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Fixer
28-04-2009, 16:07
I'm back from Holiday.

There's a book I foolishly picked up before I left. Read it on the flight over and back. A collection of short stories under the title of 'Heroes of the Space marines' except 4 stories were about Chaos marines, 2 of these stories they killed Space marines with contemptuous ease and of the Space marine stories one had the Space marines turning to Chaos for stupid reasons and the other had the Space Marines being manipulated and killed by former members of their chapter that had turned to Chaos.

Of the remaining stories which consisted of Imperial Fists and their successor chapters, one had the Black Templars lying to the Inquisition in order to sacrifice their forces/mission in order to complete their own secret task but relenting and saving everyone at the end. The other had the Crimson fists lying to the Imperial guard in order to sacrifice their forces/mission in order to complete their own secret task but relenting and saving everyone at the end.

So, there was one story about Imperial Fists where a cameo by a well known character saved them all and a Deathwatch story that contained actual Heroic space marines. '******** and idiots of the Astartes' would have probably been a better title for the overall theme of the stories here.

Some of the stories were reasonably well written. The 'killing Imperial Fists when you're Black Legion is easy' was pretty bad, but Gav Thorpe's 'Captain Dumbass shoots Chaplain Angry and Turns to Chaos with Anakin Skywalker type motivation." really pushed the limits of how bad Space Marine fiction can be.

So... I've started work on my work inspired by this book. Check it out...

Proudly they stood in their powered armor. Space marines of the Author Chapter. Two squads of Tactical marines. One lead by the brave Sgt. Hero. His unit comprised of the surly heavy weapons guy, the wise all-knowing special weapons trooper, Hero's best friend since childhood, and the red haired Brother Chemise. The young Space Marine was gifted in the arts of war already a great orator and a symbol of everything the chapter stood for. No-one doubted that Chemise would one day rise to the rank of Chapter Master.

Sgt. Douche of the second squad looked on as Chemise exploded for the sole reason of showing how bleak and dark the situation was. "He deserved to die for his weakness!" He yelled re-assuringly.


Chaos Sorcerer Antagonist stood in the baleful Warp light. His polished dark blue armor wrapped in heretical scrolls and trimmed with gold. His helm decorated with a yellow and blue striped egyptian style head-dress. The symbol of an ouroboros snake on his shoulder, standing in front of the massed Chaos marines who were nothing but dust in animated powered armor it was now blatantly obvious from the description which Legion they were from.

However, actually stating in book as if it were revealing some deep hidden mystery would come later.


Sgt. Hero boldy fought on, despite unrelenting foes and the loss of his best friend his stalwart and one-dimensional personality showed no character development whatsoever. "We know no fear!" He yelled for about the 15th time. "The Emperor has deserted us all! We're all going to die! and it's all Sgt. Hero's fault!" Sgt. Douche yelled, absent mindely carving the 8 pointed star of Chaos into a traitor Guardsmen with his chainsword.

Suddenly Captain Special Character arrived, wielding the exact wargear described in his codex entry. In a moment, the space marines were saved! "HOW ARE YOU BOTH DOING NOW I HAVE SAVED YOU?" he screamed stereotypically. Sgt. Hero shrugged. "I'm kinda wondering how the hell 1000 space marines can take an entire world when I've just lost 20% of my squad facing down less than 100 traitor guardsmen and poor trained cultists." Sgt. Douche frowned "I do not know, the rest of my squad are faceless goons who seemingly share my opinions and motivations. We'll be lucky if there's a sentence describing how many of them are alive."

Sgt. Hero sighed. "Captain Special Character, can you help us on the main A plot of this story?" Captain Special Character raised his noted piece of wargear to the air. "SADLY NO, I CAN ONLY PROVIDE A CAMEO. I MUST GO NOW TO COMPLETE A MISSION WHICH I UNSUBTLY HINT TO BE FAR MORE IMPORTANT THAN YOUR OWN." and with that he was gone. "Wow, Captain Special Character certainly is exactly how his codex entry describes him isn't he?" Sgt. Hero said looking to Sgt. Douche. His companion mumbled loudly under his breath as he piled skulls for the brass altar of Khorne. "I despise Captain Special Character and all the values of good, decency and honor he stands for."


