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Who is the biggest threat to the imperium?

24168 Views 338 Replies 159 Participants Last post by  arhain
my vote goes to necrons.

any other opinons?
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at least then, he would be reborn as the star child thing and the imperium would begin to prosper again, rather than fester as it does in the current fuff.
at least then, he would be reborn as the star child thing and the imperium would begin to prosper again, rather than fester as it does in the current fuff.
I theorize that if the emperor was unplugged, the time it takes the Ecclestiarchy to find his reincarnation (think about it, untold billions of people, its like finding a needle in a haystack, or a rather pshycically endowed needle) is more than enough time for massive upheaval in the Imperium and massive attacks from public enemy numero uno, Mr. Abbadon. A black cruesade will strike at Terra in its weak state and we will see the Imperium fracture and be killed off by the rest of the warlike species.
(I understand this is a little old, but its a pretty good discussion)

I think far too many people underestimate the Imperium.

Sure, it is bureaucratic and slow, but that's only a result of its immense size. The Imperium takes up the better part of an entire galaxy!

Sure, the Tau can act faster, but that's because they are relatively an ant! The forces of Chaos are similar, they take some time to get in order, but the only reason they can at all is because of their size.

Switch any race with the Imperium and it would encounter the exact same problems, maybe more so in the case of Chaos, excepting the Tyranids due to the hive mind.

The Imperium has endured for ten thousand years already, and it doesn't show any immediate signs of decline.

Now onto what I consider the greatest threat; Tyranids.

To me the Tyranids are a tough choice, unlike the forces of Chaos they are not so insidious (although genestealer cults can at times be) nor do they have the same idealogical threat the Tau represent. The Eldar are some of the most manipulative, and have some of the most powerful foresight and the Necrons seem all but unstoppable.

However all thsoe other races have their flaws.

Chaos is scary all right, but it has so many dissident elements now that it simply doesn't have what it takes to rule for a long time, not to mention it is basically the evil twin of the Imperium, lacking any particular edge over their faithful brothers and being a lot smaller.

The Tau are simply too small, not to mention they don't know much about the forces of Chaos and psychic powers, hell the Tau are already beginning to fracture and to add to it they can't navigate the warp and due to no psykers they likely never will be, reducing them to a crawl at best.

Even in combat the Tau have some pronounced weaknesses, especially at close combat and the Kroot can't always be there to help them out on this front.

But to add to this, the Tau don't have the manipulative strength of the Eldar.

Right now any serious attack by the Imperium or Tyranids would cripple if not destroy the Tau.

I'm not saying they will never be a threat, because that would be naive, but right now the Tau aren't, and thanks to their inability to warp, they probably will stay that way for a long time.

The Necrons sure are scary, they are arguably the most advanced race in the galaxy, the only one to have developed non-warp faster-than-light travel and their technology has progressed to the point that they have mastery over pretty much all of the material universe.

The Necrons are also notoriously hard to kill and keep dead, and they have some of the most advanced anti-psyker tech in the galaxy.

But like the Tau, the Necrons are too small as it is to be a threat, they are also more fractious and unlike the Tau they have a limited ability to grow, once all the Necrons are awakened that will be it, with the exception of Pariahs but they are very, very rare.

The Eldar are a hard foe to fight and kill, because it isn't necessarily their way, they are small like the Tau and more advanced in many respects and to top it all off they are also some of the most gifted psykers in the galaxy, certainly the most controlled.

The Eldar are also very manipulative, shown to be able to pit enemy against enemy and show themselves to finish the weaker victor off.

However like the Necrons the Eldar have a very limited ability to grow, indeed they are still in decline with the exception of some exodite worlds, to add to this the Eldar also seem to lack the will to bring themselves back, adopting a fatalistic mindset.

The Ork are another very fierce problem, they have no fear of death and despite their lack of anythign resembling sophistication, they are almost immune to corruption. They are simple, yet brutally effective, being the only race to date that has been able to out-infest the Tyranids.

However, unlike the Tyranids and like Chaos Orks simply are too fractious, sure a great warlord could unite many, many Orks but all it takes is for him to die and everything falls apart and has to be remade, a smart au/Eldar/Imperial would have a small stealth regiment assigned to as many Ork Worlds as possible to ensure no Ork could ever gain control of a multi-planet Waaaaaagggghh.

