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Which rulebook edition represents peak 40k grimdark for you in terms of artwork?  [RSS] Share on facebook Share on Twitter Submit to Reddit
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Made in at
Dakka Veteran




Just opened up my 3rd edition 40k rulebook again for nostalgia reasons and I was reminded again how much I adore the artwork in this book.

Sure, I am looking at this with some rose tinted glasses because the 3rd ed rulebook was the first one I owned, but the gritty artwork style in that book is, in my humble opinion, truly something else . I think it captures the grimdark feel of the setting extremely well, especially regarding the imperium, which is what the artwork is mainly centered around in this case.

I very much enjoy the "cleaner" modern artwork of recent 40k releases, but for me, nothing has captured the setting as well as the 3rd edition rulebook, and therefore it will always have a special place in my heart.

What's your opinion on this? Do you have a certain 40k rulebook whose artwork stands out as peak 40k?
   
Made in gb
Dakka Veteran






Never really saw 3rd edition. I went from 2nd edition, to 5th but I don't recall much of the artwork, most, if not all, of my recollection of artwork is from 2nd, guess that's because it was the first edition I fully owned and spent the most time with. Can't even say I can point to anything in 8th or 9th and they're most recent. Just don't seem to pay attention these days to the artwork as much.

Not sure I have the right definition of "grimdark" either but the artwork in the original Rogue Trader edition was dark and gritty, mostly if not all in black and white so that helped I guess.

This message was edited 2 times. Last update was at 2021/04/09 14:24:25


 
   
Made in cz
Dakka Veteran




God damn it, I'm a human peanut. I meant to post this thread in general discussion.

If a mod sees this, maybe he can move it. Sorry folks, this shouldn't be in the tactics subforum.
   
Made in us
Ork Boy Hangin' off a Trukk





4th for me. Still my favorite 40k rule book overall for a variety of reasons including its art and style.

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Made in ie
Regular Dakkanaut





Ireland

I’m only familiar with 2nd, 3rd and 9th but 3rd was the best for art - there was great stuff in 2nd but 3rd felt like they had really nailed the overall feel for the universe and took the best bits forward.
   
Made in us
Hardened Veteran Guardsman





 Horla wrote:
3rd was the best for art

I never played 3rd as I started at the tail end of 4th, but based on the codices I had or bought later, I'd have to agree - somewhere between 3rd and 5th was when the art (and feel in general) peaked, at least for me.
   
Made in gb
Executing Exarch






Tiberias wrote:
God damn it, I'm a human peanut. I meant to post this thread in general discussion.

If a mod sees this, maybe he can move it. Sorry folks, this shouldn't be in the tactics subforum.


Is this b-bone ? lol

I think the 3rd ed brb is the daddy when it comes to art.

https://www.dakkadakka.com/dakkaforum/posts/list/772746.page#10378083 - My progress/failblog painting blog thingy

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AngryAngel80 wrote:
I don't know, when I see awesome rules, I'm like " Baby, your rules looking so fine. Maybe I gotta add you to my first strike battalion eh ? "


 Eonfuzz wrote:


I would much rather everyone have a half ass than no ass.


"A warrior does not seek fame and honour. They come to him as he humbly follows his path"  
   
Made in at
Dakka Veteran




 Argive wrote:
Tiberias wrote:
God damn it, I'm a human peanut. I meant to post this thread in general discussion.

If a mod sees this, maybe he can move it. Sorry folks, this shouldn't be in the tactics subforum.


Is this b-bone ? lol

I think the 3rd ed brb is the daddy when it comes to art.


Nope, though I'm a fan of that absolute madlad.
   
Made in ca
Regular Dakkanaut




Kevin Walker and Mark Gibbons (and Paul Bonner) drew the best Ork stuff and as a scientist I can use science facts to say Orks are da best so anything old with them is Da Best.
   
Made in us
Terminator with Assault Cannon




San Jose, CA

Rogue Trader, can't get more grimdark the the originator of the term.
   
Made in us
Longtime Dakkanaut




Annandale, VA

I love the art in the 3rd Ed rulebook. It has this stylized, manic, Heavy Metal quality to it that paints an evocative picture of the setting without being too concerned with specifics.
   
Made in us
Regular Dakkanaut






3rd & 4th edition both use a lot of the same artwork, although I think 4th edges it out as the more (and consequently most) "grimdark" rulebook due to having more full page spreads of John Blanche's artwork - basically. There is just more of the gritty, dark, messy, disturbing looking stuff in 4th than in 3rd, although both have a similar style overall.

Rouge Trader into 2nd edition have a more whacky/silly edge to much of the artwork. It's gritty and brutal, but also slightly cartoonish at times. Self-depreciating comes to mind.

5th edition was still grimdark feeling, but notably toned down compared to 4th.

6th edition was basically the rulebook without art - it was almost all done with photographs of models.

7th edition started the style trend that's continued into 8th and 9th of being much cleaner and more sanitized. There are plenty of big epic battle scenes - but much less of the dark self-flagellating "my god the imperium is menacing" type artwork.

Want a better 40K?
Check out ProHammer: Classic - An Awesomely Unified Ruleset for 3rd - 7th Edition 40K... for retro 40k feels!
 
   
Made in ie
Regular Dakkanaut





Ireland

I know it’s not an original thought but the shift in the art towards depicting existing/available models massively takes away from the vibes. It’s kind of hard to imagine this vast, detailed universe when you see the same handful of Poxwalkers everywhere. The old art showing these vignettes that never happened in-game fleshed out the universe into something huge, mysterious and frightening (or funny!) but the modern art, while I dig a lot of it, condenses it into a much more limited imaginary space.
   