Sorcerer Lord Antagonist looked out upon the battlefield, templed his power armored fingers and laughed. "Yes, exactly as planned. Muaha ha ha!" His laughter came to an abrubt halt as he noticed one of his followers raising his hand. "Yes, what is it Sorcerer Flunky?"
Flunky looked up and stepped out of formation with the rest of the Chaos Marines. "Well, it's just... could you let us know what this plan actually is? I mean, so we can join in with the insane laughter. Not doubting your foresight and intricate machinations and all, but it would be nice to know that the results of things here are actually part of your plan instead of wondering if it's just random **** that's happenned that you take credit for."
Antagonist stared at him for a few heartbeats before drawing his bolt pistol and putting and inferno bolt through Flunky's skull. "Shooting him in the head at that exact moment happens to be part of the plan. Any other questions?"
There were no other questions.
Sorcerer Lord Antagonist looked out upon the battlefield, templed his power armored fingers and laughed. "Yes, exactly as planned. Muaha ha ha!"


Sgt. Douche stood as a bastion of heroism and purity against his corrupted brother. Chainsword in hand, spouting the litany of repetetiveness he came to blows against the dark powers that now infested Sgt. Hero. "Wait! This makes no sense at all!" He whispered bravely. Sgt. Hero looked back his eyes filled with the fury of chaos. "Tell me about it."


The twisted remnants of the Thousand Sons battlebarge fell towards the nuclear fire of the nearby Star. There was nothing left, the Rubric warriors which could never be replaced were now freed of their prison of armor, their spirits released and soon their physical forms would be destroyed. Impossible losses from which the Legion would never recover.

Sorcerer Lord Antagonist looked out upon the void of space, the last thing left alive as his broken form was drawn down into the star's gravity well, he templed his power armored fingers and laughed. "Yes, exactly as planned. Muaha ha ha!"


We know that some good Space Marine fiction can be written... but why is it that even in fluff everything is so massively varied? In one book you may have 10 space marines wiping out an entire city for the loss of some paintwork on their armor and blood from their wounds. In others it seems that the Imperium's finest get butchered by a group of poorly trained muskrats with butter knives.

The majority of marines are supposedly following in the mantra that there's no honor in pointless defeat, yet half the motivation for the characters seems to be that they want to die in some pointless unheroic fashion.

and if a Company of Space marines is supposed to be able to turn the tide of a war can we actually see how it's done sometime instead of a endlessly seeing how they always underestimate their opponents and suffer terrible losses before having to fight a guerilla war? :S

Can't we have a little more balanced, characterful and basically good space marine fiction?

Legionary
28-04-2009, 16:42
Hah, entertaining post. I agree the quality of space marine fiction varies wildly. I really think Games Workshop should come up with a power level for the marines, and detail what they can and can't do, and what should and shouldn't defeat them, as well as the size of the chapters and what constitutes irreparable losses.

Are they unstoppable machines that can take down armies on their own? Or are they simply brave warriors armoured to a better than average standard that can still be killed by a couple of renegade guardsmen?

I try and stay away from marine fiction because to be honest although there are some good stories the rest of the time it's hugely inconsistent and on top of that poorly written.

BeatTheBeat
28-04-2009, 16:43
Well said aka Word.

totgeboren
28-04-2009, 16:48
haha, love this post. ^^

Have you heard about the Law of Inverse Ninja Strength?

Marines are kinda like ninjas, and yes, it doesnt make any sense whatsoever and takes away from the story.

MarshallSam
28-04-2009, 18:11
haha, love this post. ^^

Have you heard about the Law of Inverse Ninja Strength?

Marines are kinda like ninjas, and yes, it doesnt make any sense whatsoever and takes away from the story.

I just googled the law of inverse ninja strength and you are ABSOLUTELY right!!!

NightrawenII
28-04-2009, 18:18
Holy Throne of Terra! This is the best space marine short story I ever read.;)

So this book is the result of Black Library "Write your own story about SM hero" competition? It looks like funny reading.:D:D:D

Edit: Law of Inverse Ninja Strength????
Yeah, you are right.

Imperialis_Dominatus
28-04-2009, 18:53
So this book is the result of Black Library "Write your own story about SM hero" competition?

Yep. Ugh. I know I'm going to pick it up but I'm not looking forward to the utter dross my fellow fans seem to have put out.

There's always next comp, I guess...

Lord_Crull
28-04-2009, 19:25
I disagree, ''Nightfall'' ''Skull Harvest'' ''Fires of War'' and ''Headhunted'' where all very good. The rest ranged from mediocre to iffy.

rottahn
28-04-2009, 20:23
extremely entertaining post.
Fixer... YOU DA MAN!

