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TheBearminator
12-11-2013, 14:40
A question popped up when I watched a youtube video with Phil Kelly, where he said that the dark eldar are really the real losers from the creation of Slaanesh, as their souls are consumed a bit at a time, forcing them into their barbaric lifestyle (effectively making them slaves), while the surviving Craftworlders have found ways to work around that, save their souls and thereby be free. Or sort of.

Got me thinking, who are the greatest losers in 40k? :)

Charistoph
12-11-2013, 15:19
The ones you never read about, because they were eliminated by the Great Crusade, Necron Death Armies, Tyranid hordes, or Dark Eldar raiding parties, before you ever had a chance to learn of them.

But Squats would be one of the tops of my list after that.

Orks would be the absolute bottom of that list. They've won, and they don't care.

Poncho160
12-11-2013, 15:29
The imperium of man. They had the opportunity and the means to be the greatest galactic empire, but failed due to the pride of a few individuals and the mistakes of quite a few more.

SpanielBear
12-11-2013, 15:41
Thousand Sons take a fair bit of battering. Every time they try and make things better, they just make it worse.

Camman1984
12-11-2013, 16:10
Got to be eldar for me, almost destroyed their entire race cos they spent too much time pleasuring themselves. At least the squats got eaten by the nids.

Abaddon seems a bit of a loser but at least he's persistant.

And tau, not because of lack of success but but because their whole existence, concept and background screams loser to me in the L shape on the head kind of way. (Personal opinion)

Grok
12-11-2013, 16:30
The lementers, its like their defining feature. Being cursed so bad they just kept losing and suffering disasters untill they disapeared.

Mellow
12-11-2013, 16:47
I'm not sure Abaddon being a persistent loser is a good thing!

It makes him a very effective loser.

The Illuminated
12-11-2013, 17:41
I'm not sure Abaddon being a persistent loser is a good thing!

It makes him a very effective loser.

Time to drop some ADB on this guy.


The 13th Black Crusade was launched in order to allow Chaos into the Imperium, no longer almost completely blocked by Cadia. It was about breaking the dam, not to just say "LOL LET'S GO TO TERRA!", but to change the very dynamics of Chaos and the Imperium. The Chaos Marine can now sail fleets into Imperial space much, much, much easier than ever before. The dam is broken. The Crusade's goals were achieved. As far as I know, that's the current deal. The subject is confused by poor phrasing and general online assumptions clouding the issue.

But a crusade is a crusade. That sounds obvious, but a lot of people miss the relevance of the word, and the intent of the warrior declaring it. Anyone thinking a single Black Crusade was to take Terra, or see the Golden Throne fall, is probably missing the point. After all, historically, crusades weren't declared to conquer the whole world, or to wipe out all of Islam. They were, variously, declared to recover territory; to take Constantinople; to capture and/or sack a certain city; with heavy side orders of political, social and financial gain. A crusade is a campaign targeted at achieving a certain goal - one that, say, requires a massive army.

To take the "Abaddon is the thematic Antichrist" trope one step further, the forces of Hell never "just appear and take over the world". Even with the Rapture, there's supposed to be years of war on Earth between angels and demons. To the Imperium, that's just happened. The Astronomican blinks on and off now, losing thousands of vessels in the warp, and the Golden Throne is failing. We have events called things like "The Night of a Thousand Rebellions". And Cadia, the unbreakable fortress world that guarded the Eye, was cracked open and the dam is broken: Because of Abaddon's last crusade, Chaos fleets enter the Imperium practically unopposed now, compared to how it's been the last 10,000 years.

The reason there's no 14th Black Crusade is because there no longer needs to be. The gates are open. The Gates of Hell, literally, are broken open. Chaos Marines are basically free, like never before, to do as they please. And to assume "They all totally want to kill the Emperor" is a wild, wild miscalculation. There's nothing to say most of them these days, after years / centuries / millennia in Hell, give a toss about the Emperor. Most published lore we have cites Chaos Marines concerned with their own amassing of power, wealth and renown, rather than in idealistic campaigns to destroy the Imperium. How many warbands want nothing more than a weak enemy to prey upon? Countless, countless numbers of them. Especially in Legions like the Night Lords. The Gates of Hell being open is pretty much exactly what they wanted. Their goals are achieved.

