Extra Punctuation: Hating Warhammer 40k and Space Marine

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Ah, all kinds of people fired up defending 40K. Me, I don't have any real experience with the 40K universe (or Warhammer in general (or miniature wargaming in general, come to think of it)). The only things I know are an RTS I saw a friend play (which looked cool and fun) and the Space Marine demo (which in my humble opinion was boring and generic as sin). It's a Yahtzee review that I could do without and I'm glad it seems that will be the case.

The glory of perpetual war!

I'm sorry ... But I understand what Yhatze means. I always found Warhammer shallow and downright simplistic.

War offers no glory, only suffering, economic destruction, resource depletion and general misery for everyone involved, soldiers and civilians. But it makes sense in the tabletop perspective, which is what Warhammer was designed for.

If I try to envision the investment required to sustain perpetual war? Easy ... just look how much US military deployment costs at the moment (without getting into how and why, just the money). You must agree it's huge and not sustainable. And it's not even a planetary war.

Now imagine the cost of galactic war.

FlipC:
So of the current 270+ comments only about three address the actual issue - Is it a good game? Remove the franchise setting to avoid bias and it's repetitive, frustrating; not really innovative; and leaden as hell.

Stating that it suits a 40k setting and that people who dislike it don't get the background etc. would be like insisting that everyone who sat down to watch the Lord of the Rings trilogy had read the Silmarillion so they could really appreciate it. Not exactly the way to win over newcomers.

Sure Yahtzee's hasn't 'got' the 40k setting and is basing his opinion on the setting more on hearsay than fact, but given that the game itself barely addresses it that's hardly his fault.

It's a game for those who are already a fan of 40k who'll forgive it its flaws simply because it allows them to stomp around as a member of the Adeptus Astartes. Anyone else is going to say "Yeah it's okay I suppose"

But Yahtzee wasn't reviewing the game. Yahtzee was deliberately provoking a large part of the nerds (including myself) by saying that they're juvenile morons, and that warhammer is crap and we're crap for having made it our hobby.
If all he would've said was, "This game Space Marine isn't that amazing" Yeah that'd be okay, I thought it was a nice game but I can see why many others wouldn't. But that's not what Yahtzee did

TheBelgianGuy:

FlipC:
So of the current 270+ comments only about three address the actual issue - Is it a good game? Remove the franchise setting to avoid bias and it's repetitive, frustrating; not really innovative; and leaden as hell.

Stating that it suits a 40k setting and that people who dislike it don't get the background etc. would be like insisting that everyone who sat down to watch the Lord of the Rings trilogy had read the Silmarillion so they could really appreciate it. Not exactly the way to win over newcomers.

Sure Yahtzee's hasn't 'got' the 40k setting and is basing his opinion on the setting more on hearsay than fact, but given that the game itself barely addresses it that's hardly his fault.

It's a game for those who are already a fan of 40k who'll forgive it its flaws simply because it allows them to stomp around as a member of the Adeptus Astartes. Anyone else is going to say "Yeah it's okay I suppose"

But Yahtzee wasn't reviewing the game. Yahtzee was deliberately provoking a large part of the nerds (including myself) by saying that they're juvenile morons, and that warhammer is crap and we're crap for having made it our hobby.
If all he would've said was, "This game Space Marine isn't that amazing" Yeah that'd be okay, I thought it was a nice game but I can see why many others wouldn't. But that's not what Yahtzee did

He can be a real prick at times. Like he was in his black ops review. He less talked about the game and it's quality or lack their of and mostly just spewed bile and vitriol at people for DARING to be born or naturalizing as American citizens.

I joined the forum on this site specifically to tell him to go fuck his small minded hateful bigot ass self. I was largely amazed they didn't insta ban me for it.

This isn't as bad, at least you choose to become a fan of something, but he can still go fuck his arrogant aussie self for being a judgmental prick just because some people like a setting that he does not.

Katatori-kun:

NickCaligo42:
The rulebooks are 90% fluff, 5% actual game rules, and 5% images of miniatures to give you painting ideas.

This perfectly encompasses everything that is wrong with 40K. It has an extensive backstory, which is so ridiculous and un-compelling that even the fans refer to it as "fluff". Reams and reams of text have been written that even the people who like it for whatever reason admit by the term they use to describe it that it completely unimportant to the actual game.

What is important in 40K? Finding an excuse for your [insert color here] marines to point and shout at your opponent's [insert color here] spikey marines. Then you roll some dice, and whoever wrote the better army list wins.

