PDA

View Full Version : Fluff



chub
16-05-2010, 20:25
Before I start I have to say I don't play just to win, but the question that bugs me is why does everyone seem obsessed with the fluff? I have played 40k for almost 15 years and have read plenty of the black library novels, however I have never felt the need to justify my army using a background story or fluff.
So my question to the Warseer members is why do you use/need fluff?

stroller
16-05-2010, 20:32
It's fun. It adds some character. I don't "need" it, but it does add a dimension. If you don't need or want that, you don't have to have it any more than you "have to" convert, paint, or decide houserules.

Ultimate Life Form
16-05-2010, 20:32
You do not need fluff. Just as you don't need color or terrain.

However it's part of the hobby. Some people have phantasy and like using it. To them an army isn't just a calculation model that needs to have maxed out efficiency based on mathematical considerations. They want the army to represent a force from their favorite province, or from a certain era. It is, if you will, the voluntary sacrifice of power in order to be able to play the army and models you *like* in order to have an improved gaming experience, or fun, if you know the word's meaning.

chub
16-05-2010, 20:44
I get the I play '...' Chapter etc but as an example my brother asked me to help him with background fluff for his BA army (he was usimg space wolves parts)
To me it was just a case of I like these models so it is a succesor chapter, yet he still needed a story, this I dont get it I honestly don't?

Knifeparty
16-05-2010, 20:45
I love fluffy lists to death, unfortunately truely fluffy lists rarely are competitive, especially where I'm from (Toronto, Canada).

That being said I usually go for as much fluff as I can get away with while still maintaining a competitive list.

I'm currently in the process of making a "Slaanesh" Warriors of Chaos army for 8th edition. Everything is painted and modeled Slaanesh and I'm using mostly slaanesh marks but some other marks included as well. I've mostly justified it as this:

Mark of Nurgle: My Slaanesh guys move so fast its hard to hit them.
Mark of Khorne: My Slaanesh guys are drugged up and want to cut some stuff up.
Mark of Tzeentch: Uh, they are blessed so they have wardsaves?

You get the picture. There's ways around anything.

My Dark Elves, Vampires, Black Templars, and Space Wolves all have some kind of back story to them.

Crovax20
16-05-2010, 20:47
I find fluff to be important for me. It really inspires me to take certain units, that might not be the most amazing effecient ones. I have just started building a night goblin force, and I know I will probably loose just about every battle, but I know I will have fun seeing the little goblins running crazy on the field. In my heart I really do hope that GW makes it easier to use trolls in an all night goblin force because stupidity on ld6/7 is pretty harsh.

The only army I didn't really start from a fluff inspired perspective are my first ones, Empire and Necrons. I took them because I love the way the models look and for Empire its variety and for Necrons their mechanics. My Night Goblins, Orks and Chaos Marines were all started thanks to fluff inspiration. I really find having my own little fluff behind them makes me care more when I paint them. An Ork Warboss, or Kaptin Grubbels, fleet admiral of the Thousand Teef Buccaneers. When I paint an Ork Warboss I do my best, but when I paint Fleet Admiral Kaptin Grubbels of the Thousand Teef Buccaneers I go that extra mile to make him look proper cool.

Ultimate Life Form
16-05-2010, 20:50
Well if an army looks different from GW mainstream it brings up questions as to why that would be and what justifies this. So having a good answer does never hurt. However an explanation is usually easily found; to me conversions aren't really a problem as long as it's clear what the troops are supposed to represent. It is this variety that makes the hobby rich.

chub
16-05-2010, 21:04
@Crovax20 That interests me, the fluff makes you take more care when you paint? I understand that yet I don't follow it I definately am of the school I paint the models I like which is why a Stern guard leads my DC.
@ Ultimate Life Form surely that is why we have WYSIWYG

Ultimate Life Form
16-05-2010, 21:06
No we don't, this is the Fantasy section. -.-

chub
16-05-2010, 21:11
I could have swon I posted in the 40k section, anyways ......

Could a mod please move this to 40k discussions

thanks :)

Crovax20
16-05-2010, 21:43
@ Chubb

Fair enuff, I take extra care and put more effort into models that I actually have got a background for. I can tell you that if I wasn't inspired by the freebooter theme, I would never have bought ork pirate heads and would not use Kaptin Badruk as my Warboss. I would never have put jolly roger banners on top of my Killa Kans.

Like you said, you prefer painting a model you like the looks off, fluff basically does the same for a lot of people. It gives you an extra incentive to put paint on it and it reinforces the uniqueness of your army. Even though the guy across the table might play Orks as well, our armies will still be worlds apart.

I guess fluff is just another way to make your army unique compared to the guy across the table. You know how people decorate their houses when its Xmas, or in a block of housing thats all of the same look and type people still try to differentiate by putting in a different door, or a special looking name plate. People just crave to be distinct and having fluff behind your army is another way to differentiate your army from the guy across the table.

RealMikeBob
16-05-2010, 22:23
Without the fluff you are just moving little plastic soldiers around. But add some story and suddenly you are seeing the final glorious charge of Snorri Bloodmanes Great Company into the jaws of Hivefleet Nessie. Or whatever.

vinush
16-05-2010, 22:32
Fluff makes you care more in general, not just when painting, but when playing too.

When an empire army goes to war against woc it's just a game. If the general dies, it's just a general. But when the forces of Heinrich Allenstag face the horde of Galraug the Defiler, there's more at stake than a measley Empire general. The battle is for the glory of the Allenstag name, to avenge his grandfather, who was defeated by Galraug 50 years ago. It makes the game more fun.

