Extra Punctuation: Hating Warhammer 40k and Space Marine

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Princess Rose:

My source was a pile of 40K players I also play D&D with. I've had many discussions with them concerning why I dislike the 40K universe. One of them stated that 40K was a parody - hence some of the sillier aspects of the back-story. Then, in more recent additions, the setting started to take itself more and more seriously.

As far as my own opinions go, I've come up with plenty. Yahtzee just happens to have collected most of them in a nice, well written article. Hence easier.

So you pretty much stated somebody elses opinion as your own personal facts.

I'll agree that space marines are dumb. I always thought so. There's a very juvenile part of me that thinks chainswording things in power armor is fucking awesome, but deep down I don't really like space marines.

I do, however, like 40K. I know that's hard when you don't like space marines, but I made it work somehow. Imperial Guard is all the fun and grizzle of warfare (usually) without colossal manchildren in power armor.

Yahtzee:

You know what Warhammer 40K is? It's the product of a generation that has never known any kind of real conflict or struggle. No-one in the trenches of the Somme would pass their time imagining something even worse. No-one talks about the "glory of battle" when they're trying to sleep through a shelling raid with a bad case of trench foot.

Erm, ever read Lord Of The Rings? Epic fantasy series based on the concept of a continent nigh on tearing itself apart through warfare? Men having to face off against unending legions of orcs, trolls, wargs and wraiths? Conflicts won only by the narrowest victories, with thousands upon thousands left dead?

...yeah, written by a survivor of the Somme.

Unfortunately Yahtzee, I have to say that on this matter you seem to be talking out of your arse.

Warhammer 40,000 is not about the 'glory of war'. Well, not unless you play as Orks or Chaos, but those sides are generally viewed in-universe as psychopathic to a nigh impossible degree. Warhammer 40K is about the horrors of war. There's a reason none of the armies are readily identifiable as the good guys. Whereas space operas like Star Wars like to depict their epic conflicts as wars between the forces of good and evil, 40K takes a far more (dare I say it) pragmatic, realistic tone: every side is fundamentally flawed, and no single army can be viewed as the 'good' guys.

The human armies are alternately a numberless mass of grunts and heavily artillery treated as disposable cannon-fodder by their generals, and a race of genetically altered, religiously-indoctrinated warrior monks who think nothing of glassing an entire planet from space. So, Space Catholics. Hardly the most sympathetic side there.

The Eldar are split between the highly xenophobic clans who will happily go to war against the humans if they feel they have something to gain from it, and the pirate raiders who actively enjoy going to war with everyoen else, as well as indulging in all sorts of torture and sadism.

The Orks are a single minded race of football hooligans whose entire lives are based around the idea of going to war.

The Tau are the ones who will offer you peace and friendship, then steamroll over you with their mechs and send you to the camps if you refuse. Basically space communists.

Chaos... yeah, I don't think I need to explain them. They just want to see the galaxy engulfed in flames, and are absolutely, unequivocably bonkers. If ever nihilism exists in sci-fi, these guys are it.

The Necrons are just robots looking to harvest stuff. If you see these guys as the side of good, you've got serious issues.

There's no way that Warhammer 40,000 can be called 'glorifying' war when every side involved in conflict can be described using the words 'remorseless' 'uncaring' and 'tendencies toward genocide.' It may get a little cartoonish and over-the-top, but 40K has never tried to portray war as anything other than a living hell. Heck, the term 'grimdark' was coined to describe the bleak, oppressive atmosphere of the game.

You're certainly allowed not to like 40K, but it would be nice if you actually knew a little about the universe before you try and explain in detail why.

It's been bugging me for quite some time, and I just can't calm down about it.
THEY ARE NOT SPACE MARINES. THERE IS NO WATER IN SPACE. THEY ARE SPACE INFANTRY, damnit!

It so pisses me off, I can almost see the people who came up with this name, think "They should be the MOST badass awesome hardcore ubermencsh in entire world! Dhuur, what is the most awesome army type we heard about? Oh, they're called marines! Awesome!"
I'm sorry, it just makes me so irritated for some reason.

Ulquiorra4sama:
I have no familiarity with the WH40K series what so ever so i don't know if it's just something the game needs to fit it's origin, but i keep wondering:

Why the hell can't space marines have a personality?

