Tuesday, 9 August 2016

Two Minutes to Midnight?

For as long as I have played 40k (and I started back in the Rogue Trader era, so that's s LOOOONG time), the clock has been set at two minutes to midnight, figuratively speaking. The story has not advanced at all. The Old Man is still sat on his throne, the tendrils of the Tyranid Hive Fleets are still a marauding threat at the edges of Humanity's borders and the other alien races are still pottering about. Chaos is... there, but not really a dynamic threat. Sure, the story has been fluffed out over the years with various stories and backgrounds in the codices, but most of these have been carefully constructed cul-de-sacs where nothing actually changes the course of the story.


So, what's changed? Well, the build-up to the Death Masque box set hinted toward an update in our favourite grim-dark storyline, and then today - BAM! - this image appeared on GW's own Facebook page, telling us in no uncertain terms that the storyline will be advancing toward 40k's very own version of the End Times, and personally I am cautiously very excited! 

For over twenty-five years I have stoically stayed loyal to 40k, never straying to any other sci-fi or fantasy setting. True, I tried Flames of War for a short while, but that was really more an extension of my interest in military history (and personal history, given my grandparents' direct involvement). I have also recently gotten heavily into 30k, which I really see as 40k's 'creation myth' if you will (a bit like the Silmarillion' is for the Lord of the Rings books). 

So part of me is a little scared that the bedrock of my favourite Sci-fi game is changing. Who will be killed off? Who will return? Will the game I love still be the game I love after all the upheaval? 

Probably, yes. Things are rarely as radical as your mind imagines. So, whilst I nervously await the changes, I'm also massively excited to see how our story progresses! 



4 comments:

  1. You get the feeling that the powers that be may be considering the "success" of the End Times in Warhammer and how the changes made to AoS has reinvigorated the community (while of course alienating some). I'd personally be happy to see something similar, but with the extremely strong caveat that I hope they don't discard the fluff to quite the degree they have in Warhammer. It would be very interesting to bring the 41st millennia to a close, effectively have all the threats and portents come to fruition with the effective collapse of the Imperium, and leave a galaxy inhabited with pockets of the different races. The storyline could then centre around each race trying to rebuild its dominions in the galaxy. A Great Crusade MkII.

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    1. Yeah, something that just sort of re-distributes the galactic map and balance of power without actually completely eliminating any Factions could leave a lot of room for messing around and changing things up without completely rebooting the Game.

      I also really wouldn't mind seeing a simplification on the Rules. Not to the extent of core AoS, but something like AoS with the General's Handbook.

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  2. As a former Warhammer player who lived through the End Times, I loved the story. It was done very well. Sure they annihilated everything in the end, but I didn't mind, as they took me along an incredible journey. I said, after the final book, that if they issued a press statement saying "We as a company aren't even replacing Warhammer, we're done with this" that I wouldn't mind, as they had given me an ending, rather than leaving me hanging like too many tv shows do...

    However...

    With 40k, I wouldn't want quite the same route... mainly because they've done the "everybody dies" thing, once was good, a second time would feel like a cop out. But they certainly could move the story forward, perhaps having a chaos resurgence meaning more daemon worlds, leading to more varied playing environments (something akin to AoS 8 realms)With a more fragmented galaxy with no dominant force we could perhaps hope to see more support for races other than the almighty imperium. Right now the story is imperium vs everybody. A fragmented imperium would mean everybody else would be more likely to meet each other and come to blows...

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  3. I agree with you - a move forward in the time-line, with some dramatic events really shaking up the existing status quo, would be exciting and could lead to all sorts of new campaign settings.

    As for the rules, I would welcome a shift back to a 5th-edition style rules set; not simplified, just streamlined and quicker and slicker to play. For example, simplifying the pre-game process (rolling for powers, Warlord Traits, Gifts etc), simplifying combat, removing challenges, all would be welcome.

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