Just how much are the Eldar fucked?

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Just how much are the Eldar fucked?

Post by Zablorg » 2008-10-08 08:58am

For the most part in 40k, I can bear the disproportionate scale. The IG, despite being overwhelmed by xenos and their technology becoming ever more rare in successive editions, to me it simply means they have to fight harder. The Tau are moving in and while that is in fact quite absurd, the fact that they're surviving also means that conditions are pretty shitty for them to say the least. That's fine, I get that. Despairing conflict means lots of grimdark that can be ignored if you so choose.

The Eldar, to me, could be a bit of an exception to this rule. While for the most part the other races keep the stalemate going through sheer force of mansauce, the Eldar seem to be getting the living shit beaten out of them every day. I could run with this if the fluff stated that they barely manage to uphold their numbers with shattered morale. But it doesn't. It states that their population is constantly dwindling, in much the same way that the Tyranid menace looms ever closer. But the Tyranid thing would just be another fight that the Imperium would somehow win (there is practically no limit to what the Imperium can stand, it's just inversely proportional to how grimdark it is). While the Eldar, it's not something they can get back on track with. It seems to me from what little I've read from codexes and a few novels that the Eldar are just about fucked, and the fluff isn't going to recycle their terrible conditions into grimdark.

Can anyone "quantify" I guess, by how much the Eldar are losing in the grand scheme of things?
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Re: Just how much are the Eldar fucked?

Post by Lancer » 2008-10-08 11:18am

It depends on which craftworld you're asking. Iyanden was screwed over way back when, and Ulthwe just lost Eldrad Ulthran, the best of their Farseers. Alaitoc is constantly losing it's young to the path of the Outcast. However, Altansar reemerged from the Eye of Terror with survivors, and Biel-Tan has been steadily growing in population and power despite being the most militant of the craftworlds.

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Re: Just how much are the Eldar fucked?

Post by The Grim Squeaker » 2008-10-08 11:36am

Lancer wrote:It depends on which craftworld you're asking. Iyanden was screwed over way back when, and Ulthwe just lost Eldrad Ulthran, the best of their Farseers. Alaitoc is constantly losing it's young to the path of the Outcast. However, Altansar reemerged from the Eye of Terror with survivors, and Biel-Tan has been steadily growing in population and power despite being the most militant of the craftworlds.
The GW big event 2-3 years back, the most recent black crusade had the Eldar conquer a swathe of territory inthe Eye of Terror itself.

Of course, just like in any event (the most recent Medusa V for example) the Eldar or IoM or Guard winning the campaign on points, even by a large margin (4th, 1st and 2d places respectively) was treated by GW as "they barely manage to keep their territory and take heavy losses, barely withdrawing and don't win anything". Not the slightest shade of grim/dark/bad bias at all :P
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Re: Just how much are the Eldar fucked?

Post by NecronLord » 2008-10-08 01:46pm

Actually, their actual performance in recent events, such as Maugan Ra successfully invading and conquering a system in the Eye of Terror (a planet, incidentally, with the missing part of a destroy-Chaos-God weapon on it) and rescuing an entire craftworld and flying out of the Eye further away then Terra itself, is pretty damn good. It’s not them getting the crap kicked out of them. It’s them, kicking the crap out of everyone else.

It’s like chaos. They fucking suck and fail. Abaddon’s stated goal, 13th BC: Get out of the Eye, conquer the galaxy.

He completely failed in any part of that mission.

They’re still written up as winning, though, even though, they’re objectively, pathetic losers. They lose, lose, and lose some more.

So, if we actually ignore the grimdark flavouring, the Eldar are left with two main problems. The first is chaos, who’re problematic, but rarely make any headway against the Imperium or the Eldar. The second is the C’tan, who, while they definitely have the power to destroy Alaitoc (or indeed, all of the Eldar, in the long run) should they be sufficiently offended, for the most part, have only limited interest in the Eldar.

Of course, the ‘we’re doomed’ is a matter of perspective. Beil-Tan are convinced that they’re going to rebuild the Eldar empire. And they may be right.

There’s a number of craftworlds we don’t hear much about, the most notable of which is Lugganath, who have a plan to travel intergalactically and get away from shit-town. They also foster close ties to the Harlequins to that end.

