Inexplicably popular books.

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Agema:

Palindromemordnilap:
Never did get the love for Pride and Prejudice. I found it so dull, would much rather have read something by a Bronte sister if we were going for the historical romance genre

I had to read Mansfield Park at school, never felt compelled to read any of the others. But I would say I appreciated it enough to see why her books are so popular and highly regarded.

Phoenixmgs:

Yeah, I totally get it, it's hard for something to stay popular without ongoing content. Though I think Dragonball stayed pretty popular over time, I know there was a recent series of it but I'm thinking there was quite a big gap in content for it. I just never saw Cowboy Bebop's popularity really ever rivaling stuff like Dragonball/Naruto/Bleach/Attack/etc.

To really be legendary, however, produce very little.

Unless you're a genius, that approach seems unlikely to gain you much recognition since writers - like most artists - improve over time.

evilthecat:

Hawki:
40K does answer those questions though.

So, you've kind of read my argument in the opposite way to the one intended.

I'm not confused as to how diverse cultures could exist in the 40k setting. I'm saying that it's silly those cultures exactly resemble real historical cultures or stereotypes.

The comparison to a Bethesda Fallout game is due to how both setting misunderstand their own scope, especially when it comes to time. Bethesda Fallout games are theoretically set hundreds of years after the nuclear war, but everyone is still obsessed with replicating or copying pre-war things. Worse, they're obsessed with random 1950s stuff from a hundred years before the nuclear apocalypse. Everyone feels like they're LARPing, rather than trying to build a real society on the wreckage of the past, because it's absurd that so much cultural information has survived intact.

The distance between now and the year 40,000 is several times the distance between now and the founding of the first human cities, and yet vikings have survived? People are still going around in red coats, pith helmets and Victorian moustaches? Again, these are not realistic human cultures, they're LARP cultures where people mindlessly and exactly emulate historical cultures which should have been long forgotten. When I ask where they came from, I don't mean literally how did humans get to these alien planets and develop their own distinct identity, I mean what made them turn into these stereotypes? 40k doesn't give us an answer because it's not meant to be taken that seriously.

Hawki:
As for the monoculture thing, it does make sense in the context of the setting..

My point wasn't actually that the various planets in the expanse were monocultures, it's that the planets in most science fiction settings (including 40k, for the most part) are monocultures.

Can I just say how much I love the ridiculousness of 40K? It's packed to the brim with space vikings and rock&roll demons and robot skeleton aliens and yet for the most part it tries to play everything completely straight and serious. The 40K universe is hilarious and is made all the more hilarious that no one in it seems to realize how ridiculous it all is, even or especially when it kicks the grimdarkness up to 11.

More on topic, one way that 40k takes advantage of its scale in a way most other sci-fi doesn't is the narrative potential for failure when the stakes are incredibly high. In most fiction, when the stakes are stopping the end of the world, you know the protagonists are going to succeed because if they don't then there isn't a whole lot left to work with. However, in 40K, the loss of a single world generally won't affect the overall balance of the universe all that much. Still, if the author does things right the stakes still feel incredibly high to the reader as the death of a planet ought to, even if what locally is an apocalypse is barely a blip on the radar of the universe as a whole. This is only one example of the narrative freedom the scale of 40k gives its authors. You are free to do quite a lot without accidentally backing the lore into a corner that it can't easily recover from

Silent Protagonist:

More on topic, one way that 40k takes advantage of its scale in a way most other sci-fi doesn't is the narrative potential for failure when the stakes are incredibly high. In most fiction, when the stakes are stopping the end of the world, you know the protagonists are going to succeed because if they don't then there isn't a whole lot left to work with. However, in 40K, the loss of a single world generally won't affect the overall balance of the universe all that much. Still, if the author does things right the stakes still feel incredibly high to the reader as the death of a planet ought to, even if what locally is an apocalypse is barely a blip on the radar of the universe as a whole. This is only one example of the narrative freedom the scale of 40k gives its authors. You are free to do quite a lot without accidentally backing the lore into a corner that it can't easily recover from

The sheer scale of 40k has had quite the opposite effect on me, honestly; it's robbed all events of their weight or sense of impactfulness. I remember thumbing through a guide to one of the editions, and a little footnote mentioned some battle or another destroying dozens of planets and hundreds of billions of people. The battle was never mentioned elsewhere, no further discussion was given. It's just increasing the numbers exponentially to give everything a thin veneer of "epic", but nothing felt weighty or meaningful.