HK-47
28-04-2009, 21:05
I disagree, ''Nightfall'' ''Skull Harvest'' ''Fires of War'' and ''Headhunted'' where all very good. The rest ranged from mediocre to iffy.

Is "Nightfall" the story about the Night Lords? What is it about?

KingDeath
28-04-2009, 21:10
The best space marine stories are those where they dont fight stupendous battles till kingdom come ( i look at your Bloodangels Omnibus, or Battle for the Abyss...urgh ) but get some actual character development or are at least not the always omnipresent main characters but something rare and special. For the former example i liked Angels of Darkness ( despite its flaws ) for the later we have Legion.

Idaan
28-04-2009, 21:11
Cool. Now you know how other armies' players feel all the time. Not to be negative or anything.

Lord_Crull
28-04-2009, 22:51
Is "Nightfall" the story about the Night Lords? What is it about?

It's about Night Lords recruitng new marines on a planet. they go this this fomer imperial planet and turn it into this fear-choked wasteland and they recruit from these half-feral ghoul boys by doing some really scary crap to them.

It's very good and the writing style is almost like ''Lord of the Night''

Phoenix Blaze
29-04-2009, 00:06
You missed out the very common and now very boring "marines in combat".

"Brother somethingorother-eus shot one cultist, blowing a gaping hole in his chest, he leapt into combat (covering 10 feet of course), spun low and delivered a back kick, spun low again, punch a guy through the chest, spun low some more (marine spin low *A LOT*) etc etc etc".

Seriously, why do they always spin low!!!

The best marine combat I've read so far is in Fulgrim, at Istvaan V, where it's just bloody fighting, now spinning low, no retarded scorpion kick efforts, just mindless violence.

SimonL
29-04-2009, 00:10
I never pictured Marine combat being filled with Matrix-esque moves, just brutal, fast and accurate blows that smash things apart.

Col. Tartleton
29-04-2009, 00:20
I imagine them using the blunt barrel of their .75 caliber high explosive assault rifle to shove a hole through the target's head rather than wasting the bullets...

Why shoot the Mutant, the Alien, and the Heretic, when you can HULK SMASH!!!
-Lord Macragge Marneus Augustus Calgar

[EDIT]800 Posts Bushaka

Marshal2Crusaders
29-04-2009, 00:27
Fixer, you described it perfectly. It does however have a Templar in it, so I have to buy it.

Gdolkin
30-04-2009, 02:27
Fixer, that was great, I laughed :) Yep, actions without motivations and incoherencies abound..
No, seriously, apart from missing some "gaping holes in chests" and crushing rebel's cheekbones with elbows etc, that sir was the perfect satire of BL $%@$ M@&N fiction. Salute. Do it again!

Hellebore
30-04-2009, 02:50
Hehe. Yep, the only legitimate complaint about poorly portrayed characters in GW fiction is if they are space marines. Any other race just has to suck it up because they are obviously crap compared to the mighty might of the mighty marines.

Hellebore

Solar_Eclipse
30-04-2009, 04:09
Hehe. Yep, the only legitimate complaint about poorly portrayed characters in GW fiction is if they are space marines.

Strangely enough, if you have a story from the perspective of an ally of the marines (and the marines dont talk at all) then they become interesting characters.

The same is with an enemy who isnt being engaged by them.

Commissar Caine Novels, The Traiters Hand.

He has to attack a hallway with a huge choke point in it, heavily guarded at the end he could attack it and lose half his force, he's about to do so but *bam* Chaos Marines arrive and notice the Slaaneshy cultists

The next few pages has the Chaos marines just smashing their way through the cultists, even taking some casualties!

Spoiler:

A Slaaneshy Cultist runs up and hugs a Khornate marine...before the Demo charge strapped to his chest goes off.

chromedog
30-04-2009, 05:22
You really don't have to look far for bad SM fiction.

It's called "Black Library". They publish a truckload of crud and call it gold, and plenty of people gobble it up.

