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otakuzoku
06-04-2011, 01:23
why always Imperial Armour ? its always the forces of the imperium Vs some one how come we never get a book of xenos fighting ?

it would be intresting to see how aliens would fight each other.

eg tau vs orks would be good they could use the book to tell the story of farsight war against the orks and how he came to get the Dawn blade and set up the enclave.

or how would elder fight necrons. and ork vs nids

chromedog
06-04-2011, 01:33
Because the game is told from the imperium's pov.

They use the human centric pov because humans really identify better with other humans.

Also because the xenos factions are in the very small minority compared to the Imperial factions (and I'm lumping in the CSM with the imperium, as they at least started there, as opposed to the Tau, Eldar/DE, Necrons who were never humans).

Cry of the Wind
06-04-2011, 01:45
That and Forge World was founded by tank loving Imperial Guard guys who wanted to bring more real life historical armour to their job as sci-fi model makers.

Okuto
06-04-2011, 01:47
cause it's called "Imperial" armor.......

and yeas the first book mentioned that a bunch of treadheads talking about the good old days where in RT the dreadnought was the only piece of armor you use to see....

back when IA books use to be cheaper.....

Torpedo Vegas
06-04-2011, 01:52
Its called Imperial Armor for a reason. That and most of the books are written from an Imperial perspective, xenos are still featured of course, but there will always be an Imperial point of view. Its easier to sympathize with other people than some unknowable alien.

Iracundus
06-04-2011, 02:04
That is just making excuses and such a blanket statement also ignores the reality that human players have for years been playing and empathizing with their nonhuman armies, from the Eldar to the Tau to the Tyranids even. Harping on about the name being "Imperial Armour" is also rather denigrating to non-Imperial players, as if they are second class and should be grateful to get any scraps at all. A brand name need not be literal.

The Eldar and Tau, even the Orks, have organized societies and cultures, and though different, they are not impossible to understand. Otherwise why bother detailing them at all if the attitude is simply of "thin alien, shoot them", "blue alien, shoot them", "green big alien, shoot them"? There is no need to talk about the Eldar myths or Paths or the Tau's previous self destructive wars and castes or the Ork Klans at all with such an attitude or with the excuse that they are "incomprehensible." The very existence of background on the non-human factions in 40K over the years that can be discussed and debated shows there is more than just having them as cardboard cutout targets. The 40K universe would be a far more boring place if no background existed for aliens.

A lot of conflicts in the 40K timeline are not just about the Imperium. The Defense of Iyanden, the Octarius Orks vs. Tyranids of Leviathan, etc... are all huge conflicts with not a human in sight, yet we have a detailed account of the battle for Iyanden both before and during the battle from GW, which counters the whole position of "the aliens are too incomprehensible so we won't bother doing anything about them." Such conflicts or even secondary conflicts related to them would be fertile ground to develop new products and background, and removes the staleness of WWI/WWII knockoffs being beaten by or beating up aliens. Even in these situations it could still be conceivable for a human observer to be documenting the alien vs alien conflict, perhaps as a member of the Inquisition's Ordo Xenos or perhaps a human slave enslaved by Orks and ordered to chronicle the greatness of the Warboss etc...

Black Library made a similar excuse before of how they would never have anything from a non-human perspective yet now they are publishing Eldar novels, and with an apparent Dark Eldar novel sometime in the future from Andy Chambers.

GW themselves took this stance in 3rd edition with their thin pamphlet like Codex format, and it didn't go well. Xenos players didn't want to buy books that just featured their forces as cannon fodder for the Imperials to show off or for their own Codex to be portrayed purely from the in-character perspective of Imperial propaganda. Notice how in later editions, we start having once again having more background, and more background that is from a 3rd party narrator POV and not just Imperial propaganda.

There is a reason both GW and BL ultimately abandoned such a "humans only" policy.

The Orange
06-04-2011, 03:15
Well then maybe it's easier for them to do it from the imperial perspective? I mean I'm really looking forward to the Eldar book because tbh I have no idea how they really fight a prolonged fight. All we ever hear about is how they mysteriously appear out of no where and ambush everyone else. But what about logistics? What do they do if caught in a prolonged fight. Can they do siege warfare, or even withstand siege warfare? I mean with the IG we know they can and do build bunkers, trenches, etc. But for most other races we have absolutely nill on the subject, so it is quite a leap for them to take on 2 different xenos races and figure out just how their ways of war would interact.

And considering that their a studio that does what they want the point that it was started by a bunch of armor loving guys carries a lot of weight. As a Tau player I'm quite lucky that they have people in the ranks that appears to love making Tau stuff (and are darn good at it too). However it's obvious they haven't put much thought into Necrons and Dark Eldar, etc. yet (though hopefully this will be changing soon if they haven't started planning yet).

Shnerg
06-04-2011, 03:19
I resent this. It's just a brand name. If you need to think more blatently, there is a product in Australia called Coon Cheese. It doesn't do what it implies, and if Imperial Armour was true to the name, it wouldn't feature xenos at all.

Grimm Toof
06-04-2011, 04:16
If you want a book detailing alien on alien wars then make one, it doesnt have to be for profit. Not like you can use FW stuff in tourneys anyways or anyone prevents house rules. It doesnt have to cost $75 and be ordered from the UK to be interesting, write fluff, post on interwebs, play scenarios detailing this.

I find your lack of creativity...Disturbing.:yes:

Hellebore
06-04-2011, 04:34
If you want a book detailing alien on alien wars then make one, it doesnt have to be for profit. Not like you can use FW stuff in tourneys anyways or anyone prevents house rules. It doesnt have to cost $75 and be ordered from the UK to be interesting, write fluff, post on interwebs, play scenarios detailing this.

I find your lack of creativity...Disturbing.:yes:

I think you'll find most imperial players don't approach the game from the premise that they'll have to write half of it because the company producing it won't.

It's a bit unfair to show all these other products and then expect the customer to make their own.

But then this seems to be the standard opinion people have about customers that play non imperial armies. Imperial players have a feeling of entitlement, an expectation of a certain level of support due to GW's constant marine fapping. Yet when someone who doesn't play those armies expects the same thing (since when do you starting making 2nd class customers?) they're told to suck it up, be lucky they got what they did and make it themselves if they don't like it.

Yeah, I'm sure all the marine players would LOVE having to make all those sculpted shoulder pads, billion dreadnought variations etc.

Hellebore

Scaryscarymushroom
06-04-2011, 04:51
In imperial armour 4, I think it is... There was a preface to the book stating that it would always be "Humans Vs. Something" because the natural viewpoint for telling stories written by humans is the human viewpoint.

In short, the authors of the book don't want to make stories from the alien perspective because whenever authors of any sort try this, the aliens always come off as being "another kind of human." Part of the thing that makes Necrons, nids, orks, daemons, tau, and eldar so cool is that humans can't empathize with them: they don't have human desires or motives. They aren't human. They can't be understood. So humans like the authors of IA books can't accurately represent them unless it's through the scope of a human experience.

Hellebore
06-04-2011, 05:12
Except that that is patently false and has been since 40k was created.

The eldar have an understandable society, culture and way of thinkng. They get angry, sad and happy. They are completely relatable to human thought, if they were not then their way of life and thinking would not be easily understandable by us the reader. But they are and always have been.

The eldar society is 99% human so any notion of alieness is one imposed as an excuse not to do it. An excuse that BL has as Iracundus said, stopped using. Now we have eldar novels and even a dark eldar novel coming out.

EDIT: Eldar and Tau society are based on human society and thought. They function under principles that we have either come up with or at least understand. There is nothing alien about them.

Hellebore

Iracundus
06-04-2011, 05:17
In imperial armour 4, I think it is... There was a preface to the book stating that it would always be "Humans Vs. Something" because the natural viewpoint for telling stories written by humans is the human viewpoint.

