Looks like the Space Dwarf space is going to get a bit more crowded. Squats are back
I wonder if any of these will be worth proxying for a death Fields games?
Looks like the Space Dwarf space is going to get a bit more crowded. Squats are back
I wonder if any of these will be worth proxying for a death Fields games?
LOL. I was thinking the exact same thing. "Einhenjer about to get a lot more popular."
So GW are going to go less comical in theme for the Squats this time?
@JTam He looks like a chubby Space Marine.
@Erebos Hammerhand when you got a hammer...only release Space Marine content? Make more Space Marines.
@Erebos Hammerhand @Red Bee
There's only so many ways to armor a humanoid figure. Fashion follows form after all. I think the resemblance to Space Marine armor is really superficial.
SOME resemblance actually does fit the fluff. All of humanity was using the same STC technology when it dispersed across the stars. Both this armor and Space Marine armor would share some ancient, ancient common ancestor.
Looks like it. Which is probably the way to go. I love Dwarves in Fantasy but they just didn't translate that well to 40K the last go around. Don't get me wrong, I gots some deep nostalgia for the Squats but I never felt a burning need to have an army of them back in the day. I do have a few metal Squats running around in my Rogue Trader Imperial Guard army for sh*ts and giggles though.
What was the GW hobby magazine back in the day? Not White Dwarf. It was thinner and mostly black and white. Had a lot of private contributors writing articles?
Anyway, I remember they had an article about how to proxy Squats in at the time, modern 40K.
Choice 1, was use them as Orks. The increased toughness and skill at arms was a good fit. The poor ballistic skill reflected the lack of ammunition and resupply of a race on the run from Tyranids.
Choice 2, was use them as Imperial Guard. The decreased toughness and leadership reflected a half broken race serving in the Emperor's armies out of necessity.
Well, don't have to worry about any of that now. I wonder if Trikes will be back? Maybe they will do quads. The Genestealer quads look legit. (Which makes the fail Space Marine Super Mario Carts more mysterious.)
It was the good old Citadel Journal. Really enjoyed that back in the day.
The Squat proxy article was in Citadel Journal 33. I'm not saying that if you Google "Citadel Journal 33" there's a PDF download available...... but there is.
EVEN FURTHER EDIT:
LOL and awesome.
This would be the best Inquisitorial warband of all time.
Just check that article from not a Oldhammer blog
Converting AOS dwarves into Squats with a bit of green stuff and IG... sorry... AM bits is so easy.
And search for The Rubicrist/Apologist work on converting nowadays Orks to depict RTB2 Space Ork Raiders set..
Some brit bikers are going to be glad about... 🤣
Seriously, the 80s style is priceless -especially the trikes or the squat assault soldier on hoverboard -quite a rare model- but quite outdated now (the chubby side was always a problem especially with Bob Olley's and some later sculpts).
But since then, new manufacturers managed to bring back the "good side" of the Squats like Uscarl Miniatures, Hardcore Miniatures or Capritor Miniatures
I did not say comical was bad. Just that the new model looks less comical than previous Squats.
I'm most pleased to see the Squats return in an official format - I like the Einherjar models, but I'm incredibly pleased to see GW have finally decided to make the Space Dwarfs official again, and have made amends for one of the longest-lasting atrocities they committed to the gaming community. It's about time 40K got a new fully-fledged faction (the last one was Genestealer Cults in 2016) and They've been joking about bringing them back for years, but now that they have done so, anything is possible! Here's hoping they bring Tomb Kings, Bretonnia, Chaos Dwarfs and (after a suitable lore retconning) Fimir in the years to come!
I was wondering if they chose that colour scheme for their uniform on purpose to challenge WA, and that it was WA's Einherjar that convinced them to give Squats another try to appeal to the enduring fanbase? Even if so, WA can be proud that they actually had a hand in bringing the Squats back in full capacity!
I do agree that this model is quite a bit chunkier than the Einherjar, but in general Dwarf models have been getting chunkier over the years - the Kharadron and Fyreslayers for AoS are distinctly broader than the Warhammer Fantasy Dwarf models released before them. I don't mind that, it simply reinforces the stocky, durable nature Warhammer Dwarfs in particular have possessed since they were first introduced in lore.
I do prefer this new rendition of them to be honest, the original models looked less like Dwarfs and more like short, bearded Imperial Guard, mainly because the lore in 2nd Edition treated the Squats as just another arm of the Imperium, whereas these chaps look and sound as though they are going to be a separate faction in their own right, forming a temporary alliance with the Imperium to fight the greater threats of Chaos and Xenos, but not fond of the umgi after they abandoned their ancestors to fight the Tyranids alone. Also as others have said, GW have moved them towards being less comical to fit the current 40K universe, which is fine by me.
This faction has huge potential.
Satirical and Comical were not part of Rogue Trader/V1.5/early V2 motto back to the Day? I like Perry' Squats as said in another post, but less fan of trikes and bikers, same for the Epic version, it did never met my expectations but they were fun as hell on a tabletop -even if I have been used to line up some converted WHFB's gyrocopters/early Landspeeder models instead of them, playing the Ride of the Valkyries as loud as possible while charging Ork's lines... *I like the smell of promethium in the morning....*
IMHO, GW will never release them as a reborn full-force W40K faction; they are going to stick to the explanation of Squats' demise given decades ago by Jervis Johnson:
"The Squat species was ultimately destroyed by the invasion of an unnamed Tyranid splinter hive fleet that consumed their homeworlds in the 41st Millennium, though some survivors still serve in the Imperial Guard, hoping for revenge and to find a new beginning for the remnants of their people."