Probably why I prefer to play eldar. No-one writes fiction novels about them (I deny CS Goto's existence).

hawo0313
30-04-2009, 07:50
great work man youve got to write another one and maybe you should add a memory from his training or something like that where he learns a special lesson. (blood angels omnibus there is a memory when rafen learns the humility and pride of sanguinius)

TheDarkDaff
30-04-2009, 10:13
Maybe add in that one of the characters in a telepath that can recieve but not transmit like in the Sould Drinker novels. Did i mention he should be a telepeth that can recieve but not transmit. Maybe make him from a diferent planet but. He could also be a telepath that could recieve but not transmit.

hawo0313
30-04-2009, 10:19
Maybe add in that one of the characters in a telepath that can recieve but not transmit like in the Sould Drinker novels. Did i mention he should be a telepeth that can recieve but not transmit. Maybe make him from a diferent planet but. He could also be a telepath that could recieve but not transmit.

like in ravenor but in that the guy that can do it doesn't tell anyone he knows whats about to happen until it already happens kinda like its a trap and everyones just about been comprimised anyway

TheDarkDaff
30-04-2009, 11:58
like in ravenor but in that the guy that can do it doesn't tell anyone he knows whats about to happen until it already happens kinda like its a trap and everyones just about been comprimised anyway

i was more having a bit of a go at Ben Counter where in each book we are told about a million times (well it seems like that many anyway) that Sarpedon is a Telepath that can Transmit but not recieve.

Griffin
30-04-2009, 13:59
HA - you forget the fact that aparantly Chaos = Stupid.

Why BL authors why ? Barring Dark Apostle, Lord of night and very few other books chaos is always extremely 1 dimensional, doing evil purely for the sake evil. Why can't more books portray them as 10 000 year veterans ?

Dakkagor
30-04-2009, 14:22
The problem is how do you portray a 10,000 year old insane super soldier hopped up on daemonic power who has seen more apocalypses than we've had hot dinners? Nothing even remotely close exists in the entire span of human history and experience to a single chaos space marine. I think the original legion marines should be portrayed as increasingly inhuman cosmic horrors, driven by the whims of gods its impossible to understand without being driven utterly mad. More modern traitors shoudl be very human and vile in their desires and drives, but those original traitors. . . Ahriman destroyed his entire legion in one act and called it acceptable losses, Kharn cannot stop killing people, and Lucius has been killed over and over again, experiencing the agony of death each time until he finally possesses his killer. Don't even get me started on Fabius Bile. . .

the traitor legions aren't human any more, not by any definition. Each chaos space marine should be as alien and eldritch as the tyranid hive mind or a true daemon. The occasional surfacing of a human trait should make them more terrifying (anger, hatred, bitterness).

Having them do evil "for the lulz" is desperatly flat and poorly developed.

Chaos Undecided
30-04-2009, 14:56
Seems at times for a great deal of Chaos Marine veterans treated as main characters in the storylines that after 10 thousand years of war there is only boredom & apathy, the ones that have gone mad seem to have gotten the better deal out of it.

BlackLegion
30-04-2009, 15:58
Yep. Most Chaos Space Marines are just "HULK SMASH!!!" apart from the Dark Apostle series and Lords of the Night.

Col. Tartleton
30-04-2009, 17:24
The problem is how do you portray a 10,000 year old insane super soldier hopped up on daemonic power who has seen more apocalypses than we've had hot dinners? Nothing even remotely close exists in the entire span of human history and experience to a single chaos space marine. I think the original legion marines should be portrayed as increasingly inhuman cosmic horrors, driven by the whims of gods its impossible to understand without being driven utterly mad. More modern traitors shoudl be very human and vile in their desires and drives, but those original traitors. . . Ahriman destroyed his entire legion in one act and called it acceptable losses, Kharn cannot stop killing people, and Lucius has been killed over and over again, experiencing the agony of death each time until he finally possesses his killer. Don't even get me started on Fabius Bile. . .

the traitor legions aren't human any more, not by any definition. Each chaos space marine should be as alien and eldritch as the tyranid hive mind or a true daemon. The occasional surfacing of a human trait should make them more terrifying (anger, hatred, bitterness).

Having them do evil "for the lulz" is desperatly flat and poorly developed.

Damn, after that description I'm gonna have to put a CSM in my pulp fiction story. I'll have to up the Lovecraft to 11.

And I looked upon him, his face a rugnose mess of choleric humors and dripping venom, but it was all sub dermal. His physical face was terrifying but calmly human. It was nauseating to look into that face. Its warm smile set beneath eyes that oozed the knowledge of my every thought. So unnerving. I stared into the face of a dark prince who had ruled unchallenged for as many years as the very god Emperor had sat upon the throne. It was unreal to lay eyes upon a man, or perhaps now something far more and far less, who had been there. This man had stood upon Terra as the Dark Lord Horus himself laid the siege. He had stood among the Cohorts of the fallen. He had sipped the wine of treachery, and he had supped upon the flesh of his very species. He had stood there as the lances rained fire from the sky and he had called to the dark gods the infamous creed of the traitor "Let the Galaxy Burn and the Stars Die!"

