The argument made at Bell of Lost Souls, and carried over here, is disingenuous. It picks and chooses only a handful of examples to support a conclusion while ignoring a number of others.
Since the name of the topic here
includes the word "always" twice, the whole range of products set in the WH40K setting needs to be considered. Let's start with the big daddy, Warhammer 40,000 Rogue Trader
(i.e., the 1st edition rulebook). That book sets the recommended age at "16 to Adult." Then there are the Realm of Chaos - Slaves to Darkness
and the Liber Chaotica
books which focus on Chaos, including both Chaos in the Old World (WHFB) as well as the WH40K setting. Both of these books are explicitly for "mature readers," which is vague, but clearly not anything that is pre-teen. Oddly enough, the Realm of Chaos - Lost and the Damned
doesn't have any age recommendation, though it is similar to its predecessor. The Warhammer 40,000 game from 2nd edition on has been recommended for ages 12 to adult.
All of this, though, underscores the very important point that the setting as a whole is complex. Some elements, when explored to a certain depth, might require a level of maturity. When explored to less depth, those same elements might be presented to less mature audiences.
While disingenuous as a whole, BoLS makes a valid point in that it is possible, and fruitful, to present aspects of the game setting in a way that pre-teens and young adults can assimilate comfortably, whether in terms of level of complexity, maturity, or both. Pointing out this fact isn't trolling anyone, and serves to remind us all that the setting and products that might derive from it are far more complex and variable than some have argued.
There is no time for peace.
There is only WAR.
This statement, while beloved of fans of the setting and a hallmark motto of the game since 1st edition, is simply not true. Any number of novels, the roleplaying games, and common sense show that there is far more to the setting than just the clash of forces in battle. The motto is fine as a setting up of the wargame, establishing the fact that conflict is widespread across the galaxy and that there is no hope for true peace (keeping the war
game viable). Within the setting, though, there is room for myriad subjects and conflicts to be explored. We've seen intrigue and law enforcement, cults, exploration, and others in literature over the years.
The most disappointing thing to me is the widespread premature negativity and elitism that the Warhammer Adventures books have elicited from some of the fanbase. Just as individuals are drawn more or less to factions based on their own personalities and preferences, the same goes for products. Only certain portions of the product line appeal to me, but that doesn't mean that my narrow view of the setting and product line define what is "right" or "good" about the setting. They are merely representative of my own subjectivity. The same goes for everyone else.
Instead of all of the complaining, what we should really be doing is hoping that Games Workshop gets it right, that the books are successful in appealing to young adults, bringing them into the hobby, and perpetuating the hobby so that we can all enjoy the hobby (and new products) longer (instead of the hobby dying out and us having to rely on stuff that will be more and more difficult to acquire over time).