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Sunday, March 20, 2011


'Finished Article!' - Please read again.
Warning! A huge battleship approaches!

"I don't like Ward. He spits on the fluff, all his characters are Mary Sues, and the rules he makes are all shit!"

"Waaaaaaah! Ward stole all the units no one used from the witch hunters codex!"


The standing opinion of nerdculture as a whole is that Mat Ward ruined warhams FOREVER!!!! He's committing historical rape on the background, and it's our duty as fine, upstanding, high-born citizens to rise up against him before he destroys the venerable lore, sinking it further and further into the abyss of absurdity.
Could you ever take a game that has chainsword warriors seriously? I sure couldn't. That's unthinkable. Unspeakable, even. Chainsword warriors. You ever even heard of such a thing?

Come, now! Chainsword warrior's a god damn stupid name for a game. It's a game Ward could have invented.
Probably involve a lot of dice, muscular men, chainswords, starship trooper knock-offs, big guns, and 80's character design.

Oh! You said chainsaw warrior! Yeah, that was a great game, man. Remember the loveletters we used to write the designers, because we loved dice, muscular men, chainswords, starship trooper knock-offs, big guns, and 80's character design? Ah, the memories.

Things were so much easier when you knew what you were getting. None of this 'space marine tactical squad'-deal. Kids these days. Once in a blue moon do they make their marines into tacticals.
Always the sternguard, honorguard, vanguard, guardmiguard, devastators, devastatorguard, and - what the hell? Characters!? Out of my tactical marines!? Next up, you're gonna tell me you can mix and match parts, creating truly unique models. Blasphemy!

Alas, this article is about stupid people, chanting a stupid mantra to each other, infecting the internet, and spreading like a wildfire. It's more contagious than dark angels whine, deadlier than tyranidocopts, and the symptoms disable with a certainty that's far beyond even the scope of eldarleetismis.

Ward fever.
Few things scare neckbeards of both genders more than baths and shaves, but Ward fever is one of few.
Where Ward treads, history dies. The poor ultramarines, still not yet ready to recover from the savage rape and vile, unspeakable, utterly nazi-evil act of...

Giving them actual background!
Everybody knows that no man, living or dead, may venture into such things. The fluff is as pure as the first flakes of snow.
If you must ask, you're not worthy to add to it.
It's a great cog, ever keeping the machine producing money - that which is everywhere, yet nowhere. An unspeakable amount of reverence must be held for this sacredest of all sacred writings that could ever be considered sacred.

The fluff's so sacred, it's sacrededededed, and stamped with Jervis' seal of approval.
It's beyond reproach. Perfected and legendary. Suitable for all men and women of refined taste - and british.

The fluff is...about chainsword warriors, who are alpha males, utterly slaughtering everything in their way - man, woman, child, alien, and alien child with equal fervor.
They're the space marines, and they will crush you, because it's how they were written twenty years ago.

What about the emprah?
The emprah's fluff is so poorly written, GW paid a huge sum of money to have it rewritten, starting late 2006 (horus heresy series). It's yet to come full circle.
Fact is, GW doesn't bring out the emprah unless they really, really need to. If Abaddon, Marneus, or even Sanguinius won't fit the bill, they'll default to random iron hands commander #771 over the emprah.
You might say it's GW's old shame. It's a bit like how Square and Enix don't want to talk about its adult titles from ages past, despite those titles keeping them afloat for many years, and why you won't find chainsaw warrior or Judge Dredd the roleplaying game mentioned by GW.

Being a modern warhams player, all the above are just expected. Like dark angels and tyranids whining eternally about whatever, Ward fever is part of everyday life on places like warseer.
People will indeed cite 'fluff rape,' or claim that 'it' happens to be an abomination to science/bad taste/Jervis' legacy/the source of war in africa. Anything goes with Ward.
Sometimes, it feels like the whiners were personally wronged by Ward on a criminal level.

Ward fever's so severe and all-powerful, it's mutated. Instead of hating ultramarines, people now hate Ward. No, that's not a change for the better.

Now, for the meat of this special edition of forumitis: Ward's good, and you don't know what you're talking about.
"But how can this be!? The man rapes fluff like Mortal kombat with no fatalities!"

But he doesn't.

