On Maturity, 40K and Slaanesh


What does maturity mean in the Grimdark and will GW have to leave Slaanesh behind to grow up?

A guest column by BoLS Lounge alumni YorkNecromancer

’Hey, look at this. It’s called ‘Akira’… And it’s a cartoon. How can it be 15 certificate?’

I was in my teens when anime ‘first’ made its way to the UK. I say first, but honestly, we’d all grown up with ‘Dogtanian and the Three Muskehounds’ so any child of the 80’s who’d grown up with Philip Schofield and the Broom Cupboard already had a fairly solid idea about what it was. No, what I mean was that the very first ‘adult’ anime had made it to UK shores.

There were only two of them at first: weird-looking cartoons with names like ‘Akira’, and ‘Urotsukidoji’ that – for reasons my brother and I couldn’t wrap our heads around – had a 15 and an 18 certificate respectively. To say this blew our minds would be an understatement: how could a cartoon possibly qualify for anything higher than a PG?

Needless to say, rampant curiosity left me desperate to see them, but without the money or advancement in years and with the internet a distant future-dream, all I could do was look at the tiny pictures on the back of the VHS boxes… and wonder.

Now, these were the days when the UK had exactly four channels, and the idea that any of them would show these apparently hyper-violent sex cartoons from Japan? It was almost laughable.

Imagine my delight then, when Channel 4 began including anime on its Friday ‘Late License’ slot. Given that this was the same channel which used to show ‘The Word’, their willingness to show weird Japanese cartoons wasn’t a massive surprise.

Thus it was that the first anime I ever saw was called ‘Cyber City Oedo 808’. Sat there as the credits rolled on the very first 15-certificate cartoon I would ever see, I didn’t know what to expect…

The two-thousands as pictured by the eighties, that’s what.

I was deeply underwhelmed. I mean, it was… kinda fun? But sweet mercy, it was just so dumb. Like, there are dumb shows, dumber shows, ‘The Big Bang Theory’, and then, this show. Honestly, it wasn’t all that different from any of the cartoons I’d grown up with as a child. The style of animation was long familiar from hallowed BBC childrens’ staples like ‘Dogtanian’, or maybe ‘Ulysses 31’ or ‘Lost Cities of Gold’, so it certainly wasn’t as new as I’d been promised. And sure, there’s a couple of supremely violent deaths, but mostly? It just sort of felt like the same sort of stuff I’d seen before. It was just… A kid’s cartoon. Nothing more. There was certainly nothing to really justify the ‘adult’ certificate.

Well, that’s not really true. There was one thing, and it was the only thing I’d noticed: the script.

Sweet merciful Athena, the script.

The Trappings of Adulthood

I don’t think I can name a script that uses curse words as much as ‘Cyber City Oedo 808’s.

Tarantino doesn’t swear as much.

At first, I was a little confused. Why all the foul language. But as the episode played out like a typical episode of ‘He-Man’, it wasn’t difficult to see what was going on. The cartoons were basically generic action stories with little to recommend them, which leaves the marketers a problem: how do you make that sort of thing stand out on the shelves? You could sell it to the kids, but it’s a bit too complex for them. You need to sell this to adults, but in the UK? Where cartoons are for kids? No chance. If there’s a ‘U’ certificate on the thing, no adult’s going to look at it twice. There’s no way to add more gore or nudity to get the rating up, so that leaves only one thing to do:

You’ve got to swear like a dogsh*t huffing, b*stard-loving, a**-gaping, p*ss-drinking, b*tch-a**, motherf**king f**k f**k f**kity f**k, that’s what you’ve got to do. Because as every f**k-nugget knows, the key to b*tch-p*ssing f**k-a** maturity is to well swear like you’re a manly motherf**ker.

Watching a whole episode is the intellectual equivalent of drinking this.

Thing is, adults don’t really swear all that much. I mean, some of us do, but bada** motherf**ckers like me are in the minority. That’s because the vast majority of people tend to find it at best, crude, and at worst, immature.

…Which is exactly how ‘Cybercity Oedo 808’ came off. The first episode features a generically hot-blooded protagonist; your typical poor man’s Snake Plissken. He swears in literally every sentence.

He sounds like he has brain damage, and doesn’t actually have the first idea about how to string an actual sentence together. The Han Solo/ Clint Eastwood rebellious hero archetype is an aspirational figure; this guy, on the other hand? He’s the sort of man who’d ask his mother is she could f**king well pass him the mother**king salt, and do it well now, please?

I’m sure the writers thought it made things much more serious – more adult, but it really, really didn’t. It made a generic action story into comedy gold. My mates and I couldn’t watch it with a straight face, which was probably not the intended effect.

The thing about maturity, is that it’s, well, mature. That’s a nebulous kind of concept to pin down, but to quote Wikipedia, it’s ‘the ability to respond to the environment in an appropriate manner. This response is generally learned rather than instinctive.’

Now, the key word there is ‘learned’. No matter how much a child might appear mature, they’re not, because they just don’t have the XP yet. They haven’t made those errors than enable them to modify their behaviours into more successful patterns. Instinct tells the immature person to run left; hard experience has taught the mature person that if they go right they’ll do better. Maturity is worldliness. It’s a series of behaviours, ones based on experiential learning and evolved responses.

Of course, children and the immature don’t see that, because they’re not mature themselves. They make a critical false assumption by equating ‘maturity’ with ‘adulthood’. From there, it’s a simple logical leap to associate maturity not with the ability to make better, more successful choices, but instead with the trappings of adulthood.

They miss the substance by grasping at the shadow.

In a textbook case of ‘monkey see, monkey do’, the immature assume that maturity is composed of all the things adults do that they can’t. Too young to drink alcohol? Drink alcohol: that means you’re a grown-up. Too young to have sex? Have sex: that means you’re an adult. Not allowed to swear? Swear all the motherf**king time, just like a big man.

This is the same line of logic that argues sticking feathers up your a** makes you a chicken.

Yes, I’m aware the original quote uses the word ‘butt’ instead of a**, but I’m Doing Maturity here.

I frequently see teenagers smoking, in a desperate effort to look older than their years. They don’t look older than their years. They look young, and needy, and insecure, and desperately sad. Sticking feathers in you’re a** doesn’t make you a chicken, and copying the signifiers of maturity doesn’t make you mature.

Buying a house doesn’t make you mature; creating a home does. Having children doesn’t make you mature; raising them with unconditional love and equally unconditional boundaries does. Swearing doesn’t make you mature; knowing when and how to deploy your language for maximum impact does.

Mature Artworks

In the early 90’s, Marvel set up an imprint called Epic comics. They were the Marvel’s first real attempt at comics for adults, and they were, by and large, terrible. There were some good titles: Pat Mill’s first volume of his character ‘Marshall Law’ is a genuinely superb deconstruction of the 90’s antihero, somehow written before the trope even existed, and some of the ‘Hellraiser’ comics were pretty great.

The other 98% were just like ‘Cybercity Oedo 808’: excessive carnography, topless women and, of course, more rude words than you could shake a f**k-shaped stick at.

When Epic tanked, drowned in a sea of its own bad writing, DC stepped into the breach. Led by an astonishing woman named Karen Berger, DC’s Vertigo imprint succeeded far beyond where Epic did, because it did something genuinely revolutionary: it published comics that were actually mature. The most important of these was Neil Gaiman’s ‘Sandman’. Running the gamut of stories, from high fantasy to horror to science fiction and back, it’s an absolute masterpiece of a work, and if you haven’t read it, you should.

The first arc was a piece of faintly silly fantasy that didn’t quite work, but it did lead directly to issue 8, ‘The Sound of Her Wings’. The titular Sandman, having gone on a seven issue heroic quest to retrieve his lost artefacts of power, finds himself at a bit of a loss, and so spends the day hanging out with his big sister, Death.

Nothing ‘happens’.

Sandman and Death


Oh, people die, but there’s no real narrative to speak of. It’s not that kind of story; it’s about ennui, and the sense that a life without purpose might be no life at all. Over thirty pages, we see that sometimes Death is fair, and sometimes she’s not, but that fairness is, ultimately, an irrelevancy. She’s there for everyone, and the Sandman just watches her go about her day. In doing so, he finds himself revitalised at the thought of resuming his own duties.

This in one issue. Maybe even moreso than ‘Watchmen’ or ‘The Dark Knight Returns’, ‘Sandman’ was the first really, truly mainstream comic that was ‘mature’, because it left superheroics behind completely, and instead looked at ideas that younger people wouldn’t necessarily be able to grasp. Why not? Because immature people – like children – have very, very small emotional reference pools. Which is as it should be: how can you understand the world when you haven’t lived in it yet?

Maturity isn’t about the appearance of age and experience – it’s about an accretion of experiences that give a person a broader view of life. Truly mature artwork is mature because it’s emotionally real, not because it’s got tits and violence.

So how does this all relate to 40K?

Well, it’s obvious, isn’t it?


Slaanesh is how.

It Was Acceptable In The Eighties

One of the most difficult problems facing any long running narrative is how values change over time. Reed Richards is a kindly patrician in the 1960’s; those same comics read today make him come off like a borderline abusive spouse. Batman is a darkly gothic hero in the 90’s; in our modern era of sickening inequality, the idea of a billionaire beating up poor people becomes a little more difficult to cheer for. An Imperium made up of exclusively white men is pretty much par for the course in the 80’s, but as we progress through the second decade of the 21st century, it looks more and more backwards.

And then we come to Slaanesh.

Dear sweet merciful Zeus, what a can of worms Slaanesh is.


Pictured: maturity!

I mean, it’s easy to see where Slaanesh comes from, especially as Age of Sigmar has completed Warhammer’s journey to ‘Generic Eighties Heavy Metal Album Art: The Game’.

As every model gets so much more muscular, so much buffer, so much more tanned, so much more steeped in the GLORY OF CARNAGE all you need to do is look at the album art for bands like Manowar to see what’s going on.

Seriously, just Google ‘Manowar Album Art’; you will not be disappointed.


The naysayers will probably rant about how AoS is the root of this, but that’s bollocks. ‘Warhammer’ has always been rooted in that very specific heavy metal counterculture of torn denim waistcoats, greasy mullets, bum fluff moustaches and band patches that infested the UK in the eighties. Cheesy album art was always a huge part of that culture, and so many of the aesthetic choices have pollinated the look of both Warhammer and 40K.

And what do heavy metal bands like more than muscled wrestlers wielding swords?

Subtle metaphor. They like subtle metaphor…

So obviously, when the nascent Ruinous Powers are being invented, they each tap into a different heavy metal idea. Khorne is every album cover of a generic red demon; Nurgle taps into people like ‘Cannibal Corpse’, what with their addiction to zombie imagery and rotting stuff; Tzeentch is the remnants of 60’s and 70’s psychedelia, where bands experimented with magickal imagery and Slaanesh… Slaneesh is the god of nekkid chicks. Because 90% of getting into a band is the nekkid chicks.

The other 10% is cocaine.

Thing is, a ‘god of pleasure’ sounds fine and all, but it’s actually a very difficult thing to pull off (no pun intended). In-universe, the Chaos gods are inherently corrupting, and when you mix that with ‘pleasure’ what happens is you get all kinds of Unfortunate Implications. If the god of pleasure is a corrupting power, then any pleasure is potentially corrupting. Sex becomes, by its nature, morally dangerous… which is only a short hop, skip and jump to things like slut-shaming, homophobia, transphobia… And that’s before we even get to ideas like drugs, which, again, is a very dangerous area to look at. Issues relating to addiction require huge nuance, because these are real-world issues that have real-world consequences.

Now, I’m not going to get caught up in a discussion of drugs or sex here; the only point I’m making is that these are by nature, sensitive issues: they’re ones that require maturity to discuss, confront, or represent successfully… Which is why I think that maybe they’re ones that are perhaps not best explored through the medium of tabletop wargaming.

For me, wargaming is a fun little game of plastic soldiers. I roll dice, I make pew pew noises, I smile with my friends as we salute the Emperor.

Ideas regarding the pursuits of dangerous pleasures are absolutely worth discussing, well worth telling stories about… But those stories require incredible maturity to avoid selling people’s humanity short, and Warhammer 40,000 isn’t really the place for that.

Not to mention, it’s a tabletop wargame that by financial necessity, needs to be aimed at children as well as adults. A faction where you can legitimately joke about how they main pure heroin into the bulbous veins of a noise marine’s leathebound nine-inches really isn’t appropriate in a game that has always marketed itself at the young. Certainly not enough to justify their inclusion, which is why I think it makes sense to slowly pull the limelight from Slaanesh.

Not to mention the deeply regressive imagery of ‘seductive Daemonettes’. And that’s before we even mention the clear homophobic/horribly transphobic stuff that’s going on there as well. Ultimately, a lot of Slaanesh’s stuff, while potentially cool, is clearly going to alienate a lot of potential customers, and I’m not just talking about women here. Plenty of guys I know scoff at GW because of the Daemonette nonsense.

So I can see why GW is scaling back Slaanesh where possibly. Exactly like the excessive swearing in ‘Cybercity Oedo 808’, it fails because it fundamentally misunderstands what maturity is. Even taken on its own ‘trying to be disturbing’ terms, Slaanesh isn’t sexy, or seductive, or – most importantly – ‘mature’ at all. What Slaanesh is? Is a collection of embarrassing ideas about sex and sexuality written by a person who’s never experienced any flavour of ice-cream other than vanilla, and who isn’t really interested in understanding the ideas they’re discussing, just describing some weird personal fantasy.

For when your Ruinous Power doesn’t make love; it f**ks.


Actual Maturity

Maturity is the ability to respond to the environment in an appropriate manner. This response is generally learned rather than instinctive. The outdated ideas about sex and sexuality – and they are outdated – that Slaanesh represents are simply not appropriate for the game any more. They’re not appropriate for younger gamers; they’re insulting to women, to trans and intersex people, as well as to any man whose sexuality extends beyond five quick pumps whilst thinking of England. The mature response would be to acknowledge this, and avoid the instinct to avoid change. Change terrifies people, especially members of the geek community, who loathe retcons with a passion that could eclipse suns.

If they want to run for cover they could always hide here, in Slaanesh’s Fortress Of Unbridled Lust.

But, in my opinion, Slaanesh shouldn’t be part of things as they are. So how could we deal with this?

Well, contrary to what you might think, I don’t actually believe we should Squat it. For better or worse, Slaanesh is a longstanding part of things, and it’s would be simply unfair to those gamers who’ve got Slaanesh armies. As well as this, 40K isn’t just a wargame any more; Fantasy Flight Games’ excellent lines of tabletop RPGs enable the discussion of some very mature themes, especially in more investigation-based games like ‘Dark Heresy’. A Slaanesh cult could be an intriguing way for an appropriately mature group of gamers to look at all kinds of ideas to do with the aforementioned sex, sexuality and other adult issues.

So what to do? Well, in my opinion, the best solution would be to ‘retire’ Slaanesh as a GW-produced faction and make the army Forge World’s property. If you’ve not read any of FW’s books, I can attest that they have demonstrated time and again that they can do nuance. Not to mention, FW’s models are NOT targeted at children, but explicitly as adult collectors, meaning it’s possible to completely ignore that issue of inappropriateness. GW as a company can completely take advantage of this, having its cake and eating it, and they should. Obviously, this does nothing to overcome the inherent problems of sexist models, or the deeply embedded homophobic and transphobic imagery, but that’s something which can be looked at over time in Black Library books, Forge World supplements, and FFG RPG supplements.

Slaanesh has already been replaced by the Horned Rat in AoS, which clearly shows it can be done in 40K too. To be honest, this is the ideal opportunity to do something exciting and new for Chaos players, giving them a whole new Chaos power to deal with. They could bring back Malal, or they could choose something else to fill the gap more naturally. Either way, it would be a step towards turning 40K into an actual, truly mature environment, and that can only be a good thing.


  • Jamie Cooke

    This is quite possibly the best and most intellectual article I’ve read on BoLS. I think you identify a lot of the underlying tropes and motivations very accurately – GW is a company rooted in the design inspiration of its early years, even if much of the understanding of where that came from has been lost. I definitely don’t think Slaanesh should be disposed of, as I think it has a role to play in plot development if they want to take it, but the truth is that Slaaneshi themes have always been a step too far to fully incorporate – the ‘reality’ of what those excesses mean would frankly push much of the writing towards potentially criminal themes. I’ve always thought that there is a missing element to the Chaos Gods (albeit covered more in the Horus Heresy novels) – Khorne is not just psychotic slaughterers, but also the nobility of warfare as an art form (with honour attached to that); Nurgle is surprising joy alongside despair; Tzeentch is knowledge and intellect. And Slaanesh could also be art and beauty, albeit pushed to excess; essentially the concept of allowing abstract creativity to become more important that your own humanity, or that of others.

    • Grafton Is Dust

      The latter part of Slaanesh is pretty much what Fulgrim was about. Art pushed to perfection, then trying to push beyond it. Enhancing the experience without understanding the humanity underneath.

      • ghazdreg

        Reminds me of the joker in the first Batman movie. “I make art until someone dies.”

        • Grafton Is Dust

          That’s pretty much it, actually. 🙂

          • Muninwing

            this is in part the difference between WHF and 40k.

            the “art, perfection” etc end of slaanesh has been really the only direction to take CSM in — they are chemical castrates.

            on the other hand, the main idea i think this article misses is what kind of place Slaanesh has in the Old World. obviously, the new AoS realms aren’t developed enough to include basic geography, so having complex underpinnings of society are way beyond them.

            because Slaanesh is a product of society.

            Nurgle is a product of misery. anyone can be miserable. cavemen got toothaches and died of the flu, so way back in history Nurgle had a place before we had even mastered growing crops. Tzeentch too had a place — as certain people looked past the here and now trying to understand the unknown, Tzeentch had a place in crossing those lines and learning greater truths that were not approachable. Khorne too — since early on, fighting has been necessary. developing efficiency and aggression into a form came with early cultures.

            but Slaanesh?

            slaanesh only comes when someone has enough power to exploit that power. after the fighting is over, when there is a lull in famine and plague, as an alternative to study and self-betterment. it’s a great analogy to “cultured” societies where the rot is hidden by a veneer of etiquette, and the bored elite looked for new outlets for their curiosities.

            the “slaanesh is sex” thing is the immature version. the cheezy hypersexualization, the booobs-on-everything, the modified wang-chariot i saw once, all of that is the immature treatment of a surprisingly mature idea.

            it’s also not transphobic/anti-intersex to have the concept of pleasure have no fixed gender. the immature treatment is to just make it, again, all about the bewbs.

            slaanesh in 40k is about excess — drugs, noise, feedback. the 3.5 dex had a great writeup of this, and how the CSM had no avenues for “MORE” that would not eventually burn them out. zero sex involved (until you get to the daemonettes, which are their own thing).

            there’s an immature and a mature way to treat all of chaos. i’m convinced that the current design team really doesn’t get what they have inherited with the concept. focusing on the one that has probably been handled the worst does not forgive the others. and WHF, probably due to getting through its awkward years sooner, was goon in certain ways about overcoming the immaturity connected to chaos in all its forms.

            just as Khorne doesn’t need to be the god of slasher flicks and steroids, and Tzeentch can go into Cosmic Horror instead of relying on “just as planned” jokes, so too can Slaanesh be about indulgence and selfish searches for more stimulation without being the love-child of 80s hair metal and vallejo fantasy art.

          • Jooster

            Fantastic comment tbh

          • ZeeLobby

            Yeah, this pretty much sums it up. Good job.

          • Grafton Is Dust

            Here’s hoping GW start adding some nuance, then. 🙂

          • Nathaniel Wright

            Take note, BOLS, give this guy a job.

          • Cody Raugh Ferguson

            Perfect response, great actual use of the lore vs the trope. Too many people just point to the 80s (where admittedly 40k’s tabletop is born) and blames their lack of interest in the lore on that.

            Even if the orriginal artists and tabletop writers took from metal albums, the guys in BL couldn’t be so shallow and had to expand from that, making the characters into what the fans love outside being just a game stat.

            Fantasy was a perfect example, fans love Gotek and Felix they loved the lore Warhammer fantasy books sold to people who didn’t even know there was such a thing as a warhammer tabletop game.

            The sex and drugs trope really is just that.

          • SeekingOne

            Excellent comment, thank you.

          • Brad

            Well said.

          • kobalt60

            A much better summation of the Warhammer concept of chaos then the article itself. And in so many less words. points for brevity.

          • Jay Mort

            “…chemical castrates…”

          • Grafton Is Dust

            It’s implied in more than a few books that the process of evolving a human into an Astartes either negates their sex drive, or something along those lines.

            Heck there’s a scene where a Grey Knight is showering with an Attilan woman, and his inner monologue basically says that he appreciates her beauty, like a vase, but feels literally nothing in terms of attraction.

            So, I dunno, maybe the organs they’re implanted with have chemical castration as a side-effect, intended or otherwise, or it’s a deliberate part of the procedure. May even be actual castration.

            GW don’t go into specifics because explaining what happens to a Space Marine’s dong wouldn’t make a great White Dwarf article.

