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M@L@L
09-03-2013, 10:36
Can anyone else explain the weirdnes of the Imperial Timeline in the 6th Edition rulebook? It's like they want to keep the 41st Millenium going on longer than it should, for some reason. I mean, the game's called Warhammer 40,000 anyway, not 41,000, so not like them actually going into M42 will have any impact on the name. Am I missing something?

Lord-Caerolion
09-03-2013, 10:46
Because the game is a setting, not a storyline, pretty much.

Tastyfish
09-03-2013, 12:04
Can anyone else explain the weirdnes of the Imperial Timeline in the 6th Edition rulebook? It's like they want to keep the 41st Millenium going on longer than it should, for some reason. I mean, the game's called Warhammer 40,000 anyway, not 41,000, so not like them actually going into M42 will have any impact on the name. Am I missing something?

We're in the 21st century, but our years start with "20" - you might be forgetting that the 1st millennium is 0-999

The Warmaster
09-03-2013, 12:05
I get the weirdness - I've noticed this myself. Just like Lord-Caerolion said, I think it's more the fact that it's a setting, first and foremost... the idea seems to be that there are loads of active conflicts at the current point in the timeline, which provide easy justifications for your games.

Still, the amount of stuff going on in the final year of M41 is absurd, no matter how you look at it. They're literally scraping for spare hours to fit more events into the background without slipping into M42 (well, there are events in the canon that are known to occur as late as 100ish years into M42, which are mostly mentioned in the Ciaphas Cain books, but the current rulebook's timeline cuts off at the 13th Black Crusade). Living as an administratum clerk in the final couple of days of 999 M41 would be an absolute mind-screw, from the looks of things.

Lord Damocles
09-03-2013, 13:00
This isn't really a new problem. It was present in 5th edition, and to a slightly lesser extent in 4th.

The stagnation of the main timeline is having a particularly noticeable impact on Necron and Tyranid background (with the introductions of new Hive Fleets and awakenings of tombworlds being pushed backwards), and will probably have a similar effect on Tau.

A stagnant timeline is little problem if you have thousands of years of history to play with (although even then, Marine characters just don't seem to die anymore), but for those who only have a couple of centuries of meaningful impact, it's a bugger.

M@L@L
09-03-2013, 13:18
We're in the 21st century, but our years start with "20" - you might be forgetting that the 1st millennium is 0-999

I'm not forgetting anything. I'm pointing out a clear deviation from how long a millennium actually is. Look at p.175 to see what I mean. I am guessing that 993.M41 means the 993rd year in the 41st Millennium, right? So what's with these screwy dates following that?

M@L@L
09-03-2013, 13:22
I get the weirdness - I've noticed this myself. Just like Lord-Caerolion said, I think it's more the fact that it's a setting, first and foremost... the idea seems to be that there are loads of active conflicts at the current point in the timeline, which provide easy justifications for your games.

Still, the amount of stuff going on in the final year of M41 is absurd, no matter how you look at it. They're literally scraping for spare hours to fit more events into the background without slipping into M42 (well, there are events in the canon that are known to occur as late as 100ish years into M42, which are mostly mentioned in the Ciaphas Cain books, but the current rulebook's timeline cuts off at the 13th Black Crusade). Living as an administratum clerk in the final couple of days of 999 M41 would be an absolute mind-screw, from the looks of things.

Fairy snuff. Just seemed a bit odd to me. It's not a BIG deal, I just wanted to know the why, in case there was something glaringly obvious that I was missing. But if it's just because they want to shoehorn as much into the 41st Millennium as they can, fair play to them.

Lord Damocles
09-03-2013, 13:30
The three digits preceeding the 993 part of the date are the year fraction (each year is divided into 1000 parts for administrative purposes). If there is another digit before those, that is the
date stamp/check number which gives an indication of the accuracy of the date.

Lexicanum (http://wh40k.lexicanum.com/wiki/Imperial_Dating_System) appears correct in their overview.


Packing more and more into the latter years of M41 requires dating to be more precise than just the year and millenium.

M@L@L
09-03-2013, 13:32
The three digits preceeding the 993 part of the date are the year fraction (each year is divided into 1000 parts for administrative purposes). If there is another digit before those, that is the
date stamp/check number which gives an indication of the accuracy of the date.

Lexicanum (http://wh40k.lexicanum.com/wiki/Imperial_Dating_System) appears correct in their overview.