You do come off rather trollishly here, as many of the battles i have played do not revolve around what the army list has in it, but how it is used. Tactics are a large part of any game, which you seem to be ignoring. I frequently lose to my friends orks with my marines, although my army list should, by all rights, be superior. However, he is a very tactical player and uses his army perfectly, whereas I am a crap general.

OT: Yahtzee, read fulgrim from the horus heresy novels, then get back to me. O.k?

The Space Marine game, I find it to be at least more fun gameplay wise than Gears 1, the only game of that series which I have tried. The combat becomes boring due to lack of variation but at least feels meaty and visceral when you start playing. Also, if you take a step back for a moment and look at the details on some of the buildings etc, it actually looks really godamn good.
I think the orks were a bad choice of antagonist though, and it isn't particularly great as a piece set in the 40k world. So, judging it purely as a hack n slash (it isn't much of a shooter) it is merely 'ok.'

I think that Yahtzee is wrong about the whole 'war is glorious thing.' 40k doesn't do that. The wars in it are violent and grim as hell, and the people in them hate it just as much as you'd expect them to. It doesn't try to make war look good for the people involved, it just tries to justify your army of little plastic dudes beating up the other guy's army of plastic dudes on the tabletop.
The only people who are depicted as enjoying the wars in 40k are also depicted as either sadistic sociopaths or creatures who literally do not have any fear at all. So yeah. I don't really see how that glorifies war...

Thedek:

But Yahtzee wasn't reviewing the game. Yahtzee was deliberately provoking a large part of the nerds (including myself) by saying that they're juvenile morons, and that warhammer is crap and we're crap for having made it our hobby.
If all he would've said was, "This game Space Marine isn't that amazing" Yeah that'd be okay, I thought it was a nice game but I can see why many others wouldn't. But that's not what Yahtzee did

He can be a real prick at times. Like he was in his black ops review. He less talked about the game and it's quality or lack their of and mostly just spewed bile and vitriol at people for DARING to be born or naturalizing as American citizens.

I joined the forum on this site specifically to tell him to go fuck his small minded hateful bigot ass self. I was largely amazed they didn't insta ban me for it.

This isn't as bad, at least you choose to become a fan of something, but he can still go fuck his arrogant aussie self for being a judgmental prick just because some people like a setting that he does not.[/quote]

BLOPs review? That wasn't that bad was it?

I thought that the horny nerdy american schoolgirl with a crush on the eastern european boy down the street was an amusing metaphor for the contrived reasoning that games come up with to provide backstory to "America gets invaded" or "America invades X".

Maybe you're too easily offended.

And here he was expressing his (remarkable) distaste for the setting. He doesn't directly insult the fans.

He does that in the DarkSiders review.

You know I don't think that the backlash for this article would have been so bad if Yahtzee simply stated that he didn't like the concept of Warhammer and that it wasn't his cup of tea. But no, instead he had to try to be clever and biting, so he called the fans manchildren and spewed some ignorant nonsense.

As this article is poorly written and not even funny, he just comes off as a trying-hard-to-be-edgy prick who's arguments boils down to idea that playing pretend is better liking toy soldiers.

ACman:

nyysjan:

ACman:

snip

But there is fragmentation, and those fragments do face of, that's what the huge bureocracies are there to prevent, inquisition to uncover, and the imperial guard to stamp out.
That's where the constant rebellions come from, even different bureocracies are at each others throats, arbites and ecclesiarchy might argue about something (read the enforcer omnibus), inquisition is at constant war with itself, space marine chapters might class between each other, etc...

And that's where I find it oppressive. It's only instruments of the state that showdown with each other like a giant space-USSR crushing rebellion in Hungary and members of the the Kremlin getting hit by members of the KGB.

Well, that's no longer about how good the setting is qualitively, or how well made it is or how imaginitive it might be.
It's simply that you, personally, would prefer something different, wich is fine, i'm not that fond of Forgotten Realms and find later Dragonlance stories to be rather depressing, but those are just my personal likes and dislikes.

PingoBlack:
The glory of perpetual war!

I'm sorry ... But I understand what Yhatze means. I always found Warhammer shallow and downright simplistic.

War offers no glory, only suffering, economic destruction, resource depletion and general misery for everyone involved, soldiers and civilians. But it makes sense in the tabletop perspective, which is what Warhammer was designed for.

If I try to envision the investment required to sustain perpetual war? Easy ... just look how much US military deployment costs at the moment (without getting into how and why, just the money). You must agree it's huge and not sustainable. And it's not even a planetary war.

