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View Full Version : Why are fantasy army books not called Codex's?



LotusCorgi
15-12-2011, 06:58
Codex sounds so cool. Army Books? Thats a MOUTHFUL. Fantasy books should get a cool name as well...like "Lore Tomes". That's better than Army Book. Why are fantasy books titled army books and 40k books codexes?

Sgt John Keel
15-12-2011, 07:09
None of the major factions in Fantasy speak fake latin though. Perhaps it should be Armeebuch in all translations, then.

Caelas
15-12-2011, 07:12
Fantasy isn't 50% Space Marines for starters...

Jind_Singh
15-12-2011, 07:42
It's funny - I always found 'codex' to be kinda lame, I LIKE Army Books - because we actually collect....

Armies!!!

40k works with Codex thanks to the Imperial theme that is so central to the imagery of 40k. Army Books work with the imagery of Warhammer as it's always been about vast armies vying for control of the Old/New World.

Lore tomes reminds me of dusty magic books locked away in a tower.

Army Books - hey, a book about the Army! Great!


Honestly I think it just comes down to the fact one has always been known as Codex and one as Army Book - and it's become ingrained with the gamers as a whole! I genuinely think most Warhammer fans like 'Army Book' and would raise a stink over a name change to 'Tome this or that'!

Besides - we get hard cover books & full color - who cares about the name!

Urgat
15-12-2011, 08:23
I'd like them to be called tomes, in fact.

ArtificerArmour
15-12-2011, 08:31
call it a tomb then. Fantasy doesnt need the quasi gothic piglatin to get 12yeae olds hooked :p

N.I.B.
15-12-2011, 08:56
Tome... that's kind of cool.

sigur
15-12-2011, 09:06
Codex sounds so cool. Army Books? Thats a MOUTHFUL. Fantasy books should get a cool name as well...like "Lore Tomes". That's better than Army Book. Why are fantasy books titled army books and 40k books codexes?

Because they are. It's been introduced as that.. I'd really hate if they came up with a new name (especially "lore tombs" because it sounds completely proposterous and it's called "background", not "lore").

I like "army book" because that's what it is. "Codex" doesn't really sound cooler to me and heck, if you don't have the time to actually say "army book" you don't have the time to play Warhammer either.

Liber
15-12-2011, 09:20
Codex sounds so cool. Army Books? Thats a MOUTHFUL. Fantasy books should get a cool name as well...like "Lore Tomes". That's better than Army Book. Why are fantasy books titled army books and 40k books codexes?


For the record, i started with 40k, and even though i dropped it for fantasy YEARS ago, i still call them codex's pretty often...hard habit to break, and also, i agree it sounds cooler :P

Harwammer
15-12-2011, 10:47
Because 'army books' came first and it's a ronseal name. 40k came out later so to differentiate the IPs GW wanted to use a different branding. 'Codex' fits in with the faux latin feel of 40k literature so it was chosen and stuck.

Anardakil
15-12-2011, 10:59
Umm, there's a rather big difference between tomes and tombs. ^^'

Ghal Maraz
15-12-2011, 11:29
Uh, perhaps it is me, but they are not (officially) called "Army books".
They're called "Warhammer Armies".

LotusCorgi
15-12-2011, 14:30
if you don't have the time to actually say "army book" you don't have the time to play Warhammer either.


ain't that the sad truth brother. :(

EmperorNorton
15-12-2011, 14:53
To be honest, Codex is only cool in a very specific connotation (http://highlatencylife.files.wordpress.com/2011/06/felicia-day.jpg).

Grimdesign
15-12-2011, 14:54
Umm, there's a rather big difference between tomes and tombs. ^^'

Yeah I noticed that too, conjured up images of walking into a pyramid Indiana Jones Style, reading hieroglyphics and then summoning TK into battle, my imagination is odd like that.

BigbyWolf
15-12-2011, 15:04
I think the real question here is why does 40K use "Codex: X" and not "Warhammer 40K Armies: X"?

Madness, pure madness.

loveless
15-12-2011, 15:17
"Codex" is just a spiffy word for "bound book" though I'm relatively sure that it's a term that tends to get saved for hand-written versions of such things from long ago.

As such, it would likely be more fitting for use in Fantasy than in 40K (an army book presented in a faux-handwritten format has potential to be pretty cool so long as it's not completely illegible), but 40K background has the Codex Astartes featured as a substantial item. This lays down the tactics, formations, and what-not of the most iconic 40K force - the Space Marines - and it's likely the term was something they just ran with from there.

