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Whenever you mention the idea of female space marines (shock! Horror!) you always get people just getting mad and going (Why don't you just play Star Wars?) Or other insults get hurled at you.
At the end of the Day 40K is a game, a hobby right? That means we either choose to play in GW's universe with all the fluff and rules, or of course we just play the rules right? Rules don't tell you how your army is made up, the fluff does, the rules are just stat lines that tell you how an army will perform.
So why then if someone says "I have female and/or alien space marines" do people get so uptight. I do, I don't play the 40k universe in my campaign, only at clubs, so to avoid unnecessary confrontation I put helmets on my marines, that way if they aren't human or male it doesn't matter, as in a GW store or my club, nobody cares, they are just marines. At home I have my own campaign fluff, with stories around some of the major characters, such as Karla, the female Panther-person leader of my half of the Ultramarines.
I allow people to 'level up' and join the marines when they are good enough. My nephew doesn't care who or what we play, it's just a game to him too. He has the Space Wolves.
So when somebody like me comes along and accidentally at a tournament refers to a marine as 'she', remember it's easily done when some of your own house rules allow females, as long as the rules aren't broken, it doesn't matter. And the rules, are not broken, my marines still have the same stat lines as any others. My only exception to this is my head librarian, who is paid for as Tigurius, but doesn't have his rod, and instead of using 3 powers per turn has a few of her stats tweaked to represent the character and how potently tough she is. Above average str for a marine, normal toughness though, but high WS and BS scores. Remember she can't use 3 powers a turn, only 2. But in a normal GW or club game is just another librarian, nothing special, just an ordinary epistolary with those stats.
Last edited by jboweruk; April 19th, 2010 at 11:19.
I'm a firm believer that since they are your models, you are more than welcome to do whatever you like to them. If you want to play female Space Marines, I think that is great and I wish more people in this hobby were able to stretch their imagination a little bit. House rules, campaigns, conversions and crazy paint schemes are what makes this hobby what it is. As long as two people can agree to follow the 40k Rulebook and Codex when necessary (tournaments, GW stores) then who is to say who is 'wrong' or 'right'?
Female space marines.. ugh.. here we go..
Right, firstly, people never want to play female space marines.. they want to play female superhumans who nonetheless have stick thin waists, ample breasts and long lustrous hair. The reason GW didn't make female space marines is not because they're mysogynists, well, not just because they're mysogynists - it's because a space marine is an eight foot tall, shaven headed, hormone-fuelled ball of muscle. If someone wanted to actually play female marines who kept to that, then I would have no problem (in fact, it could be really cool both from a fluff and modelling perspective) but since all people ever seem to want is the right to sculpt some mismatched boobs onto power armour, frankly, I have no problem saying that it violates the theme and spirit of the game. This isn't anime, where little girls wield awesome cosmic power.. it's the grim darkness of the far future, and it's neither grim or dark once you have pretty girls tossing tanks around.
I don't mean this to be offensive, but in my opinion female space marines only exist to appeal to the fetishistic desires of nerds. I guess we're all painting toy soldiers here and few of us have the right to claim any kind of sociological high ground, but this particular brand of femmesploitation leaves a really bad taste in my mouth.
* assuming male.
See now, you don't know me, and already you're making assumptions, they don't have to be superhuman... Hell mine aren't, just super well trained, it's the fluff that states they're superhuman, not the rules. As I pointed out, rules are the statlines that make them play a given way. An SAS soldier for example, could kill dozens times his own weight in normal soldiers (proven, not theory), but s/he isn't superhuman, just super trained, at the peak of fitness and efficiancy.
Right, now I don't go sticking tits on my SM armour, I have fluff to go with the characters, they aren't all pretty, as I pointed out, some are alien. You woudn't want to mess with them, they would kick your butt into the middle of the next millenium. But, they do have feelings in the storyline, a past, sometimes not a nice past, they are people, with all that goes with it. The biggest difference besides that I allow females in my marines are that they are, essentially, knights. They have honour. Unlike the actual GW fluff where everybody is an SOB with a bad attitude to everybody else, mine are good, basically. Of course like in any real war there are morons on both sides, there are good people on both sides, it's not clear cut. My Howling banshees don't go chopping up people just because they aren't Eldar. They go chopping them up because, frankly they are on the side of the good guys, who consequently, don't go blasting Eldar. They help each other. Some are good, some are bad, but they fight for a good cause. Not out of hate. My fluff is far removed from GW's own. My campaign is set just a couple of years away, when Earth gets invaded by a bunch of bi-atches that want to rule the galaxy. The Space marines come and help. As a result some humans go with them, some as guards, some as marines. Remember, Vasquez in Aliens was one ugly momma, but she fit in, and she was female. There are women in almost all modern armies, and I have just expanded on that.
Thanks Ravendove, I was still writing this when you posted. Yes I am male. The story was around before I picked up WH40K, having used numerous rules to run it, eventually settled on 40k for its simplicity.
Last edited by jboweruk; April 19th, 2010 at 15:45. Reason: reply to a post made while I was posting.
Then you are quite clearly not playing in the 40k universe and cannot claim that you do. If you don't, no problem, but going to an internet forum and saying that "in my 40k universe, there are female marines and everyone hugs kittens when not fighting" is just asking for trouble since the vast majority of all 40k players conform to the standards set by Games Workshop about 40k. They are, in a way, absolute. You can always chose to not conform to these standards, but then you cannot really expect anyone else to care about it all (I can claim that in my vision of 'Star Wars' Darth Vader runs around in pink armour. Doesn't mean I'm right though) .
The 40k universe have some clearly set guide lines for what is and isn't okay and female marines is one of those no-noes.