Squats will only be available to Necromunda line... and maybe KillTeam if GW is willing to please a lot more grognards. As an army, they were as strong as a Space Marines force, with Rhinos and even Land Raiders, mini Terminators squads and tons of top notch equipments... so quite above your regular IG regiment. Most did consider them as guardmen under steroids. Frankly I've been surprised not to see them as part of the Horus Heresy range.
BUT.. they could receive the same treatment as Tanith Ghosts and if GW is going to release some Squat regiments -counting as Elite- with Storm LandSpeeder (a conversion I am thinking about) or any other aerial units to replace their old bikes and trikes I could reconsider my point of view 😁
Fact is the Grimdark is more and more a pain in the bottom... I really do miss the funny and funky mess of RT and 2ed.
Indeed ... quite a project and quite a brilliant idea 🤣
(From the OP first link.)
Now GW's definition of "full faction" might differ from yours or mine...... But it sounds positive.
That Oldhammer blog is awesome. Thank You.
This is some dedication:
Mea culpa, maxime culpa I should have check on WCommunity before posting...
So I've got to reconsider my point of view... will wait till I see Squat Landspeeders to fill Rapid Attack slots 😁
Can you tell me where the closest Inquisition confessional is? 😅
Not really a 100% Oldhammer blog -since owner is not into old and expensive models, but quite an interesting way to add RT fun and materials -read iconic models and/or fluff- to the more modern 8ed setting. I am following it for years now, and I really do like the Apologist's works and projects -like his War of the False Primarch for instance.
But his work on recreating the famous RTB2 Ork Raiders using only modern Orks -so 2005 models- is awesome. And you are quite right with speaking of devotion and dedication, the Apologist is an absolute hobbist.
@Steven StGeorges as @JTam has correctly pointed out, GW have definitely confirmed that their new Squats are going to be a full faction. Note that in the Jervis Johnson article they also stated that they wanted to "return to the Squats, but whatever [they] do will be radically different to what has gone before (and they'll be called something other than Squats to boot!" - which they have done. The new models are indeed different to the original ones and they have experienced a revised backstory to fit them into the 40K universe of today, and they have coined a new name for them - The Leagues of Votann.
It will be interesting to see what playstyle GW develop for them as well, and how they will differ from their Imperial cousins.
So if the Squat Strikes Back, there is still hope for all of us.... 😁 -a sentence my last surviving and unpainted squat vintage minis would like .. if they could express themselves. 😆
Since JJ is again working for GW, I should have been aware of such "surprises". The new visual and name could fit the new setting and ever Grimdark ambiance... Will every line regarding their former demise thanks to one Tyranid hivemind be purged from their new background?
I think such a resurrection is tied with GW newest reinforcing policy regarding its IP... and revival of the Squats from other manufacturers (Kromlech' Squats ... Dvergr sorry are another fair example of).
.. and so no more lore regarding the Demiurg faction and its ties with ancient Squat Homeworlds?
After a cautious reading of the article, I have to admit the upcoming Kin are quite close to the cryptic Demiurgs of Old.. and seem to share some affinity with "Machine Spirits" -according to short intro movie.
.... and I am waiting for Squat LandSpeeders -and not AOS' recycled steampunk'd airships. 😇
..oh and could be quite a project for our beloved Dr Mathias
@Steven StGeorges Let me reiterate... “I did not say comical was bad. Just that the new model looks less comical than previous Squats.”
Of course Rogue Trader was more openly satirical than GW Grimdark is today.
Satire I like, farce... not so much. Everyone has their own opinion on where the line is, and/or should be drawn.
Both sci-fi and fantasy, I prefer WGA and Oathmark Dwarves to past GW Dwarves. The weapon in the new GW model is still too “nerf gun chunky” for my taste. But I can see how others may like it and I do not want to yuck any one’s yum.
While I'm happy for the Oldhammer fans, this release doesn't do much for me. Not only do I prefer the more distinctive "squats" made by Wargames Atlantic and Mantic, but I wouldn't buy the GW minis even if I loved the design. My hobby is kitbashing and converting; $35 spent on WGA or Mantic goes a lot farther for me than $35 spent on GW minis, so much so that I can't justify any GW purchases.
Quite an universal argument I may say.. I am always thinking twice before buying some GW products; they are now too expensive to even consider any proper kitbash with... excepted if one is speaking about models/vehicles/scenery elements available thanks to W40k Conquest/Imperium or AOS Mortal Realms. My local Walmart SuperStore offered quite a discount on past issues and I've been able to buy a couple of Rhinos NOS for 15$CAN. I am always looking for second-hand stuff, 50$CAN for 10 IG (or 12 Genestealer Brood Brothers + a heavy weapon) or 5 SM is an over the top pricetag.
A bit of misunderstanding from my side, I am not into what GW is doing with Wh40K setting: adding more Grimdark, so Seriousness (and I do think such a term being proper...) as opposed to the happy Shambles of RT. Since the Tau, I do consider GW to be gazing longingly at Infinity or any other competitor miniatures, trying to adapt its own ranges to bring new customers into the Hobby and old ones back -like with the Horus Heresy, the Adeptus Mechanicus models, the ressurected Squats and the upcoming Old World.. to name a few, trying to fixup the damage caused by the headlong rush -or some Great Leap backwards- into a Radiant Future.