Now imagine the cost of galactic war.

The problem with USA's wars is not that they are expensive, it's that they are unwilling to actually pay them (or tax their wealthiest people for the money), Imperium of Man does not have that problem, their whole infrastructure is built on war, either by making weapons, raising soldiers, or managing the support structures for the empires warmachine.
sure, the resources are limited, but with the empire spanning rather large chunk of the galaxy, those limits are way out there, and there are brief stops to the fighting, if only to let everyone rearm themselves before the next battle, the huge wars happen only every couple decades or so, apart from that it's minor interplanetary squables and insurrections (and demons/tyranids eating a planet or two).

FlipC:
So of the current 270+ comments only about three address the actual issue - Is it a good game? Remove the franchise setting to avoid bias and it's repetitive, frustrating; not really innovative; and leaden as hell.

Which would be fine if it was about the Space Marine game itself, but it's not, Yahtzee went fullbore at the whole Warhammer 40K franchise, it's developers and people who play it, and showed clear and obvious misunderstanding, ignorance, condescension and arrogance towards the subject.

Now, if/when he does make a game review/criticue, it will probably be after he has played the game, either in full or atleast some of it, and i will probably agree with some parts, disagree with others, and generally enjoy the experience (i do enojy Zero Punctuation, even when i personally disagree with him, for example, Witcher and Dragon Age:Origins), but this was not a game review, and he failed in basic understanding of the subject.

Thedek:
He less talked about the game and it's quality or lack their of and mostly just spewed bile and vitriol at people for DARING to be born or naturalizing as American citizens.

Except he didn't. Most of the review was on topic and what was specifically about ranting at Americans was about the way American culture has turned American mlitaristic behaviour into a major fetish. That has nothing to do with people just being born Naturalized American citizens. It has to do with a dogmatic mentality that, frankly, if you're offended by the statement you very likely share.

If you're going to get mad at someone, at least understand what they're saying and why you're mad.

rosac:
You do come off rather trollishly here,

I'm finding it increasingly bizarre that the word "troll" is being bandied about here apparently to refer to anyone who has a different opinion from the person using the word. Is it so inconceivable that someone might not agree with you that you can only assume that the person doing so must only be disagreeing not because it's their real opinion, but because they want to make you mad?

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.

That's the point- You are not supposed to root for any one specific faction, because they all have their horrible ways, but they also all have their very good reasons for them.

What you are supposed to do is to fight a desperate struggle that requires great sacrifice, to keep your own race safe. To root for mankind itself, not the beliefsystem that governs it. The Imperium of Man is an empire in decline, teetering on the brink of destruction, with only the vagues glimmer of the hope for salvation. Desperate times.They need a dogmatic, theocratic, fascist government, because the forces set against mankind aren't just military forces from without, but a spiritual enemy from within, a religion that has real actual existing gods, with malevolent intents.

You shouldn't take the fascist theocracy too litereal, though. An imperial citizen on one world can have a vastly different culture than an imperial citizen on another world, and you are not forced to church at gunpoint. A great many citizens have lives no different from what you see in other, much brighter settings.

I apologize if someone else has already replied to this. 9 pages...

nyysjan:

But there is fragmentation, and those fragments do face of, that's what the huge bureocracies are there to prevent, inquisition to uncover, and the imperial guard to stamp out.
That's where the constant rebellions come from, even different bureocracies are at each others throats, arbites and ecclesiarchy might argue about something (read the enforcer omnibus), inquisition is at constant war with itself, space marine chapters might class between each other, etc...

And that's where I find it oppressive. It's only instruments of the state that showdown with each other like a giant space-USSR crushing rebellion in Hungary and members of the the Kremlin getting hit by members of the KGB.

Well, that's no longer about how good the setting is qualitively, or how well made it is or how imaginitive it might be.
It's simply that you, personally, would prefer something different, wich is fine, i'm not that fond of Forgotten Realms and find later Dragonlance stories to be rather depressing, but those are just my personal likes and dislikes.

But this does actually got to the DEPTH of the setting.

There is only war.

Shallow.

If there was some political intrigue in the backstory as opposed to lots of descriptions of "battle and glory for the emperor" it would be more believable and interesting.

The setting has a great religious back-drop. 'God king creates a range of super-humans and goes to take over the galaxy al-la Alexander the Great' plus 'Son of the God king goes rogue and returns to destroy his father'

All very pompous and epic and fine. But it leaves out any particular real world political considerations.

