With Vigilus wrapped up, let’s take a look at where the Grimdark’s story could turn next.
Vigilus Ablaze wraps up the two book Vigilus storyline/campaign expansion for 40K. It brought us new fluff and movement on the overall 40K narrative, as well as a host of new rules. These cover warzones, campaign rules, missions, and a ton of new or revamped units. It also introduced the idea of specialist detachments and expanded rules for the Black Legion and Chaos Renegade Chapters. In all the two books were a significant expansion of the game with something for both the fluffiest of fluff bunnies to the most WAAC players to enjoy (assuming WAAC players can still feel joy). With its end, we’ve been left asking what comes next. Well, GW was quick to assure us that more Warzones, as they call them, are in the works. A few weeks ago Adam took a look at the stuff they teased. Today lets take a look at what we’d like to see most and why it would be good for the game.
As Adam pointed out one of the pictured worlds in GW’s teaser looks a lot like the red home of the Mechanicus. Now Adam’s theory is that this could be a conflict between the Martian Priests and the Necrons who have taken a great interest in the world. While this is entirely possible there is another possibility. A lot of recent 40K plot-lines seem aimed at rebuilding a lot of the tension, and even same stories, as we saw in the Horus Heresy. Once more a large force of traitors are driving towards Terra, once more the Galaxy is riven by warp storms and other phenomena, once more Guilliman is trying to set up his own kingdom.
One of the things that did happen during the Heresy was a large scale Martian Civil War between the Loyalists and the Dark Mechanicus. While the Dark Mechanicus has been relegated to the background in 40K, there has been a recent focus on Daemon Engines. The Lor,d Discordant even has the Dark Mechnicus emblem on his knee-pad the first 40K to have it on them I think. All of this could be building up to a large scale Dark Mechnicus release coinciding with fighting on Mars. It would take the story into the Sol system once more, and have the potential to shake things up, maybe in preparation of Abbadon reaching Terra?
The Indomitus Crusade is a pretty major part of recent 40K fluff. The Crusade was the 100+ year struggle of Guilliman and the Primaris, among others, to shore up the Imperium after the opening of the Great Rift. It was a significant endeavor and was across large parts of the galaxy. It also happened pretty much all “off screen” between 7th and 8th edition. While there have been some references to the Crusade and what happened in it we haven’t got an intense look, even books like Dark Imperium start at the very end of the Crusade.
Now the Indomitus Crusade is interesting for two related reasons. Firstly it’s where the Primaris Marines were first blooded, and where many all Primaris Chapters gained their first battle honors. Secondly one of the forces taking place in it was the Unnumbered Sons, also known as the Greyshields. This was a force comprised of fully half the Primaris Space Marines, organized into large Legion sized formations. They were made up of mixed geneseeds squads (similar to Deathwatch) and were slowly dismantled to form new chapters or reinforce old ones. They get a nod with the Greysheild Warlord Trait in Vigilus but that’s it.
One of the best parts of Vigilus Ablaze was the expanded rules for the Black Legion and the rules for Renegade Chapters. An expansion that looked at the Indomitus Crusade could have a large section devoted to Greysheild rules, like the Black Legion got, as well as smaller sections on 6 or so all Primaris Chapters, like the Necropolis Hawks. This would be a great chance to give Primaris Armies a much need boost.
Keen-eyed readers will note that the full name for the Vigilus Ablaze is “Imperium Nihilus: Vigilus Ablaze.” Vigilus Defiant also bears this as part of the title. The Imperium Nihilus is the name for that portion of the Imperium “north” of the Great Rift. The inclusion of it in the name suggests that future warzones would also be set in the Imperium Nihilus. That could give us some big clues for what would come next. The Indomitus Crusade above was primarily set in the Imperium Nihilus. We’ve also heard rumors of a book set on Baal, though with the Desolation of Baal storyline just wrapped up I’m not sure what else could be going on there. Even if the battle isn’t on Baal, Dante is in charge of the Imperium Nihilus, so it’s likely the Blood Angles will be involved.
What’s Up With The Ynnari
So far we’ve kind of focused on Imperium Vs. Choas campaigns as they’ve been the focus of most of the new fluff. However, there is one really big storyline that’s kind of gone quiet. The end of 7th Edition saw a lot of huge shake-ups – the return first Daemon Primarch and then Loyalist Primarch(s), the destruction of Cadia and opening of the Great Rift. One of the major, major storylines at the time was the Rise of the Ynnari, the great hope of the Aeldari people and movement to pan-Aeldari unity. This was the biggest Xenos storyline in a long time with far-reaching implications for 40K. And then it just kind of went away.
It’s been more than two years since we’ve seen major story progression for the Death Elves. There have been a few novels fleshing things out, but not much else. While mentioned in the new codexes they haven’t advanced that plot at all, nor have Ynnari gotten new models or rules. We do know they are getting a White Dwarf update soon, but it doesn’t look like that will give them new models and will be limited in scope. A campaign focusing on them would be a great way to move the story along and do something not focused on the Imperial vs. Chaos war.
There’s a ton of options we could have guessed, and anyone could be right. While Vigilus was slightly teased in some maps, I don’t think anyone would have supposed the first book would be set there. I do think maybe looking at factions that GW would like to highlight or expand is a good way of guessing what the next battles could focus on, but beyond that, the only thing to be sure of is that in the grim darkness of the far future there will be more wars.
Let us know where you think the next narrative campaign should be fought, and who they should focus on, down in the comments!