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Redscare
07-07-2011, 04:53
In science fiction written across the globe, a relatively common theme persists- the idea that Mankind is a member species of something greater, or is able to coexist with many other alien civilizations, all operating or more or less the same technological level, or frequently even the more primitive civilization among the stars.

Why are there so many of these when there are only a sparse few that have human governments with similar powers and doctrines such as the Imperium in Warhammer 40k?

Simply put, why do so many put humanity as the equal, or even as the inferior, to aliens?

One of the reasons why I love 40k so much is that the Imperium of Mankind is something very special in science fiction. It is not one of those "Let's all be happy and live peacefully!" or "You may be better than us, but we will rise up one day!" and other cliched sci-fi themes. Instead, humanity is superior race. Humanity is the one that is crossing the stars, and showing its dominance. Yes, it has equals in terms of power, but for every equal that exists, the humans of the 41st millennium have either subjugated, or exterminated, a hundred lesser species. They see themselves as having no equals and as the rightful rulers of the galaxy, and they are certainly not above committing genocides simply for the sake of demonstrating that fact.

Don't you wish there existed more of this "humanity is superior" theme in science fiction?

EDIT: When I started this thread, I was asking more about the presence of a powerful, xenophobic, militant and ruthless human empire in science fiction. I don't want this thread to get derailed into arguments over what races GW screwed up, which are ill represented in the game, and whose race is "better". I'm not arguing that the Imperium of Man is the strongest faction in the 40k galaxy (I don't think it is), but rather that it is extremely powerful, and I don't think that's something people can easily deny.

The best part of the IoM is that, despite being called "unrealistic and over-the-top", it is very, very human. If you look back on human history, there is absolutely nothing that the Imperium has done, that humans in the past have not. So when people accuse GW of creating a silly, overtly grimdark universe, is it really? I think the IoM is an absolutely realistic portrayal of humanity, past, present and future. The means and methods may have changed, but the ideals that empower those actions remain the same.

ehlijen
07-07-2011, 05:02
You're basically talking optimism vs pessimism. The 40k Imperium is basically Nazi Germany in space. Others prefer the actually working UN in space of Star Trek.

And just to be honest: I don't see this 'humanity is superior' theme. I see a 'human thinks it is superior' theme which is clearly not supported by any factual evidence. The imperium is meant to be the wounded bear fighting off the pack of wolves. It may get one here and there, but eventually it will lose. If not to the wolves, than to the mad bear stabbing it in the back as directed by the chaos gods.

And even on the table, humans are not great. Vast amounts of resources and fortunes need to be spend to make a human soldier that can at least go toe to toe with the average alien grunt, discarding any humanity left in them (read: Space marines are not human).

ForgottenLore
07-07-2011, 05:19
Simply put, why do so many put humanity as the equal, or even as the inferior, to aliens?

Because it is a reactionary response to the dominance of humans in earlier sci fi. Pulp era sci fin generally had either alien invasions of (then) modern day Earth or human empires. Think Asimov's foundation and Empire books, Dune, all the way up through Star Wars.

As a reaction to that many sci fin authors, particularly in the rather cynical '80s, responded by downplaying humanity's role in interstellar affairs. Also, that is a rather more realistic and believable interpretation as it requires a great deal of arrogance to assume we would be the first and most powerful species to reach the stars.

Redscare
07-07-2011, 05:26
"And just to be honest: I don't see this 'humanity is superior' theme. I see a 'human thinks it is superior' theme which is clearly not supported by any factual evidence. The imperium is meant to be the wounded bear fighting off the pack of wolves. It may get one here and there, but eventually it will lose. If not to the wolves, than to the mad bear stabbing it in the back as directed by the chaos gods."

Not necessarily true. While the Imperium is fighting a losing war, don't forget for most of Imperial history, and especially in the DAoT, humanity was exterminating alien empires left and right.


"As a reaction to that many sci fin authors, particularly in the rather cynical '80s, responded by downplaying humanity's role in interstellar affairs. Also, that is a rather more realistic and believable interpretation as it requires a great deal of arrogance to assume we would be the first and most powerful species to reach the stars."

But isn't it just as believable and reasonable to suggest humanity in the near or far future will still be as arrogant and pretentious as it is today? It was not too long ago that countries threatened to annihilate the entirety of human civilization through differences in ideas and politics. Even today, are humans not willfully committing acts of genocide over small differences in ethnicity and religion just as it had for the past 5000 years?

Chem-Dog
07-07-2011, 05:27
What works well for a background that is predominantly concerned with the setting for a wargame doesn't work so well in a novel, I suppose. 40K sets out to be bleak and revels in that side of humanity that perhaps the authors of more....inclusive strains of the genre would down play. Deep down we're a bunch of idiots that wanna kill anything we can't control and are happiest when we don't have to think because someone clever has done all the thinking for us and told us the end result.

*snif*

insan0
07-07-2011, 05:33
Although a much smaller scale, the Coalition from Rifts is about as xenophobic as the imperium.

ehlijen
07-07-2011, 05:57
Not necessarily true. While the Imperium is fighting a losing war, don't forget for most of Imperial history, and especially in the DAoT, humanity was exterminating alien empires left and right.


40k is dark age in space. No dark age would be complete without a lost better civilisation still in living memory, but so far back no one remembers the details. It's what the actual Roman Empire was to the Holy Roman Empire of German Nation. Something to nostalgise about without pesky reality reminding you that it it's no longer around because it FAILED.

As much as as the humans kicked back then, they eventually failed. Otherwise they'd still be at it, wouldn't they? No Tau empire would stand against the human empire of old...but now they do.



But isn't it just as believable and reasonable to suggest humanity in the near or far future will still be as arrogant and pretentious as it is today? It was not too long ago that countries threatened to annihilate the entirety of human civilization through differences in ideas and politics. Even today, are humans not willfully committing acts of genocide over small differences in ethnicity and religion just as it had for the past 5000 years?

Again, optimism vs pessimism. Some people like to believe that the future will be better than it is now. Others are happy to imagine the terrible places we can yet go.

If you look evil humans kicking puppies whenever they can, try the Battletech novels. With no pesky aliens to get in the way, humans are free to be greedy bastards to each other.

TheMav80
07-07-2011, 06:45
Pfff, "humanity" wasn't wiping out anything.

Space Marines were. Space Marines aren't much more human than an Eldar or Tau is. Their Primarchs are even further removed.

There were a great many Empires before humanity came along. The Imperium is just one more in a long line that will crumble and be replaced by something else.

Zoring
07-07-2011, 06:55
Humans are always the weakest most pathetic race in any Sci-Fi/Fantasy setting, all the other races live for longer, are stronger, better craftsmen, have greater numbers etc etc. It's great that in 40k we get to stomp on them all :P bastard aliens

DarkMatter2
07-07-2011, 07:02
Humanity in the Xeelee Sequence is even more xenophobic and would eat the Imperium of Man for lunch. And they still lose...

ForgottenLore
07-07-2011, 07:11
But isn't it just as believable and reasonable to suggest humanity in the near or far future will still be as arrogant and pretentious as it is today?
What's your point? You asked why humans are not depicted as a dominating force in the galaxy in a lot of science fiction. That really has nothing to do with their moral stance.

Honestly, it sounds as if you just want to rant against Star Trek and are ignoring most of the rest of science fiction.

Oh, and to actually answer the question in the thread title. No, I don't. There is a lot of cool elements in the 40K universe, the depictions of the Imperium of Man are just boring, lame, unbelievable, badly written cliches and stereotypes taken to ludicrous extremes. In the 40K Troy-verse the Imperium is a much more believable and toned down version of what is actually presented.


Some people like to believe that the future will be better than it is now. Others are happy to imagine the terrible places we can yet go.
I, personally, prefer a believable extrapolation. There are good people and bad people in all species. Governments accumulate bureaucracy as they age and that bureaucracy allows the bad people to accumulate power until the system overloads itself and collapses, but there remains charities and non-profit type organizations that try to help, there are peace movements and non-violent protests that can sway public opinion and force changes for the better, or worse. Some factions are enemies, some are allies, some are super manipulative, some manage to hid their manipulations better.

