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Lightbringer

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  1. A thought that occurred to me the other day was the idea that perhaps the Emperor engineered an Astartes lifespan that fitted in with his view of how long the Great Crusade would last. At the time of the Heresy, the Great Crusade had been going for about 250 years. It was clear that Ullanor was a major victory, and following this victory the Emperor felt able to put Horus in charge of military operations and retire to the Imperial Palace. Perhaps the Emperor felt that at the 250-year mark, the hardest part of the Great Crusade was over? That two thirds of the work was done? The Emperor is always portrayed as the ultimate conquerer, one with an almost prescient ability to read events. What if he had estimated that it would take 3-400 years to conquer the Galaxy? This means that if the Imperium had, around the time of Ullanor, gradually stopped recruiting Astartes on the same scale, the first Astartes veterans, the ones recruited to conquer the Galaxy, would start dying of old age by the end of the crusade. Perhaps the Emperor didn't WANT the Astartes living into the age of the new Imperium. They were intended to usher in the new age and then gradually fade into history. Perhaps the Emperor built in obsolescence into the Astartes...like washing machines, or iPhones. After all, he'd had problems with the Thunder Warriors who'd preceded them; there are references in the novels to rebellions and massacres of those troops. Perhaps, to avoid that, the Emperor, with his latest super warriors, the Astartes, designed them to live and die within the span of the Great Crusade. Taking this further, perhaps he engineered different lifespans for different legions according to predicted casualty rates. Some legions ( particularly ones who were more mentally unstable like the world eaters or night lords) conceivably were able to replace casualties faster, but traded off a longer lifespan. Perhaps also the Emperor intended that longer lived legions-like the blood Angels- were to survive the crusade by virtue of their 1000 year lifespan, and act as a police force for the new golden age of humanity, a standing army, one with a longer term view of the Galaxy than "normal" Astartes. Perhaps some quality in their geneseed (their nobility? Their respect for humanity?) made them more desirable candidates to usher in a new, peaceful Imperium, than the berserker qualities of some of the other legions.
  2. There are probably a number of complex individual planetary and ship-wide intranets as opposed to a single Imperium-wide Internet. One imagines that better developed hive worlds and of course forge worlds would have very large computer networks, though given the vast interstellar distances between worlds, communication difficulties would probably prevent worlds linking up into a proper single network. I have in the past speculated that astropaths could be servitorised and used to transmit binary information accurately between forge worlds. Although perhaps a punishment for this astropaths, this might permit very slow (dial up speed) based networks to exist between worlds. (Actually I'm a computing ignoramus - are networks actually possible over slow connections?)
  3. It's interesting that the Blood Angels and the Ultramarines canonically have different lifespans. The Ultramarines seem to live for around 3-400 years (Ortan Cassius is said to be the oldest at nearly 400) whereas the Blood Angels seem to live for around 1000 years. I wonder if there are further variations between the original legions in terms of lifespan? Perhaps there were other chapters with far shorter lifespans? One imagines this might have been picked up in the circa 250 years of the Great Crusade, though, and I haven't seen any reference to this yet. Perhaps some legions with very high casualty rates (world eaters, death guard) might have had shorter lifespans which weren't picked up because they kept dying in industrial qualities in battle, preventing the shorter lifespans being discovered. Perhaps also some traitor legions would have had extended lifespans like the Blood Angels, but this wasn't discovered because they fled to the Eye of Terror, temporally distorting them and obscuring their true lifespan. Perhaps some of the traitors were in fact functionally immortal, even aside from the Daemonic effects of the eye?
  4. Did the WHFB shake-up effect tabletop rules at all? I can't imagine it wouldn't.Let's also keep in mind that GW is in the business of selling luxury plastic toy soldiers and anything they do with their IP is to sell more toy army mans. Graham McNeill is probably the lead writer in the Horus Heresy series. He is hugely influential over the development of that line, and his plots are incorporated seamlessly into the wider canon. what he says is important to the line...which is probably why his retraction was rushed out so quickly. As for warhammer end times rule changes, to paraphrase wildly, Tomb kings and Vampire counts merged into one army under Nagash with enhanced special,characters, new Chaos characters, high, dark and wood elves merged into new different lists.
