I’m a hobbyist. I don’t have the time I once did to sit down, create cool models, and paint them, but I do have plenty of time to think through my army’s fluff during my 45 minute work commute. I thoroughly enjoy creating fluff for my armies. For those who haven’t seen, here’s a bunch of stuff on Disciples of Twilight, my Chaos Space Marines. It’s safe to say that I have thousands of lines of fluff committed to digital paper at this point, and I put value in what I’ve created.
I see what I do with my armies in 40K like I would a character in an RPG. It’s a living, breathing thing that has its own story, agenda and goals independent of my own. I guide and oversee the development, but I do not govern it. Where this plugs into the actual game of 40K is when it comes time to create a list. I don’t see my list for a game as just that, a list for a game. I instead see my army marshaling together to battle an opponent, and the potential for some great stories to be told. The composition of my army has value beyond its strategic and tactical value in the game. How my army is represented is all-important to its fluff, which again, I enjoy and value.
I’ll start driving to the point before I lose anyone, though this article is more ethereal than most, and I blame no one who decides to bail out at this point. Disciples of Twilight are an undivided Chaos warband. They take favor from any and all of the Chaos Gods. I don’t mind playing them as Khorne for the sake of Khorne Daemonkin. I see that as having curried favor from Khorne, not that they dedicated themselves to it. Alternatively, I see marks and allegiance as stylistic, a way to represent units in a manner more suited to my style, not always as a God’s blessing. However, the way I’ve structured the fluff for my army prevents me from running them as actual Daemonkin. See, Disciples of Twilight must be led by a Disciple of Twilight, not a Bloodthirster or Herald of Khorne. They may align themselves with Khorne, but they are not led by Khorne, or specifically seeking to bring about Khorne’s warriors as Daemonkin would. The way I have played Khorne Daemonkin with my Chaos Marines, in a fluffy way, is that their actions bring about the Daemons, not that they go to war specifically beside them. The result of this is that it impacts how I build a KDK list, and really limits my options. I’m a firm believer in playing an army to its fluff, and not forcing fluff to justify a list. Generally that’s intended to mean not creating cheesy armies with allies that don’t make sense to create powerful lists, and then justifying it with some lame fluff, or something to that effect. To me though, that includes how I’ve created my army’s fluff. Basically, I’m trying to stay in character.
I have also looked at allying in Khorne Daemonkin, but I start running into similar issues. If I were to ally KDK then what I fielded would need to be Daemons only. From a gaming perspective, I refuse to play my Disciples of Twilight as both Chaos Space Marines and Khorne Daemonkin. It would be confusing to say that the dudes that are all painted the same belong to two different armies. I once played a guy who did that, played three codices, and every model was painted the same. It was extremely confusing and aggravating. I’m also not going to buy units that I already own just to paint them red. I seriously thought about it but I’m just not up for the extra work. That means each army, CSM and KDK, needs a distinction on the table and that means playing KDK with just Daemons. I’m all for doing that, but that means buying a lot more Daemons. The problem there is that I would rather spend my money to bulk up my CSM army instead of Daemons or KDK. My army is Chaos Space Marines with an option to play as Khorne Daemonkin, and I just feel I’ll get more bang for my buck investing in CSM instead, especially if that new codex is ever going to come out.
The short version of all of this would be to say that I’m a fluffy gamer, and that fluffiness extends to what I’ve already established for my army’s background. I can’t play 40K and not invest in my armies by creating stories and characters. That’s just part of the hobby for me. Putting down models and having no attachment to them beyond their use in the game is alien to me. If I could do that then I have no doubts I would be a better gamer. However, I would rather create my stories, breathe life into my army, than win a few more games.
Any other 40K players out there who put fluff above army list?