Op-Ed: 40K is Finally Trying To Tell a Story

Is Games Workshop trying to tell a grand tale with 40K?

Warhammer 40,000 is a vast and rich setting. Across a thousand thousand worlds stories and conflicts both grand and banal play out. These stories, and many more just hinted at, have inflamed the imagination of millions over the past few decades. However, though there are many stories in Warhammer, it’s not clear that Warhammer has as a whole ever been trying to tell a story. Until now.

Setting Vs Story

Almost all wargames have a setting. These can best vast and rich, or simple and bare bones. Sometimes they are invented for the game, and others are set within a real life historical setting. Even if a wargame is meant to be generic and doesn’t have a fixed setting, the players will almost always make up an individual setting for each game or battle. However not all Wargames are trying to tell a story. Some of course are. Events will move forward with each edition, supplement, or campaign. Characters will die and new ones will appear. Over years a grand narrative plays out in the game.

40K Has Mainly Been A Setting

For most of its time 40K has been a setting. It has been a vast open sandbox that you can play in, but there has been very little attempt to tell an overall advancing story withinin it. Now, don’t get me wrong, there have been lots of stories in 40K. The fluff is full of a million stories. Events like 3rd War For Armageddon and the 13th Black Crusade have told specific stories through events. In general though these stories have not really advanced anything, nor effected the whole galaxy.

Compare this to 30K. 30K is a great example of a telling a story. The Horus Heresy is a grand overall story that is being told through a series of books. Each supplement enlarges on and advances the story, and it is a story that will eventually reach its conclusion.

40K Is Turning Into A Story

 

Between Gathering Storm and 8th editon 40K did something it has not done in a long time, meaningfully advanced the story. The timeline moved forward almost 200 years and we got one of the first major emerging narratives to affect just about all of the 40K setting. 40K finally seems to be moving, from the assault of Chaos, the opening of the rift, the return of Primarchs , and the rise of Ynnari we are getting a real narrative, and one that is moving forward. The overall themes of 40K are becoming something grand, on the scale of the Horus Heresy, with the rise of Chaos and the Imperium’s Response. There is at last a story.

Will the Story Keep Moving Forward?

The real question is if GW intends to keep moving the story forward. Right now the they’ve lain the ground work to tell a huge galaxy spanning story. However if they don’t keep advancing the time line and moving the story forward it will stagnate. It is possible that the story they seem to be telling will turn into just another setting. They’ve got the ground work for a grand story, and they need to keep moving it forward. The Ynnari need to keep growing, or be turned on by the the Eldar, the Choas powers need to keep pressing the attack and Guilliman needs to do something other than just run place to place fighting fires.

If GW Wants To Tell A Story They Need To Find A Place For All the Races

Right now the overall story is pretty clearly an Imperium vs Chaos story. Now of course that is a story that makes sense, 40K at heart has always been about the conflict between Chaos and the Imperium of Man. Those are the two largest and most popular factions and were always going to be the core of any story. The Eldar in addition also have a pretty clear role in the new story, between helping bring back Guilliman, and the rise of Ynnari (which could possible lead to the defeat of Slannesh) they have a role to play and story to advance. However many of the other Xenos races don’t really have a real place right now. GW really needs to find a way to work them into the overall story if they want things to keep moving forwards. Now Necrons have an easy in, they can do something with the pylons to try and fix the great rift. However Orks, T’au and Nids don’t really have a place in the bigger story, and they should have one.

Final Thoughts

40K finally seems like its trying to tell an overarching story. Whether it will continue to tell this story or give up on advancing the plot  remains to be seen. Not all players want them to keep advancing the plot. However if they do, they need to find a way to engage all players and factions in the plot.

In any case one thing is clear – whatever tale they spin – it needs to be a good one.

So, what do you think, should the story keep moving forward, or should 40K stay a setting a not try to tell a big story, let us know, down in the comments! 

  • Keaton

    I’d like to see more with Tzeentch and Tau. Imperium is ready to wipe the Tau out and seed the world when, wakka wakka! A warp storm rolls in, fast forward a bit, bing bang boom, super tech.

    If that’s not Just As Planned I don’t know what is. He just has to have done it for more than the lulz.

    • euansmith

      And the Tau are blue too! I think you are on to something here.

    • Pl4gu3 B4st4rd

      Sounds like a russian-made warpstorm to me …

      • euansmith

        Fake fluff! Sad! 😉

    • marxlives

      Aren’t Tau resistant to warp entities? I would like to see the rules and fluff double down on that. They are basically an Eldar anti warp weapon like the Imperium and Necron produce but on the scale of an entire race.

      • sethmo

        Not lately.

        Shadowsun is totally falling to Khorne in the latest books and fluff. The Etherals are not on solid standing either, keep doing some really shaddy stuff and encouraging Shadowsuns anger/fall. Farsight is clearly in the know on this and has spent quite a bit of time dealing with this fact….it’s a big reason he left.

        • euansmith

          Maybe the Tau are hoping to be able to include Berzerkers in their force for some counter charge ability.

