40k: Is the Fiction Secretly Evolving?


Pimpcron explores the idea of GW being sly. Or is it accidental?

Hi people! Your favorite male model Pimpcron is back with a thought about evolving fiction in 40k.

I hear (read) a lot of comments about GW not evolving the fiction of 40k, and it does seem pretty static over the last 20+ years of the game. But is it really static? Some things are subtly changing and is it accidental or intentional?

Fluff Does Change From Book to Book

With each new codex that comes out, they generally come complete with new stories for fluff and not all of them are attached to a timeline. So it is possible that they are new stories of things that just happened.  What about all of the campaign supplements and missions they come out with periodically? Once again, not all of these are actually explained as happening in the past. While none of these mean leaps and bounds forward into the timeline, it doesn’t necessarily mean that nothing is progressing.


I don’t know why but I love these old models.

Available Models Change

Now in all honesty we all know that many named characters have been taken out of the books due to the fact that they didn’t have a model. But in some cases like Dark Eldar’s main man Vect, the fluff actually discusses why his model was supposedly removed from the playable part of the book. Apparently he (and a few others that got removed) are above battlefield duty and just delegate that stuff to their subordinates. That could be taken as a change in the “current situation” where he used to do battlefield duty back when the old codex came out, but fast forward a couple years and he no longer does it.
What about when new models that are added to the codex? That is an example of new technology being invented/unearthed/discovered/stolen/etc. If you look at the codices through that lens, new stuff is being invented all the time which is another form of time progression.
Psychic powers have changed quite a bit as of late, which could very well mean that the Warp is changing and changing the way magic works as well in their world. For better or for worse? It all depends on your point of view, but the point is that it isn’t static. For instance, you can summon freaking daemons now! That might suggest that the Warp is getting stronger.


I’d like a Piscean army.

Rules Change

Over time, GW changes the rules for armies, which also can representative of changing times. Here are just a few examples, if you look elsewhere, you might come across more on your own.


  • When Chaos Daemons’ previous codex came out, they all had to Deep Strike onto the field, now they can be deployed as a normal army does. Could that mean that the Warp is becoming more stable in our realm? Given that the Daemonkin codex includes daemons, but no mandatory deep Striking AND no Warp Storm table, this could be seen as a further step in the direction of Chaos getting a firmer grip on our realm.
  • In the Necron codex-before-last, they were just waking up from their long slumber. That book also included a pesky rule called Phase Out where if you took enough casualties during the game, you auto-lost by the rest of your army saying, “Screw you guys, I’m going home.” and just leaving. Luckily, there is no longer a rule like that. In fact, the most recent codex is even more powerful than the last one. Does that suggest that Necrons are finally out of their groggy state from all that sleep and getting stronger by the day? If you look at the fluff and the rules together it certainly seems to suggest that.
  • Dark Eldar only used to get benefits from Power From Pain when that unit killed another. Now, it seems that they have developed a way to make the carnage of battle benefit everyone equally being that it is now strictly based off of turn number. Or is this more potent Power From Pain somehow a side effect of the Warp getting stronger?
  • Tyranids were really powerful when they first came out, which is representative of them being hard for the other races to deal with. Over the different codices that have come out, they have slowly become less awesome compared to the others, meaning that the other races are starting to figure out how to deal with them. And did I mention the models they keep adding? That represents the new mutations the Hive Mind has developed.

Now that ANY army can ally with another, does that mean that things are starting to get even more desperate in the universe of 40k? If you take the old rules into consideration, it was quite rare for different races to ally, now it is a common sight. And what about the different armies that have been added since the early days? The Imperium has encountered Tau, Tyranids, and Necrons since the game started just to name a few. Those are all examples of time progressing. If you went back in time to a Rogue Trader player and told him about all of these new races that hadn’t been encountered yet in his time, he’d definitely tell you that time has progressed.

So while these changes over the years may not be extreme or huge jumps in the timeline, these changes have altered the atmosphere and play of the game in a big way. Think about how different today’s options are for armies compared to Rogue Trader era. I guess when people complain about the fiction not moving along, they are really saying that they want the timeline to move far enough along to make a new setting and situation with the powers that be in the galaxy.

Now for Disclaimer: Yes, yes, I know all of this is a bit of a stretch. And yes, I know that this is not exactly what you meant if you were one of the ones saying that GW doesn’t evolve the fluff. But if you read my other article “40k in Real Life?” you may know that I like thought exercises and trying to look at things differently. And if evolving the fluff means 40k: End Times, no thanks. I like things just the way they are and I don’t like the thought of them possibly getting rid of armies we spent money on.

What are your thoughts? Am I just crazy or does this seem to make a little sense?

Want to witness my slow descent into madness, first-hand? Check out my blog at www.diceforthedicegod.com


Pimpcron Signature
  • nurglitch

    Do you even read the fluff?

    • Porky_Poster

      That’s a respectably high success rate if he’s just guessing what’s in the books.

    • Spacefrisian

      The lore actually went backwards..devolved, eg we once had the 13th Crusade by chaos homeboy Abbie done but now we are back to prepare fase, and MR Calgar got his behind kicked in every corner by an Avatar, but being a Blue GW homeboy that got retconned into him beating that AVatar…which leaves a major plot hole as to how he got so many bionics.

      • mumblez

        As far as I know, he got his bionics after the Swarmlord messed him up on Macragge. Him, and the whole first company of the ultramarines. 😀

    • Yeah, I read the entire book.

      There’s only one right?

