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AdmiralDick
09-12-2007, 08:49
this is a question really aimed at veterans who have played with more than one version of the game (3rd and 4th counting as the same version), but anyone can chip in if they want.

i was thinking about the thread about whether Orks should be in 40k and how and why Squats have been removed, and the introduction of Nercons, Tau and Dark Eldar, and started to wonder just how limitless (or limited) the 40k universe is perceived to be.

how expansive do you think the 40k universe is? is it an infinite realm of endless possibilities, or is it a place of similarity and only minor differences? do you think that background has grown to be more open to anything you can imagine or has it become less so? if you were creating a new unit (that had no current rules) would you feel free to make up something unheard of or would you feel it important to stick to already prescribed ideas?


has the game changed over the years to be more or less expansive in your mind? or has it remained at the same level, but in a different form?

SonofUltramar
09-12-2007, 08:54
It has been and always will be our entire Galaxy, which is rather large bearing in mind that The Imperium has a million worlds which is just a fraction of the number of planets in the Galaxy (according to 40K) especially when you consider barren worlds, Xenos and Heretic occupied. In short of Galaxy is huge therefore so is the 40K univerese and to all intents is limitless as they can quite happily kill a Planet a year (in campaigns etc.) and nobody would even notice?

ankara halla
09-12-2007, 09:26
But that's just physical scale (and on top of the galaxy where the Imperium of man resides, there are other established galaxies in the 40k universe like Nid's, old Ork fluff).

However, I do think it has changed quite radically over the years. Originally all the fluff came from sourcebooks (like RT, both RoC:s, Waaargh, etc. etc..) which were meant to give a GM tips and pointers into the world of WH40k. While this established certain unmutable things (for example the history of The Emperor, the nature of Chaos etc. etc.) it left the universe quite "open".

Nowdays, there is no sourcematerial per se like in the olden days, but rather points of view offered by the different races. And while over the years a lot more fluff have been written (a lot of it in contradiction of older established fluff) it has also narrowed down the "opendness" of the universe. The biggest shame though is the removal of a lot of character from a number of armies/races (Where are the days of Orks not merely all being green mean fighting machnies? The different aspects of Ork tribal culture have all but been written off in a few paragraphs that do nothing to give insight to Orkdom, certainly nothing like the way 'Ere We Go, Waaargh the Orks and Freebooterz did).

All in all, I find the WH40k universe evolving to embrace simple stereotypes rather than collective induvidualism, which IMHO is a shame.

kris.sherriff
09-12-2007, 09:56
I think the biggest restriction on the 40K universe was the great crusade itself. The very act of forging a galaxy spanning human empire has wiped out more races than we will likely ever hear about and every time GW wants to introduce something new is has to have a reason for still being around after the mass genocide committed by the Emperor and the Legions.
Kris

Gorbad Ironclaw
09-12-2007, 10:02
Aye, it's not become easier to introduce new things, as it's quite difficult to say bring in new races without feeling like the are 'shoehorned' in.

Necrons was interesting, but the following C'tan thing was a travesty I think. Exactly because they tried to suddenly have a lot of old background things link directly to them.

As a whole, the setting is a lot more established and as Ankara Halla said, it's often more simplified, meaning less variation and scope in the individual races.

SpaceLanceCorporal
09-12-2007, 10:25
I think in many instances even GW fails to understand the scope and scale of the universe they made with references to things like millions* of casualties in the Armageddon wars or the Black Crusades. One would think that if things like hive cities were necessary hundreds of billions of souls would be in the crossfires of such campaigns. Actually in much of the fluff I find that they use thousands where millions would be more appropriate and millions where billions or trillions are needed.



*from the rulebook

Latro_
09-12-2007, 10:31
40k is set in our own galaxy. The imperium is said to be spread throughout it and warp travel can take you to any part of it pretty quick.