It makes for much more interesting settings than either Star Trek's "earth is a paradise, an ideal society and we want to share it with everyone" or 40K's "everything sucks, for any given situation imagine the worst possible action or outcome and assume it is worse than, and things are only deteriorating from there."

AndrewGPaul
07-07-2011, 07:33
"Humanity is superior" is pretty much the theme of most Television and film Sci-fi. Probably because all the Andorian and Wookiee extras have higher union rates. :) Think of Star Wars, Star Trek, Babylon 5; in all those settings, the greater galactic government (The Republic and later Empire, the Federation, the Babylon Project and Interstellar Alliance) is created at the instigation of or dominated by humans.

One of the famous SF magazine editors of the "golden age of SF" (possibly John W. Campbell, but don't quote me on that), basically made this a condition of being published in his magazine - no stories where humanity was inferior to aliens.

On the other hand, having humanity say "we're better than you, because, well we just are" is basically racist. That's about as far as I can get without veering into P&R, really.

Shamana
07-07-2011, 08:26
"Humanity is superior" is pretty much the theme of most Television and film Sci-fi.

I think it's not so much a matter of superiority as it is of a "manifest destiny" of sorts. Which kinda makes sense, since the target audience is made out of humans. Think of even one of the more "multiracial" settings - Mass Effect. Within years of its first contact with aliens (which had been spacebound for iirc millenia) humanity started a war with the most military adept race - the Turians - and was actually doing fairly well before the others intervened. Then it gained political representation in record time, and seemed to be picking up enough speed that the Galactic Doom of All apparently decided it is the biggest threat.

@ Redscare: As to why humanity is often perceived as having (initially) lower tech than mostt other races, I think it's because most science fiction writers try to describe the nearer future as it is easier to relate to. Thus, contacts with aliens will likely be first ones humanity is making as we are just taking to the stars. I think there is an underlying apprehension that others have already done it, and will be waiting for us there - ergo, it makes sense that since they have been doing it longer, their space tech is better. Except not really, since (at most with a few minor modifications) human one turns out to be just as good, if not better. Geez, imagine what a race of Mary Sues we must seem to everyone else :D .

Think of how many science fiction stories have humanity in the position of the old spacefaring race, just coming to terms with new races that take to the stars in their primitive tech. I can't really think of any; 40k plays on this idea with the Tau, but humanity is still much younger than most aliens it meets. This is likely tied to the idea that old races are in decline, and young ones in ascendance - and humanity, in most cases, can't be seen as old and declining; most authors much prefer a more optimistic mood. No, sir, we are the future! Our full glory is yet to come, and we have yet to show those old alien races what humanity can do. There, doesn't that make you feel warmer and fuzzier inside?:p

Spider-pope
07-07-2011, 08:37
Simply put, why do so many put humanity as the equal, or even as the inferior, to aliens?

Don't you wish there existed more of this "humanity is superior" theme in science fiction?

If we are taking Star Trek as the example here, even though it places humanity as part of an intergalactic organisation Humans are still represented as "superior" despite outward appearances.

How many times in Star Trek did the crew of the Enterprise "educate" other worlds on their failings and how their, human, way was the best way of doing things. The Federation may be comprised on dozens of species but the Klingons in Star Trek VI had a point when they called it a "homo sapiens only club".
And if we go by the more recent incarnations of Star Trek it's even worse. 'Enterprise' pretty much established that despite having centuries of experience building ships, as soon as the humans arrive on the scene and form the Federation everyone adopts the human starship designs as standard.

As to wanting more stuff like 40k, personally i'm content with what we have. If all Science Fiction adopted the same idea for the future of humanity, it would be an incredibly dull genre. 40k stands out through its incredible grimdarkness and thats the way i like it.

William The Conqueror
07-07-2011, 08:58
I think it has to do with the common view of aliens (If you think they exist that is...) and that is, if they are already able to come to our planet, and therefore are already far more advanced technologically than us, how could we hope to catch up. That ideology is backed up by the economic theory of perpetual growth. in essence, the more technology we have, the easier it is to get more technology. just like research in medicine is was made easier by the creation of the microscope. so, basically, no matter how much we learn or how quickly we learn it, aliens will have learned more and faster, because they are already more advanced...

SgtTaters
07-07-2011, 10:14
Don't you wish there existed more of this "humanity is superior" theme in science fiction?

No.

40k does it well because it's based on the self loathing punk wail of 80's Britain under the Iron Lady. Crushing alien empires, etc. yeah that's cool stuff, it still super sucks to live as a human in the Imperium of Man. There isn't any hootin' celebration of the situation, it is a grim portrait painted in ashes and the blood of martyrs.
Turning it into wish fulfillment neuters the setting.


40k is a memorable and fun setting because humanity is a worthless, struggling mass writhing within the monolith that is the Imperium of Man.
That's what makes the Imperium memorable, it's grandeur and malevolence. It's Emperor upon his resplendent golden throne that encompasses all of earth is a soul eating corpse.

40k is not about 'human superiority', it is about Human Sacrifice.

Poseidal
07-07-2011, 10:31
I think many have touched what the impression of 40k is.

I always thought that in 40k, Humanity is basically an average/weak species and not much is special about them beyond normal.

But some good luck, playing to their strengths and taking advantages of opportunities has allowed them to play with the 'big boys' in the galaxy (i.e. Orks and Eldar as far as 'normal' races go, and Tyranids and Necrons for your galactic horrors only the big players have a chance of dealing with).

Tau Empire is sort of that, but in a miniature scale at an earlier development.

Heh, it seems like the later you go, the worse the dominant races are.

Ancient generation (C'Tan/Old Ones) > War In Heaven races (Necrontyr, Eldar, Orkoid) > Human > Tau

Of course the Tau and Human ones would be considered in the same timescale.

Easy E
07-07-2011, 20:06
Well, to be frank; it's really hard to write stories and books about an alien protagonists.

Doesn't mean it can't be done, there are just a lot of commercial and artisitic hurdles.

AmKhaibitu
07-07-2011, 20:12
The imperial creed was created for some space fantasy, which make no mistakes is what 40k is.
Much like star wars there are no science fiction elements.

You might as well include dragons and finish things up.

Mjoellnir
07-07-2011, 20:34
I think many have touched what the impression of 40k is.

I always thought that in 40k, Humanity is basically an average/weak species and not much is special about them beyond normal.


The funny thing is, that this is what the fluff tells us if we look beyond the obvious imperial propaganda. The REALLY funny thing is, that if we look at the rules humanity truly is the most powerful species in the 40k universe. If you look at the Eldar and the humans you get a nice song and dance number with the humans singing: "Anything you can do, I can do better."

The humans made the bolter and stormbolter which is far superior to all types of shuriken catapults.

Humans make awesome armour. Only SIX Eldar have the same armour quality as at least 31 Ultramarines or 60 Blood Angels if I wasn't misinformed about Dante's special rules.

The Eldar were made to fight the Necrons, the humans were an evolutionary accident. The Eldar created the bright lance which is almost useless against monoliths, the humans created the laser cannon with a much bigger chance to penetrate living metal.

Humans have far more master-crafted weapons, relics that are far better than anything any alien race can have etc.

The Grey Knights have a teleport backpack that's safer, and better in terms of range than that of warp spiders.

The list goes on and on.


Concerning the original topic, no I would be happy if Star Trek would get back to a TNG-level of pacifism. 40k is a nice vision of the worst humanity is capable off, in fact it goes so far that it's comical. But I don't need anymore of that. That's what the news are for.

Gorbad Ironclaw
07-07-2011, 20:50
The humans made the bolter and stormbolter which is far superior to all types of shuriken catapults.

Only by the current rules. In 2nd ed for instance the Shuriken Catapult was a better version of the Storm Bolter. In fact Eldars in general were (IMO) much better in 2nd than they have been portrayed later on.

Nurgling Chieftain
07-07-2011, 21:24
You might as well include dragons and finish things up.A monstrous creature that flies and uses a flame template weapon? We've got those. :p

Chem-Dog
07-07-2011, 23:07
Space Marines were. Space Marines aren't much more human than an Eldar or Tau is. Their Primarchs are even further removed.