Some will call it a vivid Progress while others a mere Farce (like the devolution of SM side-car Jtam posted above) .. As you, I do prefer when Satire and Comedy were part of the Spirit of the Game.
Both WGA & Oathmark Dwarves are lovely models I am fond of.. for being quite distinctive from GW ones: there are enough not-squats around to make any Oldhammerer jumping for joy.
@Grumpy Gnome Frankly don't know why, WH40k is so grimedrip its ranges far beyond mere satire into Judge Dredd and One Punchman land, comical squats would have fit in fine.
To be honest, while this may sound like heresy I mildly hope GW cancels reviving Warhammer Fantasy Battles, it being oop was probably one of the best things for the hobby as far as encouraging creative freedom went (both on the consumer and manufacturer ends) since it opened the door for other better games rule wise like Kings of War and Frostgrave which might not have done as well if the GW cult had been still united around WFB, not to mention them and 9th age giving wargamer and mini makers alike more freedom in constructing themed fantasy armies.
Rick Priestly himself said 40k was created with irony and silliness and that after other writers increasingly took over it went more “po-faced”, which he felt missed the point.
Some folks miss the satire, the irony, the silliness in 40k and Steven St George you are not alone in missing that more light hearted atmosphere of Rogue Trader days. Although I was not a fan of some of the more silly aspects myself it did help lend the Judge Dread surrealism Brian mentions.
Me, I did not mind a less “over the top” approach to some of the aesthetics and less over the top silliness. Although I will admit to having a rather silly Space Ork army at one time.
I disliked the anime aesthetics of the Tau at first in the 40k setting, it felt like it was designed just to bring in new customers but the Tau grew on me. Especially the lore. However I was irked when the Tau became as dodgy as everyone else.
I really dislike the GW take on 40k where they recently said there are no good guys in 40k. None. This has been heavily discussed on Dakkadakka and Lead Adventure. I realize I am in a minority in this. But I think a game marketed largely to 12 year olds could do with some better role models and morality tales woven within that tapestry of interstellar warfare.
Or at the very least do less to glamorize xenophobia, religious extremism and fascism.
@Steven StGeorges You make an excellent point about pricing and modelling style. I am with you in that. I generally try to only buy GW stuff second hand on eBay to keep costs down. There have been some exceptions. I find myself liking some of their latest stuff... but to repurpose for my own projects rather than play in the 40k setting. Companies like WGA and North Star Frostgrave/Oathmark are offering things I want more than GW sculpts.
@Brian Van De Walker You make a very interesting point about the death of WHFB giving other IPs a chance. It is a bit concerning just how overpowering Games Workshop is on the hobby. That is why I care about what GW does with 40k, it has so much influence on gamers and the games industry.
Quite a vibrant post my dear. 👏
Move Chaos -not chaos or disorder thanks to the vastness of the Imperium- out of W40k, and everything should be better. Rick tried but failed to resist Mad King Brian to add Chaos to RT .. in order to sell more miniatures. While mixing both settings (so medieval worlds to W40K, treating sorcerers as psykers) was quite a wonderful idea but Chaos just opened to door to quite a Monty Hall... Renegades and mercenaries (like the original Ultramarines Chapter, the 13th, declared Ennemy of Mankind and forced to flee to the Eye of Terror) were all now Chaos workshippers waiting to be purged. The Heresy, once a small paragraph in Book of the Astronomican, turned to be the turning point of the W40K history -like the birth of Slaanesh and the creation of the Eye of Terror... moving Hellreach from Logan's World to Armaggedon in the process). Everything changed with 2nd but a lot more with 3rd and so I quit Hobby.
When your main customer target is composed with youngsters, the "W40K is a satire" does work because your audience isn't educated enough to intellectually handle such notions as Fascism, Ethnocentrism and so forth. They are looking at W40K setting thru' the distorted prism of ... WW2 and Cold War: We are the Good guys while the Others are the Bad ones (depending of your place of birth of course).
I had quite a chat with Chris Bone back to 1998, he told me about the uneasy feeling of incarnating Commissar Bone for years during Games Day in front of screaming droves of eager teenage fans: what he did start as a "joke/satire", turned into a mindtrap.
Until some newt dressed as a Franquist decided to attend a tournament in Spain... so the GW's communiqué.
Regarding second-hand minis, I turned my back on Ebay about 10 years ago, favouring brick and mortar shops instead and more thanks to Covid, most of my suppliers did -and still do- need customers' support. My very first army ever (slowly bought with pin money) was Grenadier's Undead Legion -mixed with some Ral Partha and solid-based Citadel models- till official tournament rules did exclude such minis -so when 2nd came out in France. I kept on buying WD after 94 just to have a look at the newest model till mid 00s.
I am fond of Alternative Armies -cause of the 80s style of the models like Alternate Stars- and Northstar -since Rogue Stars I think. Star/Frostgrave and Oathmark models are brilliant sculpts I am actively buying when available over here, same for Crooked Dice and some other manufacturers. Same for WGA, I do enjoy multipose models, perfect to fulfill my wildest dreams witour being forced selling a kidney off or asking for another mortgage onto house.. An less expensive hoddy is making wife quite happy.