The actual scale of planets in the galaxy we know about compared to this bitty dotting of worlds in the imperium is silly. The 40k fluff sort of makes the galaxy seem smaller than it is, in truth there are billions of stars.

Here is the 40k version of the galaxy:

http://digilander.libero.it/CollDrako/GMap.jpg

Noe condsider this picture we have of 'part' of the universe. Those are not millions of stars in the pic, those are millions of galaxies! every dot of light a galaxy will billions of stars and countless billions of planets. As i remember this pic is only a small snapshot of the universe!

http://www.spacetelescope.org/images/screen/heic0406a.jpg

Makes 40k and to a larger extent, us seem very small indeed.

MoopMoop
09-12-2007, 10:38
I disagree with the statement that the 40K galaxy restricts on any new background or fluff being developed. While "a million worlds" might be some kind of expression of "a lot", the consensus is that there are indeed huge gaps of unexplored or uncontrolled space in between worlds that are habitable by humans. If one assumes that the number or planets under imperial control are in the millions range, it becomes obvious when contemplating the fact that the milky way galaxy contains anything between 200 to 400 BILLION stars. even if only a tiny fraction of these have planets suitable for life, there'd still be endless white pages to fill in if the need arises.

Bran Dawri
09-12-2007, 11:02
do you think that background has grown to be more open to anything you can imagine or has it become less so?

Less open to anything that I can imagine, but that's mostly due to the gamers, not the background being unable to fit it in - I tend to find that people are no longer interested in cool background or funky "counts as" conversions to represent, say, an army of hyperintelligent wombats, or whatever, but solely in "army configuration X beats army Y Z% of the time".

Sgt Biffo
09-12-2007, 11:23
I think in many instances even GW fails to understand the scope and scale of the universe they made with references to things like millions* of casualties...

"To be a man in such times is to be one amongst untold billions..."

That sounds like a lot to me!


...say, an army of hyperintelligent wombats...QUOTE]

Wombat are stupid... real *******' stupid!

Seriously though;

[QUOTE=Bran Dawri;2166471]but solely in "army configuration X beats army Y Z% of the time".

Totally agree!!!

The scope of the game has changed as a result of the change in the nature of game mechanics.

40k was originally for small war bands, lead by heroes, to adventure through space encountering aliens, pirates, strange regimes and religious cults... then blasting the be-jeebus out of them. This lead to a narrative type of game with stories behind the fights and an almost RPG approach to gaming.

Today the 40k game is about one faction battling another faction over esoteric and ancient reasons or, at other times, good old fashioned xenophobia. It is not as necessary to have a bestiary section in the core rules as it once was, but then you don't have need of points cost and technical entries for pieces of equipment like Portal (torture) Racks.

Games such as Necromunda and Inquisitor has risen and fallen to forfill the yearnings of those who wish for a return to the helcion days of 40k while contemporary 40k has reduced to a rule mechanism for tournament play for cash and prizes (and occasionally prestige may even creep in there!).

I suppose that Black Library could be said to have taken over the fluff part of the hobby but I find that a high proportion of the "authors" have only a rudimentary grasp of the history of 40k and couldn't author a colouring book. Muddy paw prints from a blind Dachshund on an old paper bag makes for far more credible and interesting reading.

White Dwarf used to be a fantastic source for material, but this too has withered into a catalogue and painting guide with the occasional article (usually when there is some sort of world wide campaign going on).

I guess that the seminal moment of 40k have come and gone with old ideas being rehashed time and again (boy I can't wait for yet another writing about the Horus Heresy that bares only rudimentary resemblance to all its previous incarnations).

One thing that I'd like to see is something similar to the alien creatures unofficial thing that appeared in WD a few years back (it used to be on the web site too) giving stat lines and rough points costs for weird creatures. Of course your always going to get some whacko who makes up an "army" of these things (I knew a guy who had and Ambull army in RT):rolleyes:.

