I'm starting to see game consoles, e-readers, and even franchises like Pathfinder and Warhammer 40,000 differently. They all have built-in stores, in a sense, but they also want to be your whole lifestyle, or even your religion.
So I was flipping through my Warhammer 40,000 and Warmachine books, trying to decide what to keep and what to discard. And despite the messy cover art of robots abusing performance-enhancing drugs, the Warmachine books also had the following:
- POV female characters who are competent and sympathetic
- Short stories where civilian lives and homes were important, and the "warcasters" relate to them as equals
- People from different backgrounds (and even opposing armies) working together
- People with very different reasons to be a career soldier, few or none of which were "rabid xenophobia"
- Photos of towns, workplaces, and homes
Whereas the 40k books are ONLY WAR (TM) to the point where you'd think "faux-Gothic ruins" are the only ecosystem in the galaxy, and there are never any people living in them. Seriously, the artwork in some of the Tau books was nice, but the unremitting violence made me uneasy, and 40k characters in general have the emotional range of a brick.
So yeah, that's something we're keeping in mind as we rearrange our collection. We're also starting to look at potential additions in terms of "is this something I want to display?" and "what can I use this for in other games?" rather than just "does this have good stats?"
... also we keep thinking that we want to sculpt 40mm scale Steven Universe models. Starting with a whole army of Watermelon Stevens.
And it targeted LGBT+ people specifically. Because starving people's unwanted kids to death on the street wasn't killing them fast enough, I guess.
Please get me out of this country, and especially this state. I don't want to be here anymore. I renounce all claims to American identity. I want to be with spinecrawlerrush in Canada and never, ever come back.
FAKE EDIT: Also, I sold off / am selling all of my 40k stuff, after being harassed by an IRL xenophobe / transphobe. "Suffer not the alien to live" isn't funny anymore.
REAL EDIT: In hindsight, this probably wasn't anywhere near as big as the mass killings that took place in the genocide of Native Americans.
Real, True, Godly, White Christian Americans have always been for this kind of thing.
So, we read an excerpt from the intro to a history book on the First Succession War, which was a mad scramble for land and resources after a political upheaval.
It reminded us of how much we love BattleTech sometimes, and why:
It was a week before my nineteenth birthday when we learned that Amaris had been captured and the [coup] was over. Naïvely, we thought things would get back to how they were before, in our parents’ day. How quickly we were disabused of that notion. The dukes knew things would only get worse and all the patriotic noise Kenyon had made was soon supplanted by something more authoritarian. We were just the wrong age, the perfect age to serve.
My boyfriend, Joe, was one of those called up that autumn, thrown into a boot-camp and then shipped off-world to fill out a line unit. I never saw him again—he died on Anegasaki when the Capellans killed the Fourth Militia. I was luckier I suppose, drafted into the planetary militia, so at least I was near home where it was safe and quiet. At least at first.
Then Kenyon got a mind to take over all the Star League facilities, following up on the rumors that Kerensky had left vast stockpiles on-world. That may have been true, but after four years spent on that wild goose, with little more than field rations, toilet paper, and SLDF recruitment pamphlets to show for it, the FWLM shifted their attention elsewhere. That didn’t save me from a grilling by SAFE—several in fact—because of who Gramps was, and his involvement with the Engineering Sub-Command. He died when I was nine, but even so, SAFE struggled to accept that a pre-teen knew nothing about SLDF activity. Dad got it much worse, and was held at the facility in Freeport for three weeks before they decided that the English teacher from Durandel High wasn’t going to give them much help either.
In those days, the years before the start of the Succession War, I did wonder: if this is how badly we treat our own people, how are things going to go when we start shooting at people we don’t like?
Compare and contrast, with how 40k portrays warfare. And authority, and nationalism. Even if you read 40k as a dystopian satire, where the Imperium is meant to be seen as brutal, you rarely get such a personal look, at the price that ordinary people pay for you to dress up in armour and play as a "hero." To satisfy your vain ambition, for power or wealth or heroics.
40k isn't alone in erasing civilians and glamourizing warfare, of course. Don't get me started on dudebro shooters. >_>; With the extremely subversive exception of Spec Ops: The Line.