I'm sure if the game is Gears of War in terms of gameplay then the game could be ok to play, but without anything interesting going on in the story then i'm just not gonna bother.

They do generally. Some don't. Some grow up on irradiated deathworlds as children then get indoctrinated, brainwashed and sometimes chem gelded. Some like the Ultramarines follow their book of tactics strictly. Space Wolves are a bunch of space vikings who love beer and axes, Salamanders retain their 'humanity' and work to develop their personalities as they feel it's important whereas the Ultramarines don't. It's all about the chapters, like each country has it's own cultures each Chapter has it's own ways of doing things, some more interesting than others. Also this is why 40k fans nerdrage at Ultramarines. Using them puts off people from the franchise by being blandtastic.

Oy yahtzee you magnificent bastard that was great. Pissing off fanboys is awesome

Meh, tastes vary. I think Yahtzee doesn't really get the whole "post apocolypse" thing to be honest, or is pretending NOT to get it simply because it let's him get attention by criticizing something popular.

Warhammer 40k is your basic Dark Future setting, except set in the far future, rather than the near future.

As for why we don't see much focus on how your average person lives, and what people do in their spare time... well it IS a set of adventure and war games, focused on fighting and doing stuff, and the setting is intended to be condusive to that.

To be blunt I'm not the biggest Warhammer 40k fan out there, but a lot of the novels, and non-minature based RPGs *HAVE* gotten into things going on outside of the military, of course the focus tends to be on things like police work, solving mysteries, and so on with plenty of action. Honestly the "Eisenhorn Triology" is one of my favorite dark future novel sets, and if it wasn't for that I'd have minimal interest in the setting at all.

Assuming Yahtzee's dislike is based on the focus of the wargames, given his focus on things like AD&D, it would be interesting to see what his opinion would be if they ever did anything with the PnP RPGs like "Dark Heresy" (about the Inquisition), or "Rogue Trader" which is about freebooter adventurers. The latter even follows a sort of AD&D format where you play a campaign based around exploring, accumulating treasure, and (usually) trying to leave things better off than before you got there. The whole "Long Night" concept of Warhammer 40k really allows "Rogue Trader" to follow an adventure-per-planet type Star Trek premise as the characters chart dark space and such looking to establish new trade roots, or get involved in messing around with affairs and politics in established space.

1. It was better before they started making it grimdark just to see if they could get past 11. yes they did make it past 11 but they don't seem like they want to stop as evidenced by everything matt ward has written.
2. They went with the Ultramarines so you got one step forward on the awesome scale(fro m40k) and then a dozen steps back by picking the followers of Rowboat Girlymann. I mean c'mon you wanted to break the Space Marine mold but went with the most generic marines in the setting.

As for the settings background i admit loads of it end up blown out of proportion by bad writing, bad ideas, and the feeling that making things even more grim would make it even better. While i still like it i don't buy marines for that very reason. The background exists, its good, its most of the reason why some people play. Also "glory of war" opposed to the "horrors of war" in 40k explained by this Gentlemanly scholar.

j-e-f-f-e-r-s:

Yahtzee:

You know what Warhammer 40K is? It's the product of a generation that has never known any kind of real conflict or struggle. No-one in the trenches of the Somme would pass their time imagining something even worse. No-one talks about the "glory of battle" when they're trying to sleep through a shelling raid with a bad case of trench foot.

Erm, ever read Lord Of The Rings? Epic fantasy series based on the concept of a continent nigh on tearing itself apart through warfare? Men having to face off against unending legions of orcs, trolls, wargs and wraiths? Conflicts won only by the narrowest victories, with thousands upon thousands left dead?

...yeah, written by a survivor of the Somme.

Unfortunately Yahtzee, I have to say that on this matter you seem to be talking out of your arse.

Warhammer 40,000 is not about the 'glory of war'. Well, not unless you play as Orks or Chaos, but those sides are generally viewed in-universe as psychopathic to a nigh impossible degree. Warhammer 40K is about the horrors of war. There's a reason none of the armies are readily identifiable as the good guys. Whereas space operas like Star Wars like to depict their epic conflicts as wars between the forces of good and evil, 40K takes a far more (dare I say it) pragmatic, realistic tone: every side is fundamentally flawed, and no single army can be viewed as the 'good' guys.

