is 40k too militaristic?

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At the end of the day, It is just a game where you buy models to paint then wage war with.

As for the story side of it, just take it for what it is...a story.
One that I think would be quite plausible should we ever encounter life out there among the cosmos. I mean look at ourselves, we used to treat people who had a different skin colour as vermin and that wasn't too long ago. Sure we've changed our ways now, but if we where that way with humans who have different skin colours, imagine what we'd be like against creatures of a different species...

LilithSlave:
Nothing but war is boring. Also, grimdark and manly is pretty much the opposite of my tastes.

I like good human dramas.

Which about 90% of all 40k books, actually are.

Yes, of course, but the 40K universe flows from a tabletop WARgame rather than any particular creative vision. So take it serious as an artistic statement at your peril.

Buretsu:
If there's nothing but war, then what the heck is worth fighting for?

one thing....

Orkz

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seriously, you get a movement bonus if a miniature is red because RED MEANS IT GOES FAST.

Suck on that, Black Templars!

LilithSlave:
Nothing but war is boring. Also, grimdark and manly is pretty much the opposite of my tastes.

I like good human dramas.

War can be a good setting for human dramas :)

On that note:

Think of 40k as a huge representation of groupthink. No logic, all emotion, and repeating past mistakes because everyone else is doing it.

guidance:
The only allies I could imagine would the imperium and Tau, like other people mentioned. The problem I see with that though is Tau fight for what they consider the greater good. So I would imagine they wouldn't handle imperium opinion very much. More like, "if you don't do what we want you to do, go die in a hole".

Its not exactly true that no one will work with the Imperium, Some races have tried to work with them and according to the Horus Heresy books the Eldar actively tried to help before they were attacked by Horus and Fulgrim(Fulgrim went further than most). The races that choose to side with humans though have no real loyalty or long term reason to care or even be decent.

The eldar openly refer to humans with derision and refer to them in a word for primate.

The Tau would and have tried to undermine Imperial leadership so they could take over the Imperium.

The Jokeiro are hardly sentient anymore due to Slaanesh.

And the non-Imperial Humans have no reason to wanna work with the Imperium due to thousands of years of persecution.

Hero in a half shell:
As far as I understand it that's one of the big flaws the Imperium have made, it's a sad manifestation of their misplaced religious fervour that the Emperor had to create in order to guard everyone's souls from the coruption of Chaos: If you believe all aliens are evil you won't listen to the temptations of Chaos when they come whispering in the night.

Yes, the Imperium should really have allied themselves with the Tau, and I believe at one point there may have been the possibility of this happening, which would have strengthened their forces immensely, but they were too indoctrinated into the view that all aliens are bad, and must be purged for the glory of the Emparah! So that chance to improve their army was lost forever.

Just like the Imperium's refusal to develop new science and technology and even to understand their current equipment (weapons upkeep consists more of praying to your weapon so it will work rather than cleaning or fixing it) It's one of the great flaws that keep the universe plunged into all out, unwinnable war, and is something the Imperium must address to have a hope of succeeding

Of course there has been diplomacy in 40K before, when the Space Wolves became bestest buddies with the Necrons, but that was an abomination of lore, and the guy that wrote that particular piece of fluff is widely regarded as an active troll who somehow remains in the employment of Games Workshop and defecates on everything he touches, so maybe it's just better if they keep shooting first and asking questions later.

Actually, funnily enough, the Emperor specifically wanted a society void of religion. When he started the Great Crusade, he introduced the Imperial Truth, an idea that human society should be founded on the ideas of logic, science and progress.

Unfortunately, after the Horus Heresy, the Imperium lost sight of the decree. Due in part to the actions of the primarchs, the average citizen was already leaning towards believing in the Emprah as a god, and after the Heresy they needed something to believe in. Thus, the Imerial Cult was created, which worships the Emperor as a god.

If the Primarchs had agreed with the Emperor on the Truth and if Horus hadn't interred him, there probably wouldn't be any religion in the Imperium of Man.

Also, I vaguely remember the Emperor brokering deals with alien races. Not much more than "leave us alone and we leave you alone" kinda things, but still there. I could be wrong on that though, as I can't recall where I read it.