GW models are not my cup of tea any longer.. excepted for the Adeptus Mechanicus range, a dream comes true: I have been waiting for decades to see John Blanche' sketchs turned into hard plastic models.. but what a pricetag !! ...
@Grumpy Gnome@Steven StGeorges
Frankly guys, GW is one of those companies that justifies the existence of parental watch dog groups🤣.
Every once in a while I find their Black Library in the kids section of the library book sale and these are not the new ones (which I have heard are still pretty bad😒), I am talking classic Road 666 books which are about as appropriate for kids as playboy😆.
Likewise the 40k and WFB verses with their soul eating demons, sadistic dark elf strippers, nightmarish monsters and evil cults inspired by 80’s metal album art (which make the fascist commies look good by comparison) are not really universes you should be letting kids play in the first place (what is wrong with people😤).
Not that I have any but I wouldn’t let my 12 year olds have any GW books unless it’s just the rules with zero fluff till they are 14-16 at least. If I wanted to recruit my kids into the hobby, I would introduce them to the Ion Age setting or Kings of War which are both more malleable as they can be as dark or as light as you want them to be and I think Ion Age in particular is a cooler setting overall than 40k because there is hope something I found 40k severally lacking. Also the classic Firefight rule book fluff does have a Saturday morning heroic action cartoon vibe to it, which is just right for kids.
@Grumpy Gnome Honestly I wouldn't mind Warhammer 40k toning down the Grimderp. Preferably have it Nobledark with satiracal elements, where while you do have good members of the Imperium, they often have to fight against their own regime in order to save lives (the same regime that gave Kryptman the okay sign for pitting Orks and Nids against each other. I mean what I just mentioned just SCREAMS satiracal take on how governments often allow crazy, half-baked solutions to problems play out only for it to get all new problems or not even solve said problem as a result).
I mean Grimdark has a place.....ish....... personally I think it would work more as a seasoning than the main course due to how stupid some of the "grimdark" elements are. Like how some writers claimed that Gellar Fields are powered by Psykers and burns through them like batteries, and don't get me started on the Redemptor Dreadnought that does the same thing to SPACE MARINES.
Nobledark... First time I think I have heard that. Interesting concept and how I originally saw the Imperium of Man I suppose. But GW just kept going further and further down the grimdark road so that I could not continue maintaining my illusion.
I have found the basis for the Inquisitor conversion:
@Brian Van De Walker I can certainly see where you're coming from, even if I don't fully agree with you. On one hand you are right, the death of Warhammer Fantasy did give other fantasy games room to emerge and grow.
But on the other hand, I would say none of them grew enough to fill the void left by Warhammer Fantasy. Kings of War got close, it is true, and I appreciate and respect the idea that it's more balanced as a game while retaining similarities to Warhammer Fantasy, but one of the things it has certainly failed at is creating a really engaging setting in the way Warhammer Fantasy did. It's true that Mantic have finally got themselves going in this department and are doing something to liven up the setting now, but I doubt it'll ever reach the in-depth level of Warhammer Fantasy. Even AoS has more detailed and interesting background than Kings of War and AoS is only 6-7 years old. KoW is significantly older and has made far less progress with this aspect of its system.
Frostgrave I think is extremely overrated, again the setting looks dull, a lot duller even than that of KoW, and I personally really don't like having your warband led by a wizard. Give me Warcry or a resurrected Mordheim any day for a fantasy skirmish game.
Oathmark I think has got the closest in replicating the mechanics of Warhammer Fantasy, and the miniatures made for it are excellent, it definitely looks better than Frostgrave all round, but I still can't help feeling the setting is rather generic in comparison to WHFB, with no established history of the world or the races in it, and the way you can build armies out of different races conjures up the hokey days of WHFB First-Third Editions, fine if you're more of a fan of those versions, but I grew up with 7th and 8th Editions with really detailed and thematic faction backgrounds and army lists.
I can't see GW giving up on TOW before it's even arrived, not to mention that I would be among those who would be most upset if they did, because what with this, plastic Sisters of Battle and now Squats it definitely appears GW is making amends for all the bad things they did throughout their existence, and I like that attitude. True the models are getting more and more expensive which doesn't help, but the fact they are doing it in the first place has renewed a bit of my respect for them as a company. Long may it continue I say!
@Steven StGeorges I would certainly be impressed if GW moved Chaos out of 40K, but that's never going to happen thanks to the Horus Heresy and more recently 8th Edition 40K making it look as though nothing else matters. I am pleased though that 9th Edition has displayed much more of a Xenos focus, I hope they keep that up.
@Grumpy Gnome I certainly wouldn't like to see 40K censored or toned down purely out of fear that it's 'Xenophobic', just because there are a small percentage of scumbags who can't understand that real life isn't 40K. Most people know that it's just a fictional setting, know that the Imperium is wrong in a lot of things, and just enjoy it as a game and setting. To change it heavily in this way would be jumping on the Left-Wing PC bandwagon and would be detrimental to the game and setting, and annoy those who just want to have fun in the setting they love, as it is, without any 'softening'. I think GW were right to post that warning and do nothing this drastic. It would be like asking historical gamers who like playing Romans to alter the history of the Roman Empire to cover up its xenophobia and racism.
