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Myrmidon616
29-03-2011, 09:55
A lot of armies in 40K (but not all) are based on archetypes: Space Wolves are Vikings, Ultramarines are graeco-roman, Black Templars are medieval crusaders, Catachans are Rambo look-alikes, Voystrans are cossacks etc.

Whilst I realise this is a loose generalistion and that armies are a hell of a lot more than present day things hurled into a futuristic setting, the fact still remains that real-world culture influences the 40K universe.

What I'm interested in is what 'archetypes' people have thought up or incorporated into thier armies? There are thousands of unamed Chapters and Regiments in the Imperium so you do have a lot of reedom to create your own. Whilst I've limited this to the Imperium, you could just as easily extend it to other armies (such as Orks)

In a nutshell then, what army ideas have people come up with or implemented?

To start the ball rolling, a couple of years back I had the idea for an Aztec themed SM army, inspired by the fact that chainswords look simmilar to thier obsidian bladed weapons. I was not very imaginativly going to call them 'The Sons of Quetzlcoatl' and name all the characters after Aztec gods. The Chaplain was going to be named after the god of the dead/underworld and his command squad (back in the day when you could give Librarians & Chaplains command squads) were going to be LoD models to reflect the razor wind that strips the dead of thier flesh (or something vaguely along those lines).

Castigator
29-03-2011, 10:04
Rainbow Warriors!

New Cult King
29-03-2011, 10:11
Woah that RW army is mad :D

Poseidal
29-03-2011, 10:24
Those aren't really Archetypes but themes.

Archetypes are more universal and will pop up more, in and how the army is structured. Also, it can apply to character archetypes which go after certain patterns.

I think one of the best examples is the Street Fighter 2 archetypes which other fighters followed later. These also sort of pop up in other sorts of games though translated obviously.

Take Warhammer Fantasy:

Ryu - Empire; can fight at range or close, has diverse tools though not necessarily the best; ranged attack is pretty strons.
Barlog (Boxer) - Warriors of Chaos; limited ranged options, based around brutally crushing the opponent with strikes that are hard to deal with
Vega (Claw) - Wood Elves; plays a hit and run/mixup game; nerfed in later editions
Guile - Dwarfs; usually in a crouching back position ready to unleash counter-attacks from a rock solid defence.
Chun-li and Bison; Dark and High Elves respectively in their high offence, low defence type of play, though chun is more flexible, Bison can win very quickly (maybe with one knockdown).
Akuma (Gouki) - Daemons of Chaos; Super powerful character, intentionally leagues above all others, has things other characters are just incapable of dealing with. ;)

shadowhawk2008
29-03-2011, 10:25
Are those all lizardmen bits? :D

chromedog
29-03-2011, 10:30
Yep.
Rainbow warriors had an Aztec or Mayan theme from memory.
They were also wiped out by the SoB.

Must've hidden their vodka choccies at the wrong time.

T10
29-03-2011, 10:57
Yep.
Rainbow warriors had an Aztec or Mayan theme from memory.
They were also wiped out by the SoB.

I don't think there is enough published material to support any of these claims.

-T10

Poseidal
29-03-2011, 11:12
Rainbow Warriors first appeared in Rogue Trader, with a picture of a Rainbow Warrior marine being killed by a Sister of Battle (with her Fer de Lise logo).

This is a reference to the real life Greenpeace ship 'Rainbow Warrior' that was sunk by French forces.

eldargal
29-03-2011, 11:12
This Rainbow Warrior doesn't look very Aztec to me:

Castigator
29-03-2011, 11:17
Umm yes. I do not think Rainbow Warriors were "wiped out" by the Sisters. There is one picture of one Sister shooting one Rainbow Warrior Marine in Rogue Trader. That's all.

T10
29-03-2011, 11:45
Rainbow Warriors first appeared in Rogue Trader, with a picture of a Rainbow Warrior marine being killed by a Sister of Battle (with her Fer de Lise logo).


Fleur-de-lis (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fleur-de-lis), surely.

-T10

Poseidal
29-03-2011, 11:48
That's what I meant, I just remembered the sound rather than the words though. :(

T10
29-03-2011, 11:50
Heh. I'd feel a lot more highly cultured if I hadn't spent five minutes looking up the proper spelling myself. :)

LonelyPath
29-03-2011, 13:04
There was also a couple of colour pics of Rainbow Warriors in RT, neither of them looked all that Aztec either.

RandomThoughts
29-03-2011, 13:46
So what's your point?

