02 June 2011
Fuck Space Marines
And that's the point, I think. The galaxy is huge. There's a thousand worlds with a million problems on it. The scale is beyond staggering. There's literally anything you can do with it- it's like a GM's wet dream, to have a setting that's both extremely flexible and extremely detailed.
And yet, all anybody ever talks about is the damn space marines, or worse, the stupid eldar. Oh wow, so interesting. Giant guys who kill everything and everybody they're up against, who always win because they have the best training regiments and are bred to be huge and tough and are superbly organized. So interesting.
I mean, really. Is there anything less interesting than space marines qua space marines? Nobody bothers to give them a personality, or anything more than maybe a color scheme and then their weapons. They're designed to be the best, and I'm really more of an underdog man.
See, the Imperial Guard have personality. They're run by a monolithic, religiously fanatical government who doesn't care about their individual lives. Their commissars are more concerned with getting their objective done than any massive casualties they might incur, because fighting men are plentiful and easy to recruit, so suicide charges and the like aren't uncommon. Their armor tends to be scraped together across their careers, and if they're lucky, they can become tough, experienced veterans who hardly flinch when artillery slams into the foxhole across from theirs. The Imperial Guard are outclassed, and they know it. They haven't got the sorcery and brute force of chaos, the sorcery and brute force of the space marines, the sorcery and technology of the eldar, etc etc. All they've got is a fighting spirit, some world-class tanks, and the drive to succeed.
Every Imperial Guard victory is a story against the odds. Every space marine tale is a "and then we mopped up the remnants."
In case you're wondering, you're forgiven if you play Space Marines on the 40k minis game (how can you afford the prices, btw?), because that's entirely different. But if you're a space marine fan, the kind that argues about how many space marines it would take to level a planet or about the difference in effective ranges between a bolt pistol and a chain-bolter, then I hate you a little.