          • Patrick John Magee

            Having played Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay from the 80’s, for me, Slaanesh was always about pushing boundaries of experience to provide a sensate experience to people, be that chemical, physical, emotional or sexual, and I’m thinking of things such as Ether parties that were popular in Victorian society. Thinking about it, the closest example I can think of in a popular series (well the first few were) would be the Cenobites from Hellraiser. They do all sorts of body modifications, and undertake experiences just for the thrill of doing so. With that in mind, Slaanesh is to me, the Chaos god that appeals to the privileged in general, those seeking to get distractions from the day to day humdrum, which probably means that they are the most popular within the Hive Cities of the Imperium.
            Could they move away from 1 breasted daemons? Probably, but how hard is it to represent hedonists on the tabletop, would you want an army of raver kids? 🙂

          • Muninwing

            an exaggeration.

            really, they are mentioned many times as not being able to sire children. in a few places, it’s come into question whether they are modeled after geldings, or whether they merely have no procreatic urge, or whether they would need the testosterone produced via what EL James immaturely refers to as “down there”

            what does it actually mean? completely up for debate.

            realistically, and perhaps a more complicated theme that is being delved into via some of the recent HH authors, it’s a way of making the grimdark not descend into all sorts of terrible. super soldiers hyper-masculinized set loose on an enemy population? you’re just asking to have to describe to little timmy what happens to civilians in war (though they could just watch GoT and get the gist).

            it’s also a way of getting into Chaos in such a way as to be sufficiently evil without going full terror. chaos becomes wanton destruction. it’s not, as Zoe on Firefly said about Reavers: “If they take the ship, they’ll r@pe us to death, eat our flesh and sew our skins into their clothing. And if we’re very very lucky, they’ll do it in that order.”

            if GW wants to be marketable to the parents of kids, that might be a place they do not want to go. it’s not about censorship. it’s about marketability.

          • Patrick John Magee

            Having played Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay from the 80’s, for me, Slaanesh was always about pushing boundaries of experience to provide a sensate experience to people, be that chemical, physical, emotional or sexual, and I’m thinking of things such as Ether parties that were popular in Victorian society. Thinking about it, the closest example I can think of in a popular series (well the first few were) would be the Cenobites from Hellraiser. They do all sorts of body modifications, and undertake experiences just for the thrill of doing so. With that in mind, Slaanesh is to me, the Chaos god that appeals to the privileged in general, those seeking to get distractions from the day to day humdrum, which probably means that they are the most popular within the Hive Cities of the Imperium.

            Could they move away from 1 breasted daemons? Probably, but how hard is it to represent hedonists on the tabletop, would you want an army of raver kids on the tabletop? 🙂

          • Muninwing

            yes. glow sticks are easy to model, and provide some interesting opportunity for light effects painting.

            seriously though… i just remember reading about the Slaaanesh cultists in the Ciaphas Cain books — loud clothing, dramatic/drastic style. not unlike raver kids. that’s how i’d paint my Slaanesh cultists — leopard or zebra print, hair metal combined with cyberpunk, splash colors, etc. as loud as possible.

            and you’re right — they are hard. they are rooted in the moments of civilization that get boring, meaning that they occur when war and disease are not immediate concerns. if anything having a goal and a drive — for success, for self-betterment, for study — could distract you from sinking into the jadedness… meaning that Tzeentch would be an alternative instead of active opposition.

            slaanesh is subtle, insidious, and easily slipped into. one intense relationship, one moment of indulgence, one enjoyed misuse of power… and the cravings that ensue each lead closer to damnation. and while that is hard to represent on the table, it’s also been done really poorly up until now.

            my wife started a Slaanesh CSM army years ago, but used Sisters models (the sonics were a pain but doable). the one thing she refused to use was a Greater Daemon — the boobed goat is just terrible and incongruous with everything else. instead, she set up a Deathcult Assassin Inquisitor model and added more limbs and some dark-looking weaponry. at least it fits aesthetically.

            again… so many angles to explore, all wasted.

    • Senexis

      The Vampire RPG in the nineties had the Toreador clan, and they could be a model Slaanesh could be inspired by. Appreciation of beauty and seduction through elegance rather than whips and chains

      • SundaySilence

        +1 just for a Masquerade mention 🙂

    • Khorne’s honor is exactly why I don’t take psykers in my Daemonkin, the God demands a “fair” and up close battle

      • Skathrex

        coming back to our other Discussion, I like this aspect of Khorne, and use in RPG often, when I am playing a follower of Khorne in more “civiliced” Groups.
        In 40k its easy to do knowerdays with KDK, but in the past it was harder since you had to forgo shooting too.

    • ThirteenthLetter

      “This is quite possibly the best and most intellectual article I’ve read on BoLS.”

      Whoa, what, really? This is the _most_ intellectual article they’ve published?

      What have they been publishing up until now, nursery rhymes?

  • Dan Wilson

    More on in bound, apparently plays a big part in the upcoming summer campaign. I can’t agree that the most mature response is to get rid of it. There’s an excellent lord of slaaneshi made out of greasus gold tooth that perfectly captures the excess of gluttony. More of that would be good.

    • Muninwing

      Slaanesh is gluttony. it’s a form of pleasure.

      it also comes from having power and money and position, and exploiting others. control is also Slaanesh. slavery, command, collection, all of it.

      wealthy people who collect rare art so they and they alone can see it instead of putting it into a museum are into Slaanesh’s territory.

      people who buy fancy food for themselves, but feed their children scraps, are within Slaanesh’s grasp.

      politicians who bribe and wheedle their way to the top, covering for friends and exploiting their position to get away with all sorts of activities they vocally condone to the public are doing Slaanesh’s bidding.

      Countess Elizabeth Bathory, who delighted in disfiguring her servants as a child, was protected by her rank, and was finally imprisoned (in her mansion) rather than executed after killing hundreds, was a perfect Slaanesh worshipper.

      i wrote something up last year in the forums about this… at its heart, one of the major motifs of Chaos is that it corresponds to the divisions of society. The Nobility are Slaanesh, the Peasantry are Nurgle, the Clergy (more specifically the monastic, educated, studious aspect… if they lapse Borgia-style into the excesses of the Nobility, they become Slaanesh) are Tzeentch, and the Soldiery are Khorne. not unlike the old BF Skinner quote, “if you tell me what you do, i’ll tell you who you are” — when you start thinking in certain patterns due to what your life and livelihood and activities require, it aligns your thinking into certain patterns.

      since AoS saw it fit to not bother to produce a society into which the game fits, and then plunge the storyline into the immediacy of war, of course Slaanesh isn’t going to have a place, and i guess we could double up on Nurgle with the Horned Rat. i guess? but 40k has other avenues to pursue.

  • Spacefrisian

    I almost took the article serious, but than a pic of Whitesnake was shown as heavymetal….should have been Manowar obviously 😛

    • euansmith

      Manowar was there too; the one with the chariot being pulled by half of a zoo.

    • Muninwing

      the 80s were a fearsome time for anything resembling culture…

      • Brettila

        But it was a blast to grow up in.

  • SYSTem050

    I need to second the comment on it being great that there are now some articulate well written articles on BOLS.

    What I can never understand is why though hyper violence such as chain weapons and rampaging killers is fine but we don’t dare mention sex?

    Also why does slannesh need to be purely about the physical rather that the concept of corruption and power.

    • Breaker

      This. Like the article says, it’s a fun little game with toy soldiers. It doesn’t need to be politically correct.

      • Grafton Is Dust

        In what way is it trying to be ‘PC?’ That phrase has been so diluted as to be meaningless over the years.

        • Muninwing

          well, it was first popularized not as a thing to do, but as a thing to be upset that “others” wanted to make you do. so it’s meaning was already by nature diluted the first time it gained mainstream attention.

          • Grafton Is Dust

            I dunno, I’ve heard it used to refer to so many different, opposing things that it’s become worthless, and the terminology of the phrase itself doesn’t really mean anything either.

          • Muninwing

            yeh, at this point it really isn’t terribly important.

            in most cases, though, what “pc” actually means is “don’t be a jerk to people”

          • Grafton Is Dust

            Yeah, which is the part I don’t understand the negativity towards. Then again, people seem to respect “telling it like it is,” which translates as, “here’s my unfiltered, unthought-through opinion which I will belligerently present to you as fact.”

          • templarsmonochromata

            Did you origionally write that as ‘jerk’, or did you write the (derogatory term) with a gender implied?
            I ask as I usually see written with a gender implied where ‘jerk’ is.
            Does ‘jerk’ have an implicitly implied gender?

            I may be stretching, but do you think, reading your language, it is implied that you should, or in any way do feel uncomfortable or apologetic about being the politically incorrect gender?

          • Brettila

            Sorry, but I think you are really reaching on this one.

          • Muninwing

            that;s your damage, not anyone else’s. jerk is a take-all-comers kind of word, usually reserved for those too callous or too selfish to concern themselves with the state or position of other, or the harm done to them.

            i feel no bizarre guilt about my gender. and your use of “politically correct” here is really strange.

            you might need to check your definitions here. seems like you have some unresolved personal issues.

          • Grafton Is Dust

            I have no idea what you’re reaching for, but whatever it is, it’s not working.

          • SYSTem050

            Again Huuugh? if you reaching to jerk and assuming male due to jerking off then i guess but i would say that jerk is getting close if not already there to a gender neutral insult.

          • Pj

            Translated to become “don’t say or do things that other might not agree with”.

          • Muninwing

            hoo boy… here’s where i get longwinded and you stop paying attention. but since i have no voice at the moment (sick), i’m going to channel all of my normal out-loud words today into this.

            translated? no, deliberately misinterpreted into. has it ever meant that in actual practice? not by the people pushing for it — that’s the interpretation pushed by the people who have promoted the idea as something to hate — talk radio and partisan media.

            you can have a different opinion than me. that’s fine. i not only accept that, i actively encourage that in my classes. but if, when pressed, you have no idea why you feel the way you do yet feel that it is still important that you feel that way… or if you deliberately reject evidence contrary to your opinion… or if you treat your opinion as if it is sacrosanct or inviolate or fact… or if you think that you having your opinion gives you license to use said opinion to harm others… then not only do i have less respect for you, but that’s when you are proving that you are not mature enough to have the conversation.

            if you’re angry that you cannot casually use racial slurs in public without being judged for it, maybe “pc culture” isn’t your biggest problem. it takes a backseat to “having to learn kindergarten-level basic respect for other people”

            hence why we are talking about this as connected to a story about maturity.

            society is based on collaboration, specialization, and a certain agreed-upon series of behaviors. social contract. if you are angry that “those people” are affecting you by implementing their ideas of right and wrong instead of yours, then you’ve fallen for a lie decades in the making — that you are magically exempt from the social contract.

            and while there are a few people who approach the strawman-level of “pc culture” that is presented by biased sources as the “agenda” of some, most of the real world examples that happen (that in part means off of college campuses, away from their insular ideological dystopias) are really just people adhering to the social contract or pointing out regular breaches thereof so that maybe people can be a little better to each other.

            and if you are insulted that someone is pointing out the breaches that you are unaware of or too stubborn to try to fix, remember that you’re not under attack — you are just being asked to stop attacking others.

        • Brad

          When you have people going after the hobby as “sexist” because there aren’t female space marines, because “nerds” are a very easy punching bag, PC is not overused or diluted. Unless you are simply not paying attention, or are among the people who strive to be politically correct.

          • Grafton Is Dust

            But what does Politically Correct mean? Like, write me a definition of what you think it means?

            Because to me it seems to be a catch-all putdown for any opinion that the person writing it doesn’t agree with.

        • Jay Mort

          No, the phrase still means exactly what it always has. Leftists simply refuse to admit things which make them look bad.

          • Grafton Is Dust

            Great, open with a loaded statement. I’m either forced to agree with you, or forced to disagree, at which point you proclaim, “STUPID LEFTY DENYING STUFF!”

            Not playing your game, son. I don’t care what way you lean politically, I have no idea who you even are.

        • Breaker

          It basically means to never do or say anything that could potentially offend someone.

          • Grafton Is Dust

            But in what way is that assumed to be correct from a political standpoint?

          • Breaker

            Because politicians push the idea. Backwards, I know lol

          • Grafton Is Dust

            But only some, and even then, only a minority, it seems. Judging by the fact that “Political Correctness” is unilaterally referred to as a Bad Thing.

            Also, that politicians don’t seem to push it so much as groups like Feminists, LGBT groups, etc.

            In fact, there seems to be more push against it than with it from politicians.

      • SYSTem050

        Where did i mention the need or lack of it to be politically correct?

        • Grafton Is Dust

          You didn’t, but that didn’t stop him bringing it up anyway…

        • Breaker

          Yeah, i realized later that that was a bad term to use. My apologies. A better term would be all-inclusive. I don’t believe in destroying your artistic work in order to appease people who get offended by anything and everything. There will always be something else that some random person will make a fuss about. Eventually, your creation is no longer what you set out to make.

      • Sam Nolton

        I would say the author of this blog was arguing that political correctness- a la “maturity” makes the game more inclusive and fun for everyone. The sex, drugs, and rock and roll angle that Slaanesh supports only reinforces misogyny and warped views of sexuality that leads people to homophobia, sexism, and discrimination – something the gaming community already eschews far too much.

        • Евгения Ремезова

          *coughs* Are you sure? *looks at her Slaanesh army with half-naked converted cultists*
          And I’m a woman.
          P.S. Could you finally stop trying to protect everyone and everything from some mythical “mysogyny”?! If someone needs protection, they can either protect themselves or call the police. That’s a free-dammit-world!

          • Sam Nolton

            Fair point. I wasn’t trying to argue for the PC people, mostly just acknowledging both sides of the argument.

            As with all things, people can make up their own damn minds.

          • Евгения Ремезова

            That’s one of the major Social Justice Warriors mistakes – there’re no sides. We’re kinda living in 21st century, where everyone have their own opinion and tastes.
            You don’t like Slaanesh and b00bs? Don’t buy them – it’s your freedom of choice.
            It’s funny, how often in past years, “Social Justice Warriors” use “protection of feelings” to stomp people’s rights and democratic freedoms.

          • Brad

            THANK YOU. Don’t like it, don’t buy it. Stop trying to screw with what other people enjoy.

          • JamesD


        • Muninwing

          i’d say the same in the middle, but start and end on an opposite.

          no, i don’t think this is about “political correctness” so much as it is about “not alienating potential customers”

          yes, i think that by not focusing on the narrow interpretation of Slaanesh as only being sex and drugs and rock and roll means that it has broader appeal.

          yes, i think that not tacking booobs on to everything means that it’s not solely the point of view of the straight male players’ sexuality, and maybe can be altered or blended in ways to be a little more subtle.

          yes, i think that catering to a sheltered reclusive niche market is foolish in an era where niches have been going mainstream (Harry Potter, WoW, Marvel movies, Star Wars, etc).

          but no, i got the impression he was saying that since GW was seemingly unable to get the right tone with their current designers, that maybe the FW designers could do it better justice.

          • Brad

            You are arguing against a point nobody is making. Literally nobody is arguing for the one-sided portrayal of slaanesh as “HURR DURR PINK AND SEX”. That is called a strawman, used to make people you are debating with seem to be defending the unreasonable. It’s a very shallow tactic.

            GW has already shied WAY away from Slaanesh in general. They basically killed it off from their age of sigmar abortion. the only “nsfw” model available any more is a forge world greater daemon which costs a kidney.

          • Grafton Is Dust

            But we can’t possibly consider that a product might be flawed, and that by altering it slightly, we might make it more acceptable to a wider audience.

            40K will die if it remains a niche. Sadly, a lot of gamers like it that way.

          • Pj

            It will die if it is watered down to be more “inclusive” alienating your core won’t help. We’ve seen this in other areas of entertainment.

          • Grafton Is Dust

            Examples? Diversifying a product has almost always been a boon.

            Star Wars has become far more valuable now it’s mainstream.

            When Marvel started making movies tailored to mass appeal, it became an international sensation.

            The Wii became a moneymaker once it diversified beyond gamers and hit the lucrative casual market.

            The iPhone birthed the smartphone market when it marketed internet-ready phones to a market beyond business people.

            Niches are where products go to die.

          • Pj

            He has done this with video games. People who are fans WH aren’t be sure they don’t like it not because of boobs on a demon.

          • Grafton Is Dust

            Indeed, Dawn of War was probably the best time for the hobby it had in diversification, and it had a lull for years before we saw more new games this year.

            How do you know about that assertion? Can you honestly speak for the entire rest of humanity?

          • Pj

            If they aren’t customers now because they are turned off by the current design then I would say this isn’t for them.

          • Muninwing

            conversely, if a couple minor changes that current players would mostly approve of would open up new categories of audience, then people who toxically complain about any change as if said alteration killed their parents will deal as they always do.

        • Ibai Canales

          I hope you enjoy your inclusive, non-misogynistic barren wasteland.

        • planets09

          I disagree, you people just want everything to be sanitized and filtered for your immature mindsets, and think that the rest of us should adopt to YOUR anti-sex viewpoints or you will call us a million buzzwords, that’s getting tiring.

        • Pj

          And so what if it does?

        • sciencemile

          I don’t think that things which are clearly fantasy will convince someone of anything. If they did, then the people who think that playing the game would cause you to worship Satan would have just as good a point as the people who think it would cause you to do those other things.

    • Damistar

      It’s difficult to design a unit or overall theme to reflect “power and corruption”. I can’t really think of a way to represent the excess of that visually. As far as rampaging killers with chainswords, it’s a WAR game. Unless you want to include an “abuse the civilians” phase, sex doesn’t feature in battle.

      • SYSTem050

        Hmm as usual failing to articulate my thoughts. What we are getting to is that slannesh is not simply the chaos god of the kinky stuff but the God of excess. I agree that sex doest prove an easy fit into a WAR game (does it need to be capitalised?)

        Personally I feel that power and corruptions effects are much easier to work into a game than sex (unless you are playing FATAL which i sincerely hope no one is) As a starter for 10 i would think of a special character that can cause units to “switch sides” rules that mean units take damage during deployment due to traitors within. Modification of reserve rolls due to supply chain issues. NOw i am not a game designer (not saying anyone at GW is either) but these came to me during a short lunch break so i suspect there is plenty of ways of transferring this onto the tabletop and avoiding the nipple clamps

        • Damistar

          I capitalized war because disqus won’t let me do italics, i didn’t mean it as shouting. I can see how they could reflect Slaanesh’s excessive nature in the rules, I was referring to miniature design. How do you convey the excessive pursuit of power and it’s inherent corruption on a miniature? The Dark Prince has such an esoteric provenance, such an abstract domain that I think the miniature designers are simply confounded with finding a theme that readily reflects it.

          • SYSTem050

            Ahh right got you. Yes a bunch of models representing middle aged white men in suits would probably be a poor aesthetic. Will have a think .

          • Muninwing

            it could be done in AoS far better, if it wasn’t basically stopped before it began by a number of design choices.

          • Damistar

            Hmmm…that gives me an idea for Chaos Cultists. Now where can I get 28mm businessmen?

          • Muninwing

            i’d love to see this.

            this, and a whole mess of clergy.

          • Mud_Duck

            A cult of lawyers, armed with GW cease and decease, armored with the 5+ suit of pinstripe.

          • JamesD
          • Jooster

            It’s possible. Back in the early 2000s the Slaanesh champion on foot had a visible smirk. Between that and his wide-set, weapons-down pose he comes across as one of the most arrogant models GW has ever produced.

            Beyond that, clean sweeping lines in armour and weapons, along with draped, flowing cloaks and tabards, go a long way towards giving the impression that these warriors pride themselves on their appearance.

            Unfortunately GW designers nowadays can’t look at a smooth surface without embedding skulls all over it.

          • Damistar

            That would be a good design style to go with. I was just thinking of Sigvald from WFB. He was vanity personified right down to having all his bodyguards having polished mirror shields so he could bask in his own perfection. The designs should be beautiful, but with a sinister touch. Kind of like Dark Eldar without the barbs. A kind of fallen from grace vibe I guess.

          • Muninwing

            Sigvald might be one of the best Slaanesh-capturing aesthetics GW has ever done…

          • Muninwing



            speaking of hoarded and exploited wealth, often gained at the expense of others

            arrogance and haughtiness

            it’s definitely subtle. it definitely can be done though. it just needs to not be publicized as “hurr durr god of sex”

            and in 40k? sex really doesn’t enter into much of it. that’s actually what makes the Slaanesh marines so fascinating to me — they are all about more stimulation and sensory input, partially because they have no sexual outlet.

          • nuggy

            Im currently having a project in which I build a warband for each chaos faction/gods and have just started on the Slaanesh parts. As for my view on Slaanesh as a diety and way of “worship” within the warhammer universe Muninwing have encapsulated everything I can say so all I realy can add is my thoughts on my minis.
            Im going more for the brutalistic warrior/artist way and mix steroid jacked heavy ironplate armoured dudes with the classic almost elfish sublimity. No miniature will ever be quite the same with classic renaissance puff sleeves and fine light silvery armours mixed in with orc style crude plates and fifthly rags.
            The most important part for me in this project is to make proper Slaanesh WARRIORS instead of the boob deamons and Hellraiser cosplayers.
            When they go to war its not about killing the enemy or furthering some dark plot, its about seeing your combatant suffer, stacking corpses in some more pleasing fashion, to paint pretty little floral patterns in blood, to test your skills and experience life in its most dire state. No sex, no drugs(ok a little bit maybe), no posing, just brutal efficiency and artistic extravagance playing out together.
            So I would say that Slaanesh easely has a place in the state of “warhammer warfare” just not perhaps in the way that GW(and we aswell) has currently made it out to be.

          • nuggy

            To specify perhaps a bit more: My champion is being made out of the newest Slaughterpriest but Im turning him into a painter, ditching the weapons all along and having him armed with a brush and pallet.
            Im keeping the brutal looking greaves and reshaping the shoulder pad into a more “elegant” form with small fine details and gemstones.
            Im currently testing out making warriors from the Bloodreavers and mixing in empire, darkelf and other chaos bits and a whole lot of greenstuff. So really trying to walk a fine line between feral and nobility in the overall aesthetics.

