Dark Imperium

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Dark Imperium

Postby Squiggle » Fri Jun 23, 2017 5:25 pm

I am currently reading the novel, so will not post any spoilers suffice to say it is very good 4 chapters in.

I have also picked up the new boxed set as a birthday gift. It is lovely, and the background is certainly interesting.

In a way it is nice to see that GW and BL have moved the background on again, without actually changing anything too dramatically so as to make any fiction no longer viable.

It will be interesting to see where the Black Library take the story forward. I would like to see more stories dealing with the Imperiam Nihilis - that is, the part now cut off by the Cicatrix Maledictum with no longer sight of the astronomicon. That is definitely food for stories of utter desperation going forward.

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Re: Dark Imperium

Postby MalkyDel » Fri Jun 23, 2017 9:27 pm

There's a lot to like but I still feel they've rushed into things. Luckily, Dark Imperium salved that wound a bit and the rulebook was fairly comprehensive in describing the inbetween of things. Particularly enjoy the notion of the Plague Wars, as I'm a huge Nurgle fan.
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Re: Dark Imperium

Postby Squiggle » Fri Jun 23, 2017 11:24 pm

it doesn't feel rushed to me. concepts seems very clear and their philosophy is to make 40k as easy to get into as possible.

background wise, they have simply jazzed it up and made it that bit grimmer and that bit darker without actually changing anything with the exception of Cadia being overrun. I love the "every planet in the Imperium is now on the frontline" idea.
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Re: Dark Imperium

Postby Obscura Boy » Sat Jun 24, 2017 3:10 am

I own neither the boxed set nor the novel, but I also think the new background is a welcome shake-up for the 40k-verse. I think they've changed it just enough to make things feel fresh, without completely throwing out what makes the setting so unique and enjoyable*. In a sense, this new galaxy feels much more like one in which, to quote 40k's tagline 'there is only war'. In comparison, the 40k we're all used to felt almost too safe; the Imperium's position seemed pretty much unassailable, even if it had seen better days. We've heard a lot of talk about how humanity is doomed and the end is coming, but now it's really happening!

At the same time, there is an element of loss involved in all these apocalyptic upheavals - as much as it is cool, and much more in keeping with the mission statement of the setting, that, as Squig says, 'every planet is now on the front-line', I fear that it reduces the opportunities for stories told on the 'peaceful' worlds of the Imperium. Dan Abnett's Inquisition novels and Matt Farrar's Enforcer trilogy were some of my favourite Black Library stories, and a large part of my enjoyment of them was the way in which they offered the reader a glimpse of the Imperium as a civilisation, and the different worlds that comprised it, when they weren't under the imminent threat of war. I think it made humanity's vast, bloated interplanetary empire seem a little richer and more believable.

Still, who knows? Even in this new Dark Imperium, there's gotta be a few planets out there that aren't plagued by the horrors of war...right...?

As I stated above, I'm still very much in favour of these new exciting happenings. Initially I did have my doubts about the introduction of the Primaris Marines. While the models are absolutely gorgeous, I couldn't help but feel there was something vaguely silly** about the idea of 'SuperMarines'/'Marines, But Bigger!'. It may be my own fondness for the Astartes as a faction both in the tabletop game and the lore, but I couldn't help but feel that these new arrivals made them feel a little less special in their own right. After all, despite their popularity with players and readers, Space Marines are still supposed to be an incredibly rare sight/big deal in the setting itself, and all of a sudden these Primaris chappies come swanning in and your basic Marines feel like they've been relegated to the role of generic footsoldiers!

It's possible I have some issues I may need to work through on my own terms as regards the Primaris Marines. :P But as I say, those models...dayum...

All in all I'm happy with the changes, and still need to dig into specific events like the Gathering Storm (which I didn't follow too closely) and the Plague Wars and such.

* - Unlike Age of SIgmar, which to my eyes replaced a very rich and characterful setting with one which is, well...I mean...what even IS the Age of Sigmar setting?