Everyone at my local group can tell you that my Empire army's from Sylvania, and that when my troops pass their leadership test to prevent them from running it's because of the fear of the Count Von Carstein and the punishment he will mete out on them for their cowardice. They face a fate worse than death. They can also tell you the army motto, Serve into death. Having this background seems to make the army perform better too.

My IG army in 40k is renowned for the unbeatable Commissar Chirlov who has taken command of the army on no fewer than 7 occasions when the loyalty of the Captain in charge was found lacking. He even ensured that the drop troops arrived in one game. The troops were content to rrmain onboard the ship until Chirlov executed the Army SO then they came down the next turn out of fear of the commissar's wrath.

Again, this fluff is not essential, but it makes the army sound better.

Fluff allows me to be creative, even if the only people to know about it are me and my opponents. They also have fluff for their armies.

THE \/ince

enygma7
16-05-2010, 22:57
For some people 40k is just an abstract competetive game and the fluff doesn't matter. That's fair enough for them. For others its much more and is actually primarily a "role play" game - i.e. you tell a narrative. The commander may represent you personally or a named, important individual. If you take this approach fluff is actually everything, the game itself is just a way of building the narrative. The fluff can then spill into other areas - the narrative helps you choose a mission or make your own scenario based on why and where the battle is happening, the backstory of the army will influence conversion, modelling and painting choices.

If you want to try and understand this way of playing I recommend reading through one of the imperial armour campaign books (volume 3 onwards) which are aimed squarely at this type of gamer and are basically fictional military history books.

This type of gaming may not float your boat but it is worth making an effort to understand it because problems can happen when the two different types of gamer play each other as both are looking for something different from the game. I fluff game in a big way and all of my forces have histories stretching back years as part of a decade long narrative campaign.

Born Again
17-05-2010, 04:05
Fluff is there because otherwise 40k is just a game like Chess. No, I don't want die-hard tournie players raging, I didn't say they're playing chess, I said it's like chess. You have a variety of pieces, that are each capable of different and unique things. You attempt to out play your opponent through the use of superior tactics and eliminating his pieces.

With fluff, this suddenly becomes a tense battle to capture a vital location or supplies, destroy the enemies base of operations, assassinate their commander, secure a drop zone for reinforcements, anything you can imagine. It adds a new and interesting dynamic to the whole thing. At the end of the day, I bet the majority of people got in to 40k because they thought the fluff or models were cool and wanted the immerse themselves in it, not because they wanted to stick rigidly to a set of rules for using playing pieces. Sadly, I think many have turned to this since...

alphastealer
17-05-2010, 08:22
Fluff is what makes the story. If there was no fluff or pics in codexes, just stats, then there would be far fewer players in this hobby. Making your models look more authentic and giving some story to the whole affair makes it more real and rewarding.

RanaldLoec
17-05-2010, 08:58
Fluff let's you have great fun, like my 40k ork horde, my warboss is bad moon and very rich when is favourite waagh banner bearer nob got ripped in half by a carnifex in an apocalypse game I knew he couldn't just be left to die.

But what use is an ork nob with no legs?

The result was a deff dread placed on the rear half of a cut up trukks making the first ork mobility kart for my disabled ork nob.

With out the fluff it would just be a deff dread on wheels.

Hunger
17-05-2010, 12:00
To me it was just a case of I like these models so it is a succesor chapter, yet he still needed a story, this I dont get it I honestly don't?

If you have to ask you'll never understand...

Orcboy_Phil
17-05-2010, 13:01
Fluff is a great way for people like me to justify why my force just lost to the local WAAC-offs latest monster list. Mostly its because I'm to lazy to sit there with a calculator trying to squeeze as many points out of my list as I can.

ehlijen
17-05-2010, 13:50
Background is what pushes people to make armies that make sense in the world the game is meant to be set in, rather than simply (ab)using the rules as best they can.

Neither is wrong, but most people strongly prefer one over the other.

The Orange
17-05-2010, 15:07
Did you paint your mini's just like the codex? Then you've attached your army to already established fluff. Or did you make a DIY army? Did you make a name for said army? Well congrats you've just made fluff for your army.

As irrelevant as the fluff may be to the mechanics of the game it's still and integral part of the game. When you play against someone it's not Red vs. Black (checkers) or White vs. Black (chess), your playing Space Marines vs. Eldar, both of which have established fluff, and which players further elaborate on by such things as paint scheme, army name, etc. As little as it may seem just giving your army a name is inviting fluff into your games.

Brother Loki
17-05-2010, 17:01
Before I start I have to say I don't play just for the fluff, but the question that bugs me is why does everyone seem obsessed with winning? I have played 40k for over 20 years and have been to plenty of tournaments, however I have never felt the need to increase my chance of winning by min-maxing my army list or manipulating the rules.
So my question to the Warseer members is why do you use/need to win?

Your question can be pretty easily turned on its head. For me, and a lot of players, the attraction of the hobby is creating and imagining stories in the 40k universe. The game rules exist to give those stories structure, and help to determine the outcome of a given scenario.

Your question works pretty well if taken the other way around

chub
17-05-2010, 17:33
@The Orange, I know there is already established fluff, what I meant was the large amount of gamers who make up there own fluff for their own particular forces.

@ Everone else, I think I get it, I personally get enjoyment out of painting the models even though it is to the predetermined fluff most of the time, (although I have painted an orange space marine just so I could see what it would look like) and yes playing the game I am just pushing toysoldiers around a table, but I enjoy it. Yet there is a large amount of you who seem to get as much if not more enjoyment justifying (is this the right word?) your armies.

