Monday, September 27, 2010

Fluff Purist, what does that even mean?

So, I was having a nice chat with @Curis on Twitter about Space Marine color schemes, and he told me about the new colors for the Howling Gryphons. I mentioned that I preferred the brighter schemes, and he said he liked the newer "grittier" colors. He said "Ahhh, seems you prefer the GW aesthetic." My reply was: "I am a fluff purist first, and just happen to prefer my models to be visible from low orbit."

Ive been thinking since then, what exactly does that mean? Obviously I like the fluff, or Id be playing a different game. Do I turn my nose up to fan produced material? No... Does it have to appear in a codex to be "canon"? No, the Horus Heresy series likely broke many people out of that trap. Do I ignore Forge World material? Obviously not. So, what exactly does it mean, and more so, what does it mean for me?

Ive been known to say "no fluff like the old fluff" from time to time, and my choice of preferred chapter reflects that in a way. The Red Scorpions almost fell into the same pit as some other chapters (Rainbow Warriors, Flesh Eaters), and it took Forge World looking for something to claim to save them, but even if they hadn't, I think I would have eventually come around to them.

By now, everyone has heard that Forge World is rewriting one of the greatest battles of "recent" 40k history, the Badab War. I read earlier that they are changing the story some (Not just the Space Sharks, heh), so that the Red Scorpions have a major involvement. They had been just protecting shipping from the Executioners chapter before (plus the mysterious Angstrom Incident), and now it looks like the final battle of the campaign was Culln verses Old Man Huron. Quite a jump there, right?

Normally, contradictions in the fluff are ignored, the passage of years invariably gets some facts confused, but this is somewhat recent history and is a major jump for my chosen chapter. So, looking at it through the fluff, how did it go? New Fluff trumps old fluff, right? But GW trumps Forge World? The GW stuff is two decades (at least!) older?

Ive decided, screw it, learn to love the Newspeak (doubleplusgood!). I may be cherry picking the fluff I adhere to, but history is written by the victor (or sometimes the survivor).

And for the record, I still prefer the "clownish" red and yellow scheme for the Howling Gryphons.

What does everyone else think? Where do you fall in the fluff spectrum?


Silar said...

I'm open to all fluff whether it's GW, forgeworld or fan based. But it will annoy me if Forgeworld take a chapter/army and change the colour scheme just for their only preference.
The chapter Howling Griffon's has been around for a long while now and has a set scheme so why change it? Unless they are going to say it was a campaign colour scheme?
But in my opinion GW fluff trumps all, followed by Black Library, then forgeworld and finally fan.
Nice article though.

Gotthammer said...

Good background > bad background, no matter the source.
I use Rogue Trader stuff over newer stuff, as I like it more. But I don't automatically dismiss the newer background where it is more interesting.

Culln vs Huron? Sounds like a good battle, so I look forward to reading it. As long as it isn't as big a dissapointment as IA8, the changes are all good.

It amuses me that the two chapters you mentioned falling into pits are two I use.

Dave G _ Nplusplus said...

I'm of the mindset that GW fluff trumps all. (It's their system after all)

That's not to say that other fluff is bad or wrong. Consider the size of the universe and all the various armies and splinter fleets out there, not to mention that fluff is often written as reports which could very well have incorrect details.

Either way, the game is for fun and you should style your army how you want and avoid pointing fingers at people for "doing it wrong."

I'll also throw my vote down for "I want my minis to be visible on the field" rather than super dark schemes.

Deo said...

I've heard that GW considers all fluff to be valid, whether its from current codex, way outdated codex, black library or even white dwarves. Every bit of it is as likely to be truth, lie or exaggeration as the rest of it. This is because all fluff is from an In-game perceptive from alleged 'witnesses'. For all we know, the Red Scorpions weren't even there but someone tried to claim that they saw a Red Scorpion ship protecting shipping lanes. For all we know, they might have been just as important as this latest fluff claims. It could be that the truth is somewhere in the middle or maybe far to either side. But its all fun to think about and debate.

Ryan said...

@Deo: Hmmm... According to MY fluff, the Red Scorpions were the only loyalist chapter there! Yeah, thats it! ;)