The human armies are alternately a numberless mass of grunts and heavily artillery treated as disposable cannon-fodder by their generals, and a race of genetically altered, religiously-indoctrinated warrior monks who think nothing of glassing an entire planet from space. So, Space Catholics. Hardly the most sympathetic side there.

The Eldar are split between the highly xenophobic clans who will happily go to war against the humans if they feel they have something to gain from it, and the pirate raiders who actively enjoy going to war with everyoen else, as well as indulging in all sorts of torture and sadism.

The Orks are a single minded race of football hooligans whose entire lives are based around the idea of going to war.

The Tau are the ones who will offer you peace and friendship, then steamroll over you with their mechs and send you to the camps if you refuse. Basically space communists.

Chaos... yeah, I don't think I need to explain them. They just want to see the galaxy engulfed in flames, and are absolutely, unequivocably bonkers. If ever nihilism exists in sci-fi, these guys are it.

The Necrons are just robots looking to harvest stuff. If you see these guys as the side of good, you've got serious issues.

There's no way that Warhammer 40,000 can be called 'glorifying' war when every side involved in conflict can be described using the words 'remorseless' 'uncaring' and 'tendencies toward genocide.' It may get a little cartoonish and over-the-top, but 40K has never tried to portray war as anything other than a living hell. Heck, the term 'grimdark' was coined to describe the bleak, oppressive atmosphere of the game.

You're certainly allowed not to like 40K, but it would be nice if you actually knew a little about the universe before you try and explain in detail why.

Well done you ninja bastard.

Princess Rose:

As far as my own opinions go, I've come up with plenty. Yahtzee just happens to have collected most of them in a nice, well written article. Hence easier.

The problem with adopting the opinions of this article is it's riddled with outright falsehoods that are more reflective of yahtzees personal bias and outsiders impressions.

I already previously mentioned the more blatant distortion (space marines being surprised at encountering a low ranked female officer, yahtzee from his bias didn't think twice in seeing this as more evidence of this being typical male power fantasy with submissive female whereas those familiar with the setting know gender isn't a factor at all)

So while it's perfectly fine to hate 40k, heck you don't even need reasons to justify your hate, adopting these particular reasons would do you a disservice.
Another example: 40k being for a generation that didn't know war, while there might be truth in it, it's worth remembering the context in which warhammer came out, 2000ad and whatnot meant there was a movement of "grim darkness" shall we say that spawned warhammer, with warhammer 40000 created soon after.
And you're right about the parody thing, most of the fictional universes of this "movement" can be said to be parodies, warhammer is no exception.

Ulquiorra4sama:
I have no familiarity with the WH40K series what so ever so i don't know if it's just something the game needs to fit it's origin, but i keep wondering:

Why the hell can't space marines have a personality?

They can have a personality but it is difficult (see gabriel angelos in the first dow1 campaign, there are times where he does show a bit of emotion here and there and it makes it all the more touching) due to their psycho conditionning.
Space marines are meant to be purely living weapons, the only feelings they are "allowed" to have is fury and zeal against their enemies.

This is also why they tend to make for boring protagonists imo.

j-e-f-f-e-r-s:
Imperial Truth

Please find attached my marriage proposal.

Think all of us 40k fans expected yahtzee to hate/rip on space marine and 40k, but none of us could have expected him to be so WRONG in his views, and people are actually believing him.

So its a good thing some others here have the patience to write tl drs to refute the various BS arguments ^^

As one of those "Gelatinous creatures who like 40k" as yahtzee puts it, i gotta say he's pretty much bang on. Space Marine is average. If it weren't for the setting I'd probably not have bought it, never mind finished it. The fact you still take damage when performing the kills is annoying as hell, the plot is mediocre at best, the end fight frustratingly difficult and yet insultingly easy, and the surprise twist is predictable as hell. The multiplayer is fun, but gets repetitive quickly.

On the upside it doesn't use Gears of War style cover system, allows a larger than normal supply of weapons and doesn't have regenerating health - sorta. There's a regenerating shield, but that's runs out quite quickly and is really just so you don't get killed while charging towards you healthpack (read: enemies)

He makes fair points--it is a juvenile and spastically overdeveloped setting if you just look at it from the surface--huge guys in power armor murdering orks and bug monsters and throwing around ludicrously overacted one-liners. And unfortunately, that really is all Space Marine ends up showing: the explodey surface of the 40k universe, without any of the clever bits. It's just shoot-smash-chop with a predictable twist and a lot of noise, which captures the idea of the setting, but doesn't do it justice.

