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Wednesday, June 12, 2013

A Million Systems a Day

The world of Warhammer 40k is one of the most fleshed out and creative sci-fi universes there is, with infinite possibilities and a freedom not available in historical war games. Even if you don't enjoy the grim dark setting, most can appreciate it. It has clever use of parody and themes taken from other literature, re-written and re-designed to fit into the 40k universe. If you look closely at 40k, you will see a bit of the old testament, a bit of Aliens, a bit of Terminator, a bit of ancient Rome and many, many old  fairy tales.  The whole setting is entirely unoriginal and totally new at the same time.

It is this limitless creation that has allowed its gamers to come up with a million different solutions to the same problem. My army was always Space Marines (Shhh! you groaning at the back), but none of my models are the same as anyone elses, even though they used mostly the same kits. Sure, I collected other armies, but I always came back to remodel my marines. I almost always used the same models each time, stripping them off, remodeling them, and re-branding them.

I started off with Ultramarines. (I told you to stop groaning at the back!) When I started, they weren't the Roman/Spartan mash-up that they are now - they were just the default marines, the perfect model of what marines should be. They were, of-course, terribly painted and too heavy on the varnish.

I'm sorry pictures of my first army are long gone.

They went through a green phase for a short time too, but I changed my mind pretty quickly.

Then they got revived as Black Templars. I went the extra mile this time. I started to explore green stuff and made myself a "King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table" themed army. Lots of chains, lots of skulls and lots of parts from a Bretonnian Knight sprue. Being the Black Templars, they needed a crusade. Of course the only reasonable crusade for King Arthur is the Holy Grail, and yes there was killer bunny modeled. I also always intended to model a Patsy, with two coconut halves. There was also a Grey Knight Army that had joined them on the crusade.

I still have this army, but they never saw battle.

I moved onto a new Marine Chapter - this time I wanted to move away from the grim dark. I wanted to create a marine chapter that wasn't tied down by the strictures of the Codex Astartes - that didn't regliously believe in the faith of a god emperor. They weren't chaos, they were just realistic. Gone were the skulls and the chains, off with the garish colour schemes. I made an entire history and world for my army. They were isolated to a single planet, forced to battle orks on their own ground, and forced to use new tactics and methods that other marines would order exterminatus on them and call them cowards. They had become disillusioned with the Imperium.

They used camouflage! Anyone who knows the fluff for space marines knows that camo is very un-space marine. I even have a Thunderhawk gunship with nose art. They weren't typical marines, but the scope of the universe allowed it without ruining anyone else's game. People could instantly see and understand my theme without even reading my text. I wont lie, I sometimes miss this creativity from my current wargames.

For all its faults, Warhammer 40k is a fantastic game for the imagination. So what unique spin did you put on the 40k Universe, or any game, lets see your most creative solutions to the same problem!

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