It’s time for the Craftworlds to meet their end, Squat style.
Pretty much since their introduction the Eldar have been a dying race. Now it’s about time for them, at least the Craftworld variety, to get around to the dying. Let’s dig into why GW should kill off the Craftworld Eldar and what this would accomplish.
A Dying Race
Little known fact, “The West” is actually another name of Slaanesh
In the 40K setting the Eldar fill the archetype of the elder (get it?) dying race. Like the Elves of Lord of The Rings (which they were heavily based on) they have been in decline and slowly diminishing. Since the fall, one could see them as living on borrowed time, a remnant of greatness. For the Eldar, the Craftworlds are in essence only really a stop gap. The shattered Eldar have only two paths forward – annihilation or reunification and ultimately a victory over Slaanesh.
For the longest time the Eldar story-line didn’t advance much, and the dying race was trapped in stasis. It was fine. However, now that the story has advanced, the time of the Craftworld Eldar has clearly come to an end.
I always knew there was a connection between death and cats.
The rise of the Ynnari and the Awakening of Ynnead are the biggest developments to happen to the Eldar in a long time, both in universe and out. This shake-up leads to some really interesting questions. One issue is how people field and play Ynnari armies. Earlier this week I mentioned that Ynnari didn’t get new rules in Chapter Approved. In large part I think this is because Ynnari aren’t really an army right now. They are simply three models.
Outside of that you just take stuff from other Eldar/Aeldari factions. Realistically, an army that just borrows other armies units isn’t really a faction and lacks much uniqueness. Their future remains a little uncertain. If the Ynnari remain as they are there really isn’t room for them to get a full Codex or expand their rules much.
The Ynnari are playing the role of Sir Not Appearing In This Book.
If they did get a Codex however, what would it look like? Either it would simply be a bunch of reprinted units for other books (boring) or full of new units. If it’s all new units, this is a pretty big challenge, as GW would not only need to make a whole new Ynnari line, but also make it look and feel distinct from the other Eldar factions. Doing this properly would be a very resource intensive task, but one that could really pay off.
The Future Of A Race
It’s pretty clear that both in universe and in real life the Ynnari are the future of the Eldar. In universe, many Eldar believe they are living in the End Times and only the newly formed Ynnari offer not only hope of survival, but also of a reunification and return to glory. In real life the Ynnari represent the new hotness – breathing interest and life into an older faction. They also represent a chance to change things up and reinvent the Eldar as the Aeldari.
This guy is not 100% opposed to the above option.
From a standpoint of moving the fluff forward the Ynnari are clearly the right choice. On the galactic stage they are replacing the Eldar as the major player. The events of Gathering Storm for instance had the Ynnari playing major roles. Moreover, as I mentioned before, they represent the only way to move the “dying race” plot line forward without the Eldar all dying off.
Rather than annihilation, the Eldar can reunify and enter a period of resurgence, but to do this they need to change and embrace the Ynnari. Furthermore this would mirror the events, both in fluff and in product lines, of Warhammer: Age of Sigmar, with the High and Dark Elves unifying to avert annihilation. Either way the Ynnari, not Craftworlds, represent the future of the race.
End The Craftworlds
“I know only one truth. It’s time for the Eldar to end.”
In order for the Ynnari to flourish and the race to advance, the old must be swept away and the Craftworlds need to be killed off. Fluff-wise this makes perfect sense. Many of the Craftworlds are already on their last legs. In order to survive they need to fully join with the Ynnari and transform. A true reunification of the Aeldari mean that the Craftworlds, even if still physically intact, are no longer the same at all, as their culture is radically different. Even more likely it means an end to the void bound life, and resettlement of planets and webway cities.
That’s not true that’s impossible!!!
However the end of the Craftworlds needs to not just come in fluff. GW should really stop supporting the line, no new models, no more Codecies: the end. But why you might ask? What about my army? Well, here is the thing. Craftworld Eldar have one of the oldest lines out there. Many of their units, especially the aspect warriors, are ancient and still in resin. The line is badly in need of an update.
However a massive update, like they really need, would again take a lot of resources. If the Ynnari are the future of the Eldar, wouldn’t it make a lot more sense to pour these resources into building a new and unique Ynnari force?
Put Effort Into Building Up The Ynnari
Search your feelings, you know it to be true.
Slowly phasing out first the Craftworld, and then later the Dark Eldar over time, would give the Ynnari room to grow and come into their own. It would allow for resources to be devoted building a brand new and updated unified Aeldari race. Some popular or new units could migrate over to the Ynnari force beefing it up. Others could be reworked.
For instance the Aspect Temples being broken and reforged. Rather than devoting effort to redoing old aging models GW could build something new and unique. Something that players could really get excited about.
It’s some pretty rad stuff to get excited about to be fair.
This doesn’t mean that players would have to stop playing Eldar at once. In both real life and fluff their would be holdouts who refused to join the Ynnari. Let them have the Codex they just got. Let the Dark Eldar and Harlequins get their new books. But that’s it. Slowly phase them out. Transform the three, in some places bloated armies, into one lean amazing force. Ultimately I’d rather see GW write a fitting end to the Eldar (END TIMES style) as they transform into something new, rather than just leave them to slowly rot.
Ultimately, continued support of the Craftworld line will simply divert attention and resources from the more important Ynnari line.
The End of Era?
I want to be clear, I don’t hate Eldar, of any sort. I do however think it makes a lot of sense, from both a story and marketing prescriptive to kill off the old Eldar armies and focus on the Ynnari. The Ynnari are clearly the future of the race and how the Aeldari story line will move forward. However the truth is that in order for them to move forward, the “old” has got to go. For the Eldar to change, they need to change for real and that means the “old” dying so the “new” can replace it. That means first the end of Craftworld Eldar, followed then by Dark Eldar which leads to a new Aeldari golden age.
Let us know what you think the fate of the Eldar should be down in the comments!