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Varath- Lord Impaler
15-01-2008, 13:13
I will start out by saying that i have not read the Horus Heresy novels.

I would like to ask you, the Warseer community, on what your thoughts are on certain stories. I will use as an example the Horus Heresy, but there are others which may be under threat.

With the Onset of the Horus Heresy book series i have seen huge amounts of readers all talking about these books, what they reveal and other things of that nature.

Am i the only one which thinks that they explain too much?

I loved the heresy simply because every single player had their own version on what they thought happened. Sometimes it was a single terminator, sometimes a squadron, sometimes a guardsmen. One of these 3 distracted Horus to allow the Emperor to give the killing blow.

I think that having 1000 people read one story is nowhere near as interesting as 1000 people having 1000 different stories.

So what do you think? Should stories be explained in this way? Or do you prefer the Grey Area?

Norsehawk
15-01-2008, 13:17
How can you know that they tell too much of the story when you haven't read the books? In many cases, the books create even more questions and theories than the few that they answer.

Look at the people who are making 'pre heresy' armies. I consider that to be a good thing for the hobby as a whole, its better than more standard ultramarines, dark angels, and blood angels.

Varath- Lord Impaler
15-01-2008, 13:19
im taking an educated guess that a series of books about the Heresy will tell the story.

While before this you had to search through lots of texts to get only a few versions of the full story.

OrlyggJafnakol
15-01-2008, 13:20
Personally, I enjoyed the HH novels. The first four were excellent and opened up my imagination to the 31st millennium rather than just the 41st. I now prefer them to regular novels set in the current universe. I find that there is considerable enjoyment in 'finding out' how things happened, the corruption of Fulgrim for example, that helped move the fluff forwards. The novels don't explain everything. They leave plenty to the imagination and even create some new mysteries for readers to interpret and endlessly discuss.

OrlyggJafnakol
15-01-2008, 13:22
While before this you had to search through lots of texts to get only a few versions of the full story.

There will be no 'definate' series of events in the novels. Due to their localised nature we, the reader, get to experience different persepctives on the Heresy. I think that this will allow readers to still 'make up their own minds' about what happened.

EVIL INC
15-01-2008, 13:25
I actually agre that they create just as many questions as they answer and are a boonn to the hobby as it is drawing in more players.
My question would be rather... Are these going to be the "official" fluff? and if so, how long will it be before they change it again?

Sholto
15-01-2008, 13:26
OP has a good point - the danger in writing the HH novels is that they de-mystify the events, particularly since they have a mythic quality about them already. The Emperor lives larger in the imagination than he can ever do in print:-

"****!" said the Emperor, "I stubbed my ****** toe, y'all," and a thousand pedestals were lowered in a thousand eager minds.

When I heard about the HH novels I hoped they would be limited point-of-view only, so that we would only ever have a version of events that was of doubtful authenticity perhaps, or that was incomplete, or that clearly differed from other accounts - that might have allowed GW/ BL to have their cake and eat it (meaning they could keep the mystical, mythical quality but still sell books by the shed-load), but it would have been very difficult to pull off without confusing a lot of (younger) readers.

I also think (despite what I wrote above) that they should have included the Emperor as a character from the first book. The whole story is one of betrayal of a father by his sons - kind of hard to do effectively when the father is nowhere to be seen. He might have stopped being this god-like figure, but he could have instead have become a fleshed-out character, and I know which I prefer in my books.

Still, GW/ BL had to do it. They had to write the HH novels at some point. They are the crown jewels of the 40k universe. It was always going to happen.

Sholto

Col.Gravis
15-01-2008, 13:30
I agree to a small extent, so far they've been great reads and have really opened up events at that time, I'm a little concerned about when they come to the culmination of the Heresy and the fight between the Enperor and Horus however - I hope they cover this from third person, and since no one was there, it will not be a complete account, thats how it should be IMHO, open it up to a blow by blow account and that final confrontation would be somewaht spoilt IMHO.

Firaxin
15-01-2008, 16:02
Well the Emperor hasn't shown up--except for when Horus sees him briefly for about two pages when he's recovering from his injury--and they certainly haven't written the assault on Terra or anything of that nature. Besides, we already know that Sanguinius fought Horus just before the Emperor entered combat with him--where the heck would a guardsman or regular space marine come from anyways and how could they 'distract' someone like Horus?

Kurisu313
15-01-2008, 16:07
[QUOTE=Firaxin;2262916]Well the Emperor hasn't shown up--except for when Horus sees him briefly for about two pages when he's recovering from his injury[QUOTE]

He was also in Descent of Angels. Unless glowing golden giants were common in those days. :D

Kurisu313
15-01-2008, 16:21
While I don't really share the op's opinion, I do feel your concern.

It's hard to write lines for God-like figures. I always felt that saint sabbat in the gaunts ghost novels seemed too small, too human. But divine oratory is still just words and words seem mundane.

However, the HH books are a great read, and they are leaving plenty of scope for further mystery. I however feel that rolling back the mystery is good. I wanna know all the secrets of the 40k universe!

Also, I feel that honour should be remembered. Imagine a lone guardsman standing before Angron, defying him. Bravery like that should not be lost to the sands of time. (too dramatic, right?)

Deamon-forge
15-01-2008, 17:08
I havnt read any of the HH books, but reading all the threads about them is making me want to read them....As i want to get morre into the fluff of the 31st millinia(sp)

PondaNagura
15-01-2008, 17:13
like modern legends, the actions and figures of fluff can change over the course of the millenia. how the people of the modern imperium reflect on such events, and for the most part how we reflect upon them can be quite different from how they "actually"..or at least how they were experienced by persons/characters of that time.
how a legend is played out depends on whose telling it...and the stories of the HH are quite legendary events. most of the stories are focused on the events and perspective of one or a few characters, in which the authors tell the stories for.
it's not canon, just one perspective of the possiblity of events laid out. but each story whether it be the HH novels, artbooks, or older fluff all have a template to work from.
you can read and believe what you want, and since there are still gaps in the stories that leave quite a few questions, any take on how the story is "actually" told is still open to opinion/discussion.

potential Spolier:
i actually like how the authors for the most part have avoided addressing what the Emperor looks, sounds, behaves like... there no direct experience between teh characters and Him. it all plays out from illusion, memory, or communicated through a vassal.but that's my take on the topic...i could be wrong.

