Skip to toolbar

WHtOW boxed set

Home Forums Fantasy Tabletop Game Discussions WHtOW boxed set

Supported by (Turn Off)

Related Games:

This topic contains 23 replies, has 8 voices, and was last updated by  wolfie65 3 months ago.

Viewing 9 posts - 16 through 24 (of 24 total)
  • Author
    Posts
  • #1804489

    onlyonepinman
    18017xp
    Cult of Games Member

    What you are talking about is the history of the setting, not the setting itself; while linked, the two are separate.  A setting includes a time and a place, it is the where and when of a story.  For example the story (or stories) of Warhammer Fantasy Battle was set in the Old World during the reign of Karl Franz. The stories then provide the Who and the What, for example The Empire is fighting a losing battle against countless enemies, within and without (which is the overriding theme of Warhammer).  The history details everything before that time, helping explain how and why things are like they are, and gives some context to the stories, but is not technically part of the setting nor is it essential.  So you are correct that Elves amd Dwarfs do play a prominent role in the history of the Warhammer world, but in th Warhammer Fantasy Battle setting, they are very much secondary characters.  It’s a bit like Lord of the Rings.  Elves and Dwarfs were a major part of Middle Earth history but the Lord of the Rings is the story of the kingdoms of men.  Elves and Dwarfs are a significant part of Warhammer history, but Warhammer Fantasy Battle was a story about the Empire in which the Elves and Dwarfs play a supporting role.  So you could go back in time through Warhammer history to a point where Elves and Dwarfs were pre-eminent but in doing so you would lose the overall feel of the Warhammer world because it is largely defined by The Empire, by that 16th century aesthetic and ambience that they bring.  The Empire has been the main protagonist way longer than 4th edition due in no small part to Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay.  When you think Warhammer Fantasy, you immediately think black powder, late renaissance, witch hunters and so on because that is what gives Warhammer it’s unique look and feel.

    #1804533

    wolfie65
    Participant
    1203xp

    The story of Warhammer Fantasy is the story of battles between fantasy races. 3rd edition didn’t have any particular Emperor or time in mind, that only started to creep in during 4th. They just went with the general setting of most fantasy novels, which roughly equals the Dark Ages, Middle Ages and (maybe) early Renaissance.

    Professor Tolkien wrote LotR when his publishers told him about the huge demand for a sequel to The Hobbit – LotR is, in essence, the same basic story, massively expanded – and as part of his ‘justification’ for his creation of several fictitious languages, he was, after all, first and foremost, a linguist. It’s basically part of the cultural history of Elves and Hobbits, the humans (pretty much absent in The Hobbit, unless you count Beorn the shapechanger and the short Laketown episode) just provide a point of reference for the reader – who is human and will, in most cases, have a hard time identifying with Elves or Dwarfs.

    When I think of Warhammer and what makes it unique among fantasy battle games, it is definitely Chaos, TONS of special rules, lots of dice rolls – some unnecessary – chunky, cartoonish minis with MASSIVELY oversized weapons and armor more likely to injure than protect the wearer and prices that’ll turn your hair white.

    Also, green Orcs. They weren’t green before GW got a hold of them, you know. In the 70s and early 80s, Ral Partha had a color called ‘Drow Flesh’, sort of a bluish grey, that many people liked to use on Orcs, Dark Elves, Undead, that sort of thing. In the French fairy tale that first mentions the word Orc, it describes a humanoid sea creature, and since most cold water fish are in the blue-grey color spectrum, that makes sense. Tolkien describes his Orcs simply as ‘swarthy’, in the 1970s White Dwarf story Valley of the Four Winds, the Forest Orcs are described as ‘bearded’ with ‘black blood’.

    Skaven are also fairly unique, I don’t know of any games that had Rat people before GW came up with them.

    To some degree, the GW image of High- and Dark Elves – deeply steeped in Michael Moorcock imagery – is different from the way they are portrayed in other, pre-Warhammer games and settings.

    Renaissance-era pretend-Germans are not unique and the fact that most of the stories are told from a human point of view is, as already mentioned, because the authors are, of course, human and only very, very few people manage to try to think like a non-human creature might. Same goes for the vast majority of their readers.

    #1804803

    onlyonepinman
    18017xp
    Cult of Games Member

    Again, you are right, but that doesn’t change the fact that the Empire are the main protagonist.  If you take the Empire away completely, bin them off and remove all trace of them from Warhammer, the whole setting ceases to be warhammer, it loses it theme.  The only other faction you can say that about is Chaos.  Empire and Chaos are the main protagonist and antagonist respectively.