Calden
09-12-2007, 11:40
If I remember rightly, 40k happens in the majority of our galaxy, but not all of it. There are still very vast areas that were never reached by the Great Crusade, and so are not under the control of the Imperium. These areas tend to go unmentioned in the background except in some very rare cases.

Have a look at any of the old galactic maps for the game, and you can get a good idea of what is and isn't "explored". These areas provide perfect areas for GW to expand into in the future if they wish. The North Eastern area of the Ultima Segmentum is the general area that is intentionally vague, and is famously the area that you will find Angelis, or it's more common name "Gorkamorka".

Latro_
09-12-2007, 12:29
Not sure how much it is update now, but there is a big list of most if not all the planets covered in various 40k fluff here:
http://ironhands.com/40planet.htm

AdmiralDick
09-12-2007, 13:04
I disagree with the statement that the 40K galaxy restricts on any new background or fluff being developed. While "a million worlds" might be some kind of expression of "a lot", the consensus is that there are indeed huge gaps of unexplored or uncontrolled space in between worlds that are habitable by humans.

that's cool. i don't think many of us (other than the most extremes) would say that 40k leaves no room for expansion or individuality in 40k. but what i really want to know is do you as a player with some experience of how the galaxy has been protrayed in more than one verison, feel that this current 'view' makes the galaxy feel bigger or smaller than other versions have? yes there are plenty of unexplored gaps, but do the gaps hold anything new and unseen?


"To be a man in such times is to be one amongst untold billions..."

That sounds like a lot to me!

an aweful lot of different things? or an aweful lot of the same thing?


Wombat are stupid... real *******' stupid!

potentially anything is stupid, but given the right kind of image and context just about anything can make sense (and even bee quite cool). many might say 'Space Apes' are stupid, but the new Karmans in AT43 are amazing. the Jokero could easily be a really interesting race, as long as we can get past the idea that just because we haven't thought of anything for them yet, doesn't mean they are impossible.


It is not as necessary to have a bestiary section in the core rules as it once was, but then you don't have need of points cost and technical entries for pieces of equipment like Portal (torture) Racks.

i think that you have probably hit the nail right on the head there. the game does not require there to be depth to the universe, so depth is sectioned off to specialist games and black library novels. although the strange and wonderful universe is still there it perhaps falls outside of the blinkers that we find ourselves in.


However, I do think it has changed quite radically over the years. Originally all the fluff came from sourcebooks (like RT, both RoC:s, Waaargh, etc. etc..) which were meant to give a GM tips and pointers into the world of WH40k. While this established certain unmutable things (for example the history of The Emperor, the nature of Chaos etc. etc.) it left the universe quite "open".

Nowdays, there is no sourcematerial per se like in the olden days, but rather points of view offered by the different races.[...]

All in all, I find the WH40k universe evolving to embrace simple stereotypes rather than collective induvidualism, which IMHO is a shame.

i personally am inclined to agree. i really liked the universe that RT evoked, it was very instep with the taste in Sci Fi at the time such as 2000AD and Robocop, although it also harked back to the original series of Star Trek. it was a universe were literally anything could take place and it would not be 'stupid', and for me that offered a lot of freedom with modelling and rules.

3rd Edition offered us something really quite different. the universe was not bright and vibrant, but dark and unendingly torturous. it was not a necessarily bad move (it unified a lot of things and totally obscured the whole good guy/bad guy divided which was very cool), but it did make the whole universe seem a lot more repetative (which it was supposed to); after all in the grim darkness of the far future there is ony war.

is there anyone out there who feels that the changes have made the background seem more open? do they feel that the stronger definitions between 'finite' races and the blur of good and bad has allowed for bigger changes to take place?

Asfaloth
09-12-2007, 14:50
When I hear about one million worlds, I think it's quite big and leaves enough room for almost anything. More freaky alien races would be quite appreciated.
The letdown are the actual numbers of Guard soldiers. In the Gaunt's Ghosts novels for example there are (although really nice novels) so few soldiers it's almost ridiculous. Some ten thousand guard soldiers is next to nothing compared to reality, seeing as Germany alone had 10 million soldiers durind WWII. Some ten thousand soldiers for a complete planet seem somewhat out of scale.