  • Andrew Marshall

    Nice thoughts

  • Porky_Poster

    “If you went back in time to a Rogue Trader player and told him about all of these new races that hadn’t been encountered yet in his time, he’d definitely tell you that time has progressed.”


    • I meant that the player from the past would see the new armies, models, vehicles, etc. and would tell your that the 40k timeline has definitely passed.

      • Porky_Poster

        I think we can too often build sentences that suggest a stronger degree of equivalence between game world and real world than seems to exist in fact, and with real events presented in the kind of language used to evoke the fictional. Of course, the post as a whole looks at the idea that there might be at least a tenuous correspondence between the fictional chronology and the real, and that the latter might partly explain the former, which does provide a context here. I wouldn’t say this kind of vaguer sentence is or can be harmful, because it’s not clear how much it might encourage excessive immersion, or even fixation, and what might correspond or follow, but I do wonder if by not being careful with the distinction we prompt or reinforce patterns of thinking that can tend in those directions.

        • Even though I think you may have taken that directly from a text book, I agree with you. lol

  • SacTownBrian

    If AoS does well 40k End Times will be a thing.

    • hamilton geyser

      no worries there, then. Though i’d love to see the end of the story one day.

    • Porky_Poster

      Maybe, but if AoS isn’t a success, what else might GW try? Could they insert newer WFB/AoS sculpts into 40K in some form, to recoup costs, maybe messing with the background to make it work, e.g. – building on the ideas in the post – with the warp boiling over? Or will the greater importance of 40K for income then mean they dare not upset the apple(orange)cart, possibly to the point that players – especially those who tried AoS, and maybe liked it, even got burnt – feel it’s stagnating and decide to move on from another system. Then a 40K End Times could anyway appear, as another last roll of the dice.

      • Knight_of_Infinite_Resignation

        I could see Maggoth Lords and a modified Glottkin in 40K. In fact I’m surprised they don’t have rules already.

        I’d hate to see 40K get the AoS treatment.

        • benn grimm

          I have two maggoth grinders so far and I’m probably going to be refitting a glotkin as a nurgle knight over the summer. Why wait for rules when you have greenstuff, glue, power tools and an imagination? 😉

          • Mr.Gold

            Glotkin = Great Unclean One?

          • benn grimm

            Nah, glotkins that massive end times guy with the tentacle for a hand and his two brothers stood on his shoulders, perfect size for a nurgle knight..)

          • Knight_of_Infinite_Resignation

            yes, there are lots of possibilities, Giant Chaos Spawn or Nurgle Palanquin being the most obvious for the Maggoth Lords. Just surprised GW haven’t given us official rules though, they would seem to be missing a trick.

          • benn grimm

            Its a fantastic kit, so much nurgley goodness and you get stacks of leftover parts to use for conversions. But yeah, rules for a maggoth in 40k would be awesome, maybe as a mount for a chaos lord or herald?

          • Knight_of_Infinite_Resignation

            like an uber-palanquin. +3W, +3A, +2T and the Daemon USR, also makes the rider into a monstrous creature, 100 points.

          • benn grimm

            Sounds like a beast! 🙂

      • davepak

        What else could they try?
        How about actually accecpting there is an online community and start participating in it? (i.e. forums, twitter, facebook, etc.)
        Then maybe, realize there is this game thing, and support it (who needs faq’s when we get a new codex every year!).
        Finally, how about just a teeny attempt at balance – (it will NEVER be perfect) or maybe following the tourney faq’s and results as a guideline.
        Good fluff – sells some stuff
        Good models – sells some stuff.
        Good rules – sells some stuff.
        Good fluff + good models + GOOD GAME = HUGE PROFIT

        • disqus_I1VIVQiPZK

          The problem is no matter how they try and balance it someone won’t be happy. Lets say they use the tourney stuff like you suggested that would eliminate stuff that other players might want to be able to use in a game, like titans and such, because they like the idea of fielding a huge mech

          • Shawn

            And GW fans that hate are extremely vocal about it.

        • Algernon Bumbry

          They had a facebooks once they weren’t good at it a and then took it down because all the flack they got.

          • Shawn

            Flack, or GW hate? This is a difference between constructive criticism and out right hateful vitriol.

      • Robert Thornton-Kaye

        I doubt they’d stick Fantasy models in 40k. I’ve been plugging my rules for doing this when I see this being asked and very few people want to try it though a fair few like them.

        Of course, this could be the overall drift from playing for fun and creating your own character/scenarios/rules to focussing on winning at tournaments and pick up play. Which is a shame really, as creating is such a massive improvement over sticking to official rules all of the time, and the vast majority of complaints are about official rules not working as if it was impossible to not follow the rules.

        • Boondox

          I like the idea of WHFB, 40K and AoS clashes with a decent narrative. They are Warpgates after all right? Granted it would take some like minded players to modify the rules appropriately but I totally dig the idea…

          • Shawn

            The new realms of AoS are really self contained bubbles, fragments of the Old World trapped in the Warp. The bubbles are constructed from the Emperor’s Impenetrable will and Sigmar is one of the lost Primarchs charged with protecting it until they can reform the world.
            How did the Emperor know of the Old World? Simple, he’s the greatest psyker the galaxy has ever known and in his mind’s wandering of the warp he discovered the Old World in an uncharted part of the galaxy besieged by Chaos. That is how he discovered them. He sent one of his Primarch’s with his Legion to protect them becuase it was a world of men, and he so dearly loved man-kind. When he didn’t hear from them in a while, he sent the other lost Primarch and his Carachardon’s to look for him, but the Space Sharks found another equably vile enemy in the galaxy nearby and have been fighting them since before the Heresy. And Cypher isn’t who everybody thinks he is…

          • Robert Thornton-Kaye

            Well I’ve done lizardmen and bretonnians so far and am working on some more when I get the time: https://fandexes.wordpress.com/ Pimpcron has been using the lizardmen models with chaos daemon rules and said he’d give them a try, but other than that it’s mostly been because me and my family love 40k games and Fantasy armies but don’t really do Warhammer. I’m thinking of tweaking the rules so that terrain creation is replaced with magical status effect retaliation, pending on what Pimpcron says after giving the current rules a go.

