40K: Should GW Kill the Emperor?


The Golden Throne is failing, the Emperor’s body a long-dormant husk, Abaddon is coming. Should GW kill off the Master of Mankind?


The clock is always 5 minutes till midnight in the Grimdark, but then again the Warhammer Fantasy world was trapped in amber for decades – until it wasn’t. GW says that 2017 will be THE SHAKEUP YEAR for 40K that will reset the board for the foreseeable future.

The big question is just HOW MUCH GW wants to shake up the Grimdark.

The Narrative Options

GW will no doubt weave a circuitous and winding path for Abaddon’s Black Crusade.  Just look at the thousand pages of pure lore they produced for the 5 volumes WFB’s End Times books.  Whatever GW’s not-end times has in store, you can bet every race and character you forgot about will get their five minutes. Still in the grand narrative sense, Warhammer 40,000 revolves around the Emperor and for him you can really boil it down to three options:

Status-Quo: The least bold option. GW winds things up with an even more extra super duper dire situation – say “5 seconds to midnight”. Something along these lines:

The last of the Custodians were gone, the Sisters of Silence with them.  The doors to the throne room thundered with the blows of Abaddons’s legions. The knot of primarchs fight back to back surrounded their father preparing to sell their souls at this, the end of the dream for mankind. With a wry smile, the Lion turned to his brothers, hair matted with blood: “Activate the Ultima Protocol”

Emperor Lives: A bold choice. All the wheels lock in place and plans long forgotten come to pass. Something like this:

Cypher stands alone before the Throne, the dead and dying piled so deep he can hardly move. Here and there surviving Primarchs duel to the end. He unsheathes the Lion Sword. Over thousands of transhuman cries plunges it into the heart of the Master of Mankind. Empty sockets flare open with the light of a thousand suns: “AT LAST”

Emperor Dies: The boldest choice and the most grim.  GW jumps over the cliff on faith alone and shows us what happens to the galaxy post Emperor.

Abaddon stands alone before the Throne, the dead and dying piled so deep he can hardly move. Here and there surviving Primarchs duel to the end. He unsheaths Drach’yhen. Over thousands of transhuman cries plunges it into the heart of the Master of Mankind. The body crumbles to dust with an eymperic death rattle heard for thousands of light years:  “THE WORK BEGINS ANEW”

Emperor_Upon_ThroneThe Death Option…

Remember that there are many beliefs of what happens after the Emperor dies (aside the obvious politics and fragmentation of the Imperium by the Primarchs, Ecclesiarcy, Chaos, etc)…



The Star Child

A controversial belief amongst Imperial scholars, the Star Child Theory has two aspects: the first is that the Emperor’s soul is currently forming as a new entity (the Star Child) in the Warp and that he will be reborn – a theory not dissimilar to the belief surrounding the potential Eldar god Ynnead– and the second is that the Emperor had children.

After the defeat of Horus, most of the Emperor’s soul is said to have dispersed from his body, merging into the warp in much the same way as that of the shamans, so many millenia before. It is believed that the Emperor – while apparently designed and empowered by the shamans to live forever – also possesses their ability to reincarnate, and that this would be his eventual goal. Avoiding discovery by the Chaos powers, it is believed that the Emperor was able to plant the seed of his reincarnation, a potential new soul awaiting birth: The Star Child. However, it is also believed that this new soul cannot be born while the Emperor is still tied to the Golden Throne, no matter how tenuously.

Along with this, the Emperor is said to have had children. Although a man of unparalleled, god-like powers, the Emperor was still a man, and throughout the many millennia of his life on Terra had fathered many children. A few of their descendants had inherited some of the Emperor’s power, including agelessness, and survive into the Age of the Imperium. They are known as Sensei. Sensei have a unique nature and relationship with the Warp which makes them invisible to psychic senses – even to those of the Emperor. The ultimate goal of the Sensei is to attain Apotheosis with the Star Child.

The Sensei-Emperor

There is a another possibility given for the Emperor’s resurrection/rebirth. A hidden group that call themselves the Illuminati have learned from the Eldar’s Black Library many truths of Chaos, as well as about the Sensei and the Fall of the Eldar. They realise the Emperor cannot survive in his current state forever, and eventually he will fail, and without the Emperor, Mankind will fall to Chaos like the Eldar. Such an event would create a fifth God of Chaos and create another Eye of Terror, one which would span the entire Imperium. They seek to prevent this by bringing about the rebirth of the Emperor.

This involves gathering together the Sensei, protecting them from the Inquisition, preparing them for what they claim is “the final war with Chaos.” In truth they ultimately plan to sacrifice the Sensei to the Emperor, in the same way so many psykers have been consumed by the Emperor. The Emperor will be renewed, reborn as the Sensei-Emperor to again lead his race in person.

The God Incarnate

The God Incarnate is a philosophy closely connected to Thorianism that maintains that the Emperor’s essence in the Warp may be transferred to a physical vessel, one deemed a Divine Avatar.

Those who advocate the God Incarnate believe that the Emperor is a god, and like the other gods He exists within the Warp. They believe that just as a man such as the Emperor could become a god, it stands to reason that a god could become a man. This is the central idea of the God-Incarnate, the physical vessel for a God in the material world. These physical vessels, referred to by Thorians as Divine Avatars, would be special individuals who would become a host for the Emperor’s consciousness in the Warp.

The myths and legends surrounding the God-Incarnate tell of the coming of the Divine Avatar(s) amid a time of great upheaval and war. Moreover, the Divine Avatar will possess unique traits such as phenomenal psychic power, an “altered” form, and the ability to talk to animals. Some within the Inquisition believe that the End Times represent this final period where the God Incarnate will finally be made manifest.

The principles of the God Incarnate are outlawed by the Inquisition, for they fear that if the Emperor were to be reborn, the Astronomican might fail, the Divine Avatar might be corrupted by Chaos, and civil war between believers and unbelievers would erupt. Moreover, the Emperor could be killed again, potentially taking the Emperor’s essence with it. Thus some within the Inquisition have made it their duty to seek out possible Divine Avatars and either kill them or study them.

 I’m sure by now the entire story is written. I think GW should go for it and really shake things up.
~Which option for the Emperor’s fate would you pick?
  • Nyyppä

    Does it make the game balanced? If “yes”, kill it with fire! If “no”, who cares?

    • Ross Allan

      Because 40k got where it is today on it’s background perhaps, and there’s more to the hobby than the rolling of dice?

      • Nyyppä

        Do you mean to say that it is ok for a game to be in such a sorry state that most match ups have a predetermined winner and most of the rest have a situation in which one player has to play really poorly if the other wants to have any chance to win.

        Yes, there is the modeling aspect, sure, but it is common knowledge that most hobbyists are hobbyists because of the game, not because of the story arc the may or may not come true in the future. It’s not just the game, but the game is the most important part of it that needs a change.