Packing more and more into the latter years of M41 requires dating to be more precise than just the year and millenium.

Excellent. Thanks for that. :)

Palvinore
09-03-2013, 14:09
This isn't really a new problem. It was present in 5th edition, and to a slightly lesser extent in 4th.

The stagnation of the main timeline is having a particularly noticeable impact on Necron and Tyranid background (with the introductions of new Hive Fleets and awakenings of tombworlds being pushed backwards), and will probably have a similar effect on Tau.

A stagnant timeline is little problem if you have thousands of years of history to play with (although even then, Marine characters just don't seem to die anymore), but for those who only have a couple of centuries of meaningful impact, it's a bugger.

Which is why the timeline needs to move forward: to generate more space to put events and new background. Not everyone has as you say thousands of years to play around with. It also gets more confusing and ridiculous if these races have to keep getting retconned to encounter the Imperium sooner. Particularly the Tau. They can hardly be the new kid on the block if their age and the Damocles Crusade get pushed back in time.

El_Machinae
09-03-2013, 14:46
There're novels where they've moved to the 41k, I think. Ciaphas Cain?

Doppleskanger
10-03-2013, 09:54
I'm not great at this stuff but... relativity would screw all of this up anyway, and then you have at least two things going on (warp travel and Psychic communication) that take place outside of linear time, so is it best to think of the dates as dates when things became known on Terra? I know the people in universe sign off on things using date stamps, so they think they know what date it is, but... they wouldn't really. Even if the astronomicon carries a time signal, and surely it would, as soon as a journey is made when the signal is lost or not used then you'd be in freefall. I'm not sure, but I think the idea of a linear time across a galactic scale makes no sense?

So... is the M41 thing that back on Terra they are getting more and more messed up reports of it all going to hell, but these are happening... all over the place really?

El_Machinae
10-03-2013, 13:15
That's part of the bureaucracy! The dating system actually contains an 'accuracy indicator' in its numbering system. It's a code that incorporates how confident the recorded date is, relative to Terran time.

Inquisitor Engel
10-03-2013, 16:04
I mean, the game's called Warhammer 40,000 anyway, not 41,000, so not like them actually going into M42 will have any impact on the name. Am I missing something?

The 41st Millennium (ie M41) IS 40,000 through 40,999. The first Millennium only had three digits.

The main reason for this is that when GW created 40k, it tried for a real-time progression. By the time we got to 1999, they kind of went "Whoops." I'd have no issues with moving the timeline forwards. There's no need to change the name. It's just a setting, after all.

Aren't there a couple of Black Library novels that take place in very early M42? I recall mention of it somewhere.

Lord Damocles
10-03-2013, 16:08
Cadian Blood is set several years post-13th Black Crusade (999.M41), which would put it in the early years of M42.

The editorial notes by Inquisitor Vail in the Cain Archive (Commissar Cain series) are dated the mid-200s M42.

Atlas Infernal is also set post-13th Black Crusade.

Inquisitor Engel
10-03-2013, 17:48
Cadian Blood is set several years post-13th Black Crusade (999.M41), which would put it in the early years of M42.

The editorial notes by Inquisitor Vail in the Cain Archive (Commissar Cain series) are dated the mid-200s M42.

Atlas Infernal is also set post-13th Black Crusade.

Interesting. At least there's some precedent now. Hoooray!

Grimbad
10-03-2013, 17:50
The 41st Millennium (ie M41) IS 40,000 through 40,999. The first Millennium only had three digits.

The main reason for this is that when GW created 40k, it tried for a real-time progression. By the time we got to 1999, they kind of went "Whoops." I'd have no issues with moving the timeline forwards. There's no need to change the name. It's just a setting, after all.


Yeah. For a long time I've had the opinion that this is like having a game set in 20th century called 1940 and not wanting to move into 1941. If they just went ahead and did it, we'd all adjust to 40,000 meaning "the 40s", 000.

Leftenant Gashrog
19-03-2013, 22:34
What irks me is, they've broken it before. Space Marine 1st edition was so named because it was set during the Horus Heresy and only had rules for Space Marines (and their vehicles). Then they brought out a second edition which included a Space Marine army, an Ork army and an Eldar Army.. but they still called it Space Marine.

Not to mention they've never published a scenario set in 40,000 AD. Why on Holy Terra should the second digit matter when the other subsequent three don't..

