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Klamm

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150 Celestant-Prime

About Klamm

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  1. Klamm

    The Rumour Thread

    Makes sense, as the KO and Sylvaneth are the next Underworlds warbands to go. As for Fyreslayers... I mean, they definitely need an update, but I don't really see evidence of which of the 'priority update factions' will come out first. We've got brand-new AoS factions which are stuck in the past like Seraphon, Ironjawz and Fyreslayers, as well as GHB allegiance armies which have never received a battletome like Darkling Covens, Disspossessed, Free Peoples etc. Has there been a FS specific hint I've missed?
  2. Klamm

    The Rumour Thread

    This looks great (helps that I'm a Chaos player). For me, the big headline (based on Furies being remade) is that undivided Daemons are back and getting some love. New Daemon Prince kit when?
  3. Klamm

    The Rumour Thread

    Agreed. The current plastic ogor troops (Bulls, Belchers and Guts) are really fantastic models. I'd be very sad to see them go. I COULD see them possibly squatting most of the heroes. They're mostly finecast and, as you say, that would be the opportunity to have super huge monstrous infantry.
  4. Stormcast Eternals and the Nietzschean 'Ubermensch' This is a piece about Warhammer and Nietzsche, pertaining particularly to his concept of the Ubermensch. I quite enjoy Nietzsche (not the same as always agreeing with him). And while I actually do think there is a case for quite a few of his takes (Genealogy of Morals and Anti-Education are important works with a lot of merit as anti-establishment dissent), I'm uncertain about his concept of the "ubermensch", the Nietzschean superman. But it's the latter that is the topic of this post, and I think it does have some interesting relevance to Warhammer lore. Obviously, the first thing to come up when broaching this topic are Space Marines. But I would say that the SM are in fact a poor example of the ubermensch. Similarly to how Nietzsche's concept was appropriated by the most horrifying regime of the 20th century (Aryan supermen), the similarities are predominantly superficial (and, truly, it is unfortunate for such an interesting if prickly thinker like FN to be tarnished by such association). Nietzsche was not concerned foremost with brawn or aestheticism but with a stubborn will toward self-actualising. To borrow an over-used term, it's a mindset, not genetic inheritance. So, while marines literally are literal 'super-men', the eugenics and lack of self-determination do not fit with the ubermensch ideal. To move this onto the Stormcast, who I believe are more fitting embodiments of the idea, I want to touch on the idea of 'slave morality'. Cribbing from Nietzsche here: for the Greeks, the duality was was between good and bad i.e. good was synonymous with nobility and strength, while bad was the plebeian, weak and the low. This was what Christianity successfully reacted against, based on the revolutionary idea that the formerly "bad" values of passivity, weakness and "turning the other cheek" should be re-categorised as 'good', while many of the ways that 'good' nobility expressed its strength upon the low was not only not "good" but a new moral category: evil. Both 40K and AoS exist in a context different from 'modern' morality (i.e. the idea of peaceful, passive good vs invasive, malicious evil found in the Abrahamic religions). In the world of warhammer, deities are literally real, active (and not simply to be interpreted by the priestly class), and essentially deny the creation of any such morality based on the veneration of passive resistance. AoS's Stormcast eternals may at first seem to be a simplistic version of the traditional "golden goodies", but there's actually some interesting stuff to dissect there. N's concept is essentially an idea of a, a subject who rises above modern "slave" morality to forge their own, self-affirming lifestyle. Of course, the SCE serve their god Sigmar, but the military hierarchy is one which allows for the questioning and debating of individuals. It's not a collective which suppresses dissenting assertions of will, and ironically (though obviously, this is GW's authorial choice), such freedom to 'be' has meant zero defections to chaos among their ranks. Sure, they operate as part of a uniformed collective, but the point of the ubermensch is not necessarily isolated individualism but how the personal glory and strength of an individual elevates all. After all, Sigmar plucks only the greatest warriors from their moment of death and invites them into his service. More than just the "Blonde Beasts" conquering and asserting their power across the realms, SCE protect the vulnerable from Chaos, which you could interpret as a version of what N describes as a healthy creditor-debtor relationship: the stormcast gain satisfaction from saving the powerless through the expression of their own superior power (a more effective form of strength assertion than Khornate slaughter), while cultivating the safety of a mutually beneficial civilisation. Basically, their mission of humanitarian liberation is intertwined with an individualist mission for existential 'meaning'. On that subject, Nietzsche's rejection of morality initially sounds like it would apply to Chaos best of all. To a certain extent, this is true, as all of the Chaos gods but Nurgle embody a different facet of Nietzschian ideals, whether it be the physical assertion of power, the pursuit of Dionysian desire and pleasure or the cultivation of one's own skill and power. Yet part of what makes chaos is how these positive ideas are warped to the point of self-destruction, this dogmatism becoming its own form of bad consciousness. Archaon (and Abbadon in 40k) stands as the only true chaos Ubermensch, while Stormcast society finds a way for a multitude dedicated to the ideal to flourish. Despite their creepily expressionless facemasks, the Stormcast seem to be represented in the stories as partaking in drink, telling jokes and generally keeping a semblance of Dionysian virtue alive. They fight for a cause which they choose to follow, and are unimpeded in the ability to desire. And, of course, there's the fact that they come from all walks of life, classes and genders. The ranks of the SCE are a true meritocracy, allowing individuals to flourish within the context of the collective. HOWEVER, there is one massive caveat to the idea of the SE as Ubermensch: the 'eternal' aspect. This, ironically, is reminiscent of Nietzsche's 'eternal recurrence' thought experiment: the idea that, if one was to live out one's life infinitely, repetitiously, the subject would ave to struggle to overcome a 'ressentiment' about their existence. And this is LITERALLY WHAT HAPPENS to a Stormcast: with each death and rebirth, an increasing 'copy of a copy of a...' chain, they lose a portion of 'humanity'. This loss is represented the lack of emotion and mindless heed of orders; essentially the loss of personal desire and the internalisation of ressentiment. They express strength no longer as individuals but as passive conduits of Sigmar's will, and so fail to retain their ubermensch status. One could say that their eventual fate is to become... Slaves to the Sigmar's command; slaves to Sigmar's morality? So yeah, my thesis is that the Stormcast eternal is the ubermensch but with a shelf-life. They are initially a shining exemplar of the ideal but degrade into its parody. All of this is also a charitable reading of Nietzsche's ideas, but I'm inclined to say that's usually the best way to approach him. Nietzsche is often placed in the same category are Freud in terms of massively influential intellectuals whose ideas don't stand up to scrutiny, but I'll go to bat for Nietzsche. A bit. Not Freud, though, especially for influencing his nephew Edward Bernays .
  5. Klamm

