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View Full Version : Who are Warhammer 40k "Good guys'"



khaosmarines
07-01-2012, 07:23
As far as i can see their really isn't an obvious "good" group. I mean their is definite Evil factions but none i would say are ALL good. Even the Imperium of man is a group of highly xenophobic, aggressive people that think they have a right to rule the galaxy....

Post your thoughts/opinions ;)

Born Again
07-01-2012, 07:26
There are no good guys, and no bad guys in 40k. They're all just different shades of grey (particularly the Tau ;) ). If you really had to press the matter, you could make the argument that the good guys are the orks and 'nids, as they're just doing what they're made to do without a real motive as such. Unless you want to believe a conspiracy theory that something more malevolent is directing the 'nids, of course...

Spiney Norman
07-01-2012, 07:37
There isn't really a "good" to 40k, I guess the closest is Tau so that's who I voted for. The Eldar are too ready to sacrifice entire worlds of other races to slightly improve their own lot and the imperium has this habit of trying to wipe out everyone else for the audacity of not being human.

The "evil" end of the spectrum is much more easy to recognise, obviously chaos and dark Eldar (who are definitely NOT a chaos faction) qualify on that score. IMHO the imperium are much closer to this end of the spectrum than they are to the "good" end.

Then you have the instinctive armies of Tyranids and Orks who ironically comprise the greatest threat to the galaxy at large.

Necrons kind of sit on the fence in that regard, not particularly malicious, nor overtly expansionist (though I guess some dynasties may be), but not at all concerned about anyone but themselves.

Sami
07-01-2012, 07:39
The whole point of 40K is that there are no good guys.



And what on earth are DE doing lumped in with Chaos?

khaosmarines
07-01-2012, 07:44
I put DE with chaos because, they follow the Chaos god of Slaanesh and all the forces under the gods are ultimately pawns of their desire. I don't see that great a distinction in motive, whilst i do understand that they don't get along with chaos marines/demons much.

Or have i got my fluff horribly wrong?

laudarkul
07-01-2012, 07:44
IoM are on the good side. There are of course some "problems" with their "Manifest Destiny", but in the end all what is done is for the mankind.
Eldars are too selfish to be on the good side or bad side.
Tau doctrine brings a similarity with some ex-government forms from east to out them firmly on the good side.
Nids and Orks and Dark Eldar the bad guys. So that puts Eldar race in the bad category.
Necrons? Can not fell them.

Kakapo42
07-01-2012, 07:44
I voted for the Tau. The whole point of them was to have a genuinely good faction in 40k that wasn't grimdark. Of course this seems to have been forgotten as of recently, but they're still the nicest of the bunch.

hazmiter
07-01-2012, 07:50
I voted imperium, and yes, they do have their crazy moments, but they do try to "liberate" worlds, and they do have a force that ensures citizens are safe albiet brainwashed. So I guess they are good in a definition of dictatorship.

Souleater
07-01-2012, 07:53
Or have i got my fluff horribly wrong?

Yes. You have. The Dark Eldar don't woship She-Who-Thirsts. They know their actions continue to feed Her but they simply don't care.

Edit: And I'd actually question the idea that there are no good guys. Eldar might want to kill your filthy mon-keigh face off but it would be because they needed to...not just because it would briefly amuse them.

I'd put CWEldar, Imperium, Tau as good guys. They aren't spotless but this isn't Star Wars.

The hivemind has been described as sentient on several occasions so the 'dude, they're like a force of nature' thing is garbage. Orks are cruel and nasty to each other as well as everybody else. Chaos, DE, possibly even Necron are on Team Evil.

RandomThoughts
07-01-2012, 08:42
IoM are on the good side. There are of course some "problems" with their "Manifest Destiny", but in the end all what is done is for the mankind.


I voted imperium, and yes, they do have their crazy moments, but they do try to "liberate" worlds, and they do have a force that ensures citizens are safe albiet brainwashed. So I guess they are good in a definition of dictatorship.

This is funny.
Please don't take this personal, the two of you, but I'm always amazed how new players can look at the books and think the Imperium of Man are the good guys. I mean, the Imperator is pretty much a direct copy of Emperor Palpatine from Star Wars, a lot of Imperial stuff is directly inspired by Nazi Germany (including stuff like the Commissars and a lot of the the propaganda in some of the older Guard Codices), racial and mental purity, genocide, the whole "sacrifice a whole world before allowing for a single freethinker going unpuished" stick, actually, I think GW had done a great job on this one: They wrote the model-evil-empire, and sold it to their players as the good guys. Bravo!

Personally, I would have voted both Tau and Eldar, if the poll had been a multi-choice-poll.

Look at Tau, they are pretty much a direct crossbreed between Star Trek's Federation and 60ties' upbeat Science Fiction (Perry Rhodan, for those who know it, possibly Flash Gordon and similar stuff): Technological Advancement, leaving for the stars, looking at new worlds and new races with a mixture of eyes-wide-open naivety and (unselfaware) imperialistic ego-centrism.

Then look at the Eldar. They are a dying race. They survived the equivalent of the Fukushima melt-down on a empire-wide scale, more than 90% of their population died there and then, the remainder are on exodus, drifting through space on a fleet of scattered vessels. Don't get me wrong, Craftwolds are amazing, but beyond their beauty and tech, they are still little more than convoys of fugitives looking for new homes (I think Battlestar Galactica makes for a surprisingly good analogy).
And you know what the humans did the moment they heard about this Fukushima-like catastrophe? Did they send humanitarian aid? Nope. They decided this was their chance to invade. Since then they hounded the "evil xenos" that were the Eldar like the Cylons hounded the trail of survivors in Battlestar Galactica. Whereever the Eldar went, Humans and Orks and Tyranids started shooting the moment they showed their faces. Their Maiden Worlds, desperate attempts for a new start in a new land were repeatedly invaded by Humans as much as by Orks. And you wonder why the Eldar would rather sacrifice a world populated by these aggressive aliens that hurt them any way they can than loose even more of their already dwindling population?

The Marshel
07-01-2012, 08:49
everyone is going to tell you it's tau, but while there is valid argument for them being the good guys, there is equally valid argument for them being the bad guys.

No-one truly is the "good guys" because the good guys implies they fight purely for what is right and not for their own self interest or the interest of their faction. There are no good guys and bad guys in war, only us and them. even though it's fiction, 40k is no different.

Who are the good guys is entirely dependent on who's side you're on, but from a truly objective standpoint, there are no good guys, only slightly less evil guys

MikeInfinitum
07-01-2012, 08:57
Don't see how the Tau can be "good guys". If you refuse to become part of the Tau Empire they will wipe you out. Not too friendly that!

And the Empire good!?! There's a good argument that they are evil!

Eldar are probably the closest. They are more than prepared to work with other races in the ongoing war against chaos. They bear most of the galaxy no ill will at all.

hazmiter
07-01-2012, 08:59
Commissars are a refence to Russian military. Troops that showed cowardice or started whining were shot to enforce order, why, because that was the way they inspired loyalty in their troops.
Loyalty through fear.

Imperium of man 40k is a dictatorship, as I stated.
They protect their brain washed citizens. And to top it off, they have the inquisition, a policing force that kill all who show individualism....... Just like the celestial lions chapter..... Who happened to lose a honeworld, and all their apocatharies during armageddon for speaking out against exterminatus on a world that had a small cult uprising that was ruthlessly put down by them.
Never said they were perfect.
If had to select a force of the imperium, it would be celestial lions for morality.
Look them up in lexicanum if you want validation.

Sierk
07-01-2012, 09:06
I beleive few people are truly evil. Their actions may say so but does that meen in their heads they think they are doing something truly wrong. Hitler i think was "purifying" the world or something allong those lines to make it a better place. Just because somethings using elements from "evil" souces dooesnt mean their evil, maybe they just see the logic behind it more important the risks making it "efficient". Plus since the IoM does what it does for religious reasons i think because of the great destiny or whatnot you could more easily compare them to fanatics than "evil".

Hicks
07-01-2012, 09:06
I'll just say that good guys often have to do bad stuff by obligation, but they don't get any enjoyment from it.

On the contrary, bad guys love being bad.

So IMO, some of the Imperiums forces should be considered good guys. Also, I find that comparing the Imperium to Nazi Germany is BS. It's just too huge. Most of the worlds that make up the Imperium are barely in contact with the central government. They are just there to provide ressources and as long as they worship the Emperor, even if it's in a very vague way, they won't have any problems. You could have "nazi" worlds, but the closer you get to Terra, the more you see things like gender and racial equity. The only thing they ask is that you pay your taxes, worship the Emperor (you could be worshipping a rock and they would be ok with it, as long as you call it a gift from the Emperor), or go to war if drafted.

The Imperium is xenophobic towards other races, the nazis wanted to purify their own race. I think this is significantly important. Of course you want your species to succeed and expand. Add the fact that every race encountered will happily shoot you in the face on sight and I don't really see how it could be considered evil to fight a race that you are openly at war with.

If I saw a talking cow with a ray gun and it wanted my wallet, I'd try to kill it and I'd still eat hamburgers. I don't think I could be called a nazi for that.

Kerrosive56
07-01-2012, 09:12
This is funny.
Please don't take this personal, the two of you, but I'm always amazed how new players can look at the books and think the Imperium of Man are the good guys. I mean, the Imperator is pretty much a direct copy of Emperor Palpatine from Star Wars, a lot of Imperial stuff is directly inspired by Nazi Germany (including stuff like the Commissars and a lot of the the propaganda in some of the older Guard Codices), racial and mental purity, genocide, the whole "sacrifice a whole world before allowing for a single freethinker going unpuished" stick, actually, I think GW had done a great job on this one: They wrote the model-evil-empire, and sold it to their players as the good guys. Bravo!

Personally, I would have voted both Tau and Eldar, if the poll had been a multi-choice-poll.

Look at Tau, they are pretty much a direct crossbreed between Star Trek's Federation and 60ties' upbeat Science Fiction (Perry Rhodan, for those who know it, possibly Flash Gordon and similar stuff): Technological Advancement, leaving for the stars, looking at new worlds and new races with a mixture of eyes-wide-open naivety and (unselfaware) imperialistic ego-centrism.

Then look at the Eldar. They are a dying race. They survived the equivalent of the Fukushima melt-down on a empire-wide scale, more than 90% of their population died there and then, the remainder are on exodus, drifting through space on a fleet of scattered vessels. Don't get me wrong, Craftwolds are amazing, but beyond their beauty and tech, they are still little more than convoys of fugitives looking for new homes (I think Battlestar Galactica makes for a surprisingly good analogy).
And you know what the humans did the moment they heard about this Fukushima-like catastrophe? Did they send humanitarian aid? Nope. They decided this was their chance to invade. Since then they hounded the "evil xenos" that were the Eldar like the Cylons hounded the trail of survivors in Battlestar Galactica. Whereever the Eldar went, Humans and Orks and Tyranids started shooting the moment they showed their faces. Their Maiden Worlds, desperate attempts for a new start in a new land were repeatedly invaded by Humans as much as by Orks. And you wonder why the Eldar would rather sacrifice a world populated by these aggressive aliens that hurt them any way they can than loose even more of their already dwindling population?

I agree with your statement on the Tau wholeheartedly, but the eldar not so much. I agree with some of the points, but they can hardly be considered good. The attack anyone that the farseers tell them to, in an attempt to save their civilisation, or hell even a single eldar. The only times hey aid anyone else is when it benefits them. They are neutral. They will kill anyone who stands in their way, but will also help others. They only work for themselves, but at the end of the day so long as you aren't chaos they don't really care about you.

Sierk
07-01-2012, 09:17
i wasnt calling the IoM nazis it was just a reply to an earlier post made by randomthoughts and like 5 posts were posted in the time it took me to type it.
LOL

Radium
07-01-2012, 09:20
The closest thing to 'good' (not in a D&D sense, but in a natural order sense) are the Dark Eldar. Sure, what they do is considered incredibly vile by our standards. But their honest about their intentions, and they are the only race that lives in harmony with their surroundings: they raid a world every once in a while, but they always ensure that there's enough left to regrow. Unlike humanity, orks, tyranids and tau who just completely destroy the worlds they don't like and completely consume the worlds they own. And chaos are destructive parasites.
Regular eldar and necrons are way too obsesses with getting rid of everyone else to be considered 'good'.

In all seriousness though: 40k only has shades of the blackest black. There is no hope, no forgiveness and certainly no good.

hazmiter
07-01-2012, 09:24
It happens sierk.

Define evil, then define the morals that tell you it is evil.
Does it then truely become evil for the reason it is, or because you believe it is.
Horus thought he would rebel, and wage war against the emperor to prevent him becoming a god, he thought he was doing an act of good.... Tzeentch had other ideas.....

Vipoid
07-01-2012, 09:35
Necrons!

We're just grumpy old men now - what harm could we possibly do...?

:angel:

Dominatrix
07-01-2012, 09:46
I'll just say that good guys often have to do bad stuff by obligation, but they don't get any enjoyment from it.

On the contrary, bad guys love being bad.

So IMO, some of the Imperiums forces should be considered good guys. Also, I find that comparing the Imperium to Nazi Germany is BS. It's just too huge. Most of the worlds that make up the Imperium are barely in contact with the central government. They are just there to provide ressources and as long as they worship the Emperor, even if it's in a very vague way, they won't have any problems. You could have "nazi" worlds, but the closer you get to Terra, the more you see things like gender and racial equity. The only thing they ask is that you pay your taxes, worship the Emperor (you could be worshipping a rock and they would be ok with it, as long as you call it a gift from the Emperor), or go to war if drafted.