Xenocidal Maniac
15-01-2008, 17:23
I completely agree with the OP. The more of the backstory they reveal, the cheaper it feels.

There should never be an "official" version of history, especially not with the Imperium.

Lord Damocles
15-01-2008, 17:40
The danger with telling any semi-mythic story is that it stops different races from viewing the same events in different ways. Erm, let me give an example.

I, as a Blood Angels player have always viewed Sanguinius's battle with Horus as the angelic primarch selflessly giving his own life to buy time for the Emperor; parrying Horus's blows, and generally frustrating him, before finally wounding him with 'Heartsbane' so that the Emperor might detect the wound and deal the killing blow.:angel:

A Black Legion player on the other hand may well view the same event as sanguinius being unable to best Horus in single combat, and so avoiding his blows; until Horus guts him with his tallon, getting stabbed in the side in the process.:(

If the battle is described in one of the HH books (which it surely will be) then that is then the set series of events, and different interpretations are no longer possible.

Hope that made sense...

AdmiralDick
15-01-2008, 17:40
Am i the only one which thinks that they explain too much?

it s a real tight-rope, balancing act. how do you publish more background without giving too much away. i'm actually inclined to agree with you. i haven't read all of the series so far (just the ones i have some particular interest in) and although they are perfectly reasonable stories (not quite to my taste, but not bad) they do rather pin things down and they are far from the mythic, subjective stories i would have expected.

i was particularly disappointed with the portrayal of Rogal Dorn in Flight of the Eisenstein, the problem was that he was capricious and agressive, and not the calm and measured tactician you'd expect (and even demand), making him seem far less impressive and even too flawed to be human. he was just a character made up of the bits of anger that the author might have felt.

there are a plethora of characters (many of which are seemingly quite undeserving of their importance in the plot) and they are so finite and pinned down that it seems like the action could not have taken place else where involving others.

on the other hand i am glad for the more detail paid to certain themes and characters. for the first time the Lunar Wolves amoungst other chapters feel like they have a real personality, rather than just a colour scheme and abstract ethos, that defines them. some of the primarchs are equally well described (sadly others are not). equally the Sisters of Silence and the Adeptus Custodes are worthy of a little more mention about their organisation and character. and the way in which a legion differs from a chapter. all of these things are worthy of more detail, but when ambiguity of motive is lost everything can seem a lot less increadible.

obviously this is only an example text, and i hope that they do continue to tell similarly mythic stories in the future, but learn to keep them more mythic. who wouldn't like to see story about the fall of the Eldar (or more precisely the Eldar at the time of the fall), the Eldar Gods and their war or the wa between the C'Tan and the Eldar? i don't want these things in full, i just want to be able to think of the Eldar gods as being more than names.

Sholto
15-01-2008, 17:46
i was particularly disappointed with the portrayal of Rogal Dorn in Flight of the Eisenstein, the problem was that he was capricious and agressive, and not the calm and measured tactician you'd expect (and even demand), making him seem far less impressive and even too flawed to be human. he was just a character made up of the bits of anger that the author might have felt. While FotE was one of the best HH books to date, Rogal Dorn came over like a complete toss-pot, raging inappropriately and then sulking in his room while millions died - the emo-Primarch. I would not have wanted to be an Imp Fists player reading that book.

Sholto

Grimtuff
15-01-2008, 18:54
Besides, we already know that Sanguinius fought Horus just before the Emperor entered combat with him--where the heck would a guardsman or regular space marine come from anyways and how could they 'distract' someone like Horus?

:rolleyes:
You may want to brush up on your knowledge of the Emperor and Horus' final battle. This was while they were fighting. Sanguinius fought him before the Emperor got there. Supposedly a Guardsman/Terminator/Whatever appears and Horus kills him with a single look.

Up until now the Emperor had been holding back as he believed he could save Horus, but this act made the Emperor see all vestiges of Horus' humanity were lost and there was no other option than to utterly obliterate him.

All hail Ollanius Pius!*

*that was the name of said Guardsman, who was Canonised. Naturally. ;)

Barador
15-01-2008, 19:10
I want to know every little detail.

I'm one of those people assuming im not the only one that wants everything explained i despise mysteries.

I only wish/hope that they expand upon Vulkan and the Salamanders as they are my fave Legion/Primarch.

junglesnake
15-01-2008, 23:48
While I don't really share the op's opinion, I do feel your concern.

It's hard to write lines for God-like figures. I always felt that saint sabbat in the gaunts ghost novels seemed too small, too human. But divine oratory is still just words and words seem mundane.

However, the HH books are a great read, and they are leaving plenty of scope for further mystery. I however feel that rolling back the mystery is good. I wanna know all the secrets of the 40k universe!

Also, I feel that honour should be remembered. Imagine a lone guardsman standing before Angron, defying him. Bravery like that should not be lost to the sands of time. (too dramatic, right?)

But isn't that the point? The brilliant thing about 40k is that all of the heroes are larger than life - just like the real world. Yet when you meet them people are shocked that they are just human!

The Emperor remember is more human than any Space Marine - and is nothing more than the entombed body of the Creator of Space Marines and saviour of man-kind.

Some people would have you believe that his body is that of a frail old man now. Others that his throne holds him in stasis, his body perfectly preserved as it was from the few moments after that fateful battle with Horus.