Guy decided he wanted to take a chapter completely undefined (except for a name nobody had ever spoken out aloud in over a decade) and designed a pretty impressive Inca-themed army around it.

I don't know, I think I would have expected more replies along the line of "great models" and "nice concept" and less "there's no base for what you did". Don't know, does that make sense to anyone what I'm trying to say? ^^

DYoung
29-03-2011, 14:00
LOL at how off-topic this thread is.

Zweischneid
29-03-2011, 14:06
LOL at how off-topic this thread is.

True. Still, nice Marine army.

Anyways. As far as "themes" or "archetypes" go, an interesting one are IMO Necrons and Thousand Sons being at loggerheads over the Ancient Egypt schtick. Do you think there is room for both? Do they cannibalize each others fanbase? Other thoughts?

SgtTaters
29-03-2011, 14:10
True. Still, nice Marine army.

Anyways. As far as "themes" or "archetypes" go, an interesting one are IMO Necrons and Thousand Sons being at loggerheads over the Ancient Egypt schtick. Do you think there is room for both? Do they cannibalize each others fanbase? Other thoughts?

Eldar have also been dipping into that pool with some of their iconography.

I think it'd be cooler if Necrons went more 'fantasy undead' than specifically egyptians. Like this
http://www.fantasygallery.net/parkinson/art_12_lich2.html
The cloth wraps would be a cool contrast to metallic skeletons

Their forgeworld stuff though is more Matrix movie robots than anything really egyptian.

Myrmidon616
29-03-2011, 14:36
Rainbow Warriors!

me likey! :)

edit: I wanted to do an aztec/mesoamerican theme way before the plastic lizardmen stuff, which is probably what stopped. Seeing as Rainbow Warriors have been expunged from the fluff, you can really do what you want with them.


Those aren't really Archetypes but themes.

Archetypes are more universal and will pop up more, in and how the army is structured. Also, it can apply to character archetypes which go after certain patterns.

At the time, I couldn't think of a better word than archetypes. Themes it is then.

Thousand Sons are a lot more heavily Egyptian than Necrons in my opinion, due to all the iconography such as the headresses and thier pre-heresy stuff. The only ancient egyptian themes the undead robots have are simmilar architecture and writing that is kind of like hieroglyphics but not really.

I'd say Eldar are a lot more eastern really, what with the prevalence of ying/yang symbols and the aspects, to my mind, being quite like different martial art disciplines.

xerxeshavelock
29-03-2011, 14:45
I keep toying with going back to my idea for Sons of Zion (please excuse the lack of originality, was younger then!). I'd use the Space Wolf rules, with the focus on Voodoo mysticism instead of Rune Priests, and the similar tribal ideas. I painted them orange with bones etc all over the place, just never finished the army. If anyone has any ideas I'd love to hear them as they've been sitting in a figure case for the last 6 years! In particular a chapter symbol that would suit my mediocre painting skills :)

Poseidal
29-03-2011, 14:46
The Avatar looks a lot like some of the statues in Japan. His pose is almost a Nio pose or something, I don't know.

There's also the picture from 2nd or even pre 2nd edition with an Eldar and Ork army facing off (Titans in the background and all!); the Scorpion had a a very martial art looking pose.

I get a more 'genuine' asian feel from Eldar that I don't get from (say) Tau; on the other hand, Eldar also have a lot of Celtic, Hellenic and Egyption influences too.

Myrmidon616
29-03-2011, 14:59
I keep toying with going back to my idea for Sons of Zion (please excuse the lack of originality, was younger then!). I'd use the Space Wolf rules, with the focus on Voodoo mysticism instead of Rune Priests, and the similar tribal ideas. I painted them orange with bones etc all over the place, just never finished the army. If anyone has any ideas I'd love to hear them as they've been sitting in a figure case for the last 6 years! In particular a chapter symbol that would suit my mediocre painting skills :)

you could have a chapter symbol with something to do with bones/skulls. some of the old LoD shoulder pads might work.

Telesedrin
29-03-2011, 15:04
Dark Eldar IMO are a Fusion of Feudal Japan, and Futuristic Goth/ Emo.

xerxeshavelock
29-03-2011, 15:06
Dark Eldar IMO are a Fusion of Feudal Japan, and Futuristic Goth/ Emo.

My only problem is the skyboards remind me there was (apparently) a sequel to Highlander. I'm still trying to blot it out, but even 15 years hasn't done it...