** - I realise the hypocrisy of referring to anything in particular in 40k as 'a bit silly', given the setting's whole-hearted approach of making every new idea as BIG and KILLY and MAD as it can be. Maybe I'm a little inured to the overwhelming silliness of 40k as a whole.
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Re: Dark Imperium

Postby Athelassan » Sun Jun 25, 2017 12:25 am

Obscura Boy wrote:
At the same time, there is an element of loss involved in all these apocalyptic upheavals - as much as it is cool, and much more in keeping with the mission statement of the setting, that, as Squig says, 'every planet is now on the front-line', I fear that it reduces the opportunities for stories told on the 'peaceful' worlds of the Imperium. Dan Abnett's Inquisition novels and Matt Farrar's Enforcer trilogy were some of my favourite Black Library stories, and a large part of my enjoyment of them was the way in which they offered the reader a glimpse of the Imperium as a civilisation, and the different worlds that comprised it, when they weren't under the imminent threat of war. I think it made humanity's vast, bloated interplanetary empire seem a little richer and more believable...

...* - Unlike Age of SIgmar, which to my eyes replaced a very rich and characterful setting with one which is, well...I mean...what even IS the Age of Sigmar setting?

This was something that bothered me with the End Times too. Yes, the war is the point in the setting and it's only right that it's front and centre. But that only works if you feel like there's something else going on behind the war - that the protectors of the Imperium are fighting to protect something rather than for the sake of it. And, in 40K's case, that what they were fighting to protect was an insane, nightmarish bureaucracy, that was still better than the alternatives. Allow the war to swamp that and I think the setting is the poorer. Even before AoS launched, the End Times had destroyed the vast majority of what had actually made the setting interesting, imo at least.

There's always been a problem both with GW and in fantasy-sci-fi circles more generally* I think, in that the perception is that characters have to be combat-capable to be worthwhile at all. But that doesn't have to be the case; in the hands of competent writers we saw characters who were intrigue specialists, or the like, which didn't fit neatly into the army book mould. Of course, sometimes less competent writers got their hands on them later and whaddya know they're also great warriors... but at least the possibility existed for them not to be.

This is something where early AoS utterly failed; it did a terrible job of conveying anything interesting about the setting. It was just a bunch of people under arbitrary standards fighting endlessly for no apparent reason. Now, I've heard that they've actually done a lot of work on it and there is a bit more to the setting than it initially appeared - but notwithstanding whether or not the setting is for me (I don't think it is) they did such an appalling job when they launched it, not to mention that it was seen as usurping WHF's position, that it's been very hard for it to establish any credibility and with many people probably won't at any point.

And the Primaris Marines do seem to be taking the much-mocked "tall, even for a Space Marine" phenomenon to its logical conclusion, yeah...

Ath

*In another game/setting I was involved in, a character was turned from a banker who unexpectedly found courage in battle into a heroic master swordsman through GM inattentiveness and fiat, and it seems the alternative simply wasn't considered. So while GW are guilty of it I'm not going to say it's exclusively them.
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Re: Dark Imperium

Postby Duke_Leto » Mon Jun 26, 2017 6:56 pm

I think that most of us agree that we would LOVE more stories away from the frontline... Stories about Inquisitors, Arbites, hell I would like to see something about trade cartels and interplanetary crime. We have had some good stuff: Eisenhorn, Ravenor, Bequin, the Calpurnia books, the Sandy Mitchell Dark Heresy books (sadly duology rather than intended trilogy) and the Necromunda books.

The setting and IP is so rich and full of potential to be fleshed out in all manner of directions. If GW/BL realised (and I kind of think they do but it could be a sales thing...see below) that there are a lot of us who are more, ahem, mature and in fact no longer play the game, who love the setting and keep coming back because of the setting and if they catered for our more "mature" taste (ie less bolter porn etc) they would continue to foster a whole other customer base.

However, things are looking up right? Chris Wraight and John French have started new Inquisitor trilogies which is awesome. Abnett is back and will hopefully finish the Bequin books.

