40K Editorial: End Times & The Xenos


If the 40K “End Times” is upon us…what happens to the Xenos Races?

Hey BoLS Readers! I had a question posed to me by a friend when all the rumors of the 40K “End Times” Rumors started up: So what happens to all the Xenos races? And I scratched my head and thought, “Well that is an interesting question!”

So lets talk about – Let’s assume the End Times are here and the Universe of 40k is done. What happens to the Xenos? Well, if we are going to have that talk we first need to establish exactly HOW the universe ends because that will color the rest of the discussion.


For the sake of this article and to help focus our discussion, let’s just assume that Chaos Wins and the Imperium of Mankind is dead. The Emperor is dead-dead and has no way to re-incarnate. Maybe the Eye of Terror exploded and consumed the entirety of humanity in some type of hellish torment and bad things happened. But in the end, Mankind is gone and the Chaos tides reside because of the lack of human emotions to help “fuel” the Chaos of the Warp.

Still with me? Okay – let’s talk about the Xenos!



For the Necron’s I think it’s important to ask what their end-game is – why do they fight? Perhaps they just hate “life” because it reminds them they are no longer “alive” and that deal the Necrontyr made those many millennia  ago still haunts them. Maybe they just want to resume their supremacy across the Galaxy – they were the big boys on the block and they want to go back to their glory days. So now that the Humans are gone and the Warp has calmed, what now?

I think the Necrons finally do wake up – the rest of them. Tomb Worlds would come online and begin to activate others, exponentially increasing their numbers. Of all the races out there, I think the Necrons are probably at the best position to really gain a lot of territory, at first. The thing is, even with all the humans gone, the galaxy is FAR from empty…



Nature abhors a vacuum. Orks are very much a force of nature – these fungal warriors would spread like WILDFIRE across the stars. With no humans to oppose them and the search for a good fight coded into their DNA, I think they would go looking for some one else to pick a fight with quick!

The Orks would probably become the biggest rivals to the Necrons in terms of “Scale of Empires” pretty fast. And they would get even tougher once they started looting all those empty planets of their tech. Ork Fleets would roam freely looking for a fight worthy of the Wrath of the Greenskin hordes. But because they are a great source of” life” they would also attract some unwanted attention…



All that life. All that bio-mass. The Great Devourer has one heck of an appetite. The Orks would probably be their most sought after meal…aside from all the now empty planets they could consume at will. With no major organized resistance the Shadow in the Warp would spread it’s icy tendrils out and begin absorbing planets at an alarming rate. The Tyrand fleet would swell and become bloated with biomass as would attack the Milky Way Galaxy like an all-you-can-eat buffet.

However, between the Necron’s hate for all things living and the Orks need to fight they would eventually hit some pretty big road blocks. I’m not sure how quickly they would spread unchecked, but at some point the rest of the Galaxy would fight back. We’re still not sure how large those other tendrils are or just how many bio-fleets are waiting beyond the rim – but after gorging, they would have to decide if devouring the rest is worth the expenditure in biomass. Whatever happens, they would cause some significant damage to the Galaxy with out the humans around to fight. But there are others…



The Tau are quick studies. This young, upstart race has proved it can handle itself against all the threats the rest of the Galaxy has been throwing at it. In the current setting, only the lack of warp-space travel has really kept them from truly rivaling the Imperium. But if their rapid technological advances show anything it’s that the limitations on their space-fleets won’t last forever.

Once the Tau truly master Space Travel they would be able to carve out a powerful empire. Their main issue is that they would probably be surrounded by the Tyranid tendrils in their neck of the woods. Again, they have proved they can push those aggressors back and the profit-loss in bio mass doesn’t bode well for the Tyranids. Plus their belief in “The Greater Good” sets them apart – they would be willing to sacrifice themselves to stop such a threat.

I think they could eventually breakthrough the Tyranid fleets in their area, perhaps they could develop new technology specifically to counter them. Who knows? I do think they have an uphill battle and without a jump start on Space Travel or some guidance, it could go the other way for them just as fast. If only they had some to help them…



The Eldar may be a” Dying Race” – but they just outlasted the humans…They play the long game and haven’t been knocked out yet. They may be a shadow of their former empire, but so were the Necrons. And now that the threat of Chaos has receded (for now) they might just be back on the road to recovery.