        • Ross Allan

          No. But the background has always been 40k’s main selling point. If you get the chance, try to get hold of a copy of Rogue Trader, and wrap your cerebral tentacles round it. Table after table, rule after rule.
          40k has never been a tight rules set, but it’s still far and away the dominant force in hobby wargaming. X-Wing might have tighter rules, but still has it’s power lists, and just isn’t as engaging in the long term as 40k. Warmachine? Likewise.
          40k does need a clear up. Absolutely it does. I’ve have a work enforced hiatus from the game since around 2010 (commute kills my weekday freetime, Friday night is pub night, Saturday is telly catch up, Sunday is boring adulating like laundry and hoovering and cleaning the toilet), but had a massive Apoc game in November. Boy, I barely knew what was happening. So many little changes here and there, four books just to field my army (mixed Mechanicus with an Ordinatus) so I absolutely agree it does need some work doing.
          But to suggest the only thing that matters at all is the rules is….odd, and not really supported by facts.

          • Nyyppä

            I fully agree. I started back when RT was current. It has always been a story driven game. It has never been this badly balanced though and the problem for GW is that they are constantly losing customers more than they are gaining new ones. Not in vast numbers but still losing them. This is because the game is what it is and the story has a limit for it’s pull. Not messing up the story too badly and making the game balanced would make it THE GAME again instead of X-Wing that seems to be selling more at the moment. This is perfectly doable without a total overhaul of the rule set. Little tweaks here and there plus balancing the cost for units within a faction and between the factions would be enough. I mean, pyrovores, mutilators, vespid etc. compared to scatter bikes, free razorbacks, WKs and such.

            The setting is great, most miniatures are at least ok. The rules as a whole are next to useless though, just because most matches have a predetermined winner. The pretty loose rule set is still ok if the games are reasonably balanced.

          • Red_Five_Standing_By

            You need to burn the codexes down and start over. Everything should be point costed according to a formula of some kind. There is no reason a Wraith Knight should cost fewer points than an Imperial Knight.

          • Nyyppä

            A formula would be cool but I suspect it would not work. There would be a very likely sweet spot at which units would be just better than things further from it. Maybe if the points were in a range of thousands per model instead of what we have now. I could be wrong.

            And yes, the WK should be on par with the IK or even more expensive.

        • Emperor’s Champion

          Some of us don’t really care much for how balanced the game is, just pick your favourite armies and have fun painting and gaming no matter how good or bad your codex is. I survived 5th ed as an eldar player but at the end of the day the background fluff is what kept me painting up that army.
          The models got me into it not the game too I might mention.

          • Nyyppä

            Is the gaming fun if you can not win or can not lose?
            5th edition eldar were not bad. They were not broken either. They were good enough to win but not so good that they could not lose.

          • Emperor’s Champion

            Like I said miniatures and fluff were what helped, and I didn’t care much for the game.
            Speaking of eldar, Im talking about running a guardian only army during 5th without the jet bike spam we saw in almost every list.
            I probably only won 3 games with them in a total of 3 years but at the same time i was invested in fantasy too so it didn’t really bother me so much.

          • Nyyppä

            Well, I personally would like to have a reason to take my models with me to the games instead of just looking at the lists to see who won.

      • Hawt Dawg

        A word of warning… His point of view = how everyone else sees the game.

        It’s Limahl all over again.

        • Nyyppä

          Nice straw man! Did you come up with it all by your self or did you have help?

          As a correction, my point of view = my point of view.

          • Hawt Dawg

            There, there.

            It’s ok to be flawed.

          • Nyyppä

            Obviously. There are also some cultures that see it as ok to lie constantly. You have a place in this world too. 🙂

          • Hawt Dawg

            Limahl? I meant Whitesnake…

          • Nyyppä

            Oh, it’s a band name discussion now. Fine. AC/DC.

          • dave long island

            Speaking of which, Strawmen get their own Codex in March.

          • Nyyppä

            Apparently the whole designer team is here with us discussing the game. I feel rather lucky now. At least I can ask the questions straight from them!

          • Ludwig Hesselbach

            Dude if you hate it so much stop reading, writing, and whining about the game. I’m mean do you really need at least six posts arguing your point and feeding the trolls instead of stating your opinion then let the the others state theirs. Your first comment doesn’t even make sense seeing how this is a post on the story arc and not the rule set so why bring it up? Wait, I see now. Don’t worry Privateer Press will still pay you for smack talking other games if you just keep to the unruly sites like bolter/chainsword.

          • Nyyppä

            I’m not hating the game. I’m unable to play it due to GW killing off the faction I played and killing off the other faction I have models for. It is what it is. There is no animosity. Just acceptance and hope for a better tomorrow.
            That does not mean that I’d accept the opposite claims without any proof to support them.

            GW has a tendency of trying to implement the fluff in to the rules. They are really, really bad at it but they do try. Hence the first comment of mine is directly related to the subject.

            I have no ties to PP. I don’t even have any from their products.

          • euansmith

            I hear they are going to have a USR called “Misdirect Attack”.

        • Ross Allan

          Limahl of 1980’s popsters Kajagoogoo?
          You sure? He doesn’t seem terribly too shy shy, hush hush, eye to eye?
          Or perhaps he’s a Never Ending Story (aaaah-aaah-aahhh-aaah-ah-ah)

          • Hawt Dawg

            The latter on repeat…

    • Admiral Adama

      Still crying about game balance? Looks like we saw more models and lore instead of 10 months of rules review and 10 more months of play testing, thankfully. If you want, what is really nothing more then your opinion, “balance” made real, then do it yourself with house rules or changes approved by your gaming group. Let the rest of us enjoy what makes 40k great.

      • Nyyppä

        I don’t see anyone crying here. I see few people whining about others wanting a fair game though.

        I could do that, but people like you would start playing the worlds smallest violin because their broken things would be evenly matched against the rest of the game.

        • Admiral Adama

          You have no clue do you? I couldn’t care less about balance because the vast majority of balance complaints are based on biased opinions of what the players themselves are playing as an army. Your constant complaints about balance are often divisive and whiny. If you don’t like the rules, change them with house rules or play a different game. I play multiple armies and I have no problem or complaints while playing any of them. I enjoy the game and it’s lore. The miniatures are the best in the world and yet it’s complainers like you that just spew anger every time someone doesn’t agree with your opinion about balance. You are exactly the type of player that most people wouldn’t want to play with. If you don’t like the game and it’s rules then do us all a favor and play another game.

          • Nyyppä

            So, it’s ok to you if you lose every game forever without the slightest chance for other results. Ok. That’s perfectly fine. I just do not share the exhilarating euphoria you get from predetermined outcomes. I want suspense and challenge. Not the choice between narratively interesting but automatically losing and narratively boring and automatically winning.
            Why is it that people not wanting the same things that you do are so offensive in your mind that you feel the need to get personal instead of presenting a valid argument beyond “I do not want that”?
            Why do you think that I’m angry? I’m not. My opinion just persists while the balance situation stays the same. My opinion changes when the balance situation changes. It’s not personal. It’s reactionary.

            If you look closely enough you’ll see that I do not complain about this thing. I merely bring up the common knowledge when someone tries to act like things would be different than what they are.