Grazzy
09-12-2007, 16:12
Some ten thousand guard soldiers is next to nothing compared to reality, seeing as Germany alone had 10 million soldiers durind WWII. Some ten thousand soldiers for a complete planet seem somewhat out of scale.

GW figures are always completely wrong. They say things like ''a million soldiers died in a week'', but in real terms the size of the imperium and the battle for a super important world would require billions of guard soldiers.

zeep
09-12-2007, 16:23
on a realistic note, there are over 100 billion suns in our galaxy. Think about that for a minute.

Adding in the nids we have evidence of well over 100 billion galaxies, each with 100 billion suns...

Its large enough for anything they want to add.

Of course now we have to look at the drake equation and fermis paradox and just sigh... :(

Cosmocrat
09-12-2007, 16:35
More like 250 Billion suns. At least that is the latest estimate I read.

AdmiralDick
10-12-2007, 00:03
yeah, we're not really talking about specific numbers here. because what's the difference between 10 guardsmen and 10,000 guardsmen? they're all still guardsmen. we're talking about the background as a whole. is this a universe where anything can happen? or are your answers more telling than you had hoped and this is a universe where anything can happen to a human?

big squig
10-12-2007, 00:38
Whatever you can fit within the scope of the Milky Way.

big squig
10-12-2007, 00:45
I can't find it anymore, but there used to be a map of the Milky Way that showed where all the orks are. High ork activity was colored green on the map. The silly thing was, the the most green area was the center of the spiral...and if anyone knows anything about galaxies, it's that the center is inhospitable being a super massive black hole and all.

Hellebore
10-12-2007, 01:19
(Where are the days of Orks not merely all being green mean fighting machnies? The different aspects of Ork tribal culture have all but been written off in a few paragraphs that do nothing to give insight to Orkdom, certainly nothing like the way 'Ere We Go, Waaargh the Orks and Freebooterz did).

You'll be happy with the new Ork codex then, as it goes into tribal Kultur and the klans.

Also the 40k RPG will be going much deeper into the background and themes of 40k, moving away from 2D stereotypes.

Hellebore

Clockwork-Knight
10-12-2007, 01:44
Unfortunately, we'll only get a human sector for now, and no aliens, as it seems in "Dark Heresy".
I surely hope that the second Wh40k-RPG "Rogue Trader" will come out soon, and with tons of background lore for the alien races, minor and major.

Firaxin
10-12-2007, 01:54
Uh, the Ghosts have so few men because their planet was attacked by chaos at the moment of their founding and only 1 regiment escaped. The First and Only. That's part of what makes them so cool, the last of Tanith slowly dwindling out until no one is left.

Clockwork-Knight
10-12-2007, 02:15
Meh, a bunch of dumbed down Catachans with bag-pipes and scottish names, with normal woods instead of deadly jungles, that's what they are. Catachans at least kill their commisars when nobody is watching them. Those pansy Taniths even fraternize with him. :p

Rikens
10-12-2007, 02:19
Ten thousand years and an entire galaxy, but apparently slightly smaller than the last thousand years of Europe in terms of historical depth, visible terrain, and body count.

Clockwork-Knight
10-12-2007, 02:24
Warhammer Fantasy Battle being set in Space and then saying it's in the year 40.000+ does have some kinds of limitations, obviously. :p

Kage2020
10-12-2007, 03:00
Also the 40k RPG will be going much deeper into the background and themes of 40k, moving away from 2D stereotypes.
It seems that 40k is all about the stereotypes. Thus DH will be doing little more than reinforcing them. ;)

Kage

Dragonlv8
10-12-2007, 06:50
something I found on Warseer a few months ago:
http://www.joachim-adomeit.de/wh40k/spacemap/map.html

Gorbad Ironclaw
10-12-2007, 08:55
The letdown are the actual numbers of Guard soldiers.