          • Damistar

            Interesting concept. I’m thinking that maybe a look of mixed styles and armor reflecting a desperate pursuit of of the unattainable. Kind of going with one idea, realizing halfway through that it’s imperfect and then plowing off in a completely other direction as inspiration strikes. It would end up looking like the old (RT era) Noise Marines with a riot of different colors and styles.

          • Grafton Is Dust

            Use HTML tags to do Italics, Bold, etc. 🙂

      • Muninwing

        … and that might be why SM are chemical castrates, so CSM are then explicitly not about sex

        • Christopher Szynkowski

          Boodquest actually hinted at the real seduction Slannesh could offer to CSM… a chance to be free of their conditioning, to be selfish and not only experience the parts of their existence that were purged due to their transformation into space marines, but to revel in them.

          • Muninwing

            interesting… and curious in terms of what that could mean for the greater scope.

          • Brad

            I knew I’d read that somewhere. Possibly the biggest temptation, to eschew the life of the warrior monk, live as a human and enjoy being as powerful as the imperium of man can make a person.

      • JamesD

        Well that’s just your lack of imagination.

    • Jooster

      It’s pretty much ingrained into western culture, really. It’s socially acceptable to expose children to violence far earlier than sex, for whatever reason.

      In fact, the deeper you get into western culture, the more heavily that’s emphasised. Look at ‘murca, where you find people with no problem idolising guns but will literally never teach sex to another generation.

      • Jabberwokk

        Because in western culture Sex is suppose to be sacred. Violence is not.

        But when you cheapen and make it as common as violence then yes I can see why you are confused.

        • Jooster

          Sex being sacred certainly isn’t a western thing, it’s pretty universal.

          • Jabberwokk

            Having studied a few other worldviews I can’t say I agree.

            I would agree that it’s suppose to be universal.

            It isn’t but it should be.

          • Muninwing

            depends… it’s not necessarily taken to the religious extreme of the loudest voices in the US. then again, we’re not good role models for our relationship with violence either.

            much of it is actually because of maturity as well. you cannot just be granted inalienable rights without boundaries. rights by nature contain responsibilities, but that’s not understood by many. and when too many people are not responsible or mature enough to handle a right, usually that’s where you lose them… if they are not granted as inalienable and absolute.

      • Muninwing

        being violent is frequently “standing up for yourself” against others who will (it can be assumed) be violent first. therefore it is just a show of strength.

        on the other hand, sex is a difficult societal construct resulting in babies and disease, is linked to infidelity, in certain eras could have been ruin for certain people (women as “damaged goods”), and cannot be avoided if a society wishes to continue.

        we don’t want children being violent toward each other, because someone can get hurt… but what damage will they really be able to do? but kids having sex too early means a potential derailing of their future plans.

        really, though, most of the issue here is centered around religion. and on particular the influence of the revivalist protestant fundamentalism that sprang out of the US just before The Great Disappointment, and for some reason never dwindled despite countless setbacks.

      • Commissar Molotov

        Jooster is obviously not a fan of Chinese martial arts movies. It’s not just “Western Culture,” pal.

      • Pj

        There seems to be a movement to forced children to accept homosexuals and people with gender diaphoria illness as natural.

        • Jooster

          You say it as if it isn’t. Homosexuality in animals isn’t rare.

          • Pj

            Yes it is

      • The Gamer Of Ages

        Yep, funnily enough in Japan it’s the opposite way round. But generally I find it weird hope people are complaining Slaneesh and he/she/it/meme’s themes are immature and excess. It’s the chaos god of excess, of course it’s gonna be excessive. I think the author would have a heart attack if he encountered the Dark Eldar and their antics.

    • Jay Mort

      I object to your reasoning. Proposing censorship of concepts and ideas just because of political ideologies is pathetically dishonest and demeaning to concept creators.

      Just because you can SHOE-HORN a particular argument into a concept based upon limited FIRST LEVEL THINKING doesn’t mean the argument is valid or appropriate.
      The four Chaos Gods are representative of the four major aspects of human psyche. I know the political left is happy to promote lascivious perversity as normal nowadays, but there is, and always was, more to the concept of Slaanesh than just, “LOOK BOOBIES!”

      IF this is all you see when you think of Slaanesh on an intellectual level, then you are the one with the immature attitude and outlook. Mature people are not offended by the use of nudity to convey meaning.

      • SYSTem050

        Sorry my response has to be huuugh? As I honestly have no idea what you are talking about it when it was a response to my comment

  • Ángel Bizarre

    I see my comment hasnt been approved. Ok, lets try a less blunt approach.

    This article is founded on wrong initial concepts and thus, innacurate.

    You got Slaanesh wrong. You focused your article on the idea of Slaanesh being all about sex when its really not. Slaanesh is the prince of excess, “She who thirsts”. Slaanesh is the concept of never having enough, always wanting more. It is the greed and selfishness that lurks in the soul of every lifeform in the universe made flesh. Its not just ” the god of kinky sex” or, and I quote, “a collection of embarrassing ideas about sex and sexuality written by a person who’s never experienced any flavour of ice-cream other than vanilla”. That assumption is just innacurate and proof that you have limited knowledge of the topic at hand.

    In my oppinion this is another instance of nudity being taboo, but ultraviolence, completely acceptable to a young audience.

    • Grafton Is Dust

      Your reading comprehension may require recalibration.

      The whole point of this article was that Slaanesh is more than just @$$ n’ 8008132, but that’s all we see in 40K. It could be more and should be more.

      • Ángel Bizarre

        Maybe is your reading comprehension that needs tuning, my friend.

        Quote: “what to do? Well, in my opinion, the best solution would be to ‘retire’ Slaanesh as a GW-produced faction and make the army Forge World’s property. If you’ve not read any of FW’s books, I can attest that they have demonstrated time and again that they can do nuance. Not to mention, FW’s models are NOT targeted at children, but explicitly as adult collectors, meaning it’s possible to completely ignore that issue of inappropriateness.”

        His solution is not to “make more” out of Slaanesh, but to retire all GW produced models and let FW make an “adult”, niche, model collection to ” protect” younger audiences from it. “Kill, maim, burn” and battleaxes squashing skulls?, nah, thats completely ok, is female genitalia we need to protect kids fom.

        • NoNameMonster

          you make some very valid points and I totally agree with what you’re saying.

          however… just look at the Slaanesh models. ‘excess’ seems to equal bare (female) breasts. i’m not saying that children/younger players need to be protected, but that the approach of the Slaanesh models is quite misogynistic.

          i agree with the main thrust of this article, which is that Slaanesh needs to be fleshed out more (no pun intended!), or even rebooted entirely, and the idea of greed and selfishness that you mention could be a very good starting place.

          • Ángel Bizarre

            Completely agree with you. The models dont properly reflect the god’s identity at all.

          • Cylux

            The models reflect that it’s an elven/eldar god though.

          • Jooster

            I don’t disagree with the misogyny present with GW’s representation of Slaanesh, whether it’s intentional or not, but is it really so difficult to fix? As far as I see it, simply including some male or agender Daemonettes into the range would go a long way towards dispelling that.

          • Muninwing

            the snakelike, lithe, tentacly metal daemonettes, with slightly less on the bewbage, would actually do wonders representing that… the bird-ladies in corsets just don’t really hit the right note.

          • Peter Houlihan

            would actually do wonders representing that… for you. For most other people, the bird ladies in corsets are just fine.

          • Muninwing

            really? how often do people complain about how the metals were better? the bird ladies are pretty mediocre in comparison. but that’s opinion. i wouldn’t say it’s majority or minority, merely a popular one.

          • Cylux

            Heh, there’s people crying out for female space marines and a proper sisters release, but Slaanesh apparently has too many fems in it, and needs more menz. Go figure.

          • Jooster

            Well… yeah. If you don’t recognise the difference between disciplined, heavily armed infantry and monsters that are raw expressions of sexuality, or why both should have male and female members represented, it’s hardly a surprise you’re struggling to figure it out.

          • Cylux

            And why SHOULD both have male and female members represented?
            Because it’s the current year?

          • Jooster

            Because some people want to play as badass warrior nuns? Because there wouldn’t be any valid reason to forbid physically sound women from fighting? Or because sexuality is far wider than “boobs”?

            Or is the entire galaxy attracted exclusively to women in the grim darkness of the far future?

          • Pj

            Those people can choose not to play. Obviously they are in the minority.

          • Brad

            Humanity is a sexually dimorphic species. There are MASSIVE differences between men and women as a standard. It states, specifically, in the lore that space marines are picked from the peak of physical perfection for males, meaning massively sized, massively muscled, and massively agressive/combat capable already. And most of those die because their bodies can’t handle the change. Plus the implants themselves are keyed to MALE physiology.

            People who complain about a lack of female space marines simply are looking for things to complain about and have not read the lore. Therefore, they need to just sit down, be quiet, and stop trying to pretend their opinion matters enough to dictate to an entire community.

          • Jooster

            Notice how I didn’t mention Space Marines. I recognise that there’s fluffy reasons for them to be all-male. Now address the parts of my point that actually exist.

          • Brad

            There’s no point of yours that actually exists. You’ve done nothing but knock down strawman after strawman trying to pretend anyone here is even defending the “LOL BEWBZ ON MODELZ” aspect.

            Here’s a real fact for you. The models for the Daemonnettes are not only completely covered, they are half male. How about you go and take another look.

            Your “Male gaze” horse manure is just that. Not only is it a 3rd waver gender studies non-issue in the first place, even if it were a real thing that anyone should give a crap about, it doesn’t apply to anything from the current model range, save a greater slaaneshi demon from FW, which is already being put forth as a suggestion to “move” slaanesh to because it’s “aimed at adults” by ridiculous sex negative gender warriors like you and the one who wrote thos atrocious mess of an article.

          • Pj

            It’s not GWs responsibility to cater to the grievance industry.

          • Brad

            I’m stealing that term.

          • Brad

            Sisters deserve a proper release, there are rock-solid lore and pretty basic biological reasons given for all-male space marines.

            The guard has always had women in it. Eldar and Dark Eldar as well. Sisters of Battle, while neglected (like many “male” armies) were always badass. Equality existed in games long before the tumblrtard crowd tried to inject their bullsh*t into it.

          • templarsmonochromata

            Don’t you know, its the current year!
            You can’t have BAD GUYS being vile to women!? What kind of message does THAT send!?
            The furor about Apocalypse shown choking Mystique on X-Men publicity posters shows that advertising is sensitive to its protected class, and that depiction of violence towards this protected group is always unacceptable,
            and that Apocalypse, and by extension the studio that made this (fine) film are morally reprehensible in their depiction of women.

            Anyone seeing this image may get the completely false idea that an ancient proto mutant enhanced by alien machines and a hundred lifetimes and a multitude of mutant powers was STRONGER than a blue skinned female mutant, which is a patently false narrative.

            The studio agreed, has made donations to the womens rights focus groups involved in spearheading these protests, and withdrawn all such posters, expense be damned, theres feelings at stake here, and thought crimes need to be prevented.

            (Look it up)

          • Brad

            Please explain how an androgynous god who can change from male to female or both at will is mysoginistic.

            I’ll wait.

          • Jooster

            It’s right there, in the second half of my post. Daemonettes are purely for the male gaze.

          • Brad

            I mean reality, not gender studies bullsh*t.

            Also, they are androgynous and
            hermaphroditic. So.. yeah.

          • Jooster

            What do you mean, reality and not gender studies? You’re in a discussion about misogyny, that’s kind of going to bring in other terms from it naturally. Or would you expect someone to explain magnetism without mentioning physics?

            And please, show me a GW depiction of an androgynous Daemonette. You could push the case for the Citadel Keeper, but certainly not the lesser daemons. Even the steeds have obvious feminine traits.

          • ThirteenthLetter

            “I don’t disagree with the misogyny present with GW’s representation of Slaanesh,”

            Perhaps you should, considering that so far nobody has been able to coherently explain how there is any.

          • Jooster

            It’s right there, in the second half of my post. Daemonettes and the other sexual aspects of the power are purely for the male gaze.

            You should look harder. I copy/pasted that from this very thread.

          • Andrew Long

            I’ve been a slaanesh player for many years now with 5 Slaaneshi themed armies. It’s my firm belief that many of the commentors here have not looked at a modern slaanesh model and all focus mistakenly falls on the daemon army.

            For example, all of the modern plastic daemonettes have a covered breast and a male pectoral (fans of the Diaz sclupts went mad with the new ‘censored’ look in-fact) .They are clearly both sexes in one. It def has what you might call a feminine sensibility, but if you’re looking for the argument of objectification purely in the sculpt, the model is ambiguous and challenging.

            Thinking on it, the only true female Slaanesh model is the forge world greater daemon. All the rest share both male and female characteristics – even the steeds.

            If you go a step further, all mortal slaanesh models in both 40k and WFB are men with organic and baroque styling for their armour.

            If you want sexy female models, look to the dark eldar or dark elves (aelfs? I dunno), maybe lahmian vampires. The only female Daemon made by GW is the Valkia Khorne model. It’s a sausage party in Slaanesh.

          • Pj

            How are they misogynistic and if they are why is that a problem?

          • Brad

            Y’know what slaanesh needs? A little more c*ck and balls. Some lithe male version of a daemonette with a swimmer’s build and a big pale dangly one that can count as an extra close combat weapon. EQUALITY!

          • ThirteenthLetter

            “that the approach of the Slaanesh models is quite misogynistic.”

            How are breasts misogynistic?

        • Grafton Is Dust

          Welcome to Western Culture, where killing is fine but we’re not allowed to talk about sex.

          As an aside, I don’t really have a stake or opinion in this either way, but Forge World do tend to do better work than GW. GW works in, shall we say, “broad strokes?” That manage to simultaneously be really narrow.

          Hence Khorne being simplified to KILL KILL BLOOD BLOOD SKULL, Nurgle being “eck blurgh I’m sick,” and Tzeentch being Space Wizards but slightly better until everyone else got updated to beat them at it.

          I mean, Slaanesh is just another oversimplification of the wider concept of the Gods. The issue is, as they are represented on the tabletop, they’re a narrow and shallow version of what they could be, with a little work.

          Personally I don’t disagree that Forge World could do it better, in the same way Forge World expanded the Guard from being cannon fodder with occasional Russ of one or two patterns, to being a faction with an astonishing array of ways to drop pie plates from really far away.

        • Muninwing

          but slaanesh *does* take nuance to get right. sex is the easiest way to convey the idea, so if you want it more developed than that you’ll need to dig into difficult territory.

          his solution is to not let the creative team, some of whom have been phoning it in for awhile, take the easy way out. and to give it to the people who have proven they can handle it a bit better.

      • Diablix

        I read an article where the first description of Slaanesh is that it is about naked chicks.
        Then I read it is the god of “pleasure” (wrong, it’s the god of excess).
        Then I read it’s a collection of ideas about sex (wrong).
        And I never read something that explains why it is much more and how they should manage it. I just read: “give it to FW because they are better at managing nuances”.
        Angel Bizarre is totally right, I’m sorry. Maybe you overstimated the article quality.

        • Cylux

          Yeah but he wrote a whole wall of text, so he must know what he’s talking about. :^)

          • SYSTem050

            To be fair this why we can’t have nice things. Is it brilliantly written and edited? No is it nice to have something other than boom xheck out next week’s release schedule that we have already told you about six times a random podcast I don’t have time to listen to or a random video battle report. Yes

            This article has prompted a nice lively and on the whole constructive debate in the comments section, how often can you say that about BOLS (or even the internet)

          • Grafton Is Dust

            Plus articles like this generate a tonne of HateComments(tm), making it very lucrative to post them.

        • Grafton Is Dust

          It may be due to your cherry-picking nature. Try addressing the article as a whole.

          • Diablix

            I usually find quite difficult to cherry-pick things that do not exist. My fault, though, I admit that.

      • Pj

        Why? Who are you to judge?

        • Grafton Is Dust

          Who are you to judge my judgement?

    • Lyam Trainor

      I just signed up to say the exact same thing. Slaanesh is not about sex, but about decadence and hedonism. Slaanesh has alot of nuance.

      • Grafton Is Dust

        Yup, just read Fulgrim, does it really well IMO.

        • JamesD

          And there is hardly anything that pushes towards sex in it. Fulgrim himself is so wrapped into the excess of all the arts and senses, and that is one of the things that pushes him over. It’s about never having enough.

    • Knight_of_Infinite_Resignation

      well said

    • SYSTem050

      You managed to make the point I wastrying for so much better. Slannesh does not equal sex. Any more than Nurgle equals pus. It’s part of it but not the full amount.

      I would like to see some slannesh troops based around glutonny or phone perfection with no need for any whips or nipple clamps

      • Grafton Is Dust

        Which was the point of the article, and I agree.

      • ZeeLobby

        In the GW world everyone has 12-packs.

    • Fexxo

      I like what you said. To add a point I feel like people’s perception of Slaanesh should change. It’s like as soon as you say sex that is all people hold onto and that is it. Where there is actually more to it.

    • Jacob Carmine

      I must admit, I started rolling my eyes as soon and the article started spit firing about slut-shaming and such.

      As a lot of people have already pointed out. Slaanesh isn’t about sex, but decadence.

      I will admit though. I find the overall tone of the article hilarious after such a long winded wikipedia entry about the difference between being mature and not being mature. Only to make the same mistakes and childish assumptions, in order to appear more advanced.

    • Crablezworth

      Well said good sir 🙂

    • Pj

      The author is your typical leftist social just warrior who has far too much time on his hands. He chooses to find things to be outraged by. Nobody other than him has every cared about this.

      The most annoying thing about the article is that he tried to ramrod all the newspeak terms he could into it. “trans-phobia, homophobia, sexist” I’m surprised he didn’t make a comment about so-called “privilege” as well.

    • Jonas

      Thank god this is the top post. I was half afraid the guy saying this was the most intellectual article posted on the site was actually the top comment before realize I had it sorted by oldest, not best.

  • AircoolUK

    Good read.

    One thing I have noticed in the AoS artwork is that there is no blood.

    • Fexxo

      Well there is if you look close enough just not spraying like a burst water pipe.

  • Knight_of_Infinite_Resignation

    Good article, well written, and I enjoyed it. I can certainly see where the OP is coming from, and I can see how making Slaanesh a FW property could be a solution. However I disagree that ignoring sex, sexuality, gluttony and similar excess, and their ability to corrupt, is a mature response.

    I think the existence of Slaanesh as one of the Big Four is a great thing, it ties the cosmology into ancient archetypal schemas such as the four elements, four humours etc. Slaanesh also draws upon the mythical image of divine hermaphrodite. All told it adds a powerful symmetry and resonance, and were She/He to be replaced or diminished I dread to think what would be put in its place. The GW team have not shown lately that they can handle big fluff ideas with any adroitness, in fact quite the opposite.

    Without Slaanesh all we have is a god of murder, one of disease, one of magic, and thats it. How adult is that? Slaanesh is actually one of the more mature elements of the game, excess, even the pursuit of beauty and skill, even when ostensibly virtuous, taken beyond moral limits is indeed the most subtle form of corruption, and a more mature concept than murder, magic or plague.

    Games Workshop are prone to overstate the importance of kids as their market, and although there are indeed lots of kids in the shops on occasion, I suspect there are far more £s spent by older adult collectors and gamers, but GW’s absence of market research and lack of other data makes the proportions impossible to guess. The presence of a few hermaphroditic nipples shouldn’t, in these days of tolerance, be too much of an issue, surely?

    As for being transphobic or homophobic I don’t see that at all, just because Slaanesh is portrayed as encompassing both genders it isn’t intended as a dig at anyone, more a re-interpretation of that mythic image of Ardhanari or Hermaphroditus. Is Nurgle somehow anti sick people, because it uses the image of illness?

    • V10_Rob

      “Is Nurgle somehow anti sick people, because it uses the image of illness?”

      DO NOT give them any ideas.

    • Muninwing

      that’s why the current design team needs to go read the Liber Chaotica. while not the mainstream ideas of Chaos, there’s a ton to think about in there.

      Chaos has been, since the beginning, the embodiment of sentient emotion that has become corrupted (whether in its own right, due to humans being corrupt, by the Old Ones overuse of the warp, by the C’tan’s involvement, or any other explanation you can come up with).

      love, anger, hope, despair.

      with love, you get selfishness and desire and greed and gluttony

      with anger you get fierce pride, bravery, hatred, and bloodlust

      with hope you get curiosity, complication, mania, overanalysis, and scheming

      with despair you get wallowing in the depths of one’s own poison, the nihilist’s joy at the end of suffering, freedom from expectation, and surrender to a higher power

      • Knight_of_Infinite_Resignation

        that is very well expressed. I think Liber Chaotica to be one of the last truly inspired things GW released, along with the Uplifting Primer which came out roughly the same time IIRC?

  • Sage

    Well I think you’re speaking about the issue from a perspective outside the demographic Warhammer is aimed at. Most gamers are fairly apathetic towards those issues and simply wouldn’t think about Slannesh in those terms. You’re ignoring that Warhammer is absolutely not aimed at being “mature” like sandman.

    The discourse on Slannesh is that people don’t like things like making the demonettes ugly since it defeats the purpose of wanting to collect an army of Succubi. If you’re part of the niche that make up that gods player base these are things that are viewed with hostility.

    • Muninwing

      “isn’t aimed at” and “based on its needs, strategies, market placement, potential audience, and general economic well-being, *should be* aimed at” are two drastically different things

      • Sage

        No because plastic toy soldiers have a very limited niche demographic anyway. It would be suicide for GW to alienate its core demographic simply to appeal to other groups who if they are commited geeks will simply drift towards other factions. There’s plenty of female players who might roll their eyes at Slannesh stuff but there’s nothing to stop them buying Orks or Eldar. If you ban sexy Slannesh she will still buy her Orc army but you ve basically encouraged that Slannesh player to look for substitute models like the TGG range. Also not every woman or (especially) the other groups you mentioned would view Slannesh in that context. You’re assuming that your own interpretation of Slannesh is universal and that everyone views it that way.