At the end of the day when it comes to the Imperium their propoganda is designed to make their people think that these heroes are godlike - the reality of this though is quite different. Commissar Yarrick for example, certainly is no spring chicken and is not even a large human yet he is revered across the Imperium and feared by enemies.

Captain Micha
16-01-2008, 00:14
They really leave more questions than answers and abit more of things to speculate really. I don't feel that 'too much' has been said. Quite honestly I enjoy this take on the HH.

I liked the way Dorn was portrayed honestly. How would you feel if your brother was accused of treason against your father and his own men no less? Especially when up to that point you have no evidence pointing to his said treason?

Varath- Lord Impaler
16-01-2008, 09:49
see, with the fluff ive read. (im an Imperial Fist Player) Dorn remained his calculating and tactical self until the Emperor died, and all the pent up rage just released itself.

Also, I fear for the clash of the Emperor against Horus.

Consider this very thread. Noone is sure whether it was a single guardsmen, a terminator, or a terminator squad who distracted Horus.

Who can ACTUALLY tell me which Legions were at Istvaan? Ive seen so many different accounts which has placed almost all of the Chaos legions there.

Even including the Thousand sons (who at the same time were supposedly fighting on Prospero)

To me, i think the only way the stories would be able to be done would be from the perspective of a nobody, a tactical marine or something. You cannot destroy what so many people have created as their own thoughts on the Heresy.

I have even seen some people who have written the opposite. Where Horus' contact with a Daemon left him fearful of the power of the warp, but also knowledgable of its purpose. Destroying the Warp destroys the human soul.

Stories have been written where it is the opposite, Horus was coming to tell the Emperor that his plan to attack and defeat the warp was flawed. That the Emperor, in his pride, attacked his son.

That Istvaan was a huge, horrible cock up.

See? If stories appear telling us that Horus was definatly possessed, that he is definatly 'evil' then we lose abit of the Grey area which can create such ingenuity.

This game, this background, it is written for us. But we should not have to be spoonfed and we should have the leeway to create our own beliefs on the 40k universe.

Lastie
16-01-2008, 10:41
Well said Varath-Lord Impaler!

Sir_Turalyon
16-01-2008, 10:58
Well said indeed.

GW has been relasing so much - often contradicting - fluff about Heresy that no one can tell for sure how things happened. BL books are no exception; they are just another reconstruction of details no one is sure about, with some new ideas and some new contradictions. There are enough new contradictions in these books to be sure they are fabularised, not accurate, version of history. They are to Heresy as "300" is to battle of Termopile: fun to read, faithful to general storyline and promoting historical event, but not ashamed to use artistic licence just for fun's sake.

Norsehawk
16-01-2008, 11:18
In most cases in the book (Fulgrim being the main exception) The Horus Heresy books are told from the perspecitve of the bit players in the history.

The Istavaan incident for example is told from the perspective of the soldiers, whose squads were broken apart and had new squads formed, and then dropped onto the planet. Once on the planet, they were virus bombed, and then had the rest of the forces sent down to mop them up.

Horus was never portrayed as possessed in the books, instead he was touched by the warp and turned by Erebus (sp) giving legs to the dissatisfaction that Horus was already feeling. "When the great crusade is over, what happens to us when we are no longer of use?" In the books, the Word Bearers are the ultimate cause of what was put in motion.

The books don't tell you how it went down, instead it tells you how it happened from the perspective of a few different people in each book. In the majority of the books, the primarchs and emperor only serve bit parts.

Sholto
16-01-2008, 12:01
I liked the way Dorn was portrayed honestly. How would you feel if your brother was accused of treason against your father and his own men no less? Especially when up to that point you have no evidence pointing to his said treason? If Dorn had been told, "Your brother is a stinking traitor," I can understand him being angry at such a profound insult, and one which appears to be based on nothing.

SPOILER

But he wasn't told that. He was told, "Your brother is a traitor because he turned his forces on his brother Primarchs' forces and slaughtered them, and is still slaughtering them right now, even as we speak and I can tell you exactly where. We were all there and we saw him do it, and I am a Space Marine Captain so I don't usually just make ***** up," which is something concrete Dorn can check. It was appalling news, but it was conveyed by an impeccable source with corroborating evidence, and Dorn acted like a tin-pot dictator who kills the messenger who brings him bad news. And then he sulked in his room :wtf:

END SPOILER

I am not bashing Dorn, just this rather witless portrayal of him, which I refuse to believe.

Sholto

Firaxin
16-01-2008, 17:17
He was also in Descent of Angels. Unless glowing golden giants were common in those days. :D

Haven't read it yet.

AdmiralDick
16-01-2008, 18:22
All hail Ollanius Pius!*

*that was the name of said Guardsman, who was Canonised. Naturally.

the (rather more lengthy than normal) description of the Emperor's battle with Horus, given in the Horus Heresy art book says that the interupter was a Adeptus Custodian Guard.


How would you feel if your brother was accused of treason against your father and his own men no less? Especially when up to that point you have no evidence pointing to his said treason?

if i was Dorn? i'd be quite calm and relaxed about it? because i would be thinking calmly and tactically. what happens if he's wrong. well nothing, no one can beat a Primarch when backed up by his legion, least of all Horus. so if this is a ruse to unfairly overthrow Horus ignoring it for the time being is the best option.

if he's telling the truth, then you are in a very difficult situation. the laws of nature as you know them are no longer in effect and he should be listened to.

punching him is not really an option.


I am not bashing Dorn, just this rather witless portrayal of him, which I refuse to believe.

agreed whole heartedly. and i think that this is where the problems begin to creep in. i'm all up for making images into characters, but when you try and make characters into people you run into serious problems (particularly if like in the examples i have read of HH, you are not very good at characterisation).

to throw the thread in a slightly different if related direction:

what stories would you like to see be told in novels by Black Library? and what stories do you think should not be touched by them?