Hunger
17-05-2010, 18:10
No, fluff is not about 'justifying' anything. If I want to mix my IG with my Chaos Marines and chuck in some Daemons I don't have to justify anything to anyone - either you're happy to play my LATD or you're not, no amount of fluff I write will make any difference to an opponent's opinion. Its for my personal enjoyment.

I like to have a bit of backstory to my army, I like to play games with specific objectives, rather than just going after some generic markers for no reason). My army fights missions that fit into the overall picture that I build up in my head and on paper of my army - for example, I am always trying to kill the slippery farseer of my eldar opponent, and my army is currently engaged in retaking a key star system from the Ultramarines.

Its good to see your characters develop over time too - why use boring old Mephiston or Creed when you can take an ordinary captain and develop him. Before long he will have an illustrious career full of glorious successes, or lucky streak, or an inept string of failures he is trying to right, he may have lost his right arm to a carnifex on planet XYZ and had it replaced with a bionic one, or he may have been lascannoned so many times you have stuck him in a Dreadnought!

chub
17-05-2010, 18:27
@ Hunger, sorry I didnt think justify was the right word but the word I want seems to elude me, as far as character development goes what do you actually do? Do you take notes and then model the differences as and when sort of like roleplay or do you just keep it all in your head? I am seeing all these different posters who obviously are deeply immersed in their respective armies and I do get the impression I am missing something yet perhaps the fact that in my locality thescene is largely made up of tournament players so there isn't any real desire/need for fluff outside the core books.

Meriwether
17-05-2010, 18:28
I don't care about fluff when playing a game. I enjoy some 40K books, I enjoy reading the fluff in the codices (when it isn't awful), and so forth.

But when I'm playing the game, I really, really, REALLY don't care about whatever story someone could conjure up in their heads about who is involved and what is at stake etc etc. I just don't care.

amazingdev2005
17-05-2010, 18:35
I really like the fluff behind the game but I'm getting disappointed with it. Seems with each new edition fluff is changed to support certain model sets that GW wants us to buy, and the BL books are all badly written. Don't even get me started on the BL books that get the fluff wrong and are badly written.

"Mr. Author, I'm choking down your bland writing for the sake of coming across a few, good pages that ignite my imagination for what brought me to your Warhammer 40K book in the first place....so don't give C:SM multilasers."

-amazingdev2005

Maxtermynd
17-05-2010, 19:11
I used to not care too much about the fluff, but over the short time that I've been in the hobby it has taken a much more central role in why I play 40k over other wargames... as, really, that's all that it has going for it.

If I wanted to play a game that has actual working rules, I'd play Hordes/Warmachine/Flames of War. Games Workshop has repeatedly stated and shown through their books that the rules are of secondary importance to them, so why should they be of primary importance to the players? Not to mention the terrible FAQ system... but I digress.

Games Workshop also has fantastic models... but so do a lot of other miniatures makers, and often for more affordable prices. So that's not keeping me here.

What IS keeping me here is the fluff. When I see Privateer Press stuff I don't have cool modeling opportunities jump into my head at random as I don't feel for the storry as strongly. In 40k there is the potential for pretty much anything to happen, and with the rich backstory you can make a pretty good argument for just about anything. Silly ideas like angel-themed Daemons, a Dark Mechanicus warband that promises recruits immortality and omnipotence inside a dreadnought's sarcophagus, or Guard that are tithed to the Inquisition and use bound daemons agains their enemies just jump into my head all the time. It's freeing and it's MINE to do with what I please.

Take away the background and all you have are a random assortment of pretty models fighting in a pretty sad excuse for a system.

Project2501
17-05-2010, 19:37
Before I start I have to say I don't play just to win, but the question that bugs me is why does everyone seem obsessed with the fluff? I have played 40k for almost 15 years and have read plenty of the black library novels, however I have never felt the need to justify my army using a background story or fluff.
So my question to the Warseer members is why do you use/need fluff?


Personalization.

Same reason why you hang up pictures/posters, (re)paint your room/house/car, etc. etc. etc....

Everybody does things to personalize something, why should 40k be any different?

jsullivanlaw
17-05-2010, 19:51
Before I start I have to say I don't play just to win, but the question that bugs me is why does everyone seem obsessed with the fluff? I have played 40k for almost 15 years and have read plenty of the black library novels, however I have never felt the need to justify my army using a background story or fluff.
So my question to the Warseer members is why do you use/need fluff?

The short answer is that an army looks a lot more striking on the table if it conforms to some sort of theme. I haven't been one to write personal histories of everyone in my army or anything but i think things look cooler conforming to a theme.

chub
17-05-2010, 20:08
@ jsullivanlaw, I stick to a theme, I mean my BA are red, my DA are all black and my IG are all field grey but is that neccesarily fluff?

Meriwether
17-05-2010, 21:29
I certainly coordinate my paint schemes (and conversions) -- but that's not what I'd consider fluff.

Yileen
17-05-2010, 21:34
Im totaly new to Warhammer, but after i painted a few models and my boyfriend told me some fluff stories i got even more interested in the game.

sycopat
17-05-2010, 22:22
The only real answer is that, to some people the fluff behind their army is an important aspect of the hobby for them. Coming up with a backstory for their force, and an army composition that reflects their unique take on things matters to them.

For some people it doesn't matter at all. Some people just enjoy painting their models, some people just enjoy playing the game and can't be arsed painting at all, some people just like the fluff and rarely buy any models at all, but will have an extensive black library collection.

