Deep dive: Eldar mechanics

First, I'd like to preface this by saying that I'm incredibly happy to see all 12 BFG factions being included in the second game. In the modern age of DLCs and freeniums, this is a great step in the right direction and a huge boon to 40K players everywhere, especially with the recent events of DoW3.

With that said, I think much can be said about the design space specifically to the 3 Eldar races. BFG in general, is a fairly old game with several outdated mechanics from the table-top perspective. However, 40K as a whole has progressed quite a bit since when BFG and even the 2010 compendium was constructed. The new game is to take place hot off the heels of the Fall of Cadia, so we can assume that everything so far is at least updated with the 7th Edition if not 8th Edition codexes and FW additions.

To be perfectly fair to Tindalos, I think overall they did a pretty good job with their first game BFG:A. There was a lot of table-top fluff that they translated very well into a video game and that's always a challenge in itself. However, one of the areas I think they were the weakest was in their design of the Corsair Eldar fleet specifically. When you consider the huge amount of resources and fluff available to them (40K, FW, Black Library) that described Eldar technology in detail, I think overall it was a miss.

Here were some of the sore points for me:

Space shuriken cannons - Later changed to Starcannons thank goodness. However, Starcannons are still plasma technology vs. the laser batteries explicitly called out in BFG fluff. Not too big a deal I guess.
Pulsars - I don't know what happened here. Pulsars are simply gigantic lance batteries with a high ROF, so they can be comparable to a mix of a Pulse Laser with Lance properties. In BFG:A, they were mega death beams that did massive DoT. This is completely against the fluff and not representative of what Pulsars are at all.
Holo-fields - As of Doom of Mymeara, Corsair Eldar use a new technology called Corsair Kinetic Shroud. If you look at the description for these shields, it matches the current design of the Eldar Holo-fields exactly: The faster you go, the more powerful the shield becomes at negating damage (macro and lance). So if you want BFG:A to be lore-accurate, it should simply be renamed to Corsair Kinetic Shrouds.

Which brings me to this point: The current design of holo-fields in BFG:A is completely against Eldar fluff in almost every regard (EPIC 40K, all codices, all FW material, all Black Library). The fluff-accurate depiction of holo-fields should be that they distorted Eldar ships/titan image with multi-spectrum images that confused sensors and aim. A real life example can be in the form of an acid-laced beer goggles, or the fact that you're simply seeing double/triples. For real life applications, the best chance at hitting a quail or skeet would be with a shotgun (high ROF macro) and not a rifle (lance). For an in-game translation, this would impose a heavy accuracy debuff to lance weapons shooting at Eldar ships that are equipped in Holo-fields, vs. a minor penalty to macro weapons shooting at them (column shift roughly translates to 20% accuracy debuff if we're referring to range bands).

Now that that's out of the way, we should talk about what's new and design space. First, Craftworld Eldar and Corsair Eldar are relatively similar in terms of shared technology and application minus Holo-fields. New to the CW Aeldari specifically are in the inclusion of a new breed of fighter aircraft known as Crimson Hunters (first introduced in 6th Ed.), and they present the pinnacle of fighter air supremacy. While Corsair Aeldari heavily employ the use of Nightwing and Phoenix bombers, CW Eldar can enjoy the luxury of this elite shrine (Eldar Top Gun) and their Exarchs.

As for the Drukkari, this is where Tindalos has the most freedom in terms of design space. Not only has their entire faction changed in terms of aesthetics (compare 3rd vs. 5th artistic style), but they're also the most freeform for how they can be designed. However, I say this knowing how Shadowfields specifically barely changed in terms of the fluff for all this time, but lazily enough, DE was almost a copy and paste of Corsair/CW Eldar mechanics where the Shadowfields functioned exactly like Holo-fields (but by lore they functioned way different i.e. see Epic 40K), but Phantom lances were noticeably different. This is a slight departure from the traditional idea that this wepaon was just an upscaled Dark Lance (vs. Pulsars being a rapid fire capital ship Bright Lance), that it was more destructive in nature compared to the ROF benefits of a Pulsar. I'm not even going to go into slave-taking, their movement mechanics or Mimic Engines, but what can be said is that in BFG at least, they were very different but in times, similar due to lazy design. This also gives them the most flexibility when it comes to design space, especially when you factor in the fact that GW added a ton of design room with re-defining how Shadowfields work in 5th, and a few new additions like the "Void Lance" and "Void Mines" that the Voidraven Bomber uses. Razorwings are also new in this respect, especially when you factor in their multiple different missile types and weird-Al technology i.e. the Implosion stuff.

OK! So what does all this mean? I think this means that Tindalos has a golden opportunity to make all 3 Aeldari races very unique based off the facts presented here. I'll pitch out some surface-level ideas and leave the rest up for debate, but here are some thoughts from a fluff to table to game perspective. I'll list them out as "themes" that promotes a certain playstyle:

Corsair Aeldari Themes

Corsair Kinetic Shrouds - Current in-game design, promotes constant movement to maximize full damage negation on relatively less durable ships (compared to Wraithbone structure of CW Eldar).
Pulsars - Rapid-fire upscaled Bright Lances.
Generally better raiders than CW Eldar in terms of boarding assaults, and plentiful Nightwing/Phoenix bomber squadrons.
More plentiful than CW Eldar, but less disciplined and elite. Mid-way between Drukkari and CW.

Craftworld Aeldari Themes

Holo-fields - Greatly decreases enemy lance accuracy and slightly decreases enemy macro weaponry.
Pulsars - Rapid-fire upscaled Bright Lances.
Wraithbone constructs - The most durable of all Eldar ships in terms of durability and armor.
Elite and few - Are more elite in boarding and fighter actions due to Exarch Shrines. Has access to limited number of Crimson Hunters that can dominate air space. Better defensive boarding.