        • Muninwing

          “It would be suicide for GW to alienate its core demographic simply to appeal to other groups”

          yeah… that’s not the case.

          just because you want to be entrenched in a sad boy’s club doesn’t mean that society is not moving on without you.

          and again… my “interpretation of slaanesh” is much more broad than “let’s slap boobs on it” like many of the models have suggested.

          in case you have not noticed, some of the biggest movie blockbusters of the last few years have been fantasy or comic book themed. World of Warcraft and Lord of the Rings have mainstreamed the niche culture that what was. meaning that the market is now much more open to customers that once would have dismissed it out of hand. so keeping away from these buyers to save your delicate isolationist ego is counter to the best interests of the company.

          there are people who are now threatened by the “invasion” of “their” territory. they like the benefits — like the blockbusters — but want the same old same old of the european-based tolkienesque mainstream straight white christian rehashings. suddenly, when the focus is broadened to the point when it can cover larger themes and thus gain more legitimacy past the stale old reclusiveness that it had been becoming.

          personally, i like more ideas rather than less. and i’m getting sick of the same overused tropes. so i’m all for seeing what else can be included. and who else can be included. it can only make the product better.

          • Sage

            No it is the case. There is not a vast pool of potential customers alienated by GW IP. This is a fantasy. Mainstream people are not interested in collecting over priced toy soldiers for obvious reasons. The lore is far, far down on the list of reasons stopping 40k being mainstream. You’re assuming people who play with toy soldiers are looking for mature themes?
            So no, I do not feel threatened by your argument and the legions of people behind you.

            Because an army of desexualised Succubi is a contradiction. The faction is about more than that thematically but ascetic ally they should look like that. You’re calling for the removal of the faction because you’re a prude. If you want a non sexual army
            then go collect Imperial Guard. Again, we’re not talking about a popular faction here, so singling them out as THE thing keeping people away from Warhammer is laughable.

          • Muninwing

            wow, reading fail here.

            not calling for removal of any faction here. just pointing out that the puerile objectification of women in the name of guys having something sexy to look at is actually rather pathetic.

            and it alienates women who could be customers.

            i also never singled it out as the reason people stayed away. that’s a really sad comprehension error. no, what i said was that the customer field is broadening, and doing anything that could keep customers away needs to be weighed carefully. anything.

          • Brad

            I found this for you.

          • Muninwing

            it’d help if you used it properly. come back with something better.

          • Brad

            You were arguing against straw men.

            So yeah, I’ll stick with what I already found.

            Did you learn that fancy way of saying “NUH UH!!!!” in gender studies courses?

          • Muninwing

            just because you can’t keep up with the argument doesn’t mean it’s a straw man. and your pathetic choice of strawmen isn’t helping you look like you know what you’re talking about either.

            on the tabletop, is Slaanesh exclusively feminine despite the fluff? yes.

            is Slaanesh more than just a god of nudity? look at ALL the comments here, if you’re not sure. big time.

            are the models deliberately accentuating certain… traits… in order to tittilate and seem “naughty” to immature little boys? yes.

            are there a ton of other interesting ideas that they could use for Slaanesh? Sigvald alone shows that’s a yes, so do the Noise Marines.

            are we actually talking about sales markets, where women are buyers? for a company that was remarkably willing to alienate longtime customers to try to snare younger (and less reliable) ones, this should be a major concern.

            are we also seeing a petty backlash from people who feel that this is “their” hobby and it shouldn’t change at all in order to be less alienating to other consumers? yes, plenty right here in these comments.

            if you can show me how any of these is a strawman, go ahead. but you might want to look up the definition first.

          • templarsmonochromata

            Interesting pejoratives there.
            “Sad boys club”? The elitist in me suddenly wants to join, specifically because membership would, presumably put me in a distinct group from the speaker.

            I encourage you to consider your use of shaming language… as you clearly imply that shame should be there.

            How do you convince someone who isn’t ashamed? Can you make a compelling argument not contingent on feelings? Ill reveal my ‘gotcha’ bait and pre-empt your reply; this is a discussion BASED upon feelings, and the answer I was looking for is that you probably can’t, and neither can I.

            Why did your comment in particular bring up

            race? I’m sensing hostility.

          • Muninwing

            the “sad boys club” comment was a reference to the pathetic “sad puppies” and their attempts to undermine the Hugo awards because they felt marginalized at no longer being a majority.

            and the sidenote reference to race is because the same kinds of backlash is happening in all forms of discrimination. it’s become far less socially acceptable, even than before, but those who feel comfortable in their bubbles of isolation have intensified their rhetoric because they feel attacked.

  • V10_Rob

    I now want to give GW money so as to build a Slaanesh army.

    Because someone will find it ‘problematic’, and they deserve to choke on it and be triggered all the way out of town.

    • Grafton Is Dust

      Point of this went right over your head, didn’t it?

      • V10_Rob

        It’s one thing to look down your nose at something as being puerile and pandering to edgy tweens (eg. flashing some t!tflesh and saying “f***” a lot makes it soooo mature and sophisticated).

        Consider raunchy gross-out comedies aimed at that demographic. Yes, fart jokes are the bottom of the barrel, and anyone who wallows in that sort of amusement deserves our scorn and contempt. Such low-brow material is beneath us.

        But as soon anyone starts wringing their hands about how it might offend or upset someone, it is the sacred duty of us connoisseurs to hand our top hat and coat to another gentleman, grab the milquetoast, stuff his sniveling face into our buttocks and let fly with the nastiest flatulence we can muster.

        • euansmith
        • Grafton Is Dust

          Except this isn’t about how it offends someone, it’s about how it’s an oversimplification of the Chaos Gods, in the same manner as Khorne has been simplified to BloodBloodSkullWrath, or Space Wolves with their Thunderwolf, Stormwolf, Wolf Guard, Wolf Priests Wolf Wolf Wolf Wolf Wolf

          • Jooster

            Wait, BloodBloodSkullWrath isn’t the name of that god?

          • JamesD

            Blood, Metal, Blood, skull, Wrath, Gains, Blood, SKULL!

          • Moonsaves

            Well, it’s at least partially about how it could potentially offend somebody. It goes into this within the article where it mentions it could be offensive to transsexuals, homosexuals etc.

        • Muninwing

          wow, this is the opposite of maturity. the initial point of this article is proven right here, only instead of some tween smoking to look cool, we have you.

          most of the “concerned it might offend someone” arguments come down to either:

          (a) people just as immature who are overusing the term, but who will learn, and who are really just being cautious


          (b) people who are trying to undermine the idea of the offense of others, because they don’t like being told what to do despite being on the losing side of a culture war

          i work with teenagers. many who are rural poor. if i reprimand you for throwing around “certain words” it’s going to be because i’ve seen the functionality of the people you are attacking with those words being broken down with the kind of casual disrespect you use as a cruel joke.

          that makes you a bully, not me “sensitive”

          and fart jokes aren’t funny? really? they’re hilarious, if done well and sparingly.

          this effete classist mishmash you are promoting — “milquetoast” and “sniveling” and “gentleman” and criticizing low humor in a nonsensical mishmash — isn’t defensible.

          • V10_Rob

            You want to rewrite 40k (or something else) to evolve it into something more than caricatured meatheads in power armor and one-dimensional demons, that’s great, more power to you.

            You want to rewrite it because someone somewhere might use it as an excuse to glorify their imagined victimhood, hell no, f*** you.

            We have, as a society, been walking on eggshells for years, cringing in fear every time the Manufactured Grievance Industry opens its maw, and shamed into reflexive self-censorship. That’s not a path to maturity, that’s perpetual infantilization.

          • Muninwing

            from how loud and uncouth you’re being here, i doubt your “walking on eggshells” comment is in any way accurate.

            and self-censorship might seem infantile to you… but i think this might be a class issue. knowing when to say something and when to be silent is a measure of maturity and class. sorry to tell you.

          • Brad

            Nobody can be loud through text, you pretentious, desperate-to-sound-oh-so-intelligent-when-you-clearly-AREN’T freakin wanker.

          • templarsmonochromata

            I say that humor is the only defense anyone needs for any statement.
            “I think I shall go kill myself now.”

          • Grafton Is Dust

            Don’t you know? Caring about others is for the weak. Crush the hearts of those around you, sing songs to callous Gods as you tread over them towards riches.

            Such is the way of life, no?

          • Peter Houlihan

            Genuinely curious, why are you so obsessed with seriousness and maturity? It might do you good to let your hair down once in a while and have some fun. Maybe play one of the games which hasn’t had the life sucked out of it yet?

          • Muninwing

            non-sequitur, distraction, and honestly a lame comment.

            look at the top of this page. what’s the title?

            if we are talking about maturity, calling someone out for being “obsessed with seriousness and maturity” just proves you aren;t bothering to pay attention.

    • From the way you used the phrase “triggered” it is quite clear you don’t understand it (or its utter lack of application to this discussion)

      • Muninwing

        i do see some evidence of the term being overused — not as much as the trolls would have you believe, but definitely losing its significance when being used in locations that might not merit the seriousness implied.

        then again, that could just be decent people being cautious.

        • At some point people decided to conflate triggers (which is to say common things that trigger PTSD) with things that are offensive (which is a much more complicated and nuanced discussion). I don’t know who did it or when, but it muddies the waters and leads to dumb straw man arguments. Specifically because trigger warnings are intended as a way for a person with PTSD to approach triggering content when they are best able to, rather than seeking to remove or ban the triggering content.

          • Muninwing

            again, being a teacher in an area with a loooot of problems, i can understand when people do not want to have PTSD flashbacks because of the reactivation of past trauma.

            anyone who doesn’t understand that is lucky, if no less arrogant for it.

            so when it’s used for “i don’t like talking about this because it’s difficult,” it makes me want to smack someone.

            there are a lot of things that are difficult to talk about. look at what happens in the US when anyone brings up race — some people actually think that the very mention that such a thing exists, never mind someone relating how it has affected them, is the actual racism… because their inconvenience of not being the center of attention is so terrible for them that they’d crumble under real pressures.

            some people are oversensitive — not in the “i get all worked up over the issue and blustery” way that that phrase is intended, but instead in the “i’m now going to have nightmares for a week because you’ve forced me to remember” sort of way.

            and asking not to be put in that place isn’t being a bad person, it’s asking for basic consideration.

          • templarsmonochromata

            Yeah, but how much?
            You’re a teacher, so I’m guessing you know the implicit philosophical fallacy of an appeal to consequences, in this case someone who has suffered, been traumatized, or to listen to an opposing arguments framing, someone infantalized to the point of not be able to process a past trauma without nightmares and reccurant distress.

            We don’t have hard data that avoiding reminders of the trauma is the best treatment. Some respected experts on the topic encourage engagement with the issue, rather than avoidance.

            Whats basic about such considerations?
            When is it an imposition? How much should others cater to society’s feelings, for the good of some particularly vulnerable individuals, and can it be -proven- that this is the most effective method of addressing the issue?

            Because the other side of this issue is that we need to curtail our expression for fear of hurting others, and logically, we wind up with protected classes of people that are not allowed to be criticized or ever depicted as anything other than victors.

            I don’t actually know where I stand on this issue (despite what you may think of my stance), & I have my doubts that such depictions are having the intended results.

          • JamesD

            Burn that heretic, Brother! Use the light of your holy logic flamer!

          • Grafton Is Dust

            Funnily enough, in the field of psychology, there is no catch-all cure for an issue. Everyone is different.

    • Muninwing

      so you’re the kinda of immature troll that doesn’t understand what it means to be an adult?

      that’s good to know.

  • Hades

    This is why I always liked the idea of Noise Marines, using art forms as a weapon – not a hint of sexual perversion, just ravaging sound shredding minds. I always hoped more was done along those lines, fighting as an art form, seeking perfection in their action. More development of this would make Slaanesh in 40k less sexual and more perfectionist.

    • Grafton Is Dust

      The Emperor’s Children in general summed that up really well, (IMO.) It was about pushing for perfection beyond the bounds of what is accepted, or even sane. The fact that perfection is impossible means that the vision of what to push towards became twisted and horrific, because Fulgrim never realised that they’d already effectively achieved it.

    • Muninwing

      you ever listen to bands that do industrial noise? skinny puppy, for instance, is really interesting… but not what i would say is “pleasant” to listen to.

      there’s a certain appeal to that.

      and in a lot of contemporary art, the idea of doing what invokes reaction is often reacted to as overdone, but it is an interesting aspect to the idea of the search for perfection of an art — doing what has never been done before by pushing boundaries.

  • Ben Martin

    Slaanesh is (and I notice lots of people saying this) NOT just fifty shades: the fantasy edition. Slaanesh is about excess! In every way! Pushing to perfection, and then trying to get past it, past the humanity and the good intent. As mentioned before, Fulgrim was a good example. He was art (as far as I’m aware he literally became a painting at one point). What they could do, it push ‘groups’ of themed units based on each of the senses. Taste could be the idea of Gluttony. Nurgle already has fat people, so why not cursed food? Cursing a planets food source so they turn into eternally hungry slaves? Noise, we already have (a church organ on the back of a tank would be awesome though). Smell, I’m not sure. Sight could be continuing the art theme. Paintings that drag you in of you look at them? Touch could be aesthetic. All the finest silks and furs in the galaxy!
    BUT, the 80’s album cover is a look that is so tied into Slaanesh now, it would be hard to get rid of. So, keep the daemonettes (love those models), and let Forge World do some of the more ‘adult’ miniatures. But mainly, Slaanesh should stay, because unlike the other gods Slaanesh is clean. Graceful, and beutiful. If your tired of painting rotting flesh, blood and gore, tentacles, then you can paint an army that actually tries to look it’s best at all times. Rant done.

    • bobrunnicles

      Exactly! Just look at Sigvald The Magnificent – he’s the poster boy for Slaanesh. No excessive over-emphasizing of sexual characteristics, just a really clean sculpt that the fluff has constantly looking at his own reflection in his mirrored shield.

    • Muninwing

      i love the idea of cursed food…

      maybe go with this and the concept of the Wendigo?

      incorporate it into some units that consume the flesh of their enemies, but once they start they want no other sustenance. thus, what they initially do for power ends up ruling them.

      • Moonsaves

        Basically a great way to introduce Ghouls/Flesh Eater Courts to 40k.

  • Arthfael

    The GW universe is very interesting, in that to a humourless person it may be seen as condoning very macho, sometimes outright fascist ideas. At the same time it evolved in the context of the 80s and the punk movement, Heavy Metal and 2000AD, when the exaggerated storylines where so bloody ridiculous that it should’ve been clear to most that this was a satire. This is why the tongue in cheek humour in 40k was so important from the beginning, and why it is good that after a period of relative absence it is coming back. We’ve all seen on occasion crypto-nazis use the Imperium or Chaos as a vehicle for their hatred.
    Now, I agree that Slaanesh, or at least his/her more sexual aspects (let’s face it, even non sexualised She-Who-Thirsts is disturbing), can be tricky to market to kids. Then again, while kids may be essential to GW’s survival, I am not sure I am happy with 8 years old playing a game as horrendous as that one, I mean, chainswords always come to mind and they are far from the worst out there. Taken at face value, 40k promotes ultra-violence, intolerance, genocide and xenophobia as positives (if targeted at alien species or heretics). Why is this more acceptable?

    • Knight_of_Infinite_Resignation

      Well said. Sometimes I think GW have forgotten that it was all a piss-take of Thatcher and her Victorian Values, and a kind of punk mockery of Fascism and religion.

      Perhaps you had to be there to really get it, and subversion and satire are hard to sell to shareholders.

      • wibbling

        What on earth gave you that idea? Most of Workshop’s early years are about punk rock and in jokes – such as Birmingham, the Black planet (which America completely misunderstood).

        Shareholders don’t give a monkey’s about GW products – unless they’re actual gamers as well. What they want is to get dividends from the sale of those products and how well those images are protected.

        As the Lord of Change is nicked from a Vrock and Keeper of Secrets from Glabrezu, ‘Thirster from a Balor these are not new tropes, just takes on them specific to the universe.

        • Knight_of_Infinite_Resignation

          What gave me that idea? Living through the 1980s. These facts are well known, I’m not making this stuff up, just read any Oldhammer blog! There are dozens of in jokes and political jokes (even literary jokes – Dark Angel is a homoerotic poem by Lionel Johnson for instance) from the Rogue Trader days.

          GW has been taken over by a sort of painful seriousness since they went Corporate. I think they are genuinely uncomfortable with much of the original material but they can’t change it. I guess seriousness can sell novel series and plays better to Americans than the relics of old fashioned British humour.

          • Fluffy

            All the fun people left, and all that remains is enslaved by the GrimDark. If they really want to look at how they can modernise Warhammer, and bring back some real grim darkness, maybe they could, I don’t know, look at some places people are doing it better? I mean, who hasn’t played Dark Souls and thought “this fits in really well with GW stuff, but they’d never have pulled off a story like this because there’s not enough melodrama”?

          • Knight_of_Infinite_Resignation

            despite all the talk of Grimdark, 40K is pretty obviously not really the dark setting it likes to think it is. There are, as you say, much darker settings. It only makes sense as a satire or parody. I guess without its humour its a kind of Grimdark ‘Light’ (as in the sense of ‘Diet’), violent, not sexual, and thus suitable for kids.

          • Fluffy

            Yup. GrimDark: PG Edition. Like the post-Attitude Era WWE, they’re trying to maintain the spirit while making it more kid friendly. Really, with how high their prices are, they should have done the opposite.

          • Muninwing

            The Dark Angel, to be fair, is actually about Lionel Johnson wrestling with the conflicts created by his homosexuality and his Catholicism.

            i’ve actually taken quotes from that and some of his other poems to write on my DA tanks…

          • Knight_of_Infinite_Resignation

            It is a very beautiful poem, nice idea with the quotes. We are lucky to live in less judgemental times.

      • Arthfael

        Does it mean we are actually funding a fascist organisation by buying these minis? The prospect is too horrible…

        • Knight_of_Infinite_Resignation

          well some people would argue that all Corporations are by their nature Fascist entities, but that aside, no. Early GW was definitely anti establishment and since satire is meant to mock and belittle, anti Fascist too. Those days are gone, but some of us still smile when we remember Ghazghkull’s last names…

          • Arthfael

            I was but jesting, and I agree that old school GW was definitely anti-fascist, and if anything was part of a punk approach to scifi. Yet I have sometimes feared that the fact that 40k was taken more seriously might be the result of the company being led not by people interested in profit and who did not really understand the game’s story, but by people with actual fascist leanings.

          • Knight_of_Infinite_Resignation

            I think that does happen. The obvious humour made that unlikely in the beginning, but now the humour has been washed out it becomes more of a danger.

  • Heinz Fiction

    Homework for next week: trim this article to half it’s length. It’s still more than enough to make your point.

  • Sage

    I think you’re not getting that when Slannesh players say that GW is toning down mature themes they are really just using a more neutral and polite way to say that they’re desxualising it. You can dispute whether this attitude is really mature but then I don’t think they’re really claiming it is mature. More that they believe Slannesh stuff should be sexy.

  • vlad78

    “Not to mention, it’s a tabletop wargame that by financial necessity, needs to be aimed at children aswell as adults. A faction where you can legitimately joke about how they main pure heroin into the bulbous veins of a noise marine’s leathebound nine-inches really isn’t appropriate in a game that has
    always marketed itself at the young. Certainly not enough to justify their inclusion, which is why I think it makes sense to slowly pull the limelight from Slaanesh.

    – GW biggest and most critical target audience are children. But trying to give the appearance of a mature game is the best way to attract children to it because as you rightly pointed out they are desperate to appear older. and despite that you want to remove Slannesh? And honestly GW stay really ellusive about the most offending parts such concept could show in warhammer. It is just left to the imagination which is much better imho.

    Imho you wrote a convolutated article just to express the latest impulse of puritanism you’re suffering from.

    – “The naysayers will probably rant about how AoS is the root of this, but that’s bollocks. ‘Warhammer’ has always been rooted in that very
    specific heavy metal counterculture of torn denim waistcoats, greasy mullets, bum fluff moustaches and band patches that infested the UK in the eighties. Cheesy album art was always a huge part of that culture, and so many of the aesthetic choices have pollinated the look of both Warhammer and 40K.”

    Sorry but the hypertrophied sadomasochist He Man aesthetic definitly came with AOS. The artists who made the eighties album covers had at least the skills to draw believable muscular human beings .

    – Giving slaaneshi armies to FW only is imho the best way to get rid of them without saying it out loud. The number of customers will dwindle given the price and finally GW will have the pefect excuse to squat them. Furthermore children do buy FW items too.

    “Slaanesh has already been replaced by the Horned Rat in AoS, which
    clearly shows it can be done in 40K too. To be honest, this is the ideal
    opportunity to do something exciting and new for Chaos players, giving
    them a whole new Chaos power to deal with. They could bring back Malal,
    or they could choose something else to fill the gap more naturally.
    Either way, it would be a step towards turning 40K into an actual, truly
    mature environment, and that can only be a good thing.”

    – Stating that some part of the lore do not have to be used in the game is just BS. The best part of wfb and 40k lore are coming from texts written in the eighties, what did they have at the time? they tried to give some kind of inner coherency to the setting, a coherency which Kirby totally ignored and slowly removed.

