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Here they are. They are the Emperor's Finests. They spite acid, they have three lungs, fangs, an adamantium exoskeleton, two hearts and half a brain. They are the Space Marines and They Shall Know Nothin'.
The Rise of Power-Armored Humanity
Humanity, seen through Games Workshop eyes, should prevail.
In first and second edition of Warhammer 40'000, the game wasn't Imperium centric enough: numerous text were written by Eldar characters, depicted Genestealer cults and so on without always ruminating on the Emperor and His Space Marines. Second edition provided better Space Marines than the first (one point of toughness here, one better armor save there for no point change - business as usual) but other races still fared quite well. If players were too dumb to notice what the game was all about, Games Workshop would teach them in a way no one would ignore. The giant leap foward came with 3rd edition, where one could say with confidence that rules were incredibly bent to favor Space Marines. At least!
Thanks for Mankind and the fascist Imperium of Man, since then Space Marines are simply the best at everything. They beat specialists from other armies even in their respective field of expertise. Assault Marines match Genestealers in hand-to-hand fights. Space Marine Devastators are more cost-effective and versatile than Eldar Dark Reapers, embodiment of long-range support. Nothing comes close to Space Marine statline point-wise. The Elite of the Imperium is immune to most morale rules, has the best tanks, the cheapest transports and, should need arise, they can rely on their trusty 3+ save everytime.
It's worth noticing that "true" dedicated Space Marine players, remnants of old times, weren't all too happy with this trend. Most of them grew uncomfortable with the crowd of brats fielding loosely spray-painted armies and claiming to belong to the same brotherhood. That's the problem when a game balance is broken: it's no secret.
Of course this pro-marine obsession turned ludicrous long ago. In my personal Hall of Fame of broken rules favoring Space Marines, the rules for open topped vehicles comes ahead. Open-topped vehicles are more vulnerable than regular tanks, yet Space Marines field some. Hence something was needed. This rule therefore states that open-topped vehicles driven by Marines does not count as open-topped anymore because (drum rolls...) the crew is in Power Armor! Don't search for any logic in this dumb rule beyond usage of the word "because". More than a roof, Power Armor: In It You Feel Like Homeâ„¢.
Age of Uniformity
Obviously, Space Marines are the only choice for newcomers and veterans alike. They are the cream of the crop. They are in plastic. They are easy to paint. They are advertised in each and every White Dwarf. They are available in many flavors: Dark Angels, Blood Angels, Black Templars, Space Wolves, 13th Company, Cursed Founding, DeathWatch, Salamanders, Ultramarines, Inquisitors, each one featuring special rules and a dedicated army list, or even customizable traits to get the most of custom chapters. Wait - I just wrote about loyalist Space Marines only... There's also Chaos Space Marines: the Evil Twins!
Every player chooses his allegeance: Plain Color Space Marines or Spiky Space Marines and their odd tentacles. Who said Games Workshop does not promote diversity?
In those great times of Plastic Space Marine Sprues, this product line makes up for more than 50% of Games Workshop's W40K sales (2004 figures). Marines sell three times as much as the second best selling army... Chaos Space Marines!
Of course, few players will admit openly that they chose Space Marine for in-game reasons - and knowing White Dwarf advertising towards them, it may even be true. Apart from the dusty blisters hanging around, alternate races barely seem to exist. If you ever mention Commorragh in front of a group of young players, someone will certainly ask for the chapter this special character belongs to...
No Guts, No Glory
Every battle requires an opponent, and bland Space Marines vs Space Marines games are now the norm rather than the exception - unless a player enjoys to get trashed for the sake of miniature variety. Those good souls field hopeless armies like Dark Eldar or Orks, whose product line is not yet completely published after 4 years... Or just the most anti-Space Marine list their long outdated codex can produce. Who can honestly blame them?
Nobody likes to be the target of super-duper genetically engineered superior elite fighters. It's not that they are unbeatable. In a game as random as Warhammer 40'000 is, nothing is unbeatable - even an army of 10-points Terminators. Yet, it's not because it can be beaten that it's fair.
Most races will get wiped out when facing Marines. Their players are, in effect, taking a handicap for the sake of variety. While there are people doing that, others prefer to play in fashions that keep their chances of winning intact - by fielding Marines themselves.
Space Marine players have a weakness though: they learn little. It's a consequence of an army ignoring most morale rules, scoffing at cover and whose heavy weapon squads can beat the crap out of enemy hand-to-hand specialists. Yet, one must be cunning, lucky or downright cheesy to have any hope of winning a game vs a skilled marine player.
Of course, Space Marines in the hands of a stalwart commander (who hopefully learned the game with another army) ends up in a deadly combination. But most of the time, as read in Games Workshop's forums, losing a game just translates into complaints, not humility: "I play Space Marine and I lost to a non-Space Marine player! How can it be? Fix them, they're bloody borken!"
How do you spell Disaster?