Drukkari Themes

Shadowfields - Near impenetrable shields vs. all weaponry, but can be overloaded if saturated and then disabled until it recharges. Picture Corsair Kinetric Shrouds at max at all times, but turns off entirely if overloaded with damage.
Phantom Lances - More destructive than Pulsars, but less Rate of Fire. Higher crit chance and burst damage, but not like the current BFG:A death beams.
Very fast, but very fragile - The most maneuverable and the fastest ships. Best acceleration, decel, turn rates, and raw speed, not reliant on Solar Sails, but has the lowest hit points and armor of all Eldar.
Strongest offensive boarding - Slavers and pirates, very strong boarding actions, but weaker on the defense.

How this translates to in-game themes out of a rating of 5:
Corsair

Firepower: 4 (Pulsars and lasers)
Maneuverability: 4 (Solar Sails)
Durability: 3 (Kinetic Shrouds, medium ship armor)
Boarding: 3 (offensive and defensive)
Squadrons: 4 (Nightwings and Phoenix)

Craftworld

Firepower: 4 (Pulsars and lasers)
Maneuverability: 4 (Solar Sails)
Durability: 4 (Holo-fields, Wraithbone)
Boarding: 4 (defensive), 3 offensive
Squadrons: 5 (Access to Crimson Exarch)

Drukkari

Firepower: 5 (Phantom lances, void weaponry, more weapons per point)
Maneuverability: 5 (speed and superior turn)
Durability: 2 (Shadowfields, true glass cannons)
Boarding: 4 (offensive), 2 defensive
Squadrons: 4 (Razorwings and Voidravens)

Relationship tree to each other:

Firepower: Drukkari > Corsair = CW
Maneuverability: Drukkari > Corsair = CW
Durability: CW > Corsair > Drukkari
Boarding: Corsair =< CW (defensive) =< Drukkari (offensive)
Squadrons: CW > Corsair = Drukkari

I think if Tindalos applies the theme true to Eldar fluff, they came come out with 3 uniquely different playstyles. The relationship tree tells us by fluff Drukkari will have more heavy weaponry per points and their weapons are more destructive in nature. Maneuverability is relatively the same between the 3 Aeldari races, but two of them rely on Solar Sails while the other is just naturally fast all-around (imagine a Frigate with perm retros and HETs). In terms of durability, all 3 races have uniquely different shielding, with CW having the highest hit points and armor vs Drukkari's paper planes. Boarding in the sense the Corsairs are the most balanced all-around vs. the more offensive Drukkari and defensive Craftworlders. Squadrons goes to the CW having the best pilots in the galaxy, in comparison to the larger number of Corsair squadrons vs. the more destructive Drukkari equivalents. As for points, to get a scope of the scale of each fleet's deployment, CW is the more expensive and elite vs. the more numerous Drukkari. Corsair is smack dead in the middle.

So what do you fellas think?

last edited by LKHERO

To be fair, i'm only commenting on areas I either disagree with or have something extra to say/add/explain.

@lkhero said in Deep dive: Eldar mechanics:

Space shuriken cannons - Later changed to Starcannons thank goodness. However, Starcannons are still plasma technology vs. the laser batteries explicitly called out in BFG fluff. Not too big a deal I guess.

Agreed. I suspect it was more an effort to keep things visually distinct.

Which brings me to this point: The current design of holo-fields in BFG:A is completely against Eldar fluff in almost every regard (EPIC 40K, all codices, all FW material, all Black Library). The fluff-accurate depiction of holo-fields should be that they distorted Eldar ships/titan image with multi-spectrum images that confused sensors and aim. A real life example can be in the form of an acid-laced beer goggles, or the fact that you're simply seeing double/triples. For real life applications, the best chance at hitting a quail or skeet would be with a shotgun (high ROF macro) and not a rifle (lance). For an in-game translation, this would impose a heavy accuracy debuff to lance weapons shooting at Eldar ships that are equipped in Holo-fields, vs. a minor penalty to macro weapons shooting at them (column shift roughly translates to 20% accuracy debuff if we're referring to range bands).

As I understand it, based on discussions during the beta, this was acknowledged as a "best fix" of the options they could reasonably pull off, from what I understand to do that would require a ship imposing changes on the other ships stats which they could not do, (Lances, Armour piercing etc from what I understand apply their debuffs on contact.) But being entirely fair, they did better than I was expecting. Holofields are ridiculously hard to pull off in an RTS environment that makes sense, and again, from the beta, the chosen mechanics was basically done to force players to actually play the Eldars high speed maneuver warfare. That if they were static penalties there wouldn't be any real call for the Eldar player to move, instead favouring sitting still and making the most of the forward-focussed firepower.

Now that that's out of the way, we should talk about what's new and design space. First, Craftworld Eldar and Corsair Eldar are relatively similar in terms of shared technology and application minus Holo-fields. New to the CW Aeldari specifically are in the inclusion of a new breed of fighter aircraft known as Crimson Hunters (first introduced in 6th Ed.), and they present the pinnacle of fighter air supremacy. While Corsair Aeldari heavily employ the use of Nightwing and Phoenix bombers, CW Eldar can enjoy the luxury of this elite shrine (Eldar Top Gun) and their Exarchs.

Only issue there is that none of those craft belong in space really. That's what Eagle and Darkstars are for, the Nightwing, Phoenix and Crimson Hunters are not proper spacecraft, they're ridiculously undergunned, undersized and under protected. (Compared to the Eagle and Darkstar, not compared to other races.)