Here's why none of that would feasibly happen:

The Imperium is built on the foundation of racism and blatant xenophobia disguised as religious devotion. The Emperor brought peace and justice in the midst of Chaos, so, of course they are going to follow exactly what he says. Since the Emperor was a victim of betrayal himself, the Imperium will naturally be built to combat betrayal. Since then, they believe that everyone is out to get them (Hell, they don't even trust themselves, sometimes. Case in point: Adeptus Mechanicus, and some Inquisitor sects are kept at arm's length).

Chaos? AKA Traitors. Yeah, no peace there.

The Tau and the Eldar are the most likely candidates for peaceful alliance, as the Tau believe in the Greater Good and anything that'd help further the goal. The Eldar are the most neutral race in the galaxy. Problem? They are both caught up in the Chaos of war to understand that. So, there's an understandable lack of trust there. Not the Dark Eldar, though. Come on? Slavers and sadists do not a peaceful universe make.

Tyranids? NOM NOM NOM NOM NOM NOM NOM NOM
Necrons? KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL
Orks? WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAGH!!!!

So, yeah... no peace in the 41st millennium. Then again, if they get over it, and decide to band together decimate the "Chaotic Evil" races in the universe, I can certainly see the universe being at peace.

image
Diplomacy, stability, and freedom are for pansies.
So no.

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"Because when you control a machine taller than a mountain, fuck politics"
-Me

Aku_San:
The Tau and the Eldar are the most likely candidates for peaceful alliance, as the Tau believe in the Greater Good and anything that'd help further the goal. The Eldar are the most neutral race in the galaxy. Problem? They are both caught up in the Chaos of war to understand that. So, there's an understandable lack of trust there.

Well, the Tau don't so much ally with other races as absorb them as vassals. It's less 'let's work to our mutual advantage' than 'you are permitted to submit to our control'. And the Eldar really aren't alliance material, because they're amoral and untrustworthy. Eldar see nothing wrong with betrayal because their values are based entirely on the survival of their own race. The Eldar wouldn't have a problem entering into a false alliance with the intention of turning traitor, if that course of action would help engineer a situation in which Eldar lives are saved. Eldar treat other races more like working animals than anything else; a horse can pull a plough, but that doesn't mean it won't be sold to the glue factory once it outlives its usefulness. It's about squeezing profit out of the animal, not cultivating an alliance with it.

Buretsu:

TechNoFear:

Buretsu:
If there's nothing but war, then what the heck is worth fighting for?

Blood for the blood gods, skulls for the throne of KHORNE!

So, nothing?

Survival comes to mind.

Eh - I couldn't bother to read the other posts, so I'm not quite sure if somebody has already brought this up, but the whole "war and only war" thing is just an explain-all excuse to have whatever crazy battles between armies players could pit against one another in the original Tabletop game (with the little plastic and steel figures and everything). What makes the 40k universe stand out is almost entirely dependent on the mantra that nothing in this future is sane, rational, and only done just to be awesome and "TURN IT TO 11!!!!!" in terms of extreme. There never was supposed to be any real logical or well-thought out reason for the fighting (or hell, at least I hope not). Anyone who is marginally literate could tell you that the lore is all poorly-written schlock meant to allow essentially any battle (aliens v. humans, aliens v. orks, orks v. terminator-space-robots, humans v. themselves, etc.) to occur and still be marginally allowable within the supposed overall story.

tldr; I think people who really get into the lore and don't take it to be a silly, albeit grimdark version of Warhammer fueled on nothing but pure awesome and MORE DAKKA! are kind of over-thinking it. Or at least more than it deserves.

Hopefully, someone has already said this, so I apologize if this is redundant.

Think of poor orcs, what would they do without a war?