In short, the authors of the book don't want to make stories from the alien perspective because whenever authors of any sort try this, the aliens always come off as being "another kind of human." Part of the thing that makes Necrons, nids, orks, daemons, tau, and eldar so cool is that humans can't empathize with them: they don't have human desires or motives. They aren't human. They can't be understood. So humans like the authors of IA books can't accurately represent them unless it's through the scope of a human experience.

Did you read my earlier post at all? I addressed all of this in that post already.

That is the exact same tired excuse used by Black Library in earlier years. It was also stated in firm and certain terms that they would never ever have any stories or novels from a non-human viewpoint. Yet now we have a BL Eldar novel trilogy and a rumored future Dark Eldar novel. So much for "incomprehensible" aliens and so much for "never." The GW Codices describe Tau, Eldar, and Dark Eldar society and they certainly aren't so bizarre as to be incomprehensible. The Tau have had now generations of human defectors living under Tau rule and even fighting for them. If they can interact with and understand and empathize with the Tau and the Tau's ideology then the Tau aren't incomprehensible. GW even made whole videos discussing the background details of the Dark Eldar and their society prior to the release of the Dark Eldar Codex. If the society of Commorragh or a Craftworld can be comprehensible enough to discuss in a Codex or on YouTube for a human audience, then it certainly would be comprehensible enough in an IA or novel.

The excuse is no more than that: an excuse to cover up the biases and lack of interest or effort on the part of the writers. The only time the 40K aliens have suddenly become "incomprehensible" is when this excuse is trotted out as justification for not producing more alien oriented material. Before 3rd edition there were plenty of stories from Ork or Eldar viewpoints in the 2nd edition Codices or in the Epic supplements. They were never incomprehensible before nor was there ever real demand that they be so. Different societies and outlooks doesn't mean incomprehensible or impossible to empathize with. One only need see all the Ork players that speak in Orkish speech or yell Waaagh, or all the Eldar players debating and discussing Eldar mythology or history, to see that human players are very much able to empathize with and support a nonhuman faction.

GW and BL have both since abandoned such a policy, which really is only a relic of 3rd edition. If GW and BL can go back and abandon such a policy there is no reason FW cannot do so as well.

808thMyrmidons
06-04-2011, 05:25
You could write to FW and ask them to do a xeno version of Imperial Armour. have them call it Craftworld or whatever because you do have a point. There's no real reason any more as to why they don't do Imperial Armour from outside the human pov.

chamelion 6
06-04-2011, 05:35
The imagination is much stronger than the word or the image. In the early years of film many movies either never really showed the monster in detail or never showed them at all... Poe in the "Pit and the Pendulum" never tells us what's in the pit that scares the story teller so much... Once I describe it, I make it tangeable, and then it becomes less strange and mysterious. Not to everyone, but to many, showing the monster deflates it, and it is possible that FW avoids that portraying the xenos from their own to keep them from becoming mundane.

Not suggesting that they shouldn't provide something from other POV's, but I think there is something to be said for not telling too much.

Iracundus
06-04-2011, 05:38
The imagination is much stronger than the word or the image. In the early years of film many movies either never really showed the monster in detail or never showed them at all... Poe in the "Pit and the Pendulum" never tells us what's in the pit that scares the story teller so much... Once I descrive it I make it tangeable and then it becomes less strange and mysterious. Not to everyone, but to many, showing the monster deflates it and it is possible that FW that portraying the xenos keeps them from becoming mundane.

Not suggesting that they shouldn't provide something from other POV's, but I think there is something to be said for not telling too much.

This is not about telling too much, but rather the refusal to tell anything. Alien factions might be relatively mysterious to the Imperium but they aren't opaque to themselves and they shouldn't be opaque to the players that play them.

Being able to tell the non-human side of a conflict also aids the actual narrative. For example, in the Taros IA, the Tau existed virtually as a faceless enemy and we learned relatively little about their organization, their planning, how their forces were doing, and their overall conduct of the battle save for a short little blurb section that was presented as "post-battle" analysis by Imperials. In contrast, for Typha IV (the Aeronautica Imperialis expansion), FW writers did go into the Tau side of things a bit more and we learned more about what the Tau's objectives and motives were, as well as what problems their forces suffered even as they fought the Imperials. Again so much for the argument that claims just because "Imperial" is in the brand name, that therefore no aliens should be dealt with.

That lack of perspective I would argue is why this policy failed for the 3rd edition Codices. The Eldar may be mysterious to the Imperium but they aren't mysterious to themselves, and they shouldn't be mysterious to their player who is supposed to care about his army. An Ork player shouldn't be in the dark about how the Orks function as a society. A Tau player shouldn't be in the dark about what Tau history was like before the Ethereals appeared. Without the ability to view the Eldar perspective for example in the next IA11, we would not ever be able to know more about the things that The Orange commented about wanting to learn about Eldar organization, logistics, abilities or weaknesses, etc... They would forever be relegated to "they mysteriously appear out of no where and ambush everyone else and then vanish." Do that often enough and it becomes repetitious and boring.

chamelion 6
06-04-2011, 05:47
I play DE so I get where you're coming from. The DE's only background befor the recent codex was despicable a-morral pirates. They probably had less info than any other race out there... Being the badguys in an Ultramarine novel and a Soul Drinkers novel was pretty much their claim to fame, fluff wise.

And I thinjk they were somehow meaner, more a-moral, and more mysterious before the new codex...

However I'm happy with their new history so I'm not compaining, but there was something interesting about and army and a race that was more shadow than fact. I liked the idea that my DE just sorta showed up for no aparrent reason, slaughtered on a whim with no aparrent goal, then just disappeared back into the shadows to god knows where...

They were the stuff of nightmares back then... Now they've lost a bit of their mojo...

otakuzoku
06-04-2011, 05:57
all in all i could think of 2 races that would be difficult to do because of empathy Nids and Necrons. so a nids versis necrons book would be hard. but the rest could be done no problem especially if you adopt a writing stance of a nutral historian.

and a book written from the ork perspective would be *********** hysterical

hell i would love to Wright a huge book if i had the time to devote to it and not get payed i would.

Grimm Toof
06-04-2011, 05:58
I don't play any 40k army at the moment, and have never played any imperial one, so please don't think me a self entitled imperial player. However, GW hardly seems interested in actually fleshing out this universe, and more interested in profit they can pump from the 11-14 year old crowd whom doesn't stay in this game long enough to get into the story or actually realize the fluff is complete BS in some cases aside from the sugar rush "WOW THIS GUY KILLED A HUNDRED ORKS SINGLE HANDEDLY!!!1". Imperial Armour is simply a supplement made by old guys whom wanted to see ww2 style tanks in this game as they desired a more realistic feel for their armies. They simply happened to be working for FW and happened to be put in charge of the rules. The likelihood of GW giving a crap about all the other players or those in charge of FW rules changing from DKOK grungy siege tanks to sleek eldar recovery vehicles or Necron light skimmer tanks is slim to none. This hobby is in itself one made by entrepreneurs, and GW is the example of the exception, IE what happens when a niche hobby becomes corporatist. New and brilliant, not to mention successful games are being made yearly, just look at AA/FOF. That game is ace.

In short, if you arent happy with what is being pre-packaged, make some yourself. If someone wanted to field a custom Tau light tank or mech I would be more than happy to break up the repetition. None of this stuff actually exists, and very little is part of a coherent and immutable storyline, play with what is fun and interesting. Free time is too precious to waste wishing for a big corporation to produce miniatures for you and not enjoying the actual game.

Iracundus
06-04-2011, 06:03
The likelihood of GW giving a crap about all the other players or those in charge of FW rules changing from DKOK grungy siege tanks to sleek eldar recovery vehicles or Necron light skimmer tanks is slim to none.

The existence of all those Tau variants, the increasing number of Eldar vehicles, strange daemon engines, or even the Necron centipede construct suggests otherwise. Initially FW was endless IG tank variants (how many pattern variants of the Leman Russ hull alone?) and WWI/WWII rehashes ad nauseum but there is only so much of that before you saturate your customer base (while neglecting other potential customers) and FW have been branching out more in their models. Now all they need to do is follow suit with the rules and background.