===

OT: I never enjoyed Cold Mountain, though it's supposedly an American classic.

Gordon_4:

Unless you're a genius, that approach seems unlikely to gain you much recognition since writers - like most artists - improve over time.

Sometimes. There's also often the notion that an artist has blown most of their best ideas in their early work. Especially, perhaps, in music.

Silvanus:

The sheer scale of 40k has had quite the opposite effect on me, honestly; it's robbed all events of their weight or sense of impactfulness. I remember thumbing through a guide to one of the editions, and a little footnote mentioned some battle or another destroying dozens of planets and hundreds of billions of people. The battle was never mentioned elsewhere, no further discussion was given. It's just increasing the numbers exponentially to give everything a thin veneer of "epic", but nothing felt weighty or meaningful.

Yep. Warhammer Lore is a load of Big Stuff happening rendered utterly trivial because everything is Big Stuff and you just become numb to it all.

Also, because it's sort of juvenile. You don't really care about anyone in Warhammer (maybe some of the better books have a few characters, mind), they have no emotional resonance. They're just cardboard cut-outs with swords to move a plot, and that plot to provide a framework to support kids bothering their parents to give them more pocket money for models.

I'm amused at all the (and extent of) earnest debate regarding the plausibility of the WH40K lore. -.-

Silent Protagonist:

More on topic, one way that 40k takes advantage of its scale in a way most other sci-fi doesn't is the narrative potential for failure when the stakes are incredibly high. In most fiction, when the stakes are stopping the end of the world, you know the protagonists are going to succeed because if they don't then there isn't a whole lot left to work with. However, in 40K, the loss of a single world generally won't affect the overall balance of the universe all that much. Still, if the author does things right the stakes still feel incredibly high to the reader as the death of a planet ought to, even if what locally is an apocalypse is barely a blip on the radar of the universe as a whole. This is only one example of the narrative freedom the scale of 40k gives its authors. You are free to do quite a lot without accidentally backing the lore into a corner that it can't easily recover from

I disagree.

40K arguably has large stakes (fate of the galaxy), with numerous things threatening to screw over the galaxy (Chaos, tyranids, necrons, arguably the Imperium itself), but it's an example of a setting-driven franchise rather than a plot-driven one. Things will stay grimdark, but the status quo itself will never change.

If an author wants to tell the story of the fall/defence of a world? Yeah, that won't affect the status quo, but that's hardly unique to 40K itself, plenty of settings are large enough where that's a paradigm.

Somewhat disagree there.

40k has a big setting, and so allows for big things, but it's how they do those big things that's important.

Way, way back when the Tyranids were introduced, they ate the Lamenters and the Scythes of the Emperor Space Marine Chapters. Who were two Space Marine chapters, famous for being eaten by the Tyranids and nothing else whatsoever (at least at the time, in later years they were given some history). Don't care about them , or any of the nameless planers they ate.

OTOH, eventually GW realised that nobody cares if you blow up somewhere you've introduced just to be blown up, and started blowing up places like Cadia which have been talked about for the last 30 odd years.

On the other other hand, the quality of the writing seems to have dropped considerably, but that's nothing to do with the scale.

Thaluikhain:

Way, way back when the Tyranids were introduced, they ate the Lamenters and the Scythes of the Emperor Space Marine Chapters. Who were two Space Marine chapters, famous for being eaten by the Tyranids and nothing else whatsoever (at least at the time, in later years they were given some history). Don't care about them , or any of the nameless planers they ate.

This is a perpetual problem with lots of media (often I think comic books): the lack of meaningful consequence.

For instance, a writer can just kill someone, and then they'll be conveniently resurrected later. At the point you realise not even death is final, little really matters any more to the reader; it doesn't matter if Planet Awesome blows up when it turns out there's another one just a few light years down the spiral arm of the galaxy.

I think people are forgetting that storyline in tabletop games always fall foul of stagnation (and red-shirt-ism) because of the need to keep models within the product range to remain relevant. Despite how it comes across, no game publisher wants to invalidate the purchases of its customer base (even though GW is actually one of the publishers most guilty of this, what with what they did to Dark Eldar and the Inquisition at various points).