As for the Drukkari, this is where Tindalos has the most freedom in terms of design space. Not only has their entire faction changed in terms of aesthetics (compare 3rd vs. 5th artistic style), but they're also the most freeform for how they can be designed. However, I say this knowing how Shadowfields specifically barely changed in terms of the fluff for all this time, but lazily enough, DE was almost a copy and paste of Corsair/CW Eldar mechanics where the Shadowfields functioned exactly like Holo-fields (but by lore they functioned way different i.e. see Epic 40K), but Phantom lances were noticeably different. This is a slight departure from the traditional idea that this wepaon was just an upscaled Dark Lance (vs. Pulsars being a rapid fire capital ship Bright Lance), that it was more destructive in nature compared to the ROF benefits of a Pulsar. I'm not even going to go into slave-taking, their movement mechanics or Mimic Engines, but what can be said is that in BFG at least, they were very different but in times, similar due to lazy design. This also gives them the most flexibility when it comes to design space, especially when you factor in the fact that GW added a ton of design room with re-defining how Shadowfields work in 5th, and a few new additions like the "Void Lance" and "Void Mines" that the Voidraven Bomber uses. Razorwings are also new in this respect, especially when you factor in their multiple different missile types and weird-Al technology i.e. the Implosion stuff.

What do you mean see Epic 40K? Last I checked the Dark Eldar never had any canon rules presented for Epic as Epic had passed into memory before the Dark Eldar were ever introduced. On the other points, agreed. Tindalos basically has to work from scratch on the Dark Eldar fleets anyway as TT only had two ships and a tiny handful of weapon options.

OK! So what does all this mean? I think this means that Tindalos has a golden opportunity to make all 3 Aeldari races very unique based off the facts presented here. I'll pitch out some surface-level ideas and leave the rest up for debate, but here are some thoughts from a fluff to table to game perspective. I'll list them out as "themes" that promotes a certain playstyle:

Corsair Aeldari Themes

Corsair Kinetic Shrouds - Current in-game design, promotes constant movement to maximize full damage negation on relatively less durable ships (compared to Wraithbone structure of CW Eldar).
Pulsars - Rapid-fire upscaled Bright Lances.
Generally better raiders than CW Eldar in terms of boarding assaults, and plentiful Nightwing/Phoenix bomber squadrons.
More plentiful than CW Eldar, but less disciplined and elite. Mid-way between Drukkari and CW.

Should be Eagles and Darkstars, not Nightwing or Phoenix.

Craftworld Aeldari Themes

Holo-fields - Greatly decreases enemy lance accuracy and slightly decreases enemy macro weaponry.
Pulsars - Rapid-fire upscaled Bright Lances.
Wraithbone constructs - The most durable of all Eldar ships in terms of durability and armor.
Elite and few - Are more elite in boarding and fighter actions due to Exarch Shrines. Has access to limited number of Crimson Hunters that can dominate air space. Better defensive boarding.

I'd keep it movement dependent for Holofields if only to force a player to actually treat them as Eldar ships and concentrate on manuever warfare instead of sit there and watch the silly primitives miss a lot.

Drukkari Themes

Shadowfields - Near impenetrable shields vs. all weaponry, but can be overloaded if saturated and then disabled until it recharges. Picture Corsair Kinetric Shrouds at max at all times, but turns off entirely if overloaded with damage.
Phantom Lances - More destructive than Pulsars, but less Rate of Fire. Higher crit chance and burst damage, but not like the current BFG:A death beams.
Very fast, but very fragile - The most maneuverable and the fastest ships. Best acceleration, decel, turn rates, and raw speed, not reliant on Solar Sails, but has the lowest hit points and armor of all Eldar.
Strongest offensive boarding - Slavers and pirates, very strong boarding actions, but weaker on the defense.

So you want Shadowfields to behave like standard void shields? That's not how starship scale Shadowfields work. They work by producing a fog-like field that make it hard to pinpoint or gain information about the ship or its location. (Stealth vs Craftworld or Gothic Era Eldar "simply" producing false-images, scattered holography, fake psionic, mass, thermal and even life readings etc)

Depending on if they keep BFG:A's detection mechanics, i'd suggest a permanent stealth, if they move out of a ships visual range, they become unidentified signals again with a light version of the current Eldar holofield mechanics. But shrugs there is a reason GW simply copy-pasted the effects of Holofields for Dark Eldar.

How this translates to in-game themes out of a rating of 5:
Corsair

Firepower: 4 (Pulsars and lasers)
Maneuverability: 4 (Solar Sails)
Durability: 3 (Kinetic Shrouds, medium ship armor)
Boarding: 3 (offensive and defensive)
Squadrons: 4 (Nightwings and Phoenix)

Eagles and Darkstars.

I think if Tindalos applies the theme true to Eldar fluff, they came come out with 3 uniquely different playstyles. The relationship tree tells us by fluff Drukkari will have more heavy weaponry per points and their weapons are more destructive in nature. Maneuverability is relatively the same between the 3 Aeldari races, but two of them rely on Solar Sails while the other is just naturally fast all-around (imagine a Frigate with perm retros and HETs). In terms of durability, all 3 races have uniquely different shielding, with CW having the highest hit points and armor vs Drukkari's paper planes. Boarding in the sense the Corsairs are the most balanced all-around vs. the more offensive Drukkari and defensive Craftworlders. Squadrons goes to the CW having the best pilots in the galaxy, in comparison to the larger number of Corsair squadrons vs. the more destructive Drukkari equivalents. As for points, to get a scope of the scale of each fleet's deployment, CW is the more expensive and elite vs. the more numerous Drukkari. Corsair is smack dead in the middle.

