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Playable Eldar?

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JuankiMan said:

Very true, but a pair of nobles can be fast friends from the academy, two inquisitors be comrades in arms, specially if one was the other's mentor, and not all Munitorum agents are required to be spiteful bastards by law (its true!), etc… but such is not the case with a Dark Eldar on board. The question is not if it will betray you, but when. Perhaps you won't live to actually see it, but be assured that it wasn't because he wasn't plotting it.

Yes and no. They do fight, kill and torture to survive but they don't do it consciously anymore and are definitely not repentant in the least. They're so proud that they have convinced themselves that they're doing all that because they want to, because they are in their right to do so and they find it endlessly enjoyable and amusing.

In your allegory, it would be like a guy who claimed he was slaughtering calf not because he was hungry, but because he wanted to feel the flesh tearing before his teeth, savor the smell of freshly spilled blood and taste it running down his throat. I don't know about you, but I'd call the nearest asylum preocupado.gif

A quick question, but you've never played Vampire before, have you? Or Mage? Or, to get a little fringy, Demon?

Really… like half the game lines that White Wolf put out, would work here. My point is, that just because the player is playing a sadistic, bloodthirsty monster, doesn't mean they can't work with the rest of the group somehow. Some games work entirely around the concept of you playing one of those.

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Mjoellnir said:

They live longer, they don't ruin the planets they inhabit and their souls don't dissipate upon death (well, that's kind of a problem now thanks to the Fall). They left humanity alone throughout the Dark Age of Technology and the Age of Strife. Trouble started with the Imperium. And sorry would you respect a species who is willing to destroy whole planets with billions of their own people just to get rid of a hidden chaos cult? In Warhammer 40k humanity as a whole is at its absolutely worst, I prefer Eldar. They at least assign a value to their own kind and their souls.

A few points of order…

Firstly, the fate of your soul, in 40K, counts for nothing. Whether it dissipates, gets absorbed by something else (benignly) or snacked on by a daemon, whatever happens to it doesn't really reflect upon whether you've been a good and virtuous person, or the scum of the galaxy.

Next, who gives a crap about planets. So humanity, by base necessesity needs to stripmine planets for their resources, and generally lay them to waste. So what? For one thing, Eldar don't need to mine anymore because they conjure all their building materials from the Warp (wraithbone remember), or make them out of trees in the case of Exodites. It's easy to keep your planets pristine and beautiful, when you hardly need them for anything but a warm but shaded place to stand.

Lastly. I very much doubt the ancient Eldar left humanity alone, during the 40,000 years or so of human history that took place before the Emperor's Great Crusade. It's just not written down anywhere, but it never explicitely says that the Eldar and humanity had no contact with one another. That the Eldar were content to let silly little primitive humanity do their thing in their little corner of the galaxy, while the Eldar ruled everything else. If we look at how the Eldar act now, and remember that the entire race was leaning toward being like the Dark Eldar (probably more like Corsairs, the Dark Eldar were apparently the descendents of the most depraved survivors, who liked living in the lawless 'international waters' of the Webway. So yeah, during those millenia, there were probably cullings, and bloody evictictions from Maiden Worlds (in the usual vein of ordering the evacuation of millions, or billions, in the space of a few days), and whole planets that were just plain made sport of just for bored Eldar.

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JuankiMan said:

I don't feel the need to fight flies, but I'll still squash whichever gets too close.

Yeah, but humans usually react poorly to finding out that their fellows have been squashed by others, and they usually can do a bit more than standing on your lunch with the same feet they touched horse crap with.

JuankiMan said:

Sure, if you mostly disregard the rest I said, you're welcome. Always eager to help.

Incidentally, Eldar also practice Exterminatus, do they never do it on their own planets because they haven't got any and because in the case of Exodites it would be self-annihilation.

Exactly, only the humans are willing to kill that many of their own.

JuankiMan said:

Sure, but Gabriel Angelos explained it himself. Cyrene was suffering from a massive case of Chaos taint to the point that it was too far gone. There may have been still innocent uncorrupted civilians, but if Angelos, quite a decent man and a wise commander, was pushed to actually plead to the Inquisition himself to destroy his home planet, an act that would forever haunt him to the end of his days, I'm willing to believe that the ruling class was gone, that the PDF was secretly traitor and that most of the population was subtly but surely on the brink of madness. In his eyes, had he not acted Cyrene would have exploded into outright rebellion and Chaos would have gained a foothold to put the whole sector, and by extension the Chapter's very future at risk. Joke's on him, because that's what it happened anyway, but then again the Aurelian sector is one of the most unfortunate sectors in the Imperiu

"Decent man and wise commander"? We are talking about the guy who freed a demon and got himself smashed to a bloody pulp by a titan-sized demon prince so that he's now nearly indistinguishable from a veteran of the Iron Hands? I find it more than fishy that the chapter got its recruits from Cyrene for generations and then he comes over and realizes that the planet is completely and utterly lost to Chaos what no one else could see before. It's also interesting that the Inquisition believed him to be a traitor afterwards.

 

JuankiMan said:

And you may not see it that way and unfortunately many Inquisitors and adepta don't either, but the planets the Imperium cares about tend to be inhabited by millions, often billions of people, so wanting to save the planets implies wanting to save their lives as well. If by destroying a planet you can save a dozen from such a grim fate, then so be it. The Imperium is a lot of things, but it isn't queasy.

Yeah. The problem is that if every time you wreck one planet to save a dozen you're down one planet and all the lives on it. Since there are corruptible humans everywhere and the Chaos gods have an eternity for their plans they can play until you're out of planets.

JuankiMan said:

No, I'm citing the Eccleasiarchy as an example of how much humans care about their souls. After all, a central tenet of Imperial dogma is that it is better to die pure than to live tainted, and Priests have absolutely no qualm of enforcing such a tenet when the sinner won't enforce it himself lest they spread it to others. And sure, the Ecclesiarchy is ridden with corruption as it always is the case in large human institutions and many priests sin of overzeal, but then again, Chaos is a mighty foe indeed. The taint of the Warp and its siren songs are like a form of very difficult to detect radiation that mind ***** people and then teaches them to make dirty bombs.

Yeah, unfortunately "tainted" is everybody who doesn't accept the Emperor as his one and only savior and doesn't have the military power to rip the Sororitas and Imperial Guard a new one. In fact there are Chaos cults that mask as followers of the Imperial creed. So yeah, the ecclesiarchy is a bad place for saving souls they are more into building monuments and killing people.

Blood Pact said:

Firstly, the fate of your soul, in 40K, counts for nothing. Whether it dissipates, gets absorbed by something else (benignly) or snacked on by a daemon, whatever happens to it doesn't really reflect upon whether you've been a good and virtuous person, or the scum of the galaxy.

Yeah, so? What does that have to do with "caring" what happens to them?

Blood Pact said:

Next, who gives a crap about planets. So humanity, by base necessesity needs to stripmine planets for their resources, and generally lay them to waste. So what? For one thing, Eldar don't need to mine anymore because they conjure all their building materials from the Warp (wraithbone remember), or make them out of trees in the case of Exodites. It's easy to keep your planets pristine and beautiful, when you hardly need them for anything but a warm but shaded place to stand.

I very much doubt it's necessity.