Their relative "Humanity" is much less of an issue than the flag they march under.


Well, to be frank; it's really hard to write stories and books about an alien protagonists.

Doesn't mean it can't be done, there are just a lot of commercial and artisitic hurdles.

In GW's own little bubble, I don't think it's too much of a hurdle. Produce a good book about almost any of the xenos species we know of and it'd be a winner. Tyranids might be a bit boring, 400 pages of "FEEEEEEEEEEED" copy pasterd over and over....:shifty:


The funny thing is, that this is what the fluff tells us if we look beyond the obvious imperial propaganda. The REALLY funny thing is, that if we look at the rules humanity truly is the most powerful species in the 40k universe. If you look at the Eldar and the humans you get a nice song and dance number with the humans singing: "Anything you can do, I can do better."

Fluff Vs Rules = Invalid argument.


The humans made the bolter and stormbolter which is far superior to all types of shuriken catapults.

Shurricats have a stupid amount of "rounds" in a single "mag". Bolter weaponry of every stripe requires constant specialist maintenance.


Humans make awesome armour. Only SIX Eldar have the same armour quality as at least 31 Ultramarines or 60 Blood Angels if I wasn't misinformed about Dante's special rules.

Point being most of the Eldar don't need that armour OR it's traded off for manouverability, don't mistake that for lack of technology that they can make the armour at all is enough. Again, like the Bolters, Power Weapon needs specialist care and can't be given to everyone - hence Guardsmen in cardboard vests and "Flashlights".
Dante makes Sanguinary Guard Troops, so you can have 30 of them as troops and 3 full sized Terminator squads at 10 strong each equalling 60 models with 2+ saves but if Maugan-Ra made Dark Reapers a troops choice the numbers wouldn't be quite so "compelling" as they might seem in your comparison. Or to put it another way....the Imperium only made one Dante.


The Eldar were made to fight the Necrons, the humans were an evolutionary accident. The Eldar created the bright lance which is almost useless against monoliths, the humans created the laser cannon with a much bigger chance to penetrate living metal.

BUT a "Laser cannon" has much less chance of defeating an Eldar vehicle's armour than the bright lance has of defeating an Imperial vehicle. Don't mistake a different way of solving problems as being an inferiority.


Humans have far more master-crafted weapons, relics that are far better than anything any alien race can have etc.

All Eldar weapons are Master Crafted as standard, you just don't notice because it's not highlighted by a rule saying they are ;). And perhaps human races* need them more.
And relics isn't a great claim, it means they're old. I'm sure if the Imperium could arm every man-woman and child with a Sword of Secrets or a more generic "Relic Blade" they would.


The Grey Knights have a teleport backpack that's safer, and better in terms of range than that of warp spiders.

I think it's more than suggested that tech was stolen.


The list goes on and on.

But never once managing to be convinving :p
*Remember the number of "Human" codexes to Xenos ones, When the Xenos outnumber the "Humans" or even the "Imperials" we might have a good ground for comparison....Might.


A monstrous creature that flies and uses a flame template weapon? We've got those. :p

And don't look around on Mars too closely ;)

Jaded Patriot
07-07-2011, 23:43
The funny thing is, that this is what the fluff tells us if we look beyond the obvious imperial propaganda. The REALLY funny thing is, that if we look at the rules humanity truly is the most powerful species in the 40k universe. If you look at the Eldar and the humans you get a nice song and dance number with the humans singing: "Anything you can do, I can do better."

The humans made the bolter and stormbolter which is far superior to all types of shuriken catapults.

Humans make awesome armour. Only SIX Eldar have the same armour quality as at least 31 Ultramarines or 60 Blood Angels if I wasn't misinformed about Dante's special rules.

The Eldar were made to fight the Necrons, the humans were an evolutionary accident. The Eldar created the bright lance which is almost useless against monoliths, the humans created the laser cannon with a much bigger chance to penetrate living metal.

Humans have far more master-crafted weapons, relics that are far better than anything any alien race can have etc.

The Grey Knights have a teleport backpack that's safer, and better in terms of range than that of warp spiders.

The list goes on and on.


Basically what you are saying is that GW has completely failed to match the Eldar to their fluff since 3rd edition. And Eldar players agree. Eldar tech is supposed to be better than Imperial tech in almost every facet (the Imperial tech matches them on occasion). The fact that it isn't when it comes to TT rules (and you are pointing out quite a few examples) just shows that GW has completely dropped the ball with the Eldar.

madprophet
08-07-2011, 00:21
Before you go all "the Imperium is Nazi Germany"... consider this, would you - a citizen of a western, liberal democracy - be willing to sacrifice human lives to benefit an alien? If you are really honest, the answer is likely to be NO!

The Eldar treated humans as cattle during the age of Strife, the Orks treated them as so many skeets, the Tyranids see us (and every other living thing) as a warm snack, the Tau are perhaps a little more tolerant - but only a little - and they will always be at the top of any pecking order they set up and are as likely to consign humans to concentration camp worlds. With the notable exception of the Tau, the aliens did unto us before the Emperor even conceived of the idea for the Primarchs and did unto them during the Great Crusade.

The Imperium is a religious state but in many ways it is more tolerant of human cultural differences than Star Trek's Federation and is no more religiously oppressive than the Dune Imperium (the Imperial Cult is pretty broad - just call G-d "the Divine Emperor" rather than just the "Lord" and the ecclesiarchy is cool with whatever religion you practice).

The Imperium is the Holy Roman Empire in Space though with a far broader idea of "true faith" than the HRE had.

ehlijen
08-07-2011, 00:52
Before you go all "the Imperium is Nazi Germany"... consider this, would you - a citizen of a western, liberal democracy - be willing to sacrifice human lives to benefit an alien? If you are really honest, the answer is likely to be NO!


It's more about what the Imperial leadership does with it's population:
-feed psykers by the thousands to keep a corpse technically alive
-let people keep trying to live on death worlds simply to recruit soldiers from there
-execute entire planets because some of them witnessed major demonic incursions
-treat ogryns and ratlings as subhuman

And to answer your question: Are those aliens friends? If so, why not? How many US citizens volunteered to go help Britain and France fight Germany? Ie help allies in other countries fight yet other countries? Why can't aliens not be friendly enough to warrant that same kind of dedication?

The 40k universe throws a ridiculous situtaion at humanity in order to justify riducilously cruel measures.

-Hell is real and is actively plotting to drive humanity apart.
-Kungfu fighting fungus is everywhere in the galaxy and is looking for the king of all pub brawls.
-An ancient race is still around and every now and then decides to **** off mankind for some slight they never warned them not to commit
-That ancient race's siblings are space slaver pirates from the mirror dimension
-Someone flipped the 'Kill all humans' switch in the evil robot tomb.
-An upstart rival is trying to gently shoo you out of their chair.
-And a bug is gnawing off your foot while you're trying to deal with all the above at once

That makes about as much sense as the Doctor Who universe. That's an entertaining thing, but it is not a believable thing. The only real difference is that Doctor Who has the Deus ex blue box and 42 ranks in Bluff.

Yes, you could ask if mankind should be nice in those circumstances, but that's like asking if you should paint the fence green if it needs new paint and the only paint that exists is green.

GrogDaTyrant
08-07-2011, 01:13
Basically what you are saying is that GW has completely failed to match the Eldar to their fluff since 3rd edition. And Eldar players agree. Eldar tech is supposed to be better than Imperial tech in almost every facet (the Imperial tech matches them on occasion). The fact that it isn't when it comes to TT rules (and you are pointing out quite a few examples) just shows that GW has completely dropped the ball with the Eldar.

GW has completely failed to match most non-Imperial codices to their fluff since late 3rd. GW hasn't just dropped the ball on some cases... they stabbed it and left it in a dark alley.

ehlijen
08-07-2011, 02:19
GW has completely failed to match most non-Imperial codices to their fluff since late 3rd. GW hasn't just dropped the ball on some cases... they stabbed it and left it in a dark alley.

