View Full Version : Stormcast/Space Marines

01-26-2016, 10:31 AM
I saw this a couple of days ago and rather liked the take on the comparison between Stormcast and Space Marines. It's a quote from Josh Reynolds so presumably he knows something about the subject. In terms of marketing I believe they are trying to channel the success of Space Marines (arguably GWs greatest asset) with the Stormcast but it was nice to read the difference written down.



Erik Setzer
01-26-2016, 01:16 PM
Except, the Space Marines didn't start out that way. They started as something closer to the SE, only without being immortal... something that, by its very essence, removes the SE from humanity.

And if the SE are so keen to feel and all that, and they've been holed up for hundreds of years while Chaos walked all over the corpses of all the human kingdoms and pretty much drove humanity to the point of extinction, wouldn't they snap the moment they realized they're fighting to save something that's already gone, that they failed to protect, and now they're going to have to fight endlessly for a potential future for someone else? These "past heroes" have been gone for a LOOOOONNNNG time by the time they come back swinging. If there's any "descendants" left, they're likely little more than animals fighting hard just to not go extinct (and only succeeding because Chaos gets bored if its toys are all broken).

Any "humanity" left in the SE would make them an absolute mess on the battlefield, especially when they realize that the blasted chunk of desolate rock they're standing on was, at some point in the distant past, a vibrant square where people bought and sold goods, ate food, danced and sang during festivals, but down it's just ash and dust and no sign that anything ever stood there. They'd having to kill their own ability to feel or risk becoming a liability.

01-26-2016, 01:48 PM
Well originally space marines were the worst criminals, psychopaths and general lunatics generally people who could survive I the worst hell hole of he galaxy, feral world, death worlds, under hives, prison planets and the like who were basically turned in at least semi controllable super human psychopaths or least that's how Rogue Trader had it. Of course they added the recruited as children thing I the first white Dwarf article I the creator of a space marine which the chart detailing the implants they have which is the same as the one they use today.

I think the idea is that they use that humanity to fuel their fight. I don't follow your assessment of the human spirit. Adversity has two effects on people they either break or get stronger and I suspect strength of character is probably something Sigmar looks for. The reason human beings are the preeminent spieces on this planet is because of our supreme ability to adapt to pretty much anything. People have weathered hardship you and I probably can't understand without becoming emotional messes and they aren't filled with the power of a god.

Erik Setzer
01-26-2016, 02:45 PM
Well, the thing here is that it's not adversity that would be testing them. It's that they're coming back to fight for homes that are already gone. It's like if you headed off somewhere to train to fight to defend your homeland, and by the time you got done, you come and fight it's all gone. Everyone you knew and loved is dead, all the cities are gone, all the buildings dust, while you weren't around to save them. You really think that would make you feel stronger? It might lead to wanting some measure of revenge, but in some deep part of your spirit, you'd know that you failed the people who counted on you, and the best you can do is try to help build something new.

Sigmar feels that, in a way, if I'm reading it right, but with these guys it'd be on an even more personal level.

(I could be applying a bit too much real world logic and all in a fantasy setting. I suppose a wizard could wave a wand and help them feel better, like a magical form of certain types of pills.)

01-26-2016, 02:56 PM
I've no idea it's never happened to me. But I suspect Sigmar is able to pick the ones that can deal with it and them wanting revenge may be a powerful motivator. Losing and failure can also be a powerful motivator to do better next time it certainly is to me.

I'd say we do all apply our own experience and understanding to anything and it's very possible that we are very different people. Still wouldn't be worth discussing if we had exactly the same view.

Erik Setzer
01-26-2016, 09:35 PM
The amusing thing is that such failure could also lead some to turn on Sigmar and blame him for it, "allowing" Chaos to run rampant while he hid in Azyr. And then Archaon starts promising them that he'll give them some land to rebuild if they renounce Sigmar... Boom! Corrupted Stormcast Eternals!

Come on, you have to admit that'd be an interesting story, and you can run that kind of combo in-game anyway.

- - - Updated - - -

Actually, I was contemplating getting the starter box at a cheap spot only (sadly no longer more than half off, but under $90 still isn't bad), and I might just convert the Stormcast into Corrupted Stormcast and run them with my Chaos, and use that as the backstory.

01-27-2016, 04:26 AM
Sounds plausible

Of course I will require pictures of any spiky Stormcast you produce.

Path Walker
01-27-2016, 05:17 AM
Stormcast take the elements that make Space Marines an easy sell for new starters but other than that, they're a different spin on the armoured knight thing.

They're much more human than Space Marines, for a start, they have been human and clearly remember their human life (at least, until they've been Reforged a few times) they fight not because they've been hypno-conditions and genetically modified to be soldiers, they were already warriors, fighting against Chaos and Sigmar has given them a chance to win.

They're not removed from their humanity, rather filled with more of it than ever before. Sigmar is now the God of Humans more than he ever was (its likely humans in the Mortal Realms come from his memory of The World That Was) than when he was the primary God of the Empire. To be filled with him power is to be filled with the very stuff that made humanity on the Realms. And also lightning.

Stormcast have good reason not to be full of despair at the destructiuon of their homes and lives. These were warriors who had already experienced loss at the hands of Chaos, they were defeated but in their last moments, snatched from defeat and given a chance to go back on more equal terms. They won't experience despair at that, they know the outcome, they knew they were defeated because they had experienced it first hand. They can see that without Sigmar's intervention, the Mortal Realms would fall to Chaos eventually because they've been on the front lines and seen how bad it was. Every single one of them was going to die, heroically, at the hands of the forces of Chaos.