Blood Pact said:

Lastly. I very much doubt the ancient Eldar left humanity alone, during the 40,000 years or so of human history that took place before the Emperor's Great Crusade. It's just not written down anywhere, but it never explicitely says that the Eldar and humanity had no contact with one another. That the Eldar were content to let silly little primitive humanity do their thing in their little corner of the galaxy, while the Eldar ruled everything else. If we look at how the Eldar act now, and remember that the entire race was leaning toward being like the Dark Eldar (probably more like Corsairs, the Dark Eldar were apparently the descendents of the most depraved survivors, who liked living in the lawless 'international waters' of the Webway. So yeah, during those millenia, there were probably cullings, and bloody evictictions from Maiden Worlds (in the usual vein of ordering the evacuation of millions, or billions, in the space of a few days), and whole planets that were just plain made sport of just for bored Eldar.

During the 40,000 years before the Great Crusade? You mean the one that started around 30k? I dare say that we can be sure that they left humanity alone for the first 12k of that time. :D And I wouldn't say that the ancient Eldar were completely like Dark Eldar or Corsairs. Otherwise there wouldn't have been enough smart enough to leave before the Slaanesh hit the fan. And humanity still exists after coexisting in space with an Eldar Empire that could make or break stars with a thought. Also at that time the Eldar could always make new maiden worlds. They didn't really have to care about humans settling on them. My personal guess would be that the Eldar mostly ignored humanity during the DAoT or amused themselves by watching them like humans watch birds. If the Eldar really would have wanted to harm humanity there wouldn't be any stories of "metal men".

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Mjoellnir said:

Yeah, but humans usually react poorly to finding out that their fellows have been squashed by others, and they usually can do a bit more than standing on your lunch with the same feet they touched horse crap with.

 

Oh you can be bloody sure of that. However, at the height of their power the Eldar were all but unassailable. But now the lion has been brought down and the flies still remember their murdered comrades.

Mjoellnir said:

Exactly, only the humans are willing to kill that many of their own.

 

Eldar simply cannot afford it, so they keep their fraticidal blood spilling to a manageable minimum. Dark Eldar are perfectly willing, though they are never pushed to such extremes since they're safe and cozy in their hidden city beyond the veil of time and space. Tau won't and probably wouldn't have the nerve no matter how desperate, which it will cost them if they ever come to the point where the Imperium would consider Exterminatus on one of their own planets. Orks will happily slaughter each other in the millions, though they do it close and personal to keep the blood pumpin', but who cares? There's more where those came from. Tyranid Hive Fleets sometimes fight and devour each other in an extreme example of Darwinian selection. Since the winner absorbs the loser's biomass and becomes stronger for it, the Hive Mind as a whole looses nothing. Chaos will sacrifice millions of its own pawns to further their vile schemes, from an Aspiring Champion sacrificing his conquered planets and anything within them to attain daemonhood, or a Chaos Sorcerer performing a colossal blood ritual to cast an equally colossal spell, or a Khornite zealot cult just wanting blood to flow. I… don't know much about the Necrons anymore, but the old Necrons didn't have the free will to actually choose to kill each other. Not that they could anyway, being effectively immortal. The C'Tan on the other hand drove themselves to near exctinction.

Really now, life is sacred to almost no one in this setting.

Mjoellnir said:

"Decent man and wise commander"? We are talking about the guy who freed a demon and got himself smashed to a bloody pulp by a titan-sized demon prince so that he's now nearly indistinguishable from a veteran of the Iron Hands? I find it more than fishy that the chapter got its recruits from Cyrene for generations and then he comes over and realizes that the planet is completely and utterly lost to Chaos what no one else could see before. It's also interesting that the Inquisition believed him to be a traitor afterwards.

 

Why yes, the man who decided to destroy the extremely corrupting Chaos artifact that had caused the entire Tartarus campaign and costed him his closest friend. It ended up being a mistake, though he couldn't have known that there was a freakin' Greater Daemon inside (Toth might have not known himself or cared and the Eldar never bothered to tell him) and that destroying the Maledictum would somehow free it instead of casting it back into the Warp. However he took charge of his mistake and dedicated his career from then onwards to amending it, eventually facing in combat the very daemon he had unwittingly freed even though he knew full well that he probably wouldn't live to tell the tale (and in 5 out of 6 endings he doesn't). And Angelos wasn't declared traitor by the Inquisition, much less immediately after the Tartarus campaign. He was declared traitor by his Chapter Master after the Player Character brought to his attention proof that Azariah Kyras was secretly an agent of the Ruinous Powers. The Inquisition simply didn't bother to question him.

Mjoellnir said:

Yeah. The problem is that if every time you wreck one planet to save a dozen you're down one planet and all the lives on it. Since there are corruptible humans everywhere and the Chaos gods have an eternity for their plans they can play until you're out of planets.

 

When the Imperium declares Exterminatus on one of its own planets it is implicitly admitting defeat. There will be no liberation fleet, no evacuation army, no valiant heroes saving the day. The planet is lost and everyone within it is at the mercy of their conquerors. An Exterminatus is a final "screw you" to the victorious enemy. If the Emperor cannot have it then the Imperium will make **** sure that you won't either. It will rob you of your spoils and kill its own people itself rather than allowing you the satisfaction of killing them, consuming them, mind ****** them, corrupting them, enslaving them or whatever other atrocity you had in mind for them. Hell, in many cases you could argue that an Exterminatus is an act of mercy, like putting a bullet through the brain of an agonizing man who is beyond help.

Of course this only applies to Imperial planets. An Inquisitor can be much more liberal when Exterminating planets if there isn't a single human on the ground, but it will not look good in any Inquisitor's resume if all they have to show for their work is a bunch of useless, barren and irradiated piles of rock.

And it is sadly true that the Chaos Gods have time on their side. Perhaps the whole fight is pointless and their victory ultimately inevitable, but this is choosing between performing a terrible sacrifice and living for a couple of years more and not doing it and dieing tomorrow.

Mjoellnir said:

Yeah, unfortunately "tainted" is everybody who doesn't accept the Emperor as his one and only savior and doesn't have the military power to rip the Sororitas and Imperial Guard a new one. In fact there are Chaos cults that mask as followers of the Imperial creed. So yeah, the ecclesiarchy is a bad place for saving souls they are more into building monuments and killing people.

 

Well, when you instead accept Eldritch monstrosities from beyond the veil of time and space who thrive on death, horror and dispair as your one true lords which give you the power to extend the taint like a malignant tumor and conjure murderous killing machines from the very ether, then perhaps the Ecclesiarchy has a point in bringing out the flamers. For everyone else that rejects the Emperor for whatever reason, the Emperor and the Imperium are indivisable, so rejecting one means rejecting the other, and the Imperium is convinced that the only chance humanity has to survive is if it stands united, whether it wants to or not. Ironically enough, even those who vehemently reject the Emperor and His rule still need to look to Terra and His light to traverse the Warp. 

And the fact that the Ecclesiarchy suffers chaotic infiltration like virtually anyone else doesn't automatically invalidate their message nor does it negate the efforts of those priests who honestly struggle, suffer, sweat and bleed to preserve humanity before the encroaching darkness.

Mjoellnir said:

I very much doubt it's necessity.

 

If you know how to conjure a Leman Russ, or a starship, or an isotopic battery or a plasma reactor from the very ether, the AdMech would be very interested in your findings.