There was a theory that the Eldar did something to those Primitive Tau and created the Ethereals to help guide their race. Perhaps in all their visions they knew that the Tau would be the race they would be passing the torch to, eventually. Well now that the Humans are gone, the Tau are looking like a pretty safe bet compared to the other races. The Eldar might be the ones to help the Tau out with their little Space-travel issue. If they can get by all those Tyranids on the Eastern Fringe.

I don’t think the Eldar will ever truly be dead. Between the pirate raiders of the Dark Eldar and the long-term planning of the regular Eldar they will survive. They may not be able to recapture their glory days but they will still have an influence on things at the Galactic Scale. Their technology and guidance might be the only thing that stops the Tyranids from overrunning the Galactic East before the Tau can counter them. However, that very tech would make them targets for both the Necrons (who hate them and see that tech as a threat) and the Orks (who want to loot it for more dakka). Their constant meddling and puppeteering may not be enough to avoid those two ancient rivals forever.


Turns out that even if all the Humans are dead and gone the Galaxy will still be at war. The war might look different, but it’s hardly a peaceful place out among the stars. This, is of course, making some pretty big assumptions about the fate of humanity and the nature of Chaos/The Warp. Maybe once the Humans are gone the Chaos entities will be freed to attack everyone. Maybe they feast on the Souls of the Eldar and wipe them out completely! Who knows?

But I still wonder, what happens to the Xenos?


What do you think happens to the Xenos Races if the “End Times” happens? Will they all be destroyed or will they live on to continue to light the fires of war?

  • BigGrim

    What on earth makes the author think a Chaos win means Mankind is wiped out? Even if they win, mankind would still be around for a long time, even with Chaos in charge.

    • ZeeLobby

      It’s honestly a change of welcome. Then you could create your own sectors/systems inside a galaxy.

    • Aezeal

      I posted some great idea’s recently :D. Chaos shouldn’t win, not like a complete victory with all the empire destroyed. A chaos black crusade should just be somewhat succesfull… like conquering about 1/5 of the empire. That would take like a hundered years.. after that they would lose momentum but both chaos and the empire would be to weak to do real conquering for a few decades. Basicly every other race could then either attack the new chaos sectors or the weakened empire sectors.

      • Ben Martin

        So what y’all want is the Age of Chaos, 40k style?
        Or am I getting this wrong?

        • Aezeal

          Well the fluff currently really only allows for any of the other armies fighing the empire (since the empire is basicly the known universe and the rest is outside of the fluff really). Giving some of the others pieces of that known universe would make fights between other factions .. more fluffy so to say.

    • Alan C

      I for one welcome our new Chaos overlords.

      • grim_dork

        Well the election season is upon us. . .

    • Nyyppä

      To be honest, chaos as a whole does not want to get rid of mankind. Daemons need the emotions as fuel and CSM want the slaves. No need to kill the normal people, just the ones representing the Imperium.

  • Oggthrok


    First, Chaos wouldn’t be calmed by the end of humanity – the end of the Eldar only ripped a bigger hole in the universe and created a new Chaos god. In the “Eye of terror” explodes scenario, you have the end of Terra, but the rise of the Emperor as the 5th Chaos God.

    If we presume, instead, that somehow the warp was calmed by other means, perhaps taking it back to what it was prior to the creation of the Eldar, then we have a very different galaxy.
    For one, Warp travel might become impossible, if real-space can no longer contact the warp. On the other hand, perhaps the effect is more like a roiling tempest that has been calmed to a smooth ocean, allowing interstellar travel to become reliable and safe, even without the Astronomicon.

    In this event, the Tau have a much better chance to thrive, as a lack of psychic potential doesn’t stymie their space flight programs.

    The Orks, meanwhile, might become unrecognizable to us. Their racial madness is always depicted as growing from a latent psychic potential that makes them grow crazy and violent when they gather in large numbers. If the warp is calm and Ork minds have no access to the literal entity of Gork and Mork, they may calm as well. Without the Waaagh driving them, we might see Orks thin out, and look and act something more like the skinny orks of Rogue Trader.

    Eldar, on the other hand, would likely take the loss of their psychic attunement like we would take losing hearing or vision. They would be incapable of building wraithbone, or anything upon which their civilization depends. The survivors would be those with no psychic activity – IE dark elder. The Craftworlders would die out. Or, more likely, adapt or be folded into other civilizations like the Tau, living on as memories of a time gone by.

    And, it wouldn’t be the end of humans – we know many live in the Tau empire, and beyond the light of the astonomicon. Give us time, and we’ll be back. Albeit, possibly wearing Tau armor, with an Ork as a roommate.

