10 comments on “Warhammer 40,000: “End Times” – Who’s Gonna Die?

  1. Posted a link to this in the 2016 round up to a long winded forum post i made on this topic, but figure it fits here, 100% wishlisting from me here but it would be very cool if ANY of this happens…

    My take on it that there will be 2 driving forces for any progression in the 40k narrative, the need to streamline the game (and consequently the fluff) and the need to ratchet up the tension and what to do Post completion of the HH book series… (This will be a long post, tldr; version I hope for the best of AoS, and a minimal amount of squatting for 8th)

    So, starting with the game itself, my prediction for 40k 8th is that we will end up with a game that is not to dissimilar to the AoS playstyle with points, perhaps not a 4-page ruleset, but certainly no more than 20-30 pages. Killteam could well be sold as the AoS pointless variant of gameplay, where its number of minis in play and categories of mini’s which dictate the structure of the list, something which the deathwatch codex seems to allow as a playstyle. One thing I can see happening is that factions will be ordered thematically (think order, chaos, destruction etc., from AoS) with armies being aligned to a theme.

    The eldar will become a unified faction, with the harlequins uniting the dark and craftworld eldar, and quite likely in doing so killing off slanesh or at least conveniently putting him/her/it on the bench like in AoS. I think GW will try and push a diversified “rule of cool” style of army building as well, i.e. for imperial players, cheery pick what you want, maybe a squad or 2 of marines, some IG tanks, some ad mech stuff like that.

    I think there will be a cull in the number of army specific codexes to instead be replaced with army books with supplements being added for specifics i.e. rather than have a separate codex space marines and blood angels you would have the space marine army book giving base stats for 90% of the core spacemarine army and common weapons, with chapter specific stuff being done by chapter books. If we do get chapter specific books though I expect to see a proliferation of chapters with the salamanders, raven guard, white scars, imperial fists would all have their own books…
    But this is one reason why I can’t see the space wolves or blood angels doing so well through the end time, fluff wise its ragnarok for the space wolves, with the events of warzone fenris not ending well for them (I presume not read the fluff or even the books but if magnus is back ffs it cant end well for them lol and it ties in nicely with the 30k burning of prospero, and HH : Inferno, with thousand sons getting revenge on them); for the Blood Angels the black and red (burgundy?) rages taking effect and what will be left will be a shadow of former selves, for the BA’s this finally bringing the inquisition down on them and forcing there hand to leave the imperium, and work independently of the imperium…, the space wolves will be berserkers with death wish unit driven mad at being denied a honourable death with their brothers, or disgraced and disillusioned following lots of things going wrong for them following warzone fenris (effectively an imperial version of Karnes butchers hoard).

    The only non-codex chapter that will survive largely untouched will be the Dark Angels!, because primarchs will be back, if not in a playable form they will be in the fluff, I think there will be 4 or 5 returning loyal primarchs will be Vulcan, Dorn, Guillieman and the lion, and as either the first or the last to be released Russ!, I have a theory on all this and Cypher turns out to be the lynchpin to all this coming about. Chaos will be largely unchanged (minus slaneesh) but I think there will be a middle ground between chaos and order added where you will have more renegade factions which will work in a more mercenary capacity.

    Ultimately this would lead to a simpler faction structure, while still allowing a lot of diversity, combined with streamlined rules which should also make for a simpler hopping on point into the hobby.
    So in short I predict an emphasis on small squad or 2 armies which can be combined easily into thematic factions, with a proliferation of cool units which if prove interesting enough (Plastic sisters of battle, deathwatch, inquisitors and genestealer cults, new csm stuff, harliquins) pretty much all the OMFG releases of the last 2 years can be expanded a unit a time, oh and you will get a warscroll (battleslates or something shit like that) type document with each purchase to let you play them, with the army books being used for tactics, formations and special rules, pretty much as AoS does.
    Now how to make this work in the fluff, the imperium finds itself under a 4-way assault from the 13th crusade, a massive waaaaaagh, tau expansion and a hive armada, in all this the eldar disappear, the imperium contracts its boarders leaving 50% of its populace to fend for themselves (thus creating the renegade faction) who turn their backs on terra for this betrayal, and are now mainly raiders/outlaws, and becomes the natural home for any imperial factions who have found themselves at odds with the imperium i.e. blood angels, guard would get a up(down?)grade sprue for example like the GS cult one etc., as it’s the wildwest pretty much anything goes so chaos and renegade admech could well exist in numbers for example, as well as GS cults, and gives a nice nod back to rouge trader days…