The Dark Eldars agility should be lower, per tabletop it is the Solar Sails that explicitly give the Eldar ships their agility and speed advantages over everyone bar Necrontyr. (Who go "lol, running away.. catches up and kills you with weapons that ignore holofields of any type completely as an explicit rule."

So what do you fellas think?

I'd also look at the classes for differentiation.

Craftworld; A Battlecruiser equivalent variant Dragonships, a couple types of Battleship, least escort classes to choose from.
Corsairs; Weak capital choices, one Battleship, no Battlecruiser tier, Cruisers are relatively weak (but cheap)
Drukhari; No proper Capitals, no Battleship or Battlecruiser variants. Strong and varied cruiser choices, perhaps ability to relocate flag during battle? "This toy is broken, i'm taking command of that one now!" (And by Strong I do mean in firepower and boarding, not in hull strength 😛 )

For Super-ships.

Craftworld; A pre-fall Dreadnought perhaps, Craftworlds are just too damned big, even the smallest ones are about twenty times the size of Phalanx.
Corsairs: The Flame of Asuryan. Unique Corsair Dragonship.
Drukhari: Some sort of pre-fall planetary assault ship, massive boarding bonuses, true shields, .. or maybe one of the big-ass spines of Commoragh converted into a slaving ship 😛

Personally, I'm not well-versed enough with the Space Elves to give a distinct opinion, but I just hope they're all different from one another, and not just a reskin.

Also, @Kadaeux , correct me if I'm wrong, but the two Vampire ships (Raider and Hunter) would be more appropriate for the Corsairs, would they not? They're close in size to the Manta, which the Tau use, and they're the exclusive toys of the Corsairs. Which in turn would leave the Eagle and Darkstar for Craftworlders, and the Voidraven for the Dark Eldar. Meaning everyone can be unique.

As for differences, the only thing I'd add to the Dark Eldar is a large focus on morale damage. Dark Eldar should absolutely lose in a stand up fight. But they should be able to make the opponent flee in great numbers, allowing them to pick on the survivors. Craftworlders should be the closest thing the Eldar get to a direct combat fleet, with low numbers but capable of surviving more than a spitball. Which would leave the Corsairs to act the closest to how they act now.

last edited by Romeo

@romeo said in Deep dive: Eldar mechanics:

Personally, I'm not well-versed enough with the Space Elves to give a distinct opinion, but I just hope they're all different from one another, and not just a reskin.

Also, @Kadaeux , correct me if I'm wrong, but the two Vampire ships (Raider and Hunter) would be more appropriate for the Corsairs, would they not? They're close in size to the Manta, which the Tau use, and they're the exclusive toys of the Corsairs. Which in turn would leave the Eagle and Darkstar for Craftworlders, and the Voidraven for the Dark Eldar. Meaning everyone can be unique.

As for differences, the only thing I'd add to the Dark Eldar is a large focus on morale damage. Dark Eldar should absolutely lose in a stand up fight. But they should be able to make the opponent flee in great numbers, allowing them to pick on the survivors. Craftworlders should be the closest thing the Eldar get to a direct combat fleet, with low numbers but capable of surviving more than a spitball. Which would leave the Corsairs to act the closest to how they act now.

The Eagle and Darkstars were introduced into the lore with the Corsairs and Battlefleet Gothic and I don't believe have been seen out of it, though I haven't exactly read everything Eldar.

@kadaeux Wow, quoting is actually really difficult with this new forum.

I'll try and pick up everything that you talked about, starting with Holo-fields:

I honestly don't think a different graphics/animation support combined with a flag that puts Holo-fields for being active if say, a ship has met 25 speed as a requirement, is a difficult thing to do. Likewise, code that suggests that If Holo-fields are active then apply an 80% accuracy penalty on X weapon class and a 20% on Y is difficult either. Remember what I'm saying here:
Holo-fields should activate when the ship is moving, I have never advertised that Eldar ships should ever be stationary nor should they be. In fact, if you look at the Eldar Titan Holo-fields, which are the biggest source of Holos outside of capital ships, you clearly need to move to get the best out of them. If you really want brownie points, you can even make them scale according to how much you move. For example, 100% speed means 80% chance a lance shot would miss, but 50% speed might mean you only get 60%. Not proportional numbers, but this should further illustrate the point that Holos are more effective on a moving target than stationary.

I chose Nightwings and Phoenixes because they're more in-line with what these factions use currently and more recognizable by 40K players. I don't think Eagles and Darkstars have been advertised recently in any published writing. We can't rule them out, but at the same time, we can also assume that they have been replaced much like the F-14 Tomcat (with the Super Hornet).

As for Drukkari Shadowfields, 2 things: One, Night Shields are now that "dark fog" mechanic and Shadowfields are more akin to an impenetrable shield. There's also Flickerfields which is just a straight up Invulnerable save, and we can always go back to the Pendant of Kaleth mechanic where the stronger your weapon, the stronger the shield (or save). This is what I mean when I say Dark Eldar has the design space because the lore and technology were almost completely redone. Shadowfields, if you look at Epic 40K, worked completely differently than that of Holo-fields (unlike in BFG). I would say that the Shadowfields in Epic, combined with the current lore of Shadowfields, is what we should get in BFG:A II.

On the point of new class types: CW has a new class now, as of Yriel's Raiders, they now have a GC or BB-class ship in the form of Yriel's flagship, Flame of Asuryan. This is a upclass of the Dragonship. Check it out, it has a FP of 16 and 2 lances. You can also see it in the trailer for BFG:A 2 where they showed off some of the ships they're making. Corsairs I'm fine with them just having the Void Stalker. It's a proper BB and arguably better armed than the FoA, although I would say they can introduce more Mk variants to spice things up. Also, Drukkari has a GC-class warship now, mentioned in the 5th Ed. DE codex where they talked about the massive ships being stolen and now being as flagships for Duke Silicus.

last edited by LKHERO

@lkhero

If you want to "break up" a quote in to different sections, delete one of the > things in between lines, and you can write within the gap.