Draigo's not the final word in demon-killing; no, that would be warhams fantasy's Teclis.
The first everchosen, Bel'akor, got himself and his entire legion of demons poofed in moments to one elf, yet this is 'cool,' but Draigo using secret, ritualized magic to subdue one demon prince isn't?
"Yes, that's how it is! Teclis was made by Gav and Jervis, so it's automatically cooler!"

When Teclis isn't poofing demons, he's floating above other elves, burninating and zapping entire armies of them with a gaze. Yes, really. He's so powerful, not even the witchking can stop him - a ten-thousand year old sorcerer, with magical iron as his skin, and some 9000 years more of experience.
Why is Teclis this powerful? Who knows.
Is it ever properly explained? Well, he was really sickly and weedy, so he got taken in by this loremaster dude, and it turns out he was the Mozart of magic! So he got himself a pimp hat, a cane with a naked chick on (pimpcane), and forged himself a sword from unobtanium, that he used to beat down a keeper of secrets!

Oh, wait - Ward's supposed to be the one who makes Mary Sues. I forgot!

You say Marneus Calgar, I say Pask. Then you realize you've got no ground to stand on, and attack an original the character (do not steal!) instead. Fair enough.
Pask (guardsman codex, page 58) versus Vulkan. Look upon that terrible writing.

For every modern Dante you pull, I counter with old Dante. You know, the guy who was awesome at everything, never lost, never stopped fightning, had no thoughts, no history, and was chaptermaster because he'd always been chaptermaster.
New Dante even has fluff clauses that tell us the old, bad Gav fanwank might not have happened, while fleshing out things.

No, Sanguinior's not a valid target. He's Celestine with less boobage.
No, Sicarius' not a valid target, either. The point of him is to be regal, blinged-out, and too focused on personal honor to properly do his job.

Speaking of bad fluff, it's hard not to bring up the crowbarred necron c'tan, happy-happy, best friends forever-demons, three imperial guard codices, or the 4th edition chaos marine book. I'm gonna play it fair, however, and won't talk about the 3rd edition dark eldar codex. If I did that, i'd win too easily.

For all the whining, you have to ask yourself the most important question.
If Ward's so terribly bad, why's he still employed by GW? More importantly, why is Ward in charge of all the cashcows?

The answer is, of course: because Ward is exceptionally good at what he does.

Unlike Pask, Lucas the trickster, swarmlord, Teclis, or Mephiston, what Draigo does is perfectly fine for his faction.
He's the grandmaster of all grandmasters, the boss of a secret, highly ritualized and specialized elite force - one that focuses on destroying demons and chaotic influences.
This isn't magical vampire Mephy, who's got the awesome power to defy one of his book's defining traits 'just because.' It's not a sickly elf who automagically becomes the master of magic.

Draigo doesn't have a throbbing demon sword, or chant 'kill for the sake of killing!' Draigo beats down demons.
As you'd expect from the master of demonslaying, he's very good at what he does, but if you actually - you know - read the rest of the fluff, you'll realize he can't beat up primarchs unless he does certain things first. What things?
Well, he needs to know the demon's true name, chant the 666 rites of resistance, recite the words of banishment, and strike the demon's highly symbolic weak spot (heart, an eye, magic rune, cut off a toe) using his cast-iron sword, inlaid with shards of silver. If he does all of this, he still needs a steel will and faith to send the demon in question back to warp for X-tiy years and a day.
"Why's that not explained in his entry!?" Because the whole book is about it, silly people. Weren't you the masters of fluff?

Because Ward loves drama and tension, he made a demonlord banish Draigo himself to the warp. Wow, a twist! Bet he kicks ass in the warp all day long, right?
The grandmaster of grandmasters, stuck in his enemy's base, killing his dudes forever!
No, not quite.

The end result is more like king Sisyphus and the rock than Mephy and the castle.
Yes, he kills a gazillion demons daily, but because they're all in the warp, he can't banish them anywhere. Any damage Draigo inflicts regrows almost instantly.

"I still dont like it! It's not as cool as the old fluff!" Yeah, I guess there's a certain charm to having Gav turn everybody into Cable, and Jervis' self-insert Abaddon making grand and epic speeches, proclaiming 'you have failed me!' and promptly gun down his minions.

I don't know about you, but I much prefer badass heroes to cartoon villains with daddy issues. It helps when they have badass quotes, backstory, and don't wield throbbing demon swords. Always a nice bonus to see them stick to their faction's golden rules, too.

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