    • Ben Martin

      And then the ‘nids finally get us, and it’s just a ton of Tomb Worlds vs. The Great Devourer

    • mike

      Actually in much of the lore it’s been hinted at the chaos god have only become this powerful because of the abundance of humans. That’s why the cabal sided with horus during the heresy, they foresaw horus killing his father would send him in a downwards spiral that would wipe out humanity and save the other aliens in the galaxy from chaos. They visited humanity when we were monkeys, saw we had a great destiny, almost wiped us out because they couldn’t see if the destiny would be good or bad.

    • plasticvicar

      Besides, its already been suggested that the Emperor is by default the god of ‘order’ in the galaxy and that his final death will result in his true ascension to the pantheon of gods in the warp by virtue of the trillions who worship him.

      • euansmith

        That’s what I’m hoping for. He gets his own daemons in the form of the Legion of the Damned and reinvigorates the endless war.

        • Jack Jomar

          Also – Starchild prophecy

  • ZeeLobby

    Just take them out. Again and again GW has shown that they really don’t care, so we might as well just make Traitor Heresy 40K marine on marine action (Eldar will just become pointy eared Marines).

    • Admiral Raptor

      I’d be pretty fine with that. 30k is better than 40k, and at least we know GW can write decent marine rules (as long as they’re loyalists).

    • Aezeal

      So much cynicism in one so young (you might be older than me.. but you’d need to be ~ 387 years old to deserve this level of cynicism based on age only).

      • ZeeLobby

        I’d rather be a young cynic than an old blind man :D.

  • Rajak

    Mankind would never fully be wiped out. Those that survived would join the tau and could see a resurgence of man once free of the ecclesiarchy.

    • ZeeLobby

      There would likely be a massive schism depending on which world you were stranded on. Itd be cool to have a factional humanity.

  • nurglitch

    It’s not the end times, thanks to a certain deal struck in the dungeons of Commoragh…

  • Admiral Raptor

    In that scenario I think the Tau are done for. They’re pretty small fish in galactic terms. I can see the Orks, the Necrons, and the Nids being the major players in that universe. I just don’t think there’s enough Eldar left to challenge the sheer numbers of the others.

    At this point I’m more concerned with what grand alliance books the Xenos are going to end up in. The Eldar variants will get together in one, but beyond that it gets tricky.

    • ZeeLobby

      Codex: The Other Guys

      • georgelabour

        You’ve just given me this image of Samuel L. Jackson as Farsight, and Will Ferrel as the hapless Shas’ui accidentally tasked with being his replacement .

        • euansmith

          Aim for the bushes!

        • ZeeLobby

          Now I need it to happen!

      • Admiral Raptor

        Love it! Would buy!

        • ZeeLobby

          I honestly would. Lol

      • Aezeal

        Necron, Orc and Tyrnaids are destruction faction.
        Eldar COULD ally with Tau so they COULD be together.

        • ZeeLobby

          I could see that, kind of like the Cabal of HH. Sadly I think it’ll just dilute already unsupported factions to the level of pointlessness.

        • rakshasa

          Necrons seem more like order/preservation than destruction…

          • Aezeal

            Ow I was thinking they’d just kill anything in their path…

    • plasticvicar

      But you forget that the Tau are expansionist through collaboration, not necessarily conquest which could allow them to make VERY rapid gains post man. The end of the Imperium would result in every xenos race threatened by Orks or Nids joining the Tau for collective protection.

      Tau becomes the NATO of the 42nd millennium.

      • Admiral Raptor

        That’s a good point. A big Tau led coalition of minor alien races. That would be really cool! I kind of wish that GW focused more on some of the Tau client races instead of just making bigger and bigger mechs all the time.

  • Sam Nolton

    If I remember right isn’t Chaos’ overall goal to corrupt and/or possess humanity, not destroy it? The Chaos gods are beings of pure energy drawn from emotions – and humanity being the primary focus of 40k, their presence is needed for Chaos to thrive. The IMPERIUM might be destroyed, sure, but not humanity.

    • Cylux

      >implying the Chaos Gods wouldn’t just go ‘NEXT!’ and focus their efforts on a different Galaxy/Realm to play the great game in.

      • euansmith

        I presume that other Galaxies have their own Chaos Gods. Fight on!