AndrewGPaul
20-03-2013, 10:53
The time of the setting is deliberately fixed on a "knife edge". between the Tyranids on the Eastern Fringe, Abaddon in the Eye of Terror and Necrons and Orks everywhere else, there is scope for the Imperium to go down in flames or to triumph over its foes. The thing is, if they did move the setting on, either some clown would start whining that "their" faction has been screwed, as if the authors did it purely to annoy them, or there would be complaints that nothing has changed. If you want your setting to move on, do it yourself with your games. :)

I've noticed in recent years that more and more detail is being added about the "past", not just cramming it all into the last 8 hours of the millennium.

Plenty of the major background events came about from games played by the authors*, so feel free to follow their example.

AndrewGPaul
20-03-2013, 10:55
1st edition Space Marine had rules and full army lists for Orks, Squats, Imperial Guard and Chaos, as well as Space Marines, if we're commenting on the innacuracy of names. :)

Generalissimus
20-03-2013, 11:30
The time of the setting is deliberately fixed on a "knife edge". between the Tyranids on the Eastern Fringe, Abaddon in the Eye of Terror and Necrons and Orks everywhere else, there is scope for the Imperium to go down in flames or to triumph over its foes. The thing is, if they did move the setting on, either some clown would start whining that "their" faction has been screwed, as if the authors did it purely to annoy them, or there would be complaints that nothing has changed. If you want your setting to move on, do it yourself with your games. :)

I've noticed in recent years that more and more detail is being added about the "past", not just cramming it all into the last 8 hours of the millennium.

Plenty of the major background events came about from games played by the authors*, so feel free to follow their example.

Moving the setting on even just a few years wouldn't necessarily mean destroying the knife edge that the Imperium currently teeters upon. A lot of the problems faced by the Imperium had been happening for years before 999.M41, so tipping the timeline over into M42 doesn't make all of that go away overnight, it just allows for a bit of development of fluff and some new scenarios. I've been reading the Cain novels recently, and I'm quite happy to see events being referred to post 13th Crusade. From Inquisitor Vail's notes on the matter, it doesn't seem like reaching the beginning years of M42 has left the Imperium in any safer a position.

Francis
20-03-2013, 12:16
Moving the setting on even just a few years wouldn't necessarily mean destroying the knife edge that the Imperium currently teeters upon. A lot of the problems faced by the Imperium had been happening for years before 999.M41, so tipping the timeline over into M42 doesn't make all of that go away overnight, it just allows for a bit of development of fluff and some new scenarios. I've been reading the Cain novels recently, and I'm quite happy to see events being referred to post 13th Crusade. From Inquisitor Vail's notes on the matter, it doesn't seem like reaching the beginning years of M42 has left the Imperium in any safer a position.

I' don't agree completely with this assessment, the way I read Amberly's notes it does seem like the end of the 41st millennium was a particularly bad time for the imperium, but the fact that an inquisitor still lives to write about it (and write about it with what I perceive to be an optimistic outlook) indicates that the Imperium came through with flying colours. The alliance with the Tau which Cain helped to put into place seems to hold at the time of her writting. Also the fact that Leviathan was going straight for Terra in m41 and still had not achieved its objective 150 years later indicates that this most dangerous of hive fleets have been destroyed (either by the humans, but more likely by the orks). Abbedon has obviously not achieved his objective of conquering Cadia (although we knew this from the global campaign already). The only situations that seems to have grown worse instead of better for the Imperium is the reawakening of the Necron tomb worlds. But all in all things are looking far better than they did in 999 m41.

GWs problem is that they have once again painted themselves into a corner with their "DOOOM and DARKNESS" obsession. At this point they have pitted the full force of most of the Imperium's worst enemies against them. Because of this they can not advance the story line without giving either the bad guys a serious kick in the groins or wiping out the Imperium altogether. Since wiping out the Imperium is hardly a viable course of action the only option that remains seems to be to let the bad guys get defeated, but this would lift the perpetual doom spirit of the game that they are trying to market, as well as giving all the evil fanboys out there a chance to go completely off the wire with their "we never win" whining.

In short, GW is utterly stuck and all the options they have of continuing the story line is going to **** off a section of their fan base (The bad guys win=good guys pissed as well as a ruined setting, good guys win= bad guys pissed as well as a lighter and therefore ruined mood, continue in a perpetual limbo without any gains for either side= pisses everybody off as well as being an unsatisfactory and unrealistic solution).

They can allow books like the Cain books to portray this advancement of the timeline (and I love the fact that they do) but they can never bring it into their armybooks and core rulebooks.

