40K Philosophy Year in Review

It’s a new year (finally) and in keeping with end-of-year traditions, I wanted to take a look back on the 40K philosophy series and see what the highlights were. Also, check the Tactics Corner for more great articles on gaming in 40K!

When I started this, I was looking at covering ground in the 40K hobby that was not very well-trod, and I think that I succeeded in that. It turns out that there are also other people out there who enjoy thinking about the lore of the universe (you beautiful lurkers!), and more than a few who have ideas about what the lore could mean. I’ve enjoyed the conversations that I’ve been able to have both here on the website and in private on my Facebook page.

For those reasons, I want to start this recap properly with a big “Thank you!” to everyone who read, discussed, and shared these articles.

Hobby and Mental Health

One of the more popular topics that we covered this year had to do with the conversation about mental health and our hobby. I felt lucky to have a hobby like miniature gaming in my life in 2020, even though I was never able to get out to an event at a store. With the help of Dr. Nahumck, we learned about different ways of coping with stress using our hobbies, had open conversations about difficult topics, and even had some fun “diagnosing” the Primarchs in part 2.

Practical Philosophy on Cheating

One of the most popular reader favorites from this year was our conversation on cheating. After all, what is the use of talking about good, bad, right, wrong, and meaning if we can’t apply to the real-life execution of our morals during a tabletop game? My favorite parts of this conversation were the dissenting voices arguing that we could never know intent. Did we come to a definitive answer? I doubt it. Even so, the conversation was worth having, and I enjoyed every minute of the discussion.

The Morality Series

Probably my personal favorite thought piece from the series this year, the morality series was my initial haymaker attempt at making an argument that there is actually some good in the grimdark. I used an incredible amount of words to make this argument, and I’m not sure I succeeded, but I enjoyed every minute of making the argument. Behind the scenes, I got the inspiration for this subject by conversing with my wife about the lore and the Emperor. My wife (being a fan of Tyranids and Orks), was very against the “necessary evil” arguments that the Emperor used for his rule, even assuming he had the best goals in mind. My wife doesn’t read much Warhammer lore, but I enjoy her insights on these topics because of the outside perspective.

New Year, New Idea

I’ve been scrambling my brain for something new for 2021. While I am going to continue many of the existing topics in the series, I also had an idea that was just crazy enough to be fun and interesting. Many of you know that I’m a die-hard Blood Angels fan (for decades) and that’s certainly not changing, but up to this point, I haven’t carved my own niche in the 40K universe. In a hobby that is about customization, the opportunities presented by the Dark Imperium are too great to ignore.

What if I created a “good” human faction for 40K in the Imperium Nihilus? It would be something new, something unique, and something that ultimately would be alone against not only the perils of Xenos and chaos threats but also the Imperium itself (including my beloved Blood Angels). I would write the lore, create new models and a new scheme, and play it in a “crusade.” It’ll take a couple of months to get it all started, but hopefully, by quarter 2 of 2021, I would have enough playable models to start a crusade and to play out how this new idea would last.

I’ve laid out my initial thoughts and goals here:

  1. Create a custom human faction in 40K that operates independently from the Imperium and Chaos. This faction would need to consist of Astartes, Mechanicum, and baseline human forces (but for budget reasons, the models will initially be all Astartes). They will use the custom chapter rules from Codex SM to be fully playable.
  2. Aesthetically it will incorporate themes related to stars and the cosmos and should be composed of bits and models that can be used in GW stores (likely incorporating a lot of bits from existing GW non-40K ranges). Ex: Chapter/unit markings will be constellations.
  3. Write lore that tells the story and lays out how this faction is different from the Imperium and how the environment of the Imperium Nihilus creates the circumstances that lead it to find its own path. Why would they leave the Imperium? How would the Mechanicum abandon the machine god? What philosophy protects them from the predations of chaos? Who would lead them?

So far as a name for the Marines I will be creating first, I have a few ideas. Which ones do you like the best?

  1. The Astral Vanguard
  2. Sidereal Aegis
  3. Etheric Wardens
  4. Stellar Absolvers
  5. Redeemers of the Stars

The “Star” theme is something that won’t be changing. I’m happy to say that I am expecting the birth of a boy in April this year, and the theme comes from his name: Orion. My wife and I have a special connection to this constellation (nothing fancy, but meaningful nonetheless), and I’m building my excitement for my boy into the love I put into this idea.

An Ongoing Conversation

What do you think? Are “good guys” in 40K too edgy of an idea to fly, or would you be interested in how I develop my own slice of the universe? Let me know what you think in the comments below about this and forgiveness in general.

If you found this interesting, please check out my page Captain Morgan’s Librarius. You can also check out the content on my new YouTube channel for audio versions of my articles and other 40K videos. These are the spaces where I test these ideas in their first drafts and also talk about all the other parts of the hobby that I enjoy from painting, community, and gaming to all the rest. It’s also the best place to converse with me about this and many other topics in 40K. Likes and shares are appreciated. I hope you enjoyed this week’s read, and I’ll see you again next time!

And remember, Frontline Gaming sells gaming products at a discount, every day in their webcart!

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About Chris Morgan

40K philosopher, LVO Judge, Chief Librarian of Forge the Narrative, Blood Angel enthusiast extraordinaire, and slayer of traitors, xenos, and heretics; I'd rather be playing 30k right now or neck-deep in a good book. Follow me on my FB page - Captain Morgan's Librarius

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