        • Shawn

          And what makes it worse, at least in my area, is when you suggest house rules, everyone gets all bent out of shape and claim your trying to break the game.

          • Robert Thornton-Kaye

            What sort of house rules do they object to? Perhaps the answer is to agree to a compromise. Most people agree that there is unbalance in the game in certain areas, so why not try a minor change to make it less unbalanced, just to see if the game is better for it?

          • Shawn

            Well, the the main thing I wanted to try was to try a few games with 5+ FNP for the Iron Hands as I felt it was weak. Yes, I understand the reasoning behind 6+, but compared to every other army with the proliferation of 5+FNP, I didn’t think it would be a big deal, and as i said, I wanted to see if it made a difference. I was willing to put on a points tax similar to plague marines to get the 5+
            The other thing was introducing our own characters, granting them stats similar to generic or named characters and their own unique relics, etc. but no one really cared.

          • Robert Thornton-Kaye

            Well if you’re paying the points for it and have fluff to back it up I can’t see what’s wrong with giving it a chance. The worst thing that can happen is that it’s a trickier game than normal.

            You might be able to persuade them to give a special character a chance if you give it an amazing model that makes them want to see this guy/gal in action. How about starting with a standard bland official version and then making tiny changes after each game to show that this character is developing? Also, have a chat with them about any characters that they have in their minds when they play and slightly changing the stats (keep it minimal to begin with) to introduce them to the idea of being rules writers themselves.

          • Shawn

            Not a bad idea. A friend of mine has implemented something like that for his apoc games. He introduces mini-campaigns to get the factions involved in the big finish and added some character driven rules.
            I’ve always liked the idea of developing a character, especially if a sgt or scout performed well, you know something like making four or more armor checks in a single game and/or be the sole survivor of his unit.
            Hell, I could probably use the point cost for nurgle marines and have a unit of Iron Hands with extensive bionics, and they would have to be veterans making them more expensive – sternguard, terminators, or vanguard, etc.

          • Robert Thornton-Kaye

            Yeah that’s how Tycho got started and now he’s an official special character.

          • Shawn

            Cool. Was Tycho a fan made character, or was he an in-house made up character that became official?

          • Robert Thornton-Kaye

            He was just a sergeant in a battle report who got hit by a psychic attack, and then they made him into a captain, then from there they gave him additional rules, then he started appearing in the BA codex.

          • Azrell

            Buffing fnp is not a really a “house rule”, its exactly what you got told… messing with the balance of the game.

            In general a house rule should be a rules change to fix a problem in the game or resolve two conflicting rules. I would love is terminators had a 1+ armor save, but im not about to show up for a game and ask if i can play it that way.

          • Shawn

            Well fixing rules does involve rules that don’t work, and as much as I’ve played Iron Hands I feel 6+FNP doesn’t really work, especially when everybody and their brother gets 5+ and they’re not even bionic. That is why I wanted to try it out. Actually see it play tested.
            Believe it or not when I played people for the first time they thought the whole army got 5+ and didn’t even bat an eye. So I feel it wouldn’t be overpowering, but aside from number crunching, which I don’t like to do, a play test is the best way to test it. Which is only what I wanted to try.

    • Razer Free

      40K End Times will be a thing because of it’s own flaws, and not because the fantasy side of GW has success.

    • Aezeal

      As long as 40K does well there will be no major changes i think.

    • MrSpacemonkeymojo

      I thought they said WFB’s End Times sold well so they would be doing a 40k End Times.

      Reading through recent BL books implies that was the direction they were taking.

  • Carlo Landzaat


    • Shawn Pero

      Ok, then do it.

      • Porky_Poster

        It may just be overconfidence, after an early success with the letters ‘w’, ‘e’ and ‘l’.

        • Shawn Pero

          He should mail in a photo:

      • Carlo Landzaat


        • Algernon Bumbry

          Do you have any none cat based arguments?

          • Carlo Landzaat


  • David Leimbach

    It’s at least kindof true according to the Necron releases. First release was about when necrons were just awakening and coming out with few units. Then the Imperium thought that C’tan were full beings. Later the Imerium learns that they are shards of star Gods.

    But really this is just a bit of retconning by GW. They just push the old knowledge further back into the past and everything is still coming together at the end of year 40k.

    It’s exactly the definition of writing new elements into the past history as they create new content.

    • Benderisgreat

      I still don’t get why they felt had to do the whole shard thing. Not only is it awkward to say, but it makes no sense.

      • CoffeeGrunt

        Because a Star Vampire capable of devouring worlds is a bit tough to represent at 40K scale. 😛

        “Okay, so my immortal herald of death that instilled fear into the hearts of all living things, wielding a scythe that has reaped uncountable billions of souls is going to move here. Oops, fails his charge.”

        “Alright, my turn, I fire some Lascannons and he’s dead.”

