View Full Version : how much eldar?

01-09-2006, 11:14
this is one that may be hard to answer but lets get stuck into it.

after reading much reports, fluff and other material from the medusa V campaign it has come to my attention that the craftowrlds involved in the medusa V campaign are loosing quite alot of there people.

here is the part that worriers me, if eldar are such a dieing race, then why is so much being committed. i know there is a fair amount at stake but the "war Effort" for the eldar is in overdrive and it seems to me that it dose not need to be. once again the eldar are using spirit stones to make warriors to form the basis of there army. bad thing.

so here comes the second part of my thought, how many eldar are there all together?

if they are dying, then how can they commit so much to a war effort. i know that craftowrlds hold millions of eldar, but they have such a small army. as most of the daily life of an eldar citizen is basically preserving there craftowrld and there society.

this is a fairly bogus ramblings but what are peoples thoughts on the eldar situation fluff wise?

Inq. Veltane
01-09-2006, 14:33
There are hundreds of millions, if not billions of eldar. Dying race simply means that they are in terminal decline and will never return to their former glory (hundreds of billions, at least).

The eldar commit everything to war when they go to war for one reason: because they only go to war when they cannot afford to lose. The Farseers calculate that military intervention is necessary and so it is done, with absolute force and skill in order to minimise the cost in eldar lives.

01-09-2006, 19:29
Spot on Inq. I always imagined the Eldar, that when they fight, even if they lose, they've made enough of a difference to change the future they forsaw. In which case, losing the fight and even armies, in a sense, Is better then what they predicted.

01-09-2006, 19:54
Ah, the 'ole Eldar population question. The answer is only that no one knows and we have so little information on it that it is one of the wilder "guestimates" that we can make. Furthermore, we are hamstrung by that wonderfully evocative and wholly restrictive soundbite, "The Eldar are a dying race".

What does it actually mean? Well, at the very least it means that their population is in decline since the death rate must exceed the birth/fertility rate. At the other extreme, it might mean that every Eldar is dying and there is no chance of new Eldar being born (ala the whole Tolkien imagery, with the idea that we're all dying from the point we're born anyway). Some argue a spiritual variation of these, otherwise known as the "Babylon 5 Limited Soul Hypothesis". There are more, of course, and what you select reflects a part of your own interpretation of the 40k universe.

For me? I select merely the fact that the Eldar's death rate currently exceeds their birth/fertilite rate. The whole universal karma/fate approach just sends me cold, even though it sends the fireworks off in the minds of others.

Now, what other problem do we have other than the "dying race" soundbite? Well, Farseers are a major problem. Not only are they ascribed as being the singular available solution to the Eldar's woes, but the fact that in a wargame context they are always sending "their" troops into battle, to die like chaff (usually on the edge of a sword of whatever army is currently in flavour). So, Farseers can see the future and can see the conflicts where Eldar are dropping like chaff and, well, they still send them. Well, then, obviously it is necessary because the Farseers saw that it must be true!

Integrated with that is the problem of the wargame itself. It's a game where people battle out foe against foe, normally once a week and perhaps more (or sometimes less). Not only that, but GW provides these lovely "summer campaigns" that are woven together with at least some threads of a plot and, once again, the Eldar are there in the midst and dropping like flies... or chaff! ;)

One problem with the wargame and the 'fluff' is that the Eldar are supposedly one of the - if not the - most technologically advanced races in the 40k universe (or galaxy). Admittedly, this is another common question or argument, but despite all their problems the Eldar still insist on sending out their "troops" in paper-thin armour, with technologically inferior weaponry, and so forth. Even the C'tan got robots to fight for them! ;) Ah, such is the problem of Wargame Balance moderated by the premise of the Thematic Army.

So, what do we have here? Not only are we caught up in the whole Theme, or soundbite, of a "dying race" without any information on just why it is like like, but we are also seeing the Eldar in exceptional circumstances. Through the lens of the wargame, this is then seen as a standard. Yet the wargame, through the requiprements of Wargame Balance, seems to present the Eldar in a way that seems contradictory to any form of sense. We're not just talking about their supposed mercurial psychology, but the fact that after supposedly millions of years of cultural and technological development, they lack the military science common sense of a five year old.

Ah well, an old soap box. Suffice to say that I don't believe any of it!

So, what is the Eldar population in my mind? Well, to be honest I swap from one number to another. So, for the moment, I would suggest that the total Eldar population is somewhere in the middle tens of billions with average Craftworld population is somewhere in the high hundreds of millions.

