archons for Archons to bring with them all their past lives. This would be truly cool as each Archon could have walked, two, three, or more paths within the Dark City before becoming Archon. Imagine the combinations! Even if you limit yourself to pairs I think its exhilarating. An Archon with the dominating presence of a Beastmaster but the blade skills of a Khlaivex, An Archon who was once a Succubus before switching over to become an Archon's 2nd in command and then stabbed him in the back. A Scourge who became a Haemonculus himself before creating his own Winged/Coven Kabal. Now imagine if this translated in game. Imagine if your Archon sand box of rules and tools was the full breadth of Commorraghi characters: Succubus, Haemonculus, Beastmaster, Khlaivex, Arena Champion, Helliarch, Solarite, and Nightfiend. Don't settle for less! Why stop at 3 flavors of Archon when you could have had almost 30! And that's just if you're pairing past identities!
Of course, I would be shocked if GW gave us this level of flexibility, but if you can homebrew a Land Raider...
My 8th edition fandex is complete enough for appraisal (note that I completed it before any previews had been released) . I'm sure there are inconsistencies, please let me know where they lie as you find them. Thank you! Click here for fandex