Friday 20 July 2012

The Power of Fluff

(Image by Games Workshop)

Fluff, is a wonderful thing. Its what makes our hobby such a rich and meaningful past-time. Without any background our games would be meaningless encounters of dice rolling, which, lets be honest, would be horrendous.

It pains me sometimes to see people complain about what GW have written in terms of backstory for a race. There was a recent topic on a 40k page on Facebook I sometimes check where people were complaining about the Necron fluff and how it had changed, which meant they didn't like them anymore. Apparantly going from 'we take your life force and exterminate everything' to 40k Tomb Kings' wasn't good enough for this guy and many others who agreed with him. So basically, they've gone from mechanical zombies into a sad story of a race fallen from grace.... Ahem... really? 

But anyway, do any of you have similar things that you're upset about when it comes to background? What about area's you wish were more covered and would love GW to expand upon and deepen? I've often wanted more about the Squats, not neccessarily to bring them back as an army, but just a nice amount of backstory as to what exactly happened, a proper send off shall we say? Perhaps if this existed GW wouldn't have to sigh everytime someone asked "are the Squats coming back?" as people would have read enough about them to know what exactly went on. 

Another question for you fine fellows and ladies to ponder...

If you could add your own fluff to the 40k universe, what would it be? I love reading peoples ideas in this regard and would love to see some of yours. Perhaps you've already written some background for your Imperial Guard regiment, Chaos Space Marines band, or Ork armies? If so, I'd very much appreciate it if you could link it in the comments, I'm surely not the only person who loves the fan fiction style fluff of 40k!


  1. My dad used to say tha the thing he liked most about the x-files was all the stuff they didn't show you.

    I think that I often feel the same way about 40k. One of the things I loved right from the start about 40k was all the things they didn't show you. Not just reading about centuries of lost history in the fluff in rulebooks but also the obscure stuff written and then blacked out like it had been redacted in pictures of official imperial documents and planets on maps with subtitles saying things like "all contact prohibited" but no explaination as to why.

    I loved it even more when I actually got around to thinking about the story of my chapter because it meant that I had almost total freedom to come up with whatever story I wanted to (as long as it didn't alter the "cannon" story of characters already famous in the 40k universe).

    I've read comments by people responding to to others posting background for their own chapters saying things like "that's not possible", or "that chapter would never do that", when most of the time you could easily say, "yeah, except that it did happen on just the other side of a warpstorm, so maybe it was an alternate timeline that crossed over", or "yeah, except that it's been happening all this time and the imperial record keepers have been destroying all evidence of it."

    The only time I find it hard not to be bothered by changes to the fluff in new editions and new codexes, is when they do things that seem to change the spirit of somethign that I liked. For example: Xenos species "Y" is a dark and brooding race of blood-thirsty psychopaths who relish in torture and the pain of others -- transformed in next edition to -- Xenos species "Y" really enjoys knitting and writting folk songs while holding hands with Xenos species "X" and also occasionally space marines from various chapters. (the blood angels - necron fist bump scene comes to mind but even that I can explain to myself as a necessary step to prepare us for the allies system that was probably in the works at the time)

    Maybe a better example would be if they changed spacewolves to be a disciplined and orderly bunch who despised alcohol and always folded their undewear before putting it away.

    Sorry, that was really long.

    1. Ha yeah, I think its good to evolve fluff but to completely change it is a bit drastic. Even with how much depth there is in the 40k background theres so much there to play with, that we pretty much have the best of both worlds. Huge amounts of written background but massive areas of space to play around with.

      Out of interest what Chapter have you created? I love seeing and reading about other people's chapters, so share!=D

  2. Ah great post sir!

    Personally for me, I really like the new Necron fluff. It's what actually made me get a force! (well, besides some awesome new models!)

    I've been toying with the idea of putting the fluff to my Sons of Isis up for a while in the sense that I think it could be ripped to pieces! But I'll give you the exclusive!

    (rough draft)

    The Sons of Isis were created from (undecided) geenseed during the 26th founding and are a codex compliant chapter.

    The company colours are displayed on squad markings and purity seals, for example a 2nd company tactical marine would have a yellow arrow.

    The chapter badge of a silver sword is taken from the relic blade bestowed upon (insert name of first chapter master, is it feasible he is still around?!) at the creation of the Chapter. It's believed this Blade was used my a much revered veteren.

    The Sons of Isis take their name from the river Isis, home of he largest population on Ujos where the recruits are found. Annually there are pilgrimages to Isis from all over the planet to take place in contests of might, agility and courage. Only the very best of these victors are selected for the honour of joining the Sons.

    It is from the victors' purple sash that the Sons of Isis take the colour of their armour from.

    Currently the Sons of Isis are defending the planet Ujos from the beginnings of an Ork invasion.

    There we are, let me know what you think! Be kind!

    1. Ah honoured to have this exclusive! I really like it, a good solid base to go from but plenty of room to explore every little facet of what you've written. I think its similar in a sense to what happened with the Necrons....

      I'll explain! The Necrons started off as a force where the only thing we really knew was that they wanted to extinguish all life. This was good to start with, but I think GW's background for them grew the more the army was played with. The Tomb Kings style fluff suits them incredibly well and adds depth for the people who play them. Fluff wise, the only race that really know anything about the Necrons are the Eldar, as an Imperial player all I know is that they're an unrelenting force that must be stopped, so in essence they havent really changed that much!

      As with our Chapters though, the more battles we fight, the more we develop our playing styles, the more little cinematic moments we get which translates into more material for us to add to our stories. I really love the natural progression the game has that little events that happen in games affect how we feel about our little plastic soldiers=]

  3. Thanks mate! I'm not so confident with my writing, so I've been apprehensive of posting it up. All I have to do now is polish this up then write something for my allied Imperial Guard.

    Do you have fluff for your Evandalists?

    1. Only what I wrote before, which I may go back through and tidy up a bit, some things may be added or taken away, shall see! Keep it going man, the more you write the better you'll get too!

  4. I play and love dark angels, there's something about a bunch if monks in power armour that screams awesome to me for some reason. BUT I wanted to put my own spin on things and created a 2nd founding chapter led by cypher who has become a chaplain leading the unfortunate loyalists that were too close to the fallen and also got banished along with them. their goal is to silently assist the dark angels in capturing all the fallen angels and reunite with their legion once their primark returns and clears their name. my blog is

    1. Fair play man thats a really good idea, you do wonder if Cypher is looking to redeem himself or the exact opposite. Plus with a DA codex around the corner its not a bad time to go for a Dark Angels list!