  5. Lynata, you're right about the Third War for Armageddon campaign, that was great. GW doesn't seem to have run campaigns like that in 40k since the 13th Black Crusade. It's supposition on my part, but I think that this might be because handing the fans the chance to, by their own battles, permanently interfere with the entire setting and thereby GW's intellectual property, was probably a bit of a step too far for them. (Actually we're forgetting the pretty godawful Medusa V campaign here, thinking about it.) It would be nice to see a new large interactive narrative campaign by GW again in the 40k setting: one with themed, campaign specific armies, (ie not EVERY army fighting over one planet-I'm looking at you, Medusa campaign) supporting rules and background, themed minis, updates and store-run battles that tie in to a global outcome based on those battles. My main point is that a campaign like that can be great WITHOUT (ugh) bringing back the Primarchs, killing the Emperor, battles on Terra etc. The current setting WORKS, in my opinion, giving the freedom for decades of apocalyptic battles on the same grand scale as the end times stuff within the framework of existing 40k. There are signs mainstream GW are interested in this approach for 40k, though. Look at Sanctus Reach and the new blood Angels campaign. I don't think the QUALITY of this stuff matches the Forgeworld campaign material or, to a lesser degree, the End Times stuff, but it's a step in the right direction. Now they just need to take their time (ie stop churning out 3 mediocre books a month and concentrate on 1 excellent and innovative book every month), make it narrative, make minis for it (in fact generally be a bit more like Forgeworld) and make the whole thing interactive with the fan base. As for Graham McNeill's comments, yes, I know he's retracted them, but I do think that the very fact he's "musing" like that is slightly worrying. It suggests he doesn't really value the setting as is and thinks bringing back the Primarchs is a good idea. I personally think it's NOT a good idea, and risks killing the golden goose for GW.
  6. I personally find aspects of the End Times material for Warhammer a little jarring, but on the whole it's clearly been a huge success, creating renewed interest in an arguably moribund line. Given this success, there's going to be a temptation for GW to rush in and do something similar with 40k: a cataclysmic "End of the Imperium" style mega campaign. I think this should be approached with caution. The lesson here is not "apocalypse = success." The real lesson GW should learn from the End Times success is exactly the lesson they've already learned from the Horus Heresy line and, to a lesser extent, the Badab War books. That lesson is: if you have a large, well written, attractively presented and well supported narrative campaign spread over several large, high quality volumes and backed by works of fiction and beautiful miniatures...people will buy that stuff and enjoy it. The End Times stuff isn't perfect: it comes across as the work of many hands, and it seems to be a bit too casual about sweeping away huge chunks of the setting beloved of many older fans ("Bye, Kislev, bye Marienburg, farewell Tilea, so long Elves as we know them..."), but it succeeds on the whole because it's big, the quality's consistently high and it's in a setting people had forgotten they loved. Also there has to be that feeling of an ongoing campaign, a desire to see the next instalment: Tamurkhan was a lovely piece of work, for example, but I don't get the sense it resonated with fans as strongly as The End Times. 40k in my opinion doesn't need an End Times campaign: it needs dozens of high quality narrative campaigns like the Badab War, the Siege of Vraks etc over the next fifty years. 40k is in the end times already: I'd like GW to show us how we got here in loving detail.
  7. Horus. But my personal conception of Horus rather than the version the HH novels are showing us. I haven't read "vengeful spirit" yet, but so far I feel the HH Novel Horus is not living up to the legend. Horus should be the top primarch. He should be a towering figure, a master manipulator, a masterful General, a ruthless streetfighter, a charismatic magnificent bastard. He should be 25% Frank Underwood, 25% Avon Barksdale, 25% Jim Jones and 25% Augustus Caesar. Instead so far he's 100% Haydon Christianson as Anakin Skywalker; a cipher with implausible motivations who comes across as an easily manipulated dupe. You should hate Horus' deeds but have a sneaking admiration for the man. This doesn't happen so far. The HH Novel Horus is a little man who does not fill the gap in the canon left by the towering Horus of the older background. If we're talking primarchs as portrayed in the novels so far, I really like Dan Abnett's portrayal of Gulliman. Gulliman was never my favourite Primarch previously, but Abnett has taken his stiff, aloof, somewhat arrogant demeanour and made him into a sympathetic and well rounded character. He's flawed: relatively humourless, earnest, snooty and conventional, but his enormous intellect and superhuman abilities force him to recognise his own flaws and find humility despite himself. It's a neat, if short character arc, made all the more impressive for avoiding bathos and unnecessary drama. He's logical, cold, reasonable, but he finds passion in defending what's important when the chips are down.