Even the Dawn of War games had far better writing, especially Chaos Rising and Retribution. And of course, Dan Abnett has written some surprisingly good books about the part of the Imperium that isn't only war. The universe is far bigger than the constant, neverending super-battles that are advertised.

Really, I think the problem is anything with Ultramarines in it. They really are just so bland, so lacking in personality--Ultramarines the movie was terrible, Ultramarines the game was meh, and Ultramarines the books were laughable. More Space Wolves and Dark Angels please, and a game about an Eldar Warlock. That is what I want to see.

Warhammer universe has much more to offer then the wargame only. As a DnD player, you might be interested in Wh40k Roleplay, or Inquisitor.

It's a common problem, not just with games featuring space marine-types. I've noticed in almost all games in which they try to make the main character "bad-ass" it amounts to making them a grumbling emotionless shell. They don't feel like the "bad-ass" they are supposed to and even fail at trying to create a character that comes across as cynical or jaded. I guess it's quite ironic that the ones who are cynical and jaded are the ones criticising game characters for trying to be like that. I guess it's because we know what being a cynic is really like, we can tell that these characters are just hollow emotionless blobs. Their cynicism isn't given any kind of reason, it just becomes a general irritable and 1 dimensional persona.

There's nothing really wrong with creating a "bad-ass" character but this generation has become so flooded with them, it's like it's the default character archetype and no-one feels any reason to move away from it. It's gotten so dull and generic that it's lost it's relevance. Because every character is like that, none of them are, because they become the norm instead of something that is "bad-ass" compared to the norm. It's so sad. It feels like developers are using it as a way to make their characters seem cool without putting in any kind of effort to character development.

cefm:

What I couldn't ever understand is why those huge imaginary table-top army clashes were ever considered possible or even desireable. Since the invention of the rifle it's been bad form to mass troops and advance in large numbers. It's just too easy to put too much explosive power in a targeted area for the opponent to survive. So it's all about small unit tactics and staying out of sight and behind cover. The only reason human waves worked a little in North Korea was that they were HUMAN so tactical nukes weren't used. No such problem with Orks.

It's all just unrealistic bull that only the most juvenile middle-schooler would find engaging.

First up, don't apply real world logic to any fictional setting as far removed from current day reality as this one.

Secondly, the tabletop game gets allot better when the forces are smaller and in dense terrain weirdly, mostly because everyone has to focus on keeping there small force alive while taking the opposing one. The whole "Huge clash" thing tends to devolve into atrittion, especially if one army is close combat happy. Also, at lower point the more insane units are not able to be fielded.

I was going to write a particularly long post basically about how Yahtzee is missing the point...
But that's pointless. I will instead say this: I disagree.
In any case, it doesn't matter. I for one love the WH40k universe, and while Space Marine wasn't a great game, it wasn't mediocre or bad either. It had many irritating design flaws, however I still loved it.
That much is true that you actually need to be familiar with the WH40k universe and into it to actually enjoy this particular game, so it's something of a paradox, this game... a niche product dressed up as a triple-A blockbuster, one that has the funding to go with it...
Ah well.
I'm hoping they actually picked the Ultramarines for a reason, and that we'll get a far richer, less linear, longer sequel in which it'll all make sense. It should also have more factions than just the Orks, Chaos and the Imperial Guard.

Also, orange pirate penguins with bellybuttons.

I've always found Warhammer (Fantasy and 40K) to be a little...underwhelming.

It's basically a "darker" DnD setting where any faction is justified in going into all-out war with any other faction. It's a setting where the lore is meant to serve the game mechanics. And while that's not inherently a bad thing, there are those of us who enjoy the story side of things more. For people in that camp, it is preferable when the mechanics are made to serve the story progression, or better yet, the story and the mechanics develop symbiotically.

Based on a lot of things that Yahtzee has mentioned in the past, he is the latter camp, as am I. And for people in that camp, Warhammer is "meh" at best.