        • Porky_Poster

          We’ve got to the point where we’re playing a variant on the old 6mm Epic-scale games at 28mm, with all the many flyers, superheavies and titans. Maybe in another few years we’ll be at Battlefleet Gothic level? Epic: Armageddon actually allows the use of spacecraft markers, e.g. minis in another scale, and I’d guess GW could come up with a similar solution for 40K. Then whole C’tan would be more feasible.

          • CoffeeGrunt

            I dunno, a C’tan in the fluff would be able to face off against a fleet and possibly succeed. (I don’t know if there’s any actual fluff of them in combat as a united whole.)

          • Porky_Poster

            Codex: C’tan could have one option with the special rule that if you get the first turn you not only win, but win immediately. The codex creep could then really start, maybe with an unusually good value twofer, Codex: Gork & Mork, etc.

          • Shawn

            But the Imperium tricks them to hunt and destroy the HIve Fleets, which takes another 40,000 years, and all the Imperium has to deal with are Orks, Eldar, Dark Eldar, and Chaos.

          • Spacefrisian

            Well they made a start ages ago with Orbital strikes, and droppoeds have to come from somewhere.

    • disqus_I1VIVQiPZK

      Well with the tau stuff they actually advanced the story a little, with the invention and deployment of the Riptides and taking an Imperial world as a staging ground for pressing into the Damocles cluster (or whatever it was called)

  • vlad78

    How about letting the fluff evolve without any clumsy end times GW attempts? (nor retcons)

    • Benderisgreat

      Are…. are you unfamiliar with the way GW does things?

      • vlad78

        Yes I am, and that should change. ;p

    • CoffeeGrunt

      I’d like to hear your proposal on a way to move the story forward that doesn’t:

      A, kill off a faction,
      B, result in a faction losing horribly and in a humiliating manner,
      or C, has nothing of consequence occur,

      Because if you don’t avoid all three of these things, people gunna rage.

      • euansmith

        I think that the Emperor should awaken as a fifth Ruinous Power and take the battle to the daemons on their own turf… a bit like AoS, but with Space Marines… oh, wait, AoS already has space Marines…

        • Porky_Poster

          Maybe AoS is in-universe fan fiction? A lonely recruit not especially impressed with newly revealed chapter lore thinking ‘I can do that’.

          • euansmith

            Wouldn’t it be great to see some 40k citizens settling down to a game of AoS 😀

        • CoffeeGrunt

          There’s a fan-written series that covers that. It causes the Imperium to fracture as it kills the Astronomicon, and Terra is dragged into the Warp. The Emperor rises as a God, but a God of stifling Order. All the pleas, all the deaths in his name and the last, desperate begging of the doomed all came to him, and thus his soul became bitter and twisted. So he leads his hordes of daemons born from the souls of Psykers who were sacrificed to subjugate worlds to his will.

          His birth scream kills every Psyker, Astropath and Navigator attached to him as well, completely crippling any hope of organisation the Imperium had.

          He tried to take out the Ruinous Powers, but as with Slaanesh, they teamed up and defeated him, leaving everyone in balance with one-another again.

          • denzark

            99% of fanfic is total cack…

          • CoffeeGrunt

            Of course.

          • Porky_Poster

            I hadn’t seen that statistic.

          • 67% of all statistics are made up on the spot 😉

          • Porky_Poster

            Well at least outside the House it’s probably not your fault. Just a 1 in 3 chance.

          • There’s about an 82% chance that’s true

        • *Adeptus Custodes 😉

      • vlad78

        Battletech, shadowrun .. show you it’s doable. Go find what happened in the battletech universe, some sides went near total extinction before coming back, some others allied themselves and becam all powerful before falling into civil war, new factions emerged, and it all made a very interesting evolution. FASA failed for different reasons than the fluff imho.

        BTW do you really think erasing the squats , or end times were better?

        It’s a vast galaxy out there. The story doesn’t have to end. What is important is the quality of the lore created and the stories.

        What are the plans of the cabal, why did the primarchs disappear and so on? there could be so much potential to let the story advance.

        What if the golden throne finally fails? what if the Imperium falls into civil war? what if some of its parts ally with xenos? what if someone claims to be the Emperor reborn? what if different people claim the same thing?

        But first thing first, Kirby and his yes men shall all be fired.

        • CoffeeGrunt

          Okay, how is Cadia resolved?

          Because if Abbadon wins, the Eye of Terror will grow to engulf Terra, and if he fails, Chaos players everywhere will have been shafted…again.

          Plus I’ve heard from some Battletech fans that they stopped playing it because their armies became unplayable due to fluff changes. Anecdotal, obviously, but still.

          • Spacefrisian

            Abbie still prepping for 13th and he will not break through it with his 13th crusade. Yeah worldwide campaign years ago, guess GW didnt like the outcome, to much Spacewolves, not enough Ultramarine. I bet they are waiting till we all have forgooten about it and than relaucnh under an Ultramarine banner.

            Going by that Abbie has to wait till crusade number 14.

          • vlad78

            Even if the fluff changes, you can still choose to play a historical faction. Furthermore 40k universe as I said is vast, anyone could create his own fluff. You wan’t some Emperor’s children who stayed loyal and survived as a cursed founding chapter, you can.

            About Cadia, it’s breached. Even if the planet holds, the surrounding space is not secured anymore and traitor marines can cross it with near impunity.

            The point would be to change the situation but whatever happens there would still be defenders of the imperium even if abaddon destroy Terra.

            Something as big as the Horus heresy would be perfect. In the end, there are still bad guys and good guys. The point is to never achieve a complete victory, as it is impossible.