Anytime GW produce numbers for anything, they are wrong(pretty much). The number of troops involved starts to make more sense if you put an additional zero or two behind them. That way even marines makes a little sense. 10.000 marines to a chapter is a much more credible formation than 1000. Not quite as heroic maybe, but a company of marines, no matter how good could not pacify a planet of any real size.


Anyway, the problem with new alien races is not that there is no room for them to be in, the problem is that it's difficult to make them an interesting 'player' on the macro scale 40k moves on. Yes, you might have a sentient race sitting somewhere on the Eastern Fringer of the galaxy, but if they only control two planets and a moon, they are just not very interesting, as they have a very limited reach, and most likely anyone of the other armies could wipe them out if they wanted. So that doesn't make for a very interesting army.

And you can only do so much hand weaving to introduce new galaxtic players. So in some ways, the scale that 40k operates on is actually counter-productive to introducing new things.

Sgt Biffo
10-12-2007, 10:05
potentially anything is stupid...

Actually I meant that as an animal, the wombat is pretty damn stupid. Tough, fast, but very, very dumb!


i personally am inclined to agree. i really liked the universe that RT evoked, it was very instep with the taste in Sci Fi at the time such as 2000AD and Robocop

Many of the artists for 2000AD (at the time) did conceptual work for the RT book.

DapperAnarchist
10-12-2007, 11:11
The numbers of IG are definitely to small, as are the sizes of hives (in terms of miles). However, Space Marine chapters being 1000 strong is ok for me - because they don't pacify planets. They are the strike force, the crazy tough point of the truly huge spear that is the Imperial armed forces.

Sgt Biffo
10-12-2007, 12:35
. That way even marines makes a little sense. 10.000 marines to a chapter is a much more credible formation than 1000. Not quite as heroic maybe, but a company of marines, no matter how good could not pacify a planet of any real size.

The days when entire chapters pacified a planet was the time of the great crusade. At this time a chapter could number any where up to 50,000 infantry alone!

I think that the legion strength stipulated in the Index Astartes (1,000 infantry plus auxiliaries such as Tech Priest, Librarians, Chaplains, etc to say nothing of vassal troops from the legions home worlds) has its basis in real history, as GW fluff often does.

In the late Roman period a legions size was greatly reduced from what it once in the Republic and Principate era's. At the time of Julius Caesar a legion would be about 4-5,000 legionnaires plus alae auxiliaries of a similar number (making 8-10,000 troops!).

This was reduced to about 1,200 legionnaires (with few if any alae) in the late Roman period. The reason for the decrease in size seems to be for stabilities sake, so that military coups where undermanned.

When you consider that the reduction in legions under the Index Astartes came after the Horus Heresy the comparison becomes very similar.

Killgore
10-12-2007, 15:15
http://www.spacetelescope.org/images/screen/heic0406a.jpg

Makes 40k and to a larger extent, us seem very small indeed.

and to think the tyranids might have eaten every one of those galexys bwahaha

FrankManic
15-12-2007, 05:17
I'm continually surprised how little new fluff there is, and how much of the established fluff was written 10 to 15 years ago. As I get deeper into the background of 40k, I'm becoming more and more convinced that the setting is stagnating just like the Imperium that is one of it's most important elements. There is nothing new to be seen under the sun, and the rules are tending more and more towards a streamlined approach that doesn't really encourage good old fashioned wackiness.

Kage2020
15-12-2007, 20:23
Aye, but the "flavour" of the product does seem to be changing, FrankManic, as is the writers' approach to it.

Kage

UselessThing
15-12-2007, 20:59
I like to think of it like a modern version of oral storytelling - you tell the same story over and over again, but each new teller adds a little something of their own.