    With the noose tightening around terra Cypher finally makes it to the throne room!, where he enters the webway and gets dorn to emerge to reforge the lions sword (which I’m really struggling not to call the sword of omens ) which he has carried since Caliban exploded and the lion bested Luther.
    The sword it turns out was more than a gift from the emperor but a contingency plan put in place by the emperor, which contains a copy of the aspect of the emperors essence at full strength he implanted in the primarch during their creation, combined with another McGuffin which is in dorns possession it turbo charges the golden throne and the emperor is able to start regenerating! This also sends out a psychic alarm call to his sons who are asleep, to return to base and restore the surviving aspects of his psyche, thus Guillieman and the lion awaken, whist vulkan has been carving his way back home following the events in the beast arises, and Russ hears the call. This leads to a reborn emperor but is only made up of 20-25% of his former character so a very different emperor of 10,000 years ago (would you really not trust GW to rip off highlander for fluff and just invert it 😉 ), maybe have some bickering between the brothers over this change, eventually the primarchs unite and kick ass a large tzeencian plot will be discovered amongst the lords of terra over the worship of the emperor, but the house will be cleared just in time for mars to attempt independence.
    At this point the emperor being the ominisiah/rtfm’d every stc, bitch slaps anyone caught deifying the screen saver and shows them how to turn the demo off., but with the imperium getting torn down from the inside, they will have opposite problem of having the knowhow but inadequate resources to make use of the knowledge. Regardless this activates the secrets of mars and the disloyal ad mech factions are routed by the own machines, dorn then takes over mars. The emperor rejuvenates into professor x type character (floaty wheelchair god emperor) and enters the webway up to something, leaving the physical war to be led by the primarchs, where it goes ballistic, reinvigorated the armies of the imperium push back some the attack against them but its unsustainable, during this “greater crusade” is when the damage will be done to some of the more esoteric factions, here meaning bad times for blood angels, space wolves in particular as standalone armies, this could prompt Russ to turn renegade and become an abandoned primarch.

    Elsewhere the tau are ascendant with the ethereals playing their hand and turning out to be rebuilding a long dead empire, and are in fact related to the fabled brain boyz of orkish culture with the necrons being the enemy and want to resurrect a few million year old war, the orks mid waaagggh suffer a psychic call-back from the returned brain boyz and become the brawn of tau assaults, plus orkish tau tech would be hilarious. I see tau and orks being a middle ground faction, which could easily absorb “renegade” or “abandoned” imperial citizens, their primary enemy would be necrons which would be a mass tombworld reawakening, the problem with orks is that they need something major happening to them to make them more than just a waaaagh assuming GW make some massive changes to the 40k universe. So give them the brainboyz back so that they can be played with more than a mob mentality, with orks on board and the ethereals having a non warp based FTL the tau rapidly expand through the abandoned part of the imperium absorbing humans into the empire,

    Which gives a brief “all quiet on the western front” period to the imperium for abbadon to step in along with some demon primarchs for some death matches, vulkan and the lion survive on the loyalists side, magnus and not too sure on the other traitor survivor. The tau-ork empire now find themselves under attack from the nids as do the imperium forces now split over fighting the 13th crusade and the nids, heavy losses to the nids and equally heavy losses to chaos, both on the doorstep of the sol system.
    Finally the eldar emerge, having unified and with the emperors help set in progress there plan to entrap slaneesh (and free their gods) with there now being several avatars at the eldars disposal they uncloak a couple of craft systems (dozens of craftworlds fighting as one) they hid in the webway before the downfall and pitch into the fight with chaos, with slaneesh gone the chaotic pantheon starts its own civil war fighting over the vacuum of power slaneesh left behind which is enough of a chink in the offence to allow what remains of the imperial forces combined with the eldar to launch a devastating attack destroying the 13th crusade,
    But having turned their backs on the nids discover the hive armada is upon the tau-ork, eldar and imperial remnant, they form an allegiance but can’t hold the tide back, so the emperor now fully regenerated turns himself into a supernova and blasts everything physically and psychically (burning a huge part of hive mind out) tearing a new hole in reality but instead of it leading to raw warp it leads to the web way, this new hole in reality will be confusingly called the “eye of terra”, and once the dust settles what remains becomes 40k 8th….