@lkhero I think the suggestions are sound. I don't want three clones, and the distinctions are based in the wider lore of the two factions, even though GW never fleshed out the Craftworld or Dark Eldar fleets.

You got the wrong Strike Craft as well, the Eldar (like most factions) developed craft specifically for void combat but @Kadaeux has already pointed that out.

For the ships likely to be seen:
The Corsair Eldar ship list is already fully realised. Could possibly add the Dragonship to the roster of cruisers though, as they are known to use particularly Void Dragonships, as they are usually crewed by defected vanguard units of the Craftworld Eldar.

The Craftworld Eldar would have access to the entire Corsair ship list, as the Craftworlds (particularly the more milateristic ones) would have access to the full Eldar Naval arsenal, although with modified abilities and stats. They'll ships unique to them like the Shadow Hunter, and all three variants of the Dragonship.

The Dark Eldar are trickier as they have only two confirmed warships (the Corsair and the Torture), so ship designs are going to have to come from fan-designs or from the ancient decrepit vaults of Games Workshops own scrapped plans (assuming Tinadlos has access to such information).
As I do have plenty of knowledge on fleet compositions and starships in 40K, and taking into account the normal behaviour of the Dark Eldar, their are two possible lines of development. Either the Dark Eldar fleet will include very limited choice of Light Cruisers and Line Cruisers in favour of much more heavily armed Battlecruisers and Battleships (overwhelming firepower and glass-cannon hit-to-kill weapons being common in the Dark Eldar arsenal, to end fights quickly so their poorly defended raiders don't get crushed by enemy firepower. A large battleship or battle cruiser would also be fitting for an egotistical Archon to ride around in as he terrorises real space). OR a fleet that leans heavily on its escorts and light cruisers (a dedicated nomadic raiding fleet, as that dominates Dark Eldar society and military tactics). Or even some combination of the two. Some theoretic designs already exist in a fan-made PDF and seem to follow my assumptions. Dark Eldar there having 3 types of light cruiser and 2 types of battle cruiser.

last edited by CALiGeR_Reborn

@caliger_reborn said in Deep dive: Eldar mechanics:

@lkhero I think the suggestions are sound. I don't want three clones, and the distinctions are based in the wider lore of the two factions, even though GW never fleshed out the Craftworld or Dark Eldar fleets.

You got the wrong Strike Craft as well, the Eldar (like most factions) developed craft specifically for void combat but @Kadaeux has already pointed that out.

OK, I had to dig pretty hard, but I can confirm that Darkstars are now "recent" canon, and still being used actively by Corsairs. They were mentioned on pg.25 in the Doom of Mymrea (2nd Edition) in the section for The Battle for the Betalis System. So yes, looks like Eagles and Darkstars are indeed a voidcraft of choice still. Do Crimson Hunters still play a part here? If not, CW and Corsairs would be pretty identical in terms of strike craft.

For the ships likely to be seen:
The Corsair Eldar ship list is already fully realised. Could possibly add the Dragonship to the roster of cruisers though, as they are known to use particularly Void Dragonships, as they are usually crewed by defected vanguard units of the Craftworld Eldar.

The Craftworld Eldar would have access to the entire Corsair ship list, as the Craftworlds (particularly the more milateristic ones) would have access to the full Eldar Naval arsenal, although with modified abilities and stats. They'll ships unique to them like the Shadow Hunter, and all three variants of the Dragonship.

The Dark Eldar are trickier as they have only two confirmed warships (the Corsair and the Torture), so ship designs are going to have to come from fan-designs or from the ancient decrepit vaults of Games Workshops own scrapped plans (assuming Tinadlos has access to such information).
As I do have plenty of knowledge on fleet compositions and starships in 40K, and taking into account the normal behaviour of the Dark Eldar, their are two possible lines of development. Either the Dark Eldar fleet will include very limited choice of Light Cruisers and Line Cruisers in favour of much more heavily armed Battlecruisers and Battleships (overwhelming firepower and glass-cannon hit-to-kill weapons being common in the Dark Eldar arsenal, to end fights quickly so their poorly defended raiders don't get crushed by enemy firepower. A large battleship or battle cruiser would also be fitting for an egotistical Archon to ride around in as he terrorises real space). OR a fleet that leans heavily on its escorts and light cruisers (a dedicated nomadic raiding fleet, as that dominates Dark Eldar society and military tactics). Or even some combination of the two. Some theoretic designs already exist in a fan-made PDF and seem to follow my assumptions. Dark Eldar there having 3 types of light cruiser and 2 types of battle cruiser.

Don't have the book on me atm, but in the 5th Ed. Dark Eldar codex, on the timeline (I believe), it was mentioned that Duke Silicus' current flag ship is a GC-sized ship, so it looks like the Drukkari upscaled.

last edited by LKHERO

@lkhero I don't see why not , but its not made clear that they are void-capable. They are simply described as 'air supremacy' where dual purpose craft usually make mention of some feats in space (eg, the Thunderhawk, which is described as both aerial and Void capable).

But if they are, they would be less powerful than the Dark Star in terms of firepower. Exarchs having half the firepower of the Dark Star with two Star Cannons, the 'standard' Nightshade having two bright Lances and a Pulsar Laser, although that should be sufficient firepower to take down most void craft. A Fury being roughly as tough as a Leman Russ if its ability to take glancing hits from Lascannons is telling of its protection.

