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seven324
29-01-2017, 17:59
Over the years i've seen so many posts where people have said things like “They should advance the plot!”, and it really annoys me. Recently I've even seen a few people say things like “Chaos should win, they should destroy Terra and the Emperor so the Imperium loses for once and becomes the underdogs!” and it just gets so frustrating seeing these things. To me it shows a complete lack of understanding of W40K and what it's supposed to be yet so many seem to want things like that to happen.

My biggest worry with the recent W40K “End Times” rumours is that they'll change things in such a way that by the end of it, it won't be W40K anymore; even if the universe itself is still there like GW have said a few days ago. I really don't understand why anyone wants things to advance in such a way that the entire core of the setting is changed. Even something like bringing back a Primarch (which lots of people seem to really want to happen) would be terrible because of the implications it has for the Imperium and the overall setting, not to mention they become just another character and the mystery to their fate is gone.

It's a bit difficult for me to explain why I'm against it happening. I understand wanting to know what happens, but if you want or expect that with W40K, I think you're sort of missing the point of it. W40K is a setting. It is not a story that is ever meant to be resolved or have any sort of ending. There are stories within that setting which progress – the campaigns, novels, lore in the rulebooks etc. which is used to tell some sort of narrative, but the setting as a whole is static and unchanging on purpose. People seem to completely miss the point of why it's like it is when they ask for things to change in such a way that it would no longer be W40K as we know it.

It's difficult to think of examples of settings that were designed with a similar purpose to W40K. It isn't like Star Wars or the LOTR where it's meant to tell you a story and is designed specifically to progress and change as it goes on. You are not meant to have these things resolved. There is no 'plot' for W40K, no one is ever going to win overall. The whole point of things as they are is that it's a horrible, bleak setting where everything is already bad but is going to get even worse, and there's no hope. It is static for a reason.

There is a huge difference between progressing the stories told within the setting and progressing the setting itself. If these things happen, and it ends up going back to roughly how things were before, I wouldn't have a problem with that, but fall of Cadia seems like it might have started to do make irreversible changes to parts of the setting that have been there for years, which is not going to be a if it continues along those lines. People are only going to keep wanting more and more until it's no longer W40K as we know it.

I don't think W40K needs any sort of progressing at all. Does anyone else feel this way about it? Can anyone explain why it shouldn't better that I can?

The Black Shield
29-01-2017, 21:37
I could go either way. Most of what I read is peripheral or historical to the setting anyways(Heresy, Gaunt, and Cain). I collect, build, and paint mostly, I really don't play so the current overarching campaign isn't of much interest to me.

Kakapo42
29-01-2017, 23:16
Thank you so, so much for this thread.

For a while now I've felt like I'm the only one who doesn't want an overt metaplot in 40k. I die a little inside every time I see some permutation of the phrase 'advancing the storyline' written down, but with the popular opinions of the community in recent times I've felt increasingly isolated and profoundly miserable.

I wrote this post (http://metalhobby.blogspot.co.nz/2016/11/on-metaplots-and-why-they-must-die.html) on my blog a short while ago to cover the problem in detail. Below is a quoted excerpt covering the relevant part.


For those of you who don't know (and I was like that once), a metaplot is a single unifying story arc that links together across several different independent works and impacts on all of them. In other words, you have creative works X, Y and Z, each of which cover a different aspect of the same setting or internal universe. A metaplot will be a continuing narrative across all of them, with events from work X having an impact on work Y, which in turn provides revelations that affect work Z. It's most commonly associated with tabletop RPGs and wargames, where the independent works in question are sourcebooks and gamebooks for the tabletop game's fictional setting, and it became very popular in the 1990s after White Wolf achieved some success with their famous World of Darkness RPG series, starting with Vampire: The Masquerade. These RPGs were designed from the start with a central metaplot, and when they started making considerable amounts of money (by tabletop game standards at least) other manufacturers decided they wanted a piece of the action and started coming up with metaplots of their own. Today it's very common to find them in both RPGs and wargames covering fictional settings (such as Dystopian Wars, modern GW games and perhaps most famously Battletech).

Now, so far this probably sounds perfectly well and good, after all that's basically what happens in every traditional media from books to TV shows. And that's true. It's only when it's taken out of its native environment of traditional media that the metaplot becomes such a destructive invasive disease. The astronomical problem here, you see, is that tabletop games are in many ways very different to traditional media, as an audience interacts with them in very different ways.

Traditional media like books, TV shows, movies etc. is meant to be enjoyed passively. You sit down, read the book or watch the movie or TV show, and when you reach the end that's it, the story's finished. It's over. Oh sure some people theorise and discuss things and write their own stuff about it, but that's not really what the core intent is. You don't watch Star Wars to decide what you'd do if you were in charge of the Rebellion or that it really should have been Captain Phasma that stayed on to become the big badass antagonist for the new films, you watch it to watch the story of Star Wars (and then if you get really, really invested in it you can take things from there). At the heart of it, a creator is telling you a story, and you can take it or leave it.

Tabletop games, however, are a whole other thing entirely. Instead of passively consuming them, tabletop games require you, the audience, the player, the hobbyist, to enjoy them actively. You don't just sit there while a story unfolds in front of you, you actually get in there and actively engage with the setting (even if only on the absolute minimal level required). Because tabletop games require you to create something for them. Whether it's characters in an RPG or armies in a wargame, you are required to contribute something. YOU create the characters, YOU build the army, and you, yes YOU are in control of them. You effectively create your own small part of that setting, with which you can then interact with the rest of the universe. This is easily one of the greatest joys to be had in the tabletop hobby, and I'm always very disturbed and upset when I see few people pursuing it.

Unfortunately, this starts to crash and burn if the contributors are denied a sufficient amount of agency over what happens to their creations, and that's exactly what metaplots do. Because official top-down 'storyline advancing' metaplots don't affect just one part of the setting, they affect all of it, including the parts you created. Thus, an advancing metaplot forces new background material on your characters, armies and stories regardless of whether you actually wanted it or not. And because it's official and top down, there is no real way it can be effectively denied. If you don't want or agree with the new background, there is no way for your characters or army to stop it because its set in stone from on high by people who in all likelihood will never even hear about your own creations.

There's a quote on TVtropes in the examples listed under the 'Creator's Pet' trope amongst the examples found in Tabletop Wargames:

"That's the other thing: [White Wolf] hires people who want to tell stories. But, the only characters they have to tell stories about are the NPCs. So, they tell stories about the NPCs.
Gods, I wanted to smack some of my fellow writers upside the head on some Vampire projects when they burbled on about the cool things they'd have Hardestadt do, or whoever. What were the *PCs* supposed to do?" - Dean Shomshak

Shomshak was talking about the World of Darkness and its metaplot, but the same principle applies to any tabletop game. Even the most compelling core background element of a tabletop setting is technically only ever supposed to be a backdrop for what the players are doing. As a result, if you make it all about the central metaplot and 'advancing the storyline', then I, the hobbyist and consumer of your product, can only be left saying "OK. Great. What's my army/fleet/characters supposed to do."

Let's look at some examples under the microscope shall we? Perhaps the biggest illustration of why this whole metaplot thing just does not work is the infamous 'End Times' series by GW (henceforth referred to as the ET series like it is almost everywhere else on this blog, for it does not deserve to be recognised by its full name). The ET series, as has been discussed on here before, was a series of narrative campaign books GW published for Warhammer Fantasy, and they ended up literally destroying the setting. Kislev, Bretonnia, Tilea, Estallia and several other factions were supposedly wiped out off-hand in single paragraphs, the Elves were thrown together in a fit of what certainly felt like blatant Dark Elf pandering and the forces of evil generally rampage across the entire Warhammer World. And if you wanted to stop any of this from happening? Y'know, like fantasy heroes are supposed to do? Well too bad! Instead you get to sit on the sidelines while the official named characters do everything because apparently they're the only ones that matter and the only ones allowed to have any interaction with the setting.

OK. Great. What are my armies and characters supposed to do?

A more recent GW example comes from the last two Warzone Damocles books, in which Aun'va supposedly died and the Damocles Gulf was allegedly set on fire. Ignoring the glaring contradictions of basic laws of physics that are horrendous even by 40k's standards. you really shouldn't be making those kinds of big sweeping changes in a way that leaves the hobbyists no room around them. I have a very sizeable Tau fleet (just over 2,500 pts by my estimate), some of which I've documented on this very blog. The backstory behind them has them around the Damocles Gulf right at the point when that event supposedly happens, and also has them fighting against the Imperium (mostly). And yet now it doesn't matter how many games of Battlefleet Gothic I play or how well I play them or how many Adeptus Mechanicus fleets I defeat or how many victory points I defeat them by, the Damocles Gulf is still always going to be ignited in GW's crazy made-up world. Which wouldn't be a problem if that world was the piece of silly fanfiction I'm making it out to be here, but it's the official company line, which means the bulk of the community will likely end up swallowing it. So according to GW, the Tau can't stop the Damocles Gulf from being blown up, no matter how many Exterminatus! scenarios I win against Imperial fleets. None of the official named characters did anything about it, so it happens, and that's that.

OK. Great. What are my fleets and characters supposed to do?

Also, what are my armies and characters supposed to do? I do play 40k too (well in theory at least).

And it's not just my armies. The new book GW's just released has a whole bunch of stuff happening between the Dark Angels, Space Wolves and Thousand Sons, and if you want to try and stop any of that? Too bad, as it has been written, so shall it be.

OK. Great. What are the armies and characters of the Space Wolves, Dark Angels and Thousand Sons players supposed to do?

GW isn't the only manufacturer that's guilty of this either. For a long time I flirted with getting into Dystopian Wars, a 15mm steampunk wargame produced by Spartan Games. But when I went to check up on where it was at I was put right off ever wanting to start into it, because any remaining models in the range that I do like would be thoroughly eclipsed by 'progressing storyline' that's taken the setting beyond it's starting point. Oh, you wanted to conquer the carribean or invade Russia (though you probably don't know much about world conquest if you did the latter)? Well [expletive deleted]! We've written about the official events in these fancy new books! Go and slavishly devote yourself to just passively eating up whatever we spoon feed you, your creations don't matter to us*! Heck, the enormous metaplot in Battletech is the single biggest factor AGAINST me getting into that system.

And that's another problem, developers just don't stop at one addition, they keep driving the metaplot until everywhere is covered. So it doesn't matter that your army and its related background happens thousands of light-years away from the events in a given GW campaign book, or a continent away from the latest Dystopian Wars metaplot antics, because that won't keep you safe forever. All it takes is one campaign book, one new piece of background material, one 'advancement to the storyline' to render all your carefully thought-out background effectively null and void in the wider community. And frankly, if that's what's going to happen, then why should I even bother with building my own army in the first place? And if the answer to that is 'you shouldn't' then what's the point of the tabletop hobby, and why should I care about it?

This isn't a new problem, but it wasn't this bad before. GW's global Eye of Terror global campaign promised big shakeups to the status quo, and while glorious it was almost certainly a mistake. But it at least allowed hobbyists to have some level of agency over the changes by allowing them to interact with the process - if you don't want side X to win at location Y, then you'd just have to win enough games and report those wins in to stop them there (well that's the basic concept at least. The actual system was somewhat more complicated). With these new campaign books? None of that. The things happen, rocks fall, everyone dies, and there's nothing you can do about it. And at the risk of sounding like an 80s action film character, I didn't sign on for that.

And it's a trivially easy thing to fix. All manufacturers would have to do is write in a little 1-page introduction piece at the start of every campaign book that clearly and explicitly states that all the background material contained within is just a hypothetical 'What if?' scenario and is only one potential outcome out of many, and encourages players to come up with whatever outcome suits them the best, and reinforce that message in every official statement about the campaign books, and there'd be no problem because then everyone would be free to decide for themselves whether to include the new background or not. And if they want to do a massive global campaign event, then they just have to think smaller. One planet, one city, one thing that's inconsequential in the grander scheme of things. Things like the Medusa V campaign or Imperial Armour Volume III: The Taros Campaign are the right idea, because even if you don't agree with the outcome it's just one small place that you can avoid. The Tau conquered Taros? That's OK, your army is light-years away engaged in its own equally important conflict, and who knows maybe it'll go there someday to try and retake it. Maybe it will, maybe it won't but it's up to you. And that's the important part that's missing at the moment. If it is there, then I don't think it's being rammed down the community's throat nearly enough.

All official background in a tabletop game is ever meant to do is be a starting point, something to give your games and characters and armies context. It should never be a prime mover - that's the job of YOU, the player and hobbyist.

All the official background should ever do is set the stage and provide some props and costumes. It should then be up to you to cast some actors, write a script and perform it. And the sooner manufacturers remember that, the better.


Really there's nothing wrong with advancing a tabletop setting, but it needs to be done by hobbyists, on an individual level, not by manufacturers. That way everyone has the freedom to choose exactly where they want to go with what the setting provides them with.

The truth is that having an overt metaplot removes the number 1 reason why I play tabletop games at all. When it comes to the tabletop hobby, I'm a transmitter, not a receiver. I just can't play tabletop games that are historical reenactments, because that just isn't fun for me. I play tabletop games to make history, not to retell it. A metaplot removes the freedom to do that, which renders the tabletop hobby largely pointless to me, and that ultimately leaves me struggling to find a reason why I should even bother with this hobby.

Voss
30-01-2017, 01:09
Well, it's only recently that 40k has had a plot at all, so it feels novel. But I don't think it is inherently bad. If it is handled with the same lack of care and complete lack of talent the AoS launch was, then it will be bad. But it could also be used to tidy up and fix some lingering stupid.
On the other hand, seven, I do agree in one sense: 40k isn't a place for heroes, and the current focus on heroic supermen is a little weird. It is, afterall, a big place, and whatever happens, you (meaning any individual person) will not be missed.


But I definitely do think the only place a plot can come from is the company. What hobbyists do on an individual level affects no one else at all in any way. This is pretty much necessary to protect everyone else from weird arguments about their personal canon no one else is aware of and don't care about at all.

Sorry, Kakapo, but I just can't agree. Games are games, they don't really interact with the background at all, beyond framing expectations of how things behave. The games produce results that aren't coherent with any sort of narrative, as captains, chapter masters, eldar gods and so on are chewed up at a ridiculous rate over and over again, dozens or hundreds of times over the course of a year (per player). Game results don't produce good stories, and a traditional story focus rarely produces good games (and usually has to be finessed away from the rules). In-universe stories, anyway. I've heard some ripping good tales about dice and players' personal tactical failings while moving models about.

Lupe
30-01-2017, 01:37
I'm fairly neutral on the subject of the setting advancing.

On the one thing... 40K really stood out for the whole, perpetual, 2 minutes to midnight vibe they had going. Where everything happens just before the Apocalypse.

On the other hand, I *AM* curious to see how things would go from there. By all evidence so far, the galaxy is on the verge of extinction, and the only reason we've managed to stave off total annihilation is, actually and surprisingly, that every single faction has the potential to spell doom for everyone else. And the reason there's still a universe left is that everyone keeps getting in everyone else's way.

Part of me really wants the plot to advance. I really think that, following already established logic, the setting would stay the same. I honestly believe that whatever advances happen, they would happen multilaterally. Nobody gets left behind. Everyone loses *something* in strategic terms. But, everyone would score a victory to some degree. It would still be the same free-for-all Mexican standoff... just from a different set piece.

The problem is, part of me is really afraid that logic and established precedent will NOT be factors in GW's plan to advance the setting.

carlisimo
31-01-2017, 01:11
I'm actually a recent convert to the other side. I got into 40k a long time ago and I was happy with it being a setting and not a story... but I'm ready for change.

Part of it is that the Horus Heresy setting has been really interesting to follow. As Forge World gets further into the war, new units come out, color schemes change, and waiting for those releases has been exciting in a way that 40k codex releases haven't. If 40k expanded the way it did with the Tau - adding new books, covering new parts of the galaxy - I think I'd be happy. But instead, each new codex adds a few units and goes through mental gymnastics to explain why they exist now but didn't before. Changes to the plot make those additions more understandable.

Come to think of it, the Eye of Terror campaign was pretty exciting too, back when White Dwarf was reporting on which planets had been burned or lost.

It's also fatigue. Baal had been threatened by an incoming hive fleet forever in the books. It's great stuff the first time, but after 20 years I just wanted someone to tell me what was going to happen.

I don't want anything drastic like the Emperor dying or coming back to life, but I'm comfortable with Cadia blowing up and Chaos being given greater access to realspace. Gryphonne IV was destroyed years ago, and sad as that was to its fans, it wasn't a bad move. Let the years tick into M42. It'll be fine.

Kakapo42
31-01-2017, 02:08
I always liked the Eye of Terror campaign, but I have since come to the conclusion that it was a mistake. A beautiful mistake, but a mistake nonetheless. The sort of massive all-encompassing ramifications it was set up for should really have never been attempted by GW - best to leave that for groups to work out with their own campaigns. The reason it ended up working was that the involved parties ended up collectively rolling a natural 20 for its execution.

That said, it did at least allow hobbyists to have some say in what happened, which makes it at least better than the straitjacket that the metaplot-driven campaign supplements are.


It's also fatigue. Baal had been threatened by an incoming hive fleet forever in the books. It's great stuff the first time, but after 20 years I just wanted someone to tell me what was going to happen.

See the moment someone tells me what happens with Baal or Cadia or whatever I instantly loose any interest or enjoyment from them. The Horus Heresy was at it's most interesting for me when it was just a bunch of cryptic references in the Index Astartes articles, and no-one really knew what happened during it, and while it was never really a part of 40k I found that compelling to begin with (I just find Space Marines boring), the BL and Forgeworld takes on it have killed off any appeal it might have had (in fact they're actually almost starting to make me actively dislike it).