And there’s some grand plan of the Harlequins that we don’t know the details of yet, too.
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Re: Just how much are the Eldar fucked?

Post by Lancer » 2008-10-08 01:51pm

I'm pretty certain that Biel-Tan was the craftworld that carved out that enclave in the Eye of Terror.

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Re: Just how much are the Eldar fucked?

Post by NecronLord » 2008-10-08 02:07pm

Lancer wrote:I'm pretty certain that Biel-Tan was the craftworld that carved out that enclave in the Eye of Terror.
Nah, that was primarily the Ulthwe Strike Forces. Though Maugan Ra was the leader there, and he is a Phoenix Lord; and thus not technically loyal to any craftworld.
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Re: Just how much are the Eldar fucked?

Post by Uraniun235 » 2008-10-08 02:31pm

Aren't the Space Elves by definition a doomed species?
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Re: Just how much are the Eldar fucked?

Post by Vendetta » 2008-10-08 04:15pm

Dude, it's 40k. Everyone is doomed, that's the whole point.

Hence why despite Abbadon's complete, total, and utter incompetence chaos will remain a threat to the galaxy, and why those infinitely massive Tyranid fleets that are coming to eat us all will never actually arrive, and the C'tan will keep on hitting that snooze button. The setting essentially has to be balanced at a point where a player coming into it has an even chance of picking any of the sides to start playing, because if one side was too overrepresented it wouldn't be a very interesting tabletop game.

That's why the 5th Edition fluff strapped the Tau empire to a table and pumped it full of steroids, because the overwhelming impression was that the Tau didn't really matter much to the galaxy.

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Re: Just how much are the Eldar fucked?

Post by Ford Prefect » 2008-10-08 04:35pm

NecronLord wrote:Actually, their actual performance in recent events, such as Maugan Ra successfully invading and conquering a system in the Eye of Terror (a planet, incidentally, with the missing part of a destroy-Chaos-God weapon on it) and rescuing an entire craftworld and flying out of the Eye further away then Terra itself, is pretty damn good.
Did you expect otherwise? This is Maugan Ra we're talking about, and the dude just does not broach with this loosing thing. Like at Iyanden, for example. Everyone else was getting eaten, and he killed a smallish biotitan on his own.
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Re: Just how much are the Eldar fucked?

Post by Teleros » 2008-10-08 05:47pm

NecronLord wrote:a planet, incidentally, with the missing part of a destroy-Chaos-God weapon on it
What what what? Can't remember hearing about that.
Ford Prefect wrote:Did you expect otherwise? This is Maugan Ra we're talking about, and the dude just does not broach with this loosing thing. Like at Iyanden, for example. Everyone else was getting eaten, and he killed a smallish biotitan on his own.
That's just because he's so badass he doesn't really count as Eldar :P .

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Re: Just how much are the Eldar fucked?

Post by Junghalli » 2008-10-08 10:39pm

NecronLord wrote:There’s a number of craftworlds we don’t hear much about, the most notable of which is Lugganath, who have a plan to travel intergalactically and get away from shit-town.
You know, I often wonder how many people aren't doing that. I mean, if I lived in 40K loading up a ship with a bunch of like-minded people and sending it off (using super-high relativistic speed instead of warp if necessary) in the hopes of finding a nicer galaxy would look really tempting. I'd be surprised if there weren't assloads of ships in intergalactic space now, full of people who did exactly that.

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Re: Just how much are the Eldar fucked?

Post by RedImperator » 2008-10-08 11:45pm

Junghalli wrote:
NecronLord wrote:There’s a number of craftworlds we don’t hear much about, the most notable of which is Lugganath, who have a plan to travel intergalactically and get away from shit-town.
You know, I often wonder how many people aren't doing that. I mean, if I lived in 40K loading up a ship with a bunch of like-minded people and sending it off (using super-high relativistic speed instead of warp if necessary) in the hopes of finding a nicer galaxy would look really tempting. I'd be surprised if there weren't assloads of ships in intergalactic space now, full of people who did exactly that.
From what I've absorbed from 40k threads, they'd probably just get eaten by the Tyrannids or accidentally wake up something even worse than Chaos or something.
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Re: Just how much are the Eldar fucked?

Post by Darth Raptor » 2008-10-09 12:25am

AFAIK, it might be possible to avoid the Tyranids, but you'll run into Orks wherever you go.