Castigator
29-03-2011, 15:10
And Orks of course British Hooligans.. though most likely of the B'ham Black Country to Nottingham variety as opposed to the Cockney version as is often suspected. :p

Malagate
29-03-2011, 15:24
My only problem is the skyboards remind me there was (apparently) a sequel to Highlander. I'm still trying to blot it out, but even 15 years hasn't done it...

No, there can be only one highlander movie, and it didn't have skyboards, aliens or sorcerors in it. Anything else is mistaken identity or some strange fever dream you had after foolishly eating something that's been in the fridge since 1989.

eldargal
29-03-2011, 15:26
Dark Eldar are a fusion of various old world and middle eastern civilizations, according to Jes Goodwin in the YouTube videos. But what would he know, eh?:p Craftworld Eldar have a bit more Orientalism mixed in, but arguing that they are based on a Japanese aesthetic is really stretching it. Saying they have a Japanese archetype would be as woefully incorrect as saying they have a Mesopotamian archetype. They are a fusion of many influences which is, on my opinion, one of the reasons they are so successful.

Speaking of Orks as British hooligans, did anyone reas the DoWII:Reribution review where the reviewer described the Orks northern accent as a bizzarre mix of Jamaican and Irish? That made me laugh.

RandomThoughts
29-03-2011, 16:14
I agree that Eldar have a strong (East) Asien feel to them.
One of the things I really like about them. :-)

When designing something myself, such as Witchblades for the Warlock Jetbikes I'm slowly stocking up at present, I usually go for some variant of a Katana or a Naginata, if I were to ever acquire Harlequins, I'd probably cloak them in green stuff Kimonos to a man. :)

RandomThoughts
29-03-2011, 16:15
Speaking of Orks as British hooligans, did anyone reas the DoWII:Reribution review where the reviewer described the Orks northern accent as a bizzarre mix of Jamaican and Irish? That made me laugh.

I think I read something back in a White Dwarf 15 years ago that the first Ork models were based on German Storm Troopers or something. :-)

eldargal
29-03-2011, 16:17
From memory the Stormboyz or something were, with their little helmets and smart uniforms, not the Orks as a whole.

Carlosophy
29-03-2011, 17:38
The Tau are so obviously based on far-eastern influences, with Fire Warriors even going as far as acting like Samurai. They are the most loyal soldiers around and do everything their retainer (Ethereal) asks of them, follow a strict 'no swords' code of combat (the opposite of the Samurai's 'no firearms') and if an Ethereal so ordered they would commit suicide (Seppuku). Heck, their greatest ever leader, Commander Puretide, retired and wrote a philosophical guide to warfare a lot like Yamamoto Tsunemoto and the Hagakure. Their armour even has those large shoulder pads Samurai armour has.

Their suits are less gundam and more G1 transformers in style, although this has changed over time to a more Phantasy Star/Metroid look. Shadowsun is blatently based on Samus Aran.

Easy E
29-03-2011, 17:50
This Rainbow Warrior doesn't look very Aztec to me:

I thought they were more pacific islander in nature... Samoan?

Also, the Aztec Theme is a good one, you could have Jaguar Warriors, eagle Warriors, Alligator Warriors, and each Squad type could be a different "lodge".

I used a Necromantic theme for my LaTD. The SM leader was a sorceror of the Necromatnic arts. The troopers and zombies hordes were obviously raised units (gives new meaning to conscription). The Defilers were going to look like Dracoliches. However, I never finished them before the Codex became redundant.

Zweischneid
29-03-2011, 17:55
The Tau are so obviously based on far-eastern influences, with Fire Warriors even going as far as acting like Samurai. They are the most loyal soldiers around and do everything their retainer (Ethereal) asks of them, follow a strict 'no swords' code of combat (the opposite of the Samurai's 'no firearms') and if an Ethereal so ordered they would commit suicide (Seppuku). Heck, their greatest ever leader, Commander Puretide, retired and wrote a philosophical guide to warfare a lot like Yamamoto Tsunemoto and the Hagakure. Their armour even has those large shoulder pads Samurai armour has.

Their suits are less gundam and more G1 transformers in style, although this has changed over time to a more Phantasy Star/Metroid look. Shadowsun is blatently based on Samus Aran.


Maybe, but that artificial societal and technological evolution in the shadow of a crumbling intergalactic empire is strongly inspired by Asimov's thousand year plan.. so is the, quote, "Greater Good". Their adoption, colonization and (second-class) inclusion of other races has been compared to the British Empire. The very concept of "castes" is quite obviously Indian/Hindu. Etc...

shadowhawk2008
29-03-2011, 18:06
I am afraid you are misunderstanding the concept of castes as it is understood in India and Hinduism. I would recommend looking it up :D

Zweischneid
29-03-2011, 18:14
I am afraid you are misunderstanding the concept of castes as it is understood in India and Hinduism. I would recommend looking it up :D

I am not. Nor am I saying the Tau version matches it 100%; not least because the actual caste system is far to complex for a simple gaming product and varies regionally (say, in Nepal).