In addition to this, despite their fearless nature the Orks have only a basic knowledge of strategy and tactics, they tend to have a lot of stamina and resistance and use this to good advantage, but when their enemy is put in a 'harder' position they begin to fail (numerous battles against other races, Tau especially where they simply throw themselves against the enemy until they run out of Ork and are beaten down in the counter attack.)

The Dark Eldar are even less of a threat, possessing arguably less strength than the Eldar and lacking the same will to interfere, instead basically living as hedonists.

The Tyranids, however seem inevitable to succeed.

They are capable of stripping every planet of biomass, more than they could ever lose in an assault (dead Tyranids are also re-absorbed.)

Once free a Tyranid invasion is very rarely stopped except by Exterminatus, and doing such to every Tyranid attacked planet is not an option.

To add to this the Tyranids are capable of blocking out all communication in the warp for several light years around a planet, they also adapt freakishly fast, within days, to suit their environment and these adaptions quickly spread through all the hive fleets.

These adaptions are also made more pronounced with new DNA absorbed.

The Hive Fleets are also smarter than one would think, especially when choosing targets, I think there's a reason they targeted Macragge, can you imagine what would happen if the Tyranids got a hold of Primarch DNA?

The Tyranids are also possibly the most abundant races in the universe, the impression being that each hive fleet is only the merest taste of the true size of the Tyranids, with dozens more coming.

Unless I'm mistaken Inquistor Kryptman also said something like that the Imperium would need to draft several entire sectors of able-bodied men to merely stop the Tyranids, such a move hasn't even been mentioned in regard to crushing Chaos!

Lastly we've seen how brutally effective the Tyranids are. They've taken out two space marine chapters and most of an Eldar craftworld, combine this with genestealer cults and rebellions that guide the way and to me they are clearly the most immense threat to not just the Imperium, but the galaxy.
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I agree 100% with essim. In a nutshell if u throw rocks at tyranids u might kill a few but then they evolve to have anti rock defence then youre screwed all over again this also make it impossible to really make a solid tactic for fighting them because they are always changing
Wow, after all this time I finally make a post...

The number one threat to the Imperium is itself, plain and simple..

First, disregard all of the OTHER reasons why the Imperium is dangerous, like religion, fanatacism, complete disregard for life, etc. and look only at what a directed Imperium can do.

With the Emperor at the wheel, how quickly did the Crusade advance? Yes, many of the worlds that joined were already settled and home to mankind, but just as many, if not more, were openly hostile to the idea, thus, many wars. Even with all that, it took the Crusade what, three hundred years to claim most of the known galaxy? Yes, Maccarius cut a swath through parts and there have been subsequent conquests and expansions, but nothing even comes close to the original, especially since much of what Maccarius claimed was actually retaking worlds that had been claimed then lost during the Heresey.

So let's say that the original Crusade took, oh, 75% of the galaxy in 300 years. If anyone has the specific numbers, let me know. Still, going off that base figure, that's a lot of conquest. That means dozens, maybe hundreds, of worlds every single year were conquered by the Imperium. How long does it take for a hive fleet to strip a single world bare and move on?

So we now have to imagine that massive amount of war effort, but without a purpose. The High Lords are there, yes, but they each have their own agenda, as do the various lord-generals, planetary rulers, and such. Thus, you now have an even larger military force, but without a single, motivated leader; instead it is fractured and pulled by various special interests. The greatest military force in the Galaxy (yes, bigger than Orks, for a number of reasons) is now left to sit and wait. The fringes suffer and are on constant alert, like Cadia, but the interior is insulated against external threats - thus, any and all threats they experience are internal, a byproduct of this new-found idleness. An occasional Xenos raid or natural event happens, but the vast majority of evil wrought on these inner worlds is a product of Men - be they cultists (Could be an argument for Chaos, but I prefer the idea of human weakness) or simply egotistical nobles, they're still men, by and large.

The next big question is whether or not there are any external threats that can match or exceed the threat that Man poses to himself and, more importantly, whether or not they could stop a directed Imperium.

Tau - Even with all their technology, the Tau, at the moment, are nothing compared to the Imperium. They number only a few hundred worlds; compare that to the military output of the 1,000,000+ worlds of the Imperium. That means each Tau unit would need to be able to destroy at least a couple THOUSAND of their Imperial counterparts to be on equal terms.

Tyranids - Once again, how long does it take for a hive fleet to finish with a world and move on? Yes, they get stronger with every world they eat, but by destroying their food supply (ie a world they just fought for) they can be weakened. This is disregarding the fact that their nautical units are lacking in the long-range dept. and that a co-ordinated offensive of bombardment cannons would suffer few, if any, casualties while destroying a hive fleet.

