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40K: What Does Your Army Say About You? Part I

5 Minute Read
Nov 3 2011

Mr. Black handles a deep scientific discussion.

Greetings Kiddies, did you miss me?

What? You didn’t even notice I was gone? Huh… Weird… Well, I have a good reason for it, I really do, it involves Brent and Goatboy and an entire week of tracking them across the Great State of Texas, afterwards (No. Just no. There is no amount of washing that can cleanse that story from my mind. -Bigred). Fun was had by all, except by Brent, whom I hope makes a speedy recovery and isn’t too upset about the, um…. “Misunderstandings” that took place, as I said, “I thought “unicorn” meant something… Darker…”

“Yes, I understand you. Unicorn. Right here.”
So, the topic of the day: What does your army say about you? Well, these are just my opinions, of course, and anything it says should be taken as such. What does that mean? It means please ignore this sentence and flame the hell out of me in the comments. It sustains me.
Without any other unicorn talk, let’s get right to the down and dirty:

Blood Angels
So what makes the Blood Angels unique, both gameplay-wise and story-wise? Well, on the former it speaks of something who enjoys Close Combat but doesn’t want to sacrifice both speed and survivability to attain it. We have a group of players who want to get into the thick of it, cutting, slicing and dicing through the enemy ranks from within a nice protective 3+ save as well as a secondary 4+ Feel No Pain (let’s just be honest here). This being one of the armies I play, well, this is why I chose it- Fast, durable troops that can really dish out the punishment.

But frankly, we all know it’s about the fluff, and nowhere does that show better than the Blood Angels. Why are they fielded over, say, Space Wolves or Codex Marines? It’s the duality of them, we want to be the good guys, but deep down we want to be the bad good guys, the anti-heroes. We want to be the leather jacket-wearing motorcycle-riding bad boys of the Imperium.

What I’m saying is Batman. Just… Batman, that’s what we want to be.
I could go into greater detail but, really the above captures it too well and I feel like I’ll just be wasting time trying to explain it any better.
‘Ere we go! ‘ERE WE GO! WAAAAGGHHH!!! That pretty much sums it up, doesn’t it? Orks, they wanna have fun, and I have found that some of the most, mmm, “colorful” 40K players are those who count themselves amongst the Ork mobs. Why do they play them? Well obvious they like swarms of things, they love the idea that all this stuff is really really cool…even if it doesn’t always work right. Hell, that’s half the fun, isn’t it? 
People who play Orks, well, it’s all about the Chaos really- I compare it much to why I love Skaven in fantasy: Your options are really really powerful should everything go according to plan but… Well, things never go to plan, now do they? A bomb prematurely explodes over here, that Trukk went Ramshackle over there, and in between both of them the Weird Boy just tossed a Mob onto a Land Raider… Wonderful anarchy… For Ork players it’s never about the “Purge the Xenos scum!” or “Blood for the Blood God!”, no, it’s all about “Ooohh… That looks like fun…Hur hur hur.”  Basically, when you get right down to it, Ork players just wanna have fun, may not be the 100%, but in my travels and experiences it’s a large quantity of them. Seldom have I encountered an Ork player I didn’t like.
Yep, Orks just wanna have fun.
Dark Eldar
Bigred really didn’t want me talking about this one, but I took care of him… Come on now, Kiddies, we all know why we play Dark Eldar. Mmm, yes… I could try to put it into words, but I think these pictures speak much louder:

Pictures like those you have to look at under a veil so the angels don’t see your sin. Mmm, just to my liking, oh yes… And that’s why we love them, isn’t it? Every little desire and socially unacceptable urge, feeling, or stigma let loose. Oh yes, we play them because we love going without restriction, being able to cast off our shackles and let the dark corners of our mind out to play. 
This differs from the urges we get from Chaos Marines, however, who grasp for power in the ideas of tyranny and oppression, and yes, the Dark Eldar may do so as well, but their true nature lies in that reckless abandon, that selfish part of our brain that strives not to please rampaging gods, but please the devil we lock deep within ourselves. 
Playing Dark Eldar, mmm, it brings to light the sadist in us- and the ones who really get it, who truly embrace what the army means, they don’t play to win, oh no, victory is just a byproduct of crushing your enemies, grinding them underneath your boots, savoring their dying breaths. Mmm, yes, that is the true nature of the Dark Eldar.
Err… Check back with me in a few weeks…
As they say on your planet, “Whomp whomp…”
Mr Black, signing off.  Stay tuned for part two.  What does your army say about you – come on, be honest, we are all friends here…

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