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Let's Review the Black Books!

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#76
WrathOfTheLion

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It turned him into a pencil pusher and it took him 10,000 years sleeping to realize he can wield a sword sometimes biggrin.png

 

I would say it was imperfect though. My guess is that they managed to scatter many of them to worlds where they would be easily influenced, but not all of that being the ones that ended up falling. Examples could be Jonson and Caliban for that.


Edited by WrathOfTheLion, 10 October 2020 - 12:12 AM.

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#77
StrangerOrders

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Then why send Rob to Ultramar? tongue.png

Supposedly, according to 'The Board is Set' we have some speculation as the Emp and Malc apparently spent the Heresy playing through scenarios for the Crusade and the Heresy in their spare time, seemingly trying to piece together where they messed up, where things could have gone better and using their powers to sort of 'what if?'.

 

The implication was that the Emp could only 'save' 9 Primarchs and that something about the missing two made them useless to both the Emp and Chaos (can't imagine what made them that messed up aside from the known case regarding a gene-issue). 

 

They actually talk about swapping control of several and even the Emp managing to pull a fast one once or twice (he is mentioned to have swapped Chemos and Chogoris for one thing).

 

The thing is that we know from another story that the Emp and Malc had this special artifact that let them scry across the Galaxy and from another that the Emp developed an extensive knowledge during or after the DAoT of other planets. As well as the Emp having faulty but potent precognition according to MoM. 

 

We also know from both Massacre and Inferno that he did prioritize retrieving planets like Medusa and Fenris ASAP. Added to that is the fact that we know Baal is in a tough spot to reach usually and a pattern forms. Added to this is that we know Russ was actually against using Fenris as a base for a Legion and only committed due to the Emp pushing for it. Other examples like Caliban and Tizca seem more or less uncannily structured to feed Legions.

 

I genuinely think he sort of earmarked a number of worlds for the Legions from the beginning and when Chaos nabbed the Primarchs, he tried to throw as many as he could to their ear-marked planets. Heck, Erdu does seem to genuinely love her 'sons' too so I dont think she would have pushed against him here either. 

 

So... Robbie-G was probably always meant to link up with Ultramar and when Chaos nabbed them I think the Emp steered him there and did so with as many as he could manage.

 

Thats theory-crafting from a few short-stories, some lines from the BBs and what we know about the capacities of various actors though, so while not the weakest theory it is just a theory.


Edited by StrangerOrders, 10 October 2020 - 12:37 AM.

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#78
mc warhammer

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thought i'd share: i've been making slow progress through "betrayal", maybe reading a page a night if i get time and enjoying it that way. i hit page 141 last night; stuff about titan legions... all good. turn the page and there's all these rules and numbers and things about dice and stuff that i'm not going to read. keep flipping and it seems to be half the book's content

 

yep. i thought the black books were all about lore, since that's all i ever see people discuss. shame on me for not realising that a franchise based on gaming would release... books on gaming. what an alpha legion level twist

 

at least i conned my partner into buying the set for me, so i don't feel too badly stung by my lack of research


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It always amused me that the GW Mail Order ‘Trolls’ as we (starting with me) had always styled ourselves insisted as being rebranded ‘Space Marines’. Why anyone would want to be associated with semi-lobotomized, hypnotically indoctrinated slave-soldiers in thrall to an uncaring (and possibly non-existent) god I couldn’t imagine. - Rick Priestley

 2019

#79
A Melancholic Sanguinity

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Quick, nobody tell him about that company Black Library is a subsidiary of and what they do.


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#80
mc warhammer

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when BL release the last siege book full of rules and army lists and whatnot, i will pull my best shocked pikachu face


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It always amused me that the GW Mail Order ‘Trolls’ as we (starting with me) had always styled ourselves insisted as being rebranded ‘Space Marines’. Why anyone would want to be associated with semi-lobotomized, hypnotically indoctrinated slave-soldiers in thrall to an uncaring (and possibly non-existent) god I couldn’t imagine. - Rick Priestley

 2019

#81
WrathOfTheLion

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The rules aren't typically talked about here, as the Age of Darkness subforum is more about that. But that's pretty good, I love that.

 

The gaming part is quite cool, I actually do recommend going through at least parts of it. For example, when it talks about the loyalists striking down with drop pods and the way they assault, that is implemented in the Orbital Assault Rite of War as described on page 189. So at least with the rites of war, you can get a decent idea in the actual game how it can reenact the events.


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#82
mc warhammer

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yeah, i've flicked through and seen what look like red ribbons with extra fiction and quotes
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It always amused me that the GW Mail Order ‘Trolls’ as we (starting with me) had always styled ourselves insisted as being rebranded ‘Space Marines’. Why anyone would want to be associated with semi-lobotomized, hypnotically indoctrinated slave-soldiers in thrall to an uncaring (and possibly non-existent) god I couldn’t imagine. - Rick Priestley

 2019

#83
A Melancholic Sanguinity

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In all seriousness, don't skip the rules sections, even if you're not a freak like me and enjoy reading rules for the hell of it.