Why are they devoting such resources to Medusa V? Well, it's the current summer campaign and they have to be doing something, otherwise a lot of players are going to be a bit miffed. Also, they're devoting so much resources because the wargame army lists - despite their numerous 'fluff' flaws - are taken as representative of most conflicts. Thus, their technological superiority doesn't even come into it. And, as a result of Wargame Balance, the situation persists.

But that's okay, because for those who enjoy it, the game is fun without the 'fluff' considerations.

That's just me, though.


03-09-2006, 01:00
i find it hard to belive that the eldar are a dying race by the birth rate not exceeding the death rate. i would think that eldar would be very much wanting to re produce, as ordered by farseers to preserve there society.

if eldar commit everything to the war effor when they go, then would it not make sense that re producing would be there.

this is only a question that games workshop can answer i guess, maybe there will be something about it in the new dex. we will wait and see.

Indrid Khold
03-09-2006, 01:14
The third edition codex has an oft-ignored (and, in my mind, VERY lame) explanation for why the population is declining:

Apparently the young Eldar are getting fed up with the discipline of the Eldar path, and are becoming rangers and getting their dumb asses killed. "And so the great tragedy of our kind is played out again and again as the number of our peole shrink from generation to generation."

Riiight. But still, it's in there so take it or leave it.

Man, the more I think about it, the more pissed off I get about how the Eldar are portrayed. An elder race going into battle wearing cardboard and shooting pointy things, how ridiculous. Thankfully the new Dire Avengers seem to be addressing a few of these concerns.

03-09-2006, 01:40
Here is some of my opinion on the matter.


I unfortunately can't find the thread were I first mentioned 'hobo eldar' and Glades of Contemplation though.

Basically my reasoning tells me this:

The eldar at the very least would have armies of war walkers, and the most armies of revenant titans - there is no sensible reason for them to send masses of their 'dying' people to get slaughtered.

Also, see the first bit of my signature for my opinion of eldar...


03-09-2006, 02:22
Well germany has a dying population yet it has a higher population than growing populations. I'd imagine there being LOTS of eldar about, Iyanden defeated a splinter fleet and survived, it takes crap loads of imperial lifes to do that and Iyanden still has quite a few ppl left.

03-09-2006, 04:58
some one correct me on this but why didnt Iyanden just jump there craftowrld using the warp if they have a warp gate trailing the craftowrld? like i said some one correct me on this..

GW better change it about in the new dex. i went into gw store yesterday and i said "i am starting an eldar army."

there reply way "do you know what the hardest part about playing eldar is."

i said "there tactics maybe?"

they replyed "no, telling your perents your gay."

this sort of crap just says to me that eldar need a new persona, what the heck is gay about eldar?

there banshees slaughter marines, scorpions tear apart guard, fire dragons blow anything up, starcannons **** them off, same with dark reapers. if you ask me, there is nothing gay about eldar.

i am just pissed off :mad:

03-09-2006, 10:11
Hehe. I actually thought that was quite funny

Perhaps the effete elfiness of them? And that they dress in bright colours and prance around?

Having said that, I may start Eldar soon as well. :p

03-09-2006, 10:37
As far as I know, it's only speculation that the craftworld's are capable of warp travel and since the imperials can only find them at the best of times, its not like they are going to find them doing a warp jump. In regards to Iyanden trying to warp jump, don't tyranids disrupt warp jumps with the shadow in the warp so they probaly had no other option but to stand and fight.

And no eldar aren't gay.....some people call them poncey (which is probaly the most accurate insult) and expect to slaughter them in a game but are dismayed when their marines are executed by a banshee exarch or ripped in half by a wraithlord (and yes, I am an eldar player). Plus Eldar aren't painted in gay colours any more than some marine chapters are...harlequins can look a bit fruity but then again, they're carnies.

03-09-2006, 14:07
Here is some of my opinion on the matter.
<sigh> I had all but forgotten that interesting discussion. ;)

The eldar at the very least would have armies of war walkers, and the most armies of revenant titans - there is no sensible reason for them to send masses of their 'dying' people to get slaughtered.
Indeed. But that wouldn't be with their wargame Theme, nor subscribe to Wargame Balance or the way that the wargame abstracts the conextual reality of the 40k universe! ;)

Also, see the first bit of my signature for my opinion of eldar...
Very amusing.


