Once you really get into Battlefleet Gothic, you inevitably start reading all the supporting material that ties it into Warhammer 40K. It helps you flesh out the BFG universe, and for new rules design, a basic understanding of the 40K universe really is a necessity. It is this understanding of 40K, and Craftworld Eldar in particular, which has made me frown somewhat at the over-simplification of the Eldar presence in the BFG main rulebook. In Warhammer 40K, we only see craftworld-type Eldar. The idea that piratical Eldar exist is explained by the Dark Eldar. It might be nice someday to see pirate Eldar in 40K again they were around in the old days, but this has mostly been replaced with the craftworld theme.

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M41 The Ixia Wayport within Craftworld Biel-Tan Before the Fall of the Eldar Prior to the Fall, the Craftworlds were vast Eldar commercial starships sung from wraithbone; they were effectively self-contained starfaring communities housing hundreds of Eldar families.

Trading missions could take the Craftworlds thousands of light years beyond the borders of the Eldar empire, separating the community from the Eldar homeworlds for centuries.

These colossal spacecraft would travel across the galaxy using the Eldar Webway , trading with the many intelligent alien races they encountered before returning centuries later to the Eldar homeworlds. This meant the Craftworld communities had already developed a strong sense of independence and self-reliance from the heart of their civilization - an independence that prevented them from being infected by the increasing decadence and sadistic hedonism that ultimately consumed their species.

Because a Craftworld might return to the rest of Eldar civilization only three or four times in a thousand Terran years, it was easy for them to perceive the degeneration of Eldar society, while to the Eldar as a whole the slow decline was too gradual to realize. The Eldar Seers who had remained behind and uncorrupted enlisted the aid of the Craftworld Eldar to undertake a titanic effort to save their people. Onto each Eldar Craftworld, the last uncorrupted people from each Eldar homeworld were loaded.

Taking with them any Eldar who still remained sane, the Craftworlds fled the heart of the Eldar civilization, along with works of art, plant life and animals, and whatever else of Eldar culture that could be saved.

Others survived for thousands of years before their people finally faded and died. The rest drift throughout the galaxy today, their exact number uncertain, as contact with and between them can be difficult and intermittent. After the Fall For thousands of years after the Fall unto the current day the 41st Millennium , the Craftworlds have carried the greater part of the surviving members of the Eldar race. Craftworlds contain Webway gates that connect tunnels through the Warp.

The Webway links the Craftworlds to each other as well as to thousands of planets scattered across the territory of the lost Eldar Empire, allowing the dispersed Eldar civilization some measure of cohesion.

Because the Webway is labyrinthine and impossible to accurately map, many Craftworlds are effectively lost, unknown and cut off from the greater part of the remaining Eldar civilization.

Craftworlds have grown greatly in size since the Fall, when they became the sanctuary worlds of the Eldar race. They are now approximately 10 to times bigger in both volume and population size than they were before the Fall.

Craftworlds are well-named, for they are effectively artificial worlds in space, each a self-contained biosystem, with forested and natural areas as well as urbanised ones. These natural areas provide a breathable atmosphere for the Craftworld and renewable resources. There are sections of some Craftworlds that are uninhabited and awaiting reconstruction. Vast space docks located outside the Craftworld house fleets of Eldar spacecraft. These fleets are capable of traveling through the Warp tunnels of the Webway, allowing the Eldar of the relatively slow-moving Craftworld to bring their forces to areas of the galaxy thousands of light years distant.

Craftworlds are independent political realms, sometimes acting in cooperation with the other Eldar Craftworlds, combining their military forces and acting in concert to achieve a common objective, and trading or exchanging knowledge. Eldar Exodites often trade with their counterparts who live in the Craftworlds, but believe that the Craftworld Eldar are too close to the old ways of decadence for their own good.

As mentioned, the populations of the Craftworlds of the 41st Millennium probably now comprise the majority of the surviving Eldar race in the galaxy of the 41st Millennium, although it is impossible to say just how many Eldar this actually is.

The Craftworlds are certainly the seat of the remaining Eldar industry, technology, and culture, as they contain the only vestiges of their original homeworlds. Most of the Craftworlds contain special biodomes that house plants and wildlife from their original homeworld, and these are carefully tended and preserved by the Eldar as the last vestiges of what they have lost.

Although each Craftworld is essentially independent in its actions and governance, they will generally offer and accept aid and advice from one another.

Although not common, sometimes Craftworld disagreements will cause them to clash with each other on the field of battle, though this is always a last resort.