Who governs? How do they govern? How do they attain power? How do they maintain power? How do they interact with others of similar positional power to themselves? How do they interact with those attempting to maintain state orthodoxy? What if they want to go to war and others don't? What if they attain to much power? These are the things missing or glossed over in the 40k setting.

Instead all that's detailed is that "there is only war".

ACman:

There is only war.

Shallow.

If there was some political intrigue in the backstory as opposed to lots of descriptions of "battle and glory for the emperor" it would be more believable and interesting.

-snip-

Who governs? How do they govern? How do they attain power? How do they maintain power? How do they interact with others of similar positional power to themselves? How do they interact with those attempting to maintain state orthodoxy? What if they want to go to war and others don't? What if they attain to much power? These are the things missing or glossed over in the 40k setting.

Instead all that's detailed is that "there is only war".

That's wrong. All of this is shown in various works. The Inquisition War, The Eisenhorn Trilogy, The Rawne Trilogy, hell, even the Commisar Cain books, all to some extent describe the daily lives of ordinary citizens, and how the society is constructed. Everything you asked for in the second part I quoted, has been covered in the setting.

Longshot:

ACman:

There is only war.

Shallow.

If there was some political intrigue in the backstory as opposed to lots of descriptions of "battle and glory for the emperor" it would be more believable and interesting.

-snip-

Who governs? How do they govern? How do they attain power? How do they maintain power? How do they interact with others of similar positional power to themselves? How do they interact with those attempting to maintain state orthodoxy? What if they want to go to war and others don't? What if they attain to much power? These are the things missing or glossed over in the 40k setting.

Instead all that's detailed is that "there is only war".

That's wrong. All of this is shown in various works. The Inquisition War, The Eisenhorn Trilogy, The Rawne Trilogy, hell, even the Commisar Cain books, all to some extent describe the daily lives of ordinary citizens, and how the society is constructed. Everything you asked for in the second part I quoted, has been covered in the setting.

Well why isn''t it detail in the background to the bloody games then. Why do I have to go read tie in novels, tie in novels are one step above fan fiction.

Edit: I mean technically the "High Lords of Terra" are supposed to be in charge? How in charge?

This is the extent of the explanation:
image
Of which three or four seem to be layers of government and the rest seem to be military or paramilitary.

ACman:
Well why isn''t it detail in the background to the bloody games then.

Because the focus of the wargame is suppose to be the war aspect?

Yeah, I won't have a lot of stuff to add, but I do have to admit that Warhammer 40K has some problems with ensuring that its universe remains credible. I get that it's a cautionary tale for our society which just happens to run mostly on a military-industrial complex, but it just seems to me like somewhere in there, there'd be humans advocating something else. A more rational approach, as opposed to the whole Emperor worship thing that's been going on for centuries on end. As things are, though, there isn't. Every human on Earth and throughout the colonies is hopelessly devoted to that one guy nobody's ever met, and individual thoughts are pretty much stamped out if they don't benefit the theocracy that's in place.

Look, Games Workshop. Yes, Dark Fantasy is cool. Very much so. It's cool that Space Marines pretty much have to rely on eldritch devices and hazardous magic to pass the light barrier and cross galaxies in a blink. It's cool that some side-effects might include getting swallowed up by Chtulhu expies or becoming indentured to Chaos itself. It's all very dark and grim. Yes.

But please, for the love of shit, don't give me that "In the future, there is only war" crap. When has there ever been "only" war as a culture's definition? Even our most war-mongering empires had their moving pieces of art or literature, even the Roman Empire at its most power-hungry had its playwrights, its philosophers and entertainers, even Vlad Tepes had paintings made. You can't just stamp out everything about Humanity except our tendency for blind aggression. It doesn't work that way.

While you're at it, GW, scrap the Ultramarines or just put them on the side for a couple years, huh? How about we focused on the more, say, human chapters? Granted, I'm not the most versed player out there, but I have played the other WH40K RTSes, and it did seem to me like the Blood Ravens could cool off if and when dropping blind zeal seemed to be viable. I'm not familiar with that many chapters, but I'm sure there's other teams, other groups, that just treat their service as a job, and not as a lifetime commitment.

I'm worrying about all this because as of now, the Warhammer 40 000 universe just seems like it's been designed to give an impression that's analogous to the one Gears of War tends to leave. Which is to say that in the future, you have guys that wear fridges for armour who are really, really INTENSE about fighting because LIFE IS WAAAAR, DUUR, and HOPE IS LOST and if we don't fight so hard even John Rambo starts to feel like a pansy, then WE'RE ALL GONNA DIE!

