Fix the Craft World Eldar

Fix the Craft World Eldar

Postby Deepcrush » Tue Sep 27, 2011 1:42 am

We've hit the IoM near to death so its time for a change up. Mostly because Mikey is the most active one and he picked out this faction in an earlier thread.
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Re: Fix the Craft World Eldar

Postby Tyyr » Tue Sep 27, 2011 1:04 pm

Stop being total pussies.
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Re: Fix the Craft World Eldar

Postby Mikey » Tue Sep 27, 2011 3:21 pm

First, let me say that this analysis is based on fluff rather than TT game terms. In-game, I obviously understand the decisions made in order to preserve game balance. In fluff, though, the Craftworld Eldar could be a giant economy-size tub full of kick-ass.

#1 - Tech. Their weaponry is as advanced as anyone; they have light troops with decent personal armor; their vehicles are light but as mobile as anything; their specialist troops have some real kick-ass gear; their fleet is decent; they have a small number of infantry that can actually jump around the battlefield through the warp; and holofields and D-cannons.

#2 - Weird brains. Not only do they have powerful psykers as a matter of course, they have powerful psykers both geared toward combat, and others who can radically alter the course of events on the battlfield.

#3 - Hordes of the undead. The Eldar could field huge numbers of wraithguard and wraithlords.

#4 - Specialists. The Aspect Warriors mean that troops specialized in just the right type of combat for a given situation are available. Add to that the Rangers, the Autarchs, and even a friggin' Avatar - which is just what it sounds like, a war-god reborn in flesh - and you have some pretty formidable situational solutions.

So, with all this, why are the Craftworld Eldar a bunch of flighty fruits instead of gum-chewing ass-kickers who just ran out of gum?

Segmentation. No one craftworld has the numbers - of bodies, of armor, or of each different type of specialist - to make any true headway on their own. Unfortunately for them, each craftworld is too fixated on their own particular goals or biases to overcome this with cooperation... to say nothing of each one's prejudice against the others. One may be intent on killing orks, another on reclaiming maiden worlds, another on fighting Chaos, and each one things the other is wrong a/o possibly tainted. In fact, one's bonesingers would complement another's Aspect Warriors, which would both complement a third's Rangers, and another's warlocks and farseers, etc., etc.

The Astartes wouldn't send just assault squads and landspeeders to try to hold a position - but the craftworlds are left in that situation. One craftworld may have Dark Reapers, for example, and no Swooping Hawks or Warp Spiders - but may still have to try and fight a guerilla war on their own nonetheless. If that craftworld were, instead, working cooperatively with another that had such Aspects but no heavy support, each would gain from the resources of the other and together they'd be able to field a more flexible and situationally-appropriate force.

In other words, if they ever just got over themselves they'd be pretty tough S.O.B.'s. Figure out what you want as a species and then figure out how to get together and get shit done. Oh, you have scruples against over-use of dead warriors' spirits to create vast armies of wraithguards? Well, tough titties - you're at war, get over it.
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Re: Fix the Craft World Eldar

Postby Deepcrush » Fri Sep 30, 2011 9:19 pm

Tyyr wrote:Stop being total pussies.


Your level of detail is amazing! :poke:

Mikey wrote:BIG snip


One major problem would be holding worlds that they take or are given them. The sheer power behind a Chaos invasion can suck up the resources of an entire Segmentum. The same is no different for a Waaagh or Harvest. How do the Eldar balance against this?
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Re: Fix the Craft World Eldar

Postby Mikey » Sat Oct 01, 2011 2:10 am

That's another issue with their fragmentation, mistrust, and rivalry. They can't defend as they are now because they are each one craftworld. If they became a cooperative force, they'd have a better chance - slightly better initially, but continued cooperation would mean reclaiming maiden worlds, better coordination with the Harlequins, regaining portions of the webway, and probably relations with the Exodites (and the settled-planet resources which that entails.) Until that point, the elite of Ulthwe would certainly help them sidestep any major calamities.
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Re: Fix the Craft World Eldar

Postby Coalition » Sun Oct 02, 2011 3:14 am

The Eldar are always described as a dying race, yet they use Guardians (civilians given combat helmets that psychically imprint basic combat maneuvers) in their ground forces.

I would prefer the Eldar using combat robots for their Guardians, and the actual military troops use the heavier armor/specialized combat capabilities of the Aspect Warriors. They could use similar technology for larger robots, replacing Wraithguard with combat robots. The robots would not be as effective as a true Eldar, but would be far more expendable.

Similar to the old Scatter Laser platforms, but remote controlled.

