Jump to content



Photo

Crew size on Dark Eldar ships?


  • Please log in to reply
20 replies to this topic

#1 alexe74

alexe74

    Member

  • Members
  • 23 posts

Posted 11 September 2012 - 01:11 AM

Hi

  Whilst soaking up the horror in Soul Reaver, I got thinking about crew sizes on Dark Eldar ships.  I know human ships have 10s of thousands but what about Dark Eldar ships?  Any thoughts about it?

Many dark thanks,

AlexE



#2 JuankiMan

JuankiMan

    Member

  • Members
  • 256 posts

Posted 11 September 2012 - 01:47 AM

If we're only speaking about Dark Eldar, then probably quite small. However, it will probably be full of slaves, since Dark Eldar tend to view menial tasks to be beneath them. Most likely the only Dark Eldar on board will be the ship's equivalent of a captain, his retinue of "trusted" advisors and bodyguards, operators for systems that cannot be trusted upon dumb primitives like gunnery, scanners and navigation, and a few hundreds of raiders, perhaps more than a thousand inside a cruiser. 

 



#3 N0-1_H3r3

N0-1_H3r3

    Former Contributing Freelance Writer

  • Members
  • 3,341 posts

Posted 11 September 2012 - 02:05 AM

alexe74 said:

Hi

  Whilst soaking up the horror in Soul Reaver, I got thinking about crew sizes on Dark Eldar ships.  I know human ships have 10s of thousands but what about Dark Eldar ships?  Any thoughts about it?

Many dark thanks,

AlexE

My personal interpretation is that Eldar starship crews are at least an order of magnitude smaller than those on Imperial ships, and likely more. Craftworlder and Corsair vessels (being constructed from wraithbone and having their own infinity circuits containing the souls of past crew) need very few living crew, and most activities pertaining to the ship are done in a form of psychic communion with the infinity circuit rather than through manipulating controls and operating machinery.

Dark Eldar vessels, given that the Dark Eldar themselves have psychically atrophied, are sophisticated but not psychoreactve, so they require larger crews and more physical manipulation of the ship's systems, but I imagine that most of this will be done by slaves and Dark Eldar of lesser standing, leaving the Kabalite Warriors, etc, free to prepare for boarding actions, raiding and so forth.

So, while completely unofficial, my personal rule of thumb would be that a Craftworlder or Corsair vessel (those in Battlefleet Koronus) tend to have crew compliments of several hundred (about 1% the size of an equivalent Imperial vessel), while Dark Eldar vessels will have compliments of several thousand (about 10% that of an equivalent Imperial vessel).

On a related note, Ork vessels should reasonably carry crew compliments (remembering that the crew are Orks and thus innately combat-ready, rather than having a distinct group of armsmen) at least 1.5 times the size of comparable Imperial vessels, and far more if you include gretchin slaves.


Writing Credits for Fantasy Flight Games: Into the Storm, Edge of the Abyss, Battlefleet Koronus, Hostile Acquisitions, Black Crusade Core Rulebook, First Founding, The Jericho Reach, The Soul Reaver, Only War, The Navis Primer,Ark of Lost Souls, and Hammer of the Emperor

I no longer write for, or am employed by, Fantasy Flight Games in any fashion. All of my comments are my own, and do not reflect the opinions of any employer, past, present, or future.

#4 Fgdsfg

Fgdsfg

    Lrod-Iniquitsor

  • Members
  • 2,005 posts

Posted 11 September 2012 - 04:33 AM

N0-1_H3r3 said:

alexe74 said:

 

Hi

  Whilst soaking up the horror in Soul Reaver, I got thinking about crew sizes on Dark Eldar ships.  I know human ships have 10s of thousands but what about Dark Eldar ships?  Any thoughts about it?

Many dark thanks,

AlexE

 

 

My personal interpretation is that Eldar starship crews are at least an order of magnitude smaller than those on Imperial ships, and likely more. Craftworlder and Corsair vessels (being constructed from wraithbone and having their own infinity circuits containing the souls of past crew) need very few living crew, and most activities pertaining to the ship are done in a form of psychic communion with the infinity circuit rather than through manipulating controls and operating machinery.

Dark Eldar vessels, given that the Dark Eldar themselves have psychically atrophied, are sophisticated but not psychoreactve, so they require larger crews and more physical manipulation of the ship's systems, but I imagine that most of this will be done by slaves and Dark Eldar of lesser standing, leaving the Kabalite Warriors, etc, free to prepare for boarding actions, raiding and so forth.

So, while completely unofficial, my personal rule of thumb would be that a Craftworlder or Corsair vessel (those in Battlefleet Koronus) tend to have crew compliments of several hundred (about 1% the size of an equivalent Imperial vessel), while Dark Eldar vessels will have compliments of several thousand (about 10% that of an equivalent Imperial vessel).

