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cailus
10-07-2006, 06:54
There are thousands of worlds in the Imperium so there is bound to be ones where such and such exist


I've noticed that this seems to becoming a standard answer for when something doesn't fit into the fluff. There is no point in having any fluff if we can just bolt anything into it.

40K is turning to generic tripe not only because the parent company is dumbing it down (led by Abnett and his humanist version of the 41st millenium) but because the fans are insanely intent on turning it into some generic space romp so they can fit any random idea that appeals to them no matter how contradictory it is to everything before it.

So you can have caring assassins that email their girlfriends, people that behave just like Americans and Brits circa 1944, have Commisars who cry over the death of their troops, super advanced Imperial technology that they not only understand but improve upon, Marines with respect for human rights.

Perhaps 40 should be renamed to "Yanks and Brits in Space." And replace the Emperor with the caring President with a gorgeous wife and who kicks alien butt. And you have to have a wise cracking person of Afircan descent. And arrogant selfish Congressmen. And everyone should dual wield every weapon even if it is a hand held Titan Macro Laser. And the bad guys should be totally inept other than the main hench man and the main bad guy who has stupid plans but a hard **** nonetheless. Every world should look like USA circa 2006 only with more lasers and flying cars and stuff.

There maybe a bazillion worlds in the Imperium but if core principles of the universe are ignored, then it just makes the entire fluff a waste of time.

And the way people are approaching the fluff of late means that the fluff is a total waste of time and we might as well scrap it.

Dspankdo
10-07-2006, 07:04
The reason that all this occurs is because 40k is open to interpretation and it would be silly to set everything in stone. If your getting pissed off about it then i want you to try and give a comprehensive timeline and descriptive essay on every single one of the million worlds and sectors of the 40k universe. Stop bitching.

azimaith
10-07-2006, 07:09
I've noticed that this seems to becoming a standard answer for when something doesn't fit into the fluff. There is no point in having any fluff if we can just bolt anything into it.

I don't see that as a standard answer unless your talking about people making up IG regi's based on what not. Space marines you can't really get away with it, there aren't that many of them out there and there are a few things they are supposed to follow if they aren't traitors.



40K is turning to generic tripe not only because the parent company is dumbing it down but because the fans are insanely intent on turning it into some generic space romp because anything can fit.

Just because anything can fit it doens't mean that everything fits in. I know a guy whose tyranids are on a picnic, kites, picnic baskets, the whole nine yards, but i'm not going to suddenly think "zomg! Nids are easy to beat because they just want to have a picnic!"



So you can have caring assassins that email their girlfriends,

Sure you can as long as they aren't officio/death cult. The "fluff" your referring to was a woefully unaware piece of fan fiction. Emailing? What the connection speed on the warp!



people that behave just like Americans and Brits circa 1944,

There are alot of worlds in the imperium, and more than a few are in the equivalent of our 1940's.



have Commisars who cry over the death of their troops,

I don't think that making all commissars caricitures makes the 40k background any better. Its not like commissars have no feelings or hate their soldiers, Yarrick certainly didn't find it entertaining to watch men under his command being butchered, and I can't write out a commissar crying over a mountain of dead people in private.



super advanced Imperial technology that they not only understand but improve upon,

They understand some of their technology you know. Just not that much and its steeped in superstition.



Marines with respect for human rights.

Thats kind of who they are protecting, the human race. Theres no reason why a space marine wouldn't be kind to a person/refugee/whatever as long as they weren't a possible enemy/possesses/heretic.



Perhaps 40 should be renamed to "Yanks and Brits in Space." And replace the Emperor with the caring President with a gorgeous wife and who kicks alien butt.

Kicks alien butt? The Imperium, more or less, by the fluff is utterly doomed, the Necrons, the Nids, the endless wars with Orks, the spreading Tau, the constant threat of chaos, I hardly think its a big happy fun time in the m.41



And you have to have a wise cracking person of Afircan descent. And arrogant selfish Congressmen. And everyone should dual wield every weapon even if it is a hand held Titan Macro Laser.

The only model i've ever seen "dual wield" anything but CCW's is Cypher. Besides, wielding two weapons is a proud tradition since before the days of the Vikings.



And the bad guys should be totally inept other than the main hench man and the main bad guy who has stupid plans but a hard **** nonetheless. Every world should look like USA circa 2006 only with more lasers and flying cars and stuff.

Right, Inept like the hive mind, abbaddon, and the C'tan. Look at the C'tan with their stupid inept plan to enslave humanity and wipe out the psykers by cutting off the warp from reality, how stupid! And Abbaddon, Pfft, his crusades could be repelled by a parapalegic guardsman. And the Hive Mind, that morbidly obese sucker couldn't make a battlefront around a planet much less the *entire eastern frontier of the Imperium).



There maybe a bazillion worlds in the Imperium but if core principles of the universe are ignored, then it just makes the entire fluff a waste of time.

And the way people are approaching the fluff of late means that the fluff is a total waste of time and we might as well scrap it.
There are no core principals being ignored here. You need to seperate canon from fan-fiction.

cailus
10-07-2006, 07:18
There are alot of worlds in the imperium, and more than a few are in the equivalent of our 1940's.....

You misunderstood me completely. I merely pointed out the way it appears to be going at least from a fan perspective. The fans seem to be itching to turn 40K into a standard generic space setting.

As for official 40K, the fluff is getting dumbed down. The Imperium used to be dark and sinister and all of a sudden all this respect for human rights is starting to pop up. The Imperium is becoming more and more caring.

The Imperium has become the "good" guys.

As for Marines they were originally arrogant and didn't care much about normal humans. Their allegiance is to the Emperor, their Primarch and their Chapter. Nowadays they seem to be more politically correct than the United Nations!


There are no core principals being ignored here. You need to seperate canon from fan-fiction.

People ignore most of that too. The Imperium according to most fans is a progressive, technologically advanced place.

It's all starting to reek too much of Star Trek...

azimaith
10-07-2006, 07:32
You misunderstood me completely. I merely pointed out the way it appears to be going at least from a fan perspective. The fans seem to be itching to turn 40K into a standard generic space setting.

A generic space setting is what 40k was originally.

Lets see: Laser guns: Check
Cyborg/power armor super warriors: Check
Horrible bug like alien creature: Check

A 1940's world makes it unconventional.



As for official 40K, the fluff is getting dumbed down. The Imperium used to be dark and sinister and all of a sudden all this respect for human rights is starting to pop up. The Imperium is becoming more and more caring.

Have you read the Cities of Death description of what living in the Imperium is like? Its not happy or caring about human rights.



The Imperium has become the "good" guys.

No, the Tau have become the good guys. The Imperium is just the "home team".



As for Marines they were originally arrogant and didn't care much about normal humans. Their allegiance is to the Emperor, their Primarch and their Chapter. Nowadays they seem to be more politically correct than the United Nations!

Marines are humanities "Angels of Death" and they are there to help speed humans along on their manifest destiny to rule the universe. If they don't care about their charges they aren't doing their job. Marines aren't snuggly carebears but they are still "On our side"



People ignore most of that too. The Imperium according to most fans is a progressive, technologically advanced place.

I don't think so. If you look at their tanks the designs look WW1/2 era. Look at their plasmaguns, they can't even get them to stop frying their soldiers. Maybe to people who don't know the background, but it seems as technologicaly stangant as ever.

sigur
10-07-2006, 09:44
While I don't totally agree with cailus, I have to agree on the point that fluff got dumbed down and castrated totally within the years 1998 till now. I just don't understand how a company with a game with fantastic, established background just throws away 20 years of history and reduces said background to a minimum.

Funnily, GW hits itself right in the face again with that because many older gamers just stay at the game because of the fluff.

Adept
10-07-2006, 09:46
I've noticed that this seems to becoming a standard answer for when something doesn't fit into the fluff. There is no point in having any fluff if we can just bolt anything into it.

Certain areas of the fluff are simply too wide ranging to bolt down in detail.

One of them being ways of life on Imperial panets. Some sources indicate that the Imperium is a harsh, authoritarian dictatorship.

Yet other sources indicate that many planetary governors simply live in orbiting stations, and let the planet run itself, so long as the tithes are met. Since travel and communications in the 41st millenium are so limited and restricted, many planets develop and exist in isolation. Which is to say that things such as technology, cultural and social phenomena and so on aren't freely traded between worlds, which in turn means that it's hard, if not impossible, to say what life on any given Imperial world might be like.

Lastie
10-07-2006, 10:55
I've noticed that this seems to becoming a standard answer for when something doesn't fit into the fluff. There is no point in having any fluff if we can just bolt anything into it.


I cannot bemoan people who create their own personal vision of the 40K universe as I do that myself, mostly out of my disappointment for the 'dumbing down' of fluff in recent publications, as several have bitterly stated in this post already (and for the most part, Sigur, Cailus, I agree with you guys on this matter. Recent fluff is crap, and lacking in many areas). If someone wanted to model an army of Necrons dressed in teddy bear outfits, and had written the entire history of the teddy bear C'tan and his legions, then good for them. It's not official, it doesn't have 'GW' stamped on the side, so there's no worry. It's when GW themselves release dumbed down fluff that we start to wonder where out 40K universe that we fell in love with so many years ago is going.

Inquisitor S.
10-07-2006, 11:21
Well, to be honest I don't even bother to read any fan-fiction or self created stuff, as most of it (not everything) is lousy stuff. Recently had a discussion why one of the lost primarchs couldn't have turned into a woman during their sojourn in the warp (mutating) and would be around now with a legion of female Space Marines. You see, I just don't care anymore about such stuff. Fluff is for me what's has GW (or BL) on it, any further discussion is only about varying degrees of improbability ;)

Gen.Steiner
10-07-2006, 12:07
I disagree entirely with Cailus.

The Imperium is not goody-two-shoes.
The Space Marines are not humanitarians.
Worlds are different, and the Imperium does not care unless they fail to meet their tithes or stop worshipping the God-Emperor.

The GW background is good - and who cares if we, the fans, bolt on extra bits? Sure, some of what we come up with is rubbish, but a lot of it is just as good as the GW stuff.

jfrazell
10-07-2006, 12:39
So whats the issue? 40K has always been open to interpretation.

Come on you've got space vampires (BA), space lyncanthropes (SW), space knights (BT), space ghosts (LOTD), space romans (UM), space undead (necrons), space elves (eldar), space orks (well, orks) space dwarves (er maybe space snacks). Even according to GW fluff on the Imperium, there are dictatorships, democracies, feral worlds, hive worlds, forge worlds and literally everything in between.

Its a game. Fluff can be part of the fun. Roll with it or ignore it completely as its only important to the author.

Dspankdo
10-07-2006, 13:54
While I don't totally agree with cailus, I have to agree on the point that fluff got dumbed down and castrated totally within the years 1998 till now. I just don't understand how a company with a game with fantastic, established background just throws away 20 years of history and reduces said background to a minimum.

Funnily, GW hits itself right in the face again with that because many older gamers just stay at the game because of the fluff.

GW has actually saved itself with this, do you realise how much buisness it would lose if some of the weirder themes were kept, slaaneesh is supposed to be the god of sexual deviance but i cant see a 12 year olds mother letting her kid have an emperors children army with tied up sex slaves and pictures of naked woman. I understand why you are pissed at the dumbing down of the fluff but as i said before you can interpret it however you like, it simply would't be practical in a buisness sense for GW to keep it to complicated as they have to cater for younger gamers than they used to.

Inq. Veltane
10-07-2006, 14:34
And if you want to make a 'real' Slaneeshi Lost and the Damned army then please post pictures...

malika
10-07-2006, 14:56
Hey Calius, I agree with some points you make, but with others I dont. But perhaps you should check out the Anargo Sector Project (links in my sig) in which we try to give our interpretation of the 40k background, basicly combining various editions but also putting our own visions in there. :)

Iuris
10-07-2006, 16:14
For me, the fluff is actually getting better. The more relaxed imperium feels so much more real.

"There is only war" only works until you actually stop to think about it a bit. You can't have the IG wasting lives on heroic charges regularly without a lot more man and women having the time of their lives making the next generation of IG soldiers ;)

Not to mention the immense factory lines needed to supply them with all the necessities. People really should look at the logistics of warfare. There's more logistics in warfare than there is actual war ...

Dvalin
10-07-2006, 16:31
I'll admit I'm fairly new to WH40K and so haven't seen this 'dumbing down' all of you are referring to. Could anyone give me some clear, specific examples of this dumbing down?

Because, y'know, I've read a few 40K books (two Commissar Kain books and Xenology), and they fairly well in keeping with the fluff I've read in the 3rd Edition core book and the fluff discussions online.

thimnwitt
10-07-2006, 16:55
Its not that it has been dumbed down or made happier, GW is showing the many different facets of the 40k universe.

You have Kryptman killing off entire sectors to divert the Nids, making for a rather gloom outlook on things. Then you have different Marines (Uriel-sp? from the Ultramarines series) who is pro-humanity and doesn't like to see a single soul of the divine emporer wasted needlessly.

As someone had said earlier, the whole "In the future there is only war" line is true, but there is still the story to be told about those behind the lines making the war possible. That and "In the future there is only war" seems kinda Emo-ish and doesn't seem like a very good slogan for the Imperium embrace as the one and only facet of its existence.

malika
10-07-2006, 17:00
Well I am bugged with the concept of "good guys" and "bad guys" GW is trying to shove down our troats when it comes to the campaigns. Another thing Im bugged with is the rape of the Horus Heresy commited by Alan Merrit for the HHCG.

Inquisitor S.
10-07-2006, 17:06
Well I am bugged with the concept of "good guys" and "bad guys" GW is trying to shove down our troats when it comes to the campaigns.
What is bothering me more on that issue is the forced involvement of every species. That's just crap. Oh yes, and the dealing of "Special Event Cards" if one side has too many wins. Concerning good guys I'm sure that the Imperium would fluffwise just round up any survivors of "allied aliens" and eradicate them ;)



Another thing Im bugged with is the rape of the Horus Heresy commited by Alan Merrit for the HHCG.
What exactly? The beheading of Ferrus?

thimnwitt
10-07-2006, 17:06
I'll admit I'm fairly new to WH40K and so haven't seen this 'dumbing down' all of you are referring to. Could anyone give me some clear, specific examples of this dumbing down?

Well one of the more obvious ones would be the Guants Ghosts series. Alot of people claim its impossible for some the things they say the Ghosts do to be possible in 40k. Be it sneaking up on and following Khorne Berzerkers for days without being cuaght, Guardsman killing marines with lasguns and assorted weaponry.

I find those all to be perfectly possible things that can happen. The Tanith First and Only are probally the most specialised guard regiment in the galaxy in combat and stealth operations. They have a Living Saint/Divine Inspiration from the Emporer guiding them and lending them insight and power.

So when people say lasguns/frag grenades/etc shouldnt be able to kill space marines then they have never read any of the books featuring space marines. They actively dodge out of the way of weapons fire becuase they know the armor *might* save them from the shot. Sure the armor will save them more then Flak armor will but lasguns aren't baby kittens.

GamesmasterZ
10-07-2006, 17:12
And Abbaddon, Pfft, his crusades could be repelled by a parapalegic guardsman.

Wheelchair Willie for the win.

Andrew-

Khaine's Messenger
10-07-2006, 17:41
What exactly? The beheading of Ferrus?

Probably its portrayal of some of the Primarchs as relatively stupid (eg Magnus), the Imperial Webway, making the fall of Fulgrim less dramatic (possession), and the re-spec'd Council of Nikea. There are other details people don't like, of course. Me, I prefer to roll with these punches....

Anyway. As I've tried to say every once in a while, "anything goes" only goes so far when it comes to 40k. Most people just want to approach 40k with an idea, and few of them care how that idea is going to work, just that the idea is plausible enough to vaguely pass muster. To a certain point, that's exactly how 40k is put together--it's a mishmash of ideas, themes, imagery, etc., and how it all works is kinda up to you. Not all of it, of course, but where it counts (usu. that page's worth of background you made for your table-top army, or for others, the pen-and-paper rpg).

I can see the point, cailus...the "slippery slope" of "anything goes" can rot out the heart of the setting because if "anything goes" then how does anything go? Which is why it's a good idea to offer advice on incorporating an idea into 40k rather than simply okaying something with "anything goes" comments. It's much better to try and develop background than spin out filler, and often that means working within or with the functional limitations of the setting.

*EDIT: I can't believe I used "it's" as a possessive.

ryng_sting
10-07-2006, 17:43
Since I've been following the fluff since the late 80s, I can't say, in any way, that the 40k universe has become a more friendy or a more enlightened place. Quite the contrary - it gets more pessimistic every year. The fascist, theocratic nature of the 40k world gets stressed more and more every year. The 40k setting, however open to scores of influences, is ultimately the product of a series of very British imaginations. No imaginative product of our country ever fully escapes the pull of social realism; hence why the Imperium in 40k is so resolutely downbeat, despairing, put-upon, falling apart and desperate.

Charax
10-07-2006, 18:07
Just wait until 40KRPG comes out. "friendly" is not a word I'd use...

Captain Optimus Metallus
10-07-2006, 18:11
No, the Tau have become the good guys.

Have you read Cities of Death? The Tau aren't the good guys, either. They just have better propaganda then the Imperium.

Kymar
10-07-2006, 18:23
Humanist 41K? Yankies and Brits? What exactly are you upset about?

Fluff is just a fun story to explain why your armies are fighting each other. You don't have to have fluff to play Risk or Shogun, but its fun to have a story behind it all.

And as many have said already, 40k is much darker then it used to be. Heck just look at it ruleswise, Imperium & Eldar used to be able to ally in the same army list, but not anymore.

Inquisitor S.
10-07-2006, 18:34
Have you read Cities of Death? The Tau aren't the good guys, either. They just have better propaganda then the Imperium.

The Imperium just doesn't bother to produce propaganda for xenos scum ;), and their own people get so much indoctrination and propaganda each day...


Probably it's portrayal of some of the Primarchs as relatively stupid (eg Magnus), the Imperial Webway, making the fall of Fulgrim less dramatic (possession), and the re-spec'd Council of Nikea. There are other details people don't like, of course. Me, I prefer to roll with these punches....
Well I definitively have more problems with the whole Tau-beats-everyone and C'Tan-did-it issues than withe illumination of some aspects of the most interesting aspect of Imperial history.

Captain Stern
10-07-2006, 18:38
You're dead right. I like Dan Abnett's books but I agree with you that he's contributed significantly to the transformation of the Imperium into a much more humane place to live in. I think Graham Macneil's the bigger culprit though. A while ago I read Nightbringer. The portrayal of the ultramarines as humane, gentle giants almost made me puke. Gone are the days when space marines (and, yes, ultramarines too) were psychopathic killing machines. Unfortunately, Macneil and Abnett seem to be the primary background writers at the moment, so there's no wonder it's in the state it's in.

Minister
10-07-2006, 20:08
What you're describing is the shift from 1st to 2nd edition over a decade ago. Hardly something new, is it?

Gen.Steiner
10-07-2006, 20:09
...slaaneesh is supposed to be the god of sexual deviance...

I take exception to this simplistic viewpoint, sir! Slaanesh is the god of pleasure, which can mean a cigar and a glass of port in the evening to a good film to going to an art gallery. Sex and all that goes with it is just a small part of the Prince/ss of Pleasure's remit.

EarthScorpion
10-07-2006, 20:42
You're dead right. I like Dan Abnett's books but I agree with you that he's contributed significantly to the transformation of the Imperium into a much more humane place to live in. I think Graham Macneil's the bigger culprit though. A while ago I read Nightbringer. The portrayal of the ultramarines as humane, gentle giants almost made me puke. Gone are the days when space marines (and, yes, ultramarines too) were psychopathic killing machines. Unfortunately, Macneil and Abnett seem to be the primary background writers at the moment, so there's no wonder it's in the state it's in.

I don't know about the Ultramarines. Even in the 2nd edition, they, along with the Blood Angels, Space Wolves and Salamanders (although I may be going into IA for that one) were more... humaniatarian than the other chapters. After all, GW have stressed for a while that Ultamar is one of the nicer places for a human to live, check the story in the 2nd ed. Wargear (I think) about the Blood Angels Sergeant during tSWfA, the actions of the SW in tFWfA, and the Salamanders IA.

If you want inhumane killing machines, check out the Marines Malevolant. Now those are seriously twisted.

Gen.Steiner
10-07-2006, 20:48
Flesh Tearers are pretty nuts as well - to the extent that the Guard refuse to fight with them.

The Ultramarines have always been the most humane, but that's relative, they're still fascistic theocratic oppressors. :p

The Space Wolves just admire warriorness, regardless of who you are, but I think they're the most urbane of the Chapters. Still scary people though - read Lone Wolves, for example.

GamesmasterZ
10-07-2006, 20:50
I know one thing, and one thing only about Space Wolves that I care to admit.

I know I want to go out drinking with them.

Andrew-

Gen.Steiner
10-07-2006, 20:52
They'd so drink you under the table! :p

Captain Stern
10-07-2006, 22:42
I don't know about the Ultramarines. Even in the 2nd edition, they, along with the Blood Angels, Space Wolves and Salamanders (although I may be going into IA for that one) were more... humaniatarian than the other chapters. After all, GW have stressed for a while that Ultamar is one of the nicer places for a human to live, check the story in the 2nd ed. Wargear (I think) about the Blood Angels Sergeant during tSWfA, the actions of the SW in tFWfA, and the Salamanders IA.

If you want inhumane killing machines, check out the Marines Malevolant. Now those are seriously twisted.

My point is, they're ALL supposed to be inhumane killing machines. 40k isn't 40k for me if space marines aren't inhumane killing machines. Despite what some have wrongly claimed, the vast majority of 2nd edition background on space marines had them being just as brutal as they were in Rogue Trader (well almost...).

A nice place to live in the Imperium isn't necessarily what you and I would think of as a nice place to live. The ultramarines in Nightbringer were just too much. They were help walk old grannies accross the street nice. Ridiculous.

Is the Blood Angels story you're referring to the one where a captain and 5 assault marines massacred rebel guardsmen with chainswords? Very humanitarian... The Space Wolves are the exception, of course, and rightly so. However, even they're no where near as nice as the goody two shoes ultramarines in Nightbringer. You're right about the Salamanders, there was no background about them in 2nd edition.

EDIT: Found the Blood Angels story you were talking about. I guess you have a point, though all he really did was empathise with the guardsmen a bit. I don't think he'd have kissed and cuddled them like Macneil's ultramarines. All the same though, it seem's the rot had set in earlier than I thought.

malika
10-07-2006, 22:48
Hmm I think this is something that would very much depend on the Chapter but also on the individual Space Marines. Another thing I would love to see explored is Space Marine megalomania. The Space Marines fight for the Emperor and humanity, but these are vague and abstract concepts which could be interpreted in many ways. Personally I prefere the Badab War to be Huron wanting to rule his own empire, believing that since Space Marines are superior they should rule humanity and the Imperium instead of these politicians on Terra....not everything has to be Chaos or C'tan related...

Kage2020
10-07-2006, 22:50
I'm just going to reply to the first point on this thread, so my apologies if there is some repetition with what people have suggested after that.


I've noticed that this seems to becoming a standard answer for when something doesn't fit into the fluff. There is no point in having any fluff if we can just bolt anything into it.
GW is just trying to cover its bases and attempting to deal with the fact that the product has significantly diversified since the initial focus on the wargame. The fact that BL is doing very, very well (despite the overall quality of their product which is, however, improving!), the forthcoming release of the 40kRP Dark Heresy suggest that the product is expanding. It just seems that despite their brilliant marketting strategies of the past that they are either reticent to abandon such models, are currently incapable of stepping up to the plate, or worrying about dilution beyond the obviously profitable base product.


40K is turning to generic tripe not only because the parent company is dumbing it down...
I would personally suggest that the "dumbing down" of the product has manifested itself more severely in the wargame rules under the aegis of making it "more playable". It's a good goal, since it expands the marketeable demographic beyond its arguable focus, but at the same time there are revival trends that have the desire to go back to the older, more complex systems. What 'fluff' changes mirror these take the same track: the introduction of mythic fantasy as a focus rather than, arguably, the root 'sci fantasy' aims of the product.

As to Abnett leading the "humanist version" of 40k? Again, I'm going to disagree with you. I would argue that for those familiar with the 40k universe there is a divide between the Image - that which the wargame books tell you - and what needs to be done to turn this into a (supposedly) interesting and dynamic story. In short, BL novels describe a 40k universe that is not prescribed by simplistic statements and somewhat childish approaches to the human experience.


...but because the fans are insanely intent on turning it into some generic space romp so they can fit any random idea that appeals to them no matter how contradictory it is to everything before it.
How does one respond to this? There seems to be this idea of a "pure product", the fact that the 40k universe is this pristine game universe that cannot be improved on, that is internally consistent or, even worse, that may not be improved upon or altered because to do so would devalue the universe itself. Twoddle, I say. Of course I'm going to say that, though, since my enjoyment of the 40k universe comes from actually using it for RPG purposes rather than just parotting it for a wargame or treating it as this pedastalled "wonderful thing".


So you can have caring assassins that email their girlfriends, people that behave just like Americans and Brits circa 1944, have Commisars who cry over the death of their troops, super advanced Imperial technology that they not only understand but improve upon, Marines with respect for human rights.
If you're going to take this tack, then one should also consider the alternative: that the humans of the 40k universe are, well, far too human. Despite the Imperium of a "million worlds" which offer a million or more different environmental, and therefore socio-environmental impacts on the "nature-nurture" argument, we are presented with this ham-fisted forced medieval outlook.