I don't want to be told what happens in 40k, I want to decide for myself what happens in it, especially with the parts I invented (namely my armies and characters). I already have my life for when I want an unrelenting nightmare where everything is set in stone, it's all doomed from the start and there's nothing I can ever do about anything, and if I want to passively enjoy a story from start to finish I'll put on a DVD.

theJ
31-01-2017, 09:28
*sigh*

I will say that any setting ultimately needs fresh additions to stay alive; late 7th and early 8th edition of WHFB being a prime example - there were no additions, no fresh faces, no stories to be told, and the setting was, for far too many intents and purposes, dead.
The setting came back alive with MINOR new plot-threads, such as the kidnapped elven "princess", which both gave us something to talk about, and pushed the boundaries of what could be done within the setting.
By the time the end times came around, the world was already healthier than it had been for... what? a decade? ... and everyone was looking forward to what this new storyline would bring.

...
Unfortunately, the End Times brought very few new stories to the table; there were a few, but they were VASTLY overshadowed by the End Times' true agenda - ending ye olde stories.
...
This is something that should damn near NEVER be done to a setting.
It can be excused, if well done, and if it opens up for new stories... and for a while it almost looked like it would... but in the end, the world burned, and what came out of the flames did not make up for what was lost.

The 40k version seems less extreme... but I can't help but suspect that it'll still suffer from the same core issue:
Can the free reign of the traitor legions make up for the loss of Cadia - not just from imperial control, but from the setting as a whole?
Can the new "Ynnari" faction of Eldar make up for the loss of Biel'tan and Old Commoragh, both of which were staples of the setting?
Can the new grand alliance make up for the loss of stories born of an omni-present hostility between all factions, one of the most beloved aspects of the setting?

Personally, I suspect the answer is going to be "no".
...
And even if it turns out to be "yes", could these new things not have been gained without torching what used to be?

Lord Damocles
31-01-2017, 17:33
The storyline advancing is business as usual.

For years the setting advanced - giving us the defeat of Kraken at Ichar IV, the arrival of Hive Fleet Leviathan, the 3rd war for Armageddon, the awakening of the Necrons, the 12th and 13th Black Crusades, the capture and release of Yarrick, the wounding and death of Tycho, Cypher recovering the Hand of Darkness, Lysander getting promoted to Captain, etc. etc. The timeline even pushed on into .M42 with Black Library publications and the Fall of Medusa V.

The near-stagnation of the setting for the last few years is the outlier.

The difference with the Gathering Storm narrative is the speed and scale of the change, and the fact that GW appear to have a deliberate end goal in sight as a result of the changes.

Lars Porsenna
01-02-2017, 21:27
There are individual stories within the setting that cannot be resolved except by moving the entire setting forward. FREX the situation on Cadia.

As far as where I sit on this, it depends. I DO NOT want another AoS of the setting (I'm not referring to the rules, but "blowing up" the setting), nor do I want to see any faction death, even if they are factions I do not play. People invest a lot of money into their armies, and killing off a faction just doesn't sit right (you could play games as a "historical" scenario set before faction death, but IMHO most people don't want to play with a dead faction whose story is "closed"). If GW is able to avoid both of these elements, I'll be interested in seeing where they go with it. If they kill the setting (even though they say they're not going to "blow it up" in recent responses, though there are plenty of ways to achieve the exact same effect) I'm out...the setting is just as important to the game for me (it gives me a reason to keep playing over the long term). If they do sensible moves to move the overall story forward, it can work, even if individual bits I dislike. Keep in mind I am a lo-ong time veteran of Battletech, and they move the story along pretty steadily, with occasional timeline jumps. So I've seen the best and the worst of it. I hope GW can learn from this.

Damon.

Voss
02-02-2017, 01:12
The 40k version seems less extreme... but I can't help but suspect that it'll still suffer from the same core issue:
Can the free reign of the traitor legions make up for the loss of Cadia - not just from imperial control, but from the setting as a whole?
Eh. The loss of Cadia seems a non-issue. Chaos was pretty much free to do as they pleased anyway. Yeah, supposedly Cadia was a fortress that blocked the legions in (somehow), but effectively it never actually did that, so... whatever. Big chaos uprisings (like the gaunts ghost series and other fiction) don't originate from the Eye, and a convenient number of traitor marines show up as narratively needed to any given conflict, so, to quote the Regimental Standard: the Fall of Cadia- exactly as planned.
https://regimental-standard.com/2017/01/18/cadia-another-imperial-victory/


Can the new "Ynnari" faction of Eldar make up for the loss of Biel'tan and Old Commoragh, both of which were staples of the setting?
The former isn't lost, and I actually hadn't heard the latter is either. Either way, 'Old Commoragh' is new enough that it just doesn't compute for me as a staple. Dark Eldar only matter when they pop out raiding, and they can really get drunk and have gladiatorial games and pain orgies anywhere in the post-raid haze, including in the middle of webway tunnels. If it is lost in some fashion, I don't see an impact.


Can the new grand alliance make up for the loss of stories born of an omni-present hostility between all factions, one of the most beloved aspects of the setting?
I honestly don't see that going away. I actually see it more likely that the real monolith (the Imperium) will shatter a bit, so GW can justify all the Marine on Marine action that goes on all the time anyway.


And even if it turns out to be "yes", could these new things not have been gained without torching what used to be?
Not really. Chaos has to be a threat to somebody, somewhere in some fashion, which has really been lacking for most of third edition onwards. At the moment, the only thing that actually threatens anyone in the universe as written are the tyranids, to the point that they feel like an overblown, ridiculous inevitability, and everyone should just nuke themselves immediately to deny the 'nids dinner.

Lord Damocles
02-02-2017, 16:53
It's a little odd that people seem so concerned about the Imperium and Eldar possibly working together for a bit following the fall of Cadia - since over a decade ago, it was the combined fleets of the Imperium, Eldar, and Necrons who prevented the destruction of Cadia via Blackstone Fortress during the Eye of Terror campaign!

Lupe
03-02-2017, 02:02
It's a little odd that people seem so concerned about the Imperium and Eldar possibly working together for a bit following the fall of Cadia - since over a decade ago, it was the combined fleets of the Imperium, Eldar, and Necrons who prevented the destruction of Cadia via Blackstone Fortress during the Eye of Terror campaign!

I think that's because over a decade ago people hadn't been exposed to poorly written (otherwise nothing on the list below is actually an absurd, unplausible or unworkable idea in the 40k setting, mind you) fluff like:
- Calgar & the Avatar
- The whole Grey Knights Codex
- The (wild overreaction to) that episode with the Necrons and the Blood Angels
- The early version of the allies matrix
- The newcrons
- etc

Ten years or so ago, everyone just took it for granted that each of the factions had their own, basic, selfish reasons to just gang up on the resurgent Chaos tide. Those motives can best be summed up as hatred (Imperium), survival (Eldar) and probably overriding directive (Necrons). And everyone took it for granted that nothing good was about to happen to ANY of those three factions as soon as the spiky ones turned tail and fled.

I guess what I'm saying is that people right now are more afraid of the way the aftermath of this whole mess will be presented, rather than *WHAT* that aftermath really is.
And let's face it, GW's track record in portraying scenarios that have a potential to be interesting in a way that not only devalues the whole story, but actually reflects poorly on the parts of the parts of the stuff that WERE actually good.

At the risk of blowing my own horn -as well as courting the risk of necroposting - I'll just reference you to the whole necron + blood angels incident. We know what reaction THAT generated in its time. I'll just drop a link (http://www.warseer.com/forums/showthread.php?268222-Blood-angel-s-fluff-what-s-wrong-with-it/page4) to a post of mine from 2010 about that exact reaction. Basically, it's my view of that exact premise, described in a different way. Just... adding in a few fine touches to a brief blurb. Just look at the reactions on the rest of the page, and you'll see what feedback our fellow warseerites had to contribute. That, right there, is what people fear will happen again.

EDIT: While you're there, definitely recommend checking Son of Sanguinius post on the same page about Calgar vs The Avatar.

Bloodknight
03-02-2017, 06:13
Either way, 'Old Commoragh' is new enough that it just doesn't compute for me as a staple.

Dunno, it's been in the fluff longer than a huge part of the customer base now has been alive. I'd say that after almost 20 years, something is a fixed point of the setting.

seven324
03-02-2017, 12:13
The storyline advancing is business as usual.

For years the setting advanced - giving us the defeat of Kraken at Ichar IV, the arrival of Hive Fleet Leviathan, the 3rd war for Armageddon, the awakening of the Necrons, the 12th and 13th Black Crusades, the capture and release of Yarrick, the wounding and death of Tycho, Cypher recovering the Hand of Darkness, Lysander getting promoted to Captain, etc. etc. The timeline even pushed on into .M42 with Black Library publications and the Fall of Medusa V.

The near-stagnation of the setting for the last few years is the outlier.

The difference with the Gathering Storm narrative is the speed and scale of the change, and the fact that GW appear to have a deliberate end goal in sight as a result of the changes.

There's a huge difference between those things, i think. While those are advancing it in the sense that they're events within the timeline moving forward, they aren't setting changing events, meaning they aren't affecting large, significant parts of the setting; things go back to pretty much how they were before, or they're left open-ended, or the changes end up being fairly insignificant. In this case, they're irreversible changing massive parts of the setting in a way that has implications for everything overall, entirely destroying important things that have been around for years and are well known.

We've had several huge events that have changed core parts of the setting in a way that cannot be reversed (spoilers for the current 2 campaign books, and the next unannounced one) Cadia is entirely gone, Biel-Tan is gone and now worst of all, Guiliman is back. Important aspects of the lore just gone, just like what happened with the End Times but on a lesser scale.

Do you really think the Imperium will have the same now that Guiliman is coming back? That was my biggest worry about these new campaigns, and it's happened. I don't think that's a good thing at all.

Karhedron
03-02-2017, 12:26
The whole thing reminds me very much of White Wolf's old "World of Darkness" roleplaying setting. Like the 40K setting, it was a grimdark world with lots of plot hooks planted for players to follow. Then they started actually activating their plot hooks in the "Gehenna" storyline which basically wiped out the previous 3 editions of established background.

It was an exciting one-off but the player base and setting never really recovered as far as I can tell. If you let the Doomsday clock strike midnight then what happens next?

seven324
03-02-2017, 12:43
It was an exciting one-off but the player base and setting never really recovered as far as I can tell. If you let the Doomsday clock strike midnight then what happens next?

I think that's the problem. These things are a one-off event that are going to seriously change the setting, and so far it looks like they're doing so in a way that GW doesn't quite understand their own setting.

The whole point of the setting, and the Imperium, is that things are dark, depressing and pretty much as bad as things can get. There is no "hope", but now the next campaign book seems like it's going to 'solve' exactly that problem by:
bringing back Guilliman with the goal of "Saving the Imperium". It gives too much hope to the Imperium, which changes their core theme and has implications for the entire Galaxy and setting itself. That is in no way a good thing to me.

Souris
03-02-2017, 14:06
I think that's the problem. These things are a one-off event that are going to seriously change the setting, and so far it looks like they're doing so in a way that GW doesn't quite understand their own setting.

The whole point of the setting, and the Imperium, is that things are dark, depressing and pretty much as bad as things can get. There is no "hope", but now the next campaign book seems like it's going to 'solve' exactly that problem by:
bringing back Guilliman with the goal of "Saving the Imperium". It gives too much hope to the Imperium, which changes their core theme and has implications for the entire Galaxy and setting itself. That is in no way a good thing to me.


I think that's the problem. These things are a one-off event that are going to seriously change the setting, and so far it looks like they're doing so in a way that GW doesn't quite understand their own setting.

The whole point of the setting, and the Imperium, is that things are dark, depressing and pretty much as bad as things can get. There is no "hope", but now the next campaign book seems like it's going to 'solve' exactly that problem by:
bringing back Guilliman with the goal of "Saving the Imperium". It gives too much hope to the Imperium, which changes their core theme and has implications for the entire Galaxy and setting itself. That is in no way a good thing to me.

The latest revaluation strikes me as completely in keeping with the Imperium and the themes of 40k.

There are powerful factions in the Imperium that won't like the change of power a returning loyalist Primarch will bring. The Imperium will slowly plunge into civil war again as those who could save the Imperium devolve into politicking and petty squabbling instead of working together. That's before we see what Guilliman makes of the current setting compared to the era he left.

Far from being 'hope', the news could spell the end of a unified (as much as it can be anyway) Imperium of Man.

theJ
03-02-2017, 14:48
Eh. The loss of Cadia seems a non-issue. Chaos was pretty much free to do as they pleased anyway. Yeah, supposedly Cadia was a fortress that blocked the legions in (somehow), but effectively it never actually did that, so... whatever. Big chaos uprisings (like the gaunts ghost series and other fiction) don't originate from the Eye, and a convenient number of traitor marines show up as narratively needed to any given conflict, so, to quote the Regimental Standard: the Fall of Cadia- exactly as planned.
https://regimental-standard.com/2017/01/18/cadia-another-imperial-victory/
I believe I have been misunderstood...
I am not refering to the supposed "chaos is now free to surge forth at will" that is oh so often hinted at, since, as you say, they've always been able to do that anyway.
I'm referring to the cadians, to the black crusades, the innumerable regiments, official and otherwise, tied to Cadia, all of which are, as of now, on indefinite hold, since the cornerstone of their fluff no longer exists.



The former isn't lost, and I actually hadn't heard the latter is either. Either way, 'Old Commoragh' is new enough that it just doesn't compute for me as a staple. Dark Eldar only matter when they pop out raiding, and they can really get drunk and have gladiatorial games and pain orgies anywhere in the post-raid haze, including in the middle of webway tunnels. If it is lost in some fashion, I don't see an impact.
As others have mentioned, Commoragh is oooold fluff... and while Biel-tan might not be "lost" in the conventional sense... it is still changed beyond recognition, much like how I doubt "New Commoragh" will be the same as the old one to anyone taking more than a cursory glance... doesn't mean either is going to be "bad"... just means that all stories and armies tied to ye olde' versions are now dysfunctional.
This is why we traditionally invent NEW craftworlds when we want to do something fancy with 'em. We still get the story, but without having to mess up any of our old work.



I honestly don't see that going away. I actually see it more likely that the real monolith (the Imperium) will shatter a bit, so GW can justify all the Marine on Marine action that goes on all the time anyway.
I hope you are correct.



Not really. Chaos has to be a threat to somebody, somewhere in some fashion, which has really been lacking for most of third edition onwards. At the moment, the only thing that actually threatens anyone in the universe as written are the tyranids, to the point that they feel like an overblown, ridiculous inevitability, and everyone should just nuke themselves immediately to deny the 'nids dinner.
...
Do they..?
I know this is usually considered kinda taboo to bring up, but why does Chaos have to be the big bad? What makes them more interesting than the Tyranids? or the Necrons? or the Orkzies? I fell in love with this setting for its variety just as much as for its grim and dark grimdark of dark grimnity. That only one faction is allowed to call itself a "big bad" kinda flies in the face of that.
Further, even if we treat this as unquestionable truth, is this truly the best way to go about it? Is chaos interesting when the threat it poses is represented by giant armies of space marines overwhelming their imperial counterparts in open battles? Because I was of the impression that their true appeal came from their ever-present corrupting nature, ever seething in the background, seeding the galaxy with madness, and turning brother against brother, and not because they'z da' biggest an' da' stronkest.
Thirdly, as I said before, was any of this ever necessary to create this story?
If we wanted to showcase the power of chaos, then having Abbadon get his punk-ass repeatedly beat and eventually blowing up his intended prize when he finally realizes it is beyond his reach seems rather... backwards.
If we wanted to hint at the rebirth of the Eldar Empire, then shattering two of their foremost capitals, creating massive rifts in their societies and rallying them around the symbol of their demise seems... odd.

*sigh*
A thing I like to tell aspiring writers is that character death is the sledgehammer of storytelling; it is one of the mightiest tools in our arsenal, capable of breaking through even the most cynical of readers, but we must always take heed when we swing it, lest we break things beyond our intended target.
Meanwhile, if character death is like a sledgehammer, then what GW is currently doing is akin to a wrecking ball. Its raw impact is off the scale... but we tend to keep them away from rookies for a reason.

Maybe they do know how to use it.. but I dare not be that optimistic.

Rogue Star
04-02-2017, 16:02
The setting has always been advancing, as mentioned, but at a very slow, steady pace; Kraken was defeated and Leviathan replaced it as the "current" Hive Fleet, Ghazghkull returned in the 3rd Armageddon War, where Blood Angels' Captain Tycho finally fell, Cadia was lost in the 13th Black Crusade, and the Farseer Eldrad Ulthran was reported slain, etc. Characters have come and gone, stuff has steadily happened. I'm fine with the fall of Cadia, the return of Saint Celestine, the loss of Biel-tann, creation of Ynnead, etc.

What I don't care for so far is how much the events follow characters exclusively like the heroes of a novel; rather than Cadia being over run and turned into a Daemon World and we getting details of the next line of defence, with select Imperial forces gathering around the living Saint and swearing to hold against the Despoiler before he reaches Terra, they up and retreat into the Webway to travel Ultramar to heal Roboute Guilliman - which I'm fine with, if say, the Ultramarines were currently hard pressed as the build up of say, something like the Shield of Baal story line had been used to place them directly before another swarm of the Great Devourer, letting the Primarch return in their darkest hour to rally them, creating the "Astartes Vocates", an alliance of Chapters forming a cordon against the advancing alien fleet, with Guilliman masterminding it.

