40K: Andy Chambers Asked And Answered

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Andy Chambers, game designer and legend, recently did an AMA, here’s what he had to say.

Exactly what it says on the tin–Andy Chambers, former 40K Overfiend AND Master Of All Things BFG took to the Internet this last week with the express purpose of answering YOUR burning questions, including advice on designing a game, which games are his favorites, which faction is the worst, and more.

So let’s dive on in and see what he has to say.

via Reddit

On which faction is the worst:

There you have it. T’au are, at worst, 3rd in line on the list of hatred, and probably they’re even nowhere near that, cementing their place as the loveable scamps for certain. But it wouldn’t be Andy if we didn’t also get some questions about his favorite “children.”

Or they’d ask about the rules for being a designer

It’s interesting, getting to see a little of the philosophy behind design at 40k in action. And somewhat gratifying to know that, at least in Chambers’ day, they had to let the cool mini/rules/or artwork be their guiding principal of they wanted success. Which can take many forms.

Speaking of success, there’s distinguishing your property among others, as mentioned above in the Star Craft story. Plus–it turns out the Eldar can in fact get away from Slaanesh, though that is an epic story all its own to explore.

Finally, after a few other surprises, we confirm: the Squat Clock was reset at least twice during the AMA, but close off with the gate of the original Goliath in Necromunda.

And that’s enough for now. If you wanna see the thing in its entirety, you can follow the link below.

Read the Andy Chambers AMA

I mean, ordinarily this is where I’d say squats confirmed, but that’s a) happened twice now and b) talking of confirmation, I don’t know that they’re Roman catholic. 

  • Spit-Burn

    “I think blowing up the Old World was a big mistake to be honest.”

    – That’s the killer quote right there.

    • BloodPact

      Yeah, kind of makes me curious why that wasn’t added to this article. Or his opinions about the Newcrons. Hot takes right there.

    • Jared Swenson

      It’s his opinion. He also wasn’t part of GW at the time, he left long before it. I don’t see his quote being ‘killer’ at all.

      • I_am_Alpharius

        He’s probable over it now, but if I recall correctly, at the time when he left back in the mid-00’s, it was very much under a dark cloud.

        I believe he had a big falling out over the directions of both core game rule designs; so at the time this would have been 4th edition 40K, in 2004, and the forthcoming 7th edition of WFB, in 2007. Whatever happen, it was certainly way before any decision was made to soft re-boot the WFB universe with AoS.

        • euansmith
          • stinkoman

            “dear me, whats that coming out of her nose?”

          • Muninwing

            yeah. it’s neither soft nor a reboot.

            AoS has nothing to do with WHF. superficial copy-pasting some names in doesn’t make it any more connected than that old Yahoo Serious movie was connected to a biography of Albert Einstein.

          • marxlives

            True WHFB was a classic historical miniature wargame with fantasy elements and AoS is Sigmar the Gathering in mechanics and aesthetic.

          • Muninwing

            sigmar the gathering… yeah, pretty much.

            instead of owning and broadening their niche, they decided to leave theirs uninhabited and try to fit into another niche. and they’re doing it with M:tG at the same time as WM/H, despite having a different and more dominant product than either on their home turf.

          • euansmith

            A hard boot in the Nurgling?

          • Jared Swenson

            It’s not a reboot. It’s a sequel. The story constantly refers to past elements of the old world. A reboot implies the old world was never a thing. This is a continuation of the cataclysmic events after the End Times

          • Muninwing

            it’s a sequel like Highlander 2 was… the original release, with the “planet zeist” crap included.

            or like “A Haunting in Connecticut: Ghosts of Georgia” has anything to do with the other one past in name.

            like i said, copy-pasting names does not a sequel make. it’s more of a sequel to the Prose Edda, with all the heavy “borrowing” that they did.

            there were ways to make it a sequel that would have worked, been interesting and imaginative, and not fallen into the same “need to suspend disbelief” problems that a lot of poorly considered fantasy settings develop.

            a thousand years of society contains a ton of history, especially if you don’t start from scratch. but we have technological stasis and an utter lack of recorded history or politics that were even thought of as part of the game. even now, 30 months plus in, it has less of a defined logical setting and mechanics to illustrate it than most kickstarter games have to start.

            if it was a sequel, there’s be reasons for each connection, and a spirit of similarity. not “everything was destroyed, except for a hole lotta stuff that magically came back, and those dudes are now gods, and we’ve used the names of things too”

          • Jared Swenson

            It’s clear you don’t like it, or don’t think it fits, but It’s also clearly a sequel, and you can’t deny that. Knowing the AoS fluff, it’s definitely a sequel. If you still don’t want to call it that, you can call it a continuation. But it’s not a reboot or ‘reimagining’ as some film makers call it or whatever.