    • Erikjust

      That was one of the reasons why The end times in fantasy didn´t make any sense.
      The chaos gods would Never destroy the world, they NEED the humans, orks and all the others to give them the energy they need to survive.
      No world equals no energy for chaos gods equals no chaos gods.

      Similarly in 40k whipping out the humans would remove a HUGE amount of food for the chaos gods and would leave them very weak.

      Sure they might destroy the imperium of mankind, that would just bring even more chaos and disorder and give the chaos gods even more energy.

      • SupPupPup

        I thought Archaon destroyed the world, so the chaos gods couldn’t own it. .

      • ragelion

        The thing is if you read the end times novels carefully the chaos gods knew about the AOS mortal realms.

        Technically they were always there but uninhabited. Kairos clearly states they are destroying the odl world because something “new” will be born.

        They wanted more souls it was pretty much a NEXT sort of thing. Now they pretty much have 8 old worlds to now play with and plunge into war.

      • plasticvicar

        Actually Chaos never ‘needed’ the Old World, it was pretty insignificant compared to the expanse of the warp and only the occasional exceptional champion drew a fraction of attention from the gods away from their great game to actually get a blessing.

        Also if that small section in Khaine is to be interpreted as Kaldor Draigo, it means the Warp encompasses multiple universes and realities which makes the warp itself a force of nature in their endless cycles of creation and destruction.

        Whats never answered is what the reality of Lileath was like before she became the god of the Old World

    • Aezeal

      Ehm tell that to the former fantasy world.

      case closed 😀

  • Cylux

    GW already revealed what happens if Chaos wins, the Imperium of man becomes host to various chaos cults drowned in blood, all of whom are unceremoniously devoured by Tyranids, who also devour everything else that’s organic in the galaxy before moving on while leaving the Necrons to rule over a galaxy of dust till the end of time.

    • Ciaphas Cain

      Where was this?

    • Admiral Raptor

      This would be the most boring outcome. Tyranids make the galaxy a far less interesting place. :/

  • Erikjust

    Well with the end time for Fantasy GW lost quite a few players with the trick the pulled with Age of Sigmar.
    If they do the same with the 40k universe ho boy i think GW is going to lose even more.

    • OolonColluphid

      More players will just jump to playing 30K instead.

      • euansmith

        “Just as planned…”

  • OolonColluphid

    This reads like really bad fan fiction. The Admech has better stuff than Chaos does, if things got really bad. They’d give their best weapons to the Astartes and the Tempestus Scions who would use Guerrilla tactics against the forces of Chaos and everyone else.
    It’s be like dealing with the Tau but even worse.

  • Lord Elpus

    From my time at g.w: this was postulated years and years ago…The astronomicon would go out leaving marines as rulers of their own little fiefdom. Chaos does reach earth and the emperor dies.. Yes dies. Not reborn. Nids continue to Munch, eldar retreat into the Web way. Orks and Necrons become somewhat ascendant. This was prior to Tau. This was first brought up back when 5th was being mooted

  • CF

    If Sad Panda, Squiggly, and Atia’s rumors hold true, this phase of the game will take several years to play out. I don’t think it goes all the way to the end of humanity but moreso a desperate war where Chaos has pushed the Imperium to the brink.

    The increased war will stir up more Orks. As this unfolds more and more Necron tombworlds awaken. The Tyranid fleets continue encroaching deeper into the galaxy. The Tau make quicker technological strides and expand their empire. And the Eldar, who have seen this cataclysm coming, will do all they can to avert disaster or cause the Ynnead. But that’s the fluff.

    Modelwise I see each faction getting a bunch of new goodies, probably godlike models a la WFB End Times. Daemon Magnus is right around the corner which means we’ll more than likely be seeing the other Daemon Primarchs. Each of which will be extremely powerful.

    And then the return of many, if not all, of the loyalist Primarchs.

    Eldrad will achieve the Ynnead, merging with the god to become a super-dooper Avatar like model.

    Gork (or possible Mork) will empower their greatest son, Ghazghkull Thraka, with all their might and he grows even more monstrous.

    The Tau develop a series of even larger Battlesuits to further their cause.

    The deeper the Tyranids get into our galaxy the more common sightings of their larger biocreatures begin to appear. I’d plan for a Dominatrix.

    And the Necrons would be reunited with the Silent King who has ascended to godlike power. This while rogue Crypteks locate and unleash Mag’ladroth, the Void Dragon.

    If Chaos and the Imperium are getting bigger toys … so will the other factions at some point.