        • James Regan

          it also depends whether the tau can properly fall- remembering that, lore wise, plenty of 018M.3 (2018) humans who might be bloodthirsty enough to count as khorne alligned simply don’t have tasty enough souls- hence why Hitler didn’t grow wings, or acquire a sword that constantly screams. A fallen Tau might be the nearest 40k has to a small man who is simply very hateful, given actual psychic connection is needed for chaos corruption.

        • marxlives

          True but, are they totally psychic absent as a species. I wouldn’t say individually being anti-psychic but collectively so many warp absent souls in the material would create static. I would think. Almost like a Shadow in the warp with nid’s but more like a “absence” in the warp. Just makes sense to me.

          • Patrick John Magee

            My imagining of it is that they are just so small a presence in the warp in comparison to other races that they get overlooked or drowned out, like a candle next to a load of flood lights, you ain’t got a hope of noticing that candle.

          • marxlives

            That is a neat way of looking at it. I wonder why they are like that?

          • Patrick John Magee

            There’s always been that suggestion that their evolution and rapid development isn’t by chance. I wouldn’t be surprised if they were genetically engineered to be that way. Long ball game by the old ones maybe? Or maybe even the Eldar trying to take up the work of their old masters to develop a race less likely to be influenced by Chaos.

      • Rasheed Jones

        They aren’t resistant, they just have weak souls so Chaos ignores them. Basically they aren’t tasty enough. I think recent fluff has Chaos developing special seasonings so that they can be added to the menu though, at least Etherals seem to taste pretty good, and I think some of the T’au are being corrupted by Khorne.

        • marxlives

          If a T’au soul gets corrupted does its soul shine brighter in the Warp. I wonder if their corruption works in the same way as it does with humans. They don’t go full daemon but it is more how is in our world as far as belief structures go. It is more influenced by than corrupted.

  • Fergie0044

    I’d like to see more narrative books (similar to Warzone Fenris) which can advance the story and introduce new models/characters. Just needs more Xenos. Such as;
    -Someone leaks the news to the White Scars that Vect has the Khan held captive. Cue Scars vs Dark Eldar storyline.
    -Same as above but with Trazyn and Vulkan.
    -A Tau vs Ork warzone?
    -The silent king returning, prompting a Necron vs Nid warzone?

    • ectoplasmic gyrator

      Yesss all of those! And perhaps if they made the Silent King an actual unit, Necron bois would have something that could take on Primarchs… which would be good for the greater picture, community competition

    • Alvin Adorno

      you should write for gw.

    • autonoise

      Sounds good to me, once the Codexes are out the doir this seems a great way to continually advance the story and introduce a handful of new models at a time, good ideas on stories too.

    • I’d find a story where someone other than Impys fight Chaos, specifically CSM, interesting.

    • Red_Five_Standing_By

      I think that is the plan after they codexes are released

    • Moonsaves

      The Red Waaagh! was a fantastic book. Really went into detail on the different kind of ork warbosses (tankboss Baddfrag was my favourite) and how much of a terrifying psychopath the warlord leading them all has to be for them to unite properly.

    • James Regan

      for orks, just give Ghazkul another big Waaargh!, been decades since they did his last one.
      Remember, that was one of the few narrative things before the 1st attempt at the 13th black crusades got retconned by the storm of chaos (for fantasy)’s general failure (side note: the reason Archaon and Abbadon don’t share a failure reputation is that no matter what the consequences, Archaon always seems to win, including via what are probably GW’s two worst-PR narrative blunders for the last 20 years)

      • Pat H

        Also give him a new proper sized plastic model with a proper stat line.

      • LankTank

        His last story was fleeing from yarrick and teleporting halfway across the galaxy to the territory of the arch arsonist as that is the biggest warlord in the galaxy and he wanted to teach him who the proper boss was =)

    • Rasheed Jones

      How about we get an Eldar (all of them) vs. Slaanesh book.

      • Patrick John Magee

        I can see an Eldar civil war campaign as viable. Think about the fact not everyone is convinced by the Ynnari, and some could see them as radicals that need putting down.

    • Coltcabunny

      Trazyn doesn’t have Vulkan. At the end of Clonelord he has a cloned version of Fulgrim. Which he remarks he’s “never had a Primarch in (his) collection before”.

      Now we don’t know when this takes place other than it happens after m34 ( when the events of the first book took place) but what we do know is the Primarch he is 100% confirmed to have is Fulgrim. Maybe he does have Vulkan too in the present timeline.

      The novel also implies one of the lost ones went missing in that area during the Great Crusade.

      • Fergie0044

        Fair enough – I wasn’t aware of this. I was just going of the old fluff for Trazyn that talked about him having a ‘huge’ space marine in ornate armor. Which, of course, could be anyone.

        • Coltcabunny

          The book only came out last month mate ;). The actual quote is a “giant in baroque armour”. Now he could have added Vulkan to his collection by this point (we don’t know what time place this takes in real space. The only timescale we have is around a century has passed in the EoT.) or he isn’t aware of what he has.

          They left it a bit open to interpretation though as he also has examples of the Krorks (aka the Brainboyz) in his collection as it refers to them as standing 12m tall.

    • briandavion

      my concern with the return of the silent king is it’d unite the necrons, which would be… destablizing to the setting

      • Fergie0044

        Naw, I’d go the other way and have a ‘cron civil war of sorts. Sure the majority go with the silent king but he’s more worried about the nids so it stops one side from crushing the other. Then have the likes of Trazyn keeping out of it while chasing his own agenda.