On a related note, Ork vessels should reasonably carry crew compliments (remembering that the crew are Orks and thus innately combat-ready, rather than having a distinct group of armsmen) at least 1.5 times the size of comparable Imperial vessels, and far more if you include gretchin slaves.

I hate going into threads and see that you've written there, because all I can do is agree with you. It's a poor basis for a discussion. :D

But yeah, I agree with N0-1_H3r3. I'd think of Eldar vessels as more "traditional" high-tech sci-fi vessels. I'm not convinced that the Dark Eldar has as much as ten times more - unless you count slaves and the like - but either way, considerably less than any Imperial vessel. I wouldn't be surprised if there are smaller, fully functional Eldar and Dark Eldar ships with crews numbering in the low hundreds, maybe even less.

Makes me want to try a campaign with an Eldar ship, cast away far into unknown regions of the universe after an intense battle with the Dark Eldar. The Dark Eldar ship critically wounded, they two crews has to work together, travelling homeward endlessly. Hijinks and adventures ensue.


Real men earn their fun

Unified WH40kRP Ruleset Homebrew - Personal Notes
Talking Necrons. Dreadknights. Centurion Armour. Sororitas-murdering Grey Knights.
These things are dumb and do not exist. This is non-negotiable and undebatable.


#5 JuankiMan

JuankiMan

    Member

  • Members
  • 256 posts

Posted 11 September 2012 - 05:06 AM

Fgdsfg said:

I wouldn't be surprised if there are smaller, fully functional Eldar and Dark Eldar ships with crews numbering in the low hundreds, maybe even less.

Some Eldar vessels, specially those from Alaitoc, are called Ghostships and are crewed mostly by the souls of the dead, so their living crew numbers in the low dozens.



#6 Fgdsfg

Fgdsfg

    Lrod-Iniquitsor

  • Members
  • 2,005 posts

Posted 11 September 2012 - 08:21 AM

JuankiMan said:

Fgdsfg said:

 

I wouldn't be surprised if there are smaller, fully functional Eldar and Dark Eldar ships with crews numbering in the low hundreds, maybe even less.

 

 

Some Eldar vessels, specially those from Alaitoc, are called Ghostships and are crewed mostly by the souls of the dead, so their living crew numbers in the low dozens.

Well that's just disturbing.


Real men earn their fun

Unified WH40kRP Ruleset Homebrew - Personal Notes
Talking Necrons. Dreadknights. Centurion Armour. Sororitas-murdering Grey Knights.
These things are dumb and do not exist. This is non-negotiable and undebatable.


#7 N0-1_H3r3

N0-1_H3r3

    Former Contributing Freelance Writer

  • Members
  • 3,341 posts

Posted 11 September 2012 - 08:22 AM

Fgdsfg said:

I'm not convinced that the Dark Eldar has as much as ten times more - unless you count slaves and the like

The values I listed did include slaves and the like, for reference.

That said, while I imagine Dark Eldar (and, similarly, Tau) vessels as being far closer to the "conventional sci-fi starship" in terms of function and crew compliments, Eldar ships have always struck me as distinct in this way. The psychoreactive nature of Eldar technology, as much as its advanced nature, distinguishes it from the more common trappings of science fiction. Eldar technology responds to thought and mood, and especially when driven by the souls of the departed, it responds in a natural, instinctive manner, more akin to a living creature than a machine. Considering the size of 40k starships (even Eldar ones), I regard Eldar vessels as having an unusually small crew due to the manner in which they function.

Eldar technology - the real Eldar technology, rather than the advanced-but-mundane devices that the Dark Eldar employ (devices based on Eldar science, but wrought by slave labour rather than a Bonesinger's influence) - is an odd concept, because it isn't quite technology in the conventional sense. The Eldar, since some of their earliest description in the background, are described as having had no defined 'tool-making' or 'industrial revolution' stages of their cultural development - pre-historic Eldar used their natural psychic talent to influence the world around them, creating shelters, cultivating food, etc, developing tools to extend the impact of their powers as necessary. Viewed in that light, Eldar technology should be regarded as an extension of the will of the Eldar themselves, a natural outgrowth of their bodies and minds.


Writing Credits for Fantasy Flight Games: Into the Storm, Edge of the Abyss, Battlefleet Koronus, Hostile Acquisitions, Black Crusade Core Rulebook, First Founding, The Jericho Reach, The Soul Reaver, Only War, The Navis Primer,Ark of Lost Souls, and Hammer of the Emperor

I no longer write for, or am employed by, Fantasy Flight Games in any fashion. All of my comments are my own, and do not reflect the opinions of any employer, past, present, or future.