That's not to say they don't want the Emperor / Imperium to fall. It's just that that's a background theme to most of their lives, given their other interests, desires, allegiances and obsessions. It's a great overall objective, but doesn't apply to daily existence. That can be hard to grasp if all you ever see Chaos Marines as are essentially models based on stereotypes of Legions, but as a living, breathing soldier spending eternity in Hell, things would get a little different.

One of the core themes of 40K has always seemed to be "Every single one of these enemy races could (or probably will) wipe out the Imperium if they sped up and/or got their crap together". And as befits the end of the Dark Millennium, Chaos is one of them. The One, in fact. The greatest threat, but also because they're the enemy within, as well as the threat from without.

So, no. Abaddon isn't a failure. He's only a failure in, well, the "frequently espoused by younger player" terms of believing he wants to take Terra, and all anyone like him could be interested in was "Just killing the Emperor". Bit of a shallow overlook, that.

Tzarinchilla
12-11-2013, 19:14
Time to drop some ADB on this guy.

Superb find and spot on. Resituating Abaddon as the badass that he should be and I don't even like him!

My vote on this subject is the Imperial citizenry. Not only do they have to face the threat of numerous alien races knobbling them on a semi regular basis but also the threat from the mutitude of imperial departments constantly trying to either recruit them for something dangerous or accuse and convict them and ultimitely kill them off for some heretical act. I would not want to be a basic imperial citizen in 40k. I'd rather be a grot!

Saunders
12-11-2013, 19:45
Dark Eldar captives >_>;

Jack of Blades
12-11-2013, 20:08
A Dark Eldar captive is probably the most painful thing you can feasibly be in 40k, I don't even think being captured by Nurglites/Slaaneshists would be as bad.
A Necron flayed one pre-retcon would also be one hell of a terrible existence.
It goes without saying that, considering how flawed our civilisation is today, life could and most likely would be even crappier for your average Imperial human.
Being a psyker who falls to daemons would also really suck considering you'll be tortured in the warp for eternity, same goes for those who sell their souls to Chaos and die.

If we're going to talk about the tabletop armies cohesively then I'd say CSM. Their lives seem to be miserable as your imagination is the limit for the kind of stuff they can be afflicted with beyond obvious stuff like possession (just imagine being blessed with something like an eternal itch etc.) with tendencies to be painful (especially if they fail in anything, but that's not a prerequisite) or they're so warped by Chaos that they've lost touch with what used to be their humanity and they don't really "feel" anymore. Then when they die the Chaos gods who care nothing for them beyond as entertaining tools just like with any other soul torture them forever in the warp. Forever. Unless they become an eternal slave or (if the soul gets deformed too so it doesn't manage to last in the warp? not sure - talking about whether they avoid fate #1 or not) mutate into Chaos spawn. Talk about living the hotline to happiness for these guys.

The Emperor
12-11-2013, 20:10
Time to drop some ADB on this guy.

Thanks for the quote. It gets tiring hearing people regurgitate the same nonsense without any thought about the specifics, namely that a lot of the Crusades had very specific, focused objectives with the intent of making things easier for the next crusade. They weren't ends in and of themselves, and the intent for each of them was never to try toppling the Imperium and killing the Emperor. The 8th Black Crusade, I think, was about capturing Blackstone Fortresses, and I believe Abaddon was successful there, too. Some people just can't seem to understand the idea that you can win without utterly wiping out the opposition, and that you need the small wins to get the big wins down the road.

TimLeeson
12-11-2013, 20:14
The minor xeno races? No model or rules. Sometimes even wiped out within the space of an edition (Ulumeathic League in 5th).

Telemachus
12-11-2013, 20:17
Biggest losers in 40k?

Well, if it's on the Tabletop, I'm up there.

If not, it has to be the 'ordinary' man/woman on the street.

The Imperium

No doubt there are worlds where the multitude of threats that face the Imperium are unknown, and, possibly, these worlds quite happily toddle along doing their own thing. Some may even have governments which provide universal healthcare etc. But for a lot of worlds in the Imperium of Man, if you're not lucky enough to have been spawned into the ruling class and are an ordinary person, you're shafted. If Chaos Cults aren't trying to tempt you with something, you're either getting conscripted into the Imperial Guard, spend your life working in some mine/factory/insert sweat house here so that the planet can meet its tithes or spend your miserable existence going to church twenty five times a day so that some swivel-eyed lunatic wearing a mitre doesn't call you a heretic and burn you at the stake for drawing circles.

And that's before the Arbites and Inquisition even get out of bed.

Chaos

As above without being paid, an added chance of being sacrificed and without the Arbites, Inquisition or dude/dudesses in mitres.