A bit rushed, but that's what a basic CSM needs to be portrayed as.

Marshal2Crusaders
30-04-2009, 17:59
After watching some great war movies and reading some really good war fiction recently, BL definitely needs something more than the 'heroic squad' doing the impossible.

Lord_Crull
30-04-2009, 19:38
After watching some great war movies and reading some really good war fiction recently, BL definitely needs something more than the 'heroic squad' doing the impossible.

BL has plenty of that. What I want to see if more mass warfare, details of units and tactics. Big battles. ''Smart warfare'' so to speak.

precinctomega
30-04-2009, 20:29
Great post, OP. I wrote a great story for that competition but it didn't make the cut (I suspect because it was about Salamanders and didn't jibe with Nick K's forthcoming Salamanders novel, but oh well*).

I don't have a problem with GW not defining the "power level" of space marines in a consistent fashion. In fact, I actively applaud BL's decision to allow individual writers to interpret the background from their own perspectives. The Star Wars franchise takes the opposite route and, although they've produced some impressive fiction (I'm enjoying Karen Traviss's novels at the moment), it does make it all feel a bit too "party line".

With BL novels you get a feel for the author and a chance to experience different angles of the 40kverse. So varying power levels of marines from one author to another is fine by me. What bugs me is when an author (mentioned no names, Mr McNeill) gives marines different levels of power purely in service to the plot.

Speaking of Nick Kyme, I actually really liked his portrayal of the Ultramarines in "Assault on Black Reach". Bearing in mind that the novella was a marketing tool and the outcome was pre-determined, I thought he did a great job of exploring the mystical and political aspects of marine society that was subtle and thought-provoking. If Salamanders turns out to be half as good (and to actually possess a plot) then it'll be the best novel this year.

R.

*As opposed to "because it sucked"? Yeah, well, they liked my story in Planetkill well enough. :P

Fixer
01-05-2009, 10:17
Yes. Unfortunately Sgt. Hero suffered from the universe's law of having at least one mandatory nonsensical plot twist to shock and suprise you.

Marshal2Crusaders
01-05-2009, 23:30
Oh, wow, I totally am shocked.

Dakkagor
02-05-2009, 10:07
Damn, after that description I'm gonna have to put a CSM in my pulp fiction story. I'll have to up the Lovecraft to 11.

A bit rushed, but that's what a basic CSM needs to be portrayed as.

Holy cow, Col Tartleton and me agree on something?!? I may need a lie down. . .


My love blooms on the battlefield. I love explosions a lot, and they make pretty rose-shaped configurations at times. Or the bloom of arterial blood exploding from some foul xenos' vital bits. And yes, the bloom of promethium from my hand flamer as I torch the remains of the Orks.

And, seeing as orks love a good explosion too, its all mutual.

Eulenspiegel
03-05-2009, 17:18
Fixer, how about you write a "fixerised" summary like in your opening post after each new BL release? :D

38.
03-05-2009, 19:24
Op is funny.

The reason marines are boring protaginsts is because they dont have many conflicting thoughts.

For example if the protaginst conflict was: doing whats (in their opinion) right vs doing what theyre told. Guess what, they do as theyre told no real problem to a brainwashed killer servant.

They dont have fear, so theres no tension for them. Maybe they feel some unease.. hmm compelling huh.

This is why their conflict is often external and always boring.


EDIT:

I dont see how mass battles would be any better, the book would either be jumping around every few seconds to the next interesting fight. Looking from a commanders eye (rght flank broken reserve squad alpah reinforce..), or sticking with one grunt sargent type and kind losing the large battle detail.

Lord_Crull
03-05-2009, 22:00
Mass battles are better IMO becuase they are epic in scale and we can see realy tactics and strategies in action from the viewpoint of the commanders, instead of the upteenth time Brother Random Joe kills orks.

Hellebore
04-05-2009, 01:17
Yes but that would require the authors to have a working knowledge OF tactics and strategy wouldn't it? Thus, much easier to focus on Brother Random Joe (nice name btw) slaughtering a dozen heretics in one swing, that way they won't make themselves look stupid with a lack of actual warfare knowledge.