Mjoellnir said:

During the 40,000 years before the Great Crusade? You mean the one that started around 30k? I dare say that we can be sure that they left humanity alone for the first 12k of that time. :D And I wouldn't say that the ancient Eldar were completely like Dark Eldar or Corsairs. Otherwise there wouldn't have been enough smart enough to leave before the Slaanesh hit the fan. And humanity still exists after coexisting in space with an Eldar Empire that could make or break stars with a thought. Also at that time the Eldar could always make new maiden worlds. They didn't really have to care about humans settling on them. My personal guess would be that the Eldar mostly ignored humanity during the DAoT or amused themselves by watching them like humans watch birds. If the Eldar really would have wanted to harm humanity there wouldn't be any stories of "metal men".

 

The ancient Eldar weren't smart enough to leave. At the beginning of the Fall the Exodites went "I'll make my own civilization! With casinos! And whores! In fact you know what? Screw civilization!" and then left to the furthest reaches of the Empire and have lived like hermits ever since. Those were the smartest ones. Those that would later become Craftworld Eldar saw the incoming storm and tried to warn the others. When they were told to sod off they did just that and ran for the hills as fast as their Craftworlds could take them. Many didn't make it. Those were quite smart themselves. But the rest? The vast majority of the entire Eldar Empire? They stayed put, wallowing in their excess, unknowing or uncaring of what their actions were brewing in the Warp, and when Slaanesh was born they were utterly destroyed and consumed by the very, very hungry infant. The very few survivors who fled to the Webway divided themselves into those that had the patronage of the only surviving God, who had kept them mostly sane amongst the growing madness, and managed to hide becoming the Harlequins; and those who fled to the deepest, darkest recesses of the Webway and became the Dark Eldar. But at the end of the day the vast majority of the Eldar race laid dead and soulless and the core of their Empire became a open and festering wound in real-space.

And the relationship between humans and Eldar might have indeed been akin to humans watching insects. Usually you just watch, but you'll squash them the moment they touch stuff you don't want them to touch (like your food or the goddamn inside of your ear). But as they degraded they probably came out with a fly swatter just to pass some time. At the very end they probably caught flys and ripped out their wings just to watch them squirm. But in all three cases you don't declare open genocidal war against all fly-kind no matter how much they piss you off. They're simply not worth your time.

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JuankiMan said:

The ancient Eldar weren't smart enough to leave. At the beginning of the Fall the Exodites went "I'll make my own civilization! With casinos! And whores! In fact you know what? Screw civilization!" and then left to the furthest reaches of the Empire and have lived like hermits ever since. Those were the smartest ones. Those that would later become Craftworld Eldar saw the incoming storm and tried to warn the others. When they were told to sod off they did just that and ran for the hills as fast as their Craftworlds could take them. Many didn't make it. Those were quite smart themselves. But the rest? The vast majority of the entire Eldar Empire? They stayed put, wallowing in their excess, unknowing or uncaring of what their actions were brewing in the Warp, and when Slaanesh was born they were utterly destroyed and consumed by the very, very hungry infant. The very few survivors who fled to the Webway divided themselves into those that had the patronage of the only surviving God, who had kept them mostly sane amongst the growing madness, and managed to hide becoming the Harlequins; and those who fled to the deepest, darkest recesses of the Webway and became the Dark Eldar. But at the end of the day the vast majority of the Eldar race laid dead and soulless and the core of their Empire became a open and festering wound in real-space.

While it is true that the vast majority of the Eldar were destroyed during the Fall, I think you're minimizing the numbers of the Dark Eldar. According to either the current Dark Eldar Codex or Path of the Renegade - I can't recall which one for certain - their numbers in Commorragh are vast and quite possibly beyond that of all the Craftworlds and Exodite worlds combined. It could be that the Dark Eldar are actually the majority of modern Eldar, but their existence within the Webway makes it hard to know.That they can and do have the ability to mass-spawn half-born to bolster their population after any losses is a fact, and this means that they can easily exceed their kin in birthrates (even if most are rather unnatural).

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 There seems to be a general misunderstanding about the origins of the Imperium, JuankiMan.

You said something along the lines of "the Imperium is a machine built for war, but it is and remains that way out of necessity and self-preservation."

Incorrect.

The modern Imperium was founded by the Emperor in roughly 30 000, as he unleashed his Astartes legions in an all-consuming crusade to retake all Human worlds and colonies and forge them into one cohesive empire. All who opposed in any way (be they xenos, corrupted, or simply wishing to be left alone) were to be crushed by the merciless fist of his armies as "deniers of the Imperial Truth." This was not some defensive move to fight the threat of an angry, advancing menace like the Tyrannids, this was a proactive and unprovoked crusade for power and wealth. Now, turns out, he made a grievous error in the incredible size and breadth of his armies, and in imbuing his commanders with such power (the Primarchs) and eventually one of them decided that he would rather fight for his own glory and power and wealth then muck around with his bastard of a father because Horus knows better(one could call the Horus Heresy the universe's greatest case of teenage rebellion). 

So, having forged the greatest empire Humanity is likely to ever see, and then had half of his forces turn on him, entomb him in the Golden Throne, and generally cripple the entire human race, the Imperium still has all this size and territory and population, but it no longer has the incredible might of the Legions and the Primarchs to support it and keep it in line, let alone actually make viable attempts to defend its borders coherently, and just perish the thought of actually expanding (Yes, yes, the Jericho Reach, and the various Crusades going on. Bear in mind also the general flaccidity of these thrusts into the unknown, and the consistent loss of ground to the enemies of man, particularly Leviathan). So, it seems to me that the Imperium has its origins founded distinctly in waging a war for "personal" gain, and can blame its current predicament soundly on one half of the head trying to kill the other for control of the now rather foundering body.  Furthermore, now it doesn't even stand for the idea of universal peace anymore! It stands for a religious base that preaches torture and death for any who dare question the way things work, for better or worse. There may be some philanthropists, but generally speaking the best you could hope to find in the drudging, meat-grinder of humanity is someone who lends a hand to his crippled neighbour in between bludgeoning someone weaker to death with a rock.

Good Guys? Hah.

 

The Tau at least actually offer peace. For races willing to cooperate, the Ethereals can viably promise an end to civil war and internal fighting. The technologies are not limited to what a cruel and unforgiving robot deems close enough to what we used to have ten thousand years ago to be considered "pure". Instead, they are limited to what can be safely and consistently harnessed for the benefit of the Tau. Sure, they use other races as fodder, but not senselessly. They minimize their own losses in the same way the Navy SEALS would use regular forces to minimize the losses to the elite, or Officers use non-coms to minimize losses to the Officers. That's not evil, that's prioritizing. They will fight, but only when their reasonable offer of induction into an empire that promises peace and prosperity is refused. Right now, they also don't fuel chaos or run the risk of falling to it, but hey, they don't bathe in sororitas blood so they're more then vulnerable.

 

The Eldar may make war, but when do they do so? When the Skein shows the impending destruction of Eldar. They do not try to force others to their beliefs, but rather force others to halt if they threaten the dwindling race that once shaped the galaxy, They turned from the ways that caused so much harm, and now do all they can to prevent the deaths of anyone, but suffer not a threat to themselves.