In short, if you arent happy with what is being pre-packaged, make some yourself.

Again why this double standard? Why can a non-Imperial player not justifiably be dissatisfied that a manufacturer doesn't produce for them? Why is it again a variant of the "put up and shut up and do it yourself" when on the other hand, other subsets of the player base get flooded with endless variants, some of virtually only cosmetic significance?

If a customer or consumer of a product or service doesn't feel the company is addressing their needs they should be perfectly within their rights to voice their opinion and not expect to be brushed aside with "go do it yourself." That kind of an attitude is a good way to lose customers, and such customers may very well be purchasers of other products from the company so it is not a safe idea to simply lump them all as "niche product" customers.

chamelion 6
06-04-2011, 06:08
I don't play any 40k army at the moment, and have never played any imperial one, so please don't think me a self entitled imperial player. However, GW hardly seems interested in actually fleshing out this universe, and more interested in profit they can pump from the 11-14 year old crowd whom doesn't stay in this game long enough to get into the story or actually realize the fluff is complete BS in some cases aside from the sugar rush "WOW THIS GUY KILLED A HUNDRED ORKS SINGLE HANDEDLY!!!1". Imperial Armour is simply a supplement made by old guys whom wanted to see ww2 style tanks in this game as they desired a more realistic feel for their armies. They simply happened to be working for FW and happened to be put in charge of the rules. The likelihood of GW giving a crap about all the other players or those in charge of FW rules changing from DKOK grungy siege tanks to sleek eldar recovery vehicles or Necron light skimmer tanks is slim to none. This hobby is in itself one made by entrepreneurs, and GW is the example of the exception, IE what happens when a niche hobby becomes corporatist. New and brilliant, not to mention successful games are being made yearly, just look at AA/FOF. That game is ace.

In short, if you arent happy with what is being pre-packaged, make some yourself. If someone wanted to field a custom Tau light tank or mech I would be more than happy to break up the repetition. None of this stuff actually exists, and very little is part of a coherent and immutable storyline, play with what is fun and interesting. Free time is too precious to waste wishing for a big corporation to produce miniatures for you and not enjoying the actual game.

I dunno that I agree with the first part of your post at all. I personally think GW really does care about the history and fluff of both the Fantasy and 40k universe... I thiink they really do try to please as many people as possible and are always walking some fine lines to do just that.

However they cant and won't ever please everybody so I agree with the 2nd part of your post.

otakuzoku
06-04-2011, 06:15
the sad thing about GW is unlike D&D thay dont have an OGL or equivalent.

Magister
06-04-2011, 09:43
Imperial Armour...2 I think it is, is almost entirely devoted to Xenos stuff. Imperial Armour is the brand name - its recognizable and easily associated with FW.

Ps: I don't think any other factions name in front of "Imperial" Armour would really work.

shadowhawk2008
06-04-2011, 09:48
Imperial Armour 2 deals with Space Marines and Inquisition.

Imperial Armour 8 has 90% stuff relating to the Orks. All the other IA books dealing with xenos have more unit pages for the xenos armies rather than the imperial unit pages. That is because the first 2 books have exhaustively covered imperial options, plus the 3 vraks books.

Poseidal
06-04-2011, 09:59
I don't get this 'humans are easy to relate to thing', because the humans in 40k are less easy to relate to than the aliens.

You have on one side: Space Marines, who do nothing but battle and train for battle and hang out in their battle monasteries when not fighting. Ironically, by 'giving up their humanity' to join Chaos, they become more easily related to as they gain access to human vices which loyalist marines are portrayed as being oh-so-immune to.

On the other side: Imperial Guardsmen are faceless mooks who exist only to be put into a meat grinder and have no background other than being shifted off to fight all the time and put into meat grinders, to support their big mechanical tanks.

Meanwhile, Eldar, Ork and Tau all have more relate-able societies off the battlefield, even the violent society of the Orks. Eldar and Tau feel and think everything a human can (while Imperial subjects are not allowed to think unless they're an inquisitor, and those exceptions become card carrying chaos cultists 9/10 times).

Lord Damocles
06-04-2011, 10:13
Imperial Armour 2 deals with Space Marines and Inquisition.
The original Imperial Armour II was subtitled 'Ork, Eldar and Dark Eldar Vehicles for warhammer 40,000'.

Then came Imperial Armour Volume 2 - Space marines & Forces of the Inquisition.


Yeah. Nice simple naming system there :shifty:

Magister
06-04-2011, 10:16
The original Imperial Armour II was subtitled 'Ork, Eldar and Dark Eldar Vehicles for warhammer 40,000':

Ah, that's the one.

shadowhawk2008
06-04-2011, 10:17
Oh yeah, I always wondered about that :D

Easy E
06-04-2011, 13:22
Harping on about the name being "Imperial Armour" is also rather denigrating to non-Imperial players, as if they are second class and should be grateful to get any scraps at all.

Hate to tell you this, but as a long time Xenos player (Eldar, Orks), we ARE second class GW citizens.

Sorry to break the news to you.

sigur
06-04-2011, 13:25
why always Imperial Armour ? its always the forces of the imperium Vs some one how come we never get a book of xenos fighting ?


You haven't been into 40k for long, have you? ;) (or too long so you try to see the "telling from the viewpoint of the Imperium" as a painful, stupid fad that will go over eventually)

Iracundus
06-04-2011, 13:50
Hate to tell you this, but as a long time Xenos player (Eldar, Orks), we ARE second class GW citizens.

Sorry to break the news to you.

Not the case in 2nd edition 40K or in 2nd edition Epic. That was how stories like Yriel rescuing Iyanden got to be invented in the first place, because they were not stuck in the rut and template of having to require a human protagonist. There were also quite a few WD battle reports featuring alien vs. alien. Different armies and combinations of opponents all got their time in the limelight. Go look in the 2nd edition Codex Imperialis and Wargear books and you will find stories from Eldar and Ork perspectives. It really wasn't til about 3rd edition that they tried to start hyping Marines and Imperium to the exclusion of other factions.

The backpedaling of GW and BL in the time since shows that this policy isn't and never was some writ in stone commandment or some law of the 40K universe. It was a decision that was made and since overturned.

Tastyfish
06-04-2011, 16:20
Hate to tell you this, but as a long time Xenos player (Eldar, Orks), we ARE second class GW citizens.

Sorry to break the news to you.

The preferred term is antagonist.

That said, I think there could be a lot of potential in an Imperial Armour book be a Rogue Trader's debriefing/interrogation/lecture on his experience in an alien war - either supplying arms in a conflict between Orks and Tyranids in order to get a better idea of how quickly Tyranids adapt and whether Blood Axes can influence other Klans, or perhaps stirring things up by supplying a Tau client race with weapons to use against Eldar Exodites (and turning the Tau's own economic and propaganda tricks against them) to incite a war between the Empire and a Craftworld.

Hedgehobbit
06-04-2011, 18:56
Why be upset that the books are called Imperial Armour when you play a game called Warhammer 40,000? It's only the year 40,000 for humans afterall.

ctuttle
06-04-2011, 19:03
Why be upset that the books are called Imperial Armour when you play a game called Warhammer 40,000? It's only the year 40,000 for humans afterall.

Well played sir!

Maidel
06-04-2011, 19:58
IF about 50% of the army options are imperial, then surely it makes 100% sense to make the books about imperial and something else.

If you did a book that was entirely about non-imperial armies then you immediately cut out half of the potential armies.

I also susspect that GW have done their sums and they know what proportion of models are sold and to whom and for what armies. And they will make things to fit that.

I would be shocked if GW was anything by 75% imperial sales and 25% everything else, thus always making the imperial armour books about imperial and something else, makes perfect sense.

