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After reading through some of the codecies it just hit me that I really didn't see the grimdark in 40k before today. Having only read the various Astartes and Guard codecies things really didn't seem that bad. I mean I know of the Dark Eldar and the chaos gods and all of the forumspeak of the grim darkness of the 41st millenium but when you read of all the triumphs of the Imperial things don't seem that bad. Tau codex is similar, lots of happy 'we'll get through it somehow' feelings throughout.

Read through the Nid codex and dang that is a lot darker than I imagined it being, even having prior knowledge of what they generally do. Very hopeless (with the exception of Warboss Skarfang, yet another reason why orks are awesome) feeling throughout it. Perhaps its just the newest non-imperial dex that has everything hyped up so it feels more dark.

I mean the DARK Angels really doesn't give a feeling of darkness, a secret here and there but thats really all. Chaos kinda has a crusade here and there, daemonic incursions happening on occassion, necrons waking up at weird hours of the morning, and the dark elder don't seem to be too actively mentioned. After reading through the stuff it felt evil sure, but not the dire threat that I had expected. Something that happens 'over there' that 'isnt a big concern to the imperium as a whole'. The orks are a threat, but they're just so funny that its hard to consider them grimdark. Something that shoots grots, has things that only work because they believe it will, rides ramshackled vehicles, performs weird surgeries but regrows anything lost anyway, an talk wit' a fu 'y speach imperdement hur hur just... doesn't seem the doom of everything. After reading the codex I near wanted to switch armies.
Nids on the other hand, after reading the codex, are terrifying and going to slaughter anything and everything; after amounting every single soldier you can you still have so little hope of surviving. With chaos it seems so much more like an everyday assault and less like the onslaught I think they're meant to portray.

On the other hand (You have three hands right?), the Imperial Guard codex is downright funny. Nork Deddog make me split my sides laughing. The description of him is both hilarious and cute (what passes for cute among ogryn anyway) I would love to see a commissar use summary execution on the 'kernul' and get smashed by Nork.

[/rant/revelation]
 

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While prehaps not in the codexs the Impirium fluff seems very "grimdark". With the new codexs coming out having more fluff in them I can see Inquisition, Dark Eldar and Necrons having a lot of "grimdark".

I think part of it is that most races cant see them selves as "grimdark". Astartese have no fear, they just fight the worst the galaxy has to offer as a day job, Orks just want a good fight, Impirial Guard have an optimism brought on by indoctranation and the commisars pistol.

I would say a large part of the 40k "grimdark" comes from the bigger picture where the individual is worthless and life is cheap

"To be an man in such times is to be one amongst untold billions. It is to live in the crullest and most bloody regime imaginable."
 

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While I think the main rule book and imperial codices contain some of the background Grimdark ( billions dying, golden throne failing etc.), these particular codices can't be too Grimdark, after all, they're the good guys. So in the Space Marines codex you'll read about their valiant defenses and fearless assaults, and how they always kick the crap out of everyone. Then you go to Tyranids, and it's their codex so it has to talk about how great they are, all doom and gloom and infinite hunger. Try reading the Chaos or Necron codices if you want some good ol' Grimdarkness.
 

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Bane of Empires
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The Tyranid, Chaos Daemon, and Necron current codicies, as well as the 5th edition Rulebook all give off a good amount of 'grimdark'. I agree with Classs, the 'grimdark' really comes in when you take a step back and take a look at the bigger picture of the 40k Galaxy, where the Imperium literally is on the brink of doom and destruction.
 

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The sad thing about 40k is that i can honestly see mankind wind up in that situation due to our nature.

We do fear the unknown, If aliens were to land on our planet today and offer peace and the chance to share there tech. we would more than likely kill just becaus they aren't human.
 

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Yeah, the bigger picture is bleak and horrible. Especially since 40K is one of the few sci-fi settings with a real sense of scale. Humans are the highly disputed rulers of the entire *galaxy*; millions of worlds, trillions of soldiers, and a total population in the...who knows? Quadrillions? And with all of that humanity is still on the literal brink of extinction.

Remember the Daemon fluff in the rulebook: a world dies because a teenager has a headache which becomes a portal to hell. Genocide is acceptable and a correct solution in 40K, because the alternative is actually far worse. Look at modern Earth and it's six billion-odd inhabitants. In 40K terms this is a virtually insignificant "civilized" world. Everyone here can be horrifically murdered by daemons, aliens, or the Imperium itself, and galaxy-spanning humanity loses virtually nothing.
 

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I think it is pretty grimdark when the next page turn is the end of the Imperium. It is more something you have to look at in perspective.
 

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On the bright side, we all know that the TRUE gods of the 40k universe, GW staff members, would never let the Imperium die.....or the Tau for that matter as well. Something will always come out of the blue and save them.
 

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On the bright side, we all know that the TRUE gods of the 40k universe, GW staff members, would never let the Imperium die.....or the Tau for that matter as well. Something will always come out of the blue and save them.
Or perhaps the story will stop being told. Perhaps were are now just frozen in time.
 

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I'm really looking foward to the next chapter of 40K although seeing as we are at year 999 of the 41st millenium the next edition will be warhammer 41000.

As for non grim dark elements in the written fluff I think the best is the description of the necrons in the brb. It says that some necron attacks are so feeble but happen regularly, these attacks are used as training excersises by ig regiments.

How fail is that? The race that almost wiped out all life in the galaxy and tamed the star gods is relegated to a trivial matter dealt with in an almost off hand manner. That's grim dark to the necrons, if they could think like that...
 

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Ancient Relic
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I'm really looking foward to the next chapter of 40K although seeing as we are at year 999 of the 41st millenium the next edition will be warhammer 41000.

As for non grim dark elements in the written fluff I think the best is the description of the necrons in the brb. It says that some necron attacks are so feeble but happen regularly, these attacks are used as training excersises by ig regiments.

How fail is that? The race that almost wiped out all life in the galaxy and tamed the star gods is relegated to a trivial matter dealt with in an almost off hand manner. That's grim dark to the necrons, if they could think like that...

yes, i hope when my beloved crons get their dex, there will be a bit about them awakening fully and wiping those ig off the face of the planet, and also i would like it if they just described how awesome the necrons were in their hayday 60 million years ago, and that they wiped out the dinosaurs on terra, and that they are rapidly returning to full power. to me, they are the most grimdark aspect, but they are under represented in the fluff atm. i mean what is more grim than ancient skeleton robots eradicating life in the universe
 

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Grand Lord Munchkin
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On the bright side, we all know that the TRUE gods of the 40k universe, GW staff members, would never let the Imperium die.....or the Tau for that matter as well. Something will always come out of the blue and save them.
Unless of course they start losing money on them. If that were to happen well.... They are tyranids food.
 
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