The only way to 'further' stories is to introduce factions and new experimental technology (as a means to release new product) without necessarily furthering the timeline itself (there's a reason why GW were stuck on year 41999 for gods only knows how long). The in-world status quo must typically be maintained to keep all factions at least broadly relevant and not too jarring to gameplay balance while keeping all named characters clinging on to some semblance of life, allowing narrative campaigns to have any sort of fan following. Not to mention the number of retcons in both WHFB and WH40K must be astronomical by now.

People are looking waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay too much into the writing of a fictional universe that was written as literal fluff around a game of pushing little toy soldiers around, throwing dice and saying 'pew! pew! pew!' (or 'freem!').

Even WMH's epics, while allowing a timeline to proceed fall foul of ridiculous situations where an epic can be found alongside their mentor in junior incarnation, it's legitimately dumb. Even their world's storyline has seen shit hit the fan even with this incremental progression.

SckizoBoy:
I think people are forgetting that storyline in tabletop games always fall foul of stagnation (and red-shirt-ism) because of the need to keep models within the product range to remain relevant. Despite how it comes across, no game publisher wants to invalidate the purchases of its customer base (even though GW is actually one of the publishers most guilty of this, what with what they did to Dark Eldar and the Inquisition at various points).

I know why the case, we can still acknowledge that it's a problem for story progression.

People are looking waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay too much into the writing of a fictional universe that was written as literal fluff around a game of pushing little toy soldiers around, throwing dice and saying 'pew! pew! pew!' (or 'freem!').

Disagree there.

I mean, there's too ways I can look at the idea of spending too much time looking at a fictional universe. First is the notion that the universe isn't real, so ergo, looking at it is a waste of time, in which case, that can be applied to every fictional universe in existence. Second way is to maintain that it's pointless to look at a fictional universe under the premise that it was never designed to be cohesive, or whatnot, in which case, I disagree. Even if the intent is to give context to the models, there's an awful lot of context. While not perfect, the worldbuilding of 40K and WFB is pretty well done. There's a reason why I and many others got into the setting, if not necessarily actually playing with the models (in part because they got redicuously expensive).

Hawki:
I know why the case, we can still acknowledge that it's a problem for story progression.

True, but context is important here as stories from most video games are going to have more dynamic progression than tabletop games. Because of the nature of tabletop miniatures skirmish games as a two player experience independent of any story that may or may not exist aside from what the two players themselves narrate in the confines of their engagement, the game-world itself is going to have inherent progression problems and it's impossible to get away from it.

It's the same reason why fighting games have notoriously flimsy stories that are barely there. It relies on bombast to even exist.

Disagree there.

I mean, there's too ways I can look at the idea of spending too much time looking at a fictional universe. First is the notion that the universe isn't real, so ergo, looking at it is a waste of time, in which case, that can be applied to every fictional universe in existence. Second way is to maintain that it's pointless to look at a fictional universe under the premise that it was never designed to be cohesive, or whatnot, in which case, I disagree. Even if the intent is to give context to the models, there's an awful lot of context. While not perfect, the worldbuilding of 40K and WFB is pretty well done. There's a reason why I and many others got into the setting, if not necessarily actually playing with the models (in part because they got redicuously expensive).

Expressed a bit more strongly than I expected, but what I meant was that the story of WH40K was written as accompaniment to the game and while you can take the material itself as seriously as you like, it was not intended to be (over-)analysed, merely enjoyed and consumed (even if the amount of it has spawned an entire YT industry, albeit a small one, for Loremasters). While I agree with the fundamental point you're making, and I do feel that the whole universe (any fictional one connected to a tabletop skirmish game strives to be) is intended to be coherent, given its gargantuan nature (and meddling by the dev team, many of whom contribute to the writing, for good or ill (fuck you, Matt Ward)), the narrative is bound to be prone to oversights that we shouldn't really look into too much except in good humour. As far as the published lore (in novel format, that is) is concerned, there are bigger questions over race representation (which actually applies to the game itself), and while (and perhaps because) there has never been any doubt that GW's own position is Imperium based, it's a bigger bone of contention that most xenos have very few novels centred on them and their characters.

That said, there's a lot of writing that is to be commended, even if it is, by and large, hit and miss.