Made in pl
Longtime Dakkanaut




3rd/4th ed, the nice balance of realistic Kopinksy's and bizarre stuff was the best.
   
Made in se
Willing Inquisitorial Excruciator





4th easily. 3rd had far to much silly stuff art wise. 4th moved into a more distinct style. Also, whilst not artwork, 4th has those little quotes at the bottom of each page. Stuff like “serve the Emperor today, tomorrow you may be dead”, “if a job is worth doing then it’s worth dying for” and “the good servant learns to love the lash”. Always felt those helped to hammer home the grim dark setting.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2021/04/14 20:16:56


His pattern of returning alive after being declared dead occurred often enough during Cain's career that the Munitorum made a special ruling that Ciaphas Cain is to never be considered dead, despite evidence to the contrary. 
   
Made in us
Ultramarine Librarian with Freaky Familiar






Rogue Trader and 4th Ed. RT for it's rawness, 4th era for the height of atmosphere and the refinement of imagery while retaining madness.

And They Shall Not Fit Through Doors!!!

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Made in si
Ravenous Beast Form







3rd, especially the very end of the book

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Made in gb
Longtime Dakkanaut






4th.

The lack of an index in the 3rd ed. book just made it all too real.
   
Made in au
Regular Dakkanaut




I would have to say 3rd as well. It's what got me into 40k in the first place.
   
Made in au
Longtime Dakkanaut





I have a feeling that you'll find the sense of grimdark go up in rough relation with the quantity of B&W art in the book.

Modern books, even if they have grimdark aesthetics, lose a certain atmosphere by being in colour.

IMO, peak grimdark is physical media B&W artwork. Once it shifted to the slightly smoother textural look of digital, even if B&W, it lost a bit of atmosphere and grit.



   
Made in us
Agile Revenant Titan





Fayetteville NC

Rogue Trader. Imagery encapsulates grim dark in the original rulebook, Lost and the Damned, and Slaves to Darkness.

Whoah....I have played 40K for over 30 years.  
   
Made in us
Exalted Beastlord




 Sarigar wrote:
Rogue Trader. Imagery encapsulates grim dark in the original rulebook, Lost and the Damned, and Slaves to Darkness.


Same.

At some point I stopped distinguishing 40k artwork in any meaningful way. I have a vague sense of a lot of ranked up guys in the background of a small fight between the left side and right side of the image with some of the combatants fighting perpendicular to everyone else for the PoV convenience and image composition. Maybe some sort of aircraft or flying monster scooting about in the vertical space.

Either that or one large figure in foreground pointing guns, while 'serried ranks of warriors' fade into the MS paint 'fog' background.

In both cases its just something bland that I just flip by without any real pause or recognition, very much unlike the old stuff.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2021/04/15 03:08:01


Efficiency is the highest virtue. 
   
Made in us
Stalwart Space Marine





South Carolina, USA

As far as rulebooks go, Rogue Trader just can't be beat in terms of dark, psychotic images. Dawn of War intro scene was the first time I'd ever seen anything animated that came anywhere close to the RT artwork.

Dawn of War was the pinnacle of RTS gaming.

Squats 2020! 
   
Made in gb
Dakka Veteran



London

Not sure which books but the end of 1st ed going into second and the assocaited games like Space Hulk et al was producing more horror artwork and less punk. Plus Paul Bonner.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2021/04/15 10:36:08


 
   
Made in ca
Longtime Dakkanaut





I was tempted to saw Rogue Trader too, but my memory of rule books isn't fabulous and I didn't keep all of them, so it's a tough call.

But I DID keep my favourite dexes throughout the years, and the Witch Hunters dex is the most grimdark among them, so that would be 3rd.
   
Made in us
Ultramarine Librarian with Freaky Familiar






The_Real_Chris wrote:
Not sure which books but the end of 1st ed going into second and the assocaited games like Space Hulk et al was producing more horror artwork and less punk. Plus Paul Bonner.

Spoiler:

^Wow! What book is that from?

And They Shall Not Fit Through Doors!!!

Tyranid Army Progress -- With Classic Warriors!:
https://www.dakkadakka.com/dakkaforum/posts/list/0/743240.page#9671598 
   
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Dakka Veteran



London

 Insectum7 wrote:

^Wow! What book is that from?


Possibly the Advanced Space Crusade rulebook or associated articles. That black and white softback was full of such imagery...
   
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Warp-Screaming Noise Marine




Australia

3rd edition by a mile.

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Made in es
Grim Dark Angels Interrogator-Chaplain




Vigo. Spain.

I miss the funny small drawings of tiny orks and dwarfs and elves in the border of the pages of old fantasy books.

 Crimson Devil wrote:

Dakka does have White Knights and is also rather infamous for it's Black Knights. A new edition brings out the passionate and not all of them are good at expressing themselves in written form. There have been plenty of hysterical responses from both sides so far. So we descend into pointless bickering with neither side listening to each other. So posting here becomes more masturbation than conversation.

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Made in nl
[DCM]
Secret Inquisitorial Eldar Xenexecutor






your mind

 Insectum7 wrote:
Rogue Trader and 4th Ed. RT for it's rawness, 4th era for the height of atmosphere and the refinement of imagery while retaining madness.


This and most everything up to and including 4th.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2021/04/15 20:30:14


   
 
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