Major Craftworlds Alaitoc World-rune of the Alaitoc Craftworld Far out on the frontiers of the galaxy, on the edge of explored space in the Ultima Segmentum , lies the Alaitoc Craftworld. The Alaitoc Eldar are zealous in their guard against the touch of Slaanesh, even more so than is common amongst the other Craftworld Eldar. As such, Alaitoc is strictly governed to prevent any emergence of the sadistic obsessions that the Eldar are prone to as a species.

They will return in times of need, however, and so all military forces deployed by Alaitoc will always possess a substantial force of Rangers. As noted, Alaitoc is an unusually strict Craftworld in making sure its citizens follow the Eldar Paths and Eldar traditions; in response, many of the more freedom-loving individuals from this Craftworld choose instead the Eldar Path of the Outcast, becoming Rangers or even Eldar Pirates who roam the galaxy and make their living raiding primarily Imperial commerce.

While all Craftworlds make use of the Rangers, who are the most highly accurate snipers amongst the Eldar, none field or produce more than Alaitoc. Though Alaitoc Rangers do not reside upon the Craftworld and prefer to travel the galaxy, these Rangers retain their loyalty to Alaitoc and will return to their Craftworld on occasion to visit family and friends. Aside from deploying large numbers of standard Rangers, Alaitoc is also the only Craftworld to field the highly skilled Rangers known as Pathfinders.

These snipers without compare can cause havoc amongst even the most powerful and numerous of enemy forces. It represents the defiance and determination of its people. Alaitoc and its forces are associated with the colours blue and yellow. The Craftworld is known to be located in the Ultima Segmentum that was the heart of the ancient Eldar empire.

The Craftworld is described as a continent-sized, flat disk although there are hundreds of levels whose surfaces contain numerous domes, each with its own environment and climatic theme.

There are miles-high protrusions on its surface, serving as landing docks, weapons platforms, etc. It is a vast, shielded spacecraft that trails its own Webway portal. Gigantic solar sails provide the needed energy for the artificial world to function.

Tired of the constant raids of the Eldar pirates, the Imperium determined to make an example of the Craftworld which allowed its citizens to attack Imperial shipping and take human lives. There was no time to get away before the invading human force was upon it.

The Eldar Craftworlds became the only surviving sources of their ancient knowledge of sorcery and the Ruinous Powers of Chaos after the Fall of that race to the birth of Slaanesh. As the Craftworlds have drifted apart, this knowledge has consequently become fragmented, and as some Craftworlds have become lost over the millennia, more precious Eldar knowledge has been lost with them. The Black Council is the closest the fractious Eldar race has come to an advisory body that looks after the interests of the entire race.

The Eldar know more of Chaos than Mankind ever will, and still more was lost during the Fall. A single source of Eldar knowledge has remained untouched and inviolate since the Fall.

The forbidden lore of the Black Library describes the blandishments, influences, forms, creatures, perils, promises, and horrors of Chaos. The existence of the Black Library is known to only a few and entry is allowed to even fewer individuals. The library defends itself against the weak and those who would misuse its knowledge by refusing entry to all except those who have acknowledged and tempered the Chaos within themselves.

The immature, who are still vulnerable to the promises and seductions of Chaos, find that they are unable to pass through its gateway.

As a result, only the Solitaires of the Eldar Harlequin troupes are allowed to come and go freely, although some say that a human, perhaps an Inquisitor , has also been allowed to do so. Biel-Tan "We bring only death, and leave only carrion. It is a message even a Human can understand.

Each Craftworld carries the seeds of Eldar culture. Not all are identical by any means, as each reflects the cultural heritage of its long dead world of origin. Biel-Tan is renowned for the strong warrior ideals of its people. Upon reaching physical maturity a Biel-Tan Eldar becomes an Aspect Warrior, and only once he has fulfilled this role can he continue along the Path of the Eldar.

The Eldar of Biel-Tan have a strong honour code and believe that the best way to die is in battle fighting the enemies of Biel-Tan. When the Runeseers have to make a particularly difficult decision about the future of their Craftworld, they retire to the Chamber of Heroes to consult with the warrior dead. The dead of particular battles are arranged together and are often referred to by the name of the battle in which they fell -- for example, the Dead of Corrus fell fighting Chaos on an ancient Eldar colony world of the same name.

This tactic works considerably well with the elite fighting skills of the many Aspect Warriors eliminating the enemy before they can respond. It is especially galling to the Eldar who created these paradise worlds from dead worlds to find them overrun with inferior species. The Eldar of Biel-Tan believe the success of other alien races is a threat to the expansion of the reborn Eldar Empire.