The Imperium is xenophobic towards other races, the nazis wanted to purify their own race. I think this is significantly important. Of course you want your species to succeed and expand. Add the fact that every race encountered will happily shoot you in the face on sight and I don't really see how it could be considered evil to fight a race that you are openly at war with.

If I saw a talking cow with a ray gun and it wanted my wallet, I'd try to kill it and I'd still eat hamburgers. I don't think I could be called a nazi for that.

Tell that to the psyckers sacrificed every day for the decomposing corpse to survive.. Ahhh I forgot they "volunteer".. "Suffer not the mutant to live". In a world where mutation is not unheard of given the polluted environments, go talk to them about equal treatment.. Let's just cut the crap and call it what it is. The only way the Imperium is considered the good guys is because they are fighting a war against something unimaginably nastier (chaos mainly). Otherwise they definitely qualify as the bloodiest regime in history and the nazis are the good guys compared to the imperium.

TheCaptain
07-01-2012, 09:55
no one is really good, they are all shades of grey

Hicks
07-01-2012, 09:56
Tell that to the psyckers sacrificed every day for the decomposing corpse to survive.. Ahhh I forgot they "volunteer".. "Suffer not the mutant to live". In a world where mutation is not unheard of given the polluted environments, go talk to them about equal treatment.. Let's just cut the crap and call it what it is. The only way the Imperium is considered the good guys is because they are fighting a war against something unimaginably nastier (chaos mainly). Otherwise they definitely qualify as the bloodiest regime in history and the nazis are the good guys compared to the imperium.

Without the Atronomicon humanity would crumble and mutants are the result chaos influence.

In real life guess what, there was no evil magical influence turning the Jews into servents of evil gods and burning them did nothing to save humanity as a whole.

Saying that an imaginary fascist regime is worst than real life nazis, now that is a load of crap.

Polaria
07-01-2012, 10:04
No one is good here. No one is really 'bad' either. Its all shades of grey and matter of perspective.

Although, from human point of view, the Imperium is 'good' because no matter how heinous its actions might be the existence of Imperium itself is the only thing guaranteeing that humankind is not driven to extinction by the outside forces.

Yes, if you look at Imperium from the point of universal declaration of human rights it pretty much breaks each and every human right. But it at least tries to guarantee the humans the most fundamental human right of all: Right to life. If you are dead you can't have any other human rights. Although in Imperium it goes more like:

You have the right not to be eaten, murdered, enslaved and torturtured by non-human beasts that don't care about you. You have the right to assume that if you are eaten, murdered, enslaved and tortured by other humans it is a necessary sacrifice for the future of all humankind.

The catch is: From Necron point of view the humans have as much rights than an insect has and the Necrons are good because they are just trying to get back the lands all those disgusting flesh-like creatures stole when Necrons were sleeping. You wouldn't see yourself bad if you tried to drive away the squatters who took your house over during the night, wouldn't you?

Dark_Master
07-01-2012, 10:30
Errm no one?

I thought that was the point?

There is no good only WAR!! ;)

DM

RandomThoughts
07-01-2012, 11:12
Saying that an imaginary fascist regime is worst than real life nazis, now that is a load of crap.

My mistake, if I made the impression that's what I was trying to say. What I intended to say was this:

A lot of what the Imperium of Man is and stands for has analogies to what happened in Nazi Germany back between 1933 and 1945. At least part of that analogy was clearly intended by GW's writers. Therefore I find it hard to ignore these points entirely and call the Imperium of Man good.

Does that make more sense to you?

Xelloss
07-01-2012, 11:26
People saying that the Tau are the "good guys" seems to have missed the part with their eugenics programs and how much their "greater good" is just space-communism propaganda.

BrainFireBob
07-01-2012, 11:49
Good is you, and at least some of the guys from your faction.

Evil is everyone else, and some of the guys from your faction.

MistaGav
07-01-2012, 11:52
I would say it's the Space Marines as they are the only faction/race created for the good of mankind but how they go about it varies from chapter to chapter depending on how they work, their organisation and motives.

The Ultramarines seem to be a bit more 'Hey we're the good guys, honest!' but they probably haven't got a great regard for humans whereas the Dark Angels are technically good but they are really only in it for themselves.

Born Again
07-01-2012, 12:00
The hivemind has been described as sentient on several occasions so the 'dude, they're like a force of nature' thing is garbage. Orks are cruel and nasty to each other as well as everybody else.

I don't recall ever seeing the hive mind described as 'sentient'. It possibly has the ability to perceive its surroundings, take in stimuli, react and develop solutions to problems, but only on the level of, to use the obvious analogy, a nest of ants. I don't know if it has a sentience on a level that you could ascribe 'good' or 'evil' to it. As for orks, they only fight (be it themselves or others) because it as hard-wired in to their being as is breathing. The concept of not fighting is completely unfathomable to them. Remember they are, really, little more than a weapon created by the Old Ones. To call them good or evil is like trying to put those labels on a bolter rather than the space marine firing it.


The closest thing to 'good' (not in a D&D sense, but in a natural order sense) are the Dark Eldar. Sure, what they do is considered incredibly vile by our standards. But their honest about their intentions, and they are the only race that lives in harmony with their surroundings: they raid a world every once in a while, but they always ensure that there's enough left to regrow.

That's actually a really interesting way of looking at it. The fact that a race like the Dark Eldar can even possibly, no matter how remotely, be considered the 'good guys' is why I like 40k so much. :D

Korraz
07-01-2012, 12:39
There are none. Not even Tau.
We only have definitely evil factions, and don't give me the "They aren't evil from their standpoint!" crap, because they are, and they know it. Chaos worshippers and Dark Eldar have a choice and they decided to take the evil way. They know very well what they are doing and they are trying their best to be as evil as possible. And Orks are a race whose only job in life it is to destroy, but as opposed to the Nids they don't do it to survive and grow. They destroy just for the sake of destroying something.

Everyone else dabbles around in the grey area.

hazmiter
07-01-2012, 13:21
Tyranid organisms such as swarmlords and broodlords have intelligence, and are capable of tactics, its in the fluff. Maybe not broodlords, but the swarmlord gave calgar a run for his money.

KomradeKorlash
07-01-2012, 14:05
Troll answer: Nids are the only good guys. C'mon now, they're only feeding to survive. They can't help it!

Realistic answer: None of the above. Like several folks said beforehand, the scale ranges from a light shade of grey to near pitch black. There's no pure white in 40k land.

Friedrich von Offenbach
07-01-2012, 14:36
I voted none, but i think the Salamanders require an honourable mention as "gooder (better) than some others"

HavoK
07-01-2012, 15:40
To be able to answer the question one must define evil, which is impossible to do in a fruitful way. So noone is good, but neither evil

Khorneguy
07-01-2012, 15:56
Chaos Space marines - fighting to free the Imperium from the tyranny of the Emperor since the 31st Millennium ;)

Korraz
07-01-2012, 16:00
To be able to answer the question one must define evil, which is impossible to do in a fruitful way. So noone is good, but neither evil

Killing and torturing people for the lulz is evil, no matter what you say.

Finnigan2004
07-01-2012, 16:02
Space wolves. They're the only chapter of space marines that are willing to ignore dogma, and face down the rest of the Imperium when they make decisions like the slaughter of imperial guardsmen that they fought beside them, "just to be on the safe side".

druchii
07-01-2012, 16:13
IoM are on the good side. There are of course some "problems" with their "Manifest Destiny", but in the end all what is done is for the mankind.
Eldars are too selfish to be on the good side or bad side.
Tau doctrine brings a similarity with some ex-government forms from east to out them firmly on the good side.
Nids and Orks and Dark Eldar the bad guys. So that puts Eldar race in the bad category.
Necrons? Can not fell them.


I voted for the Tau. The whole point of them was to have a genuinely good faction in 40k that wasn't grimdark. Of course this seems to have been forgotten as of recently, but they're still the nicest of the bunch.

No one's good.

Have you ever read the Uplifting Primer? Dude, if you don't have the book you get shot. SHOT. For not having a book. Totally good guys. Oh, these are also the people who feed a billion(kajillion?) psykers to the emperor daily to keep him alive. I'm sure you'll tell me all those psykers give up their lives willingly ;)

I also find it quite hard to say that super-space-communists/socialists are good guys as well. The Tau might as well precede every battle with "Join the greater good! Don't want to? Give us your stuff instead. No? GTFO!" Nevermind the whole allusion to the Ethereals having some sort of shady control over the other Tau castes. This idea that they were created as the "good guys" is a joke, and there are TONS of stories in their initial codex about them kicking imperials off their planets because of their misplaced "we're the good guys!!11one!" attitude.

40k is cool because there are NO good guys. It's actually one of the most realistic things in their fluff...every race is selfish and entitled (just like they WOULD be) and that's awesome.

d

Sinnertje
07-01-2012, 16:15
There are good guys...

...They are just very boring so don't show up in any of the fluff. :p

AUN'SHI
07-01-2012, 16:24
Dark Eldar are the only good in 40k :D

Clearly kidding.... I would say the closest to good is the Tau as they at least try and have peaceful talks before going to war. They have saved such races as the kroot from destruction and have let them do what they do and put no restriction on them. I'm sure that's the same for the vespids.

So TAU for the win as the ONLY possible "good"

I know there maybe the argument that they ask you to join you say no they fight you. But I think thats better than just a take over with no choice and killing your entire race.

I'm sure the Tau would take prisoners and they probably would no harm the weak who can't fight. where for argument sake ill say the marines which will kill the whole populance (espically xenos) woman, children ect.

The Devourer
07-01-2012, 17:13
While no one is really good and it's a shades of grey setting (although isn't the real world?), you can put the factions in an order.

The IoM certainly aren't the worst. The comparisson to the nazis is a good one. They genuinely care about their people but they brainwash humans into believing aliens or anyone who refuses to follow the emperor doesn't deserve to life. Just looking at how they treat humanity isn't a great way to judge since every organisation treats it's people well (it just depends who it views as people and who it sees as outsiders) however evil it is. The ioM doesn't just defende humanity, it actively attempts to destroy everything else, whether they are human or alien. Many happy peaceful human societies have been destroyed because the refuse to join the imperium and the Tau are an example of what happens to peaceful aliens (when the imperium first discovered them, at caveman stage, they immediately prepared to bomb them). The IoM has no reason to attack other than that they hate all aliens and believe all non imperial humans need reeducating- i'm not sure how anyone can say xenophobia is the mark of a good faction.

The eldar are certainly above the IoM. They have no problem killing other factions however they try to avoid warfare unless really neccessary. They are indifferent to most groups and unlike the IoM don't kill because they hate you. They rarely invade others and usualy if you give them their space they won't do anything to harm you.

I can't see how the Tau are anywhere but top of the list. The whole "Submit or Die" idea is only found in imperial properganda and has been blown out of proportion on the web. Tau actions don't show it at all (even imperial properganda shows them taking prisoners which the IoM would never do. Yes they are made to work but given that this is still an accepted occurance today I don't think you can use it to justify calling them evil). The Tau don't bring worlds into their empire they bring them into the greater good. When you look at worlds that have joined this comes down to a truce and an agreement to allow trade. Worlds within the Greater good are ruled by there own people (pech for example is still controled by a kroot council) and are free to behave as they like (Tau acknowledge that they find kroot behaviour disgusting but they are still free to behave how they like). Human worlds are know to have continued to worship the emperor while having joined the greater good. Planets are required to supply goods in exchange for the benefits of protection and advanced technology but this is no different to how modern day organistations work. Given the amount most planets receive (certainly all human planets) it is a tiny price. They may take somethings but they also give the planet free access to everything the greater good can offer. The IoM leaves many of its people stuck on feudal or savage worlds- the greater good gives all of it's people everything it can.

Their liberation of imperial planets may seem like interfering in other species planets because they believe them to be evil but look at what the western world has recently been doint to many dictatorships. We do exactly the same thing.

The ethereals may have control over the Tau but that is irrelevant to other members of the greater good. The Tau have no control over other members so how they run their own planets is nothing to do with others. The same is true for the castes. Castes are a Tau system not a greater good system. The Kroot don't belong to castes and neither do vespid. It is a purely social system for the Tau and has no connection to the greater good.

The tau certainly aren't perfect but they act very similar to how western countries act currently and for an organistion in such a twisted, dangerous setting that is quite an achievement.

otakuzoku
07-01-2012, 17:19
by my understanding the closest to the good guys you rally get is the tau.
and some of the space marines chapters, the eldar are trying to survive. and in the battle for survival if its you or them you pick the other side to die.

if you were going to be thrown in to the 40k universe and had a split second were you want to live. most would pick the tau empire.

if you were to pick a side that was not evil i would have to go with nids. there just following there biological imperative. a lion douse not not hate the wilder beast it kills. and a pack of lions uses tactics and team work. do you have any malice for the big mac you just. and do you try and negotiate with a pizza :evilgrin:

Sir_Turalyon
07-01-2012, 18:55
As far as i can see their really isn't an obvious "good" group. I mean their is definite Evil factions but none i would say are ALL good. Even the Imperium of man is a group of highly xenophobic, aggressive people that think they have a right to rule the galaxy....

