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Saturday, 30 June 2012

40K 6th- First Impressions- Background

Hi all,

let's take a break from the rules and concentrate on the fluff for a bit.And what a lot of fluff we have! It's like a fat mans' belly button in here...

The Imperium is again introduced, and yet again humanity is in dire straits. There's a little more detail this time- Psykers are put-down, but now we know why- if enough psykers create a warp-hole, then Chaos will be able to fully break though into real space. So it's not just fear that keeps the Black Ships running, they've got a valid reason. it's also suggested that at the end of the Horus Heresy, administration was doubled up as a fail safe (2 different departments generating the same report without knowledge of the fact they are working on the same thing.) As time has gone on, the process of doubling on never stopped- so now there really is a sense of administration gone mad, and the Imperium being tied up in red tape. As information has become even more stagnant, the rulers have become even more Tyranical and the Imperium gets more and more downtrodden. Grimdark indeed.

The Scouring is fleshed out a little  (the time between Horus' defeat and the second founding) as the Loyalists discover that the Heresy ran deeper than they thought, and plenty of worlds are brought into doubt. Also, the campaign against the Traitors was executed by the Ultramarines and the Space Wolves- the Dark Angels were still mincing around keeping secrets and having their own little Civil war apparently.

There's a great timeline spread. Some high points- the Officio Assassinorum murders all 12 High Lords, and the infighting on Terra is only put down when 50 Chapter Masters arrive on Terra, led by the Ultramarines. The Black Templars put down a Cyborg Psyker warlord who's Psychic powers control 1300 Planetary systems, but when he dies 1 billion Astropaths die and the Astronomican is distorted, leaving millions of ships adrift in the warp and whole sub-sectors back-sliding into barbarism- nice one, guys! 30 Chapters are found guilty of lacking in faith in M37 and dispatched to the Eye of Terror only to arrive back 800 years later fairly narked- their response is to destroy all shrines to the Saint which judged them and to gather up all documents, transcripts, relics and his bones and fire them into the nearest star. M41- a new Tyranid menace is spotted by Imperial Outposts- heading for the Tau Empire; no warning is given :) The Segmentum Pacificus also seems to be going a bit mental just prior to the 13th Black Crusade.

We then get the typical breakdown of each race- Imperial, Xenos and Chaos. Quite a lot is made of Chaos, and they have rightly taken their place as Chief Bad Guy in the background. Quite a lot of this section is information veterans will already be familiar with, and the story hasn't progressed much, but they have filled in the history a little more (which I fully expect the Black Library to jump on) which is welcome. Then comes the pre-requisite model showcase- I've flicked through, there's pictures of some good looking models which you've seen before.

The Hobby section is exactly what you've come to expect. Good news- there's 2 stunning collections on display here, 1 Space Wolf force which is beautifully executed; and the combined collection of Andrew and Nicola Taylor, which is breathtaking. Plus there's some Golden Daemon models.

Not as ground-breaking as the last edition of 40K (where the Golden Throne started to fail) but not bad, and better presented than I've seen in the past. Special mention goes to all the little quotes hidden in the borders- have fun tracking them all down.

Comments, as always, are welcome.

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