Orks were made the way they are. Literally, they were engineered to be this way. How could you possibly hate a race that enver had a choice, but was simply planted (again, literally) in a particular way to grow into something you don't like? That's like hating weeds, when they do just as much good for the universe as you do. More, in fact, since they are completely insusceptible chaos and therefore are one of the few and only ways chaos could actually be beaten.

I can go on, but I would rather see your take on this first.

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HappyDaze said:

 

While it is true that the vast majority of the Eldar were destroyed during the Fall, I think you're minimizing the numbers of the Dark Eldar. According to either the current Dark Eldar Codex or Path of the Renegade - I can't recall which one for certain - their numbers in Commorragh are vast and quite possibly beyond that of all the Craftworlds and Exodite worlds combined. It could be that the Dark Eldar are actually the majority of modern Eldar, but their existence within the Webway makes it hard to know.That they can and do have the ability to mass-spawn half-born to bolster their population after any losses is a fact, and this means that they can easily exceed their kin in birthrates (even if most are rather unnatural).

That may perfectly be possible, though I find very hard to swallow that the survivors of ground zero outnumber both the Craftworld Eldar AND the Exodites. Regardless, even if that is true, their number is almost insignificant compared to how many Eldar died in the cataclysm. It would be like if the Imperium was wiped out and only Necromunda remained. Sure, as a Hive World it has a population of hundreds of billions but they're a speck of dust compared to how many humans existed before.

And though they far exceed their kin in birthrate, they also far, far exceed their kin in mortality rates. In fact, I think they resorted to mass cloning just to prevent their excuse for a society from collapsing under the weight of their own bloodlust. And actually, when you think about it, the Haemonculi's ability to bring back from the dead a fallen DE from even the smallest remains is hardly that impressive. Chaos doesn't need even that to pull it off and, in the brutal battlefields of the 41st millenium, there are literally dozens of ways to die that leave absolutely nothing behind.

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JuankiMan said:

 

Tau won't and probably wouldn't have the nerve no matter how desperate, which it will cost them if they ever come to the point where the Imperium would consider Exterminatus on one of their own planets.

Haha, what? The race and empire that is entirely built around the idea of "do things for the greater good," "sacrifice yourself for the greater good," etc, is the one you think would most shy away from killing a few to save more? Again (and this isn't a bad thing) you seem to have a very clear Pro-Imperial bias. I'm not saying this to be rude or insulting, I think it's just what this pages-long debate boils down to: you see the Imperium in a very different light than the rest of us, which explains the disconnect between your perception of other races and others' perceptions.

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 The Webway (Commoraugh is nestles deep within one of the largest segments of webway)makes sense as the greatest chance of survival for the Eldar, when you think about it. It's a place made to stand firm against anything the warp has to offer, period, and ensure the contents are safe from the predations of that abyssal plane. Sort of like how the safest place in the middle of a hurricane would be your hurricane shelter. Just because this hurricane is bigger, doesn't mean the storm cellar isn't still the safest place…

Also, pardon the terrible run on sentences in my previous post. I am rather tired and need to finish some work, and so don't have time for proper editing of forum posts.

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BangBangTequila said:

 There seems to be a general misunderstanding about the origins of the Imperium, JuankiMan.

You said something along the lines of "the Imperium is a machine built for war, but it is and remains that way out of necessity and self-preservation."

Incorrect.

The modern Imperium was founded by the Emperor in roughly 30 000, as he unleashed his Astartes legions in an all-consuming crusade to retake all Human worlds and colonies and forge them into one cohesive empire. All who opposed in any way (be they xenos, corrupted, or simply wishing to be left alone) were to be crushed by the merciless fist of his armies as "deniers of the Imperial Truth." This was not some defensive move to fight the threat of an angry, advancing menace like the Tyrannids, this was a proactive and unprovoked crusade for power and wealth. Now, turns out, he made a grievous error in the incredible size and breadth of his armies, and in imbuing his commanders with such power (the Primarchs) and eventually one of them decided that he would rather fight for his own glory and power and wealth then muck around with his bastard of a father because Horus knows better(one could call the Horus Heresy the universe's greatest case of teenage rebellion). 

So, having forged the greatest empire Humanity is likely to ever see, and then had half of his forces turn on him, entomb him in the Golden Throne, and generally cripple the entire human race, the Imperium still has all this size and territory and population, but it no longer has the incredible might of the Legions and the Primarchs to support it and keep it in line, let alone actually make viable attempts to defend its borders coherently, and just perish the thought of actually expanding (Yes, yes, the Jericho Reach, and the various Crusades going on. Bear in mind also the general flaccidity of these thrusts into the unknown, and the consistent loss of ground to the enemies of man, particularly Leviathan). So, it seems to me that the Imperium has its origins founded distinctly in waging a war for "personal" gain, and can blame its current predicament soundly on one half of the head trying to kill the other for control of the now rather foundering body.  Furthermore, now it doesn't even stand for the idea of universal peace anymore! It stands for a religious base that preaches torture and death for any who dare question the way things work, for better or worse. There may be some philanthropists, but generally speaking the best you could hope to find in the drudging, meat-grinder of humanity is someone who lends a hand to his crippled neighbour in between bludgeoning someone weaker to death with a rock.

Good Guys? Hah.

Why yes, I had heard about that particular period of Imperial history, but let us make an excercise of speculation, shall we? Humanity was scattered, isolated, alone and afraid. Many colonies had devolved into barbarism. Others had mutated beyond recognition. The most intact colonies had formed tiny Empires but they warred amongst each other for dominion and resources. In such a state, what would had happened come 745.M41 when Hive Fleet Behemoth came along? Who would have stopped Ghazghkull Thraka? How would the butchery and endless tide of madmen being spewed from the Eye of Terror be contained? But you don't need to go so massive in scale. A single planet is often helpless against a well prepared planetary invasion force. Sure, the PDF can hold out for years in most cases, but they fight a losing battle. What hope can an isolated colony have of long term survival if it has no one to call for aid when something bigger than itself decides to gobble it up?

The recent novels paint the Emperor as nothing short of a physical God that has been puppeteering Humanity's rise to dominion over the stars since before the Romans, but no matter if that is true or not, the Emperor was very, very farsighted. He knew that, no matter how bad things were, they were bound to become even worse unless he could unite humanity under a single purpose, a single goal. That's why he launched the Crusade, and that's why he did ask nicely but would not take no for an answer. Independence was not an option, because an independent state is free candy for the enemies of Man in the meatgrinder that is the 41st Millenium. He didn't launch the Crusade for personal wealth or power, but for Humanity's collective wealth and power. The alternative was total human extinction in the next few millenia.

Unfortunately, he had his eyes so far set into the future that he failed to closely peer into the present. Horus' idiocy and betrayal destroyed in days what had taken decades to forge, and the Astartes Legions, which would have been the key to total human domination, were left broken and crippled forever. The Emperor was gone and his greatest projects that would have ensured a better quality of life for everyone were left incomplete and forgotten.

So the Crusade was the bold attempt to forge an Utopia. Had he succeded humanity would have enjoyed a second Golden Age of Technology free of superstition and fear, with the tools to fend off whatever threat a hostile and undkind galaxy would have thrown at it and safe from the random and perilous nature of Warp travel. But that wouldn't have been Grimdark enough, so instead everything he worked so hard for came crashing down, enlightment was replaced by ignorance, his beloved sons destroyed each other and, in the cruelest irony of all, he became the very thing he most hated: a God. The Imperium is the crumbling ruins of a gilded dream, but it was still left with the resolve and the tools to survive mostly united against impossible odds for ten millenia, which is quite impressive in an of itself.