Post your thoughts/opinions ;)

The Imperium of man is group of disaster survivors who know that alliances with alliens are eighter untrustworthy or unreliable, rogue human groups are alien / chaos dominions waiting to happen and having eighter group around is a sure way to shoot themselves in a foot. While they employ xenophobia as means to motivate their people, the Imperial ideology itself is just pragmatic, and they are as good guys as can be expected to be still alive in this setting.

gutsmaka
07-01-2012, 19:00
no-one is truley good but tau are as close as you can get. at least they try to bargin with other xenos, not just kill,maim burn or kill the heretic, burn the mutant, purge the unclean (actually, those sound desturbingly familiar, imp is really chaos! :D)
tau negotiate, even if one sided, there still negotiations

Scammel
07-01-2012, 19:35
Orks are a race whose only job in life it is to destroy

I'm not trying to give it that 'they're only evil from someone else's perspective' crap which irks me as well, but I don't think Orks fall under that 'they know they're doing the wrong thing and they stick to it' camp of yours. More than anything, they seem to totally lack empathy - they don't regard pain, fear and death as other races do and thus don't see any outright 'evil' in their actions.

TheConverter15
07-01-2012, 19:49
Nids....

They are just hungry :p

Korraz
07-01-2012, 20:01
I'm not trying to give it that 'they're only evil from someone else's perspective' crap which irks me as well, but I don't think Orks fall under that 'they know they're doing the wrong thing and they stick to it' camp of yours. More than anything, they seem to totally lack empathy - they don't regard pain, fear and death as other races do and thus don't see any outright 'evil' in their actions.

Definitely true. I wanted to adress this in my post, but for some reason I didn't. The ways of the mind are strange. :shifty:

Orks may not know anything else, but in my (!) opinion this means that the only scale that can be applied to them is that of the observer. They don't have a concept of morale or anything like that. Being destructive and cruel is simply what they are. But at the same time, the only one who's able to judge them is the onlooker. And in my book, a race that only exists to destroy (they were engineered to wage war, after all) counts as evil, even if they themselves have no concept of right and wrong. Unlike the 'Nids the only make war to make even more war.

Grocklock
07-01-2012, 20:04
Sorry wo wo wo
Eldar are evil as sin. They only help you because it helps themselves how selfish an so not a good trate. yes they are nice to each other but so what.

Eldartank
07-01-2012, 20:20
There are definitely no real "good" armies/nations/races in 40k. Take a look at some of the less evil of them - Imperium, Eldar, Tau - any of those won't hesitate to utterly wipe out those who oppose them, without mercy. Many Imperial Guard regiments won't hesitate to execute some hapless private for "cowardice," simply because that private somehow managed to still be alive after his unit was brutally massacred by an overwhelming force. Eldar psykers will often manipulate a war between two other races, costing billions of live, all to rearrange fate to prevent the death of one Eldar. Then there's the Tau, seemingly benevolent, but won't hesitate to massacre you if you refuse their benevolent offers.

However, despite all that, there really are some heriocally good individuals, and even some small groups, within 40K. Ultramarines come to mind, with their genuine concern for the lives of the humans they are sworn to protect. Space Wolves and Salamanders to some extent. Commissar Ibram Gaunt of the Tanith 1st is definitely a good and honorable man. I remember reading a bit of fluff about an Eldar Guardian fighting chaos on a war-torn human world, seeing the ruins of a city, and lamenting the needless loss of so many lives.

Nautyboy
07-01-2012, 20:27
While in the Grim Darkness of the Future, there are no Good or Bad guys, just a collection of **************, I do see a few honest races out there... and that is about as much as we can hope for.

I've always had a soft spot for the Dark Eldar, who are honest with their debauchery.

And beyond them are the Orks, who just want a good fight and are always happy when one is in the offing,

However, who can get as honest as the 'Nids? No lies, no false Gods, no misrepresentations, just conspicuous consumption.

Every other race always has some sort of hidden agenda.

ted1138
07-01-2012, 20:32
I've never heard of the "Noone", are they anything like Zoats? :wtf:

Cryptic
07-01-2012, 20:34
I voted Eldar due to the fact that they were once good up until their slip and demise creating the 4th chaos god slaanesh..

However now they have suffered enough and out of the above i felt they were nicest lol.
Tau would be close 2nd.

Axel
07-01-2012, 22:37
Orks are lacking as a choice.

Orks are the galaxy wide immune system, and thus are the good guys. Its just not nice to live next to them.

andyg2006
07-01-2012, 23:00
Undoubtedly, Nids are the closest thing to 'good' in 40K, because they are the race which is furthest away from 'bad' in 40K.

Just think about it:

Everyone else in 40K is tied up in thoughts of empire-building/dominance, revenge, regaining past glories, etc, so all of these races range from pretty bad to insanely awful, often in the same month.

However, Nids don't even have any concept of things such as 'good' or 'bad' and are merely misunderstood refugees just looking for their next yummy meal...plus they'll quite happily eat everyone (and everything) that is in front of them, without regard to species, dna strands, numbers of limbs (or lack of them), prejudice, creed, religion, motivation or location.

That's why Nids definitely got my vote.

x-esiv-4c
07-01-2012, 23:01
There are none. Welcome to warhams.

Demoulius
07-01-2012, 23:31
Honestly, there ARE no goodguys in 40K. Everyone does what they need to do to survive. Sometimes that includes blowing up a planet if theres a chance of heresy :angel:

Korraz
08-01-2012, 00:09
Orks are lacking as a choice.

Orks are the galaxy wide immune system, and thus are the good guys. Its just not nice to live next to them.

Then the galaxy has a severe autoimmune disease, because that immune system is doing its best to burn everything to the ground.

Sinnertje
08-01-2012, 00:51
Then the galaxy has a severe autoimmune disease, because that immune system is doing its best to burn everything to the ground.

But not because they are evil, but because they are just having so much fun doing it.

But, I suppose some people find clowns evil too.

Freman Bloodglaive
08-01-2012, 01:46
Clowns are evil... shudders

No squeaky clean good guys in 40k.

Born Again
08-01-2012, 02:31
There are none. Not even Tau.
We only have definitely evil factions, and don't give me the "They aren't evil from their standpoint!" crap, because they are, and they know it. Chaos worshippers and Dark Eldar have a choice and they decided to take the evil way. They know very well what they are doing and they are trying their best to be as evil as possible.


Killing and torturing people for the lulz is evil, no matter what you say.

But they don't really do it for the lulz, they're doing it for survival. They live, rejuvenate and fend off She-Who-Thirsts by inflicting pain and suffering on others. Now, that sounds evil, yes, but you have to remember in the Eldar mindset, other races are little more than beasts anyway. They kill the animals to survive, just like we kill cows to have steak to sustain ourselves. Now, some people will argue that we don't have to kill cows when there are other alternatives, and they are clearly Craftworld Eldar... :p


Tyranid organisms such as swarmlords and broodlords have intelligence, and are capable of tactics, its in the fluff. Maybe not broodlords, but the swarmlord gave calgar a run for his money.

They have the intelligence to react to Calgar's own tactical moves, set up ambushes, flanking maneuvers and so on, but that's just what they're programmed to do in the same way a Ripper is programmed to eat until it's full then throw itself in to the nearest digestion pool. It's not an intelligence in the sense they're twirling their mustache and saying "I've got you now Calgar, and I shall conquer the galaxy! Mwa ha ha!"

I'm not trying to make them out as good guys, just stating that any 'nid we've ever seen on the tabletop is not really intelligent enough to have 'good' or 'evil' placed on them, they're in the grey area same as every one else.

Demoulius
08-01-2012, 02:32
Well if the orks are the immume system and theyre attacking everything in sight arent they doing their jobs? After all those planets the old ones left behind dident have pesky humans/eldar/tau etc. on them :p

madprophet
08-01-2012, 03:59
There are no good guys in 40k, all the factions are self interested.

If you are human, supporting anyone but the Imperium makes no sense. What are your alternatives? The Eldar would use you as a slave at best, the Chaos will render you into combat drugs, the Orks will kill you for kicks, the Tau will sterilize you and confine you to a concentration camp. Yeah, yeah... the Imperials don't treat the Xenos any better but why should they? Before the Imperium toppled the Eldar empire, the Eldar and Orks were treating humans like crap too, so pay back's a b*tch.

If you are an Eldar, supporting anyone but the Eldar is silly. And for the same reasons that humans should probably support the Imperium... ditto the Tau... ditto the Orks. Chaos, well, they offer a lot but seem to deliver surprisingly little.

The Imperium is brutal and totalitarian - but it is an unpleasant response to an unthinkable alternative.

Axel
08-01-2012, 11:56
Then the galaxy has a severe autoimmune disease, because that immune system is doing its best to burn everything to the ground.

Considering the size of the galaxy, and the amount of Orkz in it, they are only active on a very local level. The buildup of a Waagh is probably just an orc cancer cell, but somehow any Waagh runs out of steam when the big boss dies or there is no more worthy opponent.



Well if the orks are the immume system and theyre attacking everything in sight arent they doing their jobs? After all those planets the old ones left behind dident have pesky humans/eldar/tau etc. on them :p

They do attack anything that threatens to take over the galaxy. In a biological body they are the equivalent to a system that assaults any cells that start to reproduce and build an organism of their own. The greater the threat, the more Orkz are drawn to the fray, until the intruder is reduced sufficiently.

Well, they probably should work that way. The Old ones certainy had their plans - they probably did not want to exterminate all life, just a takeover of the galaxy by just one form of life.

Chaotic Pumpkin
08-01-2012, 13:51
I'm surprised that the Tau got so many votes: from what little I know I think they are at least as Authoritarian as the Imperium.

Of course I say there are no good guys in 40k, but if I had to pick, I'd call the Eldar: they're by nature and by technological achievement the civilization closer to wisdom and the only faction that does not maintain a de facto aggressive/imperialistic policy against other races.

HavoK
08-01-2012, 16:03
The problem we are facing here is our own perception of morals, which we of course aim to defend which still are to be hones a subjective matter

Wrath
08-01-2012, 17:53
Christ, you people have some twisted ideas of "good". Kind of fitting for 40K I guess.

baphomael
08-01-2012, 18:29
The problem we are facing here is our own perception of morals, which we of course aim to defend which still are to be hones a subjective matter

Not to start a debate on the philosophical nature of ethical theory, but it might not but a purely subjective matter - there might be an objective morality, but even after five years studying that stuff I couldn't begin to offer what it might be in terms of a cogent, consistent, ethical theory free from being intellectually picked apart like a vulture's dinner ;)

But, nonetheless, most people here will be speaking from subjective opinions. An objective morality might exist, but I dont think any of us know what is is yet, because lifelong academics can't decide on that one between them ;)

But yea, there have been some... oversimplistic appeals to 'good and evil' going on here that, on the face of it, appear to suggest some posters arnt quite appreciating just how complex ethical theory is. Ideas that might seem straight foreward and common sense, upon analysis, can end up having more holes than a wedge of jarlsberg*

Further, we are throwing those words around like everyone is using the same normative standard... but are we all even using the same language, do we all mean the same thing?

*(heh, I remember attending a lecture on Preference Utilitarianism... which got derailed a little as the speaker and another academic in attendence spent the whole time in heated debate over how the speaker's interpretation would fit into certain...problematic...examples. In the end, the speaker had to concede those were difficult questions that would require further consideration...it was the academic equivalent of 'erm, I didn't think about that').

seven324
08-01-2012, 18:49
Why do so many say the Tau are not the good guys?

Out of all the races, they are certainly the best. They do not wipe out whoever refuses them, only if they pose a threat. The Vespid did not accept straight away, so they found a better way to communicate with them and then they accepted.

They also trade with many Imperial Worlds. The point of the Water caste is to negoiate with other races and try to bring them to the Greater Good, but they don't wipe them out if they just refuse. They keep trying to convince them.

I haven't seen them do anything that would be considered evil.

baphomael
08-01-2012, 19:00
I haven't seen them do anything that would be considered evil.

They might not be as xenophobically genocidal as the Imperium, but they are certainly just as imperialist. I guess they are seen as 'bad 'uns' because nowerdays we tend to find Early Modern colonialism, gunboat diplomacy and the 'white man's burden' of 'civilising the savages' to be a bit.... out of fashion, to put it mildly.

Compared to the rest of the galaxy though, they could be much, much, worse.

Korraz
08-01-2012, 22:06
Considering the size of the galaxy, and the amount of Orkz in it, they are only active on a very local level. The buildup of a Waagh is probably just an orc cancer cell, but somehow any Waagh runs out of steam when the big boss dies or there is no more worthy opponent.


So they are a disorganized, but nevertheless very dangerous and agressive immune system that tries to kill the body.


But they don't really do it for the lulz, they're doing it for survival. They live, rejuvenate and fend off She-Who-Thirsts by inflicting pain and suffering on others. Now, that sounds evil, yes, but you have to remember in the Eldar mindset, other races are little more than beasts anyway. They kill the animals to survive, just like we kill cows to have steak to sustain ourselves. Now, some people will argue that we don't have to kill cows when there are other alternatives, and they are clearly Craftworld Eldar... :p


To the Empire of Man's mindset, all Xenos are monsters that have to be destroyed ruthlessly. That's no excuse.
They have a choice, they pick the evil option, and they enjoy it.