Also, the premise for the imperial armour books is that it looks at a campaign from the imperial point of view. The book series is called 'imperial armour'. Thats the entire concept of the books. The codexes are not written like this, they used to be I will accept that, but they arent any more.

It would be like buying the ork codex and complaining that it doesnt focus on the eldars perspective for the Orks. Should Forge world create another range of books looking at military tactics and strategy from another races perspective - Im all for it - Aspect of War - there we go, good enough title. Howver my only worry would be that if GW deemed it to be profitable, they would probably have already done so.

Coasty
06-04-2011, 20:05
I really don't mind the 'Imperial Armour' thing at all; it's a series of books primarily concerned with the armed forces of the Imperium invented by people who wanted to represent real-world armoured formations and warfare in 40K.

Fair enough.

The lack of xeno-centric (particularly ork-centric!) novels etc. does bother me a little, though.

HOWEVER...I do like the 'Imperial perspective' device when dealing with Tyranids and Necrons. Necrons in particular work best when they are mysterious and inscrutable. Telling too much of their history counts as 'showing the monster' to me.

ForgottenLore
06-04-2011, 20:15
That is just making excuses and such a blanket statement also ignores the reality that human players have for years been playing and empathizing with their nonhuman armies,


I think you'll find most imperial players don't approach the game from the premise that they'll have to write half of it because the company producing it won't.


But then this seems to be the standard opinion people have about customers that play non imperial armies. Imperial players have a feeling of entitlement,


If a customer or consumer of a product or service doesn't feel the company is addressing their needs they should be perfectly within their rights to voice their opinion and not expect to be brushed aside with "go do it yourself."

Agree 100% with everything Iracundus and Hellebore have said.


Imperial Armour 8 has 90% stuff relating to the Orks. All the other IA books dealing with xenos have more unit pages for the xenos armies rather than the imperial unit pages.

So in all those books where the Xenos faction gets more pages than the Imperial ones, lets say Xenos get 60 pages to the Imperium's 40, across 5 books that means the Imperium has gotten 200 pages of support to each xonos factions 60. (and of course 3 of those books didn't actually have xenos, but chaos, Imperium whit spikes, and the entire 2 books before those 5 and the most recent 2 books were all 100% Imperial)


I don't get this 'humans are easy to relate to thing', because the humans in 40k are less easy to relate to than the aliens.

This too. I emphasize, relate, understand, grok, "get", follow, etc.. my Tau much, much more than any faction of the Imperium. I'm reading the Untramarine novel "Courage and Honour" by Grahm McNiell right now. Boring as hell, partly because none of the characters are particularly easy to relate too, not even the regular human ones, just cardboard caricatures that act the way they do because that is how GW says they do. By comparison the Eldar characters in Pathof the Warrior were very empathetic and I genuinely cared about them and what was going on.


All that said, and getting back to the original post, I don't mind Forgeworld choosing to make the Imperium the main character of the story of the 41st millenium. It's not what I would do but I think that it is a valid choice.

Coasty
06-04-2011, 20:17
I'm reading the Untramarine novel "Courage and Honour" by Grahm McNiell right now. Boring as hell, partly because none of the characters are particularly easy to relate too, not even the regular human ones, just cardboard caricatures that act the way they do because that is how GW says they do.

Spacemarines as characters are deathly dull. Perhaps they, too, are best seen through others' eyes?

adeptusphotographicus
06-04-2011, 20:37
If you read the forward by the author of these Imperial Armor books they clearly state this is told from a human perspective. It goes on to state that despite how much fun a alien perspective would be, it is not very easy to discuss something from a alien POV, they are aliens after all, so it would not be possible for us to really relate to them.. the author would have to almost double the size of the book just to add in all the words needed to convey the alien feel. foolish. instead make it about Humans, and from their POV. win win.

shadowhawk2008
06-04-2011, 20:47
That point has been brought up already and disproved.

chamelion 6
06-04-2011, 20:57
Bad guys generally get dull when you know too much about them. 40K is primarily human-centric for just that reason. Take the Klingons... They were much better bad guys before we realized they were really just misunderstood. The Romulans and most others in the Star Trek universeas well Once you start to understand them you start to think, "awww, they're not so bad..." I like the DE because they're the bad guys, because their society has no redeming human qualities. I want them to be feared fluff wise, not understood.

That said, I think that the game has grown beyond the simple "good guys / bad guys" mentality. The problem is as you define their culture, the more human they become and that dilutes their "mysteriousness." I know I prefer my aliens to be... well... alien. I prefer the human POV.

However, perhaps the game has evolved to the point that each codex should be written completely from the POV of the race it outlines... At least those that have a POV, necrons and tyranids maby not...

shadowhawk2008
06-04-2011, 21:11
That brings up an interesting side point. Do the Necrons maintain records?

ForgottenLore
06-04-2011, 21:24
Bad guys generally get dull when you know too much about them. 40K is primarily human-centric for just that reason. Take the Klingons... They were much better bad guys before we realized they were really just misunderstood. The Romulans and most others in the Star Trek universeas well Once you start to understand them you start to think, "awww, they're not so bad..." I like the DE because they're the bad guys, because their society has no redeming human qualities. I want them to be feared fluff wise, not understood.

Bad guys don't get interesting UNTIL you start to understand them. Klingons were silly dull and uninteresting before they developed them (alright, after too, but that is because the developed them in a stupid way). One of Star Treks main strengths is that they can make three dimensional bad guy races.

A cardboard cutout villain that does evil 'just because' is massively boring and a major no-no of story telling for precisely that reason.

Easy E
06-04-2011, 21:25
I'm more concerned that space mariens are showing up in a Xeno Codex as a big mover and shaker. Yeah, I'm talking about the DE codex, that features Space Marines doing the dirty work of Vect, and not Vect and the DE!

Really, SM even need to be in Xeno dexes now?

Maidel
06-04-2011, 21:42
Really, SM even need to be in Xeno dexes now?

Surely the exact opposite could be said when xeno turn up in marine codexes?

chamelion 6
06-04-2011, 21:49
Bad guys don't get interesting UNTIL you start to understand them. Klingons were silly dull and uninteresting before they developed them (alright, after too, but that is because the developed them in a stupid way). One of Star Treks main strengths is that they can make three dimensional bad guy races.

A cardboard cutout villain that does evil 'just because' is massively boring and a major no-no of story telling for precisely that reason.

Really?
Klingons were an iconic villian before they became "sensitive."
Add to them...
The Alien
The Predator
Freddy Kruger
Jason Voorhees
The hillbillies from Deliverance
Pinhead (Hellraiser)
C'Thulu
Even Dracula took a hit when we tried to understand where the poor guy was coming from.
The Candyman
The "Tall Man" (Phantasm)
Just to name a few more iconic film and literary "no-no's"

Evil just doesn't work when we see the vulnerable side.. :wtf:

But like I said, 40k seems to have outgrown the "good guy / bad guy" thing.

otakuzoku
07-04-2011, 01:40
Really?
Klingons were an iconic villian before they became "sensitive."
Add to them...
The Alien
The Predator
Freddy Kruger
Jason Voorhees
The hillbillies from Deliverance
Pinhead (Hellraiser)
C'Thulu
Even Dracula took a hit when we tried to understand where the poor guy was coming from.
The Candyman
The "Tall Man" (Phantasm)
Just to name a few more iconic film and literary "no-no's"

Evil just doesn't work when we see the vulnerable side.. :wtf:

But like I said, 40k seems to have outgrown the "good guy / bad guy" thing.

the thing is in the 40k universe the only real evil is chaos, i would not call the xeno races evil. (ok may be DE) the nids are not evil just like the alien in the alien movies and the shark in jaws there just following its natural instincts. it has no malice towards its pray its just dinner. i find the tau more relatabel than the IOM in 40k.