The Nightshades are small, but not unthinkably small, for a void craft. About 14m in length. But that would really just play into the strengths of the Crimson Hunters. I don't think its too much of a stretch to say they could play a part in void battles though, if they are deployed from space craft.

last edited by CALiGeR_Reborn

@lkhero said in Deep dive: Eldar mechanics:

@kadaeux Wow, quoting is actually really difficult with this new forum.

I'll try and pick up everything that you talked about, starting with Holo-fields:

I honestly don't think a different graphics/animation support combined with a flag that puts Holo-fields for being active if say, a ship has met 25 speed as a requirement, is a difficult thing to do. Likewise, code that suggests that If Holo-fields are active then apply an 80% accuracy penalty on X weapon class and a 20% on Y is difficult either. Remember what I'm saying here:

The issue with the code, last I saw, was imposing forced penalties on the enemies ships before they fired, then trying to sort out which ship was effected by which penalties against which target. We're talking huge code bloat. Hell, i'm thinking close to 100 lines of code just there, not counting variable storage. Moreover given that in multiplayer, based on BFG 1 the information is stored client-side leaves multiplayer even more significantly open to hacking.

I chose Nightwings and Phoenixes because they're more in-line with what these factions use currently and more recognizable by 40K players. I don't think Eagles and Darkstars have been advertised recently in any published writing. We can't rule them out, but at the same time, we can also assume that they have been replaced much like the F-14 Tomcat (with the Super Hornet).

It doesn't need to be advertised. It needs to be what they actually use, which is Eagles and Darkstars. To use your metaphor. It's like trying to replace an F-22 with a Sopwith Camel, the Phoenix and Nighwings are quite literally pathetic in terms of void warfare. The Fury Interceptor used by the Imperium is significantly larger than a Marauder, carries ten rapid fire lascannons and void-capable missiles. The Eagles are supposed to be superior to that. A Fury would gun down as many Nightwings as it wanted without any real sense of danger.

As for Drukkari Shadowfields, 2 things: One, Night Shields are now that "dark fog" mechanic and Shadowfields are more akin to an impenetrable shield. There's also Flickerfields which is just a straight up Invulnerable save, and we can always go back to the Pendant of Kaleth mechanic where the stronger your weapon, the stronger the shield (or save). This is what I mean when I say Dark Eldar has the design space because the lore and technology were almost completely redone. Shadowfields, if you look at Epic 40K, worked completely differently than that of Holo-fields (unlike in BFG). I would say that the Shadowfields in Epic, combined with the current lore of Shadowfields, is what we should get in BFG:A II.

I would say that the lore we have for Dark Eldar's usage of Shadow Fields in space should remain unchanged. Dark Eldar ships don't magically change shield types from a described type just because of a name change. And again, what shadowfields in epic? The Dark Eldar never had any canon representation in Epic 40k.

On the point of new class types: CW has a new class now, as of Yriel's Raiders, they now have a GC or BB-class ship in the form of Yriel's flagship, Flame of Asuryan. This is a upclass of the Dragonship. Check it out, it has a FP of 16 and 2 lances. You can also see it in the trailer for BFG:A 2 where they showed off some of the ships they're making. Corsairs I'm fine with them just having the Void Stalker. It's a proper BB and arguably better armed than the FoA, although I would say they can introduce more Mk variants to spice things up. Also, Drukkari has a GC-class warship now, mentioned in the 5th Ed. DE codex where they talked about the massive ships being stolen and now being as flagships for Duke Silicus.

The Flame of Asuryan, per tabletop rules, is actually a Cruiser. (On the flipside, I could also see CW Eldar being without Battleships, their fleets are supposed to be last ditch defenders of the Craftworld...) the issue really is how much all three brands of eldar poach from one another. Shrugs

@LKHERO

For some context.

Only War gives us the following for a Leman Russ's armour.

Front 40, Side 32, Rear 20 with an integrity of 55.

Rogue Trader gives us the following for the Darkstar and Eagle.

The Darkstar Fighter
Front 34, Side 34, Rear 26 with an integrity of 26
(Also 2 Bright Lances, 2 Star Cannons)

The Eagle Bomber
Front 36, Side 36, Rear 30 with an integrity of 30
(3 Clusters of co-pilot operated Star Cannons)
50 self-propelled sonic charges.

Now we have to backtrack to the tabletop rules to get other comparison points.

Leman Russ
Front 14, Sides 13, Rear 10.

Nightwing: (IA 2)
All sides, 10.

Vampire: (IA Apocalypse)
All sides, 10.

Void Dragon Phoenix: (IA Apocalypse)
All sides, 10.

As you can see, in both cases, none of the craft are as well protected as a Leman Russes frontal armour. But the Nightwing, Vampire and Phoenix are all worse protected than a Leman Russes front and side armour.

Meanwhile, all facings of a Darkstar and Eagle are better than a Russes side armour. Furthermore, even the Eagle has a higher maneuvrability than the Fury Interceptor, with the Darkstar having a significantly higher maneuverability. (In fact, the Eagle also has the exact same armour rating as a Calixis pattern Fury Interceptor)

And I think it goes without saying that all five types of craft have holofield protection.

@kadaeux there was one epic book online with Druhkari online but i think its a fan book.

Interesting stats from the old RT days. I will say that was before my time!

@lkhero said in Deep dive: Eldar mechanics:

Interesting stats from the old RT days. I will say that was before my time!

Nah, the RPG not 1st ed 40k 😛

@lkhero said in Deep dive: Eldar mechanics:

First, I'd like to preface this by saying that I'm incredibly happy to see all 12 BFG factions being included in the second game. In the modern age of DLCs and freeniums, this is a great step in the right direction and a huge boon to 40K players everywhere, especially with the recent events of DoW3.