Hellebore

Marshal2Crusaders
04-05-2009, 01:56
Yes but that would require the authors to have a working knowledge OF tactics and strategy wouldn't it? Thus, much easier to focus on Brother Random Joe (nice name btw) slaughtering a dozen heretics in one swing, that way they won't make themselves look stupid with a lack of actual warfare knowledge.

Hellebore

Its also fairly hard/uninteresting to describe things like stacking and 9-lines and keep the pace of an action sequence. Some things are just better being seen than described.

The Song of Spears
04-05-2009, 23:04
I hope its not too late to comment that the OP first post was wonderfully clever. Seeing shallow plots for what they are.

Personally i find they come from writers who are afraid of power. I myself struggled with this concept when i was running a role-play game called Aberrant. Where the player character power levels are off the chart insane.

But after several months or careful attention to politics and world reactions to the powerhouse characters, i realized that I didn't need shallow plot devices to limit the players, I didn't have to come up with a badguy who was more powerful. Sometimes all I had to do was show them the swath of destruction they caused and the lives they would never be able to go back to. Plus I took the time to come up with a fun and interactive story for someone of such great power to feel a part of.

Anyway. I feel the OP touched on what is true for many stories/games. And as many other people have said, GW just needs to pass around a memo detailing the exacts of a space marines capability's.

t-tauri
04-05-2009, 23:15
A number of posts removed. Please do not link to sites with offensive content.

Lupercal16
04-05-2009, 23:38
Can the 1st captain of a chapter become Chapter Master? And should 'The Labyrinth' taken canon with the return of the 5th chaos god?

Was Malice/Malal actually psychically into the Materium to lead the Sons of Malice to regain Scelus and whats with the 11 Doomed Ones?

Xisor
05-05-2009, 00:02
Speaking of Nick Kyme, I actually really liked his portrayal of the Ultramarines in "Assault on Black Reach". Bearing in mind that the novella was a marketing tool and the outcome was pre-determined, I thought he did a great job of exploring the mystical and political aspects of marine society that was subtle and thought-provoking. If Salamanders turns out to be half as good (and to actually possess a plot) then it'll be the best novel this year.


Good news! Fires of War at least seemed workable and very much in the vein of Assault on Black Reach with only a few particular goofs IMO. (Mainly poorly using an obvious plot gimmick, a little too much 'flames, hammers, anvils' and something else which I forget right now) Otherwise I found it to be highly enjoyable. As expect it at least presents a sensible level of marine's power level.

Indeed: I wonder how the OP can complain authoratatively without mentioning Fire of War. Whilst I largely agree with many of the Astartes tropes and cliches being overhashed, I found the Salamanders story to be particularly light and canny in their use. That is: the 'burly heavy weapons trooper' was described as that off-the-bat. There wasn't any beating about the bush, just very simply; that's who he is, you (the reader) get the idea and move on quickly.

Also, it didn't consist of page after page of 'Marine smashes cultists' ad naseum. Any such tedious scenes seemed relegated quickly to one sentence whilst the actual plot-points of a fight (or even mere authorial flourishes) were dealt with quickly and written well.

Heroes has turned out to be nowhere near as bad as it could've been. Thorpe's contribution was good, excepting the last page, as was, I felt, Honour Among Fiends. The rest suffered a bit, but Renegades, FoW and HAF have at least compensated sufficiently for the investment.

Lord_Crull
05-05-2009, 00:29
Its also fairly hard/uninteresting to describe things like stacking and 9-lines and keep the pace of an action sequence. Some things are just better being seen than described.

I find it instresting, Warwick Kintrade manages to do so in the Imperial armour books so why can't it be done by Black library?

Marshal2Crusaders
05-05-2009, 02:31
I find it instresting, Warwick Kintrade manages to do so in the Imperial armour books so why can't it be done by Black library?

Give me a page reference for this. Imperial Armor's are also written like military history books and not action/explosion/scissor-kick novels.

Lexington
05-05-2009, 02:58
Nice post, OP.

As it turns out, the Black Library is really bad at producing quality fiction! It's sort of astounding that anyone takes them seriously anymore, seeing as they're so predictably terrible.

The Emperor
05-05-2009, 03:53
A number of posts removed. Please do not link to sites with offensive content.

To be fair, I didn't link to a post with offensive content.* I just referenced a link located on a page on a site linked by another poster. It was two or three degrees of separation before you got to anything offense. And WOW, was that offensive! LOL! I don't think I've ever read anything that included the c-word, much less something in which the c-word popped up (pun not intended) that quickly in the narrative!

