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post #11 of 24 (permalink) Old 09-26-13, 12:52 AM
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Originally Posted by King Gary View Post
It's a good point being made, I just don't think you're trying hard enough. Maybe?

Space marines are one of the oldest races around, GW does put a lot of effort into them and they have a very well developed backstory. Xenos on the other hand tend towards a blank slate, this can actually provide you with more possibillities than you would otherwise have with space marines.
Don't get me wrong, i agree that you have a lot more scope with xenos and if you put a lot of effort in you'll get a great final result - but one of the points i was trying to make is it's a lot harder to get your vision across with xenos. The execution of modelling, painting and fluff really needs to be spot on with xenos to get the same effect as an SM army.

If i want to make a highly mobile, desert themed army I just use BA or RG as my primogenitor, paint them a sandy colour and call them the desert rats or something equally stupid. Just from the name and mentioning the parent chapter i can convey a massive amount about the army.

If i wanted to do that with Tau i need to do a hell of a lot of modelling work to get my idea across without an accompanying A4 page of fan fiction.


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post #12 of 24 (permalink) Old 09-26-13, 01:19 AM Thread Starter
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Yeah, I agree that that is the current balance as it has been since at least 3rd ed. But clearly the reason for that is market forces. Also the fact that a recent survey showed that 99.99% of GW's customers are humans, and when looking to take on a role in a story people are more than likely to go for what they can identify with at some base level. For most people it's harder to identify with an alien than it is a (genetically enhanced) super human. With GW you get your classic comic book set-up of ultra good and ultra bad (but essentially human) but unlike your classic comic books you also get a relatively speaking wide variety of complete allternatives. Could the Xenos' lore be more developed? Sure. But it's a whole lot harder to do than developing human based races and the finacial returns possibly aren't there quite yet.



You're talking to someone that just dropped over £40 on enough Forge World boarding shields for a single space marine tactical squad. Nice space marine armies aren't cheap either lol.

I guess i'm just trying to say that xenos races require a bit more effort, in all aspects of the hobby. From gaming and tactics through to painting and modelling. The old system of being able to order individual parts was awesome, if a little expensive too, but i'm sure it's still possible to get what you're after. I'd love to start a project that used Warhammer fatasy kits in a 40k army, litteraly zombie tau or something (how would you be able to tell? they're allready all so grey looking!)
Aye I know, I'm just saying in general that's the problem with xenos armies, they ain't popular because they are not diverse enough because if you want a unique individual looking army you really got to splash the cash to get the theme over and the general gaming base won't do that, thus you'll get the odd competitive army that's made up purely to crush people but won't look especially unique.

If I really put my mind to it and kept the interest I guess I could come up with a unique looking xenos army but in general this is simply not a viable option for most gamers and this contributes to the reasons why xenos armies are not as popular to the overwhelming amount of power armoured armies.

I'm about to drop £80 on 3 lots of Forgeworld Mk II marines at gamesday for my HH army

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post #13 of 24 (permalink) Old 09-26-13, 01:46 AM
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Well... this might be cheating... but I am using Space Marines to add fluff to my Necrons... bare with me

The way I see it, Marines can get corrupted by Chaos... so why can't they be corrupted by other things? Like for instance Necrons? Take a chapter like Iron Hands (that pretty much warships the Machine God), and read really far into the fact that the Void Dragon was probably a C'tan, making Machine Spirits an off shoot of Necron technology, and how Ferrus Manus had Necrodermis hands, fill in with a little fluff hogwash of my own about a crafty Harbinger of Transmogrification and we have the Necron Machine Cult. Or Marines that Warship the Necrons has gods.

And now I have my very own Half Marine Half Necrons. Well okay they are still a work in progress...
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post #14 of 24 (permalink) Old 09-26-13, 07:05 PM
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I think one of the biggest problems with the home brew xenos races, is that there is no rules support to back them up.

If I were to play space marines, there are Ultramrines, Raven Guard, Imperial Fists, White Scars, Iron Hands, Salamanders, Black Templears, Blood Angels, Dark Angels, Space Wolves, and Grey Knights to choose from, all with their own rules (and gear, in some cases).

Now, if I wanted to play Eldar, there are different crafworlds, but no real divergent rules for units. The same goes for dark eldar, orks, tau, nids, and necrons. Aside from some minor force org shifting using special characters (like a Warboss) or unlock characters (like a haemonculus) there is little variation to army design.