  • mike

    What. Why would chaos snuff out their main food source during the end times? I see the end times as the primarchs who are lost coming back. The imperium searching for a pysker powerful enough to run the golden throne. The emperor’s body finally failing and him dying. Being reborn. But demons flood into terra while he’s not on the throne. Him being stuck there, dying and being reborn trying to fight the demon onslaught/hold the door shut, punching greater daemons in the face. Imperium loses terra, gets thrown into anarchy. This happens while chaos makes its push for the 13th Crusade, overrunning cadia and destroying the alien relics holding back the eye. The emperors light is gone, humanity can’t travel great distances in the warp anymore and with terra gone they’re desperately trying to keep their sectors running.

    An ork warboss would emerge to unite their clans.
    The eye of terror would expand and trigger an alarm on THE necron homeworld, bringing them all online.
    Tyranids gunna nid.
    Harlequins reveal the last of their gods play and convince both the eldar and dark eldar that rescuing the emperor and fixing the golden door is the only way to stop chaos.
    I haven’t heard the theory the eldar made the ethereals. I have heard that the necron C’tan the deceiver did. But with all the necron ret conning who knows. Maybe an inquisitor will finally realize the tau are the perfect people to take back chaos infected world’s without half their troops going mad.

    • jeff white

      A ‘nid’s gonna nid
      what a ‘nid’s gonna nid,
      fo sho!

  • Mike Salamandrin

    Maybe the Emperor is the nascent Yaneed; he is a ‘corpse god’ after all. The eldar use their collective trapped psychic souls to do what the daily sacrifices to the astronomicon failed to do; revive and elevate him. Truly, the only reason they would do this is if it had some racial advantage to them. For example to guide Slaneesh into a trap.

    • jeff white

      love this idea

    • jeff white

      no. seriously. really really love it. reading this post a second time, i like it even more.

      • Mike Salamandrin

        LOL I also think that the Eldar gods are the race’s psychic input into the Chaos gods, harnessed and molded through their psychiclly-backed religious beliefs, creating both powerful tools and shields against the warp. The fall represents them encountering a negative consequences of culture they never conceived of, allowed the chaos gods to twist their myths to reclaim the eldar parts of themselves, and the laughing God and Kaine are what remains of the Tzeetch and Korne cultural aspects.

  • Marti Barker

    For everyone claiming Chaos wouldn’t destroy itself, because food/reasons etc.
    No one remembering HH: Legion? As in why the Alpha Legion do/do not go traitor.
    Totally not about ensuring Chaos’ supremacy, so that humanity burn themselves out quicker… ultimately bringing the fall of Chaos, quicker. According to some dodgy Eldar and other Xenos of course.

  • DaveTycho

    I just assumed that all the xenos would roll over and die.

  • Andrew Thomas

    I don’t see the galaxy being destroyed outright the way the Old World was. A second Old Night, where much of what was the BIoAMK is inundated by severe Warp Storms, is a more rational solution to the problem of a cohesive Good Humans Faction. Carving up the remnants, with a focus on who their neighbors are and what their greatest threats are, creates opportunities for more organic alliances than the current, “racially pure” Allies matrix, with Guardsmen being the most open to alliance, whereas each given Marine chapter has Xenos factions they will grudgingly share the battlefield with (Smurfs and Tau, BA and Crons).

  • James Tompsett

    This site needs more editing attention.

  • Agent OfBolas

    Xenos and CSM players are needed ! And in large numbers! Loyalists would cry without a target practice.

    Have a nice day.

  • Painjunky

    The imperium could fall but humans are violent and breed like insects.
    That’s why they live in hives.

    You can never get rid of them.

    • euansmith

      That could be a fun game, where hives the collective unconsciousness of each hive on a world generate their own minor Warp God and summon them to fight battles in the Materium; like a kaiju movie.

    • jeff white

      yeah, originally coming out of role play games, warhammer captured aspects of the human condition in the alien races, and the whole thing served as a thinly veiled parody on real life. so, humans are a different sort of squishy than an ork, but some humans are more orky than others and there is something downright orky about everyone. same with nids too, as you say – hives – and tau, and so on all can be plugged into this scheme. was a time when an army reflected those aspects of an individual player, as players were drawn to armies that represented something of their own condition for their expression on the table… now, i guess it is mostly commission painted 3-d deck building with lots of dice.

  • Benderisgreat

    And there was a great Squattening of the races, which gave the Jedi headaches for weeks.