*Incidentally, I don't care about my deleted post. I just felt like making additional amusing commentary about that story. :D

Marshal2Crusaders
05-05-2009, 04:27
Yeah, the Daemonette portion was particularly... unusual. Fanon gets more disturbing every time.

Hellebore
05-05-2009, 04:38
Yeah, we should stop linking to offensive content, which means no more 40k. Totalitarian genocidal regimes are rather offensive. Procreation, not so much. :p

There are series out there that do go into strategic command without ignoring the scissor kicks. However not everyone enjoys them. GW have successfully written for their rather unimaginitive teenage boy demographic. Otherwise they wouldn't sell.

The Honour Harrington series goes into the minutae of war strategy (admittedly it is still space opera), but it still has the main characters kicking ass and taking names.

Hellebore

Lord_Crull
05-05-2009, 11:12
Give me a page reference for this. Imperial Armor's are also written like military history books and not action/explosion/scissor-kick novels.

They include action portions as well.; Look at Lok's killing of a Heriodule in IV and the Evesor's killing of the Ethereal in III.

Marshal2Crusaders
06-05-2009, 03:33
Both were written similar to Black Hawk Down.

The Emperor
06-05-2009, 03:55
What pages can I find the Eversor on?

Poseidal
08-05-2009, 10:05
Can someone tell me (who's read the book) more about the 'ONE HATE' short story about the Crimson Fists?

I hear there's a surprise ending, and it is one of the better reads too, but mostly I want to know how the Crimson Fists are portrayed in this one.

Also, what about the Salamanders story, was that one any good?

MajorWesJanson
08-05-2009, 12:07
Have to say I really liked the Deathwatch story.

Lord_Crull
08-05-2009, 14:26
Both were written similar to Black Hawk Down.


Is that a bad thing? Even Abnett manges to inculde a bit of tactics, look at Necropolis and Sabbat Marytr.

Xisor
08-05-2009, 16:38
Also, what about the Salamanders story, was that one any good?

Haven't read the CF one yet, but I though the Salamanders one was a very sensible depiction of astartes. Not superheroes, nor just 'soldiers with big guns and superstrength'. Credible astartes acting like you'd imagine them to do. An interesting story with straightforward characters with interesting interaction and fairly sensible plot resolution.

Fixer
08-05-2009, 18:56
Though I was very negative in my first post here there were a couple of well written and interesting stories in the book. Fires of war and Headhunted both had Space Marines forces that were acting heroically and doing things that you would expect the Astartes to do.

Considering that the rest of the stories are about chaos space marines being awesome, Space marines turning to Chaos for stupid reasons or (in the case of the two Imperial fists successors) lying to other Imperial forces so that they would be sacrificed for some hidden Space Marine agenda a more suitable title for this collection would have been 'Champions of Chaos and The Douches of Dorn'.

Marshal2Crusaders
09-05-2009, 03:58
What was the big BT secret they are trying to hide?

Firaxin
11-05-2009, 19:45
My thoughts (in the order they appear in the book):

1. The Skull Harvest, McNeil.
Not McNeil's best work, but good nonetheless. I might be biased 'cause I'm a Ventris-geek and want more of that universe.

2. Gauntlet Run, Chris Roberson.
Imperial Fist scout bikers duel with ork bikers and buggies while they race to get a teleporter beacon to the mouth of an ork cave. Very meh, basically no character development, the whole thing's pretty much one long, poorly written and tension-less combat scene where marines die just to show how grimdark the situation is. One of the worst stories in the book.

3. Renegades, Gav Thorpe.
Pretty good up until the very last page. The combat scenes were enjoyable, and the inhuman, callous nature of the marines comes across very well in certain places. The group's fall to renegade status was done well enough, and the original split within the group was believable (of course it would be Chaplain who leads the loyalists against the renegades), but led to violence much too quickly. Likewise, their decision to immediately join chaos in the Eye of Terror seemed like much too far a leap for me, as up till then their decision to go renegade had seemed perfectly feasible to me--but they would have still been loyal to the Imperium.

