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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
After taking some time to read the WH40k codexes and get absorbed into the fluff, I noticed some interesting differences in the style in which the armies are presented. So let's discuss just how dangerous each faction is made out to be in its own book.

(This a fluff analysis only! No comments on each faction's ability to actually deliver the threat with its in-game rules.)

-Eldar: Average Menace Level. These guys are so tragic, slowly dying caught between tyranids and clumsy blubbering humans, but the codex does give them a 'cornered fox' vibe, implying that they can go out in quite a blaze of glory if given a chance. That and their (in)famous Farseeing, gleefully using other races as living shields against the more horrid menaces out there, makes them quite...unsettling.

-Chaos Space Marines: Low Menace Level. The fluff talks a good game about the warp and chaos, but as for the marines? Not so good. Memorable battles: See, once we got to jack a Space Wolves ship! And you know this world we just made up? We had a civil war there for some 60 years, critically destabilizing 1/1,000,000th of the Imperium! The Chaos Boyz end up looking like Power Rangers villains, perpetually foiled, heading back to the Eye of Terror shaking their fists. They'd have gotten away with it if it wasn't for those damn Space Marines!

- Necrons: High menace level. The tone of this codex matches the Necrom theme quite well: unknowable, relentless, merciless. Things are already bad and they are going to get worse. Every necron that has been felled in battle hasn't been destroyed and will be back, and more (whole tomb worlds of them) are rising. Engagements with their fleet are so disastrous that they don't even serve as learning experiences. Their gods don't really play the "let me busy myself with the esoteric matters beyond reality" game and instead eagerly join the game of wiping out all life in the galaxy.

- Imperial Guard: Average menace level. More like average-high, actually. The Imperial Guard is made towin and it does, but it doesn't look good doing it. They may be the easily-dispatched mooks in every other codex, but writing conveys the grim 'Red Army' roots of the Guard well. Unbreakable commanders willing to drown the enemy with the bodies of their own men, and their own in necessary, backed by clanking artillery and endless waves of tanks are nothing to scoff at.

-Dark Eldar: Quite a high menace level, actually. While they won't be wiping out any other factions anytime soon, the Dark Eldar are made to be intensely efficient at what they do: raiding, enslaving and torturing. Nowhere is safe; they can strike anywhere and drag whole populations to an existence that makes Necron Lords leak brake fluid down their legs. They1ve ben at it for ten millenia, in a hidden city of pure agony, and they are -very- good at it.

- Tau: Low menace level. Tau appear efficient and motivated in a gung-ho way, but they make it clear that the Tau are a circumstantial power at best; every time they are about to face a sizable challenge geared up to wipe them out, a stroke of luck is what delivers them instead of their own bad-assness; a Tyranid swarm, a warp storm or something else. The sense that their expansion really is all that relentless and fast doesn't really come across.

- Orks: Medium-high. Everyone's favorite grammar-challenged green psychos come out as unstoppable, savage and bloodthirsty, but the comical undertone of the codex does crimp things a bit. That, and its gimmick for explaining why they haven't overran the galaxy yet works a bit too well: kill the head baddie and the others will automatically slaughter themselves for you! Ghagzkull also seems to be morphing into cartoon villain territory, blasting off like Team Rocket after the day is lost (though orks do it with style, I admit.)

Feel free to comment/contribute!
 

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Nids: Have already chomped down on nearly a quarter of the galaxy without breaking strides. Well maybe one or two Hive Fleets, but we`ve got dozens more! I`ll assume you skipped nids because they are automatically number One?

In which case, I`ll continue:

2: Necrons. Basically for the reasons you said. Though it is possible to destroy a necron permanently, and has happened fairly often. It`s just hard.

3: Chaos. I think you`ve underplayed them. Remember they`re fighting each other as much as the Imperium, but the threat is there.