Another option for them might be hiring mercenaries to cover any potential holes in their force structure. The problem is the mercenaries consider satisfying the customer job #3 (after survival and getting paid), so they will break much easier than the Eldar. But hiring another race to die for you is cheaper than an Eldar death, so it could be done.
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Re: Fix the Craft World Eldar

Postby Mikey » Sun Oct 02, 2011 12:47 pm

The Craftworld Eldar hardly have the same things to offer potential mercenaries as, say, the Tau can offer gue'vesa to defect; who would they hire? Humans wouldn't work for them; orks have no appreciation for anything the Eldar may "pay" them and would have zero regard for Eldar commands; the axolotl are too closely tied to Chaos. I don't really have a problem with the Eldar military structure so much, though I'd like to see them get over themselves and use more wraithguard than Guardians, as you suggest with robots (I don't recall an instance of the Eldar having or using robots,) or even expand the idea of Black Guardians beyond Ulthwe.

It just strikes me that for a race supposedly in decline, and one with a pretty impressive status in both technology and psychic ability, they seem to lack a lot of focus on what should be priorities.
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Re: Fix the Craft World Eldar

Postby Deepcrush » Sun Oct 02, 2011 9:33 pm

The focus problem with the Eldar isn't their lack of but to much of... They plan in plans within plans with side planning with another plan followed by a plan. Their actions can take thousands of years to complete. The issue is that most of the races that they are in conflict with don't care about planning that far ahead. So more often then not, the actions of the impulsive young races simply smash the plans of the Eldar. The Eldar play the "long game" more then needed. They need to start setting short term, achievable goals.
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Re: Fix the Craft World Eldar

Postby Mikey » Mon Oct 03, 2011 2:00 am

True - what I mean by focus is that they need to concentrate on goals which will slow or halt the decline of the species, not goals which will further an individual craftworld at the expense of the race.
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Re: Fix the Craft World Eldar

Postby Deepcrush » Mon Oct 03, 2011 9:04 am

Very true. Reproduction, resource gathering and defense as a whole needs to be the priority for them. Every year is another year for groups like the Tau, Necrons, Nids, Orks and Chaos to spread which leaves less and less room for the Eldar to stake a claim.
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Re: Fix the Craft World Eldar

Postby Mikey » Mon Oct 03, 2011 12:02 pm

Plus, an attack on a craftworld is only an attack on that craftworld; a force attacking Iyanden, for example, doesn't have to worry about response from anybody other than the Eldar of Iyanden alone.
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Re: Fix the Craft World Eldar

Postby Deepcrush » Mon Oct 03, 2011 2:57 pm

Very true, without any form of unity the Eldar the perfect target for "divide and conquer". Made easy since they've done half the work already.
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Re: Fix the Craft World Eldar

Postby Reliant121 » Mon Oct 03, 2011 3:29 pm

And, since each craftworld seems to favour or have access to one type of warfare far more than any other, it will be easy for a more flexible race such as the IoM or the Tau to attack a given craftworld, Alaitoc for example, with a force specifically designed to counter their weakness. Using that example, a Tau attack force striking Alaitoc who use a lot of rangers could deploy mass groups of short range troops (I'm assuming that would be kroot, although I admit to not being 100%).
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Re: Fix the Craft World Eldar

Postby Coalition » Wed Oct 05, 2011 1:26 am

Mikey wrote:The Craftworld Eldar hardly have the same things to offer potential mercenaries as, say, the Tau can offer gue'vesa to defect; who would they hire? Humans wouldn't work for them; orks have no appreciation for anything the Eldar may "pay" them and would have zero regard for Eldar commands; the axolotl are too closely tied to Chaos. I don't really have a problem with the Eldar military structure so much, though I'd like to see them get over themselves and use more wraithguard than Guardians, as you suggest with robots (I don't recall an instance of the Eldar having or using robots,) or even expand the idea of Black Guardians beyond Ulthwe.

It just strikes me that for a race supposedly in decline, and one with a pretty impressive status in both technology and psychic ability, they seem to lack a lot of focus on what should be priorities.


The Eldar do have basic crystal manufacturing capacity*, so they can sell crystals to bribe human mercs. Orks can be bribed with the promise of violence.

For robots, the 1998 Dark Eldar codex had the Talos, while the 2001 Eldar Codex had Guardians using antigrav platforms mounting heavy weapons. Add in a basic targeting system (which the Dark Eldar already have so I'd expect regular Eldar to produce something similar) plus maybe a Guardian to control it (or several platforms), and you can use that as a 'Troop' choice. (I'm imagining an Eldar 'gamer' with a RTS setup controlling multiple drones in combat.)


* Xenology book, 4 pages after the Eldar autopsy, the page with Eldar & human DNA on it, Inquisitor Ralei's notes, 1st paragraph, lines 16-17
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Re: Fix the Craft World Eldar

Postby Deepcrush » Wed Oct 05, 2011 2:16 am

The problem with the Eldar is production. They simply don't have the resources right now to build a drone army or a heavy weapon platform army. Which comes back to their issue of being unwilling to work together or set up a base of operations.
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