 

Many of the unit entries, character sheets, and equipment have some great snippets and blurbs of lore. Pretty much all of the named characters, for instance, have the bulk of their lore in their rules entries. Some of them don't show up anywhere else, like Exodus, Kaedes Nex (and no, two lines in the Corax novella doesn't count), Aster Crohne, etc.


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#84
StrangerOrders

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I'm personally skipping out on reviewing the rules because while I do play (and collect more than my painting backlog usually manages to keep up with), my victory records and magpie-like unit selection sort of indicates to me that I am most definitely not the right person to review them. I do like the fluff sections in there but I frankly couldnt figure out how to coherent boil those down to a 'section' in a long-form review of the book. 

 

There is also the awkward fact that this is the BL forum and my main reason for acquiring permission to post this here is because its actually their value of setting materials I tend to see underplayed. I was nervous about going into those segments because it seems like a good way to get punted back into the AoD section and cripple my primary objective of expanding interest in them beyond that smaller and more mechanics-driven subsect of the community. Not stopping anyone else from including them in their review though!

 

That being said, its a fun game and if you have the funds laying around and the interest go for it! Also read the fluff bits at least if you just got the books for their lore material, its pretty good stuff and these units do see alot of use in the HH books, so some background isnt a terrible thing.

 

However, and I want to stress the heck out of this (some might even say that it is one of my main drivers for this thread), you do not need to be interested in the game to buy the Black Books, they are a more than worthy addition to your collection (and a pricy one) even if your 'army' is a fortress of softbacks stacked on some hardbacks around your Audible device!biggrin.png


Edited by StrangerOrders, 15 October 2020 - 12:57 AM.

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#85
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Yes, they are fantastic. When my group fell apart (a few guys moved, a lot hated 6th and 7th and it never recovered) we also lost our Heresy players, and its a huge shame. We had quite a few great looking thematic forces, and the games were fun.

 

The lore and production of those books though, was and is I assume, still top notch, as 'gaming' books go.


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Q:  Is there room for hope in the grim dark future of Warhammer 40,000?
A:  I do hope not because then it won't be the 40k universe anymore.
- Dan Abnett -

 

(╯°□°)╯︵ ┻━┻


#86
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They are definitely top notch still. Even if we grumble about the size of the newest book at only ~210 pages at $130 USD or so, an equivalent collector's edition 40k campaign book at $80 USD isn't worth anywhere close to any of the black books in either construction, amount of rules even, or lore. Not even close at over 50% the cost of the most expensive black books.


Edited by WrathOfTheLion, 15 October 2020 - 01:33 AM.

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#87
Beren

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While I don't think the unit fluff banners are actually long or concentrated enough to be reviewable, they are pretty neat. Lot's of references to specific campaigns, expeditions, polities, how the unit was created etc.

 

I think Massacre is supposed to have a single page on the Legio Cybernetica back there as well.


Edited by Beren, 15 October 2020 - 09:52 AM.

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#88
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While I don't think the unit fluff banners are actually long or concentrated enough to be renewable, they are pretty neat. Lot's of references to specific campaigns, expeditions, polities, how the unit was created etc.

 

I think Massacre is supposed to have a single page on the Legio Cybernetica back there as well.

 

Yeah, the red ribbons/banners/unit descriptions are great. Even where they're just quotes and the like, they're characterful but they're also the only place where some aspects of the background come out. Until Crusade, one of the only concrete bits of background about the Emperor being aware of the possibility of a Terran/Martian war was in the unit description for the Leviathan dreadnought.

 

I'd agree that they're hard to review in the same fashion as a discrete campaign account or legion background section.


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#89
Beren

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The other bit on Martian/Terran discord was in the fluff banner of the Castellax.


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#90
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The price point, and the fact that I don't have any need for the rules sections (doubly since they started becoming obsolete) kept these out of my collection for a long time, but I like lore more than anything else in the hobby and I wanted better sources for some of the events of the Heresy than the mixed bag of the numbered novel series. I have the first two BBs now, and I'm really impressed. Really impressed.

 

Here, finally, is the depth and characterization Mortarion and his legion are almost entirely missing in the novels. StrangerOrders prettymuch covered this already, but it's a revelation to read it for the first time.

 

Similar experience with the Salamanders, who I've been interested in ever since their old metal upgrade kit, but who really suffer for being a one-author chapter/legion if you don't like that author's writing. The tempest gallery exemplary battle is incredible, and the details of the legion's structure and heraldry is totally engrossing. As a side note on the Salamanders, the colour of their armour in the art plates in Massacre is very different to the saturated green you usually see them painted in and I like it a lot more. I think this book has sold me on a new faction.


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Its lonely cry comes shivering through the dark,

As beasts roar at the great biting flames,

"Blessed are the chains that bind him to the darkness

and cursed are the blades that leave him lame"


#91
Indefragable

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Responding to:

 

Hidden Content

...I'm not a fan of "absolutely everything happened according to the Emperor's plan. When baby Guilliman had 3 wet diapers on Tuesday the 11th of Eleventy the 11th, that was all part of the Emperor's plan." I'm also not a fan of absolutely everything is just completely random. For me, one of the most fun parts of the entire HH setting is connecting the dots with what the Emperor's original plan was on the whiteboard and then how it turned out, and then backtracking to investigate how he improvised and adapted and played the cards he was dealt along the way. 