4: Imperium. Yeah. We own the galaxy. Come and get it. :threaten:

After this, I put the tau and eldar wherever. None of them can play on the same level as the big guys, and to me the orks are just the filler bad guys for when nobody else can be bothered.

IMO... :)
 

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I agree about the lack of real menace the Choas codex has. Abaddons 13 great black failures always amuse me confirming his position as a minor irritant with a great PR man. I thought it was very amusing hwen this theme was picked up in the novel soul hunter too.
 

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Space Marines: High. Let's face it, much as i love them they really are the poster boys of games workshop. The victories they accomplish are untold, hell we have several pages in each of the new marine codexs going on to explain just how bad ass they are. Orks doing a mega assault that no ones stopping? how does it end? Marines. Chaos doing a insanely terrifying incursion into Imperial territory? hows it end? Marines. And pretty much the same for any real threat the Imperium ever has to face. You can guarantee the next chaos/ork/tyranid/tau/necron invasion campaign is going to be beaten back by the Marines.
 

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I fail to see the menace in Dark Eldar. Sure, they may rape you, flay you, torture you, rape you again, disembowel you, rape you again, kill you, rape you once more and then eat you, but they're only doing it to you. They're not doing it to a whole lot of people.
The Eldar, on the other hand, manipulate events and races that are far larger than their entire Craftworlds.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
How could i forget?

- Tyranids. Tyranids win. Menace level omega. All their incursions were only averted at an astounding cost in lives and material, sometimes so great it pretty much redefines the concept of Pyrrhyc victory. The more you fight, the more nutritious you become and the stronger they will be in the end. The previous Hive fleets have only been feeler tentacles, with a main force that likely devoured a whole other galaxy being on the way to suck this one dry until it makes that noise a straw does when you suck the last bit of a milkshake through it.

As for Chaos and Dark Eldar, please note I'm not defining 'menace' as uber-powerful abilitiy to remake the galaxy. Rather, see it as how able they come across at achieving their goals. Dark Eldar have a less demanding objective than most others, but they are deviously good at it and there really is no way to stop them.

The Chaos Legions, on the other hand, have a somewhat lofty goal (razing Terra and casting down the imperium) that they never even get to advance towards; mankind will instead just crumble on its own, with the same speed regardless of what Abbadon does or doesn't do, though he may get to peek out of the Warp and kick the ruins of the Astronomican in 3 thousand years, akin to you going to Greece, kicking a toppled pillar of the Acropolis and call yourself the Despoiler of Ancient Greece.
 

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Have to agree with most except the orks - although not in a 'dex, after reading Rynn's World they suddenly seemed far less comical and actually sh*t scary!

When you stop to think about what a rampaging horde of what are essentially mental pissheads, with near superhuman strength and the ability to shrug off numerous wounds would actually do to a human planet, their threat level suddenly becomes pretty high.
 

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I can`t help be a little offended, by your take on the threat level of CSM. The main reason being that your basing your evaluation on abbaddons crusades alone. True they are where the bulk of the CSM force is located, but as a whole CSM and daemons pose a huge menace level to their enemies. Entire imperial, and xeno systems have been lost in a matter of days to daemonic encusions, backed by marines.

Although I do agree that abbadons pathetic failed crusades are hardly even a concern to their enemies. Which really seems stupid when in other sections of the fluff they and their daemonic allies have made entire systems burn, and on 1 or 2 occasion have even brought Craft worlds to ruin (Daemons codex, and the death of Elderad). I will agree that the current CSM book does do a horrible job showing how threatening they can be by playing up how scary failaddons failsades are.. wooo I`me abbadon, and I`m backed by immortal killing machines that can butcher entire chapter, yet I can`t even take or destroy a single planet even though I have a damn ship that can blow a planet up from F&?%ing orbit.
 

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It seems more like the idea of Chaos, it's ability to corrupt and fester within any society, is the true threat.

If Chaos manages to win in the end, it'll be thanks to Daemons and the innumerous cults to Chaos that triumph, ultimately.