Finally, I have no idea how you came to believe that I think the Imperium are the "good guys". In fact, I don't think there is such a think as "good guys" in the entire Warhammer 40K universe. There are good people, but there is no good side.

BangBangTequila said:

The Tau at least actually offer peace. For races willing to cooperate, the Ethereals can viably promise an end to civil war and internal fighting. The technologies are not limited to what a cruel and unforgiving robot deems close enough to what we used to have ten thousand years ago to be considered "pure". Instead, they are limited to what can be safely and consistently harnessed for the benefit of the Tau. Sure, they use other races as fodder, but not senselessly. They minimize their own losses in the same way the Navy SEALS would use regular forces to minimize the losses to the elite, or Officers use non-coms to minimize losses to the Officers. That's not evil, that's prioritizing. They will fight, but only when their reasonable offer of induction into an empire that promises peace and prosperity is refused. Right now, they also don't fuel chaos or run the risk of falling to it, but hey, they don't bathe in sororitas blood so they're more then vulnerable.

The Tau offer of peace is just the same as the Emperor's offer of peace 10 thousand years ago. "I offer peace / Sweet, we like peace but we don't want to join your empire / Then sucks to be you *BLAM*". For races willing to cooperate they offer and end to civil conflict because if the try to fight each other their Tau overlords will beat them both up and stuff them into reeducation camps. If they are unwilling they offer a volley of pulse rifle fire. And Tau use of auxiliaries as cannon fodder is not prioritization. It's

.

As it is, Tau have it easy. Everything has consistently fallen into their lap. They have amazing technology that would make even the Eldar drool for no good reason, they are in an extremely tight-packed cluster of planets that was ideal for their expansion despite their lack of Warp drives. When they ran out of close-by planets, lo and behold! They conveniently found a crashed alien ship with an easy to reverse-engineer functional Warp drive. Their biology ensures that they have no civil disobedience whatsoever and since they have no shadow in the Warp they are resistant to most forms of Chaos induced corruption, though as a downside they can never develop psychic powers. Despite the fact that they're straight in the middle of Hive Fleet Leviathan's path, it is paying them minimal attention compared to what it could be doing to them, and Ork WAAAGH!!!s in their territory are so comparatively timid that they seem more like an excuse to have Tau players fight Orks in the TT. I'd like to see them learning first hand why the AdMech is terryfied of AIs, but judging by the recurring trend, that will never ever happen.

BangBangTequila said:

The Eldar may make war, but when do they do so? When the Skein shows the impending destruction of Eldar. They do not try to force others to their beliefs, but rather force others to halt if they threaten the dwindling race that once shaped the galaxy, They turned from the ways that caused so much harm, and now do all they can to prevent the deaths of anyone, but suffer not a threat to themselves.

Or if they want something from you. Or if you set foot on the completely abandoned planets the make absolutely no use off. Or if you unwittingly pick something up that you shouldn't in a long forgotten ruin. Or if a Corsair is bored and wants a taste of "adventure"… But that is in the rare cases when they bother to get their hands dirty. More often than not they'll divert an Ork WAAGH!!! to slaughter you in their stead or manipulate their enemies into killing each other, or simply lead them to their doom at the hands of the galaxy's many perils.

And of course they don't try to force others their beliefs. From their point of view it would be like teaching a bunch of orangutan the finer points of art and philosophy.

BangBangTequila said:

Orks were made the way they are. Literally, they were engineered to be this way. How could you possibly hate a race that enver had a choice, but was simply planted (again, literally) in a particular way to grow into something you don't like? That's like hating weeds, when they do just as much good for the universe as you do. More, in fact, since they are completely insusceptible chaos and therefore are one of the few and only ways chaos could actually be beaten.

I can go on, but I would rather see your take on this first.

It'd be stupid to think of weeds as evil, but you still pull them out because otherwise they will litterally overrun your garden and strangle the plants you've put some much effort into cultivating. As I already mentioned, the fact that Orks don't kill out of malice is of little consolation to the helpless civilian who gets a choppa to the face for no better reason than because the Ork finds it bloody hilarious.

Incidentally, Tyranids also have a very good chance of beating Chaos once and for all, but I don't think anyone is gonna think of them as saviors for that.

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HTMC said:

 

Haha, what? The race and empire that is entirely built around the idea of "do things for the greater good," "sacrifice yourself for the greater good," etc, is the one you think would most shy away from killing a few to save more? Again (and this isn't a bad thing) you seem to have a very clear Pro-Imperial bias. I'm not saying this to be rude or insulting, I think it's just what this pages-long debate boils down to: you see the Imperium in a very different light than the rest of us, which explains the disconnect between your perception of other races and others' perceptions.

 

 

Well, the Tau have never ever been put by GW in such a tight position as to be forced to choose whether to completely obliterate a planet full of their own civilians, so no one can be completely sure. It is personal opinion really, because even though Tau dogma glorifies self-sacrifice for the Greater Good (not unlike the Imperium, really) it generally doesn't do it to the point of suicide or self immolation (quite unlike the Imperium, really). There are exceptions, of course, like self-destruct mechanism a member of the Shas'O squad can buy, but they don't appear to be the rule. Also, Tau seem to have this bright-faced naive mentality that leads them to believe that they can save everyone. I'm not saying such a thing as a bad thing. That same attitude is what attracts many people, since they're the only ones whom the cruelty of the galaxy hasn't turned into sour-faced fatalistic cynics (well them and Orks, which seem immune to depression).

Again, it is my personal opinion, but I just get the feeling that when push came to shove, they wouldn't be ruthless enough to pull the trigger.

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This a really fun discussion to read.

The debater's conflict seems largely over subjective vs. objective view points. One side clearly views each faction from a human-ocentric view and the other seems to be able to walk a kilometer in everyone's grav-boots!

I view Orks as a sort of internal satire of the Empire of Mankind. Clearly, Orks are on a Krusade (Waaaagh!) fer makin; da galaxy right and all Orky! Da strong prey on da weak, dere's lotsa' internal stompin', each boy does da job e's best at, dey's suspicious of smartz and no one doubts whether their cause is just. Cuz' green is da best! (Duh.)

I think that Chaos is the "worst" element. Chaos simply wants the galaxy to willingly (and happily) participate in an act of universal suicide. 'Not a healthy emotional state.

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Warmaster Picklehauber said:

 

This a really fun discussion to read.

The debater's conflict seems largely over subjective vs. objective view points. One side clearly views each faction from a human-ocentric view and the other seems to be able to walk a kilometer in everyone's grav-boots!

I view Orks as a sort of internal satire of the Empire of Mankind. Clearly, Orks are on a Krusade (Waaaagh!) fer makin; da galaxy right and all Orky! Da strong prey on da weak, dere's lotsa' internal stompin', each boy does da job e's best at, dey's suspicious of smartz and no one doubts whether their cause is just. Cuz' green is da best! (Duh.)

I think that Chaos is the "worst" element. Chaos simply wants the galaxy to willingly (and happily) participate in an act of universal suicide. 'Not a healthy emotional state.