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Re: Just how much are the Eldar fucked?

Post by Ford Prefect » 2008-10-09 01:47am

RedImperator wrote:From what I've absorbed from 40k threads, they'd probably just get eaten by the Tyrannids or accidentally wake up something even worse than Chaos or something.
The Milky Way is more or less encircled by an unknown number of Tyranid hive-fleets. The number is never actually given but it is estimated to be somewhere between 'really fucking enormous' and 'haha, those numbers don't even make any sense'. As I recall, the warp-shadow that Tyranids produce can disrupt warp travel, yet at the same time they're not some sort of wall. Yet as Raptor says, the Orks have actually been propagating intergalactic missions of colonisation* for perhaps tens of thousands of years. And there's probably Necrons in Andromeda.

So, yeah.

*Not that they would have planned it that way, but this is how it would end up working.
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Re: Just how much are the Eldar fucked?

Post by Falkenhayn » 2008-10-09 01:59am

My wild-arsed hypothesis is that the Old Ones genetically tuned Orky aggression to the inverse of galactic psyker activity. As warp power wanes, they Orks go nuttier, because that probably means the 'crons and the C'Tan are back at their old tricks. Therefore, the "Krork" ought to start invading everything everywhere, because you never know where the bonies set up a Sepulchre in the last 60 million years.
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Re: Just how much are the Eldar fucked?

Post by NecronLord » 2008-10-09 02:18am

Teleros wrote:
NecronLord wrote:a planet, incidentally, with the missing part of a destroy-Chaos-God weapon on it
What what what? Can't remember hearing about that.
Belial IV was first introduced in Farseer by William King (a book they wouldn’t let him write the sequels to) as a planet on which the Eldar priests of Asuryan created a sword, linked to vast warp engines (thing Forbidden Planet here), intended to kill Slanessh as it formed.
Bill King, Farseer, P214 wrote: Centuries passed, then millennia, and the cities grew. As they did so the images became darker, the people more debauched. More and more power borought greater and greater wealth and luxury, and that in turn, brought spiritual corruption. He saw the eldar grow corrupt. He saw great orgies of indulgence and torchlit rallies where painted prophets spoke words of wickedness to a willing audience. One of them was somehow familiar. It was not anything about his appearance: it was his aura. It was the same as the demon Janus had encountered in his last vision. It was in some strange way Shaha Gaathon or someone possessed by him. He moved through the crowds talking and preaching, hidden by potent spells from even the psychic senses of the eldar. The Harbinger of Slaanesh, come to prepare the way for the god's birth.

[...]

The days grew darked, strange savage rites stained the streets with blood, and eldar hunted eldar for pleasure through the streets of the city. Red garbed priests rose, preaching the coming of a new god, a deity created by the eldar themselves, who would lead them into an age of ever greater wonders and life everlasting. Janus did not know how he understood what was going on, but he did. It unreeled before his eyes like scenes from a vast pagent.
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Then came a day when a mighty ritual was performed under the supervision of those perverse and dedicated priests, the ritual they promised would usher in a new age of even greater splendour and pleasure. He saw the faces of the crowd aglow as they watched the rituals being performed. He saw the creation of mighty fortices of energy linked between many worlds. He saw the pride and the power written on every face, and then saw the horror enter their expressions as the watchers realized that something had gone wrong.
[...]
The priests emerged from the shrine of Asuryan [ed. virtuous priests, if you've not guessed] armed with their weapon that had been so long in forging. it was a blade that glowed brighter than the sun, and was pregnant with the power of death, a blade powered by the mighty spirit engines that slept beneath the temple. They came for Shaha Gaathon, the dark prophet. The leader of the priests cut and wounded him, and the prophet vanished, fleeing beyond their reach. Filled with triumph the eldar high priest turned on the newborn god.

He struck the growing thing and wounded it, but it was not enough. The new being was too strong. It threw itself at the priests and consumed them, and they died scremaing in ecstasy and horror. The few that survived snatched up the sword and were driven back within their fotress temple. They forced closed the doors, but not even the mighty seals they invoked could save them. The tentacles of the dark god reached into the heart of the temple, found them and consumed them. All save the one who bore the blade, who sealed himself into the ultimate sanctuary beneath the temple and vanished behind its spell walls.
Given that Slanessh is around a third of what it was during its birth (when it could take on all three other Chaos Gods and win), all they really need, now, is some way of getting Slanessh to manifest again. Which is in fact, already done; it’s directly possessing a blackstone fortress, that’s how it got Eldrad Ulthran, and someone without a soul that can be ripped out (as his was) willing to go shiv it. And that’s it, they’ve got one dead chaos god.