Basically, none of the changes so far affect the setting. Abaddon is making a bee-line for Terra after the fall of Cadia... great! What's my warband of Night Lords doing? Fighting through to the Segmentum Solar? Sure would be nice if we got details of that... Roboute Guilliman is, presumably, also gathering his forces and heading for Terra... so are my 3rd company Ultramarines army marching on Terra with? Fighting past Chaos Space Marines?

It's a bit too character-centric for my taste right now... but I'm willing to wait and see when the dust settles where they leave everything.


If we wanted to showcase the power of chaos, then having Abbadon get his punk-ass repeatedly beat and eventually blowing up his intended prize when he finally realizes it is beyond his reach seems rather... backwards.

Well according to the Fall of Cadia, Abaddon never wanted to capture Cadia - each Black Crusade was to seek, reach and bombard a planet some where in the galaxy which had enigmatic plyons exactly like those on Cadia. When the last one fell (Cadia) a net they created across the galaxy holding back the warp from spilling in was snapped, and that is why the Eye of terror is growing and daemons are pouring in everywhere.

You can argue it's a bit silly Abaddon didn't start with Cadia (but then it was likely the most defended of these null-pylon planets) or that the Imperium never noticed their where multiple such worlds with them, but ultimately it fits - the 13th Black Crusade was the only one to target Cadia (most of the others where in completely different parts of the galaxy, like the Gothic Sector) but that's ultimately the goal. Abaddon just wanted to specifically stand on Cadia's surface and rub the Imperium's nose in it not because he wanted it, but as a message to break the Imperium's morale... he suffers from ego-moments.

Abaraxas
05-02-2017, 00:21
I've always been content with it just being a setting, and have never felt the need for the story to advance.

I like my loyalist Primarchs dead or missing, thanks.

toonboy78
06-02-2017, 05:41
I've always been content with it just being a setting, and have never felt the need for the story to advance.

I like my loyalist Primarchs dead or missing, thanks.

i'm with you on this one.

i'm not sure of the need to release loyalist Primarchs. i can'y believe it was they were running out of ideas for models.

there are plenty of sets and races that need new sculpts and maybe some new ideas.
with the release of Magnus it shows a new direction for CSM which is great and still leaves, 5 more Primarchs and 2 more Greater Daemons. all big releases each taking a month. interspersed with AoS that alone could be the best part of 2 years.

add in some new character models for Grey Knights and an over haul of the Black Templar range and that still leaves

Eldar: aspect warriors. scouts, avatar
marines: scouts, thunderfire
orks: ghazgull

before you even need to worry about loyalist primarchs.

it will be interesting to see why they have done this and how it changes the make up of the 40k universe.

it looks like grand alliances coming together and also with the pics of cypher with loyalist marines maybe a 3rd, not loyal and not chaos space marine faction (old dark angels) appearing. all pure speculation at this point, but one thing is for sure we are all talking about it and as usual the models look great!

Sureshot05
06-02-2017, 16:51
I think my biggest fear with the setting advancing is that Horus will time travel (via the Molech portal) and start fighting in the present setting. It would be disastrous on a major scale and completely ruin the Horus Heresy. I think all except Night haunter, Sanguinus and of course Horus are on the cards some how.

I think we should all start setting up Primarch bingo in our signatures...

Lupe
07-02-2017, 01:12
I'm guessing Ferrus will be a no-show, as well. Everyone else is still perfectly plausible, by this point.

Voss
09-02-2017, 01:23
Dunno, it's been in the fluff longer than a huge part of the customer base now has been alive. I'd say that after almost 20 years, something is a fixed point of the setting.

Eh. It only got vaguely mentioned at all in the 3rd edition pamphlet army book for dark eldar. It wasn't fleshed out in even a cursory way until much later, what with the Great Dark Eldar Limbo period.


Do they..?
I know this is usually considered kinda taboo to bring up, but why does Chaos have to be the big bad? What makes them more interesting than the Tyranids? or the Necrons? or the Orkzies? I fell in love with this setting for its variety just as much as for its grim and dark grimdark of dark grimnity. That only one faction is allowed to call itself a "big bad" kinda flies in the face of that.
No, no. They don't have to be the only one allowed to call itself the big bad. But they have to in some way qualify for being even a medium bad at all at this point. The 'threat of chaos' has been a joke. Yeah, occasionally some peasants rebel for tentacle reasons rather than oppression reasons or genestealer reasons, but honestly... so what? (And the gaunt's ghost novels where they were stuck on a chaos world hit this on the nose. Apart from screaming wolves and worm-implants rather than arbites and Inquisitors, life under chaos was...not particularly different than life under the Imperium. Both are mildly terrible and every so often a passel of folks get brutally killed)

As for interesting... that is part of the problem. They aren't more interesting than the tyranids, and the tyranids are just unstoppable eat monsters, impervious by plot. The necrons build tiny irrelevant empires on dead worlds, and the orks are about as relevant as locusts. Annoying when they show up and wreck everything, but at this point a comedic sideshow someone gets to be shown to be fighting in the prologue before they get called off to the real war (which happens in more 40k books than I care to think about).


Because I was of the impression that their true appeal came from their ever-present corrupting nature, ever seething in the background, seeding the galaxy with madness, and turning brother against brother, and not because they'z da' biggest an' da' stronkest.
Unfortunately the HH series has rather beat that theme into the ground. 40K characters go nuts (and get 'corrupted') for abjectly stupid reasons, and the best thing for you, them and everyone is just to shoot them in the head the first time they look at someone cross-wise. Every.Single.HH.Book. is another bloody brother vs brother metaphor for the Heresy itself. At this point, the idea that they could find the idea that 'brother vs. brother' is unthinkable is laughably absurd, because it happened again and again starting at least a century (hi, descent of angels) before Horus shrugged and decided that rebellion was just a gosh darn swell whim to pursue at the behest of lying liars that he knew were lying to him.


If we wanted to showcase the power of chaos, then having Abbadon get his punk-ass repeatedly beat and eventually blowing up his intended prize when he finally realizes it is beyond his reach seems rather... backwards.
If we wanted to hint at the rebirth of the Eldar Empire, then shattering two of their foremost capitals, creating massive rifts in their societies and rallying them around the symbol of their demise seems... odd.
Are those the goals? Or do they, perhaps, want to get the eldar moving as actors, rather than passive observers on their eternal pleasure cruise, only showing up to act as spoilers?


Meanwhile, if character death is like a sledgehammer, then what GW is currently doing is akin to a wrecking ball. Its raw impact is off the scale... but we tend to keep them away from rookies for a reason.

Eeeh. I'm unconvinced of any meaningful, let alone raw, impact. Guilliman returning could have some serious impact if used right, and he's the only thing revealed so far that I can even vaguely care about.. But if he's just a flag to rally the Imperium around, the impact of the Gathering Storm is going to be a summer breeze.

Horace35
13-02-2017, 10:12
I have said this before in other threads, I am for some of the story lines advancing but only in minor, non-earth shattering ways. Kind of like a TV program where stuff happens but by the next episode you are basically starting again. Territory could be gained and lost, some story lines developed. Definitely not like the End Times. If I was into 40k I would personally be worried

Rogue Star
13-02-2017, 19:23
Definitely not like the End Times. If I was into 40k I would personally be worried

But they haven't done anything like the End Times. To "End Times" WH40K would require at the end of this for Terra to be blown up, the Emperor dead and the warp rushing into realspace, making everything set within the Eye or Terror effectively.

Cadia fallen? Biel-tan fractured? Just tiny locations... they could destroy Ultramar and unless they decided to stop selling Ultramarine related stuff, all that's changed is the Chapter is now a mobile, space-borne force rather than tied to a location. They could destroy Armageddon and while it would be a loss of a 'historical' 40K site, it wouldn't change the setting... GW have always introduced new planets: Istvaan V, Cthellemax, Armageddon, Fenris, Ichar IV, all steadily introduced and built up over the years and more can come to replace them.

It would be like claiming the Old World of WHFB was irrevocably destroyed when Praag fell to the advancing Chaos horde. I'm pretty sure it was fine then, until the warp-rift expanded and swallowed everything up...

Kakapo42
13-02-2017, 21:04
But they haven't done anything like the End Times. To "End Times" WH40K would require at the end of this for Terra to be blown up, the Emperor dead and the warp rushing into realspace, making everything set within the Eye or Terror effectively.

Cadia fallen? Biel-tan fractured? Just tiny locations... they could destroy Ultramar and unless they decided to stop selling Ultramarine related stuff, all that's changed is the Chapter is now a mobile, space-borne force rather than tied to a location. They could destroy Armageddon and while it would be a loss of a 'historical' 40K site, it wouldn't change the setting... GW have always introduced new planets: Istvaan V, Cthellemax, Armageddon, Fenris, Ichar IV, all steadily introduced and built up over the years and more can come to replace them.


Except that's exactly what did happen in the ET series. I think the trouble some people are having is that they're focused only on the end of the ET series, the point where the setting was, in the eyes of GW, removed for good. But there were four other ET releases before that, and they did exactly the kind of ridiculous shenanigans that are happening here. Cadia in The Warp? Biel-Tann fractured? Sounds an awful lot like Kislev being overrun or any number of iconic Warhammer characters being removed from GW's fiction. There's even some direct parallels you can draw between the two (A big spell-casting character released at the start with extremely powerful rules that make it the most powerful spell-casting character released to date? Check. Folding all the Elvenesque factions under one umbrella? Check. Multiple iconic locations being removed from the equation? Check).

It might not be being officially billed as such, but it IS an ET-magnitude event. Give it time, it will get to where it's predecessor is.

And incidentally, the Old World WAS irrevocably destroyed for me when Praag went away, along with 99.9% of my interest in Warhammer (and discovering Eluvietie at the same time was the only thing that stopped it from being an even hundred).

Rogue Star
13-02-2017, 23:24
Except that's exactly what did happen in the ET series. I think the trouble some people are having is that they're focused only on the end of the ET series, the point where the setting was, in the eyes of GW, removed for good. But there were four other ET releases before that, and they did exactly the kind of ridiculous shenanigans that are happening here. Cadia in The Warp? Biel-Tann fractured? Sounds an awful lot like Kislev being overrun or any number of iconic Warhammer characters being removed from GW's fiction.

Planets are a dime a dozen in 40K, as are characters. So far, GW have removed or changed ones that are only available in the finecast format. Aun'va was killed, and he was a finecast kit. Kayvaan Shrike survived, but was promoted to Chapter Master, allowing them to update his model in plastic. When Warzone: Fenris rolled around, everyone got their panties in a bunch, insisting GW would kill off Logan Grimnar - even though sane people pointed out (myself included) he just had a brand new plastic kit, he wasn't going anywhere - lo and behold, he survived the events of that narrative.

Yes 40K characters are being removed, but they're not being indiscriminately killed like the End Times, they're being dropped if GW wants to replace them or updated for when they return in plastic.


There's even some direct parallels you can draw between the two (A big spell-casting character released at the start with extremely powerful rules that make it the most powerful spell-casting character released to date? Check. Folding all the Elvenesque factions under one umbrella? Check. Multiple iconic locations being removed from the equation? Check).

Except the Craftworld and Dark Eldar will work together, and have worked together almost since the latter's inception, because they didn't split from a difference in a civil war, but choose differing lifestyles. It's hardly like they're doing something that flies in the face of established lore. Ynnead? He's been there since 40K's 3rd edition.


It might not be being officially billed as such, but it IS an ET-magnitude event. Give it time, it will get to where it's predecessor is.

Hopefully with a streamlined ruleset which borrows a lot of the good stuff from Age of Sigmar, like weapon stats integrated into the profile and keywords.


And incidentally, the Old World WAS irrevocably destroyed for me when Praag went away, along with 99.9% of my interest in Warhammer (and discovering Eluvietie at the same time was the only thing that stopped it from being an even hundred).

Why? Even as a setting, such things should be expected to happen. If Warhammer 40K as a setting is a time period equivalent to say, D-Day of WWII (because you've got over 10,000 years to play with), this is the analogue of getting upset that as they reveal more of the future, the Allies are shown to have liberated northwestern Europe from German control, etc. "Well I wanted to decide that, I want Germany to keep control of northwestern Europe" isn't an acceptable answer. You can choose to ignore it or play games at different time periods (Horus Heresy) but at the end, GW have already decided how it's all going to end... you don't have to like or stick to their history... you could paint loyalist 40K Word Bearers and get some Chaos Space Marines in blue and gold trim as Chaos Ultramarines in your alternate storyline where their roles were reversed, but getting upset GW are deciding events seems silly... they've been doing that for years.

Kakapo42
14-02-2017, 02:57
Why? Even as a setting, such things should be expected to happen. If Warhammer 40K as a setting is a time period equivalent to say, D-Day of WWII (because you've got over 10,000 years to play with), this is the analogue of getting upset that as they reveal more of the future, the Allies are shown to have liberated northwestern Europe from German control, etc. "Well I wanted to decide that, I want Germany to keep control of northwestern Europe" isn't an acceptable answer. You can choose to ignore it or play games at different time periods (Horus Heresy) but at the end, GW have already decided how it's all going to end... you don't have to like or stick to their history... you could paint loyalist 40K Word Bearers and get some Chaos Space Marines in blue and gold trim as Chaos Ultramarines in your alternate storyline where their roles were reversed, but getting upset GW are deciding events seems silly... they've been doing that for years.

Because I've invested a lot into building my own addition to that setting in the form of the armies (and fleets) and characters I have put together and painted, and the backstory behind them, and this is ultimately a social hobby.

I've been reading through an old issue of White Dwarf recently (#307 US to be specific), and in it there's an opinion piece arguing that the tabletop hobby is subjective - person A's hobby might be building conversions, Person B's hobby might be painting models, Person C's hobby might be winning tournaments and so on. My hobby is (or rather, at this point, was) telling stories. Every other aspect of it, from building and painting models to playing games, I enter purely as a vehicle towards that end. That is the reason why I engage in tabletop games. I invent contributions and engage with the tabletop game's setting through them with full agency. That is what I find fun, because while I have no control or input or ability to change the unending living nightmare that is my life, I can at least make some meaningful actions in fictional settings (pathetic as that may sound). Metaplots like what's happening now remove that agency, thus undermining the reason why I bother with this hobby in the first place.

And there isn't really any way around them either, because of the social aspect of tabletop games. I don't want my background to be seen as an 'alternate storyline' or 'AU' or either one of those two words beginning with the letter 'f' that I hate so much, I want it to be seen for what it is - background, just as valid as that made by GW (possibly more so, in the case of some of the more poorly written GW fiction). And if I try to share any of the stuff I invent with the wider community, then I have to now deal with all the other hobbyists that have drank the metaplot Kool-Aid who will almost certainly deride it as one of those aforementioned labels.

To put it another way, why should I bother trying to forge the narrative when the narrative has evidently already been pre-forged?

But it's ok. I've already given up. I can see from the rest of this thread that I'm wrong, and I was wrong and foolish to ever try getting into tabletop games at all. My only aim now is to finish the backlog I have so I can box it all in some dark quiet storage space and try to forget this whole 14-year misadventure ever took place. I just want it all to be over now so that maybe it won't hurt anymore.

I just wish I had known that before I threw a ton of money away and wasted my life.

Rogue Star
14-02-2017, 06:58
Because I've invested a lot into building my own addition to that setting in the form of the armies (and fleets) and characters I have put together and painted, and the backstory behind them, and this is ultimately a social hobby.

I've been reading through an old issue of White Dwarf recently (#307 US to be specific), and in it there's an opinion piece arguing that the tabletop hobby is subjective - person A's hobby might be building conversions, Person B's hobby might be painting models, Person C's hobby might be winning tournaments and so on. My hobby is (or rather, at this point, was) telling stories. Every other aspect of it, from building and painting models to playing games, I enter purely as a vehicle towards that end. That is the reason why I engage in tabletop games. I invent contributions and engage with the tabletop game's setting through them with full agency. That is what I find fun, because while I have no control or input or ability to change the unending living nightmare that is my life, I can at least make some meaningful actions in fictional settings (pathetic as that may sound). Metaplots like what's happening now remove that agency, thus undermining the reason why I bother with this hobby in the first place.

Not trying to be argumentative, but I just don't see it? Unless the background of your creations require Cadia or Biel-tan to exist, then these are just events in the setting, no difference to the Horus Heresy, Badab Rebellion, Tyrannic Wars, etc. Hell, even Cadian Shock Troopers still exist, scattered around the galaxy, it just remains to be seen how much role they have in the future. Same with the Eldar of Biel-tan, their Craftworld might be stranded in a stellar region, but they still presumably have access to the Webway, and will still be using it to travel around the galaxy performing their tasks.


And there isn't really any way around them either, because of the social aspect of tabletop games. I don't want my background to be seen as an 'alternate storyline' or 'AU' or either one of those two words beginning with the letter 'f' that I hate so much, I want it to be seen for what it is - background, just as valid as that made by GW (possibly more so, in the case of some of the more poorly written GW fiction). And if I try to share any of the stuff I invent with the wider community, then I have to now deal with all the other hobbyists that have drank the metaplot Kool-Aid who will almost certainly deride it as one of those aforementioned labels.

To put it another way, why should I bother trying to forge the narrative when the narrative has evidently already been pre-forged?