Sinnertje
08-01-2012, 22:15
Before the Imperium toppled the Eldar empire

Am I the only one who saw this and went: :wtf:

madival
08-01-2012, 22:23
Necrons just want people off their lawn.

In reality, Necrons are good guys like star wars empire were good guys. They keep everyone from killing each other in horrible fashion. That's what Necrons wanna do

Korraz
08-01-2012, 22:26
Am I the only one who saw this and went: :wtf:

I just noticed that post.
I don't know what version of 40k he has been playing, but it's certainly not the same as me.

althathir
09-01-2012, 00:14
There are no good guys in 40k, all the factions are self interested.

If you are human, supporting anyone but the Imperium makes no sense. What are your alternatives? The Eldar would use you as a slave at best, the Chaos will render you into combat drugs, the Orks will kill you for kicks, the Tau will sterilize you and confine you to a concentration camp. Yeah, yeah... the Imperials don't treat the Xenos any better but why should they? Before the Imperium toppled the Eldar empire, the Eldar and Orks were treating humans like crap too, so pay back's a b*tch.

If you are an Eldar, supporting anyone but the Eldar is silly. And for the same reasons that humans should probably support the Imperium... ditto the Tau... ditto the Orks. Chaos, well, they offer a lot but seem to deliver surprisingly little.

The Imperium is brutal and totalitarian - but it is an unpleasant response to an unthinkable alternative.

Eldar toppled themselves by being hedonistic enough to create a dark god. This made the eye of terror, but lead to the warp calming down which allowed the big E to start the crusades and look for the primarchs. It also killed the vast majority of eldar.

beyond that I agree with your analysis.


Why do so many say the Tau are not the good guys?

Out of all the races, they are certainly the best. They do not wipe out whoever refuses them, only if they pose a threat. The Vespid did not accept straight away, so they found a better way to communicate with them and then they accepted.

They also trade with many Imperial Worlds. The point of the Water caste is to negoiate with other races and try to bring them to the Greater Good, but they don't wipe them out if they just refuse. They keep trying to convince them.

I haven't seen them do anything that would be considered evil.

When I read the vespid fluff it read more like thier leaders put on the devices and then were basically under the control of the tau.

Vaktathi
09-01-2012, 00:22
Nobody.

The Tau would be the closest, but they only appear so because of what they are compared against.

The huge central pillar of the 40k universe is that *everyone* is bad.

magnum12
09-01-2012, 00:40
With Marines, it depends on the chapter. I'd say the closest thing to a "good" faction are the Salamanders and to a lesser extent Space Wolves. Also remember that just because you're good doesn't mean you're nice (neither of them are nice when it comes to enemies, but they do their best to protect civilians and other innocents).

Vanagandr
09-01-2012, 01:03
no one (alpha legion wasn't an option, if you disagree with me read Legion and you'll know why)

Born Again
09-01-2012, 01:13
To the Empire of Man's mindset, all Xenos are monsters that have to be destroyed ruthlessly. That's no excuse.
They have a choice, they pick the evil option, and they enjoy it.

I get what you're saying, but it's only evil from your perspective. As baphomael said a little further up about ethics and morality. Dark Eldar are subjectively evil, from a human's standpoint, but probably not from their own.

Hellebore
09-01-2012, 02:39
In the end it's all relative as these threads always degenerate into (there have been dozens of these threads over the life of Portent and Warseer combined).

From my personal perspective - ie how it would affect ME were I to live in the 41st millennium, I would say the Tau. The craftworld eldar are extremely humane (eldane?) to THEMSELVES, but I'm not an eldar. The Imperium demands I worship the emperor or die, fight for them and die, or die. work for them and die, or die etc.

In terms of personal freedom and quality of life I would find life better under the tau. Not that that's saying much necessarily but at the risk of invoking Godwin my analogy has always been thus:

A Jew would rather live in Stalinist Russia than Nazi Germany. That one is better than the other only makes a RELATIVE statement, not an absolute one, because neither are necessarily good choices.

But the lesser of two weevils and all that.

Hellebore

HavoK
09-01-2012, 04:55
Not to start a debate on the philosophical nature of ethical theory, but it might not but a purely subjective matter - there might be an objective morality, but even after five years studying that stuff I couldn't begin to offer what it might be in terms of a cogent, consistent, ethical theory free from being intellectually picked apart like a vulture's dinner ;)

But, nonetheless, most people here will be speaking from subjective opinions. An objective morality might exist, but I dont think any of us know what is is yet, because lifelong academics can't decide on that one between them ;)

But yea, there have been some... oversimplistic appeals to 'good and evil' going on here that, on the face of it, appear to suggest some posters arnt quite appreciating just how complex ethical theory is. Ideas that might seem straight foreward and common sense, upon analysis, can end up having more holes than a wedge of jarlsberg*

Further, we are throwing those words around like everyone is using the same normative standard... but are we all even using the same language, do we all mean the same thing?

*(heh, I remember attending a lecture on Preference Utilitarianism... which got derailed a little as the speaker and another academic in attendence spent the whole time in heated debate over how the speaker's interpretation would fit into certain...problematic...examples. In the end, the speaker had to concede those were difficult questions that would require further consideration...it was the academic equivalent of 'erm, I didn't think about that').

Agree.
Basically what I am out after here is to tell that it is not that simple to simply put good/evil labels just as somebody might seem fit since imo if doing that it would be (almost) totally based on subjective preferences, and as both you and me, academics between, know - subjective estimations lack cred

Slayer105
09-01-2012, 06:57
its easy enough to make conflict black and white in media, as humans try and do it all the time (which dosnt make much sense considering the fact that humans are creatures made from perspective). Its an easy escape to just make things evil, and the others good.

But this is why I like warhammer so much, humanity dosnt try and set itself out to be paladins and honor bound warriors who must slay the evil infestation of chaos. Their racists, emotionless (adeptus mechanicus), soulless (Culexus Temple), bloodthirsty (like...half of the space marines and nearly every pompous imperial guard commander) and throw millions of lives away every day.

The people who are closest to being the good guys are the Tau.

seven324
09-01-2012, 21:01
When I read the vespid fluff it read more like thier leaders put on the devices and then were basically under the control of the tau.

That is just speculation by the Imperium. Obviously once they can understand each other they are more likely to agree.

There hasn't been anything the Tau have done that could be seen as completely immoral or evil. A bit Naive (Like with the Kroot), but not evil.

baphomael
09-01-2012, 23:05
That is just speculation by the Imperium. Obviously once they can understand each other they are more likely to agree.

There hasn't been anything the Tau have done that could be seen as completely immoral or evil. A bit Naive (Like with the Kroot), but not evil.

Although, the Tau attitude, it could be argued, has some parallels with the Japanese co-prosperity sphere.

snailboy.jr
10-01-2012, 07:57
So ultimately, lets put it this way, as you can tell by the discussions going on, there is no Good or Evil, only a matter of perspective. I mean, hey, without good, evil couldn't exist in contrast. What has happened on this thread is a perfect example of what 40k is, what you preceive it to be.

You can try and argue it, and think its fact, but some one else may not think so, so, go with what you feel in the end! Hope this helps!

Happy Hunting!

Hendarion
10-01-2012, 08:47
Imo there are no good guys in the 40k universe.
Humanity is selfish, Xenos are selfish, Tau are under dictatorship and if they could, they would fight each other.

Vipoid
10-01-2012, 09:05
Nids.

We're not evil - just hungry.

It's not our fault you'd rather go to war than be our breakfast. :cries:

Spiney Norman
10-01-2012, 09:06
The Imperium of man is group of disaster survivors who know that alliances with alliens are eighter untrustworthy or unreliable, rogue human groups are alien / chaos dominions waiting to happen and having eighter group around is a sure way to shoot themselves in a foot. While they employ xenophobia as means to motivate their people, the Imperial ideology itself is just pragmatic, and they are as good guys as can be expected to be still alive in this setting.

Whatever the motivations of the Imperium their means are thoroughly evil and utterly deplorable. They model the most oppressive form of government imaginable, making Hitler, Stalin and 1984 look positively benevolent by comparison.

Its probably unfair to say that the Imperium is "more evil" than anyone else in the 40K universe because we know very little about the internal politics of the other civilisations, but I'd be fairly confident in saying that in terms of how the various races treat their own citizens, the Imperium ranks somewhere near the bottom. Races like Tau and Eldar may be as self-obsessed as the Imperium, but there is something very creepy about how the Imperium has now become entirely centred around the institution of the Imperium and entirely uncaring about individual humans. Worse still is the fluff snippets which portray the Imperium itself as bragging about this fact, stuff like "we measure the lives of planets, not men"

seven324
10-01-2012, 09:12
Imo there are no good guys in the 40k universe.
Humanity is selfish, Xenos are selfish, Tau are under dictatorship and if they could, they would fight each other.

No they wouldn't fight each other, that is the whole point of the Empire. They are not under a dictatorship either - Even if they were, that wouldn't make them evil.

Vipoid
10-01-2012, 09:13
No they wouldn't fight each other, that is the whole point of the Empire. They are not under a dictatorship either - Even if they were, that wouldn't make them evil.

em·pire/ˈempī(ə)r/
Noun:
An extensive group of states or countries under a single supreme authority, formerly esp. an emperor or empress.

Sounds like a dictatorship to me. :p

Hellebore
10-01-2012, 09:39
It's more of an herditary oligarchical dictatorship. NO tau except the ethereals get to vote or make decisions and it's a right bestowed by birth, not by merit.

hellebore

Hendarion
10-01-2012, 10:13
No they wouldn't fight each other, that is the whole point of the Empire. They are not under a dictatorship either - Even if they were, that wouldn't make them evil.
They are dictated by Ethereals and before they had shown up, the Tau DID fight themselves. It is all there in the Codex.

Chaotic Pumpkin
10-01-2012, 10:20
I think that the term "Good Guy" is literary, not philosophical.

It's an archetype and synonym to "hero"; that being a transcending persona (that is unbound by, or overcomes its nature). 40k is full of anti-heroes, and it's built around the dramatic concept that, the one person who would be the Ultimate Hero in the Universe, is in a coma ('yeah, the Messiah was here, but he got a lobotomy'). Since 40k is mainly an all around battle-game, and we have no use for protagonists, any character close to being a Hero, eventually is lost/disabled/swallowed-by-the-warp (see Eldrad Ulthran).

As I said, I believe there is no "good-guy-faction" in 40k, but I'd prefer to say the Eldar over anyone else, since their technology and psyker-community status, really pose higher moral dilemmas than the other races who still have to struggle with their own shortcomings and amongst themselves.

HavoK
10-01-2012, 10:20
So ultimately, lets put it this way, as you can tell by the discussions going on, there is no Good or Evil, only a matter of perspective. I mean, hey, without good, evil couldn't exist in contrast. What has happened on this thread is a perfect example of what 40k is, what you preceive it to be.

You can try and argue it, and think its fact, but some one else may not think so, so, go with what you feel in the end! Hope this helps!

Happy Hunting!

+1
Which is why we love 40K

Disturbed Frog
10-01-2012, 11:30
Tau - grey
Eldar - grey
Necrons - greyish black
Imperium - greyish black
Orks - blackish grey
Dark eldar - blackish grey
Tyranids - black
Chaos - black
The writers of the current tyranid codex - black as Wesley snipes

Silent_Moebius
10-01-2012, 11:36
Nids.

We're not evil - just hungry.

It's not our fault you'd rather go to war than be our breakfast. :cries:

This sums it up really good. Nids doesn't know things like good or bad. So, compared to a really bad universe: Nids are good :)

Disturbed Frog
10-01-2012, 11:41
This sums it up really good. Nids doesn't know things like good or bad. So, compared to a really bad universe: Nids are good :)

Hive mind sounds pretty nasty to me 0.0

Jim Bowen
10-01-2012, 11:51
+1
Which is why we love 40K

Hear hear I agree 40K was such a breath of fresh air every faction is working in its own self interest just like real life really.
Orks are not evil they just treat the galaxy as a adventure playground they care about nothing and are free from the taint of Chaos so they are probably the happiest race in the 40K canon

chromedog
10-01-2012, 13:00
There are NO good guys.

There are 'bad guys' and 'even worse guys'.

ColShaw
10-01-2012, 13:02
I would've voted for Imperial PDF if it were an option. Their job is to defend their planet from invasion, pure and simple. Now, they may not always be the best guys, but that's as close to "good" as you're going to get.

So I did vote for "Imperium" as the closest option available.

fluffstalker
10-01-2012, 13:12
It's fashionable to say that morals are relative these days, but, I doubt many present here in this thread would choose say chaos over the imperium, as authoratarian as the latter may be.

seven324
10-01-2012, 13:23
They are dictated by Ethereals and before they had shown up, the Tau DID fight themselves. It is all there in the Codex.


They wouldn't fight each other now. Hendarion said they'd fight each other if they could. Nothing suggests that at all anymore - the Castes are fine with each other.


em·pire/ˈempī(ə)r/
Noun:
An extensive group of states or countries under a single supreme authority, formerly esp. an emperor or empress.

Sounds like a dictatorship to me. :p

dic·ta·tor·ship
   noun
1.
a country, government, or the form of government in which absolute power is exercised by a dictator.

dic·ta·tor
  noun
1.
a person exercising absolute power, especially a ruler who has absolute, unrestricted control in a government without hereditary succession.