Sorry, Games Workshop fans, but I agree with Yahtzee. It just feels like thematic masturbation to me. They don't have to break apart the entire universe just to fix that, too. A couple human stories with human endeavours and stakes that aren't quite so desperate and things that aren't quite so bleak would go a heck of a long way towards fixing that. I'm not asking for the Emperor to get shot or for things to turn to sunshine and bunnies - just for a little something that's not quite as self-aggrandizing and complacent.

It's juvenile, but I wouldn't call it rubbish. The 40k setting is expansive and baroque, but not at all above taking the piss out of itself. It's a fun mix of incredibly over the top ideas and ideas that are so incredibly over the top that they're hilarious. I mean, "in the grim darkness of the future, there is only war"? Bwa haha ha. Man, that's funny, in its ott grimdark melodrama, while on the other end of the spectrum in the exact same setting there are green skinned cockney space football hooligans who ride in mad max buggies that literally go faster because they're painted red. Juvenile? Yeah. Silly? sure. But fantastically silly, I say.

Yeah, I get grumpy with anyone who tries to take the setting seriously, and I get grumpy with the game itself when it tries to do so (something that comes and goes in cycles). But still, there's a lot of fun to be had, if it's your thing.

Nothing against those who don't like it, though.

ACman:

Well why isn''t it detail in the background to the bloody games then. Why do I have to go read tie in novels, tie in novels are one step above fan fiction.

I can't tell you that, because I don't know. Are you talking about the video games? Because they are not made by Games Workshop, and are not meant as W40k games that showcase the entire setting and its lore, but, for an example, a 3rd person shooter set in the W40k setting. Same goes for the other games. They are specific games, portraying a specific thing. You don't see Starcraft 2 showing you all of the lore behind it neither.

If you are talking about the tabletop games (Warhammer 40.000, 40k Epic, Battlefleet Gothic, Inquisitor, Rogue Trader, Space Hulk), then it is actually in there, though not as richly detailed, again because the focus is on a wargame.

If you mean the RPG(Dark Heresy), then it's in there, well described and flavourful.

As for the books, don't dismiss them. Their quality varies because they are written by a broad range of authors, but that doesn't mean they are all bad. You want a rich, detailed look into the W40k Universe, read The Inquisition War, by Ian Watson.

You are entitled to your opinion, but you are basing it on assumptions.

ACman:

And that's where I find it oppressive. It's only instruments of the state that showdown with each other like a giant space-USSR crushing rebellion in Hungary and members of the the Kremlin getting hit by members of the KGB.

Well, that's no longer about how good the setting is qualitively, or how well made it is or how imaginitive it might be.
It's simply that you, personally, would prefer something different, wich is fine, i'm not that fond of Forgotten Realms and find later Dragonlance stories to be rather depressing, but those are just my personal likes and dislikes.

But this does actually got to the DEPTH of the setting.

There is only war.

Shallow.

If there was some political intrigue in the backstory as opposed to lots of descriptions of "battle and glory for the emperor" it would be more believable and interesting.

The setting has a great religious back-drop. 'God king creates a range of super-humans and goes to take over the galaxy al-la Alexander the Great' plus 'Son of the God king goes rogue and returns to destroy his father'

All very pompous and epic and fine. But it leaves out any particular real world political considerations.

Who governs? How do they govern? How do they attain power? How do they maintain power? How do they interact with others of similar positional power to themselves? How do they interact with those attempting to maintain state orthodoxy? What if they want to go to war and others don't? What if they attain to much power? These are the things missing or glossed over in the 40k setting.

Instead all that's detailed is that "there is only war".

It's the opening blurb for the setting, calling the setting shallow just for the phrase, is like claiming to know everything about star wars (both movies and extended universe) by reading the opening crawls in movies, except, that unlike the opening blurb in WH40K, the crawls are actually pertinent to the movie in question.

ACman:
Well why isn''t it detail in the background to the bloody games then. Why do I have to go read tie in novels, tie in novels are one step above fan fiction.