Sixcess:
What people seem to forget is that 40K originates from the same British punk sci-fi mentality that gave us Judge Dredd - it's intentionally ridiculously over the top because it's meant to be satire, and taking it at face value as a love letter to militarism and fascism is to completely miss the point.

Perfect comment. I started in on the tabletop game back in the early 90s (1st Edition, thank you very much) and that was pretty clear even to me at that time.

But you know what? I didn't see any of that in the Space Marines videogame - there was nothing in the game to prevent one from taking it as a "love letter to militarism and fascism". In fact, I'm pretty sure that's exactly what they were going for with the Ultramarines. Which, whatever the origin of the franchise, pretty much makes this juvenile rubbish. If we're referencing Judge Dredd, let's be honest - this was, at best, the Stallone derivative not the Wagner original.

FWIW, someone else in an Escapist forum posted a link to "Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine - Most Suprisingly Feminist Game of the Year Contender" (http://designislaw.tumblr.com/post/10076180504/warhammer-40-000-space-marine-most-suprisingly) which I enjoyed. Your milage may vary.

Zachary Kramer:
As a lover of RPGs and WH40K, all I have to say is "Dark Heresy."

True. I haven't played much, but what I've seen was much deeper than just Space Marines chainswording Orks again. Yes, it's still grimdark and full of absurdities, but it's no more "juvenile" than your average RPG setting.

I've said it already, I'll say it again: they should make a video game out of Dark Heresy. Or possibly Rougue Trader.

SilverUchiha:
I couldn't agree more with the point of wanting to play D&D for the storytelling aspect. I love the way it allows you to pursue the story and roleplay aspect. But I've only played with groups that like the combat only and don't give a shit about the story.

My impression has always been that D&D promotes combat-oriented play. It's one of the reasons why I've always prefered Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay (the 1st and 2nd editions, I haven't read the 3rd). The combat is there, but your party is far less likely to be a professional dungeoun-crawling commando unit.

Wow, this shitstorm hit 4chan's /tg/ page fast.

My hat's off to you, Mr. Croshaw. Only once before have you ever made me uncomfortable while reading your articles or watching your videos, but the ending to this one crosses the line just enough for me to be worried that my browser history will now be used as evidence in my inevitable trial for crimes against mankind.

Ulquiorra4sama:
I have no familiarity with the WH40K series what so ever so i don't know if it's just something the game needs to fit it's origin, but i keep wondering:

Why the hell can't space marines have a personality?

I'm sure if the game is Gears of War in terms of gameplay then the game could be ok to play, but without anything interesting going on in the story then i'm just not gonna bother.

I'd give "feelings" to space marines if I was to write a story for space marine game... I can think one RIGHT NOW!

Tarkus in Dow2 speaks of Eldar as tricksters as if he was "charmed" by on before just THAT alone could make a story...

Story goes: In war effort against Necron he met up with an Eldar, both are last survivors from their armies, having to depend on each others skills to survive harsh environments, accessing to xeno-tech and med supplies, challenges, and constant ambushes (should consider scenes from both characters will try to assassinate the other party member, but interrupted by an ambush attack that will exhaust them in the end), saved by each others many times eventually got them to fell in love, but as rescue came for the Eldar first so did the misunderstood betrayal, as her Fiance showed up for rescue and shot Tarkus in the back when they were promised to spare him to show appreciation, make matter worse, for the space marine that comes for Tarkus, there were traps awaits them, Half healed, barely able to fight, Tarkus survived till the back up came, (turns out, both side were piloting to kill the surviving member on the other side, but Tarkus didn't know the WHOLE truth... and never will) the final scene ended with the confrontation between Tarkus and his love on the battle field; rather or not story should continue on from that point on is up the the dev's view, as far as I see it, that would be a sweet ending right there before they clash swords... or we could have both of them stab each other in the heart, and fell in battle, but as you know... space marines have 2 hearts, and they WILL survive that, and as the story carries out, Tarkus survived, and secretly kept his love toward that one dead Eldar till this day...

thaluikhain:

ACman:
I has always bothered me that the 40k universe is essentially a massive fascist theocracy where any sort of departure from the dogma of the state is eliminated with extreme prejudice.