    • Interesting take on it! I for one don’t think it will be quite as dramatic as that. I think there will be some rule slimming down, and that the core book will be much shorter, but not by that much. I also think that, after AoS, and the initial problems that it had, GW might be a little more cautious about turning 40k as a game on its head. I think a lot more of the big changes will be fluff based (in part to get rid of the silly stuff, and in part to help them secure their IP) and the rules, while being reduced, will see more minor tweaks. But, I have absolutely nothing to actually base that on – just something I’ve been thinking about. Whatever happens, it’s going to be interesting!

  2. As the owner of that white dwarf, I wouldn’t say ‘all is revealed’, though the Dark Eldar and Necrons are both involved…

    My own personal thinking is that the Dark Eldar arrive on Cadia to ‘help’ the Cadian forces escape only to funnel them into a fight against the daemons threatening to spill into Commorragh (there’s some kind of gateway there).

    Trazyn the Infinite keeps releasing prisoners from his tesseract vaults so who knows who he’s got hidden away in there, and there’s some suggestion that he knows more about the Cadian Pylons than anyone else. My personal preference would be that Cadia falls, Abaddon rejoices, then the pylons are fully activated and they close the stable route into the Eye of Terror, trapping Abaddon and the legions in the material universe and forcing them onto the back foot as the Imperium retaliates.

    But then I am an Imperial fanboy and would love to see them pushing back the boundaries just once or twice – as far as I can tell only Dan Abnett and the Sabbatt Crusade has actually depicted the Imperium being anything but defensive (or just unsuccessful as in the Damocles Gulf)

    • Interesting. Yeah, that particularly mysterious and sneaky Necron is bound to have a bit of a part to play in this. Maybe he will even release his ‘giant space marine in baroque armour’…

  3. Hello! I discovered your blog while looking for information about the Fall of Cadia, and I’m really glad I did it. I have enjoyed very much the theories presented here, so I’ll add mine although I know it is very unlikely to happen.

    I’ll like the 40K universe to do a time skip after this event, only a couple of centuries, five hundred years tops, and present a galaxy transformed by the previous events but still recognizable. They could even develop the history of this time period through novels and other media.

    In that hypothetical future, I could see the Imperium split in two. In one side, the Old Empire backed by the Adeptus Mechanicus, now more powerful than ever after the destruction of Terra. In the other side the Republic, a vassal state of the Tau Empire, which occupies a great portion of what used to be the Ultima Segmentum. With the Astronomican gone, the eastern part of the galaxy is more out of reach than ever for the Imperial Navy. The other power in the region is the Empire of Ultramar which has significantly increased its size, and wages a constant war against the Republic and its xeno masters.

    Well, I hope you enjoyed my theory, keep up the good job!

  4. 13th Crusade gets Abbadon to Terra. The Emperor has been feeding on billions of psykers for thousands of years. He will rejuvenate. The Star Child concept is in here some where. Cypher probably is riding the Crusade wave with Abbadon to be there at the right moment (maybe he is an avatar of Emperor’s spirit). Generally he is the spark that ignites the rejuvenation of the Emperor. He will wake up or call the living primarchs back to his side. They defeat Abbadon but at great expense.

    From here the waking of the Emperor could break or crack the materium in a way that makes all the enemies of Empire go nuts: Terra webway pours Chaos over Terra and Mars turning them into demon planets (new demonic Mechanicum codex with cyber demons); Tyranids speed up in chasing down the Emperor as his God status is sending psykic signals to the hive mind like a bug to a bug zapper; Necron wake up across thousands of more planets in an instant; Dark Eldar morph into a more demonic version with Slaneesh becoming more powerful. Essentially, the Emperor is awake with surviving Primarchs but at the cost of mankind’s home solar system of Sol opening a new Eye/Malestrom. It would be a time of sort of winning with the Imperial Rat Pack reunion tour but retreating at the same time. The Rat Pack with Adept Mech begin their Long March to Maccrage to reorganize. Guess who they have to fight through to get there? The largest Waaagh in Imperial history! Make it 8th edition’s starter campaign box set! Sold!

=][= Speak now, for the Emperor demands your wisdom =][=

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