          • Admiral Adama

            Your logic is that every game is already predetermined by army choice and composition that leaves no room for chance and tactical acumen. I have played since RT and the first thing I learned is that chance and tactical skill always are the deciding factor in a game. You also assume that your opinion on balance is absolute and inviolable. It is not, your opinion is based on your experiences and skills. We can agree to disagree however what you also fail to realize is that when you give that opinion, its presentation is as absolute fact and that anyone who disagrees is wrong or misguided. Instead of simply disagreeing, you attempt to invalidate another’s opinion with a veiled insult and the claim that your experiences are more valid and therefore correct. I have no problem with balance and rules being reviewed and changed to reflect a known or possible issue, however models and lore are what make this game so great. That is why people play the game, rules are a secondary concern. If the game was so flawed and broken as you seem to claim that there is always a predetermined result and that chance and tactical skill play no part then why do you or others even play? It is because your claim of no balance within the rules is based upon your experiences alone and nothing more.

          • Nyyppä

            Never said every game. There are matches that have a predetermined outcome based on factions. CSM vs. Eldar is one unless you take a very specific legion and allies in which case one should skip the legion and just take those allies. Nids and SM are another. It does not stop there but these are fine examples.

            Well, if you think that tactical skill is literally always the deciding factor and thus factions never have an effect to the outcome I suggest you take mono WB against mono Eldar and have a GT style lists for both sides. Good luck with that. Hell, if your opinion had merit there would have always been a huge range of codices fighting for the top positions in tournaments and now we have, what, 4 of those which is an exceptionally large number.

            It’s not a matter of opinion whether or not the balance is screwed. It’s an empirically proven fact. Every edition has it’s dominating factions and the fottom feeders. We have tournaments to take care of the data supply. It’s not an insult to say that someone has an opinion that can not withstand scrutiny when it’s true.

            The lore makes the setting great. The models make the tools used to play the game great. The rules are what we know as the WH40k game.

            Others play because they either do not care at all about which factions they are using as long as they are using the most powerful combo available or just happen to be lucky enough to play at least mid tier armies….or are masochists. The ones that choose their factions based on the cool value, got unlucky and are not masochists do not play before the situation changes.

            Well, as there are factions that have not been even on the finals in noteworthy tournaments it’s pretty safe to say that the balance situation is horrible and that some factions can not realistically reach the top tables no matter the skill of the gamer. That’s perfectly reasonable. Obviously if you can present a list that can be fact checked and proves me wrong, by all means, let’s see it. If you manage to do that I’ll happily change my stance. After all, this is one of the things in which I’d gladly find out that I was wrong. There just has to be proof before that happens.

          • Admiral Adama

            Basing your opinion of rules balance on the results of competitive tournaments only is flawed. You cannot take the results of one type of game play and apply its results to the collective. By your own statements it would appear you are a competitive/tournament player. As a result your experiences will be view through that lens. Would your complaints not be better served along the lines or changing your local tournament circuit’s rules? 40k has rules flaws as do all gaming systems, some are closer to balance some are further. It will never be balanced. No game is ever perfect to every player at every time. Players will find exploits and cheats no matter how well or balanced rules are written. As a someone who’s played narratively/casually and in tournaments, my opinion is based upon my experiences in both. As such I am well aware of the human desire to win at all costs. Some players will embrace it in all it’s unfettered and abusive glory and others will not. No amount of rules balance will change the nature of a player. As such a rules designer can either focus on crafting rules for the enjoyment of the majority or spend their time trying to fix the expoilts of a few players. As to your desire of a perfect system in which all factions reach the peak of excellence in the tournament circuit, that will never happen. By all means if you can craft the perfect impregnable set of rules then do it. You ask for proof of a balanced system, I never claimed it was perfectly balanced, I merely stated that rules balance is not the only deciding factor in 40k. In my opinion it all comes down to the player. Also if you think GW doesn’t know that it crafts certain rules to sell models to WAAC players then you are naive.

          • Nyyppä

            Name a better, more objective data source than the tournaments and we’ll use that. Until then that’s all we have and we’ll use the information that is available.
            I do not go to tournaments. In the past I sometimes did if they were deliberately fluffy.
            What is generally seen as balanced gameplay is not a state of exact balance but good enough balance that the worst faction and the best faction still both have a reasonable chance to win (let’s say 40 to 60 percent).
            I’m sure that I can’t make a perfect system but I can easily make a better one than what we have now. 5th edition rules for assaulting from vehicles, 6th edition rules for monsters and the rest as is is already far superior system to vanilla 7th. This way nids are viable, orks are viable, CSM are viable, BA is viable, SW has more options and so on. Add max 1 IC per unit and drop BB allies…well the rest of the current BS is situated in the codices.

            I have no doubt that GW has no restrictions to how badly they break units to make them sell more, but the way they literally always overcompensate with the rule book contents is just plain old lack of skill on their part. 7th killed nids and CSM just by taking away their monsters which were not in any way too good in 6th in the first place.

            So, yes, GW has no idea what it does when it comes to good rule designing. That’s just a fact at this point. Proven by the constant badly designed releases with some accidental successes here and there. Last year had 1 successful rules release and it’s GSC. The rest are either far too powerful or far too weak to have any use.

          • 6Cobra

            You claim you don’t play tournaments but you’re obsessed – obsessed – with game balance in the context of GT style lists. Cognitive dissonance much?

          • Nyyppä

            Obsessed? I just want a fighting chance. Why do you think that is a bad thing?

          • Admiral Adama

            The problem I see with basing the balance issue upon the results of tournaments is that to often some armies are over represented and net lists dominate the scene. It’s hard to judge based upon those armies and players alone. GW does in fact have an idea about rules and does do a good job the vast majority of the time. If not we would not be arguing so vehemently about both issues. Obviously anyone who still plays the game enjoys it in there own way. Perhaps the future will be bright for both rules and models if the paradigm of the GSC book and models are any gauge.

          • Nyyppä

            Why is it hard to judge based on that data when some factions are practically never on top 10? If the game was balanced there would be a lot more variety in that pool.

            Well, I guess one could have an opinion that GW has some idea of what it is doing but just by looking at what they have done with the current underdog factions during the current and previous edition compared to the top codices….well, when the worse only get nerfed and the better boosted, it’s pretty obvious that they have no clue.

            As long as GW carries on with the idea of not wanting the game to be worth the hassle it will not get better.

          • Admiral Adama

            It’s hard to base all of your data on such a minute demographic of players. GW bases it’s rules choices on internal testing and more recently from community feedback. Just because some WAAC players skew their local/regional tournament data with their lists does not mean that their results are indicative of a game system wide failure. Again for every tournament player I’d wager there are many more casual players. As a result you can’t condemn the whole of a rules system because of a small group of players and their play style/choices. GW continues to make acceptable rules with an eye on balance, if not then we would be using their models and an alternative rules system. A perfect example would be D&D and Pathfinder. When the player base did not like the rules, another system was generated based upon an older set of rules with tweaks, and viola you had the birth of a whole new system that had it’s roots in both the lore and rules of it’s predecessor. Tabletop miniature players are even more of sticklers for rules. As such if it was so unbalanced as to be a forgone conclusion and no reason to play any list but the top 4, then another system would arise and take its place. In addition GW/40k continues to sell models and rules that far outstrip any of its competitors. As such the conclusion is that the vast majority of the player base find something acceptable with the game and continue to buy its models/lore/rule books. That is a far better gauge of the player base then just using tournament results.