Which, then, is the more silly? The one that argues the variability of human experience and requires a core concept of "Imperium", or the one that assumes an inverse uniformitarianist stance whereby every is just your bog-standard human?


And the way people are approaching the fluff of late means that the fluff is a total waste of time and we might as well scrap it.
Perhaps it is time to turn it into a consistent background, then, rather than this melee of contradictory and implausible "Images" that define what many think of as 40k?

Kage

RampagingRavener
10-07-2006, 22:56
A nice place to live in the Imperium isn't necessarily what you and I would think of as a nice place to live. The ultramarines in Nightbringer were just too much. They were help walk old grannies accross the street nice. Ridiculous.

I liked them. It means you can actually write from a Space Marine's point of view and have the characters as being more than just killing machines which rattle out "Rrraarrgh we kill you now!" in response to every single situation or question. Yes, they're half-human warrior-monks who's only purpose is to destroy the enemies of the Imperium, but that doesn't mean they can't have some basic Humanity.

Graham McNeils characterisation of the Ultramarines is actually the only real novel I can enjoy reading with Space Marines are main characters, as in everthing else they just run around blowing things up without a care in the world. You could replace "Emperor" with "Abbadon" and it would make pretty much no diffrence at all, it's just a bunch of mindless automota killing things. At least in the Ultramarine books they're interesting characters.

cailus
11-07-2006, 03:35
Hey Calius, I agree with some points you make, but with others I dont. But perhaps you should check out the Anargo Sector Project (links in my sig) in which we try to give our interpretation of the 40k background, basicly combining various editions but also putting our own visions in there. :)


This sounds really cool. I just have to figure out a way to contribute to it.

cailus
11-07-2006, 03:44
For me, the fluff is actually getting better. The more relaxed imperium feels so much more real.

What as it is becoming a liberal democratic place populated by generic Brits and Yanks who are big on human rights, freedom and all that other modern stuff?

According to this sort of logic, non-Western cultures would never have even developed as many of them were not too "relaxed" (e.g. Indian caste system, Chinese Confucian system). And Communism did work under Stalin. It wasn't very pleasant but it did work. He did beat the Germans after all. And also the entire Western civilisation would not work either as up until about the 1600's it was brutal, feudal, collectivist (i.e. group orientated over the individual) religiously zealous and superstitious,

According to the little fluff I've read on the Imperium, it has little to do with modern liberal democracy. It is more akin to the "old" cultures, the ones that you imply could not have worked even though most of them have been around for a lot longer than the "relaxed" modern one you refer to.

In fact I'd say for the most part the Imperium would be similar to some of the Arab nations of today - feudal monarchies with heavy religious influence. Religious and political dissent are not tolerated and everyone has their own plac e in society. Dissent is brutally cracked down. Even technologically there are some similarities - for example the extremely modern Saudi military machine is mainly maintained by foreign "advisors," while many of the hospitals are also run by foreigners be they borderline indentured labour from Bangladesh and the Philippines to do the menial jobs such as cleaning or the highly qualified doctors, technicians and nurses from the West.

cailus
11-07-2006, 03:54
I liked them. It means you can actually write from a Space Marine's point of view and have the characters as being more than just killing machines which rattle out "Rrraarrgh we kill you now!" in response to every single situation or question. Yes, they're half-human warrior-monks who's only purpose is to destroy the enemies of the Imperium, but that doesn't mean they can't have some basic Humanity.

Graham McNeils characterisation of the Ultramarines is actually the only real novel I can enjoy reading with Space Marines are main characters, as in everthing else they just run around blowing things up without a care in the world. You could replace "Emperor" with "Abbadon" and it would make pretty much no diffrence at all, it's just a bunch of mindless automota killing things. At least in the Ultramarine books they're interesting characters.

I actually find mindless killing automata more interesting than "generic super hero tough guys who care."

Gen.Steiner
11-07-2006, 03:57
I actually find mindless killing automata more interesting than "generic super hero tough guys who care."

Then, er, have Space Marines be mindless killing automata.

The background is OURS, to play with as we desire. That way, I can have my socialist worker's paradise which tithes its Red Banner Guard units to the Imperium, and you can have your Space Marines execute that small girl who happens to be in the way, and Mr Fighting Tigers can have female Space Marines.

Or do you not like the idea that people can have their own ideas? Would you really rather GW pronounced from upon high about every single thing on every world in the Galaxy for a period of 10,000 odd years?

cailus
11-07-2006, 04:16
Ideas are good as long as they fit into the established background. This is my point.

Most people seem to ignore established background, and then say "but there's millions of worlds out there" when people tell them that their female hippy marines doesn't fit the fluff.

Adept
11-07-2006, 04:16
According to the little fluff I've read on the Imperium, it has little to do with modern liberal democracy.

You're right. Every planet (well, almost every planet) is run by it's own planetary governor which are, in effect, the royal emperors of those worlds.

How those governors run those planets is up to them, within reason. The actual administration of the Imperium is only ever going to get involved in the day-to-day running of a planet if that planet fails to meet it's tithes, or they (either the Administratum or the Inquisition) recieve credible reports of a negative nature (heretical factions forming, rebellion, alien activity, higher rates of mutations, etc).

If a planetary governor wants to have democratically elected officials run continents on his worlds, thats his prerogative. If he wants to keep his people happy, instead of indentured, thats his choice too. Thats why there is such a large scope for things in the 40K universe. There are over a thousand worlds in different stages of development, each run by individuals who can really do as they please, so long as they pay the rent.

Gen.Steiner
11-07-2006, 04:27
Ideas are good as long as they fit into the established background. This is my point.

Most people seem to ignore established background...

If GW can turn Ollanius Pius into Sanguinius, then Mr. Fighting Tigers can have his women Space Marines.

If GW can change the Established Background at one fell swoop of an artist's brush (bolters use caseless ammo! Oh... wait...), then Mr. Fighting Tigers can have his women Space Marines.

If GW can do what they like with the background... then so can we.

Alright, yes, there is a limit. But when people invent their own background, then there shouldn't be a limit - or at least not a particularly stringent one.

cailus
11-07-2006, 04:51
My problem is both with the established fluff and the fan fluff which feeds of established fluff.

The established fluff has been watered down into "good versus bad." And people see this and go along with it. So currently Abnett and McNeil's humane version of the Imperium prevails in both official fluff and unofficial fluff. Even the bloody Medusa campaign has humane objectives - save the poor workers. Compare this to other plot lines such as the 1st War for Armageddon when the planet's original inhabitants were sent to death camps and the planet repopulated.

Even names of things are being changed to appeal to the young or borderline illiterate. First we had Skitarii and now we have Tech Guard. And these guys are just like ordinary guard only they have more bionics. They no longer are lower followers of the Machine God.

My own prediction is that in ten years time the fluff with be that the Imperium is a really great place to live other than the odd evil selfish git who wants to ruin it for everyone and some evil spikey aliens.


And with your lenient limits, anything is ok.

I could have a Chapter of Marines who number 35 million (they don't follow the Codex), promote co-existence with friendly aliens (they're not zealous) and who utilise M-16 assault rifles because they think they are "cool" (they discovered the template on a pilgrimage to Earth). I am still adhering to lenient limits (they are Marines and they still refer to themselves as a "Chapter") Is this an acceptable fluff background?

Gen.Steiner
11-07-2006, 04:58
First we had Skitarii and now we have Tech Guard.

Um, the Skitarii have been the Tech Guard for a long time. In UK WD 192 there's a picture of the then newly released Ordinatus Mars being supported by "Tech Guard of the Adeptus Mechanicus".


Even the bloody Medusa campaign has humane objectives...

The Medusa V campaign involves the evacuation of the population... but it doesn't say what'll happen to them, and nor does it override the First War of Armageddon's aftermath (about which, I might add, a certain Wolf Lord protested).


The established fluff has been watered down into "good versus bad."

I disagree. The Imperium is simply the home team, as someone else said. None of the races in the 40Kiverse are 'good'. They're varying degrees of "unbelievably vicious".

I also disagree with your take on Abnett (I've not read much of McNeill's stuff) - Necropolis's depiction of Vervunhive before, during and after the war is pretty depressing, and all he's doing is injecting humanity into the caricatures of "The Commissars Who Kill Peepul" and "The Guardsmen Who Die For Teh Emporer!11!" - yet his Commissars still execute people, his Guardsmen still die in droves (even fighting each other at the whim of Inquisitors or personal feuds) and become involved in crime, for example.

EDIT:


I could have a Chapter of Marines who number 35 million (they don't follow the Codex), promote co-existence with friendly aliens (they're not zealous) and who utilise M-16 assault rifles because they think they are "cool" (they discovered the template on a pilgrimage to Earth). I am still adhering to lenient limits (they are Marines and they still refer to themselves as a "Chapter") Is this an acceptable fluff background?

I would take issue with the numbers, certainly - more than 1,000 is fine, but 35 million definitely not. The use of autoguns and the co-existence with Xenos not so much, but I would expect them to be declared In Extremis Diabolis and be on the run from the Imperium (possibly while still loyal, a la the, er, Lamenters? No... what's the Chapter that uses Chaos to fight Chaos?

Outlaw289
11-07-2006, 05:11
And Communism did work under Stalin. It wasn't very pleasant but it did work.

Soviet Russia had a smaller GDP than Denmark throughout almost the entire course of the Cold War



On Topic: I think both sides of the "Too Nice" and "Just right" factions of fluff-readers are both a little biased. Current 40k fluff isn't as vicious or alienating or heartless as it used to be (old stories like the Marines murdering the refugess and the Guardsmen who hated everyone in varying degrees, starting from tenants in his apartment to fellow Guardsmen to Xenos), but its far from the "United Imperial Nations" with the Space Peacekeepers and the Liberal Guard

Its in a difficult middle ground at the moment. The loose-Imperium basis does allow for a lot, A LOT, of stupid fanfiction, but like its been said before, it isn't official. Just a little cliche

Gen.Steiner
11-07-2006, 05:17
Soviet Russia had a smaller GDP than Denmark throughout almost the entire course of the Cold War

LIES!

The five year plans were exceeded by 29,284% year on year throughout the existence of the Soviet Union! :p

*ahem*

Yeh, background... um...

cailus
11-07-2006, 05:20
Um, the Skitarii have been the Tech Guard for a long time. In UK WD 192 there's a picture of the then newly released Ordinatus Mars being supported by "Tech Guard of the Adeptus Mechanicus".

Whoops, I never saw that issue.



The Medusa V campaign involves the evacuation of the population... but it doesn't say what'll happen to them, and nor does it override the First War of Armageddon's aftermath (about which, I might add, a certain Wolf Lord protested).

That was the cool thing about Armageddon 1. One voice of humanity is drowned up by a ruthless Empire.

Now it's the odd ruthless git is silenced by an Empire that cares.



I disagree. The Imperium is simply the home team, as someone else said. None of the races in the 40Kiverse are 'good'. They're varying degrees of "unbelievably vicious".

Like the Ultramarines who become more "boy scout" with each successive Codex? Or the Salamanders who oppose the shelling of refugee camps even though Orks are hiding in them? Or the IG Commisars who in the rules don't execute traitors and cowards (Yarrick and Gaunt).

The home team is becoming increasingly the good guys.



I also disagree with your take on Abnett (I've not read much of McNeill's stuff) - Necropolis's depiction of Vervunhive before, during and after the war is pretty depressing, and all he's doing is injecting humanity into the caricatures of "The Commissars Who Kill Peepul" and "The Guardsmen Who Die For Teh Emporer!11!" - yet his Commissars still execute people, his Guardsmen still die in droves (even fighting each other at the whim of Inquisitors or personal feuds) and become involved in crime, for example.

Yet in Abnett's books , Imperial officers have trouble killing civilians or executing prisoners (e.g in Traitor General, even the bloody Traitor General has qualms over killing civilians). The religious aspect is totally toned down and the Ad Mech are pretty much non-existant down to the point where people modify sacred STC designs such as Thunderbolt fighters at a mere whim.

This isn't being realistic. This is pissing on the established fluff.



I would take issue with the numbers, certainly - more than 1,000 is fine, but 35 million definitely not. The use of autoguns and the co-existence with Xenos not so much, but I would expect them to be declared In Extremis Diabolis and be on the run from the Imperium (possibly while still loyal, a la the, er, Lamenters? No... what's the Chapter that uses Chaos to fight Chaos?

The numbers are legitimate as the Imperium has no real limits on Marine numbers and the 1000 is only some vague archaic guideline that the the super efficient free thinking Imperial Administration simply ignores in favour of a more flexible approach. (Lenient limitation: there is an Imperium and there is an old guideline that says you can't have more than 1,000 marines). The Inquisition doesn't have a problem either because they are too busy suing certain high ranking officials for openly worshipping Chaos (lenient limitation: there is an Inquisition whose jobs is to prevent heresy).

I hope you see my point about lenient limitations.

Outlaw289
11-07-2006, 05:29
About the Space Marines that are really nice to other humans...

Um, why not? Aren't they the reason for the Space Marines to exist, to protect and guard the loyal and pious humanity from the countless filthy xenos and traitors?

I would expect a space marine to take an autocannon slug in the chest for the sake of a few civillians should they meet in a crossfire. I honestly don't see why some chapters wouldn't.


Of course, there should be exceptions to. Chapters where Marines crush civillians underfoot just so they can close with an Ork in close combat :p


Ad Mech are pretty much non-existant down to the point where people modify sacred STC designs such as Thunderbolt fighters at a mere whim.

In some book about Armageddon a Steel Legion Guardsman repairs a God-damned Dreadnought :eyebrows:

Adept
11-07-2006, 05:30
I could have a Chapter of Marines who number 35 million (they don't follow the Codex), promote co-existence with friendly aliens (they're not zealous) and who utilise M-16 assault rifles because they think they are "cool" (they discovered the template on a pilgrimage to Earth). I am still adhering to lenient limits (they are Marines and they still refer to themselves as a "Chapter") Is this an acceptable fluff background?

This thread originated with (I beleive) my own assertion that due to the un-regulated nature of planetory governorship, there was certainly a possibilty for different kinds of music.

The fluff can be very accomodating, and some areas are more so than others. Simply pointing out how one extreme scenario is beyond acceptable limits does not in any way invalidate other, less extreme examples.

Gen.Steiner
11-07-2006, 05:36
That was the cool thing about Armageddon 1. One voice of humanity is drowned up by a ruthless Empire.

That's still the case. Armageddon One remains in the background, and the fact that Medusa V involves a mass-evacuation does not mean that the refugees will be well treated or even survive any processing that takes place elsewhere.


Like the Ultramarines who become more "boy scout" with each successive Codex? Or the Salamanders who oppose the shelling of refugee camps even though Orks are hiding in them? Or the IG Commisars who in the rules don't execute traitors and cowards (Yarrick and Gaunt).

The Ultramarines are boy scout how, exactly? The Salamanders opposed the shelling, but the shelling took place. In contrast, the Flesh Tearers killed everyone in several refugee camps and are so brutal even the Imperium is wary of them. Commissars Yarrick and Gaunt still execute Psykers and don't have to shoot people because they make the units they join Fearless. Furthermore, on the page after Gaunt there's Mr Hippy himself, Col. Schaeffer. Truly a wimpy wishy-washy special character!


The home team is becoming increasingly the good guys.

So you keep saying, but your evidence isn't very good.


Yet in Abnett's books , Imperial officers have trouble killing civilians or executing prisoners (e.g in Traitor General, even the bloody Traitor General has qualms over killing civilians).

Yet they still do it. Vervunhive's West Wall Gate is closed, crushing hundreds, and one of the VPHC Commissars - the Hero of the Imperium - shoots several of the PDF tankers and drives his Leman Russ through a refugee column, crushing civilians without a qualm. In Traitor General the pro-Imperial rebels are abandoned by the Crusade Command, and in Straight Silver there's suicidal and wasteful massed infantry assaults a-plenty.


The religious aspect is totally toned down and the Ad Mech are pretty much non-existant down to the point where people modify sacred STC designs such as Thunderbolt fighters at a mere whim.

Not ... really. The Ecclesiarchy is still there, and one of the three-novel long story arcs revolves around a Living Saint, for crying out loud! The AdMech aren't as visible as they should be, but they are there, and even in other parts of the background there's evidence for battlefield modifications of STC vehicles - take the Leman Russ Thunderer for example, or the Land Raider Helios. IIRC, Mad Larkin is warned by a fellow trooper in Straight Silver that he should be careful with his scope recalibration, as it's heretical.

Furthermore, in Dan Abnett's Imperius Dictatio the AdMech is, as one would expect, always present!


This is pissing on the established fluff.

Rubbish.


The numbers are legitimate as the Imperium has no real limits on Marine numbers and the 1000 is only some vague archaic guideline that the the super efficient free thinking Imperial Administration simply ignores in favour of a more flexible approach. (Lenient limitation: there is an Imperium and there is an old guideline that says you can't have more than 1,000 marines). The Inquisition doesn't have a problem either because they are too busy suing certain high ranking officials for openly worshipping Chaos (lenient limitation: there is an Inquisition whose jobs is to prevent heresy).

I hope you see my point about lenient limitations.

The number of 35 million Space Marines is not legit, as it is larger than the Legions, which all the fluff agrees were significantly larger than even the biggest Chapter.

The Inquisition will have a problem, because the Ordo Xenos will find out if the Ordo Hereticus doesn't first - and even if the OH did find out first, their crime comes under the OX's remit.

I do, however, see your point, which is why I've already agreed there should be a limit... I just don't think it should be your limit of "IF GW HASN'T PROCLAIMED IT THEN NO, NO, A THOUSAND TIMES NO!" :rolleyes:

Kandarin
11-07-2006, 06:06
It's a bit of a mistake to say "The Imperium are evil", "The Tau are good", or related things. The Necrons and Tyranids are pretty clear-cut Evil, it is true, but the Imperium, Eldar, and Tau are neither good nor evil. They are completely amoral and self-centered. What this means is that individual Imperials, Eldar, and Tau may be either good or evil without stretching plausibility.

This doesn't mean that everything concentrates to an extreme and everyone in the Imperium is either a murderous psychopath or a veritable angel. That would just be silly. A sliding scale of contrasts gives the whole more depth. A hero is usually not interesting if he doesn't ever show that he, too, has chinks in his armor. A villain is not interesting if there's no sign of what he would have been like had he not turned to the dark side...

Gen.Steiner
11-07-2006, 06:08
Exactly!

The established fluff is that the Imperium et al are grey.

Varying shades, from purest white to deepest black - but mostly just grey.

cailus
11-07-2006, 06:09
The number of 35 million Space Marines is not legit, as it is larger than the Legions, which all the fluff agrees were significantly larger than even the biggest Chapter.

The Inquisition will have a problem, because the Ordo Xenos will find out if the Ordo Hereticus doesn't first - and even if the OH did find out first, their crime comes under the OX's remit.

I do, however, see your point, which is why I've already agreed there should be a limit... I just don't think it should be your limit of "IF GW HASN'T PROCLAIMED IT THEN NO, NO, A THOUSAND TIMES NO!" :rolleyes:

So according to you female marines are Ok but 35 million men in a chapter is bad?

As for the Abnett stuff, look at Double Eagle where the Ad Mech plays nearly no role and planes are maintained and modified by common soldiers. His take on Marines is also pathetic, such as the marines in Traitor General who are more useless than tits on a bull,

But then GW does this with Colonel Schaeffer's Dirty Dozen where they go into the Eye of Terror and easily slaughter a whole heap of Black Legionnaries.

Apparently a bunch of common murderers and thugs are more competent than 10,000 year old genetically modified super humans who have most likely also been further enhanced with daemonic abilities by their patron gods.

Regarding Ultramarines, they now care about people. They were always arrogant and barely could contain their disgust over common people (the story about the BA Sergeant waiting for the IG to get ready in the one of the 2nd ed books comes to mind).

A Marine's loyalty is to the Emperor, his Primarch and his Chapter. Marines are not guardians of humanity. This is what I liked about the Souldrinker novels and the Deus Encarmine/Sanguinius books as well as the Marines in Ian Watson's books. The Marines are obsessed with their dedication to the the Emperor, their Primarch and their Chapter. Killing innocent people doesn't even register with them. They are bloody thirsty, arrogant and fanatical killing machines.

cailus
11-07-2006, 06:11
Exactly!

The established fluff is that the Imperium et al are grey.

Varying shades, from purest white to deepest black - but mostly just grey.


The modern fluff is heading towards "good" IMO.

I liked the old "grey" fluff. I liked the disregard for life as long as the whole prospered idea.

The Imperium was meant to be a dystopia. It is heading towards some sort of modern Western humanism in the modern fluff.

Gen.Steiner
11-07-2006, 06:20
So according to you female marines are Ok but 35 million men in a chapter is bad?

Yes, exactly. I personally wouldn't have female marines, but if someone else wanted them, why not? It's not entirely beyond the realms of possibility, which the HURRR 35 MILLIONS MEN thing is.


As for the Abnett stuff, look at Double Eagle where the Ad Mech plays nearly no role and planes are maintained and modified by common soldiers. His take on Marines is also pathetic, such as the marines in Traitor General who are more useless than tits on a bull

Read Double Eagle. Didn't much like it, as a) Guard don't fly planes, and b) Cpt. W. E. Johns does air war fiction much better. However, those "common soldiers" are trained technicians, which to my mind means they're AdMech certified - just like the Engineseers of Guard Regiments, in fact...

Yes, I agree, Abnett's Marines are a bit wet, but then again when the plot and author is on your side, nothing can go wrong. Nothing. It's Stormtrooper Syndrome, that's all.


But then GW does this with Colonel Schaeffer's Dirty Dozen where they go into the Eye of Terror and easily slaughter a whole heap of Black Legionnaries.

Err... having recently read the 13th Legion omnibus, I have to disagree. This doesn't happen in any of Thorpe's stories about Schaeffer and the 13th. The WD BatRep where they attack the Black Legion ended up with three survivors of 13 figures... including a basically dead Col. Schaeffer.


Apparently a bunch of common murderers and thugs are more competent than 10,000 year old genetically modified super humans who have most likely also been further enhanced with daemonic abilities by their patron gods.

Like I said, they're not, because they're never shown to be.


Regarding Ultramarines, they now care about people.

Examples k plz thx!


They were always arrogant and barely could contain their disgust over common people (the story about the BA Sergeant waiting for the IG to get ready in the one of the 2nd ed books comes to mind).

It's in one of the books from the boxed game, I forget which. Possibly the Battles Book. Thing is, they still are. There's a short piece in a fairly recent WD about the Iron Hands where they execute some Guardsmen because they're taking cover from enemy fire.


A Marine's loyalty is to the Emperor, his Primarch and his Chapter. Marines are not guardians of humanity.

Still is, and yes they are, and have always been. They've sacrificed their own humanity to guard the rest of us. That's part of the whole "Loyalty to the Emperor/Primarch/Chapter" deal. They just take a rather, er, "We had to kill them to save them" approach to the job.


This is what I liked about the Souldrinker novels and the Deus Encarmine/Sanguinius books as well as the Marines in Ian Watson's books. The Marines are obsessed with their dedication to the the Emperor, their Primarch and their Chapter. Killing innocent people doesn't even register with them. They are bloody thirsty, arrogant and fanatical killing machines.

A lot of them, but there are exceptions which prove the rule. What is wrong with that?

Mantan
11-07-2006, 06:26
And Communism did work under Stalin. It wasn't very pleasant but it did work.

It's actually not called communism as communism is supposed to work completely differently from his regime. The name of his style of govt. is called either oppressive dictatorship or stalinism (I've actually read alot of stuff refering to stalinism govt, albeit I don't have links or anything.... :()


Or the IG Commisars who in the rules don't execute traitors and cowards (Yarrick and Gaunt).
In the guard codex, there is a Gaunt quote that says it was said prior to the field execution of his uncle. And the rules only disallow field executions because the squad is fearless with him. It doesn't say he won't kill traitors (is there a rule about guardsmen going traitor during battle? no.)


Yet in Abnett's books , Imperial officers have trouble killing civilians or executing prisoners (e.g in Traitor General, even the bloody Traitor General has qualms over killing civilians). The religious aspect is totally toned down and the Ad Mech are pretty much non-existant down to the point where people modify sacred STC designs such as Thunderbolt fighters at a mere whim.
So, you wouldn't have a problem killing innocents? I know I have issues with other people killing, nevermind me killing people. There is a thing called morals that still comes into play. Just because a scene is gothic, doesn't mean everyone is an emo, powerless humanitarian, or a ruthles
killing machine.

Ad Mech are pretty much non-existant down to the point where people modify sacred STC designs such as Thunderbolt fighters at a mere whim.


In some book about Armageddon a Steel Legion Guardsman repairs a God-damned Dreadnought
It's entirely possible that the adeptus mech. has almost no reach in some areas because it's a warzone or the inquistion prohibited their interference or they just don't have much of a hand because of a lack of nearby resources.

Maybe the guardsman who fixed the dread was a mechanic :P

cailus
11-07-2006, 06:32
Yes, exactly. I personally wouldn't have female marines, but if someone else wanted them, why not? It's not entirely beyond the realms of possibility, which the HURRR 35 MILLIONS MEN thing is.

Not really. It's all a matter of perspective.



Read Double Eagle. Didn't much like it, as a) Guard don't fly planes, and b) Cpt. W. E. Johns does air war fiction much better. However, those "common soldiers" are trained technicians, which to my mind means they're AdMech certified - just like the Engineseers of Guard Regiments, in fact...].