Mr Mystery
01-27-2016, 06:04 AM
Stormcast Eternals were selected not because they called out for Sigmar's aid, but for his vengeance.

That alone means they're less likely to be tempted by Chaos - many (most, all?) of them have already had the offer to bend the knee to the Dark Gods, and rejected it.

I agree with the quote in the original post - Astartes they ain't, beyond cosmetic similarities.

Now, where they go in the future, once Reforging has eroded their humanity and thus the reason they not only fight but accepted Sigmar's 'blessings' in the first place - that I am very much looking forward to finding out.

It's possible some might go rogue, but I don't think any would fall to Chaos - and if they did, bang goes their reforging opportunities, giving them a limited life span (though that of course may appeal to some)

Erik Setzer
01-27-2016, 09:20 AM
Well, Chaos can just do their own reforging. They do it all the time. Archaon, anyone? The entire Dragon Ogre race? Many of their champions have died repeatedly. Kairos got wrecked to summon Kabanda (I might be off on the name, sorry, it's early and I'm not near my books), but he's back. They can remake any dead champion. It's just that the power behind the "reforging" changes. Sigmar's just playing with a different form of the same tools Chaos is working with.

And if/when I do Corrupted Stormcast, I think it'd be interesting not to spike them up like generic Chaos looks, but try to make it look like their armor's tarnished, reflecting their "fall from grace." Especially if they're not really accepting Chaos fully but choosing to use it as a means to an end.

MM, you talk all the time about how the Stormcast are so human... so why would they be immune to temptation? Or, more likely, despair? If they're so superhuman that they can't possibly crack under pressure, that means they don't have any real humanity left. They're less human than Spartans in Halo.

I'm not even saying many of them would turn, just that it's possible to turn anyone, and that's kind of a long-time trope in things like fantasy and Cthulhu-style settings (both of which AoS gets some inspiration from). When you're fighting the gods of madness in a war you already lost once, it's not beyond reason to imagine some crack under the pressure and go rogue.

Besides, what's the fun in having the ability to mix all kinds of models in an army if you can't figure out some kind of interesting fluff to explain it?

01-27-2016, 09:28 AM
But can one actually use chaos for their own ends they may think they are but in reality are they all just slaves to darkness?

Chaos characters mortality is certainly a mutable thing. Daemons have pretty much always been immortal ( all be it getting banished to the realms of chaos for 1000 years and a day for getting defeated)

Erik Setzer
01-27-2016, 09:48 AM
Yeah, you'd be deluding yourself, but that's how Chaos works. Or perhaps the Chaos gods would actually (at least for a time) go along with giving someone an area to set up a new civilization, just because they think it'd be amusing to turn the members of the Grand Alliance/Crusade/whatever back on the others. They can even honor the pact for a few thousand years and then destroy it later. Time doesn't really matter to them. Heck, temporary defeat doesn't, either. They've got time, they know they'll win in the end. If they can sow more discord now, well, that's kind of the essence of Chaos, right?

Mr Mystery
01-27-2016, 10:17 AM
A lot of it remains to be seen.

However, the new short story series promises to show us more.

About the 'so human', I think they've already shown they're not one to bend the knee to Chaos, or they would have done so before being snatched into Azyr and turned into walking tanks.

That their humanity currently remains is clear - but as above, the effects of repeated Reforging haven't been shown yet, so who knows? I think a lot of it will come down to just how Sigmar deploys them.

I know this thread is about how they aren't Astartes at all, but I do need to make a rough comparison. Consider how The Emperor treated the Iron Warriors - given gruelling, thankless tasks which whilst critical to the war efforts, left the glory to the Legions poised to exploit the breaches they won with blood and sweat. That's a recipe for ill-feeling straight off the bat, especially given how the other siege experts, The Imperial Fists, were seemingly treated far better in terms of recognition.

If Sigmar rotates them, that can be mitigated, even if it can't be completely avoided.

So much remains to be seen, I remain excite (even if I'm not a massive fan of Stormcast)

01-27-2016, 11:05 AM
See, I don't think it's Chaos that a Stormcast would fall to. They're the lost souls snatched from the field of battle at the brink of death, and let's be honest: most would have been fighting chaos. And there is very, very little that chaos could truly offer them that Sigmar couldn't. Protection for their previous people/places/things? Chaos is self destructive. Revenge? That's what Sigmar offers, and Chaos tends to be more self interested than that. A cause to fight for? That could work, sure, but then why not have joined them in life?

No, I think the one Stormcast could fall to would be Nagash.

They're once-living. They don't die properly. And Nagash is already angry that the souls of the Stormcast were denied to him, and he's a both very powerful and much more united than Chaos can manage. Undeath offers both personal power and a way to eternally hold on to the ones you care for. Twisted somewhat, of course, but there none the less.

Erik Setzer
01-27-2016, 11:21 AM
Well, with Chaos, they might employ tricks. Like Tzeentch using illusions to trick them. There's all kinds of possibilities.

No need to shut doors on possibilities with a game that lets you mix and match like crazy. I'd think part of AoS's fun is figuring out how various combinations could come to exist?

Hmm... another possibility might be "Fallen" Stormcast who aren't fighting for Chaos, but might ally with some guys who fell out of favor with the Chaos gods, and other "lost souls" from different factions. Done thematically, it'd be an interesting looking armor.

I know, I'm kind of going off topic, but I like thinking about different things to do with models and armies.

01-27-2016, 12:18 PM
My money is certainly on Nagash corrupting some of the Stormcast. I still wouldn't rule out chaos it does have a tendency for that sort of thing.

I wouldn't say it's drifting too much off topic Space Marines did go rogue so there's a possible comparison there.