 

 

That's what I love best of Orks, really, that they are so apt to satirize the viewpoints of the other races. When put against their extremely simplistic but none the less effective "philosophy", the other races' overcomplications tend to come about as rather silly.

And I personally think that the Dark Eldar are the most evil thing in the Warhammer 40K universe because they are evil without context. When asked why they kill and destroy an Imperial would say "For the Emperor". An Eldar would say "Because you primitive fools would doom us all". An Ork would say "Cuz Orks iz made fer fightin' and winnin'". A Necron Lord would say "Because life is a disease and we're the only cure". A Tyranid would elocuently chomp your head clean off. A Chaos devotee would say "For the glory of Chaos and to topple the False Emperor" (among many, many other things, this is Chaos after all). A Tau would say "For the Greater Good". A Dark Eldar would say "Why not?".

Not the most destructive, but in my opinion the most evil.

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JuankiMan said:

A Dark Eldar would say "Why not?".

Just because he doesn't say, "Because I must if I am to survive," doesn't make it any less true. They take pleasure in it, and they can do it beyond what they need to survive (much as humans partake of food), but at the core they do it to preserve their existence.

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HappyDaze said:

 

 

Just because he doesn't say, "Because I must if I am to survive," doesn't make it any less true. They take pleasure in it, and they can do it beyond what they need to survive (much as humans partake of food), but at the core they do it to preserve their existence.

 

 

I think you have the Dark Eldar backwards. Thieir depravity started with the Fall. When the Exodites left they dismissed them because it was easier and more pleasurable to do so. When the Craftworld Eldar tried to warn them of the impending Armaggedon they ignored them because it was easier and more pleasurable to do so. When the cataclysm hit the other Eldar devised ways to protect themselves against the fallout, but the Dark Eldar survivors rejected them because it was easier and more pleasurable to do so. And now, millennia later, they are like an Exarch forever stuck in their Path and they couldn't care less. They may even be beyond caring.

They don't do what they do because they must. They've been doing what they do for so long that now they must.

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JuankiMan said:

They don't do what they do because they must. They've been doing what they do for so long that now they must.

 

I think you're being too hard on the DE while going to easy on the other races. Let's look at your 'suggested answers' for each of the other factions:

Humans: "For the Emperor" - how is that a 'not-evil' answer? They will slaughter billions out of blind devotion to doctrine. That makes it an evil doctrine.

Eldar: Screw "because you would doom us all", the Eldar will slaughter billions to save the life of a single Eldar…. or because a single human trespassed on a site of cultural significance to the Eldar, or because a single human insulted the wrong Eldar etc etc. The Eldar view humans as vermin. Again, they do this not out of a need to survive, but because they view the lives of other species as worthless.

Orks: they fight for fun. They destroy entire civilisations because they enjoy it. Yes, the desire to do so is encoded into their DNA, but that doesn't change the fact that they like blowing **** up, ripping people's arms off and crushing the weak underfoot.

The Necrons want to destroy all life in the galaxy. That isn't a context that changes their actions from evil to slightly-less-evil, it's just evil. You don't really get more pure evil than the Necrons.

Ditto the 'nids. They aren't beasts, they are a sentient hive-mind that has zero respect for the rights of any other species. The 'nid hive mind wants to destroy and consume all life in the galaxy. Again - pure evil.

Chaos: Here you need to differentiate between the Gods and their followers. The Gods are pure selfishness, consumed with their own desire to advance their own power. The followers vary in their motivations, but as they become more corrupt they become more unpleasant, becoming obsessed with advancing their own agenda (or that of their deities) before all other considerations (ironically becoming much like the fanatics of the Imperium).

The Tau: See the Imperium, just replace "Emperor" with "Greater Good".

When you get down to it all the factions are nasty. Arguing over who is the most evil is kind of pointless because all are horrible, all wipe out civilisations without remorse, inflict horrible suffering etc etc. That the DE enjoy inflicting pain doesn't really make them more or less evil than that of a race who inflicts the same pain without pleasure, one that slaughters their opponents in horrific fashion without mercy.

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JuankiMan said:

HappyDaze said:

 

 

Just because he doesn't say, "Because I must if I am to survive," doesn't make it any less true. They take pleasure in it, and they can do it beyond what they need to survive (much as humans partake of food), but at the core they do it to preserve their existence.

 

 

I think you have the Dark Eldar backwards. Thieir depravity started with the Fall. When the Exodites left they dismissed them because it was easier and more pleasurable to do so. When the Craftworld Eldar tried to warn them of the impending Armaggedon they ignored them because it was easier and more pleasurable to do so. When the cataclysm hit the other Eldar devised ways to protect themselves against the fallout, but the Dark Eldar survivors rejected them because it was easier and more pleasurable to do so. And now, millennia later, they are like an Exarch forever stuck in their Path and they couldn't care less. They may even be beyond caring.

They don't do what they do because they must. They've been doing what they do for so long that now they must.

I don't have it backwards - I'm talking about how they are presented in the setting now, not how they got on that road. Look at your own last sentence - it's much the same as what I said. Since the Fall, they've had no other choice but to continue as they had been (possibly even dialed up a notch or two as well). Since pretty much everything covered in the WH40K Universe is set after the Fall, I feel that's the only meaningful context for discussing the Dark Eldar (which technically don't even exist until after the Fall).

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macd21 said:

I think you're being too hard on the DE while going to easy on the other races. Let's look at your 'suggested answers' for each of the other factions:

Humans: "For the Emperor" - how is that a 'not-evil' answer? They will slaughter billions out of blind devotion to doctrine. That makes it an evil doctrine.

Eldar: Screw "because you would doom us all", the Eldar will slaughter billions to save the life of a single Eldar…. or because a single human trespassed on a site of cultural significance to the Eldar, or because a single human insulted the wrong Eldar etc etc. The Eldar view humans as vermin. Again, they do this not out of a need to survive, but because they view the lives of other species as worthless.

Orks: they fight for fun. They destroy entire civilisations because they enjoy it. Yes, the desire to do so is encoded into their DNA, but that doesn't change the fact that they like blowing **** up, ripping people's arms off and crushing the weak underfoot.

The Necrons want to destroy all life in the galaxy. That isn't a context that changes their actions from evil to slightly-less-evil, it's just evil. You don't really get more pure evil than the Necrons.

Ditto the 'nids. They aren't beasts, they are a sentient hive-mind that has zero respect for the rights of any other species. The 'nid hive mind wants to destroy and consume all life in the galaxy. Again - pure evil.

Chaos: Here you need to differentiate between the Gods and their followers. The Gods are pure selfishness, consumed with their own desire to advance their own power. The followers vary in their motivations, but as they become more corrupt they become more unpleasant, becoming obsessed with advancing their own agenda (or that of their deities) before all other considerations (ironically becoming much like the fanatics of the Imperium).

The Tau: See the Imperium, just replace "Emperor" with "Greater Good".

When you get down to it all the factions are nasty. Arguing over who is the most evil is kind of pointless because all are horrible, all wipe out civilisations without remorse, inflict horrible suffering etc etc. That the DE enjoy inflicting pain doesn't really make them more or less evil than that of a race who inflicts the same pain without pleasure, one that slaughters their opponents in horrific fashion without mercy.