It seems Chaos Space Marines are more straightforward in their destruction of the Imperium. Rather than trying to turn the Imperium against itself, it just kills or enslaves everyone that gets in their way. The CSM are too few in number and organization to succeed that way.

Chaos as a whole is scary as hell. Chaos Space Marines? Not so much.
 

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As for Chaos and Dark Eldar, please note I'm not defining 'menace' as uber-powerful abilitiy to remake the galaxy. Rather, see it as how able they come across at achieving their goals. Dark Eldar have a less demanding objective than most others, but they are deviously good at it and there really is no way to stop them.

The Chaos Legions, on the other hand, have a somewhat lofty goal (razing Terra and casting down the imperium) that they never even get to advance towards; mankind will instead just crumble on its own, with the same speed regardless of what Abbadon does or doesn't do, though he may get to peek out of the Warp and kick the ruins of the Astronomican in 3 thousand years, akin to you going to Greece, kicking a toppled pillar of the Acropolis and call yourself the Despoiler of Ancient Greece.
So the biggest menace in the entire IoM is a man who is about to fart and really, really wants to fart?
 

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Most forces are ground troops - Orcs, CSM's, IG and SM's etc - they fight for control of planets and its resources - they real enemies are the forces who destroy whole planets from space. Dominion of the Galaxy belongs to those with the most powerful ships. In the end analysis all that remain are the Tyranid Hive Fleets and the Necron Cruisers against the Imperial Navy. All others are just ground troops, heroic but not important.
 

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while i agree with your points on the black legion and failbaddon, im pretty sure the night lords scare the living **** out of the imperium, go to the page in the csm codex with the rhino and read the bit at the bottom of the page, you'll see what i mean
 

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So the biggest menace in the entire IoM is a man who is about to fart and really, really wants to fart?
Well if the man who wants to is the emperor and he has been holding it in for 10,000 years the sense of releif and pleasure he gets when he does may just elevate Slaanesh to be THE most powerful chaos god...
 

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Although I do agree that abbadons pathetic failed crusades are hardly even a concern to their enemies.
Considering the Imperium fortifies an entire sector and created twenty Space Marine Chapters just to contain Abbadon. I would hardly say they take him lightly. Going by the Index Astartes article on him the High Lords are ''terrified'' of the day Abbadon units all of the Chaos Marines in the Eye.

I will agree that the current CSM book does do a horrible job showing how threatening they can be by playing up how scary failaddons failsades are.. wooo I`me abbadon, and I`m backed by immortal killing machines that can butcher entire chapter, yet I can`t even take or destroy a single planet even though I have a damn ship that can blow a planet up from F&?%ing orbit.
St. Jothsmane Hope? Stranivar? Savaven? He's destroyed all of those. Two of those in the Gothic War and one of those in the 13th, and that's all that is mnetioned.

Let's look on what he has done.

1st Crusade: He goes out and butchers many worlds before finally being turned back, Rogal Dorn is lost during this crusade and the Imperium pours resources into fortifying Cadia.

12th Crusade: The Gothic War: Abbadon's primary objective here is getting the Blackstones, he got two, which appearantly was enough for him. This crusade was simply a item run for the 13th. At the very least it's a partial sucess.

13th. Still ongoing.

We don't really have much information on what Abbadon's plans or how the Crusades even went at all.
 