There's no one to side with. Space Marines are battle-crazed fanatics. Chaos is hell. Orks are well... orks. Tyranids are insectoid monsters. Eldar would exterminate mankind without a second thought if they could. Tau are space communists. Imperial Guard are part of the aforementioned fascist theocratic space empire. Cultists are either alien or chaos mad. Necrons are space-undead-robot-gods or some shit.

I always thought the emperor should be more like a space-pope. Then there could be multiple human kingdoms/federations/confederacies/compacts.

But no, any difference will be purged by a bunch of insane fanatical jihadist. Bah.

Um...that was the whole point? To get away from those Star Trek style utopian settings in a big way. One reason I absolutely hated the introduction of the Tau.

cefm:
What I couldn't ever understand is why those huge imaginary table-top army clashes were ever considered possible or even desireable. Since the invention of the rifle it's been bad form to mass troops and advance in large numbers. It's just too easy to put too much explosive power in a targeted area for the opponent to survive. So it's all about small unit tactics and staying out of sight and behind cover. The only reason human waves worked a little in North Korea was that they were HUMAN so tactical nukes weren't used. No such problem with Orks.

That was something I brought up again and again on the BL forums before I was banned. A decent author would come up for a good reason for not doing this...usually the place was valuable and they didn't want to wreck it with bombs if they could avoid it.

A bad author (which become the majority) wouldn't care, because the fans would think he was brilliant anyway. I remember people seriously saying McNeill should be a general, because he put lots of effort describing military tactics in Storm of Iron, regardless of the fact they would completely fail in the enemy wasn't similarly useless (mind you, he did a good job trying to avoid rubbing the reader's face in that).

they do the equivalent of nukes, it's called an exterminatus.
involves robbing a planet of all life, and it is only done when all hope for a planets retaking is lost.
Planets are a finite resource, and tactical nukes I suppose are done but are much better survived and far less picky about what it hits then a bolter round.
whats the point in defending a planet if you blow up what your fighting for? and them suits can survive in space.

cefm:
Gears of War had about zero back-story (not even in the pathetically thin user's guide). But it never pretended to. It was just stupid big muscle-dudes with no helmets shooting bad stuff from behind cover.

Wait...so because they didn't dictate the plot in the manual, it didn't exist? I'm guessing you had the volume off for in-game dialogue and fell into a coma or something whenever the cinematics kicked in?

cefm:
What bugs me about WH40K is that it PRETENDS to have a back-story but doesn't really. There's just no real explanation of motivations, economy, politics, etc. And from the extremely limited story that is there, these other levels of detail are rendered impossible. It's just WE KILL THEM, and THEY KILL US. That's it.

lol, really?

Can't tell if troll...or just stupid.

cefm:
It's all just unrealistic bull that only the most juvenile middle-schooler would find engaging.

Look on the bright side: your hilariously uninformed post made Yahtzee's article seem stellar.

Some suggest that there is satire in WH40K's universe. Erm... where? At what time can we see that this is supposed to be satire? is there any reflection of real world events? Any eye-opening scene? A satire needs to have some kind of lesson. In WH40K the lesson I see is "totalitarian blood-hungry regime is the best possible way to keep humanity safe and secure".

IndianaJonny:

Bump to both of you there; for the 2000AD refs and for adding some much needed but often overlooked context to the 40k backstory. It doesn't come across as trolling when people have done their homework, so thanks.

Ok, when the terminators of Tera attacked Ydraill castle in the episode called cleanse and purify, they weren't trying to kill all the deviants and they weren't supported by the imperial robots from termight mechanicus. All that from one single strip written in 1984, 3 years before 40K came out. Have you even read Nemesis the Warlock? If you had, then you would know that after the dark age of technology the human empire covers most of the galaxy. The empire whose soldiers are called terminators, where armour, refer to each other as brother and are pledged to cleanse the galaxy of deviants. Sound familiar at all? All in all, follow your own advice and do your homework and you might not sound pig ignorant

It's already been pointed out in the thread, but I think the first mistake anyone makes (and this includes some people actually writing for the WH40k line) is to take that universe as anything but the blackest of comedy. It used to be far more zany, as any trip through the archives of the early 80s would show you.