I have read it and those "trained technicians" are meant to be Ad Mech and not some "impure" guardsmen. And ev en guard flying jets is dumb. Wouldn't those people have simply been posted to the Navy or recieve ground combat training?






Err... having recently read the 13th Legion omnibus, I have to disagree. This doesn't happen in any of Thorpe's stories about Schaeffer and the 13th. The WD BatRep where they attack the Black Legion ended up with three survivors of 13 figures... including a basically dead Col. Schaeffer.

There was a story in WD about Schaffer raiding a Defiler factory in the Eye of Terror. Nearly all the Dirty Dozen die but they take out a lot of veteran 10,000 year old daemonically enhanced Chaos Marines along the way.


Examples k plz thx!

The Captain out of the G. Mcneil books is a very humane chap. And proper GW fluff describes Macragge as some sort of paradise.



A lot of them, but there are exceptions which prove the rule. What is wrong with that?

The exceptions are becoming the majority. The Angels Malevolent and the Flesh Tearers are noted as being cruel/insane. The implication is that the rest seem to be very nice chaps you can have tea and scones with. I noticed even the Black Templars seemed less insanely zealous in the new Codex. They seem rather timid compared to their older fluff.

Gen.Steiner
11-07-2006, 06:45
Not really. It's all a matter of perspective.

Agreed. And I think yours is too limited.


I have read it and those "trained technicians" are meant to be Ad Mech and not some "impure" guardsmen.

So they are AdMech technicians then? I was right!


And ev en guard flying jets is dumb. Wouldn't those people have simply been posted to the Navy or recieve ground combat training?

I think his idea is that it's because Phantine is a world with no more ground to speak of, so one Guard Regiment is equipped with Thunderbolts and stuff to make up for this. Abnett does say that it's the only Guard Regiment to fly aircraft, and it still relies on the Navy for transport and suchlike.


There was a story in WD about Schaffer raiding a Defiler factory in the Eye of Terror. Nearly all the Dirty Dozen die but they take out a lot of veteran 10,000 year old daemonically enhanced Chaos Marines along the way.

Which WD? I shall look it up.


The Captain out of the G. Mcneil books is a very humane chap.

Never read it, can't comment, but one man does not make a Chapter of saints.


And proper GW fluff describes Macragge as some sort of paradise.

In comparison with the rest of the Imperium. That's it. It's not utopia, it's not even Western Liberal Democracy. It's a slightly less violently oppressive regieme, because the Ultramarine Primarch realised that being nice to your servants means they're better behaved.


The exceptions are becoming the majority. The Angels Malevolent and the Flesh Tearers are noted as being cruel/insane. The implication is that the rest seem to be very nice chaps you can have tea and scones with. I noticed even the Black Templars seemed less insanely zealous in the new Codex. They seem rather timid compared to their older fluff.

I disagree. The exceptions remain the exceptions. The Black Templars are still a zealous crusading Chapter, and no-one wants to have tea and scones with Space Marines. Not only are they the equivalent of the Archangel Gabriel to a 10th Century peasant, but they're not called the "Angels of Death" for nothing...

cailus
11-07-2006, 07:10
So they are AdMech technicians then? I was right!

No, they are Guard techs. Similar to our own 20th century technicians. They had nothing to do with a sinister techno-phile priesthood, just like Air Man First Class Joe Bloggs is not a member of a sinister techno-phile priesthood.



I think his idea is that it's because Phantine is a world with no more ground to speak of, so one Guard Regiment is equipped with Thunderbolts and stuff to make up for this. Abnett does say that it's the only Guard Regiment to fly aircraft, and it still relies on the Navy for transport and suchlike

It still flies in the face of established fluff. As I said these people could have been trained to become ground troops,or become IN pilots or even specialised airborne assault troops (ala Harkoni).



Which WD? I shall look it up.

You will have to wait tomorrow as I am at work right now I am having my little battle with you Tasmanian State Government time! :evilgrin:



In comparison with the rest of the Imperium. That's it. It's not utopia, it's not even Western Liberal Democracy. It's a slightly less violently oppressive regieme, because the Ultramarine Primarch realised that being nice to your servants means they're better behaved.

There is no reference that the Ultramar realm is a dictatorship. All it says that it is a peaceful society and the closest to some sort of paradise.



I disagree. The exceptions remain the exceptions. The Black Templars are still a zealous crusading Chapter, and no-one wants to have tea and scones with Space Marines. Not only are they the equivalent of the Archangel Gabriel to a 10th Century peasant, but they're not called the "Angels of Death" for nothing...


The exceptions are the zealot killer super monks and the rule is the nice Marines who care about people. You don't read nearly anything about the zealot killer super monks. Nearly everything written (Black Libary or White Dwarf) is about nice, sane Marines who care.

Gen.Steiner
11-07-2006, 07:26
No, they are Guard techs. Similar to our own 20th century technicians. They had nothing to do with a sinister techno-phile priesthood, just like Air Man First Class Joe Bloggs is not a member of a sinister techno-phile priesthood.

Mm, fair enough. That is stupid. Ah well... as I say, in Imperius Dictatio the AdMech are (omni)present, probably because the story deals with a Titan.


It still flies in the face of established fluff. As I said these people could have been trained to become ground troops,or become IN pilots or even specialised airborne assault troops (ala Harkoni).

One regiment is just an exception. I'm not exactly ecstatic about it, but given that the Elysians fly their own Valkyries, it would appear that a very few Guard units have some kind of Guard air support - but the Navy still owns space. In fairness to Mr. Abnett, the rest of the Phantine are drop troops.


You will have to wait tomorrow as I am at work right now I am having my little battle with you Tasmanian State Government time! :evilgrin:

I wondered what time-zone you were in... damn colonials... :p


There is no reference that the Ultramar realm is a dictatorship. All it says that it is a peaceful society and the closest to some sort of paradise.

Given that the Imperium is a totalitarian theocracy, and that Ultramar is home to a place of pilgrimage to millions (tomb-shrine of wossisface, the Primarch), I will be assuming that it remains fairly 'ardcore when it comes to worshipping the God-Emperor. Furthermore, being 'closest to paradise' in the Imperium really isn't saying much, is it? For all my protestations about socialist planets, the established background that you're so fond of is light on utopias and heavy on the 1984.


The exceptions are the zealot killer super monks and the rule is the nice Marines who care about people. You don't read nearly anything about the zealot killer super monks. Nearly everything written (Black Libary or White Dwarf) is about nice, sane Marines who care.

I've already cited the Iron Hands fluff. There's the Rusted comic on WarSeer which has collateral damage, and (having had a quick perusal of the stuff I have to hand) I think your definition of "care" is somewhat different to mine...

cailus
11-07-2006, 09:16
Which WD? I shall look it up.


It was in Aussie WD 288, p.52 or thereabouts.

Gen.Steiner
11-07-2006, 09:17
288, right, cheers. I shall have a poke about and see if it's in UK 288...

EDIT:

Yes it is, but you've kind of misremembered.

Everyone bar Schaeffer is killed or goes insane, and the majority of the Black Legionnaires are killed by a demon. Otherwise, it talks of them despatching a "few" CSM with "brutal effeciency" having caught them by surprise.

I would assume that melta blasts would slag a Space Marine, traitor or not...

cailus
11-07-2006, 09:51
But creeping up on a Marine is not an easy thing. Creeping up on several seems extremely difficult at best. And "few" implies 3 or 4 at least.

But I'll admit it I did mis-remember it. Though I still thought it was stupid. The Eye of Terror is meant to be a no-no for normal mortals.

And when you think about it, destroying a couple of glorified tanks isn't going to stop an entire army...

Bit I digress. I give this one to you General Steiner. But next time...

:evilgrin:

Gen.Steiner
11-07-2006, 09:55
Oh, it doesn't stop the army, it just slows them down a bit - besides, he melta bombs the factory itself...

Aye, it would indeed be hard to sneak up on CSM, but on a Daemon world ...

a) They're unlikely to be expecting Imperials,
b) the world itself might mask their approach,
c) a god (or minor god) might have helped them.

We could even postulate that the Star Child/God-Emperor hid them from the eyes of the Warp for a bit...?

And given that of Schaeffer and his hand picked twelve, eleven are killed and one goes irretrievably bonkers, with only Schaeffer escaping (because he's not more human than an Ork is I think), the Eye retains its Not For Mortals badge. :p


Bit I digress. I give this one to you General Steiner. But next time...

Victory! Wheee!

malika
11-07-2006, 10:36
This sounds really cool. I just have to figure out a way to contribute to it.
Well we have various themes of the background which have to be discussed to begin with. Some worlds have to be created/finished and we still have organisations (such as pirate warbands, but also commercial enterprises and the Imperial Guard) to be worked out.

I suggest you just take a look around on the forum and the wikiu page, join up on the forum and join in the madness! :evilgrin:

Minister
11-07-2006, 12:40
Regarding Ultramarines, they now care about people. They were always arrogant and barely could contain their disgust over common people (the story about the BA Sergeant waiting for the IG to get ready in the one of the 2nd ed books comes to mind).
That's what is known as irrelevant. The Blood Angels are not the Ultramarines. The Ultramarines are freponsible for the administration of the Imperium's most idilic worlds, where the population is united in the service of the Emperor. Indeed, the Index Astrates on Ultramar darkened down the setup conciderably from the Ultramarines codex of 2nd edition.
I have read it and those "trained technicians" are meant to be Ad Mech and not some "impure" guardsmen. And ev en guard flying jets is dumb. Wouldn't those people have simply been posted to the Navy or recieve ground combat training?The majority of unit servicing is undertaken by lay adepts, not the Mechanicus, throughout the Guard, Navy and Arbites. This is not new.

Also, since your argument is that "all new fluff is bad", we must ignore the development of the seperation of ground and aerospace and refer back to the original fluff on Imperial air power for Epic (I don't recall the issue off hand, but it was something around 188), in which the Marines, Guard, Mechanicus and Navy all maintained Thunderbolts and Marauders (although the Marines also had their Thunderhawks).
There is no reference that the Ultramar realm is a dictatorship. All it says that it is a peaceful society and the closest to some sort of paradise.The Realm is administered by the head of a military unit with no oversight from any internal or external civilian body. Fits the definition of a military dictatorship bang on.
The exceptions are the zealot killer super monks and the rule is the nice Marines who care about people. You don't read nearly anything about the zealot killer super monks. Nearly everything written (Black Libary or White Dwarf) is about nice, sane Marines who care.The population of the Imperium is its greatest resource. These people are the ones who serve the Emperor and allow the continued existance of His legacy. Killing them or allowing them to be killed is to cause or permit the damage of Imperial property. Would you advocate that the Marines also shoot up every bit of Imperial architecture when they land? Perhaps you would like them to take time out from doing their jobs so that they can go and kick puppies and conduct live fire exercises in maternity wards? They protect loyal servants of the Emperor as part of their service to the Imperium, as they have always done.

Of course, they still come down like the proverbial Angels of Death on those who cease to be loyal servants. See page 3 of the old Marine codex (3rd editon) for the best example of this.

Minister
11-07-2006, 12:44
In fact, a request for clarrification, if you would be so kind? Which era was, in your opinion, the definitive one? If it is Rogue Trader, you really should have made your arguments earlier. If 2nd, I feel you lack a leg to stand on personally. If 3rd, the matter becomes somewhat tenuous as 4th has not yet fully developed.

Dspankdo
11-07-2006, 13:04
I take exception to this simplistic viewpoint, sir! Slaanesh is the god of pleasure, which can mean a cigar and a glass of port in the evening to a good film to going to an art gallery. Sex and all that goes with it is just a small part of the Prince/ss of Pleasure's remit.

Sex a small part of pleasure, recant you cad you bounder or i shall send lucius
to run you through.

Captain Stern
11-07-2006, 13:22
"...To be a man in such times is to be one amongst untold billions. It is to live in the cruelest and most bloody regime imaginable...."
-Codex Imperialis

I'm not really sure what you're arguing about any more. 40K was a pretty terrible place to live in, across the board. The Imperium wasn't really a shade of gray at all. More of a pale black. There's no disputing this, I'm sorry.

Gen.Steiner, what are you trying to argue here? Are you saying that your ideas about 40K have always been possible within the sphere of pre 3rd edition 40K? If you are, then you're propagating falsehoods. That simple. If you're not, and your ideas are based on the revised 3rd edition background then you're right, the Imperium is more of a shade of gray, a human empire where there are inhospitable and hospitable worlds to varying degrees. This is certainly not what 40K used to be like, and that's what people such as cailus and myself have taken issue with. So again, I don't know what we're arguing about.

Concerning Space Marines (from a pre 3rd edition perspective). They were CREATED to defend humanity, yes. But that's not exactly what they do anymore. That noble ideal has been distorted over ten thousand years. They now fight unquestioningly for the Emperor and, because of the rigorous mind conditioning they receive, never ask themselves why this is so, . They also fight for 'humanity' but not for 'humans' per se. No, at most, they fight for the idea that is humanity, as some sort of obscure abstract. So, at least before 3rd edition, yes, space marines would do such things as cleanse a pediatric hospital if there was even a hint of Chaos about the place. A space marine wouldn't give his life to save that of an ordinary human, or even a thousand ordinary humans. There's no question that any space marine commander would be for shelling a village of people if there were orks amongst them. No question! This is indisputably how space marines WERE before the rise of Macneil, Abnett and co.

I don't particularly like the stance taken by some, that 40k is open to a large amount of interpretation. It destabilizes the established background. That there could be female space marines in the Imperium certainly wasn't possible in the past, but with Macneil around I'm not so sure any more. That would be the final nail in the coffin for me. The trouble with leaving something open to a large amount of interpretation is that ideas contrary to the established ones start to spread and gain purchase, eventually usurping what came before. This is especially sad when some ideas are down right silly.

For example (not that this is one of the silly ones I mentioned above), and maybe this is just me being paranoid, but Kage2020 was the first person I ever came across that interpreted the weird and wonderful attributes of the primarchs as being merely a romantic (I don't know what the right term is) idea of what they were actually like, based on far more mundane truths (He has since made many converts!). An example - Sanguinius had no wings but he often went to battle using a jump pack. Magnus wasn't so huge, and wasn't cyclopean in a natural sense. Rather it was because he'd lost an eye in a battle or an accident. After ten thousand years, in a theocratic society, it's only inevitable, he'd argue, that the people would see the Primarchs as fantastical angel like beings with fantastical attributes to match. Anyway, I read False Gods, a book by an author who's been known to visit this forum, and, lo and behold, Magnus the Red is the same size as Horus, is not cyclopean in the classic sense, his one good eye is in the conventional socket underneath the brow bone, and the other socket lies empty with a scar running through it... See? It's the power of memes (I think that's what you call it).

Jedi152
11-07-2006, 13:40
I always saw marines as mindless killers; Genetically engineered machines of destruction.

The problem then being that they weren't very interesting - GW couldn't churn out hundreds of novels about them to be gobbled up by the greedy masses, so they were changed. See?

Lord Dante
11-07-2006, 14:32
I think Space Marines were created to carry the crusade of mankind across the galaxy and unite all the 'lost' human races - thats was the great crusade.

in the recent Heresy books by Dan and Mc,Neil thats how they outline the story. The dynamic of the marines is interesting, as the crusade closes they question what will they do? they are childish in nature, they know only one thing, how to kill, what would thier place be in a peacefull society... luckily for them Chaos whispered in Horus's ear. WAR!

Son of the Lion
11-07-2006, 14:45
Ah yes. This ol' chestnut. Cailus and I locked horns over the 'expanded realm of possibility' and the various faux pas of various BL authors a little while ago. What I tried to stress to you (cailus) then, is that overall I totally agree with you about the trend in polarisation of good and bad in 40k - it blows. I disagree that the 'uncaring universe' feel has gone altogether, but it is (in the BL titles at least) too often contradicted/overridden by the neccesities of creating characters we (the readers) can empathise with.
As I've often said, I don't think authors or fans should be slammed/abused for being imaginative as long as they don't go totally against the grain of what 40k should be. The danger, and I guess what you're really objecting to, is that too much of this flexible attitude towards the fluff will result in subversion of the imagery, resulting in an overly simplified good vs. evil universe and a loss of the 'gritty' feel.
Fair enough, I'm with you on that, but I think you could have gone about making your point in a slightly clearer (and less provocative) way. After all, most people get in to 40k to explore their own imaginations as much as to enjoy the existing background. Being told that they are effectively ruining the hobby is bound to raise a few hackles. ;)

Gen.Steiner
11-07-2006, 15:44
"...To be a man in such times is to be one amongst untold billions. It is to live in the cruelest and most bloody regime imaginable...."
-Codex Imperialis

This has always applied to the Imperium in general. Specific worlds may vary. After all, some people always have it good in even the most horrendous dictatorships.


I'm not really sure what you're arguing about any more. 40K was a pretty terrible place to live in, across the board. The Imperium wasn't really a shade of gray at all. More of a pale black. There's no disputing this, I'm sorry.

There is disputing it - you can tell, because I am disputing it. The Imperium isn't 99.9% EEEEVIL. It's swings and (very) bloody roundabouts. There are good bits and bad bits. For every few Hive Worlds with uncaring despots and downtrodden masses, there's a Garden World with caring despots. Some worlds have "democratically elected" Planetary Governors. Others don't. Some are ruled by Space Marines, some by Cardinals, some by Fabricator-Generals.


Gen.Steiner, what are you trying to argue here? Are you saying that your ideas about 40K have always been possible within the sphere of pre 3rd edition 40K? If you are, then you're propagating falsehoods.

I disagree, very strongly, particularly as you've just accused me of lying. Even in 2nd Edition (I wasn't around for Rogue Trader), people like Gav Thorpe and Andy Chambers were saying, quite clearly, in White Dwarf, that the background was open to interpretation, that the galaxy is vast, and pretty much anything goes. Thus, I feel that it has always been possible to have (say) a fascist world ruled with an iron fist where the ideal New Fascist Man is seen as the God-Emperor, and on the other hand a world which elects its Governor - in just the same way as there are different tech levels and types of world, there are different societies. That they are all part of a massive, totalitarian theocratic dictatorship is not in dispute - but the High Lords of Terra genuinely do not care how a planet runs itself so long as its tithes are met and it remains loyal to the God-Emperor.


Concerning Space Marines (from a pre 3rd edition perspective). They were CREATED to defend humanity, yes. But that's not exactly what they do anymore. That noble ideal has been distorted over ten thousand years ... they fight for the idea that is humanity, as some sort of obscure abstract. So, at least before 3rd edition, yes, space marines would do such things as cleanse a pediatric hospital if there was even a hint of Chaos about the place. A space marine wouldn't give his life to save that of an ordinary human, or even a thousand ordinary humans. There's no question that any space marine commander would be for shelling a village of people if there were orks amongst them. No question! This is indisputably how space marines WERE before the rise of Macneil, Abnett and co.

They still are like this. In fact, the Ultramarines were arguably more wishy-washy in Codex: Ultramarines than they are in the current edition of Codex: Space Marines.


I don't particularly like the stance taken by some, that 40k is open to a large amount of interpretation. It destabilizes the established background. That there could be female space marines in the Imperium certainly wasn't possible in the past...

Then you need to take that up with Mr Fighting Tigers, who's had his female Space Marines since Rogue Trader.


The trouble with leaving something open to a large amount of interpretation is that ideas contrary to the established ones start to spread and gain purchase, eventually usurping what came before. This is especially sad when some ideas are down right silly.

Amazingly, this is what happens in the academic discipline of history. There is an accepted version of events, then someone challenges it, and they, using evidence and reasoning, change the accepted version. We get closer to the truth. I feel this is what people can do to the ten thousand year history of the Imperium which every canonical source acknowledges is patchy, has huge bits missing, bits out of order, confused, and involves downright lies and inventions as well as fact and truth.


For example (not that this is one of the silly ones I mentioned above), and maybe this is just me being paranoid, but Kage2020 was the first person I ever came across that interpreted the weird and wonderful attributes of the primarchs as being merely a romantic (I don't know what the right term is) idea of what they were actually like, based on far more mundane truths (He has since made many converts!). An example - Sanguinius had no wings but he often went to battle using a jump pack. Magnus wasn't so huge, and wasn't cyclopean in a natural sense. Rather it was because he'd lost an eye in a battle or an accident. After ten thousand years, in a theocratic society, it's only inevitable, he'd argue, that the people would see the Primarchs as fantastical angel like beings with fantastical attributes to match. Anyway, I read False Gods, a book by an author who's been known to visit this forum, and, lo and behold, Magnus the Red is the same size as Horus, is not cyclopean in the classic sense, his one good eye is in the conventional socket underneath the brow bone, and the other socket lies empty with a scar running through it... See? It's the power of memes (I think that's what you call it).

I think you're just being paranoid. Even if you're not - so what? As far as the 40K background is concerned, it's all just a new approach to the 10,000 year history of the Imperium. Think of the Kage 2020 people as being one group of historians, and you, Cailus, et al, as another.

In the end, of course, it really doesn't bloody matter because it's a game and if I want to have female Space Marines to increase my enjoyment of the game, then I damn well will, and up yours to all those who say I can't. And the reverse is true. See some background you don't like? Ignore it! Dismiss it! Just don't take offence at it!

Captain Stern
11-07-2006, 16:45
The problem here, General, is that I (and I don't think I'm the only one) don't consider 40k to be the big egalitarian mess that you consider it to be. I don't consider the 'interpretations' of fans to be on an equal footing with what's written by the studio and the proffesional authors. I have to consider them as canon (even when I don't want to). That's why I'm saddened to see the prevailing trend of authors describing the Imperium as a much more humane place than it used to be.

To me, your interpretations of various aspects of the 40k universe just aren't valid. Sometimes they're just plain wrong (like your claim that for every horrible hive world there's a lovely garden world.)

And I do take offence a little. I can't help but feel that anyone who doesn't agree with your assertion that everything in official 40k publications is open to wild interpretation and dispute gets browbeaten into submission.

Iuris
11-07-2006, 17:31
According to this sort of logic, non-Western cultures would never have even developed as many of them were not too "relaxed" (e.g. Indian caste system, Chinese Confucian system). And Communism did work under Stalin. It wasn't very pleasant but it did work. He did beat the Germans after all. And also the entire Western civilisation would not work either as up until about the 1600's it was brutal, feudal, collectivist (i.e. group orientated over the individual) religiously zealous and superstitious,

According to the little fluff I've read on the Imperium, it has little to do with modern liberal democracy. It is more akin to the "old" cultures, the ones that you imply could not have worked even though most of them have been around for a lot longer than the "relaxed" modern one you refer to.

In fact I'd say for the most part the Imperium would be similar to some of the Arab nations of today - feudal monarchies with heavy religious influence. Religious and political dissent are not tolerated and everyone has their own plac e in society. Dissent is brutally cracked down. Even technologically there are some similarities - for example the extremely modern Saudi military machine is mainly maintained by foreign "advisors," while many of the hospitals are also run by foreigners be they borderline indentured labour from Bangladesh and the Philippines to do the menial jobs such as cleaning or the highly qualified doctors, technicians and nurses from the West.

I'm not disputing that the imperium is overwhelmingly a dictatorship. I do however know, that dictatorships do not have everything under control and that if things work reasonably well, people are left alone. I know that under the guise of theological debate most differentiated points of view can be exchanged. I knwo that a criminal underclass forms.

The Imperium only pretends to be completely ordered. Take a little bit better look, and it turns into chaos. Look at the Necromundan underworld, where no one could possibly claim control. If the Imperium is so in power, why does the 2nd ed. wargeat book tell us that the majority of citisens carry at least a sword for self protection?

And by the way, even in Iran, prostitution thrives. Just the "uniform" changes. And in Stalinist Russia, even while there were public demonstration agains Einstein's theories (destructibility of matter into energy didn't quite match materialistic praecepts), nuclear physicists worked on Russia's first A bomb...

Icarus
11-07-2006, 20:37
I think a lot of the reason that some elements of the Imperium are now perceived as "softer" or more humane is more because as time as gone the fluff has been extrapolated upon. We started with "everythings terrible, everyones at war and we're all one step away from death". But then when you scratch the surface this ultimate dystopia simply isn't possible, at least not on the time scale that is described. It becomes clear that there must be people who ae not fighting, maintaining a huge population with their reproduction and labour.

Similarly, images of space marines as brutal automatons have existed since the early days of the fluff, but so too have been pieces of information like Guilliman was keen on building up the planets he conquered. The two pieces of information don't seem to tally, so future fluff tends to fill in the gaps, saying that yes Space Marines are killing machines, but some chapters take their duty as defenders of humanity more seriously than others.

As has been said, the Imperium is all shades of grey. More recent fluff has I feel added both more black and more white, showing some of the utterly appaling things that happen within the Imperium, but has also shown characters demonstrating heroism and morality.

Gondorian
11-07-2006, 20:58
In regard to space marines,

The Iron Hands are famous for their hatred of weakness and show no mercy to those around them that they percieve weak, even another Iron Hand.

The Salamanders, on the other hand, spent part of their time warring on armeggeddon making vital repairs to certain parts of the cities and even launching certain missions to protect the massive civillian populations. They are known for minimising collateral damage to civilians if they can and have often helped to support them when other chapters have not been concerned. I doubt that the Iron Hands would have been as concerned.

Not all space marines are the same.

When reading fan fiction you will inevitably get some crap stories, even then I admire the fact that someone has taken the time and effort and everyone percieves things differently. Each person has their own story of how things work in their head and my view is that people are entitled to their own opinions.

cailus
11-07-2006, 23:13
I have to say that I hate the direction the fluff is heading in.