But being born into a caste-defined purpose in greater society, not least a "warrior-caste" which brings forth military ruling elite in (potential) tension with a more philosophically incline ruling caste is precisely what both concepts share (or better, what Tau castes borrow from the Hindu-specific concept of castes).

terradax
29-03-2011, 18:17
Many people (including myself until recently) believes that Thousand Sons has a Egyptian theme, while the author of "Thousand Sons" says that they have an Aztec inspiration.

To me, Eldar are samurais while Tau are clearly a manga inspired race. Mecha = Crisis suit. Anyone see the connection? The Fire warrior helmets are very manga-ish as well.

Edit: and next time maybe I should read the entire thread before posting what has already been said :P

Myrmidon616
29-03-2011, 18:46
Many people (including myself until recently) believes that Thousand Sons has a Egyptian theme, while the author of "Thousand Sons" says that they have an Aztec inspiration.

Really? Where did he say that? When you've got a massive scarab on your chest and live in a city full of triangular pyramids, its hard not to think (or walk) egyptian.

shadowhawk2008
29-03-2011, 19:14
Maybe Terradax is taking Tizca at face value? The Thousand Sons have always had an egyptian theme as far as i know. Their names are egyptian, their ships are egyptian, their culture appears to be egyptian, references to the library at alexandria abound as subtle hints, scarabs... all that is egyptian not aztec.

Myrmidon616
30-03-2011, 12:32
Whilst discussing the themes prevalent in the design of races/ armies is quite interesting, what I created this thread for was to hear some of the cool themes people have created for thier own armies. We've had two already. Any more?

insan0
30-03-2011, 18:10
I have Tyrannic War (red)Space Marines. They have chitin plates riveted to their armor, talons used as bayonets, various trophies and plenty of battle damage on the vehicles.

You could also base your army in a unique or way to create a theme.

theJ
30-03-2011, 18:43
My guard army is based on the Imperial Navy, being heavy on carapace armour, shotguns, and air support - although that theme is based on in-game stuff, so it might not count.

There's also my desert-fighters themed Space Marine army, although it never left the planning phase :(

Funnily enough, I rarely end up taking cultures as themes. I've always had an easier time taking a concept or principle and then putting a spin on it.

Myrmidon616
30-03-2011, 18:54
You could also base your army in a unique or way to create a theme.

There was a WD article about Black Templar crusades and one of them had thier bases styled to look like they were on a deamon world, which was where they were fighting.

cobra0
30-03-2011, 19:01
I once fought a Nazi themed IG force. Those 88's tanks were nasty...

Gazak Blacktoof
30-03-2011, 19:25
The eldar army I'm about to paint will be Biel Tan. However based on the rumour that we might get a sisters of battle army update within the next 12 months I plan to add details to their bases to place them in the context of a war over a maiden / shrine world.

Once we get some plastic sisters I'll then add further detailing as I expand the army and mirror this across the SoB force.

I love the concept of Biel Tan and rather than cannibalise it, and abandon one paint scheme for another of my own devising, I'd add theme elsewhere using campaign details.

Myrmidon616
30-03-2011, 22:50
I once fought a Nazi themed IG force. Those 88's tanks were nasty...

Ok then ... :eyebrows:. Was it literally plastered in swastikas or was it just WW2 wehrmacht. You'd have to be pretty brave to bring that to a tournament.

TheLaughingGod
30-03-2011, 23:20
I saw a guy with heavily converted Winterized Imperial Guard, except that they were Tau Sympathizers, some sort of Gue'vesa regiment. Lead by a Tau Firewarrior commander with Air and Earth Case advisors, armoured Kroot bodyguards. He replaced Heavy Bolters with what appears to be some sort of heavy pulse-rifle/burst-cannon modified with human tech. He had a Leman Russ with a very Tau-esque turret with battlecannon and Gundrone sponsons (count-as Heavy Bolters)

Commisars were Tau Fire caste instructors.

It was just a really, really nice army. I wish I'd had a chance to play against it.

Myrmidon616
02-04-2011, 14:14
Sounds cool :)

I'm suprised Forgeworld haven't released rules for human auxillaries.