04-09-2006, 08:02
the whole gay comment isant what annoyed me, it was the principal of the matter. it is the funniest thing, SoloteshExarch stated this too, when a marine player thinks that his 5 man termi squad and his 2 squads of 10 marines and his devestators are gonna rip through an eldar army.. HA!!!!, yep you wont say that when my banshees/ scorpions rip through ya with there high inititive, or when my storm guardians charge you with a warlock with there high inititive!!! or what about when my falcon kills your terminators because they can say surprise! oh and what about those starcannons..

eldar rock...

anywho enough rambling.

well iyanden did a hell of a job holding up against a hive fleet. all i know is, is that you dont f@#k with wraithguard.

04-09-2006, 15:55
Missed this bit...

As far as I know, it's only speculation that the craftworld's are capable of warp travel...
Not warp travel, but rather Webway travel.

In regards to Iyanden trying to warp jump, don't tyranids disrupt warp jumps with the shadow in the warp so they probaly had no other option but to stand and fight.
No, the Iyanden determined that they were going to fight, i.e. it was a choice. It remains unclear whether the Shadow in the Warp can affect the Webway and travel through it.


04-09-2006, 19:19
Now personally I argue that the Eldar population is in the tens of billions (short scale) per craftworld, and are merely declining relative to all of the other powers in the galaxy, in that they are growing faster than the Eldar are, and the Eldar are down from their peak, thus decline.

But then again that is because some of the figures given are ridiculous for genetic diversity.

Hmm, it would be funny to find out that the current Eldar are the equivalent to 6-fingered inbreds to the pre-Fall Eldar...

04-09-2006, 19:35
Now personally I argue that the Eldar population is in the tens of billions (short scale) per craftworld...
Even for someone that is a self-acknowledge Eldarphile, I cannot personally extend the population to such a degree. Then again, I personally interpret that there are high tens or low hundreds of craftworlds with the lower population, rather than the high population in a low number of craftworlds. It's a preference gig, as always.

Hmm, it would be funny to find out that the current Eldar are the equivalent to 6-fingered inbreds to the pre-Fall Eldar...
I believe Philip S tries to argue as such with his "True Eldar", an idea that I am most fervently against. (Even though his re-vision of Eldar ships is far, far better than the current versions produced by GW.)


04-09-2006, 19:53
"A dying race." Very ambiguous.

My take is that the Eldar are dying because they are having to fight on so many fronts (they "have" to do this, because if they were to sit idlely by, they would be destroyed anyway--attrition). There are the constant threats of Chaos, Orks, and Tyranids, who pretty much kill without thought--as long as they are killing, they are happy. Then there are the bastard child Dark Eldar. And then Necrons. But Eldar don't just fight the baddies. They have to deal with the stupid humans, who are self-centered and only concerned with personal gain (achieved by breeding and conquering). They don't even try to co-exist to defeat the baddies, because they (humans) think they are right and are the best and no one tells them what to do (see current Bush administration for further info). They ignore knowledge from the Farseers who SEE THE *******' FUTURE! So Eldar are caught up in the middle fighting both sides! Talk about a losing battle.

They fight because they know that things are going to hell in a hand basket, and they are fruitlessly trying to stop it, hoping something miraculously changes in their favor. If they didn't fight, the downward spiral would just occur at a faster pace. They are the one race caught in the middle of all this fighting, and they are no longer strong enough to win all the time (stupid Fall...).

I know I am generalizing a lot here, but it is just intended to pass along the gist of the idea. In my head it makes a lot of sense, but I'm not sure if I made my theory very clear in my writing...

05-09-2006, 08:26
lets all just hope the new codex has something to say about this, because there can be so many interpretation of where eldar are at, its to hard to put them in the one spot i guess.

05-09-2006, 23:54
I wouldn't put too much hope in either the Codex offering very much in the way of new information, or at least doing it well. Given the recent trends in the 'fluff' I'm expecting it to look somewhat like a piscine ear...


Khaine's Messenger
06-09-2006, 00:17
how many eldar are there all together?

I prefer to imagine that their populations are rather large--perhaps a lower bound of a known opinion about the population of the Tau Empire (where tens of billions on one planet is seen as quite a lot of people and hive worlds are an alien concept), but scattered across the galaxy. The biggest thing to me is trying to chip away at the scale of their loss and how massive they were to begin with...which is something of an intangible at this point, since details of the old Eldar Empire are few in coming.

Also, about the Farseers--the Craftworld Eldar have been known to fight amongst themselves over issues at the behest of competing Farseers. Just because they can see the future does not mean their visions of the future all agree.