  8. I did this in a neat little four column table in word, but the forum software keeps posting it as plain text much to my irritation. Here's a relatively neat plain text version: First part of Ork Name: D10 Roll 1 Ard 2 Madd 3 Bad 4 Deff 5 Gragg 6 Kekks 7 Bakk 8 Bukk 9 Stabb 10 Gurk Then roll again for the second part of the name D10 Roll 1 Grad 2 Ork 3 Garx 4 Krak 5 Git 6 Snik 7 Gakk 8 Cradjaz 9 Thrakk 10 Kegza Then if you wish roll for an Orkish title or nickname D10 Roll 1 Da Strangla 2 Da Stabba 3 Da Worldkruncha 4 Da Bita' 5 'Ulkrida 6 Da Loon 7 Throatstampa 8 Da Merciless 9 Earbita 10 Armrippa Thus rolling 3,7 and 1 gives you Baddgakk Da Strangla, a respectable Orkish name.
  9. Ugh. Did a really neat word table, but it pastes as plain text...hang on...
  10. Star Phantoms are a good example. They've lost a couple of home worlds, I believe. Their last one was destroyed by Hrud, then they went fleet based, then they resettled on one of Badab's moons after the Badab War.
  11. There was always this:- http://www.digitalequinox.com/wip/epic/dropship01.jpg
  12. I did this for Rogue Trader yonks ago: Eisenhorn's actual warp capable ship. Not what the OP was after, really, but here for completeness:- Isolde Pattern Bulk Clipper “The Essene was three kilometres long…and fully seven hundred metres deep at its broadest part. Its nose was a long sleek cone like a cathedral spire made of overlapping gothic curves and barbed with bronze finials and spines. Behind that bladed front, the angular hull thickened into muscular buttresses of rusty-red plating, looped and riveted with ribs of dark steel. Crenellated tower stacks bulged from the dorsal hump. Hundred metre masts stabbed forward from the hull like tusks, and other, shorter masts projected from the flanks and underside, winking with guide lights. The rear portion of the juggernaut splayed into four heat-blackened cones, each of which was large enough to swallow a dozen gun-cutters at once.” -Eisenhorn, Xenos Isolde pattern Bulk Clippers represent something of a failed experiment; an attempt to combine the speed of a Clipper with both the greater freight capacity of a bulk Transport and the armour of a warship. The fact that the class was unsuccessful in truly achieving any aspect of this triple purpose has not reduced the affection with which these ships are held by starfarers, a fondness rooted in their extraordinary beauty. Constructed in the now legendary Larland shipyards (themselves lost to heretical industrial sabotage over three millennia ago) the ships attempted to build upon the success of the earlier Orion-Class Star Clipper. The Orion was a finely balanced thoroughbred, and the Archmagi Shipwrights of Larland hoped to enhance the survivability of the class by overcoming certain calibration shortcomings that had precluded the mounting of additional armour. Unfortunately, this was never properly achieved. The gradual realisation among the Larland Technomagi of the new Isolde Class’ inability to comply with any aspect of the contractual Carta Confabricor led to a five decade round of buck passing and finger pointing, culminating in a series of disastrous enforced design compromises. And yet, despite its compromised origin, the Isolde has, in the fullness of time, come to be regarded as one of the most visually arresting vessels within the Imperium. Resembling its parent, the Orion, it is at once heavier yet somehow more organic and lithe. Constructed by the Larlanders from the finest materials (largely with a view to distracting potential purchasers from its shortcomings) it effortlessly catches the starlight, reflecting it across languidly elegant bronzed plating, smoothly dappled stained armourglass and electrum-coated buttresses that make the architectural features of the most magnificent Imperial cathedral seem dull and provincial in comparison. Dimensions: 3 km long, 0.7km abeam at fins approx Mass: 8.7 Megatonnes Crew: 16,000 crew, approx Accel: 3.6 gravities max sustainable acceleration Speed: 7 Manoeuvrability:+15 Detection: +10 Hull integrity:38 Armour: +12 Turret Rating: 1 Space: 38 SP: 25 Weapon capacity: 1 Port, 1 Starboard Cargo Hauler: This vessel was designed for transporting goods, and no amount of retrofitting can fully change this. This Hull comes pre-equipped with one Main Cargo Hold Component (See page 203 of the Rogue Trader Core Rulebook). The hull’s Space has already been reduced to account for this, however when the ship is constructed it must be able to provide a total of 2 power to this component. “A beauty.” This vessel draws admiring glances from all those who know about spacecraft. Anyone associated with the vessel is deemed to gain a +5 bonus to fellowship when dealing with the voidborn or anyone with the Pilot (Space Craft) skill.