Most of us, I imagine, enjoy a mixture of all the different things the hobby offers. And even in this mixture there are subtle gradients.

I love the fluff. I can't understand people who don't have an interest in it. To me the fluff aspect of the hobby is as important as painting or playing. Perhaps even more so. I'm a science fiction/fantasy nerd, and Iíve always been a story teller. It appeals to me strongly. At the same time, unless I'm setting out to make a themed list, fluff is not a consideration for me when army building. I can build my fluff around the army after all.

I do find that I tend to use fluff more during less competitive games. Competitive games are thrilling because of the edge of competition. Friendly games can lack that. However in such a situation I can use fluff to draw my opponent and myself into a shared space where we are not really competing at a wargame with dodgy rules, but watching a story unfold. It's a nice way to embellish a game and prevent it from getting boring, even if the outcome is inevitable pretty much from deployment. It makes the story more interesting than the ending.

Do I think it has a place in every game or every army list? Nah, I just do it because it amuses me to try and fit my own story into the broader fiction of the 40k universe. And I only pull it out because I like having fun, and I want my opponent to have fun too, and telling a little story together is just another way to keep things interesting.

starlight
17-05-2010, 22:45
I certainly coordinate my paint schemes (and conversions) -- but that's not what I'd consider fluff.


Ah yes, but co-ordinate it to *what*?

If you're co-ordinating it to (for example...) the Imperial Fists First Company, or the Cadian 8th, or even Hive Fleet Kraken...then you're co-ordinating with the background...

:shifty:

Meriwether
17-05-2010, 23:38
Coordinating with the overall paint scheme I have chosen. (Which doesn't match an IG company, or a marine chapter, or a particular craftworld or kabal or klan... I just pick a paint scheme and go with it.)

Hellebore
17-05-2010, 23:52
To truly ignore an army's background in the paint scheme you'd have to choose colours regardless of army background and ignore squad markings etc and instead paint or texta the same number on each model in a squad to denote which squad was which.

The models would have to end up looking like abstract gaming pieces rather than trooper joe from the 65th.

Hellebore

Meriwether
17-05-2010, 23:54
Or mark their bases with different colors...

Edit: I didn't say I actively purge all fluff from everything I am doing when it comes to my armies...

Joewrightgm
18-05-2010, 01:03
I use background to make my armies; as it stands, they are Goff Orks and my work in progress Black Legion.

For example: My Goffs are infantry heavy, with slugga mobs outnumbering shootas. I also have a dread and some killa kanz, because Goffs like big stompy things. I also have a nice big foot nob unit with the warboss because Goffs have a higher balance of these things in their armies. I also have a lot of ordinance-toting wagons, because let's face it, what ork doesn't love watching things blow up?

For my Black Legion its got terminators and possessed as well as a Defiler; The terminators because the Legion still follows the method of the spear tip, tearing an enemy's throat out. The Black Legion also sees being possessed as a great sign of favor from the Gods, and the Defiler was first seen amongst the Black Legion. Also, there is a high-percentage of Chaos Marines with the mark of undivided.

So, I use the background to enrich and enhance my experience when building an army.

onidemon
18-05-2010, 02:52
A theory of mine: it all depends on if your first love is videogames or roleplaying games.

I came into 40k from roleplaying games - RPGs are nothing but background fluff. They're completely imaginary, and there are no graphics or sounds, so having a strong universe you can imagine is vital. Players will bore you for hours with tales of this or that adventure their character went on, and will fill you in on the characters whole backstory. To me, 40k was just an extension of that kind of gaming.

But, I've also played a lot of MMOs like WoW, and I don't think I can recall anyone who cared about the proud history of their Hunter or the bitter sweet betrayals of the horde. No one goes on about how they attained some power or how amazing some distant land was. When telling me about their character it's always about stats, what rare loot they have, and what they could do to someone in pvp. The pretty graphics and setting are nice, but it doesn't matter much to them next to the number-crunchy aspect of fine tuning one's character and churning XP quickly.

So, I find role-players care more about fluff while gamers care more about competitive gaming. Which makes sense, when you think about it.

TitusAndronicus
18-05-2010, 02:55
not a terrible theory.

Orcboy_Phil
18-05-2010, 08:57
not a terrible theory.

Except it only effects the current kids and thoose in their early twenties. I was playing this game and computer games years before I even discovered RP. I did however grow up reading books. That might explain my love of Fluff.

sycopat
18-05-2010, 11:38
I'm still, technically, in my early twenties, but like Orcboy_Phil, came to RP years after getting into GW and videogames. In truth, I only got into RPG's because there wasn't much wargaming in my universities games group, and there's only so much Munchkin or Settlers a man can play, so I don't think the theory really holds true.

I do read heavily though, so there maybe something in that.

Meriwether
18-05-2010, 12:37
not a terrible theory.

I don't know... I read copiously, have been playing roleplaying games since the early 80s and miniature wargames since the late 80s. I guess I've always thought of 40K and Fantasy as complicated, more fun Risk with cool models.

I mean, I love the Gaunt's Ghosts books, but they don't inspire me to play Blood Pact or Tanith...

Hunger
18-05-2010, 13:02
as far as character development goes what do you actually do? Do you take notes and then model the differences as and when sort of like roleplay or do you just keep it all in your head?

Depends on the situation. I don't take notes throughout the game, mark down kills or anything like that, but particular events often stick in my head. I give my important characters names on the roster - the commander is always named, along with personalities like daemon princes.