Tau

Really?

Really?!

Do you honestly think being told that you're going to be Fire Warrior when all you really wanted to do was write some epic poetry is a good thing? Greater Good my ****.

Necrons

They just aren't happy chappies at all. In fact, they're the 40k equivalent of giving a robotic Victor Meldrew a gauss gun.

Craftworld Eldar

Have you ever read those depressing Elven songs in The Lord of the Rings?

They're nothing.

Imagine sticking Spock ears on your teenage son, telling him that his acne's permanent just after his girlfriend dumped him and you're getting close. Now take his mobile phone and iPad off him as a punishment, and you're nearly as unhappy as these dudes are. If only they hadn't went to that last orgy.

Dark Eldar

As above, but with no hope of getting their mobile phones or iPads back. Ever.

Tyranids

Do you think they're happy munching their way across the galaxy?

No.

One day Hive Fleet Kraken is going to ask Hive Fleet Leviathan 'Does my bum look big in this Galaxy?' When that happens, it won't be pretty, trust me.

Orks

Do you think they're happy?

Erhm yes.

serge
12-11-2013, 20:49
I presume you mean races as opposed to individuals, and its not about happiness. It cannot be because there is no way to tell what makes whom happy. To answer this question, you have to ask which races thrive in 40k (not prior to 40k or will after 40k), and which wither. I think its a safe bet to say that Orks, Bugs and Tau and Warp things are doing fine, while all other races struggle.

Kakapo42
12-11-2013, 20:55
Tau

Really?

Really?!

Do you honestly think being told that you're going to be Fire Warrior when all you really wanted to do was write some epic poetry is a good thing? Greater Good my ****.


That doesn't happen though, because not only are you told that you're going to be a Fire Warrior AFTER you've been brought up to want to be one, but there is absolutely nothing to stop you from writing epic poetry at the same time as being one. In fact in many places it's encouraged.

Perrin
12-11-2013, 21:12
Craftworld Eldar

Have you ever read those depressing Elven songs in The Lord of the Rings?

They're nothing.

Imagine sticking Spock ears on your teenage son, telling him that his acne's permanent just after his girlfriend dumped him and you're getting close. Now take his mobile phone and iPad off him as a punishment, and you're nearly as unhappy as these dudes are. If only they hadn't went to that last orgy.



To be fair, the Path series paints Craftworld life as pretty sweet. Sure the Paths are designed to guide Eldar and restrict the kind of behaviour that caused the Fall, but they can do whatever they want. Would anyone actually NOT want to be on the Path of the Dreamer? Spending all day doped on special dreamer drugs, doing whatever you can imagine in your dreams. It seems pretty fun. When you get tired of that you can just switch to another Path. Obviously there is a danger of getting trapped on a Path but that's rare.
Even if you don't like the Path system then become an Outcast travelling the galaxy.

Eldar life is sweet. Most of all they have true freedom, something which is sorely lacking in 40k.

Charistoph
12-11-2013, 21:54
Thanks for the quote. It gets tiring hearing people regurgitate the same nonsense without any thought about the specifics, namely that a lot of the Crusades had very specific, focused objectives with the intent of making things easier for the next crusade. They weren't ends in and of themselves, and the intent for each of them was never to try toppling the Imperium and killing the Emperor. The 8th Black Crusade, I think, was about capturing Blackstone Fortresses, and I believe Abaddon was successful there, too. Some people just can't seem to understand the idea that you can win without utterly wiping out the opposition, and that you need the small wins to get the big wins down the road.

All too true. Biggest evidence that Abbadon has not failed: Failures are rarely gifted with power, but rather turned in to Spawn. And (not including the games where he's managed to roll on the gift list to Spawndom) he is still in full capacity of his faculties and not turned in to a spinning mass of goo.

Menthak
12-11-2013, 22:00
A krieg Guardsman.
Grots.

If you want a single person then:

The Emperor (think of the scale of failure and the continuation of his non-life) or Lupercal, for pretty much the same reason.

ntw3001
12-11-2013, 22:21
To be fair, the Path series paints Craftworld life as pretty sweet. Sure the Paths are designed to guide Eldar and restrict the kind of behaviour that caused the Fall, but they can do whatever they want. Would anyone actually NOT want to be on the Path of the Dreamer? Spending all day doped on special dreamer drugs, doing whatever you can imagine in your dreams. It seems pretty fun. When you get tired of that you can just switch to another Path. Obviously there is a danger of getting trapped on a Path but that's rare.

