Warhammer 40,000: Gladius is adding another new faction next week

Craftworld Aeldari
(Image credit: Slitherine)

Warhammer 40,000 Gladius – Relics of War is not our favorite WH40K game of all time: We called it "a plodding and predictable 4X strategy game that's relaxing in its own way, but rarely challenging" in our 61/100 review, and placed it 25/39 in our comprehensive ranking of every Warhammer 40,000 game. But Proxy Studios and Slitherine have stuck with it, releasing multiple DLC packages including the Tyranid, Chaos Space Marine, and T'au factions, and next week the Craftworld Aeldari will join the fight.

The Craftworld Aeldari bring 19 new and "extremely versatile" units to the game that are highly mobile and effective at both ranged and close combat. Their one weakness is their relatively small number and slow growth rate, which makes recovering from losses difficult: "Aeldari lives are rare and precious and any loss will be felt greatly," Slitherine said.

Naturally, because this is Warhammer 40K, there is also lore, much lore, which I will include below for the benefit of those who enjoy such things, and also just because it's some quality grimdark table-setting:

Eons ago the Old Ones and the Necrons fought The War in Heaven. The Old Ones lost, but their mantle was inherited by one of their creations—the Aeldari, a psychically-powerful race of immense sensitivity. Over the subsequent millenia, they ruled the galaxy, slipping over time deeper and deeper into depravity and arrogance.

Their golden age ended with the birth of Slaanesh, the Chaos God of pleasure. At the moment of her birth, the core of the Aeldari civilization was utterly destroyed, its citizens’ souls and even its pantheon all but consumed by the nascent god. Where the Aeldari homeworlds once were, now there is only the Eye of Terror, a massive rift into the Warp. Only a few Aeldari survived: the hardy Exodites; the degenerate Drukhari and mysterious Harlequins, hiding in the Webway; and the restrained Aeldari, on enormous ships known as Craftworlds.

Doomed and declining, the Aeldari seek to avoid their own consumption by Slaanesh at all costs. They find themselves on Gladius Prime, chasing a Farseer’s prediction that this planet is key to the survival of all Aeldari...

The Craftworld Aeldari will also have their own unique mechanics: They can move swiftly across the battlefield with Webway Gates, gain a loyalty boost by focusing their spiritual consciousness, move after using their actions, and gain an accuracy and damage bonus when fighting the forces of Chaos. But, reflecting their downfall at the hands of Slaanesh, they suffer a reduced city growth rate, hampering their income and unit production.

Warhammer 40,000 Gladius – Relics of War will welcome the Craftworld Aeldari to the fray on November 12. You can find out more about the faction on Steam or at slitherine.com, and if you want more of that sweet lore you can learn all there is to know at the Warhammer 40K Wiki.

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.