          • Nyyppä

            The minute demographic of players would be a problem if we were trying ro study the players. We are looking at the rules and how they interact with other rules on the scale. All we need is a motivated group (which we have) that is willing to put the system through rigorous testing (which tournaments are).

            Well, we can disagree with GW making acceptable rules and having an eye for the balance. Literally nothing even remotely suggests that. Look at the most recent releases. TH is far worse than AB and AB is teh suxorz compared to anything the Eldar have. . DW has no chance against GSC. In TL DG roflstomps over most of the other legions. None of these would be true if there was any testing at all and at least some sort of motivation to make the game balanced.

            The problem with looking at diehard fanboys for data is that the do not test the system and thus it’s limits are not apparent. After all, a game is worth it’s balance situation and unless you test that you do not get the data needed for an accurate result.

          • Muninwing

            the very existence of netlists and proliferation of certain lists is actually a symptom of the imbalance he’s talking about.

            if Eldar are the new flavor of the week… why is that? because D-weapon spam and scatterbikes are underpriced for what they can do, meaning that by taking them you are exploiting an imbalance in the system to benefit your play.

            same has been true in every edition.

          • 6Cobra

            Nyyppa:”So, its ok to you if you lose every game forever without theslightest chance for other results..”

            Nyyppa:”Never said every game.”

            You lose this argument, right there.

          • Nyyppä

            Like I said, there are matchups that have a predetermined winners. Repeating those only would mean losing every game for the person using the weaker faction. To me this is not acceptable.

            I never said that there would be a faction that could not win anything. That would be just ridiculous. The fact that, regardless of everything I have said thus far, you still chose to pull a straw man out of that is actually pretty astonishing.

          • Muninwing

            so whining about whining is even less effective…

            the game has some big balance issues. moreover, the design team does very little to fix problems as they arise. if you live in an area that the players are less fluff-minded and more competitive, it seriously limits your ability to play the game. in some matchups, it’s not even worth playing — you may as well wait for your opponent to play the game for you.

            if you live in an area where playing is not so, or if you are of the competitive spirit enough to fight fire with fire, then you’re fine.

            but more than just an issue if “i like to play like this…” it’s a monetary issue. there are plenty of people who stop playing because their local meta is unforgiving, and picking a fun but nonfuctional army (like DE) means getting walloped time and time again without even the option or ability to win.

            the game has great lore. it has some interesting mechanics. it’s got its flaws. to not only ignore the flaws but to howl and cry about someone else pointing out that such flaws exist is pretty thickheaded. you’ve gotta live in some serious denial for that to be your default.

          • Admiral Adama

            My original complaint was in regards to the manner in which his complaints were presented. Eventually the conversation drifted to the balance issue and how one determines a true source of data in regards to the perceived imbalance. I have no problem with someone presenting their opinion as opinion, it’s when their opinion is presented as fact, and others are demeaned/attacked for their opinions. Your opinions on balance are very valid and with merit. However they are opinions. That was my original point, as for the rules issue, I hope the recent creation of the Warhammer community outreach programs they have started could help with addressing the communication between the playtesters/designers and the player base.

          • Muninwing

            do you remember the last few “community outreach” programs that GW used?

            you might have blinked and missed them. or thought that they were something else entirely, (insert something witty and futile here).

            i see where things went, and it seems like you’re not considering the environment in which others have to play if they want to play. but even before that…

            are you really arguing that there is not a huge balance issue?

            in 5th, when they changed the stormshield to a 4++, they only changed it for C:SM, not the separate codices. when asked repeatedly for a FAQ on the issue, they waited over a year… then released a FAQ statement that took up half a page and essentially said “play it how you want, but technically this is how the codexes read…” the author (yakbreath) apparently did not understand what a FAQ is or does. and GW let him write it.

            some units affected by that were more points (a separate issue) with fewer options, and at least one option (SS) was more expensive for less effect.

            or, look at GK terminators. as many extra rules as they could fit, psykers, three kinds of grenades, tons of weapon options… and substantially cheaper than their counterparts. even accounting for the weapon differences (though they got three hands’ worth of weapons anyway), they are still cheaper AND have more gear and options. AND their special weapons are either cheaper, stronger, or both, when compared to all other SM.

            points are a flawed system of balance, but others are far more complicated. still, it only works when they costs are not as arbitrary. they haven’t been working with a codified algorithm for prices for over a decade (which contributes directly to codex creep too, btw), meaning that each change has been an estimated kludge instead of a measured choice.

            there’s a problem.

            people joke about how GW doesn’t bother to playtest. why? because of how flawed their choices are. many designers have talked about why this is, and many blame the sales team interfering and dictating. in other words, it’s a well-documented and well-acknowledged problem even within the company.

            so why is this suddenly an invalid opinion? and why, suddenly, is your contrasting opinion valid? you say that you “hope the recent creation” will change things… meaning that even you acknowledge that they need to change.

            so why are you arguing the opposite?

          • Admiral Adama

            Did you not read anything I posted? I in no way invalidated anyone’s opinion. My argument was that your opinion on balance is just that, an opinion. Nothing more, I do not invalidate or demean it, I only present another opinion. Your opinion and my opinion are no better or worse than the other. Read what I said in its entirety.

          • Muninwing

            not every opinion has the same worth.

            if an opinion is invalid, incorrect, or baseless, then it’s ok to invalidate it.

            your opinion is that my opinion is just an opinion. so i provided examples (and can provide quotes and data to back it up) to show that it’s not just a baseless opinion but that it has weight and reason.

            now it’s your turn. if the opinion that game balance is a problem is (despite the evidence) going to be relegated to unimportant just because you say so, then you need to back up your claim with more than just a statement.

          • Admiral Adama

            Ok as I stated previously the continued success and advancement of GW and it’s 40k line in directly indicative of its success. You base your opinion of rules imbalance entirely upon your experiences with your games and your armies. You may include the results of other games and their experiences in your opinion but in the end often times when searching for information people will seek their common opinions and statistics that support their own assumptions. You claim there is imbalance. I agreed that there are instances of imbalances created by players and play styles that specifically target weak rules or factions to exploit. This is not indicative of the system wide imbalances you claim. Those and the examples you listed are a handful of the entire tapestry of rules. You then claim that these small examples within an entire rules set and their exploits are an obvious verdict of complete imbalances across he board. For every broken rule/exploit there are many more well written working rules that stand up during a game. If you look at the entirety of the game or 40k, without using your own experiences, one can deduce a simple fact. GW is more successful than any of its competitors and most of the gaming industry as a whole. Somehow this so call completely imbalanced rules system still has players who buy the product and use its rule system. As I stated previously, the continued success of 40k as a product is the perfect evidence that the vast majority of players still play/buy a game/product that is they believe is workable and playable. As to how you can correct this issue, it is quite simple, adopt rules changes that you and your gaming group agree upon. If a tournament player then become involved within the actual structure of the planning of said tournament and present your version of rules changes that may be required. Waiting for GW to change every little thing you don’t like or agree with is foolish at best.

      • Red_Five_Standing_By

        Balance is important. It makes the game more fun for everyone.

        • Muninwing

          except for the people who only have fun when they are dominating, but don’t really know how to play.

  • Lion El’ Jonson

    Here is how it is going to go down.