It’s quite possible that Slanessh will be destroyed utterly in 001.M42.

As for intergalactic problems for the Eldar; well, as far as we know, tyranid ships sleep through their journeys outside the galaxy. So they’re not really a problem.

As for orks: Once outside of the range of the chaos gods (and despite the craziness in Storm of Iron and Dead Sky, Black Sun where infinite galaxies are conquered in the name of Khorne, their range must limited for the Emperor of one galaxy to be any kind of threat. I can only put that nonsense down to the already insane character having some kind of trippy vision as she’s sucked into the warp) they have no reason to flagellate themselves by going into battle directly. Ork infestations can be quite happily dealt with by throwing war robots at them. The Eldar Empire supressed Orks for countless millennia in this way.
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Re: Just how much are the Eldar fucked?

Post by Zablorg » 2008-10-09 02:36am

So could it be said that the Eldar are "stable" as a whole?
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Re: Just how much are the Eldar fucked?

Post by NecronLord » 2008-10-09 03:29am

Well, supposedly their population is declining. But it's not as hopeless as some eldar would have it be.
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Re: Just how much are the Eldar fucked?

Post by Slacker » 2008-10-09 02:15pm

Vendetta wrote:.
That's why the 5th Edition fluff strapped the Tau empire to a table and pumped it full of steroids, because the overwhelming impression was that the Tau didn't really matter much to the galaxy.
Ironic, given how bad the Tau codex is in Fifth Edition. *headdesk*

And I'd really love to see the universe advance-they do it in Fantasy, in baby steps, they do. It shouldn't be that hard to incrementally advance things a bit. Or at least have the good guys no-shit win for once.
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Re: Just how much are the Eldar fucked?

Post by DesertFly » 2008-10-09 03:59pm

Slacker wrote:
Vendetta wrote:.
That's why the 5th Edition fluff strapped the Tau empire to a table and pumped it full of steroids, because the overwhelming impression was that the Tau didn't really matter much to the galaxy.
Ironic, given how bad the Tau codex is in Fifth Edition. *headdesk*

And I'd really love to see the universe advance-they do it in Fantasy, in baby steps, they do. It shouldn't be that hard to incrementally advance things a bit. Or at least have the good guys no-shit win for once.

It'll probably eventually get to that eventually, if not in one gigantic cataclysmic triumph of good over evil. It seems pretty likely that every few years they'll sort out what the most/least popular races are, and if a certain species (say, the tyranids) becomes too unpopular, they'll have some big event where they get wiped out, or at least destroyed enough to no longer be a main army. Although this would have the disadvantage of making all the current models for that species basically irrelevant. Of course, given the nature of 40k, I'd imagine some other horrible, galaxy-spanning threat would emerge within the blink of an eye. :wink:
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Re: Just how much are the Eldar fucked?

Post by Terralthra » 2008-10-09 05:43pm

NecronLord wrote:Belial IV was first introduced in Farseer by William King (a book they wouldn’t let him write the sequels to) as a planet on which the Eldar priests of Asuryan created a sword, linked to vast warp engines (thing Forbidden Planet here), intended to kill Slanessh as it formed.
I wondered why there weren't any sequels to that, since it ends on such an obvious sequel hook. Any theories on why they won't let him write the next one, beyond "it would involve Slaanesh dying"?

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Re: Just how much are the Eldar fucked?