Lexington
16-01-2008, 18:27
I'm in agreement with Lord Impaler, and will do him one better - not only were the Horus Heresy novels a bad idea, but the articles that probably sparked them, the Index Astartes, are probably the worst single idea in the history of 40K background.

Lord Damocles
16-01-2008, 18:37
the (rather more lengthy than normal) description of the Emperor's battle with Horus, given in the Horus Heresy art book says that the interupter was a Adeptus Custodian Guard.

That damned book doesn't even mention the Horus vs. Sanguinius battle (other than to mention that sanguinius was dead):wtf::eek:

Nice pictures, shame Alan Merrit can't write to save his life:rolleyes:



I'm in agreement with Lord Impaler, and will do him one better - not only were the Horus Heresy novels a bad idea, but the articles that probably sparked them, the Index Astartes, are probably the worst single idea in the history of 40K background.

I liked Index Astartes:angel:

AdmiralDick
16-01-2008, 18:48
That damned book doesn't even mention the Horus vs. Sanguinius battle

not sure that's such an insurmountable problem. the book is about the story featured in the card game, not the sum totality of the Horus Heresy and as such it misses out quite a lot of stuff. but then it doesn't say that its an account of everything.


Nice pictures, shame Alan Merrit can't write to save his life:rolleyes:

i love the artwork and it just dissapoints me even more that GW aren't a very good miniatures company and can't get that level of uniqueness between SM (or anything else for that matter) in models. i want them to release a plastic 'veterans' kit that just includes some differnt marks and styles of armour that can be mixed in with the regular stuff.

and even if you don't like his writing style, i'm much more warm to his sparce yet descriptive narration of events over the HH books which are usually the opossite (full of words but utterly confusing at times).


I liked Index Astartes:angel:

i also thought that they were quite a good idea and gave the Legions (and some chapters) and awful lot more flesh on their bones. they certianly united the themes of the forces. so i'm curious as to why Lexington is definitely not a fan?

Lord Damocles
16-01-2008, 18:58
i want them to release a plastic 'veterans' kit that just includes some differnt marks and styles of armour that can be mixed in with the regular stuff.
Amen to that!


and even if you don't like his writing style, i'm much more warm to his sparce yet descriptive narration of events over the HH books which are usually the opossite (full of words but utterly confusing at times).
I do prefer his sparse style to the HH series; but he just seems to feel the need to repeat himself on every single page... it's just so infuriating to read.:mad:

Luckywallace
16-01-2008, 19:02
I respect the opinion of the original poster and understand it but I totally disagree.

The one thing I like better than a big myth is having that said myth explained at a later date. If the HH novels were rubbish then it would be a huge disapointment and I would disregard them, but because those I have read (Horus Rising, Flight of the Eisensten, Fulgrim... starting False Gods soon) have all been excellent then I am impressed with the series and love how it makes these distant mythological events and characters more real and meaningful.

Now, about a series of novels based on the War in Heaven...

Lord Damocles
16-01-2008, 19:17
Now, about a series of novels based on the War in Heaven...

They'll do it you know... if they think that they can make a profit.

Best not to put ideas in their heads;)

Lastie
16-01-2008, 19:35
I do prefer his sparse style to the HH series; but he just seems to feel the need to repeat himself on every single page... it's just so infuriating to read.:mad:

To be fair on Alan Merrett (never thought I would be) the text was designed to fit on playing cards bundled with the Sabretooth HH game. They just copied and pasted them all into the book, hence he repeats himself often.

Now my main beef with Merrett is how every time his characters talk, I can't help but picture Brian Blessed (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brian_Blessed) acting them.

"HORUS!!! YOU HAVE BETRAYED ME!!!" (Imagine him acting that in his usual hammy style - class :p)

Ex-Blueshirt
16-01-2008, 19:43
To be fair the HH novels are not a definitive telling of what happened.
Just look at the chaos codex, and how it's version of how the Emperor's Children turned to chaos compared to the novel Fulgrim.
IMO anything written about the HH is all open to debate, and thats why it's great.
Everybody still gets to imagine their own version of the HH. Some people just get to put it in print is all.

Althanan
16-01-2008, 20:01
I, as a Blood Angels player have always viewed Sanguinius's battle with Horus as the angelic primarch selflessly giving his own life to buy time for the Emperor; parrying Horus's blows, and generally frustrating him, before finally wounding him with 'Heartsbane' so that the Emperor might detect the wound and deal the killing blow.:angel:

A Black Legion player on the other hand may well view the same event as sanguinius being unable to best Horus in single combat, and so avoiding his blows; until Horus guts him with his tallon, getting stabbed in the side in the process.:(

If the battle is described in one of the HH books (which it surely will be) then that is then the set series of events, and different interpretations are no longer possible.

Given the way that we've seen events laid out so far in the series, I doubt we'll actually see that fight, at least not in it's entirety. We might see Sanguinus fighting Horus, but I think our view on that combat will end with his death. From there, I think the point of view will drop back down to Terra and we'll see a pause in the battle below as the Primarchs sense that one of their own has fallen and that something truly titanic is about to happen. I think that the next we see the Emperor is from Dorn's eyes as he comes across the Emperor and the bodies of Sanguinus and Horus.

In short, I think that the mystery of what precisely happened will be safe :)

Lexington
16-01-2008, 20:42
so i'm curious as to why Lexington is definitely not a fan?
Because they made those Legions as of yet undefined by a Codex boring and silly. Inevitably, they became slight variations on "[Primarch] fell to a world filled with [gimmick], grew up indoctrinated with [gimmick-related beliefs] and, upon discovery by the Emperor, bent his Legion to [gimmick]." The more refined stories and Legions of Russ, Johnson and Sanguinus stick out and feel totally incongruous with the rushed IA articles.

Besides gimmicking up the background, it gimmicked up the army lists, too. Since each Legion now had a little quirk in the background, it had to be represented by a new sub-list (may that little abomination of a rules idea never show its face again), and where there wasn't a readily sub-listable idea in the Primarch's background, it was shoehorned into the Legion in some other way. So, the Word Bearers became the "Daemon Legion" because new Daemon models were released during the same month as their IA. Feh.

