Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The Good, The Bad and the Monsters, why do we like them? Old School gets all Dr Phil on You!


Just a little light discussion for today on what armies we associate ourselves with and why. Now I'm not talking about fielding an army from the most competitive stand point but rather why when picking an army do we feel ourselves pulled toward them. Why am I pulled toward dark, evil and wicked looking models with sordid backgrounds and vile stories? Why do others just have to field those dogfaced guardsmen? Why does CVinton love loyalists so much? Why do some people love Orks or Nids or space elves ext?


Is it some deep psychological thing? Simply the five year old in us telling us what looks cool? I have heard players wax poetic about fielding guardsmen because they represent regular men just trying to survive in a galaxy filled with monsters and powers beyond their comprehension.


I will open up this little therapy session with my own thoughts on it. First off, I love Chaos - there is no hiding it - chaos Marines in particular. I have tried to build and paint loyalists, but always get just and start looking back over to the dark side for my hobby itch. Why is this?


On the surface it has to do with the five year old boy in me. I like them because they look cool, but I think it also stretches into the Dr. Phil side of things as well. I am a US Servicemember and with that comes a lifestyle bound by discipline and high moral standards. I think that playing Chaos allows me to relax that and let it go in the safety of the tabletop where it can't hurt anyone. I can play with models who once represented the highest hopes for humanity, but let themselves go to rage, base desires, spite and their own personal shortcomings - something nobody could ever do without causing harm to themselves and others. I obviously would never do some of the things CSM are known for, but I think anyone who has ever been sitting in traffic and thought about putting a chain axe through someone's skull can relate to what I am saying.
My nods on the other hand appeal to me mostly because they look cool, though when you imagine the enemy being attacked from the sky, the land, their sides and from below the ground, they also become cool on a psychological level.
But that is enough of me and and my Dr Phil routine. How about you? Do you associate with your army on just a surface level or is there a defeated reason for your choice of race?


  1. Funnily enough I think I like the Loyalists because I miss the service. A day job is has no underlying feeling of doing "good" like the Marines used to.

    That and I like the idea of self created chapters and self made fluff.

  2. I have my own post on picking your army:

    To answer your question is a snippet from that:

    "I've thought and been questioned from time to time as to "Why Space Elves?" and recently I came up with an answer that makes a lot of sense to me - they're completely science fiction. I love their look, their sleek form and alien technology. While a fan of the cyber punk and post-apocalyptic settings, 40k is neither to me. I see 40k as Science Fiction and the Eldar ARE Sci-Fi.

    Image-wise, this is my big generalization of 40k: (emphasis on "my personal view")
    To me, the Imperials are for the classic war nut and the Marines for the modern war nut. Chaos allows you to be the destroyer of worlds and Space Orks bring fantasy to 40k. Nids create a gritty Gigeresque alien, Necrons for the Terminator fans and Tau added the mecha flavour."
    - me

  3. Thanks for the insight guys. Dave, nice blog. It's true that Eldar are completely sci-fi. We often call them apace elves, but they are as dissimilar to high elves as orks are to orcs.

  4. I really like the space elves (both craftworld and dark) and I am probably gonna have a sizable force of each when I'm through.

    Why I am drawn to the Craftworlders is probably because there is a high degree of order even when playing them. I'm naturally a disorganized person but I try hard to cut through the disorder.

    All Eldar units have things they can do and a shit load of things they can not. But their specialization makes a real bitch when they are doing what they are made too.

    On that note I enjoy the complexity with the army, making it extremely hard to beat the curve(first 40k army) but I'm slowly getting closer.

    The Dark Eldar, I'll have to wait and see to find out if I like them better than craftworld. Right now I'm thinking I'm only going to play craftworld because some things in the new Dex put me off.

  5. Thanks :)

    I've seen the mistake numerous times of people switching armies to another one that plays very similar. I don't recommend going from say Eldar to Dark Eldar, Imperials to Tau, Orks to Necrons... If you're investing in changing armies I strongly suggest switching to an army that plays very different to what you're currently doing.

  6. I can show you on the doll where chaos marines touched me.

    I started 40k at the begging of 3rd. Chaos was everywhere, EVERYWHERE. I had no idea how to play, how to paint, how to make a list. Nothing. And I got beat up by chaos, all the time for two reasons.

    One, I was like 12. You all have played 12 year olds, its a fun game, because they're kids and nice and don't get upset, but come on...if you have a shred of humanity at all you feel bad about the beating you give them.

    Second; all the good players, the really strong tournament winning players, were rolling chaos.

    I hated it. Everywhere I turned, fucking chaos and they were beating my face in. I've always hated chaos, always. And I love that chaos players are licking my loyalist boots right now. Fuck you chaos, fuck you.

    (and btw, I've played for an extended period eldar, dark eldar and tau. I just hate chaos in particular)

  7. I started with Eldar all those years ago because I am a fluff guy. They are a doomed race because of their own hubris. despite being ancient beyond measure and so advanced they still gave into their emotions. The craftworlders are controlled while the dark eldar are wanton There is a balance. I am like that very controlled and wanton at other times. they speak to me.

  8. Orks

    No other army provides the opportunity for good unpredictable fun!

    Old Zogwort, Wierdboys, SAG, Ramschackle Trukks.... just to name a few.

    I'm still relatively new to 40k, but looking through the Ork codex, there are just all kinds of fun lurking within. And isn't fun what this is all about?

    In the 12 games I've played so far, I've already had quite a few memorable moments!

    First full game...... Old Zogwort turned the Farseer into a Squig on Turn 2.

    First time I shot the SAG...... snake eyes!

    My Wierdboy teleports me two turns in a row. (I had just gone where I wanted to be.) But the temptation was just too much!

    Last game a Trukk ramshacked, and put me right next to the enemy's objective. Bonus!

    Do Orks have their shortcomings? Absolutely.

    But what other army can provide you this much fun ??

  9. Great insight guys, check out Dave's link above as he has some really interesting insight into the way we choose armies and how they may color our outlook on the 40k universe.

    Other than that, I know it is wierd to look at the game this way but it is also interesting to get into peoples' heads and see how players tick. Thanks for the responses. I hope I didn't make myself sound like a serial killer in waiting lol.