          • Muninwing

            yeah, i guess i used the wrong term, so thanks for the correction, and your stubbornness until i got it?

            the fact remains that to call it a sequel is to question what a sequel really is, and whether or not tacking crap in counts, or merely justifies pitching it as such.

            and again, refer to the fact that “a haunting in connecticut” had what was supposed to be a sequel — “ghosts of georgia” — that featured neither the same people nro the same house nor the same circumstances nor really anything else but the name to connect the two. it is not considered a sequel in anything but name. AoS is… one step more than that, because they used (and redefined, or cheapened, or misrepresented, or shoehorned in) some names and basic ideas from the supposed predecessor.

            the two have so little in common outside of the new, lesser imagining of Chaos, that it’s almost insulting to the old writers to call it a sequel.

          • IronMaster

            Bonus points for mentioning Yahoo Serious

  • Hagwert

    Really interesting chat they had with Andy … especially the bit about how he disliked the former GW regime ending the Old World.

    • Muninwing

      i wonder… would that be such a popular sentiment if the supposed replacement was of decent quality?

  • Rob brown

    Not surprising that he wasn’t impressed with an unnecessary apocalypse and that all the realms of age of Sigmar could have been happening in the realm of chaos – with even more options as the angels of Sigmar find a portal into the old world.

    Particularly as he spent his career developing the old world into something other franchises would license for hundreds of thousands of pounds.

    • Hagwert

      Your right , the Stormcast could easily have been introduced by having priests praying them onto the battlefield or flagelants sacrificing themselves and opening a portal to Azyrheim through which they could pour. After all, this is what sorcerers and chaos worshippers have been doing in the fluff with demons since year dot !

      • Muninwing

        all sorts of potential options to make AoS actually make sense fluff-wise…

        1. AoS is actually a pocket dimension within the Warp, and it’s where the remnants of sanity are fighting back

        2. AoS takes place in the afterlife, etc… and when the Old World died large chunks (cities even) were dumped into that area… then gradually forgot what they were… and the Land of the Dead is really just the place where Nagash’s power has manifested, because really he’s the secret ruler of it all…

        3. AoS takes place in a higher-tier celestial realm, overlooking the destruction of worlds/realities like the Old World… and every 3-5 years or so brings a new planet/plane/world that is under threat from Chaos into the equation, to either win or die… bonus points because AoS could in fact be battles fought in those celestial spaces, and a new version of WHF could be the on-the-ground armies on those worlds in their extant political forms

        4. AoS exists because of the destruction of the Old World… which ripped holes in reality and (Crisis on Infinite Earths style) allowed massive crossovers between whole worlds en masse… and a cross-plane war reduced the number of actual viable/habitable locations down to a handful… just in time for Chaos to make a reappearance

        5. AoS is what’s on “the other side of chaos” from WHF… GW avoids their lame retcon that removed WHF from 40k (so many hints that it was a planet isolated by warp storms, or in a stable stretch inside a major rift like the Maelstrom), and Sigmar saved his reality by swan-diving through the warp into a place opposite, which starts to stabilize out again…

        6. GW just actually writes defining locational fluff for AoS that doesn’t sound like a middle schooler who played too much Planescape is annotating Norse myth…

    • I’m not surprised by BoLS not featuring that part of the AMA. Too honest and sensible 😉

  • benn grimm

    Great AMA, such a cool guy and so nice to hear his honest view on matters pertaining to Warhammer stuff. Though I would happily forgo it to have him back at the design helm. Long live Arbitrator Chambers, thanks for creating so much awesome stuff!

  • Dennis J. Pechavar

    NuCrons 🙂

    • Marcus Clark

      Is that a hint, “new range”?

      • Koen Diepen Van

        No he doesn’t work for GW anny more. It’s a reference to the newer necron fluff where they changed it from cosmic horror to old robots being eccentric.

        • Marcus Clark

          Damn, my hopes at seeing the destroyers, Flayed one models and heroes updated are dashed again.

      • Dennis J. Pechavar

        Well from what I am comprehending its a reference to the change in fluff. The Nu(new) chatty Necrons from what was (IMO) a better fluff.

        • Marcus Clark

          Sigh, why they felt that was needed, their losing the menacing aspect.

          • Dennis J. Pechavar

            C’tan are now captured…a large quantity of the Tomb Worlds are insane in some way… Yeah I loved the old fluff better as well.

  • stinkoman

    why post the necromunda question twice?

    • Check the URL of the site we’re on. That’s why.

  • aylwong

    Man. I think after reading this interview, I realise that all my love for GW & WH40k was really just love for Andy Chambers & Jes Goodwin. 😛

    • Muninwing

      Rick Priestly had a hand in a lot of the cool stuff too…

  • Quote of the AMA was “I was always least happy endlessly re-treading codexes on Space Marines.”