Generalissimus
20-03-2013, 12:46
<snip>



That is a fair assessment, I will concede. I would say that I do think if GW has the intention of keeping everything at the current point in the timeline, then they should really stop trying to cram stuff in to the final hours of the year, because it looks a bit silly.

M@L@L
20-03-2013, 12:50
Maybe they should cull a couple of army lists to help show the change in setting. I mean, we've not seen a proper Exodites army list in all the history of GW (that I am aware of), so maybe all the Maiden Worlds got destroyed during 999. :|

Francis
20-03-2013, 13:03
, then they should really stop trying to cram stuff in to the final hours of the year, because it looks a bit silly.

I agree completely with this. Give me more Sabbat Worlds crusade for example (although that crusades was fought mostly by the Imperial Guard and not space marines so highlighting campaigns like this might be a bad marketing direction (space marines are where the cash is)).

AndrewGPaul
20-03-2013, 15:30
That's Dan Abnett's playground, through. They've been fairly consistent at keeping all their different departments doing their own thing (the Blood Ravens are confined to the Dawn of War games, each major author's pet forces and setting keeps to itself, Forge World are confining themselves to their own stories, etc).

To be honest, I'd rather have the 40k setting with its "eternal midnight" than the interminable saga of the Iron Kingdoms, for example, which keeps grinding out a war and squeezing in new units and factions beyond plausibility.

If I want a setting where the Imperium has fallen and the scraps of humanity only survive because the voctors are fighting amonst themselves, I can do that. Likewise, if I want a resurgent Imperium pushing back its enemies on all fronts, I can do that too. If you and your friends want to tell a different story, good for you. Carry on.

I don't think we'll be seeing the end of the Sabbat crusade any time soon, as Dan Abnett has other projects, Black Library and otherwise. If you want a conclusion, you might need to come up with your own. :)

Leftenant Gashrog
20-03-2013, 19:43
1st edition Space Marine had rules and full army lists for Orks, Squats, Imperial Guard and Chaos, as well as Space Marines, if we're commenting on the innacuracy of names. :)

Only via White Dwarf and Codex: Titanicus, the 1st edition Space Marine game box included rules for only Space Marine infantry, Rhinos, Whirlwinds and Land Raiders.

El_Machinae
21-03-2013, 09:39
The shifts in power really can occur glacially from our perspective of time. It's a history that's written out in the scale of centuries and millenia. Things that can sound major can end up being minor in the grand scheme of things. This is what could allow the timeline to move forwards, or at least pockets of story could occur

DeathGlam
21-03-2013, 16:26
I would like to see some minor advances, that don't really need to change anything in how an army plays or is visualised by the gamer/painter, for example one of the major space marine chapters could lose it's homeworld to Tyranids/Necrons or whatever, they would still have all the same models but their fluff becomes them hoping to reclaim their lost homeworld.

Another example could be Lady Malys helped by the Harlequins, starting the war she so clearly is planning to try and take control of Commorragh.

I would love that second one especially as im starting a force built around Lady Malys who is just an awesome character.

So yeah i woould like small steps forward ideally and even if they killed of a few characters, they would still be playable as a few codex's have characters that are dead already.

Harwammer
22-03-2013, 12:31
It's a big galaxy. There is a lot going on, much of it undocumented. It's unsuprising the most documented part of the time line is the part the setting focuses on.

Horus38
22-03-2013, 17:56
Maybe they should cull a couple of army lists to help show the change in setting. I mean, we've not seen a proper Exodites army list in all the history of GW (that I am aware of), so maybe all the Maiden Worlds got destroyed during 999. :|

Not really sure what you mean by this, Exodites don't have an existing army list (and haven't for 4 editions) so there really isn't anything to cull...? And if you're referring to destroying a part (or all) of existing factions then that's just a waste of potential.

M@L@L
22-03-2013, 20:13
Not really sure what you mean by this, Exodites don't have an existing army list (and haven't for 4 editions) so there really isn't anything to cull...? And if you're referring to destroying a part (or all) of existing factions then that's just a waste of potential.