Post by Teleros » 2008-10-09 07:53pm

Or at least have the good guys no-shit win for once.
Leaving aside the problem of finding the good guys in 40K, I would like to see the Imperium do this for once. I don't know, maybe they can waste a major Craftworld, or Commoranth (or w/e it is) or something (does anyone play Dark Eldar :P ? I just get the impression they're in-fluff pirates whom nobody collects :? ).
DesertFly wrote:It'll probably eventually get to that eventually, if not in one gigantic cataclysmic triumph of good over evil. It seems pretty likely that every few years they'll sort out what the most/least popular races are, and if a certain species (say, the tyranids) becomes too unpopular, they'll have some big event where they get wiped out, or at least destroyed enough to no longer be a main army. Although this would have the disadvantage of making all the current models for that species basically irrelevant. Of course, given the nature of 40k, I'd imagine some other horrible, galaxy-spanning threat would emerge within the blink of an eye. :wink:
Nah, Tyranids will stay in due to splinter fleets (codex + models from mail order only). Next massive campaign though I'm guessing will be a certain C'Tan on Mars waking up and in which, regardless of how well the Imperium curbstomps every other faction, will result in more grimdark ;) . It'd also mean releasing a nice new "Codex: Tech Guard" or something though, plus updating the Necrons etc.

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Re: Just how much are the Eldar fucked?

Post by Setzer » 2008-10-09 08:43pm

Terralthra wrote:
NecronLord wrote:Belial IV was first introduced in Farseer by William King (a book they wouldn’t let him write the sequels to) as a planet on which the Eldar priests of Asuryan created a sword, linked to vast warp engines (thing Forbidden Planet here), intended to kill Slanessh as it formed.
I wondered why there weren't any sequels to that, since it ends on such an obvious sequel hook. Any theories on why they won't let him write the next one, beyond "it would involve Slaanesh dying"?
I think that's reason enough for GW. As previously established, they have their own religion and its god is named Status Quo.
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Re: Just how much are the Eldar fucked?

Post by Connor MacLeod » 2008-10-10 12:55am

Its really hard to say anything about the Eldar as a race because we have a very hard time pinning down their actual numbers, aside from "they're less numerous than humans and orks" and "They're no longer a significant threat to the Necrons". I've vaguely postulated they might be in the billions range, but that's alot of conjecture and patchwork estimates from various sources (and to be blunt they don't all agree.) A big problem is is that we're not sure how manyn craftworlds there are, and then there's always the Exodite worlds, the allied colonies of various craftworlds (at leat some do colonize) and then the various non-craftworld or "non-exodite" groups (Rangers, Harlequins, etc.)

I'd have to say they're still fairly numerous (if less so than humanity) because most craftworlds we know of can still mount fairly significant armies (thousands/tens of thousands) and still take hefty losses (I'm thinking of the Biel Tan here, especially.)

I sincerely doubt they'll regain their lost empire, but they probably aren't close to extinction yet, if for no other reason than they are so widely scattered.

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Re: Just how much are the Eldar fucked?

Post by Connor MacLeod » 2008-10-10 01:04am

Teleros wrote:
Or at least have the good guys no-shit win for once.
Leaving aside the problem of finding the good guys in 40K, I would like to see the Imperium do this for once. I don't know, maybe they can waste a major Craftworld, or Commoranth (or w/e it is) or something (does anyone play Dark Eldar :P ? I just get the impression they're in-fluff pirates whom nobody collects :? ).
Outside of a novel not very bloody likely I'd say. Not only would that go against "Grimdark, GRIMDARK!" but the fact is that despite the flaws you may point out in the Imperium with regards to its technology (comapred to Eldar, Necron, or Tau), its organization/industry, or its general disregard for individual human life, its just so bloody big. And size gives it tremendous resources and industry to draw on (even if it can be ponderous in doing so.) And its size means it can absorb losses far more easily than most races save the Orks or Tyranids (or I suppose the Necrons.). And whats even more absurd is that the Imperium seems to get bigger as time passes (we're progressing into the Imperium having tens or hundreds of millions, if not billions of worlds now... how insane is that?)

Aside from the Tyranids and Orks (anda gain maybe the Necrons, who we still know so little about) the Imperium is so big and nasty that they could probably crush most individual powers in 40K if they could concentrate... which is why you so rarely see them do so. Especially WRT to the Tau. In fact, play balance will invariably dictate gimping the Guard in some manner in most respects (see Taros campaign.) in order to present a fair fight.

As for the Tau, they were again conveniently "boosted", but this was also coupled with putting them much farther from th eImperiums' borders (and from reliable communication and travel.) - giving them a further measure of insulation to protect them from the Imperium actually concentrating on them effectively. They're still a long LONG way from being any sort of credible threat to most other 40K powers.

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