I think the human equivalent of that particular path is fairly prone to producing Exarchs.

=Angel=
13-11-2013, 01:09
With scale of loss, the Eldar win. Every Eldar born in the last ten thousand years lived and died with the knowledge that his race was on the way out, but before you were born we had a star spanning empire and it was awesome and then we got bored and found interesting things to do (which you must never do) and they were awesome and now we're screwed.

Humans can live oblivious lives of industry working in tank factories or hive industrial plants or soylent green emulsifiers and then return home to a small hab to their wives and a plate of salted grox.

Simple lives free of war are still possible for the majority of mankind- even if a planet is attacked every four hundred years-generations will pass in peace inbetween the conflicts.
They will largely be oblivious of the galaxys horrors.
They don't know that humanity is holding back the tide of aggressors by the barest margin.

And they can be happy.

The imperium is rough but it's worth fighting for to preserve that simple human existence for the billions upon billions of human citizens.

Reading Ciaphas or Gaunt gives you a taste of the simple happiness men still enjoy in the grim darkness- a woman's bed, a simple meal, a delectable feast, a cup of tea, a draught of liquor.

stainawarjar
13-11-2013, 01:09
The players, of course.

TheBearminator
13-11-2013, 03:08
The players, of course.

Thinking outside the box here? ;) But I couldn't agree more.

aim
13-11-2013, 11:24
Thousand Sons take a fair bit of battering. Every time they try and make things better, they just make it worse.

I'd go with this, jumped on for being traitors when they were actually loyal (albeit walking a thin line), at a time when the actual traitors were still trusted despite Magnus' warnings. Then turned to mindless-dust-bots after trying to stop the mutations.

Quite a tragic tale, as long as you don't buy into some Chaos players opinion that "THEY WAS TRAITORS ALL ALONG COZ CHAOZ IS UNBEATABILZ". Which I might add goes against quite a few pieces of fluff, one of which has a daemon straight up saying "it's a good job prospero happened, otherwise they never would have fallen", people will happily dismiss that a daemon lies though.

OuroborosTriumphant
13-11-2013, 11:49
If you mean "who has it worst?" the answer is probably the captives of the Dark Eldar, specifically those subject to the ministrations of the haemonculi. Subjected to horrific torture explicitly designed to inflict the maximum amount of pain, prolonged for as long as possible; nasty.

If you mean "who has lost the most?" probably those Eldar who failed to escape the Fall. In an instant, gone from unquestioned princes of the Universe with unparalleled power and luxury, to the chew toys of Slaanesh. That's a hell of a fall.

Camman1984
13-11-2013, 13:40
Thousand sons is a story of tragedy, yeah their primarch dabbled in sorcery and stuff which was unpopular but that was they way the emperor made him, just like angron eating babies (alledgedly). They they were ignored, sidelined and betrayed. Maybe if they had been looked after better and listened too, the heresy would have gone differently. But now they are lost.

The emperor has got to be the most disappointed, with his huge plans for the galaxy after being killed and reborn numerous times as an eternal. He now is trapped watching as the imerium and humanity becomes the thing he hated and a warped version of his great vision.

budman
13-11-2013, 14:35
real answer
Both the Crons and C'tan did a number on each other
the C'tan are a broken shell of there once greatness and the Necrons sold everything they have and only a few can even speak

The IOM still has hope and can speak of it the crons can't speak of anything

Kebert Xela
13-11-2013, 15:16
Dark Eldar-doomed no matter what

The Illuminated
13-11-2013, 16:38
Superb find and spot on. Resituating Abaddon as the badass that he should be and I don't even like him!

My vote on this subject is the Imperial citizenry. Not only do they have to face the threat of numerous alien races knobbling them on a semi regular basis but also the threat from the mutitude of imperial departments constantly trying to either recruit them for something dangerous or accuse and convict them and ultimitely kill them off for some heretical act. I would not want to be a basic imperial citizen in 40k. I'd rather be a grot!


Thanks for the quote. It gets tiring hearing people regurgitate the same nonsense without any thought about the specifics, namely that a lot of the Crusades had very specific, focused objectives with the intent of making things easier for the next crusade. They weren't ends in and of themselves, and the intent for each of them was never to try toppling the Imperium and killing the Emperor. The 8th Black Crusade, I think, was about capturing Blackstone Fortresses, and I believe Abaddon was successful there, too. Some people just can't seem to understand the idea that you can win without utterly wiping out the opposition, and that you need the small wins to get the big wins down the road.