So if I want to make a renegade Tau mercenary force (WIP), there isn't much to differentiate them from a cadre from Tau itself. The lack of real differences makes me more likely to buy SM and customize to taste.
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post #15 of 24 (permalink) Old 09-27-13, 02:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Words_of_Truth View Post
Anyone else think that if alien armies had as much divergence and originality that the space marine legions and chapters do
Are you high? Urien Rakarth lets out more original farts than any Spess Muhreen related anything I've ever seen.

Aliens are less popular because they don't get as many model kits, generally gets rushed rules, and they won't be babied by GW with special codices all the time like SM players do.

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post #16 of 24 (permalink) Old 09-27-13, 02:33 PM
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Has anyone entertained the thought that despite all of the short comings that are so obvious to you guys, maybe it's just that the larger GW buying community doesn't actually like the aliens ?

Space Marines and their ilk have a huge appeal that goes far beyond any rubbish about their rules or support or any of that. How many new buyers of armies would even have the slightest notion of those things ?

Space Marines are popular as the are easily identifiable as human and the good guys, new players can relate to them far better than any of the other offerings.
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post #17 of 24 (permalink) Old 09-27-13, 06:51 PM
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Has anyone entertained the thought that despite all of the short comings that are so obvious to you guys, maybe it's just that the larger GW buying community doesn't actually like the aliens ?

Space Marines and their ilk have a huge appeal that goes far beyond any rubbish about their rules or support or any of that. How many new buyers of armies would even have the slightest notion of those things ?

Space Marines are popular as the are easily identifiable as human and the good guys, new players can relate to them far better than any of the other offerings.
I can see your points. Space Marines are human (sort of, if you discount the insane amount of genetic modification and implantation needed to make a one) and the good guys (again, sort of. Depends on the chapter). But the question then becomes what is the appeal to gamers?

If the appeal is "human", then why not make a go of pushing the Imperium as a whole, with emphasis on IG since they are the backbone of almost all human military operations.

If the option is "the good guys", then then they could push Eldar & Tau, who are usually described as good aliens in the fluff.

IMHO, GW has always pushed space marines way harder than any other army, which is why we have what we have today where the majority of players use (or at least own) space marines. If they wanted to, they could put a fraction of that creativity/time/effort into fluffing up/pushing the xenos races and I think we would see way more variety and many more xenos players.
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post #18 of 24 (permalink) Old 09-27-13, 09:20 PM
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Spacemarines are easily identifiable as a GW poster child though so why wouldn't they push them for all there worth. Gaurd are easily identifiable as human but so are many other companies sci fi models so maybe they become a bit samey.
I still disagree that the alien races are not well represented though the web is full of people bitching about how great or OP the necron flying circus is or the Tau battlesuit cadre, or DE venom spam and I've seen some awesome armies using different books to represent other races that have only tiny mentions in the books There was a hrud/ ghoul star denizen list on here somewhere a while back.
There is more scope for imaginative armies in the alien race books as the fluff is more sketchy, How many marines in a company or a chapter at full strength ,how many aspect warriors in a aspect lodge I bet most can answer 1 of these questions the other just comes down to personal choice.
You don't even need masses of conversions just imaginative basing and a great paint scheme maybe a few trophies to make a good back story.

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post #19 of 24 (permalink) Old 09-28-13, 03:28 AM
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The original question was weather or not they would be more popular if they were better represented. I think that if GW took the time to better represent them, with both fluff and rules they would be much more popular.

I am not arguing that with a little creativity you can make almost anything into an original army that counts as XYZ, because you can. What I am saying is that I can't take that army to a tournament, or take it to my FLGS to play without endless questions. And if I went go out on a limb and make my own rules, then I need to get everyone's permission to even put them on the table. I don't feel like putting that much effort into an army that will rarely see table time. And from what I've seen on the table, most gamers in my area aren't willing to do it either.

So, if GW were willing to expand the xenos races like they do marines, I believe there would be far more xenos players.
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post #20 of 24 (permalink) Old 09-28-13, 04:08 AM
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I'm one of the few in my area who will play aliens only. Won't touch marines or ig, not even Chaos.

There was a time when I had a full army of each and every xenos race (in a few cases I had several armies worth) and I was happy with that. Once or twice I attempted to build a marine army, lost all interest halfway through (often sooner) and sold the lot.

The one advantage I believe marines have is from a modelling standpoint. They are ridiculously easy to assemble and convert, simplistic to paint and not hard to learn to game with.

I thought it was just me, but most xenos armies just don't seem quite as "user friendly."


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