4. Honour Among Fiends, Dylan Owen.
I dunno what else he's written, but Owen's really good. Possibly my most favorite story in this book. Great language, wonderfully imaginative setting, well developed characters, feasible power levels, and a moving look at one chaos champion's attempt to break from chaos, made all the more poignant by the flashbacks to the Horus Heresy. You really feel for the guy when he fails.
5. Fires of War, Nick Kyme.
An interesting look at some rituals unique to the Salamanders. The marines weren't too over the top in their combat, and we get a glimpse of the broader strategic/tactical level. The Chaos marines were very annoying though, not only handling the Salamanders with contemptuous ease (they don't even take any losses, IIRC), but their connection to the Salamanders (and thus why they should be twice-damned) isn't fully explained until the very end right before the succeed their objective, even though the narrative kept cutting to the chaos commander (who would basically go 'mwahaha, all according to plan!' every time). To confound that, we don't even know why the main bad guy turned to chaos. The chaos commander is also able to secure some sort of artifact without any resistance at all before the Salamanders are even aware of their presence. The Salamanders don't even know about the artifact by the end. There's also some resentment between two of the sergeants, which feels hollow and isn't developed much. The fact that this is a prequel is very evident and very irksome, but if you can get past all the openendedness I guess it was an enjoyable read.

6. The Labyrinth, Richard Ford.
Malal lives! Chaos marines fight each other survivor style for extra privileges, which turn out to not be privileges at all. The characters weren't developed much, but I guess that's okay because: they're all dead at the end. Worth reading for the information about the Sons of Malice/Malal alone, and I guess the action/suspense isn't too bad either. Also, the Sons of Malice have given their god physical form, Avatar of Khaine style. Kick-@$$.

7. Headhunted, Steve Parker.
Very enjoyable, very well written. Characters are developed, combat scenes are enjoyable (though not the norm--it's largely a stealth mission). We get all sorts of dandy information about Inquisitorial protocol and Death Watch gear (such as nova grenades, enhanced HUD systems, even dreadnaughts! Yes, it's confirmed, the Death Watch have dreadnaughts too). Parker even goes as far as repeatedly pointing out how limiting an Astartes' bulk is; stairs break underneath them, catwalks nearly fall, there's even a mention of how one of their larger brothers wouldn't be able to fit through the ship's hallways (though admittedly, it was a dreadnaught they were talking about).

8. And They Shall Know No Fear, Darren Cox.
Black Templar ally with/lie to Inquisition agents, which made no sense to me, especially as they were the Ordo Hereticus and have fought each other before. Their friendship was much too easy. Super-veteran marines die just to show how grimdark the situation is (within the first couple pages, a krak missile takes out a land raider and the five terminators in it. In one shot). The space marine's tactics are unimaginative and obviously flawed (although Sisters of Battle save them, so I guess Cox kinda acknowledges that they were in a dumb position). The characters are undeveloped and two-dimensional. At the end, despite leading the Inquisitor's troops on a suicide mission so they could complete their task, the Templars repent and rush to their aid because it's the right thing to do. Then the Castellan sacrifices himself, suicide-bomber style, to blow up some psykers trying to open a warp portal. Even though there were several sisters of battle next to him who understood what he was doing, and could've made the run themselves. There was also a terminator present who could've done it, and offers to do so, but he's knocked unconscious by an autogun bullet to the head the second he makes the suggestion. :rolleyes: Then in the last paragraph, 'Neophyte Helbrecht' comes from nowhere to help up the unconscious marine, the battle having been won between when the Castellan killed himself and when the terminator regained consciousness, even though it was very very clear the marines were about to lose even regardless of if the warp portal was opened. This story wasn't even meh; just bleh. One of the worst in the book.

9. Nightfall, Peter Fehervari.
The chaos marine characters seemed very stereotypical and undeveloped. Aside from the squad leaders, the lower ranks seemed like mindless, unspeaking automatons who blindly follow their leaders. But the Night Lord's info (particularly their recruiting process) was interesting, and the ghoul they pick in the end was an interesting character. This was also very short, which was somewhat dissappointing.

10. One Hate, Aaron Dembski-Bowden.
Not bad. Similar theme to And They Shall Know No Fear, but the marines are relatively well developed characters, the guard/crimson fist alliance is perfectly plausible, the decision to help the guard anyways makes more sense given the context, and the ending was pleasingly epic without being over the top. We also get a good look at marine tech (their HUDs in particular), I thought their hatred for the orks could have been developed a bit more (aside from the chaplain going HULK SMASH and charging around a corner into 11 orks when it would've been better to wait for them, and then quickly regretting his decision, which was pretty lame), especially since that's the title of the story, but it's a small complaint. Combat wasn't that central a theme either (which is good); only ~5 pages out of the ~40 page story described up close combat.