  • mrbleak

    The Beast comes back, crashes a battle moon on the imperial palace, feeds the emperor his spores which grow within to create hyper super mega funky psyqu-prime-orks (killing the “emperor” in the process). The they proceed to do what humanity could not and beat the turd out of chaos and it´s marine followers. Everybody wins, everybody is happy. Good Lore (No seriously, i would like this as lore)

    • Seienchin

      I dont…

      • Muninwing

        yeah, that’s kinda lame…

  • Darth Bumbles

    Maybe have Czvaak succeed and pull a “fragments of Khaine” and create little Emperor avatars, only force each of them to take on aspects of whevever they’re found, each human world could get an Inperial Avatar, but each one is shaped by the world, meaning sometimes Avatars go to war with Avatars.

  • petrow84

    Not to be a party-pooper, but the Emprah has been dead in the last 10 millennia, hasn’t he?

    • Lion El’ Jonson

      There is some proof in novels to show the Emperor is still “Living” and protecting his subjects.

      There is a very real meaning to the phrase “The Emperor Protects” because he very much still does.

    • As of 1500 years post-Heresy, he is apparently still “weeping”.

    • Ross Allan

      Depends on your definition of death, I guess. He On Earth is either technically alive, unalive, undead or dead.
      Either way, something is powering the Astronomicon, and said something has been fed a daily diet of psyker souls, plus arguably those of Imperial Martyrs for 10,000 years. And that’s potentially how one makes a God.

      • Alvin Adorno

        the astonomicon was active before he was placed in it. the throne on top was the new addition. he was gonna have magnus on the throne. he was placed there to keep him from death. its in the HH novels.

    • Red_Five_Standing_By

      The Emperor is a perpetual. He can’t really die.

  • SupPupPup

    Meh, just twist it, so really its Horus that is stuck in the golden throne.

    • Seienchin

      Great writing along the lines of Malekith was the true heir to the throne and Mannfred destroys the world…

      • SupPupPup

        I mean, it was pretty obvious Malekith was the true heir.

        You had to be blindly arrogant about the goodness of the high elves to miss it.

        Trust in Dwarfs.. They new em to be evil.

      • deris87

        I don’t know, I had always found it notable that all of the other Phoenix Kings cheated to avoid getting immolated the way Aenarion did.

  • The_Illusionist

    The Star-Child theory has already been debunked. It turned out to be a disguised daemon at the head of a Tzeenchian cult who were purged by the Inquisition as heretics.

    • Seienchin

      THANK YOU. Already in the 3rd or 4th edition. I still read this theory often in fan forums. The Sensei and the Star Children cult were all tzeentch heretics according to the inquisition and purged (no ironic overtone in the story either) The emperor being a perpetual or reborn as a warp entity after being killed would be more likely.

    • miteyheroes

      The Illuminati has always hidden the truth from the Inquisition, and the story that “debunked” the Star-Child was a piece of in-character text written by an Inquisitor…

  • Heinz Fiction

    A ‘living’ (and acting) emperor would be the worst option from a narrative point of view, as it spoils all the mystery surrounding him. The status quo is the save way to go as most people are quite happy with the 40k fluff.
    A dead emperor on the other hand would be a great twist to shake up the lore and maybe split up the imperium into serveral independent factions which could directly influence game rules via the ally matrix.

    • Lion El’ Jonson

      I am not in favour of a fragmented Imperium. The Imperium as a whole can barely hold against the Tyranids as it is, a fragmented Imperium would simply be devoured in portions by the Hive fleets. That’s not even taking into account the Orks aswell which are just as numerous and just as dangerous as the Nids. Humanities survival hinges on everyone working together.

      • Heinz Fiction

        One could argue that the centralistic bureaucracy is suffocating the imperium (10k years of virtually no progress) and that competition between serveral human factions could revitalise mankind. It would also made mutual benefical alliances with certain xeno races (Tau, Eldar) more likely to happen. Of course you’d be called a heretic for that… 😉

        • Lion El’ Jonson

          I just think there is simply to many threats in this galaxy for anything short of the Imperium to survive. And if the Emperor dies for real, they won’t have any divine protection, and it will be harder to navigate the warp on top of it.

          Without the Imperiums central leadership to guide the Imperial armies to where they are needed, systems will fall dark from Tyranid assaults or Orks or whatever major threat exists.

        • Karru

          It’s not the outside threats that themselves causes massive problems to this fragmented Imperium, it’s the Imperium itself. The current Imperial tactic is this, flood the invaded planet or warzone with men, equipment and ships until the enemy is annihilated or Imperium decides it is not worth it and nukes it. How do they manage this? Their massive production. How do they keep up this massive production? Through trade and tithes. Many planets, especially Forge Worlds can’t survive and produce equipment at the required rate in the fragmented Imperium. Agri-worlds that specialise in Food Production won’t be able to sustain an entire sector for long and at most sectors usually only have one or two.

          The Forge Worlds wouldn’t be able to just switch to food production either. Those planets are way too polluted or aren’t even suited for food production. On top of that, some weapons and equipment are not available for production in some Forge Worlds due to lack of STCs.

          They also require massive amounts of raw materials in order to produce the required equipment. So what do you think will happen when the Imperium loses the ability to raise millions of fighting men in matter of weeks, ability to sustain those forces for months and the ability to produce and maintain equipment. Imperium is build on quantity, not quality and switching from one to the other doesn’t happen in a short period of time. Before they can do that, the remains of the Imperium will be looooong gone.

          • Heinz Fiction

            First: current imperial military tactics aren’t efficient. They are effective, because they can afford to waste a lot of resources and even sacrifice whole planets. If they couldn’t do this anymore they’d have to become inventive and adaptive. Two traits that the imperium is seriously lacking because it’s more convenient to trust in the emperor…

            Second: i’m not suggesting that every planet should fight on it’s own. It would make more sense to have 2-5 big power blocks the size of a segmentum or larger, and maybe a vague number of minor powers (create your own color scheme). Likely the fracture lines wouldn’t even be spatial in nature but betweeen different organisations like astartes, mechanicus and so on.

            Third: I think we are discussing this to much of an ingame point of view. It’s really not that hard for a narrator to justify almost anything. The more important question is, how each scenario influences the feel of 40k and if it’s good or bad for the game.

          • Karru

            Problem is that only Sector sized “empires” would be possible. If the Emperor dies, Warp Travel becomes nigh impossible. It means that even if communications would work, travelling doesn’t. Also, the amount of uprisings and planetary governors declaring independence would be catastrophic. Peace keeping would be impossible within Segmentums.

            This means that only sector sized “empires” are possible. We have seen how well sectors can hold out alone against Ork or Tyranid invasions. Unless they have a Space Marine present, they won’t last long without massive reinforcements from nearby Imperial Navy and Guard forces.

            All in all, logically fragmented Imperium won’t survive. In order for this Imperium to survive GW would have to rewrite a lot of their fluff or come up with some completely bs explanation how it would continue to survive.

          • Heinz Fiction

            I think i wrote something about the warp travel argument in reply to another post. From a narrative point of view there are literally dozens of possibly soultions to that. Some might be less believable than others, some might be utter bs as you say but even they do the job (tyranids also switched their method of FTL travel between two codices and no one cared).