For another good take (IMO) on how BattleTech portrays conflict, check out the short story at the start of the Alpha Strike Quick-Start rules (PDF link). A private military contractor called Wolf's Dragoons catches a desperate foe completely off-guard, and an enemy MechWarrior has an obvious mental breakdown, but there's no guarantee that she won't recover once they've gone past. So Natasha just shoots her mech's legs out and moves on. Even though she has TEH RAEG because of something the other side's employer did to Dragoon dependents.
Finally, if you want to support a PC / tabletop game that tells the story of people who live in the ruins that "heroes" and generals fight over, check out This War of Mine:
Armed conflict is a terrific backdrop for drama. But it isn't a playground or theme park, and it shouldn't be treated as one.
Wouldn't that be an interesting weapon in 40k, or another miniatures game? You shoot someone with it (rolling To Hit as needed), and suddenly they can't do anything self-serving. Like fleeing from a hopeless fight, or going to ground in order to keep from being shot at.
There actually is a special rule in Warhammer 40,000 which does that, though. It's called Zealot.
At any rate, Alias has been over here for three days now, and so far we've played three games of 40k. It's rekindled my interest in this game, and reminded me what I love about it.
I keep going out of my way to make sure that Alias is having fun, though, and compulsively asking if it is okay. I'm scared that I'm being a bad hostess, that having it play one of my favourite games with me is selfish, and that I should be letting it dictate everything.
Aside from that, though, it's been really nice having it over. In many ways. ^^;
Okay, so last night we kind of had a meltdown over stuff on Twitter. >_>; We've deleted our account, since it didn't seem to be doing anyone any good.
On the plus side, we lined up all our
Warhammer 40,000 Tau models and took a picture of them. Here it is, in case anyone wanted to see:
( Was it worth it? )
Anyway ... we're looking into broadening our gaming horizons, with more accessible minis games like Endless Fantasy Tactics and Frostgrave. spinecrawlerrush is coming over in just a couple of days (!!!), so hopefully we'll get a chance to try them out.
And cheer up a bit.
There's a danger in getting overly concerned with tropes, and the real point is to be free to draw inspiration from where you like while creating something that means something to you.
That's from the Yaruki Zero book, where Ewen talks about anime, but I feel like it addresses a problem we have been having with trying to make the erotic rpg we mentioned awhile back. Or any of our other attempts to make "universal" games, like fursonarpg, and try to create stuff that we don't fully understand the appeal of on the basis that someone will want to play as it.
I think there's something to be said for opening up a game's rules or a setting's canon, to allow for something new to fit in. Sort of like how halfway through the game's run Games Workshop took the unusual step of creating an idealist faction, with clean lines and anime-inspired mecha, in Warhammer 40,000.
But I feel like this stuff is maybe best done gradually, and custom-made on a case-by-case basis. The Cleric and Monk classes in Dungeons and Dragons, for instance, came about because Gary Gygax's friends wanted to play a vampire hunter and a martial artist respectively. Meanwhile, I've been doing an ongoing freeform 40k RP, that started with ideas for my Tau characters and grew to encompass burning_ground's Chaos Daemons and Alias / spinecrawlerrush's Necrons.
Sometimes we think about game design. This is one of those times. >_>b
Sometimes we toy with a headcanon where the 40k galaxy is actually a super-benign place where most sapients rarely resort to violence, sort of like in Alan Dean Foster's The Damned trilogy. And all the playable factions are those rare creatures that relish it, or see it as a legitimate means to an end.
Here's our take on each of the 40k factions (except chaos), based on the actual fluff when viewed from the right angle.
( Read more... )
So is this just heresy, or are we on to something here?
This is the Phoenix-class heavy myrmidon we just finished constructing, next to the box for reference. With its completion, we now have the minimum two heavies to run Kaelyssa's Force Wall theme list.
In the background, you can see
plastic hell the squad of Tau Pathfinders we still have to work on. It took half of forever last time, and we aren't really looking forward to it again. Once we're finished, though, we should have enough Pathfinders / markerlights for any list or formation that we want to run.
... I haven't posted pics of the last squad, have I? Maybe in tomorrow's entry.