    The Rumour Thread

    It's ironic: I've waited for Slaanesh for YEARS and now that it's on the precipice I kind of hope the release only arrives after summer: I'm far too busy at the moment and do not need the arrival of my main army as a distraction But I think it likely, it was the army 100% confirmed in the 2018 wrap-up. The surprise upsets of Skaven, FEC and Khorne done with, Slaanesh HAS* to be the next army, right? *literally no basis other than a likely disprovable gut feeling.
  6. Klamm

    The Rumour Thread

    AoS + economics? Hell yeah! I know people joke about the whole "where is the farming" complaint, but IMO some of the most fun you can have with a fantastical, mythic world is to use it to frame something mundane. Isn't that kind of the appeal of something like Harry Potter, which translates the slog of boarding school through the lens of magic wonder? The AoS RPG is gonna be great with this, hopefully.
  7. Klamm

    Your favorite unit model kit

    For a pre-AoS pick, Ogres. It's one of the oldest kits out there that still looks excellent and AoS worthy. I love the lumbering lunks, and the sprues offer an endless array of customization options which are nonetheless a joy to put together (I was always partial to the ironfists). The fact that the base ogre body sprue is the same across bulls, ironguts and leadbelchers could have resulted in boring uniformity, but it really works, and I would not be mad if they released a new AoS ogor unit which used the same body sprue as a basis.
  8. Klamm

    The Rumour Thread

    https://www.warhammer-community.com/2019/03/06/warhammer-horror-maledictions/ Dunno if they'd already revealed the cover, but 'Maledictions' is a cool looking tome. Plus added weirdness for me with Kin Newman's book getting a rerelease: his reviews in Empire Magazine were one of the things which got me into films, which have become a big part of my life. It's odd when interests intersect like that.
  9. Klamm

    The Rumour Thread

    Upon inspection, I think you're right. And while treasure could play into the whole 'underwater riches' angle, I'm personally hoping it's a Slaaneshi cache of wealth. After all, Slaanesh's primary enemies are the Aelves, so I'd say it makes sense for Idoneth items having been looted by a pleasure cult.
  10. Klamm