If by 'non Imperial' you mean 'almost all' codices, then yes :P

Lexington
08-07-2011, 02:53
Hell, I wish 40K would tone down on the Imperial Creed crap. Ever since they decided to market themselves to the teen set that likes to think of themselves as "dark" and "edgy" back in the late '90's, the Imperium has become excessively flat and boring. It's all "Emprah, Emprah, Emprah" all the damn time.

Mjoellnir
08-07-2011, 08:08
Only by the current rules. In 2nd ed for instance the Shuriken Catapult was a better version of the Storm Bolter. In fact Eldars in general were (IMO) much better in 2nd than they have been portrayed later on.

I started in 3E, so I never saw that.



Fluff Vs Rules = Invalid argument.

Unfortunately because GW wants to sell tons of miniatures. Still, fluff and rules should in some way fit together.



Shurricats have a stupid amount of "rounds" in a single "mag". Bolter weaponry of every stripe requires constant specialist maintenance.

Well, what's better? A weapon that is more maintenance-heavy but allows you to huddle down in cover and mow down your enemies or one that you can shoot once and then you are in feeding range of symbionts, or genetically manipulated mon-keigh?



Point being most of the Eldar don't need that armour OR it's traded off for manouverability, don't mistake that for lack of technology that they can make the armour at all is enough. Again, like the Bolters, Power Weapon needs specialist care and can't be given to everyone - hence Guardsmen in cardboard vests and "Flashlights".

The standard imperial "cardboard vest" gives the same protection as the "psycho-reactive armour" of an Eldar Guardian. And the Eldar need the armour, or are you claiming that they are harder to hit? And why do Exarchs and Phoenix Lords need better armour? Eldar are a dying race and they seemingly don't care.



Dante makes Sanguinary Guard Troops, so you can have 30 of them as troops and 3 full sized Terminator squads at 10 strong each equalling 60 models with 2+ saves but if Maugan-Ra made Dark Reapers a troops choice the numbers wouldn't be quite so "compelling" as they might seem in your comparison. Or to put it another way....the Imperium only made one Dante.

I'm not talking about terminators, I thought Sanguinary Guard could have 10 man per squads like other honour guards, but I don't have their codex. So if they can have 30 (+ HQs) in artificer armour just like the Ultramarines okay. That still leaves the point that 998 armies of the Imperium can have 10 regular guys + HQs in artificer armour, 2 can have 30 each. The Eldar as a whole people only have 6 individuals.



BUT a "Laser cannon" has much less chance of defeating an Eldar vehicle's armour than the bright lance has of defeating an Imperial vehicle. Don't mistake a different way of solving problems as being an inferiority.

Are you claiming then that the Eldar scrapped the superior weapons they must have used to "solve" the Necron problem to invent new ones specifically against the uppity space monkeys that don't do squat against the re-emerging Necron threat?



All Eldar weapons are Master Crafted as standard, you just don't notice because it's not highlighted by a rule saying they are ;). And perhaps human races* need them more.
And relics isn't a great claim, it means they're old. I'm sure if the Imperium could arm every man-woman and child with a Sword of Secrets or a more generic "Relic Blade" they would.

The humans don't need it more, they just get everything the Eldar get, only better. And if Eldar were as advanced as their fluff suggests human relics would at best come close to rare Eldar equipment. But it's the other way around. Whatever Eldar get, something in an imperial army is better.



I think it's more than suggested that tech was stolen.

From whom? Who has been around long enough to develop better teleportation technology than the Eldar and how are a few red-robed priests who sing a litany before switching on their TV able to copy them?



But never once managing to be convinving :p
*Remember the number of "Human" codexes to Xenos ones, When the Xenos outnumber the "Humans" or even the "Imperials" we might have a good ground for comparison....Might.

Okay, I'm mean now. Let's say we have a game system with the current army of the USA and with all the medieval armies of Europe. The medieval armies all have better armour, bows have better stats than assault rifles etc. Would you say then too that we need the other current armies to have good grounds for a comparison?


Basically what you are saying is that GW has completely failed to match the Eldar to their fluff since 3rd edition. And Eldar players agree. Eldar tech is supposed to be better than Imperial tech in almost every facet (the Imperial tech matches them on occasion). The fact that it isn't when it comes to TT rules (and you are pointing out quite a few examples) just shows that GW has completely dropped the ball with the Eldar.

Exactly. And it seemingly gets worse with each codex. 3E at least still had the Codex Craftworlds where you could get decent units as troops.

Poseidal
08-07-2011, 08:16
Rules change all the time while the fluff descriptions remain the same so it makes no sense to equate the two.

To put it in perspective, when Craftworld Eldar were introduced, 3/6 aspects had better armour than Space Marine Power Armour, 2/6 were the same and 1/6 was worse (Swooping Hawks).

The original Eldar Mercenary/Pirate list, all Eldar had forcefields (5+ unmodified save in addition to armour), and generally had access to higher tech weapons (all weapons had a sort of tech level, which restricted who could take what otherwise more or less everything was shared).

The Shuriken Catapult was THE weapon to be seen with in 1st and 2nd edition.

carlisimo
08-07-2011, 11:11
Humans are always the weakest most pathetic race in any Sci-Fi/Fantasy setting, all the other races live for longer, are stronger, better craftsmen, have greater numbers etc etc. It's great that in 40k we get to stomp on them all :P bastard aliens

Only because we breed so much =p. It's the Imperium's numbers and manufacturing capacity that keeps it alive. And to top it off humans are among the unhappiest creatures in the 40k universe.

Fixer
08-07-2011, 11:34
Dr. Who humanity should have more of the Imperial Creed. Not for any thematic or story telling reasons but because it makes the most sense.

How many Alien races has humanity come across? How many times has Earth been invaded?
Enslaving/conquering/obliterating alien races on contact would seem like the sensible thing to do as there's currently a 99.99% chance that any alien species will try and kill you/turn you into one of them/turn your body into some warp spawned birthing pool.

Also there's a good chance that several Terrestrial lifeforms are actually aliens currently planning a world takeover. I suspect it's all lead by cats.

Shamana
08-07-2011, 11:51
Only because we breed so much =p. It's the Imperium's numbers and manufacturing capacity that keeps it alive. And to top it off humans are among the unhappiest creatures in the 40k universe.

Other races win wars on the battlefield. Humanity wins its wars in bed! :D

ehlijen
08-07-2011, 12:36
Dr. Who humanity should have more of the Imperial Creed. Not for any thematic or story telling reasons but because it makes the most sense.



Isn't that pretty much what humanity is whenever the Doctor shows up to save them from both the aliens and their own nasty nature? Most famously seen in the new season 2 finale.

Fixer
08-07-2011, 12:46
Isn't that pretty much what humanity is whenever the Doctor shows up to save them from both the aliens and their own nasty nature? Most famously seen in the new season 2 finale.

To be fair, he did return Catherine Tate back to Earth right away in the follow-up.

ehlijen
08-07-2011, 13:42
To be fair, he did return Catherine Tate back to Earth right away in the follow-up.

Given that I meant my comment to be about humanity, in particular the attitude of Torchwood, was portrayed, I'm not sure what your reply is meant to mean. Sorry, could you enlighten me to what I missed?

Chem-Dog
08-07-2011, 13:55
It's more about what the Imperial leadership does with it's population:
-feed psykers by the thousands to keep a corpse technically alive
-let people keep trying to live on death worlds simply to recruit soldiers from there
-execute entire planets because some of them witnessed major demonic incursions
-treat ogryns and ratlings as subhuman

Only when viewed from a particular angle. Without the Astronomicon the Imperium would fragment and untold billions would perish as all the races that mean humanity harm rampage unchecked. Consider that and it's a simple numbers game. That's without going into the quality of life for psykers who don't get picked for the job....


And to answer your question: Are those aliens friends? If so, why not? How many US citizens volunteered to go help Britain and France fight Germany? Ie help allies in other countries fight yet other countries? Why can't aliens not be friendly enough to warrant that same kind of dedication?

Without getting into the politics of who joined what war when :angel: The simple answer is ideals, people pick a side based on their beliefs and while it's probably not a great idea to start applying human value systems to something that's intrinsically inhuman (no matter that it's fictional and thus created by humans in RL) there would simply be a lot less inclination to help out something that's not of your species. Without going into racial specifics within the setting it can be said that generally the aim and objectives or every species is largely detrimental to the others that means that "There can be only war".


