Has The Dark Prince Slaanesh been relegated to the role of a sidekick in Warhammer 40,000?
Let’s just get this out of the way: This is not one of those “GW Needs to change Slaanesh in to something more kid friendly” articles. We’ve done that. It also appears as if Slaanesh is still around and kicking in 40k, despite what’s going on in AoS. No, today I want to look at the role that Slaanesh is currently playing in Warhammer 40,000 8th based on what we’ve see in the big rule book. Slaanesh has not been “squatted” – but his role appears to have very much diminished.
If you haven’t been keeping up with current events in the lore, the time-table of the game has actually progressed. After the events of 7th edition, the universe has aged by roughly 100 years (there are some questions on the exact date – but that’s a different article). Guilliman has been able to propagate “Primaris Marine Tech” to many of the chapters of Space Marines and Chaos has established a few footholds in real-space – oh and that giant warp scar is still causing lots of issues.
In that span of time The Chaos Gods have been pretty active. For reference here are the 3 big campaigns (excluding Fall of Cadia and Abaddon’s forces) that are mentioned with a short summary and their page numbers so you can look them up in the BRB:
- Warzone: Ultramar – pg 154-159 – Details the conflict between Nurgle vs Ultramarines. Summary: Nurgle invades the Ultramar Sub-Sector and establishes a foothold. It’s only with the return of Guilliman that the forces are able to counter-attack and successfully fight back. The system was deadlocked until the Death Guard and other Nurgle forces pulled back (see War in the Rift pg 167).
- Warzone: Stygius – pg 164-165 – Details Tzeentch’s attack on the Stygus Sector. Summary: Tzeentch was jealous of Nurgle’s foothold in real space so he set out to claim his own. The Stygius sector (home of the Mordian Iron Guard) appeared to be the perfect target. The forces of Chaos were able to attack and carve out a large sector and, if not for Aeldari intervention, probably would have kept expanding.
- The Blood Crusade – pg 166 – Details Khorne’s Rampage across the galaxy. Summary: Khorne launched an attack with “eight distinct spearheads” across the galaxy. These forces had no direction and basically rode the warp storms from battle to battle. Reveling in the slaughter, the Blood Crusade only ended when Tzeentch contacted Khorne for the War in the Rift.
Three campaigns, three Chaos Gods. What about Slaanesh? Well he wasn’t idle, but he wasn’t exactly ambitious either. The only “solo” campaign his forces seemed to have launched was against Craft World Iyanden (pg 167):
Compared to the other 3 – this is a footnote instead of a massive campaign. “Okay, but what about that War in the Rift? Surely Slaanesh was involved with that, right?” Absolutely. But the battle lines were basically Tzeentch and Khorne vs Nugle with Slaanesh playing for both teams:
Now, let’s be real for a minute. Khorne got a ton of attention with Khorne Daemonkin and got it’s Bloodthirster model. Plus Khorne has been an active participant in the story line (Traitor’s Blade). In January we had a ton of Tzeentch stuff come out – including Magnus who was the first plastic Primarch for 40k AND a new Lord of Change model. Not to mention all the other cool kits that were released. Now, the launch of 40k is focusing on the conflict between the Death Guard (Nurgle) and the Ultramarines. We’re probably going to get a plastic Mortarion and a ton of new Death Guard kits. I get it. Each one of those Chaos Gods is getting their time in the spotlight. It makes total sense.
So when is Slaanesh’s turn?
We know Fulgrim is stomping around somewhere (he was mentioned in the Gathering Storm books). We know Slaanesh’s forces are still active – heck the Emperor’s Children pop-up a few times in the BRB, too. Slaanesh might not be dead or slumbering in 40k, but he sure is getting pushed to the back of the bus…
Do you think we will see a new supplement or campaign focusing on Slaanesh the Dark Prince is going to be relegated to an after-thought moving forward?