        • Damistar

          A very likely scenario since the Silent King deleted the command protocol he used and freed the Necrons from his control. There is no particular reason they would follow him now except possibly for old times sake. They could well be quite bitter at being forced to obey after the bio-transference..

      • LankTank

        Well not definitively. Imagine if imperium fell and became a more eldat style race, massive strongholds protected by astartes and humanity are now nomads, more a rogue trader type deal having to adventure into hostile territory for resources. So chaos fills the void and becomes a galaxy spanning empire. That empire is constantly attacked by ork waaaghs, necrons looking to reclaim glory, protected eldat and incorruptible tyranids. With no long term vengeance goal chaos struggles to hold its empire in check, destabilizing and turning on each other. You woukd still have all races doing what theyis do best but imperium goes from a brutal reigime struggling to keep an empire alive to a brutal feudal system.
        Same could be for crons, the biggest empire gets attackrd by ALL

    • Josh Felstead

      Fergie this is the second (very different, but still very promising) comment I’ve seen from you in the last 15 minutes doing my few-daily BoLS check in that would make some great writing. The first was your more recent mention of a lost sock which I found very amusing!

  • John John Slade

    If Tau facing Tzeentch follower like Thousand Sons. Sure it will be Mech Battlesuit vs Magic. I hope some author will get this idea…

  • Graham Roden

    Orks don’t need an in to the new look 40k unless the Old ones return to fight the Necrons, they are the ultimate fightin force, just give them a new Gazkull and let them run riot.

    • euansmith

      I guess that Orkz don’t even really need a great Warboss to lead them; they could get along fine with a great opponent to inspire them to acts of WAARGH! Someone like Commissar Garrick who the Orkz just love to fight against.

      It could be fun to have an Imperial Guard General or maybe a Primaris Captain who catches the fancy of the Orkz and triggers a WAARGH! to hunt them down and fight them. This could be particularly fun if the Imperial Faction don’t realise what is going on.

      • marxlives

        Well the Orks had the Beast, and it would be cool that the arrival of Primarchs activated the Ork genes to create another Beast. And it would be cool because wasn’t the Beast around when Primarchs were still cruising?

        • Arykaas

          a “Beast”-like Warboss would at least be the easiest thing to do for a “Primarch-like” model. Why would only Chaos and Imperials get the good stuff .

          Gimme even bigger nids 😀

          • euansmith

            Titan-sized Genestealer Uber-prime.

          • marxlives

            And it would fit in with the lore. Orks instinctively adapt to an adversary on a genetic level. So it would make sense that the absence of Daemon Primarchs or regular ones made it where the Beast like entity never occured after the first one was defeated. With their appearance it would make sense to bring him back.

          • briandavion

            I’d rather see Gazakul return AS a Beast like “PrimeOrk”

        • LankTank

          When Ghazgkhull kills the arch arsonist he would become the beast I rekon as surely that nuch power would cause him to beef up tonnes. Also in anticipation of a warlord showdown both combatants put on huge amounts of muscle. Ghazghkull put on 100kg in muscle in biut 2 weeks after the bolter shell

  • marlowc

    The problem with telling a story is, of course, that it must eventually come to an end.
    For GW to do to 40K what their previous CEO did to the Old World would be, well, put your own phrase in here as mine would not pass the censors!

    • euansmith

      Coronation Street has been on telly since the 1960 and has racked up over 9,000 episodes, so I guess it is possible to string out a series of linked story lines pretty much indefinitely. I think that GW could do will maybe killing off some of their named characters and replacing them with new ones to freshen things up.

      • ZeeLobby

        Stories can also drag on for way too long, hehe. They can suffer from plot holes, bad pacing, poorly/under developed characters etc. A setting is much safer. And while I understand why GW want to tell a story (character models for $25, $40, $60, $140 sell), I’ve already seen bunch of those issues in the telling.

      • Sonic tooth

        ken barlow is the emperor, he’lll never die

      • Muninwing

        they kinda did that in earlier editions, moreso in WHF… from the earlier days with Nagash being a big bad on the table, to his descendancy being the TK and VC who evolved in turn on their own.

        my issue with 40k doing this is less that the story will need to come to an end, and more that it is a fundamental change, and not consistent nor of the same quality.

        original 40k was a fever dream of metal hair, dune, and mad max. obviously it needed time to come into its own. once the dust settled, around 3rd edition, it really did become something unique and having its own gravitas. it might not be perfect, and some changes since have added to it, but it was noticeably a science fiction setting with some postapocalyptic, fantasy, and other thematic elements.

        chaos was complex and well-defined (or at least bounded). intersystem travel was slow to bring home the vast distances involved. the numbers were reflective of a galactic scale. the threats were perhaps not innumerable, but persistent and varied.

        now? Robbie G traipses across the galaxy like he’s in Star Wars (which is a thinly-veiled frantasy setting heavily dependent upon narrative whims), Cawl pulls out solutions he’s conveniently been working on for millenia from his magic robot bag, Abbadon is suddenly to be taken seriously (which is perhaps the best of the changes, but runs into some thematic dissonance), and there’s still a ton of important stuff that’s being ignored in favor of the “this is cool but not important” bursts.