"Aspect of War" i like it Aspects of War vol 1 the farsight enclave

ForgottenLore
07-04-2011, 01:52
Really?
Klingons were an iconic villian before they became "sensitive."
Except they weren't really. In Classic Trek Klingons and Romulans got the same amount of development. It wasn't until the movies when they started developing them into "Orcs in Space" and Next Gen spinning the whole warrior culture thing that the Kilingon Kraze really started to be felt. Romulans were always much more interesting because, even if the shows didn't elaborate on them, the naming conventions allowed you to at least graft a roman empire, manifest destiny feel onto them.


The Alien
The Predator

Except they aren't the bad guys of their respective movies
In the Alien films the villains are Ash, Burke and similar characters in the other ones. Likewise in Predator the real bad guy is the government guy. All of these guys you know their motivations and personalities, even if you don't agree with them. The monsters are presented more as forces of nature rather than villains or bad guys. Also, monster movies are not particularly noted for good story telling, they get by on effects, action and cool premises.


Freddy Kruger
Jason Voorhees
The hillbillies from Deliverance
Pinhead (Hellraiser)
The Candyman
The "Tall Man" (Phantasm)
Haven't actually seen most of these but slasher films are almost always panned as being horrible stories and just excuses for gratuitous violence, although I do semi-frequently hear the original Friday the 13th praised for the ending and providing some depth to the story.


Even Dracula took a hit when we tried to understand where the poor guy was coming from.
The whole point of Dracula is the cursed love story. Hell, making Dracula a comprehensible villain practically defined gothic literature.

C'Thulu
Yeah, Ok, I'll give you that one, Lovecraft breaks a lot of rules though.

Comprehensible doesn't mean they can't still be villains. Evil is much (MUCH) more scary when you can understand how a normal, logical person could see the world like that and do the things he/she/it does. Faceless, undeveloped monsters we can discount. We are comforted by the knowledge that we can never be like that. Evil in which we can see ourselves, that we think "Wow, doing those horrible things almost makes sense" is far more terrifying because it questions your own convictions.

Case in point. Disney's Gargoyles, one of the best animated shows ever. One of the chief villains of the show, Demona, is flat out trying to exterminate the human race. She falls into virtually every super-villain cliche there is. A complete, utter an total lunatic. But throughout the course of the show you learn her backstory and how, over a thousand years she went from one of the good guys, basically a paladin type to being such a nut, AND IT MAKES SENSE. You can totally see her point of view and why she thinks 7 billion people need to die. You don't hate her any less, you don't think that maybe all she needs is some love, you want her to die, but she is a compelling character because of it and far more dramatically powerful than a cardboard caricature.

There is no reason why Dark Eldar couldn't be like that, and to an extent I think they are now.

As a final point, in 40K Xenos aren't just the antagonists, for anyone who plays those armies they are also the protaganists, and whileyou can tell a story without any development of the villains, it is really hard to tell a story without saying anything about the main characters.

chamelion 6
07-04-2011, 05:21
Except they weren't really. In Classic Trek Klingons and Romulans got the same amount of development. It wasn't until the movies when they started developing them into "Orcs in Space" and Next Gen spinning the whole warrior culture thing that the Kilingon Kraze really started to be felt. Romulans were always much more interesting because, even if the shows didn't elaborate on them, the naming conventions allowed you to at least graft a roman empire, manifest destiny feel onto them.
I personally thought they both made much better bad guys when we didn't know that much about them... "Balance of Terror" played them about right... We got the impression they were more intellectual than the Klingon barbarians...



Except they aren't the bad guys of their respective movies
In the Alien films the villains are Ash, Burke and similar characters in the other ones. Likewise in Predator the real bad guy is the government guy. All of these guys you know their motivations and personalities, even if you don't agree with them. The monsters are presented more as forces of nature rather than villains or bad guys. Also, monster movies are not particularly noted for good story telling, they get by on effects, action and cool premises.
Ash and Burk were both minor sidelines to their main stories. The main antagonist was the ugly thing(s) with the teeth ripping people up and birthing ther little ones inside us humans... The first two movies succeded because they didn't give in to the urge to over explain.

As for Predator, they were giant snake / lizard thingies hunting humans... With little explanation... As for the Govt. official in the first movie he was what? 5 minutes of film... It was the big thing skinning people that occupied most of our interest. The second predator movie expanded on what the aliens were about and tried to show the government as the real bad guy. It wasn't nearly as good a film for just that reason. The reason Aliens is almost as iconic as Alien is the aliens stayed just as mysterious as they were in the first film. Where there was one in the first film and it was mean, the second film just multiplied them beyond measure... And made them bigger too.




Haven't actually seen most of these but slasher films are almost always panned as being horrible stories and just excuses for gratuitous violence, although I do semi-frequently hear the original Friday the 13th praised for the ending and providing some depth to the story.
Horror has a deep and rich literary history and is the only literary style that is pretty much uniquely American... as compared to the ghost story. If that means anything to anyone.



The whole point of Dracula is the cursed love story. Hell, making Dracula a comprehensible villain practically defined gothic literature.
Dracula is about an obsessed Dr trying to trackdown this undead freak depopulating towns... As told through his letters... There is no love interest, that was added later in the films.



Yeah, Ok, I'll give you that one, Lovecraft breaks a lot of rules though. When it comes to modern horror, Lovecraft wrote the rules.



Comprehensible doesn't mean they can't still be villains. Evil is much (MUCH) more scary when you can understand how a normal, logical person could see the world like that and do the things he/she/it does. Faceless, undeveloped monsters we can discount. We are comforted by the knowledge that we can never be like that. Evil in which we can see ourselves, that we think "Wow, doing those horrible things almost makes sense" is far more terrifying because it questions your own convictions.
Ith all depends on what you're shooting for. When you delve into an evil character and begin to sympathize with him he becomes less evil than tragic. Macbeth... We understand his failings. Kruger was just flat evil in the first movie... He made no sense and played by his own rules and that terrified people. Ditto the Cynobytes in the first Hellraiser. In both films the bad guys are unfathomable. If we could figure them out we might be able to deal with them somehow. But they are so foreign to what we understand we have no idea how to cope. The films suceed as much because part of the story is the attempt to come to terms with the thing that hates us, because on some level understanding them is the key to defeating them.




Case in point. Disney's Gargoyles, one of the best animated shows ever. One of the chief villains of the show, Demona, is flat out trying to exterminate the human race. She falls into virtually every super-villain cliche there is. A complete, utter an total lunatic. But throughout the course of the show you learn her backstory and how, over a thousand years she went from one of the good guys, basically a paladin type to being such a nut, AND IT MAKES SENSE. You can totally see her point of view and why she thinks 7 billion people need to die. You don't hate her any less, you don't think that maybe all she needs is some love, you want her to die, but she is a compelling character because of it and far more dramatically powerful than a cardboard caricature.
And at that point she's really no so bad is she? Just kind of misunderstood... Even Darth Vadar came back from the Dark Side. Our faith in his humanity restored... But remember him in the original Star Wars... Before we saw his tragic fall. The guy was the SF epitomy of evil. Cold, and completely unrelatable. His lack of depth made a huge impact on everyone.



There is no reason why Dark Eldar couldn't be like that, and to an extent I think they are now.
Now they have that "tragic" taint to them...They struggle to survive the only way they know how and their society reflects their inner decay... Not a bad backstory. I'll live with it. But I still like the evil in the shadows feel...



As a final point, in 40K Xenos aren't just the antagonists, for anyone who plays those armies they are also the protaganists, and whileyou can tell a story without any development of the villains, it is really hard to tell a story without saying anything about the main characters.

No, not anymore. But once they were, for the most part, a collection of what mankind feared and the less we understood them, the more we feard them. That's kinda changed now though and I don't think the old good guy / bad guy paradigm exists any more. Most of the alien bad guys are already accepted at simply alternate cultures and races... They've already been "humanized." Even the Necrons and Tyranids. Especially the necrons lost something in all that humanization. They especially, to me anyway, were much scarier as mindless uncontrolled robots that existed for no other purpose than to exterminate life. That they seemd to have some kind of culture and history made them all the more freakish... Once I learned what they were all about I just kinda felt, "Ohhh... So that's it." and the intrigue was gone.