For this reason the Biel-Tan particularly hate the Orks, Orks being a completely expansionist race, whose occupation of a world quickly becomes permanent. In many cases Biel-Tan have helped Imperial forces that were under heavy attack by Orks and to hunt down Ork Roks before the tide of Orks can overrun a planet.

The Swordwind even possess a vehicle that is unique to Biel-Tan. It is a super-heavy gravity tank called a Void Spinner which is armed solely with a huge monofilament cannon which works just like any other monofilament weapon except that it incorporates a techno virus that sterilizes the ground that it touches.

Each thorn of these vines represents the death of a hated enemy. Biel-Tan vehicles are often coloured entirely green, with large areas broken up using a pattern of twisting vines in a contrasting shade. For every kill an Eldar pilot makes, a thorn is added to the vine. The colour scheme of the Biel-Tan Craftworld and its forces is generally green and white.

The Biel-Tan Craftworld can usually can be found drifting among the stellar winds in the Southern reaches of the galaxy, relative to Terra, in the Segmentum Tempestus. Having barely survived the Fall , the Eldar of Iyanden did not long despair. Disaster fanned the flames of their arrogance where it had doused them in others. Those who had survived the Fall had done so precisely because they had never succumbed to corruption, or so the Eldar of Iyanden said, and it was their duty to rebuild.

Thus did the seers of Iyanden harness ancient techniques of mysticism and science to recover the first Waystones from the Crone Worlds , and soon thereafter adapted the Infinity Circuit of their Craftworld to be a conduit for the souls of the dead. It was a small victory, but against a nemesis of such terrifying and indescribable power, there would only ever be small victories. Deeming this noble goal could be more swiftly achieved though unity of purpose, Iyanden sent emissaries through the Webway to other Craftworlds.

They shared with them the discoveries of the spirit stone and infinity circuit, and bade them join in their great work. Many Craftworlds deemed their resources just barely sufficient to ensure their survival in a hostile galaxy, and would not indulge such grandiose plans. For thousands of years, Iyanden and Biel-Tann fought as inseparable allies, their distant Craftworlds united by the common goal of defeating Chaos.

Though the Eldar force were few, when considered on a galactic scale, their mastery of the Webway allowed their fleets and warhosts to span the stars with a speed and surety no other race could ever have hoped to match. As Biel-Tann purged the western arm, so did Iyanden drive the Forces of Chaos form the eastern rim, tirelessly defending the Exodites and Maiden Worlds they hoped would one day form the heart of a new civilisation.

Then came the Tyranids. In their pride, the Eldar of Iyanden underestimated the threat. They believed that their might could weather even this storm, that their armies and fleets could vanquish the Great Devourer.

Alas, they were terribly wrong. Iyanden drifts through the stars of the eastern rim. Once, its halls were busy and vibrant with life, but no longer. Now, it is but a shadow of its former glory, a sombre and desolate vessel where the dead walk and the living dwindle. Iyanden teeters on the brink of extinction after being invaded by Hive Fleet Kraken in Thousands upon thousands of its noble warriors fell in battle against the Great Devourer.

On the verge of utter defeat, Iyanden was saved from extermination by the return of Prince Yriel and his Eldritch Raiders. Yriel had formerly been the High Admiral of the Iyanden fleet.



Learn how and when to remove this template message Fully-painted miniature models of Eldar Guardians. Unlike some other armies which have versatile units, the Eldar have many specialists and few which can handle many roles. For example, the Eldar Howling Banshees are melee specialists and, with their power weapons and other special rules, excel at killing heavily armored infantry units in melee combat, while using them for ranged attacks often leads to failure. However, Dire Avengers can be outfitted for either melee or ranged combat, though they will not be as able as a more specialized aspect. Eldar vehicles, unlike their infantry counterparts, are very tough and hard to kill because of many evasive and shielding benefits. While no Eldar vehicle has the maximum armor value 14 , they often have upgrades and special abilities which can compensate for this and make them more effective than heavier vehicles.



Of all the biological races, the Eldar are the oldest still interactive with the younger races such as humans, orks, and tau. As old as their civilization is, their technology is as expected more advance than these other races. Despite their technological prowess, they have an ancient foe that is even older and more advance, the Necrons. In BFG, they are a very strong fleet against all but the Necrons.


Eldar Wargear

The same cannot be said of the dozens of fleets of Eldar ships that protect each Eldar Craftworld. Each of these Craftworld warfleets is a deadly and highly potent force that is capable of laying waste to an entire sub-sector. The Craftworlds Craftworlds, though spacecraft, are vast beyond comprehension. They are not merely huge capital ships ploughing through space with a surrounding escort of smaller vessels.

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