Well it can be, if set in a time period of anything except the 'current' events. This 'Time of Ending' is pretty much five minutes before the stroke of midnight (when previously it was ten minutes before). Again, I don't understand why it is such a major deal. 40K has always used a certain 'historical' perspective of things. Blood Angels Captain Tycho for example, is dead, in 40K's present. That doesn't stop anyone using his miniature or the Captain as a character, provided they accept that whatever game they are playing takes place before the events of the 3rd Armageddon War. Whatever Space Marine Chapter, Eldar Craftworld, Tau Sept, Necron Dynasty, etc you have created will be pretty much unaffected by these events unless they are right there...

The only way this can possibly interfere with whatever lore you have created is if you decided Cadia victoriously (and magically) repelled the 13th Black Crusade and that Craftworld Biel-tan went on to form the heart of a reborn Eldar Empire or something, which frankly is asking for trouble in my opinion, as any of the major named factions in the setting will be used to a degree that along some point their will be conflict.

I always personally liked the Black Consuls and nearly made them my personal Space Marine Chapter but the more I developed lore, the more I felt I had enough to strike out on my own with a paint-scheme of my own design, etc. Turns out I dodged a bullet as the Black Consuls were recorded as having been annihilated at the Siege of Goddeth Hive in 455.M41 in the 4th/5th edition Codex: Space Marine. Now it doesn't confirm it as hard fact but I use it as an example that if you use any of GW's published factions, you run the risk something which contradicts you've developed will appear.


But it's ok. I've already given up. I can see from the rest of this thread that I'm wrong, and I was wrong and foolish to ever try getting into tabletop games at all.


Actually I think the majority of posts fear and don't like change, but ultimately we can't really affect it...


My only aim now is to finish the backlog I have so I can box it all in some dark quiet storage space and try to forget this whole 14-year misadventure ever took place. I just want it all to be over now so that maybe it won't hurt anymore.


I think we're being a tad dramatic now...


I just wish I had known that before I threw a ton of money away and wasted my life.

... somebody wants a hug. :o C'mon. Bring it in. E-hugs. It really isn't as bad as it seems.

Kakapo42
14-02-2017, 08:17
Not trying to be argumentative, but I just don't see it?

I'm starting to wonder if this might be one of those things where you just won't get it unless you're in that specific situation yourself (sort of like preferring the 6th edition Wood Elf army book over the 8th edition one, which was also the case with me. I just can't seem to ever see eye-to-eye with the tabletop community in recent years :eyebrows:).

To start with, it actually kind of did require those things to exist, albiet in a very tangential way (the other stuff in the recent GW metaplot has been much more damaging). But more importantly... the only other way I can think of to try and put it is this: I built my entire tabletop hobby on the understanding that the in-universe background setting would be a sandbox. There might be the odd throwaway thing here or there (which is why I was never bothered by Medusa V or the Taros campaign, for example), but overall none of the really important stuff in the setting would change in GW publications and thus the setting would remain a sandbox for me to enjoy.

The recent metaplot activity has challenged this understanding, and thus placed my tabletop hobby under attack. Furthermore, it would appear from other sources that this understanding is wrong, which essentially leaves me without a point or reason for being involved in 40k (or Warhammer for that matter) and, since I have yet to find any truly viable alternatives, tabletop games in general. I would quietly fall off the face of the Earth without making a fuss in the manner most considered acceptable, but my hand kind of got tipped.


It really isn't as bad as it seems.

You're right - it is so much worse...

Voss
14-02-2017, 15:00
The part that confuses me is where the understanding that it would be a sandbox came from. That seemed pretty much impossible when they started publishing novels back in the late 80s (With Ignorant Armies, Zaragoz, Deathwing and etc). It was clear that there was a record of 'the things that happened,' and that has only expanded over the years. That AU fan stories would be somehow validated (by who and what process?) is... puzzling.

Lord Damocles
14-02-2017, 16:44
I built my entire tabletop hobby on the understanding that the in-universe background setting would be a sandbox. There might be the odd throwaway thing here or there (which is why I was never bothered by Medusa V or the Taros campaign, for example), but overall none of the really important stuff in the setting would change in GW publications and thus the setting would remain a sandbox for me to enjoy.
The 'really important stuff' is entirely subjective though.

If I have a Blood Ravens army, for example, the repeated maulings the Chapter has suffered will be really important to me ('Bugger. All my dudes have been killed. Again'), while to most people the Kaurava Campaign and Aurelian Crusade are at best near irrelevant footnotes.

I couldn't reasonably expect though, that the background ought to be developed to the point at which I'm personally happy with it, and then freeze in case I don't like any changes made to it.


Besides which, to an extent, background advancement and change is required in order for new stories to be told. For many factions there's a limited amount that you can do in the past or the present of the setting.
(This is illustrated particularly in the timeline snarl-ups in relation to Necrons, for example).

Kakapo42
15-02-2017, 02:05
The part that confuses me is where the understanding that it would be a sandbox came from. That seemed pretty much impossible when they started publishing novels back in the late 80s (With Ignorant Armies, Zaragoz, Deathwing and etc). It was clear that there was a record of 'the things that happened,' and that has only expanded over the years. That AU fan stories would be somehow validated (by who and what process?) is... puzzling.

It certainly didn't seem that way to me when I started. There had been buildup in the past, but at that point that all seemed to be over, save for the occasional thing like Medusa V where something would only happen in a largely unimportant corner of the setting invented entirely for that event. Other than that, the future seemed like nothing but a beautiful empty canvas with the freedom to do whatever you wanted past that point.

There would be no 'AU fan stories', just background. Some of it might come from GW, some of it might come from hobbyists, but all would be equally valid in the eyes of the community, and everyone would have the freedom to choose for themselves what they went with. The only 'validation' would be on an individual basis, or general consensus within a gaming group.

It seems that no-one else wants that though.


If I have a Blood Ravens army, for example, the repeated maulings the Chapter has suffered will be really important to me ('Bugger. All my dudes have been killed. Again'), while to most people the Kaurava Campaign and Aurelian Crusade are at best near irrelevant footnotes.

Just a quick aside, but I also think they never should have made one possible ending for the DOW games the 'official' one and instead just let the players decide for themselves what really happened.



Besides which, to an extent, background advancement and change is required in order for new stories to be told. For many factions there's a limited amount that you can do in the past or the present of the setting.
(This is illustrated particularly in the timeline snarl-ups in relation to Necrons, for example).

Is it really, though? I mean, in all my time spent with tabletop games I never found any problems with what a faction could do in the present of the setting. The only limit was your imagination and any game results you wanted to include.

Not that it matters though. I get it. I'm the real problem, and it was a mistake to continue with this stuff for as long as I did. It's great that other people can just sit there and passively consume whatever GW feeds them, but that's something I just can't do.

Cèsar de Quart
15-02-2017, 08:50
GW's approach to world building and fluff is different now than it had been before. The End Times proves it and the recent Storm in 40k is a grim omen. I too am here for the fluff and the pastries, not for the crunch. I won't play or build a faction if I don't feel like the fluff has something interesting for me.

But yes, although I'm curious to see what a post-Apocalypse would look like for 40k, the stakes are too high and the outcome won't satisfy anyone. No tension after the end of the world.

The most I can expect is:

- A shattered Imperium, and another campaign 5 years from now where a new Macharius or a presumed Emperor Avatar, or something, re-unites it again (only to see a new threat, maybe the Squats, destroy his vision).

- A climax that ends with the appearance of a new threat. Dark Tau? New and reinvigorised C'Tan? Newcron Empire reborn? Dead Eldar become Dark Eldar with a twist? Squats again? Actual undead in the Galaxy?

These two would be the most satisfying because they retain the essence of what 40k is, without feeling like resets after the fact (like the Storm of Chaos or Abaddon's Black Crusade).

But I have NO trust in GW writers these days. Rushed storylines, missing links, nonsense narratives and contradictory characters all tied with the Power of Plot. One consistent problem with these stories is that characters rarely are the agents of the story. Rather, they are always reacting, not acting. The story is not what characters do, but what the plot demands. That's why the Horus Heresy is so successful: there, the characters move the plot forward, not the other way around.

Lars Porsenna
15-02-2017, 19:24
I'm not sure what the issue is. Whenever I play an opponent, their background fluff for their army is essentially meaningless for all that it matters on the tabletop. I can understand if that brings them pleasure, but in my own headspace my "fluff" is completely different (also, I don't "write" fluff AT ALL for any of the armies I play...the fluff is already established and I do not name any of the characters in my army...today it may be Autarch Yinnuval, but tomorrow it could be...?). This is probably a hold over from my historical gaming side, because afterall Captain McGinnis couldn't reasonably have been at Tobruk and still commanding units all the way into the Push into Germany at that level (he would either have died or been promoted). So in my own headspace that Autarch or Farseer is some other dude (or gal), and the timeframe for the game doesn't even need to be fixed. Playing against Spacewolfs? My game could be in M34, whereas my opponent might think it is in M41.

I have been playing Battletech since 1985. I LOVE the 3025 setting and it's gritty semi-dystopian feel. Then the Clans came along and the entire setting was turned on its head for more than a DECADE I stubbornly tried to cling to the old setting and refused to acknowledge the setting moving forward. Then I realized that I am missing a lot of great material, and the setting could cater to my tastes, either by producing retro-material (which Catalyst has done), or by carving out pockets where I can revel in people FINALLY re-acquiring 25th C technology! I guess the point I am making is that if your fan-fluff background involves progressing the storyline or massive epic events, then yes you are in a world of grief when the manufacturer or publisher doesn't agree. But if you stick to a smaller scale (i.e. your own custom SM faction, with its own campaign stories or special characters), that DO NOT have a massive impact on the setting, then you can mold your fan-fluff to accommodate the changes...writing your own stories to coincide with the timeline advancement.

Perhaps it is because I've been around the block a few times and have been surprised by publishers before (Forgotten Realms anyone...MUTLIPLE TIMES???), but this is far less of an issue that I see here...

Damon.

Cèsar de Quart
15-02-2017, 20:51
The problem is not the game, but the drive.

Ever since they wiped WHFB out, I have found myself less interested in my Empire army. Now the city I had my guys living in is gone and I just don't feel like working on a dead faction.

You can very well say "It's all in your head", but that's precisely the point. The only reason I was doing an Empire army is because it appealed to me, aesthetically and thematically. Not Orks, not Dwarves, not High Elves, Chaos or Skaven. Empire. 16th Century Germans in pajamas. They had a little something, some mix of historical ethics, Renaissance looks, "what if" vibe, more of a dystiopa in which Renaissance Europe meets elves and magic than super-thunder fantasy from a 90's symphonic metal band cover art.

How can AoS cater my tastes? Yes, they've made it so humans in the Realms are trying to replicate old world cultures, but... come on. They haven't rebuilt Altdorf to the brickstone. Even if they did, you'd know it's not Altdorf, the great city that has defied chaos, both metaphical and literal, for millennia.

Also, as I've said before, GW has some good writers, and has tons of awful ones. That's also a point against metaplot.

TheSaylesMan
16-02-2017, 21:32
Also, as I've said before, GW has some good writers, and has tons of awful ones. That's also a point against metaplot.

I think that is the greatest factor when it comes to the worth of once again moving forward with plot. I'm an Ork fanboy through an through and I wouldn't mind if my characters of worth were killed off so long as it was written well. That said, we have learned that 40k is a setting that can support multiple time periods. The Horus Heresy has proven to be a very well done game regardless of your opinion of power armor versus power armor. It has engaging fluff to match. So if the Storm finally Gathers and we don't like what's left when it passes that still leaves us with the original 40k to play in.

I am willing to give the benefit of the doubt to Games Workshop so far. Everything has been better written than I had assumed it would be after reading the summaries of events. I would have taken things in a different direction personally (especially with Eldrad's Folly that is a half-woken Ynnead) but that's true of plenty of other fiction. 40k has always been unique with its rules as to interpreting canon anyway. I probably already believe a bunch of things that aren't true! For example, somewhere along the lines I picked up the idea that there was Orkish oddboy caste called Brew Boyz. One part brewmaster, one part chemist, one part demolitions expert. If it burns, explodes or gets the boyz drunk, the Brew Boy concocts it. But I never have been able to find any corroborating source as to where I got this notion from! For all I know it came from fan fiction or I dreamed it. If I don't like the direction new stuff goes I'll just add a new thing to the list of things that I believe that aren't true. A notion that is completely silly when applied to any other IP but kinda works for 40k.

Gen.Steiner
17-02-2017, 13:20
I don't mind. I have my own headcanon. So long as they keep making the figures so I can complete my collections and armies, and don't pull a Tomb Kings, Squats, or Bretonnians... what they do with the background is irrelevant to me really. My 40K universe is different, and pretty much an amalgamation of 2nd and 4th Edition stuff.

toonboy78
17-02-2017, 14:47
I don't mind. I have my own headcanon. So long as they keep making the figures so I can complete my collections and armies, and don't pull a Tomb Kings, Squats, or Bretonnians... what they do with the background is irrelevant to me really. My 40K universe is different, and pretty much an amalgamation of 2nd and 4th Edition stuff.

i pretty much agree with this.

as long as my models are not invalidated they can do what they want with the story.

i wonder how the community would have reacted if only the rules had changed in AoS to what they are now

Lars Porsenna
17-02-2017, 16:41
i pretty much agree with this.

i wonder how the community would have reacted if only the rules had changed in AoS to what they are now

Still would have been at least a bit of friction. AoS was not a slimming down of WHFB rules...it transformed the entire premise of the game completely. It went from a mass battle game with ranks and turned it into a skirmish game. If 40K gets the AoS treatment (based on the current version at least!) while there might be some friction with "dumbing down the game" at least it will go from a skirmish game to a skirmish game...

Damon.

Gen.Steiner
18-02-2017, 00:15
I wouldn't really call 40K a 'skirmish' game. Neither is AoS. Necromunda is a skirmish game. Frostgrave, Song of Blades and Heroes, Mordheim, Rogue Trader, Inquisitor... these are skirmish games. 40K since 2nd Edition has been platoon-company scale battles.

Cèsar de Quart
20-02-2017, 19:57
I don't mind. I have my own headcanon. So long as they keep making the figures so I can complete my collections and armies, and don't pull a Tomb Kings, Squats, or Bretonnians... what they do with the background is irrelevant to me really. My 40K universe is different, and pretty much an amalgamation of 2nd and 4th Edition stuff.

This too. Yes, I have my own headcannon too... but it's sometimes a damn shame to see what could have been, had GW's writers been up to the task.

Xisor
23-02-2017, 13:51
I'm in broad agreement with lots of the points here. Some stuff in 40k is utterly hamstrung by the lack of 'progress' - things like Thorianism, Ynnead etc all are ripe for the pickings.

But, and I suppose this is kicker, GW have for a long time (probably since the second-last DE codex) really lacked in nuance. Not just perverse intellectual pleasure from complicated stuff, but characterful, evocative nuance -the sort of stuff that fires the mind and kick-starts dozens of projects. Strangled Avatars, "this happened for no reason" and kicking over other people's sand-castles isn't as attractive as GW seem to think.

In the Gathering Storm, they seem at least to have got their head around the idea of people having their sandcastles be kicked over as not that fun, so they've rather toyed with them.

Cadia is a kick in the teeth, in some respects, but in many others it's of little massive consequence - the "people" of Cadia are already likely more abroad than at home, such is their exporting of troops across the galaxy.

With Fracture of Biel-Tan, they've oddly been quite delicate with not trampling absolutely all over people's stuff. Biel-Tan has had the crap knocked out of it, sure, but it's still a legitimate faction capable of being present on the tabletop & lore just as before... only now with some more cool details to it. (Though, in deference, Guy's "Valedor" novel contributed far more massively to my appreciation of Biel-Tan and Iyanden than TGS has done.)

In that line, this is perhaps the... breaking of the seal. Setting things up so that we're mentally psyched up for progression. Thus, it's genuinely the Gathering Storm - setting up the table before a game, not the game itself.

In that respect, we're only getting 9* models - it's not exactly a huge release, but something to bide the time with before the main event.

Hopefully their creative juices are being sensibly applied there, rather than slapdash. TGS is relatively well done so far (considering disasters that have occurred before), and actually has me pumped for a lot of the cool 40k stuff that had been left aside for a long time.

If it let's more dynamic "little" stories happen with big stuff periodically in the background, then I'm all for that.

As long as it's not rampant crapping all over the good stuff of 40k*, then that's cool.

* that's really just what the End Times felt like, for me. I'm glad TGS doesn't have that feel.

Cutter
23-02-2017, 14:44
"Does anyone else not want the setting to advance?"

Probably, but I'm not one of them. It's been 30 years, time for the emperor to ***** or get off the throne.

TheSaylesMan
23-02-2017, 18:09
In that respect, we're only getting 9* models - it's not exactly a huge release, but something to bide the time with before the main event.

Is that set in stone? Nine models means only three books. Nobody knew how many of those books there were going to be as far as I knew. Two Imperial books and an Eldar book? Nothing for Chaos? You would think that the Storm itself would get some love in the Gathering Storm books. I was also holding out hope that the Orks would receive some narrative in this story arch given how desperately they need to be portrayed as anything other than wacky goofs and expendable targets to be mowed down in the tens of thousands.

MusingWarboss
23-02-2017, 20:10
This thread has been interesting, mostly because of the back and forth chatter over storylines, which I suspect is precisely why this thread was started.

Personally I agree with the OP and quite a lot of the long blog-repost that followed. 40k is a setting. A setting which has rich potential due to the way its been built up over the decades, the problem lies though with GW and the fact that they have been seduced by the idea of metaplot.

Look, its quite simple. There is NO story. No-one sat down in 1986 and fleshed out the entire potted history of the 41st Millennium, its background and future after the clock had struck midnight. When Rogue Trader hit the shelves in 1987 you got a lot of information, hints and other stuff to give you a believable environment to play various games, campaigns and skirmishes in. Then they expanded this with various extra books.