        oh, and Nurgle is now the opposite of what he was, stepping on Tzeentch’s territory… but he’s off doing something else. and all to justify the cramming in of the GHR in the other property.

        and the 3d galaxy is 2d because maps, and the cicatrix is a 2d threat in essence… badly formulated, badly described, to fill what it supposedly is doing.

        it’s… just…

        i know i sound old, like i’m rejecting change for change’s sake. i’m not. i’m rejecting the mediocre writing that makes changes to things it doesn’t seem to understand in order to justify the big changes the new writers want to make to justify their new vision.

        imagine if after Aliens, James Cameron was pushed out of the way… and a decade later a french director with a cartoonish cast created a plot that sounded impressive but was problematic and lacking both ties to the original and a semblance of being in the same world… in other words, skip Alien 3 and go right to Resurrection.

        wasn’t received well by critics or fans, was it? made back only 1/3 of budget on opening, 53% critic score on RT.

        definitely a letdown. not the worst, but a huge fall in quality.

        that’s what much of the new additions have been — both in content and in quality of the writing itself — since at least the Warzone: Damocles books. between the “ghostly laughter” and the jump jets going orbital and all the other mistakes and hammy tell-don’t-show sloppy writing, i was hoping it was a momentary fall… but the Rise of the Primarch is worse.

        they need t pull it around if they want to advance the plot AND release quality product.

    • Txabi Etxebarrieta

      Battletech went on for a very long time, if that counts. From the Succession Wars to the Clan invasion to the Word of Blake Jihad.

      • Kabal1te

        It has gone further than that now with the dark age, the wars of reaving, and other more recent events, and is still going. If course the problem with battletech style sorry telling is they aren’t afraid to kill off characters, either in combat or by old age as the years move on

        • Or by nuking them from orbit. What BattleTech does do well is give players the tools to play anywhere in the increasingly well fleshed out timeline. That’s something I’ve always thought was pretty cool.

          • Muninwing

            WHF used to do that… many of their SCs were historical figures that were not active in the current timeline. and they gave you info on this or that historical battle so you could play it out yourself.

            when they stopped doing as much of that, in favor of “advancing the plot,” there was definitely a change of quality.

        • Chris Hilliard

          Isn’t the next TRO supposed to be post Dark Age?

          • Kabal1te

            The last 2 or 3 TROs have been post dark age if not more than that.

          • briandavion

            it’s already out, tro 3145

        • briandavion

          the problem with battletech story telling is everytime you open a new novel the map has completely changed and your favorite regiment that you’ve carefully and loveingly painted over the last 10 years is destroyed in a 1 sentence throw away line.

          • Muninwing

            only if you are trying to be current.

            if you play it like a historical though….

          • Kabal1te

            That’s kind of part of what should happen in a setting of constant war where the timeline advances decades at a time. It isn’t a stagnant setting. Sure things come and go in the advancing story but most battletech players aren’t that picky about your models being painted for a specific era. That and a lot of people play earlier set games a lot. There is still a lot of the community that likes 3025. The other thing is a lot of the new post dark age mechs use higher level rules so you don’t see them played much because their rules are outside what is allowed in tournament play.

        • Muninwing

          i so wish we’d see SCs getting killed off…

          GW decided to open up the doors for them back in 4th, and they became a regular part of play. but they needlessly complicate the rules, they break the suspension of reality (why are two groups of Ultramarines fighting? training… but why are they both led by a Primarch…?).

          not killing off many of the SCs was where the WHF ET and AoS really fell flat. passing off the torch is an important part of reaching a “next phase” that is integral to advancement.

      • euansmith

        The TROs are a great idea.

  • defensive

    What they have been doing so far is fine in theory, but horrible in how they have executed it.
    There is nothing wrong with progressing story lines, and having events happen in the lore (Which will most likely happen at the same time as model relases, which is also fine), but it needs to be kept consistant, and it needs to stay grounded.

    What they have done lately, in a lot of people’s view, doesn’t fit with the narrative that has been told before now, the core themes of 40k’s world, and isn’t all that compelling or interesting.
    When the biggest threat is supposedly chaos, don’t write them as bumbling idiots, and don’t write the Imperium as constantly being one step ahead while trying to make the reader believe there is some actual threat to them.

    • Red_Five_Standing_By

      Because Cadia being blown up was totes the Imperium’s plan…

      • defensive

        And it only took them 10,000 years, the imperials pushed them back straight after, showing they don’t even need cadia all that much, and Abaddon had his arms chopped off by a mere farseer 2 seconds after it happened and stopped the whole crusade.

        How can they POSSIBLY been seen as a threat to anyone, when they are beaten so easily, and so comically?

        • Muninwing

          a decision is not being made.

          i secretly think it’s because the creative team is without leadership and just drifting, potentially with a number of newer, lesser writers (perhaps on freelance contract) who are just not making an effort to gel with the rest.

          but a decision is not being made.

          do we want a monolithic rotting imperium, moving on by momentum and never truly affected by change… because the stability of the setting and a ton of the thematic elements requires it…?

          or

          do we want the Imperium hurt, gutted, flailing about in pain and fear, with the immediate threat of the xenos and chaos enemies on the doorstep and the internal corruption paralyzing a response? even if this fundamentally changes the setting in a way that cannot be undone?