Sergeants sometimes acquire a name for exceptional performance, for example, the IG squad leader that went toe-to-toe with two astartes last night, and killed them both singlehandedly, will feature in future games against the Ultramarines. I have one power sword wielding sergeant model in my collection, and given his proven close combat skill it seems fitting that the Marine-killer should become this model, so now whenever I take a power sword armed sergeant it will be him. Nothing has changed, but now my sergeant has a little bit of history and personality, and may acquire more as he takes part in future battles.

I see all the games I play against my regular opponents as an ongoing campaign, and when my named characters fall in battle I assumed they are merely wounded, recovered and survive - remember, a combatant doesn't have to be killed to take him out of the fight, its enough that he is rendered incapable of fighting. However, circumstances often make it hard to believe that they survive unscathed - if the above sergeant ran into a full squad of berzerkers and received an overwhelming number of unsaved hits I might make a new model for him, with one arm missing and a heavily scarred face, but since he is just a sergeant I would probably just let him die - the glorious sacrifice he made to protect the command squad (standing behind him) from the berzerkers have earned him a note in the army's history. If the same thing happened to a commander with a rich history though, I would probably get a new model for him, as I am not fond of altering models once painted - the original is then shelved without a name until I feel like introducing a new commander to the force, or a suitable lieutenant gets promoted.

Occasionally a mission will present itself based on the history of one of my characters - perhaps he was cut off from the rest of the army at the end of the game, and common sense says he fled deeper into enemy territory away from the front lines. The next game I play might be a rescue mission to get him back. One of my commanders has a personal vendetta against the farseer of the Eldar warhost he is currently embattled with - annihilation games featuring both these characters are personal affairs, and both characters often make a beeline straight for each other.

Very rarely one of my commanders may rise to 'special character' status. For example, the captain of my long-dead Space Marine chapter took part in a massive two-month campaign that spanned several GW stores. The campaign was a fought over a huge map detailing a certain star-system, and at the end of the two months I came out on top, having claimed over half the territories - there were loads of other players, and many got knocked out complately, so this was a huge achievement for me. In recognition of his success I wrote into my fluff that the captain found an artfact on one of the worlds he claimed, unique weapon of awesome power which I wrote some special rules for. From then on I only ever used him in large games, and he was elevated to the same status as any other special character, although SC's used to be much more restricted in their use, and you had to have your opponent's consent.

This all probably sounds like a lot to remember or write down while concentrating on playing a game, but its not like that at all. I don't write stuff down, I don't keep referring to my roster, I don't memorise stuff - the things that are worth adding to the fluff present themselves and stick in the mind because they are the turning points in close fought games, recklessly heroic against-all-odds actions that actually worked, monumental duels against vastly superior opponents, that time when your commander rolled twenty saves all at once and passed every one. Some games pass by without incident, and nothing of note happens, but when it does I add it to my army's fluff after the game.

Reading back through the history of my army is like looking through a photo album - I remember particular moments in memorable games and can recall the great victories and ignominious defeats. Its the whole reason I play the game, and without it the game would be completely soulless for me, and I would probably have no interest in 40K at all.

If you don't understand then I would encourage you to give it a try - give your Captain/Lord/Farseer//Ethereal/Daemon Prince/Warboss a name on the next roster you write, and make a note of his victories, defeats and memorable actions on the back of your roster over the next five or six games. If you have regular opponents encourage them to do the same for their commanders, and instead of simply throwing down your D3+2 objective markers think about what they represent, and why your forces are fighting the battle. I can't explain exactly how it will enrich your games (or even if it will), but you might find you have a very different experience from the rest of the games you play.

Apologies for the wall of text, I type very fast and tend to get a little carried away.

Have fun!

Grand Warlord
18-05-2010, 14:27
For me fluff is what keeps me playing, my local players have all but stopped playing and depending on schedules I am lucky to get to a tournament.

chub
18-05-2010, 16:42
@onidemon I really like the theory but I am definately the exception that proves the rule, I have never really been a videogamer and only tried RP after starting 40k, however like a lot of others, I am a voracious reader, it is a strange day when I dont have a book nearby.

@Hunger I will definately give that a go, as you would probably expect I have never named a character (even my bloodbowl list is copied straight from the videogame) in fact my rosters are usually printed straight off of excel, but I will definately name one know and give it a go

VonManstein
18-05-2010, 17:06
I don't care about fluff when playing a game. I enjoy some 40K books, I enjoy reading the fluff in the codices (when it isn't awful), and so forth.

But when I'm playing the game, I really, really, REALLY don't care about whatever story someone could conjure up in their heads about who is involved and what is at stake etc etc. I just don't care.
Exactly the same here.

Axel
18-05-2010, 17:20
Poeple who do not care for the fluff do not post about it in forums. Thus it seems that the fluff-obsessed abound plentyfull here, while they are actually a minority of players.

Meriwether
18-05-2010, 17:58
Poeple who do not care for the fluff do not post about it in forums. Thus it seems that the fluff-obsessed abound plentyfull here, while they are actually a minority of players.

I think it's probably more fair to say that we have no idea how many fluffernutters vs. game-only-ers there are.

Brother Loki
18-05-2010, 18:50
True. Only a tiny minority of players of any type post on forums. Probably less that 20%. Most people just play with their friends at home, and don't get involved in the wider online community.

starlight
18-05-2010, 19:00
If GW's numbers are anything to go by...much less than that... :(

GW guesstimates that there are roughly 750,000 people collecting/playing GW games at any point in a given year...