I keep that quote on hand for such occasions.

I've debated the same points many times, but having the most prominent - and respected - of their writers lay it down seems much more akin to 'canon' to most of the community.


On topic, Eldar. They can choose to enter an infinity-circuit retirement home, where they wander around in a misty-haze, out of it, forced to power constructs to make war.. or, they end up in the warp, and are aware of what's going on.

They're going to have a baaad time.

Lord Inquisitor
13-11-2013, 17:08
The biggest loser has got to be the Emperor, losing over 200lb on the "psyker souls" diet!

Drasanil
14-11-2013, 03:22
Time to drop some ADB on this guy.

Problem is, as awesome as ADB's explanation is... it bears little to no resemblance to the end of the campaign. Yes Cadia all but fell, but the space lanes were decisively, crushingly even, won by the Imperium and the Cadian system remains the only real path out of the eye. So no the gates haven't been broken open, chaos fleets don't have free reign to attack the Imperium at large and Abaddon didn't succeed.

So in the end; Abaddon is still a failure, and that's before we even mention he managed to get his butt whooped in close combat by Eldrad :p

Polaria
14-11-2013, 10:00
Problem is, as awesome as ADB's explanation is... it bears little to no resemblance to the end of the campaign. Yes Cadia all but fell, but the space lanes were decisively, crushingly even, won by the Imperium and the Cadian system remains the only real path out of the eye. So no the gates haven't been broken open, chaos fleets don't have free reign to attack the Imperium at large and Abaddon didn't succeed.

So in the end; Abaddon is still a failure, and that's before we even mention he managed to get his butt whooped in close combat by Eldrad :p

I think that if you actually bother to read the current fluff the results of that campaign have gotten a squat treatment and can no longer be considered canon in any shape or form.

Konrad von Carstein
14-11-2013, 11:07
Definitely the Eldar. They created a Chaos God because they couldn't keep it in their pants.

Rowenstin
14-11-2013, 18:30
I think the Old Ones qualify. Not only did they get exterminated despite being the most advanced race the galaxy has ever seen, but managed to do so in a way that would later **** everything up royally.

squeekenator
14-11-2013, 18:55
The Tau are pretty big losers. They're just so unfailingly optimistic that they can't see how irrelevant they really are. At some point they're going to **** off another race just a teensy bit too much and then bam, that's it. No more Greater Good, no more Tau. Of all the 40K factions who have codexes, the Tau are the only one facing imminent extinction, and they don't even realise it.

Banville
15-11-2013, 10:45
The Avenging Sons. Talk about whipping boys for Forge World. Every single publication they show up in to do the usual marine "sledgehammer to crack a nut" thing that marines do so well, they get their posteriors handed to them. From Tau to Necrons, the Avenging sons must be the least feared and most inept Chapter of Marines still in existence.

That or just seriously unlucky.

Son of Morkai
15-11-2013, 17:42
The Emperor's Swords. Sure, Lamenters have it rough, but at least they haven't been totally wiped out four times, with no mention of any other actions. They exist solely to die to a man. Eldar lost their massive Empire, Squats ceased to exist, but here we have a chapter of the Emperor's own Space Marines being treated like redshirts in the Imperial Guard. Dying pointlessly, accomplishing nothing. At this point, I wonder if the Mechanicus bothers to give them live rounds for their bolters - it's not like their pathetic actions will even thin the enemy horde anyway.

Balance-keeper
16-11-2013, 11:46
I'd say mankind if it's in a race loserdom. No matter how hard they are trying, no matter how much the race is fighting for survival and living in ignorance of it. The race is doomed in the long run. Condemned to a slow and grinding death.... atleast they won't go down easily lol.

But if its on the group of people. I'd say it's got to go to the thousand sons. No matter what they try it all keeps going wrong in one way or another. Such a great story they have, if not a happy one

Vet.Sister
17-11-2013, 15:53
The players, of course.

:angel: Especially players of the Battle Sisters Army. :p

Spiney Norman
17-11-2013, 16:06
The players, of course.

Specifically those that live in Australia...


:angel: Especially players of the Battle Sisters Army. :p

Are you kidding? I just got to put my witch hunter and his land raider back into the list, I'm over the moon, and we still have the best (and consequently most expensive) models in the game.

The Lion's Shade
18-11-2013, 20:37
I'd say the citizens of the under-hives on various planets.