There is a council of Ethereals. The Ethereals are treated like Royalty but they do not make all the decisions for the Tau. There is no single ruler of the Empire.

Don't the other races have one thing that could make a decision and they would all have to listen?. The majority have some sort of supreme authority - Imperium has the Emperor, Chaos has their Gods, Necrons have the Silent King, Tyranids have the hive mind, Orks would follow whoever is the biggest etc Not too sure about the Eldar/Dark Eldar though.

Can anyone give me some examples of things the Tau have done that would make them Bad guys?

Korraz
10-01-2012, 13:46
For all we know, they might continue without the Supreme Rulers. Or the Fire Caste could decide that they deserve to rule. Or that they should wipe out all other castes. We don't know.

And it IS a dictatorship. The Ethereals are calling the shots. That's it. Nobody else does. The Imperium has the Emperor as the figurehead, but he is in no position to actually rule the Imperium. The High Lords do that. In a similar way that the Ethereals do. The only difference is: Even Johnny Hivescum could, by some miracle, become a High Lord. Shas'la Kais cannot.

seven324
10-01-2012, 13:58
For all we know, they might continue without the Supreme Rulers. Or the Fire Caste could decide that they deserve to rule. Or that they should wipe out all other castes. We don't know.

And it IS a dictatorship. The Ethereals are calling the shots. That's it. Nobody else does. The Imperium has the Emperor as the figurehead, but he is in no position to actually rule the Imperium. The High Lords do that. In a similar way that the Ethereals do. The only difference is: Even Johnny Hivescum could, by some miracle, become a High Lord. Shas'la Kais cannot.

That is due to the Caste system. What possible reason would the Fire Caste decide they deserve to rule? They know their place in the Empire. They are raised to be loyal. Why would they wipe out the other castes when they coexist with each other and have their own purpose?

Who would do all the jobs the other three castes do if they were wiped out? The fire caste aren't suited to it.

Just checked the Codex again, i missed the part about the Ethereals having ultimate sovereignty over all the Tau - but they are advised by the highest members of each Caste. Being a dictatorship does not make them bad guys though.

HavoK
10-01-2012, 14:34
It's fashionable to say that morals are relative these days, but, I doubt many present here in this thread would choose say chaos over the imperium, as authoratarian as the latter may be.

Of course, since we will probably chose what we are more familliar with, which is humanity (not matter the ideology) in contrast to daemons, the warp and carving sinister symbols into our own bodies (unless you are emo)

Lord Zarkov
10-01-2012, 15:17
That is due to the Caste system. What possible reason would the Fire Caste decide they deserve to rule? They know their place in the Empire. They are raised to be loyal. Why would they wipe out the other castes when they coexist with each other and have their own purpose?

Who would do all the jobs the other three castes do if they were wiped out? The fire caste aren't suited to it.
For the same reason they thought they deserved to rule before the Ethereals turned up?


Just checked the Codex again, i missed the part about the Ethereals having ultimate sovereignty over all the Tau - but they are advised by the highest members of each Caste. Being a dictatorship does not make them bad guys though.
Doesn't make them the good guys either...

seven324
10-01-2012, 16:19
For the same reason they thought they deserved to rule before the Ethereals turned up?


Doesn't make them the good guys either...

The Tau no longer think like they did before the Ethereals showed up, so that won't happen. They are completely different now.

Considering they haven't done anything which is actually evil, they are the good guys of W40K.

Souleater
10-01-2012, 16:31
I thought the other Tau castes were controlled by 'something' the Ethereals did? Without that control it is quite possible that the extremely aggressive nature of the Fire Caste would reassert itself and they would kick off - regardless of the circumstances.

Hendarion
10-01-2012, 16:42
Yep, they are under pheromone brain control and if that stops, I doubt the system would still work. Some casts even now seam to be treated less important than others. The fire caste might return to the will to rule and we all know what happens when some military dictators think they can rule forever - when the normal people realize their power, the rulers will fall - we can see that pretty well right now in northern Africa. ;)

seven324
10-01-2012, 16:55
Yep, they are under pheromone brain control and if that stops, I doubt the system would still work. Some casts even now seam to be treated less important than others. The fire caste might return to the will to rule and we all know what happens when some military dictators think they can rule forever - when the normal people realize their power, the rulers will fall - we can see that pretty well right now in northern Africa. ;)

Nothing suggests they are under Pheremone control other than a line in the Codex which also suggests it could be Psychic powers, this means there is no actual evidance and it is just speculation - the Imperium just doesn't believe the Tau would work together through choice.

The Fire Caste would not go back to how things used to be - even if they do get more aggressive that isn't going to stop them from thinking properly.

None of the Castes are treated worse than any of the others. They are all treated the same and all have their place in the Empire.

baphomael
10-01-2012, 17:22
Nothing suggests they are under Pheremone control other than a line in the Codex which also suggests it could be Psychic powers, this means there is no actual evidance and it is just speculation - the Imperium just doesn't believe the Tau would work together through choice.

The Fire Caste would not go back to how things used to be - even if they do get more aggressive that isn't going to stop them from thinking properly.

None of the Castes are treated worse than any of the others. They are all treated the same and all have their place in the Empire.

No, it definitely suggests pheremones...given the weak nature of Tau warp-presence. Although, in xenology it *does* out and out state they have a pheremonal gland (and, further, suggests that this gland was taken from an insectoid race by the Eldar, who subsequently conducted some genetic jiggery-pokery with the Ethereals).

seven324
10-01-2012, 17:27
No, it definitely suggests pheremones...given the weak nature of Tau warp-presence. Although, in xenology it *does* out and out state they have a pheremonal gland (and, further, suggests that this gland was taken from an insectoid race by the Eldar, who subsequently conducted some genetic jiggery-pokery with the Ethereals).

I've been over this alot the past few days, so i'll just quote what i said earlier in the week:



- Xenology makes several 'mistakes' - One being the Ethereal having feet, when there is nothing to suggest why - or there being any reason why - Female Ethereals would have feet with toes when Fire caste, Air caste Males, and Male ethereals all have hooves. Xenology also suggests the organ looks just like something the Inquisitor saw earlier, implying that it was the same as the Qo'orl pheromone organ he dissected earlier in the book. Also, the Inquisitor was not the most sane person really.

- Deathwatch: Rites of Battle has a captured Ethereal who does not have the Diamond organ mentioned in Xenology.

- None of the Ethereal models support the existance of the diamond organ. Aun'shi and the old Etheral model do have some sort of round object in the slit in their forehead, but it is more likely that this is just decoration, as Aun'Va's guard on page 43 has something similar, and there are several other peices of art in the codex of non-Ethereal Tau with similar things, and just as many of Ethereals without them.

- Farsight does not support this. His Ethereal died, and he found the dawn blade. It was not as simple as his Ethereal died, so he abandoned the Empire. Lexicanum also states fought in the Damocles Crusade after his Ethereal died, and then after that decided to abandon the Empire. I'm unsure if this is true though, as i cannot find a source for this. Anyone know if this is true?

- Black library writers make up what they think fits their story most.

- The line in the Codex is speculation by the Imperium. They do not believe the Tau would cooperate through choice, and think there must be some reason why. The other reason for this, is that without some sort of hint of a secret, the Tau would be a quite bland army to play. Same thing with Vespid mind control hints.
- The actual line in the Codex is " It is speculated that they exert some kind of pheromone based or latent psychic control over the other casters". This suggests that there is little evidence, otherwise they would know if it was Pheromones or Psychic control instead of suggesting it could be either one.

- The codex says the Tau who became the Fire Caste did not join them straight away, and it took them about a year to join the rest of the Tau in forming an Empire.

The Devourer
10-01-2012, 17:37
There is a lot of potential for evil actions with the Tau fluff but so far none of it has gone any further than possibilities. Saying they could become evil certainly isn't justification for calling them evil now. They could break away, and form individuals castes. The ethereals could suddenly decide to take power for themselves but we have no reason to believe they will.

The imperium's claim that they need pheromones is a very weak one. They only say they are required because they can't see why the tau would still work in the current system. This ignores the facts that Tau are alien and don't think like people and that the IoM way of ruling isn't the only sensible way. Tau culture supports the system they have.

The Tau aren't run by a dictatorship at all- saying the ethereals command all tau shows you have no idea how tau society is ruled. The ethereals are not the leaders. They have the authority to step in and give orders but they do not do the day to day ruling of the tau empire. Every Tau that survives and is promoted far enough through their caste earns a position on a council that decides how th planet is ruled. The ethereals don't act like the other castes and have no place on the council.

BorisGT
10-01-2012, 18:46
The Orks are clearly Warhammer 40k's good guys.

LordLucan
10-01-2012, 18:55
The Ulumeathic league seem the least evil (mainly because they have so little fluff, and all their fluff involves their colony worlds getting raped by Tyranids and Necrons...).

FarseerBeilTan
10-01-2012, 19:51
I would say there is no "good guys" however the closest to it are the Tau

Korraz
10-01-2012, 22:54
The Tau aren't run by a dictatorship at all- saying the ethereals command all tau shows you have no idea how tau society is ruled. The ethereals are not the leaders. They have the authority to step in and give orders but they do not do the day to day ruling of the tau empire. Every Tau that survives and is promoted far enough through their caste earns a position on a council that decides how th planet is ruled. The ethereals don't act like the other castes and have no place on the council.

The fact that the Dictator is the Man behind the Man doesn't make it any less one.
Or what would you call it? It's certainly not a Democracy.

Lord Zarkov
10-01-2012, 23:13
The fact that the Dictator is the Man behind the Man doesn't make it any less one.
Or what would you call it? It's certainly not a Democracy.

"I'm not really in charge, these councils of appointed officials that I set up and can overrule at my pleasure have all the power" has ever been the defence of tyrants.

GrimZAG
11-01-2012, 00:59
The closest thing to 'good' (not in a D&D sense, but in a natural order sense) are the Dark Eldar. Sure, what they do is considered incredibly vile by our standards. But their honest about their intentions, and they are the only race that lives in harmony with their surroundings: they raid a world every once in a while, but they always ensure that there's enough left to regrow.

I think you're looking for the word "sustainable" instead of "good" here.


No one is close to being good in this universe.

Spell_of_Destruction
11-01-2012, 01:32
The 40k universe typifies a 'Beyond Good and Evil' morality. There is no right and wrong, only competing interests.

The setting does not really ascribe to conventional dualistic morality so to pigeonhole certain factions as 'good' and 'bad' is a bit of an error (although there is a noted separation of 'forces of order' and 'forces of disorder').

I think it's more interesting to look at the more nuanced nature of each faction. Take the Imperium, the Eldar and Chaos as an example. Chaos seemingly represents the true nature of reality underneath the facade of real space. Both the Imperium and Craftworld Eldar understand the need for restraint and self denial in remaining vigilant against Chaos but the Imperium achieves this by way of an opressive and totalitarian monotheistic regime whereas the Eldar tackle the problem on a more spiritual level (each individual understands the dangers of temptation and why they must live their lives in a certain way to resist that temptation).

I prefer to look at the motivations of each faction in detail rather than trying to neatly morally categorise them.

carlisimo
11-01-2012, 06:22
Don't see how the Tau can be "good guys". If you refuse to become part of the Tau Empire they will wipe you out. Not too friendly that!

If you aren't human (or abhuman, I guess), the Imperium of Man wipes you out even if you offer to become a part of it. That's a significant difference. If you're a race of intelligent beings that isn't powerful, the Tau are the only 40k race that'll let you live.

Maybe "good" is too strong a word for them because they'll only let you live on their terms, but they're certainly "better."

Awilla the Hun
11-01-2012, 09:26
The Imperium of Man varies so widely from world to world (Krieg is notably different to, say, the fairly democratic Verghast) that it's difficult to tell anything for sure. However, as it's part parody of grimdarkness (HOW MUCH WORSE CAN IT GET NOW?), partly what looks like a bizarre thought experiment in justifiable dictatorship that putting it on the evil side's impossible. Besides, if I said it was evil, I would be executed.

That said, I had great fun in showing off their moral grey areas in a recent Dark Heresy campaign: my players were the secret police for a luckless, Chaos Worshipping but not especially malevolent world that just happened to be in the path of the Imperium of Man. The look on their faces when the missionary started mutating and praying to the Emperor for deliverance, after they'd believed mutants to be blessed super heroes all campaign... priceless.

The Tau, for now, are also good guys. In any other setting, they would be the evil imperialist, autocratic warlords. The Italian Empire in WWII, for example, used native troops (rather than exterminating everyone they came across), but no one regards them as being especially good. In Warhammer 40,000, they have a noticably greater respect for life and scientific progress than everyone else. Which, I imagine, won't last once they encounter long distance warp travel.

Disturbed Frog
11-01-2012, 11:06
The fact that the Dictator is the Man behind the Man doesn't make it any less one.
Or what would you call it? It's certainly not a Democracy.

Ruled by a council? Must be Jedi.

Sinnertje
11-01-2012, 11:21
Anyone else get the feeling that seven324 really, really wants the Tau to be the ultimate good guys? :p

cynic
11-01-2012, 11:48
Sorry wo wo wo
Eldar are evil as sin. They only help you because it helps themselves....

Wrong.

Theres actually fluff about altruistic acts carried out by the Eldar. Not sure theres any other races that can lay claim to that. Anybody know of any examples?