            There is no end of History.

          • CoffeeGrunt

            But that’s a bit like playing Luna Wolves vs the Cadian 8th. There’s no time the two co-existed, so from a fluff perspective it doesn’t make much sense.

          • Shawn

            Except, when Forging the Narrative. Warp storms can thrust people, units and even Primarchs through time and spaces. There is nothing that says that couldn’t happen to a contingent of Luna Wolves or the Cadian 8th.

          • CoffeeGrunt

            Bit contrived though. Incredibly contrived, in fact.

          • Shawn

            Regardless, if you want to play it, play it. It has happened before in the dark angels fluff, so it’s not all that much of a stretch really. Besides, at home with friends, who cares?

          • benn grimm

            When Abaddon finally takes earth, he’ll turn around and in a scooby doo fashion pull his face off revealing….the Emprah! turns out it was Malcador on the throne this whole time and he’s all like ha! gotcha! should have seen your faces… 😉

          • CoffeeGrunt

            “And I would’ve gotten away with it, too, if it weren’t for those meddlin’ ‘Nids!”

          • Azrell
          • CoffeeGrunt

            It’s Abaddon’s endgame. Hypothetically the only thing holding it back from expanding is the Cadian Gate and the Pylons there. With them destroyed and a few billions in blood sacrifices, Abaddon plans to open lesser warp storms across the Sector, effectively growing the Eye of Terror until it reaches Terra, where he can then attack with the Wrap at his beck and call with legions of Daemons and other horrific things.

            They go into it in quite a bit of detail in The Talon of Horus. He believes the Eye is a perfect home for Mankind, where the strong of will are able to alter the very fabric of existence around it, and the truly mighty can shape worlds to their vision. He sees Chaos as the means to make Gods of mere men.

        • crevab

          And yet some people are bitter about the introduction of the clans. Pleasing the nerd legions is hard

      • Christopher Saldaña

        I think the biggest new conflict they could create is a civil war among the Imperium. Horus Heresy is doing well, why can’t it happen again?

        • CoffeeGrunt

          I suppose, the Mechanicus is ripe for a fissure, and that would change everything.

  • OrksIsMadeFerRockin

    In the sparkly sunshine of the 42nd millennium there is only war marketed to little billy and his mom…..no one can hear you scream because that’s not a thing anymore mighty spooce morines battle desperately against hoards of oricks, the crafty eldor hatch sneaky plans, ancient nokron overguys stir in their nighty night dream palaces, and the servants of chaos strike out from the warp except for those one guys who like boobs.

    • Porky_Poster

      That’s a new and very current grim darkness. The time seems ripe for a truer heir to Rogue Trader, not in mechanics or tone necessarily, but as something to come along and undermine the myths of this particular period in history. Your post suggests a path that kind of satire might take.

    • Slaanesh_Devotee

      Ha~ Thanks, I enjoyed that.

    • euansmith

      “…and then, children, the Emperor woke up, and it turned out it was all just a dream. Oh how he and his best chum, Horus, laughed.

      Unfortunate, nasty old Mr T’zeench in the Nextdooriverse didn’t like to hear happy giggles and so, with an intellect vast and cool and unsympathetic, he regarded this earth with envious eyes, and slowly and surely drew his plans against us… ”

      Excerpt from Warphammer 40k: The New Beginernating

      • false-emperor

        You mean it was the Emperors “Dogs” dream…. 😉

        • euansmith

          Is this the chap?

      • Knight_of_Infinite_Resignation

        was he in the shower the whole time?

        • euansmith

          Emperor Bobby approves this message…

      • benn grimm
        • Nazdreg

          Well that’s my audio time taken up for the rest of the day 🙂 Thanks bro

  • euansmith

    The Space Dwarf and the Imperial Psyker are great minis.

    • Porky_Poster

      For sure. The troopers too, for the body language. And look at the pirate. I haven’t seen a miniature posed like that in a while.

  • jeff white

    great post. i have had similar thoughts. though i think that gw should do it all above boards and use narrative to form rules updates. for example: waveserpents have been overused, and most are in need of repair. they now cost 150% standard points and main weapons suffer gets hot, and so on… then tie new models into story hooks and put the updates and scenarios in the dwarf and tally global reports and feature one submitted group with photos and army features each month and so on… becoming part of the community would let them get away with using rules to sell models and i for one would be happy about that…

    • CoffeeGrunt

      My problem with narrative-driven updates is that they’re often a bit…meh.

      I mean, how many people have died and been resurrected in Warmachine now? Not to mention it constantly being Everyone vs Cryx with nothing of note happening because most major characters who die come back.

      Bit hard to care about Sorcha and Denegra’s bitter sisterly feud if Denny just gets rezzed every time Sorcha cuts her in half.

      Two rules of narrative, never introduce time travel or resurrection, because they’re the automatic answer to everything and make any event that messes things up a contrivance.

      • Damistar

        Victoria Haley is Dirty D’s sister, Sorcha’s the Khadoran ice caster.

        • CoffeeGrunt

          Oh, someone told me the two were sisters or had some kind of rivalry.

    • Thanks Jeff! Yeah, if they gave fluff reasons for rules changes that would be kinda neat.

  • Damistar

    I have noticed that in the last few codexes in the timeline section the last entries seem to allude to some major changes on the horizon. Especially in the AdMech books. Skitarri references a crusade to recover psychic controlling technologies and the CM book talks of dealing with the Dark Eldar searching for a solution to the failing Golden Throne. I don’t know if GW is just hyping the one minute to midnight angle or if they’re going somewhere with this. My thought is that a faction of the AdMech is considering using the DE tech to attempt to regenerate the Emperor. After all they can regenerate a Archon with just a couple scraps of tissue.