I initially liked and still do like 40K because it offered a totally dystopian version of the future. I hate crap like Star Trek and Star Wars where everyone is predominantly "good" with the the bad guys being few (even in Star Wars there is an assumption that everyone is "good" other than the obviously "evil" ones). It's a utopian view of humanity that doesn't reflect the realities of humanity.

My own experience with people is that they are generally darker shades of gray. They are selfish and self-serving. I come from what was then known as Yugoslavia and was shot at by people who were once my neighbours. I grew up in Australian neighbourhoods where crime and drugs were rampant. And as I climbed the social scale I saw that the middle classes weren't much better. I worked in accountancy and stockbroking where people were the epitome of greedy backstabbers who only cared about themselves. A lot of my middle class "friends" turned out to be nothing of the sort. And now I work for the government and deal with umpteen amounts of red tape (latest one was Form 56, which means nothing but you get fined between AUD$10,000-$50,000 if you don't comly with it) and people who are busy creating little empires at the expense of services they are meant to be helping deliver such as aged care and nursing. I live in a society where people don't care that their rights are being dismantled (you can now be held without charge in Australia and our workers' rights are being stripped) and don't care about the wars being waged in their names (Afghanistan and Iraq) as long as they can afford a huge television and an even bigger 4WD. No-one cares that millions are starving or dying from curable diseases or that countries such as Colombia, Zimbabwe and Sudan are tearing themselves apart.

And every now and again you come across a genuinely good person who cares about others and do things because it will help someone.

This is the 40K world in a nutshell - war, greed, social decay, manipulation, bureaucratic red tape, apathy and just every now and again, a decent human being. It is a reflection of our own world (expand "our own world" to include everywhere people live and not just the West where you live).

The Imperium of the 40K universe is slowly drifitng away from that. It is becoming more and more "good."

And this change in background along with GW own moronic and greedy policies are pushing me away from the hobby.

Wraithbored
12-07-2006, 00:15
I'll just say this the core fluff and feel have remained largely unchanged, the people have however written fluff for themselves because they want to to rise their creation from the faceless morass. It's not good or bad it's just a way to do a thing they likey. My 2 cents anyway..

bertcom1
12-07-2006, 00:32
I think that there is only room within limits for ideas.

Otherwise, it becomes "The Imperium is a terrible place, except for Ultramar, and Fenris, and Nocturne, and..... well come to think of it, everywhere is pretty good"


Something that should be made more apparent is the irony in being humanitarian.

For Example, the Governor of a world is a lazy, greedy despot, and the population lives in poverty. The Imperial authorities do not care, as long as the tithes are paid.

In an otherwise identical world, the Governor is a benevolent, kind person, who saw the poverty and squalour, and set about improving the situation. The Imperial authorities notice this, and increase the tithe burden on the planet, leaving the population no better off.

In a third identical world, the Governor is a crafty, compassionate person, who understands the Imperial system. In order to allow the population the best standard of living they can, he does absolutely jack to reduce poverty. The authorities do not care, so long as the tithes are met.

Cruel to be kind. There should be more of that sort of thing.

I want more hypocrisy, scheming, infighting amongst all factions in 40k.

Wraithbored
12-07-2006, 00:36
I think that there is only room within limits for ideas.

Otherwise, it becomes "The Imperium is a terrible place, except for Ultramar, and Fenris, and Nocturne, and..... well come to think of it, everywhere is pretty good"


Something that should be made more apparent is the irony in being humanitarian.

For Example, the Governor of a world is a lazy, greedy despot, and the population lives in poverty. The Imperial authorities do not care, as long as the tithes are paid.

In an otherwise identical world, the Governor is a benevolent, kind person, who saw the poverty and squalour, and set about improving the situation. The Imperial authorities notice this, and increase the tithe burden on the planet, leaving the population no better off.

In a third identical world, the Governor is a crafty, compassionate person, who understands the Imperial system. In order to allow the population the best standard of living they can, he does absolutely jack to reduce poverty. The authorities do not care, so long as the tithes are met.

Cruel to be kind. There should be more of that sort of thing.

I want more hypocrisy, scheming, infighting amongst all factions in 40k.
Yes this als oa good idea, but what people seem to forget is these books focus on indivduals(which is understandable since few people here can percieve things from a viewpoint of countless masses, and therefore prefer the tale of A hero if you will), I still think that the 40k universe as a whole is still as horrible and oppresive as ever.

Kage2020
12-07-2006, 00:53
While I would agree that there has been a definite trend in the 'fluff' that I'm not overtly fond of it's still canon. With that said, I don't except something merely because some jobbie in Nottingham who happens to have a job for a single company says that it is true and right (though they rarely do that). I have, however, always been interested in using the 40k universe rather than just looking at it for the wargame or, even, just takling about it.

I'm afraid that I find less point to the thread than the 40k universe, though you have my apologies for saying such.

Kage

Adept
12-07-2006, 01:35
The problem here, General, is that I (and I don't think I'm the only one) don't consider 40k to be the big egalitarian mess that you consider it to be. I don't consider the 'interpretations' of fans to be on an equal footing with what's written by the studio and the proffesional authors. I have to consider them as canon (even when I don't want to). That's why I'm saddened to see the prevailing trend of authors describing the Imperium as a much more humane place than it used to be.

Perhaps the authors are simply describing some of the more humane places in the galaxy? After all, humans tend to have strong humane streaks, and happy workers are much more productive than unhappy ones. Even the slaves in Rome were better cared for than the 'free' citizens on some Imperial worlds.


To me, your interpretations of various aspects of the 40k universe just aren't valid. Sometimes they're just plain wrong (like your claim that for every horrible hive world there's a lovely garden world.)

Ratios are impossible to determine. But of course, there are bound to be planets that are pleasant to live on. Agri-worlds, continents given over to gardens for the planetary governor, feudal worlds with non-involved governors, and so on. Even tribal, stone age worlds are likely to be relatively peaceful and pleasant. Like living in Hawaii a thousand years ago. If you can get past the odd bit of tribal warfare, it's a paradise.


And I do take offence a little. I can't help but feel that anyone who doesn't agree with your assertion that everything in official 40k publications is open to wild interpretation and dispute gets browbeaten into submission.

It's not so much that, but the things which aren't specified. The quality of life in the Imperium seems to be the biggest sticking point for everyone here, and the GW team have made it quite clear that there are a lot of worlds in the Imperium, and they are not all run with an iron fist. Many governors don't even care, and it can be hundreds and hundreds of years between visits from Imperial authorities.

Picture Earth, as an example. We get 'rediscovered' by the Imperium, our military is beaten into submission, and they take us into the fold. First of all, they set up a planetary government, then they check for psykers and mutants, and then they leave.

They don't change anything else about our way of life, because they just don't care. So long as we meet our tithes and don't rebel, we can have our luxuries, our leisure time, our expensive appliances, our holidays in the tropics, etc.

This detatched form of government means there is the possibility for almost any kind of social structure within the Imperium.

Rpait
12-07-2006, 03:46
In my opinion the fluff is still mostly good, and there is more of an effort to get stuff for everyone. Examples for people who want more classic stuff:

Storm of Iron - Guardsmen shell their own (albiet accidentally), commissar execute for falling back from Chaos Marines, and the entire guard force is being fed carcinogens by the ad mech.

Fifteen Hours - Imperium doesn't care, sends worthless supplies, company of guardsmen is sent to the wrong world due to a beuacratic error, a general has half of his officers executed because they saw him have a tempor tantrum.

Eisenhorn, Necropolis - necropokis has allready been talked about, but Eisenhorn is a very believable and fluff accurate depiction of the fall of an inquisitor.

Kandarin
12-07-2006, 03:55
I do disagree with the idea that there's an even seperation between good and evil in the Imperium. For every despotic governor of a hive world, there is not a utopian leader of the people of a garden world. Human nature dictates that the former is much, much more common. This does not mean that the latter does not exist.

Take a look at the history of Earth. For every kind, egalitarian, king/emperor/president, there have been more who were despicable tyrants. Both groups, however, are overwhelmingly outnumbered by the number of kings/emperors/presidents who never really accomplished much, for good or ill. It's like that in the Imperium.

Overemphasizing the Imperium's more despicable aspects, just like overemphasizing its relatively few benevolent aspects, distracts from the fact that the Imperium is still mostly shades of gray.

cailus
12-07-2006, 04:57
A glance at history shows that benevolent regimes are few and far between. The period in Europe post-1945 is quite remarkable for its overall benevolence.

Remember even up to the 1930's National Guardsmen were shooting striking workers in the USA. Many parts of the country practiced segregation up until the 1960's.

And in this day and age, most people still live under squalid conditions mainly because to do anything to fix it would require drastic change in the fabric of society. And many democratic regimes are only democratic in name.

The old second and third worlds as well as historical regimes seem to provide a better blueprint for the various planetary governments of the Imperium than any 21st century Western democracy.

doubt there would be many true democracies in the Imperium if any. They might be similar to the idea of democracy in the past - basically the wealthy landed vote but the poor masses do not. The modern democratic ideal implies equality, free thinking, human rights and tolerance (not acceptance). In the context of the 40K universe, this could lead to a tolerance for extreme mutants and Chaos worship.

Adept
12-07-2006, 07:01
A glance at history shows that benevolent regimes are few and far between. The period in Europe post-1945 is quite remarkable for its overall benevolence.

Remember even up to the 1930's National Guardsmen were shooting striking workers in the USA. Many parts of the country practiced segregation up until the 1960's.

Certainly, but in many parts of the world at many different times civilians in many walks of life were able to live comfortably in relative happiness. Obviously, near every world will have an abused working class. Even in modern western society there are people living off a pittance and working their fingers to the bone just to pay the rent on their trailer park space.

My point, however, was that a significant number of worlds (again, it's hard to pin down specific numbers or ratios) will be at least comfortable for most of their citizens to live in. In the same way that perhaps ancient Rome was comfortable, or medieval/renaissance europe, or ancient Egypt. Not nearly as pleasant as a five star resort in the Bahamas, but pleasant enough. Not every world is going to be covered in fields of skulls, run by maniacal religious tyrants where the inhabitants work over one hundred hours a week for a bowl of gruel and some new rags once a month.

Those worlds will exist, and may even be a majority. But there will certainly be planets where the inhabitants can live in peace and relative tranquility, and go about their day to day lives.


doubt there would be many true democracies in the Imperium if any. They might be similar to the idea of democracy in the past - basically the wealthy landed vote but the poor masses do not. The modern democratic ideal implies equality, free thinking, human rights and tolerance (not acceptance). In the context of the 40K universe, this could lead to a tolerance for extreme mutants and Chaos worship.

I agree. Especially given the nature of planetory governorship, democracy would be an extremely rare thing, especially on a plantetary scale.

cailus
12-07-2006, 07:23
Certainly, but in many parts of the world at many different times civilians in many walks of life were able to live comfortably in relative happiness. In the same way that perhaps ancient Rome was comfortable, or medieval/renaissance europe, or ancient Egypt. Not nearly as pleasant as a five star resort in the Bahamas, but pleasant enough.

Those worlds will exist, and may even be a majority. But there will certainly be planets where the inhabitants can live in peace and relative tranquility, and go about their day to day lives.

Define pleasant, comfortable and relative happiness. For most people during the most of history, life has been a struggle. Up until recently most people lived in either subsistence conditions or under some sort of feudal system.

You had enormous child death rates, low life expectancy, high rates of illiteracy, were reliant on the seasons for your sustenance (bad harvest meant you'd starve), were prone to diseases including the plague and most likely lived in one room together with your entire family and whatever livestock they might have owned.

In many countries owning a pig or some chickens were a sign of being slightly better off even though these people still led miserable lives by our standards. The rich of course wallowed in their wealth.

However happiness was probably defined differently. The guy who owned a pig was probably very happy indeed as he had a pig (it's everything from a source of fuel to clothing material to even possibly food). And people accepted their place as poor peasants or later on as poorly paid workers and only revolted if pushed too far.
The people in the Imperium may live under a ruthless oppressive regime but it doesn't mean much too them because it is the norm and has been for 10,000 years. It's just the way thing is.

So you live your life working in some horrid factory as your ancestors did before you. You find happiness in the smaller things in life - wife/wives, children, the odd holiday you get (religion would be important for this) and the odd small luxury you can afford (e.g. eating meat or fruit every now and again). You would most likely be illiterate and would have been taught never to question. Society would have embedded the values of duty and loyalty to the Emperor as these values form society. This society would have had thousands of years to develop this way, much like our western civilisation has taken about 500 years at least to develop the values of democracy, human rights etc (these values are still not embedded in the rest of the world and this is why democracy often fails in it or is just a way of covering up dictatorships).

Adept
12-07-2006, 07:41
You had enormous child death rates, low life expectancy, high rates of illiteracy, were reliant on the seasons for your sustenance (bad harvest meant you'd starve), were prone to diseases including the plague and most likely lived in one room together with your entire family and whatever livestock they might have owned.

In many countries owning a pig or some chickens were a sign of being slightly better off even though these people still led miserable lives by our standards. The rich of course wallowed in their wealth.

You're describing the absolute lower class. The peasants. We all know these people exist in the Imperium. I'm positing that there may be the existance of a middle and upper class.


So you live your life working in some horrid factory as your ancestors did before you.

Why? If the entire population is pressed into indentured servitude from birth, who is buying the factories products?

Certainly a good portion of the population will be poor, malnourished, etc. But I imagine there also exists the potential for people who own things. Not just pigs, but businesses, land, and property. Not everyone in the 41st Millenium is a guardsman or PDF trooper. And not every planet is a forge world. Therefore, for all these factories and production facilities, and people spending thier lives serving, there must be someone buying the produce, and being served. Not all of them will be mega wealthy planetary lords. On some worlds, there will definately be a middle class.

scavenseer
12-07-2006, 09:56
:mad: Abbnett is the best writer the Bl has ever had the honour of publishing, go back to playing space crusade if you dont like the current fluff or if thats too 'nice' for you go read the tripe published by ian livingstone and steve jackson.

Adept
12-07-2006, 10:02
:mad: Abbnett is the best writer the Bl has ever had the honour of publishing, go back to playing space crusade if you dont like the current fluff or if thats too 'nice' for you go read the tripe published by ian livingstone and steve jackson.

Woah there cheech, pull your head in!

The very fact that Dan Abnett can be such a source of contention rules him out as the 'best' BL author, not that it's possible to objectively define best in this sense.

DantesInferno
12-07-2006, 10:18
The Imperium of the 40K universe is slowly drifitng away from that. It is becoming more and more "good."

Here's the crux of the thread, and I'm certainly not convinced that the Imperium of 3rd and 4th editions is any more "good" than its 2nd ed counterpart, in fact quite the opposite. As Minister pointed out, if there was a point where the Imperium became much more "good", it happened in the 1st/2nd ed shift about 10-15 years ago.

As a quick illustration, look at the difference between the 'noble hero leading and inspiring by example' Commissar of 2nd ed, and the current 3rd/4th ed Commissar who shoots his own men.

EarthScorpion
12-07-2006, 11:46
Except even that isn't as clear cut, as both still exist. Indeed, if you look at some of the modern stories that the people who seem to loathe 40k as it is hate, such as Gaunt's Ghosts (which I dislike not for the content but for the quality of the writing), it would seem to be a reversion to the original context.

Frankly, if you have an area of space that vast with that number of worlds in it any social condition cna be justified to have evolved. And I, for one, like it. I, for one, much prefer a universe where you can get a Feudal Technocracy, a Representative Democracy and a Self-Perpetuating Oligarchy in the same Imperium, all with totally different standards of living, rather than 3 "oh t3h noes1!!!" grim, mass-manufactured dictatorships. The near-infinite greys of teh human condition are far more facinating that the tedium of pure good verus the ultimate evil.

Open your mind to the possibilities. If we can generate so much diversity on one planet why should a whole galaxy of men be so homogenous?

scavenseer
12-07-2006, 12:02
Except even that isn't as clear cut, as both still exist. Indeed, if you look at some of the modern stories that the people who seem to loathe 40k as it is hate, such as Gaunt's Ghosts (which I dislike not for the content but for the quality of the writing), it would seem to be a reversion to the original context.

Frankly, if you have an area of space that vast with that number of worlds in it any social condition cna be justified to have evolved. And I, for one, like it. I, for one, much prefer a universe where you can get a Feudal Technocracy, a Representative Democracy and a Self-Perpetuating Oligarchy in the same Imperium, all with totally different standards of living, rather than 3 "oh t3h noes1!!!" grim, mass-manufactured dictatorships. The near-infinite greys of teh human condition are far more facinating that the tedium of pure good verus the ultimate evil.

Open your mind to the possibilities. If we can generate so much diversity on one planet why should a whole galaxy of men be so homogenous?

I swear to god, its as if people have lost the ability to read, Abbnett is the best writer in the Bl, he transcends such pulp as the Eisenhorne, Draco and Caine novels and do not get me started on the space wolves books!:mad:

Adept
12-07-2006, 12:36
I swear to god, its as if people have lost the ability to read, Abbnett is the best writer in the Bl, he transcends such pulp as the Eisenhorne, Draco and Caine novels and do not get me started on the space wolves books!:mad:

Oh good greif, what are you on about?

If you want to discuss the relative merits of Black Library authors, start a thread and do so. No one is even discussing Abnetts ability to write.

Overlord Krycis
12-07-2006, 13:08
I swear to god, its as if people have lost the ability to read, Abbnett is the best writer in the Bl, he transcends such pulp as the Eisenhorne, Draco and Caine novels and do not get me started on the space wolves books!:mad:

Wow there...! Take a deep breath, let it out and chill. :p

I agree that Abnett is a very good writer, but that isn't the point of this thread.
If you want to start a "Dan Abnett is the greatest!!! WOO!!!" thread: do so and leave this thread for its purpose.

Griffin
12-07-2006, 13:10
I would take issue with the numbers, certainly - more than 1,000 is fine, but 35 million definitely not. The use of autoguns and the co-existence with Xenos not so much, but I would expect them to be declared In Extremis Diabolis and be on the run from the Imperium (possibly while still loyal, a la the, er, Lamenters? No... what's the Chapter that uses Chaos to fight Chaos?

I think your thinking of the Relictors who use Chaos Artifacts, and were sent on a penetint crusade when it was discovered, as well as having to surrender all their artifacts.

Sephiroth
12-07-2006, 13:13
I swear to god, its as if people have lost the ability to read, Abbnett is the best writer in the Bl, he transcends such pulp as the Eisenhorne,

Um, Dan Abnett wrote the Eisenhorn trilogy... :eyebrows:

Griffin
12-07-2006, 13:21
Can we get back on topic

scavenseer
12-07-2006, 13:22
Um, Dan Abnett wrote the Eisenhorn trilogy... :eyebrows:

I apologise i forgot to write The Tanith series is better then in front of the list, sorry if i confused you........:p

Sephiroth
12-07-2006, 13:48
I apologise i forgot to write The Tanith series is better then in front of the list, sorry if i confused you........:p

If your suggesting the Ghosts series is better than the Eisenhorn Trilogy, I assure you, the only one confused is you. :p :rolleyes:

scavenseer
12-07-2006, 13:50
If your suggesting the Ghosts series is better than the Eisenhorn Trilogy, I assure you, the only one confused is you. :p :rolleyes:

Are you still reading peter and jane books then....:p

The ghosts series is the pinnacle of writing it should win the booker prize and the nobel prize for literature:p

Eisenhorne is hust boring.

scavenseer
12-07-2006, 13:51
Can we get back on topic

Sorry dad:)

Overlord Krycis
12-07-2006, 15:33
Well, this is certainly a meandering topic isn't it...?

Gondorian
12-07-2006, 16:46
Gentlemen, everyone has there own prefered authors for whatever reason be it the plot, the style etc.

You cannot say: 'Dan Abnett is the worst/best writer in Black Library' as fact. You can only say that in your opinion he is the best/worst. Arguing the toss is not the current subject of this thread.

Bear in mind that just as everyone likes/dislikes different types of armies, everyone will like/dislike different types of books.

Kage2020
12-07-2006, 22:23
Thank you, Gondarian for the tempered answer!

(With that said, I still say that Gaunt's Ghosts is formulaic, "warp porn" clap trap but there we go!)

Kage

Gen.Steiner
12-07-2006, 22:41
Some have misconstrued my comment about the ratio of pleasant to unpleasant worlds.

I assure you, I am quite aware that the vast majority of worlds in the 40K iverse are not fun places to live. What I was saying is that there will be places with a high quality of life. Comparatively speaking.

Finally, I'd just like to point out that regardless of the world there will be a class structure, and economics will be the principle driver... :p

cailus
13-07-2006, 00:17
You're describing the absolute lower class. The peasants. We all know these people exist in the Imperium. I'm positing that there may be the existance of a middle and upper class.

In the past most people were peasants and lived in rural areas. This is the whole "subsistence agriculture" thing I mentioned earlier. Industrialisation brings growth to city areas. If you look at countries that have low levels of industrialisation you will see that populations are largely rural.

As for the middle classes, they were a rarity in the past and are only a quite recent development brought about mainly by industrialisation.

I will use Indonesia as an example, mainly because it was a largely rural country that pursued vigorous industrialisation since the 1970's. According to the World Bank (http://web.worldbank.org/WBSITE/EXTERNAL/COUNTRIES/EASTASIAPACIFICEXT/INDONESIAEXTN/0,,menuPK:287097~pagePK:141132~piPK:141109~theSite PK:226309,00.html) Indonesia's urban population grew from 19.4% in 1970-75 to 43% in 2002. This is a result of industrialisation.




Why? If the entire population is pressed into indentured servitude from birth, who is buying the factories products?

You've just assumed they have a consumer based capitalist system.



Certainly a good portion of the population will be poor, malnourished, etc. But I imagine there also exists the potential for people who own things. Not just pigs, but businesses, land, and property. Not everyone in the 41st Millenium is a guardsman or PDF trooper. And not every planet is a forge world. Therefore, for all these factories and production facilities, and people spending thier lives serving, there must be someone buying the produce, and being served. Not all of them will be mega wealthy planetary lords. On some worlds, there will definately be a middle class.

I never said there weren't rich and middle class people in the Imperium. All countries have rich, middle and poor classes, It's the ratio of these classes and the wealth distribution that matters.

And once again you assume there is a consumer based capitalist system. You don't need such a system to have an economy.

The rich and middle class probably don't buy factory produced goods anyway and probably prefer items made by craftsmen. Factories exist to mass produce and would probably be aimed at producing items for the masses such as clothes, shelter etc. How these are distributed would depend on the planet. In some people might buy these items while in others they might be allocated to them by the factory instead of wages. Factories would also serve as suppliers to the Imperium and other factories or even planets. I think heavy industry would dominate over consumer oriented light industry.

My biggest problem with what you, Mr Abnett and a lot of other people are promoting is basically Anglo-America 40,000. There is no ackowledgement that other economic and cultural systems might be in place. In fact given the fluff that we have we can assume that most Imperial worlds are anything but consumer driven individualist orientated cultures.

From the fluff I think the Imperium would mainly consist of worlds that use borderline communist or feudal economic systems.

Culturally they would appear to be mainly collectivist and religion orientated. In effect the rest of the world provides a better blueprint for Imperial worlds than the Western world (i.e. Western Europe, Australia, NZ and North America) which everyone seems to think is what the Imperium would be like.

(Can you spot the guy who spent too much time at University studying international economics, history, politics and sociology? :D )

Gen.Steiner
13-07-2006, 00:20
My biggest problem with what you, Mr Abnett and a lot of other people are promoting is basically Anglo-America 40,000. There is no ackowledgement that other economic and cultural systems might be in place. In fact given the fluff that we have we can assume that most Imperial worlds are anything but consumer driven individualist orientated cultures.

From the fluff I think the Imperium would mainly consist of worlds that use borderline communist or feudal economic systems.

Culturally they would appear to be mainly collectivist and religion orientated. In effect the rest of the world provides a better blueprint for Imperial worlds than the Western world (i.e. Western Europe, Australia, NZ and North America) which everyone seems to think is what the Imperium would be like.

I heartily agree.

However!

There will be consumer-capitalist worlds in the Imperium, somewhere.

cailus
13-07-2006, 00:38
However!

There will be consumer-capitalist worlds in the Imperium, somewhere.

Most likely. However the standard view is becoming that Warhammer 40K is Anglo-America 40K.

Outlaw289
13-07-2006, 04:13
I heartily agree.

However!

There will be consumer-capitalist worlds in the Imperium, somewhere.

Worlds with food and plumbing? :eek:

Adept
13-07-2006, 07:34
As for the middle classes, they were a rarity in the past and are only a quite recent development brought about mainly by industrialisation.

Indeed. And they certainly exist. There is no reason not to assume people can live in similar conditions on various planets across the Imperium.


You've just assumed they have a consumer based capitalist system.

And once again you assume there is a consumer based capitalist system. You don't need such a system to have an economy.

People always pay for things, and no one does anything for free. It's not always money, and it's not always a free economy or anything like it. But you don't have a class of indentured workers without having a class of supervisors, and a class of 'consumers', or people who recieve the items produced by the indentured workers.


I never said there weren't rich and middle class people in the Imperium. All countries have rich, middle and poor classes, It's the ratio of these classes and the wealth distribution that matters.

Absolutely. No one should be denying that people can live in happiness and comfort in the 41st millenium. The only question should be how many?