I think what GW mean when they say that there are no 'good guys' is that they're trying to enforce that one of the more realistic aspects of 40K is that nobody is perfect or every inch a hero, which I like because in the real world nobody is perfect either. I am less fond of media that portray heroes as flawless and invincible, like the Star Wars Original and Sequel Trilogies, AoS First Edition and a lot of modern films, because if you have pretty much everything you need and are completely flawless, you will have no need to work to achieve what you want, which is a far worse role-model message to young people - children will grow up believing they are not to blame for anything and that they should expect everything to come to them, which of course will get them nowhere.
Instead heroes should have flaws in them, but also have the capability to conquer these flaws, which is the best message a fictional work can give to anyone - to be the best person they can be and do the right thing despite the ever-present temptation to do wrong. Indeed this is the very definition of courage - to be able to go on and continue despite fear telling you to give up and run.
I would respectfully disagree with you@Caratacus . I think you are making what GW said fit your narrative. There is no hope for redemption for the Imperium. It is not merely flawed and no hope remains that things will get better.
My point is not about perfection or flawlessness. I understand the power of “the hero’s journey”, flawed characters and avoiding a Mary Sue situation. Comparing the Imperium of Man to the Roman Empire strikes me as missing the point entirely just as comparing it to Nazi Germany would be.
It is by far, by design, much worse than any historical human society.
And folks, child or adult, not seeing that is part of the problem.
Edit: Let me add, I do not want to see it censored per se. I just wish it was different and that it was not marketed towards children.
Let me also be clear, I have played wargames since I was a wee little gnomlimg... I grasp the irony of me trying to say what kind of wargaming I am ok with children playing.
I just think there needs to be a proper moral context to any story, game, movie, book etc involving violence. I am hardly a pacifist nor do I consider myself left wing. I just think 40k sends the wrong messages and is easily misunderstood.
And that GW is more interested in making money than creating art, making political points or expressing any morality beyond “the bottom line”. I find that to be an irresponsible business practice.
I also accept I may be completely mistaken and may have misread the entire affair. I am after all only a Grumpy Gnome.
@Brian Van De Walker
Kim Newman's Jack Yeovil's Road 666 series (Comeback Tour is still ma favourite one) is quite a classic -for an OOP but so promising game and setting, the very past of W40K back then according to Mad King Brian's masterplan- just forgot about the 2000/05 "revamped and updated" editions... full of errors, omissions and so forth. Where are you living? My locale Library is quite limited regarding scifi/fantasy and other related sub-genres..
For sure, I am not going to let my kids pick up a book in my RPG/Wargame related library, so I moved the most "problematic" books to the upper shelves (while wife told me the attic or the green dumpster should be a better place for them...), you know the ones with such a tempting cover or title.
My kids have joined the Dark Side for years now, thanks to my favourite books as a kid in the 70s (John Carter of Mars for example) then my old Fantasy Fighting books, boardgames and finally BECMI. Before pandemia, I used to run rpg sessions in my mancave -now a family basement again- with them and some of their friends from neighbourhood on weekends. Since 2020, I resurrected my old Mordheim playset to play Frostgrave games with wife and kids. Now I am planning to introduce them to scifi, skipping Star Wars Legions -cause of pricetag- for RogueStars then Stargrave and finally an homebrew setting mixing RT and SG. My daughter is fond of Bill King's novels regarding one guy and his dwarf friend and she asked me about Ignorant Armies -maybe the best WH ever written back to the 90s, while son is still having fun reading Watson' Space Marine. Everything is just as planned... excepted both are quite reluctant listening to Blue Osyter Cult or Hawkwind.
Alternative Armies' Ion Age range -and the very underrated Firefight rules- is maybe the best setting to initiate kids to scifi wargames, quite a good choice! Thanks for the reminder 👍
On Grimdark, I feel like it works when the story is committed to it, such as the Vaults of Terra or Inquisition War series. It also works when used as satire, such as in the Ciaphas Cain books. However, I find a lot of the basic Bolter Porn books fall in an uncomfortable middle, where the space marines or IG are too clearly heroes (as opposed to protagonists), and the setting seems less to be saying "the Imperium is horrible and this makes its problems even worse" than "the Imperium is horrible, and is justified".
As for the background discussion, things may be changing. WH40k's background has been declining in quality since 5th edition, at least in the codices. BL has become wildly uneven over the course of the Horus Heresy series, and I find myself less likely to pick up a new BL book unless I have heard a lot of recommendations for it. The old FFG RPG depth of background material will likely never be surpassed at this point.
I expect The Old World will be similarly disappointing. Even BL was losing the plot on WHF after the Storm of Chaos; WHT books require a specific 'flavor' to work for me, and I wasn't finding it in the End Times books or their weird HH knockoff books about the mythohistorical events that shaped the Old World. The books I tend to go back to are the William King Gotrek books, Kim Newman booksand the CL Werner books.
In light of this, the competition is getting closer. Mantic may have dropped the ball when they had the chance to score big by keeping their setting generic so it wouldn't scare if the former WHFB players (or just because they lacked vision), but now they have an RPG and a series of novels coming out set in their Pannithor world, including one by CL Werner. Their background material also expanded a bit with the Armada game. They were late to the background game, but soon they should have enough to keep lore-loving gamers interested.
Their Firefight universe got lucky in that Dreadball gave a whole third dimension to their background, Verhoeven-style satire, making it a lot more fun than Deadzone/Warpath's blander Late Stage Capitalism in Space take. They are putting out background articles every Thursday, and the setting is a fun place to read about.
