Thursday, June 17, 2010

Making 40k Your Own

Heretic here with a quick thought. Every army has their own history and great sagas, but in each of them there is a great amount that goes unsaid. For instance, the Imperial codices generally talk about only a few battles in the Horus Heresy, namely the Drop Site Massacre and the Siege of Terra, and leave out the rest. This was supposed to be the end of the Great Crusade, when the Imperium was at its zenith and collapsed in on itself. There must have been more than those two battles. What I'm getting to is filling in the gaps.

I'm currently building a chapter of marines from scratch, as far as backstory; they aren't cannon so there's nothing I can draw on to give them a glorious past. But that also means there are no restraints on how my chapter can have gotten to where they are today. It may or may not be your cup of tea, but I'd suggest you take a few minutes and consider writing a backstory for your army. It really helps me get motivated to work on painting my models and makes me want to get some games in with them.

If a whole chapter isn't your style why not write a story about your favorite model's most glorious victory? Maybe some story of how the Great Wolf rose through the ranks or why your Hive Fleet is awesome. If your army is more exciting to you it might just give you another part of this hobby to enjoy in case you don't get the opportunity to play as often as you'd like.


  1. I let competitive games/tournament games determine my army's backstory. I mean, Tyranids? Their backstory is "kill the shit out of EVERYTHING." So basically, as long as shit is dying, it's solidly within the Tyranid fluff. But writing every single game I ever fight into my backstory would get tedious realy quickly. So, for my army, I typicaly say that each tournament battle is a battle in my Hive fleet's backstory. I occasionally include a noteworthy non-tournament battle within my backstory, because everyone has "THAT ONE GAME WHERE X HAPPENED."

    Claiming some sort of token from a major battle (like the oddball on the base of my Fyrant) is super fun too, and gives your army a bit of a backstory without having to actually write much of anything. I'd at some point like to get my hands on a a couple of stray models from various other armies to use as doods dying on the bases of some of my MC's, and have them painted in the scheme of various people I know's armies.

    I guess I like to say that my army is young, and my backstory is ongoing. It's also, for the time being, an oral history, as I don't have anything really written down yet. One day...

  2. Saboface:
    I mean, Tyranids? Their backstory is "kill the shit out of EVERYTHING."