You take the unflinching militant fanaticism of a dark age mindset and put it in service to a mechanical god-king who survives on the daily sacrifice of the souls of countless innocents, and those are the GOOD guys. It borrows heavily from the Lovecraftian concept of a universe that is a harsh, unforgiving place where humanity's place is insignificant in the natural order of things. Only in this case, humanity rose to the occasion to fight endless swarms of alien beasts and otherworldly horrors, but in doing so have drifted so far from what it means to be human that it's ultimately futile.

A chaos death cult or Tyranid genestealer infestation on your homeworld sounds bad, but when the Imperium decides it's better to just nuke the entire world from orbit (it's the only way to be sure, right?) killing billions of its own citizens in the process, it's a race to the bottom to see who is really the most definitively evil out of the bunch.

The tactics of the game itself also don't make a whole lot of sense, as you've got space-faring races with powered armor and aircraft all piling out into convenient battlefields to duke it out in literal hand to hand combat. Missiles? Bombs? Orbital lasers? Well sure, we've got those, but I've got a power fist and a relic blade that need to feel ork blood!

I say all this as a person who is a big fan of the universe for all it's twisted, sardonic and ridiculous concepts, over the top art and flagrantly silly stories. It's fantasy with science fiction trappings, pure and simple, and for anyone who doesn't enjoy the game for all it's obvious lack of realism, I hope you're at least honest enough to apply that to other games you find so engaging.

It's one thing to simply not enjoy the look and feel of a universe, but to hold Warhammer 40k up as some singularly unbelievable setting is pretty humorous in itself.

I have to admit, I agree with Yahtzee. In high school, my friends were all about the WH40k, espescially the spaces marines. I just found the setting to dark and to full of itself to enjoy, but they still always made me play DoW. That said I can't help but love the Orks and there's nothing more fun than makeing a purple and green Tau faction, taking a Knarloc or two and destroying an enemy base while singing the barney theme over my headset

Edit, Like so
http://tubedubber.com/#52RFSQyDdDA:dsKO_r76kfQ:30:100:0:0:1

rda_Highlander:
Some suggest that there is satire in WH40K's universe. Erm... where? At what time can we see that this is supposed to be satire? is there any reflection of real world events? Any eye-opening scene? A satire needs to have some kind of lesson. In WH40K the lesson I see is "totalitarian blood-hungry regime is the best possible way to keep humanity safe and secure".

I don't think that word means what you think it means.

OT: Regardless of my likes and dislikes in regards to WH40k, I think this Extra Punctuation was rather.... bad? It only really served as flamebait, and brought nothing interesting to the table.

Frankster:
"At one point the boy's club happens upon an outpost commander who has been talked up by other characters for a while and discovers that she's an attractive young lady. "Oh god, you chunky fucks are going to be taken aback by this, aren't you," I predicted. And sure enough, they were, in the least emotional possible way."

Here there is room for contention and shows more yahtzees bias then the actual truth.
Basically for those who don't know, the uber tough manly space marines meet up with the commander of the local imperial guard who happens to be a woman.

One of the older space marines looks surprised and asks "YOU are in command?"

Yahtzee interpreted this as cited above, but being familiar with the setting and knowing that space marines have no notion of sexism due to the process that transformed them, to me and i hope most 40k fans, the obvious explanation for the surprise is that mira is a mere 1st liutenant (so low ranked CO) in charge of ALL the imperial guard as the higher ranks and even the comissars got killed, that she is a woman doesn't factor into that at all.

Let's think about this for a moment. In a game and setting dominated by big, burly men in equally big, burly armor, the inclusion of a female character would had to have been something the creators went out of their way to do. And if they would go out of their way to put a female character in a situation where her authority is questioned, they would have had to recognize the possible (or maybe intentional) sexist implications. She didn't "happen" to be a woman, she was deliberately made a woman. Don't underplay the issue.

flaming_squirrel:
So you pretty much stated somebody elses opinion as your own personal facts.

...? What do you mean "personal facts"?

If you're talking about the fact that other 40K players - one's who've been playing for ten or more years - told me that it was originally a parody and I believed them because they know pretty much the entire history of the 40K universe... then yeah, I believed it when someone who was very knowledgeable told me something. Also, other posts in this thread have confirmed (or at least mentioned) 40K as starting out as a parody, so I appear to be correct in that belief.