    Yes those nuggets are a bit stuck in the past, but removing them like that is not the best answer.

    AOS from that point of view is a total failure because it deleted the coherency of the previous universe and didn’t replace it. (it’s not the only reason of course) Do we have to understand the new 9 realms are totally devoid of sexual tension? (well that wouldn’ t be surprising coming from the sigmarines or the fat dwarves)

    You don’t like any sexually related theme in the game, so what? that’s a tiny controversial part fo the game and it would be better to leave it as it is instead of making the game more bland than it is already.

    OMG, slaanesh is porn related OMG, it offends you (think of the kiddiiiiiiiiiiiiiies!! ) but you have no qualm about playing fictional characters who lorewise are openly uphelding fascist or racist point of views. (which is all of them to be franck)

    • Knight_of_Infinite_Resignation

      thats a good point re kids wanting to be part of something that appears to be made for an older audience. That was certainly true of me as a young teen, 2000AD and Heavy Metal and Realm of Chaos all felt like they were aimed at people older than myself, and that made them slightly taboo and exciting.

      In fact they pulled off the great trick of appealing to both audiences, much like The Simpsons. Rereading 2000AD recently I was surprised at the amount of subversive, left wing and libertarian political messages.

    • Marc Willis

      While I did enjoy the article, I do not agree with the writers opinion. Slannesh is not an immature boob god. He/She has many facets that are under represented in the current model range. As with the other deamons GW wanted a range that could visually be associated with each chaos god. Unfortunately this lead to Slannesh being pigeonholed into being the S&M sex freak god.

      I can honestly say that I do not care for how GW is trying to desexualize the game. The rats should not have replaced Slannesh. Rats are carriers of plague and should fall under the umbrella of Nurgle. Slannesh needs models to represent his/her various aspects. Sex should at most represent fraction of Slannesh’s model range. GW just has to get smarter about how they visually associate it with Slannesh.

      As a final thought, if GW is hellbent marketing to kids then the Chaos line needs to be dropped. Stop sending mixed messages. Dropping only Slannesh is saying it is ok to evicerate and collect the skulls of the innocent but it is unacceptable to touch on the subject of sex.

      • Muninwing

        slaanesh is not an immature boob god. but that’s much of what GW has decided to do with the models.

        so… either give the idea to people who can handle it, or stay away fro it until you can do it right.

        i think that was the point of the article.

        • Grafton Is Dust

          Yorkie points out that Slaanesh has vast potential, but the only tabletop representation is drugs ‘n’ t*ts.

          People start screaming that Yorkie is coming to take their toys away and that Slaanesh is fine as it is.

          I remember why I stopped hanging around the 40K community now. It’s toxicity incarnate.

    • Moonsaves

      And hey – does anybody remember the Attitude Era of wrestling? The last “golden era” wrestling had? Kids of all ages flocked to watch Stone Cold Steve Austin give someone the middle finger; Kane talked about how he murdered his parents, and then Sable got her boobs out. Yes, this is “lowbrow” and arguably distasteful, but hey – what kid didn’t watch wrestling? Anyone seen modern WWE? They haven’t realised that by targeting adults, the kids desperately want to buy into the product anyway, because – as you pointed out – kids crave being grown up.

      The other thing is, even if you take out Slaanesh, you could make this argument about a great many things in the universe. Are the Dark Eldar next? They are explicitly sexual in nature and crave pain and torture on their victims.

      • yorknecromancer

        I already did a column on wrestling though. I mean, it’s got nothing to do with anything you’ve said, but yeah, I know WWE.

        There’s a reason they’ve gone PG: money talks, and they make more money that way. Which leaves other feds free to NOT be PG, and rake in all the ‘adult’ money (hey there Lucha Underground, my favourite promotion of the moment).

        Which is why I argued NOT to take Slaanesh out – a fact that lots of people here seemed to have ignored. I think it’s smarter to focus ‘mainstream’ GW on that sweet beginner’s money, and make Slaanesh a FW-only thing, because if FW becomes the ‘adult’ version of GW, several things happen.

        1.) FW is differentiated from GW, meaning there’s less product crossover.
        2.) The existence of FW products lend GW that veneer of adult ‘legitimacy’ with kids, making GW seem more enticing in so doing.
        3.) FW products gain a further veneer of ‘for adult’, making them inherently more desirable to kids.
        4.) There’s a clear delineation between GW and FW, meaning that those parents who DO care about such things (and they do exist, I have been in arguments with them or Parents’ Evenings, and they can make running the school games club difficult) can ensure that they only buy the products that are age appropriate.

        At no stage have I argued for the removal of Slaanesh; merely retiring her from mainstream GW, in order to make her more exclusive, and make mainstream GW more presentable, which, to my mind, is a win-win.

        As for the Dark Eldar, yes, there are some sexual aspects to them, but it’s not a front-and-centre as with Slaanesh, so it’s less of an issue.


  • Aaron Turner

    Slaneesh is absolutely perfect the way He/She is, The models are fantastic the fluff is awesome. People get offended constantly by anything and everything by changing something that is apart of the fundamental fluff of the game to suit a very small minority of players would be a crying shame, Great article and you talk about maturity but surely the real show of maturity would be to say “Hey this is a tabletop game and at the core is very adult themed universe”

    I have been invested in the 40k universe from the age of 7/8 and when i saw Slaneesh for the first time it didn’t upset me or put me off the game it was interesting and weird. Playing into the actual fluff i wanted to destroy these beast’s of the warp not go crying to my mum because i saw a lil bit of boob.

    If we are talking about the game and its offensiveness to Women and the LGBT community and the over sexualisation of the god in question look at the Callidus model “dat butt though” look at the Eldar models (Dark Eldar). Even the Sister Repentia and the Adepta Sororitas as a hole (deprived nuns wanting to die so they can get there jolly’s from the emperor)

    Any one who is offended by Slaneesh then I’m afraid to say this is not the game for you really it isn’t, because there are many more things within this universe that will absolutely offend you.

    • Knight_of_Infinite_Resignation

      “Even the Sister Repentia and the Adepta Sororitas as a hole ”

      er, I think you mean “whole” 🙂

      • Aaron Turner

        why does that even matter good lord get a life

        • Knight_of_Infinite_Resignation

          seemed like an on topic amusing typo but hey I see you have no sense of humour. Sorry to have troubled you.

          • Grafton Is Dust

            Ironic considering he was ripping Yorkie for being oversensitive, isn’t it?

          • Aaron Turner

            I wasn’t ripping any one for being over sensitive 😉

          • Aaron Turner

            hahaha sorry for being adrupt, i was having a bad day my apologies

        • SYSTem050

          Obviously bothered you enough to go and fix the typo once it was pointed out ?

          Also i thought it might be genuine and founfd it amusing before you fixed it

          • Aaron Turner

            as i wrote to the gentleman before having a bad day dude, I just read the comment at the wrong moment ^^

  • Cylux

    Slaanesh hasn’t been replaced by the Horned Rat in AoS at all, the Prince of excess being missing (in fact in the clutches of Tyrion and Malerion) is a major plot point tied in with the aelves, who occupy an awkward plot-space at the moment of justifying the inclusion of the prior-AoS range, with the race apparently being ‘missing’ (their souls not being re-born in the realms like the other races) presumed consumed by Slaanesh. The fact they included a pair of shadow aelves in Silver Tower (with warscrolls that were bereft of a specific faction keyword) suggests they’re getting closer to lifting the lid on that storyline, perhaps during or after the coming summer campaign.

    Plus if we’re being REALLY technical, the current official replacement for Slaanesh is Archaon, known to Slaaneshi worshippers as ‘Placebo’.

  • Dan Wilson

    “HIDE IT AWAY FROM THE KIDS!” Is not a mature approach. A far more mature approach would be using slaanesh to springboard conversations with youngsters about the importance of sexual responsibility. Slaaneshi blurring of gender imagery is also more progressive than regressive imo.

  • Painjunky

    This is not a hobby for children… just look at the prices and complexity.

    Real adults are not offended by sexual themes in fantasy/sci-fi.

    Slaanesh is aweaome!

    Grow up people!

    • Crablezworth

      here here

    • Grafton Is Dust

      It’s not a hobby for children, but an awful lot of the adults played it as kids. If you decide to exclude kids, then where’s the next generation of wargamers coming from?

  • Sonic tooth

    ive always DESPISED heavy metal. just throwing that out there for no reason really. i remember my older brother having the bolt thrower album with the crimson fists on the cover. loved the cover but the music? no….grown men making stupid sounds with their voices and guitar players who make constipated faces every time they play a note. ist why i hate the space wolves so much. ridiculous….. iv never understood the beard/metal/ stereotype connection to fantasy, It annoys me. rant over

    • Knight_of_Infinite_Resignation

      I think when people say Rogue Trader was influenced by Heavy Metal, they usually mean Heavy Metal magazine, based on the French underground comic Métal Hurlant, more than the music genre, though there is obviously some influence there too.

      • Sonic tooth

        im aware of that but in this article hes specifically talking about the music genre and its associated imagery.on a second read through i find this article both prudish and naive

        • Knight_of_Infinite_Resignation

          it does emphasise that aspect a little too much. Heavy Metal (music) and rock album art are simply reflections of the late 70s and 80s zeitgeist and fantasy art style, not causative of it.

  • Majere613

    Yeah, no. For one thing I’ve actually seen Cyber City Oedo, and whilst it certainly does have some tiresomely ‘edgy’ dialogue (which may or may not be down to the translation) it also has more ideas than I suspect this guy has ever had in his life. The first episode has a skyscraper stabilised by a gyroscope and a predictive targeting system that can only be avoided by illogically deliberately trying not to. The last one is mostly a character piece about mortality and humanity.

    Yes, Warhammer has its roots in old-school metal. I’m an old-school metaller, sorry I don’t come up to someone elses lofty cultural standards. I also play games with toy soldiers, what a nerd, eh?

    There’s nothing ‘transphobic’ about the fact that some Slaanesh miniatures were transgender when most people hadn’t heard of either word. The current Slaanesh models from GW themselves aren’t even all that racy, though there’s plenty of third parties filling that gap and doing very well out of it. I’m pretty tired of the whole idea that a game featuring ultraviolence, extreme xenophobia and religious warfare is considered fine by people who have a fit of the vapours when a nipple appears. You don’t like it, do something else, it’s not like there’s no alternatives.

  • MightyOrang

    First, this is simply epic: “I mean, it’s easy to see where Slaanesh comes from, especially as Age of Sigmar has completed Warhammer’s journey to ‘Generic Eighties Heavy Metal Album Art: The Game’.”

    Second, the one thing that jumps out at me is the longstanding *American contradiction that children need to be sheltered from anything relatig to sex — even as we celebrate violent death, particularly via shooting. Funny then that GW’s morality meter seems tripped by naked breasts while crowing about chainsaw swords and people exploding from .50 caliber shells.

    Finally, agree with the comment about Slaanesh being about excess — think that hat understands is part of how GW tried to be mature about it. Noise Marines, for example, are a (corny) argument that there are more than just sexual sensations to be inundated in.

    Either way, great article.

    Now I’m off to teach my kids about the joys of massed artillery strikes on light infantry.

  • wibbling

    Trying to present a generality isn’t really possible. Gaming attracts all sorts of types – old, young, male, female, single, married from all political spectrum and demographic groups.

    Swearing for a literate person is utterly unnecessary. heck, Johnny Five managed fantastic put downs without a single rude word. Likewise cruelty can be better presented without the viscera – consider Misery or Silence of the Lambs compared to Saw (post the first one).

    Suggesting Workshop don’t know how to present Slaanesh could equally apply to Tzeentch. Most gamers are mature enough (mentally – heck, we spend a fortune on buying books where people shoot one another) to cope with sex and drugs. What I think is more likely is the various national approaches to pornography, nudity and what not which in itself causes problems with marketing and sales internationally.

  • neverness

    I seriously doubt Slaanesh will be dumped. If anything they’ll just do what they did with the ’90s range and cover up the naughty bits. It solved the problem before, and if they want to, it can solve it again. With exception to the FW Keeper, I believe the current range is covered up and are no more nude than the last batch of DE witch elves were.

  • Crablezworth

    The longest article bols has ever produced and its basically puritan garbage.

    • Grafton Is Dust

      Haha, and the author is one of the least puritan people I know.

      • Critical Kaiju

        you are surrounded by hc puritans.

        • Grafton Is Dust

          Hardly. You’re making an assumption because you want me to fit your preconceived notions, not evolving your notions to fit reality. 🙂

          • Critical Kaiju

            actually I was just making a tongue in cheek comment that would explain why you find him to be one of the least puritanical persons you know. because his writing here is absolutely puritanical.

          • Grafton Is Dust

            How so? His angle is that Slaanesh should be about more than mammary glands. That GW’s execution of the concept leaves a lot to be desired, and that a company marketing itself to kids might wanna nudge the stuff over to the more specialised section, who tend to handle things better anyway.

            They aren’t calling for Slaanesh to be erased or censored, just nudged to a new home.

  • Crablezworth

    “Won’t someone please think of the children” – author


    • Sonic tooth

      the music and culture modern children/teens are engrossed in is as sexualized, if not more so, then any gw slaanesh fluff/ a very naive article imho

  • Jared van Kell

    Well they have a means of destroying Slaanesh in 40K. If Iyana Arienal succeeds in finding all of the Tears of Isha she could awaken the Ynnead the nacent Eldar god of the dead who is residing in the Infinity Circuit. When Ynnead awakens they could have him completely destroy Slaanesh.

  • Graeme Donaldson

    Tbf while the article is very well constructed and has some great points, I come to the opposite conclusion. I think squatting or downplaying Slaanesh is closer to transphobia or homophobia than keeping it in, the idea of Slaanesh and revelling in pleasure and excess being viewed as evil by a terrified Imperium that’s rigidly forced into line by its baseless religious doctrine is a key part of the Imperial identity. I think gamers of all ages need access to an army where it revels in sexuality and the ability to mix genders, pushing it away is just suggesting that it’s wrong. If people don’t like that sort of thing then they just don’t collect Slaanesh, if players want to collect Slaanesh so they can have an LGBT army that’s cool, if players do Slaanesh just to have a table top of boob flashing ladies then that’s fine too. The Slaanesh of old was amazing and yes while it was based on that crazy heavy metal sex n’ drugs life style, whether there’s anything wrong with that is subjective, you can’t protect kids or gamers by hiding things from them, they know boobs exist, they need to know gays and transgender people exist.

    • Grafton Is Dust

      If the only place you can get LGBT is in a faction where they’re all eldritch otherbeings that prey on the helpless and murderf*ck everything, then that’s probably a bit rubbish.

      Besides, arguably Eldar are the best for representing trans persons, given that they don’t seem to give much care for gender.

      • Actually a society that is androgynous isn’t really the same thing as trans, because it lacks the restrictions and therefore the need to transition to one’s actual gender from their assigned one.

        That said an exploration of eldar who want to have a gender and who struggle within eldar society to deal with the rejection of gender would be parallel (to an extent) as well as an awesome idea for a short story

        • Grafton Is Dust

          It would be interesting. I meant mostly due to them having male Banshees and other such things, kinda signifying that they aren’t so hung up on gender roles.

      • Graeme Donaldson

        Yeah, although I’d say Harlequins are a better example of the blurring of gender tho, standard Eldar and Dark Eldar are more about downright gender equality. Bear in mind though that Slaanesh came from that same race though. I think LGBT stuff is something that should be introduced to all races but can you imagine the uproar if GW introduced a transgender space marine or that the Emperor and Sanguinius had a “special friendship”? With Slaanesh you already have the groundwork there, and while they are geared towards evil and driving people to the worst side of excess, isn’t it better to have them being badass rather than victims? The concept of the “good guys” in 40k being possibly the most evil people in the galaxy (mass genocide, oppression of own people, human sacrifice etc – you don’t see that with fairer races like the Tyranids) means that there’s not much of a difference between the good guys and Chaos to start with, Slaanesh is just about enjoying your existence before burning out rather than slaving away until a commissar suspects you of heresy and puts a bullet in your head.

        • Grafton Is Dust

          People will complain about LGBT stuff regardless of how you integrate it into the fluff. It’s always, “in your face,” and it’ll have the same detractors however it’s done.

          • Graeme Donaldson

            You’re right, but that’s why I don’t agree with the idea of getting rid of the few moments where it has a bit of a foothold. Slaanesh just needs to be done properly, yes there’s a murderf*ck side to it all but it’s also the most human of the Chaos gods, a wealth of possibilities for models and vices that aren’t just boobs and gender blurring. Hopefully GW will pick up on this rather than just keeping it around as a hanger on.

  • You’re limiting your scope of what Slaanesh is substantially. The “God of pleasure” moniker is just shorthand. Each God is very multifaceted, and slaanesh has many more aspects than just sex and BDSM (which are not inherently immature topics. Hell, the Emperor’s children most likely couldn’t have sex (at least before the heresy) and certainly weren’t doing so, they fell because of pride. Slaanesh is necessary because without it’s aspects the chaos pantheon has a rather gaping hole in it that just doesn’t make sense. Plus, the story of the eldar doesn’t make sense without it.

    GW is struggling with what direction to take slaanesh in (apparently) but that’s just a matter of design. In 40k none of the chaos factions have gotten much love in a long time, we’ve gotten generic kits, but there is only one God specific unit for each in CSM (all of which except zerkers are finecast), and an equal number (ish) of units for each God in the daemon codex. The only place slaanesh is really missing is AoS, and that seems much more likely to be a plot device to sell slaanesh minis when they get around to them.

    • euansmith

      Unfortunately, with the exception of the Noise Marines (who TÖTÄLLY RÖC̈K); the Slaanesh model range is pretty much totally stripperific.

      • Absolutely, but it doesn’t have to be limited to that, they need to figure out their design direction to go in

  • Thomas Gardiner

    Screw this politically correct noise, I don’t play warhammer to facilitate a discussion about sexuality and politics. I got enough of that in my sociology degree. I don’t really care if the aesthetic of Warhammer and Slaanesh is “immature” because maturity is not a virtue I associate with playing with plastkc soldiers with a heavy metal aesthetic. Immaturity can be liberating and there’s nothing wrong with demonstrations of sexuality. This articlejust comes a bit reactionary and prudish tbh.

    As far as swearing goes, if you really think the majority of adults are turned off by it and think it’s crude, you probably haven’t spent much time in Glasgow, where the “C word” is used as punctuation.

    • Protomolecule

      I just signed up to say the same thing. Keep this cancer the hell out of a fictional world where we all still get along (apart from when we each other). Don’t let it be torn apart as other hobbies have experienced lately. I play a Slaanesh Marine Army. Excess in everything. Including sex…and mohawks.

    • Grafton Is Dust

      If everyone uses a swear word as if it were a normal word, with no-one feeling insulted by it, then is it really a swear word?

      Speaking as a Glaswegian who’s incredibly familiar with the C-word.

  • Dan Hermod Anderson

    GW should just contact Hiroyuki Owaku. He would do slaanesh justice!

  • TB0N3

    Is this time of the year already????
    C’mon, go play with meeples (give them chainswords if you want)

    • euansmith

      Meeples are naked, you know… stupid, sexy Meeples.

  • euansmith

    In my overweeningly proud, rambling and obscure opinion, I think that 40k fluff has been scuppered from the start.

    If you look through Rogue Trader, half the stuff has never had a mini made for it. This is because book was written by a bunch of blokes having fun with creating Hawkwind The Tabletop Game (“Stacia meet Slaanesh, Slaanesh, this is Stacia”), rather than a bunch of chaps looking to come up with a coherent line of models to sell.

    It was assumed that gamers would make their own Enslavers and Warp Entities, or that they would proxy them with D&D models.

    As a result, the Big Baddies are the multi-faceted expression of emotion in the Warp. However, GW rapidly locks this in to four main themes, as they need to sell boxes of toy soldiers.

    Suddenly Chaos, which is supposed to be ultimately malleable, has recognisable squads. Even Teentch (The Changer of the Ways) has fixed types of Daemons.

    Teentch, who should be represented on the table top as either a wind of mutating energy or the fruition of a cunning plan that pits allies against each other (this does explain why there are so many pick up games with Space Marines on both sides, fighting each other for no readily apparent reason), instead has around half a dozen specific daemons.

    The need to sell minis means that each facet of Chaos is reduced to its most obvious and crass form.

  • ILikeToColourRed

    isnt slaanesh the god of excess, not pleasure?

    • Jooster

      Yup, but sadly people overlook that because of GW’s heavy handed whips and chains approach of showing it.

      • Peter Houlihan

        And the fluff which explicitly refers to them, among other things, as a god of pleasure.

        • Jooster

          “Amongst other things” is exactly my point. Slaanesh is more than simply pleasure, it’s excess and addiction in many forms. You would never be able to guess that from the design direction GW took Slaanesh in.

  • IHRVoices

    What I read. ‘I’ve never dipped my d**k in anything, and every time I look across the table and see a pair of ( . )( . ) I get mad and come up with some convoluted idea of sexism, maturity or other bs to make myself feel better.”

    ^mature enough for you??

  • Dan Johnson

    God, Sandman was really great wasn’t it?

  • bobrunnicles

    I love Manowar – just wanted to put that out there. Remember, “while other bands play, Manowar kills!”.

  • Saxifraga

    So go and read Tanith Lee (Vazkor tioligy etc.) Grow some balls so as to be able to enjoy sex in all its forms. Don’t be such a prude. lol

    • SYSTem050

      My favourite example of this remains the film dazed and confused. There is almost no violence in this film (bar a little bit of hazing) no moments of peril, no disturbing psychological horror. What there is is a lot of mild drug taking, underage drinking and some limited references to getting laid.