Their actions often appear randomly agressive/genocidal, but its ALWAYS for good reason. I'm sure the Eldar would destroy tens of thousands of Human lives if it meant saving countless more humans from the forces of choas.

Anyway i voted "nobody".

The bearded one
11-01-2012, 12:03
Wrong.

Theres actually fluff about altruistic acts carried out by the Eldar. Not sure theres any other races that can lay claim to that. Anybody know of any examples?

the eldar are always represented as having 'mysterious reasons'. Those altruistic acts might have a purpose to their own benefit some day that we just can't grasp. They can look into the future after all.

o, and the dark eldar once showed up to help the craftworld eldar fight the nids, just because they found the eldar forrays into necromancy (spiritwarriors) amusing :p


Their actions often appear randomly agressive/genocidal, but its ALWAYS for good reason. I'm sure the Eldar would destroy tens of thousands of Human lives if it meant saving countless more humans from the forces of choas.

though more likely to save half a dozen Eldar.

Lord Zarkov
11-01-2012, 12:07
though more likely to save half a dozen Eldar.

Whereas the IoM would try and kill thousands of Eldar (or any other race) at the expense of thousands of humans, simply because they exist. ;)

Vipoid
11-01-2012, 12:13
though more likely to save half a dozen Eldar.

"For The Greater Good..."

3 0f 6
11-01-2012, 12:15
Nids, they are hamless little fluffy bunnies minding their own business own their way to the eye of terror- much like a moth to a flame.

Shamana
11-01-2012, 12:37
Nids, they are hamless little fluffy bunnies.

While I agree that they lack ham (at least in anything I've seen so far), I think your definition of "fluff (http://www.culturefeast.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/03/fluff-735957.jpg)" or "bunny (http://styledip.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/bunny.jpg)" may need a slight adjustment.

tanglethorn
11-01-2012, 15:12
The closest thing to 'good' (not in a D&D sense, but in a natural order sense) are the Dark Eldar. Sure, what they do is considered incredibly vile by our standards. But their honest about their intentions, and they are the only race that lives in harmony with their surroundings: they raid a world every once in a while, but they always ensure that there's enough left to regrow. Unlike humanity, orks, tyranids and tau who just completely destroy the worlds they don't like and completely consume the worlds they own. And chaos are destructive parasites.
Regular eldar and necrons are way too obsesses with getting rid of everyone else to be considered 'good'.

In all seriousness though: 40k only has shades of the blackest black. There is no hope, no forgiveness and certainly no good.

Seriously? Im not sure if I even want to respond. Reread the codex. They torture and take slaves dude. Don't the Dark Eldar Nobles try to assassinate each other for power too?

I think some people are just going to put some spin on their favorite race.

With that being said, my vote went to Tau. They are one of the few races that have a multi xenos alliance and they try to make sure that everyone in their empire reaps the rewards from their beneficial teamwork, including their xenos allies. Hell even Humans are known to flee the imperium to join the Greater Good.

Tau arent perfect, but they are the closest thing to good 40k has at the moment.

seven324
11-01-2012, 15:15
Don't see how the Tau can be "good guys". If you refuse to become part of the Tau Empire they will wipe you out. Not too friendly that!

And the Empire good!?! There's a good argument that they are evil!

Eldar are probably the closest. They are more than prepared to work with other races in the ongoing war against chaos. They bear most of the galaxy no ill will at all.

No they do not. If they pose a threat, then it's likely they will wipe them out. They didn't wipe the Vespid out when they refused, they also trade with Imperial Worlds.

There haven't been any cases of them wiping out anything for refusing, that wasn't their enemy already.


Anyone else get the feeling that seven324 really, really wants the Tau to be the ultimate good guys? :p

Not the case at all. I just don't understand why everyone is saying they aren't the good guys, when they haven't actually done anything that is considered evil or immoral. I understand that there are no completely good guys and the Tau probably do have some sort of terrible secret like everyone else, but we haven't seen anything of it yet.

If they were completely good i wouldn't like them at all, they are out to rule the galaxy just like everyone else. Before the Damocles crusade they thought everything was theirs for the taking.

Sai-Lauren
11-01-2012, 15:31
Eldar, Tau, and the Imperium - from their own points of view.

From a god-level, probably the Tau, then maybe the Eldar - so long as you don't get in their way, or threaten them (or have descendants who'll do that any time in the next billion years or so), they'll leave you alone.

However, on a goodness scale of 1-10, even Tau might only rate a 2.



Their actions often appear randomly agressive/genocidal, but its ALWAYS for good reason. I'm sure the Eldar would destroy tens of thousands of Human lives if it meant saving countless more humans from the forces of choas.

More like if it saved a single Eldar life, and the cost could be in the billions of "lesser" race lives - any humans saved in the future are an indirect result of that action, and may or may not be deemed a good thing by the Eldar themselves.

Awilla the Hun
11-01-2012, 17:00
The main problem with trying to apply modern morality to the warhammer 40,000 universe is that, quite simply, it often doesn't work. Treating others as you would want to treat yourself means the other typically jumps on you and kills you. There's a God of Hope, Progress and Change for the better-and it's evil. The Tau realtive goody-goodyness is unlikely to last much longer once they encounter much more of the universe. The Imperium combines ruthless pragmatism with a lack of central control and, above all, a desire to defend humanity. Some of its governors even add a degree of tolerance and good governance on top. Others do not. The Tau will probably morph into them pretty soon. The Eldar can only be argued to be somehow better because they lack the capacity to launch galactic scale conquests, and this does't stop the Biel-Tan from trying. "Reclaim Eldar Maiden Worlds" sounds all very well, until "Maiden World" turns out to be a planet populated by more humans than there are Eldar... anywhere, really, who are quite surprised as the xenos "mercifully" ask them to leave or face the consequences. In, oh, about a day.

That said, the only faction with any real respect for freedom of thought, outside any limits (rather than "WE MUST SERVE THE EMPEROR/THE GREATER GOOD/OUR CRAFTWORLD AND MILLENIA-LONG STIFF UPPER LIPS in a few different ways, lets pick and choose!"), is... well, Chaos. And, to a lesser extent, the Orks. Food for thought.

Disturbed Frog
11-01-2012, 18:38
The main problem with trying to apply modern morality to the warhammer 40,000 universe is that, quite simply, it often doesn't work. Treating others as you would want to treat yourself means the other typically jumps on you and kills you. There's a God of Hope, Progress and Change for the better-and it's evil. The Tau realtive goody-goodyness is unlikely to last much longer once they encounter much more of the universe. The Imperium combines ruthless pragmatism with a lack of central control and, above all, a desire to defend humanity. Some of its governors even add a degree of tolerance and good governance on top. Others do not. The Tau will probably morph into them pretty soon. The Eldar can only be argued to be somehow better because they lack the capacity to launch galactic scale conquests, and this does't stop the Biel-Tan from trying. "Reclaim Eldar Maiden Worlds" sounds all very well, until "Maiden World" turns out to be a planet populated by more humans than there are Eldar... anywhere, really, who are quite surprised as the xenos "mercifully" ask them to leave or face the consequences. In, oh, about a day.

That said, the only faction with any real respect for freedom of thought, outside any limits (rather than "WE MUST SERVE THE EMPEROR/THE GREATER GOOD/OUR CRAFTWORLD AND MILLENIA-LONG STIFF UPPER LIPS in a few different ways, lets pick and choose!"), is... well, Chaos. And, to a lesser extent, the Orks. Food for thought.

I thought the chaos served there 4 gods and the orks served gork and mork

Spell_of_Destruction
11-01-2012, 21:29
Re Eldar, I think it's interesting to contrast High Elves in WHFB and the Eldar in WH40K. Both are races in decline but the Eldar moreso and I think that being on the brink of extinction (as well as being the race that truly understands the nature of the Chaos threat) makes them significantly more defensive than their WHFB cousins.

They are essentially the same race but needs must and the Eldar are in no position to be benevolent towards 'lesser' races such as humans, particularly considering the institutional xenophobia of the Imperium.

Also, the lingering threat of having their souls consumed and tortured for eternity by a Chaos God has made them a little inward looking and introspective. Given the stakes it's perhaps unsurprising that they are willing to view human lives as cheap - it's a matter of perspective. What is death to a human? Blissful release from the horrors of the universe. What is death to an Eldar? Possibly eternal torment. This is bound to affect your viewpoint on the value of life.

Awilla the Hun
11-01-2012, 22:33
I overrated Chaotic freedom, perhaps. But, still: the Imperium of Man, and the Eldar, and even the Tau, have a focus on restraint, buttoning up, keeping back, denying one's whims. Chaos focusses on giving into them, in massive overindulgence, for the sake of a God. If you give in enough, you get rewarded. You compete aggressively, win out against all corners, and (if you work well enough) ascend to daemonhood. By which point, of course, you're dominated by your Chaos master. But in between times, there is the illusion of freedom. Order vs. disorder, on a grand scale.

Spell_of_Destruction
11-01-2012, 22:58
We're entering into philosophical territory here, but is unrestrained freedom really 'good'? Chaos rewards those who successfully exert their dominance over others. The rest are just fodder for their patron. A Chaos Champion has 'freedom' in the sense that he does not need to bend to the will of other mortals - he bends others to his will. This is only possible for a select few. It's a form of social darwinism if you like.

I made an earlier post discussing the differences between human restraint and eldar restraint. Human restraint manifests itself in an opressive, puritanical and tyrannic regime (because as we all know, humans are not very good at restraining themselves of their own accord). The restraint is enforced by the regime and the will of the individual is largely ignored for the common good.

Eldar on the other hand manage restraint on a more individual, spiritual level. They understand the reasons for exercising restraint so while they are engaging in self denial that it a personal choice (they can choose to deny the Path and become outcasts). That's not to say that some humans do not understand the need for restraint - it's just that they are authority figures and it's unimportant to them whether or not their subjects understand the threats humanity faces, their role is simply to obey.

"An open mind is like a fortress with its gates unbarred and unguarded."

The view being that most humans can't handle the truth and therefore need put unquestioning faith in the Emperor.

_________________________________

baphomael
11-01-2012, 23:15
We're entering into philosophical territory here, but is unrestrained freedom really 'good'?

Nope. Hobbes would call that the 'state of nature' - a state typified by 'bellum omnium contra omnes'. If we had unrestrained freedom, Hobbes would argue, the life of man would be "solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short."

The forces of disorder (that is, Chaos, Orks, Dark Eldar) seem to typify the Hobbesian 'war of all against all'.

Spell_of_Destruction
11-01-2012, 23:24
Although on a deeper level, is unrestrained freedom even possible? Even if you become a King among men and bow down to the will of no other you are still subject to physical laws which determine and limit your actions and behaviour. You can also become a slave to your own passions and drives (I think this is particularly relevant in the case of Chaos Champions) but on the other extreme what would you be if you eradicated those passions completely? A robot?

Isn't this (beyond the fact that they're 'evil' people who do 'evil' things) the reason that Chaos are 'bad'? Even its greatest followers submit to their passions and therefore lose their ability to rationalise and to create value in life beyond the constant fulfillment of their basest wants.

I think that 'freedom' (in the sense of the absence of restraint) is a bit of a misnomer. The capacity for self determination is perhaps a better concept because ultimately we are all subject to laws and phenomena outwith our control to some extent.

___________________________

Roguebaron
11-01-2012, 23:30
Chaos of course, come join us, we ll give you anything you d desire.....except a new codex :P

Awilla the Hun
12-01-2012, 09:57
I don't regard Chaos as good, and I agree that Hobbes would have much to say about them. I'm just pointing it out.

It also must be said that, if a human loses restraint and starts worshipping Chaos, he too ends up with this "eternal damnation" business going on. Except that he could potentially kill far, far more people, due to having access to far more people to unleash his demons/witchery amongst... unless the Inquisition stop him.

titilititi
12-01-2012, 17:26
It's an easy question to answer : as the other factions are from far too fool to make the difference between good and evil, so that you can't tell they are doing the good, only Eldar can pretend to be the good guys (and maybe Slaanesh admirers, who deliver the other fools from slavery...)

The Inevitable One
12-01-2012, 21:12
The Tau Empire is the only logical choice.

The Tau Empire, albeit the youngest of them all, has demonstrated that xenoi are able to work together, regardless of their biological differences. The Eldar are too proud to work for or with a race that has only just evolved in six thousand years. The Imperium sees any intelligible xenoi as a threat and therefore must be eliminated. They are focused on a philosophy that is dedicated to science, logic and reasoning. Not to be confused with the superstitious hokum that other races deem science, such as machines being blessed. Even humans, that have shown xenophobia time and time again, have started to roll into the Tau Empire and become Gue'vesa. Citizen of the Tau Empire have way more rights than those in the Imperium, to which you can be put in a penal legion for not returning a book on time to the library. Their caste structure is sound. People though seem to have a problem with the Ethereal caste because of their supposed pheromone ability to control or guide others in a certain direction. So what if they are being controlled? They are working together peacefully. Ignorance is bliss.

Chaos is evil no matter which way you put it.

Spell_of_Destruction
12-01-2012, 21:27
The Tau Empire is the only logical choice.