You are right though. Horror only works if we relate and understand the hero. The 2 dimensional antagonist is irrelevant except that it changes or impacts the hero. The more of you recognize yourself in the hero the more real that big ugly thing becomes, no matter how flat and cardboard like it is. And that's the secret to good horror fiction. You want the hero to succeed, or fail, because they are you, or somebody you know, and they take on meaning and at that point it really doesn't matter what the threat actualy is and the more vague and smokey the more universally it touches.

Anyway, back on topic. I agree at this point, GW needs to flesh out the non imperial races more. There is no real reason not to.

Shamana
07-04-2011, 09:18
Ash and Burk were both minor sidelines to their main stories. The main antagonist was the ugly thing(s) with the teeth ripping people up and birthing ther little ones inside us humans... The first two movies succeded because they didn't give in to the urge to over explain.

I think the Alien might be a somewhat different category, since it is clearly inhuman - almost like a force of nature. Yes, it wants to kill you, and yes, it is fearsome, but you can't really empathize with it. It is the antagonist, not the villain.



It all depends on what you're shooting for. When you delve into an evil character and begin to sympathize with him he becomes less evil than tragic. Macbeth... We understand his failings.

Well, Macbeth is a tragedy, and the topic is to show the fall from grace of an originally good character. I think it was meant to be a kind of morality play, ultimately, showing that pride and ambition (and listening to your wife, apparently) lead to damnation. We may understand what led to that, but in the end, he is still damned, and his comeuppance is justified.


And at that point she's really no so bad is she? Just kind of misunderstood... Even Darth Vadar came back from the Dark Side. Our faith in his humanity restored... But remember him in the original Star Wars... Before we saw his tragic fall. The guy was the SF epitomy of evil. Cold, and completely unrelatable. His lack of depth made a huge impact on everyone.

I think it was a problem more of how he was developed. IMO episode three portrayed one of the least convincing face heel turns that I've seen and made Anakin seem like an idiot. Maybe it's just me, but the trilogy could have developed him a lot better.

Still, I think having a "tragic" villain isn't bad. As you said, it depends on how it impacts the hero. Tragic villains (and this is by necessity a broad generalization) bring up the angle of "I was once like you... will you be like me?" that I think works fairly well in 40k - as long as it is not overused, at least. Unrelatable villains work better in building a "superman" hero, one whose triumph is a bit simpler and less ambivalent (which can, of course, be resolved with other elements of the plot). In the end of the day, a guy with a bad childhood can still be a complete monster wanting to kill countless people in as cruel was as possible. That they weren't always such might help explore the characters, but in the end the beast is a beast - and has to be put down. Just because they are tragic doesn't mean they are redeemable. Yeah, pity about how the Necrons made a deal with the Deceiver and got screwed - but that doesn't change anything about what they are know. At least, unless there's some truth to the rumors that a cabal of more aware necrons are resisting... Who IS doing the fluff on their next codex, btw?

Anyway, I wouldn't mind a non-Imperial book, but aren't just over 50% of the factions Imperial by now?

Brother Loki
07-04-2011, 11:09
A lot of the things Forgeworld develop aren't really dictated by commercial concerns. They're not really a market driven business. They make what the creative folks are interested in at the time, rather than what will necessarily sell a lot of units. I'd be willing to bet that the only reason they did an Elysian army, for example, is that someone at Forgeworld (probably the sculptor) wanted them for their own army. Essentially, they're a bunch of guys indulging their hobby all day, who happen to make castings of their toys available to others. Warwick and Tony like tanks, so they make a lot of tanks. Warwick's not really interested in aliens, so the aliens are always presented as antagonists.

Some might say that this is the wrong way to go about a business, that they should be making what the customers want, but personally, I think that this 'if we build it, they will come' attitude is one of the strengths of the Forgworld brand. They make stuff because they're passionate about it, and that's why they're so good at it. They're not just turning up to collect a paycheck.

Easy E
07-04-2011, 13:34
Surely the exact opposite could be said when xeno turn up in marine codexes?

Yeah, except all they do is die, not win the battle for your Hero Charactar,and still escape.

Shamana
07-04-2011, 13:39
Well, the Eldar did it once in the BA codex I believe (not that time where Sangui-Sue joined the "kill the Avatar" club), and there's a certain incident with the Necrons we don't talk about in polite company... :p

Hellebore
07-04-2011, 13:53
I think the biggest confusion with regards to 'bad guys' as discussed above is that the eldar and tau specifically are intelligent selfaware advanced culturally rich and diverse living things.

You can't treat them like Jason Vorhees or the Alien because they AREN'T them. They are a different sentient species with a relateable point of view.

The reason those creatures are scary is that they can't be understood in human terms, but you CAN understand an eldar or a tau. The greater good can be understood in its similarity to the concept of the beneficient god emperor.

As these two armies specifically are not designed as simple 2d enemies, they should not be portrayed and indeed cannot be portrayed that way. They weren't designed that way. The Tyranids yes, because they follow the same conceptual design as the 'force of nature' Alien.

Even the orks are still relatable because they have an intelligent society with language, kultur, interaction, consequence and so on.

An ork is as inhuman and frightening to an imperial citizen as an Allied soldier smashing down their front door is to a German peasant. But from an objective perspetive they have thoughts, feelings, desires, drives, goals, relationships and so on. Dehumanising the enemy is a common tactic used by all human military forces and they do it to OTHER HUMANS. It doesn't mean they AREN'T human or relatable, it just means we are pretending they aren't so as to avoid cognitive dissonance and brainal meltdown.

Hellebore

MagosHereticus
07-04-2011, 14:30
you wont see an imperial armour book of aliens versus aliens, what you might see is another book with a new title if enough creative juices get flowing, i doubt it though, most of their material is being consumed in the IA books

what i would love is a history of the war that saw the kroot folded into the tau empire (tau vs orks)

edit: the war of dakka yeah?

Hypaspist
07-04-2011, 14:47
To Address the OP's question (obviously from my own opinion)

The Warhammer 40k Background is Built on the Imperium. The Emperor, the primarchs and their founding Legions, and the Horus Heresy being the beginning of the Story and 5th Edition being the current end of days, (to be extended and/or changed by 6th edition when it arrives I assume)

I see it less that it's always from the POV of the Imperium (although, much of the IA books tend to have Imperial Datasheets on Xeno units in their unit entry) but more of a resonance with the fact that the Imperium, to all intents and purposes, is the Glue that holds the 40k universe together.

What I mean by this is that the Imperium is where it starts in terms of story narrative (yes the Eldar are an ancient Race and have lived far longer lives and many more generations that the Mon-Keigh) however everything is generally in the context of the Imperium.

For me, I don't see it as a major issue that each Imperial Armour volume details The Imperium vs Xeno as for me, this fits with my understanding and concept of the Universe GW have created.

That's not to say that I wouldn't welcome a Xeno vs Xeno book, I just think it generally won't happen because of the creative design philosophy.

but, as always, Your individual Mileage may vary (Greatly!)

:)

tu33y
07-04-2011, 22:16
whoa whoa whoa.... did someone say Ork players are second class customers? you are, of course, joking?

chamelion 6
07-04-2011, 22:31
I think the biggest confusion with regards to 'bad guys' as discussed above is that the eldar and tau specifically are intelligent selfaware advanced culturally rich and diverse living things.

You can't treat them like Jason Vorhees or the Alien because they AREN'T them. They are a different sentient species with a relateable point of view.

The reason those creatures are scary is that they can't be understood in human terms, but you CAN understand an eldar or a tau. The greater good can be understood in its similarity to the concept of the beneficient god emperor.