Add up the total number of active Forum members...well, Warseer is the largest at 65,000 with 12,000 regulars, so assuming the rest of the top five were similar (which they aren't, but for discussion purposes) and allowing for multiple accounts for individual gamers, that's still less than 10% of GW's numbers participating in online forums regularly...

And really, I'm guessing that the only reason it would be anywhere close to 10% is that GW is wildly overestimating their player base... :shifty:

Col. Dash
18-05-2010, 19:04
If you arent playing for the story, you are just rolling dice and pushing little toys around.

Project2501
18-05-2010, 19:08
If you arent playing for the story, you are just rolling dice and pushing little toys around.


And how is that bad exactly? Boardgames do just what you described and are infinitely more popular...

chub
18-05-2010, 19:11
@ Col.Dash, thats been said before, but I alo said I know its just toys but I enjoy pushing them around. You could use that argument to also say chess is just pushing wooden blocks around

starlight
18-05-2010, 19:16
To me the *pushing toys around* is secondary (and likely always will be) to the social aspect of spending time having fun with mates. We could be out hiking, shooting, or pushing toys around, but it's more about who you're doing it with than what you're doing. :)

ReveredChaplainDrake
18-05-2010, 20:08
What I find is that, to make fluff matter, you have to play an army whose fluff matches your own aesthetics, both in game and personally. If you can get your own ideas on the table, it'll work a lot more fluidly than the top-tier internet leaf blower list.

I'm an advocate of things like reliability, bringing the right tool for the job, and the power of rapid movement. I prefer Dawn of War to pitched battles because darkness is just as good a fire deterrent as armor. I believe that the ability to set up unfair fights is the cornerstone to being a good general. I believe that each and every unit I field should intimidate my opponent to confuse their target priority. I believe that statlines can, and often do, speak for themselves. And most of all, I believe that my warriors should be focused more on battle tactics and frankly doing their job, rather than trying to appease a deity at the expense of strategy. Thus, my primary army is Night Lords.

Meriwether
18-05-2010, 20:59
If you arent playing for the story, you are just rolling dice and pushing little toys around.

And drinking beer!

And acting far more childish than my wife might otherwise expect!

And drinking beer!

starlight
18-05-2010, 21:28
Meri has the right of it... :shifty:



Although I have a nice bottle of mead that is begging to be opened... :shifty:

owen matthew
18-05-2010, 22:59
Before I start I have to say I don't play just to win, but the question that bugs me is why does everyone seem obsessed with the fluff? I have played 40k for almost 15 years and have read plenty of the black library novels, however I have never felt the need to justify my army using a background story or fluff.
So my question to the Warseer members is why do you use/need fluff?


Amen.

I feel many here use/need it to be on some kind of moral high ground. it is strange. I have never really heard a person really talk about it in a decade, but here if you are not on that train you can be treated like some kind of deviant. This is in spite of the fact that the damned rules seldom actually reflect the fluff in any acurate way.

starlight
18-05-2010, 23:19
Sooo...



...you're admitting to being a deviant... :shifty:

igotsmeakabob!!
18-05-2010, 23:25
The fluff is 50% of the game for me. Novels, codecies, it's all great. I read plenty of non-40k books (I'm a bit of a book fiend) but enacting awesome feats of battle with my little plastic mans is just too great of an imagination boost for me to resist.

50% fluff
10% assembly
40% gaming
Painting isn't in there because I hate doing it.

amazingdev2005
19-05-2010, 00:47
I think Meri has the right idea. Fluff is nice if you're into it, but really it's the game that matters in the end.

If you disagree, ask yourself this question: can you play the game without caring about fluff? Sure. Can you be entirely into the fluff without playing the game? I don't think so. Or, I should say I hope not. By this, I mean the background for 40K is good for a game based around models but is in no way intriguing as a standalone subject for a hobby if you couldn't get into the gaming or modeling/painting aspect of it.

Take for example the BL novels. If you're into 40K you acknowledge the more-than-seldom bad writing, amateurish storylines, bland one-dimensional characters, and formulaic plotlines because it's someone trying to emulate what we love about the game through writing. If someone knew nothing of the game do you think they'd waste their time reading these books instead of utilizing their time with much better written science fiction? I'm not saying GW fluff is awful but I think if you take away the game system that the fluff supports/enhances, you have much better choices of entertainment. I equate the BL books to fluff in this way. Fluff might help get you hooked on 40K, but if you don't think of the game as more important you tend to leave the hobby as there are better things out there.

-amazingdev2005

puppetmaster24
19-05-2010, 00:51
No offence but you strike me as an incredibly boring person.

starlight
19-05-2010, 00:54
I think Meri has the right idea. Fluff is nice if you're into it, but really it's the game that matters in the end.

If you disagree, ask yourself this question: can you play the game without caring about fluff? Sure. Can you be entirely into the fluff without playing the game? I don't think so. Or, I should say I hope not. By this, I mean the background for 40K is good for a game based around models but is in no way intriguing as a standalone subject for a hobby if you couldn't get into the gaming or modeling/painting aspect of it.

Take for example the BL novels. If you're into 40K you acknowledge the more-than-seldom bad writing, amateurish storylines, bland one-dimensional characters, and formulaic plotlines because it's someone trying to emulate what we love about the game through writing. If someone knew nothing of the game do you think they'd waste their time reading these books instead of utilizing their time with much better written science fiction? I'm not saying GW fluff is awful but I think if you take away the game system that the fluff supports/enhances, you have much better choices of entertainment. I equate the BL books to fluff in this way. Fluff might help get you hooked on 40K, but if you don't think of the game as more important you tend to leave the hobby as there are better things out there.