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I've got to admit I like Abbadon. He is the symbol of chaos and he is the leader that will burn terra. In my opinon anyway. Who knows if Abbadon did or did not complete his tasks in his black crusades? I think this quote from Soul Hunter sums this up for me;
p.163 "You seem unimpressed by my assurance," the Wamaster said
"With respect, sir all of your previous crusades have failed."
"Is that so? Are you one of my inner circle, to judge whether my plans came to pass and my objectives were met"

while i agree with your points on the black legion and failbaddon, im pretty sure the night lords scare the living **** out of the imperium, go to the page in the csm codex with the rhino and read the bit at the bottom of the page, you'll see what i mean
I don't think so, the Night Lords are a broken legion. They have no real leader and they are all split into diffrent groups. Sure scary in the small scale but no real threat to the Imperium as a whole. I think the only way the Night Lords could become a true threat is if they united and ACTUALLY EMBRACED CHAOS (grumble)
 

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Who knows if Abbadon did or did not complete his tasks in his black crusades? I think this quote from Soul Hunter sums this up for me;
p.163 "You seem unimpressed by my assurance," the Wamaster said
"With respect, sir all of your previous crusades have failed."
"Is that so? Are you one of my inner circle, to judge whether my plans came to pass and my objectives were met"
I dunno that sounds a little like a face-saving maneuver to me.

"I'm gonna burn Terra! I'm gonna slay the Emperor! I'm gonna tear down the entire Imperium! To do it, I'm gonna um... raid one planet at a time. Yeah! That's it! Win by attrition, see? My armies were beaten back by some loyalist marines and all we came away with was a handful of slaves but haha! That's all I came for! Yeah... that's it... Success!"

"But sir... at that rate, it will take approximately 6.4 million years to..."
"DO YOU PRESUME TO KNOW MY PLANS?!?!?!"
*groan*

"If at first you don't succeed, lower your standards." -Unknown
 

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I dunno that sounds a little like a face-saving maneuver to me.

"I'm gonna burn Terra! I'm gonna slay the Emperor! I'm gonna tear down the entire Imperium! To do it, I'm gonna um... raid one planet at a time. Yeah! That's it! Win by attrition, see? My armies were beaten back by some loyalist marines and all we came away with was a handful of slaves but haha! That's all I came for! Yeah... that's it... Success!"

"But sir... at that rate, it will take approximately 6.4 million years to..."
"DO YOU PRESUME TO KNOW MY PLANS?!?!?!"
*groan*

"If at first you don't succeed, lower your standards." -Unknown
No, it's more like ''grab that super weapon, grab that super weapon, get that sword, test those defences'' and then begin the plan. That's like saying the Allies lost WWII because they did not conquer Berlin on D-Day.

You can't seriously expect Abbadon to blaze right through the Cadian Gate and all the way through the Imperium into Terra, the most heavily fortified planet in the universe, in one blow.

Plus with the way time flows in the Eye of Terror it may have been a much shorter span of time for Abbadon than 10,000 years. For all we know he could be launching Black Crusades every decade or something. What we really need would be say a novel from Abbadon's point of view, to see what exactly his plans and crusades are like.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I dunno that sounds a little like a face-saving maneuver to me.

"I'm gonna burn Terra! I'm gonna slay the Emperor! I'm gonna tear down the entire Imperium! To do it, I'm gonna um... raid one planet at a time. Yeah! That's it! Win by attrition, see? My armies were beaten back by some loyalist marines and all we came away with was a handful of slaves but haha! That's all I came for! Yeah... that's it... Success!"

"But sir... at that rate, it will take approximately 6.4 million years to..."
"DO YOU PRESUME TO KNOW MY PLANS?!?!?!"
*groan*

"If at first you don't succeed, lower your standards." -Unknown
The much-beloved 3.5 codex did a better job of making the traitors seem scary (the tale of a champion's ascension to Daemon Prince was quite interesting), but they actually went for the "It's all part of the plan" gambit, or, as we call in in Warcraft Lore, pulling a Kael-Thas.

"See, all those defeats -looked- like failures to your puny mind! But They were all carefully prepared steps for my final triumph, which you are POWERLESS to stop!"

Speech usually followed by utter defeat and claiming of loot.

This is an actual question that reveals my ignorance, though: Why do they need to go through Cadia at all? Can't they just enter the Warp inside the Eye and emerge on another system?
 
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