There’s a lot to love within the Imperium of Man, but for my money, the Adeptus Mechanicus take the cake. Here’s why.
Ahh, the Adeptus Mechanicus. Just a part of the background for 25 years until they came roaring into the game with a series of not-quite full codexes… corrected of course with their upcoming one now that the army range is pretty much filled out.
But taking a hard look at both their background, novels, and miniatures gives me a lot to love about the lunatic techno zealots from Mars. Here are my favorite things about them.
They are Grimdark Steampunk
In a grimdark Galaxy, the Adeptus Mechanicus have the most steampunk antiquarian vibe. GW really nailed it with the gears, hydraulics, metal trim, wood (yes, WHY OH WHY would the Ad Mech use wood on anything…but they do), and plenty of places to paint in brass trim. In a universe full of clean hard sci-fi Primaris, and the GI-Joe Astra Militarum it’s great to see some over the top Victorian tech out there. Of course, washed over with that grimdark influences.
They are Ignorant Zealots
It’s one thing to be hard and cold calculating scientists like we see in the T’au, and Necrons, or in the Humans of the Horus Heresy era. Instead, we get the mechanical versions of the Medieval Roman Catholic Church. They have inherited all they have from their predecessors, have little to no idea how it all works, and just get by on luck, faith, and stubbornness. Up there are three of my favorite passage of the Ad Mech mindset from a White Dwarf from decades past…
Ridiculous Technical Creativity
You get the idea that the Adeptus Mechanicus is so steeped in crazy tech, that it’s not just about getting the job done, but doing it in their own unique sense of style. You see this in many of their vehicles which are completely impractical in design. The plain utilitarian versions of such common mission oriented vehicles are mass-produced for imbeciles like the Marines and egads, the Astra Militarum. Things like the Chimera, or the Rhino than even an Ogryn can figure out.
But for the Mechanicus themselves, you get grand visions like: let’s make a heavy thin-legged walker – as a main battle tank. To fight and maneuver on SAND! Ridiculous? Poppycock, because you just throw a bunch of suspensors, force fields to distribute the weight, and advanced gyros and stabilizers to keep it shooting like a dead eye with all that amazing tech you have lying around in Martian warehouses… as you do. Just look around the Ad Mech range for a whole plethora of crazy designs to illustrate this point.
This leads directly to point four.
Lording Their Tech Over the Masses
It’s clearly not JUST about technical creativity. The Mechanicus to some degree must create such extravagant contraptions to expressly wow and lord it over the other parts of the Imperium. When you are mass producing civilian dirtbikes (stolen by Genestealer Cults) and Marine motorcycles in the millions and you take to the battlefield yourselves on CYBER-HORSES – you’re not JUST showing off. To some degree, this is about rubbing it in the faces of everyone else that the Ad-Mech RULES all things technology. So don’t even think of trying to fix anything yourself, or talking to the T’au. Who runs Tech Bartertown? The Ad-Mech runs Bartertown! Don’t forget it, Governor!
Just as Petty As Everyone Else
Which all circles back to my favorite part of the Ad mech. Despite all their cyber and tech shenanigans – they are just as petty as us all. They have weird binaric romances, hold grudges, are ultra petty and bitchy, engage in nasty infighting and politics, have survived a galaxy-wide schism, and spawned the Dark Mechanicum for largely doctrinal reasons. In short regardless of how much they try to meld with the machine – it turns out they are just as human as us all. And that is comforting indeed. There’s an Elon Musk joke in there somewhere just out of reach.
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