    • CoffeeGrunt

      Absolutely cannot go wrong, that.

      • euansmith

        “Praise be! The Emperor LIVES AGAIN! Um… though he wants to be known by a new name… I’m too too sure about this… I mean what sort of name is Nagash anyway?”

    • Azrell

      40k has been at 11:55 on the doomsday clock for 20 real years. Thinking its suddenly going to change is just insane.

  • kaptinscuzgob

    this just in; time passes

  • PHlevels

    Well the Ork fluff did sort of change. Mad Dok Grotsnik is now Ghazgull Thraka’s personal physician. And Ghazgull is apparently trying to unite all the Orks to form some kind of Mega WAAAGH!!! Personally I was hoping Grotsnik was going to finish that giant Franken-Ork that was alluded to in his entry in the previous codex.

    • More proof! Thanks PHlevels

    • Azrell

      Ghazgull was it, so he did.

  • Stan

    40K End Times are already mentioned in the Assassinorum: Execution Force book by Joe Parrino.
    According to the story the 40K End Times was stopped by the Assassins.
    I suspect GW is open to destroying the 40K setting like they did the Old World much will depend on the success of AoS and 40K sales.
    I also assume it is one of the reasons factions like Sisters of Battle don’t get new models is because they will no longer exist in the new universe of the Star Child (or whatever nonsense the current design studio come up with).
    Really has put me off to buying anything for either game.

    • CoffeeGrunt

      The Talon of Horus has the protagonist, Iskandar Khayon, as a captive of the Inquisition. He’s there to deliver word of the End Times, and yes, it’s capitalised.

      Possibly ADB trolling the fanbase, possibly something more.

      • benn grimm

        Nah he’s just doing what he does best; grimdark awesomeness 🙂

        • CoffeeGrunt

          I’m looking forward to the sequel, he’s a cool guy and a great writer.

    • Azrell

      the people that put in the star child stuff left GW long ago.

  • Grand_Master_Raziel

    I just want to comment on Pimpcron’s last point: I think there’s room for a post-apocalyptic 40K. If Abaddon makes it to Terra and slays the Emperor, the Emperor gets reborn, his soul no longer shackled to a ruined body and the Adeptus Mechanicus’ arcane mechanisms. Then, Chaos gets to try being the big dog on the block with all the smaller dogs nipping at its heels.

    Plus, it’s not like the whole Imperium would just go away. There are plenty of systems Chaos would have difficulty taking while at the same time making their main thrust towards Terra. Ultramar in particular stands out as a party of the galaxy the remnants of Imperial forces could fall back to, plus there are plenty of fleet-based Space Marine chapters who don’t rely on fixed homeworlds – the Dark Angels and the Black Templars stand out here.

    Also, that would be the point all the Primarchs would come out of the various holes they’ve been stashed in. Having the greatest heroes of legend emerge to rally the Imperium in its hour of greatest need would be pretty stirring, actually.

    • Xodis

      It would be pretty awesome, and is similar to the story Dan Abnett is running with the He-Man comic books.

      • euansmith

        Dan Adnett writes He-man? I’ll have to try checking that out.

        • Xodis

          He took over the series in 2012 or 2013, its pretty awesome.

        • Azrell

          he wrote for marvel and Dr who as well.

    • Porky_Poster

      All these variants we’re seeing on what could happen next make me think the Late-to-End Times and after would make a good big boardgame. All the main factions could be in play at the start, including smaller elements like Cypher and friends. Each faction would go about it’s business according to a tree of goals, with certain conditions being introduced to the wider map as the goals are achieved, unlocking new options in turn.

      To follow your variant, and focus on the imperials, you could have a major event like the emperor being removed not being the end, but giving the imperial player a major new piece while making warp travel more dangerous, causing strife in isolated regions – offering fresh opportunities for the other players of course – with a rise in tensions among the various arms and chapters possibly represented by new sub-trees. Each faction would have it’s own equivalent potential, and the huge scope for interaction would be the thing – it might be possible to play a game for weeks until the galaxy was barely recognisable.

      It would be simple enough for a team that knows the subject.

  • Azrell

    Yeah it is evolving. The space marines have never answered to anyone but the high lords of terra themselves before the last BRB. Go check out the organization chart for the imperium. Space Marines are now part of the military branch, so subordinate to high ranking guard commanders… I just can see any commander short of Solar Magnus giving out orders to any chapter master.

    • Aha! Thanks Azrell for helping try to make this point.

  • Andrew

    I don’t see them monkeying around with 40k for a long time, if ever. It sells well and is very popular.

    • Shiwan8

      They could monkey around with the rules. It’s not like they could get much worse. This is ofc my opinion that I know many disagree with, but then again I like logic and fairness.

      • Damistar

        Try chess.

        • Shiwan8

          I find chess boring. A game with assault based armies, hooting based armies and hybrid armies, with rules that basically tell us that melee is bad and it should never happen…well, that is just very poor designing. You know, like chess but with only one side capable of moving at all.

          • Damistar

            I see I must clarify. You said you want a game with logic and balance. Chess is the closest thing you will find in what is obstensibly a war game. Sadly the very features of 40K that makes it interesting and fun almost preclude the being any real balance. With so much variety in units and abilities between the many different armies, coupled with the complex rules that attempt to cover most possibilities that might come up makes it almost an impossible feat. That combined with the limitations of only using a D6 and having scales of 1-10 means that fluff can’t be accurately reflected in the rule set. That being said, I still have fun playing 40K, but then I am looking for entertainment not a cmpetetive test of my gaming skills.