 

Once again (I get the feeling I'm not being payed attention) I repeat that I in no way claim or believe that any of the Warhammer 40K races is not evil. Far from it. As I already mentioned, there is good people, but there are no good sides. I just claim that the Dark Eldar are the most evil because they lack context.

The Imperium, the Eldar and the Tau are evil, but their evil has the purpose of furthering their own selfish agendas and, by extension, the survival and dominance of their own people.

Orks and Tyranids are pure chaotic evil, but they lack the capacity to make moral assesments.Tyranids are programmed to devoir and reproduce and Orks are programmed to fight and wage war, but neither do so out of any kind of moral stance.

The Oldcrons lacked any kind of free will and were slaves of the C'Tan, who wanted to genocide all life in the galaxy out of gluttony but get disqualified for being extinct.

I don't know that much about the Newcrons, but from some quotes I've read, it seems like they are convinced that life is the source of conflict and chaos and a beacon to the denizens of the Warp so they believe their doing the universe a favor by erradicating it.

Chaos came a close second for my "**** kicking a puppy with baby seal boots" award for supreme crapulence, but while most act out of pure selfish desire for self-satisfaction and lust for power, there are many, several claiming Nurgle as their patron, who are truly and honestly convinced that by firthering the agenda of Chaos, they're doing people a huge favor, that they are opening the eyes to the worpship of true Gods instead of the withered corpse that rots in Terra and that their atrocities are an act of selfless liberation. They're bat-**** insane, of course, but that was the tie-breaker for me. 

The Dark Eldar are dicks, plain and simple. Evil for evil's sake. They don't care for anyone else, they don't even care for each other and they have no grand plan or long-term goal to justify their actions other than to be biggest possible dicks because being a **** feels awesome. The new codex tries to give them the excuse that they're dicks because if they stopped being dicks they'd die, but that doesn't fly with me because it was their perverse, sustained and constant dickery that made them addicted to being dicks in the first place.

So congratulations. In the words of a wise man "Step forward into your first place podium and then put a rope around your neck so we can kick it away".

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HappyDaze said:

Since the Fall, they've had no other choice but to continue as they had been (possibly even dialed up a notch or two as well). Since pretty much everything covered in the WH40K Universe is set after the Fall, I feel that's the only meaningful context for discussing the Dark Eldar (which technically don't even exist until after the Fall).

  

Yes they did. They could have contacted their other surviving brethren, admitted that they had been wrong all this time and either gotten some counseling on the Paths and built their own spirit stones or search for some untapped Maiden world and lived quietly in harmony with nature, but they didn't because A) being Eldar implies never ever admitting you are wrong, B) doing all that is way too much work for a race whose hedonism and debauchery caused the birth of a Chaos God and C) they just didn't want to. 

And how can the cause and origin of the Eldar's current situation not be meaningful context to a discussion about them? That would be like saying that the Great Crusade and the Horus Heresy are irrelevant to a discussion about the Imperium.

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JuankiMan said:

HappyDaze said:

Since the Fall, they've had no other choice but to continue as they had been (possibly even dialed up a notch or two as well). Since pretty much everything covered in the WH40K Universe is set after the Fall, I feel that's the only meaningful context for discussing the Dark Eldar (which technically don't even exist until after the Fall).

  

Yes they did. They could have contacted their other surviving brethren, admitted that they had been wrong all this time and either gotten some counseling on the Paths and built their own spirit stones or search for some untapped Maiden world and lived quietly in harmony with nature, but they didn't because A) being Eldar implies never ever admitting you are wrong, B) doing all that is way too much work for a race whose hedonism and debauchery caused the birth of a Chaos God and C) they just didn't want to. 

Exodites became Exodites before the Fall. Craftworlders became Craftworlders before the Fall. Eldar that did not choose to become Exodites or Craftworlders before the Fall became Dark Eldar if they survived the Fall. Once the Fall happened, Eldar were locked into the path (not necessarily Path) that they had taken steps upon before the Fall. In the case of the Dark Eldar, they were physically changed by the experience - they could not go back if they wanted to (and most likely had no desire to do so).This was a major change much as we humans may have evolved from ocean-dwelling mammal at some point, but we certainly cannot return to living in the oceans like we did before.

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HappyDaze said:

Exodites became Exodites before the Fall. Craftworlders became Craftworlders before the Fall. Eldar that did not choose to become Exodites or Craftworlders before the Fall became Dark Eldar if they survived the Fall. Once the Fall happened, Eldar were locked into the path (not necessarily Path) that they had taken steps upon before the Fall. In the case of the Dark Eldar, they were physically changed by the experience - they could not go back if they wanted to (and most likely had no desire to do so).This was a major change much as we humans may have evolved from ocean-dwelling mammal at some point, but we certainly cannot return to living in the oceans like we did before.

 

The codex does not agree with you. In fact it states that the Eldar that survived within the ruined Webway were the only ones that weren't phisically changed by Slaanesh's birth. Their animic degradation occurred from that point on, as it did to all surviving Eldar, but while their cousins developed ways to stem and combat it the Dark Eldar chose the easiest and most pleasurable route: to pretty much keep doing what they had been doing for last few millenia, only now they need to ever increade the dose to reach the same "high", like an addled addict.

So yeah, they could have prevented their current predicament but just didn't bother.

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JuankiMan said:

The Imperium, the Eldar and the Tau are evil, but their evil has the purpose of furthering their own selfish agendas and, by extension, the survival and dominance of their own people.

Which is less evil than the DE how? Their evil has the purpose of furthering their own selfish agendas…. which still makes it evil. They screw over everyone else (and even their own people) to further their own evil goals. Humans will slaughter billions out of ignorant hatred. The Tau will slaughter anyone who doesn't march in step to their grand plan.

And the Eldar are even worse than the others - they don't necessarily do it to further "the survival and dominance of their own people." They'll slaughter billions for no better reason than that they've been irritated by some humans.

JuankiMan said:

Orks and Tyranids are pure chaotic evil, but they lack the capacity to make moral assesments.Tyranids are programmed to devoir and reproduce and Orks are programmed to fight and wage war, but neither do so out of any kind of moral stance.

Wrong. Both the Orks and the 'nids are sentient beings. As such they can decide not to **** over other sentients, but choose to do so for their own selfish needs.

JuankiMan said:

The Oldcrons lacked any kind of free will and were slaves of the C'Tan, who wanted to genocide all life in the galaxy out of gluttony but get disqualified for being extinct.

The Old Ctan were not extinct.

JuankiMan said:

I don't know that much about the Newcrons, but from some quotes I've read, it seems like they are convinced that life is the source of conflict and chaos and a beacon to the denizens of the Warp so they believe their doing the universe a favor by erradicating it.

And this is less evil than the DE how? "We want to wipe out all bio-life in the galaxy because it's making our lives a little harder."

JuankiMan said:

Chaos came a close second for my "**** kicking a puppy with baby seal boots" award for supreme crapulence, but while most act out of pure selfish desire for self-satisfaction and lust for power, there are many, several claiming Nurgle as their patron, who are truly and honestly convinced that by firthering the agenda of Chaos, they're doing people a huge favor, that they are opening the eyes to the worpship of true Gods instead of the withered corpse that rots in Terra and that their atrocities are an act of selfless liberation. They're bat-**** insane, of course, but that was the tie-breaker for me. 