  • SYSTem050

    The problem with any attempt to advance the narrative is that pretty much since the beginning (well mid 2nd ed anyway) the whole universe is on 2 minutes to mid night vibe.

    NIds are about to consume the galaxy (and are potentially fleeing an even worse thing)

    Necrons are about to wake up and obliterate the galaxy

    Chaos is about to break through and wipe out the galaxy.

    Etc etc

    Any significant forward movement in the narrative would need to address at least one of these issues or ignore them all. The firmer would fundementaly shift the narrative of at least one group of players armies the latter would simply lead to complaints of “status quo is god” and nothing really happening.

    But hey in the hand of the right writer who knows it might work.

    • Andy Wise

      that’s a pretty smart analysis.

      As you say I guess my hope is that the writers have got the skills to tackle that particular challenge.

      • SYSTem050

        Yeahey it’s been deliberately constructed so that anyone can fight anyone and the whole end of the universe helps shore up the “in the grim dark future there is only war”.

        Need to make sure to keep the momentum up so it doesn’t devolve into a “cold war” senario where the big boys just glare at each other while the lesser races fight proxy wars.

        As I type that though I think that a cooling of the active war and a narrative of smaller proxy wars would be a great way of introducing new factions (both xeno’s and not)

        Again in the hands of a skilled writer not am enthusiastic amateur like me 🙂

        • euansmith

          I like the idea of settling the setting back down and drawing up some solid boarders and making the game about “small” raids (just a million troops here and there) against a Galactic Coldwar background.

          Personally, I’d like to see the Orkz become available as allies to just about anyone this side of the ‘Nids and the Necrons. Who wouldn’t want a gullible, disposable assault force to throw at their enemies.

          They could be the ultimate deniable asset with the advantage of infesting target worlds with spores; leading to centuries of guerrilla warfare with feral Orkz. Like Cosmic Communist Insurgents.

          • D_Ork

            As an Ork player, consider me un-excited about a story that involves my guys having no goals or motivation and just being led by others around the galaxy.

          • euansmith

            Fighting! You get to fight all over the place! People will even tell you where the best fights are! They will take you there! They will give you teef!

    • Arykaas

      the retcon/refluff of Necrons changed things a bit : they might not begin a harvest like before, just a reclamation of their former dynastic empires.
      If The silent King do come back, Necrons might become a force of Order (order as in robotic, cold logical order, so they’ll still clash with other factions)

      Still not sure on this, but I read somewhere he was supposed to have seen some danger comming from outside the galaxy (Tyranids ? the thing Tyranids may be fleeing ?) and is coming back to re-awaken all dynasties under his command with the intention of safeguarding the galaxy from that threat.
      He may not like the state of some Dynasties though …. ^^

      • SYSTem050

        Will admit I am not to hot on the current Necron fluff it weirdly being the only army not one of my group plays.

        When you talk about reclaiming thier former kingdoms do they not pretty much cover the galaxy any way so wiping out everyone remains part of the plan.

        • euansmith

          Extermination isn’t the only option for the Necrons. I’m sure there are levels of survival organics will be willing to contemplate under the Reign of the Machines.

          http://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/eed57e4d6401dbd051472a09f9152d7b298eba9357523be5042e34ed29b324b1.jpg

          • Jonathon Runge

            In the RPGs it is mentioned that primitive tribes live on the surfaces of active tomb worlds. They also control a few planetary governess with their mind scarabs. One of their goals is to find bodies to inhabit again. In one case an inquisitor had been taken over and used to scout out other races.

            The necron subdjugateing and ruling human or xenos worlds would be interesting. I would be alright with a Lord that had lost almost everything being the power behind the Tau and trying to revive his race. Could have modified the genes to promote obedience and adherence to the greater good.

          • euansmith

            Cool! I guess that would add more tragedy to the Necrons too, if they download their personalities in to living bodies, only to discover that they don’t actually have much personality left.

            “Now I know why you cry; but it is something I could never do.”

            http://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/5ef737bc47c3836f38e1710f1da0dc25c99aeaef08501a8a2dc0485dd595232b.jpg

          • Arykaas

            HOLY ….. EMPERONI !
            I never thought about that !
            Always thought that the most likely suspect for the “T’au were manipulated by another older xenos race” theory would be the eldars, never considered that Necrons could too

        • Arykaas

          Basically the new Fluff is that necrons (at least the higher ups, Lords, Phaerons, Cryptek and the Elite troops) still have most of their old personality from before the Biotransfert that changed Necrontyrs to Necrons.

          So instead of the old Silent legions of Killer robots of Doom, we can have a variety of “types” of personalities : Most Lords and Phaerons view the the systems that used to belong to them as “invaded by livings” and the war that result is, for them, just getting back what was rightfully theirs.

          Usually, they abide to a sort of “code of honor” : they don’t outright go to war to reclaim their domains, they warn the new hinabitants kinda like “You are living on Dynasty Sauthek’s Domain uninvited. Our conde of honor dictate to leave you so that you may leave. Refusal to leave will be considered an aggression to the Dynasty and shall be dealt in consequence”. You can easily imagine how the imperium usually respond ….