I'm basically getting at how some aspects of the canon that don't make it into the mechanics of so many editions of the game inevitably just get removed altogether. Granted, this happened a lot sooner with the Squats and Zoats, but I don't imagine we'll ever see an Exodite list, the same way we'll probably never ever see a full on Genestealer cult list. I think I was going to use Adeptus Mechanicus armies as an example, but that would be a bit much, even ironically. ;p

Aluinn
23-03-2013, 03:06
I'm basically getting at how some aspects of the canon that don't make it into the mechanics of so many editions of the game inevitably just get removed altogether. Granted, this happened a lot sooner with the Squats and Zoats, but I don't imagine we'll ever see an Exodite list, the same way we'll probably never ever see a full on Genestealer cult list. I think I was going to use Adeptus Mechanicus armies as an example, but that would be a bit much, even ironically. ;p

Inb4 Exodites appear in the next version of Codex: Eldar :).

To be less petulant, GW have shown a minor tendency to return to older aspects of the fluff lately, cf Jokaero appearing in Codex: GK. Prior to that it would have been safe to say "GW killed off Jokaero", but now they're back. I do realize that there was a statement somewhere about the Zoats being wiped out, but GW could just as easily retcon them back into the next Codex: Tyranids whenever they feel like it; ditto for Genestealer Cultists.

(There was also White Dwarf article like 5 years ago that included Enslavers, with rules even; Gyrinx have appeared in some Eldar art since 4th and with rules in the recent FW pirates list; the 6th Ed. BRB features some old favorites in the "miscellaneous aliens" group pic; Chaos Cultists came back after a very long hiatus barring their semi-inclusion in the infamous Codex: CSM v3.5; DE brought the Clawed Fiend first mentioned in the 3rd Ed. BRB IIRC; and there are probably other things that I've missed.)

The only rule governing this seems to be whether they believe these things will please players/customers, weighed against the resources required to actually support them. A full Genestealer Cult army is extremely unlikely because it would have such niche appeal, but as a single unit in the Tyranid army it could make an appearance (don't expect the limo, though; that was always roughly as silly as Squat Hell's Angels, and we know what that image did for those guys :)).

baphomael
23-03-2013, 17:43
On the timeline/setting discussion... the 40k*galaxy is a big place, and 10, 000 years is a long time (real world civilisation isnt quite that old).

Theres plenty of scope for expansion and adding new things within those 10, 000 years... in 40k a lot goes off. In real world history we learn new things all the time... the same can be 'true' for 10, 000 years of fictional history.

New material doesnt have to be crammed into the dying moments of 999.m41. Plenty of actual knowledge gets lost and rediscovered... look how long it took the western world to forget and rediscover the medical advances made by Galen or Hippocrates. The 40k timeline is incomplete... theres gaps and spaces that can be added to without needing to jump into m.41.


Inb4 Exodites appear in the next version of Codex: Eldar :).

To be less petulant, GW have shown a minor tendency to return to older aspects of the fluff lately, cf Jokaero appearing in Codex: GK. Prior to that it would have been safe to say "GW killed off Jokaero", but now they're back. I do realize that there was a statement somewhere about the Zoats being wiped out, but GW could just as easily retcon them back into the next Codex: Tyranids whenever they feel like it; ditto for Genestealer Cultists.

(There was also White Dwarf article like 5 years ago that included Enslavers, with rules even; Gyrinx have appeared in some Eldar art since 4th and with rules in the recent FW pirates list; the 6th Ed. BRB features some old favorites in the "miscellaneous aliens" group pic; Chaos Cultists came back after a very long hiatus barring their semi-inclusion in the infamous Codex: CSM v3.5; DE brought the Clawed Fiend first mentioned in the 3rd Ed. BRB IIRC; and there are probably other things that I've missed.)

The only rule governing this seems to be whether they believe these things will please players/customers, weighed against the resources required to actually support them. A full Genestealer Cult army is extremely unlikely because it would have such niche appeal, but as a single unit in the Tyranid army it could make an appearance (don't expect the limo, though; that was always roughly as silly as Squat Hell's Angels, and we know what that image did for those guys :)).

On zoats, they have already been obliquely reintroduced in the form of Hive Fleet Collossus... but I cant remember if they're still kicking around or got wiped out.

Also... I always loved the limo XD

Sojourner
23-03-2013, 21:12
Possibility for a reboot or alternate universe setting called "M42" or similar, anyone?

Confusion with AT-43 notwithstanding, that is.

El_Machinae
24-03-2013, 15:50
If my read of the setting is any indication, there should be hundreds of major issues throughout the galaxy at any given time, each of those could be expanded easily.

But we like an extra dose of epic in our epic. We don't just want Badab wars, we want Black Crusades.