    The Rumour Thread

    That rumour engine could be the basis for an extremely greedy Slaaneshi unit. I hope so, there are so many ways to represent pleasure and excess, an opulently wealthy, gold-obsessed unit would be a welcome addition.
  11. I'd love to see a similar variety of free people miniatures as there used to be with 40k guardsmen. Obviously, it would be unrealistic not to have the Germanic, pantaloon aesthetic not be the default, but my ideal solution would be to release 'realm specific' unit boxes. There are so many great mortal cultures and societies alluded to in the books. Off the top of my head: Ghur. Shu'Gohl Guard, The Order of the Worm. You could have cool carapaced warriors whose Sigmarite stylings have that insectoid influence. And it could serve as either a dual kit or simply proxy opportunity for Ghru-themed chaos marauders. Shyishian militia. A grim regiment of bone-clad protectors of the tomb (Reminiscent of the instantly iconic rulebook art ), which again could serve as a dual kit for a mortal Deathmage unit which serves Nagash. There is so much potential here. I'd love for GW to listen to the criticism about the constant SCE releases and pivot slightly, using the same sort of persistent trickle of releases for 'free peoples of the realms', maybe consistently getting one or two units of this sort a year.
  12. The Satirical Simulacrum, The Bullet AoS Lore Dodged The following is a topic I've ruminated on my the precarious mechanics of 40k' as satire, but some Reddit bickering about female space marines crystalized my thoughts. While I like all of GW's IPs, 40k has always been my least favourite. Part of this is just preferring swords to guns, but I'm also put off by the fascist, racist, sexist (grimdark is wall-to-wall 'ist') Imperium of Man, the seeming 'protagonists', compared to the conflicted but humanist world of AoS. I don't think there's anything 'wrong' with stories featuring undesirable protagonists (The Shield, Breaking Bad, even sitcoms like Peep Show and Always Sunny accomplish this). However, a common refrain when the discussion turns to, say, increasing gender representation in 40k is that this would diminish the satire. And 40k is satire, right? Well, let's talk about that. Early 40k art tends to embody a more absurdist tone. To very briefly touch upon the Female Space Marine argument, it's easy to see how the debate becomes more complicated. I'm usually unsympathetic to outrage about 'forced diversity' in mediums where verisimilitude or fostering audience identification is important, but I can grant 40k as a somewhat special case. The Imperium is a horror of Fascist eugenics and so I understand why people who argue that retconning in women SMs would diminish the oppressiveness (not gonna get into the whole genetic science argument, suffice to say that misogynist eugenics fits the theme of fascism). On the other hand, Dan Olson would call this the 'Thermian Argument' (basically, justifying problematic things with an in-universe explanation), which ignores the purpose and meaning of artistic decisions within a text. It's a bullet AoS has deftly dodged, with GW's focus on representation yielding diverse Stormcast, Aelves, Ghosts and Chaos worshippers. If we're talking about the organizing idea of the tex, we're back to notions of 'satire. What is the evidence for 40k's satirical cred? 40k arrives in the late 80s. It was a product of Thatcher's Britain, part of the same counter-cultural wave as 2000 AD or Alan Moore. 40k was punk. So, is 40k a satire of the fascism it depicts? This is a joke, obviously. But here’s the crux of my *actual* point: 40k as a milieu is not inherently sexist or Fascist, but it is a testament to the impossibility of a ‘satire’ surviving the incentives of consumer capital. THE MODEL OF CONSUMPTION This is not a unique problem to TT games (look at the Robocop or Starship Trooper sequels. Actually, DON’T), BUT it’s especially hard to pull off here. Indeed, the term ‘late capitalism’ can be accurately applied to GW IP. If we accept the world of AoS and 40k as an ‘art text’ (insofar as it is a composite of many different bits of narrative), we might question how the requirement to constantly sell, expand and not to ‘complete’ the story impacts its 'punk' satire. Here, consumption is the enemy of transgression. Imagine the film Network as a decades-long Soap Opera and you see my point. The 40k IP isn’t story with a narrative structure where textual ‘meaning’ can be summated, but a staggeringly huge UNIVERSE by countless authors. This cuts both ways. We cannot go further than calling the Imperium fascist by claiming THE GAME ITSELF fascist as this would be unverifiable. The presence of a thing does not necessarily equate to the text supporting or idealising of that thing, even if it gets co-opted (and, to be clear, most satires get co-opted by someone). But we can’t pretend that making the lore more accessible, deeper and BETTER does not compromise its ‘polemic’. Superficial elements of parody do persist somewhat (the Imperium and Orks perhaps most of all), but have mostly been supplanted for a tone of greater verisimilitude. And losing some of that satirical edge doesn’t make the lore weaker. On the contrary, adding nuance and depth (good things for a game world) is antithetical to the precise, utilitarian story structure of satire. Satire, whether it is Dr Strangelove, Oh! What a Lovely War, Catch 22 or V for Vendetta, functions through the purposeful, dialectical approach to ideology and meaning within a text. POSTMODERNISM AND THE GRIMDARK All of this suggests that 40k is at the very least 'bad' satire (i.e. unsuccessful in deconstructing its target for criticism or parody), but bad satire is still satire. But what if it has