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Made in gb
Princeps of the Emperor's Titan!






How do!

So you may know that I recently complete my collection of Rogue Trader era books. Not for Hipster reasons, but because...

1. I just missed that era when getting started many moons ago
2. For the historical interest in how 40k and GW have evolved over the decades.
3. They’re bloody good reads.

What you may not know is how heavily those books relied on selling the background. Sure, not all of it survived to the modern day. This was 40k in its absolute infancy after all. Yet, a surprising amount remains relatively unchanged. The ins and outs of that are several nascent threads which I’ll get round to in due course.

But the way those early books sold Chaos, and their Orky equivalents did the same is eye opening. They really delve into odd and random. And I’m slightly disappointed the Eldar didn’t get an equivalent. I’d also be slightly disappointed the Imperium didn’t, but have you seen modern 40k?

Those books are, in my opinion, absolutely key to GW’s success. Particularly “Waaaaargh The Orks”, which was purely background. No rules at all. None. Nada. Zilch. Zip. Nowt. That came with “Ere We Go” and “Freebooterz” - both worth tomes in their own right.

The Realm of Chaos books also delved somewhat into Imperial History (and as they’ve been reprinted, are now available again) and helped flesh that out, though much of that section hasn’t really been followed up on.

Now, that was the 80’s. Because of course it was.

We did see a glimmer of such loving craft in the early 2000’s, when the then relatively new Black Library publishes the Liber Chaotica series, and the Xenology book. Those are also worthy, if now somewhat wallet challenging due to online prices, tomes. They were more “in character” than their predecessors. That meant to the casual reader they were, perhaps, less accessible. But to The Sad Old Git (hi!), a new font of made up knowledge.

Yet........since then? Nothing. From (dim) memory, their end started when the Horus Heresy series began. Now, I’m not knocking that decision, or the Horus Heresy series. I get budgets and projected sales things.

But we’re in a new era of GW, where they’ve oodles of cash, and as a result more comfortable taking riskier production decisions.

And the riskier production decision I want to see them make are army specific History Books. Ideally they’d go as deep and as wild as the Rogue Trader era, but with the production values of the Liber Chaotica era.

Even make them Print To Order, so their main initial cost is the writing and formatting of the book. Compared to a mass market print run, that’s the cheap bit!

I am of course clearly and unabashedly biased here. I make no apology for that, and if you demand one, you’re a bunghole. But I’d buy each and every, because the background is 40k to me, and always has been.

And I’m pretty sure there are enough players of a given army/race/faction to make it all worthwhile,


Fed up of Scalpers? But still want your Exclusives?Why not join us?

 
   
Made in us
Ancient Chaos Terminator





Eye of Terror

They don't have the creative talent for those kinds of books anymore.

You need a writing team, an art team and a publishing team to make it work.

   
Made in us
Ancient Ultramarine Venerable Dreadnought






 Mad Doc Grotsnik wrote:

So you may know that I recently complete my collection of Rogue Trader era books.
I am so jealous.

And yes, those early books are overflowing in imagination and creativity and they are absolute gems. It would be amazing if they were re-released and added to with similar types of content.

And They Shall Not Fit Through Doors!!!

Tyranid Army Progress -- With Classic Warriors!:
https://www.dakkadakka.com/dakkaforum/posts/list/0/743240.page#9671598 
   
Made in gb
Princeps of the Emperor's Titan!






 techsoldaten wrote:
They don't have the creative talent for those kinds of books anymore.

You need a writing team, an art team and a publishing team to make it work.


Yes. Because they certainly produce no new art. Or fiction. Or their own publishing wing?


Automatically Appended Next Post:
 Insectum7 wrote:
 Mad Doc Grotsnik wrote:

So you may know that I recently complete my collection of Rogue Trader era books.
I am so jealous.

And yes, those early books are overflowing in imagination and creativity and they are absolute gems. It would be amazing if they were re-released and added to with similar types of content.


I suspect we’ll never see quite the anarchic flair of those books, simply because it’s grown and evolved beyond the original writers wildest dreams.