Frostgrave has some short stories and novels out, but they still feel terribly generic. There isn't any attempt that I can see to make the background fun beyond each individual writer's storytelling ability. I haven't looked into Stargrave at all, but unless someone tells me otherwise I'll assume it's the same.
As for other potential contenders...
Maelstrom's Edge really tried to develop their fluff. They gave it some good effort. Unfortunately, the central feature of their background is grimdark, and it taints every story in the setting, making even the most uplifting story kind of depressing. It's just not a fun place to spend imagination time.
AT-43 had some brilliant background. Too bad that game's dead forever.
Mutant Chronicles/Warzone had a lot of fun background. Too bad that game is dead forever.
Confrontation had a lot of background. That game is dead forever.
Warmachine/Iron Kingdoms had a lot of background that appealed to a lot of somebodies, apparently. Too bad that game is dead forever any day now.
Conquest: Last Argument of Kings has a background book that costs damnnear $50. It could have the greatest background of all time, but we'll never know it just from buying the starter set. They leaned hardcore into the crunchy tournament scene at the expense of casuals and narrative players, and the second they lose "balance" there will be no die hard fans there to catch them.
Beyond the Gates of Antares had a fairly simple background conceit, and some surprisingly engaging fiction. The background was a fun place to spend time. Then Warlord Games pulled a Warlord Games. Too bad the game is Warlord Gamesed forever.
That is another problem for me with 40K, the whole promotion of the “ends justify the means” morality. Same problem I have with the TV show 24 hours to be honest. WWJBD seems to be something that affected the decision making of too many US military personnel in the 21st Century.
Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed Rogue Trader in my youth. My barracks roommate and I used to play 40k when we were stationed in Berlin ’88-91. We did not think about deeper meanings. It was all so tongue in cheek. But since then I have thought a lot about deeper meanings in a lot of things, from watching Sands of Iwo Jima which convinced me I wanted to join the military at the age of 4 to how I did not notice a whole lot of “Noble Cause Neo-Confederate rubbish” being shoved down my throat for most of my life.
Much as Mrs. GG and I love Frostgrave, it is not the setting or world building that makes the game fun for us. In fact it is nicely miniature and somewhat setting agnostic.
We prefer the setting and world building for Ghost Archipelago but have not actually played it yet as we are still slowly working our way through Frostgrave.
As for Rangers of Shadow Deep, we are unsure. We just have not read enough about the setting yet even though we have all the books. No idea when we will get to it.
Stargrave’s setting did very for me and Mrs. GG did not even read it. I keep,hoping the expansion books help.
I was really excited for The Silver Bayonet (by the author of Frostgrave)... and was thinking of using it to replace my Sharp Practice based Tarnished Splendor project but once I got the rule book it did not do it for me, either in the combat mechanics or the world building but I remain hopeful this can be rememdied in the future by expansions and perhaps a second edition.
I agree with you about Gates of Antares. However Mrs. GG was not a fan. We did not get beyond researching the game and setting. It seemed too much like Bolt Action mechanically, which I am not a fan of, and Mrs. GG was not keen on the fluff.
For sci-fi gaming we like Core Space from Battle Systems, both the original and the new First Born sequel/expansion. We like the setting, the mechanics and the aesthetics.
I like the setting and world building in Achtung! Cthulu, Dust and Konflikt 47 but Mrs. GG is not a fan. I have not studied the game rules yet, just looked into the lore so far.
I was a big fan of Fallout 3 and 4 so thought Fallout Wasteland Warfare would be a sure fire hit with me but the battle reports I have read have not convinced me. Hence my Twilight 49 project.
Star Wars Legion was considered by us but the bigger figures and price tag put us off before we even looked into the rules. Obviously having the Star Wars universe to muck around in is appealing though.
The Mantic universes, Fantasy and Sci-Fi have failed to capture us.
We do play GW’s Middle Earth Strategy Battle Games, or rather the Battle Companies skirmish game version of it. Tolkien did some decent world building. It scratches a different itch for us than the more superficial Frostgrave, even we enjoy that game as well.
As a matter of facts, there are Good guys within W40K -at least according to Codex and side-stories..
(who just say Iliyan, Illie for friends, Nastase, former chief psyker astropath??)
"FOR THOSE WE CHERISH! WE DIE IN GLORY!".. such battlecry and motto is the best way to depicting The Lamenters chapter. They do remind me about the DC comics Jack the King Kirby's The Losers.
Then, more of less some light-years away: The Salamanders, The Raven Guard, The Space Wolves, the Crimson Fists and the .. UltraSmurfs; including most of their Successors, excluding the Imperial Fists & Co. like the Black Templars thanks to their very specific battle rules (Hate the Xenos, Purge the Heretic and Burn the Witch.... ah ah ah burn the witch, can someone tell Monty Pythons about such a violation of their IP?), always consider them of being closer to the Teutonic Knights than your Philippe le Bel's regular Templar Knight of Auld by the way...
Technically the Deathwing should be part of the list, I mean the original Deathwing, i.e. marines from a distant native-american planet named Plains World, and one fellow Captain named Cloud Runner.. till GW decided to purge every data about it, claiming the very term of Deathwing was already in use amongst the Dark Angels before the Heresy, same for the white-bone armour. Were the original story and unit politically incorrect by then -4th or 5th ed-?