          Some Necrons are waaaaay more quircky, like Trazyn, whose sole objective is furthering his personal museum.

          Sometimes whole dynasties suffer “bugs” that dramatically twist their personalities, like the Manhyark Dynasty, which is basically a cross of Old-necron Fluff and Flayer Virus, bent on annihilating all livings in the galaxy.

          The Silent King is “special” in a sence that he is supposed to still have his whole personality intact, and he regrets what he put his people through and seeks a way to reverse the Biotransfert. He may be more empathic about other races, and coexistence could be very much possible (emphasis on COULD)

      • ZeeLobby

        Ah, yes. The transformation from mysterious mindless killing machines to metal humans.

    • Pl4gu3 B4st4rd

      They tell and repeat since eons “In the Grimdark future there is only War”, so war is a status quo.

      • zeno666

        It stopped beeing grimdark years ago

        • euansmith

          Now more angsty gloom 😉

  • fenrisful2

    The orks could be fit in easily, just make the Aeldari tell them there is a big Waagh around the corner. 😉

    Potentially an unholy alliance between orks and necrons could form in the heat of things.

    Meanwhile T’au and nids would have to fight it out on the other side of the galaxy. T’au calling on all the minor races (Hrud, other new ones?) to fight for the greater good against an overwhelming threat to all living things.

  • euansmith

    It just struck me that the guard rail in this picture is scaled for Guilliman and Cawl; any “normal sized” character would probably bang their foreheads on it and fall through the gaps. Typical 40k engineering, I guess; where Rule of Cool beats Health & Safety at Work

    http://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/a04cfa2602757294f2a62fdd5fa52af43a6d637e707fb1b4aad2426c928180ec.jpg

    • Spacefrisian

      It does state restricted access authorized personal only at the door…I assume

      • euansmith

        “You must be at least this height to work here.”

        • Krovar

          Insert amusement park height sign here. I guess it would be in the form of a space marine. With his bolter stuck out.

    • Rasheed Jones

      We need a novel detailing this thrilling tale

    • Red_Five_Standing_By

      At least it has a hand rail. I mean they are trying!

  • I don’t know if I care too much about the story over all. I prefer a setting with a few little bitz dropped in but not fully flushed out.
    Having a whole story takes away from what we can imagine is going on, seems to me. I’m interested in events happening but not all the fine details.

    • euansmith

      If they play up the size of the Galaxy vs the reach of even the greatest events, they could have their cake and eat it, I guess. They could reference the fact that there are entire nebulae of star systems who still think that the Emperor is alive and have never heard of the Horus Heresy or Chaos. They could then continue set desperate battles against this background of total cosmic indifference.

      This is kind of the way that the setting has always functioned; but I think that GW could make more of it.

      • It’s all well and good. I just don’t have any interest in following any particular characters around. It’s good to have notes about them, which helps build their mystique. I’m not one for special characters in my games but novels are fine. I’m not against advancing the timeline either. After this current iteration is flushed out it will be fun to see it forgotten and only referenced they way other events were in earlier editions. So, I hop they leave some loose ends to tie up much later. I like most things going on to be clouded in mystery, it’s fun to think about what’s going on and what’s going to happen. Honestly if they kill off some characters in an epic fashion I would be more interested in those characters and what lead to their demise.
        I’m probably a strange one though. I skip past battles in books just to read the conversations more key to the plot or sub plot depending on the book.
        If they for instance Killed off Ghazghkull I’d be over all ok with that. …Or maybe it would be better expressed as I can’t miss them if they never leave?

  • Badruk

    Need some other Gathering Storm book! Sell new figurines or re-sculpt of older one with those campaign book (twice a year, 6 books/year)
    Hoping that their plan after releasing all the Codex.

  • orionburn III

    My personal hope is that the next coming years leads to a major advancement and we eventually see the creation of a 50k universe. I love (most) current characters in my armies, but when they stick around edition after edition after edition you start wanting to see some new blood. As a DA player I’m not going to shed any tears if Asmodai gets eaten by a Carnifex. Shows like GoT have proven to show that you can kill off major characters and see things still thrive. There are also alternatives like how they’ve handled characters like Culln from the Red Scorpions. You have him as a regular marine and then with him in a Leviathan dread.

    I for one am happy to see the story advancing like it is. There are going to be times of disappointment and wishing they would have done X, Y, or Z differently, but being one that has complained about the story being stagnant for so long I can’t whine that much now that they are finally advancing.

    • Kabal1te

      This would go over about as well as age of sigmar I suspect. I agree new things are usually always wanted but a lot of people clearly want to keep what they have and get very upset when it gets taken away. That’s one of the big problems with major time line advancement. Certain characters like tau and guard ones in particular don’t live very long. Tell too much story. Have to address that. Guard players being told they have lost all their characters to old age would hugely upset them.

      • Apocryphus

        I think they could still kill off named characters with models in the narrative and still allow them on the table top. PP has killed two warcasters and put one out of commission indefinitely and they just say that games involving them are taking place at a different time in the narrative.

