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Not that it will happen games wise, but lets face it the Imperium is surely on borrowed time, yes?
So who will it be?
Orks, nah to dumb.
Eldar? To dead, or as well as.
Dark Eldar? To uninterested in conquest.
Tau? To small. In fact I think they will be Tyranid chowda.
Chaos? Hmmmm I would say no although I can't really say why.
For me it's a strait choice between the Tyranids and the Necrons, it's a case of whether the Necrons can wake up in time before the Tyranids eat everyone.
Those Tyranids are damn well unstoppable.
It'll be a combination of the Necron and the Nids' in the end, since they avoid each other they'll just go around killing every one else until all the Tyranids arrive and all the Necron are risen and they finish off the life in the galaxy, the Tyranid move on to another galaxy, the Necron go into Hybernation, and the Chaos Gods plot and plan for when mortals once again rise up and they can command them in their name.
"A souls screams are merely their cries of thanks to the Chaos
"Horus was weak. Horus was a fool. He had the whole galaxy within his grasp and he let it slip away!" -Abbadon The Despoiler
The Kroot: You are what you eat.
Tyranids: YOU are what WE eat.
Well, at first i should warn you, that a discussion like this has been done here a couple of times. Furthermore, it belongs to those kind of questions who are difficult to discuss from a neutral point of view, like which Space Marine Chapter kicks ass most.
But i will try and give my opinion on the matter.
You shouldn't put the Orks away so easily. They are without number and are easily replaced. Also, they are very adaptive and given a proper leader, capable of using quite advanced strategics and tactics. Furthermore, they act like a giant immune system to the galaxy, meaning the harder you fight them, the harder they get. To this very day, there are still large Ork Empires within the Imperium, and some of the most challenging campaigns the Imperium has fought were againt Ork Empires. On the other hand, the Orks are no single faction. They battle each other quite as often as they fight against other races and are unable to create, rule and hold an Empire on the galactic scale. This has less to do with their intellectual capabilties and more with their attitude of fighting everytime, everday.
The Eldar could weaken the Imperium drastically when they combine their forces, but they are not interested in doing so. Their enemy is Chaos (and to an extend, the Necrons).
I agree on the Dark Eldar.
Again, i wouldn't put the Tau on the loser side just by their numbers. They have only a small Empire, yes, but they have advanced far faster than any other major power in the Galaxy. 5000 years ago, their ancestors where little more than drooling fish-creatures and today they have a highly advanced technology. Given the slow advance of the Nids, who knows what they are capable of? Also, they have a clever system of diplomacy, so they may bolster their numbers with more human auxillaries and lesser species form the eastern fringe.
The thing about Chaos is familiar with the Ork one. You see, Abbadon has shown what Chaos is capable of, if united under one banner. So, if he continues to launch Black Crusades he might have a pretty good chance to seriously cripple the defences of the Carida Sector and to advance further into the Imperium. Or maybe some other high ranking Champion, like Angron or Mortarion, stops with killing thousands of Cultists and leads his armies personally one more time. Then Chaos is a very capable force, with a safe heaven to start from, one that neither the Nids nor the Necrons can ever hope to conquer.
The Necrons are a complicated matter. They have been a mighty race once, but given their infighting (the Deciever isn't a very reliable ally, hence his name), it would be quite hard to unite them for one single purpose. The Nightbringer may easily count as the single most powerful individual in the galaxy, but even he isn't indestrucible and his armies are far smaller then those he used to command in the old days. Given the fact that they pose as much as a threat to the Imperium then they do to Chaos, i doubt they can (and will) concentrate all their forces on one enemy. Folks like Abbadon or the Eldar would sure love to crush some Tomb Worlds while their backs are turned.
And lastly, the Nids. I guess you have your opinion from their Codex, which gives a sllightly overrated view on their abilities. Yes, their maybe billions upon billions of them, but they aren't indestructible. Their biological nature is a weakness, that could be exploited by their various enemys and considering their very nature, they are just an enemy to every other race. One could argue that the enemy of my enemy is my friend, but that just doesn't work for the Nids. While most races in the galaxy would love to see the Imperium fall, i sure doubt they would like that to happen in the way the Nids would do it. So basically they have to fight every other race and the Imperium has shown great adaptive abilities to every foe it has ever encountered. So just because they have huge numbers, doesn't gurantee their victory.
Humanitas dominatus omnis, de iam dum terminus aetas
It could be a single threat that turns out to be the ultimate doom it promises to be, or it could be a number of them. My own personal opinions include a huge number of the various race's "Apocalypse" events happening simultaneously, but that's a different discussion.
It could be infighting and fractures that tear the Imperium apart, leaving all the races in chaos in the wake of the vacuum of power.
It could be the Orks, should a sufficient Waaaagh! arise in response to the threat posed by various races (ref. Orks as the white blood cells of the galaxy thread). They'd just stomp every living thing into dust, then fall into infighting themselves (after the Necrons are duly raeped of course).
The Necrons could awaken fully (including the Dragon, who is more powerful than the Nightbringer IIRC) and divide and conquer the various races, then kill each other off.
The Tyranids could prove unstoppable blah blah blah.
Eldar could awaken Ynnead in time to defeat Slaanesh, disrupting the balance of power in Chaos and beginning the Rhana Dandra (actually I think this precedes the awakening of Ynnead, as it is the final battle against Chaos in which all Eldar die and then Ynnead awakens, correct me if I'm wrong). They in turn shall return to power as Chaos is defeated and once again they are able to reincarnate and reforge their broken Empire, casting down the Mon-Keigh.
Dark Eldar... not gonna happen.
Chaos could finally form a competent Black Crusade under someone better than Abby and make a beeline for Terra. Though the death of the Emperor's earthly vessel could result in the awakening of the Star Child. Though Cypher could do whatever he's planning too.
Perhaps the Star Child shall be reborn and the Emperor shall start from the ground up rebuilding his defiled domains.
Tau... they're gonna get curbstomped as soon as a decent Crusade is put together and Abaddon is tucked back into his hellhole.
I'm personally optimistic in thinking the Imperium will be around for a good long while.
@ Slaanesh being destroyed, the Dark Eldar wouldn't have to hide in the webway anymore. That would be interesting
Last edited by Caluin; January 27th, 2008 at 15:19.
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