The 40k universe throws a ridiculous situtaion at humanity in order to justify riducilously cruel measures.

Is it REALLY? If one were being particularly uncharritable, I'd say it's not too far from the world today. Scale it up and remove the media (except Fox-News ;)).


-Hell is real and is actively plotting to drive humanity apart.
Well, drive the Imperium apart.


-An ancient race is still around and every now and then decides to **** off mankind for some slight they never warned them not to commit

Who's fault? The Eldar are conceited. The Imperium is Xenophobic. Chaos does it's best to ensure the two don't chill out and start cooperating.


-That ancient race's siblings are space slaver pirates from the mirror dimension

Between the mirror dimention and ours ;) [/pedant]


-Someone flipped the 'Kill all humans' switch in the evil robot tomb.
-An upstart rival is trying to gently shoo you out of their chair.

To be fair, it's more of a "Kill Everything" switch, humans shouldn't feel singled out. There could be an argument for the C'tan being directly responsible for the genesis of the species too.


I started in 3E, so I never saw that.

Innocence is no defence! :D


Well, what's better? A weapon that is more maintenance-heavy but allows you to huddle down in cover and mow down your enemies or one that you can shoot once and then you are in feeding range of symbionts, or genetically manipulated mon-keigh?

In real terms, I'm pretty certain the more reliable weapon would be preferable in most situations, ask anyone who plays Necromunda.
Range issues have always been a problem in 40K and the game's elastic scaling does mess it up something rotten and while I agree that there are issues with the range of the shurricat and it's consequent utility (or lack thereof) in the hands of it's "Civillian militia" these are all game ballance issues. In fluff Eldar tech > Imperial tech.


The standard imperial "cardboard vest" gives the same protection as the "psycho-reactive armour" of an Eldar Guardian. And the Eldar need the armour, or are you claiming that they are harder to hit? And why do Exarchs and Phoenix Lords need better armour? Eldar are a dying race and they seemingly don't care.

Cardboard vests for a vast standing army. Psycho reactive thingumy gizmos for Civilian levy. The Eldar are harder to hit in the fluff, they move like lightening, have phenominal reflexes and a good deal of their defensive technology is dedicated to avoiding the hit rather than enduring it.
Exarchs And Phoenix Lords are essentially animated suits of armour so you could argue that the extra pip of armour reflects that in some way.
And Eldar know that for them death is not the end, it's amazing what someone will do when they are assured that that huge explosion won't be the very last thing they will ever experience.


I'm not talking about terminators, I thought Sanguinary Guard could have 10 man per squads like other honour guards, but I don't have their codex. So if they can have 30 (+ HQs) in artificer armour just like the Ultramarines okay. That still leaves the point that 998 armies of the Imperium can have 10 regular guys + HQs in artificer armour, 2 can have 30 each. The Eldar as a whole people only have 6 individuals.

Relative values on a 6 sided dice.
At the risk of repeating myself.... Fluff ≠ Rules.


Are you claiming then that the Eldar scrapped the superior weapons they must have used to "solve" the Necron problem to invent new ones specifically against the uppity space monkeys that don't do squat against the re-emerging Necron threat?

On the contrary, I'm simply trying to point out that judging an entire race's military-technological accomplisment based solely on the apparent difficulty of dealing with one unit in one army is not the most sound viewpoint. Again rules, not fluff.


The humans don't need it more, they just get everything the Eldar get, only better. And if Eldar were as advanced as their fluff suggests human relics would at best come close to rare Eldar equipment. But it's the other way around. Whatever Eldar get, something in an imperial army is better.

My fault, I wasn't clear on what I meant, I was suggesting that humans are generally a lot less proficient than Eldar in the arts of war therefore they are in need of a little bit of help from exceptionally good (and rare) weapons and that Eldar construction techniques are so exacting that everything they use is by default the equivalent of what the Imperials would call "Master Crafted" but we just don't realise this because there isn't a specific rule for it.


From whom? Who has been around long enough to develop better teleportation technology than the Eldar and how are a few red-robed priests who sing a litany before switching on their TV able to copy them?

This I can't answer I don't have access to the codex to check it at the moment but the fact remains that the GK have access to technology theat nobody else in the Imperium does they are THE super-elite ultra special forces and represent a single faction of a much larger whole, as such they should be viewed as the exception rather than the rule. At least until other Marines and Imperial Guard get personal teleporters.
I wouldn't be surprised if Warp Spiders got a wee bit more "Jumpy" in their next reboot BUT again, this is an issue of fluff vs Rules and Codex Creep....and Matt Ward :shifty:.


Okay, I'm mean now. Let's say we have a game system with the current army of the USA and with all the medieval armies of Europe. The medieval armies all have better armour, bows have better stats than assault rifles etc. Would you say then too that we need the other current armies to have good grounds for a comparison?

No, I'm saying that, to continue your example, the US Armed Forces have far more advantages that aren't reflected in the scope of the game (logistics & resupply, Command structure & Communications, Medical and a gazillion other things I can't think of right now) and that no matter how many of these advantages you have, if you get down to the brass tacs of a melee no amount of off field support is going to make that mace to the chin any less painful.
Now logic would suggest that a modern military organisation would do it's best to keep it's troops out of harm's way in as much not setting them up in a pitched battle with massed ranks of stinky european lunatics armed with sharpened pieces of metal but there come times when this is unavoidable THESE are the situations we're talking about because 40K would be incredibly dull if one side simply phoned you up 5 minutes before the start of the battle and said "Today to beat you I'm using my sattelite guided ICBM's, your whole army is dead, I win.....same time next week?"

Yes. The Eldar get the cruddy end of the crud stick when it comes to game mechanics and their implication but my whole argument is that this doesn't mean that Eldar technology IS weaker, it just means the rules are in need of a reallignment. I honestly believe many of the issues you're raising will be sufficiently tweaked when the new Eldar Codex gets an airing as part of the reason for these problems is the age of the book.

Fixer
08-07-2011, 14:10
Given that I meant my comment to be about humanity, in particular the attitude of Torchwood, was portrayed, I'm not sure what your reply is meant to mean. Sorry, could you enlighten me to what I missed?

I figured you might have gotten your series mixed up.

Torchwood at the end of the 2nd Series was gathering all sorts of Alien Tech for expansion but hardly Imperial Creed type stuff. The plan was to make an Empire but not to obliterate all alien races they came into contact with.

It was the 1st series Special and Tennant's first showing as the Doctor where Torchwood blew up the retreating Aliens.

I thought it might be funny instead to say that Catherine Tate was the embodiment of all that was wrong with the human race.

Joke, as bad and subtle as it was, now dissected and killed :skull:

Awilla the Hun
08-07-2011, 18:03
If the sci fi is well written, I don't mind what creed it has. I haven't read that much sci fi, though. More a fantasy reader. This is possibly due to my general lack of interest in science, and the fact that after the magnificent ham ladled out in the Imperium, everything else looks slightly flat. Daleks going on about the extermination of the entirety of planet earth doesn't seem as significant as a pair of massively begunned battlefleets, one side of which usually looks like a bunch of gothic cathedrals IN SPACE, with their giant weapons batteries powered BY HAND (probably with giant choirs exhorting them on to greater feats.) That, everyone, is epic. The only thing that gets close to this level of absurdity, perhaps not coincidentally, is soviet propaganda, hence the warhammer fantasy army...

PRAISE BE TO THE EMPEROR! I like the humans here also, because I play as them, and they give me limitless numbers of cannon fodder, heavy tanks, artillery, cavalry charges, the works. Not something you see quite so often with, say, trekkie redshirts. The gear nerds can mutter on as much as they please about the Doctor's TARDIS being more effective in dozens of ways, but it still doesn't match my wonderful Leman Russ tanks, WWI relics as they are, blasting out another shell or several dozen, with a man on top brandishing his chainsword at the infantry marching behind with fixed bayonets ordering them to march faster.