#8 N0-1_H3r3

N0-1_H3r3

    Former Contributing Freelance Writer

  • Members
  • 3,341 posts

Posted 11 September 2012 - 08:35 AM

Fgdsfg said:

JuankiMan said:

 

Fgdsfg said:

 

I wouldn't be surprised if there are smaller, fully functional Eldar and Dark Eldar ships with crews numbering in the low hundreds, maybe even less.

 

 

Some Eldar vessels, specially those from Alaitoc, are called Ghostships and are crewed mostly by the souls of the dead, so their living crew numbers in the low dozens.

 

Well that's just disturbing.

 

Not really. They're commonly employed by the Iyanden craftworld (not the Alaitocii, as JuankiMan mis-stated - easy enough mistake to make, though), due to the craftworld's diminished populace after the assault of the Tyranids. The concept is essentially little different from that of a Wraithguard or Wraithlord (an inanimate wraithbone construct driven by the soul of a dead Eldar), just on a much larger scale. Having a small number of living Eldar present is useful in this regard - while no less intelligent or driven than their living counterparts, the souls of dead Eldar no longer possess the physical perspectives they once had, so communion with living Eldar souls helps them focus on the material universe. It's why Wraithguard units are often accompanied by Warlocks in battle - the Warlock's mind anchors and focusses the souls of the Wraithguard. Eldar Titans (properly known as Caurifeliann, with Eldar Titan clans known as Fir Caurifel) function in a similar manner - an Infinity Circuit animating the war engine, guided by living minds to give clarity and focus.


Writing Credits for Fantasy Flight Games: Into the Storm, Edge of the Abyss, Battlefleet Koronus, Hostile Acquisitions, Black Crusade Core Rulebook, First Founding, The Jericho Reach, The Soul Reaver, Only War, The Navis Primer,Ark of Lost Souls, and Hammer of the Emperor

I no longer write for, or am employed by, Fantasy Flight Games in any fashion. All of my comments are my own, and do not reflect the opinions of any employer, past, present, or future.

#9 JuankiMan

JuankiMan

    Member

  • Members
  • 256 posts

Posted 11 September 2012 - 09:11 AM

N0-1_H3r3 said:

They're commonly employed by the Iyanden craftworld (not the Alaitocii, as JuankiMan mis-stated - easy enough mistake to make, though)

My bad 



#10 Fgdsfg

Fgdsfg

    Lrod-Iniquitsor

  • Members
  • 2,005 posts

Posted 11 September 2012 - 11:08 AM

N0-1_H3r3 said:

 

Not really. They're commonly employed by the Iyanden craftworld (not the Alaitocii, as JuankiMan mis-stated - easy enough mistake to make, though), due to the craftworld's diminished populace after the assault of the Tyranids. The concept is essentially little different from that of a Wraithguard or Wraithlord (an inanimate wraithbone construct driven by the soul of a dead Eldar), just on a much larger scale. Having a small number of living Eldar present is useful in this regard - while no less intelligent or driven than their living counterparts, the souls of dead Eldar no longer possess the physical perspectives they once had, so communion with living Eldar souls helps them focus on the material universe. It's why Wraithguard units are often accompanied by Warlocks in battle - the Warlock's mind anchors and focusses the souls of the Wraithguard. Eldar Titans (properly known as Caurifeliann, with Eldar Titan clans known as Fir Caurifel) function in a similar manner - an Infinity Circuit animating the war engine, guided by living minds to give clarity and focus.

I do not see how this makes it less disturbing.


Real men earn their fun

Unified WH40kRP Ruleset Homebrew - Personal Notes
Talking Necrons. Dreadknights. Centurion Armour. Sororitas-murdering Grey Knights.
These things are dumb and do not exist. This is non-negotiable and undebatable.


#11 HappyDaze

HappyDaze

    Member

  • Members
  • 6,071 posts

Posted 11 September 2012 - 12:15 PM

N0-1_H3r3 said:

Fgdsfg said:

I'm not convinced that the Dark Eldar has as much as ten times more - unless you count slaves and the like

 

The values I listed did include slaves and the like, for reference.

Unless I misread, most DE slaves (especially those that would count as part of a starship's crew) are DE - it's a social class among them. These are still more highly regarded than the more 'disposable' slaves captured from other races and used specifically for painfood.


Ignore, Ignore, you must learn Ignore!

 

Now Ignoring: Nobody.


#12 JuankiMan

JuankiMan

    Member

  • Members
  • 256 posts

Posted 11 September 2012 - 12:24 PM

HappyDaze said:

 

 

Unless I misread, most DE slaves (especially those that would count as part of a starship's crew) are DE - it's a social class among them. These are still more highly regarded than the more 'disposable' slaves captured from other races and used specifically for painfood.

Really? I'm not surprised that the Dark Eldar would try to enslave their own, but I do find surprising that a Dark Eldar could be sufficiently broken as to reliably assign him labor.