Moses
15-12-2011, 15:23
For the record, i started with 40k, and even though i dropped it for fantasy YEARS ago, i still call them codex's pretty often...hard habit to break, and also, i agree it sounds cooler :P

I'm similar, I also started with 40k. Though I haven't dropped it, I've probably only had 6 games since 4th edition came out (want to read a copy of the new rulebook for changes before I try out my new Necron Codex). I also still refer to books from both game systems as Codex's ie: "show me your Dark Elf Codex again"

Voss
15-12-2011, 15:37
I think the real question here is why does 40K use "Codex: X" and not "Warhammer 40K Armies: X"?

Madness, pure madness.

Marketing, pure marketing. Its useful to differentiate product lines for ease of purchase.

march10k
15-12-2011, 16:05
Why are fantasy army books not called Codex's?

Yes

42

Blue

I'll take famous titties for 800 please.

zak
15-12-2011, 16:30
I personally dislike the term codex and call all my 40k books army books. I don't like people referring to army books as codexs, but don't get pedantic about it like some on Warseer.

Tuttivillus
15-12-2011, 18:15
:eek: name whining, that awesome LOL

bolshie
15-12-2011, 18:40
I am trying to work out how Lore Tome is cool....

I blame the parents...

Urgat
15-12-2011, 20:30
Yeah I noticed that too, conjured up images of walking into a pyramid Indiana Jones Style, reading hieroglyphics and then summoning TK into battle, my imagination is odd like that.

Don't you think there's something exciting about owning the ogre tomb? :p

nonrelatedarticle
15-12-2011, 20:37
Another question would why is the plural of 40k codex not codices as that is what it should be.

theunwantedbeing
15-12-2011, 20:53
Codex fits 40k nicely, and fits with the high gothic imagery.
It doesn't fit fantasy the same manner as the high gothic imagery simply isn't there, nor is latin so prevelant within the fantasy realm.

Bestiary?
Dark Elf bestiary, Empire bestiary, Bestiary of Rules....
Tome?
Dark Elf Tome, Empire Tome, Tome of Rules.....
Omnibus?
Dark Elf Omnibus, Empire Omnibus, Rules Omnibus....

I personally like Omnibus best, although Bestiary is perhaps more fitting.

Luigi
16-12-2011, 03:14
Actually in Italy, me and some of my friend would call any army book, regardless of the game a Codex. actually we made it a invariable noun so even when referring to plural codices we would say "I need to get these 2 codex"

Duke Ramulots
16-12-2011, 05:27
"Codex's"? Isn't the plural of Codex, Codeces?

I also really like the idea of the fantasy battle books being called Tomes(not tomb's).

H33D
16-12-2011, 05:41
I like army books.

march10k
16-12-2011, 06:37
Lol... H33d, in Chinese, there is no real way to indicate a plural other than a counter or context... In other words, battle and battles are represented by exactly the same character... But the context and the number 100 make it ridiculously obvious that the proper English translation is battles, not battle.

russellmoo
16-12-2011, 06:57
First- the plural of codex is codices-

Second- They are called Army books because when GW first introduced the concept of having a book for each "army"- why army and not race- because there were multiple armies within the elven race- and to introduce the concept GW called them exactly what they were- books detailing what is needed to play a certain army in the Warhammer world- i.e. Army Book-

40k came along and also needed armybooks and GW being clever- decided to really push the 40k gothic theme and labeled them as codices-

Now why LOTR doesn't have a specific line of books with a clever name detailing the different army books- wait Does anyone play this system?-

Anyway, it makes sense when you look at the GW timeline of product development-

rabotak
16-12-2011, 07:06
"Codex" is just a spiffy word for "bound book" though I'm relatively sure that it's a term that tends to get saved for hand-written versions of such things from long

well the term codex has nothing to do with bound books, it actually describes a collection of legal rulings (codex hammurabi or codex iuris civiliis for instance);

and yes, the plural should read 'codices'.

theJ
16-12-2011, 07:21
tbh.... "fantasy battles" doesn't sound all that spiffy either...

It's descriptive, but it ain't spiffy.

It annoyed me too, at first, but I got over it after a while.

I wouldn't mind a name change, I suppose, but I wouldn't wish for one either.

AndrewGPaul
16-12-2011, 08:35
"Codex's"? Isn't the plural of Codex, Codeces?


First- the plural of codex is codices-


well the term codex has nothing to do with bound books, it actually describes a collection of legal rulings (codex hammurabi or codex iuris civiliis for instance);

and yes, the plural should read 'codices'.

It might be. It is in Latin (for the nominative, accusative and vocative cases, anyway), but English has a habit of stealing foreign words and not the grammar. There's really no such thing as "correct" English, anyway - only English in common usage, and that varies rather widely. Unlike French and some other languages, there's no college which rules on what is and isn't allowed.