Worse, about half of the Traitor Primarchs were betrayed by some manipulative Grand Vizer-like character, robbing these legendary characters of agency and power within their own stories. How much more powerful and interesting would the Word Bearers' story be if Lorgar had actually made the decision to turn to Chaos out of an honest belief that religion and worship were necessary for humanity to have meaning and order? Why did Horus have to succumb to the lame trickery of Erebus and the Chaos Gods, rather than make a conscious decision to betray the Emperor because of his own arrogance and egomania? Heck, Fulgrim was possessed by a Daemon, which is just Grade Z lazy writing. These stories plainly suck, and I'd like nothing more than to see them flushed down the same memory hole as Zoats.

Lastie
16-01-2008, 21:52
These stories plainly suck, and I'd like nothing more than to see them flushed down the same memory hole as Zoats.

Lexington; you've become my hero. :D

AdmiralDick
16-01-2008, 23:05
Because they made those Legions as of yet undefined by a Codex boring and silly.

i think you overstate the case somewhat. the IA articles did not define what the 'gimmick' of each Primarch was, that was set longer ago than that. and although i am certainly not against the Primarchs, and by extension their legions, having gimmick (how else do you differentiate between super-human clones of the same man, other than make them embody some aspect of that man), i totally agree that for those who had not had their story fleshed out much before they became exceedingly formulaic. (although i would not suggest that Lion El'johnson's story was particularly inspiring, nor has it ever been).

one of the problems with the IA articles was that they tried to fix in time and space a mythic setting. much like it is pointless trying to work out when exactly Heracles tricked Atlas into taking the sky back. part of the reason the stories became formulaic is because it has been repeated over and over again that the Primarchs, by some quirk of fortune, all ended up on planets that some how represented their characters (or what their characters were always destined to be). it is meant to be as though their home worlds were retrospectively created in their image (whether in reality or faulty memory is open to debate). meaning tryng to justify how they randomly ended up on such a planet is ludicrous sounding.

that many of them were then fleshed out even more poorly is an even greater travisty (but one of poor writing tallent than poor concept). would you have rathered that each legion was little more than a colour scheme and name? with no background lest they become too narrow? that each primarch was just a name and a home world with no description of their characters or style? i would rather move forwards from this point, than back. 'give me a good description', i cry rather than 'back you fiend'.

more importantly... i like Zoats and think they are a clever concept and would not be out of place in the 40k universe of today.

as for other stories, like many people i have been quite inspired by the epic, narrative nature of the Bell of Lost Souls Horus Heresy campaign, and have wondered whether there are any such similar conflicts that would be ripe for the picking. they are talking about re-enacting the 'Age of Macharius' now that everyone's bought a lot of tanks, but i'd be quite keen to act out a time before humans ever really took to the fray. the new Daemon Codex, the Necrons, Eldar and maybe the Dark Eldar not a million miles away, perhaps narrative campaigns are the ways to tell stories like the Eldar/Necron war better.

Lexington
17-01-2008, 00:33
i think you overstate the case somewhat. the IA articles did not define what the 'gimmick' of each Primarch was, that was set longer ago than that.
Well, yes and no, on a Primarch-by-Primarch basis. The Traitor Primarchs/Legions all had short descriptions from the 2nd Edition Chaos Codex, but in the case of the Loyalist Primarchs, if they hadn't had a Codex or sublist previously, they were mostly blanks. It's no accident that these IA articles (Iron Hands, Raven Guard, Imperial Fists and White Scars) were the worst of the lot.

You're right, though; the 'Primarch defined by home world' concept was already in place far before IA, and was a core part of the Primarch mythology.. I think the difference between those Primarchs defined by a Codex and those defined by an IA article is several degrees of subtlety and refinement. The Codexes layered historical and fictional sources with unique elements to create characterful, interesting forces. The Index Astartes articles took various gimmicks and hammered them into the 40K universe, and the result makes for fairly pedestrian reading. I can't imagine being so caught up in the story of, say, the Iron Hands that I'd want to make an army of them.


and although i am certainly not against the Primarchs, and by extension their legions, having gimmick (how else do you differentiate between super-human clones of the same man, other than make them embody some aspect of that man)
Well, clearly, the Legions take after their Primarch, and are an extension of them. Once again, though, this isn't a matter of the concept, but the details. The Codex-defined Chapters followed their Primarch's disposition, outlook, and sometimes their fate. The Wolves inherited Russ' stubborn, rough-n-tumble nature. The Blood Angels reflect Sanguinus' nobility, purity and his tragic fate. The Ultramarines are organized but ultimately humane bureaucrats, and the Dark Angels are are a stern, secretive lot.

The problem with the IA articles is that they seem to have felt that any major background points had to have a corresponding rule on the battlefield. So, we have the Assault Marine Raven Guard Chapter, the Techmarine Iron Hands, and the Daemon-happy Word Bearers. They're defined by army list tricks rather than personality, and it's an idea that's sadly taken hold in the 40K community at large.

These are problems that, as far as Codexes go, GW seems to have recognized, and more power to them. The damage is done, though. See: most complaints about the new Chaos Codex. "Oh, I can't really play Alpha Legion anymore! They don't all have infiltrate!" This isn't a healthy attitude towards how rules and background should interact, and the abundance of IA articles and other sublists are the reason it's so prevalent.


would you have rathered that each legion was little more than a colour scheme and name?
Yes, actually. As far as I'm concerned, any fluff done poorly is fluff that's best not had. Almost all of the Traitor Legions worked better with three paragraphs of incomplete background than they do in their post-IA descriptions. They had personality, reflected in their diverse philosophies and the air of half-forgotten legend that surrounded them. What's not defined can be built upon in the imagination, and I've often found that individual players do a better job than Games Workshop of taking the vague parts of the background and fleshing them out into interesting, though unofficial fiction pieces.