Essentially what GW have been giving us since 2nd ed onwards is akin to open ended improvisation. They don't know where it's going any further than their next batch of model releases or new game edition. So "advancing the storyline" basically means "what can we sell them next?".

Sorry to be blunt but that's what it means to them. Warhammer ended not because the storyline "needed advancing" it was scrapped because it wasn't becoming that profitable anymore to GW and other copyright issues. Hence whole new model ranges and problematic armies like Brets which can be proxied from historical ranges were quietly shuffled into the darkness.

You can parallel this in any number of ways but a good recent example from a story-based medium is Terminator Genisys. Who saw that and thought "Yeah, that's totally what James Cameron had planned in 1984 as a sequel"?? No-one!! It came along from a committee, mucked up the timelines of the first two films, scrapped both of the continuities of the latter two films and completely warped and distorted one of the defining characters of the franchise. Sound familiar? But hey, they advanced the storyline... by trashing everything that came before.

Warhammer 40k is set "a few minutes before midnight", precisely because that is a fantastic spot to leave it be. It gives scope for endless conflict without any real world-shattering resolution because if they did have such an effect - dong!! Midnight and the universe is dead.

So getting back to wargaming, lets look at another example: historicals.

We know exactly what happened in reality but that doesn't stop you dropping in and having random battles, seeing if you could make a conflict go a different way etc. But how annoyed would you be if you'd painted up a Roman army and went to play a game and all of a sudden, sorry, you can't use that anymore because time moved on and now we're playing The Battle of Hastings, or Wars of the Roses or the American Civil War? Or WWII?? Do you scrap the army and start a new one? Attempt to proxy it in? Find someone to play an older edition before the fall of the Roman Empire??

Of course not, this is precisely why historicals have different rulesets covering different eras and you can pick and choose what you play.

If GW desire going "past midnight" then they should give us a new game, 50k and leave 40k alone for those who like that setting. After all they've given us 30k with the Horus Heresy so it's not like its an alien idea. Plus you know how HH ended, its been whispered about in 40k since the beginning, in fact the very existence of 40k rather suggest how it ended - and its not like a big campaign in 30k is suddenly result in GW scrapping 40k because the background changed due to a few games getting a different result is it?

This brings me onto another game Advanced Dungeons & Dragons (probably not advisable due to the company mismanaging everything in a way that GW also looked like it was copying word-for-word a while back). Why AD&D? Well precisely because it was a ruleset for fantasy roleplay adventures which had no fixed setting.

Look under the hardback cover of your Players Handbook, Worlds At Your Doorstep it says and there they are: six playable settings, three of which seem remarkably similar and each one has campaigns, standalone adventures and various accessories you can play in.

What's interesting here is you could play the gothic horror Ravenloft setting and that has no effect on what happens in Dark Sun, or Dragonlance at all. Nor does it affect other players elsewhere in the world. Your charaters matter to you in your world building.

The whole Warhammer brand *could* have been like this. Without upsetting everyone and everything. Two books, one tailored to mass combat, one to skirmish games. Alternatively like historicals two books tailored to fantasy battles as opposed to sci-fi battles.

Warhammer Fantasy

The Old World
Age of Sigmar


Warhammer 40,000

Horus Heresy
41st Millennium
Battles Past Midnight


Each ruleset having access to several settings or "time periods" which you can play in, without the results of your battles having any real impact on the events in another setting. We're sort there anyway with ForgeWorld's Horus Heresy being based on the 40k rules. GW could release campaign packs, missions, adventures etc. and you could play them through as individual battles or as huge expansive multi games in your gaming groups. Play the "Fall of Cadia" campaign! Or don't. If you do and Cadia fell then here's several other campaigns, missions and adventures you may be interested in exploring Chaos rampaging around. If it didn't here's a load more campaigns and missions featuring Cadia!

There's no need for a whole setting to "move on" just because. It alienates existing players and makes it harder for newer ones to join in. What beginner was thankful to start playing at the beginning of the Warhammer: End Times only to find their chosen army didn't make it intact into the next iteration of the game. What a load of rubbish. That sort of thing annoyed me with 40k 3rd Ed., I imagine it also annoyed the RT players when 2nd arrived too (particularly if they collected squats).

There's nothing wrong with wanting to explore future events or wondering "what if?", in fact those are great starting points for games and campaigns but you don't need a doctrine from GW to do that; you can and always could have done that anyway. By having a hard and fast "storyline" that "must advance" all that happens is you exclude more people than you include and those that get left behind because they can't afford the new units or arrive late and don't know what happened in the beginning feel alienated.

Ssilmath
23-02-2017, 20:14
Essentially what GW have been giving us since 2nd ed onwards is akin to open ended improvisation. They don't know where it's going any further than their next batch of model releases or new game edition. So "advancing the storyline" basically means "what can we sell them next?".


This is categorically false. GW have everything, form the storyline to the models they want to release, planned out 3 years in advance. At least they do now. I follow the blog of somebody who has seen the whole plan, and while not willing to reveal anything they have stated that it's very well put together and the Time of Ending arc will come to a satisfying conclusion.

MusingWarboss
23-02-2017, 20:52
This is categorically false. GW have everything, form the storyline to the models they want to release, planned out 3 years in advance. At least they do now. I follow the blog of somebody who has seen the whole plan, and while not willing to reveal anything they have stated that it's very well put together and the Time of Ending arc will come to a satisfying conclusion.


No, it's categorically true. You just admitted it. They may have "planned out 3 years in advance" but what about 5 years, 10 years, 20 years? What exactly IS the end of 40k? How does it end? What's the conclusion of it all? If its a story what is the whole thing? When will we see the end? What happens when the end arrives? A new game series??

As I said:


They don't know where it's going any further than their next batch of model releases or new game edition. So "advancing the storyline" basically means "what can we sell them next?"


In this case they've planned out the next three years of models and sales pitch. In terms of an actual story though:



There is NO story. No-one sat down in 1986 and fleshed out the entire potted history of the 41st Millennium, its background and future after the clock had struck midnight.


It is an open ended improvisation because there is no main storyline just a sequence of cobbled together storylines designed to sell more models. Once this series of stuff is done, they'll be looking to write more stuff to sell more models. If that invalidates the models and fluff just introduced, so be it. Thats NOT a story.

Perhaps I'll go back to the Terminator analogy again. Rogue Trader was 1984's The Terminator and every subsequent thing that followed has been akin to sequels to that, some of high quality, some low. But the "story" ended in the first version and everything else has been retcon or embellishments to the ideas introduced in the original.

But if you're enlightened as to quite exactly how 40k ends do please tell us.

Ssilmath
23-02-2017, 21:07
You make no sense at all. 3 years is a much longer amount of time than "The next batch of model releases" or "What can we sell them next". And yes, it is the story, in detail, is planned out for the next three years. Authors are writing the novels that are set to come out during the Time of Ending now. Nobody may have set up a story in 1986, but there certainly is one now.

As for me, I don't have any insight into how 40k ends. I've already said that the person who knows how this arc concludes won't reveal it. 40k doesn't even need to end, why should it? I mean, Star Trek doesn't have an end. It's still being developed and written, but that doesn't make it any less of a story. New series, new episodes, new novels and games. All sorts of things are still being done with that franchise to sell more merchandise. But that doesn't make it any less of a story, your strange definition of what "story" means or not. Nor is your Terminator analogy correct, the story has continued and even branched off from that main timeline in some cases. Stories don't have to be given a definitive ending at their conception to be considered a valid story.

Rogue Star
23-02-2017, 21:40
GW have always decided how 40K will advance.

2nd edition boxed game covered the 2nd Armaggedon War, with a thin line of Blood Angels trying to stop Goff Orks crossing/holding the bridge over the river Styx to allow Ghazghkull to escape. It was a historical event, which they decided the outcome. 4th edition of the game, was a series of side battles fought through the period of the First Tyrannic War, with Behemoth attacking Macragge. Regardless of whether you succeeded in recovering gene-seed stores from the ruined Aquila Lander, or genestealers infiltrated the perimeter, etc the outcome was already well known.

The latest boxed game has the Dark Angels attempting to stop the Crimson Slaughter from performing a ritual... which they did. Because GW decided.

GW has never put down the setting and said "here, you decide how the 3rd Armaggedon War, the 2nd Tyrannic War or 12th Black Crusade end".

MusingWarboss
23-02-2017, 22:23
You make no sense at all. 3 years is a much longer amount of time than "The next batch of model releases" or "What can we sell them next". And yes, it is the story, in detail, is planned out for the next three years. Authors are writing the novels that are set to come out during the Time of Ending now. Nobody may have set up a story in 1986, but there certainly is one now.

As for me, I don't have any insight into how 40k ends. I've already said that the person who knows how this arc concludes won't reveal it. 40k doesn't even need to end, why should it? I mean, Star Trek doesn't have an end. It's still being developed and written, but that doesn't make it any less of a story. New series, new episodes, new novels and games. All sorts of things are still being done with that franchise to sell more merchandise. But that doesn't make it any less of a story, your strange definition of what "story" means or not. Nor is your Terminator analogy correct, the story has continued and even branched off from that main timeline in some cases. Stories don't have to be given a definitive ending at their conception to be considered a valid story.

So what you're saying is exactly my point and others that 40k is a setting, not a story. Like Star Trek's universe it is a setting containing many individual stories. Just because The Next Generation happened doesn't mean the 60s original was invalidated (though certainly they contradicted it a few times but that another discussion), likewise with Enterprise. Or if you prefer it in GW terms a 50k shouldn't invalidate 40k nor 30k.

What I'm talking about is setting and setting only. 40k was made from little stories and crazy anecdotes to create a setting you could play endless games in. You can still do more of that but the whole "advancing the storyline" is nonsensical when there never was one and the little storylines that existed and will exist through this next phase have advanced and concluded. What exactly do people mean by wanting the 40k storyline to advance then? There is no story. The setting is the setting. What it seems they are asking for, you included, are new stories set in that fictional universe. However where this falls apart is when people ask for the sort of stories that will effectively destroy that universe see: Warhammer: The End Times -> Age of Sigmar.

There's nothing wrong with having stories, as in campaigns and missions come up and be resolved. That doesn't necessarily mean though that what comes up next should invalidate what came before just to merchandise. This applies to everything, yes people were upset in the ST fanbase over the reboot movies as it changed what they loved about the original and devalued it. Same goes with Terminator, which was a self-contained story BTW, T2: actually broke that by existing, excellent as it was.

Are players incapable of making their own stories up? They used to do it with or without a GM. Do they need GW to tell them exactly how things must go? That's what I was on about with the campaigns and mission packs, they could easily sell those by the truck load without having to impact on the actual setting at all. You would have the choice to buy and play them or not. Bring back Horus, bring back Gulliman, make Ghazghkull have a fist fight with the Emperor if you want. Doesn't matter, have fun but why must such things and their results be imposed on every single player and then all of a sudden become fixed so that there is no room to move around them?

Quite simply, GW scrapped the existing Warhammer Old World setting and made a new one causing all manner of ripple effects on peoples personal collections and their ability to keep using them. Do we want or need that in 40k? Because if you ask for it and get it, which seems likely given recent material from GW, then you won't have 40k in the end you'll have a new game setting entirely. You say 40k doesn't need to end, I agree, neither did Warhammer but if you go past midnight you destroy the whole point of 40k and effectively it ends. Dead. Gone. Much like the old world is now dead and gone in favour of new Sigmarland. Sure it still exists in older material but that's no consolation when it's not supported anymore nor can you guarantee a game in that setting.

That begs the question: why not just release 50k as a setting and leave 40k alone, much like you can play HH (30k) if you wish without affecting 40k at all.

I don't have a strange definition of what a story is, you are correct that some can be open ended and left for a sequel or just for individual interpretation if you wish. But you seem to be talking about settings again or even some vaguely soap-opera like thing where it just rolls on but you can never go back, except those occasions a character returns from years ago.

They've always had written novels set in the universe of 40k, Warhammer and even Dark Future. Means nothing to the game really.

MusingWarboss
23-02-2017, 22:41
GW have always decided how 40K will advance.

2nd edition boxed game covered the 2nd Armaggedon War, with a thin line of Blood Angels trying to stop Goff Orks crossing/holding the bridge over the river Styx to allow Ghazghkull to escape. It was a historical event, which they decided the outcome. 4th edition of the game, was a series of side battles fought through the period of the First Tyrannic War, with Behemoth attacking Macragge. Regardless of whether you succeeded in recovering gene-seed stores from the ruined Aquila Lander, or genestealers infiltrated the perimeter, etc the outcome was already well known.

The latest boxed game has the Dark Angels attempting to stop the Crimson Slaughter from performing a ritual... which they did. Because GW decided.

GW has never put down the setting and said "here, you decide how the 3rd Armaggedon War, the 2nd Tyrannic War or 12th Black Crusade end".

These are exactly what I'm referring to with campaign packs. They could easily release this sort of thing as little packages so you could choose to play "historical" battles out and see if you could change the outcome. Much like, well, historicals.

There's nothing stopping you playing the 2nd Armageddon War now if you want, except a lot of people wouldn't want to as they believe its old therefore not worth playing.

As a universe 40k offers great scope for those sort of things, as for GW determining the outcome, well they probably did to make it something concrete they could refer to as part of their universe's history in codexes etc. but effectively every time you play you DO decide the outcome of those events, you pitch your skill against another player and whatever happens is the outcome. Otherwise... why bother? There was one campaign where they actively did court players game results as to determine the outcome, if that was totally rigged then it was an utter waste of time.

Where I'm drawing the line is when people ask for the setting to fundamentally change on a whim just so they feel like time has moved on. That went well with AoS didn't it? Sad thing is the old world and AoS could co-exist as setting supported by GW just as HH and 40k does.

Rogue Star
24-02-2017, 09:56
Where I'm drawing the line is when people ask for the setting to fundamentally change on a whim just so they feel like time has moved on.

No one advanced the timeline/story on a whim. GW wanted to make a plastic Primarch, picked one, and so to have him in the game required moving the history along to let him be around. And since they're doing that anyway, might as well advanced a few other things, like Ynnead, what Cypher is up to, etc.

The Gathering Storm stuff IS still essentially 40K. This isn't like the Horus Heresy where the Chaos Space Marines (as we know them), Necrons, Tyranids, Tau Empire and Adeptus Sororitas don't exist (yet) and you've removed a good portion of the army lists and fundamentally changed others. All the Gathering Storm has added so far is Ynnead awakening (and gaining a few followers in the form of two Special Characters) and Roboute Guilliman awakening. Cypher and the Fallen, Grey Knight Captains, Saint Celestine, Adeptus Mechanicus Magi (Cawl) and Inquisitors (Greyfax) have all been around forever.

This isn't the same as the logical jump and debate on whether Age of Sigmar stuff like the Stormcast Eternals would blend in amongst an WHFB Empire army, or the Sylvaneth amongst Wood Elves, arguments can be made for and against based on personal taste and preference there, this is literally suggesting splitting the game simply because an previously dead/sleeping/lost character has returned and something mentioned for a long time in the lore (Ynnead) got a model. So Cadia fell? So Biel-tan fractured? These aren't big enough differences to suggest a completely separate game, because the Craftworld Eldar (Including Biel-tan), Dark Eldar, Harlequins (and even Exodites and Corsairs) are all still there in the background.

This is more like suggesting splitting 40K into two separate games based on pre-3rd Armageddon War and post-3rd Armageddon War, simply because Blood Angels Captain Tycho can't be used past that point...

Razios
23-03-2017, 17:59
More important, the change WH40K is not so big to actually put the setting apart, they are dealing with controled change: fenrir is still there, so the cadia regiments and so on, also by mantaing the setting like that was already tiredsome since nothing really matter because the status quo as the same all the freaking time, a some point is just pointless here a least feel you can get somthing in return

Cèsar de Quart
23-03-2017, 18:26
Well, we've gone from an anonymously-led Empire (an anonimity which fosters the idea that the Imperium is a never-changing machine that devours its population and no-one is to blame) to a ridiculously (in the worse sense of the word) powerwful character who has a very clear and renowned face. This is a thematic problem. Not that GW may care. "Guilliman at the helm" is a story I'd like to read. But GW doesn't tell us this story.

I found it appalling when the Gathering Storm III book said something like "Guilliman summoned the High Lords of Terra and replaced some with men of his own choosing".

Well.

Well. Damn.

He outright replaced some of the most powerful men in the Galaxy? On whose authority? The scene where the Custodes accompany him into the room and force the High Lords to be ousted of their job... that's the scene I want to see. A military takeover. A coup. Guilliman is a statesman but with heavy Roman elements in his origin story; him being an Augustus figure or a Caesar guy who crosses the Rubicon despite the High Lords telling him to stay put, that's the story I wanted to read!

Also, he replaced some with men of his own choosing? How? He just got here! The most adeptus-like man he knew was Malcador and he's been dead for 10.000 goddamn years! Who's gonna recommend him guys with good adeptus-cred? He sounds less like Caesar and more like Trump saying "I know the best people, I'm gonna bring on the best guys". The whole point of the High Lords is that they were virtually invisible. Now you've replaced some... why? Why did they need to be replaced? Who did you replace them with?

Wait. Is it because fans asked for some change? But in the end everything stayed more or less the same because they were afraid to alienate all the people who love the Grim Darkness of the 41st Millennium?