 

It spins the brain (in an amazing way) to think about how the Canix Helix was baked into the VI Legion's genes from the beginning...so clearly he had something doggy or wolfy in mind for them....sniffing out hidden threats? They were supposed to become Wulfen all along? Compared to something like that Iron Hands who are a tough, but somewhat normal Legion and only when they are reintroduced to Ferrus do they become what we know, and possibly only because of the unique fingerprint (I couldn't resist) Medusa left on Ferrus himself. That some Primarchs turned out "better" than others was what Big E had to deal with and figure out and a good part of the reason why--In my estimation--Horus became as influential as he did, acting as the eldest child of sorts, guiding the others. Another variable Emps could not have originally planned on, yet found useful given the fluid nature of the xenos races and either bringing human-occupied planets into compliance or destroying them if they resisted.' class='bbc ipSeoAcronym'>GC.

 

As for why the Chaos gods sent Guilliman to Maccrage...perhaps they thought he would be thrown into the Maccragian Coliseum and become another Angron? Perhaps Konor (RG's adoptive father) was the fluke of a lord and they fully expected a different Roman leader to find him and turn him into a crucifying, salting-the-earth, vomitorium-visiting, orgies-and-flaming-cities kind of leader. 

 

The price point, and the fact that I don't have any need for the rules sections (doubly since they started becoming obsolete) kept these out of my collection for a long time, but I like lore more than anything else in the hobby and I wanted better sources for some of the events of the Heresy than the mixed bag of the numbered novel series. I have the first two BBs now, and I'm really impressed. Really impressed.

 

Here, finally, is the depth and characterization Mortarion and his legion are almost entirely missing in the novels. StrangerOrders prettymuch covered this already, but it's a revelation to read it for the first time.

 

Similar experience with the Salamanders, who I've been interested in ever since their old metal upgrade kit, but who really suffer for being a one-author chapter/legion if you don't like that author's writing. The tempest gallery exemplary battle is incredible, and the details of the legion's structure and heraldry is totally engrossing. As a side note on the Salamanders, the colour of their armour in the art plates in Massacre is very different to the saturated green you usually see them painted in and I like it a lot more. I think this book has sold me on a new faction.

 

My feelings as well. I heard about them and poked through one, but just sort of skimmed. When I actually held one in my own hands with a cup of joe and some time to actually dive in, I was impressed just as you said. They are truly amazing books in terms of the physical construction, layouts, presentation, artwork, etc... and the level of pseudo-historical lore is unlike anything else in the GW stable. I've shown people who aren't even into 40k them just to show how nice they are and some heads have turned. 

 

I will provide friendly caution in saying that not all of the lore and characterization knocks it out of the park, and there are some weird decisions they make (and/or are forced to make to rectify previous inconsistencies or head-scraping items from Black Library or mainline GW), but overall they're like pizza: even when they're bad, they're good and just the experience of reading them is quite good. 


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Call me Indy. It's less syllables.

 

 

gallery_93095_13980_27776.jpgETL_VI_Banner_Primus_Interpares_Astartes


#92
Fedor

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The Barbarus stuff in the black books was far superior to what Swallow gave us in Buried Dagger. It seemed like he made no effort to read it as a source.

 

Got to say i find the legion structure and heraldry sections very dry and unmemorable for the most part, though i'd get more out of the latter if i still played and painted. I'm not sure i could name a single thing newly added in the forgeworld books from the structure sections that wasn't something already in the lore. It gets all very...and so the Night Lords did not use 100 marines to a company,  but instead 109 and each battalion was made up of 8 of these instead of the more typical 10., while their fleet tended to large amounts of medium scale vessels...

 

I don't remember many of the exemplary battles either. The impression i got from most of them was to take a singular aspect of the legion in question and wrap some quick bolter porn around it. Fine for what they are as a quick read after the main legion lore entry, but the Primarchs series turning several of them into the subject matter for their stories has been to their detriment imo.


Edited by Fedor, 17 October 2020 - 02:15 AM.

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#93
caladancid

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My feelings as well. I heard about them and poked through one, but just sort of skimmed. When I actually held one in my own hands with a cup of joe and some time to actually dive in, I was impressed just as you said. They are truly amazing books in terms of the physical construction, layouts, presentation, artwork, etc... and the level of pseudo-historical lore is unlike anything else in the GW stable. I've shown people who aren't even into 40k them just to show how nice they are and some heads have turned. 

 

I will provide friendly caution in saying that not all of the lore and characterization knocks it out of the park, and there are some weird decisions they make (and/or are forced to make to rectify previous inconsistencies or head-scraping items from Black Library or mainline GW), but overall they're like pizza: even when they're bad, they're good and just the experience of reading them is quite good. 

 

I think this is 100 percent right, particularly with 1-7.  I think the lore piece on Fenris in VII is one of the better things I have read in any codex or campaign book.  That kind of excellence makes up for a lot.


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#94
choppyred

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Great stuff  StrangerOrders, I look forward to your future reviews.


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