      What does it get classified as? 18 the mind boggles

    • Muninwing

      responding to this article with this comment kinda proves his entire point…

  • Jooster

    Well, this is the first article that I think makes a convincing case for the “removal” of Slaanesh, because I agree fully that FW would be able to handle both the models and the design much more confidently. I know I’d feel that hole whenever I look at the new Chaos Power Four though, and I’d get all grumpy old man and start going on about how things used to be.

    Beyond that though, I’ll say pretty much the same things I say in any Slaanesh article, and that is to return to the 2003/2004 era of Chaos design, which is what many people hold as the golden standard of the faction. They hit so many rights with that range, such as the sheer variety via the Hordes/Beasts interchangable army books, fantasy and 40k armies that were (mostly) balanced while still allowing for a lot of customisation, and most importantly for this, they /nailed/ the designs for each power. The Khorne champions had armour that was simultaneously barbaric and heavyweight, Tzeentch daemons were nonsense collections of mouths, eyes and flames, and Slaanesh had a universal theme of sleek, elegant models that really gave the impression that these guys were not only dangerous, but they looked more fabulous than anyone else at the same time.

    That is the aesthetic GW needs to return to if they want to keep Slaanesh mainstream. Not only does it give a broader theme than “ohh kinky”, but it’s also easily adjusted to other audiences. Don’t want kids seeing tiny toy tiddies? Cover them with silken sashes, it still looks seductive and elegant. Want to give Daemonettes a less on-the-nose fanservice vibe? Make them equal parts female, male and androgynous , you can fit all three of those into the lithe, razor-sharp look those Daemonettes had.

  • Rachel Crain

    I disagree with the theme of this post. I am a transgender person, so I experience the effects of transphobia daily. That said, I’ve never been offended by Slaaneshi themes. The argument that anything overtly sexual is offensive and reprehensible, while senseless violence from a group of homicidal ravagers like the cults of Khorne is acceptable seems a bit prudish.

    If the Slaaneshi models were removed from the game, a very large proportion of the feminine models in the game would be removed. Therein is the problem, in my opinion. I would like to see more feminine characters in the game without being tied to innately sexual roles. Including sexual characters isn’t sexiest… however, implying that a gender is only necessary to fill sexual roles is.

    • Grafton Is Dust

      It’s a pity GW couldn’t just increase the roster of feminine models that are available.

  • Nathaniel Wright

    You fool! You fell for one of the classic blunders, only slightly less known than ‘Never get in a land war with Asia’. You never, ever, ever boil a faction down to token words when money is on the line!

  • Vepr

    Social justice gaming.

  • Andrew

    Would someone mind explaining to me how Slaanesh is homophobic?

    • Muninwing

      i don’t necessarily agree, but to argue devil’s advocate… if all you ever see for “lust” is feminine forms, then you’re ignoring that some people are not attracted to women.

      • Peter Houlihan

        How is slaanesh solely feminine?

        • Muninwing


          now look at the models.

  • GiftoftheMagi

    Limiting Slaanesh into the theme of sex is limiting the potential of the character itself. Slaanesh is the Temptor God, the one that gets you to do horrible, terrible things with the face of an angel. It is the God Of Excess in all forms, not just sex. Done well, it does not mock nor insult alternative lifestyles or sexuality, but it does show the consequences of over-indulgences of any form.

    On a model prespective, we already have the crazy horned and fanged and dripping ooze demons so common in EVERY OTHER GAME ON THE MARKET…but Slaanesh model can be both beautiful and scary at the same time. You don’t have to show naked body parts, but smooth, sleek bodies. Like sharks. Or moray eels. Or spiders. You can also emphasize the other forms of excess as well….massive bodies swollen by drug injectors, beings made out of living chains, a pretty face stretch monstrously over a murder machine, a whirling humanoid shape made of veils…with hints of claws and fanged mouths within.

    Slaanesh has more potential than any other Chaos power available in the Warhammer universe. But if all you do is focus solely on the ‘sex god’ aspect, you cut it all off and limit it. Which unfortunately as GW continues to think itself as selling games to little kids, it may do.

  • PanzerDan

    Usually the “Sexist” Complaint Mob are the most racist/sexist/Immature. And they are never happy with any response to an issue they have raise. They could Retcon the Emperor into a Asexual Gender queer Arrow and They would take issue with Emperors armor being “Male armor” Or The fact he has 20 sons Or The he a colonizer. The best Way to Be Mature Is to Say. There are Slaanesh Models If you don’t like them Then Don’t Buy them for your Children. Your “Moral” views should Have Zero on what I use my Money to purchase

    • Muninwing

      whiny response about how other people not wanting to be the butt of your jokes or insults are somehow harming you.

      that’s sometimes called “the bully’s defense”

      • Being German and still wacked about the head with the evils of WW2, I probably should go up to the historical wargaming manufacturers and tell them to rewrite/take out a certain evil faction because it perpetuates negative stereotypes about “my people”.
        Alternatively, I could just be a mature person and shrug before carrying on with my life and realize that not everything has to cater to my personal morality system or feelings.

        • Grafton Is Dust

          Except that, in a phase of history, the N*zis did terrible things. That said, there were several assassination attempts against H*tler, and not all Germans considered themselves N*zis. (The Kriegsmarine refused to consider themselves N*zi until near the end of the war.)

          The Japanese slaughtered millions, the Russians were callous with regards to their soldiers’ lives and the Allies weren’t above the heavy firebombing of civilian targets if it helped the war effort.

          Granted, the Allies’ crimes were glossed over and the Germans hoisted on the pitard, but such is the way of history.

  • krisbrowne42

    Anyone who wonders what a new Slaanesh would look like, turn to Donald Trump or Martin Shkrelli (SP?)…

    When I think of Slaanesh, I think of Desire in the above mentioned Sandman comics… Sometimes a sharp androgynous business suit, sometimes a back-alley dealer, sometimes rockstar lifestyle embodied…

    Take any healthy dream and turn it to 11, and there he/she is.

    • Cylux

      Great, I’ve now got villainous Slaaneshi worshippers buying albums before they’re released to prevent them being released while cackling madly as only they can listen to them.

  • Alexander Golmen Berg

    Slaanesh is more than this. It represents “too much”, greed, gluttony, envy, sloth and so on. It’s not sex, drugs and rock’n roll, but hedonism, masochism, narcissism and so on.

    Where Khorn is anger, rage, voilence, war, strenght and other physical representations, Slaanesh is the cruelty, vice and corruption both mental and moral. Don’t forget that the chaos gods represent a lot more than what you get from the cover art. Tzeentche allso covers hope, willpower, wisdom. Khorn is allso a god of martial prowess, and Nurgle is a father of accepance. Slaanesh is the god of art, music, dance, culture and love. They are just too much of it. Corrupting it. Turning it ugly.

    The problem for GW, is that they have focuset too much on the sex’n drugs part. They could easily have Slaanesh turn to som of the other aspects, if that’s needed.

  • Jimmy Squid

    What a load of nonsense. Warhammer 40k is a game of endless war, known for being grim and, yes, dark, with torture and endless violence – but can the gods of Chaos (that’s the bad gods who are meant to do bad things) stop being so sexist! There are a certain type of people who’s chief joy in life is to look for things inappropriate so they can get on their soap box and prove their ‘intellectualness’ by showing off how they managed to find it offensive (as if anyone has ever thought ‘GW’s Slaanesh is corrupting people with sex – therefore sex must be wrong!’ Which is what is being implied). If only the author put as much effort into trying to solve some of the worlds real problems instead of meaningless symbolic crap like 40k. No-one takes their morality from 40k; if we did we’d be a seriously dangerous bunch of people. We all know it’s silly and meaningless and dumb (but brilliant at the same time). Today’s achingly sensitive souls are like the high-minded moralists of the Victorian era; always taking offensive just for the joy of being offended. ‘Look what a kind, intelligent, sensitive person I must be, I’ve opened your eyes to a load of crap that yesterday no-one with more than two brain cells had ever taken remotely seriously anyway.’
    The article has nothing to do with morality and everything to do with the author’s own ego and sense of himself.

  • Ruud Reints

    Best thought out article on BolS. Great write_up and style, well done

  • Flashlights4Gunz

    John Blanche’s Wikipedia page makes it clear that his art, which pretty much formed GWs style, was a reaction against the cheesecake fantasy art of heavy metal album covers.

    GWs ‘no sex allowed’ settings are about being available to a younger (as in, less mature) audience than it used to. Which is fair enough.

  • Nathan Oldacres

    Best article I have read on BoLS in a long time. Fantastic read.

  • jeff white

    best to avoid whatever you mature people can’t handle,
    for the children, after all.


  • Kolobius

    An intriguing read. My 2 cents are Slaanesh is part of the game, nothing more to it. If you retire one faction due to some less mature person taking it at face value and calling it “sexist” “-phobic” etc then you need to retire most every single faction in most every single game system. Females are all slim models with boobs and hourglass figures, if they are even represented in the game at all. Males are all broad shouldered masculine specimens with washboard abs.

  • Mr.Fister

    I did not not read this article but I can predict what the moral of the story is going to be: “Oh my God this figure shows a boob! Call the vice squad! I need s.b. to save me from my hidden perversions and insecurity about the female sexuality, which I camoflage as a rigeous crusade for women’s rights!” – Real maturity means to accept that women and apparently some deamons have breasts and even beautiful bodies and not to freak out about plastic figures. If you want to help women than protest against the politics of many companies that pay them less for the same work! By the way there is a similar discussion about SoB going on…”Oh my gaawd she has some servo armour breast plates…you better make a version with flat breast, so I don’t get into mischief!”….

    • yorknecromancer

      Ummm. You didn’t read, but you still felt compelled to complain? Okay, well, I actually argued NOT to take Slaanesh out – a fact that lots of people here seemed to have ignored.

      My argument is that it’s smarter to focus ‘mainstream’ GW on that sweet beginner’s money, and make Slaanesh a FW-only thing, because if FW becomes the ‘adult’
      version of GW, several things happen.

      1.) FW is differentiated from GW, meaning there’s less product crossover.
      2.) The existence of FW products lend GW that veneer of adult ‘legitimacy’ with kids, making GW seem more enticing in so doing.
      3.) FW products gain a further veneer of ‘for adult’, making them inherently more desirable to kids.
      4.)There’s a clear delineation between GW and FW, meaning that those parents who DO care about such things (and they do exist, I have been in arguments with them or Parents’ Evenings, and they can make running the
      school games club difficult) can ensure that they only buy the products that are age appropriate.

      At no stage have I argued for the removal of Slaanesh; merely retiring her from mainstream GW, in order to make her more exclusive, and make mainstream GW more
      presentable. Clear delineation between product lines – giving them their own unique selling points, helps sell more products. FW already comes off as the collector’s manufacturer. Making it even more ‘exclusively for adults’ seems – at least to my mind – a win-win.

      • Mr.Fister

        How old do you assume are the most beginners? What is the appropriate age for demonettes? I am not concerned with the Idea of making Warhammer more appealing for children. I think it is a good thing. Maybe with the battle of Verdross GW is going to start a simplyfied sub game for children. In that case you can even keep Slaanesh in the regular game.
        What I am concerned about are those false flag women’s right crussades. I mean when people use the honorable cause for equality between men and women to force their prude views on sexuality, and how the image of men and women should be in our society. Most of them are not even women but men. Most women like SoB because they depict a women’s secret wish to be beautiful and powerful. Yet there are so many men complaining about the breast armour and claim zhis is insulting to women. In my opinion this is a simptom that some of those men have problems how to deal with women’s sexuality and women in general. This is a issue that was vaguely diskussed in an article concerning why there are not as many women/girls in the hobby as men/boys on this page some time ago.
        Of corse there is a fine line between beeing acceptable beautiful for a female model and just beeing insulting to everyone. There are many examples from some companies out there. GW’s figures are pretty moderate on that issue. The Slaanesh demonettes are not real women but a scary mockery of sexual desire in my view.

      • Hunlow

        Could a model revamp accomplish that same thing but easier? Let “mature” people collect the old models while having a more family friendly army that doesn’t include everyone running around topless. Honestly I don’t feel the fluff focuses exclusively on the sex and drug aspect of Slaanesh but the models do. And mostly for just daemons. I agree that the current models aren’t mainstream but i think that is less applicable to the fluff.

  • UrFrndJenn

    Slaanesh was never just about sex, slaanesh is about excess and pleasure in all forms. Probably one of my favorite depictions is in the Warhammer Fantasy Sword of Justice series where the main antagonist is a Slaanesh witch who was an expert surgeon and tortuerer and took pleasure in the infliction of pain and reconstruction of the human body into grotesque new forms.

    • Damn, I really wish Sword of Justice & Vengeance had been incorporated into The End Times instead of just being ignored. The whole Averheim progression was incredibly cool and nuanced.

    • Grafton Is Dust

      So basically like the Dark Eldar Haemonculi?

  • trn

    Just to echo other comments here, this is a fantastic article. More thoughtful pieces like this, please!

  • Jared McWilliams

    A well written piece, but the issue isn’t that Slaanesh is too “mature” for GW to market to kids/etc. the issue is the aspect of Slaanesh GW has chosen to market over the past years is not a good subject matter for sales in the UK/USA. Slaanesh could easily become a hedonistic god of perfection and greed, not a god of sex, drugs, and rock and roll. Those could be signs of excess, but are just a small part of what hedonism, excess, obsession of the self/things the self can do, narcissism, could be.

    All of the chaos gods represent topics that are sketchy to talk about in general, and not “kid friendly” so the singling out of this one is not really valid.

    Khorne- Hello psychopaths, masochists, serial killers, human sacrifice, etc etc. Yes there is “martial pride” in there, but most of it is MDK all over the place all the time.

    Tzeenetch- is basically the pursuit of the occult, which in many places today is considered actually in real life more evil than any of the other chaos gods.

    Nurgle- Might actually be the most real life socially benign topic of chaos for people. Stagnation, disease, rot, decay.

    Of course in the UK, and US violence is a more acceptable topic than sex, so despite one ending with suffering and or death of an individual, the other which does not in of itself, is seen as being more taboo. Probably because of “manners”…regardless, the reason certain aspects of Slaanesh are probably more driven by GW is due to the creators on personal repressions, focusing more on that, than the other aspects of what Slaanesh could easily be- and would be more marketable to kids.

    • Muninwing

      khorne isn;t masochism. that’s slaanesh too. khorne is all about quick clean kills. and it’s not so much human sacrifice either — it’s really just killing, with the strong implication that the killing is proof in battle.

      and the “occult” argument only holds water in areas that are highly religious, particularly fundamentalist religions or sects. in mainstream culture, Tzeentch is probably the least sketchy

  • Евгения Ремезова

    “For me, wargaming is a fun little game of plastic soldiers. I roll dice, I make pew pew noises, I smile with my friends as we salute the Emperor.” – in the meantime, ICly (In-Character) your soldiers gut men and women fighting for your enemy with rewwing chainswords, standing in fountains of gore and blood, amidst roaring explosions.
    Despite all what GW tried to do to water down 40K, like deliberatly avoiding describtion of wounds and etc., it still probably the most gruesome setting ever created by humans.
    Don’t believe?
    Well, how about some Eldar Wyches, well-roasted with a Heavy Flamer? Throw in “wonderful” smell of burning flesh and undescribably horrible death screams for a full picture.
    What I’m trying to say, is that avoiding such things is litterally a betrayl o 40K. 40K (and WHFB) is a gruesome, horrible, disgusting and brutal universe, and that’s exactly WHY WE LOVE IT. Wake up.
    P.S. And yes, before you start to talk about how things like Slaanesh can offend someone, I must note, that you’re talking with a woman (if it wasn’t obvious from my name), and Slaanesh (and Heavy Flamer-roasted Wyches) do not offend me.

    • draekus

      I agree with you. Also, I do not agree that appreciating said imagery (nudity/violence) is a sign of immaturity. To imply this design/imagery is an insult to women is rather ridiculous. What is insulting is when someone decides they no longer likes some “thing”, then takes that change as as a sign of how they have matured and transcended some invisible plane of enlightenment, LOL. Thus everyone else that (still) likes said “thing” must clearly be immature and petty.

      • Евгения Ремезова

        There’s an interesting question – why do this fine example (author) of Social Justice Warriors thinks that “sexy” is bad for woman? It feels like author just bluntly denies women any right on sexuality! ((sarcasm mode ON)) Tsk-tsk, soo sexist! ((sarcasm mode OFF))
        As a woman, I do enjoy wearing skimpy tops. Because you know, I have some sexuality myself, I do not afraid of it and I do like how my body looks.
        So, why I can display some sexuality on my army? Feels like that real issue of the author is not Slaanesh or protection of anyone’s rights, but just sexuality itself.
        And before someone start pointing at masculinity and sexuality being male thing or whatever they point at this days – one of my favourite childhood heroes was Red Sonja. Women can be sexy, brutal and powerful barbarians (talking about Manowar, which I like) – and some of us want to those sexy and powerful characters, or be assosiated with those. Not because of men, but because WE want it.

        • Hunlow

          While I appreciate your strong sexual identity, unfortunately, many others don’t share your confidence. For them maybe the models for deamons Slaanesh could be less sexual so they don’t have to run an army of topless women?

          • Евгения Ремезова

            Don’t like it? Don’t buy it. Don’t watch it. Don’t listen to it.
            SJWs often forget, that we’re kinda living in a free world, where everyone have a choice of what they want to do/see/feel.
            Oh, wait, I forgot – SJWs are the ones who try to use theme of “protecting someone’s rights” to simply stomp other’s freedom.
            We can also use a democratic approach. Let us ask majority of the 40K players, if demonettes with b00bs are nice or not. Guess what will be the answer? And that’s called democracy – will of the many. While SJWs are trying to “protect” very dubious “rights” of the few, while in fact dictating what peoples should play, watch or listen,

          • Grafton Is Dust

            Strawmen. Strawmen everywhere…

          • Hunlow

            I do like it and i do want to buy it (Juan Diaz ones are the best) but i understand that maybe for the betterment of the 40k community maybe i should give up the “right” to run naked models. Its a fact some people could be offended by it and i would prefer to have those people playing 40k then to run a naked army. I think you point of view is completely valid, sometimes it’s right to stand up for art and expression. You also shouldn’t have to change it if you don’t want to however I also think it is a little selfish (by not considering or caring if other might disapprove of the models) and short sighted (by not considering what might be gained by change).

          • Евгения Ремезова

            Selfish? It is not – because why should I supress myself, while others do not do so for me? For me not to be selfish, they could tolerate my army with b00bs, to begin with. But no, THEY are selfish, caring only about their pre-historic sence of “decency” and “morality”.
            For example, I’m getting seriosly pissed off when I see some religion guys on street (like religion-based manifestation for ban of “pre-mariage relations” or something like this). But I do not go around screaming that I want to ban them – because it is their right to do such stuff. I simply close window or go on another side of the street. That’s what’s called freedom and it works in both ways, not only to protect one small group’s feeling.

          • Евгения Ремезова

            I mean… “deamons Slaanesh” and “be less sexual so they don’t have to run an army of topless women”.
            Are you frakking serious?!
            That’s beyond hilarious. That’s just bluntly foollsh, ignorant, arrogant and stupld.
            It’s like telling “Can my Khorne Berserkers have less SKULLS AND BLOOD!, because I don’t want to run an army psycopathic bloodthirsty berserkers?”.
            That’s why you run them in the first place!!!
            Also, if you see Slaanesh only as good of b00bs and seх, that’s only your issue (and it also points a tiny bit, that author is a little bit… unhealthy at this matter. Such fascinating fixation on sexual themes would make a lot of psychologists interested). Slaanesh is also god of art, beauty and other stuff like that.
            For example, when I tried to run Slaanesh army, I made it heavily influenced by Ancient Greece. Lots of white, gold, some pink for contrast, body armor in fitting style, half-naked women and men in styled outfits, overall “beautiful” and clean paintjob.

          • Hunlow

            Ok let me rephrase my statement, In order for Games Workshop to sell the maximum amount of their product, which means selling to people who may be offended by nude miniatures, they should alter the models to be appealing to a greater audience. Yes they can still be awesome but just not showing off their jiggly bits. This is the argument i think the article and i was trying to make. Fluff wise yeah your right boobs and sex totally fit in with slaanesh but the models and fluff are two separate products the company is trying to sell. Not letting a child read a book is a lot easier then not letting a child see you super awesome half naked women army as they are playing a game of 40k against you.

          • Евгения Ремезова

            Let’s start with first thing to say – stop with your pathetic excuses.
            Now to real subject.
            First of all, both me and you perfectly know, that 99.9% of the people that are INTERESTED in buying wargames at all are not offended by some b00bs. And those who are offended, in most of the cases, are not even interested in miniatures (let’s face it, your typical modern kid (or even an adult) is more interested in video games, TV or something like this, rather than hobby that requires some serious modeling and painting skills, not talking about learning all the rules).
            And once again – I like b00bs on my models. Why I should RESTRICT myself because of someone’s FEELINGS?! That’s just blant, simple and plain dictature and oppression. It’s very sad, that modern “western people” are soo easy accept oppression only if you spice it up with some “rights/feelings protection”.
            Second of all, fluff and miniatures ARE NOT SEPARATED PRODUCTS. That’s exactly the attitude that gives us horrible things like “Sentinels of Terra”, where fluff is stomped in favour of selling. Let’s face it, fluff is what 40K is – otherwise, we can have Space Marines fighting Space Pink Ponies that use guns that fire pure Friendship, since there’s no fluff to regulate it and say otherwise?
            And third of all.
            Let me, a woman from evil and oppressionists country of Russian, teach you, a “free” western person on some freedom.
            You don’t like my army with b00bs? Well, you see… it is YOUR issues. Not mine. Nobody forces you to buy army with b00bs – and nobody forces you to play against army with b00bs. That’s called freedom of choice.
            Also, before you worry about kid that may see some b00bs (not like seeing b00bs is bad thing, but that’s a separated question), you’d better be ready to explain your kid, what Heavy Flamer is, how it works and what it does.
            What do you think would hurt kid more – flash of a b00b on miniature, or describtion of what Heavy Flamer does to living being?