          • Shiwan8

            You have a point there. None of that makes achieving reasonable balance impossible. What they have now does not even need to be tweaked much. The game does not really achieve even remote reflection of the fluff which leads me to believe that it does not try to better than that in that particular are. Still, it should do better in the balance section and could easily do so. You know, 10 guardsmen should really not be better than for example 5 genestealers.

            So, reasonable balance can be achieved even in 40k. They just have to try, a thing they do not do at the moment…at all…

          • Damistar

            The issue is that the point values (which is what the game is balanced on)

            are both low and arbitrary.
            There is no formula used to determine the value other than play tester feedback. In addition the designer must attempt to predict the synergy value of the unit when combined with other units in the same force. With all the new ally and formation possibilities I think the game is either completely unbalancable, or more balanced than ever.

          • Shiwan8

            With those I’ll go with completely unbalanced. Still, I think the designers are just lazy or wrong type of gamers. They need to hire some of the WAAC-types there to do the play testing.

          • Damistar

            I wouldn’t go that far. In my experience games where both sides are of the same point value it ends up being pretty close. I know from your other posts this has not been your experience, so let’s not argue that point. I think allowing the WAAC element to balance the game will end up like a video game where everything is the same but with different “skins”. As in a CSM is the same as an Ultramarine is the same as a Tyranid Warrior. Sure you’ll have balance but much of the flavor is washed out. To really fix it I believe that a complete re-pointing with a higher point total is necessary. Look at a Guardsman vs an Ork Boy for example. Is the Orks extra 2 points really fair for a +1 WS,T, and Attack?. If you had an Ork worth say base 50 points you could adjust things more to reflect unit differences.

          • Shiwan8

            I would not either, but in my opinion of the 2 options the one I named was closer to the truth. I also do not think that 1850 fluffy army has anything against 1850 top tier tournament army…which is precisely my point. There are broken units that. These are the ones most people utilize, mainly. Then there are bad and worse units that the fluffy gamers use because they are cool and fluffy.

            Lets take an example. A fluffy nid army has a lot of gaunts etc., some genestealers, one or 2 zoanthropes, a venomthrope, couple of warrior broods and a tyrant. Then there is a scatterbikespam from eldar with some ignores cover weapons. 1st turn the vemonthrope dies and so do half of the gaunts. The rest of the nid army advances while it does nothing or very little to the eldar. 2nd turn the gaunts get obliterated and likely so do the zoanthropes. The nid player has few warriors and a tyrant left. 3rd of 4th turn nids get tabled and there was nothing they could have done. This all while the eldar player also gathered more victory points due to superior movement.

            So, pretty much no balance at all. In a reasonably balanced game a fluffy army has close to equal chance against the worst cheese there is if we assume all the the other things as equal to one another. You are probably right about the price range being too narrow. Still, there are plenty of things that can be done with the present one to make useless things useful compared to the worst cheddar there is.

          • Shawn

            And not just good units, but spamming good units is a big thing in 40k

        • Porky_Poster

          If we were discussing coffee and one person said they preferred it black, would another person then jump in and say ‘try water’?

          • Damistar

            If we were discussing coffee and someone said they hate coffee, then I’d say have you tried tea?

          • Porky_Poster

            It would still be tangential. The word ‘hate’ wasn’t used, but “I like logic and fairness” was. Personally I’m not convinced 40K and logic and fairness are mutually exclusive, and the poster didn’t seem to be either – 40K could have greater or lesser degrees of logic and fairness as editions and supplements come and go, rather like coffee can come with more or less milk. If the drinker clearly wants coffee, ‘try tea’ could be taken simply as a misunderstanding, but it could also be taken as combative.

        • Xodis

          But chess isn’t 100% balanced either.

  • hokiecow

    I think 40K is starting to inch forward. Before, GW said they would never move the story forward but now the throne is failing. Tau is advancing technology. Campaigns moving events forward. I think GW is going to find out that keeping the story at the 12th hour is going to become old and stale. How long can you tell stories of the universe on the brink and never move it forward? Once HH has ran it’s course and have established AoS; they can use the resources to figure out how to move 40K forward in a grand spectacular event.

    • hokiecow

      Did I say event? I meant events with special collector editions and dice cups.

    • Shawn

      Well, the HH might not run it’s course for another 10,000 years. What I mean by that is that they can still tell thousands of stories within that time frame and never reach the 40,000th millennium.

  • I dont think any of those are meant to change the fluff, they are all game play mechanic updates IMHO. Interesting take nonetheless tho.

    • I agree with you, but I like looking at things from different perspectives. Thanks!

      • Enjoyable way to look at it for sure, and I wish you were right, it sux that the almighty dollar drives alotta changes.

    • Wilma Lang

      Well the Necrons are a direct example of a wholesale change in fluff on the part of GW.

      • Agreed. But it was also necessary for the game IMHO, they did need to sell the new necrons and I doubt they would have sold as many if they phased out like before.

  • The_Illusionist

    I doubt that these changes are being DELIBERATELY justified in the fluff… But it had never occurred to me to try, until now. It’s a very interesting idea that I like a lot, and you have come up with some very entertaining (and I mean this in a positive way) “fan fiction”, so thanks for bringing it up Pimpcron.