In the end, the problem publishers have is that story progression and game development are tremendously difficult to align, to the extent that in hindsight, it was no surprise that End Times was so incredibly divisive.

SckizoBoy:

In the end, the problem publishers have is that story progression and game development are tremendously difficult to align, to the extent that in hindsight, it was no surprise that End Times was so incredibly divisive.

I didn't really follow the End Times, but from an outside perspective, I seriously have no idea what Games Workshop was thinking.

It wants to retire Fantasy Battle? Fine. That's its prerogative - has to make a profit after all. It wants to create Age of Sigmar? Fine. It wants to literally destroy the setting of WFB for that to happen? Um...

I'd say that's a stupid idea by itself, since it was the setting that drew people to the game. Furthermore, it retcons the Storm of Chaos campaign to do so. Y'know, even the Era Indominatus thing they did for 40K had something connecting it to the past, which established that while Cadia wasn't overrun, the Imperium was the net loser in the 13th Black Crusade. But Storm of Chaos distinctly ended with Archaon being repelled. End Times says "nup!" and nukes the setting. A setting that Games Workshop already looks set to revive via Warhammer: The Old World.

Hawki:
I didn't really follow the End Times, but from an outside perspective, I seriously have no idea what Games Workshop was thinking.

It wants to retire Fantasy Battle? Fine. That's its prerogative - has to make a profit after all. It wants to create Age of Sigmar? Fine. It wants to literally destroy the setting of WFB for that to happen? Um...

Fundamentally, the world of WHFB hadn't moved in several decades and had only progressed by way of new characters which necessitated the changing of already established characters' backstories and other retcons caused by the machinations of new races/their characters, and the collaboration with CA for Total War: Warhammer gave them an opportunity of sorts to take the game in a new direction (whether this is coincidence or not, haven't the faintest, but it was convenient) that it needed because the game itself wasn't getting new players quickly enough (compared to WH40K, which was always more childish, in terms of gameplay complexity) and regiment based games were losing popularity in favour of smaller scale/squad based skirmish.

I'd say that's a stupid idea by itself, since it was the setting that drew people to the game. Furthermore, it retcons the Storm of Chaos campaign to do so. Y'know, even the Era Indominatus thing they did for 40K had something connecting it to the past, which established that while Cadia wasn't overrun, the Imperium was the net loser in the 13th Black Crusade. But Storm of Chaos distinctly ended with Archaon being repelled. End Times says "nup!" and nukes the setting. A setting that Games Workshop already looks set to revive via Warhammer: The Old World.

Indeed, though I wasn't aware of the details of the connections between the two game worlds (only that they were, somehow).

Storm of Chaos was a severe mis-step on GW's part in fairness, because they decided to have half the narrative dictated by battle reports, but Chaos kept losing and only plot armour kept his effort from collapsing altogether. The real fuck-up was letting the players choose who was the final winner. And they chose the wazzoks! This happened because GW didn't realise that their pushing of the Chaos vs Humans narrative annoyed the player-base who (by and large) prefer non-human factions. End Times was meant to be their 'OK, hands up, hope this try is better', and your reaction to it shows how successful it was.

Personally, I don't mind it that much, except the whole characters being avatars of lores of magic seemed arbitrary to me, as it was fun seeing Nagash go nuts on the world. What I do mind was the nuking of the game. Even if it's stuck in 8th, it's difficult to impossible to start playing it, despite it still having quite a large player base.

SckizoBoy:

Fundamentally, the world of WHFB hadn't moved in several decades and had only progressed by way of new characters which necessitated the changing of already established characters' backstories and other retcons caused by the machinations of new races/their characters, and the collaboration with CA for Total War: Warhammer gave them an opportunity of sorts to take the game in a new direction (whether this is coincidence or not, haven't the faintest, but it was convenient) that it needed because the game itself wasn't getting new players quickly enough (compared to WH40K, which was always more childish, in terms of gameplay complexity) and regiment based games were losing popularity in favour of smaller scale/squad based skirmish.

I don't recall any major Fantasy retcons prior to End Times. I'm sure they occurred, but I don't recall them.