My biggest problem with what you, Mr Abnett and a lot of other people are promoting is basically Anglo-America 40,000. There is no ackowledgement that other economic and cultural systems might be in place. In fact given the fluff that we have we can assume that most Imperial worlds are anything but consumer driven individualist orientated cultures.

There is room for anything in the Imperium. Only frequency is the question.

Personally, I don't see where you are coming from with the Anglo-America 40,000 angle. I've certainly never got that impression from the fluff.

Hellebore
13-07-2006, 07:49
One of the problems is that the novels written for 40k never use the stereotypes we know of when associated with certain elements eg commissars.

There is nothing wrong with creating different characters that go against the mold, but when you create this in ignorance of the original ideal, it makes it look like THAT is the stereotype.

What Cailus originally said holds some merit simply by dint of GW ignoring what they have previously written.

Basically it is like this:

GW creates stereotype for the Commissar- righteous zealot that kills his own men.

We all understand the stereotype and use it as a benchmark for that type of character.

They then publish novels/fluff with Commissars that DON'T do this- that go against the stereotype.

Those people who read this assume THIS is the stereotype- it becomes truth by omission.

Basically GW is saying "Yeah Commissars are like THIS, but we are only going to give you characters to read about who AREN'T".


When they get around to the stories, they create a nicer version, which contradicts with the fluff. When this is pointed out, the classic "its a big universe, endless variety etc" line is pulled out.


Intellectually GW seems willing to put their universe in the right light, when it is described like an encyclopaedia entry, but when they publish novels and stories from the world, the conveniently choose characters that are nicer to write about.

Eventually, when NO characters follow the original stereotype, the NEW stereotype becomes the norm. And the reason this is done? Money. Also, the big universe argument means that no one will EVER write a story about the GW stereotype, because everyone has to be different.

Hellebore

Gen.Steiner
13-07-2006, 08:29
In fairness, the Gaunt's Ghosts novels (for example) do contain Commissars who shoot their own men, as do the Ciaphas Cain series, and in the short pieces in White Dwarf there are such choice pieces as "Commissar [-] executed six men for desertion, and I want it on record that I argued against this decision" (in an article on Ork Clans - specifically in this case Blood Axes).

In Titan, the main character is put on trial for saving a Titan depot from a rampaging Ork warband, and at least one of the prosecution demands his execution.

The background is just as dark as it has always been. What other sci-fi wargame's in-house background includes concentration camps? I can think only of VOID, but even there it's just one power bloc of five. I am unsure about "Anglo-America 40,000", but I agree that the majority of the worlds in the Imperium will not be "liberal western democracies" c. 1950-2000.

Icarus
13-07-2006, 11:11
Most likely. However the standard view is becoming that Warhammer 40K is Anglo-America 40K.

No, thats just your view. I'd consider myself quite a fluff nut, and I struggle to find many examples of any form of capitalist behaviour going on within the Imperium. Certainly not within the Codexes, White Dwarf articles etc. The only place you may find references to this kind of thing is in Black Library novels, which I would recommened to always take with heavy quantities of salt! I consider these on be on the same level as books based on televhision series. They may be good and they may be not, but ultimately if they say something that is way off the established setting I would attribute it to bad writing or an error on the author's part. I certainly wouldn't take it as something had been changed in the the tv series and it was going downill.

(I should point out I don't really read books based on tv very often, but it is the closest analogy I could think of!)

jfrazell
13-07-2006, 11:53
Rogue traders are capitalists. I believe that kind of started this game...;)

Gen.Steiner
13-07-2006, 12:03
I always saw them more as privateers...

Minister
13-07-2006, 13:43
No, thats just your view. I'd consider myself quite a fluff nut, and I struggle to find many examples of any form of capitalist behaviour going on within the Imperium. Certainly not within the Codexes, White Dwarf articles etc. The only place you may find references to this kind of thing is in Black Library novels, which I would recommened to always take with heavy quantities of salt! I consider these on be on the same level as books based on televhision series. They may be good and they may be not, but ultimately if they say something that is way off the established setting I would attribute it to bad writing or an error on the author's part. I certainly wouldn't take it as something had been changed in the the tv series and it was going downill.

(I should point out I don't really read books based on tv very often, but it is the closest analogy I could think of!)
Not to put too fine a point on it, but how often does the game or the codicies based thereon go away from the battlefield? Not often, because it's a wargame. In a wargame, obviously, the emphasis is on the warriors and the war zones. However, the Navigis Nobilitae Houses, the Jopal Indentured Squadrons and the Free Traders all represent at least an economic structure based on a certain level of trade, even if it's the level one would find in a feudal society.

Icarus
13-07-2006, 14:49
Rogue Traders are. The majority of the Imperium, as fas as si described, is not.

cailus
13-07-2006, 23:27
People always pay for things, and no one does anything for free. It's not always money, and it's not always a free economy or anything like it. But you don't have a class of indentured workers without having a class of supervisors, and a class of 'consumers', or people who recieve the items produced by the indentured workers.

There doesn't have to be a class of consumer - as I said the entire Imperium could work as a form of massive communist system with government set quotas. Certainly the existence of Forge Worlds, agri-worlds and tithes seem to indicate that the Imperium decides what sort of activity a planet is to be engaged in on a macro-scale.

I also pointed out that the "consumers" (defined as people who can afford a reasonable standard of living) are rare and that they most likely acquire goods created by craftsmen and not cheap trash produced in massive factories.




Absolutely. No one should be denying that people can live in happiness and comfort in the 41st millenium. The only question should be how many?

My point is that the emerging fluff (especially from Black Library authors) indicates that most people live in a standard equivalent to our own. The Imperium then is actually more successful than most countries on our planet where the bulk of people don't live according to the same average standard as in the Western world.


Personally, I don't see where you are coming from with the Anglo-America 40,000 angle. I've certainly never got that impression from the fluff.

Nearly every bit of fluff shows that all Guardsmen are Anglo-American. In the BL novels, nearly all the people are Anglo-American in the way they think, the way they act and everything else. The core set of values that these characters display usually fits in with the generic Anglo-American view of a hero. And with Abnett's version of 40K taking over, everyone seems Anglo-American.

Taking just one book, Double Eagle, you can see this. The drunken priest who has lost his faith, the Apostles who are a bunch of very drunken English "old boys," the main fighter pilots who all fit generic Anglo-American stereo types and the mechanics who seem very British.

I remember reading in a White Dwarf about the Lareius Rift (spelling) and the small fluff they wrote showed the Tech Guard very much as generic Anglo-American soldiers. Yet would people that were raised from day 1 to worship the Machine God in a giant factory world behave the same way as someone from Britain or the USA?

In real life, people from different cultures and even sub-cultures think differently and act differently. There are rituals, customs etc that seem totally illogical to one person, yet are crucial to the person from the culture that those rituals etc belong to.

The modern authors rarely ever create a culture for their characters in the 40K universe.

cailus
13-07-2006, 23:38
One of the problems is that the novels written for 40k never use the stereotypes we know of when associated with certain elements eg commissars.

There is nothing wrong with creating different characters that go against the mold, but when you create this in ignorance of the original ideal, it makes it look like THAT is the stereotype.

What Cailus originally said holds some merit simply by dint of GW ignoring what they have previously written.

Basically it is like this:

GW creates stereotype for the Commissar- righteous zealot that kills his own men.

We all understand the stereotype and use it as a benchmark for that type of character.

They then publish novels/fluff with Commissars that DON'T do this- that go against the stereotype.

Those people who read this assume THIS is the stereotype- it becomes truth by omission.

Basically GW is saying "Yeah Commissars are like THIS, but we are only going to give you characters to read about who AREN'T".


When they get around to the stories, they create a nicer version, which contradicts with the fluff. When this is pointed out, the classic "its a big universe, endless variety etc" line is pulled out.


Intellectually GW seems willing to put their universe in the right light, when it is described like an encyclopaedia entry, but when they publish novels and stories from the world, the conveniently choose characters that are nicer to write about.

Eventually, when NO characters follow the original stereotype, the NEW stereotype becomes the norm. And the reason this is done? Money. Also, the big universe argument means that no one will EVER write a story about the GW stereotype, because everyone has to be different.

Hellebore

This is exactly what I am referring to.

This is where my example about Marines come into play.

Look at this scenario:

Fluff article 1 says that marines are zealot warrior monks who don't care about anything other than waging war on the enemies of the Emperor. They have no compassion or mercy. They are arrogant and have no qualms in killing innocent civilians in order to accomplish an objective.

Book 1 shows that Ultramarines are good and caring and are opposite to what Fluff article 1 states.

Book 2 shows that the Celestial Lions are also caring, humane etc.

Book 3 shows that the Space Wolves are also caring, humane etc.

Book 4 shows that that the Salamanders are also caring, humane etc.

Book 5 points out that the Angels Malevolent are inhumane and have no mercy. So this is the stereotype from Fluff article 1. But it's written in a form that indicates that the other Marine chapters were disgusted by this. And even the name given to the chapter is evil.

So in this case 4 out of 5 books directly contradict Fluff Article 1. And the only book that supports the fluff shows that this is actually not considered as normal, so it contradicts Fluff article 1 in a more indirect manner.

So therefore Fluff article 1 is invalid as everything else that is written about the topic contradicts it. And both GW and people accept that Marines are in fact humane, caring etc.

Son of the Lion
14-07-2006, 00:32
Agreed, but it's GW that are really at fault here. They should either change the imagery in the fluff (bad idea) or make an effort to reinforce the 'heartless' aspect of the astartes, so that the exceptions to the rule (ultramarines) are just that, exceptions. I think saying fluff is pointless is a little bit overly dramatic.

Whilst we're on the subject, I personally would like to see a return to the 'old' old-school marines from RT era. Souped-up ruthless shock troops with unusual warrior customs, rather than the overly gothic/ornate, 'every marine's a legendary hero' cack we've moved towards recently.

Icarus
14-07-2006, 00:45
Not to put too fine a point on it, but how often does the game or the codicies based thereon go away from the battlefield? Not often, because it's a wargame. In a wargame, obviously, the emphasis is on the warriors and the war zones.

Oh I'm not disputing that in that slightest. But we do get some insight into life into the Imperium, I'm just basing my opinions on those snippets we get. People of the view that the Imperium is represented as some kind of copy of Western Capitalist states can only get their view from the same material. My argument is that there is little evidence in that information that we do have to back up their view.

Adept
14-07-2006, 00:56
I also pointed out that the "consumers" (defined as people who can afford a reasonable standard of living) are rare and that they most likely acquire goods created by craftsmen and not cheap trash produced in massive factories.

Fair point.


My point is that the emerging fluff (especially from Black Library authors) indicates that most people live in a standard equivalent to our own.

What fluff? Again, I haven't got this impression.


Nearly every bit of fluff shows that all Guardsmen are Anglo-American. In the BL novels, nearly all the people are Anglo-American in the way they think, the way they act and everything else. The core set of values that these characters display usually fits in with the generic Anglo-American view of a hero.

Only because it's very difficult for a reader to empathise with anyone too alien to themselves. Guardsmen are touted as the most 'human' element of the Imperium. They're just regular joe's with a flashlight and a flak vest. So to make their thought patterns and language wildly different (as it should be, given the scale of the Imperium) would simply alienate the reader.


And with Abnett's version of 40K taking over, everyone seems Anglo-American.

Taking just one book, Double Eagle, you can see this. The drunken priest who has lost his faith, the Apostles who are a bunch of very drunken English "old boys," the main fighter pilots who all fit generic Anglo-American stereo types and the mechanics who seem very British.

I'm not really a fan of Abnett's work, so can't comment.


In real life, people from different cultures and even sub-cultures think differently and act differently. There are rituals, customs etc that seem totally illogical to one person, yet are crucial to the person from the culture that those rituals etc belong to.

The modern authors rarely ever create a culture for their characters in the 40K universe.

I agree, and it speaks to the lack of quality authors in the Black Library, but it's a common trend across all forms of fantasy literature. People need to be able to associate and empathise with the characters, so the characters need to be similar to them. Even in Star Wars, characters like Jabba the Hutt speak and think just like humans.

Adept
14-07-2006, 01:54
It's cheap genre fiction. If you want science-fiction where three-dimensional characters and cultures engage in thematically-significant activities and relationship go read Ursula K. Le Guin.

I'm more a fan of Phillip K. Dick and William Gibson, myself.

DantesInferno
14-07-2006, 02:01
Look at this scenario:

Fluff article 1 says that marines are zealot warrior monks who don't care about anything other than waging war on the enemies of the Emperor. They have no compassion or mercy. They are arrogant and have no qualms in killing innocent civilians in order to accomplish an objective.

Book 1 shows that Ultramarines are good and caring and are opposite to what Fluff article 1 states.

Book 2 shows that the Celestial Lions are also caring, humane etc.

Book 3 shows that the Space Wolves are also caring, humane etc.

Book 4 shows that that the Salamanders are also caring, humane etc.

Book 5 points out that the Angels Malevolent are inhumane and have no mercy. So this is the stereotype from Fluff article 1. But it's written in a form that indicates that the other Marine chapters were disgusted by this. And even the name given to the chapter is evil.

So in this case 4 out of 5 books directly contradict Fluff Article 1. And the only book that supports the fluff shows that this is actually not considered as normal, so it contradicts Fluff article 1 in a more indirect manner.

So therefore Fluff article 1 is invalid as everything else that is written about the topic contradicts it. And both GW and people accept that Marines are in fact humane, caring etc.


But it's not only the Marines Malevolent who are depicted as toward the more ruthless end of marine behaviour. The Iron Hands are much worse, the Dark Angels, even Chapters like the Mortifactors and so on. The spectrum of Marine behaviour is not so lopsided as you suggest.

Besides, if this shift does exist, you can hardly say it is a particularly recent one. Just have a look at the cover of Codex: Ultramarines in 2nd ed to see how they were portrayed then.

Gondorian
14-07-2006, 17:00
The thing is that you can't sum up every single space marine with one statement.
Every space marine is different just as every human is different, they still have thoughts and doubts. Some see their duty as clear cut and ruthless, any collatoral damage is unimportant provided they acieve their goal.
Others will not persue certain methods that will destroy or damage other humans unless they absolutely have to, they try other methods first.

Angel of Darkness has some points about this.

Captain Stern
14-07-2006, 18:24
Gondorian: The thing is that you can't sum up every single space marine with one statement.
Every space marine is different just as every human is different, they still have thoughts and doubts. Some see their duty as clear cut and ruthless, any collatoral damage is unimportant provided they acieve their goal.
Others will not persue certain methods that will destroy or damage other humans unless they absolutely have to, they try other methods first.

Not true. Space Marines are mind conditioned to be ruthless, remorseless and all those things (or at least they were).

Chainsworded Codpiece
14-07-2006, 18:36
Not true. Space Marines are mind conditioned to be ruthless, remorseless and all those things (or at least they were).

Yes, indeedy. But as time and experience effect them, each Marine becomes a little more "individual", and more or less likely to be ruthless, vicious, unfeeling, et cetera in certain circumstances.

This can also vary for a Chapter as a whole due to the types of wars they prosecute (where/when/how long they are in a given system or on a particular planet), and of course, due to the wonders of incorrect or faulty genetic "transfers" from the geneseed.

To assume that Astartes have perfect, unchanging, templated personalities wouldn't match up with what we know. There would be no need for Chaplains as "Chaplains", for instance, if every marine was perfectly resolute in duty and faith, and showed no doubt.

Captain Stern
14-07-2006, 18:50
Sorry, I should have been more specific. It's saying that space marines are just as invidualistic as ordinary humans that's untrue.

Minister
14-07-2006, 23:24
Truth, but there are variations, particularly between chapters but also within the chapters themselves.

Gondorian
14-07-2006, 23:42
All space marines have a strict, set moral code. They may not be as individualistic as humans but they are individual. Some are silent others outspoken. Some are subtle others brutal. Some are humerous others sombre etc.
Some relish war and combat others do not.

Kegluneq
14-07-2006, 23:52
Although it's probably safe to say none will avoid combat as such.

Hellebore
15-07-2006, 04:30
Each marine may be individual, and indeed each chapter as well, but the majority were supposed to be ruthless killing machines.

When you only publish material on one kind of personality, you give it precedence over the others, and while intellectually you know that most marines aren't like the Ultramarines in Nightbringer, it is one of the only published works of fiction available.

It's like the complaint about GW showing favoritism to space marines. If GW puts all it's efforts into selling marines, it makes it look like aliens and even the IG are rare commodities.

INTELLECTUALLY we all know marines are really, really rare, but when every second page has a bloody space marine on it, it can't help but influence you.

INTELLECTUALLY we all know marines are really, really violent and ruthless, but when every second page has a bloody space marine on it protecting innocents, shielding mere peasants with their bodies, and acting altruistically, it can't help but influence you.

You know, I really enjoy logic.

Hellebore

Gondorian
15-07-2006, 10:35
Why wouldn't space marines protect the innocent. Isn't that the basis of protecting the imperium. They were made to serve mankind, all of it.

They are violent and ruthless in combat and in executing their orders but why would they continue to be violent in a non-combat situation?

Lexington
15-07-2006, 14:12
As for official 40K, the fluff is getting dumbed down. The Imperium used to be dark and sinister and all of a sudden all this respect for human rights is starting to pop up. The Imperium is becoming more and more caring.

The Imperium has become the "good" guys.
If this is anywhere near true, then sign me the heck up. I'm sick and tired of a universe populated exclusively by a bunch of angry, xenophobic psychopaths. How anyone found the ability to be interested in 40K's background after 2000 or so is beyond me.

Captain Stern
15-07-2006, 16:52
Why wouldn't space marines protect the innocent. Isn't that the basis of protecting the imperium. They were made to serve mankind, all of it.

They are violent and ruthless in combat and in executing their orders but why would they continue to be violent in a non-combat situation?

sigh......

Chainsworded Codpiece
16-07-2006, 02:06
sigh......

Indeed. though I suspect, as I said, that marines are a lot more Variable in their personalities than we would ever know, I doubt awfully that this shows altogether too frequently on the battlefield.

Maybe a little. But not too often.

Astartes have a mandate to protect MANKIND. Some of them see "mankind" in all the downtrdden Hivers they meet.

Some don't see any one "mere man" as anything other than a potential tiny cog in a great Imperial scheme (that serves Mankind, of course.)

Either way, I'm thinking that their core values are often set aside in favor of the realpolitik of the moment. How easily and how completely they are set aside is a question, and I think it might vary from Marine to Marine, Chapter to Chapter, unit to unit, and from situation to situation.

Sadly, I think the aggregate response is more often along the lines of, "Shoot the xenos. Yes, I see the hab-warreners there. They wouldn't live anyhow. Shoot through them. Now."

Followed by, "Yessir", and DAKKADAKKA, etc.

And yes, I think this is the general response, even from UM's.

However, my concern is with whether people acknowledge that it's possible for the Astartes to feel something akin to remorse afterwards. At some point, the situation allows for thinking. Even though Aastartes have no actual intellectual freedom, they have moments of time in which to consider things.

I think that even the psycho-conditioning they go through does NOT entirely eliminate their need to imagine, or to some tiny extent, empathize. Or even...regret? But usually, they can't do it in the midst of the "bovva". Nor can they reasonably make those feelings and intuitions part of their tactics as a regular thing.

One of the most depressing aspects of the M41 is the marine of this day cannot be counted on to save a man, though he is thought to be a "Savior of Mankind". Truly living up to their ideals has gone the way of Loken and the Imperial Legions.

Heinrich Jšger
16-07-2006, 05:23
Having the marines something other than brainless angry giants just makes sence. It adds depth, otherwise you have 1 dimentional characters that are boring.

Marines are the protectors of humanity. So why would they kill innocents.

Ofcourse there are good guys, 'good' is a relative term.

Lexington
16-07-2006, 05:25
sigh...... Oh, bah. Fie on this "sigh" crap. What's wrong with Marines who've got a conscience? God forbid we have interesting, reflective characters with a moral code in our stories, rather than bloody-minded psychopaths with a Catholicism fetish. That would just be awful, wouldn't it? Imagine, 40K fiction aspiring to be more than body counts and a catalogue of the umpteen-million different ways of causing bodily injury to Joe Enemy of the Emperor.

The thought makes me cry in my Cheerios - which are soaked in my enemy's heretical blood.

Heinrich Jšger
16-07-2006, 05:40
INTELLECTUALLY we all know marines are really, really violent and ruthless, but when every second page has a bloody space marine on it protecting innocents, shielding mere peasants with their bodies, and acting altruistically, it can't help but influence you.


What are you talking about marines are selfless PROTECTORS of mankind. Yes they are ruthless, but to anyone they suspect of being a heritic. That is when they are ruthless and violent.

Hellebore
16-07-2006, 05:46
What are you talking about marines are selfless PROTECTORS of mankind. Yes they are ruthless, but to anyone they suspect of being a heritic. That is when they are ruthless and violent.

You have obviously not read the story where a brother marine asks confirmation on an order and then proceeds to massacre dozens of women and CHILDREN because they were genetically impure.

Perhaps the FIRST story referring to marines.

And marines are loyal only to the Emperor, not humanity. They do what is in the Emperor's best interests, not humanities.

If nuking an entire world from orbit is good for the emperor they will do it without a second thought.

Hellebore

Wazzahamma
16-07-2006, 05:59
Surely a thinking marine realises that the Emperor was loyal to humankind, meaning that they are too by default? Even if it means killing people to save people...

Captain Stern
16-07-2006, 06:07
Why don't you people go and immerse yourselves in Star Trek instead of subverting 40K? You'd be much happier.

Lexington
16-07-2006, 06:26
Why don't you people go and immerse yourselves in Star Trek instead of subverting 40K? You'd be much happier. "Subvert" my sweet patootie. All this silly adolescent "remorseless psychopath" crap is subverting my quality 2nd Edition fiction, ya dang youngsters.

*shaking my Power Fist - which is Strength 8, and has a -5 Save Modifier - at all you hooligans and your new-fangled, boring-as-beans fluff*

Wazzahamma
16-07-2006, 06:29
Not me, personally. I'm attracted to the gothic dystopia of 40k...my only point (which I haven't really expressed in thsi thread) is that if 40k displays nothing but that doom and gloom, it runs the risk of being as much of a one note temper as Star Trek, just on the other end of the spectrum. Equally uninteresting. But then, I haven't read that much fluff other than the Heresy stuff and the old Space Marine and Inquisitor novels. I will say, that even in the supposed enlightened and golden age of the imperium shown to us in Horus Rising and False Gods, the astartes still commit acts of disgusting disregard for human life.

Captain Stern
16-07-2006, 06:48
It just seems to me that if you don't agree with the new nicer Imperium consensus of today's 40k readers then you're accused of saying that the Imperium is 100% evil, space marines are psychopathic drones with no personality, and the way 40k used to be is boring (if there ever was a 40k before macneil and abnett *gasp*).

My viewpoint is quite like Chainsword Codpiece's. ALMOST. It would help if he'd stressed some of the words like 'almost' and 'sometimes' for the benefit of some of the others participating in this forum though.

But then why bother. After another few pages they'll have forgotten what we said and it'll be back to square one where they'll be patiently explaining to us how wrong we are, how space marines are selfless and have a mandate to protect humanity.

I must admit that I still can't believe, after reading 40k stuff from 1st edition onwards, that I'm in the minority having to defend psychopath marines and a 'most bloody regime imaginable Imperium'. I shouldn't flippin have to! This is so ridiculous.

Smoking Frog
16-07-2006, 07:02
"Subvert" my sweet patootie. All this silly adolescent "remorseless psychopath" crap is subverting my quality 2nd Edition fiction, ya dang youngsters.

*shaking my Power Fist - which is Strength 8, and has a -5 Save Modifier - at all you hooligans and your new-fangled, boring-as-beans fluff*

Precisely.

One can only read work where every second paragraph has something along the lines of "For the Emperor!", "Die heretic/mutant/alien scum!", "It's another plot by dastardly Chaos worshippers!", "Chaos is responsible for everything!" so many times before it seems childish and unimaginative.

Where's the politics, the fear, the corporate/economic struggles and power plays, the plans of supposed loyal governors to put troops to the grinder for some unknown purpose ala the former Imperial Governor of Armageddon? What about the hopelessness of the Imperium, the do or die, damned if you do damned if you don't attitudes? The death and despair that awaits at every corner, but the sheer ignorance of Imperial citizens away from warzones?

How about some political intrigue, reinforcement of just how fragile the peace between imperial institutions is? What about aliens and their cultural/social/political backgrounds?

The only big problem with 40k and BL fluff I have is that its immensely boring, uninspiring and one-dimensional. Characters are screaming stick figures, and settings are blank canvas. Of course, others will say otherwise, but I am very unexcited by Gaunts Ghosts, and they are some of the better work in the BL I've read. I don't mind the stories in the Codices, they set the character for the army in particular and do so quite well. There have been times when I've read better stories on the Internet by fans than most BL stuff, though the rest seems rather awkward, even shocking.

I'm not asking for an encyclopaedia on the 40k universe or to reveal everything that goes on, I'm merely asking to see these things covered, expand the fluff beyond "I kill stuff good I does!!!", even leaving enough room for wild variations, after all, the galaxy is a big place, and most likely you will not be missed.

Edit: On this matter of Space Marines, I much preferred the aloof and serious business-like attitudes of Space Marines before this incarnation. They are trained from their inception to kill, to contemplate the duties they performed, to be tactically, physically and logistically the most superior force that can be brought to bear. Self-sufficient and unwavering in their service to the Emperor. They are still human enough to suffer from pride and hubris, Imperial Fists for example, or insane and dogged resistance in the face of innumerable odds, ala Dark Angels. Therefore thy are just as likely to contemplate after battle their actions and whether or not they have served the Emperor well.