          • Евгения Ремезова

            Don’t like them? Don’t buy them.
            It’s called freedom. Something a lot of people forget about in modern days, especially in “free” and “democratic” West.
            What you (and author) are basically telling is that majority of the 40K (Who are fine with Slaanesh) should be oppressed because a few peoples are… are… what do they want? They do not want Slaanesh, they want to oppress other peoples because of THEIR views on “mature” tabletop.

  • James Regan

    Whilst this is a superb article, I disagree on the next step- the solution is clearly ‘more noise marines’. Nothing about the noise marine models is sexual, with the distended faces that are all about the sensation of sound. A constant scream into the void, pain beyond words, the aesthetic perfection of a ballet dancer. take out the breasts, and you’ve got a concept.

    A marine so fat they cannot fit their armour, shoveling hands into his mouth, addicted to consuming the memories of the dead. Another with his skin worn as a robe, bare nerve endings open to the callous wind. A noise marine with that constant scream. A dreadnought with the sarcophagus split apart, the mutilated corpse needing to feel every last blow. A havoc with his eyes wide open, eyelids pinned back so he can never shield his vision from the searing beam of his lascannon.

    There’s so many more places they can take the god of sensation than intercourse, and without the subtext of gender, it would be far less openly offensive, and troubling in a far more mature way. That and just allow daemonettes to cater to all tastes- sculpted Adonis’ (with crab claws), lithe maidens (with crab claws), a champion half way changed between the two (because apart from the universal love of crab claws, there’s no accounting for taste).

  • J Mad

    OMG Im just happy to see Cyber City 808 😀 Ive never seen others knowing about it before. Amazing, wish there was more.

  • SeekingOne

    An interesting read indeed. The first part contains some actually great thoughts on the nature of ‘maturity’, and I genuinely enjoyed reading them. However, by the end of the first 1/3 of the article it was already 100% clear what the author is getting at in regards to Warhammenr and Slaanesh – an approach just as painfully obvious as it is wrong.

    The whole subject is indeed complex and rather hard to capture in a few conscise phrases. I guess the simplest way to put it would be to say that there is one fundamental thing that the author has got wrong, and it kind of undermines his whole line of thinking. Slaanesh, background-wise, is NOT as much a ‘god of pleasure’ as it is a ‘god of excess’. And it actually doesn’t matter how progressive our ‘mature’ views on genders, sexual relationships and stuff like that currently are – it doesn’t change the fact that excess is a bad thing. And it is bad for one very simple reason – because it is destructive. I believe it should be obvious to any person with actual life experience that critical excess in any kind of pleasure – or indeed any kind of activity for that matter – is harmful for both body and mind. This fact alone fully justifies the Slaanesh’s position as an inherently destructive chaotic power.

    One other point worth mentioning is that the “-phobias” argument holds little water for one reason that the author also seems to miss or ignore. The very core of Warhammer universe is constructed in such way that all powers presented in it are ‘equals’. They are all equally open for the players to ‘affiliate’ with, to enjoy their respective backgrounds, collect those models and play those armies. It’s nothing like LotR with clearly defined good and bad guys, because here every power present is possessed of its own unique character, aesthetics and a kind of ‘allure’. This fact alone shows that speculations on “-phobias” are kind of misplaced.

    Just about every other point made in the article can be challenged in this manner, but I’ll wrap it up here with one final note: trying to relate the imagery of daemonettes to “sensitive subjects” of our real everyday life is… I don’t even know how to put it… overthinking? reading too deep into it? Seriously, a mature person should know better than to associate him- or herself (or anybody else) with a 28mm model of a demon soldier and get hurt by this association.

    Just my humble opinion 🙂

  • silver843

    Nobody expects the Slanesh Inquisition !!!
    Give him the indulgently comfy chair. . . yes the one with the gilded edges and peacock feathers.

  • ZEROStryfe

    If you haven’t read Sigvald I would heavily suggest it. That and everything involving Fulgrim in the HH storires, these are what made me develop an appreciation for what Slaanesh is and should be.

  • templarsmonochromata

    “I am against every passage recommending the curtailing of creative expression. Except this one.”

  • Hunlow

    I think that people get worried when you suggest altering the mature nature of 40k because it brings out the fear of “what if you go too PG” and risk ruining the 40k universe. I think a great middle ground would be for GW to do an Epic to Vertigo switch with the Slannesh lore. Give the Black Library a chance to revamp and update Slannesh. It would be a great opportunity to also change the focus from sex, drugs and rock and roll to excesses and the harm it can cause. From the few Horus Heresy novels I have read I believe that is what GW is trying. I would be interested to know if Mr. Vela has read the latest Slaanesh themed offerings… it seems more often than not fluff related articles aren’t properly researched.

    Personally I don’t think the fluff is even the issue. I could understand keeping it from young teens if the violent sexual stuff and drug use was written in a way which glamorized the acts but personally I’ve always seen it as negative. Does jamming a needle into you dude unit or lady bits sound pleasant? Umm, no thanks. And honestly preteen kids probably can’t handle ANY of the fluff in the “there is only war” 40k reality. Anyway when they are that young it’s a parents job to limit the kids to a cursory fluff knowledge and focus on “look at the cool models” and game mechanics. I also want to point out why isn’t there an identical call for Dark Eldar to go the exact same direction as Slannesh?

    No the issue is naked boobs on models. I have to say although I enjoy the models I definitely understand how they would instantly turn a large portion of people away upon viewing. To be fair it probably isn’t doing much to help entice adult ladies to join the cause either. The line could use some updating anyway and that would remove the instant association Slannesh has with sex.

  • Brad

    He probably doesn’t like Geiger’s work either. It’s gross and problematic and totes degrades women because reasons.

    • Spoken like a true straight white guy.

      • Spoken like a true sexist and racist.

      • Brad

        Really can’t tell if you are being sarcastic. I’ve ran into plenty of tumblr tards who don’t make the connection between insulting/dismissing people solely based upon their race, gender, and sexual orientation when simultaneously claiming to be against it. The hypocrisy is staggering, only topped by the lack of self awareness.

        So, uh… were you kidding?

        • No sarcasm at all. Of course, it wasn’t a complement either.

          • Brad

            Ok, so congratulations on being a Trump-level racist, just in the opposite direction. I suppose you want a cookie?

  • Ve Ly Pè

    If Slaneesh is depicting sexuality as something evil, when khorne would depict fighting as something evil and Nurgle sickness.
    I don`t really know why many players would be angry at GW because of the demonettes.
    If Warhammer really needs to be COMPLETELY desexualised/ castrated so be it, but it would make the whole thing even more one-dimensional and ultimately more boring.

  • BloodAngel

    OMG. I fell asleep while this article was trying to get to the point.

  • Harukae

    I question the authors knowledge of Slaanesh though. I don’t even play chaos but I know well enough that Slaanesh is not the god of pleasure, but of excess, not just sex or drugs either but of everything, pain, sorrow, joy, happiness, pleasure; anything that thinking creatures can consider as something that they feel. Now I do feel that most slaaneshi demons look fairly silly it does make the point that correlates to lore surrounding Slaanesh, temptation in all forms leads to excess. If Slaanesh is immaturity in 40K then how is Khornate worship not silly? Blood for the blood god skulls for the skull throne. Essentially that just means kill for no other reason than to kill.

    This may be an intellectual article but the author didn’t take into consideration that most of the 40K community is full of immature people that take 40K too far.

  • Josh Watkins

    You know with all the crap going on in the world atm with the beheading of actual people, mass genocide, religious persecutions, ACTUAL discrimination and hatred… If my opponent can’t handle a bit of skin showing on a plastic or metal model then IMO they shouldn’t be playing this game to begin with. This is such horrid double standards, you wana play war and sink your teeth into the grimdark but you want to do so in a safe space mind set. Sorry but if 40k does away with a Slanesseh faction then thats it I’m done, what little hope I have left for this game, for this company will be completely extinguished.

    • Grafton Is Dust

      The existence of a larger problem does not mean a smaller problem disappears. If your leg is broken, my neck being broken doesn’t mean your leg is magically better.

      • Peter Houlihan

        This isn’t so much a broken leg as hypochondria.

        • Grafton Is Dust

          Easy to say when you’re the one unaffected by it.

  • polyquaternium7
  • I think if daemonettes or any other Slaneesh stuff actually invoked any feelings of unease, you’d have a point. As it stands, though, GW has never executed the idea well enough for it to work. Chaos stuff tends to come off more as a poor caricature of Geiger and Royo, making them at best uninteresting and at worst laughable.

    Even when I was 14, Daemonettes/Harpies/whatever were boring.

    • Grafton Is Dust

      Yeah, I’ve never been unnerved by GW miniatures. Now, the odd Malifaux miniature, or Cult of ‘Oorai’ from Bushido? Some of that stuff is imaginatively unnerving…

      • Eh… I guess? The only minis I’ve been legit creeped out by is Kingdom Death stuff. They didn’t just take a page from Geiger’s playbook… they took the whole book.

  • Xalopec

    The antagonists gorify torture, murder and genocide towards everyone who does not share their world view. But Slaanesh is morally unbearable?

    Bearded vikings ride huge wolfs and smash tanks with hammers. But Slaanesh is to immature for 40k?

    Can not follow your argumentation, Sir.

  • Alpharius

    If every murder feeds Khorne regardless of the situation, then every bone feeds Slaanesh regardless of the situation. There are parts in the narrative where particularly crazy deviants/serial killers managed to thin the veil, so to speak, and become possessed by a daemon. That is why the Age of the Imperium is so grimdark, all the monstrous things the Inquisition does are necessary to ensure the survival of mankind.

  • Joseph

    People miss the biggest issue: its going to be hard to get kids into a game when price wise there are much more enticing and less
    complex alternatives (video games, comics, ect). Even in the wealthy areas I visit where parents are likely to spoil their kids the people spending the most money are the remaining older players with very few kids in sight. GW has many times said its key customers are modellers and collectors something which is very rarely synonymous with children. The hobby/game should be targeted at young adults/ and adults (people with actual money). Models that look attractive or have a bit of bare skin are not sexist. The idea that demonic hermaphrodites is transphobic (hermaphrodites and transgender mostly being entirely different classifications) also seems a bit off. Also the more fem fatal, seductive element of fantasy has been a key aspect of its literature, films, and artwork since the mediums began to take form. If you dont want accusations of sexism try making some female minatures/factions. While I can’t discourage diversity in the approach to imply that the ways of old have no place what so ever is ludicrous. Slaanesh is a God of Lust, sex, and excess and even if you repurposed him/her or made it less overt the old fans wont forget. All it takes is a google image search and all that trying to cover up the past will be undone. Games workshop has a lot of problems but toying with a small yet long standing facet of their games lore (alterations to which fans are very critical of as it is ) is not very high on that priority list.

  • joetwocrows

    So., boiled down, 40K is now a mature game, and should leave juvenile fantasies behind.

    scratches head Nope.

    It’s the death knell of 40k as a viable game.

    The following is a good example of , so quit here, or put up likes.


    50 years ago, in Berkeley, CA, USA, a couple of professors, some science fiction writers, a bunch of students dressed up in medieval-ish clothes and had a party about rejecting the present-day. That party evolved into an organization known today as the ‘Society for Creative Anachronism’. Basically, it was a new kind of movable social event. And, because some of the absolute foundation was thumbing your nose at society, it attracted a lot of, well, immature types.

    Time goes on. Some players matured, some did not, but overall it was so much fun that people stayed with it. And some matured, and some did not. So did the umbrella corporation that acted as the interface betwixt medievalish and present-day. Now the organizational structure and how that game is played are all fascinating, but boring.

    The point is they matured. And lost the youthful exuberance and heroic attitudes, and suspension of disbelief and all kinds of things that attracted them in the first place. This is an organization that coined the phrase “If you can’t get laid in the SCA, you can’t get laid at all!” Actually, it was a drinking song, and accurate. But, when your 40,50,60 or more, that’s not such a draw. No. Debating about the virtues of Milanese vs N. European armor is, though.

    So, the SCA changed from a night club to a church club.

    The SCA no longer attracts many immature people, Too many rules, too expensive, too hard to get laid. And, its membership is aging, drifting away, lost in what was. Instead, the Anime clubs, Comic-Con, and similar organizations with less maturaity get the young memebership. The SCA may change and grow again, or it may go the way of the fraternal societies.

    All that to state that in getting rid of immaturity in the person of Slaanesh, or true Orkishness or even the Chaos Cults, GW is cutting itself off from exactly the players that will keep the game ‘fresh’.

    I’m sure all of the 30K players will disagree, but consider this gem from a friend of mine, an old Armored Cav Scout: Friends may come, and friends may go, but a good Enemy lasts a lifetime.

    best regards,

  • Bayne MacGregor

    Or they could just put some GLBTI characters who aren’t Slaanesh in. After all Khorne is god of bloodshed and what miniatures in the game don’t kill? Even many of the terrain pieces kill. Slaanesh is only homophobic and transphobic because those are the only places where GLBTI is at all represented in the main material other than a couple novels.

    Graham McNeil managed it occasionally, the Lesbian couple in Thousand Sons and the Intersex character in the Of Mars series (the word Intersex isn’t used but when someone’s clone ends up the opposite sex that’s Intersex, likely Complete Androgen Insensitivity but there’s several other possibilities, she also shows characteristic Intersex neurological advantages and that’s a key point in her character) are tiny hints at representation.

    The Imperium is also a BAD place. It’s meant to be. It’s a genocidal totalitarian dictatorship built on millennia of cruel unjust repression and oppression. It’s the Federation from Blakes 7 turned up to 11. It’s the nasty madness from Nemesis the Warlock. That was always the point.

    40k got to where it is precisely because it is a nightmare landscape of Giger’s unfilmed version of Dune, that it’s 1984 in space with Big Brother as the ‘good-est bad guys’, that It’s the x-men where all the mutants are considered bad guys and killing them all is the government policy.

    It can and should do more to be more inclusive, and to be more honest about where it’s intentionally bad as part of the horror of the setting. That it is a nightmare dystopia. The nastiness of it is a big part of why it’s been successful all these years.

  • Jay Mort

    So you suggest that showing decadent depravity and lascivious titillation to represent a fictional god meant to represent decadent depravity and lascivious titillation is immature, and instead we should shoehorn something in to replace it which doesn’t represent the concept this particular fictional god is meant to represent as one of the 4 main character flaws of human psyche?

    For what reason would we do something so intellectually stupid and functionally inane?
    Some woman told you to?

    • Captain Bukkake

      What are you, 12?

  • Captain Bukkake

    The 41st Millennium and the Old World are prime examples of dystopias. It’s not supposed to be politically correct. Quite the opposite, such a horrid place should be sexist, racist, and every other horrid thing should be possible. This is a fictional universe and there is no reason why it should abide by our real-world customs. Social justice warriors need to take the sticks out of their asses. Maybe we should remove all violence from 40k next. While were at it, let’s complain about how the seven kingdoms are trying to defeat the white walkers, since, of course, that’s considered genocide.

  • I kind of wonder at how Slaanesh is more homophobic/transphobic than say, the Imperium of man, which is canonically homophobic and transphobic. Although as I write this now, it occurs to me that I can’t cite any sources for this… I just assumed because of grimdark.
    If anything, Chaos by nature is more inclusive than any of the order factions. Anything goes in the warp. The assumption that this shows any kind of phobia on the part of the creators based on the grounds of Chaos = bad guys, therefore anything Chaotic is bad, is an immature surface reading in itself.
    I would argue this is actually a mature outlet, particularly for teens and those discovering their sexuality, to express rebellion against a perceived, uncaring, unaccepting, and overly ordered society. A horde of noise marines literally screaming at Imperial authority figures? Very therapeutic.
    GW is well within their rights to minimise Slaanesh in their store fronts, if their intended target audience is too young to handle it. But I don’t think we can remove it based on higher moral authority. That’s basically the point of Chaos; subversion of moral authority.

    • Jay Mort

      I kind of wonder why you make an argument based upon assertive assumptions without ever validating, evidencing, or justifying those asserted assumptions.
      By the way: Tranphobia and homophobia are not real words. Please don’t use meaningless jibber-jabber as fact.
      Diversity is not a strength. A sword with a blade made of parts of copper, steel, bronze, gold, silver, and tin would fall apart instantly when used. A sword will only work if its blade is made of all steel (or other sword metals), even if small parts of the blade were decorated with non-functional bits of those metals to make it prettier.
      Chaos is more inclusive?
      So Nurgle loves him some nice pleasant looking growing forests?
      Khorne likes himself those hospitals?
      Tzentch likes yes or no questions?
      Slaanesh likes sexual virtue?

      • Captain Bukkake

        The Oxford English dictionary disagrees with you. Transphobia and Homophobia ARE actual words. http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/homophobia http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/transphobia Maybe you should check before you try to correct someone. Go back to middle school.

        • Grafton Is Dust

          They’re just trolling.

      • I wasn’t aware transphobia/homophobia weren’t real words, but ok; I kind of wonder how Slaanesh shows more hatred/fear of homosexuals and transsexuals than say, the Imperium of Man, which I have assumed to be more canonically showing hatred of homosexuals and transsexuals based on the dark and oppressive nature of the 40K setting.
        I think a quick look at the variety of miniatures and art styles used for Chaos will be conclusive evidence of how inclusive Chaos is. I wouldn’t expect Khorne to like hospitals, but I’m sure Nurgle loves them for the concentration of disease and pestilence.
        I’m also somewhat confused at how metallurgy proves diversity to be a bad thing. Pure steel is rarely used for anything, and will often be alloyed with nickel or chromium to get different properties. And that’s not even considering that steel is itself a mixture of iron and carbon… and there will be a variety of different ratios of iron to carbon for different purposes. That’s not even taking into account different microstructures (arrangements of iron and carbon within the metallic lattice) for different parts of your sword blade example. For clarification, hard martensitic structured steel is great for an edge, but if you make the entire sword out of it, the blade will shatter on impact.
        I think it’s somewhat off-topic though, despite me indulging in a bit of nerdy material science. My argument was that Chaos is more complex than a surface reading would suggest, and that labelling Slaanesh as homophobic/transphobic (please refer to my first paragraph for clarification) or immature is a disservice to the creators.
        Is that clear enough?

      • Grafton Is Dust

        Horrible analogy. Any metallurgist can tell you that an alloy is always stronger than a single metal. Hence iron being alloyed into steel with various other substances, tin and copper being made into bronze, etc, etc.

        In fact, modern metallurgy has mixtures of compounds in alloys for precisely this reason.

  • Captain Bukkake

    With all due respect Larry, you seem like a very 1950’s sort of guy. The type of guy who uses the word “bum” instead of “butt.” You could never understand the glory of Slaanesh. Slaanesh represents the best in 40k: blow, bishes, pleasures unknown, and crushing your enemies. Who among us can truly say that they would turn down the opportunity to aquire bishes and blow, and crush their enemies?

  • The Watcher

    Oooorrrr how about GW does what they want with their product and pretentious people, like yourself, not buy it.

    • Grafton Is Dust

      Great business plan for a company whose profits have been falling for the past half-decade!

    • The Watcher

      Which has absolutely nothing with puritanical whining about the looks of the minions of a Demon God of Chaos guised as a conversation about dated looks and “maturity”. And everything to do with their miniatures being cost prohibitive and the rise of 3D printers. But even then, the videogames they spawned have been quite popular.

  • MullenIX

    First off this game is a work of fiction, fictional things when consumed as fiction do not turn sane people into murderers, racists, sexists or homotopic.

    Now i’d like to pick out some of the things you have claimed if i may

    “Sex becomes, by its nature, morally dangerous…”

    You find the idea of sex morally dangerous, really what makes sex more morally dangerous than say the idea of Killing someone?

    “For me, wargaming is a fun little game of plastic soldiers. I roll dice, I make pew pew noises, I smile with my friends as we salute the Emperor.”

    I Think your find that one of the prominent depicted theme of wargaming and warhammer is war. some others are death, depression, torture and slavery which for some reason you seem to have no problem of identifying as fictional, but seem to have a hard time seeing depictions of nudity and sex in the same manner.

    “Obviously, this does nothing to overcome the inherent problems of sexist models, or the deeply embedded homophobic and transphobic imagery”

    Plastic models are not sexist their objects, the person looking at them is interpreting them as such. Can you prove any of what your saying is factual? Because all i’m seeing is a list of buzzwords attacking something you don’t seem to like.

    “They’re not appropriate for younger gamers; they’re insulting to women, to trans and intersex people, as well as to any man whose sexuality extends beyond five quick pumps whilst thinking of England.”

    Again depictions of nudity is somehow inappropriate, but depictions of death and violence is somehow fun for all the family? Thank god that you’re a clairvoyant and can tell us what all women and transgender people are thinking, thought i find it strange that they all came to the same conclusion. Oh and nice attempt at an insulting strawman.

    “Is a collection of embarrassing ideas about sex and sexuality written by a person who’s never experienced any flavour of ice-cream other than vanilla, and who isn’t really interested in understanding the ideas they’re discussing, just describing some weird personal fantasy.”

    Hold on are you now talking about this article? Because I can see some definite parallels here.

