Why I’m not Doing Much 40k
So I’m painting Napoleonics (slowly) studying IT certs, and reading a lot. I’m still following Games Workshop but I’ve been feeling increasingly unsatisfied with how they are doing things. Today they made an announcement that neatly encapsulates all my dislike and distrust of the current direction of their releases and the lore.
Marneus Calgar, reborn as a Primaris.
There’s three big problems with this release from where I sit, as a fan of classic marines, and Dark Angels / non-Ultramarines. First, it’s Marneus fucking Calgar. This is a character who, in both Lore and Crunch has been completely surpassed by the times. With Guilliman out, unless you’re playing a tiny battle, Calgar just isn’t necessary. He knows it too. Second, he’s an Ultramarine. I’m going to go on a bit of a tangent on this but the obsession GW has with ultramarines has gotten completely out of hand and NEEDS to be reined in. Rogue Trader and 1st Edition featured more of the Blood Angels than any other chapter (from GW) but the rulebook for Rogue Trader book featured Crimson Fists! 3rd edition featured Black Templar, but also had plenty for other chapters, in fact I believe most of the special characters we know and love were first released during 3rd. 4th was kind of the same as 3rd, 5th had Assault on Black Reach which was the first real deep dive into Ultramarines as the poster boys, 6th was back to Black Templar, 7th was my beautiful Dark Angels, and 8th… 8th has been ALL Ultramarines. Everyone else has gotten a codex and a Lieutenant. So yeah, Ultras get a chapter master, a Primarch, and a great chapter doctrine with amazing stratagems. Third, it’s a Primaris model directly replacing a classic marine model. So. Now we literally have Primaris marines replacing a classic marine option. This betrays a lot of long-term marine players.
Let me expand on that a bit. The reality of the business model puts a cap on how many kits any line can have. Space Marines have always probably been slightly over the limit to what they can profitably have. Space Marines have long been the poster boys of 40k. Every single edition has featured marines on the cover, there has never been a xenos cover, or even a Chaos Space Marine rulebook cover. It’s all Space Marines, all the time. Now Space Marines have 128 kits on the GW website, the largest non Imperial Marine faction is the Astra Militarum (Guard) at 67. After that it’s Orks at 60. That’s right, the largest non-Imperial faction has less than half what Space Marines have as far as kits. That’s a lot of variety, and a lot of redundancy. The niches that a lot of classic marine units fill can generally be filled by Primaris units. Outside of tanks, there’s still a lot of need for more Primaris vehicles. But that’s not enough reason to keep Marines as they are. There’s still some units that are unique, Terminators, Assault squads, and scouts stand out, and Terminators are an absolutely iconic unit for 40k. Then again, so was Calgar.
I look at the change in Calgar and I wonder if the sunset of my classic models is near. I have marines that have been in my collection nearly 30 years. When I look at increasing my investment in this hobby I wonder if it’s going to move in the same direction as other games where old models are pushed out of the meta, and eventually, possibly out of the game entirely. Will my Rogue Trader era marines eventually end up like the Brettonian Knights of Warhammer Fantasy?