But even then, the lack of progression in Fantasy was never an issue for me in the same way as 40K. 40K centres the Imperium (while Fantasy doesn't really centre any one faction, even if the Empire probably gets the most attention), so in 40K, there's a number of issues in-universe that are established to be escalating. The tyranids are said to be the vanguard of a much larger fleet. The tau are constantly pushing into Imperial territory. The necrons are awakening in greater numbers. There's some 'equilibrium effect' - orks will always be a problem, Chaos will always be a problem, Dark Eldar will keep raiding, etc., but there's some, like above, that would demand resolution in a conventional story. Fantasy? Not so much. We can assume the High Elves and Dark Elves will always be at war, we can assume that Chaos will always be a threat, we can assume the dwarfs and goblins will keep battling for mountain territory, but there wasn't really the same impetus to address changes to the status quo.

Also not sure how Total War constituted a new direction. Far as I'm aware, it's Warhammer armies fighting each other. Isn't that par for the course?

Indeed, though I wasn't aware of the details of the connections between the two game worlds (only that they were, somehow).

Storm of Chaos was a severe mis-step on GW's part in fairness, because they decided to have half the narrative dictated by battle reports, but Chaos kept losing and only plot armour kept his effort from collapsing altogether. The real fuck-up was letting the players choose who was the final winner. And they chose the wazzoks! This happened because GW didn't realise that their pushing of the Chaos vs Humans narrative annoyed the player-base who (by and large) prefer non-human factions. End Times was meant to be their 'OK, hands up, hope this try is better', and your reaction to it shows how successful it was.

I don't share that view on Storm of Chaos.

The way I saw the campaign was that it was always a given that Chaos would reach Middenheim in some form or another, but that the players would have agency to dictate the terms of that battle. Kind of like Mass Effect 3, where you can go after the Reapers fully prepared or not, but the cutscenes will reflect your war readiness. And if players chose the final winner, I don't recall getting the memo, unless you're referring to the outcome of player battles.

But even if End Times was their attempt to negate Storm of Chaos, there's still better ways to go about it. Say Storm of Chaos happened, cut into the future, have Archaon win that time. It wouldn't change the issues of nuking the setting, but it would slightly alleviate it.

In the end though, I think ending Fantasy in that sense at all was stupid, and before anyone accuses me of being biased towards the 'good factions,' it would be just as stupid if the setting ended with Chaos being sealed away, and all being right and good in the world. My view is that Fantasy differs from 40K in that there's more of a moral binary at play, and by extension, more of a sense of heroism. As in, "the dark will always be there, but the forces of light will always stand defiant, no matter the odds" or somesuch. That doesn't quite do the franchise justice, in that things are pretty terrible for everyone there, but it's still a shift from 40K, which operates on the principle of "all races are bastards, but some are bigger bastards than others."

Hawki:

I didn't really follow the End Times, but from an outside perspective, I seriously have no idea what Games Workshop was thinking.

It wants to retire Fantasy Battle? Fine. That's its prerogative - has to make a profit after all. It wants to create Age of Sigmar? Fine. It wants to literally destroy the setting of WFB for that to happen? Um...

The End Times made sense in a way. Most players I knew in the early 90s back during 3rd ed. thought that the overarching feel of WFB was that a world gradually falling to Chaos. Probably helped by the fact Chaos was absurdly OP in 3rd Ed, and it seemed to be the cool WFB faction the designers really liked more than the others. Back then, the designers incredibly obviously favoured some factions over others.

The End Times itself was narratively abysmal.

Well, to properly appreciate Storm of Chaos, IMHO you have to go back a bit.

Way back when, you had the Armageddon campaign. The fate of that world was up for grabs, and it was a big deal, because we were told it was. And...nothing happened beyond Captain Tycho dying. The fighting season drew to an end with more or less a stalemate. But we were told that GW had plans for the world. In fairness, sometime later a WD battle report between Dark Angels and Necrons was set on Armageddon, instead of some other place, so there's that.

Anyhoo, after that, the Albion campaign. This was a big deal, because we were told it was. It featured Belakor (there are supposed to be apostrophes in there somewhere), who was revealed to have been the Shadowlord from Mordheim, and the fate of the world was supposed to have been decided in Mordheim at some point they didn't get round to describing. And in Albion...nothing happened. Various groups took bits of Albion, and at some point in the future this would be important.