I think the key thing is that if they sell in good quantities then BL will want to do more!
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Re: Dark Imperium

Postby ribbons69 » Thu Jun 29, 2017 10:58 am

I'll be buying the book at some point(hopefully soon) but I don't play Warhammer 40K and have none of the lore books. Will this hamper my enjoyment ?
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Re: Dark Imperium

Postby schaferwhat‽ » Sun Jul 09, 2017 5:06 pm

I picked it up today.
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Re: Dark Imperium

Postby Xisor » Sun Jul 09, 2017 8:41 pm

Well, turns out it's rather good. Finished it earlier today.

Likely my own biases, but there felt a rather strong undercurrent of the main Primaris character being quite the epic teen hero. Not Harry Potter/Luke Skywalker from a good family sort, but more generally here is a nondescript protagonist of relatively notable lineage, if fair (but ultimately unremarkable) skill, how somehow ends up in the thick of things and upon whom lots hinges on without a huge amount of input from the person in question. You know nothing, Decimus Felix.

In some respects, its a pleasing inversion of the Great Man view of history - that the Great Men were vaguely competent people who were pushed A to B to C at the forefront of history.

Well, I digress. It's hardly Felix's story.

More: everything else had a lot of really good stuff to it. Some massive missing pieces - only token mention of Magnus & the Ynnari thoroughly insufficient Inquisitorial involvement, and total inactivity (e.g. no mention) on the part of the Tyranids, Tau, Orks, & Necrons. (I assume a lot of that must be covered in the Codex.)

There's only minor mention of the problems inherent in being cut off from Terra - difficulty of making/shipping astropaths, sustaining the Astronomican, etc.

And, of course: Lufgt Huron. Nada, which given the intent to revive the 500 Worlds and the institution of non-codex things... it seemed pretty glossed over.

Of course - the focus was elsewhere, so that's all actually okay. But it makes for a nice 'to-do list!

----

Some really beautiful and compelling scenes though, otherwise. Including a glorious few pages devoted 100% to discourse & musing on hygiene procedures vs propaganda. A lot sadly missed, but a huge amount dealt with really wonderfully.
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Re: Dark Imperium

Postby Rob P » Sun Jul 09, 2017 8:56 pm

Do we have anything on Lufgt in 8th?
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Re: Dark Imperium

Postby Xisor » Mon Jul 10, 2017 9:18 am

Rob P wrote:Do we have anything on Lufgt in 8th?

Not that I'm aware of, yet.

Last I knew was from The Gathering Storm 3: Gathering Storms with a Vengeance, where Magnus plonked Guilliman's Terran Crusade into the heart of the Maelstrom for a few... years? Big Red Corsairs ambush, also the not-at-all overused Kairos Fateweaver*. One might imagine Guilliman or Calgar reflect on that fairly damn recent 'folly' of Space Marines.

* I'm getting a 'small world' feel of Chaos the last few years. Can't move for Kairos & other well known daemons. Samus was, literarily, all around. I was very fond of Guy in this very 'Dark Imperium' introducing a really swanky concept in Qaramar, one of the Nurgle daemons. Refreshing. (Which is ironic, for Nurgle.)
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Re: Dark Imperium

Postby Rob P » Mon Jul 10, 2017 1:15 pm

I agree about Chaos. Everyone seems to know everyone else (daemons and chaos space marines).
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Re: Dark Imperium

Postby ribbons69 » Tue Jul 25, 2017 6:23 pm

My redundancy cheque finally cleared today so off I went to the Black Library site, I ordered the new Shroud of Night novel but Dark Imperium is out of stock. Is there any other way to get it other than ebay? Amazon only list the paperback (released next January) Was the hardback a BL exclusive or is there a chance that Waterstones or the Nottingham branch of Games Workshop(or whatever it's called now) having it?
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Re: Dark Imperium

Postby Squiggle » Mon Jul 31, 2017 9:05 pm

I am not sure. I bought the ebook as I didnt fancy spending the extra cash on the hardback. It seems that the paperback will not be out for a while. You could try your local GW store to see if they have any still in stock.
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Re: Dark Imperium

Postby ribbons69 » Sat Aug 05, 2017 9:57 am

Black Library had the hardback back in stock this morning YAY!
Ordered.
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