Perhaps as a consequence of this, I was an unwelcome presence at most Doctor Who serial finales, and was pretty risky at this one. (My advice to my novice Dark Heresy players was along the lines of: OK, guys, see this? See the soldiers, and see their reaction to the strange teleporty demi-god/alien with his techno-magics? Well, act exactly how those soldiers don't act, and you'll do fine.)

grayghost
08-07-2011, 19:48
Hell, we're not even the physically superior species on our own planet. Every apex predator on Earth could kill a human without much effort. What sets us apart is technology coupled with a relatively high rate of procreation. A combination of guns and numbers.

ehlijen
08-07-2011, 20:36
I figured you might have gotten your series mixed up.

Torchwood at the end of the 2nd Series was gathering all sorts of Alien Tech for expansion but hardly Imperial Creed type stuff. The plan was to make an Empire but not to obliterate all alien races they came into contact with.

It was the 1st series Special and Tennant's first showing as the Doctor where Torchwood blew up the retreating Aliens.

I thought it might be funny instead to say that Catherine Tate was the embodiment of all that was wrong with the human race.

Joke, as bad and subtle as it was, now dissected and killed :skull:

I was specifically referring to the Yvonne character:

"If it's alien, it's ours!"

"You shot them dowm, what'd you do that for?"
-*Shrug* "They violated our airspace."

No, it wasn't as over the top as the 40k Imperium, but then again, what is? Not even star wars comes close, and that has gun planet blowerupperlaserguns.

Sir Pignans
08-07-2011, 21:15
Forgive me if I'm wrong, but in star wars the Emperor was also extremely pro-human and xenophobic, though not to the extent of the Imperium ofc.

Redscare
08-07-2011, 21:53
Yes, the Galactic Empire of Star Wars was very human centric, though not exactly xenophobic. They still allowed aliens they deemed capable to serve the Empire.

Other than that, the Terran Federation of Heinlein's Starship Troopers also has many similarities to the IoM. You see ideas of civic virtue and militarism that echoes closely with the ideals of the Imperium.

When I started this thread, I was asking more about the presence of a powerful, xenophobic, militant and ruthless human empire in science fiction. I don't want this thread to get derailed into arguments over what races GW screwed up, which are ill represented in the game, and whose race is "better". I'm not arguing that the Imperium of Man is the strongest faction in the 40k galaxy (I don't think it is), but rather that it is extremely powerful, and I don't think that's something people can easily deny.

The best part of the IoM is that, despite being called "unrealistic and over-the-top", it is very, very human. If you look back on human history, there is absolutely nothing that the Imperium has done, that humans in the past have not. So when people accuse GW of creating a silly, overtly grimdark universe, is it really? I think the IoM is an absolutely realistic portrayal of humanity, past, present and future. The means and methods may have changed, but the ideals that empower those actions remain the same.

ehlijen
08-07-2011, 22:06
The best part of the IoM is that, despite being called "unrealistic and over-the-top", it is very, very human. If you look back on human history, there is absolutely nothing that the Imperium has done, that humans in the past have not. So when people accuse GW of creating a silly, overtly grimdark universe, is it really? I think the IoM is an absolutely realistic portrayal of humanity, past, present and future. The means and methods may have changed, but the ideals that empower those actions remain the same.

When were entire regions populations executed because they happened to have survived one of the worst enemy incursions into home territory ever? (First war of armageddon, the population was wiped out because they had seen deamons).

What comatose leader was sacrificed a huge number of citizens?

Yes, there have been human sacrifices and 'no witnesses' executions. But never in the scale and sheer absurdity described in the 40k background.

And no, it is not realistic. No human population could suffer that much death and still maintain it's numbers, let alone increase them. The Imperium of man is meant to be over the top caricature. If you don't see that, you need to take a step back and investigate just how close europe (which is where most of those inspirations come from) came to complete depopulisation every time less extreme examples of what apparently happens regularly in the 40k universe occurred.

Shutting out everything that is positive about humans (and there is, no matter what your pessimism tells you) and then exaggragating the rest does not give you an accurate picture of anything. It's pretty much the definition of caricature.

susu.exp
08-07-2011, 22:52
The best part of the IoM is that, despite being called "unrealistic and over-the-top", it is very, very human.

But so is everybody else. Everything in the 40k universe is very human - all the races embody aspects of humanity. From the grief of the Eldar (stage 1 for DE, stage 5 for their craftworld kin) to the libido of Slannesh and destrudo of Khorne (whereas Nurgle and Tseentch are more akin to the young/old dichotomy in Jungean phsychoanylysis), from puberty (Orks) to the way histoy shapes our lifes (Necrons). Even Tyranids are basically us, we appropriate more than half the biomass produced by green plants already: We literally are the great devourer.

Redscare
08-07-2011, 23:04
When were entire regions populations executed because they happened to have survived one of the worst enemy incursions into home territory ever? (First war of armageddon, the population was wiped out because they had seen deamons).

What comatose leader was sacrificed a huge number of citizens?

Yes, there have been human sacrifices and 'no witnesses' executions. But never in the scale and sheer absurdity described in the 40k background.

And no, it is not realistic. No human population could suffer that much death and still maintain it's numbers, let alone increase them. The Imperium of man is meant to be over the top caricature. If you don't see that, you need to take a step back and investigate just how close europe (which is where most of those inspirations come from) came to complete depopulisation every time less extreme examples of what apparently happens regularly in the 40k universe occurred.

Shutting out everything that is positive about humans (and there is, no matter what your pessimism tells you) and then exaggragating the rest does not give you an accurate picture of anything. It's pretty much the definition of caricature.

You're taking this out of context.

You cannot argue that what I have said is not realistic simply because it lacks the "scale" that exists in the IoM, or because of phenomenon that does not exist in reality. Obviously I cannot say "there were in fact millions of human sacrifices to an Immortal God Emperor of Mankind" or that "tens of billions of people died in a single conflict."

The Imperium of Man is literally a million times bigger than all of Earth combined. You cannot say with seriousness that I'm full of it because at no point in human history were a billion citizens massacred because they witnessed a daemonic incursion. If you're going to argue that humans of Earth are not capable of committing the same acts as the IoM, then argue with some common sense please.

Take the USSR for example. During WW2, that country lost 14% of its population. 23+ million deaths in total. For one country at war.

Of course, in your seemly infinite wisdom, you can say "Oh, 23 million deaths is nothing compared to Imperial war losses" to which I can only say "fine".

What about the Rwandan genocide, where 1 out of 7 of the targeted population was killed or executed?

"Oh, but 1 million out of 7 million wouldn't be a big deal to the IoM."

Fine.

The Holocaust, where some 60% of European Jews were wiped out?

"Oh, but 6 million is nothing to the Imperium."

Fine.

The Mongolian invasion that literally set Europe back a hundred years?

"Oh but hundreds of thousands of executions and millions of deaths is nothing to the Imperium."

Fine.

The Crusades and other religious persecutions through out the ages, torture and executions that killed humans beyond counting?

"Oh, well they couldn't possibly have killed more than 1,000 billion people, which is common to the IoM."

Fine.

...

Huh, I guess you're right! Humans on our planet can't possibly commit the same acts of horror on the same scale as the Imperium! Totally unrealistic comparison!

ehlijen
08-07-2011, 23:30
You're taking this out of context.

You cannot argue that what I have said is not realistic simply because it lacks the "scale" that exists in the IoM, or because of phenomenon that does not exist in reality. Obviously I cannot say "there were in fact millions of human sacrifices to an Immortal God Emperor of Mankind" or that "tens of billions of people died in a single conflict."

The Imperium of Man is literally a million times bigger than all of Earth combined. You cannot say with seriousness that I'm full of it because at no point in human history were a billion citizens massacred because they witnessed a daemonic incursion. If you're going to argue that humans of Earth are not capable of committing the same acts as the IoM, then argue with some common sense please.

Take the USSR for example. During WW2, that country lost 14% of its population. 23+ million deaths in total. For one country at war.

Of course, in your seemly infinite wisdom, you can say "Oh, 23 million deaths is nothing compared to Imperial war losses" to which I can only say "fine".

What about the Rwandan genocide, where 1 out of 7 of the targeted population was killed or executed?

