Glad you like them, TDF.
Most people seem to have gotten into this hobby with a bias towards a particular facet of the setting. That is particularly evident on the B&C, where each particular facet of the setting that is B&C-relevant has their own forum or subforum. Members have a tendency to frequent only those forums specific to their particular interests. It’s not universal, there are plenty of us who peek into all corners of the B&C. It’s not unexpected, or altogether ‘wrong.’ The hobby side of things can be expensive, and so people choose those armies they like best. Why wouldn’t members spend the majority, if not all, of their time on the B&C where their chosen factions are the focus? Even though I have an interest in any faction of this setting, and don’t partake of the hobby, I did choose a side, that of the DIY, that of fluff over crunch. My own involvement in the B&C reflects my interests, which means I rarely look into the modeling forum and have only ever gone to the army list sections by accident. Everywhere else, I look into for lore, ideas and DIY concepts.
This is all well and good, something that nearly every member of B&C can probably relate to, having a preference. But there can also be a flipside to this bias, that of a bias against something within this setting. This is not uncommon either, and kind of comes with the territory. Once you have chosen a side, the other side is the other side. Interests will always vary, so this isn’t necessarily a bad thing either, and this experiment isn’t about getting over something you really just don’t like. Nevertheless, there may be value to be found in exploring them nonetheless. This will be the intent of this week’s experiment. Not to explore your own DIYs, but those corners of the setting you least frequent or are interested in. It doesn’t need to change your mind, because you may find value in the experiment even if you end up in the same place you started.
So choose the other side for once. Explore what it is that makes it so undesirable. Pinpoint the things that turn you off from them. Separate it out from the rest, and see what is left. Is there anything there that speaks to you in some way? What if you changed the things you removed, and made them into something else? Maybe you’re exploring this because your DIY is the protagonist of your vision of the setting, and you want their antagonists to be more believable, more interesting. Maybe they’re not directly opposed, but still at odds, perhaps even allies, if in name only. Maybe there is no connection to your existing DIYs.
Once again, this isn’t necessarily about getting people to change their minds. I don’t expect someone to choose a greatly disliked faction, and suddenly decide that they need to buy and build a whole new army because of how this experiment got them to think. If, by the end of this experiment, you’re still not interested in them, so be it. But, maybe you will find something. Maybe you will force yourself to look at something differently, from a new angle, and find that you like what you see. Or, maybe as you’re exploring this experiment, you’ll come across something special, that you want to take note of and utilize for something else entirely.
I had the idea for this experiment when I started thinking about those members who have chosen, clearly and loudly, the sides they oppose. I was thinking about why this position seemed so alien to me, why I never became like that. I never thought it was wrong, as long as it didn’t bleed out and hurt the fun of others, it was just not a sentiment I could relate to. I started thinking about how I first got involved in Warhammer 40k, why I decided to go the DIY
route, and why I ended up choosing all of the sides as a favored side. What I realized I had done to get to that point I felt could make a good experiment, so I hope it made sense. Since I have, technically, already gone through this experiment, I figure I’ll type out what that experience was that got me to this point as my submission. Consider it an example of what this experiment did for one person. Whether it’ll do the same for anyone else, who knows.
For me, enjoying the setting as an encompassing whole, started by looking at everything for something I could distill into a DIY
concept. In the end, I found it everywhere. Maybe it helped that I started this process early in my involvement, and that I was already well and truly into the process before I came across the B&C as my first, true 40k community. But, maybe I would have reached the same endpoint either way.
I came into this hobby through the Dawn of War videogames. There, I found myself much preferring the aesthetic of the Loyalists over Chaos and Xenos, as well as with the characters and voice-acting. I was immediately just another Imperial Space Marine fan, and I just did not like Chaos (or Xenos, because homo sapiens forever). At this point, my one DIY
wasn’t much more than a name (Emerald Tigers), a color scheme, and was a complete mishmash of the only two Chapters I had much interest in: Space Wolves and Raven Guard. Raven Guard, because I was always a fan of the sneak, the thief, the assassin, the silent death. Space Wolves, because of the Ragnar trilogies, which is ironically now my least favorite depiction of the Wolves. This DIY
needed an antagonist, so I created two Traitor Warband colors, gave them terrible names (Winter Court/Summer Court), and lo, here were the bad guys. I had no real interest in their original Legions, and one of them remained one of the hardest aesthetical looks for me to get into. It took a sudden desire to give my antagonists more depth, as a means to explain the DIY
Chapter by giving them an opponent that was more than just a paper cutout Chaos Marine.