crossed the threshold, to the extent that it can barely be called satirical at all? 40K really should be the ideal set text for a university course teaching postmodernism. And I’m not talking simply about having pop-culture references. Fredic Jamesons' critique of the post-modern move from parody to 'Pastiche' echoes some of my earlier points, and even his criticism of Postmodern architecture summarizes a lot of what I LIKE about the 40k aesthetic, that it "cannibalizes all the architectural styles of the past and combines them in overstimulating ensembles". But it is perhaps Jean Baudrillard's idea of the 'simulacrum' which is most appropriate. I used to describe 40k's shift as akin to ‘going from Alan Moore’s Watchmen to Zach Snyder’s’, inasmuch as the satirical edge has been buried beneath non-reflective aestheticism. But, really, this is too neat a process, and it implies a kind of pure 'Ur-40k' which can be excavated. But this imposes a sort of hierarchy which does not in fact exist. As Baudrillard says: “Today, abstraction is no longer that of the map, the double, the mirror, or the concept. Simulation is no longer that of a territory, a referential being or substance. It is the generation by models of a real without origin or reality: A hyperreal. The territory no longer precedes the map, nor does it survive it. It is nevertheless the map that precedes the territory - precession of simulacra - that engenders the territory.” As the elements of anarchic pastiche were slowly extracted from 40k lore to make the world feel more accessible to consumers, we are left with a monolithic simulacrum: a copy of a copy of a copy (and so on). It is hyperreal; it is Grimdark. All of these are issues which the AoS lore has sidestepped from conception. On the one hand, it simply cannot be (and isn't) as subversive as 80s 40k (it is a financially-motivated relaunch by the now-large GW corporation), but this frees from the complexity of representation. The lore's text is one which BEGAN as perhaps a little unsatisfyingly 'weightless' (goodie golden paladins fighting bloodthirsty Khorne bros). Since then, AoS has moved into more nuanced territory, whether by problematizing the idea of 'Order' as 'good (Idoenth, Khaine and even recent Stormcast lore reinforce a moral ambiguity), as well as introducing relatable nuances to 'evil' factions like the servants of Nagash or Nurgle (for which Josh Reynolds deserves most props). Free of the complication of satire, AoS is freer to explore the facets of its lore without the pressure for deconstruction. Overall, I think that while 40k's lore is pleasingly iconic, its roots in satire will create problems as it ages. The truth is, while satire can exist in all artistic mediums including games (Spec Ops: The Line or Papers Please), tabletop wargames are uniquely ill-suited to follow through. There's the business model of perpetual consumption as well as a mechanical obstacle. The player is required to identify with their army insofar as they are using it to win, but to actively connect the toy-soliders to in-universe characters is optional self-work rather than anything reinforced in mechanics. This is not to say that you couldn't make a satirical board game (not the same thing as being funny: Bloodbowl is funny but not really satirical). I don't have an extensive board game knowledge so I'm sure there are examples of games which utilize player gameplay to make some satirical point. But Warhammer ain't it. And that's fine: as I've mentioned, the polemic of satire is antithetical to personalizable and expansive scope of GW IP. Ask a diehard Kaiju fan if Toho's decade-spanning Godzilla franchise preserves the satirical intent of Godzilla (1954), they'll admit "no". But you won't get them to say the franchise was a mistake. 40k has lost its satire but grown its appeal. This has been a cunnin' fink-piece by Lorecritmork (yes, I was tempted to make more of that bit, but it's not like a mini-essay on postmodernism isn't alienating enough).
  13. There's still a chance! Still a chance! But for real, having Settra reforged makes waaaaaaaay more sense than him submitting to Nagash (pretty sure no Settra fan would like to see him come back as a cursed slave). And the whole hook of the death GA is that it's the most top-down authoritarian; all governed by one entity, so introducing a subfaction which rejects the Undying King would be a poor thematic move. But the TK aesthetic is still up for grabs if GW ever wants to expand on the Katophranes. Hell, the three glorious plastic 8th ed kits (tomb guard, necropolis knights/stalkers and the sphinxes) has enough kitbashing potential that they could rerelease just those three and you'd have a BCR sized faction, maybe sweetening the deal with Arkhan too.
  14. Klamm

    Age of Sigmar RPG

    Oh, another question for @Emmetation: as someone who tends to play RPGs through remote chat, I'm curious whether the combat mechanics are designed to function without a shared board space (i.e. how you can sort of fudge through D&D 5e on skype, but 4e requires clear range and proximity info for combat abilities to work). I'm sure that the game is optimally played with miniatures on a board (it is Warhammer, after all) but I wonder how 'usable' the system is without a battlemap. Thanks!
  15. Klamm

    Age of Sigmar RPG

    I know the 'power levels' are higher than that of a D&D hero (hence Kurnoth Hunters as playable characters, I guess). I was thinking of running a game about a tribe being captured by Bloodbound and forced into the ranks of the reavers, telling a sort of Prison/POW escape story (with the possibility of Khornate corruption), but maybe the system won't support that kind of scale.
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