          • Karru

            But the difference here is that all this time it has been said that the Imperium would suffer greatly should the Astronomican go dark. It isn’t just some “minor” thing, it is major part of the lore. If the Astronomican goes dark, the Imperium Warp Travel would become impossible. Imperium can still travel between worlds but it will take a lot longer now.

          • Alvin Adorno

            you are missing one big thing. how did tyhe empire use warp travel before the golden throne?

          • Karru

            They used Calculated Jumps. Short hops in and out of Warp. This is how ships usually travel between planets in their own systems. It takes a lot longer to travel, but it’s much safer than any long exposure to the Warp.

            The fast method requires a Navigator and the Astronomican. This is what is used in order to bring the massive amounts of reinforcements required to win a warzone.

          • Muninwing

            almost like a road trip on the highway, vs a road-trip using only backroads and having to stop for fuel every three hours…

      • PrimoFederalist

        Exactly. That’s what the people in favor of advancing the story or killing the Emperor don’t seem to grasp: we’ve been told the Imperium is on the verge of collapse because of the innumerable threats by GW for decades. Everything in the settling revolves around the end being held back only by the massive resources the Imperium can throw at its problems. I think a fragmented Imperium would be fun, but its viability doesn’t make sense from a lore perspective. After blowing up the Imperium, they’d have to then go and tone down the threat of every single other faction. Chaos, Tyranids, Orks, Necrons, etc. Now, the *existential threats* to the Imperium of Man spanning the Milky Way Galaxy can be handled by a regional power. It’s silly. It takes away from all the drama the setting creates.

        • Lion El’ Jonson

          One thing that might be interesting is a Roman Empire reenactment. Guilliman seems to be returning, and seeing the state of the Imperium + the Fall of Cadia, might drive him to pull a Constantine, and create Imperium Secundus, and leave the west to fend for itself. Meanwhile the eastern Imperium Secundus fortifies itself with newfound zeal at the return of their liege. This leaves the western Imperium to fend for itself with a ton of resources still in it’s hands.

          I still hate the notion of a fractured Imperium, but an East West approach still leaves both sides as super powers., if they wanna go that way.

          • grim_dork

            Good ideas.

          • Muninwing

            honestly that’s the only way i can see it working if they bring the Primarchs back…

            because they know that the Emperor wasn’t a god, would loudly object to so much of the way things are currently running, and would not go gently into the fold.

            there are also some Marine chapters (Minotaurs for instance) that would probably stay intertwined with the Imperium/Ecclesiarchy/Inquisition as they are, and others that would join a Secundus situation. as well as splitting the IG.

        • Heinz Fiction

          You bring up a valid point here, but I have to disagree right at the beginning. What we’ve ben told for decades is mostly fluff written from an ingame imperial point of view (=propaganda) and by no means an objective descirption of the satus quo. If you read a little more between the lines you’ll notice, that the imperium could perform way better than it actually does, if it wasn’t so dogmatic. Just imagine what the Tau could do if they had all those resources, The Galaxy would be at peace in a few hundred years…

          Also all those threats are fighting each other just as fierce as they fight the imperium so it’s not like a single one of them would fill a possible power vacuum alone. E.g. if Chaos drives back the imperial forces they’ll suddenly have to fight the orcs that were kept in check by them.

          Therefore I think a fractured imperium would be very believable. If this background is preferable to the current is an other question of course and I’m indeed sceptical about this one. It depends how good the writing is I’d say…

        • Admiral Raptor

          The lore could easily change to accommodate a fractured Imperium. The Xenos are only ever supporting cast to the main event that is Imperium vs Chaos, so it wouldn’t take much to alter their fluff to work with a new setting.

    • Seienchin

      No more warp travel without the astronomican…
      They would need a replacement for the emperor and astronomican. I think an emperor reborn as a warp entity is more likely but I HOPE they dont go that route anyway…

      • Heinz Fiction

        Warp travel is possible without the astronomican. It’s just not as safe. But as a narrator you could easily pull a more or less believable replacement out of your sleeve, so I really don’t consider this as a problem.

        • 301stFeinminsterArmoured

          *best Sarge voice* I hope it’s Tigurius!

      • miteyheroes

        Horus Resurrected (or Abaddon) kills the Emperor, Magnus sits on the Golden Throne?

  • Talos2

    I doubt it will happen, simply as it breaks the narrative link between the 30k fluff and what is 40k. It would mean new hobbyists had no reason to understand why the 30k range exists as the emperor would either not exist anymore or would be a massive asskicking nightmare model

  • Ross Allan

    Pet theory time. The Emperor isn’t a natural being, and it’s been Malcador all along – and he created The Emperor.
    Just supposition, and I can’t really back it up with owt!

    • miteyheroes

      Malcador is a bit of a mystery… But he died when he sat on the Golden Throne.

      • Ross Allan

        Trap door to get out of dodge and go start work on something new, seeing as Plan A went a bit wrong?

      • Muninwing

        but he also cast the illusion of being an old man, so what’s to say that that wasn’t an illusion too?

    • Sonic tooth

      thats an interesting theory! altho i always likes the emps is an old one idea

    • PrimoFederalist

      The Emperor is most likely dozens of souls of shaman from among the first humans who, coming together after recognizing the dangers of the Immaterium, ritually committed suicide and fused their souls together to come back as the Emperor so they could lead humanity and shepherd them away from the dangers of the Warp. So he’s a ~90,000 year old group of psykers.

      • Ross Allan

        Dunno man. That was in one of the Realm of Chaos books, which aren’t exactly canon any more…..

    • Lord Elpus

      The Emperor was never a natural being he was the product of all the early shame not on earth killing themselves and being reborn in one body.

  • David Leimbach

    So, my theory…The Astronomicon is powered only by the sacrifice of psyker souls. Enough psychic energy of humanity must be focused into something “good” to be able to oppose the “evil”, so the emperor is and idea for humanity to focus on. In 40k when enough emotion is focused on something, a warp entity is born. So the Emperor is a warp entity created by the focused emotion of humanity. If the Emperors dead body is destroyed, that focus is disrupted and Chaos becomes much stronger than the dispersed energies of “good”.
    The Astronomicon continues to work after the Emperors dead husk becomes dust as long as the sacrifices continue.

    One problem with my theory. It takes more and more psykers and the Astronomicon is failing. No idea why that would be.

    • Alvin Adorno

      because the techpriest dont know how to perform simple maintenance on it so all the little thing that break down add up and then poof its gone.

  • orionburn

    No matter which path they choose (if any, really) of moving forward people are going to be upset. Pick a future and run with it. Personally I’d love to see things get shaken up. That isn’t to say destroy the backstory that’s been built up all these years, but it’s time to move the ball down the field a bit. Whether it’s Chaos turning against one another or some new form of Chaos taking on everybody, new Xenos factions appearing, or all of the those things and more I’m all for it. We’ve got 30k and 40k so bring on 50k.