No DoW game ever released with all races and factions they all initially started out with 4 and got races later except for DoW 3. I wouldnt even consider BFGA 2 featuring 12 factions as a big deal because most of the new factions are reskins of each other. If anything it kinda worries me. And BFGA 2 will absolutly get DLC.

With that said, I think much can be said about the design space specifically to the 3 Eldar races. BFG in general, is a fairly old game with several outdated mechanics from the table-top perspective. However, 40K as a whole has progressed quite a bit since when BFG and even the 2010 compendium was constructed. The new game is to take place hot off the heels of the Fall of Cadia, so we can assume that everything so far is at least updated with the 7th Edition if not 8th Edition codexes and FW additions.

To be perfectly fair to Tindalos, I think overall they did a pretty good job with their first game BFG:A. There was a lot of table-top fluff that they translated very well into a video game and that's always a challenge in itself. However, one of the areas I think they were the weakest was in their design of the Corsair Eldar fleet specifically. When you consider the huge amount of resources and fluff available to them (40K, FW, Black Library) that described Eldar technology in detail, I think overall it was a miss.

Here were some of the sore points for me:

Space shuriken cannons - Later changed to Starcannons thank goodness. However, Starcannons are still plasma technology vs. the laser batteries explicitly called out in BFG fluff. Not too big a deal I guess.
Pulsars - I don't know what happened here. Pulsars are simply gigantic lance batteries with a high ROF, so they can be comparable to a mix of a Pulse Laser with Lance properties. In BFG:A, they were mega death beams that did massive DoT. This is completely against the fluff and not representative of what Pulsars are at all.
Holo-fields - As of Doom of Mymeara, Corsair Eldar use a new technology called Corsair Kinetic Shroud. If you look at the description for these shields, it matches the current design of the Eldar Holo-fields exactly: The faster you go, the more powerful the shield becomes at negating damage (macro and lance). So if you want BFG:A to be lore-accurate, it should simply be renamed to Corsair Kinetic Shrouds.

Which brings me to this point: The current design of holo-fields in BFG:A is completely against Eldar fluff in almost every regard (EPIC 40K, all codices, all FW material, all Black Library). The fluff-accurate depiction of holo-fields should be that they distorted Eldar ships/titan image with multi-spectrum images that confused sensors and aim. A real life example can be in the form of an acid-laced beer goggles, or the fact that you're simply seeing double/triples. For real life applications, the best chance at hitting a quail or skeet would be with a shotgun (high ROF macro) and not a rifle (lance). For an in-game translation, this would impose a heavy accuracy debuff to lance weapons shooting at Eldar ships that are equipped in Holo-fields, vs. a minor penalty to macro weapons shooting at them (column shift roughly translates to 20% accuracy debuff if we're referring to range bands).

This is something they will have to figure out. But they got to be careful how they impliment the reduction values and eldar mechanics cause in the first game on release eldar ships were tankier than all the other ships because of the rediculously high miss chances.

Now that that's out of the way, we should talk about what's new and design space. First, Craftworld Eldar and Corsair Eldar are relatively similar in terms of shared technology and application minus Holo-fields. New to the CW Aeldari specifically are in the inclusion of a new breed of fighter aircraft known as Crimson Hunters (first introduced in 6th Ed.), and they present the pinnacle of fighter air supremacy. While Corsair Aeldari heavily employ the use of Nightwing and Phoenix bombers, CW Eldar can enjoy the luxury of this elite shrine (Eldar Top Gun) and their Exarchs.

As for the Drukkari, this is where Tindalos has the most freedom in terms of design space. Not only has their entire faction changed in terms of aesthetics (compare 3rd vs. 5th artistic style), but they're also the most freeform for how they can be designed. However, I say this knowing how Shadowfields specifically barely changed in terms of the fluff for all this time, but lazily enough, DE was almost a copy and paste of Corsair/CW Eldar mechanics where the Shadowfields functioned exactly like Holo-fields (but by lore they functioned way different i.e. see Epic 40K), but Phantom lances were noticeably different. This is a slight departure from the traditional idea that this wepaon was just an upscaled Dark Lance (vs. Pulsars being a rapid fire capital ship Bright Lance), that it was more destructive in nature compared to the ROF benefits of a Pulsar. I'm not even going to go into slave-taking, their movement mechanics or Mimic Engines, but what can be said is that in BFG at least, they were very different but in times, similar due to lazy design. This also gives them the most flexibility when it comes to design space, especially when you factor in the fact that GW added a ton of design room with re-defining how Shadowfields work in 5th, and a few new additions like the "Void Lance" and "Void Mines" that the Voidraven Bomber uses. Razorwings are also new in this respect, especially when you factor in their multiple different missile types and weird-Al technology i.e. the Implosion stuff.

OK! So what does all this mean? I think this means that Tindalos has a golden opportunity to make all 3 Aeldari races very unique based off the facts presented here. I'll pitch out some surface-level ideas and leave the rest up for debate, but here are some thoughts from a fluff to table to game perspective. I'll list them out as "themes" that promotes a certain playstyle:

Corsair Aeldari Themes

Corsair Kinetic Shrouds - Current in-game design, promotes constant movement to maximize full damage negation on relatively less durable ships (compared to Wraithbone structure of CW Eldar).
Pulsars - Rapid-fire upscaled Bright Lances.
Generally better raiders than CW Eldar in terms of boarding assaults, and plentiful Nightwing/Phoenix bomber squadrons.
More plentiful than CW Eldar, but less disciplined and elite. Mid-way between Drukkari and CW.

