Thursday, 25 February 2016

Is the 40k fluff going anywhere?

Three years ago I couldn’t care less about the direction of the 40k fluff. As long as favourites of mine like Uriel Ventris and Gaunt survived to tell another tale I was happy. More than that I was content to let the fluff behind the galaxy remain ambiguous and for my favourite characters to interact in events that were isolated and discrete.

That was until the Horus Heresy landed! From the moment I started reading Horus Rising I started thinking in terms of the end game. I loved that the stories were working toward the battle on Terra and would depict the defeat of Horus and the near-death of the Emperor. It was going to fill in so many unanswered questions of ‘lore’ for me I couldn’t wait to find out what happened. Now its gonna take a long time to get there, maybe another 5 years at this rate but I am loving the journey and have learned to live with my impatience.

What is important is that all of the books are a part of a wider journey, they all connect and are moving a bigger, overarching story arc forward (with a few exceptions, you know who we are talking about Damnation of Pythos!).

Now I am not saying that the 40k fluff doesn’t have this at all; Gaunts Ghosts are part of the Sabbat worlds crusade, Uriel Ventris is battling against Warsmith Honsou and the Macharius books chart the Macharius campaign. But none of this feels as significant as the Heresy Era and they are all individual actions that seem important but not necessarily on a galactic scale or in a way that is going to significantly influence the history of mankind.

So now when I return to the books from that era they feel like they are missing something, like they should be part of a grander story arc that charts the course of humanity in the 41st millennia. Sure I get the concept of grimdark never-ending war. But I think this could be hugely improved by connecting this all to the wider course of the imperium. It sort of reminds me of the TV series I watched as a kid, each episode being a story in its own right, but lacking connetion to the other episodes and not really moving characters or wider events along. This TV was episodic with an underlying theme - a hybrid like the x-files or Star Trek Next Generation. This is what we get in 40k. 

One of the things that I love about GW is that the lore is getting developed and being made more sophisticated. I wonder if the Black Library is looking at the success of the Horus Heresy and thinking 'let's make 40k a bit more like Game of Thrones' in that the longer, broader story arcs become more significant in the individual novels. There would still be plenty of room for some good old bolter porn but how about some longer more significant arcs about the future of mankind? I think that would be great - let's head toward the end times! 

I think we've got at least 5-10 more years of the Heresy and Scouring. Then why not take on the end times? This would really hook me into 40k for 10-15 years, I think I am a much happier customer when I feel like the overall plot is going somewhere. 

So what do you think? Should 40k be heading toward the return of the Primarchs, maybe even the Big E himself as they battle at the End Times? Or should we just be content with the endless wars of the Grimdark?


  1. I absolutely agree now you point it out. I guess I like those old games where you have to collect pieces of the puzzle in order to see the 'real' story at the end, with plenty of twists and turns sling the way.
    On a sales point of view, where before I would just generally buy space wolves books, with the heresy series I buy every book, no matter the legion, so they are selling me more. Plus every book makes me want to start s new army!

  2. I totally agree. I absolutely love the fluff but the 40k fluff is just stagnant. Would love to see Guilliman come back, perhaps the a rescue mission launches to get Dorn, the salamanders finally complete the quest for Vulcan to return. All in time to face off against abaddon and the returning demon princes fulgrim and angron and perturbo.

    Seriously how bloody cool would that be?