Friday, February 25, 2005


Since the release of the latest Space Marine Codex, White Dwarf has been filled with numerous articles focusing on Marines (sometimes including Chaos Marines) to the point of foolishness. Some apologists say its only their turn for the spotlight but its been over 3 issues filled with marines and another one on the way. Let's face it, Warhammer 40K is dominated to an extreme by Space Marines.

No other Games Workshop game suffers a similar fate. Fantasy Battle has many equal armies sharing the spotlight. Battlefleet Gothic and Epic are set in the same universe and while marines feature prominently there they are not the majority overall. But 40K is different for a variety of reasons:

1) 40K is bigger than all others combined, even WFB;
2) Marines are a great entry army because they are easy to assemble, paint, and play;
3) Marines are super-heros in a galaxy of regulars.

What this means is that well over 50% of the new people coming into the hobby start with Marines. The good news is that veteran players that stick with the hobby often branch out into the other races but the bad news is that it is the new players that drive sales, and therefore focus of the company.

Now, back to me...

I started with Eldar and played Eldar hard for years, about a decade. I had a chaos marine army I inherited from a friend but it was a secondary force, something I fielded once in a while for variety. The last couple years my focus switched from Eldar to my marines because I felt I could identify more with the characters in my marine army and I lost touch with my Eldar. I feel pangs of guilt often now because I know the game is flooded with marine players yet it has become my main army. To offset this guilt I am slowly building a Lost and the Damned army of renegade Imperial Guard and mutants with only a couple marines in there as squad leaders.

I hope Games Workshop moves away from Marinehammer and back into Warhammer 40K. But by the looks of things, it won't be anytime soon.

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