If you say that your army is Space Marines, people assume the following:
1. They are superhuman (like, you know, you can't toss a shoe in 40k without hitting a reference to that simple fact)
2. They are extremely fighty and all their time revolves around killing stuff or training to kill stuff
3. They are male (as established by the canon background published by GW)
Saying that your Space Marines are not superhuman, just very well-trained, clearly makes them something else. Not Space Marines.
The 40k universe is a grim, dark place where any hope for progress and peace has since long been crushed by an armoured boot stamping on the human face. The 'good guys' (Imperium, Eldar, Tau) are fascistic jerk asses who make the Third Reich seem like a pretty nice place and who are content on wiping out/conquering everything else because they claim that it is their destiny (the Tau fluff even mentions that they consider it the manifest destiny of their race to possess the entire galaxy). Part of what makes 40k the intriguing place it is is because it takes the concept of 'darker and edgier' so far into comedic absurdity that it becomes a place so unreal that all these over the top-things just fits each other perfectly.
In the end, yeah you are completely entitled to your opinions and you may do whatever you want with the stuff you have spent your hard-earned cash on.
There is no set of guidelines to adhere to. 40k is very loose and fast with its factual background. GW rarely keeps anything internally consistent, and fans improvise or develop snippets of information all the time. There is no set 40k universe. It's a barebones structure designed originally for, more or less, roleplaying. Whereas Star Wars for example has clear, set out canon, GW to my knowledge have never set down anything of the sort. Everyones interpretation of the 40k universe is valid.
There are numerous reasons you can use to make up female marines, and as Ravendove said, if you're spending money on it, do whatever you damn well please with it.
Actually the whole 'superhuman' bit went out the window with the last IG codex if you think about it. GW screwed up there.
Sgt. Casseus of the Ultramarines turned to his Heavy Bolter operator, "You see that Gretchin over there? Kill him."
"Okay Sergeant, just wait while I set this thing so I can fire it."
"Don't bother lads..." Gunnery Sgt. Harker's Heavy bolter boomed out, killing not just the gretchin but 2 of his mates as well, "I've already done it." At this point he moved along.
The 2 marines looked at each other, "You wimp, you're supposed to be superhuman, super strong, but can't fire that on the move...."
As for the comment about the Sisters of Battle, they were only added to appease the female players who did want to see women in Power armour, it saved them rewriting the fluff to include proper female marines.
What I'm saying, is that GW wrote the fluff, okay that's their storyline, but it doesn't mean that in other alternate storylines there can't be female marines, they don't 'have' to be gene enhanced, 8 foot tall (which I still dispute when you put one next to a guardsman, as that would mean every guardsman is around 7 feet tall also) testosterone filled morons.
And yes I have seen something somewhere with a pink Darth Vader, Star Wars has spun more spoofs than any other film. But seriously, GW had a choice when they wrote the fluff, back in the 80's the only real army to have women was the Russians, others like ours had token chicks in uniform doing secretarial work, basically. So that's how GW wrote the game. Now things have vastly changed, there are women fighting and dying in the front line in wars all over the world, alongside the men, and every bit their equal.
And saying they aren't space marines just because they aren't gene enhanced is laughable, go to Youtube and type in the term 'female Space marine' and one of the top vids is from the aliens films. So they are considered to be 'space marines', by definition if they serve on a space ship, as opposed to a sea going ship, they are automatically space marines, I think you'll find the term was around before GW coined it.
And by the way, where did the bit about hugging kittens come from, not everybody who's good spends their time doing that you know, what they really do is fight for justice, not unending wars of pointlessness. There are good people in the British army, but they don't all go 'hugging kittens' when off duty. I don't play my own games in the 40k universe, nor did I say I do. Read my post, as I said, we either choose to play with their fluff or just use the rules, which just happen to be a reasonably simple set of wargames rules, and perfect for my storyline.
Last edited by jboweruk; April 19th, 2010 at 17:45.
The debate gets to the core issue of whether 40k is a hobby or a board game. Your pieces can look like anything but, if your fluff contradicts the well-established parts of the background story of 40k then it creates so many anachronisms that it destroys the game universe. If I want my Space Marine Chapter "Lords of Pwnage" to be led by the Emperor Resurrected and be the first recruits in the Second Great Crusade, it isn't enough to say that the Emperor 'counts as Mephiston'. I'm steamrolling the way everybody else is thinking about their own army and its place in the 40k universe.Umm...Marines don't represent the best of mankind. They're brainwashed humans augmented into superhuman killing machines. They aren't even allowed a normal childhood, for pity's sake, let alone a well-rounded education or normal standard of morality.I want Marines to be the best of mankind, male or female.
So, first we're allowing female Marines, and then we're rewriting Marine fluff so that they're good guys, which means they fight the Imperium's injustices along with other threats, so there's a civil war between the branches of the Imperium, and because the Marines aren't genocidal they accept help from the Tau and Eldar and encourage humans to live in peace with them, and of course the Eldar will help humanity tap its psychic potential so we don't have to fear Chaos anymore, and...things keep snowballing. Really, if you aren't even intending to model female Marines as being female then there's just no point to doing it.
"My tanks have names, my men have numbers." -Col. Edmund Grahvess, 23rd Kronecker Prison Guard
2. In the fluff, the Sisters of Battle were formed as the standing army of the Ecclessiarchy due to laws being passed after the Age of Apostasy that the Ecclessiarchy can not have men under arms. Thus, a female army was allowed...
And brining this up in a 40k fluff forum is kinda like shooting yourself in the foot, no?
PS. Please, by no means think that I'm insulting you or anything. I just think you might have taken the wrong approach to this debate...
Last edited by Da Mighty Camel; April 19th, 2010 at 20:10.