Necrons - It took them thousands of years to even get a draw out of the Slann for control of the Galaxy. Plus, they're currently just waking up. A systematic offensive would wipe them out, especially if combined with a renewed scientific R&D.

Chaos - I point you to the Heresy, when they had almost half the Imperium under their sway, and they still lost. Today, it wouldn't even be a contest.

Orks - Interestingly, they're much like the Imperium - their own worst enemy. but unlike the Imperium, they will never combine under a single massive banner like Man does. Old Ghaz might have got a good Waaagh going, but even with superior numbers, he couldn't win. While full-scale elimination might not be feasable (at the moment) their numbers can at least be controlled.

... And with that, I'm off to bed. Give me a bit of time, and we'll see what else I can come up with.
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Biggest threat

This question cannot be fully answered but I'll share my thoughts :)
Chaos, unless somehow the chaos gods were killed there will always be chaos in the universe and they are supposed to be capable of outliving time itself. So theres the first everlasting threat:)
Eldar and their evil twins are as good as dead, they seem to want to die they say they ruled the galaxy and now they're dieing because of their arrogance..yes they are and they aren't a threat unless they think of a cunning plan which they tend to do if you read their back history fluff.
Tau are advanced but they are few and they wont be able to muster the numbers in time to either defeat the Imperium, before the Imperium get destroyed by someone else or before the Imperium gets put back to its former glory and crushes the Tau.
Necrons like are defiantly a massive threat but they cant live until the end of time like chaos as although they come back to life a lot they cant do it all the time.
Tyranids along with Orcs I give the honor of biggest short term threat(and by this I mean the next 10,000 years) but they will fail eventually as Chaos inevitably will win without some unforeseen hero finding and slaying them which I don't see as likely:) but they will eventually (unless some Imperial genius hang on why don't we virus bomb all the Tyranid infested planets and their ships etc or destroy the hive mind or w,e sure they'll adapt but (I dont knwo if this is possible) but surely defeating the hive mind itself will end them!) rip straight through the Imperium until eventually it comes to the point that terror is like Cadia is with the black crusades.
Orcs grow with WAAAAAAGGGHHHHH!!!!!! so yeah they are the same as Tyranids but they aren't as ordered. If a Warlord could come forward like the one on Ullanor then yeah they will defeat the Imperium as the chapters are to fractured to mount a suitable defense.
But I do think the non emporer ruled Imperium will probs be its own downfall:grin:
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I like the idea of orks being the biggest threat to the galaxy, GW should do loads more to convey this. I'm going to say Necrons though since they've actually succeeded in the past on all but dominating the galaxy before their long periods of dormancy, and Tyranids a close second.
A lot of folks here aren't really giving the Tau the military credit they deserve, IMHO.

There's the Damocles Gulf Crusade, after all.

The Tau fell back under the Imperial onslaught for a bit, then the crusade ground to a halt.

The Tau fought the Imperium to a stalemate.

Granted, the Imperium did decide to expend it's energies on another, more pressing threat... but the Tau gave the vaunted Imperial war machine a run for it's money.

That said, I think that the Tyranids are Public Enemy Number One.

The 'Nids are Nature Gone Apeshit, and Nature always finds a way to trump anything the little critter called Man can accomplish (or so it would seem).

Now, the whole "the 'Nids killed the whole FIRST COMPANY OF THE ULTRAMARINES!!1!" argument is a little too narrow in focus for my way of thinking, though.

Yes, the invasion pretty much wiped out one company (albeit the TOP company) and that is no easy feat, but it was still only ONE company. One company that was seriously outnumbered and fighting totally blind against a completely unknown quantity, at that.

Though the Imperium doesn't adapt anywhere nearly as fast as the Hive Fleets, it has learned from that day.

There's lots of fluff and stories about the Imperium stopping Tyranids... and a whole new game dynamic Troop type for Ultramirines players because of the whole Macragge mess.

I'm just saying that no matter how bad-ass and scary a threat is, no one faction will ever have enough of an edge to totally dominate.
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I agree but I only believe that on the short term I mean on the long term I mean come on although I hate chaos, it still outlives all else so even when the nids are done and dusted chaos will pop back and kill them, sure they suck balls but I admit they will eventually win but for the foreseeable future nothing will defeat the Imperium save a multiple threats at once eg hive fleet+ WAAAGGHHHH plus loooads of necron awakenings:)
Fluff wise it has already been stated that Tyranids are the "greatest threat to the Imperium". The Tyranid codex states it and in the Ravenor book series Ravenor gets a glimpse of the future in which they are described as the great threat and the entire Imperium is mobilised to defeat it.