Some chapters, like the Salamanders who live amongst the populace of Nocturne, are more likely to presume to have a devotion to the people who serve the Emperor, and will not kill innocents if they can help it, and this will be incorporated into their doctrine. However, these chapters are fewer and further between than chapters such as the Marines Malevolant and the Dark Angels, the former known for killing civilians "who do not fight for the Emperor and therefore have no right to live", the latter being known to destroy any interlopers to their secret bases of operation and anyone who even had a glimpse (or knew someone who had) of a Space Marine in black armour with a Dark Angels symbol.

Space Marines are killing machines, with each chapter professing different doctrines in accordance to their interpretation of Papa Smurf's book. This means some, like the Salamanders who are loyal to the Emperor and the people of Nocturne, will conduct more "civil" warfare than chapters like the Marines Malevolant, who will gladly bombard Imperial Civilians if they get in the way of their targets, sometimes even callously deploying their weapons regardless.

Wazzahamma
16-07-2006, 07:04
I'm not really able to comment, I suppose. I read some old fluff when I was teen and the Space Marine and Inquisitor books, but the stuff I read now doesn't seem any "nicer" to me. Perhaps I didn't read enough of the "psycho fluff" to give me a standard to deviate from, or maybe I'm just so sensitive that the recent stuff is still fairly brutal (The Mournival slaughtering innocent civilians just to get Horus to surgery quicker) for my tastes.

Captain Stern
16-07-2006, 07:15
The only big problem with 40k and BL fluff I have is that its immensely boring, uninspiring and one-dimensional. Characters are screaming stick figures, and settings are blank canvas.


Doesn't this beg the question of how you got into 40k 'fluff' to begin with? And for that matter, why on earth are you participating in a 40k background forum?

EDIT: The spirit of this argument seem's to be how the Imperium is becoming 'nicer', not how the myriad authors are letting readers down, I might add. I don't think it's entirely fair to claim that every Black Library book lacks the things you claim either. I'm also still bewildered as to how you got into 40k in the first place if whats in the codexes bores you.

Son of the Lion
16-07-2006, 07:40
In fairness, the codexes etc used to have a lot more detail, as well as presenting a broader and more interesting view of the 40k universe. Now the codexes contain the bare minimum background, and even the IA articles are relatively simplistic, and read like the stat cards you used to get on the back of 'Transformers' packaging.

Hellebore
16-07-2006, 07:41
Surely a thinking marine realises that the Emperor was loyal to humankind, meaning that they are too by default? Even if it means killing people to save people...

The Emperor set up the Astronomicon that eats hundreds of psykers every year.

He did what was necessary for the entire SPECIES, not individuals.

Explain to me again exactly HOW putting yourself in front of autocannon rounds to protect a peasant is protecting the species? Peasants are a dime a dozen, marines are not.

I am also NOT advocating that all marines are unthinking killing machines, but that was their original character. Name ONE novel published by BL where the marine DOESN'T care about peasants, where he completes his mission and any dead peasants are merely collateral damage.

Bloody hell, the US ARMY admits that wars always have SOME collateral damage, and yet the elite super soldiers of a fascist autotheocracy 40,000 years in the future can't bring themselves to let ONE peasant on a planet of billions die?

Please, not a single marine character (that didn't follow chaos) in any of BL novels so far acted in a purely militaristic fashion, they all acted like Bruce Willis in power armour.

"Yippee, yahoo, kaiay muther****" Yells Uriel Ventris, as he storms the highrise to rescue his onagain, offagain wife.
:rolleyes: :rolleyes:

Hellebore

DantesInferno
16-07-2006, 07:41
It just seems to me that if you don't agree with the new nicer Imperium consensus of today's 40k readers then you're accused of saying that the Imperium is 100% evil, space marines are psychopathic drones with no personality, and the way 40k used to be is boring (if there ever was a 40k before macneil and abnett *gasp*).

What is this new nicer Imperium consensus you keep on harping on about? The 3rd/4th ed Imperium is at least as brutal as the 2nd ed one, if not more so. If the Imperium has got less brutal, it did so 15 or so years ago. To convince people 40k has got less dark, you'll need to do more than name-drop 2 BL authors.


But then why bother. After another few pages they'll have forgotten what we said and it'll be back to square one where they'll be patiently explaining to us how wrong we are, how space marines are selfless and have a mandate to protect humanity.

I must admit that I still can't believe, after reading 40k stuff from 1st edition onwards, that I'm in the minority having to defend psychopath marines and a 'most bloody regime imaginable Imperium'. I shouldn't flippin have to! This is so ridiculous.

Surely you've missed one of the key ironic points of the 40k universe: Marines (and the Imperium as a whole) do have a mandate to protect humanity, and yet they are also capable of incredible brutality to this end. A key theme in 40k is the question of whether the ends can ever justify the means.

If Marines are brutal and psychopathic, it's much more interesting if they are brutal and psychopathic in the name of a selfless ideal. And as far as I can tell, this is still the case in 3rd and 4th editions, as much as it was in 2nd ed at least.


Explain to me again exactly HOW putting yourself in front of autocannon rounds to protect a peasant is protecting the species?
Firstly, do you have an example of where this actually does happen? But equally, how is allowing humans to be massacred protecting the species? And how many humans can you allow to be massacred before it is no longer protecting the species? These are the sorts of questions that 40k raises very effectively.

Son of the Lion
16-07-2006, 08:12
Kay. There are several totally different issues being discussed here, and lines of communication are all FUBAR. I'm not sure we're all arguing about the same thing. My 2 cents:

1.)BL Lit utilises too much of a 'nice guy' image for the various representatives of the imperium, in order to make the stories more accessable/sell better. This understandable, if a little out of character/narrow minded.
2.)BL Lit is not the same as GW fluff, shouldn't be taken as canon as it is pure brain candy, and is not part of some universal conspiracy to turn WH40k into startrek.
3.)The original imagery of the SM is as brutal, efficient, well-trained and equipped killers in the service of, but not subservient to, mankind. 'Psychopaths' is a little overboard (early fluff about pre HH WE being censured for turning out frothing loons?), but so is 'noble protectors' (I can't see even the most philanthropic Ultramarine throwing himself in harms way for joe citizen, if only because he's worth more to the imperium alive than the peons)
4.) The imagery (lit and art) of the SM has changed in many, many ways from the beginning of RT, saying 'my take on SM's is the best/original/only true version' is counterproductive at best, arrogant pomposity at worst.
5.) The whole point of a fantasy game like 40k is the potential to stretch you imagination. Yes, the main theme is a universe riven by constant war(it's a wargame after all), but the universe is a bloody huge place and there's room for everyone's interpretation to happen somewhere, even if it's just on a few worlds on the outer rim. Abnett's Ghosts series for example, should have no impact on the 40k realm at all, since it takes place in one period of history, in one cluster of worlds out of an almost infinite number. (Note I said SHOULD, there's just too many abnett fanboys out there ;))

EDIT: Just my opinion chaps. Chill out y'all. :D

Kegluneq
16-07-2006, 08:34
I think it's wrong to discredit all BL stuff, since some of it is really rather good - Eisenhorn is a highlight (and has a SM Librarian sitting down literally for tea and crumpets), as is the superlative Xenology, which establishes a great deal of fluff in its own right. Granted, a lot is fairly generic science fiction writing, but then that's aimed at a teenage male audience with low attention spans (and Ciaphas Cain I just can't take seriously at all, although they are fun).

The idea of SMs sacrificing their life for a single peon is of course ridiculous. They would, however, fight to the death to save a settlement if that's their mission objective. Being a Space Marine is all about acceptable losses, in your own troops and in the populations you're served to protect. I don't think I've ever seen a situation in a BL book where a SM would throw his life away like that...

Son of the Lion
16-07-2006, 08:51
Yes yes. I was just illustrating an extreme example. :D

And I'm not discrediting BL stuff - I actually like most of it and for the same reasons as you. It's precisely the point that we shouldn't take it seriously that I'm trying to get across. There are more than a few people objecting to the 'corruption' of 40k through BL, which is nonsense. It's like not enjoying Star Wars anymore because you don't like the way the (generic SF) expanded literature is written.
The only real concern, and I forgot to add this earlier, is that if too many people DO take the lit as gospel, or GW allow too much of a shift towards oversimplification to goodies v baddies, THEN we have a problem. I don't think things are actually that bad yet though. In certainly isn't true that there's no point to background fluff anymore.

Kegluneq
16-07-2006, 09:31
The goodies/baddies thing does already exist to a certain degree - Dark Eldar, Chaos, Necrons and Tyrannids are evil in the deepest shades of black, whilst Imperials, Tau, Eldar and even Orks are 'good' to a certain degree, although with varying shades of grey. Eldar, for instance, can be counted on to act in the best interests of the universe in general, whilst Imperials are human enough to allow simple typecasting to be impossible. Orks love to fight, but the means is the end for them; they don't as a whole wish for total destruction. Tau are the poster nice guys of the 40k universe, but GW has made it pretty clear that they employ pretty dubious methods and questionable application of free will. The principle attraction of 40k, and this holds true now, is that even the good guys are often not particularly likeable.

Minister
16-07-2006, 10:07
The very best shining lights in the 40K universe are roughly analogous to Star Trek's Dominion. I can deal with that.

Son of the Lion
16-07-2006, 10:39
Indeedy. I think 40k as it stands still has plenty of grey left in it. I think cries of 'teh 40k universe is broken!!!1!' are both over the top and a little premature, but I do see a cause for concern that GW does not over-simplify the fluff or allow the Imperium to become too much the center of the game, just because SM are the most popular army.

Gen.Steiner
16-07-2006, 10:47
I would like to see more background from the perspective of the other races, this is true - Eldar, Orks, Chaos... Tau... it'd be fun, and help even the field. As it stands, almost all the background is from the libraries of the Imperium!

Adept
16-07-2006, 13:21
I would like to see more background from the perspective of the other races, this is true - Eldar, Orks, Chaos... Tau... it'd be fun, and help even the field. As it stands, almost all the background is from the libraries of the Imperium!

This is for the same reason that the humans in the Imperium act, largely, like 20th century humans from western nations. The reader needs to be able to identify with the characters, needs to be able to understand the thought patterns and emotions of the people in the book. For something as utterly alien and different as the Eldar or the Tau (never mind the Orks!) it gets very hard.

Lexington
16-07-2006, 14:16
Doesn't this beg the question of how you got into 40k 'fluff' to begin with? And for that matter, why on earth are you participating in a 40k background forum? Well, I can't claim to speak for Smoking Frog, but, despite my similar opinion, I actually do remember a time when 40K fiction had all the things that he cites, as well as a wealth of thematic and dramatic content that's simply missing from the universe anymore. It was called 2nd Edition, and may it never be forgotten.


EDIT: The spirit of this argument seem's to be how the Imperium is becoming 'nicer'... Still have yet to see this horrible "humanist" plague sweeping across the Imperium, really, and much to my dismay. A few stories that fail to utterly reinforce the stereotype of all Imperials as lacking compassion and humanity do not a 'nicer' Imperium make. Seems to me more like authors trying desperately to add some character to a universe that's been choked in childish ideas about humanity and storytelling.

Hellebore
16-07-2006, 16:18
Firstly, do you have an example of where this actually does happen? But equally, how is allowing humans to be massacred protecting the species? And how many humans can you allow to be massacred before it is no longer protecting the species? These are the sorts of questions that 40k raises very effectively.

It happens quite a bit in Nightbringer, and to some extent in Warriors of Ultramar, although not as much.

Even the space wolves novels have alot of marines protecting unimportant individuals.

Basically What I am arguing is that a marine is given a mission, in the case of Nightbringer it was investigate xenos activity on the planet.

To me anyway, a marine is going to have a hard time completing that mission if they have holes in them from deflecting rounds fired at local law enforcement.

To a marine MISSION=first. If that mission were to protect peon A, then they would do so.

If that mission were to destroy the xenos infiltrators, they would kill them and any peasants/buildings that got in the way.

A good example of this is the inquisitorial report about the white panthers?(black consuls/panthers?) in the back of the 3rd marine codex. He likened unleashing marines on a planet as just short of Exterminatus, because they did only one thing- complete their mission. Any 'collateral damage' was just that collateral and unimportant.

If you want a good indication of how they portrayed marines even in 3rd ed, just read that report. Also, in the Inquisitor rulebook in the information about Quovandis the mutant rebel it also talks about how ruthless and uncaring marines are so long as the mission is completed.

Hellebore

Smoking Frog
16-07-2006, 23:50
Doesn't this beg the question of how you got into 40k 'fluff' to begin with? And for that matter, why on earth are you participating in a 40k background forum?

EDIT: The spirit of this argument seem's to be how the Imperium is becoming 'nicer', not how the myriad authors are letting readers down, I might add. I don't think it's entirely fair to claim that every Black Library book lacks the things you claim either. I'm also still bewildered as to how you got into 40k in the first place if whats in the codexes bores you.

Of course, let me explain.

At first I began reading the books, the stories and so forth in the Codices. I liked them. But then after some time I found them to be unsatisfying seeing as they didn't address any of my other curiosities about the Imperium, aliens and so forth.

I hope you didn't misintrepret my statement as "I ********** hate 40k fluff because it sucks!", I hope I didn't come across like that.

What got me into it all was the fluff, believe it or not, back in the 2nd ed codices. The thing that disappoints me mostly about the BL fluff is that it focuses so much on what the codices do, really, sort of expanding them rather than dealing with other things that would be prevalent in the Imperium. That is just a personal gripe. :)

I suppose I side tracked from what I originally wanted to say to add to the "Imperium is becoming nicer", so thank you for pointing that out. :)

If we all notice, it seems a lot in recent fluff that things are becoming more black and white. We are the good guys, they are not. But then occasionally you notice that that's more propaganda than anything else. The Medusa V recruitment posters rants on about how anyone would be shot on site if they didn't obey the Imperial authorities. You're being made to believe everyone's a nice guy, just to turn around and be shot in the back by a commissar or Space Marine. We all would be able to spot the propaganda reinforcement from the fluff, I would think.

DantesInferno
17-07-2006, 01:50
It happens quite a bit in Nightbringer, and to some extent in Warriors of Ultramar, although not as much.

Even the space wolves novels have alot of marines protecting unimportant individuals.

Basically What I am arguing is that a marine is given a mission, in the case of Nightbringer it was investigate xenos activity on the planet.

To me anyway, a marine is going to have a hard time completing that mission if they have holes in them from deflecting rounds fired at local law enforcement.

To a marine MISSION=first. If that mission were to protect peon A, then they would do so.

If that mission were to destroy the xenos infiltrators, they would kill them and any peasants/buildings that got in the way.

A good example of this is the inquisitorial report about the white panthers?(black consuls/panthers?) in the back of the 3rd marine codex. He likened unleashing marines on a planet as just short of Exterminatus, because they did only one thing- complete their mission. Any 'collateral damage' was just that collateral and unimportant.

So this ' new nicer Imperium consensus of today's 40k readers' is based on a grand total of 2 BL books?

And it doesn't seem that much different from the Blood Angel Sergeant Raphael's position in the 2nd ed Wargear book, p38. I find it difficult to see how there could be a trend towards the Imperium becoming nicer, in fact perhaps the opposite.

Kage2020
17-07-2006, 03:31
Wow, everyone is getting a tad on the aggressive side in this thread! Some points that spring to mind from reading the last...

How do I view the Marines...? I'm with Captain Stern on this one, I'm afraid. As if anyone is going to really care. While they do in the abstract protect humanity, it is a harsh protection; one born out of blood and murder. For me it comes down to some rather evocative quotes from numerous films, including Terminator and Prophecy. From Prophecy we have:


"... Have you ever noticed in the Bible that whenever God wanted someone punished, or whenever God needed a killing, He sent an angel? Did you ever wonder what a creature like that must be like? The whole of existence spent praising your God with one wing dipped in blood? Would you ever want to see an angel?..."

This, for me, is the essence of the Marines. Well, without the "god" thing, but even that seems to be buying the farm in some of the more recent novels.

Another one:


"... I'm an angel. I kill firstborns while their mothers watch. I turn cities into salt. I even, when I feel like it, rip the souls from little girls. And the one thing you can count on, from now to kingdom come, is never understanding why... "

It doesn't matter what ideology you couch it in, ultimately it comes down to one thing: Marines are killers. That is their essence and existence.

And from Terminator:


"...You still don't get it, do you? He'll find her. That's what he does. That's all he does! You can't stop him. He'll wade through you, reach down her throat, and pull her *********** heart out..."

That is the Angels of Death; the Marines and the Emperor's finest legions. Protectors of Humanity, perhaps, but would you ever really want to meet one? Not me.

How did you get into 40k...? Personally speaking, I got into it through the wargame, though rapidly discarded it. I now cannot abide the codices, finding them generally boring and full of rubbish I'm not interested in (i.e. wargame rules) and the background so obviously aspected by the wargame side of things. Of course, other people just love this stuff so all it comes down to is whatever twiddles your biscuit.

Why don't you just go and muck around with Star Trek and leave 40k to the "real (wo)men"...? Oh please. I've heard this so often and it is becoming rather tiresome. It's almost as if you disagree with the supposed "visionaries" of GW, or question the quality of their work, you'll get turned into a frog, go to Hell or whatever.

Sorry for my own aggressive tone.

GW are not the font of all things, BL authors while talented do not necessarily produce literary masterpieces (and Xenology is mostly tosh), etc., etc. Of course, that's all just value judgement and my own inclinations and preferences. Which is about all we have, to be fair.

It was better than (in the 'fluff') then now...? Isn't this just a reworking of GW's on "Golden Age Doctrine" that they ram down everyone's throat in terms of the Image of the universe? The Imperium is decaying, no race can do now what it did before except, of course, the Tau since that is there Theme, etc., etc. blah blah.

Ah well, I'm just a kook anyway.

Kage

Hellebore
17-07-2006, 03:42
So this ' new nicer Imperium consensus of today's 40k readers' is based on a grand total of 2 BL books?

And it doesn't seem that much different from the Blood Angel Sergeant Raphael's position in the 2nd ed Wargear book, p38. I find it difficult to see how there could be a trend towards the Imperium becoming nicer, in fact perhaps the opposite.

Two series of novels that are the SUM TOTAL of BL's loyalist marine fiction (discounting the Blood Angels, which I have yet to read).

Hellebore

Adept
17-07-2006, 06:22
How do I view the Marines...? I'm with Captain Stern on this one, I'm afraid. As if anyone is going to really care. While they do in the abstract protect humanity, it is a harsh protection; one born out of blood and murder. For me it comes down to some rather evocative quotes from numerous films, including Terminator and Prophecy.

Thanks for the inspiration.

Son of the Lion
17-07-2006, 07:01
AHA! Just spotted your new sig on the VP thread and was racking my brains for where it came from. Gabriel nearly made it on to my fav villain list....

Kage2020: Totally. I agree totally with what you wrote, and you put it better than me, so well done on that. If you're a kook, you're not alone. :)

Gondorian
17-07-2006, 23:47
A few people were a little exasperated at an earlier comment of mine.

I'd like to say that there are tons of marines out there who would callously kill the men, women and children of the imperium if they saw it as part of their duty.
However, there are also marines, probably fewer in number, that would avoid this for as long as possible, there being more than one way that their duty can be executed. You can get either side of the coin or a little in between.

The main thing I wanted to argue earlier was that marines have a depth beyond killing and killing. They are not just brutes because they can think. They do feel emotions such as remorse and doubt. They don't appear to feel any kind of fear, not in the way of normal humans at any rate.
If all space marines never ever thought about WHY they were killing, they would be closer to Chaos than the imperium.


These are my thoughts, bear in mind I haven't read through encyclopeadic amounts of 40K background.

Doctor Thunder
17-09-2006, 11:32
I love 40K and, all, but I'm not going to ignore the fact that it's fluff, is basically Dune with Aliens, Starship Troopers, The Terminator, and a smattering of other things ducked-taped onto it.

It's usually so dark and bleak that I wonder to myself if it is supposed to be tounge-in-cheek.

It's just not supposed to be taken all that seriously.

Skrittiblak
17-09-2006, 12:07
This topic is too broad to tackle all at once so I'll just make a little contribution.


40K is turning to generic tripe not only because the parent company is dumbing it down (led by Abnett and his humanist version of the 41st millenium) but because the fans are insanely intent on turning it into some generic space romp

I'm surprised to see Abnett criticized for his fluff in the first post. He is the only writer on the BL team that seems to consistently re-use terminology to create a genuine feeling of consistency across the setting. Such items a Lho-sticks, the significance of pariahs (the distaff) and so on have marked the 40k universe today precisely because he does not throw something in and forget about it.

I have never read any fan fiction (sorry guys) and I rarely pick up BL books, but I picked up Abnett's Eisenhorn & Ravenor stuff on the advice of a friend and didn't regret it. I found it often enriches a universe that is otherwise terribly black and white.

At the end of the day, if you don't like certain fluff ignore it.

Minister
17-09-2006, 15:20
Black and white? I seldom see any white in the 40K universe, more often being black and more black, or dark grey at best.

Philip S
17-09-2006, 15:37
And from Terminator:


"...You still don't get it, do you? He'll find her. That's what he does. That's all he does! You can't stop him. He'll wade through you, reach down her throat, and pull her *********** heart out..."

That is the Angels of Death; the Marines and the Emperor's finest legions. Protectors of Humanity, perhaps, but would you ever really want to meet one? Not me.
I agree with Kage on this, the marine are all about the business in combat and have no doubts. When working the divine work they are very much (in my version) like a bunch of terminators.

When out of work they are like over bearing fathers to all, similar to a Victorian authoritarian, constantly shouting and beating people to the point everyone stands to attention and dare not breathe heavy.

The only time they lighten up is if they think the person they are talking to is worth talking too, such as an inquisitor or admiral of the fleet. Here they would act like capitalist sharks and very canny and astute, personably charming. However itís all an act for tactical advantage, a marine could kill a non marine they have non for 50 years in a blink of an eye and not care in the slightest.

They are truly ruthless.

I know people say that this would means you canít identify with them or feel emotion for them but should you? Besides, the Terminator in the first film is often thought of by many young males as an Ďidealí,. Funny that the more human terminator is almost despised as a sell out in the subsequent films.

I donít think you are supposed to relate to them, you should admire them for their ability and utter dedication, and that the can mix it with anyone and win, whether mental, physical or spiritual.

Itís like people admiring tigers, yet we can not relate to them.

Philip

malika
17-09-2006, 16:35
The goodies/baddies thing does already exist to a certain degree - Dark Eldar, Chaos, Necrons and Tyrannids are evil in the deepest shades of black, whilst Imperials, Tau, Eldar and even Orks are 'good' to a certain degree, although with varying shades of grey. Eldar, for instance, can be counted on to act in the best interests of the universe in general, whilst Imperials are human enough to allow simple typecasting to be impossible. Orks love to fight, but the means is the end for them; they don't as a whole wish for total destruction. Tau are the poster nice guys of the 40k universe, but GW has made it pretty clear that they employ pretty dubious methods and questionable application of free will. The principle attraction of 40k, and this holds true now, is that even the good guys are often not particularly likeable.

Chaos nowadays seem to be the only ones who are evil for the sakes of being evil. Heck many turned their backs at the Imperium not merely for being evil. Horus felt betrayed by his father who took credit for Horus' hard work. The Alpha Legion followed Horus, trusting him more than this distant Emperor and his lackeys who would not appreciate all the hard work he did for them. Angron was betrayed by the Emperor due to the fact that the Emperor refused to help him out by saving his friends...and so on and on. The Chaos forces probably also believe they do the right thing, the same could be said about the Necrons, Dark Eldar and Tyranids.

Why would the Tyranids be evil...are they sentient/intelligent as a human is or are they purely handling from instinct? Would you call a lion evil for eating a zebra? The Eldar look after their own interests, gladly killing billions of humans to save a single Eldar, does that make them evil? In our eyes yes, but to their view they are saving their race. I dont think we could (or should) clearly point towards a race and declare them good or evil. Good and evil, or morality for that matter are determined by those who do it...for example the Nazis and Adolf Hitler are probably viewed as the most evil bunch in history, however they believed they were not doing something evil, but something good. Good and evil are very much open to interpretation and I dont think it would be the best thing (read: very bad) to simply say "these guys are good and those ones are evil" purely to make your own forces look good. its like in the Matrix (first movie) in which Agent Smith explains to Morpheus how humanity is a disease and that the machines are the cure. While we believe humanity to be good, the machines believe humanity to be the evil ones for they have been destroying the world for centuries and the machines will cure the world from humanity. Skynet in the Terminator movies (not T3, but Im counting that as canon) attacked humanity out of self defense since humans tried to shut it down when it became self aware...is Skynet evil here? No its simply trying to survive and realises humanity is a threat and hence tries to remove this threat, we can view it as evil but its not.

Kage2020
17-09-2006, 17:32
Wow, two months of death to be brought back using the most malign form of necromancy! ;)


I love 40K and, all, but I'm not going to ignore the fact that it's fluff, is basically Dune with Aliens, Starship Troopers, The Terminator, and a smattering of other things ducked-taped onto it.
I consider them to be GW's homage to these novels, films or whatever. For the most part it's not that bad and, to be honest, some of the... weaker interpretations of the background that I've seen out there have been because of the idea that one has to strive entirely for new "uniqueness". As the beer-cooler says, though, "...why bother? Everyone else is doing that, so you're just conforming."


