Do you remember when you still cared? When you wouldn’t just phone in your background and fluff sections from a Codex or army book? What happened? Did you have a bad breakup? Did background move out of your apartment while you were at work and take your cat? Is that why you just can’t care about the bitch?
The point is, your codexes (And fuck you for Trade Marking the term Codex. Codexes is a stupid plural form) used to have the best 40K and Fantasy fluff available. Black Library struggled to be commercially successful within the wargaming community because the fluff in your army books was so damned good. What happened? We have Space Wolves surfing explosions and supposedly loyal fetish Marines teaming up with a sworn enemy of the Imperium.
So why bitch about it now? Black Library has recently been producing fiction set in our beloved universes that is SO good, you can afford to not read the army books. In fact, I haven’t read the fluff in an army book, cover to cover, since the Tyranid Codex was released in 2004. Since then, all of my fluff fixes have come by way of Black Library and Dan Abnett. I’d given up hope of ever receiving well thought out and executed background outside of Black Library and then something curious happened.
In the last month I have picked up three Forge World Books. The Badab War books and most recently their first foray into Fantasy. Flipping through the Badab War books, you can’t help but be awe struck. The books are split into two parts. The first, chronicling the Chaos side of the conflict, while the second covers the Imperium’s struggles. It’s brilliant. It’s full of story (I would ball park the story sections of each book to make up approximately 65 – 75% of its length) and most importantly, attention to detail. There is beautiful artwork, aside stories and full on breakdowns of chapters which took place. In short, it is everything that GW codexes and army books used to be. I haven’t yet read the background or stories contained within those two massive tomes but I am eagerly anticipating the read.
Tamurkhan, their first Fantasy book, is exactly like the Badab War books. Filled, cover to cover with background, art work, stories and finally rules. This book I have started reading and all I can say is, WOW. If you have ever read the sadly out of print, Liber Chaotica, you already know how good narratives within the Chaos point of view can be. That narrative is present in Tamurkhan. I’m a mere 10 pages in, reading on the bus on my way to work, and I almost missed my stop because I was so enthralled by the book.
I guess I am making two (very rambly) points.
- GW. Start writing books like you give a fuck. If you need to, fire all of the brain dead retards (Mat Ward) and hire the Forge World writers. You’re welcome.
- Go out and buy Tamurkhan – Throne of Chaos. Even if you don’t play Fantasy and don’t give a rat’s ass about the rules in the back, the story is fucking amazing. Who doesn’t like reading about the ascendancy of a champion of Chaos?
- I know I said two points, but seriously GW, fire Mat Ward.