Games Workshop themselves use the plurals "Codexes" and "Warhammer Armies books" in the introductions to the FAQs, for what it's worth (the only place on the website I can find that mentions them in the plural). If it's "wrong", it's no worce than using "dice" as a singular.

theunwantedbeing, "Bestiary" is no use, since that's aready the term for a section of the army book (the section which lists all the different units with their background and special rules). "Omnibus" doesn't really fit, since that means a collection of smaller works. I suppose you could have an "Elves Omnibus" which collects the Dark, High and Wood Elves books, or a Chaos Omnibus" collecting Beasts, Daemons and Warriors of Chaos.

russellmoo, Lord of the Rings uses "Journeybook" for the books covering the three movies and "Sourcebook" for all the other books covering the literary material. The fact that you didn't know that perhaps says more about your ignorance than about GW. :)

As far as I can see, rabotak, "codex" comes from Latin and is a term for a bound book, originally a term for a tree trunk or block of wood. Presumably it got used for a book in bound pages format as opposed to scroll format by way of analogy. If you've got a different derivation, I'd be interested to hear it.

theunwantedbeing
16-12-2011, 09:11
theunwantedbeing, "Bestiary" is no use, since that's aready the term for a section of the army book (the section which lists all the different units with their background and special rules).
It's of little consequence to simply omit that name from the section within the book to allow it to name the entire book.


"Omnibus" doesn't really fit, since that means a collection of smaller works.
Army books are a collection of smaller works...sort of. :angel:

Anywho, it won't be changed.
Interesting to know what the LotR books are called.....can't say I've ever heard anyone use those terms though.

theshoveller
16-12-2011, 09:37
well the term codex has nothing to do with bound books, it actually describes a collection of legal rulings (codex hammurabi or codex iuris civiliis for instance);
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Codex

The Latin root of "codex" is "tree trunk" or "block of wood".

It's used a lot in a religious context too (I can see how that could tenuously be considered 'legal') but the argument that it's specifically legal falls down when you encounter things like the Dresden Codex (about astrology) or the Codex Vindobonensis (a collection of letters, most importantly about translating the Gothic language).

loveless
16-12-2011, 19:59
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Codex

The Latin root of "codex" is "tree trunk" or "block of wood".



And from that article: "Although technically any modern paperback is a codex, the term is now reserved for manuscript (hand-written) books which were produced from Late Antiquity through the Middle Ages. "

So I may not be as crazy as I thought :angel:

Rabotak is getting at this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Codification_%28law%29

This creates a "Codex of Law" - a specific kind of "Codex"

rabotak
17-12-2011, 14:04
And from that article: "Although technically any modern paperback is a codex, the term is now reserved for manuscript (hand-written) books which were produced from Late Antiquity through the Middle Ages. "

So I may not be as crazy as I thought :angel:

Rabotak is getting at this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Codification_%28law%29

This creates a "Codex of Law" - a specific kind of "Codex"

my fault, you are of course right (and no one called you crazy :) ) - the term codex has its roots as mentioned, and was a collection of manuscripts of any kind between two boards of wood in A BOUND FORM, in contrast to what i stated.
i fell for the cultural trap, and now it gets tricky - in contrast of the term liber (book), codex is more the technical term (today codex would be hardback, while liber could also be novel - very simplified), describing a collection of papers, which was in many cases rules and standards and so legal texts in the widest sense, like someone mentioned earlier. now, as mentioned as well, in medieval times, every bound book was a codex, and to this day, in modern english, the legal connotation of the word codex is all but obsolete. interestingly, in modern german, this is quite the opposite, and that's what i fell for- in german, the term codex is described as legal collection in the broadest sense, and the bound book connotation is pretty much outdated, as i found out.
anyways, sorry for the 'not bound book' crap, that was total humbug, the other thing a cultural or linguistic missunderstanding.

Feefait
18-12-2011, 04:49
Actually 40k hasn't always been Codex either. it wasn't until after rogue trader that started I believe. Well after. And for fantasy we started with 2 books, Warhammer Fantasy Battle with all the rules and Warhammer:Armies with all the rosters, unit profiles, allies and mercenaries. Once they started doing individual books it was natural to call them Warhammer Armies:Empire it whatever. I don't mind it, and its easier to say then Lore Tomes, imo. Mostly hear we just say skaven book or orchard book and not "your Warhammer armies:Orcs and Goblins." Lol

Duke Ramulots
18-12-2011, 06:59
"orchard"?