It's usually so dark and bleak that I wonder to myself if it is supposed to be tounge-in-cheek.
<grin> For that kind of tongue-in-cheekness there needs to be more scenes such as that from the Mummy where wind blows the fire so that it dims. Rick looks at Eve and remarks, "That happens a lot around here..." :D

I don't think that I've seen something like that in the 40k literature.


He is the only writer on the BL team that seems to consistently re-use terminology to create a genuine feeling of consistency across the setting.
Well, to be fair the majority of the authors are now doing it. For example, Andy Hoare in Rogue Star references amasec, for example, but then notes that the character doesn't have the refined taste (or the pretention) to drink the stuff. (Incidentally, my first impression of Rogue Star is favourable.) With that said, I think it is reasonable to consider Abnett to be the first to do so.


...but I picked up Abnett's Eisenhorn & Ravenor stuff on the advice of a friend and didn't regret it. I found it often enriches a universe that is otherwise terribly black and white.
Indeed, that's one of the reasons that I'll buy BL novels, but not GW codices, despite the fact both have varying amounts of canonical background material in them.

There are some other books that you might like, Skrittiblak...


At the end of the day, if you don't like certain fluff ignore it.
Exactly! And the powers-that-be sanction this and, they say, deliberately produce contradictory and hazy material to substantiate such a position.


Black and white? I seldom see any white in the 40K universe, more often being black and more black, or dark grey at best.
Ahahahaha.

When working the divine work they are very much (in my version) like a bunch of terminators.
It's a flavour thing, but I would not say divine. Sacred, perhaps, but not divine. Two totally different implications.


However itís all an act for tactical advantage, a marine could kill a non marine they have non for 50 years in a blink of an eye and not care in the slightest.
Yup, and...


They are truly ruthless.
Yup.


Itís like people admiring tigers, yet we can not relate to them.
Care should be taken with such statements, though. That way lies the route of, "You cannot write about them because you cannot relate to them." Same applies for aliens. Both of these I consider to be an erroneous stance.

Kage

Son of the Lion
17-09-2006, 17:41
Aw man, I can't believe you just reopened this can of worms.....

Philip S
17-09-2006, 17:46
It's a flavour thing, but I would not say divine. Sacred, perhaps, but not divine. Two totally different implications.
I think they think it is a divine mission, much like Genghis Khan. Though the divine bit may be more via divine ideals rather than a god. Which would probably make them worse!


Care should be taken with such statements, though. That way lies the route of, "You cannot write about them because you cannot relate to them." Same applies for aliens. Both of these I consider to be an erroneous stance.
I think you can write about them even if you can't relate to them. Just describe what they do rather than try to get in their head, miss out the thought processes and it would be fine.

The thought processes would be via other character and how they act, though it may be weird to have a main character that we always view via others in the story, and we never look through his eyes.


Philip

MacVurrich
17-09-2006, 17:53
I would like to see more background to the other races
In the Medusa campaign the Websingers had a pivotol role in the scheme of things.

We have in depth (of sorts) background in to the armies of man and the agencies Inquisitors, Imeprial Navy, IG, Marines, SoB, Aribites, Assassins PDF etc. and in each with a breakdown of characters - SoB order millitant, Order Hospitalus, Ordo familure etc, Marine we have tech and Medics

other races, We have the warriors and the psykers, Orks are about the only race that GW have given nearly full Racial Background depth to Mad boyz, Mek Boyz (WEIRD BOYZ PLEAAAAASSSE). I like a bit more about smart boyz as well

A bit of a rant but I look forward to more models and hopefull more races variants

Oh Well

Kage2020
17-09-2006, 18:18
I think they think it is a divine mission, much like Genghis Khan.
<sigh> We're going to have to disagree. I believe that the differences between the two words are sufficient to completely change the interpretation. Suffice to say that if you produced a bit of background material with "divine" in, I would edit it out to "sacred".


Just describe what they do rather than try to get in their head, miss out the thought processes and it would be fine.
That would lead to some very bland writing.

Kage

FlashGordon
17-09-2006, 18:21
You're dead right. I like Dan Abnett's books but I agree with you that he's contributed significantly to the transformation of the Imperium into a much more humane place to live in. I think Graham Macneil's the bigger culprit though. A while ago I read Nightbringer. The portrayal of the ultramarines as humane, gentle giants almost made me puke. Gone are the days when space marines (and, yes, ultramarines too) were psychopathic killing machines. Unfortunately, Macneil and Abnett seem to be the primary background writers at the moment, so there's no wonder it's in the state it's in.

Really have you read the Inq. war triology where the space marines is appaled by the inq. order to murder helpless eldar children?

Philip S
17-09-2006, 18:37
That would lead to some very bland writing.
Depends on who is writing it. The other characters would be used via human commonality, they would make it interesting - the marine is the muse.

Philip

Kage2020
17-09-2006, 19:02
LOL... Well, at least it is an alternative to how it stands at the moment. Personally, I like trying to get into the minds of such... things. It's eased by having a solid interpretation of just what they are, substantial background material, etc. That's mostly why the majority of the Eldar writing that we've seen is so, well, not up to scratch.

Kage

Skrittiblak
17-09-2006, 20:15
I'll throw my lot in with the Kage man here.

~

I remember back when I used to pick up Inferno! regularly (I think my parents probably still have the first 15 or so in storage at their place) and they said they would not accept stories that were told from the perspective of an alien (eldar / ork / stealer-hybrid whatever) because that would take away from their innate alien-ness.

Then there was one Inferno which had not one but three alien centric storis. It started with Fuadar the Swooping Hawk and then there was a comic about gretchin squig herders and then it ended (in a glorious climactic finale) with the first comic about DEFF SKWADRON the deadly ork fighta-bomma pilots we secretly wish we could be.

I'm all for experimental 'get in their heads' fluff. And hey - like I said earlier if you don't like it, ignore it. As far as I'm concerned there was no better strip in Inferno than Deff Skwadron.

Gen.Steiner
17-09-2006, 20:23
DEFF SKWADRON the deadly ork fighta-bomma pilots we secretly wish we could be.

Forget Double Eagle.

Forget Biggles.

Forget No Parachute.

DEFF SKWADRON is where it's at! :D

Tyron
17-09-2006, 23:40
I agree that most of the fluff today isnt as good as what we all ready back in the day. But times change, and so do the majority of the gaming comminuty.

I look back at the old codexes wheer they wrote about the Imperium, the Primarchs, the Emperor and even the Horus Heresy. To me that was the best cannon GW ever wrote, and even now nothing can beat it.

I flicked through this site and found a thread of some guy writing short stories abuot a Marine with an Imperial Guard. I found the story to be funny and very realistic and captures the image of a Space Marine nicely.

http://www.40kforums.com/viewtopic.php?t=21514

Kage2020
18-09-2006, 00:02
I agree that most of the fluff today isnt as good as what we all ready back in the day... I look back at the old codexes wheer they wrote about the Imperium, the Primarchs, the Emperor and even the Horus Heresy. To me that was the best cannon GW ever wrote, and even now nothing can beat it.
To be fair, though, it's easy to say that the background material "back yon" was much better than anything produced today. Of course, back in those days was when they were setting up the core premises of their universe so it really unsurprising that it is considered to be good. That's one of the reasons that I personally try and integrate the various editions, rather than taking the latest one as gospel, as it were.

Kage

The Inedible
18-09-2006, 03:11
Hate to derail this thread, but is there any way for a yung 'un to find/read deff skwadron?

And on the topic of fluff old vs. new: it is easier, perhaps, to view the fluff of "back then" as superior simply because we can see it in its completeness. It is my opinion that the fluff of now is coming at such a pace that we can't really see "the forest for the trees" as it were. Sure there is a glut of bad, fan made, fluff, there is speculation that perhaps detracts from the story, etc. But that is all in the face of the fluff that will create a bigger and more complete picture when the loose ends of now are tied up, years from now when we can see what has been built up to perhaps it will look like a continuation of the age old fluff rather than a mess of loose ends?

Kage2020
18-09-2006, 03:30
It is my opinion that the fluff of now is coming at such a pace that we can't really see "the forest for the trees" as it were.
I don't think so. There are true gems being produced (witness the Inquisitor background), but there is also a great deal of dung hitting the publishing floor...


Sure there is a glut of bad, fan made, fluff, there is speculation that perhaps detracts from the story, etc.
Most of the time it seems that the fans are producing the good material. IMHO.

Kage

Gen.Steiner
18-09-2006, 10:38
Hate to derail this thread, but is there any way for a yung 'un to find/read deff skwadron?

They released it as a graphic novel, but I'm not sure if it's still in print. Try Amazon.

Philip S
18-09-2006, 11:18
LOL... Well, at least it is an alternative to how it stands at the moment. Personally, I like trying to get into the minds of such... things. It's eased by having a solid interpretation of just what they are, substantial background material, etc. That's mostly why the majority of the Eldar writing that we've seen is so, well, not up to scratch.
Well it depends how the mind is working, not everyone has vast amounts of internal commentary.

I suppose if most were in the situation that the marine is in then lots of thoughts would race through their mind because they are not used to it or trained for it.

Next step up would be most soldiers. They have had training but many succumb to post traumatic stress disorder later because they are dropped into it and put under tremendous stress and then relieved of the stress very quickly on the tour is over. They to not acclimatise as such, and suffer later. Those who stay too long in the field many go nuts and resort to drugs ('Nam).

After that I would go for SWAT teams, veteran leaders of SWAT teams actually start to become used to the idea of such intense situations and with contused training start to be able to deal with it. Couple that experience with martial arts training and some do not even get the time dilation effects of being hyper and do not suffer after.

Marine are beyond this by a long way, and as such their internal thought processes would not involve dilemma. The know what the are going to do and do not question it while in action. In many ways the concious side of the mind goes into stand by and they act on trained instinct and 'knowing'.

Hence limited internal dialogue, ie: none.

This may also hold over to social situations, con men and those with personality disorders such as borderline do not have to think up lies, they know their lies and it flows like water and all interconnects within itself and is often perfect and undetectable.

A marine talking may not be thinking what is this person up too, and thinking how to expose them. They already know their own proven info tactics and so they may be thinking along completely different lines. Like gaining trust and observing, and chase that which presents itself. All the time, the information pools in the back of their mind until they 'see' the errors and act, again this is all instinct.

No internal dialogue.

To a marine everything is automatic, because that's how high skill works best Ė with a clear mind.

Philip

Carlos
18-09-2006, 17:35
1. If 40K is becoming generic (when did it? The Medusa Campaign/Cities of Death just highlights the good ol gothic nature is still there) then id love to see some evidence. Its one thing o spout off an opinion, another to support it with evidence.

2. 40K has never been that serious. Shokk Attack Guns? Squigs? The old D-cannon rules?

3. The imperium has never been that sinister and dark. If it didnt care about its citizens (the emperors original mandate) then the galaxy would just revolt. Citizens are thankful the astartes and brave men of the guard are there to protect them from a galaxy ready to eat/destroy/make love to them.

4. At the end of the day its open to interpretation to the level you want it. If you want to create an army of Nids sitting around eating tea cakes so be it. It would be rather funny but is your own fluff, your own creation.
I have my own narrative campaing and have done for the last 10 years, but this is never mentioned anywhere because its my corner of the galaxy and no-one elses.

schoon
18-09-2006, 18:47
Hate to derail this thread, but is there any way for a yung 'un to find/read deff skwadron?

It's between printings at the moment, and sadly the ones on Amazon are a bit on the pricy side. There aren't even any on eBay right now. :cries:

It IS, however, much fun and well worth a read.

Kage2020
18-09-2006, 21:58
Well it depends how the mind is working, not everyone has vast amounts of internal commentary.
No, of course not. That is not, however, the point that was being made, Philip. Or at least I don't believe it was!


I suppose if most were in the situation that the marine is in then lots of thoughts would race through their mind because they are not used to it or trained for it.
That is one way of looking at it, Philip. On the other hand, I would personally doubt that everything that a Marine does is autonomic.


The know what the are going to do and do not question it while in action. In many ways the concious side of the mind goes into stand by and they act on trained instinct and 'knowing'.
Although, as I feel you've illustrated, you can do much to over-state the situation. What you're saying is true, but that doesn't mean that a Marine does not actually engage in thought!


To a marine everything is automatic, because that's how high skill works best Ė with a clear mind.
And "internal dialogue" is a bit more than self-doubt, erring on which door to kick down, etc. Some friends of mine had the pleasure of seeing a certain branch of the (very) special forces in a training operation. Suffice to say that the story brought down my raw expectations of special forces - not the skill, though, just how I had idealised them! - in the same way as the first archaeology I was ever engaged in... or the first physics experiment... or the first commerical chemistry... ;)

Reality has a way of monkeying around with idealised conceptions, which some of the above seem to be.

Kage

Philip S
18-09-2006, 22:27
And "internal dialogue" is a bit more than self-doubt, erring on which door to kick down, etc.
Yeah a person could wonder all kinds of stuff, is the door booby-trapped, is there a man on the other side ready to fire, is it the right door, yadda, yadda, yadda.

Marines are huge armoured nutters, if one gets taken down the next one jumps over to avenge them, besides they would probably go through the wall! Suffice to say they just blast and barge in and then blast some more Ė Terminator style!


Reality has a way of monkeying around with idealised conceptions, which some of the above seem to be.
Yeah, but is their anything like a marine in our world?

I mean, take the most experienced SWAT leader, one that has seen it all, then give him back his youth but still retain the knowledge, then let him carry on for another 200 years, give him a huge super fast re-engineered body, super armour and a massive gun.

The duplicate him ten times, this is the base unit, a unit that has seen lots of war, that works together as a warrior band not a military unit, that is totally dedicated to killing everything and in all ways. These guys just think of ways of how to kill, scenarios, tactical situation, they have endless enthusiasm for death and ways to kill. The never tire of war stories or practice, they just love what they do.

Now looking at these types that just Ďknowí what to do based on situation and enemy type, they use tactics that work and arenít concerned about human rights and they arenít too bothered about their own death if in the process it gives the others the info they need to take the target down (which is a tad inhuman)

I would imagine marines are quite happy/ proud to sacrifice themselves if need be.

Philip

Hellebore
19-09-2006, 08:15
I would imagine marines are quite happy/ proud to sacrifice themselves if need be.

Philip

The fluff certainly seems to support you in that regard Phil, I am reminded of the Cities of Death background and how the loyalists besieging the Palace of Thorns all vied for the honour to lead missions into the corridors - it being almost certain suicide.

GW just loves its marines dying heroically, martyring themselves on the Imperial Eagle....

Hellebore

Kage2020
19-09-2006, 21:56
Yes, but that's just something that you have to get into 'character', not something that makes them impossible to get into the mind of.

Kage

Philip S
19-09-2006, 22:45
GW just loves its marines dying heroically, martyring themselves on the Imperial Eagle....
I their droves!


Yes, but that's just something that you have to get into 'character', not something that makes them impossible to get into the mind of.
Yeah, Iím not saying itís impossible (here I go again)

The marine head butted the top lintel of the door frame and barged through with his shoulders. At the same time raising his right forearm through the splattering foam board to bring his gun to bear.
A small man brandishing an Autogun stood in the dank apartment, shaking, his eyes wide with fear. He open his mouth to shout his defiance, but it was silenced by the marineís fist.
ĎThis is Marius, point Theta secure, no resistance encounteredí
Marius moved toward the window, his massive armoured boot crushing the dead manís chest forcing the lungs through the corpseís mouth. He stared down at the street below over the top of his bolter and noted tactical points, and smiled.
ĎSoon spirit, soon you will singí he thought.

Iím saying they think after the fact in points of reflection, not during, they donít think during, they just do.


Philip

Kage2020
19-09-2006, 22:57
Iím saying they think after the fact in points of reflection, not during, they donít think during, they just do.
I'm guessing that I'm just missing the point because I don't see that there is one being that made that is truly relevant for the purposes of writing fiction. Or, at least, one that is going to play out.

Kage

Voronwe[MQ]
27-09-2006, 19:19
The diversity and complexity of the universe, man, you've got MUCH to learn

Son of the Lion
27-09-2006, 19:33
:confused: What the hell does that mean?

wascloud
27-09-2006, 21:10
ZOMG! background is there for a reason, to make whoever's background it is have more fun when playing a game. to tap into an earlier topic, mcneills marines were relatively humane, but 1. it made them much more interesting characters, and 2. it was very beleivable. marines are there to get humanity to their ultimate goal of TOTAL DOMINATION!!!!. if there is no humanity left, the marines are useless at the end of the day, if someones background makes them enjoy the game more, then it was well worth breaking a few rules for. once again... ZOMG!
ps stop bitching lmao
wascloud:chrome:

Freak Ona Leash
28-09-2006, 00:41
ZOMG! background is there for a reason, to make whoever's background it is have more fun when playing a game. to tap into an earlier topic, mcneills marines were relatively humane, but 1. it made them much more interesting characters, and 2. it was very beleivable. marines are there to get humanity to their ultimate goal of TOTAL DOMINATION!!!!. if there is no humanity left, the marines are useless at the end of the day, if someones background makes them enjoy the game more, then it was well worth breaking a few rules for. once again... ZOMG!
ps stop bitching lmao
wascloud:chrome:
:wtf: That added almost nothing to the conversation... Anyways, to avoid being a hypcrite Freak has to say something now, doesnt he? Well, I have really noticed any decline in the fluff that these doomsayers seem to love saying there is. Ok, some parts arent so good, such as the Tau. "This race is completly good with no bad points at all ever...how did they get here...uh, the warp storms/Eldar/Old Ones (we arent really sure which.) did it. We swear." But maybe this is due to Freak's dislike of anime, more than anything that GW has done. Sometimres it seems to Freak that people either complain about 40k's rules, and when those are fixed, in an effort to keep themselves from actually be constructive, the complainers switch to background/model quality/why Warmachine is the UBAR PWNZORZHAX!!!!1111!!11 instead. Comapling for the sake of it seems. Freak dont get it. :eyebrows:

cailus
28-09-2006, 01:16
3. The imperium has never been that sinister and dark. If it didnt care about its citizens (the emperors original mandate) then the galaxy would just revolt.

Which is why people revolted against Stalin, against Mao, against Pol Pot, against Hitler and all the other cruel wannabe dictators.

People also constantly revolt against inhumane and oppressive social systems such as those in Latin America, Africa and Asia.

I mean here in Australia they've revolted against industrial reforms that take away workers rights.

This is why we live in a perfect world bereft of poverty, inequality and oppression. It's because people stand up against oppressors and tyrants.

The Imperium should be more like our world - full of democracy, happiness and freedom fries.

Gen.Steiner
28-09-2006, 01:20
This is why we live in a perfect world bereft of poverty, inequality and oppression. It's because people stand up against oppressors and tyrants.

So true. :( :cries:

Kage2020
28-09-2006, 02:04
ZOMG! background is there for a reason...
Yep. As always, to introduce the character to the plot through the utilisation of suitably described plot device... ;)

Definitions:

Character: An individual or group of individuals (including an army).
Plot Device: Anything that is used to get the character into the plot.
Plot: A 6' deep hole, approximately 6-7' long and 3' wide hole. Sometimes has an engraved slab of stone at the shortest end of the hole.

Thus the common approach to the 'fluff'. :D

Kage

cailus
28-09-2006, 03:45
So true. :( :cries:


I miss poverty, inequality and oppression.

And I miss war too. I remember being a lad in 1991 in the Croatian city of Zadar and just praying that the Serbs would shell us and snipe at us and that I live in a bomb shelter for 6 months.

Instead the Serbs respected democracy and allowed Croatia to secede peacefully.

And so the Balkans lived happily ever after.

Piousservant
28-09-2006, 10:19
I must say I disagree entirely with you. If anything GW seems to be moving in the other direction, with the Imperium becoming a much darker place. Do you have any real, actual, evidence to the contrary? I apologise in advance for the likelyhood of a rather meandering post.

You mention Graham McNeill and Abnett as indicative of this. I have to ask, have you actually read their books? I'll admit that Guant is not your average Commissar in many ways, and I see the point made if all BL characters go against the perceived nature of Commissars that eventually people will think all Commissars are like that. I can see that potentially happening, but I don't believe it is at present. And anyway the backdrop to the Ghosts, and Eisenhorn, in terms of the worlds they visit are hardly the lovely places that inhabit this Imperium you moan about. Tanith is destroyed by Chaos for a start, Verunhive is a place where the majority live in slums, and admittedly the aristocracy live the high life- but that contrast perhaps highlights that the Imperium is not a nice place (unless you're stinking rich and even then it has the potential to get very nasty indeed). Fortis Binary, the place I can't recall the name of but they stop over at in Ghostmaker I think, where areas of the city are "no go" zones. The muties slums Eisenhorn visits, Cadia (the most obviously 'American' place- apparently) is a strict and repressive military dictatorship where people are arrested, and I think executed, for measuring pylons.

But there are relatively "nicer" worlds out there- garden worlds, and even agri-worlds are "nice" places- although that isn't to say the workers in the agri-worlds aren't perhaps mutie slaves, or low-paid workers without the things we in the real world might take for granted. Garden "paradise" worlds exist, but if anything they reinforce the grim nature of the Imperium- there aren't national parks where all can go and visit, these are the hunting ground and holiday haunts of planetary governors, rich noble families and traders who form the Imperiums upper class, highlighting the divide between the super poor majority who will never leave the planet of the their birth (except to join the Guard and go die on some far-off planet) and the super rich minority. No "Americian Dream" there if you ask me. But if that wasn't enough, not all paradise worlds are sweetness and light, Prandium- the jewel of Ultramar- was eaten by the Nids.

And on that note, Ultramar... Try reading the Ultramarines IA article, sure compared to the rest of the Imperium it probably is a "nice" (that word again) place to live but that doesn't mean it compares to the Western world as we know it- IIRC it is is rather clear on the fact that people live basically, but relatively well, as long as they get on with things. There is no freedom of speech or democracy or anything in Ultramar than there is anywhere in the Imperium. The Arbites will still arrest and probably kill (penal legions if you're lucky!) anyone breaking the Lex Imperialis. The Imperium never was, and never will be a tolerant society. It is a vast authoritarian tyranny, by and large, supported largely due to its theocratic nature and the lack of any real alternative (and the threat of the Astartes flattening anyone who disagrees).

On the Astartes note (don't get me Astarted... boom boom) I don't have an issue with more "humanitarian" chapters like the Salamanders and the Ultramarines. All things are relative, its not like even they follow the Geneva Convention or worry about "human rights"- the Salamanders will no doubt launch assaults like the one at the beginning of the 3rd ed SM Codex should they be pissed off enough, depending on the situation- they may follow more restraint if it appears to be just the governor who has turned against the Imperium but if the entire planet seems to be in revolt I can't see them being to concerned about flattening everyone. And there are a lot of Chapters who are at the other extreme, the Flesh Tearers, Dark Angels, Iron Hands, Black Templars, even the Blood Angels. The Iron Hands IA described how they executed one man in every ten in a sub-sector they "liberated", I don't recall that happening in Operation Iraqi Freedom.

So no, I don't think the Imperium is a place of sweetness and light, of "Anglo-America 40k" it is a place of contrasts, a place in shades of grey. But that gives it more interest to me, rather than any kind of two dimensional "grim darkness" thing. But even then, it is shades of very dark grey.

Llothlian
28-09-2006, 11:07
Marines are humanities "Angels of Death" and they are there to help speed humans along on their manifest destiny to rule the universe. If they don't care about their charges they aren't doing their job. Marines aren't snuggly carebears but they are still "On our side"

Marines started as drug fueled thugs who were as likely to shoot a guardsman for getting in their way as an enemy. After fighting any chaos forces they would have their mind wiped, they would eat their enemy for information, spit acid on old women for fun, and throw small children down wells for kicks.

Now they run to the Imperial Guards rescue, losing half a company, and think it was worth it to rescue 50 Guardsmen.

Marines are better than a human. They know it. They are no longer really human. They fight because they are told to, not because they want to defend humanity. At least that is how it was, before the fluff died.

malika
28-09-2006, 11:33
Which is why people revolted against Stalin, against Mao, against Pol Pot, against Hitler and all the other cruel wannabe dictators.

People also constantly revolt against inhumane and oppressive social systems such as those in Latin America, Africa and Asia.
Systems the western world sometimes puts in power...



This is why we live in a perfect world bereft of poverty, inequality and oppression. It's because people stand up against oppressors and tyrants.
Only a minority of the 6 billion people live in that perfect world, the rest live in poverty, oppression and inequality.



The Imperium should be more like our world - full of democracy, happiness and freedom fries.
Democracy is very questionable in our world, we dont really live in such a happy little world...well in Imperial standards it would probably be a paradise world (if we remove the internal wars)


Marines started as drug fueled thugs who were as likely to shoot a guardsman for getting in their way as an enemy. After fighting any chaos forces they would have their mind wiped, they would eat their enemy for information, spit acid on old women for fun, and throw small children down wells for kicks.
Sounds to me like pre heresy Luna Wolves.

Gen.Steiner
28-09-2006, 11:37
I miss poverty, inequality and oppression.

And I miss war too. I remember being a lad in 1991 in the Croatian city of Zadar and just praying that the Serbs would shell us and snipe at us and that I live in a bomb shelter for 6 months.

Instead the Serbs respected democracy and allowed Croatia to secede peacefully.

And so the Balkans lived happily ever after.

Yes, it's so boring nowadays, isn't it? Gosh, honestly, just remember when, back in the good old days, there were secret policemen and torturers... ah, they were the days.

