GW Grognard: Fluff isn’t what it used to be

Hey everybody! Adam, from TFG Radio, here to confer my knowledge on 40K to you, the masses.

The background of the game is one of the big things that drew me into the hobby. Sure the Scarface-type image on the 1st edition Epic Space Marine box may have helped too but the fluff was what sealed the deal. Since those early days there has been a lot of fluff written about the game and a lot of it has since been retoconned (Retroactive Continuity). This week I will talk about a few of the retcons that I wish were not changed. There might be some spoilers so stop now if you care about such things.

Russ Injuring Horus

In the book Wolftime, Russ deals a blow to Horus that seems to weaken Horus. I am sure this will come up later in the Siege of Terra series, which is a great series if you haven’t already read it, in the final battle between the Emperor and Horus, I would guess. What this seems to take away is the accomplishment of Olianus Pius, an ordinary guardsman, and his wounding of Horus that the Emperor uses to finish Horus off in the climax of the battle. An inspiration the guardsmen everywhere, Pius’s achievement is now either gone altogether or reduced in stature as he will have gotten help from Russ. I think I liked the idea of an ordinary human able to land some type of effective blow to Horus at the height of his power and thus helping the Emperor win the day. I guess Space Wolves needed the ego boost for their Primarch.

Eldrad Dying

Back in the glory days that was the 3.5 edition of the Chaos Space Marine Codex, there was the fantastic Eye of Terror worldwide online campaign. I won’t go into the details of it as it has a wonderful history just in the how the players, all over the world, came together, except for the Imperials, to play the campaign. One of the big storyline shifts was that Eldrad had died while trying to keep one of the Blackstone Fortresses from being taken over by Abaddon. Okay, maybe not killed but his souls was absorbed by the fortress. Next thing you know, a few years and a newer edition later, Eldrad is up and walking about like nothing had ever happened. I’m pretty sure that Games workshop doesn’t even bother to explain how he came back, or if he even died at all. I’m just going to assume he is like an Eldar Phoenix Lord and anyone who picks up his armor just becomes Eldrad.

Killing Off the Squats

This one hurt me deep as I once had a Squat army and was starting to collect the army for epic when they decided to “kill” off the race. I wasn’t upset that it happened but I was upset at how they did it. They basically had a throw away line that mentioned them being eaten by one of the attacking Tyranid hive fleets. I felt this was very insulting to the army but then again they had been “squatted” from the game for a while when this piece of fluff was written. Now they seem to be making something of a comeback so we’ll see if they return as a whole new army. Just please don’t make them part of the Tau Empire. If that is going to be the case, then just keep them dead and buried.

That’s all for this week. Hope you enjoyed the article. Let me know what you think, and what fluff you wish hadn’t been retconned or just want to see again, in the comments section below. Don’t forget to visit our Facebook, Twitch, and Patreon pages to stay up to date on what we’re up to and when episodes drop!

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About Adam

Adam, aka Latin Gandalf, has been gaming since the early eighties and has played 40K since Rogue Trader (among a number of other games). He listens to more podcasts than any healthy person should and is currently the host for TFG Radio. He also is judges for LVO and head judges other major 40K Grand Tournaments.
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Rob Butcher
Rob Butcher
11 months ago

a game set 40k in the future, over many galaxies and time zones (for 34 earth years – older than many of the presenters on podcasts) with no set chronology /plot-line what’s ever going to be revealed to us … what’s seen by one witness is different for another (GW’s official line)

things change; wounds heal; popularity of armies fluctuates

I’ll keep playing my Imperial Fists until Dorn comes back (or I can afford the Forgeworld kit and paint/glue to make it presentable)

11 months ago

Unfortunately the Pius storyline of wounding Horus doesn’t really work anymore, it comes from a time when the Emperor wasn’t a God and the Primarchs were just more bad arse marines (or if you go even further back barely mentioned.) To be fair I think Pius was added after anyway, I thought that the original story was a marine coming to save the Emperor and Horus killing him convinced him that Horus could not be saved and made him kill his ‘son’ (who at that point was just a warlord, maybe….) there’s a lot of changes over a long period of time.

The power creep of the Emperor and the Primarchs is on a scale so large now that they can survive being stepped on by Titans, a lone guardsmen would never be able to wound such a thing.

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