But, it was Fantasy Flight Game’s Deathwatch RPG that really did it for me. I used it to recreate the DIY
I had already envisioned, which helped me chuck the existing Second Legion nonsense I had going (it really was nonsense, but I have been working on a non-nonsense retry at the Lost Duo). I enjoyed it so much that I decided to create multiple DIYs with those rules. I ended up tossing a lot of them out as bad ideas (in fact, I think my Guardians of Midas are the only relics from this point in time), but it led me into my current, ongoing interest in creating a DIY
Successor of each of the nine First Founding. It was at this point that I was really putting this experiment to work, exploring each of these Chapters in more depth, finding what I liked, what I didn’t like, and applying these conclusions to a Successor of theirs. In most cases, these conclusions were buried under the actual process of building the DIY
, but they were the base upon which the rest was constructed nonetheless. By creating a DIY
concept out of these Chapters, I developed an appreciation of the original. I even had a new favorite, the professional Ultramarines. It took me a while for some, the Iron Hands longest, but even with them it was the creation of the Iron Hunters DIY
that really made me realize that damn it, the flesh is
These sourcebooks only really had the ability to make Chapters, though there are some fanmade duplications done for others out there, but once I had made DIY
Successors, I needed to make DIY
Warbands. And so I applied the spirit of the experiment to the Traitor Legions, and it worked for me there too. Had a really rough time with the Emperor’s Children and Death Guard, because the whole Slaanesh/Nurgle aesthetics, as popularly depicted everywhere, really just don’t do it for me, even to this day. But that didn’t mean that their character, their drive, and their mania, didn’t appeal to me. All it took was reimagining them to retain all those qualities I liked, and giving it a new fitted shell. With the Emperor’s Children, who were the Winter Court, it was about taking that winter theme and applying it more symbolically than literally (though it is still a literal theme). I kept the drive, the need, for perfection, for extreme experiences, and added on a self-defeating, manic desire to preserve it once attained. To freeze time and space around these moments, and capture them forever. Once caught, once bound, now dull, now lifeless, and so the cycle continues. I had an image in my head, of a Guardsman, scared out of his wits, whisper-yelling to get the attention of his partner-scout. Getting no response, the Guardsman crunches through the snow, as quietly as his Imperial issue boots will allow. His comrade is there, eyes open, lascarbine against the shoulder, peering over the lip
of a snowbank like the crack shot he is, waiting for that perfect moment to fire. But when the calling Guardsman nears, he notices that, rather than the billow of thick jackets and furs, it is that the snow beneath has the dull, dark look of dried blood. He will notice the steel pins, that hold his unit-brother’s eyes open, that keep his hands tight against his gun, that keep his knee bent. The scout was a crack shot, waiting for that perfect moment to fire. He had found it, they had seen it, and in death they had bound him to it. The moment is still lost, and so they abandon him to its passing. It’s not enough for them. But this new mortal, as his mind comes to grips with the other’s fate, calling that name out, to be stolen by the biting wind that one, last time. Such a perfect moment of anguish.
I didn’t need to envision this warband as loud and colorful as your typically depicted Noise Marine, because that
kind of Emperor’s Children was not my
kind of Emperor’s Children. But, they are both still clearly Emperor’s Children. To this day, my Death Guard DIY
remains rather ephemeral, still in its conceptual stage simply due to the constraints of time and place of priority. Even so, it was Brother Olis and my process of recreating the VII ‘Imperial Fists’ Legion as the blight-damned within our Guilliman Heresy Project that has been, so far, the most appealing depiction of Plague Marines I have yet to come across. Even though it’s not one of my DIYs, and even though I’m pretty sure it was Olis who thought up most of it, if not all of it, it was still the act of exploring this aspect of the setting through a DIY
that brought me to a point where I could really enjoy that aspect.
Though outside of the scope of the B&C, and therefore may never see the light of day, I have done the same with each of the Xenos breeds. My Homebrew folder on my computer has about seventy different DIY
concepts being worked on at some point or another, and that’s not including the intrinsically DIY
projects I involve myself in, such as the Liber Cluster, the Corax Coup and the Guilliman Heresy. The latter two both contain variations of some form or another of the canon-DIY
seventy. Which is why I stopped calling my project to put my B&C-aligned DIYs the Twenty Articles Project. At this point, that project is far more than just ten Chapters and ten Warbands, though they remain my primary focus. I still retain some bias, as I have more Imperial DIYs than Chaos DIYs, and more Human than Xenos. But I am happy with where I ended up. For one, it led me to finally let my creative juices flow. I don’t care so much if my DIYs are good, well-constructed articles as I do that I enjoy creating them. And while I might have likes and dislikes, sometimes even extreme dislike, for certain authors or studios over others, within the setting itself all I see are things I like, and things I kind of like more.
Edited by Conn Eremon, 28 July 2015 - 02:26 PM.