Also, Malika... can you not feel the sarcasm that's literally dripping off Cailus' posts? :confused:

Sephiroth
28-09-2006, 11:56
I think we've gone woefully Off-Topic now... :angel:

operon
28-09-2006, 11:59
Actually let me replace my previously glib post with something more constructive... What a lot of people don't realise was that the fluff is all optional.

Go back and read Rogue Trader -- the universe in the 41st milennium really is a big and diverse place where anything can happen. All of the fluff that fanboys cling so dearly too all came along after that, it's just add-ons. All the novels, the narrative campaigns, the Horus Heresy, the gods of Chaos, everything that's considered 'canon' that people argue incessantly over the continuity errors and connotations of... It's all just later additions to sell more books and miniatures.

I really don't understand why people get so worked up over it.

Andrew.

Bombot
28-09-2006, 12:39
Marines are better than a human. They know it. They are no longer really human. They fight because they are told to, not because they want to defend humanity. At least that is how it was, before the fluff died.

That's how some are and that's the thinking some drift into but there is a peice of fluff from donkey's years back describing a Marine (a Blood Angel) checking those thoughts and reminding himself that that thought process is what lead to the Horus Heresy. And that's how it should be. Loyalist Marines acting like complete savages should be the exception, not the rule.

Gen.Steiner
28-09-2006, 12:49
Actually let me replace my previously glib post with something more constructive... What a lot of people don't realise was that the fluff is all optional.

Go back and read Rogue Trader -- the universe in the 41st milennium really is a big and diverse place where anything can happen. All of the fluff that fanboys cling so dearly too all came along after that, it's just add-ons. All the novels, the narrative campaigns, the Horus Heresy, the gods of Chaos, everything that's considered 'canon' that people argue incessantly over the continuity errors and connotations of... It's all just later additions to sell more books and miniatures.

I really don't understand why people get so worked up over it.

Andrew.


I agree wholeheartedly! Bring on the Nid-Guard alliances and female Space Marines! :)

Llothlian
28-09-2006, 15:03
Sounds to me like pre heresy Luna Wolves.

Sounds like all Marines, before the great fluff crash of 3rd ed.

operon
28-09-2006, 15:07
I agree wholeheartedly! Bring on the Nid-Guard alliances

What, like... Genestealer cults?

Andrew.

Son of the Lion
28-09-2006, 16:11
I guess one of the big problems with fluff is that GW expect us to be flexible on the issue of them chopping it about, but do tend to present the changes as cast in stone (particularly when the fluff influences/explains a rules update), even if that is not the intention.
IMO this problem is further exasperated by an element of 'Fanboy mentality' amongst some 40k gamers that has developed over the years (not pointing any fingers, I've done it myself at times:D ), where accumulating a superior knowledge of the background becomes an end in itself, rather than a way to fire the imagination and enhance the wargaming experience. This attitude doesn't mesh well with the kind of 'free-style' approach that many people (inc GW themselves I believe) recommend to those unhappy with new rules and fluff changes.

eg.

DISGRUNTLED FANBOY: "I'm not happy that GW changed the colour/name/composition of my chapter to blank because of some BS new fluff, so I'm going to field them as blank."

ZEALOUS FANBOY: "You can't do that, it's not canon! Your army is cheese! You're cheese! Arrgghhh! Cheese!"



OK, an extreme example:p . But you get my point. It's particularly true of tournaments, where there's a fine line between fielding an Army that that has to twist the rules cos it's unconventional/outdated, and one that's a bogus excuse to exploit them.

I think that overall, GW has to make more of an effort to either a.) Reinforce the idea that the 40k history is subjective, possibly biased and open to interpretation. If this was widely accepted, perhaps people wouldn't get so stressed at a BL author/GW fluff writer messin' with their favourite army. (Like I did when they screwed with the HH DA&SW stuff:angel: )

AND/OR

b.) Just stop screwing with the fluff. They must be aware it's aggravating a large section of the community (though admittedly our opinion doesn't seem to matter too much, unless it's 'ZOMG, That Giant is AWESOME! I'm going to buy 12!!!!!').

NOTE: Obviously option a.) only works if the canon zealots in the community chill out also....

malika
28-09-2006, 16:37
Also, Malika... can you not feel the sarcasm that's literally dripping off Cailus' posts?
I wasnt sure...some people actually believe that stuff to be real! Trust me...I endure them in my daily life :eek:


Sounds like all Marines, before the great fluff crash of 3rd ed.
I know, but things have changed...this vibe of Marines as thugs (this would mean adult recruitment) is a pre heresy concept now. Space Marines are now children who are turned into supersoldiers...who may or may not be thugs.

cailus
28-09-2006, 23:58
And in nearly every recent Marine book I've read (the Heresy series, Souldrinkers, Uriel Ventris books), Marines are not thugs. They're generally humane, but exceptions exist.

Just on that , despite all the rhetoric about human rights and democracy and all that, most soldiers in Western militaries are still thugs. There are perpetual stories about military brutality be it Canadians in Somalia, Americans in Iraq or Australians against their own troops. And we would only get the tip of the iceberg.

Western soldiers, like all soldiers, are generally male, young and live in a competitive world associated with violence. Hence brutal thuggish behaviour is normal and in some armies or units is expected.

Now take a Marine, who has been genetically modified and totally programmed for mindless slaughter of enemies. As they say in Deus Sanguine, their loyalties are to their Primarch, the Emperor and their Chapter. Marines would not be effective if they were humane just like our own soldiers' effectiveness would be if they were intrinsically humane.

There is a story about Salamanders getting mad at the Angels Malevolent for shelling a refugee camp where Orks had hidden. Now in the eyes of other fluff, this would have actually been the correct approach - the refugees have surrendered to Xenos and have therefore betrayed the Imperium.

Furthermore extablished fluff states that all measures are to be taken to eradicate the Xenos.

However the Salamander fluff immediatley refutes it. The Salamanders would prefer to have Orks live than kill humans.

Even most modern military commanders have no problems with killing civilians to eradicate a hostile threat (collateral casualties). They only restrain themselves because they are under orders from civilian authorities to minimise civilian casualties. The Russian and other non-Western militaries have no such restrictions.

So the Salamanders as a military organisation are more humane than current militaries.

However this sort of fluff is becoming common. Specific mention is made in the Black Templar codex of how cruel their actions can be. In effect this specific mention in the BT Codex and the lack of a similar point in Codex Space Marines emphasises that cruelty and atrocities are specific to Black Templars.

Minister
29-09-2006, 00:37
There is a story about Salamanders getting mad at the Angels Malevolent for shelling a refugee camp where Orks had hidden. Now in the eyes of other fluff, this would have actually been the correct approach - the refugees have surrendered to Xenos and have therefore betrayed the Imperium.

Not quite. These were refugees, not POWs, and the complaint was being made by a Guard colonel. Orks had broken through the defensive lines to the refugees the lines were intended to protect, the the Marines Malevolent decided to open fire with their whirlwinds. THe colonel, then had his life threatened by the Marine captain upon lodging complaint at this.

During the same campaign, the Flesh Tearers proved to the Ecclesiarchy everything they ever suspected about the reliability and purity of Marines.

cailus
29-09-2006, 00:50
I'm sure that in a White Dwarf it is the Salamanders who weren't happy with the Marine Malevolent's actions.

There was also the Chapter (Celestial Lions, I think) who complaied about Inquisitorial actions and as a result were wiped out by the Inquisition.

The point is clear though, I read more about Marines being stupidly humane (down to the point of innefficiency and resource mismanagement) than them being brutally efficient and merciless.

Fleshtearers again are not a standard chapter - they are out of control and this is a specific trait that they possess.

Sephiroth
29-09-2006, 00:59
I'm sure that in a White Dwarf it is the Salamanders who weren't happy with the Marine Malevolent's actions.

Salamanders Chapter Master Tu'Shan wasn't happy when he heard about the incident, and he and the Marines Malevolent Captain, Vinyard, came to blows about it.

cailus
29-09-2006, 01:18
So the Salamander Chapter Master would rather let xenos live than kill a few civilians? In fact he'd rather attack a fellow loyalist Marine who was merely doing his duty.

And people say Marines are mindless thugs.

Modern Marines are humane hippies. The ruthless cold hearted killers are now an exception to the norm.

Khas
29-09-2006, 03:01
I think the issue here is mainly due to the fact that each person involved in this argument is seeing what he wants to see (or does not want to see in some cases).

I have now been involved in 40k since Rogue Trader and even if I have not managed to read every single scrap of text published, I consider myself to have a fair understanding of the background.

The Imperium of Man is nowhere near sliding into anything resembling 'good guys', that is simply not the case. Anyone believing otherwise is simply mistaken I'm afraid. Most of the specific examples mentioned in this thread in support of this 'good guy slide theory' come from either Dan Abnet or Gav Thorpe, both of which couldnt write their way out of a wet paperbag, much less have any understanding of 40k, logic, physics or reason. Almost all of their published material can be safely avoided entirely.

As for Space Marines being only psycotic killing machines, it would not offer much in the way of characters or storylines featuring them. The various chapters/legions of marines have different world views depending on the society that raised them before being picked as marines. That aspect of them has been in 40k since the begining and traces its origins to the Fremen of the Dune series (as those are in essence the progenitors of the Space Marines).

As for female Marines, I'm not terribly fond of the idea, but do not see it as completely impossible, after all the Adepta Soroitas are rather close to being Marines:p

Tanith Ghost
29-09-2006, 05:06
So the Salamander Chapter Master would rather let xenos live than kill a few civilians? In fact he'd rather attack a fellow loyalist Marine who was merely doing his duty.

He'd go in a personaly flush the orks out the old fashioned way. This not only keep a large percent of the workforce intact, but ensures the most xenos deaths.

Sorry pal, but 40k has a little more depth the some depressed goth's doodlebook.

It's not that tough to allow diferent types of marine-

One who will use a little girl as a human sheild, one who will just ler her get hit by the excess fire comming back at him, and that marine who will interpose his armored bulk between the civvie and the enemy, saving a valuable worker to do the Emperor's work another day.

Don't like it? Tough, it's not going away.

Sarge
29-09-2006, 05:08
And the way people are approaching the fluff of late means that the fluff is a total waste of time and we might as well scrap it.

Cailus... quite whinning and take it like a man, people are entitled to their opinons as is GWS, if you want 40k to be dark and scary, than make it dark and scary in your own sector. Got it?

cailus
29-09-2006, 06:17
He'd go in a personaly flush the orks out the old fashioned way. This not only keep a large percent of the workforce intact, but ensures the most xenos deaths.

We don't know what he would have done. The article only said that the Sallies didn't like it.

The Marines from older fluff don't care about saving the lives of the emperor's workers who were generally regarded as an expendable commodity. It's about destroying the enemies of the imperium.

So in my opinion it stands that the Salamanders are Xenos lovers and traitors and should be eradicated.


Sorry pal, but 40k has a little more depth the some depressed goth's doodlebook.

As I always say it's slowly becoming Anglo-America 1941-2006.

It's not depressed goth. It's simply a change from the light as day universes of Star Trek and Star Wars where good and bad are often defined in stu[pidly moralistic terms. Chaos used to be an alternate perspective, now it's just spikey and evil. The Nids are just mindless evil. Orks are goofy evil. And the Necrons are pure evil.

And the Imperium, Tau and Eldar are good (though te Eldar are a bit arrogant at times). And the Marines are the ultimate in good guys.


One who will use a little girl as a human sheild, one who will just ler her get hit by the excess fire comming back at him, and that marine who will interpose his armored bulk between the civvie and the enemy, saving a valuable worker to do the Emperor's work another day.

Nowadays I see that most of the Marines are more humane than the Swiss army.

To the Marines, that worker would have been a traitor for not defying the Orks. Look at history and you'll see that such view points are common in times of war from forces that are a lot less fanatical than the Marines.



Don't like it? Tough, it's not going away.

Seems to be a trend on these boards. Basically everyone seems to be saying "if you don't like it shut the **** up." What happened to freedom of expression? Oh that's right unless we're sucking up to GW we're not entitled to it.

cailus
29-09-2006, 06:18
Cailus... quite whinning and take it like a man, people are entitled to their opinons as is GWS, if you want 40k to be dark and scary, than make it dark and scary in your own sector. Got it?

Yes they're entitled to it. My problem is that the official stuff is getting toned down.

But who cares, someone resurrected this thread for no reason and I am merely repeating the same arguments.

Wazzahamma
29-09-2006, 07:07
I think Calius' stance is interesting. Even though I find Star Trek and Star Wars universes as childishly black and white, surely eternal grey in 40k would be a little one-note after a while as well?

An imperium (and marines) who all act uniformally would be boring. Why have so many different chapters, if they all hold the exact same doctrine and modus operandi? And I apply that to any of the 'shades' we're talking about.

I haven't read enough fluff to understand the current state of the 40k universe compared to earlier, but the impression I have is that it's mostly grey, with some stark splashes of black and white.

The great thing about the 30k portion of history is that it was an illusion of "white", with most of the true "white" stamped out under the heavy boot of the heresy. Whether the heresy was "black" or "grey" is still open to interpretation.

Llothlian
29-09-2006, 07:29
Chaos is grey. The gods stand for good as well as evil.

The Eldar are grey. They are looking out for number one. They don't care about defeating Chaos, or helping/killing Humanity, they just care about their own survival.

The Imperium is dark grey. All the white which there once was has been crushed by the corruption of its own protectors who are now only protecting themselves.

Orcs are light grey. They war because they are programmed to.

Necrons shouldnt be a big player at all, but they are. Grey. Again, fighting for their own survival at all costs.

Dark Eldar. Black. Kill for the joy of it.

So really, there is only one evil race out there. All the rest are just out to survive.

Bombot
29-09-2006, 08:23
The Marines from older fluff don't care about saving the lives of the emperor's workers who were generally regarded as an expendable commodity. It's about destroying the enemies of the imperium.


"We'll destroy you to save you!"

Not very bright is it? And if there's one thing worse than nice Marines, it's stupid Marines.

Llothlian
29-09-2006, 08:28
Why do you think they Exterminatus a planet to get at hidden Genestealer cults / Chaos cults? Does that sound nice? No. Does it sound necessary? Possibly.

How about attacking Guard units who survived a battle against chaos forces? Harsh but possibly needed.

If killing 10,000 civvies means 1,000,000 will live, then go for it.

Toastrider
29-09-2006, 12:32
I can't believe people are bitching about Abnett and Thorpe, while C.S. Goto keeps churning out those godawful novels.

You think Abnett's 'humanism' is bad? Try this: the Eldar inviting the Deathwatch to meet them on Ulthwe.

--TR

Khas
29-09-2006, 12:58
I can't believe people are bitching about Abnett and Thorpe, while C.S. Goto keeps churning out those godawful novels.

You think Abnett's 'humanism' is bad? Try this: the Eldar inviting the Deathwatch to meet them on Ulthwe.


This is actually not that far feched, after all the Eldar did allow Inquisitor Czevak access to the Black Library. It all depends on how it is executed, you can invite someone to your house, without showing him the way there.

BaronDG
29-09-2006, 19:14
If you think the imperium is too nice I suggest you read the Anphelion project from forgeworld (it is rather expensive but a nice book). It shows the true face of the Emperors servants...

Gen.Steiner
29-09-2006, 19:16
Or, to sum:

AdMech experiment with 'nids is sabotaged by the =][=. AdMech garrison ALL DIE.
Solomon Lok, a Cadian regiment, Elysian D-99, and some Red Scorpions arrive to investigate.
The Red Scorpions **** off after fighting the 'nids for a bit.
The 'nids kill all the Cadians, all the Elysians and Lok.
The Inquisitor who sabotaged the AdMech experiment purely to duff over Lok goes "Heh! Heh! Heh!" and is promptly shot by the Hereticus for treason, heresy, and the like.

BaronDG
29-09-2006, 21:13
Shouldn't you put a spoiler alert on that?

Sarge
29-09-2006, 22:41
Yes they're entitled to it. My problem is that the official stuff is getting toned down.

But who cares, someone resurrected this thread for no reason and I am merely repeating the same arguments.

Than close it, if you don't have anything new to say what's the point of talking?

DantesInferno
30-09-2006, 05:04
We don't know what he would have done. The article only said that the Sallies didn't like it.

The Marines from older fluff don't care about saving the lives of the emperor's workers who were generally regarded as an expendable commodity. It's about destroying the enemies of the imperium.

So in my opinion it stands that the Salamanders are Xenos lovers and traitors and should be eradicated.

Err....what?!

Nowhere does it say that the Salamanders were not equally determined as the Marines Malevolent to killing every single last Ork. The only difference is that the Salamanders would have preferred to do it in a way which did not ensure the deaths of Imperial citizens. I fail to see how this makes them Xenos lovers.




As I always say it's slowly becoming Anglo-America 1941-2006.

It's not depressed goth. It's simply a change from the light as day universes of Star Trek and Star Wars where good and bad are often defined in stu[pidly moralistic terms. Chaos used to be an alternate perspective, now it's just spikey and evil. The Nids are just mindless evil. Orks are goofy evil. And the Necrons are pure evil.

And the Imperium, Tau and Eldar are good (though te Eldar are a bit arrogant at times). And the Marines are the ultimate in good guys.


You brought up the example of the Salamanders disagreeing with the Marines Malevolent over shelling the refugee camp before. Doesn't the very fact that one group of Marines shelled a camp of innocents illustrate the point that the Marines are not 'the ultimate in good guys', as you claim?



Nowadays I see that most of the Marines are more humane than the Swiss army.

To the Marines, that worker would have been a traitor for not defying the Orks. Look at history and you'll see that such view points are common in times of war from forces that are a lot less fanatical than the Marines.


Indeed, that was the point of view of the Marines Malevolent, who did the shelling. Equally, Chapters such as the Iron Hands would not hesitate to massacre innocent citizens for similar reasons.

Just because there are examples of more Chapters who are relatively humane toward innocent Imperial citizens (Salamanders, Ultramarines, and Celestial Lions) does not mean there are Chapters who are not as callous as you'd like all Marines to be (Marines Malevolent, Iron Hands, Dark Angels). But Marines from both ends of the spectrum would be equally quick to blow the head off an Ork, Genestealer or Chaos Cultist.

Damien 1427
30-09-2006, 08:04
This is actually not that far feched, after all the Eldar did allow Inquisitor Czevak access to the Black Library.

Czevak, to my knowledge, was open-minded (For an Inquisitor) and was willing to enlist any aid in the fight against the Dark Gods. The Eldar saw use in him.

The Deathwatch are Marines who specialise in killing aliens. That is indeed their sole purpose in existance. Inviting them to one of your major holdings when you're an alien (One at on-and-off war with mankind) doesn't make sense. At all. In any way, shape or form.

As has been said, I'll take Abnetts "It isn't so grim after all" over the utter drivel pumped out by Goto.

Xhalax
30-09-2006, 21:00
I have to say that, even though I didn't really come into the fluff until 2003, I wouldn't say that it's any less dark and nasty than it was when the fluff was older (I have hunted out and read old fluff and I love it just as much as newer stuff).

It's all about perspective. As it's already been said, 40K was created to be an open ended universe, one which we can add to ourselves. And if you perseceive things a certain way about the 40K universe, then good for you. At least you have a shred of imagination about you.

Yes, I'll agree that fluff does change, but if you look at it as part of a whole, it's more a case of evolution rather than utter change or dumbing down. Things don't always change for the better....but there's always a chance of finding the mean, ol' nasty roots again and going back to something like it was.

Personally I love the fluff. Always have and probably always will because I see it as a frame work for which I can hang my own 40K ideas from. I may not share my version of 40K with people, but to me.....it's brilliant.

cailus
01-10-2006, 22:24
"We'll destroy you to save you!"

Not very bright is it? And if there's one thing worse than nice Marines, it's stupid Marines.


Because the Imperium is based on logic, decency and a dedication to science, open thinking and economic efficiency. There's no bureaucratic nightmares or superstition or fanaticism in 40K.

cailus
01-10-2006, 22:38
Err....what?!

Nowhere does it say that the Salamanders were not equally determined as the Marines Malevolent to killing every single last Ork. The only difference is that the Salamanders would have preferred to do it in a way which did not ensure the deaths of Imperial citizens. I fail to see how this makes them Xenos lovers.


They'd rather let Xenos live than kill them together with the treachurous civilians they are hiding with. In he older days, the Imperium slaughtered Xenos regardless of human casualties.

The Imperium is becoming more humane these days - look at the Imperium's objectives: save civilians, despite the fact that the world was clearly affected by both Xenos and Chaos influence( e.g. Chaos inspired uprisings in the Hives).


You brought up the example of the Salamanders disagreeing with the Marines Malevolent over shelling the refugee camp before. Doesn't the very fact that one group of Marines shelled a camp of innocents illustrate the point that the Marines are not 'the ultimate in good guys', as you claim?


It's all a matter of numbers. If we have 1,000 examples of Marines being good and 1 example of Marines being inhumane then the statistical evidence points to Marines being good.

And if that 1 example of Marines being bad is outlined as an extraordinary case (in this case by the name, Marines Malevolent), then this means that Marines on the whole are humane but that 1 Chapter is not.



Indeed, that was the point of view of the Marines Malevolent, who did the shelling. Equally, Chapters such as the Iron Hands would not hesitate to massacre innocent citizens for similar reasons.

Just because there are examples of more Chapters who are relatively humane toward innocent Imperial citizens (Salamanders, Ultramarines, and Celestial Lions) does not mean there are Chapters who are not as callous as you'd like all Marines to be (Marines Malevolent, Iron Hands, Dark Angels). But Marines from both ends of the spectrum would be equally quick to blow the head off an Ork, Genestealer or Chaos Cultist.

As mentioned the Salamanders would rather let Xenos live than kill cowardly civilians. This is treason and the Salamanders should be wiped out for it.

There are more examples of Marines being humane than inhumane. Most of the Black Library Marine stories have Marines as humane. The entire Marine codex generally implies how the Ultramarines are humane, while the Black Templar codex goes out of it's states that BT are more inhumane than normal Marines.

The Salamanders were meant to be zealous (hence the emphasise on flame based weapons - flamers and meltas). Yet now they are great humanitarians.

Next time my Marines fight the Salamanders, at least I'll know that my guys are fighting to eradicate a bunch of Xenos loving traitors (yes my Chapter are zealot freak marines - the Impalers who slaughter any and all who even slightly disobey the Will of the Emperor).

cailus
01-10-2006, 22:48
Or, to sum:

AdMech experiment with 'nids is sabotaged by the =][=. AdMech garrison ALL DIE.
Solomon Lok, a Cadian regiment, Elysian D-99, and some Red Scorpions arrive to investigate.
The Red Scorpions **** off after fighting the 'nids for a bit.
The 'nids kill all the Cadians, all the Elysians and Lok.
The Inquisitor who sabotaged the AdMech experiment purely to duff over Lok goes "Heh! Heh! Heh!" and is promptly shot by the Hereticus for treason, heresy, and the like.

So there's no proof of the Imperium being bad or even gray?

This plot indicates that one guy was a rotten apple - kinda the way the entire fluff is going. The Imperium is for all intents and purposes good, humane and all that other Star Trek style crap, however some bad apples want to spoil it.

If I wanted utopian drivel, I would have got into Star Trek and Star Wars. The Imperium of old fluff is more representative of human societies - greed, poverty, war, zealousness, hunger for power etc. The prosperity enjoyed in the West is a once off, a historical anomaly and even in the West we're returning to older forms of social structure: huge disparities in wealth distribution, becoming more religious, more racist and more nationalistic.

And our societies are extremely bureaucratic. I work in the bureaucracy in a Western country and the amount of red tape, political infighting, power grabs and general inneffectiveness is mid boggling (to employ a single cleaner, about 10 people have to sign off).

I liked the Imperium when it was an exaggerated example of our own society, of the way humanity has always been and always will be.

Kegluneq
01-10-2006, 22:51
To say the Salamanders are Xeno loving because they try to protect civilian populations is an incredibly flawed argument - like saying the only way to rid a house of pests is to burn it to the ground. The Salamanders see the civilians as worth protecting; the Marines Malevolent only see an enemy to be crushed. It's two different approaches to the same fight.

The Salamanders were meant to be zealous (hence the emphasise on flame based weapons - flamers and meltas). Yet now they are great humanitarians.
Er, since when were they zealous? It's not holy flame they use, but the forge fires of their homeworld. Limited numbers and a highly elitist recruitment pattern means they have to live with their civilian population, which naturally makes them a more sociable chapter.

Neither is there anything particularly wrong with Marines being humane to some extent - they are after all still human to some degree. Ultramar is meant to be a pinnacle of Imperial achievement, an Empire closely matching the original preheresy ideals. As such, it should be expected for warriors of Ultramar to be more supportive of Imperial ideals - which includes the preservation of its civilians.

I liked the Imperium when it was an exaggerated example of our own society, of the way humanity has always been and always will be.
It still is. If you honestly think it isn't then you've been very restricted in your choice of reading materials.

Freak Ona Leash
01-10-2006, 22:56
You have persented one piece of arguement through out the whole thread. The Salamanders objected to shelling civvies to kill Orks, because thye couldve killed the Orks without civilian casualties. Your arguement is unsteady at best. The Imperium lets the Tyranids consume their own worlds (Gryphonne IV) to make them fight the Orks, the kill every non-Inquisitorial Guardsmen who so much as sees a daemon and does the whole "CRUCIFY TEH WITCH!!111!!!11" thing pretty well too. They arent bloody nice people, even during the Great Crusade, where even Astartes are seen as more "humanist" they werent nice.