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I'm doing an assignment and was wondering where games workshop got the inspiration for all their races. For example the imperial Guard are modeled on WW2 armies and specifically the Russian army.
Any help would be appreciated. Thank you
- Catachans - Vietnam War
- Death Korps - WWI
- Steel Legion - WWI / WWII
- Praetorians - Zulu war type brits
- Valhallans - WWII Russia
Eldar- Space Elves
Tau - Communist space Asians
Empire - Germany
Bretonnia - Medieval France/England
Beasts of Chaos - Germanic Tribes fighting the Romans
Tomb Kings - Egypt
Dark Elves - Canadians
Lizard men - Ancient Aztec People
Vampire Counts - Transylvania
Warriors of Chaos - Vikings
Yeah thats all I can think of atm
thanks for that but i don't see how space elves really tie into history.
Most of the armies do however have historical origins. The Tau could be ancient japan for example. Dark eldar could be related to the pirates found on the high seas during the 16th century.
Not all GW armies are historical. Some are based on mythology (Daemons of Chaos, loosely) and others are actually sort of original (Skaven, specifically). The juiciest place to look is at the different Space Marine Chapters. Most of them have been obviously influenced by various actual cultures.
What exactly is this assignment?
"My tanks have names, my men have numbers." -Col. Edmund Grahvess, 23rd Kronecker Prison Guard
the assignment is "How do authors use history and past cultures as a baisis for writing science-fiction". I chose the topic as it was an open topic assignment and we have to read so many books about it. And while i realise that not every race was created using something else i still woul;d like help in figuring out what all the others used as a starting point.
It's true that space elves aren't a historical thing, but that is where the inspiration for the Eldar came from, a sci-fi version of traditional Tolkien-esque high fantasy elves.
I suppose in 40k you can split it into 3 rough groups. The factions that are inspired by real historical cultures, the factions inspired by high fantasy races, and the factions inspired by/ripped off from other sci-fi settings.
Imperial Guard (magila covered a lot of these)
Catachans - Vietnam
Valhallans - Early-mid 20th century USSR
Praetorians - Late Victorian era British
Cadians - fairly modern style
Death Korps - Early 20th century Germany
Ultramarines - combination of Ancient Greece & Rome
Space Wolves - Vikings
White Scars - Mongols
Dark Angels - monastic theme
Black Templars - Crusades
Thousand Sons - Egyptian
Inquisition - the Spanish Inquisition
Inspired by fantasy
Eldar - High Elves
Dark Eldar - Dark Elves
Exodites - Wood Elves
Orks - Orcs
Necrons - Undead
Squats - Dwarfs
Inspired by other Sci-fi
Tyranids - Xenomorph from the Alien films
Tau seem to be inspired by Japanese mecha as a commercial move by GW to try to get mecha/anime fans interested in 40k
Thou shalt remember:
Warhammer Fantasy armies do NOT have Codices. They have Army Books.
LINK - Guitarists of LO Group
Eldar were based off Greek mythology mixed with the FB High Elves. The war in heaven, the damnsome long lifespan, sacrifice and worship making them stronger, the evil cousins, praying to a specialist god (or following a specialist path), the steep decline from once being really powerful. Etc.
Otherwise, just a few things to add to magila's post.Around the renaissance, under Emperor NameiforgotEmpire - GermanyAncient Egypt.Tomb Kings - EgyptMore dependent on the specific tribes I think, The Hung, for example, well, I think you can guess.Warriors of Chaos - Vikings
Skaven, to my understanding, were based off the fears and superstitions of Europe around the middle ages. At least, that's my theory.
Oh yeah, a couple more here for FB.
Kislev: Russia some time before Peter the Great (not too good on European history as you can see - Classics is more my thing).
Orcs and Goblins: Mongols and other eastern tribes - I think.
Chaos Dwarves: Babylonians
Ogre Kingdoms: Again, Mongol tribes?
High Elves: Atlantis
For 40K, these all have their equivalents somewhere.
There are several more obscure ones like that.
The Eldar has been stated by GW to have been created to be "Space Elves", but with a lot of mythology and style borrowed from ancient Greek mythology and the old Hindu stories (such as the Avatar).
All who have read the fluff for the High Elves and Eldar will notice that they are nothing alike, and apart from the pointy ears they have little in common, especially if you look at their myths and legends.
It is is easy to go "Tau = anime/mecha". While it is true that they were partly designed to appeal to mecha-fans, they actually have very little in common with traditional Japanese mecha-designs. Instead, the Tau are more a representation of "classic, clean sci-fi" and not one inspired by religion and Gothic designs, like most of the other 40k races and factions.
Last edited by Da Mighty Camel; June 24th, 2009 at 12:17.
You could look at the Imperium as a whole too. The idea that if you forget the past you are doomed to make its mistakes over again. It has the Dark Ages written all over it. Superstition has taken over reason and logic and might of arms and religion rule.
I hear and I forget, I see and I remember, I do and I understand
Success is the ability to go from failure to failure without losing your enthusiasm.
In addition, there's a story in the Eldar codex about a swordmaker who was commissioned by a powerful commander to build a ridiculous number of weapons in a short time, building one single weapon in a slipshod manner. That weapon went on to fail in battle in the hands of the commander's son, costing the youth his life. This is almost word-for-word taken from an actual legend from Japanese culture concerning a powerful feudal lord and a swordmaker.
Something else worth noting: Many 40k races were inspired by cultural and historical references, but don't forget that pop culture and films are involved, too. We've already covered the parallels between the Tyranids and the "Alien" films, but don't forget the Necrons and the "Terminator" franchise. The "We'll Be Back!" rule is an obvious rip-off of the famous Gov. Schwarzenegger quote.
Also, the previous edition rulebook, in describing the "kill-team" rule system, acknowledges outright the idea of that rule system being inspired by action movies.
Anybody who doubts that the IG, in various forms, were inspired by pop culture and films in addition to various earthbound, real-life culture and military only need to look at "Sly Marbo" and ask themselves what popular action film hero's name can be made by rearranging the letters of Sly's last name, then consider which actor shares Marbo's first name. Subtle, eh?