And there are plenty of others who make the DE look like cuddly lovelings from the planet lovewu.

JuankiMan said:

The Dark Eldar are dicks, plain and simple. Evil for evil's sake. They don't care for anyone else, they don't even care for each other and they have no grand plan or long-term goal to justify their actions other than to be biggest possible dicks because being a **** feels awesome. The new codex tries to give them the excuse that they're dicks because if they stopped being dicks they'd die, but that doesn't fly with me because it was their perverse, sustained and constant dickery that made them addicted to being dicks in the first place.

The 'nids are dicks, plain and simple. Evil for evil's sake. They don't care for anyone else, they don't even care for each other and they have no grand plan or long-term goal to justify their actions other than to eat everyone because eating everyone feels awesome.

The Necrons are dicks. Evil for evil's sake. They don't care for anyone else, they don't even care for each other, they just want to wipe out all biological life in the galaxy 'cause they hate everyone.

The humans are dicks, plain and simple. Evil for evil's sake. They don't care for anyone else, hell they'll screw each other over for a goddamn percentage, they just want to wipe out all other sentient life in the galaxy because some dead guy told them to 10,000 years ago.

Orks are dicks, plain and simple. Evil for evil's sake. They don't care for anyone else, hell they enjoy killing each other as much (or more) than other races, they just want to consume the galaxy in a never-ending war 'cause they think it's fun.

You can take any 40k race, point to why they are evil and declare "this makes them the most evil race in the galaxy." You think the DE are the most evil. I think their evil is nothing compared to that of the 'crons, the 'nids or most of the chaos factions. Hell, I think the Eldar are probably worse than the DE. At least the DE have an excuse for being monstrous bastards, the Eldar are just dicks, plain and simple.

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macd21 said:

Which is less evil than the DE how? Their evil has the purpose of furthering their own selfish agendas…. which still makes it evil. They screw over everyone else (and even their own people) to further their own evil goals. Humans will slaughter billions out of ignorant hatred. The Tau will slaughter anyone who doesn't march in step to their grand plan.

And the Eldar are even worse than the others - they don't necessarily do it to further "the survival and dominance of their own people." They'll slaughter billions for no better reason than that they've been irritated by some humans.

 

Their agendas are evil but at least they have an agenda, they have goals to further. For all three their evil is a means to an end, not the end in itself. For the Imperium it's haegemony, for the Tau expansion and for the Eldar survival, and save for the true psychos within those three species, neither do it out self-gratification or a sadistic lust for slaughter.

macd21 said:

Wrong. Both the Orks and the 'nids are sentient beings. As such they can decide not to **** over other sentients, but choose to do so for their own selfish needs.

  

The smallest Tyranid with any semblance of sentience it the Hive Tyrant, but although they are sentient in the sense that they can make complex decisions and develop imaginative ways to accomplish their goals, the have no free will. They are still puppets of the Hive Mind and have no capacity to question or deny it's commands. If you're going to label the Tyranids as "evil" you'd have to put the label on the Hive Mind as a whole, but it hasn't ever shown a capacity for moral assesment. In fact, it seems to go entirely on auto-pilot advancing, consuming, growing and evolving. It'd be like calling a horde of locusts evil for ravaging crops.

The Orks, on the other hand, are sentient in a more traditional sense of the word but are still too simple-minded for complex things like "right" or "wrong", and they are that way because they were genetically engineered to be biological weapons and nothing else. They are pure chaotic evil, make no mistake on that, but they never had a choice to begin with.

macd21 said:

The Old Ctan were not extinct.

  

Four individuals, two of which are still in hiding, do not make a viable population.

macd21 said:

And this is less evil than the DE how? "We want to wipe out all bio-life in the galaxy because it's making our lives a little harder."

 

From their cold, unfeeling and calculating perspective the Necron Lords are working for the continued existentce of all of Real Space, not only their own. It goes like this: sentients can act as gateways for the Warp and their thoughts feed and empower the Chaos Gods. Ergo, if they remove every sentient in the galaxy the Chaos Gods will starve to death and Real Space will never have to fear a Warp intrusion again. And if they go the extra mile and erradicate all biological life in the galaxy they also ensure that no new sentients evolve in the future, thus ensuing the continued stability of Real Space effectively forever. Brilliant!

They may be technically right, but **** 'em. Who asked their opinion anyways?

macd21 said:

And there are plenty of others who make the DE look like cuddly lovelings from the planet lovewu.

 

You are so, so very right. That's why Chaos came a very close second.

macd21 said:

The 'nids are dicks, plain and simple. Evil for evil's sake. They don't care for anyone else, they don't even care for each other and they have no grand plan or long-term goal to justify their actions other than to eat everyone because eating everyone feels awesome.

The Necrons are dicks. Evil for evil's sake. They don't care for anyone else, they don't even care for each other, they just want to wipe out all biological life in the galaxy 'cause they hate everyone.

The humans are dicks, plain and simple. Evil for evil's sake. They don't care for anyone else, hell they'll screw each other over for a goddamn percentage, they just want to wipe out all other sentient life in the galaxy because some dead guy told them to 10,000 years ago.

Orks are dicks, plain and simple. Evil for evil's sake. They don't care for anyone else, hell they enjoy killing each other as much (or more) than other races, they just want to consume the galaxy in a never-ending war 'cause they think it's fun.

You can take any 40k race, point to why they are evil and declare "this makes them the most evil race in the galaxy." You think the DE are the most evil. I think their evil is nothing compared to that of the 'crons, the 'nids or most of the chaos factions. Hell, I think the Eldar are probably worse than the DE. At least the DE have an excuse for being monstrous bastards, the Eldar are just dicks, plain and simple.

 

Humans do evil because they want to rule the stars. Tau do evil pretty much for the same reason. Eldar do evil because they refuse to go away quietly and are actually working to go out with a bang. The Tyranid Hive Mind does evil because it exists only to grow and evolve and those two directives are absolute. Orks do evil because it's fun, but they didn't choose to be that way and were never given the chance. Necrons do evil to ensure Chaos doesn't swallow up the galaxy. Chaos does evil for many, many things, many of them contradictory of each other, but there are many within it that have some sort of grand plan or major objective, some of which are truly selfless from their deranged perspective.

In a matter of scale Dark Eldar are small time evil, but in my opinion it all boils down to motivation. It's the intention that counts, and the Dark Eldar are the only ones lacking one. They're not working to rebuild their empire or secure their survival. They don't care for territory or resources. They have no grand plan and in a galactic scale have no ambition whatsoever. They just exist to overindulge themselves and keep wallowing in their excess and depravity forever, and unlike other races like the Orks or the Tyranids or the Oldcrons, they did get to choose. It could be argued that now they don't have a choice but they lost their ability to choose because they chose to do nothing to prevent it, and regardless they don't admit that they need to do evil to survive, even to themselves, so it is not truly their motivation.

As I said, they are evil without context, evil for evil's sake, and that's why I consider them the most evil race in the Warhammer 40k universe. Not the most destructive, not the most dangerous, not the most catastrophic. Just the most evil.

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JuankiMan said:

As I said, they are evil without context, evil for evil's sake, and that's why I consider them the most evil race in the Warhammer 40k universe. Not the most destructive, not the most dangerous, not the most catastrophic. Just the most evil.

You have a weird definition of evil :-P

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