From a practical perspective, GW turns over most of its customer base every couple of years so its new to them. So it makes sense to tell the same story, refined over years, incorperating improvements as they become available.

Brother Valtarius
17-12-2007, 14:07
40k is set in our own galaxy. The imperium is said to be spread throughout it and warp travel can take you to any part of it pretty quick.

The actual scale of planets in the galaxy we know about compared to this bitty dotting of worlds in the imperium is silly. The 40k fluff sort of makes the galaxy seem smaller than it is, in truth there are billions of stars.

Here is the 40k version of the galaxy:

http://digilander.libero.it/CollDrako/GMap.jpg

Noe condsider this picture we have of 'part' of the universe. Those are not millions of stars in the pic, those are millions of galaxies! every dot of light a galaxy will billions of stars and countless billions of planets. As i remember this pic is only a small snapshot of the universe!

http://www.spacetelescope.org/images/screen/heic0406a.jpg

Makes 40k and to a larger extent, us seem very small indeed.

I think you may have confused galaxies with solar systems as that image is the 40k galaxy, hence our galaxy the milky way because if you look on the image all the star clusters and planets and what not are very close together (in galactiv terms) whereas in the fluff the space between the galaxies are just voids of nothingness. I'm thinking for some reason (possibly fluff i've read) that the furthest out that mankind has been in 40k was the halo stars because a cpatain of a ship who was adored by his crew took them there and they started picking up strange signals and ghost chatter, the only reason they turned around and stopped beond the halo stars was due to the death of their beloved captain. Or something like that anyone care to confirm this? Just thinking it could have been a pdf file that was on here around a year ago full of 40k fluff "the fluff bible".

Brother Siccarius
17-12-2007, 17:09
Anytime GW produce numbers for anything, they are wrong(pretty much). The number of troops involved starts to make more sense if you put an additional zero or two behind them. That way even marines makes a little sense. 10.000 marines to a chapter is a much more credible formation than 1000. Not quite as heroic maybe, but a company of marines, no matter how good could not pacify a planet of any real size.

Well...Marines aren't supposed to be the full extent of any pacification force unless there are multiple companies present. There's almost always a guard, PDF unit, or titan (or two) to back them up. Marines are an objective based army both in and out of the table-top, much like marines and special ops of today, where the objective is to go in and capture key objectives rather than always be fighting the full extent of an enemy head on in a straight up fight.



Anyway, the problem with new alien races is not that there is no room for them to be in, the problem is that it's difficult to make them an interesting 'player' on the macro scale 40k moves on. Yes, you might have a sentient race sitting somewhere on the Eastern Fringer of the galaxy, but if they only control two planets and a moon, they are just not very interesting, as they have a very limited reach, and most likely anyone of the other armies could wipe them out if they wanted. So that doesn't make for a very interesting army.

Actually there's tons of room for them. The Galactic south is almost never mentioned at all, and the fringes of the galaxy are still unexplored in either an Imperial sense or a Fluff sense. There's also several Alien Empires right by the Imperium. The Aliens empires encountered in the Horus Heresy Novels being good examples as there's very little to suggest that they were ever fully dealt with. The Laer encountered in Fulgrim were only an expansionist sub-sect of their species after all.



And you can only do so much hand weaving to introduce new galaxtic players. So in some ways, the scale that 40k operates on is actually counter-productive to introducing new things.


There's plenty of room throughout the galaxy to wave your hands and not hit an Imperial world. Heck, you could always go universal like the tyranids and bring them in from off stage, while distracting the crowd with your hand waving.

badnewsblair
17-12-2007, 18:54
on a realistic note, there are over 100 billion suns in our galaxy. Think about that for a minute.

Adding in the nids we have evidence of well over 100 billion galaxies, each with 100 billion suns...

Its large enough for anything they want to add.

Of course now we have to look at the drake equation and fermis paradox and just sigh... :(

The Drake Equation! Haven't heard that since college. You win!