-amazingdev2005


That would be your opinion...and it is quite different from that of many people who exclusively buy BL novels or artbooks, collect models simply for the converting and painting, play Dark Heresy without owning a single army, or enjoy any of the other *hobby* aspects that GW's products appeal to...


Don't assume that your way is the only way...because for a great many people, it's *not* just about the game. Enjoy the aspects that are important to you...and leave it up to other people to decide what is important to them... :shifty:

Meriwether
19-05-2010, 01:00
I rather disagree, too.

There are plenty of people who love the fluff, and so have gotten into 40K or Fantasy-related roleplaying, or just read the fiction (and I truly believe that there is no accounting for taste... I love the song Lovefool, for God's sake, so who am I to ever criticize on that score?), or just like to assemble and paint the admittedly rather awesome models. And that's great.

I'm mostly the opposite. I like the models, and I like converting, but I don't much like painting -- and I care not one whit about the fluff. (Although I did enjoy the GG books, Eisenhorn, and particularly Ravenor). When playing the game itself, I really, really, REALLY don't care about the narrative...

...and so for the most part I don't seek out opponents who do. I'm not better than them. They're not better than me.

Hell... They might like Lovefool, too...

Logarithm Udgaur
19-05-2010, 06:01
You have admitted to way worse things than liking Lovefool before....


For me, the fluff is the reason for the game. If I wanted a wargame, I would play just about anything else (Battletech, Mechwarrior, Axis & Allies Minis, Warmachine, Flames of War, Advanced Squad Leader, etc...), as 40K's rule set is very lax in its interpretation (it can typically be interpreted a variety of ways). Their current FAQs do little to help this, often causing more confusion.
I got started into 40K because of the fluff, and continue in it for this reason.

chub
19-05-2010, 07:33
@ Meriwether beer is definately a part of gaming to me it seems to be a more social hobby I go to a dedicated gaming club and meet with friends to push "toysoldiers" around a table, I airsoft when I am not wargaming but it doesnt mean I have a desire to be a soldier, I also I dont think the BL novels are necessarily linked to a love or desire for fluff, I have read approx 60 or so BL novels yet to me they are just sci-fi/fantasy novels they dont inspire me to re-enact them on the battlefield or to build models representing them

Brother Loki
19-05-2010, 10:02
Take for example the BL novels. If you're into 40K you acknowledge the more-than-seldom bad writing, amateurish storylines, bland one-dimensional characters, and formulaic plotlines because it's someone trying to emulate what we love about the game through writing. If someone knew nothing of the game do you think they'd waste their time reading these books instead of utilizing their time with much better written science fiction?

I don't think its gamers that have made the last few Horus Heresy novels perform well in the Times bestseller lists. There's quite a few people who read the novels but never play the games.

starlight
19-05-2010, 17:15
If BL is making the best-seller lists, I don't know which worries me more, the standards of the lists, or the standards of the readers... :(



But hey, I guess any reading is better than no reading... :shifty:

chub
19-05-2010, 21:04
But hey, I guess any reading is better than no reading... :shifty:

Have you ever read a Mills and Boon novel :eyebrows:

starlight
19-05-2010, 21:24
No. :shifty:

*searches...*

Ah-hah...

Although it's unlikely I'll ever read one of their books, I'd rather someone read one of them than nothing at all...

There's no accounting for taste, but if it encourages literacy, I'm for it. :)

sycopat
19-05-2010, 21:35
Have you ever read a Mills and Boon novel :eyebrows:

I know a girl who got into reading through Mills and Boon novels and is now a fully fledged sci-fi/fantasy geek who also plays videogames, boardgames and occasionally cardgames (Although i can't talk her into wargames unfortunately :( )

MrInsomniac
19-05-2010, 22:11
I think I'm the polar opposite to you chub. I play the game but the background is so utterly linked to what I do that it influences everything for me.

I play 40k but have not, and will never play Tyranids. Not because their rules are good or bad (I don't know, I've never looked) but because I can't empaphise with them. I can't create an HQ who I can feel for, my units can't reflect on their amazing achievements and my troops can't understand hatred or joy. I play Chaos, traitors who were betrayed, hardened veterans who have seen the galaxy and the stuff of nightmares. It's after reflecting on those things that I start to build a list.

I'm looking to start Warhammer when 8th edition is released but I already know I'm not going to play Bretonia, The Empire or High Elves. Not because I don't like their stats or choices, but because their background instantly rules them out for me. I'm looking to play Vampire Counts, Warriors of Chaos or Skaven. Armies whose background I love and where my stories and thoughts can be turned into lists and characters.

Just my thoughts.

Orcboy_Phil
20-05-2010, 00:20
I play 40k but have not, and will never play Tyranids. Not because their rules are good or bad (I don't know, I've never looked) but because I can't empaphise with them.

This is what I like about Nids (and Daemons), I can throw them away as there nothing more than autotomitons. Dosen't really matter if they die, well daemons are slighty different as they can't be really killed but you get my drift.

I do play fluffy, I've had a number of games with my Tau withdrawing from the table (not fleeing) because the situation was hopless and Tau combat doctrine emphassies the avoidance of the loss of life. My marines will chase down the enemies of the Imperium rather than consilidating on that objective, and my Guard will assualt units they can't possible beat mathhammer wise because the uplifting primer says they can. :D

As I said before constructing a good looking rational army is more important to me than constructing an overpowered killing machine.

starlight
20-05-2010, 00:34
Interestingly enough, I heard a tale of a rather good tournament player who happened to be a priest...and he played Tyranids because they were neither good *nor* evil, simply a force of nature... Just hungry alien bugs...