Because it's not relevant to the game, it's a wargame, played with small metal and plastic figures, dice and rulers on fake terrain, you don't need the background to play it.
The background comes in rulebook fluff and tie in novels and games (and scenario descriptions), lives of the ordinary citizens do not really matter (there is little mention about the lives of peasants in lord of the rings).
And the background is so damn huge, and waried, and contains a shitload of characters and places that you can't really fit it all in any one game, so they made a game, and if you like it, you can go to internet and read more about it, and maybe buy couple novels that look interesting (they are trying to make money with this stuff, shocking, i know), force unleashed does not give that much background either (it makes no mention to greater hyperspace war for one, or kesselian spice, or ysalamiri), but that does not make star wars universe shallow (altough force unleashed is a horrible game).

ACman:

Edit: I mean technically the "High Lords of Terra" are supposed to be in charge? How in charge?

This is the extent of the explanation:
image
Of which three or four seem to be layers of government and the rest seem to be military or paramilitary.

The High Lords of Terra are in charge. Just that. The Emperor may be above them, but only in a symbolical sense, like many of the monarchies of europe. He is, for all intents and purposes, dead. A religious saint/god. There is more to him than that, but to explain how the government functions, that is sufficient.

EDIT: A little more on the High Lords - they are an oligarchy, basically, and their office is something you rise to politically within your career branch. Each High Lord has an area of expertise. I can't remember all of them, but there is a master of the feelt, a master of the assasins, and so on.Basically, one for each major/important branch of Imperial society.

As for the chart...

image
The ones I have underlined in read are military branches. Those in yellow are closely affiliated, but not actual military branches.

I am also almost 100 % sure that that isn't an official chart. For one thing, it is missing a branch of the Inquisition.

Lord_Gremlin:
*snip*

I'm a fan and I still don't get what makes the ultra marines so awesome... I'm a blood ravens fan

thaluikhain:
Ouch!

IMHO, he does the backstory a serious injustice. Or, rather, he's missed the opportunity to complain about the really specifically crap bits, rather than just the vague premise.

QUICKLY! EDUCATE PEOPLE QUICKLY ENOUGH TO HOLD THEIR ATTENTION!

nyysjan:
Because it's not relevant to the game, it's a wargame, played with small metal and plastic figures, dice and rulers on fake terrain, you don't need the background to play it.

I might be wrong, but that seems like a somewhat shallow perspective to me. If I cared about Warhammer enough to play it, I'd care enough to get the backstory, the lore, the sense of the world that these little miniatures I'm supposed to have painted by hand are also supposed to flesh out. I don't play tabletop RPGs just because the little figurines are cool, but for the whole package. That includes the lore.

If the videogame adaptations fail to deliver that lore, then there's a bit of a problem. Again, it's not hard to fix. A protagonist that's a little less than a scowling fridge with arms, a sense that he's got a life beyond bashing the skulls of Orks in for the Emperor, that he's got personal stakes that go further than blind xenophobia.

As it is, the games fail to deliver that, as simple as it would be to do so.

This is exactly how I've felt, from the very beginning on hearing about "Warhammer". I never crossed my opinion or stereotype with that of the tabletop games/players, as it's different.

The universe is poor, and uninteresting. It's like Halo, but worse.

I'm also of the opinion that closet-fascists enjoy Warhammer, though I'm not sure thats what Yahtzee meant. Though Warhammer isn't as popular anymore, Call of Duty takes the tip of the spear on that one.

The GRIMDARK WH40k was never my sort of thing either, I hold nothing personal against it as a whole BUT I've had the unfortunate pleasure of meeting some of its fans who would use its Codex on how to deal with Heretics as a policy for Immigration and Foreign Policy. I wish they'd been joking, but they weren't.

Also given how much the game has been described as meh, perhaps it would have been a better project to base a WH40K game on Sandy Mitchell's Ciaphas Cain

image

I have it on good authority these are a comparatively light hearted look at the universe from a character who is basically Captain Blackadder (as in Blackadder Goes Forth) but is still action hero brave and lucky, he just wishes he didn't have to be.

Longshot:

ACman:

snip
The ones I have underlined in read are military branches. Those in yellow are closely affiliated, but not actual military branches.

I am also almost 100 % sure that that isn't an official chart. For one thing, it is missing a branch of the Inquisition.

Military/paramilitary/intelligence and associated services then. The interesting bit is the Adeptus Administratum who seem to control planets and military. and in the back-ground even they sound like inhuman monks.

Supposedly this system of governance has been going controlling the entire human galaxy for 10,000 years; which sounds like a situation where you'd have sections of the administratum fall under the control of local princes al la europe after the Roman Empire. But no, the empire is stable despite constant war.