The Tau Empire, albeit the youngest of them all, has demonstrated that xenoi are able to work together, regardless of their biological differences. The Eldar are too proud to work for or with a race that has only just evolved in six thousand years. The Imperium sees any intelligible xenoi as a threat and therefore must be eliminated. They are focused on a philosophy that is dedicated to science, logic and reasoning. Not to be confused with the superstitious hokum that other races deem science, such as machines being blessed. Even humans, that have shown xenophobia time and time again, have started to roll into the Tau Empire and become Gue'vesa. Citizen of the Tau Empire have way more rights than those in the Imperium, to which you can be put in a penal legion for not returning a book on time to the library. Their caste structure is sound. People though seem to have a problem with the Ethereal caste because of their supposed pheromone ability to control or guide others in a certain direction. So what if they are being controlled? They are working together peacefully. Ignorance is bliss.

Chaos is evil no matter which way you put it.


The problem with this is that, as always, we are all using different parameters to determine who is 'good' and who is 'evil' - concepts which aren't fixed and which some may even contend are just constructs of the human mind.

I think that the core 40k background is intentionally grey but there are examples of fluff which take a more morally dualistic approach (consistency of setting will always be hard to achieve when you have so many writers over such a long period of time).

In the broadest sense, the Imperium, Tau and Eldar are clearly the 'good guys' and Chaos, Dark Eldar, Tyranids and Necrons (more grey than they were before) are clearly the 'bad guys'. This is not so much a moral judgement of the various factions as it is GW's categorisation at the most basic level. So in that sense it's an easy question to answer.

A more interesting discussion is to be had concerning the narrative of each race and the moral implications of those narratives. None of the races is obviously good in the sense of being universally benevolent but such a race would go against the whole ethos of 40k.

Remember:

Forget the promise of progress and understanding, for in the grim dark future there is only war. There is no peace amongst the stars, only an eternity of carnage and slaughter, and the laughter of thirsting gods.

Basically, leave your 21st centuty morality at the front door.

GrimZAG
13-01-2012, 03:03
In the broadest sense, the Imperium, Tau and Eldar are clearly the 'good guys' and Chaos, Dark Eldar, Tyranids and Necrons (more grey than they were before) are clearly the 'bad guys'. This is not so much a moral judgement of the various factions as it is GW's categorisation at the most basic level. So in that sense it's an easy question to answer.
I respectfully disagree. You can't declare someone/something to be "good" or "bad" without making a moral judgement. You've just invoked some sort of criteria to determine the character of said "thing". Surely this criteria is best described as the "moral standard" for the basis of your decision.


A more interesting discussion is to be had concerning the narrative of each race and the moral implications of those narratives. None of the races is obviously good in the sense of being universally benevolent but such a race would go against the whole ethos of 40k.

Totally. It's like a free reign to invent a philosophical worldview based from the individual perceptions of each race. But does this mean that they are "good" if they think that they are "good". I would say no - they are all bad.

Spell_of_Destruction
13-01-2012, 04:25
I respectfully disagree. You can't declare someone/something to be "good" or "bad" without making a moral judgement. You've just invoked some sort of criteria to determine the character of said "thing". Surely this criteria is best described as the "moral standard" for the basis of your decision.

I think you can in this case because it is quite apparent who GW have positioned as the heroes and villians. I don't necessarily need to make a moral judgement to say that x faction is being marketed as 'good' and 'y' faction is being marketed as bad. GW may have intended for all the armies to be a different shade of grey but they still try to fit the armies into a dualistic morality when it suits them (see "forces of order vs forces of disorder" in campaigns such as the Eye of Terror) To say that I'm projecting my own moral prejudices on the armies that GW has created is kind of taking postmodern relativism to a ridiculous extreme (no offence).

What I'm discussing in my first paragraph is the 'first glance' categorisation of each army. If you asked a 10 year old which armies were good and which bad they'd probably find it a lot easier than us old gits who've had years of adolescence and early adulthood to ponder these sorts of moral philosophical questions.

GrimZAG
13-01-2012, 05:54
Well, firstly as I play Chaos Marines they are obviously the most good faction ;)


What I'm discussing in my first paragraph is the 'first glance' categorisation of each army. If you asked a 10 year old which armies were good and which bad they'd probably find it a lot easier than us old gits who've had years of adolescence and early adulthood to ponder these sorts of moral philosophical questions.

That's fair enough.

All my point is, is this: If you (including GW) call anything good or bad, you've instantly compared it to some sort of standard (moral code), otherwise how can you call anything good or bad.

And this is what I've called "moral judgement".

So even if GW says "these are the good guys", based on your knowledge of them, you still must choose if they are in fact "good". Then as you said the 10 year old probably will call the forces of order "good" and we older persons shall struggle.

Looking back it would seem that I was just being picky about your use of the term "moral judgement"


To say that I'm projecting my own moral prejudices on the armies that GW has created is kind of taking postmodern relativism to a ridiculous extreme (no offence).

No offence taken, but this comment seemed a bit out of the blue and I'm not sure where you go this idea from?

ForgottenLore
13-01-2012, 06:02
The point some people are trying to make is that the term "good guys" can also simply refer to the "protagonists" of the story. The main characters you are supposed to be rooting for. Conversely, the bad guys are the antagonists, the ones that the good guys are supposed to defeat in the end.

I think that is all that spell of destruction was saying.

KarlPedder
14-01-2012, 14:38
There is no option for everyone.....

Wintermute
14-01-2012, 16:49
A lot of what the Imperium of Man is and stands for has analogies to what happened in Nazi Germany back between 1933 and 1945. At least part of that analogy was clearly intended by GW's writers.

No it has very little to do with the Third Reich, but I can understand why many people think this.

The Imperium is modelled on the Medieval Catholic Church during the Crusades when anyone and anything which differed from the Church's accepted teachings was considered heretical and purged. This is why there is an Inquisition, another invention of the Catholic Church from this period, and why the language of Terra is high gothic ie its Latin the language of the Catholic Church.

mdeceiver79
14-01-2012, 17:06
I have voted for the imperium, not in its current form, but as it was when founded originally by the emperor.
The emperor strived to create peace, balance and rationality throughout the universe. The great crusade was a mere means to an end. I think it is the book "deliverance lost" where primarch retirement suites are mentioned, once the emperor had been successful in his goal he would retire his armies and use his vast psychic power to prevent warp influences.
It is also mentioned that the emperor had a mass cull for his original thunder warriors (the precursor to space marines) it could be hypothesised that space marines would ultimately meet a similar fate, being too dangerous and numerous for retirement to a peaceful life. Space marines are mutants after all.

The emperor's plan would require the deaths of billions and loss of freedom, but would bring about safety for mankind (and prehaps xenos, I cannot find any information on the emperors stance towards peaceful aliens) and a new age of technological advancement free from warp influences, dangerous aliens and pirates.

Beat that haters.

(the imperium in 40k is a corrupt regime blinded utterly by greed and self progression, the emperors vision has been lost)

Deebobman42
22-02-2013, 19:24
Dark Eldar are nice.
Everyone is so mean to them saying that they are evil.
They kind of have to be mean to everyone else to stop their soulswasting away. That strikes me as the best reason every to be horrible.
And they are prepared to work with almost everyone (exept tyranids)
:)

Imperialis_Dominatus
23-02-2013, 00:11
Welcome to Warseer. Where did you learn the dark art of necromancy?

Rikera
23-02-2013, 02:29
Dark Eldar are nice.
Everyone is so mean to them saying that they are evil.
They kind of have to be mean to everyone else to stop their soulswasting away. That strikes me as the best reason every to be horrible.
And they are prepared to work with almost everyone (exept tyranids)
:)

Maybe they shouldn't dress and fly around like they're straight out of a mad max movie. They all look like they've done more than their fair share of rape.

The answer is clearly no one, you know what they say, "history is written by the victors". As humans we automatically would see our own "imperium of man" as the good guys but a good eye opener to this is the first horus heresy book and the whole "why couldn't you have left us alone". We can see man really hasn't changed much and the future powers are the same as our past mighty civilizations. So the imperium of man is probably one of the worst.

Lol@15 chaos votes :)

Imperialis_Dominatus
23-02-2013, 02:54
More like LOL at Dark Eldar being forces of Chaos.

Plus, what's more heroic than trying to tear down "the cruellest and bloodiest regime imaginable" and spreading the Gospel of gods who actively reward worship and service?

club_death
23-02-2013, 04:24
Nids. They're the only ones without an ulterior motive!!!

Shamana
23-02-2013, 08:13
How do we define "good" anyway?

I mean, look at the Emperor - his vision tends to be proposed as the "ideal" for the Imperium being the good guys. His idea was to ensure the domination of his own race and culture with the subjugation and destruction of all others and a certain part of his own. The old Eldar empire did the same and generally left even powerful, not-too-peaceful xenos (humans) mostly alone. Tau do it as well.

TheDungen
23-02-2013, 08:26
how does the forces of chaos include dark eldar?


Anyway no good guys, not since the emperor passed and maybe not even then.

the imperium is the protagonist though.

II Orar II
24-02-2013, 00:30
I really don't see how anyone can say the Tau Empire are the good guys as we really can't say for certain what the true goal of the Ethereals is, they haven't really shown what their vision of the Great Good is other than better life in the Galaxy. It's heavily implied the other Tau castes have absolutely no free will and are subjugated through some unknown method by the Ethereals. The fact Farsight rebelled as soon as Ethereal influence was removed is enough evidence to show that the Tau clearly aren't a free society and in reality are no better than the Imperium. The Imperium does what is in best interest of their race and so do the Tau, you could argue the Tau Empire is 'nicer' than the Imperium but that's due to practical reasons rather than Tau being naturally more good than humans. The Imperium does what it has to in protection of it's citizens from Chaos, it's likely the Tau will begin wiping out the humans in the Empire or ban religion as soon as they realise the true nature of Chaos.

The Eldar as much as I hate to say it are the only faction which isn't purely acting in self interest, most of the Eldar would sacrifice their race if it meant they could take Chaos with them. The Emperor and the Imperium leadership wouldn't do the same to rid the Galaxy of Chaos, that's the big difference. What motivates the Ethereals is unknown so it is naive to suggest they're selfless. While the Eldar are prone to extremely selfish behaviour they're the only ones who would put aside their own interests to do the right thing for the wider Galaxy and that is why they're the only "good" faction in 40k. Granted they would sacrifice themselves to destroy Chaos out of hatred and bitterness but that doesn't change the fact they more than likely would if that hypothetical situation arose. From the information we have the Eldar are the only logical choice.

Luffwaffle
24-02-2013, 02:52
Closest I'd say to good was the Imperium in the time of the emperor. Good from the perspective of humanity. The current state of the Imperium is a far cry to the Emperor's vision of the galaxy. You cant really site xenophobia as a reason for being evil. All the races are xenophobic to one another, except the Tau, but they are "For the greater good or we blast you".

Sandrios
24-02-2013, 08:20
I see it as the Imperium of Man, the Eldar (struggling to survive) and the Tau (greater good) to be the good side

HereticHammer01
24-02-2013, 10:16
Voted nobody. Tau are just as aggressive as the Imperium and just as intolerant if you don't do as they say. Perhaps eldar, capricious as they are, are the 'most' good because they usually fight to survive, but they still give no second thought to doing awful things. So yeah, nobody its all shades of grey.

xavos
24-02-2013, 11:28
None are good or evil. Each faction seeks to eliminate or impose their own code of laws on the other factions by using violence, intimidation and conquest, following vague principles of 'strength through unity' - all of which is 'good' from the victors' point of view and 'evil' from the losers' point of view.

still-young
24-02-2013, 13:55
None are good, none are evil. Good and evil depends on where you are standing.

Sandrios
24-02-2013, 14:40
Maybe he/she meant which is most evil? In that chase Chaos or Tyranids.

Disciple of Caliban
24-02-2013, 15:47
But tyranids as a race arent strictly Evil. Or at least we cant prove they are. We dont really know enough about them. Hell, maybe their busy running away from something, in which case stripping down worlds to help them fight this great threat to all the galaxies would be entirely reasonable.

40k is without a good guy. When they originally emerged the Tau were entirely good, but thats changed and now they're just what the imperium was 10 000 years ago. Join us or die.

As far as least evil i'd have to say Eldar. Their main goals are to defeat Chaos, and survive. Both entirely noble aims. If only they could occassionally consider races other than themselves they'd be pretty passable good guys.

BigMek
24-02-2013, 17:16
Ooooh I love threads like these...really shows how different people's views on the fluff is.

My personal view on this matter is this: There is no such thing as good or evil, only points of view.
Take for instance religion (yeah, I'm sorry)...in christianity satan is seen as the bad guy, why? because god says so...and yes, god have killed a heck of alot more people than satan have, so why is satan bad?...because god says so.
The same is true with the emperor vs. chaos, chaos is bad because the emperors followers say so.
Another example is cannibalism, I (and alot of other people) have been raised to think of cannibalism as something bad, but there are other cultures where it's an honour...so who are my right?...well clearly it's us, cause we know better!...right?

This thread really shows that alot of people think that their favorite army clearly are the good guys...and this is just awsome! because ofcause they are...from their point of view.

I'm an Ork player since 3rd edd, I love everthing about the army and to me theres nothing evil in what the orks do.
They fight everyone, even themselves, because that's what they're meant to do...they aren't intend on destroying the universe, cause then there wouldn't be anyone left to fight...just look at Ghazkul (sp), he captures Yarrick several times and lets him go, so they can fight again and "have more fun".
To me Orks are one of the most honest races in the game, they're honest about wanting to fight and kill stuff, they have no hidden agendas, they aren't killing other people because they hate them or their race...they fight them because they love fighting.

