View Full Version : Dark Eldar Revisted

06-09-2007, 17:03
Dark Eldar are both one of my favorite races and the most disdained races of all the 40k cannon. I enjoy the race as a whole because of certain racial characteristics that set them apart from the other races, such as their hedonistic nature, they disregard for the living (in particular their own psykers), the whole imagery bent on horror and sadistic natures, and the thirst, which causes them to inact soul leeching/consumption. What throws me off from the Dark Eldar, discluding the model range itself, is they seem to be a relatively minor force to such an extant that they hardly feel worthy of being represented with their own codex. I'll explain.

The whole sum of the Dark Eldar are confined to Kabals within the city of Commorragh. Currently, they are a force of raiders and pirates that commence with lightning quick attacks and capture humanoids for their own amusement and needs. With such a background, It's hard for me to see them as a major race instead of a minor annoyance to most of the other core armies. To me, this is a shame really, because the Dark Eldar have so much more potential, or at least to me they do.

Thinking along these lines, I've been pondering how they can be reinvented once (if) their codex gets rewritten in the future, and along those lines I wanted to see if anyone else may have had thoughts on this subject. I want to share my outlook on how they can reinvented, and hopefully get some feed back and contradictory responses to open a dialouge on this subject. Well, without futher pandering, I'll share my view of what can make the Dark Eldar truly a great addition. I'll break it down by three categories; Cannon, Aesthetic/Visual Conceptionalisms, and Army build.


Regarding background, I'll break it down to what I think should stay first, then progress to what I would change. Things to keep;

* The psuedo-dimension of Commorragh
* The Thirst, and the compulsory soul leeching from their victims.
* Eldar Grav-skimmer technology used to commence lightning raids.

With these fundamentals you essentially have the Dark Eldar, stripped of the more excessive traits. Instead of just the hedonistic, sadistic nature that solely defines the current DE, it should be tempered with reverence for the dying within their society (those closest to death are the strongest, for they have held off she who thirsts). I see this something akin to the Necromongers from the Chronicles of Riddick, where I'll abashedly admit I was influenced by.

Is not the greatest fear of the Eldar as a whole is dying, and allowing their spirits to be consumed by Slaanesh? And as far as I know, the Dark Eldar are fixated on fear and envoking fear, which I would dare say could lead to reverence of the most feared circumstance a DE could experience.

Also, I would like to see a more of a 'hunter' emphasis in the DE society, as opposed to wanton enslavement and massacre. Mind you, I speak of the more cruel aspects of the 'hunter', not the noble qualities normally associated; The hunt for the best souls, the enduring blood games where the Eldar are enthralled just as much by the chase as in the feast, and the grisly trophies to be won.

To compensate for their (currently) relative minor role in the galaxy, I would draw to my next step in my mental revision; Commorragh not being the only realm, or all Dark Eldar not originating from there. Surely other bastions were founded within the webway, and even outcasts from craftworlds and exodite worlds could accounted for the sum of the Dark Eldar. This simple alteration would instantly increase their presence without invalidating the background of Commorragh itself.

To compensate for their numbers, as well, I think a greater emphasis on warp beasts and the inclusion of using Enslavers could give them a unique feel.

To conclude on this, the ultimate goal would be to recast the Dark Eldar as a 'phantom' menace (pardon any puns, non intended) that plagues the Imperium on a much wider scale, but not as grand to include another 'greatest threat yet' army to add to that syndrome. This would make the Dark Eldar presence felt from everywhere; Hive worlds, Death Worlds, etc etc.

Aesthetic/Visual Conceptionalisms

The Eldar with spikey bits and bondage gear I think would need to be changed dramatically. Instead, I believe a more sinister, ghostly look would suite them better. Rather than bulky, unbelievable spikes jutting from everywhere, a suitable amount of razor blades here and there, something akin to gaurdian armor and flowing, dark robes (similar to warlocks, or farseers). I think without helmets, they could easily be identified as Dark Eldar, as it would be unique amongst the races to have a fully unhelmeted force (and helmets really would be distasteful for the type of force they are). Instead, heavily laden with jewelry, the 'bling', and extensive decorations of dragons, phantoms, and other fearsome beasts.

Vehicles could remain the same, they already envoke the theme I would sugguest.

Army build

In the end, it all really matters in the Army build. I believe the Dark Eldar emphasis on speed should remain the emphasis, being faster in deployment and movement than any other army. The troop selection all being able to be mounted in raiders as currently with the ability to release generic, weak warp beasts in packs. Using 'Enslavers' could be their anti psyker weapons, in various ways.

Rather than their heavy weapons simply being allotted to jump packers, though, I would lean to augmenting the Dark Eldar by their ability to control warp creatures, creating a de facto daemon-bomb style army (but much better balanced) as their heavy support rather than the talos or scourges, but keeping the ravager.

Warp beasts in the elites would be greater strengthed then the weaker variants, and self contained units. The 'Gladatorial' styling of the wyches be removed completely.

To sum it up; Soul Vampires that are lightning quick, can control the warp critters and be a more diverse army.