Those are the epitome of the 41st millenium so-called chivalric ideals... but Dan (may his name be praised for eons) Abnett's Gaunt's Ghosts is the best the Grimdark is able to offer -but what a proposal, the best series, alongside Ciaphas Cain's.
Ian Watson' Space Marine (93) is the best ever written novel about Space Marines, even if (clearly) outdated -and just forget about 2000/05 BL reprints- but so full of jokes and unexpected awkward but comical situations (strange squats... chaos god... space marines using lasguns... dark rituals... space marines driving titans... did I say strange squats?... Pain Glove (with a touch of Spinal Tap)... a Zoat, yes a Zoat... oh and more squats). Watson just do an awsome job depicting the every day routine of any new male recruit thrown into a harsh and brutal regime of obediance and training, where he must prove his faith and courage at every step or die trying. Only should he prove his spirit willing, will he be granted the genetic and surgical modifications needed to elevate him from mere man to godlike superman. A Space Marine in the making is quite a Darwinian's wet dream comes true, the Survival of the Fittest on a galactic scale; turning our recruit into a Sardaukar on steroids and not some UN Blue Helmet/Peacekeeper, excepted for the Lamenters and the Salamanders.
Totally agree with you about the 5th and the coming of the Necrontyr (you know the half-eldarish race from the Halo Stars... ) or Ward's Newcrons when compared to their past 4th incarnation. Setting background drastically changed forever... and what's about the Perpetuals?
Good point about Rogue Trader RPG, I am using it as a base for my own campaign setting.. lots of npcs and tons of ideas for games.
Stargrave is like Frostgrave, a pretty generic -read sandbox- setting without a real lore per sé. I am waiting for the scifi version of Oathmark, maybe it is going to add more depth to that newborn universe. Both do need a good writer to bring some life and a very unique soul to them.
I am only buying minis from both Maelstrom (Gnolti) and Beyond the GoA (rebel ghars!!!!) so I am quite unable to post a review bout. Same for Mantic and PrivateerPress...
And if in doubt...
I don't tend to like using extant non-gaming settings for gaming. The factions are usually limited and the setting often has a completed arc that makes the game either feel pointless or like fan fiction.
What would you suggest is the best Weird War 2/diesel punk setting in terms of fluff?
I'm pretty sure the change in DA lore had more to do with the studio settling on a theme than any concern about political correctness. King had his ideas, but the studio and later writers seemed to lean hard into the Lionel Johnson Dark Angel thing, where the chapter has a deep, dark secret, are in denial, and are lashing out at anyone who suspects. By the time I got into the background (late3rd), every main chapter had a schtick and the DA were established as the jerkass knights chapter.
When you said my earlier post was vibrant, what exactly did you mean?
I think you are making the same mistake I made in my youth and the same mistake@Caratacus made... bending 40k to suit your narrative. You are ignoring the fact GW has said there are no good guys in 40k. There are no heroes to look up to, no role models. The mottos of the Space Marines read as hollow to me, for who do they cherish? The Emperor?
You see that is exactly my point. Folks seek to find the good in 40k, the noble, the praise worthy. They extol the virtues shown by characters in a setting specifically design to lampoon such things. That war is somehow glorious. That the dehumanization of soldiers is admirable. Are you actually comparing the Salamanders to UN Peacekeepers?
There is nothing positive about the Imperium of Man. No redeeming characteristics. Nor does it seem GW wants there to be... perhaps because despite what should be obvious some folks seem to keep seeing something to admire in it.
And let me say, as a person who has been put through a pretty unpleasant experience in order to become an infantryman, there is nothing glamourous in it. Did I say unpleasant? It was humiliating, dehumanizing, cruel, petty and viscious. It was in some ways like what Heinlein wrote in Starship Troopers but I had a couple of messed up Drill Sergeants, one that crossed the line and the other that did not stop him. I was too young and inexperienced at the time to realize just how messed up it was. As a later Staff Sergeant myself I learned that they had taken things too far.
I also saw it in the British Army. A glamorization of cruelty. Of unnecessary dehumanization. And I can not help wondering if those things are what led to the atrocities that later happened in our wars in the Middle East.
Yes, it takes a certain something to be able to kill another human being. Especially to do it over and over again. But I do not think the answer is more brutality and less humanity. Quite the opposite. I think it is this “cult of inhumanity” which has in part caused the high suicide rate among veterans.
Again it seems like the satire, the irony of 40K is being missed.
Edit: Of course this is just my opinion and opinions are a dime a dozen.
@BS Kitbasher That is a tough one mate. Each has its own merits. It depends on what you are after. Achtung Cthulu has occult and high tech aliens and it has books to cross over with Dust. Dust does away with much of the Nazi aspects of the Axis, so it removes that baggage. Konflikt 47 also has its merits in its less complex setting. Those are the three I am trying to juggle right now. None of them are perfect. But then, what is?
Vivid and sound post my friend, with IRL examples, so a vibrant post.
The Lamenters' do cherish every single imperial citizen, they are willing to sacrifice themselves in order to protect and save the innocents. But they are naive -they sided with Astral Claws during Badab War, because Huron offered them a degree of respect they never had experimented before- and cursed.