  • Sonic tooth

    abaddon isnt horus. no matter how badass/op gw makes him out to be.(killing clone horus etc) hes not even a primarch. even with the support of the 4 powers hes still just a space marine…he doesn’t deserve to be the one to kill big E imho…i reckon emperor still has a few tricks up his sleeve. i mean hes seriously powerful as a warp entity. as in GODLIKE (whether he wanted to be or not) and anyway, tyranids are much scarier then chaos.

    • Seienchin

      Tyranids used to be the scariest thing ever… Nowadays I feel like they stepped down to the level of orcs and Necrons. Potentially rally threatening but in reality not.

      • 301stFeinminsterArmoured

        Definitely like Orks, in that their threat in the books in no way lines up with how they perform on the table top, as the game just isn’t set up to manage that many units at once, nor is there a real embrace of numerical superiority in how those armies are built, the way it is in Genestealer Cults, or to a lesser extent, Chaos.

        • Muninwing

          to be fair, Space Marines in the books are towering superhumans, and a single company can defeat an entire planet.

          there’s a lot of over-the-top involved. in every vein.

          • 301stFeinminsterArmoured

            It also does not help that every third army you face is some manner of Space Marine list.

          • Muninwing

            if we wanted to be fluffy, at least nine of every ten armies you faced would be orks, guard, or nids.

            but i’m not sure how either is relevant to the idea that nothing is as awesome as it is in the fluff…

  • Myu

    I’d like to see the Emperor survive. Although I haven’t read Horus Heresy novels, in a while in general one sees so little about the Emperor I’d like to see him active again. So many interesting characters were moving about in 30k I’d like to see the most significant ones come back at least

  • cudgel

    Wouldn’t it be ironic if the golden throne is keeping the Emperor from being reborn…

    • Knight_of_Infinite_Resignation

      it would be grimdark for sure, and for that reason alone seems plausible.

    • dinodoc

      Wasn’t that one of the theories floated in Inquisitor?

      • cudgel

        I don’t know about that, but I wouldn’t be surprised if I had heard it some where.

    • Muninwing

      that’s been my guess for awhile. bet if the 13th gets to Terra, there will be a kerfluffle that destroys the Golden Throne… but then “something else” takes its place, and implies that the Emperor is coming back.

      then again, if that’s the direction they take it in, you know people will be screaming to “advance the plot” a week after the book comes out…

      • cudgel

        “Advance the plot ah hahaha you never said how far” Matt Ward 2017, right after we find out that Ultramarines are really all clones of the Emperor and the true rulers of the imperium and all other chapters are the new imperial guard.

        • Muninwing

          any time people get annoyed at Ward-hating, comments like this — and how unsurprised i would be if it happened with his name on it — remind me of just how poor the quality of his work was…

          • cudgel

            Remember he just got hired back for a project….

  • Hendrik Booraem VI

    Look. It’s as simple as this: what actually matters in the game is humanity. There have to be VICTIMS, poor, unassuming, powerless, helpless victims. Take that away, and the whole universe becomes some stupid arena-fight between superheroes that I, at least, could not care less about.

    Kill the Emperor. Fine. The Imperium has to continue to exist so there’s someone to struggle FOR.

    Don’t kill the Emperor. Fine. Keep the Imperium around, struggling against the xenos and the darkness.

    Reawaken the Emperor. Fine. All the other factions would love to face off against him on the tabletop, and there will still be lots of poor, lost, helpless souls somewhere in the Imperium who need defending.

    But for the love of all that is entertaining, do NOT do away with the world at large. Without victims, there’s no need for heroes. I’m not interested in playing Age of Blood Bowl. I’m interested in caring that every single battle, won or lost, means that humanity’s light flickers (or strengthens) a little bit.

    • Drew

      I agree strongly with this, and GW’s failure to meaningfully develop the people of Age of Sigmar (the joe schmoes all the good guys are supposed to be fighting FOR) is the setting’s greatest problem. (And yes, I’ve read all the Realmgate books. There’s nothing resembling a developed and realized culture in there.)

      40k has many, many civilians to fight for- from the hivers of Necromunda to the nomads of Tallarn to those who dwell in the frozen wilderness of Fenris. If it loses this key element, it will become as adrift as Age of Sigmar (which is a good game but not in any way a compelling setting).

      • Evil Otto

        Well said. These realms don’t feel like real, developed places, they’re just excuses for having a battlefield with wacky terrain. Why should anyone care about the Khorne Bloodbound rampaging across the world when there isn’t a world there? Places are just names… “The Bloodgore Gorebloods took the great city of NicePlace and put everyone within to the axe. The ancient society of the NicePlaceians never recovered.” Yeah, real compelling.

    • SilentPony

      But isn’t that kinda’ missing the point of the grimdark? Its all terrible, all the time, everyone is doomed, nothing ever gets better and everything is meaningless?
      The Space Marines fight because its what they do, but nothing much would change if they stopped. The people they protect are almost always killed by the Inquisition afterwards for seeing a monster/alien/Heretic/daemon.
      And even if they somehow survive the war and the purge, the Imperium still doesn’t care.
      This is a galaxy where the loss of 12 Billion people and two entire worlds to basically Space Marines wanting to let off steam and try to out murder one another was considered perfectly acceptable(Stormark Massacre).
      I mean humanity is the least important thing in the Galaxy. No one cares about the average Joe, because there’s literally trillions of them, and they’re way cheaper than starships and space marines, so just throw them at the problem.
      I think it was the 6th Edition rulebook that said humanity was the currency of the Imperium, and they spent it without care because there will always be more.

      There are no real heroes, because there are no real victims. Humanity is just coin, and the heroes don’t ultimately care at all, they’re in this for their own glory.

    • ZeeLobby

      Beautifully put. In the same boat, and one of the reasons I’m rather disinterested with AoS fluff.

  • dave long island

    Sic semper tyrannis!

  • nurglitch

    It’s always worth suggesting people read the Afterword to Master of Mankind, where the author points out how 40k works, and hence how the Emperor needs to be treated from a background point of view.

  • Lord Elpus

    Back in 4th edition the design team were seriously considering killing the Emperor and having a fragmented imperium. So each planet based chapter became Lords of fiefdoms.

    • Red_Five_Standing_By

      In a way, I think we are headed towards that right now.

  • Deathwing

    Would it not be ironic for the forces of chaos to kill the emperor on his golden throne only for him to be reincarnated immediately at his full strength once more. The sweet irony.

  • bobrunnicles

    Illuminati? Cryptic clues? Where’s Inquisitor Nicholas Cage to help us figure it all out when we need him??

  • piglette

    I’d rather the setting not change.

  • Chet Atkinson

    As long as they bring the Squats back I’m easy

  • PanzerDan

    Restart the Grand Crusade

  • Xodis

    Yes, but let him become something more. Dont just let him die and move on, he is more than that and show it in the narrative….he totally needs to die just to shake things up though.

  • bfmusashi

    It is my opinion the best thing they could do with the Immortal God Emperor of Mankind is It’s a Wonderful Life him and see what the universe would be like without him. Make him see if his existence changed things for the better for everyone.
    If it didn’t you could get stories like what IDW did with Megatron AND because it’s 40k you can have the IGEoM sit there like a petulant child insisting it’s all a lie and that the universe MUST be worse because he isn’t in it. It could be a lot of fun just watching him insist over and over his bad decisions were the best things ever.