Hence I think it would be more interesting for the empire to fragment. Hence my previous Catholic/Protestant/Orthodox analogy.

IamLEAM1983:

nyysjan:
Because it's not relevant to the game, it's a wargame, played with small metal and plastic figures, dice and rulers on fake terrain, you don't need the background to play it.

I might be wrong, but that seems like a somewhat shallow perspective to me. If I cared about Warhammer enough to play it, I'd care enough to get the backstory, the lore, the sense of the world that these little miniatures I'm supposed to have painted by hand are also supposed to flesh out. I don't play tabletop RPGs just because the little figurines are cool, but for the whole package. That includes the lore.

If the videogame adaptations fail to deliver that lore, then there's a bit of a problem. Again, it's not hard to fix. A protagonist that's a little less than a scowling fridge with arms, a sense that he's got a life beyond bashing the skulls of Orks in for the Emperor, that he's got personal stakes that go further than blind xenophobia.

As it is, the games fail to deliver that, as simple as it would be to do so.

And you get the lore in rulebooks, you get more lore in computer games, some more lore in different rulebooks, some more lore in comics, and even more lore in tie in novels.
Just like pretty much any other roleplaying game i've ever heard of.

What he was complaining was that the one individual game (presumably the new Space Marine game, altough he did not specify) did not give him all the info from the get go, and i answered that there was plenty of background to be gained from elsewhere.
Also, if the game (Space Marine) does not give enough info for the player to have a rough idea of the plot, then that would be valid criticism, but as this thread is not about the space marine game, but a more general criticism Yahtzee laid at the WH40K as a whole (and those that play it as an extension), it would be largely irrelevant to the topic (and should be brought up in the inevitable Space Marive episode of Zero Punctuation).

Also, the game (Space Marine) is (i think) made for the fans of WH40K, not as a general recruitment tool of the franchise, so i think it can be forgiven to expect some general background knowledge (star wars and star trek games do), and even if you don't actually know the more intricate galactic geopolitical manouverings or the more detailed day to day activities of the average citizens (now dead and eaten by the orcs) of the world the game happens in, that's fine, it's a shooter, not culture simulation.

TheBelgianGuy:

FlipC:
So of the current 270+ comments only about three address the actual issue - Is it a good game? Remove the franchise setting to avoid bias and it's repetitive, frustrating; not really innovative; and leaden as hell.

Stating that it suits a 40k setting and that people who dislike it don't get the background etc. would be like insisting that everyone who sat down to watch the Lord of the Rings trilogy had read the Silmarillion so they could really appreciate it. Not exactly the way to win over newcomers.

Sure Yahtzee's hasn't 'got' the 40k setting and is basing his opinion on the setting more on hearsay than fact, but given that the game itself barely addresses it that's hardly his fault.

It's a game for those who are already a fan of 40k who'll forgive it its flaws simply because it allows them to stomp around as a member of the Adeptus Astartes. Anyone else is going to say "Yeah it's okay I suppose"

But Yahtzee wasn't reviewing the game. Yahtzee was deliberately provoking a large part of the nerds (including myself) by saying that they're juvenile morons, and that warhammer is crap and we're crap for having made it our hobby.
If all he would've said was, "This game Space Marine isn't that amazing" Yeah that'd be okay, I thought it was a nice game but I can see why many others wouldn't. But that's not what Yahtzee did

It's Yahtzee, its what he does.

I'm still surprised people are surprised by this.

I'm not a WH40K tabletop player, but I've played several of the videogames and read a couple of the books. I think Yahtzee is completely wrong on this one.

The Space Marines in WH40K are not at all like the testosterone secreting gun-toting refrigerators in games like Gears of War. On the contrary. In the actual background, they are often displayed as rather tragic figures, soldiers and heroes of a bygone era fighting in a dying world. Additionally, they had to give up so much of their humanity that they cannot really function among normal human beings anymore. They are extremely flawed and damaged, in a way, despite being physically superior.

Additionally, the WH40K universe is far from solely based on the Space Marines. The Imperium of Man is far vaster and includes many different and interesting factions. What was supposed to be a beacon of enlightenment has devolved into a fascistic theocracy, overwraught with bueraucracy and rituals. Add to that the many other species and entities with their own rich backgrounds and very different tenets.

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.

In the 40k lore the Emperor was a good person that just wanted to help humanity from themselves. Yet the chaos gods screwed him over right before he succeeded. The good thing about 40k there's no defined "good guys" every faction has their heroes, traitors and legendary battles.

