Pretty soon the Invasion of St. Arkham campaign will finally come to an end, in a huge Apocalypse battle. Because of this, I thought today I’d post up some brief background I’ve worked up for my Warhammer 40k collection.
I’m not really one for writing up encyclopeadic histories for my armies, but I do enjoy mentally placing them in the setting, and it’s about time I wrote down my floating thoughts seeing as I have a blog and all. Speaking of that, sorry I seem to have stopped putting up many pictures lately – I’m very busy these days and don’t have much time to trawl for non-essential images unfortunately.
Anyway. I think there are at least two ways to enjoy the background of the games we love. One is what I call the historical approach, where you accurately re-create elements of the background. I call it the historical approach because this is what historical gamers usually do. They give their soldiers all the accurate insignia and details so that when the army is arrayed it becomes a realistic tableau of retreating Russian infantry at Stalingrad or whatever.
People can do this with 40k too. The GW games have such well-established background that you can make an army that is, say, an accurate depiction of the Ultramarines 4th company during the Tyrannic Wars, or the Thousand Sons in the 31st millennium. I can definitely see the fun and the challenge in that.
The other main approach (which is the one I just can’t seem to avoid taking), could be called the inventive approach. This is where you invent your own take on an army, for example making up your own chapter of space marines or unique Ork warband. The challenge is to make it fit into the established setting in a way that is believable and makes people say “hey that’s pretty cool.” There is obviously limited scope for this in historical gaming – although I know that the inimitable SinSynn at House of Paincakes has aliens in his Flames of War army. And that warms my heart.
So, I normally engage with the setting inventively, not historically. Below, if you’re interested, you can read the little bits of lore I have invented over the last few years to get my imagination going between games.