One thing I find odd about the Eldar is their specialisation. Specialisation is for primitive creatures. Most of their units are focussed on doing one thing, and are dependant on each other for mutual support.
I think that with a greater level of technology comes a greater potential for tactical independence and self-sufficiency.
With the Eldar’s level of technology, every wet dream of present-day scientists, soldiers and generals is not only possible, but very, very old news.
I like Guardians; the models are good, they’re a decent troop type, and in the tabletop context, they fit well into the rest of the army.
But if you’re a technologically advanced dying race, what business do you have deploying citizen militia? Fairly unsophisticated militia at that, not counting the enhancements an accompanying Warlock can provide.
So, I prefer the idea of a better equipped, better integrated, more independent, more autonomous Eldar warrior, who is not so much a jack of all trades, but a master of many.
Supported by numerous robots.
I think the Eldar’s greatest weakness should be an irrational conceited stubbornness – a complete lack of humility. They have all the technology, all the knowledge, all the skill, but outright refuse to change or adapt by learning from their enemies. Not out of any reverence for those that have gone before them and established the present-day infrastructure, or for adherence to convention or tradition, but simply because of the careless rationale that they obviously shouldn’t have to adapt. The utter disdain they feel towards the other races of the galaxy prevents the Eldar from understanding them.
On a small scale, the highly perceptive Eldar would be capable of making astute observations of the enemy and adapting their approach quickly and efficiently. But at a more strategic level, the idea of enacting change due to external pressure from some insignificant herd of lesser beings is totally unconscionable.
Essentially, their foreign policy would have a dangerous self-destructive arrogance. I think they’d literally rather die than admit their approach is wrong, or that they could learn from their enemies, or that they might be more successful if they actually acknowledged other races as fellow sentient beings.
I think this attitude would have a great deal of sustainability, given that most of the time, the Eldar will outclass their adversaries by several orders of magnitude. So usually, their total contempt for the other inhabitants of the galaxy won’t get a chance to come back and bite them in the arse.
All throughout 2nd edition, Eldar were considered to be part of the ‘good guys’. In 3rd edition, they were altered to be far more self-serving and far removed from the image of being friendly, helpful, benevolent space elves. But to this day, I think a lot of, or possibly most people, still think of Eldar as being ‘good’.
I think that when encountered, Craftworld Eldar should be regarded as every bit as dangerous as Traitor Marines, Orks, Tyranids, and Eldar Pirates, possible even more so given their intelligence and advanced technology. The only thing that would make them less of an actual threat is that they’re not all about mindless destruction, consumption or enslavement all the time – only when it fits their purposes. On very rare occasions they can be reasoned with, and sometimes you’ll have a common enemy.
I think Eldar have a great deal of potential to be a whole lot creepier. They’re not merely wise, pointy-eared humans with long lifespans, who long ago conquered their emotions. They’re dangerous aliens with an incomprehensible psionic technological infrastructure and a massive superiority complex, and the fact that they look almost human should only make them freakier.
No matter how an Eldar is interacting with the lesser being, he would be incapable of seeing a human or other sentient creature, as directly analogous to anything more than an exotic and dangerous alien rat, that wants to plunder and soil his grain stores and kill him in his sleep. They wouldn’t even necessarily be malicious about it – they wouldn’t whine and complain to each other about ‘filthy mon-keigh’, they’d be cold and clinical in the way that they kill you, exploit you, manipulate you, or ignore you.
The only thing stopping the Eldar from splitting your skull open just to see what’s inside it, on the slightest whim of curiosity, is that he doesn’t want to suffer the inconvenience of soiling his blade with your innards. That your friends may shoot him after he cleaves your head may not even cross his mind.
Following those lines of reasoning, what you’d end up with isn’t anything like Tolkenian elves in space though, is it? Good.
Now, on to the gear.
I don't think any reputable Eldar would leave his Craftworld without this:
War Skin, 50 points: Encumberment 2/6 [meaning it weighs 6 kilograms, but since you're wearing it, only counts as 2]. A skin-tight suit that almost all Eldar wear beneath clothing and armour when venturing outside of their Craftworlds or into battle. Made primarily from a fabric externally similar in texture to finely scaled snakeskin, it is breathable while protecting the Eldar from excessive heat and cold, moisture, harmful chemicals and radiation, and suppressing the wearer’s infrared signature. It also integrates several conforming armoured nodules and blisters containing sub-systems and interfaces, and a small backpack unit with the primary function of providing a long-term source of low-output power, which can also be used for recharging standard power crystals. When combined with an appropriate helmet, the war skin allows the wearer to survive in a vacuum or in an environment of harmful hydraulic or pneumatic pressure, and the backpack unit can generate modest thrust for manoeuvring in zero gravity and underwater. It can filter poisonous atmospheres into breathable air, and contains a limited internal air supply, which will automatically replenish itself in a clean atmosphere.
The suit provides a small amount of armour protection, becoming momentarily rigid in the localised area when struck by an attack, and it has a limited ability to repair itself, sealing cuts and punctures, and releasing an expanding foam web that attempts to close larger gaps and tears. The wearer’s health status is monitored and their bodily functions regulated, providing several days sustenance through stored proteins, nutrients and recycling, and in case of injury the suit will minimise damage, automatically administer stimulants and regenerative compounds, and over extended time, aid in recovery.
All of this serves to greatly simplify the needs of an Eldar warrior, ranger or adventurer while abroad or in battle, providing them with all of the basic equipment they need to function in a hostile environment, and greatly reducing the logistical requirements of any group of Eldar in the field.
Armoured Bodyglove Armour 5 31/E0/1.5, Environmentally Sealed 4/E1, Vacuum Rated 5, self-sealing, unlimited gas mask 4/E1, self-replenishing 3-hour air supply 6/E1.5, Submersible 5, infrared camouflage 6/E0/1, automatic medical monitor/kit 10/E1.25, water manoeuvre jets/low gravity thrusters, 10,000 hour low-output power supply, can recharge a single power crystal in the space of 30 minutes, at the expenditure of 10 hours remaining power.
And I don't think any Eldar would want to find himself in combat without one of these:
War Mantle, 45 points: Encumberment 1.5/3. The war mantle is an array of standard equipment normally incorporated within a helmet, gorget, and vambraces, or other armour worn by an Eldar. Operated by the wearer’s thoughts through a direct mental interface, the war mantle keeps an Eldar seamlessly connected with his weapons and equipment, in close contact with his comrades, acutely aware of his surroundings, and constantly apprised of the broader Eldar-centric tactical situation as a whole. The information provided through the war mantle is unobtrusively overlayed onto the Eldar’s own senses and thoughts; he simply knows the location of enemies detected by other nearby Eldar, he is innately aware of the positions of allies and the direction of objectives, he can call for assistance without verbally relaying coordinates and descriptions, and he can designate targets for other Eldar just by looking and thinking.
CPU 4/E1 with mind link 5, incorporating comm-web link/team radio 6/E.5, environment sensors 3, full peripheral low-light 5/E.5 and infrared imaging 8/E1, illuminator 2, binocular vision 2, photon goggles 2, active ear defenders 5, and the effect of a 1x-9x 18/E.25 starlight 4/E.25 scope with scope link 6/E.25 and infrared laser sight (same effect, but does not utilise a laser) 8/E0 for all appropriate Eldar weapons.