It’s about time we got another good Xenos-centric 40K War Zone Supplement from Games Workshop.
Hey BoLS Readers, AdamHarry here and today I wanted to talk about something that’s been on my mind for a while now – Where’s the Xeno’s love from Games Workshop? I know we just got an awesome new Codex for the Genestealer Cults – that’s fantastic! But after reading through the majority of the book’s lore, I gotta wonder – why is almost every “campaign” always focused on the Imperium? Look at the last couple of releases for their “War Zone” series:
- Black Crusade: Chaos Marines vs Blood Angels
- War Zone Fenris: Space Wolves vs Chaos Demons
- War Zone Damocles: Tau vs Space Marines/Astra Militarum
- Shield of Baal: Tyranids vs Blood Angels
- Stormclaw Box: Space Wolves vs Orks
- Battle for Macragge – Ultramarines vs Tyranids
The list goes on…and if you go back even farther, just about every edition’s starter set featured Space Marines vs Xenos of some type.
The last “big” Xenos vs Xenos Book was “Apocalypse Warzone: Valedor” way back in May of 2014. And I bet most folks forgot about that one:
Here’s the thing – I get it. I understand from a business perspective why you want your literal Poster Boys fighting against the “Evil” Aliens. I get that Space Marines are the most popular army and they are the “safe bet” to slap on boxes to get people interested. I’m pretty sure every person who has ever heard of Warhammer 40,000 knows what a Space Marine is at this point. Heck, I’m willing to be most players have or have had a Space Marine force of some type during their career as a 40k player. It’s all about the money – I get it.
I also understand from a narrative perspective that it’s just easier to work with and write from the “human” point of view. It’s just simpler to tell a story from the eyes of a human than from the perspective of an Ork Warboss, a Necron Overlord, or even the Hive-mind of a Tyranid Fleet. But why can’t we have both?
What I would really love to see is another one of these “War Zone” style books/campaigns that pits two different Xenos forces against each other. Personally, I’d love to see an Ork vs Tyranid series. And before you say, “Orks vs Nids? Oh that will never happen,” I’d like to point out that it already has.
The Octarius War was a Major conflict between Hive Fleet Leviathan and the Ork Empire of Octarius. It was featured in a few sources like the Tyranid’s 5th Edition Codex and the Orks 4th Edition Codex. It starts with some Imperial misdirection which leads to a MASSIVE conflict between the two forces. It’s a great bit of lore that I’m not going to spoil here. You can read about that in the Lexicanum article.
What I really liked about this conflict is the way it was describing the combat from the top ranks (Nobs and Bosses vs Tyranid Warriors and Tyrants), to the basic foot sloggers (Boyz vs Gaunts), to the Squigs vs Rippers, Bio-Titans vs Squiggoths and even Tyranid Phage Cells attacking the Orkoid Spores. This was Warfare on EVERY level. There is even an epic Space Battle and all the way down to small scale squad skirmishes. It’s one of my favorite stories in all the Grim Dark.
The best part is that this is just one small story in the vast history of all things 40k. There are hundreds of these type of Xenos vs Xenos conflicts that have been or could be written about in the Lore. The Tau, Eldar, Necrons, Orks, and Tyranids have their own vendetta’s to settle and borders conflicts to fight – it doesn’t have to always be about the Imperium vs “Them” in the Grim Dark.
Just as another example, the War in Heaven was an ancient conflict that basically set the stage for the Necron Race to exist. Looking at the conflict it’s easy to see how the Necrons and the Eldar could continue that war-by-proxy. I’d totally be up for a War Zone book/Campaign that featured the Necrons vs the Eldar as they battled over ancient secrets and powerful artifacts of that era. Besides that, it would be pretty great to explore the Mythology of the War in Heaven from both the Necron and Eldar Points-of-View.
Bring On The Xenos
Warhammer 40,000 has a fantastic universe that’s been built and it’s continuing to evolve. It’s been a living, breathing universe for almost 30 years at this point. I enjoy all the current 40k Imperial story lines that Games Workshop’s writers are weaving and I love that the Horus Heresy series is still going strong. I just feel like there is a giant hole in the way the Xenos forces are treated. I want to hear stories and see campaigns focused on how the Tau are dealing with the Tyranids encroaching on their space. Or how the Eldar are attempting to curb the Ork threats to their Craftworlds. Or how the Necrons are dealing with Dark Eldar raids on their Tomb Worlds. The potential is there Games Workshop – make it happen!
If you could pick the next War Zone, what would you pick and which two races would you like to see face off?