"Oh, but 1 million out of 7 million wouldn't be a big deal to the IoM."

Fine.

The Holocaust, where some 60% of European Jews were wiped out?

"Oh, but 6 million is nothing to the Imperium."

Fine.

The Mongolian invasion that literally set Europe back a hundred years?

"Oh but hundreds of thousands of executions and millions of deaths is nothing to the Imperium."

Fine.

The Crusades and other religious persecutions through out the ages, torture and executions that killed humans beyond counting?

"Oh, well they couldn't possibly have killed more than 1,000 billion people, which is common to the IoM."

Fine.

...

Huh, I guess you're right! Humans on our planet can't possibly commit the same acts of horror on the same scale as the Imperium! Totally unrealistic comparison!

First of all: My statement was meant in relative terms, not absolute scales.

Take your USSR example: At no point did the USSR seriously believe that they could keep going like that with attrition war forever. The imperium does. The USSR did it because they knew they could do it for longer than the Germans. The Imperium knows no such thing, and yet they do it.

It's a matter of death rates far exceeding the birth rates. The numbers and the scale doesn't matter. 40k background goes out of the way to describe how deadly the universe is but the birth rate is merely nodded to with a 'humans are an inexhaustable supply' every few hundred pages or so.

Even if such an Imperium was possible, the death rates would see it extinct long before 10,000 years are out.

Second, you completely ignored the second part: The horrors humanity is capable if are not all there is to humanity. And that's the part the 40k background eagerly ignores to achieve it's grimdark.

Yes, humans like killing those that are different. But they also like socialising with those they don't percieve as different and work to achieve things greater then their individual efforts could achieve. 40k likes to throw those things under the rug as they get in the way of grimdark. The Tau are the only race that habitually and openly does this and they often get criticized as as not grimdark enough for 40k because of that.

Redscare
08-07-2011, 23:59
Second, you completely ignored the second part: The horrors humanity is capable if are not all there is to humanity. And that's the part the 40k background eagerly ignores to achieve it's grimdark.

Yes, humans like killing those that are different. But they also like socialising with those they don't percieve as different and work to achieve things greater then their individual efforts could achieve. 40k likes to throw those things under the rug as they get in the way of grimdark. The Tau are the only race that habitually and openly does this and they often get criticized as as not grimdark enough for 40k because of that.

How, precisely, does 40k ignore all the good aspects of humanity?

Honor, courage, loyalty, sacrifice, selflessness, are all there part of the Imperium. They exist in equal abundance next to corruption, intolerance, and fanaticism which also defines the Imperium.

When the Imperium is a combination of all these things, traits both despicable and honorable, how can you say that the Imperium unrealistically tosses out all the "good" about humans to achieve more grimdark?

Sir Pignans
09-07-2011, 00:27
When were entire regions populations executed because they happened to have survived one of the worst enemy incursions into home territory ever? (First war of armageddon, the population was wiped out because they had seen deamons).

What comatose leader was sacrificed a huge number of citizens?

Yes, there have been human sacrifices and 'no witnesses' executions. But never in the scale and sheer absurdity described in the 40k background.

And no, it is not realistic. No human population could suffer that much death and still maintain it's numbers, let alone increase them. The Imperium of man is meant to be over the top caricature. If you don't see that, you need to take a step back and investigate just how close europe (which is where most of those inspirations come from) came to complete depopulisation every time less extreme examples of what apparently happens regularly in the 40k universe occurred.

Shutting out everything that is positive about humans (and there is, no matter what your pessimism tells you) and then exaggragating the rest does not give you an accurate picture of anything. It's pretty much the definition of caricature.

You're not accepting the sheer scale of the Imperium, (In addition, as to the massacre on Armageddon, you have to think of it like a disease, like an outbreak of foot and mouth, bird flu, or mad cow disease, we don't care that some animals haven't been infected, we care they've been exposed, and as such, we attempt to wipe out every last bit of it, they don't view humans as humans, they view humans as a resource.)

You're forgetting that it's not just a world, it's at least a million worlds they take, say 1 regiment from each world, and they have 1,000,000 regiments, but the don't take just one, Tanith for example, when they started, iirc, they had three regiments, on a small agri world, imagine what you can get from a hive world? There are tithes, and those tithes are made specifically for each planet, no one gives more than they have to, I mean look:

"I have at my command an entire battle group of the Imperial Guard. Fifty regiments, including specialized drop troops, stealthers, mechanised formations, armoured companies, combat engineers and mobile artillery. Over half a million fighting men and thirty thousand tanks and artillery pieces are mine to command. Emperor show mercy to the fool that stands against me, for I shall not."--Warmaster Demetrius, at the outset of the Salonika Crusade

From the codex (iirc), that's 50 regiments, for one crusade the Imperium is massive, and it does respond occasionally by depopulating whole planets and forming them into armies (I seem to remember that being the case to a planet near the Catachan system) but they can take, a 100 people from each planet, and instantly, that planet has a population of 100,000,000 that's not even counting the special planets, like kreig, whose entire population is devoted to war, and they have special birthing techniques in order to produce these soldiers.

The Imperium isn't humanity, it's a meat grinder.

ehlijen
09-07-2011, 00:43
How, precisely, does 40k ignore all the good aspects of humanity?

Honor, courage, loyalty, sacrifice, selflessness, are all there part of the Imperium. They exist in equal abundance next to corruption, intolerance, and fanaticism which also defines the Imperium.

When the Imperium is a combination of all these things, traits both despicable and honorable, how can you say that the Imperium unrealistically tosses out all the "good" about humans to achieve more grimdark?

Outside the much maligned Ultramarines codex, I can't find them in anything approaching abundance. Where are they?


You're not accepting the sheer scale of the Imperium,

The scale is not the point. Humans need about one and a half decades to be useful as fighters, but the way the IG works, most guardsmen don't survive their first month of fighting.
With an imbalance like that, the Imperium cannot be both under serious threat and and at the same time still have inexhaustible enough numbers left to last nearly as long as it has.

Anything actually threatening the Imperium must have the potential to seriously impact the Imperiums future growth, but the growth cannot be seriously threatened to have it believably last for any the times we're meant to believe it lasts.

TheLaughingGod
09-07-2011, 00:49
Basically, the op needs to stop watching pop SciFi and pick up a book and read real SciFi. /Thread.

Sir Pignans
09-07-2011, 00:55
The scale is not the point. Humans need about one and a half decades to be useful as fighters, but the way the IG works, most guardsmen don't survive their first month of fighting.
With an imbalance like that, the Imperium cannot be both under serious threat and and at the same time still have inexhaustible enough numbers left to last nearly as long as it has.

Anything actually threatening the Imperium must have the potential to seriously impact the Imperiums future growth, but the growth cannot be seriously threatened to have it believably last for any the times we're meant to believe it lasts.

Except that they've got cloning, (Kreig, birth is sped up via that technique) and that one regiment from one planet is going to make no differnece. Billions can die, and there will be billions more availble before the breeding population even begins to falter. The scale is the point, there are so many, that to even put a dent into it, you'd have to destroy every singly hive world. (Ok, that might be a tiny exaggeration, but you get the point) It's under threat because it can't train/transport units to the front lines properly/fast enough, it's awful corruption, and the fact that the administorium is utter rubbish.

Redscare
09-07-2011, 01:31
Basically, the op needs to stop watching pop SciFi and pick up a book and read real SciFi. /Thread.

Really? And you believe the sci-fi that you read which are relevant to this topic are more "real"?

Name the ones, with the exception of Dunes, Star Wars, and Starship Troopers, that have a large similarity to 40k within the context of having a powerful, galaxy spanning, human centric government.

@elijen
The entirety of Salamanders for one. Space Wolves and Imperial Fists are also up there.
Gaunt's Ghosts.
More than half of all IG commanders and soldiers in BL books. Rebel Winter, the White Boar, Vostroyan soldiers.
Warriors of Ultramar. The regent of Tarsis Ultra. The Death Korp colonel.
Pretty much every single named Space Marine character. Uriel Ventris, Pasanius.
Fall of Damnos, PDF troopers.
Helsreach, Steel Legion soldiers and several Black Templar characters.