If you're talking about Yahtzee... again, facts? I said his opinions match mine. So when someone says "why don't you like this?" I can say "here, this link pretty much sums it up."

Just like I do when someone asks me why I don't like Twilight (I post a link to Movie Bob's review of the third Twilight movie, where he talked about how it teaches women to be submissive domestic abuse victims). When a professional has stated something really damn well, it is foolish NOT to use them as a resource.

ACman:
I has always bothered me that the 40k universe is essentially a massive fascist theocracy where any sort of departure from the dogma of the state is eliminated with extreme prejudice.

There's no one to side with. Space Marines are battle-crazed fanatics. Chaos is hell. Orks are well... orks. Tyranids are insectoid monsters. Eldar would exterminate mankind without a second thought if they could. Tau are space communists. Imperial Guard are part of the aforementioned fascist theocratic space empire. Cultists are either alien or chaos mad. Necrons are space-undead-robot-gods or some shit.

I always thought the emperor should be more like a space-pope. Then there could be multiple human kingdoms/federations/confederacies/compacts.

But no, any difference will be purged by a bunch of insane fanatical jihadist. Bah.

From what I understand the Emperor was basically a magic superpowered space Jesus who wanted to protect humanity and teach them the value of science and truth. Then he gets betrayed by his closest, pretty much dies, and then gets worshipped as a god by the masses as a corrupt mashup of the medieval catholic church, communism and fascism runs the machinery: exactly the way he didn't want stuff to end up.
It's basically a Bible satire as far as I'm concerned. A Bible satire with chainswords, jetpacks and orcs.

Oy yahtzee you magnificent bastard that was great. Pissing off fanboys is awesome

Also this^

Frostbite3789:

Zagzag:

MADE UP THEIR OWN

You mean like they did with the DoW series you mention a few lines later? You realize it's the same studio who made those games, right?.

I was attempting, somewhat incoherently, to refer to the fact that since they made up their own chapter for DOW they should have done the same for Space Marine.

as a strategic tabletop game warhammer 40K is good

As a Real time strategy video game Warhammer 40K is really good. (until it get bogged down with too many expansion packs with less and less focus on it's original premise...)

As a storytelling tabletop game Warhammer 40K is bad.

As a first person shooter Warhammer 40K is generic. Which is a shame because it basically invented space marines as they are known today and the video game actually brought some unique concepts to the formula.

Now the big one.
As a storytelling setting warhammer 40K is really really good. The novels the lore and ideas behind it aren't unique but they are presented in a unique way. This setting isn't juvenile it's just the one that a person who hates humans would see coming. deification, absolutes, fanaticism, human perfectionism, these are things the setting deals with and they are not juvenile. Why it deals with such things when it's just a tabletop game is beyond me but it does and that is why warhammer 40K shines.
just my take on it.

Arontala:

I don't think that word means what you think it means.

No, I know precisely what it means. Maybe I didn't pick the right words. At what time do we see that it is a satire? Just because some of you want to believe it is? Or there was some interview where developers said this? I mean, I could say that Tetris is a satire on modern society, and even give some insight, but it would still be my opinion and not the fact.

Frankster:
Think all of us 40k fans expected yahtzee to hate/rip on space marine and 40k, but none of us could have expected him to be so WRONG in his views, and people are actually believing him.

Okay, this confused me. How are his views wrong?

He doesn't like 40K because of it's story telling (or lack thereof, in his (and my) opinion), or the fact that the story telling is generally awful (again, in his and my opinion).

That sounds like a perfectly valid viewpoint to me. Sure, you can disagree - perhaps you like the story telling, or perhaps you don't care about the story telling (many gamers don't, even D&D players). That doesn't make the opinion of "I don't like the story" invalid.

The "generation without war" thing is a rather standard grip of his, and it certainly isn't meant to only apply to 40K.

As to the surprise over the women thing, I think that's more a reflection of the mindset of those who made the game rather than of the 40k universe in general. There are plenty of women in 40k... who are equally badly written.

From the point of view of a gamer who has been (repeatedly and often) subjected to the 40K universe and not liked it, Yahtzee had a lot of the same complaints as I do. And, as noted, I'm not coming at this from an ignorant point of view - I hear about this crap all the damn time. It doesn't float my boat. And it fails to do so in many cases because of the reasons that Yahtzee listed.

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