      • orionburn III

        See and that’s the problem I see with Marines or Eldar at times – they live for what seems forever. I don’t want the 40k universe to go away, but a more futuristic setting could introduce a lot of new things. While I think the 30k AdMech stuff is some of the best models ever produced they’re doing okay in a 30k only world. If they stay unique to 30k, then so be it. I think it helps each system to have some unique armies to them.

        I understand not wanting to see certain characters go away. That being said Guard players have to come to some sort of terms knowing that Marine charactes are going to out live them by hundreds (if not 1000+) years. Even with the current time line some warriors should have been on social security long ago.

        • Kabal1te

          Eldar seem to live forever. If memory serves though most normal marines only live at most a few hundred years, stasis pods and dreadnaughts being exceptions. Knowing really only space wolves very well on the marine front, Logan is the oldest space wolf and the oldest living regular marine of any chapter (or was said to be in the 5th ed Dex anyway) and is in his mid 300s (maybe late 300s now, the new codices lack precise dates so it is hard to tell). The only reason Bjorn is still around is they keep him locked in stasis fields when they don’t need him to preserve him as long as possible.

          • Admiral Raptor

            300 years is nothing. The 1000+ year old Dante of the Blood Angels would like a word with that young pup Logan 😉

          • Simon Bates

            Second that, Dante has been over 1,000 years since 2nd edition.

    • Muninwing

      i agree that it seems like the SCs are a huge sticking point.

      but my big issue is that the current batch of writers doesn’t seem to be able to deliver quality. so i’d rather any huge changes wait until they get some leadership and direction to unify the vision.

  • Boondox

    “40K at heart has always been about the conflict between Chaos and the Imperium of Man.” Except for the fact that Chaos was absent for the first two years of Warhammer 40,000 Rogue Trader. WH40K RT was originally about Space Marines fighting aliens (without Ripley). I believe that the HH has overshadowed most of the Xenos development and storylines. The Eldar and Orks have been stale for years, one is always dying the other is always fighting. Tyranids developed somewhat but then stalled out as a plague of locusts forever threatening the galaxy. The Necrons and Tau were a breath of fresh air but seem to have faded into the background quickly after their introduction. The Tau had Damocles but that wasn’t much. The Ynnari and Necron involvement with the Imperium were the only real mention of Xenos in the Dark Imperium story. I’m hoping GW fixes this after it’s gotten off it’s HH Chaos fix…

    • Red_Five_Standing_By

      We literally got two thick tomes of Imperium v Tau, which is more than any other Xenos faction has gotten in years.

  • Krovar

    I seriously wonder if they will follow the big baddie who is “chasing” the Tyranids. Were the Tyranids created by the Old Ones as several have speculated? And then the next question, did they come to our galaxy to do the Old One’s bidding?

    Or did they decide to rebel against the Old Ones and now are fleeing them. Imagine the shock to the 40K universe if the Old Ones were to return. I imagine they would be like the Builders from the Berserker series by Fred Saberhagen. Would be an interesting twist and allow GW to take those old molds for the Lizardmen from Fantasy, slightly change and voila, the servants of the Old Ones.

    That way you don’t have the overpowering Old Ones, just their servants. Then Chaos would have to worry as the Old Ones were immune to the lures and ploys of them.

    • Apocryphus

      It’s also speculated that the Tyranids were created by one of the C’tan, the Outsider, as a response to the Necron rebellion. The C’tan feed on death, so a super race that just devours everything in it’s path, as the Necrons were essentially meant to do, would be perfect.

    • Drpx

      Doubtful, 40k is moving away from Lovecraft/Alien and towards Star Wars/Starcraft.

    • Kabal1te

      Aren’t the Slann in 40k technically a thing still. I am pretty sure they got a white dwarf mention not bit a few months back. As I recall they were kinda the architects of life in the galaxy in the old rogue trader fluff.

    • Muninwing

      “as several have speculated” is true… but the extragalactic nature of the tyranids makes that problematic.

      the Old Ones have never been described as being able to cross the vast intergalactic spaces… and the sentience-dependent nature of the warp means it’s a crapshoot as to whether it is just a this-galaxy phenomenon or can be used to cross that gulf itself.

  • Zreat mi Legenderi

    W40K does not need to advance anything. If you Play 2nd Workd War strategy games, for example, the histiry is the background that defines armies, factions, weapons, battlefields, etc. IT is just the support for the rest:Play battles.
    W40K has a rich background, universe and history in order to support infinite battles. IT is not necessary to advance anything because the better part of the history is just to be always at the razor’s edge. That opens infinite paths to explore. If just one direction is taken that leads just to an end, the richess of the 40K history Will be limited. There are a lot of ways to improve background, to make its history bigger… But the actual history line and events seem not good for me. Mistery and darkness always woks in favour of imagination. To give light to that shadows has a danger… That the ansewrs does’nt satisfy the expectatives of those big secrets and misteries. And, for me, since 3rd edition seems that w40k background is written not for Kids But BY Kids. Please, rise the level.

    • Drpx

      You’re gonna get a spoon fed fluff designed to bring in kids and mainstream gamers and you’re gonna like it!