  13. How did I misss that? Orkhan/Arkhan...**** you GW, you're too subtle for my feeble brain!
  14. Well you're right of course...there are obvious differences between the two that prevent them being entirely analagous:- Nagash -Tall pointy hat -Floats around surrounded by spirits -Has a gopher called Arkhan -Lives in a pyramid -Wants to kill every living thing in the world -Has repeatedly been shattered and has rebuilt himself each time C’Tan -Tall pointy head -Floats around surrounded by cloth -Has no gopher whatsoever -Lives in a pyramid…on a tombship…in space -Wants to kill every living thing in the galaxy -Has (probably) been shattered and has not rebuilt himself yet ...I could go on identifying discrepancies and similarities all day. You could do the same thing for other parts of the setting:- High Elves -Ride Phoenixes - Use magic -Are a powerful race, shrinking in numbers, clinging to the glories of the lost age, defending their realm against ignorant younger races and their own tragically twisted kin - Very fond of pointy helmets Craftworld Eldar -Keep banging on about phoenixes -Use psychic powers -Are a powerful race, shrinking in numbers, clinging to the glories of the lost age, defending their craftworlds against ignorant younger races and their own tragically twisted kin …er… My point is, however, that Nagash and the C'Tan clearly occupy very similar roles in their respective settings, despite certain differences. Perhaps broadly analagous is a better way to put it; broadly analagous in the same way that many elements of WFB are broadly analagous to elements within 40k. My wider point is - as above, so below. What works for WFB (and the fanbase's response to the Return of Nagash seems broadly positive) is likely to also work for WH40k. I like the C'Tan, and it would be nice to see them updated in a manner as interesting as the way in which Nagash has been presented. The real trick would be doing it in a way which doesn;t break the very narrow M41 999 timescale.
  15. I'm rather enjoying what GW are up to at the moment with Nagash in their WFB line. I've run undead armies since they were just undead armies, so it's kind of nice to see things go a bit full circle, and it's fun to see Nagash again, all grown up. Where this links (tangentially) with 40k is that GW's "return of Nagash" storyline got me musing about GW's approach to the Necrons, and the C'Tan in particular. The old Andy Chambers Necron Codex is (in my opinion) a bit of a GW classic, hitting the 40k tone beautifully, and introducing a fully workable Necron army in an interesting and fun way. It certainly wasn't perfect, in that if you didn't have one of the four named C'Tan, your army was a bit generic, but it remains one of the best codices written, in my view. Many people disliked the more recent (Mat Ward) codex, and I have my issues with it, but it isn't as bad as it's sometimes made out to be; on the whole I still like it. Mat Ward gets far more than his deserved share of internet hate, in my opinion. The Codex is strong on allowing players to create interesting unique armies, and has a considered, open and nuanced take on the motivation of different Necron factions. It's often characterised as "tomb kings in space" which is in my view a fair if double edged criticism; it's true, but then tomb kings are a fun and workable concept/stereotype. I dislike some aspects of the writing, which can come across as a bit cartoonish, but on the whole it's a solid piece of work, background wise. (note I'm not talking about the rules themselves anywhere here, that's beyond the scope of what I'm discussing.) Anyway, my point here is that if we're doing "the return of Nagash" why not do a "return of the C'Tan" storyline? The C'Tan occupy a similar position in the 40k canon to the position held by Nagash in the WFB canon; the instigators and creators of an undead faction. You could have the four "named" C'Tan (Deceiver, Dragon, Nightbringer, Outsider) return to 40k in the same way that Nagash has in WFB. Under the newer codex canon, the C'Tan have been shattered into dozens of "shards", though Mat Ward left the background sufficiently open to (in my view) permit GW to reintroduce more powerful named C'tan. Imagine: a new giant plastic C'Tan model, created using GW's splendid new CAD technology, configureable into any of the four major C'Tan. Just look at the new Nagash miniature for an idea of how adept GW had become at utilising negative space and flowing, floating, silk like features in three dimensions. All of these features would work brilliantly with the floating C'Tan. Imagine this miniature accompanied with 2 new Codices: one for "tomb kings" style Necrons and one for reawakened C'Tan forces - the "Vampire counts" Necron army. The Necrons are factionalised enough to permit two entire major subfactions: those who support the reawakened C'Tan, and those who fight to defeat them in revenge for the death fo their souls. You could roll in some interesting new miniatures for the "vampire counts" Necron faction: lesser C'Tan fragments as Elite infantry or generals for the C'Tan armies. For the pure Necron armies have special C'Tan slaying heavy weapons, or portable Tesseract vaults capable of imprisoning them. Perhaps even bring back the Silent King as a named character (a Settra analogue) for the "Tomb Kings" perspective on 40k. I'd buy all of that little lot GW...go on...give it a go!
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