As I wrote, Games Workshop's bias is no secret. Here are two fun quotes regarding game balance:
"The Gold Space Marines are like Super Space Marines +2. They make the Super Black Red X Space Marines look like Blue Space Marines. They're so awesome we don't let normal people play them. To unlock Gold Space Marines you have to win five Grand Tournaments using Dark Space Elfs, Dead Space Elfs, Orks, Tau and Kroot in that order. Then you will be given a special Gold Space Marine army box with a Gold Space Marine Codex written all in Imperial Gothic. - Sneak Preview of Codex Gold Space Marines" -- Kid Kyoto
"I've heard that the next Black Templar codex will feature a special vow called "And they shall know no incoming fire". Essentially for 5 points per model, it won't be possible for any Xenos race to fire on Black Templars for any reason. This will be partially balanced by the fact that Black Templars will not be able to take bikes with flamers." -- GreenJello
Other races do exist, with an interesting history, nicely sculpted miniatures, original fighting style, everything to create a balanced gaming group full of variety. But Space Marines suffocate Warhammer 40'000 rule-wise and background-wise. Many players have the impression that other races to exist just to give alternate targets. Games Workshop's incredible scorn towards everything apart Marines is disgusting many.
Even now, Space Marine players find the game boring, and the few others can't expect anything new for their armies for years. It's not the release of Hive Fleet Albino that will change anything. I can't explain Games Workshop's bias towards Space Marines and I don't care: it's killing them softly. Accordingly to current thread, in few years I wouldn't be surprised to see all non-human races gathered in a single Codex:Not Marines.
A wonderful bit of copy and pasting, preceded by a lamentable introduction worthy of nothing more than an eight year olds attempt at writing well.
Last edited by Phobos; August 29th, 2006 at 10:34.
"It fits like clothes made out of wasps!"
WALL OF WORD CRIT YOU FOR 4 568 232 damage...
ah yes the ever popular i hate space marines rant
WELL SAID, NO MORE SQUATS THEY ARE DEAD GET OVER ITOriginally Posted by artificer
well, i actually think games workshop has done well to develop other miniature ranges and create worthy rules for each race at this point in timw, when i started playing hardly ANYTHING was out other than tons of marines,
tau didnt exist, necrons didnt exist, dark eldar didnt exist, imperial guard for example had no infantry units other than the odd rouge trader model and some ratling snipers, not even any tanks from what i can remember,
tyranids & chaos had the odd bits and pieces but not enough to form a desirable army, you certainly couldnt theme an army to a single deity unless u wanted a grand total of 5 different miniatures 100X over in your army.
the only two armys which had a decent range were 2nd ed eldar and space marines from the old plastic rouge trader kits and the "new" metal 2nd ed ones.
games workshop has done well to develop miniatures, updates, rules and fluff for xeno species IMO
Originally Posted by Cheredanine
a) what armies do you play?
b) what do you propose to remedy this dire situation?
c) so what? You don't like space marines. Play fantasy. I'm always bothered by the "flavor of the month" army more than every "game-store-14yr-old" with a box full of marines. 50 players with the newest army and more-cash-than-sense who don't even know their own army's rules.
Propose a solution, live with it, or play a different game.
Baby, when I'm the voice of reason, we've got problems!~artificerSomeone should stop
Jervis "let's make it easy enough for a 3 year old to play" Johnson
before he turns 40k into checkers~anon
It was a good read, but nothing I haven't heard before. No sweat, but I think everybody has heard this rant before.
But don't forget that back in the Rogue Trader days, as Dr. Snuggles noted, the game practially was Space Marines. I agree when he says GW has done well to flesh the game out a bit more.
"Oi vey!" everybody!
Just once, I'd like to see a "Tyranids are cheap and lousy" rant or maybe "the Imperial gaurd need more tanks for less points" rant.
Actually what I really wish for is a rant by someone who plays every army, and knows how to counter every army, and thinks the game is just fine and dandy even with all the noobs and crappy paint jobs.
Ok, that might have been a little critical on my part.
So I will counter angelofblades's rant with a question:
Is there any particular reason you feel slighted by the Emperor's finest, sir? Have they done you some horrible wrong? Or are you just angry at some horrible paintjob that killed your favorite model?
www.HIGHBATTALION.com - it's a link, you click it.
"The world will be a better place when the world's resources are used for Giant Robots."
Hmmm.... I completely understand what you are going through. An anti-smurfetic rant. As a new-turned Chaos player, I understand your hatred for the servants of the False Emperor. I agree with this thinking, and as you pointed out, my thoughts are that GW should impose rules in certain codexes of future to limit, or at least, stunt the growth of the "BLUE MENACE".:yes:
If terrorists ask you "Do you have a bullet through your head?" say proudly, with dignity, "No, I do not. Go fish."
Catalysts of Iron/Iron Warriors 0/0/0
Soldiers of the Forge Worlds Clan Founder.
who ever said that SM win because they are strong. a squad of howling banshees dose not.