As these two armies specifically are not designed as simple 2d enemies, they should not be portrayed and indeed cannot be portrayed that way. They weren't designed that way. The Tyranids yes, because they follow the same conceptual design as the 'force of nature' Alien.

Even the orks are still relatable because they have an intelligent society with language, kultur, interaction, consequence and so on.

An ork is as inhuman and frightening to an imperial citizen as an Allied soldier smashing down their front door is to a German peasant. But from an objective perspetive they have thoughts, feelings, desires, drives, goals, relationships and so on. Dehumanising the enemy is a common tactic used by all human military forces and they do it to OTHER HUMANS. It doesn't mean they AREN'T human or relatable, it just means we are pretending they aren't so as to avoid cognitive dissonance and brainal meltdown.

Hellebore

I'd agree with you now, but it wasn't always that way. Early on there was a distinct "us versus them" sci fi feel to the game where outside the guard and marines, nothing was really fleshed out and the whole game had a strong human centrist view. That was the nature of the game when the IA books first started out.

Since then both the game and the players have evolved. Things change.

Now I would say that enough people want more depth to the army they choose, in fact, it seems a lot of people are wanting everything defined, nailed down. Some people really want black and white. I don't like that at all and I doubt that GW will ever go that way.

But I do agree that it's time for GW to start writing codecies from the view of the race they cover......

otakuzoku
07-04-2011, 23:35
i decided to sit down and have a bash at writing aspects of war vol 1 (may even send a draft to FW if it gets good) will probably set up a seprate topic for it at some point.

Israfael
08-04-2011, 01:10
Yeah, except all they do is die, not win the battle for your Hero Charactar,and still escape.

He allowed them to escape, so that he could focus on filling the newly formed power vacuum. The Astartes also suffer significant losses after having their ship casually disabled and dragged into the city.

They only survived because he had more pressing concerns. His manipulation of the "elite" of the Imperium isn't impressive, because he doesn't wander the city falcon-punching marines himself, clearly.

The writers just cannot win. I mean, is there really no fluff story that doesn't result in whining anymore? I'm pretty sure we've reached a point where a xeno child could curb stomp the Emperor, and because he sprang his ankle during - it's blatant marine favoritism.

Torpedo Vegas
08-04-2011, 01:23
GW hardly seems interested in actually fleshing out

:wtf:I agreed with a lot of your post, but this is just...I don't even know. "40k" and 'not fleshed out' shouldn't be used in the same sentence.

Inquisitor Kallus
08-04-2011, 01:41
That point has been brought up already and disproved.

Tell that to the writers Shadowhawk....

It is true, the books (including the BRB in most parts) were written from a human standpoint to be more identifiable with. Similar to why a lot of the Military or other historical wargamers go with Guard or Empire (WFB), because they can relate, its part of the human condition. That doesnt mean other races are getting 'done over'.

I have collected most of the races over my time in the hobby and so see it from everybodys point of view, but I imagine most of the people moaning here are just playing up because their race isn't in the title. Grow up and stop whining.

This is not to say that GW or any of its 'partners' will not write things from a different pespective (see the codexes and a few BL novels for examples), but writing from the human standpoint allows people to see the dangers of the 41st Millenium from human eyes when they get into the hobby and it is also furthered from there.

To anyone who thinks this is not the case I suggest you open your rulebook and read the first page that starts ,

"For more than a hundred centuries the Emperor....."

Then come back here and tell me what you found.

Hellebore
08-04-2011, 01:51
I'd agree with you now, but it wasn't always that way. Early on there was a distinct "us versus them" sci fi feel to the game where outside the guard and marines, nothing was really fleshed out and the whole game had a strong human centrist view. That was the nature of the game when the IA books first started out.

Since then both the game and the players have evolved. Things change.

Now I would say that enough people want more depth to the army they choose, in fact, it seems a lot of people are wanting everything defined, nailed down. Some people really want black and white. I don't like that at all and I doubt that GW will ever go that way.

But I do agree that it's time for GW to start writing codecies from the view of the race they cover......


That's from 3rd ed when the game was for some unknown reason reduced to Imperial propaganda leaflets.

BEFORE 3rd ed it was far more evenly balanced. There were short stories for all species throughout codices and WD. Part of the reason GW decided to push the 'eldar are arrogant snobs' angle was because in 2nd ed many people actually saw them as the good guys due to their desire to destroy chaos and ally with the imperium.

1st ed and 2nd ed went into detail about species, their cultures and drives. 3rd turfed all that for codicies written by the Imperium about how to kill the xenos. I can tell you, I found it distasteful seeing other people's codicies turned into something not their own - they were being told they were the shooting gallery for the imperial armies. That wasn't true in 2nd ed and it shouldn't have happened in 3rd ed. This is a game about factions fighting each other. The worst thing you can do is provide an objective measure of 'good' in the universe an then tell people they're bastards for collecting the objectively 'bad' faction. Everyone is the hero of their own story. It wasn't simply 'Imperium good everyone else evil'.

That's probably why you see so many people these days bitching about the Imperial/marine favouritism. The setting wasn't as biased in 2nd ed and 1st ed as it is now.

The current paradigm, ignoring the OTT crap coming out, has in many cases simply reprinted the material from 2nd ed. The eldar codex is a reprint, with some extra stuff.

So what you see is a holistic approach, narrowed down to imperial centric, then back to a more holistic approach (where the marinecentrism is in codex count and heroic OTT victories and nonsense rather than in setting slant).

If you're looking from 3rd ed onwards then sure, it comes across that way. But if you look from the beginning of the game onwards, 3rd ed was an outlier blip.

Hellebore

chamelion 6
08-04-2011, 02:10
That's from 3rd ed when the game was for some unknown reason reduced to Imperial propaganda leaflets.

BEFORE 3rd ed it was far more evenly balanced. There were short stories for all species throughout codices and WD. Part of the reason GW decided to push the 'eldar are arrogant snobs' angle was because in 2nd ed many people actually saw them as the good guys due to their desire to destroy chaos and ally with the imperium.

1st ed and 2nd ed went into detail about species, their cultures and drives. 3rd turfed all that for codicies written by the Imperium about how to kill the xenos. I can tell you, I found it distasteful seeing other people's codicies turned into something not their own - they were being told they were the shooting gallery for the imperial armies. That wasn't true in 2nd ed and it shouldn't have happened in 3rd ed. This is a game about factions fighting each other. The worst thing you can do is provide an objective measure of 'good' in the universe an then tell people they're bastards for collecting the objectively 'bad' faction. Everyone is the hero of their own story. It wasn't simply 'Imperium good everyone else evil'.

That's probably why you see so many people these days bitching about the Imperial/marine favouritism. The setting wasn't as biased in 2nd ed and 1st ed as it is now.

The current paradigm, ignoring the OTT crap coming out, has in many cases simply reprinted the material from 2nd ed. The eldar codex is a reprint, with some extra stuff.

So what you see is a holistic approach, narrowed down to imperial centric, then back to a more holistic approach (where the marinecentrism is in codex count and heroic OTT victories and nonsense rather than in setting slant).

If you're looking from 3rd ed onwards then sure, it comes across that way. But if you look from the beginning of the game onwards, 3rd ed was an outlier blip.

Hellebore

As a matter of fact, I started playing 40k in 3rd edition because I wasn't enjoying 6th WFB at all. I don't remember the codecies taking an anti-xenos turn so much because they were little more than army lists then. But most of the fiction, novels, short stories certaintly viewed the alien races from the human pov. I got the impression that it was always that way because even the older novels, pre 3rd, that I could find were also like that.

But if that's the case, then you are correct and that certaintly colored my percepton of things. Whenever it started though, it's probably time to make that change.

Honestly though, that doesn't bother me that much. The only real complaint is that the codecies don't get equal support. There is no reason Orks or DE should have had to go so long between updates. For each edition of the rules, there should be a codex...