This is the bad background. Many interesting concepts were laid down, and then torn to shreds by handwaving, awful writing or lazy narrative. Or worse, forgotten. The Imperium seeing the return of a Primarch? Nothing happened! But at the same time, something did happen. Now the Empire has a face and a head. Now there's someone to blame. Now the Imperium is no longer the faceless monster-state that perpetuates itself, in a mockery of fascist-totalitarian bureaucracies. Now an idealist and a statesman is at the helm, and if that's so, either the Grimdark disappears (and we don't want that), or Guilliman is "corrupted" by the Imperium.

But knowing GW, they'll try to have it both ways and, in the end, nothing will change. The Imperium will be in the Grim Darkness of the 42nd Millennium, and Guilliman will have a crisis of faith and confidence, but he'll overcome and pretend to be the living saing everyone believes him to be. Nothing else.

Bad storytelling! (Trump tweet homage)

PS: Seriously, why was Cypher here? To sell a minaiture, of course! Will this impact Guilliman's relationship with the Dark Angels? It should, maybe even have them go rogue for a while. But it won't. They're just here to sell some toys.

nagash66
25-03-2017, 13:12
Or maybe the gathering storm books were used to set the new setting which will be explore in depth as time goes by. Using multiple formats ( BL, CODEX, battlezones etc) to take us into the events briefly describe. You cannot expect the gathering storm books to do it unless they hit FW size, i am witholding judgement for a while. If they leave it vague as it is now it will be disappointing but they may explore the hell of it yet in the near future.

barrangas
26-03-2017, 15:06
Depending on how you far you advance the setting and how it could be okay. GW could keep strumming on the "End is Nigh" cord while still adding new things. The arrival of the Tau and the awakening of the Necron show this. Even Abaddon's 13th could have been played as prep for the second impending attempt on Terra. I for one would have personally loved a shake up involving the return of threats from humanity's golden age of tech like the men of iron, a faction of humanity that fled said killbots, or even a xenos threat from that time or around the beginning of the Great Crusade.

I think going full on End Times is a big mistake though. For one thing it means this story ends, which shoulod probably have drastic effects on each faction. Drastic effects that might wipe out what players love about their faction or turn it into a galactic foot note. For another, everyone kind of has an idea of how the end will pan out, with humanity ultimately coming out on top. As a Chaos player, I don't want to really delve into the inevitable failure. Also, like the Heresy, it is Largely Imperial centric. It's not like the Orks will see something like a new breed of Ork show up like the Uruk-hai from LotR to shake things up. The Nids might loose a hive fleet or two but they probably won't be getting to field the Norns. The Tau will likely have little impact on the on things and will likely get kicked in the teeth by Robourto or whatever his name is. Necrons will continue to be the Necrons for the story but might get the Silent King if they're lucky. To me it just gives them an excuse to get marine players to by new marine things like the Custodes and Primarchs. That's just my opinion though.

Cèsar de Quart
26-03-2017, 23:13
Or maybe the gathering storm books were used to set the new setting which will be explore in depth as time goes by. Using multiple formats ( BL, CODEX, battlezones etc) to take us into the events briefly describe. You cannot expect the gathering storm books to do it unless they hit FW size, i am witholding judgement for a while. If they leave it vague as it is now it will be disappointing but they may explore the hell of it yet in the near future.

The way they've handled it is too similar to the End Times. I'm not saying they'll "end" the times, just that they'll start worldbuilding like in AoS. Very vague references and very broad strokes, always based on battle descriptions, in the army books, and further (and juicier) development left to the Black Library books.

It's not a bad business model (for them), but usually merc writers handling other IPs will not be A-class writers, and therefore BL books lean always more on the sucky side. Also, I don't have time to read BL books, and I suspect most 40k players my age (which are probably the core of the knee-deep-in-lore fanbase) don't have time either. The Heresy books are good, I'm told, but if the gold standard is still Trollslayer by Bill King... well.

Razios
27-03-2017, 22:57
The way they've handled it is too similar to the End Times. I'm not saying they'll "end" the times, just that they'll start worldbuilding like in AoS. Very vague references and very broad strokes, always based on battle descriptions, in the army books, and further (and juicier) development left to the Black Library books.

It's not a bad business model (for them), but usually merc writers handling other IPs will not be A-class writers, and therefore BL books lean always more on the sucky side. Also, I don't have time to read BL books, and I suspect most 40k players my age (which are probably the core of the knee-deep-in-lore fanbase) don't have time either. The Heresy books are good, I'm told, but if the gold standard is still Trollslayer by Bill King... well.

well the setting is too big to go over details every time they move the background, so far they have set things to come, end times have the problem of doing things to damn fast to anyone to kept track or getting invested "UPS kemmer is dead" "Ups malekith is king now" "ups the world is dead so that dosent matter now" so far this have been controled changes, if they feel the void or now is another matter

Keep
03-04-2017, 19:57
They do not change the plot to give the fans something or tell a good story. They change the plot to justify culling model lines for saving money and for introducing new "omg awesome" things that would have had no justification in 40k before, but due to their overpoweredness would milk the money out of the kids pockets. If they would have continuously progressed the timeline in the past at least it wouldnt have had such a kneejerk "we need to do something now, the shareholders are edgy" feeling to it.

But this? ... i can't see a good outcome for this. Either grim darkness stays, which would happen if robo gulli fails. Or he succeeds and erects "new rome" and all of a sudden Imperium turns into some generic, "enlightened" and boring human empire...

Lord Damocles
03-04-2017, 21:01
They change the plot to justify culling model lines for saving money...
Remind me which 40K product lines have been culled recently..?

Lars Porsenna
04-04-2017, 17:25
Remind me which 40K product lines have been culled recently..?

None that I know of, though I'm sure someone will bring up squats at some point...

I think people are looking at what happened to WHFB & see the same patterns repeating itself. Will Sisters be squatted like Brettonians? Eldar lose their finecast Aspects? etc. Now I don't necessarily think this is happening, & I hope GW learned their lessons from that launch, but I can see how people would be fearful of these changes...

Damon.

Razios
05-04-2017, 20:30
They do not change the plot to give the fans something or tell a good story. They change the plot to justify culling model lines for saving money and for introducing new "omg awesome" things that would have had no justification in 40k before, but due to their overpoweredness would milk the money out of the kids pockets. If they would have continuously progressed the timeline in the past at least it wouldnt have had such a kneejerk "we need to do something now, the shareholders are edgy" feeling to it.

But this? ... i can't see a good outcome for this. Either grim darkness stays, which would happen if robo gulli fails. Or he succeeds and erects "new rome" and all of a sudden Imperium turns into some generic, "enlightened" and boring human empire...

what is a "good" story? sorry but that sound like a blanket stament for saying "they should do X instead of Y" and at this point sticking into the same point can be consider a kneejerk reaction consider how much people are sick of it after so much of "no, nothing happena after this point" it get annoying and fast.

about culling models....consider GW have being bringing all models and armies like knight houses,genestealer cults or creating other like the ynnari, I will call bull on this one

Fangschrecken
23-04-2017, 04:56
I mostly take issue with, not the return of a loyal primarch, but with the one they chose. Robute is, for lack of a better word, boring. He's all about morals and the imperial truth but has been shown to be a pragmatist. So, as far as I can tell, he will end up working with the high lords of terra who would rather he hadn't woken up just so he can ensure the survival or humanity and the restoration of the imperium. Eh.

I'd rather it was someone like Vulkan who returned. He would come to the high lords and ask that most important question in the grim dark setting. "What is the point of ensuring the survival of humanity if these are the depths to which we must sink?" TO me, that's engaging. Because it allows a conflict between the need for survival with the urge to be honorable and maintain our honor and dignity even while everything is falling apart around us. Vulkan asks us to live for a better future or die trying, while a pragmatist like Robute simply assures survival and puts off that reckoning until we have walked too far down the path of sin and damnation.

CIRO
24-04-2017, 21:30
It can't advance, then it's not 40K, LITERALLY!


That said, if they go 41K With the emperor doing a Jesus, I'm good with that, going forward, won't change the past. And we can still play in the past.

Lord Damocles
24-04-2017, 21:33
It can't advance, then it's not 40K, LITERALLY!
Welcome to about a decade ago (For The Emperor).

The latest date in the timeline has explicitly been in the 200s M42 for years.

CIRO
24-04-2017, 21:34
None, it look a hella like LotR was going down the drain, but it seems to have had a reprieve, thank god, the setting is awesome and I would literally cry.

That said, guard is being culled, no HW for the metals, loads of missing stuff, the smaller games having there model revoked when when they could be used elsewhere like the elf stormcaller, warloard has shown us that "Character models" have a place, if a small one, plus with the "Made to order events,k I'm happy for availability to be time limited, that's really really cool.

WHATTTT???????? Okay, it's not 40K, I haven't played in that time, been a teenager, too stoned! ;P

200 years? Already? Damn.

Also i'm calling what used to be 13th crusade is now the 12th!

Wolf Lord Balrog
27-04-2017, 14:39
They do not change the plot to give the fans something or tell a good story. They change the plot to justify culling model lines for saving money and for introducing new "omg awesome" things that would have had no justification in 40k before, but due to their overpoweredness would milk the money out of the kids pockets. If they would have continuously progressed the timeline in the past at least it wouldnt have had such a kneejerk "we need to do something now, the shareholders are edgy" feeling to it.

But this? ... i can't see a good outcome for this. Either grim darkness stays, which would happen if robo gulli fails. Or he succeeds and erects "new rome" and all of a sudden Imperium turns into some generic, "enlightened" and boring human empire...

Or, given the magnitude of the threats currently facing the Imperium, the fight takes a while and wreaks catastrophic damage along the way, but slow progress is made over centuries. I mean, you got Necrons, Chaos, and Tyranids basically everywhere, each of them a potentially existential threat to the whole Imperium, plus all the other Xenos. One could imagine a Second Great Crusade spearheaded by Rowboat and his Neo-Ultra-Marines, only this time they suffer almost as many setbacks as victories, and progress is made only incrementally over a long timescale.


Remind me which 40K product lines have been culled recently..?

I have a feeling new Astra Miliwhatsis models are on the horizon. With Cadia gone, having the Cadian-pattern gear be the default for Guard everywhere no longer makes sense. Good opportunity to re-sell the Guard players a big chunk of their army. Although you might say that's an update rather than a culling.

Lord Damocles
27-04-2017, 17:26
I have a feeling new Astra Miliwhatsis models are on the horizon. With Cadia gone, having the Cadian-pattern gear be the default for Guard everywhere no longer makes sense. Good opportunity to re-sell the Guard players a big chunk of their army. Although you might say that's an update rather than a culling.
Destroying Cadia wouldn't be required for an update of the plastic Guard models from Cadians to something else. The introductions of none of the other Guard ranges were accompanied by wiping out other/previous recruiting worlds.

Nor is/are Cadia/Cadians required in-universe for other worlds to be using Kantrael/Cadian pattern equipment (not that the Cadians themselves have been wiped out).


If GW wanted to 'cull' the Cadians/Catachans, the background changes are redundant. And if the plastic range(s) are replaced with a new plastic range, that doesn't save GW any money - in fact it costs them more!
Keep's claim just doesn't stand up to [basic] scrutiny.

Wolf Lord Balrog
27-04-2017, 18:03
Destroying Cadia wouldn't be required for an update of the plastic Guard models from Cadians to something else. The introductions of none of the other Guard ranges were accompanied by wiping out other/previous recruiting worlds.

Not required, no, but it makes a good excuse.


Nor is/are Cadia/Cadians required in-universe for other worlds to be using Kantrael/Cadian pattern equipment (not that the Cadians themselves have been wiped out).

Again, not necessary, no, but a good excuse. Especially as, at least in the original canon, Kantrael was at least temporarily disrupted by the 13th Black Crusade.


If GW wanted to 'cull' the Cadians/Catachans, the background changes are redundant. And if the plastic range(s) are replaced with a new plastic range, that doesn't save GW any money - in fact it costs them more!
Keep's claim just doesn't stand up to [basic] scrutiny.

Again, no, you don't need to make any background changes to justify new plastic, but it helps. And how does introducing a new plastic range cost GW money? If that were the case they would never update anything. The business model is that existing players usually re-buy a portion of their army, and new sculpts lure in new players and people completely new to the hobby, all because-new-shiny.

Lord Damocles
27-04-2017, 19:23
And how does introducing a new plastic range cost GW money?.
Well they have to dispose of discontinued stock, cut new moulds, re-do the packaging etc. etc. Note that the claim made was that background advances are made in order to cull model lines for GW to save money. While releasing new ranges might (should!) have the result of making GW more money, releasing new ranges is the very opposite of saving GW money, since they have to invest far more in a new/updated range than they do in simply maintaining an existing range.


Thus far, the background advancement has seen the introduction of more new(ish) factions, rather than a culling of any existing factions, with no indication that the loss of any faction(s) is to be expected in the near future. 40K has its Tomb Kings, and they're not going anywhere.

Gorthaur
29-04-2017, 04:38
They've already messed up the setting by bringing Guilliman back. It is simply too good to be true, too much good news. It hurts the dark and tragic state of the imperium which is part of the appeal of the faction in the first place. If they start bringing back more primarchs then this will end up a lot worse. I can understand bringing back mortarion, angron etc but dead primarchs should stay dead.

Rogue Star
29-04-2017, 14:09
40K has its Tomb Kings, and they're not going anywhere.

Who looking at the new 40K map, have grown to become quite powerful. The Sautekh Dynasty have captured the YMGA monolith, and their empire sort of spreads right across between Ultramar and the Tau Empire, even encompassing Kar Duniash. That's a significant landgrab. However by contrast, only the Nihilakh and Mephrit Dynasties warranted being shown alongside them...

Lord Damocles
29-04-2017, 15:06
Who looking at the new 40K map, have grown to become quite powerful. The Sautekh Dynasty have captured the YMGA monolith, and their empire sort of spreads right across between Ultramar and the Tau Empire, even encompassing Kar Duniash. That's a significant landgrab. However by contrast, only the Nihilakh and Mephrit Dynasties warranted being shown alongside them...
The Sautekh territory doesn't appear to be significantly different to that shown in the 7th ed. Codex: Necrons, except that they appear to have annexed the neighbouring Arrynmarok empire.

The Ymga Monolith does appear to have moved slightly though. Although that's probably because GW's cartography has always left a certain something to be desired.

229997

Ewigleben
10-05-2017, 22:50
Advancing the plot killed WHFB. It was totally unnecessary. I like the perpetual grimdark. It creates an awesome universe where we get to create the scenarios. Don't try to tell me what happens next GW, let me decide. That's the fun!

Lars Porsenna
10-05-2017, 23:58
Advancing the plot didn't kill WHFB. GW killed WHFB because they didn't want to support it anymore & couldn't figure out a way to turn it around. There is no evidence to suggest they are doing that with 40K. In fact I would suggest they seem to have learned from some of the mistakes they made in fantasy & are working to avoid those mistakes.

Also 40K is not really conductive for gaming out grand narratives that decides the fate of the Galaxy, when it is at best a company-level skirmish game. Considering how VAST the setting is, if you really wanted to you can park yourself in some part of the map that is not detailed and forge your own narrative barely touched by larger events. Or set it at M41.900, giving you 100 years to play around with. Personally I just don't see what the problem is.

Damon.

Ewigleben
11-05-2017, 14:58
Advancing the plot didn't kill WHFB. GW killed WHFB because they didn't want to support it anymore & couldn't figure out a way to turn it around. .

I meant it killed/ruined the fluff and created things like the retconed storm of chaos from 6th edition. Not the actual game itself. Cause yeah... GW purposely moved the narrative to end the game.

2_heads_talking
29-05-2017, 23:16
Remind me which 40K product lines have been culled recently..?

As unbelievable as it may sound, standard marines are likely to be culled soon.

Warhammer Community posted a new tidbit from the latest edition today and, guess what? The marines are being HAMMERED. The text states that several chapters are already destroyed, and those that remain basically have their backs to the wall.

But wait! Guilliman and his Primaris Marines (PMs) are here. The Primarch has stated that all of the worst affected chapters (starting with the Ultras) will have their ranks replenished with PMs. He's even created a whole new Founding, chapters full of PMs, who have been given the fortress monasteries of destroyed chapters to make their own.

Add to this the face that each of the founding legions seem to have PMs that have been designed and tailored to them (God knows how this will work for the Space Wolves, what with the PMs new extra organs and the Wulfen, but I digress).

Add to this the additional background about the Blood Angels and their successors; fighting Leviathan, they have been devastated (what was it? FIVE Chapter Masters lost as well as lots and lots of troops?) until Guilliman comes along with PMs for everybody.

GW have stated that space marines are still there, that they have no intention of getting rid. However their own background now makes standard space marines the minority. Now people have an excuse to bulk out their chapters with PM "reinforcements" and even make their own Primaris Chapters. What need would GW have to keep around the old space marines? Even their vehicles will no doubt be re-released soon, bigger and better.

You have to actually admire the gall of GW to so badly mangle the single most iconic part of their game. Personally, I think they've made a mistake.

morvaeldd
30-05-2017, 06:42
I think there is nothing wrong in advancing the plot, if you have respect for the setting and know what are its core characteristics. However, GW is advancing plot to sell more models (they're a company after all, and want to make money). One could argue that they learned a lot comparing AoS launch with 40k8 launch. Instead of terminating the previous setting completely (with AoS they removed square bases, rank & file system, point values, model size, revamped model & art aesthetics to uber high fantasy and introduced completely new fluff) they're are now a bit more clever, but wound and firepower inflation means the old models of one faction (albeit most popular) are obsolete, deprecated and most players will soon switch to new ones. At least they kept round bases, squad system, points and most of the fluff, maiming the old, but trying to continue rather than restart. All this while achieving the goal of selling more models. I'd say from the POV of the company, it's looking good. Much less outcry than with AoS. They now realised it's pointless to deprecate all factions in one go, because they don't have the manufacturing capability to launch with all factions redesigned. It took 2 years for AoS to have, what, 4-5 redesigned factions? So they now launch with redesigned marines. Other factions will change in due time when their full codices will launch.

