Wednesday, September 14, 2011

The Draw of Xenos

Hey folks!

For those of you who read Black Library books, when is the last time you got to the end, and the Xenos won? Never you say? That’s what I thought. And I don’t mean pyrrhic victories or temporary advantages over the forces of the Imperium, I mean a full-on, all the humies are dead, we claim this world, the end. Ghazghkull may have had his way with Armageddon, but he still got driven off the planet by Yarrick. The Necrons in “Fall of Damnos” are virtually limitless, and Necron In-fighting causes them from winning. Where’s the novel written from the perspective of a Tyranid hive ship? Or the novella? One that contains something of the unstoppable force they’re floating across the galaxy with? Humanity doesn’t stand a chance in staying the dominant race in the galaxy, yet every book is an Imperium victory.

My first army was Tau – one I chose before I knew how the game worked, and based solely on how I like to play video games (archer/ranger/hunter/etc). My knowledge of the game has changed much since then, and while I no longer play Tau, I’ve firmly entrenched myself in Xeno culture of one kind or another.

Space Marines are supposed to be outnumbered, outgunned, in depleted strength from continuous warfare on every front while the borders of humanity are slowly being encroached upon from every front. Where is this actually happening? They prevail every time in fluff. There are more Space Marine players than probably every other codex put together. I don’t care if you have Necrons on a shelf, if you’re playing Grey Knights, you’re a Space Marine player. And on the tabletop itself, Space Marines are *not* beset on all sides by hordes of aliens. For one thing, there aren’t enough Xeno players out there to go around, so more often than not Space Marines fight Space Marines. For another, short of Ork foot-slogging armies, Space Marines aren’t outnumbered in the armies people bring to the table. I fall into the category of people who think that Space Marines should be double and triple the cost that they are now, with higher stats to boost. That will never happen – it wouldn’t sell as many models.

But that’s the crux of my problem. The 41st Millenium is supposed to be grimdark. Humanity struggles for survival in obscene conditions while ravening Xenos press on every front. I think both the Black Library and GW are failing to meet expectations on that front. Give us novels of Ork victories! A book series of the Tyranids zerging through the core of the galaxy, eating worlds. Explore the Necron re-awakening, and fill in the backstory on the Void Dragon. And for the love of Gork and Mork, every other new codex does not need to be Space Marines. Make the Space Marine player feel alone in a sea of aliens – both as a player and on the tabletop.

The word “bandwagoner” gets tossed around a lot for folks who start playing the latest codex. I consider all space marine players to be bandwagoners. I hold all of them in the same regard that I do for the legion of MMO players who all have names like, “Drizzt, Drizzzt, Drizzt24, Drizzit, Druzzt, etc.” Pathetic.

You want to challenge yourself? Put down your flavor of Space Marines and pick up a Xeno army. I’m not talking about bandwagoning onto the new Necrons coming out either. When I go to a GT, and 11/14 of my games are against Space Marines….it’s too much. I wander the tables looking for armies that aren’t pathetic FOTM replicas of each other. Don’t worry about how overpowered Grey Knights are and how you need to play them because they’re uberpowerful. I’d wager than most people who jump onto a codex that just came out because it’s the latest, greatest, and broken aren’t good enough to use the tools in the codex to win against the really good players anyway. So you might as well join the ranks of Xenos. Be different! Be the underdog. Who doesn’t root for the underdog in a movie? Who doesn’t want the little guy to win?

I’ve got news for you – Space Marines are *NOT* the underdog. Pick up Xenos and help making Space Marines the underdog again!

Thanks for reading, and click some ads! Pennies for Hulksmash. J