Now, this dosn't make them good, but it dosn't make them evil either.

Don't know what I'm trying to say makes sense.

Dark Primus
24-02-2013, 22:43
I consider the Space Wolves to be the best to actually fit the quality of the good guys, better than any one. They have a steadfastness for their principles, they stand up for the little guys and dares to challenge the immoral issues of the Imperium.

0800hell
25-02-2013, 02:12
There are no good guys but the necrons or eldar come the closest or even the nids.

Necrons: they were a powerful race, they are just trying to regain there former glory really the galaxy did belong to them :)

Eldar: they are just trying to survive

Tyranids: they could be running away from a larger thrat and trying to strengthen themselves to fight it or they are just trying to survive i mean reallt we are just like there prey like cowa or sheep or pigs are for us.

carlisimo
25-02-2013, 18:30
Voted nobody. Tau are just as aggressive as the Imperium and just as intolerant if you don't do as they say.

Offering alien species a chance to surrender and be incorporated into the Tau Empire is a whole lot less aggressive than what the Imperium of Man offers.

Daemonia
25-02-2013, 22:56
Tyranids are clearly the only good guys. They just want your stupid bio-mass, what are you going to do with it anyway? You worried about Chaos drowning the universe in sin and madness? Well, if you just let them eat everyone and there won't be anyone left to power up the Dark Gods and they will be pretty boned. All it will take is just for you and all other living things to die. You're going to die anyway...so why not feed yourself (and everyone else you know) to your friendly local space dinosaurs?

El_Machinae
26-02-2013, 17:15
I think the Tau are the only culture that has some method of integration that doesn't actually suck. I highly suspect that a human integrated into the Tau culture might not see a significant worsening of their lives. Eldar could also integrate reasonably. Orks? Well, orks were designed to integrate.

Midvalley
26-02-2013, 17:35
I suppose the fundamental issue is how "good" is defined. In the simplest terms I started with the premise that existence was "good" and therefore forces dedicated toward ending it were "bad". That means Chaos and the Tyranids primarily and while I don't agree with lumping the Dark Eldar in with Chaos explicitly, I think they fall into a similarly destructive category, as do Orks. On the flip side, those dedicated to preserving existence for the greatest number of entities would be the most "good" given the original premise. I therefore voted Tau. I don't think the Imperium, the Eldar, or the Necron are evil per se, but that they are only seeking to preserve their own species' existence with little regard to others. The Tau are much more willing to integrate foreign species and, ideally, would continue existence for every lifeform (pending support of the Greater Good) and therefore would be the most "good".

The only other option I'd have selected is "no one" if "good" is defined as "kind to those that would stand in opposition to their ideals".

Putro Pestilentae
26-02-2013, 18:57
IoM are on the good side. There are of course some "problems" with their "Manifest Destiny", but in the end all what is done is for the mankind.
Eldars are too selfish to be on the good side or bad side.
Tau doctrine brings a similarity with some ex-government forms from east to out them firmly on the good side.
Nids and Orks and Dark Eldar the bad guys. So that puts Eldar race in the bad category.
Necrons? Can not fell them. That sounds like a whole lot of bias as the IoM is either more or the same in selfishness levels with the eldar eldar sacrifice worlds to survive IoM sacrifices worlds coz they can and as for necrons they have no emotions or motives just genetic and robotic programing to kill all life...



Those Who Doubt The Chaos Gods Obviously Want A Chainaxe To The Head

Hrw-Amen
26-02-2013, 19:49
I put the 'nids, not because I think they are the good guys but because they are the least bad. By that I mean they are all following the hive mind and instinct, they are just functioning in the same way many swarm creatures do, there is not feelings of good or bad it is simply to exist. They don't strip a planet because they do not like you, but just because it is there.

I think every other faction has some reasoning behind it, they have their own agenda, which whilst it may be good for them it is not always good for the others. (Usually is not.)

'Nids don't need to think of the good or bad, they just do it out of animal instinct. A bit like locusts or ants, you would not call an individual ant or locust evil they just are!

Awilla the Hun
27-02-2013, 12:37
I'd say Imperium, but then I'm a guard player. The Imperium has fought in self defence for the past 10,000 years. Its government is too chaotic and fragmented to be termed dictatorial like one of the 20th century dictators-or, indeed, the Tau. There are totalitarian worlds, but there are also oligarchies, people's democracies, actual democracies, kingdoms, and a multitude of other governments. The closest thing to a common factor, the Imperial Cult, is surprisingly tolerant (worlds can worship the Emperor in a multitude of different ways) until the religion starts killing its subjects in excessive numbers (as is the case with Chaos. And even some forms of mutation and chaos are tolerated-witness the Abhuman and beastman auxiliaries for the Imperial Guard.) Its racism makes sense in the context of a galaxy where other races are generally out to get you; in addition, it has been known to make pragmatic alliances with races such as the Eldar, the Tau, and the Necrons. As far as I know, there is no institutionalised human racism or sexism outside of Games Workshop art being mostly white males. And Jenit Sulla being the Imperium's only Lady General. This is about as much as anyone can expect in the 41st millenium.

The Imperium has some extremely dark characters within it. But so do the Eldar (the Biel-Tan craftworld, for example, with its revanchist fantasies-and then there's the Dark Eldar, Farseers diverting Ghazkull Thraka into Armageddon...), the Tau (sterilisation camps, mind control and a government which is an actual totalitarian dictatorship rather than a feudal overlord), and everyone else.

Konovalev
27-02-2013, 14:44
I think who the "good guys" are depends entirely upon your race and disposition. If you are human, the good guys are the Imperium, OR the Tau Empire, OR the forces of Chaos. If you're an Ork, the good guys are yourself and anyone who fights with you(until they die at which point they become bad guys). If you're an Eldar the good guys are Eldar or Dark Eldar. If you're a Tyranid, you have no concept of good or bad. If you're a Tau, everyone is a good guy until they do something to wrong you. etc...

meddy
27-02-2013, 14:53
'NIDS AREN'T EVIL! They're just hungry ;)

Shamana
27-02-2013, 18:29
The Imperium has some extremely dark characters within it. But so do the Eldar (the Biel-Tan craftworld, for example, with its revanchist fantasies-and then there's the Dark Eldar, Farseers diverting Ghazkull Thraka into Armageddon...), the Tau (sterilisation camps, mind control and a government which is an actual totalitarian dictatorship rather than a feudal overlord), and everyone else.

Technically, is there any case of Tau sterilization actually happening or of mind control being actually confirmed rather than a wild guess by some AdMech magus? Because the DC ending where they might have sterilized part of the human population (a xenos population that had rebelled against them, mind you) is not the canon one. As far as the official story goes, the Blood Ravens won, all Tau and Tau sympathizers were purged, and their ethereal killed.

I can't say there is a "good" race in 40k, but Tau and non-dark Eldar are probably the least distant; they treat their own people well-ish. Everyone is more or less of a jerk to the others.

El_Machinae
27-02-2013, 18:43
Individual humans can be good; the Imperium is sociopathically evil. That's not a surprise; lots of modern day corporations are sociopathic too

Putro Pestilentae
27-02-2013, 19:26
Individual humans can be good; the Imperium is sociopathically evil. That's not a surprise; lots of modern day corporations are sociopathic too
HERE HERE :yes:

CommanderLewis
27-02-2013, 20:53
I voted for "no one", but i think Nids probably come closest, as they are just doing what is in their nature, rather than acting out of malice.

seven324
27-02-2013, 20:59
I don't see how so many people can think the Imperium are the good guys. The Imperium should be near the bottom of the list.

titilititi
27-02-2013, 22:52
Tyranids are depicted as viccious with nasty strategies, as galaxywide agressors...
Grey Knights have a little extremist solutions but they are totally virtuous. The fact that they fight for a rotting carrion is the only point that makes them bad guys, but not much than Jack Bauer. All the other authorities of the Imperium are subjects to political struggle, corruption and felony.
Orks are children that haven't leared the stage of good and evil, so they don't count.
Most of the Chaos original felt at least part due to their ideals. But they all turned to psychotic killers.
Tau are the same case as Orks but not the same maner : they are too young as a space empire and nobody knows how they will turn if ever some faction of them are falling to servitude to the black gods. But it doesn't really matter as Tyranids are gonna eat them all before it will happen.
Eldar who felt to Chaos were purely and simply eaten by Slaanesh, and those who turned Dark are just some kind of extremists inthe actual fluff. But there is an irrebutable argument : Eldar are good because they are beautiful...

titilititi
28-02-2013, 00:10
http://www.google.fr/imgres?q=Eldar+Guardian+with+heavy+weapon+platform&hl=fr&sa=X&biw=1366&bih=621&tbm=isch&tbnid=ED7xoopuIs5IPM:&imgrefurl=http://www.dakkadakka.com/gallery/179394-.html%3Fm%3D2&docid=O-i0cM31YlEhPM&imgurl=http://images.dakkadakka.com/gallery/2011/1/30/179394_md-Eldar,%252520Guardians,%252520Heavy%252520Weapon%2 52520Platform,%252520Scatter%252520Laser,%252520Wa rhammer%25252040,000.jpg&w=800&h=475&ei=Mq0uUabyLbC00QXp8oGQDA&zoom=1&iact=hc&vpx=729&vpy=137&dur=1088&hovh=173&hovw=291&tx=119&ty=76&sig=108422937708692781972&page=1&tbnh=139&tbnw=225&start=0&ndsp=22&ved=1t:429,r:4,s:0,i:94

http://www.games-workshop.com/gws/catalog/productDetail.jsp?catId=cat440245a&prodId=prod1710004a

Except the weapon server on the left, that must be very very totally evil according to that standard, and the Ulthwé Black Guardians for the same reason...

titilititi
28-02-2013, 00:13
Sorry to digress in such a serious thread.

TheBearminator
28-02-2013, 00:50
Tau I'd say. They're perhaps the only non-racist army in the game. But it's not a simple question.

Nevetz
28-02-2013, 09:27
Tau. The only Codex where there is written "peace".

Aluinn
28-02-2013, 10:45
Most often when asked this question I say "no one", but in this case, since that seems like a bit of a copout, I'm going to vote for Tau. "Good" doesn't have to mean "perfectly good", after all. They do bad things sometimes, but so do we all, and yet I certainly regard the average person as being basically good--in fact, there's probably an argument to be made that the "flaws" which lead us to do most of the bad things we do are closely connected to the qualities that allow us to be good. (For example, being idealistic in seeking the best for humanity might cause someone to take extreme actions which others regard in isolation as wrong; or being in love begets jealousy which causes all sorts of nastiness, etc. etc.).

Ethics is not after all a science. You can provide counterexamples without invalidating an argument unless it is rigidly deductive. That the Tau do some bad things doesn't make them "bad guys". If that were the case than every state ever to exist in the history of the world would be quite evil--and labeling political entities good or evil is often inappropriate to begin with, and has unfortunate implications on the people who happen to be members thereof.

But back to the Tau: The Imperial "government" (I know, it's not monolithic, but by this I mean the central source of authority descending from the High Lords) isn't even good if you're a human. They're pragmatic (when not getting all religious about the Emperor, but that only rarely leads to redeeming action) and care about the survival of the species, but that's no more than the exercise of a biological imperative on a grand scale and is difficult to ascribe positive moral quality to; the same can be said of the Eldar, though they treat one another better on the individual level. The Tau, despite placing the society before the individual, still value the individual as part of a society and essentially exercise utilitarian ethical theory (widely accepted as valuable to present-day humans however it may be in seemingly endless competition with Kant and Aristotle) in most of their conduct. Further, they extend their ethical principles to cover all sapient life, in theory, and this additionally sets them apart from every other faction. (For the fact that there are possible transgressions e.g. the theory about Vespid mind-control, see above--this doesn't appear to be the rule of their conduct.)

In brief: The Tau are the only faction that seem to widely embrace a coherent ethical theory and to apply it universally. The other candidates for "good guys" exercise what you might call Mafia Ethics (the moral code applies only to a limited subset of "people" chosen based on likeness, often with arbitrary criteria, to one another and/or the originator of the code), provided we accept that certain sapient aliens are entitled to the same ethical status as humans (and I would say that Tau and Eldar certainly do qualify, along with many species you don't see so much of).

burad
02-03-2013, 16:24
The most freedom-loving race is the Orks.

baphomael
03-03-2013, 00:08
When there is no definitive consensus on real world moral philosophy trying to ask who is 'good' and 'evil' for a deliberately bleak fictional universe doesnt help.

40k distances itself from making moral judgements. Everything is unpleasant insome way. Good and evil seem redundant terms.

Spell_of_Destruction
03-03-2013, 00:33
When there is no definitive consensus on real world moral philosophy trying to ask who is 'good' and 'evil' for a deliberately bleak fictional universe doesnt help.

40k distances itself from making moral judgements. Everything is unpleasant insome way. Good and evil seem redundant terms.

That's why it's best not to look at this question in terms of "which factions are morally good". It's actually pretty obvious which races are meant to be 'the goodies' even if they are all shrouded in moral ambiguity.

With the demise of the C'Tan I guess Necrons are arguably 'neutral' although they still lean strongly towards being 'bad guys'.