#13 HappyDaze

HappyDaze

    Member

  • Members
  • 6,071 posts

Posted 11 September 2012 - 02:09 PM

JuankiMan said:

HappyDaze said:

 

 

 

Unless I misread, most DE slaves (especially those that would count as part of a starship's crew) are DE - it's a social class among them. These are still more highly regarded than the more 'disposable' slaves captured from other races and used specifically for painfood.

 

 

Really? I'm not surprised that the Dark Eldar would try to enslave their own, but I do find surprising that a Dark Eldar could be sufficiently broken as to reliably assign him labor.

It is better to be feared than respected. DE rule by fear, and it's a pyramid scheme with the Archon at the top, but even the basic Kabalite Warrior is far above the masses of DE.


Ignore, Ignore, you must learn Ignore!

 

Now Ignoring: Nobody.


#14 HTMC

HTMC

    Member

  • Members
  • 153 posts

Posted 11 September 2012 - 06:27 PM

Fgdsfg said:

 

I do not see how this makes it less disturbing.

 

You gotta look at it compared to the alternatives: you can have your soul eaten by Slaanesh and spend an eternity in his sexy, painful embrace, or you can let your soul be swallowed by a crystal and spend eternity hanging out with other dead Eldar, helping the living, or even possibly piloting a sweet spaceship. I know what I would choose given a choice :-P



#15 JuankiMan

JuankiMan

    Member

  • Members
  • 256 posts

Posted 11 September 2012 - 11:58 PM

HTMC said:

 

 

You gotta look at it compared to the alternatives: you can have your soul eaten by Slaanesh and spend an eternity in his sexy, painful embrace, or you can let your soul be swallowed by a crystal and spend eternity hanging out with other dead Eldar, helping the living, or even possibly piloting a sweet spaceship. I know what I would choose given a choice :-P

I don't think he meant disturbing for the spirits themselves but for the people looking from the outside. It must be creepy as hell going through a kilometer long ship that's completely empty, its corridors and rooms completely deserted but still funtioning, and you're constantly feeling watched, observed, like the very walls around you are alive.

It'd be like entering a haunted house. A haunted house that traverses the stars and has enough firepower to level a city.



#16 alexe74

alexe74

    Member

  • Members
  • 23 posts

Posted 12 September 2012 - 12:47 AM

Thanks for all the inputs!

I was figuring about 200-500 DE (depending on ship size) + slaves (expendible ones might be used for dirty jobs in areas of radiation exposure etc and of cousre the DE have got to "eat"!).

My motive was for a Deathwatch scenario with a group of Marines on a Corsair Escort.  Anyone who's played DW knows those guys can go through the fodder a bit and it got me think just how many DE ARE on a ship because a group of marines might get close to killing most of them!!!

Anyway, it'll be a cool scenario with some nice "Boss" DE added for spice (they have some very cool weapons that will make marines worried!)

 

Cheers

AlexE



#17 JuankiMan

JuankiMan

    Member

  • Members
  • 256 posts

Posted 12 September 2012 - 12:54 AM

alexe74 said:

My motive was for a Deathwatch scenario with a group of Marines on a Corsair Escort.  Anyone who's played DW knows those guys can go through the fodder a bit and it got me think just how many DE ARE on a ship because a group of marines might get close to killing most of them!!!

If they're doing their job right they'll kill ALL of them and scuttle the ship just to be sure.



#18 alexe74

alexe74

    Member

  • Members
  • 23 posts

Posted 12 September 2012 - 01:04 AM

That's the plan!!  Should be fun…5 marines against a ship of DE - lock and load.



#19 Cynical Cat

Cynical Cat

    Member

  • Members
  • 647 posts

Posted 26 September 2012 - 11:42 PM

On the subject of Ork ship crews, remember it isn't just the Orks.  The Orks are always attended by grotts so there will be horde of gretchin pressed into service as slave labour under conditions that would give an OSHA inspector a heart attack.  Added to that you will have the inevitable snotlings getting into everything like vermin and the Orks using both gretchin and snotlings as cannon fodder/slave labour/target practice/extra rations whenever they feel like it.  An Ork ship crawls with greenskins and true Orks are probably the minority (if you go by numbers of individuals, maybe not by mass).



#20 alexe74

alexe74

    Member

  • Members
  • 23 posts

Posted 11 October 2012 - 04:13 AM

And to let you know what happened…

The Marines massacred half the ships crew (sparking a Kabal coup which was actually a Harlequin plot) and hijacked the ship.  Rescued all the slaves and then executed the remaining crew…

 

Huzzah!






© 2013 Fantasy Flight Publishing, Inc. Fantasy Flight Games and the FFG logo are ® of Fantasy Flight Publishing, Inc.  All rights reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Use | Contact | User Support | Rules Questions | Help | RSS