    • Red_Five_Standing_By

      We’ve had no advancement for 10 years. It got stale. So now we are marching forward to a new equilibrium point where the setting will become static again.

  • AkulaK

    So you don’t want to wipe off the Eldars anymore ? There is still hope for you 🙂

  • Mr.Fister

    The guys in GW are writing a book. The working title is: “We got our hands deep in your wallet!”. There is nothing wrong with making a profit but I think the 40k line is getting very boring and lazy. There was little excitement for me the last two years. I think the last releases I cared about were 1000 Sons and Symbiont Cults (probably a little bit Death Guard). Those mono pose models are a big deal for me too. I am a person that likes to kitbash and this is very difficult with snap fit models.
    I am 32 now and probably a dinosaur. A new generation is growing. They have their values and tastes and GW must ajust to that. However I would wish that GW would fight and try to evolve the taste of his younger customers instead of using the smallest common denominator to cash in easy. And I think that the more difficult approach that promotes creativity and craft skills would turn aout more profit on the long term. Be brave GW a lot of the new stuff you made the last years was great. Making slightly bigger marines is boring and lazy. Give the forgotten factions a chance. Use the 30 years of 40k lore instead of trying to streamline it.

    • AkulaK

      Wth are Symbiont Cults ? 😀

      • Mr.Fister

        I am from germany that is what genestealer cults are called here I gues 😀

        • AkulaK

          Oh i see, i guessed it but i had no idea… Cool name tho 😀

  • stinkoman

    I like the setting approach and that is how i interpreted much my my 40k experience. yeah imperium vs chaos was always there, but the other races also existed in the setting. if you go story, it is harder to include all as the story becomes less focused when you have the disparate universe that is 40k. it’s not like a battle for the universe. all races are trying to survive. the 40k “setting” to me has always been that. all races existing with their own motives and will to survive and expand. if you change it to just imperial vs chaos “story”, you end up with less focus on the other half.

    the rate they are going, all other races besides man are becoming supplemental and is making the 40k universe less appealing the more narrow it becomes.

    • Drpx

      Marketing told them they needed a well defined good vs evil.

  • Gamecock13

    I agree wholeheartedly each race needs to be represented in a narrative-focused 40k. I also love the idea of a narritive-driven game…however GWs execution has been abhorrent thus far. Focusing solely on Imperium and Chaos leaves a large fraction of their gaming community feeling disenfranchised and isolated.

    • Red_Five_Standing_By

      Focusing solely on Imperium v Chaos when Necrons helped save the Imperial forces on Cadia and disregarding all the stuff that happened on Biel’Tan…

      • Kabal1te

        To be honest necrons make a cameo in gathering storm. Tau, tyranids, orks, they get ignored. That said tau did get the whole Damocles gulf books, so they did get some narrative attention in 7th. Orks and tyranids however not so much.

  • zeno666

    Mostly GW’s fluff is all about how awsome this new unit is. It crushes everything in the fluff, so you really should buy it.

  • Kabal1te

    If 40k were less character centric then having a long detailed narrative that covers long periods of time and advancing the time line at a rate that keeps the story interesting would be one thing, but unlike settings that see time line advancement and story progress like battletech would be one thing. Instead though they are very focused on characters, which means story has to revolve around the characters. Malifaux pulls off character focus with a timeline that moves but it does so in very small amounts of time. Months, may be a year at most of advancement every few years with very deliberate plans to keep the characters at least somewhat in the story. The setting of Malifaux though is tiny. One city and the surrounding area. In a galaxy spanning setting with everything being some apocalyptic threat that doesn’t work so well.

  • Scott Staten

    ” 40K at heart has always been about the conflict between Chaos and the Imperium of Man. ”

    No, actually it has not. there WAS no Chaos in the original Rogue trader book, the emperor as on the Golden throne not because of injury, he just got too old.

    • Nyyppä

      The noobs here don’t know the actual history…

  • defensive

    See above for cadia, and the warpstorm doesn’t mean much, since they have already shown Guilliman can just… go through it I guess?

    So far, it has been hyped up as this horrible thing, but has caused no difficulties to anyone.

    • Muninwing

      considering that the descriptions of it are pretty obviously a fantasy setting’s version of a big bottomless chasm (and Robbie G can fly…), in a profoundly 2-mode….

      it just didn’t translate well.

    • John Henry III

      Besides…. the entire galaxy?

  • Boondox

    I’m hoping the little mention of the Tau’s 4th sphere expansion getting wiped out by the great rift and the following 5th sphere set the Tau up for good things in 8th. It’s going to be cool to see how a race that doesn’t deal with the warp handles the galaxy getting split in half and chaos running rampant. A lot of good possibilities there.

  • briandavion

    it’s still ongoing, we’re up to 3150 last I checked.

  • Red 2

    I think there’s a fundamental difference between 30k and 40k. Warhammer 30k I would compare to the American Civil War. There were two sides. They fought. Victories had meaning and advanced one side over the other until there was a conclusion.

    40k I would compare to WW1. Yes, there was eventually a conclusion (sort of, since the end of WW1 practically guaranteed there would be another war), but for a prolonged period of time it was basically competing military forces capable of fighting and causing mass destruction while not actually advancing towards a victory, even when individual battles were won or lost.