The_Real_Chris
31-05-2017, 17:10
Again, no, you don't need to make any background changes to justify new plastic, but it helps. And how does introducing a new plastic range cost GW money? If that were the case they would never update anything. The business model is that existing players usually re-buy a portion of their army, and new sculpts lure in new players and people completely new to the hobby, all because-new-shiny.

Plus of course how will you make the models bigger?


As unbelievable as it may sound, standard marines are likely to be culled soon.

Even their vehicles will no doubt be re-released soon, bigger and better.

Yes, how many big marines can you fit in a Rhino? Well not 10. Or Razorback. New 'Tall Rhino' though...

And the old marines will still be about, at least in the Heresy setting. I think overall it is the only way they could sell more toys to the marine players and go with the belief bigger models are more appealing, but it doesn't immediately anger anyone. Updating those marines sets though are out of the question and I suspect exosting sprues will be massively consolidated (a Rhino kit making a Rhino, Razorback or Predator for example, or combining AA and Whirlwind tanks etc.)

I think GW made themselves have less tech as a background idea compared to Rogue trader, then needed to sell new models. Bit of an issue. Since the core armies are the big sellers you need new stuff in a setting that is attractive as it has... no more new stuff (a bit like a historical game, my word one might even think the designers were historians who liked historical wargames).

Increasingly odd excuses for new stuff have given way to a shrug of the shoulders and new things for the core money spinner - marines. Never mind the idea of new superhumans invalidates the old ones uniqueness, or the fact that the Imperium simply couldn't cope with that much innovation without all sorts of fundamental changes happening (literally everything they are getting is brand new).

So it is still Games Workshop, but it isn't the old 40k. That will probably work though as younger folk these days find the idea of things being stagnant harder and harder to envisage unlike those that grew up in the 70's and 80's say...

hope the game is good though.

morvaeldd
31-05-2017, 18:08
"At the far end of the immense nave, a priest was reciting passages from the Rule of the Administratum one after the other, leaning heavily into a vox-dispersal array as if he wished to collapse into its embrace entirely.
‘…and the act of duplication is preferable to the act of creation, for duplication is an abundance of what has been sanctified, whereas creation is, by virtue of the principles of mortal fallibility, the destruction in potentia of the righteous and the introduction of the suspect. In all things recall the lexicon of precaution and do not deviate from the…’"

Lusall
01-06-2017, 04:20
I did not want the setting advanced. And if it was to be advanced, I certainly didn't want a massive shake up like they're doing. And I certainly didn't want a big change in the feel of the setting. And I didn't want bigger, awesomer, faster, better space marines. With that said...I'm excited about the new rules and the Primaris Marines looks cool. I've given up on the fluff at this point for 40K. I'll hold out hope that HH via FW stays solid.

morvaeldd
01-06-2017, 06:46
The Emperor certainly looks weak now, since a lowly member of Mechanicum was able to better his designs. GW is damaging the quality and coherence of its fluff, just to justify selling new models. But hey, AoS was forced down our throats without any in-fluff justification. They just murdered the old, to make way for the new. This time they are amputating arms and gouging eyes out, but it's supposed to be the same fluff. Should we be happy?

Lars Porsenna
01-06-2017, 18:09
The Emperor certainly looks weak now, since a lowly member of Mechanicum was able to better his designs. GW is damaging the quality and coherence of its fluff, just to justify selling new models. But hey, AoS was forced down our throats without any in-fluff justification. They just murdered the old, to make way for the new. This time they are amputating arms and gouging eyes out, but it's supposed to be the same fluff. Should we be happy?

Primaris Space Marines were developed over the course of 10,000 years and are an incremental upgrade on the basic marine model. The Emperor developed Space Marines over the course of a few decades? Having even BETTER Space Marines before (with worked-in planned obsolescence). If anything, the Primaris Space Marines are Thunder Warriors without the planned obsolescence...

Damon.

Romanov77
01-06-2017, 22:19
They could have avoided the lore massacre by simply introducing the new armor and bolters.

There you go, you can sell the new toys without stretching the fluff in such a forced way.

morvaeldd
02-06-2017, 10:21
The Imperium that I liked most was the one stagnant in tech and decaying in power. Imperium, where a lot of knowledge was lost, hence the reliance on old machines churning out STCs and the whole AdMech mumbo-jumbo in relation to machines. Imperium that is able to vastly improve designs, introduce new genetically modified warriors and much better equipment, is no longer the one described in the stories for the last 30 years.

The_Real_Chris
02-06-2017, 13:51
Nah, look floaty tanks are really ok! And these new automated production lines! And vat grown space marines!

morvaeldd
02-06-2017, 15:39
The Emperor(TM) approves (TM)?

Inquisitor Engel
06-06-2017, 19:57
I've been playing in the same two-minutes to midnight grimdark setting of stagnancy and oppression for 20 years. The "good guys" need a win from time to time that really does feel like a win. This is a nice advancement that isn't crazy, feels like something that could happen in-universe and isn't "blowing up the world."

I'm excited about this change, though a few years ago I would have said "No!"

Rogue Star
08-06-2017, 06:59
The Emperor certainly looks weak now, since a lowly member of Mechanicum was able to better his designs.

The Emperor created the Space Marines ruling just the solar system at most, and were created between the loss of the Primarchs and the start of the Great Crusade, meaning he made them in decades, a century at most.

Belisarius Cawl had all of the Imperium's resources as an Arch Dominus of the Mechanicus, and well over ten thousand years... and he started his work from a blueprint he was given by Guilliman for the Astartes .2 the primarch found in the Emperor's laboratories on Terra.


The Imperium that I liked most was the one stagnant in tech and decaying in power. Imperium, where a lot of knowledge was lost, hence the reliance on old machines churning out STCs and the whole AdMech mumbo-jumbo in relation to machines. Imperium that is able to vastly improve designs, introduce new genetically modified warriors and much better equipment, is no longer the one described in the stories for the last 30 years.

You mean like those old grav-tanks the Imperium had during the Great Crusade? The closest things the Primaris have to 'new' is a few extra organs and an updated Power Armour design - everything else is technology from the Great Crusade which got busted out of storage.


Nah, look floaty tanks are really ok! And these new automated production lines! And vat grown space marines!

The Imperium has had Grav-tanks, they dwindled following the Great Crusade. They aren't new. Automated production lines? Servitors. Vat-grown humans? Servitors again.

Fangschrecken
01-07-2017, 17:23
I'm not entirely happy about it, and I will have trouble not focusing firing on all the new marines should they appear on my table.

Rogue Star
05-07-2017, 11:38
Stuff I liked: The creation of the Great Rift, splitting the Imperium in two, was certainly a more devastating blow than simply destroying Cadia and besieging Terra*, even though they undermine it mere pages later by allowing Roboute Guilliman and his Indomitus Crusade to get through and reach Baal and save it from destruction (more on that later). I like how Chaos is more active abroad now, with Magnus and the Thousand Sons operating from the Planet of Sorcerers, returned from the Warp, and that Mortarion has setup workshop in the Scourge Stars, makes it feel a more active menace than something which pops out of the Eye of Terror from time to time. The appearance of not one, not two, not three but four new Tyranid Hive Fleets.

Stuff I didn't like: Amongst all the moaning about change and new Space Marines, no one seems to be asking *where Abaddon and his Black Crusade which broke Cadia wide open disappeared to. Is it still there in the ruins of the Cadian Gate? If so, the Indomitus Crusade lasted nearly a century and at it's end sets up the 'current' time (for the Fate of Konor Campaign). Abaddon broke Cadia and then did nothing noteworthy for nearly a century? Feels very sidelined, like the Warmaster of Chaos has been shoved to the side so Mortarion and Magnus can take the spotlight. Not a fan of how Baal was saved by the sudden appearance of the Great Rift and tsundere attentions of the Bloodthirster Ka'banda. Very poorly handled.

Stuff that made me blink: GW seems to have forgotten that not everyone is an immortal superhuman, warp-sustained creature of nightmare, demi-god or the like. Tau Commander Shadowsun, Commissar Yarrick, most Tau or Imperial Guard characters, are more than likely long dead now, unless they all took time out for a Rejuvenate treatment/Stasis-nap, which stretches suspension of belief. The Tau launched not one but two Sphere Expansions following the events of Perfectia. I mean I know it's been nearly one hundred years but was the 3rd Sphere Expansion even finished?

Fangschrecken
06-07-2017, 01:27
That's a really good point. What has Abadon been up to? At the very least they could have said Robbie Williams took his genetic abbominations and charged straight at Abaddon and in a cataclysmic battle drove them back into the Eye of Terror.

Unless this was Abaddon's plan. Each if his 13 crusades so far led up to the fall of Cadia but he gained something (I guess, otherwise it's jsut sad), so he'll be at Terra by black crusade 48.

Cèsar de Quart
06-07-2017, 11:20
Advancing the plot killed WHFB. It was totally unnecessary. I like the perpetual grimdark. It creates an awesome universe where we get to create the scenarios. Don't try to tell me what happens next GW, let me decide. That's the fun!

I like it too.


Advancing the plot didn't kill WHFB. GW killed WHFB because they didn't want to support it anymore & couldn't figure out a way to turn it around. There is no evidence to suggest they are doing that with 40K. In fact I would suggest they seem to have learned from some of the mistakes they made in fantasy & are working to avoid those mistakes.

Also 40K is not really conductive for gaming out grand narratives that decides the fate of the Galaxy, when it is at best a company-level skirmish game. Considering how VAST the setting is, if you really wanted to you can park yourself in some part of the map that is not detailed and forge your own narrative barely touched by larger events. Or set it at M41.900, giving you 100 years to play around with. Personally I just don't see what the problem is.

Damon.

Agreed as well. Again, it's a matter of whether GW can produce a new setting as engaging and interesting as the last one. Already the new setting has several brow-raising elements and unused ideas in it, which is a shame. Still, I battered AoS for delivering a dead setting from the start. This time, I'm much more confident. The grimdark has a life of its own...



Stuff I liked: The creation of the Great Rift, splitting the Imperium in two, was certainly a more devastating blow than simply destroying Cadia and besieging Terra*, even though they undermine it mere pages later by allowing Roboute Guilliman and his Indomitus Crusade to get through and reach Baal and save it from destruction (more on that later). I like how Chaos is more active abroad now, with Magnus and the Thousand Sons operating from the Planet of Sorcerers, returned from the Warp, and that Mortarion has setup workshop in the Scourge Stars, makes it feel a more active menace than something which pops out of the Eye of Terror from time to time. The appearance of not one, not two, not three but four new Tyranid Hive Fleets.

Stuff I didn't like: Amongst all the moaning about change and new Space Marines, no one seems to be asking *where Abaddon and his Black Crusade which broke Cadia wide open disappeared to. Is it still there in the ruins of the Cadian Gate? If so, the Indomitus Crusade lasted nearly a century and at it's end sets up the 'current' time (for the Fate of Konor Campaign). Abaddon broke Cadia and then did nothing noteworthy for nearly a century? Feels very sidelined, like the Warmaster of Chaos has been shoved to the side so Mortarion and Magnus can take the spotlight. Not a fan of how Baal was saved by the sudden appearance of the Great Rift and tsundere attentions of the Bloodthirster Ka'banda. Very poorly handled.

Stuff that made me blink: GW seems to have forgotten that not everyone is an immortal superhuman, warp-sustained creature of nightmare, demi-god or the like. Tau Commander Shadowsun, Commissar Yarrick, most Tau or Imperial Guard characters, are more than likely long dead now, unless they all took time out for a Rejuvenate treatment/Stasis-nap, which stretches suspension of belief. The Tau launched not one but two Sphere Expansions following the events of Perfectia. I mean I know it's been nearly one hundred years but was the 3rd Sphere Expansion even finished?

I like the Great Rift, it's a clever element to drive the story, separate this new era from the old M41, and also, it lets you make summer campaigns to decide the way the Rift moves.

But, again, GW undermines its own setting by not exploiting its ideas and possibilities, or contradicting them. It's like there was a team of writers and a team of... other people. The writers create possibilities, and other people decide how to use them to bolster sales or resolve difficult situations in the most boring way possible.

I mean, the way the siege of Baal was handled was absurdly anticlimactic, and left so many things unresolved. Why were the Tyranids drawn to Baal? How did the BA relationship with their successor chapters fare? What happened with the blood of Sanguinius that those daemons ate? Why couldn't the writers find a way for the BA to solve the situations themselves? A big **** you to the BA players, right? "Your army can't handle Tyranids!" You know who could? The goddamn Ultramarines. Maybe GW didn't want the BA to have achieved such a feat and rival the Ultramarines...

And yes, 200 years into the future, everyone in the Imperial Guard is dead. Chekov, Marbo, Harken, Jarran Kell, Gaunt, they're all dead. Maybe Yarrick is still alive. It would be cool if they chose one or two of the famous IG commanders to have survived in a very changed way. Have a Terminator-like Marbo, or a super old Yarrick who's now a tank commander, fused with his Fortress of Arrogance.

Lord Damocles
06-07-2017, 17:17
I mean, the way the siege of Baal was handled was absurdly anticlimactic, and left so many things unresolved.
To be fair, the Baal incident is almost certain to get expanded upon elsewhere.

The couple of hundred words in the rulebook is little more than a teaser.

WLBjork
08-07-2017, 04:57
And yes, 200 years into the future, everyone in the Imperial Guard is dead. Chekov, Marbo, Harken, Jarran Kell, Gaunt, they're all dead. Maybe Yarrick is still alive. It would be cool if they chose one or two of the famous IG commanders to have survived in a very changed way. Have a Terminator-like Marbo, or a super old Yarrick who's now a tank commander, fused with his Fortress of Arrogance.

Maybe, but maybe not either. Firstly, they spend time travelling through the Warp, where time flows differently. Secondly, GW have declared that the stardates aren't all accurate (above and beyond what was already known). Thirdly, GW invent new things as the plot requires, with the added benefit of very soft science fiction plus psychic abilities (or 'magic') to allow whatever is desired.

Fangschrecken
08-07-2017, 16:42
I mean, rejuvenation treatments have been talked about for a long time, so famous inquisitors, techpriests, and people like Yarrick could still be around. Ork just get bigger right? so Ghazghkull is alive, just huge, and he does need a new model...

barrangas
10-07-2017, 01:53
The Imperium that I liked most was the one stagnant in tech and decaying in power. Imperium, where a lot of knowledge was lost, hence the reliance on old machines churning out STCs and the whole AdMech mumbo-jumbo in relation to machines. Imperium that is able to vastly improve designs, introduce new genetically modified warriors and much better equipment, is no longer the one described in the stories for the last 30 years.

I have to agree that this doesn't thrill me. I have no problem with the occasional GC relic showing up if someone wants to shell out for a FW model. The whole improving the gene seed alone really goes in the face of fluff though. The last time the Imperium tried to improve SM led to the cursed foundings. Guess second time is the charm.

Personally, if I was going to throw in a technologically advancing imperial army, I think I would do it as a secular secret society that is done with the imperial faith and ignores the cult mechanicus. More Rogue Trader like that has been secretly building up forces for centuries. Maybe even mixing regular humans and SM like units. Of course the risk would be making them too much like the Tau (I do think the PSM already step on their hooves in areas though). This is also just me.

Fangschrecken
10-07-2017, 22:40
I think they're trying to reconcile their business imperative to sell us new models with a stagnant setting that wouldn't allow such things.

All the new vehicles constantly being "rediscovered" or back added into the setting was getting silly.

Razios
11-07-2017, 19:07
"And it's a trivially easy thing to fix. All manufacturers would have to do is write in a little 1-page introduction piece at the start of every campaign book that clearly and explicitly states that all the background material contained within is just a hypothetical 'What if?' scenario and is only one potential outcome out of many, and encourages players to come up with whatever outcome suits them the best, and reinforce that message in every official statement about the campaign books, and there'd be no problem because then everyone would be free to decide for themselves whether to include the new background or not. And if they want to do a massive global campaign event, then they just have to think smaller. One planet, one city, one thing that's inconsequential in the grander scheme of things. Things like the Medusa V campaign or Imperial Armour Volume III: The Taros Campaign are the right idea, because even if you don't agree with the outcome it's just one small place that you can avoid. The Tau conquered Taros? That's OK, your army is light-years away engaged in its own equally important conflict, and who knows maybe it'll go there someday to try and retake it. Maybe it will, maybe it won't but it's up to you. And that's the important part that's missing at the moment. If it is there, then I don't think it's being rammed down the community's throat nearly enough."


NO,no,no,no,no,no that is not a good way, reducing the setting a into a theme park were nothing happen unless the chararter step in, I hate this of warcraft were the story bend to the player chararter so much it because less engaging, it also goes into this issue of marvel and DC were they do stuff that ave not weight whatsoever, taros campain is nice but it meanless because is so far remove that is not much diferent from a regular game with your game.

in short, what people want is WEIGHT in a setting, people like Horus heresy because it play important moment, something like medusa V is pointless since it didnt change a damn thing and nobody wants that, nobody want to feeel tricked into something, I take end times over the breeze of chaos any day.

Fangschrecken
11-07-2017, 22:41
in short, what people want is WEIGHT in a setting, people like Horus heresy because it play important moment, something like medusa V is pointless since it didnt change a damn thing and nobody wants that, nobody want to feel tricked into something, I take end times over the breeze of chaos any day.