Chaos will always exist and be a persistant threat.

Necrons which have to wake up could be defeated while asleep but have potential to be devestating but not overwhelming.

Tau are still to small. Sheer numbers and if the Imperium ever decided to just bomb them rather than try to take their planets back would just wipe them out. In BFG their ships are nothing compared to Imperium fleets.

Orks are just a widespread annoyance as always. By their own nature they could never organize together well enough to pose a serious threat.

The Eldar already know that they are dieing and are on the run.

I envision the 51st Millinium were Tyranids own 1/3 of the Galaxy, Chaos is still the same threat, the Tau and Eldar have joined with the Imperium to try to stop the Tyranids (Tau loosing all its original home worlds), Space Marine chapters are re-forging Legions, Eldar have lost a 1 or 2 craftworlds but have been given safe haven in the Imperium, and the Necrons worlds waking and are giving the Tyranids a threat from inside their sphere of space. Orks are still their regular annoyance threat to everyone but routinely "help" the Imperium against the Tyranids (if help is what you can call it).
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Reforming The Legions

PWOOARRRRR can you imagine the reformed legions I mean the Imperium would rule the stars=] but the simple matter is the same purpose they don't unplug the emperor, the high lords of Terra love their power and want to keep it, but the Imperium, unless the Primarchs were restored or the Emperor would never reform the legions as they were split in case heresy appeared once more, as the Horus heresy book series has proved it only takes one to drag a legion to damnation and even one legion going is a massive threat maybe increased numbers in the chapters but legions as much a positive they could be theres always the negative of heresy.=[
I think the main reason the chapters were formed is because of damage control. The Primarchs knew that the heresies would continue, but they also knew that a 10,000 man legion is much harder to control than a 1,000 man chapter. Granted, a chapter is ridiculously powerful, but it is easier to counter than a legion.

According to my views the overall theme of not only WH40K, but indeed WHFB also, is very much based on the age old "man against himself" theory. In WH40K it has even taken actual form in the guise of the warp as a storage or souls and a reflection pool for all the consequences of every action taken in the "real" universe. in that way, it would be possible to say that the greatest enemy to the imperium is both itself and chaos, in a perfect tandem. Everything anyone does in some way empowers a chaos god, which in turn adds to that effect by doing bad stuff against the imperium. That leads to a reaction which in turn empowers the chaos god again, etc, in an endless circle.

basically I think the Primarchs were scared, it is quoted one of them saying that no man should have the power of a legion again because of the consequences of betrayal=]
Nids for sure.

The Imperium of man recognized that they could not stop Hivefleet Leviathan, so they diverted them to Ork territory.
When this massive hivefleet finishes with the Orks, they will come out more powerful, both in numbers and individual strength, and they will continue on towards the center of the Imperium.
As far as the story in the Nids codex goes, it basically says this Hivefleet is unstoppable and of unimaginable size.
Unstoppable and massive is all very good but in the end Games workshop will never write off a race unless no one pays for their models=] so pointless discussion the hive fleets that attack will always be defeat by some random hero with some special unthinkable plan or something along those lines=D
... so what you're saying is, the biggest threat to the Imperium is the Games Workshop Marketing Department?

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Unstoppable and massive is all very good but in the end Games workshop will never write off a race unless no one pays for their models=] so pointless discussion the hive fleets that attack will always be defeat by some random hero with some special unthinkable plan or something along those lines=D
Good point. And seeing as plastic space marine boxes make up almost half of Citadel's sale statistics it's hardly far fetched to assume that the imperium will, in fact, exist for ever
... so what you're saying is, the biggest threat to the Imperium is the Games Workshop Marketing Department?

...yes that is exactly it.
Still the biggest threat would be chaos, you cant destroy the warp, so the gods will always have followers and the greater powers would always assail the imperium. Hell theres a warp gate under the emperors palace and deamons are just waiting to flood in if it opens. The only way for the imperium to ever better itself ever again was if the empror was reborn, plain and simple, Chaos is hands down the biggest threat. Plus good always has to have its evil, Chaos wil always be there to tempt humanity, and last time all it took was horus to let it come crashing down
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