After that, the Eye of Terror 13th Crusade campaign. This was a big deal, because were were told it was. But this time, we were told that if Chaos won, they'd smash Cadia and keep going, maybe even threatening Earth itself. If the Imperials won, there'd be a massive surge of pro-Imperial sentiment, they'd talk about reinstating the Space Marine legions. And nothing happened. Sure they killed Eldrad Ulthuan until they retconned that away, otherwise nothing much.

After that, the Storm of Chaos campaign. This was a big deal, because were were told it was. This time, we were told that this would blah blah blah and of course nothing happened. Everyone got fed up and went home instead of fighting it out.

Apparently the one after that was LotR, by Matt Ward. Never even heard of that before.

Actually blowing up the world in the End Times...well, they'd finally followed through on something they'd been talking about for ages. I have to respect that. The execution...not so much.

Thaluikhain:
snip

This all reminds me of Battletech, although I'm less familiar with that universe. It's got about 5 major factions, and you can virtually guarantee in every new update, they're still there and basically nothing's happened except a few mini factions cosmetically appearing and disappearing.

I know it doesn't really matter, but I think it would totally be worth hiring a proper author to pen some of the stuff on these games. Even constrained into having to ensure that all these races/factions have to survive, it would probably save some of the clunky awfulness that flows from the pens of people who design game rules and models as a day job.

Agema:

The End Times made sense in a way. Most players I knew in the early 90s back during 3rd ed. thought that the overarching feel of WFB was that a world gradually falling to Chaos. Probably helped by the fact Chaos was absurdly OP in 3rd Ed, and it seemed to be the cool WFB faction the designers really liked more than the others. Back then, the designers incredibly obviously favoured some factions over others.

I can't comment on 3rd edition. I was introduced to the game with the 6th edition, though was vaguely aware of the existence of 5th edition. That said, if we take this theme into 6th, I kind of agree, yet also don't.

Thing is, in 6th edition, there is an implication from the rulebook that syncs with what you've written. The Empire scholar who writes the rulebook (well, the in-universe parts of it) comments that Chaos incursions have been increasing in frequency across time, so therefore, there would come a point where Chaos is constantly streaming into the world, and that by this sense, the world is doomed, that its people are living in the twilight of said world. So, fair enough. But on the other hand, what came after 6th edition? The 'good guys' won both the Albion and Storm of Chaos campaigns, and irrespective of player activity, Sigmar's comet comes from the sky at the time of Archaon's crowning. So if the world is doomed, then there's plenty of stuff prolonging that doom.

Maybe I'm seeing what I want to see, but it's this, among other things, that gave me the sense of WFB being more static than 40K, in the sense that the power dynamic there can exist indefinitely, while the power dynamic in 40K can't.

Thaluikhain:
Well, to properly appreciate Storm of Chaos, IMHO you have to go back a bit.

Way back when, you had the Armageddon campaign. The fate of that world was up for grabs, and it was a big deal, because we were told it was. And...nothing happened beyond Captain Tycho dying. The fighting season drew to an end with more or less a stalemate. But we were told that GW had plans for the world. In fairness, sometime later a WD battle report between Dark Angels and Necrons was set on Armageddon, instead of some other place, so there's that.

Anyhoo, after that, the Albion campaign. This was a big deal, because we were told it was. It featured Belakor (there are supposed to be apostrophes in there somewhere), who was revealed to have been the Shadowlord from Mordheim, and the fate of the world was supposed to have been decided in Mordheim at some point they didn't get round to describing. And in Albion...nothing happened. Various groups took bits of Albion, and at some point in the future this would be important.

After that, the Eye of Terror 13th Crusade campaign. This was a big deal, because were were told it was. But this time, we were told that if Chaos won, they'd smash Cadia and keep going, maybe even threatening Earth itself. If the Imperials won, there'd be a massive surge of pro-Imperial sentiment, they'd talk about reinstating the Space Marine legions. And nothing happened. Sure they killed Eldrad Ulthuan until they retconned that away, otherwise nothing much.

After that, the Storm of Chaos campaign. This was a big deal, because were were told it was. This time, we were told that this would blah blah blah and of course nothing happened. Everyone got fed up and went home instead of fighting it out.

Apparently the one after that was LotR, by Matt Ward. Never even heard of that before.

Actually blowing up the world in the End Times...well, they'd finally followed through on something they'd been talking about for ages. I have to respect that. The execution...not so much.