    “Either way, it would be a step towards turning 40K into an actual, truly mature environment, and that can only be a good thing.”

    Yes then you can go about removing the other immature things like depictions war, violence, big meanies and fun which that can only be a good thing!

    What I got from this article, social justice is not justice it’s just stupid and factually deprived.

  • Ibai Canales

    So you guys destroyed comics and movies, and now you’re after videogames and Warhammer, eh?

  • WallaceLeMay68

    If you care so much about maturity, you should find something else you write about, you diq liqqing piece of crap.

  • Kenneth Portner


  • hdarren

    Was my comment deleted? Why the censorship?

    • Rafał Pytlak

      Welcome to the club…

      • They deleted my post as well and I’m teh CHAOS God of Death and Disease, brother to SLaanesh guess that makes me problematic.

    • Omnia Incendent

      oh no! you didn’t use logic and reason did you? those are sure fire ways to get comments deleted.

  • planets09

    This is stupid, you have no problem with Khorne or Nurgle but you focus on Slaanesh, why? Because its too sexual for you? Too problematic?

    It seems that the only way that a medium can be “mature” for you leftist nu-males and radical feminist types is if all reference to sex and sexuality is suppressed, censored or removed – that’s highly immature, it means you cannot handle adult themes, and should reevaluate your fragile mental hold on reality.

  • Identitet14

    Good thing that you libtards finally realized that you are slaanesh’s disciples. Now all we need is for the god emperor, Donald Trump to ascend to the throne, then we will purge you all without mercy. DEATH TO THE HERETICS!

  • Neil Carleton

    An interesting article but one I don’t entirely agree with.
    Back in the more nuanced days of the two Realm of Chaos books (Slaves to Darkness and The Lost and the Damned) there was a greater and more intelligent explanation of the concept of Chaos, how it was created by the primary emotions and the duality of these emotions. Chaos was not simply the cackling “bad guy” but explored the nature of these emotions and their positive and negative aspects. Devoting yourself to these powers and existing along one path was dangerous, devoting yourself to one emotional state had benefits but without any moderation less to extremes and extremes of anything are dangerous..

    Khorne is now “RARGH, KILL, ANGRY” but Khorne also represents honour and the will to fight to survive.
    Nurgle is now purely “Rot, Slime, Gross” but Nurgle also stemmed from the idea of defiance in the face of the inevitable and the maintaining oneself (and a gallows sense of humour) despite everything that is dealt to you.
    Tzeentch is all “MAGIC, WARPING, MADNESS!” but also represents hope and the belief in changing your situation and the future.

    Slaanesh’s strange position is that we as a society are perfectly happy to accept imagery of insanity, decay and extreme violence but show any kind of sexuality and it’s seen as “inappropriate” and “deviant”. Slaanesh represents the pursuit of pleasure which, sure, includes sexual pleasure and exploration but also in the creation of art, music and other things which broaden our minds. Just like the other chaos powers those ideas can be wonderful but when left out of control can be destructive to others and to oneself.

    Slaanesh certainly has lot’s of androgynous imagery, sexual freedom and not being bound by basic biological settings. Slaanesh certainly throws out the book when it comes to the idea of simple binary gender but does reflecting and exaggerating that diversity make it homophobic, does having beings of indeterminate gender make it transphobic or is that some people will view any portrayal of these things as “bad” simply because they are portrayed at all?
    Are you bringing your own prejudices and uncomfortableness on the subject to the article?

    I think it would be quite interesting to hear the views from non-heterosexuals and trans gamers on the subject. Perhaps you are right but perhaps they find the idea of the portrayals of these ideas being available to them (even when it’s in the form of one of the “bad guys”) is an interesting visual and character mechanic for them to add to their hobby?

    A lot of this piece basically reinforces the idea that gaming is just “for the kids” and if they can’t have it no one can. Leaving Slaanesh to Forgeworld is a solution but they themselves seem to spend little time on it compared to the likes of Nurgle and Khorne.

    Perhaps it’s time to re-work the Slaanesh range to a different aesthetic, perhaps it’s time we recognised that violence is horrible and the whole game is based around it?

    Thought provoking article though.

  • Breaker

    At what point do I seem like I’m ignoring it? All I said was that it doesn’t need to be politically correct. Last I checked, the characters in 40k were not real people. We have fantasy and scifi so that we don’t roast real people for fun.

    • Peter Houlihan

      She’s being sarcastic. I agree it’s hard to tell though.

      • Breaker

        Oh, whoops. Thanks.

  • m3g4tr0n

    It’s an interesting stance, but I have to disagree on making Slaanesh a FW-only line. What’s wrong with allowing the consumer to make the choice? It’s not like store owners are pushing half-naked minis into the hands of children. If my son wants to play that army, he should be free to do so. Looking at the breasts on a daemonette isn’t going to make him a misogynistic rapist.

    • Captain Bukkake

      Just like playing Khorne won’t make him a murdering psychopath. Long live Slaanesh

  • Pj

    Reality is transphobic, why oh why do we coddle people with obvious mental disorders.

    • SeekingOne

      Thanks or saying this out loud…

  • Pj

    Slut shaming is a bad thing? How does Slaanesh even encourage that?
    Homophobia, Transphobia…. I don’t see that either and I wouldn’t care about that if it was the case.

    This is nothing more than another attack from social justice crowd that must use shaking to fulfill its goals. The simple thing if something “triggers” you is to ignore it or not patron it. Having GW destroy their products will only serve to destroy their company.

  • Omnia Incendent

    Totally agree. You’re absolutely right, leave this childish hobby and go make a better more mature fictional universe that’s inclusive to trans people, filled with progressive views about whatever happens to be on top of the intersectional victim pyramid that afternoon.

    …or if creating something is too hard you could always just co-opt something that already exists…

  • Critical Kaiju

    Larry, you are a pearl clutching moral busy body. Mature people can see a breast and not lose there minds and write a 3000 word hissy about how they find it offensive. Here’s an idea: find a way to entertain yourself that you actually enjoy. I would suggest children’s coloring books, you will not likely find any adult sexual themes in them.
    “The outdated ideas about sex and sexuality – and they are outdated – that Slaanesh represents are simply not appropriate for the game any more. They’re not appropriate for younger gamers; they’re insulting to women, to trans and intersex people, as well as to any man whose sexuality extends beyond five quick pumps whilst thinking of England.”
    “this degenerate art doesnt represent X Y Z collectivist subgroup of people there for it must be changed! WONT SOMEONE THINK OF THE CHILDREN/ WOMEN/TRANSFOLK!? BONUS CIS MALE INSULT”

    You are just saying your opinions as if they are fact then getting outraged on behalf of others. You do not speak for children. You do not speak for women. You do not speak for trans or intersex people. You speak for yourself and no one else. just because you dislike some art and design doesn’t mean you sit on a moral high ground. maybe, just maybe, your opinion is wrong…

  • Breaker

    I personally don’t think there are good guys and bad guys in 40k. Everyone’s a jerk lol. Why would reveling in excess be more evil than the complete genocide of every non-human intelligent species in the galaxy?

  • youareivan

    I believe one sign of maturity is realizing that there are some things that people like that you do not. Wanting to limit other people’s access to things because you don’t like them is a sign of immaturity.

    • Muninwing

      i would side with this, with qualifications

      first, what is it that is disliked? are we talking about disliking rap music, sexual content in a movie, or snuff films — because that’s a huge gamut there.

      second, is the thing that is disliked a simple opinion, such as “it’s just not my thing,” (the rap music level)? or is it more than that, with potential reasons for aversion? or is it even further — a complaint about harm done to onesself, or others?

      third, what about age? i don’t want my 2-year-old son watching slasher flicks. my wife had nightmares as a kid because her mom was decidedly less careful. some topics are complicated. and some people never warm to them. at certain points, you are not intellectually complex enough to deal with certain issues.

      fourth… is it interfering with larger societal concerns? you have every right to be a fool in your own home, but the moment you try to use your own brand of foolishness — your particular religious convictions, your racism, your opinions and stereotypes and personal damage — to affect other people, or to undermine the social contract, then there’s a larger issue at hand.

      and to fight against other people trying to limit you using your power to limit others is not the same thing as championing actually harmed people.

      thus, i get what you are saying… but really there’s so much more to this issue that it can;t be simplified like that.

      • Peter Houlihan

        1. Sex, nudity and fun

        2. It doesn’t matter why

        3. Warhammer isn’t for 2 year olds

        4. Warhammer isn’t about larger societal concerns

        It’s quite simple really.

      • Andrew

        You guys really think you’re uniquely qualified to determine public morality. You’re not the first though. We’ve already had the Puritans, the Inquisitors, the Victorian Grandmas, the Church Lady from SNL, the Moral Majority.

        In all historical cases, you guys squandered your credibility and society tired of your authoritarian moral posturings and moved on. We’re at that point yet again and you guys just haven’t figured it out yet.

        • Muninwing

          you must really like me — tracked down everything i’ve said to get your childish comments deleted as you repeat yourself to stroke your own ego over and over again.

          and you’re barking up the wrong tree.

          and you can’t even keep your examples straight.

          lots of misplaced rage here. i’d suggest you go back and read the title of this article again and see if you’re qualified to comment here.

          you’ve got this weird idea that a whole bunch of unrelated forces are part of a vast conspiracy against you having fun. while hilarious that you lumped tipper and al gore in with the super-fundamentalist moral majority (proving that you can’t even google well, never mind remember back that far to justify being this full of impotent rage).

          my argument has nothing to do with any of this. which you’d know if you weren’t too busy throwing a snit to bother reading.

          • Andrew

            You sound like you’re having an episode of paranoid schizophrenia here.

            No one is tracking you down. No one is angry. No one is talking conspiracy here except for you. It’s two people, you and I, disagreeing in a comment section.

            And so I mixed some of your authoritarian forebears together? You’re all the same–that was precisely the point–and you’re helping me to demonstrate it.

          • Muninwing

            ah, so you’re one of those… a sad puppy style crusader for freedom, without the basic understanding of… well, really anything you mouth off about.

            if you start a thread using a pejorative, expect people will call you on it. if you’re one of those fringe crazies who needs to attack others to prop himself up, don’t expect respect. if you jump in and spew toxic, aggressive blame-gaming out in public, you’re not the poor victim… so using other examples of bullying others really just makes you seem like you never got past being picked on in middle school.

            how sad is it for you to have nothing better to do than to be a troll over plastic mandolls. but you seem to need your ego stroked through whatever you can get. so here’s the last attention you’ll get from me unless you can grow up and have a decent conoversation.

          • Andrew

            You haven’t even pretended to defend your pro-censorship position and you’re not fooling anyone. Thanks for demonstrating everything I say.

            Fortunately for you, my responses are being censored too.

      • youareivan

        i really appreciate your thoughtful response.

        with all respect, however, i do think it’s simple. if you don’t like something don’t do it. as long as something is legal regardless of whether i want to do it or not it should be allowed.

        as to this article every single faction in wh40k has some feature that is largely disturbing and inappropriate in the real world. it’s grimdark (he said, in a voice of thunder.)

        why stop at slaneesh, i mean sex is better than disease isn’t it? out with nurgle! what about portraying tribal societies as beastial and cowardly? orks should be special order only. quasi-religious castrated formerly human super soldiers? you should need a license to play space marines. hive mind alien insects murder beasts? blood test!

        i respect the authors right to be offended by slaneesh. we should all respect the rights of slaneesh players to offend us.

  • Neil Burns

    If it disturbs you that deeply, why not just go play another game? Slanneshi aestetic is something I enjoy about the 40k universe. Myself, and many other people. Seriously, its a huge gaming community. Go play Warmachine, X-Wing, Guildball, Dropzone, or Malifaux.

  • Andrew

    So glad that no one cares what SJWs think, aside from other SJWs. If the game is too racy (the extreme violence is apparently ok for kids though), take your Hipster Puritanism to other games.

    If they wanted the game to be “for kids”, don’t you think they would have already made it that way?

  • Ricardo Lima

    This article is filled with neoprudish , think of the children pseudo intellectual nonsense.
    Your moral judgments on what you consider embarrassing ideas don’t make anything mature.

    That “embarrassing’ sex bothers you so much more than the eternal violence and many atrocities pervasive in the Warhammer 40k universe says a lot more about you than anything else.

  • Emprah

    Set your auspex to CUCK!

  • Robot Panda

    Maximum cringe. What’s wrong with sex? What’s wrong with slaanesh? Who are you to define maturity? Isn’t maturity being responsible? Isn’t maturity being respectful of other people’s creations? Isn’t maturity being unafraid of the immature?

    You mean to tell me that in a game about primitive space orcs with biceps bigger than their heads, space marines with 100lb shoulderpads, something so silly and immature in itself, a race defined by its sexuality is not fitting? You can have a race defined by muscles, but one by titties – hell no. Is that because women have cooties? Or because you refuse to acknowledge that in the same way that men can be imposing through physical strength, women can be imposing through sexuality?

    I think the OP is simply made uncomfortable by the caricature of female sexuality that perfectly fits along with the caricature of masculinity that everything else in Warhammer is. And here’s the problem he has – he probably never had to deal with being made insecure by a man in real life. No man ever dominated him. However, he is still made to feel insecure by female sexuality. Maybe if we remove expression of female sexuality as a strength women will domesticate themselves in real life. Right?


  • templarsmonochromata

    Feels before reals. Got it.
    Ok that was rude and dismissive, but your arguments are based in emotion, and your mandate is to restrict the emotional expression of others, reducto absurdum.

    My point is – restrict myself? How much?

    • Muninwing

      see… i like that you have some grounding in rhetorical ideas. but you’re terrible at applying that knowledge. i’m not trying to be a jerk, but this is all wrong.

      i should mention that i’m finishing a class focused on rhetoric and argument right now, and just about everything you have said in that field is incorrect.

      to use actual rhetorical terms, you are now accusing me of using an appeal to Pathos, where you only value an appeal to Logos… and then you use a “slippery slope” fallacy to try to make your actual point. but in reality, the three appeals are not in any way hierarchical nor are they fallacious — they are ways of presenting information.

      what’s more, part of my reason for not wanting a student to have a fear/panic reaction in class is based on the effects of the secondary nervous system — no intellectual processes can occur when they are reacting like that. if my goal is to teach them, then defusing their panic and building their trust is basic stuff. i’m not weeping over their trauma, i’m trying to get them to be more functional students, which at heart is my job.

      but go ahead and misuse an idea that’s older than the roman empire to try to sound smart.

      as for the rest… let me break this down a bit more…

      1. my arguments are not “based on emotion” — they are based on effect.

      2. that effect is in turn based not on my own personal values, but upon an understanding of social contract.

      3. you used reductio ad absurdum wrong. it’s a deliberate exaggeration for effect, not merely this “mandate” you reference. moreover, by misconstruing it that way, your assertion is an exaggeration of my point to then ridicule my point, which is exactly what reductio ad absurdum is.

      that’s not even a pot-> kettle, that’s just the water criticizing the stone for being wet.

      4. the “mandate” you mention… at heart your flaw is the idea of “restriction of expression”


      are you the sculptor at GW? no, you’re a customer. that’s not expression, except through the most hardcore capitalist lens.

      you have tried and failed to use a flawed appeal to authority (“some respected experts on the topic” actually on the wrong topic). you have tried to shift the conversation away from the core issue of basic respect — that not everyone wants to delve into some serious issues so you can have fun.

      and that’s ultimately it. you are, in your attack on my concern for others, asserting that only your needs or desires matter. regardless of whether you have the right, ability, legality, or social mandate to feel or behave this way, it is fundamentally undermining to the social contract. what this means is surprisingly complex — but the short version is that we are involved in a social game.

      the “most important rule” is about having fun. if you are selfishly asserting that you should have no boundaries (and, for the record, this isn’t really related to my actual point), then you are in fact violating the contract of the game itself.

      this “threat” at heart is about the use and misuse of the term “trigger warning.” about how it came from a very real psychological reason (which you, in your first response, proved that you have not done any real research on in its application), but is now used in a far too broad form. i also agreed that it has its proper and improper uses. thus, your accusations that i am somehow taking something away from you is not only off-topic, it’s bizarrely so. it’s like you are all worked up over an unrelated issue, and fighting a fight nobody wants to have.

      so there’s that.

      but whatever. feel free to come back and misuse another logical fallacy to change the subject.

  • Mike Forrey

    The author of this article needs to SERIOUSLY read the book Fulgrim by Graham McNeill to understand what the Slaanesh is really about. Their interpretations are completely off center and appear to come from the mind of a child. Seeing Slaanesh as only some over sexualized and hedonistic perversion is WRONG. In many ways Slaanesh is a part of the human psyche that effects those with the obsessive need for plastic surgery to attain what they consider “perfection”. Followers of Slaanesh will deform themselves to the point of absurdity but never once think they look bad. In fact they begin to see the monster they are becoming as their “True” beauty.
    If anyone needs to grow up it’s the author who is getting all bent out of shape over an exposed body part.

  • kuzefra

    The way I see it, there are two ways GW could go about it. Personally, I’d like to see them slowly advance the timeline and incorporate any changes they feel are necessary as organically as possible. Things like finishing off the Emperor, doing new things with the gods and Primarchs, advancing the Xenos, etc. It would save them from doing an Age of Sigmar style retool/reboot trashing the old world and bringing in the new.

    Or, since the Horus Heresy is so popular, they could roll that forward from M31 (say, a millennium or two every two real-world years). It can become clear it’s an alternate universe where new things can happen. Things like female Space Marines, a tamer Slaanesh, and other changes to fit modern tastes and sensibilities.

  • Four Fingered Fred

    slaanesh is excess and decadence. it actually is the most nuanced and mature theme of all four chaos gods. dismissing it because of ewww bewbs is the immature thing to do.

  • Libelnon

    This is probably the most interesting and engaging article I’ve ever read here. +1 for you, sir!
    I honestly thing Squatting Slaanesh would probably push me out of the hobby, even though I don’t have a Slaaneshi army. What I do have is many hours spent playing the 40k roleplaying games, and as a GM the most interesting tool at my disposal has always been the influence of Slaanesh. Given one of the stories of Chaos involves a single foul word being spoken and resulting in a whole world falling to Nurgle, the idea of excesses being difficult to avoid doesn’t seem too far-fetched. I think more the issue is that Slaanesh is generally, as you mention, glazed over due to the mature content it explores.

  • Andrew

    Like I said, imbecile, no one cares what you guys think. Certainly I don’t.

    You virtue-signaling, posturing cretins don’t like depictions sexuality? Don’t play the game. And keep telling yourself that this is “mature”. Most pre-adolescents are uncomfortable with sex; most grow out of it by the time they become adults.

  • Andrew

    Like I said, no one cares what you guys think. We all immediately recognize you for the uptight, vapid-headed pearl-clutchers that you are. Your smug moral posturings don’t impress anyone.

    You virtue-signaling cretins are uncomfortable with depictions of nudity? Don’t play the game.

  • Andrew

    The only thing you professional virtue-signalers like more than moral posturing and telling others what to think, is censorship (this is my third attempt here).

    You priggish pearl-clutchers are uncomfortable with depictions of nudity? Don’t play the game.

    “so explain how you’re better than any other internet troll,”

    I already told you: no one cares what you guys think.

    • Muninwing

      you seem to care a great deal. not like you are making sense anyway, since you’re arguing something different than we are talking about.

      • Andrew

        “you seem to care a great deal.”

        If it turns you on to imagine so, by all means, knock yourself out, champ.

  • Andrew

    No one cares what you morally-posturing pearl clutchers think; I pretty much already explained this.

  • Long Parliament

    If GW wants to retire Slaanesh in 40k, then they could have the perfect storyline. Eldrad enacts his greatest “just as planned” scheme and revives Ynnead the Eldar God of the dead. Ynnead defeats Slaanesh and releases the Eldar dead. However they turn out to be an army of angry ghosts that want to destroy real space. The new army “The Returned” animate the millions of wraithbone statues throughout the Galaxy. This can include animating dead space marine’s armour (a bit like the thousand sons). They could have a reanimation rule (leech) that comes from wounds caused to opponents in hth. All this angers the Exodites who go to war. Hence GW will have 4 Eldar factions and a new “chaos in the galaxy” campaign.

  • calbeck357

    Fantastic parody material. I haven’t had this many laughs since SNL stopped running the “Church Lady” skits.

  • Eli Goldshekel

    Why do you want 40k to be “mature”? So that the mainstream crowd can come in and ruin it? No. Keep it niche so it stays good. If Slaanesh as-is helps keep the mainstream, normal people – the riff-raff – away from 40k, then keep Slaanesh as-is!

  • CyberEagle

    Slaaneshs most powerful subversive tool is a book about the science behind art.

    It tends to rip open reality.

    Slaanesh also has slippery slopes because their energies actually heighen sensation just long enough to get you addicted before inexorably dulling them more and more.
    And naked chicks? Both GW and FFG are afraid of so much as mentioning naked chicks.

    Y’all a bunch of pretentious idiots with third-hand information who actually know even less of what they’re talking about than me, and I don’t know much.

    • SeekingOne

      >> Also, Hermaphrodites aren’t Transpeople


  • Agent of Change

    I must say this was a quite entertaining and well written think piece. I was impressed with the even handed approach and the effort to place the issue in both temporal and cultural context. I was also struck by the elegance of what you feel the solution might be, which in the end might be the most reasonable way to approach the situation if in fact GW does see it as an issue to be dealt with which given the direction they went with AoS may actually be the case.

    But not everyone may be able to appreciate nuance and a thoughtful approach to entertainment but hey I think that’s part of your point. Keep writing stuff worth reading some folks do appreciate it.