BobtheInquisitor
20-05-2010, 00:46
If BL is making the best-seller lists, I don't know which worries me more, the standards of the lists, or the standards of the readers... :(



But hey, I guess any reading is better than no reading... :shifty:


Have you ever read a James Patterson novel? He is usually the #1 bestseller on the NYT list, when it isn't Twilight or Harry Potter, and his writing wouldn't even get him classified as Fluent in English in my district. I double dog dare you to read one of his more recent novels and tell me it's better than even the worst BL novel. Hell, each Karen Travis Star Wars novel has been a bestseller. If that didn't make you complain about the quality of the list, then there's no reason BL should.

Seriously, what are you even expecting in BL novels, anyway? We have it right here on this forum that the novels are written to be "blockbusters", with all the stupid characters and cliche plots that implies. When you want to read Science Fiction that's about something, read Iain Banks. When you want to read a book where crap blows up good, then gets a chainsaw to the face, then you should read a BL book.

For this particular subgenre, BL is currently one of the best out there. They have more star wars than Star Wars. They have better fantasy than Forgotten Realms. They're out-Baening Baen, and they're doing it with some nice cheeky satire instead of the creepy extremist political subtext you get at mainstream publishers. (That's a super-slam put down on Ringo, Kratman, et al, in case you missed it.) BL is like the book equivalent of Arnold Schwarzenegger movies. If you're slamming the books on their literary merit, you're reading them wrong.

Oh, and by the way, I am getting really tired of people saying that most BL authors would never get published outside of BL when it is blatantly untrue. In a world where James Lovegrove (http://www.amazon.com/Age-Ra-James-Lovegrove/dp/184416747X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1274316205&sr=1-1) gets published, you just can't take anything for granted. Read it and weep.

Logarithm Udgaur
20-05-2010, 01:41
Have you ever read a Mills and Boon novel :eyebrows:

As far as I can tell, the only difference between Mills and Boon and the Black Library is their target audience.

Malphax
20-05-2010, 03:04
As a community, Warseer is a lot more fluff-oriented than many other 40K sites out there. It's just part of the culture here, I suppose.

The Orange
20-05-2010, 05:06
I know there is already established fluff, what I meant was the large amount of gamers who make up there own fluff for their own particular forces.
Well not every army has the same level of established fluff. For SM there's quite a lot already established for just individual chapters. For most every other army it's not the same. There is instead more time spent explaining the race as a whole. IIRC the Eldar have like 1-2 pages explaining each particular craftworld, and the Tau have only 1 page explaining all the different sept worlds. That's a far cry from getting a whole book to yourself as some SM do. So for other players it may be more of a case of filling in details where the original fluff is lacking. And of course those people who do DIY armies will have no established fluff to attach their army to so may feel the need to fill in their background.


@ jsullivanlaw, I stick to a theme, I mean my BA are red, my DA are all black and my IG are all field grey but is that necessarily fluff?
In a way I would consider it as such as your attaching already established fluff to your own army. I mean when you play games against other people it's not "Chub vs. (insert player name here)" is it? Rather it's "Chub's Marines vs. Player's Orks/Eldar/etc., right? When I played games against my friends I diden't play just to see if I could beat my opponent, it was about using my army to beat his army.

So IMO, just about every player and every game has an element of fluff in it however small that may be. Accepting that I think the best answer to your original question is that some people simply want more fluff elements in their games. You may be perfectly comfortable playing your BA as is with the codex fluff already at the back of your mind, but I may want to add more character to my DIY Tau army, for example making them winter world veteran who also carry a grudge against the Imperium, etc.

chub
20-05-2010, 20:28
I think thats probably true but to chang my original statements a 'wee'bit, maybe it is a case of the awareness of 'fluff'. When I play I am not accutely aware of the fluff besides the stats,whereas there seems to be a large amount who actually are?

Hunger
20-05-2010, 20:39
I know a girl who got into reading through Mills and Boon novels and is now a fully fledged sci-fi/fantasy geek who also plays videogames, boardgames and occasionally cardgames (Although i can't talk her into wargames unfortunately

For heaven's sake don't try to distract her with wargames - keep her focused on Mills And Boon and see where that leads instead...

Orcboy_Phil
20-05-2010, 20:42
For heaven's sake don't try to distract her with wargames - keep her focused on Mills And Boon and see where that leads instead...

Chasing the tall dark stranger from Cyprus?

Hunger
20-05-2010, 21:49
Chasing the tall dark stranger from Cyprus?

Good point. You'll need to learn some catchy foreign phrases too, and get out into the sun. Still, it will be very rewarding for you in the end - at least as rewarding as purchasing a Warhound.

jsullivanlaw
20-05-2010, 22:30
@ jsullivanlaw, I stick to a theme, I mean my BA are red, my DA are all black and my IG are all field grey but is that neccesarily fluff?

It kind of depends on the codex you play, the special marine chapters kind of force you to play with units that those special chapters use anyway. I am a chaos marine player. I decided it would look cool if i painted up all my guys as world eaters. Sticking to a world eater theme i only bring units with mark of khorne and don't bring much long range shooting. (does not apply to ard boyz tournament ;) My army would be more effective if i used more lash and some obliterators, but those aren't units that world eaters would field. So yes, i have handicapped myself, but i don't really want to try and pound everyone's face in every game, unless they really deserve it. I like to win, but don't need a crutch either. It can be challenging to play lists like this. Plus you always get really high soft scores in tournaments and it isn't tough to get games.