     

    The Hobbit is a children’s story with Dwarfs and Hobbits and is fairly light hearted.  I personally think it’s quite telling when he decided to write The Lord of the Rings, the genre defining work for “epic fantasy”, that the Elves and Dwarfs play almost no part at all.  They’re mentioned extensively in the appendices and historical information Tolkien wrote, but they don’t play a significant or meaningful part, as a civilisation, in the story of the Lord of the Rings.  Those tropes have partially found their way into Warhammer.  The Elves have mostly retreated to Ulthuan and the Dwarfs to their mountain strongholds and play little part in the world of men.  It is the Empire who are described as the front line in the battle against Chaos.  The Empire is the Gondor to Chaos’ Sauron.

    #1804984

    wolfie65
    Participant
    1203xp

    The by far biggest part in LotR – the book is played by the Hobbits, followed by The Ring, Gollum and Gandalf.

    Humans play a large role primarily because the Fellowship has to pass through a bunch of Human lands to get to Mordor, while Bilbo encountered mostly Elves and Dwarfs on his more northerly route in The Hobbit.

    #1805033

    onlyonepinman
    18017xp
    Cult of Games Member

    I don’t think that’s entirely true.  I would say that a small group of Hobbits could be considered heroes.  But Aragorn’s journey with Gimli and Legolas takes up at least as much of the book as Frodo’s journey.  During that entire half of the story, Gimli and Legolas are pretty much the only members of their respective peoples who are shown to have played any sort of part in the war.  The entire war is fought by men from Gondor and Rohan, the Elves and Dwarfs don’t play any part in the story, even though they are clearly shown to exist in the world.  Humans play such a significant part for more reasons than simply that’s the route the Fellowship took; Sauron invades Gondor and Saruman invades Rohan.  Those events take up huge parts of the books long after Frodo and Sam have passed by.  Those events are depicted in the book because they are relevant to the story.  Events in the north during the same period are notably absent and while we are given some information in the appendices, the important thing to note is that they are for all intents and purposes an afterthought by the author and have little bearing on the story itself.

    And the key difference between Hobbit and Lord of the Rings is that the Hobbit is and always was a children’s story about Bilbo Baggins going on an adventure.  The Lord of the Rings is and Epic story about the battle for Middle Earth.  The context, scope and focus of the two are completely different and it could be argued that the Hobbit is almost a story within a larger story.  Lord of the Rings is a much better analogy to Warhammer than the Hobbit, the Hobbit is almost the Tolkien equivalent of a Black Library novel set within a larger setting.  Lord of the Rings and Warhammer Fantasy Battle are two vehicles achieving similar ends – they both tell the story, albeit in different ways, of an epic battle for the fate of a fantasy world.  And in both cases, humans are the main protagonist.

    #1805376

    admiralandy
    1636xp
    Cult of Games Member

    I personally think this is another example of GW aiming for a nostalgia hit and then will not know what to do with it, unless some sort of morphed AoS for ‘bigger’ battles.

    You’d think GW might take notice that folks seemed to have more interest in what they used to do than now, ok so we get adeptus titanicus where’s my epic infantry and tanks, wheres my Battlefleet Gothic, where’s my squats oh yeah you kinda gave us those but so shite nobody cares.

     

    #1805471

    wolfie65
    Participant
    1203xp

    In the beginning, GW was a collection of gamers and artists who were themselves deeply into the hobby and, consequently, cared about what they were doing. They produced games and, after merging with Citadel/Marauder, also miniatures, they themselves liked – many of them heavily inspired by Monty Python movies or the writings of Michael Moorcock – White Dwarf wasn’t an in-house catalog but featured articles and reviews of a wide variety of games and manufacturers.

    As far as I’m concerned, they reached a peak of creativity and, to my eyes, overall quality, in the 80s and 90s, but then, right around 2000 or so, the corporate bean counters had completely taken over and it was all about the almighty dollar – or pound, rather.

    Sell as much as possible FOR as much as possible. Screw the old gamers and their lovingly collected figures, there’s a new sucker born every second and we want THEIR money. Continue scale creep to make sure older figs look ‘too small’ and totally out of place, ‘forcing’ people to buy the new abominations. Change base shape and size for the same reason. Mess with points cost for the same reason.

    I don’t know who exactly sits on the board of Nomad Investments – the major share holder of what used to be GW – but I have this sneaking suspicion that there may be other, less savory factors at play also, which I will not discuss here. Factors that, for example, gave us The Bland Times and The A$$ of Sickmar…….

    #1805480

    bubbles15
    Participant
    2297xp

    Wolfie: such comment as

    Factors that, for example, gave us The Bland Times and The A$$ of Sickmar……

    Are tiresome and boring. No one forces you to buy the models. There’s plenty of competition. Don’t like the games? Fine, play something else. Just stop whinging. It is petulant and immature, does nothing for the discussion and annoys people. Grow up, move on.

     

    #1805609

    wolfie65
    Participant
    1203xp

    There’s nowhere to move on to. If I want to game in my area, there’s  40K, AoS, maybe LotR and that’s it.

Viewing 9 posts - 16 through 24 (of 24 total)

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.

Supported by (Turn Off)