View Full Version : Codex and Army book authors

11-02-2009, 17:50
Is there a list anywhere of who wrote each of the codexes and army books? I've always seen GW books as very centrally managed compared to roleplaying books like World of Darkness where you could really feel the authors, but I'd like to know if different authors have different styles or not in the rule books.

Who is considered good and who bad if at all?

11-02-2009, 17:58
That's probably a highly subjective opinion as to the quality of each author.

11-02-2009, 18:14
And of course subjective opinion never appears on Warseer. ;)

Let me put it another way: is anyone considered to have done a bad job on a number of army books?

11-02-2009, 18:34
It depends on who you ask.
Even the same codex can be loved and loathed .
the latest chaos marine codex for example, some love it, some hate it.
It doesn't mean it's a bad or poorly written codex.

11-02-2009, 20:18
However, some authors tend to have something of a reputation for vaguely worded rulings.

11-02-2009, 21:34
Some? [scratches head]

de Selby
11-02-2009, 21:42
People seem to like Phil Kelly's books (I do). Gav Thorpe's were typically less well received, but he's gone now.

yadda yadda subjective yadda yadda unfair. Take it or leave it.

11-02-2009, 21:49
Phil Kelly makes great codexes, but his Army Book was recieved very poorly. Mat Ward as well, seems to make alot of enemies. He wrote Wood Elves, Orcs and Daemons, all of which have (had) big balance problems, and he's also responsible for the new Marines.

de Selby
11-02-2009, 21:54
Sorry, I had 40k in mind when I wrote that. I actually like the latest VC book, which I think was Gav, although people who know more about WFB than me seem to think it has balance problems.

And I like the new marines so Mat Ward has nothing to fear from me ;)

ankara halla
11-02-2009, 21:59
Personally, I've seen GW's internal policy more of a problem than any induvidual codex written by any single (or a number) of author(s). Or maybe I should say, *perceived* policy.

More than anything, the quality of codexes (in my view) has waned from good to bad in regard to when it was published and what sort of an angle GW was going for at the time. And this is the biggest issue IMO, that GW change their ways far too often. Either they should publish a lot more codexes in a much tighter schedule (which obviously didn't work for them back in the days of early 3rd edition), or they should decide on a standard by which the codexes are written and stick to it, for at least an edition at a time.

Sure, induvidual writers do have an effect on the final product, but if we get only two or three codexes written with a certain objective in mind, that then evolves into something else, and there are a dozen armies out there to write codexes to, it's bound to cause problems within the game system itself. As we have seen over and over again.

It could easily be fixed by writing errata for previous publications to bring them up to speed with the latest iteration of design style the studio is going for, but there are some arguments against doing that, and GW has evidently chosen not to go that way. So we are stuck with mismathced army list design goals and that's that.

As I understand it, it doesn't have much to do with the authors themselfs.

11-02-2009, 23:28
I strongly believe that the fluff and list parts have to be separated; the fluff writers can shine without translating their descriptions into stats and the list designers can concentrate on the quality and balance of each unit and army in general.

12-02-2009, 08:25
I've always wondered, what do the authors actually do? Do they write all the background and rules, literally everything in the book? Do they write the rules only?

Graham McNeill wrote the Empire book and i've only ever known him as a fiction writer. Was he a rules bod at some point?

Brother Loki
12-02-2009, 09:27
Yes he was. Muck like GavT he moved on to just doing fiction.

12-02-2009, 11:58
On the matter of why most books are considered good or bad, you also have diferring opinions depending on what each player values more, good fluff, a balanced army list, a cheesy army list, lots of tactical options, or an all-around feeling of completeness*. That makes it very hard to judge whatīs "good" and whatīs bad.

*And then you got weird people like me, who feel that something like army-wide ASF is a poor design decision no matter what its effect on the gameplay is, and label a book with that kind of rule in it a bad one.

12-02-2009, 12:21
Also take into consideration that even though many of us tend to whine about this or that in GW books, these are all opinions from the inside perspective of someone "in the hobby". If we where to compare GW armybooks and codexes with other Fantasy/Sf publications be it role-playing sourcebooks or wargaming rulebooks then I believe that GW books where always amongst the best. The artwork, page layout and fluff itself always put Warhammer/40k books amongst the coolest to page-through that you could find in your local fantasy store.
This is also becouse many of the things that we use to bitch about(no matter if the rant is justified or not) are the things that dont matter at all when comparing the books with other companies publications.

12-02-2009, 12:47
For me, background, art and painting/modelling guides are what makes a great codex of army book. The rules are just rules (though I do enjoy the wacky and bizarre ideas- such as with the Orks) and can always ben changed to suit a game- in fact GW encourage this. I can understand that the issue of balance must be frustrating to power gamers on the tournament scene who are fighting 2000 point battles. For me, balance is not as importance as fun. Real battles are seldom balanced and Apocolypse and Legendary Battles are fantastic fun when you thrown all of your models on the board. I would like the codexes to make more of this.

I have never read a 'bad' codex or army book. There have been those that I have really enjoyed (such as the new ork and space marine ones).

12-02-2009, 12:54
*And then you got weird people like me, who feel that something like army-wide ASF is a poor design decision no matter what its effect on the gameplay is, and label a book with that kind of rule in it a bad one.

You'd have to include me on the 'Javgoro ASF as a bad design choice Bus'. Irrespective of how the rule balances in the game, it was a stupid move to put in a whole army.

The new marine book to me is pure unadulterated GW propaganda. It's designed to put other armies down so it can sell even more marines, which seems like a cannibalistic business practice to me.

I don't tend to blame the authors specifically, because A) GW heads have control over what goes in the book and B) Even if they DID write something attrocious the fact that GW didn't chuck it out means they wanted it that way.
Any way you slice it, the company is at fault for the content, not the author.


15-02-2009, 03:49
You'd have to include me on the 'Javgoro ASF as a bad design choice Bus'. Irrespective of how the rule balances in the game, it was a stupid move to put in a whole army.

It doesnīt surprise me much, considering other stuff Iīve seen you say on threads here, we usually have similar opinions, for what I can tell*.

On the Phil Kelly issue... His 40K codices have been very good, and the WoC army book, in my opinion, isnīt that bad. The problem is, it seems it hasnīt fully satisfied anyone, and whatīs worse, it has several fuzzy rules that make the result seem worse, overall, but thatīs partly GWīs and their playtesters fault too.

*And I seem to recall you and I talked at one point on the Dark Reign chat, and our opinions didnīt diverge much there either (I was under another name, though).