Since I am french-born, my mind is utterly Cartesian: there is no Good/White or Evil/Black around, only shades of Grey. Rogue Trader depicted such a perspective with a touch of so british ironic humour, but we were warned: In the future, there is only War. Then things went awry, as Grimdark was creeping in... slowly but surely.
Amongst the various books that did inspired W40K, like 1984 (a fascist regime with a elite controlling and influencing the Masses, "War is Peace, Freedom is Slavery, Ignorance is Strenght") or Dune, we do have an interesting duality with Starship Troopers and The Forever War: the latter does not depict war as a noble pursuit, with the sides clearly defined as good and evil; exploring instead the dehumanizing effect of war, influenced by the real world experiences. But thanks to Lazerburn, GW decided to add more Heinlein to the very spirit of the game.... and voilà
I was just saying the Lamenters and the Salamanders could be the closest thing to a modern-day UN Blue Helmet, so to help and protect civilians in time of need. But
The very universe of W40K is depressing (Grim) and hopeless for every living creature inhabiting the Milky Way (Dark): War will consume it as new menaces are still emerging over time.
Maybe Daddy Smurf should move parf of Mankind out of our galaxy to some more peaceful destination -like ... Andromeda, safe for about 1.5 more million years. It could bring some hope at least.. of a better future for new generations of Man at the cost of a perpetual last stand for those left behind.
I see it as a satire of the Cold War and most of modernday warfare we both did experiment as kids then teens. I grew up hearing to air-raid siren every wednesday at noon sharp, running for the closest shelter in school basement while sisters -it was a private catholic institution- were praying, asking us to sing canticles until the siren do finally stop. I do remember when as a schoolboy, I had to watch some british documentary called The War Game in the mid 70s... then Threads in the 80s... I think we were mentally and intellectually ready for the Big Day, more inclined to understand W40K as a galactic meat grinder; unlike nowadays GW customers still unable asking themselves about the futility of the Grimdark to the excess(es) : kill or be killed is the sole concept they do handle "it is just a game, you know. Don't be such a moralizer. You don't understand how fun is it."
That's why I do prefer the earlier versions of the setting, when the Milky Way was more or less unexplored and only inhabitated by an handfull of sentient races. I am not going to add things as Chaos, Necrons or Tyranids. Genestealers do fit the setting, same for Original Space Vampires and Enslavers.
I have at least one friend who has written professionally for GW... I think writers sometimes go “off script” and insert their own brand of 40k into the lore. So there are contradictions.
While I very much understand we live in a world of greys, I enjoy black and white fiction as an escape more than I enjoy the constant black of grimdark.
I favor Sharpe over Flashman for example but for some reason Flashman continues to appeal to many folks.
The USA is not the model of freedom and justice as I once used to think but I know my American upbringing affects how I world. Several of my German and British friends have said I am “so American” in my optimistic wishes for the world. I struggle to avoid being consumed by the pessimism and cynicism that is so prevalent not just in Europe but in the USA as well. I think 40k wallows in that pessimism and cynicism.
I do wonder how our older, Cold War experiences influence us compared to some younger people who seem unable to grasp the terrible risks we are facing right now with the war in Ukraine. But in the face of that terror, I want to encourage hope.
Have you heard of Hopepunk?
None of us get out of this alive. Life is filled with pain and struggle. Survival is a war each of us wage even if we do not realize it.
I wish that 40k would atleast offer the option to have hope.
Edit: When you say GW added Starship Troopers rather than Tomorrow War, I would make a rebuttal... Starship Troopers the movie rather than the book. The movie is a parody of the book. But yes, GW loves Paul Verhoeven it would seem. I am surprised we do not see more overt Robocop references.
I've always seen the bleakness in GW's settings as a sales thing, lowering the hurdles of entry: In the grimdark of the distant past, it doesn't matter what army your buddy is collecting because every faction is at war with all others and you could explain away any matchup. But if the Warhammer world or the 40k world were structured in a more black-and-white way instead, you'd have a 50-50 chance you can't actually play against your buddy because both your factions are goody-two-shoes and would never fight each other.
Though to be honest, I never really looked into Warhammer lore much deeper than that. I picked druchii because I was an edgy teenager, and I'm sticking with druchii because they fit my drive to minimize casualties by picking my engangements, the way I do in computer RTS games.
Not the Tomorrow War my dear Gnome but the Forever War.. 😉
Mmm comparing Euroland tastes for Realism (so cynicism and pessissism) over US Positivism/Optimism is like comparing Threads with The Day After. But now most of Western world is thinking the same, an uncleared mix of Realism and Optimism thanks to Pandemia.
And as far as I do remember, you should take a look at Beyond the Gates of Antares, far less grimdark and quite more trekkie a setting. It should be quite an alternative IMHO, some faction models are really awesome and could be easily used in another setting (SG.. or Death Fields who knows)
The Einherjar are so much squattier than the new GW offering. The new Legion of Whatever are just kinda halfway between space marines and Genestealer Cults, with dwarfism.
I get that design studios end up with a particular aesthetic they cling to (and I love Genestealer Cults), but when everything is more of the same it's not fun.
Ah my poor addled memory, thanks for the correction@Steven StGeorges
The New Legion of Whatever.. sounds like some abomination from the Last Great Time War
A bit of new lore:
@JTam Why am I not surprised? Still, coukd be worse I suppose.
..Even worser my friend: Votann are now the arch-nemesis of Necrons.... just as planned.