"The scale is not the point. Humans need about one and a half decades to be useful as fighters, but the way the IG works, most guardsmen don't survive their first month of fighting."

Keyword: Fighting. Not all Guardsmen across the entire galaxy are fighting and dying every second of every minute of the entirety of their lives. You don't look at the Battle of Somme and go "Oh crap, according to these calculations, we are losing 600,000 men a day!". That's ridiculous.

ehlijen
09-07-2011, 01:51
If there aren't enough deaths to make a dent in the Imperial population, there's no threat. And yet every background source harps on about how it is beset on all fronts by enemies.

The desired threat level, lethality and defensive strategy of the Imperium are in an unstable contradiction to each other. It's a fun thing to imagine, but it only works because GW is careful not to shine the spotlight into the duct taped corners of its construct.

Sir Pignans
09-07-2011, 01:57
If there aren't enough deaths to make a dent in the Imperial population, there's no threat. And yet every background source harps on about how it is beset on all fronts by enemies.

The desired threat level, lethality and defensive strategy of the Imperium are in an unstable contradiction to each other. It's a fun thing to imagine, but it only works because GW is careful not to shine the spotlight into the duct taped corners of its construct.

You're missing the entire point of the Imperium, it can, and does, crush any foe that it comes accross, but it's beset amoungst all sides, so where do the authourites put the men? The Imperium is a hammer, it smashes down with massive force, crushing all those underneath it, but they try to divide those forces, they're losing man, after man, after man, they thereofre have to replace those men with more men, the challenge, it's not getting the men themselves, it's getting the men there, we all know what a fully fledged crusade under the right leadership (Macharius) can do because they take care of the soldiers under their command, a life saved one day, is a life that can be spent on anoter, but the Imperium isn't on the offensive, it's on the defensive, and as such, is constantly playing catchup. Human wave after human wave is easily replaced, it's just how fast they can replace the human waves.

ehlijen
09-07-2011, 02:02
If that is the case, why is exterminatus ever necessary? How come the Tau empire is still around? How did they lose Cadia?

The Imperium is actually losing worlds by the dozens. No amount of cloning and breeding on other worlds can make up for the loss of a hiveworld that was cloning and breeding already.

GW wants a doom and gloom scenario. Problem is, what they wrote is a boring stalemate scenario.

Sir Pignans
09-07-2011, 02:08
Exterminatus is nesscary, to prevent the spread of disease. Humans are a resource, they don't want to give that resource to the enemy, they may be losing worlds by the dozens, but they gain them back as well, on crusades, and these crusades can capture hundreds of planets. There are hundreds of thousands of hiveworlds, and realistically, losing 10/100 won't hurt the Imperium that much. The \tau empire is still around because they are a fly, a nusicance, I have no doubt the Imperium could crush them if they wanted to, but they have to deal with the hive fleets, black crusades and ork WAAGHS who are all attacking Imperium territory, defend what you have? Or take more, while leaving your borders open? That is the dilema, they want to focus their strength on other factions that employ the same tactics as them. (Chaos renegades such as the blood pact and heather are just as numberless) Not on some empire that isn't attacking.

ehlijen
09-07-2011, 02:41
So on the one hand the Imperium doesn't have enough manpower to do everything it needs to (stomp down on minor rivals that keep taking imperial worlds) but at the same time enough to do what it needs to to maintain the status quo (hold back major threats that eat up worlds to the point where they can't be retaken (necron death worlds, hive fleet planetpoop, deamonworlds, exterminated worlds...)?

As a single snapshot, that might have worked, but the 'history' of the Imperium will have us believe that those mutually exclusive facts are both true over the course of most of the past 10,000 years.

Sir Pignans
09-07-2011, 10:58
So on the one hand the Imperium doesn't have enough manpower to do everything it needs to (stomp down on minor rivals that keep taking imperial worlds) but at the same time enough to do what it needs to to maintain the status quo (hold back major threats that eat up worlds to the point where they can't be retaken (necron death worlds, hive fleet planetpoop, deamonworlds, exterminated worlds...)?

As a single snapshot, that might have worked, but the 'history' of the Imperium will have us believe that those mutually exclusive facts are both true over the course of most of the past 10,000 years.

On the contary, the Imperium is like an ocean, forever expanding, and forerver retracting, you have the massive crusades, like Macharius crusade, and the Sabbat crusade, but then you have massive ages of shrinking, like the age of apotasy, the Imperium is hardly static, it's in a state of equilibrium, the forces are all balanced, you claim that the Imperium doesn't have enough forces to do what it needs to, but it still launches crusades (Sabbat crusade) to reclaim lands. In the codex we see that the Imperium are winning campiagns against some of these threats, they took a necron world with the 'largest cavalry charge in the Imperiums history' after a 4 year campaign. So we see that, no, it's not a stalemate, it's in a permanent state of equlibrium, flowing back and forth, but always remaining the same over time, that is the strength of the Imperium, that is why they are still around.

ehlijen
09-07-2011, 11:34
And that is precisely not how GW ever triest to sell the Imperium. If it truly was a win some lose some situation, the Imperium would fight more like the Tau. Strike hard, take what you can, abandon what you can't hold, come back for it later.

And yet none of the Imperial forces are described as working operating that way.

Sir Pignans
09-07-2011, 12:11
You're making the assumption Imperial commanders are smart. Lots of them aren't, and this process is hard fought, and remember, they have an infinity supply of manpower, so why abandon it? Every world they take is a world the enemy will have to take back. They don't care how many men they lose, they care how many forces the enemy will lose, and as such, will willingly throw away a a few dozen regiments protecting a useless world, because they can replace those losses in a heartbeat.

KingDeath
09-07-2011, 12:18
You're making the assumption Imperial commanders are smart. Lots of them aren't, and this process is hard fought, and remember, they have an infinity supply of manpower, so why abandon it? Every world they take is a world the enemy will have to take back. They don't care how many men they lose, they care how many forces the enemy will lose, and as such, will willingly throw away a a few dozen regiments protecting a useless world, because they can replace those losses in a heartbeat.

An infinite amount of manpower, even if true, is useles if you don't get them to the front in time. That's where the Imperium truly suffers. The "realities" of spaceflight ( it takes a long time to get from A to B, there is only a limited amount of ships avaiable, those ships can only hold a limited amount of troops, those troops have to be supplied which requires further ships...)alone make it impossible to truly utilize those suposedely huge manpower reserves.

sigur
09-07-2011, 12:30
You're basically talking optimism vs pessimism. The 40k Imperium is basically Nazi Germany in space. Others prefer the actually working UN in space of Star Trek.

And just to be honest: I don't see this 'humanity is superior' theme. I see a 'human thinks it is superior' theme which is clearly not supported by any factual evidence. The imperium is meant to be the wounded bear fighting off the pack of wolves. It may get one here and there, but eventually it will lose. If not to the wolves, than to the mad bear stabbing it in the back as directed by the chaos gods.

And even on the table, humans are not great. Vast amounts of resources and fortunes need to be spend to make a human soldier that can at least go toe to toe with the average alien grunt, discarding any humanity left in them (read: Space marines are not human).

I agree with pretty much your whole post. Well put. :) Of course the Imperium isn't just Nazi Germany but more like a "worst of" of all totalitarian regimes, concepts and ideologies. The point of 40k is that the Imperium is crumbling and that humanity is pretty much doomed. On one hand it's pretty pessimistic because it tries to show how humanity, in times of great troubles, regresses to medieval times basically and embraces extremist and totalitarian ideas and structures. War is poopie and warmongers are poopieheads. I guess that's pretty much what's to learn from the 40k background. And if it doesn't propagate one thing then that mankind is superior.

Sir Pignans
09-07-2011, 12:45
An infinite amount of manpower, even if true, is useles if you don't get them to the front in time. That's where the Imperium truly suffers. The "realities" of spaceflight ( it takes a long time to get from A to B, there is only a limited amount of ships avaiable, those ships can only hold a limited amount of troops, those troops have to be supplied which requires further ships...)alone make it impossible to truly utilize those suposedely huge manpower reserves.

I thought I had already said that. :p