  • DeadlyYellow

    I’d hope for a civil war narrative, but that’s a far hope.

    My money is it being Ward-like levels of Ultramarine wank, what with their primarch rumored to be the first to drop.

  • Jennifer Burdoo

    I wouldn’t kill him off — I’d have him mysteriously disappear, thus retaining controversy in-universe and player choice as to whether he is alive, dead, a chaos god or guiding humanity behind the scenes.

  • EnTyme

    4th option:

    Abaddon stands alone before the Throne, the dead and dying piled so deep he can hardly move. Here and there surviving Primarchs duel to the end. He reaches forth and wrenches the rotting corpse from its seat. Past a chorus of a thousand transhuman cries, he carries the body to the doors of the palace. He holds the corpse aloft for the horrified masses to see. “Behold! The Master of Mankind” cackles the Warmaster.
    Slowly, the crowd begins to see. These are not the remains of a demigod. The Emperor is a lie.

  • Elliott Gaal

    I don’t think they’d remove the Emperor as he is central to the story. I suspect it will either be option 1 or one of the older options.
    Or a massive counter attack to retake Cadia.
    Chaos forces would still need a lot of power just to get to Terra. They have to break through several points like the Boros point, battle numerous ork waaghs, Nid hive incursions, Necron attacks, relentless Harlequin and Craftworld raids. Then deal with massive Imperial forces on all sides.

    I also suspect Celestine will be used as a punching for Abby just to show how bad he is.

    If they go the End Times route, that may well the path to the end of their company.

    Though if they did remove him, I could see the Dark Gods turn Abby into a spawn as he has accomplished his purpose and is a threat to their powers. They are petty.

    • 301stFeinminsterArmoured

      St. Celestine should have Smash, because in fluff, Living Saints are badass, to the point of scratching off Russes and the like with nought but a power sword.

      • Elliott Gaal

        I agree. Except when you recall the time a Living Saint couldn’t destroy a single Chaos Dreadnought as it rampaged through the Imperials, it did kill her too.
        All it took was one thunder hammer from some marine and it died. The Living Saint died for nothing.
        So my hope are not very high.

        • 301stFeinminsterArmoured

          Fate, aka Plot. Would happen on the table top to anything without Eternal Warrior and a re-rollable Invulnerable Save on enough bad rolls.

  • Nick1080

    I would have Cypher make it to the throne and do _something_ to the Golden Throne that kills the Emp’s physical body, but the Astronomicon mysteriously stays lit. As the Imperium tries to keep itself together mysterious things start to happen – the Adeptus Custodes embark on ships en-masse and appear to be searching the Imperium for something, Astropaths report that the Astronomicon appears to be contracting and solidifying within the warp – becoming something almost like an egg.

    Against this backdrop all the other faction’s plot lines step up a notch – the Dragon stirs on Mars, causing a civil war within the AM. Primarchs re-appear, the Black Crusade takes Cadia and makes a run for Terra, The Eldar take more steps towards quickening Ynnead, Ghazghul unites even more Waaaghs and ORk tech takes another jump in power, The Tau… I dunno, give them something that makes them actually relevant on the galactic scale. Necrons.. something something Silent King. Tyrannids….just keep on nomming I guess

  • Sebastien Bazinet

    We all know what’s going to happen: Mega fight between Abaddon and whatever primarch they decide will be the big good guy then Ghazghkull just strolls in, headbutts Abaddon then leaves.

  • euansmith

    As long as GW don’t go all DC Comics on us and start blowing up the entire continuity every few years, things should be okay.

  • Chet Atkinson

    Turns out the Emperor is infected by Genestealer cult 🙂

  • Rafał Pytlak

    To be honest i’m one of many people who doesn’t give a crap about the game aspect of 40k anymore but the story. I want to see how it ends, either way

  • Agent OfBolas

    Death to the false emperor!

  • Eric Etheridge

    Please kill the racist zombie

    • euansmith

      Are we talking 40k or real life here?

      • 301stFeinminsterArmoured

        There’s a compelling argument for both.

  • Alvin Adorno

    the Ynnead theory is how they will join the eldar and human factions in the game. if they have the same “god” he could easily tell them to stop killing each other. while also fight and take back the claim that slannesh has over the souls of the eldar, or possibly make eldar reborn into humans.

  • euansmith

    “Some men just want to watch the world burn, Master Bruce.”

    “You say that like its a bad thing, Alfred. I call Exterminatus!”

  • 6Cobra

    ..Or option 4: The Emperor disappears.

    “Abbadon and Cypher stood together after racing each other up the steps to the throne. The boss Custodian, an Inquisitor, and The Lion caught up to them a few moments later. All gaped together at the empty throne, disconnected cables and wires piled on the seat, cut as if by a razor. Was the Emp alive? Was he dead? And then an astropath leaned in the door, and yelled ‘The Astronomicon is dark, but hundreds of smaller Astronomicons have suddenly appeared all over the Galaxy and we don’t know WHY!'”

  • Golden Yak

    These pics really make me wanna say

    We are the gods of the new world order
    we are the soldiers, the legion of light
    We are the center, the death of the sun
    Fire and flame, we are one

  • Stephen James Hand

    I think they should pull the plug on the Emperor and shatter the Imperium pronto. Done well it could revitalise the setting whilst still keeping the familiar good stuff in terms of units that makes it ’40k’. I don’t agree with the people that say breaking up the Imperium would doom humanity to extinction. The Imperium is slowly strangling humanity in the 41st millennium. Their enemies are gaining ground on all fronts, technology is going backwards, the intransigent xenophobic doctrine prevents cooperation with Xenos to more effectively counter the bad guys, it’s the Astronomican itself that’s lighting the seat of the Imperium up like a Christmas Tree to the Tyranids, and nobody has a clue how to fix the Emperors chair (did they try folding up a beer mat yet?).

    I think a post imperial setting would still be focused on humans, but now humanity would not be a dominant force in the galaxy, instead it would be a species on the run, Imperial and Ad-Mech remnants, along with whatever weird and wonderful breakaway human factions GW care to create would be fighting for their very right to exist. Perhaps as the Imperium collapses two of the ‘big bad’ factions start a huge, galaxy spanning war (Tyranids and Necrons finally throwing down in a big way like has been hinted at comes to mind…) and the scattered humans are simply trying to find ways not to become collateral damage.

    But on the plus side for humans we could start to see the emergence of human factions that have a less dogmatic attitude to Xenos and researching new technologies, the progress that the Imperium and the Ad-Mech have been strangling for 10,000 years could start to return. It would still be a ‘grimdark’ but a different sort. Instead of the Imperium that offers survival for the majority of humanity in the short term at the cost of brutal, fascist totalitarianism and inevitable long term decline, we would have a humanity teetering on the brink of extinction, but with some hope for renewal if they were to somehow make it through.

    The one thing that would have to be addressed in the fluff is something to compensate for the loss of the Astronomican. It would be limiting to have these new human factions isolated from each other like they were in the Age of Strife, so something would need to happen to keep long distance galactic travel an option.

    And the best thing about a factionalised humanity in 40k? Finally all those Marine vs Marine tabletop battles which make a depressingly high proportion of 40k games would finally have a perfectly valid fluff basis…