40k is a parody, for a start. It is grimdark to the point of absurdity and it's an average day when billions are fed into the meat grinder of war. Comedy and lightheartedness exists, Caiphas Cain does a good job, the Dark Heresy novels while grimdark also have an air of fun around them, a bit like the RPG they are based on. The orks are just plain comical, using absurd logic backed up by a reality warping psychic field (Red paint makes things go faster, purple is the sneakiest because no ones ever seen a purple ork). Get out of the imperiums backwards, stagnating slump and explore EVERYTHING ELSE in the universe and it becomes a big romp of fun. Currently running RT and on a moon full of plague zombies we have still found time to try and tame the local wildlife (Wrangling skill, failing hilariously at it).

People who don't like 40k fall into two categories: 1: They don't get it. They can't see beyond LOL ONLY WAR and have a shitfit about how it's shallow or 2: Have no sense of humour at all and don;t find it's metajokes funny.

The dark age occured because of daemonic computer virusses raping the forge worlds networks and wrecking their ENTIRE DATA STORES and leaving behind fragments of AI congealed into slightly malevolent, childish machine spirits that DO need appeasing else that Leman Russ Battletank will try and squash you, or new innovations inadvertently gets trolled by a chaos god because he likes the new circuitry pattern and turns everything designed on the template into soul eating warp beasts and their owners. Lots of questions, lots of aspects, do someresearch and not make wanking gestures bitching about how boring it is on the interbutts (Also anything written by Matt Ward is dreck and should be ignored as non canon, the cancerous self editing fanfic writer)

Incidentally "It's just a story" outside the minis is the same as saying Lord of the Rings is just a story outside the minis, or that DnD is just a story outside the RPG. Its a massive, varied and colourful setting with more lore and fluff than you can shake a stick at, anyone who tells you otherwise isn't a very smart individual.

I just wanted to chime in on the Imperium's Technological advances. They actually DO make new things in the Imperium every now and then, mostly by mashing two existing objects together but whatever, it's just that developing new things takes a long LONG time. It kind of has to.

For one, most of the Imperium's tech has been completely LOST. That Iron man rebellion ended up purging most of the databanks used by the humans at that point, and what's left was pretty badly corrupted and prone to going on kill all humans sprees.

For another, you have NO idea how unfair it is trying to work in a galaxy where something like Chaos is a thing. You think that new chip that makes your lascannon more accurate is awesome? Too bad it's circuitry forms a mark of Khorn! Enjoy your new possessed lascannon!

That's like asking 'is the sky too blue?'

I'm not a big fan of that setting, but it is was it is, hyper militaristic space war junk. It is a table top war game after all.

WH40k Has found its niche. Asking if Warhammer 40k has too much militaristism is like asking if Star Wars focuses too much on Lightsaber fighting and high flying adventure. It does if that's not what you're looking for. I personally take a lot of joy of from it and the books and there is a over arching tragedy to it all which i find appealing.

It's due to the misinterpretation of their religion to an extreme degree.

To put it in perspective it's like if the crusaders formed a large western empire based on Christianity and every other race and religion had to be purged rather than converted and all of these other races had done the same.... actually it's alot like george orwells 1984 except on a galactic scale!

nope the Imperium is xenophobic to the point of seeing every non-human as a savage. and it would make for a very boring game.

Deathmageddon:

Buretsu:

TechNoFear:

Blood for the blood gods, skulls for the throne of KHORNE!

So, nothing?

Survival comes to mind.

Survival is for the weak, but independence is the right of the few, as it is the domain of the strong (to paraphrase Nietzsche).

Its a game. I don't think about WHY my army is fighting, just how I can best use my army to defeat my opponent.

Buretsu:
If there's nothing but war, then what the heck is worth fighting for?

I am reminded of the Collectors form Mass Effect. I guess you could say "for your life" but if you are at the point of being a drone who cares?

Subject: is this a trick question?

GameCalmer:

the question i am asking

is it possible for the imperium to take a more peaceful, diplomacy style approach in the 40k universe?

Oh.
With Eldar & Tau maybe but not for armies like Chaos or Necrons...or orks for that matter. They reproduce by being shot up and leaving spores around so it's like sex for them. Would you trade sex for sending envoys?
I wouldn't.
It wouldn't make a terribly compelling tabletop game either.
I guess we should be happy the imperium is a bunch of space nazis.

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