Hellebore
08-04-2011, 02:22
As a matter of fact, I started playing 40k in 3rd edition because I wasn't enjoying 6th WFB at all. I don't remember the codecies taking an anti-xenos turn so much because they were little more than army lists then. But most of the fiction, novels, short stories certaintly viewed the alien races from the human pov. I got the impression that it was always that way because even the older novels, pre 3rd, that I could find were also like that.

But if that's the case, then you are correct and that certaintly colored my percepton of things. Whenever it started though, it's probably time to make that change.

Honestly though, that doesn't bother me that much. The only real complaint is that the codecies don't get equal support. There is no reason Orks or DE should have had to go so long between updates. For each edition of the rules, there should be a codex...

The 3rd codicies were generally written (when there was actual background) from the Imperial perspective. Admech describing the alien tech and how unholy it was, inquisitors discussing the necromancy of eldar witches etc.

The xenos codices were far less sympathetic to their reader than the imperial ones. It would be like reading about the American side of the War of Independence, but written by the British.

But the larger 2nd ed ones were written from third person omiscient narrator, describing each faction as they were, not as someone else perceived them. That sort of thing should be IMO kept within the codex it is written from the perspective of. ie 'eldar are treacherous scum' shouldn't be something you read IN the eldar codex, but in the imperial one and how they view the eldar.

Imagine if the marine was written from the eldar perspective 'psychotic primitives, too stupid to understand the horrors done to their bodes. space marines are terrible monsters of flesh, fighting to keep a corpse in command of the galaxy.'

It's all well and good to have that perspective in your own codex, but it's bad business to put down the reader in their own book.

It then looks like a concerted effort to force customers to play the armies that are treated as the heroes. Few people want to play the 'bad guy' but if you only depict one side favourably, then they are going to play that one. No kid doesn't want to feel special, like his hero is the best. But if you set up the game so that only FRED'S hero can be awesome, why would you play anything else?

Hellebore

tayloeage
08-04-2011, 04:58
yeah but the problem is that half the armies are human and i would have to say alot of the players are really into the whole human vs alien thing and gw is all about marketing so i think thats why its all about the money in the end

Gorbad Ironclaw
08-04-2011, 06:30
yeah but the problem is that half the armies are human and i would have to say alot of the players are really into the whole human vs alien thing and gw is all about marketing so i think thats why its all about the money in the end

But you only get to have a game of human vs. aliens if you actually have aliens in it too. That means making those armies compelling and interesting to play too and if you really want to get something from that style of play it also means setting up the aliens as more than weirdly shaped cardboard cut-outs, otherwise why should you really care that your humans are fighting them? It's all well and good that the Imperial books are filled with propaganda about how you should "kill the xenos", but if you don't know anything about the xenos it doesn't really generate much response in the readers either way.

Imagine if every Imperial book from now on would contain lots of talk about how they had to kill random alien race, say the Jankisna from Kinjau. And all you knew was that name. But you would get lots of quotes etc. about how they deserve to die etc. Unless you know more about them pretty soon it stops being even remotely interesting as there is no way to interact with it at all.


:wtf:I agreed with a lot of your post, but this is just...I don't even know. "40k" and 'not fleshed out' shouldn't be used in the same sentence.

Quantity isn't the same as fleshing out. There are lots of individual bits of background on 40k. But for a lot of it it doesn't really come together as a coherent whole unless the readers themselves makes the effort to try and make it fit together. And even then there are still massive gaps where we just don't know anything or have the tiniest hints of what it might be (or where it plain doesn't make sense).

Hellebore
08-04-2011, 06:45
It also makes it unlikely anyone would actually PLAY a non human force, thus preventing you fighting them with your humans.

Few people are going to want to play the advertised punching bag just so their mates can get their rocks of killing the alien squishy.

This isn't space hulk where there are specific sides.

Hellebore

Poseidal
08-04-2011, 07:59
And that's partially shown by the decline in 40k at the turn of 3rd edition onwards. At best the Imperial focus has not helped them bring players in; at worst the focus is actually one of the contributing factors to the decline.

chamelion 6
08-04-2011, 11:08
It also makes it unlikely anyone would actually PLAY a non human force, thus preventing you fighting them with your humans.

Few people are going to want to play the advertised punching bag just so their mates can get their rocks of killing the alien squishy.

This isn't space hulk where there are specific sides.

Hellebore

I dunno... Maybe I'm just strange, but part of the appeal of the DE is exactly that, they are the bad guys. I like the idea thay my army is the scourge of the universe. In the original Star Wars, who didn't think Darth Vader was cooler than Obe Wan????

I just never saw my army as the "punching bag." I like being the villian.

Maidel
08-04-2011, 11:15
I play seven in fantasy for exactly that reason - bad guys that I just love. And what's even worse, I hate playing hord armies...

Poseidal
08-04-2011, 12:13
I dunno... Maybe I'm just strange, but part of the appeal of the DE is exactly that, they are the bad guys. I like the idea thay my army is the scourge of the universe. In the original Star Wars, who didn't think Darth Vader was cooler than Obe Wan????

I just never saw my army as the "punching bag." I like being the villian.

Being the villain works better when the villain is more fleshed out and made powerful and intimidating (in whatever way they do that).

It works better when the hero is the underdog, and in general the villain would get more development than the hero (who is purposefully a reasonably blank character).

chamelion 6
08-04-2011, 12:32
Being the villain works better when the villain is more fleshed out and made powerful and intimidating (in whatever way they do that).

It works better when the hero is the underdog, and in general the villain would get more development than the hero (who is purposefully a reasonably blank character).

We discussed this exact idea earlier in the thread. It all depends on what you're shooting for. Flesh them out too much and a good villian becomes sympathetic and familiar. The more vague and undefined they are the more difficult they are to relate to and the more disturbing they become. As somebody accurately put it earlier, evil is better when it's more a force of nature than a fleshed out individual.

Tragic villians have their place, but they're never nearly as scary.

Sai-Lauren
08-04-2011, 14:37
Well then maybe it's easier for them to do it from the imperial perspective? I mean I'm really looking forward to the Eldar book because tbh I have no idea how they really fight a prolonged fight. All we ever hear about is how they mysteriously appear out of no where and ambush everyone else. But what about logistics? What do they do if caught in a prolonged fight. Can they do siege warfare, or even withstand siege warfare? I mean with the IG we know they can and do build bunkers, trenches, etc. But for most other races we have absolutely nill on the subject, so it is quite a leap for them to take on 2 different xenos races and figure out just how their ways of war would interact.

That, in the same way that nearly all the BL books are human POVs.

Personally, what I'd do would be, say, Eldar v Necrons, told from the POV of an Inquisitor who's visiting a Deathwatch unit guarding a Tomb World when it all kicks off, and winds up basically as an outside observer.

Two non-human armies, plus a small appendix to cover the Inquisitor and their retinue, and the killteam.

Edit:


It would be like reading about the American side of the War of Independence, but written by the British.

Considering some American writers covering the British gives us stuff like "The Patriot" (aka Mel Gibson hates the English Pt 2 - Braveheart's part 1), I wouldn't mind seeing that simply as a redress of the balance. ;)

Trouble is, it'd be a commercial failure because you couldn't sell it in North America.

Well, maybe in Canada. :p



This isn't space hulk where there are specific sides.

And also unlike Space Hulk, you don't get to swap and play again as the other side.



The 3rd codicies were generally written (when there was actual background) from the Imperial perspective. Admech describing the alien tech and how unholy it was, inquisitors discussing the necromancy of eldar witches etc.

I agree, what happened in 3rd is use the god-view to make Marines good (and Ultramarines the goodest of the good), Guard and Sisters kind of good, the Inquisition effectively neutral, doing evil but with good at heart, and everyone else utterly evil.

End of the day, from a god-view, there is no good. But from each races point of view, there is good, and they're it.



It works better when the hero is the underdog, and in general the villain would get more development than the hero (who is purposefully a reasonably blank character).

Because the person watching/ reading can then become the hero, at least partially.