Craftworld Aeldari Themes

Holo-fields - Greatly decreases enemy lance accuracy and slightly decreases enemy macro weaponry.
Pulsars - Rapid-fire upscaled Bright Lances.
Wraithbone constructs - The most durable of all Eldar ships in terms of durability and armor.
Elite and few - Are more elite in boarding and fighter actions due to Exarch Shrines. Has access to limited number of Crimson Hunters that can dominate air space. Better defensive boarding.

Drukkari Themes

Shadowfields - Near impenetrable shields vs. all weaponry, but can be overloaded if saturated and then disabled until it recharges. Picture Corsair Kinetric Shrouds at max at all times, but turns off entirely if overloaded with damage.
Phantom Lances - More destructive than Pulsars, but less Rate of Fire. Higher crit chance and burst damage, but not like the current BFG:A death beams.
Very fast, but very fragile - The most maneuverable and the fastest ships. Best acceleration, decel, turn rates, and raw speed, not reliant on Solar Sails, but has the lowest hit points and armor of all Eldar.
Strongest offensive boarding - Slavers and pirates, very strong boarding actions, but weaker on the defense.

How this translates to in-game themes out of a rating of 5:
Corsair

Firepower: 4 (Pulsars and lasers)
Maneuverability: 4 (Solar Sails)
Durability: 3 (Kinetic Shrouds, medium ship armor)
Boarding: 3 (offensive and defensive)
Squadrons: 4 (Nightwings and Phoenix)

Craftworld

Firepower: 4 (Pulsars and lasers)
Maneuverability: 4 (Solar Sails)
Durability: 4 (Holo-fields, Wraithbone)
Boarding: 4 (defensive), 3 offensive
Squadrons: 5 (Access to Crimson Exarch)

Drukkari

Firepower: 5 (Phantom lances, void weaponry, more weapons per point)
Maneuverability: 5 (speed and superior turn)
Durability: 2 (Shadowfields, true glass cannons)
Boarding: 4 (offensive), 2 defensive
Squadrons: 4 (Razorwings and Voidravens)

Relationship tree to each other:

Firepower: Drukkari > Corsair = CW
Maneuverability: Drukkari > Corsair = CW
Durability: CW > Corsair > Drukkari
Boarding: Corsair =< CW (defensive) =< Drukkari (offensive)
Squadrons: CW > Corsair = Drukkari

I think if Tindalos applies the theme true to Eldar fluff, they came come out with 3 uniquely different playstyles. The relationship tree tells us by fluff Drukkari will have more heavy weaponry per points and their weapons are more destructive in nature. Maneuverability is relatively the same between the 3 Aeldari races, but two of them rely on Solar Sails while the other is just naturally fast all-around (imagine a Frigate with perm retros and HETs). In terms of durability, all 3 races have uniquely different shielding, with CW having the highest hit points and armor vs Drukkari's paper planes. Boarding in the sense the Corsairs are the most balanced all-around vs. the more offensive Drukkari and defensive Craftworlders. Squadrons goes to the CW having the best pilots in the galaxy, in comparison to the larger number of Corsair squadrons vs. the more destructive Drukkari equivalents. As for points, to get a scope of the scale of each fleet's deployment, CW is the more expensive and elite vs. the more numerous Drukkari. Corsair is smack dead in the middle.

So what do you fellas think?

I just hope they figure out a way to not make pulsars low risk high reward abilities and make it a passive attack with a fire ark of 25° degrees with reload but make it so it does decent damage. They will have to also figure out some other ways to make eldar work properly with the 2 D style game so people will have a easier time playing eldar. The gimmicky vauls maneuver bandaid mechanic wont cut it. Hell even slowing the game down by 1/4 would help eldar players out to control the awkward way that race plays

Pulsars should be lances with lower range but better rate of fire.

To solve the forward only firepower, I would say they should have the same forward- 180 to the side on left and right side weapon arcs as Tau weapons. This would let eldar go side by side instead of only forward.

270° turrets where a mistake for tau and they would be a mistake for eldar
eldar should have 90° frontal (maybe 120° frontal tho its stretching it) and tau should have had 180° broadside
turreted weapons have more consequences then just the firing arc

also having eldar as broadside ships breaks lore in every possible way
also means facing would mean nothing for them getting full firepower no matter how you are facing
while eldar do need quite a rework, that idea would just not work

@ashardalon said in Deep dive: Eldar mechanics:

270° turrets where a mistake for tau and they would be a mistake for eldar
eldar should have 90° frontal (maybe 120° frontal tho its stretching it) and tau should have had 180° broadside
turreted weapons have more consequences then just the firing arc

also having eldar as broadside ships breaks lore in every possible way
also means facing would mean nothing for them getting full firepower no matter how you are facing
while eldar do need quite a rework, that idea would just not work

I think 90° fire arc for pulsar and closer range and maybe decent but not brutal alpha would work out nicely. They would still have to get close and make strafing runs with pulsars.

@ashardalon said in Deep dive: Eldar mechanics:

270° turrets where a mistake for tau and they would be a mistake for eldar
eldar should have 90° frontal (maybe 120° frontal tho its stretching it) and tau should have had 180° broadside
turreted weapons have more consequences then just the firing arc

also having eldar as broadside ships breaks lore in every possible way
also means facing would mean nothing for them getting full firepower no matter how you are facing
while eldar do need quite a rework, that idea would just not work

Not 180 broadside per se. It should be broad/front (No firing into the rear fire arc.) (90d front, 90d sides)

The Tau are supposed to get full firepower on a frontal assault, but also be vulnerable in doing so because they're relatively slow, unagile with poor armour, and a prow critical brings down the deflector permanently.

@kadaeux emphasis on supposed to.

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