    I wonder…. Can anyone think of any rules/mechanics/codex changes that CAN’T be justified by the ‘Fluff’? The only one that I can think of off the top of my head is the disappearance of Justicar Thawn from the Grey Knights list. He’s functionally immortal, so he hasn’t been killed, and he’s only a “Sergeant” rank so he shouldn’t be above battlefield duties…. Any ideas?

    • Thanks The-Illusionist! Ummm, He could be on a secret mission deep in the heart of the warp? Ot maybe he’s gone rogue and has been wiped out of the history books from shame.

    • Shiwan8

      Here’s one. Landing flying monsters have to stand around for a really long time before they can willingly go to an enemy and hit it.

      Since I’m in a generous mood, I’ll give you another: When a vehicle explodes the passengers inside it start their turn in perfect position to shoot what ever they want, but they can not go towards an opponent and hit it.

      Let’s not stop there, here’s a third one: When you teleport in to a battle you are understandably figuring out your situation for a moment or 2 before you can fully act as a unit working effectively toward a common goal of your army. However, in 40k, sections of the battlefield are apparently so much separate areas that there are walls between them that prevent anyone from seeing what’s happening in there. There is also a ceiling like that. This leads to a situation where people with jump packs are equally trying to figure out their standing when they arrive, not to mention the flankers who are just as much oblivious of the situation they enter.

      But wait, it gets better. If a unit was hiding in a building waiting for the perfect moment to ambush the enemy, the same goes for them. It seems that a lictor for example buries it’s head to the sand and essentially is invisible to everyone else too just because of that.

      These are just the core mechanics and not all of that either. There’s A LOT of stupidity like that to go around in the codices. None of it can be explained with fluff.

  • benn grimm

    I think you have an amusing (and very forgiving) perspective, which I very much enjoy, despite you giving them (the ‘writers’) far too much credit.

    The 41st millennium will last for a thousand years and stories can be told from it on a million different worlds. It is, as settings go, practically infinite.Even if you told a new story about 40k every day, for the next 500 years, you’d still only scratch the surface.

    And that’s why I like 40k; cause its BIG! 😉

    • Thanks benn! Thanks for reading.

  • James Squyres

    Clear solution. The Dragon awakes and kills everything. The end

  • Stan

    Go ahead and kill off all your IP GW that is a “great” plan.
    Ever since getting a taste of the LOTR tie in profits GW management has milked the “core” cow to death in an attempt to make the same level of profit. That is what the price increases, store cutbacks, game cancellations, etc., are all about.
    The plan isn’t working, profits continue to decline and the player base continues to shrink.
    Many of us buy the models because we like the setting, once you destroy the setting we sure won’t stick around for your questionable rules or Luchador themed plastic models.

    GW corporate and the design studio seem to be biting off their nose to spite their face for the past three or four years now and their financial statements show that they are reaping exactly what they have sown.

    • Well. Looks like u got it all worked out eh.

      Its ok, GW is gonna go under…any day now…just you watch…itll happen…do you see it? How aboot now?

      or now?

      No, still not under?

      How aboot now.


      • Stan

        It is swiftly getting to the point whereit is irrelevant if GW surives. If they continue down this path and smash 40K IP they way they just smashed WHFB IP they won’t have anything worth sticking around for.
        It is like bragging that a luxury car manufacture managed to stay in business by converting all their production to economy cars, the name of the car may remain but the essence of the product experience is gone.

        • How aboot now? Still not under eh.

        • Shawn

          Warhammer 40k, though has more of an identity than Fantasy did, especially now. Granted there are tons of similarities to other identities, but GW owns “necron,” “tyranid,” “ork,” “wave serpent,” “storm talon,” etc. That’s why the game didn’t need the overhaul that was Warhammer Fantasy.

    • Aaron

      LOTR was a once of bonanza that wound up a year or so after the 3rd movie, they cannot expect the same loevel of growth, but that is the flaw of publicly traded companies

  • chaosmisfit

    The reason why vect and the other named characters from the dark eldar hq choices are no longer available. Is because games workshop didn’t create their models another company did without their permission gw and said company were in a lawsuit for a few years. once finally settled the court ruled the other company had to cease but since they held the copyright on miniatures with the names of the dark eldar hq s games workshop couldn’t create any miniatures with the names of vect duke etc etc so they had to create fluff in the dark eldar codex explaining them away.

  • Andrew Thomas

    OOC reasons for a lot of the stuff you speak of: the rules have tightened to the point that they know that certain design choices are neither practical nor fun (not that they always act upon that knowledge).
    IC: the setting has shifted from a contiguous ~2000 years of history to the last 500 of the 41st millennium. All the major threats are known. Life as we know it is always ending. And warp travel has gotten so unreliable for the Imperium, while incursions are a regular occurance.

  • Carlo Landzaat

    Heh! yu removed mah comment. Censorship: Protecting you from the truth…

    • Twasn’t me. I don’t have those privileges. They usually do that when it contains profanity.

  • Shawn

    Primcron, this really isn’t advancing the time line. This article is you making stuff up to reflect rule changes over the years. Your Forging the narrative, nothing more.

    Supposing I went along with your train of thought that would seem to indicate that the Iron Hands (and possibly Black Templars) are suddenly no longer unique in their chapter structure and being forced to comply with the Codex Astarte’s, hence no more Iron Fathers, no more Iron Council, no more terminator sergeants, no tech-marine captains or chapter master. But this doesn’t quite wash, because the Iron Hands have little regard for what others think of them and have nothing but contempt for other chapters such as the Ravenguard and Salamanders..

    • Maybe a little of column A, maybe a little of column B.