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Why Warhammer 40K Makes Me Unhappy — 2 Comments

  1. One issue with WH40K’s fluff, I think, was that it was originially designed to be a black, grim parody, drawing heavy inspiration from the Judge Dredd books and other similar sources. The idea, I gather, was to say “Alright, there are people going on about how tolerance and liberal-mindedness and rationality are all weaknesses and we must devote ourselves entirely to the eradication of [Insert Cause Here], lest darkness take us all.

    What would the world look like if they were right?”

    The idea, basically, was to say “Look, if you lot were right, then people calling for religious tolerance would literally be the forces of Chaos, and if you lot had the courage of your convictions you would literally be this gung-ho constipated marine with ludicrous shoulderpads shooting at us with a suspiciously large-bore gun. Obviously, that’s a ridiculous characterization. So what does that say about your premises, that if logically extended they lead to such?”

    The problem, of course, is that no matter how heavily you fortify your satirical position, reality almost always overtakes it. A lot of people did like the WH40K setting because of its “Atrocity, ho!” position, and liked that in the universe presented, you could engage in all sorts of fascist oppression and be correct in doing so. There are a lot of other reasons to like the WH40K setting, such as its extreme scope, its unapologetically ludicrous and awesome style (Cathedral-battleships!! Cathedreal-mecha!!! Cathedral-mecha inside cathedreal-battleships!!!!!), but there is a lot of GrimDarkness you need to accept in order to get to it, plus the wonderful perpetual argument about female space marines and other bits of GrimStupid from the fandom.

    As a fan of the setting, I agree that there is a whole lot not to like about it. I think there’s a lot of interest there, but good doesn’t outweigh bad; you need to accept the bad in order to enjoy the good, and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with choosing not to do so and moving onto another setting.

    Also, what are your thoughts on a My Little Pony miniatures wargame?

    • You know, I can see how it could have originally been intended as parody, and perhaps that just got a little lost over the years. And I won’t deny that there are certain elements which are fun – for instance, the fact that because of some weird psychic resonance, Ork vehicles literally go faster once painted red. And again, the game as a game looks like much fun. I just need to stay away from the fiction as much as possible.

      As for the MLP war-game, I can completely picture it, perhaps as a food fight started by Pinkie Pie or simply the Ponyville version of Lazer Tag. If the rules were fun and interesting, I’d play it.

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