This does leave about half of the Loyalist Legions out in the cold, but I still think that's better than what we got in the Index Astartes article. Giving players the hook of an original Legion name, Primarch and home world is enough to inspire people to do things on their own, rather than simply work within the tiny bit of wiggle room left in the IA articles. I'd rather there be a thousand Raven Guard players with unique takes on Corax than the mediocrity that we've been given in the name of "completeness."


more importantly... i like Zoats and think they are a clever concept and would not be out of place in the 40k universe of today.
Hey, it's no judgement on the Zoats (their agents are everywhere...and listening!), but they were, obviously, tossed in a hole, never to return, which is where I wish the IA articles would go. Heck, even if that meant that the Zoats would then run freely over the 40K universe once again, I wouldn't consider it a bad trade-off. ;)

Vaz84
17-01-2008, 01:52
I would have to say the HH novels have been some well put together books. I read alot of R.A.Salvatore (Forgoten Realms writer) and found the books easy to read and get into. Sometimes the action scenes got alittle hard to imagine, the movie in my head that happens as I read kinda skipped a beat here and there.

I think the 3rd novel in the series where we witness actual conversation between EC and WE commanders is very interesting. It gives you insight into the legions persona. Not just being kill, maim, burn. I would like to think that the legions, even now 10,000 years later are still diverse. While battle tactics might be simple, I find the characters easyir to identify with when they show other emotions.

Its just a silly notion to me that an entire legion of 10,000 marines would have the same personality as their primarch. Even in the Lunar Wolves command circle we see four unique personalities.

The Orange
17-01-2008, 03:16
I like them. They're decent reading for the most part, and seriously, how long can you hold onto a mystery before it gets old? Crockpot theories are fun and all, but GW have reveled little about these mysteries over probably more then a decade. Their fun to play around with, but after waiting several years how interesting can the mystery of the Dark Angles hold you when GW isn't releasing anything new? Remember what happened in the EoT campaign? "Oh the DA finally caught Cypher, but guess what? He got away again" wow :rolleyes:.

Not to mention how it affects new people to the hobby. They may like what there here at the beginning, but wishing to know more, what do they have to do? Search around for old books and articles that are no longer in print, or listen to older games recite said older fluff, that may no longer be valid. No, I much prefer GW make a fresh start here and now, create a library of fluff that we can look at and theorize about. Instead of us having to look back for decade old material, which may make no sense, and leaves people arguing in circles.

And it's not like the whole story is being told. A lot has been told though these books, but I think it's more about expanding the universe, then just explaining what questions we have. Already we've seen what 5 books? and were still as Istavaan V. Their is still quite a bit of mystery left open I'm sure, not to mention new worlds being opened up, such as the technocracy that was so much similar to the Imperium, but Horus destroyed. Or that other mixed xenos empire, where the humans seems to have established a relationship with the eldar.

Unless GW want to cut it short and go to the end, we still have the war to over, before going to the final siege, as well as after the Emperor was enthroned. So far we seeing far more about the character of legions, the organization of the Imperium's fighting force, as well as the culture. The whole bit about remembrancer's I think is a great bit. It perfectly explains why the info we have on the HH is so shrouded in poetry and art, instead of hard facts. What about the Mournaval? Great characters are being brought out besides those one figureheads we see in the codices such as Abaddon or Lucious. Not to mention their own characters are being expanded on besides the simple crazed bitter 2nd in command, or the sword-freak.

Their are some bits where the the books fall short, such as portraying a primarch in a way that just doesn't do them justice, etc. But I think were better with that then the simple one trait explanations left from IA, and such. "Lion'el Jhonson was a brilliant tactician and secretive" Wow that tells me so much :eyebrows:. Not that the HH have reveled much more about him, lol, but what was nice about Decent of Angles (for example) is you get a much better picture of what Calaban was like, before the Imperium came.

VermGhost
17-01-2008, 11:42
interesting

Varath- Lord Impaler
17-01-2008, 13:12
I like them. They're decent reading for the most part, and seriously, how long can you hold onto a mystery before it gets old? Crockpot theories are fun and all, but GW have reveled little about these mysteries over probably more then a decade. Their fun to play around with, but after waiting several years how interesting can the mystery of the Dark Angles hold you when GW isn't releasing anything new? Remember what happened in the EoT campaign? "Oh the DA finally caught Cypher, but guess what? He got away again" wow .

What?!

Cypher is one of the most interesting Mysteries of the 40k universe.

I am of the opinion that Cypher is a Daemon, conjured from the warp, the living anthromorphic personification of the Dark Angels inner grief and self destruction over the fallen.

A friend of mine is of the opinion that Cypher isnt a person, he is a rank amongst the fallen.

Now, i cannot say either is right, because either can be backed up with evidence. In the 40k universe either is possible.

But what would happen if GW told me "Cypher is a rank amongst the fallen and not anything else."

I would be incredibly unhappy, because the image of the Cypher Daemon was a cool one to me.

If they said the opposite then my friend would be unhappy.

Keep the Grey Area and we are both happy.

Daigawn
17-01-2008, 15:31
I have yet to read any of the HH books yet as i believe they will ruin my visions as to what the "history" of 40k is. I will however, be reading Legion as Im a ultra die-hard AL fan. Though in all fairness to the AL they should not be writing books about them, thats what has made the AL what it is. The Alpha Legion is shadowy, its secretive, its history from the begining is shrouded in mystery except for a few key battles and insurections. So in short im happy that their printing Legion but ill be most unhappy if they portray Alpharius as some whino with identity issues, not the cold calculating badass **** that i imagine him as.