But....as I mentioned in my OP, the Liber Chaotica series was somewhat more polished in terms of production values. If they can fuse the two?

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2020/07/28 18:10:51


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Made in us
Steady Space Marine Vet Sergeant




San Jose, CA

This is a killer idea and GW sucks for not having done it already.

the Realm of Chaos books, 'ere we go, etc gave the setting real flavour and depth.
   
Made in us
Rampaging Reaver Titan Princeps




And I’m slightly disappointed the Eldar didn’t get an equivalent.

They didn't get multiple books, but they did get some fantastic WD articles, which got reprinted in the Warhammer 40000 Compilation. 1991- bright yellow book with Blood Angels and the gold Dante fighting genestealers on the cover.

It was the original Fall/Craftworld/Path/Army list write up, with some chunky fiction, which took them from generic 'Corsairs' to the eldar we know today.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2020/07/28 18:32:17


Efficiency is the highest virtue. 
   
Made in gb
Princeps of the Emperor's Titan!






Oh I have that ‘un, and Codex Titanicus (god bless Dear Old Mumsie Grotsnik and the resulting inheritance!)

But to take that, and flesh it out ever further into a hardback tome?

White. Wee. Wee.

Fed up of Scalpers? But still want your Exclusives?Why not join us?

 
   
Made in gb
Regular Dakkanaut




My favorite book from that time that I own) is the Warhammer 40,00 compilation for three simple words...

Possessed Genestealer Patriarch!
   
Made in ca
Fresh-Faced New User






Awesome job curating all those pieces of history together! Perhaps share some photos of some of your favourite bits. I am a big Warhammer fan, but I increasingly pay less and less attention to the lore because, well.... it has gotten much worse through the decades.
   
Made in gb
Dakka Veteran






UK

princeyg wrote:
My favorite book from that time that I own) is the Warhammer 40,00 compilation for three simple words...

Possessed Genestealer Patriarch!


"The cult had a new source of power. They would rise again"

Put 'er there, brother

Skinflint Games- war gaming in the age of austerity

http://www.skinflintgames.co.uk

 
   
Made in us
Fresh-Faced New User




How about enough Genestealer Cults accumulate across the galaxy until a certain threshold is reached and then... the four armed GOD. A Tyranid god dreamt up by humans, how wild would that be.
   
Made in us
Ancient Chaos Terminator





Eye of Terror

 Mad Doc Grotsnik wrote:
 techsoldaten wrote:
They don't have the creative talent for those kinds of books anymore.

You need a writing team, an art team and a publishing team to make it work.


Yes. Because they certainly produce no new art. Or fiction. Or their own publishing wing?


They can produce it, certainly.

Can they produce at the level of the early artists and writers? Not exactly.

There was a lot of room for sotrybuilding and creativity in the early days. No boundaries.

Artists and writers stay within well-proscribed guidelines these days. Not the same.

   
Made in nl
Regular Dakkanaut





I think the closest we got to this recently has been the Sabbat Worlds Crusade reprint.

But I would love a return to these Background books as you point out. The reason I’m in love with 40k is because of its background and I would love to see that background become focused on stuff that we haven’t seen before.

I want for example T’au society to be explored and a return of Xenology. I wouldn’t even care that much about the art quality of these books. I would love a background book with sketches from people like Jess Goodwin and John Blanche or any of the other concept artists that work at Games Workshop.

I want Xenology back!
   
Made in us
Steady Space Marine Vet Sergeant




San Jose, CA

a modern book with the same approach as Xenology would be wonderful. Any new "in universe" scholarly texts would just add spice to the already flavourful background.
   
Made in us
Longtime Dakkanaut







The Rogue Trader era books were written in that wild and crazy time where there wasn’t anything written, and they desperately needed things written. That’s the sort of situation where throw away sentences create whole worlds, and ideas like the Star Child get put into print.

You can’t recreate that moment twenty years later when authors have to contend with years of background material they need to stay compatible with.

   
 
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