All of that's technically correct, but it never really bothered me so much. Armageddon and Albion are relatively self-contained in the context of their settings. The 13th Black Crusade and Storm of Chaos campaigns were far more relevant to the overall setting, but I figured it would be awhile before the setting would adapt to suit the campaigns. And with 40K, it did - Cadia didn't fall during the campaign, but the Imperials came out the net losers in said campaign. So when Era Indominatus begins, involving Cadia going boom, there's at least a chain of effect here, regardless about how one feels about said era/edition. On the other hand, End Times directly contradicts Storm of Chaos. It contradicts it to the point where it apparently never happens at all. Blowing up the world doesn't deserve respect if in doing so you're screwing over continuity in the process. It's a classic "yeah, nah" from GW, and what's more, one that was apparently never needed, since they're apparently going to revive Warhammer Fantasy Battle with Warhammer: The Old World.

Apologies in advance for cherry picking what to respond to, mostly because I've forgotten a lot of the minutiae of WHFB lore beyond what I've already mentioned (that's relevant at least).

Hawki:
Also not sure how Total War constituted a new direction. Far as I'm aware, it's Warhammer armies fighting each other. Isn't that par for the course?

I meant this in terms of what GW would do. CA took over the mantle of giving pre-End Times players something to play, albeit in a new medium and a fresh balance as well as extended campaign mechanics, while GW essentially said 'here, CA, you take the old game, we're gonna do something new'.

I don't share that view on Storm of Chaos.

See, I don't know how much you played the game, but as you're addressing this strictly from a lore point of view, GW knew that most of those who enjoyed the lore partook in the hobby, so they had to design the campaign with players in mind, not readers. That's my context for saying that it was a severe mis-step. The rules set of the time did not favour Chaos armies, so they lost damn near every battle whose reports were submitted to 'further the story', only for GW to shoehorn in Chaos' advance to Middenheim. The ending result was dumb beyond belief because it was gearing up for a massive duel between Karl Franz (who took his sweet time getting there) & Archaon, but instead, Grimgor yeeted in and dope-slapped Archaon back north (essentially the players' middle-finger to the campaign's handling). The Teclis vs Belakor situation only made things worse.

SckizoBoy:

See, I don't know how much you played the game, but as you're addressing this strictly from a lore point of view, GW knew that most of those who enjoyed the lore partook in the hobby, so they had to design the campaign with players in mind, not readers. That's my context for saying that it was a severe mis-step. The rules set of the time did not favour Chaos armies, so they lost damn near every battle whose reports were submitted to 'further the story', only for GW to shoehorn in Chaos' advance to Middenheim.

I'll have to take your word for it on the rules, as I didn't play the game enough or have enough miniatures to really get a sense of any faction being imbalanced (then again, that's pretty much the same for most games I play - I'm really not a mechanics person). That said, again, I wasn't perturbed by Chaos's advance to Middenheim, as I always took it as a given that Chaos would get there eventually. Like, I get that there's player agency, but this is a fictional campaign in a fictional world, so by the standards of fiction, you want a climax of some sort. This would be different from something like the Armageddon campaign, where regions of the world were assigned different areas on Armageddon, and the result would be tallied at the end.

The ending result was dumb beyond belief because it was gearing up for a massive duel between Karl Franz (who took his sweet time getting there) & Archaon, but instead, Grimgor yeeted in and dope-slapped Archaon back north (essentially the players' middle-finger to the campaign's handling). The Teclis vs Belakor situation only made things worse.

I don't recall Teclis and Belakor being a "thing." I mean, I know each of them played a role in the campaign, with Teclis being an ambassador to the Empire, and Belakor seeing a chance to get vengeance against Chaos, but I don't recall the duel. And speaking of duels, surely it was gearing up to be a duel between Valten and Archaon. I mean, that's what actually happens, and that's where the story was clearly headed, with Valten being Sigmar 2.0, and Archaon being a former man of the Empire. Sort of a "mirror darkly" situation.

As for Grigmor, yeah, it's weird from a narrative sense - I just saw it as a side effect of the campaign game results. No more weird than Manfred leading his forces into the Empire, having a facedown with Volkmar, and then deciding "hmm, maybe I won't conquer the Empire today."

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