**way OT here but for those AL players complaining that they cant get their all infiltrating armies anymore, play Apoc and use all your regular CSMs as chosen, it works wonders.**

iron within, iron without
17-01-2008, 17:04
so what you are saying is we shouldn't/don't deserve any background on the alpha legion and especially alpharius incase it spoils your ideas of him. this is the problem with this argument there will be people who want to know every detailing of a story where-as there are those who will be scared of destroying their mental image of characters, settings, plot etc and so scorn any attempt to sort "fact" from "fiction". you don't have to read those books do you, why not go join a club and play wargames .. oh! .... wait. that wasnt a personal dig at you daigawn just my general feeling after reading this thread

Lexington
17-01-2008, 20:44
But what would happen if GW told me "Cypher is a rank amongst the fallen and not anything else."
IIRC, he's just a character from an old Eastwood flick plopped into the 40K universe to add a bit of mystery. So, sorry to disappoint. ;)

MALICIOUS LOGIC
17-01-2008, 21:43
I would much rather have pre-40,000 AD things stay “shrouded in mystery”.

Giving detailed stories to the heroic figures/events of the past makes them less mystifying…

~Logic

Varath- Lord Impaler
18-01-2008, 03:11
so what you are saying is we shouldn't/don't deserve any background on the alpha legion and especially alpharius incase it spoils your ideas of him. this is the problem with this argument there will be people who want to know every detailing of a story where-as there are those who will be scared of destroying their mental image of characters, settings, plot etc and so scorn any attempt to sort "fact" from "fiction". you don't have to read those books do you, why not go join a club and play wargames .. oh! .... wait. that wasnt a personal dig at you daigawn just my general feeling after reading this thread

See, thats the thing. Because it is shrouded in mystery you can write your own 'version' about what you think has happened.

Not even write, just imagine even.

Ive not written any real concrete fluff about my Khornate armies. But it is all there in my mind about how they function, about their history.

I dont like being spoonfed everything, i like to create my own version. With sufficient grey areas i can do so, and so can you.

@Lexington


IIRC, he's just a character from an old Eastwood flick plopped into the 40K universe to add a bit of mystery. So, sorry to disappoint.

Really? How do you know this?

Also, just because something starts as a lame gimmick (apparently) doesnt mean it has to remain so.

Lexington
18-01-2008, 03:36
Really? How do you know this?
I believe Jervis essentially ran a "guess who Cypher's based off of!" contest in White Dwarf back when the 2nd Ed Chaos Codex was released, which is where Cypher was introduced, and revealed his origin in the next issue.


Also, just because something starts as a lame gimmick (apparently) doesnt mean it has to remain so.
Oh, no, not at all. I think that Cypher's an interesting 'hook' no matter where he comes from. Most of 40K originates from cultural/historical roots, and most of the universe's 'mysteries' are made to capture the imagination, and don't have a pre-planned solution. What Cypher is or isn't is immaterial, as long as it keeps you interested.

Daigawn
18-01-2008, 15:03
so what you are saying is we shouldn't/don't deserve any background on the alpha legion and especially alpharius incase it spoils your ideas of him. this is the problem with this argument there will be people who want to know every detailing of a story where-as there are those who will be scared of destroying their mental image of characters, settings, plot etc and so scorn any attempt to sort "fact" from "fiction". you don't have to read those books do you, why not go join a club and play wargames .. oh! .... wait. that wasnt a personal dig at you daigawn just my general feeling after reading this thread

Well the fact that Dan Abnett wrote Legion its almost guarenteed to be a good read whether Alpharius is portrayed as emo or other such fraility or not. Im not going to be reading the book come to the Alpharius emo chapter(If there is one, i doubt there is)and go "OMGZ! Nooooo! Alpharius is the greatist how can Dan Abnett do this to me?! HE WILL PAY!"

I do have my own personal vision of Alpharius sure, the cold calculating Osma Bin Laden of the 40k universe, without the towl on his head and flea ridden beard of course. I seriously dont think Dan Abnett is gonna let me down with his portrayl of him and the Alpha Legion as a whole. Though you all know where the first place im gonna go and start b*tching first if Dan does let me down!HERE!

different13
18-01-2008, 16:48
As for not wanting Alpharius to have identity issues... isn't that kind of the entire reason the Legion went traitor?
Alpharius wanting to prove himself to smug big Poppa Smurf Guilliman?

"Yo, Rob, my newbie legion just cracked that fortress world you guys have been working on for decades."
"Em, yeah, nice on Al, we thought we'd give the new guy a chance, y'know? Still got some catching up to do before you're the equal to the likes of me or Lionel.."
"...You bastard."

Well, obviously I'm paraphrasing, but isn't that roughly what happened?


Anyway, personally I'm greatly enjoying the Horus Heresy books. I'd rather know what Angron looks like, what wargear Corax used, than not know anything about them other than their name and that of the planet they landed on.
If you don't want your idea of the Heresy spoiled, don't read about it.

AdmiralDick
18-01-2008, 18:43
but in the case of the Loyalist Primarchs, if they hadn't had a Codex or sublist previously, they were mostly blanks. It's no accident that these IA articles (Iron Hands, Raven Guard, Imperial Fists and White Scars) were the worst of the lot.

actually i believe that the White Scars got the first ever Space Marine army list (certainly the first published in a rulebook; The First Book of the Astronomicon), and to show up their 'gimmick' from the start their Primarch was named after a motorbike (Jaghatai = Ducati). not that that point is entirely relevant.