Space Marines caught the bad end of the stick when the Emperor died because the damn cultist within their own ranks warped his message into what is basically Christianity on Venom. Right now if the Emperor didn't die the Space Marines might be one of the more wise legions with some wicked tech that wouldn't have been lost because they're frighted of any tech eventhough it's the shit they use everyday.

Hell I agree that people don't like the Ultramarines they're basic simple as that. I'm a fan of the Salamander chapter myself they seem better for a game because these guys are experts in close quarters combat and they use some of the more destructive weapons like flamers and multi-meltas.

Well that just kicks up the shit storm now doesn't it?

Despite being bleak, the Warhammer 40k universe is one filled with irony and a lot of tongue-in-cheek humor. It is obviously not intended to be taken seriously, but just to have fun with. Which makes it stand heads and tales above more modern IPs and even most fantasy IPs, whose authors do intend them to be taken seriously.

Always been odd to me that the Space Marines are considered the "good guys" in this universe when they're basically space-nazis. This would be a cool way to show that there aren't really any "good guys" or "bad guys" in a world of eternal war, but it's almost always swept under the rug (except in the first Dawn of War game, appropriately enough also the one that had campaigns for more than just the Marines) in favor of making them...well NOT be nazis.

One of the Facebook commentators, Patrick Courtemanche, a soldier whose served in Afghanistan no less, said he views the WH40K setting and backstory as a cautionary lesson about the dangers of constant fighting and the elements that lead up to it. I think he makes a good point, if we were talking about a single game or movie. But I don't think a cautionary lesson is the right basis for an entire game franchise. It would be rather overkill to develop a roleplaying game designed to endure for generations just to get across one message that a single game or movie or book could do just as effectively. If the purpose of the game it to show people that this kind of existence (one of endless fighting and genocide) is not something that should be pursued, that seems to basically be telling people "don't play this game." Not really the underlying message you want in a franchise.

When such a cautionary message is the end result of a single game or movie or etc., then people will play or watch or read it through to the end to find out what happens to the individual characters in it, thereby seeing the consequences of their mistakes or how they save themselves by abandoning what was so self-destructive. But with a perpetual roleplaying game franchise, once the player realizes the message behind the game, namely that endless fighting is pointlessly destructive, then continuing to play the game would be ignoring it's message.

undeadsuitor:

TheBelgianGuy:

FlipC:
So of the current 270+ comments only about three address the actual issue - Is it a good game? Remove the franchise setting to avoid bias and it's repetitive, frustrating; not really innovative; and leaden as hell.

Stating that it suits a 40k setting and that people who dislike it don't get the background etc. would be like insisting that everyone who sat down to watch the Lord of the Rings trilogy had read the Silmarillion so they could really appreciate it. Not exactly the way to win over newcomers.

Sure Yahtzee's hasn't 'got' the 40k setting and is basing his opinion on the setting more on hearsay than fact, but given that the game itself barely addresses it that's hardly his fault.

It's a game for those who are already a fan of 40k who'll forgive it its flaws simply because it allows them to stomp around as a member of the Adeptus Astartes. Anyone else is going to say "Yeah it's okay I suppose"

But Yahtzee wasn't reviewing the game. Yahtzee was deliberately provoking a large part of the nerds (including myself) by saying that they're juvenile morons, and that warhammer is crap and we're crap for having made it our hobby.
If all he would've said was, "This game Space Marine isn't that amazing" Yeah that'd be okay, I thought it was a nice game but I can see why many others wouldn't. But that's not what Yahtzee did

It's Yahtzee, its what he does.

I'm still surprised people are surprised by this.

It's not what he did (god (that i don't believe in) knows there is plenty of things in WH40K to take the piss out of), but that he did it so badly, usually Yahtzee is witty, funny, and has a point in his complaints (even though i might not agree with those points at times), he was none of those in this one.

Thedek:
He can be a real prick at times. Like he was in his black ops review. He less talked about the game and it's quality or lack their of and mostly just spewed bile and vitriol at people for DARING to be born or naturalizing as American citizens.

I joined the forum on this site specifically to tell him to go fuck his small minded hateful bigot ass self. I was largely amazed they didn't insta ban me for it.

This isn't as bad, at least you choose to become a fan of something, but he can still go fuck his arrogant aussie self for being a judgmental prick just because some people like a setting that he does not.

O.K., you really should be banned it you're only coming here to flame. Besides, I didn't get the perception that he was hating on all Americans, just the ones that support these kinds of wars.

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