I entirely agree with you here; folks do want a setting where their actions have weight and seem to mater, which is why Age of Sigmar lost me. It went from a world with a clearly defined framework to something so loose and ill defined (and frankly silly) that I don't really care what happens. Perhaps the old warhammer world was too restrictive and you'd spend every match wondering why your armies are fighting, and GW would end up struggling to devise campaigns that included everyone.

The problem with weight, however, is in our (and GW's) quest to make things ever grander, and just more awesome, we end up painting ourselves into a corner. We end up with 13 black crusades and nothing to show for it. A storm of chaos that ended with an unsatisfying stalemate. All this because advancing the setting would invariably create winners and losers.

Razios
12-07-2017, 18:55
I entirely agree with you here; folks do want a setting where their actions have weight and seem to mater, which is why Age of Sigmar lost me. It went from a world with a clearly defined framework to something so loose and ill defined (and frankly silly) that I don't really care what happens. Perhaps the old warhammer world was too restrictive and you'd spend every match wondering why your armies are fighting, and GW would end up struggling to devise campaigns that included everyone.

The problem with weight, however, is in our (and GW's) quest to make things ever grander, and just more awesome, we end up painting ourselves into a corner. We end up with 13 black crusades and nothing to show for it. A storm of chaos that ended with an unsatisfying stalemate. All this because advancing the setting would invariably create winners and losers.

Kinda, I think AoS did something right and create campain with a plot, rather than just some random battles that dosent matter at all, take albion for example: it advance the plot, show new thing and allow player to get fun and new things while it get the result GW wanted(the high elves barely won meaning the status quo is back but not too much) THAT is what players wants, a middle run were chararter can do stuff but leaving enought space to said "my chararters were there".

Cèsar de Quart
27-07-2017, 01:38
GW's settings had a problem when it came to metanarrative: the races were too "unique" and embeded into their geography to allow for a flowing narrative to feel right. Why would Orcs conquer Nehekhara? Dwarves conquering Averheim? High Elves attacking Altdorf? Wonky, forced. The complex alliances forged below the "Doom is Nigh" storyline made it seem weak. It's more plausible to imagine two IG regiments, or a Mechanicus and an Astartes army fighting, than it would be an army of High Elves fighting in the Empire over an Imperial city. Wood Elves could not have lost Loren to anyone (maybe to Beastmen), because Loren is not just land, like the Rhur valley or West Prussia; it's a character of its own, deeply connected to the faction. Dark Elves establishing a beach head at Ulthuan seemed like heresy, likewise, but moreso High Elves getting into Naggaroth.

GW would maybe have wanted a setting more akin to WW1, where a series of major powers compete, exchange small provinces in supermassive assaults and ginormous campaigns that cause huge loss of life but result in ridiculously small land gains. But the High-Low Fantasy (medium fantasy?) they created did not groove to this song. It had every race in their corner of the world, perfectly tailored to them: even the idea of the Empire and Bretonnia going to war and conquering each other seemed preposterous due to the impending doom looming in the North, and the Orcs, and the Skaven Underempire, and Sylvania...

The only reason the Lustria campaign (which was a lot of fun, even if it wasn't narrative) got a pass is because it mirrored the European conquest of the Americas. Again, GW's setting familiarty at its best: High Elves in Naggaroth feel wonky, but Imperials or Elves in Lustria don't really need any explanation because... well, there's a guy called Marco Colombo...

Maybe if GW pushed the narrative focus of their game, toned down the Apocalypse and its implications, and made the game more about the bickerings of its different states and less about the ultimate battle between Good and Evil... Maybe respect that Archaon lost the Storm of Chaos, kill him off (or better, turn him into something else, good excuse for a new mini; a spawn, maybe make his loss contribuite to Tzeentch's plan and turn him into a Daemon, or push his suggested narrative of being a godslayer; he wants to kill the Gods, all the gods, including the Gods of Chaos), and this way, all's quiet in the Northern Front for a while and grand war campaigns can begin again. Push the timeline 20 years into the future, and see what's what. Not every hero needs to be the beacon of hope the world needs, not every villain needs to bring the Earth to its end, not every king must be the fairest and the cleverest... I kinda miss the days when the King of Bretonnia was a quip on Louis XVI called "Charles de la Tête d'Or", or "Goldhead", a superfluous and petulant monarch who had no interest in his realm's affairs. It's not that Louen wasn't cool, being a retooled King Arthur, but... every king in WHFB, and also every leader in 40k, is a paragon of everything this faction has to offer. Calgar, now Guilliman, is a superhuman, superstrong superclever superhero; all chapter masters (most, at least) are so, as well as all the IG generals. The Ork characters are more fun because they're allowed to be exagerated versions of flawed (read: everyday) human beings.

+++

Anyway, 40k is again getting close to the all-or-nothing kind of narrative that kinda killed the WHFB setting in the first place. Let's hope they can navigate the waters well. For now, let's see what happens at Konor.

Lars Porsenna
27-07-2017, 19:32
Why would HE in Nargarroth seem wonky? Or for that matter DE establishing a beachhead in Ulthuan (a theme that has been going on for thousands of years in the fictional history of the setting)? Obviously in the former the HE are a raiding party, or are defending their colonies south of Nargarroth. Or a battle that doesn't take place in either homeland, but represent armies bumping into each other?

Someone in the Warhammer Ancients forum once figured out figure scale for Warhammer, at around 15-20 troops per figure. So most WHFB armies represent battles between 1 or 2K of troops per army (depending on the army...IIRC my HE usually clocked in at around 75 figures, so a scale army of 1500 troops), hardly the epic battles the background depicts. While the justification for HE fighting Empire or Brets is a little harder, I don't see it as being impossible either.

You can also take a page from Flames of War & say The Empire & Brets are engaged in a mock battle for training purposes, settle a dispute, etc.

Damon.

Cèsar de Quart
28-07-2017, 03:08
Why would HE in Nargarroth seem wonky? Or for that matter DE establishing a beachhead in Ulthuan (a theme that has been going on for thousands of years in the fictional history of the setting)? Obviously in the former the HE are a raiding party, or are defending their colonies south of Nargarroth. Or a battle that doesn't take place in either homeland, but represent armies bumping into each other?


It's not impossible, and I would have liked to see them use these stories and push them further. But the stakes were too high, it always seemed it had to be all or nothing. And a beach head seems like a flimsy thing when the apocalypse is the bigger picture.



Someone in the Warhammer Ancients forum once figured out figure scale for Warhammer, at around 15-20 troops per figure. So most WHFB armies represent battles between 1 or 2K of troops per army (depending on the army...IIRC my HE usually clocked in at around 75 figures, so a scale army of 1500 troops), hardly the epic battles the background depicts. While the justification for HE fighting Empire or Brets is a little harder, I don't see it as being impossible either.

You can also take a page from Flames of War & say The Empire & Brets are engaged in a mock battle for training purposes, settle a dispute, etc.

Damon.

I'm not saying it's impossible to imagine the Marquis of the Marches of Couronne or the Duke of Bastonne warring with the Elector Count of Wissenland or the Princes of Marienburg for some petty rivalry, some kidnapped princess or a misplaced quip on an anonymous poem... but that is not the basis for a metanarrative conflict. What I mean is that GW wrote themselves into a corner regarding the intention of moving the plot forward, but it could have been solved with a bit of imaginative resetting. Not... a general, literal reset. All of the new races could exist too (except the Stormcasts... I guess. Maybe not, maybe they work as an army of angelic daemons of Sigmar).

Either everyone is at war, or players will find themselves in a situation of "ok, player friend, what's our excuse today for making the Blood Angels fight the Black Templars?". The Empire had it solved with their elector counts being also semi-independent. The Imperium in 40k is such a feudal mess of a political entity that one can imagine entire civil wars spanning sub-sectors without news of it ever reaching Terra, or the sector seay, even.

Lars Porsenna
28-07-2017, 16:53
The obvious answer is that the Blood Angels are actually Alpha Legion. There is a good chance that the Black Templars are too...

Damon.

Cèsar de Quart
29-07-2017, 12:18
The obvious answer is that the Blood Angels are actually Alpha Legion. There is a good chance that the Black Templars are too...

Damon.

Good one, Etruscan.

Razios
12-08-2017, 18:35
Cesar is right: part is the scale, Warhammer is big enought to throw whatever you want as back drop to the armies while fantasy is....small, too small I will said, destroying cadia dosent take cadia out, killing middleheim does.

Another issue is the two minutes to midnight aproach that went FOR years, if you have apocalipse you very well play the thing, otherwise it come as silly, World of darkness knew it and play it, Warhammer get stuck in it since forever, making the setting way less dinamic as result since the result was already a foregone conclusion(chaos winning), if anything that can be said by looking Age of Sigmar: there is not apocalips in sight allowing the force of good to actually atack chaos and WINNING something from there, making the stakes highger, for all the complain you can have about AoS, no having to tip toe into a establish setting and bother the fandom is not one of them.

Cèsar de Quart
12-10-2017, 22:51
Cesar is right: part is the scale, Warhammer is big enought to throw whatever you want as back drop to the armies while fantasy is....small, too small I will said, destroying cadia dosent take cadia out, killing middleheim does.

Another issue is the two minutes to midnight aproach that went FOR years, if you have apocalipse you very well play the thing, otherwise it come as silly, World of darkness knew it and play it, Warhammer get stuck in it since forever, making the setting way less dinamic as result since the result was already a foregone conclusion(chaos winning), if anything that can be said by looking Age of Sigmar: there is not apocalips in sight allowing the force of good to actually atack chaos and WINNING something from there, making the stakes highger, for all the complain you can have about AoS, no having to tip toe into a establish setting and bother the fandom is not one of them.

Good points, although Sigmar being able to attack and go into the offensive, even winning against Chaos... is ultimately uneventful because, in wanting to make the Mortal Realms infinite, they went too big. Since reality is infinite, we (at least I) don't imagine this world, and therefore don't care for it.

I'm sure they'll fill the fluff eventually. They'll develop their Free Cities and they'll create some sort of new Empire faction (hopefully not abandoning the Renaissance look...), but as of now, all the pages and pages about wars fought for people we haven't seen and for places we just now have heard of... well, it feels completely alien and unrelatable.

For now, mind you. After all this time, the appearance of the first Free Cities has began to warm me up to the fuzziness of this Age of Sigmar.

Now, if they want to keep the setting advancing, they need three key things:

1- A good lead writer who puts character before concept, who can create compelling characters, ideas and plot points for every "season of war", so that even if a generation passes beween each campaign, we still get interesting stories out of it. Metanarrative is not an excuse for playing, people can find that by themselves. Metanarratives are narratives before anything. They need to be good narratives. For that, I'd advise GW to go get some inspiration in real mythology and history. Plenty of interesting characters and plotpoints there.

2- Anchors, things that remain the same even if the setting changes. Places, elements, immortal or long-lived characters, dynasties...

3- Build some familiarity. Stick to a certain concept and make it distinct, build on it, until the new batch of players comes to think of it the way we thought of Altdorf, Couronne or Mordheim.

Sid Snake
25-10-2017, 18:35
Good thread. My thoughts, which I've tried to keep as short as possible but lol overspill:


I don't think I'd be far wrong in saying that the 40k background, art, model design, troop choices, and all the rest of it, actually tell us two contradictory things at once about our individual game-stories (I think calling them game-stories is a useful descriptor) that we play out on the table:


1) The game on your tabletop is a mighty clash of arms in which the souls of millions hang in the balance. (On one side we have a great Space Marine Captain, on the other a Greater Daemon of Khorne, etc. We see all the different wings of a combined forces army present in the same place - land, air, infantry, armor, big guns, etc. Ancient artefacts and relics of awesome power are trotted out onto the battlefield!) And yet also,

2) The game on your tabletop is a drop in the ocean against a huge background, a more or less infinite universe where millions of other battles churn and churn. ('In the grim darkness of the far future there is only war', the phrase 'The universe is a big place' turning up everywhere, and so on.)


Meanwhile, if we look strictly at the rules and number of actual models on the table, they seem to be telling us yet a third thing:


3) In the absence of absolute information about scale, or about the ratio of models to real soldiers, and given that the rules treat the figures as if that ratio were 1:1, we are looking usually at a battle where the army of either side is what, six or seven squads, a couple of vehicles? In real-life military terms (I know I know but work with me here) that's just a couple of particularly large patrols encountering one another.


Hold that thought, I'll come back to it.


Now going back to the first two things, that contradiction between the Grim-dark Importance of your game-story that you're playing out, and yet the Irrelevance of it in the face of the Grim-dark; that contradiction makes me see why people could call it 'stagnant' or ask for the story-line to move forward in some appreciable way. It's a concession I don't want to make, because I agree with OP and the blog that was quoted upthread, but it's there for all to see.


The significance of all the insane characters and huge vehicles (Knights!) and all the rest of it is conceptually undermined, by the series of games that get played out every weekend round at Bob's house or whatever; and by the what, ten, twenty real-life years of more or less stalemate between the factions.


Now, consider a game-story played during the Rogue Trader period, where - now harking back to my comment about a couple of patrols encountering one another - two or three squads on either side kick off. If a Land Raider turns up it's a very big deal. There will be a couple of heavy or special weapons knocking around, that also constitute a big event. A character of some sort - less a great hero, more just an officer or stand-out warrior - will be involved, and sure, the weapons will all be incredibly nasty, but it's very much a story about who gets to claim a particular asteroid. Or vague 'hill' made out of polystyrene. It less obviously contradicts the idea of a huge dystopian stalemate in the background.


Or if my mention of Rogue Trader sounds a bit rose-tinted, consider a game of Necromunda or Inquisitor or one of the RPGs. In such a game-story I'm worried about my shotgun running out of ammo; whether I can get through a bulkhead; the overall fate of the entire Hive City can be left stagnating awesomely in the background.


So the gradual over-powering of 40k through 2nd and onwards eventually gets us to a point where, though I strongly agree with OP's concerns about meta-narrative, contradictions start to become overwhelmingly evident to anyone involved with 40k beyond a superficial level. (But be aware I haven't yet said whether I approve of what GW are actually doing! Read on ...)


As well as the trend for over-powering everything, we've also seen a trend away from a loose to a tight background and a trend toward specificity in miniatures. At the loose end you've got Rogue Trader, early WHFB, things like ye olde Realms of Chaos books; you've got a load of miniatures which, if you look at how early RT minis were sold, were never that closely intertwined with the background story as sketched out (in happily incoherent suggestions) in the books. It was often two different teams covering each job in those days. All very different by the time we get to the 90s and mid-2000s.


This is clearly what led to the demise of the Old World setting! I'm not saying this was a good thing. But like, 80s-era Eavy Metal photos of WFB battles in progress are really evocative and full of variety; compare them to the 2000s or even 90s equivalent and the images are much more routine. Yes, even though the quality of the figures has gone up by at least 100%.


So to re-iterate there's that well-known GW trend to over-power everything over the years, and another trend to tighten up and so limit the fluff and model ranges. All of which leads to a situation where, conceptually at least, the stagnation is evident.


But having acknowledged all this on the conceptual level, this is where I now turn around and say I dislike the WFB End Times thing, especially the AoS thing, and also now this whatever they're calling it project with 40k.


Very simply, it's one thing to advance the plot of some novels/TV show/film series. I may not like the new direction, but don't mind going to watch the latest Alien or Blade Runner movie, even if it's bad, because that conceptual shuffling and shaking up they've done hasn't cost me anything more than the price of a DVD or cinema ticket. The shuffling and shaking is being done with fictional characters that have no more bearing on my life than I want.


Whereas with a wargame setting – ah, it's very different. People have bought lots and lots of expensive figures, with which primarily to take part in a game with others, and the conceptual shuffling and shaking impacts on the usability of those figures.


Whether these people are old guards or new to it, the principle that you could invest a lump of money into some figures for a game, and then the company changes the game to such an extent that those figures are no longer usable, is ... well, if I say it's 'wrong', people will come back at me by talking about the free hand of the market. So perhaps 'unprofessional' would be a better term, or 'ignorant of the point of their product as their consumers see it'.


N.B. I know part of the use-value of said items is to paint or convert or look at, not play with. I know you can use unsupported figures as proxies or counts-as. I know you can look the other way at now-illegal weapons. You can play old editions. You can house-rule. You can write your own army list! You can play entirely other game systems. I know that even if a faction is killed off in game background, and the next rules edition trundles round, and they no longer exist legally, like Squats, you can probably use some imagination to still play with those figures you bought.


Sure, it isn't 100% absolute, but then let's not fall into the fallacy of grey: just because you can find a way to use your 80s Squats - for which read, any other physical model no longer supported - in the current 40k hobby, doesn't mean you wouldn't be doing so at a huge disadvantage (no new figures, no tournaments, loads of work coming up with rules, loads of work in getting other players to agree with your rules patch, etc).


Obviously people who like Squats rarely bother to complain seriously about them not being supported in current 40k. And yeah, it's been a very long time since anyone bought an Imperial Guard Landspeeder or Space Marine Jetbike new from GW.


But the general principle remains: advancing the plot is understandable - arguably necessary - for a host of reasons, but overall bad if done in a way that impacts in real life, on people who want to play a game with some expensive figures they've bought, and may in potentia find difficult if not impossible to use.
Obviously if we follow the law of caveat emptor, we have an object lesson in why not to assume anything about the future use-value of a product you purchase which is part of an implicit system. I would append that to invoke the law of caveat emptor as the last word to everything is not too far removed from the tendency to building a beardy list so as to win every game with unpainted figures ...