I think the difference between those Primarchs defined by a Codex and those defined by an IA article is several degrees of subtlety and refinement. The Codexes layered historical and fictional sources with unique elements to create characterful, interesting forces. The Index Astartes articles took various gimmicks and hammered them into the 40K universe, and the result makes for fairly pedestrian reading.

i can agree with that. i never read the IA articles at the time, because after the first few they didn't hold my interest. however i think that this raises 2 issues: i) the way in which background is given to us and ii) the skill with which it is presented.

with regards to the first point, i agree that the best background comes from Codexes (infact i personally do not treat anything else, aside from the odd WD article as background). i think this is largely due to the way in which it is given to use though. for the most part, space demands that it is short and sweet and does not spend too long on any one topic. it is also given to us in multiple formats, and from multiple perspectives (sometimes its narration, sometimes its first person accounts and sometimes its reports), that diversity really builds much more into the background than a novel can every hope to do. when compared with such a format, novels will always seem hopelessly one dimensional. however, the down side of codex style background is it gives GW license to simply repeat themselves ad nausium and never add new information (who isn't tired of the same cut and paste Horus Heresy story in every marine codex?) and any changes will likely upset certain groups who now feel cut out (Codex: Chaos is a prime example).

the other problem of skill is a lot more straight forward and can be solved by geting good writers who know what they're talking about. GW are getting more and more professional writers in, but i'm not sure that its helping. perhaps they are not aware of the universe itself enough.

whilst on this topic, what do you consider the best way of presenting background? what do you think of telling a story through a large scale campaign (the BoLS Horus Heresy campaign for example)? does that allow history to be some how set, and yet flexible to work with?


They're defined by army list tricks rather than personality, and it's an idea that's sadly taken hold in the 40K community at large.

i think this is maybe where we differ. to me, if you don't mind me say, that sounds like a rather narrow view. a sort of 'we tried it once rather half-heartedly and it didn't work, therefore it can never work' approach to the issue. granted certain designers were more creative than others but lacked the 'rules lawyer' in them to be able to get all that creativiy into a concrete form, but that you couldn't get a team to work together who had a balance of both elements. but more importantly, if all armies (of a given race) simply have a single generic list how can one build an army that is clearly of a certian sub-division of that race and would be impossible to represent in another sub-division of that same race? for example i can play an Iron Warriors army using the current Chaos: Codex, by taking more heavy weapons and vehicles than is standard, but equally i can take that same selection of units and say they are Alpha Legion or whatever (and not even have to say i'm using IW rules). now that might be a boost for the AL player, but it is clearly detrimental to the IW player who now has no way of mechanically identifying his army from another. or do you think no such army should have the right to do that?

i suspect that this issue will boil down to the fact that i think rules in part make background, and background in part make rules; you cannot seperate the one from the other. where as i suspect you might take the opposite veiw and say that rules and background do not overlap.


The damage is done, though. See: most complaints about the new Chaos Codex. "Oh, I can't really play Alpha Legion anymore! They don't all have infiltrate!" This isn't a healthy attitude towards how rules and background should interact

i can agree to an extent on that, except that i think very few people actually argue that point. they may say those exact words, but i think they use it as short-hand for something rather different. what they usually mean is, i can no longer play with the gaming style i was used to an enjoyed, because there is no current equivelant, even if different. what would you field from the current Codex: Chaos to emmulate the way that the AL played? or the way the EC played? or the TS? or the WB? its one of the major reasons i don't play all that much anymore, because my EC army is no longer my EC army. it might be an EC army, but it is not mine (i.e. the one i bought into).

however, if people are being as genuinely myopic as you suggest then such a connection can only be considered bad news.


Yes, actually. As far as I'm concerned, any fluff done poorly is fluff that's best not had.

again, to an extent i agree. i'd rather they got on and wrote good background than rubbish background. however, i'd rather they didn't eliminate any background, just because at the time they thought it was rubbish (that is a step backwards, not forwards). i'd rather that they reworked and reused bad background to build something more worthwhile, rather than just skipping over it like it never existed. otherwise we'll end up with something rather more like the Marvel universe where anything goes, because in a months time you'll be fired and the next writer will simply say that the stuff you wrote never really happend, it was all a trick! very clever :eyebrows:


Giving players the hook of an original Legion name, Primarch and home world is enough to inspire people to do things on their own, rather than simply work within the tiny bit of wiggle room left in the IA articles.

obviously, i'd rather they didn't fill in all the gaps (i am now and always will be dead against the idea of a Grey Knights or Legion of the Damned army). but at the same time i don't think it adds anything to the game by denying players a banner to rally under. if all that connects two armies is the fact they happen to be painted in similar (not even identicle) colours, there is little cause to say that they are brothers.


Its just a silly notion to me that an entire legion of 10,000 marines would have the same personality as their primarch.

actually i find it harder to swollow the idea that Space Marines all seem like unique individuals. with the amount of augmentation and hypno- and chemical therapy they go through, there must be nothing left of the original man. they are basically factory made men, cast in the same mold. and their is no reason to suspect that they are particularly individual (why would they all continue to fight unpaid, unless that's all they could think to do?). they are barely human by any standard we would apply. the differences between Marines (and this should only be visible on the largest scale, between legions) is not what they can and can't do (they're identicle men after all) but what they choose to do. all space marines, good or bad, embody the whole of the emperor (in so far as they can), but simply choose to persue a particular aspect of that (or are genetically prone to choosing that aspect). to say that the White Scars are good on bikes is not to say that every other marine isn't (they even have the same stats!) just that he demonstrates how good he is.


seriously, how long can you hold onto a mystery before it gets old?

i don't know. hundreds of years? thousands? people still seem pretty keen on myths and mysteries that have been around since the earliest times of human civilisation. i don't think that GW are in any danger of wearing their material thin any time soon by not revealing more.


I would much rather have pre-40,000 AD things stay “shrouded in mystery”.

it also gives us the impression that they really have just come out of a Dark Age, where people were incapable of passing on history, and that all alien races around the Imperium are either unwilling or more likely incapable of informing them of what has come before.

its like waking up with amnesia and never thinking to question it, but that's what the 40st millennia is supposed to be like according to the background.


What Cypher is or isn't is immaterial, as long as it keeps you interested.

i think that's a really key point and is equally applicable to any part of the 40k background. in fact it demonstrates the importance of mystery, why keep coming back if you know the answer?